Entertainment

Patina Miller and Omar Epps explain why 'Power Book III: Kanan' was the perfect series for them to join

Courtesy of Starz

Patina Miller and Omar Epps say it wasn't a tough decision to sign on to Starz's Power prequel, Power Book III: Raising Kanan

For Epps, joining the cast as Detective Malcolm Howard -- a corrupt NYPD cop in Queens -- was an opportunity for him to learn more about of one of Power's most notorious villains. 

"I was a fan of Power," Epps tells ABC Audio, before noting that he was "attracted" to "the notion of how far Kanan went [to become] the monster that he was."

Epps says he was also interested in exploring Kanan's origin story, and how "a pimple-faced teenager" from a single parent home could "evolve" into the Kanan Stark that fans first saw in Power.

"That was really interesting to me," he says.

Epps' co-star, Patina Miller, who plays Kanan's fierce and protective mother Raquel, shares similar sentiments, adding that she loved the idea of joining the wildly popular Power universe as a central figure.

"I love pressure," she says. "But there was no pressure because we're dealing with a really amazing piece. It's very well written. The characters are so fleshed out. Every character in our series is three dimensional. Every character has a secret. It's exciting. It's fun. It's gritty. It's raw. It's all the things that make for incredible television."

The Tony-award winning actress' excitement for the series doesn't stop there.

"We have the best actors in my opinion [and] I love coming to work with each and every one of them," Miller continues. "And I'm so excited for everyone to get to see some really amazing, talented people with some incredible writing. The all around production of this entire show [that] I'm so proud of."

Power Book III: Raising Kanan airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET on Starz.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Benifer 2.0 makes it Instagram official, thanks to Leah Remini

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While the pair have been spotted together many times since reportedly rekindling their 2000s-era romance in April, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez have kept their coupling off Instagram -- until now. 

Thanks to a snap from a slideshow on J. Lo's bestie Leah Remini's Instagram page, the old-new couple have been captured together on the social media platform for the first time.

Remini shared a series of black and white pictures from a photo booth that had been set up for her 51st birthday party on Thursday.  Among them is a snap of the buzzed-about couple. Luckily, fans can pause the slideshow to get a good look.

It shows Lopez striking a pose under the crook of a smiling Ben's right arm, her hand on his chest. For good measure, Remini's under Ben's left arm, with her hand on his chest as well. 

Remini commented to her 2.9 million followers, "Wanted to share a little video from my birthday with you all because I got so much love from you on my birthday but also everyday [sic]. I consider myself to have the best support system here on social media."

She added, "Also, I can't thank my family & friends enough for coming, for celebrating with me in a way that was very special to me. It's been an interesting year, so this birthday meant a lot for many reasons."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Leah Remini (@leahremini)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Chrissy Teigen thanks fans for sending the "most amazing" condolences after loss of baby Jack

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Chrissy Teigen is feeling thankful for her fans. 

In videos shared to Instagram Stories on Wednesday, the 35-year-old Cravings author showed off the tons of mail she and husband John Legend received after she suffered a pregnancy loss last September. 

"This is just piles of letters that we just got because the place we usually get mail from, where you guys send mail, has been shut down and it opened back up. And now we got everything," Teigen said between sniffles as she sorted through the items. "You guys sent the most amazing condolence letters and cards and books and I just want you to know that we got all of them. All of them. I’m gonna read them all, OK? I love you guys."

Two months after announcing her pregnancy in August 2020, Chrissy shared the heartbreaking news that she suffered a miscarriage of a son, whom they planned to name Jack

"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before," she shared at the time. 

Chrissy and John are also parents to Luna, 5, and Miles, 3. 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Sean Penn won't return to 'Gaslit' set without stricter COVID-19 vaccination guidelines

Li Yang/China News Service via Getty Images

Amid growing concerns over the highly contagious Delta variant spreading across the U.S., Sean Penn challenged Hollywood leadership to impose stricter COVID-19 vaccination guidelines on TV and film sets, according to Deadline.

The 60-year-old actor vowed not to return to work on Gaslit -- his Starz series co-starring Julia Roberts -- until everyone on the production has been vaccinated for the virus.

Penn is insisting that vaccinating everyone on the set against COVID-19 must be mandatory and is offering to facilitate the vaccination effort, free of charge, through his organization, CORE.

Earlier this week, NBCUniversal, the studio behind Gaslit, mandated vaccinations in “Zone A,” which constitutes the cast and those who come in close proximity to the cast.  Production members must show proof of vaccination when they show up for their next shift.

Penn insists that unvaccinated individuals still put everyone else around them at risk on set, because crew that isn’t in "Zone A" still can come close enough to others to potentially spread a variant -- for example, simply by being in the trailer of a cast member, for instance.

This is one of the first examples of a filmmaker or star directly challenging Hollywood leaders to go further than an agreement and impose strong rules on a production by requiring everyone to be vaccinated. If Penn follows through with his threat to stay out, it will delay the production.

Gaslit is a modern take on the Watergate scandal, which focuses on untold stories and forgotten characters of the time.  Penn will play former Attorney General John Mitchell.

 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Mark Wahlberg talks how being a father spurred him to star in and produce the drama 'Joe Bell'

ABC News/Stephen Iervolino

Mark Wahlberg stars as the title character in the new drama Joe Bell, a reality-based drama in which he plays a blue collar father who, in 2013, set off from Oregon to walk alone across country as a tribute to his gay son, who was bullied to the point of suicide.

Wahlberg, who also produced the film, said, "Just as a parent and father of four, felt, wow...This message needs to continue to get out there..."

He explained, "Jadin was such a brave and really tough young man. He was worried about what people thought, but he was devastated when his father told him not to be himself." 

"And when Joe realized that he was as responsible as the kids were bullying him at school, I think that the only thing he could do was go out there and promote this message...."

He says of his character loved his two boys, "But emotionally, intellectually, being there for somebody who's dealing with something that's complicated, he just didn't have the skills to do it, you know, and unfortunately, he had to learn and carry that burden with him. But he was willing to do that."

Wahlberg said of his onscreen son, "Reid Miller reminds me so much of both of my sons, so there is the fact that, 'Oh my God, if this were to happen to me and to my family, how would I be able to handle this and deal with it?'"

He added, "You know, when I'm away, even on location...you're sacrificing a lot to do what I do. So I know what it's like to be away from my family....I just I was just so connected to it emotionally and in depicting it in the most real way possible." 

 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'13 Reasons Why' star Tommy Dorfman owns her truth: "I have been privately identifying and living as a woman"

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13 Reasons Why star Tommy Dorfman is no longer hiding her truth and, in a new interview, reintroduced herself as a transgender woman.

Speaking with TIME, Dorfman, who was born male, announced she has transitioned into a woman.

"For a year now, I have been privately identifying and living as a woman -- a trans woman," the 29-year-old announced. "I view today as a reintroduction to me as a woman, having made a transition medically."

Dorfman continued, "Today is about clarity: I am a trans woman. My pronouns are she/her. My name is Tommy."

Dorfman revealed that she would not be changing her birth name because "I’m named after my mom’s brother who passed a month after I was born, and I feel very connected to that name, to an uncle who held me as he was dying."

"This is an evolution of Tommy. I’m becoming more Tommy," she attested. 

The Insatiable star expressed that, while she never publicly addressed her transition, she subtly documented it through her Instagram, of which fans took notice of her slowly changing appearance and style.

"I’ve been living in this other version of coming out where I don’t feel safe enough to talk about it, so I just do it," she continued. "So I kept, on Instagram, a diaristic time capsule instead -- one that shows a body living in a more fluid space. However, I’ve learned as a public-facing person that my refusal to clarify can strip me of the freedom to control my own narrative." 

Dorfman said she will now focus on how to "infuse my trans body into film and television," going forward and revealed she is no longer interested in playing cisgender male characters "except for maybe in a 'Cate Blanchett playing Bob Dylan' way."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Kevin Hart takes out billboards with Nick Cannon's phone number in epic birthday prank get-back

ABC/Randy Holmes

(NOTE LANGUAGE) If you have Nick Cannon's number, you might need an update -- because millions of people now do, too, thanks to Kevin Hart

Hart just posted to Instagram proof that he put the dad of seven's digits on billboards in Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta.

"For any advice on fatherhood, call my best friend Nick Cannon," reads the post, which also shows a photo of a disappointed looking Hart with a llama.

"Since my brother @nickcannon decided to buy me a llama for my B Day I decided to do something nice for him as well," Hart posted. "I’m sure his phone has been ringing nonstop," he posted, with six "crying laughing" emoji.

Hart added, "GOTCHA BACK B**** #PRANKWARS."

Long story short: don't ever prank Kevin Hart. 

The Masked Singer host Cannon and model Alyssa Scott welcomed a baby boy named Zen earlier this month. The newborn marks the fourth child the 40-year-old has welcomed in under a year.

Besides baby Zen, Cannon also recently welcomed twin boys with Abby De La Rosa and also became the parent of a baby girl with Brittany Bell in December 2020. Cannon and Bell also share a three-year-old son.  Cannon shares 10-year-old twins, son Moroccan and daughter Monroe, with ex-wife Mariah Carey.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Michaela Coel joins cast of 'Wakanda Forever'; Yasiin Bey to play Thelonious Monk in biopic and more

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Michaela Coel is officially headed to Wakanda, Variety has learned.

The Emmy-nominated I May Destroy You star has joined the ensemble cast of the upcoming Black Panther sequel, Wakanda Forever. Details on her character have not be released. As previously reported, the film will focus on "furthering the mythology and the inspiration of Wakanda." While additional cast has not been confirmed, Danai GuriraLetitia WrightDaniel KaluuyaWinston DukeLupita Nyong’o and Angela Bassett are expected to reprise their roles from the original film. Wakanda Forever hits theaters July 8, 2022.

In other news, Yasiin Bey, formerly known as rapper Mos Def, has been tapped to play jazz piano legend Thelonious Monk in the upcoming biopic Thelonious. According to Variety, the film will “will center around [Monk’s] struggles for musical success, mental illness and the spiritual love triangle between his wife Nellie and one of the world’s richest women, Nica Rothschild.” Thelonious is slated to begin production in the summer of 2022. 

Meanwhile, Jordan Peele has revealed a July 22, 2022 release date for his forthcoming film, Nope. Peele shared the news on Instagram, posting the film's poster, which shows a cloud at night with a kite flag tail attached over a mountainside backdrop. The poster also reveals that Get Out star Daniel KaluuyaKeke Palmer, and Steven Yeun will star in the upcoming film.

Finally, HBO Max has renewed Michael Che's original comedy series, That Damn Michael Che, for a second season. As previously reported, the series, which premiered May 6, is told from Michael's perspective and incorporates sketches and vignettes capturing "everyday situations." Season one featured SNL cast members Cecily StrongHeidi GardnerColin QuinnEllen Cleghorne and Colin Jost, as well as guest stars Omari HardwickGodfreyBilly Porter and Method Man.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Mena Suvari details "unusual" incident with Kevin Spacey on 'American Beauty' set

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Mena Suvari played a teenager who becomes Kevin Spacey's obsession in the Oscar winning film American Beauty, but as she tells People, the sexual misconduct allegations leveled against her co-star prompted a memory of an uncomfortable interaction with the actor.

Now 42, Suvari told the magazine Spacey insisted she get into a bed with him as they were preparing to shoot a scene. The pair were "very close to one another" in bed, the actress details. "He was sort of gently holding me. It was very peaceful but weird and unusual."

When several men -- including former Rent star Anthony Rapp -- accused Spacey of sexual misconduct in 2017, Suvari said, "I thought of that day." 

Rapp and another man sued Spacey in 2020, accusing him of sexual assault in separate incidents when they were both 14.

Spacey claimed not to have remembered the interaction with Rapp, in a much criticized apology in which he also came out as gay. 

Incidentally, Suvari just wrote The Great Peace: A Memoir, in which she details her own experiences of sexual abuse when she was growing up. "My heart goes out to anyone who suffers [it]" Suvari said. 

She explained that she felt she was "living a double life" as a victim, and her life became just another role, "acting...as if I was okay."

She decided to write the book, she tells People, because, "I was so tired of fighting and hiding my whole life. I hope I can help someone else see their value. If I can lessen the pain for someone else, then I want to do it, because I didn't have that person."

Suvari said of American Beauty overall, "It was a beautiful experience, being given the opportunity to work and express myself right when I needed to save me."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'The Green Knight' pulled from U.K. theaters over rising COVID-19 concerns

A24

The mystical, medieval film The Green Knight starring Dev Patel and Oscar winner Alicia Vikander, won't be riding into theaters overseas as planned. 

U.K. distribution company Entertainment Film Distributors made the decision to pull it from its imminent theatrical run over rising COVID-19 rates across The Pond, Deadline reports.

The buzzed-about film, which also stars Joel Edgerton from Bright and the Star Wars prequels, and Erin Kellyman, recently seen in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, is apparently keeping its Stateside debut on July 30.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Zendaya is the woman of Timothee Chalamet's dreams in action-packed trailer for 'Dune'

© 2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Warner Bros. has unveiled a striking new trailer for its forthcoming adaptation of Frank Herbert's seminal science-fiction bestseller Dune.

In the film from Oscar-nominated Arrival director Denis VilleneuveTimothee Chalamet stars as Paul Atreides, the son of an intergalactic ruler who is called to battle over the fate of a desert planet called Arrakis. The planet is home to spice -- a coveted substance that can unlock human potential, making it sought after throughout the galaxy over.

In the trailer, as Paul grapples with his responsibilities, he confesses that he's dreamed of a mysterious young woman, who he eventually sees in the flesh on Arrakis: Chani, one of the planet's natives -- portrayed by Zendaya -- caught in the battle for Arrakis in a war launched by the evil Baron Harkonnen.

Amid the trailer's stunning visuals are a constellation of stars, including Oscar Isaac as Paul's father, Duke Atreides; Mission: Impossible series alumna Rebecca Ferguson as his mother, Lady Jessica; and Jason Momoa as Paul's warrior uncle Duncan Idaho. The movie also stars Josh BrolinDave BautistaJavier BardemAvengers vet Stellan Skarsgård, and The Suicide Squad's David Dastmalchian.

Dune is slated to be released in select theaters and IMAX and on HBO Max on October 22.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Common reveals how girlfriend Tiffany Haddish has made him a new man

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix

Common and his girlfriend, actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish, have been dating for over a year now, and the rapper-actor says the secret to their sticking together has been his ability to communicate better while "listening better to what she has to say."

"I think one of the important things about relationships for me has been to really know myself more and love myself and be able to express the things that I want," Common, 49, tells People.  "I've evolved and gotten to that place."

Additionally, Common says, "I listen and take things in and try to do my best to understand."

"I listen to what Tiffany would have to say about how she feels about something and just try to understand it instead of always having an answer," he continues.

Common says he and Haddish bring out the best in each other: "It's about really just being in a relationship where you can grow and you really support each other's purpose and vision...I'm making you better, you're making me better and you can have fun."

Common also credits Haddish, 41, with turning him on to the Netflix teen comedy-drama Never Have I Ever, in which he currently stars as Dr. Chris Jackson.

"Tiffany put it on and I was like, 'Oh man, I love this show!' So to get a call and hear 'They're potentially looking at you for a role,' man, I was geeked."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Dax Shepard says he spent lockdown lifting weights, reveals he gained 24 pounds of muscle

ABC/Randy Holmes

Dax Shepard is proud to be a "big boy."  

On his latest podcast episode of Armchair Expert, the Parenthood alum revealed that he bulked up during lockdown as part of a dream he's been chasing for a decade.

"In quarantine, I said to [my wife Kristen Bell,] 'I've been waiting for 10 years for Marvel to call so that I'd have an excuse to get huge," he explained. "And they're not gonna call. That ship sailed. I'm 46, they're not gonna call. So I just have to do it for my own amusement."

Revealing that he now works out six days a week, Shepard proudly announced he's gained 24 pounds in muscle.  He also jokingly credited his gains to "lifting heavy, protein shakes, going bananas [and] heavy testosterone injections."

Shepard , who's 6'2", says he now weighs 210 pounds.

"I spent my whole life as a medium boy, and now I'm a big boy and I like it," he grinned.  "Mentally, I love it because it makes me far more on fire to be alive."

The actor also revealed he was "depressed" after he filmed the 2017 box offiice dud, CHiPs, and at the time thought his only path was "literally retiring." 

"All of a sudden I was on fire to work," said Shepard of his new hobby. "This is the version I enjoy."

Dax recently shared an adorable video on Instagram of him on a road trip with his eight-year-old daughter, Lincoln, as the two belt out Adele's 2015 hit "Hello."

"Heaven is a place on a twisty two lane mountain pass where screaming @adele with your daughter is required," the Bless This Mess star declared.

Shepard shares Lincoln and six-year-old Delta with Kristen Bell.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Dax Shepard (@daxshepard)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Sabrina Elba reveals how she and husband Idris Elba make their marriage work

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Sabrina Elba revealed how she and her husband of three years, Idris Elba, successfully maintain a healthy marriage -- by looking back at her own love story.

Sabrina told the Just the Sip! podcast that she and Idris met in 2017, with the former Miss Vancouver revealing that they met at "a jazz bar" when she was out celebrating a friend's birthday.  Sabrina said her friend clocked Idris first and wanted to chat him up, so Sabrina took on "wing man" duties. However, the Luther actor thought Sabrina was hitting on him, not testing the waters for her friend, so he turned on the charm.

"I'm like, 'Nope, excuse me, that's wrong! I'm trying to be a good friend," she laughed, but admitted she was taken by her future husband's advances.

"We had the best conversation," she dished. "We talked all night, all the next day. We were inseparable after that." 

A year later, Idris proposed and they tied the knot in April 2019.

As for the secret of maintaining a strong relationship, said Sabrina, "Me and Idris just get along so well... Our values are connected, we have the same interests, we have the same comedy sense. Just so many things aligned." 

It also helps that her mother approves of her son-in-law. "Actually, my mom and Idris really get along" Sabrina grinned. "She loves him to bits!"

During the interview, the model also spilled about adding a new member to the family, hinting to the podcast, "Not yet, but I'm almost there." 

It would be her and Idris' first child together.  Idris has two children from two prior relationships: Isan, 19, and Winston, seven.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


"'Are you 90?!' No! I'm Captain Kirk!" William Shatner, living long and prospering

Stephen Iervolino - ABC News

William Shatner took his 90th trip around the sun last March, but that's not stopping the Star Trek star.

He recorded albums and shot his History Channel show The UnXplained during the pandemic, swam with sharks in the Bahamas with adventurer Josh Gates in Discovery's Expedition Unknown: Shark Trek, and just launched his new RT America series I Don't Understand.  The series has Shatner exploring myriad mysteries ranging from why people lie, to what to do about space junk polluting Earth's orbit.

"'Are you 90?!' I get that all the time," Shatner tells ABC Audio. "I used to get 'Are you Captain Kirk?' and now it's 'Are you 90?!' No!, I'm Captain Kirk!" he says with a laugh. 

You know, it's weird, Shatner admits. "I'm dancing with sharks. I'm underwater with 50, 60 feet of sharks...and I'm in genuine peril. And I'm 90 years old! I don't get it." 

"The 90-year-olds I know," Shatner continues, "You can tell how old they are by the amount of dribble on their shirt. If it's a clean shirt, you're 50 years old and younger. One dribble every 10 years: if you have three dribbles, you're 80 years old -- and that's young according to my point of view. Gee whiz, man!"

The trouble with dribbles aside, Shatner's excited about I Don't Understand. "It is a show that reflects my natural curiosity about everything," he explains. "The older I've gotten, I've tried to simplify: 'What is all this?'...What is the kernel of truth behind all this razzmatazz involving language...behind all the masks? And isn't it a joy...to share that moment of truth...in a simple conversation? And that's what I'm after."  

I Don't Understand is now streaming on various platforms and RT America's website.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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