Hollywood legend Katharine Hepburn is set to get the big screen treatment yet again in an upcoming biopic. Independent film producers are developing a new film about the iconic actress based on author William J. Mann's book, Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn.
British director Clare Beavan has been tapped to helm the film, while the screenwriting team of Michael Zam and Jaffe Cohen, who wrote Best Actress about Joan Crawford and Bette Davis' rivalry, are set to adapt the book for film.
Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn will focus on her early years in movies and how she went from an outsider to becoming one of the most beloved stars of Hollywood's Golden Age.
Earlier this year (14), bosses at Reunion Pictures announced they are also in the process of developing a film centred around Hepburn and her 25-year love affair with Spencer Tracy.
British actor Robert Pattinson was given a shock when his sisters duped him into thinking his mother was pregnant as part of an April Fool's Day (01Apr) prank. The Twilight star's two elder siblings teamed up to play a trick on him on 1 April, and he believed them when they announced his mum Clare was expecting a new baby.
He says, "I think my sisters kind of always wished I was a little sister. I always wanted a little brother. They told me on my 18th birthday that my mum was pregnant - on April Fool's Day. I went to school just rejoicing and basking in the fact that I could have a mini-me. At 18, I was so convinced - it was the most disappointed I've ever been in my life."
Openly gay actress Maria Bello is set to reveal all about her struggles with her sexuality in her first memoir. The Coyote Ugly star 'came out' as a lesbian in a moving Modern Love column for the New York Times in November (13), and now she is planning to share her full story with fans in Miracles and Madness.
In the book, Bello will detail how she and her partner, Clare Munn, have adapted to life as a "modern family", sharing custody of her son with the actress' ex-boyfriend, TV executive Dan McDermott.
A statement released by the star reads: "As my son said, 'Whatever - love is love.' I know there are many 'whatevers' out there and am thrilled that (publishers) Dey Street/Harper Collins is interested in opening up the conversation to a bigger audience - the conversation being that the only labels we have are the ones we give ourselves."
The autobiography is set for release in early 2015.
ABC Television Network
ABC has invited Nashville back next year for another 22-episode season of country-fried drama. And we're all for it. More acoustic sets at the Bluebird. More of Juliette's glorious side-eye. And the series definitely can't end until Rayna is back together with Deacon — we all know that's where we're headed. They're soulmates, y'all.
Nashville is an ensemble series. And with a sizable stable of characters, it does a series good to let a few of them fade to the background for a while. For Season 3, we're nominating the show's perpetual wilting flower Scarlett O'Connor for that position. Clare Bowen has had the sad duty of playing Nashville's resident victim. Scarlett doesn't make things happen. Things happen to Scarlett. Throughout her arc, she's held on to that bewildered expression — the one that makes her look like every step she takes is against her will. Does someone have a gun to your head, Scarlett? Is a man holding someone you love hostage, thereby forcing you to take off your apron and sing a few bars?
What's worse is that, as an audience, we're told that Scarlett is a rare talent — the makings of a sensation — but clearly she doesn't have the verve or personality to back it up. No one wants to watch a dead-eyed girl halfheartedly strum a guitar while gazing longingly at her ex. That's what college open mics are for. The last straw was Scarlett's generic perscription drug meltdown — the kiss of death for many an inscrutably tortured artist character. The pressures of performing! A crazy mother! That kicky red tutu that was so not her! Scarlett just couldn't take it and overdid it with a bottle of tiny white plot devices. When last we left her, she'd quit on Rayna, who had already spent who knows how much of her label's money on producing Scarlett's album and promoting her, and picked up a few shifts at the Bluebird. Can that please be it? Nashville is a series about country music. It's time to cut the characters loose who want no part of that.
Actress Glenn Close is set to return to the Broadway stage for the first time in 20 years in a revival of Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama A Delicate Balance, alongside John Lithgow.
Close and Lithgow will portray a married couple trying to keep their sanity during a dysfunctional family reunion. Martha Plimpton, Bob Balaban, Clare Higgins and Lindsay Duncan will also star in the play, which will be directed by Tony-award winner Pam MacKinnon.
The production will begin its limited run at the Shubert's Golden Theatre in October (14). A Delicate Balance first hit the stage in 1966 and starred real-life couple Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy. Albee picked up the Pulitzer Prize for the drama in 1967.
British actress Pauline Quirke described celebrity publicist Max Clifford as "an honest and decent man" when she testified at his trial on Monday (07Apr14). Clifford, 71, from Surrey, England, denies 11 charges of indecent assault relating to seven females aged 14 to 20 between 1966 and 1984.
The Birds of a Feather actress took to the witness stand at Southwark Crown Court in London to defend the public relations guru, who she has been friends with for more than 20 years, having met him through their shared work for the Rhys Daniels Trust charity.
She told the court, "We are good friends, we've been out for dinner, Max has been to my house for dinner, I've been to his house, he was at my wedding, I was at his wedding.
"We didn't have any holidays together or that sort of thing, but I would say he's a good, decent man... I've been in his company on a number of occasions and found him very down to earth, a normal, decent man."
The actress also told jurors that she had never seen or heard of him behaving inappropriately with any woman, adding, "I've never heard any rumours (about that)".
Sky Sports TV presenter Clare Tomlinson, who worked as his personal assistant for six months in 1991, also defended Clifford, denying suggestions his office was a sexually charged environment, saying, "I wouldn't be here giving evidence if I believed that Max was capable of that sort of thing."
The trial continues.
The stars of TV's country music drama Nashville are taking their talents on the road for a mini-concert tour in America. The three-city tour in April and May (14) will feature performances by Charles Esten, Clare Bowen, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio and Chris Carmack, with Will Chase joining the quintet for one date in New York. The series' stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere will not take part in the tour.
Homeland stars Claire Danes, famous for her role in the teen drama My So Called Life, as a bipolar CIA agent that is caught in political subterfuge as she tries to suss out terrorist plots. The Showtime series has earned Danes some of the best reviews of her career.
The Americans stars Keri Russell, famous for her role in the teen drama Felicity, as a Russian spy who is embedded in the United States with her fellow spy husband and unsuspecting children. The FX series has earned Russell some of the best reviews of her career.
So, which shows uses political intrigue, espionage and its former ingénue to best effect?
Homeland is squarely in the present, with Danes' Carrie Mathison chasing down al Qaeda types and getting caught up in schemes by the U.S. government to get people into power in the Middle East who are more favorable towards Western interests.
The Americans, meanwhile, is a period piece, with the action taking place in early Reagan-era Washington D.C. The Cold War is still raging and being a Soviet spy on U.S. soil is still a huge deal… and thanks to the distance of time, the audience can now be sympathetic towards characters that were on the other side of the conflict between the super powers. They don't spend a lot of time giving a history lesson, but sometimes they'll weave in events that took place in the '80s.
Originally, Danes' character was slightly unhinged and trying to prove that recently rescued POW Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) was really a terrorist. By this past season, Carrie was pregnant with Brody's child and she was unable to save her baby's daddy from being publicly executed in Iran. A whole lot happened in between but it's so layered with double-crosses, double-agents, and duplicitous government types that it's not only hard to summarize, it can be hard to follow. The end of the last season had Carrie taking a position at a field office in Turkey, so presumably the show's fourth season will follow her there.
The Americans, on the other hand, is much more straightforward and subtle. The show focuses just as often on the home life of Russell's Elizabeth Jennings and her husband Phillip (Matthew Rhys), as they try to do their jobs of feeding information back to the Soviet Union, while raising their children (one of whom is suspicious of them) and trying not to draw any unwanted attention from their neighbor Stan (Noah Emmerich), who works in counter-intelligence for the FBI. There are a lot of disguises and characters posing as other people — Phillip is also married to a FBI staffer as part of their mission — and the show doesn't shy away from violence when appropriate (in the second season premiere, Phillip shoots up a restaurant and another KGB spy family is murdered). What makes it fascinating, besides the various espionage angles, is watching Russell and Rhys try to sort out their feelings for each other — their marriage was mandated by the Soviets — and their children.
Advantage: The Americans.
Danes gets to play anxious and frantic a lot, which gives her plenty of showy scenes. Her Carrie is a mess most of the time. Despite being pregnant she goes on a bender and she gets prescription meds through her sister. The show started with her fresh off of a suspension for conducting an unauthorized operation in Iraq and the show plays a lot on her bipolar disorder, keeping things off-balance as to when she has good reason to be paranoid versus when she's just paranoid because that's just how she is. First she was trying to discover and thwart whatever plot Brody had been sent back to the U.S. to undertake. Then she tried to redeem and clear him, while also sleeping with him. It's almost hard to tell when Carrie's right for what she's doing — like intentionally sabotaging an operation to kill a terrorist because she thinks it's more important to capture him alive, for instance — or if she's just completely unbalanced.
Russell is all business. She leads a double life but for the most part she's completely under control. Russell is marvelous in using her facial expressions to give glimpses into Elizabeth's soul. Her character is more comfortable with the harder parts of her job, using her skills as a trained spy to get what she needs, than she is with the family that she was forced into. She wants to protect her children, but they're also just part of her cover… and she has a better handle on those feelings than she does about what she feels for her husband. They both can be sexy, but Russell's cool trumps Danes' crazy.
Advantage: The Americans.
While Homeland has the awards and has more freedom to do whatever it wants on premium cable, The Americans has quickly become the better overall show.
ABC Television Network
Nashville, the brainchild of Academy Award-winning writer Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise), started off with a ton of promise. The pilot was heavily promoted and the audience that tuned in was treated to an inside look at the clashing generations within the country music industry... a real life storyline that has been repeating ever since the advent of rock-and-roll. Connie Britton seemed to take her Friday Night Lights character and make her a successful music icon along the lines of Reba McEntire, while Hayden Panettiere schemed convincingly as the up-and-coming singer who's part Taylor Swift, part ice princess.
Early on, the show focused on the yin and the yang of Britton and Panettiere's relationship, with the former's Rayna Jaymes stuck in a career rut and Panettiere's Juliette Barnes more interested in kicking the established Queen of Country while she's down than helping her get back up. Throw in Charles Esten's caught-in-the-middle guitarist and there was plenty of drama to go around. Certainly, there were some soap opera elements — the parentage of Rayna's older daughter and the political machinations of her husband and powerful father among them — but as long as Britton and Panettiere were at the center the show stayed fairly even keel.
Then came the back half of the first season and things started to go off track. After initially steering clear of cameos, despite shooting on-location in Nashville, suddenly every member of the Grand Ole Opry started popping up to squeeze in a line or two. Juliette's mother appeared and brought a little too much crazy, while Rayna's husband became the mayor and left her for Kimberly Williams-Paisley. Season 2 became even more scattered as the focus shifted to ancillary characters like Clare Bowen's Scarlett and Sam Palladio's Gunnar. Next thing you know, there are assassination plots and a murder-suicide, Juliette is ostracized for questioning the existence of God, and Rayna finds her Tim McGraw in Will Chase's Luke.
Enough! While it's fine that the show has some soap opera elements — so do Scandal and Grey's Anatomy — Nashville has gone so far off-course that some fans have already abandoned it. It's not completely a lost cause, though. With the second season winding down, there are still ways to fix it.
For starters, keep the cameos to a minimum. Just because Rascal Flatts or some NASCAR driver is available doesn't mean that you need to put them on the show. Once and a while is fine, but not every episode... and not when there really isn't any purpose to their being around. Next, lose the political intrigue. No offense to Eric Close, but we don't really care about Mayor Teddy.
Most importantly, put the focus back on Rayna and Juliette. Britton and Panettiere aren't just capable actresses, at their best they are both mesmerizing. Preventing them from engaging with each other — whether in conflict or in country congeniality — is like moving Scandal's Olivia Pope out of D.C.; the whole reason for the show would be lost. Keeping Juliette down too long is a mistake, just as it would be to tone down her ego or her conniving. We don't need her in a happy relationship with Jonathan Jackson's Avery... we need her using all of her assets to get back to the top.
Similarly, Britton needs a good, juicy storyline to sink her teeth into. Having a happy and contented Rayna is not in the best interest of the show. She should be scraping and clawing to maintain her career, not chit-chatting with other country music royalty about her fledgling record label.
The show is teetering on the brink of oblivion — or, worse, irrelevance — and needs to act fast to bring back into focus the stories that drew us in at first. Otherwise, it will be a tough sell to get viewers to come back for season three… if there even is one.
ABC Television Network
Even before The Bachelor began its 18th season, the show’s new star Juan Pablo Galavis made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Prior to the premiere of The Bachelor, Galavis said he didn’t believe gays should appear on the show. He has apologized for the comment, both to the LGBT community as well as GLAAD, and recently stated he couldn’t be homophobic because his cousin is gay. (Uh, that’s not exactly how that works.)
However, since the show has begun, Galavis has proved he’s not quite the gentleman that viewers expect from The Bachelor. He often uses his daughter as an excuse to send women home for acting “un-ladylike” or setting a poor example. While his daughter's well being is ostensibly a good motivating factor, it was hypocritical when he told Renee he didn’t want his daughter to see him kissing so many women right before he turned around to swap spit with Nikki, Sharleen, and Clare. C’mon dude. Now you're just lying, and using your own child as a tool to do so.
The major event of the season that riled many viewers was how Galavis treated Clare after their midnight rendezvous in the ocean. When he told Clare a few days later — on camera — that he regretted the decision to meet her (and do whatever they did off camera), he seemed to blame her for manipulating him into the tryst. Unless I’m recalling high school sex ed class incorrectly, I’m pretty sure it takes two to tango.
But, as if Galavis couldn’t act any more like an uncivilized jerk, recent headlines detail his latest offscreen escapade: reportedly, Galavis sent a picture of himself fully nude to the lucky (if that’s really the word for it) lady he picked on The Bachelor — though we don’t know the winner yet, Galavis made his decision back in November. Galavis has officially hit an Anthony Weiner low. Yikes.
Although there have been some hated contestants on The Bachelor before — Jake Pavelka and Brad Womack to name a few — Galavis seems to be more despised than anyone else. While others have been able to redeem themselves, it seems unlikely that Galavis will be able to win back the public’s favor. He really is the worst Bachelor ever. Let’s hope The Bachelor doesn’t suffer.