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SHOWBIZ Julia Child movie, Janelle Monae, 'Ammonite,' Harry Styles
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-09-21

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David Hyde Pierce will star opposite Sarah Lancashire in Julia, HBO Max's drama pilot about the famous chef, trailblazing cookbook author and TV personality, Deadline reported. He replaces Tom Hollander, who originally had been tapped for the role of Paul Child, Julia's loving and devoted husband, but has exited the project. Brittany Bradford, Fran Kranz and Bebe Neuwirth co-star in the pilot, with Isabella Rossellini and Jefferson Mays guest-starring.

Janelle Monae released the "emotion picture" ( music video ) for "Turntables"—an original song from the film All In: The Fight for Democracy, a press release noted. The movie examines the often overlooked issue of voter suppression in the United States. Monae's video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CFrCk6_0rM&feature=youtu.be.

NewFest—a New York LGBTQ film and media organization—announced that The New York LGBTQ Film Festival will open this year with the NYC premiere of Francis Lee's film Ammonite, starring Oscar winner Kate Winslet and Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan, a press release noted. Winslet will also present Lee with the festival's inaugural World Queer Visionary Award ahead of the special drive-in screening, taking place at the Queens Drive-In at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The 32nd edition of The New York LGBTQ Film Festival will take place Oct. 16-27, with the majority of the program accessible online to ticket holders nationwide.

Singer Harry Styles is in final negotiations to star in a currently untitled film adaptation of Bethan Roberts' acclaimed 1950s gay policeman romance novel My Policeman, at Amazon Studios, DarkHorizons.com noted. Set in Brighton, England, schoolteacher Marion becomes instantly smitten with the handsome policeman Tom ( Styles ); then Tom meets Patrick, a museum curator who opens his eyes to a glamorous, sophisticated new world. Tony Award winner Michael Grandage ( Genius ) is set to direct from a script by Oscar-nominated writer Ron Nyswaner ( Philadelphia ); Greg Berlanti, Robbie Rogers, Sarah Schechter, Cora Palfrey and Philip Herd will produce.

Dolly Parton, Pearl Jam, Paramore's Hayley Williams and several other musicians have joined Stevie Nicks in paying tribute to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Consequence of Sound noted. "She was small in stature but even the tallest looked up to her," Parton said in a statement posted to social media. "Her voice was soft but her message rang loud and clear and will echo forever. Thank you, RBG. Rest In Peace. Respectfully, Dolly Parton." Monae tweeted, "Heart heavy. The baton has been passed to us. I will keep fighting your honor. Thank you Ruth Bader Ginsburg."

Oliver Sacks: His Own Life will debut nationwide on the virtual cinema platform Kino Marquee and Film Forum virtual cinema Wed., Sept. 23, a press release noted. In the movie, Sacks—a legendary neurologist and storyteller known for his literary works Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat—shares intimate details of his battles with drug addiction, homophobia and a medical establishment that accepted his work only decades after the fact. The film features exclusive interviews with Sacks conducted just weeks after he received a terminal diagnosis, and months prior to his death in August 2015.

For only the second time in its century-plus history, Actors' Equity Association—the union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theater—endorsed a candidate for U.S. president and vice president: Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris, Deadline reported. Actors' Equity Association President Kate Shindle said, "In 2016, I said that unions would have to fight with everything we have for our survival. I never imagined how true those words would be today, given the Trump administration's utter failure to respond to the pandemic that shut down our industry six months ago." The move follows the union's first presidential endorsement, of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

The Recording Academy will honor its 2020 Special Merit Awards recipients with "Great Performances: GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends," an awards ceremony and tribute concert hosted by Jimmy Jam on Friday, Oct. 16, on PBS ( check local listings ), PBS.org/gperf and the PBS Video app, a press statement announced. Announced earlier this year, the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award honorees are Chicago, Roberta Flack, Isaac Hayes, Iggy Pop, John Prine, Public Enemy and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Performers include Laurie Anderson, Philip Bailey, Brandi Carlile, Cynthia Erivo, Chris Isaak, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, Cyndi Lauper, Sam Moore, Leslie Odom Jr. and Yola.

Mike Henneberger—author of Rock Bottom at the Renaissance: An Emo Kid's Journey Through Falling in and out of Love in and with New York City—announced that actor/musician Tyler Posey ( MTV's Teen Wolf ) has joined the team to voice the audiobook for Rock Bottom at the Renaissance, due to be released later this year, a press release noted. On choosing Posey to voice the audiobook, author Mike Henneberger shares, "I googled 'young, hot, Latino actors,' because I mention in the book that I'm half-Mexican, and if I eventually turn this into a TV series like I hope to, I'd like that representation to be there. So when I Googled that, I only recognized one name: Tyler Posey."

Capitol Records will release Sam Smith's new album, Love Goes, on Oct. 30, a press release noted. As the album pre-order launched, they shared their new single, "Diamonds," a dance-floor anthem. The album's 17 songs—which includes other tunes such as "My Oasis" ( featuring Burna Boy ), "Daning With a Stranger" ( with Normani ) and "For the Lover That I Lost"—were written over the past two years.

In addition to Clea DuVall's Christmas LGBT rom-com featuring Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis and Dan Levy, Lifetime is releasing its own in a movie dubbed The Christmas Setup, Out.com noted. "Setup" will feature real-life husbands Ben Lewis and Blake Lee—as well as Fran Drescher. The film is one of 30 new holiday movies on the network in the upcoming season that begins Oct. 23.

The Borgias star Francois Arnaud has come out as bisexual, Page Six noted. The actor, 35, revealed his sexual orientation on Instagram, explaining that he wanted to combat stigma and stereotypes surrounding bisexuality. "I'm sure many bisexual guys feel the same and end up doing as I did: letting other people's assumptions of straightness stand uncorrected," he said, in part. "Perhaps out of fear of oversharing. Under the guise of privacy, maybe. Probably because 'masculinity' is a most fragile currency, ready to nose-dive at the first sign of vulnerability or difference. And because it's really f—king scary to give up your privilege."

Actor Harvey Guillen is set to recur for a multi-episode arc on season two of the NBC show Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist as George—a new programmer at Sprq Point who is constantly hungering for Zoey's ( and his fellow coders' ) approval, a press release noted. The GLAAD award-winning actor/producer stars in the FX comedy series What We Do In the Shadows, which was nominated for eight 2020 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series. Guillen recently wrapped production on the upcoming film Werewolves Within, based on the Ubisoft game of the same name.

Actor Neil Patrick Harris revealed during a broadcast of the Today show that he and his family—including husband David Burtka and 9-year-old twins Gideon and Harper—contracted COVID-19 earlier this year, People.com noted. Although Harris and his family have since recovered from the coronavirus, the father of two described the ordeal as "not pleasant" when recalling some of his symptoms, such as losing his senses of taste and smell. Harris and Burtka have been social distancing together with their children and two dogs amid the pandemic.

E! veteran Giuliana Rancic and actress Vivica A. Fox had been announced as co-headliners of E!'s Live From the Red Carpet: the 2020 Emmy Awards multi-platform coverage—but neither appeared, as both ( independently ) tested positive for COVID-19, Deadline noted. "As far as my health, I'm doing well," Rancic said in a video. "My husband Bill and our son [Duke] also did test positive, but we're all doing well and taking care each other so I'm going to get back to doing that." E!'s co-host Brad Goreski read a statement from Fox saying she had to miss the broadcast because she was quarantining after testing positive.

On her YouTube channel, Nene Leakes announced she will not be returning to the hit Bravo series Real Housewives of Atlanta ( RHOA ) for its upcoming 13th season, People.com noted. "I have been on an extremely, extremely long, exhausting, tiring, emotional negotiation. There has been a lot of emotion flying on both sides," she said in the video. "It has been hard, and I have made the very hard and difficult decision to not be a part of Real Housewives of Atlanta season 13." The latest season of RHOA had Leakes feuding with nearly every full-time cast member, including Cynthia Bailey, Porsha Williams, Eva Marcille, Kandi Burruss and longtime rival Kenya Moore.

U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips handed a significant win to Nicki Minaj, finding that she did not commit copyright infringement when she created a song based on Tracy Chapman's "Baby Can I Hold You," Variety noted. The ruling protects the industry practice of developing a new song based on existing material, and then seeking a license from the original artist prior to release.

The ABC series Stumptown—starring Cobie Smulders, and which was renewed for a second season in May—will not be going forward with the season-two order, Deadline reported. Supposedly, a timing issue related to the production start delay made it impossible for the show to be ready for a fall launch when the network had scheduling needs for the 2020-21 season; as a result, the network made a decision to not move forward with the previously commissioned new season.

While Harry Potter writer J.K. Rowling has been castigated worldwide for her nonstop attacks on the transgender community and has been denounced by the rest of the series' cast members, actor Robbie Coltrane ( who plays Hagrid ) is coming to Rowling's defense, LGBTQ Nation noted. He said trans people are among people just "waiting to be offended." Coltrane refused to comment further, saying, "I don't want to get involved in all of that because of all the hate mail and all that shit, which I don't need at my time of life."

Stalls—a short film written and directed by openly gay Brazilian auteur Joao Dall'stella—is now available to watch for free on YouTube and Vimeo after playing at almost four dozen LGBTQ+ film festivals worldwide, most recently at Outfest 2020, a press release noted. The film is a depiction of one man's cruising adventure in the restroom of an opera house. The short film stars Andrew Ableson ( The Gymnast; The Polar Express ) and Matthew Jain ( TV's General Hospital ), and is produced by Marc Tarczali and Thayer Juergens. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYW7kSD6qok&feature=youtu.be.

Popeye will arrive on Blu-ray for the first time ever on Dec. 1 from Paramount Home Entertainment, a press release announced. Marking the movie's 40th anniversary, the film stars Robin Williams in his first big-screen role and Shelley Duvall as his devoted sweetie, Olive Oyl. The new Blu-ray includes access to a Digital copy of the film, along with nearly 30 minutes of all-new bonus content featuring excerpts from one of Robin Williams' final interviews, a talk with director Robert Altman from 2014 and a newly conducted interview with Stephen Altman.

In January, DC Universe will transform into DC Universe Infinite, a premium digital comic-book service that will feature more than 24,000 comics from across DC's 80-year history at launch and offer subscribers earlier access to digital-first series and recently released issues, invites to exclusive events and more, EW.com noted. This pivot means that DC Universe's remaining original TV shows—Titans and Young Justice—will exclusively join the recently renewed Doom Patrol on HBO Max, which also just ordered a third season of the Harley Quinn animated series.

Hit songwriter Diane Warren criticized Kanye West on Twitter, after the rapper/presidential candidate posted a video of himself ( or someone ) urinating on a Grammy Award that had been placed in a toilet, Variety reported. "How vile and disrespectful of U," Warren wrote. "This was given to U by your peers out of respect for your work and U r literally pissing on them. I've won one Grammy and I'm forever grateful and humble that my peers found me worthy of it."

Cardi B is seeking a divorce from husband Offset, USA Today noted. The "WAP" rapper, ( real name: Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar ) filed a divorce petition in Fulton County, Georgia, requesting an end to her marriage to the Migos rapper, ( real name: Kiari Kendrell Cephus ). Cardi B wants legal and primary physical custody of the couple's 2-year-old daughter, Kulture.

Kylie Jenner's beauty brand might be in trouble, an InStyle.com item stated. According to the Fashion Law, Coty ( the parent company that owns a 51% stake in Kylie Cosmetics ) is facing a lawsuit over allegedly "inflating" the value of Jenner's beauty brand and deceiving shareholders. In part, the lawsuit cited a Forbes article from May 2020 that claimed Jenner had been "inflating the size and success of her [Kylie Cosmetics] business.

Former Melrose Place actress Amy Locane was resentenced to eight years in prison for a drunk-driving crash that killed a woman in Montgomery, New Jersey, in 2010, USA Today noted. Locane was given eight years for second-degree vehicular homicide and 18 months for fourth-degree assault by auto, which will be served concurrently with the eight-year sentence. It was the fourth time Locane was sentenced for the crash that killed Helene Seeman.


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