Tag Archives: Hollywood

How Brad Pitt fixed his image problem with one interview

Brad Pitt has chosen the pages (and website) of a glossy magazine to give his first interview since splitting from Angelina Jolie amid accusations he’d hit their teenage son. It was a calculated attempt to rehabilitate his image – and it seems to have worked.

It’s seven months since Brangelina broke apart against the backdrop of reports of a physical altercation between Brad and 15-year-old Maddox on a private plane.

Continue reading How Brad Pitt fixed his image problem with one interview

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Charlotte McKinney’s Nude Photo Scandal: What The ‘Baywatch’ Star has to say

Charlotte McKinney is the latest victim of the Hollywood nude photo hacking. Alleged intimate photos from the model’s topless photo shoot surfaced on the internet a few months ago. The aspiring actress doesn’t seem fazed by nude photo scandals in general. Charlotte’s own thoughts about the Hollywood nude photo scandal resurfaced this week.

Continue reading Charlotte McKinney’s Nude Photo Scandal: What The ‘Baywatch’ Star has to say

Jack Nicholson and Kristen Wiig to star in English-language remake of German comedy Toni Erdmann

After his seven year absence from the acting game, many assumed that Hollywood legend Jack Nicholson had officially retired from movies. But turns out the Academy Award winner isn’t done yet as he’s gearing up to return in an English-language remake of comedy Toni Erdmann, opposite Ghostbusters’ Kristen Wiig.

Continue reading Jack Nicholson and Kristen Wiig to star in English-language remake of German comedy Toni Erdmann

Going Clear on pace to be HBO’s second-most-watched documentary

HBO’s investigation into the Church of Scientology has been racking up so many views since it debuted just two weeks ago that it’s likely to trail only the 2013 movie Beyonce as the network’s most-watched documentary of the past decade, the Associated Press reported.

To date, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief has been seen by over 5.5 million people, with Beyonce having been viewed by over 9 million people. Before the film premiered,

The Church of Scientology ran a full-page ad in The New York Times denouncing the film, even pointing out its similarity to the since-retracted story in Rolling Stone regarding an alleged rape at the University of Virginia.

“I didn’t think we expected this kind of noise and this kind of energy, but we’ll take it,” Sheila Nevins, the chief of HBO’s documentary unit told the AP. “I didn’t think it would be this controversial.”

Nevins said she’s already worrying about what HBO can do next to continue their current success.

“How do you match people taking out a full-page ad in the New York Times and it’s not your obituary?,” she said. “The real problem for anxiety-prone people like me is what comes next.”

Buzz has surrounded HBO’s new documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” but Scientologist John Travolta is not a fan.

Travolta told the Tampa Bay Times that he has not seen the documentary, “and I don’t really care to.”

“I’ve been so happy with my (Scientology) experience in the last 40 years that I really don’t have anything to say that would shed light on (a documentary) so decidedly negative,” Travolta said.

The actor, one of the Church of Scientology’s most high-profile members along with stars like Tom Cruise and Kirstie Alley, is premiering his new film, “The Forger,” in Clearwater, Florida.

The HBO documentary is based on the book “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief” by Lawrence Wright and is critical of the organization, which has close ties to the showbiz industry.

Travolta said he believed the doc was a result of “people who were disgruntled with their experiences” with the Church of Scientology, which he touted as a positive experience for him.

“I haven’t experienced anything that the hearsay has (claimed), so why would I communicate something that wasn’t true for me?” Travolta asked. “It wouldn’t make sense, nor would it for Tom (Cruise), I imagine.”

He called Scientology “brilliant” and credited the church with helping him to survive the death of his teen son, Jett, after a seizure while the family was on vacation in the Bahamas in 2009.

“Oh, my God, I wouldn’t have made it,” said Travolta, whose wife, Kelly Preston, is also a member. “Honestly.”

Ridley Scott targets Mexican drug-war thriller The Cartel

Ridley Scott is to direct an adaptation of Don Winslow’s Mexican drug-war thiller The Cartel, after the rights to the novel were acquired by 20th Century Fox after a fierce bidding contest, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The Cartel, which was published shortly before the infamous jailbreak of real-life cartel boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, became the subject of considerable Hollywood interest after Guzmán’s escape made global news.

It is set during the narco-terror of the period 2004-10, and follows a DEA agent and a cartel operative as they try to take each other down.

According to a report in Deadline, Fox stumped up around $6m for rights to The Cartel as well as an earlier Winslow novel, The Power of the Dog, which features the same characters, and writers’ fees.

Scott’s commitment to directing the film was apparently instrumental in securing the deal, in the face of rival bids from the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company.

However, DiCaprio’s interest in the project means that he is being actively courted to play the DEA agent.

Scott is currently completing the space-survival thriller The Martian, starring Matt Damon, and could take this on once that is completed. DiCaprio, likewise, has finished shooting the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed western The Revenant.

James Horner: Oscar-winning Titanic composer dies in crash

Composer James Horner arrives at the premiere of Avatar at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre on 16 December 2009 in Hollywood, California
James Horner had written the score of a number of films, including Titanic

James Horner, the Hollywood composer who wrote the score for the Oscar-winning film hit Titanic, has died in a California plane crash aged 61.

A trained pilot, he is reported to have been alone aboard a small private plane which crashed north of Santa Barbara on Monday morning.

The two-time Oscar winner worked on three James Cameron films, as well as A Beautiful Mind, Troy and Apollo 13.

He won one Oscar for the Titanic film score and another for its theme song.

‘Unbelievable talent’

The musican shared his second Oscar with lyricist Will Jennings for best original song, My Heart Will Go On, sung by Celine Dion.

Horner was nominated for a further eight Oscars, for scores and songs for the films Avatar, House of Sand and Fog, A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Braveheart, Field of Dreams, An American Tail and Aliens.

The plane crash left an impact crater and sparked a brush fire that had to be put out by firefighters, local fire authorities said.

Horner’s personal assistant, Sylvia Patrycja, wrote on Facebook on Monday:

“We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart, and unbelievable talent. He died doing what he loved. Thank you for all your support and love and see you down the road.”

Actor and director Ron Howard tweeted:

“Brilliant Composer James Horner, friend & collaborator on 7 movies has tragically died in a plane crash. My heart aches for his loved ones.”

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Russell Crowe, who starred in Howard’s Oscar-winning film A Beautiful Mind, added:

“My sincere condolences to the family, loved ones and friends of James Horner.”

American composer Steve Jablonsky, writer of the music for the Transformers movie series, tweeted about the influence the composer had on him, saying:

“James Horner, thank you for inspiring a young me to pursue a career in film music. Thank you for your music. Rest in peace.”

The Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb added:

“Last time I spoke to JH he was scoring for a kid at AFI. 2 Oscars and he agreed to score a student film! What generosity. #RIPJamesHorner.”

Why Tom Cruise and John Travolta can’t leave Scientology, according to the HBO documentary ‘Going Clear’

Scientology Church
The exterior of the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles.

When L. Ron Hubbard founded the Church of Scientology in February 1954 in Los Angeles, one of his main pillars in building its membership was courting celebrities.

A year after the church was founded, it created a long list of celebrities to recruit, according to Lawrence Wright’s best-selling book “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & The Prison of Belief.”

The list reportedly included Hollywood royalty like Marlene Dietrich, Walt Disney, Jackie Gleason, John Ford, Bob Hope, and Howard Hughes. It’s hard to find evidence of these legends ever entertaining the idea of joining the church, but it appears that Hubbard saw movie stars as a way of legitimizing Scientology.

Six decades later, Hubbard’s premonition proved to be correct. Scientology, which today has only about 50,000 members, is worth over $1.2 billion, and much of its financial success is in part thanks to famous people who have fundraised, recruited, and given the church access to the upper echelon of society.

tom cruise
According to “Going Clear,” Tom Cruise has turned a blind eye to abuse in the church of Scientology.

For years, two of the church’s most prized endorsers have been John Travolta and Tom Cruise.

But director Alex Gibney suggests in his latest documentary for HBO, an adaptation of Wright’s book called “Going Clear,” that it is time for Travolta and Cruise to reassess their involvement with the church, in part because of the abuse their fellow members have allegedly endured.

The film highlights numerous instances in which church members have allegedly been abused. Members have allegedly been segregated from their families and the rest of the church to do physical labor like cleaning toilets with only a toothbrush.

In the documentary, Gibney speaks with one of Travolta’s closest confidants at the church, Spanky Taylor, who says she was part of a group that was punished by the church.

Taylor says she was forced to work 30-hour shifts with little food and slept on the roof of the church’s Los Angeles building. She says she was pregnant at the time and away from her infant daughter, who was placed in the church’s nursery in a urine-soaked crib surrounded by fruit flies. In the movie, Taylor says she reached out to Travolta for help but never heard from him.

According to the film, Cruise has also turned a blind eye to the harassment suffered by Sea Organization members, the clergy of Scientology who reportedly show their loyalty by signing billion-year contracts but get paid only about 40 cents an hour for their services. The film alleges that the presents Cruise receives on behalf of the church — like a beautiful airplane hangar or luxury limousine — are delivered on the sweat of Sea Org members.

So why are Cruise and Travolta still in Scientology?

John Travolta Kelly preston Oscars
The film suggests that Scientology has so much dirt on high-profile members like John Travolta that they could never leave the church.

The film alleges that the church would disclose the celebrities’ deepest, darkest confessions to the tabloids if they ever tried to leave the church.

That’s because the pair have reportedly spent hours and hours of their lives submitting to Scientology audits, the church’s form of spiritual counseling.

When Business Insider talked to Gibney last week at HBO’s New York offices, the director said he felt it was the duty of Cruise and Travolta to speak out, and he hoped the attention of “Going Clear” would make it easier for them to do so.

“I think one of the reasons we’re trying to turn the spotlight on them is not to victimize them but to say you really have a responsibility,” Gibney told us. “You’re given an enormous amount of wealth as a movie star and with that comes a certain amount of responsibility, particularly when people are joining an organization because of you. If the popular opinion begins to swing that way, I think you can see a sea change with them.”

For Cruise it may be harder to get out. The film reveals just how important he is to the church, suggesting Scientology went as far as breaking up Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s marriage to bring him closer to the church after he began distancing himself around the time he and Kidman filmed Stanley Kubrick’s final film, “Eye’s Wide Shut,” in 1998.

tom cruise nicole kidman
The documentary alleges that Scientology broke up Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman and turned their adoptive children against Kidman.

Orchestrated by Scientology’s leader, David Miscavige, the church turned the two adoptive children of Cruise and Kidman’s against Kidman,according to former Scientology executives who speak in the film.

The church allegedly told the children that Kidman was a “Suppressive Person,” Scientology talk for someone who’s not a believer of the church, and persuaded them to completely disconnect themselves from her.

The church also allegedly tapped Kidman’s phones in an effort to convince Cruise that he needed to end the relationship.

Gibney and Wright, along with former Scientology members Mike Rinder and Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis, talked more about these issues in the film recently at a New York Times “Times Talk.”

A representative for Scientology told People.com these assertions made were “utterly ludicrous” and “insulting” to Miscavige.

Reps for Cruise and Travolta didn’t respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

“Going Clear” opens theatrically in limited release March 13 and on HBO on March 29.

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