Articles on this Page
- 08/14/14--20:26: _Michael B. Jordan S...
- 08/14/14--20:26: _Jessica Chastain & ...
- 08/14/14--20:28: _'American Idol' alu...
- 08/14/14--20:49: _ONTD's Prayers Have...
- 08/14/14--20:49: _Danielle Staub Conf...
- 08/14/14--21:15: _Hundreds of unseen ...
- 08/14/14--21:17: _New trailer for 'Th...
- 08/14/14--23:23: _Apple's Beats Music...
- 08/14/14--23:24: _Celeb Real Estate P...
- 08/14/14--23:25: _i don't think u red...
- 08/14/14--23:25: _Mike Birbiglia Land...
- 08/14/14--23:26: _Sofia Vergara Takes...
- 08/14/14--23:26: _Lady Gaga upsets Ja...
- 08/14/14--23:27: _Twitter says it wil...
- 08/14/14--23:27: _Taylor Swift on Her...
- 08/14/14--23:28: _Mara Wilson: ‘It’s ...
- 08/14/14--23:30: _Introducing Donald ...
- 08/15/14--04:07: _New stunning Outtak...
- 08/15/14--04:09: _Cate Blanchett in ...
- 08/15/14--05:10: _WWE’s Dean Ambrose ...
- 08/14/14--20:26: Michael B. Jordan Spills His Best Guys’ Grooming Tips
- 08/14/14--21:17: New trailer for 'The Babadook'
- 08/14/14--23:24: Celeb Real Estate Post! Jonah Hill Lists NYC Loft for $3.8mil
- 08/14/14--23:25: i don't think u redi for Bey/Rihanna Collab
- 08/14/14--23:25: Mike Birbiglia Lands Role in 'Orange Is the New Black'
- 08/14/14--23:26: Sofia Vergara Takes A (Tiny) Tumble on the Red Carpet
- 08/14/14--23:26: Lady Gaga upsets Japan with racially insensitive couture!
- 08/14/14--23:27: Taylor Swift on Her Mysteriously Perfect Post-Gym Look
- 08/14/14--23:28: Mara Wilson: ‘It’s As If My Favorite Teacher Died’
- 08/15/14--04:07: New stunning Outtakes from Hilary's upcoming album + more
- 08/15/14--04:09: Cate Blanchett in NYC and "The Maids"
- 08/15/14--05:10: WWE’s Dean Ambrose to Star in Action Movie ‘Lockdown’
In an ideal world, all of our boyfriends would be Michael B. Jordan. Next to his charming personality and megawatt smile, the actor always looks nothing short of dapper, and his handsome red carpet getups constantly leave us swooning. In the real world, however, many of the guys in our life tend to think they’re exempt from the art of grooming, so we caught up with Jordan at the launch of Axe’s Gold Temptation line to get his sage advice for the men who want to live a little more like Mike.
“If guys don’t wanna do it for themselves, they should know that women definitely appreciate men going the extra mile to keep themselves manicured and together,” he tells InStyle.com.“There are certain guys that go way, way too far with it, but you’ve gotta find a nice, happy medium between that and what you normally do.” One grooming tip the star picked up? Never underestimate a good manicure. “Some guys think it’s soft to care about your appearance and take care of yourself, but a manicure or pedicure every three to four weeks goes a long way. Just to keep things in check a little bit!”
Fragrance is another key item Jordan keeps in his arsenal—he stocks up on colognes by Jean Paul Gaultier, YSL, and John Varvatos, though he often prefers to blend his own signature scent. “I also wear Muslim fragrance oils. I love them because they last longer, and you can customize them by mixing and layering different scents,” he says. “I’m from the East Coast and I’ll sometimes make trips to Philly. There’s a big Muslim influence out there, so I love getting fragrance oils when I visit.” Though, his Fantastic Four character Johnny Storm (aka the Human Torch) has slightly different scent preferences.“I think the Human Torch would definitely be wearing Axe! He probably smells like adrenaline and charisma,” he adds.
ONTD, how do you like your men to be groomed?
Jessica Chastain keeps it classy and sophisticated in a strapless black dress while making her out of Il Ristorante di Giorgio Baldi on Wednesday evening (August 13) in Santa Monica, Calif.
Kisses! #ibiza #holiday #cute #dog #newfriend
Bye bye Ibiza. T'was fun while it lasted.
This is where I spent 4 years #lincolncenter #juilliardschool #happiness
JFK to LAX best travel companion #chaplin #doesnttalkmyearoff #sleepslikeanangel
Buon giorno Italia! @iodonna_it discussing my upcoming films. Photo by @jameswhitefoto
Robin Williams changed my life. He was a great actor and a generous person. Through a scholarship, he made it possible for me to graduate college. His generous spirit will forever inspire me to support others as he supported me. He will forever be missed.
The end of an era #laurenbacall #icon #glamour #legend #bogieiswaiting
Sometimes all you need is to lie on the grass #chaplin #happiness #thatishisactualsmile
ONTD, what did you have for dinner?
We're told cops responded to the former Marine's home in Spring Hill, TN -- where he lives with his wife and 4 kids -- for a welfare check after a family member saw an ominous Facebook post:
"I've loved her for 17 years ... I made mistakes ... I admitted them, told her the truth and she turned her back on me when I needed her help the most."
He continued, "Please remember me as someone who gave his all in his music ... Pray for my family as they carry on in this world without me. Goodbye."
Cops rushed to his house -- his wife was there but he wasn't. Law enforcement sources tell us police got in touch with him by phone, put him on with his wife, and he told her he was coming home.
Cops are staying at the home until Josh arrives.
5:33 PM PDT -- We're told cops intercepted Gracin on his way home and all they'll say is, "He's safe."
7:40 PM PDT -- Cops tell us Gracin is being held on a 5150 psychiatric hold. We're told he drove himself to a hospital, with a police escort, after they pulled him over. He's been cooperative, has spoken to his family ... and is being evaluated by doctors now.
In case you don't remember him he made it to the Top 4 in Season 2 of American Idol but didn't go on the tour because he was also a Marine and had to fulfill his service commitments.
Danielle Staub, the former Real Housewives of New Jersey star, tells Oprah Winfrey that she "got broken so bad" on the reality show that she contemplated suicide.
Winfrey dropped in on Staub, a former Wayne resident, for Sunday night's episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now.
Staub, a divorced mother of two, saw her criminal past revealed on the first season of the show, culminating in Teresa Giudice's instantly iconic table-flip, and was chased through the halls of the North Jersey County Club by a screeching Giudice in the second.
Two separate alleged sex tapes also surfaced during her two-season stint on the show.
"Unfortunately, there was some really difficult moments which ended up being the turning point for me," Staub says in an except from the episode.
One weekend, she asked her ex-husband to take her two children for a couple of days because she thought she would kill herself.
"The only reason I didn't is because I would never want that to be the last memory my kids had of me."
Is age really just a number? At 52, Adrienne Maloof is more than twice the age of boyfriend Jacob Busch, 25, but RadarOnline.com can reveal that the May-December couple are happier than ever and already talking wedding plans!
Although Maloof has been wearing a diamond ring that Busch gave to her on Valentine’s Day, the source claims that the two “are not yet engaged, although she leads everyone to believe they are by wearing his ring on her wedding ring finger!”
Even if Busch, an heir to the Anheuser-Busch fortune, isn’t ready to make her his wife, however, he’s making her happy for now.
“He genuinely loves her and is not using her for her money because he is very rich on his own. When they are together, he pays for almost everything,” says the source. “They do not feel like age is even a factor. He makes her feel young.”
Although Maloof has not spoken to friends about any baby plans, it hasn’t been ruled out. In the meantime, “They have crazy sex,” the source concludes.
Although we were holding out hope that Kim Zolciak might announce her return to Real Housewives of Atlanta when she appeared on Watch What Happens Live, with Andy Cohen, it looks like our wish won’t be coming true anytime soon.
After four-and-a-half seasons on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kim Zolciak exclusively reveals to In Touch her true feelings about her former co-stars from the show that made her famous.
“I was made to look like a wine drinking, raging lunatic!” the mom of six tells In Touch in her interview, “I hated it!”
Kim has no regrets about leaving. “It got to a point where I felt like I was sacrificing myself for a paycheck. I never knew what I was getting into,” the star tells In Touch, adding the catfights with her former co-stars also played a part in her exit. “I didn’t like half of the women on the show, so that made things difficult!”
Season 9 of The Real Housewives of Orange County was rough for many of the ladies — but let's not forget that the husbands are also along for the ride. Prime example: Terry Dubrow. The Botched star and his lovely wife, Heather Dubrow, were at odds with the Beadors, newcomers this year, and are now debating their future on the Bravo series.
“It was a weird season,” Terry exclusively told Wetpaint Entertainment. “As of right now, I don’t want to go back next season. No way. But that remains to be seen. I mean, I have my own TV show and I’m busy working on that — I have no idea.”
While Terry goes on to say Heather would “kill him” if she knew he was discussing their future RHOC plans, he notes that his wildly-popular E! plastic surgery series is demanding a lot more in Season 2, and that Heather’s acting career is really on fire these days.
Terry even teased that there might be TV opportunities in the “health, wellness, and beauty” arena in the E! world.
sources: WetPaint, InTouchWeekly, NJ, RadarOnline
1,000 rolls of 16mm film to be turned to 2K footage
Approximately 500 movies made by pop art icon Andy Warhol, many of which have never been seen by the public, are in the process of being digitized. The project — a collaboration between The Warhol museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and two visual effects companies — will see almost 1,000 rolls of 16mm film converted to 2K resolution after being scanned frame by frame.
The painstaking process means the project is is set to take several years to complete, but some of Warhol's unseen movies will be available for public consumption sooner than that. 15 digitized films will have their public premiere in October of this year as part of the Exposed: Songs for Unseen Warhol Films exhibition at New York's Carnegie Music Hall. The Warhol says the it will make the restored movies available for public screenings, but for now, there appear to be no plans to put the freshly digitized films online.
Warhol might be better known for his pictures and prints than his movie making, but the father of pop art built up an extensive filmography. Many of his movies are notable for their extreme running time. Sleep, created in 1963 as an "anti-film," shows Warhol's friend John Giorno sleeping for five hours and 20 minutes. 1964's Empire consists of more than eight hours of footage of the Empire State Building. Among the collection to be digitized are many of Warhol's screen tests, in which he would point his camera at friends and colleagues for hours at a time, capturing their daily lives and visits to his studio.
Apple's Beats Music has put together a short documentary for the 25th anniversary of Do The Right Thing, Spike Lee's acclaimed film on race relations in New York City. The nearly 23-minute film brings Lee and a number of other members of cast and crew from the film back to the iconic Bed-Stuy block where it was shot, leaving them to reminisce on its production and impact. They're all pretty excited to be back and talking about it, making it a fun watch.
While it's certainly a bit strange to see a documentary on a movie come out of Beats Music, its creation makes enough sense: one of Beats' strongest assets is its cultural cachet, and associating itself with a smart and edgy film like Do The Right Thing (and, of course, its director) only helps to build that out even further. The film also culminates into a performance that Beats sponsored, featuring Dave Chappelle, Mos Def, and Public Enemy, among others, and that certainly doesn't hurt either.
This is the second big video we've seen out of Beats recently, with the headphone unit releasing a long and well-received ad about World Cup athletes back in June. For Apple, it only makes sense to let Beats keep moving forward with videos like these: Beats has amassed a level of cool that's hard to attain, and that's exactly what Apple is going to want to leverage for its own products in the future.
Jonah Hill not only knows how to make his own career explode, he also knows a thing or two about making property values skyrocket.
The 21 Jump Street star is set to net over $1.1 million when he sells his stunning New York loft.
According to the New York Daily News, the 30-year-old star only purchased the co-op property two years ago for $2.65 million but has just listed his home for $3.79 million.
What could $3.8mil afford where you live ontd?
After spitting the hardest Jay Z-penned verse of the year, Beyonce is reportedly following up her Nicki Minaj-assisted “Flawless (Remix)” with another remix.
Word is Queen Bey may have tapped queen of sex appeal Rihanna for a remix to “Blow,” Mrs. Carter’s steamy fairytale about Jay Z’s appetite for her “Skittles.
There’s a screenshot floating around the Internet that suggests a “Blow” (remix?) has been registered in the ASCAP database with both Beyoncé and Rihanna listed as performers.
While all this sounds great, there’s one problem — Rihanna’s name is spelled wrong in the listing.
A quick search of the ASCAP database shows there are a few other of Rihanna’s songs listed under the ‘incorrect’ spelling…but we’re not exactly sure what that means.
The Carters are so painstakingly robotic and awkward around each other that any joy I get from this news comes from Rihanna as I’m always here for her filth and raunchiness. Take her out and it’s another song about Jay Z and Beyonce having calculated robot sex disguised as real marital relations.
Mike Birbiglia is heading to Orange Is the New Black.
The actor-comedian has joined the cast of the critically adored prison dramedy's third season in a recurring role. The part will remain shrouded in secrecy, which is in keeping with showrunner Jenji Kohan's philosophy on spoilers. In a recent cover interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Kohan would say only that the series' third season will be "about faith, to a certain extent."
Birbiglia's new gig comes as he continues to build his film portfolio, having wrapped roles in MGM's Reese Witherspoon vehicle Don't Mess with Texas, Judd Apatow's Trainwreck and Digging for Fire with Jake Johnson. He was most recently seen in the box-office smash The Fault in Our Stars, and will appear next in the film iteration of Annie, starring Quvenzhane Wallis and Cameron Diaz.
Netflix execs are already familiar with Birbiglia's brand of comedy having worked with him on the 2013 one-man show My Girlfriend's Boyfriend. The 36-year-old comic is currently honing his material on a 100-city tour of his stand-up show, Thank God for Jokes.
Birbiglia, who directed and starred in the 2012 feature film adaptation of another one-man show, Sleepwalk With Me, is repped by UTA (theatrical) and APA (comedy) as well as Jackoway Tyerman.
At the 0:04 second mark in this video from tonights HFPA fundraiser, Sofia falls into the step and repeat on the red carpet, and quickly laughs it off.
Lady Gaga is in Tokyo. According to her, it's her "favorite place." Too bad she's just pissed off some folks online in Japan.
On her Instagram account, Lady Gaga uploaded two photos of herself wearing a colorful outfit with Korean characters written on it. The Korean characters 컬러 appear mean just that: color. Innocuous stuff, right? Well...
There's already a thread on 2ch, Japan's largest online forum, titled "Lady Gaga, Who's Visiting Japan, Is Wandering Around Roppongi in Clothes with Korean Characters. This Proves That From the White Person's Point of View, Japan and Korea are the Same." Yikes!
While it seems like a small faux pas, this story will probably spread around to numerous Japanese blogs and websites. Her real Japanese fans, however, probably won't care.
Here are some, certainly not all, of the comments on 2ch:
"She thinks South Korea and Japan are the same."
"Wearing clothes with Korean characters and sauntering about Roppongi is giving hate to Japan."
"Did Japan do something to her?"
"Get outta here, you shitty white person."
"Is she trying to pick a fight with a Japanese person? lol"
"Yep, just a dumb American."
"This kind of makes me not like her."
"It can't be helped. But it's a little sad she' can recognize Japanese."
"Well, I have no clue about the difference between the U.S. and the U.K."
"Certainly looks like between Japan and South Korea, Gaga likes Korea more."
"Her songs are great. Truly great."
"Make no mistake, when Gaga is in South Korea, she'll wear clothes with Japanese and the Rising Sun!"
"She probably just thinks those characters are a symbol. No biggie."
"Waaah. This certainly makes her less cool."
"You net users are something else!"
Um... There's a lot to unpack here! First, yes, 2ch tends to bend a bit conservative, so know that. Also, Japan and South Korea are not on the best of terms right now, so a foreigner decked in out in Korean letters actually might ruffle some feathers—the same might be true if Gaga wore Japanese characters in South Korea. Who knows. Maybe, maybe not. Though, Korean television did recently ban a Kpop group from using Japanese.
And finally, people in Japan don't want to be confused with people in Korea—and Korean people don't want to be confused with Japanese people. They are different countries! With different cultures and traditions. Obviously, an outfit like this can unintentionally give the impression that one thinks all Asians are the same.
This was probably unintentional. An honest mistake. I'm sure Lady Gaga is well aware that both South Korea and Japan are entirely different countries. With the way relations between the two countries have been wound up of late, a little bit more care might be needed.
Twitter has long received flack for its weak responses to clear instances of abuse over its network, but now it finally says that it's going to do... something. In a statement provided to The Washington Post with regard to the harassment of Zelda Williams, Twitter's vice president of trust and safety says that the company is currently "evaluating how we can further improve our policies to better handle tragic situations like this one." He says that may include making Twitter's policies stricter with regard to self-harm or private information, and it could also mean better watching out for users who have just had a family member die.
That last item is particularly important, as it's Zelda Williams' announcement that she was leaving Twitter that's sparked the latest controversy. Following her father's death, Williams began seeing harassment on Twitter by people who sent messages blaming her. They also sent edited images of her father that included bruises around his neck. "We will not tolerate abuse of this nature on Twitter," Twitter tells the Post. Two Twitter users who were noted as particular problems in Williams' case have since had their accounts suspended.
Twitter's statement is still a relatively weak one, giving little in the way of what we can actually expect to see it change. It's not a clear promise that meaningful results will come, just a recognition that something needs to happen — and that's been clear for a long time. Still, it sounds as though Twitter could finally be ready to draw a stronger line in the sand for what constitutes abuse and harassment, making it easier for people to report bad situations and have them dealt with. The latest incident is a very high profile example, and it may be a much harder one for Twitter to brush aside.
don't let me down ontd <33
Mara Wilson, the young actress who played Robin Williams’ adorable daughter in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” has broken her silence about the actor’s suicide.
Now 27 years-old, Wilson took to her blog to share some thoughts on Williams, saying “it’s as if my favorite teacher died.”
From her personal blog:
Everybody grieves in their own way. When I heard about Robin’s death, I was shocked, confused angry, regretful, and above all, sad. All I wanted was talk to my family and friends and cry. A few news outlets asked if I would be willing to talk about him on the air, and while I usually like interviews, I knew I wasn’t in a good place to do that. I still (a whole three days later) don’t want to do any. It’s too soon, and I need my own time to process it all. I will, however, be sharing some of my memories about him on this blog sometime soon.
While Robin and I had not talked in a few years, there is no question he had a great impact on my life. He was as warm and talented as everyone says, and a joy to be around. It’s as if my favorite teacher died.
More to come later.
Wilson was one of the first collaborators to respond to the news on Monday, writing on Twitter: “Very sad, very upset…probably going to take some time off for a while.”
We all know Ivanka Trump from Celebrity Apprentice and other high-profile appearances, but Donald Trump has another daughter who's managed to stay almost completely out of the spotlight for two decades. (When The Donald is your dad, that's really saying something.) Her name is Tiffany Trump and her mother is Marla Maples. As of late, however, the 20-year-old has been raising her public profile a bit… because the mysterious heiress wants to be a pop star.
Thankfully, the youngest Trump daughter didn't inherit her father's infamous hair. Her blond locks, along with her killer smile and casually cool style, were the first thing we noticed when we spotted her walking through the streets of New York City with her mother. No wonder she grabbed the attention of photographers.
Tiffany didn't always have fame on her mind. She moved to California with her mom in 1998, after Marla's marriage to Donald ended. While Donald lives large in New York, it seems that Marla keeps a somewhat lower profile in the Golden State. During her teenage years (a time when Ivanka was running around Manhattan and posing for fashion magazines), Tiffany was attending Viewpoint School in Calabasas and spent much of her free time cooking dinners and playing tennis with her mother.
"My mom and I have always been very close. I think she did raise me as a single mom," Tiffany shared a few years ago in a video segment for The Oprah Winfrey Show appropriately called "Meet Tiffany Trump." "Growing up, we were always together and I know my friends — everyone at home — is like, 'Wow, you guys have a really good relationship.'"
But while she loved quality time with her mom, she also admitted to other aspirations. (Spoiler alert: They don't involve real estate or sitting in the boardroom.)
"I love music. It's always been very dear to me. It's a big passion. It's more of a hobby right now, but we'll see in a couple of years if I want to take it to the next level as a professional," she hinted in the video before adding, "Right now my focus is on school and getting into a good college."
It seems she succeeded, as she's currently a student at her father's alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, and has also released a single, "Like a Bird." (Haven't heard of it? Neither had we.)
"My brothers and sisters have all achieved so much in their lives and they've had so much success," Tiffany mused about her half-siblings. "Since I have grown up on the West Coast and all the rest of them have grown up on the East Coast, it's a different kind of lifestyle, obviously."
But that doesn't mean she hasn't been in touch with her New York counterparts. Showing off some family photos, Tiffany pointed out snaps of Donald at her high school graduation and herself as a bridesmaid at Ivanka's wedding.
Despite being a college student and working toward a career in music, she finds time to live it up like the rest of the Trumps, as her Instagram account attests. Recent shots show the blonde glammed up at a piano, kicking back with her Chanel handbag in first class on the way to London, and chilling on a boat in Greece.
Still, she insists she's not caught up in all that. "I have a good head on my shoulders," she explained. "I've always been grounded. People would think not because of who I am, but I've always been raised with that sense of morals from my dad and my mother both."
We'll have to wait and see if her music career takes flight, but, with those Trump genes, she's probably not going to give up easily.
You can hear her one and only song from 2011, Like a Bird, here. I'll let you judge. Also LOL @ sense of morals from her dad.
Sources 1 | 2
Hilary and a fan in maui
And this for all the australian fans
@cher just send me a DM 😳 im fangirling— Hilary Duff (@HilaryDuff) 15 Août 2014
Demi Lovato and Hilary Duff both rocked hints of black leather at the 2014 Teen Choice Awards. Who wore it best?
When Demi Lovato took the stage to open the show with her hit ‘Really Don’t Care,’ she looked fiercer than ever in an all-black ensemble, complete with a black leather jacket and a Moschino tie. Demi not only looked like a total badass in her leather duds, the jacket gave her a totally edgy look that only enhanced her super passionate and hardcore performance. Demi is not afraid to speak her mind, and her punk-like leather jacket is only an extension of her killer attitude.
Hilary Duff‘s black leather skirt-floral shirt combo is the perfect representation of the singer-actress — it’s a little bit sweet and a little bit edgy, kind of like her two brand-new singles. While ‘Chasing the Sun’ is super bubbly, ‘All About You’ is much more provocative. We love the juxtaposition of Duff’s hardcore leather skirt with the extra girly crop-top. It’s flirty and feminine, but with just a touch of that “don’t mess with me” vibe.
Which pop star rocks the leather look best?
Oh and btw don't forget to purchase your copy of the latest bubbling under hot 100 smash hit 'all about you' (now on itunes)
Classy Dames in Desperate Straits
Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert in ‘The Maids’ at City Center
By BEN BRANTLEY
Some real classy dames are tearing up the joint at City Center, where the Sydney Theater Company is performing its rip-roaring production of Jean Genet’s “The Maids” as part of theLincoln Center Festivalthrough Aug. 16. You might add that these ladies, embodied in the august personages ofCate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert,are stinking up the place, as well.
Their language, with its sewer-mouth talk of body odors and functions, is as rank as it is florid. Then there’s that fancy perfume they keep spritzing on their private parts. And, oh, those cut flowers — what looks like acres of them — which are flung about at random and used as vigorous instruments of flagellation.
A less-charitable theatergoer might detect another aroma within this bouquet of smells: the whiff of acting so ripe it’s gone rotten. But to object to that would be to miss the point of what the comfort-zone-trashing director,Benedict Andrews,and his brave cast of three — which is rounded out by the smashing young actress Elizabeth Debicki — are trying to achieve here.
That would be a portrait of people who are acting from desperation, trying on poses (and clothes and makeup) in a furious, futile bid to achieve some sense of identity. Becoming someone else to become yourself, and flailing and failing, is a sad and sorry existential process in “The Maids,” which was inspired by a true story of homicidal sisters working as domestics.
The first play written by Genet, theprofessional outlawand great poète maudit of the 20th century, this 1947 drama is about acting as being, and being as nothingness. Small wonder that the existential philosopherJean-Paul Sartreembraced it so heartily.
Whether New York audience members will clasp this unlovable show (newly translated with contemporary references and vulgarity by Mr. Andrews and Andrew Upton) to its bosom is another matter, especially if they’ve mortgaged their apartment to buy scalpers’ tickets. It is, to put it bluntly, a mess, in ways both intentional and unintentional.
Featuring a multimedia, dimension-scrambling set by Alice Babidge that suggests the world’s ritziest walk-in closet, the show throws in everything but the kitchen sink. No, scratch that; there is a kitchen sink. It is loud, lurid and often impossible to follow, even if you know the play beforehand.
And I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
That’s largely because of Ms. Blanchett, who won the Oscar this year for Woody Allen’s“Blue Jasmine”and has been seen to dazzling effect in New York with the Sydney Theater Company productions of “A Streetcar Named Desire” and“Uncle Vanya.”Once again, she proves herself to be the ruling mutation master among contemporary actresses.
Ms. Blanchett portrays Claire, the younger and (marginally) meeker of the two title characters, who with her sister, Solange (Ms. Huppert), regularly acts out the fantasy ritual of murdering their rich and gorgeous employer, known only as Mistress, played by Ms. Debicki. (On this night, Claire gets to be Mistress, while Solange portrays Claire.) In doing so, Ms. Blanchett would seem to deploy every theatrical tool that she has at her command, though I suspect she still holds a few in reserve to surprise us the next time we see her.
Within minutes — no, seconds — she switches from the tones and postures of self-effacing servility to raging aristocratic arrogance, from little-girl passivity to assaultive sexuality. She truly contains multitudes. The wonder is that we believe every one of these self-contradicting displays, even though we know that Claire and the actress playing her are just, uh, acting. And she forces us to the uneasy conclusion that acting may be all there is in life.
That may also be implicit in the performance of Ms. Huppert, one of the French screen’s most fearless and incisive stars. But it’s hard to make that assessment, given that her thick accent renders her unintelligible for much of the time. Her scrappy, fierce Solange is a whirling dervish of acrobatic energy, for sure.
She matches Ms. Blanchett’s Claire in her intense, whiplash physicality but not in tonal variety. Ms. Huppert also tends to mime her lines with fervent comic exaggeration, suggesting a visitor from the Planet French Music Hall. Is there any way that Solange and Claire could really be sisters? And is it possible that their Mistress, no matter how socially myopic she is, could ever confuse one with the other?
I’m assuming there’s method in the casting here. Genet wanted “The Maids” to be performed by men, to emphasize the gap between a person’s self-perception and the gaze of those who look upon him. Ms. Huppert’s blatant dissimilarity to Ms. Blanchett discounts any possibility of our accepting “The Maids” on easy naturalistic terms.
So, too, does the production’s use of simultaneous video projections (by Sean Bacon), captured by camera operators who are visible behind the set’s transparent side walls. Sometimes the camera creates still lives out of the flowers, dresses and objets de luxe that are thrown about.
On other occasions, it lingers on the faces of the actresses, and you realize that the women on the screen are not the same as the characters you’ve been watching through the haze of stage lights. (Nick Schlieper did the intricate lighting.) Well, at least not in the cases of Ms. Blanchett and Ms. Huppert, who appear much older and wearier in merciless close-up.
Ms. Debicki, who is in her early 20s, looks pretty much the same, which is ravishingly unlined. And you see the ingenuity in Mr. Andrews’s casting the Mistress as a spoiled debutante type rather than the usual middle-aged society matron. Excess, after all, is an accessory that looks attractive only on the young.
This Mistress can still get away with changing her attitudes and emotions the way she changes clothes. Once she makes her entrance more than halfway through the play, you see how precisely Claire has been imitating her. Such exact mimicry makes both women seem pathetic, but especially Claire, because she’s now too old for that part.
That Ms. Debicki sometimes resembles the Cate Blanchett of 20 years ago makes the parallels all the more disturbing. And the double act they perform toward the end of the production’s uninterrupted 115 minutes makes you uncomfortable in ways I imagine might have pleased Genet, who was notoriously hard to please.
By the way, in the very first pages of the Playbill for “The Maids,” you’ll find a double-page ad for aGiorgio Armani fragrance,featuring an exquisitely serene model. That’s Ms. Blanchett. It seems highly appropriate that onstage the same woman is tearing that image to shreds. This perfume goddess is stinking to high heaven. I mean that as a major compliment.
Bonus Cate's best Pictures: Our Beloved Legend Lauren "Betty" Bacall and Cate Blanchett
WWE star Jonathan Good, known in the ring as Dean Ambrose, will headline the film, to be directed by Stephen Reynolds (“Tomb Raider: Ascension”). Production starts this month.
Good, who made his debut on WWE’s main roster in 2012, has generated a major fan following after breaking out as a member of the group The Shield, and quickly proved his abilities on the mic and in story lines in and outside of the ring. WWE is now betting that he may be able to cross over into films, as well. “Lockdown” will be his first starring role in a movie.
Written by Nathan Brooks and Bobby Lee Darby (“See No Evil 2″), “Lockdown” follows a police officer who finds himself trapped inside his own precinct and hunted after crooked cops stop at nothing to recover incriminating evidence of illegal activities against those closest to him.
“Lockdown will continue to energize and excite with the high level of adrenaline our fans have come to expect from our films,” said WWE Studios president Michael Luisi.
The six new action films are meant to showcase WWE talent in starring roles and help incubate new talent, WWE and Lionsgate said when making the deal in May.
Lionsgate sparked to the idea of being able to market the movies to WWE’s fanbase that watches its weekly TV shows and pay-per-views, as well as visits its websites and subscribes to its digital network.
“We’re proud to continue our long-standing partnership with WWE Studios, whose prowess in marketing to their global fan base delivers a consistent track record of commercial success,” said Lionsgate co-chief operating officer and motion picture group president Steve Beeks.
Can't wait for Summerslam! Who do you think is going to win? Cena or Brock? AJ or Paige?