JANUARY 20, 2017 • #1449
LUK E CAG E EXCLUSIVE
FIRST LOOK MARVEL DELIVERS THE
WE’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR BY SHIRLEY LI
THE TOP 10 THINGS W E LOV E THIS WEEK
JOE LEDERER /NETFLIX (3)
Neil Patrick Harris, Louis Hynes, and Malina Weissman
A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
I L L U ST R AT I O N BY J O H N R I T T E R
• Neil Patrick Harris stars as Count Olaf in an adaptation of the Lemony Snicket series about the miserable lives of three orphans. It’ll hook you with its droll sense of humor and delightful visuals. (Debuts Jan. 13, Netflix) J A N UA R Y 2 0, 2 0 1 7
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The Must M s List st
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• The better of
the British singersongwriter’s two new singles is a perfect slice of folk pop: intimate enough to score the most personal moments but with a soaring instrumental that’ll easily reach arena rafters.
“DON’T TOUCH MY HAIR CRANES IN THE SKY,” Normani Kordei
• The Fifth Harmony member combines Solange’s A Seat at the Table tracks “Don’t Touch My Hair” and “Cranes in the Sky” for a sumptuous medley that’s entirely her own.
B O O KS
THE RIVER AT NIGHT, by Erica Ferencik
• If it were a movie (which it’s likely to be), Ferencik’s nailbiting tale—about a rafting trip gone wrong—would be The Descent meets The River Wild. But for now, her literary thrill ride is shooting off the page. C O M I C B O O KS
SUPERMAN VOL. 1: SON OF SUPERMAN
• Offering a
contrast to DC’s grim films, Superman’s new comic series is warm and colorful as an older Lois and Clark raise their superpowered son in the rebooted Universe.
KORDEI: JASON L AVERIS/FILMMAGIC; SHEER AN: PHIL WALTER /GET T Y IMAGES; SUPERMAN VOL. 1: SON OF SUPERMAN: DC ENTERTAINMENT
“CASTLE ON THE HILL,” Ed Sheeran
The Must List 7 6
• A more accurate title:
Tom Hardy vs. the 19th Century. In FX’s dark miniseries, the snarling Oscar nominee plays a mysterious loner taking on the British and the Americans. A garish, ghoulish delight. (Tuesdays, 10 p.m., FX)
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ONLY THE LONELY, Colony House
• The Tennessee band fuses swampy blues, scuzzy garage rock, and infectious indie pop on Only the Lonely. It’s a January release, but its massive jams will sound great booming from a festival stage in summer’s dog days.
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B O O KS
HISTORY OF WOLVES, by Emily Fridlund
• The life of a lonely
teenager in backwoods Minnesota becomes calamitously tangled with a young couple and their 4-year-old son in Fridlund’s starkly affecting coming-of-age novel, already one of the year’s most lauded debuts.
B O O KS
“ISSUES,” Julia Michaels
SIN BRAVELY, by Maggie Rowe
• She’s got 99 issues but her career ain’t one: The songwriter behind Top 40 smashes from Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez is stepping into the spotlight with a throbbing, fingersnapping track about owning your insecurities.
• Former Arrested Devel-
opment writer Maggie Rowe spent her Christian childhood agonizing over whether she was devout enough to get to heaven. Brimming with characters wacky and sincere, this memoir centers on her time in an Evangelical psychiatric facility.
TABOO: ROBERT VIGL ASK Y/FX; MICHAELS: MEREDITH TRUA X
6 7 8 9 10
Behind the scenes of our cover shoot with Charlie Cox as Daredevil, Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, Finn Jones as Iron Fist, and Mike Colter as Luke Cage
26 The Defenders A blind vigilante, a powerful P.I., an indestructible ex-con, and a mystical martial artist are here to protect NYC. Meet Marvel’s long-awaited antihero team. BY SHIRLEY LI
34 Jean Smart From the big-haired and bighearted Charlene on Designing Women to the steely crime boss Floyd on Fargo, Smart has been shapeshifting for decades. But with her latest, FX’s Legion, she’s becoming downright supernatural. BY SARA VILKOMERSON
38 Dear Evan Hansen Break a leg? More like break an arm. A bold producer and a crack creative team gambled big on the unabashedly emotional tale of a severely anxious high school misfit. Here’s how they overcame their own nerves to make the Broadway musical hit happen. BY CAITLIN BRODY
NEWS AND COLUMNS
3 The Must List
10 Sound Bites
12 News & Notes
64 The Bullseye
REVIEWS ON THE COVER Mike Colter, Krysten Ritter, Finn Jones, and Charlie Cox, photographed exclusively for EW by Finlay Mackay on Dec. 10, 2016, in New York City COSTUME DESIGNER: STEPHANIE MASLANSKY; WARDROBE SUPERVISOR: PASHELLE LATINO; MAKEUP HEAD: SARIT KLEIN; KEY MAKEUP ARTIST: KAELA DOBSON; HAIR DEPARTMENT HEAD: PAMELA MAY; FX MAKEUP: BRIAN SPEARS; PROPS: CHARLOTTE MALMLOF
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P H OTO G R A P H BY M E T T I E O S T R OW S K I
THE WEEK’S S BEST B S
“Can I be your assistant? No. I will become the focus.”
—Ryan Gosling, accepting his Golden Globe for best actor in a musical or comedy for La La Land
“I’m crying ’cause I’m like, ‘My first sleepover’s ruined!’ So, yeah, we’ve been through a lot.”
“Kandi and Johnnie have been closer than two butt cheeks.” —Phaedra Parks, noting her frenemies’ connection, on The Real Housewives of Atlanta
“Send nude pics of your heart to me.” —Jason Mendoza, a.k.a. Jianyu (Manny Jacinto), delivering his wedding vows to Janet (D’Arcy Carden), on The Good Place
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“I share everything with my daughter, especially the check.” —Debbie Reynolds in Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, the HBO documentary about the late mother-daughter duo’s bond
—Millie Bobby Brown, whose night with best friend Maddie Ziegler was interrupted by a fire alarm at 3 a.m., on The Ellen DeGeneres Show
O’BRIEN: JASON L AVERIS/FILMMAGIC; GOSLING: PATRICK MCMULL AN VIA GET T Y IMAGE; MORENO: MICHAEL YARISH; PARKS: MARK HILL /BR AVO; BROWN: STEVE GR ANITZ/WIREIMAGE; JACINTO: VIVIAN ZINK /NBC; REYNOLDS: E ARL GIBSON III/WIREIMAGE
—Lydia (Rita Moreno), realizing she can’t participate in her grandson’s hypothetical magic act, on One Day at a Time
“This isn’t the first time I’ve been mistaken for Ryan Reynolds, but it’s getting out of hand.”
TWEET OF THE WEEK If Twitter goes down, American foreign policy will have to rely on skywriting. @Conan OBrien
GOLDEN GLOBES 2017
CAN ANYTHING STOP LA LA LAND? The movie musical won big, but the Oscar’s not in the bag just yet, with Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea still on the dance floor. B Y N I C O L E S P E R L I N G
WINNING SEVEN GOLDEN
Globes Sunday night, La La Land set a record for the most trophies earned by a single ﬁlm in the ceremony’s 74-year history. With wins in all the top categories—picture (musical/comedy), director (Damien Chazelle), actor (Ryan Gosling), and actress (Emma Stone), plus three more for screenplay, song, and score—the sherbet-colored song-anddance delight has established itself as the awards-season front-runner. On the surface, at least, La La seems like a shoo-in for Oscar gold come Feb. 26. “No one likes to see a runaway winner, but that’s the case this year, just like it was the year of Slumdog Millionaire,” says one veteran Oscar consultant. “That means there is no fun Oscar night. At that point it’s just a coronation.”
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I L L U ST R AT I O N BY RYA N I N Z A N A
Manchester by the Sea Emma Stone, Damien Chazelle, and Ryan Gosling
But before we all start betting our 401(k)s on that, it’s instructive to look back at 2011. That year, The Social Network was the odds-on favorite to win it all, nabbing four Golden Globes and sweeping the awards doled out by critics’ groups. All of that helped give The Social Network momentum, but neither the critics nor the folks who vote for the Globes are members of the Academy. For this reason, the awards handed out by industry groups— e.g., the Screen Actors Guild, the Producers Guild—are far more predictive of a ﬁlm’s Oscar chances. All those ceremonies are still weeks away, and SAG notably overlooked La La in its coveted best-ensemble category. La La’s stiffest competition is likely to come from two quiet, interior dramas about isolated men—Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea, which scored Casey Aﬄeck a Globe for best actor in a drama, and Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, which won for best drama. In 2011, the tide ultimately turned against David Fincher’s Facebook movie once it reached the guild races and began losing to The King’s Speech, which went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture.
MANCHESTER BY THE SE A: CL AIRE FOLGER; STONE, CHA ZELLE, AND GOSLING: MICHAEL KOVAC/GET T Y IMAGES FOR MOET & CHANDON; MOONLIGHT: DAVID BORNFRIEND
Chances are slim that La La’s fate will mirror The Social Network’s, though, primarily because it is both a movie about movies and a movie about Los Angeles. Hollywood has a history of rewarding ﬁlms that portray the industry in a glowing light. Just look at recent Best Picture winners Argo, The Artist, and Birdman. La La Land makes L.A. more beautiful than perhaps it has ever looked on film, and writer-director Chazelle, who blazed onto the scene two years ago with Whiplash, has built his romance around two artists who are forced to choose between love for each other and love of their art. Oh, and he’s reimagined the movie musical for the modern age and it’s a hit. It’s made more than $50 million so far. “We live in an age where Hollywood has trouble making anything that lives outside the franchise/ tentpole/reboot system,” Chazelle says. “Anything that can help shine a light on what’s outside that is ultimately a good thing, no matter how many years it may shave oﬀ my life.” The backlash, of course, has started. Accusations—espoused on social media and over lunches in Beverly Hills—that the ﬁlm is too light or too inconsequential, and sure, it’s charming but it’s not that good, etc., are to be expected when one film twirls away from the pack. The question is, have they danced too far ahead for anyone to catch up, and will the swell of music drown out the backlash through the ﬁnal credits?
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7 Things You Didn’t See
From the making of Meryl’s big moment to John Travolta’s Wonder-ous serenade, we take you behind the scenes of the Jimmy Fallon-hosted ceremony (no backstage pass required). B Y LY N E T T E R I C E
MERYL WARNED VIOLA
Meryl Streep didn’t tell presenter Viola Davis the details of her speech before she called out Donald Trump while accepting her Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award, but she did give her pal a crucial hint. “She told me she was going to piss off some people, so I was bracing for impact. I love it!” Davis tells EW. “I feel like anyone who was the mouthpiece of anything progressive, whether it was Martin Luther King or John F. Kennedy, Mahatma Gandhi or whatever, pissed people off. She’s earned the right to say that, and I think all of us felt a sigh of relief. Sometimes you need the first person to dive in there and have the courage and the bravery to give a mouthpiece to what we were all feeling.”
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STERLING LOVES ELEVEN
This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown stopped on the red carpet to bend over and kiss the hand of Millie Bobby Brown, otherwise known as telekenetic Eleven on Netflix’s cult hit Stranger Things. As she blushed and smiled, he went on about how much he loved her performance. But he wasn’t the only Globe-goer who geeked out over the Stranger kids. Ryan Gosling, Amy Adams, and Amy Schumer all gladly posed for selfies with the pint-size cast members.
WINNING STREEP Trump called the actress “over-rated.” You be the judge. B Y J O E Y N O L F I
People’s Choice Awards
Golden Globes (30 nominations)
Academy Awards (19 nominations—the most of any actor ever)
Critics’ Choice Awards
The show hadn’t even begun before Game of Thrones pals Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams anxiously asked a security guard for directions to the smokers’ lounge. g
Primetime Emmy Awards
Screen Actors Guild Awards
Presidential Medal of Freedom
GAME OF FUMES
ROCKY’S ROCKY NIGHT
While his daughters may have served as this year’s Miss Golden Globe trifecta, Sylvester Stallone and his wife, Jennifer Flavin, were nowhere to be found on the ballroom floor. Turns out there was only one seat open when they arrived at the Manchester by the Sea table, where they were assigned to sit—and neither star Casey Affleck nor Matt Damon (a producer on the film) immediately made extra room for them, according to EW’s sister publication People. Frustrated, the couple retreated to the greenroom and
STREEP: PAUL DRINK WATER /NBCUNIVERSAL /GET T Y IMAGES; STERLING K. BROWN: BUCKNER / VARIET Y/REX/SHUT TERSTOCK ; MILLIE BOBBY BROWN, WILLIAMS: GEORGE PIMENTEL /WIREIMAGE (2); TURNER: MICHAEL KOVAC/GET T Y IMAGES FOR MOET & CHANDON
YOU KNOW THE CASE. YOU DONâ€™T KNOW THE TRUTH.
THE INVESTIGATION RE-OPENS
watched the show from there. (Stallone was apparently not receptive to an apology from Affleck later, People added.) 5
John Travolta loves him some Stevie Wonder. When the actor ran into Wonder on the stairs of the ballroom during a commercial break, he composed himself before leaning over and singing into Wonder’s ear. We’re hoping it was “I Just Called to Say I Love You.”
ALL TRUMPED UP
The president-elect was a major talking point in the backstage pressroom, but Donald Glover, who won best actor and best comedy for his FX series, Atlanta, had the sound bite of the night. “Honestly, right now we live in a time where things are very divisive,” he told reporters. “Human joy is super important. Acting, making music, all that stuff is believing in something that maybe someone older doesn’t truly believe in, but when you see it in a child it makes you believe again. We forget how innocent and beautiful we were. I think it’s our responsibility to make magic
again, because I think a lot of what’s happening now is bulls---.” 7
WHAT DID I MISS?
Not everybody got to see Streep’s big moment. “It’s really embarrassing: I was in the bathroom when she did it,” lamented Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood. ”I’m really disappointed. I tried so hard to hold it in, but I couldn’t!” We’re sure Christine Lahti can sympathize. Additional reporting by Marc Snetiker and Nicole Sperling
“THE BEST MOVIE YOU’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR ALL WEEK!” —ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
STOP TRYING TO MAKE HIDDEN FENCES HAPPEN LA LA LAND MAY HAVE SWEPT THE AWARDS,
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C O M I N G T O T H E AT E R S . . . N E V E R
PICKET I L L U ST R AT I O N BY J O H N U E L A N D
WOOD: FREDERICK M. BROWN/GET T Y IMAGES
but there was another film seemingly on everyone’s lips at the Golden Globes: Hidden Fences. After both interviewer Jenna Bush Hager and presenter Michael Keaton conflated Hidden Figures and Fences, the gaﬀe quickly spread on social media. (And it was a particularly awkward mix-up given that both ﬁlms star black actors and that awards shows have been under increased scrutiny regarding diversity among their nominees.) Though Hidden Fences will probably never win a single trophy, we couldn’t help but imagine what a ﬁlm about a shy, young picket fence living in midcentury Pittsburgh and dreaming of becoming a rocket scientist might look like…
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GOLDEN GLOBES STYLE REPORT
WHICH FICTIONAL CHARACTER’S WARDROBE DO YOU COVET THE MOST? B Y C . M O L LY S M I T H
(V i c e P r i n c i p a l s ) in Stella McCartney
T R AC E E E L L I S R O SS (black-ish) in Zuhair Murad Couture “Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina. It’s that old-Hollywood elegance—sort of corseted in a comfortable way, not in that way that makes you p pass out.”
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S U SA N KELECHI WAT S O N
P R I YA N K A CHOPRA
( T h i s Is Us ) in Romona Keveža Collection “I would definitely take a couple of Daenerys Targaryen’s dresses from Game of Thrones. I think that would get me to the front of ne. ” the liline. line
(Quantico) in Ralph Lauren Collection
L I LY COLLINS (Rules D on’t Apply) in Zuhair Murad Couture “Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. I love those old-school, period per iod pi piece ece ou outfi tfits. ts.” period-piece outfits
“Sex and the City, how Carrie experiments with what she wears. It’s not ‘normal,’ and it looks amazing. You really need a fashion f ashion fash ion sense se nse for that. o th aat.””
& MICHELLE WILLIAMS
(M a n c h e s t e r b y the Sea) in Louis Vuitton BP Carrie Bradshaw for me! Who doesn’t want that, right? She used her wardrobe to reflect her moods. It’s so good. MW Oh my God. That’s so true. I think I want to look like Tom Sawyer. BP And she’s not kidding.
ROSS, WATSON, COLLINS: FR A ZER HARRISON/GET T Y IMAGES (3); CHOPR A: MICHAEL TULLBERG/GET T Y IMAGES; PHILLIPPS AND WILLIAMS: DAVID CROT T Y/PATRICK MCMULL AN/GET T Y IMAGES; SABRINA: EVERET T COLLECTION; GAME OF THRONES: MACALL B. POL AY/HBO; PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: UNIVERSAL /PHOTOFEST; SE X AND THE CIT Y: HBO; TOM SAW YER: GR APHICA ARTIS/GET T Y IMAGES
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Scoring the Looks You Loved BY ISABELLA BIEDENHARN AND CHRISTINA CIAMMAICHELLI
I swooned over the shoes Emma Stone changes into during the song “A Lovely Night” in L A L A L A N D . What brand are they? —SADIE
Rosa’s LBD with peekaboo lace cutouts in the “Mr. Santiago” episode of BROOKLYN NINE-NINE rocked. Any tips on where to find it? —JILL
IIn Mia (Stone) and Sebastian’s (Ryan G Gosling) twilight dance scene— ca captured in a single seven-minute ttake ke—Mia slips into a retro pair of heel from Worldtone Dance. “You heels wantt shoes to pop in a dance numw ber,” ssays costume designer Mary Zophre Z p es. “That’s a trick I took from every G e y Gene Kelly movie I ever saw.” The versi T sion Stone wore is no longer available (possibly ( a because she tore tthrough g fo our to six pairs during filmiing), g but to o pull off a similar style in rreal life, Zop phres suggests wearing w tthem with a wide-legged trouser, so peek of the two-tone style shows a pee when you walk or cross your legs.
I couldn’t stop looking at Claiire Foy’s lips during the coronatio on scene of THE CROWN . Where can I get that shade? —BETH For Queen Elizabeth II’s most reg gall moment in the episode “Smoke and Mirrors,” makeup designer Ivana Primorac sought to maintain a certain level of authenticity on the Golden Globe-winning star. “I used Ellis Faas in L101, which is a very high-pigment lipstick designed to be a copy of a period 1930s lipstick,” Primorac says. “It makes the lips stand out, almost like they’re painted on.” To deepen the impact, Primorac also applied highlighter around the lip shape. The result? An absolutely royal red..
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in a movie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and visit EW.com to see what we’ve found.
BROOKLYN NINE-NINE: FOX; THE CROWN: ALEX BAILEY/NETFLIX; L A L A L AND: DALE ROBINET TE/LIONSGATE
To dress up the Nine-Nine’s resident badass, costume designer Kirston Mann needed a piece that was formal but also still in line with Rosa’s (Stephanie Beatriz) personality. “She’s usually in a leather jacket, so we tried to pick something with a tough beauty,” says Mann, who describes this look as “a beautiful woman who still might have a gun in her shoe.” As for accessorizing, Mann suggests keeping it simple: “The lace is enough. It’s more chic when you can pull off a look with less!”
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OUR CHARMED REBOOT WISH LIST
Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, and Rose McGowan
The cult TV series that cast a spell for eight seasons is being resurrected. Here’s how they should update the witches’ brew. B Y N ATA L I E A B R A M S
The CW is developing a new Charmed, but don’t expect to see the Halliwell sisters reunite. The reboot would be a reimagined prequel of the WB series that ran from 1998 to 2006 and would take place circa 1976 in New England, with a new trinity taking on the forces of evil. Not much more is known at this stage, but we’ve got plenty of advice for Charmed 2.0:
DIVERSIFY Chemistry is key to making the trio gel, but if The CW uses the term “sisters” loosely, we’d love to see the Power of Three reflect greater diversity. Following the archetypes of the original, Ugly Betty’s America Ferrera could tackle the assertive eldest, OITNB alum Samira Wiley’s mix of heart and humor would fit for the typically self-deprecating middle child, while Agent Carter’s Lyndsy Fonseca has the playfulness for the flighty youngest.
LIGHTEN UP The project hails from the brain trust behind Jane the Virgin, a show that pokes fun at itself and its telenovela roots. This reboot should also look for ways to crack
With the reboot potentially connected to the first Charmed, casting series originals Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, or
KEEP IT REAL Harry Potter embraced the fantastical, and The Magicians drew on the technical, so if Charmed returns to its soap opera potions and spells of old, it may feel dated. Take a tip from the Greg Berlantiverse of shows and keep the trio’s powers simple and grounded (à la Arrow) before indulging in wish fulfillment (like The Flash). Accio revival!
The sixth and final season of Girls begins on Feb. 12 on HBO, with its eyes on an ending that has been in the works almost since 2012. “Everything that came before has been leading us to this point,” says executive producer Jenni Konner. “I’ve always said Girls is about them trying to grow up, and this season is no exception. They’re always trying, but this season is—though they don’t know it—the last chance to figure out if they’re really going to stay friends.” As usual, there’ll be a bevy of famous guests—including the return of Aidy Bryant and Corey Stoll, in addition to Chelsea Peretti, Joy Bryant, Matthew
Rhys, and Riz Ahmed, who plays a surf instructor that Hannah (Lena Dunham) meets in the season premiere. “Riz is incredible,” Konner says. “He’s obviously playing a very different kind of character than The Night Of or Rogue One—a full-on surfer dude who pontificates about the water! He dips in and out of Hannah’s life in an important way.” Saying goodbye to Hannah, Jessa (Jemima Kirke), Marnie (Allison Williams), and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) proved to be a bittersweet process. “It was actually sort of heartbreaking,” Konner says.
—S a r a V i l k o m e r s o n
CHARMED: MITCHELL HADDAD/© THE WB; GIRLS: MARK SCHAFER /HBO
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CALLBACK TO THE FUTURE
Rose McGowan (who replaced Doherty starting in season 4) may prove difficult, but not impossible. Time travel did play a role in the original, after all, so seeing one or more of the quartet reprise their roles to pay tribute to the flagship would be a tantalizing treat.
THE GOODBYE GIRLS
Lena Dunham and Riz Ahmed
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jokes about the world of magic at large, toeing the line without treading into cheesy Bewitched camp.
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A Night’s Tale Once the maestro of dead people and unbreakable men, writer-director M. Night Shyamalan, 46, returns to his roots with Split (out Jan. 20). BY J OE M C G OV E R N
professional rug-puller, earnest spiritualist—and currently, economical auteur. Split is the second consecutive film he’s made for the no-frills horror factory Blumhouse Productions (Paranormal Activity, Insidious). And Shyamalan says he has never felt more comfortable: “Smaller crew, smaller budget, fewer sets. We’ll shoot for 30 days, then come back three weeks later for a few days of finetuning and fixing mistakes. There’s so much freedom that I feel like I’m cheating on a test.” Nowadays he’s grateful for what achieving success at a young age—he turned 29 the day The Sixth Sense opened in 1999—has taught him. “It was weird, but I got to do the cycle of fame early: ‘I’m great, I’m an idiot, I’m a success, I’m a failure,’ ” he says with a laugh. “I got to experience all that and then say, ‘Let’s just concentrate on making movies.’ ”
DO THE TWIST DRAWING A CROWD
After the whiplash conclusion of The Sixth Sense (Bruce Willis is dead?!), Shyamalan’s name became synonymous with plot twists—and by 2008’s The Happening (the plants did it?!), a punchline for them. But Split is a game changer. In movies like Psycho and Fight Club the multiple personalities are the twist, but here Shyamalan takes a bigger swing, ending with a whopper surprise—and a special cameo—that will bring all the haters back to the yard. “I’ve been with audiences when we’ve screened the film,” he says, “and when that moment comes, the place just goes insane. It feels great.”
TWELFTH NIGHT Split is movie No. 12 in Shyamalan’s career. The dozen titles (ranging from The Sixth Sense to Signs to After Earth) offer an insight into his own shifting identities: horrormeister,
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W ith James es McA McAvoy vo y on o the Spl p pll itt sett
S H YA M A L A N P H OTO G R A P H BY M I C H A E L M U L L E R
AGENCY: CPI SYNDICATION; SPLIT: JOHN BAER /UNIVERSAL PICTURES
Though his recent output has included Fox’s sci-fi series Wayward Pines and 2015’s found-footage horror hit The Visit, M. Night Shyamalan fully returns to the form that made him famous with Split. The unnerving chamber thriller features X-Men’s James McAvoy as a kidnapper afflicted with a homicidal case of DID (dissociative identity disorder). His brain is home to at least 23 different personalities, among them a swaggering Philly brute, a 9-year-old boy, a strict woman, and a mincing fashion designer. Shyamalan has been fascinated by the condition for decades. “I had heard that James Cameron was making a film about this subject,” he says. “As in, the director of Terminator! So cool!” Cameron’s project (A Crowded Room) never got off the ground, but Shyamalan remarks, “You could say I’m reliving that feeling of excitement I had back then.”
As usual, you saw that coming. There are a lot of things that are easy to see coming, like man buns and homemade kombucha going out of style, but some things are a little harder to detect. Like that pedestrian unexpectedly jaywalking. That’s why Toyota Safety Sense™ P,1 including a Pre-Collision System2 with Pedestrian Detection,3 comes standard on the new 2017 Corolla.
Toyota Safety Sense™ Standard
Mike Colter, Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, and Finn Jones photographed on Dec. 10, 2016, in New York City
A BLIND VIGILANTE, A POWERFUL P.I., AN INDESTRUCTIBLE EX-CON, AND A MYSTICAL MARTIAL ARTIST ARE HERE TO PROTECT NYC. MEET MARVELâ€™S LONG-AWAITED ANTIHERO TEAM,
THE DEFENDERS BY SHIRLEY LI @S H I R K L E SX P P H OTO G R A P H S BY F I N L AY M A C K AY LETTERING BY ALEX TROCHUT
Almost. On a chilly December afternoon, inside a brightly lit set, the stars of Marvel and Netﬂix’s small-screen superhero universe— Charlie Cox (Matt Murdock, a.k.a. Daredevil), Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), Mike Colter (Luke Cage), and Finn Jones (Danny Rand, a.k.a. Iron Fist)—are still waiting to ﬁlm their ﬁrst scene as a group for their summer 2017 team-up, Marvel’s The Defenders. Cox hums the theme song to Captain Planet, the heroesuniting animated series, while Colter thumbs bullet holes on his costume and Jones—Finn, not Jessica—strolls the set. “We’re working really hard right now,” Ritter quips, looking around. The cameras weren’t rolling, but for the actors and crew—alumni from Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist—being in the
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AFTER 65 EPISODES APART, THE DEFENDERS ARE, AT LONG LAST, TOGETHER.
Just call her Queenpin: As the series’ villain, Sigourney Weaver’s Alexandra brings “intellectual sophistication” that matches big bads like Daredevil’s Wilson Fisk, says showrunner Marco Ramirez
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( Clockwise from left ) Simone Missick and Ritter; Jessica Henwick and Jones; Colter
same place is enough. “There’s this buzz and energy,” Cox says of ﬁlming the eight-part crossover. “We’ll often do a take, and after they call ‘Cut,’ you’ll hear people going, ‘Oh, coooool.’” Today we’re on a Brooklyn soundstage that’s housed everything from Matt’s apartment on Daredevil to Cottonmouth’s nightclub on Luke Cage to Colleen Wing’s dojo on Iron Fist, and ﬁnally—ﬁnally!—the cast steps in front of the camera for their money shot: the four of them in a row, braced for battle. It’s epic, it’s glorious, it’s a comic-book fan’s dream come true, it’s— “Oh, s---,” Jessica says. A mysterious ﬁgure has appeared. “Bad news,” she warns. “We gotta go.” As tension descends into mayhem, the camera swings madly through the crowd and accidentally slams into Ritter’s left shoulder, knocking her over. The action stops. “I’m indestructible,” Colter jokes, noting Luke Cage’s unbreakable skin, as Ritter gets back up. “She’s not.” Every take afterward looks just as riotous, but it makes sense that the four are making a mess: They’re not the Defenders yet. After investigating the corporation for diﬀerent reasons, each has arrived separately at the oﬃces of Midland Circle (a name that should sound familiar to Daredevil fans as the shady operation behind a giant, literal plot hole in season 2). “Every one of them is following their own trail of bread crumbs, trying to unpack a mystery in New York,” explains showrunner Marco Ramirez, who produced Daredevil’s ﬁrst season before co-showrunning the second. “We wanted them all caught oﬀ guard. Once they’re in that room together, it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, s---, who are you?’” I T’S A B I Z A R R E B EG I N N I N G FO R A B U D D I N G SU P E R H E RO T E A M , B U T I F T H I S F I RST
meeting of the Marvel minds looks chaotic, the planning of it has been anything but. The meticulously crafted origin story of The Defenders can be traced back to 2013, when Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb was watching The Avengers for the ﬁfth time. “Iron Man is falling out of the sky, and the Hulk is catching him, and my storytelling brain
starts to think, ‘If you went over to 10th Avenue and down a few blocks, you’d be in Hell’s Kitchen where there’s a group of heroes who are not really interested in saving the universe,’” recalls Loeb, referring to Marvel’s lesser-known heroes who have long populated the streets of New York. “That’s a really interesting place to start a television series.” And not just one television series, but ﬁve. Loeb and his team dreamed up a plan that would involve producing 60 episodes of gritty, street-level comic-book drama—13 for each of the four (anti)heroes’ individual series, and eight for the show that combined their forces. The plan mimicked the blueprint for Marvel’s big-screen approach, in which stand-alone ﬁlms starring Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America hit theaters before they teamed up in The Avengers. Adding 60 hours of superhero stories sounds like a lot, but the Marvel machine doesn’t worry about superhero fatigue—even with the addition of The Punisher, starring Jon Bernthal, to the MarvelNetflix lineup. “I don’t know that you’d be asking this question if we were a medical show or a law show or a cop show,” Loeb explains.
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hink the other part that sepa“I th ratess us from, let’s just say, our d inguished competition”— disti bl quely referencing DC shows obliq l ke Arrow and The Flash that like p ulate The CW—“is that popu w we ttake place in a very real, ggrou unded world. We’ve always ssaid d tthat there is a ﬁfth Defender, aand tthat is New York.” Wait, W does that mean that The D will visit New YorkDefe ef nders n b based Doctor Strange, cross over w h other Marvel series like with A nts of S.H.I.E.L.D., or enter the Agen rrealm lm of the ﬁlms? “You’re trying to trap tra me into saying, ‘Hashtag, it’s all connected,’” Loeb says, chuckling. “If the story warrants it, we will obviously do our best to have folks cross into each other’s story lines.” Loeb chose blind vigilante Daredevil, superstrong sleuth Jessica Jones, indestructible ex-con Luke Cage, and orphaned martial artist Iron Fist not only because they lived in New York, but because they had encountered each other in various comic books to great eﬀect—but never in the Defenders comics themselves, as members of the team at the same time. Created by Marvel in 1971 to capitalize on the popularity of groups like Fantastic Four, The Defenders rotated lineups faster than you could say “Defenders disassemble!” But Loeb wanted to tell an unconventional superhero story, and these Defenders are the epitome of an unconventional grouping. They prefer to operate alone in their respective New York neighborhoods and have no interest in stopping Asgardians, saving the world from aliens, or chasing mythical gemstones. “We never had any other characters in mind,” Loeb says. “The differences in their
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JESSICA JONES Krysten Ritter
The Alias Investigations P.I. may have wiped that smile off of Kilgrave’s face, but her takedown of the mind controller in Jessica Jones’ first season brings more interest to her work. “She’s still dealing with the aftermath of Kilgrave, and now she’s dealing with ‘success’—and not well,” Ritter explains. “People
want her to work for them, she’s getting a lot of business, and she’s not ready for any of that. She hasn’t changed, but her environment has, and there’s no handbook for how to exist in a world where you are now popular.” And popularity has never been Jessica’s goal, which makes the idea of teaming up in the Defenders particularly unappealing. “She’s
gloriously the most reluctant hero in the world,” Ramirez says. “She’s going to have to let three men into her life who she doesn’t 100 percent trust.” At least she has Trish, who when we last saw her was diving into some files labeled “IGH,” the mysterious group that has ties to Jessica’s past.
personalities [in the comics] and in how they each see heroism enabled us to tell very diﬀerent series. It got us excited about the possibility of putting them together.” Confident in its chosen cast of misfits, Marvel approached Netflix with the mega-pitch in 2013. The streaming giant had just begun producing original programming and seemed up for the superhuman task of rolling out ﬁve series backto-back. “We weren’t interested in making four pilots and then hoping someday that they could all get together,” Loeb says. “Netﬂix really understood what it is we wanted to do.” Likewise, Netﬂix considered Marvel a safe bet to help expand their then-slim library of bingable dramas, which included critical favorites (House of Cards) and not-so-favorites (Lilyhammer). “All we were promising was that we would do better than Lilyhammer,” Loeb says with a laugh. Now, more than three years later, the culmination of Loeb’s germ of an idea is ﬁlming, and the story has never strayed from its cape-and-cowl-free, un-Avengers-like focus. In other words, just because the members are ﬁnally together with a team
name doesn’t mean they’ll be using it. “The Defenders didn’t have a D on their belt buckles and a Defenders Tower,” says Loeb. “We agreed from the very beginning that these folks could at the very end go, ‘I never want to see your face again.’” THEY CERTAINLY DON’T SEE EYE
to eye at ﬁrst. Picking up where each individual series left oﬀ (see sidebars for a quick catch-up), The Defenders begins with Matt distraught over losing Elektra (Elodie Yung, set to reappear on The Defenders) and thinking about abandoning his alter ego; Jessica dealing with newfound fame and freedom after destroying her tormentor Kilgrave (David Tennant); and Luke ﬁnding himself back behind bars. Fans, though, still haven’t met the ﬁnal Defender: Danny, who’ll make his debut when Iron Fist arrives in March. At the beginning, he’s a fish out of water upon returning to New York after surviving a plane crash as a child and being raised by monks in the mystical city of K’un-Lun. According to Jones, Danny will continue that search on The Defenders: “He’s craving desperately for family, for help, for guidance, for people to learn from, and for a team,” the actor muses. “But because of what happens in Iron Fist, he’s very untrusting. It’s really his way or no way.” Which is why Danny may be the key to the Defenders’ formation. “Danny has drive,” Jones teases. “He drives all of the Defenders to get behind him to solve the…” He trails oﬀ, noticing the publicist in the corner looking up. “Issue.” Ah, the “issue.” It’s no spoiler to say there will be a villain entering the picture, but this
one, Ramirez promises, is impressive enough to draw the Defenders’ collective attention. “We knew it would take something massive to pull these four characters from their individual worlds to work together,” he says, “but also small enough that it felt like it existed in our world.” What, or who, could possibly walk that line? Sigourney Weaver, it turns out—as in the Sigourney Weaver, of Alien and Avatar fame. Her evildoing Alexandra, whom Ramirez describes as an “utter badass,” is not based on a comic-book character. “Sigourney is the kind of person you can buy as the smartest person in the room, who you can also buy as a person holding a ﬂamethrower. Her character is a very powerful force in New York City. She’s everything Sigourney is: sophisticated, intellectual, dangerous.” He pauses. “I’m sorry. I can only say a bunch of adjectives right now.” Fans didn’t mind the lack of details when Weaver’s casting was announced in October at New York Comic Con. Attendees started chanting, “Holy s---” as Loeb brought her on stage to join the four leads without sharing any tidbits about her
DAREDEVIL Charlie Cox
The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen ended his second season in a fittingly hellish place: alone. His relationship with best friend Foggy came undone, their law firm Nelson & Murdock was dismantled, and Elektra died fighting the Hand, only to have her corpse recovered by the evil organization. In the final
minutes of the finale, Matt comes clean about his secret identity to Karen, but it may already be too late to make amends. The Defenders picks up a few months afterward, Cox says, and Matt’s thinking about leaving his role as the Man Without Fear. “One of Matt’s big things is trying to protect the people he loves, and he’s failed,” the actor explains. “He’s left
holding the dead body of a loved one, and so I think he’s tried to turn a corner. It’s almost like quitting an addiction.... When we meet him at the beginning of The Defenders, I’m not sure he’s completely found peace with that idea. He’s doing the best with what he has.”
ro ole. And it wasn’t just fans who reacted this way. “When Jeph Loeb told me she waas doing it, I think I may have said, ‘Shut the f--- up,’” Ritter says. “I think that maay have been my response to the head of the studio.” W E AV E R ’S C A S T I N G S C O R E D A W I N F O R T H E D E F E N D E R S , B U T T H E S E R I E S H I T A
bump that same month. Right before shooting began in late October, Doug Petrie, who served as an EP on Daredevil’s ﬁrst season and helmed the second with Ramirez, left as co-showrunner. “We got to a point where the scripts were done, and we wanted Marco to continue, and Doug pursued other avenues,” Loeb says. But Ramirez wasn’t worried. “We’ve all been working on this for a very long time, so we’re good,” he explains. “Daredevil season 2 was an interesting audition, in a way, because we dealt with three major characters,” he says, citing the additions of Elektra and the Punisher. “I’d gone through the motions of ﬁguring out how to cross those streams and mix the tones of each of those worlds.”
LUKE CAGE Mike Colter
Luke may have been carted back to Seagate Prison at the end of Luke Cage, but don’t worry— he won’t be there for long. “It’s safe to say Cage is not going to spend the entire season of The Defenders behind bars,” Colter says, laughing. “He’s been able to come clean and deal
with his past.” Even better: His romance with Claire is going strong after the two shared a kiss in the season finale. “Anytime you’re smitten with someone and hanging out with them for the first time, there’s a spark,” Colter says. “That newness makes everybody excited.” The positive outlook helps when it comes to joining the Defenders. Colter
says Luke acts as “the conciliator” for the group, and Ramirez agrees: “Luke is someone who’s, in a very mature way, compartmentalized his life.” Still, that doesn’t mean Luke is invincible. “He’s openly walking around as a hero,” Ramirez teases. “There’s a lot of pressure that comes with that.”
In this case the team had to juggle four entirely different worlds with four leads: Daredevil is an ultraviolent law drama, Jessica Jones a heady noir, Luke Cage a hip-hopinfused character study, and Iron Fist a martial-arts extravaganza. Instead of shoehorning them all into a whole new genre, Ramirez says they tried to emphasize what grounded each of the shows: the characters’ need to find the truth. “We’re taking our cues from shows like The Wire and The Shield,” he says, adding that viewers don’t need to see the stand-alone series to understand The Defenders. “This is about what happens in the back alleys of New York City, and how people have to rise to the occasion. It’s for a fan of good crime TV as much as it is for a fan of superhero TV shows.” To make the balancing even more difficult, when Ramirez and Petrie began working on The Defenders, neither Luke Cage nor Iron Fist had aired, but they had to draft the shows’ arcs in advance. Plus, they had to make sure their familiarity with Daredevil didn’t mean his story would overshadow the others’. It helped that the Defenders’ writers had access to the other shows’ writers’ rooms, with all of them sharing an oﬃce building in L.A. If Ramirez had a question about Luke Cage, for instance, he could talk to showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker in person. If any beats sounded too similar, execs could quickly ﬂag the parallels. “It’s weirdly like there’s a massive writers’ room with all of these shows existing as little organisms,” explains Ramirez. Still, the best way to understand the Defend-
IRON FIST Finn Jones
Fans don’t have to brush up on the comics to understand martial artist Danny Rand, a.k.a. Iron Fist, when his series hits Netflix on March 17. “This is my version of Iron Fist, this is [showrunner] Scott Buck’s and Netflix’s and Marvel TV’s version of Iron Fist,” Jones says. “We are dealing with an
entity that is in and of itself.” So what exactly is that entity? Even Danny doesn’t know the answer at first. When the story begins, Danny has returned to New York City 15 years after the plane crash that left him orphaned in the mystical city of K’un-Lun, where he was raised and trained by monks. “He’s a child trapped in a man’s body,” Jones says. “He’s an incredibly fierce
warrior, but he doesn’t know who he is.” In other words, he has to grow up—and grow up fast. “Iron Fist is like Danny in his adolescence, and The Defenders is like Danny taking responsibility and moving forward with his purpose,” Jones explains. Expect literal growing pains with this one.
ers is to look at what they have in common: They’re loners who don’t play well with others. “It’s ultimately a story about a family of orphans who are very grownup but still have more growing up to do,” he says. THE ACTORS FORMED THEIR OFFSCREEN RAPPORT FAR EASIER THAN THEIR CHARACTERS
did on screen, thanks to forgiving schedules that allowed for downtime. “With Jessica Jones I’m in almost every frame of the show,” Ritter observes. “This is spread out, and we’re all working about three days a week.” Adds Ramirez of the labor distribution: “We never wanted anyone to feel like they’re a guest on anyone else’s show.” Because of that, there’s no leader of the Defenders. Instead, misanthropic Jessica and people-pleasing Matt have a cat-and-mouse relationship, while Luke and Danny share some mentor-mentee chemistry. And what about Jessica and Luke, who, uh, had “coﬀee” on Jessica Jones? “I don’t think I can tell you,” Ritter says, adding that the pair, aside from crossing paths in that ﬁrst scene, haven’t had a conversation yet.
No worries—they will, says Ramirez: “It was almost like a checklist. ‘Where’s our great Luke and Jessica scene? Where’s our Danny and Matt scene?’” And not just for the leads. Supporting players like Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) and Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) from Daredevil will enter the fray, while Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor) and Jeri Hogarth (CarrieAnne Moss) from Jessica Jones are set to assist the team. Misty Knight (Simone Missick) from Luke Cage will cross paths with Jessica, and of course, Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson), now Luke’s love interest, will be ready to patch up any wounds. “We look up at a bunch of boards in the writers’ room and say, ‘Oh, wait, we haven’t seen an interaction between these two,’” Ramirez says. “So what does that mean? Where does that lead?” Sometimes, it’s teaming up to face a threat. Other times, it’s simply talking and connecting. Cox treasures those smaller interactions from the comics: “One of my favorite images is from a Daredevil issue with Luke Cage and Daredevil on a rooftop eating cheeseburgers. I love that.” Unfortunately, having enemies crash their initial meet-andgreet means the Defenders haven’t had time for cheeseburgers yet, but four hours after their first take together, the cast and crew are having cake—in honor of Cox’s and Ritter’s birthdays. And instead of looking back, Ritter eagerly contemplates The Defenders’ future, despite the fact that she and most of her costars have to shoot new seasons of their individual shows after the crossover series wraps: “If they want to do oaD Deefe f ndder erss 22,” ,” she says, “I’m in.””
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R LE CA L O
FROM THE BIG-HAIRED AND BIGHEARTED C H A R L E N E O N D E S I G N I N G WO M E N T O THE STEELY CRIME BOSS FLOYD ON FA RG O , J E A N S M A R T H A S B E E N S H A P E SHIFTING FOR DECADES. BUT WITH HER LATEST, FX’S L E G I O N , SHE’S BECOMING DOWNRIGHT SUPERNATURAL. BY SARA VILKOMERSON @VILKOMERSON
JEAN SMART WAS DOING A PUBLICITY EVENT WITH FARGO CREATOR
Noah Hawley when he casually mentioned he might have a new show for her. Smart didn’t know anything about Legion—based on a Marvel comic and debuting Feb. 8 on FX—or about her role opposite star Dan Stevens working with young mutants. But it didn’t matter. “I thought if Noah was writing it and he wants me there, that’s pretty much all I need to know,” says Smart. The 65-year-old actress has appeared on dozens of TV shows, and yet her character on Legion, Melanie Bird, manages to be diﬀerent from anything she’s played before. “Like Fargo, this is something completely new and unique,” says Smart. “I think people are going to be blown away.” In honor of her latest television transformation, we asked Smart to take us through some memorable roles from her four decades in Hollywood.
DESIGNING WOMEN 1986–91
TEACHERS ONLY 1983 Smart had been a theater actress before landing this NBC show starring Lynn Redgrave and Norman Fell. She played Shari, a secretary having an affair with the principal. Smart quickly discovered that Hollywood was different from the New York stage scene—”warm-ups” referred to a comic for the studio audience, not vocal exercises, for example—something she marveled over with her agent after her first live taping. “She was from the South and she said, ‘You poor baby. You really don’t know your ass from apple butter, do you?’ All evening I thought, ‘Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore.’ “
For ﬁve seasons and 120 episodes, audiences fell in love with Charlene Frazier, the sweet and often naive oﬃce manager who worked alongside Julia (Dixie Carter), Suzanne (Delta Burke), and Mary Jo (Annie Potts) at the Sugarbaker interior-design ﬁrm in Atlanta. The show became a hit for CBS and won critical acclaim for all the leads. It was a big break not just professionally for Smart but personally, too. She met her husband, actor Richard Gilliland— who played J.D. Shackleford, the on-again oﬀ-again love interest of Potts’ character—while working on the series. “I met him when he was kissing someone else,” Smart says with a laugh. Later, when Charlene got married, she had another big epiphany. “I was sitting in my dressing room strapped into this gorgeous wedding dress. And I’m sitting there, looking at myself in the mirror and smoking a cigarette, and suddenly I just knew I was pregnant—I’d suspected for about a week. I looked at myself in the mirror and said, ‘You are pregnant.’ I put out my cigarette, and it was the last one I ever had.” So while fans may remember the witty banter among the women, Smart cherishes the oﬀscreen milestones. “Those are the things that stand out most to me when I think about the show.”
With Kelsey Grammer
With Jim Parsons
With Gregory Itzin
GARDEN STATE 2004
Smart won two Emmys for her seven-episode run playing Lana Gardner, a former classmate and old crush of Frasier’s (Kelsey Grammer) who could turn the normally suave doctor into a stammering adolescent. “The way he reacted to me made it very hard to keep a straight face.” She recalls being struck by the fact that even seven seasons in, the cast still enjoyed one another. “They didn’t disappear into their offices when they were done shooting. They’d watch each other’s scenes and laugh.” She remembers Grammer and David Hyde Pierce playing the piano during breaks and table reads no one could get through due to laughing. Frasier’s wit and smarts is something Smart says other series should pay attention to. “They never talked down to the audience. That show was so intelligent and so screamingly funny. They made jokes about obscure vintages of wine, for God’s sake!”
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There’s a a nickname Smart gave her character in Zach Braff’s directorial debut. “I fondly call her Skank Mom,” she says. The film’s starry cast included Natalie Portman, Ian Holm, Peter Sarsgaard, and Jim Parsons (in one of his first roles). Sarsgaard played Smart’s son in the movie, but it was the actor who taught her an important lesson. “I was a little humiliated because he and the others had to teach me how to smoke a bong!”
Before signing on to play Martha Logan, the whistleblowing wife of President Charles Logan, Smart had never seen an episode of 24. But she soon learned why audiences loved it. “When they offered me the job, I got this huge box of videotapes. I sat down to watch with my son and husband and I was instantly hooked—we started watching
(PREVIOUS SPRE AD) MA ARTEN DE BOER /GET T Y IMAGES; (THIS SPRE AD) TE ACHERS ONLY: NBCU PHOTO BANK /GET T Y IMAGES; FR ASIER: CHRIS HASTON/ NBCU PHOTO BANK / GET T Y IMAGES, GARDEN STATE: FOX SE ARCHLIGHT PICTURES/PHOTOFEST; DESIGNING WOMEN: CBS; 24: KELSEY MCNE AL /FOX; SAMANTHA WHO?: MITCH HADDAD/ABC; FARGO: CHRIS L ARGE/FX; OVERKILL: THE AILEEN WUORNOS STORY: CBS/EVERET T COLLECTION
OVERKILL: THE AILEEN WUORNOS STORY 1992 Sure, Charlize Theron would win a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of prostitute– turned–serial killer Aileen Wuornos in 2003’s Monster. But 11 years before that film, Smart tackled the same complicated character in this made-for-TV movie that aired on CBS. Smart received good reviews for her performance but wishes the timing had been different. “It was a network, and at that time they were still pretty conservative. We didn’t have the freedom that the story needs,” she says. “When I saw Monster, I was pea green. I admired it very much.” With Dixie Carter
With Christina Applegate
SAMANTHA WHO? 2007–09
a few every night,” she says. Her onscreen husband was played by Gregory Itzin, with whom Smart had done a play years before. “It was nice to reunite,” she says. “We’d sing show tunes between scenes. People don’t know that he’s a bit of a song-and-dance man.” Critics loved her portrayal, and Smart names this role—particularly when Martha was off her meds—as one of her all-time favorites.
This ABC comedy starring Christina Applegate was on the air for only two seasons, but it created lifelong friendships among the cast, which included Melissa McCarthy, Jennifer Esposito, and Barry Watson. “This was a special one,” says Smart, who played Samantha’s mom, Regina. “We all still get together regularly—usually at Christina’s every New Year’s.” It also earned Smart her third Emmy award with an episode involving drunken makeovers. “I credit Melissa McCarthy for that,” Smart says of her scene partner. ”She’s hysterical.”
FA R G O
“Oh, Floyd. I miss that old gal,” says Smart of her character, Floyd Gerhardt, the ﬂinty matriarch of the most powerful organized-crime family in North Dakota. Just like audiences, Smart was hooked by the writing and the twists and turns that unfolded over this acclaimed ’70s-set second season, which garnered Smart another Emmy nomination. “The anticipation would grow with every script: Is it out yet? Have they printed it? But it got bittersweet for me—10 episodes were just not enough,” she says. She laughs when remembering how she asked creator Noah Hawley if there was a way to keep Floyd around. “Oh, I begged him. Are you kidding me? I told him, ‘I’ll be a ghost! I’ll be anything!’” With Angus Sampson
BREAK A LEG? MORE LIKE BREAK AN ARM. WITH THE BROADWAY MUSICAL
DEAR EVAN HANSEN A BOLD PRODUCER AND A CRACK CREATIVE TEAM GAMBLED BIG ON THE UNABASHEDLY EMOTIONAL TALE OF A SEVERELY ANXIOUS HIGH SCHOOL MISFIT. HERE’S HOW THEY OVERCAME THEIR OWN NERVES TO MAKE THE HIT HAPPEN. by CAITLIN BRODY @cbroday photograph by MARK PETERSON
Ben Platt photographed on Jan. 7, 2017, in his dressing room at Broadway’s Music Box Theatre
LIKE SO MANY GREAT NOTIONS,
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When Pasek was in high school, a fellow student died of a drug overdose, resulting in Pasek and his classmates inserting themselves into the tragedy in an attempt to feel closer to the deceased. The story had been in the back of Pasek’s and Paul’s minds as a possible musical since meeting at the University of Michigan as musical-theater majors. There, they bonded over the fact that perhaps they weren’t the most favored actors in their class—in a production of City of Angels, Pasek was “Man With Camera” and Paul was a coroner with one line. (Full disclosure: This writer is a friend of Pasek’s.) After hearing their pitch, Mindich says, “on the outside I was smiling and thinking, ‘I’m gonna do this story no matter what.’ But on the inside I was thinking, ‘What?! How am I going to make this happen?’ ” Paul was thrilled by her leap of faith: “It was a risky move on her part. You can’t just sit around and write a passion piece! I mean, you can, but it’s hard to…survive.” Mindich drafted playwright Steven Levenson (The Language of Trees), a musical novice, and he wrote a 10-page treatment.
“None of us really understood what we were undertaking,” says Levenson, who worked tirelessly with Pasek and Paul to flesh out the world of Evan—an outsider with a crippling secret that snowballs thanks to social media and the desire to connect. “It was like holding hands with your collaborators, jumping off a cliff and saying, ‘I hope we land together,’” notes Pasek. That landing wasn’t exactly smooth: Only two weeks into their work, Levenson scored his first TV gig, as a writer on NBC’s The Playboy Club. He moved to L.A. and spent the next year flying back to New York City every few weeks for coffee-fueled brainstorming sessions in Paul’s apartment. “Inevitably, we would start by throwing out whatever we had discussed the last time,” says Levenson, now 32. “The whole thing was really intense and feverish.” Between trips, Mindich and the creative team researched troubled teens and consulted with adolescent behavioral psychologists, and the songwriters emailed videos of themselves at a piano with the beginnings of what would become their gut-wrenching
MAT THEW MURPHY
this one began over food. Broadway producer Stacey Mindich was looking to sink her teeth (and money) into a new show, and she had her sights set on two young songwriters she had previously commissioned to adapt the 1991 film Dogfight. “I knew they had more talent in their fingertips than some people have in their whole bodies,” she says of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (now 31 and 32, respectively). She was right: The duo
just took home a Golden Globe for their work on La La Land. Mindich had long been “obsessed” with the pair’s song cycle Edges, which they wrote as undergrads, but the three didn’t necessarily start off on the right foot. Before they ever worked together, “I was a fan and sent them a check to buy a demo from their website—but I never got it,” Mindich, 52, says with a laugh. “When they realized that I was a producer, they freaked out.” (Apparently they didn’t freak out that much: To this day, she has never received the demo.) The trio reconvened in spring of 2009 for a meal on Manhattan’s Upper West Side— “They were very hungry in those days,” Mindich says—and she asked if they’d been sitting on any passion projects they simply didn’t have the means to pursue. That’s when Pasek and Paul first shared their idea for what would become Dear Evan Hansen. Now that kernel has grown into a bona fide Broadway hit, complete with stellar reviews, more than $15 million in advance sales, and a whole lot of Tony buzz. But it took nearly eight years to get there.
PAUL, PASEK, PL AT T, AND LEVENSON: @PASEK ANDPAUL; PL AT T AND K ALING: @MINDYK ALING; ALL OTHERS: @BENSPL AT T (5)
( From left ) The final scene of Evan’s first act; Justin Paul, Benj Pasek, Platt, and Steven Levenson
score. There was also the time that Levenson played hooky from his TV job, feigning food poisoning, to meet with his co-writers while they were in L.A. With a first act in hand, Mindich invited renowned director Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal) to her office for a reading in 2012. Pasek and Paul sang the songs, and Mindich herself read the part of Evan’s mother. (“It’s never been played so poorly,” she jokes.) Notes Greif, “I don’t think any of the songs I initially heard remain in the show, but it struck me as very exciting and original. There was fantastic juxtaposition and tension in the material.” With Greif on board, the show started to seem like a real possibility. “There were times when we felt we were wandering in the
wilderness,” remembers Paul. “To have Michael come in and say ‘I will guide you, my children’ was a huge relief and inspiration.” Now it was time to find a cast. Though he became known more widely as Pitch Perfect’s magic-wielding Benji, Ben Platt had already made an impression on theatergoers with his turns in Book of Mormon and Caroline, or Change, and he was Pasek’s first choice for the anxiety-riddled Evan. Greif was a fan as well—Platt had auditioned for Next to Normal as a teen but was too young at the time. Now 23, Platt jumped at the chance to have first crack at a character. “To be originating a role is a lifelong dream,” he says. “This is something I needed to invest my time in, and I’m very glad that I did.”
The son of film and theater producer Marc Platt, the actor takes great care in the smallest of details—Evan’s twitching fingers, the nervous tug at the hem of his jeans. At each performance, the next-level amount of tears he produces leads to constant questions about how he manages to leave all that emotion on the stage. (Regular visits to SoulCycle are helpful.) “From the very beginning, Ben showed extraordinary signs of understanding the character,” says Greif, 57. And Platt is not alone in his commitment—in a rare coup, he and costars Michael Park, Rachel Bay Jones, and Jennifer Laura Thompson have all been part of the team since the first table read. After further rehearsals and workshops to fine-tune, Evan opened at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., in July of 2015 and ran through the summer. “We watched the audience and learned from them—when they would fidget or lean forward,” says Pasek. After the production closed, the team rewrote the opening number, changed the end of Act 1, and added in backstory on how Evan broke his arm. And the tweaks paid off: The following year, the revised production opened at Off Broadway’s Second Stage Theatre. Evan graduated to Broadway in November 2016, but not before the creative team once again got down and dirty. “Every scene got touched,” says Levenson, who, along with his collaborators, analyzed videos of the Off Broadway run. “We didn’t want to leave anything on the field.... That’s the wrong metaphor—I don’t play sports.” Though their new 984-seat home, the Music Box Theatre, is far larger than those of previous incarnations, every performance of Evan has sold out since early previews. In a post-Hamilton, social-media-savvy world, Instagramming the show’s Playbill has become a thing, and fans regularly upload YouTube covers of Pasek and Paul’s songs (the digital cast album drops Feb. 3). “The show is not easy to describe, and we always dreamed of getting to a place where people say, ‘You just have to see it,’ ” says Mindich. In true happy-ending style, the people are playing their part perfectly. X Additional reporting by Isabella Biedenharn and Marc Snetiker
HOLLYWOOD LOVES EVAN And star @BENSPLATT has the Instagram shots to prove it
Skylar Astin, Anna Camp
Movies EDITED BY
KEVIN P. SULLIVAN @KPSull
The Sundance Must List Park City, Utah, is about to see another fresh flurry of indie films. EW critic Chris Nashawaty runs down his most anticipated titles at this year’s Sundance Film Festival (Jan. 19–29).
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CITY OF GHOSTS
This year’s documentary slate looks especially promising, with an emphasis on ﬁlmmakers responding to current events and no fewer than three ripped-from-the-headlines accounts about the civil war in Syria, including Last Men in Aleppo, Cries From Syria, and this doc about citizen journalists taking on ISIS from Cartel Land director Matthew Heineman. THE DISCOVERY
Director Charlie McDowell and screenwriter Justin Lader return to the festival—following the
brainteaser rom-com The One I Love—with Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Jesse Plemons, and the Sundance Kid himself, Robert Redford, who plays a physicist who can scientiﬁcally prove there’s an afterlife. It should be both metaphysically trippy and sentimental. GOLDEN EXITS
Writer-director Alex Ross Perry’s barbed literary comedy Listen Up Philip was one of the highlights of the 2014 fest. Now he’s reunited with that ﬁlm’s leading man, Jason Schwartzman (plus Emily Browning, Mary-Louise Parker, Lily Rabe, Adam Horovitz,
THE DISCOVERY: SUNDANCE INSTITUTE; MAR JORIE PRIME: JASON ROBINET TE/ SUNDANCE INSTITUTE; MANIFESTO: BARBAR A SCHMIDT/SUNDANCE INSTITUTE
REEL NEWS Wakandan Crime Story Sterling K. Brown has signed on to Marvel’s Black Panther.
• A Key Role Keegan-
Michael Key joined the cast of Shane Black’s The Predator, alongside Boyd Holbrook and Olivia Munn.
( Clockwise from top far left ) Jason Segel in The Discovery; Cate Blanchett in Manifesto; Woody Harrelson in Wilson; Jenny Slate and Abby Quinn in Landline; Tim Robbins and Jon Hamm in Marjorie Prime
husband. Jon Hamm, Geena Davis, Tim Robbins, and Lois Smith head up the cast. WILSON
Among the many ﬁlmmakers returning from Sundance 2014 is Craig Johnson, whose The Skeleton Twins was a certiﬁed bittersweet gem. Now he’s teamed up with alternative-comics god Daniel Clowes for this misanthropic comedy about a middleaged jerk (Woody Harrelson) who discovers he has a teenage daughter he’s never met. WIND RIVER
and Chloë Sevigny), in this comedy of manners and upended domestic routines set (where else?) in Brooklyn.
WILSON: WILSON WEBB/SUNDANCE INSTITUTE; L ANDLINE: JOJO WHILDEN/SUNDANCE INSTITUTE
AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL
Exactly a decade after Al Gore delivered a blistering (and yes, incontrovertible) wake-up call about global warming and climate change in the Oscar-winning power-point documentary An Inconvenient Truth, he’s back (not that he ever took a break) with this hopeful travelogue tracking his tireless globe-trotting crusade to help save the planet.
Jenny Slate and Gillian Robespierre’s profane and stealthily profound Obvious Child wasn’t just one of the sharpest ﬁlms from the festival three years ago, it was one of the sharpest ﬁlms of the year, period. Now the actress and director reteam for a ’90s-set comedy about sisters confronting their father about his extramarital aﬀair. MANIFESTO
In what promises to be a dizzying master class in shapeshifting persona swapping,
actress Cate Blanchett takes on 13 diﬀerent roles (including housewife, factory worker, and TV anchor) in German video artist Julian Rosefeldt’s experimental whatsit on the inspirational, revolutionary power of the world’s most inﬂuential art movements. MARJORIE PRIME
Edge-pushing director Michael Almereyda has always presented a tricky love-hate conundrum to moviegoers. But his latest sounds promisingly daﬀy, centering on a dying elderly woman who spends her ﬁnal days with a computerized version of her late
After penning the fantastic onetwo punch of Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan makes his directorial debut with this elemental thriller about a female U.S. Fish & Wildlife agent who ﬁnds a dead body on a Wyoming Native American reservation. The cast includes Elizabeth Olsen, Jeremy Renner, and Jon Bernthal. XX
In recent years, Sundance’s Midnight section has unspooled such ﬁendish delights as The Babadook and It Follows. Now, with XX, it’s showcasing this highly anticipated horror anthology helmed entirely by female directors. Hopeful signs include Karyn Kusama (The Invitation) behind the camera, and Melanie Lynskey in front of it.
J A N UA R Y 2 0, 2 0 1 7
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SNAKE PLISSKEN KURT RUSSELL
Escape From New York
Everything about this dystopian hero is perfect—his eye patch, his flowy hair, and the thought of a parent looking down at a newborn and thinking, “Snake!”
L I N C O L N H AW K SY LV E S T E R S TA L LO N E
Over the Top
Stallone, the king of the cheesy character name (see: Marion “Cobra” Cobretti, Ray Quick, Judge Dredd), bore this winged masterpiece of a name in wrestling a movie about arm wrestling.
C H A R LY B A LT I M O R E G E E N A DAV I S
The Long Kiss Goodnight
Hey, writers! Just pair a basic name with a geographic location and voilà! Instant charismatic killing power!
Hard to Kill
The Harvard Law-educated Detroit cop’s nickname brings together two powerful allies: biblical reference and rhyming.
J O H N M AT R I X A R N O L D S C H WA R Z E N E G G E R
”John + Cool Word” served Schwarzenegger and others well during the ’70s and ’80s. S E E A L S O John Shaft (Shaft); John Rambo (First Blood); John McClane (Die Hard)
To honor Vin Diesel’s second coming in xXx: Return of Xander Cage, we rank the most muscle-bound monikers from awesomely cheesy to just brilliant. B Y K E V I N P. S U L L I VA N
F R A N K S H AT T E R CHUCK NORRIS
C A S TO R T R OY NICOLAS CAGE, J O H N T R AV O LTA
Face/Off What is the etymology of the surname Shatter? Did Frank’s ancestors have it shortened at Ellis Island? What did it used b Shatterstein? h h ? to be? Shatteroni?
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The baddie in this face-swapping duo is ripped from the tablets of mythology. Castor and Pollux were twins, one mortal, one immortal. Troy was a city that fell because it trusted its enemy. N ’s a d Now,, th that’s deep cut.
CHEV CHELIOS JASON STATHAM
What’s more absurd: the idea of a man needing adrenaline to keep his heart from exploding, or Statham playing someone n d Chev? h named
B E AT R I X K I D D O UMA THURMAN
No doubt Quentin Tarantino understands the art of the action-hero name. Note the hard, sadistic x of the first name, followed by the friendly aarm-punch h off the th last. l t A worthy thy add h canon.. addition to the
EXPLOSION: R ASIMON/GET T Y IMAGES; RUSSELL, SE AGAL, SCHWAR ZENEGGER, NORRIS, CAGE: PHOTOFEST (5); STALLONE, DAVIS, WE ATHERS: EVERET T COLLECTION (3); DIESEL: GEORGE KR AYCHYK /PAR AMOUNT; TR AVOLTA: STEPHEN VAUGHAN; STATHAM: JUSTIN LUBIN/LIONSGATE; THURMAN: ANDREW COOPER
“Mason” is the rare intersection of names for B-level action heroes and children from the Bay Area.
SGT. JERICHO “ACTION” JACKSON
S E E A L S O Johny Utah (Point Break); Memphis Raines (Gone in 60 Seconds)
BEST, BADDEST ACTION HERO NAMES
MASON STORM STEVEN SEAGAL
NOW PL AY ING
The Book of Love S TA R R I N G
Jason Sudeikis, Maisie Williams
DIRECTED BY R AT I N G
MORE ON EW.COM For Critical Mass and to read full reviews, head to ew.com/movies
YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO FILMS IN THEATERS THIS WEEK
1 hr., 46 mins.
Chris Nashawaty @ChrisNashawaty EW
annoyingly whimsical, director Bill Purple’s The Book of Love is one of those movies that all-too-neatly tries to turn grief into personal growth at the audience’s expense. It’s a diabetically sappy big-screen self-help seminar that should have been titled The Book of Schmaltz. The usually likable SNL alum Jason Sudeikis plays a career-minded New Orleans architect whose regimented life is upended when his pregnant wife (Jessica Biel) dies in a car accident. It’s a shame, not just for Henry, obviously, but also for us, since Biel—seen mostly in gauzy, sun-dappled ﬂashbacks—is easily the best thing in the movie. Mired in depression, Henry befriends Millie, a local teenage ragamuﬃn (Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, with an unfortunate N’awlins accent) who’s scrounging through garbage with her dog Ahab to build a Kon-Tiki-like raft to sail across the Atlantic as a carpe diem expression of her own personal loss (in this case, the death of her adventurer father). Can these two lost souls bond and ﬁnd some sort of emotional balm as they construct their jerry-rigged boat made out of ﬂotsam and dreams? Go ahead, take a stab. With an ace supporting cast that includes Mary Steenburgen, Paul Reiser, and Orlando Jones, and some surprisingly treacly music from Justin Timberlake, The Book of Love isn’t nearly as heartwarming as it both wants to be and really should be. C
LA LA LAND Starring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend 2 Directed by Damien Chazelle
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA Starring Casey Affleck, Lucas Hedges, Kyle Chandler 2 Directed by Kenneth Lonergan
20TH CENTURY WOMEN
WATCH IT NOW
Starring Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig 2 Directed by Mike Mills
FENCES Starring Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo
Washington (also serving as director) and Davis first wrestled with August Wilson’s great American play in a 2010 revival on Broadway. Together they invite us into an intimate place that’s messy and painful and hard to shake. It’s as good as screen acting gets. B+
HIDDEN FIGURES Starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe 2 Directed by Theodore Melfi
R O G U E O N E : A S TA R WA R S S TO RY Starring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn 2 Directed by Gareth Edwards
SING Starring Matthew McConaughey 2 Directed by Garth Jennings, Christophe Lourdelet
PROCEED WITH CAUTION
Starring Sunny Pawar, Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman 2 Directed by Garth Davis
A MONSTER CALLS Starring Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones, Liam Neeson
The film never makes up its mind about whether it’s for children or adults. But director J.A. Bayona packs his tale with spellbinding visuals and honest emotion, and the ending will likely reduce you to tears. B
SILENCE Starring Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson 2 Directed by Martin Scorsese
LIVE BY NIGHT Starring Ben Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Chris Cooper 2 Directed by Ben Affleck
PAT R I O T S D AY Starring Mark Wahlberg, J.K. Simmons, John Goodman 2 Directed by Peter Berg
WHY HIM? Starring Bryan Cranston, James Franco, Megan Mullally 2 Directed by John Hamburg
PASSENGERS Starring Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen 2 Directed by Morten Tyldum
Jason Sudeikis and Maisie Williams
THE BOOK OF LOVE: ELECTRIC ENTERTAINMENT; FENCES: DAVID LEE/PAR AMOUNT; A MONSTER CALLS: JOSE HARO/FOCUS FE ATURES; ASSASSIN’S CREED: KERRY BROWN
C L OY I N G LY S E N T I M E N TA L A N D
ASSASSIN’S CREED Starring Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons
Warcraft was 2016’s first failed attempt to make a movie franchise out of a videogame franchise—not counting The Angry Birds Movie or Ratchet & Clank, which you probably have never heard of. Now along comes Assassin’s Creed to make Warcraft look good.
= WIDE RELEASE
THE BEST BETS ONLINE FOR TOTS TO TEENS
BY SHIRLEY LI @shirklesxp
D EG R AS S I : N E XT C L ASS
Colorful visuals and eggsellent puns abound as Jason Sudeikis’ rage-fueled featherball Red unleashes his fury at Bill Hader’s evil head ham-cho Leonard. (No smartphone necessary.)
THE COMPLETE COLLECTION
T E A M U M I ZO O M I Two pint-size superheroes teach tots math in this musical series. Kids can count and sing along! TV
In this wild stop-motion animated comedy, nutty inventor Wallace and his genius dog Gromit go on kooky adventures of trial and error that take them—sometimes literally— to the moon and back. BEST INSTALLMENT > “The Wrong Trousers” The duo test a pair of, uhh, “techno trousers” in this tale of a wardrobe malfunction that is laugh-your-pants-off funny. TV
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T H E PA R E N T T R A P
Help your child board Ms. Frizzle’s (Lily Tomlin) ride as she takes her students on fascinating field trips. Look, volcanoes! Outer space! Someone’s intestines?! (Ew.)
Let’s get together for the original film starring Hayley Mills as a pair of identical twins switching places to reunite their d divorced parents.
Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), and—ssniff— ff— ff Bing Bong (Richard Kind)) help a moody girl nav e vigate life in a new city. All ag ges willl feel these emotions.
T H E M AG I C S C H O O L B U S 6
AIR BUD A stray, oddly talented golden retriever shoots, scores, and comforts a boy (Kevin Zegers) after his father’s death.
The third season of the teen drama just debuted, making it the perfect time to binge the series about #BigIssues (and discuss them at home). TV
THE P OW E R P U F F G I R LS THE COMPLETE ORIGINAL SERIES
Powerrful little girls made of sugar, g , spice, and everything f protect their town. fierce TV
AGES 8+ A
THE PRINCESS DIARIES A teen wallflower (Anne Hathaway) learns the art of royalty from her stern grandmother, the queen (Julie Andrews). So, you know, it’s just like The Crown, but with an epic makeover scene! MOVIE
THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE: ROVIO ANIMATION; THE POWERPUFF GIRLS MOVIE, AIR BUD, THE PARENT TR AP: PHOTOFEST (3); THE PRINCESS DIARIES: RON BATZDORFF/DISNEY; INSIDE OUT: DISNEY/PIX AR; DEGR ASSI: NE X T CL ASS: NETFLIX; WALL ACE AND GROMIT: CURSE OF THE WERE-R ABBIT: DRE AMWORKS ANIMATION SKG © & TM A ARDMAN ANIMATIONS LTD.
WA L L AC E & G RO M I T
T H E A N G RY B I R D S M OV I E
TV EDITED BY
CAITLIN C BRODY O @cbroday y
Homeland D AT E
Premieres Jan. 15
Jeff Jensen @EWDocJensen
H O M E L A N D WAS M A D E F O R T I M E S L I K E T H E SE . YOU
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JOJO WHILDEN/SHOW TIME
can easily imagine Claire Danes’ brilliant yet stabilitychallenged CIA agent Carrie Mathison hunting election saboteurs or clashing with a headstrong commanderin-chief who refuses to read intelligence reports. Live-wire topics, for sure, but Homeland could use the zap. The perennial Emmy nominee has long since recovered from the early Nicholas Brody days that electrified the series, then crashed it. But entering season 6, Homeland faces the challenge of age. More than ever, it needs annual, rejuvenating shots of rippedfrom-the-headlines zeitgeist.
It’s ironic, then, that the new season’s ﬁrst two episodes demonstrate the risky business of writing to the future. “A new paradigm” is a thematic buzz phrase, with characters and their society chasing or adjusting to new realities. But their flux doesn’t quite speak to our own. It’s a case of so close yet so far away in terms of relevancy, and the misses distract and frustrate investment. Set right this very second, amid the run-up to Inauguration Day, the story brings Homeland back to the U.S. after two seasons abroad and locates the action at ground zero of regime change, New York. The presidentelect is working out of a penthouse suite and squabbling with spy agencies over the legitimacy of threats to national security and sweating a crisis in the Middle East. The concerns are familiar, but not on point: domestic
INSIDE THE YOUNG POPE
Thank You for... Streaming on Hulu. The entire Golden Girls series will become available on Feb. 13.
She Believes Cher (yes, that one) will EP and star in
GIANNI FIORITO/HBO (3)
Flint, a Lifetime movie about the water crisis in Flint, Mich.
Islamic terrorism, not hacking; nukes in Iran, not the war in Syria. Also, the PEOTUS isn’t close to being a riﬀ on Donald Trump’s persona. She’s Elizabeth Keane (House of Cards’ Elizabeth Marvel), a competent, conﬁdent former junior senator from New York. Whoops. A key intrigue ﬁnds CIA honcho Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham) scheming to manipulate or sabotage Keane before she can take office. Adal suspects she wants to gut his fiefdom because her soldier son died in Afghanistan. Please. The notion that a madam president would be so ruled by emotions that she can’t govern wisely is an insulting characterization, but perhaps Homeland wants us to wonder if its men might have issues with a female boss. Such sexism is, alas, always timely. It would have been more so if Hillary Clinton were in the White House. As for Carrie, she’s now a legal advocate for Muslim Americans, her activism motivated by regret over policies she once served. She takes the case of a young man (Quantico’s J. Mallory McCree) who keeps a provocative blog that challenges people to empathize with Muslim terrorists. The story has promise as an exploration of free speech in a fraught culture, although I worry a blooming conspiracy plot might undermine it. It’s nice to see Carrie plugged in to righteous work, but removing her from the spy game (for now, anyway) distances her from Mandy Patinkin’s Saul, the show’s best relationship. Carrie has some side action, including one that services Homeland’s penchant for twists. She’s also playing caretaker to former superspy Quinn (Rupert Friend), last seen ﬁghting for his life after getting poisoned by sarin gas. Impaired by stroke and trauma, Quinn represents an admirable bid to deal with soldier PTSD. It starts rough. Friend’s intensity sometimes feels forced, and the scenarios are cliché. Still, he and Danes close episode 2 with a lovely scene, and Quinn’s growing obsession with extreme right-wing media is ominous. Ultimately, Homeland’s ﬁrst two episodes do enough to earn your interest. But it feels a lot like Quinn: haunted by the past, disoriented in the present, and perhaps incapable of moving into the future. B–
REBUILDING THE VATICAN
A re-created Sistine Chapel, 30 reproduced works of art, and 13,420 meals later, production designer Ludovica Ferrario reflects on what it took to bring the holiest home of the Catholic Church to life on HBO’s The Young Pope, starring Jude Law. B Y C H A N C E L L O R A G A R D
THE SISTINE CHAPEL Over the course of two months, 40 constructors and 25 painters built a 540-square-meter replica of the Sistine Chapel based on footage and images. The Young Pope (debuts Jan. 15, 9 p.m.) creator and director Paolo Sorrentino (above) was a stickler for details, and painters used “gold leaf to make the printed wall apparatus come alive,” says Ludovica Ferrario.
THE POPE’S PRIVATE STUDY Not having the participation of the Vatican turned out to be a blessing. “The prohibition stimulated creativity,” says Ferrario. While they tried to philologically design the Pope’s (Jude Law) study, they weren’t afraid to take some plausible liberties to suit the story, such as the Venus of Willendorf statue, the Plexiglas globe, and the carpet bearing the Pope’s papal coat of arms.
THE VATICAN GARDENS “Italy is a perfect film studio,” notes Ferrario, and production used sights in and around Rome— including the capital’s botanical gardens—to substitute for Vatican City. “We tried to represent not only the monumental parts of Italian gardens but also the wilder, more natural areas to show the vastness of the papal state.”
MORE ON EW.COM For a further behind-the-scenes look at the creation of The Young Pope’s Vatican, go to ew.com/youngpope
Six D AT E
( Clockwise from left ) Retta, Adam Scott, Chris Pratt, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, and Amy Poehler
Debuts Jan. 18 |
Jeff Jensen @EWDocJensen
H AV I N G S C O R E D H I T S W I T H
Will Parks and Recreation Predict 2017? It’s been nearly two years since NBC’s beloved small-town comedy ended its seven-season run, the last of which was set in 2017. As we enter that year for real, we look back (ahead?) at what the show has in store for us, complete with commentary from co-creator Michael Schur. B Y D A N S N I E R S O N
Kevin James is the star of the Bourne movies. “A lot of franchises were rebooting constantly,” says Schur. “There were, like, 11 SpiderMen. The combination of [that] and of thinking, ‘Look, if Liam Neeson is an action star...’—it’s just plausible enough to make it the perfect joke.” O U T L O O K 2016’s Matt Damon-fronted Jason Bourne grossed $415 million worldwide, but Parks was onto something: James starred in the Netﬂix spy comedy True Memoirs of an International Assassin.
Joe Biden wrote a book of poems, Biden the Rails: 1,001 Poems Inspired by My Travels Through Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. “We wanted it to be apolitical,” says Schur. “And then Joe Biden’s love of trains is well-documented, so it all flowed pretty naturally after that.”
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O U T L O O K Perhaps iﬀy, but Biden’s aﬀection for Amtrak endures: Last summer, the VP announced that the Department of Transportation was giving a recordbreaking $2.45 billion loan to Amtrak, noting: “This loan [will] help all commuters in the Northeast Corridor.”
The Chicago Cubs won the World Series the previous season, ending a 108-year drought. Schur—who is a Red Sox fan with a “soft spot” for long-suffering franchises— saw that the Cubbies were indeed putting the building blocks in place for a championship run. “It was an irresistible call to make for many reasons,” he says. “Number one is, the Cubs winning would obviously be such a big deal.” O U T L O O K Prophecy fulﬁlled! Two months ago, the Cubs triumphed in a thrilling seven-game World Series.
Jack Sparrow is set to marry Daenerys Targaryen in the Game of Thrones series finale. This rather bold forecast—in which Leslie (Amy Poehler) frets that the show has “really gone off the rails”—is Schur’s favorite. “[It] should not be construed as a lack of faith in the creators of the show,” he says, “but more that it would be funny to have people imagine that this thing they adored was going to just totally lose its way.” O U T L O O K Jack Sparrow probably wouldn’t last half an episode, but hey, it would make for a bloody good wedding.
SIX: HISTORY; PARKS AND RECRE ATION: CHRIS HASTON/NBC/GET T Y IMAGES; JAMES: MIREYA ACIERTO/GET T Y IMAGES; CHICAGO CUBS: MLB PHOTOS VIA GET T Y IMAGES; BIDEN: NBC VIA GET T Y IMAGES; JOHNNY DEPP: ANTHONY MANDLER
Hatfields & McCoys and Vikings, the History channel expands its scripted oﬀerings with Six, a meatheaded action series about a squad of Navy SEALs. Created by screenwriters William Broyles Jr. (Apollo 13) and his son David Broyles, the show allegedly aspires to be realistic, an insider’s take on their hush-hush heroism and the human cost of warfare and morally murky wet work. But Six is as authentic as a videogame, and just as sensationalistic. The usually reliable Walton Goggins is wasted as Rip, a SEAL–turned–private security goon who gets abducted with a village of Nigerian schoolgirls by a faction of Boko Haram. His former squadmates have to rescue him. Also hunting Rip: a terrorist (Dominic Adams) with a vendetta against him. The action scenes are either incoherent or mildly compelling, and every opportunity is taken to make the SEALs look stormtrooper-cool. The eﬀort to humanize them by peeking into their private lives relies on familiar scenarios, though props to a committed cast for trying to make it work. Bear (Barry Sloane) and his wife are struggling to get pregnant; Alex (Kyle Schmid) is a deadbeat divorced dad. There’s no equal attempt to humanize the villains. They’re just raping, slaving, Christian-hating monsters. Every ep seems to ensure at least two sex scenes and plenty of bloody violence. This isn’t history, this is military porn and cheap terrorsploitation. Sorry, Rip, but I don’t give a rip. D+
Netflix’s first Brazilian original series has got a killer dystopian setup and a surging fan base. Here’s what you need to know to dive into this must-stream, cult-favorite show. B Y C H A N C E L L O R A G A R D
CHAPTER 01 CUBES
CHAPTER 03 CORRIDOR
CHAPTER 06 GLASS
In near-future Brazil, every 20-year-old must go through the Process—a grueling series of tests and their only means of social mobility—for a chance to leave abject poverty and join a privileged utopia, the Offshore. Michele (Bianca Comparato), Rafael (Rodolfo Valente), Fernando (Michel Gomes), Marco (Rafael Lozano), and Joana (Vaneza Oliveira) are five of the hundreds of candidates competing to join the 3% who make it. Let the games begin…
A stressful test forces the candidates to confront their darkest fears and secrets, leaving many, such as the guilt-ridden Joana, scarred long after it concludes. However, the pressures lead to a surprising romantic encounter for two of the candidates.
Go home with a large sum of money or continue down the path to the good life? That’s the question facing the remaining candidates as they enter the final phase of the Process. But that won’t stop two lovebirds from hooking up. Can love survive the Process? By the next day at least one of them will be gone.
CHAPTER 02 COINS Following the first round of eliminations, the candidates move through an abstruse set of challenges. Wheelchair-bound Fernando receives some news that stokes his desire to make it to the end. Meanwhile, the Process’ mysterious leader Ezequiel (João Miguel) must contend with Aline (Viviane Porto), an ambitious rival with her eyes set on his job.
3%: COURTESY OF NETFLIX; CALL ME FR ANCIS: ANGELO DI PIETRO/NETFLIX
CHAPTER 04 GATEWAY A trial spins out of control in this harrowing and claustrophobic installment. Michele, Fernando, and Rafael find their lives in danger as the Process devolves into something like Lord of the Flies. CHAPTER 05 WATER The plot stops for this flashback episode that focuses on Ezequiel’s tragic marriage and explores the people in charge of this meritocracy-gone-wild system. It’s great revelation: This world in which a twisted version of the SATs determines your entire life hurts everyone, even those who succeed at it.
STREAM THESE OTHER FOREIGNLANGUAGE SHOWS ON NETFLIX NOW
AT E L I E R (Japan) The Devil Wears Prada-as-soap-opera about a fashion designer starting a job at an upscale Japanese lingerie company.
CHAPTER 07 CAPSULE The Cause finally strikes. A night of celebration for the final candidates is rocked by an assassination. Try to keep your blood pressure in check as each finalist is interrogated. Pray your favorite isn’t cut—or killed.
CA L L M E F R A N C I S (Italy) Like The Young Pope? Check out this fourpart miniseries about the life of Pope Francis.
CHAPTER 08 BUTTON Loyalties shift and heartbreaking revelations are made as the candidates approach the final test. Aline makes a desperate attack against Ezequiel, and the finalists discover they must make one last sacrifice to enter paradise.
D I CT E (Denmark) This compelling Danish drama follows a divorced crime reporter who returns to her hometown and teams up with a detective to solve crimes.
O C C U P I E D (Norway) A modern political thriller about the Russian occupation of Norway, which may be worth watching just because the real Russian government isn’t a fan.
Rafael Lozano ( center )
T H E R E T U R N E D (France) Inhabitants of a small French village are shocked when their loved ones start rising from the dead. —Chancellor Agard
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The Workaholics’ Finest Work As creators and stars Blake Anderson, Adam Devine, Anders Holm, and Kyle Newacheck enter the seventh and final season of their Comedy Central series (Wednesdays, 10 p.m.), they take a moment to seriously reflect on their favorite episodes of all time. Who are we kidding? There’s nothing serious about it. B Y A R I A N A B A C L E
Anders Holm, Blake Anderson, Adam Devine, and Kyle Newacheck
ADAM DEVINE ADAM DEMAMP “Office Campout” Season 1 Episode 3
BLAKE HENDERSON “Good Mourning” Season 3 Episode 5
Homegirl (Kristy Howard-Clark) went from an anonymous background character to front and center when the guys honor their colleague after she dies at work. They weren’t prepared, but she was: Homegirl left behind a video will. “Her farewell speech is a f---ing tour de force in comedy,” Anderson says of the video, in which she surprise-flashes her audience. “Anytime I watch that clip, it puts a smile on my face.”
ALL ABOUT THE FINAL S E AS O N
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KYLE N E WAC H E C K K A R L H E VAC H EC K “The Business Trip” Season 3 Episode 1
ANDERS HOLM ANDERS “DERS” HOLMVIK “Fry Guys” Season 4 Episode 2
Getting high isn’t new for these guys. Tripping on acid with their stone-faced boss Alice (Maribeth Monroe), though, was uncharted territory—especially when she hallucinates and digs her hands into a desk made out of Jell-O. Hundreds of pounds of Jell-O. “It was a game-changing moment where I was like, ‘If you plan, look what you can get done!’” says Newacheck, who directed the episode. (Yes, he ate the Jell-O after.)
Ders and Adam get into a scuffle involving—wait for it—dead fish. “We thought, ‘What if they exploded, rendering us sick from the smell, and we use the barf to battle?’” says Holm. The result is ridiculous—and ridiculously disgusting. Oh, and Adam sports a giftwrapped package over his, uh, package throughout. “It has all the classic elements of Workaholics,” Holm jokes. “Which are: mostly d---s…and friendship.”
THE SEVENTH AND FINAL SEASON WILL HAVE EVERYTHING—that is, assuming your idea of “everything” involves remote-control cars, a tightly wound Ders trying stand-up, and a Rush Hour-style episode devoted to office notables Montez (Erik Griffin) and Bill (Billy Stevenson). “We take some really cool risks,” Anderson says, including the series’ meta finale. “If you don’t cry, then you’re not a fan of the show. You’re not a fan of humanity,” he teases. Count Devine a fan of both: “I started to bawl like an infant who just s--- themselves,” he says of filming their final scene on the roof together. Grab your Kleenex—and maybe your diapers, too.
HOLM, ANDERSON, DEVINE AND NEWACHECK: PR ASHANT GUPTA/COMEDY CENTR AL; DEVINE, NEWACHECK, HOLM: COMEDY CENTR AL (3)
“This solidified us with younger people who looked at [the antics of] Workaholics as something they could imagine doing,” says Devine. “But they don’t—they’re not lunatics who immediately want to get arrestedslash-fired.” The trio try to catch office “intruders” while on mushrooms. “We were running around like, ‘This feels like an action movie!’ It felt bigger than the little office comedy we thought we were making.”
VICTORIA: IT V/PBS; HUGHES AND COLEMAN: TRISTAN FEWINGS/GET T Y IMAGES
TV seven years. I saw a picture of him with a mustache—we were having a drink, and I asked, “Can you do a German accent?” He was already top of the producers’ list.
YOUR NEXT ROYAL OBSESSION
After binging The Crown, brush up on Elizabeth’s great-greatgrandmother on PBS Masterpiece’s Victoria (debuts Jan. 15, 9 p.m.). Doctor Who’s Jenna Coleman, 30, plays the famously short teen queen—and never comes up short herself. B Y C L A R K C O L L I S
Queen Victoria ruled the U.K. for more than 60 years and is one of the most famous people to ever live. What’s the strangest fact you learned about her?
Apparently her favorite drink was claret and whiskey, which I’m very much looking forward to embarking on in the future.
How was working with the Cavalier King Charles spaniel who plays Victoria’s dog Dash?
She knows exactly what she’s doing. She’s played Dash before, in The Young Victoria, with Emily Blunt. In most of my scenes with her, I’m holding a miniature sausage in my hand to bribe her.
You wear a lot of dresses on the show. How much time did you spend getting dressed?
A long time, I have to say. What’s fabulous is, because she’s pregnant nine times, I wear a latex bump without a corset for quite a lot of it, which is very exciting.
( Above ) Jenna Coleman as Queen Victoria; ( below ) with Tom Hughes, g who pl y onscreen love l lb plays Prince Albert
Apparently there is some other show about British royalty called The Crown, which features your Doctor Who costar Matt Smith. Have you two compared notes?
[Laughs] I think both of us tried to work out our [characters’] relationship to each other. It’s funny, he’s filming the second season in London. I’ve seen all the first, which I think is fantastic.
Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, is played by Tom Hughes [whom Coleman is reportedly dating]. Were you involved in his casting?
We already know Victoria will have a second season. In an ideal world, how long will the show run?
Yeah. It was one of those scary things that you have to get right. We’ve been friends for about
It depends on appetite and the pacing. There’s so much story, it could run for 60-odd years!
The search for the TRUTH begins here.
XFILESORIGINS.COM How did Fox Mulder become a believer?
What made Dana Scully a skeptic?
Also available in audio and ebook
The X-Files TM & © 2017 Fox.
MONDAY JANUARY 16
A DAY-TO-DAY GUIDE TO NOTABLE PROGRAMS* BY RAY RAHMAN @RayRahman Series Debut Summer House 10–11PM
Bravo’s latest wants to be Real World: Montauk, with the kind of canned (and dubious) drama you can get in the increasingly saturated reality genre of Carefree Millennial Frenemies. But not a single character in the nine-member cast stands out (a double letdown for the purported stars, bland twins Ashley and Lauren) during their weekly weekend trips to the Long Island beach town. Instead of blowing off juicy, unhinged steam, these New York revelers come off as exciting as their wardrobe of Hampton whites. For the better version of this type of guilty treat, stick to Bravo’s original flavor: Vanderpump Rules. D —Marc Snetiker
Neal Brennan: 3 Mics
THE GOOD PLACE THURSDAY, JAN. 19
TUESDAY JANUARY 17
The delightful afterlife comedy wraps up its ﬁrst season with backto-back episodes—and with Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Jason (Manny Jacinto), and Janet (D’Arcy Carden) venturing into—SPOILER ALERT!—the Medium Place, where they will meet its lone inhabitant. “It’s extremely unusual, and what I mean by that is that it’s not like the neighborhood in the Good Place,” says creator Michael Schur, who adds that “Cannonball Run II weirdly factors in—in a small way.” Meanwhile, Michael (Ted Danson), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), and Tahani (Jameela Jamil) plead Eleanor’s case to eternal judge Shawn (Marc Evan Jackson), who has, let’s say, an acute aversion to emotional arguments. Hints Schur: “It’s very amusing to watch them try to navigate his particular methodology of ruling on such things when he has zero interest in hearing the words ‘Eleanor is a good person.’ He doesn’t care.” —Dan Snierson
“You guys are such dorks, your drug of choice is Adderall,” Neal Brennan tells millennials at the top of his special. “That means you did drugs to get better at school.” Even if you don’t know Brennan, you’re likely familiar with his wry brand of comedy; he co-created the great Chappelle’s Show and currently contributes to The Daily Show. As you might expect, he’s very capable of putting together a high-caliber comedy set. In fact, he’s produced three of them here. With a trio of microphones on the stage, Brennan uses each one for a different purpose: one-liners, traditional stand-up, and personal stories about depression. Remarkably, all three will make you laugh. B+
Go to ew.com/what-to-watch for our daily picks of What to Watch
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*TIMES ARE E ASTERN STANDARD AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE
THE GOOD PL ACE: VIVIAN ZINK /NBC; SUMMER HOUSE: VIRIGINA SHERWOOD/BR AVO; NE AL BRENNAN: 3 MIC S: BR ANDON HICKMAN/NETFLIX
Kristen s en Bellll and B d D’Arcy Carden
ST MU CH WAT H E O F TE K WE
WED JAN 18
THURSDAY A JJANUARY 19 9
Hell’s Kitchen FOX
In this episode the show will actually live up to its name: Soul legend Gladys Knight makes an appearance as herself.
The winner of tonight’s challenge will be rewarded with a stay at the Venetian hotel’s presidential suite in Las Vegas. Then again, can a suite be called “presidential” anymore if it’s not at a Trump hotel?
People’s Choice Awards 2017 9–11PM
The Shallows, The Conjuring 2, and The Purge: Election Year are all nominated, so clearly those movies are now Oscar front-runners. black-ish 9:30–10PM
Bow persuades Dre to get professional help for his anger issues. I guess he’ll see a...therap-ish.
Lip Sync Battle 10–10:30PM
Season Premiere Baskets 10–10:30PM
By the end of season 1, the life of Zach Galifianakis’ sad-sack clown had completely collapsed, forcing Chip Baskets to take to the trains as a hobo. In the new premiere, his luck worsens. After getting kicked off his train, Chip becomes a street performer for a “freak show” made up of fellow homeless people. From there it gets hilariously pathetic (think sexual mishaps, shared needles, and homemade burrito bowls). Co-creator Jonathan Krisel (Portlandia) continues to direct every episode, and as a result the show’s vision remains consistent. It’s a world so absurdly horrible that clowns seem beside the point, and the only sensible response is dark, deadpan humor. B+ —Christian Holub
FRIDAY JANUARY 20
SATURDAY JANUARY 21 Beaches
BASKETS: COLLEEN HAYES/FX; FRONTIER: DUNCAN DE YOUNG/NETFLIX; BE ACHES: LIFETIME
Series Debut Frontier STREAMING
Poor Jason Momoa, he deserves better than this. He was once a towering warrior—a god amongst men!—when he played the fierce Horse Lord Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones. Now he’s settling for a lesser show about fur trappers in 18th-century Canada. Momoa plays Declan Harp, a half-Irish, half–Native American trapper who must stand his ground against the cutthroat, monopolistic Hudson’s Bay Company (yes, the same one that makes those striped blankets you love). The actor may be known for his strength, but not even he can overpower the cliché-riddled dialogue and dull plotting. C
I L L U ST R AT I O N BY M A X DA LTO N
Former Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson competes against former Tonight Show host Jay Leno in a game developed by current Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon. Why do I have this terrible feeling that no matter what happens, the loser will be Conan O’Brien?
SUN JAN 22 CUBA DIVERS
The original 1988 Bette Milder/Barbara Hershey film is one of the most beloved weepies of all time. So this remake comes with high expectations—that it sadly doesn’t meet. CC (Idina Menzel) and Hillary (Nia Long) are lifelong friends who support each other through respective ups (career) and downs (illness). The update (set in SoCal instead of New Jersey) maintains the same beats as the original, but unfortunately Menzel doesn’t have the same comedic chops as Midler, and the film can feel a little flat. Still, when the Tony winner belts out the classic “Wind Beneath My Wings,” even disappointed fans will be reaching for a Kleenex. B– —Tim Stack
Havana Moon 9–11PM
Havana gets some satisfacción when the Rolling Stones play a historic concert in Cuba— a first for the iconic rock band.
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KEVIN O’DONNELL @ODtron
Jamie xx, Oliver Sim, and Romy Madley Croft
The xx TITLE
I See You
Nolan Feeney @NolanFeeney
LISTENING TO THE XX USED TO FEEL
like eavesdropping on the most private of conversations. On 2009’s xx and 2012’s Coexist, vocalists Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim traded tales of desire and longing like whispered secrets, while in-house producer Jamie xx provided a fragile spine of bedroom R&B and electronic pop. That minimalist aesthetic turned the British trio into unlikely tastemakers—Rihanna sampled their song “Intro,” Shakira covered “Islands,” Madonna and Beyoncé sought out their live shows—but it also started to constrict them. So for their third LP, I See You, the group decided to dismantle the formula, abandoning the usual constraints of a live band and embracing dazzling studio techniques for the ﬁrst time. The payoﬀ is the boldest work yet from a band famous for subtlety—the sound of the xx hitting the caps-lock key. B E ST T R AC KS On Hold A chopped-and-screwed Hall & Oates sample is the centerpiece of this relationship postmortem | I Dare You A warm, uptempo ode to all-consuming infatuation |
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NOTEWORTHY Sara Bareilles, whose Broadway score for Waitress is up for a Grammy, tells EW she’s working on a new album in 2017: “It goes without saying our political climate is informing our consciousness, and it’s important to say something with music.”
It takes only a few seconds for the opening track, “Dangerous,” with its blaring horn loop and frenetic drumbeat, to take the xx where they’ve never gone before: the club. But for fans of Jamie xx’s solo album, 2015’s critically acclaimed In Colour, the more danceable tunes won’t be such a jarring transformation. His palette of pitched-down vocal samples and eerie keyboards is such a distinct sonic ﬁngerprint that at times I See You feels like a Jamie xx record that just happens to feature his other bandmates. That’s not a bad look by any means. While the flashier, more expansive soundscapes threaten the band’s very essence, in theory— for the xx, the pauses and silences around the notes have always been as important as the notes themselves—Jamie xx’s production rarely drowns out the drama. Instead, the alarmlike synths on “A Violent Noise” and the pitter-patter percussion driving “On Hold” only heighten the anxiety and uncertainty Madley Croft and Sim sing about. It still requires a lot of concentration and focus to unpack all the layers competing for listeners’ attention, but those who do will find no shortage of compelling material: Madley Croft sings about the loss of her parents, who died at separate times when she was young, for the ﬁrst time on the delicate “Brave for You,” while the haunting closer “Test Me” seemingly alludes to the strain of Sim’s struggles with alcohol on the group’s friendship. (He is now sober.) “I don’t know where I went wrong/Tell me, should I see someone?” Madley Croft sings over bare piano chords. It’s one of the few songs on I See You that still embrace restraint—a sign that the band hasn’t lost its talent for turning their quiet vulnerabilities into an unexpected gut-punch. A–
Secrets of the xx’s Joyful New Sound The famously shy trio—Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim, and Jamie xx—open up about their newfound confidence, Jamie’s Beyoncé moment, and an enlightening trip to the middle of nowhere. B Y M A D I S O N VA I N
Fame gave them some swagger
When Madley Croft and Sim, both 27, first started writing together while at their London high school, they were introverts who’d only converse about creative ideas via email. But after releasing two critically hailed albums and touring the world, they’re more at ease with each other. For I See You, the pair started writing together face-to-face. ”It gives you a nice buzz,” says Madley Croft. One thing that hasn’t changed: They still write gender-neutral lyrics. “It’s just how it’s been so far,” she says. Jamie xx’s success with his 2015 solo LP only brought the trio closer
With his debut album, In Colour, Jamie xx, 28, earned headliner spots at festivals and a Grammy nom. And while Sim jokingly compares that rise to “Beyoncé has left Destiny’s Child,” Jamie’s higher profile only boosted the xx’s drive while making I See You. “I felt like a fire was lit underneath me,” says Sim. “It wasn’t jealousy. It’s like, ‘Wow, I want us to have that success as well!’ ” A trip to Texas was life-changing
In addition to Iceland and London treks, the trio ventured to Marfa, Tex., the remote artists’ enclave, to record. The laid-back pace of life was eye-opening: “It’s an inspiring place to be. The beautiful skies, the earth... We were united,” says Sim. A scene from the xx’s “On Hold” video, filmed in Marfa, Tex.
Test Me Madley Croft shines on this stark account of intra-band tension
THE XX: AL ASDAIR MCLELL AN
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Stream EW’s guide to this week’s essential new releases
ROBYN AND MR. TOPHAT
Trust Me Robyn may never drop a proper follow-up to 2010’s indispensable Body Talk, but Sweden’s reigning DGAF pop queen continues orbiting the world of space disco. Her latest: a sprawling three-track EP, with ABBA’s Per Lindvall on drums.
THE KNOCKS AND ABSOFACTO
“Trouble” A pulsing four-on-the-floor beat, slap-funk bass, and cartoonishly pitch-shifted vocals: The electro duo, who recently opened for Justin Bieber, are back with another rousing call to the club. No trouble at all.
“It’d be dreadfully boring for us to still be making records with acoustic guitars and pianos all the time.”
THE FLAMING LIPS’ WAYNE COYNE
Rennen This British-born artist has relocated from his adopted hometown of Vienna to Los Angeles, but there’s still a distinctly European flavor to his chilly brand of R&B, best heard on the stunning thumper “Falling.”
Rock’s fearless freaks are back with their 17th studio album, Oczy Mlody. Reached on the road, frontman Wayne Coyne, 56, reveals how Miley Cyrus, thrift-store finds, and greenand purple-eyed unicorns inspired their latest psychedelic opus. B Y E R I C R E N N E R B R O W N
FLO MORRISSEY AND MATTHEW E. WHITE
Hey, Wayne, how’s it going?
I’m gonna plug in my phone, so give me just a second. You might hear a little thing. I’m sitting in my car and it sort of acts as a giant phone charger for me. Cars are made for that these days.
I agree. Mine’s a Prius, so it’s almost like an all-electric thing anyway. It’s a nice little well-insulated room. Anyway, the Flaming Lips are back with a new album, Oczy Mlody. Have you listened to it in your car yet?
My car has so much low end in it, so I always end up turning Robyn
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up the treble and turning down the fat. But yeah, I love it! That’s kind of how we do it: make some mixes and then drive around with them. A lot of people do that. When we played with Neil Young at one of his Bridge School benefits, we drove around and we listened to his...I forget, what’s his [portable] music player called? Pono.
Yeah. I thought it was funny that we didn’t go into a room in his house. We were actually in his car! With the new Lips album, there are song titles like “Blisko Domu” and “Nigdy Nie” that you’ve said were inspired by a Polish book
ROBYN: BENJAMIN LOZOVSK Y/BFA/REX/SHUT TERSTOCK, COYNE: GEORGE SALISBURY
Gentlewoman, Ruby Man The two indie songwriters have joined forces for a covers album that’s easy like Sunday morning. Breezy takes on the Bee Gees (“Grease”), Leonard Cohen (“Suzanne”), and more are a downright revelation.
Musicc Toni Basil,l, th Cl h s the Clash’s J StrumS Joe m i mer, Dionne W k, Warwick, i G Marvin Gaye, d Paull and C y McCartney
you found at a thrift store. Do you speak Polish?
BASIL: LYNN GOLDSMITH/ VCG VIA GET T Y IMAGES; STRUMMER: AP IMAGES; WARWICK: DAVID REDFERN/GET T Y IMAGES; GAYE: EBET ROBERTS/REDFERNS/GET T Y IMAGES; MCCARTNEY: ROBERT R. MCELROY/GET T Y IMAGES
I don’t speak or read any other languages. But I did really like the cover of this little paperback; it was only two dollars. Sometimes I really like that you don’t know what it’s saying.
You teamed up with Miley Cyrus for her Dead Petz album in 2016 and toured as her backing band. How did those experiences shape Oczy?
Making music with her and her producer Mike WiLL Made-It really changed us. We didn’t know she would use virtually every song we worked on. We were thinking, “We’ll have the song list down to five or six really great tracks.” But she was like, “We’re just going to put it all out!” That’s why we love her. She’s insane! If we would’ve refined it, it probably wouldn’t be such a crazy record. You want to go into the new abyss. And now we have fans that only know us from working with Miley Cyrus! How’d the Oczy collaboration with Miley, “We a Famly,” come about?
It was the first track we attempted to do with her, three or so years ago. We could never get it to be an exciting song. When [our longtime producer] Dave Fridmann heard it he loved it, but thought it was pathetically slow. He sped it up about 10 times faster.
Thirty-four years ago this week, the Hot 100 got its passport stamped in a land Down Under, followed Toto to Africa, and met a mind-blowing guy called Mickey. B Y L E A H G R E E N B L AT T
MEN AT WO RK
“Down Under” So being Australian is basically a sunbaked acid trip (“Traveling in a fried-out Kombi/On a hippie trail, head full of zombie”) with unlimited Vegemite sandwiches and flute solos? Because that sounds amazing. A
MICHAEL JACKSON & PAUL M C CARTN E Y
“Dirty Laundry” If only Henley’s indictment of the media’s taste for salaciousness over substance felt timely right now. B+
Reggie Watts has a spoken-word cameo on “There Should Be Unicorns.” What inspired that?
I sent him this stream-ofconsciousness rant kind of thing. The reference I put in the notes was Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” We were looking for this authoritative but cool-sounding voice that would be saying these utterly absurd things. I like the idea that we could sing about unicorns having purple eyes and green eyes. It almost sounds like it could be a protest song! And we can always blame it on Reggie if it doesn’t really work.
M A RV I N G AY E
“Baby, Come to Me”
T H E C L A SH
“Rock the Casbah” Could this really be the London punk legends’ only American top 10? You’re damn right Shareef don’t like it. A
PAT T I AU STIN & JAM E S IN G R A M If you wondered what it meant when your parents put this on the turntable and then closed the bedroom door for like two hours, well, you sure found out when you got a baby brother. B
You can tell the fierce romantic rivalry between these superstars is for real when the wind chimes and repeated use of the word doggone kick in. B+ DON HENLEY
“Maneater” Hall said later that the lyrics were actually about Greed Decade Manhattan and how ruthless it was. But would you rather be chewed up and spit out by a city or “a she-cat tamed by the purr of a Jaguar”? Just meow your answer. A–
“The Girl Is Mine”
HALL & OATE S
Please tell Dr. Booty your symptoms. Are you hot just like an oven? Is a sea stormin’ inside of you? That sort of sounds like food poisoning, honestly. But just in case, take two Viagra and this tub of Tiger Balm, and he will check your vitals all...night...long. A+
TO N I BA SIL
“Mickey” Basil lived a thousand lives—gonzo filmmaker, professional dancer, choreographer for David Bowie and the Talking Heads—before she became the best, weirdest 40-year-old cheerleader on MTV. She’s still super active in the dance world, though there’s no word on whether Mickey is still fine. A+
“Africa” The ’80s were a simpler time, when a bunch of white guys from Van Nuys could write a groovy marimba ballad about a continent they’d never been to and no one would question the wisdom of doing that, or what the hell it even means to “bless the rains.” B+
DIO N N E WA RW ICK
“Heartbreaker” Finding the way to San Jose is hard; they didn’t even have Google Maps back then! But dropping a post-disco torch song so crushing it makes grown men cry like kittens caught in the rain? Dionne can do that. A
SOURCE: JOEL WHITBURN PRESENTS THE BILLBOARD ® HOT 100 ® CHARTS—THE EIGHTIES
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Books EDITED BY
BETWEEN THE LINES Demand for Carrie Fisher’s books skyrocketed after her death; all her works—four novels and three memoirs— remain sold out. Her publishers, scrambling to reprint, say bookstores should be restocked by the end of the month.
TINA JORDAN @EWTinaJordan
The River at Night BY
PA G E S
O P E N I N G L I N E S “Early one morning in late March, Pia forced my hand. A slapping spring wind ushered me through the heavy doors of the YMCA lobby...”
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GAY: JENNIFER SILVERBERG/THE GUARDIAN; PRET T Y WOMAN: RON BATZDORFF; VANDERPUMP RULES: TOMMY GARCIA/BR AVO
Still she agrees to go along, perhaps because she believes she’s in a diﬀerent kind of novel—one about friendship and adventure and ﬁnding Oprah-like inner strength in the face of adversity. (To be fair, The River at Night actually does provide all that; it just happens that “adversity” involves natural catastrophe, murderous hillbillies, and abject terror.) Most likely, Wini says yes because she’s tired of being the one who always says no; nominally employed on the cusp of 40, numb from an ugly divorce and her younger brother’s sudden death, she is acutely aware of the hard, sour smallness of her life. If Maine promises a more challenging experience WHEN MOTHER than margaritas in Cancún or bike riding on NATURE ASSERTS the Cape, at least they’ll be in it together. HER MANDATE, Nearly as soon as they reach base camp, THEIR LONG though, the group’s rhythm feels oﬀ: Alpha WEEKEND IN THE dog Pia, “the sparkly one,” seems more interWILD BEGINS TO ested in bedding their 20-year-old guide, a GO SWIFTLY, dreadlocked conquistador named Rory, than SPECTACULARLY in female bonding. Brusque ER nurse Rachel WRONG.” can hardly hide her disdain for Pia’s behavior, and gentle Sandra is distracted by the precarious marriage she’s left behind; Wini just hopes to make it home to her cat and lonely chardonnay unharmed. But the low hum of dissatisfaction becomes something else when Mother Nature asserts her mandate and their long weekend in the wild begins to GENRE REVIEW BY go swiftly, spectacularly wrong. Stunned, Novel Leah Greenblatt @Leahbats unskilled, and already half estranged, all four are abruptly forced to face survival as an increasingly unlikely outcome. Author Erica Ferencik’s storytelling S CA RY STO R I E S H AV E RULES: LEAVE THOSE STRANGE shows the wobbles of a newer novelist, and noises in the basement alone. Never trust a pet cemetery, her prose sometimes feels like a blunt a deserted town, or a birthday clown. And when someone instrument. (When the bad guys arrive, you suggests going white-water rafting in a woodsy hintercan almost hear the Deliverance banjos.) But land so remote it’s literally oﬀ the map, just stay home. it’s brutally eﬀective, too—hurtling River’s Shooting rapids in deepest Maine is hardly on Boston harrowing narrative along in a visceral, graphic designer Winifred Allen’s bucket list when her white-knuckle rush. B+ three oldest friends sign on for their annual girls’ trip.
P O P C U LT U R E O F M Y L I F E
ROXANE GAY The illicit book I read in secret as a child I was really lucky that my parents didn’t monitor my reading. That’s why I read The Clan of the Cave Bear at a very young age and learned a lot!
others and was friendly, just saying hello. Later, when Katie recounted the conversation, she was like, “I can’t believe Lala just came up to us and politely engaged us in conversation.” I mean—girl, what?! It was the most amazing moment of TV.
The fictional friends I dreamed of hanging out with
The song people might be surprised to learn I know all the words to
< 1 > The gang at Sweet Valley High, of course.
“Paradise by the Dashboard Light”
The cultural critic and author—who’s just released a short-story collection—opens up about her diverse loves, from Edith Wharton and Pretty Woman to Mariska Hargitay’s ever-evolving hairdos.
by Meat Loaf. I used to work in a store that played classics from the ’70s and ’80s on repeat, so I’ve got that catalog pretty much memorized.
The TV show that doesn’t get its due Grey’s Anatomy. Often when I’m talking about a recent episode of the show, people will say, “That’s still on the air?” I want to punch them. Yes, it’s on the air, and it is amazing.
My dream dinner-party guests Zadie Smith, Edith Wharton, Oscar Wilde, my best friend, and Channing Tatum. Maybe after some scintillating conversation Channing would grace us with a reenactment of that scene [in Magic Mike XXL] where he becomes White Chocolate. Bless.
The actor who should play me Queen Latifah. I love her acting work. Also, she’s super hot.
The TV show I watch over and over The song that reminds me of my first crush
Law & Order: SVU. I’ve seen most of the show’s episodes at least 20 times. I suppose I should be embarrassed about this, but I am not. I love a good procedural drama and the range of Mariska Hargitay’s haircuts.
”Meeting in My Bedroom” by Silk. High school, man.
After World of Wakanda, the comic book I’d like to take on next
The book that cemented me as a writer
If I could get my hands on Batman, he would sort his issues out in no time at all.
< 2 > Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence. I love the sly social critique elegantly written into a damn fine novel. The first time I read it, I thought, “I want to write like this.”
The classic I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read
My all-time favorite movie
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir. I’m a very bad feminist.
< 3 > Pretty Woman! IDGAF. I said it.
The last book that made me cry
The TV show that’s my guilty pleasure
< 5 > Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, a devastating novel about the middle passage.
< 4 > Vanderpump Rules. It’s the Seinfeld of reality television. Nothing ever happens. And the cast is comprised of people who are so craven I cannot look away. Seriously, in a recent episode, Lala walked up to Katie and a couple
What I’m reading now I’m Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi, Sunshine State by Sarah Gerard, d Allll the h Birds d in the h Sky and S by h l Jane Anders. d Charlie
This Week in Celebrity Picks
Little Deaths BY
We curate the most intriguing recommendations from some of social media’s biggest readers
Emma Flint |
PA G E S
Leah Greenblatt @Leahbats
RU T H M A L O N E I S N O U P STA N D I N G
citizen’s idea of an ideal mother: Her lipstick is a little too bright, her skirts a little too tight, her hair a shamelessly unnatural shade of strawberry blond. She’s an unapologetic smoker and Scotch drinker, a parttime cocktail waitress willfully estranged from a loving, respectable husband. So when her two young children go missing from their beds one hot July night in a working-class neighborhood of Queens in 1964, the court of public opinion doesn’t take long to render a verdict: She is
EMMA ROBERTS The Story of My Teeth BY VA L E R I A LU I S E L L I
The actress Instagrammed a stack of books—including this Mexico-set novel—and wrote, “Post Christmas dinner looks delicious! #currently reading.”
BY RILEY SAGER
“The first great thriller of 2017 is almost here,” King tweeted. “If you liked Gone Girl, you’ll like this.” You’ll have to wait to read it, though: It’s not out until July.
Magicians of the Gods BY GRAHAM HANCOCK
Touting Hancock on Facebook, Rice told her fans, “He writes beautifully on many topics having to do with archaeology and the mysteries of the ancient world.”
ROBERTS: ALLEN BERE ZOVSK Y/WIREIMAGE FOR FASHION MEDIA; KING: SL AVEN VL ASIC/GET T Y IMAGES; RICE: BECK STARR /WIREIMAGE.COM
CONNECT THE DOTS (AND THE ARTISTS)
Books selﬁsh, shameless, reckless. And when the small broken bodies of Frankie and Cindy are found separately in abandoned lots, strangled and already decomposing in the summer heat, they add one more: murderer. Inspired by a real-life case, the outlines of Emma Flint’s debut summon every classic noir chestnut: the vixen, the patsy, the shady detective, the cub reporter determined to set the record straight. Her actors are strictly familiar, and rarely surprising; they come and go and mostly play their parts. The exception is Ruth: In lean, palpable prose (Flint is British, though her New York vernacular never slips), she comes vividly alive—a flawed, complicated woman with thoughts and demons and desires that the prescribed world she lives in oﬀers hardly any framework for, and even less forgiveness. As a whodunit, Little Deaths is standardissue. As a character study, it’s a killer. B+
QUICK TAKES THE COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION DOESN’T TAKE LONG TO RENDER A VERDICT: SHE IS SELFISH, SHAMELESS, RECKLESS”
Catherine Lacey funneled her pop culture fascination into this illustrated book chronicling the entanglements—romantic and otherwise—of famous artists. On the page below, for example, she started with nascent pop star Madonna and painter Jean-Michel Basquiat—“these kind of scrappy 20-year-olds barely getting by in New York, their lives intersecting, when they didn’t know quite what they were going to be”—and discovered their connections with poet Allen Ginsberg and artist Keith Haring.
The Beautiful Dead
BELINDA BAUER Thriller
NICK PETRIE Thriller
Eve Singer needs murders—the more gruesome the better— to stay alive in the cutthroat world of network TV. With her career as a crime reporter flagging, she and a serial killer share a common goal: draw the largest audience possible for his murders. Until, that is, he begins to focus on her as a possible victim. Bauer’s novel unfolds like an episode of Criminal Minds, with rapid-fire plotting and sketched-in character development. Her likable heroine and oddly enjoyable humorous tone—you’ll wryly smile when you should be shuddering—keep you turning the pages. B —Ruth Kinane
For me, no crimefiction character has ever measured up to Jack Reacher— until, that is, I met Peter Ash, a former Marine lieutenant deeply damaged by his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan (his PTSD manifests itself as intense claustrophobia). In this, his second outing, Ash stumbles upon an investigative journalist who’s gone into hiding in the California wilderness, desperate to evade the men who murdered her mother. Petrie’s writing is smooth, almost melodic, and he’s very, very good at racheting up stomachchurning tension. A– —Tina Jordan
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY (ISSN 10490434) IS PUBLISHED WEEKLY EXCEPT FOR ONE WEEK IN JANUARY, FEBRUARY, APRIL, MAY, JUNE, AUGUST, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER, NOVEMBER, DECEMBER AND TWO WEEKS IN MARCH AND JULY BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY INC., A WHOLLY OWNED SUBSIDIARY OF TIME INC. PRINCIPAL OFFICE: 225 LIBERTY STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10281. PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID AT NEW YORK, NY, AND ADDITIONAL MAILING OFFICES. U.S. SUBSCRIPTIONS: $49.92 FOR ONE YEAR. CANADA POST PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40110178. RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADA ADDRESSES TO: POSTAL STN. A, P.O. BOX 4327, TORONTO, ON M 5 W 3 H 5. G S T 8 8 8 3 8 1 6 2 1R T 0 0 0 1. P O S T M A S T E R : S E N D A D D R E S S CHANGES TO ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, P.O. BOX 62120, TAMPA, FL 336622120, CALL 1-800-274-6800, OR VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT WWW.EW.COM/ SUBSCRIBERSERVICES. ©2017 ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART WITHOUT PERMISSION IS PROHIBITED. ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, EW, CRITICAL MASS, LISTEN TO THIS, THE MUST LIST, AND THE SHAW REPORT ARE REGISTERED TRADEMARKS OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY INC. FANUARY IS A TRADEMARK OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY INC. SUBSCRIBERS: IF THE POSTAL AUTHORITIES ALERT US THAT YOUR MAGAZINE IS UNDELIVERABLE, WE HAVE NO FURTHER OBLIGATION UNLESS WE RECEIVE A CORRECTED ADDRESS WITHIN TWO YEARS. YOUR BANK MAY PROVIDE UPDATES TO THE CARD INFORMATION WE HAVE ON FILE. YOU MAY OPT OUT OF THIS SERVICE AT ANY TIME. MAILING LIST: WE MAKE A PORTION OF OUR MAILING LIST AVAILABLE TO REPUTABLE FIRMS. IF YOU WOULD PREFER THAT WE NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME, PLEASE CALL OR WRITE US. PRINTED IN THE USA. ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
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Wee’re having a “Cher tto star in Lifetime movie about Flint water crisis” crisis.
B Y MARC SNETIKER @MarcSnetiker
Four out of five Harmonys agree:: Camila who?
ith Charmed is coming back with a shocking twist: Every sister’s name begins with CW.
Ne w Netflix working on another JonBenét documentary. Ugh, benét there.
A i American Idol eighthseason third-placer Danny Gokey releases fifth album. Your move, Syesha Mercado.
b the h Uh, now might not be best time for your s spooky tales of terror, Carrie Mathison.
Amazing turnout at 101 Dalmatians-Con
achella Hans Zimmer joins Coac lineup, to the delight of 500 5 stoned hipsters yelling, “Play the theme from 12 Years a Slave!”
The only Unfortunate Event is what will happen when we finish the last episode.
Unfortunately, no hats were harmed during the making of this movie.
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The movie is called Hidden Figures—and it demands to be seen.
Fans petition to make Leia an official Disney princess. Unrelated: Disney’s newest princess is officially not a virgin.
Live With Kelly and Jerry, please!…please...please?
Silence: 161 rollicking minutes about tortured priests in 17th-century Japan (or, the year’s most confusing comedy)
James Van Der Beek to play Diplo in new comedy. If there’s a season 2, EW promises your first look at Katie Holmes as Skrillex.
CHER: KEVIN MA ZUR /GET T Y IMAGES FOR FAST COMPANY; JONBENET R AMSEY: R ANDALL SIMONS/POL ARIS; BR ADY: TAR A ZIEMBA/GET T Y IMAGES; HIDDEN FIGURES: HOPPER STONE/FOX; JUDITH LIGHT: VINCENT SANDOVAL /WIREIMAGE; JANELLE MONAE: FR A ZER HARRISON/GET T Y IMAGES; KELLY RIPA: STEVE GR ANITZ/WIREIMAGE; JERRY O’CONNELL: NEILSON BARNARD/GET T Y IMAGES FOR TOMMY HILFIGER; SILENCE: KERRY BROWN/PAR AMOUNT; VAN DER BEEK: LILIANE L ATHAN/FILMMAGIC; DIPLO: JERRIT T CL ARK /GET T Y IMAGES; CARRIE FISHER: A ARON R APOPORT/CORBIS; LIVE BY NIGHT: WARNER BROS.; A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS: JOE LEDERER /NETFLIX; ZIMMER: FR ANK HOENSCH/REDFERNS VIA GET T Y IMAGES; CHARMED: EVERET T; HOMEL AND: JIM FISCUS/SHOW TIME; FIF TH HARMONY: SASHA SAMSONOVA
Wayne Brady joins Chicago’s Hamilton, because nothing qualifies you to play Aaron Burr like three Daytime Emmys.
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