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- 09/14/14--06:14: _Woman marries cardb...
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- 09/14/14--07:17: _Viola Davis Says Ho...
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- 09/14/14--12:02: _Britney finding it ...
- 09/14/14--12:02: _Charli XCX on treat...
- 09/14/14--06:14: Woman marries cardboard
- 09/14/14--07:16: Nicole Scherzinger debuts ballad "Run" on French Radio
- 09/14/14--07:17: Watch a clip from the insane-sounding unofficial Breaking Bad sequel
- 09/14/14--07:59: Lady GaGa in Dubai & Tel Aviv
- 09/14/14--08:22: Jay Z Reportedly Announces Beyonce’s Second Pregnancy
- 09/14/14--10:21: Amy Winehouse statue unveiled in London
- 09/14/14--10:22: One Direction Announce Their First Single
- 09/14/14--10:22: Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt Post Nupital Family Bonding in Malta
- 09/14/14--10:39: Mamoru Oshii Asks Ghibli's Suzuki About Restructuring
- 09/14/14--10:40: Weekend Box Office: Dolphins vs. Idris Elba
- 09/14/14--11:25: Martha Stewart on Gwyneth Paltrow: Be Quiet and Stick to Acting
- 09/14/14--11:25: Kendrick Lamar says Taylor Swift's remarks help himself, hip-hop
- 09/14/14--12:02: Britney finding it hard to cope on her own back in the single life?
Sitting next to her husband in a bar, Lauren orders a gin and tonic. She nods towards Edward and tells the barman: “He’ll have a beer.”
The barman looks at her as if she has gone completely mad because the “man” next to her is made of cardboard. Lauren Adkins, 25, is married to a life-size cut-out of vampire Edward Cullen from the Twilight movies, played by Robert Pattinson.
She says: “We got hitched in Las Vegas last year and I’m sure we’re happier than most newlyweds. People might think I’m crazy but my flat-pack R-Patz is the closest I’ll get to the real thing and he’s the one for me. For as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with romantic fairytale endings. When I was a child, I watched the Disney versions of Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs and Cinderella until the tapes wore out.”
As Lauren grew older she became a fan of teen romantic comedies and expected to meet the man of her dreams on Prom Night. But it was not to be and at 17 she found herself desperate and dateless. She started college and moved out of her home but every guy she dated failed to live up to her ideal. Then came the Twilight books and films – and the vampire of her dreams.
Lauren, from Las Vegas, says: “It was different from any love story I’d seen before – after all, the leading character was as likely to suck your blood as open the door for you. I was obsessed. Leading man Edward was quiet and mysterious, yet superhuman and invincible. And so sexy. I tore through the books and I queued outside the cinema when the film was released, desperate for my first glimpse of Edward. And when Robert Pattinson appeared on screen at midnight, he was perfect. I knew that very minute I wanted to marry him.”
A few months later in a record shop she saw a 6ft tall Edward in a suit.
“Of course he was made from cardboard, but that didn’t matter to me. Suddenly I was taken over with an urge to have him. I grabbed his rigid torso and stuffed him under my arm before marching to the counter and handing over a $20 note. Then, cramming him into my car I headed back to my apartment where I ripped off his cellophane and stood him at the foot of my bed. For the rest of the night I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Then I started thinking – the guys I’d dated before had all been so hopeless, I might as well have been with a cardboard cut-out. So where was the shame in taking him out with me?”
In the following months, besotted Lauren took Edward out with her more and more. He became her other half. She says: “A friend who thought I was going mad said one night: ‘If you love him so much why don’t you marry him?’ Her words rang in my ears. She was right. Why didn’t I?”
Lauren went online to find a chapel where she could pledge her love to Edward Cullen. Sure enough, the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel on the Vegas strip agreed to carry out the service. They even offered a choice between a traditional minister and an Elvis impersonator.
Lauren says: “I walked down the aisle in January in the white wedding dress I’ve always dreamt of. I held the reception at an art gallery and ordered champagne and a five-tier cake to share with my 50 guests. The day cost £2,000 but I didn’t care – I wanted to do it properly. We had our honeymoon in LA and I wanted us to climb up to the Hollywood sign together. I had to carry him, and we had to do it at night because he can’t be in the sun. But everyone makes sacrifices for the man they love, right?”
She tried to fund her wedding to Cardboard Cullen in 2012 on Indiegogo, calling it performance art.
ONTD, would you marry cardboard?
How do you solve a problem like Nicole Scherzinger without reforming the Pussycat Dolls? The stunning diva has already delivered two great singles from her as-yet-untitled sophomore LP and they have both failed to click in key markets despite having suitably sexy videos and A-List collaborators (The-Dream and Tricky Stewart).
It’s frustrating because the 36-year-old is a true rarity in the pop world in that she can actually sing and dance. Hopefully, she’ll have more luck with “Run” — a beautifully understated ballad that just premiered on French radio. Nicole’s voice soars over a simple piano arrangement and the lyrics are genuinely heartfelt. Listen to the PCD singer’s next roll of the dice after the jump.
New York Times Sunday Magazine This fall, Davis, who is 49, is finally getting her shot at the anti-mammy. As the star of “How to Get Away With Murder,” a new series on ABC, Davis plays Annalise Keating, a flinty, stylish defense lawyer and law professor who employs her top students to help her win cases. After those students become entangled in a murder plot on their Ivy League campus, viewers will wonder whether Keating herself was involved in the crime. Davis plays Keating as cerebral and alluring, a fierce taskmaster who uses her sex appeal to her advantage, with a handsome husband and a lover on the side. It’s the kind of woman, in other words, that she has never gotten to play. Films with largely black casts tend to be made on low budgets and marketed specifically to black audiences. In January, Sony’s Screen Gems scored with “About Last Night,” a romantic comedy with an all-black ensemble led by Kevin Hart: It cost $12 million and took in $49 million. But the conventional wisdom in the industry is that big-budget films like sweeping historical dramas, say, or special-effects-driven thrillers need a global audience to turn a profit. With a few notable exceptions (Denzel Washington, Will Smith), black actors are usually relegated to supporting roles. Black actresses, especially, face another hurdle: the darker-complected they are, the narrower a range of parts they are offered. Earlier this year, Lupita Nyong’o, who won an Oscar for her role in “12 Years a Slave,” said that her “night-shaded skin” had always been “an obstacle.” Television has offered slightly more opportunity. This fall, Octavia Spencer and Taraji P. Henson, both African-American actresses, will each star in their own network series. Shonda Rhimes, in particular, has created mainstream popular entertainment that draws viewers with juicy story lines that just happen to unfold in a multiethnic universe; not for nothing does she call her company Shondaland. The doctors on “Grey’s Anatomy” have included not only black and white actors, but also Sandra Oh, who is of Korean descent, and Sara Ramirez, a Latina. On “Scandal,” it is of little consequence that the political fixer who is sleeping with the president (Tony Goldwyn) happens to be black. “I’m not sitting around going, ‘Wow, it’s historic to have two black women on television,’ ” Rhimes told me when I noted that two of her shows are now led by African-American actresses. “I don’t think it’s odd to see two black women standing in the same place because, well, that’s my house. Like, it’s not a thing. To me, it just feels like Tuesday.” When she was 8 years old, Davis saw Cicely Tyson in “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.” Until then, she had never witnessed any depictions of “beauty or softness or kindness or femininity that looked like me.” After pursuing drama in high school, Davis majored in theater at Rhode Island College, drawing on her past experiences to flesh out characters. “When you grow up in abject poverty,” she said, “you see people exactly the way they are. You know who’s abusing their wives. You know who the drug addict is. You know the person who is stealing electricity. You see people fighting on the street with their boobs coming out and dirty clothes. So it becomes a great groundwork for an artist to observe life. I don’t see it as ugliness. I see it as just kind of human beauty, you know?” Everyone on the set had been talking about the contract negotiations that were underway on another TV series, “The Big Bang Theory,” on CBS. A few days earlier, as the cast gathered in a makeshift break room, someone noted that the lead actors had banded together, all for one, one for all, to each get $1 million an episode. “Let’s make a pact right now,” Davis told them. If “How to Get Away With Murder” did well, she said, they should stand firm and insist on being paid accordingly. “We laughed,” said Matt McGorry, 28, who plays one of Keating’s students on the show. “I said, ‘I don’t think that you want to be getting paid as much as we’re getting paid.’ But you know, she was dead serious.” As much as Davis has wanted to be a star, she admits she is not used to it. When we met, she was struggling with something she was calling the List, which Rhimes had asked her to compile. “She said: ‘Viola, listen, you’ve got to be taken care of. This show rests on your shoulders. Write a list of what you need,’ ” Davis recalled. The assignment was straightforward, but Davis was having trouble. Her husband, Julius Tennon, an actor and a producer, made gentle suggestions: Greek yogurts in her trailer fridge? Sparkling water? Maybe the occasional massage? Still, the List remained unwritten. Davis acknowledges that building her own self-esteem has been a long process. Before she met Tennon, she was in therapy for seven years, untangling her childhood. One legacy of growing up poor, she said, was that she didn’t know how to ask for things because there was never any hope of getting them. And that reluctance led to something more insidious: She didn’t think she deserved to get things. Davis says Tennon enabled her to make a big change in 2012, during the Academy Award campaign for “The Help,” when, for the first time as an actress, she appeared in public without a wig. At the time, she described the decision to reveal her short Afro as “stepping into myself.” But in a commencement speech not long ago, she came up with a more terrifying analogy. “I compared it to Linda Blair in ‘The Exorcist,’ with her head spinning and spewing,” she told me. “And the secretary and the priest run upstairs, put on their coats and go into the room. And they lift her shirt up, and on her belly, it says, ‘Help Me.’ That’s kind of how you feel when you move through life possessed by everybody’s way of seeing you and who you’re supposed to be, everybody’s definition of beauty and of success.”
by Amy Wallace September 14, 2014
Viola Davis As You've Never Seen Her Before: Leading Lady!
“Even when I get the fried-chicken special of the day, I have to dig into it like it’s filet mignon,” Viola Davis said. She was speaking not of meals, but of roles. During her 30-year career as an actress, Davis has played a crack-addicted mother (“Antwone Fisher”), the mother of an abducted child (“Prisoners”) and the mother of James Brown (“Get On Up”). Her characters often serve to “hold up the wall” of the narrative, she said, like the empathetic best friend in “Eat, Pray, Love” or the kindly stranger in “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.” Or the kindly mental-institution psychiatrist in “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” the kindly rape-treatment counselor in “Trust” or the kindly medium in “Beautiful Creatures.”
“I always got the phone call that said: ‘I have a great project for you. You’re going to be with, hypothetically, Vanessa Redgrave, Julianne Moore, Annette Bening,’” she said, sitting in the living room of her San Fernando Valley home, barefoot on the couch in a gray T-shirt and leggings, her hair wrapped under a black turban. “Then I get the script, and I have a role that lasts for a page or two.”
Yet over and over again, Davis has made these marginalized characters memorable. She earned her first Oscar nomination for eight minutes of screen time as the mother of a possible victim of molestation in “Doubt.” Four years later, she spent months conceiving an intricate back story to enliven Aibileen Clark, a housemaid with a sixth-grade education, in “The Help.” Davis earned her second Oscar nomination but soon enough returned to playing yet another government functionary or military officer. “I have been given a lot of roles that are downtrodden, mammy-ish,” she said. “A lot of lawyers or doctors who have names but absolutely no lives. You’re going to get your three or four scenes, you’re not going to be able to show what you can do. You’re going to get your little bitty paycheck, and then you’re going to be hungry for your next role, which is going to be absolutely the same. That’s the truth.”
“How to Get Away With Murder,” which includes Shonda Rhimes among its executive producers, will be shown on Thursday nights after Rhimes’s two hit series, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” a generous lead-in that the network hopes will result in an instant hit. But that will depend, in part, on whether viewers embrace Davis — “a woman of color, of a certain age and a certain hue,” as she says — in her new capacity. “I don’t see anyone on TV like me in a role like this. And you can’t even mention Halle Berry or Kerry Washington,” she told me, referring to two African-American stars with notably lighter skin.
Black actors have always had a tough time getting their due in Hollywood. After Sidney Poitier became the first African-American to win the Academy Award for best actor, in 1964, it would take almost four decades before Berry won for best lead actress. These days, when the paucity of strong black roles prompts suggestions of racism, film executives often cite economics in their defense. The American movie market makes up less than a third of global box-office receipts, and films with predominantly black casts typically don’t earn as much money overseas. “The Help,” which made $170 million in the United States, took in just $42 million internationally. By comparison, “Guardians of the Galaxy” made $556 million worldwide this summer, almost half of it from ticket sales abroad. Last year, the poster for “12 Years a Slave” in the Italian market featured images of either Michael Fassbender or Brad Pitt rather than its many black stars.
Davis is known for her meticulous preparation. She spent four months studying for her eight minutes in “Doubt.” For “The Help,” she imagined Aibileen’s childhood, her aspirations and even her love life. Davis’s own back story explains much about the actress she has become. Born on her grandmother’s farm, a former plantation in South Carolina, she was raised in Central Falls, R.I. As one of the few black families in town, Davis and her five siblings grew up enduring vicious taunts. “Constantly being called ‘black ugly nigger’ — those words together,” she said in the 2011 documentary “Dark Girls.” Her father was a horse trainer, her mother worked in a factory and as an occasional maid and Davis remembers being so hungry that she sometimes stole food from the grocery store and rummaged in garbage cans for scraps; her shoes had holes in the soles, and her braids were secured by the plastic clips that seal up loaves of bread. “We sometimes used lard for moisturizer because we couldn’t afford lotion,” she recalled. “I smelled like chicken when I went to school.”
Eventually, she won a place at Juilliard and went on to work in regional theater, then off and on Broadway. She began to get small film roles as nurses, social workers and policewomen. No one disputed that Davis had the chops (in 2001, she picked up her first Tony Award for her role in “King Hedley II”; nine years later, she won her second in a revival of “Fences”), but as her 20s passed into her 30s, Davis slipped into a pattern of playing women at loose ends, or worse, dowdy or strung out. Even after her first Oscar nomination, at 43, she portrayed a nameless mayor in the Gerard-Butler-as-vigilante movie “Law Abiding Citizen” and had a small role in Tyler Perry’s “Madea Goes to Jail.” Around this time, Davis started speaking out more frequently about the dearth of good roles for black actresses. Last year, she suggested on a segment of “Oprah’s Next Chapter” that actresses like herself were “in crisis,” comparing them to rats fighting over “a piece of cheese” and relegated to certain types. She said no one was ever going to cast her in a love scene with Bradley Cooper.
Talking bluntly like this “is only complicated for people of color,” she told me. “I listen to really smart Caucasian women all the time talking about how hard it is for women over a certain age, and it doesn’t overshadow their work.” When you’re white, she added, “your ability is not overshadowed by your rhetoric.” Davis is soft-spoken, but as she talked, there was urgency in her eyes. She felt responsible, she said, to try to make things better. “When you see what the deficit is, then you have to do something about it,” she said, leaning toward me. “I see the kind of work that needs to be put out there in order to make change. Do I think there is a crisis for women over 40, too? Absolutely. But a 25-year-old white actress who is training at Yale or Juilliard or SUNY Purchase or N.Y.U. today can look at a dozen white actresses who are working over age 40 in terrific roles. You can’t say that for a lot of young black girls. That’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.”
On a steamy morning last month, Davis was standing in a stairwell in downtown Los Angeles, in a burlap-bag factory that had been transformed into a police station. Wearing a navy blue pencil skirt, a champagne silk blouse and a trim trench coat, Davis was shooting a scene in which she and a client exited the station house, her five students trailing behind like baby ducks as F.B.I. agents screeched up in three black Chevy Tahoes. Between each take, as the cars were put in position to race up again, Davis and her fellow cast members returned to the stairwell inside the building’s front door.
Annalise Keating may be the most stereotypically beautiful woman Davis has been tapped to play, but soon after accepting the role, she began lobbying to highlight the character’s vulnerabilities. “She’s pushed me on this,” said Nowalk, the series creator. “She’s big on the fact that we all wear masks in public, depending on what’s necessary. She wanted to show Annalise in private moments, when no one else was around.” Davis told me that she wanted Keating “to be messy", multifaceted and complicated. “Vanity destroys your work,” she said. “That’s the one thing you have to let go of as an actor. I don’t care how sexy or beautiful any woman is. At the end of the day, she has to take her makeup off. At the end of the day, she’s more than just pretty.”
But Davis told me that she had another motivation for accepting the Keating role. Davis and Tennon have a company, JuVee Productions, that they formed in 2011 to develop scripts for her and other actors of color. They have several projects they are pursuing, including one about Harriet Tubman, a leader of the Underground Railroad, and another about Vee-Jay Records, a label that released the first Beatles tracks in America. Davis is most excited about a biopic of Barbara Jordan, the Texas congresswoman who was the first African-American woman to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. It’s being written by Tony Kushner, an old friend from Juilliard, and Davis and Tennon have been pitching it around town for years. Recently, Davis has been in talks with Fox Searchlight about financing it, but she knows that whether or not she ultimately gets a greenlight will, in part, depend on whether the script is populated with roles compelling enough to attract, as she put it, “white, bankable stars.”
Davis understands that entertainment is a business and that this is the way it runs. She would just like to expand some of the definitions of a few terms — terms, for example, like “bankable.” And for that she needs the support of not only those in Hollywood who hold the purse strings but also the rest of us, black moviegoers included. “You know, I heard so many people who said: ‘Oh, “The Help,” I’m just so tired of these images. I’d rather see “Spider Man,” ’ ” she said, referring to the black community. But Hollywood, she said, wouldn’t see that preference as a sign that African-Americans were yearning “to see more complicated stories about black people. No, Hollywood is going to say, ‘They want to see “Spider Man.” ’ That’s the way it works.”
Amy Wallace is editor at large of Los Angeles magazine and a contributing writer for GQ. Her last article for the magazine was a profile of the director Baz Luhrmann.
New York Times Sunday Magazine
This fall, Davis, who is 49, is finally getting her shot at the anti-mammy. As the star of “How to Get Away With Murder,” a new series on ABC, Davis plays Annalise Keating, a flinty, stylish defense lawyer and law professor who employs her top students to help her win cases. After those students become entangled in a murder plot on their Ivy League campus, viewers will wonder whether Keating herself was involved in the crime. Davis plays Keating as cerebral and alluring, a fierce taskmaster who uses her sex appeal to her advantage, with a handsome husband and a lover on the side. It’s the kind of woman, in other words, that she has never gotten to play.
Films with largely black casts tend to be made on low budgets and marketed specifically to black audiences. In January, Sony’s Screen Gems scored with “About Last Night,” a romantic comedy with an all-black ensemble led by Kevin Hart: It cost $12 million and took in $49 million. But the conventional wisdom in the industry is that big-budget films like sweeping historical dramas, say, or special-effects-driven thrillers need a global audience to turn a profit. With a few notable exceptions (Denzel Washington, Will Smith), black actors are usually relegated to supporting roles. Black actresses, especially, face another hurdle: the darker-complected they are, the narrower a range of parts they are offered. Earlier this year, Lupita Nyong’o, who won an Oscar for her role in “12 Years a Slave,” said that her “night-shaded skin” had always been “an obstacle.”
Television has offered slightly more opportunity. This fall, Octavia Spencer and Taraji P. Henson, both African-American actresses, will each star in their own network series. Shonda Rhimes, in particular, has created mainstream popular entertainment that draws viewers with juicy story lines that just happen to unfold in a multiethnic universe; not for nothing does she call her company Shondaland. The doctors on “Grey’s Anatomy” have included not only black and white actors, but also Sandra Oh, who is of Korean descent, and Sara Ramirez, a Latina. On “Scandal,” it is of little consequence that the political fixer who is sleeping with the president (Tony Goldwyn) happens to be black. “I’m not sitting around going, ‘Wow, it’s historic to have two black women on television,’ ” Rhimes told me when I noted that two of her shows are now led by African-American actresses. “I don’t think it’s odd to see two black women standing in the same place because, well, that’s my house. Like, it’s not a thing. To me, it just feels like Tuesday.”
When she was 8 years old, Davis saw Cicely Tyson in “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.” Until then, she had never witnessed any depictions of “beauty or softness or kindness or femininity that looked like me.” After pursuing drama in high school, Davis majored in theater at Rhode Island College, drawing on her past experiences to flesh out characters. “When you grow up in abject poverty,” she said, “you see people exactly the way they are. You know who’s abusing their wives. You know who the drug addict is. You know the person who is stealing electricity. You see people fighting on the street with their boobs coming out and dirty clothes. So it becomes a great groundwork for an artist to observe life. I don’t see it as ugliness. I see it as just kind of human beauty, you know?”
Everyone on the set had been talking about the contract negotiations that were underway on another TV series, “The Big Bang Theory,” on CBS. A few days earlier, as the cast gathered in a makeshift break room, someone noted that the lead actors had banded together, all for one, one for all, to each get $1 million an episode. “Let’s make a pact right now,” Davis told them. If “How to Get Away With Murder” did well, she said, they should stand firm and insist on being paid accordingly. “We laughed,” said Matt McGorry, 28, who plays one of Keating’s students on the show. “I said, ‘I don’t think that you want to be getting paid as much as we’re getting paid.’ But you know, she was dead serious.”
As much as Davis has wanted to be a star, she admits she is not used to it. When we met, she was struggling with something she was calling the List, which Rhimes had asked her to compile. “She said: ‘Viola, listen, you’ve got to be taken care of. This show rests on your shoulders. Write a list of what you need,’ ” Davis recalled. The assignment was straightforward, but Davis was having trouble. Her husband, Julius Tennon, an actor and a producer, made gentle suggestions: Greek yogurts in her trailer fridge? Sparkling water? Maybe the occasional massage? Still, the List remained unwritten.
Davis acknowledges that building her own self-esteem has been a long process. Before she met Tennon, she was in therapy for seven years, untangling her childhood. One legacy of growing up poor, she said, was that she didn’t know how to ask for things because there was never any hope of getting them. And that reluctance led to something more insidious: She didn’t think she deserved to get things. Davis says Tennon enabled her to make a big change in 2012, during the Academy Award campaign for “The Help,” when, for the first time as an actress, she appeared in public without a wig. At the time, she described the decision to reveal her short Afro as “stepping into myself.” But in a commencement speech not long ago, she came up with a more terrifying analogy. “I compared it to Linda Blair in ‘The Exorcist,’ with her head spinning and spewing,” she told me. “And the secretary and the priest run upstairs, put on their coats and go into the room. And they lift her shirt up, and on her belly, it says, ‘Help Me.’ That’s kind of how you feel when you move through life possessed by everybody’s way of seeing you and who you’re supposed to be, everybody’s definition of beauty and of success.”
Earlier this year, Lawrence Shepherd attempted to crowd-fund $500,000 to produce Anastasia, a Breaking Bad sequel starring Val Kilmer — surprising both Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and Val Kilmer, who had absolutely no knowledge of the project.
Unfortunately, Kilmer dismissed Shepherd as a "goofball," and Anastasia raised just $1,075 before Shepherd shut it down. But much like Walter White, Shepherd refuses to admit defeat. Anastasia is back, sans Val Kilmer, with a Kickstarter attempting to collect a far more reasonable $100,000. Slash, the guitarist from Guns 'N Roses, is allegedly still attached.
Shepherd's new Kickstarter includes the first two pages of Anastasia's pilot, in which a mysterious figure drags Walter White's unconscious body from the meth lab where Breaking Bad ended. From there, an "elite U.S. Marshals team" dedicated to tracking down "the most elusive and dangerous fugitives" is hot on the case.
How could Walter White possibly be alive? In this clip from Anastasia, a suspiciously well-informed man busts in to explain:
The Kickstarter for Anastasia sits at $310. It has 12 days to make the other $99,690.
MTV's teen comedy Faking It is poised to break new ground on the small screen in its second season when it explores what it's like to be
Intersex is a physical condition that occurs when a person is born with both male and female chromosomes but their bodies typically develop as female. About one in every 2,000 people are born with intersex traits and the condition is as common as people with red hair.
On Faking It, Bailey De Young portrays Lauren, a hyper-feminine bitchy teen who is the sister (by marriage) to Rita Volk'sAmy, who in season one, faked a lesbian relationship with her best friend Karma (Katie Stevens), to move up the social ladder at an Austin high school.
Season one ended with a cliffhanger for Lauren, who flipped out after rumors started flying about mysterious pills she was taking regularly. The season two premiere will reveal that Lauren regularly takes hormones and was born with Androgen Insensitive Syndrome, a type of intersex condition that means she was born with male chromosomes but develops as a female.
Here, showrunner Carter Covington talks with The Hollywood Reporter about the series-long storyline, why the time is right to address it and how it fits in with the show's central themes.
What inspired you to tell this story?
Part of the overall theme of Faking It is how hard it is to be your authentic self and how important it is to strive to do that. At the beginning of last season, we were discussing in the writers room what that could be and we stumbled on, “What if she were born intersex?” We all had the reaction that the other characters had on show: "What exactly is that?" We weren’t really sure and started to do some research and connected with Advocates for Informed Choice's KimberlyZieselman. She's our consultant on the show (AIC is the parent group of advocacy group Inter/Act) and gave us a wonderful education on what it is like to be born intersex. We felt like it was a no brainer because it really frames who Lauren is and why she has walls up, why she is hyper-feminine and why she is who she is. It's a story I've never heard told before, and our show is all about showing the diversity of experiences that young people are faced with today.
How did you pitch the story to MTV? Did the executives have any feedback? Concerns?
I pitched it last year when I was pitching the first eight episodes of season one. We folded in a couple of hints throughout the first eight episodes about what's coming. They knew about the storyline early on, but it wasn’t until I pitched these 10 episodes that I went in nervous. MTV's Susanne Daniels was very excited about it. I was expecting a battle with the network, but she 100 percent embraced it. People want to create TV that touches people and that shows a different subset. I'm always excited as a writer when there is an experience I can relate to, and MTV wanted programming that touches people and moves people.
How did Bailey De Young respond when learning of the story?
I told her earlier this year, when we were doing first eight. I wanted her to know. She was excited and loved what that meant for Lauren. She talked to young women who were born with the condition that Lauren has on the show and she really embraced that. She wanted to find out what their experiences have been like so she can accurately portray that on the show.
What makes the timing right to tell this story?
What I love about Lauren’s journey is that it's so relatable. When it comes down to it she wonders: Will people know the real her or will they reject her? That's something that everybody feels at some point. We all have worries that if we show someone else what's going on inside that we'll get rejected.
Is this a season-long storyline?
It's a series-long story line. When I'm writing any character, if they're gay or allergic to peanuts, those are things that affect your whole life in various degrees. For Lauren, being born intersex is going to be something she's going to struggle to accept and then struggle to defend in her life. That journey of self-acceptance, at least for me, never stops. I'm still trying to accept things about myself that I don't love or that I wish were different or that makes me feel like I’m not normal. Lauren is going to go on a series-long journey to get to a point where she's proud of who she is.
In the season two premiere, Shane (Michael J. Willett) has a very supportive response to Lauren and tells her that she needs to love herself and not feel humiliated about who she is. How else will we see the group support her?
In a couple ways, since so many people know her secret and they could tell at any moment. Even though they say they won't tell — and I genuinely believe our characters would not do that — there is that panic over Lauren and it forces her to be more vulnerable with this group of people. It also brings her into the show a bit more; when you find out a secret about someone, you're closer to them. Whether or not anything else has changed, they know something about Lauren that she didn't want them to know and they are accepting of her. It creates deeper intimacy because Lauren is still Lauren. We're also going to explore Lauren’s relationship with her dad and how her being born intersex has affected that. That’s a little later down the road this season.
Whowon'thave a good reaction?
Without giving anything away, that is definitely coming. What I wanted to explore in these 10 episodes is showing that the real person keeping Lauren from accepting this part of herself is herself. A lot of her journey is expecting people to be offended or disgusted, and reject her.
What's your goal in telling this story?
I really want the show’s message to be, even though the show is called Faking It, the goal should be for all of us to love ourselves.
In the episode, Lauren turns to an online support group after her friends learn she was born intersex. Talk about your decision to include that.
Inter/Act is the first intersex youth advocacy organization. Our consultant is part of that and a lot of the young people we spoke to on the show are part of that. We're trying to give people tools to build and connect with that community. People born with these conditions are often told they will never meet anyone else like them, and they all found that not to be true. That feeling that you're the only one, you’re the biggest freak, is one of the biggest misconceptions about being born intersex. We are really hoping to dispel that. We’ve partnered with GLAAD, who has been very active in helping us and making sure that we're portraying everything in a positive light. We also continue to be big supporters of The Trevor Project.
Same-sex storylines, teen pregnancy and abortion have all become commonplace on TV as society continues to evolve. What other storylines haven't we seen on TV?
I do think that in terms of shows that challenge the binary straight-gay sexual spectrum, we're one of the few shows that is willing to explore the gray in-between. That constantly feels groundbreaking to me. Seeing characters go on journeys of sexual discovery is something new to TV and I'm enjoying portraying that. I think it's something a lot of people go through.
Are you expecting any negative feedback from more conservative groups?
I'm constantly waiting for us to be boycotted or criticized. I do feel our show takes a very low tolerance stance that could get a lot of pushback from more conservative groups, but it has never materialized. I don’t know why, maybe I’m not pushing the envelope enough (laughs).
FakingIt exploresa lot about sexuality. What's the overall message you'd like viewers to take away from the show?What I hope the show does is show it's OK to be gay, straight, to not know where you are on the spectrum and explore. It's OK to make mistakes, but it’s a part of growing up and figuring out who you are. I don’t think that’s a process that ends when you’re 18 or 21, it goes on your whole life.
Faking It returns for its second season on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 10:30 p.m. on MTV.
Do you know redheads or are you a redhead yourself, ONTD?
The vast and beautiful unknown. We have no idea how small we are in this massive and beautiful universe.
Arriving in Tel Aviv:
Before the artRAVE Tel Aviv
Performing I Can't Give You Anything But Love with Tony Bennett in Tel Aviv
Sorry for the mixup, mods-- it was an html error on my end.
Beyonce had announced her first child with husband Jay Z after her 2011 MTV Video Music Awards performance by dropping her mic, unbuttoning her blazer and rubbing her belly – a message heard loud and clear around the world. If recent reports are true, then Jay Z just announced their second (!) child in a sneakier fashion during the September 12 (and final) On the Run concert in Paris.
Jay Z reportedly changed select lyrics to his Magna Carta Holy Grail interlude “Beach Is Better,” swapping “I replace it with another one” to “’Cause she’s pregnant with another one,” according to Houston radio station MAJIC 102.1. A fan has also posted a purported audio clip from Jay Z’s performance, although his lyrics are tough to make out. See their Instagram posts after the jump.
Hundreds of fans gathered in Camden, north London, on Sunday for the unveiling of a statue in memory of singer Amy Winehouse.
The bronze sculpture, which sports Winehouse's signature beehive hairstyle, a star of David necklace and a live red rose in her hair, was placed in the heart of the Stables Market as a memorial to the singer, who died three years ago of alcohol poisoning aged 27.
Fans travelled from mainland Europe and even Hawaii to get a first glimpse of the memorial on Sunday morning, which sculptor Scott Eaton said he hoped was "reflective and contemplative", breaking into loud applause as the black screen obscuring the statue was taken down and the grey blanket pulled away to reveal the statue posed with one hand on her hip.
Actor Barbara Windsor, who was a friend of Winehouse's and remains a patron of the foundation set up in the singer's name, said it was a great honour to unveil the statue on a day that would also have been the Back to Black singer's 31st birthday.
"I've been in this business for 66 years now and I've had many honours throughout my career, but this is the greatest honour," said Windsor. "I was one of the fortunate people who got to know Amy in the last few years of her too short life. Not only was she one of the greatest talents that this country has ever produced, she was a warm, lovely kind and fun lady. She was what we call in our business a superb bird, that's what she was. Amy loved Camden with a passion and Camden loved her so it's only right her presence should remain here."
As the statue was revealed to the crowds, Winehouse's father Mitch, who was a driving force behind getting the statue erected in the north London borough and was fully involved in the design, planted a kiss on the cheek of the statue.
He said: "It's a day of incredibly mixed emotions. They don't put statues up for people who are with us anymore so it reinforces the fact that physically she's gone but spiritually she'll never leave us. I feel sad, very, very sad. We shouldn't be here but we are, this is the reality and we've just got to make the most of it. So this statue is part of making the most of it. Getting people to come here, spend some time with Amy and put a flower in her hair and remember her in a very positive way. That for me is wonderful."
He added: "I'll be coming to visit it all the time. It was difficult to see the sculpture at first but I'm getting used to it. It looks just beautiful."
Winehouse's mother Janis was also at the unveiling, though she said she had not been involved with the project at all.
"It's just a wow, a definite wow," she said. "I am pleased with how the statue turned out because you can see that it's Amy. It is soon but it was beyond our control – events overtook events but we're very proud of it. Camden is Amy's place, it's where she belongs."
Fan Marcello Forelli, 59, had travelled from Venice to attend the unveiling. Sporting an Amy Winehouse T-shirt and showing off a colour portrait of the singer tattooed on his chest, he said: "I wanted to come here to see Amy. She was the best singer in the world so this is a sad day."
Happy 31st Birthday, Amy!
via The Guardian
out on 29th!
Not everything that the Kardashian klan touches turns to gold! According to the Las Vegas Sun, the family’s Las Vegas “boutique” is closing three years after its 2011 grand opening.
Kardashian Khaos— which offers photos of sisters Kim, 33, Kourtney, 35, and Khloe, 30, on beach towels, plastic totes, paper masks and playing cards— will be shutting its doors for good on October 30, the newspaper reports.
While the family has yet to comment on the closing, sales seem to be slumping: The shop’s knick-knacks are 50% off on its website. And fans are less than impressed on the store’s Yelp page. “Can I get the 5 minutes I spent in here back please?” complained Mariah R. from Plano, Texas. “Useless, overpriced GARBAGE!” slammed Henri W. of California.
But when one door closes, another opens for the oversaturated sisters . The family will debut a hair care line in 2015.
At the Thursday screening of his work The Next Generation -Patlabor- Part 4 at Tokyo's Shinjuku Piccadilly Theater, Mamoru Oshii questioned Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki about the future of Ghibli. Suzuki admitted the need for the restructuring within the studio, stating that "it is difficult to find what we should produce, and who should produce."
Then, he suggested the possibility of using staffers from other Asian countries by adding,"It is getting difficult to produce animation by Japanese only. There seem to be many talented staffs in other Asian countries, like Thailand. There are some people who have experience working at Pixar, then come back to their homeland and establish their own studios. Looking at the animation around the world, we see other Asians who have won the Grand Prize awards [at film festivals]."
Oshii pressed Suzuki about the state of Ghibli itself, particularly its existing animation staff. "I am asking what you will do with Ghibli […] Production I.G won't take the animators […] Are you going to fire all [animators]?"
Suzuki responded, "I am not going to fire all of them."
Oshii continued, "So, you are going to fire half?" Suzuki did not answer Oshii's question.
Regarding Suzuki's statement at the Tokyo International Film Festival's August 26 press conference that Hideaki Anno will be Hayao Miyazaki's successor, Oshii wondered if this would "mean Anno will come to Ghibli and take Miyazaki's seat." Suzuki reaffirmed that "Anno himself publicly calls himself Miyazaki's disciple...[and that] Miyazaki and Anno view each other as master and pupil." Citing Anno's past involvement Ghibli, Oshii proposed that perhaps it would be appropriate if Anno directed a sequel to Nausicaä, though projecting that film will be "dark and grotesque." Suzuki said he thought that as well.
Earlier this month, Suzuki emphasized on TBS television program Jōnetsu Tairiku "that the studio is considering "housecleaning" or restructuring for now...[and] the end result would be "rebuilding" the studio and creating an environment for the next generation."
Last year, Miyazaki revealed that he is open to the possibility of a Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind film sequel. However, he would leave such a hypothetical project in the hands of Evangelion director Anno. A key animator on Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Anno later drew inspiration from the film's Giant God Warriors to create Evangelion. Along with Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Anno collaborated with collaborated with Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli on "Kyoshinhei Tokyo ni Arawaru" (Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo), 2012 live-action tokusatsu (special-effects) short and voiced as the main protagonist in Miyazaki's final film, The Wind Rises.
Miyazaki retired from directing feature films last year.
Studio Ghibli should have a tag...
What did you see this weekend? I went to No Good Deed, expecting a so-called "twist", but was lied to and given another cliché Screen Gems thriller.
Martha Stewart shared a stunning, easy, one-step life recipe in Net-a-Porter's Porter magazine for Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow and other actresses who might want to venture into lifestyle blogging: shut up.
The New York Post reports that Stewart had some words for Paltrow in particular:
"She just needs to be quiet. She's a movie star. If she were confident in her acting, she wouldn't be trying to be Martha Stewart."
You don't see Martha Stewart trying to have a kid named Apple, do you? You don't see Martha Stewart trying to play an alcoholic country star!
Martha wasn't as open about her feelings towards Blake Lively, an actress who came to her for advice before starting her site Preserve, leaving her senior vice president Kevin Sharkey to do the dirty work, saying:
"I don't get the sense she's credible. She's enthusiastic, but she's not credible."
Aw. She is enthusiastic, isn't she?
The lesson remains, of course, as true as it always has been: don't fuck with Martha's shit.
The Weinstein Company’s big Oscar push The Imitation Game from Morten Tyldum and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley has won the People Choice at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, as many expected and predicted. The film made the biggest splash at the fest and is setting the cement for its strong awards season ahead. In the last six years, every winner of this award has gone onto an Oscar nomination for Best Picture and three have won (12 Years a Slave, The King’s Speech, Slumdog Millionaire). St. Vincent, another Weinstein film, was the first runner up.
People’s Choice Award: The Imitation Game (Morten Tyldum)
1st runner up: St. Vincent (Theodore Melfi)
2nd runner up: Learning to Drive (Isabel Coixet)
People’s Choice Award For Documentary: Beats of Antonov (Hajooj Kuka)
1st runner up: Seymour: An Introduction (Ethan Hawke)
2nd runner up: Do I Sound Gay? (David Thorpe)
People’s Choice Award For Midnight Madness: What We Do In Shadows (Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi)
1st runner up: Tusk (Kevin Smith)
2nd runner up: Big Game (Jalmari Helander)
Best Canadian Feature Film: Félix & Meira (Maxime Giroux)
City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film: Bang Bang Baby (Jeffrey St. Jules)
Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Special Presentations Section: Time Out of Mind (Oren Moverman)
Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Discovery Section: May Allah Bless France (Abd al Malik)
NETPAC Award For Best Asian Film: Margarita with a Straw (Shonali Bose)
Award For Best Canadian Short Film: The Weatherman and the Shadow Boxer (Randall Okita)
Award for Best International Short Film: A Single Body (Sotiris Dounkoous)
Looks like the lizard king is going to be an Oscar nominee very soon.
ATLANTA — Kendrick Lamar appreciated Taylor Swift for paying homage to his music in a recent interview.
Lamar was grateful to hear about Swift knowing the words to his lyrics and putting her in a great mood. The rapper praised the country music star for speaking highly of his music, saying her admiring remarks show hip-hop shouldn't be categorized for one listener.
"Some people always try to lock it down and categorize it for one particular listener," Lamar said at the fifth annual ONE Musicfest in Atlanta on Saturday night. "But it moves all, even people from other genres."
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Swift said listening to Lamar's music helps change her mood from feeling "victimized" to "awesome." She said her "go-to" song is Lamar's "Backseat Freestyle," a record featured on his Grammy-nominated album, "Good Kid, M.A.A.D City."
"I appreciate Taylor Swift for supporting not only my music but just the hip-hop culture," he said. "There's really no gap. It's music and it feels good."
Lamar spoke backstage with The Associated Press after his 90-minute performance at the Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood. He was one of the headliners with rapper Nas of the one-day festival, which also featured Jhene Aiko, Method Man & Redman and Bilal.
During his set, Lamar often squatted with the microphone in his right hand, thanking fans for helping his rise to fame. The Los Angeles-based rapper spoke about when he used to visit Atlanta to perform in front of small crowds.
Lamar didn't perform any new songs. But it didn't seem to matter to many in attendance, who recited the lyrics from several of his hit songs from "Swimming Pools (Drank)" to "Poetic Justice."
"I remember when I used to perform in front of 200 people," Lamar told several thousand attendees. "Now, it's a sea of people. I'm glad to see the growth here.
"It speaks volumes about the hip-hop culture."
Jonathan Landrum Jr. wrote this article for The Associated Press.
In a heart-wrenching decision, the reality stars decided to place their daughter Carly for adoption during their 16 & Pregnant episode. While they do have an open adoption, they only get to see Carly twice a year and she obviously has a family of her own.
So, now that they're expecting another daughter, how is that going to work when they visit Carly? What are they going to tell her? Are they going to tell their second child that Carly is her sister?
"I'll never hide anything from my kids. Our child [will grow up] with Carly around her," Catelynn revealed to In Touch. "My hope is that they'll have a great relationship one day. They're sisters."
Still, Catelynn and Tyler are being respectful of Carly's adoptive parents and will do things how ever they choose to. Catelynn says she doesn't feel that it's her place to tell Carly about her biological sister and that her parents will tell Carly when they're ready to.
Hopefully they're able to do that before next summer, because Catelynn says they're going to be bringing the new baby with them when they come to visit Carly.
What would you guys do in that situation? Would you tell both kids? Not tell them? Wait to see if they ask? It's a tough call.
Catelynn and Tyler are returning for another season of Teen Mom, airing next year. We can't wait to see them with their baby girl when she's born this winter.
Source 1 and 2
Britney Spears is said to be finding it difficult to come to terms with her split from boyfriend David Lucado.
The 32-year-old singer - who split from David last month after her was captured on video kissing another woman - recently admitted she is ready to start dating again, although those close to the star insist she is still heartbroken.
An insider told America's OK! magazine: "Britney's been on an emotional roller coaster.
Britney was sure she'd found someone she and her boys could settle down with. After so many ups and downs with guys, she's totally destroyed. She's taking some time to reconsider her life right now."
The blonde beauty - who announced the split via her Twitter account - is keeping busy with her 'Piece of Me' residency at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas in a bid to distract herself from the break-up.
The source said: "Her shows are the only thing keeping her going."
However, the 'Toxic' hitmaker - who has sons, Sean, eight, and Jayden, seven, with ex-husband Kevin Federline - is also reported to have broken down back stage shortly after outing her cheating ex.
The insider said: "Before the curtain, she had to have her makeup redone twice. She couldn't stop sobbing."
Charli XCX has spoken about the treatment of women in the music industry, affirming that she's '100% a feminist'.
Speaking to Digital Spy at MTV Push in Helsinki about a recent incident where she was asked by a Dutch DJ if she was 'fingering herself' live on air, the singer said it 'blows her mind' that women continue to be treated as objects.
"I would definitely say I'm a feminist 100%. To be honest it blows my mind and it really annoys me the way some people treat women as objects and as if we're stupid," she said.
"I don't know why [it still goes on in 2014] because I personally feel like when it comes to music now women are sort of running pop music from both behind the scenes and as artists."
The 22 year-old went on to express how "our society needs to change".
"There are some really incredible female top line writers right now and always have been. There's definitely this new wave of female artists who are running their own career and I really feel like they're proving a point that they're all bosses, so I don't know why it still happens.
"I feel like it's some weird thing our society needs to change."
Charli XCX responded to a different journalist's suggestion that there's a dilemma when prominent women in music use their sexuality, asserting: "I don't think that that's the problem actually."
"Just because a women uses her sexuality to express herself doesn't necessarily mean that she doesn't believe in equal rights for women or that she's not a feminist.
"I think that women have the right to be in charge and proud of their own bodies. I don't think that feminists have to dress in a certain way. I think it's fine to be sexy as long as you're being sexy for yourself and not for a man.
She added: "First of all there's a thing called fashion that people always seem to leave out. I'm very proud of my body and I've just rekindled this love for my boobs so I'm totally down for them right now."
Charli XCX will support Katy Perry for her 'Prismatic' tour across Europe next year following the release of her new album Sucker next month.