Mary-Kate And Ashley Olsen Won't Be In 'Fuller House'
We didn't expect Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen to appear in the new "Full House" reboot, and it turns out the 28-year-old fashion designers will not reprise their shared role as Michelle Tanner, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Although Ashley and Mary-Kate will not be a part of Fuller House, I know how much Full House has meant to them and they are still very much considered family," executive producer Robert L. Boyett said in a statement. "It has been exciting to see how they have built their professional careers, and I support their choice to focus on their fashion brands and various business endeavors. I appreciate their support and good wishes towards Fuller House."
The news comes weeks after John Stamos, who is both producing and slated to appear in the Netflix series, called "bullshit" on the sisters, after they told Women's Wear Daily they weren't in the loop regarding the new show. Stamos later tweeted that he and Mary-Kate has smoothed things out after having a "sweet talk," but he apparently wasn't able to sweet-talk the twins into appearing on the show.
In addition to Stamos, fans of the ABC original series can expect Andrea Barber, Jodie Sweetin, Candace Cameron Bure, and Dave Coulier to appear on the revival. which will follow Bure's D.J. Tanner as a widow with three kids.
Earlier this month, Bure spoke about "Fuller House" on the "Today" show, saying that the Netflix series won't be the same as the original. "It's definitely a fresh take," she said. "We're not doing the old show, it's not a reunion. It's a spinoff show."
UPDATE: On Friday night, John Stamos retweeted this very article and then wrote that he was "#heartbroken" over the news:
I understand they're in a different place and I wish them the best. I promise you will not be dissapointed with our reunion and spin off!!— John Stamos (@JohnStamos) May 23, 2015
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Robert De Niro Tells Graduating Art Students: 'You're F***ed'
"You made it," actor Robert De Niro told New York University's Tisch School of the Arts graduates on Friday. "And you're f***ed."
The reality check to aspiring actors, dancers and others with creative degrees in the opening lines of De Niro's commencement speech received an uproarious applause.
"The graduates in accounting? They all have jobs," the legendary actor continued. "Where does that leave you? Envious of those accountants? I doubt it. They had a choice. Maybe they were passionate about accounting but I think it's more likely that they used reason and logic and common sense to reach for a career that could give them the expectation of success and stability. Reason, logic, common sense at the Tisch School of Arts? Are you kidding me? But you didn't have that choice, did you? You discovered a talent, developed an ambition and recognized your passion."
That aversion to practical thinking, he told students, is what will make them successful.
"When it comes to the arts, passion should always trump common sense," De Niro told the new alums. "You aren't just following dreams, you're reaching for your destiny. You're a dancer, a singer, a choreographer, a musician, a filmmaker, a writer, a photographer, a director, a producer, an actor, an artist. Yeah, you're f***ed. The good news is that that's not a bad place to start."
De Niro, a two-time Oscar winner, warned students to expect rejection and to not take it personally, like when he jokingly found out he couldn't play Martin Luther King Jr. in "Selma."
In the end, he sounded confident that the Tisch graduates will get their big breaks.
"I'm here to hand out my pictures and resumes to the directing and producing graduates."
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<i>Mad Men:</i> Om Is Where the Heart Is
I love how Mad Men ended.
After 7 seasons of running away from themselves, the complex characters managed to find their way home. And as the final curtain fell on the textured world that creator Matthew Weiner designed for our guilty viewing pleasure, I renewed my faith in the power of redemption, and in the simple splendor of a TV ad that celebrates the human spirit.
Here are just some of the worlds in Mad Men that kept me coming back for more.
The world of advertising
At its core, advertising is about telling moving stories to solve business problems. Yes, it does exist to push product, and the sales-averse among us may feel that this makes it a sleazy, soul-less profession.
But I know that for every advertising professional who's motivated by the cash, there's at least one other who delights in its craft, that maddening and gratifying process that demands more creativity, more dexterity and more conviction from you than you might believe you have to give.
I worked in advertising and marketing agencies for years. We often had to pitch for new business in a weekend, or to come up with yet another brilliant campaign idea as soon as clients wanted it. Which is what made it nearly impossible for me to watch Mad Men when it first aired. Spend 15 hours or more at work, then come home and watch a show about that work? No thank you.
But that manic pace was exciting to me when I was younger. Just like the main characters on Mad Men, I lived for the moments when a client approved a new campaign idea, or when we won a new piece of business. It's an adrenaline rush like no other. These days, I'm less convinced that it's healthy for the body, mind and spirit.
Speaking of spirits...there's a reason why the Mad Men characters smoked and drank so much. I remember how my coworkers looked forward to Friday nights. They couldn't wait to head to the pub and down their favorite adult beverage. You see, during the week, we couldn't yell at our clients, even when we knew they were being unreasonable. They paid our bills and kept the lights on, so we often had to swallow our frustrations, then drown them in many a weekend pint. And those long work days resulted in many uneaten dinners at home, frequent arguments with loved ones who wanted more of us, and the occasional wringing of hands as we asked ourselves if the perks (e.g. free tickets to client-sponsored events, early access to client products) were worth the pain.
I left that world a few years ago. I'd stumbled into advertising, and was more than happy to stumble away from it. There are days when I miss the camaraderie. But I don't miss the constant high-adrenaline situations that left my body burned out and exhausted.
The world of 1960s America, and today
Set in 1960s America, Mad Men reminds us of monumental events like the John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations. It highlights sexism, racism and adultery. It deals with our universal quest for meaning, identity and self awareness when the world around us seems volatile and uncertain, and when countercultures threaten our world view.
These themes remain relevant today. They make the characters in Mad Men relatable, because they're also living out our modern-day realities. Its characters walk the morally ambiguous line that we all do each day, whenever we're faced with a choice between doing what's easy for us, or doing what's right for someone else.
We continue to champion the same causes from 50 years ago. There's been progress, and that progress has generated more nuanced challenges. Here in the US, flashpoints like Ferguson and Baltimore remind us that significant racial divides persist, and are further complicated by class divides and unconscious biases. Adultery has morphed into a deeper understanding and halting acceptance of alternative lifestyle choices, and of the full spectrum of sexuality and sexual identity. Sexism still lurks beneath the surface at work, though hope-inducing discussions about the 'bro culture' have surfaced in the male-dominated technology industry. Political leaders still struggle to reconcile their religious beliefs with the trauma that a raped woman endures. The quest for gender equity co-exists with the more fundamental quest to end gender-based violence.
Shows like Mad Men remind us that we've come a long way, that we should pause to celebrate what we've accomplished, and that we still have further to go.
The world of Don Draper
Many of the characters in Mad Men searched for love and meaning in all the wrong places. Don Draper, one of the main characters, eventually realized that serial affairs and client victories were hollow and short-lived. Despite his transgressions, he did his best to be a good father to his children and shielded them from his exploits. Which is why it had to take his daughter walking in on him & his latest love interest, to wake him up to his double life and what it was doing to his soul. We see our truth clearly when it threatens to destroy what we love, and the tenuous threads that strung Don's life together began to unravel even more furiously. He turned his usual disappear-from-work act into an mindless sojourn from New York to California, trying to hunt down the ghosts of his past and banish the demons from his present.
Don's final scenes take place in a Californian hippie retreat. He confesses his deepest sins on a phone call to his protege, amidst her pleas for him to 'come home'. But this will turn out to be that most intimate of homecomings for Don, the one where he returns to himself, and his truth. During a group therapy session, he breaks down and comforts an everyman who expressed the same despair that Don had carried inside himself for years. He sits atop a Californian cliff and chants that most sacred and universal of peace-seeking mantras, Om. Then he returns to the ad world, enlightened, refreshed and armed with the idea for one of advertising's most iconic creations.
Some show critics had a cynical take on Don's motivations for this ad. All I can say to that is, if we insist on being cynical about even our fictional characters, what room does that leave in our hearts and souls for the pursuit of lasting real-life happiness?
I remember that ad. I remember singing it as a child, enamored with how it filled me with hope for humanity. Ironically, it didn't make me want to buy a Coke. But it did make me want to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony.
Thank you Matthew Weiner, for creating a world that we could luxuriate in and learn from. And thank you for ending it on a largely optimistic note. These days, we need every ounce of hope we can get.
Maya writes to make sense of the world around us, and inside us. Support her writing here. She's also creator and host of the Executive Book Club Podcast, where she shares practical wisdom for soul-searching leaders.
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How Hollywood Taught Rebel Wilson To Lie About Her Age
In the wake of "Pitch Perfect 2"'s record-breaking weekend, Rebel Wilson has been caught in a very old-fashioned sort of scandal: According to one of Wilson’s high school classmates, speaking anonymously to Australian tabloid Woman’s Day, Wilson has been lying about her age, her name, her upbringing, and her family’s class.
'Mad Max' Tells Us Where We Think We'll Find Salvation
Theatergoers will flock this weekend to an imagined story set in a steampunky dystopian hellscape. Or will they just be looking in a mirror?
Former MTV VJ Jesse Camp Sets The Record Straight About His Drug Use
After beating out 5,000 other contestants in 1998's "Wanna Be A VJ" competition, an 18-year-old Jesse Camp became a high-profile "video jockey" on MTV, which was still riding high during the peak of its cultural relevance. But his eccentric look, dry sense of humor and distinctively high-pitched voice made viewers wonder if he was under the influence as he introduced their favorite videos. During a Friday interview with HuffPost Live's Ricky Camilleri, Camp set the record straight about what substances he was using when and how he ultimately decided to end his "hardcore drug era."
Watch Camp discuss his drug use in the video above, and click here for the full HuffPost Live conversation.
Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live’s morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before.
Mad Men Understood Human Behavior Better Than Any Show on TV
Mad Men closed with its hero, adman Don Draper (Jon Hamm), sitting lotus-style on a hilltop in 1970, experiencing bliss, or something like it. Don had proclaimed ten years earlier that love was a lie invented by guys like him to sell nylons and that we’re all born alone and die alone, and now here he was in California, shorn of his job, his home, his marriage, his apartment, his car, and even his suit, meditating on a hilltop overlooking the ocean.
Disney's Futuristic 'Tomorrowland' Rejects Dystopian Tropes With An Optimistic Call To Action
A few minutes into "Tomorrowland," it becomes clear that Disney's latest live-action adventure isn't going to brood over the apocalypse or depict a purely desolate future. Instead, the movie blends sci-fi and fantasy with realism to depict a world where hope is the only antidote to extinction.
In "Tomorrowland," directed by Brad Bird and co-written by Bird and Damon Lindelof (with Jeff Jensen earning a story credit), we first meet Frank Walker (George Clooney), a once bright-eyed young boy with innovative dreams, as a now-hardened cynic in the present day. We learn what shattered Frank's buoyancy when Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) backtracks to tell her story as a teen determined to save the future of a doomed NASA rocket launch site. After finding a mysterious pin secretly given to her by a young British girl, Athena (Raffey Cassidy), Casey is briefly transported to the futuristic world of Tomorrowland. But the real future turns out not to be as bright and shiny: A clock counts down to a predicted apocalypse, prompting Casey, Athena and Frank to try to save the fate of a crumbling planet Earth.
With the awe of "Alice in Wonderland" and a hint of the futurism of "WALL-E," Bird's "Tomorrowland" feels very much like a Disney-fueled vehicle, but one which heavily cashes in on the power of positive thought -- think of the best-seller The Secret, which Lindelof named-dropped while discussing "Tomorrowland." The movie packs on the cheesy believe-and-you-can-achieve Disney mantra quite heavily, but it's nevertheless refreshing to see a positive spin on the dreary future that fills the big screen today. "Tomorrowland" has already been labeled the anti-"Hunger Games," a departure from the typical nihilism.
"The future we’re getting fed a steady diet of is sort of post-apocalyptic," Lindelof told The Huffington Post. "The idea that something kind of terrible happens and now the dregs of humanity are roving the desert in tricked-out cars or shooting arrows at each other, that’s kind of what the future is." While Lindelof -- who, let's not forget, is the co-creator of "Lost" and HBO's ultra-depressing "The Leftovers" -- admits he loves those types of stories, he wanted to discover what a different kind of future would look like, and whether or not audiences would even want to see it.
While this approach is hardly something we see in movies or on television today, it does reflect a mindset of an earlier generation, before hope was vanquished by pessimism. "When both Damon and I were young, the world was still a rough place," Bird told HuffPost. "There were wars and injustice and pollution, and all the things we have today, but the attitude towards the future was that we were going to solve all these problems and that the future was this bright thing just over the horizon."
It was this question of "What happened?" that fascinated Bird and Lindelof, leading them to use Disney's theme-park land as the inspiration for what the word "Tomorrowland" actually meant to society, then and now. "In a broad sense, it’s about Walt Disney’s view of the future, that it was an exciting thing, that it was a giant opportunity [rather] than this burden we come to think of it as, this coming disaster," Bird said.
But "Tomorrowland" doesn't paint a future that is bright and sunny where all of the world's problems can be solved by making a wish and dreaming big (despite the film's hefty serving of goofy sentimentalism). No fairy godmother flashes into existence and no magical wand flickers to save our world. The film asks more of its audience than simply sitting back and enjoying the movie, most directly in a monologue delivered by the villainous scientist Nix (Hugh Laurie), who blames the predicted demise of mankind on mankind itself. It's a moment where "Tomorrowland" breaks the fourth wall and holds the viewers responsible for the apocalypse that could come if we succumb to resignation.
"The big cosmic shrug, I don't get," Bird said. The director made a point to claim "Tomorrowland" isn't necessarily a political film, but he does hope that audiences walk away with some sense of desire to contribute to a better future. Robertson echoed that sentiment: "I think it’s important for audiences when they see a movie like this to take that into consideration and maybe work it into their own life in trying to put forth actions that contribute to a more optimistic future."
But Bird knows that the Cinderella model -- "a dream is a wish your hearts makes" -- isn't all it takes. "Dreaming is great and crucial, but dreaming is step one," Bird said. "All the rest of the steps are putting the dream into motion and asking and deciding what future you want and making every decision drive towards that future."
Whether or not you walk away from "Tomorrowland" feeling inspired with a sense of hope and activism, or simply dazzled by the visuals, it's at least reassuring to see a major summer movie evading the usual dystopian cliches. "I don’t want to be holed in a house eating from a tin can of beans as zombies scrape at the door," Lindof said. "I want to watch it, I don’t want to live it. So why not make one that has a future that I would want to live in?"
"Tomorrowland" is now playing in theaters.
Hollywood Has Met the Enemy, and He Is Us
A new storyline is emerging in Hollywood blockbusters: The revolution of the malcontents has replaced the revolution of the idealists. (Spoiler warning: This blog ruins the surprise of the movies mentioned.)
Among the earlier films with this theme was the excellent Arlington Road (1999). With a modest budget but good returns at the box office, it starred Jeff Bridges as a professor raising his son after his FBI agent wife was killed. The widower comes to suspect his neighbors, played by Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack, of being antigovernment militants. Nobody believes his theory, because it aligns too neatly to his teaching a college course on the subject of terrorism. He is right, but the intricate scheme, which includes many background characters who attracted no suspicion in bit roles, ends not only tragically but with a twist: He himself becomes an unintentional suicide bomber framed for their crime.
More recently, both Jody Foster and Liam Neeson appeared in films set on airplanes with hijackers on board. In Flightplan (2005) and Non-Stop (2014), their characters suspect various passengers of wrongdoing. Each of them makes a mistake in accusing someone Arab. The transgressors are, respectively, the air marshal and military veterans.
In other movies, the focus is different and the identity of the guilty parties as average Joes is incidental. In Vantage Point (2008), the same assassination is shown from seven perspectives. The suspense comes from the shifting points of view. The culprit is a Secret Service agent. In Source Code (2011), the protagonist is inside a virtual reality program that allows him to relive a specific eight minutes again and again and again. He makes progress solving the mystery of an explosion on a passenger train through the deja vu. The perpetrator is a zealot who wants the world to start over.
These movies had precursors in paranoia. The meme of "trust no one" has expanded its scope. What has changed is that the new villains are ordinary people: They are working class, not elite -- enlisted soldiers, not officers. They are embittered rather than privileged, motivated to overthrow others in power rather than to protect their own power.
The paranoid thrillers of the 1970s often portrayed government officials and corporate managers as wrongdoers, sometimes in a conspiracy. Parallax View (starring Warren Beatty) and The Conversation (Gene Hackman), both of which were released in 1974, the year President Richard Nixon resigned following the Watergate scandal, depicted heroes unable to stop assassinations carried out by "the establishment." During the recovery from our "long national nightmare," the entertainment industry tried to alert us to the possibility that what is superficially respectable is in fact universally corrupt: Three Days of the Condor (Robert Redford), Marathon Man (Dustin Hoffman), Scorpio (Burt Lancaster), and The Last Embrace (Roy Scheider) repeat the warning against naivete -- always to no avail.
A generation later, the Jason Bourne trilogy, with the amnesiac everyman revealed to be a Renaissance man of espionage, plays out its realistic violence within a similar context of crooked self-interest and uncompromising cover-up. It is no longer possible to express shock.
Before 9/11, when The Siege was forthcoming, activists requested that the producers change the enemy from Muslim extremists to domestic terrorists. The 1998 movie boasted an all-star cast: Denzel Washington as the FBI agent in charge, Bruce Willis as an Army General, Annette Bening as a CIA officer, and Tony Shalhoub as an FBI agent of Middle Eastern extraction. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee was unable to persuade director Edward Zwick to model the plot on the Oklahoma City bombing by self-styled patriot Timothy McVeigh. Instead, the commercially successful release concludes with a suicide bomber promising that additional cells will continue his cause as protesters try to stop internment camps and interrogation torture; the bad guy also kills Bening's character, an Arabist whom he had duped.
What was sought for in The Siege has become if not the norm at least a sub-genre. The moral is it is a mistake to have confidence in the common person.
Mainstream audience enthusiasm for evildoers who look like them is mixed though. Perhaps the best example of the disapproval is White House Down. The Channing Tatum vehicle, the title of which describes it accurately, featured a crew of domestic terrorists inspired by money (and apparently classical music). Despite grossing more than $200 million, it was regarded as a flop by even its star. By coincidence, the similar Olympus Has Fallen came out just about simultaneously. The Gerard Butler vehicle, which involves the same scenario, had the more conventional adversary of Asians (specifically North Koreans). It did well enough that a sequel has been announced, with London as the target.
The movies are not all that different, as critics did not hesitate to point out. They have African American leaders (Jamie Foxx as President, Morgan Freeman as Speaker of the House, respectively) and women in charge of law enforcement (Maggie Gyllenhaal and Angela Bassett). White House Down scores slightly better on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, measuring 51% approval, while rival Olympus earned 48% approval. The primary distinguishing factor was the choice of adversary. Betrayers of America, the head of Presidential security and the Speaker of the House, are not as appealing as traitors to Asia, a North Korean sleeper agent who has risen in the ranks of the South Koreans.
Yet, we have entered a new era once again. The cinema is a mirror that troubles rather than reassures.
An Unpublished Interview with Roy Scheider on "Jaws"
Roy Scheider, visited by a Great White on the Orca in "Jaws." [photo by Paul Iorio]
Forty years ago next month, the summer movie blockbuster was born.
And its name, at birth, was "Jaws," released June 20, 1975, in an at-the-time jaw-dropping number of theaters, expanding from 409 to 675 screens for a mega-premiere made possible by the proliferation of malls and multiplexes.
I was 17 years old and an usher at one of those multiplexes -- the University Square Mall theaters in the suburbs of Tampa, Florida -- on the opening day of "Jaws."
Huge event. Had to get to work early to deal with the crowds. Had to get a fellow usher to clean the vomit off some front row seats after an audience member threw up when Robert Shaw's character spit blood near the end.
The theater was packed and there was shrieking and general terror that day. Truly, the successor to "The Birds" and "Psycho" had arrived.
Many years later, as a journalist, I interviewed some of the stars of the film, among them the late Roy Scheider, who so memorably played the role of police chief Martin Brody and uttered one of the most memorable lines in the film: "We're gonna need a bigger boat."
I telephoned Scheider -- who died in 2008 at age 75 -- on May 15, 2000, for a 25th anniversary piece on the film (though no publication had yet formally assigned me to do such an article). I eventually sold it to The San Francisco Chronicle, which published it on May 28, 2000. Here's a link to that story: http://jawsbyiorio.blogspot.com
But I used only 150 words of my audiotaped conversation with Scheider, fresh off a career uptick that included roles in "The Rainmaker," "The Myth of Fingerprints" and "RKO 281." The rest of the Q&A has never been published or posted anywhere.
So, here, for the first time, is a transcript of my exclusive Q&A with Scheider on "Jaws," director Steven Spielberg's adaptation of the best-selling novel by Peter Benchley, co-scripted by Carl Gottlieb (and Benchley) and starring Scheider, Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss.
Paul Iorio: I heard that [other actors] were vying for the part of Chief Brody in "Jaws"?
Roy Scheider: Well, if that was so, I didn't know anything about it. I got a call from Steven Spielberg and he thought it was a good idea to have a city type of guy put into that ocean community. And he had seen "The French Connection" and remembered my performance and thought that would be the kind of guy he wanted to put into Amity.
Iorio: Right, kind of displaced -
Scheider: A fish out of water, if you'll excuse the expression! [laughs]
Iorio: An apt way of putting it! So, you're trying to assimilate in this seaside community.
Scheider: He's a guy who doesn't understand the community, is afraid of water, the least likely hero, and that makes him the everyman...
Iorio: How was it that you and Steven Spielberg were able to create this character?
Scheider: Well, a very fortuitous thing happened on that film: the shark didn't work! And that left us with weeks and weeks and weeks to shoot, polish, to improvise, to discuss, to enrich, to develop, to experiment with all the other [non-shark] scenes that, in a movie like that, would usually get a cursory treatment.
What happened was, [Robert] Shaw, [Richard] Dreyfuss and Scheider turned into a little rep company. And all those scenes, instead of just pushing the plot along, became golden in developing the characters. So when the crisis came, you really cared about those three guys. And as wonderful as [Peter] Benchley's book was, those characters were not that likeable in the novel.
Iorio: They were very different in the book.
Scheider: Yes, yes. With all my problems, my character was a cuckold as well!
Iorio: Because Hooper had an affair -
Scheider: Yes, yes!
Iorio: [The adultery sub-plot] was jettisoned after a time. And then you did the legendary 159 day shoot --
Scheider: You had a very talented, imaginative, young director and three very fine actors who were quite suited for what they were playing.
Iorio: What about the classic sequence that begins with the scar comparing -
Scheider: In the script, that was just Shaw showing his scars from the U.S.S.
Scheider: That sank. And that he was the victim of a shark. But I and Dreyfuss couldn't take anything too seriously, so we had our way with that! [laughs] We don't want this to get too heavy, now, do we? [laughs heartily] Like everything starts off as a joke. And then the director says, "Wait a minute, we can do that, we'll use that!"
I remember one night we were having dinner up at Steven [Spielberg]'s cabin and we'd all have dinner up there and sit around the table and bullshit. And then we talked about the scene when we first fight the shark. We're running around the boat and the Dreyfuss character is trying to get a picture of it.
Someone said [at the dinner table], you tell me to go out there to end of the boat. And I'll say, "What for?" And he'll say, "Just go out there, just go out there...so I can get a picture so I can see how small you are and what size the shark is."
Iorio: [quoting from the movie] "Foreground my ass!"
Scheider: [roaring with laughter] And I go, "Fuck you, I'm not doing that." That's the playful nonsense that went on.
"Foreground my ass!" shouts Brody to Hooper, who wants him to pose with the shark. [photo by Paul Iorio]
Iorio: What about the Indianapolis scene? I hear that [Robert] Shaw was drunk -
Scheider: There was no reference to [the Indianapolis] in the original script. But Spielberg's friend, director John Milius, was shocked to find out that Steven didn't know about the boat that delivered the bomb. And the story of the 300 some odd guys who stayed in the water [and were eaten by sharks]. So he had Milius write up something, then Carl [Gottlieb] wrote up something and then Shaw contributed something. And then everyone else contributed a few lines. My line was that sharks had "the doll-like eyes."
Iorio: That was yours?
Scheider: Yes, that was my contribution. And Robert [Shaw] was an alcoholic and he had to be watched on certain days. And that's a very difficult [monologue] that Shaw gives. And there are sections of that speech where he's absolutely ripped. Shot over a period of two or three days.
Iorio: You have one of the most memorable lines that absolutely brings down the house: "We're gonna need a bigger boat."
Scheider: That was in the script. The first time he sees the shark...But I liked the line so much, it amused me so much, that I said, "I bet I could work this in in a few other places." So I worked it in two more times.
Iorio: [Carl] Gottlieb told me that you improvised that line.
Scheider: I don't know if I did or not. I might have. I'd have to check the original script. It seems so long ago now.
"We're gonna need a bigger boat," Brody says after glimpsing the mega-shark. [photo by Paul Iorio]
Iorio: Yeah, it was 25 years ago. What kinds of things did Steven Spielberg tell you to direct you -
Scheider: For instance, he had a plan of how he wanted these characters to develop. And every aggressive and macho impulse I had for my character, he would grab me and pull me back and say, "No, no, don't talk that way, don't step forward like that, you are always afraid. Just Mr. Humble, all the time."
[Spielberg] would say, "Because here's what we want to do, which is gradually, slowly, carefully, humorously build this guy into being the hero of the movie." And I'm sure he spoke the same way to Dreyfuss and Shaw. For instance, we would build Shaw from this crazy lunatic to a guy with a real reason to hate sharks. And, of course, he would wind up in the mouth of one. So that all the ironies would work.
Iorio: What about the one point during the scar-comparing when you lift up your shirt -
Scheider: That was my improv. I said, here are these two guys showing huge scars and what've I got? There's a little tiny appendix scar.
Iorio: During the shoot, there was a lot of talk that this movie was going to tank.
Scheider: It's not that it was going to tank, but that it was going to get pulled because it was costing too much money. Back in those days, if you went over $10 million dollars -- wow! It was a big deal. That was '74.
Iorio: And this was like $12 mil -
Scheider: And after months of preparation and the shark not working, we got to that figure pretty quickly. Even so, I don't think the picture went over $12 [million]....The threat that was hanging over Steven's head all the time was that he was going to have his picture taken away from him.
Iorio: Was there one point where you felt, this is really taking off...this is really something special?
Scheider: ...I remember one day, they pulled the damn thing [shark] out and put it on the cables and ran it past the boat and it was as long as the boat and I said, "Oh, my god, that looks great." I remember that day. We all probably lit cigars!
Scheider (l) and Carl Gottlieb (far right), who co-wrote the "Jaws" screenplay and also appeared as an aide to the mayor (center, played by Murray Hamilton). [photo by Paul Iorio] .
Holychild Wants 'Brat Pop' To Save The World
It’s easy to stand out when you’re wearing a leather jacket covered in googly eyes and have jewels glued to your scalp. But Holychild frontwoman Liz Nistico was unbothered by the wandering eyes -- googly or otherwise -- at a Lower East Side coffee shop. Louie Diller, the other half of Holychild, sat beside her, in an oversized gold jacket affixed with angel wings. They were deep in conversation about lofty plans to move from Los Angeles to Mexico City, where they want to write and record their second album. Never mind that Holychild’s first full LP, “The Shape of Brat Pop To Come,” has yet to debut.
There’s a whole bunch of other things just about to happen for Nistico and Diller, who met in 2011 while they were students at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and formed Holychild soon after. They’re a few days away from going on tour with Passion Pit, have a couple weeks to go until their first summer festival season -- they'll play Governor’s Ball, Sweetlife and Lollapalooza -- and are anticipating the release of a music video for new track “Money All Around.” The fact that their first single, "Running Behind," was featured in the Apple Watch commercial is already old news.
Yet, Nistico and Diller are looking beyond all that, talking shop about Mexico City and why it’s the next best place for what they call a “nomadic lifestyle.”
“I really want to go someplace where I don’t know anybody and can be made uncomfortable,” Nistico said. “I like being made uncomfortable. I think the best art comes from being uncomfortable.”
Due out June 2, “The Shape of Brat Pop To Come” is Holychild’s shot at introducing the world to Brat Pop, the label they’ve given their music. “Brat Pop is essentially sarcastic pop music," Nistico explained. "It’s really thick with social commentary. The things we’re talking about are gender roles and expectations.”
It’s half-performance art, half-saccharine Top 40 drenched in obvious symbols about feminism, class discrepancies and social constructions. “Dye your hair! Tan your skin! Liposuction’s really in! Adderall! Join the fall! Do it to be beautiful!” Nistico chants on the LP's second track, “Nasty Girls.”
She writes most of the lyrics, while Diller heads up musical production. But together, they’re trying to say something. “The lyrics are like diary entries,” she said. “Just trying to make sense of this world we’re put in and find some universal truth.”
“I feel like our first EP, 'Mindspeak,' was feminist-driven,” Diller said. “But the album has a broader scope in terms of everything Liz just said.”
A few weeks later, Holychild took the stage at Brooklyn’s newly renovated Kings Theater. Backed by Diller’s brother on drums, multi-instrumentalist Sam Stewart (son of The Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart) and two back-up singers, Nistico and Diller launched into an hour-long set,"bratty" as hell. But with a cavernous ceiling and seated ticketing, it's an awkward venue in which to introduce Brat Pop to the masses. Half the seats remained empty and only a small crowd huddled in front of the stage.
That didn’t stop Holychild from trying to turn the venue into an all-out dance party with heavy percussion and electro-pop crescendos. But the reality was more talent show than warehouse rave. Halfway through the set, Nistico kicked off her shoes, commanded the crowd to clap and went full Gaga in her diva artistry. The thirst for pop stardom is real, and she’s not embarrassed to have it.
A GIF from the "Money All Around" music video
The summer of Brat Pop continued when Holychild dropped the surrealist music video for “Money All Around.” “Watch, share, make people uncomfortable, challenge societal norms!” they tweeted.
In it, Nistico and Diller try to tackle nearly every big issue, mentioning everything from disordered eating to plagiarism. The duo dines at an expensive restaurant in Los Angeles as text reminiscent of VH1’s “Pop Up Video” plays throughout. Things like like “Liz felt ‘fat’ the day of the shoot and was self-conscious to wear the one-piece. She weighed 111 pounds" run across the screen. Rather than let fans figure out what exactly Holychild is trying to say, they hit you over the head with broad messages, leaving nothing open to interpretation.
“The meat on the table represents humans as lifeless objects,” reads one pop-up. Another says, “Holychild wanted to use older actors doing sexual acts to provoke conversations on ageism." The video ends like a PSA on capitalism: “85 of the richest people in the world control $110 trillion or have as much wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest. Money is meant to provoke thought on truth.”
“What we’re trying to do is accessible art that’s also not going to spoon feed you,” Nistico explained. Their message, though, is scattered. Think. Just think about anything, they seem to say. “There’s a really heavy lean in our music towards human equality and trying to figure out if that’s possible, human equality between genders and sexual orientations and classes and ultimately racism.”
“It’s almost like the way children’s shows are super fun and colorful," Nistico continued. "They’re like, ‘Today we’re talking about sharing. Isn’t sharing amazing?’ These concepts can be fun. Pop jam 2015! But then it’s also like, ‘Fucking money!’ We’re trying to question the role of money in our culture. I feel like money doesn’t exist. It’s one of these weird ideas of a thing.”
“It really doesn’t,” Diller added.
“It’s around and somehow I’m eating food, so that’s cool,” Nistico said.
Holychild's "Running Behind" featured in the first Apple Watch commercial
But, the ironic notion of Holychild’s hit single being used to sell Apple’s latest high-profile product, which is, in a way, the absolute symbol of money and power, is not lost on the band. “I think that a lot of the reason why people are connecting with our music right now is because it says something,” she said. “Apple using the song is a larger indicator of that. They were down with everything from hypocrisy in images to the feminist messages of Brat Pop. We’re in a very precarious place as a culture where indicators like that show that we can move forward.”
Holychild's first album, "The Shape of Brat Pop To Come," is due out June 2 via Glassnote Records.
Damon Dash Responds To Jay Z's 'Stream Of Consciousness' YouTube, Spotify Diss
Jay Z debuted his latest freestyle last weekend at the Tidal X: B-Sides show. In the freestyle called “Stream of Consciousness,” the business mogul defended his streaming service by flipping the dialogue and questioning consumers’ existing support of YouTube, Apple and Spotify.
The Grammy Award-winning rapper's lyrics went on to garner the attention of many fans , including his former business partner, Damon Dash.
During an interview this week with Dr. Boyce Watkins, Dash –- who has previously expressed his own displeasure over the practices of corporate America taking advantage of artists -- shared his thoughts on Jay’s decision to take aim at his new tech rivals.
“I know Jay, and as my experience with him, whatever’s winning is what he’s going to embrace,” he admitted during the interview. “So if bringing awareness to being robbed as a culture is what’s now in style… that’s what I wanted to happen… Of course, the timing of it may make it look like he’s doing it as a marketing plan, but good. Everything that he does is a marketing plan.”
“So if being independent is a marketing plan then that’s good,” Dash continued. “And bringing awareness to being robbed so he can make money is a marketing plan, as opposed to bringing awareness to selling drugs and shooting, or ‘I’m better than you because I have more money’… Like when the most commercial person is saying that – even though he’s talking about independence at the most commercial level – I still like that’s the mentality.”
Check out more of Damon Dash’s interview in the clip above.
Amy Schumer And Paul Feig Teaming Up For New Film
Life is good when all your favorite people team up to make something cool. Amy Schumer will co-write and star in a mother-daughter comedy, with Paul Feig ("Bridesmaids," "The Heat") producing, The Hollywood Reporter learned on Friday.
According to THR, Schumer and her sister Kim Caramele will rework a script that was already written by Katie Dippold, who has signed on to write the all-female "Ghostbusters" with Feig. Specifics, like a title and a plot, about the mother-daughter comedy are unknown, but THR reports that it's an "action-comedy" that focuses on a "vacation gone wrong."
Schumer collaborated with Judd Apatow on her latest film, "Trainwreck," which is due out later this summer. Yes please, to all of this.
Jennifer Aniston: How Long Is Too Long?
Actors Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux got engaged in August of 2012, and their wedding has been much-anticipated by their many fans. However, reports last week revealed the two have been fighting and are now living separately. Justin has asked Jennifer to be patient, but being no closer to a wedding date after being engaged for over two years "makes her feel like a fool." Couple that with the fact that they both have incredibly busy schedules, and it's no surprise that they are having a hard time scheduling their wedding. The fact that they've been planning to get married for over two years raises the question of how long is too long? Is there a shelf life to an engagement?
That may depend on whether the issues getting in the way are practical ones or emotional ones, and if the couple will be able to give themselves time to work through and get past them. Consider first what is holding you back from setting a date and walking down the aisle. If you both have full-time jobs, for example, or are celebrities like Jennifer and Justin, the demands of the office and of upcoming projects might make it very difficult to plan a wedding. On top of that, the expectation is that once you are married you will share a home base. If you are living in separate parts of the country or world, or have a work assignment far away from where your partner spends most of his or her time, deciding where to call home might not come so easily. Sometimes that requires one person to compromise and make a choice that could end up feeling like a sacrifice he or she isn't ready to make. So whether it is a work commitment, or even an illness in the family that is time-consuming, and thereby keeping you from saying, "I do," you might find yourself in a perpetual state of engagement. You may even adjust to it, and it can become what you are used to. So if it works for both of you, then there may not be any rush. Sometimes the end goal of marriage is no longer front and center, and you might not feel compelled to take the next step. You are each happily doing your thing, and haven't taken the time to figure out how to officially merge lanes. Getting married would be nice, but right now it doesn't feel necessary. If that is the case, the shelf life on an engagement can be evergreen.
If the thing that is holding you back has more to do with your feelings than with logistics, take stock of what is going on so you can better understand it and deal with it. Has one of you been married before, maybe even suffered a betrayal as was the case with Jennifer, and therefore may be feeling afraid to take the plunge for fear something similar might happen again? Or, like Justin, has one of you never been married? If that is the case there is the possibility that the fear of a change in identity and the concern over what there is to lose, such as personal freedom, is what is creating the roadblock.
Layer the two together, the practical piece and the emotional piece, possibly even throwing in a financial piece, and it is no wonder some people take longer to get to the altar. If one of you is pushing to do it sooner than the other, things might get complicated. But if you are both willing to wait it out, and you are able to work through some or all of these issues, then there is really no downside to waiting. The bottom line is, there is no clear expiration date on an engagement unless you plan to call off the relationship itself. As long as you are on the same team, and are aware of what is keeping you from taking the plunge, you could stay engaged for years or even decades.
Only time will tell if Jennifer and Justin fall into the category of both being okay with the long engagement, or if they will start to move apart in terms of what they each wish for. Hopefully, though, they will be able to move forward in their joint life together, proving their commitment to each other is enduring whether they are married or not.
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Please Stand By, I Will Return After A Short Break
I can almost pinpoint the moment I decided to take a leave of absence from my job. The date isn’t stuck in my mind, but the feeling I had in that moment is.
The leave is temporary. There will be a new Talking TV podcast on “Arrow,” “The Flash” and reader questions next week, and I’ll be on Twitter here and there as well, but this will be my last post for about two months.
Every year for the past five years, I’ve had the honor of serving on the jury of the Peabody Awards. It’s intensely rewarding but also a sizable commitment of time and mental energy.
As it happens, about five years ago, my mother was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, a progressive and fatal neurological and physical disorder. On June 1, HBO will air a documentary, “The Lion’s Mouth Opens”; it’s about a woman’s decision to get tested and find out whether she inherited the disease from her father. I haven't been able to watch it yet, but I'm glad it exists. HD isn't that well known and I hope this film helps raise awareness, and I plan to watch the documentary this summer.
Dealing with all the normal ups and downs life has thrown at me -- being a parent, doing a demanding job that I love, being a spouse and dealing with two sick parents (my father died in late 2013) -- has made life … well, let’s say, interesting. And more than a little tiring at times.
After this year’s Peabody duties ended, I was hanging out with my mother one day when a realization struck me pretty forcefully. She was slurring her words a lot more than she had in the past. Words and phrases were colliding and sliding around when she tried to speak, and it was harder to understand her.
When you are always around someone with a progressive disease, it can be difficult to notice big changes, but I noticed that one. That moment set off an alarm bell in my head. A voice inside me said, “Stop. Pay attention. Don’t just let this slide by.”
Not long after that, I inquired about taking time off, and every step of the way, everyone at The Huffington Post said, “Go for it,” and asked if they could help in any way. The last few years have doled out some very tough times for my family, but I cannot overstate how fortunate I feel to have spent those years working for a patient, flexible and supportive employer.
Given how willing my bosses have been to give me a day or a week off here and there, why not just juggle and multitask and keep on muddling through the wide array of emotional, logistical and professional tasks I’ve had on my plate in any given day or week? It’s what I have been doing for a while now, and with the help and support of my husband and siblings, we've been getting by, and in some ways, things are far less chaotic than they were right after my father passed.
I could try to keep going on in the plate-spinning, multitasking mode of the last few years, but, without going into detail, there is just too much I need to do on the family front at the moment, and I wanted to have the time and space do those things well. Mom can’t pay her bills, shop or handle any of her affairs, and taking care of all those things on top of managing my own life can get wearing. More importantly, you can become so task-focused and list-oriented that, in a quest to make sure that everyone and everything is taken care of, you can start forgetting about the human beings involved -- human beings who are complex, autonomous and capable of bringing joy into my life. My mom, whose favorite hobby remains playing craps at the gambling boats, still makes me laugh on the regular, lest you think my life is a constant round of errands and tragedies. It's not, but her condition will continue to get worse, and I want to bask in whatever good times are left.
In addition to getting a bunch of big tasks done for her, I want to spend time with my mother -- just be with her. I won’t be idle, but ultimately, it’s about being in the room with her and taking her to the mall, while I can. I want to talk with her, as long as she can still talk.
Words are the tools I use in my work, but it goes way beyond that. I love words all the time; I usually have 30 browser tabs open to articles I want to read, and my idea of heaven is diving to the stacks of unread books around my house. I’ll never know enough about the inner workings of language and I’ll never be able to fully master its powers -- hence my love for what I do -- but I have learned more about the limitations of words in the last few years. They are blunt instruments. And now, my mother’s words are becoming sparse and squashed. Her sentences are turning into abstract expressionist works.
I didn’t have the conversations I wanted to have with my father at the end, because I didn’t know it was the end. It didn’t take long for chemotherapy to destroy his brain; one day he was swearing at a football game, the next day he had lost the power of reason. I did say some final words to him, after we removed all life support and his body lingered, but it wasn’t the same as really talking to him. My final words may have fallen on deaf ears.
I don’t want that to happen with my mom. Usually we talk about whatever’s happening on “Judge Judy,” and she often has strong opinions on “Dancing with the Stars.” We argue about “Maury,” which I cannot abide. Every time we watch “The Talk,” she reminds me that Ray Romano went on the show to discuss winning a Peabody for “Men of a Certain Age.” (This made her a big Ray Romano fan.)
Her memory is unpredictable but still strong in some areas. The other day, she recalled where one of my eight million cousins went to college, a fact I could not have retrieved on a bet. And yet she is always anxious about whether her bills are paid and sometimes she forgets where we’re going when we’re in the car. New situations and circumstances are scary when new memories don’t harden and solidify and instead slip away like phantoms.
When I was in college, she would call me and want to talk, talk, talk. I would put the phone down, leave the room, get food and return, and she would still be talking. I would roll my eyes, because I was a typical 20 year old dope. Now I know I’ll probably do that to my son after he goes to college; I’ll try not to be that overly talky mom and end up texting too much instead.
My mother has fewer words every day. For a couple of months, I’m going to make sure I hear as many of them as I can.