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Covering Hollywood
Updated: 1 week 2 days ago

Jennifer Lawrence, Jimmy Fallon Invite Viewers to ‘Come Dance With Us’ in Bizarre Fake Infomercial (Video)

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 11:02

As she prepares to bid farewell to the role of Katniss Everdeen with Friday’s release of “Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,” Jennifer Lawrence is doing the rounds of late-night shows to promote the final film in the hit franchise.

As always, first and foremost is a visit to “The Tonight Show,” where Jimmy Fallon had a suitably silly skit for the Oscar-winning actress, this time involving a fictional late-night infomercial that he claims stars a pair of dancers that looks like them.

The resulting dance-off featured enough neon to blind the average person as Fallon and his cohort invited viewers to “come dance with us.”

“Don’t we seem like the kind of people you’d want to dance with?” Lawrence asked, as she showed off clumsy moves to “Shut the Door,” and “Row the Boat.”

Dressed in rainbow bright colors and with dark wigs draping over their faces, Fallon and Lawrence jive awkwardly to ’80s electronic music as they marvel over why no one will go dance with them. “Is it because our mouths are too small?” Fallon questioned.

“Maybe they are not small enough,” Lawrence replied.

“The Tonight Show” airs at 11:35 p.m. on NBC.

Latest ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ TV Spot Focuses on Finn Following in Luke’s Footsteps (Video)

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 10:26

With exactly a month to go before “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” hits theaters, the movie’s fifth TV spot premiered Wednesday night to amp up the excitement.

The latest teaser focused on Finn (John Boyega) and his flight from the First Order, which eerily reminded many fans of Luke Skywalker’s struggle to find himself.

“You don’t know a thing about me … what I’ve seen, we all need to run,” he says ominously.

He is then seen going head-to-head with a stormtrooper, wielding his lightsaber with ease in a fiery showdown.

Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and sidekick Chewbacca also make a brief appearance, with Han asking Finn: “Are you sure you’re up for this?” before they head into an enemy onslaught.

Not so reassuringly, our new hero replies: “Hell no,” much to new droid BB-8’s dismay as he spins through the air.

Finn also follows in Luke’s footsteps by manning the Millennium Falcon quadlaser turrets, as Skywalker had decades before with the then-younger vehicle.

Directed by J.J. Abrams, Episode VII of George Lucas‘ iconic sci-fi franchise also stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Mark HamillOscar IsaacLupita Nyong’oAndy Serkis and Domhnall Gleeson. The story is set approximately 30 years after “Return of the Jedi.”

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will hit theaters around the world on Dec. 18.

Tourist Stabbed Near Oscars Venue at Hollywood and Highland

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 09:31

A tourist was stabbed Wednesday at Los Angeles’ famous Hollywood and Highland shopping and entertainment center, close to the Oscars venue.

The male victim was standing on the sidewalk at around 1:10 p.m. PT when “suddenly, for no reason,” a man approached and began stabbing him with a large kitchen knife, LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The suspect was arrested by two off-duty New York Police Department officers who witnessed the attack, and then pulled out their weapons to subdue the assailant. He was taken into custody for booking.

The victim was taken to the hospital in stable condition, Smith said. While his identity also has not been released, police confirmed he was a tourist visiting L.A.

As for the NYPD heroes, they were visiting California “on official business,” according to the LAPD.

“We are extremely happy and grateful that these detectives were not only there but took heroic action to catch this perpetrator and take him into custody,” Smith said. “They likely saved the life of the man who was stabbed.”

The Hollywood & Highland structure houses the Dolby Theatre, where the Academy Awards are held.

‘Brand New Testament’ Cast Talk God, Catherine Deneuve and Gorilla Suits

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 09:00

Pili Groyne, 12, who played Marion Cotillard‘s daughter in the Oscar-nominated “Two Days, One Night” and now costars with Catherine Deneuve in Belgium’s Oscar submission “The Brand New Testament,” by Jaco Van Dormael, was puzzled when she met the iconic French actress.

“The first day on the set, I thought, ‘That doesn’t look like Catherine Deneuve.’ Then I realized it was her stunt double,” she told moderator and TheWrap’s awards editor Steve Pond at Los Angeles’ iPic Theater on Tuesday. But Groyne had no such reservations about the script, a fanciful comic fable that has been compared to “Amelie.”

“I was immediately seduced by the universe he created,” she said.

In the film — Dormael’s third foreign-Oscar submission — Groyne plays the daughter of God (Benoit Poelvoorde), who’s a disgruntled Brussels drunk in a bathrobe sitting at a computer causing humans misery. She decides to thwart her dad by making people happy, including Deneuve’s character, a sad wife who cheats on her husband with a gorilla. “It was great fun with the gorilla,” Marco Lorenzini, who plays a hobo recruited by God’s daughter in her quest to help humans, said. “Inside the gorilla was a Spanish guy. Jaco doesn’t speak Spanish, Catherine speaks French and Spanish, so she translated Jaco’s orders to the gorilla.”

For Groyne, the most enjoyable scene was the chase in which she and Lorenzini race to elude God, who’s furious that his daughter challenges his power.

“Walking on the water was fun to shoot, and the part where God fell into the ocean,” she said. That scene was harder for Lorenzini, who said his character is “a lost soul, not only a tramp, he’s something like an angel on earth, and this little girl gave him a new purpose in life.” But keeping up with Groyne was tough. “I had [hobo] shoes that were difficult to walk in — and she was so fast!” Asked how the excellent illusion of water-walking was done, Groyne smiled and said: “I don’t think I should say.”

What was hard for Groyne was getting used to Poelvoorde‘s gruff performance. “When he was so violent fighting with me, I was scared, because he was so convincing,” said Groyne, who soon realized he was only acting.

Neither actor believes in God, but they stress that in intolerant times, no one should take “The Brand New Testament” as an anti-God movie. “If you’re a fundamentalist, you can see it like that, but it’s not a film against religion, or religions,” Lorenzini said, explaining that it is also a change of pace for the director. “It’s the first time he had a cowriter [Thomas Gunzig], and they wrote it in nine months, a very short time. The films he writes alone, it takes three or four years.”

Asked how she hopes to follow up her success in “The Brand New Testament,” which premiered at Cannes, won best production design and is nominated for best European comedy at the European Film Awards, Groyne said, “I would love to do a movie with Tim Burton.”

Jenny McCarthy Blasts Charlie Sheen Over Belated HIV Revelation: ‘How Could You Not Be Upfront?’

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 07:33

Jenny McCarthy had repeated guest stints as Charlie Sheen‘s love interest on CBS’ “Two and a Half Men,” and rather than offering him support after his HIV revelation, she has blasted the actor for not disclosing his diagnosis sooner.

“Now being on ‘Two and a Half Men’ myself, I feel like in playing a love interest, you would think there would be some type of, I don’t want to say criminal issue, but I don’t even know how to feel about that,” she said on her SiriusXM radio show Wednesday.

The “Dirty, Sexy, Funny” host explained to listeners that in the TV world, stars not only have to “sign a piece of paper that says do you have cold sores,” but they also have to show their medication.

“If I have to be upfront about a herpe how could you not be upfront about HIV?” she marveled about the 50-year-old sitcom star. “I look back and I’m like, ‘OK, that would have been some valuable information.’ I mean look how many people have played his love interest on the show.”

The radio host went on to say that she is “STD-phobic” and makes her sexual partners sign a waver to state that they are clean.

Despite her harsh words, McCarthy did offer some good will for Sheen.

“I have sympathy for him because he’s sick and it’s awful, but man he’s going to have to take major accountability for many people in his life,” she continued.

Notorious Hollywood playboy Sheen went public with his health condition in an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC’s “Today” on Tuesday, saying that HIV is a “hard three letters to absorb … It’s a turning point in one’s life.”

Sheen’s marriage to Brooke Mueller ended in 2011, the same year as his diagnosis as well as a very public meltdown that led to his departure from the hit CBS sitcom “Two and a Half Men.” On Tuesday, he said his diagnosis led to a downward spiral in his attitude and behavior.

“I was so depressed by the position I was in,” he said. “I was doing a lot of drugs, I was drinking way too much and I was making really bad decisions.”

New ISIS Propaganda Video Threatens NYC Attack (Full Video)

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 07:32

ISIS released a new propaganda video celebrating last week’s terror attacks in Paris, the FBI’s New York office reported Wednesday.

But what had many New Yorkers on edge is the fact that the video included images of Times Square as well as footage of fighters making vague threats against both France and the U.S..

The highly produced video was scary enough that the FBI in New York tweeted out a statement letting people know that there is no “specific threat” concerning a possible attack on New York City.

“We are aware of the reporting of ongoing terrorist threats to NYC, to include the newly-released ISIS video involving Times Square,” the FBI tweeted. “These incidents reaffirm the message that New York City remains a terrorist target. While there is no specific articulable threat to the city at this time, the FBI NY JTTF continues to vigilantly work with NYPD.”

According to NBC New York, the video does not specifically focus on Times Square, but New York’s iconic tourist hub as well as Manhattan’s Herald Square are depicted in the video.

Police presence has been beefed up across New York City since Friday’s attack in Paris, particularly in crowded areas like Grand Central terminal, theaters and stores.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said earlier on Wednesday that he has no security concerns about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade next week.

We are aware of the reporting of ongoing terrorist threats to NYC, to include the newly-released ISIS video involving Times Square…

— FBI New York (@NewYorkFBI) November 19, 2015

(Statement continued)…These incidents reaffirm the message that New York City remains a terrorist target….

— FBI New York (@NewYorkFBI) November 19, 2015

While there is no specific articulable threat to the city at this time, the FBI NY JTTF continues to vigilantly work with NYPD…

— FBI New York (@NewYorkFBI) November 19, 2015

While there is no specific articulable threat to the city at this time, the FBI NY JTTF continues to vigilantly work with NYPD…

— FBI New York (@NewYorkFBI) November 19, 2015

Anthony Michael Hall Joins Ben Affleck’s ‘Live By Night’ (Exclusive)

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 07:24

Anthony Michael Hall has joined the cast of Ben Affleck‘s “Live By Night.”

Hall will play a Southern bootlegger who tangles with Affleck’s Joe Coughlin, the son of a prominent police captain who enters a world of organized crime that takes him from Boston to Florida and Havana, Cuba.

The Warner Bros. release is an adaptation of Dennis Lehane‘s novel of the same name. The studio previously recruited Hall for Christopher Nolan‘s “The Dark Knight.” He also recently appeared in Bennett Miller‘s “Foxcatcher.”

Chris Messina, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, Elle Fanning, Max Casella and Chris Cooper will co-star in the film, which Affleck and his Pearl Street partner Jennifer Todd are producing with Leonardo DiCaprio and his Appian Way partner, Jennifer Davisson Killoran.

Warner Bros. will release “Live By Night” in 2017 — five years after the studio released Affleck’s Oscar-winning thriller “Argo.”

Hall is represented by manager Jonathan Brandstein and attorneys Jeff Frankel and Scott Whitehead.

‘The Bronze’ Trailer Puts the ‘Nasty’ in Gymnastics, Promises March Release (Video)

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 07:01

Sony Pictures Classics and Stage 6 Films have released the first trailer for the raunchy gymnastics comedy “The Bronze,” which got caught up in Relativity’s bankruptcy after opening this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Melissa Rauch stars as a former gymnastics bronze medalist who fights to save her local celebrity status when a younger athlete (Haley Lu Richardson) comes to town.

Gary Cole co-stars alongside Thomas Middleditch, Cecily Strong and Sebastian Stan, the latter of whom shares a jaw-dropping sex scene with Rauch.

Bryan Buckley directed the movie, which was produced by Stephanie Langhoff of Duplass Brothers Productions.

Relativity originally acquired “The Bronze” out of Sundance in January but the studio gave the film back to the producers in the wake of its looming Chapter 11 filing this summer, when the movie was initially slated to hit theaters. It will now be released in March, though the trailer doesn’t announced a specific date.

Watch the trailer above and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Will Ferrell to Appear on Jerry Seinfeld’s ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’ (Exclusive)

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 06:55

Jerry Seinfeld will welcome Will Ferrell in a new episode of his popular web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” TheWrap has learned.

Seinfeld previously mentioned Ferrell as someone he’d love to have on the show.

Season six of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” featured guest stars such as Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert and Jim Carrey.

The series is executive produced by Seinfeld and Embassy Row.

Season 7 of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” is set to premiere in 2016.

Bryan Cranston, Benicio del Toro, Gina Rodriguez, ‘HTGAWM’ Cast Mix at HFPA & InStyle Bash (Photos)

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 06:53

Forget Christmas in July. InStyle and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association brought the Golden Globes to pre-Thanksgiving week.

A slew of Globes awards hopefuls from both film (Benicio Del Toro, Jason Segal, Bryan Cranston, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sarah SilvermanPatrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen) and TV (Aziz Ansari, Laura Prepon, T.J. Miller, Aasif Mandvi and “Fargo’s” Jean Smart amongst others) made a celebrity stew in time for the holidays on Tuesday night.

Jason Segel and Laura Prepon

Moving to Ysabel, the Fairfax area of Los Angeles hotspot from the same guys as Laurel Hardware, the sprawling indoor-outdoor scene proved to be a deep cross-section of hot projects, with the “How to Get Away with Murder” cast smoking on the elevated terrace, Hulu’s “Casual” creator Zander Lehmann discussing the over-the-top’s hands off style, and TV renaissance men Christian Slater and Fred Savage snapping selfies with on the terrace.

Vanessa Hudgens, Austin Butler and Sarah Hyland. Miss Golden Globe 2016 Corinne Foxx and father Jamie Foxx.

Jamie Foxx hung in a back booth with his daughter Corinne, who was named Miss Golden Globe 2016 earlier in the night. Her predecessor Greer Grammer (Kelsey’s daughter) finally got to enjoy one of these Globes kickoff parties. Last year after her crowning moment, she had to leave for a night shoot.

Bryan Cranston, Sir Patrick Stewart, Mr. Ecko-cum-“Trumbo” star Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Aziz Ansari at the Fiji water hosted party. (HFPA)

From the anxious phone call department, Jeremy Piven slid over to greet “Entourage” co-star Constance Zimmer, who with “House of Cards” and “Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” on top of “UnReal’s” warm reception earlier this year, had a steady stream of pals like Sarah Silverman and Perry Reeves in a Zimmer backroom circle.

Perry Reeves, Lisa Edelstein, and Constance Zimmer huddle up. At right, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Amanda Crew wear a crown of Moet. (Photos by Jason Merritt, Michael Kovac)

By the time the white chocolate chip cookies arrived to chase the mushroom risotto, mashed potatoes and squash on the cold night, Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler had slipped into the mix, joined nearly immediately by party pal Sarah Hyland.

Rami Malek and Gina Rodriguez.

The Golden Globe nomination ballots go out a week from today, Nov. 25 and HFPA President Lorenzo Soria still has some work to do.

Soria has yet to see the three Christmas-arriving awards contenders — Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s “The Revenant” with Leonardo DiCaprio, David O. Russell‘s “Joy” with the returning cast of Russell holiday merrymakers, and Miss Golden Globes’ dad’s favorite director buddy Quentin Tarantino‘s “The Hateful Eight” — but will be seeing them this week. HFPA voters have until Dec. 7 to return their ballots.

HFPA President Lorenzo Soria, Gina Rodriguez, Lilla Soria Pausits and Christian Slater.

Before the final film screenings, the newly-elected HFPA President’s additional concern lay with a birthday cake. Around 9 p.m. candles emerged on top of sea foam icing for a presentation to the first lady of the HFPA, Lilla Soria Pausits (above right, next to Slater).

O’Shea Jackson Jr. makes  “Django” and “Ray” laugh

Critics Choice Award winner T. J. Miller with Kate Gorney. Miss Golden Globe Corinne Foxx

As O’Shea Jackson Jr.was one of the last to wind down the night, Hudgens and Butler headed up to Sunset. They would add to the flash bulbs as the famed Viper Room threw itself a relaunch party with X Ambassadors breaking in the new fixtures.

The new Viper Room arrivals chute features artist Louis Carreon’s incorporation of a Hunter S. Thompson quote and a tribute to the darkest piece of infamy associated with the live music venue.

The view inside the “new” Viper Room.

Relativity Plans to Emerge From Bankruptcy by January, Touts New $100 Million Investment

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 06:48

Relativity Media submitted a reorganization plan to U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Wednesday that claims it will reduce its debt below $60 million, raise $100 million in new equity and release up to seven of its orphaned movies within 18 months after its planned emergence from Chapter 11 in January 2016.

“Relativity today took a significant step forward in its chapter 11 process and filed a plan of reorganization with the court. Upon emergence in late January, the company’s $35 million DIP loan will be paid in full, its debt load will be reduced to $60 million or less, and it expects to receive up to $100 million in new equity,” a Relativity spokesperson said.

“Additionally, Relativity plans to release seven films funded in part by a new $250 million Ultimates/P&A facility. As is often the case in complex chapter 11 cases, the plan may evolve as the parties refine negotiations.”

The proposed reorganization plan requires the approval of New York Bankruptcy Court Judge Michael Wiles. The next court hearing in the Relativity case is scheduled for December 16.

The $100 million in capital comes from a pact with Chicago- and New York-based investor Jim Cantelupe of Summit Trail Advisors, with funds to be escrowed on or before the end of the year. More importantly, perhaps, than a capital infusion is Relativity’s stated plan to settle its obligations to creditors and the cash loan or “debtor-in-possession” financing, that it has used for daily operations since filing for bankruptcy in July.

The company said it intends to completely repay its $35 million DIP loan in January, and reduce overall debt to less than $60 million. Unsecured creditors will receive roughly $4 million in cash payments and “the opportunity to share with the company in future recoveries.”

The films Relativity purports to roll out include: Kristen Wiig‘s “Masterminds,” Kate Bosworth‘s “Before I Wake,” Kate Beckinsale‘s “The Disappointments Room,” Halle Berry‘s “Kidnap,” Lake Bell‘s “Shot Caller,” the Rooney Mara-Theo James drama “Secret Scripture” and Colin Farrell‘s “Solace.”

Emma Stone Returns to Play Billie Jean King in ‘Battle of the Sexes’

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 06:39

Oscar-nominated actress Emma Stone is now set to play Billie Jean King opposite Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in Fox Searchlight’s “Battle of the Sexes” after briefly walking away from the project, TheWrap has learned.

Stone attached herself to play King back in April, though a scheduling conflict forced Fox Searchlight to approach Brie Larson to play the tennis legend as recently as September. With Larson moving on to replace Jennifer Lawrence in “The Glass Castle,” her schedule no longer allowed for “Battle of the Sexes,” and Fox Searchlight went back to Stone to secure the actress’ participation.

“Little Miss Sunshine” filmmakers Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris will direct from a script by Simon Beaufoy. Danny Boyle will produce under his Decibel Films banner along with Christian Colson and his company Cloud Eight.

Beaufoy has been working on the script for several years and King has been cooperating with the project, though Riggs died in 1995. King was the No. 2 ranked female tennis player in 1973 when she, at 29 years old, was challenged by and defeated retired former Wimbledon champion Riggs, who was 55 at the time.

“Battle of the Sexes” is the third project Hollywood is developing about King and Riggs but it is expected to be the first one in front of cameras. HBO has Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti starring in an original movie, while Will Ferrell is attached to play Riggs in “Match Maker,” which his company Gary Sanchez is producing with Chernin Entertainment.

The tone of the film is expected to be comedic, though clearly the material covers dramatic political themes with regard to gender.

Stone recently starred in the back-to-back flops “Aloha” and “Irrational Man.” She next stars opposite Ryan Gosling in the musical “La La Land” — in a role originally meant for Emma Watson.

Her re-casting was first reported by Variety.

George Lucas on Why He’s Not Directing ‘Star Wars’ Anymore: ‘It’s Not Much Fun’ (Video)

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 06:13

George Lucas has advice for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams — and anyone else attempting to tackle his space fantasy franchise: “There’s more to it than just spaceships.”

Whether or not he ever followed his own advice has sparked debate for decades, but the 71-year-old filmmaker has put to rest any question as to why he isn’t directing the next installment of his beloved Star Wars franchise in an interview with Vanity Fair posted on Wednesday.

“You go to make a movie and all you do is get criticized, and people try to make decisions about what you’re going to do before you do it. You know, it’s not much fun,” Lucas said.

The THX founder went on to grouse, “You can’t experiment. You can’t do anything. You have to do it a certain way. I don’t like that — I never did. I started out in experimental films, I want to go back to experimental films, but of course nobody wants to see experimental films.”

When asked if that last statement foreshadowed what we can expect next from the famed director, Lucas said, “I will be directing movies, but not movies, generally, that will be shown anywhere.”

Elsewhere in the video, Lucas is given the opportunity to ask Abrams via recorded message what eventually becomes of Darth Vader’s grandchildren.

“Oh, George, this is great,” Abrams says. “Uh, you tell me, man. You made all this shit up.”

Perhaps taking another opportunity to jam a thumb in the eyes of his aforementioned critics, Lucas chose the franchise’s most divisive character when asked which is his favorite.

“I like all the characters. Jar Jar Binks,” he says.

Watch this on The Scene.

Taye Diggs Slammed for Not Wanting Biracial Son to Be Called ‘Black’

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 06:13

Taye Diggs is coming under fire for saying that the doesn’t want his biracial son to be labeled “black.”

The actor has a 6-year-old son, Walker Nathaniel, with his ex-wife, Broadway and “Frozen” star Idina Menzel.

Speaking with The Grio to promote his new children’s book, “Mixed Me,” about the experiences of mixed-race children, Diggs made it very clear that he doesn’t want his son to have to choose one side over the other.

“When you [call biracial kids black], you risk disrespecting that one half of who you are, and that’s my fear,” Diggs explained. “I don’t want my son to be in a situation where he calls himself ‘black’ and everyone thinks he has a black mom and a black dad, and then when they see he has a white mother, they wonder, ‘Oh, what’s going on? Are you ashamed of your white [side]?'”

Following his comments, the actor came under fire from Twitter users who accused Diggs of “self hate issues.”

Biracial Americans with a mixture of white and black parentage were initially classified as black because of the “one-drop rule” during slavery which said that if a person had “one drop” of black blood then they were black.

But Diggs is defiant in his views and says it’s up to his son to identify himself, and not how society wants him to be portrayed.

Diggs also spoke about the way President Obama is described.

“As African Americans, we were so quick to say, ‘OK, he’s black, he’s black,’ and then there were the white people who were afraid to say he was biracial because, who knows,” Diggs mused. “Everybody refers to him as the first black president. I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m just saying that it’s interesting.”

Diggs went on TMZ Live later Wednesday to talk about his comments and his feelings on the push-back he was receiving.

“I want him to be proud of who he is,” Diggs said of his little boy. “I want him to be able to on his own terms, include both parents. So if anyone has an issue with that then they can go fly a kite.”

“I want my son to be able to choose what he wants to be referred to. I don’t want him to dis-include his mother,” he said. “His mother is white, his mother is a part of his make up, and the buck stops there.”

When asked how he would feel if his son wanted to identify as white when he got older, Diggs laughed he would tell him, “Good luck with that.”

“If somebody came to him and said, ‘You are white,’ I would defend him and say, ‘Well, your daddy’s black as well so don’t forget that.'”

Diggs later took to Instagram to further clarify his comments after seeing the backlash.

“I am a proud black man. I want my son to grow up to be a proud black man if he so chooses,” he wrote. “He has a mother who is white. He has every right to be just as proud of his mother’s ‘blood’ as well. Please wake up, people. It’s not that deep.”

‘Lion King’ Sequel Sneak Peek Reveals Inspiration for Movie’s Musical Numbers (Exclusive Video)

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 06:12

Disney’s “The Lion Guard: Return of The Roar” is putting just as heavy an emphasis on music as its predecessor, the 1994 animated smash hit “The Lion King.”

In an exclusive behind the scenes video obtained by TheWrap, composer Christopher Willis details how he spent several months researching music native to the African Savanna, including traditional instruments and techniques that helped him create the score for “The Lion Guard.”

Along with singer-songwriter Beau Black and executive producer Ford Riley, they have created original music pieces that remain authentic to “The Lion King,” but with a new spin and identifiable sounds for each character.

Set in the African savanna, the series introduces Kion, the second-born cub of Simba and Nala, who is destined to become leader of the Lion Guard, a team of animals comprised of the Pride Lands’ greatest animals.

Many of the beloved characters from “The Lion King” will appear in the movie, too. James Earl Jones and Ernie Sabella reprise their original roles as Mufasa and Pumbaa, respectively.

Rob Lowe and Gabrielle Union star as Simba and Nala, respectively. Other voice talent includes Max Charles as Kion.

“The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar” will launch with a television movie event on Nov. 22 at 7 p.m./6c on Disney Channel, with the regular series premiering in 2016.

Oprah Winfrey Reflects on TV Career, Accepts ‘ET’ Icon Award (Video)

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 06:12

Oprah Winfrey is no stranger to awards and accolades, adding to her collection Wednesday with a prize from a longstanding entertainment news institution.

Winfrey, 61, is one of several bold-named talents receiving the “Entertainment Tonight” Icon Award, given to notable people in show busines as the news magazine turns 35 this year.

“The true purpose of it is to have the light shined on you so that other people can see that, and then see that in themselves,” Oprah told host Nancy O’Dell of her success.

O’Dell will give similar honors to stars like Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks throughout the anniversary week.

Winfrey’s path hasn’t been all success. At a recent “SuperSoul Session,” motivational talks the humanitarian engages in, she revealed her strategy for handling crisis.

“When crisis comes, the first thing I ask it is, ‘What are you here to teach me?'” she said. “When betrayal comes, when devastation comes, when loss comes, the first thing you ask it is, ‘What are you here to teach me?'”

The mogul admits she does not “believe in failure. I believe failure is just information,” she says. “It is information and opportunity to change your course.”

“Entertainment Tonight” airs nightly, check your local listings. 

‘Steve’ Theater Review: Same-Sex Marriage Can Be Anything But Gay

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 06:00

Right-wingers like Mike Huckabee think same-sex marriage is the end of civilization. Actually, it’s only the beginning of some very tedious playwriting.

Peter Parnell’s “Dada Woof Papa Hot” opened earlier this month at the Lincoln Center Theater in New York, followed by Mark Gerrard’s new comedy about married gay men, “Steve,” a New Group presentation that opened Wednesday at the Pershing Square Signature Center.

If aliens visited Gotham and saw these two plays back-to-back, they’d think homosexuals are called dreary, not gay.

For starters, Gerrard names three of his characters Steve, even though one of them (by far the most intriguing Steve) is never seen. He’s the trainer for a married couple named Matt (Mario Cantone) and Brian (Jerry Dixon), who have turned this third, unseen Steve into their live-in boyfriend. Gay polygamy, anyone?

I’d be interested in following that story. Gerrard, however, is not. He’s more interested in the other two Steves named Stephen (Malcolm Gets) and Steven (Matt McGrath), who are married and have a kid but haven’t had sex in a while because Stephen and Brian are constantly sexting each other, unbeknownst to Matt. Should Steven tell Matt what his husband is doing with his best friend’s husband? Is “The Edge of Night” still on TV and looking for stories?

Stephen and Steven’s marriage doesn’t survive this bombshell, even though it is explained that sexting isn’t really sex. Or as Stephen tells Steven, “I didn’t, but you did.”

Steven admits that he did have sex with a waiter (Francisco Pryor Garat), replying, “I did. Once.”

Compare that exchange to any in “The Boys in the Band,” and you tell me which generation of gay men you’d rather spend an evening with.

Speaking of older playwrights, Gerrard does borrow from the Terrence McNally school of insult humor. Kristin Chenoweth, Audra McDonald and Kate Capshaw (really, Kate Capshaw?) are trashed in jokes that don’t land. At one point, a character asks in mock despair, “Did I scare him off with my one-boy version of the ‘Pacific Overtures’ cast album?” Somebody’s cat is named Elphaba and a shy person is nicknamed Blue Roses. Gerrard’s humor marches to the beat of a piano bar.

“Steve” makes a not-profound statement about communication in the age of iPhones and texting. In one scene, Stephen and Bruce text while an upstage screen gives us their responses to each other. Later, Stephen talks on the phone with his mother while texting Bruce, and again the screen lights up with their responses. Under Cynthia Nixon‘s direction, these extended moments of projected text don’t say a lot about communication in the modern age. They do rank as the two most dramatically inert scenes to be performed on a New York stage this season.

The acting suits the sitcom situations. Cantone does manage to deliver a wonderful moment when, without saying a word, he moves a drinking glass with his finger to let us know that Steven is full of crap on the subject of marital fidelity.

Back in the 1980s and ’90s, movies often cast a wisecracking gay character dying of AIDS to be the leading lady’s best friend. In “Steve,” since the stage is already filled with gay male characters, that sidekick role has been assigned to a wisecracking lesbian (Ashlie Atkinson) dying of cancer. She doesn’t make it to the final bathetic scene. Nowadays, lesbians have the best timing.

‘Now You See Me 2’ Trailer Finds Lizzy Caplan Replacing Isla Fisher as Fourth ‘Horseman’ (Video)

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 05:50

Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment has released the first trailer for “Now You See Me 2,” which concludes with an appearance by Daniel Radcliffe that could generously be described as “magical.”

Original stars Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman return for the sequel, which swaps in Lizzy Caplan for Isla Fisher among the Four Horsement.

Jon M. Chu stepped in to direct the sequel, which was written by Ed Solomon and Pete Chiarelli. Louis Leterrier directed the original movie, which grossed more than $350 million worldwide in 2013.

Lionsgate will release “Now You See Me 2 on June 10, 2016, and the studio is already planning a third entry in the franchise.

Watch the trailer above and let us know what you think in the comments section below.