Here's what's new and interesting in entertainment and the arts:
- First trailer for Charlie Sheen's '9/11' movie is ... well, you decide
- Samantha Bee pokes holes in Trump's Voter Integrity Commission
- Take a peek at the Pirelli Calendar's all-black 'Alice in Wonderland' fantasy photos
- Lena Dunham will join election-themed season of 'American Horror Story'
- Music therapy program for children established in Chris Cornell's name
The curious story of the movie “9/11” has gotten a little more clarity. When a promotional poster first appeared earlier this month it raised more than a few eyebrows for more than a few reasons. A drama about the collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, starring Charlie Sheen?
A Japanese trailer for the movie has now appeared online, providing the first glimpses of the movie. Directed and co-written by Martin Guigui, the movie is based on Patrick Carson’s fact-based play “Elevator” and also stars Whoopi Goldberg, Gina Gershon, Luiz Guzman, Wood Harris and Jacqueline Bisset.
In the trailer, Sheen and Gershon are a married couple on the brink of divorce. They are in an elevator at the WTC when the towers are attacked and find themselves stuck with three strangers. As they figure out what is really happening, they attempt to escape. At one point, after seeming to have already helped Gershon out of the elevator car, Sheen says, “The building is coming down.”
Aside from the fact that seeing troubled star Sheen in any movie at all is notable at this point, his appearance in a movie specifically about 9/11 is of particular interest. Sheen has spoken often about the attacks and voiced doubts about the official version of those events.
Sheen, as a guest on the radio show of right-wing pundit Alex Jones in 2006, said, "It seems to me like 19 amateurs with box cutters taking over four commercial airlines and hitting 75% of their targets -- that feels like a conspiracy theory."
“9/11” is scheduled for a U.S. theatrical release on Sept. 8 via Atlas Distribution Co., best known for putting out the three-part screen adaptation of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.”
Samantha Bee took aim at President Trump's Voter Integrity Commission on Wednesday night's iteration of "Full Frontal."
Trump launched the commission to sniff out the 2 million to 5 million Americans he claims voted illegally during the November election. Bee scrutinized each of the commission's chief representatives and and what she said were their longtime efforts on voter suppression.
Bee pointed out that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the commission's vice chairman, poured a decent chunk of his collegiate education into an anti-divestment thesis, for a thesis advisor who consulted for the white South African apartheid regime.
As secretary of state, Kobach introduced a Kansas law that requires all voters to provide proof of citizenship, which critics say is blocking many from registering. Kobach suggested a nationwide expansion of the state law immediately following the election.
"Guys like this have been playing the long game, methodically chipping away at the Voting Rights Act since LBJ signed it and left the room to expose himself to the steno pool," Bee quipped. "And now this president has handed them the keys to the candy shop so they can run in and purge all the chocolates."
Watch Bee's full segment here.
The 45th Pirelli Calendar has a bold look for 2018: It's an "Alice in Wonderland" theme cast entirely with black performers and models.
Famous names Djimon Hounsou, Lil Yachty, Lupita Nyong'o, RuPaul, Sasha Lane, Sean "Diddy" Combs and Whoopi Goldberg posed for photographer Tim Walker's project, alongside models Adut Akech, Adwoa Aboah, Alpha Dia, Duckie Thot, King Owusu, Naomi Campbell, Slick Woods, Thando Hopa and Wilson Oryema, plus stylist-designer-singer Zoe Bedeaux.
"Now we have Alice looking different. Alice can be anyone," Walker told stylist Chriselle Lim, who was present for the shoot. "It's an essence. ... You don't have to be confined. Focus on what it represents. It's important for cultural development."
Here are some behind-the-scenes photos from that shoot, where phones and use of social media were prohibited.
Lena Dunham will join the cast of "American Horror Story," per an announcement by the series' showrunner, Ryan Murphy.
Ahead of the spooky FX drama's upcoming seventh season, Murphy tweeted Wednesday:
Dunham will receive a one-episode story arc, her reps disclosed to the Hollywood Reporter.
Over the past several months, Murphy has periodically rolled out teasers for the next iteration of "AHS." But he's kept a lid on what is perhaps fans' most persistent question: What is the title?
In February, Murphy divulged a tidbit to Andy Cohen -- though, in characteristic Murphy fashion, he played it pretty vague. The next season, he said, "is going to be about the election that we just went through, so I think that will be interesting for a lot of people."
Murphy has yet to unveil the new season's title (though "American Horror Story: Election" seems chilling enough), but previously teased that it would be revealed Thursday.
Dunham will join the cast alongside series regulars Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters, as well as fellow "AHS" newbies Colton Haynes ("Teen Wolf"), Leslie Grossman ("Popular") and Billie Lourd ("Scream Queens").
The "AHS" Season 7 premiere date has not yet been announced. But the big title reveal comes in conjunction with the show's pop-up activation at San Diego Comic-Con this week, which has promised to tease the season in a whole new way.
On what would have been Chris Cornell's 53rd birthday, the late Soundgarden singer's family foundation announced Thursday a $100,000 donation to a music therapy program for children in Seattle that will bear Cornell's name.
Childhaven, a Seattle-based nonprofit, will use the donation to establish the Chris Cornell Music Therapy Program at Childhaven, described as "a therapeutic early learning model for trauma-affected children."
"The Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation is excited to join Childhaven to support its extraordinary work impacting the lives of those in need," said Vicky Cornell, widow of the musician, who died May 17 of what was ruled to be a suicide.
"Chris and I always shared a strong belief in the healing and inspiring power of music, and through Childhaven's establishment of this program, we are able to keep the promise for Chris by continuing to protect the world's most vulnerable children," Vicky Cornell's statement said.
The program uses music to treat children from birth to age 5 who have been affected by abuse, neglect, domestic violence, substance abuse and other issues.
"Because of what they've experienced, a lot of children come to Childhaven struggling with anger and other overwhelming emotions," said Seattle musician Brian Vogan, who works in music therapy at Childhaven. "Being able to beat on drums is really helpful for them. Other kids are very shy, and music helps to bring them out of their shell."
O.J. Simpson is up for parole for the second time since 2008, and because of high interest in all things O.J., whose murder trial launched a new era in court coverage, the hearing will be broadcast by numerous outlets starting at 10 a.m. PDT Thursday.
The Los Angeles Times will stream the parole hearing live online (below). A slew of news stations and even ESPN will broadcast coverage as well.
The 70-year-old former football star will testify via video conference for 30 to 45 minutes. Four members of the parole board will vote on his fate, with two other members joining in if there is 2-2 tie. A 3-3 tie would lead to another hearing in January. Typically the parole board has seven members, but Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval's seventh appointee is not available until after the hearing.
The victim of the botched robbery Simpson was convicted for is expected to testify on Simpson's behalf, and a decision on parole is anticipated to come Thursday.
Simpson, who was acquitted in 1995 of the slayings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, was sentenced in 2008 to nine to 33 years in prison for a 2007 kidnapping and armed robbery in a Las Vegas hotel. Simpson was granted parole on five of the 12 charges in 2013; now he is seeking parole on the other seven. Because he was facing a minimum sentence of nine years, this is the first time he is eligible for release.
Simpson has reportedly been a model prisoner.
Times staff writer David Montero contributed to this report.
"When I first met Pac, when we first met, I was a drug dealer."
So said — Jada Pinkett Smith? Yep, she addressed her relationship with the late Tupac Shakur on Wednesday on Sirius XM's Sway's World, dropping in that little tidbit about her past, but not much more, 'cause she says she's going to write a book.
Pinkett Smith, now 46, met Shakur on the first day of high school at Baltimore School of the Arts, and they became fast friends. With the Shakur biopic "All Eyez on Me" now in theaters, she's been on fire about the movie's "reimagining" of their relationship, last month calling it "very hurtful."
The actress, who is married to Will Smith, told Sway it was "kind of hard" to describe her relationship with the fallen rapper "because I haven't really told the whole story."
The drug-dealer angle, being "in the life," is something she hasn't shared before. Something "very bad" happened to her around that time, and she got out, she said.
"I've been having kind of an existential crisis around Pac because I was coming out, he was coming in, and there was a point at which we met. And then we kinda were going our separate ways. And I just felt like, 'OK, God, one day you're going to do for Pac what you did for me, which is, you saved me.' And that just never happened for him."
Shakur was fatally shot in a 1996 drive-by in Las Vegas.
"Pac and I's relationship was about survival," Pinkett Smith said. "That's how it started. And I know most people want to always connect it in this romance thing, and that's just because they don't have the story."
She said the drug-dealer detail was important to share, finally, because it gives insight to who they were together.
"It wasn't just about, oh, you have this cute girl, and this cool guy, they must have been in this — nah, it wasn't that at all. It was about survival, and it had always been about survival between us."
But that's it, for now, despite how upset she's been about "Eyez."
"It's not for me to try to protect his legacy, and ... whatever Pac's fate has been around his life, around his story, around his legacy, God's got it, and I just got to really lay down my feelings and trust that God's got it."
Something God doesn't have, but that Pinkett Smith is seeing progress around, is diversity in Hollywood, which she took a notable stand on when she boycotted the Oscars in 2016. That was the year her husband, Will Smith, was not nominated for his work in "Concussion" and the #OscarsSoWhite campaign took hold. Next time around, Pinkett Smith said, she'd consider attending once again, because progress has been made.
The Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation's Careers in Entertainment outreach program, which gets information about careers in Hollywood out to underserved communities, is merging with the motion picture academy's efforts, she said.
"There's so much consciousness" now about diversity in Hollywood, she said. "We have a long way to go, let's be clear about that. But there is a lot more conversation about it."
The hardest-working man in Hollywood is returning to his roots. ABC announced Thursday morning that Ryan Seacrest will indeed return as host of the rebooted "American Idol."
“We are thrilled to be ushering in this new era of ‘American Idol’ with Ryan at the helm,” Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment, said in a statement released by the network. “So much of ‘American Idol’s’ overwhelming success can be attributed to Ryan, whose larger-than-life personality and laudable dedication to creating quality entertainment has made him a true master of his craft.”
The original iteration of “American Idol” debuted in 2002 on Fox, with Seacrest serving as co-host with Brian Dunkleman, now best known for being the answer to the trivia question, “Who was Ryan Seacrest’s first-season ‘American Idol’ co-host?” The show ran for 15 seasons and 555 episodes before being canceled in 2016.
“It’s genuinely hard to put into words what ‘American Idol’ means to me,” Seacrest said in the same ABC statement. “I’m so grateful for the show and all the career and life opportunities it’s allowed me to experience. It’s been an incredible journey from day one.
“To be asked to return this year, at my new home at Disney|ABC, is an honor, if not a bit surreal,” he added.
Despite picking up his new (old) “American Idol” gig, Seacrest will continue as co-host and executive producer of “Live With Kelly and Ryan” alongside Kelly Ripa, as well as host and executive producer of “On Air With Ryan Seacrest,” his L.A.-based radio show.
Seacrest also will maintain his role as executive producer and host of ABC’s annual New Year’s Eve bash, “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest.”
Ripa excitedly confirmed the news on Thursday’s episode of “Live With Kelly and Ryan.”
Open auditions for the first season of the new "American Idol" begin Aug. 17 in Orlando, Fla. and Portland, Ore. Expect more announcements of the "American Idol" judges' panel in coming weeks.
No borders, no flags. When people cry and laugh at the same time in our concerts, then I know we've touched them. I've learned that the best music you can play is when you're channeling. It has nothing to do with you, your mama or your ancestors. You become a host: Music is the water, people are flowers.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Santana: Blues, beliefs and beyond
CBS announced Wednesday that it would promote a recurring cast member and add two new performers to "Hawaii Five-0" in the wake of the recent controversial departures of Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park from the successful reboot of the popular '60s cop show.
Ian Anthony Dale, Meaghan Rath and Beulah Koale have been signed to join stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan when the series returns for its eighth season on Sept. 29.
Dale has played a recurring role on the show as Adam Noshimuri, a trusted confidant and resource since Season 2. He is being promoted to series regular as his character is recruited by detective Steve McGarrett (O’Loughlin) to work for the police unit.
Rath ("Being Human") will play Tani Rey, whom McGarrett recruits from her job as a hotel pool lifeguard after being kicked out of the police academy, despite being a first-rate candidate.
Koale will play Junior Reigns, a former Navy SEAL who asks McGarrett, a fellow SEAL, for a job, hoping to utilize his skills as a member of Five-0.
Kim and Park, who had been with the show since its debut, were reportedly paid less than O'Loughlin and Caan. In a statement to fans, Kim said that he and CBS "weren’t able to agree to terms on a new contract." Executives for the network and the series said Kim and Park, whom they considered to be supporting characters, had turned down substantial raises to remain with the show.
Monica Lewinsky is no stranger to the woes of infidelity. She's also privy to the ways in which powerful men manage to dodge accountability when they're caught fooling around.
So when a high-profile male celebrity such as Jay-Z opens up about his marital transgressions, Lewinsky is clearly the person to weigh in.
In a new op-ed piece titled "Jay-Z, Prince Harry, Brad Pitt, and the New Frontiers of Male Vulnerability," which the former White House intern penned for Vanity Fair, she lauded the rapper and mogul for his honesty when addressing his past infidelities on his new album, "4:44." He didn't have to be quite so candid, she said.
"Jay-Z had a choice," Lewinsky wrote. "Having been called out publicly by his wife in her fierce 2016 album and video, 'Lemonade,' Jay-Z knew that his fans wouldn’t have blinked if his next album skimmed past the allegations. That’s not uncommon for men to do.
"And it’s not as if we hadn’t seen Beyoncé and Jay-Z out in the world together since then — not to mention, welcoming their twins to planet Earth. Jay-Z could have ignored it all. But, instead, he chose a path of candor that will move the conversation forward and help others."
Jay-Z's "4:44" is probably best described as acutely personal. In "Footnotes for 4:44," he exposed the intimate details of his once-tenuous marriage.
“This is my real life," he said in the video. "I just ran into this place and we built this big, beautiful mansion of a relationship that wasn’t totally built on the 100% truth and it starts cracking. Things start happening that the public can see. Then we had to get to a point of ‘OK, tear this down and let’s start from the beginning’ ... It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
Lewinsky feels that Jay-Z's vulnerability marks a critical step away from the traditional idea of "masculinity" often prescribed to men, especially those in positions of influence.
"It is a refreshing and bracing antidote to see male icons convey vulnerability in an age when Washington’s new power elite and our coarsening culture are busy projecting an outmoded caricature of manhood, 24/7," she wrote.
Read Lewinsky's full Vanity Fair essay here.
"Game of Thrones" creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have another HBO gig on tap, the premium channel announced Wednesday.
Never mind the King of the North — this drama series will center on what's going on in an alternate-reality American South.
"Confederate," which will begin filming after the final season of "GoT" wraps, is about civil wars, but not the Civil War. Set in a reality where the Confederacy seceded successfully and turned into a modern nation with legal, institutionalized slavery, the series will feature what looks to be a sprawling cast of characters who operate on either side of the "Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone."
The big bad looming in "Confederate"? Not an army of White Walkers, but rather a Third American Civil War (and, we presume, an explanation of how the second one went down).
"We are thrilled to be able to continue our relationship with Dan and David, knowing that any subject they take on will result in a unique and ambitious series,” HBO Programming President Casey Bloys said in a statement.
“Their intelligent, wry and visually stunning approach to storytelling has a way of engaging an audience and taking them on an unforgettable journey. 'Confederate' promises to be no exception, and we are honored to be adding the talented [husband and wife] team of Nichelle and Malcolm Spellman."
Benioff and Weiss said that for years they had considered the story as a feature film, but cut a deal with HBO in the wake of their "GoT" experience.
"There won’t be dragons or White Walkers in this series," the duo said in a statement, "but we are creating a world, and we couldn't imagine better partners in world-building than Nichelle and Malcolm, who have impressed us for a long time with their wit, their imagination and their Scrabble-playing skills."
Creators Benioff and Weiss will write and serve as showrunners. The Spellmans — she's written for "The Good Wife" and "Justified," he's done "Empire" and the upcoming series "Foxy Brown" — will serve as executive producers and writers.
Star of the silver screen (and People magazine's World's Most Beautiful Woman) Julia Roberts is making herself at home on the small screen.
Roberts is set to headline "Homecoming," a series based on the fictional podcast of the same name, which centers around a group of individuals working at a secret government facility.
Amazon confirmed to The Times the acquisition of the half-hour drama, directed and executive produced by "Mr. Robot" creator Sam Esmail, with a two-season, straight-to-series order. Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg, writers of the podcast, will also serve as writers on the series.
Deadline first reported the series order
The "Homecoming" podcast is no stranger to big-name stars, featuring the voice work of Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, Amy Sedaris and David Cross.
The first season of the podcast was a finalist for the 2016 Peabody Award, and Season 2 debuted today.
This marks the second television project Roberts has secured this summer. In June, HBO announced that it had picked up Roberts' limited series based on Maria Semple's book "Today Will Be Different."
With a stacked lineup featuring Bjork, Frank Ocean, Missy Elliott, Solange and Nine Inch Nails, this year’s FYF Fest looks to be a can’t-miss entry in the summer festival season.
To soothe the widespread case of FOMO for those unable to get a ticket to the Goldenvoice-produced event, organizers will offer a livestream of the weekend’s action for the first time.
Two of the three days of this year’s expanded festival will be streamed exclusively on Twitter, making it the first U.S. festival to be broadcast on the social platform, organizers announced Wednesday morning.
The stream will be active from 6 p.m. to midnight Saturday and Sunday, meaning folks can catch sets from acts like A Tribe Called Quest, MGMT, Iggy Pop and Run The Jewels.
Aside from performances, the stream will feature interviews and behind-the-scenes footage from the weekend.
Fans will be able to access the livestream at twitter.com/FYFFEST.
Fleetwood Mac will be feted next year as the Recording Academy’s 2018 MusiCares Person of the Year, an honor that will be extended to the veteran group in conjunction with the 60th Grammy Awards ceremony.
Fleetwood Mac is the first group to be recognized at the annual event that singles out musicians both for their artistry and their philanthropic contributions. Previous honorees include Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, Bonnie Raitt, Quincy Jones, Luciano Pavarotti and Stevie Wonder.
The Person of the Year dinner is a fundraiser that generates support for MusiCares programs assisting musicians in need of housing, transportation, instrument or equipment issues, medical treatment, food and other services.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be the first band to receive the MusiCares Person of the Year award,” founding member and drummer Mick Fleetwood said in a statement. “Independently and together, we all set off on a journey to spend our lives as artists, songwriters, and musicians.
"None of us did it alone and there were plenty of helping hands along the way," Fleetwood said, "so we applaud and celebrate MusiCares’ guiding principles of giving musicians a helping hand and a place to turn in times of need. We are very appreciative of this recognition.”
Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow, in the same statement, said, “Our 2018 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute is a celebration of firsts — the first time our annual signature gala will be held in New York City in 15 years, and the first time in the benefit’s history that we will honor a band. This excitement is only matched by the genuine thrill and privilege of paying tribute to Fleetwood Mac.”
The tribute typically incorporates performance and testimonials from other musicians, although no participants for the Fleetwood Mac ceremony have been announced yet. In recent years, the annual event has raised in excess of $7 million for the MusiCares Foundation.
Caitlyn Jenner is calling out late-night TV hosts for their "jokes" about her gender identity.
Although the 67-year-old reality star made her first-ever "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" appearance on Tuesday night, Kimmel has been cracking jokes at her expense for years.
Long before Jenner publicly announced her gender transition in 2015, the topic of Bruce Jenner's decidedly "feminine" cosmetic preferences (i.e., plastic surgery, hairstyle, etc.) were punch lines to many a late-night one-liner.
"It had been hammered all over the media for the longest time," Jenner said during Tuesday's taping. "In fact, guys like you, making some jokes."
She raised an eyebrow to Kimmel.
"Right, but we didn't know what was happening! We thought you were just vain," Kimmel quipped, adding as an aside, "Sorry about that, by the way."
"No, it's quite all right," Jenner replied, before lobbing a zinger of her own.
"Now he's gonna apologize!" she said to the audience. "But I accept your apology. I don't know if you saw it, but when I was on Jimmy Fallon, I gave him a really hard time."
"Well, he deserves it," Kimmel cracked. "He said some really terrible things about you."
Jenner agreed but let Kimmel know where he stands with her: "You've always been my favorite."
The BBC is funneling loads of taxpayer dollars into the pockets of its highest-paid stars -- its white male stars, to be exact.
Under the terms of its new charter, the U.K. public broadcast powerhouse was compelled to release the names and salaries of its top-line earners, unearthing an international controversy about its glaring wage gaps.
The salary report reveals that 96 of the BBC's leading on-air personalities earn at least $195,000 every year. And radio host Chris Evans, the broadcast network's chief earner, takes home more than $2.9 million -- about 20 times the salary of the U.K. prime minister.
The BBC's payroll docket is a sensitive issue, which is why the network has kept its contents under wraps until now. In the U.K., there is a $190 annual fee exacted on every television-owning household, as well as those who watch BBC programs online. That means that multimillionaire stars, like Evans, are essentially profiting from BBC-consuming taxpayer bills.
The salaries, which were published in ranked clusters rather than specific figures, reveal a stark wage gap along gender and race lines. Two-thirds of the BBC's highest earners are men. Its top-earning woman -- "Strictly Come Dancing" host Claudia Winkleman -- makes less than a quarter of Evans' salary. This is an apparent pattern throughout the report, which revealed stark wage rifts between male and female personalities who basically fulfill the same job function.
The report also raised issues about race, as the BBC's elite band of earners are overwhelmingly white in addition to overwhelmingly male. None of its nonwhite stars earn more than about $391,000 a year.
While BBC chief Tony Hall conceded that the report did expose "the need to go further and faster on issues of gender and diversity," he defended the astronomical salaries.
“The BBC does not exist in a market on its own where it can set the market rates,” he said in a speech to his staff on Tuesday. “If we are to give the public what they want, then we have to pay for those great presenters and stars."
Blac Chyna is happy to put Rob Kardashian in her rearview mirror after he posted naked pictures of her online in a profane, ill-conceived rant — but not before she does a sit-down interview about how she’s putting him in said rearview.
“I’m glad I’m relieved of [Rob], but damn, why did I have to get relief in this way?” she told People.
Moving forward, she said, she’s all about being happy, so that King Cairo, her son with Tyga, and Dream, her daughter with Kardashian, can be happy as well.
The woman born Angela White also wants to speak up, she said, for other women who might find themselves in a similar ugly-split situation.
The 29-year-old was granted a restraining order against baby daddy No. 2 on July 10, five days after he went off at her on social media, posting nude pictures she’d sent him and accusing her of cheating on him and using drugs.
The couple split in December but stayed in each other’s lives until the rant, which it appears was prompted when Chyna, Kardashian claims, sent him a video of her cuddling up in bed with another man.
They have an unwritten 50-50 agreement regarding custody of Dream, according to TMZ, and she told People there’s “no turning back” when it comes to a romantic relationship. As in, no way is that ever happening again between them.
Chyna has been hard at work in recent days and appears to have taken career pages from fellow estranged Kardashian-clan member Scott Disick and onetime would-be in-laws Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian.
A la Disick, she hosted a party Saturday at a strip club in Atlanta and reportedly was paid $10,000 to host at the Ace of Diamonds club in West Hollywood on Monday night (and enjoyed a lap dance while she was there). She also is promoting a makeup collection, Lashed Cosmetics, which echoes the reality-TV ladies’ beauty businesses.
Chyna told People she had found strength in the alleged revenge-porn drama.
“If I was to go and do a very artsy, high-end photo shoot exposing my breasts, that’s my choice,” she said. “This is my body. It’s my right.”
Fans of director Guillermo del Toro have learned to expect the unexpected. Over the course of his career, the filmmaker has put his unique stamp on everything from vampires ("Cronos") to superheroes ("Hellboy") to giant robots ("Pacific Rim") to gothic horror ("Crimson Peak").
The just-released first trailer for del Toro's latest film, "The Shape of Water," finds him back in the realm of dark, unsettling fairy tales, a la his 2006 film, "Pan's Labyrinth" — this time with a suitably twisted romantic spin.
Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, the film centers on a mute janitor (Sally Hawkins) at a top-secret government laboratory who develops a relationship with an aquatic humanoid creature (Doug Jones) — the last of his species — who is being held in a tank and subjected to experiments.
"The Shape of Water," which co-stars Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon and Richard Jenkins, hits theaters Dec. 8.
Watch the trailer here:
Aaron Carter does not drink alcohol. At all.
That was the 29-year-old singer's story during a weepy interview Tuesday with "Entertainment Tonight." Following his recent DUI arrest outside an AutoZone in rural Georgia, Carter wanted to set the record straight about his rumored substance abuse issues.
"I do not drink," he insisted, explaining that a longstanding medical condition prevents him from doing so. "Hire a polygraph person, a professional. Strap me up."
On Saturday night, Habersham County authorities charged Carter with DUI and possession of marijuana and drug-related objects.
A tearful Carter told "ET" that car problems were to blame.
"Somebody said I was driving recklessly on the road. That's what the police report said, but the alignment was off on my car, so I went to AutoZone to see if I could do anything about it," Carter said.
Although a motorcyclist reported that Carter was "swerving all over the road," the singer vowed that the issue was a problem with the tire's alignment -- and nothing more. Because, he reiterated, "I do not drink alcohol at all." Or, rather, he doesn't drink hard liquor at all?
"I’ll occasionally have a sip of beer or something like that, but I can’t even drink IPAs,” he clarified. "I can't drink anything like that. I have to drink the lightest beer possible that's not hoppy. I don't drink any hard liquor."
As for the marijuana charges, Carter told "ET" that he obtains the drug legally and uses it only to treat his anxiety, chronic pain and suppressed appetite. He steadfastly contended that he does not use any other drugs -- except for Xanax, propranolol for his high blood pressure and Oxycodone for a recent jaw injury.
Carter responded to claims that he is actually in the throes of perhaps a much more dire drug addiction. He stamped out those rumors too, denying that he has ever smoked meth, crack cocaine or heroin (and he experimented with Ecstasy only "a couple of times" as a teenager).
“I don’t need help," he said. "What I need is for people to understand that I’m human and I make mistakes just like every other human in this world."