Thursday, April 29, 2010
Ancient Persia was one hot place.
In newly released images from his summer action movie Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, which opens May 28, Jake Gyllenhaal shows off a seriously buff bod.
Gyllenhaal, 29, worked hard to bulk up for the role, for which he also trained in parkour (the sport of running, jumping and climbing over obstacles).
"It's a physical role," he told fans at the Wondercon convention in San Francisco earlier this month. "I never did anything this intensive before [to transform my body]. When you are committed, you are committed."
But hey, why not? Said Gyllenhaal: "It was so much fun to get paid to get tanned and get in shape."
Labels: Jake Gyllenhaal
In an interview with Barbara Walters on her "Here's Barbara" Sirius XM radio show, the 25-year-old star (who got engaged to Luke in early 2009) said: “I have no intentions of getting married anytime soon, and neither does he... I don't want to be married until I'm 30. My mom won’t let me get married anyway.”
Surprisingly, Kelly even suggested the couple’s engagement may not end in a wedding, despite their strong feelings for one another. She added: “Only the future will tell. Only time will tell. We don’t actually live as an engaged couple."
Kelly, whose dad is rocker Ozzy Osbourne, also admitted she only agreed to get engaged to Luke because she didn’t want to spoil their relationship by saying no when he popped the question.
She explained: “I said yes just to say yes, and that's the truth... to tell him no I felt would ruin our relationship. Then, after the first year, I started to realize, maybe I really do want to marry."
Sharon has previously stated she thinks her daughter is too young to be engaged. She said: “They’re both very young. But I get it if you want to make a commitment to somebody. Luke’s a nice boy. He’s a harmless, nice boy.”
Labels: Kelly Osbourne
Christina Aguilera gets down on all fours on the set of her Hype Williams-directed video for “Not Myself Tonight,” the first single from her fourth studio album Bionic, written and produced by Polow Da Don and Ester Dean. The pop star returns to her “dirrty” ways, donning latex outfits, S&M gear, and lingerie, in the racy clip which premieres this Friday.
“When I see somebody like Gaga, I sit back in admiration. I’m inspired to pick up the torch again myself,” wrote mentor Cyndi Lauper. “She isn’t a pop act, she is a performance artist. She herself is the art. She is the sculpture.”
Find out who influences Gaga by watching the interview below.
Labels: Lady Gaga
Game and Pharrell take to the streets of Compton in an ice cream truck in the video for “It Must Be Me,” the street single from the West Coast MC’s R.E.D. Album. Skateboard P is executive producing the disc, which also features production from Dr. Dre and Cool & Dre. Check out nine photos from the set with cameos by Raekwon and Nipsey Hussle.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Thomas Hagan, the only man who admitted his role in the 1965 assassination of iconic black leader Malcolm X, was paroled Tuesday.
Hagan was freed a day earlier than planned because his paperwork was processed more quickly than anticipated, according to the New York State Department of Correctional Services.
Hagan, 69, walked out of the minimum-security Lincoln Correctional Facility at 11 a.m. The facility is located at the intersection of West 110th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard.
Hagan had been in a full-time work-release program since March 1992 that allowed him to live at home with his family in Brooklyn five days a week while reporting to the prison just two days.
Last month, Hagan pleaded his case for freedom: To return to his family, to become a substance abuse counselor and to make his mark on what time he has left in this world.
He was dressed in prison greens as he addressed the parole board. He had been before that body 14 other times since 1984. Each time, he was rejected.
Hagan was no ordinary prisoner. He is the only man to have confessed in the killing of Malcolm X, who was gunned down while giving a speech in New York's Audubon Ballroom in 1965.
"I have deep regrets about my participation in that," he told the parole board on March 3, according to a transcript. "I don't think it should ever have happened."
Hagan had been sentenced to 20 years to life imprisonment after being found guilty at trial with two others in 1966. The other two men were released in the 1980s and have long denied involvement in the killing.
To win his release, Hagan was required to seek, obtain and maintain a job, support his children and abide by a curfew. He must continue to meet those conditions while free. He told the parole board he's worked the same job for the past seven years. He told the New York Post in 2008 he was working at a fast-food restaurant.
A parole officer checked on him while outside prison, and he had to undergo random drug tests.
CNN was unable to reach Hagan for a comment about his release. The Nation of Islam declined comment for this story.
Malcolm X is best known as the fiery leader of the Nation of Islam who denounced whites as "blue-eyed devils." But at the end of his life, Malcolm X changed his views toward whites and discarded the Nation of Islam's ideology in favor of orthodox Islam. In doing so, he feared for his own life from within the Nation.
Malcolm X remains a symbol of inspiration for black men, in particular, who are moved by his transformation from a street hustler to a man the late African-American actor Ossie Davis eulogized as "our own black shining prince."
The ballroom where he was killed has now been converted into The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center. Board Chairman Zead Ramadan said the center doesn't have a position on Hagan's release.
"I personally find it strange that for a couple decades any person convicted in the assassination of such an iconic figure would be allowed such leniency," Ramadan said.
There's outrage among some African-Americans, he said, that he's being released. Would he be set free if he had killed an iconic white leader?
"It's really a struggle for Muslims to contemplate this issue, because our faith and our religion is full of examples where we have to exert mercy," he added. "The Malcolm X story has not ended. His populuarity has grown in death. ... Only God knows why this was allowed to happen."
The center is preparing for a special service next month to celebrate what would have been Malcolm X's 85th birthday. Would the center welcome Hagan if he asked to attend?
"We'd cross that bridge if he called us," Ramadan said, "Think about that: How far-fetched is it that he could meet one of the daughters of Malcolm X? And what's going to happen then? Mercy, fury, anger, emotions -- who knows?"
Killed in front of his family
On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X took to the stage of the Audubon Ballroom, a site often used for civic meetings. His wife, Betty Shabazz, and four children were in the crowd.
"I heard several shots in succession," his wife later told a Manhattan grand jury. "I got on the floor, and I pushed my children under the seat and protected them with my body."
Gunshots continued to ring out, she said. Her husband's body was riddled with bullets. The native of Omaha, Nebraska, was 39.
"Minister Malcolm was slaughtered like a dog in front of his family," A. Peter Bailey, one of Malcolm X's closest aides, told The New York Times on the 40th anniversary of the killing.
The assassination came after a public feud between Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam's founder, Elijah Muhammad. Malcolm X had accused Muhammad of infidelity and left the Nation in March 1964.
"For the next 11 months, there was a pattern of harassment, vilification and even on occasion literally pursuit in the streets of Malcolm by people associated with the Nation," said Claude Andrew Clegg III, author of a biography on Elijah Muhammad called An Original Man.
"Malcolm felt that if Elijah Muhammad snapped his fingers, then he could stop the escalation of the violent tone around the split of the two men. And I think there's some truth to that."
Over the years, the killing of Malcolm X has been the subject of much debate, with conspiracy theories involving the Nation of Islam and others. The Nation of Islam has repeatedly denied any involvement in Malcolm X's assassination.
Twenty-two and on a deadly mission
Hagan, then known by the name Talmadge X Hayer, was 22 and a radical member of the Nation of Islam the day he entered the ballroom armed and ready to kill. His allegiance was to the Nation's founder, and he was outraged Malcolm X had broken from its ranks.
After the shooting, Hagan tried to flee the scene but he was shot in the leg. He was beaten by the crowd before being arrested outside
Last month, he told the parole board he felt the urge to kill Malcolm X because of his inflammatory comments about the Nation's founder.
"It stemmed from a break off and confusion in the leadership," Hagan said. "Malcolm X broke with the Nation of Islam, separated from the Nation of Islam, and in doing so there was controversy as to some of the statements he was making about the leader."
He added, "History has revealed a lot of what Malcolm X was saying was true."
Two other men, Muhammad Abdul Aziz and Kahlil Islam, were also found guilty of murder in 1966 and received 20 years to life. Both proclaimed their innocence. Hagan, who eventually admitted his part in the murder, testified at trial and subsequent parole hearings that both men were innocent. Aziz was paroled in 1985; Islam was freed in 1987.
At last month's parole hearing, Hagan again maintained that Aziz and Islam were not the other assassins. He said it was two other men who helped plot, plan and participate in the killing.
Did they receive orders from the Nation to carry out the killing?
"I can't say that anyone in the Nation of Islam gave us the idea or instructed us to do it. We did this ourselves for the most part, yes," Hagan told the parole board.
Hagan said he received a master's degree in sociology while incarcerated and that helped him deal with his actions from 45 years ago.
"I understand a lot better the dynamics of movements and what can happen inside movements and conflicts that can come up, but I have deep regrets about my participation in that."
He added, "Unfortunately, I didn't have an in-depth understanding of what was really going on myself to let myself be involved in anything like that. ... I can't really describe my remiss and my remorse for my actions -- basically a very young man, a very uneducated man. "
He is still a Muslim but no longer a member of the Nation of Islam. He volunteers at a mosque to help young men. He told the parole board he hopes to become a qualified substance abuse counselor.
His primary mission is to help his four children, ages 21, 17, 14 and 10. He has two other grown children.
"My focus is to maintain my family and to try to make things a little better for them. It's upward mobility, and to encourage my children to complete their education because it's a must."
The new baby will join three-year-old Isabella and one-year-old Gia, along with Luciana's 11-year-old daughter Alexia from a previous relationship. Let's just say if the new addition turns out to be a girl, Damon will be way outnumbered -- but he's definitely not complaining.
The actor has gushed about his little ones in the past, crediting them with helping him stay grounded. He said, "They kind of disabuse you of the notion of your greatness pretty quickly... From me, I hope they'll inherit a sense of social justice and a desire to continue some of those programs that I'm involved with. Maybe not those exact ones, but hopefully, something to further social justice."
And from Luciana? "My wife is a very wise and a very thoughtful person. Hopefully, they'll inherit that."
Hugh Hefner just pulled a rabbit out of his hat to save Hollywood – the iconic sign, that is.
The Playboy founder has donated the final $900,000 needed to preserve 138 acres behind the film capital's most famous visual symbol on Mount Lee, just as time was running out.
"It would have been a real shame after having restored it if it wound up sold," Hefner, 84, told PEOPLE on Monday at the Hollywood premiere of Iron Man 2, with the legendary 45-foot white letters looming in the background. "It's become something iconic and represents not only the town but represents Hollywood dreams, and I think that's something worth preserving."
Developers have been eyeing the hillside, once owned by Howard Hughes, for luxury mansions, but a nonprofit land-conservation group was given the chance to buy the land for $12.5 million. As an April 30 deadline neared, the group was nearly $1 million short.
"I was aware of the fact that they were raising the money, but I only learned about a week ago that they were running out of time," said Hefner. "They only had about a week and a half left to go."
The sign was built in 1923 as part of a real-estate promotion, originally spelling out "Hollywoodland" (the "land" was removed in 1949). In 1978, after years of neglect, Hefner was one of a number of patrons who donated funds to restore it.
Meanwhile, Hefner continues to develop his own Hollywood fantasy: a feature film chronicling his life, with Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. potentially in the lead role.
"It would be my hope and dream," said Hefner. "Right after Iron Man first came out, he called me the following week and said, 'When are we going to start the Playboy film?' So, we have to get a good screenplay."
Labels: A Good Look
With just six weeks to go until the racy vampire drama True Blood returns to airwaves, HBO has released the first official cast photo from season 3, putting the love triangle between Bill (Stephen Moyer), Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) front and center.
But could the shot — which also features Kristin Bauer as Pam, Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette (who’s getting a love interest this season), Ryan Kwanten as Jason and Deborah Ann Wall as new vamp Jessica — foretell romance between former flames Sam (Sam Trammell) and Tara (Rutina Wesley), huddled together in back?
Only time will tell. True Blood‘s third season premieres June 13 on HBO
Unfortunately, as has occasionally been the case for several R&B singers trying to ride the "edgy" wave kickstarted most notably by Lady Gaga and Rihanna, Ms. Braxton just looks like she's trying way, way too hard. While this look isn't quite as tragic as Kelis' nude catsuit and Alexander McQueen armadillo heels ensemble, it is pretty disarming that someone as talented as Braxton would risk camel toe for the sake of an image that she doesn't need.
What do you think of this look?First thing's first: Toni Braxton has too beautiful a voice to put this much energy into "revamping" her image. The sultry singer, 42, plans to release a new studio album this May, which is perhaps why she's sporting a new half-shaved 'do and hitting up paparazzi-infested restaurants (Mr. Chow, anyone?) in spandex-and-lace catsuits.
Labels: Toni Braxton
What do Jamie Foxx, Rick Ross, and Game all have in common? Stacey Dash. The “Clueless” hottie shares some on-screen chemistry with Game on the balcony of Dr. Dre’s Malibu crib in the video for “Shake,” which was shot at various locations throughout L.A. Look for cameos from Ron Artest, Clipse, Bow Wow, Cool & Dre, and more.
Labels: Muzik Videos
Aaron Johnson met Sam Taylor-Wood, 43, while she was directing him in the John Lennon bio-pic Nowhere Boy last year. It sounds like the sparks came fast and furious after they met.
"We had quite a psychic link," Sam told The Guardiannewspaper in England. "I felt that link almost from Day One of meeting him."
It sounds like the two Brits couldn't be happier together. Aaron is dealing with impending fatherhood remarkably well because, as he points out, he's already a stepfather to Sam's two daughters from a previous marriage, who are three and 13.
The couple are currently planning a small wedding ceremony, and Aaron says his parents have already given their blessing.
"People have their judgments and opinions and it's almost like other people live by a rulebook and I don't," Johnson said.
"I don't live by rules and I do what I want to do and I'm out there and I'm an outspoken presence and I go with what I feel in my heart and in my soul and travel by that, not by what other people expect."
She said: "I wanted to put as much in as we could that was real: the overeating, the burping. Why not? It's funny too. Pregnancy and giving birth are weird, strange. The growing life inside you -- it's like an invasion of the body snatchers."
Jennifer, 40, also learned much about the differing attitudes of men and women by observing how her young twins act around each other.
She added: "Max is always climbing out of his cot to get in Emme's. But then they fight like cat and dog.
"I've figured out the difference between men and women by seeing their innate characteristics. She is very careful, and you can see her thinking; men don't think, they attack and deal with the consequences.
"We approach life and love in different ways."
Monday, April 26, 2010
Renewing one's wedding vows is typically a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey prefer to do it a little more frequently than that – like every year!
"I encourage everybody to do it. If you are happy and in love, celebrate it!" Cannon, 29, said Friday on his New York radio show, confirming that he and his pop-star wife, 40, will renew their vows – for a second time – to celebrate their second wedding anniversary.
"Don't everybody do that?" the America's Got Talent host asked. "Don't, like, Heidi Klum and Seal do the same thing every year? It's just something fun to celebrate. We renew our vows and exchange gifts."
Their anniversary is this Friday, but as of last week, the couple hadn't settled on a final plan for this year's celebration. They wed in 2008 on Carey's Bahamian estate, but aren't looking for an island getaway this time around.
"We did that last year and the year before that, too," says Cannon. "This year we want to do it like in a normal setting, so it might be in L.A. … Hey, I say we do it in a church in Brooklyn. That will be hot."
Cannon says his gift to Carey this year is "something very thoughtful and it has nothing to do with money." And he adds: "We are just trying to keep the romance alive. That's all."
After showcasing her fit physique in her “Ride” music video, Ciara turned up the temperature at Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood Style Issue event at Drai’s Hollywood on Thursday night (April 22). Hollywood hotties Nicole Scherzinger, Aubrey O’Day, and Style Icon of the Decade award recipient Jennifer Lopez also set the carpet on fire.
Whitney Houston may have performed her megahit "I Will Always Love You" at her sold-out London concert on Sunday – but apparently scores of her fans didn't share the sentiment.
Despite paying up to $170 a ticket, disappointed concertgoers streamed out of the singer's show at the O2 Arena after Houston failed to hit the high notes and she rasped her way through several attempts at the song. To her credit, the singer, 46, knew she was disappointing the crowd, and she shook her head and tried to reassure the audience.
"Oh, it's going to come," Houston announced mid-song. "I wanna do it – but [my voice] just doesn’t want to. I have long talks with her. Well, tonight she's getting a little temperamental."
Houston, whose European tour has been plagued by her respiratory illness, also blamed her vocal troubles on the venue's air-conditioning, which she told fans "turned my soprano off." (Houston also cited the a/c as the cause of similar problems at her Birmingham, England, show weeks before.)
For real fans, though, the singer's apparent performance troubles were no problem at all. Many were just thrilled to see her in the U.K. again, since her last official tour date in the British capital in 1999.
"She was incredibly brave to come out and perform," concert attendee Maria Montague told PEOPLE at the show. "Even though she struggled at times, I think she did well considering what's she's been through."
According to longtime fan Kevin Hughes: "The voice has definitely deteriorated, but the showmanship and the sheer entertainment value is still there. She’s still a star."
The British press, however, didn't quite agree.
Labels: Whitney Houston
It’s only April, but Mariah Carey is already getting in the holiday spirit. The pop diva recently shot the packaging for her new Christmas album with famed photographer David LaChapelle.
U.K. newspaper The Times interviewed LaChapelle while he was prepping for his festive shoot with the singer at his Los Angeles studio. He photographed Carey for her 1999 album Rainbow and directed her “Loverboy” music video.
The seasonal visuals called for a graffitied city backdrop, fake snow, a “hideous” silver tree, and wooden cutout reindeers. “Mariah wanted real ones,” said LaChapelle. “Flown from Nebraska. Can you imagine, real reindeer?”
Despite her request for real reindeer, he insisted the songbird “isn’t a diva,” adding, “She never pisses on the little people.”
Carey hinted that she was working on a new project after scrapping plans for her Angels Advocate remix album. She has been in the studio recording with Jermaine Dupri, but it is unknown where that material will end up.
Her first Christmas album, 1994’s Merry Christmas, has sold 12 million copies worldwide and spawned the classic “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
Labels: Mariah Carey
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Ciara gets physical in her sexiest video yet for “Ride,” the first single from her fourth album Basic Instinct, coming this summer. Director Diane Martel (“Love Sex Magic”) takes a minimalistic approach, choosing to highlight the R&B siren’s performance and her bountiful assets. CiCi works her body like a gymnast, straddles a mechanical bull, and teases her fellow ATLien Ludacris with her goodies. This is one “Ride” you won’t want to end.
Talk about 'furter in mouth! Betty White takes a bite out of her namesake treat, the "Betty 'Naked in the City' Hot Dog," Monday during its unveiling at Pink's hot dog stand at L.A.'s Universal CityWalk.
Celebreality stars Fantasia, Ray J, and Brandy united at the VH1 Upfront presentations at Pier 59 Studios in New York City to announce the network’s new programming, including a second season of “Fantasia for Real” and “Behind the Music” episodes with Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Eve, Jennifer Lopez, and DMX.
Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King make it a match Monday at the New York Women in Communications Matrix Awards, where the talk show host honored her BFF for her work on O, The Oprah Magazine.
Bieber fever descended on Japan as the teen idol arrived at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport for a promo tour.
Those are some pretty happy faces! After quietly reigniting their relationship late last year, Jude Law and Sienna Miller keep the momentum going on Monday while shopping together in Beverly Hills.
Kim Kardashian takes in Sydney's skyline Tuesday, posing in front of the city's famed Opera House during a boat tour while Down Under.
Jennifer Lopez took to the streets of Manhattan while promoting her movie The Back-Up Plan. Her oft-delayed album Love? is due later this summer on Island Def Jam.
Kerry Washington shines on the red carpet Monday during the premiere of Mother and Child at L.A.'s Egyptian Theatre. The film, which costars Naomi Watts, hits theaters May 7.
Brooklyn went hard for hip-hop icons Slick Rick and Snoop Dogg at the West Coast rapper’s show at the Brooklyn Bowl.
Labels: Out and About