The devilishly handsome lead on CBS' new crime drama Golden Boy may have the chiseled face of a Franco brother (as in James or Dave Franco), but he's actually British actor Theo James... though you wouldn't be the first to be confused.
James spoke with Hollywood.com to preview his new CBS show, and admitted that he was once approached by a paparazzo who thought he was the most eccentric Franco brother: "It was fun to be human and to wave and be like, 'What’s up, man?', but [the paparazzo] was like 'Where are you going?' And I said, 'Um, we’re going for some food, why are you filming me?' And he stopped and you could see he was like 'Oh s**t.' He thought I was f**king James Franco," he says with a laugh. But luckily for the newest CBS star, he hasn't had that issue recently. "Maybe it’s because I changed my haircut and started doing press-ups," he jokes.
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But you may recognize James (Theo, not Franco) as a rather memorable guest star on Downton Abbey. Before he snagged the lead in Golden Boy, he played Mr. Pamuk, the man who stole Lady Mary's good name by seducing her and dying in her post-coital arms. Now, he's come back to life as Walter Clark, Jr., a young cop promoted to the illustrious homicide department (the big leagues) after becoming a New York City hero. James gave a little background on the series, which manages to play by new rules in CBS' never-ending crime drama landscape.
"It is very different, because it's character-driven and the cases are secondary," says James. "It's about [the six characters and] their families, their lives, their affairs, their backgrounds, the mistakes they make, people they f**ked over." Rather than sticking to CBS' "case of the week" bread and butter, Golden Boy plays with the timeline a bit, bringing in various cases for varying amounts of time and often connecting them to people in Clark and his fellow cops' lives.
But it's not just the way the series works out each episode that sets the show apart. James is proud of his "flawed" young character. "He’s very intuitive, he’s very aggressive, sometimes too much, and he’s arrogant," he says.
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What's more is the series doesn't just follow modern day Clark; we also meet future Police Commissioner Clark, who, at age 34, is the youngest police commissioner in New York history. "[The 34-year-old Clark] is more of a broken person, so there’s a big juxtaposition [to young Clark] in that way … you want to find out all that he’s lost and the damage that’s been done on the way to this pivotal point where he’s the police commissioner," he says. Of course, there is one tie between young Clark and older Clark, because his arrogance hasn't waned with age: "I like the idea that Clark is going for the senate, if not ultimately president, baby," says James.
Of course, the thing we all want to know is: What about the handsome young officer's love life? With an attractive hot shot like Walter, there have to be some babes in tow. "He’s a smart guy himself so naturally he’s kind of attracted to smart, complex women," he says. And boy, are there some smart, complex women for Walter. "There’s the reporter and obviously the D.A. … he has a history of not opening up, and then he manages to start kind of showing a little bit of color with [the reporter]," he adds.
But it gets juicier. James says a love triangle could be in his character's future, teasing that Walter's rival Arroyo (True Blood's Kevin Alejandro) could provide a romantic roadblock. "The triangle will definitely be explored, especially because of the dynamic between Arroyo and Walter and that just makes it even more interesting, all of the implications of their jealousy and pride and ownership and all those things," he says.
The series wastes no time in getting to the complexities of Clark's life, and it all begins Tuesday night at 10 P.M. ET on CBS.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
[Photo Credit: JoJo Whilden/CBS]
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It is important to separate a creative force from his or her literary embodiments. Hunter S. Thompson is not Raul Duke, Jack Kerouac is not Sal Paradise, and Lena Dunham is not her Girls character Hannah Horvath … although, these characters have got to come from somewhere.
Dunham seems to be channeling her inner-Horvath in her development of a new book: Not That Kind of a Girl, which the New York Post deems reminiscent of the late Helen Gurley Brown’s 1962 advice book Sex and the Single Girl. With the non-fiction book, Gurley Brown took strides in applying ambition and empowerment to female bachelorhood and introduced new attitudes regarding female sexuality. You might not be able to call Gurley Brown the sole purveyor of the nation's shift in the way people viewed sex and gender, but she certainly played a role. To borrow a phrase from Hannah, she was "a voice of a generation."
And this is what Dunham herself seems to be striving to do with her new book, which she is presently shopping to publishers and is estimated to go for no less than $1 million. Following an auction on Friday, Dunham plans to meet with the five highest bidders to make the choice of who will handle the publication of Not That Kind of a Girl.
With Girls, Dunham has already staked her claim on the representation of her demographic. Dunham has already identified herself as one of today's most invaluable active young artists, helping to create and share new ideas about new things and new people in new ways. And Not That Kind of a Girl should only further these efforts. In yet another medium is Dunham bound to provoke a broadening of fans' perspectives on the themes of youth, womanhood, and life in general. With her fresh, honest, liberating take on the world, Dunham's first book should breed important ideas. She is definitely a voice of this generation, and one that needs to be heard.
[Photo Credit: Jojo Whilden/HBO]
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Our fair maiden Sydney (Amanda Bynes) doesn’t have coal-black hair or sing with a sweet voice or have woodland creatures following her around. Instead the tomboy grew up on construction sites with her widower dad (John Schneider) a plumber who guided Syd as best he could. But now the time has come for the gorgeous freshman to head to Southern Atlantic University to pledge her late mom’s once-dignified sorority where she meets this story’s version of the Wicked Queen: the vain and evil Rachel (Sara Paxton) president of the sorority. Let’s just say Sydney does not fit in and Rachel sends the soon-to-be fairest of them all to the curb. Luckily there’s a condemned frat house right next door with seven very socially challenged guys--each with a familiar "Dwarf"-like quality. They take Sydney in and soon with the help of one love-struck frat boy named Tyler Prince (Matthew Long) she and the seven doofuses campaign to take over the student government—and push out the Greek system that has ruled for too long. Tween sensation Amanda Bynes knows exactly where her bread is buttered. With star vehicles such as What a Girl Wants She's the Man and now Sydney White the comic actress keeps playing slightly different versions of the same character: a pretty if goofy and klutzy young woman whose vivaciousness usually changes everything for the better. And whether her fluff movies grate or not you can’t fault Bynes who clearly knows what works for her. Paxton (Aquamarine) is perfectly predictable as the mean girl as is Long as the Prince. But the seven guys playing the nerds do a nice job of reinventing their dwarfishness be it sneeziness sleepiness bashfulness dopeyness—you know the rest. The only dork who didn’t quite mesh with his inner-“Dwarf” was the one called Spanky (Samm Levine) who is more horny than “Happy.” I guess in the fairytale there really isn’t a Lusty dwarf even though you’d think at some point at least one of them must have had a few untoward thoughts about Snow White. They were little but still men. We’ve seen countless Cinderella redos but for a modern retelling of the classic fairy Snow White Sydney White isn’t half-bad--there it’s been said. It's got all the trappings of a college comedy but some of it works. Don’t however give credit to director Joe Nussbaum whose only other movies include the dud Sleepover and the direct-to-DVD American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile. He pretty much directs by the numbers. No it’s first-time screenwriter Chad Creasey who is the clever one. For example the poisoned apple is translated into a virus sent to Sydney’s Mac laptop. And when the dorky seven march in a line past Rachel and her crew holding picket signs one of the guys says “Hi ho!” For a film as pedestrian as Sydney White laughing out loud even once means something. It’s certainly not going to wow anyone besides girls ages 8-14 but Sydney White will make the perfect third in the Amanda Bynes comedy DVD set.
When Professor Utonium (voiced by Tom Kane) creates Bubbles (voiced by Tara Strong) Blossom (voiced by Cathy Cavadini) and Buttercup (voiced by E. G. Daily) he's as excited and proud as any new parent. Then they start to fly around the room. From there we're treated to several scenes of "growing up Powerpuff " from their first peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (crusts cut off using infrared vision) to their first day at the Pokey Oats School (they learn to play tag and destroy the town doing it). When the townspeople see the destruction the girls have wrought they imprison the professor print nasty newspaper headlines ("Freaky Bug-Eyed Weirdo Girls Broke Everything") and vow to get those pesky kids. Disillusioned and depressed the outcast girls find solace and sympathy in an alley with a hobo named Jojo (voiced by Roger L. Jackson) who assures them in no uncertain terms that he is in the same boat. "Alas little ones " he says "I do not rock." But Jojo does have a plan: With a little help from the girls he'll build a machine that will make everything better--and the townspeople will like them again. In a life lesson on why you shouldn't talk to strangers the girls believe him and so they end up using their powers to help him achieve what is actually a diabolical goal--to take over Townsville using an army of mutant simians. Once the girls realize the error of their ways they battle Jojo (who's now calling himself "Mojo Jojo") and his army of monkeys attempting to save the world before bedtime--and to earn the trust of the townspeople.
The squeaky-clean voices of actors playing the Powerpuff Girls seem perfectly suited to the bug-eyed fin-fingered creatures; they're somehow innocent and experienced at the same time especially Daily's Buttercup. Strong's Bubbles certainly does bubble and Cavadini's Blossom imparts the steely resolve that makes her the leader of the pack. For comic punch though the monkeys really steal the show--Jackson's Jojo is supreme evil animated and he lets you know it. Kane's ability to perfectly capture the tone of a 1950s elementary school documentary voiceover should not go unnoticed either.
When Professor Utonium set out to create some little girls he didn't mean for them to have super powers. It just kind of happened when a little "Chemical X" got thrown into the mix. The same could be said of director/screenwriter Craig McCracken's final product: It's not a great film--even by kids' film standards--especially compared to the original TV show. It's slow in key places (the game of tag is interminable and the monkey battles go on and on) and kids will probably lose interest quickly as a result. But there are a few "X" factors that make it interesting for both kids and grownups as long as they can be persuaded to keep watching. First monkey jokes. The monkey army that Mojo Jojo attempts to lead is full of sneaky tricks for obliterating the town and wresting control from Jojo including baboon butt bombs the "sauce of chaos" and a barrel that rolls over things in the street including people and a dog that looks suspiciously like Snoopy. Second Planet of the Apes references. Buttercup rails at one of the chimps to "get your hands off him you darn dirty ape!" Third a mayor with an obsession for large green pickles sold from a cart: he's bizarre and slightly disturbing but nonetheless entertaining.