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Entertainment news: Jodie Foster, 'Moonlight,' Mandy Moore, Cory Monteith
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2016-12-06

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Jodie Foster has come aboard to star in Hotel Artemis, Drew Pearce's directorial debut that Simon and Stephen Cornwell are producing for The Ink Factory, Deadline reported. The original script from Pearce (Iron Man 3, Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation, Godzilla), described as "a thriller in its own, distinctive crime universe," is being produced by Adam Siegel and Marc Platt via Marc Platt Productions. Foster will join the project as the character "The Nurse."

Moonlight swept the top categories at New York City's Gotham Independent Film Awards, taking home the prizes for best feature, best screenplay and the audience award, as well as special jury prize for best ensemble, according to LGBTQ Nation. Barry Jenkins' film tells the story of a gay man of color through three stages of his life. It is the talk of Hollywood, given that the last two winners of the Gotham feature prize—Birdman and Spotlight—each won best picture at the Academy Awards.

Moonlight also snagged some honors from the os Angeles Film Critics Assn. on Dec. 4, the L.A. Times reported. The film took home four awards, including for director (Barry Jenkins), supporting actor (Mahershala Ali), cinematography (James Laxton) and best picture. A few of the other actors and projects that were honored wre Adam Driver (for Paterson), The Handmaiden, Manchester by the Sea, OJ: made in America and Lily Gladstone.

The Elizabeth Taylor Foundation, represented by four of the screen legend's grandchildren, saluted Whoopi Goldberg on The View, The Orlando Sentinel reported. Quinn Tivey, Taylor's grandson, noted that his grandmother drew on her friends to speak up for people being ignored during the pandemic. In addition, a taped segment featured Colin Farrell, Lionel Richie and Elton John praising Goldberg for AIDS activism for more than three decades. The camera show a stunned Goldberg, who was later in tears.

Singer/This Is Us actress Mandy Moore revealed in a new interview that her mom and two brothers are gay, something that made her upbringing not quite traditional, US Weekly reported. "I've never really talked about this," she said in an interview with Byrdie, "but my parents are divorced. My mother left my father for a woman. And both of my two brothers are gay." In response to the fracturing of her "seemingly traditional" family, Moore explained, she sought her "own kind of normalcy" in the form of marriage. (She wed fellow singer Ryan Adams in 2009, at the age of 24.)

A new TV special, Autopsy: The Last Hours of Cory Monteith, focused on the Glee co-star's tragic passing, US Weekly noted. The REELZ series' Dec. 3 episode looked at the timeline of events leading up to Monteith's death, along with delving into medical evidence. According to Autopsy, the actor—who played quarterback Finn Hudson on the Emmy-winning Fox musical series—was called into a meeting with Glee creator Ryan Murphy March 28, 2013, over substance-abuse concerns.

Beyonce led the list of the 2017 Grammy nominations, which were announced Dec. 6, TheWrap noted. The singer earned nine total nominations, including Album of the Year for Lemonade, as well as Song of the Year and Record of the year for lead single "Formation." The visual component, which debuted on HBO in April and earned four Emmy nominations, is also up for Best Music Film. Drake, Rihanna and Kanye West each earned eight nominations, and Chance the Rapper rounds out the top five with seven for his third mixtape, Coloring Book, and guest work on Kanye West's The Life of Pablo. The Grammy will air Feb. 12, with James Corden hosting.

Late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel will host the 2017 Oscars, Deadline noted. The news will mark the first time ever that all four big awards shows in a row are hosted by the corresponding network's late-night host as the shows serve as promotional tools for them. This year, Kimmel hosted the Emmys on ABC, Jimmy Fallon hosted the Golden Globes on NBC, James Corden hosted the Tonys and will host the Grammys, and now Kimmel the Oscars.

Netflix is stuffing the stockings of Sense8 fans this holiday season, announcing the premiere date for season two, as well as the two-hour event, Sense8: A Christmas Special, EW.com noted. Launching Dec. 23 at 2:01 a.m. CT, the special continues the journey of the show's eight mentally linked central characters: Capheus (Toby Onwumere), Kala (Tina Desai), Lito (Miguel Angel Silvestre), Nomi (Jamie Clayton), Riley (Tuppence Middleton), Sun (Donna Bae), Will (Brian J. Wright), and Wolfgang (Max Riemelt). Season two—which premieres May 5 at 2:01 a.m. CT with 10 new episodes—will pick up at the end of season one's events, as the Sensates find themselves on the run from Whispers (Terrence Mann) after coming together physically.

Theatergoers willing to pay top dollar for the best seats in the house to see Bette Midler's Broadway return in Hello, Dolly! will shell out $525 for premium tickets at the Shubert Theatre, Playbill noted. (Hamilton premium starts at $449 and rose as high as $998 for Thanksgiving Week). Midler will be joined by David Hyde Pierce as Horace Vandergelder in the revival that will begin Broadway previews March 15, 2017, and open April 20 at the Shubert Theatre.

Orlando Cruz lost his chance to become the first gay world boxing champion, PinkNews noted. Cruz was up against reining champion Terry Flanagan for the bid to win the WBO Lightweight Championship, and hoped he would become the first gay man to do so. Cruz came out in 2012 and married his longtime boyfriend Jose Manuel in 2013. He has been celebrated as an advocate figure in the community, having dedicated fights he won to the victims of the Orlando massacre.

Anthony Rapp is joining the cast of CBS' new Star Trek series as the beloved franchise's first originally conceived gay character, NewNowNext reported. The Rent star will play Lt. Stamets, an astromycologist—or fungus expert—aboard the USS Discovery. Lt. Sulu was revealed to be gay in the recent Star Trek Beyond, although creator Gene Roddenberry didn't originally conceive of the character that way. George Takei, who originated the role of Sulu in film and television, said it was "really unfortunate" producers didn't introduce a brand-new LGBT character rather than revise Sulu.

HGTV released a statement amid reports that Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines attend a church that is firmly against same-sex marriage, US Weekly noted. "We don't discriminate against members of the LGBT community in any of our shows," the network's statement read. "HGTV is proud to have a crystal clear, consistent record of including people from all walks of life in its series." During a recent interview with Fox News, Pastor Jimmy Seibert—of Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas—denied the church is anti-gay.

Madonna's evening of music, art and performance raised more than $7.5 million for the superstar's Raising Malawi foundation during Miami's Art Basel on Dec. 2, a press release noted. Among those joining Madonna were Dave Chappelle, Ariana Grande, Bethenny Frankel, Russell Simmons, Chris Rock, Courtney Love, Guy Oseary, ex-husband Sean Penn, Leonardo DiCaprio and many others. Madonna performed 10 songs, including a cover of Britney Spears' "Toxic" and a stripped-down version of "Holiday." Founded by Madonna in 2006, Raising Malawi addresses the poverty and hardship endured by Malawi's orphans and vulnerable children.

Paramount's Seth Gordon-directed feature adaptation of 1990s TV show Baywatch will now go on Memorial Day weekend, May 26, instead of May 19, Deadline noted. Baywatch moves out of a weekend that got very crowded with four other wide releases that included Fox's Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, Alien Covenant, Open Road's The Nut Job 2 and New Line/Warner Bros.' Annabelle 2; it will now square against Disney fifthquel The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Baywatch stars Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron.

Creators of the long-running Broadway smash Jersey Boys have been found guilty in federal court in Nevada of copyright infringement, according to a Playbill item that cites Forbes.com . Jurors determined that 10 percent of the show's success is attributable to material director Des McAnuff and writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice drew from an unpublished biography, Tommy DeVito—Then and Now, by author Rex Woodard (died in 1991 at age 41 of lung cancer). The decision comes just weeks before the ten-year run of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical is scheduled to end Jan. 15, 2017.

Actor Tim Roth has revealed that both he and his father were abused by his grandfather as children, according to People.com . Speaking about his father's politics to The Guardian, Roth mentioned that his dad (journalist Ernie Smith) dropped out of Britain's communist party in the 1970s after a wave of sex scandals. "He was an abused kid, my dad, and it was a terrible childhood that he had, and he took that s— seriously," he explained. Asked if his abuser was his dad's dad, or Roth's grandfather, the actor answered, "Yeah. It was his father. He was a f—— rapist. But nobody had the language. Nobody knew what to do."

Country-music legend Dolly Parton has said her charity, the Dollywood Foundation, will donate $1,000 a month to families affected by devastating wildfires in Tennessee, BBC News reported. The singer said she would provide help "until they get back up on their feet." At least seven people have been killed in the fires in Sevier County, Tennessee, and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park—near Parton's Dollywood theme park.

Andre King has decided to use his platform on Growing Up Hip Hop to come out of the closet, E! Online noted. On a recent episode, the brother of Swiss Beatz (who's married to Alicia Keys) said, "I came to [my family] and I was just honest and I said, 'You know what, I have something that's been laying on me and I just really want to tell you guys something,' and I just told them that I am gay and just identify as me. They were just really proud of me and happy and they all gave me so much love and just really said, you know, this is big." He added that Beatz and Keys have been nothing but supportive.

Andy Cohen had close friends Kelly Ripa and Anderson Cooper as guests on a recent episode of Watch What Happens Live, People noted. Among other things, Ripa revealed that Cooper was the one co-host who got away, saying, "He's my life. He really is. He's the one that got away and keeps getting away and gets away all the time." It's been six months since Michael Strahan left Live and more than 50 celebrities have filled in for him in the meantime.

Michael Stipe announced that while his pop-star days are behind him, he would like to work in music again, Rolling Stone reported. In an interview with the New York Times, the former R.E.M. singer attributed his musical realization to performing in a pair of David Bowie tribute shows last spring. R.E.M.'s 25th-anniversary reissue of the 1991 hit album Out of Time came out Nov. 18.

The Recording Academy has announced 25 new musical works that will be added to the Grammy Hall of Fame, including pieces by Prince, David Bowie, Nirvana, Leslie Gore, Jackson 5, Elvis Presley, R.E.M. and more, Billboard reported. Among the items slated to be added are "ABC," "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)," "Jailhouse Rock," "You Don't Own Me" and the Sign 'O' the Times album. The selected singles and album recordings are all at least 25 years old to meet requirements for selection, spanning genres.

Conan O'Brien used the well-known Broadway musical Hamilton to help explain the presidential election results to his two children, EW.com noted. The late night TV host, who has two children—Neve, 13, and Beckett, 11—with wife, Liza, admitted that Donald Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton left the two young siblings feeling confused and "upset." But, O'Brien used the Broadway musical's songs and storyline to explain the 2016 election outcome to his kids, who know the lyrics to Hamilton "word for word."

Tilda Swinton is not a fan of Harry Potter—for a very specific reason, CBS News noted: She just doesn't like works of fiction glorifying the boarding school experience. Swinton explained to Scots magazine that during her teen years she was a student at the West Heath boarding school in London—an experience she described as "hell" and "very lonely and isolating." Swinton, herself a mother of two, founded an "art-based, practical learning" school in 2013 called Drumduan Upper School.

It's been three years since Paul Walker's tragic death, and his loss has been particularly hard on his Fast and the Furious co-star and friend Vin Diesel, according to People. Promoting his movie xXx: Return of Xander Cage, Diesel said, "I'd been to Brazil two times before and both times that I've been here, I've always been with my brother, Pablo," he told Entertainment Tonight, using his nickname for Walker. Diesel admitted to tearing up on the third anniversary of Walker's death—but leaned on this Fast and the Furious family for support.

Paramour, the first show developed by the Montreal-based behemoth Cirque du Soleil specifically for Broadway, will shutter April 16 at the Lyric Theatre, exactly a year after it began previews, Deadline noted. Cirque du Soleil Theatricals CEO Scott Zeiger said he is "in discussions with several theater owners in New York and abroad who are interested in welcoming this unique production, including Stage Entertainment for a production in Germany in 2018." Reportedly developed at a cost of $25 million, Paramour has been underperforming at the Lyric, one of Broadway's two biggest houses.

Amy Schumer is in negotiations to play the title role in Barbie, the live-action Sony Pictures film based on the venerable Mattel toyline, Deadline reported. The PG movie will begin production in the spring for a global summer 2018 bow, after Schumer puts her imprint on the Hillary Winston script, doing a rewrite with her sister, Kim Caramele. Schumer will play a character who lives in Barbieland, among all of the various Barbie characters beloved by doll collectors. Schumer's Barbie gets kicked out, basically because she's not perfect enough—but eventually learns that perfection comes from the inside, not the outside.

Sports figures Skip Bayless and Troy Aikman haven't seen each other since the former Dallas columnist speculated that ex-Cowboys quarterback Aikman was gay, The Sporting News noted. They might have to deal with each other now that they both have high-paying gigs at Fox Sports, and at least one side is willing to bury the hatchet. Speaking on the Seth Davis Podcast this week, Bayless said he was surprised by Aikman's outrage and would like to talk with him in person about the feud. Bayless initially referred to Aikman's sexuality in his 1996 book Hell-Bent.

Aquaman will make a splash in fall 2018, EW.com noted. Warner Bros. announced that the James Wan-directed superhero movie starring Jason Momoa as the King of the Seven Seas is scheduled to hit theaters Oct. 5, 2018. It will also screen in 3-D and IMAX.

Actor Sam Claflin took to Instagram to share a fake photo of him that has been making its way around the Internet and clarified that it is not a real picture of him, despite what his adoring fans may think, according to E! Online. "This picture has been following me around for some years, and well, there are many people I want to thank for it," he said of the photo that shows him as having a very defined, muscular body. He also gave a shout out to his fans for believing that he could ever look this buff.


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