The Week in Movie News: ‘Star Wars’ Returns Again in 2022, New ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Trailer and more

The Week in Movie News: ‘Star Wars’ Returns Again in 2022, New ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Trailer and more

Need a quick recap of the past week in movie news? Here are the highlights:

BIG NEWS

New Star Wars trilogy begins in three years: Disney revealed its known slate of movies for the next eight years, with dates slotted for Marvel, Avatar and Star Wars installments. The last of these franchises will kick off a whole new trilogy in December 2022 with the other two installments alternating with Avatar sequels in the same month through 2027 [via Variety].

 

Richard…

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Now You Too Can Drink Like a Rock Star

Courtesy Jimmy Fontaine

When you have opened for the Rolling Stones and toured with Black Sabbath, it’s safe to assume that your life is a montage of sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll, right?

But Jay Buchanan, lead singer of the band Rival Sons, paints a much more business-like picture of being a rock star.

“I’m all about a good time and every night is Saturday night around here for sure, but the music comes first,” he assures me. “Going too hard is not going to sustain you.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series – Episode 1 Review

After so many hours of Beat Saber, I have to say it felt damn good to have some officially licensed sound effects as I swung my honest-to-goodness lightsaber around in Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series – Episode 1 (of three). This 45-minute Star Wars game (which is exclusive to the Oculus Quest at launch) is fairly simple mechanically and the story hasn’t yet gone anywhere all that interesting, but it delivers on what’s promised: to put you into the Star Wars universe.

The story has Vader scooping up your generic smuggler stand-in character and sassy droid sidekick (voiced by Maya Rudolph) as part of a quest he began in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith; he needs someone of your Force-sensitive bloodline (“Surprise!” said no one) to seek out a cliche magical artifact from Mustafar’s distant past. I wouldn’t call it especially interesting thus far, since the stylized cinematic that tells the mystical tale of the artifact’s origin and your family ties to it feels like it could’ve come from any fantasy tale with no Star Wars association, but it takes us where we need to go.

Continue reading…

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‘Lucifer’ star Tom Ellis is ‘delighted’ to be back, baring more butt

When Fox canceled “Lucifer” in May 2018, the decision was hellish for series star Tom Ellis. “I didn’t expect it to happen, and when it did I was gutted,” says Ellis, who plays Lucifer Morningstar, a k a the Devil/fallen angel now spending time on Earth as a nightclub owner and LAPD consultant. “I really…
Entertainment | New York Post

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Build your own lightsaber or master ‘Star Wars’ special effects with these $20 online courses

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As a long-time Star Wars fan, you’ve likely celebrated countless May the Fourths with all of the binge-watching, merchandise buying, and arguing over conspiracy theories possible.

This year, take a step further into your favorite universe: Udemy offers several Star Wars-themed online courses to give hardcore fans a hands-on way to commemorate their favorite franchise. You can learn to build your own lightsaber, use Adobe to create realistic special effects, or play the Star Wars main theme on the harmonica. 

SEE ALSO: Save $ 10 on LucasFilm-approved lightsabers at ThinkGeek with code

The skills will be a step up from wowing a child with how fast you can build an X-Wing out of Legos, but patience you must have, young padawan. Read more…

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Manage Your Money, You Must: 10 Money Lessons We Learned from ‘Star Wars’

The Force will be with us — always.

Because “Star Wars” has embedded itself so deeply into our cultural DNA, it continues to shape the way we think about life.

Over numerous movies and assorted iterations, “Star Wars” has taught us about overcoming obstacles, about dealing with family drama, about friendship, about patience, about beating the odds — and even about money.

Because this is The Penny Hoarder, we’re especially interested in the part about money.

Even though the epic saga of Luke Skywalker & Co. played out a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the financial wisdom we gleaned from it applies to the here and now.

Now, prepare to make the jump into hyperspace! Here’s what we’ve learned:

1. Always Pay Your Debts — Or Else

Bingo. This is always the first one everyone thinks of.

Han Solo owes money to the giant slug-like crime boss, Jabba the Hutt. When he doesn’t pay up, Jabba sends bounty hunter Boba Fett after him — basically a debt collector with blaster pistols and green Mandalorian armor.

Instead of declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Han ends up frozen in carbonite. Then Princess Leia, Luke, Lando and the iconic droids have to infiltrate Jabba’s lair to save him in a sequel.

Just like with Solo, the longer you don’t pay off your debts, the bigger the problem gets. The interest piles up.

Pro Tip

Credit cards companies charge compound interest. If you don’t pay off your bill each month, the company charges interest that is added to the amount you owe. Then that new total is charged interest.

Your first step should be to figure out what you’re dealing with. Map out exactly what kind of debt you have. For example, which companies do you owe money to? Are any of your debts in collections? What are your minimum monthly payments on each credit card or loan?

An easy way to start doing this is to sign up with a free service like Credit Sesame. This tool shows your balance on any unpaid bills, credit cards or loans. It also offers tips on reducing your debt and raising your credit score.

2. Used Vehicles Offer the Best Value

The Millennium Falcon takes its share of verbal abuse in multiple “Star Wars” films.

“You came in that thing? You’re braver than I thought,” Princess Leia says upon first seeing the starship. And in “The Force Awakens,” Rey calls the ship “garbage.”

But the Millennium Falcon gets the job done. (Did we mention that it made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs?) Turns out you don’t always need a shiny new vehicle.

Used cars are often a better deal than new ones. Consumer Reports recommends buying a car that’s two or three years old. For tips on buying a used car, go here or here or here.

You’ll need to take care of your ride, though. (The Falcon’s hyperdrive keeps breaking down despite Chewbacca’s best efforts in “The Empire Strikes Back.”)

According to a AAA survey, 1 in 3 U.S. drivers can’t pay for an unexpected auto repair. Consider creating an emergency fund with a high-yield bank account.

3. Negotiate the Best Deal You Can

Early in “A New Hope,” Luke and Uncle Owen are bargaining with some creepy little jawas over the price of some used droids.

When an R2 unit they’d just bought immediately breaks down, Uncle Owen aggressively questions the quality of what the jawas are selling: “Hey, what are you trying to push on us?”

The result: Luke’s family gets the best droid ever, R2-D2.

Negotiating isn’t just for markets and cars, any variable expense can be negotiated to a lower price — you just have to know what to look for.

4. “Do or Do Not. There is No Try.”

Yoda’s admonition to Luke in “The Empire Strikes Back” is probably the biggest zen moment in any of these movies.

As always, Yoda is right on target. You’re either going to do it, or you’re not. Don’t just try.

If you’re going to make financial changes, commit to them and be consistent. Don’t just try once or twice and then forget about it. Sticking to it is the key to success.

Pro Tip

Help yourself by making it harder to spend. Deleting your credit card number from your internet browser can create just enough of a hurdle to force you to pause before giving in to that impulse buy.

For instance, saving money is hard. Consider trying an auto-savings app like Acorns.

Once you connect it to a debit or credit card, it rounds your purchases up to the nearest dollar and funnels your digital change into a savings or investment account.

Because the money comes out in increments of less than $ 1, you’re less likely to feel an impact in your bank account.

5. Don’t Let the Little Details Blow Up On You

The Empire spared no expense on the Death Star, don’t you think?

You’ve got to figure that moon-sized battle stations capable of blowing up planets don’t come cheap (especially two of them).

But they overlooked that pesky little design flaw that allowed the Rebel Alliance to destroy the whole thing. Whoops!

Don’t neglect the details like that, because they’ll burn you. Don’t skimp on maintenance and repairs for big-ticket items like your home and car. If you blow that stuff off, you’ll just end up paying more in the end.

Another lesson from the Death Star: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. The Empire sure had a lot riding on its supercool Death Star, didn’t it?

Don’t depend on just one thing. Diversify your investments. Here’s how one woman used an app to make sure her 401(k) was in balance.

6. Get Rid of Your Old Stuff

The “Star Wars” universe looks different than Star Trek and other sci-fi settings. “Star Wars” has that “lived-in” look — there’s junk everywhere. You know, just like your house.

And in the “Star Wars” movies, people make money selling that junk — just like you should.

In “The Force Awakens,” Rey is a scavenger on the planet Jakku, feeding herself by salvaging parts from ships.

On Luke’s home planet of Tatooine, those jawas we mentioned earlier appear to be scavengers, too.

Pro Tip

Letgo is an app that lets you connect with people who want your old stuff. It’s free to use — just snap a photo, upload your item and add a description and price.

In “The Phantom Menace” — hey, here’s our first and only mention of the prequels! — Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi meet young Anakin Skywalker in a junk shop where he fixes things.

Meanwhile, here on our planet, a number of apps are making it easier than ever to sell your old stuff online.

To free up space and earn some extra cash, use apps to sell your stuff. Listing the right stuff in the right marketplaces means you’re more likely to sell it for the right price.

7. Beware of Scams. Know What Things Are Worth.

Toward the beginning of “The Force Awakens,” a hungry Rey nearly pawns the droid BB-8 in exchange for 60 portions of inflatable food. She’s sorely tempted, but senses something is wrong and backs off.

That’s the surest way to spot a scam: If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Whether you’re selling a droid or shopping for shoes online, you’ve got to watch out for rip-offs. Here’s how to protect yourself from imposter scams, credit repair scams, identity theft and senior scams.

As long as identity theft remains a huge problem you need to keep an eye on your credit and transactions.

8. Embrace the Gig Economy

When Luke and Obi-Wan need transportation to Alderaan, they basically catch an Uber. A space Uber. They pay for the Millennium Falcon to take them there.

Here on Earth, you can make like Han and Chewie in your Honda or Chevy by driving with Uber or Lyft and make extra money each week on your own schedule.

Pro Tip

In addition to age requirements for drivers, Uber and Lyft both have age restriction for your vehicle that are based on regulations in your city.

There are other entry-level ways to make money nowadays that you can do on your own time – and from your phone – thanks to the growing gig economy.

Craigslist is an easy place to sell your services under the “Gigs” section. Pay and tasks will vary, of course. And if you don’t trust Craigslist, check out TaskRabbit or Fiverr – to name just a few.

9. If the Deal Turns to the Dark Side, Cut Your Losses

Here at The Penny Hoarder, we’re always looking for good deals.

We’re always asking, Is this a good deal or not a good deal? And when we hear the words “deal” and “”Star Wars”,” we can’t help but think of Lando Calrissian in “The Empire Strikes Back.”

Lando … Lando did not get a good deal.

When Han, Leia and Chewie first turn up in Cloud City, Lando tells them, “I’ve just made a deal that’ll keep the Empire out of here forever.”

Of course, the deal involves betraying his friends. Later, Darth Vader menacingly informs Lando, “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.”

Still later, when Vader threatens Lando further and mistreats his friends, Lando fumes, “This deal is getting worse all the time!”

That’s when he switches sides.

If you make a deal and the reality doesn’t match what you were promised, be prepared to walk away. Cut your losses and move on.

10. Sand People Always Walk in Single File to Hide Their Numbers

You see, from this we can learn that … no, no, wait. That’s not a good example at all. We learn no financial truths from that.

We’ve got nothing for you here.

Let’s try this instead. One of the most important lessons we learned from “Star Wars” is:

10. Make Sure You Have a Long-Term Plan

The heroes and villains of the Star Wars” universe are seriously into some long-term planning.

Emperor Palpatine’s master plan takes several movies to unfold. After he reveals himself to be Darth Sidious and strikes, Yoda and Obi-Wan lay low for a couple of decades after the prequels, waiting for their chance to return the favor.

Of course, when we first meet Obi-Wan and Yoda, they’re chilling in a cave and a swamp, respectively. Apparently the Jedi Council didn’t have much of a 401(k) match.

The sooner you start saving, investing and paying down your debt, the better off you’ll be.

All told, that’s everything that “Star Wars” has taught us about money so far. Take it as you will.

Do, or do not.

There is no try.

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. His “Star Wars”-loving co-workers helped out with this post.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Star Wars Force FX Lightsabers on sale at ThinkGeek with code

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All Star Wars fans have done it at some point in their lives — staged a mock lightsaber tournament with their equally-nerdy friends. As you chopped and slashed at your buddies, you couldn’t help but wish that you weren’t holding a cheap contractible lightsaber that you got from the bargain bin at the nearest toy store. You wanted something more realistic — something with weight so you could feel like a true Jedi master. 

You can get one step closer to that dream, because ThinkGeek is offering $ 10 off their Star Wars Force FX Lightsaber collection this weekend in celebration of May 4th, aka Star Wars day. All you need to do is use the code SABERSALE at checkout, and you’ll be ready to have the epic saber duel you always wanted.  Read more…

More about Movies, Star Wars, May The Fourth, Lightsabers, and Mashable Shopping


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This PR star says glamorous selfies are the key to her success

In the age of Instagram, dress for success isn’t just advice — it’s a social media strategy. Just ask public relations dynamo Susan Magrino, whose roster of clients includes Martha Stewart, the Miami’s Fontainebleau, The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, and the new Four Seasons restaurant. Two years after her eponymous firm first took the digital…
Business | New York Post

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Peter Mayhew dead – Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill lead tributes to Chewbacca actor after Star Wars icon passes away

HARRISON Ford and Mark Hamill have led the tributes to Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew after he died aged 74.

The 7ft 3in actor, who played the iconic Wookiee in five Star Wars movies, passed away “with his family by his side” on Tuesday.

Harrison Ford, who portrayed Han Solo in the franchise, paid a heartbreaking tribute to his co-star Peter Mayhew
AP:Associated Press

Harrison Ford, who portrayed Han Solo in the franchise, paid a heartbreaking tribute to his co-star Peter Mayhew[/caption]

Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the iconic film series, remembered his co-star as the “gentlest of giants”.

He tweeted: “A big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile and a loyal friend who I loved dearly.

“I’m grateful for the memories we shared and I’m a better man for just having known him. Thanks Pete #RIPPeterMayhew #Heartbroken.”

Harrison Ford, who portrayed Han Solo in the franchise, paid a heartbreaking tribute to his Millennium Falcon co-pilot, saying: “I loved him”.

“Peter Mayhew was a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character,” he said.

“These aspects of his own personality, plus his wit and grace, he brought to Chewbacca.

“We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him. He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Wars audience.

“Chewbacca was an important part of the success of the films we made together. He knew how important the fans of the franchise were to its continued success and he was devoted to them.

“I and millions of others will never forget Peter and what he gave us all. My thoughts are with his dear wife Angie and his children. Rest easy, my dear friend.”

Fellow co-star Billy Dee Williams, who played Lando Calrissian in Star Wars, tweeted: “Much more than Chewie to me.

“My heart hurts…I will miss you my dear friend…thanks for the great memories! #RIPPeterMayhew #StarWars.”

George Lucas, creator of Star Wars, also paid tribute.

In a statement, he said: “Peter was a wonderful man. He was the closest any human being could be to a Wookiee: big heart, gentle nature – and I learned to always let him win. He was a good friend, and I’m saddened by his passing.”

Peter Mayhew, the man behind the famed Chewbacca voice in Star Wars, has died at 74
Reuters
The actor died at his North Texas home surrounded by his family
Reuters

Mayhew’s family has not revealed what the cause of his death was.

He played Chewbacca in Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), Revenge Of The Sith (2005) and The Force Awakens (2005).

During filming of The Force Awakens Mayhew shared his role with Finnish actor Joonas Suotamo.

His family said: “Peter was the man behind the mask of Chewbacca in the original Star Wars triology, episode 3 of the prequels and the New Triology.

“He fought his way back from being wheelchair-bound to stand tall and portray Chewbacca once more in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

“He also consulted on The Last Jedi in an attempt to teach his successor.

“He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca and it showed in every frame of the films from his knock kneed running, firing his bowcaster from the hip, his bright blue eyes, down to each subtle movement of his head and mouth.

Harrison Ford paid a heartbreaking tribute to his Millennium Falcon co-pilot, saying: 'I loved him'
Alamy

Harrison Ford paid a heartbreaking tribute to his Millennium Falcon co-pilot, saying: ‘I loved him’[/caption]

“But, to him, the Star Wars family meant so much more to him than a role in the film.”

Mayhew got the role in the original Star Wars film after creator George Lucas needed a tall actor to play hairy alien Chewbacca.

David Prowse, who was 6ft 6ins, was originally in the frame but chose instead to play Darth Vader.

Lucas discovered Mayhew, who was chosen purely for his height.

Mayhew, from Surrey, was born with Marfan syndrome – a connective tissue disease that caused his great height.

He had undergone spinal surgery last July to try and improve his mobility.

Mayhew was much loved on the Star Wars convention circuit and wrote two books “Growing Up Giant” and “My Favourite Giant”.

‘GENTLE GIANT’

A statement said: “We are so very sad to have to inform you all that Peter Mayhew who was Chewbacca in the Star Wars films passed away last night at his home in Texas.

“Peter was a real gentle giant and a very quiet, shy and beautiful person! A one-off!

“The Chewbacca role was more Peter playing himself on screen and the question of how much of Peter is Chewie and how much of Chewie is Peter will never be worked out as they really were one and the same.

“Peter loved playing Chewbacca as he could put away his shyness and become a roaring Wookiee when he needed to be.”


He used his fame to support charitable work, ultimately setting up the Peter Mayhew Foundation to support a variety of causes.

That work will continue under the leadership of his wife, Angie.

Mayhew is also survived by his three children.

A memorial service for family and friends is planned for June 29, and a memorial for fans will take place in December at EmpireConLA.

His family said: “As he grew older he continued to ‘soldier on’ as he put it and was completely in his element around fans and supporters.

“He grew great strength from the energy of his family, friends and the fans he knew and loved.”

The Star Wars actor was famed for playing Chewbacca
Crispin Rodwell – The Sun Dublin
The actor played Chewbacca in five Star Wars movie
Getty Images – Getty
Peter Mayhew, the actor who played the furry co-pilot Chewbacca in several ‘Star Wars’ movies, has died
EPA
Mayhew played Wookiee warrior Chewbacca in the original trilogy
Getty – Contributor
Mayhew, who was 7ft 3ins and British, played Wookiee warrior Chewbacca in five Star Wars movies
Alamy

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‘I Loved Him.’ Harrison Ford Bids Farewell to Star Wars Co-Star Peter Mayhew

Hollywood actor Harrison Ford gave a heartfelt statement on his Star Wars co-star Peter Mayhew’s death on Thursday.

Peter Mayhew was a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character,” Ford said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

The 7-foot-3 actor played Chewbacca, the loyal sidekick to Han Solo, who was played by Ford. The famous Wookiee, who starred in five Star Wars films, including the original trilogy, died at his Texas home on Tuesday at the age of 74.

Ford said the duo’s unique bond extended beyond the silver screen.

“We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him. He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Wars audience,” Ford said about his co-star, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Read More: ‘The Gentlest of Giants.’ Star Wars Actors Honor Late Chewbacca Star Peter Mayhew

The Han Solo actor credited Mayhew’s character for the popularity of the legendary science fiction film series.

“Chewbacca was an important part of the success of the films we made together. He knew how important the fans of the franchise were to its continued success and he was devoted to them. I and millions of others will never forget Peter and what he gave us all,” Ford said.


Entertainment – TIME

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How to write a spoiler-free ‘Avengers’ or ‘Star Wars’ review

When “The Empire Strikes Back” premiered in 1980 (yes, I am that old), I made plans to see it on the second night it was out. That morning, a classmate with a passion for such things rushed up to me and asked, “Did you guess that Darth Vader was Luke’s father?”


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From Farrah to Bristol! Every ‘Teen Mom’ Star Who Has Left the Franchise

All good things must come to an end? That has been the case for multiple members of the Teen Mom franchise. After the success of 16 & Pregnant, MTV decided to launch Teen Mom in December 2009, set to follow Farrah Abraham, Amber Portwood, Maci Bookout and Catelynn Lowell.

After season 5, the show was renamed Teen Mom OG, as Teen Mom 2, Teen Mom 3 and later Teen Mom: Young + Pregnant, came into the mix. Teen Mom 2, which premiered in January 2011, followed Jenelle Evans, Chelsea DeBoer, Kailyn Lowry and Leah Messer. Teen Mom 3 included Briana DeJesus, Mackenzie Douthit, Alex Sekella and Katie Yeager. Teen Mom: Young + Pregnant cast Jade Cline, Brianna Jaramillo, Ashley Jones, Kayla Sessler and Lexi Tatman and premiered in March 2018. Then, in April 2019, Teen Mom: Young Moms Club launched – the cast was previously part of the Pretty Little Mamas series before joining the Teen Mom franchise.

However, not everyone lasted. Over the years, many have left their franchise – either on their own or at the hand of producers. For the most part, those who remained were very supportive of the party who made the choice.

“I think if it’s going against what MTV believes in and that’s what they feel like they had to do, then that’s what they feel like they have to do,” Catelynn said during The Dr. Oz Show in July 2018 after Farrah was fired for continuing her adult entertainment career. “We have no choice in it or are a part of it.” Catelynn’s husband, Tyler Baltierra, was even happier: “I think it’s great. I think it’s awesome. The way she decided to live, her lifestyle, it just doesn’t really mesh with the rest of the cast and what we’re trying to educate [audiences] about, it just doesn’t work. It doesn’t work very well together. … She’s not a really nice person to be around.”
Scroll through our gallery to see which stars have been axed.

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Game of Thrones star Hannah Murray admits playing anorexic teen on Skins was ‘one of the happiest times of her life’

GAME Of Thrones’ Hannah Murray has admitted that playing anorexic teen Cassie Ainsworth on E4 drama Skins remains one of her happiest work memories – despite finding international super-stardom in the HBO fantasy series.

The 29-year-old actress appeared on Lorraine earlier today, where she admitted that her 2007-2008 castmates are like her “siblings”.

Hannah appeared on Lorraine earlier today

Speaking about the popular show, Hannah said: “Some of the happiest times of my life, I fell in love with acting so hard and fast when I first started working on Skins.

“Then those people that I worked with on the show are like my best friends, they are almost like my siblings really, we are that close.

“I see them all the time, they’re such an important part of my life – that thread from that first job is still very, very consistent.”

The star took a break from acting to further her studies after finding fame in Skins, landing the recurring role of wildling Gilly in the second series of Game of Thrones in 2012.

Hannah played troubled anorexic Cassie in teen drama Skins

The actress says her Skins castmates, including GoT’s Joe Dempsie [bottom left] are like her ‘siblings’
Getty – Contributor

Together with Samwell Tarly, Gilly played a key role in discovering the truth about Jon Snow’s legitimate parentage – and is one of the few characters to have survived to see in the final series of the show.

Speaking to Christine Lampard on the ITV breakfast show, Hannah revealed that she struggles to keep the top secret content of the show under wraps – and even spoiled the show for one of her friends at his birthday party.

She explained: “I always want to tell everyone, I once ruined a big spoiler for my friend at his birthday party – I just decided to tell him everything.

Hannah plays wildling Gilly in Game of Thrones
HBO
Joe plays Gendry in Game of Thrones – but he and Hannah are yet to share a scene together


“I am always worried I am going to get in trouble, so I am relieved the show is coming out so I can finally talk about it with everyone.”

The much-anticipated final series of Game of Thrones hit our screens in the early hours of Monday morning, with Hannah’s fellow Skins’ alumni, Joe Dempsie, also reprising his role of Gendry for the season.

Hannah previously confessed that she has always hoped Gilly and Gendry’s storylines will cross so that she can be reunited with her close pal on set.

As of yet, the two characters haven’t met in Westeros – and with just five episodes left of the hit series, the odds of an on-screen Skins reunion aren’t looking too likely.


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First ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Teaser Reveals a Major Villain’s Return; Here’s Everything We Know

First ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Teaser Reveals a Major Villain’s Return; Here’s Everything We Know

A fairly short time from now, in a theater not too far away, Star Wars: Episode IX is hitting the big screen to close out the Sequel Trilogy and the “Skywalker Saga” as a whole. This movie is going to be a big deal, not only as the finale of a nine-part story (excluding spin-offs and animated features) but supposedly also as the last time we'll be seeing Original Trilogy characters and the last time we'll be hearing an original score from John Williams. …

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The Week in Movie News: ‘Shazam!’ Sequel in the Works, First ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Teaser and More

The Week in Movie News: ‘Shazam!’ Sequel in the Works, First ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Teaser and More

Need a quick recap of the past week in movie news? Here are the highlights:

BIG NEWS

DC plans more Shazam!: The latest installment of the DC Extended Universe was a hit at the box office last weekend, and so naturally there’s going to be a sequel. While there’s no release date set nor a confirmation of Zachary Levi’s return, Shazam! screenwriter Henry Gayden has been hired to pen Shazam 2, according to The Wrap. David F. Sandberg may also return to direct….

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He Stole the Gutenberg Bible, Then Became Porn’s Weirdest Star

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/Photos by Getty and National Screw

On the night of Tuesday, August 19, 1969, a thief dressed in black walked into Harvard University’s Widener Library. He carried a backpack holding a ball-peen hammer, a screwdriver, a chisel, masking tape, rope, a crow bar, and electricians’ gloves. Once he reached the top floor, he hid inside a men’s bathroom until the doors locked for the night. He was virtually alone with 8 million volumes.

The library’s most valuable possession was a Bible printed by Johannes Gutenberg in 1455. That year he introduced the first movable type printing press to Europe, revolutionizing publishing by making it possible to mass produce books that had otherwise been printed individually or written by hand. Harvard’s Bible was one of the original 180 printed by Gutenberg known to still exist and one of only five complete copies in the United States in 1969.

And it was the thief’s mark.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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‘Rise of Skywalker’ Set to Be Most Diverse Star Wars Casting Ever. Here Is A Roster of Black Star Wars Characters

The Episode IX trailer for the latest Star Wars movie was just released. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be the space series’ most diverse casting since the first movie premiered in 1977. People of color including leading man John Boyega, Kelly Marie Tran, Naomi Ackie, and the return of Billy Dee Williams in the iconic role of Lando Calrissian, are front and center in the latest episode.

And while there was controversy over the casting of John Boyega, a black British actor as a Stormtrooper in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, there have been iconic black actors and characters throughout the Star Wars universe. Here are seven of the best known.

Black Characters Star Wars Characters

Mace Windu

Played by: Samuel L. Jackson

Film: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, 1999

 

black star wars characters

(Image: Facebook)

 

2. Lando Calrissian

Played by: Billy Dee Williams

Films: The Empire Strikes Back; Return of the Jedi

 

black star wars characters

(Image: Facebook)

 

3. Maz Kanata

Played by: Lupita Nyong’o

Film: The Force Awakens

 

black star wars characters

(Image: Facebook)

 

 

4. Voice of Darth Vader

Played by: James Earl Jones

Films: Star WarsThe Empire Strikes Back; Return of the Jedi

 

black star wars characters

(Image: iStock/tihomir_todorov)

 

 

5. Jabba the Hutt’s Twi’lek slave dancer Oola

Played by:  Femi Taylor

Film: Return of the Jedi

 

 

black star wars characters

(Image: Facebook)

 

 

6. Finn 

Played by: John Boyega

Film: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi 

 

black star wars characters

(Image: Wikimedia)

 

7. Rachel

Played by:  Crystal Clarke

Film: The Force Awakens

 

 

black star wars characters

(Image: Instagram)

 

Check out the trailer to Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker:



 

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Editors’ Note: This article has been updated from its original publish date in 2017. 

The post ‘Rise of Skywalker’ Set to Be Most Diverse Star Wars Casting Ever. Here Is A Roster of Black Star Wars Characters appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” Debuts First Teaser; Top 5 Moments from Star Wars Celebration

'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

It was arguably the most important and anticipated presentation of the year, and it all went down at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago.

Disney and Lucasfilm chose Chicago as the location where they would roll out a first look at Star Wars Episode IX, due out this December. Not only is it among the most anticipated movies of the year according to Fandango fans, but it's the culmination of a nine-movie saga that began all the way back in 1977 with Star Wars: A New Hope.

Here are the…

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RHONY Star Bethenny Frankel Reportedly Tried To Break Up With Dennis Shields One Week Before His Death

Bethenny Frankel is opening up about the final days in her relationship with the late Dennis Shields. In a shocking interview, the Real Housewives of New York star revealed that she attempted to cut ties with Shields weeks before his tragic death.

“I mean, it’s really brutal. He was really someone that I went to for everything,” Frankel confessed. “So him being gone is just a massive void and I really can’t believe he’s gone.”

Shields was found unresponsive in his New York City apartment this past summer. He is believed to have passed away from a prescription drug overdose. On the weekend prior to his death, Frankel revealed that she decided to end her relationship with Shields once and for all. After she learned about his passing, the RHONY star admitted that she felt a tremendous amount of guilt over what happened.

According to All About The Real Housewives, Frankel also revealed that Shields believed he was destined to be alone if their relationship did not work out. This is one reason why Frankel decided to remain friends with Shields even after they had broken up. But at the end of the day, she felt like it was time to cut ties with her on-and-off again boyfriend for the benefit of both parties.

Fortunately, Frankel was able to get professional help in the form of therapy in the days and weeks following Shield’s tragic death. In fact, Frankel revealed that she feels much better about the whole situation and understands now that Shields would want her to have some peace of mind as well.

In a previous episode of RHONY, Frankel told Dorinda Medley that Shields proposed to her last spring. The two ultimately decided to put the engagement on the back burner because things were too complicated in Frankel’s life. Frankel, of course, has since moved on and has a new man in her life.

Fans can watch Bethenny Frankel in action when new episodes of the Real Housewives of New York air Wednesday nights on Bravo.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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‘Captain Marvel’ Actress Mckenna Grace to Star in ‘Ghostbusters 3′; Here’s Everything We Know

‘Captain Marvel’ Actress Mckenna Grace to Star in ‘Ghostbusters 3'; Here’s Everything We Know

It’s time to get slimed at least one more time.

Just when the fate of the Ghostbusters franchise seemed up in the air, another installment is in the works. That’s right, as revealed by Entertainment Weekly, Sony is going back to the popular 1980s series that started it all, but the still-rather-secret sequel isn’t totally clear in how it will connect to the old movies starring Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd.

Early this year, Ghostbusters 3 (or whatever the movie will be…

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Bravo Star Brooklyn Tankard Launches ‘I Am Free’ HBCU Tour To Combat Violence On College Campuses

Bravo TV star, singer and motivational speaker Brooklyn Tankard is no stranger to violence, depression and the realities of suicide.

The daughter of famed gospel jazz musician Ben Tankard and vivacious “Thicker than Water” cast member, has revealed many of her hardships on screen.

However, upon witnessing the recent rash of rapes, sexual assaults and suicides affecting people nationwide, she decided to do something, launching a powerful national tour – the I AM Free Concert & Convo, beginning on April 8th.

The I Am Free Concert & Convo will travel to over 20 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in 2019 to empower students, alumni, faculty and the community with knowledge to eliminate physical, sexual and psychological violence.

“I couldn’t sleep because I was seeing all of the violence on social media and on TV. I experienced a lot of violence as a young girl and nearly died as a result of a rape,” Tankard said. “I almost internally bled to death. After I pitched the reality show on Bravo and it was picked up and broke ratings, I told God that I promise to use my platform to empower others and provide solutions to violence. I wanted to help others to walk in their purpose. That is what the tour is about.”

The tour is supported by the White House Initiative on HBCUs, the non-profit Bridge DA Gap, and various national celebrities and speakers. Among participants are family members Ben and Jewel Tankard from BRAVO’s “Thicker Than Water”, Grammy nominated producer and artist Khao, international motivational speaker William Hollis and many other special guests. Panels will address depression, domestic violence, low self-esteem, finances and other ailments that afflict students nationwide; to educate them on solutions and to empower them to make important life decisions that will place them on a trajectory of success and purpose.

Tankard stressed that while many leaders talk about these issues, very little is done to truly address them on a wide scale.

“How can we really solve the issues if we are not really dealing with the core issue,” she said.  “It really comes down to learning how to have a mental paradigm shift and self-love. Love is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. I want to bring that on this tour. We are dealing with the entire person. The mind, the emotions, all of the above.”

The tour will kick off at Livingstone College in Salisbury, MD on April 8th and 9th. Additional dates and locations are listed on the website. Portions of the proceeds from each event will go towards providing resources to people who have been victims of violence.

For more information on the I AM Free Concert & Convo, visit https://www.iamfreetour.com/ or follow Brooklyn Tankard on Instagram at @queenbrooklyn and @IAmFreeTour.

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Kelsey Grammer, Julia Stiles to Star in Medical Thriller ‘The God Committee’

Kelsey Grammer and Julia Stiles are starring in medical thriller “The God Committee.” Austin Stark is directing from his own script. Colman Domingo, Janeane Garofalo and Dan Hedaya are co-starring. “The God Committee” explores the U.S. organ transplant system. The movie follows a donor heart being flown to a New York hospital, where a transplant […]

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Early Access: Here’s How Star Zachary Levi Thinks You Should Experience ‘Shazam!’ In Theaters

Early Access: Here's How Star Zachary Levi Thinks You Should Experience 'Shazam!' In Theaters

On March 23, you can be among the very first to see Shazam! when Fandango brings the latest DC Comics movie to theaters nationwide for one day only prior to its official April 5 release. To grab tickets and find out where Shazam! will be screening early by you, fly on over to our Fandango Early Access page right here.

To celebrate these early screenings, we sat down with Shazam! star Zachary Levi for a special episode of Concession Confessions. What is the…

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Trump’s economic report gets loaded with fake superhero, ‘Star Wars,’ Monty Python names

A list of interns who worked on President Donald Trump's new "Economic Report of the President" includes the "real-life" names of Batman, Spider-Man and Captain America, "Monty Python" member John Cleese, and "Star Trek" character Kathryn Janeway.
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You Might Not Recognize Baseball’s Highest-Paid Star. For the MLB, That’s a Problem

Finally, Mike Trout is buzzing across the country! Mike Trout’s a thing!

Trout, the generational baseball talent who plays center field for the Los Angeles Angels, is reportedly close to signing the largest contract in North American professional team sports history. It’s a 12-year, $ 426.5 million extension with the Angels. The contract topped — by nearly a cool $ 100 million — the previous high of $ 330 million over 13 years, which Bryce Harper fetched from the Philadelphia Phillies less than three weeks ago. Harper chirped about recruiting Trout to the Phillies when he became a free agent after the 2020 season: Trout’s from South Jersey, and grew up a Phillies fan. But rather than relocate, Trout preferred a paycheck the size of Tonga’s GDP.

Days before the start of March Madness, Trout’s face popped up on ESPN throughout the day, as the network’s pundits debating the merits of the deal. He was trending all day on Twitter. MLB marketing execs were surely smiling.

This historic contract, however, won’t fix baseball’s Mike Trout problem. And baseball, indeed, has a Mike Trout problem.

It’s not that Trout is in any way toxic or anything. In fact, quite the opposite: by all accounts, Trout is a genuinely nice fellow who goes out of his way to sign autographs and do good deeds. No whiff of controversy, steroid or legal or otherwise, trails him.

Trout’s the best player in the national pastime. He’s won two AL MVP awards, and finished in the top two in the MVP voting in all but one of his seven full big-league season. According to analytics site baseballreference.com, his production through age 26 measures up to that of Frank Robinson, Ken Griffey Jr., Mickey Mantle, and Hank Freakin’ Aaron. The issue is that there’s a good chance that if he walked into your Olive Garden, you’d keep eating your breadsticks. Meanwhile, if LeBron James or Tom Brady did the same, you might choke on them.

Trout’s probably the most anonymous super-duper athletic star in America. According to The Q Scores Company, a marketing research firm, Trout has a familiarity score of 22 — meaning just 22% of Americans know who Mike Trout is. Meanwhile, Tom Brady has an awareness rating of 79, and LeBron James clocks in at 74. (Yes, it’s hard to believe that one in four Americans aren’t familiar with LeBron James. Guess it’s a big country out there.)

According to Q Scores Executive Vice President Henry Schafer, baseball players generally score lower in familiarity than football and basketball players. While Brady and James have ratings in the 70s, baseball’s most famous active player is Miguel Cabrera, with a score of 27. Trout’s score is similar to that of NFL players like Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff and Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who’s played in 14 career NFL games. Those players haven’t matched the greatness of Trout in their sport.

Trout’s score is also comparable to that of Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, who has a 23. Love’s a fine player, a five-time All-Star. But if more Americans are familiar with a guy who’s on one of the worst teams in the NBA — and has been injured most of this season — than the best player in baseball, that’s bad news for baseball.

“The thing with athletes is exposure, exposure, exposure,” says Schafer. “Baseball players aren’t out there. They’re not getting tremendous exposure.”

MLB’s aware of this. At last summer’s All-Star game, Trout’s aversion to self-promotion became a bit of a sticking point. Commissioner Rob Manfred noted that if Trout “wants to engage and be more active” in marketing himself, “I think we could help him make his brand really big. But he has to make a decision that he is prepared to engage in that area, and it takes time and effort.”

Manfred’s comments generated headlines — “MLB Commissioner places blame for Mike Trout’s lack of national visibility on Trout” wrote the Los Angeles Times — and irked the Angels, who released a terse statement in response, pointing out that Trout regularly visits hospitals, schools and “countless” charities.

“We applaud him for prioritizing his personal values over commercial self-promotion,” the statement read. “That is rare in today’s society and stands out as much as his extraordinary talent.

Trout might score higher if he played on a better team. While James and Brady have made regular appearances in Super Bowls and NBA Finals, Trout’s played in one postseason series, in 2014; the Kansas City Royals swept the Angles in three games, and Trout hit .083, though his one hit was a home run. You can’t blame Trout for failing to make the playoffs almost every year. It’s much harder for a great baseball player, who only comes up to the plate every nine at-bats, to carry a team on his back like a quarterback who’s involved in every offensive play, or a basketball player who can have the ball in his hands on every offensive possession.

Other factors beyond Trout’s control also account for baseball’s buzz issues. Long games turn off some younger attention-challenged fans. While pace of play initiatives like limiting mound visits and a timing clock for pitching changes helped quicken games a bit last season, the average game still checked in at three hours per nine innings, 10 minutes longer than a decade ago, and more than a half-hour longer than games 40 years ago. Also, baseball fandom is more localized. While it’s easier to follow basketball and football stars on national platforms like ESPN, TNT and Monday Night Football, following 30 teams over a 162-game season takes too much time and energy.

There used to be Monday Night Baseball on broadcast TV. It didn’t last like its football brethren. “Baseball is much more of a geographically contained sport,” says J.C. Bradbury, an economics professor at Kennesaw State University and author of The Baseball Economist: The Real Game Exposed. “MLB has figured out that by going after lucrative regional TV contracts, we’re going to get our money.”

Still, baseball players have the potential for mass cultural relevance. Derek Jeter, for example, transcended sports. MLB is also taking more measures to market its players. Trout, for example, will appear in a new MLB ad on Opening Day, March 28.

But Trout’s probably never going to be the “it” guy. You can’t fake charisma. And his contract, eye-popping as it may be, will soon lose its clout. Don’t forget, Giancarlo Stanton once signed the richest contract in North American pro team sports, a $ 325 million deal with the Miami Marlins in 2014. Right before signing, 11% of Americans were familiar with Stanton, according to Q Scores. Today, even after he subsequently hit 59 home runs one season in Miami and now plays for the New York Yankees — in the country’s largest market, for the game’s most storied team — Stanton checks in at 13, a difference of just two points. Such a spread is within the poll’s margin of error. So it’s completely possible Stanton’s no more famous today than he was five years ago.

That’s more disheartening news for baseball.

 

Sports – TIME

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This is not a drill: Lauren Graham will guest star on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

This is not a drill: Lauren Graham will guest star on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel


This is not a drill: Lauren Graham will guest star on <em>The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel</em>

Once upon a time, three women—Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, and Amy Sherman-Palladino—collaborated on a little show you definitely loved, Gilmore Girls. They’ve all gone their separate ways and done their own things, but when Graham saw Sherman-Palladino’s latest project, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, she wanted in. Apparently, Graham wanted to guest star on Mrs. Maisel so much that she took it upon herself to create a potential character to play, and when she pitched it to Sherman-Palladino, the creator was like, “Let’s do it.”

“Lauren made a request, and Lauren is my queen and the reason I have a career, so I honor the request of Lauren Graham,” Sherman-Palladino told Entertainment Tonight. “I’m trying to figure it out.”

If all goes to plan, Graham will appear in the upcoming third season of the show. In terms of the character that Graham wants to play, Sherman-Palladino told The Hollywood Reporter back in January 2019 that “Lauren wants to be something very specific. She has it all figured out.”

Producer Amy Sherman-Palladino arrives for the 30th Annual Producers Guild Awards at the Beverly Hilton hotel on January 19, 2019 in Beverly Hills.
LISA O’CONNOR/AFP/Getty Images

Sadly, they won’t tell us who or what that character is, but when we last left Midge Maisel, she was contemplating her engagement to Benjamin Ettenberg (Zachary Levi) and about to tour the world doing stand-up with popular singer Shy Baldwin (Leroy McClain). Could Graham play a fellow female comic she meets on the road? Maybe she’s the pop star’s manager? What if she’s Benjamin’s sister and she’s furious that Midge dumped him? Literally, we’ll take anything. As long as Graham is back in her element rattling off that signature fast-paced Sherman-Palladino banter, we’re good.

Do you know who else might guest star on Season 3 of Mrs. Maisel? Sterling K. Brown. Can you imagine if the best thing about Gilmore Girls and the best thing about This Is Us converged on your favorite Amazon series? Rachel Brosnahan told Entertainment Tonight that Brown was “still in negotiations” but hoped it would all work out.

Season 3 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is going to be a damn gift, and we cannot wait.

The post This is not a drill: Lauren Graham will guest star on <em>The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel</em> appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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Aaron Paul Addresses ‘Breaking Bad’ Movie Reports: ‘It Has to Star Jessie’

News on the “Breaking Bad” movie seems to be coming in fits and starts. At the Sun Valley Film Festival on Friday, series star Aaron Paul didn’t confirm whether he was involved in the upcoming movie sequel, which will first air on Netflix and then AMC, as Variety reported in February, but did indicate that […]

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Former That’s So Raven Star Kyle Massey Sued for Alleged Sexual Misconduct With a Minor

Kyle MasseyFormer Disney star Kyle Massey is being sued for $ 1.5 million for allegedly “attempting to commit a lewd act with a minor.”
The suit was filed anonymously and thus refers to the…

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You’re more likely to win money if this is your star sign

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Do you believe in star signs? Whether you trust in what your horoscope says or not, you might want to read this…

It turns out that the luckiest star sign is Aries. According to research by Buzzbingo.com, those born between March 21st and April 19th are more likely to hit the jackpot. Aries are the most likely to win big (more than £1000), with 520 big winners per 10,000 winners, with Sagittarus coming in close second. However, it’s bad news if you’re a Capricorn, as they came last in the table. Those with a Leo and Aquarius star sign didn’t do too well, either Sorry.

Here’s the full list so that you can see where you fall in line with your star sign. It’s based on the most winners per 10,000 winners.

Aries – 520

Sagittarius – 519

Cancer – 510

Taurus – 510

Virgo – 498

Scorpio – 496

Libra – 477

Gemini – 476

Pisces – 471

Leo – 467

Aquarius – 462

Capricorn – 456

The study shows that Virgos came out on top when it comes to overall winners, with 11,186 people taking home cash wins. This is the full breakdown…

Credit: Buzzbingo

So all in all – great news if you’re an Aries!

Sagittarius and Cancer, we’d say you can cash in on the luck, too.

Might be worth heading to the bingo this weekend…

The post You’re more likely to win money if this is your star sign appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Chris Messina to Star in YouTube Series ‘Dark Cargo’

“Birds of Prey” actor Chris Messina is set to star in the YouTube series “Dark Cargo.” Ben Stiller and Nicky Weinstein will executive produce via their Red Hour Productions banner. Penned by Adam and Max Reid and directed by “The Girlfriend Experience’s” Lodge Kerrigan, the series is described as a high-octane, cliffhanger-driven, neo-noir thriller set […]

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Court Reinstates Murder Conviction For Former NFL Star Aaron Hernandez

(BOSTON) — Massachusetts’ highest court on Wednesday reinstated the late Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction, which was erased after the former NFL star killed himself in prison.

The Supreme Judicial Court also scrapped the legal principle that wiped out Hernandez’s conviction for future cases, calling it “outdated and no longer consonant with the circumstances of contemporary life.”

Hernandez was convicted in 2015 of killing semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd. Two years later, the 27-year-old killed himself in his prison cell days after being acquitted of most charges in a separate double-murder case.

A judge threw out Hernandez’s conviction that year, citing the legal principle that holds that a defendant convicted at trial who dies before an appeal is heard should no longer be considered guilty in the eyes of the law, thereby returning the case to its pretrial status.

Under the doctrine, rooted in centuries of English law, a conviction should not be considered final until an appeal can determine whether mistakes were made that deprived the defendant of a fair trial, legal experts say.

Prosecutors have said the legal doctrine is outdated and unfair to victims. Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn II argued the defendant’s estate should be allowed to appeal the case, if they wish. Otherwise, the conviction should stand, he said.

“He goes through a full trial, a jury who speaks for the public convicts him and because he dies, in this case commits suicide, the whole thing is wiped out like it never happened? It’s not fair or just and should be changed,” Quinn told reporters after the November hearing.

Under the new rule laid out by the court, the conviction will stand but the court record will note the conviction was neither affirmed nor reversed because the defendant died while the appeal was pending.

Other high-profile Massachusetts criminals whose convictions have been erased after their deaths include John Salvi, who was convicted of killing two abortion clinic workers and wounding five other people during a shooting rampage in Brookline in 1994.

Roman Catholic priest John Geoghan, a key figure in the clergy sex abuse scandal that rocked the Boston archdiocese and spread across the globe, also had his child molestation conviction vacated after he was beaten to death in 2003 in his cell at the same Massachusetts maximum-security prison where Hernandez died.

Hernandez’s attorney had previously argued the legal doctrine should remain intact, saying juries make mistakes.

How other states handle cases such as Hernandez’s varies widely. Some states, like Massachusetts, toss the convictions, while others dismiss the defendant’s appeal and the conviction stands. Other states allow appellate courts to consider a dead defendant’s case, prosecutors say.

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‘Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett Slapped With 16 Felony Counts Over Alleged Attack Hoax

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Empire actor Jussie Smollett was indicted Thursday by a Chicago grand jury on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report claiming he was the victim of a hate crime.

Smollett, who was previously charged with one count of disorderly conduct last month, is accused of staging the racial and homophobic attack on himself in January, paying two men to yell slurs at him, pour bleach on him, and wrap a rope around his neck.

According to local news station ABC7 Chicago, the indictment from a Cook County grand jury includes two separate sets of charges: One “related to what Smollett told officers about the alleged attack,” and another “related to the second interview Smollett had with police about the alleged attack later that day.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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VIDEO: Watch Lin-Manuel Miranda Guest Star on BROOKLYN NINE-NINE

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‘Riverdale’ Star KJ Apa Breaks Silence on Death of Luke Perry ‘Rest in Love’

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‘Good Girls’ star Retta has hope for character Ruby’s marriage

NBC’s “Good Girls” has been called “Breaking Bad with Women” — so that would make series star Retta its version of “Breaking Bad” chemistry maestro Walter White. “I was pre-med in college and I worked as a chemist at [a pharmaceutical company] for four years after that,” says Retta (her full name is Marietta Sangai…
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Today in Movie Culture: ‘Captain Marvel’ Brings Back a ‘90s Fad, Eddie Vedder and Judy Garland Cover ‘A Star is Born’ Songs and More

Today in Movie Culture: ‘Captain Marvel’ Brings Back a ‘90s Fad, Eddie Vedder and Judy Garland Cover ‘A Star is Born’ Songs and More

Here are a bunch of little bites to satisfy your hunger for movie culture:

 

Cosplay of the Day:

Let’s get the week of the release of Captain Marvel started right with this little fan cosplaying as the movie’s title character at the premiere last week. Representation and adorability have never gone so well together, have they?

Brie Larson at the UK Premier of #CaptainMarvel sitting on the floor in a ridiculously expensive dress to give a Young Fan an…

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Miley Cyrus Opens Up About Her First Kiss, ’Queer Eye’ Star Tan France Joins Us LIVE | PeopleTV

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Geoffrey Owens To Star In A New Syfy-Slasher Movie

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Church folks will tell you that what the devil meant for evil, God meant for good. Last year, when a woman took a picture of the actor bagging groceries at Trader Joes, she might have done so as a way to shame him, to document and spread his perceived “fall from grace.”

But the exposure from the tweet, reminded fans of “The Cosby Show” of Owens. And not only that, the support he received as a result helped put him in the position he’s in today. He was able to attend the Emmy Award recently. Tyler Perry offered him a role in one of his films and Nicki Minaj offered him $ 25,000, the latter of which he declined, preferring to earn his money instead.

And now, according to the Hollywood Reporter, it seems he’s done just that. Owens will star in the pilot for a new Syfy show “(Future) Cult Classic.”

Owens has joined the cast for the project produced by “Saturday Night Live” creator and producer Lorne Michaels.

In the show, a serial killer, obsessed with 1990’s slasher movies, stalks a group of teenagers 18-years in the future when violent crime is almost nonexistent. The teens recognize they’re being followed and decide to track down the killers themselves.

Owens will play Detective Moscowitz. According to HR, he’s “an old school cop out of his element in a tech-based society. Although he’s rusty, his instincts quickly return when an old-school string of murders shocks his community.”

This is not the only role Owens has secured since his name re-entered public conversation. He has also appeared in OWN’s “The Haves and Have Nots” and has booked guest roles on “NCIS” New Orleans” and “Billions.”

Good for Geoffrey!

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Bo Burnham Wants ‘Eighth Grade’ Star Elsie Fisher to Direct Him

Bo Burnham won his third award in three weeks for “Eighth Grade” at the Spirit Awards and said he wants the film’s 15-year-old Elsie Fisher to direct him. “I’d love to work with Elsie again,” Burnham said backstage after winning the Best First Screenplay trophy.  “She wants to direct so I’d love to switch roles […]

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Kaitlin Doubleday: ‘Nashville’ & ‘Empire’ Star Welcomes 1st Child With Husband Devin Lucien

What wonderful news! Kaitlin just gave birth to a baby, and we couldn’t be happier for the actress and her hubby. Here’s what we know about their exciting reveal!

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Bradley Cooper Calls A Star Is Born’s Oscar Nominations Surreal | SuperSoul Conversations | OWN

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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‘Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett: You’d Believe Me if I Was Attacked by Black or Muslim Guys

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Jussie Smollett addressed his doubters on Good Morning America on Thursday, explaining what it was like to be the victim of a hate crime outside of a Subway at 2 a.m.

“I’m pissed off,” he told ABC’s Robin Roberts in his first interview. “It’s the attackers, but it is also the attack.”

Smollett, who is openly gay, has faced increasing skepticism about the details of the January 29 attack, but he maintains his story. He says that a few hours after landing back in Chicago late at night, he went searching for food, first to a Walgreens he thought was open all night, and then to a Subway where he had a sandwich and salad.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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How ‘Big Bang Theory’ snared ‘Star Trek’ legend William Shatner

“The Big Bang Theory” has finally landed William Shatner as a guest star — after trying several times to nab the elusive “ Star Trek ” icon. Shatner, 87, will appear in the upcoming (Feb. 21) episode “The D&D Vortex” along with fellow celebs Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Joe Manganiello and Kevin Smith. “The gang finds out…
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WWE star Paige on sex tape humiliation: ‘I don’t wish that for anyone’

She was once one of the biggest stars in the pro wrestling business, but by 2017, she had become depressed and nearly suicidal. She locked herself away from the public and her family. She became sickly and was treated for anorexia. Her hair started falling out. But a chance encounter with a young fan at…
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Body Recovered From Plane in English Channel Is Argentine Soccer Star Emiliano Sala

(LONDON) — Police have confirmed that the body recovered from a plane in the English Channel is that of Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sala.

Dorset police made the announcement on Thursday evening after a coroner’s examination of the body, which was recovered from the seabed wreckage of the plane on Wednesday.

Sala, who had just signed with Premier League club Cardiff, and pilot David Ibbotson were the only people onboard the small aircraft that disappeared over the English Channel last month.

Investigators have not been able to recover the aircraft, which was flying from Nantes to Cardiff after Sala transferred from the French city’s team.

Sports – TIME

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Kourtney Kardashian – Here’s What The KUWK Star Wants To Teach People Through Her Co-Parenting With Scott Disick

It is a well-known fact to Keeping Up with the Kardashians fans that Kourtney Kardashian and her ex, Scott Disick are better co-parents to their three kids than most! That being said, the reality TV star got candid about their co-parenting relationship and revealed why it’s important for it to work, aside from the sake of their young ones.

Kourt and Scott have been through a lot in their nine-years-long relationship before putting an end to it, but nowadays, they seem to be in a great place!

As fans know, the exes often go on vacations together with the children, and some of those have even included the man’s current girlfriend, Sofia Richie, which only proves how healthy their co-parenting is!

While stopping by the Today Show on Thursday, Kourtney got candid about her and Scott’s relationship and what message she’s trying to send through it.

‘I feel like I can show a message, too, of like parents can get along and work together and travel together. And I think it’s a good message to show other people. I am not doing it for that reason, but I think the positive things that we are doing is nice too,’ the mother of three shared.

The Kardashian was a guest during the third hour of the show to also promote her cosmetics reform.

This comes nearly a year after Kourtney met up with congressional leaders and discussed updating the cosmetics legislation so the products generally used would no longer contain dangerous chemicals.

She has now teamed up with the Environmental Working Group to reach that goal.

‘I shouldn’t have to be standing in the bathroom scanning to know what products I am using are safe or not safe. Especially products for my kids,’ the star argued.

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‘Beale Street’ star Regina King leads Best Supporting Actress Oscar race

With just 23 days to go till the 91st Academy Awards, the race for Oscars glory is heating up. Today, we look at the chances of the five Best Supporting Actress nominees. Regina King (Way up) You might not see it coming, because King’s film “If Beale Street Could Talk” was shut out of the…
Entertainment | New York Post

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Dior gowns that made headlines star in London exhibition

From Princess Margaret’s 21st birthday gown to Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence’s red carpet dress, Christian Dior outfits that have made headlines go on show in a London exhibition dedicated to the French fashion house.


Reuters: Arts

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WATCH: World News 01/29/19: ‘Empire’ Star Attacked In Possible Hate Crime: Authorities

Longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone pleads not guilty; U.S. intelligence differs with Trump on global threats
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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‘Rent Live’ goes pretaped after star breaks foot

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No day but today.

Sunday night’s performance of Rent on Fox was forced to go with pre-taped footage for a majority of the show, following star Brennin Hunt (Roger) sustaining a broken foot toward the end of yesterday’s dress rehearsal.

About 10 minutes into the high-energy show, Fox aired a message from the cast, which includes Vanessa Hudgens and Brandon Victor Dixon, noting Hunt’s accident and explaining that they would be forced to use primarily taped footage from the dress rehearsal (which was recorded in front of its own studio audience). 

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‘I Am Mother’ gives birth to a new sci-fi star: Clara Rugaard

PARK CITY, Utah — And you thought your relationship with mom was complex. The new science-fiction drama at the Sundance Film Festival, “I Am Mother,” features one of the strangest parent-child dynamics you’re ever likely to find onscreen: a laboratory-grown human girl and her robot caretaker. Eat your heart out, “Mommie Dearest”! And the peculiar…
Entertainment | New York Post

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Michael Gandolfini to star as Tony Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark

OHMYGOSSIP — James Gandolfini’s son Michael Gandolfini is set to star as the young Tony Soprano in ‘The Many Saints of Newark’.
The 19-year-old son of the late Hollywood icon – who passed away in 2013 – will follow in his father’s footsteps in the upcoming prequel movie to the hugely popular HBO show ‘The Sopranos’, in which James starred as the New Jersey organised crime family boss.
In James’ run as the anti-hero he won multiple Emmys, SAG Awards and a Golden Globe, and now his son Michael will take over the reins in the planned prequel movie, which will detail the “boyhood” of Tony before he becomes the crime boss portrayed by James.
According to Deadline, Michael was cast by producers after an extensive audition process, as they felt his mastery of the character’s mannerisms paired with his resemblance to his father made him the standout choice for the role.
In a statement to Deadline, Michael said: “It’s a profound honour to continue my dad’s legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano. I’m thrilled that I’m going to have the opportunity to work with David Chase and the incredible company of talent he has assembled for ‘The Many Saints of Newark’.”
Michael joins Alessandro Nivola, Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, Billy Magnussen and Corey Stoll in the ensemble drama, which is being written and produced by ‘The Sopranos’ creator David Chase, and directed by Alan Taylor.
The story focuses on Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola) as a mentor to young Tony as his own father, Johnny Boy, was grooming his son on a pathway to organised crime prominence.
Deadline reports there are expected to be call-backs and shout-outs to numerous other characters from the television series within the movie’s script.

Source: IconInsider.com
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‘Super Blood Wolf Moon’ to get star billing in weekend lunar eclipse

Look up into the night sky on Sunday and – if it is clear – you may witness the so-called “Super Blood Wolf Moon” total lunar eclipse, which will take a star turn across the continental United States during prime time for viewing.


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Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani, to Star in Romantic Comedy ‘The Lovebirds’

Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani are coming together to star in The Lovebirds, a romantic comedy.

via THR:

Michael Showalter, who directed Nanjiani in the surprise hit The Big Sick, is reteaming with the actor and will be sitting in the helmer’s seat when the fast-tracked project goes into production at the end of January.

Written by Aaron Abrams and Brendan Gall as well as Martin Gero, the script centers on a couple (Nanjiani and Rae) on the brink of a breakup. The pair subsequently become embroiled in a bizarre and hijinks-filled murder mystery, and as they get close to clearing their names and solving the case, the twosome need to figure out how they, and their relationship, can survive the night.

Tom Lassally, Oly Obst, Todd Shulman, Jordana Mollick and Gero are producing the rom-com, which is being co-produced and co-financed by MRC. (MRC is owned by Valence Media, which is the parent company of The Hollywood Reporter.)

Nanjiani, Rae and Showalter are serving as executive producers.

Nanjiani, one of the stars of the HBO comedy Silicon Valley, broke out in a big way with The Big Sick, which earned him and his co-writer wife Emily V. Gordon an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay as it became a sleeper hit in the summer of 2017. He will next be seen starring opposite Dave Bautista in Fox’s action-comedy Stuber, which is set to open July 12.

Rae is the co-creator of the HBO comedy Insecure, in which she is a triple-threat as writer, executive producer and actress. Rae, who was recently seen in the drama The Hate U Give, next stars in Little, a body-morphing comedy from Universal set to bow April 12.

This looks like it’ll be super cute! Shoutout to diversity!

The post Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani, to Star in Romantic Comedy ‘The Lovebirds’ appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity news.

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Iconic Broadway Star Dies, And Yes, Carol Channing Was Part Black

The show business world is mourning the loss of one of its most iconic theater stars. Carol Channing, known mostly for her role as clever matchmaker Dolly Levi in Broadway’s Hello Dolly! musical, passed away on Tuesday at age 97. Channing was part black and spoke often of the need “to pass” to achieve success.

The actress, singer, comedian, and dancer was a fixture on Broadway and on television, appearing in guest roles on shows including Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, The Love Boat, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and more.

In her autobiography, “Just Lucky I Guess,” published in 2002, Channing revealed that she was in fact, part African American. According to Wikipedia, Channing’s mother Adelaide Glaser was German Jewish and her father, George Christian Channing, was African American and German. Her father was a journalist and a Christian Scientist.

In an interview with former talk show host Larry King in 2002, Channing described her reaction to learning her father was half-black.

…when I found out. I was 16-years-old and my mother told me. And you know, only the reaction on me was, Gee, I got the greatest genes in show business.  Every time I start to sing or dance, I know it, and I’m proud of it.

She revealed in another interview that her mother told her about her father’s heritage because she didn’t want her to be surprised if she “had a black baby.”

carol channing

A young Channing. (Wikimedia)

In her biography, Channing wrote that she kept her heritage secret so she wouldn’t be typecast on Broadway and in Hollywood.

During her interview with King, Channing spoke about her friendship with Louis Armstrong, the musician who helped make the Hello, Dolly! title song a hit.

“[I] campaigned with Louis Armstrong for President Kennedy. We were in the Armory in Washington. We were in the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis..[]… And we dressed together in this huge locker room, it’s a city block long. But we already knew each other and we’d sit right close together. The most adorable, he wore a handkerchief.

carol channing

Channing performing with Pearl Bailey. (Wikimedia)

Black Enterprise editor Lydia T. Blanco, recalls a memory when Channing visited her school:

I had the opportunity to meet Channing while in middle school in San Francisco. She prided herself on being a native and visited us during an assembly to talk about her work as an actress. We had the conversation about white-passing and Channing shared that that was a part of her story. I believe that her mother shared that her grandmother was black. She even signed my year book!

Later on in college, a play was given in the Little Theater at Bennett and “white-passing” was a subject matter and Carol Channing’s name and career were also mentioned in that setting.

Channing leaves behind one son, Channing Lowe.



 

 

 

 

 

The post Iconic Broadway Star Dies, And Yes, Carol Channing Was Part Black appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Tennis Star Naomi Osaka Doesn’t Like Attention. She’s About to Get a Ton of It.

On a wet December morning in a South Florida weight room, the 21-year-old who stunned Serena Williams at the U.S. Open is hard at work preparing to show that the biggest moment of her life was more than a fluke. As an arrow flashes on an iPad in front of her, Naomi Osaka darts in the direction it signals, pauses, then pivots when it sends her the other way, without missing a step. Her coach, Sascha Bajin, joins the drill but leaps the wrong way and almost lands on Osaka’s ankle. Bajin feigns horror, prompting fellow pro tour player Monica Puig to suggest Osaka give her coach a hug. “She gives hugs like no other,” Bajin says, his sarcasm thicker than midsummer heat. “I only hug people I like,” Osaka parries.

The exchange would be unremarkable were it between almost anyone else. But Bajin’s playful banter is a key part of his strategy to break his young charge out of her shell. And for Osaka, a precocious talent in a global sport with the kind of multinational background that marketers dream about, doing so could mean the difference between a career like that of the idol she upset at the Open–or, well, a fluke. “It’s easier to take over the world,” Bajin says, “if you’re not so caved in.”

Many people’s introduction to Osaka came in September at the U.S. Open trophy presentation, when the surprise champion covered her eyes with her visor as boos rained from the crowd. “I didn’t want people to see me crying,” Osaka tells TIME, “because that’s pathetic.”

The moment should have been celebratory–a rising star assuming her place among champions after defeating the greatest of them all. Instead, it was painful. Thousands of fans, livid that umpire Carlos Ramos assessed Williams a code violation for verbal abuse that cost her a full game late in a Grand Slam final, filled Arthur Ashe Stadium with jeers. Rage pierced the still air, as if a wrestling heel were entering the ring and not a 20-year-old being honored for finishing a fairy tale.

Standing on the podium for the ceremony, tennis legend Chris Evert says she just wanted off. “I’ve never seen or felt anything like it,” she says. “The negativity, the anger.” From his seat, Bajin seethed: “I wanted to jump everybody in the crowd.”

At first, Osaka thought the boos were for her. She knew the crowd, and millions more watching on TV, desperately wanted Williams to win a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title after she nearly died after giving birth. When it was her turn to speak, Osaka apologized for doing her job and beating her opponent. And so it was that the woman who could be the heir to the Williams sisters met the world through a frowning face and lowered brim.

Three months later, Osaka is relaxing on the balcony of the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Fla., where she trains. She doesn’t fault Williams for fighting with the umpire and upstaging her victory. “Serena is Serena,” Osaka says in her first extended interview since the match. “I didn’t experience her life. I can’t tell her what she’s supposed to do, because there are things that she’s gone through. I have nothing against her or anything. I actually still really love her.”

Osaka insists she’s come to terms with it all. She appreciates that Williams did eventually implore the crowd to stop jeering and applaud Osaka with a proper, if belated, ovation. In fact, Osaka insists she wouldn’t change anything about what happened. “In a perfect dream, things would be set exactly the way you would want them,” she says. “But I think it’s more interesting that in real life, things aren’t exactly the way you planned. And there are certain situations that you don’t expect, but they come to you, and I think those situations set up things for further ahead.”

The future actually came ahead of schedule for Osaka when she stormed through the field in New York, and she and her team are scrambling to capitalize. Born in Japan to a Haitian father and Japanese mother, Osaka grew up in the U.S. but competes for Japan. She has become a bankable celebrity in her native country and a source of inspiration to many multiracial people there. With the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, global companies are falling all over themselves to align their message with her 120 m.p.h. serves.

“If you’re talking about an international sporting event like the Olympics,” says Bob Dorfman, creative director of Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco and a veteran sports marketer, “she’s your international star you’re going to market it around. She’s got American appeal, Caribbean appeal, Japanese appeal. As nationalities continue to mix in this world, that makes her even more desirable.”

First, however, Osaka needs to keep winning. Her biggest test yet will come at the Australian Open, which begins on Jan. 14 in Melbourne. The great players have a way of finding another gear in the Grand Slam spotlight. Osaka has shown that she has the power game to beat the best. But can she do it when everyone is expecting her to–and millions of dollars are riding on it?

Julian Finney—Getty ImagesAt the U.S. Open trophy ceremony, Osaka apologized to booing fans for beating her idol, Serena Williams

Osaka’s road to the top of tennis traces to 1999, when her father, Leonard Maxine Francois, watched a young Venus and Serena Williams playing in the French Open on TV. He heard the story of their hard-driving father, who groomed his daughters despite being a tennis novice, and figured he could do the same. “I always thought I could have been a great athlete if I had that support,” Francois says.

He had met Tamaki Osaka earlier in the decade, as a college student from New York studying in Sapporo. Over the objections of Tamaki’s father, who did not approve of the relationship, the couple married. They had two daughters, Mari and Naomi, born 18 months apart in Osaka. For practical purposes in a country that can be hard for outsiders to penetrate, the girls took their mother’s surname.

Inspired in part by the Williams sisters’ path, the family left Japan for the U.S. when Naomi was 3. They moved into the Long Island home of Leonard’s Haitian parents, eating beans and oxtail and hearing Creole around the house. Tamaki spoke both Japanese and English to the kids, and kept Japanese customs like Hinamatsuri, the March 3 celebration of girls’ health and happiness. The sisters went to public school, but their lives revolved around tennis. “It wasn’t really our choice,” says Mari, 22, now a professional player who competes in lower-level events.

Still, they liked the game enough to train for hours at public courts on Long Island. And for the girls, the Williams sisters became the models that Richard Williams was for their father. Naomi even did a third-grade report about Serena.

The family plan intensified in 2006 when they moved to Florida, the epicenter of American youth tennis. The kids were homeschooled online and dedicated even more time to honing their craft. “I’m the type of person when I want to do something,” Francois says, “I just go for it.”

The Osaka girls, like the Williams sisters before them, largely eschewed the junior tennis circuit, a cutthroat environment that burns out many promising teen players. Instead, they battled each other every day. “She was sort of the driving force,” Naomi says of her sister. “Because when we were little, I wasn’t really too good. I was just there. I didn’t really care. I was just playing because she was playing and I wanted to beat her.”

As Naomi started winning, it deepened her determination. “Once she puts her focus on something, she never strays from it,” Mari says of her younger sister. “It gets to the point where it’s almost ridiculous.” Mari’s favorite example is not on the court but rather her sister’s penchant for eliminating virtually all fat from her food, even if it takes 20 minutes to trim every piece of meat she eats. “What the hell?” says Mari. “How do you have the time and dedication? But she’s obsessed.”

Naomi was promising enough to turn pro in 2012, when she was 14. She climbed the rankings quickly: at the end of 2014, she stood at No. 250 in the world. Two years later she was ranked No. 40 after reaching her first WTA tournament final, and making the third round of all three Grand Slam tournaments she played. Osaka was named 2016 WTA Newcomer of the Year.

But there’s a chasm between the good players on tour and the great ones, who regularly contend for Grand Slams. Many close observers credit Osaka’s move into the latter group partly to the decision to work with Bajin at the end of 2017. A 34-year-old Serb born and raised in Munich, he spent eight years as Serena Williams’ hitting partner before coaching Osaka. “I saw tremendous improvement in mobility around the court,” says Evert, who analyzes the tour for ESPN. “The transformation, in a year, was unbelievable.”

Osaka plays a power game similar to her idol’s, relying on big serves and even bigger shots rather than defense and finesse. Bajin, who knows the style well from his time with Williams, helped Osaka refine her approach. “I see her hit balls late, and she just directs them down the line and they go like freaking rockets,” he says. “My heart freaking stops.”

In March, Osaka won the competitive Indian Wells tournament, and at the next event, in Miami, she crushed Williams in straight sets in the first round. Williams was in the early stages of her comeback, but the win confirmed that Osaka was someone to reckon with.

Osaka entered the U.S. Open on a three-match losing streak. But she says the losses eased her mind. “I sort of had this feeling of freedom,” she says. “At that point I felt the lowest I could be, so I honestly just wanted to recapture the fun feeling.”

After Osaka thumped Williams in the final, her life changed in an instant. The awkward tennis prodigy was now something of a celebrity, which has been an adjustment. In November the sisters attended a Drake concert in Miami, and Osaka froze after she realized people were shouting her name as she danced awkwardly. (She says “sitting still in my chair” is her go-to dance move.) Another whoa moment: while driving in Florida after the Open, she noticed a woman in front of her looking repeatedly into a side mirror. At a green light, the other car stood still. Osaka steered around and saw the woman’s mouth agape. “She was just looking at me,” Osaka says. “I thought it was because of my car. Then I realized I think it was because of me.”

Osaka received a hero’s welcome during a November trip to Haiti, and her fame in Japan is approaching pop-star status. When she visited Tokyo in September, Osaka had to sneak into her hotel through a side entrance. Paparazzi trailed her throughout the trip. One night, Osaka’s mom Tamaki was relaxing in her hotel room and decided to conduct a little test. She’d flip around the channels and see if she could finally avoid the image of her daughter on the screen. Her experiment failed.

Osaka, playing in an Australian Open warm-up tournament on Jan. 3, has one of the strongest serves in the game
TPN/Getty ImagesOsaka, playing in an Australian Open warm-up tournament on Jan. 3, has one of the strongest serves in the game

Osaka’s connection to Japan is both implicit and complicated. She was born there but has lived in the U.S. since she was 3. She is conversant in the language but typically responds to questions from Japanese reporters in English. Still, when the girls were junior players, their parents decided their daughters would represent Japan in international competitions, given the family’s cultural ties to the country. The decision has paid dividends. As the first woman from Japan to win a Grand Slam, Osaka is a pioneer. If she competed as an American, it wouldn’t be a milestone at all, and the battle for attention and endorsements would be more difficult.

Despite the affiliation, Osaka says she doesn’t feel more attached to one part of her identity than to any other. “I don’t really know what feeling Japanese or Haitian or American is supposed to feel like,” she says. “I just feel like me.”

Japan is one of the most homogenous places in the world. Around 98% of the population is ethnic Japanese, and being multiracial–or what’s known as hafu, or half–can be fraught. Carla Capers, an English teacher in Kobe whose parents are African American and Japanese, says co-workers often ask her if she can understand Japanese phrases. “I’m like, ‘I live here, I speak the language,’” says Capers. “People kind of dumb everything down. It gets really annoying.”

For those who see the possibility of a broader definition of what it means to be Japanese, Osaka has become a symbol. “It means a lot to me, it means a lot to my students who are mixed to see her on TV representing Japan, and seeing a resemblance,” says Harmony Egbe, a first-grade teacher in Okinawa whose mother is Japanese and father is Nigerian. “There’s an unspoken definition of what it means to be Japanese,” says Megumi Nishikura, co-director of the 2013 film Hafu: The Mixed-Race Experience in Japan. “Follow the customs, speak the language fully, look Japanese. She doesn’t click many of those boxes. That poses a challenge. People are having to redefine Japanese identity. She’s helping spread that conversation, which is remarkable.”

Japan’s leading companies have taken notice. The Citizen watch model that Osaka wore for the U.S. Open final almost sold out after her win. In the U.S., sales of the strings Osaka used on her Yonex racket rose 155% in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared with the previous quarter. Nissin, the instant-ramen giant, put her face on its cup of noodles. Among the other major deals announced since the Open: a sponsorship with Shiseido, the cosmetics company, and an agreement with automaker Nissan, which recently released a special-edition model to commemorate the partnership. A deal with an airline is likely to follow, as are those tied to major Olympics sponsors and an apparel company–her contract with Adidas conveniently expired at the end of 2018.

Osaka’s agent declined to reveal her endorsement income, but a person with knowledge of the market has estimated that she will go from earning about $ 2.5 million per year before the U.S. Open to taking in north of $ 15 million annually afterward.

 

Eight-figure investments come with thick strings attached. Osaka’s sponsors expect her to keep winning and to function as the public face of their brands. Osaka generally prefers to keep hidden. “Everyone around me has more confidence in me than I do in myself,” Osaka says. She’s given to self-deprecating comments like “I think everyone is cooler than me,” which come across as sincere rather than false modesty. And she excessively apologizes, for things large and small. Osaka said she was sorry for beating Williams, though no one deserved that victory more. And after one of our interviews, Osaka apologized for stepping over my computer bag, even though it was in her path.

Some of this comes from spending your childhood chasing tennis dreams rather than being social. “To go out of the way to make a friend, for example, you would have to say hi the morning, text them sometimes,” says sister Mari. “She doesn’t really put in the work for it.”

When asked her favorite moment of the post–U.S. Open victory tour, Osaka doesn’t mention going on Ellen or meeting LeBron James, one of her favorite athletes. Her pick: a trip to Universal Studios while in Singapore for the tour finals. “I got to skip the lines and stuff,” says Osaka. “So that was fun.”

Osaka is a star without the pretense, a multimillion-dollar corporate investment who still quotes Pokémon and predicts that fans should expect “just a whole bunch of awkwardness” from her off the court. Mari says she hasn’t noticed much of a change in her kid sister, aside from her more frequent shopping excursions online. “She’s going crazy,” says Mari. “Every day is like Christmas.”

If Osaka hasn’t changed, the expectations for her have. She’ll enter the Australian Open ranked fourth in the world and favored to make a deep run. But the field is loaded. The defending champion, Caroline Wozniacki, is ranked No. 3 in the world, while the two top-ranked players, Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber, each won a Grand Slam last year. Meanwhile, Serena Williams still looms. Williams reached the finals of the last two major tournaments. And the last time she played in Melbourne, in 2017, she defeated sister Venus in the final–while two months pregnant.

The end of the Williams era may not be here, but it is in sight. Osaka is wary of any “next Serena” label. She’s quieter than her idol, and she owns just one Grand Slam trophy to date. But she knows that it’s there for the taking. “You really never know what people can do,” Osaka says. “And how people can change. I don’t think there is ever going to be another Serena Williams. I think I’m going to be me. And I hope people are O.K. with that.”

This appears in the January 21, 2019 issue of TIME.
Sports – TIME

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