Pretty Dolphin Tale star Austin Highsmith has hit the stand-up comedy circuit as part of a dare. The actress' pal and co-star Cozi Zuehlsdorff and her father encouraged her to take her comedy skills to the stage during filming on Dolphin Tale 2 and so she took a class to see if she was cut out for the clubs.
She tells WENN, "It was supposed to be a one-time thing but I keep getting booked, and now it looks like I'm going to be possibly touring this fall! It's a very weird thing.
"I talk about my dad a lot because my dad is a character and a half. I had a very interesting childhood. Here's one of my jokes: My parents are still together and they've been married for 39 years and they couldn't be more different. My mother is more quiet and she likes to read. My father enjoys making bird noises and his number one goal in life is to be black! I'm not kidding. He will just walk up to large groups of black men and be like, 'Yo wassup brothers! Oh man, white people, they are so boring'.
"I'm like, 'Dad you are white!' That's part of my bit and that's a true story! He doesn't understand that he's white; we have to constantly remind him. It's really awkward!
"The lady that raised him is African-American so he doesn't understand that he's not also African-American; that she was just his nanny. He just really doesn't understand so it puts us into very humorous situations.
"I recently did a show at the Tampa Improv (in Florida). It's a very scary and a very nerve-wracking experience and I usually black out onstage to be completely honest. Then I get offstage and people tell me I actually told jokes. I've only been doing it for a few months; I've done nine shows so far."
Hit comedy The Inbetweeners 2 has soared to the top of the U.K. box office chart with opening weekend (08-10Aug14) takings of $21.3 million (£12.5 million). The comedy sequel, which stars James Buckley and Simon Bird, knocked Guardians of the Galaxy from the top spot. The superhero blockbuster fell to number two with takings of $5.7 million (£3.3 million).
The sequels continued to reign at the box office as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hung on at number three with $3 million (£1.7 million) and Planes 2: Fire & Rescue made it to number four at around the $1.7 million (£1 million) mark.
How To Train Your Dragon 2 rounded off the chart at number five, taking $1.5 million (£893,792).
The Inbetweeners 2 set a new British cinema record with its mid-week opening, which netted £2.7 million ($4.6 million).
Julia Stiles' new off-Broadway play has been branded "poorly staged" and "terrible" by critics following its opening in New York City. The 10 Things I Hate About You actress stars in Phoenix, a drama based around a one-night stand, which opened at the Cherry Lane Theatre in Manhattan on Thursday night (07Aug14).
However, the production has been hit with a slew of scathing reviews, and a number of one-star ratings.
Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News cites similarities to Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl's movie comedy Knocked Up, but insists the play is undermined by "dialogue that is forced and artificial" adding, "The title has double meaning - a city in Arizona and a bird rising up from the ashes. Phoenix can't boast of such an ascension. It never gets off the ground."
The New York Post's theatre critic Elisabeth Vincentelli also gave the play one star out of a possible five, and filed her review under the heading, "Julia Stiles tanks in terrible rom-com play Phoenix". She also calls the play "an attempt at edgy rom-com that needs all the help it can get", adding, "You'd think Julia Stiles would know better after all those movies... Yet here she is in Phoenix, looking mighty uncomfortable in a bad play that's just as poorly staged and even more horrifyingly costumed."
Elysa Gardner of USA Today concludes, "'I'm getting sick of my own voice', says Sue, one of the two characters... toward the end of the final scene... Sadly, by this point in the play... you'll be tired of both, though particularly hers."
However, The Hollywood Reporter's Frank Scheck concedes the play has a "sly charm that sneaks up on you," adding, "While the plotting is both thin and contrived, the playwright displays a gift for sharp, funny dialogue."
The play, written by Scott Organ, is reportedly set to be made into a film by Robert Redford's director daughter Amy.
The stars of hit British comedy The Inbetweeners are celebrating after their new sequel movie smashed a U.K. box office record on Wednesday (06Aug14). The Inbetweeners 2, starring James Buckley and Simon Bird, received a special midweek opening at 495 cinemas across Britain, and the hugely-anticipated comedy netted $4.6 million (£2.7 million) in ticket sales.
The haul beat the previous opening day tally for a comedy movie set by the first Inbetweeners film in 2011, which took $4.2 million (£2.5 million).
It also ranked as the third-highest midweek opening of any film in the U.K., behind Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in 2009 and 2003's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
Love or hate Twitter, you can't deny that celebrity parody accounts are it's best creation. There are thousands of accounts out there, and most of them suck, but there are some precious gems. Believe us when we say, the really funny Drake parodies are so worth wading through endless #DrakesTheTypeOfGuy accounts.
George R. R. Martin - @GRRM
Until recently, the Game Of Thrones author was not verified on Twitter. Some speculated that these cryptic tweets could only be the work of the real GRRM, but it was just a clever ruse.
Live every day like it's your last. You never know if I'll decide to kill you off. #GeorgeWisdom
— George R.R. Martin (@GRRM) July 31, 2014
Did Sam make a promise that he wouldn't die?... Haha pic.twitter.com/7GlDQ6bNTY
— George R.R. Martin (@GRRM) July 28, 2014
Mark Zuckerberg - @notzuckerberg
Fake Zuckerberg is here to give us the honest truth: we’re all pathetically addicted to Facebook. Thanks Zuckerberg for hooking us in, and thank you even more fake Zuckerberg for helping us laugh at it.
You're soon going to have to download our Messenger app to write Facebook messages. And you'll need a third app if you want to send them.
— Not Mark Zuckerberg (@notzuckerberg) July 29, 2014
I apologize that Facebook went down for thirty minutes this morning and that all of you were forced to spend that half hour meaningfully.
— Not Mark Zuckerberg (@notzuckerberg) June 19, 2014
Taylor Swift - @feministtswift
This is basically a Twitter account combining Feminism and Taylor Swift lyrics in the best possible way.
I don't know about you / So I won't assume your experience as a woman / But I'm feeling 22
— FeministTaylorSwift (@feministtswift) January 16, 2014
And you call me up again just to break me like an anti-discrimination law
— FeministTaylorSwift (@feministtswift) July 15, 2014
Bill Nye - @yaboybillnye
If you’re looking for someone to drop some knowledge on you, then you better hit up Ya Boy Bill Nye. If anyone on the planet deserves a worthy Twitter parody account, it’s Bill Nye The Science Guy.
ERRBODY IN THE LAB GETTIN TIPSY
— YA BOY BILL NYE (@yaboybillnye) August 4, 2014
SCIENCE FACT lava is hot
— YA BOY BILL NYE (@yaboybillnye) August 1, 2014
Lord Voldemort - @Lord_Voldemort7
Even the Dark Lord is on Twitter. Okay, so maybe Voldemort isn’t real, but he’s basically one of the biggest baddies there is, so that makes him a celebrity. Which means, obviously, he’s got the best Twitter parody account of the bunch.
It's July 31st. For some reason that date seems familiar....
— The Dark Lord (@Lord_Voldemort7) July 31, 2014
Wrong world cup... http://t.co/Nn8szqDlMg
— The Dark Lord (@Lord_Voldemort7) June 14, 2014
Drake - @StuffDrakeDoes
Drake fans get a little insight on Drake's day-to-day life with this Twitter account. Now we know what this soulful artist really thinks (and feels) when asked the tough questions.
Airport security. "Any hazardous materials, sir?" Drake smiles to himself, and shakes his head. "The dagger in my heart," he thinks.
— Stuff Drake Does (@StuffDrakeDoes) August 1, 2014
Drake hands over his passport at the terminal. "Destination, sir?" Drake shakes his head. "Somewhere else," he whispers.
— Stuff Drake Does (@StuffDrakeDoes) July 17, 2014
Betty White - @BettyFckinWhite
As we expect Betty White is in real life, her parody account is up to date on all of Hollywood’s latest drama. With a decent amount of Beverly Hills, 90210 tied in.
If Jay-Z and Beyoncé divorce that'll make it an even 100 problems then.
— Betty F*ckin' White (@BettyFckinWhite) August 4, 2014
Why isn't Jason Priestly in Sharknado 2? Isn't it his turn?
— Betty F*ckin' White (@BettyFckinWhite) July 30, 2014
Bill Clinton - @PimpBillClinton
About 90% of these tweets are probably NSFW, which makes them all Clinton approved.
Don't call them all you can eat pancakes if you're gonna cut me off at 37.
— Pimp B. Clinton (@PimpBillClinton) August 4, 2014
I just got so high that I bought every Limp Bizkit song off of iTunes.#cryforhelp
— Pimp B. Clinton (@PimpBillClinton) August 2, 2014
The Queen of England - @Queen_UK
If you’re going to make a parody account for the world’s most powerful woman, this is how you do it.
The Proclaimers were due to close the show by they've walked 500 miles away since Lulu started. #closingceremony
— Elizabeth Windsor (@Queen_UK) August 3, 2014
— Elizabeth Windsor (@Queen_UK) July 24, 2014
Chuck Norris - @chuck_facts
So we're not 100% sure this isn’t just Chuck Norris parodying himself, because no one makes fun of Chuck Norris but Chuck Norris.
Chuck Norris can divide by zero.
— Chuck Norris Facts (@chuck_facts) August 2, 2014
Chuck Norris killed two stones with one bird.
— Chuck Norris Facts (@chuck_facts) July 23, 2014
Broadway icon Elaine Stritch was convinced her stomach cancer was in remission after undergoing surgery just two months before her death on Thursday (17Jul14), according to her agent. The Two's Company star, who relocated from New York to her native Michigan last year (13), passed away at the age of 89 and it has since been revealed she was quietly battling cancer at the time of her death.
Now her agent and longtime friend Joel Dean has remembered Stritch as "a great lady" and revealed she was in high spirits just weeks ago after her last operation, before the disease came back.
Dean, who believes her health struggles were complicated by her diabetes, tells People.com, "They (doctors) took out a good part of her stomach, that was maybe two months ago. She said, 'They got it all, they got it all'. But it came back quite aggressively."
Meanwhile, 30 Rock creator and star Tina Fey has added her tribute to Stritch, who was cast as Alec Baldwin's sharp-tongued mother Colleen Donaghy in the hit sitcom.
She says, "Elaine was a 'tough old bird,' but I suspect she may have been a 'tough old bird' since birth. I loved her voice, her timing, her stories and her natural elegance."
Fey will also remember the acting veteran for her generous nature, adding, "One day she was wearing a beautiful butterfly cocktail ring, and when I admired it, she gave it to me on the spot - like an Arab sheik in black pantyhose. I feel very lucky to have worked with her as much as I did."
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Over the course of her career, Cameron Diaz has played everything from an ogre princess to a crime-fighting angel to the most irresponsible teacher of all time. But though she's best known for starring in goofy, raunchy comedies, Diaz's resume is filled with varied compelling roles that don't get talked about nearly as much as her underwear dance in Charlie's Angels. In fact, we'd go so far as to say that over the course of her career, Diaz has steadily delivered surprising, awards-worthy performances that often get overlooked by both the press and the public. In honor of her latest film, Sex Tape, arriving in theaters Friday, we've taken a look back at Diaz's life and career to pinpoint every single performance that shocked, moved, and impressed us... and, in a just world, would have impressed the Academy as well.
The CounselorLet’s get this out of the way: yes, Diaz’s character does have sex with a car. It’s a shame, though, that the hubbub surrounding that scene overshadowed everything else about her performance, which is insane in the best possible way. As Malkina, the calculating girlfriend/partner in crime to Javier Bardem’s Reiner, Diaz turned everything up to 11 to give an over-the-top, off-the-wall performance that is more entertaining than attempting to figure out what’s happening with Bardem’s hair. Despite a star-studded cast and a script by Cormac McCarthy, Diaz was easily the most memorable thing about The Counselor, as well as the most compelling.
ShrekOkay, so the Oscars don’t honor voice over work. That doesn’t mean that Diaz’s work as Princess Fiona isn’t worthy of praise. With anyone else voicing her, Fiona would probably turn out to be another cookie-cutter animated princess – kooky, sure but not downright weird, and probably not willing to convince a bird to sing itself to death or having a burping contest with an ogre. Diaz gives Fiona an absurd amount of personality, depth and fun, making her feel as alive as she would if it actually ere Diaz up on that screen.
My Best Friend’s Wedding Julia Roberts get all of the attention, but her Julianne Potter would be nothing without Diaz’s sweet, warm-hearted Kimmy Wallace. A character like Kimmy could have easily been one-dimensional: an unrealistic perfect girl meant to make the protagonist jealous. But Diaz’s Kimmy is a fully realized person; she’s not just sweet, she’s also naïve and awkward and genuinely open-hearted. And her ability to turn what would otherwise be a painfully embarrassing karaoke scene into an endearingly goofy moment deserves much more credit than Roberts letting Dermot Mulroney go.
USA Films via Everett Collection
Being John Malkovich And you thought The Counselor was a strange movie. In Being John Malkvoich, Diaz plays Lotte, the unhappy, pet-obsessed wife of John Cusack’s Craig, who enters into a relationship with Craig’s work crush Maxine (Catherine Keener) while inside the head of John Malkovich. It would be easy to let the craziness of the plot outshine the characters, but Diaz, wearing a horrendously frizzy wig and a series of unflattering outfits, uses the opportunity to give a weird, intense, complex performance that is, unfortunately, often forgotten in favor of her comedic ventures.
There’s Something About Mary The Mask may have put her on the map, but it was the Farrelly Brothers’ comedy that really made Diaz a star. The entire movie hinges on her being the most irresistible woman in the universe, so she needs to win over the audience in addition to the characters. Diaz does exactly that. Her performance is bright, charming and effortlessly funny, and it’s not hard to see why everyone fell in love with her hilarious and heartwarming character.
In Her Shoes In Her Shoes is a much better movie than it appears in its trailer, and much of that is due to Diaz’s performance as Maggie, the free-spirited wild child sister of Toni Collette’s Rose. It would be easy to turn Maggie into a flighty, one-dimensional character, but Diaz manages to turn a somewhat trite reveal – Maggie is dyslexic and has trouble reading and doing basic math – into an opportunity to showcase the insecurity, doubt, and hurt that has turned Maggie into the frivolous party girl that she is. It’s a surprisingly layered performance for a light-hearted movie about the relationship between sisters, and Diaz easily holds her own opposite Collette and Shirley MacLaine, both of whom received more attention.
Vanilla Sky Whether you loved Vanilla Sky or found it impossible to get past Tom Cruise’s melted face, there’s no denying that Diaz’s performance was the standout of the film. As Julie, the suicidal, jealous ex-girlfriend of Cruise’s David Aames, Diaz is simultaneously terrifying and heartbreaking, showcasing all of the hurt, anger, and instability that drive her to extreme measures. More than just the femme fatale or the vindictive ex, Diaz’s Julie is a tour de force performance that unfortunately got overshadowed by some terrible prosthetics.
A huge sculpture depicting Monty Python's iconic dead parrot has been erected in central London. The comedy quartet's famous sketch, in which John Cleese attempts to return a deceased bird to a pet store, has inspired an artwork which was unveiled on the banks of the Thames River close to Tower Bridge on Monday (14Jul14).
The 50-foot (15-metre) long dead parrot, which is made from fibreglass, was suspended from a crane before it was laid to rest on its back at Potters Fields.
The parrot was created as a tribute to the comedy troupe and to celebrate the current reunion run at London's O2 Arena, which will be broadcast on TV in the U.K. on Sunday (20Jul14).
British rocker Noddy Holder has been selected to receive the Freedom of his hometown by local officials. The former Slade frontman returns to his native Walsall, England on Tuesday (24Jun14) to receive the special civic honour at the town's council headquarters.
Holder says of the accolade, "It's a great honour. I only wish my mum and dad were alive to be there. They both lived in Walsall all of their lives.
"Hopefully it can give Walsall a bigger profile around the country."
Walsall Council leader Mike Bird adds, "We're absolutely delighted and very proud that Noddy Holder has accepted this honour."
The musician made his singing debut at the Walsall Labour Working Men's Club aged seven.