Naomie Harris committed to healthy living after childhood scoliosis trauma

Naomie Harris has pledged to never abuse her body after battling severe scoliosis as a child.The Spectre star was diagnosed with the condition – which causes the spine to curl into an ‘S’ or ‘C’ shape – when she was just 11 and had to learn how to …

Naomie Harris has pledged to never abuse her body after battling severe scoliosis as a child.

The Spectre star was diagnosed with the condition – which causes the spine to curl into an ‘S’ or ‘C’ shape – when she was just 11 and had to learn how to walk again after having an operation.

“The progression of the disease became severe in my teens, and I needed an operation. Doctors inserted a metal rod down my spine. I spent a month in the hospital recovering and had to learn how to walk again. It was really traumatic,” she recalled in a chat with Shape magazine. “I saw kids in the hospital with scoliosis so advanced that they would never be able to stand properly. I felt really lucky. Since then, I have always appreciated the gift of a healthy body.”

To maintain her health, Naomie meditates daily, exercises five times a week at Pilates classes or in a swimming pool, and she doesn’t drink alcohol or coffee.

“I don’t abuse my body,” the 43-year-old shared. “Health is the greatest thing you can have.

“I didn’t want to do anything that could hurt me in any way. I was very protective of my body. When I started making films that required me to be physically active, I realised that my body was capable of doing a lot more than I thought it was, and that if I exercise, I become stronger.”

Naomie also opened up about her incredibly healthy diet and explained that she had gone through years of experimenting with different foods in order to work out what works best for her.

“I’m a really healthy eater. For one thing, I incorporate Ayurvedic principles. That means plenty of warm, nourishing foods like stews and soups, even for breakfast. I have a really fast metabolism, so if I don’t eat something filling in the morning, I’ll be hungry again in five minutes,” she stated.

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Janelle Monae wears tuxedos as an ‘act of rebellion’

Janelle Monae wore tuxedos for years as means of “rebelling” against those who suggested she needed to dress more feminine to succeed. The Tightrope singer nearly always sported a suit when she first started out in the music business, and quickly beca…

Janelle Monae wore tuxedos for years as means of “rebelling” against those who suggested she needed to dress more feminine to succeed.

The Tightrope singer nearly always sported a suit when she first started out in the music business, and quickly became known for her androgynous style and penchant for a black-and-white colour palette.

However, in recent years, Janelle has been branching out from her signature aesthetic, and in a new interview for U.S. InStyle, she explained that she only wore tuxedos for so long to prove a point.

“When I began touring, stylists would tell me to dress more feminine. And that’s the reason I stayed in my tuxedo so long – out of rebellion,” she shared. “I wanted to prove that I could make it by being my authentic self. It was about proving that, as women, we can wear tuxedos, we can wear dresses, we can show skin, or not show skin. But we need to be in control of that.

“I look back to when I was wearing black-and-white tuxedos every day and people were saying that I dressed like a man and that I should look more feminine if I want to get ahead. But ultimately, I chose to express myself in what made me most comfortable.”

The Moonlight actress is also known for her love of hats, and she admitted that she didn’t know how many she possessed, but her favourite was a vintage black fedora which she usually wears tilted back on her head because it makes her “feel like Peter Pan”.

The 33-year-old took her hat game to a new level at the Met Gala earlier this year, when she wore a stack of fedoras on her head, and Janelle noted she wanted the “surreal” look to represent her multi-faceted career, adding, “I’m a woman who wears many hats.”

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Mahershala Ali eyes hard-hitting prison drama

Mahershala Ali is in talks to executive produce and star in a hard-hitting prison drama. The two-time Oscar winner plans to front Solitary, which is based on the memoir of Albert Woodfox, who spent more than 40 years in solitary confinement in Louisia…

Mahershala Ali is in talks to executive produce and star in a hard-hitting prison drama.

The two-time Oscar winner plans to front Solitary, which is based on the memoir of Albert Woodfox, who spent more than 40 years in solitary confinement in Louisiana’s Angola Prison. The actor reportedly met Woodfox in New Orleans recently after reading the book, which was released earlier this year.

Executives at movie studio Fox Searchlight have bought the movie rights to the book, Solitary: Unbroken by Four Decades In Solitary Confinement, My Story of Transformation and Hope, according to Variety.

The project is in the early stages of development without a director or screenwriter attached. The film will be produced by Jamie Patricof, who previously worked with Ali on The Place Beyond The Pines in 2012.

Woodfox and Herman Wallace were indicted in 1972 for the killing of a prison corrections officer and convicted in 1974. After much campaigning, Woodfox’s conviction was eventually overturned in 2014 and he was released in 2016 after the prosecution accepted his plea of no contest to lesser charges of burglary and manslaughter.

During their time behind bars, Woodfox and Wallace campaigned for prison reform as members of the Black Panther Party.

Wallace was released in 2013 due to having terminal cancer and sadly died three days after his release.

Ali won his first Academy Award for Moonlight, landing the Best Supporting Actor Oscar at the 2017 ceremony. He won the same award again earlier this year for his portrayal of pianist Don Shirley in Green Book.

He recently lead the third season of HBO crime drama True Detective and is gearing up to star in sci-fi movie Sovereign.

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Barry Jenkins to direct biopic about dance legend Alvin Ailey

Barry Jenkins is set to bring the life of choreographer Alvin Ailey to the big screen.The Moonlight director has signed on to helm the as-yet-untitled production, which was first announced by executives at Fox Searchlight in March 2018. Taking to Twi…

Barry Jenkins is set to bring the life of choreographer Alvin Ailey to the big screen.

The Moonlight director has signed on to helm the as-yet-untitled production, which was first announced by executives at Fox Searchlight in March 2018.

Taking to Twitter on Monday to share his excitement over the film, Jenkins wrote, “Beyond proud and humbled to have the opportunity to bring Brother Ailey’s life to the screen alongside (writer Julian Breece) @julianbreece and my partners at @WePastel, @foxsearchlight and the wonderful folks of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.”

According to editors at Deadline, the project will be based on Jennifer Dunning’s 1996 book, Alvin Ailey: A Life in Dance, and will delve into the life of the African-American dance choreographer and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City and is often credited with popularising modern dance.

Singer Alicia Keys will produce the film with Susan Lewis under their AK Worldwide production banner, along with Judy Kinberg, Rachel Cohen and Jana Edelbaum from iDeal Partners. The producers will team with Robert Battle and Emerita Judith Jamison, artistic directors at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater too, with the biopic receiving approval from officials at The Ailey Organization.

Ailey joined The Horton Dance Company in 1953 at the age of 22 and made his debut in Revue Le Bal Caribe before going on to perform in several Hollywood films.

He formed his own group in 1958, with his dance style influenced by ballet, modern dance, jazz and African dance techniques.

Ailey died at the age of 58 in 1989, from HIV/AIDS, and in 2014, was selected by U.S. President Barack Obama as a posthumous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

A release date for the film has yet to be announced.

Jenkins, who won an Oscar for 2016’s Moonlight, most recently made Academy Award-winning drama If Beale Street Could Talk and is currently gearing up to direct episodes of TV series The Underground Railroad.

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Viggo Mortensen struggled to make Mahershala Ali break character while filming Green Book

Viggo Mortensen tried as hard as he could to make his Green Book co-star Mahershala Ali break character on set.Viggo plays tough New Yorker Tony ‘Lip’ Vallelonga, who starts working with Mahershala’s classical jazz pianist Dr. Don Shirley as his body…

Viggo Mortensen tried as hard as he could to make his Green Book co-star Mahershala Ali break character on set.

Viggo plays tough New Yorker Tony ‘Lip’ Vallelonga, who starts working with Mahershala’s classical jazz pianist Dr. Don Shirley as his bodyguard in Peter Farrelly’s Oscar-winning comedy drama.

In a joint interview for Empire magazine, Mahershala revealed that he’d learned to play the piano and did as much as he could to inhibit his character off set, but Viggo was determined to see how committed the Moonlight star was.

“I tried really hard to crack him up. But he was just unflappable,” he laughed. “He was doing his thing, he was Doc Shirley. But just for fun, I just wanted to make him lose it, at least once. I was just doing what my character does, but going for it. And nothing.”

After a number of failed attempts, Viggo was finally successful during a scene in which Tony introduces Don to fast food chain KFC.

“He said his line, ‘What do we do about the bones?’ And I said my line, and spit the bone out,” he recalled. “He didn’t say what he was supposed to say. Silence. And I turned around and he’s not there, and I’m like ‘Where the f**k?’ And he’s on the floor in a fetal position with tears coming out of his eyes, and I’m like, ‘Yes!’”

The acting duo insisted that they got on remarkably well during the shoot, and Mahershala believes much of this stems from the similarities in their acting styles.

“I think we’re similar,” he considered. “I’m unapologetically specific. I can do the math in my mind as to why something is somewhat problematic, or lesser than what I would like it to be, for very specific reasons. Viggo’s that way, but heightened.”

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Mahershala Ali attempts to leave space between roles to ‘avoid character bleed’

Mahershala Ali tries his hardest to create space between projects so he doesn’t inadvertently let his characters bleed into one another.The Moonlight actor has been enjoying another successful awards season with his portrayal of pianist Dr. Don Shirley…

Mahershala Ali tries his hardest to create space between projects so he doesn’t inadvertently let his characters bleed into one another.

The Moonlight actor has been enjoying another successful awards season with his portrayal of pianist Dr. Don Shirley in Peter Farrelly’s Green Book, for which has so far won the Golden Globe and BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor. He’s also the favourite to take home the Oscar on Sunday.

The 45-year-old has now explained that he cares deeply for all his characters and projects and gives “everything I have to give” to each role, so he likes to ensure he has time in between each part to completely shed one character before moving onto the next.

“You just have to shed those characters and in some way, try to create space between projects so that you can avoid character bleed and taking one project and somehow those attributes make it into your next project,” he told reporters at the recent BAFTA Film Awards. “I don’t ever want to (do) that and so as best I can I try to create space or do things that sort of allow each project to live in its own time.”

However, he was unable to do so after Green Book because he only had a week before he began filming the current season of HBO series True Detective, and he admitted that there was a short period of time when those projects “blended together for me”.

He added that he still hasn’t quite been able to let go of his Green Book character due to the press tour and awards circuit but he is determined to carve out some time to let go of him.

He told reporters that the project, about a road trip Shirley takes to the Deep South with his Italian-American driver, played by Viggo Mortensen, was a dream because it was a collaborative effort.

“I think the spirit of it was right, just in how we sit down and approached it and really worked to make these characters three-dimensional and really lift them off the page,” he said.

Green Book is in cinemas now.

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Barry Jenkins felt pressure living up to novelist James Baldwin with If Beale Street Could Talk

Director Barry Jenkins felt pressure living up to the voice of If Beale Street Could Talk author James Baldwin with his film adaptation. The moviemaker adapted Baldwin’s 1974 novel for his latest love story, about a pregnant woman who seeks to clear t…

Director Barry Jenkins felt pressure living up to the voice of If Beale Street Could Talk author James Baldwin with his film adaptation.

The moviemaker adapted Baldwin’s 1974 novel for his latest love story, about a pregnant woman who seeks to clear the name of her partner after he is falsely accused of rape and prove his innocence before the birth of their child.

The project marks Jenkins’ follow-up to his 2016 drama Moonlight, which scored three Oscars, including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. When asked if he felt pressure living up to the success of Moonlight with his new movie, Jenkins admitted to WENN/Cover Media that the pressure actually came from the challenge of adapting Baldwin’s novel.

“No, not really. I wrote the screenplay at the same time I wrote the screenplay for Moonlight so it already existed so the project was already happening even before all the awards things,” he said on the red carpet at the BAFTAs. “The big pressure was to live up to the voice of James Baldwin, to me that was as much pressure as anything.”

The 39-year-old attended the British ceremony in London on Sunday (10Feb19) with his If Beale Street Could Talk star Regina King, and when asked about her being snubbed by BAFTA in the Best Supporting Actress category, he simply shrugged and said, “I’m not a BAFTA member so I have no say in that.”

Mahershala Ali, who won an Oscar for Moonlight, took home a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor for Green Book on Sunday, and said Moonlight will always have a special place in his heart because it’s opened so many doors for him.

“I wouldn’t have got this part (in Green Book) without Moonlight which for me was truly a miracle as there was never a film like that up until that point,” he said. “I absolutely love (character) Juan, I love Moonlight, it has a special place in my heart because it’s led to so many other opportunities so that will always be extraordinarily special to me, that experience.”

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Mahershala Ali: ‘Black actors are forced to talk about diversity’

Mahershala Ali is tired of always being asked about diversity in Hollywood.In an interview with Esquire U.K., the actor, who won Best Supporting Actor at the EE BAFTAs on Sunday night (10Feb19) for his role as the late jazz star Don Shirley in Green Bo…

Mahershala Ali is tired of always being asked about diversity in Hollywood.

In an interview with Esquire U.K., the actor, who won Best Supporting Actor at the EE BAFTAs on Sunday night (10Feb19) for his role as the late jazz star Don Shirley in Green Book, bemoaned the fact that people always want to talk to black actors about issues related to the colour of their skin.

“It’s just that white actors are only asked about race if they’re doing a civil rights project,” he sighed, as he discussed inequality when it comes to discussing issues of diversity in Hollywood.

“In interviews like this, they talk about their process and life but black actors are always talking about diversity, where the culture’s at, where it’s going. We have to be professors of cultural studies where a white actor can just be an actor!”

The star, whose latest film centres on the relationship between a black jazz musician and his white driver, is the frontrunner for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar at the forthcoming Academy Awards. In 2018 he became the first Muslim actor to win an acting award at the Oscars, for film Moonlight.

His comments after the promotional tour for the film were marred when his co-star Viggo Mortensen was at the centre of a racism row after he used the n-word during a Q&A.

While making a point about the fact that the racial slur is no longer used as casually as it was in 1962, when Green Book is set, Viggo used the full word and was forced to issue an apology after he came under fire.

Mahershala also responded to the row, and was critical of his co-star, who he said had “apologised profusely” following the Q&A.

“However well-intended or intellectual the conversation may have been, it wasn’t appropriate for Viggo to say the n-word,” he said in a statement.

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Letitia Wright gushes over Naomie Harris”flawless’ beauty looks

Letitia Wright constantly takes beauty inspiration from Naomie Harris.The Black Panther star has been inspiring women everywhere with her fun but fresh make-up looks since she found fame in 2015. However, she has now confessed that she often namechecks…

Letitia Wright constantly takes beauty inspiration from Naomie Harris.

The Black Panther star has been inspiring women everywhere with her fun but fresh make-up looks since she found fame in 2015. However, she has now confessed that she often namechecks the Moonlight actress when she’s getting ready for a big event.

“Naomie Harris. I always say her name but it’s the truth!” she gushed in an interview with Elle U.K. “She has a great track record of looking fabulous – her make-up is always flawless and glowing and true to herself. Whenever I’m in the make-up chair, I always reference her, I’m like, ‘Hey, can you make me glowed up like that?’ I just want to be her forever.”

Letitia’s own beauty prowess landed her a gig as a bareMinerals ambassador earlier this year (18), and she’s particularly a fan of the brand’s “super dope” loose foundation.

And though she’s happy to play around with different products today, she used to be reluctant to wear make-up.

“I never really liked make-up to begin with, I just thought it was a big hassle,” the 25-year-old shrugged. “But then I started to going to events and having make-up artists do it for me and I got into it. When you have your make-up done really well and it doesn’t look like the wrong colour or tone, or just not me, then I feel confident in it and I can just roll with it.”

The British star also believes it’s incredibly important to have a diverse range of faces representing the beauty industry.

“It’s important to see yourself reflected in the media and what’s going on in our society, so working with a beauty brand that shows women of different ethnicities and backgrounds is really refreshing,” she smiled.

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Barry Jenkins suffered racist abuse during Oscars campaign

Moonlight filmmaker Barry Jenkins was left stunned by a limousine driver’s racist comments at a star-studded Academy bash. The 2017 Best Picture winner attended the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Governors’ Awards in 2016, an event honou…

Moonlight filmmaker Barry Jenkins was left stunned by a limousine driver’s racist comments at a star-studded Academy bash.

The 2017 Best Picture winner attended the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Governors’ Awards in 2016, an event honouring movie legends that is an early part of the Oscars campaign trail.

After the awards, Barry hit up an after-party at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Los Angeles, but decided to get away to see his pal, fellow filmmaker Justin Simien. However, when he spoke to the hotel valet while waiting for his driver, he was advised to take another car as his chauffeur had made a racial slur about him.

According to Vulture.com, the 38-year-old told the audience at a Q&A at the Toronto International Film Festival: “He (the valet) goes, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t get in the car with that dude. When I was out here before, (the driver) looked all agitated, and I said to him, ‘What’s wrong?’ He goes, ‘Oh you know, nothing. I’m just sitting around here waiting around to pick up this n**ger.’ And then he smiled and said, ‘Oh and he’s probably going to get nominated for Best Director.””

The director recalled the story when discussing the importance of his new movie, an adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel If Beale Street Could Talk, which tells the story of Fonny, an African-American man falsely imprisoned for rape after being set up by a racist policeman. In one scene Fonny and his pal Daniel discuss how racism meant they were accused of crimes they did not commit – a feeling Barry said the limousine incident made him relate to.

He said: “So if it could happen to me with someone who’s driving me, a person in power, what the hell do you think happens to some dude working a shift at the factory? Or some dude walking to the bar? So when we got to that scene I was like, This is f**king it. This is it.”

The film, which stars Stephan James as Fonny, premiered on Sunday (09Sep18), ahead of a wide release in November.

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