Actor Mark Strong has dismissed reports suggesting he will be playing the villain in the next James Bond movie, insisting a hiking vacation he took with old pal Daniel Craig was behind the latest casting rumours. The two Brits set off to walk across the Atlas Mountains in Africa recently and when a photograph of the friends hit the Internet, 007 casting speculation quickly followed.
Strong tells WENN, "Daniel is a very good friend of mine. We've known each other for years and he's a godfather to my eldest child. The reason these rumours came about is because recently we went on a walking tour together in the Atlas Mountains. We took some time off to have some friend time; we hadn't seen each other for ages. Busy schedules mean you can't see each other and don't see your mates for a long time. And we went walking together.
"Someone took a picture and everybody's come to the conclusion I must be the new bad guy in the new Bond movie!"
Strong admits he'd love to be considered for the role because Bond villains are almost as iconic as the superspy, but he feels he might be better suited to playing one of 007's sidekicks after transitioning from playing bad guys to spies on the big screen.
The Kick-Ass 2 star explains, "For some reason I played bad guys for a while, for a few years. I don't quite know what's happened but now it's spies!
"I was a spy in Body of Lies, a film I did with Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio; he was the head of the Jordanian secret service. In Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy I was a spy. In The Imitation Game, that's coming out with Benedict Cumberbatch, I'm a spy. Secret Service that I'm doing with Michael Caine, Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Firth, I'm another spy. I mean, it's unbelievable. I don't know quite what's happening but there's a whole spy thing going on."
A painting of defunct British rock band Oasis has been stolen from an art gallery in Manchester, England. The black-and-white canvas by artist Olga Tsarevska was snatched from MASA-UK in the early hours of Monday (27Oct14), when burglars smashed a window to gain access to the venue.
Local police have launched an investigation into the theft, which they believe may have been committed by a fan of the Wonderwall hitmakers.
Authorities have appealed to the public for help in tracking down the artwork and have issued a statement making reference to Oasis hits Some Might Say and The Masterplan.
The press release from Police Constable Katherine Gosling reads: "Quite what the master plan behind this theft is I don't know, but a local business has been broken into and a one of a kind piece of art work taken.
"This was the only piece taken and some might say we are therefore looking for an Oasis fan - similarly it may have been stolen to order. Regardless we are keen to find it and return it.
"If you have any information about the person responsible, have seen the artwork or are offered it, please get in touch."
Oasis split in 2009 following a furious bust-up between brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher.
Singer Liam went on to form Beady Eye with remaining Oasis bandmates Andy Bell, Gem Archer and drummer Chris Sharrock, but on Saturday (25Oct14), he announced the group was no more.
News of the art theft emerges shortly after Oasis co-founder Noel Gallagher ruled out a 2015 band reunion to mark the group's 20th anniversary of their classic album (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, insisting he is solely focused on his forthcoming solo album, Chasing Yesterday.
Asked by a journalist for Q magazine if a 2015 comeback is definitely out of the question, Gallagher replied, "Yeah, but that's got nothing to do with me and Liam. That's a creative thing. I'm pretty happy creatively now. Everybody said, 'Inevitably they'll get back together in 2015', and I'm f**king looking forward to spoiling everybody's party next year. We won't be doing it."
Noel Gallagher purposely planned to hit the road next year (15) and promote his new solo album to "spoil everybody's party" by ending rumours of an Oasis reunion. The rocker announced earlier this month (Oct14) that he will be releasing his second solo record, Chasing Yesterday, in 2015 and will tour Europe with his band, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, to promote it.
Now he has revealed he had an ulterior motive for scheduling plenty of work over the coming months - he is fed up with endless speculation that he will be reuniting with his brother Liam Gallagher for an Oasis reunion to mark the 20th anniversary of their classic album (What's the Story) Morning Glory?
Asked by a journalist for Q magazine if a 2015 comeback is definitely out of the question, Gallagher replies, "Yeah, but that's got nothing to do with me and Liam. That's a creative thing. I'm pretty happy creatively now. Everybody said, 'Inevitably they'll get back together in 2015', and I'm f**king looking forward to spoiling everybody's party next year. We won't be doing it."
However, the guitarist does reveal he is back on speaking terms with his singer brother after years of acrimony following Oasis' split in 2009, adding, "We're on good terms - as good as we can be."
After Oasis split, Liam Gallagher went on to form Beady Eye but he announced on Saturday (25Oct14) that the band is over after just two albums.
Actor Alan Cumming has opened up about his violent childhood in his new memoir, revealing he experienced regular beatings at the hands of his father. The X-Men 2 star lived in fear of his dad as a young boy, but has since come to terms with his abusive behaviour, because he understands his father was suffering from a mental illness and could not control his actions.
He tells the New York Daily News, "I think it was a variety of personality disorders. I've talked to various people about it and I realise my father displayed traits that were concurrent with various personality disorders, especially feeling no concern for the opinions or feelings of anyone else, not just us, as well as his irrational rages."
Despite the violence, Cumming has forgiven his father and feels his experiences and openness to discuss his childhood will resonate with readers who have been through their own trauma.
He continues, "As much as I wish I hadn't been beaten on a regular basis as a child, it's what happened and it's who I am. I forgave my father. I don't think he knew what he was doing... There's something about everybody's family that is dysfunctional."
Producer William Orbit has defended Britney Spears after critics savaged the pop star following the leak of a tuneless recording of her track Alien.
The Toxic superstar teamed up with Orbit, most famous for his work on Madonna's Ray of Light and Music albums, on the song for her 2013 album Britney Jean. The track came back to haunt Spears this week (beg07Jul14) when a raw clip of the song appeared online, prompting fans to take to social media to mock the singer's out-of-tune vocals.
Orbit has now spoken out in her defence, insisting the singer was warming up to help studio engineers prepare their equipment. In a post on Facebook.com, he writes, "Dearest Music Lovers, I have heard that Britney vocal link that everybody's been discussing. It has been impossible not to as there have been many comments directing my attention to it... I'd like to affirm that ANY singer when first at the mic at the start of a long session can make a multitude of vocalisations in order to get warmed up."
"Warming up is essential if you're a pro, as it is with a runner doing stretches, and it takes a while to do properly. I've heard all manner of sounds emitted during warm-ups. The point is that it is not supposed to be shared with millions of listeners."
"A generous singer will put something down the mic to help the engineer get their systems warmed up and at the right level, maybe whilst having a cup of herb tea and checking through lyrics before the session really kicks off. It's not expected to be a 'take'."
The producer went on to slam the culprit behind the leak, adding, "Whomever put this on the Internet must have done so in a spirit of unkindness, but it can in no way detract from the fact that Britney is and always will be beyond stellar! She is magnificent! And that's that."
Australian singer/songwriter Sia Furler has opened up about her battle with drug and alcohol abuse and revealed she wrote a suicide note when she hit a low point in her life. Furler, who has worked with stars including Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna and Britney Spears, admits she became depressed as she battled her demons in 2010 and even contemplated taking her own life.
In an interview with the New York Times, Furler reveals a well-timed phone call from a friend saved her from doing anything drastic. She tells the publication she addressed the note to her dog walker, and added another to the manager of the hotel where she planned to commit suicide, writing, "I've killed myself and I don't want you to have to suffer seeing my dead body."
She adds of her addictions, "I was in the back lounge, high on Xanax and alcohol, watching every episode of E.R. from the beginning. When you're in a different place every day (on the road), there's this kind of madness that sets in. It's easy to get away with getting high, because everybody's drinking on the road. None of my friends thought I was an alcoholic, and neither did I."
She eventually sought treatment and is now sober, preferring to focus all her energy on work.
Furler adds, "In my sobriety. I have discovered that the people I love, and who hurt me, were sick like me... Workaholism. That's my new jam."
Newlywed singer/songwriter Linda Perry is reuniting with her 4 Non Blondes bandmates for an upcoming charity benefit, 20 years after the group split. The 90s rockers will hit the stage on 10 May (14) at the An Evening With Women event, which frontwoman Perry has organised for years.
She admits the reunion wasn't at the top of her wish list as she planned the gig, explaining she tried calling on other artists to headline the show.
She tells the Associated Press, "This year everybody's off the market, everybody's busy."
It was only then that Perry turned to her old pals: "The thought was kind of sweet. I was like, 'Oh, why don't I just for the night, just for this one event, one time only, call up the band and see if they want to be part of this?'. It's perfect, actually. It actually makes sense to do it now."
But Perry reveals the call must have come as a surprise to her former bandmates, because they haven't kept in touch following their 1994 split.
She adds, "I don't talk to them at all. I have no idea what Christa (Hillhouse) has been up to. I don't know what Dawn (Richardson)'s been doing. Roger (Rocha) I've seen in the mix of things here and there. Not in a million years would I be thinking that this would be happening."
The gala will be hosted by comedienne Margaret Cho at Los Angeles' Beverly Hilton hotel and will raise funds for the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center.
Previous performers have included Christina Aguilera, Ozzy Osbourne, Sia and Courtney Love.
Rapper/actor Nick Cannon welcomed the controversy sparked by his skin-lightening stunt to promote his new album White People Party Music, because he hopes the idea will help his fans recognise the difference between "humour and hatred". Mariah Carey's husband created a character called Connor Smallnut to promote the project, and he recently shared images of himself wearing a wig and heavy make-up to make his skin look white in photos as his new alter-ego.
The snaps prompted a wave of criticism online, with many making comparisons to the uproar created whenever white people don 'blackface', insisting Cannon's stunt is no different.
However, the star claims there is nothing racist about his actions.
He tells U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America, "It was one of those things, even in naming my album and naming the character, I knew it would spark some controversy, but I felt like it's a conversation we needed...
"Everybody's really sensitive when it comes to race, and that's one of the reasons why I did it... They (critics) are using this term 'whiteface,' like, I don't even know what that is. I know 'blackface' was a term that was created in 1869 to describe offensive minstrel shows. 'Whiteface,' if you look it up and Google it, it's a ski slope in upstate New York! I was doing a character impression, 'blackface' is about oppression...
"But to me, this was to have fun and to put it out there - yes, we have issues with race in this country, in this world, but it doesn't have to be with hatred. There's a big difference between humour and hatred.
"It gets about this whole double standard... It's really not that big of a deal. I'm an artist (so) I get the opportunity to create. As long as I embrace it, you know, of course, everything's gonna come with consequences and a little heat, but if I can take the heat."
Robin Thicke's estranged wife Paula Patton was moved by the singer's onstage pleas to fix their broken marriage and called his concert speeches "very romantic". The Blurred Lines star confirmed his split from the actress last month (Feb14) and subsequently made several public appeals to his wife during his concerts, telling fans he is determined to repair the relationship.
Thicke has now opened up about his marriage troubles and fuelled hopes of a reconciliation by revealing Patton was moved by his words.
He tells People.com, "My music is very honest about what I'm going through and my songs are about my life. And my relationship with her was 21 years of my life, so I just thought it was important to me to let people know how much she means to me... She loved it (the speeches). She thought it was the sweetest thing and very romantic, and I've always been a romantic guy that way."
Thicke goes on to insist both he and Patton, who is the mother of his young son, Julian, are "happy" and the breakdown of his marriage has actually inspired him to write new music.
He adds, "We're both doing well. We're both very happy right now - much happier. Everything about this moment in my life - this amazing year I just had and what I'm going through personally - has actually ignited some of the best writing I've done in a long time."
Thicke also hints that he will detail his marital problems in his new songs: "Whatever everybody's wondering about, they're going to hear it all in the album."
Rapper and actor Childish Gambino has assured fans he's OK after a seven-page letter he posted on Instagram.com earlier this week (14Oct13) led many to believe he was quitting music. The online post listed the star's concerns and anxieties, and in it Gambino, real name Donald Glover, wrote, "People hate who I really am" and added he no longer wanted to rap.
But, in an attempt to clear up his remarks, the hip-hop star contacted NME.com and stated, "I just don't like the term 'rapper'. It exists but I'm definitely not a rapper. Rap is all balances of coolness and who can do the most with just their bravado. I don't have that. That's not my game."
He added, "Kanye (West) says they won't let him make pants. This guy's a genius and they won't let him make cool s**t because he's a rapper. You can speak to Kid Cudi or to A$AP Rocky and they don't want to be rappers either. People don't think: 'Oh, he's a rapper and he has his own design company,' which is sad."
Asked why he felt he had to write the letter, Glover explained, "I felt like I needed to be heard. Everybody's so scared on the Internet, even though it's supposed to be the most freeing thing. They're actually afraid to say and do whatever. The Internet isn't a place where freethinking is rewarded."
And he also assured fans concerned about his wellbeing that he's not suffering a breakdown. "I'm not having a personality crisis, more like a personality burst. I just wanted to be honest. People are like, 'Ah, this guy is unstable,' but it's like, you guys are the ones who are unstable, you're just dying the same way your grandfather died, doing the same old f**ked up s**t. I'm just being alive."
This "Summer Showcase" edition examines the troubled state of America's growing elderly population. The program also focuses closely on the process of aging, the media's portrayal of elderly people, age discrimination, spousal impoverishment caused by catastrophic illness and the burdens on caregivers. Also included are interviews with entertainment personalities, people involved with the elderly, and other senior citizens.