Long before the Real Housewives, long before the Kardashians, reality TV turned a young Paris Hilton into a star. She was just 22 years old when she and Nicole Richie starred in The Simple Life, which catapulted the young socialites into the pre-Twitter social stratospehere. Now she’s on the verge of turning 39, and she wants to get real. Even more real than the reality TV she’s done in the past. With a new YouTube film, This Is Paris, you’re going to get a completely different view of her, one in which she actually relinquished creative control.(Click on the on the media bar below to hear Paris Hilton)
From 2005-2011, ABC aired seven seasons of the show Supernanny, in which renowned British nanny Jo Frost would help troubled parents figure out how they could work better with their problem children. Apparently, a new set of parents needs Frost’s help, because Lifetime has resurrected the show for a new season. And while so much of reality television is based upon creating — and then resolving — a lot of manufactured drama, Frost says the most important part of Supernanny is that the difficult problems these parents face aren’t manufactured at all, and she wouldn’t do the show if they were. (Click on the media bar below to hear Jo Frost)
Some women want to be her. Some women see themselves in her. And some men wish they could be as strong as she is. Of course, we’re talking about Wonder Woman, a superhero who not only speaks to the power of the so-called weaker sex, but also represents someone with the emotional vulnerabilities every single one of us deals with. And that’s why Gal Gadot, the star of Wonder Woman and its forthcoming sequel, “Wonder Woman 1984,” thinks the appeal of the movies cuts across all demographics. (Click on the media bar below to hear Gal Gadot)
Back in the ’90s, Party of Five gave us one of the most beloved Fox families ever. In a bit of irony, the TV network that used to be Fox Family, Freeform, is reviving the series along with the original Party of Five’s creators. However, instead of revisiting the Salinger family, the reboot features a new family, the Acostas. And instead of being orphaned, the Acosta kids have to deal with having their parents deported to Mexico. Because of these changes, some fans of the original have registered some very loud (and sometimes very ugly) complaints. Co-creator Amy Lippman has seen the criticism and, while she’s certainly not unaffected by it, she says it hasn’t shaken her belief in the new version. (Click on the media bar below to hear Amy Lippman)
Party of Five airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Freeform.
Thanks to social media, the people who make recorded entertainment — whether it be television, music, or movies — are getting feedback to their work almost (but not quite) as quickly as performers on a live theater stage. When this near-instant acknowledgement is positive, it can mean a lot to the writers, producers, and performers, because it lets them know how their hard work is paying off. Riverdale’s Cole Sprouse is one of those people who is very cognizant of what people say about his show, and he sees the fans’ complimentary feedback as the best kind of validation they can get. (Click on the media bar below to hear Cole Sprouse)
Zeeko Zaki has had some brushes with the law in his television career, with appearances on shows like Homeland, Valor, and NCIS: Los Angeles. But now, he’s got a lead role in Dick Wolf’sFBI, and he told us that with each new story and each new investigation, he gets a much greater perspective about how not only the real FBI works, but also how different agencies come together to enforce the law and solve crimes. (Click on the media bar below to hear Zeeko Zaki)
Because of the film’s unique shooting demands, rehearsals for 1917 stretched over a period of several months. Because of the time, the story, and the special requirements involved, the production had to build its own set. For star George Mackay, the process was difficult and unlike anything he’d ever experienced in his film career, and he explained to us what it was like. (Click on the media bar below to hear George Mackay)
Long before This Is Us, Mandy Moore started in the entertainment business as a pop singer; her biggest hit, I Wanna Be With You, made the Top 15 in the summer of 2000. As her acting career heated up, she took a break from the music industry. Her last album, Amanda Leigh, was released on an independent label in 2009 and sold just 16,000 copies. But playing an aspiring singer in her This Is Us character’s younger days has apparently re-lit her musical fire, and she’ll have a new album, Silver Landings, coming out on March 6. She told us she’s very happy to be making music again, and This Is Us co-star Justin Hartley concurs.
Steve Coogan, who delivered a first rate performance last year as Stan Laurel (Stan & Ollie), plays a narcissistic British billionaire named Sir Richard McCreadie in Greed. For over 30 years, McCreadie was a retail fashion king, but times have changed and his reputation has taken a hit. To regain public favor, McCreadie organizes a lavish party on the Greek island of Mykonos to celebrate his 60th birthday.
Even though he throws as much money as possible for the celebration, things immediately go south. Asa Butterfield and Isla Fisher co-star in the comedy which has Coogan once again working with director Michael Winterbottom (director of The Trip films).
Since the Coogan/Winterbottom collaboration has been fruitful beyond belief, it will be interesting to see how the comedy shines outside The Trip universe (the duo are currently in production of The Trip to Greece). Check out the trailer and tell us what you think!
Greed opens in New York and Los Angeles on February 28.
One film I missed out on last year was Black and Blue, a cop drama centering on Alicia West (Naomie Harris), a police officer who is being hunted down by several corrupt cops (Frank Grillo plays one of the baddies). Tyrese Gibson co-stars as Milo, a liquor store employee who may be the only person whom Alicia can trust.
Black and Blue, which is now out on Blu-ray and Digital, features solid work from Gibson (in a dramatic role that harkens back to his inspired performance in Baby Boy) and Harris. Even with an Oscar nomination (Moonlight) under her belt, Naomie Harris is not an actress who has a plethora of leading roles in her resume. Thankfully, Taylor has a knack for casting the right actors for his respective projects (for first rate ensemble work, check out his underrated 2014 drama Supremacy).
“Here she is, Pirates of the Caribbean, 28 Days Later, the (James Bond films),” said Taylor. “Why hasn’t (Naomie Harris) been a lead? What’s going on? I feel that is what I am always looking for – people that have similarities like me which is no one took a chance with me. No one thought I could seize the opportunity. Now I always have an eye to (working with) people like that.”
Even with Black and Blue and the box office success of The Intruder, Taylor does not bask in complacency. Click on the media bar to hear Taylor discuss why, when it comes to directing, he’s always pushing forward.
Extras on the Black and Blue Blu-ray and DVD include deleted scenes and two featurettes (“Line of Fire” and “Be the Change in the Big Easy”).