Leonardo DiCaprio surprises Jamie Foxx at American Black Film Festival Honors

Leonardo DiCaprio surprised Jamie Foxx by presenting him with the top award at the 2020 American Black Film Festival (ABFF) Honors.The 45-year-old was on hand to pay a touching tribute to his Django Unchained co-star at the fourth annual ceremony on Su…

Leonardo DiCaprio surprised Jamie Foxx by presenting him with the top award at the 2020 American Black Film Festival (ABFF) Honors.

The 45-year-old was on hand to pay a touching tribute to his Django Unchained co-star at the fourth annual ceremony on Sunday, as Foxx received the Excellence in the Arts award.

DiCaprio reflected on their time spent filming Quentin Tarantino’s 2013 epic Western and told the star-studded audience that the Oscar-winning actor was a force to be reckoned with.

“Jamie brings out the very best in other people,” the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star shared. “He lifts up everyone around. You can see any social setting he’s in. He’s like a magnetic force in any room that he inhabits, and there is no one in this industry who pays positivity and encouragement forward the way Jamie Foxx does.”

As Foxx made his way to the stage to collect the honour from his fellow Academy Award winner, the 52-year-old gave an impromptu performance of his 2008 hit single, Blame It.

And in his acceptance speech, the Ray star praised DiCaprio’s work ethic, as well as his knowledge of hip-hop.

“I love you, man. You are my friend. You are my colleague, and this means the world,” Foxx gushed.

Other honourees included Lena Waithe, Cynthia Erivo, and Louis Gossett Jr., who received Hollywood Legacy Award.

Just Mercy was named Movie of the Year at the ceremony, while The Wire received the Classic Television Award.

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Lena Waithe voices Disney’s first-ever animated LGBTQ character in Onward

Lena Waithe has voiced Disney and Pixar’s first-ever animated LGBTQ character in the movie Onward.The film, which also features the vocal talents of Chris Pratt, Tom Holland and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, follows the story of two elf brothers who set out on …

Lena Waithe has voiced Disney and Pixar’s first-ever animated LGBTQ character in the movie Onward.

The film, which also features the vocal talents of Chris Pratt, Tom Holland and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, follows the story of two elf brothers who set out on a quest to use a magical spell to bring back their late father for one day.

Lena voices a Cyclops cop called Officer Specter, the animation giant’s first self-identified LGBTQ character, in the flick. She makes a brief appearance in one scene, and tells a driver she has pulled over: “My girlfriend’s daughter got me pulling my hair out.”

Director Dan Scanlon, who also helmed the 2013 Disney/Pixar movie Monsters University, said he wanted Onward to “represent the modern world.”

And producer Kori Rae told Yahoo Entertainment that the inclusion of the character “just kind of happened” when the fantasy was being written.

“The scene, when we wrote it, was kind of fitting and it opens up the world a little bit, and that’s what we wanted,” she said.

Lena shared the news on Instagram, prompting comments from celebrity followers such as Evan Rachel Wood, who wrote, “As. It. Should. Be,” Ava DuVernay, who posted, “Go, Lena!” and Cynthia Erivo, who added, “Go on and make herstory!!! Why Not!!!!”

There have previously only been speculations about same-sex relationships in the Disney-Pixar films. Back in 2016, eagle-eyed viewers spotted a lesbian couple in one scene during Finding Dory, and director Andrew Stanton cryptically told USA Today at the time, “They can be whatever you want them to be. There’s no right or wrong answer.”

And in last year’s Toy Story 4, two women can be seen dropping a child off at kindergarten, but filmmaker Josh Cooley refused to confirm the speculation.

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Daniel Kaluuya lied about accents to get auditions

Daniel Kaluuya used to lie about his accent skills to land auditions.The Get Out star has landed roles on both sides of the Atlantic, seamlessly shifting between his native British and an American accent. However, Daniel has now admitted that in the ea…

Daniel Kaluuya used to lie about his accent skills to land auditions.

The Get Out star has landed roles on both sides of the Atlantic, seamlessly shifting between his native British and an American accent. However, Daniel has now admitted that in the early days of his acting career, he oversold his abilities.

“I’ve lied a lot,” he confessed to U.K. chat show host Graham Norton. “Obviously, I wanted jobs, so I put that I could do all the accents. I even double-asterisked them to say I was highly skilled.

“I then went to an audition and was doing really well until they asked me to do a Scottish accent. I started somewhere in the Midlands, worked my way upwards and landed in Liverpool. They asked me to leave!”

When asked about his tips for auditions, Daniel advised leaving as soon as possible to ensure your acting makes an impression.

“My best tip is to leave as quickly as possible,” the star explained. “Don’t try and small talk, just leave. Don’t even say goodbye. Though I did that once and I didn’t realise I had another scene!”

The Oscar-nominated actor appeared on the show to promote his new movie Queen & Slim with his co-star Jodie Turner-Smith. He explained the film, which follows a couple on the run after a traffic stop goes horribly wrong, appealed to him because he liked how screenwriter Lena Waithe took a big issue but didn’t make the movie too serious.

“That’s what really appealed to me about the script – there’s a serious issue, but the writer managed to make it light through the characters we meet,” Daniel said, while Jodie added, “It’s really about two people and who they become because of the trauma and because of the connection between them.”

Queen & Slim is in cinemas now.

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Rihanna collaborates with i-D magazine on special issue

Rihanna has teamed up with editors at i-D magazine to create a limited-edition issue.Bosses at the publication announced on Monday that they had collaborated with the fashion and beauty mogul to create the one-off special issue, dubbed the “Rihannazine…

Rihanna has teamed up with editors at i-D magazine to create a limited-edition issue.

Bosses at the publication announced on Monday that they had collaborated with the fashion and beauty mogul to create the one-off special issue, dubbed the “Rihannazine”, which celebrates “her ceaseless reign on the worlds of fashion, beauty and music” and their 40th anniversary.

“For me, this very special issue of i-D represents change and culture,” Rihanna said of the project in a statement. “It is dedicated to some of the people who are progressively reshaping the communities across fashion, music, art, and activism – creating a more inclusive and diverse future.”

Rihanna appears on the front and back cover of the publication, with the images showing her posing in clothing from her Fenty fashion brand. All photographs in the 144-page visually-driven magazine were shot by Mario Sorrenti.

She also helped Alastair McKimm, editor-in-chief of i-D, handpick 43 “incredible people” who have had an “inspirational and progressive impact across culture, art, fashion, and activism” to appear in the magazine. They include models Bella and Gigi Hadid, Paloma Elsesser, and Adwoa Aboah, screenwriter Lena Waithe, Euphoria actress Alexa Demie, and writers Roxane Gay and Zadie Smith, and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke. To accompany the publication, videos of Rihanna interviewing some of the stars will be posted on i-D’s Instagram page throughout the week.

“Working with Rihanna, we handpicked the people featured in this project for many different reasons; they may all represent different things but what unites them is everyone featured in these pages is incredibly inspirational,” said McKimm. “They are artists, writers, activists, musicians, and women on the front lines of the fashion industry.”

The special issue will have a limited print run of 5,000 copies, which can be purchased from 27 January.

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John Boyega hoping to work with Lena Waithe

John Boyega is excited about a possible collaboration with Lena Waithe.The British actor, who rose to fame playing Finn in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has got a long list of acting projects lined up following the conclusion of the trilogy, a…

John Boyega is excited about a possible collaboration with Lena Waithe.

The British actor, who rose to fame playing Finn in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has got a long list of acting projects lined up following the conclusion of the trilogy, and he’s hoping to add a collaboration with Queen & Slim screenwriter Lena Waithe to his schedule.

“She stopped me at the Met Gala, and she was like, ‘Imma get you a role, ain’t no one hitting it with you just yet,’” he recalled to Hypebeast magazine. “I loved that talk. She came up to me at the Met Gala just like, ‘Yo, I think you something and I think that I can brainstorm something just for you.’”

Boyega hopes to follow in the footsteps of Waithe and filmmakers like Jordan Peele and Ryan Coogler, who have made popular films with black leads, with his production company.

“I’ve just been trying to gather up stories that I know that would be significant of solid interest. But also support directors who are developing original stories. What is the next Star Wars? What is the next franchise?” the 27-year-old added.

Boyega recently finished filming Steve McQueen’s next movie Small Axe and already has a Netflix movie called They Cloned Tyrone, an action film called Rebel Ridge, which co-stars Kevin Costner, and The Naked Singularity with Bill Skarsgard and Olivia Cooke, lined up.

When asked if he would return to the role of Finn, he said he only would consider it if the film focuses on “the banter, the bickering, the undercover romances” and “connection, family, friendship”.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in cinemas now.

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Blake Lively developing fashion TV series with Amazon Prime

Blake Lively has signed a deal with Amazon Prime for a new scripted fashion TV series.Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, made the announcement at the Television Critics Association summer press tour over the weekend, and confirmed bosses had close…

Blake Lively has signed a deal with Amazon Prime for a new scripted fashion TV series.

Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, made the announcement at the Television Critics Association summer press tour over the weekend, and confirmed bosses had closed an exclusive deal with the 31-year-old actress to develop and produce TV shows for the streaming giant.

“It took a long time, but we just closed our deal with Blake,” Salke said. “We closed a first-look deal and we’re talking and developing a show. It’s not ready…”

News of Lively’s partnership with Amazon first surfaced in October, and Salke revealed that the Gossip Girl star has pitched a scripted TV series set in the fashion world.

“It’s set in New York, there’s a fashion component,” she added.

The pregnant mother-of-two is also in talks to bring another project to life with Amazon Prime, but Salke kept those details under wraps.

“There’s another (project) that’s around a piece of IP (intellectual property),” she teased.

The news was announced on the same day Amazon executives revealed they had struck deals with Dirty John star Connie Britton and Lena Waithe, who is set to develop a horror TV series entitled Them.

And Blake’s project isn’t the only fashion-focused TV show on the streaming service – Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn are currently filming and executive producing their new show, Making the Cut, with supermodel Naomi Campbell, fashion editor Carine Roitfeld, as well as designers Joseph Altuzarra and Nicole Richie.

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Jada Pinkett Smith to receive Trailblazer honour at MTV Movie & TV Awards

Jada Pinkett Smith will be honoured with the Trailblazer Award at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards. The Bad Moms actress will receive the honour, which is bestowed upon “game-changing creators with fresh and fearless voices in entertainment,” from her G…

Jada Pinkett Smith will be honoured with the Trailblazer Award at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards.

The Bad Moms actress will receive the honour, which is bestowed upon “game-changing creators with fresh and fearless voices in entertainment,” from her Girls Trip co-star Tiffany Haddish at the ceremony.

“Jada has been a powerhouse since the beginning of her career and has achieved multi-hyphenate status throughout,” said Amy Doyle, general manager of MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo, in a statement. “She is the epitome of someone who is not afraid to challenge the status quo and we are thrilled to present her with this year’s Trailblazer Award.”

The Red Table Talk show host, who can soon be seen playing an FBI agent in Angel Has Fallen in August, will follow in the footsteps of previous honourees which include Shailene Woodley, Channing Tatum, Emma Watson and Emma Stone, and most recently, screenwriter/actress Lena Waithe.

The big nominees going into the ceremony are Avengers: Endgame, Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary RBG and TV show Game of Thrones, with four each. Endgame leads the nominees for Best Movie, which also includes BlacKkKlansman, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Us, while the contenders for Best Show, alongside Game of Thrones, include Big Mouth, The Haunting of Hill House, Riverdale, and Schitt’s Creek.

The 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards will be hosted by Shazam! actor Zachary Levi at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California on 17 June. Singer Lizzo and rapper/producer Bazzi will perform at the ceremony.

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Celebrities mark Diana Ross’ birthday with charity T-shirts

A number of celebrities have marked Diana Ross’ birthday by wearing “I’m Gonna Win” charity T-shirts.To help celebrate the Motown icon turning 75 on Tuesday (26Mar19), organisers at Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign have made a T-shirt splashed with the…

A number of celebrities have marked Diana Ross’ birthday by wearing “I’m Gonna Win” charity T-shirts.

To help celebrate the Motown icon turning 75 on Tuesday (26Mar19), organisers at Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign have made a T-shirt splashed with the slogan, with the garment inspired by a similar item once worn by Diana to a charity tennis match.

Proceeds from sales of the T-shirt, which is priced at $35 (£26.50), will benefit Higher Heights, an organisation devoted to getting black women elected to leadership positions in politics.

Among the stars to sport the “I’m Gonna Win” T-shirt was Diana’s daughter Tracee Ellis Ross, with the Black-ish actress posting a clip of herself posing in the number on Instagram.

“IN HONOUR OF MY MAMA @phenomenal.ly recreated this tee in honour of my mama @dianaross’s 75th birthday! Support @higherheights4 in building Black women’s political power by getting this tee at the link in my story,” she captioned the video.

Taraji P. Henson, Mya, Teyana Taylor, Robin Roberts, Angela Bassett, Debbie Allen, and Lena Waithe also showed their support for the initiative by posting about the T-shirt on social media.

In a lengthy note, Lena explained that she was inspired by the way in which the Ain’t No Mountain High Enough hitmaker always pushed boundaries.

“Happy 75th, Ms. Ross!!! (She’s an elder, so that’s how I will refer to her) With grace and glamour @dianarossblazed many trails and proved that a black girl from the projects could take the world by storm,” the Master of None star shared. A win for her was always a win for the culture. So on her birthday I’m rocking a T-shirt by @phenomenal.ly that benefits Higher Heights, which is in the business of building Black women’s political power.”

In addition to the T-shirt, there is also a cap and baby onesie emblazoned with the “I’m Gonna Win” slogan.

Diana also celebrated her birthday with a special event at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles on Tuesday night, with Beyonce performing an impromptu rendition of Happy Birthday during the bash.

“Hooray!! Choosing love and life. 75 is a good number. I’d like to continue feeling good like this forever LOVE appreciation to all,” she posted on Twitter prior to the party.

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Lena Waithe reclaimed her identity by chopping hair off

Lena Waithe doesn’t care how society sees her shaved head.The openly gay actress and writer is taking the entertainment world by storm, especially her work with Aziz Ansari on Master of None, which bagged her an Emmy in 2017.Up until now she’s rocked h…

Lena Waithe doesn’t care how society sees her shaved head.

The openly gay actress and writer is taking the entertainment world by storm, especially her work with Aziz Ansari on Master of None, which bagged her an Emmy in 2017.

Up until now she’s rocked her trademark locs, but Lena decided to go for the chop after overcoming her worry of what others would think of a shaved hairstyle.

“I’ve gotten gayer, guys,” she joked to reporters at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual grants banquet Thursday (09Aug18), reports Variety.

“I felt like I was holding onto a piece of femininity that would make the world feel comfortable with who I am. I think I thought for a long time, ‘Oh, if I cut my hair, I’ll be a stud, I’ll be – in the gay world, there’s a lot of categories – I’ll be a stud or I’ll be a butch,’ and I’ve always thought, ‘Well, no, I’m not that, I’m still soft,’ and I said, ‘Oh, I gotta put that down ’cause that’s something that’s outside of me.'”

The 34-year-old, who was presented with the Trailblazer Award at the MTV Movie & TV Awards in June, has also made guest appearances in This Is Us and Dear White People and is making her mark on the big screen after appearing in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One.

Adding that she’s fine being mistaken her for a man, Lena continued: “If people call me a butch or say ‘she’s stud’ or call me sir out in the world – so what? So be it. I’m here with a suit on, not a stitch of make-up, and a haircut – I feel like, ‘Why can’t I exist in the world in that way?'”

Lena is engaged to content executive Alana Mayo.

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Lena Waithe bringing sneaker obsession to big screen with shoe documentary

Actress Lena Waithe plans to roll out the red carpet for sneaker bloggers in a new feature documentary on the subject.The Ready Player One star has amassed at least 100 pairs of sports shoes in a prized collection over the years, and her sneaker obsess…

Actress Lena Waithe plans to roll out the red carpet for sneaker bloggers in a new feature documentary on the subject.

The Ready Player One star has amassed at least 100 pairs of sports shoes in a prized collection over the years, and her sneaker obsession only amplified when she was living in London while shooting the Steven Spielberg sci-fi film, revealing she watched video blogs, known as vlogs, about the shoes during her downtime.

“I really want to dive into these guys (sneaker vloggers and bloggers) and their psyche, because they spend their lives just going out to the mall every week to get the new shoes that just dropped,” she tells Variety. “It’s just very competitive.”

Lena made a sneaker vlog of her own by videotaping her recent shopping spree for Complex in May (18), and she also poked fun at her shoe obsession by playing a psychologist in a Nike commercial for the footwear brand’s recent ‘Shoe Therapy’ campaign.

“I’ve been collecting them ever since I started making some real money, which was around Master of None time,” she shares. “It’s crazy because it (sneaker collection) does not appreciate in value, but it’s something that I appreciate myself.”

Lena’s love for sneakers goes so deep, she even received a pair as an engagement gift instead of a ring from her wife-to-be after popping the question to fiancee Alano Mayo last year.

“We were in Tokyo,” she recalled to Complex. “We got engaged in Tokyo on Thanksgiving. That holiday has a very special place in my heart. But she said like, ‘Lena, I want to get you a ring.’ And it was like, ‘Uhh, that’s not really my vibe’ but of course, I was in Tokyo and I wanted to go shopping for sneakers, so while we were out shopping, there was a particular brand that is only available in Tokyo and they don’t sell anymore in the States. She was like, ‘I want to give you these pair of sneakers.’ And I was like, ‘OK, cool!’ They are my engagement sneakers and I only wear them on special occasions.”

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