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- 09/16/14--12:01: _Childish Gambino on...
- 09/16/14--12:01: _ Bryan Cranston Per...
- 09/16/14--12:03: _Party in Las Vegas ...
- 09/16/14--12:16: _Arrow writers give ...
- 09/16/14--12:16: _First Legend Of Kor...
- 09/16/14--12:38: _Adam Lambert to Jud...
- 09/16/14--12:38: _Tom Hiddleston To S...
- 09/16/14--12:38: _Holliday Grainger c...
- 09/16/14--13:07: _Matthew McConaughey...
- 09/16/14--13:08: _One of the best Wor...
- 09/16/14--13:08: _New American Horror...
- 09/16/14--13:26: _United Nations Name...
- 09/17/14--09:59: _Chris Brown, 'X': T...
- 09/17/14--09:59: _ONTD Roundup
- 09/17/14--09:59: _ARROW SEASON 3 POST...
- 09/17/14--11:02: _The Vampire Diaries...
- 09/17/14--11:03: _Cat Post feat. Tayl...
- 09/17/14--11:03: _The Cast Of “7th He...
- 09/17/14--11:03: _Showtime's "The Aff...
- 09/17/14--11:10: _'Outlander' Roundup...
- 09/16/14--12:01: Childish Gambino on the Breakfast Club
- 09/16/14--12:01: Bryan Cranston Performs 1-Man MLB Postseason Show.
- 09/16/14--12:16: First Legend Of Korra Book 4 Clip
- 09/16/14--12:38: Adam Lambert to Judge 'American Idol' New York Auditions
- 09/16/14--12:38: Holliday Grainger calls out catcallers
- 09/16/14--13:08: New American Horror Story: Freak Show Poster + Plot Details
- 09/16/14--13:26: United Nations Names Leonardo DiCaprio Messenger of Peace
- 09/17/14--09:59: Chris Brown, 'X': Track-by-Track Review.
- 09/17/14--09:59: ONTD Roundup
- More Info From Ariana Grande's Marie Claire Interview
- Ariana Grande Overheard Saying She Wished Fans Would Die
- Beyonce: On The Run From Singing Live
- Six Weeks After Giving Birth, Katie Price Names Daughter 'Bunny'
- Eva Mendes Gives Birth, Welcomes Baby Girl With Ryan Gosling
- Holliday Grainger Calls Out Catcallers
- The Last Time Celebrities Cried During Movies + What Do Fans Say When They Recognize You on the Street?
- ‘Outlander’ Postmortem: Stars Discuss Black Jack’s Acts in ‘The Garrison Commander’
- Reggie Bush Might 'Harshly' Discipline His 1-Year-Old Daughter
- Joan Rivers’ Doctor Snapped Selfie During Throat Procedure
- Beyoncé Posts Up In Her Bikini To Dispel Pregnancy Rumors
- Ariana Grande's Next Single Is 'Love Me Harder'
- Yesterday's ONTD Roundup
- 09/17/14--09:59: ARROW SEASON 3 POSTER IS FINALLY HERE!
- 09/17/14--11:02: The Vampire Diaries 6x01 Webclip
- 09/17/14--11:03: Cat Post feat. Taylor Swift Walking
- 09/17/14--11:03: The Cast Of “7th Heaven” Reunited
He believes race relations in America exist; he's 'racist'; he wants to live exactly how he feels without people labeling him because he's black; the white man runs the world and he needs action from the black community to show their worth (i.e. trademarking "or nah?") etc. He also discusses Jaden Smith. When they questioned him if he was gay, he basically said "I don't know , I've never tried it", it's a pretty good interview.
Actor Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad—famous for his role as Walter White (chemist-turned-high school chemistry teacher-turned-methamphetamine manufacturer)—put on a one-man recreation of baseball's postseason in this new commercial for MLB on TBS.
Cranston, looking for a new challenge in his career, finds inspiration from the one and only Bugs Bunny. The six-minute video can be seen in full above.
MLB Post! Is your team already eliminated, chasing a wildcard spot, or chasing that first draft pick, OTND?
eoghanmcdermo: DJ Malik, Horan & Humes do Vegas! This place has broken me.
SUCH A CRAZY NIGHT!! Plus I saw Zayn, Niall, and Pauly D in Vegas 😍😍😍pic.twitter.com/U6blB1Ntx8— Emma Chow (@emmachow) September 16, 2014
Zayn + Niall with a little fan
Bonus: a few pictures of the last show in Pasadena, CA. 13/09.
Sources:1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8
"Dinah Laurel Lance. Always trying to save the world." "Runs in the family." -- Exchange between Laurel and Sara Lance, Arrow Ep. 3x01— Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) September 15, 2014
@olicitytogether No Kleenex. Xanax.— Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) September 13, 2014
Korra copes with the aftermath of the events of Book 3 in the very first clip from The Legend of Korra season 4, episode 1.
Nickelodeon has released the first sneak peek from The Legend of Korra season 4, which was recently announced to be premiering in early October. The new clip, from the first episode of Book 4: Balance, demonstrates that Korra’s recovery from the near-fatal assault of the Red Lotus may be more difficult than anyone anticipated.
In the new sneak peek, Korra – still wheelchair-bound – is returning home to the Southern Water Tribe for a few weeks. Bolin is thrilled that she is leaving and can be his pen pal; Asami offers to go with Korra, but Korra needs some time alone.
Tenzin assures Korra that he and the airbenders have the whole “world peace” thing completely under control, which clearly only confirms her fears of no longer being needed. Nice one, Tenzin.
Once back in the Southern Water Tribe, Korra wakes from a violent nightmare of nearly dying at Zaheer’s hands. Clearly, the Avatar has a few issues she will need to work through.
The clip from The Legend of Korra season 4, episode 1 also suggests that something Korra experiences will inspire her to make a change. Our first image of Korra from the new season shows the Avatar standing, with shorter hair and a brutal look in her eyes – in other words, she looks tough, but not super happy.
Though all we have at this point is speculation, we have to imagine that Korra’s internal demons – her feelings of weakness and uselessness, the thought that the world no longer needs her – will manifest in a major way in The Legend of Korra season 4. Things may look up for Korra, but we expect a serious struggle before then.
After all, this final book is called “Balance” – and what is balance, if not a struggle?
The Legend of Korra season 4, episode 1 will begin streaming on Friday, Oct. 3 on Nick.com.
Season 3 was magnificent but how will be S4? I have high hopes. Besides, Korrasami 4ever!
It wasn't all that long ago -- the American Idol season-12 finale in 2013 to be exact -- when Adam Lambert told The Hollywood Reporter how he would love to serve as a judge one day.
Lambert is judging the callback auditions alongside Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. He previously mentored the season-13 contestants alongside season-five alum Chris Daughtry.
Legendary announced its plans to make a feature film based on the cinematic origins of King Kong during this year's San Diego Comic Con with an original draft of the script by Max Borenstein. Previous works have touched on the island, but staying on and exploring this mysterious and dangerous place offers Legendary the opportunity to take audiences deeper inside this rich world with a style and scope that parallels other Legendary productions. Universal Pictures will distribute the film on November 4, 2016.
Vogt-Roberts directed and executive produced the Sundance darling THE KINGS OF SUMMER. He has also directed the pilot and multiple episodes of FX's new series "You're the Worst" and is set to direct METAL GEAR SOLID for Sony. His other credits include directing the pilot of "Cocked" for Amazon Studios and directing and executive producing the concert documentary NICK OFFERMAN: AMERICAN HAM. He is represented by UTA, 3 Arts Entertainment and attorneys Alan Wertheimer and Andy Gawker.
Hiddleston's credits include MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE, and WAR HORSE. He is also known for portraying Thor's nemesis and brother, Loki, in Marvel's THOR, THOR: THE DARK WORLD, and THE AVENGERS. Upcoming projects include Legendary's gothic horror CRIMSON PEAK from director Guillermo del Toro, Ben Wheatley's adaptation of J.G. Ballard's HIGH-RISE and Marc Abraham's Hank Williams biopic I SAW THE LIGHT. He is repped by William Morris Endeavor, Hamilton Hodell and Authentic Management.
Legendary's recent releases include GODZILLA, 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE and the Guillermo del Toro directed PACIFIC RIM as well as the Jackie Robinson biopic 42 and MAN OF STEEL with Warner Bros. In addition to WARCRAFT, highlights from Legendary's upcoming slate include BLACKHAT and CRIMSON PEAK.
Holliday Grainger thinks men who shout insults at women in the street should be embarrassed by their behaviour.
The British screen star shot to international fame thanks to roles in Great Expectations and TV shows The Borgias and Bonnie and Clyde.
While she has no problem with fans coming to say hi, she's less than pleased when she gets unwanted male attention.
"My mate and I were walking down the street and some guy followed us on a bike, being quite weirdly sexually threatening. Then some guy shouted at us out of a van, then another one shouted at us down the road and what did we get called? A sl*t, or a b***h, for not turning round," Holliday fumed to British newspaper Metro when asked what annoys her.
"You forget that exists, that something like that happens and you think, 'How is that possible? Are you not embarrassed with yourself for doing that?'"
It's not all doom and gloom in Holliday's world though, and she describes her perfect night as involving lots of wine, friends and music.
The 26-year-old star is about to grace cinema screens in The Riot Club, a film about an elite set of boys, whose wild night out soon descends into disastrous chaos.
She also has Sir Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella and Tulip Fever, co-starring Christoph Waltz, Zach Galifianakis and Cara Delevingne coming up. But what Holliday is most looking forward to, is having a day off.
"When I've not had a day off for ages and I wake up and have that sort of anxious feelings of what time is it? What am I doing? Oh nothing!" she laughed when quizzed on what gets her excited.
"And seeing my mum when I haven't seen her for a while. Also starting a job that you've prepared for so you know you can dive right in."
How do you handle catcalls?
Empire has unveiled the all-new poster for Christopher Nolan’s hotly-anticipated sci-fi adventure, Interstellar. The ambiguous, space-set one-sheet situates Matthew McConaughey’s Cooper amidst an alien landscape and while it doesn’t exactly reveal much in terms of new information — this is Christopher Nolan, after all — this latest posters hints at the stark visual style we can look forward to come November.
Interstellar will take place in the not-so-distant future, a time when Earth has essentially entered its twilight years and is no longer able to sustain human life. So, in order to find a new place and call it home, mankind rallies together a dedicated band of astronauts — Bruce Willis and co. were out of town, unfortunately — to venture forth into the far reaches of space. Joining McConaughey on the intergalactic voyage are Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow and Christopher Nolan’s own good luck charm, Michael Caine. In terms of the revered filmmaker’s other good luck charm, Wally Pfister, it’s understood that Hoyte van Hoytema — the cinematographer behind another cerebral sci-fi, Her — will take his place given that Pfister moved on to work on this year’s Transcendence. At this stage, there aren’t many concrete details for Interstellar. Granted, Warner Bros. has released a trio of trailers that tease an existential, wholly uplifting experience, but it’ll be fascinating to see whether the film touches upon some of the key questions of human existence — the same ones that Prometheus stumbled over so spectacularly two years ago. Interstellar will launch into theaters on November 7th across North America and the United Kingdom.
From the Toronto Film Festival, Jessica Chastain talks about her new sci-fi movie with Christopher Nolan.
In August 1944, two months after the Allied powers pushed the Nazis out of Rome, filmmaker Roberto Rossellini began work on Rome, Open City. The project would become one of the best and most important films about World War 2.
Originally conceived as two documentaries set against the Nazi occupation of Rome, the story, conceived by Sergio Amidei and Alberto Consiglio, and adapted into a screenplay with the help of Federico Fellini, is a portrait of the Italian Resistance Forces' efforts to reclaim their country.
The film is a hodgepodge of action, melodramatic romance, historical documentation and philosophical pondering. Written in a week in Fellini's kitchen, surrounded by the fallout of the warfare its creators wanted to share with the world, the plot is urgent as it is passionate.
Rossellini used many untrained locals to complete the film's cast, asking them to improvise off the script. Both the director, the writers, and most members of the cast had experienced the occupation firsthand, and the director hoped that their shared experience would register on film. This is called neorealist cinema, a type of filmmaking in which the people and places purposefully lack the beauty and sheen of the films produced in Hollywood.
With little funding and resources, Rossellini relied on poor film stock and a damaged Cinecittà. Though unintended, the lack of quality materials gives the film a documentary aesthetic, in some ways similar to the popular gritty documentary style used in popular narrative films and television shows today.
The film won the Cannes Film Festival's Grand Prize in 1946 — the first Cannes, as the original event in 1939 was postponed due to the war. The film was censored upon its release in America, losing 15-minutes of its runtime. It was outright banned for a period in West Germany.
Decades later, the film's appreciated by cultural figures including the Pope and filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, the latter of whom calls the film "the most precious moment in film history."
This week, a restoration of Rome, Open City is screening at Film Forum in New York City.
American Horror Story: Freak Show has released its second promotional poster and a slew of information regarding the conception of this season and what viewers can expect to see!
The Freak Show news continues to trickle in as the television viewers prepare for their favorite fall shows to return. In the latest poster from American Horror Story the beauty of a performer is subtly interrupted by a slight of hand, quiet literally. Once you see the abnormality, there is no unseeing it.
The production value of American Horror Story: Freak Show is one for the books. The entire carnival, from tent to costume, is the result of extensive research by the team that Ryan Murphy has assembled for the forth installment of the series. In a recent interview with EW, the creator mentions that production designer Mark Worthington’s masterpiece resonated with star Jessica Lange whose interest in capturing the strange and abandoned in her photography plays well with the environment.
In a batch of stills from set, you get a sense of the cast of characters viewers can expect to see and the less than glamorous conditions they dwell.
Aside from the family drama the Freak Show promises this season, Ryan Murphy mentions that he wanted to capture another struggle for acceptance. In his in-depth interview he states, “[The plot] sort of dovetails with a time in our culture where different people of all different kinds of life start to stand up for their civil rights. The performers have put up with centuries of abuse which is all true and are getting to the point where we’re not going to take it anymore.”
In addition to some larger issues the crowd will face, you can expect that Elsa will veer away from Jessica Lange’s previous inclination to play villainous characters. American Horror Story will portray Elsa as a hardworking woman trying to make the best life for her assembled group, especially as trouble brews on the outside.
To the dismay of coulrophobes everywhere, Ryan Murphy talks about his choice to go all out when it comes to creating the villain, Twisty the Clown.
“I’m fascinated by the whole clown phobia thing because I personally don’t have it. But whenever we shoot those scenes half the time a third of the crew has to leave because they’re so afraid of him. There’s a real interesting thing that people have with being terrified of clowns So we decided to go head on at it and we tried to make him the most terrifying clown of all time.”
Not too much information about Emma Thompson’s role is known, but she will play a con artist who appears as a fortune teller. Evan Peter’s character will have some romantic entanglement with her this season.
As for the singing beauties, Patti LaBelle’s character will not grace audiences with a tune, but Jessica Lange’s ex-Cabaret star will provide a bar or two as part of her act! (Hopefully it will live up to her “Name Game” scene in Asylum.)
In the stills there are two new characters that will appear this season as part of the Freak Show. The first is the Amazon Woman the second is the Tattooed Seal. As far as supernatural elements go on the show, Murphy promises that “once you die, you’re dead. There’s no supernatural thing to bring you back like last year. It’s just completely new.”
American Horror Story: Freak Show premieres October 8 at 10:00 p.m. ET on FX.
Who's your fav, ONTD? I will be stanning for the Twins.
"I feel a moral obligation to speak out at this key moment in human history - it is a moment for action," says the actor in addressing climate change.
Leonardo DiCaprio has been tapped by the United Nations to be honored with the title of Messenger of Peace, and the actor has been asked to speak on Sept. 23 at the U.N. Climate Summit to address the topic of climate change, the international organization announced on Tuesday.
“It’s an honor to accept the role of UN Messenger of Peace on Climate Change and to support the Secretary General in his efforts to address one of the most important issues we face as a global community,” said DiCaprio in a statement. “I feel a moral obligation to speak out at this key moment in human history - it is a moment for action. How we respond to the climate crisis in the coming years will likely determine the fate of humanity and our planet.”
Climate change may be the political topic most closely associated with The Wolf of Wall Street actor, who has regularly made headlines for his commitments to addressing the issue.
In February, DiCaprio pledged a donation of $3 million to marine conservation and followed with an additional $7 million pledge several months later. On Sept 21, two days before the U.N. Climate Summit in New York, the Clinton foundation will honor the actor for his committed environmentalism during a Manhattan gala event featuring Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton.
Other Hollywood industry notables that have been bestowed the Messenger of Peace title by the U.N. in recent years include Edward Norton, Michael Douglas, Charlize Theron, George Clooney and Stevie Wonder.
"United Nations Messengers of Peace/Goodwill Ambassadors are distinguished individuals, carefully selected from the fields of art, literature, science, entertainment, sports or other fields of public life, who have agreed to help focus worldwide attention on the work of the United Nations," reads the statement explaining the selection process on the U.N. site.
82 Billboard Rating
After his June release, Brown is returning to the spotlight, conducting his first post-jail interview for Billboard's Sept. 13 issue and finally unleashing X.The album is solid, with several potential hits. But it's also over-packed, with a whopping 17 tracks and nine all-star features, including Rick Ross and Lil Wayne. Credit the album's overlong gestation period, or a 25-year-old fresh out of jail and too eager to impress cynics -- either way, the LP would benefit from fat-trimming, especially on its lustful first half.
But once gratuitous fillers are skipped, gems appear, especially on the closing half, where Brown is lucid about his tabloid love life. Lyrics from the love songs could hint at Brown's post-jail perspective. Otherwise, there are few clues as to whether his time away altered his music or mindset — an unfortunate missed opportunity.
Maybe there's hope for Brown yet — or maybe he's betting his new batch of potential chart-toppers will change the subject.
"X" - Brown's most honest moment comes at the top of the album, on the title track. "I can make you a believer if I turn the nonsense down," he moans, before the schizophrenic Diplo production takes over. It's safe to say that this is a man who knows he's got to get his life together and has to prove to himself and others.
"Add Me In" - If one can be both suave and cliché, Chris achieves it so here. "Add Me In" boasts several weak come-ons: "Your body is an isosceles/ And I just wanna try angels." He continues the math-tinged plead with singing about dividing his lover’s legs and subtracting her boyfriend to "add me in."
"Loyal" - "Loyal," with it's anthemic, albeit crass, hook and playful beat, rattled through clubs and radio all summer. Lil Wayne opens the song rapping, "I wasn't born last night/ I know these [women] ain't right." Chris then skips through with verses about how shady ladies leave one man for a richer one.
"New Flame," featuring Usher - The second single from X is sweeter to women than the first. On "New Flame," Brown and Usher finesse themselves into positions where they can "be the one to do you right."
"Songs On 12 Play," featuring Trey Songz - This raunchy cut pays homage to R. Kelly's brazen 1993 debut album 12 Play, with Brown and Songz claiming that some familiar faces remind them of Kelly sex jams.
"101 (Interlude)" - "You got me doing 101 on the 101," Chris sings to his girl on this quickie interlude. He's "stuck in traffic trying to make it to my baby."
"Drown In It," featuring R. Kelly - Instead of homage, "Drown In It" actually features R. Kelly. The pair crudely sings about swimming in the metaphorical waters of who they're courting. It's an odd pairing of pariahs: Kelly's history with women is far worse than Brown's.
Brown is known for having a few lustful cuts on every album. The ones on X, however, don't compete with, say, "Take You Down" from Exclusive.
"Came to Do," featuring Akon - While "Came to Do" features another Oakland bounce beat by "Loyal" producer, NicNac, the song's tone is friendlier to women than the first single.
"Stereotype" - On "Stereotype," Brown sings about girls who lost his trust. The swirling Danja-produced track is solid. "Now I see you're just like the rest," he sings. But with "Loyal" essentially serving the same purpose, lyrically, "Stereotype" is not needed.
"Time for Love" - On Jean Baptiste and Free School production, Brown melodically raps: "Let me get in your comfort zone/ We can move together."
"Lady in a Glass Dress (Interlude)" - Between the finger snaps of the beat, Brown promises a girl recovering from a rough breakup that he "can make your dreams come true."
"Autumn Leaves," featuring Kendrick Lamar - Brown is sullen here, comparing a lover's departure with summer's, in time for fall. "It seems that all the autumn leaves are falling/ I feel like you're the only reason for it." It’s a quiet cut with guitar tickles. Kendrick Lamar seemingly raps on Brown's behalf, mood-swinging from thoughtful to vicious. "And they won’t let me live/ Even when it’s remorse that I give/ When are they gon' rejoice and forgive/ Tell me how [do] I stay positive?" It's a question that’s easy to imagine Chris asking, as he hopes to wipe his slate clean. It’s been a while since Brown has had a hit, that wasn’t intended for the club; this could be it.
"Do Better," featuring Brandy - The exceptional "Do Better" features the raspy timbre of Brandy, who plays the role of a scorned lover. "I learn more and more each day that I don't know me / It's like I can't get out of my own way," Brown sings on the sparse and pensive song.
"See You Around" - This folksy song is a different sound for Brown, with guitar strums and a baseline that could be easily replaced by Mumford & Sons-like foot stomps. On "See You Around," he sadly admits that "I should have loved you way more."
"Don't Be Gone Too Long," featuring Ariana Grande- The latest X dance single finds Brown and Grande praying that they never split. "Who's going to love me when you're gone?" they ask.
"Body Shots" - Sequentially, this is a poorly positioned song on X. After thoughtful songs, this — a lude dance song, fit for an EDM Vegas club set and about doing body shots on women, pops up; not good.
"Drunk Texting," featuring Jhené Aiko - Brown swerves into an ex's iMessage inbox on "Drunk Texting," duetting with the beautifully understated vocals of Jhene Aiko: "Tonight, I’m blowing up your line / I’ve got you on my mind/ The truth is hard to fight."
For Tuesday, September 16, 2014:
Team #Arrow is back in action!
There are only 3 WEEKS left until the season 3 premiere.
TWO OTHER POSTERS: http://imgur.com/W2uXye6
I will post them as pics when I get on my computer
I thought Alaric would be teaching history (like he did in Seasons 1-3) not teaching about the occult. Looks like Tyler is suddenly interested in attending Whitmore after have zero interest in going to school last season.
SHOW ME YOUR PETS ONTD
The only scary thing about The Affair, which debuts October 12, is how good it is, right from the start. It has a deceptively simple premise, not unlike ABC's failed infidelity drama Betrayal: It's about the havoc wreaked upon two families when a married novelist (The Wire's Dominic West, whose British accent now only slips through when he yells) cheats on his wife (Maura Tierney... oh, how I've loved Maura Tierney, ever since her NewsRadio days). His mistress is a waitress (Ruth Wilson, another Brit, although you wouldn't know it from her flawless American accent), who's unhappily married to a Montauk, Long Island working man (Joshua Jackson, who - sorry, Fringe fans - will always be Dawson's Creek's Pacey to me).
The Affair also shares quite a few traits with the terrific new Jessica Chastain-James McAvoy film The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them, including a he said/she said structure and the shattering death of a child. But the show, with its bifurcated flash-back, flash-forward format, reminds me more - in a good way - of 2014's other new TV masterpiece, True Detective.
You see, a crime has been committed, but we don't know by whom, or to whom. And we watch, tantalised, as police detectives interrogate West and Wilson's characters, hoping to find out more. And for me, like it seems to be for them, The Affair feels a lot like love at first sight.
The trailer, in case you haven't seen it:
Ask Matt: Fall Pilots, The Quest, Utopia, Outlander and More
Question: Season 1 of Outlander is said to be 16 episodes, except it ends on Sept. 27. When will we see the next eight episodes? — Nancy
Matt Roush: Like many cable series these days, Outlander is splitting its season into two halves. Starz hasn't announced a return date yet, but it will most likely be in the early spring. And while we're on the subject, you do not want to miss this Saturday's penultimate episode of the first half of the season. It's titled "The Marriage," and if you've been impatiently waiting for Claire and Jamie to take things to the next level, let's just say you're in for a treat.
Outlander Author Diana Gabaldon on Strong Female Protagonists, Casting Jamie, and Doctor Who
Diana Gabaldon is known to the most hard-core fans of Outlander as Herself. As the author of the book series at the core of the new Starz hit, the Arizona native has been toiling away for more than two decades on the time-travel saga, which tells the ever-expanding tale of Claire, a woman torn between her British husband in 1945 and her hunky Scottish love in 1743. Although Gabaldon isn’t writing scripts for the TV show the way George R.R. Martin does for Game of Thrones, she is actively involved as a consultant, contributing ideas, protecting continuity, and occasionally putting in a quick appearance. (She had a cameo in episode four, if you spotted her talking to Mrs. Fitz.) Before the season began, Gabaldon sat down for a cup of tea with Vulture to chat about Outlander’s resident heartthrob, tattoos, and her crush on David Tennant.
You brought the house down at 92Y when you told Sam Heughan he had a fine ass.
[Laughs.] I had just watched the wedding episode, and Sam was telling me that they had to reshoot a number of scenes because Ron [D. Moore] wasn’t quite pleased with them, and Sam was hoping that the new ones had come out well. And so I wrote back and said, “I just watched the wedding scene. It looks beautiful. All your stuff looks great. But honesty compels me to tell you ...” So that was harkening back to our previous conversation! [Laughs.] I knew the minute that I said “honesty compels me” he would know what was coming! Is it a spoiler, about his ass? It’s not like I’m giving away anything! [Laughs.]
Originally, though, you weren’t quite so taken with Sam, right?
Ron called up and he said, “We’re so excited. We think we found Jamie! We’re sending you the audition tapes.” I was driving from Santa Fe to Phoenix at the time, so I couldn’t watch them right away, but I was Googling Sam Heughan and looking at his IMDb photos, and I thought, He looks grotesque! What are you thinking?! His IMDb photos do not do him any kind of justice. And also, he’s a very chameleonic actor. He looks totally different in every single role. But they sent me two audition scenes and a chemistry test, so I could see him in his own persona. So the first scene was when he has a confrontation with Dougal McKenzie, when Dougal shows off his scars at the tavern and he’s facing slightly away from the camera, so it was neck and shoulders, but a beautiful body! So I went, Ah ... He didn’t look at all like he did in his pictures. He had a light stubble, and he was rumpled, and I thought, He looks a lot better than I expected him to look! Then he turned full around into the camera, yelling his lines with crazy eyes, and I was sold. The second scene was where Jamie was explaining to Claire, very logically, why he was intending to beat her. And he just played it perfectly. He was in total control of himself, and it was such a nuanced performance — the annoyance, the impatience, the love, the humor. It was charming that he grasped all that nuance of that scene.
So when [book fans] were grousing about Sam at first, I beat them about the head and shoulders the first few weeks: “Look, I’ve seen him do it. You haven’t seen him do it. Take my word for it, okay?” There’s always about a 5 percent minority who are all, “I’m so disappointed!” But the 5 percent eventually come around, or at least they shut up. But people get it firmly in their minds that Jamie is seven feet tall and has this steroidal bulk, that he’s this big, brawny, burly guy. They’re thinking, This is all well and good, but I like a really big guy. WWF people really turn me on. They don’t do it consciously, but that’s what they do. To which I say, “Take your Kindle and search for the words burly and brawny [in my novels]. If you find either one of them, I’ll pay you ten bucks. But if you search for lean, elegant musculature, you can find that.”
One of your fan groups got you male strippers once? What happened there?
It was just one stripper. [Laughs.] And he was in a kilt. The Ladies of Lallybroch hold gatherings at places where they know I’m going to be, or, at least, they used to. And they would try to find novel means of entertainment for their gathering. I came to this writers' conference in Surrey every year, and so they had this tradition of having their gathering the night before, and on this one occasion, they hired a stripper to come in at 11, and I came by at three minutes to 11 — just in time!
I’ve seen a lot of body art based on my books, too. I’ve had no fewer than three young women on separate occasions come up to me at book signings and unzip their pants, turn around, and drop them to show me that they had “Bonnie lassie” tattooed across their rumpuses! [Laughs.] That’s better than the one who had “Je suis prest” tattooed inside her lower lip. She explained that this was so it wouldn’t show at work. One fan ripped off her sock and shoe to show me that she had the running-stag brooch from the cover of The Fiery Cross tattooed on the top of her foot. I was going, “Oh! That looks painful!” [Laughs.] Shall we share a pot? Not chamomile, because that makes me sneeze. [We order Earl Grey tea.]
There’s a moment when they’re collecting the rent, and Claire takes up with some village women. We learn that (1) they use their own urine to waulk the wool; and (2) they’re not wearing any underpants! Even though that scene was not in the book, I sensed your touch there.
In the script that I saw, the writer had Claire wandering around the village and seeing a sugar-bowl vase in a window of a cottage, and a woman seeing her staring at it and [comes] out to talk to her, and then they go inside and have tea with other ladies, and they play cards, and that’s what they’re doing when Angus comes back to collect her. I wrote back, “No. 1935 London, maybe. 18th-century Scotland, remote village, no. Even up through the 20th century, people in the remote areas of the Scottish Highlands thought that playing cards was like devil worship! You certainly wouldn’t find any respectable women playing cards. And drinking tea? They didn’t have any! If you want a sugar-bowl vase, that could be imported, fine, but they would not be hanging around in the middle of the afternoon drinking anything. They would be working, because they had to scrape a living out of the land. And women with children worked harder than anybody else.” I suggested that if they were looking for a way for Claire to enter the life of these women, the most picturesque thing they could be doing was waulking wool, and I explained to them what that was, with the hot urine. Peeing in the bucket was their addition to that. [Laughs.]
Do you think the exorcism story line helped enhance an aspect of the story that was previously in the background, by pushing certain issues to the forefront that will become important later?
I thought that scene was actually rather dull, so I skipped over it! I mean, there was a point to it. It was furthering the plot. But I wasn’t particularly interested in it. I got tired of the women wailing and carrying on. [Laughs.] And the priest was a very one-note actor, at least in that role. I didn’t care for that, but I didn’t object to it, either. You know, we can’t really read these tea leaves. One, I don’t know how. Two, they’re too crumbled!
Bummer. Let’s talk about your theory of writing time travel instead?
In a great many stories that deal with time travel, there’s usually somebody who knows how time travel works. They lay out the rules. In this story, [readers] are finding out the rules at the same time the characters are, making the point that there are no experts on time travel. And here, you don't know what’s going to happen to you when you step through those stones. Claire realizes she’s having an effect on the past. But the underlying point there that I’m making is that every single one of us affects the future, every single day, with the decisions that we make or don’t make. You don’t have to be a time traveler to know this. If you donate to a charity and save a few kids, 20 years down the line, there will be more people who exist because of you. In other words, you should consider your actions fully. That’s just one of the small themes of the book. But you know, when I realized I was writing a book about time travel, I stopped reading time-travel stories! And I don’t watch time-travel movies — [although] I watched Kate & Leopold. Leopold was all right. I hated Kate. Whiny, self-absorbed, selfish, stupid, superficial — why would he care? People ask me why I write strong women, and I say, “Well, I don’t like stupid ones.” Who would want to read about weak and whiny women? Are they people who assume women are weak and whiny? If so, why do they think that?
You are friendly with George R.R. Martin. Do you really have breakfast with him about once a month?
He lives in Santa Fe full time, and my husband and I have a small place there. We live there for a week out of every month, so if George is in town when I’m in town, we have breakfast once a month or two, and chat about interesting things. [Laughs.] Mostly gossip about the production. Like, the difficulty they had in casting someone because [Game of Thrones] has these grotesquely enlarged people in the cast, people named the Mountain or some such thing. And he said, “There are only, like, 12 people in the world who are six-foot-eight or taller and professional actors, and all of them are Lithuanians!” That sort of thing. [Laughs.]
Can we talk about the Doctor Who connection, since Outlander is on the same night that BBC airs Doctor Who? From what I understand, Doctor Who helped provide the inspiration for the books in the first place. How?
Back in the day, years ago, in 1988, the only TV I watched was Doctor Who because I had children and two full-time jobs, and Doctor Who was the exact length of time it took to do my nails, so I would watch Doctor Who once a week! [Laughs.] David Tennant was my favorite Doctor. I’ve been married to the same man for 41 years, but David Tennant and Tom Baker from Doctor Who are my crushes. David Tennant is a little cuter, softer-edged, but equally heroic, and yet he’s got this very vulnerable streak. His last episode made me cry. But in the Doctor Who episode I saw that was the inspiration [for Outlander], Jamie McCrimmon, who was played by Frazer Hines, was an 18th-century Scotsman wearing a kilt. And the situation [in “The War Games” episode] was that they were in World War I, and he was with a female ambulance driver, and they have to go out and find the Doctor. He says, “I’ll go!” And she says, “Nonsense! You’re just telling me that because I’m a woman!” He looks at her and says, “Well, yes!” The pigheaded gallantry I really liked. That certain attitude of manliness.
So why start Outlander at the end of World War II, as opposed to World War I, then?
It was the medical technology. I didn’t want Claire to be a hotshot medical student who said, “I need an MRI!” Cognitive dissonance, you know? I wanted her to be able to fall to her knees and start stitching [Jamie] back together. She needed to be tough and willing to exist in the middle of violence and cope with it. She had to be sufficiently modern, and the three modern developments in medicine were antibiotics, anesthesia, antisepsis. All three of those came into wide use during World War II.
What was it like shooting your cameo?
I dish out my share of catty remarks! [Laughs.] I spent half an hour going over the script with the dialect coach, going over the accent or delivery. Caitriona [Balfe] very kindly lent me her fan, which came in very handy — it was 102 degrees up there in the gallery! And you learn to carry yourself very upright — you can’t not, because you’re wearing a corset. That morning, it was really, really tight, and it split on one side because one seam was unfinished, and they had to rush out to make an emergency repair. And it is a wig, in case you had any doubt! They plaited my hair in five or six little braids, pinned them closely to my head, and then they fitted the wig over it. It’s pretty much like wearing a shower cap. Lightweight. Slightly sweaty.
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