We received news last week that Amirah Vann joining the cast of Underground for WGN America. And we already know that Devon Gummersall, Mykelti Williamson and Kanye West have all joined the project, although Mr. West won’t be on camera. Today, we find out that Gummersall is leaving the show. His character John Hawkes will now be played by Marc Blucas (Buffy The Vampire Slayer).
Underground tracks a group of runaway slaves from a Georgia plantation to trek six hundred miles to freedom. These slaves are helped by secret revolutionary advocates through the Underground Railroad as they run under constant fear of being brought back to the plantation dead or alive. Blucas’ John Hawkes is an abolitionist lawyer who will go against the law he should abide by to do human nature a great service.
Shooting is now underway in Baton Rouge. Cast and crew will travel to Georgia to film as well. Underground will premiere on WGN America next spring. If you’re interested in working on the set of Underground, then visit jobScene for more information.
Source: DeadlineRead more
New Orleans’ own Bryan Batt will call Baton Rouge home while on the set of MTV’s Scream. Batt is known for his role on AMC’s hit television series Mad Men. Batt famously played Salvatore Romano, the art director at Sterling Cooper. His time away from Mad Men has been fruitful. You can see him in 12 Years a Slave and he has also written two novels.
The show will star Bella Thorne (The Duff), Willa Fitzgerald (Royal Pains), Bex Taylor-Klaus (Arrow), John Karna (Premature) and Carlson Young (Key and Peele). Willa Fitzgerald’s character is the popular teenager Emma Duvall. Taylor-Klaus will play preacher’s daughter Aubrey Jensen. John Karna will play Noah Foster, the logistical student. The beautiful Carlson Young will play the adorable mastermind Brooke Maddox.
In Scream, Batt will play Quinn Maddox, the town’s mayor and father of Carlson Young’s Brooke Maddox. Bryan Batt knows that no one is safe in this slasher series. “I hope I don’t die the first season, but it is a slasher series,” he says. “Some people have already gone.” At least Batt has a great attitude and has high hopes for a future demise. “I hope it’s bloody, gory and memorable,” he says.
Watch the Scream trailers here. Scream stars Bella Thorne, Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna and Carlson Young. Wes Craven’s slasher dynasty will take on the screens in your living room opposed to the box office. Directed by Jamie Travis, Scream comes into your homes on Tuesday, June 30 at 10pm.
Source: The Hollywood ReporterRead more
The New Orleans Saints didn’t turn any heads with their first two picks on Thursday night of the NFL Draft, but they did do their best to fill necessary holes in their roster. They drafted the offensive tackle from Stanford Andrus Peat with the thirteenth overall pick, then landed the inside linebacker from Clemson Stephone Anthony with the thirty-first pick. Throughout the next six rounds, the Saints used seven picks to solidify their 2015 roster.
Picked No. 44 overall and the twelfth pick in the second round, the defensive end from Washington University is now a New Orleans Saint. Hau’oli Kikaha led the nation in sacks last year and his intriguing streak of thirteen games with at least one sack was snapped when he came up short against Arizona University. Kikaha has had some medical issues, tearing his ACL twice, but has the heart and relentlessness to become a great pass rusher in Rob Ryan’s system. Kikaha also has judo and wrestling in his repertoire including winning a championship in judo. This guy is tough. He is hard nosed and can get to the quarterback with the best of them. Good pick to rush from the end and get to the quarterback.
Picked No. 75 and the eleventh pick in the third round, here cometh the potential incumbent for Drew Brees. Garrett Grayson hails from Colorado State and was the third quarterback taken in the 2015 draft. He is 6’2″ and scouts say that he throws with anticipation and can throw his receivers open. He lacks a large frame for a pocket passing quarterback but has sneaky athleticism and has the ability to shock defenses with his feet. I believe this guy will be the future under Drew Brees and Sean Payton. I like this pick a lot. Grayson’s deep ball accuracy is probably the best in the entire draft. One big weakness, though, is his long windup throwing motion. This can be fixed and he won’t be rushed to hit the field but his release must be shortened if he ever wants to start in the NFL. This is the earliest the Saints have drafted a quarterback since Archie Manning was taken second overall in the 1971 NFL Draft.
Picked No. 78 and the fourteenth pick in the third round comes another corner back from Florida State University. He has swagger, speed and ball skills to be effective in the NFL one day. I question his discipline and his cocky-natured playing style and how it will translate into the pros. He has enough swagger to compete and make plays and avoid falling down a hole. He was a Under Armour All-American in high school and played in all of Florida State’s fourteen games as a freshman. He was the Defensive MVP of the BCS National Championship Game against Auburn in 2013 and will likely help the Saints down the line as a safety or a lock down corner.
Picked No. 148 and the twelfth pick in the fifth round is the outside linebacker from Tennessee-Chattanooga University. I had never heard of Davis Tull but with his 6’2 and his high motor and physical prowess he became a player that can bring energy to defensive and special teams schemes for the Saints. He is the three-time Southern Conference Defensive Player of the year and a two-time FCS All-American. He also boasts a 4.0 GPA which shows discipline and football IQ. Tull can come in and bring high energy to special teams and come in the occasional 3rd down situations. He has football experience being a four-year starter but lacks NFL athleticism.
Picked No. 154 and the eighteenth pick in the fifth round is the 316 pound defensive tackle out of Fresno State. Davidson is a handful in the defensive trenches and runs downhill rather quickly. He uses his brute force to block holes and bullies his way into the opposing backfield. Davidson has high character and wrestled in high school which will translate well with his hands and angles of attack. This is a great late round project pick for the Saints as they are always in need to guys getting to the quarterback.
Picked No. 167 and the thirty-first pick in the fifth round is Georgia University’s Damian Swann. Swann is the 6’0 corner back who played on a struggling SEC secondary. His upside is his ability to play anywhere on the field but lacks speed and discipline to guard downfield with superior receivers. Look to see Swann contribute in the special teams and possibly down the line defensively.
Picked No. 230 and the thirteenth pick in the seventh round is another SEC native, Marcus Murphy. Murphy is the punt and kick return specialist for the Missouri Tigers. He will likely fit the mold of a Brandon Cooks type regarding the special teams realm for the Saints. I don’t see him getting many touches in the loaded backfield for the Saints but you never know with Sean Payton. Hopefully Ingram will get the bulk of the carries but only time will tell when this speedy runner will get touches in the New Orleans backfield.
Micky Loomis and Sean Payton still have a lot of work to do this offseason after a disappointing 7-9 season last year. They have made enormous strides parting ways with Jimmy Graham, Curtis Lofton, Pierre Thomas, Ben Grubbs and others. Some have wondered what direction those strides were in. Now, they now have entered the most exciting (or boring) TV fan fare of all, the NFL Draft.
The Saints have countless holes to fill on the roster, including major craters in the defense and on the offensive line. The Saints had two first round picks last night, the thirteenth and the thirty-first pick. I’m glad to see they went with an offensive lineman from Stanford (pictured above) and an inside linebacker from Clemson.
With the thirteenth pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints drafted Andrus Peat, the 6’7″ offensive tackle from Stanford. This is an intelligent pick for the Boys in Black and Gold. They sorely needed another big body to help protect the Messiah, Drew Brees. Drew is still incredibly effective and still a top five quarterback in my very biased opinion, but his time in the NFL is dwindling. The window to win is now and now only.
Coming from Standford, Andrus Peat is well versed in football IQ and is only twenty-one years young. He is quick on his feet for a 6’7″ 300+ pound monstrosity. He has a knack for catching wild blitzes and has an exceptional understanding of pass protections. He does have some weaknesses: those include stopping speed coming off of the edge and trouble getting to the second level of the defense quickly. These can all be fixed with experience, coaching and a little bit of rookie hazing.
With the thirty-first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints drafted Stephone Anthony, the 6’3″ linebacker from Clemson. Anthony was first team All-ACC and led Clemson in tackles, finishing the year with 90. Anthony brings energy, toughness and speed to a battered and bruised defense. He is the type of guy that can thrive in the Rob Ryan exciting blitz package defense. Anthony can play inside linebacker and utilize his speed to block gaps and make impact plays both through the air and on the ground. Sean Payton and Rob Ryan are both very excited with their late first round draft pick complimenting Anthony’s leadership and bursts of speed. It’ll be the first time Stephone Anthony will step foot in New Orleans.
The New Orleans Saints currently have the oldest roster in the NFL with the average age of twenty-eight. This means two things: one, they won’t have the spring in their step as they’ve had in the past, and two, experience usually reigns supreme over youth. The Saints have seven picks remaining including No. 44, No. 75 and No. 78. You can watch those live tonight.
I’ll recap the remaining picks on Monday at sceneent.com.Read more
Bassett is back. This stop will make a trio of appearances for Angela Bassett on the American Horror Story anthology series. Once Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau on Coven then the tri-breasted Desiree Dupree on Freak Show, Bassett now checks into the Hotel as a new character that’s yet to be announced.
Ryan Murphy rocked the Twittersphere again by announcing, “In October, Angela Bassett will be making lots of trouble with Lady Gaga in the ballroom and elsewhere. #ahshotel” There is no character description yet, but we know the two formidable females will bring mischief to a whole new level.
Bassett will be accompanied by Evan Peters, Lady Gaga, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Matt Bomer, Chloë Sevigny, Cheyenne Jackson and Wes Bentley. The thirteen episode season will begin shooting in Los Angeles towards the end of summer and will air on FX in October.
Source: DeadlineRead more
Tony Stark tries to create a suit of armor around the world. This would be a good thing until this armor was equipped with artificial intelligence. In Marvel’s second installment of Avengers, Ultron wants to end all of humanity. 141 min. Rated PG-13.Read more
James Purefoy will make his way down to Baton Rouge to star opposite Michael Kenneth Williams in Hap and Leonard. The new Sundance TV series Hap and Leonard is based on stories and excerpts from Joe R. Lansdale.
Hap Collins and Leonard Pine are two men torn from separate cloth. The fictional town of LaBorde in East Texas is host to irksome and vicious crimes. Both characters have the brutal skill sets that fit these violent crimes.
James Purefoy will play Hap, who is a former member of the federal prison barracks after refusing to be drafted during the Vietnam War. Purefoy’s counterpart is Michael Kenneth Williams, who plays Leonard Pine. Pine is an openly gay black Vietnam veteran who’s anger is both a strength and weakness. The two work for former police officer-turned-PI Marvin Hanson. Hap isn’t quick to violence and Leonard won’t shy away from putting a bullet into someone’s head. Leonard’s violence stems from his childhood as his uncle, who was a father figure, shunned him after the news of his homosexuality. It’ll be a great contrast on the small screen watching these two work together and sometimes against each other.
The six-episode series is produced by Sundance Studios and was created by Jim Mickle and Nick Damici. It will debut in 2016. For more info and a chance to work on Hap and Leonard, check out jobScene here.
Source: DeadlineRead more
Not too long ago audiences were treated to the glory that was the McConnaissance, best signified by an Oscar-winning performance by Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyer’s Club and his mesmerizing run on the inaugural season of True Detective. It reminded audiences of his ability to conquer some of the most demanding roles in recent memory. Prior to these successes, the Texan heartthrob was popularly known more for his Southern charm and classic good looks, despite bringing his A-list game to every project.
Vince Vaughn is poised for a similar career boost with his upcoming turn in the second season of True Detective. After a string of forgettable comedies with disappointing box office numbers, Vaughn can only go up. And with such a strong debut season, True Detective‘s next installment is bound to do great things for its new cast. And so, we must ask this question: is this the dawn of the Vaughnaissance?
Unfinished Business, The Internship and The Deliveryman were Vaughn’s last trio of films, all of which underwhelmed in theaters. Fans longed for the days of Vince the funnyman in Wedding Crashers and Old School. And looking further back, Vaughn can be found in more serious roles like The Cell and Psycho. While neither film was a masterpiece, they each showed the actor’s dramatic chops. And then there’s Vince’s turn in the under-seen and underrated drama The Prime Gig. Yes, its a thin cypher of Boiler Room which is itself a thin cypher of Glengarry Glen Ross. But Vince is great in it.
As an actor, he’s more than a fast-talker. Vince comes across as smart and charismatic, even when playing buffoons for laughs in broad comedies. Imagine him channeling all that through a Nic Pizzolatto script.
Maybe the combination of a memorable Vince Vaughn performance with the guaranteed gripping material of True Detective can bring forth a new era. The trailer doesn’t give us much of a glimpse into Vaughn’s role, but given how well Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey faired last season, there’s a good chance he’ll showcase some serious skills. This could potentially remind audiences that Vaughn is more than the fast-talking, punchlines that’s he’s seemed grow comfortable with recently. Potentially, this may be a whole new beginning for the actor – a revitalization of his career.
Catch the latest season of True Detective on HBO on Sunday, June 21st.Read more
Wendell Pierce will play Clarence Thomas in HBO’s rendition of the 1991 Supreme Court nomination hearings. The New Orleans native will star opposite Kerry Washington in Confirmation, a new project from HBO Films. Washington will portray Anita Hill.
The 1991 confirmation hearing for now-Justice Thomas were big news nearly twenty-five years ago, described as “a circus” by the actual Anita Hill, who accused Thomas of sexual harassment. The aftermath played out in the media for months and included a dramatic conclusion on the hearing floor. Obviously, Thomas was eventually confirmed, but the road there was anything but dull. We’ll spare you the spoilers-for-real-life for now.
Kerry Washington will star in and executive produce the film. Erin Brockovich scribe Susannah Grant will write and executive produce. Michael London and Janice Williams will join her as executive producers. Michael London also has the Louisiana-shot drama Astronaut Wives Club set to debut. Rick Famuyiwa will direct Confirmation and production should get under way by the end of May.
Wendell Pierce was raised in Pontchartrain Park, a neighborhood that was wiped out during Hurricane Katrina. Pierce attended Ben Franklin High School and then graduated from New Orleans Centre for Creative Arts (NOCCA). He appeared in various Tulane productions as a college student then attended the Juilliard School of Drama. He’s held roles in Treme, The Wire, The Odd Couple, Ray Donovan and Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut The Gift.
Check out Scene‘s exclusive interview with Wendell Pierce here. There is no current release date for the film yet but, in the mean time, check out Wendell’s The Wind in the Reeds, his story about Hurricane Katrina.Read more
It’s the fastest two minutes in sports. Not the two-minute warning in football, or the two-minute power play in hockey. We’re talking about two minutes on the track at the Kentucky Derby on May 2. And you can watch it at Ernst Café on Fulton Street.
Fulton Street has become a new mecca of entertainment in New Orleans. They will close the road, allowing patrons to walk freely and enjoy the cobblestone streets and a cool beverage. Ernst Café will be the main caterer for Derby on Fulton, the best place in New Orleans to experience the Kentucky Derby.
Established in 1902, Ernst Café was founded by John, William and Charles Ernst. It’s been locally owned and operated for more than a century. I walked in one rainy day and still had a blast. As I strolled in through the bar area, I was greeted by a staff that is young and incredibly polite. I took a seat under one of seven flat-screen TVs. And I was immediately greeted with a smile, a menu and Jim Morrison singing “Love Me Two Times” in the background.
As I sat and looked over the menu, “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival sounded from the airwaves, and I knew that this was a great place. I ordered the Bayou Burger with caramelized onions, bacon, lettuce and cheese. I topped it off with an ice cold Fat Tire and settled in for a late lunch. I looked around. The restaurant stretches far and wraps around the back of the kitchen. There is plenty of comfortable seating and some great spots at the bar. As I was sitting at the table like Steven Glansberg, a smiling manager came and gently dropped off a shrimp creole. Just a nice gesture from the people at Ernst.
Then, my order came. A huge Bayou Burger with peppered fries and another ice cold Fat Tire to wash it down. As I ate, “Rocket Man” by Elton John, “Killer Queen” by Queen and “Mrs. Robinson” by Simon and Garfunkel rang out. The only song that would have been a better fit for this hundred year old establishment is “Born on the Bayou.”
The burger and fries were demolished, the beer was finished and I was satisfied. I can’t even imagine how great it must be to add a first class event like the Derby to that experience. The 141st Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs will take place over seven hundred miles from Fulton Street but The Derby on Fulton will be in full effect and will act as an interactive festival throughout the entire day. The Derby on Fulton will begin at 1pm on Saturday, May 2. Live music from Pocket Aces Jazz Band will fill the bustling streets, and there will be food from Ernst Café, treats from PJ’s and derby hats available for purchase from Fleur de Paris. Aprés Lounge and Fulton Alley are the organizers of the event.
“When considering how to make the most of Derby on Fulton, we recognized that the people of New Orleans don’t just like to have fun; they like to make a difference,” said Shane Songy of Aprés Lounge.
Admission is free to enter the festival. Yet, a portion of sales from local vendors and portions of winnings from the races will support Team Gleason. “Fulton Street is becoming as iconic a venue as Steve Gleason is a local hero,” said Gerald Duhon of Team Gleason.
The Derby on Fulton is sure to be packed with great drinks, great people, and one of the greatest sporting events of the year, all accompanied by delicious food from Ernst Café. The local staff members are a tight knit unit and it truly shows with their superb service.
3rd annual LIFF announces full 2015 lineup. The fest takes off on Wings of Laughter with Melissa McCarthy in Paul Feig’s Spy. Here’s the press release:
SATURDAY, MAY 9th
The festival kicks off with the Gala Premiere on the evening of Thursday, May 7, followed by three full days of film, food, cocktails and industry networking.
All films will be shown at Cinemark Perkins Rowe while workshops and other activities will take place throughout Perkins Rowe.
ALL ACCESS PASSES ($100): Get your All Access Pass for only $100 to the third annual Louisiana International Film Festival & Mentorship Program with guaranteed admission to over 60+ officially selected feature, documentary, animation and short film programs from around the world including premieres, exclusive sneak peeks, special screenings with filmmaker Q&A, entrance into filmmaker lounge, admission to special events and private parties featuring live music! Get what you can’t anywhere else @ LIFF 2015 with an All Access Pass. Get your ALL ACCESS PASS at www.lifilmfest.org for a limited time! All Access Pass pickup available at the LIFF Box Office in Cinemark Theater Lobby starting May 4 through the event, May 7 – 10.
2nd UPDATE, 5:46 PM: Peter Hoffman told Deadline he is “stunned” by the verdict but would have no other comment until he moves to have it set aside.
UPDATED, 4:51 PM: Peter Hoffman, Hollywood's once-highflying guru of exotic tax breaks, has been found guilty on tax fraud in federal court in New Orleans. Hoffman was convicted on 21 counts of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud as part of a scheme to defraud the state of Louisiana out of $1.13 million in tax credits to…
We have received news of Lady Gaga, Kathy Bates, Chloë Sevigny, Matt Bomer and Sarah Paulson joining the cast of Ryan Murphy’s fifth installment of American Horror Story. Now we know American Horror Story regular Evan Peters is checking into the Hotel.
Murphy hit the Twittersphere again announcing “This season, Evan Peters will be waiting for you in Room 64. #AHSHOTEL.”
Peters has held a major role in each of the four previous seasons. During PaleyFest in March, Peters showed no signs of backing out for the fifth season. This season will take place at a haunted hotel and will be the first time viewers won’t see mainstay Jessica Lange. American Horror Story: Hotel begins shooting this summer and will debut in perfect time for Halloween in late October.
Source: The Hollywood ReporterRead more
IMG is stepping up to finance and market a full-length feature documentary about Steve Gleason. Gleason is one of the most memorable and inspirational members of the New Orleans Saints in the storied franchise’s history. Gleason was responsible for the blocked punt during the team’s first home game (against the hated Falcons) after Hurricane Katrina. He’s also responsible for so much more.
Steve Gleason was tragically diagnosed with ALS at only thirty-four years old. The Gleason Project will be produced by Seth Gordon (Undefeated) and J. Clay Tweel (Print the Legend) will direct. Gleason’s journey has been very public so they will hopefully have a lot of existing material to work with, in addition to their own filming.
The former Who Dat is considered one of the world’s most recognizable ALS proponents. The special teams warrior played eight years with the Saints from 2000-2008. Three years after he left the team, he was diagnosed with the disease, the doctor gave him two to five years to live. Months later, Gleason found out his wife was pregnant. Steve Gleason now has over 1000 hours of footage to show his son who he truly was. This footage will be greatly used in The Gleason Project.
The film is set to be released in early 2016. Visit the Team Gleason page here.
Source: DeadlineRead more
Antoine Fuqua’s Baton Rouge-shot reimaging of Magnificent Seven has gotten one member closer to that magnificent number. Wagner Moura (Elysium) has joined Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Haley Bennet, Vincent D’Onofrio and Luke Grimes.
The script is written by True Detective penman Nic Pizzolatto and was rewritten by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side). The storyline of the Magnificent Seven reboot begins shortly after the Civil War. The setting takes place in a war-torn town inhabited by a ruthless gold mining tycoon and his fearsome thugs. A man is brutally killed and his widow calls upon a bounty hunter to settle the score. The bounty hunter calls upon six other guns to help take down the gold mining tycoon and his thugs.
There are without a doubt storyline similarities to the 1960s Magnificent Seven but every new iteration of this story brings with it a new opportunities with the characters. Moura will play one of the Seven riders, Vasquez. Earlier reports had Vincent D’Onofrio playing the villain in the film but his Twitter account says otherwise. He tweeted that he is thrilled to be part of the Seven.
Wagner Moura is a Brazilian actor who was recently seen in Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium. His future projects include a Netflix series called Narcos, where he will take on the role of illustrious drug lord Pablo Escobar. He’s perhaps best known for his lead role in director Jose Padilha’s 2007 film Elite Squad.
Magnificent Seven is expected to begin filming in Baton Rouge on May 18. Visit our jobScene page for a chance to work on the film. There is no current release date for the film.
BREAKING: The knee injury suffered by Christian Bale is serious enough that Fox will postpone the John D. MacDonald novel adaptation The Deep Blue Goodbye until its director, James Mangold, completes Wolverine 3 with Hugh Jackman. Bale suffered torn knee ligaments in an accident at his home. He has been filming The Big Short with Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt and Steve Carell in New Orleans, but they play stockbrokers and it’s not physically demanding. He plays a salvage hunter…Read more
This exclusive interview with Blake Lively first ran in the Jan/Feb 2014 issue of Scene Magazine.
The daughter of actor/director Ernie and talent manager Elaine Lively, Blake Lively was born to be a star. After an early role in the hit The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, she was cast in Gossip Girl as Serena van der Woodsen, a role she would inhabit for six seasons on The CW network. All the while, she balanced her small screen success with roles in the feature films New York, I Love You, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, actor/director Ben Affleck’s triumphant actioner The Town and the comic book blockbuster Green Lantern, which was filmed in New Orleans. Now the new face of L’Oreal, she’s also established herself as a fashion icon in the classic sense: a big screen ingénue impeccably styled, equally adored by both men and women.
I met Lively at the opening of H&M’s New Orleans location. The Swedish retailer’s expansion across North American has been swift, since their first store opened on Fifth Avenue in New York. Known for fast-fashion, H&M is the third largest clothing retailer in the world.
The store’s opening on Decatur Street in the French Quarter was grand. On a muggy night, hundreds of H&M fans stood in line to get in. Security was tight, but we were ushered into the store hours before the opening. Inside, the pristine store was accented by staff in masquerade, each stationed to accommodate an awaiting New Orleans crowd. And of course, a few special visitors.
With the first few customers allowed in, familiar faces from the cast of American Horror Story: Coven arrived. Emma Roberts hit the step & repeat first, soon followed by camera flashes and her Coven co-stars Lily Rabe and Sarah Paulsen, who also stars in 12 Years a Slave, the Louisiana-shot historical drama currently in theaters.
Blake Lively appeared fashionably late, surrounded by a buoyant but unusual entourage: the Sunshine Kids. The group gathered close on the red carpet in front of the H&M step and repeat. After smiling for photos that would soon appear across the internet – and in the glossy pages of Scene Magazine – Lively and company made their way through the large, now-crowded store.
The star of Savages made her way to the VIP reception area just outside of the store. She stood in front of an all-red faux candy storefront, the evening’s Willy Wonka of fast fashion. Extra and other national media outlets surrounded her with cameras and questions.
Lively smiled for the cameras. “Somebody asked me at the airport, ‘Are you here for work or pleasure?’And I said, ‘Isn’t it always pleasure in New Orleans?’”
“I’m here to celebrate the opening of H&M in New Orleans, which is so cool!” said Lively. “It’s great because I’ve got the best dates, the Sunshine Kids, here with me.” The Sunshine Kids is a national non-profit dedicated to children with cancer. For thirty years, it has provided positive group activities and emotional support for young cancer patients.
“We’re all all dressed up in our H&M,” said Lively with her arms around the kids. “We were the first people to shop here today. There’s a huge line of shoppers out there, but these were the first.” Although some of the kids wore fashionable hats, others had already regrown their hair, which had been professionally styled earlier in the evening.
“I keep talking about this Isabel Marant for H&M collection,” said Lively. “That I love! I think that is so cool! Isabel Marant is one of my favorite fashion designers, and the fact that she did a line for H&M that is a sixteenth of the price [of her other lines] is so cool.”
After the newly minted A-lister finished speaking with the national media outlets, she spoke exclusively with Scene.
“When you come back to New Orleans, what’s the one thing you look forward to the most?” I asked. Lively spent the better part of 2010 in New Orleans while filming Green Lantern, a titanic-sized comic book superhero actioner. She portrayed Carol Ferris, a test pilot and the romantic interest of Hal Jordan, a human destined to become a green lantern. While in town, Lively was frequently spotted shopping around the Crescent City.
“The Reuben at Stein’s Deli!” she laughed. “I always talk about food. Have you been to Stein’s?”
“Yes!” I said. “It’s right down the road from Second Line Stages, where my office is.” In 2010, Second Line housed the majority of Green Lantern’s galaxy-sized sets, which Lively called home for months.
“Ahh, it’s so good! The Rachel is actually what I order,” she said. The Rachel is a twist on the classic reuben sandwich, substituting hot pastrami for the standard corned beef, but keeping the swiss, sauerkraut and Russian dressing on rye. Stein’s Deli is perhaps the best sandwich shop in the city. It’s also a great place to get hard-to-find craft beers. I asked her if she’d found anything good to go with the Rachel, but her response was…responsible.
“I don’t drink,” she said.
“Your hair looks great, as always,” I said. “When you’re out in New Orleans on a night like tonight, how do you deal with the humidity?”
“Humidity is never really so cute for hair,” she said. “Maybe I wear my hair up more. Or maybe, I just walk around with my hair not looking as great!” Perhaps hit with a touch self consciousness, she laughed it off, instantly replacing it with self-confidence. “I don’t know! I don’t look in the mirror much when I’m here. I eat too much to look in the mirror when I’m in New Orleans!”
I laughed. “It is such a great town, and you’ve been kind enough to say so many great things about it. That means a lot to a city that’s been through so much adversity.” While I spoke, Lively broke her gaze with me, looking down intently. Doing an interview while standing up is somewhat strange. Rather than setting down your recording device on a table next to a cup of coffee – my preferred method of interview – you’re holding the recorder up in their face. Or more accurately, right at chest level.
I followed Lively’s gaze down. She was staring at my hands. Palms up, my fingers were wiggling, as if to say, ‘Gimme what ya got!’ She was clearly amused. “This is my thing, by the way,” I said with a grin.
She grabbed my hands. “I know, you’re like a magician over here!” she laughed. “Chris Angel has nothing on you.”
“When you come down here and you want to shop, what’s your thought process? Do you wander with an open mind? Are you a hunter with specific items in mind?”
“What I always look for is a mix. New Orleans has really cool vintage shopping, but what’s neat about having an H&M here is that you get all of these really on trend pieces for an affordable price,” Lively said. “That’s the thing that sucks: when there’s a craze. You don’t want to spend a bunch of money on something that’s trendy. You can splurge more on your key pieces, mix that with some vintage, and then come to this store, which is amazing. I was planning on doing my interviews and then I was like, ‘Can I shop right now. Is that allowed??’
“Plus, you’re right here in the middle of the French Quarter,” I added.
“Yeah, right by Café du Monde!” she said.
“I know! Beignets! Are you a fan? Do you partake?” I asked, betting she’d indulged more than once. If you’re here for more than a day, it’s hard to resist. If you’re here for only a day, it’s practically required. If New Orleans were a cathedral, the fried dough-and-sugar treat would be the host.
“I partake,” she said with a smile. She grabbed my hands again, and I laughed, realizing I was still silently telling Blake to gimme what she’s got.
“I’m not gonna let that go!” she laughed.
“Everyone I know is used to it, apparently,” I said.
“It’s like a little beignet fondle!” she said, still laughing.
“That’s what I do. I love fondling beignets,” I said. Somehow this didn’t seem inappropriate at the time. We had a good laugh, and it was honestly nice to see Lively actually enjoying herself, surrounded by the Sunshine Kids. “Blake, it’s so great to have you here.”
“Do you have any upcoming projects you can talk about?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said, pulling it together. “I have a movie that I’m about to shoot in the spring. It’s exciting because it takes place in the 1900s to now, so the fashion opportunity in that film is really cool.”
“That’s awesome. Are you going to play a character that spans that time period?” I asked.
“Yes, I am!” she exclaimed. She brought her hands up and began imitating mine. “Fondle the decades!”
“I’m so self-conscious about this now!” I laughed, wiggling my hands for her.
“Don’t be self-conscious about it,” she smiled. “I think it’s cool.”
That film’s working title is The Age of Adaline. Lively is set to play a young woman born at the turn of the twentieth century who is rendered ageless after a near-fatal accident. After she goes on an epic but isolated journey across the world, she meets a man who might be worth the loss of immortality. Oscar winner Ellyn Burstyn will co-star in the film, which will be directed by Lee Toland Krieger.
“Tell me about these kids!” I said, turning to the dozen or so children surrounding her. “Have you enjoyed hanging out with them?”
“Yes! They can tell you about it,” she said.
“What do you guys like about H&M? And what do you guys like about Ms. Lively?”
“They have really good deals,” said one girl. “And I love that I can shop there. Like, this shirt was ten dollars.”
“Wow,” said Lively. “Ten dollars! That’s awesome!”
Although most of the kids were shy, their smiles spoke volumes. They loved the attention and were just having a great time. After speaking with them, we bid our farewells. “Thank you guys for coming out, and it was so nice to meet all of you.”
“Nice to meet you!” Lively said.
In the film industry, there’s some who say the biggest stars are really the most down to earth. In Blake Lively’s case, I can confirm that. The night’s event was clearly commercial, but it was more than that. It was a shining example of how commerce, celebrity and a truly noble cause can fit together flawlessly.Read more
It was a heartbreaking finish last night in the Smoothie King Center for the raucous crowd in New Orleans. The Pelicans blew a 20 point fourth quarter lead to fall from cloud nine 123 – 119 in overtime against the Steph Curry-led Warriors. The first round playoff series 3-0.
MVP front runner Curry scored 40 points, including an insane and possible and-one three pointer with two seconds remaining in the final moments of the game. I am still dumbfounded that the Pelicans failed to foul Curry and force him to go to the line instead of letting a three pointer fly and tie the game. But that’s not what ultimately lost the game for the inexperienced Pelicans. Allowing offensive rebounds on almost every possession in the fourth quarter was the complete back breaker.
The Pelicans went into the fourth quarter on a major high as they led 89-69. An incredible offensive and defensive showing for the first three quarters that included a 19-0 run that spanded through the first and second quarters. Then, the fourth started and it was a swift yet long and agonizing crumble that will haunt fans and players alike as they enter Jazz Fest weekend.
Klay Thompson finished with 28 points, hitting big time shots throughout the entire night. The Pelicans did an average job of stopping everyone else on the Warriors except for Thompson and Curry. Draymond Green didn’t win the Defensive Player of The Year but deserves an Oscar for his childish flop during the game. Harrison Barnes followed suit as he too was hit with a phantom elbow, let’s see if the NBA grows a pair and fines the two thespians for their acting jobs.
Anthony Davis had 29 points and 15 rebounds but missed a pivotal free throw that could’ve put the Pelicans up four with under ten seconds remaining. This led to the Curry-like three to put the game into overtime.
The overtime period was deflating. The crowd was stunned, the players were stunned and Golden State kept pushing tempo and running the show. Pelicans were gifted a shot late but a worn down Davis failed to connect on a Bogut-contested runner that ultimately ended the dreadful night.
I’ll close this depressing piece with stat lines for the Pelicans. Eric Gordon finally went cold going 2-10 from the field with an abysmal six points. Tyreke Evans finished with 19 points but had four turnovers and was torched at times defensively. Ryan “Flamethrower” Anderson was one of the few bright spots shooting 10-14 from the field and hit huge jumpers over defenders like they weren’t even there. Norris Cole played great again scoring 16 off the bench and Jrue Holiday had 10. Quincy Pondexter needs to be like Stella and get his groove back. The swingman’s +/- last night was -31. That can’t happen, that’s inexcusable for such a good basketball player like QPon. We’ll see how the birds from the Crescent City respond Saturday night.
Pelicans will host the Warriors in a do-or-die opportunity Saturday night 7pm at the Smoothie King Center. A loss Saturday marks the end of a roller coaster like year for the Pelicans.Read more
Pitch Perfect 2, the follow-up album to soundtrack smash Pitch Perfect, is available for pre-order today. The Barden Bellas are back! Here’s the press release:
The Barden Bellas are back to pitch slap the world. Pitch Perfect 2, the highly-anticipated sequel to the smash hit and platinum-selling soundtrack, Pitch Perfect, will be available for pre-order today, iTunes, Amazon CD, Amazon LP.
Once again creating exclusive a cappella mash-ups and medleys from the upcoming Universal Pictures film Pitch Perfect 2, the soundtrack from Universal Music Enterprises is available on all formats: digital, CD and vinyl on May 12, with the movie hitting theaters nationwide on May 15. The comedy is helmed by Elizabeth Banks, co-star and producer of Pitch Perfect, and produced by Paul Brooks, Max Handelman and Banks. Writer Kay Cannon returns to the team to pen the next chapter.
“Flashlight,” the first single off the album, penned by superstars Sam Smith and Sia, among others, will be hitting radio stations nationwide today. Other standout tracks include a “campfire version” of “Cups,” a ’90s medley and the song “Crazy Youngsters,” written and performed by cast member Ester Dean.
“Flashlight,” is performed by multiplatinum-selling, GRAMMY® nominated artist Jessie J. The music video for “Flashlight” is directed by Hannah Lux Davis (Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj’s “Bang Bang,” Ariana Grande and The Weeknd’s “Love Me Harder”), and was filmed at a college campus…complete with a stirring live performance from Jessie J and a rousing nighttime flashlight finale that is sure to bring audiences to their feet. You can watch the video after 7:30 p.m. EST, here
Jessie J’s debut album, Who You Are [LAVA], marked the debut of a global icon when it reached #1 and was certified multiplatinum in more than 15 countries. Who You Are also yielded an astonishing six Top 10 singles, including the hit “Domino.” To date, she has sold more than 3 million albums and 20 million singles worldwide. Her latest album, Sweet Talker [LAVA/Republic Records], debuted in the Top 10 after its October 2014 release and includes hits such as the double platinum smash hit “Bang Bang” with Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, and “Burnin’ Up,” featuring 2 Chainz.
Julianne Jordan, one of the soundtrack’s producers and executive music producers of the film, explains, “With this soundtrack, we wanted to keep the unexpected fun, fly-by-the-seat-of-your pants spirit of the first one but take it to another level. We believe we accomplished that with the arrangements, more out of the box song choices and mashups.”
“Creating the song moments to illustrate the story was so exciting,” says Julia Michels, soundtrack producer and the film’s other executive music producer. “Working with Elizabeth Banks from start to finish was a great experience, and we are so proud to be a part of the Pitch Perfect team again.”
Pitch Perfect has sold almost 2 million albums worldwide. In the U.S., it was the top-selling soundtrack of 2013, 6th overall album of 2014, and the second-highest selling soundtrack of the decade, behind the Frozen soundtrack, and spent 36 of 37 weeks on the chart, and 16 weeks in the top 20.
The hit single, “Cups” has sold more than 3 million downloads, spending 50 weeks on the Top 200 tracks chart, and ended 2013 in the top-50 biggest-selling digital tracks. It has been viewed almost 200 million times worldwide on VEVO.
Album producers include Julianne Jordan, Julia Michels, Jason Moore and The Underdogs, with Jordan and Michels serving as executive music producers on the film. Tony Award-winning Tom Kitt (Next to Normal, American Idiot) is one of the movie’s vocal arrangers/producers, along with Ed Boyer (The Sing Off), Deke Sharon (International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella co-founder), Alana Da Fonseca (Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower) and The Underdogs—whose track record includes collaborating with Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Brown and Jordin Sparks, among others. The Underdogs earned Grammys for Best Pop Album (Justin Timberlake’s Justified) and Best R&B Album (Chris Brown’s F.A.M.E.), among others.
Visit the Baton Rouge-shot Pitch Perfect 2‘s official website here.Read more
Content Media has acquired the international rights to The Devil In The Deep Blue Sea. The Louisiana-shot romantic drama stars Jason Sudeikis, Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams, Jessica Biel, Orlando Jones, Paul Reiser (Whiplash) and the beautiful lioness and Step Brothers star, Mary Steenburgen.
The film wrapped a couple of months ago in Louisiana and is currently in post production. Devil In The Deep Blue Sea was directed by New Girl helmer Bill Purple from his own script that he wrote with Robbie Pickering. Jessica Biel produced the film under her Iron Ocean Films banner with the help of Michelle Purple. Mike Landry and Carlos Velazquez from C Plus Pictures and Chuck Pacheco from Nine Nights will also produce.
The most exciting news revolving around this film is the addition of Justin “The Prince of Pop” Timberlake. He and wife Biel will be working on this film together as JT has announced that he will score the film. This is really exciting news for Devil In The Deep Blue Sea. Timberlake is following Kanye’s lead by becoming musically involved with a big project.
The script reads with love, friendship, grief and laughter. From an interview with Screen Daily, “Jason and Jessica really tug at our heartstrings, making us laugh and cry and laugh again – and Maisie is just wonderful,” said Content’s film president Jamie Carmichael. Jessica Biel is a proud new mother. She is pregnant is several set photos showing that her character will most likely be sporting a belly bump on screen. Leave comments or thoughts below in the comment section.
Source: DeadlineRead more
The beautiful Blake Lively stars as Adaline, a woman who never ages. After years of a solitary life, she meets a man who might be worth losing her immortality. 110 min. Rated PG-13.
A little boy uses faith and determination to bring his father home from WWII. Kevin James and Michael Rapaport star in this inspiring war drama. 100 min. Rated PG-13.
This period piece is set in the early 1900s after the Battle of Gallipoli. An Australian man travels to Turkey to find his three sons. Russell Crowe and Jai Courtney star. 111 min. Rated R.Read more
Paramount Pictures, New Regency and Plan B Entertainment announced the cast for Adam McKay’s The Big Short at CinemaCon. The film will have an incredible cast starting with Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt. Recently Adam McKay announced that Melissa Leo and Marisa Tomei will play the female leads. Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell and Marisa Tomei will be back on set together for the first time since Crazy, Stupid, Love. McKay has been prepping The Big Short in New Orleans while producing Daddy’s Home, a new comedy that reteams Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.
The Big Short was penned by McKay from a script by Charles Randolph that was based off the novel The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. Michael Lewis and Brad Pitt will also re-team as Brad Pitt starred in Moneyball, a film that was based off of another one of Lewis’ novels.
The Big Short is the astonishing true story of brilliant contrarian investors figuring out a way to “short” the housing market. Thus creating a financial collapse from 2007-2010. Steve Carell will play Steve Eisman, a money manager working for FrontPoint Partners. Ryan Gosling will play Greg Lippmann, a Deutsche Bank trader. Christian Bale will play the founder of Scion Capital, Michael Burry. And Brad Pitt will play Ben Hockett, a partner at Cornwall Capital.
Rounding out the cast for The Big Short is Tracy Letts (Elvis & Nixon), Hamish Linklater (The Newsroom), John Magaro (Unbroken), Byron Mann (The Man With The Iron Fists), Rafe Spall (Prometheus), Jeremy Strong (Selma) and Finn Wittrock (American Horror Story). The film with be produced by Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner (12 Years A Slave) and Jeremy Kleiner (12 Years A Slave) all representing Plan B Entertainment.
Production has been underway in New Orleans. Shooting started in late March and will wrap in late May. If you’re interested in a job working on the set of The Big Short visit our jobScene page here.Read more
Royal Teeth has signed with a major label, Elektra Records, which is owned by Warner Music Group.The decision to sign with a major label is big for any band. It signals a big vote of confidence in their commercial talent. Royal Teeth is an American indie group from Lafayette, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They formed in 2010. Band-mates include sing/guitarist Gary Larsen, singer Nora Patterson, guitarist Thomas Onebane, bassist Josh Wells and drummer Josh Hefner.
In a statement released by the band, “We’re very excited to announce our signing to Elektra Records! We have been pouring our hearts into writing new music. We are growing and changing and lovin the process.” This up-and-coming indie band released their tour dates for the latter part of the year and make a pivotal stop at the Jazz & Heritage Festival this Friday April 24.
Their songs sound similar to indie pop music that has been licensed for hip Heineken and Apple commercials. Catchy, poppy and ultimately fun music to hear. They have whistles, percussion, sticks and shakers and their true strength is their ability to harmonize their vocals. Royal Teeth is a blithe cross between Passion Pit and MIKA. The group released their EP Act Naturally in 2012. Visit the band’s official website here. Watch their single “Wild” below:Read more
MTV unveiled their new Scream logo and then the initial teaser trailer during the MTV Movie Awards. Now we get the chance to see the nearly satirical trailer for MTV’s newest horror series Scream.
First of all, the narrator absolutely dominates the stereotypical horror trailer montage. The tone of this trailer screams comedy (pun totally intended). The way to write the storyline of a horror film most always begins in a small little town with omonous tones pattering in the background. The cast must include young attractive women who are always peering over their shoulders to see where that mysterious passing shadow is lurking.
“But what if it’s not a movie. What if instead of 90 minutes of guts and gore it’s ten hours,” says the narrator. The fact is, it won’t be 90 minutes, it’ll be an entire season of guts, gore and shocking murders that will keep us tuning in to see who’s life will be taken next.
Scream stars Bella Thorne, Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna and Carlson Young. Wes Craven’s slasher dynasty will take on the screens in your living room opposed to the box office. Directed by Jamie Travis, Scream comes into your homes on Tuesday, June 30 at 10pm.
The official story description below:
After a cyber-bullying incident results in a brutal murder, the shocking violence stirs up memories of a killing spree from the past that has haunted some, intrigued others and maybe just inspired a new killer. A group of teens – with two old friends struggling to reconnect at its heart – become lovers, enemies, suspects, targets and victims of a killer who’s out for blood.
Source: Entertainment WeeklyRead more
Josh Groban plays the Saenger Theater in New Orleans on Wednesday, October 21. Tickets go on sale on Thursday, April 23 at 10am here.
This isn’t your typical Groban. The platinum-selling recording artist’s newest album Stages will be released April 28. The new work showcases thirteen songs that are all from the realm of musical theater and film. Featured artists include Kelly Clarkson, Audra McDonald and Chris Botti.
The album commences with “Pure Imagination” from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Groban takes a page right out of Willy Wonka’s liquor-is-quicker song book, showing great admiration for Gene Wilder, “I am a huge fan of the original film. It was a part of my childhood,” Groban says. “Gene Wilder will always be number one for me with this song.”
Kelly Clarkson makes an appearance as she aides Josh Groban in a duet from The Phantom of the Opera, “All I Ask Of You.” The two stars modernized the 1986 famous song while still creating a nostalgic tone. My personal favorite is Groban’s rendition of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Over The Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz. There is a slow, melodic, classical spin on “Over The Rainbow” that incorporates an entire orchestra, perfectly blended soft crescendos and unruffled vocals from Groban.
Sweeney Todd fans have no fear: Groban belts “Children Will Listen” as one of the most faithful renditions of the 1979 musical thriller. Johnny Depp had rocked the vocals and the classic mutton chopped sideburns in Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd and now Josh Groban has turned this famous ditty into his own.
In a recent press release, Josh Groban says, “Nothing has inspired me more in my life than the energy that is shared in a theater when great songs and great art are on the stage.” The California native utilized the ultra talented Orchestra at Abbey Road. With every song comes a fruitful background of a full orchestra.
Produced by Humberto Gatica and Bernie Herms, Stages was recorded win Los Angeles and London’s Abbey Road. The album will be released from record label Reprise Records who has had Groban on board since he was in college. This album has been a long time coming for Josh Groban. He has had an infatuation with musical theater from early adolescence.
Josh Groban comes to New Orleans Wednesday, October 21 at the majestic Saenger Theater. Don’t miss out on a very special evening with Josh Groban and purchase your tickets here. Visit Josh Groban’s official website here. Below is the full track listings and the trailer for Josh’s new album Stages:
“Pure Imagination” (from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory)
“What I Did For Love” (from A Chorus Line)
“Bring Him Home” (from Les Misérables)
“Le Temps Des Cathédrales” (from Notre Dame de Paris)
“All I Ask Of You” (from The Phantom of the Opera) (feat. Kelly Clarkson)
“Try To Remember” (from The Fantasticks)
“Over the Rainbow” (from The Wizard of Oz)
“Children Will Listen” (from Sweeney Todd)
”Not While I’m Around“ (from Into the Woods)
“You’ll Never Walk Alone” (from Carousel)
“Old Devil Moon” (from Finian’s Rainbow) (feat. Chris Botti)
“Finishing the Hat” (from Sunday in the Park with George)
“If I Loved You” (from Carousel) (feat. Audra McDonald)
“Anthem” (from Chess)
Watch the Stages trailer below: