20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
Actor Liam Neeson is urging U.S. officials to bring in a curb on gun possession to prevent another high school massacre.
The Schindler's List star is adamant lawmakers need to act to avoid a repeat of bloodbaths such as the incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012 when 20 children and six staff were gunned down. Neeson has branded the current way of dealing with gun control in the U.S. "crazy" and insists officials should follow the U.K., where handguns were swiftly outlawed following the Dunblane school massacre in Scotland in 1996.
He tells British magazine Radar, "I am totally for gun control in the U.S. The population of America is roughly 300 million and there are 300 million guns in this country, which is terrifying. Every day we're seeing some kid running rampant in a school. And do you know what the gun lobby's response to Newtown was? The National Rifle Association's official response was, 'If that teacher had been armed...' It's crazy. "I'll give Britain its dues, when they had the Dunblane massacre in Scotland, within 24 hours the gun laws were changed so you could not have a handgun... It is the right to bear arms which is the problem. I think if the Founding Fathers knew what was happening they would be turning in their graves with embarrassment at how that law has been interpreted."
British actor and comedian James Corden is preparing to relocate to America after officially landing the role as the new host of TV's The Late Late Show. The Begin Again star will take over from fellow Brit Craig Ferguson, who will depart the programme after nine years as host in December (14).
Monday's (08Sep14) announcement from CBS network bosses comes a month after reports initially surfaced revealing Corden was the frontrunner for the job, and the 36 year old can't believe his luck.
A statement released by Corden reads: "I can't describe how thrilled and honoured I am to be taking over from the brilliant Craig Ferguson.
"To be asked to host such a prestigious show on America's No. 1 (sic) network is hugely exciting. I can't wait to get started, and will do my very best to make a show America will enjoy."
Corden is no stranger to U.S. audiences - he won a Tony Award in 2012 for his star turn in Broadway show One Man, Two Guvnors, while he also appeared in the 2006 film adaptation of The History Boys, and landed a role alongside Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo in comedy drama Begin Again, which was released earlier this year (14).
He is also set to hit the big screen as The Baker in the highly-anticipated Into the Woods movie musical, which will hit theatres in the U.S. at Christmas (25Dec14), and American cinema audiences will also be able to see him as Britain's Got Talent winner Paul Potts when hit 2013 biopic One Chance is released this autumn (14).
America's The Late Late Show airs Monday to Friday after The Late Show With David Letterman.
Miley Cyrus decided to use her appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday (24Aug14) to raise awareness about homeless youths after realising the "power" she possessed following last year's (13) scandalous performance with Blurred Lines hitmaker Robin Thicke.
The Wrecking Ball singer caused controversy at the 2013 prizegiving by grinding against Thicke as they belted out the catchy tune, and Cyrus admits the fall out from that headline-grabbing show made her rethink how best to use her fame in future. She tells Los Angeles DJ Ryan Seacrest, "I just didn't realise my platform, I didn't realise my power. I really realised it after the VMAs (last year)... there's something special and there's only few people that experience this that no matter what I do, there's no winning or losing, it's just going to be talked about. Period. "There's going to be talk, so what do I want them to talk about? If I'm going to be given this loud of a voice and this big of an image and this big of a platform and this huge of an opportunity to talk to young people in America right now, what am I really trying to say? Because I don't think what I was trying to say is what happened the year before."
Cyrus invited a displaced male simply known as Jesse to be her date for the California ceremony, pretending he was her new boyfriend, and sent him up onstage to accept her award for Video of the Year for Wrecking Ball on behalf of the "1.6 million runaways and homeless youths in the United States, who are starving, lost and scared for their lives right now".
He then added, "I know this because I am one of these people..." Cyrus kept Jesse's real identity a secret from everyone around her and the singer reveals it became a real challenge as pal Katy Perry, who was seated next to the pair, tried to get Jesse drunk before his big moment. Cyrus recalls, "I'm like, 'This kid has to give this speech!' I'm like, 'Katy, please don't get Jesse drunk right now...' I didn't want to tell her because I was scared if someone found out, they'd try to stop me... no one knew."
The star has since allowed Jesse to keep her Moonman trophy as a memento of the star-studded night.
Bosses at an Australian radio station have banned Kiss music from the airwaves as a protest against comments bassist Gene Simmons recently made about people battling depression. The rocker upset a lot of people when he suggested people with depression and addiction issues should kill themselves in a recent interview when he was asked about relations between himself and former Kiss bandmates Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.
Simmons told SongFacts.com, "I don't get along with anybody who's a drug addict and has a dark cloud over their head and sees themselves as a victim. Drug addicts and alcoholics are always: 'The world is a harsh place'.
"My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don't want to hear f**k-all about 'the world is a harsh place'. She gets up every day, smells the roses and loves life. And for a putz, 20-year-old kid to say, 'I'm depressed, I live in Seattle'. F**k you, then kill yourself.
"I never understand, because I always call them on their bluff. I'm the guy who says 'Jump!' when there's a guy on top of a building who says, 'That's it, I can't take it anymore, I'm going to jump'. Are you kidding? Why are you announcing it? Shut the f**k up, have some dignity and jump! You've got the crowd."
Motley Crue star Nikki Sixx attacked Simmons over his remarks on his satellite radio show earlier this week (beg11Aug14), and now bosses at Triple M have pulled all Kiss tracks from playlists nationwide following the bassist's "misguided and insensitive" comments about depression and suicide.
Network head Mike Fitzpatrick says, "Depression and suicide are not topics he should be using to further his notoriety or sell records. His desperation to use mental health issues to find relevancy in a modern age is sickening. I can only put it down to a brain fade on his part.
"The Triple M network can't and won't be playing or supporting this d**khead's music. I put the challenge out to other stations across Australia and North America to also drop any of this nudnik's songs until such time as he reconsiders his thoughtless and insensitive position."
Simmons has released a statement on Facebook.com in an attempt to clarify his remarks. It reads: "Depression is very serious and very sad when it happens to anyone, especially loved ones. I have not commented on various allegations made in the media, but I want to make this statement for the record and to clarify. I deeply support and am empathetic to anyone suffering from any disease, especially depression.
"I have never sugarcoated my feelings regarding drug use and alcoholics. Somewhere along the line, my intentions in speaking very directly and perhaps politically-incorrectly about drug use and alcoholics have been misconstrued as vile commentary on depression. Unkind statements about depression was certainly never my intention. And I do not intend to defend myself here and now by listing the myriad charities and self-help organizations I am involved with."
He adds, "My heart goes out to anyone suffering from depression."
Controversial director Roman Polanski has pulled out of a planned trip to a Swiss film festival following a raft of protests over the decision to hand him a lifetime achievement award. The Chinatown moviemaker was due to pick up the top prize at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland this week (beg11Aug14), but the announcement triggered criticism because of Polanski's past.
The 80-year-old Oscar winner has been a wanted man in the U.S. since fleeing to France in the late 1970s, a day before he was due to be sentenced after pleading guilty to having unlawful sex with a minor.
He was arrested in Switzerland in 2009 and threatened with extradition back to America, but was eventually released and allowed to return to his home in France.
Organisers of the event called the storm over Polanski's award "unacceptable interference of some in the artistic liberty of the festival" but the star has now decided not to return to Switzerland.
He says in a statement, "Dear Friends, I am sorry to inform you that having considered the extent to which my planned appearance at the Locarno Festival provokes tensions and controversies among those opposed to my visit, even as I respect their opinions, it is with a heavy heart that I must cancel my visit. I am deeply saddened to disappoint you."
Polanski had also been scheduled to present his new movie Venus In Fur, which stars his wife Emmanuelle Seigner, at the festival and host a film-making masterclass.
Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn has penned an open letter to fans thanking them for helping to propel the superhero film to the top of the North American box office. The movie, which stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel, earned $94 million (£55.3 million) in its opening weekend (01-03Aug14) across the U.S. and Canada, and now the filmmaker has taken to Facebook.com to express his gratitude to moviegoers.
He writes, "Thanks to all of you who saw (and are seeing) Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend, from the bottom of my heart.
"The Guardians are a group of oddballs, outcasts, and geeks. The movie is for anyone who ever felt cast aside, left out, or different. It's for all of us who don't belong. This movie belongs to you. And, today, I think we're doing okay.
"I am of course happy with all the film has accomplished box-office-wise. But what touches me the most is that the film I told the folks at Marvel I wanted to make two years ago is the film that you're seeing in theaters today - it's that so many of you seem to be directly EXPERIENCING the film I INTENDED... And for that, I am profoundly grateful..."
Guardians of the Galaxy also proved to be a big hit around the world, raking in a further $66.4 million (£39 million) outside North America.
Actor Jon Voight has blasted Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem for signing an open letter denouncing Israeli military action in Gaza. The married couple and its director pal, Pedro Almodovar, added their names to the missive, which hit headlines earlier this week (29Jul14).
Following the release of the letter, Cruz and Bardem clarified their positions on the ongoing violence in the Middle East, insisting they are only hoping for peace on both sides of the Israel/Palestine conflict.
However, Angelina Jolie's dad has now slammed the Spanish actors in his own open letter for The Hollywood Reporter.
In the note, he writes, "My name is Jon Voight and I am more than angry, I am heartsick that people like Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem could incite anti-Semitism all over the world and are oblivious to the damage they have caused...
"After years of trying to make peace, the wars they had to fight, being attacked by their enemies, and still being attacked, and finally after years of running into bomb shelters and having hundreds of civilians killed by suicide bombers, civilians being killed in their sleep, stabbed to pieces, finding enough is enough and finally retaliating, instead of my peers sticking up for the only democratic country in that region, they go and take out poison letters against them..."
He continues, "I am asking all my peers who signed that poison letter against Israel to examine their motives. Can you take back the fire of anti-Semitism that is raging all over the world now? You have been able to become famous and have all your monetary gains because you are in a democratic country: America. Do you think you would have been able to accomplish this in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, et cetera?
"You had a great responsibility to use your celebrity for good. Instead, you have defamed the only democratic country of goodwill in the Middle East: Israel. You should hang your heads in shame. You should all come forth with deep regrets for what you did, and ask forgiveness from the suffering people in Israel."
The trio's original letter, headlined Comunicado de la Cultura Contra el Genocidio Palestino, was circulated among Spanish media outlets and suggested Israel's actions were nothing short of a "genocide", and urged European Union officials to condemn "the bombing by land, sea and air against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip".
Former Falcon Crest star-turned-reality TV regular Lorenzo Lamas has taken up a new job as a helicopter tour guide. The trained pilot regularly hits the skies over Los Angeles to treat tourists to a bird's eye view of Hollywood.
In a recently taped episode of Oprah Winfrey's Where Are They Now?, which will air in America on Sunday (03Aug14), he explains, "I work for Elite Helicopter Tours out of Van Nuys, California. I'm a tour pilot.
"Every day I am working on my aviation career, so that I don't have to think about working as an actor. You can't count on things happening if you're not in control of them happening. And I'm in control of things happening in my aviation career and I'm not in my acting career. So I love to act, but aviation is paying the bills now."
"I've been on tour for about six months, and not only am I excited to be a part of Miley's tour, I'm also excited to only play for half an hour. I'm done by seven o'clock. I can go to dinner!" Lily Allen is looking forward to her upcoming support slot on Miley Cyrus' Bangerz tour in North America.
Actor David Duchovny has defended his decision to star in a new commercial promoting a beer from his family's native Russia, insisting the ad is not a vote of support for the nation's controversial President Vladimir Putin.
The former The X-Files star features in a new promo for Siberian Crown, in which the New York native muses about how different his life would be if he had been born in Russia.
In the commercial, which emerged on YouTube.com on Friday (25Jul14), Duchovny says, "This (America) is the country where I was born and raised, but there's another country, where I got my family name from. Sometimes I wonder, what if things turned out differently? What if I were Russian?"
He goes on to contemplate what kind of profession he would have taken on, posing as an astronaut, a dance instructor and an ice hockey player, among other things.
However, the release of the ad sparked controversy as political tensions between the U.S. and Russian governments grow over the ongoing conflict in the Ukraine and the recent tragedy of the Malaysia Airlines plane, which was reportedly shot down over the country by pro-Russia separatists.
Now Duchovny has spoken out to insist the advertisement is just for beer - and has nothing to do with politics.
A statement issued to TMZ.com reads: "I am proud of my Russian, Ukrainian, Scottish and Polish heritage as I am proud of my American heritage. "But being proud of one's ancestry is not a political statement on any current government or public policies." However, the actor accepts the timing of the promo's release is unfortunate. He adds, "In retrospect, and in light of recent tragic events, I can now see the potential for misunderstanding and hope people will understand."