All Articles Tagged "Hollywood"
Looks like America’s (or at least Bravo’s) favorite housewife just lost a storyline. NeNe Leakes’ much talked about role on The New Normal has come to an end. NBC recently dropped the show due to low ratings. So what’s next for reality television’s biggest success story?
Leakes’ IMDb profile gives no hints of future work outside of her current gigs on Bravo and The New Normal creator Ryan Murphy’s hit show Glee. That’s not to say the outlook on NeNe’s career is bleak. Far from it.
According to OK! Magazine, Leakes is the highest paid housewife in Bravo’s history, grabbing a $1 million paycheck (plus bonuses) to appear on season 6 of Real Housewives of Atlanta. It’s unclear whether this figure includes her salary for her upcoming spinoff, I Dream of NeNe, chronicling her wedding with ex-husband Gregg Leakes. And Glee is set for two more seasons, though the scope of NeNe’s role in the series is unclear.
NeNe joined Housewives to advance her acting career. She’s succeeding in using the show as a launching pad. She is seen as the queen bee of the show’s revolving cast of women and a template for other reality stars to follow. But can she make her success last, or is she destined to be a pop culture footnote?
Ryan Murphy, whom she calls her fairy godmother, has been her sole co-sign in Hollywood. Her work with him is the only time we see NeNe not playing herself. And let’s be honest, even when she’s reciting a script, she’s still being sassy, neck-rolling NeNe.
NeNe’s one-note performances aren’t necessarily a weakness. You don’t have to be Viola Davis to have a successful acting career. Character actresses, performers who specialize in playing eccentric or unusual people rather than leading roles, are paying their rent every month. Shout out to Rosie Perez, Jenifer Lewis, and Loretta DeVine.
Love her or hate her, NeNe Leakes is an entertainer. Now is the time for her to prove she can hold her own without famous fans giving her gigs. Leakes is at a crossroads and there are a few roads she can take:
- Tyler Perry Avenue. Outside Madea’s Christmas slated for the end of this year, Mr. Perry has been hanging up the dress in favor of giving other actresses a chance to bring boisterous characters to the screen. Atlanta is small. I’m sure NeNe can bring up her open schedule over cocktails. Or ask best buddy Kim Kardashian for his number.
- Black Rom-Com Way. From Baggage Claim to The Best Man reboot, black romantic comedies are making a comeback. Ms. Leakes would fit right in as the mother-in-law, aunty, or sassy coworker. These things write themselves.
- BET Boulevard. The cable network is surely feeling confident from successes in scripted television like Real House Husbands of Hollywood and The Game. NeNe might even be able to land her own show.
- Token Drive. It’s 2013 and every network show needs a Black character, the sassier the better. NeNe’s proven more than once she can hold her own in an ensemble cast.
NeNe has a large fan base, sufficient talent, and enough star quality to keep pushing her acting career forward if she chooses. What do you think Ms. Leakes next move should be? Should she keep her house in Hollywood or stick to reality?
C. Cleveland covers professional development topics and entrepreneurial rebels who blaze their own career paths. She explores these stories and more on The Red Read, Twitter (@CleveInTheCity) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).
‘I Worship Men. Men are Adonises:’ Zoe Saldana Gets Feisty For June Issue Of ‘InStyle UK’ And Blasts Hollywood Execs
Star Trek Into Darkness actress Zoe Saldana’s life has become quite the open book lately. Instead of taking the typical Hollywood route, offering only politically correct answers during interviews, the 34-year-old bombshell has been unapologetically speaking her mind and we’ve got to admit that we love it! The Avatar actress appears on the cover of InStyle UK for the month of June rocking a chic little number, but don’t allow the dress to fool you. Homegirl pulls no punches in her interview. Check out some of what she had to say.
On Hollywood’s double standard regarding women and aging:
“I’ve been told by producers, ’Well, you know we need to get on this because you’re not getting any younger…’ Women are reminded of their age all the time and it’s usually by a fricking fat, big-bellied old man with a comb-over and you look at him and you’re like, ‘Really? Give me a break. You just have more money and more power in this situation than I do, but not in my life.’”
On the male species:
“I worship men. Men are Adonises.”
On her dream guy:
“A badass renegade! A pirate! A pirate who can cry. Oh my god!”
On being broken-hearted after her split with Keith Britton and never giving up on love:
“When it didn’t work [with Britton] it was heartbreaking for the both of us, but it’s life.”
“I believe in love because I had it for so long, so I know it’s possible. I’m not one of these people who’s going, “Oh, because I was with someone for so long I need to take a break.” What if love is just around the corner?’”
On the realities of dating younger:
“I’m tired of watching these 50-year-old actors with these 23-year-old actresses and they’re soulmates in the movie. What? [In real life] a 23-year-old would look at a 50-year-old and go, ‘Are you kidding me?!’ We love plump muscles as much as they do. A 23-year-old boy?’”
Two snaps up!
Hit the switch for more flicks from Zoe’s fly photo shoot. What do you think of the comments made during her interview?
“Who Hasn’t Dated A Gay Dude?” Gabourey Sidibe Talks About What She Wants In A Man, And The Gay Ex Who Used To Wear Her Heels
While chowing down on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich this morning, I just so happened to be tuned into Access Hollywood Live, and early in the show, the ex-fiancée of Jason Collins was on, reminiscing about the eight years they had spent together, the great person he is, and how in those eight years, she had no inkling that he might have been gay. Carolyn Moos didn’t really seem to be angry about his confession, seeing as how he told her right before he came out in Sports Illustrated, but she did seem angry with society as a whole, who she says forces people to live in the closet because of intolerance.
Fast forward 15 minutes later, and guest Gabourey Sidibe was next to be interviewed. There to talk about the new and last season of the show The Big C, she found a minute to open up how much she has in common with Moos, seeing as how she also had been in a relationship with a gay man. But the very funny Sidibe says she could actually tell soon after they became an item that something was off. This was her very interesting conversation with Billy Bush and Kit Hoover:
Billy Bush: “You were dating…um…well, recently, right? You relate to our previous guest here.”
Sidibe: “Who hasn’t dated a gay dude?” [laughs]
Bush: “How recently were you dating a gay dude and did he tell you that he was gay?”
Sidibe: “He didn’t tell me, I just sort of figured it out. Sort of. It was sort of recently.”
Kit Hoover: “How did you figure it out?”
Sidibe: “Through like weird things he would say. And he also tried on all my heels once. So that’s a pretty big indication [laughs].
Bush: “Did you confront him?”
Sidibe: “I was like…’I have a feeling that, one, you look great in those heels, and two, you might not be into ladies [laughs]‘”
Much respect to her for having such a good sense of humor about it all. But Sidibe has moved forward and is looking for a new love, but she tells Bush and Hoover (funny, those are former Presidents’ last names…) in her Brooklyn accent that she’s not trying to mess with anybody who is in Hollywood.
“I don’t think I do. I sort of don’t live a very Hollywood life other than the fact that I do TVs and film all the time…I live in New York. But I sort of like to live a normal life, so I think I’d like a normal dude. I like funny guys. I like guys that get the joke. I like fun people, and I don’t like to explain my sarcasm. Just some dude that’s going to get me and be super tall. I like ‘em tall.”
Don’t we all?
Check out her full interview on Access Hollywood Live on the next page and let us know if you can relate and found yourself in a relationship with a gay man before.
Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number In Hollywood: Older Actors Who’ve Portrayed Significantly Younger Characters
Since the beginning of film-making, directors have cast actors and actresses into roles based significantly on talent, often letting factors like age fall by the wayside. Age ain’t nothing but a number in Hollywood, and that’s evident when a 41-year-old Barber Streisand was cast to play a 17-year-old in Yentl, or a 34-year-old Stockard Channing was cast to play an 18-year-old girl in Grease. Let’s see what other actresses and actors are old enough to father or give birth to some of the characters they’ve played–or at least be a young aunt or uncle to them.
Donald Glover, who currently stars as 24-year-old college student Troy Barnes on Community, is just marginally older than his character by 5 years, making Glover 29 years old.
Tags:Actors taking younger roles, age, Amber Riley, Bianca Lawson, bring it on, clueless, Community, Donald Glover, Gabourey Sidibe, Gabrielle Union, Glee, halle berry, high school musical, Hollywood, Monique coleman, Precious, pretty little liars, remember the titans, save the last dance, Stacey Dash, their eyes were watching god, Wood Harris
No More Remakes, 3D Versions, Sequels Or Slave Movies–Can We Get Some Original Ideas On The Big Screen?
We’ve only gone through a few months in 2013, but so far, I’m not mad impressed with what has been offered to us as moviegoers and what is on the way to the big screen this year.
While sitting in front of my television this evening, I saw a commercial for the 3D version of Jurassic Park (how old is that!?), another one celebrating G.I. Joe: Retaliation hitting number one at the box office, and I recently saw online the release date for Twelve Years a Slave was recently announced (December 27). When will it all end?
The numerous remakes, from the Sparkles of last year to this year’s releases of sequels for Evil Dead, Iron Man, Star Trek, Despicable Me (though I might have to check that one out), Thor, Hobbit and billions of others mean this will be another year of a huge lack of creativity. Even some of the independent films I’ve checked out so far have been a little stale. And in a moment of bad judgment, I decided to let the trailers for Tyler Perry’s Temptation woo me in to a big movie theater and per the usual, things didn’t end the way I had hoped. Blame it on predictability.
All of these things leave me to wonder, what has happened to creative storytelling in films over the years? You know, complete films with morals, surprise endings that made you go “Whaaaaaaaat!?”, characters you admired like you knew them personally, and stories that just kept you glued to your seat? These staples in film have been pushed into the background for too many parody movies, sad remakes of movies our parents went to the theaters to see back in the day (really, do we need that Carrie remake??), one too many horror films, enough I-got-drunk-now-lets-party-and-tomorrow-we’ll-forget-everything-that-happened films, and predictable rom-coms. Is this really all that big studios are willing to shell out money to make and all they think we want to see?
There are enough books by prolific authors out in the world for all of us to know that there are some really imaginative and just plain ‘ol dope stories needing to be brought to the masses on film. From books like The The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz to Wild Seed or Kindred by Octavia Butler, Sula by Toni Morrison, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (I know there was a miniseries based on it though…) or Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin (we can go even further back if you like), I’ve played enough of these novels in my head like they were movies, and I’m thirsty to see someone adapt them for the big screen. If done right, these can have as big an impact as turning a book like PUSH into Precious did a few years ago.
And can we get some more heroines on screen? And not your conventional ones? Like a Nola Darling in She’s Gotta Have It? Diana Guzman in Girlfight? Maggie in Million Dollar Baby–anybody?
I just honestly miss the days of new movies that were so great that they got passed on by word of mouth and when you watched them, they were just as good as people hyped them up to be. Movies that explored ways of thinking that you’d never imagined, including the possibility of being able to erase an ex-lover from your mind forever (and then deciding at the last minute that those memories were too great to get rid of), the idea of being able to stop murders before they happen, or the hunt for serial killers who plan murders that go after people who openly commit the seven deadly sins. Even stories that made you look with depth at incredibly real and sad issues (such as, how possible sexual abuse can affect the sex lives of victims as they get older–see Shame). And I miss movies about black folks that weren’t just rom-coms (and if they were, they were damn good ones) or about black female characters always and only going through terrible things, including dealing with abuse or tepid home lives. Beasts of the Southern Wild was a refreshing look at black folks trying to thrive after Hurricane Katrina–can we have more of these stories? All of these types have been done to great results, but these days, all we’re being served is the same ‘ol, same ‘ol. What’s up with that?
But then again, as I said, it’s early in the new year, and the movies could definitely get better (we all know the last few months of the year bring out the heavyweights to prepare for Oscar season). But until then, I think I’ll cling to my Netflix subscription and enjoy my blasts from the past in filmmaking, because the present gets two thumbs down…
Jesse James deceived us all as he played doting husband to America’s Sweetheart Sandra Bullock for five years. Then his affair with Michelle “Bombshell” McGee became headline news. Even three years later, it’s not far from the public’s mind.
James’, 43, name is back in the news this week as he’s just walked down the aisle for the fourth time. Bride no. 4 is 35-year-old Alexis DeJoria, a professional drag racer—and the daughter of billionaire John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of Paul Mitchell hair products. The couple, dating for seven months, got engaged after only one month together. Both have kids from previous relationships.
In 2011, James also popped the question to tattoo artist Kat Von D, but his repeat cheating prevented them from tying the knot.
After three failed marriages and the gusto to try for a fourth time, it’s clear James likes the idea of marriage. But that does not mean he’s good at it. And not surprisingly, he’s got a lot of A-list company in the Worst Hollywood Husbands Club. (Do you think these guys have secret group meetings to discuss just how terrible they are at being husbands?)
1. Tiger Woods
If a Tiger can’t change his stripes, can Tiger Woods stop being a cheetah? In one of the most epic cheating scandals to ever grace a public figure, Tiger Woods’ numerous infidelities were front-page news for weeks. After the majority (we think) of the mistresses came forward, Tiger sought treatment for his sex addiction. He lost his beautiful wife Elin along the way, and she’s since moved on with billionaire Chris Cline. While Tiger’s got his golf game back, we can’t imagine any woman on the planet thinking he’s marriage material—even you Lindsey Vonn.
Check out the other nine on YourTango.com.
We all know there’s Hollywood and then there’s black Hollywood. African American stars don’t get the same notoriety as their white counterparts despite their good looks, amazing acting chops and undeniable star power. Sad,right? From heartthrobs to veterans, these 15 thespians deserve the awards and accolades more than any other. Check out this list of black actors and actresses that should be leading in Hollywood.
Nia Long is beautiful. She is also the girl next door with a great deal of sass and sophistication. She lit our fire playing Nina in “Love Jones” and Bird in “Soul Food.” She’s been acting for quite some time and her staying power is phenomenal. Hollywood should take a deeper look.
Tags:Alfre Woodard, Angela Bassett, Back to Black, black actors, black actresses, Black Hollywood, Golden Brooks, Golden Tichina Arnold, Hollywood, Jill Marie Jones, larenz tate, leading african american actors, lela rochon, Maia Campell, Mekhi Phifer, michael beach, Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, Omar Epps, Persia WhiteGirlfriends, Raven SymoneKhalil Kain, Tatyana Ali, tracee ellis ross
Despite His Many Forms Of Employment, Steve Harvey Still Wants Us To Know That “Hollywood Is More Racist Than America”
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Steve Harvey talked to the magazine about his success as a man in Hollywood wearing many hats, from radio host, to game show host, talk show host, stand-up comedian and author. And while saying that he’s been thriving very well in Hollywood would be an understatement, Harvey says that Hollywood still isn’t necessarily as friendly to people of color as you’d think, even with a black president and black folks in high places in the media (a la, Oprah). That’s why television has changed for the negative.
“Hollywood is still very racist. Hollywood is more racist than America is. They put things on TV that they think the masses will like. Well, the masses have changed. The election of President Obama should prove that. And television should look entirely different. [Scandal star] Kerry Washington should not be the first African-American female to head up a drama series in 40 years. In 40 years! That’s crazy.”
Harvey learned this years ago, claiming, in the interview, that an executive at the WB where his show, The Steve Harvey Show aired, told him that while they might invest in black shows because they guarantee views from black audiences, once networks gain more success, they dump the black television programs so that they can make way for viewers who make more money and are more “mainstream.” He says, “…as they build the network and get more eyeballs, they slowly start phasing them out.”
But Harvey himself admits that with all his recent endeavors, including his books and his talk show, he’s not necessarily trying to target just the black audience, hence his often very white audience. He’s trying to reach out and have an opportunity to reach people of all backgrounds.
“I never mention color in my books. My show is not an African-American show. I’m not beating people over the head; I’m black, we black! And that’s how I look at it. I’m not going to let them put me in a box and pigeonhole me.”
A very interesting part of the interview came when Harvey also touched on the fact that he says he’s come so far, and been given so many opportunities because of God. But he’s noticed that a lot of the media can be very negative when it comes to religion:
“I don’t think that they care for that to be your explanation. When they ask me, ‘Steve, how do you explain your success?’ And I tell them that it’s prayer. It’s like, ‘Well, I mean really, who’s your agent, who’s your manager?’ I don’t think it’s cool for people to say, ‘You shouldn’t reference God because I don’t believe that, and I don’t want to hear it.’ Well, there’s a lot of stuff I don’t believe that I still gotta hear. I don’t believe in the K. K. K., but they exist. I don’t care for the Confederate flag at all. But they’re on state buildings down South.”
Very interesting points from Harvey, and in a way, I think we all knew that Hollywood has its way of working with black people in only certain capacities. But hopefully things are starting to change, as there are more black faces in positive roles on television nowadays (not JUST reality TV). But Harvey knows what he’s talking about since he’s got like twenty-something years on us…
Black Folks And The State Of Comedy: On Kevin Hart, The Lack Of Black Female Representation On SNL, And Black Men In Drag
Kevin Hart on gay jokes:
“The repercussions for saying certain words are harsh, and careers have been shut down. I can understand how people could be affected by certain words and slurs. I get it. My way of showing respect is to not play around with it, not mention it, not joke with it at all. I understand how serious it is.”
Now Kevin Hart on jokes about dark-skinned women:
“People are stupid. This is something so minute. If you are a Kevin Hart fan, you know exactly what I talk about and how I talk… Last time I checked, I’m as black as a doggone oil can. How can I be racist against what I am? Women, y’all just go off the deep end. Y’all kill me with this whole light skin/dark skin thing… Kevin talks about everybody. Nobody is left off limits… ”
Obviously Kevin Hart doesn’t believe that the “showing of respect” he has graciously extended to the GLBTQA [Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Allied] communities equally applies to that of black women. Obviously Hart is full of crap and his temperance for the GLBTQA communities is probably based more on concerns about the threat that saying the wrong thing might have on his career rather than actual genuine respect. Duly noted.
Speaking of black women and respect; why are there no sisters on Saturday Night Live? Not since Maya Rudolph has a black woman, or half-black woman, graced the comedic stage of the long running sketch comedy series. In fact, there have only been three black female members of SNL, including Ellen Cleghorne and Danitra Vance, in the entire 33 years of the series’ existence. I can understand why some of the more raw comedians like Sommore, Leslie Jones or maybe even Mo’Nique might not seem like a natural fit for the series, which caters to more of a pop audience. However, an Aisha Tyler, or Wanda Sykes or Loni Love can certainly pull off the dry and cheeky humor, which SNL is known for. Heck, Kim Wayans, formerly of In Living Color, and Debra Wilson, formerly of Mad TV, not only have sketch comedy experience, but also have proven that black women can and are in fact, funny too. So the mere fact that our reflection on the popular sketch comedy show is non-existent definitely raises a perfectly arched eyebrow or two.
Or as the website For Harriet said of the issue in December:
In today’s world, Black women are Grammy-award winning pop stars, media moguls, First Ladies, TV show hosts, actresses, sports stars, and more. We are also mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, career women, dreamers, and anything that could be just as funny or as socially relevant as SNL’s current output. To virtually make Black women’s imprint on today’s society non-existent on a platform like SNL is highly negligent in my perspective. Even more cutting is when Black women are parodied, distorted, and exaggerated by Black men in drag. As a Black woman, that only leaves me feeling like the butt of the joke, not an active agent in the humour.
And yet, SNL continues to perpetuate the idea that black women can only be funny if black male comedians in drag are parodying them, such as the case of Kenan Thompson or Kevin Hart, who as first time host of the show last Saturday, donned a blue dress to play Academy Award nominee Quvenzhané Wallis. I sent the clip to many friends, who absolutely hated the sketch. Outside of any offense to Hart’s imitation of Wallis, who has already had a tough few weeks with the whole Onion/c-word incident, there was an undercurrent of anxiety over what is believed to be a conspiracy against black manhood. More specifically, that Hollywood is aiming to feminize black male actors by making them wear a woman’s apparel. This conspiracy against black manhood is a long held belief in some more paranoid circles, however, it has gained traction over the years thanks in part to comedian Dave Chappelle, who appeared on Oprah back in 2006 and spoke very candidly about the time when he was asked, and ultimately declined, to wear a dress for a part in a major motion picture film. His reasoning also involved a belief in the Hollywood/black man in drag conspiracy.
Sure there are black men like Eddie Murphy, Flip Wilson, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, Wesley Snipes and the entire male half of the Wayans family who have all explored their feminine side for the purpose of a few laughs. But to be fair, men across the racial line like Dustin Hoffman, Tom Hanks, John Travolta, Robin Williams, Michael J. Fox, etc…have all rocked a skirt and heels too. Hollywood seems to have a strange relationship with men in drag period. For some reason, it is supposed to be funny. Or as Chris Rock once said:
“I mean, hey, lots of comedians dress up like women, not just Black. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book. Men in drag…There was Mrs. Doubtfire. [Adam] Sandler’s next movies is Jack and Jill. He plays his brother and sister. [The Black community] doesn’t have that many movies, so if there’s only four Black movies in a year and two of them star Black men in dresses, I could see how that would upset some people. But that’s a job for some people. Tyler Perry is great in a dress, but I don’t want to see Denzel or Will Smith in a dress. And I don’t think we’re in any danger of seeing that.”
It’s a cheap laugh – although a stupid and sexist one. If anybody should be offended it should be women, who have to sit around and watch men reinforce certain stereotypical images (particularly the finger snapping, eye-rolling flamboyantly dressed black woman) and basically have to endure what is best described as the gender equivalent of black face – or if the character happens to be black: blackface. So before we can talk about Hollywood’s nefarious grand scheme to feminize black men, let’s not ignore how black women have been completely censured, mis-characterized and eventually erased comically not just by the white decision makers, who deny them platforms, but also with assistance from our very own black brothers, who seem more than willing to sell out our image for a check. Perhaps I am making a big deal out of what is just a joke. However, as Hart says, there are repercussions for offensive material and perhaps for all the talk about “respect,” it’s about time that black women start demanding some of our own.
Race-bending is the common Hollywood practice of changing the race or ethnicity of a character to produce a movie. This can be done to give a leading role to an A-list actor or even to make a movie more “acceptable” to audiences – and yes, sometimes blackface is a part of this ya’ll. Thankfully, we can take comfort in knowing that race-bending isn’t always offensive. Click through to see what we mean.
Everyone In The Last Airbender
“Racebending” became an actual term following outrage over casting choices for the 2010 film The Last Airbender. Instead of hiring Asian actors to play the lead roles, as the source material called for, producers cast four white actors as leads, and just one Indian actor as – you guessed it, the villain.