10:51am PDT, Apr 26, 2022
Viola Davis on ‘First Lady’ backlash: ‘Critics serve absolutely no purpose’
Viola Davis is defending her much-memed performance as Michelle Obama in Showtime’s “The First Lady,” which went viral after its April 17 premiere. Social media users balked at Viola’s incorporation of pursed lips to approximate one of the former FLOTUS’ expressions, with one user calling the actress’ extensive use of the look “cringey and distracting.” Another found Viola’s whole performance “exaggerated,” and “borderline offensive,” while outlets like the Atlantic panned the show in general, claiming it offers reductive and “stereotypical” takes on the First Ladies at hand. Asked about the criticism in a recent BBC News interview, Viola allowed that it’s “hurtful when people say negative things about your work,” but said that’s also an “occupational hazard” of acting, adding that “not everything is going to be an awards-worthy performance.” Besides, she said later in the interview, “Critics absolutely serve no purpose. And I’m not saying that to be nasty either.” Viola — who has not only an Oscar win under her belt but also an Emmy Award and a Tony Award — explained her stance on critics this way: “They always feel like they’re telling you something that you don’t know. Somehow that you’re living a life that you’re surrounded by people who lie to you and, ‘I’m going to be the person that leans in and tells you the truth. So it gives them an opportunity to be cruel to you. But ultimately I feel like it is my job as a leader to make bold choices … ” As for playing someone as well-known as former President Barack Obama’s wife? It’s “almost impossible,” criticism-wise, Viola said. “Either you’re doing too much or not enough.”
Keep reading to see why Michelle Pfeiffer and Janelle Monae are excited about Kate Hudson’s next big project …
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Kate Hudson gets support from Janelle Monae, Hilary Swank after debut album announcement
Kate Hudson’s long teased her skills as a vocalist, singing in clips on social media, singing “You’re So Vain” to Matthew McConaughey in 2003’s “How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days” and covering Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings,” doo-wop style, on the show, “That’s My Jam” last fall. Now, the actress says she’s going one more step and releasing her very own album. “Finally realized it’s time to say f#%! it and saaaannngg!!!!!” Kate shared on Instagram this week. She added an “albumincoming” hashtag, suggesting she’s already in — or been in — recording mode. Pals including Michelle Pfeiffer, Janelle Monae, Jeremy Renner and Hilary Swank were among the stars helping the 43-year-old celebrate her big plans in the comments. “Yaaaaassssss fly my love!” Janelle replied. “Yeeeeeessssssss,” Hilary wrote, telling Kate, “you’re making my dream come true!!!!!” Hilary Swank wrote.
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Kylie Jenner alleges Blac Chyna threatened her with physical violence
In testimony Rolling Stone proclaimed was “a sight to behold” in a Los Angeles courtroom on Monday, April 25, Kylie Jenner accused Blac Chyna of threatening her and trying to kill Rob. Chyna, who shares daughter Dream with Rob from their now defunct romance, filed suit against the Kardashian-Jenner family back in 2017, claiming the whole crew damaged her brand and Rob allegedly assaulted her. She’s since upped the ante in what’s now a $100 million suit, according to People, claiming the family tanked her reality show, “Rob & Chyna,” resulting in major financial losses. Asked about Rob’s past allegation that Chyna once wrapped a phone cord around his neck from behind, Kylie told the jury, “He used the words, ‘She was trying to kill me.’ I assumed that was a death struggle … I remember him being very upset and kind of explaining what happened,” according to a Page Six report. Kylie also reportedly alleged Chyna threatened her with physical violence. “I remember one time I woke up to threatening texts. From what I remember, she sent me a bunch of devil emojis and said something like, ‘Counting down the days’ to either beat me or something,” Kylie said. “I don’t know what she meant. I took it as an empty threat,” she added. Kylie said the opted to leave the police out of it at the time because “I assumed she was probably high.”
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Kim Basinger talks agoraphobia recovery: ‘You have to relearn everything’
At 68, Kim Basinger has said her agoraphobia and other anxiety issues are largely under control. But the height of her agoraphobia struggle, the “L.A. Confidential” star had no idea why she was afraid of leaving her home, she says on this week’s “Red Table Talk.” According to People, Kim recalls to host Jada Pinkett Smith how “horrible” it felt to suffer “as fiercely as I did during those years and not know what [the disorder] was,” explaining that she simply “wouldn’t leave the house.” Once she began to recover from the condition, which the Mayo Clinic defines as an “anxiety disorder in which you fear and avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed,” Kim still had a long way to go. “[It’s] like something just completely shuts down within you and you have to relearn everything,” she explains. “I had to relearn to drive, and for many years I would not go through the tunnels at Malibu. Everything used to make me nervous, like the glass [sliding] to open the door, or, ‘Where do I step to open the door?’ Everything became a big job to figure out how to do it,” she continues. “You live with a dry mouth all the time, you’re very shaky, you’re just so exhausted all the time.” Kim’s also joined by her daughter, Ireland Baldwin, on the show, which features Ireland talking candidly about how her battle with booze and Xanax distanced her from her mom and dad, Alec Baldwin. “I saw them here and there but I was so ashamed of what I had become and how I was living,” the model, 26, admits. “I just became this different person. I was emaciated in every way; I was lifeless.” Kim and Ireland’s edition of “Red Table Talk” hits Facebook Watch on Wednesday, April 27.
Howard Stern predicts Johnny Depp, Amber Heard defamation trial will damage both stars’ careers
Howard Stern was not impressed with Johnny Depp’s performance on the witness stand at his defamation trial against Amber Heard. “He wanted it televised … that’s what narcissists do,” Howard snapped on his Sirius XM radio show on Monday, April 25. Johnny and Amber are currently back in court in Virginia, facing off in a $50 million suit over a 2018 op-ed Amber wrote about surviving domestic abuse. Johnny says it’s implied he’s the abuser, while Amber, who never used his name in the piece, maintains he physically and sexually assaulted her during their marriage. “I think Johnny Depp is a huge narcissist and what I mean by that is, he figured, ‘I’ll put this on TV and because I’m so persuasive and because I’m so smart, I’m such a wonderful guy,'” Howard continued in his tirade about the trial’s publicity and both stars’ participation in it. Vowing to “play you some clips,” Howard then accused Johnny of “overacting” and “writing his own material” off the cuff in the cross-examination. “I gotta tell you, he’s wrong. He shouldn’t be putting this on TV in any shape,” Howard added. Before moving on, he criticized both stars for acting like “children” at war, questioned Johnny’s accent (“Does that sound like a guy from Kentucky?” the shock jock quipped) and predicted the trial will only have negative effects on Johny and Amber’s lives. “That’s what narcissists do, [they say], ‘I will charm the pants off of America at the trial.’ No you won’t! This will not go well,” Howard said. “It’s not going well for you, it’s not going well for her. It’s not going well for anybody.” Amber and Johnny’s divorce was finalized in 2017.
Jameela Jamil says she’s leaving Twitter over Elon Musk deal
“The Good Place” alum Jameela Jamil says she’s done with Twitter for good, now that Elon Musk’s $44 billion deal to buy it has been accepted. “Ah he got Twitter,” Jameela posted on Monday, April 25. “I would like this to be my what lies here as my last tweet. Just really any excuse to show pics of Barold,” she joked, sharing pics of her with her puppy. “I fear this free speech bid is going to help this h*** platform reach its final form of totally lawless hate, bigotry, and misogyny. Best of luck,” she added. Like many other users, Elon’s odd tug-of-war with Twitter and its board and shareholders, had Jameela threatening to quit the platform early on in the discussions. As of Tuesday, her account was still online, with the apparently final protest post at the top. Elon, meanwhile, has said he’s interested in owning Twitter in order to advocate for free speech on the platform and explore its general “potential.”
Will Smith has not personally apologized to Chris Rock’ for Oscars slap: Report
Will Smith apologized on social media to Chris Rock and others who were affected by his decision to slap the comic onstage at the 2022 Oscars in March. But an insider tells Page Six the Instagram mea culpa was all Chris got after Will hit him in the face over a joke he made about Jada Pinkett Smith’s buzz cut. Referencing reports Will is now studying meditation and yoga in India to better himself, the source told Page Six, “Will’s ‘spiritual journey’ to India for yoga and meditation seems cynical and ridiculous, given that he hasn’t apologized personally to the one person he assaulted in front of millions.” Will, who has been banned from attending Academy Awards-back events for 10 years after “the slap,” initially apologized to the audience at the Oscars when he won Best Actor for “King Richard.” He did not apologize to Chris at that time, though he did so the next day on Instagram. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong,” he wrote after noting Jada’s “medical condition” was the source of Chris’ joke (she suffers from alopecia, which causes hair loss). “I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness,” Will wrote at the time. He was photographed over the weekend at the airport in Mumbai, India, according to People. On her “Red Table Talk” show last week, Jada told viewers, “The Smith family has been focusing on deep healing.”
John Travolta gushes about ‘force of nature’ Barbra Streisand in sweet 80th birthday post
Barbra Streisand turned 80 on Sunday, April 24, and tributes to the “Funny Girl” star’s stage presence, voice, acting skills and perfect retro style have yet to stop flooding social media. Longtime pal John Travolta hopped on Instagram and shared a clip he said was “part of” the video he’d sent along to Barbra in honor of her milestone. “There’s really not enough words to describe how special this human being is,” John, 68, says in the clip. “I really and truly — this is not a cliche — I can’t imagine what the last many decades would be like without Barbra. She is a force of nature and a force of the fabric, let’s say, of our culture.” He goes on to muse that she’s “such a part of my upbringing and my stable ideas of what art and life is about …,” before adding, “She stabilizes you, and I love that. Barbra, I love you. Happy birthday.”