Olivia Wilde Welcomes Baby Boy Otis Alexander With Jason Sudeikis
Congratulations go out to Olivia Wilde and fiance Jason Sudeikis, who welcomed baby boy Otis Alexander into the world on Wednesday, April 23.
Wilde took to Twitter to share the happy news, posting a photo of her newborn son:
Ladies and gentlemen, Otis Alexander Sudeikis has LEFT the building! (I'm the building) pic.twitter.com/uHfY3adroc— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) April 23, 2014
People magazine first broke the news that Wilde was expecting in October 2013, nine months after she and Sudeikis got engaged. A source close to the couple told the magazine at the time that "they are incredibly happy" and "excited to welcome a new member into their family."
At the Golden Globes in January 2014, Wilde revealed she and Sudeikis were expecting a boy and added her unique and quirky way of remembering her due date: "May the fourth be with you," she told Ryan Seacrest.
The gorgeous 30-year-old has been sharing anecdotes on social media throughout her pregnancy, joking in January that she looks like a "giant, walking pickle" and in February that her growing belly looks as if she had just finished a Mexican meal. On a more serious note, she told Marie Claire that she "can't wait for children" and would be open to having three kids.
Sony Accused Of Fraud In FIFA World Cup SuperSong Contest
Not everybody is happily singing along with the winner of Sony and FIFA's SuperSong competition. Earlier this week a lawsuit was filed against Sony Music Entertainment, its affiliates and Puerto Rican songwriter Elijah King, whose winning “Vida” was recorded by Ricky Martin and recently released for the 2014 World Cup.
In the lawsuit filed April 21 in Miami, Hundred Proof Club, Think Famous Productions, Akela Family and JDK Entertainment contend that King and Sony committed fraud against their companies and the 1,600 other aspiring songwriters who participated in the global competition.
The plaintiffs claim that they entered into a recording and publishing contract to promote King's work and career in early 2013. The alleged agreement granted the companies the right to earn royalties and license fees based on King’s work.
Sony became familiar with King thanks to the plaintiffs’ past relationship with the company, they contend, and allegedly became interested in signing the songwriter for itself. In September 2013, before the start of the SuperSong competition, the lawsuit claims, Sony asked King to write a song to be recorded by Martin.
The plaintiffs contend that at the request of Sony’s agents, King was to enter the song “Vida” in the “Sony Music World Cup FIFA Songwriting Contest,” set to begin in December. After the submission, Sony allegedly pressured the plaintiffs to release King from his contract so that he would be eligible to win the contest. The suit claims that Hundred Proof Club, Think Famous Productions, Akela Family and JDK Entertainment were promised compensation if they would release King.
According to the rules of the SuperSong competition, contestants could not be under a publishing agreement with any third party and the winner was to be signed by Sony/ATV Music Publishing.
The lawsuit contends that Sony “fraudulently” induced King’s release from his publishing contract and then refused to provide the plaintiffs with the promised compensation.
Moreover, the plaintiffs accuse Sony of committing fraud in the SuperSong competition, arguing that the “winning” song was in Sony’s possession long before the contest began and that King was never eligible to win because the rules indicated that entrants could not have had publishing agreements at any time in their careers.
HuffPost Voces spoke to attorney Alicia Roman, who is representing the plaintiffs. The lawsuit asks for damages in excess of $15,000 in addition to equitable relief, and Roman said they’re hoping to reverse King’s contractual release.
“[We’re looking to] annul the release due to the fraud they committed,” Roman said. “When it’s annulled, all of the rights to Elijah’s songs are returned to my client, particularly the song 'Vida' that Ricky Martin sang and will be a part of the [FIFA] album. All of the money that the song generates belongs to my client. Basically that’s what we’re looking for. If we aren’t able to annul [it] for some reason, they have to offer my client the financial compensation they promised.”
Roman said that the plaintiffs were unaware of the competition’s full terms and conditions when they signed the release of King's contract, but have since realized that King was never eligible to enter or win.
“At the time it wasn’t very clear, but looking at all the facts now, they stole our talent without giving us what they promised they would give,” Roman said. “[They] stole the talent with the excuse of the competition despite the fact that he was never eligible for the competition. If we go off of the rules that they themselves placed, he never had a right to win and the competition is a fraud against us, the entire world and the 1,600 contestants that participated.”
King also wrote the hit “Te Gusta” for the Venezuelan band Grupo Treo while under contract with the plaintiffs, according to the lawsuit. HuffPost Voces attempted to reach the songwriter on his cell phone, leaving two voice mail messages, but has yet to receive a response.
Sony's senior manager for press and publicity told HuffPost that the company had no comment on the lawsuit.
Efforts to reach Ricky Martin were made via email, also without success. Martin was the spokesman for the SuperSong competition, which announced King and “Vida” as the winners in February of this year.
On Tuesday, Martin released the official video for the song, which will be part of the FIFA World Cup album.
Ariel Castro Victims Demand Joan Rivers Apology
CLEVELAND (AP) — Attorneys for two women held in a Cleveland home and abused for a decade say Joan Rivers should apologize for comparing living in her daughter's guest room with the captivity they experienced.
Rivers and her daughter were discussing their reality show Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show when she complained about her living arrangements, saying, "Those women in the basement in Cleveland had more space." A Wednesday statement from attorneys for Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus calls Rivers' remark hurtful and shocking. The attorneys say the women have endured painful media attention and the comment is "a new low" that warrants an apology.
Rivers' publicist hasn't responded to messages seeking comment.
Berry, DeJesus and a third woman, Michelle Knight, escaped last year. Their kidnapper, Ariel Castro, hanged himself in prison.
Watch These Grooving 'Grannies' Get Down Before Running Marathons For A Good Cause
Step aside, Mrs. Doubtfire.
These three young women, known as the "Jammin' Grannies," rock the grandma get-up better than anyone we've ever seen before.
And boy do they know how to bust a move!
To get themselves pumped up before they run marathons, they dress up as "grannies" -- with wigs and all -- and rock out in honor of mental health, according to their Facebook page.
On March 29 at Ukrop's Monument Ave 10k marathon in Richmond, Va., these grannies danced to V.I.C's "Wobble," and had everyone wobbling with them.
Take note of the way the grannie in the pink pants moves her hips. It's almost as good as the crip walk that the grannie in the blue pants busts out around the 20 second mark.
David Alan Grier's 'How To Tell Black People Apart' Is Just What The World Needs
David Alan Grier may be responsible for solving Hollywood's most awkward problem -- those moments when black celebrities are confused with other black celebrities. We're sure you remember the Samuel L. Jackson debacle, the Alfre Woodard, Idris Elba disaster, or the Octavia Spencer red carpet mishap.
This infomercial for David Alan Grier’s book “How To Tell Black People Apart” featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live is not only the funniest thing we've seen all day, but it's also just what the world needs. In it, Grier shares the side-splitting acronym you’ll never remember: PATWWFLLM. Which stands for “Pay Attention To What We F**king Look Like Motherf**kers!!!”
The book may not be real, but the problem sure is. Hopefully Grier’s spoof is as educational as it is hilarious.
Debbie Allen Knows There Won't Be Diversity On TV Until We Meld Into One Melting Pot Of A Race
Debbie Allen remembers the segregated water fountains of the 1960s. Growing up in Texas, things were so difficult, she and her family crossed the border into Mexico, so they could live without the binds of American racism. Things have come a long way since then, of course, but Allen knows that the tired old question of diversity won't get an answer, until we all become one big old melting pot of a race (read: look exactly like Rashida Jones). Huff Post TV talked to Allen about the way she's seen things change from her role as Lydia Grant on "Fame" in the early 1980s to work with Shonda Rhimes on "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal," and what we can expect in terms of (very literal) post-racialism.
In your time working in television, from "Fame" to "Grey's Anatomy" and now "Scandal," I'm wondering how you've seen things change, specifically for women of color.
Well, that's a very interesting question. I remember as a child watching television and the images of women on television. I remember seeing Leslie Uggams when I was a little bitty girl ... and Diahann Carroll as Julia, but in between them there was very little ... It took time. By the time Diahann Carroll was playing Claudine, Diana Ross was playing "Lady Sings The Blues," you know, these kinds of films were not always in the making when I was a kid. But I think the differences come from a new ownership of the image black women. When I was doing "A Different World," we had black women writing their characters. You know, when Phylicia [Rashad, her sister] was on "The Cosby Show," there were black women writers on the set of that show.
That's very important. Not just seeing women of color on the screen, but having women of color telling their stories.
I think the difference now is that we have powerful women like Shonda Rhimes, pushing that envelope in a way that it didn't quite get pushed before. [For example], the part that Kerry Washington is playing, Olivia Pope, her portrayal as well as her mother, Maya Pope. You know, those two black women, who are so amazingly different and related ... but I think that diversity is an old, old conversation, that unfortunately an old, old conversation.
What do you think it will take for us to stop talking about diversity?
At the end of the day, I think, as time goes on, we will see the melting pot really become a melting pot, where there's a fusion of all of our races and cultures, and there will be very narrow differences that you can make. You know, when you go to Brazil, you see black people with blonde hair and blue eyes. You know, you see white people with dark hair. You see a mixture, and that's kind of where the world is headed right now. You can look at the statistics in America, look at the political landscape in America, look at the forecast, and it will tell you that the balance of ethnicity is changing. It will no longer in another fifty years be a white dominated society. It will be a mixture, because that's where the world is going. Everybody needs to get on that train and stop it already.
So, you think a melting pot race is the only way we'll be able to finish the conversation?
It is what needs to happen. Everybody needs to get on that train and stop it already. It won't last, it won't last much longer. Because, you know what? Love overcomes all of that. When a man loves a woman, whether she's Asian and he's black, or she's Jewish and he's Native American, that's what's going to rule. Love is going to rule and that's something that we can all look forward to.
In the meantime, I know you've dealt with a lot of the current lack of diversity through dance. Tell me about that.
Dance has always been important to me. Even in the middle of doing "Scandal," doing "Grey's Anatomy," I am back at the dance academy every day, every weekend I am there, trying to help uplift and change lives with the art of dance. I know it did it for me as a kid. It helped me survive the racial divide of the '60s and civil rights. Dance was my angel, it was my foundation.
How did you get into dance in the first place?
Oh, I was dancing already when I was three. I remember wanting to play Shirley Temple and be in all of those films when I was little. But then, when I grew up and trained in ballet, they wouldn't accept me, because it was segregated. Everything was segregated. I remember the white only fountains, I remember all of that. So, my mother pack us up and moved to Mexico, and when I was in Mexico with my sister Phylicia, my God, we could go to restaurants, we could go to movies and I could go to dance class. And it was very telling that the world was a very large place and people were very different, even just across a border. Texas [basically] was Mexico! This was, like, amazing, and then we when we can back and things changed, I finally got into the dance school, so dance really helped me get through that whole difficult period.
And, if I'm not mistaken, you met Shonda Rhimes through the dance academy as well? What is it like working with her now?
Shonda Rhimes has become the quintessential genius of drama on network television. It's gonna be interesting to see where she goes ... I actually first met her at my dance studio, and it took a little after that, maybe a year or so later, I got an offer to direct "Grey's Anatomy," and she really liked my work, and the actors really responded well to me ... then she made me an actor on the show [in the role of] Dr. Catherine Avery. Then she called me in to direct "Scandal," and Shonda tries to keep very creative people around her, because she is so creative. She has the right logo. You know her logo is a roller coaster? Shonda is in Shonda-land. Well, honey it's the right one, because when you get on that ride, it goes up, it goes down, it goes around, and you just don't want to get off. That's how it is working with her, on any of her shows she's created.
Debbie Allen is currently working with the T2 Dance Crew, a national education and wellness program, which she launched in partnership with Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The program "aims to help millions of people with Type 2 diabetes tap into the natural joy of dance and add movement to their comprehensive diabetes management approach." You can check out the initiative via the Diabetic Connect website.
Nikki Reed Talks 'In Your Eyes,' 'Twilight' And More With Co-Star Michael Stahl-David
If you haven't seen Joss Whedon's new film "In Your Eyes," well, what are you waiting for? It's currently available for digital download.
The film, written and produced by Whedon and directed by Brin Hill, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday, April 20, and tells the story of Rebecca (Zoe Kazan) and Dylan (Michael Stahl-David) who share an inexplicable connection, which sprouts into a metaphysical romance. But things are extremely complicated since Rebecca is a married woman and Dylan is sort of crushing on local good-time gal, Donna (Nikki Reed).
Stahl-David and Reed sat down with HuffPost Entertainment and discussed the movie's unique premise over some smoothies and green tea at the Rare Bar & Grill in New York.
Congrats on the film. How do you feel about this digital download thing? It's like Joss Whedon pulled a Beyonce on us!
Stahl-David: Yeah, I know.
Reed: That's a pretty good parallel!
Stahl-David: Joss Whedon has an enormous fan base, so I was excited for him to try something new. It's an experiment, we don't know if it's going to work, so it's scary. But if anyone could make it work, it's him, and I'm excited to be a part of something that's trying to be different.
Reed: Yeah, I agree. I think that nowadays it's all about trying a new technique and I think that people want instant gratification. And if there's any opportunity for this to be successful, I think that we're trying to capitalize on it now and there's no better person to do something unconventional than Joss Whedon.
How did you guys get involved with the film?
Reed: I begged [laughs]. I read the script years before anything was happening and then Zoe [Kazan] was cast as the lead and I'm such a fan. And I remember calling my agent going, "I love the script so much, is there anything else I can do." And they were like, "Well, there's Donna." And I was like, "What do you mean well there's Donna?! Yeah, there's Donna!"
Stahl-David: With me, I got an audition and I was like, "I don't know if I can do this." But I thought, "Let me just bust my ass." And that's what I did. I went in and it felt good. It felt good working with Brin [Hill, the director] and I read the script and I became invested in them and the way they played together and came alive together.
Since you're never really physically with Zoe onscreen, how did you guys shoot the movie? Was she there on set reading to you?
Stahl-David: Yeah. We were in the same room, but she would be like under the table, literally, or like hiding in some corner or in a closet.
Reed: I was also there, by the way, under every table just in case they couldn't do it without me.
Stahl-David: For moral support.
Switching to Donna, she's a steak-eating, beer-drinking kind of girl. Is that the kind of person you are Nikki, or no, not at all?
Reed: Um, I am pretty much that girl, minus the steaks, but I'll take anything else ... like a pizza. I don't eat meat, but if I am going to drink, I drink beer.
You were kind of like the other woman in this movie, because Dylan was always thinking about Rebecca, even though he had a crush on you.
Stahl-David: Right, I mean Donna is, in Dylan's conscious mind, the love interest. That's who he's always had a crush on. And she's out of his league, I think, a little bit. Dylan is struggling with his game. His game was way off.
Reed: Yeah, you're game was way off! But I made a conscious decision going in that it wasn't about games or whatever, but that Donna actually just really liked him. So I kind of just went with it. It was really just about two people that would never be together.
How long was the shoot?
Reed: It was five weeks, I think, total. I only worked a week!
Wow, that's quick!
Reed: It's independent filmmaking! I don't know what it feels like to shoot for longer than five weeks now.
Except I'm sure for the "Twilight" films, which probably took months.
Reed: Right, months and months and months at a time. And then promoting for months and months and months at a time.
How's that been now that the craziness is over?
Reed: I still feel like it's a huge part of my life. I think it absolutely is the defining moment in my career, which I appreciate and love and embrace. I'm excited for what the future has in store for me, but I also would do that a million times again. I loved all of it.
And is the cast still close? Do you guys still talk?
Reed: Yeah, look at this! This is my last text that just came in as we're sitting here. [Her phone reads "Message From Peter Facinelli"]
Oh my God, too funny!
Reed: Yeah, we all have things that we do together. Peter and I do hot yoga together and I'm the godmother of Jackson's [Rathbone] baby. So, we all see each other when we can, but I think it's really nice to know that you can spend six years with a group of people and really form genuine connections. You go off and make movies with people and sometimes you connect, sometimes you don't. But most times it all falls apart no matter what. If you stay in touch, you have to put a lot of effort in.
And you have three films at the Tribeca Film Festival this year! How was it working with the "SNL" cast on “Intramural”?
Reed: I read that script and I was so terrified of being a part of anything that involves improv comedy that I was like, "I have to do this." If it doesn't scare me, there's no point in doing it and I felt like I was really challenged. Look, for those guys, [comedy] is like a muscle they exercise. Every take it was like, on, on, on. It was a constant show, and I was totally in over my head. But I love them, I learned from them, I grew from them and thank God my character wasn't supposed to be that funny. I'm the only straight man in the whole thing. It was quite an experience.
How do you compare the three films –- “In Your Eyes,” “Intramural” and “Murder of a Cat”?
Reed: They're incomparable. Although, I will say there's one thing that ties them all together -- there's a comedic element in each of these. "Intramural" is obviously a broad comedy, but in the rest there are some funny bits. I mean, “Murder of a Cat" is me and Fran Kranz walking the streets of wherever we were trying to find this murderer of our mutually-owned cat!
And Michael, I hear you have a TV series in the works?
Stahl-David: We're waiting to find out, but yeah.
Reed: What show, what?
Stahl-David: I did a half-hour comedy for NBC called "Two to Go."
Reed: Oh my God, I read "Two to Go"!
Stahl-David: Yeah, I'm the guy!
Reed: You're the guy! I could've been the girl! I should have auditioned for it. But you know why? When you test for something, they hold you and you don't get to test for another. So, who's the girl?
Stahl-David: Christine Woods, who was on "Hello Ladies." It was a lot of fun.
What else do you have coming up?
Stahl-David: I have a movie called "Take Care" directed by Liz Tuccillo, who was a writer for "Sex and the City." That was at South By Southwest this year. This year was kind of crazy. I was on off-Broadway last fall and then in L.A., then Texas. It's been crazy.
What about you Nikki, would you ever do Broadway or off-Broadway?
Reed: Would I? Oh my God, yes!
Your EP, "The Best Part," is great.
Reed: Thanks! Yeah, I've been doing a lot of singing and writing music and not because I even think that I'm qualified, I just decided a year and a half ago that I was going to start doing things that made me feel good. And since I was little, I’ve loved to sing. Does it always sound good when it comes out? No. And do I understand song structure and do I know how to write the perfect song? No. But it feels so good to sit and strum the three chords I know how to play on the guitar and try something.
Stahl-David: Would you do a musical, that would be fun?
Reed: I would love it. But I need someone to give me the opportunity. Even if it's Brin giving me Donna, which is someone I've never played before, or Andrew Disney being like, "Sure, you can be in "Intramural,"" or my most rewarding story I have ever had, which is being cast in "Murder of a Cat" because the director [Gillian Greene] was literally like, "I don't care if you guys want another actress who's worth more financially, I want Nikki." Whatever it is, anytime someone gives me an opportunity, no matter how big or small the film, I'm always shocked. So if someone asked, I would audition for a musical, I would be in a musical, I would do anything, yeah.
And would you ever do your own solo album?
Reed: I don't know the answer to that right now. I'm not sure.
Have you ever heard her sing?
Stahl-David: No, I haven't.
Reed: We [Nikki and her estranged husband Paul McDonald] have another record coming out and I just got all the masters, I'll play them for you in the car.
Stahl-David: That would be great.
All right guys, to wrap this up, due to this metaphysical connection that's the basis of "In Your Eyes," if you could have a connection with anyone, who would it be?
Stahl-David: I don't know, probably like the Dalai Lama.
Reed: I just met the Dalai Lama.
Stahl-David: Oh, did you go to the LA forum? How was that?
Reed: It was insane. It was crazy. I'll text you a photo. Anyway, that feels like a question I should put more thought into. If I had to say something off the top of my head, I would say something goofy like, “If only Elvis could call me every five minutes in my brain!” But I've been having this really weird connection. I don't understand much about death. I'm young and I haven't experienced a lot of it but the year 25, I have been doing a lot of writing about my self-exploration, about understanding the beginning and ending of life. And my grandfather just died, and I know grandfathers die, but it was my first moment of realizing that we're all going to die and that there's no stopping that.
So, let me give you a really quick story: My grandfather was the person who encouraged me to write, and I mostly write non-fiction, but he really wanted me to get into creative writing. So one of the things he shared with me was this poem he wrote called "An Ode To The Hummingbird." And I read it at his funeral and, like, three or four months later -- this just happened, this is recent -- I have a big bay window in my bedroom and every morning this hummingbird is staring at me. So I see this every day and I'm starting to get freaked out, and I realize there's a hummingbird nest right outside my window and this was the mama hummingbird [staring at me]. So I've spent every single day watching these eggs hatch and I, like, raised these babies, I watched them go through a storm, and I really felt for the first time that I was having this weird connection to a person who didn't exist anymore. So I suppose that would be an answer to your question.
"In Your Eyes" is available to "rent" online at InYourEyes.com.
Aaron Sorkin Has No Reason to Apologize
In the last two days I have read many articles on Aaron Sorkin's apology for The Newsroom and it's clear that the show has a number of critics. I kind of feel like I'm the only person who really appreciates the show. Am I missing something?
One of the arguments is that Sorkin fails to depict the atmosphere of a proper newsroom. But if you think about it, no TV series depicts the reality of what life is really like in a certain career.
Take for example Suits, Boston Legal or Ally McBeal. Personally, I find it hard to believe that a lawyer, who's clearly losing a case, will have an epiphany moment or find a last minute piece of evidence that will change everything. And what about the grand closing argument at the end that solidifies a win? If that's reality then I change my mind, I want to be a lawyer.
When I read Sorkin's apology and his justification for writing the series the way he did I was baffled. He said:
I set the show in the recent past because I didn't want to make up fake news. It was going to be weird if the world that these people were living in did not in any way resemble the world that you were living in, so I didn't want to make up fake news, and also, I wanted the option of having a terrific dynamic that you can get when the audience knows more than the characters do... So, I wasn't trying to and I'm not capable of teaching a professional journalist a lesson. That wasn't my intent, and it's never my intent to teach you a lesson or to try to persuade you of anything.
I didn't think he needed to apologize. He wrote a TV series from his creative perspective and either you love it or you don't. It's that simple. At the end of the day the characters in all our favorite shows are fictional.
The first time I watched The Newsroom I was hooked. In the first few minutes the show had me sitting on the edge of the couch watching the drama unfold as Will McAvoy, played by Jeff Daniels, launched in to a speech on why America is not the greatest country.
We sure used to be. We stood up for what was right! We fought for moral reasons, we passed and struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were, and we never beat our chest. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and cultivated the world's greatest artists and the world's greatest economy. We reached for the stars, and we acted like men. We aspired to intelligence; we didn't belittle it; it didn't make us feel inferior. We didn't identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election, and we didn't scare so easy. And we were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered. The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one -- America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.
When the series began I had just started my first full-time job as a journalist and I was so excited to watch a show that slightly depicted my life. At work I often felt like I was on the series: writing stories, meeting deadlines, breaking news, going to meetings, phones ringing, having discussions about the world and, my favorite of all, the office drama.
Sure, the show is not perfect and there are issues, but doesn't every series have its flaws? On the plus side I feel The Newsroom has created an opportunity for people to discuss and form an opinion on some of the events of the past.
Nowadays, in this digital era, there is not much time to stop and reflect. The news of today is quickly splashed on the front pages of newspapers and appears on various social media platforms. It's news today, gone tomorrow.
As much as I love watching The Newsroom I have a few critiques of my own. I don't like the way the female characters are often portrayed as weak, at times ditsy and obsessed with the notion of love. I would like to see a strong female character who is a hard-hitting journalist and is strong competition for Will.
My other issue is that the characters of color haven't progressed much. I feel they too should have a story filled with drama, love and a struggle as they pursuit their dreams. Sorkin, if you happen to be reading this, it's just a little suggestion for season three.
Meg Ryan Just Landed A Role In The 'HIMYM' Spinoff
Move over Bob Saget!
Meg Ryan has been cast as the narrator for the "How I Met Your Mother" spinoff, "How I Met Your Dad." CBS announced plans last year for a spinoff that would follow a woman, Sally, on the journey of how she found her husband in New York City after her plans were wrecked by divorce. After finding its leading lady in Greta Gerwig -- who made an appearance in the final episode of "HIMYM" -- the show has finally supplied Sally's voice-over talent.
In the same way Saget was the voice for future Ted in "HIMYM", Ryan will now be filling the role of storyteller for the spinoff show. Like Saget, her character will never be seen. The role seems pretty perfect for Ryan, who earned the title of "America's Sweetheart" back in the '90s for her rom-com fare including "When Harry Met Sally," "Sleepless in Seattle" and our all-time favorite "You've Got Mail." While the actress did have recurring role on Showtime’s "Web Therapy," the "HIMYD" gig marks her first role as a regular on a major TV series.
Jon Favreau's 'Chef' Is A Return To Indie Filmmaking
NEW YORK (AP) — On "Chef," Jon Favreau got to cook with his own ingredients and set his own menu.
The parallels for Favreau and the film are unmistakable. In the movie, which he wrote and directed, he plays a creativity-stifled restaurant chef who's fired for going off-menu, but is reborn when he opens his own food truck. After years directing big summer blockbusters ("Iron Man," ''Iron Man 2," ''Cowboys & Aliens"), "Chef" is a return to Favreau's indie roots. (He wrote and starred in 1996's "Swingers.")
"Chef" is Favreau's own personal food truck.
"After doing a lot of big movies with a lot of concerns revolving around the studios and the politics of marketing and release schedules, it was nice to do something very small where I didn't have to answer to anybody but myself," says Favreau.
The 47-year-old filmmaker says it was a relief not having to justify a story point, a joke or a piece of casting to studio executives. He says "Chef," which opens May 9, is "like singing right from your heart."
"When you're hung up on marketing, tracking, budgets and box office, it can steal the satisfaction from doing for a living what you've always dreamed of doing," says Favreau.
Favreau, though, has returned to tentpole making. He's currently on pre-production for Disney's live-action remake of "The Jungle Book."
But making "Chef" has clearly altered Favreau, rejuvenating him as a filmmaker and inspiring him as an aspiring cook. In the film, his truck makes stops at foodie destinations like Franklin's Barbeque in Austin, Texas.
"It's a quest," he says. "When I get off the phone with you and go home, I will once again be trying to recreate Franklin's smoked brisket."
Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jake_coyle
Courteney Cox Makes Directorial Debut At Tribeca Festival With 'Just Before I Go'
NEW YORK (AP) — Courteney Cox's directorial debut is uniquely personal. It features a cameo from her daughter, Coco, songs by her boyfriend, Snow Patrol's Johnny McDaid, and a scene with her ex-husband, David Arquette.
The film opens with 9-year-old Coco singing a song of McDaid's. Later, she briefly appears to spray her father, Arquette, with a hose. As a proud mother, it's Cox's favorite scene. "I couldn't have cut that out," said Cox, who acknowledges their family dynamics are unusually friendly. "If I needed four seconds, that would be the last four seconds to go."
Cox will premiere the film, "Just Before I Go," on Thursday at the Tribeca Film Festival. It's the first stab at feature-film directing for the 49-year-old TV star, who readied herself for the opportunity by directing a short, a Lifetime movie and 10 episodes of her TBS sitcom "Cougar Town."
"Just Before I Go" stars Seann William Scott as a depressive who plans to commit suicide but first returns to his hometown to get "my house in order." He visits an old crush, a school bully from his youth and others to unload his pain in a strange kind of bucket-list mission.
It may sound like a serious drama, but "Just Before I Go" (written by David Flebotte) has an offbeat humor that clashes comically with its heavy outline. Certainly, few movies have an emotional spectrum that incorporates both suicide and a "sleep masturbator" (a twist on sleep walking).
"It's hard to get those subject matters to gel and for people to feel it's OK to laugh here and it's OK to cry there," Cox said in a recent interview. "If I can laugh really hard and then cry, it's perfect for me."
"The more offensive the humor, the funnier it is to me," she added. "For whatever reason, if someone's not getting hurt, it's probably not funny to me."
Of course, Cox's comic timing has long been on display in "Friends," ''Family Ties," ''Dirt" (on which she met Flebotte) and "Cougar Town," which recently wrapped its fifth and possibly final season. (Its future is uncertain.)
But Cox didn't want to act in "Just Before I Go," but rather concentrated on directing — a role she says feels natural.
"I'm obsessed with design and I really feel like I suffer from acute awareness," said Cox. "I'm always so aware of my surroundings. I'm so interested in the way people live. Whenever I walk in someplace, I can almost tell you what the rooms looked like before I could tell you a person's name."
Shot in a speedy 23 days in between seasons of "Cougar Town," ''Just Before I Go" was made for less than $2 million, which Cox initially financed herself. She's hoping to land distribution at Tribeca.
"Not having the pressure of the studio, just doing it for myself," said Cox, "it was the perfect way in for me."
Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jake_coyle
The New 'Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants' Movie Stands To Defy YA Stereotypes
Alloy Entertainment announced that "Sisterhood Everlasting," the fifth and final book in Ann Brashares' "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" book series, will be made into a movie. The news doesn't come as a surprise, since "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" and "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2" both won over audiences in 2005 and 2008, respectively. But longtime fans of the series will know that "Sisterhood Everlasting" shouldn't be lumped in with the other YA novels-turned-films heading to the box office.
Released in 2011, the book catches up with the four best friends 10 years after the fourth novel and almost immediately takes a tragic turn. Tibby, Bridget, Lena and Carmen aren't "Cool Girls," female antiheroes or young women saving the world from dystopian disaster. Brashares and the film adaptations flesh out the characters, pass the Bechdel test and tackle real talk.
Dozens of YA adaptions have flopped at the box office -- "Divergent," "The Hunger Games" and "Twilight" are the exceptions, not the rules -- even when their literary counterparts were bestsellers with teens and adults. (Think "The Lovely Bones.") But we are forever in the pro-YA camp. Chloe Moretz in "If I Stay"? Pass the tissues, please. "The Giver" featuring a brunette Taylor Swift? Let's start the countdown. That's why we're psyched the powers that be at Alloy wrangled the original director, Ken Kwapis, to begin development on "Sisterhood Everlasting" the movie. Here are five reasons why it deserves a second glance, despite that damn "YA curse."
Spoiler Alert: even for other series -- cough, "Divergent" -- but you should know that by now.
1. One of the main characters dies.
"Sisterhood Everlasting" finds Tibby living in Australia with Brian and she has little to no contact with the other girls. Instead, she's pregnant with Bailey and battling Huntington's disease. She calls on Bridget, Lena and Carmen for one last trip to Greece, but they don't know she's sick. While swimming on the shores of Greece, Tibby dies. Right off the bat, Brashares means business. Sure, she's killed off characters before in the series -- remember sweet Bailey? -- but Tibby's death signifies that the girls have grown into adults. Life has never been easy for these four friends, but the loss of the series' reliable narrator forces readers, and now viewers, to lean on the other women as they move forward without their storyteller.
2. No one is a sacrificial lamb.
Other YA heroines die all the time. Critics of "Allegiant," the third installment in Veronica Roth's mega-successful "Divergent" series, ask why the main character, Tris, has to die. She doesn't, really, fans say. She does so almost selfishly. "Everlasting" uses Tibby's death as a starting point, not as a statement against authoritative forces or to protect a man. It's a plot point used to bring Carmen, Lena and Bridget closer together and to bridge a gap forged by time.
3. It's not about the traveling pants anymore.
Screw those magical jeans. What started as a plot device in a thrift store became a symbol of female friendship and finding strength in those around you. The first film and book used the pants as a way to show the girls as the discovered confidence and self-worth. But the tone is grave this time around, and it works.
4. The sisterhood grew up with its readers.
Rather than pick up where she left off in "Forever In Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood," Brashares made the smart decision to jump ahead, enabling her characters to move forward in life (and love). The first novel was released in 2003, when the girls were sophomores in high school. By the time the fifth book came out eight years later, the young readers who fell in love with Tibby and co. were ready to move on with the characters. The series follows the rule of "Harry Potter," in that the themes and characters complicate as time passes. The Harry Potter we meet in "The Sorcerer's Stone" is clearly different than one who defeats Voldemort six books (and seven movies) later. That plays to readers'-- and J.K. Rowling's -- advantage.
5. Is "Sisterhood Everlasting" even YA?
These characters are nearly 30 when the book begins. Even though YA isn't specifically defined by age, its themes and characters resonate with a younger social demographic. Can you even classify the last book in the series as YA? Nah, not really. Does the label really matter? We hope not.
This 'Game Of Thrones' Workout Will Have You Ruling The Seven Kingdoms
If you've been using "Game of Thrones" as an excuse to skip the gym lately, we have some great news for you: Now you can watch TV and work out!
Okay, so maybe those of you who would rather play a "Game of Thrones" drinking game aren't jumping for joy. In any case, totalbeauty.com has a healthier option for you below:
"Game of Thrones" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.
Daniel Anker Dead: Oscar-Nominated Filmmaker Dies At Age 50
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Oscar-nominated filmmaker who directed and produced a documentary detailing a 1925 sled dog run in Alaska to deliver life-saving serum has died.
Daniel Anker died Monday at age 50. His wife, Donna Santman, says her husband died of pneumonia, a complication of his lymphoma. Anker's film, "Icebound," details the five-day run to Nome following a deadly diphtheria breakout. The film opened the Anchorage International Film Festival in December.
Santman says her husband most recently was working on a documentary about late director Sidney Lumet.
Anker was nominated for an Academy Award in 2001 for another documentary, "Scottsboro: An American Tragedy."
The New York filmmaker is survived by his wife of 12 years and their two children.
A funeral is scheduled for Thursday at the Plaza Jewish Community Chapel in Manhattan.
Why Is Prison Rape Hollywood's Solution To Violent Crime? (VIDEO)
In the golden age of cinema, the good guy would warn the bad guys, "You're going to swing for that."
Today, Hollywood cops don't taunt evildoers with execution. More often, the man with the badge promises criminals a lifetime of hell on earth -- as a rape victim.
A supercut of prison rape threats in crime dramas, low-budget comedies and even Oscar-contending films shows just how absurd -- and how common -- Hollywood's go-to taunt has become, even though rape ranks just below child molestation on the not-funny list.
"Do you know what happens to pretty boys like you when they go up to the farm on statutory charges," Woody Harrelson says in HBO's "True Detective," a line echoed almost word-for-word by Christopher Meloni and Denzel Washington in other Hollywood cop moments, as if it were as routine as reading suspects their Miranda rights.
To be sure, prison rape is a serious problem. The Department of Justice interviewed more than 92,000 adult inmates in a 2013 National Inmate Survey, and the survey found that 4 percent of the respondents said they'd suffered "one or more incidents of sexual victimization by another inmate or facility staff," just in the previous year.
That figure would probably be significantly higher if not for the shame and fear of retaliation that prisoners typically experience, according to Jesse Lerner-Kinglake of Just Detention International, a health an human rights organization.
"One other important thing to keep in mind about the Bureau of Justice Statistics figure is that it’s measuring the number of people who are sexually abused, not the number assaults," Lerner-Kinglake says. "This matters because so many people are sexually abused over and over again, even within one year."
"It's our view that myths surrounding prisoner rape -- myths that TV and movies have helped propagate -- are a huge obstacle to ending this crisis."
Of course, it should also be noted that in "Hang 'Em High"-type Westerns, lawmen might have been accurately pointing out the penalty for committing murder when they taunted outlaws with the gallows. Rape has never been condoned as a punishment.
"Prisoner rape does not prevent crime," Lerner-Kinglake says. "No link has ever been found between sexual abuse in detention and lower crime rates. In fact, stopping rape inside of prison benefits the community at large. It’s easy for people to forget that the vast majority of prisoners are released, bringing their trauma – and diseases – back to their communities. This is an issue that should matter to us all."
[Special thanks to Filmdrunk and its commenters for helping with crowdsourcing.]
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