Actor John Goodman is relishing the prospect of returning to the stage for the first time since undergoing knee surgery when he appears in a new West End production in April (15). The Argo star had a second knee replacement operation last year (14) and revealed he was desperate to recover from the procedure so he could get back in action in a stage show.
He is now preparing to star alongside British actors Damian Lewis and Tom Sturridge in a revival of David Mamet's 1975 play American Buffalo at the Wyndham's Theatre in London, and he can't wait for the curtain to go up on opening night.
Goodman tells Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, "I had a second knee replacement last March, so they're good to go. I can tread as many boards as I want, as long as they'll have me."
The play is due to run from 16 April to 27 June (15).
Musicians Josh Redman, Pat Metheny and John Coltrane's son Ravi were among the stars who turned out to celebrate the life of jazz bassist Charlie Haden at a special memorial on Tuesday night (13Jan15). Guests joined Haden's widow, singer Ruth Cameron Haden, at the Town Hall in New York City to remember the acclaimed star, who died in July (14), aged 76.
The gathering featured a slew of performances in tribute to Haden, with Metheny treating attendees to an acoustic guitar medley of his late pal's songs, while Redman covered Blues For Pat with the help of pianist Kenny Barron and drummer Jack DeJohnette.
Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane also saluted his former tutor by playing For Turiya, a tune Haden had penned for his mother, Alice Coltrane, while a pre-recorded video tribute from comedian Richard Lewis lightened the mood of the event by poking fun at Haden's poor comedy skills.
In the tape, Lewis said, "Charlie, play jazz in heaven if there is a heaven, but do not tell God, if there is a God, any jokes. No jokes."
Other guests at the bash included fellow musicians Lee Konitz, Henry Butler, Brad Mehldau and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, in addition to Haden's three children.
Actor David Oyelowo worked with a dialect coach and underwent a physical change to portray late U.S. civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in acclaimed new movie Selma. The Lee Daniels' The Butler star admits the transformation was difficult to capture, but he trained with a dialect coach and gained weight as he attempted to get into character - and he admits his struggles and the research were worth it.
He tells U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America, "Everyday I would do something to try and get closer to him (King) because I knew this was going to be my future at some point. I worked with an incredible dialect coach..."
Oyelowo also consulted King's friends and was stunned when civil rights leader and U.S. Congressman John Lewis praised his performance.
He continues, "It was one of the most extraordinary things. I hadn't met him before. The first time I met him was on the set of Selma and he walked straight up to me; I was in costume as Dr. King, and he said, 'Dr. King, it is so nice to see you again'. I was just frozen by that, because what a thing for him to say having not seen his friend for nearly 50 years."
The actor also explains his 30-pound (13.6 kilograms) weight gain was important in helping him master the role of the late political icon.
He adds, "I put on quite a bit of weight and shaved my hairline back... It got a little strange... There was this weird spiritual exchange - it's the only way I can describe it. There was a moment I looked in the mirror and I couldn't see myself anymore. It was a little bit strange, but I'm glad to be back to me."
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my old friend, who taught me so much as a wee youngster... and shaped a lot of my musical taste early on. I first heard the Pixies, John Lee Hooker, Greg Allman, Nina Simone because of BP. He's always been somewhat of a 'dignified rebel'..." Actress Juliette Lewis posted a tribute to ex-boyfriend Brad Pitt on Instagram.com to mark his 51st birthday on Thursday (18Dec14).
British pop star Cheryl Cole kicked off the festive celebrations in London on Thursday (06Nov14) by switching on the Christmas lights at the city's iconic Oxford Street.
The former Girls Aloud singer, whose married name is Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, was greeted by thousands of fans at the event in London's West End as she flipped the switch to launch the capital's most famous illuminations. She was joined by singer/songwriter Jess Glynne and the cast of West End musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the event featured performances from Rixton and Neon Jungle.
Cole follows in the footsteps of the Spice Girls, Sir Cliff Richard and Emma Watson, who have all previously turned on the famous light display.
British singer Tom Odell has recorded a version of John Lennon's song Real Love for an annual Christmas TV advertisement. The songwriter provides the soundtrack to this year's (14) traditional festive commercial for British department store John Lewis, which is titled Monty the Penguin.
Real Love was written and recorded by Lennon in 1979 but remained unreleased until after his death in 1980. It appeared on the soundtrack of 1988 documentary film Imagine: John Lennon and was later reworked by the three remaining Beatles and released as a single in 1996.
The John Lewis Christmas advert is a traditional fixture during the festive season in the U.K. and frequently boosts the careers of those involved - last year (13) Lily Allen hit the top of the British music chart with her cover of Keane's Somewhere Only We Know following its inclusion in the commercial. Ellie Goulding and actress/singer Amelia Warner have also previously taken part.
The 2014 clip will debut on U.K. screens on Friday (07Nov14).
R&B singer Toni Braxton is hoping for a love connection after playing a celebrity dating game on TV. The Unbreak My Heart hitmaker has been single for nearly five years and she turned to friend Queen Latifah for assistance with her romantic life.
The rapper-turned-TV host brought the singer on her U.S. talk show on Tuesday (16Sep14) and played a version of popular game show The Dating Game.
Braxton asked three eligible bachelors questions about their idea of the perfect first date and their favourite cuisine, but wasn't allowed to see them until the end of the game.
The singer decided to go with a stand-up comedian named John, and they were treated to a romantic dinner at Hollywood hotspot Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills.
Braxton has been separated from estranged husband Keri Lewis, a former member of R&B band Mint Condition, since 2009.
Jonah Hill poked fun at an ex-girlfriend while picking up GQ magazine's International Man of the Year honour in London on Tuesday night (02Sep14).
The Wolf of Wall Street star took aim at his sixth grade love while accepting the style trophy from Bradley Cooper. Hill said, "Emily, my first girlfriend... You broke my heart and left it shattered. It was really sad. I know you were young and love is wild and you grow apart, but I'm GQ International Man of the f**king Year!"
The twice Oscar-nominated star joined Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Pharrell Williams, Van Morrison, New Order, new Doctor Who Peter Capaldi, racing driver Lewis Hamilton and Paulo Nutini among the big style winners, while Johnny Depp presented punk veteran Iggy Pop with GQ's Icon Award at the Royal Opera House.
And the women weren't left out - Kim Kardashian West, who was joined on the red carpet by her husband Kanye West, picked up the Woman of the Year prize and stunned in a custom-designed haute couture Ralph & Russo gown. Reminding the world her full name is now Kim Kardashian West, the reality TV star said, "I want to thank GQ for making me Woman of the Year, and my husband for making me feel like woman of the year every day."
Among those handing over the top prizes at the ceremony Lindsay Lohan, Bradley Cooper, Gerard Butler, Rita Ora, Cara Delevingne, Daisy Lowe, Bob Geldof, Pippa Middleton and author E.L. James, who presented her Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan with a Breakthrough Award.
The full list of GQ Men of the Year Award winners is:
Comedian of the Year: John Bishop
Editor’s Special Award: Liam Neeson
Chef of the Year: Tom Kerridge
Designer of the Year: Christopher Bailey
International Man of the Year: Jonah Hill
Writer of the Year: Michael Lewis
Philanthropist of the Year: Tony Blair
Breakthrough Fashion Designers of the Year: Agi and Sam
TV Personality of the Year: Peter Capaldi
Innovator Award: Ewan Venters
Inspiration Award: New Order Hugo Boss
Most Stylish Man: Douglas Booth
Sportsman: Lewis Hamilton
Actor of the Year: Benedict Cumberbatch
Entrepreneur of the Year: Andre Balazs
Special Achievement: Paolo Nutini
Vertu Breakthrough Award: Jamie Dornan
Legend Award: Van Morrison
Solo Artist of the Year: Pharrell Williams
Leading Man of the Year: Colin Firth
Humanitarian of the Year: Ringo Starr
Woman of the Year: Kim Kardashian West
Icon Award: Iggy Pop
We got 86 hours of genre-defining television to digest, examine, ruminate on, live in, and yet we’ve still barely managed to pull our minds away from the last three seconds. The Sopranos may be regarded as the greatest dramatic TV series of all time, but four out of five conversations about the show these days surround its divisive ambiguous ending: “So what do you think,” we inevitably say to whomever we’ve found ourselves trading Sal impressions and praise of the “Pine Barrens” episode, “is Tony dead?” On Wednesday, the world found Sopranos creator David Chase’s — so fed up with the resilience of the question that he finally caved in a conversation with Vox writer Martha P. Nochimson — perspective on the matter: (and here’s his answer, for those wishing to stay in the dark)
Of course, Chase maintains that his is not the definitive ruling, that each and every viewer has equal authority on the case of Tony’s survival. Personally, I’ve always held to the belief that the family man/family man never made it out of that Italian restaurant, though I’ve had friends plead the alternative with terrific cases. More important to you than what anyone else thinks (be he a fellow viewer or even the creator of the series in question) is what you think, as your experience and relationship and with the show is yours to understand as you see fit. So what do you think about The Sopranos, and other shows and movies bearing likewise ambiguous conclusions? Let us know!
THE SOPRANOS: Did Tony die?
Yes: As Bobby Bacala said about death, “You probably don’t even hear it when it happens, right?”
No: That would be a thematic copout! Tony lives on with the demons he’s collected.
INCEPTION: Does the movie end in a dream?
Yes: Leo finds himself stuck in the prison (or paradise) of his own subconscious, destined to live forever with the mental projections of his children.
No: Cobb puts the incepting game behind him and returns home to the loving embrace of his children.
BLADE RUNNER: Is Deckard a replicant?
Yes: Just follow the unicorn.
No: But the jury’s out on Harrison Ford himself.
AMERICAN PSYCHO: Was it all in his head?
Yes: The Bret Easton Ellis adaptation is just a metaphorical glimpse into the menace and greed that lines our materialistic society.
No: That much Huey Lewis could turn anyone into a murdering lunatic.
SHUTTER ISLAND: Was it all in his head?
Yes: Man, Leo really needs to start playing folks with a better grip on reality than these dudes seem to have.
No: Trust us, Ashcliffe ain’t no Maui.
TOTAL RECALL: Okay, but was it all in HIS head?!
Yes: The whole thing was a falsified memory… just like we choose to believe about the remake.
No: We don’t want to live in a reality where “Consider this a divorce!” never happened.
BARTON FINK: Speaking of heads, was there a head in Barton's box?
Yes: What else could it be? John Goodman practically told us that outright!
No: The whole episode was a conconction of the writer's own imagination anyhow.
DAWN OF THE DEAD: Do Peter and Francince make it to safety?
Yes: There's gotta be somewhere out there that they can lay low to wait out this nightmare.
No: Humanity is doomed. They're no exception.
LOST: Were they dead the whole time?
Yes: Plane crashed. Passengers died. Island gave them the sort of afterlife they don’t tell you about in Hebrew school.
No: What, you can’t believe in a few smoke monsters, teleporting polar bears, mystical numeric patterns, omnipotent lighthouses, and a pair of immortal twins?
THE SHINING: Do you have any idea what happened at the end of that one?
Yes: Sure, it’s clear as day! He — whoops, gotta go!
No: For that matter, what the hell is going on in this scene?
Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd are gathering a group of famous friends for a tribute show in Georgia in November (14). One More For The Fans! - Celebrating The Songs & Music of Lynyrd Skynyrd will feature performances by the band, Trace Adkins, Alabama, Gregg Allman, Charlie Daniels, Peter Frampton, John Hiatt and Aaron Lewis, among others.
The event's all-star house band will be led by Grammy Award winner Don Was, who will serve as the gig's music director.
He says, "Lynyrd Skynyrd's music has had a profound and unmistakable influence on artists and fans all over the world."