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Oh No They Didn't! -

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    Eddie Redmayne will star in a remake of Leo Tolstoy's epic Russian novel War and Peace, which will be brought to television by BBC Wales, 40 years after the last time that an adaptation came to the small screen.

    The novel is a notoriously difficult book to film, coming in at roughly 1500 pages and with long passages devoted to battles in the Napoleonic Wars, alongside the epic intertwining love stories set in Russia in the early 19th Century.

    According to the Beeb the script will be written by the scribe who wrote the 1995 TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, famously featuring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.

    Redmayne will continue his history of starring in historical epics, cutting his teeth on channel 4's The Pillars of the Earth and most recently starring in Les Miserables.

    The novel is regarded as one of the world's most important literary works, and according to the BBC, Davies said it was, "Not just a great novel, it's a wonderful read and it'll make a wonderful serial."

    He added: "The characters are so natural and human and easy to identify with and Natasha Rostova (the main female protagonist of the novel) just beats Lizzy Bennet (Pride and Prejudice's heroine) as the most lovable heroine in literature," he added.

    The 1972 series featured Sir Anthony Hopkins as the aristocratic dilletante turned wealthy landowner who features as the novel's moral and philosophical heart.


    This post is dedicated to goddlesssinner

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    by Nathan Walker

    Mere seconds after tweeting that my pitch to write this article was accepted, some random guy on Twitter had this to say to me: "Lena Dunham is the voice of a masturbatory, hyper-self & her pathological titty baring represents Generation Shit."

    I mean, such vitriole and hate for a woman who makes a comedic television show that you can't even watch on public TV!?!?

    For years now, my wife has insisted that I'm a feminist despite my arguments that I'm not. She says that since I believe a woman has the right to work for the same pay as any man that I'm inherently a feminist. My half-hearted response was that I couldn't possibly be. I've never read any feminist literature, never participated in a rally, and I certainly can't stand behind the idea that a woman can do everything a man can (or vice versa). To be clear though, I do believe in equal rights, equal pay for equal work and that, intellectually men and women are equals. I also totally love the way women look naked. So, I couldn't possibly be a feminist, right?

    In steps, Lena Dunham and her show that you've no doubt heard all about by now, Girls. A show that I personally find to be wildly entertaining despite the fact that the male characters make my skin crawl. Girls instantly became quite controversial as it's a comedic television show that is breaking new ground by depicting the lives of young, white people in their 20s. Also, it's the only TV show where there's no ethnic diversity. Oh, and and and, it's the only TV show that attempts to take a humorous look at the lives of people transitioning from childhood into adulthood. Oh, jeesh, I forgot it's also the only television show that allows women to be on camera naked. Shit! One more thing, it's also the only TV show that focuses on people of enough privilege and money that they can waste their days away following their whims.

    Wait a minute! There are hundreds upon hundreds of TV shows that do all of the above things, sometimes all at once. So what is it about this TV show that makes it such a lightning rod for hate. Hate for her body. Hate for the lack of diversity. Hate for the characters' privileged lives. Hate for the fantasy scenarios of her characters having sex with men out of their league? Oh, wait, I know. It's the only successful TV show that's written and directed by a young woman. That is truly the only thing unique about the creation of this show when held up against the multitudes of other television shows that are doing similar things.

    Did Kareem Abdul Jabbar take off his goggles, put down his sky hook, and take to the Huffington Post to publicly shame Judd Apatow (a.k.a., the producer of Girls) when he wrote and produced a similarly themed show called Freaks & Geeks? It didn't have titties, but it did have an entirely white cast of teens set in Detroit fucking Michigan. Was the main character a self-centered girl who used people and her parents to get what she wanted? You bet your ass she was. Did the feminists cry and say "but what does Lindsay Weir stand for!?!?" No, they didn't. Why? Because it was a TV show written and produced for our entertainment. You either liked it or you didn't.

    Where are the complaints of racism for another one of HBO's hit TV shows, Game Of Thrones, whose only characters of ethnicity are bloodthirsty, shirtless primitives? Likewise, where are the complaints about the main characters in that show being overprivileged when, clearly, the main characters flounce around like they're goddamned kings and queens. Where are the cries of "goddammit, Daenerys, put your tits away!!!" after every episode in which she whips her tits out? Oh, you don't care because, clearly, it's a show made solely for our entertainment and her tits suit your vision of Playboy tits? Why the fuck would we hold the writer of this show up to any public scrutiny for creating an imaginary realm where old, fat men fuck teenage women in every episode?

    Want to talk about privileged white people and vapid, disgusting unrealistic behavior? Let's talk about Entourage! Here is a television show that is meant to entertain us by following the exploits of three young, white men who follow a celebrity around leaching off of his money, cars, houses, booze, drugs, and even his female admirers. There's not a single moment of that show that's not offensive to every single one of us yet it gracefully sidesteps public scorn under the guise of entertainment.

    I know, I ask a lot of why's here but can someone tell me why the world at large has put this woman under so much public scrutiny, hate, and controversy? If you can point me to one single thing that sets her apart from her numerous counterparts making television entertainment beyond the fact that she's a young woman, I'm all ears.

    So, Lena Dunham, you've managed to do a few things here: You've managed to make me laugh; you've managed to make me cringe at that Adam character too many times; but more importantly, you've proven my wife to be correct (as usual) and confirmed that I am indeed a feminist. The sheer volume of public outcry over your show has pulled off my blinders to the reality of how our culture deals with a successful woman. I apologize that I've not caught on sooner, but, thankfully, it's never too late to change. Now, I'm going to settle in and watch a nation of internet police tweet, blog, Facebook, and, hell, maybe even pinterest the ways that I and you are completely wrong. But don't worry, the number of people fighting for your right to have a job making television shows just increased by one.


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    Porn king Ron Jeremy has been released from hospital three weeks after he suffered a near-fatal heart aneurysm.

    The adult film actor experienced severe chest pains last month so he admitted himself to Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where doctors discovered an aneurysm near his heart and performed emergency surgery.

    Jeremy, 59, revealed he was “extremely close” to death during the health drama, but medics have now released him from their care.

    Editors at the New York Daily News report the star checked out of the hospital last week and is now convalescing at a hotel in Hollywood.

    Jeremy has shown off the new surgical scar on his chest, adding, “I came very close to death. I guess I have a very, very strong will to live.”

    He lost 45 lbs in weight during his hospital stay and has now vowed to change his diet to improve his health.Damn.

    Jeremy explains, “Eating healthy food is depressing, but it’s keeping me alive. My dad is 94 and still going strong. He got mad at me for this. He jokes that he and my mom gave me the perfect body, and I screwed it up.”


    Surprising facts about Ron Jeremy:
    - Has a Master's Degree
    - Before his porn career, he taught Special Education classes in NYC Public Schools.
    - Changed his name to "Ron Jeremy" after fans/producers kept calling his grandmother, mistaking the "R. Hyatt." listing in the Queens phone book for his.
    - His mother served in the O.S.S. during World War II.
    - Has debated at the Oxford Union.
    - His nickname has nothing to do with his penis/any other body part.

    Edited to Add: Classically trained pianist and violinist.

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    Kara DioGuardi and husband Mike McCuddy welcomed a son on Thursday, Jan. 31 in Los Angeles, a rep for the former American Idol judge confirms to PEOPLE.

    Greyson James Carroll McCuddy was born to the couple via gestational surrogate at 1:01 p.m. He weighs 8 lbs., 10 oz. and measures 20¾ inches long.

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    One of his middle names, Carroll, honors DioGuardi’s late mother.

    The happy news of Greyson’s birth comes after years of heartbreak for songwriter DioGuardi, 42, who endured miscarriages and failed IVF attempts while she and McCuddy explored other paths to parenthood, including adoption and surrogacy.

    Not everyone can conceive a baby, which makes the option of surrogacy so rewarding. DioGuardi recently said that she could not be more grateful to their surrogate: “She’s given us an incredible gift.”

    Elton John

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    Sir Elton John and David Furnish welcomed their second son Elijah on January 11, 2013. The doting daddies used the same surrogate mother for their 2-year-old son Zachary.

    “She is a wonderful, kind and loving woman,” Elton said of their surrogate, who thinks of her as “part of our family.”

    The couple used the same egg donor for both boys and have chosen not to find out either of their son’s paternity.

    Nicole Kidman

    Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban welcomed daughter Sunday on July 8, 2008. But after a “roller-coaster ride with fertility,” the couple used a gestational carrier for their second child, now 2-year-old daughter Faith.

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    “Having adopted, given birth, and then being there to see my child born in that way, I felt so much love for our surrogate, gestational carrier,” Nicole said.

    The Academy Award-winner went on to discuss why she uses the term “gestational carrier” as opposed to “surrogate”– something she was criticized for in the days following the announcement of Faith’s birth.

    “We were trying to be accurate,” she shared. “The term ‘gestational carrier’ is used if it’s your biological child and if it isn’t, then you use ‘surrogate.’ I mean, who knows what it is. But she’s the most wonderful woman to do this for us.”

    Neil Patrick Harris

    How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris and partner David Burtka are dads to 2-year-old twins Harper and Gideon. The Doogie Houser alum opened up about welcoming the twins via surrogate mother.

    “We really, really wanted kids,” NPH said. “We really had thought it through financially, emotionally, relationship-wise. We didn’t just accidentally get pregnant and decide that now we need to make this work. These kids come into our world with nothing but love.”

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    The handsome couple talked the science behind the birth of the fraternal twins, revealing each father fertilized one egg and the twins were carried and born via one surrogate.

    Burtka explained that the twins were conceived by “two eggs, two embryos, one of mine, one of his.”

    The couple knew the surrogate, whom Burtka described as “more like the oven.” And they found an anonymous egg donor through a donation bank where they were able to research her personal and medical history.

    Sarah Jessica Parker

    Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick welcomed son James Wilkie in October 2002. But the couple struggled to conceive again.

    “[We] tried and tried and tried and tried and tried to get pregnant, but it just was not to be, the conventional way—I would give birth as often as I could, if I could. I cherished all the milestones, the good and the bad,” SJP shared.

    The Sex and the City star spoke very highly of their gestational carrier, calling her “strong, bright, independent, thoughtful, caring, gracious and generous.”

    She went on to talk about meeting her daughters – now 3-year-old twins Tabitha and Loretta – for the first time in the delivery room.

     photo tabamploretta_zps034daed9.jpg

    “Meeting your children rather than giving birth to them, it’s as if, um, it’s—suspended animation. The gestational experience is gone,” she said. “It’s as if everything else disappears for a moment, and the world goes silent and—I can’t explain it except to say that nothing else existed. I don’t remember anything but the blanket on the bed that they were lying on and my husband’s face and their faces and my son’s. It’s literally as if sound is sucked from the room. Time stands still. It’s so different, and equally extraordinary. I am very poor at describing it. But it’s amazing.”

     photo bb7_zps7eae8110.jpg


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  • 02/20/13--11:01: New clip from 'Stoker'

  • After India's (Mia Wasikowska's) father dies in an auto accident, her Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman). Soon after his arrival, she comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives, but instead of feeling outrage or horror, this friendless girl becomes increasingly infatuated with him.


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    The producers of the Broadway debut of Lyle Kessler's Orphans announced Feb. 20 that film star Shia LaBeouf has departed the upcoming production "due to creative differences." The play would have marked the actor's Broadway bow.

    An announcement on the replacement for the role of Treat will be made shortly.

    The three-person drama, starring Alec Baldwin and Tom Sturridge, will begin previews March 19 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, with an official opening scheduled for April 7. Daniel Sullivan directs.

    In the play, according to press notes, "two orphaned brothers are living in a decrepit North Philadelphia row house. Treat, the eldest, supports his damaged younger sibling Phillip (Sturridge) by petty thievery, and makes the house a virtual prison for the seemingly simple-minded Phillip. One night he kidnaps a rich older man, Harold (Baldwin), who turns out to have his own motives and becomes the father figure the boys have always yearned for."


    As a TomStu fan, I'm glad he won't be working with him any more. Hopefully they'll find someone better.

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    "My Sister's Keeper" will coincide with the release of a gospel album from the Grammy award-winning Destiny's Child singer.

    Michelle Williams, who reunited with former Destiny's Child bandmate Beyoncé during her Super Bowl halftime show earlier this month, has signed a deal for her very own reality show.

    The series, called My Sister’s Keeper, is from Entertainment One Television and will follow Williams and her sisters as her new solo gospel album from the Canadian producer’s music label is released.

    Executive producers include Williams, Tara Long, Phil Thornton, Jeff Hevert and John Dee Hammond.

    “We’re very excited to expand upon our relationship with Michelle on this new collaboration that will provide fans with a peek into her everyday life,” says Long, senior vp of U.S. alternative programming at Entertainment One, in a statement.

    “Working together on my new gospel album and television series, I am excited to share with everyone a behind-the-scenes look at the inspiration and journey of recording for the album, performing, fun family times and other unforgettable experiences out together with my dear sisters,” Williams adds.


    Get it Tenitra!

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    It’s official! Glee star Jane Lynch will go from yelling at Glee-clubers to ordering around a bunch of little girls. As speculated by, Lynch will make her Broadway debut as Miss Hannigan in Annie beginning May 16. No departure date has been announced for current show star Katie Finneran, who is exiting the production to star on Michael J. Fox's new TV series. Lynch will play a limited run through July 14.

    Lynch won an Emmy and Golden Globe for her role as Glee’s tough, smart-mouthed cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester. She appeared off-Broadway in Love, Loss, and What I Wore and The Real Live Brady Bunch and the Real Live Game Show. Her many screen credits include Three Stooges, The 40 Year old Virgin, Wreck-It Ralph, Julie & Julia, For Your Consideration, Role Models, A Mighty Wind and Best in Show. In addition to acting, she also authored the best-selling autobiography Happy Accidents.

    The Broadway revival of Annie currently stars Lilla Crawford as Annie, Anthony Warlow as Daddy Warbucks, Brynn O’Malley as Grace Farrell, Clarke Thorell as Rooster Hannigan, J. Elaine Marcos as Lily St. Regis and Sunny the dog as Sandy. Annie also features Madi Rae DiPietro as July, Emily Rosenfeld as Molly, Georgi James as Pepper, Tyrah Skye Odoms as Kate, Junah Jang as Tessie, Taylor Richardson as Duffy and standbys Jaidyn Young, Sadie Sink and Brooklyn Shuck.


    So excited for this!

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    March 2013 will mark the 10-year anniversary of “Shock and Awe”, the launch of the US invasion of Iraq… and the launch of Madonna’s music video, “American Life”, protesting the invasion of Iraq.

    Never one for subtly, Madonna’s 2003 “American Life” video was a commentary about the “social disease” plaguing America leading up to the war.

    In the video, Madonna (looking more like the yet-to-be famous Sarah Palin) croons about living the American dream from jumbotrons at a fashion show. Between cutaway scenes of bombs exploding, models in military-chic uniforms work the runway and commingle with the innocent victims of war – Iraqi children who shuffle downstage before flashing cameras and a disengaged, affluent audience.

    At the time of the video’s release, the backlash was so brutal and unrelenting that for the first time in her outspoken career, Madonna retreated from her detractors and withdrew the video. On the subject, she said in a statement,”Due to the volatile state of the world and out of sensitivity and respect to the armed forces, who I support and pray for, I do not want to risk offending anyone who might misinterpret the meaning of this video.”

    A decade later, there’s something haunting about watching “American Life”. Knowing what we know now, Madonna’s then controversial video seems more like an accurate foretelling of the past decade than the distasteful, unpatriotic betrayal critics made the video out to be in 2003.

    When the United States invaded Iraq in March 2003, Main Street looked like a 4th of July parade… minus the crowds. There were US flags, yellow ribbons, and yard signs urging neighbors to “Support the Troops”, but all the action was happening indoors, where Americans were feeding on the 24-hours news coverage of the unraveling war.

    For me, the greatest atrocity of the Iraqi War is not the manipulation of Americans, the war profiteering, or the deceitful lies that led us to Iraq in the first place. Other than the loss of so many lives, what I find most sobering is how disconnected Americans became from both wars… myself included.

    Other than writing this post with a sanctimonious tone, what did I do to support the troops? Nothing. Not one protest, care package, donation, or yellow ribbon. Although I wished for the troops safety, I, like most Americans, ultimately got distracted as the war progressed. Sure, I scoffed at the mess when it spiraled out of control, demanded change I could believe in, but in the end – I was removed from the horrors of war, a complacent member of the audience, attending the “American Life” fashion show.

    Thinking back to the reaction against Madonna and other artists, like the Dixie Chicks, who dared to express their opposition to the war, I wonder now – What if I had been more outspoken?

    Does it pay to speak the truth in the land of the free?

    If Madonna is any indication, arguably “no”. For all intents and purposes, “American Life” marked the demise of Madonna, the American radio star.

    Although the album “American Life” debuted at number #1 in the United States, it remains her worst selling studio album to date. Preceding the controversy, Madonna had 12 number 1 songs and over a dozen more Top 5 Billboard hits. Following the controversy, however, Madonna had only 1 song in top five (thanks to Justin Timberlake).

    Perhaps it’s mere coincidence that Madonna became “radio irrelevant” after speaking out against the war. Maybe you can dismiss 20 years of record-breaking success between the years of 1983 – 2003 and call it a fluke, but doing so would mean ignoring Madonna’s success outside America between the years of 2003 – 2013.

    - “Hung Up”, which was released in 2005, remains the best selling single of all time by any artists. While the song only peaked at #7 in the US, it broke the Guinness Book of World Records for reaching #1 in 41 other countries simultaneously.
    - Madonna’s 2012 “MDNA” World Tour is the 2nd highest grossing tour for a female solo artist of all time (1st place was achieved by Madonna in 2008 with her “Sticky and Sweet” tour).
    The purpose of this article is not to say Madonna is awesome (although there is clearly some of that). Regardless of whether you love or despise Madonna, as a matter of principle, I’d like the record to show…

    Regarding the War in Iraq, Madonna was right, and George W. Bush was wrong. When we didn’t want to hear it but needed to listen most, Madonna spoke the truth. And in return, boys and girls, the King’s minions banished the Queen from the airwaves, where she’d reigned for 20 years.

    In 2003, then President of the United States, George W. Bush, manipulated Americans into supporting the invasion of Iraq. In the aftermath of 9/11, his administration preyed on our grief, fears, and patriotism, and lied about weapons of mass destruction, defrauding the citizens and ideals he swore to preserve and protect.

    In demanding unity, America sacrificed freedom of speech and censored opposing views, discounting the very essence of the democracy that President Bush was peddling for Iraq.

    Since the War in Iraq began over 100,000 people have been killed, including over 4,000 Americans. Perhaps by 2023, once the ground stops shifting beneath me, I’ll have a better vantage of the wars historical significance.

    In the meantime, this much I’ve learned…

    Like it or not, in the past decade war became increasingly fashionable, and although there are obvious exceptions, on the whole, the American public became disengaged from the wars.

    Had we been more engaged, we might have demanded justice and insisted that elected politicians atone for war crimes. But we didn’t. Because doing so, we were led to believe, would be unpatriotic.

    In 2013, what I find unforgivable and un-American is that we didn’t fight more for our armed forces, we didn’t hold our government accountable for the well being of the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. A right we ultimately punished the likes of Madonna for valuing and exercising.

    Does it pay to speak the truth in the land of the free? Despite her exile, I suspect Madonna would answer, “Of course, it does.”

    After bursting on stage in a Mini Cooper, presumably feeling super-dooper, the “American Life” video ends with Madonna jolting her audience awake…

    Freedom is not an illusion, or at least it shouldn’t be. It isn’t fashionable or chic and should never be taken for granted. Freedom is the result of sacrifice, integrity, and courage. It requires equal doses of pride and humility, the fortitude to accept our humanity and recognize when we are wrong.

    In America, freedom is a measure of character. It means standing by my convictions and calling out hypocrisy, while fighting relentlessly for my opponent’s right to express their (misguided) views.

    Freedom is intended to be a celebration heard throughout the world. For America in 2013, it follows when we can admit together…

    Madonna was right. George W. Bush was wrong.


    On December 14, 2011, President Obama announced the end of the War in Iraq. On cue, a month later, in a formal ceremony watched by millions, Madonna returned home to the United States…

    Her performance at the Super Bowl was the most-watched television event in U.S. history, drawing more viewers than the game between the Giants and Patriots. Ushered into the stadium on a golden chariot pulled by centurions, Madonna’s performance was an over-the-top extravaganza… a fairytale homecoming worthy of an exiled Queen, who once upon a time defied a slack-jawed King and his minions.


    A little tl;dr but quite an interesting opinion piece. The uncensored video for "American Life" is actually what turned me into a Madonna stan and shaped my political beliefs so I thought this should be shared.

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    BERLIN -- Otfried Preussler, a bestselling German children's author who created "The Robber Hotzenplotz" and "The Little Witch" books, has died. He was 89.

    His publisher says Preussler died Monday at his home in Prien am Chiemsee.

    The Stuttgart, Germany-based Thienemann publishing house said in a statement Wednesday that 50 million copies of Preussler's books were printed worldwide and translated into more than 50 languages.

    Preussler won the European Youth book prize for his novel "Krabat," published in 1971 and translated in English as "The Satanic Mill," in 1973.

    In recent years, Preussler was among a number of authors whose works were criticized in Germany for containing terms deemed offensive to minorities.

    Preussler was born in Reichenberg, now the Czech town of Liberec, in 1923. He is survived by a daughter.


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    As anticipation mounts among fantasy fans ahead of the Radio 4 adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, can reveal the first exclusive shot of the star-studded cast, which reads like a who's who of cult TV.

    Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch and X-Men's James McAvoy are joined by Game of Thrones and former Fades star Natalie Dormer, Doctor Who alumnus Sophie Okondeo and Homeland's David Harewood for the tale of London Below, an alternate reality beneath the capital where famous landmarks take on a life of their own.

    Screen legends Christopher Lee and Bernard Cribbins also star in an adaptation that is being described as an "audio film".

    The six-part series begins with an hour-long episode on Saturday 16 March on Radio 4 and continues with five 30-minute instalments on Radio 4 Extra from Monday 18 March.

    More photos and news to follow in the coming weeks...

    ETA: FULL CAST (And adorable cast photo)

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    She's rocked the short hairdo for six years now, but Michelle Williams says she's finally ready to move on. The Oscar-nominated actress, who is promoting her new film "Oz the Great and the Powerful," confessed to E! News that she was finally ready to grow out her trademark close-cropped short hair.

    "I think I'm ready. It's on its way, slowly but surely," the 32-year-old actress says in a video interview. "[The transition is] why I've stayed with short hair for so long. The mid-stage is insufferable. It's really hard on your self-esteem."

    Williams added that she was taking a break from work in the process. "I'm really happy to not have anything looming -- except my hair. I'm really working on my hair growing out," she said.

    The statement is in sharp contrast to what Williams said a year and a half ago, when she revealed that she was keeping her hair short in memory of the late Heath Ledger, her former fiancé and father of 7-year-old daughter Matilda. “What Matilda would love is for her mom to grow out the cropped hair, though that’s unlikely to happen any time soon,” Williams told Elle U.K. in November 2011. “I cut it for the one straight man who has ever liked short hair and I wear it in memorial of somebody who really loved it."

    Williams is currently dating "How I Met Your Mother" star Jason Segel.


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    Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty has impressed Indian actor-filmmaker Aamir Khan so much that he describes the Oscar winning director as "a brave woman".

    "She is a very brave woman to have made a film on such a politically sensitive and controversial topic. Not many people (even male filmmakers) would have the courage and conviction to do so," Aamir said in a statement.

    Zero Dark Thirty chronicles the decade-long hunt for Al Qaeda leader Osama after the September 2001 attacks and his death at the hands of the Navy SEAL Team 6 in Abbotabad, near Pakistan capital Islamabad, in May 2011.

    Aamir admits she deserved to be nominated for the best director Oscar, but added: "I am a great admirer of Katheryn Bigelow's work and feel that any filmmaker or director who is true to his/her craft should not take seriously the validation they do or don't receive from any award committee and jury."

    Aamir himself tries to stay away from award shows.

    "Fact is that I have no objections to film awards per se. I just feel that if I don't value a particular film award, then I won't attend it either. Apart from the national award, I don't see any other award ceremony that I should give value to. My personal experience about these award ceremonies is that I don't trust them. I have no faith in them so I would prefer to stay away," he said.


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    The Mindy Project hasn’t quite hit its stride with me. Admittedly, I had high expectations for this show given how I’ve been a fan of Mindy Kaling since The Office. I enjoyed her book “Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” and her long stint as writer and actress on the hit NBC show, which is now in its last season. (Kelly Kapoor is one of my favorite characters from The Office.)

    Her show on FOX is about a gynecologist trying to find love in the Big Apple, while also dealing with some colorful co-workers and various office shenanigans. The Pilot episode had the main character riding drunkenly around on a bicycle yelling “I’m Sandy Bullock!” before falling into someone’s backyard pool and getting promptly arrested thereafter…

    So it definitely had potential. What went wrong exactly?

    Characterization and Development

    The characters who have been given the most development are Mindy’s – the eponymous Mindy Lahiri – and (obvious) future love interest Danny Castellano (Chris Messina). The supporting characters show up, but we don’t know a whole lot about them, nor are we given any particular reason to care about them.

    What do we know about Dr. Reed (Ed Weeks), for example, beyond the fact that he’s the classic playboy who can’t emotionally commit… and that he’s British? The character is loosely based on Hugh Grant’s character in Bridget Jones’s Diary - the movie inspiration for The Mindy Project. Sure, he’s featured on promotional posters, but that doesn’t seem to mean anything. Morgan (Ike Barinholtz) has gotten more characterization and screentime and he was recurring for most of the show.

    These supporting characters come across as really one-note, simple, and trite. None of them have solid relationships with each other, either. Did anyone mention or explain Shauna’s absence in the most recent episode (“Mindy’s Minute”)? No. That’s because these character’s relationships with each other don’t matter and are flimsy at best – despite 15 episodes having aired so far.

    (Note: For anyone who was curious, the actress who played Shauna was booted off the show.)

    The reason why New Girl works so well is because of the solid, well-developed relationships among the principal cast. They frequently interact with one another and the relationships aren’t built out of nothing. They’ve been given time to develop and the actor’s work off each other’s chemistry to build a dynamic.

    Jess, Winston, Nick, and Schmidt aren’t bogged down by paper-thin characterization, either. The writers have crafted them into full-of-life, three-dimensional characters who are interesting to watch.

    The only relationship we get to see develop on The Mindy Project is between Mindy and Danny – the only cast members who seem to have any semblance of chemistry (romantic or otherwise) – and it’s safe to say that those two are headed in a very predictable direction.

    One thing I’m grateful for is that they aren’t nearly as cruel to each other as they were before, so they could work as a functional couple down the road – one that I might root for.



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    Back in 1954, when America was gripped with anti-Communist paranoia, psychiatrist Frederic Wertham emerged with his book, Seduction of the Innocent, which cited in-depth research that pointed a finger at comic books for corrupting the morals of America’s youth.

    In addition to claiming stories about monsters and mutants warped kids minds, and that Superman was an anti-American fascist, Dr. Wertham stated that Batman and Robin were essentially comicdom’s first queer couple—and were encouraging young boys to go gay. (He also claimed Wonder Woman was a lesbian who was into bondage, but we have a harder time refuting that one.)

    Batman and Robin, Wertham charged, inhabited “a wish dream of two homosexuals living together.” They lived in “sumptuous quarters,” unencumbered by wives and girlfriends, with only an aged butler for company.

    “Only someone ignorant of the fundamentals of psychiatry and psychopathology of sex can fail to realize the subtle atmosphere of homoeroticism which pervades the adventures,” wrote Wertham.

    “The Batman type of story may stimulate children to homosexual fantasies.”

    The publication of Seduction of the Innocent came at a time when America was facing an uptick in crime and juvenile delinquency, and Wertham offered an easy scapegoat. As a result, comic-book creators were pilloried and the self-censoring Comics Code Authority was created to police the industry.

    Now it turns out Wertham fudged a lot of his “research.”

    In a new article in Information & Culture Dr. Carol Tilley maintains that Wertham “manipulated, overstated, compromised and fabricated evidence,” especially in regards to interviews he conducted with young subjects. The New York Times reports:

    According to Dr. Tilley, he may have exaggerated the number of youths he worked with at the low-cost mental-health clinic he established in Harlem, who might have totaled in the hundreds instead of the “many thousands” he claimed.

    Dr. Tilley said he misstated their ages, combined quotations taken from many children to appear as if they came from one speaker and attributed remarks said by a single speaker to larger groups.

    Other examples show how Wertham omitted extenuating circumstances in the lives of his patients, who often came from families marred by violence and substance abuse, or invented details outright.

    And about those queer caped crusaders Batman and Robin?

    [Wertham] cited a young gay man who says that he put himself “in the position of Robin” and “did want to have relations with Batman.”

    But in Wertham’s original notes, Dr. Tilley writes, these quotations actually come from two young men, ages 16 and 17, who were in a sexual relationship with each other, and who told Wertham they were more likely to fantasize about heroes like Tarzan or the Sub-Mariner, rather than Batman and Robin.

    So Wertham interviewed some gay teens and found out what turned them on—rather than finding any teens “turned” gay by the Dynamic Duo.

    We can’t help but think if the good doctor were alive today, he’d have a nice cushy job with the Family Research Council.


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    Television isn’t just about ratings anymore. Now networks are fighting to earn the “most social” title for their hit shows, and one of the savviest series in the social media universe is the over-the-top teen mystery Pretty Little Liars. The ABC Family phenomenon and its digitally-inclined stars — Lucy Hale, 24; Ashley Benson, 24; Shay Mitchell, 26; and Troian Bellisario, 28 — are changing how networks measure success, one photobomb, tweet, status update, and Keek video at a time.

    Some of the of their posts may be related to the ABC Family drama, where the girls play an atypically glamorous high school foursome tormented by anonymous and cunning cyberbullies out to punish the friends of a dead queen bee. But the cast’s real gift is for unleashing more personal-flavored details — a video of Benson slinking around to Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” with person-of-interest James Franco; photos of Hale in the studio recording her country album — that serve as a dose of gossip-crack for viewers and fans, which keeps them clicking and tuning in. Pretty Little Liars draws 3.8 million viewers each week, while also maintaining a colossal digital footprint of more than 10 million likes on Facebook, a Twitter handle (@ABCFpll) with a million-plus followers, and four stars who collectively reach more than 5.5 million with a tweet or retweet. (Hale alone boasts 2.2 million Twitter followers.)

    Just in time for Social Media Week — going on right now in NYC — EW explores how Pretty Little Liars cracked the social-media code, and how other series hope to learn from their success. Plus we get the cast and exec producer I. Marlene King to preview the remaining episodes – Emily becomes a detective! Spencer goes crazy! “Red Coat” will be revealed! — as PLL heads to its third season finale on March 19.For more on Pretty Little Liars and the social-media phenomenon around it, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands February 22.


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    One of the 371 members of the Academy’s directors branch recently invited me over to his office to listen in as he openly deliberated about how to fill out his final ballot for the 85th Oscars. As you can tell from his remarks -- highlights of which have been reprinted below, category-by-category -- he has seen virtually all of the contenders and has very strong but carefully considered opinions about them. He opted to vote online rather than via paper ballot -- “because I want to feel young again,” he said with a chuckle -- and did not experience any issues with the voting system. His main issue, in fact, is with the studios that have inundated him with promotional swag, most of which he doesn’t want. “I’ve gotten books, cookbooks and just about everything short of Lincoln condoms,” he cracked. “It’s ridiculous.” Eventually, we got down to business, and, in no particular order, touched upon all 24 Oscar categories.

    One director shares his choices, calling "Argo" a "whole lot of nothing," saying "Django Unchained" is "Tarantino masturbating" and passing on "Amour" because "there's only so much diaper-changing I can tolerate."

    “This is the award for sound that is mixed on the set on the day. I’m going to dismiss Life of Pi because it seems like very much of a postproduction movie. And I’m going to vote for Les Miserables because they recorded the singing for live on the set and every quaver had to be caught. They had to be absolutely perfect, and they were.”
    Vote: Les Miserables

    “This is more about sound effects done in post. I’m going to dismiss Argo, Django and Life of Pi because I don’t think their post sound effects were terribly interesting or original. Zero Dark Thirty? I imagine that a great deal of the raid was done with sound effects editing. But I’m gonna go with Skyfall. The sound of that movie was absolutely extraordinary -- in particular, when the train comes colliding into the station.”
    Vote: Skyfall

    “I did not see all of the nominees, but with something like visual effects you can see enough of a film, in many cases, to make an informed decision. The Hobbit lost me with the 48 frames-per-second; I think it’s failed experiment -- noble, but failed. The Avengers and Prometheus are the same old thing. Snow White and the Huntsman lost me when they went into the woods. But Life of Pi is pretty extraordinary—the visuals are as magnificent as anything I’ve seen in a movie in a very long time. I was also very impressed that the tiger is so realistic and so unsentimental.”
    Vote: Life of Pi

    “In general, I object to movies that primarily feature CGI production design, like The Hobbit and Life of Pi. Les Miserables? One of its weakest things was its production design -- for example, in the beginning of the movie, that huge boat looked ridiculously fake. So that leaves Anna Karenina, which is a movie I loathed, and Lincoln. I’m not gonna vote for Lincoln for best picture, but I have a lot of personal respect for Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy and I want to help the film, so when I can throw it a vote, like here, I will.”
    Vote: Lincoln

    “This is No-Brainer City: ‘Skyfall’ is one of the best songs that has ever been in the best song category and Adele is f---ing brilliant. Plus I think it’s about time that a James Bond song won best song. In a way, this is my F-you for not giving it to ‘Live and Let Die’ back in 1973. I will say that ‘Before My Time,’ which is sung by Scarlett Johansson, is pretty good. ‘Pi’s Lullaby’ I couldn’t remember if my life was on the line. ‘Everybody Needs a Best Friend’ is a simple song. And ‘Suddenly’ from Les Miserables is a very boring song and an absolutely blatant attempt to win a best song Oscar; that upsets me. If ‘Skyfall’ does not win I will fillet my next-door neighbor’s dog.”
    Vote: “Skyfall” (Skyfall)

    “Life of Pi is an absolutely perfect score. [Lincoln composer] John Williams has enough f---ing Oscars, and I really feel that the score was a weak part of Lincoln and just self-plagiarism for Williams. Thomas Newman should have won the Oscar a couple of times, but I just didn’t see anything particularly new or interesting in the music of Skyfall.”
    Vote: Life of Pi

    “I don’t think it’s a very impressive category this year. They should have nominated Lincoln because of how much they made Daniel Day-Lewis look like Lincoln. In Hitchcock Anthony Hopkins just looked like a man in a fat-suit—I didn’t really buy it. The Hobbit? You know, whatever—it’s what they do every time. So I guess I’m going to vote for Les Miserables here, only because of how well they aged Hugh Jackman. And I think they did a good job beating the shit out of Anne Hathaway, as well.”
    Vote: Les Miserables

    “I think one of the worst things about Silver Linings Playbook was its editing; there was a lot of mismatching. Lincoln? There really isn’t much editing to speak of. Life of Pi is interesting because it was mostly computer-generated, I think there were not that many decisions to be made with editing, as opposed to when you get a shitload of stuff and have to figure out what you’re going to use. Argo had some pretty good editing, especially that sequence at the end when they’re making their escape. But the undeniable winner is Zero Dark Thirty, which must have had a massive amount of footage to boil down and made that raid at the end very understandable.”
    Vote: Zero Dark Thirty

    “It’s a very good group; I saw them all. The most powerful might be The Gatekeepers, so that could win. But, in order to win this Oscar, you usually have to make a film that makes people feel absolutely great or makes people feel like they want to slit their wrists; something that’s jovial or something that’s important. I think that Searching for Sugar Man is going to win, and I’m going to vote for it because I just felt like a million bucks after watching it -- and I bought Rodriguez’s album.”
    Vote: Searching for Sugar Man

    [Had not seen any of the films, but had heard good things about Paperman so he voted for it.]
    Vote: Paperman

    [Had not seen any of the films and knew nothing about any of them, so he declined to vote.]
    Vote: [Abstained]

    “Curfew is the least depressing of five films guaranteed to prevent you from getting laid, as I personally learned.”
    Vote: Curfew

    I would have voted for Bigelow -- I certainly nominated her and Affleck. Silver Linings is a screenplay; the direction is not particularly important -- although it took David O. Russell to figure out that Bradley Cooper is a great actor. Life of Pi is very well-directed and extremely well-thought-out, but I was put off by the religious message at the end. Beasts? I know many people loved it, but I got seasick and found it to be almost impossibly boring. Amour is purely a performance piece; besides, Michael Haneke has pissed me off in the past because he’s made movies that are so misanthropic. He just hates human beings, and I happen to be a human being and don’t like being shit on. That leaves Lincoln, which I don’t feel is the best-directed film of the year -- there’s nothing innovative about it -- but I’m swept away with the gravity of the subject matter, with the respect that Spielberg showed to it and with him guiding Day-Lewis in a direction different than we’d normally associated with Lincoln. Plus, Spielberg deserves an Oscar every 10 years or so out of respect for what he does for the industry.
    Vote: Lincoln

    “This always goes to the nominee with the puffiest dresses. Just once I’d like to see a more modern film put into this category. Mirror Mirror is out for me. Lincoln is out for me. I just don’t want to support Anna Karenina, even though it’s probably going to win because it’s exactly the kind of movie that does win this award; people who haven’t even seen the film are going to vote for it because it just has that smell. But I’m gonna go for Snow White because you had the knights in the shining armor and then you had the more mythical costumes and on and on. I think it was just a little bit more inventive than the others.”
    Vote: Snow White and the Huntsman

    “I liked Life of Pi, but I’m suspect of any nominee that used a lot of CGI, since you can manipulate the photography so much. Lincoln was way too milky for me; I have that problem with almost everything Janusz Kaminski does. The Anna Karenina cinematography was totally unimpressive. Django Unchained was Robert Richardson, and he, in general, does far too much top-lighting for me. I’m voting for Skyfall because I want Roger Deakins to win an Oscar. Now, I’m a person who knows that Roger Deakins shot Skyfall, but a lot of people in the Academy will have no clue who did because they don’t tell you on the ballot; in fact, they won’t vote for it because it’s a James Bond film -- you know, ‘How can you give James Bond an Oscar?’ But they should go back and rewatch that opening shot where Bond is approaching the camera, and he’s out-of-focus and he slams into focus in a way that I’ve never seen done before. I also really love the way that Deakins plays with dark and light in the film.”
    Vote: Skyfall

    “It’s a tough category because everything is mediocre. I’m definitely not voting for The Pirates. I’m not voting for Frankenweenie. Brave was unimpressive. So I guess it’s between ParaNorman and Wreck-It Ralph. So… [At this time he assigned the screen side of his iPhone to the former and the back side of it to the latter, and spun it on his desk.]
    Vote: Wreck-It Ralph

    “It’s a very interesting category. Jacki Weaver? I don’t even know why she’s there, and she knocked out Ann Dowd, who probably deserved that spot for Compliance. Helen Hunt is really a lead actress. Sally Field is undeserving in this category -- I didn’t find a single moment in the film where I thought she did anything extraordinary; she’s playing an annoying character, and she is rather annoying, plus she’s about 20 years too old for the role. Amy Adams is going to be nominated 20 more times, but this one’s a total throwaway role. Which leaves Anne Hathaway, who’s going to win because she makes you cry and because I find her charming. Sometimes it’s one scene that wins it for you. Not just anybody can come in and kill one song; there are many songs that Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe should have killed, and, in fact, they killed them literally.”
    Vote: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

    “For the first hour of The Impossible, you can’t imagine how Naomi Watts cannot win, but her character basically becomes a person who is exclusively struggling and who disappears for large chunks of the film, so I can’t vote for her. I also don’t vote for anyone whose name I can’t pronounce. Quvez---? Quzen---? Quyzenay? Her parents really put her in a hole by giving her that name -- Alphabet Wallis. The truth is, it’s a very sweet but immature performance from a 9-year-old. I’ve directed children. They probably did a thousand takes and put the best ones together. Jennifer Lawrence I was on the fence about, but she lost me with that Saturday Night Live bit; I thought it was mean-spirited and shows a lack of maturity on her part. So, for me, it’s between Jessica Chastain and Emmanuelle Riva. I didn’t like Amour, but I think Riva was extraordinary in it. Chastain was just fantastic in Zero Dark Thirty -- she is the major star of tomorrow and probably has another 10 Oscar nominations in her future. Meanwhile, Emmanuelle Riva may not even live through Oscar night, so …”
    Vote: Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)

    “I rule out Christoph Waltz because this is a fake nomination — he’s a co-lead with Jamie Foxx, and it’s unfair for the others to compete with that. Also, much of his performance is just like in Inglourious Basterds. Robert De Niro was just Robert De Niro; yes, he had one crying scene, but crying is not enough. Alan Arkin in Argo? I’m shocked he’s even nominated. Tommy Lee Jones has been such a bitter guy -- all that scowling at the Golden Globes? I’m telling you, people don’t like the guy. So I turn to Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was sublime in The Master. It’s a very original performance. What’s interesting about it is you don’t know where the character is coming from; you sort of assume he’s insincere, but sometimes he comes across as extremely sincere. Now, you could argue that it’s also a lead, but if you go back and take out a stopwatch, you’ll realize that it really is Joaquin Phoenix’s movie.”
    Vote: Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)

    “I would be surprised if Daniel Day-Lewis doesn’t get 80 percent of the vote -- people like and respect him and also the character. I’ll bet you that none of the other nominated guys have even written a speech. I, too, thought he was very good, but basically it was a lot of soliloquies, you know, so I didn’t see that much range from him. For Bradley Cooper, the nomination is his award. Hugh Jackman did a terrible job singing many of the songs in Les Mis -- I think the live singing, in many cases, actually hurt the movie because the singing just isn’t as good as it could be. Denzel Washington plays a drunk and an addict, which is very difficult to do, and it’s a brilliant performance, but so much of it goes on the natural fumes of Denzel, and he’s already won two Academy Awards. So I’m gonna vote for Joaquin Phoenix, who gives a performance for the ages. So much went into that performance. He created a character as distinct as Daniel Plainview [Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood], from always hunching and putting his right hand on his hip to crying as he’s being audited.”
    Vote: Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)

    “It’s a rather strong category, but I’m partial to Life of Pi because we all thought that it was an unfilmable book, and yet David Magee came up with a way to structure it that was faithful to the book but also cinematic. Lincoln was a little too much of a history lesson. Plus, I thought the opening scene with the black soldier and the scene featuring Tommy Lee Jones’ character and his maid were both very contrived, and that the ending, as is so often the case in Spielberg’s movies, was overkill. Silver Linings is a pretty good screenplay, but I wasn’t wowed by it. Argo is a whole lot of nothing; it’s a very engaging story but with nothing particularly clever in the writing. And I didn’t understand what was going on in Beasts of the Southern Wild; up until this very second I didn’t even realize it was an adapted screenplay.”
    Vote: Life of Pi

    “Amour is immediately disqualified—it’s just a woman dying, and there’s no real story, and it made me feel like shit. There’s only so much diaper-changing that I can tolerate. Django? If Tarantino had never made a film and this was his first screenplay, I might consider voting for him, but he’s made the same movie eight times. Moonrise Kingdom? It’s a personal thing, but I don’t like this guy’s movies. Flight offers a look at addiction unlike any we’ve seen. But Mark Boal’s Zero Dark Thirty script is even more amazing, with very good moments and great tension. Also, this whole torture thing is nonsense. Knowing that it’s not gonna win best picture, part of me just wants to try to push through an award for it as an ‘I’m sorry.’ ”
    Vote: Zero Dark Thirty

    “I’ve seen all of the nominees at official Academy screenings held over the past few weeks. You go into that theater, you sit there, you look around, and you just hope that there’s an ambulance outside because a lot of the members in attendance must have aged out of AARP at this point. I really wonder if these people are going to vote for Amour, because they’re really looking at themselves and they’ve gotta be saying, ‘This is what’s in my future? This is f---ing depressing.’ It’s depressing for people who are dying and for people who have to take care of people who are dying. It’s like, who needs that shit? I personally didn’t care for it. A Royal Affair is the kind of film that bores me; I fell asleep as I was watching it. No is a very good film, but it’s shot in a very weird way. War Witch is a really great film, but it’s an absolute f---ing bummer, and when you have children in jeopardy, people check out. That leaves Kon-Tiki, which has a very weird beginning but is very moving by the end; when they showed the photos of the real-life people at the end, my eyes were welling up. There is a tendency among voters in this category to vote for something that uplifts or energizes them, and this certainly does that.”
    Vote: Kon-Tiki (Norway)

    “This is a preferential system. I’m putting Amour at No. 9 because I’m just pissed off at that film. Beasts of the Southern Wild is a movie that I just didn’t understand, so that’s my No. 8. Les Miserables goes in seventh place — it’s not just the most disappointing film of the year but the most disappointing film in many years. Above that I’m putting Silver Linings Playbook, which is just a “blah” film. Django Unchained will go into my fifth slot — it’s a fun movie, but it’s basically just Quentin Tarantino masturbating for almost three hours. Next up is Life of Pi because of how unique it is and for holding my attention up until its irritating ending. Argo is gonna go in third place, but I don’t want it to win because I don’t think it deserves to win and am annoyed that it is on track to win for the wrong reasons. Actually, come to think of it, do we have to put a film in every slot? Because what I want is for my best picture choice to have the best possible shot, so why even give any support to the others? [He has his assistant call the Oscar voting helpline, finds out that voters can leave slots blank and promptly removes all of the aforementioned selections.] I’m basically OK with one of two films winning. Lincoln is going in my second slot; it’s a bore, but it’s Spielberg, it’s well-meaning, and it’s important. Zero Dark Thirty is my No 1.”

    Vote: (1) Zero Dark Thirty, (2) Lincoln, (3) [blank], (4) [blank], (5) [blank], (6) [blank], (7) [blank], (8) [blank], (9) [blank]


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    Hilary Duff was photographed around London yesterday February 19th. She had a quick trip over to the city to finalize some top secret gig. There is much speculation what her quick trip was for, with most of the rumors about signing onto a new label for her music career. Just hours before her trip she posted this twitpic on her twitter

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    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    My theory might be that she was there to meet with Simon Cowell about being a judge on the US X-Factor this season. He originally wanted her and Britney Spears. Plus she signed a deal with Fox last year for this Fall...


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    On February 1, Lisa Marie Presley turned 45, a significant milestone for several reasons. One, Elvis’s only legitimate offspring has managed to live three years longer than her poor, doomed daddy. Two, she has finally found her musical niche. Her much-lauded 2012 Americana release, Storm & Grace, is the album of her career. And three, in middle age, Presley appears to have broken with the Church of Scientology, of which she was once a most devoted member.

    In years past, Presley had been a vocal mainstay of Scientology’s celebrity roster, along with Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kirstie Alley. The four-times-married mother of four credited Scientology for getting her off a youthful dependence on drugs.

    [...]However, last spring, when Storm & Grace was released, sharp-eyed fans and news organizations, including the Village Voice and BBC News, pointed out that the lyrics to several songs on the album suggested that Presley, who moved to rural England in 2010 with husband Michael Lockwood, her guitarist and musical director, had cut her ties to the church.

    And I too got more than a hint of Lisa Marie’s disillusion with Scientology last May, when I interviewed her over the phone for a short piece for USA Weekend. For the 35 years I’ve written about the Presleys, I’ve known Lisa Marie to be a fiercely independent spirit. Yet just before our interview, her media team laid down the rules: No questions about religion or politics. But once Lisa Marie really started talking, it sounded a lot like religion and politics to me. These quotes have never been published.

    About moving to England, you said in an article that you went there because you were "living in a wasp's nest. Sold everything and left, just got on a plane, and started at ground zero."


    What led to that?

    Uncovering the fact that I was surrounded by people who were not well-intended, for one. Confidants [who were] very, very intimately and closely involved with me and my life. And had been for years. Basically, it was a big sinister situation, where there was like, kind of intel and covert ops going on, and a whole effort to control me that I didn’t know about. Lots of people (were) involved in that in various ways. And I uncovered it and it was mind-blowing, and I just was done with people at that point…It was just too much for me. I have a pretty high tolerance, and I’ve seen a lot, but I was just not ready for all that. It’s like uncovering [people] one by one, and then somebody that was holding it all together, and then they get exposed, and then I find out who’s behind that person, and that person was no good, and…it was pretty much like dominos. So I just thought, “Oh, my God, is everybody this dishonest and awful?” [...] But really, it was a sinister situation. I’m not going to say specifically, but I’ve given you a pretty good scope.

    If Lisa Marie has, indeed, left the church, she likely now shares her father’s view of it. In the early 1970s, the spiritual and ever-searching Elvis looked into Scientology, visiting its west coast center and briefly dating actress Peggy Lipton, a Scientology practitioner. But he ultimately dismissed the philosophy as cultish and money grubbing. “He stayed away from Scientology like it was a cobra,” the late Lamar Fike, a member of Elvis’s famed group of pals, the Memphis Mafia, said to me in the 1990s. “He’d shit a brick to see how far Lisa’s gotten into it.”

    [...] Yet it’s hard to imagine she’s not doing her best to offer puzzle pieces. Her single “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet,” for example, alludes to gullibility and corruption, and includes the explosive line, “I’m a bit transgressive and suppressive as well.” In Scientology speak, “transgressives” and “suppressives” are enemies of the church, or people the religion considers negative.

    So is Lisa Marie in or out? It’s a question she has yet to directly answer, and there appears to be no clear view of her Scientology status.

    The church has no comment, “as it is our policy not to speak about individual parishioners,” spokesperson Linda Wieland said in an email. “You should address such questions to Ms. Presley’s representatives.” Presley’s 2012 tour publicist, Bobbie Gale, answered only that Lisa Marie “isn’t going to give a direct quote... many have tried and she refuses to answer.”

    But the refusal itself suggests the answer. After all, if Lisa Marie remains a central figure in Scientology, wouldn’t both she and the church just say so?

    [...] Last May, the Village Voice definitively stated that Presley had left the church, and that her website had been cleansed of references to the church. Today, Presley’s official website no longer features a myriad of links to the church and Scientology factions, as the Voice reported. However, the website does still promote the anti-psychiatry Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), reportedly a Scientology front group, though Presley’s website lists three other philanthropic organizations before it.

    When I asked her about her favorite cause, Presley said, “Anything to do with helping children, or housing projects, and anything to do with abused children, things like that.” She did not cite CCHR.

    [...] In my interview with Lisa Marie, and in a subsequent after-show meeting in June in Indianapolis (her sloe-eyed beauty, so spookily reminiscent of her father’s, is even more jarring in person), she seemed markedly kinder, gentler and happier than the Lisa Marie of old. Storm & Grace surprises, too, for its lack of overt anger, a hallmark of Lisa Marie’s earlier efforts, which she laced with profanity and explicit lyrics. She is also warmer and more reflective than she was at the time of her 2003 debut, To Whom it May Concern, when in televised interviews, she seemed jittery in her own skin and riddled with tics.

    [...] It would take “a lot” to get her to that place now, she adds: “Some serious injustice or betrayal, insanity, something pretty subversive. I don’t live there anymore. It was really unhealthy and uncomfortable.”

    Whether that’s code for separating from Scientology, clearly Presley’s move to England has been good for her. She lives a largely quiet life of gardening and cooking.

    “I was pretty devastated. It was a four-or five-year process and, to be honest, I’m still looking back going, ‘Wow!’ But then all these amazing songs started happening, and I started realizing what life was like without all that going on. Life is actually great."

    Read the whole article at the source

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