Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Teri Hatcher takes on new challenges

HATCHERIt’s really strange talking with Teri Hatcher during the Television Critics Association summer meetings and and the topic of conversation isn’t “Desperate Housewives.” It got to be a rather regular event to chat with the actresses who called Wisteria Lane home. This time, Hatcher is talking less about love and lust and more about fun and flights.

Hatcher’s the voice of Dottie in the new Disney animated film “Planes.” It hits theaters in early August. She plays the small forklift that is the chief caretaker of Dusty (voiced by Dane Cook), a cropduster who dreams of being a racing plane. Doing the animated voice is one of many activities that’s kept Hatcher busy since her ABC series ended.

“I took some cooking classes. I really don’t have a special dish I can cook, but I know how to judge the right cooking time for meat,” Hatcher says. The new project seems interesting because it seems like Hatcher’s character on the ABC drama/comedy had some cooking issues.

She’s got a few other projects in the works — including the possibility of writing a book — but Hatcher’s also taken some time to just relax. When she found herself on the East Coast with several cities to visit because of business, Hatcher rented a car and drove across several states.

Hatcher laughs and says that despite the large population of Ohio, she often had a hard time finding a place to eat.

“And, I love to eat. For some reason when I tell people that, they don’t believe me,” Hatcher says. It could be her pencil-thin frame that causes all the doubts.

One day, she stopped at a little gas station/restaurant that had a good reputation for its pies. She surprised the waitress when she ordered prime rib plus a variety of side items. Hatcher explained that she wasn’t going to eat all the food but wanted to sample all the items. That’s when Hatcher went from lonely traveler to Hollywood celebrity.

“The owner came over and sat a very old cup and saucer on the table. I knew it was old because I collect them. She told me it was original china from the restaurant and she wanted me to sign it and it would be put on the wall,” Hatcher says.

So, if you find yourself on a back road in Ohio and see a cup with Hatcher’s name on it, that’s a real autograph.

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