-Esquire’s Chris Pine cover story is exactly what I needed this week. The cover is fine but the inside shoot is better.
-This video of him laughing at memes about himself is also worth your time.
-Woof. It was clear that HBO’s upcoming The Idol, Sam Levinson’s new show with The Weeknd and Lily-Rose Depp, was a troubled production when the release date kept getting pushed and director Amy Seimetz suddenly exited with roughly 80 percent of the series finished. But it sounds even worse than that. In incredibly appalling detail, thirteen sources tell Rolling Stone that The Idol has “gone wildly, disgustingly off the rails.” They say Levinson (who created Euphoria) scrapped Seimetz’s nearly-finished $54-75 million show to rewrite and reshoot the entire thing. According to the article, he turned the show from a layered examination about a troubled starlet falling victim to a predatory industry to a degrading story that some crew members f0und offensive. “It was like any rape fantasy that any toxic man would have in the show — and then the woman comes back for more because it makes her music better.” Crew members described one new scene in which Depp’s character was told to carry an egg in her vagina and if she dropped or cracked it The Weeknd’s character would refuse to “rape” her — which sent Depp’s character into a spiral, begging him to do it because she believed his abuse was the key to her success. The scene was scrapped because they couldn’t find a way to realistically shoot it without having Depp physically insert the egg. Good god.
-Between this and the last exposé on Levinson‘s chaotic sets, how is this guy still getting work? Not just work — he won a DGA Award 10 days ago!
–Lily-Rose Depp has come to his defense.
–Sarah Michelle Gellar shared a throwback photo of her and Pedro Pascal on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I completely forgot that he played Eddie!
–Taron Egerton says a new James Bond has been chosen. “I mean, I think they’ve already got someone, and it’s not me.”
-Brendan Fraser talked about reuniting with his Encino Man costar Ke Huy Quan on the awards season circuit: “I was effusive and I said, ‘We’re still here.’ He said, ‘That’s right, we are.'”
-For the first time since her divorce was announced last year, Ali Wong opened up about her current status: “By far the hardest part about getting divorced was my mother’s reaction” “She looked me in the eye and asked, ‘Can you just wait until I die?'”
–Steven Yeun says he “came to a lot of things late” in life, which is why he briefly “went a little ham with [drugs], trying to make up for lost time.”
-I love this opener to Vanity Fair’s story on Sarah Polley, in which she talks about the grief she gets when male customs agents ask her why she’s flying and she tells them it’s to promote a movie called Women Talking. “I kind of snapped [at Logan Airport]. I just went, ‘If I told you there was a movie called 12 Angry Men, would you go and see it?’ And he was like, ‘Maybe.’ I said, ‘Well, I just want you to sit with that.’ He was like, ‘Do you want to have a conversation?’ I said, ‘No, I want to get into the country! I just want you to sit with that!’ I was, like, yelling as I kept walking—and I just went.”
–Jena Malone revealed on social media that she was sexually assaulted around the time she was filming The Hunger Games.
-The red carpet at the Costume Designers Guild Awards was as amazing as you’d expect.
-March is shaping up to be a crazy busy TV month: Succession, Daisy Jones & the Six, Shadow and Bone, Ted Lasso, You (part 2), Luther, Yellowjackets, and The Mandalorian are all premiering.
-I’m bummed that the reviews for Daisy Jones & the Six are a bit mixed. Full of potential but somewhat inert seems to be the consensus.
-Somebody Somewhere is coming back to HBO in April, and here’s the trailer. This show is so gentle and lovely; I adore it.
-Sanditon released the trailer for its final season.
–Lizzy Caplan and Joshua Jackson star in the trailer for Paramount+’s TV reimagining of Fatal Attraction. This is the (official) reason she couldn’t do the Party Down revival, so it better be good!