Rosie O'Donnell Show
January 8, 2001

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Rosie O'Donnell: We all know our next guest as TV's sexiest man in uniform on the CBS series JAG. Please welcome the very handsome David James Elliott! ... How are you, David James Elliott?

David James Elliott: I'm excellent, Rosie O'Donnell.

Rosie: Very nice to see you.

DJE: Very nice to see you.

Rosie: You know, I was reading in the notes and I did not believe it, that you were in a punk rock band.

DJE: Yes.

Rosie: No way! Look at you! You're so not-punk-rocky!

DJE: Yeah, I used to have long hair. And then, this ... I went with the short thing. And now I have it even shorter.

Rosie: Did you play an instrument?

DJE: I was the lead singer.

Rosie: In a punk rock band? [incredulous]

DJE: In the 70's.

Rosie: And did you do cover songs or did you write your own?

DJE: We wrote our own. We did a couple of cover songs our own way. And we wrote most of our other stuff.

Rosie: And were any of the punk rock lyric titles?

DJE: Ah ... "Sex Offender" ... was a big hit.

Rosie: "Sex Offender" ... okay ... that's not a good one, I don't think.

DJE: No. Not at all.

Rosie: I never understood the punk rock thing!

DJE: We dealt with all the dodgy subjects.

Rosie: You did. That's so unlike what I think of you! Now is that strange because people see you on the show, like me, and they think, "Oh, there's Mr. Cleancut All-American ..."

DJE: A lot of changes since I was a young man.

Rosie: Yeah, yeah. A lot of changes. When you went for this job, were you already sort of ...

DJE: I was cleancut ... but I had longer hair ... frankly, I can't wait to grow my hair a little longer.

Rosie: Right, when the show's done, you'll get to do that.

DJE: Yes. Thank God.

Rosie: How's your daughter?

DJE: Excellent! You know, I have a funny story about my daughter ... maybe you'll appreciate it. How old are your kids?

Rosie: I have a five, two three-year-olds, and a one.

DJE: Okay. She's seven. We went skiing over the vacation. You ski?

Rosie: Yes. I love to ski.

DJE: Okay. Well, she was in the ski school and was doing great and moved up to a level 5. I don't know if any of you are skiers, but ...

Rosie: That's good.

DJE: So the last day my wife and I were going skiing with her. We wanted to experience this great level of skiing that she's doing. And they said she could go on blue runs. So we went on this blue run. My wife went on ahead 'cause we were taking turns taking her down the hill. And halfway down this really steep icy hill she just stopped. And said, "I'm not skiing anymore. I don't want to ski.", and was crying, kind of tired. And I didn't know how I was going to get her down.

Rosie: What do you do, then?

DJE: So, ... the genius that I am, I said, "Okay, take off your skis and slide down on your bummy."

Rosie: On a mountain full of skiers?

DJE: Well, oh it was kinda slow at this period. But the hill was fairly steep .. I didn't know how to get down! I looked around ... you know, it was a moment of ... it was a little tense. So I took her skis, her poles, my poles and I'm skiing beside her. Just kind of drag her feet. It started out all right. And then ... she slowly started picking up speed. [roar of laughter from the audience]

Rosie: Oh!

DJE: and then she was going really fast ... and I panicked! I was going, "Slow down!" "I'm trying!"

Rosie: Oh no!

DJE: And she had this really enigmatic look on her face. So I flung everything and raced down beside her and dove face-down in front of her and grabbed a hold of her and splayed my feet with skis on and took about 200 yards to slow down 'cause .... in retrospect it's kind of a funny story.

Rosie: She could have been killed like that!

DJE: She could have been killed.

Rosie: You get on your hind-ny and go right down ... [teasing and laughing]

DJE: Ha ha! I didn't know! Ha ha!

Rosie: I thought you were going to tell me you carried her.

DJE: I considered it, but it was so steep and icy ..

Rosie: Have you ever seen the parents who put the babies in little Snuglies and go snake-skiing with the baby in the Snugly?

DJE: No.

Rosie: That's gotta be illegal, I think.

DJE: Oh my God!

Rosie: Don't you think that's insane?

DJE: That's insane. No that's why I didn't pick her up. I even thought about trying to grab her and then I thought it would be worse with a 200-lb man toppling over her.

Rosie: Yeah. It'd be better to just throw her on down the hill! [laughter]
Well, this movie that you've produced and that you star in is about a father and daughter.

DJE: Yeah.

Rosie: And it's a touching story.

DJE: It is. It's one of the reasons that we decided to do it. We produced it. This is the maiden voyage of my production company. My wife and I have a production company called Firefly Productions. Our friend Josh Mower brought this book to us. We developed it from the book. We chose the writer. We have an incredible cast. Robert Loggia, whom you know ...

Rosie: Yes.

DJE: Ellen Burstyn. Penelope Ann Miller, and Alicia Morton plays my daughter. So the cast is incredible so it was a really wonderful experience and it's a touching story. You have a clip, right?

Rosie: We do, yes. Your father, Robert Loggia, passes away and then your wife says she's thinking of leaving you. You take your small daughter on a fishing trip ... this is the clip we have ... take a look at this.

DJE: Here's where I tell her [the daughter] that we're getting divorced.

[clip of James explaining to his daughter Maggie about the impending divorce]

Rosie: Look for that movie Dodson's Journey this week on Wednesday CBS. ... It's great to see you.

DJE: Nice to see you.

Rosie: You're looking fabulous as always.

DJE: Thank you.

Rosie: And next time you go skiing with your daughter, keep the skis on her feet

DJE: Stay on them, baby!

Rosie: All right!


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