Mark Sullivan/WireImageFans of the popular ABC shows Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal often find themselves wondering who comes up with the fictional plot twists and love affairs that keep them up at night. While she obviously does not work alone, the simple answer is Shonda Rhimes. The Emmy-nominated writer and producer created both shows, but that’s not all she contributes to the universe. Here are a few things you might not know about the genius behind the curtain.
She Knows How To Handle Drama On And Off The Screen
This past year Rhimes came under criticism for the treatment of her lead character Olivia Pope (played by Kerry Washington). Some folks (including Star Jones) accused her of glorifying marital affairs, and even felt that the interracial relationship on the show was problematic. Rhimes has brilliantly responded to such accusations by defending her art as just that — art, and not a political or social platform. And she often takes to Twitter to remind people who get a little too caught up that her shows are, in fact, fictional.
Oprah Winfrey Is Obsessed With Her
When Oprah Winfrey and former President of the United States Bill Clinton watch your show (they both love Scandal), it’s kind of a big deal. But Oprah and Shonda are so close, their Twitter exchanges are well-documented, and when Shonda made TIME Magazine’s 2013 list of 100 most influential people in the world, Oprah even wrote the powerful accompanying essay.
Halle Berry Kinda, Sorta Owes Her
Halle Berry got her start long before her role in the television biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. Still, her performance in the Shonda Rhimes-written script was one of her best and most well-respected, as she (along with Rhimes) brought to life the important story of the first black movie star to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar.
She Was a Candy Striper in High School
This woman is living proof that volunteer work truly pays off in the end. Rhimes volunteered at a hospital during high school, and attributes that experience to her interest in such environments. Grey’s Anatomy and its spin-off series Private Practice are a direct result of her candy striper days in Chicago.
She’s an Inspiration to Unemployed Writers Everywhere
After Rhimes got her Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of Southern California, she was just another unemployed scriptwriter in Hollywood. She worked odd jobs to pay the bills, but eventually got her big break as a research director for a documentary on Hank Aaron. See? We all gotta start somewhere.
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I still don't understand how this movie got made and I don't understand how Ryan Phillipe keeps getting called upon to act in anything, however I do understand why this trailer for Setup looks like someone made it on their MacBook Pro last night. Frankly, the movie looks awful. There is no semblance of a plot, which is probably for the best, and the most entertaining part is seeing how many terrible lines they can make Bruce Willis say. Count them; it's fun. Oh, and 50 Cent is starring in the film, so that's...true. From the looks of Setup, it's the type of thing that might be on Spike TV at like 3 a.m. and you've been out drinking with your buddies and need something to watch while you house that saver sack from White Castle so you drunkenly watch it because, "Oh dude, look it's Bruce Willis...and 50 Cent...shooting stuff. Heh. Dude, sweet."
Who needs “people” to make your announcements for you when you can just work them into a Q&A? Halle Berry took the opportunity at the 42nd NAACP Image Awards’ screening of her new psychological drama called Frankie & Alice. Berry spilled the beans, saying she’ll be involved in the upcoming Wachowskis project, Cloud Atlas. There isn’t very much out there about the project quite yet, but it’s guaranteed to get some buzz now the Berry is definitely on the roster.
The film is based off of David Mitchell’s book of the same name and the story follows a slew of characters placed in different walks of life and time periods throughout history and connects their stories. That aspect combined with the fact that the Wachowskis are driving the project can only mean that this is going to be one hell of a mind-bender. And in Berry’s little information purge, she even compares the new project to the Wachowski classic, The Matrix. Well, Miss Berry, we shall see, but I'm not getting my hopes up just yet.
Of course, before she was done divulging news bits, she also lumped in a few megastars with her name, adding that Tom Hanks and Natalie Portman have signed on for the project as well. Maybe she should have checked her sources though because Portman’s people are saying nothing’s set in stone. Berry can’t be blamed for the rumors claiming James McAvoy’s and Ian McKellen’s involvement, but I sure hope they’re true. This film is a clear opportunity to assemble a killer ensemble cast – plus McKellan hasn’t done anything epic since the Lord of The Rings series, so he’s due. (Are you listening, Wachowskis? Don’t let that bellowing timbre go to waste.)
It’s also unclear whether the Wachowskis of the film’s screenwriter, Tom Tykwer (Paris, Je T’Aime, Run Lola Run), will take on the directing role. The whole project seems to be shrouded in secrecy and uncertainty, but it’s a Wachowski movie; are you really surprised? That’s kind of their thing.
Source: Coming Soon
In addition to honoring projects and individuals from television, movies, music and literature that have helped promote images of people of color, the NAACP Image Awards celebrate those who promote social justice through various creative endeavors.