CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Exclusive Portrait: ‘Extra’ Co-Host Maria Menounos For New Book ‘The EveryGirl’s Guide to Life’
CHICAGO – Celebrities rarely are as multi-faceted as Maria Menounos. The Greek American ex-beauty queen is the current co-host – with Mario Lopez – of “Extra,” the popular entertainment news program. This is after correspondent duties on “Access Hollywood,” appearing on the “Today” show and acting in TV’s “Without a Trace” and “One Tree Hill.”
After graduating from Boston’s Emerson College, Menounos worked for Channel One News, which include traveling to El Salvador to cover the 2001 earthquake. She moved into reporting show business news for “Entertainment Tonight” in 2002, and left that program to pursue an acting career in 2005. While landing parts in movies like “The Fantastic Four” and “Tropic Thunder,” she also became a special correspondent for “Access Hollywood.” She only recently left that show to join Mario Lopez as co-host on “Extra.” In December 2011, she participated in a tag team match for the “WWE Tribute to The Troops” and is officially undefeated as a wrestler. She was honored by People Magazine in 2004 as one of the “50 Most Beautiful People.”
Maria Menounos was in Chicago in 2011, signing copies of her new book, “The EveryGirl’s Guide to Life,” while greeting admirers at Barbara’s Bookstore at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Photographer Joe Arce was there, and captured this Exclusive Portrait for HollywoodChicago.com.
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com