Janelle Monae Covers InStyle

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-I love the subscribers’ edition of Janelle Monae’s InStyle cover.  The interview is predictably fun too, in which she drops bon mots such as “I speak android, which is helpful for the future, since we will be merging” and “If my mother had let me have a vibrator at a young age to be in touch with my body more, I could have saved myself from so many poor decisions.”

-When I first heard about Scarlett Johansson‘s latest comments (‘I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal’) I took it with a grain of salt because the quotes came from a longer fashion interview and were then repackaged by the Daily Mail, which tends to present out-of-context soundbites for clickbait. But then I read her clarification and nope, she just doesn’t get it. If she really cares about telling these kinds of stories, instead of playing the lead in a movie about a trans man, why wouldn’t she come on as a producer and take a smaller part, using her name/clout to get the film made? Instead, she faced backlash about playing the lead, the movie now appears to be buried, and she’s out here talking about political correctness getting in the way of art.

-I have watched/analyzed this video of Meghan Markle meeting Beyonce and Jay Z way, way too many times. Jay looking like he’s afraid to fully hug her while his wife is watching slays me every time…

-Well, this is a swerve. Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach will co-write a Barbie pic starring Margot Robbie.

-I don’t know what app Channing Tatum is talking about, but I love that he’s so chill about being in therapy.

-And so it continues: Kim Cattrall says she’ll never do another Sex and the City movie: “It’s a no from me. You learn lessons in life and my lesson is to do work with good people and try and make it fun.”

-I didn’t know that Zach Braff is dating Florence Pugh but yeah, that tracks.

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello are still … doing whatever it is they’re doing.

-Indie film The Farewell, which stars Awkwafina and was a hit at Sundance, already surpassed Avengers: Endgame for biggest theater average of the year, and it’s in limited release.

-All 8 episodes for the Veronica Mars revival drop this weekend and the reviews are mostly positive — but there seems to be a big, dark plot twist in the finale that has critics divided.  They better not harm a hair on Logan’s head!!

-I’m not sure about the story floating around that Captain Marvel’s Lashana Lynch will play 007. The sourcing for the original article is shaky, and it just says that Lynch plays a new agent who inherits Bond’s codename, not that she’ll be the main character. I’d love her to take over the franchise but I don’t want to get my hopes up until a more credible source confirms it.

-The Russos are teasing some kind of Community thing at this weekend’s Comic-Con for the show’s 10-year anniversary.

-Oof, the reviews for The Lion King are roughhhhhhh.

Bradley Cooper and Laura Dern had lunch, and we have questions.

-Speaking of Dern, there’s only one more episode left this season in Big Little Lies and everyone’s wondering if it will be able to save the nonsensical season.

-Here’s the first trailer for On Becoming a God in Central Florida, Showtime’s dark comedy series starring Kirsten Dunst.

Big Drama on Big Little Lies

-Indiewire just published a bomb of an article to lead us into the weekend. According to their sources, HBO and David E. Kelley took the show away from Season 2 director Andrea Arnold (who was told she had free creative reign) without warning and got executive producer (and Season 1 director) Jean-Marc Vallée to reshape her footage and do reshoots to align it with his Season 1 style. The optics on this are BADDDD. As the article states: “A show dominated by some of the most powerful actresses in Hollywood hired a fiercely independent woman director – who was now being forced to watch from the director’s chair as scenes were shot in the style of her male predecessor.” Arnold is an Oscar, BAFTA and three-time Cannes jury-winning director and it feels like HBO used her auteur cred for publicity, only to turn around and say “but let’s make sure men decide the final product.” Diversity and inclusion doesn’t just mean hiring token new people; you need to allow them to succeed. Otherwise, it’s just hollow, performative BS.

-This goes a long way to explaining why, after the first few episodes where we were all wrapped up in the “OMG it’s Meryl” buzz, this season has felt really disjointed and off. Last week’s episode was especially messy. I watched that montage from the last 5 minutes twice and still felt like I didn’t get it. There are only two episodes left and really, what’s this season *about*?

Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, who publicly supported Arnold’s vision, are exec-producers on the show — which is leading to lots of questions about if they knew what was happening and if they were overruled.

-Anyway, I saw Arnold present her sprawling (and very weird) American Honey at TIFF a few years back and despite its 3 hour runtime and the Shia LeBeouf of it all, I was totally charmed. This scene of Shia dancing to Rihanna in a Kmart to impress a girl remains one of my fave meet-cutes.

-I’m not really sure what type of movie Gunpowder Milkshake is going to be, but judging by their bts videos, no one has ever had more fun making a film than Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett, Carla Gugino, Lena Headey, and Karen Gillan.

-How To Get Away with Murder is ending this season – -which means Viola Davis is free  of it!

Sophie Turner just ended the #BottlecapChallenge.

Ed Sheeran just confirmed that he’s a married man. In case you were wondering.

-This is a really fun article about how much effort it took to recreate an 80s mall for this season of Stranger Things.

-I wasn’t online yesterday so I missed Jason Momoa getting ridiculed for his “dad bod.” Dads, if this is how you look, feel free to slide into my DMs.

R. Kelly was arrested on federal sex charges Thursday night nearly five months after he was released on bail.

Kumail Nanjiani had to cancel his appearance on last night’s Conan through no fault of his own (he was stuck filming Silicon Valley) with a 1/2 hour to go before showtime, so Conan ended up interviewing his assistant — who was a delight!

Jeremy Renner has released a video for his new song and it’s as bad as you assumed it would be.

-Buckingham Palace confirmed that Meghan and Harry will be on the carpet for the Lion King premiere on Sunday. Beyonce is also attending. The photo possibilities!!

-The more I see from the Beverly Hills: 90210 revival, the more I don’t really understand — but I’m still here for it.

Milla Jovovich menaces Emma Roberts in Paradise Hills trailer.

Are Ashley Benson and Cara Delevingne Engaged?

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instagram.com/sweetbabyjamie

Ashley Benson and Cara Delevingne have been spotted wearing what looks like engagement rings.

-People are up in arms because Meghan Markle wore jeans to Wimbledon. Other (smarter) people are starting to notice that a Meghan scandal gets trotted out whenever another royal family member needs to deflect.

-Millennials trying to show their Gen Z kids pop culture icons and the kids not knowing Buffy is tragic. What are they teaching in history class these days?!

-I really appreciate the Jam Session podcast’s deep dive into whether or not this is proof that Jake Gyllenhaal is running an Instagram account for his cat.

-Every TV critic I follow is livid that Hulu’s publicity team sent them a “don’t reveal this Veronica Mars spoiler in your review” email — and then proceeded to spoil the finale before many got to watch it.

Michelle Williams has perfected the “no comment” when asked about Beyonce.

-Speaking of Bey, there were a whole lotta lewks on the Lion King red carpet last night.

-Is Jaden Smith slowly transforming into the best Smith? He talks to Teen Vogue about his “solution-based activism,” which includes installing a water-filtration system in Flint, Michigan (after sending cases of his JUST Water bottles for a time), that can clean up to 10 gallons of water at once for families, takes about 60 seconds and is free for public use.

-Does the world need a live-action Dora movie? Cause it’s getting on anyway!