WASHINGTON — It isn’t much of a stretch for Jill Biden when she takes an acting turn in an episode of Lifetime network’s “Army Wives.”

The second lady, playing herself, visits the show’s Fort Marshall to hear about the challenges facing military families and offer them words of encouragement.

“I’m proud to be here today as a second lady, but I’m even more proud to be here as a military mom,” Biden tells a group that gathers for the post’s annual fun run to benefit military kids.

Between the bickering, smooching and other interpersonal drama of the TV show, Biden gives the crowd a pep talk. She tells them how important it is to build “stronger ties between our civilian and military communities.”

“Although only 1 percent of Americans are fighting our wars today, we need 100 percent of Americans to support them and their families,” she says. She blows a horn to start the fun run, and that’s that.

Biden’s lines sound a lot like those the second lady speaks in real life: She’s traveled extensively to support the cause of military families.

Biden and her husband were hosting a special screening of the episode, titled “Mud, Sweat and Tears,” at Fort Belvoir, Va., on Thursday night.

Their son Beau returned last year from a yearlong deployment to Iraq with an Army National Guard unit.

A number of real Army wives are featured in the TV episode, scheduled to air Aug. 15.

Sidibe describes herself as ‘middle of the lane’

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Gabourey Sidibe is pinching herself over her unexpected life, which includes an Oscar nomination and a TV series.

At a meeting of the Television Critics Association in Beverly Hills on Thursday, Sidibe described herself as a “middle-of-the-lane, very normal” person who’d planned to be a receptionist.

Sidibe, 27, said it’s been a “strange year” that’s included an Academy Award nod for her role as a teenager who rises above abuse in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” and her co-starring role in Showtime’s “The Big C.”

The comedy-drama stars Laura Linney as a schoolteacher confronting a terminal-cancer diagnosis. Sidibe plays a smart-alec student.

“The Big C” debuts Aug. 16 on Showtime.

Lohan getting lots to read

LOS ANGELES — Lindsay Lohan, you’ve got mail.

Inmate No. 2409752 may be alone in her Lynwood jail cell, but her fans are sending her plenty of letters to read. The actress, serving a jail term for violating her probation, is getting about 250 letters a day, officials say.

“Most inmates don’t get as much mail as Ms. Lohan is getting,” said Steve Whitmore, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman.

Like any other inmate, the actress is allowed to keep 10 pieces of mail at any given time and must return the letters to get new ones, Whitmore said. The mail, he said, is delivered with each shift in the module after it is checked for contraband.

Author Rice declares: ‘I quit Christianity’

NEW YORK — Anne Rice has had a religious conversion: She’s no longer a Christian.

The author wrote Wednesday on her Facebook page that she refuses to be “anti-gay … anti-feminist” and “anti-artificial birth control.”

She adds that “In the name of … Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

Her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, confirmed Thursday that the posting was by Rice.

Raised as a Catholic, Rice rejected the church early in life, but renewed her faith in recent years and in 2008 released the memoir “Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession.”