Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie has jetted to Eastern Europe to meet the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina and address the problem of sexual violence in warzones. The Wanted star began her trip in London this week (beg24Mar14) by meeting the U.K.'s Foreign Secretary William Hague at Prime Minister David Cameron's Downing Street headquarters, and she then travelled with the politician to Sarajevo.
Jolie, in her role as a United Nations special envoy for refugees, met Bakir Izetbegovic, chairman of the Bosnian presidency, with Hague on Friday (28Mar14). They both later spoke at a press conference organised by the country's Ministry of Defence.
The Oscar winner praised Bosnia and Herzegovina officials for including a scheme to prevent sexual violence in military training, calling the move "inspiring" and "groundbreaking", adding, "You are helping to break down those taboos and (are) redefining soldiering in the 21st Century. There can be no peace in conflict or post-conflict zones while women are raped with impunity."
Pussy Riot stars Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina have stepped up their protests over the ongoing Ukraine crisis by calling for economic sanctions against Russia. The punk stars made an appearance at Tallinn Music Week in Estonia on Friday (28Mar14) amid heightened tensions in Eastern Europe following the arrival of Russian troops in Ukraine's Crimea region.
Alekhina, who has previously voiced her support for Ukraine, was joined by her Pussy Riot co-star Tolokonnikova, and she revealed plans to urge the European Parliament to impose economic sanctions on their native country.
She is quoted by NME.com as saying, "Tomorrow we plan to be in (Ukrainian capital) Kiev in order to support Ukraine. Then we go to the European Parliament to call for sanctions against Russia. It must be understood that economic sanctions will hurt ordinary Russians, but maybe it has got to the point where Russians are too comfortable sat on the couch, and this will shake them and force them out onto the streets to express their opinions...
"We do not invite anyone to use weapons against weapons. Our idea is that Europe and other countries have to use economic sanctions against (Russian president Vladimir) Putin."
Putin sparked international concern when he moved troops into the Crimean region of Ukraine earlier this month (Mar14) following weeks of unrest in the country.
Crimean residents voted in favour of breaking away from Ukraine and joining Russia in March (14), and Putin approved the decision to reclaim Crimea as a Russian territory. United Nations officials declared the referendum illegitimate on Thursday (27Mar14).
Comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel has leapfrogged car racing drama Need For Speed to take the number one spot on the U.K. box office chart. The movie, which stars Ralph Fiennes and F. Murray Abraham as hotel workers in 20th Century Europe, stole top place from Need for Speed in its fourth week of release, reversing last weekend's (beg14Mar14) positions.
It made $3.2 million (£2 million) in ticket sales over the weekend (21-23Mar14) compared with $2 million (£1.3 million) for its motor racing rival.
Third place went to kids' hit The Lego Movie, with $1.9 million (£1.2 million) in takings, and the top five was rounded out by 300: Rise of an Empire with $1.6 million (£998,000) and Non-Stop with $1.4 million (£900,000).
Errol Flynn's widow Patrice Wymore has died at the age of 87. The actress passed away in Portland, Jamaica on Saturday (22Mar14) after a long illness.
Wymore first appeared on the big screen opposite Doris Day and Gordon MacRae in 1950's Tea for Two following several Broadway gigs in the late 1940s, including Hold It! and All for Love.
She fell in love with Flynn while co-starring in Rocky Mountain in 1950 and the pair married later that year.
In 1953, they welcomed a daughter, Arnella Flynn, who went on to become a fashion model in Europe. She died in 1998 from an apparent drug overdose.
Wymore continued to act and appeared in such films as the original Ocean's Eleven, The Big Trees and I'll See You in My Dreams.
Flynn passed away in 1959.
British actress Sienna Miller has launched a campaign to help prepare communities around the world in the event of major disasters. Miller, who is an ambassador for the International Medical Corps, attended an event in London on Wednesday (19Mar14) to back the organisation's project to train and support those living in vulnerable regions.
Speaking at the event, the Alfie star stressed the importance of training communities in disaster zones to "help themselves" so they are able to act quickly to save lives.
She said, "My role is to raise awareness because ultimately we are all first responders and we have to support those on the frontlines. We're here today, and throughout 2014, to celebrate the unsung heroes who respond to global disasters every day. We're asking people, and especially young people, across Europe to pledge their support."
The International Medical Corps provides life-saving supplies, experts and equipment to areas hit by disasters and have previously helped those affected by events including the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
Rock supergroup Last In Line have landed a super-manager in 1980s pop icon and former Visage frontman Steve Strange Drummer Vinny Appice, who founded the band with Def Leppard's Vivian Campbell, revealed details about the new act in a recent interview with rock writer Mitch Lafon, which has been posted on YouTube.com.
Appice, who recently quit Kill Devil Kill to focus on his new band, has confirmed that the line-up includes himself and fellow former Dio star Jimmy Bain and ex-Lynch Mob frontman Andrew Freeman.
And they have some star power behind them.
The drummer says, "Steve Strange from Europe - he's a very famous guy in Europe - he's handling the band, and he is in the driver's seat, and we've got a great driver."
Talking of working with his new bandmates, Appice admits it has been a dream come true: "It's gone great... It went fantastic. We've got about five tunes written, and they're really cool, and they sound like us... It's very interesting how quickly it came together. And we're happy about it, we're having fun down there exchanging ideas.
"It's nothing where there's any attitudes or egos or anything like that... You can express your ideas without having to worry or think about some guy that's gonna go, 'Well, I don't think that's good', or, 'No, we shouldn't do it that way'. All the ideas are put out there and we go, 'Yeah, that's cool. Let's try it'.
"There's no quarrels, there's no attitudes. It's really cool... In April, we're going into the studio to record a couple songs, so we have some stuff down. And it looks like we have a pretty nice record deal sitting there."
Pop singer Sky Ferreira has shot down rumours she's abandoned Miley Cyrus' tour after injuring herself during a show last month (Feb14). The singer is Cyrus' opening act on her Bangerz tour, but she hasn't been onstage in recent weeks after she sliced her leg open during a concert in Anaheim, California and needed 60 stitches.
The star has now denied reports she has quit the trek for good, insisting she took time out to promote her album Night Time, My Time and will be back later this month (Mar14).
In a series of posts on Twitter.com, she writes, "FYI (for your information) I didn't drop off of the Bangerz tour. I'm back in a week. I just released my album in Europe & Australia so I needed to go.
"I played 8 shows with my injury (with blood seeping through my bandage & infected) I highly doubt I would stop in the middle of it. Basically what I'm trying to say (is) why would I stop in the middle of the tour when I played 3 weeks ago?"
Duo Icona Pop are currently supporting Cyrus until Ferreira returns.
Miley Cyrus has been pictured rolling what appears to be a marijuana joint. The Wrecking Ball hitmaker can be seen in a photograph, posted by a male friend on his Instagram.com page, putting a suspicious-looking substance into cigarette paper while in a recording studio in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The pal wrote in the caption, "Yup...... Recordin (sic) with Miley... High as f**k..."
Cyrus hit headlines last year (13) by sparking up a joint on stage at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Amsterdam, Holland, where marijuana is legal.
While in Tulsa, the singer also added a lip tattoo to her collection of body art. She showed off her latest inking in a picture posted on her Instagram.com page on Friday (14Mar14). The image shows the pop star pulling down her lip to reveal a yellow and black cat, which she dubbed "sad kitty".
Her friend - who accompanied her to the tattoo parlour - also wrote on her own page, "We got tattoos on our lips... What the f**k."
At the 2013 Screen Actors Guild Awards, Rita Moreno added The Lifetime Achievement Award to her heavily populated display. That same night, Sofia Vergara also won an award as part of the Modern Family ensemble. In the 50 years since Moreno’s iconic role in West Side Story, things haven’t changed much for Latinos in Hollywood. Women have swapped bare feet and cascading skirts for high heels and mini skirts. Men have gone from playing fieldhands and gang members to... also playing dishwashers. White actors still act in brownface portraying Latinos as loud and ignorant. When are things going to change?
Latinos are 17 percent of the U.S. population and the largest minority group. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world. And yet, Latinos are not widely represented in American media. The Spanish speaking populace has somehow become synonymous with ignorance on TV. When Latinos are represented they are often portrayed as violent, quick-tempered, and hypersexual. Case in point: Vergara’s character in Modern Family is prone to outbursts and is often half-naked, and the lion’s share of her jokes is about her trouble with English.
Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek Are Different People!
Latinos come from countries in The Caribbean, Central America, and South America. These different countries are united by the Spanish language. This would be like considering people from Hong Kong, India, Australia, and the Bahamas one race because they all speak English and drink tea. The diversity of Latinos seems to perplex Hollywood. Penelope Cruz was listed as Salma Hayek on the Academy Awards Instagram page. Cruz is a 5'6" European woman and Hayek is a 5'3" Mexican. They may speak the same language but Cruz’s career is more similar to Monica Bellucci. Both actors had thriving film careers in Europe and were seamlessly incorporated into American casting. Hayek had to claw her way from playing prostitutes and stereotypical bit parts in Hollywood to getting a big break.
Latin spending power is diluted between the Spanish-speaking and English-speaking markets. There are Spanish language networks that cater to recent immigrants and abuelas everywhere. They broadcast novellas, Spanish soap operas, and original programming. It can be challenging to try and unite Spanish-speaking and English-speaking audiences. Mainstream crossovers can be challenging because Latino celebrities are not widely known in America. Chasing Papi was an English-language Latino comedy featuring a young Vergara, and a who’s who of Latino celebrities. However, it was unable to resonate with American audiences.
In West Side Story, white and Latino actors were literally painted brown to distinguish them as the Puerto Ricans. Despite being Puerto Rican, Moreno had to wear dark make-up to play her own race. Many non-Latin actors have played Latino roles, with varying degrees of success: Hank Azaria, Johnny Depp, and Anjelica Houston have all played Latinos. There have even been white actors in historical representations of Latino history. Ethan Hawke played a Uraguayan in Alive and Ben Affleck’s character in Argo was based on half-Mexican CIA agent Tony Mendez.
As recently as Lena Dunham’s episode of SNL, non-Latino actress Cecily Strong plays a Venezuelan whose humor and conflict derive from the fact that she can’t speak English. With no Latino performers on SNL, characters like this seem insensitive. Plus, there's that accent — Strong's costar Kate McKinnon has played Latin characters and can at least do a convincing accent.
Key to Success: Play Another Race?
Moreno played Tuptim in The King and I. Almost 60 years later, successful Latino actors find more success playing outside their race. Dominican/Puerto Rican actress Zoe Saldana has found more commercial success playing characters identified as black and non-Latino. Alexis Bledel, Frankie Muniz, and Aubrey Plaza are all assumed to be Caucasian and often cast with Caucasian parents and relatives. Even Martin and Charlie Sheen found it necessary to change their name from Estevez.
Banished to Basic Cable
It seems like the most diversity exists on basic cable. It’s hard to believe that Wizards of Waverly Place is more representative of a modern family than the eponymous sitcom. It features a bi-racial Latino/American family. Everyone can speak English and the children still have a sense of culture. ABC Family shows like The Fosters and Switched at Birth include multiple series regulars that are Latino. The shining beacon on television is Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It has two Latin actresses Stephanie Beatriz and Melissa Fumero offering atypical and actually inspirational portrayals of Latinos. This is progress considering Beatriz played Vergara’s ignorant Colombian cousin in an episode of Modern Family. Check out how Beatriz describes her strong and accent-less role as success for Latinos.
The Rolling Stones have extended their 14 On Fire tour by adding two European festival dates in June (14). The rockers kicked off a string of shows with their first ever gig in the Middle East in February (14), and they are currently touring through Asia and Australia. Mick Jagger and his bandmates will return to Europe for dates at the Pinkpop Festival in Holland (07Jun14) and TW Classic Festival in Belgium (28Jun14).