In a complaint obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Iggy Azalea, born Amethyst Kelly, claims that Williams "downloaded the entire contents of Azalea's personal computer, including the [songs], onto a jump drive without her consent" when the two were romantically involved between 2008 and 2009.
"Defendants have defied Azalea's demands," the complaint says, "that they refrain from wrongfully exploiting her name, likeness and copyrighted music by distributing her music without her consent and by using her trademarked name and her likeness to promote themselves and the music they misappropriated."
After some of the unreleased songs started appearing on music retailers' sites, like Amazon and Google Play, in August, Azalea and Universal Music Group put out cease-and-desists, which most retailers obeyed. However, Williams is still promoting a Sept. 30 release date of the entire collection of songs, titled Inizio.
According to the complaint, dated Sept. 17, Azalea is asking for a declaration that she owns the rights to the unreleased songs, along with damages.
The complaint makes no specific mention of a sex tape allegedly of Williams and Azalea that was sent to Vivid Entertainment earlier this month. Williams told TMZ that he was not the one to leak the tape, saying his computer was stolen. He also claimed that she had signed an agreement allowing him to "manufacture, sell, distribute and advertise 'any' recording embodying visual images." Iggy's reps, meanwhile, told TMZ that the alleged tape was possibly shot "without her knowledge or consent," and may have been while she was underage.]]>
Murray stars as an elderly recluse with a secret heart of gold that begins to shine when he starts taking care of his young neighbor and his mom, played by Melissa McCarthy. Naomi Watts also stars as Murray's girlfriend, who just happens to be a stripper and pregnant. The film premiered as the headlining event on "Bill Murray Day" at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month and will open in theaters gradually across the country beginning Oct. 10. Check out the three Oscar nominees in the film's first poster below:]]>
The five stories "tackle pivotal moments in a woman's life from girlhood to middle age, including sex and love, death and disintegration," the BBC reports. All the authors have established a body of critically acclaimed or award-winning work—Shriver and Tremain have been nominated for the award before— except for Welsh newcomer Francesca Rhydderch, who made her debut this year with The Rice Paper Diaries. This is the third all-female list in the past nine years.
"The short story form has a unique ability to capture a single defining moment," says Chair of Judges Alan Yentob. "It invites us to dive headfirst into another world... In their very different ways these five stories do just that." The winner and runner-up will be honored on Sept. 30 at BBC's Radio Theatre, and the ceremony will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 4's Front Row.]]>
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So where does Elsa find you? Are you at, like, a Starbucks?
SARAH PAULSON: Well let’s just say they didn’t see the light of day very often.
Ryan said that Bette and Dot might be responsible for dark things.
Yes. Bette and Dot might be responsible for some dark things. When they’re discovered, Elsa in a way, even though it may not appear to be that in the beginning kind of saves them from what may befall them because of their dark deeds. Elsa at least in the beginning seems to be offering them an alternative to what would have happened if they were left where they were found.
Are their personalities different?
It’s not as simple as nice and evil. It’s more complicated in true Ryan Murphy style. One has more darkness in her but not darkness of evil—darkness of depression, of knowing what’s out in the world. The other one is more of an innocent. It’s innocent and more cynical. Even though they share a body, they have different brains and different hearts. They experience everything differently from each one another.
The process to create these twins sounds so intense.
There are so many ways that we’re making this happen that it’s not any one thing. It’s not just a visual effect, it’s not just the other head effect. This is a combination of 9,000 things. The part that’s the most hardest is when we’re doing the visual effects. I think I thought when I was going to do it was I would do all of Bette, in all camera sizes, and then switch over to Dot and vice versa. But what happens is because the effects have to be the same, the camera has to be locked off. Basically, I have to do Bette and Dot within each camera size and so I’m going back and forth with each girl, every time they change the lens and go tighter. So I don’t get like nine takes as one person. I have to go back and forth and back and forth. They have the same hairstyle but they wear different color headbands. So every time we go back and forth, five people descend upon me. We’ve gotten it down to a science—I can practically do it in my sleep. But there’s 9,000 things that happen as we change everything over, not the least of which is what goes on with me internally to play both of them.
Is this the most challenging AHS role you’ve had so far?
It is the most challenging so far. There’s the inherent reality that everyone knows that I do not have two heads. So we’re asking the audience to go with us on this journey. We’re asking everybody that’s a fan of the show, like people who are with the show, so I have anxiety because I just want so much for everything about it to work that people forget that they’re watching something that they know isn’t real and that they buy it and they believe it. I think that’s why these two girls seem like two different creatures. It’s hard to find to find all the color and variation and nuances. It’s hard to play one person with all of those things going on. It’s obviously doubly difficult to do it when you are trying to give shading and characterization to two people. And I have a southern accent also.
So is the Elsa and twin relationship maternal?
It’s more reminiscent to me of Jude/Lana, certainly between Dot and Elsa. Between Bette and Elsa, Elsa represents so much glamour and so much beauty that Elsa to Bette is like the most glamorous thing she’s ever seen. Bette is such an innocent. There’s so much wonder in her. It’s a very different kind of relationship.
What is Bette and Dot’s relationship to the group? Are you a threat to the other freak show people? Are you welcomed?
The troupe is in need of a real jolt of energy and a new attraction to make people in the town come and see it. The show is not in its heyday. It’s definitely on the downward spiral. I think because they all want to be employed and all of them recognize a kindred. When they see the twins, they’re hopeful and excited that we’re going to bring about a certain kind of change that’s going to be good for the group.
Do you deal with Twisty the Clown?
I think he’s watching us. But as of right now there’s no story there with that character.
Have you had to do crazy stuff yet, like snakes covering you or more goat’s blood dropped on you?
Yes. In the first episode. I mean I’ve got two heads, Tim. It’s almost like there’s no event that needs to happen for it to be the craziest thing I’ve done. But there is something that happens in the very first episode that’s crazy, that sets the scene for the rest of the season for them. It happens in episode one.
Everyone keeps telling me it’s the best one yet.
I think it is. I don’t know that I always have a finger on my pulse. I certainly didn’t think Coven would have the reaction it did because it was so much lighter in tone than Asylum.
I do know from an artistic standpoint both as a reader when I read the scripts the stories are so rich and complicated and it’s just so fascinating. I can’t imagine it not being something that people embrace. I think from a creative standpoint it’s got that feeling of Asylum, in that it’s really about something: this idea of being a forgotten soul in the world that’s just been cast aside. Everybody feels like that at some point in their lives. It’s something that I think has a tremendous amount of currency. It feels very honest about what it means to be a person. I also just think I don’t know how you’re not going to fall in love with everybody and root for people and there’s terrible things happening to people. And the way it looks! The set design! The costumes! The stuff that’s happening this year with the sets and the costumes it is so beyond. And Ryan’s going very different with the style of the show in terms of the way it’s being shot.
He said the look is different in terms of the camera movement.
It’s very different. There’s a stillness to it comparatively. I’m not saying it’s going to be still because it’s American Horror Story. But you think about the defining things of the show and you think about fish eye lenses and rapid fire editing. It is my understanding from working with Ryan the way it was being shot there weren’t a lot of Dutch camera angles, there were no fish eyes, no high and wide in the corner like the view of a spider. It wasn’t like that. I think it’s a very unique visual style and very different than what we’ve done. And I think that’s what’s so exciting about it. The minute you think you can figure out what you think we can expect from the show, it’s Ryan turning it on its head and going, “No I don’t think so.”
Have there been crazy moments in the make up trailer where it’s like "Oh, Angela’s got three breasts and Kathy’s wearing a beard"?
Oh my god. There’s nothing more insane than walking into that trailer. Jessica’s over there getting her hair, freaky make up done. Kathy’s next to me getting her beard put on. And Angela likes to flash them. She’s like, “Look at my three boobs!” Because they’re covering up everything. She can walk around with her three t*** hanging out and everybody is very happy that she’s doing so even though we’re not looking at her real boobs. It’s amazing.
This year in particular like you walk out of a trailer and you’re like Oh Jesus. You really feel like you’re at a sideshow. So many of the people there are really people with special abilities from that world. So many of our extras and background artists are like, “Oh I play at this show” or “I work in this circus.” It’s incredible and it gives it such a feeling of authenticity.
I know Pepper is back. That must be so exciting to you that this is sort of like an Asylum-prequel because I know how special that season is to you.
I love that idea. Maybe season five will be Aslyum the sequel! I just wanna play Lana Winters again—is that so bad?
Like old Lana?
No I think it should be Lana in the ‘70s. That was my favorite look in the world.
Do you know Bette and Dot’s arc? Like do you know what happens in episode 13?
Nope. It always changes. Ryan has told me what he plans for me. But I refuse to believe it until it’s here because I’ve done this long enough with him to know that he’s a man of fever dream inspiration and things come to him out of nowhere and all of a sudden things take a hairpin turn and it ends in a different way than expected. I do know sort of where I’m headed.
"Starting at" is a frustrating phrase in tech. It's a coy way of talking about the way a gadget is going to be priced while also skirting around the subject of whether or not you'll actually want said gadget at that price. The price a thing "starts at" is rarely optimal—to get the best or most efficient version of your preferred gizmo, you'll often have to pay more.
When Apple Watch was revealed last week, Apple CEO Time Cook said that the smartwatch would be "starting at" $349—an already hefty price, given the competition. But Cook also announced three "collections" for Apple Watch: Sport, Edition, and vanilla—the differences being in the materials used to construct the watch. Which of these did Apple Watch "start at"? And how high in price would the other two go?
Pretty high, it turns out.
According to John Gruber at Daring Fireball, one possible price breakdown would be as follows:
But the prices are only half the story. As Gruber goes on to analyze what we know about Apple Watch in-depth (which isn't much), he notes that the device serves as a reminder that Apple doesn't always function as a tech company, but a lifestyle one.
When you think about it that way, a five thousand dollar watch doesn't seem so farfetched.
The various rights issues circling MST3K are legendary. Every episode of the show features a complete movie (with slight abridgments)–which leads to copyright issues that have banished over half the episodes into the digital oblivion, insofar as "the digital oblivion" refers to the corner of the Internet where you can watch stuff for free. Currently, the Vimeo episodes are available for a $2.99 rental or a $9.99 purchase, which seems a bit inflated. Vimeo is also selling them in one lump for $300–a lump that apparently also includes any other episodes of MST3K that might get added down the road. (The officially accepted number of total episodes is 197, though any statistic feels fuzzy given the show's public-access origins and its frequent network-hopping.)
Then again, if you've never seen MST3K, now is a fine time to go pick out an episode at random and laugh your head off. Here's Vimeo's announcement video.]]>
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You called Frankie’s reaction after being voted out, “the happiest eviction I’ve ever seen.” Did all that enthusiasm and flying glitter take you back a bit?
Not at all. I expected no less from a showman like Frankie. He was consistent this summer — always interesting to watch. This guy was born to be in front of an audience.
How do you think Frankie would have done with the jury had he made it to the finals?
Good question. If against Victoria, landslide. If against Derrick, probably would only get Zach's vote and anyone who had sore feelings against Derrick and being "played" by him...but probably not enough votes to win. Against Caleb, he would have a good chance of winning but it would probably be a tight vote. Against Cody, he'd probably win as long as people voted with their head and not their heart.
You and I have talked about what a great game Derrick has played so far, but who’s his biggest competition left for the $500,000 at this point?
Hmmmm…Victoria. Just kidding! See? Chenbot has a sense of humor. Um, probably Caleb? It's hard to say. Cody is sweet but didn't win as much as Caleb.
I have to shift gears before we finish because you revealed on The Talk yesterday as part of Secrets week that your grandfather was a polygamist. How nervous were you about sharing that information publicly for the first time?
I was very nervous. My voice was a bit shaky the entire time cause my heart was pounding so hard and I was sweating! They say never let ‘em see you sweat but yesterday I think I may have. Glad it's over and happy about all the nice comments I got from viewers, friends, co-workers and even my husband!
The horror-comedy— based on Grahame-Smith's zombie-infiltrated version of the Jane Austen classic and directed by Burr Steers (17 Again)— also features Douglas Booth, Sam Riley, Jack Huston and Bella Heathcote. The film has had a rocky journey to the big screen, originally to be directed by David O. Russell—who ended up co-writing the screenplay— and cycling through a slew of directors before securing Steers, who also co-wrote the screenplay.
Smith recently finished filming a Terminator movie, and stars in Ryan Gosling's Lost River, coming out early next year. The movie, a collaboration between Cross Creek Pictures, Darko Entertainment, and Handsomecharlie Films, is set for a 2015 release date. [The Hollywood Reporter]]]>
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension was originally titled Paranormal Activity 5, though it marks the sixth film in the franchise, including last year's spinoff of sorts, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones.]]>
In an interview with The Independent, Neeson, who can next be seen in A Walk Among the Tombstones, discussed a film project diving into subject matter quite different from his recent string of action movies.
“We chat," Neeson said of him and Bono, "or with him a lot of the time I just listen. He’s a wonderful man. He’s got an idea for a script which we’ve been working on for the past six years.”
He said the film's plot would revolve around the Irish showband movement of the 1970s, dominated by six- to seven-piece bands who covered a wide array of rock, country, and pop songs. There were no other specifics given about the film, nor any word about whether the project would ever be produced, but it sounds like a decided departure from the Neeson we're used to on screen.]]>
A new exhibit that looks back at Bowie's career (David Bowie Is) opens that same day at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel urged Chicagoans to visit the exhibit in a proclamation that made the holiday official. "David Bowie Is offers insight into the innovator, the rebel, and most importantly, the man," reads the proclamation, signed Sept. 12 and obtained by Flavorwire.
The museum's Bowie exhibit will house more than 400 objects relating to the musician's 50-year career, ranging from handwritten diary entries to stage costumes. During those 50 years, Bowie has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, honored with the Grammys' Lifetime Achievement Award, and become a success in both his native U.K. and in the U.S.
Bowie's next record, Nothing Has Changed, will feature his greatest hits from 1964 to today, as well as some previously unreleased tracks. The album comes out Nov. 18.]]>
Of course, that's not at all true. But if it were, Andy Samberg would be the man (if he isn't already). Samberg is the latest to join Umami Burger's Artist Series by crafting "The Samberger." $1 from every burger sold will be donated to The Center for Early Intervention of Deafness in Berkeley, California.
"The Samberger" consists of an Umami beef patty topped with sport peppers, roasted tomatoes, chopped Umami dill pickles, a kombu relish, roasted garlic aioli, poppy seeds, and yellow mustard. It was inspired by Samberg's love of Chicago-style hot dogs. Or, as Samberg said in a press release: "I worked tirelessly 'munchin around' with the Umami Burger team to design a burger that would best represent everything I stand for. We tried many combinations and flavors, and ultimately landed on a Chicago Dog-themed burger that has literally nothing to do with me. But it tasted really good so we went with it."
The burger will be sold at participating Umami Burger locations nationwide for $13, beginning on September 23.]]>
The VICE-produced movie concerns the lives of Somali pirates and was directed by the then just 26-year-old American filmmaker Cutter Hodierne in East Africa with Kenyan actors. Hodierne could have returned with just heatstroke and water-damaged cameras. Instead, he came back with a film that won him the Directing Award for U.S. Dramatic Film at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
Fishing Without Nets opens on Sept. 26 at The Cinefamily in Los Angeles and on Oct. 3 at the Cinema Village in New York, and will then expand around the country. The film will also be available on VOD from Oct. 28.
See an exclusive new trailer for Fishing Without Nets below.
Bad Judge has found a new showrunner: Betsy Thomas has been tapped to takeover duties for Liz Brixius, who exited the new NBC comedy earlier this month, EW has confirmed.
The series stars Private Practice alum Kate Walsh as a respected judge whose personal life is often messier than the criminals she sentences. Will Ferrell, Anne Heche, Adam McKay, Jill Messick, and Walsh are executive producers.
Thomas (Whitney, My Boys) joined the comedy after four episodes had been filmed, but the showrunner swap isn’t expected to impact the show’s Oct. 2 (9 p.m. on NBC) launch, according to Deadline, which first reported the news.]]>
Smith will play Dr. Carolyn King, an OB-GYN who Mindy has to blackmail to get Danny’s mom (Cheers alum Rhea Perlman) an appointment.
Aside from her long-running gig on The Simpsons, which returns Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. on Fox, Smith will also appear in the season premiere of ABC’s Revenge (returning Sept. 28 at 10 p.m.) as a fellow patient at the mental hospital where Victoria is interned.
The Mindy Project airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on Fox.]]>
Last night he proved that his weird streak's not only continuing, but intensifying when he posted a new single on YouTube. "Wait," which Keef produced himself, is a strange mishmash of odd noises that shares some rhythmic qualities with rap but overall is more sonically similar to the experimental electronic music that back in the '90s was called IDM, or "intelligent dance music"—in particular in its glitchy hi-hats and the unexpectedly gentle synth lead that sounds like something Aphex Twin might have made back in the Richard D. James Album era.
On its YouTube page the track is described as "speeded," which seems to be the opposite of the "chopped and screwed" aesthetic that, 20 years after its invention by Houston's DJ Screw, has embedded itself into the Top 40 thanks in large part to Beyoncé and Drake. Instead of slowing it to a cough-syrupy tempo, Keef's gone the other way and sped everything up until his voice takes on a chipmunky pitch and the hi-hats blur into bursts of digital noise, sort of like the drill equivalent of happy hardcore techno.
It's the most undeniably weird thing he's ever done, and one of the weirdest things to pop up in the increasingly experimental rap scene in recent memory. But as strange as it is, it's just as strangely addictive.]]>
Meet Mileece, the Los Angles-based sonic artist, environmental designer and programmer who makes music in a most unusual way: with plants.
Mileece calls it "organic electronic music," and the production process that takes place in her botanical studio is fascinating. As Mileece told singer Sam Urbani in an episode of Sound Builders, a collaborative Motherboard/Vice video series, she uses electrodes to capture biofeedback—the electric currents emitted by all living things—from the plants and feed them into an amplifier. The amplifier then sends the data to a special piece of software that animates sounds from the input.
The result: A new kind of soundscape that brings nature to life with quite literally organic variations in notes, rhythm, and tone. "The sonification of those signals in that context creates such crazy music," Mileece said.
Mileece rejects the idea that her work is paradoxical—instead seeing the creation of electronic music out of organic matter as a symbiotic relationship between humans and nature.
She sees the project—which she started nearly a decade ago during her time as the Resident Artist at the London School of Economics Innovation Center— as a unique way to mediate the realationship between people and their environment. By making an environmnt more interactive, people can appreciate nature in a whole new dimesion: music.
Mileece is currently in the process of replacing her analog gear with wireless technology, in order to imrpvoe the reception of the plants' biofeedback signals and, therefore, the quality of them music. "What we could do with this is endless."
The Good Wife returns Sunday, Sept. 21 at 9:30 p.m. on CBS.]]>
Marvel announced on Sept. 16 that James D'Arcy will join Agent Carter as Edwin Jarvis, the butler to Dominic Cooper's Howard Stark. Jarvis will be an ally to Carter, helping her as she embarks on missions for the SSR.
If the name of D'Arcy's character sounds familiar to fans of Marvel films, that's because J.A.R.V.I.S. is the name of Tony Stark's artificial intelligence in the Iron Man and Avengers films, voiced by Paul Bettany. Edwin Jarvis was Tony's butler in the comics, but will serve that role officially to the elder Stark in the show. Jarvis' inclusion may now provide a reason for why the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist named his computerized helper as such.
J.A.R.V.I.S. is also rumored to factor into The Avengers: Age of Ultron, as Bettany will also play the character Vision in the film. Whedon told EW that Bettany's dual role is "not coincidence," though he declined to reveal any more.
Jarvis' inclusion in Agent Carter, however, is an important piece of the puzzle in Tony Stark's history, and could help to reveal more of the Stark family's past before the Avengers sequel debuts on May 1, 2015.]]>
Bennetts is best known for her in-depth profiles of Hollywood's biggest celebrities from Brad Pitt to Meryl Streep—as well as being "the only reporter ever to evoke tears from Hilary Clinton in an interview."
The publishing deal, a collaboration between Little, Brown Editor in Chief Judy Clain and Kuhn Projects' David Kuhn, will also make the book available in ebook format and as an audio book from Hachette Audio.
"Rivers' career was also enormously significant in American cultural history, breaking down barriers for women in television and comedy and continually redefining the acceptable boundaries of truth-telling for women in public life," Bennett said. "It's hard to imagine a more compelling subject for a book—or one that would be more fun.”
The University of Exeter is commemorating the 60th anniversary of the day William Golding's Lord of the Flies was first published by sharing a handwritten draft of the influential classic with the public. Judy Carver, Golding's daughter, is loaning the draft of this syllabus staple, and others from the author's archive, to Exeter on a long-term basis so that scholars, students, and Golding fans everywhere can see into the early stages of a masterpiece in the making. While Carver is adamant that her dad's work remains well preserved, "we also believe that it's time for readers to see something of the process that produced these works." [The Guardian]
Over 50 of Ireland's finest cake makers will celebrate Roald Dahl day this Saturday, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with artistic confections inspired by the beloved author's classic children's books. The cakes include a giant blueberry Violet (the girl who was too greedy for her own good), one of the bald baddies from The Witches, and a life-size Willy Wonka himself. You can see the rest of the creations in a gallery from The Telegraph.
Skinner Inc. will auction off a valuable collection of previously undiscovered letters by iconic Beat writer Jack Kerouac. The pieces—17 letters, two postcards, and seven damaged fragments of letters—will be sold separately, at an estimated $2,000 to $5,000 apiece. [The Los Angeles Times]
Author Stephen King will hit the road Nov. 11 for a book tour to promote his new novel Revival, with stops in New York, Washington D.C., Kansas City, Wichita, Austin, and South Portland. [Mediabistro]]]>
But Ben Cassorla, who's toured with bands like Washed Out and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes (and, interestingly, Slick Rick), has proven himself to be an exception to the rule with his group, Cassorla. Back in the spring, he released an EP called Amigos—named for the group of buddies, including Aubrey Plaza and members of the Magnetic Zeroes and Blitzen Trapper, who played on it—that emphasized his nifty pop songwriting chops over any flashy guitar skills he possesses.
The band's about to head out for a fall tour with Blitzen Trapper. In preparation, he's recorded a new single. Co-produced by Mighty Mike, who's previously worked with Carly Rae Jepsen and Kelly Clarkson, "The Right Way" expands Cassorla's sonic pallette by combining his signature punchy, riffy rhythm guitar playing with glassy keyboard flourishes and trap music's flickering hi-hats, resulting in an odd but very interesting hybrid of indie rock and digital pop.]]>
Activision revealed today that Destiny sold-through more than $325 million worldwide in its first five days on sale. The phrase "sold-through" denotes the amount of games actually purchased by consumers rather than simply shipped to stores. That impressive number means the game can hold onto the "most successful new video game franchise" title that Activision boasted last week. A specific number of copies sold was not announced.
Bungie said that in the game's first week, players logged more than 100 million hours of online play. CEO of Activision Publishing Eric Hirshberg said this level of engagement is on par with the company's Call of Duty series, traditionally one of the most popular titles every year a new entry is released.
This figure represents a huge haul and puts Destiny on track to be one of the most successful entertainment releases of the year. For reference, only one film this year has made more than $300 million, and that was another space-set property, Guardians of the Galaxy. It still took that film over a month to do so.
Destiny may have launched last week, but the game's experience will continue to be updated with new content in the weeks and months to come. Read EW's thoughts on the game so far in our Destiny journal.]]>
The comedian, who can currently be seen channeling his dark side on the big screen in The Skeleton Twins, will host Saturday Night Live's Oct. 11 show with musical guest Hozier, NBC announced today. This is Hader's first time as a host; one can only hope he'll tap into the deep reservoir of characters and impressions he accumulated during his eight years on the show. And, yes, fingers crossed for Stefon. (Though, can he recapture the Stefon magic as a host? And without Seth Meyers at the Update desk?)
SNL's 40th season premieres Sept. 27 with Chris Pratt as host and Ariana Grande as musical guest.]]>
The fate of Serena, directed by Oscar-winner Susanne Bier, has been a mystery for some time, given that the movie was filmed back in 2012 before either of Lawrence and Cooper's other collaborations, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, were released. THR's new story indicates that the film's quality may be questionable; Magnolia became a "default distributor," the publication reported, given that no other distributors had picked up the film. Magnolia's sister company 2929 Productions financed the film. Three different cuts of the movie were screened, and buyers told THR it was "so edited, it made no sense" and "uneven, particularly Lawrence's [descent into madness]."
Some audiences will get to see the film about a husband and wife running a Depression-era timber empire soon, however, as the movie will be screened at the BFI London Film Festival and released in the U.K. in October. A trailer emerged last week.]]>
The creatively refreshed, now-with-more-sexiness Fox comedy returned to only 3.1 million viewers and a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49, down 45 percent from last year's debut. The third season return of companion comedy The Mindy Project had an even sadder story, with 2.8 million viewers and a 1.3 rating, down 32 percent. The New Girl rating is better than how each show was performing by the end of last season—both shows dropped a significant amount along the way last year—but the usual standard is to compare premieres to premieres. Perhaps New Girl's refreshed creative will help the show pick up steam in the weeks to come.
Neither were helped by their lead-in: Reality project Utopia (2.5 million, 1.0), which thankfully halted its declines and bounced up a tenth of a point in its second week in this slot.
Also in originals last night: CBS' Big Brother (6.9 million, 2.3), ABC's Dancing with the Stars (12.3 million, 2.1) and NBC's America's Got Talent (11.4 million, 2.5), the latter of which topped the charts in the demo.]]>
Just how are we texting Groot? Well, anyone can reach him at (866) 740-4531. As TechCrunch reported, credit goes to developer Ricky Robinett, who created the chatbot. Groot is apparently quite popular: As Robinett tweeted this morning: "Groot had a busy night last night, he has now sent over 60,000 messages!"
But what does Groot have to say about Taylor Swift's new album? Can he confirm who is playing Doctor Strange? Here's our (somewhat one-sided) conversation.
Update: We asked Groot another very important question.]]>
While hunting for for the perfect Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, and the rest of the Addams clan, the show's producers saw a number of actors and actresses. Life documented much of the process and has compiled a series of photos both used in the magazine and previously unpublished that chronicle the search. The Addams Family premiered on Sept. 18, 1964; included in Life's gallery is the original article published in anticipation of the show's debut alongside other supernatural hits The Munsters and Bewitched.
Head over to Life to see the gallery full of unknown Morticia and Wednesday Addams hopefuls, and it'll likely take only a few pictures before the show's indelible theme song gets stuck in your head yet again.]]>
Documentarian Joshua Oppenheimer was also named a 2014 MacArthur Fellow. Oppenheimer's 2013 film, The Act of Killing, which asked those responsible for Indonesian mass murders to re-enact their crimes, was nominated for an Oscar. His latest film, The Look of Silence, focuses on the survivors of those killings. Other recipients from the arts world include jazz musician Steve Coleman, poet Terrance Hayes, playwright Samuel D. Hunter, and public artist Rick Lowe. The full list is available here. MacArthur Fellows receive a stipend of $625,000, which is awarded to them over five years.]]>
So what's in these final hours? EW talked to Sorkin about weddings, power plays, and Twitter scandals.
EW: Will there be a time jump when the show premieres?
AARON SORKIN: We’re ahead about five months. However, once the season starts each episode begins right after the last one ended so there are no time jumps during the season. It’s a very compressed season. Once again, we’re telling one story throughout the whole season, there are stories that come off like branches, but there’s one story that we begin in the first episode and goes to the end.
Can you tease the main story?
Well, without giving too much away, it’s something that we’ve been talking about for the last 2 years: government and journalism. A lot of people feel like the current administration has been really tough on reporters and whistleblowers. I realize I’m not making it sound exciting but it involves one of our characters in a lot of jeopardy. Our people have a story that was given to them by a government whistleblower and the Justice Department wants the name of their source and they won’t give it up. So we see how far they’re willing to go for that.
Will the fallout from Jerry (Hamish Linklater) and Genoa play in?
It does a little bit. But the bigger thing that comes along is that we meet Reese’s father’s children by his next wife so we meet his half-brother and his half-sister is Kat Dennings. And they own a 45-percent share of the controlling stock in the company and that begins a story rolling of a hostile takeover of AWN.
Will (Jeff Daniels) proposed to Mac (Emily Mortimer) in the finale. Are they still engaged?
Again without giving too much away, I knew going into this season that they’re gonna have to get married. There’s gonna have to be a wedding. How do you do a wedding that we haven’t seen before on TV? And I think we came up with a way.
Is Maggie back on stable ground?
When we meet Maggie at the beginning of the season, she sort of has the eye of the tiger. She is trying to shed every rotten thing that’s happened to her in the last few years and toughen up and breathe new life into herself. She really completes that part of her character arc this season.
Is Jim (John Gallagher Jr.) still dating Hallie (Grace Gummer)?
Yeah Jim is still dating Hallie, but there’s tension in that relationship. Hallie is actually now working for ACN Digital at the beginning of the season. And mirroring something that happened at MSNBC a while back when someone tweeted a quip that was offensive to Republicans. It was a big deal—MSNBC had to apologize. They had to fire the producer who sent the tweet and everything. So something very similar happens to Hallie. She in the middle of the night, really tired, tweets something from ACN’s account, sort of immediately realizes what she’s done, deletes it but it’s too late. That begins a story that lasts the whole season, too.
How do you feel about this last season? Excited? Sad?
I’m really excited. I do feel it’s a really solid season. I think we’re wrapping up a lot of stories in a nice way. I miss everybody already but I’m in the editing room every day with the show so for me I don’t have postpartum depression yet. But that will come, I promise. On the other side of the wall from the editing room is our stage, so I can hear them pulling apart our set and throwing it in dumpsters, so that’s hard.
Did the show end how you thought it would? Did things evolve?
For most of the time, I didn’t know how the show was going to end. I would have small images of what I wanted to see. But the closer I got to the end of the season in terms of writing, the more I was able to see the end of the season finale. Once we got there, it happened more easily than I thought it was going to.
The Nonfiction Longlist includes the first cartoonist, Roz Chast, to be honored by the National Book Awards in the adult categories, a Pulitzer Prize Winner, and a number of distinguished historians.
Roz Chast, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
John Demos, The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic
Alfred A. Knopf/ Random House
Anand Gopal, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes
Metropolitan Books/ Henry Holt and Company
Nigel Hamilton, The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941 - 1942
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
Simon & Schuster
John Lahr, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh
W.W. Norton & Company
Evan Osnos, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Ronald C. Rosbottom, When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944
Little, Brown and Company/ Hachette Book Group
Matthew Stewart, Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic
W.W. Norton & Company
Edward O. Wilson, The Meaning of Human Existence
Liveright Publishing Corporation/ W.W. Norton & Company
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You kind of led the charge to hitting the Rewind button that wiped out your entire week as HOH. Now that you’ve experienced the results and were sent packing, do you regret it?
FRANKIE GRANDE: I don’t regret pushing the button because as a Big Brother super fan, there was no option — the button was going to be pushed. I’m happy I led the charge too. The only thing I regret is not winning the HOH again.
How would you describe your feelings over the fact that Victoria lasted longer in this game than you did?
I’m at peace with it. Victoria’s road in the house, though unburdened by any gaming or strategy, has been a difficult one for her. I have to give her props for lasting as long as she did without any major psychotic break. Also, I completely understand the strategy of bringing along somebody you can beat to the end of the game.
Do you think revealing that Ariana Grande was your sister hurt you in the game or helped you? Or did it make no difference whatsoever?
I believe that timing is everything, and the time I chose to reveal my true identity and who my family really is was not only perfect but necessary. I had hit rock bottom and I knew that for me to continue on in this game, I had to do something drastic. I ultimately went from going home, to one of the last men standing. So yes, I think it helped.
Had you made it to the end, whom were you planning to bring with you?
Derrick. Team America until the end even though I know wholeheartedly he did not reciprocate those feelings.
How do you think you would have done had you made the finals? Is there anyone you could or could not beat?
I think I would have won. Period.
What was your best moment in this game? Winning the football Battle of the Block by yourself?
Obviously, I’m extremely proud of my BOB solo victory. But I will say the best moment in the house for me was winning that Zingbot veto and having Kathy Griffin put the veto around my neck. I admire that woman a lot and what she stands for.
Anyone that does not win this game will have a regret or something they wish they could go back in time and change. What’s your biggest regret?
Trusting Caleb. Period. I should have known that if I was able to manipulate him so easily, someone else would have figured it out and use it against me. And looking back it should have been either him or Derrick sitting next to Victoria in my last HOH, not Cody.
Finally, what becomes of Zankie now that you are about to be reunited with Zach in the Jury house?
I’ve never been more excited about anything in my entire life. I’m hoping he’s waiting there with a ring and a bouquet. If he asked me to marry him, I’d say yes! I’m walking into the jury house with my ‘Team Zach’ shirt.
Tommy Flanagan on SAMCRO teaming with the Indian Hills charter to take down some of Lin's crew and buyers.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let's talk about the scene where Jax and Chibs go after that guy trying to escape and—
Flanagan: Oh, when I'm flying in the back of the truck doing all my own stunts, by the way. All my own stunts.
That wasn't all you.
(Laughs) Fifty-fifty, let's say, and that's just because I'm being kind to the stunt man. There's actually so much more of me but...
What part do you want to claim you did yourself? Hanging off the side of the truck?
That was me. I swear to God that was me. I managed to pull myself into that truck several times after being dragged along the road, stood up, and fired my gun and said, "Let's get these whatever I said." And I'm old! I told Hunnam after, "You give me all this s--t, you healthy f---er. I'm an old guy."
How old are you?
Seventy-eight, I think, at last count. I'm 49, actually.
How fast was the truck going when you were standing up firing though?
F---in' fast. (Laughs) Too f---in' fast for my likin'. But that's why you hang on. You got a little safety rope attached to you, but still, it's a little bit scary. But I love doing stunts, I really do. You always regret it the next day when you wake up. You're like, "Ouch, ouch, ouch, and ouch. I didn't know I had muscles here. And that one's straining here. And that bone's aching. And this toe's hurtin'. And this finger's hurtin'. And my head's hurtin'. And my neck." A normal day on Sons.
At the end of the episode, Chibs, Bobby, and Jax go to see the two local guys who helped with the ambush, and instead of giving them money for the crashed truck, they shoot them and make it look like they're the ones who hit Lin's exchange. How do you think fans will react to that? Those were two relatively innocent guys, one of whom the guys don't know is obviously very close to Jury (president of the Indian Hills charter).
I know. That one guy was such a sweet guy, and he got one right through his head. I don't know. I have a feeling we'll still get sympathy from the fans. I don't think that'll turn them off because we are on this mission to avenge the brutality that was done to Jackie's family. So I hope they don't start hatin' us for being just downright evil. We wear the white hats. It's like an old cowboy movie: We're the good guys, you're the bad guys, and that's that.
Theo Rossi on Juice's decision to let Unser go.
When you read the script and saw that Juice takes Unser hostage, was there a part of you going, "Ohmygod, I'm going to kill Unser," or was it like, "No way, he’s not going to hurt Unser"?
Rossi: Oh, of course you are going to think that for a second. Kurt could open the second episode where you walk up and just cut his throat. I don’t plan anything about where it will go. It can happen that way, especially in the last season. In season three, maybe I would have been like, "Oh, I don’t think so." Because at the end [of this episode] it was only eleven episodes left, there was a point of, "Maybe. Maybe."
In your mind, when Juice lets Unser go, is that because he still has hope, or is that him losing all hope so he doesn't care if Unser goes to Jax?
I think at that point, one, there was that massive glimmer of hope, where it’s like, "Wait a minute, this guy is saying that he might help me." Let’s be honest, who’s the only communication he’s had up to that point? It’s Gemma. At the same time, I think he’s so exhausted. Truly. I think he’s so exhausted that he’s just like, "Get out of here. What else can happen?" He has nothing that he holds onto, he has nothing that he cherishes anymore. There’s no joking. He has nothing.
The Nine Lives of Chloe King star Skyler Samuels has landed a recurring role on the upcoming fourth season of the horror anthology, EW has confirmed. There aren't many details on Samuels' role, but The Hollywood Reporter describes her character as "a local who finds herself in a tough situation."
American Horror Story: Freak Show, which premieres Oct. 8 at 10 p.m. on FX, follows Elsa Mars (played by AHS alum Jessica Lange) and her group of, well, freaky circus performers and their ill-fated arrival in Jupiter, Fla, in the 1950s. Also returning are Emma Roberts and Denis O’Hare, who play a couple of con artists; Sarah Paulson, who plays conjoined twins; Angela Bassett, who plays a performer with three breasts; Kathy Bates, who plays a bearded woman; Frances Conroy, a woman whose son wants to join the freak show; and Evan Peters, whose character Ryan Murphy calls "the big man on campus."
Speaking to EW, Murphy teased that there will be some stark differences between Freak Show and Coven. "This season, once you die, you’re dead," he said. "There’s no supernatural thing to bring you back like last year. It’s just completely new. It feels completely new."]]>
As EW first reported, Miller was slated to play the wife of McGinley’s Mr. Mansfield, but she had to back out because of production demands on the final season of TBS’ Cougar Town.
In her stead, Emily Rutherfurd (The New Adventures of Old Christine) will take on the role of the brassy and artistic Allie Mansfield, who is the only person able to control her husband.
Ground Floor is slated to return Dec. 9 on TBS.]]>
Monday's return had 3.9 million viewers -- the best since O’Donnell first joined the cast in 2006. The show also hit three-year highs among women 18-49. O’Donnell made additional headlines by doing the show barefoot (thus the above photo).
The 18th season of the show also had two newcomers on the panel -- actress Rosie Perez and Republican political analyst Nicolle Wallace -- in addition to moderator Whoopi Goldberg.]]>
• Margaret Qualley (The Leftovers) is in talks for director Shane Black’s The Nice Guys. The Warner Bros. and Silver Pictures crime drama already stars Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. If the deal goes through, it would mark Qualley’s first major studio role. Set in 1970s Los Angeles, private detective Holland March (Gosling) and tough guy Jackson Healy (Crowe) investigate the case of a missing girl and the death of a porn star. They discover a jarring conspiracy in the process. Joel Silver is producing. Hal Sadoff, Michael Malone, and Waypoint Entertainment’s Jen Kao are executive producing. The film is scheduled for a June 17, 2016 release. [Variety]
THR later reported that Qualley has been cast and that she will be joined by Angourie Rice, who will play Gosling’s daughter. [THR]
• Ciaran Hinds (Game of Thrones) is joining Bleed for This, which stars Miles Teller as real-life boxer Vinny Pazienza, who broke his neck in a car crash at the peak of his career. Beating the odds, Vinny made a miraculous recovery and soon trained again under the direction of Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart). He returned to the ring just a year after the accident. Hinds will play Vinny’s father, Angelo. Ben Younger is writing and directing. Martin Scorsese and Joshua Sason are executive producing. Younger is producing alongside Bruce Cohen, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Noah Kraft, and Chad A. Verdi. [THR]
• MacKenzie Davis (Halt and Catch Fire) is in final negotiations for Ridley Scott's The Martian. The sci-fi film, from 20th Century Fox, stars Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain. Davis will have a small, but important role. The story follows Damon's character, an astronaut, who gets stranded on Mars and must make it back to Earth. Genre Films partners Simon Kinberg and Aditya Sood are producing alongside Scott. Fox executive Steve Asbell will oversee for the studio. [The Wrap]
• Sean Maher (Firefly) has signed on for a lead role in ISRA-88. The indie sci-fi thriller, which will be directed by Thomas Zellen, follows a spaceship, ISRA-88, and its crew, who are tasked with uncovering the end of the universe. Maher will play scientist Dr. Abe Anderson, who breaks down during the prolonged mission. Filming begins later this month in Michigan. [The Wrap]
• Ryan Guzman (Step Up All In) has been cast in Richard Linklater’s baseball pic That’s What I’m Talking About. Set in the 1980s, the film follows a college freshman who moves into a baseball house with his wild, partying teammates. Guzman might be joined by Blake Jenner (Glee), Tyler Hoechlin (Teen Wolf), and Wyatt Russell (22 Jump Street), who have all received offers. [Deadline]]]>
On Monday night, a security guard was reportedly struck by an unattended truck rolling down a hill on the Vancouver-based production, Deadline wrote. "We are deeply saddened by this tragic event, and on behalf of the producers and TNT, we wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the family of the security guard," TNT said in a statement. The accident is currently being investigated.
Falling Skies is shooting its 10-episode fifth and final season, which is expected to debut next summer.
Fox has given a put pilot commitment to Lucifer, based on the property from DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint, EW has confirmed.
The one-hour drama stars—you guessed it—Lucifer, who resigns his throne and abandons his kingdom for the gorgeous and shimmering insanity of Los Angeles, where he opens an exclusive piano bar called Lux.
Californication’s Tom Kapinos will write and executive-produce the project, which hails from Warner Bros. and Kapinos’ Aggressive Mediocrity.
Warner Bros. will have five primetime comic book series on air this season, including Arrow, The Flash, Constantine, Gotham and midseason entry iZombie. If all goes according to plan, Supergirl and Titans could eventually join the fray.]]>
Nick Tarabay (Star Trek Into Darkness) has landed a multi-episode role as Digger Harkness (aka Captain Boomerang), EW can exclusively report.
In the DC Comics, Boomerang/Harkness is a recurring foe of the Flash whose signature weapons are specialized boomerangs that he wields with incredible skill. On the page, he has also been associated with the Suicide Squad. On Arrow, Harkness will be a former A.R.G.U.S operative, highly skilled in martial arts and espionage, with a deadly thirst for vengeance against his former employers.
The character will be introduced in the seventh episode of the upcoming third season, and then continue in the eighth episode -- which is when spin-off star The Flash crosses over into Starling City. In recent weeks, Arrow has also cast a Carrie Diaries vet as a love interest for Thea, and a Riddick alum as mega-villain Ra's al Ghul. And for more on The Flash, check out our quick rundown of how The CW made the spin-off. The Flash debuts Tuesday, Oct. 7 and Arrow returns Wednesday, Oct. 8. Here's Captain Boomerang from the comics:]]>
Written by Ales Kot and illustrated by a different artists every issue, Zero tells the story of Edward Zero, the best operative in a mysterious Agency, in the middle of a crisis of conscience. Trained from the age of 10 to be a killer, put on drugs to suppress his emotions, and placed on the front lines of a secret war that will radically change the entire world, Zero's story unfolds bit by bit over a 20-year span beginning in 2018 and ending in 2038. With a nonlinear structure, the reader knows from the beginning that Zero defects—the framing narrative places an old, weary Zero in front of a gun held by a child sent by The Agency, with the same drugs and training Zero had burning through his system. Each issue tells a story involving Zero or one of his associates set in that time period and beyond. Each chapter offers a peek into the messy, broken, and violent headspace of its characters and asks you to sort it out. It's a fascinating, disconcerting work.
The experience of reading Zero isn't always a smooth ride. There's an intricate density to the storytelling—Kot often manages to pull off the difficult trick of constructing each issue with a satisfying, self-contained story that's complemented with cryptic clues about the near-future world it's set in and devastating revelations that affect the ongoing plot. And while there's a lot of thought put into every script, the pacing is highly irregular, and the nonlinear story can make for jarring transitions. But Zero does everything else so well—from art to design to dialogue and beyond—that a sometimes hard-to-follow plot is more of a feature than a bug. The experience of reading a comic book is rarely a prolonged one, and as such having reasons to reread, to pore over slowly and contemplate the ways a particular artist suits a particular story, are all good things.
With Zero on hiatus until October 29, now is the perfect time to pick up the first two volumes, An Emergency and At the Heart of It All, which collect the first 10 issues of the series. Designed by Tom Muller (who is also responsible for the striking look on the single issues), the trade dress for both volumes feature one of the most striking designs for a standard trade paperback in recent memory. The upper portion of the cover is devoted to abstract imagery that reflects the themes of the book—An Emergency is a messy collage designed to look like it was ripped off pages from the comics within, just like its protagonist is broken down and stitched together again into something bleak and impenetrable. Similarly, the second volume takes key art from the next batch of issues and distorts them, much like a signal that isn't quite clear. It's a strong setup for what's to come, even if that isn't entirely obvious. On both volumes, the lower third of the cover starkly lays out all the relevant information: series, title, price, and credits. It's an eye-catching look that begs to be talked about and read.
One caveat: Zero is, in a word, violent. There is a graphic brutality on display that some readers will find uncomfortable. While that's the point, it doesn't make it any easier to read. In interviews, Kot describes Zero alternately as "what if James Bond was real" and an exploration of "bleak male rage," expressing the importance of following up depictions of violence with equally considered looks at its lasting, devastating effects. With the help of the many other talented artists whom he has collaborated with, Kot has done exactly that: tearing down the psyches of characters we often encounter in action movies, and inviting us to wander through the rubble.
It's a disturbing place.]]>
It should come as no surprise that details on his role are being kept under wraps because the upcoming fourth season has been shrouded in secrecy—though we now know that Olivia has been chilling on some exotic beach.
This is far from the first time that a Shondaland star has crossed shows. In fact, most of the Scandal cast previously appeared on Grey’s Anatomy or Private Practice before starring on the ABC political fixer drama, including Jeff Perry, Kate Burton, Bellamy Young, Darby Stanchfield and Katie Lowes, among others.
Scandal returns Sept. 25 at 9 p.m. on ABC. Benben will appear in an episode slated for mid-October.
And now, Kerry Washington has teamed up with Scandal's costume designer, Lyn Paolo, and the head of design for The Limited, Elliot Staples, to create The Limited Collection Inspired by Scandal. Fans of the show will know what to expect: Lots of white, lots of jackets, and more than one pair of gloves. But the question remains: Will there be a fashionable (though slightly oversized) white hat in the mix?
Check out some of the looks from the collection, with prices ranging from $49 to $248, below:
The Scandal-inspired collection hits stores Sept. 23.]]>
Whenever Joan Rivers asked that question, she wasn't really seeking permission. Right up until the moment she died on Sept. 4 at age 81 in New York City, following complications during throat surgery, it was clear that she was going to talk, loudly and often, and you were going to listen. And love it. One of the first truly transgressive female comedians, both on the stand-up circuit and in her countless TV appearances (from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson to Fashion Police), she was famous for bringing her whip-smart wit to any subject, no matter how taboo. (Even her own plastic surgery was fair game.) We asked her good friend, comedian Billy Eichner—host of Funny or Die's Billy on the Street—to share his thoughts about her life and lasting legacy.
When I was around 8 years old, my father snuck me into an adults-only, Saturday-afternoon stand-up-comedy show at the Shorehaven Beach Club in the Bronx, where my parents and I would spend our summer weekends when I was growing up. My dad let me sit on his shoulders so I could see the stage. I don't remember a single thing the comic said. All I can remember is that we were all in bathing suits and that she was wearing a long, heavy sequined gown in the middle of a sweltering summer day in New York City. It was Joan Rivers, and it was the first live stand-up show I ever saw.
Twenty years later I would meet Joan in person when we ended up working together on a Bravo talk-show pilot, and I told her that story. She knew exactly the performance I was talking about and said, "Oh, yes...Shorehaven. I remember that dress." The pilot didn't get picked up, but Joan became a friend, and my greatest champion. And although Joan was Queen of the Red Carpet, I'll remember so much more than who she was wearing.
I'll remember that after our Bravo pilot shoot we had a party at Sardi's, where Joan—the quintessence of hard-won New York fabulousness—looked out the windows at all the Broadway-goers flooding Shubert Alley and said with such joy, "Look at all the people! Theater people!" Yes, she was an international star, but she was, first and foremost, a New Yorker. I'm not sure anyone embodied New York City more than Joan. The glamour, the ruthlessness, the persistence, the resilience, the lust for life, the tireless energy, the confidence, the loneliness, the hustle, the love of fashion, of money, of theater, of gay culture, the love of the game. Joan loved New York. Joan was New York.
I'll remember that earlier this year Joan and I bumped into each other on a flight from L.A. to NYC while I was on my way to do The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon for the first time. She told me she was going to take a picture of me and tweet it and tell all her followers that now that I was famous I was ignoring her. We laughed. Then, while Joan and I were walking toward baggage claim after the flight, I realized I had left my garment bag on the plane. She refused to let me deal with it myself. She said, "Come with me, I know everyone at this airport."
Then Joan—dripping in jewelry, her fur coat sweeping the floor—led me to the Admirals Club, where we stormed in together like some insane mix of Absolutely Fabulous, Harold and Maude, and a slightly more glamorous Rocky and Bullwinkle. The ladies at the front desk said to Joan, "Oh, hi! We love you!" She didn't really pay attention to that, just responding, "He left his bag on the plane. You have to help him." The ladies said they would try. I told Joan that she should go meet her car and I'd be fine on my own. So Joan, who insisted on wheeling her own luggage, said goodbye and blazed toward the automatic doors. And then, just as she was about to exit, she turned around with a flourish and yelled back at everyone in the lounge, "Oh—and he's on The Tonight Show on Thursday!"
I'll remember going to Joan and Melissa's Passover seder at Melissa's house in L.A. last year. As she led us through the traditional Passover rituals, Joan sprinkled in a few jokes about Lady Gaga amid the Hebrew prayers. It's important to note that this was the only seder I'd ever been to where waiters in black tie served you the matzo, and certainly the only one I'd ever been to where I was seated between Rod Stewart's manager and Lesley Ann Warren.
I'll remember that years ago when I was struggling for work, Joan insisted on dropping off DVDs of my YouTube videos with producers at Late Show With David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel Live! Coincidentally, a week before Joan died I was booked on Letterman for the first time. Would Joan be proud? I think so. Would Joan find it amusing that I'm doing the show on 9/11? Absolutely.
I'll remember that at the wedding of our mutual friend Liza just four weeks ago, Andy Cohen and I stood rapt and riveted as Joan regaled us with tales about her visits with the Reagans, Barbra Streisand, and Prince Charles. Then, during dinner, Joan reached out her finger toward me as the people around us watched. I panicked. I knew she was trying to do some sort of bit with me, but I couldn't hear her over the din of the wedding and I didn't know what the bit was or what she wanted me to do. I kept saying, "What? I can't hear you! I'm sorry—what is that finger? I don't know what you want me to do!"
In my head I was freaking out, thinking, "Oh, God, Joan Rivers is trying to do a bit with me and I don't know what it is and I'm so embarrassed and all these people are watching!" But she wouldn't give up the bit—she just held her finger out toward me in midair. Finally, she yelled out with raspy might, "Michelangelo! Sistine Chapel!" I finally understood. I reached out my finger across the table and I touched the tip of hers. She smiled. We laughed. Then she whispered to me some fat jokes about a person at the wedding, we had coffee, and we shared a limo home.
I'll remember that Joan and her wonderful longtime assistant Jocelyn were two of the first people to email me after the Emmys a few weeks ago to congratulate me on the success of my Billy on the Street bit with host Seth Meyers. I wrote back and thanked them, and—caught up in a moment of elated morning-after-Emmys buzz—I added, "Joan is my hero." Those would turn out to be my final words to Joan. She was.
I have more stories, and I could go on and on about my love for her. But in the grand tradition of Joan Rivers, I'll save the rest of it for my book.
This article appears in Entertainment Weekly's Sept. 19/26 issue.]]>
The memoir, titled Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography, is described as a "revolutionary, Joycean experiment in light celebrity narrative, actor/personality/carbon-based life-form Neil Patrick Harris lets you, the reader, live his life." Or, as Harris explains in the trailer, "throughout the book, at random times, you'll get to choose what happens to you next."]]>
That being said, there is one thing we can all agree on: Red is obviously the Sophia of Litchfield, Big Boo the Dorothy, Morello the Rose, and Nicky the Blanche. As for Piper, she's easily Rebecca Devereaux, Blanche's daughter, right? They were both engaged to a man at one point.]]>
EW: So Ryan said you brought this to him, right?
JESSICA LANGE: Yeah this had been in my mind for a long time. I have forever been fascinated and I photograph it a lot myself—small-time kind of carnival, sideshow, things like that. I mean I started kind of looking into freak shows. It is an amazing history and I’ve always been fascinated by a community of people living like gypsies, on the road and traveling from place to place and, in this case, heightened to the degree that they’re all extremely special.
So it was something I suggested to him a year or so ago. I had originally imagined it like a traveling freak show, maybe Dustbowl, with that kind of desperation. Ryan has set it in another time, which I think is clever, actually.
With the time setting and the return of Pepper (Naomi Grossman), it’s almost like a prequel a bit to Asylum.
Well, with that character, yes. For all the outrage at exhibiting freaks at the time, the fact is they had community. They had family. Some of them made quite a bit of money. They were extremely popular in Victorian times. Yes, they were being exhibited, but when you look at the other side of that, they were cared for. The most important thing—and I think this is what people don’t understand—is the idea of community.
I think what will be revealed with Pepper is that when these freak shows were finally closed down, in a lot of cases they were closed down without the consent of the performers. And a lot of these people ended up in asylums, alone and isolated. So you’ve got many facets to this topic.
You play Elsa Mars, a German lady. And you’re sort of the owner of the freak show and it’s on its last legs.
Yeah, it’s kind of that thing of the end of one popular entertainment and the beginning of another. As Ryan likes to say, "The end of one freak show and the beginning of another."
And you arrive in this town and you discover conjoined twins Bette and Dot (Sarah Paulson) and they become the new star of your show?
Yeah, that was a way a lot of these people were found. They would find them in hospitals or jails or wherever and recruited. So that’s how Sarah is introduced into the story. I hear something about her, she’s in the hospital, and I go there.
Is it a maternal relationship between Elsa and the twins?
Well, maternal would be putting it very generously. My character is very manipulative. She understands what’s needed, and she provides it. However, the thing I want to be very clear in this is that my character Elsa really loves these people. She truly cares for them, in her own selfish, narcissistic way. But they mean a great deal to her. It’s not just exploitation. She’s tough, and she’s mean sometimes, and all of that, but she really does love them.
Is she not as villainous as Fiona or Constance?
I don’t see her as villainous. She’s delusional—let’s put it that way [laughs]. But it’s fun to play a delusional character. But she came out of the Weimar Republic, out of that just the s--tstorm between the two wars in Germany and was at one moment a very successful cabaret performer and then everything dissembled. And this is ultimately where she ended up: in a freak show, small town circuit in the south in the early '50s. So it’s been a wild ride for Elsa. I don’t see her as villainous. I see her as delusional, as narcissistic, as ruthless in her ambition. But her ambition is all tied up in her delusion.
I heard you get to sing again.
Oh my God! Singing, yes! In the first four episodes, I sing three numbers. Which is nuts!
How was that?
Well, actually, it was great. Ryan is a little more than usual playing a little loose with time and genre. So we’ve got a couple really big production numbers that I think if they work are going to be very unique.
You perform in the freak show?
And there’s a flashback?
Yes there’s a flashback to the cabaret, to the late 1920s, early '30s.
Well, "The Name Game" performance was one of the highlights of Asylum, so I can’t wait for more Jessica Lange singing.
Yeah, well, you’re gonna get it, for better or worse!
And Kathy Bates basically plays your henchwoman/right hand gal, Ethel Darling.
Yeah that’s another character I kind of save. We have a long history and bond together. We’ve got some amazing characters I think this year. The actors, of course, are all great.
I heard the sets are phenomenal too. Ryan said you actually got emotional when you walked on.
Well I walked onto our big set, the big compound where all the tents are set up and the trailers and everything. I mean I told our art director it was like a poem. It was like you are inside this poem. Incredible. I’ve never seen a set like that.
Have you had to do any scary stuff yet, like deal with Twisty the Clown (John Carroll Lynch)?
No. Ryan always keeps me out of that fray because he knows that’s not my favorite part. I think this is very different, certainly very different from last year. I mean, I don’t know where this is going, so there’s always that! But I don’t forsee any real slasher moments.
Has Ryan told you what the end of Elsa's arc will be?
Yeah, he has. He just came up with it the other day.
And what did you think of his plan?
I thought it was kind of brilliant.
You had said previously this would be your last AHS. Has this made you want to sign up for another season?
I haven’t reconsidered. I’m just trying to get through this year, and I think this year, without a doubt, will be my favorite. In a way, it was an idea that I had wanted to explore for a while. I think just the richness of it and the time and the place and the characters. I just think it’s going to be unique. And I think, to my mind, what I’ve seen already and what we’ve done, it will far surpass anything we’ve done before.
"It's Not You" is the first track released off their upcoming ninth album, The Way. The band last released an album in 2006 with Flat-Pack Philosophies when Phillip Barker was still drumming with the band -- Danny Farrant has since replaced him.
Frontman Pete Shelley, the only Buzzcocks member who's been with the band since day one, wails through "It's Not You" over electric guitar riffs and aggressive drums -- Shelley's voice comes through more than usual in this song, but otherwise, it could be easily mistaken for a track off one of their older records.
The Way comes out in the U.S. Nov. 18. Check out its track list below:
1 - "Keep On Believing"
2 - "People Are Strange Machines"
3 - "The Way"
4 - "In The Back"
5 - "Virtually Real"
6 - "Third Dimension"
7 - "Out Of The Blue"
8 - "Chasing Rainbows / Modern Times"
9 - "It's Not You"
10 - "Saving Yourself"
“Lee and I are so humbled by the generous contributions of the talent, sponsors, and variety of organizations in honor of our nation’s heroes and their families,” said Bob Woodruff, the ABC News journalist who nearly died in 2006 after being struck by an IED in Iraq. "Each year the show gets bigger and better, demonstrating the unwavering support of all those involved."
Tickets for the Stand Up For Heroes show go on sale Wednesday at noon ET and can be purchased at bobwoodrufffoundation.org or www.nycomedyfestival.com. The 11th annual New York Comedy Festival runs Nov. 5-9. Maria Bamford, Hannibal Buress, Dane Cook, Bill Cosby, Chris D’Elia, Bill Maher, Marc Maron, Tig Notaro, Nick Offerman, and Amy Schumer are all slated to perform at the festival.]]>
It sounds like there will be severe consequences for Jackie’s arrest in the season 6 finale since Feuerstein will play a lawyer who will represent Jackie in her wrongful termination suit.
The news comes on the heels of Showtime's announcement that the upcoming seventh season will be the show's last.
Over the course of her travels, she's accumulated a similarly broad range of work experiences, from stripping in Toronto to writing for the Backstreet Boys to playing in a band with one of the guys from Coldplay. After all this wandering, the 22-year-old singer-songwriter is finally releasing her debut LP Tuesday on the Canadian label Arts & Crafts. We Loved Her Dearly is both intensely catchy and emotionally deep, with songs that draw from her experience in abusive relationships, as well as a passionate political streak that comes through on her queer pride anthem "LGBT" that carries on Le Tigre's legacy of mixing activism and dancefloor-friendly beats. The music is as complex as her subject matter, fiddling with contemporary electronic pop conventions with frequent nods to such diverse influences as Pet Sounds and Aphex Twin.
Before the album's release, Lowell spoke to EW about its origins from a cab in Toronto, where she resides—at least for the time being.
EW: Tell me about where this record came from.
LOWELL: Well, I was invited to London by some really amazing producers who work with some super-prestigious artists and we spent a year writing together collectively, for other artists and for myself, and within that a record came about. Also a lot of the songs came to me before I had gone to London. It was all autobiographical, so it was kind of like a diary put into a record.
In what ways was it autobiographical?
I really started putting it together when I was 14 during this angsty teen period, but it mostly came about towards… I dropped out of UT and I was doing some crazy things. I was dancing and doing a lot of drugs, and I was in some weird relationships. It was really a low point in my life. Then one day I hit a new stride and sort of came into this knowledge of who I was and who I could be as a person, and I wrote "Words Were the Wars." That was a big turning point for me, just this thing to remind me that I don't need anyone, I just need myself. From then on I just sort of progressed and started writing songs about what I'd been through.
So it's sort of like coming to the other side of a very messy period?
Yeah. I'd say most of the songs, if I'd written them before I'd had that epiphany I changed the lyrics later on to be from the point of view of me as a stronger person. A lot of it was sort of a triumphant thing.
It feels like a very optimistic record.
Yeah, I think it is optimistic. At the same time it's still… certain songs were written at that time and it's honest, and I can't pretend like I was happy all the time, or that I'm happy all the time now. It sort of moves back and forth between optimistic and then like, "but this can be really painful sometimes," or, "when I was treated this way I felt horrible, and now this is how I feel." It's very schizophrenic in an emotional way. That was sort of the point, that we don't have to be so perfect all the time. Not all of us are perfect. I know I'm not.
I know that when you create something that comes from an intense emotional experience, revisiting the song that came out of it can be a pretty intense experience as well.
Yeah, it's definitely emotionally raw. It's funny, though. The more I revisit it the more I feel at peace, and the more I feel really confident and comfortable with who I am. I think a lot of the stuff I went through, the most painful part was not being able to talk about it with anyone because it was so taboo and uncomfortable for people to understand. And then as I went on I started talking about it and being open and then I started realizing that it that uncomfortable for people, and also that people would start opening up to me. And then I started to realize that we're all these closeted humans who are afraid to say what we're feeling and what we've gone through. And a lot of the time, that's especially applicable to victims of things. When you're a victim, that's when you feel the most ashamed, and like you can't talk about anything. The more I talked about it, the less I felt like a victim. I felt in control.
The record has a lot of social commentary on it. Would you consider it a political record?
Yes and no. I think that it's definitely not specifically political. I think at one point I thought it was meant to be, but I sort of have this theory that we've reached a point where we've mixed up what politics are and what social issues are. I really think that they're different. At the time I was like, "This song is about gay rights, and that's political." But really that shouldn't be political. That shouldn't be what we're worried about in politics. We should be more worried about social reform. My point of view, talking about the sex industry and talking about women's rights, talking about gay rights, all of those things are incorporated in the story. But the way that I did it was personal. It could only really be about things that related back to my life. I guess it's from the point of view of a girl who happens to be bisexual, who happens to been pulled into a lot of abusive situations as a woman.
Lowell National Tour Dates:
# = w/ Icona Pop
^ = w/ Generationals
+ = w/ Dum Dum Girls
* = w/ Monarchy
9/16: Vancouver, BC @ Fortune Sound Club
9/17: Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar
9/19: San Francisco, CA @ The Rickshaw Stop *
9/21: San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
9/22: Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theatre
10/15: Columbus, SC @ Colonial Life Arena (students only) #
10/17: Morgantown, WV @ Morgantown Event Center #
10/18: Ithaca, NY @ Barton Hall #
10/23: St. Louis, MO @ Chaifetz Arena #
10/25: Hattiesburg, MS @ University of Southern Mississippi #
10/28: Indiana, PA @ Ohio Room #
10/30: Bloomsburg, PA @ Nelson Fieldhouse #
11/1: Lewiston, ME @ Bates College #
11/16: Los Angeles, CA @ The Well +
(Red Bull Sound Select Presents: 30 Days in LA)
12/2: Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506 ^
12/3: Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda's ^
12/5: Toronto, ON @ The Garrison ^
12/6: Montreal, QC @ Il Motore ^
12/7: Allston, MA @ Great Scott ^
12/9: Columbus, OH @ The Basement ^
12/10: Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight ^]]>
Netflix has introduced a new feature that allows subscribers to delete items from their viewing history. The tool should improve Netflix's suggestions for viewers so that the occasional half-watched 1980s comedy or recent foreign documentary can no longer influence the films and television shows that Netflix promotes. Though hopefully it will continue to title these suggestions with bizarre names like "1970s quirky political thrillers featuring Law and Order stars."
By heading over to the "Viewing Activity" page in a viewer's Netflix profile, the ability to delete any item should be available simply by clicking on the X that appears to the right of each show or movie.
A privacy mode is also available for a segment of Netflix's users, as it currently is undergoing testing. The mode allows viewers to watch without their viewings ever being logged to their activity feed. So if you thought you would see if that Danny Trejo movie not titled Machete was any good, your friends and family never have to know.]]>
— John Green (@realjohngreen) September 16, 2014
Delevingne will play Margo Roth Spiegelman, an enigmatic teenager who disappears after a night spent dressed as a ninja, enacting revenge alongside her next door neighbor Quentin Jacobsen, set to be played by The Fault in Our Stars' Nat Wolff. Though Delevingne is still best known for her work in fashion—and perhaps her off-duty antics—she's been steadily growing her film resume. She appeared in 2012's Anna Karenina, directed by Joe Wright, and Michael Winterbottom's The Face of an Angel, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. She has also lined up a role in Wright's Pan.
Delevingne has a reputation for having a devil-may-care attitude, as evidenced by her zany Instagram account and her predilection for wearing onesies. She's not quite as mysterious as Margo, but she certainly projects some of the character's badass nature. Now, just learn how to pronounce her last name—but don't let Reese Witherspoon teach you how.]]>
For Waka Flocka Flame, having hired help means never having to roll his own blunts again.
Throw away your master's degrees, because the rapper decided to use Instagram to advertise a job as his personal blunt roller, with an annual salary of $50,000. The application for said job is to use a simple hashtag: #ICanRoll.
Flame's request for experts in the fine art of rolling a fatty is not all that peculiar, considering the combination of disposable income that frequently comes with being famous. Working for a celebrity sometimes means holding umbrellas on the red carpet, bailing a celebrity out of jail, or being a paid best friend who can also pick up your boss's pet's poop here and there. Here are six other unusual services celebrity employees have provided.
Holding an umbrella
Perhaps the most infamous of celebrity assistants with singular mundane tasks, Fonzworth Bentley's claim to fame was being Diddy's umbrella holder. Bentley managed to segue that exposure into an album, cameos in various music videos for Diddy, Kanye West, and Usher, as well as a hosting gig for the 2008's MTV reality competition series, From G's to Gents. Not bad for a guy whose job started as providing literal shade for Diddy.
Taking pictures for a "selfie book"
Despite the advent of the selfie stick in this day and age, Kim Kardashian needed a little help taking pictures of her backside during a trip to Thailand, which was all documented on the docu-reality series of our time, Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Kardashian had her assistant Stephanie Sheppard takes pictures in various posterior-accentuating positions for a "selfie book" for husband Kanye West (and the rest of the world, apparently). Having an assistant means never having to rub sand on your own butt for a belfie (butt selfie).
Bailing a celebrity out of jail
The sordid rap sheet of Lindsay Lohan is one of legend, and there was someone there to wrangle her out of jail each time. One-time Lohan personal assistant Gavin Doyle was tasked with bailing the star out of jail during an altercation in which she allegedly punched a clubgoer, which led to another altercation that had Lohan kicking Doyle out of a car. Sometimes being an assistant means being just as messy as the client.
The legends of personal assistants concealing drugs are nothing new, and that was the one of the tasks for a personal assistant who anonymously shared her tale of unknowingly smuggling "herbal" remedies on a plane for an A-list actress to New York Magazine.
Rebecca White, former personal assistant to Naomi Campbell, claimed that 25 lily-scented Diptyque candles had to be dispersed according to Campbell's specific layout—or else. Perhaps Campbell wanted to set up a homage to Backdraft.
Cleaning hedgehog poop
Cheryl Hines admitted in an interview with The Wrap that she had her assistant clean out the various cages of her daughter's pets, which include a dog, two guinea pigs, a gecko, a hamster, two turtles, and a hedgehog. This is a case where 25 lily-scented candles would come in handy.
But the movie screenings at this much-beloved sci-fi, fantasy, and horror event are just the tip of the iceberg—the tusks on the walrus suit, if you will—of the activities which attendees can enjoy. Below, Fantastic Fest cofounder and Alamo Drafthouse head honcho Tim League talks about the treats in store, cinematic and otherwise, and why he might actually die before it's all over.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This is the 10th anniversary of Fantastic Fest. How are you marking the milestone?
TIM LEAGUE: Well, we’re bringing back a lot our favorite guests who have come over the years, and we’re accelerating the insanity of the parties. We’ve been focusing a lot on making opening night and closing night just a complete blast for everybody that is able to attend.
I heard rumors there will be a food fight on opening night. Is that correct?
Yes, yes. One aspect of Fantastic Fest is something called Fantastic Arcade. We have a special guest this year, Thu Tran, who does a TV show called Food Party. It’s like Pee-wee’s Big Adventure-meets-the Food Channel. She’s going to be kicking off what we think is going to be an epic food battle. We’ve even invested in drones and GoPros for the festivities to make sure we have the aerial shots.
You don’t get that at the Deauville Film Festival.
I haven’t actually ever heard of another film festival with a food fight. This might be a first.
The ABCs of Death 2 is playing on opening night. Could you explain what that is for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the franchise?
It’s a project that was the brainchild of a longtime partner-in-crime of mine, Ant Timpson. He was a recent father and he was remembering some of the ABCs books that were a little bit on the dark side when he was a kid and thought it would make a really good anthology film. Twenty-six directors each make a four-minute film and each film ends with a death by that letter. It’s a project that's always been tied to Fantastic Fest. I'm a co-producer on the film and one of my roles is to bring filmmakers to the project. Almost everybody that takes part in ABCs of Death is a veteran of the festival. So we’re going to be doing the world premiere of the film on opening night and it’s also the theme of our closing night party, which is "26 Ways to Party." [Laughs] So ‘H’ is for haircut, and ‘T’ is for tattoo. We have free tattoos for everybody who wants to have the Fantastic Fest logo on their body forever.
Is ‘A’ for alcohol? Because, if so, I might never make it to ‘B.’
[Laughs] There will be some alcohol-themed stages.
Fantastic Fest has become famous for hosting debate-fights. And, this year, you plan to vocally battle with then box House of the Devil director Ti West over the subject of found-footage movies. I hate to tell you this, but no one seems to think you have much of chance in the ring. The generally feeling seems to be that he could kill you.
I’m actually in the same camp. Ti West is a trained mixed martial arts fighter. If I were a gambling man, which I am, I would never ever ever put money on myself.
I’m assuming you are against found footage, given Ti’s last movie, The Sacrament, is an example of the subgenre.
That is correct. Technically, [the motion] is "RESOLVED: Found footage films are a cancer upon our industry." There are good found footage movies out there but for the purpose of the debate I’m arguing [against] the positives.
Has anybody told Ti that this is supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek bout? I interviewed director Joe Swanberg once and he talked about the time he took part in a debate-fight and, as no one did tell him that, he beat the s--t out of film writer Devin Faraci.
But the ultimate fights are not supposed to be tongue-in-cheek! Joe’s was one of the best of all-time because it was a genuine beef between Devin Faraci and Joe Swanberg and Joe Swanberg did beat up Devin Faraci. [Laughs] That's exactly what we want! We want real debates and real fights! You know, come and bring it!
Fantastic Fest visitors will also be able to attend the first-ever MondoCon, which is being overseen by the Alamo Drafthouse's boutique merch arm, Mondo. What exactly is MondoCon?
Mondo has established a really great following and they're curating film screenings and panels and things like that. But at the core of it, there's going to be a lot of movie-related posters, and products, and a lot of announcements about what’s coming down the pike in 2015.
What films are you particularly pleased to be presenting this year?
Oh man, so so many. Opening and closing night, we have really really great films. The new Kevin Smith film Tusk kicks things off, and we’re closing down with Nightcrawler, the Jake Gyllenhaal movie. I’ve seen both of those, I love them both. They really capture the type of movie we’re trying to champion. But then on top of that, we’ve got 75 features, 25 different countries represented from all those features, so it’s a really international festival at this point. A lot of my favorites are the small little discovery films, foreign language films from up-and-coming directors.
I was reading on the Fantastic Fest website about a short film which concerns a boy who must stop masturbating otherwise his father, who is a giant chicken, will die. Have you seen that one?
I haven’t yet seen it, but that did catch my attention. I have a shorts programmer and it looks like she's chosen a winner there.
With TV turns on Girls (as gay frenemy Elijah) and How I Met Your Mother and movie appearances in Bachelorette and The Intern, Rannells' return to his theater roots is a thrill for fans and for the actor himself. EW paid a visit to Rannells' dressing room backstage at the Belasco Theatre to quiz the Tony nominee about his Broadway return.
EW: I went running five days ago and my legs hurt, and I just had pad thai for lunch, and now I feel gross. Do my pitiful body woes make you laugh?
ANDREW RANNELLS: Oh, please. No! This is certainly unlike any show I’ve ever done before and has very unique challenges, but this is sort of what I was used to for so long, this schedule and this physicality. There’s something about it that feels really normal for me, to snap back into this eight-show-a-week thing.
Is the snap reminiscent of Mormon, or eight shows a week dancing in the chorus of Hairspray?
In terms of the pain… there are moments in The Book of Mormon. I remember doing “All American Prophet,” which is that song in the middle of the first act where I was just running all over the stage and there were a million words and nothing ever repeated. It was hard as hell to learn, and doing that and thinking please, Jesus, let me survive through this. If I don’t die in the middle of this number, it’ll be a good one. But the crazy thing about this show is that, really, the anticipation of it starting is the worst part. Because once you’re doing it and you’re in it, it’s fine, and it moves really quickly once it starts, but it’s that gearing up to do it—that’s stressful.
Do the nerves kick in when you get here for make-up?
Until the second I set foot on stage.
Is there a hump in every show—the highest note, maybe—that you have to get through each show before you can sort of breathe and say, “Phew, okay, that’s over”?
For this one, once “Wig in a Box” is over, then I feel like we’re in a different show. The story changes, and shit gets real. And it’s my favorite part of the show to do as an actor just because I think it’s got all these really interesting elements.
How was the transition between you and Neil? Did he give you any advice? And will you give any to Michael C. Hall?
It was really speedy. Neil and I have known each other for a long time, so we didn’t really get into too many specifics about the show, just because I wanted to make sure that he had his space to finish his run. I didn’t want to feel like I’m breathing down his neck as I was coming in here, and truth be told, I was finishing Girls and this movie The Intern with Nancy Meyers.
With Anne Hathaway! She must be a big fan of yours. I don’t know why I assume that, but I do.
It was legitimately fun. Anne and I really hit it off and had a good time, and Robert De Niro was very nice. We knew each other because she had worked with Josh Gad on Love and Other Drugs prior to Mormon. Not a ton, but we knew each other a little bit. But I was doing those two things… it really wasn’t until I wrapped Girls and I wrapped The Intern that I had a solid week free to really focus on Hedwig, and then Neil’s last show was a Sunday, and I spent Tuesday on stage, and then I did it Wednesday night.
Was that an “oh, s--t” moment?
The whole thing was an oh-s--t moment. It was really tightly organized but also all over the place. You’d wake up and be like, okay, I think I’m going to work on Girls today, and then the next day I have Hedwig rehearsal and then the next day I have to go to The Intern. I really had to compartmentalize things in a way that ideally you would not have to do when working on something like this.
But I feel like out of anybody, theater people really thrive on pressure.
It’s really all I knew. The first two seasons of Girls, I was still in Book of Mormon, so I would work on my day off or during the day and they had to let me out in time for the show. I sort of thrive on that energy a little bit. The crazy anxiety of that. The hardest part about Hedwig, the thing that was missing from rehearsals is the audience, and there’s no way to practice that. You just have to be in front of people. I felt like I was as prepared as I could have been, and then I just had to do it.
How crucial is the audience to a show like this?
The audience obviously informs the whole base of the show so that’s a huge x-factor in preparing. Michael knows that, I’m sure. That’s not going to be a surprise to him, but it is a surprise because you get on stage and you go, oh, so this is how this works.
How often do you think back to your first show as Hedwig and how your performance has already changed?
I certainly feel more settled and relaxed about certain things. I’m sure there are things that feel like huge changes for me, but they’re little to the audience. Unless you tank hard, little things that seem so massive, you realize that they’re not a big deal. One of my favorite directors that I’ve ever worked with, Jack O’Brien, who directed Hairspray, he used to tell us all the time that the only thing that matters is nailing the finale because that’s what the audience leaves the theater remembering. And in Hairspray, “You Can’t Stop the Beat” was a huge finale. But it was a very forgiving approach to not worrying too much about little things.
You really can’t dwell on a small mistake in act one.
For a lot of us, Hairspray was our first show. I wasn’t in that original cast but for many people that was their first Broadway show. Everybody was very nervous and very skittish, so that was a very supportive way to look at things.
You did a production of Hedwig in Austin a decade ago. Do you have déjà vu?
My younger sister and my mother were just here, and they came to see that production in Austin, so it was weird to have them in the audience and think back to that. This is such a huge, blown-up production, but the core of the show is the same, so once we get to that point where I’m just sitting on that stool telling the story of what happened between me and Tommy Gnosis, that’s sort of the thesis statement of the show, and at least for me, that remains very much the same. Even though it’s on Broadway and it’s this huge production, that quiet moment is still the story.
Does it occasionally blow your mind that your TV and theatre worlds are so connected? For instance, you’re replacing Neil after appearing with him in How I Met Your Mother—with Cristin Milioti for that matter—or how John Cameron Mitchell was also on Girls?
When dots start getting connected like that, it’s really odd. Laura Benanti and I met when we were 19 and the fact that we’re still friends and hang out is very strange. I remember meeting Nikki James when she was in Tom Sawyer, years and years ago. But it’s great when people come up. Like it was weird, with Cristin Milioti. I remember going to see Once because Steve Kazee and I are friends, and meeting Cristin and thinking she was so great. And then randomly being on that show with her. And Neil was friends with Gavin Creel, so I first met him when he replaced in Cabaret many, many years ago. We’ve been friends for a long time. So it is a small community. There are weird moments of synchronicity.
What’s on your pre-show playlist?
I’m so lazy. It’s like an hour to get into that make-up, and Nicole and Josh do the make-up and I lay in the chair. We’ve just been doing the Pandora thing, but the anchor is this group The Blow. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of them or not?
I know Adele and Broadway.
Hey, that’s fine, too. So I listen to that or, like, Phoenix.
So you really go for a chilled-out vibe, rather than some club beat that’ll pump you up?
Not for me. I just need to be at ease and I want to be relaxed, and that is at least up enough. I’m sure Stephen Trask, who wrote the Hedwig music, would be so horrified to hear this, but I still warm up to, like, Jason Robert Brown. I sing Last Five Years, I sing stuff from Bridges of Madison County. It could not be more musical theater. That’s how I sing, so that’s how I have to warm up for this gig. I’m sure he’d be horrified, but I need to warm up to musical theater.
Does Hedwig exist in Elijah’s world? Or Mormon, for that matter?
I don’t think that The Book of Mormon would exist in Elijah’s world. I think Elijah, in my mind—and again, I didn’t create him so Lena would be better to ask about this—but in my mind, Elijah would be one of those annoying people who obviously knows that Broadway exists because he expresses interest in it, but I don’t think that he has any idea what’s really going on in the city. I think he would be very confused as to what shows are running. He probably thinks The Producers is still on Broadway. He would have no concept.
I would have thought he’s a Hedwig snob who saw it in ’98.
I mean yes, that’s probably true, but I feel like in terms of current things, he’d be so, “Ohhh I don’t know, I’m not sure.” He wants to be a part of it but doesn’t know anything about it.
But Mormon doesn’t exist for him.
I don’t think so. But Hedwig, certainly. I’m sure he’s… seen the movie at least. [Laughs]
Based on the song “Sugar Daddy,” what is your personal candy fetish?
I mean, weirdly, gummy bears. I also am a sucker for gummy cola, not going to lie.
“Wicked Little Town”… what don’t you miss about Omaha?
It’s so stupid, but I don’t miss the winter there. It’s the most grotesque landscape. Have you ever seen the movie About Schmidt? Alexander Payne really captures the, like, 50 shades of brown in the winter. And as a child I would always get sort of depressed in January and February, as would everyone. Clearly the entire city suffers from seasonal depressive disorder but it just goes undiagnosed because that’s where we live. But it is frickin’ bleak there in the winter. Just depressing.
What is the Andrew Rannells wig in a box?
I have weird pompadour hair. I’ve said it before, but it was very much inspired as a child by Michael Carrington in Grease 2. All I wanted was my hair to look like Maxwell Caulfield’s. I feel like my whole adult life I’ve chased that hairdo.
What should my question be about “Midnight Radio?”
Here’s something I will say about that song. And again, it’s something that Stephen Trask would be so horrified by, but in the last part of the song Hedwig sings “Here’s to Patti and Tina, Aretha and Yoko.” And he lists the names of these women… but the first one is Patti, meaning Patti Smith, but in my mind it’s Patti LuPone. Sorry! That’s what really grounds it for me. And John Cameron Mitchell sort of gave me his blessing with that.
Off of “Tear Me Down,” what was the worst review you ever read about yourself?
When I was on tour with Jersey Boys, I was playing Bob Gaudio, so this review went through all the boys saying nice things about them and then for mine it said, “Andrew Rannells is tall as Bob Gaudio.” Is tall.
I know. Is tall. It wasn’t exactly the most genius review, but my little snippet was, “Is tall.” I was like, F--k. You. “Andrew Rannells is tall.”
Andrew Rannells headlines Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Broadway's Belasco Theatre through Oct. 12.]]>
The band's preferred tactic is to juxtapose singer Sarah Chernoff's lilting, dreamy vocals against harsh electronic sounds, like the grinding synth bass on its otherwise intensely mellow new single "Flipping Out." This adds an intriguingly rough edge to a track that otherwise conjures up images of languorous Californian decadence. If any music directors are looking to score a scene of good-looking young people swimming underwater in slow motion, they're in luck.
Along with the single, the group has shared with EW a playlist that, like its music, blends hooky pop and ambitiously experimental electronic beats. Superhumanoids will be hitting the road shortly to open for electropop godfathers Erasure.
10/15 - El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace
10/16 - Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
10/17 - New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues *
10/18 - Austin, TX @ ACL Live *
10/19 - Austin, TX @ ACL Live *
10/21 - Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre *
10/22 - San Diego, CA @Humphrey's *
10/24 - Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium *
10/25 - Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium *
10/26 - Ventura, CA @ Majestic Theatre *
10/28 - Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre *
10/29 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Capitol Theatre *
11/1 - Oakland, CA @ The Fox *
* w/ Erasure]]>
Davis appeared on The Today Show to debut Whitney Houston Live: Her Greatest Live Performances, which will be released on Nov. 10. The album/DVD combination compiles 16 live songs for the CD and 19 performances for the DVD. Among these performances are her 1983 appearance on the Merv Griffin Show, her performance of the "Star-Spangled Banner" at the 1991 Super Bowl, and a rendition of "I Will Always Love You" from The Concert for a New South Africa in 1994.
Davis said Houston's family gave their blessing and helped put together the album, which will also include songs Houston performed live but did not record. Davis said the release "is a clarion call to the world that she was, in her time, the greatest singer."]]>
British fans of Austen apparently felt the need to reclaim the mark they set for the same record back in 2009, after it was temporarily stolen by Americans at—you guessed it—a stateside Jane Austen festival. [BBC News]
Another 19th-century literary titan is also making headlines. Before people waited for the final episodes of Breaking Bad or George R.R. Martin's latest installment of A Song of Ice and Fire, they waited for new chunks of Charles Dickens' serialized novels. To recreate the watercooler banter that started it all, next month digital publisher The Pigeonhole will begin to release one of the author's tomes, Great Expectations, in the episodic way it originally debuted. Maybe it's time to temporarily unsubscribe from Netflix. [The Telegraph]
Speaking of subscription services, Oyster—the Netflix of e-books, more or less—is reflecting on its first year of business. Oyster, which offers all-you-can-read access for $9.95 a month, has expanded its library from 100,000 to 500,000 titles since going live, and CEO Eric Stromberg says its subscriber base is also multiplying. Oyster is now available on the web, iOS, and Android, and it has inspired Scribd.com and Amazon to get into the e-book subscription business. [Publishers Weekly]
Physical bookstores, unfortunately, aren't experiencing the same growth. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, bookstore sales fell 5.1 percent to $707 million in July. A year earlier, they were at $745 million. [Publishers Weekly]
... Maybe that's because James Patterson, the industry's top earner, is literally giving away his books for free. But he's doing so for a good cause. The author and his publisher are giving 180,000 hardcover copies of his books to members of the U.S. military. Patterson has donated to the troops before; this round brings his cumulative total of donations to 680,000 books. [USA Today]
Patterson's best-selling peer, Stephen King, had some choice words—about words he'd never choose—for aspiring writers. "'Some people say,' or 'Many believe,' or “The consensus is,'" King told The Atlantic's Jessica Lahey. "That kind of lazy attribution makes me want to kick something. Also, IMHO, YOLO, and LOL." TYVM, Mr. King.]]>
“For many years, women have experienced slow but incremental growth [ on and off screen]," said Dr. Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, which conducted the 17th annual study. “However, that progress, small though it was, now appears to have stalled."
The researchers also debunked the popular misconception that Netflix—home of the hit female-driven powerhouse Orange Is the New Black—and cable channels employ more women. “People believe that cable is more female-friendly than broadcast," said Lauzen, "but that’s really not really the case.”
Among the study's other discoveries about the lack of women in offscreen creative roles:
- Female writers' numbers dropped sharply, with women holding just 1 in 4 writing jobs (down from 1 in 3).
- Women's share of director of photography jobs decreased to 1 percent (down from 2 percent).
- Twenty percent of writing jobs were held by women (a 17-percent decrease).
- Female executive producers fell to 23 percent (a 15-percent decrease).
- Forty-four percent of TV shows employed four women or fewer, compared to 1 percent of TV shows that employed four men or fewer.
The study isn't all bad news, though. Women in several fields made significant gains from last year:
- Female directors held 13 percent of directing jobs (a 7.7-percent increase).
- Forty-three percent of producing jobs were occupied by women (a 13-percent increase).
- Seventeen percent of editors were female (a 5.9-percent increase).
Perhaps the most promising and practical insight is the onscreen/offscreen correlation: The more women there are working behind the cameras, the more female characters appear onscreen. Broadcast TV shows that employed as least one female writer or director also had more female characters. "[W]hen women are employed behind the scenes, they make a difference,” Lauzen said.]]>
At Comic-Con in July, Legendary's Thomas Tull had announced plans for Skull Island, and Attack the Block's Joe Cornish was rumored to be the frontrunner to direct. A Skull Island movie, penned by Godzilla's scribe, could further speculation that Legendary is planning a Godzilla/Kong crossover at some point.]]>
Called The Last Saturday, the project is a weekly comic strip for The Guardian's web page. Released every Saturday, the story will focus on a cast of six from the resort town of Sandy Port, Michigan. The first strip is the briefest of introductions, but it does note that it will have 'functionality' designed by The Guardian's Interactive Team, so hopefully that level of support allows Ware to get experimental and take full advantage of the digital medium.
Also, if you like reading comics in this fashion, consider delving into the world of webcomics—there's a wealth of high-quality completed and in-progress works available for free on the internet, right now. Here is a good list to get started.]]>
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor hopes to change that. The game has received plenty of buzz leading up to its release on Sept. 30, promising an original story in Tolkien’s world that explores the deep lore while innovating on familiar gameplay mechanics.
So what exactly sets this adventure apart, and will it make Mordor the one game to rule them all—or at least rule the fall season? That question will be answered when the game debuts later this month, but there are plenty more worth asking about why Mordor is worth Rings fans'—and newcomers'—time. Here are answers to some swirling questions about the game, which should give players all they need to know going into the game's launch.
What is Mordor about?
Shadow of Mordor takes place in between the events of The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring. Talion, a ranger slain by the evil Sauron’s forces, has been resurrected by a wraith named Celebrimbor. Celebrimbor’s spirit travels with Talion, imbuing the ranger with supernatural abilities and a second chance at life, which he uses to exact revenge on Sauron.
So do you play as Talion or Celebrimbor?
Both. Players control Talion, but Celebrimbor allows the ranger access to special wraith powers, including the ability to control creatures in each environment, attack enemies from afar, and enter the spirit world that Celebrimbor lives in—think The Lord of the Rings films any time Frodo slipped the ring on his finger.
The two travel around different areas of Middle-earth, allowing the player to roam through large, open environments. In each location, players will, aside from engaging in story-based missions, create their own story by tilting the balance of power among the orcs ruling each territory.
And how exactly do players do that?
By engaging with the game’s Nemesis System. Each location is home to orcs of varying rank in Sauron’s army—some are low-level henchmen, others are captains, and then the warchiefs rise above the rest. Each warchief has control of a certain number of captains, and Talion can manipulate this power hierarchy. Talion has the option to kill, gather intel from, or turn these orcs to work for him. Doing so affects the outcome of Talion’s story and the standing of orc control in each area.
That sounds like a lot to keep track of during an action game.
The system is presented in a smart and simple way, almost like a chessboard. Orcs in the region appear on screen at their respective rank, while lines trace which warchiefs command which captains. Players simply choose who to go after, and that orc will be marked on their map.
The gameplay itself is a mix of well-known games with a few twists. Talion can run across the land and scale buildings much like in Assassin’s Creed, but his free running is more streamlined. Combat evokes the Batman: Arkham games, with fighting that’s meant to be a fluid chain of hit after hit. Talion’s knife and bow can be used on the fly, and parts of the environment, like wild animals and bonfires, can play a role in each brawl. It all plays great, but isn’t looking to change the game like the Nemesis System is.
So the system just tracks who you’re attacking?
No—in concept, the Nemesis System is much deeper. In practice? Well, the system’s true promise will be proven in an entire playthrough of the game, not just in the hour or so I played. But even in this microcosm, the hints of the system’s possibility shined through.
The Nemesis System is built on a foundation of crafting relationships with enemies, and its intention is to do much more than let players hunt the game’s villains. Each orc is randomly generated with distinct idiosyncrasies in the hopes that players connect and remember them throughout the game. Orcs are given an individual name, look, set of fighting preferences, and even a chant for each warchief.
Players can choose to kill an orc and end a relationship immediately, but to do so repeatedly would defeat some of the system’s possibilities.
For example, an orc may run from a battle in which he was burnt. That orc will pop up later in the game, visibly scarred, now holding a grudge. He spent his time gathering his strength and can return later on, but he may now have a phobia of fire, which players can use to their advantage.
Every interaction with an orc is intended to be unique to ensure no two Mordor games are alike. Whether they escape, are turned to Talion's side, or simply offer intel, the game’s enemies matter.
Does the Nemesis System make good on that promise?
Possibly. I only played for an hour, late in the game. Some relationships were already predetermined, and the new ones didn’t have much time to take hold. I knocked out a couple captains, converted some to my cause, and set conflicts in motion. I didn’t see the long term effects of the system, but the hour I did play filled me with plenty of hope.
I spent my hour in Middle-earth specifically in Núrn, a realm of sunshine, grassy plains, and murderous orcs. As my time wrapped up, I was felled by Orgogh Bright Eyes (*not his actual name, but close enough to convey the random name generator’s wonderful oddities). When I returned to the world of the living, knowing Orgogh was still out there, I immediately wanted to find him. I felt compelled to seek revenge--not just on a few more enemies to vent my frustration for dying, but specifically, I wanted to take out Orgogh.
Unfortunately my demo ended, but the desire for comeuppance against the bright-eyed orc lingered. In that sense, the Nemesis System succeeded. It made me care about a villain, and while that might seem like an obvious note to hit, many games tend to make their foes simple sword fodder.
I can’t say whether the system works in the long term, nor if its impact on the story will meaningfully change the way my game plays out. And yes, players could theoretically kill every orc in their path and never build any sort of rivalry or bond. But if my experience with Orgogh was any indication, by playing to the Nemesis System’s strengths Mordor will make me care about my foes. Video games have for years made a habit out of throwing baddie after baddie at players without giving them much personality, but Mordor looks to change that.
If the system succeeds, Mordor could allow for an experience like few games of its scale offer. If it falters, Mordor will still be fun, but won’t quite reach the heights Lord of the Rings fans hope it will. But whether they’re lower-level captains or dominant warchiefs, I’m excited to build up my relationships in Mordor.
As long as the orcs understand we’re just friends or bitter rivals and nothing more, of course.]]>
Dancing returned to a solid 13.5 million viewers and underwhelming 2.4 rating among adults 18-49. That's down 23 percent from last year and marks the lowest Dancing fall premiere ever. C'mon viewers, are you excited about the Duck Dynasty girl? Or that YouTube star? Or that half of Cheech & Chong?
Still, that demo rating was enough to win the night, beating the finale of Fox's MasterChef (5.5 million, 2.0) down 17 percent from its most recent finale. Dancing also beat an American Ninja Warrior special (5.2 million, 1.8—and was actually super entertaining), down a notch from last January's USA vs. Japan special. As well as CBS' Under the Dome (7 million, 1.6), though Dome did manage to jump 14 percent from last week.]]>
The most notable designers include Chris March of season 4—recently picked by EW as the best season in Runway history—Jay Sario of season 7, and two past winners: Michelle Lesniak of season 11 and Dmitry Sholokhov of season 10. Hoping for at least one win is Kate Pankoke, who is getting her third chance to prove herself on the runway; she originally appeared in season 11, then was brought back for season 12 by a fan vote. Here are the rest of the competitors, grouped by season:
Fabio Costa, Gunnar Deatherage, and Sonjia Williams
Samantha Black, Benjamin Mach, and Patricia Michaels
Helen Castillo, Justin LeBlanc, and Alexandria von Bromssen
14 designers will return for redemption when All Stars premieres Oct. 30 on Lifetime, alongside host Alyssa Milano, judges Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman, and mentor Zanna Roberts Rassi. Guest judges this season include Orange Is the New Black's Laverne Cox, singer Nicole Scherzinger, and, er... Snooki and JWoww.]]>
"During the course of my career, I’ve had the good fortune to play many, many unique and wonderful roles in the movies, on stage and television," Lansbury said in a statement. "And it is a joy to once again step into the role of Madame Arcati, and bring Noël Coward’s classic comedy ‘Blithe Spirit’ to wonderful audiences here in North America who have supported me for over seven decades."
Coward's comedy concerns a novelist, Charles, who invites Arcati to perform a séance for research purposes. Arcati accidentally summons the ghost of Charles' former wife, eager to reclaim him for herself.
The streaming provider has ordered two seasons of the half-hour comedy, which will premiere in 2016 with 10 episodes and return with 12 the following year. Produced by Apatow Productions and Legendary Television, Love centers Gus (Rust) and Mickey (Gillian Jacobs), a couple who attempt to sustain a modern relationship while running into the pitfalls of, well, love.
“Judd Apatow has a unique comedic voice that manages to be delightful, insightful, and shockingly frank—often at the same time,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos in a statement. “Together with Paul and Lesley, he’s bringing a whole new level of agony and ecstasy to this modern day comedy of manners.”
While it is rare for two seasons of a show to go straight-to-series, Netflix has set a precedent for giving multiple-season series orders with House of Cards.]]>
Set in 2014, season two finds desperate actress Valerie Cherish (Kudrow) cast in Seeing Red, a single-camera HBO dramedy written by her old nemesis Paulie G., the writer who all but terrorized her on the set of their 2005 sitcom Room & Bored. Fresh from his second stint in rehab, Paulie has written a dark HBO comedy loosely based on his behind the scenes struggles with drugs while working with Valerie on Bored.
“Valerie agrees to play it even though she’s probably playing the worst version of herself, because she thinks it will take her to the next level,” says co-creator King. “The closer Valerie gets to this heat, the more her life starts to fall apart.” Producer Dan Bucatinsky describes the season in a question: “What happens when a woman who is really interested in continuing to have cameras on her also winds up in one of the most challenging acting roles of her career?”
The nine years since the original Comeback have certainly changed Valerie—she’s less obliging and perhaps more out of touch than ever, even if she doesn’t realize it. “She has a vlog. She knows what tweeting is because she’s watched Housewives, and she’s pretty proud of her unimpressive number of followers. But she still doesn’t know what anything means,” laughs Kudrow. Val will encounter plenty of Hollywood faces familiar to 2014 viewers, but her world isn’t exactly star-studded—expect the likes of Lisa Vanderpump, Andy Cohen, and RuPaul among those who cross her path this year.
And what about the rest of the cast? 2014 will see big changes for everyone in Valerie’s life: ingénue Juna (Malin Akerman) is now a major film star; Chris (Kellan Lutz) is an action hero; publicist Billy (Bucatinsky) has moved up to the B-minus list, and he’s clashing with hairstylist Mickey (Robert Michael Morris) for the closest spot in Valerie’s inner circle; husband Mark (Damian Young) is feeling the strain of another decade of marriage; and producer Jane (Laura Silverman) is feeling the burn of a less accommodating Valerie. (Sorry, spider-eyes!)
As always, the real drive behind the new season isn’t just about putting Valerie into one tortured situation after another; The Comeback strives to reflect real trends in television. “What's happening in television right now are dramedies being listed as comedies but maybe they're not funny, movie stars doing limited series, behind the scenes footage for social media and web content... there’s a lot of the real thing within our fantasy, because that’s what we did last time," says King. "It’s yet again an evolution in television, but it’s also an evolution in Valerie.”
When the series returns, viewers will be completely caught up on everything that’s been going on in Valerie’s life since we last left her in 2005, reeling from a Jay Leno appearance and surprised to find her reality show has been renewed for a second season (which is arguably Valerie's greatest loss of all).
“What you’re going to see in the first episode is where Valerie’s been for nine years and how desperate she’s been, and what actually happened to her after The Comeback,” teases King. “If you like reality TV and you like Valerie, the opening is kind of like crack cocaine. Like Comeback crack.”
Pick up Entertainment Weekly's Fall TV Preview issue, on stands now.]]>
IFC has renewed Maron, the original comedy series, for a third season, with production set to begin this fall for 13 new half-hour episodes. Maron, which most recently followed Marc as he struggled to maintain a relationship, is set to return in the spring of 2015.
"I am very proud of both seasons of the show and thrilled we're doing another one," Marc Maron said in a press release. "Through all the episodes I can see the growth and evolution of the character, writing and comedy. I’m excited about getting back into the process. The character of Maron needs some work on and off screen and fortunately that’s what drives the show."]]>
It's the joy of Broad City in its purest, most elemental form—just Abbi and Ilana hanging out. "It's like an Epcot," Abbi says of her bowls. "You know who would love this?" Ilana adds. "People who are starving."]]>
The event, held at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, began with a screening of the season 2 episode "Cousin Geri," which originally aired December 24, 1980. The episode explores Blair's relationship with her cousin (played by Geri Jewell), a comedian who has cerebral palsy. It was framed by loud applause during the sitcom's opening and closing credits, which nearly drowned out the show's catchy theme song.
When the applause died down, the evening's moderator—Entertainment Weekly senior west coast editor Danielle Nussbaum—took to the stage to introduce the night's panelists: cast members Charlotte Rae, Mindy Cohn, Lisa Whelchel, and Nancy McKeon, who played Mrs. Edna Garrett, Natalie Green, Blair Warner, and Jo Polniazcek, respectively.
The show was known for confronting controversial issues like sex, drugs, and teen suicide. Cohn, Whelchel, and McKeon admitted that these topics could be intimidating—but by supporting each other and with Rae as their fearless leader, these contentious moments provided thrilling acting opportunities. "These were challenging things, but as young actors they were fantastic," McKeon said.
Growing up onscreen had its challenges."Obviously I did not peak in high school," Cohn joked, adding that she thinks a few of her younger years would be better left offscreen. McKeon agreed in some respects, but had a positive outlook: "The hardest thing we had to do was find the funniest way to tell a story," she said. "What a privilege."
At the time, that task was perhaps most unfamiliar for Cohn. Rae had the part of Natalie written for her after meeting Cohn while doing research for the show. It's true, everyone: She didn't have to audition. What's more, Cohn, who dreamed of being a doctor at age 12, had never acted prior to her big network break. "You must have been scared sh--less," Rae exclaimed, prompting uproarious laughter from the audience.
McKeon joked that Rae didn't have such a foul mouth when they were shooting. Rae's cheeky retort: "I'm not Mrs. Garrett!" Even so, she can't shake that image. Rae said that the thing fans—and even fellow actors—most often ask her for is a hug from Mrs. Garrett.
Considering how young Cohn, Whelchel, and McKeon were on the Facts of Life set, you might expect that they engaged in some behind-the-scenes mischief. On the contrary: Rae was actually the troublemaker. She often smoked offset, much to the girls' dismay, prompting them to literally pull the cigarettes out of her mouth. "All these girls on set and you got in trouble for smoking," Nussbaum quipped.
On the subject of trouble: The group claimed that even if the paparazzi and/or social media had existed then in the way it does now, they probably wouldn't have been an issue. "If there was paparazzi then, we wouldn't have been caught doing anything," Cohn said. She explained that while the cast spent a lot of time together, they also all had their own separate lives. They all went to work, then all went home. She joked that if she had been up to something, it would have been at home, not with her cast members.
That's not to say there wasn't anything juicy worth sharing from the set. Guest stars were constantly circulating through the show. "If you were an actor in the eighties, you did an episode of The Facts of Life," Cohn said. McKean chose Alex Rocco as her favorite, while Cohn picked Charo and Rae went with Molly Picon. You might imagine Whelchel's favorite to be then-hunk, now-superstar George Clooney, whom she kissed on the show. She recently confessed, however, that she doesn't even remember the kiss. "I'm all for repressed memory," Whelchel said. "Why I repressed that I don't know!" Beats us too.
The night also held a few surprises. Less than 10 minutes in, the cast and audience members watched a video from Kim Fields (a.k.a. Dorothy "Tootie" Ramsey), who could not make it to the panel. She said it was an honor to be part of PaleyFest and thanked her former cast members. Second, about halfway through, Geri Jewell came out to discuss her experience on the show. Jewell was the first actor with a disability to have a regular role on a primetime sitcom. "It changed my life 180 degrees," she said.
When asked if the show would make it on TV today, the group was divided. Rae thought so, likening the show to Modern Family. "This could be just as wonderful, only updated in certain ways," she said. Whelchel agreed, calling the show "timeless." Cohn, however, has her doubts: "I think we'd be laugh out of a pitch meeting."
But whether The Facts of Life would have worked today or not, the show has made it. As Rae, speaking as wisely and sincerely as Mrs. Garrett, summed it all up: "I don't think any of us realized how much impact at the time it had on people. But we're getting the message now."]]>
It's one thing for Tommy Chong to join Dancing With the Stars as the oldest contestant of the season at age 76, and it's quite another for Cheech Marin to escort him onto the stage for his first dance number (in a car, of course).
During last night's Dancing premiere, Richard "Cheech" Marin joined Tommy Chong for a brief moment on stage. Cheech & Chong are best known as the Grammy Award-winning comedy duo that took off in the 1970s and 1980s thanks to their films and comedy routines. And now, they apparently spend their time making bets with each other; it was a bet that got Chong on the show and got Cheech to make a cameo. But what will they bet on next?]]>
Though she made a cameo on David Letterman's Late Show in 1994, Streisand hadn't been on The Tonight Show since 1963. "This is the first time in over 50 years you're here, I think you should sit behind the desk," Fallon said.
With Streisand seated in the host's spot Fallon prompted her to reminisce about her previous late night visits with Johnny Carson and Orson Bean (apparently Jack Paar didn't like her), and chatted about her diva reputation. "Divas were opera singers first of all, and how come they never call men divas?" she said. Streisand also didn't let Fallon infringe on all of her stage time, performing a solo rendition of "Come Rain or Come Shine."]]>