Actor Neil Patrick Harris has landed a role in the new American Horror Story series after writing to creator Ryan Murphy and asking for a part.
The former How I Met Your Mother star, who is currently starring on Broadway in Hedwig & the Angry Inch, recently told Entertainment Weekly Radio that he had penned a request note to Murphy, suggesting himself for upcoming series, Freak Show.
He said, "I wrote a letter to Ryan asking if I can be in it, even though I wasn't even available to be in it. To do one that involves any kind of freak, circus nonsense is going to be so unsettling to watch."
Murphy caught wind of the radio chat and has since responded to Harris via Twitter, writing, "@ActuallyNPH of course you can be on Freak Show! I have a role I think you'd love."
Harris previously worked with Murphy in an episode of Glee, for which he won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 2010.
Fargo and Orange Is The New Black were the toast of the TV world at Thursday night's (19Jun14) Critics' Choice Television Awards, scooping three prizes each.
The small screen revamp of the Oscar-winning crime film won the prize for Best Mini-Series, while its stars Billy Bob Thornton and Allison Tolman were named Best Actor in a Movie or Mini-Series and Best Supporting Actress in a Movie or Mini-Series, respectively.
Netflix's hit women's prison series was named Best Comedy Series at the ceremony in Beverly Hills, California, and Uzo Aduba earned the Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series award, while her co-star Kate Mulgrew, tied for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series with Mom's Allison Janney.
Janney also picked up Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series for her recurring role in Masters of Sex. Upon receiving the trophy for Mom, Janney quipped, "Well this is the climax of my career. This is extraordinary. This has been an amazing year for me."
The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons was named Best Actor in a Comedy Series and Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus landed Best Actress in a Comedy Series, while Andre Braugher took the Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for police programme Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
In the drama categories, Breaking Bad won Best Drama Series for a second consecutive year, and Aaron Paul picked up Best Supporting Actor for his role in the popular show. Also earning a back-to-back Best Actress win was Tatiana Maslany, who repeated her 2013 triumph for her multiple clone roles in sci-fi show Orphan Black.
Adding to his Oscar win earlier this year (14), Matthew McConaughey went home with the Best Actor honour for True Detective, while Bellamy Young earned Best Supporting Actress as the scheming First Lady on Scandal.
It was also a big night for TV titan Ryan Murphy, whose thriller American Horror Story: Coven earned Jessica Lange the Best Actress in a Movie or Mini-Series accolade, while his AIDS drama The Normal Heart won two prizes, including Best Movie or Miniseries, and Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Mini-Series for Matt Bomer.
In addition, Jim Parsons presented his The Normal Heart director with the Louis XIII Genius Award in recognition of his contribution to television. Upon accepting the honour, Murphy recalled the slew of online criticism he received following the announcement of the award, and admitted he tried to back out as a result. He also shared a piece of advice, telling the audience, "The one genius rule I have made in my career is to surround yourself by people more talented than you and then take all the credit. The last part is actually not true."
The awards show was hosted by Cedric the Entertainer and presenters included Colin Hanks, Angie Harmon, Diane Kruger, Sarah Silverman, Christina Applegate and Christian Slater.
Glee creator Ryan Murphy is set to receive the LOUIS XIII Genius Award at the upcoming Critics' Choice Television Awards. Murphy, who is also the brains behind American Horror Story and Nip/Tuck, will be honoured for becoming an icon in the television industry during the Los Angeles ceremony on 19 June (14).
Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner is to be honoured for his contribution to TV at the upcoming International Emmy Awards. The writer/producer/director will follow in the footsteps of previous recipients including Glee boss Ryan Murphy and Lost creator J.J. Abrams when he receives the International Emmy Founders Award at the prizegiving gala later this year (14).
Bruce L. Paisner, president of the International Academy of Television Arts & Science, the body behind the International Emmys, credits Weiner's work on Mad Men with reinventing period dramas on the small screen.
He says in a statement, "With Mad Men, Matthew Weiner redefined period television and created a global cultural phenomenon that has dramatically changed the television landscape. We look forward to honouring his creative talent with our Founders Award, a few weeks before the final episodes of this great series."
The award will be handed out at the 42nd International Emmy Awards Gala on 24 November (14) in New York City, just weeks before the final episodes of Mad Men are due to air in the U.S. in early 2015.
The show, starring Jon Hamm as a New York advertising executive in the 1960s, has been on air since 2007.
After Ryan Murphy's The Normal Heart gobsmacked critics and audiences alike with its unflinching look at the affect of AIDS on the gay community, HBO has picked up yet another period piece detailing the struggles of gays in New York.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO has picked up the script for Open City, a period piece that profiles New York in the late 60's. The drama, from writer David Kajganich and director Adam Shankman, will reportedly follow a diverse set of characters from all corners of Manhattan, as they navigate a city going through a cultural metamorphosis. The project will also examine the gay community's unlikely partnership with New York's mafia with the opening of a West Village night club.
Ever since the critical success of AMC's Mad Men, the television landscape has been littered with period dramas claiming to "explore" a place and time in the past, but all those imitators stumbled when they found that they had nothing of substance to really say about their given era. While Mad Men was having a deep discussion about the cultural mores of the sixties, all of those other pretenders (The Playboy Club, Magic City, Pan AM... the list goes on) were just playing dress up. Open City, on the other hand, looks to have some very important things to say about the time period and the city it depicts, and this project may fill a very big hole once Mad Men wraps up its seventh season.
With the success of projects like Looking and The Normal Heart, HBO is quietly becoming the destination for gay-themed television. There was a time where TV would sideline gay characters, only featuring them as broad stereotypes, but HBO has begun crafting interesting, and unpatronizing glimpses at the characters and stories that have been sorely missing from our television sets.
Actor Matt Bomer spent a month living apart from his family as he prepared to play an AIDS victim in new TV movie The Normal Heart, so he could fully embrace the mindset of his desperate character. The Magic Mike star slimmed down drastically to portray Felix Turner in Ryan Murphy's screen adaptation of the hit Larry Kramer play, about the early days of the AIDS epidemic, and he temporarily moved out of the home he shares with his publicist partner Simon Halls and their three children to perfect his transformation.
He tells Vulture.com, "The whole point of the weight loss was obviously to create a certain aesthetic that Ryan was happy with, but also to create that physical reality for me. When the cameras were rolling, I wasn't having to affect anything; so much of it was already there. "I had separated myself from my family, I was living on my own for, like, a month, and I think that helped me sort of get into Felix's head in a way that I haven't had an opportunity to do with other characters before."
Bomer also called in a professional counsellor to make sure his sons would be OK with dad's drastic weightloss - but he admits he needn't have worried. He adds, "We definitely prepared our kids really early on, before I even started losing weight. I spoke with a professional who told me how to relay it to them in language they could really understand, and they were great about it. "Maybe it's a luxury of having all boys, who are like, 'Yeah! Go!' You know, it's like they were my cheering squad. And I remember, at one point I had lost 25 or 30 pounds and I came home, and it's such a testament to childhood imagination, because they were like, 'Oh, I thought you were going to be skinnier than that.' And I was like, 'Hey, I'm working here!' "But they were really great about it, and understanding. I think that our oldest son, who tends to be a caretaker, said at one point, 'When are you going to get to eat pancakes with me again?' But that was about as difficult as it seemed to get for them."
Bomer's amazing transformation stunned viewers watching the TV movie in America on Sunday night (25May14). The film also featured Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts.
Barbra Streisand has hit back at writer and gay rights activist Larry Kramer after he accused the legendary entertainer of stalling on plans to adapt his AIDS epidemic stageshow The Normal Heart for the screen because she allegedly finds gay sex "very distasteful".
Kramer has attacked the singer/actress in a New York Times interview, in which he reignites their decades-long feud after Streisand obtained the film rights for his hit 1985 production, but failed to bring anything to fruition for years. The playwright suggests the veteran superstar was uncomfortable with the subject matter from the start and claims it was one of the main reasons for the hold-up.
Recalling an early meeting with Streisand, he states, "I said, 'I really think it's important that after eons of watching men and women make love in the movies, it's time to see two men do so.' I bought her a book of very beautiful art pictures of two men making love, and she found it very distasteful."
However, Streisand has fired back at Kramer, insisting she was committed to promoting "the idea of everyone's right to love. Gay or straight!" In her statement to the Times, she continues, "Larry was at the forefront of this battle and, God love him, he's still fighting. But there's no need to fight me by misrepresenting my feelings. "As a filmmaker, I have always looked for new and exciting ways to do love scenes, whether they're about heterosexuals or homosexuals. It's a matter of taste, not gender."
Glee creator Ryan Murphy subsequently used his own funds to buy the rights to The Normal Heart and his TV movie, produced via Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment firm, is due to air in the U.S. on Sunday (25May14). The film version of the award-winning play, based on Kramer's efforts to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS during the 1980s, stars Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts and Matt Bomer.
Lea Michele has broken her silence about the reported feud between her and Glee co-star Naya Rivera, insisting rumours of a major fall-out are "completely made up".
The actress/singer was a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman on Friday night (16May14) and was keen to clear the air about her alleged fight with Rivera, who plays Santana on the show. Rivera's publicist and show creator Ryan Murphy have both dismissed reports suggesting Rivera had been fired from the programme, and would not be returning for the final season.
Now Michele has denied reports of the spat, telling Letterman, "It's really unbelievable the amount of things that can just be completely made up, and it's really frustrating... The way people like to pit women against each other... is really annoying and it's sad."
“I don’t think there is a story between Naya and Lea. I always marvel at the things that become headline news that most of the time are completely fabricated. Naya’s coming back next year, Lea’s coming back next year, anybody ever in that cast has an open invitation to come back and finish the character they so beautifully started.” Glee creator Ryan Murphy plays down rumours of a spat between his leading ladies Lea Michele and Naya Rivera.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
With only a week and change having passed since the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we no doubt feel the question living fresh in our minds: can we ever judge a remake without considering its predecessors? The conversation about the stark contrast in critical favor between Marc Webb's release and Sam Raimi's trilogy (the second installment of his franchise in particular) buzzed loudly, and we imagine the volume will keep in regards to Gareth Edwards' Godzilla. But it'll be a different sound altogether.
The original Godzilla, a Japanese film released in 1954, reinvented the identity of the monster movie, launched a 30-film legacy, and spoke legions about the political climate of its era. The most recent of these films — Roland Emmerich's 1998 American production — is universally bemoaned as a bigger disaster than anything to befall Tokyo at the hands of the giant reptile. With these two entries likely standing out as the most prominent in the minds of contemporary audiences, Edwards' Godzilla has some long shadows cast before it. And in approaching the new movie, one might not be able to avoid comparisons to either. It's fair — by taking on an existing property, a filmmaker knowingly takes on the connotations of that property. But the 2014 installment's great success is that it isn't much like any Godzilla movie we've seen before. In a great, great way.
This isn't 1954's Godzilla, a dire and occasionally dreary allegory that uses the supernatural to tell an important story about nuclear holocaust. A complete reversal, in fact, first and foremost Edwards' Godzilla is about its monsters. Any grand themes strewn throughout — the perseverence of nature, the follies of mankind, fatherhood, madness, faith — are all in service to the very simple mission to give us some cool, weighty, articulate sci-fi disaster. Elements of gravity are plotted all over the film's surface, with scientists, military men (kudos to Edwards for not going the typical "scientists = good/smart, military = bad/dumb" route in this film — everybody here is at least open to suggestion), doctors, police officers, and a compassionate bus driver all wrestling with options in the face of behemoth danger. The humanity is everpresent, but never especially intrusive. To reiterate, this isn't a film about any of these people, or what they do.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
The closest thing to a helping of thematic (or human) significance comes with Ken Watanabe's Dr. Serizawa, who spouts awe-stricken maxims about cryptozoology, the Earth, and the inevitable powerlessness of man. He might not be supplying anything more substantial than our central heroes (soft-hearted soldier Aaron Taylor-Johnson, dutiful medic and mom Elizabeth Olsen, right-all-along conspiracy theorist Bryan Cranston), but Watanabe's bonkers performance as the harried scientist is so bizarrely good that you might actually believe, for a scene or two, that it all does mean something.
Ultimately, the beauty of our latest taste of Godzilla lies not in the commitment to a message that made the original so important nor in the commitment to levity that made Emmerich's so pointless, but in its commitment to imagination. Edwards' creature design is dazzling, his deus ex machina are riveting, and the ultimate payoff to which he treats his audience is the sort of gangbusters crowd-pleaser that your average contemporary monster movie is too afraid to consider.
In fairness, this year's Godzilla might not be considered an adequate remake, not quite reciprocating the ideals, tone, or importance of the original. Sure, anyone looking for a 2014 answer to 1954's game-changing paragon will find sincere philosophy traded for pulsing adventure... but they'd have a hard time ignoring the emphatic charm of this new lens for the 60-year-old lizard, both a highly original composition and a tribute in its way to the very history of monster movies (a history that owes so much to the creature in question). So does Godzilla '14 successfully fill the shoes of Godzilla '54? No — it rips them apart and dons a totally new pair... though it still has a lot of nice things to say about the first kicks.
Oh, and the '98 Godzilla? Yeah, it's better than that.
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