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- 05/07/14--22:05: _Christopher Meloni ...
- 05/07/14--22:37: _Johnny Depp to fron...
- 05/07/14--22:38: _Eric Roberts talks ...
- 05/08/14--18:55: _10 (5) Best MARVEL ...
- 05/08/14--18:56: _The Disappearance o...
- 05/08/14--19:03: _Rihanna X Dior
- 05/08/14--19:08: _Upfront Season: ABC...
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- 05/08/14--19:10: _Carey Hart Denies W...
- 05/08/14--19:11: _Why Do We Care So M...
- 05/08/14--19:13: _If Frozen Was A Hor...
- 05/08/14--19:13: _The Man Who's Every...
- 05/08/14--19:13: _The Bachelorette's ...
- 05/08/14--19:20: _The Vampire Diaries...
- 05/08/14--19:20: _'Masters of Sex': G...
- 05/08/14--19:28: _Arctic Monkeys cove...
- 05/08/14--19:29: _Grey's Anatomy seas...
- 05/08/14--19:29: _Weta Workshop: Behi...
- 05/08/14--19:29: _Reign season finale...
- 05/08/14--19:50: _Mel Brooks on the N...
- 05/07/14--22:05: Christopher Meloni Brags About Having the "Best Ass on Primetime"
- 05/07/14--22:38: Eric Roberts talks 'Human Centipede 3': 'It's REALLY horrible'
- 05/08/14--18:55: 10 (5) Best MARVEL COMICS Stories of All Time
- 05/08/14--18:56: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Now Three Films
- 05/08/14--19:03: Rihanna X Dior
- 05/08/14--19:08: Upfront Season: ABC Renews 6 Series and Picks Up 5 Dramas
- 05/08/14--19:10: Carey Hart Denies Wife P!nk Is Pregnant With Penis Joke
- 05/08/14--19:11: Why Do We Care So Much About What Female Superheroes Wear, Anyway?
- 05/08/14--19:13: If Frozen Was A Horror Movie
- 05/08/14--19:13: The Man Who's Everywhere is in Interview Magazine
- 05/08/14--19:13: The Bachelorette's Emily Maynard: 4th Engagement Is My Last
- 05/08/14--19:20: The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Finale Promo
- 05/08/14--19:20: 'Masters of Sex': Get a First Look at Season Two
- 05/08/14--19:29: Grey's Anatomy season finale promo
- 05/08/14--19:29: Reign season finale promo
- 05/08/14--19:50: Mel Brooks on the N-word and Being Politically Correct
Conan O'Brien has gotten to the bottom of this "Best Ass in Primetime" boast Christopher Meloni has been on.
The comedian mentioned Meloni's television wife, Rachael Harris spending half of her segment time talking about his butt and how it's the best male rear end she'd ever seen.
We can't blame her—have you seen that backside? After all, the Surviving Jack actor has often showed fans his award-winning behind on Twitter.
When addressing why he's been bragging, the man with the behind to watch said "Dude, there was a national vote," adding, "I just jumped on the bandwagon."
O'Brien asked if this was something he was born with or if he works out, and Meloni let the host that know that he woke up like this. The actor said "It's a little genetic," but explaoined that he's not afraid of deadlifts or squats. We can see that and we're not mad at it. "I know at some point it's going to fall, so I might as well keep Father Time at bay," he said.
We like this less serious side of Meloni. Here's hoping he'll continue to show off that "rock hard" butt on TV.
Which male celebrity has the best butt?
Following yet another big screen flop with Transcendence, Johnny Depp is leading a new documentary about the life of artist Ralph Steadman. The star will front "For No Good Reason" with a scheduled premiere of early June. Steadman, known for his radical work with Gonzo writer Hunter S. Thompson, will be the focus of Depp's film, which will take a "richly creative look at the power and importance of art."
Few figures epitomize the counterculture more than Ralph Steadman. Wicked satirist, outlandish cartoonist and, of course, longtime Hunter S. Thompson co-conspirator, the British artist has been making mayhem for five decades. In "For No Good Reason," director Charlie Paul examines Steadman's creative process and, through a conversation between Steadman and Johnny Deppand rare archival footage featuring Thompson, captures the artist's mischievous spirit.
Paul will be directing the project, after spending 15 years gathering the footage and creating impressive animations in the anarchic spirit of Steadman's illustrations.
Depp will guide viewers through the wild, drug-addled period of Steadman's time with Thompson, the famous Rumble in the Jungle and his gun fights with Beat Generation giant William S. Burroughs.
(TW: suicide, animal abuse)
It's clear from the film you have an obsession with, a bit surprisingly, Leonardo da Vinci. You wrote a book about him, an illustrated biography, and he seems to fascinate you. Why?
What I always wanted to know is what it feels like to be Leonardo da Vinci. I started the book because of a book about Sigmund Freud, who said Leonardo was "a man who woke up in the dark." And I've felt like that. We all feel like that. I was inside my mother's womb for nine months and I was a genius because I figured how to get out.
You've lived through so many social changes and in fact you've been a part of them, agitating for the world to be a better place through your political cartoons and cultural bomb-throwing. Has all of this protest art made things better?
I don't think so. There was something quaint about the world back when I started. It was the lovely Beatles. "Eleanor Rigby." What happened to all of that? I don't think anything's come along like that. It seems to me now that money doesn't talk; it screams. Back in the '70s there was still a certain kind of innocence. The bankers hadn't yet taken over.
It's impossible to think of you without thinking of Hunter Thompson. How did that relationship flourish?
Subverting was key. He and I always believed authority was used as a weapon, not as control. We had a healthy disrespect for it. We'd call them [police and authority figures] pigs, but that was an insult to the pigs, who are really sweet little lovely things.
What was the adventure that best reflected your relationship?
Well, when we went to Kinshasa to cover the fight [Muhammad Ali and George Foreman's Rumble in the Jungle in Zaire in 1974], and I'd brought him a bottle of Glenfiddich because he'd never heard of it. And I said, "Are we going to the fight?" And he said [goes into baritone Thompson impression], 'No, we're not going to go the fight.' Instead he bought this giant bag of grass for $40. He called it medicine. And he said he would give it away. So people would come to the door. "Can I have some medicine?" And he would give them some. And then the moment the fight was over he said, "Let's get out of town." Because he always said that the minute whatever it is we were supposed to be covering was over even though we never covered it. I still don't know what he did with the rest of the grass.
There's a striking moment in the film in which we can see Hunter tormenting his pet bird and you say you sometimes felt like that bird. What did you mean by that?
He had that bird, Edward. And he'd rattle its cage or hold it and squeeze it and say, "Edward, there's no bird god that will save you now." And sometimes I was the bird. I'd internalize what he was doing to that bird. Because I was the innocent abroad, you see.
What was your reaction to his suicide in 2005? Did it shock you?
He had said to me that if he didn't know every minute of his life that he could commit suicide he wouldn't be able to live. He had that all his life; that is what he was going to do. So I knew he would do something crazy. It's just that old phrase, "I always knew I would take this journey, but I didn't know yesterday that it would be today."
Speaking of being an artist, one of the notable insights from the film is how you make your art without a net, just kind of drawing and seeing what comes of it. Why do you choose that approach?
The idea has always been that I don't use a pencil first. People say, "Why don't you use a pencil?" And I say, "No, I just go in." And they say, 'Don't you make a mistake?' And I say there's no such thing as a mistake. A mistake is an opportunity to do something else. We can't plan too much. We can't plan a boring life or an exciting life. That's the title of the film. "For No Good Reason." That came from Hunter. "Why are we doing this, Hunter?" "For no good reason, Ralph. For no good reason at all."
Ralph Steadman illustrations from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, I Leonardo, Animal Farm, Fahrenheit 451, Rolling Stone, Withnail & I
Source 1Source 2
Note: This is article is slightly old (from late April) but it hasn't been posted here yet.
Eric Roberts and his spouse Eliza Roberts were guests on Monday’s episode of Entertainment Weirdly on EW’s Sirius XM channel to discuss their episode of Celebrity Wife Swap, which airs Tuesday. But we couldn’t let the Dark Knight star and onetime Oscar nominee leave without asking him about his upcoming film Human Centipede 3, the third entry of the notorious horror franchise in which people are attached together to form the grotesque titular creature.
Well, we could have let him leave without asking about it. We just didn’t.
“It was far out,” said Roberts. “We have a centipede that is made of prison inmates, and they’re all hooked together. When you see this, you will never want to commit a crime and go to prison. It’s really horrible.” Roberts declined to say much about his character — “I’m sworn to secrecy” — but revealed that shooting the third and, according to writer-director Tom Six, probably last of the Human Centipede films was a surreal experience. “If you can imagine a hot summer day,” he said, “and there are hundreds of men all bent over and they consist of the human centipede.”
You can hear our chat with Roberts — and also our sit-down with Zombeavers director Jordan Rubin — as Entertainment Weirdly is repeated throughout the week.
Well, when we ask, you answer, that’s for sure. With the news of Marvel crowd-sourcing stories to include in a 75th anniversary omnibus, we asked you what your top three favorite Marvel stories of all time were. And you answered in droves.
While some people struggled with just including three (we only took your first three when you did that, figuring they were the first ones that came to mind), we got about 200 comments in the first two hours or so of posting. We took the votes with one point assigned to your third place choose, two points for second place, and three points for first. This is by no means meant to be a scientific poll (far too low a number of votes counted, some possibility of repeats, etc.), and while it does seem to largely represent one era, there is enough diversity to see stories fans have loved from the 1960s all the way through to just a handful of years back.
But first, the runners-up. These stories are all clearly fan favorites, with all seven of these honorable mentions coming within just two points of cracking the top ten.
Avengers: Korvac Saga, Infinity Saga/Crusade/War, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Old Man Logan, Uncanny X-Force: Dark Angel Saga, X-Cutioner’s Song, “The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man” (ASM #248)
So hey, check all those out, too. And now, the top ten Marvel Comics stories of all time, according to you, the readers.
# 5 Age of Apocalypse
Marvel teased that they were canceling all the X-Men series, and then they did the insane: they actually did it! Well, for a few months, anyway.
When Xavier’s loony son David Haller aka Legion decides he’s going to make daddy’s dream come true, he transports himself back in time to when Xavier and Magneto are still friends, hoping to kill Magneto and prevent anything standing in Charles’ way. Of course, it goes horribly wrong because they’re still friends, and Charles jumps in the way of the blast, instantly killing him and sending a wave of reality-shifting throughout time. This resulted in the world as we knew it freezing in a crystalline reality bubble while also creating an entire alternate universe. In this new world, Apocalypse rose early, before the X-Men could ever be formed to stop him, and successfully took over the world. The result was four months of alternate-reality comics, complete with the coolest take on Nightcrawler ever, and other fan favorites like a Logan missing a hand, Cyclops and Havok on the other side of the law, Magneto as leader of the X-Men, married to Rogue, with a child, and much more. It was more than just an event, it was the way the entire X-Men line was stuck for that timeframe, and it had real, lasting repercussions that still get revisited today.
#4 Civil War
It beat AoA by one vote. One of the newest stories on our list, Marvel’s Civil War asked the question, “Whose side are you on?”
The story started with a bang (so sorry) as the New Warriors, while trying to subdue Nitro, were involved in the resulting explosion that killed 600, including many children in an elementary school in Stamford, CT. This fast-tracks the Superhuman Registration Act, requiring anyone with powers and abilities beyond that of mortal man to register with the government, revealing their identity and training with government approved heroes if they want to keep using their powers.
Ultimately, this led to Iron Man leading the pro-registration side and Captain America leading the anti-registration folks, with the two sides going all-out in a superhero civil war. There were real consequences with major deaths, Tony Stark eventually becoming Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., and immediately afterwards, the death (albeit temporary) of Captain America. It took years for the breach between Cap, Iron Man, and Thor to be repaired.
#3 The Night Gwen Stacy Died
Outside of the death of Uncle Ben, it’s quite possible that Amazing Spider-Man #121-122 are the most important issues in the entire life of Peter Parker. The story said it right there in the title. They spoiled the outcome. They told the truth. This would be “The Night Gwen Stacy Died.”
Norman Osborn, back as the Green Goblin, take’s Peter Parker’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy and throws her off a bridge. Just when it looks like Spider-Man successfully saved her, his webbing caught her ankle - and the sudden stop snapped her neck.
It’s utterly tragic, it was a true surprise, and it utterly devastates Peter Parker in a way nothing since could have. It’s heart-breaking and shocking, and in 1973, it was something that made people look at comic books, especially superhero comic books, a very different way.
#2 Dark Phoenix Saga
The Dark Phoenix Saga, to this day, is the story that all other X-Men stories are held up to. Unofficially, it started way back in 1976, when Jean Grey first came into contact with the Phoenix Force in X-Men #101-108. Then the Dark part hits, from #129-138 in 1980.
It’s a masterpiece of a story by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, with truly marquee moments for many individual members of the X-Men. Cyclops battles Mastermind on the psychic plane. Wolverine takes on a seemingly endless stream of Hellfire Club soldiers. Oh, and Jean Grey, as the Dark Phoenix, goes bat-sh** crazy, eats a sun (killing an orbiting planet’s entire population), and it all comes down to a trial for genocide. When Jean manages to gain control of herself for one short moment, alongside Cyclops, she is zapped by a Kree weapon on the moon and killed.
Of course years and many retcons later, we’d see things like this being a clone of Jean’s body, I - look, we’re just not getting into all that. The Dark Phoenix Saga as its own story is a masterpiece and helped establish that Jean Grey shall always rise once more from the ashes.
#1 Infinity Gauntlet
This took the most votes by a wide margin, and the 1991 limited series by Jim Starlin, George Perez, and Ron Lim had it all. This told the story of Thanos having gathered all six Infinity Gems, placing them into his gauntlet and using them to become a godlike being. His goal? To end all life in the universe in order to win over the woman he loves: the embodiment of Death.
And oh boy, did Thanos come close to succeeding. Using the combined might of the Mind, Soul, Power, Reality, Space, and Time gems, Thanos killed half of everyone. Everyone. He killed most of the X-Men, he killed Daredevil and the Fantastic Four, he killed Avengers, and he did it all with a snap of his fingers.
This was the big cosmic event, with the rest of the heroes of Earth (and some from beyond it) trying to stop Thanos from achieving godhood and taking out the other half of life, all while the mad Titan cut a swathe through the Universe, taking out some of its most powerful beings with ease. In the end, it was up to Thanos’s own progeny Nebula to undue what he had done, restoring the dead and putting cosmic entities back in their place.
Of course, that’s far from the end of Thanos’s story, as we’d later have an Infinity War, an Infinity Crusade, and just last year, plain old Infinity. It’s also widely speculated that the story from Infinity Gauntlet will be the basis of the third Avengers film from Marvel Studios. After all, we’ve seen the gauntlet, we’ve seen Thanos, we’ve seen him smirk about “courting Death,” and we’ve identified objects of power in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as “Infinity Stones,” so it’s not hard to do the math. Good thing Nebula is being introduced in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy film, too…
Ned Benson‘s The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby was first screened at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, to hooting, hollering, and an air of general acclaim. So when this year’s Cannes Film Festival unveiled its lineup and Eleanor Rigby made the cut, I doubt anyone’s eyes were boggling out of their head, Tex Avery cartoon-style.
Except for one pesky detail that made absolutely zero sense. On the official Cannes documentation, Eleanor Rigby is marked with the running time of one hour and fifty-nine minutes. Confused? You should be — not only is Eleanor Rigby not two hours long, but it’s not even one movie.
To get the full Eleanor Rigby experience, you’ve got to watch it twice. Sort of. First, you see The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His, which chronicles the collapse of an extremely good-looking marriage from the perspective of its husband, played by James McAvoy. Then you watch the same movie again, but now it’s got a subtitle of Hers and it follows the missus, played by Jessica Chastain. Or I guess you could watch Hers and then His, probably, if you felt the need to rebel against traditional gender roles in the mildest way possible.
Well, thanks to Deadline, we’ve got an answer to that hour fifty-nine question. Eleanor Rigby is no longer two movies. Now, it’s three.
His and Hers still exist on their own, but now there’s Them (shouldn’t it be “Theirs?”), which is a more traditional-sounding two-hour cut that meshes His and Hers together into a shorter and more convenient package. Oddly enough, even with the presence of Harvey Weinstein looming over the film (his Weinstein Company bought Eleanor Rigby at Toronto last year) the cuts were entirely Benson’s idea. The director shares, “At Toronto, it was this hanging question that lingered. It wasn’t until this year that I saw with my editor and my producing partner Cassandra Kulukundis and then talked with Harvey Weinstein about it, and he gave me the opportunity to see if it an omnipotent version could function as its own film. We got in a room and created the film that will premiere in Cannes.”
And just in case you’ve considered the very real possibility that Weinstein snipers were trained on Benson and forcing him to say those words, he clarifies it even further: “Harvey never set foot in the room.”
Still, I’d keep an eye out for little red dots when it premieres at Cannes.
Here’s how the releasing will go down. Them will premiere at Cannes. And on the film’s September 26 release date, Them will be the only option. Some time later (roughly four to six weeks), His + Hers will get a limited run in select art house theaters, as is befitting a three hour slog through relationship ennui.
Unconventional films typically get conventionalized before they see release — remember when the producers of Nymphomaniac yelled a resounding “NO” to the question, “can mainstream theaters handle five and a half continuous hours of people doin’ it?” But unlike the Nymphomaniac cuts, which didn’t affect the basic premise of the film, I can already hear the gentle “whoosh” of Them missing the whole point of The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. What good is a film about seeing things entirely from one side, if you intersperse both sides together? Suddenly, the gimmick (and the big selling point of the movie) is gone.
It’s like if Richard Linklater released a second cut of Boyhood that just subbed in child actors and old-age makeup in place of a twelve-year shoot. Would it be interesting to watch after seeing the real Boyhood? Yeah, probably. But it also stomps all over what makes Boyhood unique.
It’s good that Benson created Them from a place of love, and not coercion from the hulking robo-editors I’m sure The Weinstein Company has hidden away somewhere. And, hey — shave off a good hour from the running time and more people will probably see it, which has got to be a plus. But count me among the “jumbo-sized Eleanor Rigby” camp.
Rihanna attended the Christian Dior Cruise 2015 Show on Wednesday (May 7) in Brooklyn, New York City.
After the Dior fashion show in New York City, Rihanna was seen with her best friend Melissa at Da Silvano restaurant.
She also revealed to @247papstv that she’ll be back on instagram soon!
Rihanna & Adèle Exarchopoulos
It's official: #OnceUponATime season 4 is a go! Thank you all for watching! Hope to see ya Sunday for the finale and this fall for season 4!— Adam Horowitz (@AdamHorowitzLA) May 9, 2014
From one of the writers of OUAT.
ABC Renews S.H.I.E.L.D., Resurrection, Castle, Revenge, Goldbergs and 3 Other Series
ABC began handing out renewal notices late Thursday, formally picking up Once Upon a Time (for Season 4), Castle (for Season 7), Resurrection (for Season 2), The Goldbergs (for Season 2) Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (for Season 2).
Additionally, the network has ordered an 11th season of Grey’s Anatomy and fourth seasons of both Scandal and Revenge.
More renewals are expected in the coming hours… Refresh for the latest…
ABC Orders 'How to Get Away With Murder,''Black-ish,''American Crime,''Whispers,''Galavant' to Series
ABC joined NBC, The CW and Fox and got into the series pickup game Thursday, ordering its most high-profile drama -- Shonda Rhimes' How to Get Away With Murder -- to series. The network also added a drama from 12 Years a Slave's John Ridley and Anthony Anderson comedy Black-ish to series.
From exec producers Rhimes and Betsy Beers, Murder has been a frontrunner heading into this week's pickups. Murder, a sexy and suspense-driven legal thriller starring Viola Davis as a brilliant and mysterious criminal defense professor who becomes entangled in a murder plot, rated as one of the buzziest dramas this season.
The series pickup gives the Grey's Anatomy and Scandal producers three shows on the air for the second time following the end of Private Practice. Rhimes has tremendous clout at the network -- she rarely, if ever, receives notes on Scandal -- and is incredibly valuable to ABC. From ABC Studios, Peter Nowalk penned the pilot and will executive produce the Shondaland drama. The series becomes the latest African-American-led show to join the broadcast networks' schedules this season. Dramas starring Octavia Spencer (Fox's Red Band Society), Taraji P. Henson (Fox's Empire) and Alfre Woodard (NBC's State of Affairs) were picked up to series this week.
American Crime, written, exec produced and directed by 12 Years a Slave's John Ridley and former ABC Studios head of drama-turned-producer Michael McDonald, examines the personal lives of the players involved in a racially charged trial as their worlds are turned upside down. Timothy Hutton and Felicity Huffman star in the ABC Studios drama, which marks Ridley's return to TV after The Wanda Sykes Show and HBO's passed over boxing drama Da Brick.
Blackish, loosely based on the life of showrunner Kenya Barris (The Game) stars Anthony Anderson as an upper-middle-class black man who struggles to raise his children with a sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions from his liberal wife, old-school father and his own assimilated, color-blind kids. Laurence Fishburne recurs in the single-camera comedy and exec produces alongside Barris and showrunner Larry Wilmore, Helen Sugland, Tom Russo, Peter Principato, Paul Young and Brian Dobbins. Sources tell THR that the comedy tested extremely well and helped push the entry over the similarly themed Kevin Hart comedy Keep It Together, which was the early front-runner.
Whispers -- previously known as The Visitors -- hails from Under the Dome's Soo Hugh, is an alien invasion drama that stars Lily Rabe, Barry Sloane, Milo Ventimiglia and counts Steven Spielberg among its producers. The ABC Studios drama was produced by Amblin TV's Spielberg, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank and Dawn Olmstead and marks a big sci-fi swing for the network.
Galavant, from The Neighbors boss Dan Fogelman, is a fairy-tale musical that centers on Prince Galavant (Rogue's Joshua Sasse) and his quest for revenge against the king (Psych's Timothy Omundson) who stole his one true love (Mallory Jansen). The high-concept single-camera comedy features original music from Oscar winner Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas) and lyrics from Glenn Slater (Tangled). Chris Koch exec produces and directed the pilot for the U.K.-based Abbey C Studios and Rhode Island Ave. Productions. The pickup, which comes after Fogelman inked an overall deal with ABC Studios, likely will edge out the showrunner's Friday night bubble comedy Neighbors, sources tell THR. For their part, Fogelman, Menken and Slater recently teamed to produce a musical episode of Neighbors. The pickup will likely inject some additional revenue streams into ABC's bottom line from the original music featured on the series. Galavant becomes the second musical ordered this season and fourth on the broadcast networks overall, joining ABC's country drama Nashville, Fox's hip-hop entry Empire and aging veteran dramedy Glee.
The new series joins previously ordered dramas Astronaut Wives andThe Club at the network. More are expected to come tonight.
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Planning a '24' marathon? That will take 6 days and 2 hours, according to this Nielsen infographic
Do you have that one friend who’s always telling you that you just have to watch The Wire? Feeling out of the cultural loop because you still haven’t seen Breaking Bad? Well, the folks over at Nielson TOPTEN crunched the numbers to determine just how much time it will take to marathon those and other popular TV shows.
So, allow this handy little guide to help you determine which shows to add to your Netflix lineup. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands right now, you might want to push 24 and The West Wing down to the bottom of your queue.
Well, looks like Pink isn't pregnant after all!
After reports circulated that the 34-year-old singer was pregnant with their second child—all because she was spotted with her husband, Carey Hart, "cuddling" and "rubbing her tummy”—the 39-year-old motocross pro took to Twitter to dispel the rumors with a rather crude joke. "Oh man, i was rubbing my penis yesterday, does that mean my d--k is pregnant?" Hart tweeted on May 8 in response.
As for his wife, Pink stayed mum but did tweet a series of rather cryptic messages on Wednesday, May 7. "It never fails: people will think you're crazy- but usually only when you're on to something good ;) do what makes YOU happy," the "Just Give Me a Reason" singer posted. Pink then followed with another equally confusing tweet: "It crazy: record deal. Ur crazy: missundaztood. U crazy: marry mr hart. This is crazy: TBD etc etc."
The couple are currently solely proud parents to 2-year-old daughter Willow.
A rep for the couple does not comment on their personal lives.
It's no secret that female characters are portrayed in a different way than their male counterparts are in comic art. But in a medium where superhero costumes are already so silly, why do we care so much about how our lady heroes dress?
Last month Janelle Asselin wrote a piece for Comic Book Resources criticizing the cover of DC's Teen Titans #1, in part focusing on the portrayal of Wonder Girl. Wonder Girl, despite being a teenaged girl, is given breast that appear to be implants, breasts that are popping out of her strapless top. What happened after Asselin posted the piece is awful, and much ink has been (rightly) devoted to it: Asselin received not just negative comments, but rape threats and other threats of violence in response to her piece.
Asselin has written about her experiences on her blog and on xoJane, and she sparked a larger discussion about how some people talk to women in the comic book industry. That's certainly a discussion that needs to be had, but so does the discussion that Asselin was originally trying to have: that there's a problem with female superheroes' outfits in mainstream comics and that it's turning a lot of folks off to those books.
Here at io9, we love a good sexy outfit. We celebrate weirdly skimpy costumes and the dated sex appeal of Star Trek duds. We appreciate a good bit of cheesecake and flirty and funny pin-up art. But seeing major superheroines running around with their breasts and buttocks hanging out? It can get exhausting after a while.
We've posted a bit about our issues with female superhero costumes, and each time, we receive comments questioning whether sexualized female costumes are really a problem. This is a response to those comments, explaining why discussing female costumes is important and why many are, in fact, problematic in the current media landscape.
Not All Female Power Fantasies Revolve Around Breasts
One of the responses that I typically see to criticisms of costume choices like Power Girl's boob window is that there are lots of women out there who show a lot of skin in real life, so why can't the fictional Karen Starr? Plus, there are plenty of women who love to cosplay in skimpy outfits, so there must be some appeal.
Sure, dress-up is fun, and some women like to show a little skin when they dress up. Some women like to show skin in their everyday lives. Some women will wear short skirts but like to stay covered up on top. Some women like to stay covered from wrist to ankle at all times. Some women will wear sleeves and high necklines until they feel it's too hot out to do otherwise.
Sometimes, women can even be of two minds about skimpy outfits. I particularly love Kamala Khan's vision of Captain Marvel in the first issue of Ms. Marvel, when she tells Captain Marvel that she wants to be her, "Except I would wear the classic, politically incorrect costume and kick butt in giant wedge heels." When she turns into that version of Ms. Marvel, that costume isn't all it's cracked up to be; the heels are hard to walk in and the outfit delivers "epic wedgies." It's a sequence that perfectly encapsulates why a woman might want to play Slave Leia for a day and then take her regular fashion cues from Michelle Obama. Incidentally, I see a lot more teenagers in my town dressed like the Kamala version of Ms. Marvel—a short dress over tights—than showing off cleavage.
Superhero costumes are powerful, emblematic things. This about how important it is that Batman's costume look grand and intimidating—and not have ridiculous nipples—or how Superman's shield evokes a sense of goodness and right. When you see Power Girl's leotard or Starfire's barely there whatever-it-is, they don't say "power." They don't say "justice" or "strength" or "competence."
They say, "Here are my breasts."
Sure, there are in-comic justifications for some of these costume choices, logical gymnastics that are supposed to excuse the ridiculous highlighting of breast tissue. Power Girl isn't showing off her cleavage; she's acknowledging the lack of an emblem as powerful as Superman's shield. As for Starfire, she's from a culture that doesn't have any taboos regarding nudity, so why should she wear clothes anyway. (Actually, a naked Starfire would probably look less sexualized than Starfire in the strapping outfit.) But these supposed justifications don't detract from the reality, that the outfits have been specifically designed to look serve-you-up-on-a-platter sexy.
It's true that male superheroes are often impossibly muscled, but in a way that suggests physical prowess. The message seems to be: when men become superheroes, they are strong; when women are superheroes, they are sexy. (I will forever pass David Willis' "False Equivalence" comic from Shortpacked! along to anyone who equates superheroines' sexualized physiques with male superheroes' muscles.)
One only needs to look as far as Captain Marvel to see how eager female (and male) readers are for strong characters who don't rely on body-baring costumes. Carol Danvers is a cool lady, the kind of person who bunks in the Statue of Liberty, the kind of person Tony Stark calls when he needs a favor. She's the kind of woman that a lot of women fantasize about being, full-cover costume and all. The Carol Corps that has sprung up around Captain Marvel and the book's writer Kelly Sue DeConnick is a testament to the women who look at Captain Marvel and say, "Finally, a character who speaks to my fantasies."
It's also worth noting that showing skin doesn't automatically sexualize a character, just as a character can be sexy without a plunging neckline and bare legs. Artist Mingjue Helen Chen recently designed streetwear for some of DC's female characters, and the bared midriffs and short shorts make the characters look youthful and casual rather than like sex on a spandex stick:
Women As Heroes, Not As Accessories
The key point that Asselin makes in her post critiquing the Teen Titans cover is that the cover represents poor marketing. When DC puts out a cover that shows a teenaged superhero popping out of her tube top, it delivers a specific message to many women: This book is not for you. The women in this book are here to be gawked at.
The idea that Wonder Girl is running around saving the world in that tube top is ludicrous, and it suggests that she's not a character to be taken seriously. Now you might say, "Of course it's ludicrous! Comics are filled with people dressed like animals and wearing skintight suits in primary colors!" But it's the kind of ridiculousness that matters. Just today, comics writer Gail Simone joked that she was going to give Superman a boob window, a stomach window, and a butt window. Cartoonist Chris Haley of Let's Be Friends Again shared what that might look like:
Now is that a Superman that you're going to take seriously? Sure, he could still crush your head without trying, but does he have the same aura of nobility—inspire the sense of same sense of awe—that he does in his usual costume?
Projects like the Hawkeye Initiative and gender-bending cosplayers have done a lot to point out just how silly female characters frequently look in comics. But it bears repeating: When artists place female characters in costumes like the one Wonder Girl is wearing, it makes them look less like heroes and more like dolls to be ogled at. There may be a reason that Wonder Girl is on the team aside from her enormous breasts, but you have to get past that cover in order to read the story.
This focus on breasts and butts also represents a missed opportunity when it comes to conveying character through costume. Putting Zatanna in a magician's assistant outfit is sort of like dressing Barbara Gordon or Kate Kane up as a bat; it's apropos, but by itself, it doesn't say much about the character. Costuming helps show the fun of being Batgirl and the stately elegance of Batwoman. There is so much more that artists can do with women's costumes when they aren't limiting themselves to highlighting those characters' sexual assets.
Think of the Children. No, Really
There is certainly a place for skimpy, sexy costumes in comics. The idea that "No man can defeat her, but I can wank to her" has its own kind of power, and Odin knows that I read plenty of comics that would be inappropriate for children. But superheroes are incredibly attractive to children of any gender, and as superheroes have dominated so much of the media in recent years, it's important to think about the impression that comic book superheroes make on kids.
It's not that kids need to somehow be shielded from images of women's breasts and abs. Rather, it's that these costumes convey a message to children about what powerful women look like. If a girl wants to grow up to be as strong as Wonder Woman, as powerful as Psylocke, as skilled as Elektra, does she have to put her body on display for the pleasure of other people, too? Alex Law's blog Little Girls Are Better At Designing Superheroes Than You shows that plenty of girls are enjoying the fantasies that come with superheroes without the sexualized costume pieces. So can we.
"I guess I was a child actor," admits 33-year-old Dutch actor Michiel Huisman. Holland, however, is not Hollywood, and Huisman, who grew up in and just outside of Amsterdam, assures us that his early start in the film industry didn't get him any special treatment. "Acting was one of the things I did alongside going to school: I'd be playing guitar, I'd be playing soccer, and I would be acting in movies," he explains. "Because Holland is so small, it was never considered a career."
In grade school, Huisman downplayed his extracurricular activities: "I would keep it to myself a little bit. If kids would ask, ‘Where were you yesterday?' I would tell them, but if not, I wouldn't say, ‘I was shooting.'" It wasn't until later, as a teenager at university, that he decided to pursue acting seriously. "I thought, maybe I'm already doing what I want to be doing," he recalls.
Chances are that you recognize Huisman from a television series; the question is which one. After moving to the US in 2009, Huisman's first American role was as a drug-consuming musician on the New Orleans-set jazz dramaTreme. This year alone, he's had significant roles on ABC's Connie Britton-starring country music show, Nashville,HBO's fantasy behemoth Game of Thrones, and BBC America's cult drama Orphan Black. "I can't quite put my finger on it," Huisman says of his diverse range of fans. "People come up to me: ‘I saw you on this and this.' I look at them and I'm like, ‘I would have never thought that; I would have thought you were watching this show.' "
On Game of Thrones, Huisman plays Daario Naharis, a merchant soldier ("sellsword") and leader of the prestigious Second Sons, who pledges his allegiance (and love) to the mother of dragons, Daenerys Targaryen. Daario appeared in several episodes at the end of Season Three played by British actor Ed Skrein. At the beginning of Season Four, however, Skrein was silently replaced by Huisman, and few fans seemed to notice Skrein's absence.
Recently, Huisman has been working on films, most notablyJean-Marc Vallée's Wild with Reese Witherspoon and The Age of Adaline with Blake Lively and Harrison Ford.
EMMA BROWN: Where do you live these days?
MICHIEL HUISMAN: Right now, I live in a hotel room in Vancouver. I've been here for two months working on The Age of Adaline, but I'm almost done. This weekend we'll go back to home, which is in New Orleans. After working onTreme for a couple of years, we just fell in love with the city. We—I say "we" as in my wife, my daughter, and I—felt like it's hard to be gypsies without a home base anywhere in the world. Although we're not there a lot, it feels really good to have a place somewhere that is ours where we have our stuff, and that's in New Orleans.
BROWN: Does your daughter have an American accent?
HUISMAN: Oh yes, better than mine! [laughs] She has lived in the US longer than Holland. She is totally bilingual—her English is great.
BROWN: Did you learn English at school or did you learn it specifically for acting?
HUISMAN: I learned English at school, or at least that's how it started. Also in Holland—as opposed to some other European countries—we don't dub anything, so as a kid growing up, always watching English and American movies in their original language really helped. It wasn't until Tremethat I really started to work the dialect with a great coach for lots and lots of hours and tried to get rid of my natural accent, which is very exciting, but also very hard. It's a process; I'll never stop trying to improve.
BROWN: For Game of Thrones, did have to speak a certain way or could you speak in your natural accent?
HUISMAN: No, there was a great dialect coach on set. We worked on it very, very hard and very specifically. The most important thing for my accent was to get rid of the American sound, [laughs] so the opposite of what I've been trying to do for the last couple of years—make it a lot more British and let some European inflictions come through. We wanted to make it clear that this character, Daario, didn't speak proper English; that would be way too clean and posh, and this guy has been all over the place. It's always fun to be very precise, and the showrunners on Game of Thrones are very precise.
BROWN: How did you get cast as Daario?
HUISMAN: I was sent a couple of scenes and asked to put myself on tape. They keep their storylines so close to their vests; at first I wasn't told what character it was. But I put myself on tape, and after that I was asked to come into the room and do it again in front of the producers and showrunners. By then I started realize what role it was—that it was not just "a" role, but a very, very exciting role.
BROWN: Were you a fan of the show before you auditioned?
HUISMAN: I had seen quite a few episodes, but there were a few gaps here and there. So yes, I was a fan, but I was very happy to start over again and binge to fill those gaps. It's one of those shows where you can't really have a gap, because then you have no idea what's going on. [laughs]
BROWN: Who was your favorite character?
HUISMAN: Hands down, Daenerys. Of course.
BROWN: Did you treat Daario as a new character when you took over the role, or did you try to study old episodes and carry on from the previous actor's performance?
HUISMAN: I thought it was important to keep in mind what had happened, but then, from that moment on, treat it as a new role. Although the previous actor had been in a couple of episodes, and the audience had invested in him playing the role, it still felt like there was enough room for me to reestablish the character. I hope, at least. That was the sense I got from everybody involved; that it was okay to do my thing with it. Which I'm very grateful for, because it's very hard to do what someone else did—to imitate. I was allowed to follow my own instincts, and from now on we can only hope that people accept the switch.
BROWN: I've heard that some of the producers like to play tricks on the actors and vice versa. Have you experienced that at all?
HUISMAN: No, what kind of tricks?
BROWN: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau told me he'd pretended that he'd shaved his head in between seasons, and he was just waiting for the producers to get him back.
HUISMAN: [laughs] Well they're an amazing and very inspiring bunch, and I can totally see them playing a trick on someone. And I can totally see Nikolaj doing that back to them. But they haven't done it to me yet.
BROWN: I know your characters don't really intersect, but Carice van Houten is also Game of Thrones, and you've worked with her before. Do you ever see her when you're filming, or does she shoot in a completely different country?
HUISMAN: Unfortunately, she's in a completely different storyline, which literally shoots in a different country. But I'm hoping that next season—a lot of the interior stuff gets shot onstage in Belfast, so it wouldn't be strange if our paths cross when we're both shooting our different storylines on the stage. I'm looking forward to that. We did two movies together: one when I was 16, called Suzy Q (1999) in which I played her brother, and then another one called Black Book(2006), which was more recent. She's an amazing actress and fun to work with, so I'm looking forward to seeing her again.
BROWN: Are there a lot of Dutch actors working internationally? Or is it a really small community where you all know each other?
HUISMAN: The Dutch film industry is a pretty small community, so within Holland, I think most actors know each other and have worked with each other. The actors that are working internationally—that's a small number, but Carice is one of them. Rutger Hauer is a very famous Dutch actor who did quite a lot internationally. Another Dutch actress who is working a lot is called Famke Janssen. There's a few more.
BROWN: Your publicist said you were the only man ever to be on the cover of Dutch Elle—is that true?
HUISMAN: [laughs] Yes.
BROWN: How did that come about?
HUISMAN: It was some sort of anniversary, and out of all the Dutch actors, they happened to pick me and asked me to be on the cover of their magazine, which I felt was a great honor. As far as I know, David Beckham was on the cover of an international Elle. It was after that.
BROWN: You're also in the second season of Orphan Black, which is this growing cult show. Everyone keeps telling me how great it is. Were you aware of the show before you were cast?
HUISMAN: No, I hadn't seen it. I hadn't heard about the show until I was asked to audition for it. So after watching a couple of episodes and getting a feel for it, I was very eager to be part of it. I agree with the people to whom you spoke—I think it's a really good show. I thought that—and I proved to be right—the lead actress, Tatiana Maslany, was going to be a lot of fun to work with. She's amazing. She's crazy talented. There are so many scenes in that show where she is by herself playing a couple of [different] characters—clones—and you just accept that as a viewer. I just couldn't believe that I did that—that I was able to go along with that.
BROWN: What is your character like?
HUISMAN: I play a guy named Cal, and he had been together with Sarah—dating one of the clones—about eight years ago. She very abruptly left him after being together for one or two months, and stole his car and some money and ran off, which completely shocked him. In episode three, for the first time after all those years, they meet again. It turns out that at when they were together, Sarah got pregnant. He's very smart—a tech guy, but also a successful entrepreneur. He started this company creating these mini-drones and, before he knew it, his partners sold the company to the military, which is now using his drones for mini bombings. It made him a little bit bitter, and even more anti-corporation than he used to be. I think that's one of the places where Cal and Sarah can connect—they share that anarchistic tendency.
SERIES FOUR OF GAME OF THRONES AIRS SUNDAY NIGHTS ON HBO. SEASON TWO OF ORPHAN BLACK AIRS SATURDAYS ON BBC AMERICA.
Not feelin' the pic in the suit, but I love the one in the bed. For reasons.
Even though she had agreed to tie the knot three times before, Emily Maynard tells PEOPLE her fourth engagement to automotive management consultant Tyler Johnson "is my last. I really mean it. I'm actually making it to the marriage part this time!"
Once unsure about what her future would hold, the former Bachelorette star says that sharing her life with Johnson "is everything I've been praying for for years."
The two recently bought a home in Charlotte, North Carolina, and have begun furniture shopping in anticipation of moving in over the summer.
The couple is also eager to start adding to their family unit of three humans, "three dogs, a cat, some fish – it's a zoo here," Maynard says with a laugh. "I've got to have a baby soon!"
Despite not making a firm decision on a wedding date, Maynard has been having a ball checking out dresses and wedding cakes with her daughter Ricki, 8.
"I keep telling Ricki it's just as much her wedding as it is mine. It's been fun to see her get excited about it," says Maynard, joking that she's not getting bogged down in the details. "I don't want to be Bridezilla. I don't want any gifts. I don't need a toaster. I don't want a waffle maker. I just want everybody to come and chill and have fun."
Reality fans became acquainted with Maynard when she appeared on season 15 of The Bachelor. The single mom, who lost her fiancé, NASCAR driver Ricky Hendrick, in a 2004 plane crash, got engaged to Bachelor Brad Womack on the season finale. Their relationship ended in June 2011.
A year later Maynard and Johnson, both 28, met just as Maynard began filming season eight of The Bachelorette.
"I did a jewelry making class at a middle school that was adopted by my church and he's an elder at the church," Maynard explains. "He would help me carry out the boxes. I thought, 'He's the nicest person.'"
The two reconnected after Maynard's engagement to Jef Holm ended.
"We went on our first date in January of last year," Maynard says, noting that 12 months later, Johnson proposed, presenting her with five gold and diamond bands as engagement rings.
I'm actually interested now.
"As we move through history, their lives and their careers change dramatically," showrunner Michelle Ashford tells THR. "Whereas most shows stay the same, it's one of those where it will look really different every year."
When Showtime's Masters of Sex returns for its second season, the Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan drama will follow real-life sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson out of the hospital and into a different part of St. Louis.
The Hollywood Reporter has a first look at the sophomore season of the drama, which kicks off where the freshman run ended, with Masters (Sheen) standing in the pouring rain at the doorstep of his former partner (in more ways than one), Johnson (Caplan).
"There is one thing I can’t live without," an emotional Masters says. "It’s you."
At a recent Television Academy panel, Sheen likened his character to “a fish out of water” in the coming season, a description confirmed by the exhausted, distraught Masters featured in the clip above.
The first-look video also shows Masters' wife, Libby (Caitlin FitzGerald), who believed she was infertile for most of the first season, holding their crying newborn. She continues to be frustrated with their marriage and now her husband’s current job situation, or lack thereof.
Virginia, meanwhile, seems to be having problems of her own -- especially of the financial sort. She refuses money from Lillian DePaul (Julianne Nicholson), who reminds her that she had no qualms taking money from Masters -- something Virginia likely would have preferred to forget.
Tensions are high in the coming season, but the clip seems to end on a promising note for Masters and Virginia. "I’m assuming it’s not an accident meeting in a hotel," Virginia says as Masters proceeds to grab their room key from the front desk.
Executive producer Michelle Ashford recently told THR that the series will continue to explore different aspects of Masters and Johnson's real lives.
"As we move through history, their lives and their careers change dramatically," she said. "Whereas most shows stay the same, it’s one of those where it will look really different every year."
I went there on the weekend it was pretty cool tbh
For those of you who haven't seen the movie, shame on you. Stop reading and go indulge. It's so much more than a hilarious joke-a-second spoof of Westerns, it's also a scathing indictment on the idiocy of racial prejudice. It's the rare film that manages to be both highbrow and lowbrow at the same time. And on its own terms.
"They can't make that movie today because everybody's so politically correct. You know, the NAACP would stop a great movie that would do such a great service to black people because of the N-word," says Brooks. "You've got to really examine these things and see what's right and what's wrong. Politically correct is absolutely wrong. Because it inhibits the freedom of thought. I'm so lucky that they weren't so strong then and that the people that let things happen on the screen weren't so powerful then. I was very lucky."
With a new 40th anniversary Blu-ray edition dropping this week, we got Brooks on the horn to talk all things "Blazing Saddles." In his inimitably frenetic style, Brooks recounted how Richard Pryor gave the filmmaker license to use the N-word, even though he couldn't get Pryor cast; how Gene Wilder stepped in to save the film; and why "Blazing Saddles" should be considered the single greatest comedy of all-time.