Actress Dame Helen Mirren was reluctant to accept her prestigious title from Queen Elizabeth II as she felt it was betraying her anti-establishment credentials. The Gosford Park star was awarded a damehood in 2003 for services to the performing arts and admits that although flattered to be chosen, she was "wary" of receiving the honour.
She feared it would go against the tradition of actors avoiding close ties with establishment bodies, but she eventually agreed to accept it in memory of her father and ancestors.
Dame Helen tells British magazine Notebook, "I was kind of ambivalent about it because I've always seen myself as slightly on the outside or the edge of things. And in Britain, a damehood is very much being welcomed by the establishment... so I was a bit wary. To me, actors shouldn't be too establishment. Our job is to be sort of anti-establishment.
"But on the other hand... I just know how incredibly proud my father and Russian ancestors would have been. So, I took it for that reason and I did feel embarrassingly proud about it."
Top U.S. newswoman Elizabeth Vargas has checked into a rehab centre for the second time in a year to receive treatment for alcohol addiction. The co-anchor of news show 20/20 completed a one-month stint in a medical facility last November (13) to tackle her issues with alcohol abuse, and Vargas decided to re-enter rehab again on Saturday (16Aug14) while in vacation in California.
Vargas announced her return to an addiction program in a statement to The News Sunday which reads, "While on vacation this weekend, I decided to return to a recovery center. As so many other recovering alcoholics know, overcoming the disease can be a long and incredibly difficult process.
"I feel I have let myself, my co-workers and most importantly my family down and for that I am ashamed and sorry. I am committed to battling and addressing this debilitating disease and want to thank everyone who has offered their unwavering support during this trying time."
Vargas is reportedly separated from her singer/songwriter husband Marc Cohn, who previously denied reports suggesting he cheated on his wife while she was in rehab. The couple has two young sons.
Dame Helen Mirren is to return to the Broadway stage after more than a decade to reprise her role as Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience. The actress won an Olivier Award for her portrayal of the British monarch in the play in London's West End last year (13) and now she has joined Stephen Daldry's production at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, which is slated to begin on 8 March (15).
The show centres on the Queen's weekly meetings with British prime ministers, including Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron.
The play marked Mirren's second turn as Elizabeth II - she won an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award, among other accolades, for her portrayal of the royal in The Queen.
The actress last appeared on the Broadway stage in 2001's Dance of Death with Ian McKellen.
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Because time is a flat circle, it’s time to once again sort through all of the casting rumors for the new season of True Detective. Though no actors have officially been confirmed, several names have been thrown around as contenders for the second season of Nic Pizzolato’s hit TV show. According to The Wrap, the current front runners are Vince Vaughn as a corrupt businessman, Colin Farrell and Taylor Kitsch as detectives with a host of personal issues (among them drug problems and abuses of power), and Elisabeth Moss as the female lead, a sheriff with a troubled past and problems with alcohol and gambling. So, just your usual upbeat crime fare.
True Detective would be Moss’ first major role after wrapping up seven seasons of Mad Men. But True Detective is only a one-season commitment, so Moss would still be free to pursue other opportunities, instead of being tied down to one show for several more years. Plus, it’s the buzziest show currently on the air, which is bound to open the amount of projects and opportunities headed her way even further.
Mad Men has allowed Moss to showcase the range of her talent, but Ani Bezzerides seems so different from Peggy Olson that it would allow her the opportunity to stretch even further. Moss’ character on Top of the Lake , Det. Robin Griffin, was also a drastic change of pace to Peggy, but it remained very much under the radar during its run, despite the critical and awards acclaim it earned. Thanks to its surprising first season and the clout that HBO’s programming enjoys, True Detective is a much more recognizable property. More people would be aware of Moss’ work on the show, which means she’s much more likely to finally take home that Emmy. Look at what True Detective did for Matthew McConaughey, and just imagine what it could do for someone like Moss, who is already a critical darling.
But a role on True Detective might not be all it’s cracked up to be. Though Moss would be the show’s female lead, she still seems to be setting up as a second fiddle to Farrell, the show’s alleged primary protagonist. That’s not to say that her character would be any less complex and interesting, but it’s hard to imagine that most of the attention – both on the show and in the press – wouldn’t focus on the movie star instead of the TV vet. After playing second fiddle to Jon Hamm for the last seven years, it would be better to see Moss find a project where she can finally get the chance to shine.
A lateral move might not be what Moss needs right now. She’s spent several years proving that she’s an incredibly talented actress on television, but her films roles, even at the height of Mad Men’s fame, have been few, and have tended towards the supportive girlfriend type instead of anything that made use of her talent. Perhaps it’s time for her to find the right film role in order to really make an impact on Hollywood and audiences outside of Peggy Olson.
Of course, it’s also entirely possible that Moss isn’t looking for another gritty detective series this soon after Top of the Lake. That role offered her many of the same things that True Detective does (a change of pace, a challenging character, a talented cast, awards attention), albeit on a slightly smaller scale. Moss might be satisfied with her foray into the detective genre, and might want to avoid True Detective so that she doesn’t get typecast. Considering the fact that she’s largely avoided period pieces outside of Mad Men, it wouldn’t be too surprising.
Whatever she decides, the truth remains: Elisabeth Moss will probably be fine, because she doesn’t actually need True Detective. She has already built a respected career thanks to projects like Mad Men and Top of the Lake, and now that the former is wrapping up, she likely has her pick of projects. Sure, True Detective would be a great move, but it’s not the only one she has right now, and no matter what she chooses, something tells us that we’ll still see a lot more of Moss. Even if it isn’t on a weekly basis anymore.
Downton Abbey star Lily James is to battle the undead in the upcoming film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. She will play Elizabeth Bennet opposite Sam Riley as Mr. Darcy in the Jane Austen spoof.
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Jourdan Dunn's cooking show WELL DUNN With Jourdan Dunn is back, and although the model isn't in the kitchen this time around, she is having a blast—and inviting us along for the ride. She and BFF Cara Delevingne went and got some Thai food, then got matching tattoos and sang "A Whole New World." Epicry:
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Celebrated composer Judith Weir has been appointed the U.K.'s first female Master of the Queen's Music. The musician officially took over the post from Sir Peter Maxwell Davies on Tuesday (22Jul14) and will serve in the position for the next 10 years.
The Master of the Queen's Music is an honorary title which has no fixed duties, although the holder may compose pieces for special royal or state occasions for Queen Elizabeth II.
Weir says, "It is a great honour to take up the position of Master of the Queen's Music, in succession to Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, who has given his musical and personal gifts so freely to this unusual national role.
"I hope to encourage everyone in the UK who sings, plays or writes music, and to hear as many of them as possible in action over the next 10 years."
Weir is no stranger to the monarch - she received The Queen's Medal for Music honour in 2007 and was awarded a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) medal in 2005 for her services to music.
Indie rocker Conor Oberst has graciously accepted an apology from a fan who made his life a living hell after falsely accusing him of raping her backstage after a gig when she was a teenager. Joanie Faircloth, aka Joan Elizabeth Harris, admitted to fabricating the whole story on Monday (14Jul14), seven months after claiming the Bright Eyes frontman sexually assaulted her in the comments section of an XO Jane article.
She wrote, "The statements I made and repeated online and elsewhere over the past six months accusing Conor Oberst of raping me are 100% false. I made up those lies about him to get attention while I was going through a difficult period in my life and trying to cope with my son's illness.
"I publicly retract my statements about Conor Oberst, and sincerely apologize to him, his family, and his fans for writing such awful things about him. I realize that my actions were wrong and could undermine the claims of actual sexual assault victims and for that I also apologize. I'm truly sorry for all the pain that I caused."
Oberst, who launched a lawsuit against his accuser earlier this year (14), has now responded with a statement, which reads, "I have accepted Joanie Faircloth's apology and retraction to clear my name. This has been extremely difficult and stressful for me personally and for those I love. I'm appreciative of the family, friends, fans, and business partners who supported me throughout this and look forward to happier times as we all move forward with our lives."
After Bucky Barnes donned the Winter Soldier garb in the second Captain America movie, fans wondered whether or not he would ultimately fulfill his comic book destiny and inherit the Cap title from pal Steve Rogers. And we can't help but entertain a similar line of thought now that Marvel Comics has announced a new heir to Thor's hammer. The company utilized the platform of The View on Tuesday morning to announce the news that "the new Thor" would, in fact, be a yet unnamed female character.
"Thor, the God of Thunder, he messed up. He is no longer worthy to hold that damn hammer of his," Whoopi Goldberg, the ABC program's cohost (and clearly a devoted aficionado of the series, if her diction suggests anything). "And for the first time in history that hammer is being held by a woman ... The story behind her is she created herself. She was saved by Thor and she came down to Earth, followed him, and made herself look like Thor and so now she’s taking over."
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Fans of the film universe will invariably question whether the still-gestating character will make her way into any of the string of movies yet to be released. With so many films propped for the future — following August's Guardians of the Galaxy and next years Avengers: Age of Ultron, we'll see no shortage of standalone character films like Captain America, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, the Hulk, and, naturally, another Thor feature — and considering the long arm of renowned strong-female-characters-lover Joss Whedon in the Marvel scope, we'd be remiss to deny the possibility of Thor's double-X-chromosome-laden replacement taking form on the big screen.
And such a prospect would be long overdue. Although Black Widow took a central role in The Winter Soldier, we eagerly await her proper starring feature. The Avengers: Age of Ultron will introduce Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch and an unnamed character played by Kim Soo-hyun into the mix, but will still pack a cast of predominantly male heroes and villains; meanwhile, characters like Cobie Smulders' Maria Hill and Hayley Atwell's aging Peggy Carter take a veritable backseat. A female Thor (alongside Steve Rogers or Bucky Barnes) would be a much needed addition to the formula. Although we don't know much about her just yet, we can't wait to hear more.
Something tells us a certain San Diego-based festival that's coming up soon will offer a bit of insight.
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Legendary U.S. athlete Alice Coachman, who became the first black woman to win Olympic gold, has died at the age of 90. The track and field icon went into cardiac arrest and passed away at a hospital in Albany, Georgia, on Monday (14Jul14), months after suffering a stroke.
Coachman won her place in the Olympic history books at the 1948 London Games, where she competed in the high jump and was awarded the gold medal.
She was presented with the prize by England's King George VI, the late father of current monarch Queen Elizabeth II, and was later invited to the White House, where she was congratulated on her sporting achievement by U.S. President Harry S. Truman.
The sportswoman, who was later known as Alice Coachman Davis, also made history as the first African-American to earn an endorsement deal in 1952, when she signed on to promote Coca-Cola.
She was officially recognised as one of the 100 greatest Olympians in history at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.