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Star Scoop: Chris Rock’s Top Five, Sarah Paulson’s #FBF, Here Comes the Queen

By  October 17, 2014

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Vulture deems it “the talk of the Toronto International Film Festival” and now, we can see why. Here’s the trailer for Chris Rock’s new satire, Top Fiveabout a world-famous comedian looking to be taken seriously as an ac-torRosario DawsonKevin Hart, and Gabrielle Union also appear, and if this isn’t the funniest thing you’ve seen so far today, you might want to rethink your life. [Vulture]

Before she was starring as Siamese twins on television’s most-popular horror show, Sarah Paulson was just a 19-year-old eager to work with Kathleen Turner on Hallmark TV. Now that she’s reunited with another one of her acting idols, Jessica Lange (the pair starred together on Broadway in 2005’s The Glass Menagerie), Paulson has some advice for young actors looking to follow her lead. “Slow and steady wins the race,” she told Variety. “There’s nothing definable about me, so I don’t ever feel like I’ve gotten locked into one type of person that I play. I think you have a better shot at longevity if you can immerse yourself into different parts without anyone getting used to seeing you in a particular way.” [Variety]

Here comes the queen! Daytime talk show host Queen Latifah will host this year’s Hollywood Film Awards on November 14 when it airs on CBS for the first time in history. “Queen Latifah is a world-class entertainer,” said ceremony founder Carlos de Abreu. “From film and music to television, her humor, quick wit and ability to entertain live audiences make her the perfect choice to host the Hollywood Film Awards.” [The Hollywood Reporter]

We haven’t seen Ashton Kutcher on screen since Jobs, and there are apparently no new features in the pipeline; but a new baby isn’t the only reason he’s been so low-key. Kutcher’s A-Grade Investments, co-founded with Guy Oseary and Ron Burkle is now valued at $150 million. The venture capital firm has stakes in Airbnb, Foursquare, Uber, Spotify, and Soundcloud, and is primed to grow even bigger now that Oseary is stepping into the music biz. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Movie tickets may be cheaper now than they were a few months ago (from $8.33 to $8.08), but the price is still higher than last year, when a seat at the theater averaged $7.84. Someone tell this to the folks in New York, where cozying up in front of the silver screen costs up to $15. [Deadline]

Is class in session for 23 Jump Street? Don’t hold your breath. When offering his take on the future of the franchise, Channing Tatum says it may be time to graduate. “College was the obvious next step for us,” he told USA Today. “We had to go there. I don’t know what the next step is after college. Do we go and take down Enron? Or the government in D.C.? I feel like it’s all redundant. The big running joke of the second movie is this is just going to be bigger than the first time. I don’t know if that joke works three times so we’ll see.” [USA Today]

NPH Wants Gaga, Adele, or Pink on His Oscars Dream Team

By  October 17, 2014

Now that Neil Patrick Harris can (almost) cross hosting the Oscars off of his bucket list, he’s ready to assemble his ceremonial dream team with some chart-shattering chanteuses.

Celebrities Visit SiriusXM Studios - October 16, 2014

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly‘s Matt Bean on Sirius XM’s Town Hall, Harris jokingly revealed that Lady GagaAdele, or Pink could be a great duet partner, and while he has major hosting experience on the primetime stage (three Emmys and four Tonys), he’s approaching the Academy with new fervor.

“I hope that I can keep it smart,” Harris said. “I’ve always loved the Oscars and have great respect for its history and the gowns and the classiness of it.”

Listen to snippets of Harris’ interview below and tune in when he bows on the Academy stage February 8, 2015. Who knows?! A Grammy gig—and hosting EGOT—could be next!

Chris Rock and Prince will Make it ‘Purple Rain’ on Saturday Night Live

By  October 16, 2014

BET AWARDS '14 - ShowChris Rock is ready for his Saturday Night Live return.

Rock, who got his mainstream start as a cast member on SNL in 1990, is headed back to its NBC studio for a hosting gig on November 1. It will be his first appearance on the show since hosting in 1996—that’s 18 years, folks!

If that weren’t enough to pique your interest—and, perhaps revive the show from Bill Hader’s ratings flopPrince will be joining as the night’s musical guest. It will be the 3RDEYEGIRL frontman’s third time christening the stage. 

Both he and Rock have projects that will receive plenty of attention thanks to their SNL effort. Prince just released two separate albums on September 29, and Rock will bow in theaters on December 5 with Top Five co-starring Gabrielle UnionKevin HartRosario Dawson, and Sherri Shepherd.

We just hope Rock and Chris end their Saturday Night Live set like this:

 

Star Scoop: Ryan Gosling Saves the Day, Katniss Everdeen Comes Home, Wonder Woman Stands Alone

By  October 16, 2014

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It looks like proud papa Ryan Gosling is ready to get back in front of the camera. Reports say he’s finally fielding offers for a big franchise role, with the powers behind Doctor StrangeThe Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero, and Suicide Squad vying for his green light. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Katniss Everdeen is coming home. A new trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 is here, and teases the YA heroine’s return to a destroyed District 12… with Lorde soundtracking the saga. [Indiewire]

Warner Bros. is giving Wonder Woman some much-deserved shine. After unveiling that Gal Gadot will play the DC Comics warrior princess in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, executives confirmed that Gadot will star in her own standalone film by 2017. You go, girl! [L.A. Times]

P.S. Ben Affleck will reprise his role as Gotham’s savior in Gadot’s big silver screen moment. [Vulture]

Friends will be there for you… on Netflix! Warner Bros. The streaming service acquired the license to host all ten seasons of the show online, starting January 1, 2015. How’s that for a Happy New Year?! [Deadline]

Oh, Kanye! How we’ve missed thee and thine glorious sound bytes. In this newly-released, behind-the-scenes-video from his August 2014 cover shoot at GQ, Yeezy compares himself to none other than Michelangelo and mused on why “perfection” is not enough. Just wait for #geniuslevel to trend. [Racked]

Beloved Modern Family actress Elizabeth Peña passed away from natural causes; she was 55 years old. [Vulture]

Neil Patrick Harris is Hosting the 2015 Oscars!

By  October 15, 2014

Your favorite host’s favorite host is headed to the Academy Awards!

Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris, who’s already emceed Tony and Emmy ceremonies of years past, will follow Ellen DeGeneresrecording-breaking Oscars gig and helm the 2015 show on February 22, 2015. 

“It is truly an honor and a thrill to be asked to host this year’s Academy Awards. I grew up watching the Oscars and was always in such awe of some of the greats who hosted the show,” Harris said in a statement from The Academy. “To be asked to follow in the footsteps of Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal, Ellen DeGeneres, and everyone else who had the great fortune of hosting is a bucket list dream come true.”

NPH’s turn follows the Academy Awards’ best broadcast to date: DeGeneres’ 2014 gig drew in the biggest audience in 14 years with 45.4 million viewers. Something tells us Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs thinks NPH will be able to deliver, and even top, those stats.

“We share Craig [Zadan] and Neil [Meron]’s excitement in welcoming the incredibly talented Neil Patrick Harris,” she said in a statement. “He is the consummate entertainer. Neil’s distinctive charm and showmanship make him the ideal host to honor the Oscar legacy and ensure we all enjoy another unforgettable celebration.”

As for how NPH is taking the news, well, there’s this:

Ariana Grande Gets Animated for ‘Underdogs’

By  October 15, 2014

Ariana Grande Hosts Official iHeartRadio After Party at 1 OAK at the MirageBig Sean’s girlfriend Ariana Grande will be putting her pipes to use for something other than the Billboard Hot 100.

The multi-platinum singer has landed a lead voice role in the Weinstein Company’s new animated project, Underdogs. The story follows a shy foosball player named Jake, played by Matthew Morrison. He triumphs over the town bully Ace (Nicholas Hoult), only to have to defend his home and loved ones from Ace’s vengeful streak years later. Grande will voice Laura, Jake’s loving girlfriend whose safety is compromised when Ace returns.

Grande should find her self at home for this role; not only does she know her way around the recording booth, she also starred in Nickelodeon’s 2013 tween sitcom Sam & CatUnderdogs will be her second voice-dubbed appearance, and she’s in pretty good company: Katie HolmesJohn Leguizamo, and Chazz Palminteri have also signed on.

“This talented cast takes our script and enhances it, with brilliant improvisation and wonderful chemistry,” said Weinstein Company co-founder Harvey Weinstein. “I’m so proud of these super talented actors and comedians.”

Underdogs was originally released as an Argentinian production in 2013, was the most-expensive Argentinian film to make, and “rewrote the history books” by becoming “the best opening ever for an Argentine film” according to Variety. If that’s not enough indication of its stateside potential, it won the Grand Prize Feature Award at this year’s New York International Children’s Film Festival.

Looks like Grande will have no “Problem” here.

Turnip for What?! Michelle Obama’s New Viral Vine

By  October 15, 2014

First Lady Michelle Obama’s healthy obsession with curbing childhood obesity has gone viral… with help from Lil Jon and DJ Snake.

Days after the duo’s “Turn Out For What” rocked the vote, Obama remixed the party anthem to promote clean eating on Vine. Her social media appearance was in response to Alphacat’s interrogation into the FLOTUS’ own party habits, to which she substituted her veggies for a calorie-burning blowout. Take a look:

So far, the six-second Vine has gotten more than 68,000 likes, over 50,600 revines, and has been played 11.7 million times, and counting.

This isn’t the first time Obama has turned up and shaped out with the help of celebrity friends. Beyoncé remixed her 2006 track “Get Me Bodied” to “Move Your Body” in 2011, while A-listers like Will Ferrell, Serena Williams, and Jordin Sparks have endorsed the initiative over the years. The First Lady even managed to get the likes of Ariana GrandeAshanti, and Travis Barker to appear on a 19-track disc called Songs for a Healthier America. Perhaps this turnip turn up is an indication of a part two?!

Star Scoop: Uzo Aduba Plays Truth or Dare, Meghan Trainor Has More Bass, Taylor Swift is Sorry

By  October 15, 2014

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We’re used to seeing Emmy winner Uzo Aduba glam it up on the red carpet, but Harper’s Bazaar decided to capitalize on her Crazy Eyes character for its Women Who Dare list—in the best way possible, of course. Clad in Carolina Herrera, the Orange is the New Black star defines daring and her journey to get there. “It took me a long time to arrive at that—you know, from my gap teeth to my name,” she said. “I’m realizing, you don’t need to change anything about yourself. This is who you are, and it’s okay. That’s daring.” [MTV]

Meghan Trainor proves she’s not just a one-trick pony with the follow-up to her summer 2014 smash “All About That Bass.” Her second single, “Lips Are Movin,’” has landed, and it’s even sassier than the first. [US Weekly]

Taylor Swift is “Out of the Woods,” but her fans in the U.K. don’t know it yet. The second track from her upcoming 1989 release is available for purchase on iTunes, except across the pond. It’s all part of a new game plan, though. “To all my wonderful U.K. fans, I realize that you are not yet able to get ‘Out of The Woods’ due to a new strategy my record label is working on in the U.K.,” she wrote on her Tumblr page, adding, “I’ve never been one to hold my music back from any of you, so I will be watching closely to see if this is ultimately a better experience for you, the fans.” [The Hollywood Reporter]

No cable? Want HBO? You’ve got it. Starting next year, CEO Richard Pepler confirmed that the premium channel will be available in a stand-alone service, removing “all barriers to those who want HBO.” It’s looking easier and easier to cut the cord. [Variety]

Big news on the superhero front: Ezra Miller, best known for his role in 2012’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, shall now be known as The Flash. At 22 years old, Miller is the first openly gay actor to land a lead superhero role in a major film. He’ll first suit up as the DC Comics hero in 2017’s Justice League Part One, then go on to star in a standalone feature in 2018. [Buzzfeed]

Lea Michele will soon say goodbye to Rachel Berry for good, so she might as well go out with a bang. Who better to help her do so than the badass cast of Sons of Anarchy? The Glee all-star will make a guest appearance on this week’s episode, and says that aside from landing a gig on her favorite show, she was “excited to get to play a character who was so different than what I do every day.” So don’t expect her to break out in song. [Vulture]

His 2007 Academy Award win for playing a sociopathic hitman in No Country for Old Men is evidence enough that Javier Bardem can pull off the bad-guy role. Now, it appears that he’ll be bringing his villainous ways to the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film opposite Johnny Depp. This is going to be good! [Variety]

Ode to October: This Month’s Most Anticipated Music Releases

By  October 15, 2014

October 2014 Albums

Cruel winds are raging and high temperatur days are few, but there is plenty to keep us going this fall, especially on the music front. From Tinashe’s studio debut Aquarius, which surprised critics with a sound that transcended her breakout hit “2 On;” to Taylor Swift’s 1989, which marks her departure from country music (for good?); to Calvin Harris’ Halloween dance drop, here’s what we’ll be listening to, all month long.

Star Scoop: Aguilera Has The Voice, Beyonce x Pharrell, Meet Amal... Clooney

By  October 14, 2014

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Christina Aguilera is back! After taking time off from The Voice for newborn duties, she’ll be re-joining Pharrell WilliamsAdam Levine, and Blake Shelton for season eight. Gwen Stefani is currently holding down the fort… but her departure just means more No Doubt on the way. [E! Online]

While everyone else is freaking out over Beyoncé’s new bangs, Mrs. Carter is reportedly working on a new record with Williams and The Dream called “Donk.” Let me hear you say Heeey, Mrs. Carter. Bey and Pharrell worked on two tracks for her self-titled LP, and was spotted backstage at his Paris show with hubby Jay Z. Could that have made some magic in the City of Light? [The YBF]

Mrs. Amal Clooney—it has a ring to it, no? George Clooney’s wife has officially changed her last name from Alamuddin to that of her better half. We’re just waiting on baby news. [ELLE UK]

Apparently, people like zombies. So much so that The Walking Dead’s fifth season debuted with record ratings: 17.3 million viewers to be exact. [Vulture]

Speaking of lucky number five, American Horror Story will be around for another year. It’s fourth installment, Freak Show, set a record as the most-watched series debut in FX history with 10 million fans tuning in. The impressive stat was more than enough to convince execs to give the show a fifth season, which will bow in October 2015. And, Ryan Murphy says that if you’ve paid attention to the first two episodes of Freak Show, you’ll get an idea on what the new plot will entail. [Entertainment Weekly]

That’s not to say the ratings were won for everyoneBill Hader’s presumably golden return to Saturday Night Live was pretty bleak. It surprisingly tied with Charlize Theron’s May 2014 stint as the series’ lowest-rated show to date. [A.V. Club]