Well, it wasn't much of a kick-off to season nine of "The Real Housewives of Orange County." Lydia, Gretchen and Alexis have all hit the bricks, leaving us with an uncomfortable trio of Tamra, Vicki and Heather. Usually we don't find the ladies jetting off for an adventure until much later in the season, but with only three returning Housewives in the mix, I'm sure some bonding seemed like a good thing. Unfortunately, what we learned is that Tamra and Vicki may be lunatics, but they're a similar brand of crazy. Heather is just too smart for the show and hasn't figured it out yet.
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In the same way that the day of the Oscar nominations is a bit like Christmas morning for a certain sect of film lovers, so it is with the announcement of the Cannes Film Festival lineup -- which takes place on Thursday in Paris. Across the internet, you can find any number of comprehensive prediction pieces, as internationally inclined cinephiles attempt to guess (and second-guess) what Thierry Fremaux and his his team will select for this year's fest -- and, almost as crucially, in what section they'll elect to place it.
On the Calgary set of FX's "Fargo" last month, most of the cast was there either shooting or dropping by on an off-day to chat with a group reporters. Billy Bob Thornton couldn't make it, but sent his regrets and expressed the desire to talk to all of the assembled scribes pre-premiere. That's the sort of thing you hear a lot in-the-moment, but doesn't normally come to pass. Things slip through the cracks and nobody's really to blame. People get busy.
Billy Bob Thornton followed through.
After a series of crossed wires and adjusted schedules, the Oscar-winning "Slingblade" scribe checked in last Sunday morning, delayed only because he got caught-up watching early baseball, which immediately gives us something in common.
"You can imagine what I think about your team," Thornton drawls. He's famously a Cardinals fan. I'm not-especially-famously a Red Sox fan.
"You guys just creamed us twice," Thornton admits, referring to a pair of Boston World Series wins. "But I respect the Red Sox organization. Really good organization."
Thornton could talk baseball all day. The game he's been watching doesn't even feature the Cardinals. It's a low-scoring early-season game between the Tigers and Orioles and even though Thornton knows former Tigers skipper Jim Leyland, that's his only rooting interest. He just enjoys the game.
Thornton also just likes FX's "Fargo." His enthusiasm was evident at the Television Critics Association press tour in January and three months later his love affair with the small screen continues. Thornton has been very frank about the current state of the film industry, especially when it comes to the understated, personal projects he's attracted to as a writer and director. The "Fargo" experience, his first prolonged TV work since "Hearts Afire" back-in-the-day, has opened his eyes to the potential of both cable work and the currently trendy "limited series" model.
He also has one of his juiciest parts in years playing Lorne Malvo, a mysterious and sadistic stranger whose arrival in Bemidji, Minnesota sets in motion a 10-episode whirlwind of murder and chaos that are thematically and tonally inspired by the Coen Brothers' "Fargo," if only sometimes linked to the movie. Malvo is equal parts terrifying and hilarious and Thornton is having a ball playing that balance.
Once we stopped talking baseball, Thornton told me about playing Malvo as a force-of-nature, the pleasures of working in TV and whether he's now inspired to target the medium for future projects.
Click through for the full Q&A in advance of Tuesday's (April 2) "Fargo" premiere...
I'm still getting used to the fact that Brad Pitt is now an Oscar-winning producer -- one wonders whether, like Michael Douglas before him, the acting award will come later, Either way, the man's no slouch in the off-screen department: aside from "12 Years a Slave," the man's production credits range from "The Departed" to "Kick-Ass" to "The Tree of Life" to the (likely Cannes-bound) HBO feature "The Normal Heart." And now "The Operators," to which Pitt is also attached to star as US military general Stanley McChrystal.
Did you know the Osmonds were discovered by Walt Disney? No? Well, that's part of the explanation for why Donny Osmond is guest judging tonight's episode of "Dancing with the Stars." Oh, and he was Captain Shang in "Mulan." And he was Gaston in "Beauty and the Beast." Look, I don't think we need to justify Donny showing up. He won "Dancing with the Stars," remember? He's going to be a better guest judge than a lot of these random stars who just like watching the show. So let's get to it!
There's a cover version of "She" that Elvis Costello recorded for "Notting Hill" that positively floors me every time I hear it. I think Costello has one of the great male signing voices of the last 40 years, and that song is positively perfect for him, full of longing and regret and that particular blend of joy and pain that distinguishes the best love stories. It's not a song he wrote, though. It was first recorded by Charles Aznavour in the '70s, and he did versions in several different languages.
I've always wanted to use the Costello version in a particular film. I've had it in my head since I wrote a scene in a script at least a decade ago, and since then, I've hoped that no one would use it, that it would pretty much completely fade away. And now David Fincher's gone and ruined that for me, and even worse, I can't be mad about it because he did it so damn well.
Richard Butler, the lead singer of the Psychedelic Furs, is the performer of the version that's in the "Gone Girl" trailer, and while I don't think his version is remotely as effective, it's perfect for the trailer, and the rushed, almost off-key vocals capture some of the weird, off-center anxiety that is so obviously part of Fincher's adaptation of the massive best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn.
While Harrison Ford is one of the few guys working right now who I could indisputably call "iconic," I find myself ambivalent about his persona when he's giving interviews. I've had some good chats with him, and some that were more difficult, and it completely seems to be up to his mood at the moment we sit down.
The same can be said about his appearances on talk shows. He's done it well at times, and there are other interviews where it looks like he wants to crawl out of his skin, and for an actor, he seems to have no interest in disguising his feelings at all. He seems perfectly happy to snarl at someone if he thinks they ask him something stupid or obvious, which makes it extra-surprising that he was willing to do a Reddit AMA to help promote the new documentary series "Years Of Living Dangerously."
Ah, father-son bonding! On "Chrisley Knows Best" (new episode airing Tues. April 15 at 10:00 p.m. ET on USA), Todd and Chase team up to prank call Grandma, who apparently thinks the worst of her grandson. While you wouldn't think it would be all that fun to find out your granny thinks you'll sleep with anything in a skirt, Chase doesn't mind one bit. In fact, he lays it on extra thick by telling Grandma he was in a hit-and-run. Watch the clip to get in on the joke.
Robert Pattinson has re-teamed with his "Cosmopolis" director David Cronenberg, and you can get your first look at the result now.
Anything that puts Hayley Atwell on my TV once a week is a good thing.
It's that time of the year, where we hear all sorts of rumors about what might or might not be happening. This morning, one of the bigger stories concerns another ABC Marvel series, one that would run concurrently with "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.", which is well on its way to a second season pick-up.
While I haven't seen anything specific about the approach they're taking to the proposed series "Agent Carter," it would obviously hinge on Hayley Atwell's character from "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," one of the most interesting female leads they've had in any of the Marvel movies. It sounds like it would essentially serve as a prequel to the series they already have on the air, but is that enough of a change to make this worth the greenlight?
I love that Tommy Lee Jones is carrying a torch for the western genre. He gave us "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" nearly a decade ago and 10 years prior, his directorial debut was the TV movie "The Good Old Boys." Now he's saddling back up (so to speak) with "The Homesman," and like "Three Burials," we can probably expect it to debut at Cannes next month.
“Game of Thrones” shocker draws 6.3 million
That’s slightly down from the 6.6 million who watched the season premiere, but 48% up on last year’s 2nd episode of the season.
TV Land picks up “Younger,” starring Sutton Foster and Hilary Duff
The comedy from “Sex and the City” and “Beverly Hills 90210” honcho Darren Star is about a 40-year-old (Foster) who tries to pass herself off as age 26 has received a 12-episode order. It’ll also co-star Debi Mazar and Miriam Shor.
Jimmy Kimmel threatens “Scandal’s” Shonda Rhimes with a drill
Watch the teaser for Kimmel’s “Behind the Scandalabra” teaser. PLUS: Watch a preview of the “Scandal” season finale.
“Glee” is bringing back Heather Morris
She’ll appear in the season finale, based in NYC.
WGN America adapting Native American reservation-set “Scalped” from DC Comics
The “crime noir” drama is set in the fictional Prairie Rose Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
“The Daily Show’s” Aasif Mandvi expands his role on HBO’s “The Brink”
In addition to starring in the geopolitical crisis comedy, he’ll also serve as a writer and producer.
See the full trailer for “Rosemary’s Baby”
The NBC miniseries debuts May 11.