British actor Idris Elba has asked Lena Dunham for a role in her hit TV series Girls after meeting the writer/director on a U.K. chat show. The Wire star sat next to Dunham during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show earlier this month (Jan14), and he has now reached out to the actress and asked her to cast him in Girls.
Elba sent a message to Dunham via Twitter.com, writing, "Very funny woman. Can I come do a scene on your show?..." and Dunham replied, "You are a pure pleasure, an honour to share the couch with you."
Actor/director Sir Kenneth Branagh was terrified he would upset Queen Elizabeth II by kneeling on her beloved corgi dogs when he was knighted at Buckingham Palace. The Harry Potter actor was awarded the prestigious honour in November, 2012 for his illustrious career, but when he attended the glitzy ceremony in London, he was convinced he would embarrass himself by accidentally hurting the monarch's pets.
Branagh tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "It was pretty amazing. We had an amazing day - going to Buckingham Palace is quite something - but I was terrified. Terrified of stepping on dogs, the corgis are everywhere, so I was quite nervous of kneeling on one...
"I have no idea (what the Queen said to me), I was so nervous. It was a kind of dream and I couldn't believe it was happening. I was just thrilled that I managed to stand up!"
Recipients of the honour are traditionally asked to kneel as they are knighted.
Emma Thompson is totally killing award season already, and we've still got several major ceremonies to go before we're through. Since the press tour for Saving Mr. Banks began, it's been clear that the star has been on the scene for too long to worry about anything but having a fantastic time. She's silly and candid and occasionally tipsy and we love her. It's just Hollywood, after all. Why not have a little fun?
In no particular order, here are our current favorite Emma moments.
1. When She Portrayed Most of the Animal Kingdom on Ellen
A reserved, refined English actress like Ms. Thompson has no trouble taking on Ellen's animal noise guessing game. We're particularly fond of her donkey.
2. When She Defended "Difficult" Women
When David Letterman asks Thompson if she agrees that a woman as hard to please as her character P.L. Travers were involved in a movie production today, she'd be shown the door, Emma answers, "No! They'd be given their own TV show immediately!" And we'd watch it.
3. When She Anecdotally Shared Some Really Personal Information
Watch the clip to see what Emma has to say about the "all-fours" position necessary to have one's handprints immortalized at the Chinese Theater. Also, enjoy the reaction of her couch-mate Robbie Williams.
4. When She Shook It With Jimmy Fallon in Her Favorite Python Pants
Emma goes hard as the Roots play her in for her Late Night spot.
5. When She Told the Truth about Christian Louboutins
There's nothing we respect more than an actress who won't be a hero and can admit on the red carpet, "These things are killing me." Emma became our favorite presenter of the night when she came out with a martini in one hand and her evil stilettoes in another.
British actor Idris Elba was left mortified after mistakenly posting a semi-naked photograph on Twitter.com, because he only intended to send it to a girlfriend. The Wire star was flirting with a female pal via the microblogging website in July, 2011 when he tried to show her a saucy image of himself topless but accidentally shared it with his 970,000 followers instead.
He tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "I was sending it to a chick and by mistake I tweeted it. It was a horrible moment but it could have been worse!"
Universal via Everett Collection
Lone Survivor isn't a film for the faint of heart. It's a film that beats you down and only lets you up for a few precious moments before the credits roll, but that emotional throttling is what helps make the film such a powerful experience.
Peter Berg's Lone Survivor tells the story of Operation Red Wings, primarily focusing on a group of four Navy SEALs who are sent to the mountains of Afganistan to capture or kill a member of the Taliban. The plan goes wrong, and the team has to fight for their lives to escape the enemy-infested area. The film does a marvelous job of ratcheting up the tension before collapsing into its main action sequence, one that is as thrilling as it is unsettling. The long sequence brings forth memories of the infamous D-Day opening of Saving Private Ryan, except this film's fire-fight stretches out the violence like a medieval torture device. The langourous scene is, at times, hard to sit through. Each moment slips by in coiled tension. It's undoubtedly uncomfortable, and the film makes a point to never make the violence fun or enticing. The action isn't consequence-free, and every bullet fired carries weight, making the scenes brutal and unrelenting because of it. The film takes on the aura of a horror movie that wants you to feel every second that ticks by, and director Berg makes sure that a pressing hopelessness starts to weigh on the viewer just as it does on the soldiers.
Mark Wahlberg is plenty capable as Marcus Lutrell, a member of the SEAL unit that is sent on the mission. The supporting cast plays its parts admirably by believably infusing a diverse set of personalities and values into the soldiers, while still keeping them in tune with the same military culture that governs much of their thoughts and actions. There's a great scene where a difficult decision has to be made, and the viewer gets to see the different directions to which some of the character's moral compasses are tuned. Sometimes the right thing can mean different things to different people when the risk of death is on the table. The real standout in the cast is Ben Foster, whose SO2 Matthew Alexson swirls with barely contained fury. He is darkly intense and has electric screen presence that really starts to manifest when the bullets star flying and things become dire.
Universal via Everett Collection
For all the good will that the film builds up in its first and second act, the final third of the film hits some snags as history demands that the story take itself to a different location, sacrificing some of the tension that it has built up. In the last 30 minutes of the film, there are some odd tonal choices that don't gel with the tension brimming in the first half. A comedic scene involving a language barrier stands out in particular.
The movie makes a point to steer clear of any political judgment, and it doesn't try to lay blame for the botched mission on any one head. And while the film never outwardly states and opinion on the conflicts that America found itself embroiled in during this time period, the searing brutality depicted in the movie highlight that no one should be subjected to the pain that these men were faced with. Made abundantly clear is the soldiers' willingness to drop everything and serve their country the best way they know how. Lone Survivor tries to honor the soldier, but not glorify war.
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Lone Survivor is at its best when it makes you feel the worst. It gives soldiers their due reverence by showcasing the true terror of the battlefield, and while the film does start to sag a bit in its third act, it's still more than worth the experience in order understand the consequences of war, and its toll on the people in the trenches.
Robert De Niro had to convince fellow veteran actor Sylvester Stallone to sign on for their new boxing movie Grudge Match as the Hollywood hardman feared the comedy would be mocking his Oscar-winning classic Rocky. Stallone climbs back into the ring yet again in the new film, and he faces off with De Niro as rival fighters who come out of retirement to go toe-to-toe one last time.
De Niro relished the chance to play a boxer again following his Oscar-winning turn as Jake La Motta in 1980's Raging Bull, but Stallone was reluctant to join him as he suspected the movie would spoof his breakthrough film.
Stallone tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "I was worried because it might have come out as unintentional comedy but the way they worked it and with the other cast it started to get good so I stopped being foolish, precious and protective of Rocky and let it go."
De Niro adds, "When I heard about it I always knew it had to be Sylvester to do it. I had to talk him into it - he had reservations, he was worried about it being a comedy but I said, 'Don't worry, we'll do it together and it will be okay'."
Hollywood hardman Sylvester Stallone has quit his tough keep-fit regime after a lifetime of gruelling workouts. The musclebound movie star shot to fame in the 1970s with his role as down-on-his-luck boxer Rocky Balboa, and he went on to feature in a string of action roles including Vietnam veteran John Rambo in the First Blood franchise and a gutsy mercenary in The Expendables.
He has spent most of his career sticking to a rigorous fitness regimen to stay in shape for his signature roles, but now the 67-year-old has turned his back on the gym and is happy to grow old gracefully.
Stallone tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "I'm trying to avoid going to the gym. I ended up doing a lot of action films and you have to be in shape. I swear I was in the gym so often that if I'd had another daughter I would have called her Barbella! I figure at a certain age you get clogged arteries and you drop dead happy."
British rapper Tinie Tempah realised he had yet to really make it in America when he was refused entry to his own afterparty following a concert in the U.S. The Written in the Stars hitmaker has become one of Britain's biggest urban artists in recent years, scooping two honours at the 2011 Brit Awards and achieving a nomination for the prestigious Mercury Prize with his debut album Disc-Overy.
Despite frequent attempts to crack the U.S. charts, the rapper remains largely unknown Stateside - a fact rammed home in embarrassing fashion when security guards at a post-gig party failed to recognise him.
Tempah tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "We were trying to break America so everything was scaled back. Weeks before I had been performing for between 10 and 15 thousand people (in Britain) and there I was standing on a bar in the middle of the day performing to three or four people.
"After one gig, I tried to get into the aftershow and I wasn't allowed in. To make it worse they were playing one of my songs in the background. It was horrible."
Rock matriarch Sharon Osbourne has confessed she was lying when she recently told a British talk show host she had undergone an intimate operation on her genitals, insisting she made it up to be "flippant". Ozzy Osbourne's wife stunned BBC TV presenter Graham Norton last month (Nov13) when she claimed to have had reconstructive surgery on her vagina in 2011, branding the operation "excruciating".
Asked if it was worth the pain, she quipped, "My husband thinks so. It's back the way God wanted it to be."
However, cancer-survivor Osbourne, who has previously gone under the knife for multiple procedures, has now revealed it was all just a cheeky ruse.
During an appearance on U.S. shockjock Howard Stern's radio show on Wednesday (11Dec13), she explained, "(Norton) said to me, 'What cosmetic surgery have you had?' I said, 'Oh, I've had my vagina tightened!' A flippant, stupid thing to be silly...
"I've not had it done... I made it up. I swear on my children's lives (it was) just to be flippant... I do it all the time... How could I do that after I've had so much ill health? Now I'm not gonna start putting scaffolding up my vagina? It's like, no."
Osbourne, 61, was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2002, but managed to overcome the potentially-deadly disease and is now back to full health.
She has previously admitted to undergoing a tummy tuck, a boob job, gastric band surgery and a facelift.
Veteran pop star Sir Cliff Richard is finally calling time on his famous sexy photoshoots at the age of 73. The wrinkly rocker peels off or dons figure-hugging T-shirts annually for his calendar shots and continues to impress with his ripped physique well into old age.
However, the Living Doll hitmaker has now posed for his last racy photoshoot as he insists keeping fit is too much pressure as the years go by.
He tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "I am not going to do any more. How many shapes can I pull with this body? It's a pressure."