LOS ANGELES -- When released to the pack of wolves -- known in Hollywood as the media -- celebrities are trained to look impeccable, maintain clean hygiene and avoid saying anything that doesn't push their latest TV show/album/movie/sex tape.
But even the best-coached entertainers can get off track. With the TV Critics Association summer press tour just completed, here are some of the quotes that proved celebrities are more than just promotional tools.
"I did ask him [President Obama] and [British Prime Minister] David Cameron, I said, 'When do you guys get to watch TV? Aren't you supposed to be running the free world together? I hear, Mr. President, you really like the show.' And he said, "Yes, Saturday afternoons, Michelle and the two girls, they go play tennis. I go into the Oval Office. I pretend I'm going to work, and I switch on 'Homeland.'"
-- Damian Lewis, star of "Homeland," on his recent visit to the White House
"I used to say that pot took away from my rent, and now it pays it."
-- Justin Kirk on the end of his successful series "Weeds"
"I know standards pretty well. I've been working in TV for a long time so I kind of know where the lines are. I'm like a dog with a shock collar, who you could take off the collar after a while. I know where the fence is."
-- Louis C.K., star/writer/producer/caterer for "Louie"
"It was a crazy time. It was sort of like a dream I couldn't wake up from, or some runaway train I couldn't get off of, but I was the conductor, you know. I learned a lot. I learned to stick to what you know. Don't go on the road with a one-man show in 33 days in 21 cities with no act."
-- Charlie Sheen on his "winning" period
"I started my career on a show called 'Living Dolls.' When I got the part, my mother said, 'What's the show about?' I said, 'It's a show about models.' And she said, 'What part are you playing?'"
-- Leah Remini, who hopes to have more luck with her next sitcom, "The Family Tools"
"I was in the military, and I've done 'Dancing With the Stars,' and apart from learning how to put on your gas mask and doing that stuff, I would say "Dancing With the Stars" is harder. You don't have to worry about being spray-tanned in the military. You don't have to worry about rhinestones chafing anywhere."
-- Drew Lachey, who may have trouble getting votes from soldiers when he competes in "Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars"
"The news is what it is, man. The news is a TV show. They need ratings. And in our lifetime, we will see boobs in the news."
-- Chris Rock
"I've played a lot of roles set in the '60s. I guess my haircut fits that era really well."
-- Dennis Quaid, appearing in the new '60s-set series "Vegas"
"Do you want to know why I went back to work? I'm not allowed to cheer anymore at [my kids'] games. It used to be that I could cheer at the games. I could bring signs. I could wear their names, a sweatshirt with their picture on it, and now I am not allowed to even speak at the game. I felt it was time to go back to work. My work there was done."
-- Jami Gertz, who will be allowed to see her children after tapings of her new sitcom, "The Neighbors"
"You don't always have to have shoes. What happened was, this foot here has become hurt from what I can only describe as kicky boxing. 'Kickboxing' sounds so aggressive. It's not like I kicked someone so hard, a bit of my foot fell off. It's that there was abrasiveness caused by the pad. It's essentially a rug burn. So I thought, 'Don't wear shoes for a while.' I mean, shoes are in themselves an oddity and addition. Actually, the real question is: Why are you all wearing shoes?"
-- Russell Brand on why he showed up at TCA barefoot
"I'd like to star in a Broadway musical, but I don't think that's going to happen. When I auditioned for my high school musical, 'Carnival,' they actually cast me as a deaf mute."
-- Katie Couric, who's "settling" for her own syndicated talk show
njustin@ startribune.com • 612-673-7431 • Twitter: @nealjustin