The photographer behind the unretouched image of Cindy Crawford at a 2013 lingerie shoot is taking legal action amid allegations the snap was stolen and altered to make the supermodel look bad.
The 48-year-old runway beauty and mother of two posed for a photoshoot for Marie Claire's Mexico and Latin America publication two years ago, but one image, showing Crawford with a less-than-smooth stomach and cellulite on her thighs, leaked online last month (Feb15).
Magazine editors confirmed it was an outtake from their December 2013 cover story, praising the snap by writing, "It is real, it is honest, and it is gorgeous." However, the photographer has taken issue with the unauthorized release of the image and now his lawyer has demanded anyone who published the picture online take it down.
In a cease and desist letter obtained by editors at TMZ.com, the lawyer threatens to pursue legal action against anyone who refuses to remove the photo. The notice also includes a statement from the photographer, confirming he took the image, which he insists was stolen and doctored.
Actress Jennifer Aniston has defended Renee Zellweger after she sparked speculation she has undergone cosmetic surgery with her dramatically different appearance.
Zellweger was photographed in October (14) in images that sparked rumors she had gone under the knife, but Aniston has defended the actress' altered look and branded the gossip sexist.
The former Friends star tells the New York Times, "We're very much a sexist society. Did she really look that different? You can't hide those pouty little lips...
"I think you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. You're either too fat ,'oh my God, she's gained weight', or 'she's so skeletal, get some meat on her bones'. I've been on too-thin lists."
Rapper Iggy Azalea has undergone laser surgery to have a tattoo tribute to ex-boyfriend A$Ap Rocky removed from her finger.
The Fancy hitmaker split from her fellow hip-hop star in July, 2012 after a year-long romance and she subsequently had her left hand inking, bearing the words 'Live', 'Love', 'A$AP' on the sides of her fingers, altered so as not to feature her ex's name.
Last year (13), Azalea insisted she had no plans to remove the design, saying, "I f**king loved him, I know he loved me too. I felt like he was somebody I could count on who loved me for being me, and I don't want to forget that.
"I would sacrifice a quarter of a pinky (finger) for those memories. That's why I didn't cross it out all the way, because if I'd covered it up all the way, that says I'm embarrassed. You shouldn't be ashamed of the trials of becoming an adult."
But now it appears the Australian native, who is dating Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Nick Young, has since had a change of heart after she was spotted at the Dr. Tattoff clinic in Beverly Hills on Tuesday (02Dec14).
She was later photographed with a bandage around her left pinky finger, suggesting she has begun the process to have the ink removed.
Renee Zellweger has credited a massive lifestyle change for her drastic new look after she shocked fans with her altered appearance at a Hollywood event on Monday (20Oct14).
The Bridget Jones's Diary star hit headlines and became a trending topic on Twitter.com after she made her first public appearance in months at the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards in Los Angeles, sparking debate over her 'new face'. Zellweger has now opened up about the massive change, revealing she was not taking care of herself properly for many years and has now adopted a healthier lifestyle after taking a step back from Hollywood.
She tells People.com, "I'm glad folks think I look different! I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows... My friends say that I look peaceful. I am healthy. For a long time I wasn't doing such a good job with that. I took on a schedule that is not realistically sustainable and didn't allow for taking care of myself. Rather than stopping to recalibrate, I kept running until I was depleted and made bad choices about how to conceal the exhaustion. I was aware of the chaos and finally chose different things... I did work that allows for being still, making a home, loving someone, learning new things, growing as a creative person and finally growing into myself... People don't know me in my 40s... People don't know me (as) healthy for a while. Perhaps I look different. Who doesn't as they get older?... But I am different. I'm happy."
Zellweger, 45, also brands the furore over her appearance "silly".
Andrew Garfield is convinced his second superhero film The Amazing Spider-Man 2 flopped with fans because studio executives changed the story too much.
The British actor claims he "genuinely loved" the original script for the sequel and was shocked by critics' harsh reviews and the public's response towards the film following its release earlier this year (14). Garfield is adamant interference by studio bosses was to blame as they altered the course of the film by cutting out too much material.
He tells The Daily Beast, "I think what happened was, through the pre-production, production, and post-production, when you have something that works as a whole, and then you start removing portions of it - because there was even more of it than was in the final cut, and everything was related - once you start removing things and saying, 'No, that doesn't work', then the thread is broken, and it's hard to go with the flow of the story. "Certain people at the studio had problems with certain parts of it, and ultimately the studio is the final say in those movies because they're the tent-poles, so you have to answer to those people."
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 fell flat with critics and fans, but proved a hit at the international box office by bringing in more than $708 million (£416 million) worldwide.
Harrison Ford put his Star Wars set accident behind him by walking the red carpet at the Los Angeles premiere of The Expendables 3 on Monday (11Aug14) just two months after breaking his leg.
The Indiana Jones star crushed his left limb on the set of Stars Wars: Episode VII in June (14) in London. He underwent surgery and jetted back to his native U.S. to begin rehabilitation treatment.
Last month (Jul14), the veteran actor was pictured walking unaided for the first time since breaking his leg, and on Monday, he proved he is ready to get back to work by striding up the red carpet at the Los Angeles screening, where he was joined by co-stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Mel Gibson.
The production schedule for the seventh Star Wars installment was altered to allow Ford time to recover. The actor is expected to resume filming on the sci-fi movie in the coming weeks and the shoot is scheduled to wrap in the autumn (14).
Walt Disney Studios/Marvel
There are a lot of people in Hollywood who are considered sci-fi icons – George Takei, Harrison Ford, Lynda Carter – but when it comes to current sci-fi and superhero blockbusters, there’s one woman who reigns above them all: Zoe Saldana. Friday’s Guardians of the Galaxy will mark her third starring role in a major sci-fi franchise, and she’s effortlessly made the jump from one iconic character to another, earning fans and rave reviews every time. But when you think Star Trek or Avatar or even Guardians of the Galaxy, her face likely isn’t the first one that pops into your head. For some reason, Saldana hasn’t quite been able to make the jump from blockbusters to international superstar.
Major superhero and sci-fi blockbusters have a history of turning unknown or underrated actors into A-list stars. Henry Cavill was just “that guy from that thing” before he became Superman. Tom Hiddleston went from a theater darling to making women everywhere scream their heads off thanks to The Avengers. Even Sam Worthington was omnipresent for a solid year or so after Avatar was released. And yet Saldana is still best known as the “blue girl from Avatar” or “the one woman in the new Star Trek films” despite having three times as many franchises under her belt. It could be argued that Cavill and Hiddleston have a background in more prestigious projects, which has helped them become more recognizable. But Saldana also has plenty of impressive films under her belt, including collaborations with directors like Steven Spielberg, Neil LaBute, and Guillame Canet. She’s even starring in a biopic about Nina Simone, which is the kind of cinematic catnip that neither the Oscars nor audiences can resist.
What, then, is keeping Saldana from enjoying the kind of fame that other franchise stars have? Do audiences have trouble recognizing her thanks to the various CGI and full-bodied makeups that have turned her blue, green, and everything in between? Is it because she’s a member of an ensemble cast in Star Trek and Guardians of the Galaxy, the two films where her face hasn’t been digitally altered? Is it just because she’s not playing the sullen, broody one with daddy issues?
It’s certainly not due to lack of talent, as Saldana has always given compelling, complex performances, even in her smallest roles – remember Crossroads? She was by far the best thing about that movie – and often chooses characters that are tough and complicated. Neytiri and Uhura are interesting, strong, sometimes difficult women with a great deal of depth to them. However, despite the attention all of those characters have gotten, it still pales in comparison to the fan bases that their male counterparts have received, which has likely contributed to the smaller nature of Saldana’s general fan base.
Still, it’s likely that Gamora could be the key to launching Saldana into superstardom, or, at the very least, to being more than just “the blue one.” Though both Star Trek and Avatar were incredibly successful, Marvel’s films are currently the biggest, most attention-grabbing franchises in theaters thanks to the resurgence of superhero films and the excitement surrounding them. She’s already getting more attention and press for Gamora than she did for Neytiri or Uhura, which is probably due to the fact that Gamora is a more prominent lead than the other two. Yes, Neytiri is the only Na’vi anyone can name, but Saldana herself was overshadowed by more familiar names like Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez. The biggest name in the Guardians cast, by contrast, is Bradley Cooper, who is only doing voiceover work in the film.
The fact that she’s already starred in two other major franchises should also help Gamora become Saldana’s biggest role yet. She’s already familiar to causal moviegoers, even if they still can’t quite place her name. She’s also established herself as a fashion darling, which means that she’s likely to have graced the cover of many high-selling magazines, which is another important step towards helping her move onto the A-list. And since everyone loves a celebrity baby, she’s likely to get even more press over the course of the next few months, which will help keep her in the public’s consciousness.
Her upcoming film Nina could also be a major factor. Saldana’s always been able to balance action-heavy blockbusters with serious, quiet dramas, but she’s yet to properly breakthrough in the latter. A biopic of a major icon could be exactly the kind of films she needs to gain some awards attention, and all of the promotion that Oscar season entails would definitely encourage more people to pay attention to her. However, thus far, the film has been plagued by filming delays on controversy, so if the final product isn’t exceptional, it might do more harm than good.
Of course, if Guardians of the Galaxy does even half as well as some of its predecessors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it might just be enough to balance out any possible mis-steps, and ensure that Saldana finally gets the kind of attention that she deserves. After all, Scarlett Johansson can't play every female superhero out there.
Comedienne Joan Rivers came under fire from anti-fur protesters at a book promotion in New York on Tuesday (01Jul14).
The Fashion Police host was fielding questions about her latest tome at a branch of Barnes & Noble when a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) stood up and asked why she wears fur. Other PETA activists then brandished anti-fur signs, including one featuring an altered cover of Rivers' new book Diary of a Mad Diva, showing her apparently holding a skinned animal.
Rivers began to respond by insisting she supports the campaigners but she snapped when one interrupted her, saying, "Oh shut up, you don't know what the f**k you're talking about."
Rivers went on to insist she does not condone the production of new fur garments, saying, "Number one, all the fur I wear has been killed over the years and those furs can either lie in my cellar or go to the opera. Number two, I totally agree with you but there are other issues, I also work very hard, I have four rescue dogs so we all do what we do."
The explanation was greeted with applause from the audience. The incident was the second consecutive day of drama for the funnywoman in New York - during a book signing on Monday (30Jun14) Rivers, who is an ordained minister, officiated at the impromptu marriage of a gay couple.
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection/Walt Disney Studios via Everett Collection
As Memorial Day approaches, American moviegoers prepare for an onslaught of summer blockbusters. Whether it's the latest edition of a franchise like X-Men: Days of Future Past or the possible beginning of one like Guardians of the Galaxy, everyone has gotten used to big, expensive films hitting the multiplex when the weather gets warm.
Of course, it wasn't always that way. The mid '70s work of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas helped usher in the current model that studios use in setting their summer releases. While the work of the two directors is iconic, what's followed hasn't always lived up to the term "blockbuster." Our writers argue whether things were better in the days when Lucas and Spielberg ruled the roost or if we're in a new golden age of big budget extravaganzas.
The Spectacular Spielberg (Jon Lisi)
Let’s just assume for a second that Jaws was never released in the summer of 1975.
Cynics might claim that the brilliant New Hollywood films of the 1970s like Five Easy Pieces, Nashville, and The Conversation would continue to be made as a result, but we all know that this so-called “American New Wave” was on the inevitable decline. Instead, we’d have to imagine a cinema in which the first major summer blockbuster from Hollywood was not Spielberg’s terrifying monster movie.
Is it possible to picture the summer blockbuster without Jaws? I don’t think so. For better or worse, Jaws is the gold standard to which all future summer blockbusters have been judged. The question that is asked as a result, then, is whether or not contemporary summer blockbusters like Transformers, Iron Man, The Avengers and other superhero amalgamations compare in quality to past summer blockbusters like Jaws, E.T., Back to the Future, and Ghostbusters?
If we are to answer this question honestly, we need to remove any consideration of money. After all, plenty of movies do well at the box office, and the massive success of the Twilight franchise shows how few of them are actually good. Instead, we need to focus on what the first summer blockbusters like Jaws and Star Wars had that contemporary ones like Transformers and Iron Man lack.
The most significance difference, I think, is that a summer blockbuster like Jaws isn’t about a shark, whereas a summer blockbuster like Transformers is about alien robots. That is, Jaws uses a series of shark attacks to investigate small-town mentality in an entertaining way. You can certainly sit back and enjoy the film literally — as a monster movie — but Spielberg wants you to think about what the shark reveals about American community and the ways individuals work together to solve a common problem.
Transformers, by contrast, doesn’t offer anything interesting beyond the initial spectacle. The digital effects may lure you into the theater, but after the stuff blows up, you aren’t left with anything to ponder. This may not matter to prepubescent boys, but for those interested in mainstream fare that is also intelligent, the contemporary summer blockbuster doesn’t suffice.
I’m aware that there are exceptions. For instance, the films by Christopher Nolan merge commerce and art quite successfully, as do most Pixar films. However, these are anomalies, and for the most part, contemporary summer blockbusters have failed to live up to the standard Jaws set nearly 40 years ago.
A Marvel-ous New Era (Brendon McCullin)
The passage of time tends to lend a glow to the early blockbusters of Spielberg and Lucas. In reality, Spielberg went the Hitchcock route with Jaws because he was forced to by external conditions. And we can argue how much the performances by Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw had to do with his directing. Lucas, for his part, might have been great at story concepts but he always had a tin ear when it came to dialogue (leading to the famous Harrison Ford rant, "You can type this s**t, but you sure as hell can't say it").
That's not to denigrate what Spielberg and Lucas did — they each authored cultural phenomena that altered American filmmaking and the movie industry as a whole — but let's not go too crazy. Some of their contemporaries, particularly screenwriters like John Milius and Robert Towne, may have liked them personally, but didn't always love how they handled their craft.
The fact is there has always been and will always be a place in Hollywood for big, crowd-pleasing popcorn movies… and there have always been good and bad ones. Just because Jaws was better than The Towering Inferno and Star Wars was better than Airport '77 doesn’t necessarily kick into the same strata of cinematic history as The Godfather.
If we were having this argument 15 to 20 years ago, I would be completely on board. Back when Michael Bay was unleashing a steady stream of trash like Armageddon and The Rock on audiences and what amounted to good storytelling was Will Smith making wisecracks while fighting aliens in Independence Day… well, yes, that was a low point for summer blockbusters. Heck, that was a low point for film in general.
Since then, however, a new group of filmmakers who value story as much as visual pyrotechnics have taken the lead on some of the biggest tent-pole movies in recent years. Some of them, such as Joss Whedon (The Avengers) and J.J. Abrams (Star Trek) come from the writer dominated domain of television. Others, like Jon Favreau (Iron Man) and Kenneth Branagh (Thor) are themselves actors and work to make their stars look good.
Combine that group with the aforementioned Nolan (The Dark Knight) and the Pixar team under John Lasseter and really, you would be hard pressed to find another period that matched the number of talented, conscientious, and literate filmmakers that are willing to helm blockbusters.
The nice thing is that many of these directors — particularly Whedon and Abrams — clearly gained some of their sensibilities as youngsters watching the films of Lucas and Spielberg. You're never going to get rid of people like Bay and movies like his Transformers franchise, but blockbusters are in as good of hands now as they've ever been.
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
For a second there, Better Call Saul was looking like a big excuse for a Breaking Bad reunion.
The upcoming spin-off to the smash television drama has done well to fill its ranks with already familiar faces, but we had yet to see what Better Call Saul has to offer in terms of original characters. Both Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks are set to reprise their roles for the show, and even Aaron Paul has announced he was in serious talks with creator Vince Gilligan about returning for a guest appearance.
While another season of Breaking Bad wouldn’t be entirely unwelcome, we were eager to see some new faces fill out the free spaces in Saul Goodman’s skeezy legal drama. Thankfully, actor Michael McKean has just been tapped to add some new blood to the cast. The actor, famous for playing David St. Hubbins in the classic mockumentary This is Spinal Tap, and a role on the classic sitcom Laverne and Shirley, is set to co-star as Dr. Thurber, a talented lawyer who is hampered by a debilitating medical condition.
If McKean’s role gives you a faint sense of déjà vu, you’re not alone. Dr. Thurber’s story, from the scant few details we know about the character, sounds suspiciously similar to a certain meth kingpin's. Thurber is a gifted lawyer who becomes sick with a strange ailment, while Breaking Bad's Walter White is a gifted chemist who learns that he has lung cancer. Both stories are about smart men whose lives are permanently altered by disease, and in the same way that Walt’s lung cancer sparked a desperate need for recognition inside Walt, whatever affliction is affecting Thurber will likely spark similar feelings of desperation.
There’s narrative power in desperation. It’s a strong, base, human desire, and it fueled some of Breaking Bad’s best stories. You could even make the case that desperation was the most resonant theme in the entire series. Walt’s burgeoning career as a drug dealer started in a desperate attempt to provide for his family before the cancer withered him away, a feat he couldn't possibly manage with the humble earnings of a high school chemistry teacher. Even when Walt's motives changed, and creating meth stopped being a sacrificial act for his family and twisted itself something more prideful, greedy, selfish, and ugly, he was a man still driven by desperation. Walt became a man with a desperate need to be the best, to eliminate his competition, and to create the best product the world had ever seen. He not only wanted fame, but infamy. He was desperate to be somebody after an eternity of feeling like the world's most gifted doormat.
Since McKean's character will likely have similar circumstances surrounding his character, we hope that Vince Gilligan is able to mine the same amounts of depth from this new character of his. November can't come soon enough.