All Articles Tagged "Hollywood"

Tinseltown Diss? John Singleton Says Hollywood Shunning Black Directors

March 26th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Despite the notable Oscar wins this year by blacks, John Singleton is very disillusioned with Hollywood. The Boyz N The Hood director, who is set to work on a Tupac Shakur biopic, says black culture is being “homogenized” on film.

The Oscar-nominated director says Hollywood ignores black filmmakers who he feels can better depict the black experience.

Singleton made the remarks while speaking to students at Loyola Marymount University in LA as part of The Hollywood Masters interview series.  According to the 46-year-old Singleton, while studios are now more willing to cover stories with an African-American theme, they don’t hire black directors to helm the projects. “They want black people [to be] what they want them to be. And nobody is man enough to go and say that,” he said. “They want black people to be who they want them to be, as opposed to what they are. The black films now — so-called black films now — they’re great. They’re great films. But they’re just product.

“They’re not moving the bar forward creatively… When you try to make it homogenized, when you try to make it appeal to everybody, then you don’t have anything that’s special,”he said.

Singleton, who was the youngest ever best director Oscar nominee for 1991′s Boyz N The Hood, said Hollywood has changed for the worse since he first got started.  “They feel that they’re not racist,” he said. “They grew up with hip-hop, so [they] can’t be racist. ‘I like Jay Z, but that don’t mean I got to give you a job.’”

According to Singleton, there are fewer industry insiders who will go to bat for black directors now, unlike when he was trying to get Boyz N The Hood (starring Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr, Morris Chestnut and Laurence Fishburne) made. A former Columbia Pictures producer fought for the then-24-year-old Singleton to direct. “Stephanie Allain kicked and screamed to get Boyz N The Hood made,” he said. “Those people don’t exist any more, whether they’re black, white or whatever.”

Singleton, who says he’s deeply vested in his new project, told students of how Tupac’s death in 1996 affected him.

“It set my life on a whole other trajectory,” Singleton told his audience. “I went and left the country for about a month. I just couldn’t cope … I felt, the danger ain’t sexy anymore. I got to change it up, not necessarily just as a filmmaker, but just as a person, and kind of grow up.”

Could Superman Be Black? Movie Franchises We Want To See In Color

March 10th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Recently, Idrid Elba showed up to DJ a party dressed as Superman. He looked so good in the suit, fans immediately started petitioning Hollywood to make a new movie for their favorite hunk. We think that’s a great idea and here are more famous movie franchises we’d like to see in color.

Image Source: Milleniumfilms.com/Tumblr.com

Image Source: Milleniumfilms.com/Tumblr.com

Terry Crews as Rambo

Three 90-minute movies featuring Terry Crews in a headband and no shirt? Yes please.

A Rags To Riches Hollywood Story? Barkhad Abdi & The Cost Of Being An Actor

March 6th, 2014 - By Candace Smith
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Brian To/WENN.com

Brian To/WENN.com

Actors seem so glamorous. People know your name, who you are dating, and what your next projects are going to be by the click of one button. You get to wear expensive clothing, travel around the world, and eat at the finest, most exclusive restaurants. By all appearances, actors who gain some manner of celebrity are also doing well financially. But that’s not always the case.

Somali actor Barkhad Abdi recently had his name has been splashed in magazines, newspapers and websites, not just because he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his role in Captain Phillips, but also because we found out in The New Yorker that he made $65,000 for the job. Not exactly the figure that you would imagine for a big-budget Hollywood film. The production budget for Captain Phillips was $55 million. Other jobs in which one can make $65K are a registered nurse, a personal financial adviser, a microbiologist, and an orthotist. And that was two years ago.

Now, Abdi lives in Hollywood, broke and struggling alongside scores of other actors who have not been nominated for any prestigious industry awards, much less, for an Oscar. Abdi’s story is a vital fiscal lesson for many who have ever thought about making their love for the arts into fulfilling, paying jobs. When you’re an actor just starting out, there will be months of making payments for headshots, classes, industry workshops, and other career-building duties. If you are lucky enough to have an agent and/or manager and get a paying gig, 10 percent will go to your agent(s), and 10 to 20 percent maximum to your manager. If you are even luckier to advance your career and become a member of SAG-AFTRA performer’s union, you will have to pay a membership initiation fee of $3,000 (which can be loaned), an annual base membership fee of $198, and 1.575 percent of all individual earnings under SAG or AFTRA contracts between $1-$500,000. Once you are a SAG-AFTRA member, you can earn a minimum rate of $490 to 609.50 per day, and if you are working on a weekly basis, $1,721.50 to $2,131.50 a week, versus non-union talent who earn much less.

Normally, when you move up to Oscar-, Emmy-, or Tony-nominated territory, there are also more people on an actor’s payroll: publicists, lawyers, makeup artists and stylists. Even while they may be gifted with the swankiest designer clothes, shoes, and jewelry, many times these are on loan, so they are expected to give it back.

True enough, once you get to high-profile status, you can command a king’s ransom for your participation in a movie. Sandra Bullock was reportedly paid $70 million for her role in Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity; a base of $20 million and then a smartly negotiated 15 percent cut of box office sales. Tom Hanks, who has one of the most glittering careers in show business today, took a pay cut for Captain Phillips, with rumors that he settled for $10 million.

Obviously, Abdi, being a Hollywood industry newcomer, cannot be compared to Tom Hanks, in terms of bankability. Captain Phillips is his first feature role, and, picked out of tons of people who came to a casting call, his is a true Cinderella story. But, now he’s in a precarious time of his new acting career where he has to think about next steps and longevity, so one day he too can command more money like Bullock and Hanks. Yes, even Oscar-nominated stars have to think about longevity. But Abdi also must realize that the pickings for being cast in another movie or even a TV show are slim when you consider the tons of people who are also in the running.

With any luck, and more sweat, we’ll see Abdi on screen again in the near future. He has already started his acting career with a bigger bang than most other actors could ever dream of. The question is whether this was lightning in a bottle or the beginning of a long career. If he can ultimately achieve not just the name recognition, but the A-list power of players like Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, Abdi can look back at this time of economic instability and laugh about it. At this point, like Abdi, we can only wait and hope that he does not become another Hollywood one-hit film wonder.

Fun In The Sun! Michael B. Jordan Spotted On Miami Beach With A Mystery Woman!

January 26th, 2014 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"Michael B. Jordan pf"

Credit: AKM-GSI

First, let’s point out how we’re in the middle of winter and battling freezing temperatures and constant snow in many states, but Michael B. Jordan and his lady friend are kicking it in Miami shirtless and in a bikini, respectively, down in Florida.

But I digress.

The Fruitvale Station and That Awkward Moment star was spotted this weekend in Miami with a young lady very close by the entire time. The two hit the beach for some sun and jet skiing.

"Michael B. Jordan pf"

AKM-GSI

Now ladies, I know that some of you have already claimed Michael as “yours” and he’s been saying that he’s single so don’t let these pictures deter you. Yes, she looks like she’s cute and she appears to have a great body and this is the first woman he’s been spotted with since he and his ex-girlfriend broke up, but what does that mean? I’ll tell you: not a thing! As far as we’re concerned, he’s still up for grabs.

Anyway, check out a couple more pictures of Michael and his “friend” as they enjoy that beautiful Miami weather and water.

"Michael B. Jordan pf"

AKM-GSI

 

"Michael B. Jordan pf"

AKM-GSI

Do Not Refer To Idris Elba As The Black Bond! The Actor Shuts Down Rumors Once And For All

January 4th, 2014 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Idris Elba

Source: WENN

He knows many of you want this to happen so bad, but do not expect to see Idris Elba as the Black Bond. As a matter of fact, don’t even use the term “Black Bond” when it comes to the idea of a black man playing the role.

“I’ve always detested the phrase ‘Black Bond.’ I just don’t understand it,” Elba told Kate Garraway on ITV’s Lorraine, a British show.

He continued:

“We don’t say ‘White Bond’, we just say “Bond” so it suddenly becomes a black man and he’s a “Black Bond” so I hate that phrase and it’s a rumour that’s gotten out of control basically but that’s all it is. There’s no truth in it whatsoever.”

The crazy thing is that according to The Daily Mail this all gogt started when Elba’s Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom co-star Naomie Harris said that she’d like to see him play the role of James Bond. Harris, who was in the last “Bond” film Skyfall alongside current “Bond” Daniel Craig, says her opinion spiraled into some mixed up “fact” and “now, nearly every time he does an interview, he gets asked about it.”

You know, I can definitely understand Idris Elba’s opinion about he, or any other black actor” being referred tot as the “Black Bond.” However, seeing as though there’s never been a black man to play the role, it goes without saying that it would be something that is a primary focus.  That’s kind of what happens when you become the first – or are just being considered for the role – of something.

In the meantime,if you see him in the street, don’t shout out, “Hey Driis, what’s up with you being the next Bond?” I mean, just leave it all alone and instead, just envision what he’d look like in one of those nice tailor made Bond suits (you know Idris can wear a suit like nobody’s business).

Legendary Actor Peter O’Toole Dead At Age 81

December 15th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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After having a career that many can only imagine, actor Peter O’Toole, the breakout star of the classic Lawrence of Arabia, died peacefully on Sunday at a hospital in London.

The actor has been ill for years with various ailments and became even more thin than his already natural slim build.  Although he was older, his face began to change drastically due not only to his sickness, but also years of hard drinking.

His daughter Kate O’Toole released a statement:

“His family are very appreciative and completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of real love and affection being expressed towards him, and to us, during this unhappy time. Thank you all, from the bottom of our hearts.”

In 2012, O’Toole officially retired from acting; he said he was grateful for all it had provided to him both emotionally and financially.

After his role in Lawrence of Arabia, O’Toole went on to do many other films including My Favorite Year and Venus. Besides his actual acting roles, he’s also known as the man who set the record for most Academy Award nominations (he had 8 noms) without every winning. In 2003, he accepted an honorary Oscar.

According to The Guardian, there were rumors that he was coming out of retirement for one more role. While it hasn’t been confirmed, it is believed that he did do the project and the film will be released next year.

Our prayers and condolences go out to his family during this hard time.

Nia Long To Co-Star In WEtv’s First Scripted Show!

December 14th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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PNP/WENN.com

PNP/WENN.com

It wasn’t too long ago when we questioned where Nia Long was and why she wasn’t working.  Well, all of a sudden, she seems to be pretty busy and it doesn’t look like she’s slowing down anytime soon.

According to Deadline.com, Long has signed on to star in WEtv’s new show, The Divide. The show is describe as a “legal thriller centers on District Attorney Adam Page (Damon Gupton), who uncovers new evidence that prompts the re-investigation of a sensational murder case.”

Long will play DA Page’s wife, Billie.

This could be really good for Nia Long. She has the chance to star in something brand new for the network: The Divide will be WE’s first drama and scripted show. As we know, they’re known for reality shows and reruns of old shows so if they promote this properly, it could have a huge following.

Nia has been pretty busy this year: she co-starred in eight episodes of House of Lies and of course, The Best Man Holiday was released in November to rave reviews. Next year, she’s one of the stars of Tyler Perry’s film, The Single Moms Club.

It’s exciting to see her career get that full second wind and I can’t wait to see her in the new show!

 

Baby Makes Three: Rockmond Dunbar & His Wife Welcome Baby Girl!

December 14th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"Rockmond Dunbar baby"

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A few months ago, we showed you pictures of the baby shower celebrating the bundle of joy on the way for Rockmond an Dunbar and wife, Maya.  Well, the little one is finally here!

Reps for the Dunbars confirmed to PEOPLE that Maya gave birth to Berkeley Seon Dunbar on December 6th in Los Angeles, California.

Baby Berkeley weighed in at 8lbs and 9 oz.

The couple, who married earlier this year, have been together since 2012.

Rockmond posted the picture on Facebook and added: “Mom is doing great. We are absolutely in LOVE with our daughter!”

The Dunbars better soak all of this excitement now because they’re both hitting the ground running as actors. While Rockmond Dunbar’s role on Sons of Anarchy may be over, he’s got yet another job: he’s joined the cast as a regular on The Mentalist. He role was formerly just recurring so those checks will now be looking pretty good! For her part, Maya Dunbar has joined the cast of the Cinemax series, Banshee.

 

Cute Kid Alert: Actress Yaya Alafia & Hubby Joshua Share Adorable Pics Of Their Baby!

December 14th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Someone pass me a thermometer, I need to see how high my baby fever has risen since seeing these pictures.

Actress Yaya Alafia (formerly DaCosta) and her director/producer husband Joshua recently shared pictures of their three month old son, Sankara Mamadou Bee Alafia. In the picture, Sankara, which means “Creator, Bliss Giver, Introspection, Remover of Doubt, King of Unity” in different languages, is clearly a happy baby who is full of life.

In the caption of one of the pictures, posted on both Facebook and Instagram, Yaya said, “Best three months of my life!!! Thank you for choosing us, little prince!”

"Yaya Alafia"

Instagram

Yaya has been having a great couple of years.  She married Joshua in 2012, gave birth to that beautiful baby just a few months ago and she had a great role in Lee Daniels’ The Butler.  We’re sure she’s going to keep it going for 2014, especially with that positivity that always seems to shine right through her personality.

‘You Collect Your Unemployment And Then You Pray:’ Melissa De Sousa Talks Dry Spells And Being Rejected By Hollywood

November 27th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Melissa De Sousa

Best Man Holiday actress Melissa De Sousa recently sat down with Rolling Out Magazine to discuss her rise to fame and the struggle that it took to get there. She also dishes on being rejected by Hollywood producers for being “too pretty.” Check out her interview highlights below.

On being by Hollywood rejected because of her look:

“Tons of rejection … [so] much I can’t even count. I mean most of the time [I get] more “nos” than “yeses.” I never really had anyone say anything real horrible to me. I had to prove myself. I remember when I auditioned for Hustle & Flow, which is the one [movie] Terrence got his nomination for. You know they thought I was “too pretty” and I wouldn’t be able to play a down-on-her luck stripper. But I begged them to see me. You know I went in and did my thing. I ended up screen-testing. The person who got it was Paula Jai Parker. I think Regina Hall also screen-tested. All of us ultimately screen-tested. You know I had to fight for them to even look at me in that way, because they thought I was too nice and would not be able to get gritty and dirty. You have to prove yourself because people always want to put you in a box. I am just the one not to do that to.”

On her rocky start in acting:

“It’s not always easy to get in the “door.” You know when I first came to Los Angeles, I slept on my girlfriend’s floor for a year. I got my first agent and I sent my pictures out to everybody and since I had no experience and I had nothing on tape or even seen, some of the [agencies] sent my pictures back to me [laughs]. So one agency would see you in person and they want you to come in and audition in their room and once again I had to prove myself in person. You have to have an attitude that nothing’s gonna stop me. I think that’s just my New York kind of attitude — survival of the fittest. That’s why I love that song [Empire State of Mind] so much because that’s how it is when people go off to New York.”

On stints of unemployment:

“Then there were times I didn’t work for maybe two or three years. There was a time I didn’t have an agent for one reason or another. When the agent dropped me I was like ‘OK, maybe I am not in the business anymore.’ God-willing you can collect unemployment from the residuals from other things you have done in the past. You collect your unemployment and then you pray. You still go out and do your hustle. I always would save money because you never know when that dry spell is gonna hit — and it did. Just go and keep auditioning and keep trying and keep believing things will turn around and it always does.”

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