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After enduring sexual abuse and racism in Hollywood, Thandie Newton hints she'll name names

HBO/John P. Johnson(LOS ANGELES) -- (NOTE LANGUAGE, CONTENT) In a wide-ranging interview with Vulture, Westworld star Thandie Newton pulls no punches about coming up in the not-so-old, bad old days of Hollywood, and abuses she suffered as a result. 

Now 47, the actress isn't holding back: "So careful what you do, everybody...Because you might find yourself f***ing over a little brown girl at the beginning of a career, when no one knows who she is and no one gives a f**k. She might turn out to be Thandie Newton."

Newton reveals, "I've got my little black book, which will be published on my deathbed....I'm not doing it when I'm alive. I don't want to deal with all the fallout and everyone getting their side of the story. There is no side of the story when you're sexually abused. You give that up."

One story centers on how Thandie decided to pass on the 2000 Charlie's Angels reboot. "[T]he director said to me, 'The first shot...You're going to think it's like yellow lines down a road, and you pull back and you realize it's the stitching, because the denim is so tight on your a**...' I was like, 'Oh, I don't think we’re going to go down this road together.'"

Newton also revealed working with Tom Cruise on 2000's Mission: Impossible 2 was overall "an extraordinary time" but allows one scene between the two went terribly.

She adds, "I was so scared of Tom. He was a very dominant individual. He tries superhard to be a nice person. But the pressure. He takes on a lot. And I think he has this sense that only he can do everything as best as it can be done...He wasn't horrible. It was just -- he was really stressed."

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Streaming now: 'Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo'

Disney Channel/Image Group LA(NEW YORK) -- "They make movies and stories about guys like Danny Trejo. Danny is that guy."

That's the word from one of the celebrities who contributed to a new documentary about the life of the cinematic tough guy. 

Trejo's life seems like a Hollywood script. A formerly drug-addicted gang-banger and prisoner who did hard time in his younger days, Trejo found redemption and a career on the big screen in films like Machete, Heat and hundreds of others.

It was a chance reunion with another former San Quentin inmate-turned writer and actor, Eddie Bunker, that launched Trejo's career. Bunker knew Trejo was a gifted boxer, and had him hired to train Eric Roberts to box for the 1985 movie Runaway Train.

"I said, 'What's it pay?'" Trejo recalls asking Bunker, who would later star in Reservoir Dogs. "And he says, '320 a day.' And I said, 'How bad you want this guy beat up?' I thought it was a hit!" Trejo laughs.

That misunderstanding aside, Trejo so impressed the director, he landed his first role on-screen, as Roberts' opponent. Now 76, the actor and activist's life story has become a documentary called Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo. 

"Well, the reason I wanted to do it was to use it as a tool," he tells ABC Audio. "When I go to juvenile halls and...I've been to penitentiaries all over the world...And what I want to do is just give people hope that are in a hopeless situation. And prison is a hopeless situation."

He explains, "When I walk onto a campus, I got everybody's attention automatic. You know...not Danny Trejo, but the guy from Spy Kids, the guy from Heat. The guy from Desperado. That guy. And they want to hear what I got to say...."

Trejo calls the film and the testimonials from actors and directors he's worked with "humbling."

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


It's no "happy little accident" the COVID-19 pandemic led to a boom in Bob Ross' 'The Joy of Painting'

Tubi/Bob Ross Inc.(LOS ANGELES) -- Though he's been gone 25 years, ever-calming TV presence Bob Ross and his show The Joy of Painting has seen a resurgence -- particularly in the high-stress world in which we now find ourselves.

The show, famous for the painter's calming voice and ability to whip up a masterpiece in every episode, has attracted a whole new generation of fans. Now the worldwide streaming service Tubi has picked up the public television series -- and it's more popular than ever, Joan Kowalski, CEO of Bob Ross Inc. tells ABC Audio. 

"It started about five years ago when there was an eight-day marathon on Twitch TV which brought out all the millennials, generation X, Y and Zs," says Kowalski, whose parents discovered Ross and helped bring him to public TV in the '80s.  "And then with the pandemic, we've gotten another surge with people staying at home and they remember how much they want to have Bob in their lives -- and they're painting, too!"

With COVID-19, "They are watching like crazy and they're starting to paint because they're it's a thing you can do by yourself," Kowalski says.  "And just Bob's whole disposition, his whole personality, of course, obviously is just perfect. People are...stressed out, and they're trying to figure out what to do all their home. And that's just a recipe for Bob Ross right there."

Additionally, Ross' likeness can now be found on t-shirts, bobbleheads, and even a Funko Pop toy.

"He always sort of liked that whole concept when he was alive," says Kowalski. "[I]t's probably the one thing that he would really loved a lot would be like the merchandise and everything. Any collectible you want, there a Bob Ross one, too, and just it's taking off like crazy." 

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Charlize Theron admits not being cast in 'Furiosa' prequel was a "tough one to swallow"

John Rasimus/Barcroft Media via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- It's not all that uncommon for actors to be swapped out for the same role as time goes on -- just look at Batman or any James Bond movie. Just because it happens, though, doesn't mean it doesn't hurt a little.

At least that how Charlize Theron felt after hearing that the Mad Max: Fury Road character she made popular would be taken over by a younger actress. The film takes place years before Theron's Imperator goes rogue and rescues a harem of young women from the dreaded Immortan Joe. 

"It’s a tough one to swallow. Listen, I fully respect George [Miller], if not more so in the aftermath of making Fury Road with him. He’s a master, and I wish him nothing but the best. Yeah, it’s a little heartbreaking, for sure," Theron confessed to The Hollywood Reporter about the director's decision to tap younger talent for the prequel Furiosa

"I really love that character, and I’m so grateful that I had a small part in creating her. She will forever be someone I think of and reflect on fondly," she continued. "Obviously, I would love to see that story continue, and if he feels like he has to go about it this way, then I trust him in that manner."

"We get so hung up on the smaller details that we forget the thing that we emotionally tap into has nothing to do with that minute thing that we’re focusing on," the 44-year-old actress added. 

Although she must bid goodbye to her 2015 Mad Max role, fans can look forward to seeing Theron in her new Netflix film The Old Guard, which hits the streaming platform on July 10. 

By Danielle Long  
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Is Florence Pugh going to take over for Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow?

Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) -- Scarlett Johansson is hanging up her Black Widow batons and passing them on to Florence Pugh -- at least that what the director Cate Shortland told Empire magazine on Monday. 

In the standalone Black Widow film, Oscar nominated Little Women star Pugh plays Yelena -- a "sister" of sorts for Johansson's Natasha Romanoff; the pair both survived a brutal assassin training academy for young women, and later re-team to try to destroy the program.

"We didn't know how great Florence Pugh would be," says Shortland, Marvel Studios first solo female film director. "We knew she would be great, but we didn't know how great."

She adds, "Scarlett is so gracious, like, 'Oh, I’m handing her the baton.' So it's going to propel another female storyline."

Black Widow was originally scheduled to be released in May but was postponed due to COVID-19 and has been rescheduled to hit theaters on November 6. Set after the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the Marvel film will delve into Natasha's past and the events that occurred before she become an Avenger. 

Shortland added that the upcoming installation will give fans a chance to come to terms with how Avengers: Endgame said goodbye to the beloved character. 

"In Endgame, the fans were upset that Natasha did not have a funeral. Whereas Scarlett, when I spoke to her about it, said Natasha wouldn't have wanted a funeral," she explained. "She’s too private, and anyway, people don’t really know who she is. So what we did in this film was allow the ending to be the grief the individuals felt, rather than a big public outpouring. I think that's a fitting ending for her."

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

By Danielle Long and Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Game of Thrones' star Emilia Clarke thanks "quick thinking" health care worker for saving her life

Helen Sloan/HBO(LONDON) -- After a health scare that nearly took her life in 2011, Emilia Clarke thanked health care workers for saving her life in an article published by The New York Times on Sunday.

One by one, the Game of Thrones alum, who suffered brain aneurysm after a workout in London, thanked the many hospital workers who took care of her, including, "The nurse who suggested -- after everyone else in A&E struggled to find an answer when I was first admitted -- that maybe, just maybe I should have a brain scan."

She also praised the anesthetist who had her and her family members "giggling" prior to the surgery, and the surgeon who worked to save her without ever "letting on how close to death I had been."

Clarke, 33, also thanked the people who cleaned up after her and showed, "as much kindness as if I had been their own daughter."

The actress shares details about the experience in a new book called, Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You, which honors the workers of England’s National Health Service providing care amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clarke, who resumed filming Game of Thrones six weeks after being treated for the aneurysm, suffered another brain hemorrhage two years later.

Clarke told CBS Sunday Morning in April of 2019 that her GoT role as Daenerys Targaryen and getting to "go on set, play a badass and walk through fire," helped her through the trauma.

By George Costantino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Lin-Manuel Miranda weighs in on "valid" criticism that 'Hamilton' glorifies slave owners

Miranda, Phillipa Soo in "Hamilton"/Disney (LOS ANGELES) -- Hamilton, the critically acclaimed musical that collected a whopping 11 Tony Awards, is available for streaming now on Disney .  However, not everyone is excited about the news.

Shortly after it was announced the stage production would be added to the streamer's catalogue, critics hopped on social media claiming the musical, created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, glorifies slave owners.

From those intense discussions, the trending #CancelHamilton hashtag was born on Twitter.

While there is no evidence that the Founding Father himself owned slaves, critics say Alexander Hamilton was complicit with the slave trade by befriending slaveowners and even marrying a woman from a slave-owning family, Elizabeth Schuyler.  

Eventually, Miranda weighed in on the discussion about whether or not the musical is problematic.

The 40-year-old joined the debate after Another Round podcast co-host Tracy Clayton defended the production by calling it "a flawed play about flawed people written by an imperfect person." 

She argued that "hamilton the play and the movie were given to us in two different worlds," adding that the discussions demonstrate "a clear sign of change."

Following Clayton's remarks, Miranda responded to her sentiments but didn't absolve his musical of all wrongdoings.

"All the criticisms are valid," The In the Heights creator tweeted on Monday.  "The sheer tonnage of complexities & failings of these people I couldn’t get. Or wrestled with but cut. I took 6 years and fit as much as I could in a 2.5 hour musical."

Overall, he made it explicit that he welcomes all forms of debate.  "Did my best," he concluded. "It’s all fair game."

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Kristian Alfonso leaving 'Days of Our Lives' after after 37 years

Chris Haston/NBC(LOS ANGELES) -- Like the "sands through the hourglass," one of daytime TV’s most recognizable stars, Kristian Alfonso -- who played Hope Williams on Days of Our Lives -- announced her time on the long-running NBC soap opera has come to an end after nearly four decades.

"Days of Our Lives has been a vital part of both my personal and professional journey," Alfonso wrote in a statement posted to Instagram on Monday. "I am forever grateful to NBC and the late [producer] Betty Corday, who took a chance on me many years ago and changed my life."

"I have built some lifelong friendships with my extraordinarily talented castmates," the 56-year-old actress continued. "Days has one of the hardest working crews in all of television, many of whom have become part of my extended family."

Adds Alfonso, "I feel blessed and honored to have been invited into people's homes for over three decades. However, it is now time for me to write my next chapter."

"I will not be returning to Days when it resumes production in September," said Alfonso. "I've already filmed my last episode several months ago."

"Finally," she concluded, "To the incredibly loyal fans of Days, many of you have been with me on this journey from the beginning. I cannot thank you enough for your generosity, love and support. I could not have done it without YOU!!!"

Alfonso joined the show in season 19, with two short breaks in 1987 and 1990.  She returned in 1994, after a storyline left fans believing her character had died.

Days of Our Lives suspended shooting in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It was renewed for season 56 in January.

By George Costantino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Colin Kaepernick and Disney team up for ESPN documentary series

Carmen Mandato/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Colin Kaepernick landed a huge deal. No, it's not a multi-million dollar NFL contract, but it's on that same level.

Kaepernick's production company RA Vision Media and multimedia giant Disney have inked an overall first-look deal that will extend across all of the Walt Disney Platforms including Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Hulu, Pixar and The Undefeated (a sports and pop culture website under the ESPN umbrella). 

The former NFL quarterback shared the exciting news on Monday and tweeted, "I am excited for this partnership with Disney across all of its platforms to elevate Black and Brown directors, creators, storytellers & producers. I look forward to sharing culturally impactful and inspiring projects."

I am excited for this partnership with Disney across all of its platforms to elevate Black and Brown directors, creators, storytellers & producers. I look forward to sharing culturally impactful and inspiring projects. https://t.co/MXidGoWXNZ

— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) July 6, 2020

 In addition to providing a new platform for "Black and Brown" talent, the deal, according to the press release, will also "focus on telling scripted and unscripted stories that explore race, social injustice and the quest for equity."

The first project in the works is "an exclusive docuseries chronicling Kaepernick’s journey" from his own point of view and will feature "extensive new interviews and a vast never-before-seen archive that documents his last five years."

Kaepernick isn't the only big name attached to the project, though, he's also enlisted the help of Jemele Hill as a producer on the series. 

More details will be announced at a later date. 

Disney is the parent company of ABC News. 

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kevin Hart is a "real-life Rambo" in new 'Die Hart' trailer

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Kevin Hart is this summer's biggest action star in the upcoming Quibi series Die Hart.

On his 41st birthday, Kevin Hart has one wish: for everyone to enjoy the trailer to his new action-thriller, also starring John Travolta. 

"Prepare to be blown away, damn it," he wrote on Instagram sharing the trailer. Die Hart is [so] good! It's that simple. P.S... It's my Birthday."

In Die Hart, Kevin plays a fictionalized version of himself, as he's offered the opportunity of a lifetime to become a lead action star. But first, he must train with the world's greatest action star Ron Wilcox, played by Travolta, an unhinged coach who runs an intense Action Star School. 

The trailer for the series teases the action-packed comedy with some of the film's hand-to-hand combat and greenscreen stunts, including scenes with Game of Thrones actress Nathalie Emmanuel, who plays his "tough-minded rival student" to push him to his limits as he's thrown into the deep end. 

Die Hart debuts on Quibi on Monday, July 20, with a new chapter each weekday until July 29.

Happy Birthday, Kevin Hart! 

By Rachel George
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Gigi Hadid slams report she's disguising her baby bump

Foc Kan/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Just because Gigi Hadid has yet to show off her baby bump doesn't mean she isn't proud of it.  The supermodel made it known on Saturday that there's some things in her life that she's entitled to keep under wraps.

The 25-year-old exchanged strong words with British Vogue on Saturday when the publication touted her "genius disguise" for hiding her pregnancy.

The magazine advertised their new article by tweeting Gigi had "yet to post a picture showing her baby bump, but her genius disguise gives an insight into her lockdown pregnancy," adding that the supermodel allegedly told a fan how she creates the "optical illusion."

Of course, Hadid didn't take too kindly to the report and immediately set the record straight.  "Disguise .... ?" She tweeted back with a confused emoji face. 

"I said in a baggy jumpsuit the front and side views are visually different stories- not that that was intentional or I was trying to hide anything," the model continued. "Will be proud and happy to share 'insight' when I feel like it, thanks."

As for when Hadid will share her baby bump with the world, she cheekily added in a followup tweet, "For now I am proudly experiencing and sharing this time with my family and loved ones."

Hadid is expecting a baby girl with former One Direction member Zayn Malik.  She is due sometime this fall.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Tom Hanks says 'Greyhound' skipping theaters for AppleTV+ is "an absolute heartbreak"

© 2019 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.(LOS ANGELES) -- One of the casualties of the war on coronavirus in the world of entertainment was Tom Hanks World War II naval drama Greyhound

In an interview with The Guardian, Hanks describes the decision to bring the movie to streaming instead of the theater was "an absolute heartbreak." 

The two-time Oscar winner, who also wrote the film based on C.S. Forester's novel The Good Shepherd, was supposed to sail into theaters July 19. Instead, the thriller was scooped up by Apple TV in the streamer's first major movie deal. 

Hanks would rather have had the film stream into a theater near you. "I don't mean to make angry my Apple overlords, but there is a difference in picture and sound quality," he says. 

The actor also talked about performing Zoom interviews to promote the film, during which, "the cruel whipmasters at Apple" took issue with his home office in the background. Instead, he had to shoot against a blank wall, which, Hanks tells The Guardian, made it look as if he's in a "witness protection program." 

In Greyhound, Hanks plays a U.S. Navy captain who has to steer his ship and a flotilla of others through a virtual shark tank of Nazi U-Boats.

To The Guardian, Hanks also discussed he and wife Rita Wilson's battle with the disease that sidelined his film. He explained they, "had very different reactions" during the two-weeks they were in quarantine. "My wife lost her sense of taste and smell, she had severe nausea, she had a much higher fever than I did," Hanks said. "I just had crippling body aches, I was very fatigued all the time and I couldn’t concentrate on anything for more than about 12 minutes. That last bit is kinda like my natural state anyway," he quipped.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Brad Pitt boarding 'Bullet Train' for stuntman-turned blockbuster director David Leitch

ABC/Craig Sjodin(LOS ANGELES) -- Deadline reports Brad Pitt is re-teaming with his friend and former stunt double David Leitch for the thriller Bullet Train.

Leitch, the co-director of the first John Wick film, who went on to call the shots on the action-heavy hits Hobbs & Shaw and Deadpool 2, will adapt the project based on the Japanese novel Maria Beetle by Kotaro Isaka. The book deals with five assassins on board one of Japan's titular conveyances, who find out they're not just strangers on a train.

Newly-minted Oscar winner Pitt goes back years with Leitch -- who, incidentally as Pitt's character did for Leonardo DiCaprio's in Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood -- once stood in for the star, in movies like Fight Club and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Their relationship was the reason Pitt performed an un-credited, literal "blink and you'll miss it" cameo as The Vanisher -- a mostly invisible hero -- who meets an untimely end in Deadpool 2

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Leslie David Baker is trying to make 'The Office' spinoff happen

ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) -- It's been seven years since The Office last aired but that hasn't stopped Leslie David Baker from trying to launch a spinoff.

Baker, who portrayed Stanley Hudson on the popular sitcom, shared news of the potential spinoff with his Instagram followers.

"It’s True! I’m really back! Uncle Stan coming soon!" he shared in an Instagram caption before directing fans to a Kickstarter account to help contribute to making the show a reality.

In exchange for a donation, The Office alum is offering a variety of different perks including but not limited to a shoutout on the website, receiving a hard copy of the script, appearing as an extra on an episode and even dinner with the cast. 

In the following days, he continued to tease the project and released a synopsis of new show which would follow his character. 

"After enjoying his retirement in Florida, carving wood, enjoying the white sand beaches, and dancing to old disco, Uncle Stan gets a call from his nephew Lucky in Los Angeles asking for help with his two kids and running his motorcycle/flower shop," the description reads. "With his business failing, his kids growing up without enough attention, and on the brink of losing his patience with the cast of characters he has working in the shop, Lucky is going to need all the help he can get from no-nonsense Uncle Stan."

In order for the spinoff to happen, Baker and the team need to raise $300,000 for the project by August 1. 

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Celebrities react to Nick Cordero's death from COVID-19

Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Beyond Yoga(LOS ANGELES) -- On Sunday, Amanda Kloots announced her husband, Broadway star Nick Cordero, had died at age 41 after battling COVID-19 for nearly 100 days. 

"God has another angel in heaven now," said Kloots, a fitness trainer, announcing her husband's death on Instagram. "He was surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth."

It didn't take long for famous friends to sound off on social media about the loss. 

On Instagram, Cordero's close friend Zach Braff noted, "I have honestly never known a kinder person. But Covid doesn't care about the purity of your soul, or the goodness in your heart. The last thing he ever texted me was to look out for his wife and one year old son, Elvis. I promise the world they will never want for anything. I feel so incredibly grateful I got to have Nick Cordero enter my life. Rest In Peace. Rest in Power."

Viola Davis: RIP Nick Cordero! My condolences to you Amanda who fought and loved so hard....so sorry for his little one. My heart is with you. May flights of angels.."

Lin-Manuel Miranda: "Devastating. What a loss, what a light. Whole heart with Amanda and his family tonight."

Hamilton's Philippa Soo asked people to donate to a fund to support Kloots and their son Elvis.

Bradley Whitford: "Horror. Love to the Cordero family. Please wear a mask. It has the power to prevent unspeakable suffering and sorrow. Rest In Peace Nick Cordero."

Mia Farrow: "Just devastating. Wonderful actor and by all accounts a lovely person. Coronavirus put him through 90 days of hell, took his leg and finally his life. Sending every good thought to his family. Please people- covid is real and merciless. . Wear your mask."

Billy Eichner: "What a fighter but my god this is devastating news. Much love to Nick’s family and friends. Damn. RIP Nick. ??????"

Frankie Grande: "my [heart] is broken over the loss of my friend Nick Cordero. As soon as I met him I knew God placed him in my life for a reason: He showed me such love, leadership through kindness, strength during difficult times, a true appreciation of life no matter what..."

Rosanna Arquette: "tragic and terribly sad may he Rest In Peace."

Cordero was hospitalized in late March and shortly after was placed on a ventilator. He suffered a series of lung infections and also had one of his legs amputated due to blood clotting issues.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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