Sadie Calvano, the 16-year-old actress who plays Anna Faris' pregnant teenaged daughter in the CBS sitcom Mom has come a long way in a short amount of time. With only a handful of credits on her resume — most notably playing the title character's niece in J. Edgar — Calvano finds herself not just on a hit television show, but with a plotline that has spurred a strong reaction. In the March 3 episode of the show it was revealed that her character Violet, intends to give her baby up for adoption.With the series recently picked up for a second season, the actress reflects on getting to work with her famous costars and playing a teenager struggling with some big life decisions.
It seems like an ideal situation for a young actress to get to work with Allison Janney and Anna Faris. What has the experience been like for you?I've gotten so lucky to work with such an amazing cast and crew, and to be with these women in Anna and Allison that are such amazing artists but still such amazing people. It's something that I don't feel really happens that often. So getting to be a piece of that puzzle is such a gift.
You've also had some big name guest stars as well, with the next episode focusing on Octavia Spencer's recurring character, Regina, heading off to jail.Octavia Spencer... what?! She is one of my biggest role models. I think all of her work is so brilliant. When she first made an appearance on the show, it took every fiber of my being not to go all fan-girl over her. She's so lovely and strong and brilliant. Working with her is such a lesson in being humble and grounded. It shows what a great artist is capable of and she's a wonderful woman as well.
What's the reaction been like since fans found out that Violet is giving her baby up for adoption?I think it's been good. Obviously, adoption is a touchy subject but I think that Mom is becoming known as being a comedy that doesn't hesitate to get into heavy subjects. I think that this really shows Violet's strength in a lot of ways because adoption isn't an easy decision for anyone, but hopefully it will create better lives for everyone involved.
Have you gotten much feedback from teens that really are, or have been, pregnant?Not me personally, but I'm sure that it's out there. The great thing about our show is that it enables teens and parents to start a dialogue about these topics and get a conversation flowing. These are real things going on in the world right now and hopefully it brings a little bit of awareness, even if it's in a comedic format.
Anna Faris also played a woman giving her baby up for adoption on Friends. Has she given you any tips on how to play pregnant?Anna is so wonderful and she's so good about answering any questions that I have. So, she's been not just an amazing coworker, but such a friend and such an influence. It's hard without a doubt [to play someone that's pregnant] because you're expected to convey so many feelings that you are just incapable of knowing about right now. But it's also been really fun in a weird way, because it feels like I've gotten to have a little secret. Obviously, everyone know that [the character] is pregnant, but pregnancy is such an intimate thing that it's taken a lot of digging and discovery. So, it's been super fun as well.
CBS just announced that Mom is coming back for a second season. How did it feel getting the news on the renewal?I could not stop smiling. I had the biggest smile on my face all day. It was the most wonderful news I could ever imagine. To find out now and not have to wait — knowing that you get to come back to this amazing project — it's just... amazing.
Any hints about what's in store for Violet?I have no idea, the writers are very good at being tricky. In the last couple of episodes, you've really been exposed to the strength that Violet has. She's made some undeniable mistakes, but she's a very intelligent girl. So, I'm hoping that you get to see the strength not just of Violet, but of the family that she's now enabling to thrive.
Moviemaker Robert Rodriguez is going back to his roots to offer budding directors the chance to make their dream film on a budget. The Sin City mastermind became an overnight sensation when his low-budget 1992 film El Mariachi became a cult hit, and now he's keen to give wannabe filmmakers an opportunity to follow in his footsteps.
Rodriguez is working on a reality show for his new El Rey TV network, which will give visionaries the chance to make a film for just $7,000 (GBP4,400).
He tells the Los Angeles Times, "I want to do a show called "The Mariachi Project" where I give $7,000 to a filmmaker to go make a feature. We'll show it on the network, give it some critiquing. At the end of the season the winner, chosen by the audience, will get to remake the film with a bigger budget, a real crew and bigger actors."
Rodriguez insists the concept will be easy for savvy filmmakers - because he could make El Mariachi for $700 (GBP435) today.
He adds, "The biggest expense was the film stock and now everybody shoots digitally. The film camera I had was so noisy, I had to record the sound separately. It sounded like all my money running away."
Veteran crooner Barry Manilow wept on stage as he accepted a standing ovation at the opening night of his musical. The singer fulfilled a life-long dream by writing the music for Harmony, based on the true story of a group of German singers, but he faced a difficult journey bringing the show to the stage as the production was hit with numerous delays and setbacks.
After brief previews in 1997, Harmony finally opened in Los Angeles on Wednesday night (13Mar14), and Manilow was visibly overwhelmed when he was invited up to the stage at the end of the performance.
He was seen wiping away tears as he thanked the cast and crew, and added, "What do you say when a dream comes true?... This success is so emotional and exciting."
Universal Studios executives have confirmed production on the stalled Fast & Furious 7 movie appears will resume later this month (Mar14). The seventh instalment of the blockbuster film franchise was put on hold last year (13), following the death of star Paul Walker, in November, but now studio bosses at Universal have confirmed the cast and crew are preparing to get back to work on 31 March (14).
The film's star, Vin Diesel hinted at the impending return to the Fast & Furious set on Tuesday (11Mar14), with a post on his Facebook account that read: "The transition into that Dom (Diesel's character) state of mind has always been an interesting one. Only this time there is added purpose, a collective goal to make this the best one in the series... P.s. The long awaited completion of Seven, begins..."
Filming was half-completed at the time of Walker's death, and was due to hit cinemas this year (14). The film has now been pushed back to 10 April, 2015.
A stage show featuring music from British rock band Queen is set to close on London's West End this summer (14). We Will Rock You opened in 2002 and has become the longest-running production in the history of the Dominion Theatre.
The musical was created by Brian May, Roger Taylor and Ben Elton, and is based around the band's hit songs Bohemian Rhapsody, Radio Ga Ga and Another One Bites The Dust, among others.
A joint statement from May, Taylor and Elton, reads, "We want to thank every one of the many hundreds of incredible musical theatre artists, musicians and crew with whom we've had the privilege of working at the Dominion since 2002. And of course the incredible audiences who have rewarded them with over four and a half thousand standing ovations!"
Dominion Theatre general manager David Pearson adds, "It has been a privilege to have hosted We Will Rock You for the past 12 years. To have the show rocking the Dominion and seeing a standing ovation night after night has been quite amazing. We wish the show every success for the future."
The news comes days after Taylor and May announced they are teaming up with singer Adam Lambert for a 19-date North American tour this summer (14).
Veteran rapper Luther Campbell has been slapped with a $74,000 (£46,250) bill over unpaid taxes. The 2 Live Crew star has been accused of failing to pay his fair share of federal taxes to America's Internal Revenue Service for money earned in 2012, and now officials are demanding he settles the alleged debt, according to TMZ.com.
Campbell is the latest hip-hop star to find himself in trouble with IRS agents - MC Hammer, Snoop Dogg, Jermaine Dupri and Damon Dash have all faced accounting issues in the past year.
Audience members at the first showing of Simon Cowell's The X Factor musical in London were left waiting nearly an hour between acts due to technical problems. Preview performances of I Can't Sing!, a spoof of the British reality TV series which has been backed by Cowell, were pushed back twice as the production crew needed more time to work on the technical aspects of the show.
The West End musical was finally unveiled to the public on Wednesday (05Mar14), but the preview was hit with long delays.
The mid-show interval lasted nearly an hour due to a technical glitch and staff at the The London Palladium theatre handed out free drinks in a bid to keep the crowd happy.
A spokesperson for the show says, "We have a huge and ambitious set, which is thrilling our audiences when they see it, but we're aware that the turnaround between acts needs to be quicker and our technical teams continue to work extremely hard on shortening it. The preview period for any new West End show is, by its nature, a time for ironing out any issues and we fully recognise there's still work to do on the interval length, which is getting shorter all the time, and we thank everyone for their patience."
The show, starring Downton Abbey actor Nigel Harman, is due to officially open on 26 March (14)
Friends of tragic camera assistant Sarah Jones have set up an online campaign to improve safety on film sets. Jones was killed last month (Feb14) after she was hit by a train while shooting Allman Brothers biopic Midnight Rider in Georgia, and now her pals have created a website, where cast and crew members on film projects can pledge to protect their colleagues.
The document, which can be signed online, reads in part: "I solemnly pledge from this day forward that a safe set will be my first and highest priority. I pledge to look out for the safety of those around me and in turn will expect others to do the same."
Jones' friends write: "We have to be our own safety net because we are the only ones there in the moment. We need to be willing to speak up, speak loud, and more importantly support others in doing so."
The website also includes safety hotline numbers.
The cast and crew of hit sci-fi film Gravity have been sent congratulatory messages from space following the film's triumph at the Oscars. The drama, which stars Sandra Bullock as an astronaut, won seven Academy Awards, including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron, at the glitzy Hollywood prizegiving on Sunday (02Mar14), and the story resonated with the team at the International Space Station.
Real life astronauts Michael S. Hopkins, Richard Mastracchio and Koichi Wakata sent a video message to the Gravity team to congratulate them on their Oscars glory.
In the film, which was shot onboard the space station, Hopkins performed multiple celebratory somersaults in zero gravity, while his colleagues praised the film's "stunning visuals and stark imagery".
NASA veteran Mike Massimino also recorded a video to congratulate the Gravity crew, along with Catherine 'Cady' Coleman, while representatives at the space agency said in a statement, "NASA congratulates everyone involved with producing the movie Gravity for all of the Oscar wins, especially Alfonso Cuaron for winning best director at the 86th Academy Awards ceremony."
The videos were posted on NASA's website.
British TV host Chris Tarrant was hospitalised on Saturday (01Mar14) after falling ill on a flight to London. The Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? presenter was returning to the U.K. from Thailand when he alerted the cabin crew that he was feeling unwell.
An ambulance was waiting at Heathrow Airport upon landing to take the 67 year old to London's Charing Cross Hospital.
His manager Paul Vaughan believes the health scare was down to Tarrant's long-running battle with asthma.
He says, "I've been his manager for 30 years, and I know that if he goes down like a ton of bricks it's usually asthma.
"I'm surmising, but I think his asthma attack might have been triggered by a night-time stopover in Bangkok, which has very poor air quality."
Tarrant, who quit his hit quiz show last month (Feb14) after 15 years, was in Asia shooting a new travel series.