Diana-Maria Riva may star in the comedy-drama “Side Order of Life” on the Lifetime channel, but she wants to make one thing clear: “This ain’t your mama’s Lifetime anymore, and you don’t have to check your manliness at the door. You can come in and watch it.”Lifetime for years had marketed itself as “television for women,” but has gradually broadened its scope with shows like “Life,” in which Diana-Maria plays Vivy, a breast cancer survivor whose journey serves as a wake-up for those around her – especially best friend Jenny, played by Marisa Coughlan.“It’s a wonderful role,” Diana-Maria told me recently. “She’s a vibrant, brash woman who, a week before her best friend is to marry (the character played by) Jason Priestley, she tells her best friend: ‘I have cancer and you’re marrying the wrong guy.’ So she takes the opportunity to shake everybody else up and says, ‘Listen to my ticking clock. You may have one, too.’”The busy 38-year-old actress took on “Life” after doing years of network television, beginning with recurring roles on “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” “Common Law” and “City of Angels,” a cast member of the one-season dramas “Philly” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” and playing a recurring role on the final season of “The West Wing.” “There’s definitely a certain amount of freedom you have when you’re on a cable show,” she said. “The level of steam is much higher. We have the liberty to play with all those areas, whether it be language or sex or the soap-opera end.”Playing Vivy on “Life” has been a career gift: “It’s one of the first times we’ve seen a character on television who hasn’t been diagnosed, treated and cured from cancer in a very special episode. This is for the long haul, showing how cancer survivors are living, thriving human beings.”Since the show began airing, Diana-Maria said she has been hearing a lot from real-life cancer survivors.“I have never been more moved – except when I gave birth. They are fueling me; they are my fire. They’re letting me know what’s realistic, what’s not – real simple things, like trying to keep a wig on your head when you’re trying to have sex, things the common man wouldn’t think about. All we think is ‘Cancer: Are they dying?’ It’s about the little things in life that count.“There are 10 million survivors in this country.” And about the whole “is this only a show for women?” stuff, Diana-Maria said men do not have to be afraid.“My husband is all man, and he watches it and enjoys it – and my daddy, too. When you have men like Jason Priestley and Chris Garten on this show, there’s nothing excluding about it. Everyone can watch it. It’s a good show.”Duhamel of ‘Las Vegas’engaged to singer FergieJust call him The Duke. Josh Duhamel and his girlfriend, Fergie, are engaged.Duhamel’s representative said Wednesday the actor recently proposed to the pop star, whose debut album was titled “The Dutchess.”Publicist Ruth Bernstein did not release any other details.Duhamel, 35, told Best Life magazine in a recent interview that he’s been dating 32-year-old Fergie for about three years and that they have bought a house together.Duhamel is the star of NBC’s “Las Vegas,” and he appeared in the action movie “Transformers.”Fergie (real name: Stacy Ann Ferguson) is a member of the Black Eyed Peas. Her hit song “Big Girls Don’t Cry” from her solo album “The Dutchess” has been nominated for a Grammy award in the best female pop vocal category.For more celebrity news, go to blogs.dailynews.com/hollywoodjoe and blogs.dailynews.com/outinhollywood.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
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