CHRIS POWELL IS READY TO CHANGE LIVES WITH ‘EXTREME MAKEOVER: WEIGHT LOSS EDITION’

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Premiering Monday on ABC (10 pm et/pt), Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition has trainer Chris Powell working with eight obese people in an attempt to transform their lives.  Hollywood Outbreak talked to Powell about the program.

“It’s just as personal for me as it is for them,” says Powell.  “You can’t really go through a transformation like this with such an incredible individual without becoming so emotionally invested in them.  We’re spending a year together and I really chose these people because in the process of choosing them I was also choosing people I wanted to spend a year of my life with.  So they’re amazing, they’re good people.  You see them struggle and grow through those struggles, it’s amazing.  You will see me cry more than they do in every episode!”

I asked Powell if he is able to shut down and live his own life at the end of the day, and he explains how his wife has been his rock throughout this experience:

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi

MICHAEL FASSBENDER WIPES THE SLATE CLEAN AS ‘MAGNETO’ IN ‘X-MEN: FIRST CLASS’

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Michael Fassbender stars as Erik Lehnsherr, a vengeful man known to millions of X-Men fans as MagnetoErik’s friendship with Charles Xavier/Professor X (James McAvoy) is spotlighted in director Matthew Vaughn’s highly anticipated summer film X-Men: First Class, and at a recent press conference Fassbender explains why he loved playing Magneto.

‘Personally as an audience member and and as an actor I much rather prefer to find ambiguity and that grey area,” said the actor, whose credits include Jane Eyre and Inglourious Basterds.  “Nowadays, specifically with commercial films, it’s much too easy for the audience and they tend to get spoon fed.  So it’s much more interesting for me if people leave the theater and they start asking questions and find their own moral compass about what these characters have been doing.  And in terms of the justification for what he does, I can see where the motivation was and where they came from.  I’ve always said that Magneto or Erik is a Machiavellian character, the ends justifies the means, and that really kind of sums him up best in one line.”

Fassbender explains why he and director Matthew Vaughn decided to “wipe the slate” clean and not be influenced by Ian McKellen’s previous work as Magneto.

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi

‘SECRET LIFE’ STAR FRANCIA RAISA HAVING FUN WITH A NEW AND IMPROVED ‘ADRIAN’

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On Monday’s episode of The Secret Life of the American Teenager (ABC Family, 8 pm et/pt), Adrian (Francia Raisa) and Ben (Ken Baumann) have their share of doubts about their wedding, and although they look like a pretty couple, a tragedy may eventually pull them apart.

During a recent interview, Raisa talked about how she was surprised by Adrian’s transformation from a mean girl to a relative angel.  “No, I had no idea that was coming,” said Raisa.  “Even though my character wasn’t likable, I got a lot of people that came up to me and say to me, ‘wow, you are such a b-word, but I love you, I think you’re great.’  I don’t know yet how they are responding to my character, because it has been such a change, she did a 360.  She hated the world and now she is happy and she loves the real world.  She is turning into a Christian and she feels blessed and feels like God brought Ben into her life.  I like it, I have fun with it, and it’s different.  It’s nice to be good for a change!”

Click on the media bar and listen to Baumann and Raisa discuss the fan response to The Secret Life of the American Teenager.  

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi

BRAD PITT INITIALLY “HESITANT” ABOUT ‘TREE OF LIFE’ ROLE

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Although he is one of Hollywood’s most popular movie stars, Brad Pitt has refused to cash in on his movie star good looks to star in forgettable Hollywood blockbusters.  His sole franchise piece (the Ocean’s Eleven films) was directed by one of Hollywood’s most gifted technicians (Steven Soderbergh), and though a bit disposable, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Troy still exist as extremely watchable diversions.  He’s done inspired work in Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

He gives one of his best performances as an abusive dad raising a 1950s family in director Terrence Malick’s latest epic The Tree Of Life.  Pitt, who produced the picture, actually had reservations about the part.  “I was a little hesitant about playing the oppressive father, but I felt the story was so important and for me it was really about the kids’ journey,” said Pitt during a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival.  “And I think about everything I do know, my kids are going to see when they grow up, and (I think) about how they are going to feel.  They know me as a dad and I hope they’ll just think I’m a pretty damn good actor.”

Click on the media bar and listen to Pitt explain why he does character driven material and avoids films like Mission: Impossible.

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The Tree of Life opens Friday.

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi

SCOTTY McCREERY THANKS HIS FANS FOR ‘AMERICAN IDOL’ WIN

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Congratulations to Scotty McCreery, the self-assured (yet humble) 17-year-old country singer and winner of American Idol. Although this season featured early favorites (Pia Toscano, Casey Abrams, Lauren Alaina), a growling dark horse (Haley Reinhart), a Bradley Cooper lookalike (Paul McDonald), it was McCreery who shined with his straight ahead consistency.  Earlier in the evening, McCreery was not intimidated sharing the stage with Tim McGraw, as they sang McGraw’s hit “Live Like You Were Dying.”

Of course, an American Idol final never fails to attract top of the line talent (Beyonce, Lady GaGa, Marc Anthony, Tony Bennett, Tom Jones, former Idol champ Carrie Underwood).  However, I’m just glad our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man wasn’t injured during U2’s performance.

While singing the close-out song “I Love You This Big,” McCreery hugged his family, his fellow Idol colleagues, and the judges before saying to the audience, “Thank y’all so much.”  It was an honest and classy way to end the night, and now one wonders if he can reach the stratospheric heights of past Idol winners (most notably Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson) and losers (Chris Daughtry and Jennifer Hudson).  Oh, and by the way Mr. American Idol, you should have hugged Jack Black too!!

Scotty talks about what he will remember most about his American Idol win:

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McCreery reflects on singing with Tim McGraw: 

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Scotty thanks his fans: 

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi