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Oh No They Didn't! -

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    Filming is well underway on the next series of Girls, and yesterday Allison Williams was seen being put through her paces in New York. The actress, who plays Marnie, was spotted having a vigorous workout with the help of two rather dashing members of the production crew. If only our gym sessions were that fun.


    I'm surprised at how much weight she lost, compared to when she did that video singing Nature Boy. It's like Jennifer Aniston on Friends, I never thought she needed to lose any weight on season 1 and by the end of the show she looks like she dropped at least 20 pounds.

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  • 05/02/13--20:14: Hannibal 'Sorbet' Promo

  • sauce

    Tonight was so anxiety inducing. Next week looksnpretty gr9

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    Sheryl Crow may have 9 Grammy Awards, but she's just like us. Find out why Sheryl turned down a job as a judge on "The Voice" and what celebrity makes her starstruck.


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    One Tree Hill star, Stephen Colletti, had a traumatizing afternoon when shots rang out inside Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston— which happened to be where the actor was traveling.

    Reports are emerging that a man shot himself at a ticket counter after firing into the air with an assault rifle. The shooter, who is reportedly dead, was then taken to an area hospital— but not before scaring fellow travelers.

    Hayden Panettiere's ex-boyfriend tweeted about hearing the shots.

    He continued to explain that everyone froze after the initial gunshots, and when more were heard, travelers panicked and ran in every direction with chaos ensuing. Stephen, who played Chase Adams on the hit CW show, then ended up hiding inside the kitchen of an airport McDonald's.

    He adds:

    At this time, the airport remains on lockdown with flights grounded.


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    Jennifer Aniston reckons that hasn’t always been so slim and experienced her fair share of ‘chubbier days’ while filming Friends. Now, excuse us while we struggle to remember said days. Nonetheless, the actress reckons that her body hasn’t always been as tones as it is now. Speaking to promote her new book, ‘Yogalosophy: 28 Days To the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover’ the actress admitted that she reckons she was larger back in the day.

    “We were a lot rounder,” she told People magazine. “We ate terribly. We did that, and then we sort of grew up a little bit more and we got jobs.”

    Got jobs and started doing feck loads of yoga. 44-year-old Jennifer added that she now feels more comfortable in her own skin than ever before.

    “It's hard to say is that yoga or is it as we get older we grow into ourselves, but I've seen her become so empowered, so grounded in herself, so comfortable in her own skin,' she said. And we can certainly see what JenAn has to feel so confident about, she looks blimmin’ brilliant!

    Almost makes us want to do a bit of yoga at our desks right now.


    I think her body always looked great, chubbier or not.

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    Watching "The Americans" evolve over the course of the show's first season has been a gratifying process. It not only provided Keri Russell, who gave a brilliantly calibrated performance as Soviet spy Elizabeth Jennings, with an opportunity to blow away any preconceptions that might have lingered in the minds of fans of "Felicity," it also elicited a terrifically subtle performance from Matthew Rhys, who played her husband, Philip, with quiet intensity and a broodingly romantic air. And far from being an intellectual exercise in Soviet-U.S. gamesmanship, the show also provided an array of fight scenes, car chases and undercover identities that proved, once and for all, that Soviet wig technology of the '80s was far more advanced than anyone knew.

    As if that wasn't enough, Noah Emmerich, Margo Martindale, Richard Thomas and Annet Mahendru turned in sterling work as the spies rotating around the Jennings, and the show did a fine job of evoking both the hedonism of the early '80s (the discos! the hideous clothes!) but also the the tense, ideologically driven flavor of the international politics of the era.

    Joe Weisberg, the show's executive producer and creator, and Joel Fields, "The Americans'" executive producer, recently sat down for an extensive discussion of Season 1, where the show's second season might go and which characters will likely return. This is an edited version of that chat. (By the way, I have more thoughts on the first season and "The Colonel" that I've shared in "The Americans" podcast at the end of this post, and don't miss these recent interviews with cast members Rhys, Martindale, and Emmerich)

    As you prepare for Season 2, what are your thoughts about where Season 1 went and what you want to do next?

    Joe Weisberg: First of all, [it was] my first time running a show and, you know, with Joel being in charge of this giant story enterprise, I will say that I feel shocked and overwhelmed by how improvisatory it is. We did have so much planned out at the beginning and so many places we wanted to go. And a bunch of those places stayed, a bunch of them got modified and a bunch went away completely. And yet even the things that we set out to do that we did exactly, there's still so much improvisation to get there. There's no straight line, in any event. You're zigging and you're zagging and you're moving the pieces and you're doing it all out of breath, on the fly. It's like you're sprinting a marathon. It's just crazy. And then the thing that I most can't believe is that we started putting the blocks together for the last couple episodes and they fit. It's like a miracle. I can’t believe it.

    The other thing I'd say that we knew when we started but we learned as we went, too, is that ultimately, when the characters were true and when the emotional drama was interesting to us and rich to us, that the story worked. When we think about the coming season, I think that's the biggest thing we'll think about: What's happening with these characters? What's going on with their lives? What are the dynamics going to be? What's at stake and what's the next challenge and transformation for them personally? And the spy stories are the spy stories, and they can be little or small and episodic or play out over the season. That's really less important.

    So it's more about the consequences those spy stories may have for them personally.

    Joel Fields: Yeah, or [it's about] what they reflect without being too precious about it, what they provoke.

    So to go from the general to the specific, what was the thinking on having Paige go in the laundry room at the end of the finale? Was there ever a version of the finale where she finds something she shouldn't? Was that a big debate, or what were the various possibilities you thought about?

    Weisberg: With anything like that, we consider 10 possibilities.

    Fields: And with that, it was everything from, "There’s no such scene," to, "She finds their guns and wigs." And eight things in between were discussed. And we hope we found just the right thing. We found, for us, what we felt was the right thing.

    Weisberg: It came down to even editing that scene different ways, to where she's looking at the panel [behind the washing machine], or she was just looking vaguely in that direction or...

    Learning about how to fold properly, because mom's obviously a good folder.

    Fields: Ultimately, we feel laundry's gonna be a big part of the series.

    The folding and the wigs. You're definitely onto something with that.

    Fields: Well, I don't want to give away a spoiler, but the premiere of next season is called "Starch or No Starch."

    "The Lint Trap."

    Weisberg: "The Lint Trap." It's Ludlum meets "The Americans." I like that.

    That's the season finale. It's an idea.

    Fields: Now we have the whole arc. All we have to do is fill out the middle.

    Weisberg: That'll be easy. That writes itself.

    Fields: Well, we can get several episodes out of a missing sock.

    Moving away from laundry for a moment, how much do you want to go to the well of Philip and Elizabeth's relationship being in jeopardy next year? That's been such a huge driver for this season and obviously the cast plays that so well, but is there a danger of having it always be about their relationship possibly disintegrating, and then maybe the audience potentially loses interest in that happening over and over?

    Fields: Yeah, I think you can't keep doing that.

    Weisberg: Yeah.

    Fields: I would say that one thing I feel about marriage is that there's so many places to go with marriage that can be interesting. After all, people are sometimes married for 50 years without it getting boring. But, yeah, we don't want to repeat that same series of exact conflicts.

    But the relationship will always be the core of the show, you think?

    Weisberg: I do think that. It's hard to imagine "The Americans" without the marriage being the center of it.

    Fields: Right, but when it comes to jeopardy, I don't think we'd want to try to sustain "are they or aren’t they" [going to break up]. But as Joe said, marriage and family -- you could write that forever and there's always conflict and challenges there to explore.

    In terms of discoveries, is there a ticking clock on how long their neighbor Stan Beeman can be in the dark, and how long the kids are in the dark as well? Do you feel like they're both things that you have to address sooner rather than later?

    Fields: I think we'll find out as we go forward. And I think we'll let the characters tell us as we go forward, to a certain extent. For Stan, this hasn't been a season about him pursuing the people next door in any overt way, so there may be some room to explore that. We've never done him suspecting his neighbors in any real way, not since the pilot.

    In terms of the kids, certainly Paige is headed into a world of adolescence, and that look at the end of the finale could suggest anything, any sort of suspicion about her parents. But I think the most important thing is that she suspects, as most adolescents do at some point, that her parents aren't what she thought they were. And that's something universal. Part of what's cool about what Joe created is all of these relationships wind up being allegories for universal experiences, just in this super-dramatized, charged prism of the Cold War.

    Weisberg: I noticed this last week that one of our regular reviewers wrote that there's only so [long that Stan can't notice what the Jennings are up to]. Stan becomes stupid after a while if he's not onto them. And I sort of half agree with that but half disagree. We have control over doling out what we dole out to Stan before he becomes stupid, and we can dole it out at whatever pace we want.

    And the thing that's, to me, really intriguing about Stan and Philip is their relationship. That's what's great to explore and that can go in so many different directions, all of them emotionally rich and interesting. It's a sort of a counterpoint to Stan's suspicion, and that gives it a lot of jeopardy and interest. [Stan and Philip's relationship is], I think, the other heart of the series, after the marriage. Now, we've got to not f*** it up by getting Stan super-suspicious of them too early, you know.

    Or too late.

    Weisberg: Or too late.

    How much are these characters motivated by ideology and love of country and how much their own agendas, whether professional or personal? How much of it is "I love America" and "I love Russia"?

    Weisberg: We talk about this all the time, because how much of politics and ideology is really psychology? And how much passion is really pathology? What are the lies we tell ourselves about what we want to get in life? And I think these are all things that these characters can explore. I don't think there are any simple answers to those questions for any real people.

    Yeah, that's true, but these people have to fight and kill and possibly die.

    Weisberg: That's right. Which means the stories they tell themselves have to be all the more passionate and convincing.

    Fields: They're not self-aware people. So they're certainly examples of people who perceive of themselves as almost fully motivated by ideology. They are not aware of how motivated they are by the personal. But we can look at them and say these people are profoundly motivated by the personal as well.

    Obviously we see that in the finale with Claudia taking out the CIA guy who killed Zhukov.

    Weisberg: She certainly is aware of the personal there, right.

    As I know you know, people love Claudia, and they really love the scenes of Margo and Keri this season. Please tell me that if Margo is available for Season 2, there'll be more of that.

    Weisberg: Yes.

    Fields: Yes.

    Weisberg: We can promise that.

    Excellent. I know she's signed on with another pilot, but -- well, honestly, I hope that one doesn't go forward.

    Weisberg: We're secretly working to destroy that show.

    Fields: In conjunction with the KGB.

    I'm all for it. So the hope is to have her back if the other show doesn’t work out? Excellent.

    [At this point, "The Americans" executive producer Graham Yost, who was also in the room, chimed in.]

    Yost: We can take her back any time. You saw the finale. We've got it nicely set up.

    I certainly would love to know more about Claudia's past and meet her friends and enemies.

    Weisberg: It would be interesting to do her flashbacks, too. It's just the way she's told those stories [about her past] in the Reagan episode and in the finale. It's another thing we talk about with each other and in the writers' room: Here you are in 1981 in the United States of America -- life is good and it's easy for everybody. And these people, Philip and Elizabeth and Claudia, they did not grow up in an easy world. They grew up in a war with violence where daily survival was an issue.

    Fields: And poor, so poor. Even after the war.

    To survive in that world you had to be very, very, very strong.

    Weisberg: Right, and it's easy through today's prism to think of the Western world as just a great place that's filled with riches. [Some] see it differently -- they see it as built on the backs of people who are exploited. And Philip and Elizabeth come much more out of that world. They lived it, it's not just ideology, it's not the ideology of somebody who grew up comfortable and read some books -- the struggle was theirs.

    One of the ideas, at least at the start of the season, is that Philip has been more seduced by America or is more attuned to life here, whereas Elizabeth is not. But if you think about her actions, especially toward the end of the season, she sets her own agenda, she disobeys orders, she does her own thing. She's very proactive and independent. Isn't she almost as much of an American at this point as Philip? Is that an arc that you want to explore with her?

    Weisberg: It's an interesting question. You could look at those actions as a type of Americanization or you could look at them as just a person who's committed to her cause and feels that she's being led astray by Claudia, by somebody who isn't as true as she is. It's the same with Philip.

    There's an interpretation that he's been seduced by America, which I think is part of the story, but I think there's another interpretation that he's just doing his job differently. He's approaching it differently, because he's more comfortable here and that's a plus for him in doing his job. [The idea is that] he's a more flexible person and isn't as stuck in that poverty-ridden past. He's been able to move on, in a way, and she's still living in it. But I don't mean that as derogatory. In a way, [Elizabeth's outlook] makes her a better agent, because she's more faithful and true to the motherland.

    Looking ahead, in terms of historic events, in late 1982 [Soviet leader Leonid] Brezhnev dies.

    Weisberg: I'm dying to get to Brezhnev dying.

    Would you start off the next season with that or not?

    Fields: It would be really good to ask us these questions at the end of next season [laughs].

    But that's something that you hope to get to?

    Fields: Oh, we talked a lot about that, and we've talked a lot about trying to use current events of [the early '80s] to provoke stories for them, the way the Reagan assassination attempt did.

    Weisberg: Brezhnev is going to die, and the next two Soviet leaders are going to die both pretty quickly after that. So it is going to be a very tumultuous time for them.

    So you're not going to jump in with that in Season 2?

    Weisberg: I'm not sure. The way our timeframe is working, 1981 has gone slowly for us. We're not going to start [Season 2] with a big time jump. But then how the second season unfolds, we don't know.

    Speaking of some of the other characters, is Richard Thomas going to be back for Season 2 as Agent Gaad?

    Fields: We hope so. Richard's a longtime friend of mine and [I had emailed him to say I was going to come out to New York to work on this show. Then I emailed him as pre-production and production got underway] to say, "I'm not going to be able to see anybody until we're done." And then I emailed him and said, "Is there any chance you could do this?" And he's been just so wonderful, such a delight to work with, and he's also created that great character.

    And you made Susan Misner (who plays Stan's wife, Sandra) a regular for Season 2, right? It seems like Stan is going to have some complications.

    Weisberg: Stan's in tough times. Stan has gone down the rabbit hole.

    Just going back to the learning process of this season, what would you do differently?

    Fields: We worked very hard to get ahead and have some scripts ready before we started shooting, and we were able to go back and refine stuff but the deeper you get in [production], particularly in a first season, the more you're working on spinning plates and working on all sorts of different things. I think there were certain character stories I wish we had spent more time with. I wish we had spent more time with Elizabeth and Zhukov over the course of the season before he died.

    Maybe Gregory…

    Fields: And Gregory, for sure.

    Weisberg: It's sort of a first-season problem, that if you want to have the impact of killing these people, it would have been nice to know them better first. But on the other hand, you get a lot of story impact out of the drama that happened there. It's a tough choice to make.

    There were some comparisons to "Homeland" when "The Americans" came out. Your show's examined similar territory in terms of loyalty and betrayal. But to me the shows are doing pretty different things.

    Fields: We're both fans of that show. We really like what they do. But the comparison -- yes, they both are in the world of spying, but beyond that, they seem to us like such different shows in terms of pace, in terms of plotting -- really, in terms of everything.


    Excited for season 2!

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    Beyoncé’s collection for H&M is slowly becoming available in many countries, but it will also be available online [OP: not in the U.S. cause H&M is lazy] this month. And while we are seeing her huge ads in the biggest cities already, you can now take a proper look at the entire collection below!


    lol lawd at that collection title. Why not go for the full "Beyonce as Mrs. Carter Feat. Sasha Fierce and King Bey" at this point. I want the black dress and the blue corset crop top.

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    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Amber Holcomb

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Source: my tv

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  • 05/02/13--20:59: Who Won Big Brother Canada?

  • Final HOH run down:
    All three do endurance leg, Jillian is first out then Gary. Emmett wins.
    Jillian and Gary in physical leg, Gary wins.
    Gary and Emmett in final trivia leg, Gary wins.


    WINNER (vote of 4 to 3)


    With two votes to Gary and two votes to Jillian, Arisa pulled out Topaz's vote which went to Jillian. Topaz protested/freaked out, clearly having meant to vote for Gary. When she blamed it on the producers "switching" the names, they went to footage of her picking up Jillian's name card and placing it in the slot. Thus, the vote went to Jillian. Had she done it correctly, Gary would have won.


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    Antoine Dodson· 362,375 like this
    4 hours ago·

    • I have to renounce myself, I'm no longer into homosexuality I want a wife and family, I want to multiply and raise and love my family that I create. I could care less about the fame and fortune, I've giving all that up to know the true history of the bible. For I am the True Chosen Hebrew Israelite descendant of Judah. And as True Israel I know that there are certain things we just can't do. And I totally understand that now. I don't need a Mercedes Benz, I don't need a big house in Beverly Hills all I need is the Most High and my family (Israel). I have been awaken by the great and so should you. Let's be delivered from the wickedness of the world and live the way we should. The Most High bless all and have a beautiful evening. Israel wake up and take full power of who you are. I'm ready are you?

    • I'm Antoine wait, I am KEVIN ANTOINE DODSON, and I just want what's best for all and this is the way for me, hate me if you must, bash me if you must, I won't break, do what you will, for this is my calling.

      In the beautiful words of Shemiyah, I am so in love with the truth, I will expose a lie even if I have to expose you. Family friends celebrities whoever. If anything you say or do and can't back it up with scripture, you are a liar and the truth is not in you. Rise of the true chosen.

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    Atlanta Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel told FOX Sports Radio that he doesn't understand why gays have to flaunt their sexuality when asked about NBA center Jason Collins.

    Said Samuel:

    "Straight people are not announcing they're straight, so why does everybody have to announce their sexuality or whatever? You know, what they prefer...So that's just how I see it. That's my opinion on things. All respect you know, I have nothing but respect for the people whoever decisions they make and whatever, but you know, you don't have to show it and flaunt it like that. You know what I'm saying, we have kids out here, too."

    Samuel was asked about the remarks today on ESPN:

    He added: "I don't think it's something we have to express and let be known of what my sexuality preference is - just stick to sports....I don't want to teach my kids those things. I teach my kids God. You know, how God lives his life."

    " />


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    Amanda Bynes is telling everyone that she’s very much not crazy, but then the spiraling starlet did the most insane thing ever: gave an exclusive interview to a tabloid! She sat down with inTouch magazine and of course, I got my hands on an early copy of the ultra-odd convo. Take a look…

    Is it true you needed to shave your head after a bad dye job?
    AB: Yes, I had to shave my head. It’s so annoying to have no hair at 27. I have extensions that I love but I miss my own hair.

    Explain the facial piercings.
    AB: I wanted to look like [stripper] Blac Chyna.

    You’ve said you’re starting a fashion line.
    AB: I love Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s clothing line…and I love how Justin Bieber dresses. My line will be a mixture of sick styles, and it’s going to be for everybody.

    Do you think you have any issues with addiction?
    AB: I don’t drink. I’m allergic to alcohol.

    Where do you see yourself in five years?
    AB: Happily married!

    To recap, Amanda wants to look like a stripper, dress like Justin Bieber and find a man on planet Earth that will wife her up? Perhaps “insane” is too feeble a term…XOXO.


    That's also a new picture she posted earlier today.

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    LAPD Officer Brett Goodkin, seated far left, appears in the background of a scene in "The Bling Ring." (A24)

    Los Angeles police Officer Brett Goodkin is about to make his big-screen debut, playing a bit role as a cop in “The Bling Ring,” Sofia Coppola’s movie about fame-obsessed San Fernando Valley youths who burgled the homes of celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.

    But as the director prepares to unveil the film at the Cannes Film Festival next month, the LAPD investigator is hardly basking in the glory of his 15 minutes of fame. Instead, he’s facing the imminent prospect of losing his job, as a disciplinary panel prepares to rule on the results of an internal investigation into his simultaneous involvement in the real-life case and the film.

    Goodkin, 40, served as a technical advisor on “The Bling Ring,” consulting last spring with the filmmaker about police procedures and performing a brief speaking part as an officer who arrests a suspect played by Emma Watson. In exchange for his work on the film, which will hit theaters in the U.S. in June, he received $12,500.

    However, Goodkin has been accused of not properly informing the LAPD or the L.A. County district attorney of his Hollywood turn -- important oversights, considering the prosecution of three of the Bling Ring defendants was ongoing when he worked on the picture.

    LAPD officials launched an internal affairs probe of Goodkin’s conduct last April. Nearly a year later, an LAPD source with direct knowledge of the investigation said police officials want to see the 10-year veteran fired and have ordered him to go before a disciplinary panel that will decide his fate. The source, who requested anonymity because police discipline matters are confidential, said the so-called Board of Rights hearing is not expected to take place for several months.

    The source also said that the LAPD has opened a second investigation into Goodkin, this one looking into allegations that he sent unsolicited and sexually suggestive messages to a woman who was a potential witness in the Bling Ring case.

    “I’m not going to have any comment,” Goodkin said when reached by telephone on Monday. His lawyer, Jodi Gonda, did not respond to multiple inquiries from The Times.

    When he was first contacted by The Times about “The Bling Ring” film last April, Goodkin said he participated in the film because he considered it to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look of Hollywood’s inner workings. He downplayed his role in the film, saying, “It’s not like I’m Bruce Willis.”

    Indeed, Goodkin is only on screen for less than a minute in the film, during a scene in which he places handcuffs on Watson’s character, Nicki, who is based on Bling Ring participant Alexis Neiers.

    “Ma’am, you need to secure your animal now. Pick up your dog,” he says upon entering Nicki’s house. “Just sit down. Zip it. Put your hands behind your back.”

    When he goes before the Board of Rights, Goodkin will face three counts, sources said. He is charged with not obtaining the proper work permit for his time on Coppola’s production, for making an alleged false statement to head Deputy Dist. Atty. Barbara Murphy about his work on the movie, and for ultimately compromising the prosecution’s case.

    The L.A. County Superior Court judge who presided over the Bling Ring case, meanwhile, has made his feelings about Goodkin’s impact on the proceedings clear in recent months.

    “You should all write a thank you letter to Goodkin, because his judgment is as poor as it gets,” Judge Larry P. Fidler said while addressing the attorneys for Roy Lopez Jr., Courtney Ames and Diana Tamayo at a hearing last July. “You can have a field day with his credibility during trial.... It's a shame what he did. It's harmful to the people's case.”

    The case never went to trial, however, as all three defendants subsequently accepted plea deals that put them on three years’ probation. Tamayo and Ames were also sentenced to 60 days of community service. In exchange for the pleas, prosecutors dismissed other charges, including burglary.

    “You got a break because of what’s happened with this case,” Fidler told Lopez when he was sentenced in November.

    If Goodkin escapes being fired, the discipline panel could decide he should be suspended or simply let off with a warning. It could also clear him of any wrongdoing.

    In addition to the punishment he might face as a result of his collaboration with Coppola, Goodkin must also contend with the LAPD’s second investigation. That inquiry centers around allegations by Jennifer Issa, whom Goodkin met while building his case against the Bling Ring in 2010.

    Issa, a lingerie designer, had hired Neiers to model for her now-defunct line of clothing. Issa said that upon learning of her relationship with Neiers, Goodkin called her into the North Hollywood Community Police Station. During the meeting, she said he questioned her about Neiers’ possible involvement in the burglaries -- but after the interview concluded, he began making frequent and inappropriate contact with her.

    “He was so confident that he was going to put Alexis in jail that he said, ‘You wanna make a bet? If she goes to jail, then I get to sleep with you,’ ” Issa recalled in an interview with The Times. “He kind of started to stalk me. He’d text me and say, ‘I just saw you walking your dog. I liked the top you were wearing.’ ”

    Goodkin also added Issa on Facebook, through which he allegedly sent her graphic sexual messages. An LAPD sergeant sent Issa an email saying that he had authenticated the messages as part of his investigation. The email was reviewed by The Times.

    “They say that the Bling Ring kids were fame-obsessed, but so was he. He was always bragging about celebrities he met,” Issa said of Goodkin. She added that after he appeared in a courtroom scene featured on Neiers’ 2010 E! reality show “Pretty Wild,” he sent her a text message: “Did you see me on their show? Did I look hot?”


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  • 05/03/13--19:20: dumb dumb on Chelsea Lately


    he's a man in the morning and a man at night!

    btw can anyone guess where i got my reference 'dumb, dumb'? its from an old tv sho

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    Hannibal is coming to the UK - Casino Royale's Mads Mikkelsen plays the inimitable Dr Lecter in showrunner Bryan Fuller's (Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls) new televisual take on Thomas Harris's horror novels. Digital Spy met with Fuller to discuss Hannibals of the past, casting his own Lecter and the cannibal killer's "bromance" with Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) - the man who will one day become his greatest nemesis...

    Given how iconic Hannibal Lecter's movie outings were, what made you want to tackle the character again for television?
    I felt that there was an opportunity to tell a chapter of his story that hadn't been told before. We've see him incarcerated, we've seen him post-incarceration having escaped, and we saw him as a young man, but we haven't seen him as a practicing psychiatrist and a practicing cannibal. That's the most interesting part of his life and for some reason, it hadn't been the subject of any of the stories. The backstory was the only indication that we got of what he was like when he was out in the world. It just seemed like it was rich, unexplored territory - so it seemed like that was valid. Also, for me… it was going to get done whether I was involved in it or not, and I am an enthusiast of the character, so I wanted to make sure that whatever was done with this part of the story would be something that I wanted to see. When it was broached to me, I thought, 'There are as many bad screen versions of this as there are good versions, and whatever version I do - whether it's bad or good - at least I'll know it's something that I want to watch' - so it was very selfish on my part!"

    You didn't want to see someone else do it badly?
    Or just in a way that I didn't want to see - cos there could be a version of it where it's all about the eating people and the one-liners... with a broader sensibility. I knew what I wanted to see was something that was as elegant as Hannibal's persona. He's somebody who was going to be wearing the beautiful suits and driving the beautiful car and having the beautiful home and office. I could imagine aesthetics for a show that was befitting of my interpretation of the character. So yeah, it was totally selfish!"

    I imagine Hannibal must have been the hardest role on the show to cast?
    Oh yeah, absolutely, because everyone - between the network and the studios and the international distribution - had an idea of what he should be. We all know Anthony Hopkins and most of us know Brian Cox, who had completely different approaches to the character... Brian Cox was cool, intellectual, almost python-esque - not Monty but the snake! He had this creeping, slithering menace in the cage. Anthony Hopkins was, of course, a little more demonstrative of what lies beneath. So what was easy about it was… I thought, let's not go to either of those places, cos they had been done before by very accomplished actors and I'm as big a fan of Brian Cox's performance as I am of Anthony Hopkins. People forget about Brian Cox, because Silence of the Lambs was the Best Picture [at the Oscars] and Manhunter was this kind of... quasi-art film for the time. It was so stylised that people were like, 'What is this?' - but Brian Cox's performance is fantastic. I just wanted to go someplace completely different - go back to the source material and imagine who Hannibal would be in this era of his life. In the book, of course, he has the sixth finger and red eyes... He's also Eastern European, so I thought, let's do something European - whether it's a British actor or a French actor or a Danish actor - let's do something that has a non-American aesthetic to him, because that's part of his appeal, I think, as a villain. It's the American perception and the threat of anything that's non-American... sort of like, 'Oh, you think you're better than us, so you're already scary'.

    Like how all villains are English in Hollywood movies...
    Right, exactly! So I guess there is a psychological aspect of tapping into that fear of the other in some way. But it was also just about finding the right actor for the role and Mads… I can't imagine anyone else doing it now. He's so made it his own. What I love about Mads's approach to the character is that, in our first meeting, he was adamant that he didn't want to do Hopkins or Cox. He talked about the character not so much as 'Hannibal Lecter the cannibal psychiatrist', but as Satan - this fallen angel who's enamoured with mankind and had an affinity for who we are as people, but was definitely not among us - he was other. I thought that was a really cool, interesting approach, because I love science fiction and horror and - not that we'd ever do anything deliberately to suggest this - but having it subtextually play as him being Lucifer felt like a really interesting kink to the series. It was slightly different than anything that's been done before and it also gives it a slightly more epic quality if you watch the show through the prism of, 'This is Satan at work, tempting someone with the apple of their psyche'. It appealed to all of those genre things that get me excited about any sort of entertainment.

    Hugh Dancy mentioned that you've planned out multiple seasons of Hannibal, with Red Dragon being the basis for a fourth season?
    Right. In Red Dragon, there's just a few pages of backstory and one of the things we had to figure out was... where are we on the timeline? We know that Red Dragon takes place 5 years after Hobbs [is involved in] the 'Minnesota Shrike' - then a year after he marries Molly... Our show is about the bromance between Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter - Hannibal is so unique in his crazy and Will is so unique in his crazy, and these two crazy men need each other to understand themselves. It felt like we were delivering on the promise of that line in Red Dragon, where Hannibal says, 'You caught me because you're more like me than you're willing to admit'. That's the series, that's the story and that's the relationship between these two men. In the books, Will Graham met Hannibal Lecter twice - they didn't really know each other or have a relationship. Will Graham was so traumatised by the Minnesota Shrike that he goes into therapy and is committed to a mental institution. In our show, he's not in therapy with any old psychiatrist, he's in therapy with Hannibal Lecter! That's the main deviation from the source material. As a fan of the books, I wanted to be true to the novels and yet be able to go to new and different places with the characters. But you have to honor the source material, you have to respect it, because… it's great! If it's not broken, don't fix it!


    Idk how American TV works but if this is cancelled, can a cable channel pick it up?

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