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Could This 'Game Of Thrones' Star's Crazy Theory Actually Be True? (Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:53:45 -0400)

Is this theory "Game" over?

There are a lot of theories out there about "Game of Thrones" nowadays. (What else are we supposed to do while we wait for Season 6?) But Loras Tyrell, aka actor Finn Jones, has a theory that may answer the biggest "Game of Thrones" question of them all: Who will finally win the Iron Throne?

 ... or does it?

The theory: In the end, there won't be an Iron Throne.

Jones has talked about his theory on the end of the story before, but the actor gave more details during the "Game of Thrones" panel at New York Comic Con on Thursday. 

"My theory is they're going to have to dissolve the Iron Throne to defeat the White Walkers," Jones explained.

The actor predicts there will be a big battle between "ice and fire" and the Iron Throne, which he says is made of Valyrian steel, will be taken apart because White Walkers can be defeated by those weapons. 

He continued, "I think out of the ashes will come the tree people, they'll grow [out the new world]. Bran, Hodor, Tyrion [will survive] to bring peace back to the realm. But knowing 'Game of Thrones,' it'll be Littlefinger on the throne and there will be no help."

Nice, dude. This does actually make a lot of sense. But there is one problem ...

The Iron Throne isn't made out of Valyrian steel. (At least, it doesn't appear to be.)

On his blog, George R.R. Martin says the throne is "made by blacksmiths hammering together half-melted, broken, twisted swords, wrenched from the hands of dead men or yielded up by defeated foes."

Valyrian steel is said to have been made with magic and dragon fire, giving it unparalleled quality. Words like "broken" and "twisted" aren't generally used to describe it.

Plus, Valyrian steel is rare. The knowledge of making it was supposedly lost in an event called the Doom of Valyria. So if someone yields a Valyrian steel blade, uh, you're gonna want to keep it, not make it into a chair. 

Still, there is evidence it could happen ...

According to the books, the Iron Throne is thought to have been forged using dragon fire from Balerion the Black Dread, one of the most legendary dragons ever. Being that dragon fire is one of the main ingredients in the steel, if this is true, it's conceivable that the throne has some Valyrian steel properties. 

Also, it's totally realistic to predict the dismantling of the Iron Throne. It's just bad news (and uncomfy). Additionally, filming has already started for "Game of Thrones" Season 6, so we can't rule out that perhaps Jones knows something we don't.

H/T Digital Spy

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Stephen Colbert Insults A Billy Goat, Scaring Cubs Fans Everywhere (Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:48:57 -0400)

Chicago Cubs fan Stephen Colbert addressed the team's supposed postseason hex head on during Thursday night's "Late Show," declaring the Curse of the Billy Goat officially broken and the Cubs’ playoff success imminent.

Celebrating the Cubs’ first postseason win in a dozen years, Colbert relayed the curse’s origins -- a tavern owner and his goat get kicked out of a Chicago World Series game, said tavern owner curses the ball club forever -- before throwing another goat out of the episode's taping, thereby ironically spawning the hex once more. Cue Cubs fans’ horror.

“Now, it looks like the days of the curse are behind my Cubs,” Colbert said. “Sure, technically they need to win 11 more games … but I think I can safely say, without any fear of jinxing it, they’re going all the way.” 

The ever-superstitious Chicago fans have lived in a perennial fear of such brash statements for decades -- but especially since a fan by the name of Steve Bartman famously interfered with a foul ball, plaguing his Cubbies to another dozen years of playoff distress. 

Poor Chicago fans -- they've waited 107 years and counting. Let's hope for their sake that they win another Fall Classic before the Times Square New Year's Eve ball drops in 2122.


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Jack Black Opens Up About Past Cocaine Use And His Brother Dying Of AIDS (Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:45:05 -0400)

Jack Black is making the press rounds for his new movie "Goosebumps," and the actor recently shed his funny exterior to talk about some tough moments he experienced growing up. 

The 46-year-old father of two sat down with Parade for a frank conversation about losing his brother to AIDS and his drug use at an early age. 

Black, an ardent supporter of LGBTQ rights, talked about the "devastating" time surrounding his brother's death in 1989. He said his much-older brother took him to his first rock concert and shaped his taste in music. 

"[Death] didn’t happen quickly. We all saw the deterioration," said Black. "He was only 31. So very young. We were robbed of something precious. It was devastating."

Growing up, Black also shared that he struggled with substance abuse issues after his parents divorced. 

"I remember just lots of turmoil from that time period," said Black, describing his younger self. "I was having a lot of troubles with cocaine . . . I was hanging out with some pretty rough characters. I was scared to go to school [because] one of them wanted to kill me. I wanted to get out of there." 

Black has been open about his drug use in the past, telling Blender magazine in 2008 that he'd experimented with acid, cocaine, heroin and weed. 

"In ninth grade, I did acid and cocaine," said Black. "I wanted desperately to be an American badass. There's something so romantic, when you're a kid, about being a criminal. You want to belong to the tough-guy club." 

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15 Must-Read Lessons Albert Einstein Can Teach Screenwriters (Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:44:41 -0400)


This Post originally appeared on the blog ScreenCraft. ScreenCraft is dedicated to helping screenwriters and filmmakers succeed through educational events, screenwriting competitions and the annual ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship program, connecting screenwriters with agents, managers and Hollywood producers. Follow ScreenCraft on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 - April 18, 1955) was one of the most brilliant minds that this world has ever seen. The famous theoretical physicist developed the theory of relativity and is considered to be the father of modern physics.

Because of his brilliance, many sought his outlook and perspective on a number of different topics beyond science. Below we take many of his most famous inspiring quotes and apply them to the art, craft, and business of screenwriting, for wisdom has no bounds.

1. "Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler."

Too many screenwriters make a simple concept, character, or moment more difficult than they need to be within their scripts. They're all too often advised to make things more complex, as if that automatically leads to a better result in the end.

Others over-simplify things and don't offer the concept, characters, and moments any depth.

The key to a successful screenplay is to know when and where to keep it simple and when and where to inject more into any given scenario.

Look no further than the Star Wars prequels and the fan backlash that followed. Did we need to know so much about these otherwise mythical concepts, characters, and moments? Did we need to know what makes the Force the Force?

Find the right middle ground and choose your battles wisely as far as when and where you'll offer less or more.

2. "Try not to become a man (or woman) of success, but rather try to become a man (or woman) of value."

If fame and fortune is why you want to become a screenwriter or filmmaker, you'll burn out quickly. A majority of those attempting such a career will never see that. Instead, focus on what value you are going to bring to film and/or television. What difference can you make? What impact can your writing make? Chasing dollars and headlines will get you nowhere.

3. "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."

We know the general guidelines and expectations of the film and television industry. We know the various directives and hard truths. We write about (ScreenCraft) and read (you) things like, "Don't say this in meetings," "Don't write these types of scripts," or we see certain genres and trends are killing it at the box office and Award ceremonies and we try to emulate those in our writing and business dealings.

What Albert is saying is that these things that we see and hold so high aren't always so. You can't always count on what has been successful -- or proven to be true -- before. We must play the better odds in life and in a screenwriting career, sure, however, sometimes we have to take those shots in the dark against the wind and see if we can hit that target.

4. "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

The screenwriting context of this isn't as over-powering as the quote, however, it has a context that fits.

Great screenwriters and filmmakers -- storytellers -- have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds, often in the guise of producers, development executives, representation, etc. It happens. You'll receive notes from the powers that be that just don't make sense. Your script will be rejected by most for questionable reasons.

This has happened to all of the great storytellers of our generation and before (Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Aaron Sorkin, etc.) and it will continue to happen to those that come after them.

Just grind your way through it.

5. "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."

When you're struggling with a script, a character, a scene, or whatever it may be, THAT is all too often when the most brilliant answers come to light. Challenges ignite the creative spark in our minds. The brain works in mysterious ways. It often finds the best solution when against the most opposition.

So write and think your way through those difficult rewrites and writer's block. That's where the good stuff is born.

6. "A human being is part of a whole called by us the universe."

You're not the only one struggling. You're not the only one telling stories. You're not the only one the powers that be are considering. You're not the only one who has won a contest or gotten a meeting. You're not the only one who writes well or, as of yet, is writing poorly.

So take comfort in that and be humbled by it at the same time.

7. "A man (or woman) should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be."

Discover the story, don't just try to emulate what has come before it. Discover the characters, don't just try to follow what the pundits and gurus stipulate.

8. "A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new."

The mistakes you make as a screenwriter or filmmaker will make you better. You need to make them to evolve. If you stay in a certain genre or write the same way over and over, you won't be challenging yourself. If you're not challenging yourself and getting out of your comfort zone, you'll never make those necessary mistakes. And if you don't make those necessary mistakes and learn from them, you'll never by a better storyteller.

9. "Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either."

In Hollywood meetings and communication, if you try to bulls*** your way through the process, the powers that be will quickly pick up on that and won't trust you with big assignments, etc. Lying about your past "successes" and lying about applying their notes, or any variation of lying or misleading anyone in any context, will get you nowhere.

10. "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction."

Less is more. This can be especially applied to the rewriting process. Cutting scenes down to the core is much more difficult than adding complexity and overwriting them. The best screenwriters can find the core of each scene, character, and moment, and communicate that in the most simple of ways for the reader and eventual audience to embrace. That is what makes an otherwise good screenwriter truly great. Master the concept of less is more and you'll be well ahead of the pack.

11. "Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools."

The constant rejection that screenwriters face on a daily basis often causes many to become cynical and overtly angry towards the film and television industry.

Screenwriters need to embrace the rejection. It should make you want it more and work harder to hone your craft, market your scripts smartly, network better, etc.

Anger only leads to the dark side.

12. "Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized."

The gurus out there with books, seminars, and workshops are good food for the brain to consider and apply to your own process and direction when needed, however, their declarations, formulas, and "secrets to success" should never be idolized to the point where a screenwriter tries to emulate them to a tee.

As a screenwriter, you need to find your own way. There's no one single path to great writing and success.

13. "He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed."

All too often, some screenwriters feel that they need to be overly analytic. It even translates to watching movies, where they pick apart various elements of the story, characters, etc.

Cinema is magical. It always will be. It's okay to sit in that theater in wonder and awe. It's okay to lose yourself in the process of writing a screenplay. It's okay to have fun doing it and to, more often than not, let the story and characters find you. It's not just okay to allow those things -- it's necessary.

14. "Information is not knowledge."

Studying endless film theory doesn't make you an excellent writer. Nor does knowing various guru formulas/beat sheets, knowing each and every line in Casablanca, or knowing the percentages of successful -- or unsuccessful -- genres and other analytical information.

You become a great writer by writing. You become a great writer by failing and learning from your mistakes.

15. "Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person."

Screenwriters have to commit. They have to write each and every day, whether it's physically typing or writing in their head, developing those concepts, stories, characters, and moments.

And writing one script isn't enough. You have to stack your deck by writing as many as you can. You learn with each and every script.

Write. Write. Write.


Screenwriters don't always have to go to famous and Award-winning screenwriters and filmmakers to learn. Wisdom is everywhere.

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A Brief History Of Steve Jobs In Film (Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:29:32 -0400)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple co-founder Steve Jobs became renowned for conjuring a "reality distortion field" that made people believe whatever he wanted.

If he were still around, it's easy to imagine that Jobs would be summoning all his powers of persuasion to protect a legacy that's getting muddied with each cinematic take on his fascinating life.

"Steve Jobs," which opened Friday, is the latest movie to examine a charismatic visionary who mesmerized the masses with his trendsetting gadgets while alienating his subordinates and friends with an almost-inhumane cruel streak.

It's the second movie about a Silicon Valley icon written by Aaron Sorkin, who won an Academy Award in 2011 for "The Social Network," a dramatization of the friends and enemies that Mark Zuckerberg made while building Facebook into an Internet power.

Zuckerberg, now 31, ridiculed that movie as mostly fiction and publicly lamented, "I just wished that nobody made a movie of me while I was still alive."

Jobs' supporters probably won't be happy with Sorkin's posthumous interpretation of Jobs either, even though previously released movies have drawn similar portraits depicting him as an acid-dropping hippie turned megalomaniacal genius who berated and betrayed people.

Here's a look at how the latest biopic compares with some of its predecessors:



"STEVE JOBS" (2015)

This is the most provocative and best acted of the bunch, spearheaded by Michael Fassbender, who stars as Jobs. The story unfolds in a much different format, but the overriding message is the same: Jobs was a tortured soul who tortured those around him while striving to design machines that were made better than he was.

The film, based loosely on a best-selling book by Jobs' hand-picked biographer Walter Isaacson, unfolds in three acts that take place before three presentations orchestrated by Jobs: the 1984 debut of the Macintosh computer; a 1988 showcase for the NeXT computer; and the 1998 unveiling of the iMac.

None of the pre-event scenes or dialogue actually occurred, but the drama is designed to capture the relentless drive and haunting demons that made Jobs who he was. Director Danny Boyle describes the movie as a "heightened version of real life" while Sorkin calls it a "painting and not a photograph."

The story is told through Jobs' interactions with six central figures in his life: his former marketing chief, Joanna Hoffman; his former girlfriend Chrisann Brennan; Apple co-founder and friend Steve Wozniak; former Apple engineer Andy Hertzfeld; former Apple CEO John Sculley; and Lisa, the daughter that Jobs refused to acknowledge for many years.

Wozniak (played by Seth Rogen) delivers two of the film's pivotal lines when he tells Jobs, "Your products are better than you are," and "You can be decent and gifted at the same time."


"JOBS" (2013)

Ashton Kutcher didn't get an Oscar nomination for his interpretation of Jobs like some critics are already predicting Fassbender will get, but give Kutcher credit for nailing a lot of the real man's mannerisms, including the loping way he walked.

The movie picks up on Jobs' life as a bare-foot, shaggy dropout at Reed College in Oregon and follows the path that led to him teaming up with Wozniak to start Apple in 1976, recruiting Sculley to become CEO, leaving Apple in a power struggle, and returning to engineer the greatest comeback story in corporate history.

Along the way, the movie features scenes showing Jobs ripping off Wozniak on a job for video-game maker Atari; denying stock to early Apple employees who were once his friends; and berating Apple workers.

Shortly before Sculley ousts Jobs from Apple, a tearful Wozniak (played by Josh Gad) wonders what happened to the friend he knew when they were making illegal boxes to make free long-distance phone calls. "You are the beginning and end of your own world," Wozniak tells Jobs.

This movie ends on an upbeat note, with Kutcher, as Jobs, narrating "Here's To the Crazy Ones," a famous TV commercial that ran as part of Apple's "Think Different" campaign. (Although Jobs did record a version of this bit, Apple wound up airing a version narrated by actor Richard Dreyfuss.)



This documentary from another Academy Award winner, Alex Gibney, leaves viewers with an appreciation for Jobs' achievements and a disdain for his often boorish behavior.

It's a particularly damning portrait because it's told through clips of Jobs himself and interviews with some of the people who knew him best. The list of participants includes: Brennan, Lisa's mother, and Daniel Kottke, who befriended Jobs at Reed College and became one of Apple's early employees only to be denied stock when the company went public.

What the movie lacks is the perspective of Jobs' admirers, including Apple executives who still lionize him. Among that group is Eddy Cue, the company's senior vice president of Internet software and services, who blasted the film in a March tweet as "an inaccurate and mean-spirited view of my friend."



This made-for-TV movie came out before Jobs transformed Apple and society with the release the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Jobs, played by Noah Wyle, shares top billing with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in this movie, based on the book "Fire In The Valley." It covers Jobs' staunch refusal to recognize Lisa as his daughter and his caustic attitude toward people.

Although the movie depicts Jobs as the hipper of the two men, the more nerdy Gates ends up outmaneuvering his rival to get the technology that became Windows and helped turn Microsoft into the world's most valuable company at one point. The movie closes with Gates looking down at Jobs from a giant video screen during a 1997 conference announcing that Microsoft had invested $150 million in Apple at a time it nearly declared bankruptcy.

If that is how the story had really ended, there probably would have never been another movie made about Jobs.



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The 12 Biggest Baby Name Influencers of Our Time (Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:24:26 -040)

Which famous figures are having the largest influence on baby names right now?

The most important baby name influencers are a mix of actors, writers, sports stars, musicians and historical figures. They all share a heroic image that inspires parents and their young namesakes.

Here, based on their names’ standings in the current U.S. list of most popular names, are the biggest baby name influencers of our time:

Liam (Neeson)

The widespread use of the second most popular boys’ name Liam can be directly tied to the ascendance of action hero star Liam Neeson. The name began its steep climb to the top in the early '90s, closely tied to the growing fame of Neeson. The name originated as an Irish short form of William, which is in fact the Irish actor’s full name. In recent years, the popularity of Liam, which is number one in several states, has been further bolstered by that of musicians Liam Gallagher and Liam Payne.

Harper (Lee)

Southern novelist Harper Lee’s first name entered the girls’ Top 1000 in 2004, the same year her beloved book To Kill A Mockingbird was widely chosen for the One City, One Book reading program. The name has zoomed up the charts in the decade since then, reaching number 11 in 2014 and climbing to number one in North and South Dakota. Parents not directly inspired by the writer may have heard of the name via Victoria and David Beckham's daughter, whose name was picked by the little girl’s older brothers after their favorite Disney character Harper Finkle on "Wizards of Waverly Place."

(Bob) Dylan

Musician Bob Dylan famously adopted his name from Dylan Thomas and then made it more famous than the Welsh poet ever did. Dylan first appeared on the Top 1000 for boys in 1966, the year the folk singer’s "Blonde on Blonde" album was released. It’s been in the Top 35 for boys for more than two decades now, most recently at number 29. Dylan was given in 2014 to more than 10,000 baby boys and nearly 1,000 baby girls.

Audrey (Tautou and Hepburn)

The lovely image of Audrey Hepburn undoubtedly helped the modern popularity of this old saint’s name, but it was the appearance of charming French star Audrey Tautou in 2001’s breakout hit "Amelie" that propelled the name into the Top 1000 in 2002. In the dozen years since, the two stars have helped make Audrey the number 36 girls’ name in the U.S., its highest standing ever.

Arianna (Huffington) and Ariana (Grande)

Both spellings of this name, a Latinate variation of the Greek Ariadne, have been very popular over the past few decades. The rise of the Arianna form can be closely tied with that of media magnate Arianna Huffington: Arianna entered the top 100 in 2003, the same year Arianna Huffington ran for governor of California. Its standing only increased with the 2005 founding of The Huffington Post, reaching number 40 today. The Ariana spelling is slightly more popular at number 37, bolstered by pop star Ariana Grande, who has 45 million Instagram followers.


This Arabic name has risen to number 45 in the U.S. due to the fame of the singer. It entered the charts at a whopping number 202 in 1994, the year Aaliyah’s first album was released, and crossed into the Top 100 in 2001, the year the singer was killed in a plane crash. But the true popularity of the name is obscured by all the also-popular variations, from Aliyah (number 168) to Aliya (number 186) to Aleah (number 423) to Alia (number 729) and onward. Taken together, all the variations put the name near the Top 10.

(John F.) Kennedy (Sr. and Jr.)

President John F. Kennedy certainly helps burnish the image of this name, but what turned it into a hit name for girls was the gorgeous, romantic JFK Jr., whose emergence in the national spotlight in the mid-90s was directly tied to the emergence of the name. Kennedy debuted at number 524 on the girls’ chart in 1994 and then hopped all the way up to number 230 in 1995, the year JFK Jr. launched George Magazine. The fame of the name only grew as he married the following year. Today, Kennedy is the number 54 girls’ name in the U.S.

Peyton (Manning)

Football great Peyton Manning has made his name popular for both girls and boys. Peyton crossed over into the girls’ Top 100 in 2008, two years after Manning’s Super Bowl win. Spelling variation Payton ranks at number 134 for girls with Peyton standing at number 210 for boys. The name entered the Top 1000 for both genders in the early 1990s and rose steeply in the late 90s and early 2000s, as Manning won MVP awards and the Super Bowl.

(Michael) Jordan

The powerful image of sports giant Michael Jordan has accomplished something highly unusual for his surname: Made it more popular for boys and at the same time less popular for girls. While the name Jordan was widely used for both genders throughout Michael Jordan’s active playing days in the 1980s and 90s, Jordan left the Top 100 for girls in 2008 but remains at number 55 for boys.

(Abraham) Lincoln

Lincoln is one of those names you may be surprised to learn has ranked among the Top 1000 since the list was founded in 1880. But it only reached the Top 100 in 2013, the year after the movie "Lincoln" was released to wide acclaim, winning Daniel Day-Lewis the Oscar for Best Actor. Lincoln is now number 87 for boys in the U.S., and an astonishing number two in South Dakota. Nearly 5000 baby boys were named Lincoln last year, but so were more than 100 girls.

Hadley (Richardson Hemingway)

Hadley Richardson became famous by association when her husband author Ernest Hemingway penned the novelistic memoir The Sun Also Rises. But her name became widely used for babies only after her star turn in the hugely popular novel The Paris Wife, published in 2011. Hadley entered the girls’ Top 100 in 2014.

Miles (Davis)

Miles is another surprising name that’s always been among the Top 1000 but it didn’t take a decided turn toward the top until 1995. Although jazz great Miles Davis died in 1991, he was nominated for Grammy Awards in 1992 and 1993 and made the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998. Last year Miles hit number 108 on the boys’ popularity list, its highest rank ever.


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Jane Fonda Wants To Break A Major Sex Taboo (Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:16:25 -0400)

Jane Fonda has never shied away from talking about sex -- and that's something that hasn't changed even as she's gotten older. The 77-year-old actress and longtime sex symbol says that although society's grown more open about sex, there's still something most people need to be educated on. 

"Just because you've reached a certain age, it doesn't mean you no longer have a sense of sexuality," Fonda told Germany's Meins magazine recently. "I'd love to break through this taboo."

Fonda herself has worked to shatter the myth, talking about her sex life in her seventies. "I have never had such a fulfilling sex life," Fonda said in 2012, speaking about her relationship with boyfriend, Richard Perry. "Often, when we make love, I see him as he was 30 years ago."

In addition to her famous fitness videos, Fonda is an author, and has spoken openly about sex in her books. In her 2012 book, "Prime Time," Fonda offered dozens of tips on how to make the most of an evolving sex life as we get older, addressing issues older people face in the bedroom. 

"At my age, even sex has to be planned!" she told Meins magazine. "Men have to take certain pills at the right time -- otherwise it's not going to work!"

Fonda pointed out that the older population is growing, making it more important to talk openly about such issues. In a 2011 interview, Fonda said the taboo of older people having sex will diminish thanks to this aging population. "After all, baby boomers think they invented sex, you know? Their knees and hips will go before their sex [drive] will."


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Malcom-Jamal Warner Opens Up About Bill Cosby Allegations (Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:07:37 -0400)

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- "The Cosby Show" alum Malcolm-Jamal Warner says the series' legacy is "tarnished" by the sexual assault allegations made against Bill Cosby.

"My biggest concern is when it comes to images of people of color on television and film, no matter what ... negative stereotypes of people of color, we've always had 'The Cosby Show' to hold up against that. And the fact that we no longer have that, that's the thing that saddens me the most because in a few generations the Huxtables will have been just a fairy tale," said Warner, who starred as Cosby's son, Theo Huxtable, on the long-running NBC sitcom.

Warner said he has been in touch with Cosby, but he would not comment on their conversations.

"I think the things that we discussed really have to stay private between us. But it's just a bad situation all around - for him, for his family, the women, their families, the legacy of the show," said Warner during an interview Thursday.

Cosby admitted having extramarital relationships with several women, including some who now accuse him of sexual assault. He has never been charged with a crime.

Warner, who won his first Grammy earlier this year for his work on Robert Glasper's "Jesus Children," is currently promoting his new album, "Selfless," out now.

He describes the third record with his band Miles Long as "funky passionate vulnerability."

Warner is also filming "American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson," directed by Ryan Murphy. He plays Simpson's friend Al "A.C." Cowlings.

"I grew up with a maniacal obsession with not wanting to be one of those 'Where Are They Now Kids,' " said Warner of his busy year. "I feel very blessed to be able to have all of these avenues of expression ... to be where I am now and finally at a place where I can let go of that worry about having a life after 'Cosby.' "

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Tavis Smiley: Fran Drescher Shares How Her Cancer Diagnosis Propelled Her to Educate and Empower Women (Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:06:54 -0400)

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and tonight I'm joined by Fran Drescher, a leading voice in cancer advocacy. The Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated star of the hit '90s sit-com The Nanny is also the founder and president of the "Cancer Schmancer" Movement, which promotes early detection, prevention, and policy change. The organization is hosting its first annual Women's Health Summit on October 13th at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles.

Now a 14-year uterine cancer survivor, Drescher was first misdiagnosed and mistreated for a perimenopausal condition that she did not have, and it took her two years and eight doctors before finally receiving an accurate diagnosis.

In the clip below, she shares how her own story has driven her to encourage women to not only be patients, but informed medical consumers.

For more of our conversation, be sure to tune in to Tavis Smiley on PBS. Check our website for your local TV listings: www.pbs.org/tavis.

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Saoirse Ronan Deserves Her Oscar Buzz For 'Brooklyn' (Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:55:22 -0400)

Of the movies that have screened for press so far this year, "Brooklyn" is the Oscars' biggest wild card. Audiences swooned when the film premiered at Sundance in January, making it the festival's likeliest awards contender. But will it command the staying power of "Whiplash" and "Boyhood," both of which debuted at 2014's Sundance before drumming their way to Best Picture nominations one year later? "Brooklyn" screened again at last month's Toronto Film Festival and this week's New York Film Festival, and now that the post-Labor Day Oscar prognosticating has begun, it's time to more seriously ponder the movie's awards odds. 

I saw it in New York on Wednesday, and the Oscar talk is appropriate: "Brooklyn" is lovely. The coming-of-age tale, based on the cherished 2009 Colm Tóibín novel, traces Eilis Lacey, a 1950s Irish immigrant (Saoirse Ronan) who sets sail for America, soon finding herself torn between the new life she's created and a loyalty to her homeland. While attending a dance, Eilis meets a sweet Italian boy (Emory Cohen) who gives her purpose outside of the department-store job she maintains and the boarding house where she resides. When she returns home after a family death, Eilis mourns how deeply her mother (Jane Brennan) longs for her -- a sentiment that's heightened by the presence of a charming new suitor (Domhnall Gleeson). 

"Brooklyn" is a pretty movie, both aesthetically and emotionally. Yves Bélanger's lush cinematography makes it look more expensive than the average Sundance title, fusing poignantly with Nick Hornby's elegant script and Michael Brook's graceful score. But none of it would mean anything without Ronan and her director, theater maestro John Crowley, who also helmed 2003's "Intermission" and 2013's "Closed Circuit." The audience is as fixated on Ronan as the camera is. We sail with her across the Atlantic Ocean, ache over the loneliness Eilis experiences upon docking and rejoice with her as homesickness gives way to happiness. "Brooklyn" is about seeking a home and, in turn, an identity. Ronan's delicate performance makes that odyssey at once simple and profound.

But can the film's critical hallelujahs translate to Oscar glory for Ronan? She totes Sundance's brightest awards buzz, though two other ladies whose movies premiered there are also viable Best Actress contenders: Lily Tomlin in "Grandma" and Blythe Danner in "I'll See You In My Dreams." Ronan earned a supporting nod for "Atonement" in 2008, and now she has the support of Fox Searchlight, which mounted successful campaigns for the previous two Best Picture winners, "12 Years a Slave" and "Birdman." (The indie imprint snatched up "Brooklyn" distribution rights for $9 million, this year's heftiest Sundance deal. Toronto audiences were equally wowed.) Whether the film will find much life at the box office when it opens Nov. 6 opposite "Spectre," "The Peanuts Movie" and fellow Best Picture contender "Spotlight" is a bigger question mark. Regardless, many signs point to a nomination for Ronan, especially now that Focus Features has confirmed that Alicia Vikander will be touted as a supporting candidate instead of lead for her excellent turn in "The Danish Girl." By my humble count, I expect Ronan will share the category with Cate Blanchett ("Carol" or "Truth"), Brie Larson ("Room"), Jennifer Lawrence ("Joy") and either Tomlin or Charlotte Rampling ("45 Years"). 

We should also mention Julie Walters, who is a joy as the matron of the New York boarding house where Eilis lives. She's a fussy scold with enough bite to function as the movie's comic relief. The supporting-actress race is stacked, but Walters is a two-time nominee, for "Educating Rita" in 1984 and "Billy Elliot" in 2001. Plus, Fox Searchlight managed a nomination for Laura Dern in "Wild" earlier this year, even though the precursor prizes indicated Jessica Chastain was favored to earn that slot for "A Most Violent Year." Could the 65-year-old Walters parlay similar studio support into her third Oscar nod? Possibly, but get a load of the A-listers she's competing against: Rooney Mara ("Carol"), Kate Winslet ("Steve Jobs"), Jane Fonda ("Youth"), Jennifer Jason Leigh ("The Hateful Eight"), Joan Allen ("Room"), Jessica Chastain ("The Martian"), Rachel Weisz ("Youth") and Kristen Stewart ("Clouds of Sils Maria"). 

Whatever happens by the time nominations arrive on Jan. 14, "Brooklyn" is worth your time. It's not flawless -- the story is missing a layer of drama when it comes time for Eilis to choose between Ireland and the United States -- but it blends the year's simplest plot with its most thoughtful execution. If nothing else, Hornby should be a shoo-in for Best Adapted Screenplay, though I said the same thing about "Wild" last year before he was shut out. (Hornby did earn a 2010 nod for "An Education," though.) Until we see what shelf life the movie's box-office receipts give it next month, my "Brooklyn" reflections will hinge on the tears I choked back as I exited the theater and trekked to the subway station. That's Ronan's doing. You'll see what I mean very soon.


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The Hilarious Nightmare Of Putting Together Barbie's Dreamhouse (Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:54:56 -0400)

HOW TO Put Together a Barbie Dreamhouse

This goes out to anyone who has ever attempted the impossible...assembling a Barbie Dreamhouse. Thanks to Baby Sideburns for all the laughs while filming this new series!

Posted by What's Up Moms? on Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Barbie's Dreamhouse is a nice pad, no doubt. The task of putting it together is not so nice. 

A video from What's Up Moms perfectly captures the struggles parents face when it comes to putting together Barbie's home. From trying to decipher the many diagrams in the instructions to attempting to construct the elevator (because she can't just take the stairs), getting Barbie's house up and ready for your kids can be a hilarious nightmare. 

Kudos to all the parents out there putting together their kids' toys. We believe in you.

H/T Pop Sugar

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Eminem Pens Essay Praising The 'True Genius' Of Tupac Shakur (Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:45:22 -0400)

Eminem has long stated his allegiance to Tupac Shakur, having co-produced the soundtrack to the 2003 documentary "Tupac: Resurrection" and the 2004 posthumous album "Loyal to the Game." Now, the rapper has written a tribute essay in the new issue of Paper magazine, calling Shakur a "true genius."

Eminem is one of three contemporary hip-hop stars to write about their icons. He joins Kendrick Lamar, who wrote about Eazy-E, and Swizz Beatz, who is slated to compose an ode to the Notorious B.I.G. Eminem dips into his youth to reflect on Shakur's influence, praising the first 2Pac verse he heard, on the 1993 Digital Underground collaboration "I Get Around." 

In the few short years between that song and Shakur's death in 1996, Eminem used 2Pac's music as a vicarious springboard for his own emotions. He writes about experiencing the world through Shakur's rhymes, saying he was the "first one to really help me learn how to make songs that felt like something." 

"He was taking things further than a lot of rappers at the time -- pushing it to the next level as far as giving feeling to his words and his music," Eminem writes. "A lot of people say, 'You feel Pac,' and it's absolutely true. The way he chose which words to say with which beat was genius; it's like he knew what part of the beat and what chord change was the right place to hit these certain words... to make them jump off the track and make you feel what he was saying."

Read the full essay at Paper magazine.


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Bella Thorne Celebrates 18th Birthday By Posting Bikini Photos (Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:33:40 -0400)

Bella Thorne -- the redheaded incarnation of Kylie Jenner -- turned 18 on Oct. 8. 

The actress, who is best known for starring alongside Zendaya in the Disney Channel series "Shake It Up" and more recently for being brutally murdered on MTV's "Scream" series, celebrated her 18th birthday by promoting a bikini photo shoot she shot for Flaunt magazine last month. 

A video posted by BELLA (@bellathorne) on

Thorne has been counting down the days until her birthday, first sharing a video from the shoot that she captioned, "Just 2 more days! Check out my @flauntmagazine photo shoot in celebration of my #18th birthday." She posted another clip on Thursday, writing, "Since it is officially my birthday, my last video teaser for my @flauntmagazine photo shoot celebrating my 18th birthday in the #Califuk issue on stands now. You can see the photos and full video at flaunt.com. Thank you to all my friends and models that participated in this story."

A video posted by BELLA (@bellathorne) on

And to actually celebrate her birthday, and the fact that she and 23-year-old boyfriend Gregg Sulkin are now in full compliance with California's age of consent laws, the actress dined at Eva Longoria's Beso Hollywood, before hitting up One Oak in a plunging top and black leather mini skirt. 

Ugh love the Spanish vibe it's sooo me ❤️ thank you guys!! Can't wait to eat ALL THE FOOD!! @jttorregiani @besohollywood @shaesavin #18 #birthdaydinner #so-hungry

A photo posted by BELLA (@bellathorne) on

Birthday kisses

A photo posted by BELLA (@bellathorne) on

Thank you @1oakeg for throwing my birthday @theconnortreacy @andreigillott

A video posted by BELLA (@bellathorne) on

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The Backstreet Boys And The Spice Girls Might Reunite For An Epic Tour (Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:27:54 -0400)

Well, this news just spiced up our life. 

In an interview with Rolling Stone on Tuesday, Backstreet Boy AJ McLean discussed the rumors that his band was teaming up for a tour with the Spice Girls.

"The Spice Girls tour has been this idea bouncing around for the past year and a half, and it's something we're still talking about," said McLean.

In the meantime, McLean also said that the Backstreet Boys are heading back into the studio soon to start work on their new album. 

"This is just the beginning phase, but we're hoping to have the album done before our cruise in May." The band is hosting "BSB Cruise 2016," from May 10-14, which will hit up Spain, France and Italy. 

And while the Spice Girls haven't confirmed whether or not they're getting back together (fingers crossed), all hope isn't lost.

"Nothing has been announced, nothing's official. I mean yes, we are in talks, because it is our 20th anniversary, and I want something to happen," Mel B told Meredith Vieira in a recent interview. "Well I've been saying it for five years -- we are reuniting. Aren't we?" 

The only thing holding back a reunion might be one key band member -- Posh Spice, aka Victoria Beckham. 

"I won't ever do it again," said Beckham in a 2014 Vanity Fair interview. Later, the singer-turned-designer added. "Sometimes you've got to know when it's time to leave the party." 

Make our '90s dreams come true, guys. We want it that way.  

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John Lennon at 75: Sadness, Celebration and Conjecture (Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:22:54 -0400)

Thinking about who John Lennon would have been at 75 is a bittersweet exercise. Millions of people around the globe, now in their 50s and 60s, grew up with him as a constant presence throughout their childhood and adolescent years, and can't help but think about him often -- not only on his birthday or the anniversary of his death.

We remember him as we would a departed family member who inspired us, entertained us, educated us, confused us and gave us endless hours of cool stuff to talk about with our friends. There was nothing in our young lives as exciting and compelling as the Beatles; nothing that reliably and consistently brought joy and opportunities to connect with others. As I discuss in Beatleness, the connection fans felt to Lennon was and will always be historically unique. He enriched our young lives in countless ways, and left a variety of indelible marks on the psyche of a generation.

Though there have been many artistic renderings of what Lennon would look like as an old man -- the first one I recall was in The New York Times in '65 -- we picture him as a fat-free 40-year-old, with a thin-lipped grin and angular features, sprightly beginning a new chapter of a most unusual life. The image of him in our mind's eye is vital and full of possibility.


We wonder what he'd be doing musically. What would the follow up to the Double Fantasy sessions have sounded like? Would we have heard collaborations with Michael Jackson, Prince and Nirvana? Would some iteration of the Plastic Ono Band have played the historic Live Aid concert in '85? And what would he have thought about the impact of MTV on how we appreciate music? What would he think about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and its inductions, or today's glossy, ad-filled but muckraking Rolling Stone magazine?

Would he be snarky about Mick and Keith still shaking their asses on the road? Would he show up now and then on Dylan's Never Ending Tour? Would he and Yoko have toured together? Would he have collaborated with this sons? And would he have gotten the old band back together? Of all the unanswerable but engaging questions, that one captures the imagination most. The music at a Beatles reunion can be as splendid as we can imagine.

Would Lennon have returned to activism, we wonder, perhaps in a more studied manner than in the early 70s. Would he have been outspoken against apartheid in the 80s? Would he have gotten under the skin of the Gipper as he did Tricky Dick? Would he have offered an opinion about the fall of the Berlin Wall, or the first (or second) Iraq War? Would he and Yoko have created a dazzling spectacle to usher in peace for the new millennium?

And we think about his sons growing up without their famous father. Julian has a special place in the hearts of first-generation Beatle fans, many of whom remember seeing pictures of him as a little boy. We remember his parents' very public divorce. John and Julian were reestablishing their relationship, we read, and were happy for them. Sean too has a special place, because we understood John and Yoko's joy at his birth after multiple miscarriages. As weird as it may seem, events in the last 15 years of John's life somehow became events in our lives, too.

I often wonder if Lennon, the stay-at-home dad and primary parent, would have continued the outspoken feminism of "Woman is the Nigger of the World." Could this newly enlightened guy have been a role model for the millions of boomer men who grew their hair and wore flowered shirts in the 60s, but who didn't have a Yoko to raise their consciousness as they struggled with disruptive changes in gender roles?


And today, would John be standing alongside Bono as he meets with world leaders? Would he have participated in recent show biz events to end poverty? Would he be an environmental activist, disgusted by our leaders' half-assed efforts to address the climate crisis? Would he and Paul do PETA benefits together? Would he appreciate Donald Trump's performance art, but support Bernie Sanders? Or would he be a pal of the Clintons. Maybe he'd stay out of all this and stick to the thing he loved most -- playing rock and roll?

Of course we can't know what John Lennon would have been doing today had he not been murdered, 35 years ago, by a person with a mental illness who should not have had access to a gun. But today, we should put some music on, celebrate his life, and feel gratitude that he was here.

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