Rapper Eve and Keke Palmer have been cast to lead Drew Barrymore's new horror movie Animal. The Charlie's Angels star will produce the made-for-cable TV project through her Flower Films company, which she runs with new mum Nancy Juvonen. The film, which began shooting in Connecticut earlier this month (Jul13), will also feature Amaury Nolasco and Joey Lauren Adams.
Actress Natalie Portman is set to make her feature film directorial debut with an adaptation of an Israeli author's memoir. The Black Swan actress will not only direct the movie, based Amos Oz's A Tale of Love and Darkness, she will also pen the screenplay. The book revolves around the battle the author's mother faced with mental illness and his father's attempts to help her during the 1940s.
Portman, who was born in Jerusalem, will play Oz's mother and she is looking to cast local Israeli actors in the untitled project. It is not yet own if it will be shot in English or Hebrew.
This isn't her first time in the director's chair - she previously wrote and directed the short film Eve, and a segment in 2009's New York, I Love You.
Actor Michael B. Jordan insists his acclaimed new race drama Fruitvale Station could not have been released at a better time - as America continues to scrutinise the verdict in the Trayvon Martin murder trial. The Sundance Film Festival hit, which is based on the true story of young black Oakland, California father Oscar Grant, who was shot dead by transit cops, was released in the U.S. on the eve of George Zimmerman's acquittal earlier this month (Jul13).
Both the film and Zimmerman's freedom have kickstarted a major race relations debate in the U.S. and former The Wire star Jordan is thrilled his new movie has become part of the discussion.
He tells U.S. news show Access Hollywood Live, "It (film release) was eerie timing. It shows that it's very important, it's a very timely movie right now that people need to see just to start thinking more about how we value life and how we treat people that we deem different."
Jordan reveals he has become close with members of Oscar Grant's family after turning to them to help him research his tragic character in Fruitvale Station.
He explains, "I had a chance to actually spend a lot of time with his mum, with his best friend, with his daughter Tatiana - she's a beautiful, beautiful young lady - and his girlfriend Sophina.
"That was the hardest part... because we're asking this family to relive the most tragic moment of their life... (They had to) open up to me and tell me about this guy that's no longer around."
Jordan has become a critical darling for his portrayal of Grant and there's Oscars buzz building, but the actor insists he's already landed the greatest prize - the praise of his character's mother.
He adds, "They (family) saw it the first time at Sundance... and she was blown away. I'm very humbled. It has actually helped the family a lot in the grieving process... I've had such praise from his mum, it's a big deal for me."
Singer/actress Selena Gomez celebrated her 21st birthday in Los Angeles this weekend (20-21Jul13) by partying with pals Julianne Hough, Lily Collins and Ashley Benson. The Come & Get It hitmaker spent her Saturday night (20Jul13) at a star-studded 1920s-themed party hosted by fellow birthday girl Julianne Hough, who turned 25 at the weekend, before heading to Hollywood hotspot the Roosevelt Hotel with Collins.
She enjoyed her own small gathering on Sunday (21Jul13), the eve of her birthday, when she was joined by more than a dozen friends, who all donned party hats and treated her to tacos from American fast food restaurant Jack in the Box.
Gomez shared a photo of the festivities on Instagram.com, alongside the message, "Guess what... I'm 21. UM, turnupNOW... My cake was... Jack n the box (sic) tacos... Yes."
She also marked her big day on Monday (22Jul13) by posting a special message and video, featuring her song Birthday, on YouTube.com.
Directing fans to the promo, she wrote, "I wanted to celebrate my 21st Birthday with all of you, so we made this video for us all to celebrate to. Thank You for all the love and support you have shown and continue to show me. I love you all so much!!
"Thanks to all my amazing friends... Thanks to all my fans for being so amazing and making me want to make this video for you."
Meanwhile, Taylor Swift took to her Twitter.com page on Monday to send her best wishes to her pal, writing, "Happy 21st birthday to my friend, and the closest thing I've ever had to a sister, @selenagomez!"
Gomez's big day fell on the same day Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge welcomed their first child, a son.
Singer-turned-TV personality Kelly Osbourne will wed her fiance Matthew Mosshart in her native U.K. next summer (14). The 28-year-old daughter of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne confirmed she is engaged to the vegan chef last week (ends19Jul13), but revealed he had actually popped the question during a romantic New Year's Eve (31Dec12) moment on vacation in Anguilla.
Now Kelly's mother, Sharon, has spilled a few details about the happy couple's big plans.
During Monday's (22Jul13) episode of her U.S. daytime show The Talk, she said, "My daughter Kelly is now officially engaged and she's planning a summer wedding next year at our home in England."
The bride-to-be has also given fans a peek at her custom-made Tiffany engagement ring by taking to her Instagram.com blog on Saturday (20Jul13) to show off the new sparkler.
Kelly Osbourne kept her engagement secret for more than six months after her long-term boyfriend Matthew Mosshart proposed over the New Year holiday. The pop star-turned-TV personality and Mosshart revealed their news in this week's (begs15Jul13) issue of Britain's Hello! magazine, and in the accompanying interview, they admitted they have been engaged since the start of 2013.
The vegan pastry chef whisked his girlfriend to Anguilla for New Year's Eve (31Dec12), and popped the question in the early hours of New Year's Day (01Jan13).
Mosshart says, "At 2am, when the festivities had wound down a little, I tried to pull her away from everyone. I got down on one knee... we were on a balcony that overlooks the ocean. It was just beautiful."
Osbourne, who had previously told her partner it was her dream to be proposed to in Anguilla on New Year's Eve, adds, "I started to cry."
The couple has already started planning the ceremony for next year (14), with Osbourne admitting she wants to marry at her childhood home in England and recycle the material from her mother Sharon's wedding dress for her own gown.
She adds, "I want to marry in the house I grew up in... we don't want to rush it, especially as my brother Jack got married last October. I also want to wait until my niece Pearl, who is 15 months, can walk down the aisle as ring bearer.
"We are taking the lace from my mum's wedding dress and making mine with it. It's something she's said she'd like me to do since I was a baby."
Thomas Vinterberg, writer and director of 1998's acclaimed film The Celebration, returns to push the bounds of human empathy with The Hunt. Starring Mads Mikkelsen as Lucas, a kindergarten teacher wrongly accused of molesting a young student, The Hunt is a fascinating, frustrating, and enlightening look at what happens when gossip and finger-pointing overshadow the truth.
Vinterberg tells Hollywood.com that the idea for the film was born when a particularly insistent psychiatrist "came knocking at my door." Vinterberg says, "I had just moved into this posh neighborhood and he said, 'You did The Celebration, then there's another film you you have to do.' And I said thank you and good evening."
It wasn't for another five or six years that Vinterberg – in search of a psychiatrist himself — read the files the psychiatrist dropped on his doorstep. "I was shocked by it," Vinterberg said of the myriad cases involving accusations of sexual abuse. "And, unfortunately, there's a huge pond of these cases in this country and they're all even more horrifying than anything in my movie … I never do films for moral reasons, but here I slightly felt a moral obligation towards the kids that are being violated by these kind of cases. You must imagine being a child, being interrogated, being sent to the gynecologist, seeing your mother cry, seeing someone you really like go to prison, ending up with this false illusion that you're a victim, ending up believing it. I find that disturbing. And these kids end up with the same kinds of problems as those who have actually experienced [abuse]. So then I thought, let's do the antithesis of this."
To bring his story to life, Vinterberg needed to find the perfect actors for his two central roles of Lucas and Klara (Lucas' young false accuser). He found them in Mikkelsen and seven-year-old Annika Wedderkopp. To achieve a realistic, natural performance from Wedderkopp, Vinterberg didn't shy away from explaining his film's dark subject material to her. "We told her everything except for anything sexual, meaning that we told her she's been lying about it and that everybody's angry and that she's done something bad," Vinterberg says. "We thought that was the right thing to do because she would experience all this anger towards her in shooting the film and she needed to know why."
In contrast to Wedderkopp's sweet, innocent-looking (but untruthful) Klara is Mikkelsen as Lucas. While Mikkelsen's severe look usually lands him the role of the villain — most notably as Le Chiffre in Casino Royal and the titular character on NBC's Hannibal — he brought a softness and compassion to Lucas that Vinterberg didn't expect. "The character written in the script, he was a tough blacksmith, man of few words, written with a young De Niro from The Deer Hunter in mind, independent and strong," Vinterberg says. "And when Mads came on board I thought, well, you'll never really write a script about a teacher, it's not really sexy. But [Mads] is so much sex and so much manlihood, so much testosterone, that I found it actually interesting to reverse that. I'm glad we did because I thought it was heartbreaking what he did to that part."
The ultimate example of Mikkelsen's — and therein Lucas' — vulnerability on display comes in a scene in the film's third act where Lucas attends church on Christmas Eve. Surrounded by his former friends and current persecutors, listening to a children's choir (which includes Klara) sing a hymn, Lucas breaks down. The scene is a turning point for the film and one that stays with audiences long after the final credits roll. "First of all, we prepared by talking about the scene, what motivates him to go the church. Mads needs to know this is real, not just something for the plot, so we talked a lot about that," Vinterberg says of preparing to film the emotionally draining scene. "We went over and over it, we did rehearsals, and he's just damn good. If any of these things would have been missing, it would not have been possible."
"The thing Mads and I have in common is this thing about justice," Vinterberg continues. "If something is unjust, we really get angry and stubborn. It may even be a Scandinavian thing, but at least we share it. He's got that, Mads, privately as well … A little bit [of that came through] in the church. 'Don't tell me I can't go to church, because I didn't do anything. Don't sit back there and talk about me.' And when he sees Klara and starts crying, I guess it's about Mads' technique. He did that 21 times, each time equally great, every time. He's just really good."
The cast's stunning, effortless performances as well as the film's indoctrination of Danish customs and habits not only evoke a real sense of place but lend the film an honesty. While we know these characters to be fictional, we can't help but feel that they really could exist, that they are living somewhere in Scandinavia's brisk landscape. "When we decided to do [the film] in Denmark, we of course dug into the soil of Denmark, all the rituals, the behaviors, and ways of being," Vinterberg says.
But the horrifying plot, of course, is not distinct to Denmark. "This whole thing about being guilty by suspicion is very present over here [in the States] as well," Vinterberg says. "It's even tougher here; people take justice into their own hands in America. So they put up posters and faces on the Internet of people who've never been convicted. That wouldn't happen in Europe as much, I don't think."
And so it was in the snowy woods and frozen lakes of Denmark that The Hunt was brought to life. "One thing is the plot, the other thing is to create a world around these people and a world around this film," Vinterberg says. "You have to build a past around the film so that when the audience leaves the cinema they know about these characters and feel that they've been there forever and they're going to continue to be there. And that is the majority of my work, to create something that stands out as being lively as possible — and that is all, of course, incredibly Danish."
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Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan's actor son is teaming up with Irish rocker Bono's daughter to make an independent movie. The Hunger Games star Jack Quaid and actress Eve Hewson are asking fans to help them fund new film #Roadies by making donations via their page on the crowdsourcing website Indiegogo.com.
The filmmakers behind the project have set a goal of $7,000 (£4,500) to cover costs on the upcoming road-trip shoot across Los Angeles, Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico.
The cast and crew have agreed to work for free, and Quaid and Hewson are offering prizes such as personal tweets, autographed photos, DVDs and thank-you cards as rewards for those who donate.
A message on the Indiegogo page for #Roadies states, "We are the new generation of filmmakers. We are young. We are passionate. And we are ready to make a difference in the world of cinema."
The man who served as Hank Williams' chauffeur on the day the country legend died has passed away at the age of 79. Charles Carr, a retired investor, died on Monday (01Jul13) in Montgomery, Alabama after a brief illness.
Carr was a young college student when he was hired to drive Williams to West Virginia for a New Year's Eve show in December, 1952.
The singer was forced to axe the gig due to an ice storm and they instead headed straight to Canton, Ohio, where the star was booked to perform on New Year's Day (01Jan52).
But Williams never made it to the concert - he suffered heart failure and was found dead in the back of Carr's blue Cadillac in West Virginia early on 1 January, 1952. He was 29.
Kris Kross star Chris 'mac Daddy' Kelly died from a drug overdose, a coroner has ruled. The rapper was pronounced dead at a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia on 1 May (13) after he was found unresponsive at his home in the city.
An autopsy was carried out the next day (02May13) and now officials at the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office in Atlanta, Georgia has ruled drugs as the official cause of death following the return of toxicology results.
Kelly struggled with substance abuse for years, and reportedly used both cocaine and heroin on the eve of his passing.
His death came three months after Kelly reunited with his Kriss Kross bandmate Chris 'Daddy Mac' Smith in February (13) for a special concert to mark the 20th anniversary of producer Jermaine Dupri's label So So Def Recordings, the company the duo was signed to at the height of their fame in the early 1990s.