The African-American stars of TV hit Orange Is The New Black are set to be honoured by bosses at Essence magazine. Adrienne Moore, Danielle Brooks, Lorraine Toussaint, Samira Wiley, Vicky Jeudy, Uzo Aduba and Laverne Cox will be feted with the Black Women in Hollywood Vanguard Award at the Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon on (19Feb15) in California.
This year's honours will mark the first time the accolades have been given to a group, instead of an individual.
Orange Is The New Black star Samira Wiley was named the Ingenue of the Year at the Out100 2014 awards event in New York City on Thursday (20Nov14). Wiley was supported by her girlfriend Lauren Morelli and co-star Danielle Brooks at the gala.
Juno star Ellen Page has been honoured as Out Magazine's Entertainer of the Year for her bravery in 'coming out' earlier this year (14).
The actress declared her sexuality during a speech at the Human Rights Campaign's Time To Thrive conference in Las Vegas on Valentines Day (14Feb14). Page has now been awarded for her bravery by editors of the gay magazine, who have named her Entertainer of the Year and featured her on one of four celebrity covers for the publication's annual OUT100 double issue.
Page tells the publication, "No one's ever been so direct as to say, 'You're gay, so we're gonna hide it.' But there's an unspoken thing going on. (People) believe it's the right thing to do for your career. They don't realize it's eroding your soul. It was eventually about me being like, 'Wait, why am I listening to that? At what point did I let those things become important?'"
British singer Sam Smith was named Breakout of the Year, actor Zachary Quinto was awarded Artist of the Year and Orange is the New Black actress Samira Wiley received Ingenue of the Year.
The stars all feature on the magazine's other three covers.
Actor Adam Driver is hosting a special reading of a play to benefit the Armed Forces in honour of America's Veterans Day (11Nov14). The Girls star is the co-founder of Arts in the Armed Forces (AITAF), an organisation which stages performances for military personnel.
Ahead of the national holiday, Driver is hosting and co-producing a live reading of playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis' dark comedy Our Lady of 121st Street on Monday night (10Nov14).
Sam Gold, a Broadway stalwart who helmed the current production of The Real Thing featuring Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal, is directing the reading, with actors including Justin Long, Amy Ryan and Orange is the New Black star Samira Wiley included in the cast.
Driver tells Entertainment Weekly the cause is extremely close to his heart because he turned to the arts following a medical discharge from the Marines - a career move that changed his life forever.
He says, "Having been exposed to theatre in my post-military life, I know what a powerful tool for self-expression it can be. In my platoon, I often saw how violence came from those who couldn't express themselves and regretted that the people I served with weren't made aware that language can be as valuable a tool as the rifle on their shoulder. If people take nothing else from Monday's event other than that, I'll consider it a huge success."
Proceeds from the event will go towards the AITAF's upcoming holiday tour to U.S. bases in Asia in December (14).
An Orange Is The New Black writer who realised she was gay on the set of the hit prison drama has filed for divorce after falling in love with one of the show's stars. Lauren Morelli and her husband, Steve Basilone, have jointly filed to end their two-year marriage just three months after she opened up about her sexuality in an essay she wrote for Identities.Mic in May (14).
Morelli wrote, "I realized I was gay in fall 2012, one of my first days on the set. While Writing for Orange Is the New Black, I Realized I Am Gay.
"Five months after my wedding, I flew to New York to start production on my first episode of Orange, and from that moment on my life fell into a parallel rhythm with (lead characters) Piper's story in a way that went from interesting to terrifying in a matter of months."
It took an intimate scene between lesbian characters Alex Vause (Laura Prepon) and Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) for Morelli to really come to terms with her sexuality.
She adds, "I was nervous about the first love scene I'd written for Alex and Piper. I loved writing it, loved watching a tenderness emerge in their relationship where passion always seemed to be the ruling principle, but by that time, I was so deep in my own self-doubt that I constantly felt like a fraud. I was sure it was bleeding into my writing. How could it not? I was married to a man, but I wasn't straight."
Since coming out, she has been snapped holding hands and kissing Samira Wiley, who plays frustrated lesbian character Poussey Washington on the show, and the new couple has posted shots of themselves together on Instagram.com.
A writer behind hit prison drama Orange Is The New Black has filed for divorce from her husband and struck up a relationship with one of the show's stars.
Lauren Morelli has separated from her spouse of two years, Steve Basilone, and is now reportedly dating actress Samira Wiley, who plays Poussey Washington in the series. The former couple filed a joint petition for divorce, according to TMZ.com, and has agreed an amicable settlement.
You'd better sit down for this one.
You're speeding along through Netflix's newest original series Orange Is the New Black. You're really investing in the ups and downs of anti-heroine Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a white collar criminal adjusting to life in a New York prison. By now, despite all her flaws, you've come to love Piper. You wonder if she'll turn it all around and abandon her proclivity for bad choices. You wonder if she'll earn the trust and friendship of her fellow inmates, many of whom have not taken kindly to her uppity sensibilities. But you also wonder, on the other hand, if the prison will take her down, bury her beneath the dark rubble that exists within her. Well, wonder no further; it doesn't matter. Because she doesn't exist.
If you've made it to the 11th episode of Orange Is the New Black, you might have taken note of a gift bequeathed upon a group of downtrodden inmates by one Poussey Washington (Samira Wiley): a bag of Let's Potato Chips. An innocuous sight to many. But to Community fans, the Let's brand will jog a few memories.
Memories of Leonard "The Human Raisin" Rodriguez (Richard Erdman) proclaiming his delight with the snack food on his YouTube channel. Of Dean Craig Pelton (Jim Rash) paying an unannounced visit to students Troy Barnes (Donald Glover) and Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi), munchies in tow. Of Troy and girlfriend Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs) squabbling over the quality of the product... although that was a Season 4 episode, so we don't have to talk about it. Yes, while Let's may not be a real potato chip syndicate, it exists with quite a fervor in the Community universe. And, apparently, in the Orange Is the New Black universe. Which means, quite inarguably, that these two shows exist in the same universe.
And, of course, it doesn't stop there. Not even close.
If you're an Orange Is the New Black watcher, then we must assume you are a subscriber to Netflix. And if you are a living human, then we must assume that you're a fan of Arrested Development. In said case, you might have caught a glimpse of GOB munching a few Let's Potato Chips while chumming around with his newly acquired entourage. Does this mean there are three shows that fall into the mix? Hell no. It means there are about a thousand.
Back in the days of Arrested yore, fans were treated to a scrapbooking seminar taught by undercover detective John Munch — Richard Belzer's character in the Law & Order franchise. Belzer, as Munch, had a series of other one-off cameos (The X-Files, The Wire, Sesame Street, 30 Rock) and appeared on Homicide: Life on the Street... a show linked by the Alfre Woodard character Roxanne Turner to none other than St. Elsewhere. St. Elsewhere famously concluded by revealing (spoilers!) that the entire six-season reality existed inside the mind of an autistic child named Tommy Westphall. And with this reveal, it would be only logical to conclude that Homicide (due to the Turner connection) was also concocted by young Tommy. As well as every show linked to that one by John Munch... and every show linked to every one of those shows. It gets pretty extensive.
This is old news, of course. Many have spent years calculating the mass of victims of Tommy Westphall's insatiable imagination. And now, we can welcome Orange Is the New Black into this community. Also Community.
So next time you're watching Litchfield's psychotic world unravel around the hapless (or nefarious?) Piper Chapman, fearing you might no longer be able to bear the treacherous events crafted by Weeds creator Jenji Kohan, take relief in the simple fact that it's all just the daydreams of some kid staring into space in 1988.
But take heed: the Tommy Westphall universe is forever growing, striking down the veritability of people and places everywhere. You might be next.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter | Follow hollywood.com on Twitter @hollywood_com
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