Pop star Aaron Carter is "regulating" his lifestyle and watching what he eats and smokes so he can complete his current marathon 80-date tour without having to cancel one show. The I Want Candy singer, who embarked on his latest comeback tour last week (ends19Sep14), has his stint on off-Broadway show The Fantasticks to thank for his new-found work ethic, revealing he had to quit smoking cigarettes to avoid getting fired, and discovered that sick days are really frowned upon in the theatre world.
The 26 year old tells WENN, "When I was doing off-Broadway in New York City, I was contractually obligated to do eight shows a week... At that time The Fantasticks was the only thing that I had going on, so I didn't wanna screw it up. I wanted to show people that I could do the eight shows a week. Yes I did get sick, and when I did I went to an ear nose and throat specialist and got through it and carried on.
"I was a cigarette smoker before I started The Fantasticks and I quit cold turkey and I haven't had a cigarette in over three years. My musical director comes up to me and says, 'I gotta talk to you... You sound OK, but you look terrible when you're singing; all your veins are popping out of your neck. What are you doing in your personal life?' I said, 'I'm a cigarette smoker, I smoke a pack and a half of cigarettes a day', and he was like, 'Well, you're gonna quit that now or I'm gonna fire you tomorrow'.
"If I did miss a show my actors would get really upset and they would make fun of me and pick at me and almost tease me about it, and I'm happy they did because I didn't wanna hear that s**t anymore..."
As a result, he can promise fans that he won't be missing any shows as he tours through North America this autumn, adding, "I'm gonna push through it; I'm gonna take care of myself... I have to regulate my lifestyle. I've made some modifications. The new music that I'm doing, the songs are difficult songs and they're technically hard to sing... I have to rest every night, I have to hydrate myself and eat good food and not drink caffeine.
"I don't really drink... I've never really liked alcohol, which really screws up your voice, and I've done so much training. I'm a 26-year-old man now and I wake my butt up in the morning and do what I gotta do... If I wanna be like Rocky, I've gotta train like Rocky. Right now, it's like that underdog situation and I've been handed this opportunity by (Rocky character) Apollo Creed to embark on this amazing journey and make something of it and that's exactly what I'm gonna go. Failure is not an option."
And Carter insists his former Xanax addiction, which landed him in the Betty Ford Clinic, is not going to be an issue - because his sister Leslie's overdose death in 2012 is a constant reminder of how prescription pills can rob you of life.
He adds, "I am clean and sober. I am a (marijuana) smoker and I drink occasionally, but my sister passed away from a drug overdose in my father's bed - from Xanax; we were being prescribed Xanax from the same rock doc (doctor) in California, so it's just like, that is always a reminder. This tour means so much to me that I can deal with the anxiety. I've grown so much since I got of rehab... The Xanax was ruining my life."
Rocker Alice Cooper is giving his fans a chance to own his old clothes after opening a thrift store in Arizona last week (ends21Sep14). Alice's Attic will be stocked with pieces from the Welcome to My Nightmare hitmaker's personal collection.
He tells AZCentral.com, "I'm a shopaholic. When I'm on tour, I come home with 10 suitcases full of clothes. So I just go through and say, 'OK, store, store, store, store.' A lot of good labels. Everything that's mine was worn."
A portion of the proceeds from the store will benefit Cooper's Rock Teen Center, which is across the street from his new store.
He continues, "Eventually what I'd like to do is since we teach music and art and everything, we should also teach retail.
"We should teach them (kids) to run a cash register because a lot of kids that aren't musically inclined, it's another way of training them. It's sort of, like, anything you can do to get them away from the street life. Because the street life, there's only two endings for that. In jail or dead. Anytime you can give a vocation to a kid, that's what you do."
Aaron Carter insists he will stop talking about ex-girlfriend Hilary Duff after she rebuked remarks he made about her in a recent interview.
The I Want Candy singer recently opened his heart about his feelings for first love Duff shortly after she announced that she'd split from husband Mike Comrie. Carter said, "I'm gonna do everything in my power to fix those (broken) relationships in my life, just like I want to fix the relationship I had with the love of my life. I'm not gonna give up on Hilary. Ever."
But the So Yesterday hitmaker didn't appear to be impressed by her ex's comments, telling BuzzFeed.com, "I don't know how I feel (about that). I mean, that was so long ago, and obviously I'm still married, and I have a baby and we kind of just... don't know each other."
Now, Carter tells WENN he understands Duff's annoyance, saying, "If I'm too open about how I feel then people wanna nag and pick and poke at me. I don't know Hilary either. She don't know me and I don't know her. I just need to shut up now about it. I think it's time... "She's got a kid and she's married and I'm not trying to be that dude. That's not my intention. Hilary will always hold a very special place in my heart."
The fierce rivalry between America's Republican and Democratic party leaders has prompted actor Rob Lowe to abandon his dreams of a career in politics. The 50 year old, who portrayed White House staffer Sam Seaborn in political drama The West Wing, has previously admitted he would love to one day run for office, revealing he'd love to "serve" his country.
In 2011, he stated, "My experience of politicians is that people who serve are doing it for the right reasons. There are, however, idiots in both parties (Democrats and Republicans)."
However, Lowe has since had a change of heart after witnessing the political stalemate that continues to seriously impede progress on tightened gun laws, affordable healthcare and other fiscal-related legislation during President Barack Obama's time in office.
Lowe, a self-described "liberal Democrat", tells The New York Times, "The tenor in this country is so... I can't think of any other word than 'gross'... Running would be hard to do.
"For the first time in my life... I don't idealise or romanticise running for office and that's really sad."
However, it hasn't stopped Lowe from playing a politician onscreen - he portrayed assassinated U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 2013 TV movie Killing Kennedy.
Actor Anthony Daniels told Star Wars producers he would only return as character C3P0 if he could get back in the robot's famous golden suit. Daniels, who played the character in the original 1970s and 1980s films, was approached by director J.J. Abrams who offered him a role in the new installment, Star Wars: Episode VII.
However, Abrams originally offered Daniels a voice only part, which he turned down.
Daniels tells Entertainment Weekly, "When J.J. Abrams rang me to ask about filming Episode VII, one of the first things he said was 'Would you be interested being in the film just doing the voice?' I said, 'No.' And he said, 'Right!' He knew I'd say that. There's no way I'd just do the voice."
Daniels was quick to criticise the computer-generated version of C3P0 which appeared in the prequel films released between 1999 and 2005, and insists he would rather step into the suit himself, adding, "It wasn't very good. In fact, I'm going to say it was awful. One of the difficulties is with a character that you know and love so well is that as a member of the audience you go, 'Oh no, that's not right. No he doesn't move like that'. With me, he's always going to move the same way and have the same reactions. With CGI, you're working with some brilliant person on the keyboard who is trying to pretend to be me."
Daniels will be seen in the golden suit when the movie hits screens next December (15) "with changes that you will never notice that made my life easier."
Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor has broken his silence about the firing of drummer Joey Jordison, revealing the decision to let him go was one of the toughest he and his bandmates have ever had to make. Jordison and the heavy rockers parted ways in December (13), 18 years after he joined the group, but neither he nor Taylor and company have discussed the break-up in detail until now.
The frontman tells Metal Hammer magazine, "I can't talk too much about it because we're going through the legalities of everything right now and settling everything, but it's when a relationship hits that T-section and one person's going one way and you're going the other. And try as you might to either get them to go your way or try and go their way, at some point you've got to go in the direction that works for you.
"This is me speaking in the broadest terms, with respect to Joey. I guess to sum it up, it was one of the hardest decisions we ever made.
"We're all happy right now and we hope that he is. I've known him since '91, and that was before we were in bands together, and he's incredibly talented; he's just in a place in his life, right now, that's not where we are... in the nicest terms."
Taylor admits he no longer has a relationship with his former drummer, adding, "I haven't talked to Joey in a while, to be honest... It's not because I don't love him and I don't miss him. And it is painful; we talk about him all the time, but at the same time, do we miss him or do we miss the old him? That's what it really comes down to. It's just a f**king shame."
Reports suggest Jordison has been replaced by Jay Weinberg, the son of longtime Bruce Springsteen drummer Max Weinberg, as Slipknot prepare to release their fifth studio album 5: The Gray Chapter next month (Oct14).
Back To The Future star Lea Thompson has ballet icon Mikhail Baryshnikov to thank for her acting career after he told her she was too "stocky" to join his American Ballet Theatre. The actress, who is among the favourites to win the current season of U.S. TV show Dancing With the Stars, admits her Russian hero was absolutely right and his comments helped her make a career switch that changed her life.
She explains, "He said, 'I can't take you because you're too stocky and you're not flexible enough', and he was right. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I walked out, I became an actress (and) I got seven movies in the next two years.
"I never would have been really great (as a ballet dancer)... It was really devastating, but that's the thing about life; sometimes the worst things turn out to be the best things."
Nick Jonas has stunned fans by revealing he no longer wears the purity ring he and his brothers once swore they'd never take off until they were married. The singer/actor, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on Tuesday (16Sep14), insists his values haven't changed but he no longer feels he has to advertise his virginity.
Jonas tells The Huffington Post, "This is... not something I'm doing anymore. But I've got my set of values, things that are important to me now at this point in my life and that's all that matters.
"I've had an incredibly intense journey with faith and religion and my own growth. My belief in God is still very strong and important to me as a person and I think that's all that should matter. I grew up in a church environment and still have love for the church.
"What's important now is my relationship with God, and that I not judge and that I not be judged."
The former Jonas Brothers star celebrated his birthday by debuting the music video for his new solo single, Jealous, which features his beauty queen girlfriend Olivia Culpo.
Rapper Nicki Minaj has been invited to speak to students at a New York high school after her request to return to her alma mater was snubbed last week (ends12Sep14). The Anaconda hitmaker, who was raised in the rough neighbourhood of Jamaica, Queens, recently approached officials at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School and offered to make an appearance as part of a treat for kids, but she was turned down.
In a message on Twitter.com, she wrote, "I wanted to go back to my HS and speak to the students but the new principal declined. No need for me to inspire them, I guess. Smh (shake my head)".
She added, "That school changed my life and I wanted to pay it forward to the students there now. I was really looking forward to it."
A representative for the school and its principal Dr. Lisa Mars has since cleared up the reports, insisting Minaj's offer was rejected as she wanted to bring a film crew with her to document the visit, which would be in violation of the New York City Department of Education's child privacy policies.
The public snub has since inspired Hempstead Board of Education president Lamont Johnson to reach out to Minaj, offering her the opportunity to stop by Hempstead High instead.
Johnson says, "Hempstead School District, which has had some recent hardships, feels it (a visit by Minaj) would be a boost to their students... We have several challenges and I want our children to believe and to feel that they have a chance...
"I think she's a person that's shown that she didn't forget where she's from and I think Hempstead schools are similar to the area that she came from."
Actor Paul Bettany fired himself from his directorial debut when he realised he couldn't cope as filmmaker, writer, producer and star. The Priest star initially planned to play a supporting character, opposite his real-life wife, Jennifer Connelly, in homeless drama Shelter, but he quickly realised he had taken on too much when pre-production began.
He explains, "As a producer, I had hired myself and then, as a writer/director, I fired myself from the picture much to everybody's surprise who had financed the film.
"I think it was a smart move in the maelstrom of trying to make your first film in just over 20 days. There's not a great deal of time to go to the toilet, let alone research and play a part, so I was very glad to opt out."
Bettany is terrifically proud of the film he made, which was inspired by a homeless couple he ran into on the streets of New York.
He tells WENN, "There was this homeless couple who lived outside my building and after Hurricane Sandy hit New York, we were evacuated - very dramatic - and went to higher ground. I used to see them every day and say hello to them on the school run and when we got back, I never saw them again.
"I just started to write because I thought there was something good to focus a story about judgment on, because I didn't want to write a polemic about homelessness being bad because everyone knows that. But how we judge people I thought was really interesting. There's an almost aggressive response that they must've done something to deserve being there and that really intrigued me.
"We're all innocent and we're all worthy of forgiveness and we're all deserving of a home and that's really what the film is about for me."
Combining the format of a serial with a Broadway-style blend of romance, music, comedy, and song, the series depicts the meeting and courtship of Robert Dickson, a junior executive with a chalk company, and Gloria Quigley, a beautiful salesgirl. Later on, stories concern their marriage and attempts to adjust to parenthood when their son Robert Dickson Jr. is born.