Today in Entertainment: Olivia de Havilland scores court victory; ‘Sex and the City 3' gets scrapped
Here’s what’s new and interesting in entertainment and the arts:
- Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan officially join ‘American Idol’
- Olivia de Havilland scores court victory; trial will begin Nov. 27
- ‘Sex and the City 3'? Nope, not happening, says Sarah Jessica Parker
- Beyoncé goes bilingual on new remix of ‘Mi Gente’ for disaster relief
- Lynda Carter calls out James Cameron for his ‘Wonder Woman’ jabs
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets support from Joe Biden after cancer diagnosis
President Trump to appear on Fox News in sit-down interview with Sean Hannity
President Trump will make an appearance on Fox News Channel, his favorite source of news, in a sit-down interview with Sean Hannity next week.
The “Hannity” interview, which will air Oct. 4, will take place in front of a group of Republicans, Democrats and Independents at West Virginia’s Morgantown Theatre. The interview will be pre-taped.
According to a statement from Fox, Hannity and Trump will discuss tax reform, the economy and news of the day. Judging from the news cycle as of late, topics could include the controversial federal government response to the devastation in Puerto Rico or the recent resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price The news release also notes that audience members will have an opportunity to ask Trump questions.
The prime-time interview marks a return for Trump to Hannity’s evening show. He previously appeared during the Republican primaries and also after his inauguration in January.
The event will probably add some more firepower to Hannity’s hold over rival Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show. In its first week since moving into its new time slot at 9 p.m. (from 10 p.m.), “Hannity” has beat “The Rachel Maddow Show” in the ratings, aided by buzz-worthy guests such as Stephen K. Bannon, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Lin-Manuel Miranda and other celebrities slam Trump for Twitter rant about San Juan mayor
“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and other celebrities slammed President Trump on Saturday morning following Trump’s Twitter tirade targeting San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who had criticized what she called the federal government’s unhurried response to the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
Miranda responded with his own series of pointed messages expressing his frustration with the commander in chief — telling Trump he was “going straight to hell.”
The Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner, who has family is Puerto Rico, has been among the most vocal celebrities encouraging people to donate to relief efforts to help rebuild the island ravaged by the hurricane more than a week ago. Miranda is also assembling an all-star lineup to record a charity single that will be available for purchase Oct. 6, according to CNN.
Other celebrities, including Gaga and Legend, joined the chorus against Trump’s remarks. Legend used an expletive in calling Trump the leader in the worst president “competition.”
FOR THE RECORD
4:40 p.m.: An earlier version of this post stated that actor-director Jon Favreau described Trump as a “garbage human being” for Trump’s remarks. The tweet was from Jon Favreau, a former Obama speechwriter and host of the podcast, “Pod Save America.”
Actress Amber Tamblyn urged folks to take note of Trump’s actions from Saturday morning when they hit the polls in 2020. And Alec Baldwin, Trump’s most notable impersonator, wrote: “When Trump is convicted, I hope he serves his time in a prison in Puerto Rico.”
Others in Hollywood, such as Ellen DeGeneres, offered their support to Cruz.
1:45 p.m.: This article was updated with additional Tweets from celebrities.
This article was originally published at 11:29 a.m.
A Star Is Born: Johnny Mathis turns 82 today
I care about what I sing as opposed to how many records it’s going to sell. I want the people who really like me -- who like my singing and like what I stand for -- to hear it and be proud of it, but I don’t consciously think about how to make a record that sells.
Johnny Mathis, 1989
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Johnny Mathis Gets Misty Over Influence on Singers
Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan officially join ‘American Idol’
Pop legend Lionel Richie and country music star Luke Bryan are taking a seat at the judges table for ABC’s revival of “American Idol” next year.
The pair will join Katy Perry for the return of the singing competition series, which originated on Fox. Ryan Seacrest, as previously announced, will be reprising his role as host.
“As a singer, songwriter and producer, I feel I can bring a great deal of experience to the table,” Richie said in a statement Friday. “It’s going to be so much fun!”
Bryan promised viewers the relaunch of the series is “gonna be a blast.”
“I’m excited at the chance to help some deserving artists reach their dreams,” Bryan said in a statement. “To be in a position in my career to help facilitate this along with the other judges is just a complete honor.”
For Bryan and Richie, a turn on “American Idol” adds another layer to their entwined history. Bryan often performs Richie’s songs during his concerts. And Richie, who has deepened his roots in country music (even releasing an album of his best-known songs rerecorded as duets with country artists), shared the stage with Bryan during the CMT Artists of the Year ceremony in 2013. And just last year, Bryan was part of the Grammy Awards tribute to Richie.
“In their respective genres of music, both Luke and Lionel possess insurmountable popularity and award-winning talent that are undeniable, and we are lucky that they will help in paving the way for hopefuls pursuing their dreams on our stage,” Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment, said in a statement.
The judges panel will make its debut appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Oct. 4. “American Idol” is slated to premiere in March 2018 on ABC.
Olivia de Havilland scores court victory; trial will begin Nov. 27
The drama that began on screen and spilled over into reality continues to unfold as famed actress Olivia de Havilland scored a significant court victory Friday. Her lawsuit against FX Networks and Ryan Murphy Productions is headed to trial in November.
FX and Murphy had filed a motion to dismiss the 101-year-old legend’s lawsuit over her depiction in the Emmy-nominated series “Feud: Bette and Joan,” citing the U.S. and California constitutions’ rights to free speech in connection with a public issue.
They claimed that de Havilland’s consent was not needed to include her in the show, nor did her inclusion violate her right of publicity, citing the state’s statutes protecting petition and free-speech rights.
At Friday’s hearing, L.A. Superior Court Judge Holly Kendig ruled that de Havilland’s complaint will stand, unless the defendants successfully appeal the decision.
In order to strike a complaint using California’s anti-SLAPP statute, a case must meet two criteria. First, the defense must prove that the originating suit is based on protected rights. If established, the plaintiff must then present admissible evidence that suggests that they – in this case, de Havilland – would prevail if the case proceeded to trial.
FX was successful in proving that de Havilland’s case was based on protected rights Friday, but de Havilland was successful in presenting sufficient evidence that she would be victorious at trial.
Two of de Havilland’s lawyers, Don Howarth and Suzelle M. Smith, spoke to The Times after Friday’s hearing.
Howarth praised Kendig’s decision and said they are looking toward the future. “We’ve won,” he said. “As far as we’re concerned, the next thing is the trial.”
The November trial is not a sure thing, however, as FX still has an opportunity to appeal Friday’s decision.
“If they file for appeal, that automatically stays activity in the case,” explained Smith. “We would file a motion asking the appellate court to expedite the appeal and they can do that pretty fast.”
Her lawyers had not yet spoken with de Havilland about Friday’s decision but reported that the actress texted them that morning saying, “all her prayers and love were with [them].”
De Havilland filed suit in June over the “unauthorized use of her identity” in the FX series created by Murphy. The show centered on the rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and featured Catherine Zeta-Jones as de Havilland.
Earlier this month, de Havilland was granted an expedited trial due to her advanced age, and a judge set the date for Nov. 27.
A representative for FX told The Times that the network had no additional comment Friday morning.
12:50 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Olivia de Havilland’s lawyers.
This article was originally published at 12 p.m.
‘Sex and the City 3'? Nope, not happening, says Sarah Jessica Parker
Nostalgia is all the rage these days, with “Full House,” “One Day at a Time” and countless other series being revisited all over film and television.
But “Sex and the City” will not join them.
Dreams of a “Sex and the City 3" film were dashed Thursday night when Sarah Jessica Parker told “Extra” that “it’s over.”
“I’m disappointed,” Parker said at the New York City Ballet Gala. “We had this beautiful, funny, heartbreaking, joyful, very relatable script and story. It’s not just disappointing that we don’t get to tell the story and have that experience, but more so for that audience that has been so vocal in wanting another movie.”
On Thursday, the Daily Mail reported that “Sex and the City 3" was scrapped because actress Kim Cattrall refused to sign on.
Cattrall, who played the character Samantha, refuted the claims on Twitter early Friday. Sort of.
“The only ‘DEMAND’ I ever made was that I didn’t want to do a 3rd film,” Cattrall tweeted, "& that was back in 2016.”
But one former co-star doesn’t necessarily agree.
Willie Garson, who played Stanford Blatch in the original series, confirmed the film’s demise in a significantly shady way Friday morning.
“And that, is that,” Garson tweeted. “And sadly, the reasons are true. Period.....”
“Sex and the City 2" was released in 2010 to abysmal critical response and a running time of nearly two and a half hours. Still, the film made almost $300 million at the box office.
Cattrall’s rep did not immediately respond to the Los Angeles Times’ request for comment.
Beyoncé goes bilingual on new remix of ‘Mi Gente’ for disaster relief
In the midst of natural disasters across the Caribbean and Mexico, pop superstar Beyoncé has teamed with Colombian reggaetón singer J Balvin for a new remix of “Mi Gente,” his hit with producer Willy William.
The song was released to streaming services Thursday night, and the team will donate all proceeds to earthquake and hurricane relief charities working in Mexico, Puerto Rico and other affected Caribbean islands.
In a statement posted on her website, Beyoncé wrote, “We’re heartbroken by the hurricanes and earthquakes that have devastated families around the world. There are many ways to help. We’ve listed a few organizations that are on the ground from Mexico to the Caribbean, lending a hand to those who need it most.”
To say Beyoncé lends a hand in the remix is an understatement. Unlike guests who limit their contributions to a single late-track verse or hook, Beyoncé upends “Mi Gente” from the first verse and proceeds to bilingually maneuver through the rhythmic, up-tempo jam like the queen she is.
The just-issued lyric video is an accompanying exclamation point, and features people from across the globe dancing hard as French-Afro-Jamaican producer Williams’ track drives Balvin and Beyoncé. As they do so, tiny icons of their heads serve as the bouncing balls tracing the song’s lyrics.
Evidence that Beyoncé's work is still piping hot from the studio arrives when she implores her fans to “Lift up your people/ From Texas, Puerto Rico/ Dem islands to Mexico.”
Beyoncé's best set of couplets are sung in English and reference the recent birth of her twins with husband Jay-Z, her Coco Chanel handbag, her breasts and her husband’s recent Beyoncé-themed album, “4:44":
I been giving birth on these haters ‘cause I’m fertile
See these double Cs on this bag, murda
Want my double Ds in his bed, Serta
If you really love me, make an album about me, word up
Lynda Carter calls out James Cameron for his ‘Wonder Woman’ jabs
Wonder Woman has had it with James Cameron.
Actress Lynda Carter, who starred as the Amazonian warrior goddess in the ‘70s TV series, took to social media to respond to Cameron’s repeated smearing of “Wonder Woman” in recent months.
“Stop dissing Wonder Woman,” wrote Carter in a Facebook post that called out Cameron for just not understanding the character.
“The movie was spot on,” Carter continued. “Gal Gadot was great.”
In August, the “Avatar” director proclaimed that the new “Wonder Woman” was a “step backwards” for women for being an “objectified” “beauty icon.” “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins rebuked his remarks by pointing out that “there is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman.”
Cameron has stood by his comments, recently explaining to the Hollywood Reporter that his “Terminator” hero, Sarah Connor (played by Linda Hamilton, who will reprise the role), was ahead of her time because she “wasn’t treated as a sex object.”
It seems that Wonder Woman being “absolutely drop-dead gorgeous” and wearing “a kind of bustier costume that was very form-fitting” somehow precludes her from being a strong, complex character in Cameron’s eyes.
Read Carter’s full statement below.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets support from Joe Biden after her cancer diagnosis
Fans were dismayed when actress and 11-time Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced Thursday that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Since her social media announcement, celebrity support for the “Veep” actress has come from all corners, but one missive stood out.
Just five hours after Louis-Dreyfus made her cancer public, Joe Biden sent a message of solidarity to his fellow former vice president in crime.
“We Veeps stick together,” Biden shared on Twitter, adding, “Jill and I, and all of the Bidens, are with you, Julia.”
Accompanying the tweet was a photo of Biden and Louis-Dreyfus’ stint at the 2014 White House Correspondents’’ Assn. Dinner, where the two vice presidents got up to some wacky D.C.-based adventures. (Watch the clip above.)
Minutes later, the actress responded to her friend: “Yes we do,” she tweeted. “Love back to all of you.”
According to a statement HBO released on Thursday, Louis-Dreyfus was diagnosed the day after her historic night at the Emmys earlier this month.
“Our love and support go out to Julia and her family at this time,” HBO said. “We have every confidence she will get through this with her usual tenacity and undaunted spirit, and look forward to her return to health and to HBO for the final season of ‘Veep.’”
Did you hear the one about Harrison Ford swapping jokes with Jimmy Fallon?
When it comes to delightfully cantankerous talk-show guests, no one gets as much mileage out of awkwardness as Harrison Ford.
Thursday was no exception as Ford stopped by “The Tonight Show” to sip Scotch and swap jokes with host Jimmy Fallon.
Ford garnered plenty of laughs playing Gallant to Fallon’s Goofus, perhaps best exemplified in an exchange about the alcohol the men indulged in.
The “Blade Runner 2049" actor was explaining how to pronounce Bruichladdich, the brand name of the whiskey, to which Fallon earnestly replied, “That sounds very Scottish.”
“Of course,” Ford deadpanned, “It’s Scotch whiskey.”
As Fallon poured the drinks, Ford looked into the studio audience and wondered aloud, “Is this OK?”
“I think we’re allowed to do it,” Fallon said. “I mean, you’re Harrison Ford. We’re allowed to do whatever we want to do.”
Then, as if speaking to a very simple child, Ford replied, “Not OK with you – OK with my wife.”
The laughs kept coming as the men then exchanged jokes, one of which involved both vomit and feces and another one about ice fishing. We’ll let you guess who told which.
Watch the segment above.
A Star Is Born: Chrissy Metz turns 37 today
I find myself meeting people from every walk of life and they are emotional and we’re crying in the bathrooms together. I didn’t imagine that happening.
Chrissy Metz, 2017
Trick or treat? Tom Hanks will reprise David S. Pumpkins for animated Halloween special
David S. Pumpkins is headed back to TV for an animated Halloween special. Any questions?
NBC has announced that Tom Hanks will reprise his role as David S. Pumpkins, who was introduced last year in the “Saturday Night Live” sketch “Haunted Elevator.” This time he’ll come back for “The David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special.”
Dressed in a jack-o'-lantern print suit, Pumpkins made his debut as part of a thrill ride flanked by two dancing skeletons declaring his intention to “scare the hell out of you.”
There were many questions, none of which were answered, but the sketch definitely left an impression. Hanks hinted that he was reviving the character with a tweet earlier this month.
“The David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special” will be set in a small suburban town on All Hallow’s Eve. The story will follow Pumpkins and his skeleton sidekicks as they show a young boy and their sister the true meaning of Halloween. There will likely be many questions, but NBC’s official description promises Pumpkins and his pals will be answering none along the way.
“It’s scary how quickly the original ‘SNL’ sketch caught on, and we’re thrilled that Tom Hanks is back to keep the fun going,” George Cheeks, NBC’s president of business operations and late-night programming, said in a statement.
Joining Hanks as part of the Halloween special’s voice cast is “Game of Thrones” actor Peter Dinklage as well as the original sketch’s creators: Mikey Day, Bobby Moynihan and Streeter Seidell.
The half-hour “David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special” will air on NBC on Oct. 28.
To prepare, watch the original “Haunted Elevator” sketch below.
Kim Kardashian -- sort of -- confirms she and Kanye West are having a third child
Those Kar-Jenners have a unique way of confirming long-gestating rumors about themselves as they gear up for each season of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” And, not to be upstaged by her potentially pregnant siblings, Kim Kardashian West confirmed that she and husband Kanye West are expecting their third child.
It’s long been rumored that the reality star, who’s faced a slew of health scares during her pregnancies with daughter North and son Saint, hired a surrogate for her next one. Her fertility struggles and surrogacy exploration are story lines that have been played up during the long-running E! series, so Thursday’s revelation gave the surrogacy aspect credence when Kardashian West tweeted a teaser for the upcoming season.
“What happens every time I say, ‘Guess what?’” Kardashian West asks sister Khloe Kardashian during a video-chat session in the promo.
“Pregnant, or the person’s pregnant,” her sister says.
Then Kardashian West chimes in with: “We’re having a baby!”
The social media and beauty mogul’s family has birthed some major baby-making headlines since last week when reports surfaced that her half sister Kylie Jenner is having her first child with rapper Travis Scott. Earlier this week, reports that her younger sister Khloe Kardashian was expecting her first child with NBA star and beau Tristan Thompson also made a splash online.
Neither Jenner nor Khloe Kardashian have officially confirmed the rumored pregnancies. However, the “KUWTK” promo explores Kardashian and Thompson’s budding romance, as well as Kourtney Kardashian’s new relationship and Rob Kardashian’s increasing tension with estranged ex-fiancee Blac Chyna. (He and Jenner filed a lawsuit against Chyna this week, alleging assault, battery and vandalism.)
Season 14 of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” kicks off on Sunday.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus has breast cancer: ‘Today, I’m the one’
Just when we thought she was invincible, Julia Louis-Dreyfus dropped a bombshell on Thursday. The “Veep” star has breast cancer.
“1 in 8 women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one,” the actress shared in a post on Instagram and Twitter.
The iconic “Seinfeld” alum spun the announcement into a political statement on healthcare, which has remained a hot-button national issue.
“The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union,” she added. “The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality.”
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and the most common cause of death from cancer among Hispanic women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2014, 236,968 women and 2,141 men in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 41,211 women and 465 men in the United States died from the disease.
The 56-year-old did not share additional details about her diagnosis, nor did she share much about her prognosis. However, her publicist told the Associated Press that she “is incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support and well wishes.”
“Our love and support go out to Julia and her family at this time,” HBO said in a statement to The Times on Thursday. “We have every confidence she will get through this with her usual tenacity and undaunted spirit, and look forward to her return to health and to HBO for the final season of ‘Veep.’”
The news comes after Louis-Dreyfus made Emmy Award history earlier this month with another win for her HBO comedy. She won her sixth consecutive acting prize for her turn as career politician Selina Meyer on “Veep,” earning the most Emmys for playing the same character. (She previously shared the record with Mary Tyler Moore and Candice Bergen.) She also won the best comedy prize for a second time as a producer on the show.
“Veep” will come to an end in 2018. Louis-Dreyfus was diagnosed the day after the Emmy Awards, but the diagnosis played no part in the decision to end “Veep” after Season 7, HBO said. The writers will continue writing, and the series will adjust production as needed.
“This is and continues to be the role of a lifetime and an adventure of utter, utter joy,” Louis-Dreyfus said in her Emmys acceptance speech.
1:15 p.m.: This article was updated to include statements from HBO.
Disney is remaking ‘Hocus Pocus’ without the original cast
In 1993, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy introduced the world to the singing, broom-flying and children-murdering Sanderson sisters in “Hocus Pocus.” Despite bad reviews — Gene Siskel called it “dreadful,” and our own Kenneth Turan was barely bewitched — the evil trio quickly became a cherished Halloween staple.
And now, because we live in a world where everything treasured is rebooted or reimagined, “Hocus Pocus” is getting a remake.
The L.A. Times can confirm that the Disney Channel is producing a remake of the film as a TV movie. Originally reported by Deadline, the new iteration will be penned by Scarlett Lacey (“The Royals”) and star an entirely new cast. (Good luck finding someone to fill in Midler’s stripy socks.) David Kirschner, who produced the original, is attached to executive produce the new version.
Set in Salem, the original movie told the story of three evil witches from 1693 who tried to live forever by sucking the souls out of little children. The sisters were eventually caught and executed by the town.
But before they died, the witches cursed the village, warning the citizens that one day they’d be back. Cut to 1993, a couple of kids light the wrong candle, and presto! The witches are back and there’s hell to pay.
Naturally the internet is taking this news about as well as to be expected.
However, some folks seem jazzed.
There’s no reported release date for the remake, but purists will be happy to know that Disney’s Freeform will be running an all-day marathon of the original on Oct. 31.
If you need us, we’ll be watching this YouTube video of Bette Midler singing “I Put a Spell on You” for the rest of the day.
Former Fox News host Meghan McCain to join ABC’s ‘The View’
Former Fox News personality Meghan McCain is joining the ladies of “The View.”
The “Blond Republican” -- her words, not ours -- and daughter of U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is said to have signed on as a regular co-host of the ABC daytime talker, according to Variety. She’ll replace conservative voice Jedediah Bila, who announced her exit last week.
ABC declined to confirm or comment Thursday on McCain’s casting.
The new gig comes on the heels of McCain signing off of Fox News’ “Outnumbered” in the wake of her father’s brain cancer diagnosis. Before joining Fox News, she co-hosted the Pivot Network’s “TakePart Live” and has contributed to publications such as the Daily Beast, Newsweek and Time. Like her father, she often deviates from the GOP line on issues, including same-sex marriage and climate change.
McCain is expected to start in early October, Variety said, and will be joining panelists Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sara Haines, Paula Faris and Sunny Hostin.
“The View” has had its fair share of lineup changes over the years. Executive producer and former panelist Barbara Walters retired in 2014, and the show has included Rosie O’Donnell, Nicolle Wallace, Rosie Perez, Raven-Symoné, Michelle Collins and Candace Cameron Bure among its panelists.
McCain will be be the latest in the revolving door of conservative voices the show has introduced since the departure of Elisabeth Hasselbeck in 2013.
“The View” has seen improved ratings this month with big-name guests joining the panelists. On Sept. 13, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton appeared on the program and helped “The View” notch its best ratings in a six-month period. Last Friday, the program scored its second-best telecast in five months with guest co-host Anthony Scaramucci’s appearance.
Hugh Hefner spoke with the L.A. Times often — and always had something memorable to say
Understanding Playboy-in-Chief Hugh Hefner’s revered — and reviled — lifestyle was often just a question or two away.
The iconoclastic publishing mogul, who died Wednesday at 91, was an open book when it came to his views on swinging ways and sexuality, particularly how his puritanical upbringing shaped his career and gave rise to the revolutionary Playboy empire.
Over the years, the perennially pajama-clad Hef was interviewed often by the Los Angeles Times. Here’s a sampling of some of his memorable quotes.
On sexuality’s problematic origins in America:
“Our society is fragmented,” he asserted in 1994. “Messages regarding human sexuality have always been mixed in America. We are a schizophrenic nation. We were founded initially by Puritans, who escaped repression only to establish their own. Then the founding fathers gave us the Constitution to separate church and state. But the one thing that got left out of all those laws was human sexuality.”
On the life he made for himself:
“Much of my life has been like an adolescent dream of an adult life,” he told The Times in 1992. “If you were still a boy, in almost a Peter Pan kind of way, and could have just the perfect life that you wanted to have, that’s the life I invented for myself.”
On why he was so happy:
“You will find in my bedroom images from long ago, little photographs and things from when I was a kid. I’m a very happy guy, and part of that has to do with my connection to my childhood,” he said in 2009.
On how he became “Hef”:
“Through a lifetime, you reinvent who you are,” he explained in 2009. “I actually reinvented myself the first time when I was 16, when a girl rejected me. I started referring to myself as Hef, started changing my wardrobe — the same thing I did in 1959-1960 with the magazine, when I came out from behind the desk and started living the life and got the first Playboy mansion, started to drive a Mercedes 300SL.”
On how the 1942 film “Casablanca” led to the Playboy Club:
“I think I opened the first Playboy Club because of ‘Casablanca.’ I wanted to have a place where people came to hang out as they did at Rick’s,” he said in 2010. “It has everything — not only Bogie’s charismatic character, but lost love, redemption, patriotism, humor — it had a great musical score.”
On traditional attitudes toward marriage and sex:
“If you don’t commit,” he told The Times in 1994, “you don’t get hurt. I was always unwilling to commit to marriage because I was afraid to lose the romance.”
On the Playboy brand’s global status:
“It has been said that the two most famous trademarks in the world are Coca-Cola and the Playboy bunny rabbit,” he said in 1994. “There is certainly no one else in our area that represents the American dream in this particular kind of way. That rabbit means economic freedom, personal freedom and political freedom. That potential is unlimited.”
On the Playboy Jazz Festival:
“I’ve never found anything that I’ve cared more about than the music from my youth. I loved the Beatles, sure, but I never became — except for dancing purposes — a hard rocker. To me, there is something incredibly celebratory, and so wonderful about really good big-band swing and Dixieland,” he said in 2002.
“When I started, I just wanted to put out a men’s magazine. But by the end of the ‘50s, it was so successful that I seized it as a vehicle for changing the direction of my life,” he added. “And that crucial change in my life was also associated with jazz, because it all began within a space of about six months after the first Playboy Jazz Festival in August of 1959.”
On his personal legacy:
“One of the reasons that I have such tremendous satisfaction at this point in my life is because I know I’ve made a difference,” he said in 1994. “I’ve made a difference in a way that really matters to me.”
On publishing’s shift to digital:
“I don’t sit around thinking about, ‘Gee, what happened to the new generation and they don’t read enough and why is the internet replacing books?’” he said in 2009.
On his fame and sex appeal:
“I think that just as [Henry] Kissinger said, power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. Celebrity is the ultimate aphrodisiac in today’s world. And I’m lucky enough to have fallen into a unique kind of celebrity,” he said in 2009. “So against all logic, nothing else matters — age doesn’t matter. When [my last long-term] relationship ended, last year, they were climbing over the gate. ... young women. Endless numbers of young women.”
Samantha Bee says Trump and Fox News are taking us backward with NFL criticisms
Samantha Bee blasted Donald Trump for what she considers his lack of response to the crisis in Puerto Rico, claiming the president instead has been busy “stoking a culture war” over the NFL.
On Wednesday’s episode of “Full Frontal,” Bee took aim at Trump’s continued focus on NFL players who have been peacefully protesting racism and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem at football games.
“Last week on ‘Sport Roundup’ we were trying to figure out if the president is a white nationalist,” Bee said. “Which he clarified this week when he demanded that black people be fired for insufficient nationalism.”
Trump, of course, has equated the conversation about the NFL protests to respecting the flag itself, arguing that kneeling disrespects soldiers and first responders.
But “if anyone knows about treating soldiers and first responders with respect, it’s the guy that decided to fire transgender troops and deport paramedics who happen to be ‘Dreamers,’” Bee countered.
While Bee wants to believe Americans are smart enough to realize Trump is trying to distract from what the NFL protests are actually about, Fox News hosts and various conservative pundits have also been criticizing the players.
The segment included clips of these personalities commenting on how NFL players should feel grateful that they live in a country that pays them millions to play a game.
After pointing out that the NFL’s “hallowed tradition” of standing up during the national anthem dates back only to 2009, Bee slammed Fox News hosts for their own hypocrisy, branding them “multimillionaires who feel oppressed.”
“What a conversation we’re having,” Bee said. “Talking about black people and their owners and how they should be grateful for the privilege of working on a field. Who says Trump is taking us backward?”
A Star Is Born: Annie Clark of St. Vincent turns 35 today
It’s always a journey. That’s the whole fun of being an artist -- that perpetual carrot on a stick. You can always do better, you can always reach for the most outermost things, and try to reach out to the future and bring back something that feels unique and singular.
Annie Clark, 2014
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Annie Clark on ‘St. Vincent,’ David Byrne, ‘freebies’ from universe
‘Your legacy lives on’: Hugh Hefner is remembered as an innovator, friend and supporter of civil rights
Many admirers of Hugh Hefner and his Playboy empire paid their respects on social media after hearing of the impresario’s death at 91 -- including those directly influenced by the magazine and its founder.
Jenny McCarthy, Playmate of the Year in 1994 who went on to host and star in numerous TV shows and movies, wrote: “RIP #Hef Thank you for being a revolutionary and changing so many people’s lives, especially mine. I hope I made you proud.”
Among the other tributes pouring in late Wednesday and early Thursday...
Two of the three original co-stars of Hefner’s reality show, “The Girls Next Door,” which aired on E! from 2005 to 2010, weighed in on the passing of their former beau.
Both Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson turned to Twitter to share their admiration for Hefner.
Holly Madison, the third “Girl Next Door,” had yet to comment by Thursday morning. Madison penned a 2015 memoir that alleged that life inside the Playboy Mansion wasn’t as picture-perfect as it appeared.
Update, Sept. 28, 8:50 a.m.: This post was updated with additional reactions on social media.
Playboy’s Hugh Hefner has died. He once said he had ‘an adolescent dream of an adult life’
Hugh Hefner, the incurable playboy who built a publishing and entertainment empire on the idea that Americans should shed their puritanical hang-ups and enjoy sex, has died, according to a Playboy spokesperson. He was 91.
Hefner was the founder of Playboy magazine, launched amid the conservatism of the 1950s, when marriage and domesticity conferred social status. Hefner pitched an alternative standard — swinging singlehood — which portrayed the desire for sex as normal as craving apple pie. He redefined the status for a generation of men, replacing lawn mowers and fishing gear with new symbols: martini glasses, a cashmere sweater and a voluptuous girlfriend, the necessary components of a new lifestyle that melded sex and materialism.
Thus, in Playboy magazine, the upwardly mobile man could ogle pictures of naked women called Playmates, chosen personally by Hefner for their large busts and girl-next-door wholesomeness. Surrounding the titillating visuals were interviews with luminaries from Albert Schweitzer to Malcolm X; short stories by such leading writers as Ernest Hemingway and John Updike; and advice columns on such matters as how to prepare the perfect vodka gimlet or appreciate jazz — all of which lent credence to many men’s claims that they bought the magazine for the articles.
This combination of flesh and intellectuality made Playboy the world’s bestselling men’s magazine and Hefner a millionaire many times over.
Motion Picture Academy touts progress – and a $50-million gift – toward its long-awaited film museum
It’s no secret that the Motion Picture Academy has hit a few bumps along the way in its effort to build an ambitious film museum in Los Angeles: construction delays, cost overruns, concerns over the pace of fundraising.
But at a press event on Wednesday morning, academy leaders looked to turn the page on those growing pains and tout the progress that’s been made on the museum, which is slated to open in 2019 – and express their gratitude for a major new $50-million donation from Cheryl and Haim Saban.
At the museum’s construction site at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, recently elected academy President John Bailey, museum director Kerry Brougher, newly named chair of the museum board of trustees Ron Meyer and others spoke before an assembled audience of journalists and other guests in hard hats. Attendees were later given a tour of the site and a glimpse of architect Renzo Piano’s plans for how it will all come together.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, who chairs the academy Board of Governors’ museum committee, acknowledged what a long road it’s been to get a bona fide movie museum built in the city that’s home to the movie business.
“I’ve been in the business for almost 40 years,” Kennedy said. “I think I share with many people in this room that we’re all kind of incredulous that this could be a company town and we don’t have a motion picture museum. We should have the world’s most pre-eminent motion picture museum – and now we have the opportunity to have that.”
Disney CEO Bob Iger, who chairs the academy museum’s capital campaign, introduced the Sabans, whose $50-million donation is the largest the museum has yet received and brings the academy nearly 75% of the way toward reaching its $388-million fundraising goal. In recognition of their gift, the historic 1939 May Co. Building that will be home to the museum will be renamed the Saban Building.
“We’re honored to help with this historic endeavor for our industry,” said Cheryl Saban. “We join all of you in eager anticipation of the opening of the doors of this academy museum.”
Closing out the event, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke about what the museum would mean not only to the film business and movie fans, but to the city as a whole.
“We neglected this industry for too long in our backyard,” Garcetti said, touting efforts to extend film tax credits to bring production back to the city. “We neglected our history – and that’s what today is about.... If we can’t tell our stories, if we can’t link with our past, what future can we have?”
First look at James Cameron’s new ‘Avatar 2' cast angles for a younger audience
It’s been eight years since James Cameron dropped his big, blue blockbuster. And now that the first of four “Avatar” sequels is officially in production, 20th Century Fox is ready to start revealing its new Na’vi cast. Meet the new alien cat clan that will star in Cameron’s long-awaited “Avatar” sequel.
For those who haven’t communed with the spirit of Eywa, the 2009 film takes place in the future on an alien planet named Pandora. In the film, Earthlings travel a great distance to mine Pandora of the precious metal “unobtanium.”
In order to communicate with the planet’s inhabitants -- the giant feline-looking natives named the Na’vi -- humans would transport their consciousness into “avatars” that mimicked the locals’ bodies, size and abilities.
Inside one of those avatars, human/main character Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) falls in love with the Na’vi Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). Last we saw of Jake, his consciousness was mystically leaving his human form to be transferred into his new Na’vi body forever. True love!
Clearly things worked out for Jake and Neytiri, because the “Avatar 2” cast reveal is loaded with a new crop of Sully family members.
Plus there’s another clan of new aliens to get excited about.
Here’s the breakdown of each new Na’vi cast member (which includes name pronunciations and their family relations) from Wednesday’s official announcement:
The Sully family
Jamie Flatters: Neteyam (neh-tay'-ahm). Jake and Neytiri’s first-born son.
Britain Dalton: Lo’ak (loh’ ahk). Jake and Neytiri’s second born.
Trinity Bliss: Tuktirey (took-tee'-ray), goes by “Tuk” (rhymes with “nuke”). The youngest of the Sully family.
The Metkayina clan
Bailey Bass: Tsireya (see-ray'-ah), goes by “Reya.” She is a graceful and strong free-diver -- the young Neytiri of the ocean.
Filip Geljo: Aonung (aw-nung’). Young male hunter/free-diver son of the Olo’eyktan of Metkayina Clan.
Duane Evans Jr.: Rotxo (row'-txoh). Young male hunter/free-diver of the Metkayina.
Obviously, you’ll have to use your imagination for the eventual character reveal, as the Na’vis are filmed using performance capture. However, there are a few more details we can glean from the press release.
For example, the importance of including “free-diver” in the character descriptions paired with the previous description of the Metkayina as “reef people” reinforces the long-held belief that much of the new “Avatar” movies will take place underwater.
Plus the age difference between this cast and the 2009 one is staggering. The younger cast seems to be targeting a family-friendly demographic. And with the recent opening of Disney World’s Pandora, going after the toy-buying demographic makes sense.
In addition to the new alien brood is one humanoid character, Javier “Spider” Socorro. Played by Jack Champion, this teen was born inside “Hell’s Gate,” the now-defunct military complex that was running the unobtanium operation. Very little is known about Javier other than he “prefers his time in the Pandoran rainforest more than the asphalt of Hell’s Gate.” But his nickname is “Spider,” so we can all assume that he’ll arrive on a motorcycle.
Returning cast includes Worthington, Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang. The sequel has a planned premiere date of Dec. 18, 2020.
Jane Fonda checks Megyn Kelly, bluntly shuts down question about plastic surgery
Another “Today,” another Megyn Kelly gaffe.
The latest morning-show recruit has been having a rough first week. Early reviews weren’t exactly glowing, and she drew the ire of Oscar winner Jane Fonda repeatedly during Wednesday’s episode of Kelly’s new NBC show.
The former Fox News anchor welcomed longtime friends Fonda and Robert Redford, who have reunited on the new Netflix film “Our Souls at Night” and sat down with Kelly to promote it. But Kelly appeared more interested in the 79-year-old’s history with cosmetic procedures rather than the movie.
And Fonda, who had just (jokingly?) snapped at the host for asking Redford to reminisce about his “The Way We Were” co-star Barbra Streisand, wasn’t in the mood.
“You’ve been an example to everyone on how to age beautifully and with strength,” Kelly remarked. “And, unapologetically, you admit you’ve had work done, which I think is to your credit. You look amazing. Why did you say, I read that you’re not proud to admit that you’ve had work done. Why not?”
Unamused, Fonda sternly replied: “We really want to talk about that now?”
But Kelly couldn’t take a hint and continued her line of questioning: “Well, one of the things people think when they look at you is how amazing you look,” she said.
“Well, thanks,” Fonda said tersely, before redirecting the conversation back to the film. “Good attitude, good posture, take care of myself ... but, let me tell you why I love this movie that we did, ‘Our Souls at Night,’ rather than plastic surgery.”
After that, the “Grace and Frankie” star briefly sat with her arms crossed when Kelly asked Redford if there was anyone else besides Fonda he wanted to work with.
Wednesday’s awkward exchange comes on the heels of “Will & Grace” star Debra Messing declaring she regrets appearing on Kelly’s debut episode of “Today” on Monday and was “dismayed” by the host’s comments during the episode.