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Why Ethan Hawke created his first TV present with ‘The Good Lord Hen’

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Ethan Hawke makes his debut as a sequence creator with Showtime’s Civil Battle-era miniseries “The Good Lord Hen.”

“It was undoubtedly probably the most difficult enterprise of my life,” says Hawke, 49, who stars in and executive-produced the present. “It was like doing 4 or 5 indie motion pictures back-to-back.”

Premiering Oct. four at 9 p.m. — and based mostly on James McBride’s Nationwide E book Award-winning 2013 novel of the identical identify — “The Good Lord Hen” follows newly freed younger slave Henry, nicknamed “Onion” (Joshua Caleb Johnson), who finally ends up with well-known abolitionist John Brown (Hawke) and his band of troopers on a campaign to finish slavery. It culminates within the 1859 raid on the Military depot at Harpers Ferry, Va. — the prelude to the Civil Battle.

(Brown finally grew to become the primary particular person in US historical past to be executed for treason; his 1859 hanging is the present’s attention-grabbing opening.)

“I’m not taking part in John Brown the historic determine, I’m taking part in John Brown as Onion sees him and as James McBride spins an enormous yarn,” says Hawke.

Ethan Hawke as John Brown in "The Good Lord Bird."
Ethan Hawke as John Brown in “The Good Lord Hen.”Kevin Lynch/SHOWTIME

“It’s an odd tone to stroll. It’s a tone [Quentin] Tarantino has hit and the Coen brothers have hit, the place it’s half-ridiculous and half-blistering and half-electric and half-silly and half-preposterous. That was the enjoyment of it — it’s like taking a excessive dive. You don’t actually know the way it’s going to go, you simply must throw your self off and hope you reside.”

“The Good Lord Hen” mixes truth and fiction: “All of that is true. Most of it occurred,” reads a tongue-in-cheek on-screen announcement. Along with Brown, the fictional Onion encounters iconic figures resembling Frederick Douglass (“Hamilton” star Daveed Diggs).

“I’m an enormous Mark Twain fan, and I simply felt like McBride lapped Mark Twain,” says Hawke. “It’s like [‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’], however Huck Finn flirts with speaking about race in America, and McBride dives all-in. So I simply needed to share it with all people I knew, and the way in which to try this is to carry out it.

Beau Knapp as Owen Brown, Ethan Hawke as John Brown, Joshua Caleb Johnson as Onion, Ellar Coltrane as Salmon Brown and Mo Brings Plenty as Ottawa Jones in "The Good Lord Bird."
Beau Knapp as Owen Brown, Ethan Hawke as John Brown, Joshua Caleb Johnson as Onion, Ellar Coltrane as Salmon Brown and Mo Brings Loads as Ottawa Jones in “The Good Lord Hen.”William Grey/SHOWTIME

“The Harpers Ferry raid is among the most dramatic occasions in US historical past, and I couldn’t consider it hasn’t been 15 motion pictures,” he says. “They made a couple of hundred motion pictures concerning the Alamo…[the raid] is such an incendiary story, and to speak about it forces you to produce other conversations which can be exhausting. That’s why it’s been prevented.”

The seven-episode miniseries is a uncommon TV position for Hawke, whose profession has primarily been on the large display screen, the place he’s racked up 4 Oscar nominations up to now (“Finest Supporting Actor” nods for “Boyhood” and “Coaching Day” and “Finest Tailored Screenplay” nods for “Earlier than Sundown” and “Earlier than Midnight”).

He says, although, that making a TV sequence has not been a longtime ambition.

Joshua Caleb Johnson as Onion and Ethan Hawke as John Brown.
Joshua Caleb Johnson as Onion and Ethan Hawke as John Brown.Kevin Lynch/SHOWTIME

“It was actually simply this story. I used to be considering, ‘How would you inform that e-book in two hours?’ You wouldn’t be capable to cut back it sufficient for a film,” he says. “And my spouse [producer Ryan Hawke] was like, ‘Dummy, there’s this factor known as restricted sequence now, get up!’ So in lots of methods, I at all times simply considered it as an extended film.”

However regardless of the large enterprise by Hawke to co-create “The Good Lord Hen” — together with “Hell on Wheels” author Mark Richard — and to executive-produce the sequence, he says it wasn’t a hardship to star in it as properly.

“I really like appearing. I cherished being on set with the blokes and taking part in this character,” he says. “In lots of methods, the manufacturing was the work, and the work was the play.

“Gene Hackman has my favourite line: ‘They pay me to attend. I’ll act totally free. It’s the ready I hate.’ ”

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How ‘The Masked Singer’ designer creates these wacky costumes

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The calling card of “The Masked Singer” has all the time been its eye-catching costumes, which take middle stage on every episode of the top-rated sequence, now its fourth season on Fox.

However this season’s over-the-top creations — Giraffe, Snow Owl, Child Alien, Mushroom et al. — have been designed with TV’s present local weather in thoughts, says Marina Toybina, the present’s award-winning costume designer who’s been with “The Masked Singer” since its January 2019 premiere.

“Each season we attempt to do one thing totally different, however this season was particular due to so many alternative variables and obstacles with each present in manufacturing,” says Toybina, alluding to the pandemic. “We actually needed this season to be colourful and enjoyable and large and completely happy, to place smiles on the viewers’ faces.”

Mission completed. “The Masked Singer” stays one among TV’s high attracts; its Oct. 14 episode averaged practically 11 million viewers, who watched Mark Sanchez revealed because the singer beneath Child Alien.

(Wednesday night time’s episode, airing at eight p.m., shall be pushed to subsequent week if there’s a Sport 7 of the World Sequence.)

“We’re making an attempt to step out of the field this season within the methods we’re constructing our masks and costumes,” says Toybina. “Child Alien was the primary time we ever did a puppet. We thought, ‘What can we try this’s so extravagant and fascinating to observe?’

“The Snow Owl was our first twin costume,” she says. “We didn’t need it to be conventional — we needed to reveal two characters in there — and the 2 owls got here into play, and from there it was incorporating extra ornate particulars into the visuals. So we determined to place them in a Faberge egg, and from there the costume grew.”

Toybina says that she’s influenced by totally different components in developing with every season’s costumes.

“I attempt to push my very own artistic envelope in utilizing sources from movie, theater or the little issues I’m impressed by,” she says. “Each time I consider a brand new character it’s essential to give you a narrative for that character. For the Giraffe [this season], I didn’t need it to be the standard giraffe. I needed it to be comfortable and pastel and pleasant; I’m extremely interested by interval costumes, so it has that concept of royal richness.

“It’s nearly like my Marie Antoinette inspiration.”

Marina Toybina
Marina ToybinaGetty Photos

Toybina says she’s conscious of the costumes being created for the worldwide variations of “The Masked Singer” (which originated in South Korea): “We all the time attempt to hold our designs distinctive … probably the most random ideas generally come into my head. Generally we get to see who’s a season forward of us and what they’re experimenting with — however I attempt to keep minimal so far as resourcing different concepts.”

“Each single costume has by no means been a repeat from the way in which it’s been sewn and constructed and we’ve used so many stunning methods,” she says. “I’d say, on the technical aspect, Girl Bug [from Season 2] was one among my favorites. I used to be actually into the couture vibe in its development. And the Swan [Season 3], which was extra of a trend strategy from the costuming aspect — and White Tiger [Season 3] and Child Alien.”

Every costume wants weekly upkeep, relying on what celeb is beneath, she says.

“It varies. There’s a number of labor from the preliminary becoming to the main points and tailoring and through that course of we be sure that every costume is sturdy. There are some performances which can be heavy, the place upkeep is available in — we be sure that the beading stays on or the masks are intact. If we all know it’s a [more intense] performer we select a material and particulars to keep away from loopy put on and tear or a malfunction — and we’ve had neither, knock on wooden.”

And, Toybina says, work on the following season’s costumes begins instantly after the present season ends.

“As soon as we wrap the season we go proper into the paintings for the following season,” she says. “Every construct takes from two to 6 weeks. Most individuals suppose it takes us six months to construct every costume — I’d be fortunate if we had two-and-a-half months!”

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Celine Dion to star in a brand new romance movie that includes her music

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Celine Dion is about to star in a brand new film concerning the energy of affection.

The music famous person will seem alongside Sam Heughan (“Outlander”) and Priyanka Chopra-Jonas (“Quantico”) in a romance movie referred to as “Textual content For You,” directed and co-written by Jim Strouse, Deadline experiences.

“Textual content For You,” which is predicated on the 2016 German movie “SMS Fur Dich,” is a couple of girl (Chopra-Jonas) who sends texts to the cellphone of her just lately deceased fiancé. These messages end up to not be one-way, nonetheless, and she or he meets the person (Heughan) who was given the previous quantity. The misplaced souls bond, in a roundabout way, over Dion’s tunes corresponding to “My Coronary heart Will Go On” and “It’s All Coming Again To Me Now.”

It’s not but recognized what half Dion, 52, will play, however because the movie will characteristic her music, she may very properly tackle the position of an internationally beloved Canadian chanteuse.

“Textual content For You” doesn’t but have a launch date.

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Kim Kardashian going through backlash for tone-deaf birthday posts

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Kim Kardashian is going through backlash after flying her internal circle to a personal island for her 40th birthday amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The KKW Magnificence founder posted a number of pics with household and pals together with Kris Jenner, Kendall Jenner, Khloé Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Rob Kardashian, La La Anthony, Scott Disick, and Tristan Thompson, as they celebrated her birthday with out a masks in sight. Her husband, Kanye West, was additionally there regardless of being absent from her images.

“After 2 weeks of a number of well being screens and asking everybody to quarantine, I shocked my closest internal circle with a visit to a personal island the place we might faux issues had been regular only for a short second in time,” she shared on social media on Tuesday. “We danced, rode bikes, swam close to whales, kayaked, watched a film on the seashore and a lot extra. I understand that for most individuals, that is one thing that’s thus far out of attain proper now, so in moments like these, I’m humbly reminded of how privileged my life is. #thisis40”

Regardless of recognizing her privilege and noting the well being precautions that had been taken to keep away from the unfold of COVID-19, Twitter customers sounded off at Kardashian for her tone-deaf put up.

“I haven’t seen ma household in four months as a result of I work a public-facing job and I’m completely fearful of the potential for passing Covid on to my weak mother and father. I hope you had enjoyable pretending issues had been regular, however spare a thought for these of us staying in the true world,” one particular person tweeted to Kardashian.

“no person on this household might learn a room if their life relied on it,” a netizen added.

“lmao studying this as half of my workplace bought laid off as we speak,” wrote one other.

“everybody mad at this tweet is simply jealous that they didn’t suppose to fly their jets to their very own personal islands. it’s so apparent but kim is the one one who thought to do it. that’s why she’s a visionary and y’all are caught at work 💅,” one other joked.

Her rep didn’t instantly reply to our request for remark.

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