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- By Francine McKenna, MarketWatch Gift-card change could result in big bottom-line impact Big-name retailers including Amazon, Starbucks and Wal-Mart should see a major benefit from the la...


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Entertainment News  

Film academy invites Leslie Jones, Dwayne Johnson, Riz Ahmed
(AP Photo - File)
From Associated Press
June 28, 2017 2:49 PM EST

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The film academy is inviting 774 new members to join its ranks, including actors Leslie Jones, Dwayne Johnson, Riz Ahmed, Chris Pratt and Anna Faris.

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Wed Jun 28 16:13:01 EDT 2017

A new book about the acclaimed 1991 film Thelma & Louise offers proof that fans weren’t the only ones in awe of its trailblazing characters.

Off The Cliff: How the Making of Thelma & Louise Drove Hollywood to the Edge, by Becky Aikman, chronicles how Michelle Pfeiffer and Jodie Foster were slated for the lead roles, but had to turn them down after production was delayed. Once the news was out, Hollywood’s top actresses jockeyed for the plum roles.

“It seemed as if every agent who represented anyone with a vagina and a pulse besieged Pathé and Ridley company for a shot,” writes Aikman in the book, in stores now. “Producers and studios may have shied away from it, but actresses were desperate for the meaty, flawed, fully loaded roles it provided, with character arcs that would put the players’ skills to the test.”

Here are the book’s biggest revelations about the making of the beloved classic.

Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn pitched themselves together for the roles.

According to the book, the two friends walked into the Pathé offices and campaigned for the roles. “Meryl and Goldie called me and said, ‘Can we come in and meet?’ ” studio chief Alan Ladd Jr. said in an interview with Vanity Fair in 2011. “They read the script; they loved it, thought the parts were great. Meryl thought that, at the end, one of them — Thelma or Louise — should live. Of course, we didn’t particularly agree with that.” While Hawn was “funny as hell” according to Off The Cliff, director Scott thought she was too old to play Thelma. Scott also had reservations about Streep, though he greatly admired her talents as an actress. “Not that she was posh,” Scott told Aikman, “but the character needed to be tough.”

The Script Attracted a Who’s Who of Hollywood’s A-List

Huge stars including Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Kim Basinger, Kathleen Turner, Cybill Shepherd and Cher supposedly wanted a starring role. While the casting director thought Cher was talented enough to play either of the lead characters, Scott didn’t think she’d bring the right amount of humor. Eventually, he chose Geena Davis for Thelma and Susan Sarandon for Louise. Sarandon was one of the few actresses who didn’t ask for the part. Scott called her.

Susan Sarandon had a strong vision for the film’s lead characters.

Even before accepting the role as Louise, Sarandon wanted to ensure that the film wouldn’t be a “revenge” fantasy come to life — in other words, she didn’t want it to be about angry women who punish bad men. For instance, the book claims, she helped ensure that Louise’s shooting of Thelma’s would-be rapist wasn’t casually done. “It’s a huge thing to take another life,” Sarandon told Aikman. “I am not interested in doing a revenge film. I’m not interested in being Charles Bronson or Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’m interested in the fact that taking a life has consequences, that she has to pay for that.”

Ridley Scott suggested Geena Davis take her top off.

For Scott, the suggestion reflected her character’s joy and feeling of liberation at that point in the film. After Davis consulted with her costar, the author writes, Sarandon told him it wasn’t happening.

Geena Davis originally wanted a body double for her sex scene with Brad Pitt.

According to Off The Cliff, Davis was just outside the trailer as Scott looked over potential body doubles. He had already picked one woman — a “Penthouse Pet who billed herself as ‘Six Feet Tall and Worth the Climb’ ” — when Davis started to feel competitive. Scott explained the situation to Vanity Fair: “There’s this queue of Playboy bunnies coming out of my trailer for two hours and finally” — he snapped his fingers — ” ‘O.K., I’ll do it.’  (Check out the full story behind the making of Pitt and Davis’ iconic sex scene.)

Debate about the controversial ending persisted through the last day of filming.

Writer Callie Khouri’s decision to have the women drive off the cliff at the end of the film scared off a number of production companies. It remained an issue after Pathé decided to take on the film. There was debate about the cliff scene through the final days of filming. But for Scott, it was “the perfect ending.”


Wed Jun 28 16:10:33 EDT 2017

Rihanna may be having “Wild Thoughts” about a new man in her life.

The songstress, 29, was spotted kissing Saudi businessman Hassan Jameel during her recent vacation in Spain.

Jameel and Rihanna, who was dressed in a strapless brown bikini, relaxed in a pool and sipped champagne in between their steamy smooching.

The businessman’s family owns Abdul Latif Jameel, the organization that – among many other ventures – owns the right to sell Toyota Motor vehicles in Saudi Arabia and several other Middle Eastern countries.

Jameel is the president of the company’s Community Jameel in Saudi Arabia, a charitable organization which – according to its website – coordinates programs that are focused on the “social, cultural, educational and economic development of individuals and communities in the Middle East region and beyond.”

Jameel’s rendezvous with Rihanna isn’t the first time he’s mingled with one of Hollywood’s most powerful women. Last July, Jameel was seen cozying up to supermodel Naomi Campbell at the Summertime Festival in London’s Hyde Park.

Campbell and Rihanna have famously had beef, with the pair unfollowing each other on Instagram earlier this year.

FROM COINAGE: This Is How Long You’ll Have To Work To Make As Much Money As Rihanna’s Hit ‘Work’

“We’re fine,” Campbell told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live in March. Though she joked “I’m an actress now, Andy” — Campbell ultimately said she doesn’t have a feud with anyone, “especially with black women, who are in the same thing and doing the same struggle.”

Rihanna was previously linked to rapper Drake, whom she dated briefly in 2016.

Wed Jun 28 16:09:02 EDT 2017

There is a large group of folks out there who just aren’t fans of rodents. And we’re not only talking about rats or mice; this disdain often applies to squirrels, chinchillas, guinea pigs and hamsters.

The Bernese mountain dog in the video above just found out he is a card-carrying member of this group.

The dog recently met his human’s new furry friend, who is much smaller and weirder than the other fluffy animals he has encountered at the dog park, and he is NOT into it.

It’s not that he has anything against the hamster, he just doesn’t want it anywhere near him, okay? Even if the royal family loves them.

The hamster is welcome to keep on living its little pellet-loving life, but this big dog would just prefer the hamster did it far, far away from his personal space.



WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump attacked The Washington Post and Amazon on Twitter Wednesday, arguing that the online retailer was not paying "internet taxes."

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's a boy for model-actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and her fiancé, Jason Statham. Huntington-Whiteley wrote in an Instagram post Wednesday that son Jack Oscar Statham was born on Saturday weighing 8.8 pounds.

NEW YORK (AP) — The reporter who accused White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders of inflaming the public against the media at a press briefing says he did it because he's tired of being bullied by the administration.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican who is quitting Congress at the end of the week is heading to Fox News. Fox News Channel announced on Wednesday that five-term Rep.

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — Two of Robert Durst's longtime friends are fighting in a New York court to avoid being sent to testify at a pretrial hearing in the millionaire's murder case in California next month.

NEW YORK (AP) — Lin-Manuel Miranda has Hollywood singing lyrics from his hit musical, "Hamilton," in order to raise money for a coalition of nonprofits focused on immigration.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Disney has confirmed that an animatronic version of President Donald Trump will have a speaking role at its Hall of Presidents attraction at Walt Disney World in Florida.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The intersection of Sofia Coppola and Nicole Kidman didn't start with "The Beguiled." They'd met at parties in passing and had even tried to work together once on a project that fell apart.

NEW YORK (AP) — The 2018 Grammy Awards will be held in New York City, but the show will return to Los Angeles for four years beginning in 2019.

NEW YORK (AP) — Edward James Olmos has a message for pet owners on the Fourth of July: Stay home. Noisy fireworks on America's birthday can startle animals and cause them to run away.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — In a story June 27 about F. Lee Bailey's bankruptcy, The Associated Press incorrectly identified his bankruptcy attorney.

LONDON (AP) — It was a last-minute Christmas gift for his wife that inspired Michael Bond to create Paddington bear, the marmalade-loving teddy in a duffel coat and floppy hat.

NEW YORK (AP) — Wednesday is the last day of School for New York City public school students, but students in the rigorous Ballet Tech dance program will be back for a four-week summer session July 10.

NEW YORK (AP) — One of Elvis Presley's biggest hits is the latest song to be turned into a picture book, and part of an effort to introduce the King to a new generation.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — From the murderous Laura in "Logan" to the mysterious Eleven in "Stranger Things" to the audacious determination of Mija in "Okja," opening Wednesday, powerful young girls are starring in mainstream action fare like never before.

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) — The home of "Big Bang Theory" star Johnny Galecki has been destroyed in a wildfire in California. Nicole Perna, a spokeswoman for the 42-year-old actor, says his home on a ranch in the San Luis Obispo area was destroyed by the wildfire on the state's central coast.

NEW YORK (AP) — Filmmaker Michael Moore, who is making his Broadway debut this summer in a solo show, says he will donate $10,000 to New York City's Shakespeare in the Park after it lost funding from sponsors due to its controversial "Julius Caesar" production.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Bill Cosby's "town hall" tour is unlikely to happen before his retrial on sex assault charges in Pennsylvania, one of his lawyers said Tuesday.

NEW YORK (AP) — For a president seemingly at perpetual war with "fake news," the resignation of three CNN journalists over a retracted story about a Donald Trump Russian connection is a gift from the political gods when the struggling effort to pass a health bill dominates the headlines.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Force was with George Lucas on Tuesday as the Los Angeles City Council moved with lightsaber speed to clear the way for a $1.5 billion Museum of Narrative Art the "Star Wars" creator plans to build down the road from his alma mater.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist, who starred in the original "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" films and often played villains in Hollywood movies like "John Wick" has died.

NEW YORK (AP) — Jimmy Fallon has topped Stephen Colbert in late-night ratings for the first time since Donald Trump has been president.

Bedouine, "Bedouine" (Spacebomb Records) Bedouine is Azniv Korkejian's alias and the title of her debut. It's a hushed, haunted, delicate wonder — a collection evoking 1970s singer-songwriters which pairs her thoughtful words with unfussy arrangements.

NEW YORK (AP) — Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for June 19-25. Listings include the week's ranking and viewership.