Articles on this Page
- 05/05/14--20:41: _Tamar Braxton and K...
- 05/05/14--20:42: _The Grand Budapest ...
- 05/05/14--20:56: _Lance Bass On His U...
- 05/05/14--20:57: _Hannah Montana Demo...
- 05/05/14--21:15: _Lea Michele #glamli...
- 05/05/14--21:33: _Frank Ocean at the ...
- 05/05/14--21:37: _24 9x03 Preview
- 05/05/14--21:59: _Bryan Cranston does...
- 05/05/14--21:59: _The Blacklist 1x22 ...
- 05/05/14--21:59: _The King of Pop™ Re...
- 05/05/14--22:04: _Selena Gomez at the...
- 05/05/14--22:14: _Shailene Woodley sa...
- 05/05/14--22:51: _Castle 6x23 Season ...
- 05/06/14--19:05: _An article about ON...
- 05/06/14--19:08: _The Originals 1x22 ...
- 05/06/14--19:24: _Supernatural 9x22 p...
- 05/06/14--19:41: _Christina Aguilera'...
- 05/06/14--19:52: _How to get Diane Kr...
- 05/06/14--20:05: _Matt Bomer opens up...
- 05/06/14--20:08: _Gugu Mbatha-Raw and...
- 05/05/14--20:41: Tamar Braxton and K.Michelle feuding again?
- 05/05/14--20:42: The Grand Budapest Hotel Cruise with Wes Anderson, Tilda Swinton
- 05/05/14--20:57: Hannah Montana Demo, "Beach Weekend", Leaks
- 05/05/14--21:15: Lea Michele #glamlife Post ft. Dianna Agron
- 05/05/14--21:33: Frank Ocean at the 2014 Met Gala
- 05/05/14--21:37: 24 9x03 Preview
- 05/05/14--21:59: Bryan Cranston doesn't know what a 'badonkadonk' is
- 05/05/14--21:59: The Blacklist 1x22 Promo "Berlin (No. 8) Conclusion"
- 05/05/14--21:59: The King of Pop™ Returns With #Superbad.
- 05/05/14--22:04: Selena Gomez at the 2014 Met Gala
- 05/05/14--22:51: Castle 6x23 Season Finale Promo "For Better or For Worse"
- 05/06/14--19:05: An article about ONTD's favourite author, John Green
- 05/06/14--19:08: The Originals 1x22 "From a Cradle to a Grave" Season Finale Promo
- 05/06/14--19:24: Supernatural 9x22 promo
- 05/06/14--19:41: Christina Aguilera's Jazz Fest concert rider
- 05/06/14--19:52: How to get Diane Kruger’s Met Ball Bun
After months of silence, could Tamar Braxton’s feud with K.Michelle have started up again?
At some point over the weekend, Tamar was suspected of slinging some shade at the former “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” star. Although she didn’t tag any other artist in the comment, some assumed that Tamar was slyly calling out K.Michelle.
Tamar didn’t give any indication that she was even referring to K.Michelle in a back-handed way, but K’s fans tweeted their expectation that the Rebellious Soul siren would speak up.
“Im not. I saw all the tweets last night,” K.Michelle tweeted. “I mind my own business and they really like to test me. But I’m a bully. I make music not war. Smh.”
While K.Michelle probably had every intention of not taking the bait, it seems she couldn’t resist firing back on Tamar’s assumed slight. She took a little shot at the “Tamar and Vince” star on Instaram, posting a shot of a muppet–a label she’s infamously attached to Tamar in the past–and sharing a public prayer.
“Lord, please keep me In your loving arms. I’ve been good. I’ve shown support. Haven’t bothered anybody,” K.Michelle wrote with the picture below. “I even went to watch the new movie ‘Muppets most wanted’ and Miss Piggy continues to mess with me. I just wanna sing. No more jumping gates, I even do yoga now. I’m trying.”
Wes Anderson is redefining "The Life Aquatic" this June with a Grand Budapest Hotel-themed cruise.
The idiosyncratic writer-director will be joined by Budapest actors Tilda Swinton and Jason Schwartzman, as well as frequent writing collaborator Roman Coppola, on June 13th for a seven-day sailing expedition from New York to London.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the unlikely jaunt is a victory lap of sorts for Anderson, in light of Budapest's immense commercial success (earning $133 million worldwide since its March release – the most for an Anderson film).
Passengers will cruise aboard Cunard Line's regal Queen Mary 2, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
The cruise will feature a special screening of The Grand Budapest Hotel, followed by a Q&A with the director and cast. Prices for the trek range from $1,298 to a whopping $18,948, but the hilarious memories will be worth it. (Can you imagine how fanciful Anderson's swim trunks must be?)
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson's eighth feature-length film, earned strong reviews across the board, including high praise from Rolling Stone's own Peter Travers: "It's a filigreed toy box of a movie, so delicious-looking you may want to lick the screen," Travers wrote. "It is also, in the Anderson manner, shot through with humor, heartbreak and a bruised romantic's view of the past."
The former 'N Sync band member tells Gay Star News there is no firm date set yet for the ceremony but he knows it will happen before the end of the year.
'We're filming it for an E! wedding special. It will probably air around Valentine's Day so it has to be before Valentine's Day I know that,' he explained before hosting the GMCLA Voice Awards in Las Angeles over the weekend.
Bass explains why he is happy to have the wedding be a television special on the network that brought viewers Kim Kardashian's wedding to Kris Humphries.
'Never in my lifetime did I think that I'd be able to get married legally. It's just amazing how fast everything is going right now and I'm just honored to be able to share my wedding with the world. As a little gay kid growing up in Mississippi, I would have loved to have turned on the television and see that happen and say, Oh my gosh, there's nothing wrong with me and I can have that.'
Bass admits that he always dreamed of one day getting married and having a big wedding but he did not allow himself to believe he would be standing across from another groom on that day.
'Growing up in the South, all you think about is family and who you were going to marry. At that time, of course, I was kidding myself that I was going to marry a girl and I always dreamed of that wedding and starting a family.'
Since announcing his engagement to Turchin last year, Bass says their three-year relationship has not really changed.
'I think it's going to be really different after we walk down the aisle - I think there's something about that that's going to make it so real to us. There's probably going to be a lot of tears.'
Do you miss the old Miley Cyrus or simply need brief respite from the marijuana-fuelled, thong-rocking shenanigans of the Bangerz era? Well, you’re in luck! Over the weekend a previously unreleased demo from the glory days of Hannah Montana surfaced online and, despite its obvious rawness, it’s something of a jam.
“Beach Weekend” is a perky pop/rock anthem that positively exudes sunshine and happiness. “Every day up before the sun’s up, quick shower then dress and head to Starbucks,” chirps Miley over strummed guitars before the cheery chorus kicks in: “we’re going to beach this weekend!” I’m not sure what album this was recorded for but Smilers seem to agree that 2007′s Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus is the most likely candidate. Listen after the jump.
“Beach Weekend” is now streaming on Twerk Girl’s Tumblr. Let us know if the song put a smile on your face in the comments below.
Lea and Dianna buddied up on the red carpet. Whether obligatory or sincerely friendly, Gleeks everywhere have been wetting themselves these past few hours over these non-manipped photos.
Lea is also shown lovely as ever in her instagram photos. It's no secret she enjoys the glam life.
Sources: 1, 2, 3
Frank Ocean looks super sleek in white as he attends the 2014 Met Gala held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday (May 5) in New York City.
FYI: Frank is wearing Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci.
Frank Ocean took to the Met stage to perform "Super Rich Kids." #MetGala— Women's Wear Daily (@womensweardaily) May 6, 2014
BONUS TWEETS from Frank's mom
So excited for tonight's Met Ball I'm scared to eat! #nobloat— katonya breaux riley (@katonya) May 5, 2014
Gotta look my best for @givenchy and their beautiful look for me!— katonya breaux riley (@katonya) May 5, 2014
Incredible night with such beautiful people!— katonya breaux riley (@katonya) May 6, 2014
Thoughts on the premiere? It was a little show, but I think this has potential. Glad to see Chris Patlow from The Wire getting work.
@selenagomez: MET 2014..
@jessicaalba: The #Queen of #fashion @dvf #metball2014 #metgala #metball @selenagomez @jessicajoffe #davidorussell
@kissmymohagony: @selenagomez on her way to the MET Gala looking like everything 😍
@selenagomez: They found me to tell me y'all told them I was a fan!! 😍 🙌
That's what Shailene Woodley discovered after saying so in an interview with TIME magazine.
Along with the March release of her film Divergent, Woodley spoke openly about choosing strong female roles with her young fans in mind. Earlier this week, when TIME asked Woodley if she considers herself a feminist, the actress replied: "No because I love men, and I think the idea of 'raise women to power, take the men away from the power' is never going to work out because you need balance."
This comment immediately sparked an outcry across the Internet - especially among those in the YA community, given Woodley's starring roles in both Divergent (based on the YA novel by Veronica Roth) and the upcoming The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. (Woodley is currently promoting The Fault in Our Stars.)
Most criticizing Woodley's comment immediately pointed to the actress's apparently misinformed definition of feminism.
"Feminism is simply advocating opportunities for all people regardless of gender," author Shannon Hale wrote on Twitter in response to the article.
Author Tess Sharpe went on to add, "There are many young ppl who educate themselves before speaking w/ authority. If you have an enormous platform, think before you speak. And if you aren't sure of the definition of something, then ask! That's how we learn."
"Why would any woman say she wasn't a feminist?," Beautiful Creatures co-author Margaret Stohl added to the conversation. "What are you, opposed to yourself? Says the mother of three girls..."
The comments section of the article on TIME is even more rife with sarcasm and criticism of the actress's comments. One user wrote, "I think Shailene Woodley needs to first be able to correctly define what feminism is before stating why she's not a feminist."
I wish tonight's episode had been the finale tbh. *pouts*
How A Nerd-Hero Writer Became The Breakout Star Of This Summer’s Most Unlikely Blockbuster
A romantic drama about young cancer patients doesn’t seem like it would spur the same fanaticism as The Hunger Games, but The Fault in Our Stars — in particular, John Green, who wrote the YA best-seller — is proof that teenage feelings are special effects too.
[Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Fault In Our Stars.]
Every morning, they come: girls in Doc Martens boots and head scarves and bright pink hair, floral backpacks and hooded sweatshirts and Converse. They have figured out where the shoot’s locations are going to be via Twitter and Instagram, and they arrive on set in groups of two or three or more, radiating a sense of uncomplicated teenage girl-ness that is infectious, really — the way they stand off to the side with hopeful smiles on their faces on rainy Amsterdam streets, umbrellas in hand, quiet when shushed by a production assistant, necks craning to catch just a glimpse of their hero. Occasionally there is one, like the Emma Stone doppelgänger in front of the American Hotel on the Leideskade, who can’t contain herself and, upon spotting him, stares and stares until finally she begins inching toward where he is standing by the monitors, under a tarp, and is then shooed back by security.
You might assume that the girls are here on these unseasonably cold October days for the film’s two beautiful young stars, Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, who are agreeable about posing for photos and talking to people in the way that actors on the cusp of huge stardom tend to be. But they are really there for John Green, the unassuming, boyishly handsome 36-year-old author of The Fault in Our Stars, his best-selling 2012 book about two teenagers with cancer who fall in love. Green has written best-sellers before, but Fault is his first book to get made into a film. And in an unprecedented move, the studio, Fox 2000, has allowed — encouraged, in fact — Green to be present for and even document the entire four-month shoot, first in Pittsburgh (a stand-in for Indianapolis, where the book takes place and where Green lives with his wife, Sarah, and their two children), and now, at the very end of the shoot, for four days in Amsterdam. But whereas in Pittsburgh he says he had been left pretty much well alone, Amsterdam is a different story. Here, he is the main event.
“We’re fangirls,” says a 15-year-old Amsterdam girl named Chita, who has read Green’s novels and follows him on YouTube and Twitter. She sighs. “He’s just…yeah.”
Another Dutch teenager named Daphne traveled an hour by train to come to the set. “We just got here — we couldn’t find it,” she says. “We were on the other side of the Runstraat. I haven’t even seen him. Oh! I see him!” She points, and her two friends say things excitedly to each other in Dutch.
“He’s been taking pictures with his fans,” I tell her.
“Oh my god. I was here yesterday with my dad to wait for him and I want to see him,” she says.
I ask if there were any other authors she’d want to come out in the rain and wait for.
“Yeah, but she’s dead,” says Daphne.
Green is the current undisputed king of YA, an earnest, friendly Harry Styles meets Encyclopedia Brown, followed both in public and online by a giddily respectful army of, mostly, teenage girls. (At a recent appearance at the L.A. Times Festival of Books, fans lined up at 9 a.m. for a 12:30 p.m. talk.) He lives far from the New York publishing world or Hollywood, spending his days writing and making YouTube videos for the Vlogbrothers channel he runs with his brother, Hank. When he ventures to Hollywood, he posts excited pictures on Instagram from backstage at the MTV Movie Awards with Woodley, or from poolside with Elgort before the MTV Movie Awards, or from Golden Globes after-parties photos of Elgort with his Fault co-star Nat Wolff. These pictures get tens of thousands of likes.
During a break in shooting in October, Green and I sit in Café Hoppe on the Spuistraat in Amsterdam, where he’d written part of Fault in 2011. We are accompanied by a Fox publicist who is determined not to let me out of her sight. (The laissez-faire policy the studio extended toward Green regarding sharing on-set happenings seems to have its limits, in case you were wondering what trouble a famous author and a couple of young movie stars might be getting up to in Amsterdam.) The shoot has made him reflective about the nature of celebrity. “People are stopping you, and they’re saying nice things, but like, it makes you constantly consciously aware when you’re in public that you are not actually your private self, or that you can’t actually be your private self,” he says. “In the same way that if I yell at my kid about a Hot Wheel or something, and then I turn around and there’s a Nerdfighter and she’s like, ‘I’m such a big fan!’ and I’m like, ‘Well, I’m trying to have a corrective moment with my son, and this is weird.’”
Nerdfighter is a nomenclature invented by Green and his brother Hank almost jokingly in a Vlogbrothers YouTube video in 2007 (Nerdfighters’ stated mission: to “increase awesome and decrease suck”) that has evolved into a loosely connected movement of proudly disaffected adolescents, the long-awaited Earth-inheriting of band geeks, theater guys, and English-major nerds. “Nerdfighteria,” as Green calls it, has allowed him to position himself as a perpetual introverted underdog, always fighting against real or imagined bullies, Mean Girls, and normals. It is a stance that allows the undisputed king of YA, who hangs out with actual movie stars and has been living on a movie set for four months, to come across as reluctantly embracing the trappings of fame. It helps that Green comes across as more like a benevolent older brother than a 36-year-old man who just likes hanging out with teenagers. He’s the ultimate fanboy all grown up to be the perfect object of attention for his fans — the ultimate post-postmodern author, who sees, and accepts, his role in the story of his books as only beginning with their publication. He also understands that his rarefied situation could be a fleeting one.
“I know that this will never happen to me again,” he says. “I’ll write other books and their lives will look more like my previous books and that’s okay with me. I remain interested in fandom and the relationship we have with the things that we love.”
In addition to the global phenomenon that is Fault, he has written or co-authored five other books, including Looking for Alaska, which hit the New York Times best-seller list seven years after it was published); An Abundance of Katherines, about a boy who has dated 19 girls named Katherine; and Paper Towns, the story of two teenagers who had discovered a dead body together as kids. In March, Fox 2000 announced that it would be turning Paper Towns into a movie with the same producer (Wyck Godfrey) and the same screenwriters (Scott Neustadter and Michael Webber) as Fault.
Green is probably the first author also to post to Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube from the entire shoot, and since the backstory of The Fault in Our Stars is as canonical as the story itself, this is understandable, if unconventional. “All of my author friends are like — well, I remember the first time I tweeted a picture from the set, I got, like, 30 emails from all of my author friends: ‘You need to delete that immediately.’ I’m like, ‘No, they said I could do it,’” he says. “It’s allowed me to make the stuff I want to make for the Nerdfighters. It’s nice for them to feel like they’re part of it, because they do have special access to the movie, because they’re the reason we’re here. The readers of the book are the first people I want to make a good movie for.”
And those readers already know that Hazel and Gus go to Amsterdam because Gus hasn’t used his wish from the Genie Foundation (a stand-in for Make-A-Wish — Hazel used hers when she was 13 to go to Disney World) in order to meet the author Peter Van Houten, who has written a book called An Imperial Affliction that’s about a girl with cancer and ends maddeningly mysteriously, and ask him what happens after the book ends, and that Van Houten is a mean drunk, and that Hazel and Gus have a romantic dinner and end up losing their virginity to each other. And then, when they’re sitting on a bench next to the Herengracht canal, Gus tells Hazel that his cancer has returned. It’s one of the most wrenching scenes in the book.
The shooting of the scene, despite the cold and the threat of rain and the fact that the cast and crew had been shooting this movie for more than four months, is no less wrenching. I watch as Elgort helps Woodley put the oxygen-tank nubbins into her nose — she wears them throughout almost the entire movie, attached to a tank on wheels that she pulls behind her like a carry-on suitcase — and as Woodley changes out of her Uggs to put on the black flats Hazel wears in Amsterdam.
When they get to the bench, [SPOILER ALERT!] Gus tells Hazel that he had a PET scan before they left for the Netherlands, and his body “lit up like a Christmas tree. The lining of my chest, my liver…everywhere.”
Hazel starts to cry. “It’s so fucking unfair!” she says. The unspoken irony is that Hazel was supposed to be the sicker one; Gus’ cancer had been in remission until now.
“Apparently the world is not a wish-granting factory,” Gus says, and a tear runs down his cheek. The scene ends with Gus saying: “I don’t suppose you can forget about it, treat me like I’m not dying,” and Hazel responding: “I don’t think you’re dying, Augustus. You’ve just got a touch of cancer.” And then Gus: “Would it be absolutely ludicrous to make out right now?”
It does, in fact, feel a bit ludicrous, and it requires Elgort to deliver the line with a touch of playfulness that seems totally at odds with the weight of the scene, and yet it all somehow comes together.
Woodley and Elgort return to the production tent between takes, picking at the food on the craft services table. “Cheese is so much better in the Netherlands,” Woodley says, eating a piece Elgort gave her. “Oh my god, that was the best cheese.”
In his trailer the next day, Elgort, who is now 20, is reflective about the scene, which he had performed with Woodley during his audition. “It was different when we did it yesterday,” he says. Not-unpleasant house music is playing from the speakers; Elgort is also a dance-music producer, and is excited about meeting up with fellow DJs while in Amsterdam. “It was more emotional when we did it during the audition. At this point in the movie, we’ve done so many emotional scenes that Josh [Boone, the director] is like, trying to find a way to make some of the scenes less emotional. Because it’s almost too much. Shai and I are very explosive, so there are scenes in the movie where we are screaming and crying and losing our shit. You just don’t need another one of those.”
Fox 2000 head Elizabeth Gabler acquired Fault in January 2012, right after the book was published, and when vampires and dystopias still ruled the YA world. “We were thinking, what will be the next thing that will reach people really strongly?” says Gabler, who was also responsible for buying Paper Towns. “A story about reality. That was the genesis of it — counterprogramming completely to what everything else was.”
Indeed, Green represents a trend in YA that the publishing industry has termed “realistic fiction,” a departure from the paranormal and dystopian series that have been clogging the shelves for the past few years, like Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Divergent. Hollywood loves these books; their stories are fast-paced, mysterious, thrilling. Still, after the high-profile flops of a few movies based on dystopian or paranormal YA books like The Mortal Instruments, Beautiful Creatures, and The Host, the pendulum in Hollywood is swinging back toward books about normal teenagers doing relatively normal things — like 2012’s Perks of Being a Wallflower (based on the 1999 book) and last year’s The Spectacular Now (which shares screenwriters and a star with Fault). This summer brings MGM’s If I Stay, based on Gayle Forman’s book of the same name, about a teenage cellist who gets in a terrible car accident. Most recently, Dreamworks announced that it would be adapting the sweet, funny, and very realistic YA love story Eleanor & Park, and hired the book’s author, Rainbow Rowell, to write the screenplay.
“I’ve been really excited that the marketplace is responding again to realistic fiction,” says Farrin Jacobs, editorial director at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers who acquired and edited the Pretty Little Liars series while she was at HarperTeen. She adds that Fault has helped show booksellers — and Hollywood — that “readers are open to these kinds of stories. [Green] has really helped usher in more of an interest.”
But it took a while for Hollywood to catch up with Green. His previous experiences had not been great — An Abundance of Katherines had been optioned and shelved, and he’d written a screenplay for Paper Towns that he called “not a particularly fulfilling experience.” With Fault, however, he’s been part of the process every step of the way.
“When it came to deciding who would write the movie, the producers sent me Neustadter’s script for The Spectacular Now, and when it came to deciding who would direct it, I got to see Stuck in Love, Josh Boone’s first movie, and then when it came time for casting, I got to have a voice in that process as well,” says Green. “I want to be clear that it’s not my movie. I don’t want it to be my movie, and I don’t know how to make movies. But I’ve been very lucky that everyone involved in this has taken my opinion seriously and also really wants to make a movie that will honor the story, but also honor the fans of the story.”
It also seems like a situation where things could have gone really wrong, but producer Godfrey was intent on making sure that didn’t happen. “I’ve learned through failure that keeping an author of a beloved book involved is great,” says Godfrey in Amsterdam. In 2006, Godfrey produced Eragon, an adaptation of the Christopher Paolini novel. “We basically developed the book into a big dragon extravaganza, and [Paolini] wasn’t involved in the process. The studio was like, we have to make the movie for a much bigger audience than the book series, and I feel like that movie did not satisfy its core audience, and it’s a sin I never want to make again.” Since then, Godfrey says, he has had the authors involved in the films he has made, including the Twilight series. “They need to read the script, they need to go to them with who you think is right.”
But as Godfrey put it, Fault “has taken this to the nth degree” by having Green on set throughout the entire shoot. “I’ve loved having him around, because if you can look over and see the tears are coming out of his eyes, it’s like, I think we did something right.”
Fault was originally a somewhat different book — it was about a support group comprising teenagers with terminal illnesses, set at Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. The leader of the group was “this handsome, alcoholic, 22-year-old hospital chaplain, who was [based on] me,” says Green, though he insists he wasn’t an alcoholic. “It’s so embarrassing to look back on it, because he was always hooking up with hot doctors. It was just wish fulfillment.” The book had two narrators, the chaplain and a boy who had brain cancer.
It wasn’t until Green became friends with a teenager named Esther Grace Earl, whom he met at a Harry Potter conference in 2008, that the frame of the book began to change. Esther had thyroid cancer, and became well-known online for her honest, wry depiction of her illness on social media before dying in August 2010 at the age of 15.
”When I first became friends with Esther, I realized how wrong it all sounded,” he says. “Then I stopped working on it completely until after she died, but I saved maybe 5,000 words or something” of the original. Hazel isn’t exactly based on Esther, but the book is dedicated to her, and her life story is intertwined with Fault mythology. Many Nerdfighters are just as obsessed with Esther’s story as they are with Hazel’s, to the extent that a book of Esther’s writing and poetry, This Star Won’t Go Out, was published earlier this year, and Green wrote the introduction. (Proceeds from the book benefit the This Star Won’t Go Out Foundation, which raises money for families with children with cancer.) Watching the movie get shot, says Green, was particularly powerful because “Shailene has really honored Esther’s life in her performance.” And even though he’s presumably discussed Esther’s life approximately 1 billion times, tears still come to his eyes as he says this. “Sorry.”
I ask if he can tell me more about his relationship with Esther. “Clearly not,” he says, wiping his eyes. He takes a breath. “We stayed in touch after the [Harry Potter] conference, but I never really understood how sick she was. But we were talking one day when she was in the ICU, and it slowly came out,” he says. “After that we were much closer because I was much more conscious of how little time I might have with her. She was just a great friend. You know that creator-fan relationship that often emerges? It wasn’t like that. It was just a friendship. It’s weird to have a 15-year-old friend, but I don’t know, I’m kind of used to it, I guess. And then I was part of her Make-A-Wish in the last couple months of her life, and then after that, we were just close friends until she died. She died the day after my birthday, actually, like 20 minutes after my birthday, just after midnight.”
Esther was an early Nerdfighter, and as Green’s fame grows and he becomes incredibly well-known outside of what used to be a relatively contained corner of the internet, people who might not be actual outcasts want to be Nerdfighters. (“I at times wish I had shown my face less over the years, but then there wouldn’t be a Nerdfighteria, so I don’t regret that,” he says.) They might even be the popular kids, gravitating toward an introverted, Tumblr-enabled world that is suddenly appealing and even actually cool. Last year in the New Yorker, Michelle Dean astutely pointed out, “The most beautiful and intriguing parts of any identity tend to be the fluid ones. And the young people Nerdfighteria attracts, after all, are often as confused and lonely and frustrated as they are because they don’t fit into the boxes, a problem that can hardly be resolved by creating a new one.”
Green himself seems determined not to pick a box; he delights in having what he calls a day job and an identity beyond being a novelist, even an immensely popular one. “I’m not one of those people who wants to give everything to writing,” he says in the weeks preceding the movie’s release. “I don’t think I’m a good enough writer. I’m keenly aware that I’m not Jonathan Franzen, I’m not Rachel Kushner. And that’s fine, that doesn’t bother me.”
Though the term “Nerdfighter” never appears in the book or the movie, Hazel seems like she would identify as one. She’s a complicated character, a teenage cancer patient who almost died in the ICU, but who’s also struggling with eternal teenage issues of fitting in and having friends — and having her first real crush. It’s a role that any young actor would jump at.
When I meet Woodley, 22, in her trailer after shooting the scene in front of the Hotel American, she says she first read the Fault script when she was shooting The Spectacular Now, and immediately began campaigning to play Hazel. “I fell in love with the script and then read the book,” she says. “I just felt like it was such an important story to tell — especially in modern-day cinema, to have a story like this brought to the screen just doesn’t happen.” (Hazel and Aimee, Woodley’s character in The Spectacular Now, are similar in the sense that they’re both Girls Who Don’t Realize They’re Beautiful Until a Guy Tells Them.)
It was tempting to “just book her,” as Godfrey recalls, but “it’s too important a role to put someone in without seeing them become the character. So we told everybody around town, whoever wants to be in the movie, they gotta audition — we’re not gonna offer it to anyone.”
Director Boone remembers it a little differently when we speak in Amsterdam. “I had known that Shai was interested in doing the movie when I was hired, and I was like, ‘Fuck no.’ I wanted a 16-year-old girl. I was like, ‘This doesn’t make any sense.’” Eventually, after auditioning around 150 girls and not finding anyone, Boone flew to Chicago, where Woodley was shooting Divergent (with Elgort, who plays her brother in the movie), to audition her. Off-camera, the two have an easy rapport that does feel familial, but once the cameras start rolling, they’re entirely convincing as lovers. “It’s very fortunate that we got to do Divergent together, because on that movie we became close,” says Woodley. “We were spending really cold days and nights together.”
“I knew within a couple minutes that she was the right person,” Boone says. “She was that character and it was just done. I was like, ‘Why did I make it so hard on myself?’ I should have just cast her before I saw all these other people.”
Meanwhile, Elgort was also gunning for the role of Gus, which Boone cast after selecting Woodley. “It helps that he towers over her,” says Boone. “It makes her feel very small, and he’s very protective, so that’s nice.”
But it was the complexity of the role that attracted Elgort. “Most older actors, who are actors their whole lives, don’t get characters that are this good,” he says. “So we did the emotional scenes in my audition tapes, and I gave it everything. I showed that I was available as an emotional actor. Then, in the other scenes, I was able to be theatrical because I’m a theater actor, and Gus is a theatrical guy. That was the beauty of Gus — he has so many layers to him. Shailene’s been like, ‘It’s gonna be a while before you get to play a character like this again.’”
Woodley says, “I had a meeting with Fox as soon as I read the script, and I said, ‘I don’t care if I’m Hazel Grace, or if I’m an extra or a PA — I want to make sure this movie gets made. Please make this movie.’”
And as Green begins what he calls the “years-long process” of writing a new book, he’s careful not to let himself get tripped up by thinking about its post-publication prospects or trying to replicate this success. “If anything, I’d be more likely to set the next novel entirely in cave darkness to make it more challenging.” Until then, the biggest challenge remains navigating his newfound notoriety and the brave new world of promoting a major summer movie. “I’m lucky the movie is good. If it weren’t, this would all be very, very strange.”
The final night of the Amsterdam shoot takes place at night outside the Rijksmuseum, the beautiful national art museum of the Netherlands, a scene that, in the movie, occurs before Hazel finds out Gus is sick again. It is still cold, but the rain has stopped, and the building is lit up against the night sky. Hazel and Gus walk arm in arm, stopping to listen to a street musician before walking through the museum’s gorgeous, imposing archways, and for a moment it is easy to believe that nothing bad will ever happen to these two people — fictional people, portrayed by actors — who are so in love.
And when I feel embarrassed for myself for thinking this, I recall something Green said a couple days before in the café, one of the places where all of this began: “We’re super uncomfortable with sincerity as a culture. That ability to experience unironic enthusiasm, that ability to not have to couch your joy or your pain behind all of this protective irony, is something I really admire about people.”
But in fact we are, all of us, every day, actually craving sincerity and joy and connection, and the popularity of Green’s book — and its heartbreaking origin myth and the projected success of the movie, smack in the middle of a summer full of superhero sequels and tentpoles — are all direct rebukes to this theory. There is, perhaps, hope for us yet.
The former teen pop queen comes with an entertainingly detailed concert rider demanding:
Carnation Instant Breakfast in "Original Malt Flavor"
Bottled water but "NOT EVIAN," and more.
Aguilera also serves as an official ambassador for the World Food Programme (www.wfp.org).
ONTD, what's your favorite bottled water?
From a punky, pink-streaked ponytail at last year’s gala to this season’s forties-style chignon, Diane Kruger is always one to watch climb the crimson-colored stairs at the Met. And while a side part and glamorous waves were trending tonight (thanks to Taylor Swift, Blake Lively, Gisele Bündchen, Chanel Iman, and countless others), this neck-grazing classic is a look worth copying. Here, the quick how-to from Kruger’s hair pro, Miki:
1. Prep with a light mousse for volume and grip. Next, spritz strands with a heat protectant (like Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Heat Protect & Shine Spray) before blowing hair smooth.
2. Pull the length back into a tight, low pony.
3. For texture, tease the ends of the tail and mist with hairspray (try Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Flexible Hold Hairspray). Brush the formula out to boost body and eliminate any stiffness.
4. Wrap the tail around a cylindrical foam roll to form a circular, sculpture-like chignon, pin in place, and set with more shine spray for a sleek finish.
Now, if only that Jason Wu for Hugo Boss gown was available…
Beauty Post y/y?
Matt Bomer—or Boner as some like to affectionately call him—has been winning the hearts of fans for the past five years as Neal Caffrey on USA's White Collar. Often compared to Cary Grant, Bomer's character often charms women (and gay fans) with his dazzling smile and slick wardrobe.
With HBO's adaptation of The Normal Heart, Bomer is presenting a new side of himself—one that's more raw, more exposed. As Felix Turner, the actor comes full circle with Larry Kramer's play, which first exposed Bomer to a world outside of his small-town Texas upbringing. In the cover story with contributing editor Shana Naomi Krochmal, Bomer opens up about his personal transformation in playing Turner, how he rallied for a part that was a far cry from White Collar, and what it means to play gay on screen.
His surprise to the media's reaction to his "coming out":
“I frankly did not think people would be that interested. I certainly didn’t think it was going to be on the CNN ticker.”
On his wedding to his partner and husband Simon Halls:
“It was very chill, very small — only our nearest and dearest. There’s a security, a validity of knowing that it’s legal. It’s hard to put into words. It’s just a feeling, I guess — something about saying vows in front the people around you who love and support you. I think it was good for our family.”
On what being out means to his kids (and not to his career):
“I’m so thankful to have been born in the times that we live in. I felt a responsibility to Simon and to our kids to be able to live with integrity and not have some strange split psychology of This is who my dad is at home, and this is who he is to the public. That trumped any type of professional repercussions that it could have had. And — not by my own volition or choice — I’ve been playing exclusively straight characters for the first 10 years of my career. Whatever happens from this point on says a lot more about the business and society than it does about me.”
How fatherhood has changed him for the better:
“[It] just changed everything. There’s a level of love that really dissolves a lot of egotism and self-absorption. I mean — don’t get me wrong, I have my moments. But at a certain point in my life, my whole day would have been about this interview. Now it’s a small part of a day that also includes a drop-off at school in the morning and baseball practice and a lot of other things that take precedence.”
On Kramer's lasting effect:
“Larry is somebody we wish we had as our best friend growing up — as uncomfortable as he may have made us sometimes. Activism isn’t beautiful and easy, or a bunch of people getting together and picketing; it’s a lot more complicated and difficult than that. And true love — the most unconditional love — can be experienced by anyone, regardless of their sexuality.”
More at the Source
Set in aristocratic 18th-century England, Belle is all that you would expect of a Jane Austen-esque romance—and much more. Against the backdrop of the upper-class marriage market, the film depicts the 1781 landmark trial of the Zong ship, whose crew drowned 142 slaves to "conserve water." The Zong's owners went to court to collect insurance on the slaves' deaths—which would have yielded more money than selling them alive—and Lord Mansfield, the Lord Chief Justice of England, presided over the case.
Although he had no children himself, Lord Mansfield was raising two of his great-nieces: the legitimate but abandoned Elizabeth Murray and the mixed-race and illegitimate Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay. Not much is known about Dido, beyond a remarkable portrait of her and her cousin that inspired the film. But this lack of concrete information offered a wealth of opportunity for director Amma Asante and English actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who brings the 18th-century heroine to life onscreen in Fox Searchlight's Belle. Belle depicts the inherent tension between Dido's aristocratic upbringing and society's resistance towards accepting her skin color. When Dido meets the passionate abolitionist John Davinier (portrayed by Australian actor Sam Reid), she learns of her great-uncle's power in deciding the verdict for the Zong trial. "Dido has been so protected," Mbatha-Raw explains, "John is her first entry into the outside world. He opens her mind through this political awakening and education about the Zong." As Dido and John's friendship and alliance evolves, her social position as a mixed-race heiress and his as a vicar's son threatens their future.
ADRIAN RAPAZZINI: Can you each tell me how you each became attached to the film?
GUGU MBATHA-RAW: Well, I first met [producer] Damien Jones about seven years ago when I'd just gotten out of drama school and I had a two-line part in a film he was producing. And he told me about the idea for Belle, based on this painting in Kenwood House [where the real Dido lived]. So I went there—the painting itself wasn't actually there, it's up at Scone Palace in Scotland, but I got a postcard of it from the gift shop and hung onto to it. I met Amma a couple of years later, and in the meantime, whenever I'd see Damien, I would always ask him, "What's happening with Belle?" And after he'd done The Iron Lady, Belle came back into focus. And I met Amma again—she was now attached to direct the film—and auditioned for her. And then I was in L.A. when I found out I got the part.
SAM REID: It was a long saga for Gugu. [laughs] Mine's a bit different. I was supposed to be playing a Nazi in this film that was kind of weird, and then the whole thing fell apart in a day. But then Belle came through and I read the script and fell in love it, and met Amma, and I had the role. So it was very fast for me.
RAPAZZINI: Did either of you know about the Zong case before the film?
MBATHA-RAW: No, at school there was nothing about this period in history, apart from maybe a Jane Austen novel, so I was really shocked when I find out about the Zong. But having that history in our story grounded it in a gritty reality, because the film is set in such a sumptuous, beautiful, decadent era with so much privilege. Slavery was totally brushed under the carpet in high society; it was this barbaric trade that everybody was benefiting from financially, and houses like Kenwood House were built on the money of slavery, but you never saw it.
REID: It's the whole idea of being able to call somebody your property. And to go, "It's cheaper for me to kill this person and get remission from insurance than it is to keep him alive," is just surreal. It wasn't that long ago that that was an actual perspective that we had about people. John tells Dido what the Zong ship actually is, and they have a moment where they go, "Wow, I haven't heard anybody speak like that. I've never heard anybody speak like you." But they're not allowed to be together. They're not allowed to even talk. But that's probably the moment where they realize that they're in love with each other.
RAPAZZINI: Would you say that you approach a period role differently than a contemporary part?
REID: I think that what these people experience in a period drama is often more heightened, because you're trying to convey the history and context of the period as well. With a modern film, the context is immediately handed to the audience because we live in it—we all know what it is. But with a period film, you have to explain the world that it's set in. The emotions, the lines, everything is a bit more heightened, so as an actor, you have to go for it a bit more.
MBATHA-RAW: We approached our story in quite a modern way in order to make it accessible. As soon as you start treating it like an antique, that's when you distance people. The film contains timeless emotions and timeless dilemmas of working out your identity, who you are, where you fit into society.
REID: With John—and Gugu probably felt the same about Dido—I always felt like he was a man from now in the wrong period.
RAPAZZINI: And how was the shoot? Was it really quick or were you able to spend time together as a cast?
REID: We all hung out a lot. We had some mad dinners in the Isle of Mann. [laughs]
MBATHA-RAW: We did. We started the shoot away from home, so we were all on this small island in the middle of the Irish Sea for three weeks, so that helped us bond quickly. [laughs]
REID: We were mucking in! We went hiking through the mountains and broke into farms and hid under trees when it started raining. [To Mbatha-Raw] Why did we stay there for a really long time under that one tree?
MBATHA-RAW: We got lost!
REID: There was some hysterical laugher when we realized we might need a helicopter rescue. [laughs]
MBATHA-RAW: It was really lovely. There were no airs and graces; our characters have a lot of airs and graces, but the cast was really down to earth. The schedule was very intense. It was seven weeks and I think I was in every single day.
REID: You had one day off, remember? You were like, "I don't know what to do! I think I should come into set..."
MBATHA-RAW: Yes, I did have one day off [laughs].
RAPAZZINI: And what do you hope the audience walks away from the film feeling or thinking?
MBATHA-RAW: There's a real sense of hope about the story, in that we can chose our destiny. Dido gives a speech to her uncle, Lord Mansfield [the Lord Chief Justice]: "You are courageous. You're the one that commissioned this painting [of Dido]; this choice is in your hands." I think that's such a great metaphor for life—to have the courage to be who you are, follow your instincts, and not let society stifle you with its antiquated ways.
They're so pretty. They both looked great at the Met gala.