Robert Plant has urged his former Led Zeppelin bandmate Jimmy Page to end his war of words with the singer and concentrate on recording new music. Guitarist Page has made no secret of his wish to expand on the Whole Lotta Love hitmakers' 2007 one-gig reunion with a full tour, but singer Plant is reluctant to revisit the past.
In an interview with The New York Times earlier this year (14), Page accused Plant of "playing games" and said he was "fed up" of the ongoing reunion saga, and Plant hit back in a recent Uncut magazine chat, during which he said, "I'm not my brother's keeper. And he, really, as a pro, should know better than that... I feel for the guy. He knows he's got the headlines if he wants 'em. But I don't know what he's trying to do. So I feel slightly disappointed and baffled."
Now, Plant tells the Telegraph it's time for Page to move on and give up on his plans to get the band back together.
The singer says, "He should get on and do something. He’s a superb talent. That’s the sad thing for Jimmy, he knows that I’m his guy, I’m his pal, but the warmth that he needs to actually enjoy the world, it’s all there. Come on and give it to us.”
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Stars including Lady Gaga and Lena Dunham are leading calls to raise awareness of mental health issues following the death of Hollywood legend Robin Williams.
The Mrs. Doubtfire star was found dead at his home in California on Monday (11Aug14) at the age of 63, and initial reports suggest he committed suicide. His publicist confirmed the actor had been suffering from depression in the months before his death, and he also spent years battling addiction issues. He had checked into rehab over the summer (14) to "maintain his sobriety".
The news of his death has sent shockwaves around the Hollywood community, and a number of stars have now reached out to fans to campaign on behalf of others struggling with mental illness. Lady Gaga, who runs the Born This Way Foundation to help young fans, writes in a series of posts on Twitter.com, "Rest in Peace+Laughter Robin Williams. Perhaps this tragedy will shed light on the seriousness of depression. You made us all so so happy... Please reach out to Bornthiswayfoundation.org if you are struggling with depression, mental illness or addiction. You are not alone."
Rock legend Alice Cooper also asked any fans suffering from depression to see a doctor, adding, "#RobinWilliams gone. If you struggle with #depression SEE a doc! (sic)"
Actress Dunham held a minute's silence on the set of her TV show Girls after hearing of Williams' passing, and she has also joined calls to raise awareness of mental illness, writing, "A tragic reminder that the conversation about mental health CANNOT stop. Money, fame, artistic freedom - none of it is a barrier."
Tom Hanks' actress wife Rita Wilson, who was a friend of Williams, adds, "I will remember your warmth, kindness, unparalleled talent, generosity, beautiful children, Robin Williams... To anyone struggling with this issue, US suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255."
"It's a beautiful country and the people are extraordinary. They have such a wonderful literary tradition, one of warmth and humour. Also, Irish ice cream is among the best in the world, which no one knows." Moviemaker Francis Ford Coppola is a big fan of Ireland.
La Toya Jackson has urged fans to "celebrate" the life of her late brother Michael with kind deeds as they mark the fifth anniversary of the King of Pop's death. A host of fan gatherings across the world were held on Wednesday (25Jun14) to mark the sad anniversary, and a candlelight vigil around his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles is planned for Wednesday night, but La Toya insists her younger brother would not have wanted devotees to dwell on his death, and she is encouraging them to enjoy his music - and do something for someone in need instead.
In a statement, she writes, "(Michael was) the most incredible father, brother, son and the most talented performed this world has ever known. If Michael were here today he would tell us to all celebrate his life and not to mourn his death."
She adds, "Michael was all about love and peace and, in honor of my brother, I ask you to please do something kind for someone today, and, blast and dance to all the beautiful music he left us all.
"I will spend the day celebrating his life by listening to his music, looking through old home photos, watching his videos and concerts. Michael I love you forever and if you were here today I know you would say, 'I love you more!'"
Michael Jackson's estate executors, John Branca and John McClain, also noted the anniversary in a statement which reads: "Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael's loved ones today as we remember the kind, gentle and giving spirit who generously shared his amazing artistic gifts with the world along with a limitless empathy for those in need.
"Time has shown that with each passing year the world's appreciation deepens not just for Michael's talent but also for his lifelong passion to spread peace, unity, love and hope across every culture and society. Michael's friendship, kindness, humour and joyful warmth will always be missed. The world is a far better place for having known him."
Michael Jackson's friends, family and fans joined together on Wednesday (25Jun14) to mark five years since the King of Pop's death. The Thriller hitmaker passed away on 25 June, 2009 after suffering an overdose of anaesthetic administered by his doctor, Conrad Murray, who served two years in jail on an involuntary manslaughter charge for his role in the tragedy.
The fifth anniversary of Jackson's death prompted a flood of tributes on social networking websites, with fans across the world sharing their memories of the pop superstar and making #MichaelJackson a trending topic on Twitter.com.
A number of stars also took to the website to mourn the loss of the singer five years on. British supermodel Naomi Campbell shared a picture of herself posing with Jackson with her hands on his face, adding, "I miss you #MJ #RIP with #angels #kingofpop #loyalfriend #legend# #Icon #MichealJackson in our hearts... (sic)."
Rapper/actor Ludacris adds, "R.I.P. The King Of POP M.J."
Jackson's pop star nephews, Taj, Taryll and TJ Jackson, of 3T, were stranded in Europe on the day of the anniversary due to a strike by French air traffic controllers, but they managed to add tributes to their late uncle before boarding a plane back to California to be with their family. Taryll writes, "To my idol, teacher, uncle and best friend... 'I love you more'. #alwaysinmyheart #love #foreverMJJ #bestofalltime (sic)," while his brother TJ, adds, "Not a day goes by where I don't think about him. And today even more so... His smile, his laughter, his walk, everything. Love you, Doo Doo."
The co-executors of Jackson's estate, John Branca and John McClain, also released a statement to mark the fifth anniversary of the singer's passing. The message, posted on Jackson's official website, reads, "Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael's loved ones today as we remember the kind, gentle and giving spirit who generously shared his amazing artistic gifts with the world along with a limitless empathy for those in need. Time has shown that with each passing year the world's appreciation deepens not just for Michael's talent but also for his lifelong passion to spread peace, unity, love and hope across every culture and society. Michael's friendship, kindness, humour and joyful warmth will always be missed. The world is a far better place for having known him."
A number of memorial events are planned around the world on Wednesday - American fans are set to come together for a candlelight vigil around his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, while other gatherings are planned in countries including Spain, Holland and the U.K. Fans are also expected to visit Jackson's childhood home in Gary, Indiana.
Fox Searchlight via Everett Collection
Actress Shailene Woodley contemplated quitting acting after starring in The Descendants, because she struggled with the pressure to "live up to other people's expectations". The Divergent star reveals she started to feel uncomfortable after garnering critical acclaim for her performance in the 2011 George Clooney film, and she seriously considered giving up her fledgling screen career.
She tells Vanity Fair magazine, "Somebody came to me and said, 'I can't wait to see what you do next.' I took that as pressure - that I had to live up to somebody else's expectations. "There were a few months where I was like, 'I don't want to act anymore.' And then I got over it and realised it's none of my business what other people think of me."
Woodley also credits co-star Clooney with helping her to embrace Hollywood again. She continues, "He has been an angel in my life for many reasons. He knew everyone's name on set. He treated everyone as an equal and everyone got his warmth."
Clooney has also heaped praise on the 22 year old, stating, "Shailene can do whatever she wants. If she wants to be a movie star, she has it. If she wants to change the world, she will. Her talent and kindness go hand in hand."
British tennis star Elena Baltacha has lost her battle with cancer aged 30. The former U.K. number one died peacefully at home in England early on Sunday morning (04May14).
Her husband and former coach Nino Severino has released a statement, which reads, "We are heartbroken beyond words at the loss of our beautiful, talented and determined Bally.
"She was an amazing person and she touched so many people with her inspirational spirit, her warmth and her kindness."
Baltacha was diagnosed with liver cancer in January (14), two months after she married Severino.
She had battled a chronic liver condition since she was a teenager, but despite her illness, went on to win 11 singles titles during her 16-year career.
Baltacha retired from the sport last year (13).
Break out the snozzcumbers and pour yourself a glass of frobscottle: The BFG is heading for the big screen, with Steven Spielberg on board to direct. Based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl, the story follows Sophie, a young orphan girl who befriends the Big Friendly Giant and helps him put a stop to the other, evil giants who have been eating people. The film has been in the works for years now, with screenwriter Melissa Mathison first taking on the project in 2011. According to The Hollywood Reporter, though, Spielberg's involvement is finally setting the wheels in motion, with the direction aiming to have the film ready for a 2016 release.
Adapting any Dahl novel is a tricky undertaking, but The BFG is one of his most iconic and most fantastic stories, which means in addition to contending with the high expectations that generations of fans have, Spielberg will also need to ensure that the tone of Dahl's novel translates to the screen. Dahl's work is characterized by the tone he uses to tell his stories, a mix of whimsical fantasy, heartfelt sentiment, and creeping darkness that is difficult to replicate, which means it will be the biggest challenge that Spielberg will face in adapting The BFG. It's very easy to veer too far towards camp or sentimentality when bring Dahl's novels to the big screen, but the most successful adaptations have found a way to replicate that mix of oddity and heart.
It's such a tricky task to accomplish that despite two different adaptations of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, neither one has managed to truly bring the world in Dahl's book to life. Tim Burton's 2005 version treated the human darkness that grounded the book with a cartoony macabre sensibility, traded in Charlie Bucket's story altogether in order to give Johnny Depp a stage to show off his take on Willy Wonka with every weird tic he could think of. The attempts to balance out the kookiness resulted in a maudlin backstory for Wonka, and the film swerved between those two poles. The 1971 film came closer, though instead of cloying sentiment, it attempted to balance out Wonka's eccentricities with a terrifying dark side.
The trick then, as Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox proved, is to find the right balance of lightness, darkness, and insanity. In many ways, Anderson is the ideal filmmaker to adapt Dahl, as their artistic styles have a great deal in common. Both tend to inject their works with a certain amount of surrealism or absurdity, and derive both their comedy and tragedy from there, while grounding their stories in the darker points of reality. Fantastic Mr. Fox works not just because it exists in the same kind of highly-stylized, slightly-odd world that is so commonly associated with Dahl's work, but also because it finds a way to balance the absurdity of the plot with the very real danger the characters face, and the familial conflict overtaking Mr. Fox's family. It's weird and quirky and just a bit twee, all of the things that we associate with a story by Dahl, and it's the combination of all three elements that make it work.
Of course, it's still possible for a Dahl adaptation to work even if the filmmaker doesn't have similar sensibilities to the author himself. Though Dahl wasn't particularly fond of it, Danny DeVito's 1996 version of Matilda is a fan favorite, even if it did shift the setting to the United States. It's a fairly straight-forward interpretation of the story, and at times it's a big sappier than Dahl's original work, but by placing the focus squarely on Matilda, the spirit of the novel is able to translate to the screen. The Wormwoods provide the required insanity, Trunchbull gives the film a dark edge, and the magic helps make everything a bit more absurd and fantastic, but the heart of the story is always Matilda, which helps keeps the story grounded and true to the nature of Dahl's original work.
It's likely that Spielberg will take a similar approach in adapting The BFG. Though his films have plenty of fun and goofiness, they tend more toward sentiment than absurdity, so it seems that his best route into the world of Dahl would be through the story's protagonists. He’s proven himself to be adept at both fun adventure stories and heart-warming tales of friendship between human and creature, but finding the right balance of the two can only come from focusing on Sophie and the BFG. His world will provide both the needed goofiness and dark undertones, and both characters are so kind-hearted enough to provide all of the warmth and affection that the story needs, but it’s their friendship that will give Spielberg the key to ensuring that the world he brings to life onscreen is true to the one that Dahl crafted in his story.
And if he doesn’t pull it off, there’s always Matilda: The Musical to fill any Dahl-shaped holes in your life.
Alcon Entertainment/Warner Bros.
After a winter cold enough to evoke legitimate concern of a White Walker invasion, we're finally starting to remember what sunshine feels like. Although it isn't quite summertime yet, we're about ready to take our first steps into beach season: Tanning. Surfing. Volleyball. Dolphins. In the latter department, we'll have a little help — the first trailer for Dolphin Tale 2 is set to hit on Thursday, inciting due excitement for the sequel to the charming 2011 family film.
Alcon Entertainment/Warner Bros.
The new movie, opening in theaters on Sept. 19, continues the adventures of young Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble), who fell in love with beached dolphin Winter and put his all into ensuring the injured sea creature's safety and survival. This time around, Nelson will devote his efforts to the rescue of Hope, an orphaned dolphin calf who attracts not only the attentions of the young environmentalist but of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium staff as well. Like Dolphin Tale, the sequel is based on a heartwarming true story that tears back the cynicism and reminds us of the true warmth living in the hearts of people. (...and dolphins. Mostly dolphins.)
Alcon Entertainment/Warner Bros.
Hollywood.com was lucky enough to pay a visit to the Dolphin Tale 2, meeting with cast members like Gamble, Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., Austin Highsmith, Austin Stowell, and Cozi Zuehlsdorff, as well as producer Andrew Kosove and Clearwater Marine Aquarium CEO David Yates.
Alcon Entertainment/Warner Bros.
Look for the first teaser for Dolphin Tale 2 on Thursday at 7:30 PM ET, and catch the film when it hits theaters on Sept. 19.
Johnny Depp was freaked out during a recent trip to China to promote his new movie Transcendence when young boys with the film's title shaved into their scalps were presented to him. The movie star admits he really enjoyed his Chinese trip, during which he became one of the first westerners to visit an abandoned bomb factory that has become a thriving artist colony, but there was one weird moment he can't get out of his mind.
He tells WENN, "On the whole, I found a real warmth in the people there. They were very sweet and welcoming. It was quite a turn-out that we had and a lot of strange things went down that I'd rather not talk about ever again in my life.
"There were these four little quadruplet Chinese boys dressed in kind of priest outfits, and Transcendence comes out to (is written with) four Chinese characters (sic). Well, they'd shaved those characters onto those little boys' heads to bring them out on stage with me.
"I'm pretty shy, so I tend to run when that kind of thing happens. Little boys with their heads shaved into the name of the film; that scares me a little."