British rapper Wiley will lead the way at the 2013 Music Of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards after picking up four nominations on Tuesday (03Sep13). The London MC, real name Richard Kylea Cowie, will battle it out for Best U.K. Hip-Hop Act, while his album The Ascent and hit Reloaded are also up for top prizes at the upcoming 18th annual ceremony.
He will also compete with Disclosure, Naughty Boy, Rudimental, and Wretch 32 for the Best Male title, while the Best Female category will be a battle between Jessie J, Jessie Ware, Laura Mvula, Lianne La Havas and Rita Ora.
Meanwhile, Justin Timberlake, Ciara, Iggy Azalea, J.Cole, Jason Derulo, Jay Z, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Miguel and Robin Thicke are all in the running for Best International Act.
The winners of the 2013 MOBO Awards will be unveiled at a ceremony in Glasgow, Scotland, on 19 October (13).
Who better to write a movie about two best friends than, well, two best friends? After all, no one knows the ins and your outs, ups and your downs of the dynamic quite like they do. So, it made sense for Will McCormack and his best friend of 13 years, Rashida Jones, to team up and write Celeste and Jesse Forever, a deeply personal indie romantic dramedy about friends and the trials and tribulations about love and heartache in your thirties. As McCormack explained to Hollywood.com during an interview, on why they made this movie in particular. "All we do is talk about relationships and love and heartbreak, we decided we need to write a movie [about it]."
As much as the titular Celeste (played by Jones herself) and Jesse (an against-type Andy Samberg) mirror their real-life connection ("We know each other so well, we finish each others sentences, we're like brother and sister," McCormack says fondly of his writing partner) the on-screen duo's story is a much more complicated one. As Jones explained during an interview on The Daily Show, she and McCormack very briefly dated and amicably decided on friendship, but in the film, Celeste and Jesse are separated childhood sweethearts who are trying to navigate the tricky, complicated waters of love, loss, friendship, and heartache in your thirties.
While Celeste and Jesse try to cope and deal with drifting apart, the experience of writing the film, did the exact opposite for McCormack and Jones. "[Writing] Celeste and Jesse Forever was a pretty, sorry to be corny, enchanted experience," McCormack (pictured left, in a scene from the film) says, "It was a very bonding time. We both had a lot of fear about being professional screenwriters, so we were able to sort of hold each others hands and I think it was such a formative thing in our friendship. We really supported each other and were encouraging. It made us closer as friends."
It was an experience that was an important one on many levels for McCormack (who, like Jones comes from a Hollywood family, as his sister is actress Mary McCormack), perhaps best known for his work on the small screen on series such as Brothers & Sisters and In Plain Sight. "I wanted to be a writer my whole life and when I was little everyone thought I was going to be a writer. Then I went to college and started acting and I really loved it and writing just felt so hard and I felt scared showing people my writing," he admits, "Then I got older and I got sick of talking about it and it really happened organically.... Now I'm addicted and obsessed and can't stop, but it took forever." (In fact, McCormack's writing partnership with Jones went so smoothly, the two worked together again to write a pilot and a film based on a comic book she created called Frenemy of the State.)
Of course, it's one thing to write a movie with your best friend, it's another entirely to get it made and get the right people on board to make your labor of love a reality. McCormack, who has a supporting role in the film playing a stoner buddy named Skillz ("It's totally an L.A. person. I have two friends in LA whose names are Skills, but we added the 'z'. We took artistic liberty," he jokes), notes that Celeste and Jesse Forever, like so many indies, took some time to get off the ground. "It took four years to get the financing, but it was really worth it," McCormack says of Celeste and Jesse Forever, which after its long road, premiered at Sundance.
While eventually they got an impressive supporting cast on board (which includes Ari Graynor, Eljiah Wood, Emma Roberts, and Chris Messina) it was getting director Lee Toland Krieger (The Vicious Kind) on board as the puzzle piece that made the collaborative film come together. Krieger, who also separately spoke with Hollywood.com about his experience being at the helm of Celeste and Jesse Forever, says that it was a mutual trust between himself, McCormack, and Jones that made the movie work, despite certain things working against them on a small budget feature in Los Angeles. ("It was challenging — and I'm not trying to slam L.A. — in that the great irony is that L.A. is not the most film-friendly place," he explains.)
"I think part of it was daunting, certainly, taking on someone else's material, but also material that is from your lead actress," Krieger (pictured, right) who read the script back in 2010, admits. "But fortunately for us, we had a lot of time in pre-production for Rashida and Will and I to get to know each other and the good part for me was, they knew this story so well and so intimately that if we ever got into a jam when we were prepping it or shooting it, or even when we were cutting it, they'd have ideas on how to fix it or if I had missed something they were very quick to say, 'No we've gotta make sure this beat lands this way.' To have that sounding board in your corner all the time it was, for me, really beneficial and kind of spoiled me. There were certainly conversations about what's best for the movie, but generally speaking, they were so great in terms of handing over the reigns and really trusting me."
Part of what helped form the bond early on, not only as filmmakers, writers, and actors, but friends on this project Krieger explains, was the music. (Celeste and Jesse Forever is scored by Jones' nephew Sunny Levine and his musical partner Zach Cowie.) "Before we got started, Rashida, Will, and I would make each other mixes. We would end up getting together a few days later and saying, 'Oh, I love this song from the mix, but I don't know if this one's really right for the movie' so we started to really know one another through the mix process, he says. "Rashida, for obvious reasons coming from such a musical family, but Will, too. We really got to know each other and get on the same page for what the movie should really sound like. We were always determined, Rashida in particular, to make sure it didn't sound like another indie movie. We really wanted to give it, for lack of a better description, a soulful energy."
So with Krieger, Jones, and McCormack were all on the same page for the overall feel of their film ("I think Lee really understood the tone of the movie. The first time we met with him he was talking about When Harry Met Sally and Husbands and Wives and all these movies that we, of course, aspire to be like," McCormack says) but what about the other half of Celeste and Jesse Forever: Andy Samberg? The Saturday Night Live vet, who is also a longtime friend of Jones' ("They have sort of a built-in intimacy that we have as well," McCormack says of their relationship) seemed to surprise everyone by switching gears from comedy goofball to serious actor.
McCormack admits, "I was not sure [about Andy] and then he read it and I was like, 'Oh my god, he's amazing.' Because he's never done anything like this and he was confident. He read the script and was like, 'I got this' and we all knew he had that somewhere in him, but you never know until you see it." Krieger, who thinks Samberg could bounce between comedy and drama throughout his career in the vein of Robin Williams and Adam Sandler, says of his leading man, "He's just a guy who was so tailor-made for this part. Who else, physically, is better to play the 30-year-old man boy? But then you meet Andy and he's so sweet and there's this vulnerability that eminates from him all the time and this accesability and I think that was critical for Jesse."
In the film Jesse is, perhaps, the most vulnerable of the pair, or at least the one early on most expressive of their pain from their split. But whether people find themselves relating more to Jones' Celetse's stoic, stubborn nature or Samberg's Jesse's hangdog wearing-his-heartbreak-on-his-sleeve, the universal themes in the film seem to be touching a nerve. "For me, the worst [breakups] weren't the ugly ones where we were screaming at each other, but the ones where you just feel like your heart got crushed and there's nothing you can do about it," Krieger admits.
It's a sentiment that's been resonating with those who have seen the film, something of a bittersweet accomplishment for McCormack. "I've had people come up to me sobbing about their love life and it feels... sort of good? Because you're like, 'I know, I'm with you, it's really hard!' People come up to us and tell us, 'You wrote our story'....It is a traumatic thing, to think your life is going to go a certain way and then it doesn't. You're like, 'Oh shit, what do I do?' .... I think people who love it seem to appreciate that we were honest about heartache."
Celeste and Jesse Forever is currently playing in select theaters in New York City and Los Angeles.
[Photo credit: McCormack: David Lazenberg/Sony Pictures Classic; Krieger: WENN.com]
More: Celeste and Jesse Forever Review
Celeste and Jesse Forever Star Rashida Jones: From Best Friend to Leading Lady
Emma Roberts and More Join Celeste and Jesse Forever
Well folks, the day that we've all been waiting for has finally arrived. No, I'm not talking about Oprah Winfrey becoming President (although that would be awesome), I'm of course referring to Kim Kardashian's wedding! By now so many details have been released about the big day that I feel like I was actually there myself. On Saturday night Kim said "I do" to Kris Humphries in a gorgeous ivory gown designed by Vera Wang along with a diamond headpiece for her veil and a long, beautiful train. Her hair was neatly up in a bun and a source stated that "She looked very Armenian, like an Armenian princess!" The altar was a huge cross made of Swarovski crystals, which was seen as both stunning and a bit overdone. A source said, "Kris' family are Christians and very religious, so maybe that was a way of incorporating in religion and Kardashian style!" That sounds about right.
Once the actual ceremony began, Kris and Kim recited their own vows to each other. Sources say "Kris talked about how he loved Kim's hustle and work ethic. They also talked about all the things they loved about one another." Kim's sisters Kourtney and Khloe served as co-maids of honor, both wearing ivory dresses while Kendall and Kylie Jenner were bridesmaids, as well as the groom's sister Kaela Humphries. Basically if your name began with a K, then you could be in the wedding party (my invite must have gotten lost in the mail).
The food was catered by Wolfgang Puck, and included buffalo mozzarella and heirloom tomato salad with basil and tomato chips. The highly talked about cake was a six foot tall black and white masterpiece designed by Hansen Cakes in Los Angeles, which cost somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000 (I hope they ate slowly).
In addition to her main dress, Kim wore two additional ivory gowns during her reception (are you really that surprised?). The second dress was longer than her wedding dress and very tight, and the third was also form-fitting. Each dress probably cost a small fortune, but if it wasn't over the top, then it really wouldn't be a true Kardashian affair. Robin Thicke sang "Angels" for the couple's first dance together as husband and wife and a source observed that "They were inseparable and affectionate the whole night, holding hands and kissing and hugging." The celebrating isn't nearly over with though. The newlyweds plan to celebrate their nuptials again on August 31 on the East Coast. Niche Media founder Jason Binn and wedding planner to to the stars Colin Cowie are throwing the duo another bash in New York. Congratulations to the newlyweds!
Check out the video below to see Kim getting primped and ready before heading down the aisle:
Source: US, E!
A year ago, five unknown guys from Orlando, Fla., went to the Sundance Film Festival with a cheap movie, a neato gimmick and a good publicist.
Today they return to Park City, Utah, as Hollywood players -- the creators of what might become the biggest horror film franchise ever -- and as bona fide filmmakers afforded multimillion-dollar budgets.
Their film cost $10,000 to $100,000, depending on what you read. They sold it for $1 million. It made $140 million in theaters. Maybe you've heard of it: "The Blair Witch Project."
Hands down, the "Haxan Five," as they like to call themselves (Get it? It rhymes with "Jackson Five") are the biggest rags-to-riches story ever to come out of Sundance. Sure, other nickel-and-dime neophytes such as Kevin Smith and Edward Burns have received more critical praise. But none of those guys launched a commercial juggernaut like "Blair Witch," which left most of last year's major studio films in the dust. If not for the festival, the phenomenon may have forever remained a figment of their fertile imaginations.
"Everything hinged on us getting into Sundance," Daniel Myrick, who co-wrote and directed the movie with partner Eduardo Sanchez, told the Dallas Morning News last year. "It's such a validation for our sort of filmmaking. It's like winning the lottery.
"We have these bongos in our office that we beat whenever something good happens. The day we were picked, we partied and beat on those drums all night. Now, we're living the dream, man."
How's tricks nowadays with Myrick, Sanchez and their producers, Gregg Hale, Mike Monello and Robin Cowie? Not bad at all.
This spring, they are set to begin filming their first post-"Witch" feature, a comedy called "Heat of Love" for Artisan. Earlier this month, they signed a big deal with Artisan in which Sanchez and Myrick will executive produce "Blair Witch 2," to be directed by veteran documentarian Joe Berlinger, and they will write and direct a third installment, a "Blair Witch" prequel, set for release in fall 2001. Both the sequel and prequel will be budgeted in the $7 million to $10 million range.
Add to that all their talk show appearances, magazine interviews, the merchandising (including a hugely hyped pre-Halloween home video release, a video game version of the movie, books, etc.), and a TV show in development at Fox, it's been quite a year. Their schedules are so full, they couldn't (or wouldn't) be interviewed for this article (their publicist apologized).
"I think in terms of money, 'Blair Witch' is the most successful movie to come out of Sundance. There's not anything that comes close," says John Anderson, chief film critic for Newsday in New York and author of the book "Sundancing: Hanging Out and Listening in at America's Most Important Film Festival" (Spike Publishing).
But now that Sanchez, Myrick, et. al. are players, the player-haters will inevitably come out of the woodwork. It's already started: After receiving a big buzz-bounce out of Sundance last year, "Blair Witch" was greeted with mostly favorable reviews as critics praised it as an anti-film, a horror original. But as the film became a phenomenon, detractors appeared, saying, "it's not scary," "it's cheap-looking" or "stop shaking the camera already, you're giving me a migraine."
"The reaction was kind of funny," Anderson says. "Almost as soon as it started making money, people turned on it. There's always this perverse critical reaction when something becomes too popular, but you have to admit it had one of the great marketing plans, both by the filmmakers and by Artisan."
That marketing plan began back in 1997, when Sanchez and Myrick succeeded in getting snippets from "Blair Witch," then a work-in-progress, onto indie film guru John Pierson's cable TV show "Split Screen." From the beginning, the project was presented as if it were a true-to-life documentary, and the filmmakers neither confirmed nor denied its authenticity. To maintain a veil of mystery, they made sure the film's three actors, who portray the film crew lost in a haunted Maryland woods, didn't speak to the media until after the film was released theatrically in July.
The actors, Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael Williams, who lent their real names to their characters, have also fared well in the wake of the film's box-office bonanza. All three were complete unknowns beforehand -- they didn't even have SAG cards -- but they spent last summer making promo appearances on Jay Leno, the MTV Movie Awards and other gigs. Now they all live in Los Angeles and have agents.
Leonard has enjoyed the most immediate big-time success, recently landing a part in "Navy Divers," a mainstream Hollywood flick with Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr. He also worked on a low-budget film, "City of Bars," which was shot last year in San Francisco. Not bad for a guy whose resume previously boasted of a few films most have never heard of and stage work at the Seattle Fringe Festival.
Donahue, whose credits included stage work in New York, is now auditioning for films and spends time camping in the California mountains, an interest she developed while working on "Blair Witch." And Williams is also passing out headshots in Hollywood, having moved to the area last year after getting married. He also has diffused a longstanding rumor that he once played minor league baseball in the Yankees farm system.
What's next? Many filmmakers who hit pay dirt the first time out suffer a sophomore jinx, and the industry will surely be watching to see if the Haxan guys sink or swim with their new comedy. Will it be funny? Will it be in focus? Will there be lots of rocks and twigs?
The Haxan guys are being familiarly coy about "Heat of Love," which they have described as "'It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World' meets Ruth Buzzi and Erik Estrada."
"Whatever they do next, they're going to have to try extra hard to get over the hump," Anderson adds. "A lot of people feel like they were snookered by 'Blair Witch' because they [Sanchez and Myrick] were so cagey about the origins of the footage.
"Mainstream narrative filmmaking is a whole new ball game for them. There's no reason to think that they'll be better at it than anybody else. They caught lightning in a bottle the first time out."