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Oh No They Didn't! -

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    After a long weekend, Truebies can curl up with Bill, Sookie, and company for True Blood season 7, episode 3 which airs tonight on HBO.

    After last week’s episode in which Pam finally found Eric and Sookie stayed true to trying to solve the problems that have fallen on Bon Temps, True Blood season 7, episode 3 titled “Fire in the Hole” will see both of these plot lines continue.

    “Sookie (Anna Paquin) hatches a dangerous plan to take down the H-Vamps, even as Vince (Brett Rickaby) and his armed vigilantes pose an equally serious threat,” reads the official synopsis from HBO. “Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) gets high with James (Nathan Parsons); Jason (Ryan Kwanten) eyes a family future with Violet (Karolina Wydra); Willa (Amelia Rose Blaire) is forced to find a new place to stay; Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp) sheds her past. Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) offers Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) a compelling reason to return to Louisiana – and be the vampire he used to be.”

    Will Jason be having another vision – but this time with Violet? And what could Pam possibly present to Eric that would entice him to come back to his old city? At the end of last week’s episode, the fan favorite character appeared to have been infected by the H-Vamps because he looked like he was in a very weak state.

    The synopsis also teases a scene between Lafayette and James (pictured above). Sparks may begin to fly between the two characters in this episode.


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    Tonight (6th July) Miley's 2 hour Bangerz Tour NBC special will air live on NBC! If you don't live in the USA you can watch the show through the live streams below.

    Live Streams:

    Time zones:
    9pm EST (New York, Ohio, Michigan)
    8pm CST (Texas, Illinois, Kansas, Tennessee)
    7pm MST (Colorado, Montana, Arizona)
    6pm PST (California, Nevada)
    3am WET (UK, Portugal)
    4am CET (France, Germany, Spain, Italy)
    5am EET (Bulgaria, Turkey)


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    Chris Brown wants you to know he had a very happy Independence Day.

    The R&B star posted a revealing photo of his girlfriend Karrueche Tran on Instagram Friday, which shows her lying in bed wearing only a bra, thong and a smile. The black-and-white picture has received more than 155,000 likes to date.

    Brown, who was released from jail June 2 after serving time for a probation violation stemming from an arrest for felony assault last fall, also celebrated the holiday by attending a beach party in Malibu. He was seen driving an orange Lamborghini, which the Daily Mail reports he recently purchased for close to $750,000.


    Kae's IG

    CB's IG

    What's the messiest drama you've seen on social media?

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    Taylor was seen hanging out with friends in Watch Hill, Rhode Island yesterday.






    Pro firework show at Taylor's House


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    Winter is coming...and after that, it's spring, and time for Game of Thrones season 5 — along with a series of wines themed from Westeros and beyond.

    The wines are a project of Sydney, Australia-based Common Ventures. The twelve different varieties are all themed for a different group— the Great Houses Tyrell, Lannister, Stark, Greyjoy, Arryn, Martell, Baratheon, and Targaryen (LOL, nobody likes the Tullys — even House Arryn gets a wine and they don't), along with the Wildlings, White Walkers, Night's Watch, and Dothraki. There are both reds and whites, running the gamut from Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay to Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Shiraz, all of which are going to retail for $20 in the US.

    Common Ventures claims the "headstrong and robust" houses are getting reds while the "cunning and mysterious" houses are getting whites, but that makes me think they should probably actually go watch the show for maybe the first time, since the Lannisters have a red and the Starks have a white. Still, it was probably a good idea on their part to avoid a Purple Wedding-themed wine, so at least there's that.


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    Today it was discovered that Harry Styles of One Direction favorited an... interesting tweet.


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    TVLINE | I’m going to start with the question I’m sure is on every viewer’s mind right now: What was that last scene? Was Ingrid dreaming?

    [Laughs] Um, no. She’s sleepwalking, and she’s kind of in a trance. It’s a creature who she’s having these encounters with, but she doesn’t remember them. We’ll learn more as the season goes on about who this creature is, why they’re there and what their connection is with Ingrid. It’s pretty sexy, I think. It’s pretty fun. … And God bless Rachel Boston, she was so game to do that. It was pretty weird.

    TVLINE | Is it safe to assume that was the other thing that came out of the portal?

    It is safe to assume, yes. That creature is not from around here.

    TVLINE | What should we be calling this mysterious sex monster?

    “Mandragora” is what it’s called. There is a real thing called a Mandragora, which comes from “Mandrake root,” but we sort of invented our own version that has all these special abilities. He’s the mythical beast from Asgard.

    TVLINE | This show has taught me not to trust anyone I meet in a library. What’s up with “Herb Boy”?

    Oh yes, “Herb Boy” [actual character name: Ignacio] has an arc on the show. He’s going to be a part of the season and give Wendy a run for her money.

    TVLINE | Speaking of new guys, on a scale from one to 10, how much should we trust Frederick?

    Well, I’m not going to say. [Laughs] If you listen to Wendy, she’d say one; but if you listen to Joanna, she’d put him at about a 9.5. That’s the fun we’re having with his character, taking the audience’s expectations and flipping them numerous times. We’ll keep people guessing about what it is that Frederick wants, and whether he means them good or harm. He and Freya are twins, so they have things they can only do with each other — special spells — so they have a really cool bond.

    TVLINE | What can we expect from Eva moving forward?

    We set up in Episode 1 with the tarot reading that there’s an owl protecting Killian, then at the end, we learn that it’s Eva. So the question becomes: Is she protecting him in order to protect him, or is she keeping people away because she’s a predator?

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    Major spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen Sunday’s True Blood, avert your eyes. Everyone else, read on…

    It was the shot no one was saw coming — certainly not Alcide, anyway. Sookie’s werewolf boyfriend took a bullet to the forehead on Sunday’s True Blood, adding another name to Season 7′s rapidly growing list of casualties.

    Below, Joe Mangeniello walks TVLine through Alcide’s death, reflects on his character’s best and worst moments, then laments the same-sex hookup that could have been.

    TVLINE | How long have you known this was coming?
    Honestly, I called it as soon as I read the finale last season. [Laughs] There was no way they could keep him around. Sookie has to settle things with the vampire guys, and you can’t have Sookie break Alcide’s heart because then the audience isn’t going to side with her or identify with her. … On a show like this, where you’re looking for vital characters to kill off, you’ve got to take out Alcide. There’s no one that’s going to be upset that he’s dead, except Sookie — and maybe Sam. Those are the only people he’s interacted with ever. He got separated from the herd.

    TVLINE | Can you recall the moment the producers told you this was going to happen?
    Yes, I had dinner with the showrunner, Brian Buckner. I used to have dinner every season with [former showrunner] Alan Ball, where he’d tell me my character’s arc and what to expect. So Bucky came and brought the three scripts with him. It wasn’t some big, dramatic thing; we just sat down to dinner and he said, “You know we’re killing you, right?” and I said, “Yeah, I figured.”

    TVLINE | You basically spent Season 6 in your own little Alcide spin-off, then were finally reunited with the main group this season, only to be quickly killed off. How do you feel about the way that worked out?
    It was great to see everybody. It was great to feel like I was a part of a show again, like the character had something to do with the show. That was really nice, getting to work with Anna [Paquin] and Stephen [Moyer] and the rest of the gang. I had been feeling a bit like I was on my own and not very important to the storyline.

    TVLINE | Hey, you were always important, even when you were off on your own.
    I disagree with you, but I think it’s very nice of you to say that. I don’t think I had anything to do with the show.

    TVLINE | Alcide was killed by some random hillbilly person. Is there any part of you that wishes you’d been given a more epic death, one that felt like it had some build-up?
    Yeah, I guess there’s a part of me [that feels that way.] I just died naked in the woods, killed by some random hillbilly. Then again, I’m glad one of the vampires didn’t do it, because you don’t want any of them having bragging rights moving forward. It would have been great if I’d gotten to kill 40 people on the way to my death; that’s how I would have wanted to go. But I understand we were pressed for time.

    TVLINE | Sookie was given the option of bringing Alcide back as a vampire, or at least trying to, but she said no. What are your thoughts on that decision?
    Alcide would probably shoot himself in the head if he came back as a vampire. Vampires and werewolves hate each other, so for him to lose his werewolf powers and come back as a vampire … I think she did the right thing.

    TVLINE | Even though death is ubiquitous on this show, each one has an effect. How do you see Alcide’s death changing Sookie and re-shaping the direction of the season?
    In terms of the plot, I’m sure she’ll feel guilty about it, because it was her running off that led to him chasing after her. Story wise, it had to happen. You have to settle the A and B plots of the show before you finish it. You can’t not finish the story between her and Bill; you can’t not have her settle the score with Eric. It’s vital to the show to go down that road. And with this show, you want to shock people and show them that anyone could go at any moment.

    TVLINE | As we’ve already seen with Tara this season, dead doesn’t always mean gone. Is there a chance we’ll see Alcide again, maybe in a dream or a flashback?
    [Laughs] Well, I had to go out and promote my documentary La Bare, then go shoot a movie called Tumble Down with Jason Sudeikis. If you’ve been following my tweets and know where I’ve been, you can probably guess the answer to that.

    TVLINE | Will we, perhaps, see you again on another show? Is that something you’re looking to do?
    Well, I’m about to film a new movie in August that I’m really excited about, I just shot that movie with Jason Sudeikis that’ll hit the festival circuit at some point this year and I’ve got Magic Mike 2 in the fall. I missed my opportunity on several movies while I was on the show, which were brought my way because of the show. But they were straight offers that I couldn’t do because I couldn’t get three overlapping days off from shooting. And then I had to go to the theater and watch someone else play it. … So right now, the focus is on film, but that’s not to say that if the right thing came up with the right people, I wouldn’t want to be a part of it.

    TVLINE | Looking back at your time on True Blood, is there anyone you didn’t get to work with that you would have liked to?
    Over the years, I think I worked with pretty much everybody. I was sad that the opportunity to have a substantial storyline between Alcide and Emma, the little wolf, wasn’t explored. Alcide was adamant that he didn’t want to have children because he didn’t want to pass on that gene. But the fact that he orphaned that little girl by killing her father, I think there was a missed opportunity there to really explore something. Him trying to work through that karma by awkwardly showing this little girl how to be a werewolf, I thought, would have been a wonderful storyline. I was also sad that Robert Patrick [who played Alcide's father] and I never got into any kind of depth with our storyline, showing why the two of them didn’t get along. [The producers] had something planned for us, but unfortunately, it was one of the casualties of the showrunner switch of Season 6. My storyline was completely … I mean, there was no storyline. It was just gone. All of a sudden, I was just beating up a bunch of girls. It was weird. I was like, “Come on, man, Rocky is going to be up Adrian now?” I don’t know what was going on there. There was this really textured, interesting relationship in those last scenes with Robert Patrick that were killed. We even shot some of them, but they were junked in order to make this “Alcide is an a—hole” storyline. It was odd. Comic-Con was weird that year, too. The fans were confused, and I was confused, too. I didn’t know why that was happening either, but obviously there was a situation going on higher up the ladder that we all had to bare with.

    TVLINE | After last week’s scene with Eric and Jason, we realized that Alcide has never found himself in a same-sex situation. In your mind, who would have been the most likely candidate for that?
    I have never actually imagined that. I thought that when they had Alcide drink the V at the end of Season 5 to beat up J.D. — which was really confusing after he was so adamant about not drinking blood — that it was going to be Eric Northman’s blood, and we’d have some sort of scene, but they never went there. If they wanted to do that with Alcide, they definitely missed their shot.


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    Some television shows feel like they're going to be smash hits before anyone's seen a frame of footage; usually because of the writers working on it, the network's reputation with its genre, or the popularity of the actors involved.

    Other programmes even feel like they're simply too big to fail; such as HBO's Game of Thrones and AMC's The Walking Dead, which also benefit from having rich source material to mine and a ready-made, evangelical audience.

    But what about the TV shows that felt like bad ideas before they'd aired - or even during their debut season - yet managed to overcome widespread uncertainties and grow into well-regarded programmes it's hard to imagine we were ever unsure about?

    Let's take a look at some recent examples of popular TV shows that didn't initially feel like they'd work, but proved the doubters wrong...

    1. Sherlock

    Expectation: A modernization of a literary character most people associate with a stuffy 1980's ITV drama? Starring Tim-from-The Office as Dr Watson and that odd-looking fellow you vaguely recall from Atonement as the legendary Sherlock Holmes? And they scrapped the entire first episode after filming, started from scratch, and the BBC opted to premiere the first series in late summer with muted fanfare? That bodes well...

    Reality: The show was adapted by lifelong Sherlock super-fans Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, was perfectly cast, and featured enjoyably manic plots full of sharp twists and dollops of tongue-in-cheek English humour. There are now whole Tumblrs dedicated to the central bromance, "Cumberbitches" is a weird term of endearment, and the show's success inspired America to do the same thing and make Elementary. The only downside is that it's made Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch so famous they're difficult to pin down to make more episodes...

    2. Arrow

    Expectation: A superhero drama from the youth-skewing network that drove Superman prequel Smallville into the ground, based on a Robin Hood-alike hero mainstream audiences don't care about (but is essentially Batman with a bow and arrow). And the lead's played by a living Ken doll whose biggest film credit was a direct-to-video Screamers sequel?

    Reality: A brilliantly-paced slice of action-adventure with an impressive ensemble cast who bounce off each other superbly, containing the best fight choreography the small screen has to offer. The frantic pace and general avoidance of genre pitfalls has resulted in Arrow delivering an abundance of surprises to please both casual viewers and DC comic book nerds alike.

    4. The Good Wife

    Expectation: A CBS legal procedural starring Julianna Margulies (deep into her post-ER wilderness years) as a cheated-on wife and mother returning to practice law, co-starring Sex and the City's "Mr Big" as her adulterous senator husband? And nobody could think of a better title than The Good Wife?

    Reality: Stupid and misleading title aside, this is one of the best legal dramas ever made; featuring career-best performances from composed Margulies as careerist Alicia Florrick, and Alan Cumming as gifted spin doctor Eli Gold.

    A benchmark for how modern US television can successfully merge cable-beloved serialisation with the episodic traditions of mainstream networks, it also books consistently excellent guest star actors (Gary Cole, Nathan Lane, Jason O'Mara, America Ferrera, Michael J Fox, etc) who've done some of their best work here. There's even rumours of a spin-off for Carrie Preston's quirky but deceptively shrewd lawyer Elisabeth Tascioni.

    6. Fargo

    Expectation: You're going to base an entire television series on an Academy Award-winning Coen Brothers movie from 18 years ago (which has long since vanished from popular conversation), starring Martin Freeman with a "Minnesota nice" accent, Billy Bob Thornton with a horrendous haircut, and the son of Tom Hanks who resembles his father's Toy Story figure?

    Reality: Cleverly only taking inspiration from the barren look and feel of the chilling 1996 film, FX's Fargo almost immediately separated itself from the shadow of its forbearer. Freeman crafted a compelling anti-hero walking a decidedly Breaking Bad-like path, Thornton was thrillingly sinister as an elusive out-of-town assassin, and there was a career-launching performance from newcomer Allison Tolman as an appealing local police officer poised to crack the case.

    Expectation: A prelude to a long-running franchise that once enjoyed an extraordinary Oscar-sweeping high when Silence of the Lambs won five Academy Awards in 1991, but killed itself by unleashing a poor sequel (2001's Hannibal), a weak remake of the earlier Manhunter(2002's Red Dragon), and an embarrassing film prequel (2007's Hannibal Rising)? And you also want to recast a character everyone associates with a lip-sucking Sir Anthony Hopkins?

    Reality: Against all the odds for network US TV, this is easily the darkest and most disturbing drama around, filled with stomach-churning gore and violence that puts The Walking Dead to shame.

    But it's not just a beacon of depravity, because there are riveting performances from Mads Mikkelsen (putting Hopkins in the shade) and Hugh Dancy as tortured FBI profiler Will Graham. It's so harrowing and twisted that it will only ever appeal to a niche audience, but that makes it all the more appealing. It's one of TV's best-kept secrets.

    More at Src.

    What was the show that surprised you the most?

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    She may be known for recently releasing her first erotic novel— and for starring in notorious sex tape “Back Door Teen Mom”— but Farrah Abraham insists her own love life is nothing to write home about.

    “My personal sex life isn’t that great,” the single former Teen Mom star admits to in an exclusive interview. “We all know that my sex life really isn’t that hot or crazy.”

    That’s why the 23-year-old mom of Sophia, 5, was excited to use her imagination while penning her first erotic novel, In The Making (Celebrity Sex Tape).

    “I just wanted something wild and crazy and I think as women, we don’t do these things in real life,” she explains. “We just need to get wild and crazy in our heads. I’m happy as a writer that I got to take my mind to other places.”

    She says “wanting to touch myself” was a more difficult aspect of the writing process.

    “I’m being honest, because I feel like there were a lot of hot and heavy things that I wrote about and thought about,” she confesses.

    Despite its triple-x nature, Abraham believes her book will actually help teens avoid promiscuous sex.

    “I would rather have them reading erotica or buying a sex toy then going out and having sex with somebody and having that person create problems in their life or shunning them or making them feel bad,” Abraham argued. “I feel like this is a healthy way to express themselves.”

    Abraham’s former Teen Mom costars don’t seem to agree that she’s a good role model for teens: According to reports, Maci Bookout, Amber Portwood and Catelynn Lowell refused to film with her for an encore season of their canceled MTV hit.

    “They feel like she sets a bad example,” a source told Us Weekly.

    Abraham’s second erotic book, The Secret’s Out, will be released in October, and the third, Love Through Limelight, will be published in February 2015.


    Is your sex life great or meh?

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    DC Entertainment is refusing to allow the Superman logo to adorn a memorial statue of a Toronto boy who loved the superhero during his short life before his grandparents starved him to death.

    A coroner's inquest last winter into the death of five-year-old Jeffrey Baldwin caught the attention of an Ottawa man, who was moved by Jeffrey's plight and wanted to pay tribute to the boy.

    Todd Boyce raised money for a statue of Jeffrey and recruited Ontario artist Ruth Abernethy -- known for a Glenn Gould bronze statue on a bench on Front Street in Toronto and a bronze of Oscar Peterson outside the National Arts Centre in Ottawa -- to design it.

    Boyce wanted to see Jeffrey depicted in a Superman costume, harkening back to inquest testimony from Jeffrey's father.

    Before his teenage parents lost custody of Jeffrey to his maternal grandparents the little boy was very energetic and loved the superhero, Richard Baldwin testified.

    "He wanted to fly," Baldwin said. "He tried jumping off the chair. We had to make him stop. He dressed up (as Superman) for Halloween one year. He was so excited. I have that picture at home hanging on my wall. He was our little man of steel."

    But DC Entertainment -- home to the comic book superhero -- will not grant Boyce permission to use the Superman logo on the statue.

    "It was important for me because I really felt I wanted to capture the photograph of Jeffrey wearing his Superman costume and have it as close to that as possible," Boyce said.
    "Basically they didn't want to have the character of Superman associated with child abuse. They weren't comfortable with that."

    Boyce said he was angry and emotional when he first learned of their refusal, but after subsequent conversations with people at the company and their lawyers, he softened his stance.

    "(I) realized that the most important thing is to have a fitting monument for Jeffrey, that it's about him," Boyce said. "To be fair to DC I don't think they wanted to say no. I think they gave it serious thought."

    DC Entertainment would not comment.

    Boyce said the design will be changed to have a "J" on the chest rather than the "S" of the Superman logo. The model of the statue is complete -- except for the letter change -- and is just now waiting for it to be cast in bronze. Boyce is hoping for a September unveiling and dedication.

    One of Jeffrey's sisters has chosen a poem to be engraved on a bench that will be part of the memorial, Boyce said. It begins with the line "I wish heaven had a phone so I could hear your voice again."

    She requested a Hot Wheels car also be incorporated and Boyce said the foundry will bronze a little car and mount it above the poem.

    Jeffrey wasted away to the weight of a baby, locked in his cold, urine- and feces-stained bedroom in the Toronto home of his grandmother, his Catholic Children's Aid Society-approved guardian.

    He died on Nov. 30, 2002, weeks shy of his sixth birthday, and during the coroner's inquest that concluded earlier this year, Jeffrey's plight caught the attention of Boyce, a father of four and government IT worker. He raised money for the project online.

    Jeffrey's grandparents -- who were convicted of second-degree murder in 2006 -- had custody of Jeffrey and his three siblings. Two of them were treated relatively well, the inquest heard, but one of his sisters was subjected to the same conditions. The difference between Jeffrey and his sister was that she was allowed to go to school -- the daily snack she received there likely saved her life, the inquest heard.


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    “I remember the first time I heard the word ‘motherfucker,’” I tell Mads Mikkelsen over a late lunch of chicken tacos and Pacificos at a little Mexican joint in Silver Lake. “I thought it was brilliant.”

    “It is brilliant,” he says.

    This is the nature of our conversation.

    We’d met a couple hours before, at Mack Sennett Studios down the street. There was something very natural about the 48-year-old Danish actor, even as he stood posing before the cameras, flanked by smoke machines. I paced in the shadows, behind the assistants (one of whom explaining to another that she had to piss so badly on the commute that she pulled over and squatted right there, “in the goddamn bicycle lane”) and stylists and the monitors applying backgrounds and filters and effects. I watched Mikkelsen walk back and forth, patiently directed, cracking the occasional joke. He’s handsome and regal, I thought, even though, back in 2011, while friend and fellow actor Stellan Skarsgård was accepting the award for European Achievement in World Cinema on Mikkelsen’s behalf, he playfully remarked, “I don’t admire you for your looks, because you’re not good-looking. You have an ‘interesting face.’” But this interesting face sports the kind of physical aerodynamics made for currency, royalty, the pages of history books.

    (On being voted Sexiest Man Alive in Denmark multiple times, he tells me, over lunch, “In little Denmark, yes. Everybody who’s on television becomes the Sexiest Man Alive eventually. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing the weather report. I did prefer to be the Sexiest Man Alive than the Ugliest Man Alive.”)

    I expected to be nervous, tense, fidgety as a dreaming dog. I mean, in 2010 Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark knighted the guy. But, between outfit changes, when Mikkelsen joined me reclining on a loveseat backstage and we discussed ice hockey at Sochi, we were just two guys on a loveseat, discussing ice hockey at Sochi. I mentioned that the fate of the U.S. Women’s Team drove me to drink. He laughed.

    Afterwards, while standing out back waiting for his driver, Jesús, I fixed his shirt collar and bummed a cigarette.

    At the Mexican joint, finally (trying to get my phone’s map to calibrate on the drive over, I’d steered poor Jesús in about six different directions), we take a seat near the back. It’s quiet and dimly lit, like all those sanctified watering holes up in the widespread wilds of Northern Michigan, the deeps of Montana’s Big Belt Mountains, somewhere in the Yukon, pubs for the unpretentious man and woman, those grizzled ambassadors of the working class. But this is Silver Lake, after all, and the guy in the corner with the waxed mustache is wearing a Mickey Mouse hat and a monocle.

    Mads orders a Coke, I order a beer. Then Mads orders a beer.

    “Before you started your career as an actor,” I say, “you were in dance. Tell me a little about that.”

    “Well, I was a dancer out of coincidence, a little like I became an actor out of coincidence. I was a gymnast as a kid, and there was a choreographer who went out and saw us and asked if we wanted to be part of this musical—they needed somebody in the background to do jumps and flips and shit. And then she asked me later on if I wanted to learn the craft of dancing. So, I did the math: there were a lot of really hot chicks, and not a lot of boys around. I stayed with that for a while, eight or nine years.”

    “Did any of the skills you learned in dance overlap into acting?”

    Our food arrives. Mikkelsen thanks the waiter before answering: “I’m not super conscious about it, but obviously I have an awareness of myself physically. Any character has a kind of energy—he’s either fast or slow, or he’s light—and I think, subconsciously, I’m using some of that stuff without really putting a finger on it. One thing I have learned that is a virtue among dancers is discipline.”

    “Are you something of a perfectionist?”

    “I’m not a perfectionist in the sense that I’m anal about anything. But I do insist on getting some answers if I have some questions. Most people find that nice to work with, but—” he laughs to himself, “—but I can be very insisting, like, this is not fucking working and let’s try something else, you know?”

    “I can be that way with my writing. If it goes through an edit and somebody moves a comma, I freak out.”

    Mads Mikkelsen laughs, a deliberate response, that interesting face softened. And trying to describe this face would be like trying to describe the sky or the amorphous play of water over a stone. His inkdrop eyes could easily be misconstrued as vehement or even sad. They seem to hold in them a certain indelible logic, a set of axioms left there by circumstance, like a scar. It’s refreshing that the guy’s kind of a goofball.

    That’s the indescribable self-revelation great actors possess, this intrinsic something that makes their characters seem malicious (as Le Chiffre, the terrorist who kidnaps James Bond and proceeds to torture him by repeatedly whipping his balls with a roped carpetbeater in 2006’s Casino Royale), abysmal (as One Eye, the mute Norse warrior who disembowels his enemies in 2009’s Valhalla Rising), or vulnerable (as Lucas, the lonely kindergarten teacher falsely accused of child rape in 2012’s The Hunt). Because these characters are representations of us all, and each one of us is a grid of selves, a messy flux of psychic debris. Great actors have the chops to dig through that debris and reflect what, essentially, makes us human.

    One such reflection, however fun-housed, comes in the form of Mikkelsen’s portrayal as Dr. Hannibal Lecter on NBC’s eponymous series.

    “Let’s talk about Hannibal,” I say.

    Mikkelsen points at my beer, which is almost finished. “You’re fast.”

    “My first one always goes fast.”

    “It’s my second one that always goes fast,” he says. “And my third.”

    “You like whiskey?”

    “No,” he says. “Stuff tastes like fucking deodorant!”

    “How’s your taco?”

    “It’s good, good,” he tells me, and then, getting back to brass tax: “With Hannibal, we’re dealing with a man who, out of necessity, is trying to make friends, trying to behave as normal as he can, even though he’s, you know, three-piece suit, art collector. A couple of bells are ringing, you know? He’s exotic. He has a funny accent. But I think he’s a very honest man. He’s emotional, he’s got empathy. But the difference between him and the Graham character (played by Hugh Dancy), obviously, is that he’s in charge, he’s in control. I decide when I’m happy. I decide when I’m sad.”

    “Is it difficult to play such a calculated role?”

    “It’s a decision when he blinks, when he becomes human,” Mikkelsen says, thankfully reverting to third person. “He has no master plan. It’s a decision in the situation that this is the side he wants to show, a benefit from doing this as opposed to doing that. I mean, it’s always a challenge to play any character, but I think there’s a beautiful simplicity in it. I think he can be as honest as you or I, but in some situations he’ll react completely different from anybody else. He decides when to show what. And that’s his whole circus.”

    “Is the goal to humanize this person?”

    “‘Humanize’ is a big word for a cannibal,” he says.

    Hannibal, then, exists as an observer, “the Fallen Angel,” as Mads puts it, who “sees beauty in horror.”

    “His interest lies with Will Graham. He finds him interesting, he’s intrigued. His mission is to become close to him and become friends. And hopefully, one day, show him the light. That would be beautiful.”

    “Or he could eat him.”

    “Obviously,” he says. “I could eat anyone.”

    The meal is finished. We head outside to have a cigarette, where Jesús is waiting to take Mads Mikkelsen across town, to another engagement, something in regards to the Oscars that weekend. And it strikes me, finally, that I’m having a cigarette with a movie star, a knight, the Sexiest Man Alive. You forget, though, that he inhabits a region filled with media attention and public pandemonium, of incessant jet lag and life in hotels.

    “You know Ray Winstone?” Mads says. “Very Cockney accent. We were shooting King Arthur [in Ireland], and then we rented a car and we were outside Ballymena. And Ray couldn’t fucking find his way, and we got lost in this village. He rolls down his window, and there’s this old man, and Ray says, in his heavy Cockney accent, ‘Oy, mate, mate. What’s the fastest way to Rockland?’ And the old man just looks at him and says, ‘Are you going by car, sir?’ Ray’s like, ‘Yeah.’ And the old man says, ‘That would be the fastest way, then.’”

    We both laugh.

    “That reminds me of another story,” I say.“Back home in Michigan, there was this old Finlander sitting on a bench outside a café. This fancy car pulls up with Illinois plates, and the driver rolls down his window and says, ‘Can I take this road all the way to the next town?’ And the old man looks up and says, ‘I don’t give a shit.’”

    Again, we laugh, deliberate responses, each choosing to show a particular side to the other at this particular time and place. And here, standing on a sidewalk in Silver Lake, we’re just a couple of guys, standing on a sidewalk in Silver Lake, discussing two other guys at another time and place, guys who don’t give a shit.

    More sexy pics at source.

    What a great interview. He's so chill and nice.

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    Robin Thicke is having a bad few weeks at the moment, following up the disastrous #AskThicke Twitter PR campaign with disappointing sales for his latest album Paula.
    According to the latest figures, Robin Thicke’s seventh album only managed to make 200th in the top selling album list for last week, selling a measly 530 copies in total in the UK. This figure compares to 25,981 sales of his previous album Blurred Lines in its first week, according to MusicWeek.
    Thicke’s failure to convert the popularity of his hit single Blurred Lines into sales for his new album is not only happening in the UK either, with the record only estimated to sell 25,000 copies in the US, according to Billboard.


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    Dearest Music Lovers, I have heard that Britney vocal link that everybody’s been discussing. It has been impossible not to as there have been many comments directing my attention to it. [I won’t re-posting it here]. I'd like to affirm that ANY singer when first at the mic at the start of a long session can make a multitude of vocalisations in order to get warmed up.
    Warming up is essential if you’re a pro, as it is with a runner doing stretches, and it takes a while to do properly. I’ve heard all manner of sounds emitted during warmups. The point is that it is not supposed to be shared with millions of listeners.
    A generous singer will put something down the mic to help the engineer get their systems warmed up and at the right level
    , maybe whilst having a cup of herb tea and checking through lyrics before the session really kicks off. It’s not expected to be a ‘take’.
    I think that 99% of you reading this will totally understand.
    Whomever put this on the internet must have done so in a spirit of unkindness, but it can in no way detract from the fact that Britney is and always will be beyond Stellar! She is magnificent! And that’s that.
    Sincerely, William

    The vocal track in question:

    Fave William Orbit song?

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    Australian singer-songwriter Sia’s new album 1000 Forms of Fear has been released internationally today, accompanied by a deluge of media reporting her story: she’s one of a handful of the most successful songwriters in the world, an artist in her own right, and doesn’t want to be famous.

    She’s written hit songs for Beyoncé, Rihanna, Britney Spears, and Kylie Minogue. People want her songs because they know they will be hits, in part because Sia’s songwriting craft is infused with intimate knowledge gained from her own incredible singing voice. The clip for her current single Chandelier has been viewed over 51 million times on Youtube.

    In a sexist industry driven by image and obsessed with youth this is an incredible feat for a 38-year old woman from Adelaide who now refuses to show her face.

    In recent performances including on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live! Sia sang with her back to the audiences. When the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) honoured her with songwriter of the year award in June she accepted via a male stand-in dressed in her signature blonde wig.

    The cover of her new album features only its title and the image of a blonde bob wig floating in blackness.

    Sia has been making music since her teens, and released her first album in 1997. She had some success, including with Breathe Me, a song featured on the television series Six Feet Under, but her most significant success has come through writing hit songs for some of the biggest names in popular music.

    The money she has earned and the reputation she has established have given her the clout to get a unique record deal with RCA that does not require her to tour or do promotional press.

    In an “anti-fame manifesto” published in 2013, Sia wrote that the collective public response to fame creates a creature that is “sharp-tongued and lying in wait for my self-esteem".

    And, having experienced this beast by proxy through the famous people she’s worked with, she seeks to avoid it. This evasion protects her personhood, private life, and mental health: Sia has spoken publicly of her struggles with addiction and mental illness.

    Discussions generated by Sia’s choices have focused on issues around fame and celebrity. But gender is also at stake in Sia’s strategy. By performing without showing her face and absenting her image from publicity, Sia forces viewers to listen to her voice rather than focus on her appearance.

    In this way, she turns around the history of women in music. Sia fits into a trajectory of female singer-songwriters beginning with Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Carole King and Carly Simon whose music, since the late 1960s, has explored personal themes in a confessional mode. Yet these women struggled with a music industry that had no idea how to market them without sexualising them or somehow highlighting their femaleness.

    Since the 1980s, some women in music have sought to combat this phenomenon by owning it. In that decade, through popularising music videos, MTV made image central to music and its marketing. Madonna capitalised on this by using music videos as a forum to explore her sexuality and create publicity through sexual controversy, a trend that continues with artists such as Lady Gaga.

    Madonna also made clear that the female body was not simply an object for male consumption but a site where women themselves could explore their sexual desires and gendered identities.

    In the 1990s, Riot Grrrls and Courtney Love played with non-traditional performances of femininity and sexuality, using what scholar Karina Eileraas has described as “ugliness as resistance,” to comment on issues including beauty standards, the objectification of and violence against women, patriarchy and compulsory heterosexuality.

    But despite their challenges to the status quo and claims to agency, women who use their bodies as part of their musical performance still navigate a treacherous line between personal power and a wider system that continues to exploit, objectify, and cruelly judge women.

    In this context, Sia’s refusal to show her face or use her body to sell her music is potentially revolutionary. By disappearing her own image and symbolising herself through a wig that is easily replicated and switched between various users, she refuses norms of female beauty, plays with gender, and draws attention to identity as a performance.

    Sia’s strategy defies the obsession with appearance and youth, especially for women, and especially for women over the age of 30. Interestingly, as the result, she’s received an extraordinary amount of international attention, likely more than if she’d bared everything.

    For women in music and the role of image in music more broadly, is Sia’s the face of the future?


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