Missy Elliott Secures Her Legend Status

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-I adore Missy Elliott‘s Marie Claire cover. She talks about breaking down barriers (“I am a champion for my brown, dark women. I want them to be seen. Because we are beautiful. If we knew how special we were, we would be unstoppable”), gender equality (“We need more women out there, singing and just for being. Just for balance. Just a great balance”) and learning to appreciate the big moments (“I was just going, going, going. It wasn’t resonating what was happening. I was in the car with Michelle Obama [for Carpool Karaoke], and [my friends] called me like, ‘Girl, we got to celebrate that’s huge!’ And I’m like, ‘I’m watching a movie on Netflix'”).

-Whoo! Taika Waititi has inked a deal to write and direct a follow-up to his 2017 smash, Thor: Ragnarok.

Macy Gray gave a very strange talk show interview in which she said she’s a “vampire.”

-Netflix has altered Hannah’s graphic suicide scene in 13 Reasons Why after controversy — more than two years after it originally aired.

-This is the happiest I’ve been about Emmy nominations in YEARS. Sure, there were some snubs in this morning’s announcement that bugged me (Better Things, The Good Fight, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Hot Priest), but wow some great newcomers managed to break into the ranks, including Russian Doll, Schitt’s Creek, Jodie Comer and Fleabag. Nicole and I watched the season finale of Fleabag last night (again) and were blown away by Oliva Colman and Sian Clifford‘s performances, so I’m thrilled they both landed Supporting Actress nods.

Sacha Baron Cohen‘s tweets about getting an Emmy nod are amazing.

-Meanwhile, Julia Roberts jokingly(?) posted about getting snubbed.

Joey King tearfully Facetiming costar Patricia Arquette immediately after getting nominated was very sweet.

-The bromance continues for Matt Damon and Chris Hemsworth.

-I have very little interest in watching Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. I am, however, here for watching Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie rib Leonardo DiCaprio about the Titanic door controversy. “Could you have squeezed in there? You could’ve, couldn’t you?” Leo was so over it before the interviewer even got the full question out.

-One thing I love about the CW is how often it lets its actors (especially women) direct episodes.

-Also, I stopped watching Supergirl but I love that they changed her costume to ditch the skirt.

-It sounds like Hayden Panettiere is having a rough go of it. She remains apart from her 4-year-old child, who lives with her father in Ukraine, as her current boyfriend faces charges of abuse.

Awkwafina is having a moment. She’s interviewed by Margaret Cho in the new issue of Harper’s Bazaar. She talks about attending red carpets for Crazy Rich Asians: “I grew up never really feeling pretty or like a girly girl. I was uncomfortable in my skin when it came to that stuff. I had been dressed up for events and had gotten glam before, but at the Crazy Rich Asians premiere I looked in the mirror and it felt different. It sounds clichéd, but I felt like a princess.”

-Also, Awkwafina stars with Emma Roberts in the new trailer for the fantasy film Paradise Hills.

-A bearded Chris Evans helps smuggle Ethiopian refugees to Israel in the trailer for Netflix’s The Red Sea Diving Resort.

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.