It’s not often that an opera singer manages to transcend the genre and become a cultural phenomenon. But that’s exactly what happened back in the ’80s with Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti. After chronicling The Beatles’ rise to fame in a documentary a few years ago, director Ron Howard is doing the same with Pavarotti’s career. Of course Howard knew about Pavarotti and his music, but he told us he’d also gotten a brief bit of insight into the man himself when they met back in the early ’80s. (Click on the media bar below to hear Ron Howard)
Back in the 1970s, All In The Family and The Jeffersons were part of TV’s most successful night of comedy. Both shows came from the mind and pen of legendary producer Norman Lear, who reveled in his ability to push the boundaries of which topics television could cover at the time. On Wednesday night, the two shows will return as part of a special live evening of TV. Lear’s sharing producing and hosting duties with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who thinks the two shows are just as relevant in today’s society as they were 45 years ago. (Click on the media bar below to hear Jimmy Kimmel)
As for Lear himself, he’s been pleasantly surprised that both the shows’ themes and dialogue sound just as cutting-edge today as they did when the original sitcoms first aired. (Click on the media bar below to hear Norman Lear)
All In The Family and The Jeffersons, performed live before a studio audience, will air Wednesday night at 8/7c on ABC.
When Aladdin was released in 1992, critics and audiences alike were blown away by the amazing performance given by Robin Williams as the genie in the animated feature. Thanks to home video and streaming, two generations of fans have grown up with the iconic Williams version of the genie, so Will Smith had his work cut out for him when he signed on for the new live-action Aladdin. Was he aware of it? You bet! And he told us it was a really daunting experience. (Click on the media bar below to hear Will Smith)
Octavia Spencer and Tate Taylor have been close ever since acting together in a 2000 short film, and that partnership has proven to be a fruitful one for both. Since becoming a director, Taylor has cast Spencer in five of his movies, including The Help, which won Spencer an Academy Award in 2012. It would be a stretch to predict another Oscar for Spencer in their new collaboration, Ma, since horror movies don’t usually draw too much awards interest, but Spencer’s star power should draw interest at the box office. She told us the film will have fans on the edge of their seats. (Click on the media bar below Octavia Spencer)
We don’t want to give away any spoilers, but we can say a major plot point for Halle Berry’s character in the movie John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum involves her dogs. Berry spent quite a bit of time with her character’s canine companions on the set, and she told us she bonded with them in a much deeper way than she normally bonds with her fellow actors. (Click on the media bar below to hear Halle Berry)
John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum is playing now in theaters.
Going into its second decade, American Ninja Warrior is going through some growing pains. Well, actually, American Ninja Warrior is just growing; the pain is reserved for its contestants, who will face a daunting new challenge if they want to complete TV’s most difficult obstacle course. Co-hosts Akbar Gbajabiamila and Matt Iseman talked to us about the new twists and turns the show will offer up in its new season. (Click on the media bar below to hear Akbar Gbajabiamila & Matt Iseman)
The new season of American Ninja Warrior premieres May 29 at 8/7c on NBC.