Jennifer Lopez’s stripper movie Hustlers has been earning a lot of buzz after its appearance at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month. While the movie is getting a good kick off, it wasn’t the easiest flick to get made. In fact, in a recent interview, Jennifer Lopez discussed how it’s hard to get movies with a stacked female cast made.
When writer Loren Scafaria was talking about how difficult it is for a movie to get made when it’s about women doing “questionable things,” Jennifer Lopez interjected that she feels it’s hard to get a movie made if it’s “about women – period.” She followed up, noting,
Speaking to Variety at TIFF 2019, the women involved in the making of the movie spoke out in detail about the trials and tribulations involved in bringing Hustlers to the big screen. Lorene Scafaria spoke out about how the pitching process was tough for the stripper-oriented flick, but for Lopez it seems like it has less to do with the stripping and more to do with the female-led premise.
We know Hustlers has a stacked cast. Jennifer Lopez stars as a veteran stripper who, along with Constance Wu’s Destiny, figures out a scheme to rob wealthy men. Cardi B, Keke Palmer, Julia Stiles, Lili Reinhart and Lizzo round out the cast. Oh, and Usher’s in the movie, playing himself, so there are a few dudes who will show up. STX Films ultimately signed on for the release and will be bringing it to theaters.
Lorene Scafaria went on to back Jennifer Lopez up, noting that the only female-led Oscar Best Picture winner in the past 20 years has been Chicago. Although, it’s worth pointing out there have been more female-fronted films getting made (particularly female-fronted films that aren’t straight rom-coms) than there were years and decades ago. Even more intriguing is the study that came out a few months ago noting that female-led movies have been outperforming male movies at the box office relative to their budget. More on that here.
Still, a stripper movie about a criminal scheme gone wrong? I can see how that’s not the easiest pitch to explain in a roomful of suits. Then again, Jennifer Lopez has also been in this business for a long time, and I think many of us still mainly identify her for her big screen work in rom-coms or as a romantic sidekick. Obviously, she has done plenty of other projects, including the recent series Shades of Blue, but the industry definitely looks different than it did when she was really just getting her acting career off the ground. So, perhaps the notion that female movies don’t sell is changing.
Ultimately, whether or not Hustlers was difficult to get made, it did get made. Now, the next hurdle will be selling the movie to an audience. Early estimates indicate the movie could make around $24 million opening weekend, so If you are interesting in strippers laying a fast one on some rich dudes, Hustlers will officially hit theaters on Friday, September 13. You can take a look at what else is out in September with CinemaBlend’s full movie release schedule.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is going to be the definitive ending to the Skywalker Saga, so it’s unsurprising that elements from all three trilogies could come into play. There’s been rumors aplenty about which elements or characters from past films will work their way into Episode IX. Among the more recent rumors that have floated around is that Anakin Skywalker may be making an appearance.
Will Anakin Skywalker appear in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? Let’s break down the chatter heard regarding his appearance so far, and if he were to return, how the character may be used in the upcoming final installment in the Skywalker Saga, and why I think it would be a good idea.
The Rumors That Hayden Christensen Will Appear As Anakin Skywalker
Recently, there was a bit of news that caught the media’s attention, as folks began to notice Palpatine actor Ian McDiarmid and Hayden Christensen appearing out in public together. Not long after that news broke, even more intriguing news surfaced that Disney reportedly put the kibosh on the two appearing in a panel together at FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention. Suspicious much?
It wasn’t the first time this year that Anakin Skywalker has been speculated to appear in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker either, as a rumor earlier this year gave a scene description in which he made an appearance. In the scene in question, Express said Rey would interact with Force Ghost Anakin in the Lost City of The Jedi. Obviously Disney didn’t comment on whether the scene was legit or not, so we don’t know if is indeed part of The Rise of Skywalker.
With all of that being said, it does feel like the entire sequel trilogy has been leading up to some cameo in which Hayden Christensen reprises his role as Anakin Skywalker. Kylo Ren is obsessed with his grandfather, but only knows a bit of his story. This upcoming movie feels like the perfect chance for him to pop up and talk some of Vader’s mission out, and how he was ultimately disallusioned by it.
How Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Could Use Anakin Skywalker
The most obvious way Hayden Christensen could return as Anakin Skywalker is as a Force Ghost, and serve as a guide of sorts to either Rey or Kylo Ren. Rey seems like the more obvious choice given Anakin is technically redeemed as a Jedi in canon, but given that neither Force user has seen a ghost yet, we can’t really guarantee who he’d appear before.
Plus, there’s other ways for Hayden Christensen to appear that don’t involve him showing up as a force ghost. For example, he could appear in one of Rey’s Force visions, an on-screen flashback of events past, or perhaps Emperor Palpatine’s manipulation of a memory he shared with a pre-Vader Anakin. Obviously Anakin could appear as Vader as well in the film, but Disney wouldn’t need Christensen in the portrayal in that case.
Now, to just dip a toe into the weirder theories, let’s talk about clones. It has been well-established in Legends canon that Palpatine was a fan of clones, specifically cloning himself. What if, as part of his contingency plan, he cloned his greatest asset, Anakin Skywalker? Then, he went about training an army of Anakin clones in the Dark Side with his DNA. One of them was rescued and left on Jakku to be hidden away. Her name was Rey!
Ok, that last theory may be a little bonkers, but the point is made. There’s a lot of ways Hayden Christensen could be brought back to play Anakin Skywalker, which makes it hard to just assume how the movie will use him. With that said, a Force Ghost or flashback appearance sound like the most probable scenarios so far, especially with this film being the last of the Skywalker saga.
Should Anakin Skywalker Return In Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker?
In a Star Wars universe where Anakin’s litany of evil deeds were undone by one single act of mercy towards his own flesh and blood, I absolutely believe Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker needs to bring back in Force ghost Anakin. It would be great to see how he feels about everything he’s done in the decades since becoming a Force ghost, and how he lives with those sins now.
It’d be a refreshing take on Force ghosts, especially given Obi-Wan and Yoda both skated over to the afterlife with very few regrets. Anakin, on the other hand, has a litany of things he did as Vader that he has to regret and now live with in his spectral form. Did he spend that time depressed, or did he try and get to know the son he only learned of late in life? Official canon does state that Luke was in contact with Anakin’s ghost over the years, so what did they talk about?
Finally, let’s remember that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the conclusion of the Skywalker saga. Anakin Skywalker is a huge part of this story and needs to have some part in this sequel trilogy, no matter how small. Preferably I’d like his appearance to expand upon the plot in some way, or maybe be the key to a major reveal. Let’s give this trilogy a real “Luke, I am your father” moment!
Will Anakin Skywalker Appear In Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker?
It’s a question we can’t answer with certainty, although I can personally say that there’s a lot of evidence that indicates it’s probably happening. To start, Disney really tipped its hand by reportedly stopping a panel in which Hayden Christensen and Ian McDiarmid were set to appear together. Obviously stopping the panel may have fueled speculation Christensen will appear, but it may have also prevented much bigger spoilers from being revealed.
And considering there was already speculation that Hayden Christensen would be appearing, that’s really not the biggest problem in the world. Even now we’re still unsure of whether or not Anakin Skywalker will be appearing, so provided Disney can continue to keep the lid on details of The Rise of Skywalker for a few more months, we can be surprised all over again when we see it on screen.
It really shouldn’t be all that surprising to begin with though, as Anakin Skywalker is one of the most important characters in the Skywalker Saga. He could’ve destroyed the Sith, but he joined them, and then later helped destroy the Empire, which led to the First Order. It just doesn’t make sense to completely exclude him from the sequel trilogy, especially with Christensen available and still largely resembling his past self.
So while I can’t say with certainty that Hayden Christensen will be appearing, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Disney balked on using him if he was available to make a cameo appearance. After all, it’s an easy way to tie into the prequel films which haven’t gotten a lot of play in the sequel trilogy, and a chance to use someone from that era in a meaningful story that involves the Emperor. If Disney isn’t using Christensen for an Anakin cameo, it would be a mistake.
Do you think Anakin Skywalker will make an appearance in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? Be sure to vote in our poll and see the film in theaters Friday, December 20. As always, continue to stick with CinemaBlend for all the latest news in the world of movies and television.
Will Anakin Skywalker Appear In Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker?
That was Bill Hader. He will tell you otherwise, but when we were talking about the creature, he said… And on set, I think it happened, because some scenes you rehearse, the ones that include more drama, and the other ones you don’t – like the Spider Head is not one of them. So on the set he says, ‘Well, it’s going to look like the spider in The Thing, right?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ ‘What was that thing that the guy said when he saw the spider?’ And I’m like, ‘You gotta be fucking kidding.’ And that was it. So we looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s do it.’
If you’d said right after Thor: Ragnarok came out that director Taika Waititi’s next movie would be about a German boy in World War II who has an idiotic version of Adolph Hitler as an imaginary friend, you probably would have gotten some weird looks. Nearly two full years later, Jojo Rabbit is a month away from being released to the public, but it already had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this past weekend, and the reactions to Waititi’s latest flick have been pouring in.
So what do folks who caught Jojo Rabbit at TIFF think about it? Starting off, CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell was a big fan of the movie, though he acknowledged in a follow-up tweet that it’s “dividing” the critics because of how “different” it is.
Fandango’s Erik Davis was similarly enamored for Jojo Rabbit, noting that it further proves how Taika Waititi is one of the most innovative filmmakers in the business right now.
Perry Nemiroff from Collider was impressed with how Taika Waititi was able to take a controversial concept and turn it into a humorous and heartwarming tale.
The New York Times’ Kyle Buchanan was also impressed with how Jojo Rabbit managed to avoid being a train wreck and believes it will be among the movies that will be highlighted during the upcoming awards season.
Of course, these are just a few of the Jojo Rabbit reactions that have been shared, so feel free to look around the interwebs to find out what other people thought. Overall, it looks like Jojo Rabbit is earning more positive reception than negative, although it’s definitely closer to mixed territory than is critical acclaim, as it ranks at 68% on Rotten Tomatoes based off the 31 reviews published so far.
Along with Roman Griffin Davis playing Jojo himself and Taika Waititi also playing imaginary Hitler, Jojo Rabbit’s cast includes Scarlett Johansson, Thomasin McKenzie, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant and Alfie Allen. It was made by Fox Searchlight, but since the entire Fox enterprise was acquired by Disney, the Mouse House will be releasing it to the masses, and there was reportedly some concern among the Disney brass that Jojo Rabbitcould alienate core Disney fans.
Warning: SPOILERS forIT Chapter Twoare in play. If you haven’t seen the film yet and want to remain unspoiled, please back out of this story and come back once you’ve experienced the finale.
When IT broke records and made fans and friends all over in 2017, it started a wave of anticipation that would eventually culminate in the release of the story’s conclusion with IT Chapter Two. Seeing how the legendary story of Stephen King’s massive hit novel would tie up its loose ends in director Andy Muschietti and writer Gary Dauberman’s return to Derry was a prospect that had audiences drooling like Pennywise over a lost child.
And now that we’ve seen the results of those efforts, there’s been a consensus that the final product was, despite being a satisfying ending, a bit underwhelming in the long run. The reasons for such a reception are pretty clear; when looking at the problems that IT Chapter Two had with telling its story, there are some mistakes that could have been avoided with a little more fine tuning.
This is by no means a write-off of the work that Muschietti, Dauberman and all involved with IT Chapter Two have committed to film. Rather, what we’re about to discuss are the reasons why instead of being a fantastic tour de force of an ending, this follow-up was really just a fine picture. Spoilers are going to be all over the place from this point on, so if you haven’t seen the movie, this is your last chance to bail out before the fun begins.
There’s A Lot Of Misplaced Humor In IT Chapter Two
Dark humor is something that fans of Stephen King and especially fans of IT are familiar with. So saying that IT Chapter Two was a bit too funny is something that might come off as weird upon first brush. And yet, there were moments that, whether intentional or not, totally ruined their impact by throwing in elements of humor.
The two big moments that seemed to strike a sour note with IT Chapter Two’s crowds were that “sly” inclusion of The Shining’s infamous “Here’s Johnny” line during Bev’s big bathroom stall freakout during the Ritual of Chud, and the ill-informed usage of Juice Newton’s “Angel of the Morning” during Eddie Kaspbrak’s confrontation of his fears.
Both are moments that take the audience out of what are supposed to be huge moments of fear-fueled paranoia, as Pennywise starts to taunt The Losers’ Club with all of his most terrifying tricks. As it stands, the true terror of the being also known as IT seems to have been left behind, along with all of the other cohesive storytelling triumphs in Chapter One.
The Flashbacks Undermine The Work Done By IT
A crucial factor to IT’s overall story is the fact that every member of The Losers’ Club who’s moved out of Derry has forgotten the events of that summer they fought Pennywise. By time Mike Hanlon makes his calls to the group, which starts to awaken the group’s memories of what had transpired, their big fight was all but totally lost to the fog of the past.
Obviously flashbacks were going to be a device used reintroduce our Losers to their past exploits, so the usage of the past to tell IT Chapter Two’s story isn’t the problem here. The big problem is that there were way too many new scenes written as flashbacks, considering there was a whole prior film dedicated to the younger history of The Losers’ Club.
IT was so unique when it came to telling the story of the novel, because it decided to exclusively tell the story of the group’s shared childhood, leaving IT Chapter Two to deal with the older half of the proceedings, presumably with flashbacks here and there to really drive the story home. But with its nearly three-hour run time, there were so many new flashes of Derry childhood that you had to question whether or not these films should have stuck to the novel’s back-and-forth structure in the first place.
Richie’s Big Twist In IT Chapter Two Needed To Start In Chapter One
Perhaps the biggest twist in IT Chapter Two’s story structure was that of Bill Hader’s Richie Tozier being outed as not only as being gay, but also having a crush on his childhood friend, Eddie Kaspbrak. That twist, in concept, is a pretty fantastic story decision, and it ties into themes that Stephen King’s material presents to its audience rather well. However, it’s the execution of said twist that really bungles the message.
Jumping back to the problem of flashbacks introducing new information, we get one scene of Finn Wolfhard’s younger Richie being hinted as being gay, and that’s the only basis we’re given to make this particularly big jump in IT Chapter Two’s story. Not only should that scene have been present in 2017’s IT, it also should have been built into the story with some more moments hinting at Richie’s crush on Eddie.
Something as poignant as Richie and Eddie’s connection as friends and as a childhood romance shouldn’t have been sprung as a surprise on the audience in IT Chapter Two. When Pennywise threatens Richie by telling his “dirty little secret,” we should be in on that secret with him, feeling the terror that Bill Hader shows in his face in that moment. Instead, the audience is left in the dark, in the name of cheap suspense.
The IT Story Should Have Been A Trilogy
All of the problems that IT and IT Chapter Two suffered on the story level are indicative of two greater mistakes that have come to light when it comes to the crafting of the massive narrative that Stephen King’s novel is known to possess. The first greater problem with IT is the fact that there’s so much material deleted from the overall story that, should it be restored, would make for a richer experience.
Which means that instead of just following the two installment template that the 1990 miniseries was bound to, director Andy Muschietti and writer Gary Dauberman could have turn the entire story into a trilogy of films. In that structure, IT and IT Chapter Two could have included crucial characters that were underdeveloped in this installment, like Bill Denbrough’s wife Audra (Jess Wexler) or Bev Rogen’s abusive husband Tom (Will Beinbrink).
More importantly, IT Chapter Two would have been free to use more time to go into the reunion of The Losers’ Club and the rediscovery of their memories. An entire middle film of digging up childhood trauma and dealing with the loss of Andy Bean’s Stan Uris would have set things up perfectly for one, gigantic finale in IT: The Final Chapter.
IT Should Have Been Written And Shot, In Total, From The Start
While we’re on the subject of structure, that leads to one final problem with IT’s overall execution: the entire story, no matter how many parts it ran through, should have been written and shot from the start of the story. In its current form, IT Chapter Twohad to use de-aging CGI on its young cast and took a good two years to drop after IT wowed the world.
Instead of risking the loss of that momentum started in 2017, the entirety of IT should have been written and shot in one, fluid production period, and released within months of each other. At the most, there should have been a year between IT and IT Chapter Two, so that audiences wouldn’t have to worry about forgetting too much in-between films.
Perhaps there may have been an option where previous writers Chase Palmer and Cary Joji Fukunaga would have been able to be hired as consultants to help craft IT Chapter Two’s story, so the magic that made IT a collective triumph between their original script and Gary Dauberman’s punch-ups might have been preserved. But ultimately, even if everything was executed in a tighter window, the impact of IT Chapter Two might have felt more like the conclusion of a story, rather than a sequel to a separate film.
No matter how you look at IT and IT Chapter Two’s collective story, the fact remains that as satisfying as the film’s conclusion is, it could have been a lot better in its execution. Maybe in the proposed director’s cuts for each film, as well as the monstrous supercut that Andy Muschietti has been talking up, there’s a chance that Stephen King’s landmark story of childhood trauma might be told in a better way.
As it stands now, we’ve got IT on home video and IT Chapter Twoin theaters now, ready for audiences to judge for themselves as to whether or not Stephen King’s story works in this current incarnation or not.
Thus far no plot details for the fourth entry in this action-heavy franchise have been revealed yet, but considering how important Laurence Fishburne has become to this grand story, is it possible we could see more Matrix actors be included in John Wick: Chapter 4 or somewhere else down the line, like Carrie-Anne Moss or Hugo Weaving? Here’s what Chad Stahelski, the director of the first three John Wick movies, had to say on the matter:
While he won’t reveal yet whether or not he’s directing John Wick: Chapter 4, Chad Stahelski did tell ComicBookMovie that he will remain involved with the franchise “in some capacity” until “probably” his career is over. So rest assured, he’ll have a hand in casting for John Wick: Chapter 4 and any more sequels that might follow, and he sounds game to bring in more Matrix alumni in, provided it’s under the right circumstances.
As Chad Stahelski sees it, he doesn’t want to bring any other Matrix performers into the John Wick world just for the hell of it. First Stahelski and his team need to create characters for the next story, and then if they decide that someone like Carrie-Anne Moss is a good fit for a role, then they can move from there. Even if they don’t get as much screen time as someone like The Bowery King, at least they’ll have a meaningful presence as opposed to just being thrown in for a cameo appearance.
Casting news for John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum didn’t emerge until early 2018, so presumably we’ll have to wait until early next year for official announcements regarding who John Wick: Chapter 4 is bringing in and who’s returning. There’s certainly no shortage of ways one of the Matrix people could be involved in the story, whether it’s as an ally or enemy to John, but we’ll just have to wait and see if they’re deemed the right fit for any these new players.
As for familiar faces, one can assume that along with Laurence Fishburne reprising Bowery King alongside Keanu Reeves’ John, we’ll also reunite with Ian McShane’s Winson and Lance Reddick’s Charon, who’ve been around since the first movie and, despite appearances at the end of Chapter 3, will ideally still be aiding John in his fight against The High Table, even though it’d have to be done discreetly.
John Wick: Chapter 4 opens in theaters on May 21, 2021, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on its development. In the meantime, keep track of the rest of this year’s movies with our 2019 release schedule.
Maxo Kream and Megan Thee Stallion have released a romantic new video for “She Live” that’s equally about love and competition. It’s a throwback to VH1’s classic dating shows like Flavor Of Love that featured people trying to win the attention of celebrities through dates, arguments, and hilarious adventures. The two rappers even parody the extended scenes that played during these shows’ credits. It’s a perfect recreation.
Dating shows used to be all of the rage in the mid-to-late 2000s. Who could forget Flav’s hilarious antics on Flavor Of Love? What about Tiffany Pollard’s dominating personality on follow-up series I Love New York? These romantic competitions on VH1, along with others that featured artists like rock star Bret Michaels (Rock Of Love) and Ray J (For The Love Of Ray J) helped shape pop culture towards the end of and turn of the decade, offering glimpses of the hilarity and chaos that comes with competing for an entertainer’s love.
In 2019, both Megan Thee Stallion and Maxo Kream would have no problem having scores of potential partners lining up to compete for their love. In their new video for “She Live,” the pair do just that. Maxo has a diverse cast of women ready to compete for his love and Megan has a cast of men that can’t stop drooling throughout the video. There are a few arguments, some valuable pool-side time and some driving the boat (courtesy of Megan, of course) that bring the high octane energy the atmosphere, just like what existed in those golden older days.
“She Live” appears on Maxo Kream’s recently released album Brandon Banks.
Watch Megan Thee Stallion and Maxo Kream’s romantic competition in “She Live” up above.
So Hall pitched a daytime show rooted in those conversations to Disney-ABC. They were in. Her self-titled talk show will be syndicated across the country on ABC affiliate stations and feature a mix of real women and celebrities. The format will vary from episode to episode, ranging from interviews to lifestyle segments, but Hall wants to give the traditional talk show structure an injection of 2019 culture. She says she’ll begin all conversations by asking guests about their sexual orientation and relationship status, before diving into a round of real talk.
In many ways, Tamron Hall will be the anti-Dr. Phil. Think: no paternity tests, but plenty of hormone testing. Or as Hall puts it, “If you go on [Dr. Phil] your relationship is already in trouble. It’s not fixable. For us, it’s having that authentic conversation you would have with your girlfriends. Like about fertility. I interviewed a woman who recently froze her eggs at 35 because she thought it was putting pressure on her relationships. That’s a major modern woman decision. That’s our show.”
Celebrities will also be prominently featured on Tamron Hall, but she plans to engage them on these issues. Her dream guest is Celine Dion—not to discuss her fashion or iconic career, but rather her fertility journey. “Celine’s a well-known person,” Hall explains, “but with the birth of her children that was a woman who wanted to be a mother and did what it took to get there.”
And while the past few months have been an embarrassment of riches (albeit hard-fought ones), Hall is now figuring out how to “have it all.” She employs a nanny (something she wishes more women in the public eye would be vocal about); she insists on a dedicated half hour of cuddles with her son at 6:45 each morning; her husband, music manager Steven Greener, begins his day a bit later so he can finish Moses’ morning care. Even with the help, it’s not an easy schedule. “There’s no balance. I don’t know what that means,” she says. “There are some days where I look at my son in his crib in the morning when it’s dark and I’m flying a 5:00 in the morning flight to go promote the show, and I start crying because when it will be midnight [when I get back to the apartment] and he’ll be asleep. So he went the whole day without seeing me. But that’s the reality of it.”
These issues—marriage, motherhood, and figuring out how to make it all work—are the types of conversations Hall has been spending her days unpacking with her team, all of whom she hand selected. Early on, Hall says, she went to a development meeting for the program and found herself in a room of all men. Hall put her foot down: She never wanted to be the only woman in the room again. “Daytime television is predominantly watched by women,” she explains. “[Men are] not representative of the viewership. We need diversity in television, and it’s not just race. It’s geography, it’s different walks of life.” All of which she took care to have reflected in her staff. Hall’s creative team is now 30% black women. Many of the senior staffers are mothers. Women fill out nearly all of the key roles.
Now, with Tamron Hall on air, Hall wants to give herself the opportunity to marvel at how far she’s come. “I get emotional thinking about it. It’s been a hell of a journey,” she says. “People tell you to be proud of yourself. We tell our friends and our kids they should be proud. Yet when you actually are proud of yourself, you get shamed for that pride. With this show, whatever the outcome, I will be proud of myself.”
Aside from specific Halloween costume ideas, Pinterest identified a few larger trends, like how inclusive options are becoming more sought-after. (Searches for “Plus size halloween costumes for women” have gone up 90%, while those for “wheelchair Halloween costumes” have gone up by 26%.) Couples costumes are more popular than BFF costumes, according to search volume on the platform. And if you’re in California, Florida, New York, or one of eight other states, odds are you’ll run into a Powerpuff Girl on October 31.
If you’re having trouble narrowing down what you want to be this year, take a look at the top 10 trending Halloween costumes for women in 2019, according to Pinterest.
Alice In Wonderland
The beloved Lewis Carroll character never seems to go out of style.
L’Oréal Paris has been on a mission lately to make one thing clear—every woman is “worth it,” no matter her age. Over the past few years, the beauty brand’s been working to expand its roster of spokeswomen beyond the typical starlets in their twenties. Jane Fonda, Helen Mirren, Courteney Cox, and Vanessa Williams have all been tapped to be a part of the L’Oréal family. In fact, as of this fall, its portfolio included nine women over the age of 40. Now its latest announcement makes 10.
At 54 years old, actress and activist Viola Davis is the new face of L’Oréal Paris, making it her first-ever contract with a big beauty brand. (And if you’ve ever seen her walk a red carpet or watched a minute of her on How to Get Away With Murder, you’ll join me in saying it’s about freaking time.)
Davis announced the news on Instagram today, writing: “The self affirming words of, ‘Because I’m worth it’ have always given me chill bumps. What a joy it will be to not just say them over and over again…but to spread the message of worth to women around the world. It is a gift.”
Introduced by L’Oréal’s deputy general manager (and Glamour Women of the Year, All Year honoree) Anne Marie Nelson-Bogle at an intimate press event yesterday, Viola told a crowd of beauty editors exactly what being labeled “worth it” means to her.
“I believe that the greatest privilege is to be who you are,” she said. “No apologies for your age, your color, anything. As long as you’re you and living up to who that is and what that means, you’re worth it. That’s self-worth.”
She went on to tell the room how when she began acting she felt pressure to conform to Hollywood’s “classic” (read: stale, singular, Eurocentric ) definition of “pretty.”
“Earlier in my career when I was much more affected, [conforming] almost felt like prerequisite to success, which is crazy if you think about it—what do looks have to do with acting ability?” she said. “In order to succeed, you had to meet these impossible standards. Now I am much more secure in who I am, but there was a time that I did feel those pressures and succumb to them to a degree.”
But also, she pointed to her role as Annalise Keating on HTGAWM (who wasn’t originally written to be a black woman) as proof Hollywood is evolving. “To have been a part of that shift is so powerful and humbling,” she said.