“With tremendous love and respect for each other, and the 18 years we spent together as a couple, we have made the decision to separate. Our priority will continue to be raising our children as devoted parents and the closest of friends. We kindly ask that the media respect our privacy at this time.”
Ben Stiller, 51, and Christine Taylor, 45, were married in May 2000 in Hawaii and have two children, Ella, 15, and Quinlin, 11.
They met in 1999 filming the TV pilot “Heat Vision and Jack,” and went on to appear in several movies and TV series together, including the two “Zoolander” movies, “Tropic Thunder,” “Arrested Development,” and “Dodgeball.”
According to TMZ, their last public outing as a couple was at a Broadway opening last month in New York.
Since they have yet to officially file for divorce, we can hope that this break just shows them they want to give it another try. It has happened before! Either way, best to the both of them.
Can you smell how The Rock is kissing? Apparently it’s “awesome,” and has a specific kind of flavor.
“Baywatch” star Zac Efron was on “The Late Late Show With James Corden” last night, along with “Pirates of the Caribbean” star Orlando Bloom and “Silicon Valley” star Zach Woods. Efron and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson lock lips underwater in “Baywatch,” and The Rock superfan James Corden demanded every single detail of their makeout session.
Corden told Efron he was “unbelievably envious,” asking, “What does The Rock taste like?” Efron didn’t really know how to answer, but he tried:
“To be completely honest, like, kissing a dude is weird at first, but he tasted kind of like a Winterfresh commercial. Or like cherry ChapStick. It was crazy. It was like, ‘What? He’s good at that, too? Jeez, man.’ He’s just the best at everything. It was an awesome kiss, and one off the bucket list for me, for sure.”
Corden couldn’t stop interrupting Efron, and eventually added his own wish: “I can safely say, I would give up everything in my life for one open-mouth kiss with The Rock.” Hmmm. His wife and kids may not appreciate that, but we all need goals.
According to USA Today, after Sandler’s film premiered Sunday night at Cannes, “it was met with rapturous reviews and a four-minute standing ovation,” with critics surprised to find themselves considering the comic for an Oscar. (Hey, he was pretty good in “Punch-Drunk Love,” too.)
Here are some early reactions to both actors having breakthrough moments at this point in their careers:
I can’t believe I’m living in a world where both Adam Sandler & Robert Pattinson could potentially be in the Best Actor conversation
Original Wonder Woman Lynda Carter joined new Amazon warrior Gal Gadot at the “Wonder Woman” premiere at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood on Thursday and both looked ah-ma-zing.
Carter (can you believe she’s now 65?!) played the superhero on TV from 1975-1979. She posted on Facebook before the premiere, saying, “So excited to be attending the premiere of the new ‘Wonder Woman’ movie, directed by my friend, Patty Jenkins, and starring the beautiful Gal Gadot. I can’t wait to see that beloved character on the big screen where she belongs. I know it will be great!”
After the movie, she gushed, “What a wonderful movie!! Gal Gadot is fabulous as Wonder Woman. Bravo Patty Jenkins. I had so much fun at the premiere. In theaters, June 2!!”
Carter told MSN, “Yes, I am the bearer of the torch and I’m passing it forward!” She added (for the benefit of any old-school fans who are dubious about the reboot), “I really want you all to embrace this. It’s just another way to look at Wonder Woman.”
Hugh Grant‘s Prime Minister is still dancing — and is forced to admit at a press conference that he fell down the stairs dancing to Drake’s “Hotline Bling.”
And yes, there’s more of Andrew Lincoln, Keira Knightley and those cue cards. And since we find out Lincoln’s lovelorn character married one of his dream girls, why he is still showing up at Keira’s door?
“A large amount of the stuff I got to do was with Carrie, which was amazing,” Isaac told Colbert. “I remember the first day of shooting was a scene with Carrie … I remember it was a scene where I come up and talk with her, and she is very upset with me and slaps me. And Rian Johnson, the director, kept doing it over and over. I think it ended up being 27 takes of Carrie just leaning in [to slap me] and every time she did a different spot on my face.
He remembered the late icon, saying, “She was, by far, one of the quickest-witted, funniest, most down-to-earth, real human beings, I ever had the opportunity of working with. She does amazing work in this. It was definitely a heartbreaker [to lose her].”
He also recalled seeing his first “Star Wars” film at age 4: “Return of the Jedi” (although he’s unclear about what year it came out. It was 1983, Oscar!). The most memorable moment: When Darth Vader’s helmet is briefly off and we see that he’s just “an old, bald, fat dude.”
The actor also mentioned that he tried to keep his “Force Awakens” script after the film was finished, and that Disney lawyers finally had to ask for it back! Fortunately, after the film opened, he got a very fancy of the version of the script sent to him, “this leather-bound thing with my name on it.” Nice!
The best movie being released this week (and indeed one of the best movies released so far this year) isn’t coming to your local multiplex. It’s Netflix’s “War Machine,” directed by Australian auteur David Michôd and starring Brad Pitt, one of the biggest movie stars in the world. It’s an abrasive, pitch-black comedy set during America’s conflict in Afghanistan and might be the most wicked, funniest, and wackiest wartime satire since Stanley Kubrick‘s “Dr. Strangelove.” (Yes, it’s really that good.)
“War Machine” is based on Michael Hastings’s posthumously published nonfiction book “The Operators,” which itself was based on Hastings’s own Rolling Stone report on the bumbling (and, because of the article, ultimately disgraced) General McChrystal. In Pitt’s hands though, McChrystal, now General Glen McMahon, becomes something heightened and larger-than-life. It would be easy to call his performance (and the rest of the movie) surreal if it didn’t feel so utterly realistic. It’s the war that is perverse and weird not this movie, necessarily. And the movie, which fluctuates between maddeningly complex and broadly goofy, is a high-wire act that pulls off its death-defying feat marvelously. It’s hilarious, odd and moving. You have to stream it.
I got a chance to speak with Michôd about translating actual events for cinematic comedy, whether or not he could have actually made the movie at a traditional studio, and where he got the idea for the last-minute cameo from Russell Crowe.
Moviefone: When did you make the decision to eschew a direct adaptation of the material?
David Michôd: Michael Hastings’s book came to me at an unusual and serendipitous moment. I had already been thinking for quite a while about making a film set in or near Iraq or Afghanistan. And had concentrated most of my thinking on a movie about the brutality of battle. So when Michael’s book came to me, I instantly saw a much bigger and weirder movie. I suddenly realized there was a movie there to be made about the entire machine and focusing principally on that strange detachment of the executive level of the military and the brutality of that battlefield.
And, at some point, in the process of outlining the movie, I realized that what I wanted to do was not just make a movie about the insanity of war but I wanted to make the movie feel insane. I wanted to create a kind of sharp and pronounced tonal schism between that upper executive level and the boots on the ground in order to make that distinction more pronounced. And from there it became quite simple, to play the generals like a screwball delusional comedy and play the boots on the ground for real.
What’s so fascinating about this story is the scope of this movie is so huge, but then it’ll focus on the general and his wife on a date or the soldiers on patrol. Was that part of the approach, too, opening it up and shrinking it down?
I think so. You know, one of the things that allowed me to go from looking for a movie set in a modern war theater to finding it in Michael’s book was finding the human affirms of it. Because I can think endlessly about the cinematic execution of war — the dirt and the dust and the blood and the chaos — but it’s not until you find your very specific human way into the story that an actual movie presents itself. So that was definitely what I found when I read Michael’s book and see these characters and I saw something that was really quite large but in a way it grew out of those very specific intimate moments that you describe.
Can you talk about developing the character with Brad? I saw that he cited Kiefer Sutherland’s character from “Monsters vs. Aliens” as inspiration.
[Laughs] Yeah. When we made the decision to let this thing play as tonally schizophrenic and to play that upper executive level of the military as screwball comedy, to let the schism be felt in a really pronounced way was to let Brad off the leash. And, in answer to the question How big are we going here? the answer was, I don’t know, how big have you got? So long as it’s rooted in something true, in vanity and ambition and hubris. Our aim was to play that character as if he were a World War II anachronism walking around in 21st Century military fatigues.
In terms of inspiration, did you look at any of those classic screwball comedies?
It’s interesting, I tend not to let myself get bogged down in other films. I’m never unaware of the fact that to make any movie is to build on what’s come before. So long as I’ve watched my movies and studied my cinema in my life, I feel like it would be counter to the larger mission to run the risk of making a facsimile of something that had come before. The great aspiration is to make something that feels unusual. The most glorious cinema experiences that I’ve had are the ones that leave me feeling like I’ve seen something that I’ve never seen before. Whether or not I’ve succeeded in that endeavor on this one remains to be seen, but it is always the aspiration.
Can you talk about working with Netflix? I read that their only real requirement was shooting digitally so they could have a 4K video file.
My experience was the same. The only stipulation I got during the whole process was, You can’t shoot on film, you have to shoot 4K. And I get it. One of the things I like about Netflix is their grand ambition. They’re future proofing. They’re making films that will live on their platform forever. I like their chutzpah.
Do you think you could have gotten away with this movie in a typical studio setting?
No. We liked the idea of going to Netflix and dropping a rock in the pond, so to speak. We could sniff from the outset that this movie was just going to freak the traditional studios out. It’s complex and it’s politically complicated and it’s tonally mental. And it couldn’t be made cheaply. So we just knew straight away that we could hump our asses around town to the usual places or we could just jump into bed with the new kids in town and go crazy.
This movie looks expensive. It’s one of the rare comedies that isn’t totally over-lit and blown out.
This was, in some ways, the most visually challenging movie I’ve made in some ways. Given its tonal schizophrenia, I had to work out which of its two tones would determine its look. So I guess where it landed was I wanted to shoot it elegantly and in a muscular way, to not let it have a look. We never pushed the look too hard. Working with Darius [Wolski, cinematographer] was great. I shot my first two films on film and this was my first proper digital experience, which allowed me to shoot with multiple cameras, which I loved. And one of Darius’s great skills is he can light a room in the morning to shoot in all directions without too much fussing and tweaking in between set-ups. You can have three cameras in a dinner scene and pretty much stick them anywhere without having to make too many adjustments to light.
Can you talk a little bit about getting Russell Crowe for that cameo at the very end?
You know, I changed the names of the characters from the ones in the book because I didn’t want the movie to feel like it was about one guy in particular, one real-life individual. To me, the movie was about a much larger machine and a system that just keeps turning despite its failure. So it was very important to me that you get a sense that the events of this movie weren’t some strange aberration, that you were watching a kind of endless conga line of fevered egos following each other into the abyss. So I needed whoever that last person was to carry the chaos of what’s to come in an instantly recognizable 15 seconds.
Vanessa Williams wants you to know that even when you’re not seeing her on TV, she’s out there working hard to entertain you.
After two highly successful stints on network television (“Ugly Betty,” “Desperate Housewives“) and a steady stream of guest stints (including “The Good Wife” and “The Mindy Project“), Williams is readying for a full-fledged return, headlining the dishy VH1 drama “Daytime Divas,” set in the competitive and ego-driven world of an afternoon talk show in the vein of “The View” (based, appropriately on former “View” host Star Jones‘s knowing novel“Satan’s Sisters”).
In the meantime, Williams has kept her chart-topping, awards-winning singing voice in peak form, performing both on Broadway and in concert around the country. And before “Daytime Divas” premieres, the former Miss America will hit the airwaves on May 28th as one of the all-star roster of performers for the PBS broadcast of the National Memorial Day Concert at the West Lawn of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., singing a classic of Americana, “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”
The singer/actress joined Moviefone for a peek at what she’s got in store for audiences, and why she loves hearing how she made her fans cry.
Moviefone: Here we are in an era where a lot of people have their own ideas about what it is to be an American. I wanted to know your feelings about being an American, and why you wanted to celebrate it by taking part in the National Memorial Day Concert.
Vanessa Williams: This is not my first time being a part of this PBS Memorial Day celebration, so I was happy to get the call again. In terms of Memorial Day, personally, we come from a long line of military. My great-great-grandfather was one of the first colored troops to participate in the Civil War. My grandfather was in World War II, my father was in the Army, my uncle was in the Air Force.
So I understand the significance and the importance of the military, and I also know what a privilege it is to live in the United States and be an American. As much chaos, and disagreement, and tension, and fear that’s going on right now, the bottom line is we are lucky to be in this great country. We are lucky to have a voice, and lucky to be able to exercise our rights, and when you travel the world, it’s great to come back home.
As you think about the things that make you happy and proud to be an American, what things really top the list that are the little intangibles that you appreciate?
The fact that we have the freedom of education. Being a woman, being a minority in this country, the trailblazers that have gone before us have opened paths so that we can live a life that we dream about and actually have it come true, whether it’s financial or aspirational, in terms of professional. The possibilities are endless when it comes to this world. Sorry to get in the grand scheme of things, but that’s what really, I think, kind of hits home with me.
And of course, my creature comforts of having plumbing that works, having food that’s clean and safe to eat, having a secure neighborhood — which I’m talking about my particular life. Those are aspects that I work hard to have, but also have them as part of my life.
In terms of Memorial Day and the concert, it’s great to be reminded that our legacy, and what we were founded on, is the freedom for us to be American, and to exercise our rights. I’m proud, I’m singing “Let There Be Peace on Earth” this year. They asked me to sing that, and it couldn’t be more appropriate, because of the world knowledge that we have, I think now, with everything online, and viral, and happening instantly, we know when there’s disturbances, and catastrophes happening, minute by minute, and peace is one of those things that you can’t ignore.
The fact is that I think people really understand the importance of world peace, so that’ll be my little addition to the PBS show, the Capitol concert, and I’m proud to be there and try to be a voice of unity.
Tell me what it’s like to be on that stage in that context, with the people who come out to see you for that particular show.
Singing with the Capitol behind you, it’s very elegant, it’s very stately, and it’s got some gravitas. It’s important that when you get the phone call that you’ve been selected to be a part of an American celebration. So I’m always honored, and we’ve got a full orchestra. Again, it’s a very elegant evening. PBS does it like no other.
Some of the great songs that we cherish about America are not the easiest to sing. Tell me your experience in figuring out how to pull off some of the performances of these great, timeless songs that can be challenging for any singer.
My particular song, “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” is one that’s not very challenging, and is one of those things that we had to sing in chorus pretty much every year. So when I was given the suggestion, I called my dear friend and my musical director to kind of do a contemporary version of the song — he literally left about an hour or so ago. We were figuring out how we were going to approach it, and I think we came up with something that’s kind of unique, and cool, but also still equally as beautiful.
The challenge would be the National Anthem, which I’ve sung at a Super Bowl, and World Series, and U.S. Open, and [the trick] is to make sure that you start comfortably enough where you have somewhere to go and be able to hit the final notes for the end of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Again, it’s always an honor, no matter what the venue, no matter what the occasion, to be asked to sing our National Anthem.
It’s always great to hear you sing, and it’s always great to see you on TV. We’ve been seeing more and more of you again recently. What’s been fun for you to kind of come back and do shows like “Daytime Divas”?
I personally don’t think that I’ve been away, because I’ve been working my a** off, always! So if I’m not on television, I’m performing my concerts on the weekends. I just had a show yesterday. I have a show in St. Lucia next weekend. If you don’t see me, it doesn’t mean that I’m not working! I did “Trip to Bountiful” on Broadway with Cicely Tyson, and I did “After Midnight,” which is a musical. Then we did “Trip to Bountiful” in L.A. and Boston. In between that, did a pilot for Fox that didn’t get picked up.
I wish it was a few years of rest and relaxation, but it hasn’t! But I think that I’m happy for “Daytime Divas” to premiere. It starts June 5th. Yet it’s another talented group of actors, and writers, and let’s hope that it finds an audience.
Can you tell me about that joy that you found in performing when you were first starting out, and getting your first opportunities to sing and perform in front of people, and the way you feel about it now?
The lucky part for me is, I started in chorus and, obviously, doing musicals. But the lucky part of me being a recording artist is when I do my show, I can not only sing all my songs that still hold up and people still sing along, but also dip into the Broadway shows that I’ve done and be able to do a whole different approach, where people who might not have seen the show will get an education on musical theater. Then do tribute stuff, where I can sing some of the songs that were inspirational to me while I was growing up.
I’ve been lucky to be able to have over 30 years of material and fans that have followed me through my career, that I have a connection with. Probably the most satisfying part for me is when people sing along, especially “Save the Best for Last,” or “The Sweetest Days,” or “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas.” But also when I see people connect, and they tell me their stories about why these particular songs mean something in their lives. Whether it’s a wedding song, whether it’s a prom song, whether they had an issue with their spouse, and this was the song that got them back together.
I think the two biggest comments are, a.) I sound like my record, and b.) “You made me cry.” That’s a very big compliment. I still sound like I do, and when I connect with my audience, there’s a connection back.
With such a multi-faceted career, are there still a couple of big bucket list items, goal posts, that you’re like, “Yep, I’m going to get to that too! That’s going to happen for me”?
I’ve performed on “Saturday Night Live” twice, and done one skit, but I would love to host. That would be because I’m a big fan of the show. So that could be a possibility. I have done a movie musical for television. I did “Bye Bye Birdie” for ABC back in ’95, but I would love to do a movie musical, which would be great.
I’m just starting to direct, and I think that’s going to be really interesting, and challenging, and exciting. I’m always up for a challenge and to learn. I think that’s one of the new things that I can tick off on my list.
Sounds like you actually are saving some of the best for last.
The actress is in talks to star in the X-Men spinoff film “New Mutants,” Variety reports. MCU fans are already very familiar with her thanks to her work as Claire Temple in multiple Marvel series for Netflix. In “New Mutants,” however, she would play Dr. Cecilia Reyes, a character who serves as a mentor for young mutants.
Distinct as the movie will be from the studio’s other projects, we hope to see more of Dawson in the MCU. She’s been a staple of Netflix’s Marvel series, including the most recent, “Iron Fist,” which debuted on the streamer in March. The cross-over series “The Defenders” premieres this summer.
Assuming Dawson takes the part, we’ll see her in “New Mutants” when it opens on April 13, 2018. Here’s hoping!