Author

Shannon Houston
  • 5 Powerful Speeches From Celebrity Women
    By: Shannon Houston May 20, 2014
    Getty Images/Paul Marotta Meryl Streep, National Board of Review Awards Back in January, Streep presented the best actress award to Emma Thompson and her introduction would go down as the biggest, most public diss of Walt Disney. But the strong words she spoke about her friend were just as memorable. Highlight of the Speech:Emma considers carefully what the f**k she is putting out into the culture! Emma thinks, "Is this helpful?" Not, "Will it build my brand?" Not, "Will it give me billions?" Not, "Does this express me? Me! Me! My unique and fabulous self, into all eternity, in every universe, for all time!" That's a phrase from my Disney contract. I'm serious! "Will I get a sequel out of it, or a boat? Or a perfume contract?" (Read the full speech here.) Lesson Learned: There's something to be said for actors and artists who are legitimately concerned with their craft and the stories behind the work they're doing. In a pop culture, celebrity-obsessed world that celebrates the brand, it's important to celebrate people like Thompson as well. Lupita Nyong'o, Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon In February Nyong'o accepted the Best Breakthrough Performance Award at Essence Magazine's Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon. Instead of speaking merely from her own heart, she spoke from the heart of a fan who'd sent her a powerful and heartbreaking letter. Highlight of the Speech: "Dear Lupita," it reads, "I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me." I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin...my mother again would say to me, "You can’t eat beauty. It doesn’t feed you."... And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What does sustain us... what is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away. (Read the full speech here.) Lesson Learned: It's wonderful that we are embracing Lupita Nyong'o's beauty, and that we're expanding the concept of beauty itself. And it's wonderful that a young girl can look at Nyong'o and choose to embrace her own skin color. But it's also important that we teach people that who you are at your core (call it essence, or spirit, or personality) is something more powerful, more memorable, and more lasting than physical appearance. Amy Schumer, Ms. Foundation for Women Gloria Awards and Gala In a hilariously NSFW speech the comedian opened up about an awkward sexual encounter that could have been more traumatic, were it not for her sense of humor. She spoke about turning that moment into an empowering instance of change. Highlight of the Speech:  I can be reduced to that lost college freshman so quickly sometimes, I want to quit. Not performing, but being a woman altogether. I want to throw my hands in the air, after reading a mean Twitter comment, and say, "All right! You got it. You figured me out. I'm not pretty. I'm not thin. I do not deserve to use my voice. I'll start wearing a burqa and start waiting tables at a pancake house. All my self-worth is based on what you can see." But then I think, F**k that. I am not laying in that freshman year bed anymore ever again. I am a woman with thoughts and questions and s**t to say. I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and f**k and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it. I stand here and I am amazing, for you. Not because of you. I am not who I sleep with. I am not my weight. I am not my mother. I am myself. And I am all of you, and I thank you. (Read the full speech here.) Lesson Learned: First of all, we should all stop being hateful towards people (yes, even celebrity people) on Twitter. And secondly, sometimes you have to get out of that freshman year bed, dust yourself off, stop apologizing, and go be your incredible self.  Gabourey Sidibe, Ms. Foundation for Women Gloria Awards and Gala In another fantastic speech about confidence, Sidibe did what few of us expected her to do and actually admitted to being "an a**hole" in school. But in admitting to her flaws she also exposed the flaws of an entire industry that repeatedly asks her (and not someone like Rihanna) "How are you so confident?" Highlight of the Speech: I was a snob. I thought I was better than the kids in my class, and I let them know it. That's why they didn't like me. I think the reason I thought so highly of myself all the time was because no one else ever did... Sometimes when I'm being interviewed by a fashion reporter, I can see it in her eyes, "How is she getting away with this? Why is she so confident? How does she deal with that body? Oh my God, I'm going to catch fat!" What I would say, is my mom moved my brother and I to my aunt's house. Her name is Dorothy Pitman Hughes, she is a feminist, an activist, and a lifelong friend of Gloria Steinem. Every day, I had to get up and go to school where everyone made fun of me, and I had to go home to where everyone made fun of me... In the morning on the way out to the world, I passed by a portrait of my aunt and Gloria together. Side by side they stood, one with long beautiful hair and one with the most beautiful, round, Afro hair I had ever seen, both with their fists held high in the air. Powerful. Confident. And every day as I would leave the house... I would give that photo a fist right back. And I'd march off into battle. [She starts crying] I didn't know that I was being inspired then. (Read the full speech here.) Lesson Learned: It's not always the direct influence of a person, but sometimes it's something simpler — a photo, an image, an idea you hear about — that changes your life and changes your way of looking at things. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • This Video Might Just Change the Way You See Kanye West
    By: Shannon Houston May 19, 2014
    WENN.com/Judy Eddy There are plenty of Kanye West videos going around, but this new one might actually change the way you see the Chicago rapper. Yeezy was walking home with fiancé Kim Kardashian and her friend Jonathan Cheban, when he was approached by an up-and-coming rapper asking for Kanye's audience. The result was pretty amazing: The fact that Kanye actually stops and listens to the young man — and encourages him — certainly works against the image of the pompous, self-proclaimed genius that sometimes overshadows his work. Not a lot of celebrities really stop and give their fans the time of day, so this video suggests that Kanye really does care, and probably even sees a bit of himself in struggling artists. He may be Yeezus now, but there was a time when he couldn't get a record deal either. Kudos to gim for making someone's dream come true. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • 17 of the Trippiest Hip-Hop Videos Ever
    By: Shannon Houston May 16, 2014
    YouTube/EminemVEVO It needs to be said that hip-hop music has always been wildly innovative, but we've also suffered from a few lulls over the years. Particularly in the music video department, there's been a tendency towards repetition. Or, as the great 2Pac once eloquently pointed out, things can get a little boring when the same video vixens (we call them "vixens" now) are showing up in all of the videos. And The Roots and dead prez have both made satirical videos, pointing out the monotony in popular rap. But we're here to celebrate those rappers who opted for a different route, which is partly why we enlisted the help of the one and only DJ Rosenberg. Co-host of Hot 97's “The Morning Show” and one-half of the brilliant Juan Epstein podcast duo (DJ Cypha Sounds represents the "Juan" portion), Rosenberg is more hip-hop than roughly 89 percent of the world's population. So when he spoke with us about the aesthetics of a truly trippy rap video — and gave us some suggestions — we listened. And for that we thank him, just as we thank the many stoner rappers, artsy rappers, underground rappers, backpack rappers (and plain, ol' regular rappers) on this list for going against the grain. Here are the 17 trippiest hip-hop videos ever. And yes, 17 is a pretty random number, but once you experience all of the epic randomness in these videos, you'll understand. 1. Busta Rhymes, "Gimme Some Mo" Ah, yes. The great Busa Buss. One of the most brilliant, beloved rappers ever changed the game when he teamed up with Hype Williams (one of our favorite music video directors-turned filmmakers) and started making videos. Busta Rhymes really needs his own list — since pretty much all of his videos are the trippiest videos ever — but for now we're picking this Psycho-inspired awesomeness as our favorite. Also, can we please have Rah Digga back now? 2. *A Tribe Called Quest, "Jazz (We've Got) Buggin' Out" Now, Busta's video is so much more interesting when you go back and watch this one. This 1991 track from A Tribe Called Quest got a seemingly simple video that suddenly turns trippy in the end. The bugged-out eyes are a great reminder of the fact that Busta had some powerful influences back in the day. 3. *Gravediggaz, "Diary of a Mad Man" Back in 1994 the Gravediggaz album 6 Feet Deep became a seminal work in the "horrorcore" rap subgenre. The supergroup (comprised of Prince Paul, Frukwan, RZA, and Too Poetic) teamed up with Shabazz The Disciple and Killah Priest for "Diary of a Mad Man." Themes of religion, dark magic, and street life mesh together in the haunting, black and white visuals. 4. *Pharcyde, "Runnin'" The beat is a classic, the song is infectious, but if you have a fear of clowns, this may not be the video for you. Still—clowns and all—there's an amazing, dream-like quality to the video that makes for an awesome visual experience. 5. Goodie Mob, "They Don't Dance No Mo" No disrespect to Outkast, but Goodie Mob is the trippiest rap group to come out of Atlanta. Long before The Voice, Cee Lo Green was being weird and awesome, and rocking footy pajamas in rap videos (sort of). 6. *Psycho Realm, "Stone Garden" Embraced by Cypress Hill in the early '90s, Psycho Realm came on the scene with a West Coast/gothic vibe that resulted in some pretty intense lyrics and videos. "Stone Garden" opens with some über-trippy hospital scenes (which may have gone on to have some influence on Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady" video). 7. Geto Boys, "Mind's Playin' Tricks On Me" We can't talk trippy rap videos without the Geto Boys. "Trippy" is really putting it lightly here—paranoia, fear, and intimations of suicide make this one a powerful, eerie video to experience. 8. Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott, "The Rain" If you're grown out here in these streets, you can probably remember the first time you saw this video. You didn't know what you were looking at, you didn't know why there was a garbage bag theme, but you knew you were in love. Like Busta Rhymes, Missy's video catalogue is worthy of its own list. She's the reigning queen of trippy rap visuals, and for that we thank her. 9. Eminem, "My Name Is" When we first met Eminem back in 1999, some of us were skeptical... and weirded out beyond belief. But the Detroit rapper went on to become one of the biggest deals of all time. His contribution to the world of bizarre rap videos (which went along perfectly with his tripped-out lyrics) is immense, but it all started here. 10. Kid Cudi, "Day 'n' Night" Mr. Solo Dolo came on the scene back in 2008, a Cleveland native living in Brooklyn who got the ultimate co-sign from Kanye West. The somber sounds of Day 'n' Nite might be attributed to the fact that the song was inspired by troubles he was having with a family member who passed away shortly after the song's release. Some of that darkness gets manifested in the visuals, but there's also a playfulness at work here that we really love. 11. Frank Ocean, "Pyramids" Director Nabil really outdid himself with this unforgettable video. Frank Ocean's brilliant single from channel ORANGE was brought to life in the strip club of your nightmares, and it was epic. Demonized skrippers flipped the concept of the sexually-charged rap video on its head, and the visual experience for the audience mimics tripped-out Frank's own experiences in the video. John Mayer's cameo towards the end only made it weirder. And by "weirder," we obviously mean "cooler." 12. Kanye West, "Black Skinhead" Another favorite for trippy video fans, Kanye came back on the scene last year with Yeezus and slayed all. Granted, everyone couldn't get into the new sound, but those of us that loved it, really loved it. The "Black Skinhead" (or "BLKKK SKKKN HEAD") video was dark, twisted, and intense—all while remaining somewhat minimalistic, with a computer-generated version of Yeezy at the center of it all. Yeezy also released an interactive version on his website. Sidenote: every Yeezy fan should check out his incredible interview with the Juan Epstein podcast. 13. Iggy Azalea, "Pu**y" Before the amazing, Clueless-inspired video for "Fancy," Iggy was just a young, underground rapper struggling to get some airplay. We can't imagine why radio didn't take to this record (ahem) but we will say that any video explicitly referencing the... uh... things she's referencing in this video—while featuring a bunch of kids — is pretty trippy, and even offensive depending on your feelings. But then again, maybe she's just talking about kitty cats. 14. *Tyler the Creator, "Yonkers" Thanks to DMX, Yonkers has always seemed like a pretty scary place. But Tyler the Creator took our fears to new heights when he dropped these visuals. Prepare to be terrified... and weirdly intriqued. And for a slightly less dark — but equally trippy video — check out Tyler's video for "Tamale" (a song which also features one of the most powerful verses anyone's ever written about their father, probably). 15. Earl Sweatshirt, "WHOA" Yes, the Odd Future fellas have got the trippy hip-hop video game on lock. Earl Sweatshirt's "WHOA" video almost feels like a tribute to what is probably the trippiest movie ever, Gummo. When he starts dancing with that 45 year-old-ish ballerina outside of his trailer, you just know things have gone too far. It's awesome. 16. Angel Haze, "Werkin Girls" Creepy, stone-faced kids? Check. Frightening Freddy Krueger hand prop? Check. Weird kidnapper dude with an aluminum foil mask under his shades? Check. If you haven't been checking for Angel Haze, consider this your introduction. She's talented, trippy, and her latest video for Battle Cry is equally dope. 17. Flume & Ghostface Killah, "Space Cadet" One way to make a dope rap video is to team up with an Australian electronic musician. Flume got Ghostface to feature on his new track, and the collaborative video is one of the coolest we've seen so far this year. Plus, don't you want a little cartoon Ghostface Killah of your own? Of course you do. *Rosenberg's Top Trippy Picks Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • 7 Times You Fell In Love With Seth Rogen
    By: Shannon Houston May 15, 2014
    Weinstein Company via Everett Collection It's important to acknowledge the fact that there at least 94 reasons to be in love with Seth Rogen. Picking just seven moments in his career to highlight is morally wrong on some level, so you'll have to forgive us and use this list as a jumping-off point for future YouTube perusals. Rogen's new movie Neighbors hits theaters this weekend and he and his co-star just made a great appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Rogen in drag doing the "Ew" skit was amazing, and here are seven other times we could not resist his charms. 1. The Esteemed Screenwriter of Star Whores In the end, the Zack and Miri characters never got to make Star Whores. But hearing Rogen (as Zack) waxing poetic on the epic porn parody script to end all porn parody scripts was unforgettable. Plus, he and Elizabeth Banks (Miri) were just adorable. There's nothing cuter than falling in love with your porn co-star. 2. Dawson's Creek Heartthrob Lest we forget the time he played Stoner Bob on Dawson's Creek! Rogen was sort of the older, hot guy here — note that he's described as "an outstanding lay." This isn't exactly the Rogen we've come to love, but it works! 3. He Gets That Marriage Can Be Awesome In this interview, Rogen talks about putting an end to the "naggy wife" trope that has been perpetuated everywhere, even in his own films. He told Studio 360's Kurt Andersen that with a little help from his own wife, the script for Neighbors got some much-needed revisions. We also get to hear 13-year-old Rogen doing stand-up, which is amazing. 4. The Bieber Conundrum Rogen keeps it real, a rarity among celebrities. And when he spoke out against Justin Bieber — planting an epic dog joke in this interview — it just made us love him more. 5. Greatest Music Video Parody Ever There are no words for this moment in pop culture history. When Rogen and James Franco teamed up for this Bound 3 parody video of Kanye West's Bound 2, it was incredible. And we clearly need more Kim Kardashian impersonations from him as well. 6. These Are His Confessions  In which Rogen admits to wetting the bed, disliking ugly babies, and interesting choices for make-out partners. 7. The Dice Roll There are so many great moments from Knocked Up, but when Rogen reminded us that sometimes the dice roll dance works (because, hey, he does get the girl in the end), we all learned a valuable lesson. You can find true love at the club. You just have to use the dance moves you have — however ridiculous they may be. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • You Will Love Iggy Azalea's Latest Twitter Rant
    By: Shannon Houston May 14, 2014
    DC5/WENN These days, you're not a celebrity until your Twitter rant becomes a headline, so it's safe to say that Iggy Azalea has officially made it. But this is one Twitter rant you might want to bookmark, because it's fierce, it's brilliant, and it's powerful. The Australian rapper — and reigning queen of Fancy — took her fabulous self to the Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. last week and was greeted by the paparazzi. It was 6 AM and, like every other human being on the planet, Iggy doesn't wake up with her hair flat-ironed and her eyeliner already in position. The Internet temporarily exploded with negative comments and memes about how the rapper looked without make-up on, and Iggy responded on her Twitter with fantastic aplomb. She pointed out that 1.) it was six in the morning, and 2.) she clearly wasn't bothered by the paparazzi taking her photo (which is why she was pleasant and smiling — quite a feat in and of itself at 6 AM), and 3.) everyone commenting and trolling about was participating a truly viscious, unhealthy cycle in which women are the biggest victims. In Iggy Azalea's words: "I think it's wrong of the world to make woman feel shot enough about themselves that they need a full beat of makeup to catch an airplane... It's basically promoting women to ridicule eachother over an unattainable standard if beauty that media creates for us..." This amazingly feminist, powerful Twitter rant (which went on for a bit) gets two snaps and a circle. We can blame the media for unfair beauty standards, but in this case we really have to look at ourselves — the fans of pop culture. We feed the beast every time we make a big deal about women going make-up free. Kudos to Iggy Azalea for calling everyone out. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • Are Kim Kardashian's Recent Comments About Racism Totally Ignorant?
    By: Shannon Houston May 13, 2014
    WENN Someone like Kim Kardashian will always have a difficult time being taken seriously. So when she published a short piece on race and racism in America, she took a big risk. For the most part, very few people think of Kim Kardashian when they think of experts in the field of race relations, but she actually admitted to something few people in her position are willing to point out about themselves. The highlight of Kardashian's piece (which you can read in its entirety here) is this bit: "To be honest, before I had North, I never really gave racism or discrimination a lot of thought. It is obviously a topic that Kanye is passionate about, but I guess it was easier for me to believe that it was someone else’s battle. But recently, I’ve read and personally experienced some incidents that have sickened me and made me take notice. I realize that racism and discrimination are still alive, and just as hateful and deadly as they ever have been." Many people found this troublesome. They argued that she should not be given credit for acknowledging the existence of racial issues (especially in a country that was built on racial issues). It was also said that she should not be given credit for opening her eyes to the obvious. Many found this beyond problematic—it could be read as offensive and insulting to people who have been fighting against racial discrimination, and who are victims of racism every day. What She Got Right Another way of looking at it is to say that Kim Kardashian did what few privileged Americans do: she admitted the truth about her nonexistent relationship to the issue of racism. Indeed, race has never been her problem in America. And why would it be? It's never affected her life, nor the lives of those around her. Sure, she has friends of color, but most of them are famous and/or well off (which makes a difference in their experiences) and none of them has been as vocal about race relations as her fiancé Kanye West. And now that she's raising a daughter of color, it's a good sign that she's beginning to consider the reality for black Americans as it differs from her own. Admitting Your Privilege/Ignorance Is the First Step Kim Kardashian took a huge first step here, but few will acknowledge this because it exposes a sad truth for all of us. With great privilege comes great ignorance, and we all participate in a society that allows people like her to remain ignorant, up until the point where their ignorance is literally looking them in the eyes (thank you, North West). Rather than dismiss her, we could all do well to consider the reality of fame and the upper class — where race really isn't an issue for most. Kardashian's recent acknowledgement paints an honest portrait of our society, whether we like what we see or not. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • Khloe Kardashian's 'Waist Gang' Is as Terrible as It Sounds
    By: Shannon Houston May 12, 2014
    Instagram/khloekardashian If ever a new celebrity trend needed to die immediately, this would be it: A few days ago Khloé Kardashian posted a new photo on Instagram and basically announced that she had joined the "Waist Gang." What is the Waist Gang, you ask? Exhibit A: The caption reads, "I love my waist trainer from @premadonna87!!!! Miss @blacchyna has me obsessed!!! Who doesn't love to feel tight and right?!? #whatsawaist #waistgang #Fitness #GetItRight" This is especially interesting when you consider all of that controversy over the Human Barbie situation. Exhibit B: Basically, Khloé's photo and the Waist Gang movement (brought to us by Whats A Waist) seem to be suggesting to women the same problematic things that the Human Barbie does. The message here is: do whatever it takes to look impossibly skinny. And even though the CEO of Waist Gang and Khloé Kardashian both have bodies that are very different from Human Barbie's (as in, more... human-like) they're still sending the message that your body — as is — isn't enough. And even with all that booty in the picture (which we do appreciate, Khloé), her waist looks so emaciated it's unreal. The waist selfie is, apparently, now a trend. And it very much needs to be stopped. Any trend that seeks to make normal-waisted people feel like they need to buy a product that will give them the appearance of an abnormally-waisted person needs to stop. Any trend that suggests you should look like you're starving from the waist up needs to stop. And any trend that involves photographing this particular part of your body—and nothing else — probably needs to stop. Khloé, we like you. But this waist selfie things needs to end before it becomes an epidemic. We couldn't stop twerking when it first began, but we can intervene with this while it's still in its early stages (and even twerking is more of a celebration of the body, while this is like a full-on attack). Between joining this ridiculous Waist Gang and picking the absolute worst rapper to rebound with ever, it's safe to say this new version of Khloé is a bit problematic. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • How BET Can Make Keke Palmer's New Talk Show Work
    By: Shannon Houston May 09, 2014
    Derrick Salters/WENN Congratulations are in order for Keke Palmer. The actress just landed a new gig that will put her on the map in a very big way. At 20 years old she is officially the youngest person ever to get her own talk show. BET is bringing us The Keke Palmer Project (working title), and while it is indeed exciting for Palmer, we have a few concerns about the show. First of all, is the youngest talk show host ever a bit too young for such a gig? Palmer is only 20 years-old and that's pretty young for a talk show host. Oprah Winfrey, Bethenny Frankel — these are the kinds of women we're used to seeing in what will be Palmer's new position. At age 20, Palmer has to become a model figure; she has to inspire others and act as a knowledgable confidant of sorts. But BET also seems to have plans to keep it light and fun. Deadline reports that the show will cover fashion, pop culture, social issues, sex, and will feature celebrity interviews. Here are a few other ways we think BET can make The Keke Palmer Project a success. Feature Guests for an Older Crowd For those of us who aren't 20 years old, BET can use those celebrity guest interviews to reel us in. While Palmer may have some former Nickelodeon co-stars she'll want to bring on, it'd be nice to see some grown-ups too. Get Kiki to Sing Between this video and her Alicia Keys cover, we'd love to see more singing from Keke... a duet with Beyoncé would be nice too, but we don't want to push it. Solange, maybe? Somehow, Involve Mara Brock Akil This woman is responsible for one BET's greatest achievement in television: Being Mary Jane. Somehow, she needs to come on board and sprinkle her awesome, brilliant approach to good TV all over this. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • How Controversial Will Oprah's Role as God in Her New Christian-Themed Movie Be?
    By: Shannon Houston May 09, 2014
    FayesVision/WENN Last year when Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker teamed up, it resulted in one of the best films of the year: Lee Daniels' The Butler. This year the two are working together on a new project, and we have a number of reasons to get excited about it. Whitaker is rumored to be the director of the highly-anticipated adaptation of The Shack, a book that had some controversial plot points when it first came out back in 2007.  It hasn't been confirmed yet, but according to reports he has plans to write, direct, and star in the movie. The great Idris Elba is rumored to have been cast in a lead role, so we also have that to look forward to. And if you haven't read the book yet, Indiewire's Shadow & Act shared this bit about William Paul Young's novel: ... a Christian-themed novel about a character by the name of Mackenzie Allen Philips, whose youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and may have been brutally murdered. Four years later, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God (the above-mentioned jolly African American woman), inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.  The book went on to become a bestseller, but it's going to be interesting to see how people react to the movie — especially considering the fact that Winfrey is most likely playing the role of God. When issues of race and gender intersect with Christianity and Christian beliefs, controversy almost always ensues. We saw strong reactions to Darren Aronofsky's Noah (which people felt deviated too far from the Bible, while others argued that there should have been people of color in the film), and people will surely raise objections about a black woman playing God. So, how controversial is Oprah's new movie? Well, not controversial at all if you think God could (or even should) be played by a woman of color. And if you loved Winfrey's performance in The Butler, then this is definitely exciting casting news. But if you believe God either looks like some variation of a.) Gandalf, b.) Morgan Freeman, or c.) Will Ferrell then this movie might be problematic for you.  Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • Is 'Penny Dreadful' Another 'Sleepy Hollow'?
    By: Shannon Houston May 09, 2014
    Showtime Fans of Sleepy Hollow may be in for quite a treat with a new Showtime series Penny Dreadful. As viewers patiently await the return of FOX's hit show, they may find solace in this new horror series. John Logan and Sam Mendes are behind this (respectively as creator and executive producer), and Eva Green and Josh Hartnett are taking the leads. A trailer was recently released, and it looks like a good, scary time: Sleepy Hollow takes place in the present day, but with all of Ichabod Crane's flashbacks, it also has a seriously old-timey vibe. There is a great distinction here, as Crane lived during the American Revolution, while Penny Dreadful takes place in Victorian London. Both shows have — as their basis — this idea of people taking on supernatural forces. The folks working on Penny Dreadful have, however, stressed that their stories will be rooted in more realistic situations. Everyone is human, but the tagline of the series points to the idea that all humans have a bit of monster in them. While there is no replacement for Tom Mison or Nicole Beharie, you have to appeciate this smoking hot cast. Green and Hartnett are joined by newcomer Reeve Carney (he plays Dorian Gray). And literary influence weighs heavy on both shows. Much of Crane's vast knowledge comes from his love of literature and his familiarity with the Bible. Similarly, many of the frightening characters we can expect to meet on Penny Dreadful come from classic works of literature (like Dorian Gray and Frankenstein). You can actually watch the season premiere before it airs on May 11 right now on Showtime. Chances are, if you're a self-proclaimed Sleepy Head, you'll dig the vibe. But it's also good to know that the series has its own unique plans for entertaining us. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //