Deep Inside Hollywood

By Romeo San Vicente

Cara Delevingne lines up 'Carnival Row'

She's still less known as an actress than as a model - we just saw her in the pages of the new September issue of "Vogue" over our morning tea, honestly - but really that's not Cara Delevingne's fault. The bisexual actress was a charming presence in the indie "Paper Towns," and you can't blame her for the disastrous one-two box office failures of "Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets" and "Tulip Fever" (both still in theaters now if you hurry). And the camera, obviously, loves her. So it's good news to us that she's just signed on to star in the new Amazon series, "Carnival Row," alongside Orlando Bloom. The show is described as a fantasy noir that takes place in a neo-Victorian city populated by mythical creatures, and Delevingne will play a fairy-like refugee named Vignette Stonemoss. And why not? We saw the giddily strange "Valerian," and "Carnival Row" will have to work overtime to be as wildly fantastical as that one, so we're not even a little shocked by any of these details. Most of all, we're glad to see this currently underrated performer get more screen time.

'The Wedding' tackles conservative religious culture

Nikohl Boosheri is one to watch. Currently the Persian Canadian actress is making a name for herself playing a headstrong Muslim lesbian artist on Freeform's series "The Bold Type." She also starred in the 2011 indie "Circumstance," as an Iranian teenager exploring queer sexuality, among other taboos. And now she's involved with filmmaker Sam Abbas for his debut feature, "The Wedding." Abbas wrote the screenplay, and is also directing and starring in the story of a young Muslim man who is also exploring queer sexuality in strict conservative religious and cultural environment. And while Abbas is the ringleader of this project, we have to admit that Boosheri's rising star and LGBTQ-centric career path to date has us especially intrigued to know where she'll go next. The film also stars Israeli actress Ruba Blal ("Sand Storm," "The Bubble") and filming is underway. Look for "The Wedding" at your nearest queer film festival, most likely in 2018.

Andre Leon Talley gets his own documentary, thank god

In the documentary, "The September Issue," Andre Leon Talley is the imposing arbiter of taste who shouts, "There is a famine of beauty!" while Vera Wang sits next to him and holds up her hand to testify to his truth. It's a scene everyone should watch over and over daily, and if you don't do that then there's probably something wrong with you. The man needed his own documentary, though, because his importance in fashion and queerness in general is not to be underestimated. And that's why we're thrilled to announce the premiere of "The Gospel According to Andre," taking place at the Toronto International Film Festival as we speak. The film will cover the life and work of one of fashion's most vibrant stylists and "Vogue" personalities - where he worked for years alongside the legendary Diana Vreeland and then Anna Wintour - before becoming the fiercest of judges on "America's Next Top Model." After its Toronto bow, please wait breathlessly for its general release to theaters, and when it arrives, wear an enormous brocade cape as you walk up to the box office for your ticket. That's how it's done.

Freddie Mercury biopic rounds out cast

At long last, after so many fits and starts, they're calling the Freddie Mercury biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody," and gay director Bryan Singer will steer the ship. Critically acclaimed "Mr. Robot" star Rami Malek will play Mercury, and his bandmates in Queen will be UK actors Gwilym Lee, Joseph Mazzello and "X-Men Apocalypse" star Ben Hardy. But we'd be lying if we weren't even a little more excited about the latest cast addition, Allen Leech. Leech, you will recall if you were even half a fan of "Downton Abbey," played the sexy, Socialist chauffeur who married his way into the aristocracy on that series. And he did the most shirt-take-offing of any man in the cast, which is always important. In "Rhapsody" he'll play a much less sympathetic character: Mercury's manager, Paul Prenter, whose place in Queen history involves him having been paid to out Mercury's HIV status to British tabloids. The story may be tragic, but we're anxiously anticipating this one all the same. It's currently still in pre-production, so fingers crossed for a 2018 release.

Romeo San Vicente's has, in fact, been a bed of roses and a pleasure cruise.
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