Behind The Classics: Tom Hanks’ ‘League’ & Leslie Nielsen’s ‘Airplane’ Stories

Not content with merely showing Hollywood’s classic movies on its cable channel, TCM has been bringing some of those movies back into theaters for special screenings. The program’s been a success, and it will continue in 2020 with a lineup of 14 films. including Annie, Psycho, Fiddler on the Roof, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Close Encounters of the First Kind, and more. Another classic film to be screened next year as part of the series is a comedy that celebrates its 40th anniversary next year, Airplane! Part of the movie’s comedic DNA was its casting of hard-bitten dramatic actors like Robert Stack, Peter Graves, and Lloyd Bridges in roles that had them delivering deadpan jokes. Among that group of old-school actors was Leslie Nielsen, who had his career revitalized by the Zucker Brothers with Airplane and the Naked Gun movies. Before he passed away, Nielsen spoke with us about how and why that classic casting coup worked so well. (Click on the media bar below to hear Leslie Nielsen)

 

Another classic film being screened as part of the series is 1992’s A League of Their Own, which starred Tom Hanks as the manager of a women’s baseball team, with a group of players that included Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell, Lori Petty, and Madonna. Looking back, Hanks told us the thing that excited him the most about making the movie was getting the chance to play against the “nice guy” persona he’d cultivated in his ’80s movies. (Click on the media bar below to hear Tom Hanks)

For a complete schedule of TCM Big Screen Classics screenings, visit https://www.fathomevents.com/series/tcm-big-screen-classics

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New Host Emma Bunton Promises A Spicy Season Of ‘Great American Baking Show’

We do love the irony of The Great American Baking Show being hosted by a Brit. However, we’ll give the producers a pass, because we love the irony of a baking show being hosted by a Spice Girl even more. Emma Bunton (aka Baby Spice) has joined the show for its fourth season — a special holiday edition — and she told us the ovens may be hot, but this year’s competition will be even hotter (and a lot of fun). (Click on the media bar below to hear Emma Bunton)

The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition premieres Thursday night on ABC.

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Charlize Theron: ‘Bombshell’ Marks The Moment A Movement Was Born

After the #MeToo earthquake famously took down Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and his empire, a lot of people seemed to forget that the epicenter of the jolt was the series of scandals that rocked Fox News Channel, incidents that brought down the network’s chief (Roger Ailes) and its top host (Bill O’Reilly), and also costing the network tens of millions of dollars in settlements. Those incidents won’t be forgotten much longer — the highly anticipated film Bombshell tells their story in big-screen glory. Charlize Theron is an executive producer for the movie, and she also stars as Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. She says that the film is an amazing document of a time that literally started a revolution in the media industry … and beyond. (Click on the media bar below to hear Charlize Theron)

 

Bombshell opens in theaters on December 20.

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In New Season, Rachel Brosnahan Will Take ‘Mrs. Maisel’ To New Places

In its first two seasons, the acclaimed Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has claimed an incredible 16 Primetime Emmy Awards (out of an otherworldly 34 nominations). Rachel Brosnahan got one of those Emmys for playing the show’s title character, a 1950s housewife who takes up stand-up comedy. Those first two seasons will be a tough act to follow, but Brosnahan believes the show has done it admirably — in particular, she feels like her character’s got an incredible story arc in this new season. (Click on the media bar below to hear Rachel Brosnahan)

Season 3 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video

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On ‘Star Wars’ Set, Mark Hamill Was A Little Star-Struck By Sir Alec Guinness

When he made the first Star Wars movie, Mark Hamill was still a fresh-faced kid with a limited résumé, mostly made up of guest-starring roles on TV shows. Now known as Episode IV: A New Hope, the original Star Wars would prove to be the movie that propelled Hamill to full-fledged Hollywood stardom. In the film, he worked alongside Sir Alec Guinness, who was a 62-year-old Oscar-winning veteran of both stage and screen. Though Guinness famously wasn’t a fan of Star Wars as it was being shot — the letters he wrote about it, in retrospect, are pretty hysterical — Hamill remembers having a great time with the British actor, who he’d counted as one of his acting heroes. When we spoke to Hamill, he talked about the special relationship the two men developed on the set.  (Click on the media bar below to hear Mark Hamill)

 

 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters on December 20.

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‘Lizzie McGuire’ Is Back, But Hilary Duff Feels Like She Never Left

Hilary Duff was just 13 years old when Lizzie McGuire debuted on the Disney Channel, making her an almost-instant superstar on the teen scene. She parlayed that success into a movie career, a music career, and various other pursuits, including a clothing line. Now, 16 years after the original show ended, Lizzie McGuire will be coming back, with Duff once again starring as the title character. No longer a teen, obviously, the show will center on McGuire’s exploits as a 30-year-old in New York City. Why did Duff decide to return to the role after so many years? She told us that Lizzie’s always been a part of her, so it made sense to continue the story. (Click on the media bar below to hear Hilary Duff)

 New episodes of Lizzie McGuire will begin streaming on Disney+ in 2020.

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