Hip-hop star Kendrick Lamar overcame a stutter as a child by focusing on perfecting his rap skills. The critically-acclaimed Poetic Justice hitmaker reveals he used to struggle with his speech until he learned how to channel his thoughts and feelings into song.
He tells The New York Times Magazine, "As a kid, I used to stutter. I think that's why I put my energy into making music. That's how I get my thoughts out, instead of being crazy all the time."
Lamar, who has been described as the "black Bob Dylan" by superproducer Pharrell Williams, isn't the only celebrity to suffer from the disorder - British pop star Ed Sheeran and actors Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson all battled stammers during their youth.
Actress Scarlett Johansson has hinted at her reported pregnancy in a new interview, insisting production is still on schedule for the new The Avengers film. Reports suggesting star is expecting her first child with fiance Romain Dauriac surfaced earlier this month (Mar14), but the Lost in Translation beauty has yet to confirm the baby news.
However, she came pretty close during a recent interview after she was asked if the production schedule for The Avengers sequel had been affected by events in her personal life.
Johansson responded, "Everything for Avengers 2 - we're full steam ahead. We start shooting in three weeks and I'm stunt training and we're good to go."
She added, "I think it's something that is hard to talk about, exactly. You know, trying to skirt around your question exactly - and... doing a poor job of it. But... like I said, everything is exactly on schedule."
Avengers: Age of Ultron, which also stars Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., and Samuel L. Jackson, is set to hit theatres next year (15).
Actress Lena Dunham is set to expand her media empire by writing a comic book series. The Girls star will pen a four-part Archie storyline, based on her TV show's characters, which will be released in 2015.
A statement from the actress reads, "I was an avid Archie collector as a child... It has so much cultural significance but also so much personal significance, and to get to play with these beloved characters is a wild creative opportunity."
Dunham isn't the first celebrity to enter the comic book world - in 2010, actor Samuel L. Jackson wrote a four-part series titled Cold Space and Patton Oswalt has penned pieces for Batman, The Goon and Treehouse of Horror. Guy Ritchie and Nicolas Cage have also helped create graphic books.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Treading water at the very surface of RoboCop, there is an idea. A dense concept, ready and willing to provide no dearth of dissection for any eager student of philosophy, psychology, political science, physics — hell, any of the Ps. To simplify the idea on hand: What separates man from machine? It's a question that is not just teased by the basic premise of José Padilha's remake of the 1987 sci-fi staple, but asked outright by many of its main characters. And then never really worried about again.
We have principal parties on both sides of the ethical quandary that would place the security of our crime-ridden cities in the hands of automatons. Samuel L. Jackson plays a spitfire Bill O'Reilly who wonders why America hasn't lined its streets with high-efficiency officer droids. Zach Grenier, as a moralistic senator, gobbles his way through an opposition to the Pro-boCop movement. We hear lecture after lecture from pundits, politicians, business moguls (a money-hungry Michael Keaton heads the nefarious OmniCorp...) and scientists (...while his top doc Gary Oldman questions the nature of his assignments while poking at patients' brains and spouting diatribes about "free will"), all working their hardest to lay thematic groundwork. Each character insists that we're watching a movie about the distinction between human and artificial intelligence. That even with an active brain, no robot can understand what it means to have a heart. But when Prof. Oldman tempers his hysterical squawking and Samuel L. Hannity rolls his closing credits, we don't see these ideas taking life.
In earnest, the struggle of rehabilitated police officer Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) — nearly killed in the line of duty and turned thereafter into OmniCorp's prototype RoboCop — doesn't seem to enlist any of the questions that his aggravated peers have been asking. Murphy is transformed not just physically, but mentally — robbed of his decision-making ability and depleted of emotional brain chemicals — effectively losing himself in the process. But the journey we see take hold of Murphy is not one to reclaim his soul, although the movie touts it as such. It's really just one to become a better robot.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Meanwhile, RoboCop lays down its motives, and hard: Murphy's wife and son (Abbie Cornish and a puckish young John Paul Ruttan) lament the loss of Alex, condemning his dehumanization at the hands of Raymond Sellars' (Keaton) capitalistic experiments, and sobbing out some torrential pathos so you know just how deep this company is digging. Weaselly stooges (Jay Baruchel, Jennifer Ehle, and Jackie Earl Haley) line the OmniCorp roster with comical wickedness. Overseas, killer combat bots take down peaceful villages, unable to work empathetic judgment into their decision to destroy all deemed as "threats." And at the top, figures of power and money like Sellars and Pat Novak (Jackson) speak the loudest and harshest, literally justifying their agenda with a call for all naysayers to "stop whining." Clearly, RoboCop has something to say.
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And when it's devoted to its outrage, RoboCop is terrifically charming. The buzzing political world is just a tiny step closer to ridiculous than our own; the pitch meetings at OmniCorp are fun enough to provoke a ditching of all the material outside of the company walls. And one particular reference to The Wizard of Oz shows that the movie isn't above having fun with its admittedly silly premise. But it loses its magic when it steps away from goofy gimmicks and satirical monologues and heads back into the story. We don't see enough of Murphy grappling with the complicated balance between his conflicting organic and synthetic selves. In fact, we don't see enough "story" in Murphy at all. First, he's a dad and a cop. Then, he's a RoboCop. But can he also be a RoboDad? With all of its ranting and raving about the question, the film doesn't seem to concerned with actually figuring out the answer.
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Hollywood actor Samuel L. Jackson has thrown his support behind a new children's cancer awareness campaign by lending his voice to a new public service announcement (PSA). The Avengers star is fronting the In Play advertisements for the St. Baldrick's Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer charities, which aim to raise the profile of kids cancers and the importance of specialist care for sick youngsters for a chance at better survival rates.
Jackson, who appears in the PSAs alongside four young cancer patients, says, "When I was a child in the 1950s, most kids who got diagnosed with cancer had little chance of survival. Now, there is hope.
"I am honoured to join Stand Up To Cancer and the St. Baldrick's Foundation to help educate people about childhood cancer and the importance of seeing a pediatric oncologist."
Samuel L. Jackson has taken aim at U.S. TV talk show host W. Kamau Bell for criticising his movie Django Unchained, insisting the outspoken African-American pundit isn't qualified to make the remarks he did about writer/director Quentin Tarantino's use of the n-word in the film. Bell used a segment on his show Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell to slam Tarantino for his use of the racial slur, and now Jackson is firing back in a new Playboy interview, insisting the young TV personality "did not understand the movie" and "did not live through the era".
The actor says, "He's (Bell) a young black man with nappy hair and very dark skin, but he also has a very white wife and an interracial child. You can't tell me you know what people in the South did if you never spent time down there.
"He can say there had to be words Quentin could use other than n**ger. Well, what are they?
"These 20-somethings can't turn around and tell me the word n**ger is f**cked up in Django yet still listen to Jay Z or whoever else say 'n**ger, n**ger, n**ger' throughout the music they listen to (saying), 'Oh, that's OK because that's dope, that's down, we all right with that'. Bulls**t. You can't have it one way and not the other.
"Saying Tarantino said 'n**ger' too many times is like complaining they said 'k*ke' too many times in a movie about Nazis."
Actor Michael Douglas was the toast of the GQ Awards in London on Tuesday night (03Sep13) as he was crowned Legend of the Year. A week after his separation from wife Catherine Zeta-Jones was announced, a solo Douglas was beaming as he picked up the accolade at the publication's annual Men of the Year ceremony, held at the Royal Opera House in the British capital.
Douglas, who flew in from the Venice Film Festival in Italy, was handed the prize by Samuel L. Jackson, while Sir Elton John was given the Genius award by terminally-ill rocker Wilko Johnson, and Doctor Who actor Matt Smith handed Noel Gallagher the Icon trophy.
Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens picked up Most Stylish Man, Pharrell Williams got lucky landing Performer of the Year, rockers Arctic Monkeys nabbed Band of the Year and Lou Reed was hailed the Inspiration of the Year.
Accepting her trophy for Woman of the Year, former Harry Potter actress Emma Watson joked, "Given the perilousness in the journey from child star to adult, any award with woman in the title is frankly a relief!"
Watson's My Week with Marilyn co-star Eddie Redmayne was also feted, taking home the Breakthrough Award, while Simon Pegg and Nick Frost were crowned the Comedians of the Year, and newsman Piers Morgan nabbed TV Personality of the Year.
Disturbed frontman David Draiman has scrapped a series of dates with his new band Device so he can be at home for the birth of his child. The rocker has cancelled all upcoming commitments to stay by Japanese-American model Lena Yada's side as she counts down to motherhood in October (13).
The couple announced the pregnancy in May (13) and revealed the baby was a boy. They plan to name him Samuel Bear.
"They either move me onto a golf course so I can play or join a club so I can play, and they have to let me play at least twice a week. I like golf because it's a perfect game for an only child like me... You get responsibility for everything you do bad, and you get all the credit for everything you do well." Samuel L. Jackson explains the golf clause that's written into his movie contracts.
Like Christmas when you're a kid, true love when you're an adult, or God when you're a Samuel Beckett character, the developing Lindsay Lohan movie The Canyons has seemed infinitely out of reach. Delays in finding a studio home have left us without the big screen love child of transgressive author Bret Easton Ellis and Hollywood legend Paul Schrader (the man who wrote Taxi Driver). But finally — and this gratitude comes mainly out of morbid curiosity — we get a legitimate taste of the new film in a new trailer. And it looks... um...
... damnit, we were hoping we'd think of a nice way to say it by the time you reached the bottom of that picture. But no. No amount of club music, flashing lights, or behemoth title fonts can get us really optimistic for this new venture, which lands Lohan's character in the midst of a budding career as a porn star (playing opposite Lohan is real life porn star James Deen).
So now that we finally have The Canyons, at least in trailer form, were all our hopes, or dreads, validated? Find out (or run for the hills) on Aug. 2.
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