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Black Panther’s Letitia Wright Knew She’d Get The Role Of Shuri

For Letitia Wright, nothing will be quite the same after Black Panther. Since the towering success of the Marvel film earlier this year, the 25-year-old actress is the distinct face of comic book character Shuri. After auditioning to be the badass, super-smart teenager, Wright embodies well in the MCU, she already had a good feeling about her chances of scoring the role. In her words:

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Letitia Wright talked about the life-changing moment. She spoke of her confidence in nabbing the part to her agent Femi Oguns, who founded her college, the London Identity School of Acting, which aims to foster diverse talent. Oguns also represents other breakout stars, including Star Wars‘ John Boyega and Bad Times at the El Royale lead Cynthia Erivo. The actress likely auditioned beside a lot of other young hopefuls hoping to be a part of the MCU or just catch a big break.

The young actress has spoken out before about the important of faith to her career. Letitia Wright struggled with depression just as she was starting to get calls for more high-profile roles. To focus on finding her balance again, Wright even turned down a movie opposite Nicole Kidman prior to saying yes to Black Panther. While many actors are taught under the mindset of taking anything you can get, Wright has been autonomous in her short career, picking up roles that speak to her personally. Wright also told THR:

With Black Panther, Letitia Wright felt the power of the film before reading the story. She has said that she knew it was going to be a special project that would represent women well early in the process. Wright is frequently getting approached by Black Panther fans who discuss the importance of her character in the film. Shuri is an equal to that of her superhero brother T’Challa, with incredible abilities of her own to bring to the table.

When Letitia Wright signed on to be Shuri for the Black Panther, it was just the beginning of the character’s story on the big screen. She reprised her role in this summer’s Avengers: Infinity War and will likely find a place in Avengers 4 and the upcoming Black Panther 2, with director Ryan Coogler returning to direct the latter.

The actress continues to be picky about her roles, as she is only set to star in Black Panther co-star Danai Gurira’s play The Convert on a London stage starting in December. The grounded actress can definitely afford to so early in her career since she dazzled on screen as Shuri.

Tristan Thompson Refused To Watch His Cheating Scandal On KUWTK With Khloe Kardashian

Tristan Thompson’s alleged cheating on Khloe Kardashian with multiple women was a big story in the early half of 2018, and while talk about it had died down, Keeping Up With The Kardashians recently brought it back into the limelight. While viewers were undoubtedly thrilled to see the then-pregnant Khloe and her sister’s reactions to it, Thompson reportedly was not. It’s being said the NBA player refused to watch the episode highlighting his cheating scandal with Khloe, despite her asking if he wanted to.

As for Khloe Kardashian, she may have watched the episode a couple of times. Kardashian had seen the episode ahead of time but apparently wanted to see if Tristan Thompson would be up to watch the Keeping Up With The Kardashians episode as a couple. Us Weekly reported Thompson gave a firm “no” in response, with the reason being he wished to focus on basketball. Thompson plays for Cleveland Cavaliers, who currently have the worst record in the Eastern Conference.

Tristan Thompson’s alleged excuse makes sense, at least from a basketball perspective. When news broke of the cheating scandal, the basketball star struggled in successive games. His performance seemed to have led to his temporary status as a bench player, which was a big deal considering his star status and it being NBA playoff season. If there’s a chance re-living the cheating scandal on Keeping Up With The Kardashians would’ve affected Thompson’s basketball game, it’s understandable why he’d stay away.

Whether Khloe Kardashian actually wanted the father of their now 6-month old child to watch with them or not is up in the air. One thing that could be the case is that Kardashian’s inspiration to ask Tristan Thompson to tune in may have come from the outside. Kardashian responded to a fan on social media the night of the airing who was curious to see if Thompson was watching how his scandal affected the family.

Khloe Kardashian tweeted a lot of her thoughts and feelings throughout the episode and gave interested followers a better idea of her headspace during the incident. The incident, for those unaware, involved a video that showed Tristan Thompson kissing a woman at a club just days before Khloe would give birth to their daughter. Soon after, other videos surfaced showing more possible infidelity by Thompson, which obviously upset Khloe.

Khloe was upset, and Keeping Up With The Kardashians showed the rest of the clan’s general astonishment at the situation. Of the more off-beat takes, Scott Disick made sure to mention the situation made him appear to be more of a gentleman in comparison, and Mary Jo thought Khloe should maybe swear off basketball players and switch to dating an accountant.

Keeping Up With The Kardashians airs on E! Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET. For a look at what else is happening in television over the next couple of months, visit our fall premiere guide.

Hugh Jackman’s Kid Uses His Dad’s Status As Wolverine To Pick Up Girls

As Hugh Jackman recounted to Entertainment Tonight at the Hollywood Film Awards on Sunday, his 18-year-old son Oscar Maximilian Jackman isn’t the least bit embarrassed by his dad and his worldwide fame. In fact, the young man uses his father’s well-known portrayal of Wolverine for his own personal benefit, particularly when it comes to picking up ladies. Oscar has been doing it since he was 13, according to Hugh Jackman, and the actor is apparently a good wingman when it comes to helping his son get attention with the ladies. Consider that yet another perk of being Hugh Jackman.

Everyone needs a wing-person or two, and Oscar Maximilian Jackman is lucky enough to have a father that attracts more-than-a-little bit of attention. As for Hugh Jackman, he hasn’t used his fame to bring in any ladies. He’s been happily married to his wife, Deborra Lee Furness since 1996 — before he dawned the claws and became the famous X-Men character. And it doesn’t sound like Hugh Jackman would know the first thing about attracting attention to himself when it comes to the ladies. At least, that’s what Hugh Jackman claims by his own admission. He doesn’t think he has any “game.”

Is Hugh Jackman perhaps being modest, or does he not know the first thing about being a ladies man? It’s hard to know, but it sounds like Oscar Maximilian Jackman isn’t afraid to use the Academy Award-nominated actor’s fame and notoriety to his own benefit when it comes to picking up girls. When it comes to the latest news about Hugh Jackman and other celebrities, you’ll be sure to learn about the news here at CinemaBlend.

How Does Negan Use The Bathroom In His Cell On The Walking Dead?

Season 9 of The Walking Dead has stuck Negan in a very different status quo than he was used to in previous seasons. The former tyrant of the zombie apocalypse lost the war, Lucille, and his freedom at the end of Season 8, and he’s been stuck in a grubby jail cell in Alexandria. We haven’t seen that much of Negan’s new home, which isn’t all that big. Naturally, some fans have wondered: how does Negan use the bathroom? Showrunner Angela Kang weighed in, saying this:

Just because The Walking Dead hasn’t showcased Negan’s “bathroom” doesn’t mean any of the Alexandrians have been tasked with taking him out of his cell to use the facilities every day! Michonne might have felt compelled to kill him herself if she’d earned that particular job, although I wouldn’t have put it past Negan to foul himself just to get some attention from his captors. Fortunately, that was never an issue anybody had to deal with.

Of course, a bed pan or bucket isn’t all that glamorous for Negan, and somebody at Alexandria must have the task of emptying and cleaning it, which… just sounds unpleasant. It’s not like Negan is a guest that anybody is happy to accommodate. I would not want to draw the short straw and earn that particular task! The good news is that we haven’t even had to really get a look at the vessel he uses.

Interestingly, Angela Kang’s comments to The Huffington Post do indicate that the Walking Dead production team has put some thought into how Negan’s bathroom situation works. Apparently, his bed pan/bucket will have a part to play later in Season 9. Kang didn’t reveal the context, but I’m imagining Negan either whacking somebody in the face with it or flinging the contents at somebody. That said, maybe it could be as simple as Michonne or somebody else confiscating the pan for some reason. We’ll have to wait and see.

If any of those scenarios are accurate, they could point toward Negan changing his tune about wanting to die and join Lucille, as he communicated to Maggie in her final episode for now. Using his bucket (or the contents) as a weapon seems like the action of somebody who wants to fight and live. Perhaps something happened during the time jump that saw Judith Grimes grow up into a cowboy hat-wearing, gun-toting, life-saving badass that changed Negan’s outlook on life.

Like other surviving characters who haven’t left the area, Negan will have a whole new look when the action picks up again after the time jump. Only time will tell if his new look isn’t the only new thing about him six years in the future.

Tune in to The Walking Dead on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC for new episodes. Despite low ratings in Season 9, the Walking Dead universe is expanding in some huge ways moving forward, including by bringing Rick Grimes back in a twist that few could have seen coming after the announcement of Andrew Lincoln’s departure.

How Queen’s Brian May Helped Lucy Boynton Prepare Her Bohemian Rhapsody Role

Actors can draw inspiration from unexpected sources. When one is doing a biopic, it’s vital if the subject you are personifying is still available. You could learn so much just by speaking with them repeatedly. But for Bohemian Rhapsody, Lucy Boynton spoke with the people who surrounded her character, Mary Austin, to get the full sense of how to properly play her. When speaking of her prep, Boynton told CinemaBlend:

One could argue that Mary Austin was the most important person in Freddie Mercury’s life… and that’s saying a lot. Bohemian Rhapsody tells the account of their friendship, which began as a romance but changed over time as Mercury embraced his homosexuality.

But Mary Austin didn’t leave Freddie’s life at that time, instead staying around him as a close friend and support system. In fact, in a 1985 interview with the New York Post, Mercury basically called his relationship with Mary a “common-law” marriage, stating that no other lover could ever replace Mary in his heart, and in his life.

It makes for a complicated role for Lucy Boynton to perfect over the course of a two-hour movie that also needs to get to all of Freddie Mercury’s milestones with Queen. Basically, you couldn’t make a Freddie Mercury movie without finding room for Mary Austin. But because Bohemian Rhapsody is also a Queen film, Mary has to spend some time on the sidelines.

So in order to figure out what made this lady tick, and why she was important to Freddie Mercury’s life and process, Sing Street standout Lucy Boynton went to the sources that could help her breathe life into her portrayal, and it benefitted Bohemian Rhapsody in the process.

Here’s Lucy Boynton, speaking with CinemaBlend about her preparation for the Queen biopic:

Bohemian Rhapsody has been a surprise hit. While many thought it could do well, the film got off to a huge jump at the box office, earning more than $50 million in its opening frame. It could hold on to the top spot at the box office, though it’d need to hold off The Girl in the Spider’s Web and The Grinch to pull that off.

What will you go see this weekend?

Halsey Goes Emo Again With Her Tender Cover Of Juice WLRD’s ‘Lucid Dreams’

There’s long been talk in hip-hop of, say, Drake’s Take Care being, actually, an emo album. And it is, kind of. But it’s emo in a more conceptual way — not in quite the same way that newer hip-hop artists like Lil Uzi Vert, the late Lil Peep, and Juice WRLD make actual emo-descended music. Uzi’s “XO Tour Llif3” conveys the same sad mania that defined every wave of emo, especially in the 2000s, and Peep’s “Falling Down” sounds like Good Charlotte (who are barely emo, but you get the idea).

“Lucid Dreams,” the breakout hit of 19-year-old Juice WRLD, follows suit, with the young artist adopting a flow that hybridizes emo’s traditional whine with the melodic cadences of the post-808s & Heartbreak rap world. That’s reason enough for Halsey, herself a fan of young sad boy music, to cover the song, as she recently did in BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge.

Instead of doubling down on the song’s darkness, Halsey renders it a soft ballad, singing it with only the accompaniment of a gentle guitar. Unlike Anderson .Paak’s sneering, tongue-in-cheek, pop-punk take on the Juice WRLD track, Halsey’s is frail and quiet. It’s in keeping with the singer’s recent stripped-down approach following her newest single, the heart-rending “Without Me,” a diaristic cataloging of her relationship with G-Eazy.

At this past weekend’s EMA, she ended her performance literally soaked and chained to a post, so yeah. Things are getting pretty intense in Halsey’s world WRLD. “Lucid Dreams” shows that, as does “Without Me,” which she also performed in the studio.

Check out Halsey taking on Juice WRLD above, then get to know the man himself via MTV’s Push campaign for the month of November. Find all the good stuff right here.

Could Mayans M.C.’s New Sons Of Anarchy Character Show Up More In Season 2?

Spoilers below for the Mayans M.C. season finale, so be sure to watch before reading on.

Fans expected FX’s Mayans M.C. to features important tie-ins with Kurt Sutter’s original series Sons of Anarchy, but the Season 1 finale went next-level in connecting the two shows. Beyond looping SAMCRO into the Reyes matriarch’s death, “Cuervo/Tz’ikb’uul” also introduced a new S.O.A. club prospect named Hallorann. The beer-seeking character was played by Ray Nicholson, son of Hollywood icon Jack Nicholson. Such star status should cement his place in Season 2, right? According to Kurt Sutter, signs point to yes.

The reason why Kurt Sutter uses “would” instead of “will” is presumably because Season 2’s narrative hasn’t been set in stone just yet. Speaking with EW, Kurt Sutter says that Ray Nicholson’s Hallorann would be around in Season 2 presuming the Mayans club will continue to work with Charming’s Sons of Anarchy. So mark this under “likely to happen, but in no certain terms.”

As part of the Mayans’ deal with the Galindo cartel, SAMCRO will be overseeing one leg of the drug-running process. Logic would dictate the Sons being around in a big way because of that deal, right? Perhaps not so much, and it’s all because of Hallorann’s connection with David Labrava’s Sons of Anarchy fan favorite Happy Lowman.

Viewers learned in the finale that Happy was responsible for killing E.Z. and Angel’s mom, so he’s the one the younger Reyes sibling has been tracking all season. It was while chasing Happy down that E.Z. was called out to by the cop that he impulsively pulled the trigger on, sending him to prison. As such, there are no guarantees that E.Z. or Angel will want anything to do with Happy or Hallorann in Season 2.

Son of Jack Nicholson and Rebecca Broussard, Ray Nicholson landed the Mayans M.C. gig because of his own connection with Kurt Sutter. And the way the co-creator puts it, the experience might have been an overwhelming one for the burgeoning actor.

Even there, Kurt Sutter didn’t quite seem to be solidifying any assertions that Ray Nicholson’s SAMCRO prospect will be present and accounted for in Season 2. Maybe that’s just Sutter’s way of keeping us on our toes when thinking about how E.Z. is going to handle his new look on life.

Having just chosen to remain a Mayan by finding a new sponsor, E.Z. either has to completely ignore the Happy situation, or figure out a way to take care of it in the most clandestine way possible. Which, for all intents and purposes, could mean he’d need to find out some personal information about Happy from a certain curly-haired SAMCRO hopeful.

As one of the more popular new cable shows of 2018, Mayans M.C. will be the subject of much discussion as Kurt Sutter and showrunner Elgin James mold Season 2 into shape. While waiting to hear about when the FX hit will return, familiarize yourself with the rest of the fall TV premiere schedule to find more bangs for your buck.

Kathy Manning Lost in the Midterm Elections. Her Daughter Writes about What She Saw Her Mom Win.

Eleven months ago, my mom decided to run for Congress in the 2018 midterm elections. Last night, I felt prouder of her than ever.

Here’s the catch—she lost.

From the beginning, the experience watching my mother run was inspiring. Last December, Kathy Manning decided it was time to step up and take action; she couldn’t just stand by and watch as our country veered down a dark and twisted path.

Her decision to run pushed me to quit my own job to do something I felt was more important, too. I started a new audio-first media company to tell the stories of women like her. Through that work, I realized that my mom was by no means alone in her quest to preserve the values that really urge our country towards greatness. I got to know 12 other women running for the House, each of whom said in one way or another, “If not me, who? If not now, when?” Each of whom felt the personal impact of policy and said, “The arc of the universe may bend towards justice, but we’re going to have to push it.”

As Election Day grew ever closer, I spent afternoons knocking on doors in areas of my home district I had never visited. I met strangers at their homes, at churches, in restaurants, and on streets who were so inspired by Kathy Manning that they beamed at the opportunity to shake my hand.

Through grueling, seemingly never-ending days of work, my mom shined. She listened to the concerns of people throughout the district and nightly reported back stories of the tenacity of the people in our area.

Still, she lost. It would be lying by omission to gloss over the pain and anxiety of last night. The race was an uphill battle from the start—North Carolina’s districts have already been deemed too gerrymandered by the courts. They were cut with “surgical precision” to keep districts, including the 13th, where she ran, red. At the first signs of a loss, I felt both wired and deeply saddened.

Enter Kathy Manning. She arrived at the watch party without any sign of tears. She embraced person after person with love and gratitude for the hard work done by all. She asked about other women she knew were running throughout the country, and she was happy to hear so many of her peers won. A record number of women will serve in our next House of Representatives and her fellow Democrats retook the chamber.

When my mom took the stage to speak, she proved once and for all, that Kathy Manning is not just the leader we wanted, she’s the leader we need.

As I looked out at the crowd during her speech on election night, I saw the faces of hundreds of people filled with love, propelled by hope, moved to keep on fighting. She said it better than I ever could: “Because what really makes America great is our desire to be a land of opportunity for all. What really makes us great is our history of setting high ideals and striving to meet them. We may stumble along the way, but we must continue to fight for what is right.”

Kathy Manning’s run for Congress was just the beginning. The way she acted when faced with defeat stoked a full-on fire of activism—not just within me, but within people across the North Carolina’s 13th District and across the country.

A better future can be a reality. Some parts of the country felt it last night. Some didn’t. But midterm elections weren’t our last chance. Change is coming. As this chapter comes to a close, it’s time to double-down and charge ahead.

As my mom said last night, “We know change is possible, and we know change is required. We must continue working together to make this country what it can be and what it should be.”


Jenny Kaplan is the co-founder and CEO of Wonder Media Network, an audio-first media company focused on women and politics. She’s also the host of its flagship podcast Women Belong in the House. Kaplan was formerly an award-winning reporter at Bloomberg News.

MORE: A Pep Talk for Democrats: It’s OK. We Won.

Natalie Portman Thought Black Swan Was A Docudrama While She Was Making It

As far as contemporary directors go, there are few as stylized and intense as Darren Aronofsky. The 49 year old filmmaker and writer often focuses on a mixture of the surreal and gritty psychological turmoil, and has seen same major success for his efforts. While mother! fell flat and was met with some umbrage over controversial scenes in the third act, Oscar bait movies like The Wrestler and Black Swan are modern classics.

The latter starred Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, and focused on professional dancers at the New York Ballet Company. The movie balances grounded scenes with full blown moments of horror, earning Natalie Portman an Oscar for Best Actress in the process. But Portman herself didn’t even know the film’s true tone, as she recently revealed in an interview:

Despite spending months training for and filming Black Swan, it appears that Natalie Portman was still in the dark about aspects of the acclaimed thriller. Namely, that it was even a thriller at all. Because she was expecting a far less horrifying venture into the world of professional ballet.

Natalie Portman’s comments to Vanity Fair are sure to surprise fans and cinephiles alike, especially as Black Swan ended up being such a major moment in the actress’ long career. The prep and work involved was a major part of the movie’s narrative leading up to the Oscars, as Portman reportedly trained for six months in order to play Nina, and transform her body into that of a dancer’s.

Add on the exhausting nature of filming, and the intense ballet training she had to do, and you’d think Natalie Portman would know about as much as Darren Aronofsky about Black Swan. But she didn’t, as Aronofsky had a specific dark vision in mind which she simply wasn’t privy to. It all paid off in the end, as Black Swan is a fascinating mixture of psychological horror and very “real” scenes within the ballet company.

Hearing more about Darren Aronofsky’s process, one has to wonder how it all went down with mother! Cinephiles assume Aronofsky would do it again with 2007’s allegory, but it ended up being panned but critics and being a box office failure. That film had an even more specific vision than Black Swan, so how much did the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, and Michelle Pfeiffer know about the project?

Darren Aronofsky doesn’t have any directing gigs coming down the line, but CinemaBlend will keep you updated on his career as information becomes public. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

How Outlaw King Stands Apart From Braveheart, According To The Stars And Director

Netflix’s upcoming Outlaw King, which hits the streaming service and select theaters on November 9, has drawn inevitable comparisons to Mel Gibson‘s Braveheart because both films deal with the Scottish Wars of Independence. But while the two films are set in the same historical period, these are two very different movies. For star Chris Pine, who plays Robert the Bruce in the film, Outlaw King stands apart from Braveheart by telling a less romanticized story, as he explained to CinemaBlend:

According to Chris Pine, the biggest difference seems to come down to the way these respective films tell their stories. He highlights how Braveheart has all the hallmarks of a classic Hollywood epic with rousing music and a good guy hero you can root for. The good guys are the good guys, and the bad guys are the bad guys, and you can watch William Wallace (Mel Gibson) make a stirring speech and then cheer when he and his army kill a bunch of guys.

Outlaw King apparently sets itself apart in this respect by not going for the cheap pop. Chris Pine told CinemaBlend during a recent press event in Scotland that director David Mackenzie doesn’t like schmaltz and indicates that this film will not be so morally black and white. Outlaw King isn’t going to tell you how to feel, it’s going to make you work for it and decide yourself.

Chris Pine also mentioned that he wants the audience to feel “exhausted” by the end of Outlaw King. I take his comments to mean that the Netflix film is very gritty and bloody and more representative of the real horrors of war. Considering that Braveheart was far from a PG movie, that’s saying something.

During his exclusive interview with the cast in Scotland, CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg also had the pleasure of speaking with Outlaw King‘s director David Mackenzie, who offered his take on the two films:

On its surface, Outlaw King could be considered a spiritual sequel to Braveheart in that it follows Robert the Bruce while Braveheart followed William Wallace. The two figures appear in both films, but the stories each film is telling are different. It seems like Outlaw King may also be a bit more accurate historically than the Best Picture winner was.

David Mackenzie also speaks to the cinematic style being different and that’s something Chris Pine also touched on, indicating that this film will feel a bit more modern. That should give Outlaw King a different look and feel than its predecessor. Just from the trailers you can tell that Outlaw King is not a remake of Braveheart or an imitation. It is telling a very different story in a different way and perhaps these two will still make for a fun (and long) double feature.

You can check out Eric’s interview with David Mackenzie, Chris Pine and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the video below.

Outlaw King begins streaming on Netflix on Friday, November 9th. Check out our Netflix premiere guide for everything else coming to the streaming service the rest of this year.