Fans anticipating the upcoming release of Divergent are sure to be curious about the people behind the two main characters of the film. We’ve scoured the internet, watched countless interviews, and dug for the dirt on Shailene Woodley and Theo James, coming up with some weird, quirky, and lovable facts about the co-stars.
James is ridiculous and silly — he has claimed he would have been an exotic dancer if he hadn’t become an actor and he loves Cheetos. Also, he can beatbox.
Woodley would conquer a zombie apocalypse with business sense: “I would plant tobacco because I think it’d be a good thing to trade with.”
They both love Star Wars; Woodley has said she’s a “Star Wars freak,” while James mentioned he had auditioned for a role in the new franchise: “I went for Stars Wars – the new one – as Chewbacca’s son. It’s an integral role, so cross your fingers.”
At the San Diego Comic-Con Divergent panel, James said he’s a bit like his character in that he’s protective of Woodley — sometimes a little bit too much: “I don’t even let her go to the bathroom, to be honest, without me standing outside the door. It can be problematic but I think I should be there. You know, she needs protecting.” (We’re pretty sure he’s kidding.)
Woodley also seems to adore working with her co-star. She admitted that her favorite thing about James is that “he’s super badass and does his own stunts.”
Since the final book in Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, Allegiant, was due to be released shortly after filming concluded, James attempted to get some spoilers out of the author. “I tried to seduce her with wine and… biscuits, but it didn't work,” he said.
When making the decision of whether to star in Divergent or not, Woodley sought the advice of Jennifer Lawrence, who skyrocketed to fame after The Hunger Games premiered. According to Woodley, Lawrence gave some great advice: “She was like, you’d be a fool not to take it. Some things change, don’t make a sex tape, don’t do drugs, don’t go to Whole Foods when the movie opens, but other than that just live your life and have fun.”
Divergent hits theaters March 21. You can check showtimes and purchase advanced tickets at Movietickets.com.
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, the latest installment of George Lucas' sci-fi prequel trilogy, opens wide in U.S. theaters next week, but its creator won't be there to witness the pandemonium. The Associated Press reports that Lucas will be at the Cannes Film Festival instead, where the film will be screened using digital projectors rather than standard 35mm format.
Actress Julia Roberts took on a more serious role Thursday at a hearing of the House Appropriations subcommittee in Washington. Holding back tears, an emotional Roberts appealed for more money to research Rett Syndrome, a neurological disorder that affects about 200,000 girls and women worldwide, the AP reports.
Richard Gere's alleged stalker is being held on a $5,000 bail after being charged with stalking the actor, the AP reports. Ursula Reichert-Habbishaw of Kassell, Germany, was arraigned on charges of harassment, aggravated harassment and stalking after supposedly calling Gere as many as 1,000 times during the past year.
The new PlayStation 2 video game which features pop star Britney Spears is now available nationwide. In Britney's Dance Beat, players audition to be a backup dancer on the singer's virtual concert tour, gaining points along the way for each correct move.
Samuel L. Jackson has been cast as a Los Angeles police chief in Columbia Pictures' S.W.A.T., according to The Hollywood Reporter. In the film, Jackson leads a SWAT team that arrests a drug kingpin. Clark Johnson, who plays Detective Meldrick Lewis in the TV series Homicide: Life on the Street, is in talks to direct.
Director Barry Levinson will direct Ben Stiller and Jack Black in the DreamWorks comedy Envy, Variety reports. The film's story line centers around two best pals whose friendship is tested when one of them (Black) becomes filthy rich by selling inventions, which causes the other (Stiller) to go crazy with envy.
In the Biz
On Thursday a federal judge threw out a lawsuit by the family of late fishing boat captain Frank William "Billy" Tyne Jr., who claimed the film The Perfect Storm depicted him in a false and unflattering light, the AP reports. Judge Anne C. Conway explained that the First Amendment protects the film, and the Supreme Court has given filmmakers broad leeway in portraying people and events.
The world's most infamous houseguest, Brian "Kato" Kaelin, has shot a pilot episode for a reality TV series entitled House Guest. Kaelin described the premise of the show to Barbara Walters on ABC's 20/20 Wednesday, saying he goes across America knocking on doors of unsuspecting families and invites himself to spend a weekend with them.
The concept was fun while it lasted, but former President Clinton said it is unlikely he will host a television talk show. In a National Public Radio interview scheduled to air Friday, Clinton, who met with NBC executives in Los Angeles last week to discuss the possibilities of a show, said he didn't think it was going to happen, the AP reports.
Ozzy Osbourne is on a roll. Following the success of MTV's hit reality series about his family, The Osbournes, getting his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and signing a book deal, the self proclaimed "bleeping Prince of Darkness" scored a Prism Award Thursday in Hollywood for his accurate depiction of drug, alcohol or tobacco addiction in his new single "Junkie," Variety reports.
Veteran Mexican singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel cleaned up at the annual Billboard Latin music awards Thursday night in Miami Beach, winning four out of his five nominations. Gabriel won awards for best songwriter, Latin track and Latin pop airplay track for his single "Abrazame Muy Fuerte." He also won the Latin vocal duo track award with compatriot Nydia Rojas for "No Vale la Pena, " Reuters reports.
"Almost Reel is one of the decade's best columns!"
-- Harlan Sanders, The Silver Spring Post-Dispatch
"When I read last week's Almost Reel I laughed, I cried. It was better than Cats."
-- Lew Lautin, National Internet Review
A couple of weeks ago, Columbia Pictures (part of the evil Sony empire) admitted that they'd been using a fictitious movie reviewer, "David Manning," to supply some of the glowing phrases that we see attached to each and every film that comes out of Tinseltown.
"Manning" heaped praise upon such unworthy fare as A Knight's Tale, The Animal and Hollow Man.
If you're anything like me--and if you are, those Air Supply albums are still a guilty pleasure--you're not at all shocked or surprised. Hollywood employs some of the slickest marketing professionals this side of big tobacco, another bastion of corporate responsibility.
There are a few small thoughts that come immediately to mind that should mitigate any sense of outrage we the public may feel at this duplicity.
1. Movie studios are in the business of "pretend." The one product movie studios manufacture is, well, movies, which more often than not are made up. Is it so much of a stretch to us that the studios would make up their own glowing reviews?
Look at it this way: were any of us really shocked that Mike Tyson took a bite out of Evander Holyfield's ear? Sure, there are rules in boxing, but the primary goal of the sport is to turn your opponent's face into a bloody pulp. Mike decided to use his teeth instead of his fists. The means may have changed, but the ends remained the same.
I think you can see how the parallel applies to movies, only with a lot less ear-biting and blood. (Assuming, of course, you're not the producer of three high-profile bombs in a row. If so, watch out--I hear Michael Eisner has sharp teeth.)
2. Movie studios lie all the time. Do bears, bare? Do bees, be? Of course, they do. (Apologies to David Addison.)
Not every movie the studios put out can actually be worth your hard-earned eight bucks, yet the studios only make money if you buy a ticket. In fact, movie studios rank right up there (or is it down there?) with the used car industry on level of truthfulness.
3. Movie studios often pay lots of money for blurbmeisters from all over the country to come to lavish junkets, all for the sake of a nice review. The studios often wine, dine, and give away free movie merchandise (which sometimes means expensive luggage and perfume) to reviewers as part of these junkets.
We the public are just not as attuned to the commonly used euphemisms that those reviewers employ. Although by now I think everyone knows that if a film is plastered with quotes such as "One of the year's/decade's/century's best movies" or "a nonstop roller coaster ride" avoid it like the plague.
Other words that are a real clue to a movie's suckiness include "triumphant," "glorious," "mesmerizing" and "this year's insert movie title here."
So studios tried to cut out the middleman and write their own over-the-top reviews for mediocre movies. Who are we to quibble?
After all, it's the assumption of the movie studios that in this great society we've created the public at large is simply a repository for disposable income, controlled by insect-sized intellect. The public can't possibly discern the difference between the review of a veteran movie screener and the review of my 4-year-old niece.
Astute members of the American citizenry have actually proved that point rather nicely for the studios. Ten (ten--as if one wouldn't have been enough to get the point across) class-action lawsuits have been filed alleging that some of the public has been duped by movie reviews from critics who have been richly wined and dined on studio-paid press junkets.
One of the quotes cited by the attorney representing the plaintiffs compared the John Travolta dud Battlefield Earth favorably to Star Wars. Another review raved that The Perfect Storm is "one of the best movies of all time."
Who are these people that believed those reviews, and where do they live? I have some property in Florida that I'd like to sell them. These rubes are a Wall Street cold-caller's dream.
"Hello Mrs. Smithee? I have a stock that's this year's AOL! It's a triumphant stock, with a glorious upside. It's just going up, up, up and will be one of the year's ten best performers! You say you want 1,000 shares? I'll put you down for 2,000."
Of course, one has to wonder why Columbia Pictures execs thought they had to make up anything. As Washington Post movie critic Desson Howe put it, "This country is overpopulated with helium-filled movie critics who like anything."
Personally, I don't like just anything. There has to be some gratuitous violence.
As for the marketing geniuses at Columbia, don't cry for them.
The two-man brain-trust that made up these phony blurbs e.g., calling A Knight's Tale's Heath Ledger "this year's hottest new star," have returned to work after a 30-day unpaid suspension, presumably to bigger offices and bigger paychecks.
All right, you pressured me into it. I admit it, I wrote those reviews at the top of the column myself. Columbia Pictures here I come!
Buoyed by the holiday success of "Toy Story 2," the summer hit "Tarzan" and the mega-sleeper "The Sixth Sense," Disney was 1999's studio box-office champion.
The title marks the sixth time in seven years that the Magic Kingdom has captured the biggest slice of the domestic movie market.
Disney product accounted for 17 percent of all ticket sales, grossing more than $1 billion. The Mouse House, which had a rough year on Wall Street, nonetheless ruled Hollywood thanks to a pair of $200 million-plus hits ("Sixth Sense" and "Toy Story 2"), and a couple of kiddie superstars, "Tarzan" ($170.8 mil) and "Inspector Gadget" ($97.4 million).
Disney's dominant box-office performance came despite less-than-great performance from several front-line releases, including "The Insider," the critically acclaimed but commercially tepid tobacco-industry drama, and the family oriented "Bicentennial Man" with Robin Williams.
At No. 2 was Warner Bros. with 14 percent of the market thanks to films such as "The Matrix" ($171.4 million), (the overall disappointing) "Wild Wild West" ($113.7 million), "Analyze This" ($106.7 million), "Pokemon: The First Movie" ($83.6 million) and "The Green Mile" ($78.1 million in 1999 -- and still counting).
Warner Bros. also topped $1 billion in ticket sales -- making 1999 just the second time that two distributors achieved that milestone.
Universal -- a lowly No. 9 among studios in 1998 - climbed to No. 3 in 1999, with a 13 percent market share. Hit titles such as "The Mummy," "Notting Hill" and "American Pie" were credited with the turnaround.
Last year's big studio loser looks to be 20th Century Fox, which despite "Star Wars: Episode One -- The Phantom Menace" failed to crack the Top Five. Its problem? Lack of non-"Phantom Menace" hits. After the $430 million-grossing "Star Wars" flick, Fox's only other major player was "Entrapment," the action thriller starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones. That film was 1999's No. 21 flick with $87.7 million in ticket sales. ("Phantom Menace," of course, was No. 1.)
Paramount, which rode the success of "Titanic" and sailed away with the second-biggest piece of the national market in 1998, slipped to No. 4 in 1999. That studio's catalog of top-grossers included "Runaway Bride," "South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut," "The General's Daughter" and "Double Jeopardy."
Planting season for America's oldest and richest cash crop, dark fire tobacco, is under way in Adairville. The Gainous farm welcomes home college student Zeke, but will he be up to snuff working the farm after spending so much time away at school? Over on the Law farm, Mark Law does battle with his two best workers -- his daughters -- who just can't seem to get to work on time.
Episode 2. Light My Fire
(AIR DATE 04/26/2014)
Fires are lit in the barns to smoke cure the tobacco. Meanwhile, Scott receives an emergency call; and Hope's dad plans a birthday party and pig roast.
Set in the high-stakes world of Kentucky's dark fire tobacco industry, the show follows the families of two fifth-generation tobacco men. In dark fire country, carefully guarded farming know-how and family traditions are passed down -- and freedom is as essential as the air they breathe. .