Celebrity news and gossip round-up, from Bollywood to Hollywood
New Batman film in the works, China loves House of Cards, ex-Miss World Priyanka Chopra breaks off Baywatch shoot to receive top award from India’s president, and more from world of entertainment
Rapper will.i.am “in Louvre
Musician will.i.am has revealed the results of his most unlikely collaboration yet after he was allowed to spend an “awesome” night inside the Louvre museum. The Black Eyed Peas frontman shot a video of his song Smile Mona Lisa in the Paris landmark as a tribute to his hero, Leonardo da Vinci – and found the place “so cool”, he decided to make a documentary about it.
In the music clip will.i.am appears in some of the museum’s greatest masterpieces, including as a gun-toting revolutionary in Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, while singer Nicole Scherzinger slips into the clothes of the enigmatic Mona Lisa. Also an actor, philanthropist and tech evangelist, will.i.am is Intel’s director of creative innovation as well as the man behind the Puls smartwatch. He sees many parallels between da Vinci and today’s tech pioneers.
Award for Bollywood star Chopra
Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra has received a prestigious award from India’s president for her contribution to Indian cinema. Dressed in a lime-green sari, Chopra received India’s fourth-highest civilian honour from President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi. The former Miss World ventured into Hindi cinema in 2003 with the film The Hero: Love Story of a Spy and Andaaz, and also has a singing career. Chopra, 33, who flew to India from her Baywatch shoot in Los Angeles to receive the award, said it was “the best award I have ever received”. In her role on US TV series Quantico, she plays an Indian-American whose fledgling FBI career and freedom are in jeopardy after a New York terrorist attack. Despite her growing fame in Hollywood, she says has no intention of abandoning her film career back home.
Affleck to direct Batman movie
Ben Affleck will direct a stand-alone Batman movie, says Warner Bros chairman Kevin Tsujihara. Affleck portrayed the caped crusader in this year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and had been rumoured to be the studio’s top choice to helm the solo Batflick. Tsujihara confirmed the studio was moving forward with him in the director’s seat at CinemaCon, an annual gathering of theatre owners in Las Vegas. The project is part of Warner Bros’ plans for an expanded DC Comics cinematic universe, similar to that of Marvel’s own Marvel Cinematic Universe. Warner Bros has at least 10 features lined up for release in the next few years, including Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman and Justice League.
Sutherland hits the road
Many people don’t know this, but Jack Bauer can wield a guitar just as easily as any gun.
“It’s certainly not something I ever really talked about,” says Kiefer Sutherland, 49, who played the hard-nosed federal agent for nine seasons of US TV show 24, and recently launched a music career as a singer/songwriter. “Music’s always been a huge part of my life, but it’s also been a private part — largely because I’ve had friends that are such talented musicians, I would just be too embarrassed playing in front of them.
China loves House of Cards, says Spacey
House of Cards star Kevin Spacey says the series has made him a star in China – including with its leaders – even though the Netflix show about a ruthless political operator is not officially available in China. The actor said that he was greeted like a superstar on a recent trip to the country. “They tell me House of Cards is a huge success in China, that the government like it a lot and that for the man on the street, Underwood (his character on the show) is seen as a man who fights corruption,” he told reporters in Paris at a European launch of a new wave of Netflix series. The political drama, adapted from a BBC series of the same name, is the internet platform’s flagship series, winning both Emmy and Golden Globe awards. The chillingly Machiavellian congressman Underwood “is one of the most remarkable characters I have ever been able to play,” Spacey said.
Adele tops album sales list
Adele had the world’s best-selling album last year, a global smash that helped music revenues record their first significant growth in almost two decades. The British singer’s 25 sold 17.4 million copies – five times more than the runner up, Ed Sheeran’s X, which sold 3.5 million copies. Figures released by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry show global revenues from recorded music rose 3.2 per cent in 2015 from the year before, as an industry decimated by the advent of the digital age returned to growth.The group says the rise, to US$15 billion, marks “the industry’s first significant year-on-year growth in nearly two decades”.