Beyoncé’s bumpy road to wax figure glory


This figure that was featured in Madame Tussauds New York looked more like Beyoncé’s distant cousin.

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One Beyhive member quipped on Instagram, “The person who made this wax figure has never actually seen Beyoncé.”

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And this one is just completely out of “Formation.”

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Aside from looks, the creators of the wax figures are always putting Beyoncé in situations unfit for a diva. Like this Bey, surrounded by geese in a park.

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Getting sliced by three clear discs for no apparent reason.

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Celebrating her engagement with a poor excuse for bridal attire. Orange on her wedding day? Beyoncé would never.

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Going through baggage claim with Britney Spears at the Sydney airport.

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But at least they sent Lady Gaga and Rihanna to help with their bags.

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After years of disappointment, the Beyhive is buzzing with relief. Madame Tussauds unveiled their newest statue, which references Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella performance, and the fans think they finally got it right. One user quipped, “IT FINALLY LOOKS LIKE HER.”

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Now, Bey is up with royalty where she belongs.

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Which celebrity couple went out in disguise? and more star snaps

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Celine Dion is ‘not ready to date’ after losing husband Rene Angelil in 2016

Celine Dion says she misses being ‘hugged’ after losing her husband, Rene Angelil, to throat cancer in 2016.

The singer, 51, revealed that she is not ready to date again, three years after being widowed, during an appearance on the Today show.

She explained: ‘I don’t date. I’m not ready to date. I’m very lucky and happy to have so many people surrounding me who make me laugh, but I miss to be touched.

‘I miss to be hugged. I missed to be told, you are beautiful. I miss what a boyfriend and I miss what a husband would do.’

She added that she thinks about Rene all the time, and what he would think about things she says and does.

Celine explained: ‘Before I talk, he goes through my mind. Would he do that? Is it too edgy? Would he be approving that? I believed in him so much and I still do.’

She met Rene when she was just 12 and he was 38, after her brother sent the music producer and manager a demo of Celine singing. They began dating when she was 19 and he was 45.

They married in 1994 and had three sons together, and Rene was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1999 but made a full recovery after treatment.

The cancer returned and Rene had surgery in December 2013, before being given just ‘months’ to live in September 2015.

Celine had postponed all of her work commitments from August 2014 until the following year, including her Las Vegas residency, in order to be with Rene.

The couple had been married for 21 years at the time of his death, and Celine has often spoken about her continuing love for her late husband.

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Aldi to open 55 new branches inside the M25 as it grows number of 'Local' stores on London high streets

ALDI is set to open 55 new branches on London high streets by the end of 2025.

The discounter is planning to increase store numbers inside the M25 by opening more standard-sized Aldi stores and smaller-format "Local" stores.

Overall, Aldi plans to open more than 100 new stores across the country over the next two years, a move which is expected to create around 5,000 new jobs.

In March, the discounter opened its first mini supermarket of 6,000 sq ft in south London, about half the supermarket’s typical size.

It then followed with another seven branches around London in June.

These stores have chilled food to go and food for tonight bays towards the front of the store, along with a fresh bakery section.

There's also a beers, wines and spirits aisle, although fans of Aldi's Specialbuys may be disappointed as the bargain aisle doesn't feature in the smaller branches.

The decision to more than double its London branches from 45 to 100 comes after Aldi increased sales by 11 per cent to a record £11.3billion in the year to December 2018.

Yet operating profits fell by 26 per cent to £197.9million in the same time period due to significant investment.

The supermarket told The Sun it may open 250 stores inside the M25 in the future, including at least 50 Aldi Locals, but it didn't clarify a timeline.

It also couldn't say how many of the 55 stores will be in its smaller format or where any of them will be located.

Although, it added that standard-sized Aldi stores are set to open in Blackheath, Sydenham and Watford over the coming months.

Aldi, which opened its first UK shop in 1990, currently has more than 840 stores across the UK but plans to operate 1,200 stores by the end of 2025.

Giles Hurley, chief executive officer of Aldi UK & Ireland, said: "Whilst our expansion will continue to reach every part of the UK, we're increasing our focus on London, where our market share is just 3.4 per cent, compared to 8.1 per cent nationally.

"London shoppers regularly tell us they would switch to Aldi if there was one nearby, so there is clearly a significant growth opportunity for us in the capital."

In June, Aldi revealed plans to open 21 stores in the UK by autumn – here's the full list.

Around the same time, rival Lidl announced plans to open 40 new stores.

The discounter has also rolled out tiny trolleys so children can help their parents with the weekly shop.

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Ruel: ‘It’s weird to think it is normal, even though I know it isn’t’

The first thing you notice about Ruel Vincent van Dijk – simply Ruel, to his adoring fans – is his height. At 16, the London-born, Sydney-raised singer-songwriter stands at about 195 centimetres if puts on his black leather bucket hat, which he does during this interview when searching for something to fidget with.

Walking into a boardroom at Sony’s East Sydney offices and extending his hand with a friendly smile, he’s as boyishly handsome in real life as he is in photos, dressed in a black collared shirt with ornamental zips, black pants and an over-sized black blazer. With wisps of hair framing each side of his face, and a nervous laugh that punctuates many of his answers, he seems every inch the school kid – only he left student life behind last year when he completed year 10 at Cremorne’s Redlands Grammar School.

Sixteen-year-old Sydney boy Ruel Vincent Van Dijk, who goes by the stage name of Ruel, is now one of the hottest performers on the planet, championed by the likes of Elton John. Credit:James Brickwood

“I did all my exams and passed all of them so I could legally leave,” he says, acknowledging that he hopes to return and finish year 12 “if things start to slow down”. “On my American tour [last year] I was having to do exams an hour before the show, so that got pretty hectic.”

There are elements of school he misses. “I really miss English. Going into English class and analysing a poem or book, I found that so much fun. Science,” he says, screwing up his face. “I’m so happy I’m not doing that anymore. When it came to biology and chemistry, I had no interest. Why do I need to know how it works? I’m just happy that it does.”

An inquisitive student “if I’m interested in the subject”, by the end of his tenure at Redlands life in the schoolyard was getting weird. “I’d come out for recess and there’d be year 8s or 9s asking me for photos, and that got pretty strange,” he says. “It just got awkward with my friends.”

Earlier this year, Ruel became the youngest ever male performer to headline and sell-out the Sydney Opera House – a feat he managed on two consecutive nights. He invited a group of those friends on the second evening, and laughs when recalling their reaction as a roomful of predominantly teenage girls screamed for Ruel at a pitch and volume that must surely have sent Sydney’s dog population into a tailspin. “I just saw nine dudes sitting down being like, ‘What is happening? Why do these people like you?’”

Born in London to an advertising executive father and film industry mother, Ruel’s family moved to Sydney when he was “three or four”, setting up home on the northern beaches. His first musical memory is bashing away on his dad’s electronic drum kit and his first live performances were recitals at the Big Music instrument shop in Crows Nest, where he took singing and guitar lessons.

By 10 his brain was flooded with music, thanks largely to his “music nerd” father who had introduced him to artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Dave Brubeck, Amy Winehouse, Bill Withers and British singer-songwriter James Morrison, the latter providing the inspiration for Ruel to start learning guitar at the age of eight. “But I never thought of it as a career,” he says. “I never thought of it as anything I could actually do. I was just thinking about becoming a professional NBL basketball player.”

All that changed at the age of 12 when his father met Melbourne-based manager Nate Flagrant, with whom he was working on an ad campaign, and handed him a demo of his son performing a cover of James Bay’s Let It Go. Enthralled by what he heard, Flagrant played it to Grammy Award-winning producer M-Phazes, and the two took the young vocalist under their collective wing, spellbound by this boy with the voice of a weathered soul singer. “I never really had a goal,” says Ruel. “But they opened my mind about this life I could live if I worked hard and gave it my best shot.”

For the next three years, Ruel developed his songwriting with Flagrant and M-Phazes, eventually releasing his debut single, Golden Years, in 2017. His real breakthrough came later that year when he became the youngest artist to perform on Triple J’s Like A Version, singing Golden Years and a cover of Jack Garratt’s Weathered with M-Phazes.

Within 48 hours, the video of that performance had received more than half-a-million views, and Flagrant started fielding calls from American record companies. Before long, Ruel was in the US meeting with labels, tasked with convincing them to take a chance on him.

He’d performed in front of intimidating crowds before. As a 10-year-old he started busking at the Corso in Manly, and laughs when he recounts the time “a full ex-bikie” with “tattoos over his face” approached him ominously, only to start dancing when Ruel started playing an Ed Sheeran cover.

This, however, was next level scary. “You’d walk into a conference room, you’d be squashed into a corner, all these execs would come in, they’d all have their phones and notepads, and they’d sit down and look down,” says Ruel. “And the dude who invited me would be the only charismatic one – he’d be like [enthusiastically], ‘OK, you want to sing your first song, Ruel? This is Ruel, guys, this is Ruel! The next big thing!’ And I’d be like, ‘What is happening?!’

“And I just remember singing Golden Years and [second single] Don’t Tell Me, Stay by Rihanna and Who Did That To You? by John Legend. After each song there would be, like, a very awkward, slow clap.”

On occasion, Ruel would arrive at his hotel prior to one of these meetings to find a gift from a prospective record label. “There’d be a big platter, like a cheese platter,” he says, smiling. “And I was like, as a [kid], 'What the f— is Brie?'”

Having since signed an international record deal with RCA/Sony Music ANZ, Ruel is now arguably one of the hottest performers on the planet. He’s been championed by Elton John, who played Don’t Tell Me on his Beats 1 radio show and requested a meeting with Ruel last time he toured Australia.  He’s performed at festivals such as Coachella and sold out shows throughout the UK, Europe and Asia. Last year he became the youngest ever performer to win an ARIA, taking home Breakthrough Artist. Ruel's global streams to date tally more than 300 million – a figure that will surely multiply with the release of this month’s Free Time EP, the follow-up to last year’s Ready.

On October 29, Ruel will celebrate his 17th birthday by playing a show in Atlanta; he was performing in London on his 16th. He estimates that the three or four weeks he spent in Sydney prior to a recent trip to America were the longest he’d been home for a year or two.

The title of his new EP is, you may have guessed, ironic. It also speaks of a teenager coming to terms with his new life. “The weird thing is I’m always away from home, but I still get free time. I always have a designated day off and I’m like, ‘OK, now what the hell do I do?’ That’s where [the title] came from – going from all this craziness to absolutely nothing and not really knowing what to do.”

In the past, Ruel has said his songwriting involves an element of exaggeration. When he wrote his first songs, he didn’t have enough life experiences on which to draw. While he still has to rely on fiction occasionally – the track Real Thing off his new EP is inspired by the scene in High Fidelity when John Cusack’s Rob proposes to Iben Hjejle’s Laura – the massive changes he’s experienced over the past 18 months means he’s no longer short of real-life inspiration. Although that has provided Ruel with another issue. “I feel like it’s harder to write relatable songs with the life I’m living now," he says. "It’s a pretty weird lifestyle, and I’m still kind of grabbing onto the things I was doing at school and trying to look back [to find events people could relate to].”

Amongst the soul and R&B-inflected pop on Free Time is a gospel-tinged piano ballad called Hard Sometimes. An astonishingly frank account of the downside of his sudden ascent to fame, it features lines such as “I try to be happy but it’s hard sometimes” and “I’ve been on the road, I’ve been missing home, see it on my phone that the world back there keeps spinning round without me.”

“I had my first experience touring overseas and really missing home,” he explains of the lyric. “I was always the centre of attention onstage or doing meet and greets, but as soon as I got to my hotel room it was just [clicks fingers] nothing, and I’m all by myself with my thoughts. It’s definitely unhealthy, those extreme opposites.”

He says he’s prone to over-thinking, and those moments of sudden solitude can set his mind racing. “If you’re alone with your thoughts for too long, bad things can happen. I start to think about something and make something out of nothing. And I just focus on one thing and think of all the terrible things that could happen from that.”

He’s been developing coping mechanisms, such as leaning on the company of his team a little more. “Just asking, ‘Do you want to come over to my room and play some FIFA? You wanna do something?’ I just try to spend as little time completely in dead silence as possible.”

The song also demonstrates Ruel’s knowing self-awareness that his life is no longer that of your average teen. A few months ago he was near Kanye West as the rapper delivered his Sunday Service at Coachella; last November he was invited to play alongside Lauryn Hill and Post Malone at the Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival festival, which is curated by one of his idols, US hip-hop star Tyler, The Creator. The lyric “But life just seems to happen right before my eyes” sums up that idea that these abnormal events have become the everyday. “It’s weird to think that it is normal, even though I know it isn’t,” he offers. “I’m definitely weirdly trying to get used to it.”

He admits to feeling bouts of intense pressure when he sees his schedule “on an e-mail or piece of paper”, and says he’s still trying to work out how to maintain perspective as the world around him is changing. “I try and maintain it by talking to people who’ve been there from the start – friends, family, people in my team, my manager. I don’t feel like I’ve changed at all since I was a kid. I’m just living a different life to most people.”

On the rare occasions he’s home long enough to catch-up with friends, it’s a life he prefers to avoid talking about in favour of hearing what his mates have been up to. “I really just want to know what they’ve been doing,” he says. “And I guess that kind of helps me stay grounded. [When I’m working] I’m always talking about what I’m doing. So I prefer to throw it over to my friends when I come back and just want to know…”

He smiles.

“…who got with who on the weekend and shit like that. Stupid stuff.”

Free Time is out now. Ruel plays the Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane, on September 19; Festival Hall, Melbourne, on September 24; the Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, on October 3; and Wollongong’s Yours & Owls Festival on October 5. For a full run of dates go to oneruel.com

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Why ‘Big Brother’ Fans Want To Quit The Show After Tommy’s Eviction

He finally got to play his own game without Christie there, but then Tommy was evicted on Big Brother 21 just one week later. The votes were solely up to Cliff and Nicole, and they chose to keep the showmance in the game instead of Tommy. It was maybe not the smartest decision for a host of reasons, and fans are pretty upset with how things went down.

Tommy had promised loyalty to Nicole and Cliff and pledged to throw the HoH to them if they kept him in the game. Michie and Holly will only ever be loyal to each other. When it comes time for the final HoH to choose the Final 2, Michie and Holly will pick each other. Tommy would have picked Nicole. Initially, Cliff and Nicole were leaning towards keeping Tommy, because a showmance in the final stages of this game is a huge threat.

But then Michie made up a bunch of complete lies about how Tommy was still loyal to him, and it scared Nicole and Cliff enough that they voted Tommy out. That house meeting/fight will air on Sunday’s episode, and it’s honestly going to be so hard to watch Michie blatantly lie while Tommy has nothing but the truth to back himself up. (Also, they may think Tommy is loyal to Michie, but Holly is definitely loyal to Michie. Wouldn’t it be best to get out the sure thing?)

Michie has not been a fan fave this season, and seeing him and his showmance partner Holly advance when Cliff and Nicole could have split up the showmance upset a lot of fans.

Some Said They Were Done Watching

It’s hard to watch people make moves you don’t agree with on this show, or to watch your fave get sent home. Sometimes it gets to the point where you’re just done.

Others Just Felt So Bad For Tommy

It would be one thing if Tommy had done the stuff Michie said, but to go up against complete lies is tough. Tommy was sobbing in the clip fans were shown of the fight. It was honestly hard to stomach, so Sunday’s show is going to be a doozy.

Most Fans Thought Cliff And Nicole Made A Bad Game Move

Nicole is the HoH, so she’s safe for now. But even if she puts up Michie and Holly, there’s still a chance that Cliff could go home. If Holly or Michie win the Veto, Cliff would have to go up in their place, and Holly or Michie would cast the deciding vote — sending Cliff packing. Michie has won a ton of Vetoes this season, so his odds of winning are looking good. If he manages to stay, and he or Holly win the next HoH, you can bet they’re gonna choose each other to go to Final 2, leaving Nicole and Cliff in the dust. They could have had it all if they’d picked Tommy, but they went with the showmance and Michie’s lies. It may have been a $500,000 mistake, and fans are over it. Maybe next season the cast will make some better decisions. But Nicole and Cliff’s fate could be sealed now that they kept Holly over Tommy.

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Incels are trying to leave 'toxic' online spaces but don’t know how to escape

Involuntarily celibate men who vent online about their frustrations with women for denying them sex are now trying to leave such ‘toxic’ communities.

Dubbed ‘incels’, they are often ridiculed and memed for their participation in what are regarded as misogynist forums — some of which have more than 100,000 followers.

Members consider the platforms a ‘haven’. But many are desperately trying to wean themselves off the ‘manosphere’ – online male communities such as on Reddit and 4chan.

Within them, contributors are mocked and bullied in the midst of support, leaving them conflicted as to whether they should stay.

Anton*, who has been a part of the community for some time, tells us: ‘This place was a heaven for me in the first few months, but then it slowly became an inescapable hell’.

He started going into these forums because he felt undesirable as a short black man (height is an issue which comes up time and again among incel forums).

According to incels, at the top of society are Chads and Staceys – conventionally attractive men and women. Then you have incels belonging to subgroups such as ‘ricecells’ (east Asian incels), ‘currycells’ (Indian) and black incels, who sit at the bottom of the hierarchy.

Members constantly remind themselves and each other that they are unworthy of female attention because ‘women just prefer Chads’, meaning they’re all in the same boat.

Anton tells Metro.co.uk he is tired of the pseudo camaraderie which he feels doesn’t translate to real life.

He says: ‘I’m trying to wean myself off of inceldom communities but it’s so hard when you’ve basically conditioned yourself to think that you’re a part of a community, even when over half of that community is basically an alt-right haven that would try to shoot you in the event of a mass shooting.’

Since chatting to us, Anton has deleted his Reddit profile and left an incel subreddit.

He explained that his departure was because of the constant self-deprecation present: ‘It’s a pretty toxic community, like all online communities, if you stay in long enough.

Like others, Anton entered men’s rights spaces because he hadn’t been successful with women.

Incels generally foster hateful views on those who deny them sex. The community provides these men with easy explanations of why they are being rejected, positioning women as the enemy to uphold a ‘we’re all in this together’ attitude.

Incel communities are a place where men who are rejected finally feel like they belong.

One 23-year-old man tells Metro.co.uk: ‘Honestly, this group saved me from the brink of insanity. As the only virgin, relationshipless guy I know in real life I began to feel completely alienated.

‘Then I found a group which I could relate to – funny memes, actual scientific research into what matters in sexual attraction and friendly support when someone gets rejected or treated poorly by a girl or group of girls.

‘However, I do see the reason that some incels would want to or feel like they have to leave. [Some things] incels do or say is wrong or radical or even untrue.’

Another self-identifying incel tells us: ‘It gives us a place and identity to speak with other like-minded people and share experiences, ideas, possible solutions.

‘As an incel, there tend to be very few people around you that relate. Everyone I know has been in many relationships.

‘It feels extremely lonely, and being part of the community makes me feel not alone in my struggles.’

Josh, also in his 20s, tells us: ‘There are no pros to being incel. Like there are no pros to having DNA destined for cancer.’

And Rob says: ‘The community can be too much — too abusive, too self-deprecating. Just too much.’

When incel groups cause more harm than healing, it can be difficult for these men to simply log out and go about their lives. Many feel that inceldom has been bestowed upon them and is an inescapable part of who they are.

Dev says: ‘Nobody wants to be an incel, it’s not like we can choose.’

Some of these men can’t help look past the ‘involuntary’ aspect of being an incel, believing that at their very core, they are incels and there is no room for mobility.

The space is marred with conflicting sentiments: some of it is masochistic — poking fun at themselves and their own shortcomings — and the other aspect is vilifying conventionally attractive people, so-called ‘Chads’ and ‘Staceys’.

Posts floating around one of the incel subreddit reads: ‘Nothing will ever change, you’ll be here, alone in your room and no one will ever care for you or your struggles because you are worthless.’

A major obstacle to men getting off these sites is that those who embrace the concept of incels will sometimes sabotage their own chances with women, all while other incels egg them on.

One post reads: ‘A girl from a 12th-grade school project texted me three years later.

‘This is literally the first time ANY girl has sent me a text for personal issues and definitely the first time a girl has at least cared about me a bit. Maybe she’s faking it though.’

This sentiment is reflected in many other posts, with women’s motives for showing interest often met with suspicion and questioned by other members of the group.

It makes sense that these spaces that once felt like home begin to feel like prisons, trapping incels in a perpetual cycle of rejection, self-loathing, and hatred for those outside the community.

But is there a way out?

Research Fellow from the Centre on Radicalisation and Terrorism Dr Rakib Ehsan says hateful incels who turn to the manosphere can be de-radicalised much in the same way as religious extremists.

He tells us: ‘The dark incel subculture on the web tells a general story of young men who are socially isolated and consumed by an overwhelming feeling of rejection — particularly in a romantic sense.

‘A starting point would be providing such young men with a greater sense of “real-life” belonging and encouraging them to adopt a more optimistic and hopeful mindset which is based on personal responsibility and economic self-sufficiency.

‘And, in a way, that actually makes them more “marketable” in a dating sense.

‘Physical exercise can help positive wellbeing but can also have a positive impact on appearance self-perceptions.’

This sentiment chimes with the views of psychologist and author Jonathan Hoban, who thinks help needs to come from government level in the form of funding arts to help wean men off the manosphere and ‘channel’ their ‘frustrations’ more constructively.

He says: ‘They feel lost, angry and unwanted by society, and overall let down. Millions of pounds that were used to fund youth clubs, mentorships, schemes and positive environments/communities have pretty much all gone.

‘It was here that we used to be able to capture, train and channel in a positive way any frustrations, anger and difficult emotions into something worthwhile and positive like sport, cooking, music etc.’

Former incels say they managed to wean themselves off the groups by involving themselves in activities ranging from socialising in real life to talking it out.

Just as the internet is home to hateful groups promoting abuse, there are helpful sites encouraging followers to seek help.

Other suggestions include going to a therapist, starting a new hobby and arranging to meet up with those in a similar position.

A good start might be to simply press the ‘leave’ button.

*Names have been changed.

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Create A Fall Outfit To Find Out Which Fab 5 Guy From "Queer Eye" You Should Get Coffee With

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It's Time For A Woman To Play 007, Pierce Brosnan Says

Actor Pierce Brosnan, who portrayed the legendary super-spy James Bond in four 007 movies, has spoken up to say it is time for a woman to play the title role.

Asked by The Hollywood Reporter for his thoughts on a woman playing 007, Brosnan replied, “Yes!”

“I think we’ve watched the guys do it for the last 40 years. Get out of the way, guys, and put a woman up there. I think it would be exhilarating; it would be exciting,” he said.

It is rumored that one of the plot points in the upcoming No Time To Die movie will feature Lashana Lynch’s character taking over the 007 title from Daniel Craig. This has yet to be confirmed. However, we do know that Craig is reportedly planning to retire from playing James Bond after No Time To Die.

Brosnan went on to say that the current producers of the 007 movie franchise, the Broccoli family, might not allow this change. “I don’t think that’s going to happen with the Broccolis. I don’t think that is going to happen under their watch,” he said.

In 2017, model, singer, actress, and video game performer Cara Delevingne spoke about how she would like to play James Bond someday. “Everyone’s saying I’m meant to be a Bond girl but I’m like, ‘no – I’m working on the James Bond aspect first.’ I wouldn’t mind being a Bond girl but I’m going for James,” she said.

Brosnan played 007 in four James Bond films from 1994 through 2004, including GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, and Die Another Day.

The new movie, No Time To Die, picks up with Craig’s James Bond out of active service and living a peaceful life in Jamaica. Obviously, it doesn’t stay this way. “His old friend Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology,” reads a line from the movie’s description.

No Time To Die is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, who is best known for the first season of True Detective and the acclaimed drama Beasts of No Nation. Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, and Léa Seydoux all return to the roles of M, Q, Miss MoneyPenny, and Madeleine Swan respectively. The new cast members include Rami Malek in a villainous role, plus Billy Magnussen and Ana de Armas. Check out some on-set footage here.

Fleabag creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge was hired to add humour to the No Time To Die script, reportedly. No Time To Die hits theatres on April 3, 2020.

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Valerie Harper Laid to Rest in Intimate Los Angeles Funeral


Valerie Harper was laid to rest at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Saturday, September 7, less than two weeks after she died at age 80, Us Weekly can confirm.

“It was truly a beautiful day celebrating the life of Valerie Harper with family and close friends,” a family friend of the Mary Tyler Moore actress tells Us of the intimate service. “It was a celebration. Guests were asked to wear colorful clothing — the color black was not allowed. Guests brought a single yellow rose to leave for Valerie at her grave. There were several speakers who told beautiful stories about Valerie and lots of memories shared about her life.”

Among those in attendance at the service were actors Elliott Gould, Frances Fisher, Connie Stevens, Joely Fisher and director James L. Brooks. Harper’s daughter, Cristina Cacciotti, delivered a heartfelt speech about her mother.

Mourners were encouraged to make donations to two foundations near and dear to Harper’s heart: The American Lung Association’s Lung Force Initiative and Results.

The iconic actress died on August 30 after a long battle with lung cancer.

According to a pamphlet handed out at the funeral, Results is a “movement of passionate, committed everyday people using their voices to influence political decisions that will bring an end to poverty.”

Cacciotti confirmed the news of her mom’s death in a Twitter statement on August 30, on behalf Harper’s husband, Tony Cacciotti.

“My dad has asked me to pass on this message: ‘My beautiful caring wife of nearly 40 years has passed away at 10:06am, after years of fighting cancer. She will never, ever be forgotten. Rest In Peace, mia Valeria. -Anthony,’” the statement read.

Harper was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, and was given three months to live in 2013 after being diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis. Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis is a rare condition in which cancer cells spread to the membranes surrounding one’s brain.

Despite the prognosis, Harper underwent chemotherapy treatments and defied the odds. That same year, the New York native went on to compete on Dancing With the Stars.

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Taylor Swift Needs You to Know Her Romance With Joe Alwyn Is None of Your Business

Taylor Swift recently dropped her latest album, Lover, and fans are ecstatic about the great new hits. They’re also pretty excited about the glimpses into Swift’s personal life, which has been largely under wraps for several years. In fact, Swift is notoriously secretive about her three-year relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn. And recent interviews suggest that she won’t be opening up about it anytime soon. 

Taylor Swift has faced relationship criticism in the past 

While fans are quick to heap on the praise for Swift’s newest album and come to her defense when she was accused of stealing from other artists, Swift knows the flip side of fame can be pretty dark. In fact, she has faced some serious criticism for her relationships in the past.

Prior to her relationship with Alwyn, Swift was romantically linked to several famous men, and these relationships were often front-and-center in tabloids. Her past beaus include Joe Jonas, John Mayer, Taylor Lautner, Jake Gyllenhaal, Harry Styles, Calvin Harris, and Tom Hiddleston. Many of these relationships were short, lasting only a few months. It left Swift facing mockery about her inability to maintain a relationship, a reputation she addressed directly in her song “Blank Space.”

In that tune, she sang: “So it’s gonna be forever/ or it’s gonna go down in flames/ You can tell me when it’s over/ if the high was worth the pain/ Got a long list of ex-lovers/ They’ll tell you I’m insane/ Cause you know I love the players/ and you love the game.”

Taylor Swift intentionally keeps her current relationship out of the spotlight

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While Swift has been dating Alwyn for three years, there are very few public appearances of the pair. Her recent interview with The Guardian proves that the privacy surrounding their love life is very intentional. She refused to answer any questions about Alwyn and said she doesn’t go around with him in public intentionally.

“I’ve learned that if I do, people think it’s up for discussion, and our relationship isn’t up for discussion,” she said. “If you and I were having a glass of wine right now, we’d be talking about it — but it’s just that it goes out into the world. That’s where the boundary is, and that’s where my life has become manageable. I really want to keep it feeling manageable.”

Fans turn to Taylor Swift’s songs for clues

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Instead of getting the information about Swift’s relationship directly from her, fans are left to look for clues about her love life in her songs. The new album seems to be filled with them and has kept fans busy dissecting and interpreting. They think that “Cruel Summer” reveals that she started seeing Alwyn while she was still in a relationship with Hiddleston. They also believe that “London Boy” is pretty obviously an ode to her relationship with Alwyn.

Most telling of all, fans are convinced that “Lover” reveals that she and Alwyn are actually engaged. The song references “three summers,” which is almost certainly a nod to her three-year relationship. It then goes on to say that she is not content with only three summers and instead wants “them all.” Finally, the song hints at a wedding with the lyrics: “Ladies and gentlemen/ Will you please stand/ With every guitar string scar on my hand/ I take this magnetic force of a man/ To be my lover.” 

Whether Swift has finally found her happily ever after or not remains to be seen, but it appears that she will continue to only let little slivers of her personal life come out through her songs rather than live out her relationship in the public eye. Fans will just have to keep listening closely if they want to learn more. 

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