The final season of Mad Men premieres on April 13th, and as we prepare to say goodbye forever to our beloved Don Draper, a few questions come to mind. What does a world without Sterling Cooper & Partners look like? How many fabulous outfits will Joan fit into this last season? And how will we get our Jon Hamm fix going forward? Even with multiple film projects lined up, including a comedy with Zach Galifianakis (Keeping Up With the Joneses), Disney's sports biopic Million Dollar Arm, and with James Franco's adaptation of The Sound & The Fury, one question looms over the future of Hamm: can the man we know as Don Draper make it in film?
Will audiences be able to watch his performances without wondering why he isn't smoking and/or yelling at Peggy Olson for something or other? Will we find it impossible to divorce the actor from his pivotal role? This often happens when television stars try to move over to the big screen. On the one hand, it's a testament to the talent of these actors; they were so convincing in their performances, fans could not see them any other way (Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, John Krasinski as Jim Halpert, 85 percent of child actors everywhere).
Only time will tell, but for right now it's very difficult to see Jon Hamm exorcising himself from the spirit of Dick Whitman. Even in the 2011 movie Friends with Kids, it felt like we were experiencing some contemporary version of his Mad Men character. Perhaps the issue was that he played this hot, douchey husband, and it was all a little too close to Don Draper for comfort.
Hamm may have to pursue some seriously anti-Draper: super-indie, dark, and artsy stuff, so that we can forget about his past life. And there's always the chance that he could land another big television role that takes off like Mad Men did. And 10 or 15 years from now, our kids will be shocked to learn that before he was... whoever he winds up being, Jon Hamm actually played a guy named Donald Draper. And we'll just shake our heads, full of nostalgia as we remember the good ol' days.
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This past week in television has been absolutely devastating for fans of ABC's Scandal and CBS's The Good Wife. If you watch either show, you're probably still reeling from the most recent episodes, both of which included death sentences for beloved characters. And if you watch both shows, you're probably reading this from the glass case of emotion from which you cannot remove yourself.
First, let's discuss Scandal. Last Thursday, Gladiators everywhere tuned in to find out #WhoGotShot. Some of us were expecting the end of white hat-rocking David Rosen. Others thought James Novak should take the bullet, especially since he was flip-flopping (once again) over what to do about his political animal of a husband, Cyrus Beene. We were ready, weren't we? We were ready for someone to die because we'd been told in the previous week that someone was totally going to get shot!
But then it happened, and we were slapped in the face with the cold, hard reality of the end of James, lying face-down in the concrete. Really, truly, actually dead. Actually, even this wasn't so bad. But when Jake walked over to him at the end of the episode, and we had to watch him talk James through his final moments? And promise him that his daughter would be fine? And kind of, sort of, legitimately apologize for having to kill him, and having to make him suffer so the murder could look like a car-jacking and not a job done by a professional? The worst. The absolute worst.
Or was it?
Don't watch this video unless you're in a place where it's okay to start inexplicably crying:
Sunday night, fans of The Good Wife waited for an eternity for that ridiculously annoying show that shall remain nameless to finally roll credits so that we could see what was up in the land of Alicia and Will. And whaddayaknow? Out of nowhere — seriously, we were not warned, there were no hints in the previews — Will gets shot. He's moments away from winning the big case, but the kid he's defending (Hunter Parrish, who many of us know as Silas from Weeds) can't take it anymore and opens fire on an entire courtroom.
We might have been able to predict the death of James, but the death of Will was a horrifying, horrible, horror-inducing horror. Yes, that many variations on horror are necessary to explain the shock and awe of that character's final moments.
But every dark cloud has a silver lining (allegedly), so let's look on the bright side. We'll get to see more of James A.K.A. Dan Bucatinsky in an upcoming NBC series Marry Me. And he also has another project in the works with Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes. There's no word for sure on what's next for Josh Charles, but he did stop by The Late Show With David Letterman and made it clear that he's been wanting to move on for some time now. So here's hoping we get to see him in something new soon. Not that anything could assuage the loss of Will Gardner. Case in point:
How Alicia looks at the 1:27 mark? Yes. That's exactly how 99% of us feel right now. So basically... The Good Wife and Scandal writers? You are all the worst right now.
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James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli has given evidence in Max Clifford's sex abuse trial, telling jurors the celebrity publicist had "never met" her famous father despite allegedly promising a role in a 007 movie to a young actress. Clifford is accused of molesting seven females, aged between 14 and 19, over an 18-year period, and a court in London has heard one woman was attacked by him after he offered to land her a role in 1983 spy movie Octopussy.
However, Broccoli - daughter of original Bond producer Albert 'Cubby' Broccoli - took the stand on Monday (24Mar14) to tell the court Clifford had never even met her father.
She told the jury, "Max Clifford represented a couple of gymnasts we hired on Octopussy. He was just an agent."
Earlier the jury had heard from a woman who claimed Clifford attacked her in his office when she attended a meeting about the possibility of him representing her after she won a role in Octopussy.
Clifford, 70, denies 11 charges of indecent assault between 1966 and 1984.
The trial continues.
If all you know of The Inbetweeners is the failed U.S. remake, it's time to get schooled. The Inbetweeners 2, the sequel to the British comedy series' first feature-length incarnation, hits U.K. theaters on Aug. 6. (No U.S. release date yet.) Three beloved seasons, a massively successful film, and another one the way? Yes, you've definitely been missing something.
The Inbetweeners follows the coming-of-age escapades of four friends, as well as all the crippling embarrassment that comes with all that. Neil, Simon, Will, and Jay aren't at the top of the social ladder, but they aren't complete outcasts either. They land where most of us did in high school: somewhere in the middle, blindly grasping for some sense of dignity in a mental and emotional hellscape. Parents who mortify, girls who unknowingly emasculate, exams that test the very limits of one's sanity — we've seen it all before, but hardly ever without a glossy CW sheen.
Everything about The Inbetweeners is painfully real, from its blank and ugly school buildings, to the love interests who look like the prettiest girls in 11th grade rather than page 57 of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, to the sometimes combative and sometimes supportive relationships among the four lads. They live by the high school boy's creed: take the piss before the piss gets taken out of you. Yet they can still count on each other for help dealing with casually cruel dads and sadistic teachers.
The boys fittingly made the jump to the big screen as their high school days came to a close. The first Inbetweeners film gave us the gross-out comedy and secret gooey center we'd come to expect. Behind every hangover, pubes joke, and pantsing is an "end of an era" wistfulness.
Thanks to the movie's blockbuster debut however, we don't have to say goodbye to these morons just yet. Precious little has been revealed about the sequel's plot, though we wager it will involve a new level of cringe-comedy that surpasses everything that's come before. In the meantime, you can catch up with the series and the first film on Netflix.
Celebrity publicist Max Clifford attempted to land a teenage model as a client after boasting of sleeping with superstar Diana Ross, a London court has heard. The British public relations guru, who previously represented Frank Sinatra and Muhammad Ali, is currently on trial on sex abuse charges amid allegations he molested seven young females, aged between 14 and 19, over an 18-year period from 1966.
During proceedings on Tuesday (18Mar14), a woman, whose identity has not been released for legal reasons, told the court she approached Clifford for career advice in 1983, when she was just 17, and was surprised when he bragged about bedding soul star Ross.
She testified, "For me, Diana Ross was a very beautiful, famous woman, I couldn't imagine why she would sleep with him."
She then accused Clifford of groping her breasts and arms after he encouraged her to strip off so he could see her figure, saying, "At this point I'm feeling utterly stupid, totally in shock, I'm just not doing anything."
The purported victim went on to reveal that Clifford had told her she could land a role in a James Bond movie, but may have to sleep with the film's producer.
The evidence detailing Clifford's alleged boasts about a Ross romp emerges five days after another witness claimed he had bragged to her about sleeping with movie beauty Julie Christie.
Clifford, 70, denies 11 charges of indecent assault between 1966 and 1984.
The trial continues.
Actor Seth Rogen has poked fun at a new tabloid article which lists Lindsay Lohan's alleged sexual partners by offering up a bizarre collection of celebrities he has smoked weed with. In Touch magazine reporters claim to have stumbled across the list of stars Lohan has bedded and they've published the note - said to be in the Mean Girls star's own handwriting - in the latest issue of the publication.
Blotting out 18 names that could land the magazine in legal trouble, the list includes stars like Justin Timberlake, "Zack Effron", Colin Farrell, Heath Ledger, James Franco and Adam Levine, among others - but doesn't include her former partner Sam Ronson.
A Franco also features on Rogen's list of all the stars he enjoyed high times with - James' actor brother Dave.
During a recent appearance on U.S. TV show Watch What Happens Live, the Pineapple Express star reeled off a countdown of people he’d allegedly smoked marijuana with.
His checklist also included Paul Rudd, Snoop Dogg, comedienne Sarah Silverman and Jonah Hill.
Rogen also revealed he and his Guilt Trip co-star Barbra Streisand "talked about it a lot", adding she revealed she had "smoked weed with Peter Sellers."
James Mcavoy has vowed to quit shooting daredevil scenes and employ a stunt double after repeatedly injuring himself on set. The Atonement actor is considering giving up performing his own risky stunts after hurting his knee in an airplane scene on the set of X-Men: Days of Future Past.
He says, "I cracked my knee quite badly on the third take but that was just my own fault. The plane wasn't even throwing me around. I just tripped over a camera. I'm going to be limping for a week.
"The first time they did it, they said, 'Do you want to rehearse?' I said, 'No, let's just do it and see where it throws me'. I'm quite bendy, quite bouncy, I usually land well.
"I reckon I've only got four or five more years of doing that kind of s**t before it's like, 'Whoa! We'll be getting the stunt double in here.'"
James Bond star Ralph Fiennes once auditioned for the role of the movie superspy but lost out to Pierce Brosnan. Fiennes was installed as 007's new boss M in 2012's Skyfall but now he has confessed it was not the first time he tried to land a part in the long-running franchise.
The Schindler's List star had talks with producer Albert 'Cubby' Broccoli over the vacant role of Bond in the mid-1990s, but he lost out on the chance to be Timothy Dalton's successor - and he is convinced he would have been terrible as 007 anyway.
Fiennes tells British magazine Seven, "There was an early conversation. There was a conversation that was great, and a meeting with Cubby Broccoli, that was terrific. I think that's all I can really say, except that it didn't lead to anything on both sides. I don't think I felt ready to commit and I think they were looking at Pierce. I think I would have been a terrible Bond anyway."
British actor James Corden felt overwhelmed while filming new movie-musical Into The Woods as he was pitched against Hollywood heavyweight Meryl Streep. Corden stars as The Baker in the upcoming fantasy film, based on the Stephen Sondheim show of the same name, alongside members of Hollywood's elite including Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine and Streep.
He admits he felt starstruck on set and could not believe he had managed to land a role in such a big production.
Corden tells Britain's The Sun, "It's certainly the biggest part I've ever played. The scale of it can be quite overwhelming... I kept thinking someone was going to tap me on the shoulder and say 'I'm sorry, we made a mistake'.
"Meryl knows how you feel when you walk in a room - not in an arrogant way but she just knows. Then she does everything she can to put you at ease.
"I want to say to them (his co-stars), 'If you knew how many times I've pretended to be you in front of a mirror you'd get a court order!'"
I have watched Sid Caesar's This Is Your Life parody sketch over a dozen times. As a kid, I worked my way into Caesar's comedy by way of the more effortlessly accessible Mel Brooks. I revisited the talents of the writer and performer after his 2001 appearance on Whose Line Is It Anyway. And Caesar was hardly overlooked in my comedy writing curriculum in college. There isn't a great deal of material from Pat Weaver's Your Show of Shows, on which Caesar canonized his prowess, readily available today. Like the stand-up of Lenny Bruce, the groundbreaking variety show is only made more legendary by its dearth of preservation. But there is one sketch in particular that hasn't entirely evaded the public grasp, thanks in equal parts to good luck and the notion that the world might crumble were we to lose it forever: "This Is Your Story," the aforementioned parody sketch that starred Caesar opposite Carl Reiner and Howard Morris in a 10-minute long bout of expertly executed hysteria.
If you've never seen the routine, take a few to watch in full before reading on:
Long after its 1953 air date, "This Is Your Story" is lauded as one of the funniest comedy sketches in television history. To pinpoint exactly why might be futile, as comedy is more art than science (though a share of both, admittedly), but there is a word I keep going back to every time I watch, and laugh at, the skit: sincerity.
The scene opens on a set of no stark dissimilarity to that of This Is Your Life. It doesn't exactly poke fun at the documentary series or contort any of its conventions, like a Saturday Night Live episode might do with Jeopardy or the evening news. In fact, everything out of Carl Reiner's (playing the nameless host) mouth from beginning to end is utterly sincere, and would fit right at home on an actual episode of the sketch's source material. He never even loses that smile once the mayhem takes hold.
But this mayhem in question is not born from particularly crazy characters. In fact, it's born from a question that just about anyone who has ever seen an episode of This Is Your Life has asked: "How would I act in a situation like this?" Odds are, most of us would land closer to the behaviors exhibited in the parody than on the stuffier, more rigid, and far less sincere performances on the actual program. "This Is Your Story" feels like it was the result of Caesar, Reiner, and Weaver watching This Is Your Life and saying, "This can't be real. You know what would really happen?" And clicking with the realization of just how funny that real display would be.
Of course, "This Is Your Story" doesn't shy away from ridiculous. When you've got talented comics like Caesar, Reiner, and Morris, you can translate real emotion into genius delivery and masterful physical comedy (Morris is a breakout in this sketch, latching his diminutive frame to the much larger bodies of his costars without relent). A few "gags" are tossed in — the snapshot of a grown Caesar's head on a baby's body, Caesar smooching a perfect stranger, and even Morris' character name ("Uncle Goopy!"). But all in all, the comedy here comes from honesty. The honest pandemonium that lives within each of us.
Caesar once said "Comedy has to be based on truth," adding, "You take the truth and you put a little curlicue at the end." Perhaps his most famous sketch, "This Is Your Story" exhibits this perfectly — just how funny the real world is when we take a sincere look at it.
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