Ricky Gervais believes the success of his acidic Golden Globes monologues was down to the fact audiences are sick of “virtue signalling” from celebrities.
The comedian said the 2020 ceremony — his fifth and final hosting stint — was his favourite because people no longer sought to defend the celebs he skewered with his jokes.
He told The Sun that the backlash which greeted his first appearance as Globes host in 2010 was largely absent by 2020.
“With all of the austerity and people struggling, they think ‘why are these people lecturing me? They’re going to an awards ceremony in a limo and are telling me to recycle?’,” said Gervais.
He added: “People just got sick of it, just got sick of virtue signalling. And they were like a beacon to aim their wrath at.
“The people with nothing became tired of being lectured by people who had everything.”
Gervais acknowledged that it’s now harder for him to “punch up” at famous faces given his own success, both as a stand-up comedian and as the creator of shows including The Office and Netflix hit After Life.
He said: “In comedy, traditionally, we are jesters. We have low status. So I’m down in the mud with the other peasants, having a go.
“I’ve got to be on their side. That’s why I go out there with a beer and look like a slob, because I’ve got to show people that I’m on their side.
“And that’s what is hard nowadays, to be a stand-up comedian and keep your lower status, because everyone knows how much you’ve earned.”
The Golden Globes are set to take place this weekend in a stripped-down form, following controversy last year around the lack of diversity in the membership of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Broadcaster NBC refused to televise the ceremony until these issues were addressed, leaving the 2022 awards to take place without a television audience.
Tom Beasley·ContributorSat, 8 January 2022, 2:24 pm·2-min read
Ben Affleck has revealed that making the 2017 superhero movie Justice League was “the worst experience” he has had in his career.
The 49-year-old star reprised his role as Batman in the blockbuster, after portraying the Caped Crusader for the first time in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice the previous year.
He told the LA Times that the movie came about at a bad time in his life, intensified by the various chaotic elements of the creative process and director Zack Snyder’s decision to step aside after his daughter took her own life.
Affleck said: “It was really Justice League that was the nadir for me. That was a bad experience because of a confluence of things: my own life, my divorce, being away too much, the competing agendas and then Zack’s personal tragedy and the reshooting.
“It just was the worst experience. It was awful. It was everything that I didn’t like about this.
“That became the moment where I said ‘I’m not doing this anymore’. It’s not even about, like, Justice League was so bad. Because it could have been anything.”
Justice League was intended as a culmination of the DC Extended Universe to revival the Avengers movies made by rival Marvel.
The production was hit by disagreements between director Zack Snyder and the studio, with the director later opting to step aside in the wake of his daughter’s death.
Joss Whedon, who had directed the first two Avengers movies, stepped in to shepherd controversial reshoots which amped up the comedy elements of the film and discarded some of Snyder’s bigger ideas.
A fan campaign was subsequently launched to secure the release of the “Snyder Cut”, which ultimately came to fruition when the four-hour Zack Snyder’s Justice League was unveiled on HBO MAX last year.
The re-edited version of the movie debuted to mostly strong reviews, with critics noting it was a marked improvement on the cut Whedon delivered for cinema release.
Alec Baldwin has still not handed his phone to police in New Mexico following the fatal ‘Rust’ shooting.
The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office were granted a search warrant for Alec’s phone in December, after investigators into the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins – who was shot and killed on the set of ‘Rust’ by a gun Alec was holding – had suspicions that evidence related to the case may be on the device.
But this week, the Sheriff’s Office stated they had still not received the 63-year-old actor’s iPhone, and they are now “actively working” with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department in New York – where Alec has a home – to get the information they need.
The two departments are also working with the New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney’s Office, as well as Alec’s lawyers.
Alec could be seen in photos pacing around the outdoor set while talking on the phone immediately after the fatal shooting.
The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office filed for a search warrant on December 17, as they said material “relevant to the investigation” could be on the device.
Detective Alexandria Hancock wrote in the search warrant: “Affiant is requesting a warrant for the seizure and search of Alec Baldwins’ cell phone to search for any evidence relating to the death investigation of Halyna Hutchins.
“Affiant believes there may be evidence on the phone, due to individuals using cellular phones during and/or after the commission of crime(s).
“Such information, if it exists, may be material and relevant to this investigation.
“Affiant was also made aware there were several emails and text messages sent and received regarding the movie production ‘Rust’ in the course of interviews.”
Despite being co-operative with law enforcement, Alec’s lawyers had refused to hand over his phone without a search warrant.
A Florida man who was seen running away from an Oath Keeper’s rally was arrested on Friday after authorities found him in possession of a homemade explosive.
Garrett Smith, 22, was charged with loitering and making and possessing a destructive device, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. As of Friday he had not yet posted a $300,000 bond.
A subsequent search of Smith’s house turned up “hand-style grenades and a pipe explosive,” though his political affiliations were not immediately clear, nor was any potential motive.
“He’s an odd duck, that’s for sure,” Dennis Fuller, who helps run a religious retreat in Tennessee called Young Life which Smith attended in 2019, told The Daily Beast.
Fuller said he hasn’t spoken to Smith in two years, and that he would not have predicted his alleged bomb-making, but that Smith “just doesn’t think like everyone else.
“I’ve been working with college kids for 20 years. He just had an odd way about him,” Fuller said.
The rally on Thursday night took place outside of Pinellas County Jail on behalf of alleged Capitol rioter Jeremy Brown, an Oath Keeper who was arrested last year for participating in the insurrection.
An FBI search warrant published in October revealed that Brown—a former Green Beret—may have also accidentally incriminated himself for illegally stockpiling weapons when he posted his home for sale on Zillow. One interior photo showed a whiteboard that detailed his alleged stash, including “flash bangs” he was not authorized to possess.
Brown has downplayed his involvement in the Capitol uprising. “We weren’t even anywhere close to the Capitol when we found out the Capitol got breached,” he told WFLA in October. “So, the idea the Oath Keepers organized some sort of conspiracy? We were there for security and some of them made the mistake of getting caught up in the moment.”
Authorities are still probing Smith’s proximity to this week’s rally, which was cleared and searched after law enforcement found his explosive.
“Smith is what we call a sleeper, and these are the most concerning individuals because there are no opportunities to intervene and thwart their criminal activity before they actually act,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told the Tampa Bay Times.
Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment ReporterSat, 8 January 2022, 7:52 pm
Alec Baldwin has said any suggestion that he is not complying with a search warrant for his phone is a “lie” and feels the only way the death of Halyna Hutchins can be honoured is to “find out the truth”.
Authorities in the US issued a warrant in December for the actor’s mobile phone to be seized and searched, as part of the ongoing investigation into the death of Hutchins.
It is believed there may be evidence on the phone relevant to the incident in which a prop gun went off, fatally injuring the 42-year-old cinematographer on the Rust film set in New Mexico.
Baldwin, 63, discussed the search warrant in a video he shared to Instagram, where he first speaks of his joy at being reunited with a sentimental packet of Splenda sweetener given to him by a female fan.
He then says: “Any suggestion that I am not complying with requests or orders or demands or search warrants about my phone, that’s bullshit, that’s a lie.
“This is a process where one state makes the request of another state. Someone from another state can’t come to you and say, ‘Give me your phone, give me this, give me that’. They can’t do that. They’ve got to go through the state you live in.
“And it’s a process that takes time and they have to specify what exactly they want.
“They can’t just go through your phone and take your photos or your love letters to your wife or what have you, I really don’t know.
“But of course, we are 1,000% going to comply with all that, we’re perfectly fine with that.”
Director Joel Souza, 48, was also wounded in the shooting on the Bonanza Creek Ranch film set near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Baldwin has said he did not know the gun contained a live round and that investigators must find out who put it in the weapon.
The actor continued in his video post: “The best way, the only way, we can honour the death of Halyna Hutchins is to find out the truth.
“That’s what I’m working toward, insisting on, demanding that the organisations involved in this investigation do everything in their power to find out what really happened. That’s all that matters.
“The best way to honour the death of Halyna Hutchins is to find out the truth and any suggestion that we’re not complying, myself and any lawyers I’m working with, is a lie.
“As soon as we go through this process, by all means we will comply.
“But I have no worries about that, that’s all going to work itself out.”
Santa Fe magistrates court issued the warrant, requested by the sheriff’s department, for the phone to be seized and searched.
Court documents said: “Affiant believes there may be evidence on the phone, due to individuals using cellular phones during and/or after the commission of crime(s).
“Such information, if it exists, may be material and relevant to this investigation.
“Affiant was also made aware there were several emails and text messages sent and received regarding the movie production Rust in the course of interviews.”
Jurassic World: Dominion just gave a glimpse at its newest star: DeWanda Wise.
The She’s Gotta Have It actress, 37, is gearing up to face off against some dinosaurs in the latest Jurassic Park movie. In a first look at her currently unnamed character posted by the official Jurassic World Twitter account on Friday, Wise poses alongside costar Chris Pratt.
The two actors are prepared to take on anything that comes their way as they grip weapons and kneel in a fighting stance against what appears to be a wintry landscape. Wise, who wears fingerless gloves, a jacket, and olive pants, looks up at a figure out of frame, while Pratt, 42, stands beside her in character as Owen Brady, holding a knife and looking at the same mystery figure.
The Twitter account posted the image with the caption, “Fiery, fierce, and ready for a fight. Welcome to the party DeWanda Wise. #JurassicWorldDominion.”
Wise also shared the first look image on Instagram, where she wrote, “She’s your resourceful, scrappy, Adventure-loving newest Mesozoic HERO. Can’t wait for you to meet her in 5 months!🧑🏾🎤🍿
The Jurassic World Instagram account hinted that Wise and Pratt are battling a prehistoric foe in the photo, commenting on her post, “What dino are they facing off with? 🕵️”
While Wise is making her Jurassic World debut with the upcoming film, Pratt is returning to Jurassic World: Dominion after previously starring in Jurassic World (2015) and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018). His Jurassic World costar Bryce Dallas Howard will be reprising her role as well, returning as Claire Dearing.
Kristin Callahan/ACE Pictures/Shutterstock
Jurassic World: Dominion comes nearly 30 years after the first Jurassic Park film premiered in 1993. Original Jurassic Park stars Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and Jeff Goldblum are all set to star in the latest film in the franchise, director Colin Trevorrow previously shared with Entertainment Weekly.
Neill, 74, previously teased that Jurassic World: Dominion was going to be a “big film.” Speaking to Variety in February, Neill said, “It’s going be a big film. [Director] Colin Trevorrow has that childlike sense of wonder, playfulness and inventiveness that [Steven] Spielberg has,” he said, referring to the original Jurassic Park director.
Neill continued, “We really shot a six-hour movie. We were all very gung-ho. Hopefully, there’ll be thousands of massive cinemas ready for it because it’s a big film for big audiences.”
Jurassic World: Dominion premieres in theaters June 10.
The man behind a plane full of “private club” members so badly behaved in-flight that airlines refused to take them home has been revealed as an aspiring musician who’s already changed his name at least once and whose business dealings prompted warnings from the Canadian government.
James William Awad, who was known as Kevin Awad until 2019, is a 28-year-old from Montreal with a penchant for flashy clothes and self-promotion, his social media accounts reveal. He’s also a musician releasing songs under the name Senior; that Instagram account has 1million followers and consists mostly of clips from his music videos and photos of Mr Awad dressed expensively, counting money or posing broodingly in swanky locations.
He changed his name, he told The Independent in an email Saturday, “cause people always used to call me James. In reference to James Bond.”
Mr Awad was the mastermind behind a chartered Sunwing flight from Montreal to Cancun last week in which revelers were filmed drinking, vaping and dancing – all maskless. The flight was organised by Mr Awad’s members-only 111 Private Club, with passengers including influencers and reality TV personalities.
Footage from the flight sparked outrage, especially after many passengers allegedly later tested positive for coronavirus. The partiers were left stranded when Sunwing and other airlines, following their behaviour on the first flight, refused to take them back to Canada.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking in French, called the group “idiots” and “barbarians”. His government has launched an inquiry.
“Most people left Mexico already and are back in Montreal,” Mr Awad told The Independent on Saturday. “Some stayed in in Mexico to enjoy the sun a bit more and some are waiting for the big plane to return home. I am working on the plane right now. Almost done negotiations (sic).”
Those negotiations have been going on for days. As headlines and controversy swirled regarding the group’s travel plans, Mr Awad on Thursday released a statement on a blog seemingly created just this month.
“The 111 private club is a dream and a vision that I poured my heart and soul into creating,” he wrote. “This was my first travel event. I have significantly learned, and I am still learning from this experience. Learning from them is what makes the difference.”
A video he posted to Twitter on Friday, however, was more defiant – and arguably tone-deaf during the pandemic that has killed millions across the globe.
Mr Awad – who has fewer than 4,000 Twitter followers – wrote that “trying to make this world a better place, is a death bed, i guess (sic).”
He continued: “Did a new years travel event to make every body happy and build a system where every one can enjoy entertainment safely and together, spent hundreds of thousands, only to get killed by media again in the end.
“Building a decentralized system where every one can work together to build projects and make life better for everybody, and I know, it could be my final death bed. I’m still gonna do it…,” he wrote, ending the post with a sad emoji.
The words were set to music, one of his own songs as Senior in which the lyrics mention police and a “covid party”.
The entire incident called to mind the disastrous Fyre Festival, organised in the Caribbean nearly five years ago by another smooth-talking self-promoter, Billy McFarland. While that debacle took place years before the pandemic, travellers were similarly stranded after plans and promises from organisers turned out to be little more than wishful thinking.
One Twitter user, @j_jaj23, on Friday responded jokingly to a statement from Mr Awad, writing: “Ja Rule, Billy McFarland and the entire Fyre Festival wants to talk to you for a possible collab.”
This isn’t the first time Mr Awad has attempted a major undertaking, however – nor the first time he’s landed in hot water.
According to a glowing press release issued in April 2020 about his business efforts, the 28-year-old first began programming at age 11, later becoming a freelance developer at 14 and lying about his age to get work.
He tells The Independent that, growing up in Montreal, “my dream was to build video games.”
His skills, however, got him “his first real project” for “a bank in Mexico,” according to the 2020 release. “He was tasked with fixing and creating features for a user management system. Luckily, they never asked to speak on the phone with him, as they easily could have guessed his age.
“James ended up making a couple thousand bucks while working on multiple projects. He took all this money to buy C++ coding books and pay his parents mortgage for the year.
“At the age of 15, James got serious about playing video games. He found a trick in an online game by generating coins. James then sold the coins to a company in China. That company would then sell them to players all around the world.”
The release claims he also went on to start a successful online clothing store before setting up TripleOne, a “decentralized company where users around the world work together to build and manage it … James says that one day users of TripleOne will manage and operate e-commerce, real estate, and other businesses as a decentralized team.
“Each member will be paid out on a monthly basis based on the value brought to the table. Value such as coming up with business ideas, and fulfilling related work that comes with any business venture.”
The release calls the idea behind TripleOne “revolutionary” – but potential participants could be dissuaded by Mr Awad’s track record.
In a 2015 press release from Canada’s Financial Markets Authority, the body warned about the activities of Kevin Awad and KJRVS Inc., of which he is president and shareholder.
“Kevin Awad is not registered with the Authority,” the release said. “He cannot therefore solicit or act as a broker with Quebec consumers to invest. Kevin Awad reportedly approached people through his Facebook page claiming to offer a unique investment system.
“On his company’s webpage, investors could open an account that allowed them to submit securities proposals, determine the amount to invest in investment sessions, and more.
“Although it seems that the activities of the company KJRVS inc. have ceased and its website is no longer accessible, some information suggests that Kevin Awad could resume soliciting investors.”
Mr Awad, however, takes issue with the allegations.
“I lost only because I didn’t have money to pay lawyers,” he told The Independent. “Even the judge was surprised and asked me ‘where are your lawyers.’
“I am not guilty. I ended up having to pay a $2000 fine.”
In addition to his business and music dealings, however, the Canadian claimed on Twitter in November that his “book is coming out in 2025”. His personal website, james.com, and his LinkedIn page were both disabled for much of Friday, with Mr Awad citing high traffic volume.
His YouTube channel as Senior has fewer than 10,000 subscribers.
Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment ReporterSat, 8 January 2022, 3:00 pm
Belgian singer Angele has said working with Dua Lipa was a “very good experience” for her as she was able to see an artist be successful yet still “normal”.
The pop star, 26, is best known in the UK for her collaboration with Lipa on the 2020 dance-pop track Fever, which was accompanied by a music video that explores how women stick together while on a night out to avoid danger.
The singer, whose full name is Angele Van Laeken, is continuing to make a name for herself in the world of music after the recent release of her second album, titled Nonante-Cinq, in December.
Angele, who now resides in Paris, told the PA news agency: “We’re very good friends, whenever she comes to Paris we try to hang out.
“She became a very good friend of mine because we’re the same age, we’re both doing the same job in our positions.”
She explained that although Lipa has wider global recognition, she feels they can “understand each other very well” and said that meeting the fellow pop singer was a highlight for her in 2020.
“When they called us to make this duo I was very surprised because I loved her work and I love her album, Future Nostalgia”, she added.
“And it was a very good experience to work with somebody like her because she’s so mature, and she does know what she wants and what she doesn’t want.
“And she’s very strong and powerful and that was something I needed to see last year because I wasn’t doing shows and promos.
“And then I met her in London, and we were able to do this video clip and we had a connection. And I felt like it was possible to be very famous and to work a lot and to still (be) normal.
“I was happy to see somebody like her doing the same job as me and still be so normal.”
The Belgian singer will reconnect with Lipa again later this year as she is due to support her when she plays at London’s O2 Arena in May.
Considering which artists she would like to collaborate with in the future, Angele noted the British singers Jorja Smith and Joy Crookes – as they remind her of one of her all-time favourite singers, Amy Winehouse.
She told PA: “I’m a big fan of Amy Winehouse, I used to listen to her music a lot when I was younger, and there are two artists that made me think of her music.
“Jorja Smith – I love her work. And also another artist that I found out recently – Joy Crookes – she makes me think a bit of Amy Winehouse with the arrangement and the beautiful voice and I really loved these two artists.”
Angele released her debut album Brol in 2018. It enjoyed great success in Belgium and France, topping the charts in both countries.
She hopes new album Nonante-Cinq, which she describes as “more personal”, will share the same success.
Reflecting on her sudden rise to fame and being seen as a role model to some young women, she admits she does feel some pressure.
She explained: “I felt like I had so many things to learn and I feel I’m a feminist, but I’m in progress.
“I’m always learning about feminism and about my way of seeing this fight.
“I’m very grateful to be seen as a model sometimes. But also I want to say that I’m a feminist in progress.”
Hague, who rose to fame on the 2019 series of Love Island and is now the creative director of fashion brand PrettyLittleThing, appeared on Bartlett’s podcast The Diary of a CEO last year.
A clip from the interview was shared on Twitter this week and quickly became infamous, with Hague accused of adopting a “tone-deaf” approach to her own privilege.
The segment features Hague discussing her work ethic and her belief that people can achieve their goals if they are prepared to work hard as “you’re given one life and it’s down to you what you do with it”.
Social media users were quick to criticise Hague’s comments, with many accusing her of espousing Thatcherite ideas about individualism.
Bartlett — a social media and marketing entrepreneur who made his Dragon’s Den debut this week — said on Twitter that male guests on his podcast are seldom challenged for making similar comments.
He added: “I’ve become very aware of the double standard that successful women face. If I Interview a man, he can brag about money, take full credit for his success and talk about his cars?
“If I interview a successful women, she’s got to tip toe around her success and watch her words?”
He also noted that Hague is held to a high standard for a woman aged just 22 and said she is still “figuring out the world”.
Hague issued her own response to the controversy on Friday, with a representative for the influencer saying: “This part of the interview was discussing time efficiency relating to success.
“Molly refers to a quote which says ‘We all have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyoncé’. She was discussing her own experience and how she can resonate with this specific quote.
“Her opinion on if you want something enough you can work hard to achieve it is how she keeps determined with her own work to achieve more in her own life.
“Molly is not commenting on anyone else’s life or personal situation. She can only speak of her own experience.”
Nicole Kidman wants to “share” her success with her family.
The Oscar-winning actress – who has Sunday, 13, and Faith, 11, with husband Keith Urban – appreciates the support she gets from her family, and she hopes that her daughters are learning from her own work ethic.
Nicole, 54 – who also has Isabella, 29, and Connor, 26, with ex-husband Tom Cruise – shared: “I think they see it. They’re firsthand, where we travel as a little group, where, always, we share pretty much everything.
“I always say it’s our work as a family, it’s not my work. So they share in everything, all of them, because it is our work and without their support, I wouldn’t be able to do it.”
Nicole also heaped praise on her husband, describing Keith as “rock solid”.
The loved-up duo have been married since 2006, and she appreciates the “incredible love and support” he’s provided over the years.
She told ‘Entertainment Tonight’: “They’re right there with me and we have a very, deeply, intimate family, so we share a lot.
“They’re both seen a lot and been aware of a lot of my goals. And my husband is, I’ve always said, he is rock solid. And he’ll be there, like just an incredible love and support to me, as I hope I give to him as well, because he’s got a massive career and it’s just in a very different field. He makes music.”
Meanwhile, Nicole recently insisted she hasn’t got the voice to star in a Broadway musical.
The acclaimed actress is one of the most sought-after talents in Hollywood, but Nicole would feel “insecure” on Broadway.
Asked about the possibility, she replied: “I don’t think my voice is strong enough. It’s not strong enough. I mean, Broadway is like … and also I just would feel so insecure.”