One Direction have become the first act to break through the $200 million (£118 million) mark for concert ticket sales this year (14).
The boy band's Where We Are world tour tops Billboard's Hot Tours list thanks to $130 million (£76 million) in revenue from a 10-week summer trek in Europe and North America. Ticket sales from the 2014 tour now total $230 million (£135 million) from more than 53 sold out concerts in six countries.
The Best Song Ever hitmakers will add millions more to that tally when they perform three sold out shows at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California beginning on 11 September (14).
The tour is set to wrap in Miami, Florida at the beginning of October (14).
With such a hostile political climate existing beyond the scope of cinema, it takes a good deal of skill to keep the spy genre of today feeling exciting, original, and up-to-date. Director Roger Donaldson aims for this with The November Man, a film that draws from the best traditions of the genre — packing twists an employing none other than James Bond, Pierce Brosnan, to play the lead role — and employs new devices as well (this might be the first film we ever saw to use drone technology to catch a criminal). We chatted with Donaldson about the state of the genre, what role it plays in contemporary pop culture, and how films like November Man reach beyond the screen to contribute to the political scope.
Roger Donaldson: I’ve done a few films in the genre. I did No Way Out many years ago, I did The Recruit with Al Pacino and Colin Farrell. I think what I love about making these sort of films, as well as seeing them, is the suspense. I'm intrigued by characters [pretending to be] somebody other than they really are ... Espionage is very much a part of our world, the real world.
Where does the real world meet the world of the spy genre?
RD: I think the two are sort of intertwined. I was definitely intrigued by the idea of shooting this film in Serbia. Serbia having been at the crossroads of history, monumental moments of history, for many years. You know, the Ottoman Empire up against the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Now the influences of Russia South, various parts of Europe moving towards the East. Turkish influences. Muslims moving up from Albania, Turkey. It’s still right at the crosshairs of international politics as part of the world.
And yet I was sort of appalled at how ignorant I was about Serbia and Belgrade, having not been there. I’ve been to Croatia before, but my knowledge sort of came out of reporting that happened around the war 10 or 15 years ago. The reality now is very different. They’ve moved on, Croatia is now in the EU. Serbia will soon be, probably. There are still those underlying currents that are still working their way — Hungary is up against Serbia, and Austria, and Slovenia… so it’s still a fascinating part of the world.
Do these kinds of movies work to teach us anything about our political climate?
RD: Well, I think political thrillers often have a sense of irony, and they’re a little cynical about the goings on of how countries and interact with another. When we made this film, it was a year ago. Just in that last year, the geopolitical events that have been happening… while this movie is not ... 100 percent [reality, it] speaks to the monumental changes that are always ongoing in the world of politics.
Relativity Media via Everett Collection
Speaking of real world advancements, this might be the first movie I have ever seen to use drones.
RD: I know. As a matter of fact, when we decided to put drones into the film, it was stuff that wasn’t quite like it is right now. I anticipated, I guess, that this sort of technology was going to become more and more important. Both in filmmaking and in [politics]. That’s one of the reasons I put it in the film; I thought it was technology that we’d see more and more of.
That’s the challenge of making films about what’s happening right now. The technology is such a part of a spy story, one has to try and embrace it. You know that the technology is probably ahead of where we are already. Now, when I did No Way Out, we talked about a stealth submarine. That was just pure fiction that came out of writing the script. Some time later I was talking to somebody who was in the know, and he was like, ‘How did you know about this stealth submarine?’ Well… we didn’t! We just assumed that there would be that sort of technology and development, and that you’d try and keep things a secret. One tries to guess, sometimes, what’s out there, and sometimes when you think of the need, what technology could provide, you put it into the story… and suddenly, it does exist, because there is that need for it ... There was a period of time when military would talk to filmmakers and say, “Hey, what bright ideas have you got that could become of interest to us?”
You mentioned earlier your love of twists. Is it difficult to pull off movie twists when audiences are so savvy now, and are always expecting them?
RD: It is a challenge to surprise. When [people] sit down to watch a movie like this, they know there are twists in the story, and they know that twists can only come from characters that are in front of them. So they start to try and put together the scenarios of who’s going to do what to whom. So it’s a challenge as a filmmaker to keep the audience guessing, and part of the pleasure of watching a film like this is trying to be ahead of the story. “I know where it’s going to go,” and when it doesn’t go there that’s always a feeling of satisfaction from the audience, like, “I didn’t see that coming!” And yet, you also try to do it with logic, so that when it does happen, they don’t go, “Well, that was a load of bulls**t, wasn’t it?” It’s got to make sense as well as surprise them. How do you surprise the audience, how do you entertain them? And how do you, at the very end of a movie, keep it going right through?
Was there ever a twist that didn't work out for you?
RD: There was a twist in [No Way Out], after I had made the film, a studio executive said, “If you didn’t have that twist on the end I think you would have done more business.” And I was like, “But I wouldn’t have made the film!” That twist was what I was attracted to about doing the film. Maybe he just felt like it just didn’t need that extra twist on the end. But for me, that was the pleasure of that whole film. It surprised right up to the end.
Did you ever worry that a Pierce Brosnan spy thriller would suffer from the shadow of Bond?
RD: I hope it doesn’t. To me, this film has nothing to do with Bond. Pierce has real star attraction. I think there’s a side to Pierce that hasn’t been exposed in his work, and I think this film shows what an interesting, complicated character he can pull off onscreen. That was the appeal to me about working with him on this movie. Of course, that's why he's a star. Bond's one of those movies [that made him a star], and he was a spy in that movie. But the truth is, this is a very different sort of spy movie to a Bond movie.
He's playing a character who's got sort of a dark side to him, too. He's been through hell and seen all sorts of things. That sort of cynicism comes to the forefront. In the scene where he's confronting the [character] that he's got hostage, that's a very demanding scene to do as an actor. I think that scene really helps the movie [become such that] you don't really know where the movie's going to go.
The November Man is in theaters now.
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Drummer Sheila E has confirmed she and and Prince were engaged in the 1980s. In her new memoir, The Beat of My Own Drum, the percussionist details the night the When Doves Cry hitmaker proposed to her during a concert in Europe in 1987, according to the New York Daily News.
She writes, "(He turned around half way into Purple Rain and mouthed), 'Marry me?'
"He blew me a kiss, turned to the audience, and took the most amazing guitar solo ever. For the rest of that year my relationship with Prince was a dream... We were with each other all day and all night."
Following the engagement, the couple split its time between Los Angeles and his native Minneapolis, but decided to keep the impending nuptials secret.
However, by the 1990s, the couple's relationship had deteriorated following numerous infidelities and the death blow for the romance came when Prince allegedly refused to allow Sheila to attend her grandmother's funeral.
She explains, "He was my boss, he reminded me. He signed the paycheques."
Tom Cruise drew huge crowds of fans as he scaled the roof of the Vienna opera house in Austria on Thursday (21Aug14) to practice stunts for the fifth Mission: Impossible film. The Hollywood superstar is preparing to kick off filming of Mission: Impossible 5 in Europe, and he climbed to the roof of the famous Vienna State Opera building to rehearse a number of daredevil stunts.
Cruise has been pictured strapped into a harness, balancing on a ledge high above the crowds below and even giving a wave to fans. At one point his co-star, Swede Rebecca Ferguson, joined him on the precarious ledge, while Cruise was also seen practicing swinging a rope for one of the scenes.
Local reports suggest filming is due to begin in the city on Saturday (23Aug14), and residents have been warned about possible travel disruption due to a number of road closures around the set.
British singer Ella Eyre nearly missed her slot at Britain's V Festival over the weekend (16-17Aug14) after her tour bus was involved in a terrifying accident. The star was on her way to the second leg of the event in Chelmsford, England when a wheel on the bus came loose.
No one was injured in the accident, but Eyre and her crew were left stranded on the roadside until the early hours of the morning.
She tells British radio show In:Demand backstage at the festival, "The wheel fell off and we were moving. We're all fine but we were stuck in the bus until 4am... So we didn't think we were going to make it. My poor hairdresser was on the bus doing my hair like, 'Is this going to blow the fuse? Are we going to blow up?'"
Eyre nearly missed her set at the Isle of Wight Festival earlier in the summer (14) after she was caught up in travel chaos in Europe. Her flight from Poland was delayed and she made it to the U.K. event with just minutes to spare before her set.
A real-life jailbird portrayed by actress Laura Prepon in hit TV drama Orange Is The New Black has landed a deal to publish her memoirs about her time behind bars. Author Piper Kerman's former friend and lover Cleary Wolters will detail her memories of prison life and the events that got her there in a new HarperOne book, titled Out of Orange, which is set to be published in May, 2015.
Kerman's book inspired the hit Netflix show, in which Taylor Schilling portrays lead character Piper Chapman and Prepon plays her ex-lover, drug dealer Alex Vause.
Wolters says, "Alex and Piper (characters) have inspired me to tell my whole story, an unbelievable saga that takes place all over the world: Africa, Europe, Asia, and the U.S. both in prison and out. I think people may be surprised at what happened to me after I turned myself in - and where my life is now."
Socialite Nicky Hilton is engaged to boyfriend James Rothschild. The hotel heiress' banker beau popped the question last weekend (ends10Aug14) in Italy, according to Us Weekly.
A source tells the magazine the couple was celebrating its anniversary in the same country where they first met, while attending supermodel Petra Ecclestone and James Stunt's 2011 wedding near Rome.
The insider reveals Rothschild, who flew from his home in England to the U.S. to ask Hilton's parents for her hand in marriage before the trip, proposed during a boat trip on Lake Como, where George Clooney owns a retreat.
The source says, "It was incredibly romantic and beautiful."
Hilton and Rothschild are reportedly celebrating their engagement with a road trip through Europe.
Fashion designer Hilton, the younger sister of Paris, previously dated DreamWorks studio boss David Katzenberg for four years, and was briefly married to childhood friend and businessman Todd Andrew Meister in 2004.
Italy has become 2014's romance destination for celebrities - Kim Kardashian and Kanye West wed in Florence earlier this summer, and George Clooney will wed his fiancee Amal Alamuddin in Italy next month (Sep14), according to reports.
An exhibition dedicated to British rockers Pink Floyd has been postponed due to production delays. A multi-sensory retrospective, titled The Mortal Remains, was due to launch in Milan, Italy in September (14) with the help of former bandmembers David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Roger Waters.
Organisers have scrapped the start date and suspended ticket sales after discovering the exhibition will not be ready in time.
They say in a statement, "Evolve Devolve, the Italian promoters of The Pink Floyd Exhibition, have announced today that the exhibition, due to start on 19 September 2014 in Milan, has had to be postponed due to production delays. Building the complex exhibition to the required specification has made it impossible to make the opening date."
Fans from all over Europe were expected to flock to the La Fabbrica Del Vapore venue to see more than 300 artefacts from the band's career, including a giant inflatable pig which famously broke loose during a photoshoot in the 1970s and drifted into the flight path of a London airport.
A new opening date is yet to be announced.
Actress Kelly Rutherford is urging a Los Angeles federal judge to overturn a ruling allowing her two children to live with their father in France, insisting the decision creates an immigration issue. The former Gossip Girl star's ex-husband Daniel Giersch was granted primary custody of seven-year-old son Hermes and five-year-old daughter Helena in 2012, and the actress has been forced to fly between her native U.S. and Europe just to visit her kids.
She has now filed new legal documents accusing the state judge who presided over their case of acting beyond the scope of his power and is demanding the custody call be overturned by a higher judge so her children can remain with her in the States, reports TMZ.com.
German businessman Giersch had his U.S. visa revoked for unknown reasons in the summer of 2012.
Rutherford and Giersch divorced in 2009. The costly custody battle prompted the actress to file for bankruptcy last year (13).
"He's got this Breaking Bad-style RV (recreational vehicle), which he's just driving around Europe. I don't get involved with what his intake may or may not be. What I know is he's happy, and he wants to do things together." Rocker Carl Barat on his The Libertines bandmate Pete Doherty, whose drug issues previously led to a split between the two frontmen which broke up the band.