Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
By Romeo San Vicente
‘Downton Abbey’ matriarch cage match!
The only thing that could possibly be better than watching “Downton Abbey”‘s Maggie Smith, as the Dowager Countess, stop the rest of the cast dead in their tracks with withering glances and haughty comments would be watching her spar with another matriarch of her own caliber. And that’s why it was time for Julian Fellowes’s addictive smash hit upstairs-downstairs drama to cast the visiting mother of Downton’s American-born Lady Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern) with… Shirley MacLaine. MacLaine will join the cast for season three, which begins shooting next month. Obviously, no story lines have been leaked yet but it’s safe to say that, even in a grand home of more than a hundred rooms, the place isn’t going to be big enough for the both of them. And OK, maybe it won’t reach the hair-pulling heights of Joan Collins and Linda Evans duking it out in a fountain on “Dynasty,” but this is going to be good. So good.
Ryan Murphy’s ‘New Normal’: song-less and horror-free
It’s official: Ryan Murphy is taking over all of television as we know it. He’s already got “Glee” and “American Horror Story” on the air, and now NBC has ordered a pilot for “The New Normal,” a half-hour comedy project Murphy co-created with Allison Adler. It’s set to star “The Book of Mormon”‘s Andrew Rannells and its plot concerns a blended family of a gay couple and the woman who becomes a surrogate to help the men make a baby. Its prospects are good, too: there was already a bidding war over the project. So if it goes to series, it’ll be for the TV and cultural critics to sort out what the impact will be of the kind of gay parenting show we’ll all ultimately get from Murphy. He is, after all, a man whose screenwriting approach to gay men leans heavily toward the old-school “fabulous” end of the spectrum, but at least those guys on “Modern Family” and Lea Michele’s invisible gay dads won’t be alone now.
Porn star James Deen recruited by Bret Easton Ellis
It doesn’t get crazier than this combination: “American Psycho” author Bret Easton Ellis, alt-porn star James Deen and “Taxi Driver” screenwriter/”Cat People” director Paul Schrader. All are possibly-maybe working together. Recently, Ellis got on Twitter (where his wildest work’s been appearing lately) and talked about an “L.A. noir micro budget Paul Schrader movie” he’s got cooking that would star Deen. Apparently the role will require the adult film star, who’s built a reputation as the approachable guy-next-door porn star, to be fully naked and having sex with “girls and guys realistically,” so he’s already qualified. And as an actor, he can’t be any more monotone than fellow adult performer Sasha Grey was in Steven Soderbergh’s “The Girlfriend Experience,” right? More news as this one develops.
When Kylie Minogue met the French art film director
If you’re gay then it’s fairly certain you’re aware of pop diva Kylie Minogue, but how up are you on your Leos Carax? Not much? Not at all? OK, crash course: He’s one of the bad boys of French cinema and his last feature was the dark, difficult 1999 film “Pola X,” which starred the late Guillaume Depardieu (having real sex on camera) and Catherine Deneuve (not with her). And now, finally, Carax is back with a feature titled “Holly Motors,” about a man who can leap into the consciousness of other people and who becomes, over the course of the action, both men and women and at least one “monstrous creature.” It’ll star French character actor Denis Lavant (from Carax’s “The Lovers Under The Bridge,” with Juliette Binoche), Eva Mendes and Minogue. Now, given that Minogue’s acting output since her teenage years on the Aussie soap “Neighbours” hasn’t included much more than “Bio-Dome,” “Street Fighter” and a magical absinthe fairy in “Moulin Rouge!” it’s a little shocking – and sort of thrilling, too – to see her dive back in by working with one of cinema’s crazier cats, but it should be something to see. Can’t wait.