Articles on this Page
- 03/24/14--06:30: _Kevin Bacon's Footl...
- 03/24/14--11:42: _Meet the Class of 2014
- 03/24/14--12:00: _10 Thoughts on Girl...
- 03/24/14--15:30: _Pillar Point's "Dre...
- 03/24/14--17:10: _5 Thoughts on Episo...
- 03/25/14--07:30: _Summer Tan Lines: A...
- 03/25/14--09:30: _Girls vs. Broad Cit...
- 03/25/14--12:00: _Rising Filmmaker El...
- 03/25/14--13:00: _"I Was Overcome By ...
- 03/25/14--14:05: _Duke Dumont's "I Go...
- 03/25/14--09:00: _Perez Hilton Introd...
- 03/25/14--09:30: _Danny Masterson Int...
- 03/25/14--10:00: _Sia Introduces You ...
- 03/25/14--14:51: _Watch Kathleen Hann...
- 03/26/14--07:30: _Naomi Campbell Is N...
- 03/26/14--09:00: _We Shared an Intima...
- 03/26/14--11:30: _We Asked Three Form...
- 03/26/14--13:00: _Sufjan Stevens Give...
- 03/26/14--13:30: _Tom and Matt Bernin...
- 03/26/14--15:30: _AndrewAndrew Insta-...
- 03/24/14--06:30: Kevin Bacon's Footloose Re-Enactment Is Spectacular
- 03/24/14--11:42: Meet the Class of 2014
- 03/24/14--12:00: 10 Thoughts on Girls' Latest Episode: "Two Plane Rides"
- 03/24/14--15:30: Pillar Point's "Dreamin'" Video: A Gorgeous Urban Dance Piece
- 03/24/14--17:10: 5 Thoughts on Episode 3 of Lindsay Lohan's Oprah Reality Show
- 03/25/14--07:30: Summer Tan Lines: A Study
- 03/25/14--14:05: Duke Dumont's "I Got U" Video = Virtual Insanity
- 03/25/14--10:00: Sia Introduces You to Rap's New "Freaky Princess," Brooke Candy
- 03/25/14--14:51: Watch Kathleen Hanna Jam on the Beach in the New Julie Ruin Video
- 03/26/14--07:30: Naomi Campbell Is Not Impressed by Kimye's Vogue Cover
- 03/26/14--11:30: We Asked Three Former Beautiful People to Crown Their Successors
- 03/26/14--13:00: Sufjan Stevens Gives You a "Booty Call" In New Sisyphus Video
- 03/26/14--15:30: AndrewAndrew Insta-Review Rocky the Musical + More!
Kevin Bacon did a spectacular -- SPECTACULAR -- Footloose reenactment on the Tonight Show on Friday night.
Kermit and Miss Piggy made a Kimye Vogue cover spoof....
and so did Seth Rogen and James Franco. [DailyMail]
Helpful hint from Samuel L. Jackson. [Buzzfeed]
This video of dogs having their minds blown by a magic trick is delightful. Salli is having NONE of it. [Uproxx]
Queen Winehouse. [Mlkshk]
Check them out -- talented, creative and yes, incredibly good looking -- these are the 43 people you need to know in 2014.
(L.A.) Written by Alex Scordelis / Styled by Saskia Vaye / Hair by Ashley Streicher at The Magnet Agency using Oribe / Makeup by Ashleigh Louer at The Magnet Agency using NARS / Photographer's Assistant: Daniel Kincaid / Stylist's Assistant: Lauren Silvestri / Interior shots taken At Pour Vous.
(NY) Written by James Rickman / Styled by Solange Franklin / Hair by Dina Calabro at Wilhelmina Artists using Kérastase / Makeup by Natasha Smee at The Wall Group using Nars / Photographer's Assistant: Dean Dodos / Stylist's Assistant: Hailey Rozenberg / Fashion Coordinator: Kelly Govekar / Fashion Interns: Samantha Lewis, Katy Miller, Gabrielle Obusek and Olivia Valdez / shot At the Jane Hotel and Lafayette House.
This week, the season ended with with a couple inopportune revelations and the opening night of Adam's Broadway debut.
1. WE CALLED IT
Laird + Caroline, Laird + Caroline! They're having a baby! WTFFFFF?! Glad to see those two knuckleheads are happy together.
2. Hannah must actually be a good writer
Even though Hannah's writing had found fans in David Pressler Goings and that second editor she met with, I was always a little skeptical about her actual abilities. I'm honestly not sure why. Maybe I projected her social obliviousness onto her writing skills. At any rate, was anyone else surprised to see Hannah's writing get such validation?
3. It was nice to see Marnie appear so genuinely excited for Hannah
After all the ups and downs these two have had the last three seasons, I really liked watching Marnie (in her fluffy yellow towel no less) seem happy for Hannah. Allison Williams does a really nice job of portraying Marnie's insecurities and fakeness and I liked that there didn't seem to be any bullshit or agenda here. Hannah's success was special enough and big enough that even Marnie couldn't begrudge it.
4. Shosh finally had her meltdown
Ugh, poor Shosh. As we predicted all season, her "grand plan" of alternating between sex and studies went horribly, horribly wrong and she failed her Glaciology class, preventing her from graduating on time. But! She got to have the meltdown we've been waiting all season for and catharsis feels so good.
5. Oops! Will Hannah's parents have to mortgage their home to pay for her grad school?
Did anyone else pick up on Hannah's parents' simultaneous glowing excitement and mini-panic when she told them she'd been accepted into grad school? At one point Loreen alternates saying "you'll figure it out" with "we'll figure it out" and she and Tad exchange nervous glances and hugs. How's Hannah gonna pay for the Writer's Workshop? Hopefully she'll get some student loans or financial aid so the Horvaths don't have to take another mortgage out on their house...
6. Why couldn't anyone keep their mouths shut?
There was a nice parallel between Marnie tactlessly telling Shosh about her sexual relationship with Ray after she knew how distressed her friend was and Hannah telling Adam about graduate school moments before his big debut. What. The. Fuck. Each girl was so obsessed with getting her own secrets off her chest that she had no consideration for the recipient's feelings. They were like computers programmed to say these things, unable to change re-set when it became clear that the moment wasn't right. Will those exchanges cost Marnie her friendship with Shosh and Hannah her relationship with Adam?
7. In the words of Loreen, "hold the phone": Desi didn't kiss Marnie
I loved that Marnie went around telling her friends that Desi kissed her when, in fact, she kissed him. (Though, to be fair, he kissed her back.) But why did she interrupt the moment? I was surprised she didn't just have sex with him then and there. My guess is that for all she's into Desi, a part of her is still a little scared (or at the very least knows she's entering super murky -- and morally dubious -- territory by going after a dude with a girlfriend). She wants the satisfaction of knowing she can get Desi (after all, she admits to Hannah that she "uses sex for validation") without having to take on all of the risk.
8. Ray's presence stabilized Shosh but Shosh's absence stabilized Ray
I thought it was interesting that Shosh tells Ray that he was a stabilizing force in her life only to hear him reveal that though she might have motivated him to get his shit together in the first place, her absence is helping him keep it together.
9. Why was Marnie crying when she was spying on Desi and Clementine having a fight?
Was it because she knows she won't get to record with him? Because Clementine's bathroom confrontation freaked her the fuck out? Shouldn't a fight between the couple make her happy?
10. So, uh, will Hannah go to Iowa?
The episode ends with a great shot of Hannah reveling in her acceptance to the Iowa Writer's Workshop -- relationship troubles with Adam be damned. But will the Lena Dunham actually have her head out there? I'm inclined to guess that it'll be a "Carrie in Paris" fake-out moment. I bet we'll see her start next season in Iowa but I can't imagine she'll complete the two-year residency.
Best lines of the episode:
"Baby, if there's a note from the library, will you just leave it in there? I don't want to see it. It'll just stress my brain out." -- Laird
"I haven't been to a Broadway show since my parents drove me in to see a matinee of Falsettos...at which point they told me my grandparents were getting divorced." -- Ray
Seattle's multi-talented Scott Reitherman is back with a new album and a new name, Pillar Point, after releasing two critically acclaimed albums as Throw Me the Statue on Secretly Canadian back in 2008 and 2009. Not sure why he doesn't just release records using his own name. To add to the confusion, he doesn't appear in this incredible video, "Dreamin'," directed by Jacob Krupnick from Brooklyn production company Wild Combination, but the whole thing works beautifully. The dancer, Daisuke Omiya, moved to New York from Japan to become a professional tap dancer and is currently a member of The Dash Ensemble dance group.
Dreamin' appears on Pillar Point's self-titled album, out now.
1) The show's first half an hour is crazy, crazy boring. Why-am-I-still-watching-this-show, boring. Ask-your-cat-what-the-high-and-low-points-of-its-day-were-just-to-kill-time boring -- a mix of Lindsay cancelling scheduled filming times, being difficult with the crew and acting, generally, like Lindsay Lohan. Everyone is not-surprised that Lindsay Lohan is being very predictably like Lindsay Lohan. Still, don't be so Lindsay Lohan, on your own show, Lindsay, Lindsay Lohan!
2) Half way way through the episode there's an argument between Lohan and her beleaguered assistant Matt, who is always in a three-piece suit, that had something to do with him not getting copies of Lohan's keys made or something. But he did make the copies, or something, and then something about 'why do I feel like I'M the one working FOR YOU?' and something else about something and then something. The whole thing was like floating in space on Quaaludes.
3) Things finally start to get interesting in the second half of the show. We see Lindsay repeatedly telling her fake life coach that her sobriety is "sacred" to her and she's not into cameras showing "all the negative shit," about her life. Pressed by her pretend helper health lady why her sobriety is so 'sacred' to her, we see a flash of anger from Lohan over the stupidity of the question. She talks in circles about how having cameras around her makes her not want to go to AA meetings and that she can feel herself slipping. And though part of me genuinely feels sorry for her here, and for feeling the need, even at this point in her pretty much ruined career, to try to manage how people view her and to try to control that she be depicted in positive light is sad. That must be exhausting for Lindsay Lohan. And I'm sure that adding addition to the mix is a real picnic. That said, she never really answered the question.
4) Oprah is summoned from Chicago to ask Lindsay Lohan to stop being a fragile narcissistic addict with control problems, or to at least start being that on camera. Lindsay gives Oprah the same run around that she gives her professional Life Choices Suggester hired by the OWN network and Oprah out-Oprahs herself, pummeling Lohan with her gloriously confounding Winfrey-speak -- asking questions the size of the universe like, "what is your truth," and "what is the essence of you" -- spoiled brat actress getting her comeuppance from Oprah or not, how the hell is anyone supposed to answer those questions? Winfrey asks her if she's stayed sober and Lohan says she has. Oprah gives her double high fives, and Lohan bursts into tears.
5) Finally, FINALLY, Oprah asks Lohan, point-blank, if she wants to keep doing the show. "Yes, I want it," Lohan feebily croaks, and we're all supposed to believe for a moment that it's a fading-star child celebrity with her sobriety still in its infancy who's running the show. Oprah tells her not to fuck it up.
David Bowie = no joke. [via Laughter Key]
There's something about Comedy Central's Broad City. Whether featuring a hygienically-challenged roommate or the thrill from running into a neighbor crush, the show gives a fresh take on the twentysomething grind. And as the series nears its season finale this week, it's clear that stars and creators Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have succeeded in creating a hilarious alternative to the often self-contained, whitewashed bubble of Girls. Although Lena Dunham & Co. have made efforts to appease the more vocal, obvious criticisms of the HBO show (Donald Glover's arc instantly springs to mind), it struggles to balance its various high-stakes plotlines, leaving some characters and some scenarios feeling half-baked (read: Shosh). By contrast, the stakes are usually pretty low in the world of Broad City, but a Seinfeld-ian willingness to hyper-exaggerate the mundane gives it unexpected resonance. While we give props to Girls' commitment to depicting the messy cluelessness of urban twenty-somethings, here's five reasons why Broad City does it better.
Though New York City is a major part of both shows Broad City makes better comedic use of the city's unique challenges. It treats New York as an actual character that fights the two hapless friends at every turn. Girls uses New York as background material. As much as Girls is associated with Brooklyn life, many other creative urban enclaves -- the Mission, Pilsen, Echo Park -- could likely provide equally effective backdrops. As Hannah's famous "I may be the voice of my generation line" tells us, the show is about her and everything is filtered from her unique perspective, rather than a universal one. New York is just the backdrop for her and her friends' growing pains.
By contrast, Broad City couldn't exist anywhere but the Big Apple. In the premiere episode, we watched Abbi and Ilana trying to dig up enough money to pay for Lil Wayne tickets and get into the sort of "only in New York" shenanigans that don't require the audience's suspension of disbelief. (S/o to Fred Armisen who made a memorable cameo as a mustached-creepazoid hailing from the bowels of Craigslist.)
Viewed through the lens of two best friends, Broad City doesn't have much in the way of a specific storyline. This allows for spontaneity; Murphy's Law expands to cartoonish proportions. It doesn't spend time wondering about the stability of Abbi and Ilana's friendship either -- that comes pre-established. (See episode seven, "Hurricane Wanda," for an example of their rock solid trust in action.) Girls', on the other hand, is fixated on the four women's relationships with one another and there's a constant "breaking up and making up" see-saw that often leads to contrived moments.
Broad City, on the other hand, doesn't have to worry about maintaining this see-saw. Its focus is not on any specific endgame or Abbi and Ilana's journey to achieve self-enlightenment. Its lax, episodic structure means the show's plot can literally go anywhere (including a fictional uninhabited island housing a UPS warehouse). There's nothing too weird or too wild or too unbelievable about the world in which it exists (in the same way that New York city itself is an epicenter for the strange and unique).
I'm not bothered by the amount of nudity on Girls but it often feels a touch exhibitionist -- especially Hannah's. I have no problem with Dunham's appearance or personal politics but each time Dunham's character is nude, it sparks endless debate, ultimately detracting from critical analysis of the show itself. Reporters and trolls alike feel compelled to comment on Dunham's nude scenes and this focus on the actress' body has even gone beyond the show. (See: Jezebel offering $10,000 for Dunham's untouched Vogue editorial pictures, citing that the photoshopped images were counteractive to Dunham's "body positivity.") Without the motive of invoking social commentary, Broad City's usage of nudity is strictly for laughs. Rather than distracting the audience from the story arcs, it enhances them.
4. Friendship and Sympathy
Broad City celebrates the strength in friendship while Girls examines the dissatisfaction. Perhaps this is why the verdict concerning the latter is often so polarizing. The show is dedicated to exploring the perils of twenty-somethings in a way that demands sympathy it doesn't always deserve. Broad City doesn't want your sympathy. You're allowed to just sit back and enjoy Abbi and Ilana's frequent mishaps.
5. The Absurdity of Youth
Broad City's first season has been filled with "crisis" after "crisis" -- and not of the existential kind. As Flavorwire's Pilot Viruet says in a recap of episode four, "Abbi and Ilana can't concern themselves with book deals or opening a cupcake shop because they're too busy just trying to scrounge up enough money (or office supply gift cards) to buy weed...Sometimes you can't focus on the overall, bigger picture because it's daunting enough to try and make it back to your bed in one piece every night."
While everyone has moments when they encounter Big Life Questions like the ones on Girls, for most of us, our days are not filled with them. It's those micro-dramas and mini-stressors that more often concern us and BC does an excellent job of finding the absurdities in everyday moments. In doing so, it's crafted a snapshot of urban twentysomething anxiety that's relatable -- and recognizable -- for a broader and more diverse swath of viewers.
Last week, we met up with filmmaker Eliza Hittman at a laptop-cluttered cafe just off the Lorimer L -- an odd choice of venue given that her first feature film, the alternately dreamy and shocking It Felt Like Love, is set in parts of Brooklyn that most transplants will never see. A native of Flatbush, Hittman, 34, grew up around the working-class neighborhoods where her characters -- mostly white kids in their mid-teens, played by actual teenagers -- spend summer days acting out barely understood desires. Our only glimpse of the world beyond is a shot of the Manhattan skyline from the reedy banks of Gerritsen Beach.
After a year on the festival circuit, It Felt Like Love began its first theatrical run last weekend, at IFC Center; it opens this Friday in Chicago and L.A. Here, Hittman talks about taking on a project so close to home -- from shooting a skeevy party in her parents' basement to attending a cast member's sweet sixteen.
Tell me about putting together your cast.
Gina [Piersanti] [Ed note: Gina plays the lead, Lila] actually wanted to be an actor and she found me through Actors Access or something -- one of those open casting sites. Giovanna [Salimeni], who plays the friend, I found at a dance studio in Carroll Gardens. The kind of rougher guys I met in a park in Manhattan Beach. Jesse [Cordasco], who plays the first boyfriend in the beginning of the film, he went to my high school and I found him through auditioning kids from their theater program. He's part of Pro Era, a hip-hop collective of high school kids from Brooklyn. It's spearheaded by this guy Joey Bada$$ [one of our 2013 Beautiful People]. We couldn't use his music, though, 'cause they hadn't cleared any of the backing tracks.
The soundtrack is pretty much all hip-hop. Were you into that before you made the movie?
No. I mean, a little bit more in high school than over the last 15 years. But it's very authentically them, you know, and of the moment of what those kids listen to. It's a film that takes place in a specific neighborhood in Brooklyn. There's not a lot of establishing shots, but you get a sense of the place through the music and the people. I think.
What are the neighborhoods?
We shot in Gerritsen Beach and Gravesend and Bensonhurst, a little bit in Bay Ridge. All over those areas you don't see in films.
And you grew up slightly north of there.
Flatbush. Kind of central Brooklyn. I couldn't have shot in my neighborhood because it's unrecognizable. It doesn't look like the neighborhood I grew up in 'cause it's gentrified so much.
But when you were growing up, was that area part of the same world as the one in the movie?
Closer. Flatbush was a little bit more Jewish, but it was also always very Haitian and Pakistani. Bensonhurst was always more Italian and now it's become more Chinese, so they're not the same. I didn't try to make a period film that exists in the world I grew up in. But those neighborhoods still feel untouched by gentrification, even though the demographics change.
Did you really shoot the party scene at your parents' house?
That's my parents' basement. I gave one of the kids in the film a can of spray paint and he tagged up the walls. I sent my parents out of town while we were shooting.
How long has it been since the first public screening?
It's been over a year. No lulls. I'm ready to move on. I want to go off the grid and not be attached to my email.
Do you like doing the festival circuit?
It's a job, to go and represent the film. You go from being broke to traveling someplace, being picked up in a car, having an assistant, being treated really well, getting a nice room for a few nights in an interesting place and presenting your work -- and then you come home and you're kind of broke. It's a weird experience to go back-and-forth between those two worlds. But it's great. I have no complaints about how everything has worked out. I obviously had no expectations in making it, and it's exceeded those zero expectations at every level.
When you started shooting, did you already have producers lined up?
I had producing help. I didn't have a lot of investors. We started shooting with almost nothing. Like $15-20,000. My cinematographer, whose name is Sean Porter, it was his camera. And we shot the film without a crew. It was fun though. It was so small and it was such a family kind of environment. It's hard to imagine going on to anything else and working with a bigger crew. It doesn't totally appeal to me.
Speaking of bigger crews, do you ever get compared to that other filmmaker from your old school, Edward R. Murrow High?
Darren Aronofsky? No one's made that comparison, actually. I really like Darren Aronofsky, and whenever I have meetings in the industry and they ask what movies I like, I always say The Wrestler. It's like my commercial reference point for if I were to make a bigger film -- the regional specificity of it, the tragic antihero.
Do you see yourself someday making Noah-style epics?
I don't know. I think I have a big movie in my future. I don't know where in my future. I feel it there. It's not next, that's for sure.
One more thing: tell me about the Sweet Sixteen scene. Were those things a part of your teen years?
I went to so many sweet sixteens. They're much more elaborate than I was able to afford. They usually have DJs and lights and replicate a club-like environment. Mine is softer and prettier. And actually last March, we went to Giovanna's real Sweet Sixteen. It was a moment of life imitating art, art imitating life. And we lit a candle on her cake. Hers was really bangin'. And because all of her friends are dancers, the dance element was amped up and they performed. It's a weird event -- it's like a wedding without a husband. And it's also a right of passage into womanhood, but it feels too late. She's crossed over already.
It Felt Like Love is now playing at IFC Center in New York. It opens in L.A. and Chicago this Friday. Details here.
Each week in our Chefs Off Duty series, we talk to some of our favorite chefs and industry folk around the country to find out their secret late-night spots where they like to grab a bite and a pint when their kitchens are finally closed. Next up: Chef Anthony Ricco, Executive Chef at New York's glitzy pan-Asian street food emporium, Spice Market.
Where's your favorite late-night spot to hit up when you're leaving Spice Market?
My favorite spot is Istanbul Grill on 14th street. I've been going for the last 8 years. I made friends with the chef back when I used to throw underground parties in Brooklyn. He'd always hook me up with a bunch of spinach pies. It was also the late night spot for cooks and servers in the neighborhood back when clubs like APT were still around.
I first went there one time because I just got done throwing back about 10 Heinekens at the Hog Pit and I couldn't make it to the train because those beers needed to leave my system ASAP. I ran in to use the bathroom and was overcome by the scent of spinning and sizzling meats and decided to sit down and eat.
What's your favorite thing to order?
My favorite is a lamb gyro with grape leaves, hummos, white beans and extra pita. The best part is they give you a squeeze bottle of white sauce and Turkish chili sauce, which nobody does. It's like a secret society with sauces -- you only get enough to barely lube up your sandwich, but not here. It's all the sauce you can eat and they sell Efes Beer, which is like the Budweiser of Turkey.
What are their other specialties?
Mantis, which is a Turkish dumpling filled with minced lamb and spices, covered in yogurt and smoked paprika butter. It certainly is late night drinking food and something I consumed almost nightly when I lived in Istanbul. You hit a big bowl of Mantis after drinking Turkish Raki, which is an anise-flavored booze and is basically forced on you when you party in Istanbul.
Any fun anecdotes from nights at Istanbul Grill?
I wound up in the Istanbul Grill at 4am after celebrating my cousin's bachelor party. I realized half of my staff was in there and my cousin proceeded to insult pretty much everyone I work with and walked out leaving me to explain to them what just happened and why exactly he pretty much just picked everybody apart then vanished.
Istanbul Grill, 310 W 14th St, New York; open 24 hours
Here's everyman's version of the perfect virtual reality machine. Just order a Better Than Life helmet, put it over your head and you'll be transported to a beach in Thailand where your wildest fantasies will come true. If this clip for UK sensation Duke Dumont's "I Got U" doesn't make U smile, you probably need some serious meds. Dumont, who was responsible for last year's Grammy-nominated smash hit "Need U (100%)" may have topped it with this track off his upcoming album.
Before Kat Graham was a star on the CW hit The Vampire Diaries, she sent a copy of her single "Sassy" to the Hollywood gossip queen and music promoter Perez Hilton (class of 2006) who fell in love at first listen. Now that they're good friends and collaborators, it wasn't hard to get these two together to spill the tea.
Perez Hilton: I've known you a very long time, so I thought it would be good to start off with a question I don't know the answer to. In the last 24 hours, what's the most beautiful thing you've seen or heard?
Kat Graham: In the past 24 hours I've flown to L.A. from Atlanta. I never buy a first-class ticket, so I was sitting literally in the back, back seat of the plane. I was so hungry and the flight attendant was so accommodating. He had no idea who I was or what I did for a living. I looked crazy, like no makeup on, and he treated me so well. I think that's one of the most beautiful things, when people treat other people well, and they don't know who they are or what they do. Which is something that you do. You don't treat celebrities any different than you treat people that aren't in the industry.
PH: Aw! Well, I still can't get over the fact that you won't buy at least a business-class ticket! What is that about?
KG: I usually get upgraded but no, I just won't... I'm tiny and I can curl up.
PH: One of the things that I also love about you is how resourceful you are. When I got to know you it shocked me that you are not only an actress, a singer, a songwriter and a dancer, but you can do your own makeup as if you were a world-class makeup artist. How did you learn to do that?
KG: My first makeup artist was actually Sutan [Amrull] aka Raja from RuPaul's Drag Race. She is amazing, so I learned. The only shows I did in the beginning were at gay clubs, so for the first part of my career I was surrounded by these amazing performers who did it themselves and taught themselves.
PH: You've been in entertainment almost your whole life. As we've seen with other people, it's pretty hard making the transition from young entertainer to adult entertainer. Another thing that is surprising about you, in addition to the fact that you'll only buy coach tickets, is you don't drink. Why is that? And how are you able to avoid the temptation of Hollywood when you're surrounded by all these bad influences at such a young age?
KG: Well when you work as much as I do, you just don't want anything to slow you down. I recently discovered champagne as a celebratory thing, which is great. When I get married I get to cheers with champagne. But other than that, it just doesn't interest me. It's so boring and I have so much fun without it. You especially know how much I struggled with doing the show and music simultaneously and how much work it took. It's still hard. I just don't want to do anything that's going to slow me down or take me down a spiral.
PH: You mentioned that you are getting married. That's a great thing. You've been with your fiancé [model/actor Cottrell Guidry] now for over five years. What is your secret to making your relationship last this long?
KG: No relationship is going to be perfect. There's going to be problems no matter what, but you fight for it, because you love the person. You look down the road and think, "Wow, it's been five years." It's very similar to you and me! I'm going to love you forever and that's just never going to change.
PH: I love that. Do you have a life motto?
KG: Yeah, I don't know who said it, but it's, "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" So that's what I believe in. Because I can't fail, you know? I don't want to go back to where I started, even though it's a great story. So I'm just going to keep working hard.
PH: Let's look into the future. You're going back to The Vampire Diaries. How many more seasons do you have?
KG: I have one more season, I believe; season six. Then after that I'm finally planning on going on tour. I'm now at Interscope and I'm just excited to actually record and get this album together and hit the road -- to finish what was started six years ago. Certain things take a while but I'm glad that I never stopped making music and I never stopped doing shows. I'll probably headline Pride in L.A. It's always important to me to stay in the gay community. That's where my heart is and that's what makes the most sense to me.
Perez Hilton photographed by Cass Bird (April 2006)
Kat Graham photographed by Annie Tritt / styled by Maeve Reilly / hair by Bryson Conley
Danny Masterson (Class of 2008) met artist Mercedes Helnwein through the late artist Bryten Goss. As an avid supporter of Helnwein's work -- including her recent banjo obsession -- Masterson catches up with his old friend and sheds some light on the fertile L.A. art scene.
Danny Masterson: Give us a little backstory on how you were raised. I know you moved around a lot as a child.
Mercedes Helnwein: Yeah, I was born in Vienna, because my dad [Gottfried Helnwein] is an artist there. I lived in Germany. I lived in England for a while. Then we settled down in Ireland.
DM: And now you live in downtown L.A. You were there before it was a cool place to live. I think you and [your family] started the mass collection of crazies in downtown.
MH: We probably did. When we moved down there, when you parked on the street, your car was going to be broken into just like that. Now it's insane how safe and popular it is. It's changed a lot.
DM: Let's talk about your art and when you started drawing. Was it anything to do with your dad being like, "Here, take this pencil and start drawing things," or was it something you wanted to do yourself?
MH: I don't ever remember not drawing. It's just an obsessive thing that I've done since, I don't even know how old. I don't think it had much to do with my dad, because at that point I wasn't even really aware of what my dad was doing. It was just something that I did. It was therapeutic. I drew a lot in hotels that my dad took us to. I remember being in New York, and my dad left us in hotels all day, and we did drawings. Then we'd go knock on the other doors and try to sell our drawings so that we could go buy things from the gift store downstairs.
DM: You were like a five-year-old artistic hustler.
MH: Yeah. My dad was like, "You can't knock on other people's doors. You can't do that." But then when I was older, the art was around all the time. My dad was obviously doing that, and having shows and things like that, but I still didn't think I wanted to do that as a career. I wanted to be a writer. Even in my teens, I just wanted to be a writer. I almost wanted to avoid a career in fine arts, but I kind of fell into it, because I started having a little show here and there -- just to see people's response to what I was doing and it was so crazy to me, because I only had ever done it for myself. Suddenly it was creating an effect with other people and that was extremely motivating, because I think that's ultimately what art is about. You want to have a rise with somebody else. You want to change something in their world. So at that point I was suddenly like, "Oh, this has nothing to do with what my dad is doing, or me doing the same thing or not doing the same thing. It's completely separate. It's just me having a chance to communicate with other people." Then it wasn't weird after that.
DM: I don't know anybody who's doing what you are doing. Your shows are so successful and it's so great because you are changing. You were doing the crosshatch stuff and then some of your painting started to come in. It's really amazing watching you develop and become your own master now.
MH: I think you are probably one of the first people who ever bought something from me, so
I feel like you have a very good view of how things developed.
DM: Yeah, I have different years of your art all over my house.
MH: Yeah, when I come to your house I'm like, "Oh my god! I remember when I used to do this kind of stuff!" It's very interesting.
DM: You just had a big show in L.A. at Merry Karnowsky's gallery. When is your next show?
MH: I'm going back to Vienna and I'll probably show there. I'm kind of concentrating on some European shows right now. I haven't had a bigger show there in a while. But I also think there might be a smaller show with Merry at some point this year.
DM: Can we talk about your newfound fascination with the motherfucking banjo? You've become a banjo maniac.
MH: I'm fascinated with blues and old-timey music, and I've always thought it was such a beautiful instrument. I bought one and I didn't know how to play it for years. About two years ago I really began learning how to play it. Since then I've just been sucked in.
DM: You post banjo videos on Instagram sometimes and they are unbelievable.
MH: Thank you, yeah, it's crazy. Sometimes that's all I want to do.
DM: Well, the art thing has already worked out, so you're kind of fucked there...
MH: But if anyone needs a banjo player, I'm available.
Mercedes Helnwein photographed by Jiro Schneider / hair and makeup by Nancy Silva
Danny Masterson photographed by Jacqueline Di Milia (April 2008)
See more of the Chosen Ones
When singer and songwriting powerhouse Sia (class of 2008) discovered rapper Brooke Candy on Instagram she said to herself, "This dude is a freaky princess. I love her!" and promptly took Brooke under her wing. Now the executive producer of her upcoming debut album, Sia chats with Brooke while taking a bath.
Sia Furler: I'm in the bath. I have to incorporate self-care with promotion of my favorite artists.
BC: Ooh. That's sick.
SF: I can do any kind of work if I'm practicing self-care simultaneously. Painting my nails, or getting my hair did, you know?
BC: That's a true fact! Remember we had that meeting at the nail salon?
SF: Yes! But I want to talk about how we met. I'm not really interested in any other artists -- I'm not interested in really anything except reality TV, dogs, being sober and hanging out with my friends. But when I came across you on Instagram I was like, "Oh, now I'm interested!" I saw a lot of myself in you and I thought, "I have to help this person not make the terrible decisions I made, and I can't let anyone who doesn't understand her ruin her career." I felt, potentially with delusions of grandeur, that I was the only person who could really support you in becoming who you are on a grander stage or platform.
BC: Well, that is true. You are the only person.
SF: The great thing about you is that you're authentic, and nobody can borrow authenticity.
BC: I get so nervous. I'm nervous.
SF: It is nerve-racking, especially at the beginning, because when you're an artist we all want to create this version of ourselves for the public. And it's difficult to maintain that.
BC: Yeah, and I'm happy with what I've done. It got me this far. It got you to look at me, and you understood. I was just expressing myself. If I feel an impulse to make something, I'm going to make it and I don't really look back and think that it's positive or -- I don't know.
SF: And we mustn't forget that you've gotten all this way by yourself with no management and no label. You're hungry like the wolf. You're hard-working, and you have something to say, and even if it takes you 50 years to say it all, at least you're opening your mouth!
BC: Totally. I've always had this agenda to push female and gay rights, so everything I've done is just a way to push that. I definitely don't regret anything at all. And thank you, Sia. You've really helped me more than I did. You're a better witch.
SF: I just started working in the pop industry, writing hits for the big stars. In order to stay current in that universe, I feel the need to work with new, fresh, unique artists. Any money I make out of you doesn't actually come from your wallet -- it comes from the label's side [RCA], because my intention was never to exploit you; my intention was to create some sort of fair exchange. That's what I like, and that's what I feel is creating this equality between women -- supporting another woman that you're interested in as an artist.
BC: Everything you're saying is true. The first time we ever met, when you emailed me, I thought it was this girl who had been bullying me, because you are one of my favorite artists. I was like, "There's no way this is fucking real." And it's just crazy because the fact that you even found me when you really don't pay attention to anything current -- you're making your own art that has nothing to do with anything that's going on now -- makes me feel ten million times more special. I did something right!
SF: And now you have your album coming out. We have Diplo, Benny Blanco, will.i.am... I basically called in every favor I had. When will.i.am saw your videos, he was like, "Can I work with her tomorrow?" Diplo was like, "She's the most precious thing on the planet, I'll do anything for her." There are a lot of singles on it. There's a lot of really good, fun pop music, there's some really dope hip-hop beats with sick rap on them. I would say it's like maybe an urban pop album. What would you say?
BC: I agree with that. It's like, the majority of it is hybrid, but then there's an underlying urban hip-hop tone to it all. Even the pop songs are fucking bouncy. There's also a couple of ballads...
SF: I remember saying to you that historically, girl rappers just disappear after a while, and it would be really sad for that to happen to you. So I said, "Do you think you can try singing?"
BC: I had never even thought of singing as another outlet of artistic expression and it's just crazy because when I did it, it made me really happy. It's such a crazy release. I never thought I could do it and I didn't have the confidence to try.
Sia photographed by Jacqueline Di Milia (April 2008)
Brooke Candy photographed by Jiro Schneider / makeup by Elvis Zavaleta
See more of the Chosen Ones
Last we left off with Kathleen Hanna and the Julie Ruin, the band was getting ready to release their debut album, Run Fast, and go on a big American tour. Six months later, the band's got more tour dates on the books for next month, and Hanna was the subject of the electric documentary the Punk Singer. And now, we've got a brand new video for the tender track "Just My Kind," from Run Fast, a love letter from Hanna to her husband Adam Horovitz with peppy keyboards and bongos. The clip features foota from the Catskills, NYC, Australia and Hawaii, including some amazing shots filmed by Horovitz of Hanna singing in the waves in her Minor Threat t-shirt. This is totally the "Drunk in Love" video Beyonce meant to make. Watch above.
Watch Naomi Campbell be like, "um, yeah, no" when asked about Kim and Kanye's Vogue cover. [Uproxx]
Kanye for Kanye by Kanye. Kanye! Love, Kanye. [DailyDot]
Watch Jude Law and Jimmy Fallon have a funny face off. This is so cute. And Jude is looking flyyyyy. [Uproxx]
Billy Eichner and Neil Patrick Harris accost New Yorkers about How I Met Your Mother and it's so weird and good. [Hypervocal]
"Poarrrn!" is Nancy Grace's new "what about the baybuheees?" [Reddit]
A disturbingly accurate portrayal of a vinyl collector. Nailed it. [LaughingSquid]
For all you New Girl fans out there -- here's the trailer for a new bros-bein'-bros movie starring Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. This just doesn't feel right without Jess, Schmidt and Winston.
Amy Poehler's makeup test photos from Upright Citizens Brigade's TV show. [ThisIsNotPorn]
My new response image for everything. [Bbook]
Fantasies about hanging out with the rap star Rick Ross might normally be set somewhere with strippers, magnums of champagne and an endless supply of blunts, but tonight we're headed to the Greenwich Village hot spot Carbone (owned by Beautiful People Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone), where we're meeting up with Ricky Rozay while he's in town to promote his new album Mastermind. It may not be a smoky private room at Scores, but there is something weirdly appropriate about breaking bread with the Teflon Don at a three-star Italian restaurant straight out of a Rat Pack flick.
Shortly after we arrive, there's a flurry of activity by the door: it's Ross and his crew, which tonight includes DJ Khaled, as well as Ross' publicist Gabe and manager Gucci Pucci.
We all sit down and, as plates of focaccia, prosciutto and aged Parmesan come out, we begin to notice something highly unexpected: Rick Ross is not touching any of it. Turns out the Boss is on a diet. "I've been eating like a bawse for a long time," he tells us. "Now I want to eat clean." While we dig into lobster pasta and steak, he opts for fish and salad, sipping on water straight out of a Sizzurp cup with his bearded mug stamped on it. We chat with the rapper about his health regimen (no carbs, no dairy) and other surprisingly wholesome topics like his favorite Miami steakhouses (Houston's, Prime 112), his kids (he has a son and a daughter) and SoulCycle (he isn't familiar).
But despite the very ordinary conversation, there are constant reminders that we're dining with a very unordinary man. Throughout the evening, the rapper holds court at our table while a steady stream of people come by to pay their respects. Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia. Def Jam honcho Shawn "Pecas" Costner. And even Yeezus himself, who stops by wearing his "mink dragging on the floor," his style guru, #Been #Trill's Virgil Abloh, at his side. And those are only the people we notice. Throughout the night, the entourage in the restaurant seems to subtly expand and contract around the Boss like some sort of Maybach Music Group amoeba while several SUVs idle outside. Chains are shown off. Cohiba cigars are sniffed. There are so many rounds of musical chairs that by the time dessert comes around we don't even notice that -- unlike his conspicuous entrance -- the Boss has quietly left the building, heading out into the night to enjoy those cigars.
Mercedes Helnwein photographed by Jiro Schneider / hair and makeup by Nancy Silva
Brooke Candy photographed by Jiro Schneider / makeup by Elvis Zavaleta
You'd think this was the latest video from the Fool's Gold label, but "Booty Call" is actually the work of that crazy trio formerly known as S/S/S and now called Sisyphus. All those "s's" belong to Sufjan Stevens (that's him wearing the BOSS chain) ), Son Lux and Serengeti and it's a track off the group's second release, out now on the Brooklyn-based -- and Stevens' owned -- label Asthmatic Kitty Records. Shake your booty to the beats above.
This scene comes near the end of Mistaken for Strangers, Tom Berninger's documentary about Matt's burgeoning superstardom as the frontman of The National, Tom's disastrous stint as a member of their crew, and the tangled web of brotherly love -- an apt theme for a band that already contains two sets of brothers (guitarists Bryce and Aaron Dessner, and bassist Scott and drummer Bryan Devendorf). With the film opening in New York next week, having kicked off the Tribeca Film Festival last April, we met with the Berninger bros and basically sat back while they ribbed each other and talked about the film's evolution from throwaway web content to one of the most weirdly intimate rock-docs ever made.
Let's start with you, Matt.
Matt: OK. He's an idiot. Sorry!
Tom's shooting style is pretty confrontational: he pushes your buttons, he pisses off the crew, he films your drummer showering. Was it ever in the back of your mind that he needed to provoke people in order to make a good movie?
Matt [to Tom]: You probably have me yelling at you to turn the camera off hundreds of times. Picking where to use one of those things in the movie -- when the movie started turning into this whole thing about our relationship and then Tom's struggle to find his own voice and do his own thing, that's when, like, "Oh, let's use some of that conflict." A lot of the stuff -- when Tom had his camera on, including Bryan in the shower and Scott in a garage moving chairs around -- all the stuff that most documentaries would probably leave on the floor is what Tom and my wife [Carin Besser], who helped edit it, wove together into something interesting. This is a better movie than a profile of the band ever would have been.
Tom, at one point you tell Bryan that the rest of the band is "coffeehouse" and that he's relatively "metal." Did Matt get any more metal as you made this movie?
Tom: I think The National is one of the most metal indie-rock bands out there as far as live performances go. I'm being kind of honest. I think Matt has gotten more metal.
Matt: Maybe you've gotten more coffeehouse.
Tom: Maybe I've gotten more coffeehouse. I honestly think The National -- if you see them live, [Matt] goes crazy. Actually, I don't know of another metal band where the lead singer goes into the drop ceiling, his head in the wires. You do more crazy stuff onstage than any metal band does. I always say, they get this bad rap for being sad sacks that are depressing. I want them to do a really depressing album so all those people that give them shit will then kill themselves and they won't have to deal with them anymore.
Matt: You realize that we've done well by people...
Tom: I'm saying the people that don't like you for being depressing, just give them the most depressing thing they've ever heard so you'll wipe 'em out.
Matt: We're OK. We're more OK with being labeled as dark and sad sacks than you are. You hate that.
Tom: Well, 'cause the music is also fun! Metal can be fun. I mean metal is dark and crazy...
Matt: Yeah. I think people who listen to us know that too. Tom hates the haters, and we've had so many haters for so long we've learned the haters are part of the thing. [To Tom] You realize you're going to get a lot of haters too.
Tom: Oh I know. I get a lot of like, "I don't listen...," like, "I'm not really into your..." And you know what? I hate people that have to say that. I've had that lately. People who see the movie are like, "I don't like really your brother's band at all..."
Matt: But they like your movie.
Tom: They like my movie.
Tom, you're onscreen most of the time, so obviously you weren't the only guy shooting. Who else was on board?
Tom: Friends and family.
Matt: And later my wife was shooting stuff.
Tom: I was doing tour diary stuff. We never knew what we were gonna make. But also it was a lot of clever editing.
Matt: You wanted, sort of from the beginning, to put yourself in the movie.
Tom: Well, I wanted to use The National's popularity to catapult me somewhere.
Matt: You wanted the world to know that I had a brother.
Matt: You were trying to do a little bit of a Michael Moore thing. Like, "Here I am, here's the real thing." It was funny that Michael Moore ended up liking the movie.
Tom: He was great. He was the first guy to ever give me an award. My first filmmaking award.
Matt: Have you gotten an award since that?
Tom: I've gotten an award from a few places, yeah.
Matt: You have?
Matt: Good job.
Tom, why are you so nervous in the last scene? You're in your room editing, and as soon as you notice the camera you cover the screen with your arm.
Matt: I shot that!
Tom: There was a heavy metal montage that's still gonna be in the bonus materials.
Matt: He was trying to smash coconuts.
Tom: I was on a beach and I was trying to crack coconuts. This anger, this angry moment...
Matt: Crackin' skulls.
Tom: There was an interview I did with my brother that I just cut out all the words that he was saying and made him say, like, "I like to shit in the park" or whatever. Kind of like manipulate what my brother was saying to make him look stupid. Didn't make it into the movie.
Matt: At one point you were trying to make like a Monkees-esque documentary. Most of the time you just thought you were making web footage or something, bonus material for our website. In many ways my wife was -- would you say she was the one who helped steer it towards something that could actually be an interesting movie that people would want to watch? We didn't have any interest in there being a band profile movie necessarily. But making the movie much more about Tom -- she was the first person who kind of set the compass to that direction.
Tom: I mean, in some ways my footage was so -- not terrible, but so subjective with my presence always there. I was free-falling. I didn't know what I was doing.
Matt: You were the only narrative. For us, you know how it is, it's a lot of guys on laptops backstage, and that's what it was for a long time. But you getting fired and going through your personal struggles -- there's a story there. The rest is just a collage, like a Meeting People is Easy type of thing. Which is a beautiful movie, but you weren't making a beautiful movie.
Tom: I knew there was stuff of me getting wasted on the bus, listening to heavy metal. I knew for some reason that was kind of good. I don't know why.
In the moment, even while you were shooting yourself crying?
Tom: Like when I was talking about Rob Halford's Christmas song and stuff, I was pretty wasted.
Matt: The crying thing is another example, though: you were like, "I should shoot this."
Tom: That is a perfect example of the weird, surreal nature of the way this movie was put together. I was having a panic attack and really getting worried about what kind of movie this was going to be, and I felt like I was going to cry. I was in a really, really dark place. And I just felt like, I should film this. I should get my camera out, put it on a tripod and shoot what I'm feeling right now. And that's just a weird thing, where you actually roll and then you've got to sit back and just start talking about your feelings.
Matt: I haven't watched the whole thing, but it's like 30 minutes.
Tom: And we used 15 seconds of it.
Matt: Maybe that's bonus material: you crying for 30 minutes.
Mistaken for Strangers opens March 28 at IFC Center.
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Hand to God
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