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Country’s Favorite Couple Plays New Orleans

Garth Brooks has come back to The Big Easy. This weekend, he’ll be performing several shows with his partner in rhyme, Trisha Yearwood. Brooks is a living legend whose country music career has spanned over twenty years. Along the way, he’s won Grammys, American Music Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards, and become the fastest selling album artist in RIAA history. He’s also broken records for concert attendance set by Paul McCartney, U2 and Elvis Presley.

Brooks came out of retirement in 2009 to play four years of shows at the Wynn Theater in Las Vegas. And last year, he announced his plan to return to touring. And he won’t be alone.

In 2005, Trisha Yearwood married her friend and mentor. But her career began way before meeting Brooks. Born in Georgia, Yearwood grew up with a love for country music and Southern rock. In the early 80s, Yearwood scored an internship for MTM records. She would use her surroundings to record demo tapes and practice. She eventually signed with MCA records.

Yearwood’s career includes many hit songs and she’s received awards from the Academy of Country Music, including Top Female Vocalist in 1997 and 1998. But this songbird does more than just sing. She branched off into acting in the late 90s, appearing on CBS’s JAG. In 2008, she teamed up with her mother and sister to create the cookbook Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen. And she’s continued to make herself at homes in homes across the country.

Brooks and Yearwood are the definitive country music power couple. Now these friends turned lovers will no doubt make their New Orleans show something special. Catch the country duo at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on July 10-12.

There are still some tickets left. You can pick your seat here.

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Before The Scene With James Madio

James Madio is a veteran actor from the Bronx. His long career includes roles alongside Robin Williams in the Steven Spielberg classic Hook, as Pedro in Basketball Diaries and as Sergeant Frank J. Perconte in HBO’s seminal miniseries Band of Brothers.

What made you want to become an actor?

When we were younger, my father used to bust out the video camera and make us do these little funny skits with me and my sisters. He’d make me imitate Elvis or Michael Jackson and we would just have a good time. For family time, instead of watching TV, we’d just pull out the video camera. When I was thirteen, my father [knew of a] manager who represented kids. He said, “Hey, I’d like to bring my son down see what she thinks.” I went in and she had me read a Smucker’s commercial, who are always like, “Hey, I like Smucker’s jam and jelly because it makes me happy!” You’ve got to smile and look like a happy kid. I went in and did it totally like Bronx, New York style. I remember her telling me and my father, “Well, he’s very specific, I’m not so sure that he’s going to work as much as you’d like.” Then, about a month later, we got a call from her saying that I had an audition for a film called Hook that’s a Spielberg film. That was my first audition and I booked it. I just remember meeting Steven and that was it. That was my intro into the business: a lot of luck.

I don’t think any of the kids, or at least the Lost Boys, knew what we were getting into until you got to the set and saw how big it was. Never Never Land and the pirate ship. I just remember a lot of big A-list actors showing up with their kids just to see the set, like it was a theme park. It was pretty cool. It felt like you were at a theme park every day at work. You go get makeup, grab some cool little equipment, go skateboarding, play basketball, shoot darts and water guns and food fights. It was a lot of fun.

I also remember Hoffman talking to my father and saying, “Hey, do you mind if I introduce James to somebody?” My father said, “Yeah, sure, of course.” Hoffman introduced me to these two producers, Laura Ziskin and Joe Caracciolo. He told them, “Hey, I’d like this kid to play my son in my next movie.” And that was it. I went right to my second studio film. No audition. I got a nice intro into this industry.

What’s been your biggest fear?

My family and the future of my family. That’s my recent fear. I just got married three years ago and my baby’s two, so that’s the most recent fear. But before, to be honest, I really didn’t have any fear. I always looked ahead, I always had faith and I always thought that something would come my way and more breaks would happen. If I just kept my nose clean, kept my contacts and was very friendly with people, I’d continue to work. I’d like to tell you that my fear would be never to work again or failure, but I never was really afraid of that. Now with my wife and kid, the stakes are higher because I have to provide for family. To do that, I have to find longevity and stability within this career.

What was your lowest point?

After Basketball Diaries, I did very well in the indie market. That’s when festivals were first starting to come on to the scene. We were at Sundance for Basketball Diaries. After that, I started to take acting a little more seriously. I wanted to work more. This is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I made that decision at nineteen and with it came a lot of rejection. I thought I was going to work a lot more and I thought my career was going to take this shift, and it didn’t. It actually went the other way. I just remember not having representation shortly after that movie and not auditioning. Just hanging out with friends, drinking in the park and doing an odd job. It was one of the first and pretty much only “regular” job that I’ve ever taken. I did plumbing with my brother-in-law and I just remember just working a lot of hours, being dirty and sweating. Which is fine. Some people are built for that and I wouldn’t knock that. I have a lot of friends and family that work very hard. But for me, that was probably the most difficult time. For about a year, I didn’t work and I had to just find jobs and ways to make ends meet. It was just a low time in my career. That’s happened a few times throughout my career. There’s been these lows that were very difficult. Even after Band of Brothers. I came out swinging and went right to a show called Queens Supreme with Oliver Platt and Robert Loggia. But after that, I didn’t work for a year and a half. I lived in Manhattan and I had really high expenses. Then, I had to learn how to budget and manage. That comes with the territory if you want to do this for a long time. It is a marathon. It’s not a race. You’re not trying to win this in a year or two.

What kept you from walking away?

The one thing that I have always known, what I’ve always hung my hat on, is that I believe that I’m good at what I do. As long as I just keep reinventing myself, from being a kid to a teenager to an adult who can now be a math teacher, a father, a policeman – all while staying sharp and focused and loving what I do. That’s what motivates me to keep going. There have been many times throughout the twenty-five years where, although I haven’t thought about quitting and following another path, I’ve slightly second guessed myself and thought, “How I’m going to survive?” But I always just hang my hat on that one hook and go, “Well, you’re good at what you’re doing, so just keep on going.”

Who was your closest ally?

I’ve had a few close allies. I’ll give you two. The one that’s always been there in this business for me, always checked in and given me great ideas and insight, and has driven me, is my father. My father’s always been behind me and pushed me to do more. Another one of my allies is AJ Buckley. We definitely push each other to do better and be better. To focus on the work. The only way you’re going to succeed for a long time is to be good at what you do. You’ve got to practice and continue to work on material, read scripts and collaborate with people who are hungry and putting out good material. AJ is one of them. We definitely push each other.

Outside of those two, the whole Band of Brothers family are tremendous allies to me. We’re still friends. We have our Bands of Brothers reunion once a year and we check up on each other and check each other. We make sure that everyone’s focused and taking care of each other and being there for each other’s family.

What were you doing before an audition that changed your life?

Before Hook, I was this thirteen-year-old kid on the street just playing some handball and cutting up in school, probably chasing girls. Before Diaries, it was pretty much the same thing. I was hanging out in the park and not focusing and not worrying about my studies. Before Band of Brothers, that’s when I was probably the most focused. I was taking the time to really read the book, work out, get educated on the history of it all. I wanted to physically and mentally just be there for that audition. And for Band of Brothers, I actually had made the decision to move out here [to Los Angeles], so I was actually out here auditioning. I was in the grind, in the mix around actors, working on stage on some stuff and in acting school. I was ready to go out swinging. I took it very seriously.

What were the words that kept you going?

Something Robin said to the Lost Boys one time. He said to me on set, “Make sure that you spend less time in your dressing room and more time on the set learning the craft and learning the trade. Spend more time listening.” Those are words I’ve always remembered. Spend more time listening. And that’s what I did. I didn’t spend much time in my dressing room. I listened to what Robin said, which is basically “just pay attention.” That’s the honest truth. I’m not saying that because he’s not with us today. I say that because that’s the truth.

How do you think you have changed?

I’ve become more patient and more understanding with the process. I take rejection much better than I ever have. I understand it. I don’t wish any bad luck to anybody if someone wins the job over me. When you’re first starting out, it’s competitive. And it should always be competitive: that’s what’s going to make you better at what you do. I’ll always enjoy that part of it, but I’m definitely more understanding, more respectful and the rejection doesn’t get to me anymore at all.

What words do you have to inspire others?

In this business, you’ve got to be hungry. You’ve got to want to do this. Rely heavily on your instincts because they are going to be your best friend. If you struggle with false moments, and you don’t know how to rely on your instincts, it’s going to be a little bit of a ride for you. And I’m not sure that this business is for you.

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EXCLUSIVE: Scene Interviews Oscar Winner Octavia Spencer

Octavia Spencer’s journey has been anything but overnight. Born in Montgomery, Alabama, the Academy Award winner saw her first film sets in her home state while working in production, first in extras casting and then as a production assistant. In 1995, she worked on the film that made Matthew McConaughey a star, A Time to Kill, which was shot in Mississippi. In it, she made her screen debut. Fifteen years later, Spencer returned to the Southern state to shoot The Help, the film that would earn her an Oscar.

In The Help, Spencer brings to life Minny, a maid in 1960s Mississippi. Outspoken and brash, Minny is the emotional center of the much lauded film, bringing a sense of mirth that balances out the painful truths portrayed.

Spencer has since appeared in Diablo Cody’s Paradise, Get on Up and Fruitvale Station, which she also executive produced. She starred in the television series Red Band Society and Mom. She appeared in the Bong Joon-Ho dystopian thriller Snowpiercer and also starred opposite Kevin Costner in the New Orleans shot drama Black or White, which opened the 2014 New Orleans Film Festival. In that film she co-starred with New Orleans native Anthony Mackie, whom she befriended during filming. And this year, she joined the cast of The Divergent Series, portraying Johanna in Divergent.

Now a personality widely beloved, Spencer is just hitting her stride on both the big and small screen, her best performances still to come.

Octavia spoke with me over the phone from Los Angeles.

MH: We’re based down in New Orleans. Anthony Mackie has been great to us. He was kind enough to do an interview with us right as The Hurt Locker was winning the Oscar as best picture and he’s just been a great supporter.
OS: Aw, he’s a great guy. A really great guy.

MH: And such a terrific actor. I have so enjoyed watching his career explode over the last five years.
OS: Yes, it really has. He’s pretty fantastic. I’ve known of him, but we have just really fermented a friendship when we worked together on Black or White.

MH: Let my pull my fancy questions.
OS: Alright. (laughs)

MH: They’re not that fancy.
OS: Well, the answers won’t be fancy either. (laughs)

MH: So first of all, you were absolutely hilarious at the Oscars this year. I thought that bit with the predictions was so funny.
OS: Well, thank you.

MH: Early in your career, you worked in production. Is that right?
OS: I did. I was an intern in the extras casting department, then became a PA in the casting department and then a set PA. That was pretty fun.

MH: Many actors never see that side of the filmmaking process. How did that pay dividends into your acting career? Did it help your process in any way?
OS: Honestly, I don’t know that it helped me as an actress. It definitely helped me as a person. And also how to conduct myself in this industry, because we all see movies as this glamorous thing. But it’s a business. It’s a job. It’s just like working at a bank. You wanna be on time. You wanna do your job. Whatever it is that you do – whatever field in the entertainment industry that you’re in – you just wanna conduct yourself professionally. It was great in that regard. It was also great meeting people and just kind of demystifying the whole movie conundrum for a person from Montgomery, Alabama.

I can’t say that it helped me as an actor, but it definitely gave me opportunities. The directors’ were always saying how animated I was and I’d hear, “You just have this personality.” They wanted me to read for stuff but I was ill prepared because I was not a person who had studied at that time.

MH: You’re a native of Montgomery, Alabama. Acting isn’t exactly a common professional there. What made you want to become an actor?
OS: I had always wanted to be an actor. From my earliest memory of seeing a Steven Spielberg movie, I though, “What is it that they’re doing?” I didn’t even know what it was called but they were in movies. My mom was a very practical woman, and so I didn’t think that pursuing acting was practical. She always wanted us to have jobs or careers where we could basically have fulfilling lives, but also be able to take care of ourselves. So, acting was always a dream that I had since I was a child.

MH: After you began your training as an actor, and began to embark upon your career, what was your biggest fear?
OS: I don’t know that I had any fears. I mean, I’m fearful and neurotic of bugs and things like that. But I wasn’t fearful in the way of thinking, “What’s life going to be as an actor?” I never really had any of that fear. You can’t take that kind of stuff on. I was always a very hopeful person and opportunities always seemed to present themselves.

We all have the fear of “Am I going to be able to make enough money to take care of myself?” But I don’t know that I was ever worried that it wouldn’t happen. That I wouldn’t get to act.

Success is measured in different ways. For some people, it’s being on covers of magazines. And for other people, it’s, “Hey I’m working at a dinner theater making good money, supporting myself and doing great plays.” Do you know what I mean? Getting to do what you love is measured differently.

MH: Your success hasn’t been overnight. You’ve built it brick by brick. Did you have a low point? Did you ever consider giving up on acting?
OS: No, no, no! I had a wonderful support group of friends and we were all starting out at the same time. We just kept each other motivated and when jobs weren’t happening all the time, you just did what you needed to do to pick up the slack until you got that next audition. Or you borrowed $500. My group of friends borrowed and repaid the same $500 to each other several times over. I’m not even kidding!

MH: I’ve been there! I don’t think you’ve really worked in the film industry unless you have that story to tell.
OS: No. Unless you’re a child born with silver spoon in hand, not understanding the opportunity that’s being given. But I just had a very wonderful, ambitious group of friends and we were all there. There are low points where you’re thinking, “Ugh, when’s the next job gonna come?” But quitting was never an option. It was never even anything I thought about.

MH: What were you doing right before the audition that really changed your life?
OS: I worked at a market research company because there had been a writers’ strike. Jobs were coming back online. The studios and everyone were getting back to work after the writers’ strike but it was slow. So I did several things. But the one that I did most regularly was, I worked at a market research company.

MH: And what was that audition?
OS: It was The Help.

MH: What a great film. One I revisit frequently. You are wonderful in it!
OS: Thank you!

MH: I was fortunate to meet director Tate Taylor when he premiered Get On Up in Jackson, Mississippi. He was such a sweetheart.
OS: He is indeed. He loves Mississippi and he always takes whatever projects he’s working on to bring economic growth to the state. I think that’s really beautiful for a favorite son of the state. That’s really great of him. He’s pretty fantastic.

MH: Your performance in The Help just looks so effortless. In fact, many of your performances just seem so naturally effortless! I know they’re not, but that’s my impression.
OS: (big laugh) Well, thank you! That makes me smile because, whew, that’s the job. You have to make it seem as if you’re not searching for it. Thank you, I appreciate that.

MH: You really do that. Even watching a drama like Black or White, You look so comfortable in your own skin. Are you really comfortable on set? How do you do that?!
OS: (laughs) By being the most neurotic person on the planet! Honestly, it comes from all of the preparation that you do, trusting in your process and the director and other filmmakers’ process. But definitely the director: you are in a partnership. And then your scene partner. But for me…I just don’t know! I’m really neurotic. If they don’t ever say, “We have it,” then we’ll keep going until I feel like they have it.

You can ask me, “What do you think of your performance in this?” And I’m going to say, “I could have done better. I could have done something different.” I’m always wanting to keep exploring the path of whatever character I’m playing. You only know yourself. When you’re trying to bring another person to life – to give them authenticity and find their humanity – it takes a lot of detective work. Sometimes you solve the mystery and sometimes you don’t. One thing that you must do is make people feel that they know you. That they identify your character as a real human being. So when you say, “Oh, you make it look easy. You make it look effortless,” that is a huge compliment. Thank you! Because that’s one of the things that it’s our job to do.

MH: You are welcome and it’s a well-deserved compliment. I’ve heard that, long prior to working with him on Black or White, you were a huge Kevin Costner fan.
OS: I am, indeed.

MH: How do you prepare to work with someone like that? Someone who has been a part of film for so long and that you have watched for so long?OS: With someone like Kevin, you have to do your homework. You have to be prepared. You have to be ready because he is. Knowing that he paid for this movie out of his pocket, you just want to do your due diligence and you just have to be prepared. And I loved working with him. He’s just a joy.

MH: He’s amazing. I can’t wait to watch this phase of his career.
OS: Yeah, I know.

MH: So some of my favorite scenes in Black or White are with you and Andre Holland, who is an extraordinary talent.
OS: Yes!

MH: He is so good. I had just finished watching The Knick, Soderberg’s new Cinemax show, and he is incredible.
OS: I haven’t seen it yet, but he is a brilliant actor. He’s a force of nature. He’s very grounded and authentic. There’s this depth that he always has with every character. He’s just very deep as an actor. I love him.

MH: In the scene where you, as Rowena, catch Reggie (Andre Holland) smoking, why do you think she slaps him more than once?
OS: I think she does because it’s the disbelief that she had been blinded that entire time. Sometimes love is blind. That someone would chance throwing everything away for that fleeing moment of instant gratification. Nobody wants to see anyone throw their life away or an opportunity away.

It was also for the granddaughter. She gives that whole monologue about how precious each and everyone is. She feels like he had to do his part because it’s not his decision to make, now that he has a child. He has someone else that he has to be responsible for. When you have someone else that’s a minor depending on you, then you gotta man up. It was all of those things combined, I think.

MH: Interesting. I found Rowena very sympathetic until, I would say, the third slap. The first and second, she’s obviously doing the best she can to protect her babies. But with the third slap, I was suspicious that she may have been mildly abusive with Reggie as a child.
OS: She’s not an abusive person. She honestly was upset. It’s a disappointment and how dare he throw his opportunity away? Rather than going to court to fight for this child, he is getting high? So no, she wasn’t an abusive parent. Not at all. She was too much of a doting parent, in my opinion.

MH: That answer makes my day. You also appeared recently in Snowpiercer and I was so delighted to see that you were in it. In fact, I have been able to convince several people to watch it because you are in it.
OS: Oh boy! That’s interesting.

MH: I think you are a great piece of the casting puzzle. Captain American himself Chris Evans will certainly bring some people to the theater. And Bong Joon-Ho has a following for his Korean films. But because you are in it, I can recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of The Help.
OS: That’s great!

MH: What was that set like? It looks absolutely uninhabitable.
OS: It was. We filmed in Prague at one of their studios. It was all on stage so it was a very controlled environment. It was really one the most diverse groups of people I’d worked with. We had a Korean crew and we also had the Czech crew and the English speaking crew. The English speaking crew were pretty much the Americans and the Brits. Director Bong is really a cinophile and he loves American movies but he has his own unique voice. It was just wonderful working with him because you could tell when he delighted in a take. He was just diffusive with the way he said “Cut!”

It was also very different in the way he worked. We were all given a little book with the storyboards. That was our script. We had a regular script but we all had a storyboard book. It was a little comic book. What I learned very early on is that if it wasn’t in the story board, then it wasn’t going to be shot. He showed us exactly how he was shooting the movie. With an American movie, at least in the way I’ve worked with American directors, they shoot a scene and then they cover it. Bong knew exactly what pieces he wanted covered from the scene. So, there was not always a master and then coverage. There might have only been the master and might have only been coverage from different angles so it was very unique experience. I really enjoyed working with Director Bong.

MH: Were you familiar with his work beforehand?
OS: Oh yes. I’d seen The Host and two other of his movies. They were amazing.

MH: Snowpiercer was great. And you know what else was great about that movie? The fact that it actually did well in theaters!
OS: Yeah, it did huge all over the world but they never reported that over on our side. It had already made like $80 million before it was released here. I think in its first couple of months, Snowpiercer made so much money. It made its budget back. It was great. And Chris Evans is amazing in it. I love him as the anti-hero. It was a great cast and a great project to be a part of.

MH: I worked on a movie with Chris about five or six years ago and one of my memories of him was just how studied he was. He was very devoted to the sides and took it seriously, like a stage actor.
OS: Well, you can’t come to work ill prepared. Chris is the constant professional and you want your number one leading man to be ready to work. To be ready to be in scenes with you. You want to be able to do your part and that definitely is Chris Evans. It was such an enjoyable experience because he was always ready to work. But watching him do stunts so effortlessly was amazing, too.

MH: Thank you for speaking with me, Octavia. It is been an honor.
OS: Thank you honey!

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REVIEW: Gavin Miller’s ‘Hurricane Katrina Through the Eyes of the Children’

Gavin Miller’s documentary Hurricane Katrina Through the Eyes of the Children is a heartbreaking flashback to a disaster that ruined homes and separated families.

Miller interviews victims of Katrina throughout the classrooms and halls of Ruston Jr. High School in Ruston, Louisiana. The film opens with Briea, a victim of Hurricane Katrina. She gives a solemn and impactful interview about half of her family and friends being lost in the disaster and how she can no longer return home.

Miller crafts a diverse atmosphere of experiences, interviewing children from New Orleans, students of the junior high, teachers and the principal. Each backstory is different, those affected describing stressful situations, loss and heartbreak.

Human connections have helped these kids adapt, but the evacuees of the hurricane struggled to fit in with the students at their new school. Some children find the way the evacuee children talk humorous. But as they are interviewed together, they agree that they are all the same age and like the same things.

The female teachers of Ruston Jr. High School keep their interviews professional and explain the help provided to the children. But, underneath some maternal instincts, there is an unsettling feeling about their own families and their safety throughout the disaster.

Miller creates a personal atmosphere with each interviewee. The viewer really feels as if they are witnessing the moment, listening to their story, asking questions about their family and homes, wondering where they will be months from now and wondering if they will ever move back to New Orleans.

The documentary’s greatest strengths are beautiful stories of how heartbroken people are making the most of their situation, living day to day with the clothes on their backs, food on their stoves, good company and new friends.

You can watch Gavin Miller’s new documentary in its entirety here.

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IN THEATERS: ‘Terminator: Genisys,’ ‘Magic Mike XXL’

With everyone taking a break from work for the Fourth of July weekend, take a break from the heat by seeing one of these movies in theaters. Terminator: Genisys was shot in New Orleans, so there’s that.

Terminator: Genisys  – July 1

Shot in New Orleans, the newest installment of Terminator stalks into theaters. Kyle Reese will travel back in time to connect with Sarah Connor to hopefully stop Judgment Day from ever happening. Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney, JK Simmons and Arnold Schwarzenegger star. 119 minRated TBA.

Magic Mike XXL – July 1

Mike has been out of the game for three years but now returns as the Kings of Tampa hit the road to Myrtle Beach. Channing Tatum, Elizabeth Banks, Amber Heard, Matt Bomer, Jada Pinkett Smith and Donald Glover star. TBA minRated R.

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HEALTH SCENE: Aaron Williamson Trains Jai Courtney for ‘Terminator: Genisys’

Aaron Williamson is a health advisor and fitness trainer to the film industry. He has helped craft the physical transformations of Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained, Zac Efron in Neighbors and Josh Brolin in Oldboy. He recently finished molding Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke into legendary action heroine Sarah Connor for Terminator: Genisys. Find out more at aaronwilliamson.net.

The character of Kyle Reese was portrayed by Michael Biehn in James Cameron’s classic film The Terminator, which came out in the early 80s. What’s in your mind when you think about crafting the physical look of the new Kyle Reese portrayed by Jai Courtney in Terminator: Genisys?
Jai is a genetic freak. He’s probably the most genetically gifted person I’ve ever worked with and I’m very jealous of that! He can naturally be a big guy but for the character of Kyle Reese, he doesn’t need to be a big guy. So the goal is to bring him down in weight and lean him out so he doesn’t look like a Terminator. We needed to soften the look a bit so it looks more realistic. Someone who trains, but trains like he’s in the field training, where your workout might be pushups or pull-ups and crunches, or just carrying about heavy stuff all day.

Yeah, Kyle Reese is this guy from a future where they don’t exactly have gyms to join.
A lot of his physique comes from weapons handling and constantly running from point A to point B. It’s that kind of functional stuff that we try to emulate in the training. Traditional weight training was completely out of the question because if he touched the weight, he just got big. We had to be very careful about that. His diet was very strict, very low carb, lots of vegetables, lots of avocados and nuts, good fats. He was eating anywhere from five to six meals a day. He actually started leaning out before he even came to New Orleans. He was set up on a program back in L.A. to get him prepped to come in because he was bigger coming off of his last film. Every morning, he’d get up and hit the treadmill right out of bed for an hour and he was taking some simple supplements – beet powder, l-carnitine, CoQ10 – just things that were good for the heart, good for the immune system and help with recovery and fat burning. He got here a little bit later than Emilia, so we had about two weeks of training before production began. We focused primarily on plyometric work, a lot of bodyweight training and TRX work. Anything that had weight and resistance, we had to be very careful about.

Usually you’re trying to bulk them up, so this must have been unusual.
Yeah. The goal was trying to bring him down to a weight that would resemble the Kyle Reese that everyone knows. And we definitely pulled it off. I can’t wait to see everyone’s reaction to him because he looks good, but he doesn’t look like he’s spent all day, everyday in a gym. It just looks real.

Once filming started, he’s doing very physical work on set. How did that affect training?
There were probably a few weeks where he would literally be running around barefoot. And if you’re running around on concrete or some type of hard floor barefoot take after take, it’ll beat the hell out of your lower back, your legs and knees. That was just one obstacle we had to work through. This production was very mentally and physically taxing on the actors. I’m pretty sure there were days where the last thing he wanted to do was see me in the gym! Haha.

It’s a real physical challenge on these action films. When you see someone running in a movie, that may have required the actor to run for hours a day for weeks on end at full speed. And being barefoot doesn’t help!
No, it doesn’t. Jai and Emilia both did a lot of deep tissue massage work to keep their body in check. It was a very stunt heavy film. Jai did some wire work where he’s strapped into the wire getting yanked around, so there were days when he’d come in just sore everywhere. I might have a plan, but that would have to go out the window and I would have to say, “We’re going do this instead.” Just being able to adapt was important so that we didn’t hurt him. In many cases we would incorporate the Concept 2 rower, the Stepmill and battle ropes into the training routine for the day. All very heart rate centric exercising.

What was the schedule like during shooting?
We started off five days a week, spending about an hour at a time. As filming went on, we dropped down to four. He was dedicated to staying in there, and occasionally we’d makeup sessions on the weekend, sometimes twice per day.

Did you work with him on set at all?
We would do a little bit here and there if we needed to, mostly some pump up work. But there wasn’t a real need to even do it. I just can’t even express how genetically gifted he is. It blows my mind. It’s almost like training a natural athlete. They just have it. Plus, he just knows his body. He did a lot of training for Spartacus, which was very physical, so he’s very familiar with what he can and can’t do.

Let’s talk diet.
He was dedicated. Egg whites in the morning, maybe an egg white omelet with some veggies. Lots of chicken and fish. Lots of mixed nuts. And Catering was excellent: they were good about getting his meals every few hours and just loading up the lean proteins for him, which he needed.

What else stands out in your mind from working with Jai?
Just the fact that he’s a solid guy and cares about everyone around him. It was fun to watch him work and it was fun to train with him. I can’t wait to see the film.

For more health and fitness tips, read the Health Scene online at health.sceneent.com and visit Aaron’s website at aaronwilliamson.net.

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HEALTH SCENE: Aaron Williamson on Training ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Star Emilia Clarke

Aaron Williamson is a health advisor and fitness trainer to the film industry. He has helped craft the physical transformations of Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained, Zac Efron in Neighbors and Josh Brolin in Oldboy. He recently finished molding Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke into legendary action heroine Sarah Connor for Terminator: Genisys. Find out more at aaronwilliamson.net.

Were you a fan of the Terminator movies growing up?
Oh, for sure. It was a little surreal getting the phone call to come train the cast. I remember calling my dad and telling him about it because we used to watch Terminator all the time. The movie’s iconic, the Terminator’s iconic, Sarah Connor’s iconic. The whole franchise is just amazing.

How did you go about taking actress Emilia Clarke, who plays a physically delicate queen on Game of Thrones, and crafting her into an action heroine?
It was a challenge and I was excited about it because it’s the type of character that I like to train someone for. Sarah Connor represents this strong, powerful woman who can basically take on the world. It was so cool to be a part of helping this young, amazing actress become this hardcore iconic figure. And it started with some hard, hard training. This process is about flipping a switch and embracing the fact that it’s going to be tough and there will be some pain & discomfort associated with it. But that’s the fun part, right?! Pushing those new limits to transform your body.

Where do you start with that?
Emilia came in from L.A. to start training and we had a good chunk of time before production started, about four weeks. We spent hours a day in the gym. We would start our morning off doing cardio, whether high intensity interval training or low intensity steady state type stuff, maybe on the treadmill or some Stairmaster work. She’s a phenom on the rowing machine too; I couldn’t even keep up with her on it! That would basically be our first session and then we’d break. We’d sit back in the break room to regroup for a bit and relax, eat and get ready for round two. We weren’t able to split the training up throughout the day so we had to maximize the time we had, which was typically early mornings.

The training was different. You’re not going to get the look Sarah Connor has by training with free weights and dumbbells alone. So we were very creative to help her have a lean, toned look and to be able to run and carry heavy weapons. Emilia’s not a tall or very big woman, but she’s gotta carry some pretty heavy-duty weaponry during the film. The approach in the gym was very functional.

What was training like during prep for the film?
Cardio was typically forty-five minutes to an hour. We might take about a twenty-minute break, we’d do a shake and we rotated her foods around quite a bit. Hemp protein, some chia seeds. We’d throw in a brown rice cake or maybe some fruit just depending on what we were doing for the day’s training. After the cardio, we’d go into the ‘dungeon’ and do a lot of functional work, a lot of TRX, ropes, kettle bells. All your non-traditional free weight stuff. And then two days a week we would try to focus on getting free weights in. We wanted to have that long, lean muscly look, so it was steady combination of functional training, metabolic conditioning and strength training.

The functional fitness makes so much sense for the character because in Terminator 2, Sarah Connor builds this physique in an institution where she’s flipping her bed up and doing inverted push ups and pull ups. She’s not exactly working out in a traditional gym.
No. We might go on a circuit with box jumps, we’d hit TRX squats, we’d do plank push ups, we’d do a set of kettle bells where there’d be swings or stiff leg dead lifts. When you’re circuit training, you’re going to be able to keep an actor engaged better than if you’re sitting on a bench curling a dumbbell. Out of all the training I’ve done in my career, I’ve spent more time with her than anyone else, so she put in some hours, especially during pre-production. And on top of our training, she would leave from the gym and go straight to stunt training. She would just have a completely physically exhausting day of non-stop stunts, weapons, training with me, cardio and then I had her on a low calorie diet on top of it. That’s tough. I have a lot of respect for her.

How did the training change during filming?
The training time got cut down obviously. The obstacle was the energy because on top of working the long day, she would have to get to set maybe two or three hours earlier to get ready. Her days were so long. When you factor in how much sleep she was able to get before she was back in the gym with me, I don’t care who you are, it will be tough. What made it even more difficult for her was that the schedule started on night shoots for 6 days a week. Talk about throwing your body off!

What was your plan for nutrition?
We’d have meals prepped and protein shakes ready. But low calorie is low calorie. You’re going be hungry. It can be a little stressful for an actor because you’re trying to memorize pages of dialogue and be in the scene, you’re tired because you’re not sleeping, and you’re hungry. She put in so much work for this character and that’s even more reason why I’m so excited to see the finished product. On set, it looked like a hell of a performance covering every area of the emotional spectrum: sad, hurt, angry, commanding. She can pull it all off. In the trailer, she looks strong and powerful. I’d like to think that we accomplished our goal.

For more health and fitness tips, read the Health Scene online at health.sceneent.com and visit Aaron’s website at aaronwilliamson.net.

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Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival

Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival that was created by Kevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra, Brandt Wood and Michael Whelan. The trio aspired to highlight the diversity and community spirit of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, tailoring the best elements to Franklin, TN where Griffin now resides. The festival will take off September 26-27.

Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival is a two-day event transforming The Park At Harlinsdale Farm into an oasis of music, food and culture set against the natural amphitheaters and vistas of this former walking horse farm located in Franklin, TN.  Renowned musical acts, many performing acoustically, will be presented on wood-clad stages reflecting the area’s historic aesthetic. In addition to artists performing their own sets, Pilgrimage will feature Pilgri-mashups where one-of-a-kind pairings of musicians collaborate with one another on stage as well as the first-ever Kitchen Stage and Sippin’ Stage and Little Pilgrim’s Landing specifically for kids. The region’s best food and drink will be on display as well as numerous local artists and artisans creating an all-encompassing festival experience. Curation of the food and beverage program is on-going and will be announced this summer.

2-Day passes and VIP packages are available at $172 (2-Day pass) and $499 (2-Day VIP package) and Single Day passes will be available at a later date as well as the festival schedule. Passes and VIP packages can be purchased via the Pilgrimage website – http://pilgrimagefestival.com/tickets.

Not only will the festival drive tourism dollars to Williamson County but a portion of each ticket sale will benefit the City of Franklin and Franklin Parks. In addition a portion of ticket sales will also benefit MusiCares®, a nonprofit organization that was established by The Recording Academy® to provide a wide range of emergency financial assistance and addiction recovery resources to members of the music community.

None of this could have been possible without the festival culture and spirit that is ingrained into New Orleans and all who have resided there including the festival co-founders. Many New Orleans bands are also on the bill including Dr. John, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and Big Sam’s Funky Nation.

Full Inaugural Lineup Below:

Willie Nelson
Sheryl Crow
Wilco
Cage The Elephant
St. Paul & The Broken Bones
The Decemberists
Band of Horses
Dawes
The Lone Bellow
Trampled By Turtles
Lucius
Weezer
Chris Stapleton
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Jimmy Cliff
Will Hoge
Neko Case
Saint Motel
Iron & Wine
John & Jacob
Dr. John
Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear
Punch Brothers
Big Sam’s Funky Nation
Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires
Rainey Qualley

“The music and arts event is far from just a country concert. Indie rock acts the Decemberists and Weezer, along with Americana darlings Neko Case and Iron & Wine…” – Rolling Stone

“Another music festival is making its debut — this one outside of Nashville, Tennessee, and paying homage to history.” – Associated Press

“New Franklin outing the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival now holds the distinction as being the closest major (non-country) music fest to Nashville proper.” – No Country for New Nashville

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‘Scream Queens’ Gets Release Date and Adds Charisma Carpenter to Cast

Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum Charisma Carpenter joins Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens with an essential role. The Vegas native will play Ariana Grande’s mother in the New Orleans-shot horror-comedy series.

We also got huge news of the series premiere via Emma Robert’s Instagram. Scream Queens will premiere on Fox on Tuesday, September 22. Pledge semester for the Kappa Kappa Tau sorority can’t come here soon enough and we’re all very excited for the fall premiere.

The New Orleans-shot series – which also stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, Nick Jonas, Billie Lourd and Keke Palmer – takes place on the campus of Wallace University where their Red Devil mascot goes on a murder rampage.

For more information, visit the Scream Queens Daily Buzz website.

Source: TVLine

It’s all happening!!!! #ScreamQueens

A photo posted by Emma Roberts (@emmaroberts) on Jun 24, 2015 at 2:48pm PDT

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IN THEATERS: ‘Ted 2,’ ‘Max’

Ted 2

The sequel to Seth MacFarlane’s teddy bear comedy is here. Mark Wahlberg returns as best bud for his newly married furry friend. In order to be a parent, Ted must prove he’s a person in a court of law. 115 min. Rated R.

Max

Post traumatic stress effects dogs too. This is a heart warming story about a US Marine dog returning home from the war in Afghanistan. 111 min. Rated PG.

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TRAILER: ‘Scream Queens’ Latest Promo

The most recent teaser trailer of the New Orleans-shot Scream Queens, the genre blending horror-comedy anthology series, shows the underlying motives of the Wallace University Red Devil mascot. A couple of months ago, show creator Ryan Murphy claimed that the identity of the killer would be revealed at the end of the show. Fans can see the killer eyeing his/her future victims from outside of the majestic sorority house.

In the trailer, we see each cast member together at a sorority party. Inside the house, there’s an abundance of red solo cups and the song “Die Tonight?” by Charli XCX keeping the party alive. We see Emma Roberts and Abigail Breslin; the unwanted pledges, Keke Palmer and Lea Michele; and the dean and scream queen herself, Jamie Lee Curtis. The party is rocking inside as the killer waits just beyond the front doors wielding a familiar knife.

The first season of Scream Queens is set to premiere this fall on Fox. The lethal cast includes Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lea Michele, Ariana Grande, Abigail Breslin, Keke Palmer, Nick Jonas, Skyler Samuels, Billie Lourd and Oliver Hudson.

Each week at least one character will be killed, though it is unclear which character will be killed off first. After reading the YouTube comments – I don’t suggest this tactic – many think Jamie Lee Curtis could be the mystery killer. Leave a comment below and tell us who you think the killer is.

Source: BreatheCast

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Voodoo 2015 Lineup Swings For the Fences

In a city filled with festivals, Voodoo is consistently the best. And this year, the fest kicks off on Friday, October 30, which means Halloween will actually land on Saturday. And after a day filled with music, food and art, Halloween night arrives on Frenchmen Street.

Here’s the lineup:

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30

 

Florence+The Machine
Jack U (Skrillex and Diplo’s side project)
Modest Mouse
Alesso
Jason Isbell
Gerard Way
Yelawolf
Destructo
Girl Talk
Ryan Bingham
Joey Badass and the Soul Rebels
The Joy Formidable
Jauz
Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls
Salva
Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas
Wax Motif
Hundred Waters
Grizfolk
Flowtribe
Dan Dyer
Hello Negro
St. Cecelia’s Asylum Chorus

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31

 

Ozzy Osbourne feat. Geezer Butler
Tom Morello and Slash
Jane’s Addiction
Santigold
Duke Dumont
Giorgio Moroder
Clutch + Zhu
Django Django
Lettuce & The Growlers
Babes in Toyland
Jacob Plant
Terence Blanchard feat. The E-Collective
Nina Las Vegas
Fantastic Negrito
Joywave
The Struts
The Suffers
The Wans
veridia
Mike Dillon’s Punk Rock Percussion Consortium
Mississippi Rail Company
Carmine P. Filthy and a Boy Named Ruth
Kompression with Unicorn Fukr & Herb Christopher

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1

 

Zac Brown Band
Deadmau5
Chance the Rapper
Eric Prydz
Slightly Stoopid
Third Eye Blind
the Cult
Tchami
Bro Safari
Fishbone
Title Fight
Dumpstaphunk
Elliphant
Mija
The Temperence Movement
Here Come The Mummies
July Talk
Rozzi Crane
Quickie Mart
Tysson
Baby Bee
The Ludlow Thieves
Babygirl

For tickets and up to the minute updates, visit the official site of Voodoo at worshipthemusic.com.

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REVIEW: Halt and Catch Fire – Season 1 | The SceneCast

Scoot McNairy as Gordon Clark, Mackenzie Davis as Cameron Howe and Lee Pace as Joe MacMillan – Halt and Catch Fire _ Season 1, Gallery – Photo Credit: James Minchin III/AMC

In this preview of the new podcast Halt and Cast Fire, Micah, David and Tessa review Halt and Catch Fire Season 1, the AMC drama series that stars Scoot McNairy, Lee Pace, Mackenzie Davis, Kerry Bishé and Toby Huss.

The SceneCast and Halt and Cast Fire are podcasts from Scene Magazine, the entertainment magazine. Find out more at Sceneent.com and haltandcastfire.com. Email us at haltandcastfire@sceneent.com.

SHOW NOTES

0:52 – Intro
2:00 – Review of Halt and Catch Fire’s first season
16:49 – Spoilers for Halt and Catch Fire – Season 1

Music for this week’s show comes from the original soundtrack to Halt and Catch Fire, which you can find in iTunes.

SPONSOR:
This episode of the SceneCast is brought to you by Delaney and Robb, a premier New Orleans law firm focused on estate planning, family law and general practice. The only established firm in New Orleans dedicated to the LGBT community, Delaney and Robb greet each client with compassion and understanding, in addition to experienced legal expertise. Whether you are a member of the LGBT community or just need great legal representation, Delaney and Robb are there for you. Visit delaneyandrobb.com for more information.

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REVIEW: Halt and Catch Fire – Season 1 | Halt and Cast Fire | An Unofficial Halt and Catch Fire Podcast

Scoot McNairy as Gordon Clark, Mackenzie Davis as Cameron Howe and Lee Pace as Joe MacMillan – Halt and Catch Fire _ Season 1, Gallery – Photo Credit: James Minchin III/AMC

Micah, David and Tessa review Halt and Catch Fire Season 1, the AMC drama series that stars Scoot McNairy, Lee Pace, Mackenzie Davis, Kerry Bishé and Toby Huss.

Halt and Cast Fire is a podcast from Scene Magazine, the entertainment magazine. Find out more at Sceneent.com and haltandcastfire.com. Email us at haltandcastfire@sceneent.com.

SHOW NOTES

0:40 – Intro
1:45 – Review of Halt and Catch Fire’s first season
16:30 – Spoilers for Halt and Catch Fire – Season 1

Music for this week’s show comes from the original soundtrack to Halt and Catch Fire, which you can find in iTunes.

SPONSOR:
NX. What’s NX? Go to whatsnx.com to find out.

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BREAKING: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Signs Film Bill HB829 Into Law

After a strange, whirlwind legislative session that concluded with lawmakers passing new legislation with only two minutes left in session, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has signed that legislation (HB829) into law.

The new law will, for the first time, place a type of cap on the film incentives that have allowed Louisiana to become the worldwide leader in physical production. That reign has included hosting Jurassic World, which just had the most successful weekend in the history of the box office.

While merely the word “cap” strikes fear into the hearts of some, there are many in the Louisiana film industry and abroad that are excited about new positive provisions in the law.

The Louisiana Film & Entertainment Association, which is comprised of film industry businesses, employees and other stakeholders, has promised to challenge parts of the law in court that are thought to be unconstitutional.

As I understand it, the law will not cap the amount of tax credits issued to filmmakers, but will affect how many tax credits can be redeemed in a given year, capping that amount at $180 million. That cap on credit redemptions will exist for three years, at which point it will sunset.

There is also a $30 million dollar cap per project, which will only impact the very largest studio projects in Louisiana, and a slew of other provisions, many of which are seen as enormous coups for the entertainment industry, including up to a 55% tax credit on indigenous productions and up to a 60% tax credit on music.

Developing…

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IN THEATERS: ‘Inside Out,’ ‘Dope’

Inside Out

This Pixar film has an amazing cast consisting of Diane Lane, Mindy Kailing, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith and Lewis Black. The little voices in Riley’s head are her emotions that begin to take control of her life. 102 min. Rated PG.

Dope

Written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa, the film Dope follows a nerdy African American high schooler named Malcolm. Malcolm and his friends are invited to an underground party and are led on a Los Angeles adventure. 115 min. Rated R. 

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Baton Rouge-Produced ‘Free Booze Friday’ Picked Up by GeekNation as Web Series

Free Booze Friday Season One premieres this summer on GeekNation.com. Below is the press release:

Local video production company tommysTV and culinary media personality Jay Ducote of BiteandBooze.com recently signed a deal with GeekNation.com to bring their series Free Booze Friday to the masses this summer.

Free Booze Friday features Ducote, a well-known blogger who has been on several national cooking shows, as a bartender who is serving drinks and educating patrons about a specific kind of alcohol. But there’s a twist – Ducote’s customers are puppets, and they’re not always excited to sample the craft beer or a small batch liquor he’s selling.

Click here to watch the trailer.

Talley and Ducote developed the concept several years ago as a way to use the free alcohol sent to Ducote by companies wishing to be featured on BiteandBooze.com. The resulting 12-episode series is a hilarious snippet of barroom life, with the tipsy puppets offering a teasing look at the culture surrounding beer and spirits.

Shot locally in Baton Rouge at Lock & Key Whiskey Bar and Beausoleil Restaurant and Bar using puppets crafted by tommysTV assistant director Clay Achee, the series of digital episodes is GeekNation’s first deal with tommysTV and one of the company’s first forays into a puppet-based show.

tommysTV founder Tommy Talley said, “By partnering with GeekNation, we are instantly able to reach millions of viewers with our digital shorts that creatively blend our approach to production and storytelling with a traditional food or beverage review. It doesn’t hurt that the series is offbeat and fun to produce.”

Ducote said, “I’m excited for people to see the Free Booze Friday series when it launches on GeekNation because it is a hilarious way to inform viewers about different kinds of alcohol. These puppets aren’t afraid to tell it like it is – those felt palates are more discerning than you might think.”

GeekNation is a Los Angeles-based entertainment website that features videos, podcasts, blogs and other media founded in 2012 by actress Clare Kramer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

GeekNation’s Senior VP, Oren Kamara said, “We are thrilled to partner with tommysTV and Ducote to bring this uniquely original and humorous series to our audience. We’ve been looking for a proper alcohol review type show and with Free Booze Friday we found that, plus we get the benefit of some very funny and crude talent on the show in the form of puppets. The guys have created a high quality production with informative alcohol tidbits and very funny writing. I can’t wait to premiere the show.”

Follow the show on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

ABOUT TOMMYSTV

tommysTV is a full service video production company that works with businesses, ad agencies, nonprofits and other organizations to produce creative content that informs and tells brand stories. For more information, visit www.tommys.tv.

ABOUT BITE AND BOOZE

As a culinary media company, Bite and Booze, LLC creates food and beverage content that chronicles the cultural indulgent experiences of Jay D. Ducote. The blog, http://www.biteandbooze.com, shares stories about everything that Jay eats and drinks throughout his life in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and his travels around the United States and the world.

ABOUT GEEKNATION

GeekNation is a Los Angeles-based company providing content creation, production & distribution – The GeekNation site provides news & articles from top writers around the country, audio podcasts (including Movie Crypt & Far Far Away, both ranking top 10 in the nation on iTunes), videos, television shows and motion movie posters, or “Mosters.” GeekNation operates out of a 5,500 square-foot sound stage in Van Nuys, where it films all its original content for the site that broadcasts out to its tens of millions of listeners and viewers, lovingly referred to as “the nation”. GeekNation is a highly recognized and impacting social media platform known for its respectable reputation in the entertainment industry. The company works with celebrities and studios alike, forging unique partnerships while positioning itself to become one of the biggest “geek & pop culture” platforms in the galaxy. Founded by actress & CEO Clare Kramer and former film producer & COO Brian R. Keathley, GeekNation recently named film producer, Oren Kamara, as Senior Vice President.

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LSU Beats CS Fullerton 5-3 in Elimination Game

Thankfully baseball isn’t played for only one inning. LSU freshman Alex Lange was roughed up in the first inning of play allowing three early runs to the Titans from Cal State Fullerton. After the first inning, Lange settled in and dominated in a complete game that favored the Tigers 5-3.

Lange (12-0) remained perfect on the year as he struck out ten and allowed six hits. Of the Titans’ six hits, four were accomplished in the first inning. Alex Lange showed his true colors and deemed himself worthy of collegiate baseball’s National Freshman of the Year as he allowed no runs in the remaining eight innings.

The Bayou Bengals were held scoreless until the top of the third inning where they strung together six hits (all singles) and scored four runs. The Tigers forced Fullerton to pull their starter and then fired off three consecutive singles to push the lead to 4-3. That score would remain until the seventh where LSU would tack on another run and would ultimately win 5-3.

Second overall pick and All-American shortstop Alex Bregman had four hits to lead the Tigers, Mark Laird had three and Kade Scivicque had two. The Tigers put an end to the perennial powerhouse Cal State Fullerton’s season. LSU will have their rubber match against TCU on Thursday.

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The Legal Team at Delaney and Robb Have Pride in Their Community

After attending Loyola Law School together, Brandon Robb and Ryan Delaney pursued different legal paths subsequent to their graduation in 2008. Delaney focused his legal career on insurance defense with a smattering of personal injury cases. Robb joined a large firm in New Orleans, primarily practicing in the areas of successions and succession-related litigation.

Several years later, Delaney struck upon the notion of creating their own law firm, one that would not only serve their fellow New Orleanians but would also specialize in serving the LGBT community. Established in 2013, the legal duo hung their shingle to serve New Orleans with pride.

“The greatest reward we get is by providing good service to our clients while simultaneously advocating for changes to the law which will be beneficial to many people and couples we represent,” says Delaney. “Knowing that we have established relationships of trust with so many in our community is humbling and rewarding.”

Delaney and Robb’s focus on the rights of the LBGT community brought them into the spotlight recently when a transgender man was fired from his corporate job, allegedly for refusing to dress and identify as female. The duo is serving as co-counsel in this case.

“We are happy to have been the first resource to whom our client turned. Knowing that our presence in Louisiana helped him decide to stand up and speak out about his situation is very gratifying” says Robb.

We will definitely be seeing more of the legal team this summer as the Supreme Court levies its decision on marriage equality. “Regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on that subject,” Robb says, “There is still much work to be done to address inequality in the law in such areas as employment discrimination, housing and other public accommodations, health care and a host of others.”

Along with the firm’s newest member Andrea Rubin, the team at Delaney and Robb works to educate the community by offering free legal seminars. Simply Like Delaney and Robb on Facebook to learn more about these presentations. Or better yet, connect with them in person at their family-friendly Pride event at Washington Square Park on Saturday, June 20th from 11:00am to 4:00pm.

Whether you are a part of the LGBT community, care about someone who is, or just need great legal advice, Delaney and Robb are proud to welcome all individuals and families and look forward to continue in their tradition as an inclusive law firm.

Find out more at delaneyandrobb.com or by calling 504.267.9700.

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New Orleans-Shot ‘Jurassic World’ Sets All-Time Record with $209 Million Opening Weekend

Jurassic World just set a new all-time box office record, making $208.8 million in its opening weekend. That was just enough to beat out the The Avengers, which has held the record with $207.4 million since 2012.

The $208.8 total is big enough to bestow the problematic park pic with the all-time titles of biggest North American, international and global opening weekends. Internationally, Jurassic World‘s cume has already reached $511 million dollars.

The New Orleans-shot dino epic is the fourth film in the Jurassic Park series. Although the series has remained popular since the original set records in 1993, it has been thirteen years since Jurassic Park III‘s release in 2001, which made the release of World this weekend anything but a sure thing.

Helping the franchise reboot was Chris Pratt, who also anchored last summer’s surprise hit Guardians of the Galaxy. That film went on to be the #3 highest grossing film of 2014, behind The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and American Sniper. Pratt is now in Baton Rouge filming The Magnificent Seven for director Antoine Fuqua.

Jurassic World also stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Irffan Khan, Ty Simpkins, Vincent D’Onofrio, BD Wong, Nick Robinson, Jake Johnson, Omar Sy, Judy Greer, Courtney James Clark and James DuMont.

Source: Deadline

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New Podcast: Halt and Cast Fire | An Unofficial Halt and Catch Fire Podcast | The SceneCast

Micah Haley introduces Halt and Cast Fire, a new podcast from Scene Magazine about the AMC Original drama Halt and Catch Fire, which stars Scoot McNairy, Lee Pace, Mackenzie Davis, Kerry Bishé and Toby Huss.

The SceneCast is the official podcast of Scene Magazine, the entertainment magazine. Find out more at Sceneent.com. Email us at scenecast@sceneent.com.

SPONSOR:
This episode of the SceneCast is brought to you by On Screens Custom Wardrobing by Baudier Marketing. Whether you are a company seeking great promotional products, a film that needs crew shirts and wrap gifts , embroidered patches, or screen printing, Baudier Marketing does it better. When you need it, they deliver it FAST. Call us at 504-734-FAST.

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IN THEATERS: New Orleans-Shot ‘Jurassic World’ is Finally Here

Jurassic World

Shot in New Orleans, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard star in this reboot/sequel. Isla Nublar is a fully functioning dinosaur theme park in which one of the attractions goes dreadfully wrong. This will likely be one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer. 124 min. PG-13.

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Atlanta-Shot ‘The Founder’ Has Begun Production

What better way to get to America’s hearts and clogged arteries than to make a film about the birth of McDonalds. Production on The Founder is already underway in Atlanta. The fast food empire film tells the story of Ray Kroc, the man who joined forces with Mac and Dick McDonald. The McDonald brothers impressed the middle-aged Kroc with their speedy burger operation. The infatuated Kroc was so impressed, he ended up taking over the company and turned it into the billion-dollar operation we see today.

I can’t find a cast member I dislike. The delicious cast includes Michael Keaton, Laura Dern, Nick Offerman, Linda Cardellini, Patrick Wilson and BJ Novak.

Michael Keaton’s resurgence in Hollywood is refreshing to see. The Birdman star will play Ray Kroc, a middle-aged salesman turned fast food tycoon. Keaton’s portrayal of Kroc will be quite darker than initially imagined as greed, money and power overtakes his way of life.

Laura Dern recently starred alongside Reese Witherspoon in Wild. The incredible actress was also in New Orleans during the filming of 99 Homes. Now, you can see her in the Atlanta-shot The Founder. Dern will play Ethel, the first wife to Ray Kroc.

The news of Nick Offerman joining the speedy burger joint immediately brought a smile across my mustache-less face. The Parks and Rec legend will play Dick McDonald, one of the brothers duped by Kroc.

Bloodline star Linda Cardellini will play Joan Kroc, the third wife of Ray Kroc. Cardellini has seen tremendous success over the past year, appearing in Bloodline and Avengers: Age Of Ultron, while filming Daddy’s Home in New Orleans. She has come a long way from playing Lindsay Weir in the cult classic Freaks and Geeks.

Inglorious Basterds actor BJ Novak will play a rising executive at McDonalds who becomes a protégé to Ray Kroc. I guess Kroc and The Office‘s Michael Scott both see themselves in BJ Novak. Novak will reconnect with John Lee Hancock. The two worked together on Saving Mr. Banks.

Home Sweet Hell star Patrick Wilson will play Rollie Smith, a young Navy veteran and first husband of Joan Kroc. The two had a daughter named Linda.

The Founder is directed by Magnificent Seven scribe John Lee Hancock. Robert Siegel is credited for writing the script. The fast food joint is expected to be released by The Weinstein Company on November 25, 2016.

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Martin Campbell’s ‘Hunter Killer’ Will Start Prepping Next Month in the Crescent City

Casino Royale director Martin Campbell will make another stop in New Orleans to shoot Hunter Killer this summer. The famed director was in the Big Easy in 2011 while filming Green Lantern. His new project, a submarine thriller called Hunter Killer, follows a barbarous Russian military leader en route to start World War III with America. In order to prevent all hell from breaking loose, the US Navy must stop the enraged Russian at all costs.

When you’re thinking of a crazed Russian submarine Captain, who better to play it than Willem Dafoe? His rugged face alone would make even Putin smile with pride. The American actor is joined by Gerard Butler, Billy Bob Thornton and rapper/actor Common. Billy Bob Thornton has been hotter than a muffler in Death Valley recently. He had a comeback performance in FX’s anthology series Fargo and faces off with Robert Downey Jr. in The Judge. Common is coming off an Oscar win with John Legend for their song “Glory,” featured in the film Selma. Common also acted in that film playing civil rights leader James Bevel.

Prep for Hunter Killer is scheduled to begin in New Orleans this July. Martin Campbell is directing from a script by Peter Craig, based on the novel Firing Point by George Wallace and Don Keith.

We will follow this film throughout the summer!

Source: Deadline

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‘USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage’ Filming in Mobile, Alabama Next Month

Mobile, Alabama will undergo a drastic transformation; the Southern town will go back in time to the 1940s. The story of USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage takes place in 1940s San Francisco. The World War II film retells the nerve-racking true story of the crew of the USS Indianapolis. The ship was struck with a torpedo and the men were stranded in the Philippine Sea. The crew was awaiting rescue for five days after delivering atomic weapons that would eventually end WWII. Of the 1,196 crew members, roughly 300 men went down with the ship, while the others waded in shark-infested waters, battling saltwater poising and dehydration.

War movie vet Tom Sizemore will be joined by Nicolas Cage, Thomas Jane and Astronaut Wives Club actor Matt Lanter. Cage will play Captain Charles Butler McVay, who was court-martialed, then exonerated more than fifty years later. No report on Sizemore or Jane’s roles in the upcoming film.

New Jack City helmer Mario Van Peebles will direct from his own script that was shaped by producers Rionda del Castro and Cam Cannon. Production is under a month away in Mobile as the crew gets set for a 500,000-gallon water tank and potential animatronic sharks. Patriot Pictures and Hannibal Classics will provide funding for the film. This film is expected to be released in May 2016.

Source: Variety

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