Praise the Lord, #TGIT is back! To prepare, we spoke with Scandal's Tony Goldwyn, A.K.A. President Fitzgerald Grant, about what it's like portraying the President of the United States of America, where Fitz is at emotionally after the loss of his son, and of course, we discussed Olivia Pope.
We’re curious, do people have a hard time differentiating you as an actor because you play such an huge figure on TV as President Grant? Have fans ever called you the President?
I’m not sure if it has to do with being the President. I guess I do get a certain type of respect that I wouldn’t get if it was just me. People seem to get a real kick out of that. People tend to call me “The President” a lot.
What do you have to do to get into the mentality of such as powerful character?
Now it’s pretty natural because I’ve been doing it for a while. But in the first and second season, the thing I had to remind myself all the time, the degree of pressure the president is always under, every single second of every single day, there is so much stress, and so much weighing on every single moment. You have to have a sort of grace under that pressure. That kind of informs everything and to find grace under that pressure and a way of being cool in the face of that. The stakes were always really high and once I internalized that, it was extremely helpful.
Where would you say Fitz is at emotionally/mentally over the loss of his oldest son Jerry?
Oh god, the loss of his son Jerry almost killed him. Then there was the loss of Olivia that happened at the end of last season. But then Olivia returned and even though they’re not together, she’s back in his life in a way. But there’s hope, as he discovered. But the death of Jerry focused Fitz in a way that he’s determined. When he then lost Olivia, he was lost and utterly destroyed inside, but he was determined to be as effective a president as he can be. Now Olivia’s back and, as of the last episode in the mid-season finale, which I directed, Olivia’s been kidnapped. Fitz is being blackmailed now, that if he doesn’t go into this war in West Angola, that she will be killed and he’ll never see her again. Now Fitz has a terrible problem, because that completely undermines everything he intended to do in the wake of his son’s death to honor that memory and his job. But also the loss of Olivia is something that he can’t tolerate because he’s so desperately in love with her and so dependent on her.
How far do you think he would go to save Olivia?
I don’t know. We’ll have to see where everything goes, I can’t give any spoilers. But it’s sort of an existential crisis for Fitz. He has a responsibility to his job, the country, and everything he sees himself being about. But at the same time Olivia means more to him than anything in the world. It’s just an impossible quantity of situations.
Can you explain what it’s like to portray that relationship? What Olivia and Fitz have is nothing like anything else on TV.
You know what it is, these two people connect on a very, very deep level – emotionally, sexually, intellectually – everything. And at the same time, it’s an impossible relationship. The circumstances of their lives make it impossible. They keep making it more impossible. But it’s one of those relationships, that no matter what happens, once they’re in proximity of each other, all bets are off. They can’t deny the connection that they have. They can be enraged with each other, whatever their opinions are of what they should think; it just evaporates when they’re in each other’s presence. It’s an undeniable baseline reality of who they are to each other. It’s a very extreme kind of thing that happens.
Do you think there is something very specific about that relationship that has so many fans rooting for them, despite the fact that Fitz is married?
Well look, Fitz and Olivia it’s not just any infidelity. The truth is, yes they had an affair but you know Fitz has been in a very dysfunctional marriage and has stood up forthrightly and asked his wife for a divorce. He told Olivia he was leaving his wife. He said to Olivia 2 years ago, “I’m done, I’m choosing you.” He’s not some man who just wont leave his wife. He’s tried everything to be with the woman he loves, and Olivia, in collusion with Mellie, has blocked it. She’s forced him to wait. I know people have an issue with the infidelity but it’s not like his wife doesn’t know and he hasn’t been honest about it. And for that, I have no moral judgment about that as far as Fitz, he’s not trying to have his cake and eat it too. He’s transgressed and sinned, but so has Mellie and so has Olivia, they’re all human.
What’s different about Olivia’s relationship with Jake versus Fitz?
I think that Jake and Olivia’s relationship is one thing, but Fitz and Olivia, I believe separate from these insane circumstances of him being the President and all the pressures that come to bear and all of Olivia’s fears about intimacy and giving herself over to someone. I think Fitz believes and I believe, in his advocacy, that if she would do what he said, they would be able to begin something substantial and powerful. They could have a family together. Hell, they’re not going to move to Vermont and he’s not going to be the mayor, that’s a fantasy but they could, as a couple, build a life together and it would be so much more powerful than they are separate. They could have a very ideal relationship, I believe. I think her relationship with Jake is something different. It’s an escape for all that. Maybe they would have a successful relationship. I do believe Olivia loves both men. But I also think that she and Fitz have a very deep connection on so many levels, professionally, and in so many ways. I think there is more heft to it.. Then there is their chemistry, while she and Jake have good chemistry, Fitz and Olivia have a chemistry that is so beyond a sexual connection, it’s that plus so much else.
Do you think that’s what fans really see? When Fitz and Olivia are in a room together, it’s very obvious their feelings and emotions for each other.
It’s super charged. They see each other and know each other in a deep, almost historic way. That was Fitz’s big point in the past, “you know me,” they connect and see the best of each other. They see the true person. I think Jake and Olivia, in a relationship, would be creating a whole new thing. They’d be leaving their life and running away and it would be a whole big thing. Maybe they can start all over and Jake can leave behind his life and start with Olivia. I think with Fitz and Olivia, they could work, if they make their way through his gauntlet. They’ve always known where they’ve been. We don’t know Jake’s past. He’s a mystery figure. He’s been a soldier his whole life. And then a B613 operative.
Switching to Fitz’s other relationship, can you tell us if you think things between Fitz and Mellie will ever recover, not the marriage but just as Fitz and Mellie, after all that’s happened, Jerry’s death on top of it all?
I think it goes back and forth with Mellie. I don’t see Mellie and Fitz recovering their romantic relationship, ever. But at the same time, as much as Fitz was disgusted and offended and to his core just cut Mellie off, when she sort of betrayed him, he still understands Mellie. He knows that’s not who Mellie really is. That’s not who the true Mellie is. That’s the desperate, damaged, wounded Mellie. He’s got the love-hate relationship with Mellie. He has real contempt for what Mellie stands for, but he has intense guilt over his neglect of Mellie. His father raped his wife and he’s got all this guilt. He’s got this complicated thing. But at the same time he respects and loves and admires Mellie for all of her best qualities and he’s also not willing to give up on that. Like so many marriages, it keeps flipping from one to the other, but they have a partnership there. They have a mutual kind of respect in some way. They both know each other’s attributes as each other’s failings.
You directed that crazy mid-season finale. Can we look forward to you directing any more episodes in this season?
No sadly, I don’t have any more for this season.
What was it like directing yourself and then your co-workers, given you’ve been working with them so much and you’re so invested in this storyline?
It’s such an experience to work from inside of it. It’s also a great privilege to be able to work with all these great actors in a different way than when I am acting with them. It’s exciting for all of us. I get to work with people I don’t usually have scenes with, like Guillermo (Huck) and Katie (Quinn), who I don’t ever act with much on screen if at all. It’s wonderful. It’s a great experience.
So, can you give us an unbiased response on whether you’re Team Jake or Team Fitz?
I endorse God fully, but I have to admit that I’m Team Fitz. I say that with full appreciation of the Jake-Olivia relationship. But I think for me, that’s a fantasy relationship, at least now, its not grounded in anything real, it’s an erotically charged escape relationship for both of those people. I think Fitz and Olivia is a relationship based on two people who could be the answer for each other, they may never find their way there, but it’s very real and the facts are established in reality.
Scandal returns to ABC Thursday, January 29th at 9 P.M.
Dame Judi Dench joined Downton Abbey stars Lesley Nicol and Peter Egan at Britain's Houses of Parliament on Wednesday (28Jan15) to urge officials to do more to stop the dog meat trade in Asia. The veteran actress attended a briefing for Members of Parliament (MPs) alongside Nicol and her co-star Egan, who plays Hugh 'Shrimpy' MacClare in the hit period drama, to support a campaign to change animal rights legislation in countries such as China and Thailand.
Long time animal welfare campaigner Egan made a speech to politicians, and fought back tears as he made an impassioned plea to end the suffering of animals in Asia.
He told the meeting, "It's such a cruel trade... and I will dedicate the rest of my life to trying to get it stopped... I hope our MPs here and their colleagues in the Foreign Office and embassies will have these animal welfare discussions with their counterparts in Asia... so the dog meat trade in particular can be put to an end."
After giving the speech, Egan took to Twitter.com to write, "Got terrific cross party support today I'm thrilled we were able bring so much attention to this cruel trade," while Nicol added in a message to her colleague, "Bless you Mr lovely... You're a great speaker, it's directly from your heart - and I blubbed all the way thru (though)."
Reformed rock wildman Bez has blasted Britain's Labour Party over its stance on controversial shale gas drilling, accusing its members of failing to stand up for the U.K. population. The Happy Mondays dancer, who is pursuing a new career as an environmentalist and would-be politician, attended a rally outside a council office in Lancashire, England on Wednesday (28Jan15) as officials inside debated plans to open new fracking sites in Britain.
It followed a key House of Commons vote on the issue earlier in the week (beg26Jan15) which killed campaigners' hopes for a delay in the proposal when Members of Parliament (MPs) overwhelmingly rejected calls for a moratorium on the issue.
In an interview with Sky News from the site of the protest Bez, real name Mark Berry, rounded on Britain's opposition party and accused its MPs of failing the electorate by refusing to back a moratorium.
He said, "First of all, (I'm here) to raise awareness about fracking and the issues that come with it, and also to let people know that the Labour government (sic) as the opposition let the people down by abstaining on the vote for a moratorium and putting it to the people whether we want fracking or not... I feel like I have to stand and raise awareness. The future is not looking too bright for the people of Britain... We should be engaged and part of the decision making."
Bez plans to run in the U.K.'s general election this year (15) in a bid to become an MP for the Reality Party, but his hopes were dealt a potentially devastating blow when it emerged the group has been removed from the list of runners because officials fear the name is too similar to the previously registered Realists' Party.
Guardians Of The Galaxy star Chris Pratt has emerged as the latest frontrunner to lead the cast in a planned Disney remake of Indiana Jones. Movie studio bosses are working with Star Trek reboot director J.J. Abrams to relaunch the franchise and are keen to land Pratt as its lead star, taking over Harrison Ford's iconic role as the daredevil archaeologist, according to Deadline.com.
Twilight hunk Robert Pattinson previously dismissed rumours linking him to the job last summer (14), while Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper's name has also been put forward as a favourite to tackle the George Lucas-created character.
The first three films in the Indiana Jones franchise became box office hits in the 1980s, while a fourth instalment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was released in 2008 with Shia LaBeouf as Ford's co-star.
All four movies were directed by Steven Spielberg.
Oscar-nominated drama American Sniper has leapfrogged action blockbuster Taken 3 to sit at the top of the U.K. box office chart.
The movie, starring Bradley Cooper, has been shrouded in controversy in the U.S. since its release amid allegations it glamorizes military conflict and could spark an increase in threats against Muslims in the States. American Sniper experienced a disappointing opening weekend in the U.K. earlier this month (Jan15), limping home in second place, but in its second weekend (23-25Jan15), the movie leapfrogged Liam Neeson's Taken sequel to top the rundown, with ticket sales of $4 million (£2.5 million). Taken 3 boasted box office receipts of $2.8 million (£1.8 million), and American Sniper's Oscars rival The Theory of Everything was a non-mover at number three, with $2.4 million (£1.5 million).
The top five was rounded out by another Academy Awards contender, Into The Woods, with $2 million (£1.3 million) and sci-fi movie Ex Machina, with $1.6 million (£1 million).
American Sniper will go head-to-head with Eddie Redmayne's The Theory of Everything for the Best Picture prize at Hollywood's big night next month (Feb15), while Cooper will face the Brit in the Best Actor category. Meryl Streep is in the running for Best Supporting Actress for her role as The Witch in Into The Woods.
Sting has declared he threw his best friend Jimmy Nail "under the bus" in a desperate effort to save his Broadway musical The Last Ship from closure. The Police star joined the cast of the sinking stage show in December (14) to boost ticket sales, taking over the role played by British actor/singer Nail.
The move gave producers a slight bump in box office numbers but failed to save the show and the curtain came down for the final time on Saturday (24Jan15).
Sting, who gave an emotional on-stage speech to the audience on closing night, has now opened up about the lengths he went to in a bid to save his precious show, and admits he feels guilty about sacrificing his friend Nail to boost audience numbers.
He tells Britain's The Stage magazine, "Early on in the run we were in such a financial hole that we would have closed immediately, and I didn't want that to happen. The producers said to me, 'You have to go into the show'. I said, 'But there's no part for me'. They said I'd have to take over from Jimmy Nail. That meant I had to throw my best friend under the bus to save the play... Audiences want to see stars. And as soon as I went in - a name - the ticket sales went up and we became viable. We'd stay viable, but I (had) to leave."
Rapper 2 Chainz is preparing to launch a bid for political office in his hometown of College Park, Georgia. The I'm Different hitmaker, real name Tauheed Epps, reveals he is seriously considering taking a break from music to run for mayor after receiving encouragement from fans and locals, and he is currently in the process of making sure he meets the basic requirements to apply for the top job.
He tells XXLmag.com, "I'm a musician, not a politician. I'm supposed to be running for mayor in College Park. I got everybody wishing (sic). I'm really gonna do this little mayor thing in College Park. I'm just trying to make sure I have the right qualifications."
The news emerges two weeks after 2 Chainz hit headlines for facing off with U.S. TV personality Nancy Grace during a live broadcast as part of a heated debate regarding the legalisation of marijuana.
The pair argued over the pros and cons of making the drug legal, with 2 Chainz holding his own as a supporter of its legalisation.
2 Chainz isn't the only rapper to pursue political aspirations - Wyclef Jean attempted to run for president of Haiti in 2010, Rhymefest tried and failed to become a councilman in his native Chicago, Illinois, and former 2 Live Crew member Luther 'Uncle Luke' Campbell came fourth in his bid to become Mayor of Miami-Dade, Florida in 2011.
Comedian Larry David has broken Broadway box office records with his theatre debut Fish In The Dark a week before he steps onto the stage. The play, written by and starring the Curb Your Enthusiasm actor, doesn't begin previews until 2 February (15), but fans have been rushing to secure their tickets to the new comedy, with some paying as much as $425 (£266) per person.
As a result, advance ticket sales have raked in an impressive $13.5 million (£8.4 million). The high demand beats that of previous record holder, a 2013 revival of Harold Pinter's Betrayal, which starred real-life couple Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz. That production boasted pre-sale figures of $13.05 million (£8.16 million).
Fish in the Dark, which will be directed by Tony Award winner Anna D. Shapiro and co-star Rosie Perez, will open at the Cort Theater on 5 March (15) for a limited 18-week engagement.
Tree Hill was home to many interesting, awesome, and insane characters. We can’t rank everyone (because who wants to remember people like Felix or Anna) and we all know the crazy chicks like Nanny Carrie and Katie belong in jail, not on this list. Here’s to the main/big supporting characters that made One Tree Hill a show we never wanted to stop watching.
20. Victoria Davis
So about 90% of the time Bitchtoria sucked, but she did redeem herself in those later seasons by being there for Brooke. She may have been a bitch, but she was our favorite bitch.
19. Deb Scott
Deb was kind of a hot mess, but then again who wouldn't be after being married to Dan Scott? Her drug and alcohol problems taken care of, she still wasn't the best mom (who dates their kids friends?!) but she did save Jamie and Haley, and thank God for that.
18. Quentin Fields
Q started out as an asshole (sound familiar?) but turned into a big softie, who helped Nathan with his basketball comeback and was an adorable older best friend to Jamie. We all sobbed pretty hard when we lost him.
17. Jake Jagielski
Poor Jake. He could have treated Peyton well, but we all know that Leyton was the OTP. He really was a great guy, plus he was super hot and a really sweet single father. We still feel for him.
16. Clay Evans
Clay was OTH attempt at replacing Lucas. It didn't really work, but he was an okay guy. He helped Nathan, which is why he makes this list. He also had an insane amount of drama that kept things interesting, I.E. a stalker who looks like his dead wife shooting him and Quinn. Oh. and the time he forgot he had a kid.
15. Quinn James
And then there was Quinn, sent to replace Peyton. She didn't. She was another one of Haley's siblings (how many did she have?!) but not the slutty one, Taylor we're looking at you. Quinn was goofy and while she didn't make up for Peyton leaving, she was actually a very sweet character and made us laugh.
14. Antwon "Skills" Taylor
Skills was Naley's biggest fan (after us). While he didn't always make good choices for himself (See: His relationship with Deb) he was always a good friend, there to lend advice when one of the Scott boys was being stupid or when one of the many women of Tree Hill needed help. Remember when he was the Baby Proofer?
13. Millicent Huxtable
Millie as Brooke's assistant/employee = an incredible person who was always there for Brooke. Millie the model = awful and we should all forget her cocaine phase. Thank god Mouth and her got back together and she became normal again.
12. Whitey Durham
Do coaches like Whitey exist in real life? He really cared about Lucas and Nathan, hated Dan like we all did, and taught everyone some valuable life lessons, while being hilarious and as adorable as a tough basketball coach can be.
11. Marvin "Mouth" McFadden
Mouth might not have been the best dancer, but he was a great friend to Lucas Scott and the other guys of the River Court. But it's his friendship with Brooke over the years that made us truly love him.
10. Jamie Scott
Jamie circa season 5 is the cutest thing ever. He got to be buddies with everyone: his dad, his uncle Luke, his uncle Skills, his godmomma Brooke, Q...basically you were only cool on this show if Jamie liked you. Which is probably why we started to really like Dan Scott, since Jamie loved him so much.
9. Dan Scott
Dan was the greatest antagonist this show ever saw, and there were a ton of crazy people (Psycho Derek and Xavier, to name a few). You loved to hate him. He was a terrible father, a murderer, a corrupt politician/businessman, and all around kind of insane. But at the end of the day, he was Dan Scott and no one was better than Dan Scott...
8. Keith Scott
...except for Keith Scott, his big brother. AKA Lucas' surrogate father. Since, you know, Dan ditched Karen after he got her pregnant, went and got Deb pregnant and then married her. Keith kept it classy, which had to be hard with Dan as your brother, and took care of Lucas and Karen. We're STILL not over his death. When he came back in season 9, we wept.
7. Karen Roe
Karen was by far the most responsible parent to the teenagers of Tree Hill. She showed Dan Scott she didn't need a man for her life to turn out great and she definitely got the easier Scott boy because of it. Karen always gave advice that we could actually use in our own lives.
6. Julian Baker
Any guy that can take care of Brooke Davis and love her unconditionally deserves to be in the Top 10. Julian might have come into OTH with not-so-wonderful intentions, but he proved that he was the perfect man for Brooke and we've been in love with him ever since.
5. Peyton Sawyer
Peyton was probably the angstiest cheerleader to ever exist and that's what we loved about her. She was broody (for good reasons) and dark at times, but way deep down, she never gave up on love. She got her man in the end (becoming Peyton Scott!).
4. Haley James Scott
Haley has always been one of the best characters (season 2 Haley aside) to ever grace our screens. She made Nathan the man he is today. She was a great momma. She always stuck up for her friends and didn't care what people thought of her, I mean she wore that poncho all the time in high school.
3. Nathan Scott
Nathan proved that jock-assholes can become loving husbands and amazing fathers. Also, Nathan kind of became the dorky guy who thinks Shrek is a good movie to have a favorite quote from.
2. Lucas Scott
Now, we're still very mad at Lucas for leaving, and he almost came after Nathan, but let's be honest. Without Lucas Scott, there would be no One Tree Hill. Even after he left, he still was mentioned in almost every episode. Talk about never getting over a guy.
1. Brooke Davis
Broke is the ultimate OTH character. She changed from party-girl cheerleader to power-house Brooke, running (then losing, then gaining back, then losing again) her own company flawlessly while handling jerk boyfriends, crazy parents, and falling in love with an amazing man. Brooke is the girl we always wanted to become. Thanks for the memories B. Davis!
Logan, because he stole the show in season 9 with his cuteness.
Sam Walker, because that poor girl was all kind of messed up and Brooke still took he under her wing and made us care about her. But then, she went and left. Can we quote Peyton and say People Always Leave.
Chris Keller because even though he attempted to break up Naley, he kept us entertained. Who didn't love it when he came back in season 4 and called Haley "plump", only to have her say she's pregnant and he's an asshole. Classic Chris Keller.
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Are you interested in a film that deals with race, love, and understanding? Then Black Or White is the film for you to see! You're going to want to enter this giveaway now, while you've got the chance!
Black Or White is the story of a grandfather (winner Kevin Costner) who is suddenly left to care for his beloved granddaughter. When her paternal grandmother (Octavia Spencer) seeks custody with the help of her brother (Anthony Mackie), the little girl is torn between two families who love her deeply. With the best intentions at heart, both families fight for what they feel is right and are soon forced to confront their true feelings about race, forgiveness, and understanding. Anchored by an all-star cast and based on real events, the movie is a look at two seemingly different worlds, in which nothing is as simple as black or white.
How to win:
1. Follow @hollywood_com
Follow us & RT this to enter our #BlackOrWhiteGiveaway for some awesome gift cards & merchandise! #LoveHasNoColor http://t.co/WJtH2T80Rz
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One winner will receive:
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Black or White is in theaters everywhere January 30, 2015.
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