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SHOWBIZ Janelle Monae, Harvey Guillen, Whitney Houston, 'Drag Race,' Greg Berlanti
by Windy City Times staff
2022-12-24

This article shared 2322 times since Sat Dec 24, 2022
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Janelle Monae has teased a new album, joking that they now has a "clone" for music who has been hard at work in the studio, NME noted. Monae—whose leading part as Helen Brand in the new Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery marks the latest in a long run of acclaimed acting roles—has not released a full album since 2018's Dirty Computer. Asked about if more new music is coming soon, Monae replied: "Actually, you will! You will get new music because I now have a clone. That clone does all of my music, and I have another clone for acting. I'm not going to tell you if it's me or not. They're in the studio right now!

Growing up Latino, queer, and plus-sized had actor Harvey Guillen (Hulu's What We Do in the Shadows; the movie Puss in Boots: The Last Wish) convinced that he had "three strikes" against him when pursuing a career in Hollywood, according to an Out item that cited Page Six. Guillen said, "I was told, 'That's not good, that's not welcome—Hollywood doesn't like that.'" Though he believed the negativity at first, a change in mentality had him saying, "No, this is who I am. I'm great in the body I'm in and [great with] my sexuality and my culture and I'm proud of it. You can take it or leave it but I'm not going anywhere."

Naomi Ackie—who stars in Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody—told Attitude that she wouldn't have done the project if Houston's queer relationship wasn't included, Out noted. "It feels like liberation to me," Ackie said. "It's a part of her story. The love between Robyn [Crawford] and Whitney was so pure and real and dynamic. It moved, it shifted, they never put a name on it. And I just love that. It's a part of Whitney's story."

Superstar music producer Clive Davis also weighed in on Houston and Crawford's relationship. Talking with Extra, he said, "They did have a teenage, one-year affair," adding, "There have been so many articles that have … attempted to trace her addiction to being a frustrated lesbian or never dated a man before Bobby—all of which was totally inaccurate. I know of several men that she dated before Bobby—I mean, she did see Jermaine Jackson for two years." While Houston's life ended tragically in 2012, Clive hopes to celebrate her music and life with the film I Wanna Dance with Somebody.

MTV announced the guest judges who will join Emmy-winning host RuPaul and mainstay judges Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley, Ross Mathews and Ts Madison on the next season of RuPaul's Drag Race, per a press release. This season's guest judges include music, television, comedy and film figures Ariana Grande, Ali Wong, Amandla Stenberg, Harvey Guillen, Hayley Kiyoko, Janelle Monae, Julia Garner, Maren Morris, Megan Stalter and Orville Peck. The new season starts with a two-hour premiere on Friday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m. CT.

Speaking of that show, RuPaul's Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio is returning for a third movie in the Hurricane Bianca franchise and will star alongside Willam Belli, Rachel Dratch, Thora Birch, Drag Race contestant fan favorite Vanessa Vanjie Mateo and Doug Plaut, Deadline noted. Hurricane Bianca: The Roots of All Evil, which is due to shoot in early 2023, is written and directed by Matt Kugelman.

Also, "Drag Race" alum Monet X Change will play the Duchess of Krakenthorp in Minnesota Opera's production of Gaetano Donizetti's The Daughter of the Regiment this February, according to Out. "This cameo role has a storied history of portrayal by actors and public figures," wrote Minnesota Opera on Instagram, "including late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg." In 2020, season-nine "Drag Race" winner Sasha Velour lip-synced to Angelica Negron's "The Island We Made" in a film by Opera Philadelphia.

Openly gay producer/showrunner Greg Berlanti has signed with esteemed agency CAA, Deadline noted. A WGA-, DGA-, PGA- and Emmy-nominated writer, director and producer, Berlanti is known for his loyalty; he has only changed agencies once, in the early 2000s, when he left ICM for Endeavor (now WME), where he has been for almost two decades. Berlanti began his career in television as a staff writer on the hit show Dawson's Creek; since then, he has served as creator, writer and producer on such series as Everwood, Brothers & Sisters, Political Animals, Arrow, Blindspot, The Flash, Supergirl, You, Riverdale, Titans, Doom Patrol, All American and The Flight Attendant.

At The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lawrence—who was there with Michelle Yeoh, Emma Corrin, Michelle Williams, Claire Foy and Danielle Deadwyler—made an interesting remark about gay embattled director Bryan Singer, Out noted. "It was just so interesting to be on a female-led movie," said Lawrence of her latest film Causeway, directed by Lila Neugebauer. "It was incredible to not be around toxic masculinity—to get a little break from it. … I've worked with Bryan Singer. I've seen emotional men. I've seen the biggest hissy fits thrown on set." In 2019, the Atlantic published an expose of Singer's sexual assault allegations by multiple underage men. Singer denied everything, calling it a "homophobic smear piece."

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Executive Director Tom Viola will be the recipient of the Gary Miller Award at "Harmony," the annual gala benefit of Big Apple Performing Arts—the home of New York City Gay Men's Chorus and Youth Pride Chorus, and Tonewall a cappella ensemble, a press release noted. The Gary Miller Award was created in 2015 to honor the founding artistic director of the New York City Gay Men's Chorus. Big Apple Performing Arts' Arts in Action Award will be presented to Black Theater Coalition co-founder T. Oliver Reid, and MassGeneral Chief of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine Dr. Scott Hadland will receive the newly created Community Call to Action Award. "Harmony" will held Monday, Feb. 13, 2023, at Edison Rooftop in Hotel Edison Times Square.

In related news regarding Broadway Cares, the 2022 addition to the organization's Broadway Legends ornament series is an item capturing Emmy, Grammy and Tony-winning icon Billy Porter, per a press release. Porter joins Julie Andrews, Carol Burnett, Carol Channing, Glenn Close, Harvey Fierstein, Angela Lansbury, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Liza Minnelli, Bernadette Peters, Chita Rivera, Barbra Streisand and Gwen Verdon as part of the series.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Henry Cavill are tied as the bookies' favorite to become the next James Bond, NME noted. William Hill has Taylor-Johnson and Cavill at 2-1 odds as Daniel Craig's successor, which comes after the latter was dropped from the role of Superman. Taylor-Johnson was previously rumored to be the frontrunner after he reportedly impressed producer Barbara Broccoli during a secret audition.

Following the confirmation that the God of War TV show is still in the works, players have banded together to beg that Sony and Amazon avoid casting Tom Holland as Kratos, according to GamingBible. With God of War now on the horizon, fans have lightheartedly asked that Holland not be cast as an intimidating Spartan general in Amazon's adaptation.

Brian Tyree Henry will receive the creative impact in breakthrough performance award for his role in Causeway at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Variety noted. The honor will be presented as part of Variety's 10 Directors to Watch brunch at the Parker Palm Springs on Jan. 6. Besides playing a gay superhero in the film Marvel's Eternals, Henry has been in movie and TV projects such as Atlanta, Godzilla vs. Kong, Bullet Train and If Beale Street Could Talk. The Palm Springs International Film Festival will take place Jan. 5-16, 2023.

SZA debuted 20 songs from her sophomore LP, SOS, on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (dated Dec. 24), including two in the top 10, Billboard noted. ("Kill Bill" is the highest, at number three.) The set launches at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, sparking her first week atop the Billboard Artist 100 ranking. SOS arrives at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 318,000 equivalent album units earned—marking the second-biggest among R&B albums, after only the first week of Beyonce's Renaissance (332,000, Aug. 13).

The Grease prequel series, Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, revealed its first image, Screen Rant noted, citing EW. Created by Annabel Oakes, the new Paramount+ series brings viewers back in time to the hallways of Rydell High school in the year 1954. Originally a musical, Grease was adapted for the big screen in 1978, starring John Travolta and the late Olivia Newton-John.

In the world of comics, trans mutant and Marvel fan-favorite character Escapade is joining a new X-Men team, Out noted. Escapade (real name: Shela Sexton) was introduced in Marvel Voices: Pride #1 earlier this year, and now she's coming back in the new series New Mutants Lethal Legion, written by Charlie Jane Anders. Not only will Escapade be coming back, but so will her fellow trans mutant bff Morgan Red and the genetically engineered flying turtle, Hibbert.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson ruled that movie studios can be sued under false advertising laws if they release deceptive movie trailers, Variety reported. Two Ana de Armas fans filed a lawsuit in January, alleging that they had rented the movie Yesterday after seeing de Armas in the trailer—only to discover that she was cut out of the final film. Wilson found that a trailer is commercial speech and is subject to the California False Adverting Law and the state's Unfair Competition Law.

Millie Bobby Brown was criticized by an intimacy coordinator for her behavior on the set of Enola Holmes 2, according to NME. Brown had discussed a scene from the Netflix sequel on the streamer's TikTok account, recalling a moment she kissed her co-star Louis Partridge, saying, "Right on the rehearsal I grabbed his face and kissed him and he was like…," then making fun of Partridge. Intimacy coordinator Jessica Steinrock took to her own TikTok page to criticize Brown, saying actors should not be "surprising" each other: "I'm sure she and her scene partner have a lot of rapport built up and a great amount of trust, but we should never be surprising anyone during a fight or intimate scene ever."

Actor Chris Pratt (The Terminal List) revealed on Instagram that he was stung in the eye by a bee after being inspired by a beekeeper on social media, Page Six noted. Pratt—who sparked controversy for his role as Mario in the upcoming Super Mario Bros film—tagged the Texas beekeeper, Erika Thompson, who "inspired" him in the caption. Thompson later joined in on the fun, telling Pratt to keep his day job. "Which eye?" joked actor Sean Hayes, while brother-in-law Patrick Schwarzenegger added, "LMAO."

JoJo Siwa is in a new video saying she felt "used" and "tricked" for "clout" by someone recently, Out noted. With Avery Cyrus and Siwa recently announcing their breakup after three months of dating, most are assuming that Siwa is talking about Cyrus. Just a few days earlier, Siwa announced their breakup; in the comments section, Cyrus said that the two "decided that we are better off as friends! We are both so young and still just trying to figure stuff out."

James Cameron was caught flipping the bird at fans who booed him for not signing autographs, Page Six noted. After the famed director attended a screening of his new film, Avatar: The Way of Water, in Los Angeles, he refused to stop for a crowd of autograph-seeking fans at the WGA building. Fans were divided over the interaction, with some calling him a "jerk" and "annoying" while others called him "a legend" and argued that the people booing him weren't real fans.


This article shared 2322 times since Sat Dec 24, 2022
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