Singer/songwriter Marc Cohn has responded to reports suggesting he cheated on his wife, U.S. newswoman ELIZABETH VARGAS, while she was in rehab, revealing he will be supportive of his partner "regardless of the long-standing issues in our relationship". The Walking in Memphis singer is refusing to confirm or deny the story, but admits the last year has been "a tough road for all of us."
In a statement obtained by People.com Cohn says, "I will not comment on what is an extremely sensitive and private family matter - addiction and recovery are serious challenges and... I have been supportive of Elizabeth in the past - and will continue to be."
Vargas, a news anchor for U.S. show 20/20, entered rehab at the end of last year (13) to seek treatment for alcohol abuse. She returned to TV in January (14).
She and Cohn wed in 2002 and have two sons, aged 11 and seven.
Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins made a trip to Buckingham Palace in London on Friday (14Mar14) to pick up a special prize from Charles, Prince Of Wales. The star was handed her Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal by the British royal at Queen Elizabeth II's residence in the U.K. capital and she kept her fans up to date by tweeting throughout the special day.
Jenkins posted a video filmed while she was in the car on the way to the ceremony, and she also added pictures of herself talking to Prince Charles and posing with a pair of royal guards while holding her OBE medal.
In a post on Twitter.com, she writes, "Incredibly humbled to receive my OBE today and to have my family there with me on this very special occasion."
Veteran British actress Lynda Bellingham was also among the stars honoured at the palace on Friday.
Homeland stars Claire Danes, famous for her role in the teen drama My So Called Life, as a bipolar CIA agent that is caught in political subterfuge as she tries to suss out terrorist plots. The Showtime series has earned Danes some of the best reviews of her career.
The Americans stars Keri Russell, famous for her role in the teen drama Felicity, as a Russian spy who is embedded in the United States with her fellow spy husband and unsuspecting children. The FX series has earned Russell some of the best reviews of her career.
So, which shows uses political intrigue, espionage and its former ingénue to best effect?
Homeland is squarely in the present, with Danes' Carrie Mathison chasing down al Qaeda types and getting caught up in schemes by the U.S. government to get people into power in the Middle East who are more favorable towards Western interests.
The Americans, meanwhile, is a period piece, with the action taking place in early Reagan-era Washington D.C. The Cold War is still raging and being a Soviet spy on U.S. soil is still a huge deal… and thanks to the distance of time, the audience can now be sympathetic towards characters that were on the other side of the conflict between the super powers. They don't spend a lot of time giving a history lesson, but sometimes they'll weave in events that took place in the '80s.
Originally, Danes' character was slightly unhinged and trying to prove that recently rescued POW Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) was really a terrorist. By this past season, Carrie was pregnant with Brody's child and she was unable to save her baby's daddy from being publicly executed in Iran. A whole lot happened in between but it's so layered with double-crosses, double-agents, and duplicitous government types that it's not only hard to summarize, it can be hard to follow. The end of the last season had Carrie taking a position at a field office in Turkey, so presumably the show's fourth season will follow her there.
The Americans, on the other hand, is much more straightforward and subtle. The show focuses just as often on the home life of Russell's Elizabeth Jennings and her husband Phillip (Matthew Rhys), as they try to do their jobs of feeding information back to the Soviet Union, while raising their children (one of whom is suspicious of them) and trying not to draw any unwanted attention from their neighbor Stan (Noah Emmerich), who works in counter-intelligence for the FBI. There are a lot of disguises and characters posing as other people — Phillip is also married to a FBI staffer as part of their mission — and the show doesn't shy away from violence when appropriate (in the second season premiere, Phillip shoots up a restaurant and another KGB spy family is murdered). What makes it fascinating, besides the various espionage angles, is watching Russell and Rhys try to sort out their feelings for each other — their marriage was mandated by the Soviets — and their children.
Advantage: The Americans.
Danes gets to play anxious and frantic a lot, which gives her plenty of showy scenes. Her Carrie is a mess most of the time. Despite being pregnant she goes on a bender and she gets prescription meds through her sister. The show started with her fresh off of a suspension for conducting an unauthorized operation in Iraq and the show plays a lot on her bipolar disorder, keeping things off-balance as to when she has good reason to be paranoid versus when she's just paranoid because that's just how she is. First she was trying to discover and thwart whatever plot Brody had been sent back to the U.S. to undertake. Then she tried to redeem and clear him, while also sleeping with him. It's almost hard to tell when Carrie's right for what she's doing — like intentionally sabotaging an operation to kill a terrorist because she thinks it's more important to capture him alive, for instance — or if she's just completely unbalanced.
Russell is all business. She leads a double life but for the most part she's completely under control. Russell is marvelous in using her facial expressions to give glimpses into Elizabeth's soul. Her character is more comfortable with the harder parts of her job, using her skills as a trained spy to get what she needs, than she is with the family that she was forced into. She wants to protect her children, but they're also just part of her cover… and she has a better handle on those feelings than she does about what she feels for her husband. They both can be sexy, but Russell's cool trumps Danes' crazy.
Advantage: The Americans.
While Homeland has the awards and has more freedom to do whatever it wants on premium cable, The Americans has quickly become the better overall show.
Hollywood publicist John Blanchette has died at the age of 68. Blanchette passed away on 4 March (14) in Santa Monica, California, following a brief battle with blood condition myelodysplastic syndrome.
Over the years, he represented celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Bob Hope, Cary Grant, Debbie Reynolds, Shirley MacLaine, Halle Berry, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bryan Cranston.
He also served as actress Zsa Zsa Gabor's publicist for 30 years, and most notably in 2012, updated media outlets about her condition after she was hospitalised with high-blood pressure following the death of her friend and neighbour Elizabeth Taylor.
Blanchette, who was also the owner and president of his own PR firm, Blanchette & Associates Public Relations, also did film publicity for movies such as Il Postino: The Postman, Shine, L.A. Confidential, Argo and Behind the Candelabra.
The parents of tragic camera assistant Sarah Jones accepted an honorary membership to the Society of Camera Operators (SOC) during an awards ceremony in Los Angeles on Saturday (08Mar14). The 27 year old lost her life last month (Feb14) when she was hit by a train while working on Allman Brothers biopic Midnight Rider in Georgia.
Her parents, Elizabeth and Richard, joined members of the International Cinematographers Guild for a walk and vigil in Hollywood on Friday (07Mar14), and headed to the SOC's annual prizegiving the following day, when Jones was remembered by her peers.
Accepting the special membership, her dad said, "I know she is looking down with a smile. Her enthusiasm is contagious and I hope it lives on."
Meanwhile, Gravity's Peter Taylor was celebrated for his achievements in the Oscar-winning space disaster movie, while Don Devine was named best camera operator in television for his work on Mad Men.
It isn't every comedian that can get away with doing an entire interview on The Tonight Show doing an imitation of someone else. Yet, when Kristen Wiig did exactly that — taking a seat next to buddy Jimmy Fallon dressed like One Direction's Harry Styles during his first week as host — it was completely charming. The same goes for when Wiig pops in on her old Saturday Night Live stomping grounds, as when she showed up in a cold open this season reprising her highly inappropriate, small-handed Dooneese character during a parody of NBC's The Sound of Music.
Quite simply, the Bridesmaids star makes every TV show that she comes in contact with better just by her presence, so why should that be limited to just late night? There are plenty of primetime offerings that could use some of Wiig's charm.
Parks and RecreationFellow SNL alum Amy Poehler's show has a strong history of funny guest stars (Louis CK, Parker Posey, Megan Mullally) so the writers would know what to do with Wiig. With Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones having departed, there's also plenty of available screen time. Even if it's just for a single episode, the show could use the boost. We've already met two of Nick Offerman's ex-wives both named Tammy (same as his domineering mother). What could it hurt to have a just as crazy Tammy III?
Downtown AbbeyWiig was just in Will Ferrell's period piece parody miniseries The Spoils of Babylon on IFC, so she should be good with the costumes. Elizabeth McGovern's Cora Crawley is from the States… she has to have a cousin someplace, right? Wiig is just the person to turn up as an ugly American full of dating advice and some "just get over it already" tips for Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery).
The Vampire DiariesWe get it… hot vampires. After five seasons of watching pretty people fall in and out of love, biting each other's necks just isn't enough anymore. Let's say that Paul Wesley's Salvatore has an undead aunt that wants to pal around with Nina Dobrev's Elena… or Katherine or Amara or whatever other doppelgangers she has. Wiig seems perfectly capable of turning from funny to scary in a heartbeat… or, you know, whatever vampires have.
Game of ThronesWiig's pal Ferrell had a spoof on his Funny or Die website that turned GoT into a reality show. The producers of HBO's smash probably wouldn't want to go full-on comedy, but we could see Wiig doing a guest turn as a woman that befriends Peter Dinklage's Tyrion, only to be killed in some horribly graphic way just as he's starting to feel a little bit better about life.
The BlacklistNBC has a hit in the freshman James Spader thriller, but the struggling Peacock network can't afford to take any chances. It's always far better to keep the audience entertained while they're still watching a show than to have to lure them back later after they're already watching whatever's on CBS at the time. The show hasn't done much in the way of name guest stars so far, but Isabella Rossellini did make an appearance so it's not like they're completely averse to it. Maybe the next name on Spader's list could be a woman who controls foreign leaders from behind the scenes using her looks and charm… and maybe, just maybe, she has really, really tiny hands.
Officials at the Cinematographers Guild are planning a candlelight memorial for tragic assistant Sarah Jones. The camera assistant lost her life when she was hit by a train while filming Allman Brothers biopic Midnight Rider in Georgia last month (Feb14), and now there are special plans to honour the 27 year old.
Members of the International Cinematographers Guild are staging a walk and vigil in Hollywood on Friday (07Mar14).
Jones' grieving parents, Elizabeth and Richard, will attend.
Meanwhile, ICG president Steven Poster has issued a statement about the tragedy. It reads: "I hope that the lesson the industry takes from this awful tragedy is that there can be no short cuts in the workplace. A person's life is infinitely more important than a production's schedule or budget. Safety has to be the number one priority in our industry."
The Society of Camera Operators is also planning a tribute to Jones on Saturday (08Mar14).
Dame Judi Dench is set to skip the Oscars due to her filming schedule, according to reports. The British veteran is nominated for the Best Actress award alongside Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep for her turn as an Irish mother searching for her adopted son in Philomena.
Unlike her competitors, Dench has been missing from the awards season campaign trail after undergoing a knee replacement operation, and now she is reportedly set to miss out on Hollywood's biggest night.
The actress is currently in India filming the sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and sources suggest the long-haul trip to Los Angeles for the prizegiving would be too much for the 79 year old.
Her daughter, Flinty Williams, also admits she is unsure about her mother's plans, telling Britain's Daily Telegraph, "Honestly, I don't know. She has been hard at work in India making the sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and I am not sure if she is going to fly from there to the States. It has been a few days since we have spoken."
Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, whose studio produced Philomena, recently admitted Dench's health woes have put her at risk of missing out on awards, saying, "Honestly, it's been tough for her, health-wise, and she hasn't done the kind of campaigning the others have.
"Cate Blanchett has had the luxury of being in a lot of places... Amy Adams has been very visible at awards shows and everything else."
Dench has been nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award four times before, for Mrs. Brown, Iris, Mrs Henderson Presents and Notes on a Scandal, while she won the Best Supporting Actress prize for her appearance as Queen Elizabeth I in 1998's Shakespeare in Love.
Paramount via Everett Collection
Kate Winslet has given some amazing performances. She's brilliant as a depressed suburbanite in Little Children (2006), as a depressed suburbanite in Revolutionary Road (2008), and as a depressed suburbanite in the recently released Labor Day (2013).
Admirers of Winslet often place her alongside Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, and Nicole Kidman as one of the best actresses of her generation. She's received many awards and nominations, including a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in The Reader (2008) as a depressed woman who might as well live in the suburbs. All of this leads to the question: is Kate Winslet overrated?
When we measure greatness in acting, we should consider versatility. Winslet has acted in over 20 movies and she's played some variation of sorrow in the majority of them. In addition to the aforementioned films, she's acted in Sense and Sensibility (1995), Jude (1996), Titanic (1997), and Finding Neverland (2004).
It seems that there are two roles that Winslet often plays. The first is the depressed woman who struggles to find happiness in contemporary suburban America. The second is the depressed woman who struggles to find happiness in a different time period.
Winslet supporters may cite the lack of female roles as a defense, and claim that Winslet is merely doing the best she can with what she's given. If this is so, then what do we make of Blanchett's diverse performances as Queen Elizabeth, Bob Dylan, and the living trainwreck that is Jasmine French? What about Nicole Kidman as Suzanne Stone, Virginia Woolf, and Charlotte Bless?
Winslet has indeed been fantastic in many films, but the difference between her and other great actresses like Blanchett and Kidman is that Winslet hasn't shown her versatility. With the exception of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and Carnage (2011), two vastly underrated Winslet performances, she's played the same, sad woman time and time again.
Here's hoping that Winslet does something different in her next film.
What do you think?
The co-workers of a crew member who was killed in a train accident on the set of the upcoming Allman Brothers biopic have launched a petition to have her added to the Academy Awards' In Memoriam' segment this weekend (02Mar14). Sarah Elizabeth Jones, a 27-year-old camera assistant, was struck and killed while on the site of a railroad trestle in Wayne County, Georgia last week (20Feb14). Seven others were also hurt in the accident, which took place days before filming on Midnight Rider was due to begin.
Following the tragedy, several of her friends set up a Facebook.com page to share pictures and memories about Jones and now they have launched a petition to have her saluted at the Oscars on Sunday (02Mar14).
A message on ThePetitionSite.com reads, "Sarah Elizabeth Jones was a West Columbia native who died last week while filming a movie in South Georgia. Only 27 years old, Sarah's promising life was cut short when she was struck by a train while working...
"Crew members are the unsung heroes of film and television production who work long hours... for the love of filmmaking. Sarah Elizabeth Jones was one of us. We ask for Sarah Elizabeth Jones' love and passion for filmmaking be acknowledged on the grandest stage of all, The Academy Awards."
The petition has garnered over 29,000 signatures to date and will be submitted to Academy bosses for consideration on Friday (28Feb14).
Meanwhile, production on the movie, which had been due to begin on Monday (24Feb14), has been halted.
A spokesperson for the production company Film Allman tells Deadline.com, "In light of the tragic loss, we have decided to put the production of Midnight Rider on hold."
Midnight Rider is based on Gregg Allman's New York Times bestselling biography My Cross To Bear.