Alongside Hollywood veterans Kate Winslet, Ashley Judd, and Tony Goldwyn and two young leads (Shailene Woodley, Theo James) who have already built up quite the impressive C.V., Divergent's ensemble cast also includes several virtual unknowns. Here's a brief guide to their careers so far.Ansel Elgort (Caleb)
The son of fashion photographer Arthur Elgort, 19-year-old Elgort's career began on stage in Matt Charman's off-Broadway drama Regrets. After making his big screen debut as Chloe Moretz's prom date in last year's Carrie remake, the New Yorker landed the role of Tris' inquisitive brother Caleb Prior. Elgort will then make the switch from playing Woodley's sibling to her love interest when they both star in the adaptation of John Green's best-selling novel, The Fault In Our Stars, while he's also set to appear in Jason Reitman's star-studded comedy Men, Women and Children.
Amy C. Newbold (Molly)
Amy C. Newbold is no stranger to the Hollywood blockbuster, having worked as a casting assistant on Superman reboot Man Of Steel as well as on the likes of Contagion and Raising Hope. But as Tris' factionless enemy Molly Atwood, Divergent will see her move from behind to in front of the camera for her first major acting role, with bit parts in Boss and Chicago Fire the only other credits to her name.
Ben Lamb (Edward)
Cast as skilled fighter Edward, Ben Lamb made the move to post-apocalyptic Chicago from medieval England after playing The White Queen's brother Anthony in the BBC's hit historical drama. The 25-year-old, who'd previously studied at both RADA and Oxford University, cut his teeth appearing in various Shakespeare productions and made his onscreen debut as a posh toff in BBC legal drama Silks in 2012.
Christian Madsen (Al)
One of the more experienced "unknowns" in the cast, Christian Madsen has appeared alongside his father Michael in deliverance tale Refuge from the Storm and off-kilter thriller The Brazen Bull and his auntie Virginia in comedy Jake Squared, while he also had a minor role in Justin Timberlake vehicle In Time. Cast as kind-hearted Al, he'll next be seen as Bryan, a young man who reunites with his estranged father after 15 years in the indie drama Prism.
Ben Lloyd-Hughes (Will)
Following his older brother Henry's role in Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire, the Lloyd-Hughes name will appear in the credits of another major franchise when 25-year-old Ben plays Tris' brainy ally Will. He first appeared on screen as a teenager in BBC drama Love Soup back in 2005 and has since cropped up in a string of hit British TV shows including Skins, The Hour and Young James Herriot. While his filmography includes teen horror Tormented and the 2012 remake of Great Expectations.
Divergent hits theaters March 21. You can check showtimes and purchase advanced tickets at Movietickets.com.
Ho! Ho! Ho! Truly, the holidays really aren’t the holidays until the fat man comes bearing gifts. No! No! No! Not your Uncle Tony – although that’s kind of fun, too. We, of course, are talking about Santa Claus! Yes, old Kris Kringle is virtually omnipresent this time of year – from the supermarket to the toy store to both the big and small screens. Of all the filmed depictions, however, which ones rank at the top of the chimney? The best of the best. The ones that, even for that brief moment in our cynical, modern-day world, can make you stop and think, ‘You know, Virginia, maybe – just maybe – there really is a Santa Claus?!’ From throughout the years, we present our Top Five Santas on TV and Film.
New Line Cinema via Everett Collection
Edmund Gwenn, Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Doubted by a young Natalie Wood (and eventually upheld in court), Gwenn’s Saint Nick is as good today as it ever was. Understated and convincing in the performance.
Art Carney, Twilight Zone episode ‘Night of the Meek’ (1960)
Downtrodden and desperate, Carney’s turn as Santa is pure Rod Serling magic, as we see his transformation from drunken in-store Kringle to ... the real thing?
Stan Francis, ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ (1964)
This stop-motion animation version from Rankin-Bass remains must-see TV nearly 50 years after its original airing. Francis’ voice turn as the Jolly Old Elf plays a big part in that.
David Huddleston, 'Santa Claus: The Movie' (1985)
Sure, the movie itself is bad, but Huddleston is great. Now, if he only could have made Lithgow to turn it down (and Moore to turn it up) we could have really had something.
Ed Asner, ‘Elf’ (2003)
The most-modern on our list, Asner proves himself no slouch as the man behind the reins, even with Ferrell chewing the scenery as loveable Buddy.
Michael Sheen – he's done everything and been everyone; from (evil) vampire royalty in the Twilight saga, to the titular character in a recent production of Hamlet at the prestigious Young Vic in London, to Liz Lemon's decidedly non-dreamy "Future Husband" Wesley Snipes on 30 Rock. And he's played each part to a T.
Now, he's sinking his teeth (sorry, it was such low-hanging fruit, I couldn't resist) into quite the juicy role on critics' darling Showtime's newest endeavor, Masters of Sex. He plays the ultra-repressed William Masters, whose unflinching and clinical exterior masks quite a bit of fear and childhood abuse. My words can't do him justice; he's eminently watchable, and I think Emmy voters will agree. Forget Wesley Snipes the "Future Husband," can you say "Future Emmy Winner?" (Actually, don't forget about Wesley, please: he was delightful and a true high-point in late-era 30 Rock).
Sheen's performance on the show is nothing short of fascinating. There's just something about the way he lets everything simmer just below the surface – in fact, there's a wonderful moment when his wife, Libby (Caitlin FitzGerald) first announces her pregnancy. Barely moving a muscle, he gives a look that somehow manages to radiate pure terror. He gives a similar stone-faced look (though rather more hopeful than frightened) when research assistant Virginia (Lizzy Caplan) disrobes in front of him for the first time. Even though we're well past the halfway point in its freshman season, the only time we've actually seen him boil over so far was a heartbreaking moment in the episode "Catherine," where Libby's miscarriage and the corresponding guilt he places on himself causes him to break into heart-wrenching sobs privy only to Virginia. And he's so ashamed by this momentary loss of control that he actually orders her to close her eyes – it's deep stuff, and Sheen plays it all perfectly. It's not all stoicism and intermittent sobbing, though: Sheen also brings levity to the show (humming a cheerful tune after doing some "research" with Virginia is one moment that pops to mind), and his chemistry with co-star Caplan does much to drive the series forward.
No matter how good Sheen might be (and he is good), this Emmy season Bryan Cranston is the one to beat. From his going full Heisenberg over the phone to Skylar and the police to his (relatively) peaceful, almost romantic end, it might not be the year for upsets. That said, Sheen could give heavyweight Cranston a definite run for his money, and I'm looking forward to watching him do so.
Pop star Katy Perry has come under fire from members of various consumer advocacy groups for appearing to promote Pepsi soda by working with brand officials to advertise her new album. Campaigners from six different organisations, including the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, teamed up on Tuesday (22Oct13) to place a full-page ad in entertainment industry publication Variety.
The page features an open letter addressed to the Roar hitmaker, and reads in part: "Virginia Slims and other tobacco companies used glamorous celebrities and models to position smoking as hip, sexy and rebellious. Today soda companies are using you and other celebrities to convince young people that drinking soda is hip, sexy and rebellious. 'Drink Pepsi and you can be cool like Katy Perry,' is the takeaway message for your young fans. 'Live for now' and worry about the health consequences later."
The activists go on to urge Perry, who does not have an endorsement contract with Pepsi, to turn her back on the brand, which recently sponsored a fan competition to help decide which single the star should release next.
The letter continues, "Kids love you, Katy Perry. You count many millions of teens and tweens among your 'KatyKats' (fans). Their devotion to you has brought incredible commercial success and wealth. But being popular among children brings with it an enormous responsibility. Don't exploit that popularity by marketing a product that causes disease in your fans."
Perry has yet to respond to the ad attack, although a spokesperson for Pepsi has denied targetting kids by working with the singer.
Pepsi representative Andrea Foote tells USA Today, "We have a long history of responsible advertising and marketing practices, including a commitment to not direct our advertising to audiences comprised predominantly of children under 12."
With only three episodes of Masters of Sex under our belt (get it?), is it too early to call an Emmy nomination for Lizzy Caplan?
It bodes well that Academy has a massive crush on premium cable dramas and starts rewarding them with nominations almost as soon as they hit our eyeballs. But Caplan, so far the standout in a series with massive potential, may not need that bias working in her favor. To know Lizzy Caplan's work is to love her, whether you prefer Janis Ian (Mean Girls) or Casey Klein (Party Down). Virginia Johnson, however, is the role that will prove wrong anyone who thinks her range stops at deadpan and sardonic.
It's a huge, juicy part — the kind that's unfortunately rare for actresses in their 30s, or frankly, actresses at all. We feel like we know everything about Michael Sheen's character almost from the minute we meet him. Dr. Masters is a workaholic; distant from his wife; so desperate to continue his work that he'll do anything to make that possible. But Virginia is an enigma. She's fearless and aggressive in pursuing her own life. Other women — like the admissions secretary at the college — resent her for it, and Caplan plays the swallowed anger of a person who realizes that it's best to politely demand than to fight back. She knows how to work people and their prejudices: in her interview with Masters, her words are bold, but Caplan softens her voice. She's not ashamed to enjoy sex, and doesn't believe that it always has to come with an emotional attachment. (In the pilot, this freedom seduces and then terrifies Dr. Haas.) But she's also warm to Bill's patients and his lonely, frazzled wife. She charms everyone who hits their exam table. We can see why the study would have failed fantastically without Virginia's bedside manner. Masters is afraid of her too, though, and he seems relieved when he can blame the leak of their couples studies on her. But the indomitable Virginia just hires herself right back.
The tension between Masters and Virginia is the main reason to tune into Masters of Sex so far, and we're looking forward to seeing how it plays out. What do you think of the Showtime series so far? Does Lizzy Caplan have your Emmy vote? Discuss in the comments!
There’s a very strange headline making its way around the internet, and few people seem to find it troublesome. In a recent interview Chris Brown spoke with the UK Guardian about a whole bunch of stuff, but casually mentioned that he lost his virginity at the ripe old age of...eight? And what’s worse, he brags about having lost it to a 14 or 15 year-old girl.
Brown goes on to say that even though eight sounds young, it’s totally different if you’re from the country (he’s from Virginia), and his experience prepared him to become the sexual ‘beast’ that he is now. Awkward. In fact, beyond awkward. Disturbing.
Clutch Magazine is the one place that seems to understand what this story really tells us about Chris Brown, as they’ve just published a piece aptly titled Chris Brown Did Not Lose His Virginity At 8 Years Old, He Was Raped At 8 Years Old. The fact that Chris Brown and media outlets everywhere are not seeing this story for what it is, is highly disturbing. We all know that a femme pop singer telling the same story -- and claiming to have lost her virginity at age eight -- would quickly be considered a victim of sexual abuse. Why do we assume that Chris Brown wasn’t?
This story tells us a lot about the way we understand (and misunderstand) gender and sexuality in our society, but it also speaks to a certain raging misogyny in hip-hop. Sure, Brown is an R&B artist, but the two worlds are not mutually exclusive and he is an active participant in hip-hop culture. This image of the young (in this case, very very young) black male, raging with hormones and sexual prowess is so problematic on so many levels. Because of this mentality, Brown is not fully aware of what happened to him, nor is he aware of the message he perpetuates when he tells this story. It’d be nice if we lived in a world where it was simply understood that losing one’s virginity at age eight -- regardless of one's gender -- is never, ever something to celebrate. As a pop star and as an icon to many young girls and boys (unfortunately), it would be nice if Chris Brown knew that too.
With the past two Septembers bringing us break-out series like The Mindy Project and Scandal, Hollywood is proving that strong female leads are here to stay. Zooey may want to hold onto her adorable thick-framed glasses though, there are some new girls in town.CBSMomIs Anna Faris finally sobering up from her days as everyone’s favorite house bunny? As struggling single mom Christy (Faris) tries to navigate raising her children and dealing with her past, her own mother (Allison Janney) insists on lending a bit of knowledge to the process. You may not be a recovering alcoholic but let’s face it, we can all relate to the power struggle that comes with overbearing parents. As both female leads will face ups and downs with their family, romantic lives and jobs, maybe we can learn a little about compromise and acceptance within our own home units. Premieres Sept. 23 on CBS.Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Joss Whedon is no stranger to creating some paramount female characters. Seriously, did no one else fantasize about slaying demons while still maintaining perfectly straight hair? This fall he brings us three new women in the premiere series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Elizabeth Henstridge, Ming-Na Wen and Chloe Bennet comprise half of the six member team dedicated to protecting the boring, normal citizens of the world from the usual super-human villains. Premieres Sept. 24 on ABC.ReignAmerica’s newfound obsession with period dramas isn’t going anywhere soon but far from Downton Abbey is The CW’s newest series Reign. The 15-year-old Queen Mary (Adelaide Kane) is politically savvy — sent to France to marry a prince and finalize an alliance between the country and Scotland — and isn’t about to take any crap from her future in-laws. Of course, like any other teen monarch, Mary faces betrayal, some catty royals and those pesky dark forces that wind up in every countryside castle. No doubt the young queen will take on the French Court and come out on top and teenage girls everywhere will learn just what it takes to deal with arranged marriage and Nostradamus’s prophecies in 16th-century France. Premieres Oct. 17 on The CW. Masters of SexIf Lena Dunham’s Girls didn’t do it for you, maybe Lizzy Caplan’s portrayal of a sex researcher in Showtime’s Masters of Sex will. The one-hour series will chronicle the work of Dr. William Masters and partner/wife/ex-wife Virginia Johnson as they attempt to bring both science and the public into the discussion of intimacy and sexual behavior. Don’t worry, this won’t be 60-minutes of medical labs: the relationship between the two will be the more explored element of the show. It’s worth to watch not simply for what we’re sure will be some explicit scenes, but to learn more about the pioneering life of Johnson and the courage it took to talk openly about these subjects as a female in the 50s. Premieres Sept. 29 on Showtime. Once Upon A Time In Wonderland The adventures from Once Upon A Time aren’t over yet — even if the girl is stuck in some mental institute somewhere in the boondocks of Maine. Spinoff Once Upon A Time In Wonderland will follow lead female Sophie Lowe as she portrays everyone’s favorite fairytale character. Finding her way back to the rabbit-hole is the least of her problems: once she’s there the residents of Wonderland are sure to begin giving her hell once again. If you can learn anything from Alice, it’s that you should definitely avenge your genie-boyfriend’s death and fight against the Queen of Hearts. Premieres Oct. 10 on ABC.
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Rockers 3 Doors Down have stepped in to headline this weekend's (20Jul13) Boy Scouts of America Jamboree after Train and Carly Rae Jepsen pulled out over the organisation's restrictive rules on gay members and leaders. Pat Monahan and his Train bandmates decided to boycott the West Virginia gig back in March (13) over Boy Scouts officials' anti-gay stance, which forbid openly gay and transgender people from participating in the group.
Call Me Maybe hitmaker Jepsen soon followed suit, but now Boy Scouts bosses have confirmed to the Associated Press that the Kryptonite hitmakers have been hired to top the bill on Saturday night.
Deron Smith, the national spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America, says, "We are excited to have 3 Doors Down perform for these young men and women, volunteers and visitors experiencing this amazing Jamboree in West Virginia."
Officials at the youth organisation have taken steps towards updating the group's rules since the controversy earlier this year (13), and in May (13), they agreed to allow openly gay kids to become Boy Scouts. The policy will come into effect in January (14).
Following the Trayvon Martin case, Chris Matthews had a serious discussion about racial profiling on his MSNBC show, Hardball With Chris Matthews, on Thursday. During a segment of his cable news program, he spoke with NBC News Vice President Val Nicholas and former RNC chairman Michael Steele.
Nicholas wrote an op-ed for MSNBC.com titled "I Could Have Been Trayvon Martin," where he recalled that "twice as a teen, I ended up looking down the barrel of police guns for no other reason than I happened to be a black teenager."
Steele had similar experiences of being judged solely by his race. "It is a story of a lot of young African-American males. What Val, myself, and so many others have in common is our black skin, and a lot of the perceptions that come with that," Steele said.
Matthews reacted to his colleagues' stories by saying, "I'll just tell you one thing, and I'm speaking now for all white people but especially people that have tried to change over the past 50 or 60 years, and a lot of them have really tried to change: I'm sorry for this stuff."
Although Matthews' willingness to work on the country's racial issues is commendable, there's probably a lot of white Americans out there who wouldn't appreciate him speaking on their behalf.
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The man who served as Hank Williams' chauffeur on the day the country legend died has passed away at the age of 79. Charles Carr, a retired investor, died on Monday (01Jul13) in Montgomery, Alabama after a brief illness.
Carr was a young college student when he was hired to drive Williams to West Virginia for a New Year's Eve show in December, 1952.
The singer was forced to axe the gig due to an ice storm and they instead headed straight to Canton, Ohio, where the star was booked to perform on New Year's Day (01Jan52).
But Williams never made it to the concert - he suffered heart failure and was found dead in the back of Carr's blue Cadillac in West Virginia early on 1 January, 1952. He was 29.