Monica Huarte to Star Opposite Rob Schneider in “Daddy Daughter Trip”

Monica Huarte is trippin’

The 39-year-old Mexican actress is starring opposite Rob Schneider in the family adventure live action comedy-animation hybrid Daddy Daughter Trip, which the SNL alum also produced and directed.

Monica Huarte

Principal production on the film, which was shot in Arizona, has been completed.

In addition to Huarte and Schneider, the film also stars Jackie Sandler, Migel Ángel Muñoz, Monty Python’s John Cleese, Schneider’s daughter Grammy nominated singer songwriter Elle King, as well as Miranda Scarlett Schneider and Gavin Joseph.

Daddy Daughter Trip tells the story of 2nd grader (Miranda Scarlett Schneider) who dreams of a fun-filled spring break vacation her family can’t afford. Against the better judgement of her mom (Sandler) and with only coins in their pockets, her dreamer father (Rob Schneider) decides to take her on a spring break trip anyway. After a series of misfortunate adventures, their vacation is saved when the duo meet a couple of famous travel bloggers (Huarte and Muñoz).

The film is also produced by Patricia Schneider, From Out of Florida Productions.

“In my thirty plus year career, I’ve had the great pleasure of working with some of the best actors in the industry, but nothing comes close to sharing the screen with my incredibly sweet and talented eight year old daughter Miranda,” said Rob Schneider.

Huarte previously appeared opposite Schneider in Real Rob. Her other credits include 40 y 20, El Amor No Puede Esperar and Falco.

 

Muñoz, a 38-year-old Spanish actor and singer, has appeared on Presunto culpable, Sin identidad and Infames.

Naya Rivera Among The Celebrities Featured in Chris Barker’s Annual Beatles-Style Tribute to 2020’s Biggest Losses

Naya Rivera is getting a special tribute…

British artist Chris Barker‘s annual Beatles-style tribute to lost celebrities features some of 2020’s biggest losses, including the late half-Puerto Rican actress/singer and Glee star, who drowned in July while on an outing with her son on California’s Lake Piru, as well as soccer legend Diego Maradona, Little Richard, Chadwick Boseman and Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen.

Naya Rivera

Barker, who has been meticulously crafting his homage to the infamous cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band since 2016 as a tribute to dearly departed pop culture icons and newsmakers — said his initial idea was to start with a blank slate in January and just add faces as the year went on.

The approach would’ve simply meant swapping out some images for more prominent ones as the year went on for a more “interactive” art project. But as this year just kept getting worse, he was glad he didn’t switch up his style.

Chris Barker's 2020 Sgt. Peppers Tribute

“Early spring I thought the devastating wildfires in Australia would be the defining moment of the year but, goodness me, 2020 just kept piling it on,” he tells Billboard. “So I had a couple of options of how to show this year was a year like no other. My immediate thought was social distancing; to have the characters all really spread out. But that would have proved really impractical.”

Instead, he stuck to the template of cramming as many singers, actors, athletes, public figures and news events as possible into the image, which this year includes everyone from police violence victim George Floyd to actors Kirk Douglas, Dave Prowse (Star WarsDarth Vader), Sean Connery, Diana Rigg, Monty Python‘s Terry Jones, Fred Willard and Jerry Stiller, as well as musical icons Florian Schneider (Kraftwerk), Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac), Kenny Rogers, Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne), reggae great Toots Hibbert, Neil Peart (Rush), Ronald Bell (Kool & the Gang), DJ José Padilla, Bonnie Pointer (Pointer Sisters) and Afrobeat star Tony Allen, among many others.

Barker’s next idea was to include a nod to how important masks were this year during the pandemic, but that would have made the concept way too complicated to pull off. After starting work a month earlier than usual (in September), he realized masking the figures would make many of them unrecognizable, and posting it around the American election as he usually does would likely leave too many important figures off in a year when the devastating hits just kept on coming.

“Who knew what else could be just around the corner? It has been such an awful, bleak year,” he said, revealing that his original background was a red sky with burning forests in a nod to the devastating Australian and American wildfires. But with Joe Biden‘s victory over one-term President Donald Trump last month and talk of a COVID-19 vaccine right around the corner, suddenly there was a glimmer of hope. And instead of sticking the Biden/Harris logo “in the middle of a burning hellscape,” the Trump campaign gave him an unexpected gift with lawyer Rudy Giuliani‘s legendarily disastrous presser at Four Seasons Total Landscaping.

“The surreal backdrop perfectly encapsulates the final nail in the coffin of the nightmarish Trump administration that inspired this whole project,” Barker said. “When I first did the 2016 montage, the loss of such an overwhelming number of iconic heroes was undoubtedly one of the defining stories of the year — even overshadowing Brexit and Trump. But this year, obviously the huge number of deaths from coronavirus is far more significant.”

With the real human cost of losses from COVID-19 piling up every day, Barker decided that the chalky floor of the Four Seasons parking lot was the perfect backdrop for an homage that also includes the losses of nearly 1.5 million worldwide to COVID, Trump’s presidency, Spencer Davis, Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, drag queen Chi Chi DeVayne, directors Alan Parker and Joel Schumacher, magician Roy Horn, Glee‘s Rivera, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, Vera Lynn, Kelly Preston, and Gone With the Wind star Olivia de Havilland.

“Every line a reminder of a life taken, a family ripped apart. Every time I do this montage it is an emotional journey, however detached I may get from the subject matter while I’m in the thick of the Photoshop, when I put the list together for the key at the end and look at it, it is a quite sobering moment,” he said. “I know a lot of people who have lost family members this year and I always try to remember that all the people I am including have left people behind too. I have to try to be respectful to everyone and to pay tribute to them and the way they lived their lives.”

There are always a few losses that hit Barker the hardest, and this year for him it was Kraftwerk’s Schneider, Game of Thrones star Rigg and Python’s Jones.

All he asks is that if you are moved by his work, donate to the UK’s NHS charities this year.

Porta dos Fundos Releases Trailer for Its Latest Christmas Special, “The Edge of Theocracy”

Porta dos Fundos is readying for its latest Christmas special…

The controversial hit Brazilian comedy troupe will release its annual Christmas Special, The Edge of Theocracy, on December 10.

Porta dos Fundos

A play on Petra Costa’s Oscar-nominated documentary, The Edge of Democracy, a trailer released on November 20 on its dedicated YouTube channel lured more than 300,000 views in three days.

Porta dos Fundos’ Christmas specials are renowned for their ironic, some would argue profane, take on the life of Christ.

Taking its cue from Costa’s The Edge of Democracy, which points to Brazil’s spiral into far-right politics as a cautionary tale to the world, The Edge of Theocracy satirizes Brazil’s political scene and delivers tart comments on global issues, like polarization, through the prism of Biblical events thousands of years ago. A delighted Costa gave her blessing and makes a brief appearance as herself in the show.

Shot in less than a week, the troupe opted for the documentary format in order to better adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols. The use of talking heads and testimonials were the perfect solution to rules on social distancing, said co-founder/writer Fabio Porchat, who spoke to Variety while filming some scenes outdoors last September.

Porchat, who plays Jesus, was standing in the middle of a field in sweltering 95F (35C) heat, with trees and mountains in the distance, while just behind him, his actors were playing out some scenes.

Their 2019 Xmas special, The First Temptation of Christ, featured a gay Christ, which unleashed a firestorm of complaints, a petition to ban the special signed by more than two million people and worst of all, a Molotov cocktail on their headquarters, which caused a fire that was fortunately put out by alert security guards.

“This is our seventh Christmas Special and they’ve always been provocative; only last year’s special produced a backlash,” he pointed out, suggesting that being the first one released during the tenure of current populist President Jair Bolsonaro made it a target. “His government is promoting fundamentalist religious thought,” he asserted.

There were some calls to cancel Netflix subscriptions, which the trailer cheekily refers to. “If you cancelled Netflix, get ready to cancel YouTube,” it declares, signaling the troupe’s return to their dedicated YouTube channel.

Their last two Christmas Specials, The First Temptation of Christ and The Last Hangover,” were Netflix Originals. The latter won a Best Comedy International Emmy in 2019.

“We reach a bigger audience on YouTube,” said Porchat who added that ViacomCBS, which took a majority stake in Porta dos Fundos in 2017, co-produced this year’s special with Porta dos Fundos.

Porchat admitted that the bombing of their headquarters raised their international profile so he’s grateful for that.

He is a self-confessed Monty Python fan, especially their irreverent comedy about a hapless man who is mistaken for the Messiah, Life of Brian. “We don’t insult the Bible, we research the subject matter quite extensively,” he noted.

No one is spared their satirical touch, including Buddha, Shiva and some alien creature who replies, “Ask Tom Cruise!” when asked to explain what he is in The First Temptation of Christ.

In The Edge of Theocracy various “messiahs” weigh in on an investigation of Jesus’ legitimacy.

The new special promises to be a gleeful poke in the eye to the troupe’s critics.

Sara Ramirez Lands Series Regular Role on CBS’ “Madam Secretary”

Sara Ramirez is headed to the White House

The 42-year-old Mexican actress and former Grey’s Anatomy star has joined the cast of CBS’ Madam Secretary as a new series regular.

Sara Ramirez

Ramirez will play Kat Sandoval, a brilliant political strategist, legendary in D.C. for her talent and for abruptly dropping out of politics until Elizabeth (Téa Leoni) manages to coax her back into the State Department.

CBS says Ramirez’s character will be introduced the November 19 episode.

“We’re very excited that Sara is joining the cast,” said Barbara Hall, executive producer and series creator. “She brings a fresh perspective and a fun, energetic quality to the State Department staff.”

“We are thrilled to have Sara join the Madam Secretary State Department team,” said Lori McCreary, executive producer. “From the moment she walked on set with her talent, intellect and spirit, she became part of the family!”

This is Ramirez’s first series regular televisoin role since her departure last year from ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, where she appeared for over a decade as Dr. Callie Torres.

 

She’s currently the voice of Queen Miranda on Disney Jr.’s hit animated series Sofia the First and the voice of Mamá Calaca in Vampirina.

 

Ramirez previously won a Tony Award for her performance in Monty Python’s Spamalot.

 

Madam Secretary airs Sundays at 10 PM on CBS.