All Posts By Jennifer Castro

Laura Marano Interview

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Top: Rebecca Minkoff; Pants: Single Dress by Galina Sobolev; Sunglasses: Mink Pink; Belt: Express; Bracelet: Charles Albert


Here at Cliché, we like to keep it all in the family. Back in February of 2014, we had Switched at Birth’s stunning Vanessa Marano as our cover girl. We dished about her career, her hobbies, and even her younger sister, who she referred to as her “best friend.” Now we’re lucky enough to have the equally beautiful and equally talented Laura Marano gracing our cover this month. While the two lovely actresses sound and look almost identical, they can easily be distinguished by their unique and distinct personalities.
Laura Marano is one big ball of positive energy. She’s nothing if not infectiously bubbly and a firm believer that once you put your mind to something, you will undoubtedly do it. After learning to act, she decided she wanted to sing—and so she did. After learning to play the piano, she decided she wanted to play the guitar—and so she inevitably will. When it comes to Laura Marano, the word “no” simply isn’t in her vocabulary (if you don’t believe us, just ask her mom, who tried to deter her from becoming an actress). It’s rare to find a talent that is always looking for the bigger and the better, but that’s our cover girl.
At 19 years old, the young actress has accrued plenty of television titles under her belt. While her recurring roles on series such as Without a Trace, Back to You, and The Sarah Silverman Program have all been great, we love her as the singer/songwriter Ally Dawson on Disney’s Austin & Ally. Perhaps it’s because we get to see her sing and dance in addition to her expert comedic performance episode after episode. Now, the talented actress is finally taking her talents to the big screen! We can’t wait to see what she does in her two upcoming films, A Sort of Homecoming and Bad Hair Day, due out in 2015. There’s never a dull moment for this girl, who is always bursting at the seams with creative energy. Whether it’s reaching new goals in singing, dancing, acting, or something else entirely, Laura Marano will undoubtedly never say never.
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Top: Knitz by For Love & Lemons; Necklace: Ericskon Beamon Rocks


Cliché: You’ve been in the theatre since you were five years old. At what point did you decide that you would make acting a career as opposed to a hobby?
Laura Marano: I actually grew up in my mom’s theater since I was a baby. It was literally my home away from home. After my very persistent sister begged my mom for two years to be an actress, my mom finally agreed to bring us to an agent (well, my sister to an agent—I tagged along because I was five). After my sister went in, the agents called my mom in, and I obviously followed like the energetic, outgoing five-year-old that I was. They said they wanted to take my sister, and I was like, “Well, I don’t have an agent,” and they said, “Oh, honey, we’ll take you, too.” My mom, who didn’t even want my sister to act, basically had a heart attack.
When did you begin songwriting and who or what inspired you to do so?
I was always singing—like, always. I obviously would sing along to songs I knew sometimes, but I actually would mostly just sing random songs that I wrote. When I was doing homework, visiting family, or just chilling in my room, I was always making up songs. Whether they were actually good songs is a whole other conversation. Honestly, writing songs was just something I felt like I needed to do; it felt more unnatural to not write songs. When I turned twelve years old, I realized that music was something I really wanted to pursue. I started going to voice lessons and writing with people more aggressively because I knew if I really wanted it, I had to work really hard at it. I really wanted (and still want) it.
Your role on Austin & Ally enables you to do both singing and acting. In your personal life, do you prefer one over the other?
Honestly, I’ve always loved both. I started professionally acting before I started professionally pursuing music, but music was still a big part of my life. I feel so incredibly lucky to be able to do both on Austin & Ally. It’s so much fun!
Your character experienced severe stage fright in the earlier seasons of the show. Being in the business for so long, was that something that you were able to relate to?
Since I started acting pretty early, I was lucky enough to be pretty outgoing when it came to acting. With music, though, I definitely struggled with performance anxiety. Even now, I still get nervous when I perform.

#NowPlaying: Christmas Edition

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The return of the holiday season is always marked by TV networks insisting upon reruns of A Christmas Story, Home Alone, and other cheesy, but inexplicably compelling titles. Likewise, book and game stores push pre-orders of their hottest December releases (will someone please buy me the Wii U so I can play Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker on December 5?). Still, nothing beats the often too-early streaming of Christmas music in the malls, on your radio stations, and even on Pandora to get you in the holiday spirits. For this edition of #NowPlaying, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best Christmas songs of all time. We hope you enjoy!

10. “Feliz Navidad” – Jose Feliciano
Who doesn’t love a corny classic now and then—especially one that has non-Spanish speakers sounding fluent? Muy bien, readers. Muy bien.

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer9. “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” – Elmo & Patsy
Grandma should really be more careful; am I right? Some songs are just so bad that they’re good. Case in point.

8. “Jingle Bell Rock” – Bobby Helms
Despite the many re-recordings of this chart-topper, nothing beats the original. There’s just something very charming about Helms’ voice in this classic little jingle.

7. “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” – Brenda LeeRockin Around The Christmas Tree
Can you believe Lee was only 13 when she recorded this song? Her lovely, mature voice and the song’s jolly and light pop-rock feel keep “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” playing year after year.

6. “Santa Baby” – Eartha Kitt
Oh, Ms. Kitt, you’re so darn coy! We love how you use your flirtatious feminine ways to get your ’54 convertible… light blue!

Do They Know Its Christmas5. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” – Band Aid
Feed the world! While depressing, this song definitely makes us look at the holidays from a completely different perspective.

4. “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” – John Lennon & Yoko Ono
Sorry to our dear readers for being so depressing. Still, no music list is complete without one or all of The Beatles. John Lennon’s voice is pure velvet as he sings this beautiful and meaningful melody.

3. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” – Dean MartinBaby Its Cold Outside
While Dean Martin may not have written this song, we can’t help but include his delightful version complete with an all-female chorus. Not only is this an incredible winter tune, it is easily one of the greatest duets of all time. ‘Tis the season for snuggling!

2. “Last Christmas” – Wham
While “Last Christmas” is a fantastic record and a close 2nd on our list, we insist that you hear the Glee version sung by Lea Michele and Cory Monteith (at least our Glee-obsessed Entertainment Director thinks so).

All I Want For Christmas is You1. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” – Mariah Carey
Do we really need to explain our choice? This diva is no stranger to the top of the billboards and it’s easy to see why. The record is catchy, romantic, and just plain fun to sing after a few glasses of eggnog! Plus it sold over 14 million copies to date. You go, Mariah.

Check out more Music articles like “#NowPlaying: Christmas Edition” on Clichemag.com.

Mockingjay: Part 1 Review

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the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-1-final-posterThe majority of critics were all in agreement about one thing concerning the highly anticipated Mockingjay: Part 1; and that is that “not very much happens” (IBN Live).  Following in the footsteps of moneymaker series such as Harry Potter and Twilight, the studio stretched the final book into two separate movies. While filmmakers of the “HP” series started this trend for logical reasons (like including many important details and back story), it’s hard to imagine that the producers of the Hunger Games trilogy saw it as anything more than an opportunity to put more cash in the bank. Not cool, Lionsgate, not cool!

Though the sadistic Hunger Games arena is absent this time around, there is no shortage of violence in this third installment to the series—though perhaps not in the amount you’ve come to expect from these films. While there is very little action throughout the film, producers did a fantastic job of relaying the overall destruction caused by the civil war in Panem. Wide screen shots of ruined cities and charred remains of fallen victims definitely highlight the large-scale ramifications of war.

Fans of the bestselling novels will agree that District 13 was one of the environments we were most looking forward to seeing on the big screen. Lionsgate delivered on that aspect of the film, and the underground “honeycomb” bunker city was spot on with the book’s description, a dark location which complemented the somber mood of the entire film.hunger_games_mockingjay__part_one_ver9

As always, Jennifer Lawrence gives us a brilliant performance playing the reluctant hero, Katniss Everdeen. Once again she tries to resist playing a part in political propaganda, but knowing she must put aside her feelings in order to save her loved ones, the ever-conflicted Everdeen becomes the raw, empathetic and honest protagonist we have come to know and love. Similarly, Josh Hutcherson’s performance as Peeta Mellark is just as palpable. Fans want to save “the boy with the bread” just as badly as Katniss does, even in spite of his complete character change.

In conclusion, Lawrence and Hutcherson steal the show, as usual, with their intense performances. The elaborate dystopian sceneries are also to be admired, but what the movie lacks is the franchise’s usual fast-paced action – due largely in part to the story being split into a two-part film.

Read more Movie News on ClicheMag.com

 Mockingjay: Part 1 Review: Photographs courtesy of Lions Gate Entertainment

#NowPlaying

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We have officially fallen into fall! While the idea of Oktoberfest, Halloween, and Thanksgiving will definitely keep us in high spirits, I think it’s important that we expand our horizons beyond booze, candy, and obscene amounts of food. As usual, I’m talking about good tunes, smart reads, fun games, and choice television shows. The days may be getting shorter, but here’s how I plan to make them feel longer.

Listening to: Iggy Azalea
Despite my conscious efforts to despise Miss “The New Classic,” it seems she’s a fad that won’t be dying out any time soon. Whether she’s posing as a “Black Widow” with Rita Ora or getting “Fancy” with Charli XCX, she’s making a huge impact in the music world. Even I have to admit that I can’t stop singing her songs. On top of that, she’s featured on nearly every popular track that’s on the radio right now! Despite the fact that she and Ariana Grande sing about having “one less problem,” Miss Azalea is one femme fatale that’s a real “Problem” for her fellow female rappers.

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Reading: The Giver by Lois Lowry
Even though I read this book as a child, I knew that I would experience it in a different way as an adult. What better time to reread it than following the release of the movie adaptation? While the film was certainly watchable, it lacks a depth that the original storyline masters with an untouched grace. In a society that has taken away all memories to promote a pleasant existence, Jonas questions the value of removing painful memories when happy memories go along with them. With dystopian novels becoming all the rage in recent years (Divergent, The Hunger Games, etc.), The Giver makes a huge comeback as an award-winning fan favorite.

Playing: Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance for3 Nintendo 3DS
Visually appealing role playing games? I’m all over that. As I not-so-patiently await to see if rumors surrounding a KHIII come to fruition, I thought I’d try the only installment in the franchise that I haven’t played yet: Dream Drop Distance. All I have to say is that Sora, Mickey, and friends have won me over, yet again. As usual, the storyline is both detailed and interesting, and the graphics are breathtaking. For Disney fanatics, this game is a must-have!

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Watching: Dating Naked
Quite possibly the most ridiculous display of human interaction on television since Catfish, VH1’s Dating Naked takes reality dating to a whole new level of O-M-G. Two contestants go on three naked dates (one with each other) in hopes of finding “true love.” This show has become somewhat of a guilty pleasure for me. Despite the undeniable discomfort of riding bikes, doing yoga, and flying kites in the nude, I’ve grown to appreciate how honest people become when put in a vulnerable—and not to mention awkward—situation. Tune in for a few laughs and plenty of aww-worthy moments as these contestants literally bare it all.


Be sure to check out our Oct/Nov 2014 issue for #NowPlaying and other articles!

Nathan Parsons Interview

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We adored his character James, the conflicted vampire who found himself in a love triangle with two unlikely partners. Though HBO’s hit series TrueBlood has come to an end, actor Nathan Parsons’ work has just begun. Once again playing the role of a super sexy supernatural, Parsons can be seen on the upcoming season two of CW’s The Originals premiering in October. Werewolf Jackson has plenty on his plate, not unlike the actor who plays him. Though he loves the “darker” shows just as much as we enjoy watching him in them, he’ll finally fulfill his dream of playing a period piece in an upcoming Amazon pilot.  We can’t wait to see a new side of Parsons, though we’re sure he looks good from any angle! 

Cliché: Now that TrueBlood is over, how do you feel about how it ended for all the characters involved? Is everything as it should be?
Nathan Parsons: I don’t know if there is any “perfect” ending to a seven-year show. No matter what you do with these great characters, someone is going to wish for something else. For my money, I think it ended right. It wasn’t quite as happy as some people hoped, but I think it ends with a kind of healing. After everything Bon Temps went through, somehow, as everyone sits down for Thanksgiving, a healing can begin.

Your character, James, was originally set to be played by actor Luke Grimes, who wasn’t comfortable filming homosexual scenes. As a straight man, how did you feel about them when you took over his role?
I can’t speak to why Luke chose to leave. I’ve never met him or spoken to him. For me, James is no different than anybody else. He’s put in the difficult situation of loving two different people. I don’t think he’s the only person who was ever conflicted like that. And yes, while some of the physical demands of a homosexual role are difficult for me to understand, to portray convincingly, or to do, he has a story worth telling. A love story is a love story no matter who’s involved.

2Are you drawn to supernatural roles or is it just a coincidence?
Both, actually. I’ve always appreciated Gothic story. It’s a dark mythology and that appeals to me. It was also just timing I guess. I’d been auditioning for both shows for years and I guess they just got tired of bringing me in (that’s a joke)!

Did you grow up believing in any of these supernatural beings? Even as an adult, do you think they could really exist?
[I don’t believe in] vampires and werewolves—not in that literal of a sense. I do believe there are “vampiric people” who can emotionally drain the life out of you and other people who are a little more in touch with their animal nature. I also believe in ghosts—although my definition is once again not as literal.

Are these vampires in The Originals what we’d normally expect—fast healers that fry up in the sun?
Yup! They’re pretty traditional, not the Twilight “I can’t be in the sun because I glitter too much” vampires.

What can you tell us—if anything—about your character, Jackson?
Jackson showed up near the end of season one. He’s a werewolf who is cursed, so he is a wolf every day except on the full moon. It’s kind of backwards, but that’s witches for you. Anyway, it turns out that he is supposed to marry Hayley because they’re both descendents of some of the original werewolves who can unite the packs. To make a long story short, it doesn’t go as planned. Check out season one now on DVD! It’s pretty cool stuff.

Any role that you’re dying to “sink your teeth into” in the future?
Actually, yes! I recently signed onto a new Amazon pilot that I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of. It’s called Point of Honor, created by Randall Wallace and Carlton Cuse. It’s the story of two best friends at the start of the civil war. I won’t go into too much detail, but we take the “brother against brother” thing to another level. When I left TrueBlood, I said all I wanted to do was a period piece and with this show, we hold nothing back. It’s an absolutely incredible project and I can’t wait to see how it turns out! Stay tuned!


Photographed by Lesley Bryce; Groomer: Thea Istenes; Hair: Mateo Herreros; Stylist: Amber Rhys
Nathan Parsons Interview “Taking a Bite out of Hollywood” originally appeared in Cliché Magazine’s Oct/Nov 2014 issue

Reset Yourself Beauty

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“All natural” is the new black. Everywhere you look, companies are altering the ingredients of their products to fit the organic mold. Whether it’s food, health or beauty, everyone is looking for natural products to help them look and feel their best. Founders at Reset Yourself Beauty are no exception to the rule.
They’ve concocted a laundry list of unique and pure products that help accentuate your “beauty from within.”
Recent studies show that the aluminum found in most brand-name deodorants is linked to cancer. WebMD explains that these chemicals in antiperspirants are not only absorbed into the skin, but they also prevent harmful toxins from exiting the body. With this is mind, consumers are turning towards aluminum-free products. Personally, I haven’t had any luck finding one that I actually liked. That is, until I tried Reset Yourself’s non-toxic pure deodorant. It’s a safe-formula that contains no aluminum, parabens or phthalates. On a much simpler note, it smells incredible. The coco-pineapple fragrance is fresh, beautiful and most importantly, long lasting. I’ve been using clinical strength deodorant varieties for years, and they truly don’t last as long as this deodorant does—both in wear and supply. What’s interesting is that it’s not formulated as an antiperspirant. On the contrary, it is designed to not clog pores the way common deodorants do. After using it for several weeks, I can attest to the fact that its label does not falsely advertise; it’ll leave you with “peace of mind, even on a hot or hectic day.” I can’t imagine going back to another brand after trying one that’s both natural and gets the job done.
Another fabulous Reset Yourself product is the Pure Vit C serum, which is 30 mL of all natural goodness! After just a few days of regular use, I noticed some lightening on hyperpigmented areas of my face as well as an overall brightness to my skin that definitely wasn’t there before. Truthfully, I was a little skeptical about using an oil-like formula on my skin since it tends to be oily as it is, but the texture is incredibly light and gets absorbed quicker than I expected it to. Because it’s free of parabens, petro chemicals and artificial fragrances, I feel even more comfortable using the product on a daily basis. I know I’m being protected from the harsh damage to my skin that naturally comes with the environment—not to mention makeup. The vitamin C concentrate is meant to stimulate collagen production and improve the skin’s elasticity with its antioxidants. While I can’t be sure of what’s going on underneath my skin, I can put my faith in the fact that my skin looks and feels a million times better. Reset Yourself Beauty products are not animal tested and are gluten free. Add that to the growing list of reasons why their brand is so desirable. Their products are truly natural and they produce results. What more could a girl (or guy) ask for?
To check out more of Reset Yourself’s products, check out their website.
Photos and feature image courtesy of Reset Yourself

Chic Buds and the Ian Somerhalder Foundation

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For girls who love their gadgets—and let’s face it, who doesn’t—Chic Buds is the place to go for all of your adorable high-tech accessories. Offering everything from phone cases to keyboard covers, and from speakers to their signature headphones (a Cliché personal favorite), Chic Buds has become the leader in women’s fashion audio products. Every item comes in a large variety of styles, colors and patterns to fit your unique personality. With New Orleans being one of my favorite places on earth, I am obsessed with the Sienna “Luv Buds” which feature a beautiful Fleur-de-lis print all over the pops of pink and navy. Can you say “super cute?” Aside from being completely on trend, all of their buds boast a tangle-free flat cord and a smaller design for female ears. Chic Buds’s philosophy is simple: we ladies need to be both functional and fashionable. With that in mind, they continue to produce beautiful gadget accessories that “inspire and encourage women around the world to work hard, follow their dreams and keep their own personal sense of style.” We can totally get behind that motto.

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For the month of October, Chic Buds is doing something extra special. They’ve chosen the Ian Somerhalder Foundation as their 2014 Fave Foundation Award Honoree—that’s right, the Ian Somerhalder, the guy who plays in “Lost” and “The Vampire Diaries,” is both attractive and philanthropic! The partnership hopes to bring awareness to the organization’s great cause. To help positively impact the planet and all of its living creatures, Chic Buds is donating 20% of its October profits to Somerhalder’s organization. In addition, all orders will include an exclusive audio recording from the dashing star. What woman in the world wouldn’t want that? So log on during the month of October, pick out your favorite fashionable accessory and help out an incredible cause before it’s too late!

For more information about the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, please visit their website at www.isfoundation.com, and don’t forget to order your very own unique accessories today at www.chicbuds.com.

Chic Buds and the Ian Somerhalder Foundation: Post and feature images courtesy of Chic Buds

Bianca Santos Interview

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_MG_1685doneBorn in Santa Monica, California, actress Bianca Santos is best known for her role as Lexi Rivera in ABC Family’s ground-breaking and critically acclaimed series The Fosters. Despite some controversy surrounding the show due to conservative views on portraying gay and lesbian romance on television, it is well into its second season. It’s also received multiple award nominations and won the title of Choice TV Breakout Show at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards. Santos repeated her talents on MTV’s comedy-drama, Happyland, where she stars as Lucy Velez, the cynical teen constantly on the hunt for “something real” in her world full of fantasy. The park’s name is ironically deceiving; Lucy deals with growing pains and scandals that are anything but “happy.” That’s certainly not the case behind the scenes though, as Santos can attest to. Arguably one of her favorite roles to date, Santos was thrilled to shoot in a theme park and be surrounded by all of that vibrant energy.

Speaking of vibrancy, our cover girl has a lot of it! While she certainly works just as hard (if not harder) than most Hollywood actresses, she does so with gusto. In fact, she shows just as much enthusiasm for her work as she does for redecorating her new home with her roommate. She’s even taken on some pretty ambitious D.I.Y. projects! You have to love a girl who’s killing it on the big screen and still has time to be down-to-earth and “home-y” with her loved ones.

All up for trying new things, Santos’s upcoming role as Isabelle in the movie Ouija will be her first ever horror film. Though she assures us that behind the scenes it’s not as terrifying as it looks on screen, she’s not giving away any secrets. Still, the previews alone assure us that we’ll be having nightmares for weeks. This is not to be outdone by her role in the upcoming comedy, The DUFF, which is scheduled to premiere on February 19, 2015. We know what you’re thinking—how does this girl do it all? Well, her plate is certainly full and she has no shortage of exhausting work days, but it’s all worth it. She loves what she does and looks forward to opportunities that challenge her in her career. Getting to reinvent herself for every role is one of the many perks of the job, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. This beauty is loving life right now, and we love watching her live it!

Cliché: Happyland, The Fosters, Ouija, and The DUFF! Working on so many projects around the same time must feel really busy! What’s an average work day like for you?
Bianca Santos: Hair and makeup is first up. I’m usually half asleep, so I’ll have hot tea and wake up a bit. Then I search for food! It’s one of my favorite things about being on set. By the time I get dressed, hopefully they’re ready for me on set. It’s a lot of [rushing and then waiting], especially with 12+ hour days.

What is your favorite project to date?
Happyland was pretty fun to shoot. I think shooting in a “theme park world” makes everything seem more fun and exciting. There were a couple of times we even got to go on rides!

That’s amazing! Is being on sets always fun, or does it still feel like work?
It’s a mix, really. I think it’s always in my mind to make my job the most enjoyable that I can. That doesn’t take away from the fact that a lot of work and preparation needs to go into it beforehand. But when you come to set prepared, that’s where you can let it all go and have fun!

Couples That Are Built to Break

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Every couple has their “dirty laundry,” but it’s not always aired for the world to see. Celebrities arguably have it the hardest, with their trials and tribulations always up for display. Jay-Z and Beyonce constantly have family issues. Justin and Selena continue to make headlines with their on-again, off-again romance. Still, we’ve decided that there are three celebrity couples that are truly destined for Splitsville. Here are some couples that are built to break:

justin-theroux-300Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston – They’re engaged. The engagement is postponed. Justin’s calling it quits. Jen can’t have a baby. Jen is three months pregnant. Jen is adopting a baby behind Justin’s back. These two can’t seem to stay out of the papers and as we all know, that alone has the potential to destroy a relationship. While we can’t always trust the tabloids, there’s got to be some truth among all these insane rumors. Our bet? There’s trouble in paradise. We just haven’t gotten to the root of it yet.

Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara – Okay, maybe this is just wishful thinking because Joe is simply the manliest man on the planet (sorry Sofia). Seriously though, it seems a little too superficial for our tastes. In an interview with People Magazine, Joe described Sofia as his ideal woman because of her “butt … curves … beautiful face and beautiful hair.” We’re sure he just “forgot” about her winning personality. Just a few short weeks later, they began dating. Coincidence? We think not. Both parties are very much into their physical appearances, and Sofia was certainly flattered by his very public attempts to woo her. Still, like any other relationship that’s based on looks alone, the fire will eventually burn out. Perhaps Sofia’s rumored attachment to her ex might speed up the process.

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Kanye West and Kim Kardashian – So everyone talks about baby North’s consistently adorable “angry face,” but has anyone checked Kim out lately? The girl looks like she’s constantly in pain, particularly around her beau. It came as no surprise when it was revealed how controlling her husband is. Everything from her wardrobe to her clique have to get the “OK” from Kanye. Despite their beautiful baby and their insanely successful careers, this union doesn’t stand a chance in the long run.

While we certainly wish that everyone has someone to snuggle with during the upcoming holidays and beyond, these couples just don’t have staying power. So when the entertainment headlines begin reading “It’s Over,” don’t forget who told you so!

Feature image courtesy of EOnline.com
Post images courtesy of People.com and IDesignTimes.com

Utopia Review

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What do you get when you mix a chef, a pastor and a doomsday prepper? That’s easy. You get one heck of a show! Fox’s Utopia gathers contestants from a wide variety of occupations who believe that their way of life is the way of life. They are separated from their family and friends, and brought to a remote location with complete strangers who range from convicts to contractors. The goal is to build the perfect society, or utopia, from scratch. “Will they choose democracy or dictatorship? Capitalism or socialism? Fidelity or free love? Which religion, if any, will prevail? Will they punish or forgive? Keep or share?” (UtopiaTV.com). These are just a handful of the difficult choices the Utopians are forced to decide on. Needless to say, there are plenty of friendships, rivalries, fights and hookups  that form along the way. What else can you expect when a group of strong-minded people with mixed backgrounds and upbringings get together?

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While reality TV has become somewhat of a joke in recent years, this is unlike any show you’ve ever seen. The contestants are filmed 24 hours a day and 7 days a week (you can even watch a live feed between scheduled episodes). Utopians can be voted off and others voted in. Although it’s received mixed reviews, we here at Cliché think it has serious staying power. What’s not to love about outspoken individuals who want to restart the world with their own personal vision of a Utopia, especially when they don’t even have a formal bathroom?

Utopia Review: Feature image courtesy of UtopiaTV.com, Content photo courtesy of TheWrap.com

Interview with Ian Anthony Dale

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Murder in the First’s Ian Anthony Dale is no stranger to the suit and tie, having starred in quite a few crime-drama roles throughout his career. The gifted actor is all business on set—his characters who are usually direct and focused on their missions are no nonsense. While Dale is certainly career-driven and takes his job very seriously, he is also an experience-loving traveler who is super easygoing and approachable. While that brilliant smile he sports is hard to look away from, the real eye-catcher is Dale’s incredible talent. Before entertaining viewers as the dashing Lieutenant Jim Koto on Murder in the First, Dale starred in hit series such as CBS’s Hawaii Five-O and NBC’s The Event. His career boasts a laundry list of popular titles, both in television and on the big screen. Not bad for a Minnesota native who once dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player! We’re glad he took his many talents to Hollywood. Get used to this handsome face on prime time, because there’s no toe-tag on this career. He’s on the scene and here to stay.

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Cliché: Is there any particular reason you gravitate towards roles in the crime-drama genre?
Ian Anthony Dale: I wouldn’t say I target them necessarily. Crime-dramas have a tendency to dominate the television landscape, and having worked with a fair amount of regularity over the last 12 years, I was bound to end up on a few of them. I started playing cops early in my career and it’s become a role that the entertainment community, as well as the public, has grown comfortable seeing me in. That’s typically how it works in our industry. About 12 months ago, I played a doctor for the first time, and since then, in just this past year, I have played a doctor two additional times. Perhaps a superhero will be next.

Do you think these roles would enable you to have a career in law enforcement? You already know all the police lingo.
No amount of fake dead bodies could ever prepare you for the real thing. The job of a cop, particularly a homicide detective, can be extremely challenging. I’ve learned that from my brother who works homicide for the Minneapolis police department. Though I have considered what it might be like to pursue a career in law enforcement, I don’t pretend to think that what I do on television in any way makes me more qualified for real police work. I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for the men and women in law enforcement.

What do you love most about your career?
[I love] all of the places I get to travel to and experience, as well as all of the wonderfully talented, interesting, and genuine people I get to meet and work with along the way.

What was the worst scene you’ve ever had to shoot in your career?
The ocean is one of Mother Nature’s most beautiful creations, but also one of her most dangerous, particularly on a stretch of shoreline on the North Shore of Oahu known as the Bonzai Pipeline. Waves upwards of 40 feet high crash down onto razor sharp coral in an awesome display of violence and power. Early on in my career, I shot a pilot called “The Break” in which I played a surfing cop. One of my scenes required me to drop in a half dozen times on Hawaii’s famed wave. Mind you, I had only surfed maybe ten times in my life prior to shooting the scene, so you can imagine my trepidation as I paddled out. Each attempt ended with me going over the falls and getting thrashed like a ragdoll by the underwater currents. I’ve never had to hold my breath so long in my life. I came out of it a little bruised and battered, but also with a massive feeling of exhilaration. It was a harrowing experience to say the least. I probably came a lot closer to death that day than I realized at the time.

How does your new series, Murder in the First, compare with your experience on the set of Hawaii Five-O?
Both shows have a crime element to them, but beyond that they are vastly different. Hawaii Five-O is a procedural with serialized elements, while Murder in the First is entirely serialized. It’s hard to compare experiences. Each set is unique. I’ve had a great time working on both shows.

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Tell us about your character, Lieutenant Jim Koto (Murder in the First). What sets him apart from the other members of the San Francisco PD?
Jim is a very ambitious young man who straddles the line between cop and politician. He has a tendency at times to let his opportunistic attitude get the better of him and disrupt his relationships. There are a few key characteristics that set Koto apart. For one, he’s the only member of the SFPD sleeping with the District Attorney, at least as far as I know. He also clearly wins the award for most luxurious head of hair in the department.

That he clearly does! There are often little bits of humor sprinkled throughout the episodes. Do you think that’s important for shows with more serious subject matters?
A little levity never hurt.

Do you think real-life cases are ever just as interesting as the fictional one on the show?
I would argue that most cases we see on television were inspired by real events, hence the term “ripped from the headlines,” made popular by the Law & Order franchise. Between my brother the detective and my cousin the lawyer, I’ve heard some pretty fascinating real-life stories.

Unlike other shows of this genre, Murder in the First follows only one case throughout the entire season, rather than new ones for each episode. Will we find out “whodunit” by the season finale?
Definitely. We won’t leave you hanging.

To view the full interview with Ian Anthony Dale and other exclusive stories, be sure to check out our Aug/Sept issue.

Feature image and photos courtesy of Gabriel Goldberg

#NowPlaying

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That familiar feeling of dread settles in as summer begins to wind down. August is incredible, but it’s one step closer to a slightly colder September, and I, for one, am just not ready for sweater season. What gets me through it all is the motto “something old, something new.” I’m talking about a 90’s sitcom that is still loved by current generations and a revamped (pun intended) book series that in no way resembles—but is no doubt inspired by—Anne Rice prototypes. This season, I’m all about the classics and the reissues.

Listening to: Native by One Republic (2014 re-release)
I am very specific about the re-release for one reason and that is “Love Runs Out,” which I have been listening to all summer at high volume. The vocals are amazing as usual, but I’m particularly drawn to the blend of bass, drums, and what I can only assume are tambourines. While the song was supposed to be the first single on the original release in March 2013, it ended up not being included at all. This year’s addition really completes the album for me, hence the reason I’ve had it on rotation all season. What could be a more fitting way to end the summer than the uninhibited electro pop hit “Lose Myself” or “Counting Stars” where you’re forced to slap your knees uncontrollably because the beat is just that catchy? From start to finish, this album is simply pop-rock perfection.

Black Dagger BrotherhoodReading: Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward
Yes, I’m a sucker for romance novels—paranormal romance novels, in this case. I won’t lie and tell readers that these are the most intelligent works of literature that I’ve ever picked up—far from it. In fact, I’ll compare it closely to reality television: it’s so terrible, but admit it, you can’t stop watching because it’s so bad that it’s good. I’ll call it junk reading, and I’m a pure junkie for these vampires and unique creatures called lessers (the undead, so to speak) and sympaths (mind-controlling beings). Throw in the coexistence of humans and I’m bitten!

Playing: Donkey Kong Returns 3D (Nintendo 3DS)DK3
Hashtag O-M-G. Hashtag T-B-T. You cannot fathom my excitement when I heard that they were recreating Donkey Kong Country for the 3DS. Any adult who hasn’t experienced banana collecting, barrel throwing, or even those annoying bees as a child has truly never lived. What I love about this reinvention is that while it feels like a completely new game, the characters, themes, and objectives remain very much the same. There’s nothing I love more than a remastered classic.

SEINFELDWatching: Seinfeld (Seasons 1-9)
Once again, I’ve been invited to the party at the very last minute. I am always a latecomer to these incredible shows that are fan-favorites across the globe. Thanks to frequent reruns of the sitcom, I’ve been catching enough bits and pieces of Seinfeld to realize that I was greatly deprived in my youth. The characters are ridiculous and the situations they find themselves in are ludicrous. The completionist in me had to start from season one. As Newman says, “It’s so great to see a show that’s about something.”

Be sure to check out our Aug/Sept issue for #NowPlaying and other articles!