In today's corgi news, one of everyone's favorite short-legged dogs has been fired from her co-starring duties in the West End alongside Helen Mirren. Seven-year-old Lizzy was set to play one of Queen Elizabeth's famed canine companions in The Audience, which stars Mirren. After 16 failed attempts to hit her mark, however, Lizzy had to be let go.
According to The Telegraph, Lizzy was supposed to run across the stage on Mirren's cue — but over a dozen times during previews, she just sat in the wings. Fail to run onstage once, you're a dog who missed a command. Fail to run onstage 16 times, and you're a stubborn mutt who may not be set out for showbiz.
Stephen Daldry, The Audience's director, says of Lizzy's disobedience, "She was excited the first three times, and then I think she decided she didn’t want to be an actress any more. She decided to retire from the British stage."
RELATED: Grumpy Cat Snacks on Filet Mignon at Photo Shoot
Lizzy has now been replaced by fellow corgi Coco, who managed a flawless debut on Saturday after only 20 minutes of rehearsal.
With her new replacement set, Lizzy is now happy to leave the bright lights for a more sedate lifestyle. “Now she’s back home, a resting actress, resting by the fire," Daldry tells The Telegraph.
But what could have caused Lizzy's sudden reluctance to act? According to trainer Des Jordan, of Animal Actors (Lizzy's agency — yes, she has an agency), Lizzy may have been put out by her co-star. Not, Mirren, but five-year-old corgi Rocky.
"Because Lizzy was older, she was not as fast as Rocky, so he was first to the treats," Jordan says of the dogs' ability to reach the rewards waiting for them in the wings. "There may have been a bit of jealousy involved," he adds.
RELATED: Tom Hardy and the Puppy: A Story of Friendship
While we may be wont to shake our heads at Lizzy's sloth — what, was running 40 feet simple not worth it for fewer than five treats? — who knows what our most esteemed canine stars would do if faced with a younger companion? Did Lassie ever have to race some other collie to rescue Timmy from the well? Rin Tin Tin was never forced to battle another dog for screen time.
Somehow, however, Scooby Doo managed to make it work when Scrappy was introduced. Seems there were plenty of Scooby Snacks to go around.
Follow Abbey On Twitter @AbbeyStone
[Photo Credit: Dan Wooller/Rex USA; Barry Wong/Getty Images]
You Might Also Like:Topanga's Revealing Lingerie Shoot: Hello '90s! Stars Who Have Lost Roles For Being Too Hot (Celebuzz)
Silver Linings Playbook star Jennifer Lawrence is golden. Not only because she scored a Golden Globe win for her performance in the David O. Russell dramedy, but because she's quickly establishing herself as one of the most charming actresses this side of Emma Stone. And, with her debut appearance on Saturday Night Live, Lawrence continued to prove she could balance between genres. Drama, teen franchise, indie, sketch comedy —Lawrence's playbook is indeed golden.
Speaking of things golden, SNL's cold open centered on one of the most talked-about figures from Sunday's awards show: Jodie Foster, played by the increasingly valuable but criminally underused Kate McKinnon. While poking fun at the actress' quasi-coming-out speech, in which the actress paid tribute to "the voices of reason in my life: Robert Downey Jr. and Mel Gibson," the sketch hit its high mark, with McKinnon stealing the spotlight from Jason Sudeikis, as a far-from-contrite Lance Armstrong, and Bobby Moynihan, as a wide-eyed Manti Te'o.
And it turns out the Golden Globes gave SNL plenty of milage, with Lawrence's monologue centering on audience's misunderstanding of her acceptance speech. With some viewers believing Lawrence was slamming Meryl Streep — "I beat Meryl" was actually a First Wives Club reference — the actress continued the Oscar smack talk during her monologue, slamming Jessica Chastain ("More like, Jessica Chas-ain't-winning-no-Oscar-on-my-watch!") and even 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis. ("You think you can beat me? Whatchu talkin' bout, Wallis?") Though the one-liners (and Bill Hader's stoic Tommy Lee Jones) impressed, Lawrence's busy schedule seemed to hold her back during the monologue — if she were relying on the cue cards anymore, you could call her Lindsay Lohan.
Lawrence seemed to hit her stride during SNL's inevitable Hunger Games sketch, which still left a bit to be desired for fans of the dystopian teen franchise. Though Lawrence played along well — making fun of her height-challenged co-star, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta — the post-game press conference concept relied too much on the sketch's secondary characters (reporters that don't exist in the books) than the primary beloved stars. Though Jay Pharoah's question to Peeta — "Have you been using performance-reducing drugs?" — did get some appreciation from the Armstrong-overdosed audience.
The actress' journey on Saturday Night Live continued with a pre-taped Hobbit bit that would have been much funnier if The Onion hadn't already written it a month before. (Though who doesn't identify with frustration surrounding Peter Jackson's insistence on filming in "s**t-vision"?)
Still, in Studio 8H, it played better than the next sketch, which starred Lawrence as a bona fide nasty waitress in an Ed Debevics-esque restaurant. That said, anyone who ever frequented Debevics and was privy to their patented lame insults would appreciate a waitress with real sass — one that told diners, "You peaked in high school, and now you'll sleep with anyone who asked."
But before you insult any jokes from this week's Weekend Update, Moynihan would beat you to it. Playing recurring character second-hand newsman Anthony Crispino, even the SNL cast member had to scoff at his own rib that "they have to raise the Depp ceiling" after Johnny Depp outgrew his mansion. (Cue: Sad trombone.) Seth Meyers, however, made up for the grown-worthy appearance with a zinger about Ann Romney's rumored (and debunked) casting on Dancing With the Stars: "She's probably not a good fit for the show anyway, because I've heard of her."
The next sketch parodied another beloved reality show, Top Chef, but in a world where dogs were allowed to compete. Relying heavily on puns (Padma Leash Me, Tom Collie-Cio, and a Crocks-wearing Mario Barktali were stars of the sketch), the skit was one of those that seemed born out of exhausted writers' rooms at midnight. Still, Lawrence worked, well, like a dog to help the sketch translate, proving to be more committed than the most loyal of pups.
Her commitment to the material only continued in the next sketch, which took place in Taran Killam and Moynihan's recurring Shakopee, Minn., radio station. Though predictable, Lawrence's rapping intern — who couldn't even rhyme "issues" with "tissues" during a flu-themed verse — was sick enough to sell the sketch.
But not quite as sick as "Danielle," a sketch parodying sex-fueled fare you'd find while channel-surfing late-night French TV. One of those wonderful skits that's not as funny as it is strange, "Danielle" delighted if only because it was easy to imagine SNL's writers wondering if they could pull off something so ridiculous. So, did they? Hardly — at least not as much as the following sketch, centered on the correspondences between a Civil War-era woman and her brazen fiancé (the underused Tim Robinson) who constantly demanded "a tit pic or something."
The final sketch earned plenty of chuckles, but it's unfortunate that the night's funniest sketch occurred in the first 10 minutes, sans Lawrence. Poking fun at Starbucks' spelling-plagued employees, the commercial for the Starbucks Verismo proved the coffee maker will mistake your simple name for something ridiculous, and complain to its co-worker Verquonica when it gets your order wrong. The faux-commercial served as a shot of caffeine to the episode which could have used a jolt much later.
Still, Hunger Games star Lawrence was easy to digest in the comedy genre, helping elevate rusty, post-vacation writers' bits to laugh-out-loud status. And the experience in live TV should do Lawrence good — after all, she has to prepare for the moment she accepts Oscar gold in real time.
[Image Credit: NBC]
Jennifer Lawrence and Jason Sudeikis In: Silverday Night Livenings Playbook! — VIDEO
You Don't Own Her: Jennifer Lawrence Channeled 'First Wives Club' In Her Acceptance Speech
From Our Partners:
Craziest Celebrity Swimsuits (Celebuzz)
Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)
Two decades ago Burt Reynolds made a mark with The Longest Yard a not great but entertaining football movie that melded comedy with violence. Mean Machine attempts to do the same but with far less success. "Mean Machine" is the nickname of Danny Meehan (Vinnie Jones from Guy Ritchie's Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch) a onetime soccer star turned reprobate drunk who fell from grace when he intentionally threw a major international match. After he beats up a couple of cops in a drunken rage Danny's given a three-year sentence in one of England's toughest prisons. There he meets your standard garden-variety group of inmates: the big-time crook who runs the place the wise old lifer the jolly bumbler the wily con the grouchy black inmate whose respect must be earned a sadistic and dishonest lot of jailers--the list goes on. The corrupt prison head (David Hemmings) wants Danny to take charge of the guards' soccer team and get them ready for the upcoming season; knowing that's the wrong side to be on in this lockup Danny suggests he organize the inmates for a match against the guards. (A footnote: Can ya guess what they dub their team? Yep Mean Machine). What follows is an all-too-predictable tale in which Danny must win over the prisoners to create a united team the Mean Machine must succeed by a hair in the Big Match and Danny must travel the road to moral self-improvement.
However much Vinnie Jones is liked for his roles in various Guy Ritchie films he ought to think about what he can do to break out of the grim tough-limey bit especially when he's required to do a little real acting. His Danny is supposed to be something of a thinker with more going on behind his dour demeanor. Featuring pretty much two expressions throughout the movie dour and dourer there's not much to Vinnie's performance. (At least Burt Reynolds had some charisma.) If it feels like we've seen all these guys playing the same characters in other recent movies it's because we have. Since the idea of doing this remake came from Matthew Vaughn producer of numerous Ritchie movies the usual Brit suspects reappear along with Jones: Snatch's Jason Statham as a wild and crazy prisoner-turned-goalie Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' Jason Flemyng as the inmate who provides most of the movie's laughs and Lock's Vas Blackwood as Danny's right-hand man. Nobody stands out nobody steals the show--unless it's Hemmings' silver handlebar-lookin' eyebrows that are so long they seem to reach for the sky in every scene. (Ralph Brown though is quite effective as the underhanded head warden.)
The problem with this movie in addition to the clichéd characters rote story and mediocre performances is that soccer inherently isn't as violent and interesting to American audiences as our much more familiar sport of football. There's just something about a bunch of massive glowering linebackers brutally crunching helmets during a scrimmage or taking down a running back in a punishing tackle that you just don't get out of a soccer movie no matter how aggressive and dramatic you try to make it. Director Barry Skolnick throws in a couple of overly violent moments during the movie to make up for this but relies on a lot of slo-mo as the players dribble down the field and go for goals during the big showdown between the inmates and the guards. Yawn. Skolnick tried to capture the essence of a Guy Ritchie movie--herky-jerky camerawork edgy stylistics--but somehow it still feels rote and uninspired. However the film does give you a terrific sense of the isolation and dank dreariness of prison life (Machine was filmed in one of England's oldest prisons).
This is a tough one to judge. You never get any explanation of who these people are or why they do what they do; if you don't know the video game you're basically thrown into Tomb Raider blind. Just go with it and figure it'll all make sense eventually. It does--for the most part. Lara Croft (Jolie) who is carrying on her deceased father's (Jon Voight) work as an English archaeologist/antiquities hunter uncovers an ancient puzzle that she must solve before it's too late. Centuries before a mysterious otherworldly object with a godlike power to alter time was split in two and the pieces buried in tombs on opposite ends of the earth. Jolie must race against time to find both halves of the object and destroy it before a leader of an evil secret society (Iain Glen) gets his hands on it.
With her long dark braid and impossible figure (thanks to some stuffing up top) Jolie certainly is a dead ringer for über-heroine Croft. Her hoity-toity monotone Brit accent is sporadic and fleeting; she slips in and out of it as often and easily as she does impending death. Our globetrotting superwoman switches languages as needed winning over Buddhist monks and little Mongolian girls in the process (tell me please how she wears a T-shirt while dog sledding in Siberia while everyone else is bundled up in parkas? That bra must've been padded with Thinsulate). Jolie can kick butt with the best of 'em but she's tiresome. All arch looks and badass 'tude this Kelly-LeBrock-for-the-new-millennium is not terribly much fun. Granted Croft has serious work to do but a little lightheartedness goes a long way. Raiders of the Lost Ark this ain't.
Given that there's little story line acted out by characters with whom it's hard to connect since you have no idea who they are the movie surprisingly manages to keep your attention for a couple hours. Then again that could be due to the tremendous and seemingly never-ending clamor on screen where every few seconds a hailstorm of bullets showers the scene or really big things are happening--gargantuan rock statues turn into sword-wielding CGI beasts enormous retro-futuristic contraptions like something out of Brazil materialize from the earth beams of light descend from the distant beyond. Or maybe it's just the mesmerizing effect of waiting for Jolie's lips to crawl across her face like two fat slugs going after the magic jasmine Daddy Croft told Lara about.