With a voice that refused to be silenced and a talent too big to be ignored, there was no doubt that Amber Riley was destined to be a star. Television viewers were blown away with her portrayal of the...
Actor/singer Matthew Morrison struggled to contain his emotions on Saturday (21Feb15) as filming on hit musical comedy series Glee wrapped for the final time, admitting there were "a lot of tears". The cast and crew shot the final scenes for the series finale over the weekend, marking the end of a six-season run, and Morrison reveals he barely managed to hold it together during his last day on the set of Glee.
He tells Eonline.com, "It was a tough day. I'm not going to cry now because I kind of got it all out, but it was a really tough day."
Morrison was handed the honour of singing Glee's closing song and the emotional scene left everyone in tears.
He says, "It was a beautiful send-off. But it was tough. I was singing to all the kids and Amber Riley starts crying and I'm like, 'Come on, don't do this to me right now.' And then Lea Michele starts crying and then Darren Criss and Chris Colfer.
"There were a lot of hugs and a lot of tears. It's been an amazing almost seven years."
Producers threw a carnival party for the Glee cast and crew to celebrate the end of the series and Michele shared a few photos from the bash on Twitter.
She also thanked fans for all of their support, writing, "I'm so grateful... to have had this incredibly amazing experience. Thank you so much to all of our amazing Gleeks (Glee fans) who supported us so much! I love you guys.
"We were so lucky to have had the most amazing crew who worked so hard everyday to make the show amazing. I'm so grateful for them.. So thank you all again so much from the bottom of my heart. I will miss Rachel Berry so very much."
Her co-stars Riley, Criss, Kevin McHale and Becca Tobin also took to Twitter to express their thanks to Glee fans.
Glee star Amber Riley will co-host a free night of discussion and performance to raise awareness of the race issues raging America. The actress publicly condemned the grand jury decisions against indicting the two police officers who killed suspects Eric Garner and Michael Brown in separate incidents last year (14), and she continued the discussion on Twitter.com regarding subsequent protests.
Riley has now set up an event with her pal to raise awareness and encourage activism over race issues in the U.S. The evening, titled More Than A Hashtag, will feature discussions, guest speakers and performances.
She writes on Instagram.com, "I have been trying to figure out ways to be more involved and keep this conversation going about race in America and bring people together to talk and understand one another... #MoreThanAHashtag is a night of open discussion and performance surrounding the misuse of police force and our role in activism to rekindle awareness towards injustice through expression by those who work in stage, music, television and film."
The free event will take place on 1 March (15) in Van Nuys, California.
Singer John Legend, rapper will.i.am and actress Gabrielle Union are among the celebrities who have expressed their outrage after learning a New York City police officer responsible for the death of an African-American man will not face charges. Eric Garner died on 17 July (14) after he was placed in a chokehold by Daniel Pantaleo during an arrest in Staten Island, where he had been caught illegally selling single cigarettes.
The incident was captured on camera and footage showed the victim gasping, "I can't breathe", before his body went limp.
His death was ruled a homicide by the New York City medical examiner, but a grand jury decided on Wednesday (03Dec14) that Pantaleo would not be indicted.
The ruling emerged 10 days after officials in Ferguson, Missouri declined to press charges against another white officer, who fatally shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in August (14) during a shoplifting investigation.
Legend was one of the first stars to publicly comment on the news, tweeting, "I am stunned by the failure to indict Eric Garner's killer... 'I. CAN'T. BREATHE.' God Damn."
Actress Union also used her social networking account to rant, "Unarmed man put n2 (into) ILLEGAL chokehold, says he can't breathe, caught on tape, later dies &no charges?! Tell us again ALL our lives matter... I have no words left... just angry tears thru (sic) gritted teeth. RIPEricGarner RIPHumanity RIPCompassion May the Lord have mercy..."
Former Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross adds, "My rage and sorrow are overwhelming me about Eric Garner. This has to STOP. NOW", and music mogul-turned-social commentator Russell Simmons writes, "i am deeply disappointed in the non-indictment of the police officer who killed Eric Garner. The Dept. of Justice must step in now."
Rapper Big Boi and actors Jesse Williams, Dule Hill and Amber Riley also tweeted their anger at the lack of indictment, while will.i.am added, "A cop chokes a man to death for selling cigarettes. He isn't charged for murder... I think all these privatized prisons are only built for black men in America...".
Meanwhile, A Tribe Called Quest star Q-Tip decided to rally supporters to protest the decision in New York.
He wrote, "6pm union square", before calling on fellow rappers, including Nas and Lil Wayne to lend their backing to the cause, urging them to "join us!".
Q-Tip was one of thousands of activists who took to the streets of New York on Wednesday night to protest the grand jury decision.
A large crowd of citizens calling for justice even formed around Rockefeller Center, where hundreds of revellers lined the streets while stars took the stage to perform at the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
During the live broadcast, host Matt Lauer addressed the protest, and said, "We are ushering the holiday season in here, and even as we do so, we have to mention it's been a bit of an emotional and even tumultuous day here in New York City... We have to say we hope it will be a healthy and joyous and a peaceful holiday season for everyone."
Stars including John Legend, Kerry Washington, Mark Ruffalo and Pete Wentz have condemned police officers in Ferguson, Missouri for firing tear gas at protesters on Wednesday night (13Aug14). A group of campaigners took to the streets on Wednesday to express their outrage over the death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, who was shot by a police officer over the weekend (09-10Aug14).
Heavily armed riot police descended on the city centre and used tear gas and rubber bullets to break up the demonstration.
The news has sparked outrage and a number of celebrities took to Twitter.com to voice their disgust.
Legend writes, "The fact that the small town Ferguson police dept (department) has all this equipment should disturb us all. Priorities... Apparently the equipment was brought in from other communities. But still... America is #1 at war and imprisoning. I wish we were #1 at building infrastructure and health care and educating our kids."
Scandal actress Washington adds, "What's happening in #Ferguson is devastating. Wow," and Fall Out Boy rocker Wentz writes, "Photos out of #Ferguson look like more like a war zone."
Ruffalo shared a link to the story and added, "No, it's not Baghdad, it's in America tonight," while dance artist Moby concludes, "Nothing makes me more ashamed of America than the abuse of power. Our country is supposed to be ruled by laws, not the gestapo (Nazi secret police)... dear #Ferguson police, your job is to protect people and respect the law. Or did you all skip police school on the day that was taught?... a reminder: It is 100 per cent LEGAL to photograph or film the police anywhere in the U.S. it's our first amendment right. #Ferguson #AbuseOfPower."
Glee star Amber Riley, Grey's Anatomy actor Jesse Williams and singer Sam Sparro also waded into the debate on Twitter.
Actress Lea Michele has paid tribute to her late boyfriend Cory Monteith on the first anniversary of his death. Monteith died in a hotel room in Vancouver, Canada following a drug and alcohol-related overdose a year ago and on Sunday (13Jul14), the Glee star took to Twitter.com to honour the tragic actor. Sharing a picture of Monteith on the beach on the social networking site, she writes, "We hold you in our hearts today, and every day we remember your smile. We will love you and miss you always." Michele also posted a photo of herself and Monteith on Instagram.com. The actress was not the only Glee castmember to pay tribute to Monteith on Sunday. Actor Matthew Morrison writes, "I personally believe Cory was reborn into some other beautiful form a year ago today. I celebrate him and his life... Wherever that may be," while Amber Riley adds, "I remember your smile and your warm hugs! 1 year without you and your presence is still felt. Miss and love u everyday big bro Our Angel (sic)".
Actress Kristen Bell is set to show off her singing skills again when she leads the cast in an upcoming production of rock musical Hair at the Hollywood Bowl. The Frozen star has been cast opposite Hunter Parrish, Glee stars Amber Riley and Jenna Ushkowitz and movie veteran Beverly D’Angelo in the Tony Award-winning production, which will run for three nights at the fabled Los Angeles venue in August (01-03Aug14).
Hairspray filmmaker Adam Shankman will direct and choreograph the production.
Glee star Amber Riley will be honoured by a children's charity at an event in Los Angeles on Thursday (22May14). The actress will receive the Children's Inspiration Award from the A Place Called Home charity during the organisation's GirlPower luncheon. The group aims to empower underprivileged youths.
ABC Television Network
So, even though my Dancing with the Stars rankings were completely wrong, I may have been the only person to correctly rank Candace Cameron Bure above James Maslow. So ha!
Yes, in Monday's finale (part 1), after a rollicking martial arts-inspired free dance (and a real-live kiss during his tango with Peta – which somehow couldn't even compete with Meryl and Maks almost-kiss) James was sent home. Candace looked quite candidly shocked, as did pretty much everyone else in that studio audience. But, as Tom Bergeron would remind us, "That's live TV!" And hey, at least he got to encore his freestyle dance in last night's episode.
Speaking of which, I always forget that the second part of the finale is less a new episode and more a sort of homage to the rest of the season. A good deal of the episode is spent on retrospectives, bringing back old dancers and stars, video packages, and live musical performances, most of which was delightful – anyone could benefit from a repeat viewing of Charlie White's Dick van Dyke-approved jazz dance to "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," in my opinion. Plus, Maks "joked" that he was going to "ravage" Meryl and nickname both of their "mean, Russian children" "Bear" during one of the video packages. So there was that. Now, the musical numbers were a bit on the spotty side – ranging in quality down from Iggy Azalea's earpiece malfunction, to Christina Perri's pitch-y take on "Human," to the multitasking Cody Simpson and Amber Riley, and finally, up to Ariana Grande's pristine vocals on "Problem."
At long last, it came down to elimination time: which was a delightful brand of awkward, as the three remaining pairs watched selected video clips of themselves from as Christina Perri wailed away at her piano for a good two minute plus. Then, when that was over to the relief of the poor dancers/stars, the drumroll was so long that Candace dropped her poker face and grinned like a good sportsman. She was right – she did end up coming in third place.
And I have to admit, once it finally came down to Meryl/Maks vs. Amy/Derek, my heart was actually pounding a bit – because somewhere in the last 10 weeks I became a huge Meryl/Maks fan. Which was surprising, because I usually like underdogs, and Meryl had the clear advantage as a gold medal-holding ice dancer, while Amy had a lot more difficulties in uncharted territory as the first double-amputee on the show. But on the dancer side? Derek's kind of a DWTS juggernaut – rooting for him is kind of like rooting for the Yankees. And to counter Derek's five wins, much has been made of the fact that in 13 seasons, Maks has never taken the trophy once. Plus, Meryl's admission that she wanted to win more for Maks' sake than her own rang true, and that sort of sincerity is what's always made their relationship compelling to viewers.
With all that mind, their victory was truly a joy to behold (I delightfully noted that Meryl was up on Charlie's shoulders in mere seconds, while pretty much all of the rest of the cast had to band together to get Maks off the ground, so they could celebrate their new Mirror Ball Trophy in true DWTS form). Congrats, Meryl and Maks! Now, on to those mean Russian babies.
Glee stars Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison dated years before they became TV student and teacher on the hit show. The singer/actress has confirmed long-standing rumours the couple once dated in her new book Brunette Ambition, after previously insisting the romance stories weren't true.
Michele, who at 27 is eight years younger than Morrison, comes clean as she recalls landing the role of Rachel Berry in the TV musical. In an extract of the new book obtained by Us Weekly, she writes, "When we shot the pilot, I met Cory Monteith, Kevin McHale, Amber Riley, and Chris Colfer for the first time. I had worked on Broadway with Jenna Ushkowitz and Matthew Morrison before. Matt had been a friend of mine for years, and in fact we'd actually dated back in the day for a Broadway beat."
Michele previously insisted she and Morrison were never more than friends and the romance rumours were made up, and he also shot down the rumours of a pre-Glee fling with his co-star in a 2010 Parade interview, stating, "I got a call from my publicist (about it), and she got a call a minute later and we looked at each other like, 'What the f**k?' It's so laughable." Michele went on to date Monteith, who died following a drug overdose last summer (13).
Gay television is a complex premise. Gay men do not necessarily want to be singled out by their sexual identity. However, there is an interest in television shows that authentically speak to the gay experience and some semblance of the culture. Logo has opted to focus on lifestyle programming and go beyond labels which means mostly RuPaul’s Drag Race, old sitcoms, and edited-for-TV movies. Looking is problematic because its subdued tone and racist adjacent handling of minorities. Let’s not even talk about the Sean Saves the World debacle.
It seems like gay programming is moving to the Internet. There is less network red tape, people can make whatever shows they want, and the production values are higher than you’d expect. Here are just a few of the best the web has to offer to the discerning gay gentleman.
Gays: The Series
Looking is often compared to Girls due to their shared network home, but Gays: The Series might be more up the alley of Dunham fans seeking a program about homosexuality. The show succeeds in delivering a fresh take on gay single life, an attractive and diverse cast, and something that feels authentically New York. It does have a few shortcomings production wise, but for an independently produced series it succeeds in providing the gay community with their own HBO style comedy.
Johnny McGovern, a.k.a. The Gay Pimp, gives Tosh.0 the queer eye. He takes homoerotic videos from the Internet and provides color commentary with his comedy cronies Julie Goldman, Brandy Howard, and James Pombo aka Linda James. The show is funny and frivolous, never taking itself too seriously. There have been a ton of people that have tried to replicate the styles of The Soup and Tosh.0; this series may seem reminiscent but brings a unique voice, premise, and a little NSFW flair to the medium.
Anything from Drew Droege
Droege is a gay Internet celebrity who burst onto the scene with hilarious web impersonations of Chloë Sevigny (of all people). He’s also appeared in countless web videos. He headlines Hollywood Acting Studio where he plays an eccentric acting teacher at a community college. He’s also starring in Not Looking , a Funny or Die parody of the HBO series. It’s shocking that he has not been tapped to star on SNL given his outrageous characters and impressions.
Todrick Hall Productions
Believe it or not, there is a YouTube super producer at large. Todrick Hall is delivering YouTube videos with high production values and even celebrity cameos like Glee stars Alex Newell and Amber Riley. His videos incorporate race and LGBTQ issues seamlessly into parodies of popular films, Disney classics, and music videos. Whether it’s a gay male version of Mean Girls or Disney princesses dancing in a Beyonce video, he has his finger on the pulse of what people are interested in. Could he become the Internet’s answer to Oprah?
Cast as Mercedes Jones, a fashion-conscious diva, in Fox's "Glee"
Landed a minor role on the never aired pilot, "St. Sass" (WB)
Auditioned for Fox's "American Idol" at age 17; was rejected in the first round
With a voice that refused to be silenced and a talent too big to be ignored, there was no doubt that Amber Riley was destined to be a star. Television viewers were blown away with her portrayal of the feisty Mercedes Jones on the hit show "Glee" (Fox, 2009 - ), a wickedly funny and endearing series from "Nip/Tuck" (FX, 2003- ) creator Ryan Murphy about a group of talented misfits who populate the struggling glee club. Riley revealed her inner diva as Jones, the sassy, loud and take-charge alto who has a crush on the club's ultra-fashionable member who also happens to be a gay man. The show's humorous sub-plots and extravagant musical performances brought Riley's commanding voice to the forefront, making her a standout in the show every time she belted out a number and left the rest of the cast in her wake.