Is Amazon’s Lord of the Rings at risk of losing viewers in New Zealand? It was recently announced that Amazon Studios will be moving the filming of its Lord of the Rings series from New Zealand to the UK. The first season of the upcoming fantasy epic was shot in the beautiful terrain found in the Oceania country, but the second season will be moving to pastures new. Kiwis have always been proud of their connection to J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle Earth, and there is a chance that this move could risk angering viewers in the country.
Amazon May Have to Change Tact to Attract Viewers
The Lord of the Rings series has long been touted as Amazon’s answer to Game of Thrones. When the HBO fantasy finished airing, other networks quickly scrambled to cash in on the readymade audience and create something similar. The studio may need to copy various other elements from GOT’s successful model if it is to succeed, though, especially in New Zealand.
Many Kiwis will have been planning to watch Lord of the Rings so that they can see the famous filming locations in the country. But now that it is moving, viewers will need a different motivation to watch. One of the reasons for GOT’s popularity was its franchise model, which spread out into related games. Among the most popular was the Game of Thrones slot from Microgaming.
With sites like BetPal New Zealand highlighting the prevalence of gambling in the country, a Lord of the Rings-themed slot game could help to win some viewers over. Aside from the bonuses on offer at the various online casinos in the country, this could be a major draw to bring players in. After playing the game, these people may then want to explore the world in more detail by watching the series and vice versa.
Why did the Filming Location Change?
One of the reasons why Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings took the world by storm in 2001 was down to the choice of filming location. The stunning and varied landscape of New Zealand represented the spots in Middle Earth perfectly, and the country became forever associated with the saga. It went on to be used in the Hobbit series as well, and Amazon kept that theme going with the first season of its series.
Recently, it was announced that after twenty years in the country, New Zealand will no longer be the home of Lord of the Rings. The production company has moved its operations to the UK as part of a plan to expand its studio space in the country. Aside from filming the Rings series, Amazon plans to create several other UK-based films and series over the next few years. The UK has a hilly landscape and vast countryside, like New Zealand, so the shift of locations should be unnoticeable for viewers.
There is a chance that Amazon’s Rings series may lose viewers in New Zealand, who could feel betrayed by the location change. The studio will have to go to great lengths to keep these people interested, and this could be done by releasing related material that will appeal to them.
Today we want to discuss what 50 shades of grey taught us about women. When Fifty Shades of Grey rose to prominence, the public had very mixed opinions about it. Many feminists hated it for quite a few reasons, mainly due to its inaccurate representation of the BDSM community and its poor depiction of what consent means, given the hefty power dynamic between the two main characters.
University senior and virgin Anastasia Steele meets the broody, mysterious and ultra-sexy billionaire Christian Grey. She is automatically attracted to him, and the feeling is mutual. The hook? Christian Grey is an avid dominant, who has the women he is sleeping with sign a contract to commit to some kinky sex. Cue a series of sexual encounters, fights, and more makeup sex, they quickly fall in love and eventually live happily ever after.
It’s all about the sexual tension
A huge reason why women go wild over Christian Grey is the monogamy aspect of his relationship with Ana. Sure, he’s damaged and hurts her emotionally (sometimes even physically, but that’s a whole other issue) – but what keeps the audience engaged and empathizing with him is the fact that she’s the only woman he desires. If he’d been sleeping with multiple other women during his whirlwind romantic adventure with Ana, the audience would have written him off as a scumbag in a second.
But the sexual tension between them is intensified by the fact that she seems to have a different effect on him than other women in the past, and he lets her get away with things that he’d never let other women get away with. Although you can look at this objectively and think, ‘how is this romance?’, women find it romantic because of the context. A woman in general gets more turned on when the stakes feel higher and when it feels like her partner is going out of their comfort zone for her benefit. So, while letting Ana fall asleep with him seems like an obvious thing to do for most couples, it’s sexy for her because Christian doesn’t let anyone sleep in the same bed as him. The devil is in the details.
It taps into women’s subconscious desire to relinquish control
Fifty Shades was mainly marketed towards a middle-aged female audience, and turns out there was a pretty smart and strategic reason why. Middle-aged women often feel like they are carrying the entire world on their shoulders. Traditionally, they are the ones left making sure the children are fed, bathed and put to bed, making sure the house is well-kept, cooking dinner and making lunches.
The idea of having a partner who sweeps in, takes care of all her financial burdens, makes all the decisions, and makes her orgasm in minutes (without any guidance necessary on her part), sounds like a dream come true.
The perceived freedom and release that comes from the idea of simply submitting to a sexy, wealthy man who is obsessed with her is enough to keep her turning the pages. It’s a similar kind of pleasure as being pampered through an all-inclusive paid spa weekend with no kids or responsibilities.
Many women have an internal hero complex
Unsurprisingly, the mysterious Christian Grey happened to have a very traumatic childhood, with a mother who was a prostitute and whose friend took advantage of Christian while he was a minor. This is where Ana’s shyness and uncertainty about her self-worth come in, which is an issue that many young women deal with, before really coming into their own.
Chances are, if you’re a woman, you’ve at some point dated a “damaged” man with the hopes of being able to “save” him, and you probably realized afterwards that those butterflies you thought were excitement, were actually warning signs.
Many women, particularly younger and more naïve women, have good hearts and are very compassionate. This makes them vulnerable and susceptible to manipulation, particularly to narcissistic men or people with manipulative tendencies. Books like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey, to name only a couple, romanticize having a woman love a man back to normal – and woman devour these books like a bottle of rosé on girls’ night.
But why is that? Well, the unfortunate truth of the matter is that often, women grow up with an unequal power dynamic with men, and some grow up in environments that may not be the most nurturing and supportive. This leads them to having self-worth issues and needing to validate themselves and prove they are worthy by saving “damaged” men. Many women also have innate abandonment issues. Christian managed to successfully prey on these insecurities with Ana, having her constantly in a state of fear that she would lose him if she did anything that displeased him, or violated their contract in any way.
Prior to the Fifty Shades franchise, many women didn’t know where to start when it came to exploring their darker fantasies. But the books and subsequent movies’ success created a safe space for women to explore their own sexualities – it started a conversation about sexuality, and the franchise even launched its own product lines of beginner-friendly BDSM toys. Fifty Shades helped women reclaim their sexuality.
Having sexual fantasies like masturbating with huge dildos was considered a taboo prior to the Fifty Shades phenomenon. Nowadays, women have a reference point and use the internet to get educated about the best ways they can indulge in their kinks using websites like Hot Cherry.
Women crave those initial feelings of excitement
The fact that Ana is such a plain, simple character that many women can project themselves onto makes the story have more influence on women. Many women relate to her by remembering what it was like to be a virgin, and all the butterflies and excitement that come with falling in love for the first time.
Fifty Shades being a hit with middle-aged women in particular comes to no surprise to anyone – many women in that age group have been in a relationship with the same person for ages, and may have fallen into a stagnant daily routine of work, raising kids, sleep, repeat. The books and films allowed women to fantasize and live vicariously through Ana, and remember those feelings of not being able to get enough of someone. Heck, it even inspired them to shake things up in their own relationships.
The Fifty Shades of Grey craze in all its good, bad and ugly, taught us a lot about women and their psychology. But at the end of the day, reading or watching a movie is just a form of entertainment and escapism. However, if you can take bits and pieces of knowledge from studying how women react to phenomenon’s such as this one, you can spice things up in your own relationship, or at the very least, avoid falling into a toxic trap with an abusive man or woman.
Director Dale Resteghini is shaking up boththe industry and the world with his mind bending, alternate history project. CRACKA was Inspired by his disgust in the rise of white supremacy within the last few years. Dale took it upon himself to create the jaw dropping project to push back at the entire situation of racism through media.
A present-day white supremacist is mysteriously transported back into an alternate past where African Americans rule the land and whites are enslaved.
Full of painfully rich, historical broad strokes of history, CRACKA drops us into the black and white mystique of slavery, with hopes to strengthen the outlook of pointless bigotry that is still haunting us today, 401 years later.
Co-writer Kevin D. Young, gives an absolutely brutally honest, in-depth look and new meaning to life, love, liberty, and justice for all. By using present day situations, blending daily headlines and adding a historical twist, the project is simply holding up a mirror for others to accept the history of America then, and the state of America now.
Dale Resteghini, also known as ‘Rage’ in the realm of music videos, has directed more music videos than anyone else in the industry. He has achieved nominations from both MTV and BET over years and nearly 10 billion views from his creative works with major artists. His iconic resume includes names like Ice Cube, DMX, Guns N Roses, Dipset, Busta Rhymes, Three 6 Mafia, Teyana Taylor, Lil Baby, Hitmaka, Keke Palmer, Lil Kim, Yo Gotti, TI, Snoop, DJ Khaled, John Legend, DJ Drama, Lil Jon, Jada Kiss, Trina, Sizzla, Jeezy, Gucci Mane, Quavo, Tory Lanez, The Game, Chris Brown, Pitbull, Nicky Minaj, Soulja Boy, Lil Kim, Rick Ross, Method Man, Akon, Keyshia Cole, Diddy, Lil Wayne, Fall Out Boy, Tyga, Ty Dolla, RZA, Flo Rida and hundreds of others.
Joining Executive Producers Antony Martini, Rob Garcia and Kim Resteghini are acclaimed author and activist Piper Monique Dellums, and singer/writer Tish Hyman, who curated the music and soundtrack.
Vyre Network represents a visually driven culture, from millennials to generations X, Y, and Z. Vyre distributes a wide range of entertainment that allows popular culture to express themselves as consumers and creators without boundaries. This includes original shows, feature films, short films, music videos, and exclusive live events. Vyre Network is available FREE for download globally on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, Android, iPhone, and the web.
CRACKA will premier exclusively on Vyre Network on June 19th.
Heilung and The Heroes of Valhalla: immerse yourself in the magic of viking mythology. In 2020, fans of Vikings finally discovered the fates of their favorite Norse heroes in the sixth and final season of the Emmy award-winning television epic. The series follows the life of Ragnar Lothbrok, a farmer who becomes an infamous warrior, with the support of his formidable family and strength from the mythical Norse gods of the Aesir and Vanir. Since the show first hit television screens across the US and Canada back in 2013, it has not only gained a huge fan base, but has also inspired an explosion of interest in Norse mythology.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s well worth a watch. Not only will you be inspired by strong characters and entertained by the epic battles and intrigue, but you will also be introduced to the magic of the Norse myths which brought meaning to the lives of the legendary Vikings. For those who are already fans and can’t wait for the spin-off Vikings: Valhalla to hit Netflix, why not immerse yourself in the magic of Viking mythology in other ways.
Fill the Viking longship-sized void by listening to some dark Norse music by Scandinavian folk band Heilung. Their name means “healing” in German and their music is inspired by texts and runes dating back to the Viking Age. They debuted their first album Ofnir back in 2015 and have since gained a cult following. They’re known for their live performances, dressing in lavish headdresses, and beating human bones on a horse-skin drum, blessed by a blood sacrifice…
You’ll have heard their music on the soundtrack of Vikings, discover more here and join them for a ritualistic evening on tour in 2021.
If you’re looking for something slightly less immersive, thanks to the growing interest in Norse mythology inspired by the TV show, there is now a huge choice of fun, Viking-themed entertainment to enjoy. You can battle Vikings from the comfort of your own home through mobile apps such as Vikings: War of Clans and some mobile sites even let you earn bonuses whilst discovering more about Norse mythology through slot titles such as Book of Vikings, and you can find more info here about the best online casinos, as well as what they offer.
Feast with Odin in the Great Hall of Valhalla
Even the big names in video games are embracing the rising popularity of Viking history and mythology. Last year, Ubisoft released a Viking-inspired installment of their hit video game franchise, Assassins Creed: Valhalla.
Vikings believed if they fought well in battle and died, they would be greeted by the war god, Odin, in the Great Hall of Valhalla and enjoy an eternity of feasting and fighting. It gave them the courage to be legendary warriors. And now you can be one too – learn more about the game and how you can fight for Valhalla.
Immerse yourself and fear not! Vikings: Valhalla will be on our screens before we know it.
While not all of us would like to admit it, if we had to choose between a New York rom-com or an action film, the majority votes to fantasize about love in one of the most romantic, lively cities in the world. There’s something about a Matthew Mcconaughey and Kate Hudson film that warms your heart and makes you daydream about what it would be like to move to the city of opportunities and become a big dreamer.
Speaking from experience, I am one to support the rather cliche idea of moving to the big city to start your life over, fall in love and become successful in your career path. But where did these ideas stem from?
The answer is simple. Rom-coms. I blame (yet hopelessly admire) all the classic ‘90s films and television series’ that allowed me to daydream about the perfect New York apartment and imagine that living in the snow was as white and dreamy as it sounds. Reality check— it’s not exactly like the movies portray it to be…
Don’t get me wrong, living in a New York apartment is a treasurous milestone within itself. Apartment hunting, learning to navigate the subway, and standing on your own two feet is exhilarating and oh, so rewarding. Every day is an adventure, not everybody is meant to live in New York, that’s for sure. But after obsessively rewatching the hit-sitcom television show FRIENDS and binging all fashion-related movies starring Anne Hathaway, I seemed to have built up a false annotation of what living in New York is truly like.
Not every day is filled with the stereotypical city activities you imagine— especially not in COVID-19 times. Most evenings don’t consist of getting drinks at The Plaza or taking a sunset stroll through Central Park. Some days are pure magic when you step outside and simply feel the energy roaming through the air with a hot coffee in hand. Then there are laundry days, which are…not so glamorous.
So far, here’s what I’ve learned:
Hailing a cab isn’t as easy (or graceful) as it looks.
The subway is nice and all, but have you heard of Uber?
There’s no way that Carrie Bradshaw could afford her Upper East Side apartment AND her Manolo Blahnik shoe collection. Carrie, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.
A savings account? Never heard of her.
Avoid Times Square. Don’t ask why, just do it.
You better get comfortable living in a shoebox-sized apartment, probably with a roommate!
Monica Geller’s two-bedroom flat is not a reasonable New York apartment. That thing is huge.
Most of us don’t live above a coffee shop or bakery, most of us live above a Thai restaurant or Dumpling kitchen.
If your apartment doesn’t have window air conditioners, get two to start, then buy two more.
Stay away from the moving trash piles on Tuesdays (squeak, squeak).
That job you and 567 others applied to on LinkedIn? Yeah, you’re not hearing back from them.
Dating is non-existent in the winter time, less people out on the street.
Dating apps are definitely, most definitely not as romantic as how J-Lo met her man in the rain underneath the nearest dry hotel overhang.
It’s all about who you know.
You learn to love it.
Some people question why you would want to move to New York, pay the expensive rent, work excessive hours, and live uncomfortably; both in weather and apartment size. It’s because we hope and dream that somewhere, somehow in such a city that never sleeps, there’s something waiting for us. May that be a job, a lover, a friend or an opportunity, it’s there. You just have to find it.
Today we want to share an interview with Kezii Curtis, an actor in the film Charm City Kings. Charm City Kings is a coming-of-age story about Mouse (Jahi Winston), a 14-year-old from Baltimore, who becomes involved with an infamous Baltimore dirt-bike group, the Midnight Clique. The movie won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Acting at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and offers a gritty look into the crossroads young Black men find themselves at in communities that are difficult to navigate. Kezii Curtis stars as Mouses’s friend Sweartagaud, a typical 13-year-old who just wants hang out with his friends and crack some much-needed jokes. We had the chance to ask Kezii some questions about the movie (out now on HBO Max).
What originally drew you to Charm City Kings?
Everything. The story, the script, the incredible talent attached (Caleeb, Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith) were just the icing on the cake!
How did you get interested in acting? Do you remember the pivotal moment that influenced your career decision?
My older brother (Mekai Curtis) was on a TV show when my family first moved to Los Angeles. One day we were visiting him on set and I got a chance to see how it all worked. I said to my parents, “I can do that.” They believed in me and here we are!
Did you have a favorite moment on set?
There were so many, but if I had to choose… it would be in-between takes when we would make up our own raps and jokes. Some of the stuff we came up with was really good! “Barz” is what we would all yell when someone said something really catchy. (I’m still thinking of coming out with a mixtape. LOL) Seriously, there was never a dull moment when we were all together and that just made the time so fun.
How would you describe your character, Sweartagawd? In what ways do you relate and differ to your character?
I would describe Sweartagawd as the calm in the storm and the voice of reason between his polar opposite friends, Mouse and Lamont. Sweartagawd is the glue that unites the trio. He is the lighthearted logical one of the three and the comedic relief. He is a lot like me in that we both like to crack jokes, goof off, and just have a good time with friends.
Who are your role models?
Some of my role models are Denzel Washington, Michael B. Jordan, my older brother Mekai Curtis, and the person who discovered waffles.
What does the movie mean to you?
Charm City Kings is very meaningful to me. Aside from it being my biggest role to date, it allowed me to portray a role that was equally challenging and fun. It also has such a powerful story line with a thought provoking ending that leaves the audience emotional and most importantly thinking. I feel it was a great way to “start” my film career. More importantly, this was a story that needed to be told. Far too often, the behavior and interests of Black boys are criminalized. In other neighborhoods, they have found a way to incorporate the interests of their young people by building arenas for bike racing or skate parks for skaters. I hope Charm City Kings continues to highlight the disadvantages of people from inner cities so that change can happen. I know my castmates and I are getting a lot of slack for our lack of Baltimore accents, but I hope the people of Baltimore are proud of the job we have done to bring needed change to their city.
What are a few things that you hope audiences will take away from Charm City Kings?
I hope audiences take away the story of hope and second chances. I hope the audience can see past the fast bikes and understand the message that is in the movie. Often times young Black men come from circumstances that leave them at a crossroad in life, where either decision they make is crucial to their future. I hope it highlights why bike culture is so popular as it has become an outlet for people who ride to feel free. I hope young men like myself see how important decisions are and I hope older men see how important male role models are for young people.
Outside of acting, what else are you passionate about–hobbies, charities, etc.?
In addition to acting I enjoy producing music, playing the piano and bass guitar, and recently the harmonica. I also have been thinking about doing stand-up comedy because everyone tells me I am funny. (I have to get some material before I give it that my all.) Also, I have been writing, producing, editing, and directing a parody series with my siblings on YouTube. I also really enjoy drawing.
What’s next for you?
There is so much I would like to accomplish in the near future. I would love to film another movie. I would even love to get the chance to star in a more serious role. Last year, I was cast in a pilot that did not get picked up, but I loved the vibe of the multi-cam series. I honestly cannot wait for a new series regular role.
We sat down with up and coming actress Molly Evensen in ‘An American Pickle’ with Seth Rogen premiering this August. The actress got her start at an early age through theatrical groups and soon moved to Los Angeles to pursue film and television. Beyond acting, Evensen commits herself to UNICEF’s Unites Team and hopes to one day be a Goodwill Ambassador. The actress is clearly on the rise as she takes up the big screen. For now, her new film, ‘An American Pickle’, will be the first HBO original film under Warner Max film label, premiering August 6th, 2020. Here is what she had to say on the film.
Cliche Mag: Talk to me about your work and character on the upcoming HBO Max original, ‘An American Pickle’.
Molly Evensen: I play Clara, Herschel’s very enthusiastic intern who essentially runs the pickle company in exchange for college credit. Her job gets pretty complicated when she realizes Herschel’s morals and social views are a bit dated and not acceptable in modern times. She struggles with how to explain to her boss who lived over a hundred years ago that his opinions aren’t exactly kosher now. This leads to some unfortunate predicaments and moral dilemmas for Clara. I found out I booked the part on a Thursday afternoon and flew out to Pittsburgh the next morning at 4am. It all happened very fast so I pretty much had the weekend to prepare. But Seth and my wonderful director, Brandon Trost, were aware that ‘An American Pickle’ is my first big feature film so they gave me the space to learn and ask any and every question along the way. I don’t think I can ever thank them enough for showing me the ropes.
What was your favorite moments on set with co-star, Seth Rogen?
Never in a million years did I think I’d be making my debut opposite Seth Rogen, but here we are. My first day happened to be the first day of the whole shoot. I heard Seth’s laugh from a distance, you can’t mistake that laugh, and next thing I knew, he came right up to me in his full Herschel garb, shook my hand and said, “Hi Molly, I’m Seth and I’m so excited to work with you.” Somehow I played it cool on the outside, but on the inside I was anything but cool. Honestly, it’s hard to pick a favorite moment because the whole experience is so special to me but…if I had to choose, we shot a scene late in the evening on Halloween outside in a park in the rain. In the scene, Clara is dictating back a list(you’ll understand more when you see it) Herschel had her type for him. Simon, our writer, typed up a new list, which I wasn’t allowed to read until they called action. So my reactions were very genuine to these rather extreme things I was reading out loud for the first time. We laughed a lot that night and it’s definitely something I won’t forget.
Who else do you hope to work alongside as your career progresses?
Oh gosh, this list could go on and on. I really admire people who wear more than one hat creatively. It’s actually a goal of mine to be a multifaceted creator like Seth who produces, writes, and acts. I’d love to work with more individuals who do that, like Olivia Wilde, Margot Robbie, Reese Witherspoon, and Dakota Johnson.
What are your favorite roles to play? What role would put you outside your comfort zone?
Comedy is my forte. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed, but especially awkward, sometimes uncomfortable, and dark comedy. I don’t know why, but I really enjoy sitting in the discomfort of it all. I relish in the awkwardly long pause. So because of that, I gravitate towards characters who are more of the underdog or the train wreck who’s trying really hard.
As for a role that would put me out of my comfort zone…something emotionally heavy, and honest. I think to be really raw and vulnerable requires a lot of bravery. I would love the opportunity to sink my teeth into something like that.
What inspired you to pursue film and television over theatre?
I’ve always wanted to pursue film and television, but I grew up in Colorado and there really isn’t much of a film industry there. So instead, I did theatre and once I finished school, I packed up my car and moved to Los Angeles. I still have a deep love for theatre and would love to be back on stage somewhere down the road.
Do you hope to incorporate your passion for music into your work with film and television?
Absolutely! I’ve actually been working on a musical dark comedy script about camping and backwoods cults that I’m hoping to produce in the not too distant future. I would also really love to play a pianist in a project someday and put those skills to use.
You are involved with UNICEF. Tell us more about this and why are you so passionate about this organization?
I’m a member of the Los Angeles UNICEF Unite team. Essentially our goal is to advocate politically for change and to raise funds to aid in UNICEF’s work overseas. But really that’s just the beginning of what I hope my involvement with UNICEF ultimately will be. Eventually I’d love to be a Goodwill Ambassador.
As a bit of backstory, my Mom is a nurse and my high school was just down the road from the hospital she worked at. So I’d go there after school to wait for her in the newborn intensive care unit while she finished up her shifts. I’ve always admired how she helps people. I actually thought for a brief period of time that I wanted to be a nurse too…except I hate needles. But I have a passion for helping and especially helping the most vulnerable: children. I believe children transcend politics and that they should feel safe, have access to an education, clean water, and vaccines among other things. Children are the future and so many of them are suffering for reasons that we have the power to change. UNICEF is a beautiful nonpartisan organization that works tirelessly to provide for children and families in need.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How do you spending your time away from acting?
I grew up in a very outdoorsy home and have always had a deep appreciation for nature. So outside of acting, I love camping and hiking. I actually just spent some time in Olympic National
Park and in the Red Woods for the first time (socially distanced of course) and they were both just incredible. But other than that, I also really love music, which was briefly mentioned above. I play piano any chance I can get and also recently picked up the guitar just for fun. I quarantined with my family in Colorado for a few months and my Dad and I built a ukulele together, which was a really fun project. Now I’m back in LA teaching myself to play and probably driving my neighbors crazy.
What is next for Molly Evensen?
That is a really great question with the world the way it is right now. While there’s not anything set it stone, I’d really love to be cast in some sort of dark comedy, book adaptation, or limited series. Who knows! The sky is the limit and this only the beginning. But in the meantime, I sincerely hope you enjoy ‘An American Pickle’ and that it can bring some joy in a time where joy is greatly needed.
Named after an Eddie Murphy character, actor Akeem Mair shares his story on his journey into the acting world. LA-based Mair has been in many award-winning Indie films and takes on smaller roles in music videos and commercials. The versatile actor works in drama, action, and romance roles and dreams of working alongside his inspiration, Denzel Washington. After gaining attention from an appearance on the Ellen Show, Mair was reinvigorated to one day be nominated for an Oscar and threw himself back into the industry. For now, he celebrates an upcoming project he worked on with his father, and hopes to be a motivation to younger generations seeking to achieve their own dreams.
Cliche: What have been some of your favorite accomplishments as an actor?
Akeem Mair: My most favorite accomplishment had to be when I was on the Ellen Show. The thing about it is I didn’t book it!! It was all by chance! I remember my cell blowing up in David Rountree’s Phase 2 On Camera/On Set class. Texts were popping up like, “you were on The Ellen Show??? Call me ASAP!” The segment is called “Speak The Lyrics.” A show where one of Ellen’s writers walks up to a complete stranger and begins speaking to them in song lyrics.
I literally had no idea I was even being filmed to be on The Ellen Show. I remember walking into a Barnes and Noble in Burbank. I noticed a bunch of film crew standing outside speaking to one another. So I asked them, “What are you guys filming?” But None of them had any information about what was going on which I thought was weird. I walked inside and still to this day I don’t understand why I hadn’t noticed the cameras before. I looked around at some books and then I decided to leave. But 2pac’s “ All Eyes On Me” record stopped me.. That’s when Lauren quietly walks up to me. She started talking and almost threw me completely off.
But in the back of my mind I was hearing Coach Mike telling me to not disagree with anything she says. Just be in the moment, so I hit her with some funny humor right back at her. Next thing I know after she walks away, I get swarmed by those same crew members who claimed they didn’t know anything and now they were asking me to sign a bunch of papers. I guess they finally answered my question.
Then it airs on TV and Ellen Degeneres calling it, “The best episode she’s ever seen!” She put it on her instagram page and boom!!! It generates over 5 million views in one day! Then by the grace of God it lands in my future agent’s feed, Sarah Angeli from Commercial Talent Agency. The Timing was crazy because I had just submitted my headshots and resume to her last week.
So as I walked into her office for my agent meeting, guess what she was watching?? My episode cued up on her computer screen. She was like, “I just saw this yesterday and here you are!” So we talked and then she played it again and we both laughed at it. I’ll never forget that moment in my life.
Your resume shows a variety of roles and accomplishments, what is your favorite genre to work in?
Action, Drama or Romance. Definitely drama because that’s where most of my chances of winning the Oscar will come from and it’s the hardest to perform. I especially love drama roles because they challenge me and bring out the best in me. But I also love playing the hero like Batman or James Bond, with all of the fighting and shooting guns and winning the love interest’s heart at the end. It’s funny to me because my main thing in movies is I want the lead to fall in love and win the main girl at the end. I hate it when he doesn’t because I feel like he failed after going through so much for her. Sometimes I stopped the movie before the big fall and he loses it all just to savor the good times haha. For me, characters are like a living and breathing being and I aim to relate that to my own life as if I’m actually that person. Each role is real to me so when he feels pain I personally feel it. I love roles that bring that out of me.
Who has inspired you in your acting career?
Denzel Washington and Eddie Murphy. You’ll understand why Eddie Murphy is such a big inspiration to me in the next question but for this question, Denzel Washington. I just love the way he approaches his craft. I mean his confidence, swag, fearlessness, and mental toughness literally screams through the screen. He just has you in awe with a feeling like it’s impossible to act that good. He’s just on a whole different level and I have to get there someday. His role in Training Day as detective Alonzo Harris was just out of this world. He definitely deserves the Oscar he won in 2002. You felt everything about his character from selfishness, greed, carelessness, betrayal, ruthlessness, liar, etc. And yet with all of that going on, you still fell in love with his character. Usually you’re turned off by the bad guys and want to see them lose. But I found myself rooting for him and hoping the best for him. It’s kind of why the last scene was so good, the scene that single handedly earned him the Oscar. When you get the audience to love you no matter what side you are on, you truly won! And that’s the biggest inspiration I can take from Denzel.
You are named after Eddie Murphy’s role in “Coming to America”, do you find inspiration from him as you have developed your own acting career?
Eddie Murphy inspires me everyday to pursue my passions to become a legendary actor like him. Being named after his character it seems my parents knew I was destined to be in the entertainment business. My mom, Queen, told me how she and my dad, James, went out on a Sunday evening to see the hit movie “Coming to America” when it came out in theaters on June 26, 1988. She was about 6 months pregnant with me and my parents were still unsure of what my name would be. After seeing the movie, my mother fell in love with Eddie Murphy’s character Akeem. She talked it over with my dad and they were both in agreement. She loved how he was this African Prince who’s extremely rich but he didn’t walk around like that. He wanted to find a wife who loved and respected him for who he was and not because of his title or his money. He was humble enough to work at a low paying job and always had something wise to say to people at the right times. He stood up for what he believed in and was completely generous at heart to everybody. When you watch that movie you find yourself saying, “ I want to be like that guy.” I would watch that movie over and over again for inspiration, learning as much as I could to develop into that kind of person. I am so grateful and honored to be named after Prince Akeem.
Who do you hope to work with on a project next?
I really hope to work with Denzel Washington or Eddie Murphy next! Haha I know it’s a stretch but I want to be able to work with those two legends while there’s still time. It kinda reminds me of that rookie season of Kobe Bryant where he went up against Micheal Jordan when he was still on the bulls. That moment was epic! It’s just crazy to me how God had set them up and now looking back you’re amazed by those two legends going head to head. I want to experience something like that, the same epic moment feeling with Denzel or Eddie. To be on set and be able to pick their brains about acting and how they each prepare for their roles. Their tone of voice or gestures…I want to learn what it takes to be an Oscar winning actor from Denzel and how to play so many multiple characters with different personalities from Eddie. Ultimately, the Oscar and to one day be a legend in this game are the only goals I have my mind set on. It sucks that it took me 5 years to get back into my craft but now that I have a new supreme hunger, I’m gonna let go of the past and do whatever it takes to make that happen.
What impacts do you hope to have during your career?
I hope to inspire the kids throughout my entire career through my movies or commercials. I want my impact to be monumental. I want to be a role model to everyone and I want my movies to motivate, to boost confidence, to build faith, to inspire kids or adults to go after their dreams, to lift people out of dark places in their lives, to strengthen the courage of young people to not let this world push them around, to bring positive energy into a world that is so negative, to change the way people feel about themselves negatively. I want my impact to be global and international. Not just in the U.S but the entire world! When people are trying to find an example of someone who went through adversity and persevere, one of the actors they can think of is Akeem Mair!
What upcoming projects are you most excited for?
I can’t really tell who it’s from because of the NDA contract I signed but it’s exciting because my dad is a part of it. Kind of like that Kobe-Jordan moment I was speaking about earlier, it has that same epic feeling. It was definitely a surprise to me and my father because the project made me call him right there on the spot. I haven’t spoken to my father in a minute so you can almost feel the tension of calling him and hearing his voice. I love this project a lot because it helped me reconnect with my father and it’s something I’ll never forget. Sometimes in life you need something to push you to do some of the important things in life you keep putting off because you expect it to take care of itself. It’s great we got to talk while we still have that opportunity. Whoever is reading this if you’ve got something you’ve been putting off, I suggest you go do it. Nobody knows when their last day on Earth is, I can say it’s a great feeling when you do it.
When you think about Christmas movies, a film about a mysterious creature on a killing spree shouldn’t be the first that comes to mind. But yet, that’s the exact film that people spent their Christmas holiday watching, thanks to Netflix and Sandra Bullock! Here’s how Bird Box became the official Christmas movie of 2018!
Bird Box premiered on Netflix on December 21st. It’s no surprise that many people off from work stumbled upon this film while looking to unwind and jumpstart their vacations. By Christmas day, if you happened to scroll through social media it seems as though everyone was simultaneously watching Bird Box and posting about it. The release of Bird Box was ideal timing. Within seven days of its release, Netflix announced that 45 million people streamed the film during the holiday week. It quickly became the most successful film Netflix has launched. Every successful film needs an eager audience and Netflix’s audience was already indoors looking for some entertainment. Whether you were extremely bored or excited to watch anything with your family, Bird Box became Netflix’s Christmas gift to you!
One simply cannot talk about Bird Box without mentioning the memes that took over social media after it’s release. Almost overnight, you could not scroll through Instagram, Twitter or Facebook without a meme referencing it. And if you didn’t catch Bird Box by the time the first wave of memes hit (like me!) you definitely put it on your to-do list after seeing them.
Combined, the ideal timing and memes had us flocking to press play. But there was one more component that worked in Netflix’s favor: The FOMO. The “Fear Of Missing Out” drove us all too quickly to watch the film during our holiday break. We wanted to: A) be able to laugh at the memes along with everyone else and B) join the world in posting our own thoughts about the film. The era of social media and the new unorthodox way of watching films online make it effortless for us to insert ourselves into the conversations about “what’s trending?” in one simple click.
This holiday season has sure been an exciting one for Lisa Durupt. First, she starred in Hallmark’s Reunited at Christmas, which came out back in November. Now, she can be seen starring in Lifetime’s Christmas Lost and Found. But she won’t be slowing down once the New Year hits, as 2019 will bring even more starring roles for her. When she’s not busy acting or working, you can find her playing sports, hiking, or skiing. We chatted with Lisa Durupt about her character, Gloria, the experience working on Christmas Lost and Found and her upcoming film projects.
Cliché: What inspired you to get involved in acting?
Lisa Durupt: At 19 years old I suffered a sports injury which required me to get surgery. After that, I ended up taking a theatre course on a whim at the University of Winnipeg. The first thing that I had to do was review a musical. I saw Chorus Line for the first time and fell in love with Val singing “Dance Ten, Looks Three.”
Your fans are in for a little extra treat this holiday season as you have two big films coming out before Christmas. You will be seen in Reunited at Christmas and Christmas Lost and Found. What was the experience like when working on these two films?
Reunited at Christmas teamed me back up with my very close friend Nikki DeLoach and Director Steven Monroe. Nikki and I had played sisters before so it was easy to work with her every day. We all got along so well. On Christmas Lost and Found, I got to work with Director Michael Scott for a third time so it was like going to camp with one of your favorite counselors. He is so easy to be around and just a kind soul. Tiya Sircar and Diane Ladd were so welcoming and funny.
What would you say is the central theme in both films?
Both shows are quite different, but the common theme is the idea that, at some point, we all need to stop and think about what is truly important to us. What do we want in life and who do we want to spend our time with.
What were some challenges and obstacles that you were faced with while working on Christmas Lost and Found and how did you manage to overcome them?
The biggest challenge was accepting that, after an overnight shoot in a beautiful department store, I was no longer the CEO of that company when we wrapped at 7 a.m. Besides that, it was trying not to laugh at Tiya as she was dressed in wool in almost every scene. Her exact words were “I am a Texan who lives in L.A. and does not do winter! Help!”
Can you describe your character, Gloria? Do you relate to her at all?
Gloria is a no-nonsense businesswoman with a heart of gold. She loves her family’s business but knows it needs an update. I related to her in many ways. I believe in standing your ground for your business or what you want out of life, but you need to do it with grace and compassion. Like Gloria, I think you earn respect, you cannot command it.
How did you manage your time while working on two films?
I was fortunate that they shot back to back so the shooting dates did not conflict. However, I did need to sneak in a couple of quick trips back home, throughout the two shows. I had to attend a wedding of some dear friends, there was no way I could miss it! I wrapped at 7 a.m. on a Saturday, was on a plane by 9:45 a.m. and changed in the car on route to the wedding at 3:20 p.m. I made it just in time and flew home 24 hours later. A week later I was able to fly back home for three days of family lake time before cutting it short to come back and start the next show. You just learn to make it work. You sleep when you can but missing out on really important friends and family time is not an option.
There is also more exciting news as you will be seen in Benchwarmers 2 which is slated for release on February 5th, 2019. What was racing through your mind once you heard you got a role in the movie? Who was the first person you told?
Honestly, I panicked because it had been years since I saw the original. I knew I had to track it down and, of all places, I found it at the public library. Without movie stores anymore, it can be tough to find films that are not on a streaming service. My next thought was to call my hubby and tell him I was playing a pregnant woman, again. I love playing pregnant! This was my seventh time. He knows how much I love it so he got a good laugh out of it.
Are there any genres you’d like to try to act in that you haven’t yet?
100 percent an onscreen musical!
What has been the most memorable moment in your career so far?
I have been pretty lucky but I think the day I landed one of my first jobs as a dancer. Shall We Dance, of all things. I was so green and had only been dancing a couple years, so I had no expectations. I went to the open call with a friend and just had fun all day. Six hours later, I was in the top 20 of all the dancers in the city that came out. I got to meet J-Lo, Stanley Tucci, Richard Gere, and Susan Sarandon. It was a “pinch me” kind of moment.
What advice would you give people who are looking to pursue acting?
Take a business class! Being creative is so rewarding but you need to understand the business side of it. Be smart about playing the long game, don’t do it if you just want attention. It will eventually wear you down.
You are actively involved with “Hockey Helps the Homeless” and other causes like Multiple Sclerosis? Can you describe your relationship with these organizations and why you felt it was important to support these causes?
Hockey Helps the Homeless is a brilliant event that puts upwards of half a million dollars of support and assistance right back into the community in every city in which it is held. It is a one-day hockey tournament held throughout the country with NHL alumni. It raises not only money but the spirits of the homeless community, which is sadly growing daily. The cost of housing, unfortunate circumstances, and drugs can land even the most unlikely people on streets in a flash. I see it in my city every day so I was so happy to come across the event and quickly agreed to take part. As for multiple sclerosis, I was diagnosed at 16 years old and fortunately, have had very few complications. I think it is important to give back and lend my support to others that are going through tough times with the disease. Every case is different but if I can help even one person see the positive side to it, it is worth it.
What are some things you enjoy doing when you’re not acting?
I enjoy skiing, running, hiking, and playing hockey. I even took up curling and golf a few years back. I love to paint and draw. There is something really calming about it, it completely centers me. Last but not least, I adore music. I have a little ukulele that I tinker on and I sing around the house all the time.
Are there any future projects that you are working on or will be working on?
I am excited for everyone to check out Breakthrough which will be in theaters on Easter weekend and The Chronicle Mysteries on Hallmark in March.
As with anything done in full-fledged Disney style, Mickey Mouse’s 90th Birthday is a thing to celebrate, as well as cleverly market. ABC will be the host to a two-hour prime-time special showcasing the milestone: “Mickey’s 90th Spectacular.” To remind Disney fans where it all started, Disney is making sure the birthday is a big to-do. The special will feature dancers, drummers, indoor fireworks—you name it, they have most likely dreamed it up and made it happen for the television celebration. How else would Disney celebrate Mickey Mouse turning 90?
Who Will Perform On “Mickey’s 90th Spectacular”?
“Mickey’s 90th Spectacular” is host to performances by Josh Groban, Meghan Trainor, and K-pop group NCT 127, and more. Kristen Bell, the voice of Anna in Frozen, will also be present. Not to mention Disney Executives such as Robert A. Iger. The event won’t just stop at the TV special, though, as Disney plans to host events at their theme parks into the new year. Truly, it is marketing well played.
The ABC special airs on Sunday, November 4. Photo Credit: Eric McCandless, ABC
Mickey Mouse Turns 90: The Beginning of a Legacy
1975 Disney chart of department divisions and relationships. Photo Credit: Disney
First appearing in 1928’s “Steamboat Willie,” Mickey starred in the first cartoon to include synchronized sound. Since, he has appeared in over 130 short and full-length films, ten of which were nominated for Academy Awards for Best Animated Short Film. Not only that, Mickey Mouse was the first cartoon character to be recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. To say that the little mouse isn’t a big deal is wholly inaccurate. The Disney parks plan to release commemorative merchandise, new, limited desserts, and at Disney World, a Mickey “street jubilee.” According to The Licensing Letter, Mickey and his animated friends bring in annual retail sales of $3.2 billion or more. And that does not include the sales at Disney Theme Parks! Don’t miss the special on ABC; check here for broadcasting information.
In the year 1978, Jamie Lee Curtis played Laurie Strode in the original Halloween horror flick. Now, in 2018, Michael Myers is back again, after various sequels. But this one is different. It picks up where the original 1978 film left off. The new reprisal of ‘Halloween’ premiered on Wednesday, October 17, in Hollywood. The actress told Us Weekly that viewers will “go a little bonkers. They love it. They love it, they love it, they love it!” Curtis’s character Laurie was first seen in ‘78 as a high school student, who notices Michael Myers stalking her on Halloween. We all know what happens next. Curtis has made three previous appearances in the Halloween series, with the new release marking her fourth.
Jamie Lee Curtis on the Reprisal of ‘Halloween’ and Her Character Laurie After Forty Years
Jamie Lee Curtis also spoke to Us Weekly about the impact of 40 years passing and how it has shaped her character in 2018. She told the publication, “I think she’s a victim. I think she’s a victim of terrible trauma. I think she’s a victim of horrific violence perpetrated on her by a stranger, a madman, 40 years ago…It has ruined her life, it’s branded her. I think we have to see how much pain she’s in before you can take pleasure in her preparation for taking back the power.” The newest Halloween film is in theaters now, so go catch a glimpse of Michael Myers on the big screen and see if Curtis was right. “Go a little bonkers.”