Rapper The Game has handed a single mum-of-six $5,000 (GBP3,125) to help her fix the family vehicle. The How We Do hitmaker was inspired by memories of his mother and his childhood when he gave the struggling mum, named Gladys, the funds through his charity The Robin Hood Project
Announcing the donation on Instagram.com, he writes, "As hard as it is for her to raise her 6 children financially, she works, grinds & gets it done !!! Reminds me of the things & the sacrifices my mother made to get us everything me & my sisters & brothers had when we were younger...
"Well, Gladys..... growing up in a similar situation makes me commend you & on behalf of @therobinhoodproject I've answered your daughters Direct Message & request to be chosen as the winner of the 'Upgrade My Whip' contest...... & given $5,000 to Alex @LuxuryMotoring to take your family van & give it a full upgrade inside & out!!!!!!
"Not only that, we're going to help you with a rental van until they're customizing your existing one..... I'm happy for you & your family & can't wait to see the finished product..."
The Real Housewives of Atlanta changed the Bravo TV franchise forever. After putting the Southern locale center stage, the Housewives brand became more Bad Girls Club than Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous. When the franchise first started it was about women feigning opulence and slamming each other at fancy lunches. Thanks to these Georgia peaches the series morphed into a hair-pulling, insult spewing shade-fest that has incurred ratings success and major attention.
But in taking a look at the women who have earned this reputation, it is tough to determine who is the most trashy, ratchet, classless... you get the idea. Although none of these ladies veers into posh territory, some go above and beyond, with extra-marital affairs, felonious businesses, and smoking Newports. We’ve ranked all the ladies of Real Housewives of Atlanta to determine the hierarchy of tackiness.
11. DeShawn Snow
DeShawn gets a pass because she is smart in how she handles her time on the show. She wasn’t ratings gold because she kept her private life private. She did have a major divorce from husband Eric Snow when he cheated and left her for another woman. However, she lost 30 pounds, continues to work with her foundation, and has released some children’s books. That’s not half bad.
10. Kenya Moore
It’s a little controversial to have Kenya so high on this list. Kenya may be conniving, with questionable moral fiber, and a troublemaker, but she behaves in a pretty dignified manner. Unlike other housewives, she lives within her means. It doesn’t look like any repo men will be knocking at her door. Her music video wasn't a production value powerhouse. But, hey, she hasn’t had any businesses go into foreclosure or a criminal record, so she's doing okay. Considering her issues with her mother and her verbally abusive father, she often is pretty composed, and even slightly respectful even during a fight. Despite a major altercation in the Season 6 reunion special, Kenya is the one who gets attacked.
9. Porsha Stewart
Is Porsha too stupid to be judged harshly? When she arrives on the show she has a very unhealthy relationship with Kordell Stewart but she doesn’t really play the reindeer games the other ladies do. She does call Kenya ashy in a hilarious moment but she doesn’t really go to the gutter level. However, with her position on the show in jeopardy she quickly ups the ante. She’s currently on the cusp of being fired for getting physical with Kenya Moore. She also has bought into the "fake it 'til you make it" mentality, living in a huge house and shopping left and right without much money. Let’s also not forget Kordell talking about her evictions and her mother eating an entire pepperoni pizza on his bed.
8. Lisa Wu
The level of Lisa’s trashiness is up in the air. While she was on the show she was presented as a successful businesswoman and mother. She was often a voice of reason and it was only on the reunion special that she threatened to attack Kim Zolciak. However, most of the businesses she was plugging on the show are not in existence today. Also, she has two divorces under her belt, including one with Keith Sweat, who has custody of their two children. She's no longer with Ed Hartwell, her husband on Real Housewives. It’s not quite clear what is happening behind closed doors, but is there a reason she doesn't have custody of her children?
7. Cynthia Bailey
Cynthia is tough to categorize. She’s well composed, polished, and stunningly beautiful. She often seems above all the petty fighting and bickering. However, her husband Peter Thomas hardly helps her cause. He’s the one who makes questionable business decisions, yells at her on camera, and is always ready for a fight. Still, even if Cynthia was as ratchet as her husband she wouldn’t be close to some of the other women on the show. So maybe she gets a pass. After all, her modeling school does seem somewhat legit, right?
6. Kandi Burruss
Kandi has always been the most successful and composed of the housewives. However, this season we saw what lies beneath. First, her mother starts a potential fist fight at her wedding dress fitting. Now that isn’t ratchet behavior by Kandi but it is definitely a clue. When a fight breaks out at NeNe’s pajama drama jam things get ugly fast and Kandi shows she’s more hood than she looks. So it seems like when she's talked about clocking girls... she might have been serious. A girl knows how to fight.
5. NeNe Leakes
NeNe often hides her trashy behavior behind her alternate personality, NayNay. She can afford to drop the attitude occasionally and be the original real NeNe we fell in love with. She has the distinction of having fought with every housewife on the seriesm, along with Latoya Jackson and Star Jones. She also doesn't care who, when, or where she's going off on someone. Some of these fights have even gone physical. Plus, despite how exemplary she and her husband Gregg Leakes seem to be at parenting, their son did wind up in the slammer jail.
4. Kim Zolciack-Beerman
Where do we begin with Kim? Is it the Kim with the super fake looking synthetic hair who changed into a trashy mini-dress in a parking lot? Or the woman with the notorious family issues including children by three different fathers? Or do we look at the woman who profited off of a song without giving any money to her producers? Let’s also not forget that Kim had a long time affair with her sugar daddy Big Poppa, Lee Najjar, who was married at the time.
3. Marlo Hampton
Marlo was arrested seven times! 'Nuff said.
2. Phaedra Parks
Phaedra is one of the most fun characters on the show. However, she does have a lot going on. Her public face is mother of two, businesswoman, lawyer, and Southern belle. But, occasionally, there is a side of her that comes out that puts her public face in question. For example, how much of a high-class celebrity lawyer can she be if she’s representing a guy with tinted windows and taking her payment in cash in the courthouse parking lot. Her possibly soon-to-be ex-husband Apollo Nida is in trouble with the law again. There is even a tell-all by Angela Stanton called Lies of a Real Housewife: Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil. The book alleges that Phaedra was the mastermind behind the charges that Stanton and Nida were charged with. Occasionally, Phaedra’s façade cracks and we see what she's really like underneath. See for yourself:
1. Sheree Whitfield
Congratulations Sheree! Not only is so much of her “success” questionable, but she will also get roughneck when she needs to. Both She by Sheree and Château Sheree were a huge bust. She got into multiple fights with her fellow housewives, all beginning with the pulling of Kim’s wig). Her appearance on Iyanla: Fix My Life didn’t make anything better. It looks like the only one who is going to check her... is herself.
Paramount via Everett Collection
Three sleepless nights and a coffee-fueled morning after Labor Day, and I'm still waiting for the kicker. The reversal, the twist, the big reveal that Jason Reitman — a talented filmmaker and prodigious wordsmith who managed such sophisticated character material in each of his previous movies — wasn't actually telling the story I understood it to be. That I missed something altogether, some nectar of honesty buried beneath layers of theatrical pie crust. Owing to the respect I have for Reitman, his starring players Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, and a few fellow film critics who saw beauty in Labor Day, I'll keep on entertaining the idea that I overlooked the picture's authenticity. But for now, I've got to give benefit of the doubt to my senses — hey, we all have deadlines — and concude: this movie is full of s**t.
This is no victimless crime, as Labor Day sets us up in the household of depression- and anxiety-ridden Adele (Winslet) and her 12-year-old son Henry (Gattlin Griffith), promising a tale we never get to hear. The film jumps right into the former's struggles with stinging mental illness and what appears to be a blossoming Oedipus complex in the latter — in The Wonder Years-style narration delivered by a flu-ridden Tobey Maguire, Henry proudly affirms that his mother is his whole life: he gives her back rubs, runs her baths, takes her on dates, and asserts himself her ad hoc husband to eradicate the loneliness that cripples her so (Clark Gregg plays Henry's absent father, a "Buck up, sport" type dad who lives across town with his "better" family). On one of their monthly outings to the Piggly Wiggly, or whatever — the film takes place in a 1987 that you'd swear was actually 1959 — Adele and Henry happen upon Frank (Brolin), a blood-soaked menace on the lam who makes tacit threats at Henry's safety to convince the rattled mother to allow him room and board until he can make a spring for the border.
And then, of course, they fall in love. Once Frank is settled into Adele's spacey Massachusetts two-story, he reveals himself the perfect man who fixes leaks, tends gardens, bakes pies, and whisks the shaken woman out of her decaying shell. It's clear why she takes to him — Frank is a heaven-sent gender reversal of the Natalie Portmans and Kirsten Dunsts and Zooey Deschanels who have fallen from the sky to turn things around for their broken beaus with spontaneity and singing and hamster funerals and cupcakes. In Frank's case, pies. I really can't overemphasize the position of the pies in this movie. They're everywhere.
Past the point of keeping Frank hidden from those pesky neighbors, it doesn't really serve as much concern to Adele — or, far less forgivably, to the movie itself — that he's an escaped con who threatened her son's life in order to earn a place to hide from the cops. Labor Day is not interested in redemption or excuse for Frank; it goes so far as to insist that we're wrong for distrusting him in the first place. But no. This guy, for all his redeeming qualities, is a problem.
Paramount via Everett Collection
Labor Day is even less interested in honing the authenticity of its other adult lead, Adele, who earns Frank's attention for no discernible reason other than that she seemed vulnerable enough to con into taking him back to her place. After that? Guilt, maybe. A knight-in-shining-armor syndrome that keeps him attracted to such an open wound. Just as Frank lives up to the one-dimensional angelicism of the aforementioned heroines of modern cinema, Adele is the counterpart to their boyfriends. Vacant and passive, just waiting to be saved by people who have nothing going on inside of them other than the drive to play savior. On top of that, she's got a pretty volatile emotional illness in full swing. But it's nothing love can't cure, right?
With so much wrong to cover in regards to the movie's central love story, I haven't even gotten to Henry yet: the good-natured, sexually curious middle schooler through whom the story is told. Although Henry at least has a real relationship with Frank, who stands in as dad and teaches him to play baseball, fix a car, and — of course — bake pies, every one of the boy's interesting conceits that is teased by the movie gets tossed out in favor of... well, that's the million dollar question. We're introduced to Henry through what appears to be a complex relationship with his mother, whom he views in part as a wife — without payoff, or even exploration, this is just some odd and incomplete stuff with which to open a movie. His distrust of Frank is entertained, but discarded almost immediately thereafter. Just about everything that might serve as character work for Henry is dealt with in the film's 3-minute epilogue. Spoilers: there are pies involved.
If it weren't for the severity of the characters' flimsiness, you might not risk an occuluar injury from all the eye rolls provoked by the ridiculous plot maneuvers this movie cranks out. We're talking doors left ajar, oblivious bank tellers, and the idea that James Van Der Beek can be accepted as a police officer materializing at the summit of the film's dramatic climax. All this, not to mention some atrociously goofy dialogue, feels like it was rescued from Nicholas Sparks' waste basket — only in glimmers of Jason Reitman's usual shtick through a loquacious tertiary character (Brighid Fleming playing "Psuedo Juno") who institutes far more narrative turns than she really should are you reminded of whose movie you expected to be watching.
And these slight reminders might be why Labor Day is such an aggressive failure: it had potential. At the onset of the film, we thought we were diving into something juicy. When things get more ridiculous than you can accept, you convince yourself that it's all going to pay off with an honest, deconstructive revelation. But three days later, I'm still looking for what I missed. The disclosure of the true activity behind the false, theatrical curtain. But there doesn't seem to be anything there: just flat characters, an ill-conceived romance, dead-end arcs, and so many motherf**king pies.
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Wrestler-turned-reality TV regular Hulk Hogan battled suicidal thoughts after his marriage crumbled, his son was imprisoned and his family TV show was axed, all within months in 2008. The former fighter admits splitting from Linda, his wife of 24 years, in late 2007 was just the start of a terrible year, revealing he felt helpless when their son Nick was charged, and later imprisoned for eight months, following a horrific car crash which left his friend and passenger John Graziano fighting for his life.
The final blow came as the family's reality show, Hogan Knows Best, was axed, and the series of unfortunate incidents left the now-60 year old reeling.
He says, "Everything kind of went downhill really fast. There was an accident that my son was involved in and a good friend of ours was in the accident with my son. Just the marriage basically crashing and burning...
"After the show, I kind of hit rock bottom. Everything got dark, everything happened at once. I was drinking alcohol very heavily. It just all kept piling up. It just kept mounting and mounting, and I didn't know how to handle it. I always wondered how could someone possibly take their own life? I got to that point where I thought, 'You know what, maybe this would be easy. Maybe this would be an easy way to fix things.'"
Luckily, Hogan managed to pull himself together after a warm greeting from a group of fans during a miserable New Year's Eve in Miami, Florida made him realise he had plenty to live for.
Speaking to TV titan Oprah Winfrey, he explains, "It hit me that there is clean air and there is dirty air. Once I walked back inside again (the New Year's Eve party), I realised that I couldn't take it anymore. I got sick and tired of being sick and tired."
On this week's New Girl, Schmidt seeks the counsel of Outdoor Dave in a quest to conquer his agonizing loneliness. After breaking up with Cece early this season and moving out of the loft a few weeks back — and being replaced by returning series regular Coach — Schmidt feels like a man without a country. As such, he finds solace in the words of a man without an anything: the recurring homeless wackadoo who pops up every so often to impart bouts of chaos into the lives of the loft residents. His wisdom, as we might have expected, is marginal at best... but he does offer something noteworthy, that being mention of Connor — an action figure bearing the likeness of Jesus, who Outdoor Dave claims is a graduate of SUNY Binghamton.
Yes. I, too, am a Binghamton alum. And for those of us who spent our formative years at little known state schools, it's a rare treat to hear shout-outs like this one (be they disparaging or otherwise) on network TV shows. The program that made the closest thing to a habit out of the practice was 30 Rock, a mighty knight whose sole mission was the conquer the realm of oscure humor... I recall one pointed jab that Will Arnett's devilish Devon Banks made at SUNY Oneonta. Ha ha, got 'em. Otsego County goons.
Now, this particular gag might seem like little more than a gift to the men and women who once attended what a 2014 U.S. News survey ranked as the 97th best higher education facility in the nation. But it's emanant of something more important: New Girl's penchant for intimate, offbeat, inimitable comedy. A type of comedy that has been slipping from the show's grasp lately. The Binghamton joke stands out especially in this week's episode, "Menus," which opens with a Nick-Jess dialogue that feels like it fell right out of a Family Matters teleplay:
To paraphrase:Jess: "I can't stop to watch you eat Chinese food, which is apparently going to be your plotline today. I have a meeting with Booger from Revenge of the Nerds, who is my boss."To quote directly:Nick: "I hate your boss. He never listens to any of your ideas!"Jess: "Not this time!"
And while the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" motto might apply to some formulaic sitcom mechanisms, the opening to "Menus" feels so abrasively lazy and phoned in that it sort of sets the entire episode off on a sour path. And nothing ever really convinces us to change our tunes. Jess, spurned by her principal's insistence that the school can't afford transportation to send her students on their very first trip to the beach, goes ape on a nearby Chinese restaurant for their proclivity for littering apartment buildings with a surplus of menus. And yes, that was a Seinfeld episode they decided was too uninteresting to actually air.
Meanwhile, Nick takes on a B-plot that we've suffered through in every sitcom from I Love Lucy to Family Ties to The Millers, probably: he tries to get in shape. So it's a half-hour of Jake Johnson not being good at jumping. This one must have been scripted when all of the writers wanted to jet out early to catch a showing of Gravity.
Peering through this haze of mediocrity is Schmidt's conversation with Outdoor Dave, which, though not especially hilarious, is evocative of the New Girl personality. It's grounded in a vivid place — a weird, sad, charming, real place. And a quirky one, unashamed of jokes that only a handful of people will truly appreciate, knowing the power in intimate writing. That's what we used to see in New Girl: scripts that were asymmetrical, uncategorizable, and personal. We need more of that. More episodes like Season 1's "Injured," or Season 2's "Chicago." More weird stuff, small stuff, personal stuff, and more jokes like Outdoor Dave's crack about Binghamton.
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Let’s see, where did we leave off with Season 2 of Homeland? Brody (Damian Lewis) is hiding in the Canadian woods (presumably surviving off of fresh maple syrup), his family is about to start suffering the repercussions of his terrorist ties, Saul (Mandy Patinkin) is now in charge of the CIA and has to fix some minor things (you know, the bomb that killed over 200 civilians), and Carrie (Claire Danes) needs to pull it together. Sounds like Homeland to me. (If you need a more detailed reminder of the season, check out my season two finale refresher recap.)
Truth be told, after the end of season two, I was about ready to give up on Homeland. There’s no denying that the second half of the season just wasn’t up to par with the quality of season one; it had plot-holes and the story didn’t seem to be progressing in any specific direction. And worse yet, the thrill of the spy drama became muddled with the far-from-perfect romantic relationship between Carrie and Brody, which I personally could not get behind. (Carrie had Brody right where she wanted him and then her naïve heart got in the way of things.) However, the season two finale left us all wondering who Brody really is (again), and because of the Clue-loving fan inside of me that just couldn’t give up on the mystery of it all, I’m back for the third season.
"Tin Man Is Down"
Based on this episode, it’s clear that the writers and producers of Homeland have been listening to the viewers because they have reverted back to their old ways: making us question Brody’s innocence and Carrie’s sanity. Why? Because they know it’s what got us hooked in the first place. The question in season one was whether or not Brody had been turned, and the drama of it was that Carrie believed that he had been, but no one would believe her. Cut to the season three premiere: the audience doesn’t know if Brody’s the good guy or the bad guy, and once again, Carrie is fighting to prove that she’s right about Brody (only this time, she’s trying to prove his innocence).
I thought I would be satisfied getting back some of what made season one so addicting, but unfortunately, the plotline so far is just too similar to what we’ve seen before: Carrie has stopped taking her meds (big surprise) and no one believes her story about Brody. Déjà vu, anyone? The episode was slow moving, and while it did have a spy scene similar to the ones in the episodes of yesteryear, it wasn’t enough to pull it all together. There was effort to put more emphasis on Saul, Dana (Morgan Saylor), and Quinn (Rupert Friend), but so far, their stories don’t have a strong enough pull.
The episode begins with a shirtless Quinn (so far, so good) assembling what appears to be a bomb, but quickly switches over to Carrie being questioned at a hearing. Thanks to the bombing from last season, the CIA is in some serious trouble, and some higher-ups in the government want to demolish it for good. (The fact that the show so nonchalantly talks about the CIA simply being shut down seems quite unrealistic, but then again, Homeland seems to thrive off imagined situations. In the show’s credit, later on in the episode Saul explains that the CIA’s charter says that it can be shut down.)
The person interrogating Carrie, Senator Andrew Lockhart (Tracy Letts), asks, “How can the CIA protect this country if it can’t even protect itself?” Snap. Carrie proceeds to muffle a Claire Dane’s cry-face and admits that Abu Nazir outsmarted her. You can see the guilt engulfing her as she admits her mistake.
The hearing is called to recess, and the camera cuts to her notepad, which is covered in theories and crazy notes, very similar to the massive chart she had on her living room wall (again, repeating storylines). It turns out that Carrie has stopped taking her meds because she believes it’s what prevented her from stopping the bombing. She copes with everything that’s going on in her life by buying an insane amount of alcohol and having sex with a random guy she meets in the liquor store. So, things are obviously going well for her.
Meanwhile, Dana has some serious issues of her own. Apparently she tried to commit suicide and is graduating from a therapy program. While I’m usually irritated by almost everything that Dana does (she’s just so moody), her “cry for help” was completely realistic -- she found out that her dad is/was a terrorist and she just couldn’t cope. But then she goes right back to being predictable and irritating Dana when it’s revealed that she’s involved with another patient, Leo Carras (Sam Underwood), who she likes to send nudey pics to.
I was hoping that Dana would have grown up a little more, but it seems like the show is still going to have a focus on Dana’s teenage immaturity. As for the rest of her family, Jessica (Morena Baccarin) and Chris (Jackson Pace), not much else has changed in their lives except for Jessica’s mom moving into the house (her character seems relatively annoying and unnecessary).
As for Saul, he has taken over for Estes as head of the CIA and is currently in the middle of catching the culprits responsible for the attack. (The President obviously wants to get Brody, but since they don’t know where he is, Saul has to eliminate other players that were involved with the bombing.) Saul has to decide if he’s ready to approve a mission to take out six men -- an ethical dilemma that runs the course of the entire episode. Mira (Sarita Choudhury) is back in the States, and she’s the voice of reason in Saul’s life. According to her, “the world is paralyzing” him. He can’t decide what to do about the mission, his relationship with Mira, or his problems with the CIA and Carrie. Mira’s right; he is paralyzed.
Saul eventually decides to OK the mission, and six separate hits are made within 15 minutes of each other (a scene that is supposed to excite us, but rather just falls flat). One of the hits is made by Quinn who fails to kill his target the first time around because the target’s child would have been harmed. However, when Quinn later successfully kills him, he mistakes the boy for another enemy target and accidently murders him. He is clearly distraught. Hopefully this emotional drama is foreshadowing an extended stay on the show for Quinn and a storyline that we can get behind.
Cutting back to the senate drama, it appears as if there’s a leak in the CIA that has been feeding incriminating information to Senator Lockhart. Carrie freaks out and accuses Saul and his CIA cronies for using her as a scapegoat, but they deny everything. But then at the end of the episode, an extremely surprising character change happens: Saul speaks at the hearing, and after patting his own back, blames the CIA’s mistakes on Carrie, her relationship with Brody, and her mental instability. Saul might not be the man we always thought he was.
The episode ends with Saul blindsiding Carrie and throwing her under the bus. While this was probably supposed to be the big ending that keeps us all hooked, it didn’t really have a shock-and-awe factor. Yes, Saul isn’t usually the one putting her down, and yes it was out of character for him, but we’ve all seen Carrie under a big pile of crap before. It’s nothing new.
This show isn’t supposed to be a courtroom drama with some looming government official breathing down the CIA’s neck. The show is at its best when Carrie is doing what she does best: being a spy. Saul’s CIA killing spree was exciting for all of three seconds, but it just doesn’t match up to the rush of adrenaline that we get when Carrie’s tracking down the bad guys. Hopefully Homeland will be able to pick up the pace and find its season three groove.
More:'Homeland: The Musical' Brings Out a Whole Other Side of the Showtime Drama'Homeland' Season 3: Damian Lewis Thinks Brody Won't Survive'Homeland' Season 3 Trailer is So Good it Doesn't Need Words
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The world came very close to never learning the name Carrie White. As Stephen King buffs likely know, the writer tossed the original manuscript that would become his debut novel in the trash, decrying it as unworthy of the public eye. It was King's wife Tabitha who fished the story out of the garbage and demanded that he bring it to life, resulting not only in the 1974 epistolary book to which the horror fiction readers of America become so fond, but Brian De Palma's classic horror thriller and this week's long-awaited remake courtesy of director Kimberly Peirce.
Maintaining such a prominent legacy in literature and film, the chilling tale of Carrie was a risky one to take on for Peirce and her team. But this new Screen Gems production didn't set out to live up to or even surpass De Palma's Carrie — it's mission was to tell its own story. While the '76 picture might have spent the majority of its time in Carrie's high school, the 2013 iteration's star Chloe Grace Moretz assures us that hers is "a darker, more twisted version that really focuses on the mother-daughter relationship and really mines that out, which is our main focus."
With themes specific to womanhood and the passage into it, having Peirce take on the project from a female perspective is bound to instill the new Carrie with ideals some might have felt De Palma's feature was left wanting. Peirce says, "In reading the book, what I fell in love with was this mother-daughter story that was so amazing and so profound. What is a mother? A mother is somebody that's willing to sacrifice themselves for a child. And that's really what Margaret is. Margaret loves her daughter to no end. There's never a moment in the book or the movie where Margaret is not acting out of love and protection of her daughter."
"So yes, absolutely for me that mother-child relationship is really at the heart of the movie," the director continues. "There was a huge opportunity with [Moretz and Julianne Moore] that I have with the fundamental storytelling and the journey that Carrie and Margaret go on."
While Peirce didn't want to risk taking any due credit away from De Palma, her colleagues have no problem boasting the heightened sensitivity to the story that her being a woman affords this movie version of Carrie. Judy Greer, who plays Carrie White's gym teacher and hopeful savior, says, "I respect [Peirce's] ability to tell a story and I think that being a woman telling this story is interesting. I'm so glad a woman is directing this remake because I think that will add a lot to the storytelling. Even visually, what she sees and what's important to her as a woman, and as a director, I think will add something that we haven't seen in a movie before." Greer adds, "As a woman, I think she has so much sympathy for Carrie and I feel like she sees herself in Carrie in some way. I’ve never had this conversation with her, but it just feels that way listening to her direction and her passion for the project and telling the story and making sure that moment is really authentic. I think it’s really seeming to be a story a lot about this girl and less about the horror.
Producer Kevin Misher was also willing to concede that there is a special insight present in Peirce's remake, but chalked that up exclusively to her individual talent. "It's not only a ... generic female director," Misher says, "I think particularly Kim Peirce and her point of view on the world ... If you look at the angst that was driving the characters in Boys Don't Cry, and the fact that those characters lived on the fringe, a little bit, but with the desire to be in the middle, is sort of what drove us all in high school and what probably what drives all of us today. Everybody wants to feel, 'What’s normal? Where am I? How do I fit into the system?' I think that was what Kim was experimenting with in both her films, but probably more primally in Boys Don't Cry. It translates very well."
Even with a mind and an eye like Peirce's at the head of the project, it was a challenging process to bring the character to life...
Next: How Chloe Moretz Became Carrie
As you might imagine, transforming the confident, talented, and beautiful 16-year-old Chloe Moretz into the meek, fearsome, internally shattered 18-year-old Carrie White warranted more than a few line readings. "When I first met her, I said, 'We've got to beat that little confident person out of you,'" Peirce says of her star, continuing to reminisce on their early dialogue. "'You're walking the red carpet, you're working with Martin Scorsese [and] Tim Burton. The world loves you. Your family loves you. That's great for you as an individual, and you've got to hold on to that. But for this movie, we have to take all that confidence and security and personality and we have to put it over here. We have to take a hammer and we have to crack that, and then we have to make you sheltered, scared, a misfit, unusual, you've been beaten by your mother.'"
In order to achieve this vision of Carrie, Peirce had Moretz go to some pretty surprising lengths. "I feel like it's okay to share this, but I had her go to homeless shelters and had her really go deep inside the characterization to experience the fear, the humility, to really go on the journey," the director says. "We did that, I don't know, for two and a half months. She did it in LA, she did it [in Toronto] and we always were trying to make sure we showed respect to the people that were helping us. But for her to really see the other side of life, because I felt like that was essential to the character. That lack of confidence, it's everything. If you have a little alpha there, you've lost it."
Moretz recounts the difficult task as well: "I come from such a privileged life," the actress says, "and to go meet these people who have never known any semblance of love, and money, and life — what we go through every day, being able to go out to Whole Foods if you want to and buy an all-organic meal, they have never lived that. And I talked to these women who have been sexually abused and physically abused and verbally abused, and they're so strong. Even though they've had so much done to them, they're so strong, and you look into their eyes and you learn so much just from talking to them."
So devoted to creating an authentic character was Peirce that she asked Moretz to step even further away from her comfort zone. "I said to her, 'You actually have to go through something that you probably haven't gone through yet in your young life.' She hadn't been to prom, she hadn't done certain things. And I said, 'So we need to set off a teenage rebellion in your life.' And I actually said, 'You need to move out of your house.' And she was like, 'Okay, Kim. I'll do it.' She couldn't do it."
But of course, there were some less dramatic measures that Moretz also took to get into the dark mind of her role: "Do you know that Sia song "Breathe Me?" You know, it's super twisted, it's a dark song. You can really beat yourself up for that song and that’s definitely a major song that I listen to for this type of stuff. And "Fix You," [by] Coldplay. That one really gets me. Music is a large element in my life. And also pictures, family members, stuff like that. That's a major element to this movie."
Working together, the pair sought to create a Carrie White that was not only vivid and dense, but one that stood as a representation of something that has long been a terrible tragedy in our society, only recently earning due opposition.
Next: The Carrie Remake Takes on the Bullying Epidemic
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Screen Gems
One of the first things you think about when you consider a Carrie that takes place in 2013 is all of ways society has changed in the past 40 years, and how said changes would impact the way people feel about this type of story. Amidst a very present movement to knock down the pandemic of school bullying, the Carrie remake might hit even harder than the original.
Moretz speaks to this in discussing how many platforms allow for bullying in the modern era, and how this idea is executed in the new movie. "A large element of this movie is the bullying aspect," she says. "How Carrie is taken advantage of and made fun of just because of peoples' weaker selves [lead them] to push whatever their insecurities are onto someone who takes [abuse] from everyone. And yeah, there were a lot of things we brought into the script. We brought some social media aspects of it; that's stuff that actually happens on Facebook and Twitter ... Some things happen on a social network, [but] Carrie doesn't even realize it because she doesn't even know what Facebook is. At the same time, it's sweet that she's so unaffected by what they want to affect her with. But I think, honestly, the main point of the movie is Margaret and Carrie. I think that's the main pinnacle of her, it's her mother."
Anyone familiar with Peirce's resume knows that she is no stranger to engaging stories about the powers and traumas of bullying and interolance. "As a person alive in our world who has made a movie about bullying with Boys Don't Cry, and a movie about the war [Stop-Loss], that's just a thing that in my life I'm very aware of," Peirce says. "I'm not unaware of it. But at the same time, and the movie certainly reflects the reality of that, but the thing that drew me to the story — if it was only a bullying story, I don't think there would have been enough to make this kind of movie about. I think what ends up happening is that there's an authenticity and reality to the times it's happening in; that actually, De Palma was kind of ahead of his time. I think that the movie is coming out when this stuff is real, but I think the story itself is still a fantasy story, it's a superhero story, it's a supernatural story, it's a thriller and it has horror elements."
Greer, playing a conscientious teacher in the movie, has plenty to say on the issue. "Bullying was one of the things that made me interested as an audience member in watching this movie again," she says. "Had I not gotten the role, I would still have been excited to see it, and I think because now the take on it is bullying moreso than I remember the first time, that it was just kind of an outcast story, and that’s what made it interesting to me, and that’s why I think it’s a fresh perspective." Greer adds, "Becase bullying has really become such a problem right now, I think [the remake] is maybe going to be more impactful right now. Just because of where that is in society and how much more we're hearing about it. At least 35 years ago, you didn't have the Internet telling you every single thing that happened in every school and college around the world, but this seems to me — and maybe it’s because I know Chloe and I didn't know Sissy Spacek — but seeing the stuff happen to Chloe really breaks my heart and makes me feel really sad. It makes me feel sad to think of kids going through that. Just watching her performance in the shower scene is really heartbreaking."
For a classic film in a modern, progressive new lens, catch Carrie in theaters on Oct. 18.
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It’s a reality show crossover! An Idol alum — a victor to be exact — has agreed to compete in the NBC mega-hit The Biggest Loser. So which fomer singing sentation is ready to loose some serious L-B’s? Is it Kelly Clarkson? Carrie Underwood? Candice Glover?
Well the answer is actually… D) None of the above! American Idol’s Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard is ready to step back into the spotlight — but this time there will be a lot more sweating involved.
Studdard tells People, “I’ve never had an issue with my weight, [but] my family has a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart-related issues — things I didn’t have to deal with yet because I’m young. But I don’t want to be worried at 40, and if I don’t fix things now, I will be.” The 2003 Idol victor will be the first famous contestant to compete on the NBC reality show with the completion returns later this fall.
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On Thursday, Sopranos creator David Chase was called to say goodbye to his muse and friend James Gandolfini, by delivering a eulogy for the man who headlined his immersive dramatic television series for six seasons. Gandolfini died suddenly last week at age 51, leaving brilliant writer Chase to, as he admits, struggle over the construction of an appropriate summation of his feelings about the man who immortalized Tony Soprano.
Humble forewords aside, Chase managed to craft a speech that, delicately and powerfully, illustrated the kind of man Gandolfini was in his eyes and the sort of relationship the two shared. Covering the full range of the rapport between the Jersey-born men, Chase's stories ranged from funny to sad to monumentally touching.
Chase introduces his eulogy with the darkly comic, a memory about Gandolfini raining blows upon a Sopranos set refrigerator:
one day toward the end of the show — maybe season 4 or season 5 — we were on the set shooting a scene with Stevie Van Zandt, and I think the set-up was that Tony had received news of the death of someone, and it was inconvenient for him. And it said, "Tony opens the refrigerator door, closes it and he starts to speak." And the cameras rolled, and you opened the refrigerator door, and you slammed it really hard — you slammed it hard enough that it came open again. And so then you slammed it again, then it came open again. You kept slamming it and slamming it and slamming it and slamming it and went apeshit on that refrigerator. And the funny part for me is I remember Steven Van Zandt — because the cameras are going, we have to play this whole scene with a refrigerator door opening — I remember Steven Van Zandt standing there with his lip out, trying to figure out, "Well, what should I do? First, as Silvio, because he just ruined my refrigerator. And also as Steven the actor, because we're now going to play a scene with the refrigerator door open; people don't do that." And I remember him going over there and trying to tinker with the door and fix it, and it didn't work. And so we finally had to call cut, and we had to fix the refrigerator door, and it never really worked, because the gaffer tape showed on the refrigerator, and it was a problem all day long. And I remember you saying, "Ah, this role, this role, the places it takes me to, the things I have to do, it's so dark." And I remember telling you, "Did I tell you to destroy the refrigerator? Did it say anywhere in the script, 'Tony destroys a refrigerator'? It says 'Tony angrily shuts the refrigerator door.' That's what it says. You destroyed the fridge."
Later, following a somber memory about Gandolfini's crisis of faith, Chase delves into his understanding of the inner workings of the tirelessly complex man:
The paradox about you as a man is that I always felt personally, that with you, I was seeing a young boy. A boy about Michael's age right now. 'Cause you were very boyish. And about the age when humankind, and life on the planet are really opening up and putting on a show, really revealing themselves in all their beautiful and horrible glory. And I saw you as a boy — as a sad boy, amazed and confused and loving and amazed by all that. And that was all in your eyes. And that was why, I think, you were a great actor: because of that boy who was inside. He was a child reacting. Of course you were intelligent, but it was a child reacting, and your reactions were often childish. And by that, I mean they were pre-school, they were pre-manners, they were pre-intellect. They were just simple emotions, straight and pure. And I think your talent is that you can take in the immensity of humankind and the universe, and shine it out to the rest of us like a huge bright light. And I believe that only a pure soul, like a child, can do that really well. And that was you.
Finally, Chase concludes his speech with a sweet, heartrending proposal for how he'd conclude "this episode," saying goodbye to James (and Tony) in the way that comes most naturally to him. And it really hits home:
You know, everybody knows that we always ended an episode with a song. That was kind of like me and the writers letting the real geniuses do the heavy lifting: Bruce, and Mick and Keith, and Howling Wolf and a bunch of them. So if this was an episode, it would end with a song. And the song, as far as I'm concerned, would be Joan Osborne's "(What If God Was) One Of Us?" And the set-up for this — we never did this, and you never even heard this — is that Tony was somehow lost in the Meadowlands. He didn't have his car, and his wallet, and his car keys. I forget how he got there — there was some kind of a scrape — but he had nothing in his pocket but some change. He didn't have his guys with him, he didn't have his gun. And so mob boss Tony Soprano had to be one of the working stiffs, getting in line for the bus. And the way we were going to film it, he was going to get on the bus, and the lyric that would've one over that would've been — and we don't have Joan Osborne to sing it:
If God had a faceWhat would it look like?And would you want to seeIf seeing meant you had to believe?And yeah, yeah, God is great.Yeah, yeah, God is good.Yeah, yeah, yeah.
So Tony would get on the bus, and he would sit there, and the bus would pull out in this big billow of diesel smoke. And then the key lyric would come on, and it was
What if God was one of us?Just a slob like one of us?Just a stranger on the busTrying to make his way home.
And that would've been playing over your face, Jimmy. But then — and this is where it gets kind of strange — now I would have to update, because of the events of the last week. And I would let the song play further, and the lyrics would be
Just trying to make his way homeLike a holy rollin' stoneBack up to Heaven all aloneNobody callin' on the phone'Cept for the Pope, maybe, in Rome.
We thank Alan Sepinwall at HitFix for transcribing the eulogy. You can read Chase's full speech here.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter | Follow hollywood.com on Twitter @hollywood_com
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Just when we thought the Winchesters stood a chance at closing the gates of hell – and surviving it together – Supernatural went and threw us another curve ball. Sure, Dean was 100 percent behind his brother for the trials, and gave a truly heartwarming speech proving just how much he believed Sam could do it, but when Crowley enters the mix, all bets are off.
You see, now that Crowley knew what Sam and Dean were up to, and how close they were getting to closing the gates of hell, he had to take drastic measures before Sam could “cure” a demon thus completing the third trial. So what did he do? He appealed to the one thing we all know the Winchesters have a weakness for: saving people.
Crowley was using Carver Edlund’s books (great to see how many shout outs they’re getting this season!) to take a trip down Winchester memory lane and start killing every person Sam and Dean have saved every 12 hours until they give up and surrender. After Jimmy Collins from Season 1 Episode 2’s wendigo attack died suddenly, and another Season 1 veteran, Sarah Blake, bit the dust in a truly heartbreaking scene where I have never seen Sam and Dean look so completely helpless before, the Sam lost all faith that they can actually stop Crowley. But Dean hasn’t given up, and you can be sure as hell he’ll rally Sam to kick some a**.
And hey, sure enough, the promos for next week show Sam and Dean attempting to cure a demon after all… and that demon is Crowley himself! That’s what happens when you piss off the Winchesters. Sorry I'm not sorry.
Meanwhile, Cas was safely in the Men of Letters bunker healing after his angelic/demonic battles last week, and Dean wasn’t making it any easier for him. Even though Cas has wronged Dean in the past, he’s always been able to forgive his friend. He's always had a soft spot for his angel friend. This time, it wasn’t going to be so easy. Cas has continually betrayed Dean over and over again, and each time Dean forgives him, Cas just does it again. He never learns, or employs the same loyalty Dean has always shown him. Dean isn’t going to forgive him this time, and that makes Cas susceptible to Metatron’s plans.
After finally getting the whole story on what he’s missed while being a recluse, Metatron decided the way to fix Heaven and their angelic family was to lock everyone in a room and hash things out. A time out of sorts, but on a massive scale. That’s right, Metatron wants to use the angel tablet and close the gates of Heaven! While there isn’t any evil reasons behind his plans, I still don’t trust Metatron, and the way he so easily manipulated Cas into completing the first trial worried me. The first trial, by the way, was to kill a nephilim, the offspring of an angel and a human.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the folklore of nephilim come into play on Supernatural. For a show that focuses on the supernatural, and has had angels as big players since Season 4, it’s surprising it took so long for nephilim to show up. They are featured heavily in supernatural books and movies, with varying degrees of power and alliances with good/evil. Unfortunately, the ballad of the nephilim on Supernatural was brief: the only one on earth was killed by Cas to complete the first trial. So long, nephilim, sorry you never even had a name!
Also, Abbadon showed up again after Sam and Dean put her together to attempt to cure her before getting distracted by Crowley’s phone calls (coming from the number 666, nice touch). So she’s on the loose again, and seemed pretty pissed off at hearing how Crowley worked his way up from being a messenger to the kind of hell.
Shout-out to the hilarious convenience store worker: I would have been pretty pissed myself if I had to deal with a messy, destructive shopper like Cas. But come on, how could you not have pie?
The best quotes from “Clip Show:”
Dean: How you feeling?Sam: Honestly? My whole body hurts, I’m nauseous and like I’m starving at the same time, and everything smells like rotting meat.Dean: I’ve had that hangover. Jaeger, man.
Cas: I like this bunker. It’s orderly.Sam: Give us a few months. Dean wants to get a ping pong table.Cas: I’ve heard of that, it’s a game, right?
Sam: A half-drunk beer, some jerky, and three peanut butter cups?Dean: Well, yeah, we’re running a little low… I’ll go make a run.
Dean: If anybody else, I mean anybody, pulled that kind of crap I would stab them in the neck on principle. Why should I give him a free pass?Sam: Because it’s Cas.
Dean: Well, that was weird. With three exclamation points.
Dean, about Sam completing the trials: Father, over the past couple of months I have seen him do crap that I didn’t even think was possible. I’m sure he’s miserable and he’s hurting, but you know what? There’s not a doubt in my mind that he’s gonna cross that finish line. Not one.
Not a quote, but you could tell just how much Cas was trying to make it up to Dean on his run to get food and supplies. His cart consisted of jerky, toilet paper, even Busty Asian Beauties, aka Dean's favorite porn! But when he couldn't find pie, he knew no amount of porn would make Dean happy...
Cas: Where’s the pie?Sales clerk: I think we’re out.Cas: I don’t think you understand, I need pie!
Metatron: I should have picked a better-looking vessel.
Sam: How’d you get this number?Crowley: First things first: what are you wearing?Dean: Oh, okay, hanging up now. Hang it up.Crowley: Fine, this isn’t a social call.
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
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