Category: Gossips

8 Aug

James Corden and Rose Byrne to star in Peter Rabbit movie

The British actor and talk show host will voice the Beatrix Potter character in a film mixing live action and animation

James Corden and Rose Byrne to star in Peter Rabbit movie
James Corden will voice the main character in Peter Rabbit, while Byrne will play a live action role. Composite: PA/Getty

James Corden and Rose Byrne are in talks to star in a film based on Beatrix Potter’s much-loved creation Peter Rabbit.

The British actor and talk-show host will voice the titular character while the Bridesmaids and Spy star is in talks to join him. The film will be a hybrid of live action and animation and is set to be directed by Will Gluck, whose credits include Easy A and Annie.

It will be a contemporary, comedic take on the source material, focusing on the rivalry between Peter Rabbit and Mr McGregor. The character was previously brought to life in BBC show The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends.

After roles in The History Boys and The Three Musketeers, Corden found fame in the US with talk-show The Late Late Show with James Corden. His recent film roles have included Into the Woods and Kill Your Friends. He is also voicing a character in Trolls.

Byrne was last seen in sequels Bad Neighbours 2 and X-Men: Apocalypse. She will next be heard providing her voice in the Australian animation The Larrikins alongside Margot Robbie and Hugh Jackman, and recently signed up to star with Oprah Winfrey in HBO drama The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

10 Jul

Celebrity shirts: getting the message off their chest

Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift are just the latest stars to use a wordy garment to have their say in public

Celebrity shirts: getting the message off their chest
The evolution of the slogan tee. Composite: Rex/Eagle Press/XPOSURE

The very public romance between singer Taylor Swift and actor Tom Hiddleston has been charted from their first meeting (awkwardly dancing at New York’s Met Gala last May), to an early beach date in June (long lensed, like a photo love story from a teen mag) and then, last week, Hiddleston wearing a “I ♥ TS” vest.

This spoon-fed narrative of Hiddleswift reached its ridiculous pinnacle in Hiddleston’s top – the words, just clear enough to be deciphered through the blurry snaps, declared to the world that this was the “next stage” of the couple’s relationship. In the age of the visually focused Instagram feed, the slogan or image-led garment has become the new press release.

“A slogan on a piece of clothing has instant impact on social media,” says Kay Barron, fashion features director at Porter magazine. “It becomes more relatable than another picture of a pretty dress. It’s the fashion equivalent of a dreadful inspirational quote that Instagram loves so much.”

A decade ago, with the rise of websites such as Perez Hilton, Just Jared and TMZ, the appetite for celebrity photographs increased. The link between publicists and photo agencies strengthened and clothes played a key role. “Forget ‘Frankie Say Relax’ – I lay the blame for celebs’ love affair with slogan tees directly at the feet of Paris and Nicky Hilton, who wore ‘Team Aniston’ and ‘Team Jolie’ outside LA boutique Kitson in 2005,” says Heat magazine news editor Issy Sampson.

Celebrities began to use this blurred private/public space to create a visual dialogue, whether it was wearing a slogan T-shirt, a baggy top to indicate a possible pregnancy, or being seen without a significant piece of jewellery (the celebrity missing wedding ring, a perennial tabloid story). It was perfect for websites: they could editorialise the pictures, creating a story around the garment.

“Before Twitter and Instagram, the best way to get your message out there without issuing a publicist-approved statement was to get caught by TMZ with a slogan T-shirt,” says Sampson.

As the online tabloids flourished, the sassily sloganed T-shirts of designer Henry Holland (who began his career on Sneak magazine, a teen version of Heat) gained popularity. Holland’s designs harked back to the tongue-in-cheek sensibility of Katharine Hamnett in the 80s and presaged the reflective, hall-of-mirrors world that Twitter and Instagram would create. In 2006, when designer Giles Deacon appeared at his London fashion week show in Holland’s black-and-white “UHU GARETH PUGH” shirt, it began a new age of sartorial commentary.

On the catwalk the slogan has never gone out of fashion. “Slogans on clothes have been used as a way of attracting attention and getting a point across (whether political or ironic) for years and years and years,” says Barron. “Recently it has been popular in menswear, mainly thanks to Christopher Shannon’s signature witty phrases or slogans, but that Vetements’ literal DHL T-shirt brought it into womenswear too, and now has become part of their repertoire.”

Celebrity shirts: getting the message off their chest
Rihanna wearing a Princess Diana top in New York. Photograph: Buzz Foto/Rex/Shutterstock

There seem to be three key types of celebrity T-shirt slogans. The first features an image of another celebrity and indicates a twinning with that person: Rihanna sporting a Princess Diana T-shirt, or model Jourdan Dunn casting herself as a supermodel with a top featuring the names Naomi, Kate, Cara, Jourdan. The second is the existential crisis top, such as Ben Affleck or Megan Fox signalling their marriage woes (“I give what I have. I make what I am” and “I need more space” respectively). The third, like Hiddleston’s shirt, indicates their relationship status, like the sartorial version of a Facebook update: Miley Cyrus wearing a T-shirt that sported Chris Hemsworth’s surname, or Kristen Stewart wearing Robert Pattinson’s “Irie” shirt, because a shared wardrobe means true love.

More recently, Rita Ora’s sheer bikini top featuring two lemon emojis fuelled speculation that she was the other woman in Jay Z’s life and part of the narrative of Beyoncé’s Lemonade album.

Back to Hiddleswift though, Sampson is sceptical. “If he really loved her, he’d be posting loved-up, carefully filtered selfies online – that’s how it works in 2016.”

2 Jul

Lindsay Lohan keen to visit Kettering after 'offensive' EU vote tweet

Actor says she is happy to turn on the town’s Christmas lights to make amends for ridiculing it on referendum night

Lindsay Lohan keen to visit Kettering after 'offensive' EU vote tweet

The consequences of last week’s EU referendum are still unfolding for most of the country, but for one Northamptonshire town the decision to vote leave has already had an unexpected perk.

Kettering found itself on the receiving end of a “fierce and offensive tweet” by Lindsay Lohan on election night, as she criticised its voters for backing Brexit.

But in a turnaround, the American actor said she would accept an invitation from the local MP, Philip Hollobone, and the Commons leader, Chris Grayling, to turn on the town’s Christmas lights.

Lohan had tweeted strong support for Britain to remain in the EU and singled out areas that had voted leave, writing: “Sorry #Kettering but where are you?”

Hollobone was so offended that his constituency had been “slagged off” by the Mean Girls star that he took the issue up in parliament, and listed the town’s distinctive qualities.

“Apart from the fact it might be the most average town in the country, everyone knows where Kettering is. It’s famous as the home of Weetabix breakfast cereal, Cheaney’s and Loake’s shoes, and Kettering Town football club has scored more goals in the history of the FA Cup than any other football team in the country,” he said.

“So would you support my invitation to Lindsay Lohan to come and switch on the Christmas lights in Kettering this Christmas, thus redeeming her political reputation and raising money for good causes?”

Grayling joked in his reply that the offer could be what Lohan needed to reinvigorate her career.

“Lindsay Lohan – as a star of child and teen movies a very entertaining actress at the time – hasn’t necessarily fulfilled her professional potential and perhaps now we know the reason why,” said Grayling.

“She should visit the fine town of Kettering and find herself returned to stardom.”

Unexpectedly, Lohan tweeted to accept the offer almost immediately, telling Grayling and Hollobone to send her a direct message with the details.

“Would be happy to light the Christmas tree in # Kettering,” she wrote.

30 Jun

Apple wins patent on technology to stop fans filming gigs

Infrared device would be able to block fans using their iPhones to record shows, films and other live events

Apple wins patent on technology to stop fans filming gigs
Screen saver … a fan films a show on their phone. Photograph: JoeFox/Alamy

The spread of smartphones has created a divide among gig-goers. There are those who like to hold their phone up for large chunks of the show, to capture footage of the band. And there are those who like to stand and watch the group and listen to the music, without any screens in their way.

Now, it seems, the latter group could be on their way to victory in the eternal struggle between the filmers and the watchers. Pitchfork reports that Apple has won approval from the US Patent and Trademark Office for technology that could be used to prevent fans filming or taking photos of gigs on their iPhones.

The patent, headed “Systems and methods for receiving infrared data with a camera designed to detect images based on visible light”, outlines how infrared light could be used to prevent filming: “For example, an infrared emitter can be located in areas where picture or video capture is prohibited, and the emitter can generate infrared signals with encoded data that includes commands to disable the recording functions of devices. An electronic device can then receive the infrared signals, decode the data and temporarily disable the device’s recording function based on the command.”

What makes this relevant to music is that one of Apple’s “perspective view[s] of an illustrative system for communicating infrared data in accordance with one embodiment of the invention” depicts a band on a stage, and an iPhone screen with the words “recording disabled”, suggesting that this – along with preventing filming in cinemas – is one of Apple’s suggested usages for the technology.

Apple wins patent on technology to stop fans filming gigs
Band blocker … How Apple’s new technology would work. Photograph: Public domain

Filming of concerts is not just an annoyance to musicians – many of whom ask their fans to put their devices away at concerts – but also a problem for artists who want to play unreleased songs live, but have to deal with the prospect of those songs popping up on YouTube long before the official release.

In recent months, too, artists have become increasingly vociferous about poor royalty payments from unauthorised YouTube uploads. While technology to stop fans filming concerts would only be a drop in the ocean in this regard, it would end one tranche of the unauthorised uploads that appear on the video site.

Apple wins patent on technology to stop fans filming gigs
An audience member recording a band at a festival – millions of unauthorised videos end up on YouTube. Photograph: Alamy

The specialist Apple site 9to5Mac notes that the technology in Apple’s patent – which the tech giant first applied for in 2011 – is now not the most up-to-date: “It’s possible that the technology described by the patent has been superseded by things like iBeacons, which could conceivably trigger the same kind of functionality more reliably – infrared feels like a rather elderly method of data-transmission these days,” the site commented.


26 Jun

Melanie Sykes admits she 'married the wrong person' as she opens up in most honest interview yet

The brunette beauty, 45, opened up about her divorce from Jack Cockings and moving on in the limelight

Melanie Sykes admits she 'married the wrong person' as she opens up in most honest interview yet
Mel opened up about the split

Melanie Sykes has admitted she married the “wrong person” following her difficult divorce from Jack Cockings, as she opened up in one of her most honest interviews to date.

The 45-year-old star married roofing contractor Jack – who is 15 years her junior – in Sherborne Castle in Dorset in 2013.

However the love story just wasn’t to last as they went their separate ways after just seven months as man and wife.

Now, speaking about the difficult time, Mel admitted she’s been happy for years, as she knew her marriage wasn’t right “two-and-a-half years” before her divorce was finalised.

Melanie Sykes admits she 'married the wrong person' as she opens up in most honest interview yet
Mel and her former hubby Jack Cockings
Melanie Sykes admits she 'married the wrong person' as she opens up in most honest interview yet
Melanie Sykes was hugely honest

Speaking to The Sun ‘s Fabulous magazine about her divorce, she admitted that was the “easy” part, before saying the hardest bit was: “Being married to the wrong person.

“It’s funny because the divorce came two-and-a-half years after realising that, so I’ve been fine for quite a few years. The divorce was good and final.”

Mel admitted, while it’s been a “difficult” time, she now knows it’s for the best.

Melanie Sykes admits she 'married the wrong person' as she opens up in most honest interview yet
Melanie Sykes and Jack Cockings in happier times

However, while she’s no doubt moved on from the rocky marriage – which even resulted in a brush with the law – Mel is keen to keep any future romances out of the limelight.

She added: “Anything that’s going on with me now and in the last few years is mine and mine alone. And that’s it.”

Mel recently opened up with ex-husband Daniel Caltagirone about the “nightmare” of finding a school for their autistic son Valentino.

Melanie Sykes admits she 'married the wrong person' as she opens up in most honest interview yet
Mel Sykes and ex husband

Appearing on This Morning the gorgeous presenter admitted they were struggling to find a secondary school that met the needs of their 11-year-old, claiming the experience had become “hellish”.

And now she’s admitted she feels her most “vulnerable” when she’s unable to help her children – referencing the recent nightmare.

24 Jun

Helen Mirren criticises Israel boycotters

Actor says on a visit to Jerusalem that she is a ‘believer’ in the state, which she calls ‘an extraordinary country’

Helen Mirren criticises Israel boycotters
Helen Mirren was in Israel to host the $1m Genesis prize – the ‘Jewish Nobel’ – given to the violinist Itzhak Perlman. Photograph: Ammar Awad/Reuters

The Oscar-winning actor Helen Mirren said that she was a “believer” in Israel and that she rejected efforts to boycott the country.

Mirren showered Israeli artists with praise and said she opposed efforts by pro-Palestinian groups to boycott them and the decision of some international artists to shun Israel.

“I think that art is an incredibly important way of communication,” she said at a press event in Jerusalem on Wednesday. “The artists of the country are the people you need to communicate with and make a relationship with and learn from and build upon. So I absolutely don’t believe in the boycott, and here I am.”

Mirren was in Israel to host the Genesis prize, an award known as the “Jewish Nobel”. The $1m award was given to Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman for his accomplishments as a musician, teacher and advocate for the disabled.

Mirren, who is not Jewish, has visited Israel several times and has been a vocal critic of pro-Palestinian activists who have called for a cultural boycott of Israel. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) has enlisted the support of Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters and has persuaded Elvis Costello, Lauryn Hill and other performers to call off concerts in Israel.

Mirren, 70, is one of the few actors to have won the so-called Triple Crown, having collected an Oscar, a Tony and four Emmy awards. She received her Academy award for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in the 2006 film The Queen.

She has played the role of a former Mossad agent in The Debt, a remake of an Israeli film of the same name. And in Woman in Gold she played an elderly Jewish refugee who fought the Austrian government for a decade to reclaim a Gustav Klimt painting stolen from her family by the Nazis.

She said her strong connection to Israel dates back to 1967, when she volunteered on a kibbutz, or collective farm, with her Jewish boyfriend at the time. She fondly recalled picking grapes and doing kitchen duty.

“I am a believer in Israel … I think this is an extraordinary country filled with very, very extraordinary people,” she said. “It’s just a lucky … accident in my life that I have had this privilege.”

Mirren shied away from further political questions, but she said she had already voted by proxy in favour of Britain remaining in the European Union.

23 Jun

Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron urge people to eat less meat

Terminator actor and director fronting a new campaign to try and curb animal product consumption, endorsing initiatives in China to reduce meat eating by 50%

Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron urge people to eat less meat
Hasta la vista, meat … Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron on the shoot of their PSA. Photograph: WildAid

More than two decades since the first, gut-crunching Terminator movie, James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger have collaborated again on a campaign encouraging people to cut down on the amount of meat they eat.

Spearheaded by WildAid, the drive has American and Chinese audiences in its crosshairs, and endorses efforts by the latter government to reduce the population’s meat consumption by 50%.

“You have to respect that,” says Cameron in backstage footage from the shoot. “That’s a leadership position.” The director, whose off-screen ecological activism has been detected in the plots of films such as Avatar, said he’d been stirred into action after clocking his own hypocrisy.

“How can I call myself an environmentalist when I’m contributing to environmental degradation by what I eat?”

Speaking alongside Cameron, Schwarzenegger reports health benefits of cutting down his meat and dairy intake on the advice of doctors. “I’m slowly getting off meat,” he says, “and I tell you: I feel fantastic.”

The video, which is part of a wider strategy including billboards and online pledges, features Schwarzenegger staggering through a ravaged landscape presumably destroyed in part by the carbon emissions of the livestock industry.

“Less meat, less heat, more life,” concludes the actor in the film, who also states that the notion meat is needed for muscle strength is incorrect.

The campaign makes curious contrast with a video released earlier this week, fronted by Matt Damon, Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara, lobbying for an end to the torture and slaughter of some 10,000 dogs in the far east as part of an annual food festival.

18 Jun

Salim Mehajer says his wedding video is in same league as The Godfather

Flamboyant former deputy mayor of Auburn is being investigated over allegations council planning decisions benefited him and his family members

Salim Mehajer says his wedding video is in same league as The Godfather

Auburn’s flamboyant former deputy mayor Salim Mehajer has put his wedding video in the same category as films like The Godfather and Apocalypse Now at an inquiry into alleged controversial council decisions.

The Auburn City Council Public Inquiry is investigating allegations some councillors, including Mehajer, made planning and development decisions that benefited themselves and family members before they were sacked in February.

Mehajer was on Friday asked about his August 2015 wedding which involved four helicopters and a cavalcade of sports cars.

The inquiry heard he made an application to have part of his Lidcombe Street closed for the purposes of making a “feature film” after doubts arose about whether roads could be blocked for a wedding.

Mehajer, who is also a property developer, maintained the re-categorisation was justified and offered to show the 45-second trailer to the inquiry.

“A feature film is The Godfather isn’t it, Apocalypse Now?,” counsel assisting the commissioner Paul Bolster said.

“I got my very own feature film, I guess,” Mehajer said with a smile.

The inquiry has previously heard former deputy general manager of the council, Hamish McNulty thought only one helicopter was going to be involved in the wedding until the night before the extravagant celebration.

But Mehajer said he always intended to have more than one and would have included more if logistics allowed.

“Four [helicopters] was limited to the space we had,” he said.

Mehajer, who denied knowing there had been an issue with the number of helicopters used in his wedding, did not answer journalists’ questions as he left the inquiry and got into a Porsche.

On the stand, he denied lobbying a councillor to change his mind about returning half of a $650,000 deposit his company had put on a council-owned car park.

He also denied a decision before he was a councillor not to extend a time limit he needed to secure the contract made him decide to run in the election.

Both the deposit refund and extension of time were granted while Mehajer was in council.

McNulty has said the council originally understood Mehajer wanted to have a helicopter land on a street but was given advice that would not be approved.

The inquiry is expected to continue next month.

17 Jun

Leonardo DiCaprio ordered to testify in $15m Wolf of Wall Street lawsuit

Leonardo DiCaprio will appear in court over claims that the depiction of a supporting character in Martin Scorsese’s fact-based comedy has resulted in libel

Leonardo DiCaprio ordered to testify in $15m Wolf of Wall Street lawsuit
Witness … Leonardo DiCaprio. Photograph: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Leonardo DiCaprio has been ordered by a judge to give testimony in a lawsuit surrounding 2013 comedy The Wolf of Wall Street.

Andrew Greene, a former associate of the film’s subject Jordan Belfort, has claimed that a supporting character, presented as a “criminal” and “degenerate”, is loosely based on him. He’s now suing producers, including Paramount Pictures, for $15m (£10.5m).

A judge has already rejected claims of defamation, but has allowed Greene to amend his initial objection to malicious libel.

Greene’s lawyers have been trying to depose DiCaprio but he has been “too busy”, and the defendants have stated that the testimonies of director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Terence Winter should suffice. But his involvement as a producer has led to judge Steven Locke requiring him to testify “at a reasonable time and place agreed to by the parties”.

Greene, a childhood friend and ex-colleague of Belfort, believes that Nicky “Rugrat” Koskoff is modelled after him. The character is played by PJ Byrne; Greene claims the portrayal repeatedly mocked his hairpiece, as well as depicting the character as a drug user.

“The motion picture’s scenes concerning Mr Greene were false, defamatory, and fundamentally injurious to Mr Greene’s professional reputation, both as an attorney and as an investment banker/venture capitalist, as well as his personal reputation,” the suit says.

The Wolf of Wall Street tells the true story of stockbroker Jordan Belfort and the excesses that ultimately led to his downfall and arrest.

15 Jun

Jackie Chan: Warcraft's success in China scares Americans

Jackie Chan says fantasy adventure’s £156m gross during its first week will cause an influx of Chinese-language blockbusters

Jackie Chan: Warcraft's success in China scares Americans
‘People from all over the world who study film will learn Chinese’ … Jackie Chan. Photograph: VCG via Getty Images

Jackie Chan thinks the success in China of video game adaptation Warcraft: The Beginning could lead to an increase in homegrown blockbusters.

The $160m (£113m) film, which grossed a mere $24.4m in the US its opening weekend, surprised analysts with $156m at the Chinese box office from its first five days in cinemas.

Speaking this weekend at the Shanghai film festival, Chan said the result will worry Hollywood execs. “Warcraft made 600m yuan [£64m] in two days. This has scared the Americans. If we can make a film that earns 10bn [£1bn], then people from all over the world who study film will learn Chinese, instead of us learning English.”

The annual gross of China’s box office is expected to surpass North America, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The popularity of blockbusters in China and financing from companies there have influenced both where some blockbusters are filmed and who stars in them. Transformers: Age of Extinction, for example, was partly funded by the China Movie Channel, which led to Li Bingbing joining the cast and part of the film being set in Hong Kong. Iron Man 3, meanwhile, added footage for Chinese audiences that included the Chinese actor Fan Bingbing.

A sequel to Pacific Rim, which underperformed in the US, was greenlit after it became a hit in China. Pacific Rim and Warcraft were produced by Legendary Pictures, which the Chinese company Dalian Wanda Group bought in January for a reported $3.5bn.

4 Jun

Amber Heard suing man who said her Johnny Depp abuse claims are blackmail

In a defamation suit filed against the comedian and Depp’s close friend Doug Stanhope, Heard also makes more allegations against her estranged husband

Amber Heard suing man who said her Johnny Depp abuse claims are blackmail
Amber Heard was recently granted a restraining order from Johnny Depp. Photograph: Joel Ryan/AP

Johnny Depp’s estranged wife Amber Heard has hit back in a defamation lawsuit against a comedian who accused her of blackmailing her actor husband with false spousal abuse allegations.

In the new suit, filed on Friday against Doug Stanhope in Arizona superior court and his team of 20 unnamed defendants, Heard also makes more allegations against Depp.

A day after Heard granted a restraining order against Depp, whom she filed for divorce from and accused of repeatedly physically assaulting her, the Wrap posted a guest column by Stanhope, a close friend of Depp’s, with the headline: Johnny Depp is Being Blackmailed By Amber Heard – Here’s How I Know.

In the strongly worded article, Stanhope accuses Heard of “threatening to lie about [Depp] publicly in any and every possible duplicitous way if he didn’t agree to her terms” and alleges that his friend “got used, manipulated, set up and made to look like an a–hole”.

Heard is filing claims that Stanhope’s accusation that she fabricated her domestic abuse allegations against Depp to squeeze money out of the actor are “completely false”.

“Heard never undertook any action that could even remotely be described as ‘blackmail’,” reads the suit.

Heard, who met Depp on the set of the 2011 comedy The Rum Diary, is seeking the “maximum possibly jury award”, which she plans to donate to a domestic violence charity in Arizona “in an effort to counter the setback made to women by the defendants’ defamatory article and related wrongful acts,” according to her lawyer, Charles J Harder.

“The complaint alleges that Stanhope is a close friend of Johnny Depp and, as part of a coordinated effort, wrote a highly defamatory article about Ms Heard, filled with completely false, highly defamatory and very hurtful statements,” Harder said in a statement.

“Defendants are engaged in a classic case of ‘attacking the victim,’ in an effort to discredit Heard, destroy her good name and reputation, and severely harm her hard-earned entertainment career, on top of the campaign of violence that Depp has inflicted upon her for years,” the suit alleges.

Heard also calls Depp “an alcoholic and drug addict”, (mirroring what she said in her declaration for a restraining order), while adding that his substance abuse has increased over the years. Heard also accuses Depp of hitting and kicking her on “multiple occasions”. The suit states that he had “thrown objects” at her and “suffocated” her such that she “feared for [my] life”.

“During their marriage, Heard gave Depp numerous chances to get and stay sober and change his violent behavior towards her,” the suit reads. “When she finally realized that Depp was not changing his behavior, and to avoid further injury and risk to her life, Heard took the very difficult step of filing for divorce and seeking a protective order.”

According to a statement from Heard filed in support of the restraining order, the actor alleges several incidents of domestic violence by Depp in the past six months, including one incident in April on Heard’s birthday, in which Depp threw a magnum-sized bottle of champagne at the wall and a wine glass at her, then grabbed her by the hair and shoved her to the floor.

In her statement, Heard said that “during the entirety of our relationship, Johnny has been verbally and physically abusive to me. I endured excessive emotional, verbal and physical abuse from Johnny, which has included angry, hostile, humiliating and threatening assaults to me whenever I questioned his authority or disagreed with him.”

Depp’s lawyers have responded by claiming that “Amber is attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse.”


2 Jun

Showtime lands Purity miniseries starring Daniel Craig

With a fifth outing as James Bond looking unlikely, the actor has signed on for a new 20-episode series based on a dense novel by Jonathan Franzen

Showtime lands Purity miniseries starring Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig is heading to the small screen. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Showtime will screen the new hotly anticipated limited series Purity, which stars Daniel Craig. An adaptation of the acclaimed Jonathan Franzen novel, it received multiple high-profile bids from Netflix, FX and more.

The cable network will screen 20 episodes of the show. According to Variety, the deal is a lucrative one for Craig.

The actor has yet to confirm whether he’ll return to play James Bond. Purity will mark his first major television series since the BBC epic Our Friends in the North in 1996 – and his first stateside show.

Todd Field (In the Bedroom, Little Children) will write and direct all 20 episodes. Oscar winner Scott Rudin (The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Social Network, Moneyball) is the producer.

Franzen’s novel received great acclaim upon its publication last year, with the Guardian’s reviewer hailing its “delicious observations about contemporary life [and] the breathtaking scope of its ambition”. Its plot includes the titular character’s search for her father and her connection with the boss of a WikiLeaks-esque site.

Showtime president and CEO David Nevins praised Franzen’s book as “an epic American novel that pulses with the energy of a psychological thriller … Purity promises to be the kind of taut, long-form, serialized storytelling that is the best of premium television, and is precisely what we at Showtime aspire to deliver.”

As for returning to the Bond franchise, Craig said during the press rounds for Spectre that he’d had enough, and would “rather slash my wrists” than play the role for a fifth time. “If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money,” he told Time Out.

Production on Purity begins in 2017. No premiere date has been set for the series, which will air over the course of two-year period.

Franzen’s 2001 novel The Corrections came near to being adapted for the small screen as well, with film-maker Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) tapped to direct a cast that included Maggie Gyllenhaal and Ewan McGregor. HBO, however, reportedly passed on the project in 2012, after part of the pilot had been shot.

30 May

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's Baby Girl, Jasmine, 'Loves Looking at Daddy's Tattoos': Photo

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's Baby Girl, Jasmine, 'Loves Looking at Daddy's Tattoos': Photo
Dwayne Johnson at the 2016 MTV Movie Awards on April 9, 2016, in Burbank, CA. Credit: Alberto Rodriguez/MTV1415/Getty Images

This would melt the toughest heart. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson shared a cute pic on Instagram on Sunday, May 29, showing his baby daughter, Jasmine, inspecting his tattoos.

“After we feed her, Jasmine just loves looking at daddy’s tattoos. I think it helps her digest,” he captioned the photo. “Can’t wait to one day explain to her what all this means. Chat about her cultures (Samoan, Armenian, African American and Italian). And while these symbols may appear to be primitive, unsophisticated and crude — they’re extremely sacred, thousands of years old and very powerful. My mana (strength).”

“Ironically enough the symbol she’s fixated on is our ATUA (our God) protected by the small building blocks of my life and then by shark teeth,” the action hero, who grew up in Hawaii, continued. “Yuuuuup, we gonna have some good daddy/daughter chats. Until then she’ll continue to use daddy’s tattoos as a place to scratch, drool and spit up.”

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's Baby Girl, Jasmine, 'Loves Looking at Daddy's Tattoos': Photo

Jasmine, who was born in December, is the first child for the action hero, 44, and his longtime girlfriend Lauren Hashian. He also has a teenage daughter, Simone, from a previous marriage.

Johnson, whose father is a Black Nova Scotian and mother is Samoan, is set to star in Moana, an animated Disney movie about a Polynesian princess. He will voice (and sing) in his role as the demigod Maui in the film that’s due out in November.

The busy actor also shared a first look at his character, Hobbs, from the upcoming Furious 8, which is currently shooting.

“When you strip a man of all he has. All that’s important to him. You force him to return to his roots.. and sometimes that’s a very dangerous and twisted place,” Johnson captioned the black-and-white pic on Instagram.

“If I was going to return for another FAST & FURIOUS I wanted to come in and disrupt the franchise in a cool way that got fans fired up and their blood pumping to see a new version of Hobbs and his “Daddy’s gotta go to work” mentality and set the table in a cool way for where the character goes in the future,” he explained.

“Maybe it’s a spinoff movie. Maybe it’s more#FF movies,” he teased. “Or hell maybe Hobbs just gets on his motorcycle and rides off into the sunset never to be seen again.”

Furious 8, which also stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron and Scott Eastwood, is set to be released in April 2017.

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's Baby Girl, Jasmine, 'Loves Looking at Daddy's Tattoos': Photo

28 May

Johnny Depp’s alleged iPhone attack on wife Amber Heard during violent rage 'was not a one-off'

The actress Amber Heard has accused the star of physically assaulting her before she filed for divorce

Johnny Depp’s alleged iPhone attack on Amber Heard was not a one-off, a source close to the actress claimed last night.

The 30-year-old has accused her estranged husband of launching a string of assaults during their stormy 15-month marriage.

Depp denies the claims and friends of his accused her of lying. His lawyer said: “Given the brevity of this marriage and the most recent and tragic loss of his mother, Johnny will not respond to any of the salacious false stories, gossip, misinformation and lies about his personal life.”

But Amber was last night granted a temporary restraining order on the Hollywood icon after sensationally claiming 52-year-old Depp threw an iPhone at her during a violent rage at their Los Angeles apartment last Saturday.

US website TMZ published a picture of Amber with a bruise on her face and she later showed a judge a series of photos with other similar injuries she claims the Pirate of the Caribbean star inflicted on her.

Johnny Depp’s alleged iPhone attack on wife Amber Heard during violent rage 'was not a one-off'
It is reported Amber has filed for a temporary restraining order

The source claimed: “This was not an isolated incident, this was only the latest incident. Amber did what she had to do to take care of herself.”

But police who were called to the apartment after the alleged phone attack reported no signs of injury to her face.

Amber claims Depp went on the rampage and shattered various objects in the apartment.

She alleged she was on the phone to a friend and when Depp grabbed her phone she screamed to the pal: “Call the cops.”

When police arrived at their home, Depp was said to have left. They took a report from her but she reportedly refused to give a full statement.

TMZ reported law enforcement sources said she never alleged any brutality and just complained of an argument. Officers said they had no reason to believe Depp struck Amber with his phone.

According to US reports, Amber wanted the restraining order as there is an “immediate threat of harm”. There were also claims she even has video of one of the alleged beatings.

The judge told Depp to stay 100 yards away from his wife – who has filed for divorce – at least until a hearing next month. Amber was also given the right to live in the family home.

According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, Depp was verbally and physically abusive because of drug and alcohol abuse through their entire relationship.

Amber claimed he showed up “inebriated and high” for her birthday party last month.

Johnny Depp’s alleged iPhone attack on wife Amber Heard during violent rage 'was not a one-off'
Amber Heard leaves court in LA after claiming Johnny Depp physically assaulted her

She claims after the guests left, they argued and he threw a magnum-sized bottle of champagne at the wall and a wine glass at her. He then allegedly grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her on to the bed. She also claims he grabbed her by the hair and shoved her to the floor. Amber said she didn’t see Depp again for a month, until Saturday night. She claims he was drunk and high again and they were talking about the death of his mum Betty Sue, 81, the day before.

The court documents allege he “suddenly began obsessing” about something, got mad, grabbed the phone, “wound up his arm like a baseball pitcher and threw the cell phone at me, striking my cheek and eye”.

Amber claims Depp also pulled her hair and struck her, then she alleged he grabbed a magnum of wine, drank some and then used it to break objects around the house. According to TMZ, the judge rejected many other requests by Amber – including an order keeping him away from at least one of their dogs, saying there was “an insufficient showing to protect the pet dog”.

But friends of Depp accused Amber of making up the domestic abuse claims. The actor insists she was tagged in a picture on Instagram showing she was partying with friends on Sunday.

Johnny Depp’s alleged iPhone attack on wife Amber Heard during violent rage 'was not a one-off'
The couple confirmed their split this week

Reports of the alleged attack comes amid speculation he is a heavy drinker.

In 2013, he admitted to Rolling Stone that he felt he got on with booze “too well”, but denied he was an alcoholic.

At the time, he had not hit the bottle for 18 months, and said: “I just decided that I’d pretty much got everything I could out of it. I investigated wine and spirits thoroughly, and they certainly investigated me as well.

“I don’t have the physical need for alcohol. No, it’s more my medication, my self-medication over the years to calm the circus.”

Johnny Depp’s alleged iPhone attack on wife Amber Heard during violent rage 'was not a one-off'
Amber filed for divorce this week

Depp and Amber wed in February 2015, after meeting on the set of 2011 film The Rum Diary.

In her divorce documents, which were filed on Monday, she requested spousal support but he is seeking to deny her bid for financial help.

He divorced his first wife, make-up artist Lori Anne Allison, in 1985 after just two years of marriage. He split from French actress partner Vanessa Paradis – who he has daughter Lily-Rose, 16, and 13-year-old son Jack with – in 2012 after 14 years together.

Amber was in a three-year relationship with girlfriend Tasya van Ree until 2011.

20 May

Victoria's Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio

Alessandra-Ambrosio-672080ALESSANDRA AMBROSIO certainly made sure all eyes were on her as she ditched her bra at the amfAR Gala in Cannes last night.

The Victoria’s Secret beauty flaunted her perky assets as she took the plunge in a risqué beaded gown.

Drawing even more attention to her exposed décolletage, the model wore a stunning diamond and sapphire necklace which was nestled between her generous cleavage.

Alessandra oozed confidence as she posed up a storm and flashed her enviable pins in the thigh-high split dress.

Further emphasising her long, lean legs she teamed her glittering gown with a pair of black sandals.

Alessandra-Ambrosio-543736 Alessandra-Ambrosio-543734