Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Action man Dwayne Johnson spent more than three hours in the make-up chair every day, having the hair from a yak's testicles carefully stuck to his face for his new role as Greek demigod Hercules.
The Scorpion King star reveals he had to undergo a lengthy styling process before filming each day to make him look like the mythical hero director Brett Ratner had envisioned for the movie, but he made a surprising discovery one morning, when he enquired about where the hair had come from.
The typically clean-shaven actor says, "The beard hair... had to be put on, strips cut, inch high, quarter inch wide, piece by piece. I asked my Italian designer, I said, 'Matteo, what is this?' He goes, 'Oh, it's the hair from a yak'. It's very expensive, very fine hair... He was putting it on my face and I go, 'Well, what part (of the yak)?' and he goes, 'The testicles!'"
But Johnson confesses he was a big fan of the beard hair, adding, "It's the softest!"
Rock icon Billy Joel is set to be honoured with America's prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
The Piano Man star has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Library of Congress award, which is named after iconic composer George Gershwin and celebrates the lifetime achievements of a living musical artist.
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington says, "Billy Joel is a storyteller of the highest order. There is an intimacy to his songwriting that bridges the gap between the listener and the worlds he shares through music. When you listen to a Billy Joel song, you know about the people and the place and what happened there. And while there may be pain, despair and loss, there is ultimately a resilience to it that makes you want to go to these places again and again."
"Importantly, as with any good storyteller, the recognition experienced in a Billy Joel song is not simply because these are songs we have heard so many times, but because we see something of ourselves in them."
A flattered Joel adds, "The great composer, George Gershwin, has been a personal inspiration to me throughout my career and the Library's decision to include me among those songwriters who have been past recipients is a milestone for me."
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member will be presented with the accolade at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in November (14).
Previous recipients include Paul Simon, Sir Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Carole King, who made history last year (13) as the first woman to ever claim the Gershwin Prize.
Screen Gems via Everett Collection
British actor Idris Elba is in talks to reteam with director Guy Ritchie on a reimagining of the classic King Arthur tale.
The Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom star has been tapped to portray Bedivere, the Knight of the Round Table who legend has it returned the sword Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake and served as Arthur's 'marshal' and battle mentor, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Casting for the title role is expected to begin next month (Aug14). If Elba signs on for Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur, it will reunite him with his RocknRolla director, Ritchie.
Actress Leah Remini took aim at best pal Jennifer Lopez's pool fashion at the weekend by posting a hilarious video of the two friends lounging in the sun on social media.
The two women are currently vacationing together and just days after Lopez caught Remini singing along to the radio on film and posted it online, the TV star got the singer back by poking fan at her sunbathing style.
The footage begins with "normal" Remini, wearing a baseball cap, stating, "So Jen asked me to meet her by the pool, right? Here's me..." She then turned the camera on Lopez and added, "Look at this one - head wrap, jewellery. Can you be ugly once? Just be normal once."
The two pals then giggled and grappled as the former King of Queens star lost control of her camera phone.
Actor Jason Biggs is hoping to move on from the backlash he received for making an ill-advised joke about last week's (ends18Jul14) Malaysia Airlines flight disaster after apologising once again during a U.S. TV appearance on Monday (21Jul14).
The American Pie star found himself under fire on Thursday (17Jul14), moments after hearing that Flight MH17 had crashed in the Ukraine, after he took to Twitter.com and quipped, "Anyone wanna buy my Malaysia Airlines frequent flier miles?" It has since emerged the jet, which was en route from Amsterdam, Holland to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, had been shot down in a suspected attack by pro-Russia rebels in the Ukraine, killing all 298 people onboard. Biggs was initially defiant over his comments, insisting, "It's a f**king joke", but he later returned to Twitter to try and make amends for his bad behaviour.
On Monday, he appeared as a guest co-host on The View and opened the daytime talk show by revisiting the issue once more to clear up any doubts about his sincerity. A sombre Biggs explained, "I certainly meant no harm, there was no malice behind it, but I was stupid... It was offensive, it was poorly timed."
"I have always tried to find the humour in even the darkest of situations, whether it's personal tragedy or bad news of any kind. It's a knee-jerk reaction for me. It's how I cope but this is not the time (to make jokes about MH17)..."
The actor admitted he had only heard the breaking news of the crash when he tweeted about it and was unaware of the subsequent developments as he battled his critics online, but now he accepts he was clearly in the wrong.
He added, "I also wasn't aware of the extent and the magnitude of what had happened. It was very quick, I didn't think and I wasn't aware of what was happening and what was transpiring and the extent of just how horrible this tragedy was... "I have nothing but sympathy for the victims and their families, but I've learned a lot from here and I'd like to move on from it."
Actor Jason Biggs has upset his Twitter followers for cracking an ill-advised joke about the latest Malaysia Airlines flight disaster.
Flight MH17 crashed in the Ukraine on Thursday (17Jul14) after taking off in Amsterdam, Holland bound for the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. Multiple reports suggest the jet, which was carrying 295 people, was shot down.
Biggs reacted to the sad news by taking to his Twitter.com blog and quipping, "Anyone wanna buy my Malaysian Airlines frequent flier miles?".
He followed it up with, "In all seriousness, tho (though)- HOW DO YOU MISTAKENLY SHOOT DOWN A COMMERCIAL PLANE?! Ugh. "It's saddest for the victims and their families, obviously. But Malaysia Airlines is apparently a GREAT airline. Gonna be tough to recover."
The American Pie star's initial comedic comment fell flat with many followers, who immediately blasted him for making light of the tragedy, four months after another of the airline's planes, Flight MH370, disappeared while transporting passengers from Malaysia to Beijing, China in March (14).
But Biggs refused to apologise for his insensitive post and instead hit back at his detractors, insisting he never meant any harm. He tweeted, "Hey all you 'too soon' a**holes - it's a f**king joke. You don't have to think it's funny, or even be on my twitter page at all."
"The idea that I wouldnt have any empathy 4 the victims or their families because I make a joke is absolutely ridiculous. U know that, right (sic)? Truly - you losers are literally trying to find s**t to get angry about. Channel your issues elsewhere."
Biggs also took aim at editors at gossip blog TMZ.com for reporting on his ill-advised Twitter joke and the subsequent backlash, writing, "Hey @tmz - well done on posting my face next to the wreckage of the plane - you might almost think I actually shot it down!"
Actor Charlie Sheen has been branded a "d**k" by animal rights campaigners for attending the controversial Pamplona bull run in Spain.
The week-long Running of the Bulls event, in which groups of the beasts are let loose among crowds of onlookers on the streets of the Spanish city, ended on Monday (14Jul14).
It emerged Sheen had travelled to Europe for the festival when he was photographed on the balcony of a hotel in Pamplona with his porn star girlfriend Brett Rossi on Friday (11Jul14), but his attendance at the event has infuriated campaigners.
Mimi Bekhechi, associate director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) UK, says, "Charlie Sheen, please don't make us call you a 'proper Charlie', which in England means being a d**k for going to the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. We're sure that you see red, too, so you should be able to relate to the bulls who are killed in cowardly ways."
On Tuesday (15Jul14), the hard-living former Two and a Half Men star was back to his partying lifestyle in California as film footage emerged of him drunk at a fast-food drive-through restaurant.
In the short clip, the actor is seen chatting to fellow customers at the Taco Bell eaterie and slurring his words as he tells them, "Hi, I'm Charlie. Sorry I'm so f**king hammered."
He then shows off several of his tattoos before adding, "You're hilarious. Right on - cool!" and heading back to join his pals.
Actor Robert Hastings has lost his long battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 89.
The McHale's Navy star passed away on Monday (30Jun14) in Burbank, California. Hastings began his career in radio at the age of 11 on shows like The Daily Mirror Radio Gang and Adventures in King Arthurland and he became the voice of popular comic book character Archie Andrews in the 1950s.
In 1949, Hastings moved into TV acting and appeared in several shows, including Sergeant Bilko, The Dukes of Hazzard, All in the Family, General Hospital and Ironside, but his most famous role was that of Lt. Elroy Carpenter on McHale's Navy.
Hastings served in the Army Air Corps during World War II.
Paying tribute to the beloved actor, his younger brother Don, who stars in U.S. soap As The World Turns, says, "I miss him. He was a great guy. He was a good father and a good husband."
Actor Cam Gigandet has mixed feelings about his time on teen TV show The O.C., insisting his co-stars Ben Mckenzie and Mischa Barton were "miserable" to work with. The Twilight star had a recurring role as bad boy Kevin Volchok on the hit drama, playing a rival to McKenzie's Ryan Atwood.
However, in a new interview with Elle magazine, Gigandet reveals their feud transferred off-screen, and when asked whether he keeps in touch with any of the actors from the show, he replied, "No. Actually Ben McKenzie was kind of mean to me. I hadn't done anything at that point and he was a little bit of an a**." He added, "But I love him. I think he's a great actor and I love (cancelled U.S. police drama) Southland."
Gigandet also took a swipe at Barton, who played Marissa Cooper, adding, "Mischa? I didn't really... Was she there? I don't even have memories of her."
Gigandet went on to note the rest of the main cast, including Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson, were equally hard to work with: "I learned a lot, but the things that I remember now - none of them are good... Those kids were f**king miserable. "They were just - they would not remember their lines on purpose. They were young. That said, I don't talk to anyone I've ever worked with."
The O.C. ended its four-season run in 2007.
Lana Del Rey has responded to criticism from Kurt Cobain's daughter following a controversial U.K. interview in which the singer seemingly romanticised the deaths of young musicians.
The Video Games sensation came under fire from Frances Bean Cobain earlier this week (beg23Jun14) after talking about the premature passing of artists like the Nirvana frontman and Amy Winehouse in an article for Britain's The Guardian newspaper. The 21 year old took aim at Del Rey in a post on Twitter.com, writing, "The death of young musicians isn't something to romanticise. I'll never know my father because he died young and it becomes a desirable feat because people like you think it's 'cool'. Well, it's f**king not. Embrace life, because you only get one life."
Del Rey has already accused reporter Tim Jonze of asking "sinister" questions about death, and she was quick to respond to Cobain. Replying to her tweet, she wrote, "It's all good. He (the reporter) was asking me a lot about your dad I said I liked him because he was talented not because he died young. The other half of what I said wasn't really related to the people he mentioned/ I don't find that part of music glam either."
Jonze has since published sounds bites from his interview with the singer, and in a follow-up article, wrote, "(Del Rey) seems annoyed by the fact I wanted her to say interesting things and asked questions that caused her to do so. Well sorry, Lana, but that's just me doing my job."