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Oh No They Didn't! -

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    Los Angeles: Hollywood star Tom Cruise's daughter Suri wants to be an Olympic gymnast after watching the 2012 Olympic games. The six-year-old caught the Olympic fever after watching the London 2012 Games and was so impressed with America's gold winner Gabby Douglas, she wants to follow in her footsteps, reported National Enquirer.

    "Suri is gaga for Gabby and the whole women's summer Olympic gymnastics team. Forget acting and modelling - Suri says when she grows up she wants to be an Olympian," a source said.

    "She really got caught up in the excitement. She's been taking lessons at Chelsea Piers, near Katie's bachelorette pad for over a month and her coaches have been telling Katie and Tom their daughter has the right stuff and shows a lot of potential," it added.

    cr: ibn live

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  • 10/15/12--15:08: This is a Ramsay Bolton post
  • Game of Thrones talk starts at the 2:50 mark. He's still mum on details even though everyone knows that he's playing the Bastard.


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  • 10/15/12--15:08: Oprah x Terry Richardson
  • This might just be the most mind-boggling magazine spread we’ve seen in a while — notorious perv Terry Richardson has photographed Oscar Winner Oprah Winfrey for Harper’s Bazaar. And get this — she’s fully clothed!

    Ann Caruso styled Winfrey in a fire engine red Jil Sander coat, a white Escada menswear-inspired tux, and a smattering of blinged-out rings. As much as we adore Oprah, we’re still weirded out by a shot of her doing a thumbs up pose à la Richardson.


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    Pilar Sanders tells RumorFix in an exclusive interview that Deion Sanders should be held in contempt of court for not paying her child support since April.

    The Sanders, who were together 14 years, are locked in one of the nastiest divorce battles of this decade.

    “He doesn’t want the children to live in the lifestyle that they are used to — he hasn’t even purchased them new clothes for school,” she tells RumorFix.

    The NFL commentator was ordered to pay $10,500 a month in child support for his three children with Pilar, but he claims the order is unfair and six times the amount anyone else in Texas has to pay.

    According to court documents, in 2010, Deion made makes $161,565.25 a month and is worth $250 million.

    Pilar’s says the football great can easily pay the child support — it’s only six percent of his salary.

    Deion’s PR campaign is effective because she helped build his brand. “He can tweet all the pictures he wants of his kids, but the proof is in the way he’s living,” she reveals.

    Deion tells RumorFix “I have all my records of every child support payment.” Deion and Pilar are in the middle of a bitter divorce although the former model signed a pre-nup.

    Deion also disputes a claim that he doesn’t see his oldest son. “We have joint custody,” Deion writes, “I have my kids three and a half days a week. I have no other obligations to her.”

    As for Pilar’s claims that she is running out of money and can’t even pay her electric or gas bill, Deion writes, ”She’s crying broke — staying at the Westin in Frisco ordering room service for four people three times a day. Go figure. She left her mother’s home which she claims no utilities. But you leave your mother and sister there? Her sister abused my kids three weeks ago. Because of a court order, she can’t be around my kids. This all is True from the horse.”


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    Everybody seems to have an opinion on the Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj feud, including President Obama.

    During an interview on Michael Yo’s Miami radio program, the host asked about the recent spat between the “American Idol” judges, and the president had some fun answering the softball question.

    “I think they are going to be able to sort it out,” President Obama, 51, joked to Yo. “I am confident. I am all about bringing people together, working for the same cause. I think both outstanding artists are going to be able to make sure that they’re moving forward and not going backwards.”

    The president went on to say that he knows Carey, whom he described as “a wonderful lady,” as well as her husband Nick Cannon because the singer had “done some events for us.” And while he doesn’t know Minaj, 29, personally, he noted that he listens to her on his iPod.

    So how would he do on “American Idol”? Not well, Obama laughed, adding, “I’m going to keep my day job.”


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  • 10/15/12--15:49: Moar Jem Dolls Revealed!!!

  • Forget clothing, beauty products and home decor items, there's only one thing we've currently got on our 2012 holiday wish list: JEM!

    Yes, you read that right. Just in time for the holiday season, Holt Renfrew stores across the country will carry Barbie-esque dolls from the original JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS series. (In case you don't know what we're talking about, please watch the below videos.)

    LOL RIO!!

    Stocking store shelves on November 17 will be CLASSIC JEM, her alter ego JERRICA BENTON, magical holographic computer SYNERGY and RIO PACHECO. Each character comes dressed in their awesomely outrageous retro looks.

    Each doll will retail for $125, and there will be a limited quantity of one character per customer, so get yours while you can.



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    Teens choose _______ as their favorite book in YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten

    CHICAGO — Teen readers across the country chose _______ as their favorite book in the annual Teens’ Top Ten vote, sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). Teens voted online between Aug. 15 and Sept. 15, with the official list announcement during Teen Read Week™, Oct. 14-20.

    The 2012 Teens’ Top Ten is:


    "Divergent" by Veronica Roth (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books)


    "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green (Penguin Group/Dutton Juvenile)


    "Legend" by Marie Lu (Penguin Group/Putnam Juvenile)


    "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" by Ransom Riggs (Quirk Books)


    "What Happened to Goodbye" by Sarah Dessen (Penguin Group/Viking Juvenile)


    "Across the Universe" by Beth Revis (Penguin Group/Razorbill)


    "Cinder" by Marissa Meyer (Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends)


    "The Scorpio Races" by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic/Scholastic Press)


    "Where She Went" by Gayle Forman (Penguin Group/Dutton Juvenile)


    "Abandon" by Meg Cabot(Scholastic/ Point)

    A video announcement of the list is available at The video can be also be accessed at YouTube and TeacherTube. The winning books will also be featured on YALSA’s Literature blog, The Hub: Your Connection to Teen Reads, featuring a different book each day. Check out videos and author interviews at

    The Teens’ Top Ten is a booklist created entirely by and for teens as part of YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten Project, which facilitates access to advance copies of young adult books to national teen book discussion groups. These groups evaluated books published between January 2011 through March 2012 and then created a list of 24 nominations. Teen voters across the country then cast ballots for their three favorites, creating the 2012 Teens’ Top Ten. Final nominations for the 2013 Teens’ Top Ten vote will be posted on Support Teen Literature Day, April 18 at

    To learn more about the teen book groups and participating in the Teens’ Top Ten program, visit Publishers interested in participating in the program may contact Nichole Gilbert,, for more information.

    For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audiobooks for teens.


    Happy YA book post!

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    Julius Avery’s Australian crime thriller Son of a Gun, starring Ewan McGregor, will be touted to buyers during the American Film Market, with a shoot start date in early 2013.

    The movie, billed as a visceral, tautly paced heist thriller, centers on a complex relationship between Australia’s public enemy No. 1 (McGregor) and his young protégé. It will be sold to North American buyers by UTA Independent Film Group and internationally by high-profile U.K. start-up sales, finance and production banner Altitude Film Entertainment.

    Avery will direct the film, based on his original screenplay, with Timothy White (Two Hands) producing through Australian banner Southern Light Films. Aaron Gilbert of Media House Capital serves as executive producer. Altitude Film Sales managing director Mike Runagall said Avery's film combines the "tension and intensity of Animal Kingdom with the epic sweep of Heat." Financing is being provided by Media House Capital and ScreenWest. The movie is slated to shoot on location in Perth and Kalgoorlie.

    Avery is being cited as the next Australian breakout director, following in the footsteps of David Michod and Justin Kurzel. He is repped by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Bryce Menzies at Australian firm Marshalls & Dent.

    McGregor is in production on John Wells' adaptation of August: Osage County opposite Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. He also will star in Warner Bros.’ Jack the Giant Killer, a modern take on the Jack and the Beanstalk fable directed by Bryan Singer and due in 2013.


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    Nathan's solo!!!

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    Sources 1 and 2


    It's a low quality video, but it's watchable. Sorry mods, it was the only recording I could find of the actual TV segment!

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    On last week’s Real Housewives of New York Reunion show, LuAnn was seated the farthest away from host Andy, so RumorFix Housewives blogger Alex is questioning her future on the show.

    “The people, who are farthest away from Andy — at the far end of the couch — are most in risk of not coming back for the following season,” Alex shares the little known secret with us.

    There are exceptions, “I was at the far end of the couch for four years, but I managed to come back,” she adds.

    Alex, who now stars with husband Simon on Couples Therapy, is upset that that no one calls LuAnn out in person, “Carole [Radziwill] kept doing it behind her back.”

    The former cast member says only two people in history of the show have ever challenged the countess in person — Alex and Bethenny. “Mhmm neither of us are on the show any more — food for thought,” she says.

    Alex, who says she was touched that the cast said they missed her, reveals, “I’m enjoying covering Housewives and the whole franchise more than being a Housewife.”

    Reunion Pt. 2 Previews!


    Ramona is talking to The Insider about the first of the show's reunion specials which aired last night on Bravo, specifically her emotional spat with cast member Aviva.

    Although Aviva apologized to Ramona as well as Sonja for some of her particularly nasty remarks on the show (such as calling them "white trash"), clearly, Ramona wasn't having it.

    "It was very difficult for me to sit on that couch opposite Aviva," Ramona admits. "It was very uncomfortable. I don't know why she has such a problem with me. I think a lot of it is displaced anger. I only wish her the best and we'll see where it goes. I know she apologized to me, and I'm taking it in, but at this point she needs to prove herself to me."

    She also adamantly denies Aviva's claim on the show that she and Sonja have drinking problems.

    "Well Aviva basically lies -- I don't really take anything she says seriously," Ramona tells The Insider.

    Class with the Countess!

    The Countess wants you to look gorgeous, trendy, and feel great at all times this fall season, so she’s offering HollywoodLifers her best advice!

    I recently purchased a one bedroom apartment with my boyfriend and I am nervous that being in such a confined space might lead to tension, fights, or even worse a break-up! How can we mentally prepare for this new move? — Tricia R. New York, NY

    Why go into a new situation with a negative mindset? You bought the apartment, so find ways to make it work. You can put a small couch or a chair and ottoman in the bedroom so that you or your boyfriend can read or watch television while the other uses the living room for another activity. If you each carve out a bit of personal space in the apartment, you’ll be more comfortable in close quarters. STAY POSITIVE!

    I am married with children and have completely forgotten about my desires. How can I revamp my passions and find myself again? — Amy W. Johns Creek, GA

    One of the best ways to revamp your passions is to exercise regularly and pamper yourself so that you have the energy for romance and hobbies. Ask your husband to entertain the kids for a few hours a week so that you can have “me time” and in return promise him some “alone time” together. RELAX!

    What are some options of dressing warm for fall and winter without looking too bulky? – Whitney L. New York, NY

    The key to dressing warm in the fall and the winter is to wear layers so that you can add or remove pieces depending on the temperature inside and out. I like simple cashmere cardigans and boots to keep the chill at bay. Look for outerwear that is both stylish and warm. Wrap your neck in a knit or silk scarf and don’t forget to wear a hat and gloves so that your head and hands stay warm and dry. TOASTY!

    Nicole Scherzinger opens up about her eating disorder. Do you think it's the right move for celebs to be so personal?

    I admire Nicole Scherzinger’s honesty about how she overcame her long time problem with bulimia. She’s a talented and beautiful young woman and by sharing her story, she can help other young people suffering from eating disorders. It’s a personal decision for a celebrity to open up about their struggles and in this case, I think Nicole’s story will inspire people to seek help.

    Tip: The first step in overcoming an eating disorder is telling someone you trust and then seek professional help.

    There has been lots of drama at the Idol auditions. Do you think they are ramping up the fights between judges to get ratings and isn't it better to focus on the singers?

    American Idol is a huge hit and fun to watch because every contestant has a shot at becoming the next big star. If Nicki and Mariah are arguing it distracts from the hopes and dreams (and performances) of the season’s contestants. If you want to watch drama, tune into the Real Housewives of New York City.

    Tip: Sometimes it’s better to put personal problems aside for the greater good of the group.

    Does Jill’s WWHL Appearance Mean She’ll Return For Season 6?

    When Jill was fired from The Real Housewives, it was widely assumed that both viewers and Bravo were sick of her. But does her October 15 episode of Watch What Happens Live signal a change of heart for the network?

    Not so fast. “Andy had her on because he knew it would be good for ratings [for WWHL],” a show source tells us. “And because she was relentless. She’s been calling and calling for months trying to get on the show.”

    “Andy’s no dummy,” the source continues. “He knew having her on as a one-time special episode would make good TV. But at the end of the day, no one really trusts Jill – that’s why the episode she did was pre-taped, not live like the rest. They never know what kind of stunt she’s going to pull.”

    “I don’t think there’s any danger of her returning to the network,” the source adds. “I don’t think anyone wants that to happen.”

    But it won’t be for lack of trying. “Bravo is where I started, they’re the ones that discovered me, they’re the ones that invested in me and maybe they’re the ones to ask me to have my own show,” she recently told TooFab.
Kim [Zolciak]’s and Bethenny’s shows were amazingly successful and if I could bring the ratings Monday and it’s all about what the fans want, [Bravo] should listen.”

    TheInsider, RumorFix, HollywoodLife, WetPaint

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    Gary Whitta, the Hollywood scribe behind Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Book of Eli and the upcoming Sony Pictures After Earth, comes from the video game industry. The former video game journalist penned the story for Telltale Games’ latest episodic games based on Robert Kirkman’s comic book, The Walking Dead. With the hit AMC series back for its third season (the first two seasons are on DVD and Blu-ray from Anchor Bay Home Entertainment) and a new Activision game from developer Terminal Reality serving as a prequel to the show, there’s a lot of undead to go around. Whitta talks about the competing games in this exclusive interview.

    What’s it been like working on Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead game?

    It’s been amazing. They’ve sold nearly two million copies of the game and the great thing about it is we get to tell a completely different story. Each iteration of the Walking Dead does its own thing. Obviously, you have the original comics and then you have the TV show, which is fantastic. The show tells the same story of the comics but deviates a little. With the game we get to tell a completely different story with a completely different set of characters, but it’s set in the same universe. Glenn and Hershel and some of the characters you recognize from The Walking Dead are in our story, but our main group of characters are completely original. We invented them to inhabit that same universe that Robert Kirkman created. You can play the videogame without feeling like you might be spoiling the comic books or the show. Because it’s a completely different story, that means we also get to kill any characters that we want without worrying about Robert Kirkman getting back at us.

    Does the fact that this game series is episodic impact how you write?

    Yeah. I really think of it almost as an interactive TV show. It’s five episodes that come out on a regular basis and we build cliffhangers and all kinds of fun tune-in-next-week type of moments into every episode. The reaction has been really great. Episode four is very, very grim. One of the great things about The Walking Dead universe is you have absolute license to be as grim and as brutal as you want. It’s not necessarily a happy ending in The Walking Dead universe. Robert’s comic book universe never really ends, ever. It just keeps going and going. They’ve already announced there will be a second season of the video game, so hopefully that will keep going as well. The ending of Season 1, while I won’t tell you anything about it, is rough. It’s a very, very bleak story. It’s very hard to find a happy ending in a universe like that. (noooooooooooo!)

    Activision is publishing a new game based on the AMC TV series. Do you think there’s room for two games?

    Yeah, I think so. The Walking Dead has become so big that it’s been licensed and sublicensed to so many different areas. A lot of people get confused sometimes. They think our version of the video game is in some way related to the TV show. It’s not. It’s licensed directly from the comics, the same way the TV show is. So our game looks more like the comic book than the TV version would. It’s designed almost comic booky. There is a new version of the video game, which is based on the TV show. I personally have no interest in that. They’re going the first person shooter route. I’m much more interested in story than action. I think The Walking Dead is about story and character. I’d much rather work in the Tell Tale universe, where we are telling a really great story, than a story where you’re just shooting a bunch of zombies. That, to me, is the less interesting part of The Walking Dead.

    Capcom has had success with zombie shooting with Resident Evil.

    Yeah. We’ve played that game already. Who knows? It might be a great game. I don’t want to judge it too early. I can just tell you that the type of game that I enjoy is focused more on story than on action. When it comes to The Walking Dead, I feel like that’s always been more about story than about action.

    Interview by John Gaudiosi, Contributor of


    I really only wanted to post this to find more people who play this. Episode 4 didn't top 3 but I'm still left weeping at the end. This game serves me up some Nicolas Cage anguish every time a new episode comes out.

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    Screen shot 2012-10-16 at 2.48.36 AM


    What do you think, ONTD? Are they the same?


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  • 10/15/12--17:29: R-I-L-L. Rill.
  • Courtney Godden Quashes Plastic Surgery Rumors; Doctor Performs Examination to Prove Teen Bride Didn’t Get Work Done

    Courtney Stodden insists she didn’t get plastic surgery - and she’s gone to great lengths to prove it.

    The 18-year-old bride and her husband, 52-year-old actor Doug Hutchinson, paid a visit to see Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Marc Mani, MD, to put the rumors to rest once and for all. The pair allowed Celebuzz cameras to film the examination.

    “People are saying everything from I’ve had a nose job, my lips done, cheek implants — everything,” Stodden told Dr. Mani.

    So, did she work done? The short answer: No way, according to Dr. Mani.

    In the video, above, Dr. Mani goes through every part of Stodden’s body to show viewers that Stodden really is au natural, after all.

    Has she had lip implants?

    “Your lips look very natural and normal… nothing has been done to them,” Dr. Mani said.
    Cheek implants? Not so, according to the doctor.

    “I am going to feel your cheeks and see if I can feel (anything),” Dr. Mani told Stodden.

    “Your cheeks feel soft and normal. The other way I can tell when people have had cheek implants is their smile; their smile is kind of weird.”

    “Give me a big smile,” he asked Stodden, before concluding: “I can tell you haven’t just by the way of your smile. There is muscle here which elevates the cheek and it is moving normally.”

    The final verdict?

    “I have looked at all the areas which would tell if you have had plastic surgery. It is clear to me, as a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, that Courtney has not had any plastic surgery,” Dr. Mani determined.

    What do you think, ONTD? Do you believe Courtney and Dr. Mani? Or do you still believe that she's had work done and that she's actually older than she says she is? If you believe the latter, I hope you see the light of our Godden soon.

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    And the winner is…the viewers!

    Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have been tapped to host the 2013 Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 13, NBC announced late Monday. “Having both Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on board to host this year’s festivities is a major coup,” said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment.

    “Tina and Amy have a proven chemistry and comedic timing from their many years together on SNL to their successful co-starring roles in ‘Baby Mama.’” Added Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Aida Takla-O’Reilly: “The unparalleled comedic timing of Tina and Amy will surely have viewers wanting to tune-in to see them in action. The HFPA is thrilled to have the magnetic duo be a part of the show’s 70th anniversary!”


    Best news I've read all day tbh

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    This sounds a little awkward to us, but hey... to each her own. Rumor has it that Jennifer Aniston has invited her ex-mother-in-law to her wedding! Brad Pitt's mom, Jane Pitt, became very close to Jen before they split, and they've remained close since the divorce. Now, The Sun is reporting that Jane is on Jennifer's invite list for her upcoming marriage to Justin Theroux.

    A source tells the tabloid, "Jennifer wants Jane to be there. She's closer to her than she is to her own mother, Nancy, and it just feels right."

    Word is, Jane has every intention of attending. "Jane is thrilled that Jennifer has found happiness again. She has been on the end of the phone and in person offering advice and support for the past seven years. She wouldn't miss Jen's wedding for anything."

    Of course, Jane recently made headlines herself after writing an anti-marriage-equality letter urging Christians to vote for Mitt Romney after Barack Obama came out in favor of gay marriage this year. Brad made it very clear that he doesn't share his mother's views, saying, "Gay marriage is inevitable. The next generation, they get it. It is just a matter of time before it becomes a reality."


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    The registrar's office at the University of Southern California is about to get very busy.

    James Franco, the actor-Oscar-host-soap-star-artist-poet-novelist, is set to teach a film production class at USC next spring, according to an email sent to USC film students from the School of Cinematic Arts.  The class, which will be co-taught by Franco's business partner Vince Jolivette, will require students to direct a short film of no more than 10 minutes. Eventually, the eight total shorts produced will be combined into one longer film.

    The movies created in the class -- referred to as "The Labyrinth" -- are meant to explore "the unknown, the unexplained and the unimaginable," the email said. Franco's publicist did not return a request for comment.

    The actor is no stranger to academia. The 34-year-old has attended various institutes of higher learning, including Yale University, Columbia University and New York University. At NYU, he taught a class about turning poetry into film.

    There may be one hiccup in Franco's teaching schedule, however: His next film, "Oz: The Great and Powerful," is set to hit theaters in March. That means he'll likely be busy promoting his role as the Wizard for at least a couple of weeks during the spring. But, hey: Maybe his students can persuade him to give them tickets to the premiere in exchange for any absence? (shade...)

    James Franco talks about how weird you think he is

    James Franco's image -- one part Hollywood hearthrob, one part nomadic art world eccentric -- has long been a topic of discussion.

    Are his multimedia abstract projects a hoax? Is he distracting from an underlying insecurity about his place in show business? Can the stoner from "Pineapple Express" really have such diverse interests? 

    In the sixth season opener of "Iconoclasts," the Sundance Channel and Grey Goose Entertainment series that pairs bold names from different corners of the creative universe, we get a nice dose of insight straight from the Franco's mouth.

    "There’s this public persona that’s ‘James Franco’ that’s half my creation but half of it isn’t. Half of it’s what other people write about me or how they perceive me," Franco says.

    His art is "a way of using … an image that other people have created and re-presenting it." 

    Paired with performance artist Marina Abramovic, Franco pinpoints the moment that his successful film career failed to meet his artistic expectations. It was on Sam Raimi's "Spiderman 3," costarring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst.

    "I remember getting ready to do the third 'Spiderman,' just thinking, I don’t know if I can take it again. If I can take all the work that doesn’t seem to have a payoff that is equal to the effort," Franco said.

    "As soon as I started branching out and pursuing my other interests I could say, 'OK … it’s a place where more earnest kinds of exploration can happen.'"

    Make of him what you will, but the Ministry appreciates his candor. And perhaps Abaramovic has the best insight of all. 

    "James has the fever of an artist. Why must he do so many things?" she pondered. "To discover."

    "Iconoclasts" airs Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. on the Sundance Channel.


    Click gif for vid, won't embed
    source source

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    There is, of course, a lot to talk about when it comes to Downton Abbey, the compulsively watchable but frequently soapy British period drama series from writer-creator Julian Fellowes. The show, which is set in and around an English manor in the early part of the last century, features more than 20 characters—and at least as many story lines. But there is one character around which the others seem to circle: Lady Mary Crawley. Mary, who is played by actress Michelle Dockery, was introduced in Season One as the beautiful, imperious, and marble-cold eldest daughter of Lord and Lady Grantham; she mostly occupies herself with parlor games such as callously destroying her younger sister's proposal, brazenly flirting with one man in front of another, and trying to avoid scandal after being seduced by a houseguest who then dies in her bedroom. But by the end of Season Two, Mary had evolved into a heroine to millions of impassioned viewers when, with the devastation of World War I and one conveniently dead fiancé behind them, Mary and her distant cousin, Matthew Crawley, finally realize that they're meant for each other.

    Through it all, Dockery has expertly captured the uncertainty of a young woman navigating the decline of the British aristocracy. But almost predictably, the actress's own life has hardly resembled her character's corseted Edwardian beginnings. Born in Essex, she trained as a singer and dancer, and, in her career thus far, has tackled everything from theatrical productions of Shakespeare to police crime dramas. Following her roundly praised performance as Eliza Doolittle in a 2007 stage production of Pygmalion, she was cast in the Red Riding trilogy, and last year, also appeared in the Joe Wright thriller Hanna. But it's her role in Downton Abbey that has made her one of the most chattered-about women on television.

    Season Three of Downton Abbey is set to air in the U.S. in January (the show started up again in the U.K. in September). Dockery also recently got back into a corset for Wright's new film version of Anna Karenina, which stars Keira Knightley and Jude Law, and, for a change of pace, she donned a pair of bell-bottoms for the forthcoming BBC miniseries Restless, which is set partially in the 1970s. Elisabeth Moss, who stars as Peggy Olson in that other obsessed-over TV show set in the past, Mad Men, recently spoke to the 30-year-old Dockery.

    ELISABETH MOSS: I feel like you and I sort of had similar careers in the sense that we've both been working for a very long time, but it wasn't until Mad Men or Downton Abbey that we got the kind of recognition that comes from being in people's homes. It's interesting because my show is very American but has done quite well in the U.K., and your show is so British and has been incredibly well received here in the States. What do you think is the thing that makes your show appeal to people in the States and makes it so universal?

    MICHELLE DOCKERY: What it boils down to is the writing. Julian [Fellowes] is incredibly talented. He's created 18 lead characters, each with their own story lines. And it's beautiful to look at—the costumes are stunning. The audience gets a nostalgic feeling for the period. It's a time without the Internet, without mobile phones. It was an easier sort of period that people look back on and find very heartwarming. (op note: bless her soul for being grateful)

    MOSS: What's brilliant about it, though, is that despite all the cultural and historical differences, what I connect to as a viewer are the stories that are completely relatable at any time--the Matthew and Mary story, the unrequited love, the complications.

    DOCKERY: It's something that everyone can relate to. I find that Mary is quite a modern woman, really, because she's got her own mind and she won't be told what to do. But she's incredibly indecisive when it comes to her relationships with men. There's also the struggle of women at the time because they're kind of longing to do something. In the first season, we see the three sisters, and pretty much all they do is change clothes three times a day—once for breakfast, once for lunch, and then again at dinner. And they're bored. What was wonderful about the second season is that because of the First World War, women became far more practical and useful. The character of Edith, for example, who helps care for wounded soldiers. But once the war is over, she finds herself at loose ends. In the third season, Edith really comes into her own. Another thing that I find relates to Mad Men is that a lot of the time, the show is very much about the women.

    MOSS: One thing that was pointed out to me that was interesting—and I didn't realize it—is that both Peggy and Mary harbor sex-related secrets. There's Peggy with her secret pregnancy and Lady Mary with her little incident. They both carry around these very modern secrets that influence their lives.

    DOCKERY: Watching the Peggy and Mary characters develop, and become far more vulnerable as people, the audience is in on their secrets. And apart from Don Draper on Mad Men and Cora and Anna in Downton, not everyone knows those secrets. And with Mary, she started out as this very cold, spoiled teenager. I'd never played a character like that, and when I first read the role, I assumed that that's the way she would stay—a not very emotional, very tough aristocrat. And then, episode by episode, her character just softens, particularly in Season Two, because she discovers that she's actually deeply in love with Matthew and is devastated to find that he's engaged to someone else. By the third season, she's a little bit more settled, and she and Matthew are finally together. But there are still some thrills and spills. It's not all plain sailing with Matthew and Mary. It never is.

    MOSS: I know that there's a lot of anticipation for the Matthew-Mary wedding. What was it like dealing with all the attention while you were shooting and the paparazzi trying to get photos?

    DOCKERY: The dress is so beautiful, and it may not be what people are expecting. I feel very strongly that people should see it when the episode airs. I wanted to save it, the producers wanted to save it, and so that day we were in this carriage, me and Hugh Bonneville [who plays the Earl of Grantham, Mary's father], and the windows were all blacked out and there were paparazzi climbing trees trying to get a glimpse. I would have been really disappointed, actually, if someone had managed to get a snap of it. As much as the world wants to see it beforehand—

    MOSS: But we don't really. As a viewer, you want to be surprised.

    DOCKERY: Yeah. It's like your story line on Mad Men with Peggy leaving the agency. When I saw that, I called our mutual friend and I was in tears on the phone going, "No! Peggy can't leave!"

    MOSS: That was Episode 11. I didn't know about Peggy leaving until [Mad Men creator] Matt [Weiner] called me while we were shooting Episode 10. He wanted to tell me before I read the script so that I knew that I wasn't being fired. How much prior knowledge do you all have of what's going to happen? What is the working relationship like with Julian and how much input do you have?

    DOCKERY: When you're working with such a great writer, you just have absolute trust in them. I get so excited about reading a new script. I'm sure you feel the same. But as far as input goes, I can call Julian on the phone if I need a bit of advice about a scene, and there is a bit of negotiation when it comes to big story lines, but it's not collaborative, and I'm not a writer.

    MOSS: That's exactly how I feel. What I always say is, "Who am I to try to come up with this stuff?" Whatever they come up with is going to be far better than anything I could ever think of. Something happens that you could never have anticipated.

    DOCKERY: I can be so blown away by story lines. Sometimes I'll think, Oh, it could go this way or that way with Mary and Matthew. But then Julian writes something that I never would have thought of. I think it's wonderful for an actor not to kind of anticipate a story line.

    MOSS: The costumes in Downton Abbey are spectacular. I didn't realize how quickly the time passes on the show until I saw this incredible arc of fashion. Are you enjoying the move into the 1920s, fashionwise, on the upcoming season?

    DOCKERY: The third season is my favorite because the shapes are really changing. We've moved out of corsets, the waist drops—there's a looser feel and it's more adaptable to modern day. There are some things I wear on the show that I could actually get away with wearing today. There's quite a leap from the second season to the third. I think everyone will notice that, particularly with the hairstyles. In the early '20s, with the war over, there was a period of celebration, and you can see it in the fashion. But in the second season, most of which took place during the war, there was less jewelry and the eveningwear wasn't as elaborate. Susannah Buxton, our fashion designer, really paid attention to that.
    MOSS: Everything was much more muted and almost utilitarian—you know, like what you can wear when nursing a soldier.

    DOCKERY: Exactly. Now tiaras are featured far more, and diamonds. What's interesting about the new season is that some characters can't quite adapt to the rapid changes that occur after the First World War. There are certain characters, particularly Lord Grantham and, of course, Violet [Dowager Countess of Grantham], who are struggling with the new era. They find it difficult to adapt, whereas Mary goes along with the changes quite well in the third season. (op note: Flopbert needs to gtfo)

    MOSS: I want to talk about what else you've been up to. I know Anna Karenina is coming up. I'm a big fan of Joe Wright, and I worked with Keira Knightley for a few months on a Lillian Hellman play. I wanted to ask you about your experience on that film.

    DOCKERY: I've worked with Joe before--I did Hanna with him. He's such a fantastic director. Hanna was very modern, a thriller. But Anna Karenina was something very different. We worked with incredible dancers for some of the scenes.

    MOSS: Had you ever danced before?

    DOCKERY: Actually, I'm trained in dance.

    MOSS: That's so funny, I trained as a ballet dancer from age 5 to 15.

    DOCKERY: Did you ever think you'd go into dance?

    MOSS: Absolutely.

    DOCKERY: I did, too. It was going to be either that or musicals, because I sing as well.

    MOSS: I read that you were recording an album with your Downton Abbey co-star, Elizabeth McGovern. What's happening with that?

    DOCKERY: I've done a few gigs with Elizabeth. On set we discovered that we were both interested in music and we'd kind of jam out together in our trailers. It was quite a scene, us in our period costumes playing guitar. She asked me if I would sing backing vocals for a gig or two with her band, Sadie and the Hotheads. For their upcoming album, I recorded some vocals.

    MOSS: You were talking about recording an album of your own stuff, weren't you?

    DOCKERY: Maybe eventually. I love singing live, actually. And I'm dying to sing in a role, whether it's in a musical or a biographical film about a singer. It's always been one of my aspirations.

    MOSS: Your show has become one of the great staples of television in the U.K. and America. Is it something you ever anticipated?

    DOCKERY: As with anything, you hope it carries to an audience at home. We all hoped the British audience would enjoy it, but I would never have imagined the success it has become elsewhere, particularly in the States. It's quite overwhelming in some ways. Downton Abbey has become this huge thing, and I really enjoy the success of it, but I sometimes find myself on the outside looking in, which is sort of a healthy way to look at it, so you don't get too caught up in it.

    MOSS: We feel the same way because Mad Men is a show that we never really anticipated would be what it is— it's like a little family that you go back to and film with every year. Do you feel like there has been a different reaction to your show in the U.S. than in the U.K.? Or has it been similar?

    DOCKERY: Most of the time, it has been the same. I think it depends on where I am in the States, though. If I'm in L.A., people are far more confident to approach me if they see me. I think it's something about Americans, that they're not shy about coming over. I mean, people are just so genuine and so warm about the show. On Sundays, they sit down to watch it. It's a lovely feeling that you're part of people's lives.

    MOSS: You mentioned a little bit about Lady Mary's arc and how she's more settled, but is there anything else that you can share with us about the new season?

    DOCKERY: I can't, Lizzie. Is there anything you can tell me about Mad Men?

    MOSS: No, obviously. Of course not. I can't believe you would ask me that.

    She's such a good actress i'm glad she's getting more attention now.

    0 0
  • 10/15/12--17:52: Listen To III
  • Shiny Toy Guns newest album, III is now available to listen to here. Arguably the best electronic album of the year, III has Shiny Toy Guns returning to the euphoric synth-rock sound of their Grammy award nominated debut album, We Are Pilots. III delivers like We Are Pilots, but with a much more sophisticated and matured edge, taking Shiny Toy Guns to wondrous new heights. III is officially released October 22.


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