Penelope Cruz Named Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive For 2014

The 86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals A7Esquire has named their “Sexiest Woman Alive” in their November 2014 issue, and this year it’s Penelope Cruz! We haven’t heard much from the actress and mother of two lately; it’s good to see her getting recognized. She’s certainly deserving of the title! RELATED: Penelope Cruz is named one of Harper’s BAZAAR’s Icons by Carine Roitfeld.

In the Esquire article about Penelope, the writer describes her as:

She is impossibly beautiful. When she walks into a room, men start walking into furniture. Up close, however, she becomes almost hard to look at, like staring into the most unflattering mirror. When we meet strangers, we begin scanning their faces for their strengths and vulnerabilities, for the lights and scars that will tell us something about who they are and the life they have lived. Cruz has no physical flaws, the bent noses and crooked teeth we would normally use as signifiers. Her face contains no secrets, at least not about her. But her face tells you and the room plenty about you. If you want to feel like the world’s most judged man, sit down at a table in a restaurant with the Sexiest Woman Alive.

Penelope was a pretty tight-lipped interviewee, however. She declined to discuss her relationship with husband Javier Bardem, saying, “That is for us.” All she would say about her three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter is that her family is the reason we haven’t seen much of her as of late. She declined to discuss details about either of her new movies (the Spanish film ‘Mia Mia’ or her upcoming film with Sacha Baron Cohen, ‘Grimsby). Penelope also asked not to be interrogated about signing the letter that condemned Israel in the Palestine-Israel conflict from last spring. Goodness- the poor interviewer! She did, however, say this:

I’ve played a lot of tricks on myself. I’ve made it hard for me sometimes, especially in my teens and twenties. I had an attraction to drama. Most of us have that, especially if you are an artist—you feel like you are tempted to explore the darkness. I could not be less interested now. For me, the most attractive, charming, cool, fun, interesting thing—how could I call it? A plan.”

I can see that ;).

The 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
The 86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals C
The 86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals C
The 86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals C
The 86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals A7
The 86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals A7
The 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in LA
The 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in LA
The 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in LA
The 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party

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Kristen Stewart: ‘It’s a really ridiculous thing to say you’re not a feminist’

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Kristen Stewart got pap’d so much in NYC last week, I didn’t even get the chance to use all of the new photos of her. So here’s a hodge-podge of K-Stew pics from the last week. Enjoy! Kristen managed to avoid being pap’d with Nicholas Hoult, even though he came out to her NYFF premiere and after-party – they were reportedly pretty tight at the party, so take that however you want. Kristen also sat down with The Daily Beast for a lengthy interview about Camp X-Ray last week (it was published on Saturday). You can read the full piece here. Most of the conversation is about Gitmo and the politics of Gitmo and terrorism. Kristen also talks about the people who think she cannot act, plus her thoughts on feminism. Some highlights:

Taking two years off, then working with a first-time director on Camp X-Ray: “I’m never really that precious about choosing projects that don’t have every sure element that is a guaranteed good experience and/or success. There’s a lot of risk involved in this job, and it doesn’t bother me… I’ve had experiences that have made me go, ‘Ugh, I have to be careful and make sure that every part is sturdy and that I won’t be let down.’ If I was a director, I would be extremely conscious of my filmography. It says so much about the difference between putting your name on something and owning it instead of being one tiny part of it. Actors get to work all the time. If I make a bad movie every once in a while, I don’t care. I didn’t work after Snow White for about two years, but it’s because a lot of these projects didn’t come together. I’m decisive, but I’m definitely not a planner.”

The criticism that she can’t act: “Honestly, I don’t care. It’s fine. I’m really happy doing what I’m doing. I’m sure there are a ton of people out there who would hate my movies even if they saw all those, just as I’m sure there are people out there who are obsessed with Twilight and say, ‘I watched the series, and she completely let me down, and then I watched every one of her other movies, and I f–kin’ hate her!’ And that’s cool! Just don’t watch my movies.”

Whether she’s politically active: “I don’t want to talk about that s–t at all. Trust me, I’m only asking for it. When it comes time to stand up and affect change, I’m not the type of person to shout from the rooftops. Just because you’re an actor and in the public eye, people think that’s how you must be. But there are other ways to do that. That’s not me.

She’s confused why some young women don’t identify with feminism: “That’s such a strange thing to say, isn’t it? Like, what do you mean? Do you not believe in equality for men and women? I think it’s a response to overly-aggressive types. There are a lot of women who feel persecuted and go on about it, and I sometimes am like, ‘Honestly, just relax, because now you’re going in the other direction.’ Sometimes, the loudest voice in the room isn’t necessarily the one you should listen to. By our nature alone, think about what you’re saying and say it—but don’t scream in people’s faces, because then you’re discrediting us. Relating it to my one little avenue, people say, “If you want to make it in the film industry as a woman, you have to be a bitch.” No, you are going to ruin any chance you have and give us a bad name. It’s the overcompensation to where our generation goes, “Relax,” because it’s been easier for us, and because we don’t have as much of the anger, so it’s like we can’t get behind it and it’s a bit embarrassing. But that being said, it’s a really ridiculous thing to say you’re not a feminist.

[From The Daily Beast]

Kristen’s answer on the feminism question is classic Kristen – for most of the answer, I thought she was going off in one direction (the “women need to stop complaining about inequality” direction) and then she does an about-face at the very end with the “of course you should identify with feminism” direction. Can you talk sincerely about feminism if you had a high-profile affair with your married director? I’m honestly asking.

There’s also a somewhat interesting discussion about Catherine Hardwicke, the director of the first Twilight movie, and how Hardwicke was basically chased out of Hollywood after the failure of Red Riding Hood. Kristen doesn’t defend her former director and champion specifically at all, but she does say that what happened to Hardwicke was “f—ked up” and that women need to “persevere” in the industry to make it.

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Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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Reese Witherspoon Is She Ready For Her Director’s Chair?

Variety 2014 Power Of Women in LAAcademy Award winning actress Reese Witherspoon is already a force in front of the camera with a string of hit movies. Everyone is talking about the two movies she has releasing this fall: ‘The Good Lie’ and ‘Wild.’ Her foray into producing has gone well: ‘Gone Girl’ is a hit movie at the box office right now. So the next career move for Reese might just be taking a seat in the director’s chair. RELATED: Reese Witherspoon says, “I have many shades.”

Reese shared her plans with E! News’s Marc Malkin.

I’ve actually been thinking about [directing.] I’m actually working on a project right now.
“The place and the position that I’ve had I feel a responsibility to take care of others, help tell more women’s stories [and] get the word out there that women are complex, dynamic [and] interesting. We’re not just one thing or another.”

SO true. I’m excited to see what Reese might do next. She’s made some great moves so far between ‘The Good Lie,’ ‘Wild,’ and ‘Gone Girl.’

Reese Witherspoon Visits The Hospital
Reese Witherspoon Visits The Hospital
Variety 2014 Power Of Women in LA
Variety 2014 Power Of Women in LA
Variety 2014 Power Of Women in LA
Variety 2014 Power Of Women in LA
Variety 2014 Power Of Women in LA
Reese Witherspoon Visits The Hospital
Reese Witherspoon Visits The Hospital
Reese Witherspoon Visits The Hospital

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Reese Witherspoon Is She Ready For Her Director’s Chair?

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Benedict Cumberbatch steps out in London, talks about Alan Turing’s sexuality

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First off, Vanity Fair has a nice little mini-pictorial/spotlight on Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne in the Jennifer Lawrence issue. Eddie got two photos (including one with a basket full of puppies) while Benedict just got one photo – Benedict looking brooding and sexy in a tree. As one does. I have to say, if I came upon an alien-otter in a tree, I might freak out a little bit and not in a good way. Benedict was also out in London with Keira Knightley and Keira’s husband on Saturday night. I’m including some of those photos at the end of the post. A blonde woman is behind Benedict but I’m almost positive that’s his publicist. No secret girlfriend, eh? (Yes, I’m trolling.)

Meanwhile, Benedict has a lovely new interview with NME. It’s mostly about Alan Turing and how much Benedict loves all things Turing. You can tell he’s really proud of this film. I’m not sure how much you want me to discuss Benedict’s quotes about Turing? While I find Turing fascinating and I’m half in love with Benedict, the combination of Benedict talking about Turing is oddly anticlimactic. So you can read the full piece here and here are some highlights that I found interesting:

Benedict on the awards season buzz: “If it gets people to see the film, frankly, that is all I care about. It’s early days and very flattering of course but there are a lot of other extraordinary films and performances people haven’t seen yet. But if it creates an interest for people to see what all the fuss is about then that’s fantastic because our jobs as storytellers are made easier if there’s an audience. And more importantly for me, having had some experience with this man I really want his story to be known and our film to be a launching point for a proper celebration of Alan Turing.”

The comparisons of Sherlock and Alan Turing: “Well, I’m limited by who I am and what I look like but at the same time they’re utterly different people. Alan doesn’t swish around in a long coat with curly hair demonstrating how brilliant he is… He’s a very quiet, stoic, determined and different type of hero. He’s smart but an outsider because of the conditions of his personal life. As far as the similarity that he’s socially awkward… What you see in the film is an evolution in him which is humanising. That happens in some aspects with Sherlock but I didn’t read the script and think, ‘This is Sherlock in tweed’. I liked how uncompromising he was but that’s always a stong trait in strong characters. I have played stupid people as well. I want to point that out. So if anybody’s got any more stupid roles for me, great, bring ‘em on!”

Approaching Turing’s homosexuality: “His sexuality is something contained that is expressed in the film but not shown explicitly. There is no heterosexuality expressed in the film. So what we show in his behaviour is sadly true to his story. He had to suppress his sexuality, make it private, make it something secret. When he talks about his sexuality in the film it shows his complete honesty, guilelessness, innocence. He was aware of the risks but at the same time wasn’t willing to cave in to the intolerance and potential permutations of confessing such a thing. Some people own him as martyr or as standard-bearer for a cause. I think he was just very true to himself, which is a form of martyrdom, but he didn’t make a political statement out of it.”

[From NME]

That’s an interesting way of saying it – “There is no heterosexuality expressed in the film.” They can’t make Turing an out-and-proud gay man because he wasn’t, but he didn’t live a blatant lie and Travolta his way through life either. There is no hetero caricature. There is an absence of heterosexuality. That’s fascinating.

Oh, and good news! Benedict is in the new issue of Flaunt Mag. I’ve seen some of the editorial on Tumblr, but I’m not going to cover it until the cover is released.

Here are some photos of Benedict out in London Saturday night. I can’t help it, you guys. I loathe his haircut.

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Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and Vanity Fair.

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Zoe Saldana dresses her bump in red silk for the ALMAs: lovely or frumpy?

Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana attended Friday night’s ALMA awards, which highlight American Latino contributions to the entertainment world. She dressed up her bump in a red silk tea-length dress. Zoe looked gorgeous. I wonder when her due date is? Probably in a few months. Her bump is sizable, but she’s expecting twins. This dress looks comfy and functional but still glam enough for an awards show. The slight mullet in the back doesn’t even ruin the look.

Eva Longoria hosted the event. She looks beautiful, but this white, strapless number is a little too Vegas-bridal. All the dress is missing is big hair and a mini-veil.

Eva Longoria

Aubrey Plaza looked absolutely adorable in this multicolored print dress that looks impossibly hard to pull off. Her figure is so cute, and the styling is perfect.

Aubrey Plaza

Alexa Vega & Robert Rodriguez showed up together. He directed her in the Spy Kids movies. I am not crazy about her purple dress because the bodice isn’t tailored well. Does Robert ever go anywhere without a hat?

Robert Rodriguez

Dascha Polanco accepted the Special Achievement in TV award on behalf of the OITNB cast. She was a hot mess in white satin, and her lavender hair has faded to grey. She’ll have to wear a wig for OITNB filming.

Dascha Polanco

Speaking of hot messes …. here’s Charo! Michael K at DListed will be so happy to see this lady. She won the Lifetime Achievement award and probably pulled this dress right out of her closet.

Charo

Daisy Fuentes won the Vanguard award. I would have liked her dress more if it was a solid color instead of a gingham pattern.

Daisy Fuentes

Photos courtesy of WENN

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Jennifer Lawrence whips out her ‘nitro’: ‘Cool Ranch Doritos are my girl’

Jennifer Lawrence’s cover interview for the November issue of Vanity Fair has given me whiplash. That’s the nature of this particular beast. Part of the discussion included JLaw’s reaction to her stolen photos. She nailed it with her furious yet measured message to the hackers and people who looked at her photos.

Then Vanity Fair started to release quotes from the main interview. JLaw dove into dangerous territory by claiming to “worship” Woody Allen. She bashed gluten-free diets. Some people saw this as Goop shade. Is JLaw really that calculating? I don’t think she thinks that far ahead when speaking. Words simply spill out of her mouth. She’s always been obsessed with junk food and carbs. But maybe JLaw unconsciously dropped some shade on the woman who is still married to her boyfriend. Hollywood Life says Goop thinks JLaw’s comments are “ignorant,” for what it’s worth.

Anyway. Vanity Fair has released a behind-the-scenes video of JLaw’s interview. They’re parceling this stuff out, as they should. JLaw is big business for mags. This video is interesting because Jennifer has gone fully “nitro.” I sense that she’s nervous about jumping into a grueling new press circuit. She’s very aware of the ongoing backlash that follows her. Most of the time, JLaw disappears in between tours. This time, we’re fresh off the Martin Lawrence gossip. She’s worried, and it shows in the video. Jennifer answers a series of questions, and she’s pretty spazzy. Yes, “pointless gossip” and junk food comes up:

What scares her? “Spiders. I’m very afraid of spiders. And ghosts. I wouldn’t say I’m as afraid of ghosts as I am paranoid of ghosts.”

Her junk food weakness: “Well, Cool Ranch Doritos are my girl. I’ve been trying to wean myself off of Cool Ranch Doritos and move onto Pirate’s Booty. It’s just not doing the trick … Cheez-Its.”

Is she tempted to use social media? “Nooo. Tempted? I have 112 unread emails right now. You know, I’m so not tempted to become more accessible. I don’t want anyone to talk to me, ever.”

Does she want to direct? “I’ve always wanted to produce because I remember reading these incredible scripts that would never see the light of day. Then I’d drive through Westwood and see some of the crap that was coming out, and I was like ‘What is going on with the world?’ So I’ve always wanted to produce, and Glass Castle being my first project was so perfect because I was so moved by that book.”

Who did she admire as a kid? “Destiny’s Child was my first CD. Uh, TLC. I met Jay Z and I was so embarrassed because you could see my knees bouncing up and down. He was like, ‘Are you okay?’ I was like, “Yeaahh. Huh huh. Bye. Aaaahah.’ They’re king and queen of America! Or of music. And then Brad and Angelina are the king and queen of movies. At least I think”

The last show she binge-watched: “Well, the Kardashians were just in Thailand so that was a pretty big deal. I’m catching up on all the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills … I’m trying to stay up to speed on all the pointless gossip that goes on in Hollywood. [Laughs.] I haven’t watched the news.”

[From Vanity Fair]

Jennifer seems a little vapid here, but you know I’d still eat pizza with her. She gets a lot of criticism for constantly talking about bodily functions and dreaming about cake, but I still like her. What I don’t get is the obsession with Cool Ranch. When I visualized the Doritos dust that ruined the American Hustle costumes, I was thinking of the Jacked Spice Street Taco flavor. Not something bland like Cool Ranch.

FYI: Nick Hoult spoke out about the stolen pics. He said, “It’s shocking that things like that happen in the world. It’s a shame.” Oh, and apparently JLaw & Nick will film a sex scene for X-Men: Apocalpse. That should be interesting if he’s really dating Kristen Stewart. JLaw, of course, is still with the king of elevator music.

Jennifer Lawrence

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & Vanity Fair

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Jennifer Lawrence whips out her ‘nitro’: ‘Cool Ranch Doritos are my girl’

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Dennis Rader, BTK Serial Killer, Writing Book to "Pay My Debt" to Victims’ Families

Dennis Rader, a serial killer responsible for 10 grisly murders over three decades, is putting together a book about his crimes … to pay his debt to the families.

The Wichita, Kansas, product says he’s cooperating with an author to recount his story in an effort to make things right. Or at least come as close as he can.

Dennis Rader Mug Shot

Rader, nicknamed BTK (“bind, torture, kill”) recently sent a four-page, handwritten letter to the Wichita Eagle, “From the Desk of Dennis L. Rader.”

“I can never replace their love ones, my deeds too ‘dark’ to understand; the book or movies etc. is the only way to help them,” the 69-year-old writes.

Rader, who’s currently serving 10 life sentences, is working with Katherine Ramsland, a professor of forensic psychology at DeSales University in Pennsylvania.

She insists it won’t sensationalize Rader’s horrific crimes but is “a serious effort that will have some benefit for people who study this kind of crime.”

Ramsland was picked, in fact, by a group of Rader’s victims’ families, who won his media rights in 2005 in a bid to prevent him from profiting from his crimes.

O.J. Simpson, famously, attempted to do just that and lost a judgment that ultimately granted Ronald Goldman’s family the rights to his book If I Did It.

“Their position is that they want [the book] to be done and over with, so they can put the matter behind them,” the group’s attorney, James Thompson, says.

O.J. Simpson


O.J. Simpson was arrested for the murder of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman, leading to the trial of the century in 1994-95.

Rader says the book will offer insight into the workings of serial killers’ brains.

“People like me need to be understood, so the criminal professional field can better understand the criminal mind. That would be my way of helping debt to society.”

Rader’s daughter Kerri made headlines last week for criticizing Stephen King, whose latest movie, The Good Marriage, is loosely based on the BTK case.

It’s King, not Rader, who is “exploiting my father’s 10 victims and their families,” she said of the work, in which a wife has no idea her husband is a serial killer.

Rader, who claims to be a fan of King’s books, insists his wife and family had no idea about his secret life as a murderer until the day he was exposed.

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Michael Keaton: Playing Batman ‘was hard then; it ain’t that hard now’

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Michael Keaton covers this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly to promote Birdman. The movie has received an insane amount of awards buzz already. It’s a backstage satire about a character with a similar career trajectory as Keaton. He plays Riggan Thompson, a veteran actor who once played a superhero and then stepped away from it all. In the movie, Riggan attempts a comeback by directing a play based upon a Raymond Carver novel.

Keaton, of course, enjoyed massive success in the 1980s (with movies like Beetlejuice) and worked steadily throughout the 1990s. Keaton also played Batman twice and hung up the costume when “he no longer felt creatively fulfilled.” He moved to Montana and enjoyed a low-key life, mostly paying the bills with voice work. Keaton’s done a few minor roles in recent years, but Birdman is his first real comeback role. In new interviews with EW and the New York Times, Keaton says this is the hardest role he’s ever played. Definitely harder than playing Batman:

Does Birdman draw on Keaton’s experiences? “The truth is that I was playing a person, just a person. And I was both as connected to Riggan and as disconnected from him as you can possibly be. And I have to tell the truth about that.”

The stressful shoot included 10-min, unbroken shots: “You’d go home, and have dinner, and then you’d start to think about the next day’s work. And that’s when the panic would set in. These were all really good, accomplished actors. And everybody showed up every morning frightened. The crew too. I think we were all thinking, I don’t want to be the guy who lets everybody down. Just on a practical level, I had to stay locked in. It was extremely demanding, the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

Will Ben Affleck be a good Batman? “Chris Nolan is great, but I’ve never seen any of the Batman movies all the way through. I know they’re good. I just have zero interest in those kinds of movies. I mean, people are asking me, ‘Is Ben Affleck going to be any good?’ And my attitude is, First of all, why would you ask me? Second, he’s probably going to be very good, and third, frankly, it’s all set up now so that you’re weirdly kind of safe. Once you get in those suits, they really know what to do with you. It was hard then; it ain’t that hard now.”

On the Oscar talk: “What do I think about it? I think there’s chickens, and there’s hatched chickens.” No matter the part, he added, reaching for a sports metaphor to describe his career, “I play it like I’m losing.”

[From EW.com & NYT]

Keaton’s comments about how it’s easier to play Batman these days are … dangerous in a soundbyte world. Heck, I’m guilty of using that quote for a headline. Is he throwing shade at Ben Affleck? Nope. He is not. I think Keaton is alluding to how these newer superhero films work. Both DC and Marvel package their leading actors and keep them under a tight leash. These studios are so good at marketing that an actor’s performance doesn’t matter that much anymore. Marvel is probably more guilty of this than DC, but Keaton’s point stands. By the time an actor scores a superhero role nowadays, the studio is convinced that they’ve hired the right person. The actor still has to do the work, but the marketing outweighs all.

Michael Keaton

Photos courtesy of Entertainment Weekly & WENN

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Jessica Chastain: Stop giving Meryl Streep all of the ‘older woman’ parts

JC Glamour

Jessica Chastain got the cover of SO MANY magazines this fall. She covers the new issues of Interview Mag and Glamour, which I’m including in this post. I hate the Glamour cover, but the rest of the Glamour shot is actually really nice. The Interview editorial is all black & white and heavy on the lingerie. Here are some highlights from JC’s Glamour interview:

On becoming famous in her 30s vs. at age 19: “I would have been a disaster. If I was 19 and I had the attention that I’m getting now, I would have just said stupid things. I would have partied more. All these expensive dinners and people giving me champagne? All these stupid things that we criticize 19-year-olds for doing when they’re famous, I would have done.”

On body-shaming & social media: “Oh God, it’s the worst. Enough with the body shaming! What is going on in this world? I remember being eight years old. I was a late bloomer. I had very, very short red hair. Very freckly. And thank God there wasn’t the Internet, because I was told every day at school that I was ugly. And that no one wanted to be my friend. The most cruel things. And now these girls or boys are having to deal with that in their school and on a world platform. If I can do anything to help young girls and to be a cheerleader for people who sometimes have low self-esteem, I want to do that.”

On parts for women: “I love Meryl Streep. She’s such an incredible actress. But I feel like she’s the only one in her age group who gets those parts. I’d like to see Jessica Lange in a movie again, you know? Or Susan Sarandon. Why isn’t Viola Davis a lead in a film? She’s one of the greatest actresses alive. And where are the Asian actors and actresses? I’m not saying, ‘We don’t want movies about men,’” she said. “I’m just saying, ‘Come on, all the men I know love women. So let’s also have some stories about these women. Let’s write something for them, guys—and let’s make room for women writers too.’”

Playing flawed, strong women: “There are a very limited number of parts. And there are some women that I’ve played and I didn’t give them too many flaws. Tree of Life. I loved that woman. Or The Help: Loved her, loved her, loved her, for all her openheartedness and compassion. But when I play a female lead, like the role in Zero Dark Thirty, even if she’s strong, I try to give her as many flaws as I can. I think to play a female hero without faults is actually doing a disservice to women. I think it’s more interesting to see women on-screen with flaws. Then it’s not this unreasonable expectation that society then would put on you: “Well, a strong woman can’t be like this….”

Having it all: “I don’t think it’s possible for anyone, male or female, to have it all. I’m just gonna say it: We can have as much as we’re capable of doing, but no one is capable of doing everything. Like, I hope someday to have a family and a career. But I have to also be kind to myself.

[From Glamour]

Jessica has been on a tear recently about feminism, gender equality and how women and their stories are undervalued. I kind of think that if someone else was saying it – like Angelina Jolie, Emma Watson or Kristen Stewart – these statements would be major gossip news. It’s a good news/bad news situation for Chastain then. Good news: people are listening to what she says and not trying to make her statements super-controversial. Bad news: most people are not paying attention to her.

As for Jessica’s Interview Magazine piece, you can read it here. Mindy Kaling did the interview! It’s a good read (they’re very girly and sweet to each other) but there’s no big quote from the piece.

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Photos courtesy of Glamour, Interview.

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James Spader mourns the legacy of film: ‘The era of classic films has ended’

James Spader

James Spader did an interview with the Guardian to promote the second season of The Blacklist. I’ve caught a few episodes, but the show hasn’t grabbed me. Spader plays Red, an ex-government agent who turns into one of the FBI’s Most Wanted. He cuts a deal to help the agency catch really bad guys. The show is immensely popular and a solid hit for NBC. What’s even better is that the audience skews young, which is unexpected. Spader has always appealed to children of the 1980s, who loved watching him play the bad boy Pretty in Pink. Now he appeals to a new generation, who will also flock to see him as the biggest baddie in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

I once fell in adoration with Spader after watching him as a yuppie douchebag, a dirtbag lawyer, and a guy who loves to spank women. Somwhere along the line, he lost his luster for me. Maybe it’s the newfound fedora and scarf fixation? Not sure. He still has some interesting things to say in this interview:

On the death of cinema: “There is no legacy in film any more. I am not so sure that even classic films really live on now — and that means ultimately that maybe film is really an entertainment, or a provocation, just for a specific time. People don’t have access to classic films, but it is worse than that. A few channels on television still play classic films, but with the closure of revival picture houses and the closure of video stores with classic film sections, there is no film heritage. The era of classic films has ended.”

His film education: “I grew up on a boarding school campus and there was a guy there who ran a film club that was available to students on campus and to faculty children of a certain age. Every other week he would rent a print of a film and screen it. So I was able to watch a broad spectrum of films from different eras, from an English film like Hobson’s Choice to a western like Hud. It was fantastic and completely informed my film-watching experience.”

His villainous typecasting: “When I was first finding my way there was a spate of coming-of-age films, but I had already come of age. I didn’t find a place in them, except to play the antagonist or the one character in the film who felt like he wasn’t an innocent.”

Red of The Blacklist: “He is either a good guy who is capable of very bad things or a bad guy who is capable of good things, and that depends on the day.”

Violence in The Blacklist: “There are times that I have suggested a level of ruthlessness, or a certain form of decisive action that might be jarring, because I feel that is the world in which this show exists, but there are times when we change something because we feel it is gratuitous. We are very aware that it is extreme at times but, in for a penny … That is the show. That is the world we are depicting. That is this guy.”

[From The Guardian]

Is Spader telling the internet to get off his lawn with his talk of classic movies? He laments the loss of video rental stores and revival theaters. I understand missing the revival theater experience, but AMC theaters often schedule matinee screenings of classics. The internet certainly hasn’t killed classic cinema either. Netflix, Amazon, and other streaming services have helped many people watch classics they otherwise wouldn’t be able to access. Even without a subscription streaming service, the Turner Classic Movies website recycles plenty of classics for free. If anything, the internet has helped extend “the era of classic films.” Now if we could only get Michael Bay to stop polluting our multiplexes, cinema could be grand again. Maybe.

Here’s Spader on the set of The Blacklist yesterday.

James Spader

James Spader

Photos courtesy of WENN

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James Spader mourns the legacy of film: ‘The era of classic films has ended’

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