Gael Garcia Bernal to Portray Salvador Dali in New Podcast “Playboy Interview”

Gael Garcia Bernal’s art is about to imitate art life…

The 42-year-old Mexican actor and producer is joining a slew of stars who’ll portray famous figures across history in a new podcast series from Playboy and Audio Up.

Gael García Bernal

The two companies are launching Playboy Interview, an audio series that features teleplay-style re-enactments of the most iconic Playboy interview conversations.

In addition to Garcia Bernal, other stars set to take part in the program are Rosanna ArquetteTaye DiggsMaya Hawke, Shea Whigham, Michael Shannon, Kevin Corrigan and Gina Gershon.

The series, which is set to debut in September, will see Arquette voice feminist pioneer Betty Friedan, Diggs will portray Muhammad Ali, Garcia Bernal plays Salvador Dali, Shannon is Tennessee Williams, Shea Whigham is John Wayne, Maya Hawke is Helen Gurley Brown, Kevin Corrigan is Frank Sinatra and Gina Gershon is Oriana Fallaci.

The first two episodes will feature “conversations” with Friedan and Ali.

The series is based on the classic Playboy Interview, which started in 1962 with Alex Haley’s conversation with Miles Davis and has run for more than 500 interviews including the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Fidel Castro, Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Steve Jobs, Whoopi Goldberg and Maya Angelou.

“Working on the Playboy Interview was an incredible experience,” said Maya Hawke, who also portrays Ayn Rand in the second season, which is likely to launch in early 2022. “I got the rare opportunity to portray two of history’s most influential, controversial, and complicated women. I was allowed to inhabit the characters rather than being asked to impersonate them, which left me thinking about their respective perspectives for weeks after. And I felt inspired. Even if I don’t agree with them about everything, or anything – their strength, persistence, and insistence on being exactly who they are has reminded me to be exactly who I am.”

“Playboy is culturally iconic for many reasons, but their in-depth interviews and journalistic integrity is a large part of what has made the publication so cool,” said Gina Gershon. “I was so happy to work on a project that celebrates Playboy’s historic interviews with so many incredible individuals. I’ve always been fascinated by Oriana Fallaci, and was so excited to be able to take part in bringing her interviews to life. It was so much fun to explore this remarkable woman and share her point of view with the world.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to unveil the first season of the Playboy Interview podcast,” added Rachel Webber, Chief Brand Officer at PLBY Group and producer of the series. “Audio is the perfect format for these intimate and revealing conversations. Each brilliant performance by this incredible cast gives you chills, making you feel like you’re right there in the room as history unfolds.”

“This podcast is the culmination of a personal journey for me having spent seven years as Playboy’s editorial director,” added Audio Up’s Chief Creative Officer Jimmy Jellinek, who adapted, produced and directed all 10 episodes of season one. “Thanks to the explosion of audio as a medium, today we’re able to reintroduce these incredible conversations to a new generation. I have long thought the Playboy Interview would lend itself perfectly to formats off the page. In my wildest dreams I didn’t anticipate that something this magical would be the result.”

“We’ve paired the greatest conversations of the 20th century with the greatest actors of the 21st. Audio Up is in the business of pushing the boundaries of audio entertainment and this project exemplifies that mission in every way,” said Audio Up founder and Chief Executive Officer Jared Gutstadt.

Colman Domingo to Appear at the Democratic National Committee’s Upcoming Pride Celebration Fundraiser

Colman Domingo is celebrating Pride with the DNC

The 51-year-old Guatemalan American actor will take part in a special Pride Celebration fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee next week.

Colman Domingo

Vice President Kamala Harris will headline the event, which will include a number of performances and an introduction by Barbra Streisand.

The DNC traditionally hosts a Pride month event, but the fundraiser also speaks to the desire among party activists to have a large war chest heading into next year’s midterms.

The performers on the bill for the virtual event on June 30 include Andra Day, Billy Porter, Kristin Chenoweth and Melissa Etheridge.

In addition to Domingo, other stars making appearances include Andy Cohen, George Takei, Matt Bomer and Whoopi Goldberg.

Tickets to the event start at $50, and rise to $20,000 for a co-host designation and access to a VIP “clutch.” Those who write or raise $40,000 will get a host designation and access to the clutch. The New York Times first reported on the event.

The DNC raised $12.1 million in May, according to reports to the Federal Election Commission, while the Republican National Committee raised about $11.1 million. Those are hefty sums for an off-year period and, according to Bloomberg News, a record amount.

Last year, as the pandemic prevented in-person fundraising, Democrats capitalized on the ease of holding virtual events, both in drawing talent and in bringing in greater numbers of small-dollar donors.

Roadside Attractions Acquires North American Rights to Rita Moreno’s Documentary “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided To Go For It”

Rita Moreno is ready to bring her life story to America…

Roadside Attractions has acquired North American distribution rights to the 2021 Sundance Film Festival documentary Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided To Go For It, about the 89-year-old Latina living legend.

Rita MorenoA release is planned for June 18.

Roadside’s deal excludes the television license to PBSAmerican Masters, which will present the exclusive U.S. broadcast premiere of the doc after it hits theaters.

In addition to Moreno, others featured in the Mariem Pérez Riera-directed doc include George Chakiris, Héctor Elizondo, Gloria Estefan, Tom Fontana, Morgan Freeman, Mitzi Gaynor, Whoopi Goldberg, Norman Lear, Eva Longoria, Justina Machado, Terrence McNally, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karen Olivo.

The film covers Moreno’s 70-year-plus career rise and struggles, from her beginnings in poverty on a Puerto Rican farm to becoming a rare EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscars, Tony Awards) winner.

She’s the first Latina actress to win an Oscar (for her role as Anita in 1961’s West Side Story). Despite the win, studios continued to offer Moreno lesser roles as stereotypical ethnic minorities, ignoring her proven talent.

“Roadside Attractions, I’m so pleased for your commitment to my story and especially for making it available to a broader audience. Curtain Up!,” Moreno commented.

“Stars like Rita are few and far between, her showbiz story and personal remembrances resonate for a large, diverse audience, and the heights she continues to achieve are a true crowd pleasing uplift after the year we’ve all had,” said Roadside co-presidents Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff.

“Rita is an incredible inspiration to so many, hers is a success story for all women who feel alone as they struggle to assert themselves with courage and bravery against heavy odds,” offered director Pérez Riera. “We are so thrilled to bring Rita to theaters for audiences to spend time with a woman who, when speaking about herself, speaks to and for a lot of us.”

“There were only a small group of distributors we hoped would take notice at Sundance. Roadside was at the top of that list,” said film’s producer, ACT III’s Brent Miller and EP Norman Lear. “We think we’re in great hands with Howard and Eric at the helm and couldn’t be more excited for the world to know the Rita we now know and love.”

American Masters Pictures and Act III Productions in association with Artemis Rising and Maramar Films are producers.

Juani Feliz Lands Recurring Role on Amazon’s Comedy Series “Harlem”

Juani Feliz is heading to Harlem

The Dominican actress has landed a recurring role on Amazon’s Harlem, the comedy series from Tracy Oliver, Amy Poehler’s Paper Kite Productions and Universal Television.

Juani Feliz

Feliz joins a roster of new cast additions that include Andrea Martin, Robert Ri’chard, Kate Rockwell and Sullivan Jones.

They’ll join previously announced Whoopi Goldberg and Jasmine Guy, who also recur.

Created, written and executive produced by Oliver, Harlem, formerly the Untitled Tracy Oliver Project, is a single-camera comedy following the lives of four black women, friends from their college days at NYU, as they navigate sex, relationships and chasing their dreams.

Feliz is Isabela, a local politician on track to beating AOC’s record as the youngest member of U.S. Congress and a new friend of Quinn’s.

Feliz was a series regular on the ABC pilot, Until the Wedding. She has also recurred on CBS Blue Bloods and NBC’s Shades of Blue.

On the film side, her credits include the thriller Canal Street, The Purge: Election Year, The Polka King and indie feature Quiet In My Town.

Gloria Estefan to Perform at ‘Nurse Heroes Live’ Benefit Virtual Concert on Thanksgiving

Gloria Estefan is giving special thanks to some of our frontliners…

The 63-year-old Cuban singer will be among the entertainers honoring nurses in a star-studded benefit virtual concert on Thanksgiving.

Gloria Estefanria

Nurse Heroes has announced that the concert called Nurse Heroes Live will stream on the organization’s YouTube and Facebook pages along with LiveXLive on November 26 at 7:00 pm EST.

The benefit will provide money for a variety of programs including scholarships for nurses and their children.

Estefan joins a lineup of performers that include Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Black Eyed Peas, Pitbull, The Wailers, Carole King, Maluma and Andrea Bocelli.

Whoopi Goldberg will host the concert with special appearances by Oprah Winfrey and Billy Crystal.

Taylor Swift will donate a signed collectible edition “Folklore” guitar, which will be auctioned for the benefit of the Nurses Heroes Foundation.

The nurses of New York’s Northwell Health will be the first beneficiaries of the concert. The event will also showcase 50 nurses from the hospital in an ensemble performance with several celebrities.

The concert will be produced by Emilio Estefan and Times Square Live Media.

CBS All Access Releases Teaser Trailer for Henry Zaga’s New Stephen King Series “The Stand”

Henry Zaga is taking a Stand

CBS All Access has released the first trailer for its limited series The Stand, starring the 27-year-old Brazilian actor.

Henry Zaga

The series is the latest adaptation of a beloved Stephen King novel.

The star-studded television take on King’s 1978 book centers on the author’s apocalyptic vision for a world ruined by a super plague and caught in the middle of the fight between good and evil.

The 30-second teaser trailer offers a taste of the adaptation with Whoopi Goldberg as Abigail Freemantle, followed by flashes the characters’ haunting journey.

In addition to Goldberg and Zaga, who portrays Nick Andros, the series also  stars James Marsen, Jovan Adepo, Amber Heard and Daniel Sunjata.

The Stand is written by Josh Boone and Ben Cavell. It’s produced by CBS Television Studios and will premiere on CBS All Access on December 17.

Zaga’s previous television credits include 13 Reasons Why, Trinkets, Teen Wolf, and Looking for Alaska.

Colman Domingo Running for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors

Colman Domingo is ready to represent…

The 50-year-old Afro-Guatemalan American Broadway and television/film actor has thrown his hat in the ring as a candidate for the 2020 Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors

Colman Domingo

Domingo, who appeared on AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, is among the candidates in the Actors category.

In the Writing branch, Gregory Nava is in the running. The 71-year-old Mexican/Spanish American writer and filmmaker’s former projects include El Norte, Selena and Bordertown.

The winner in each branch will be chosen directly from these entries rather than whittling it down to four finalists in each, as has been done in the past.

The winners for the 17 open slots on the 54-member board will be chosen by preferential balloting, just like Best Picture race at the Oscars. Voting is underway with ballots due back June 5.

The Actors branch is the largest in the Academy and has drawn the biggest field of contenders for the one spot available. Domingo is running against incumbent governor Whoopi Goldberg and past governor Ed Begley Jr.

Here’s the full list of nominees by branch (* = incumbent):

Actors
Michael Lee Aday
Ed Begley, Jr
Robert Carradine
Nicolas Coster
Colman Domingo
Richard Dreyfuss
Spencer Garrett
Bruce Glover
Whoopi Goldberg*
James Keach
Stacy Keach
Peter Kwong
Jodi Long
Tim Matheson
Joe Pantoliano
Lou Diamond Phillips
Andrea Riseborough
Andrew Stevens
Rita Wilson

Cinematographers
Kerry Barden
Richard Hicks
Margery Simkin
Debra Zane
Andrzej Bartkowiak
Richard P Crudo
Svetlana Cvetko
Steven Fierberg
Michael Goi
Janusz Kaminski
Newton Thomas Sigel
Eric Steelberg
Kees Van Oostrum
Amelia Vincent
Roy Wagner
Mandy Walker*

Costume Designers
Molly Maginnis
Judianna Makovsky
Isis Mussenden*
Rita Ryack

Directors
Niki Caro
Scott Cooper
Ava DuVernay
Reginald Hudlin
Kasi Lemmons
Michael Mann
Philippe Mora
Kimberly Peirce*
Brett Ratner
Peyton Reed
Jason Reitman
Frances-Anne Solomon
Lewis Teague

Documentary
Kate Amend*
Geralyn Dreyfous
Karen Goodman
Lauren Greenfield
Tom Neff

Executives
Pam Abdy
Victoria Alonso
Michael W Barker
Thomas Bernard
Mark C Canton
Erica Huggins
David Linde*
Mike Medavoy
James W Morris
Gianni Nunnari
Stephen Strick
Patrick Wachsberger

Film Editors
Mark Helfrich
Michael Jablow
Nancy Richardson
Stephen Rivkin
David Rosenbloom
Paul Seydor
Terilyn A Shropshire

Makeup Artists and Hairstylists
Linda Flowers

Marketing and Public Relations
Stephen D Bruno
Kevin Goetz
Barry Dale Johnson
Michael Kaplan
Christina Kounelias*
Robert A Levine
Michele Robertson

Music
Charles Bernstein*
Paul Chihara
George S Clinton
John C Debney
Sharon Farber
William Goldstein
Jan A P Kaczmarek
Emilio Kauderer
Carole Bayer Sager

Producers
Khadija Alami
Jason Blum
Lawrence David Foldes
Jennifer Fox
Lynette Howell Taylor
Steven-Charles Jaffe
Robert Lantos
Lori McCreary
Chris Moore
Michael Peyser
Michael S Phillips
Peter Samuelson
Michael Shamberg
Jeffrey Sharp
Richard W Stevenson
Irwin Winkler

Production Design
Marcia Hinds
Geoffrey A Kirkland
John A Kuri
Carolyn A Loucks
John Muto
Rusty Smith
Melissa Stewart
Wynn P Thomas*
Thomas A Walsh

Short Films and Feature Animation
Jon Bloom
Edwin Catmull
Ron Diamond
Chris Donahue
Raul Garcia
Matthew Gross
Tom Sito*
Erik Smitt
Chris Tashima

Sound
Bobbi Banks
Teri E Dorman*
Nicholas Eliopoulos
Scott Gershin
Mark Mangini
F Hudson Miller
Victoria Rose Sampson
Mark P Stoeckinger
Bruce Tanis
Randy Thom

Visual Effects
Robert Blalack
Rob Bredow
Brooke Breton
Richard Edlund*
Jonathan Erland
Jeffrey M Kleiser
Jeffrey A Okun
Helena Packer
Joshua Pines
Theresa Ellis Rygiel
Rick Sayre

Writers
Carl A Gottlieb
Larry Karaszewski*
Gregory Nava
John Ridley
Howard A Rodmam

George Lopez to Take Part in Comedy Fundraiser for Feeding America

George Lopez is helping to feed America

The 59-year-old Mexican American comedian and actor will take part in the Byron Allen-driven comedy fundraiser for Feeding America.

George Lopez

The fundraiser will be held on Sunday, May 10 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET, with NBCbroadcasting the show. 

In addition to Lopez, the program will include participation from Sebastian Maniscalco, JB SmooveJim GaffiganJudd Apatow, Jack BlackCedric the EntertainerWhitney CummingsJim GaffiganBrad GarrettWhoopi GoldbergKevin James, Sarah Silverman and Kenan Thompson.

Others taking part include Kevin HartChris RockAdam SandlerEddie MurphyBilly Crystal, Marlon WayansHowie MandelTiffany HaddishBrad GarrettTaraji P. HensonLouie AndersonMargaret Cho, Kenan ThompsonMarc MaronJon LovitzCaroline RheaByron AllenBilly Gardell, Tim MeadowsJamie KennedyBill Engvalland Sheryl Underwood.

Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group television production division Entertainment Studios and Funny or Die will be producing the live-streaming comedy event.

The fundraiser will support the hunger-relief organization Feeding America

Additionally, the event will livestream on the Allen Media Group TV networks Comedy.TV and The Weather Channel, as well as on the free streaming service app Local Now.

Pre-recorded comedy segments will be featured during the three-hour event. Committed to appearing are Hart, Sandler, Murphy, Rock, etc.

Allen, founder/chair/CEO of Entertainment Studios/Allen Media Group, said the benefit will help hungry people who are straining the resources of the nation’s food banks during the pandemic shutdown. 

“Laughter is often the best medicine, and we are extremely motivated to bring attention to issues of food insecurity, and to assist in providing meals to families across the country who are financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said Wednesday.

“The coronavirus pandemic and the economic downturn it has created is shining a light on the fragile nature of people’s household budgets,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America, a nationwide network of 200 food banks. “Millions more of our neighbors are turning to food banks for help and we cannot thank Byron Allen and Allen Media Group enough for their support to raise funds and awareness of our work.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Serve as a Judge on VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

Life’s a drag (race)for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The 30-year-old Puerto Rican politician and activist and the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district (D-NY)will serve as a guest judge for the 12th season of VH1’s hit reality television show RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

AOC, as she’s popularly known, fits in with the political theme of this season of the series, which will see RuPaul reigning over the “Ru-nited States of America.” 

In the trailer with Ocasio-Cortez, RuPaul declares that “the time has come for the first drag queen president.”

AOC is shown in the trailer pledging her devotion to the catchphrase of the season: “Join the Ru-volution,” she says. “I’m Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and I pledge allegiance to the drag.”

In a tweet, AOC said her appearance was “a peak experience.”

https://twitter.com/AOC/status/1228018284689317888?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1228018284689317888&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fdeadline.com%2F2020%2F02%2Falexandria-ocasio-cortez-will-pledge-allegiance-to-the-drag-with-rupaul-tv-appearance-1202859751%2F

Others guest judge this season include Nicki MinajLeslie JonesJeff Goldblum,Whoopi GoldbergChaka KhanDaisy RidleyRobynNormaniThandie NewtonOlivia Munn, Rachel BloomDaniel FranzeseJonathan Bennett and Winnie Harlow.

The 13 queens competing for the coveted title of  “America’s Next Drag Superstar” and a $100,000 prize include three Latinx contestants… Crystal Methyd (Springfield, MO), Dahlia Sin (Los Angeles, CA) and Jan (New York, NY).

The other contestants are Aiden Zhane (Acworth, GA), Brita (New York, NY), Gigi Goode (Los Angeles, CA), Heidi N Closet (Ramseur, NC), Jackie Cox (New York, NY), Jaida Essence Hall (Milwaukee, WI), Nicky Doll (New York, NY), Rock M. Sakura (San Francisco, CA), Sherry Pie (New York, NY), and Widow Von’Du (Kansas City, MO).

RuPaul’s Drag Race and RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untuckedare produced by World of Wonder Productions.

The new season premieres on Friday, February 28.

Jennifer Lopez to Present at This Year’s Oscars

Jennifer Lopezhas a date with Oscar

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the first round of presenters who will hand out prizes at this year’s 91st Academy Awards, with the 49-year-old Puerto Rican superstar making the list. 

Jennifer Lopez

While the show remains host-less, viewers can still expect an A-list group of celebrity attendees.

In addition to J.Lo, the list of diverse talent set to present Oscars include AwkwafinaDaniel CraigChris EvansTina Fey, Whoopi GoldbergBrie LarsonAmy PoehlerMaya Rudolph, Charlize TheronTessa Thompson and Constance Wu.

In addition to this star-studded list, Oscar producer Donna Gigliotti and co-producer and director Glenn Weissannounced that the Los Angeles Philharmonicand conductorGustavo Dudamelwill perform during the annual “In Memoriam” segment of the show.

“The Oscar nominees have generated tremendous worldwide attention through their captivating stories, achievements and performances,” said Gigliotti and Weiss. “We want to give the public an opportunity to once again experience the moments that have moved us all. It is a celebration of our universal love of movies.”

The announced names are only some of talent set to hand out the golden statues; the Academy will unveil more presenters in the weeks to come. 

“This is an important moment in Oscar history,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “This year’s show maintains Oscar traditions, and is also evolving to reflect our global audience.”

The 2019 Oscars will air live Sunday, February 24, on ABCat 8:00 pm ET.