Actress Nicole Kidman has scrapped a U.K. TV appearance after falling ill with bronchitis. The Australian star was due to fly to Britain from her home in Nashville, Tennessee on Monday (26May14) to shoot an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, for broadcast in the U.K. on Friday (30May14).
However, the programme's producers have drafted in Kidman's ex-husband Tom Cruise to replace her after the Moulin Rouge! star was hit with a bout of the respiratory illness and warned not to fly so she can recover in time for filming commitments next month (Jun14).
Kidman's publicist tells Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, "She has bronchitis and the doctor won't let her fly yet. She has to stay put in Nashville because she has to be working on set in Italy on June 5."
Gender-bending Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst thrilled gay fans in the U.K. on Saturday night (25May14) when the bearded drag queen took the stage at the city's top nightclub. The Austrian singer, real name Tom Neuwirth, gave a dazzling performance G-A-Y, where Kylie Minogue and Miley Cyrus have recently performed sets.
Wurst prepared for the big gig by sitting down for an interview with British TV host Graham Norton, who introduced the entertainer at G-A-Y.
During the chat, the singer revealed Sir Elton John sent a bouquet to congratulate her on her win, and she had even received a tweet from Cher, adding, "I was so excited to receive the tweet, which said, 'Darling, you deserve a lovelier name and better wig'."
Wurst also told Norton that she hopes to host the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, Austria next year (15).
Actress Dame Julie Andrews gave a group of tourists a free performance from her hit movie musical The Sound Of Music by singing its title track during a day out in the Swiss Alps. The veteran star was enjoying a walk through the famous mountain range years after shooting the 1965 film when she realised the area was deserted.
To keep herself amused, she began singing the movie's theme tune, but was shocked when a group of Japanese tourists came into view and began watching her performance.
The actress tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "I had to get fit for a role so I used to go to Switzerland and I was walking around in the mountains. One day I thought, 'This is ridiculous, there's not a soul around' and I sang The Hills are Alive... just as a whole bunch of Japanese tourists came over the hill. You should have seen their faces!"
Hit crime drama Broadchurch was a triple winner at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) TV Awards on Sunday (18May14). The detective series picked up the Leading Actress prize for Olivia Colman, Supporting Actor for David Bradley and the top honour of the night for Best Drama.
Colman's win marked the star's third TV BAFTA prize, after claiming two trophies last year (13) for her roles in Twenty Twelve and Accused.
Overwhelmed with emotion upon receiving the award, Colman said through tears, "Well, Broadchurch, I'm so pleased everyone likes it. Chris Chibnall is a f**king genius, thank you for writing it! And (co-star) David Tennant, standing opposite you is a joy and a treat."
Double winners also included veteran presenters Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, who were feted with both Entertainment Performance and Entertainment Programme for Ant And Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, while comedy The IT Crowd earned both Katherine Parkinson and Richard Ayoade the Female and Male Performance in a Comedy Programme, respectively.
Other awards were handed to Southcliffe star Sean Harris for Leading Actor, Sarah Lancashire for Supporting Actress in Last Tango in Halifax, U.S. drug drama Breaking Bad for the International prize and Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor earned the Radio Times Audience Award.
Veteran TV star Cilla Black was lauded for her decades of work with the Special Award, while Julie Walters was given BAFTA's highest honour, the BAFTA Fellowship, for her contribution to film and TV.
During her acceptance speech she said, "When I told my mother I wanted to be an an actress in 1969, she said: 'She'll be in the gutter before she's 20'. But what a gutter, and I shared that gutter with some of the most amazing and talented people without whom I would not have a career."
Talk show host Graham Norton hosted the event for the second year in a row at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
Country singer Dolly Parton has cleared up long-standing rumours her body is covered in tattoos, insisting she only has few small pieces. The Jolene hitmaker is often asked if her tattoo collection is the reason why she wears long sleeves all the time, but she insists she just likes to cover up.
She says, "I do have a few little tattoos, but they were mostly done to cover scars because I'm so fair. I do have a few but they're not where you can see them... they are mostly for my husband."
In 2012, comedienne Jennifer Saunders and Roseanne Barr were left stunned when the 68 year old unzipped her top to reveal her tattoos on her breasts.
During an appearance the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show at the time, Saunders revealed, "I was in a restaurant with Rosanne Barr. Dolly was there and talking about tattoos. She winked at us and said, 'This will go no further', and then undid her top and there were her t**s and she has the most exquisite tattoos - angels and butterflies.
"They are the most divine, Titian like drawings... I kid you not. Although I did wake up in the morning and thought that couldn't have happened. But it did. It was one of the strangest evenings ever."
Veteran crooner Barry Manilow's infamous Copacabana shirt was returned to him by bosses of America's biggest museum after he made a joke about the garish garment featuring as an exhibit.
The Mandy hitmaker was asked by officials at the Smithsonian Institution to donate the item - a silver, glitzy, studded shirt with heavily ruched sleeves - which he frequently wore during his stage shows while performing his 1978 hit. The singer happily handed over the top but he was left stunned when bosses sent it back to him after he joked about it earning a place at the revered museum and research centre.
He tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "The Smithsonian museum asked if they could have it. I sent it to them and when I later made a joke that I always thought it would end up in an institution, they sent it back!"
Scottish actor James Mcavoy accidentally shot his co-star Josh Helman when they were playing around with BB guns on the set of X-Men: Days Of Future Past. The Atonement star, 35, enjoyed socialising with younger cast members in breaks between filming the action movie and they particularly loved racing around the trailer, firing BB air guns at each other.
McAvoy once got carried away and accidentally shot the newcomer in the face with a pellet, and Helman's fiancee gave him a scolding for the prank.
He tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "There's a young actor called Josh Helman and he plays the young Stryker and he was coming after me, he had it coming, and as I was running away, I flicked one off behind me, so to speak, I just popped it off and shot him right (on his chin) and I broke his skin and I got told off by his fiancee.
"She came round to my trailer and she was like, 'Hey, how you doing, I'm Josh's fiancee, I heard you shot him in the face... that's not cool', and I went, 'Ah, it was just a bit of fun' and she went, 'No, really man... James, take it down a minute, it's really not cool'... and I was like, 'Okay, I'm just going to go phone my wife and cry a bit'."
Actors Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and James Mcavoy put in a bizarre performance in an interview on U.K. TV on Friday night (02May14), dancing, singing, and even punching each other. The X-Men: Days of Future Past co-stars appeared on chat series The Graham Norton Show and spent the entire interview joking, bursting into song, and treating the audience to a dance routine.
At the beginning of the show, Jackman joked that Fassbender needed coaxing to leave his trailer on set and they used the Robin Thicke hit Blurred Lines to get him in the mood to work. The men then left the show's set and returned as the controversial song played before doing a few choreographed moves while the audience screamed and cheered.
Throughout the interview, Fassbender regularly burst into song, particularly Africa by Toto, and showed the audience how he makes synthesizer noises with his mouth.
Fassbender and Jackman also randomly burst into song, giving lines from Shakespeare's play Macbeth the musical theatre treatment.
McAvoy contributed to the bizarre atmosphere by punching Jackman in the arm, demonstrating a game the actors played on the film set. McAvoy explained that he punches the Wolverine actor with full force and it does not affect him, yet when Jackman hits him with his hardest punch, McAvoy ends up with a huge bruise on his arm.
Hugh Jackman urged movie bosses to ditch his superhero character Wolverine's metal claws after he almost sliced off his private parts during a nude scene.
The actor thrilled his female fans by getting naked for 2013 film The Wolverine, but peeling off on set while wearing the razor sharp blades on his hands almost caused an eye-watering injury. Jackman is adamant he enjoyed the "freeing" feeling of shedding his clothes, but producers were persuaded to replace the metal claws with a plastic pair when he came perilously close to cutting off his manhood as he tried to cover up in front of the female crew members.
He tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "I quite enjoyed (being naked) really, it's a very freeing feeling... There was a very intense first scene and I insisted on a closed set. I ran round the corner and all the female members of the crew were gathered there. I tried to cover myself and cut my inner thigh - it was just the inner thigh thankfully! The metal claws had to go - you can't have bits and pieces flying off."
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
As grand as the themes of good and evil, needs and deservings, power and responsibility and such forth are, superhero movies are generally pretty straightforward in premise: hero stops villain from wreaking havoc. As off-putting as this kind of simplicity might sound, it's usually the right way to go. If you pack enough substance into your characters and adhere your plot to these linear margins, you can actually wind up saying a healthy amount (and having a lot of fun). The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gets half of this formula down pat. Although Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker is still a moreover undistinguished identity, his emotional magnitude (re: his relationship with Gwen Stacy) is enough to keep him valid through the storm of lunacy that is his second feature. And it's not even that lunacy that holds him back. The problem isn't how wild his conquests are, how silly some of the action sequences feel, or how absolutely bonkers his villains turn out to be. It's all the other stuff (and yes, if you can believe it, there's a ton more going on in this movie than what I've already mentioned — that's the issue). All the plot twists, tertiary mysteries, ominous flashbacks, abject reveals, and weightlessly sinister pawns in this brooding game that, save for its fun with the baddies, takes itself way too seriously. All that stuff that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 thinks is necessary to make Peter Parker matter? It actually does just the opposite.
Peter is at his best when he's playing Tracy and Hepburn with the girlfriend he's perpetually disappointing (the eternally charming Emma Stone), or trying to win back the favor of the only remaining parental figure from whom he's rapidly slipping away (Sally Field, reminding us why she's a household name), or angling to connect with the mentally unstable engineer who just wants people to notice him (Jamie Foxx working his comic shtick with a frightening zest). We have the most fun with Peter when he's playing the simplest games, and we connect best with him on similar ground. But Peter and company, at the behest of The Amazing Spider-Man franchise's Sandman-sized aspirations, spend so much time exploring new avenues: the secrets surrounding the death and work of Richard Parker, the behind-the-curtains operations of OsCorp, the nefarious goings on in the waterside penitentiary Ravencroft.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
As a result of the grand stab at world building, there is just so much stuff that Peter has to wade through in this movie, dragging the likes of Gwen and his boyhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan, mastering angst, menace, and upper-class privilege all at once) into the dark crevasses of narrative waste. With so many diversions into the emotionally vacant, deliberately joyless explorations of Parker family origin stories, secret brief cases, and underground subways — The Amazing Spider-Man 2 rivals Captain America: The Winter Soldier in complexity, but forgets the necessary ingredient of fun — we barely have enough energy left when the good stuff hits.
And in truth, the good stuff isn't really good enough to sustain us through all the duller periods. Garfield and Stone do have laudable chemistry. Foxx is a hoot as Peter's maniacal new foe, especially when paired with the grimacing DeHaan. And the action, while often straying from any aesthetic authenticity, is nothing shy of neat-o. It's all passable, occasionally worthy of a hearty smile, but rarely anything you'll be definitively pleased you took the time to see.
But beyond coming up short in the micro, the film's regal downfall is its scope. With so much to do, both in accomplishing its own necessary plot points and setting up for those to come in future films, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 doesn't seem to take time to make sure it's having fun with its own premise. And if it isn't having fun, we won't be either.
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