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Author: Grady Smith (1-10 of 80)

The sides of Paul Walker you may have missed

Paul Walker was a refreshing enigma in Hollywood. Though he starred in one of the most successful movie franchises of all time, he never seemed to revel in fame. He wouldn’t go out of his way to drum up press. Walker, the man, remained somewhat of a mystery throughout his career.

Perhaps that’s why people wrote him off as a dumb lug. With messy blond hair, a surfer’s accent, and chiseled features, Walker was easy to stereotype as a lucky, pretty face that didn’t have much going on upstairs.

But I never understood that characterization of the star. Walker was always candid and articulate in interviews and, in fact, he lived a remarkably interesting life — one more deserving of attention than the brazen celebrity exploits that so often steal our focus. He was a globe-trekking adventurer, and he made his mark as an athlete, an outdoorsman, a public servant, and most recently, as a devoted father.

The tragedy of Walker’s shocking death is that he was beginning to achieve greatness in each of those fields. He was hitting his stride — and it all got cut short. I hope we don’t remember Walker as merely a handsome action star. He was a human being defined by a multitude of passions, not a smolder. Below, I’ve listed a few of Walker’s less-talked-about facets that made him, to me, a singularly fascinating man. READ FULL STORY

The 4 emotional stages of watching 'The Purge'

On Friday night, I stepped into a crowded theater to watch The Purge, and I was both impressed and bewildered by what I saw. The film, which has a killer premise about a single night during which all crime (including murder) is legal, definitely got my audience riled up, eliciting six separate moments of spontaneous applause… followed by nervous laughter.

In fact, watching the film — which starts off like The Hunger Games, then transforms into Panic Room, then morphs again into Taken — sends you on an emotional roller coaster as you try to grapple with the twisted plot. My ride felt something like this (SPOILERS abound from this point):

1. INTRIGUE
The Purge begins with eerie radio broadcasts and television segments breathlessly previewing the evening’s coming purge, when citizens can go “hunting” for people they hate as a way of purging themselves of their hatred. The whole tradition is presented with an unsettling amount of excited anticipation and patriotic reverence — a creepy mentality that the annual purge truly improves American society. READ FULL STORY

'American Idol': The eliminated singer is...

UPDATE: The full recap is live!

SPOILER AHEAD! Keep reading only if you want to know who was eliminated from American Idol‘s Top 9 results show tonight. READ FULL STORY

How YouTube is boldly becoming more like TV

When Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, a pair of 25-year-olds known as Smosh, posted a silly YouTube video of themselves lip-synching the Pokémon theme song in 2005, they weren’t trying to become Web phenoms. But that’s exactly what happened. The clip went viral, thanks to some incalculable combination of millennial nostalgia and absurdist Internet humor.

Eight years later, Smosh run the most popular channel on YouTube, boasting more than 8.2 million subscribers. The guys also have a Spanish channel, a vlog channel, a cartoon channel, a newly launched gaming channel, and a website/social network (Smosh.com) with exclusive video content and merchandise. They may have started as a one-off viral sensation, but their enduring success — and the success of fellow YouTube pioneers — has helped reshape the site into a vast entertainment entity that produces so much more than Web-based novelty acts.

Smosh, like so many of YouTube’s other top content creators, landed an audience via professionally produced videos, a consistent release schedule, and help from a slew of ahead-of-the-curve thinkers and producers. READ FULL STORY

Justin Bieber snapped smoking a mysterious cigarette

All he needs is a beauty and a… blunt?

TMZ has obtained photos of the world’s favorite pint-sized pop star, Justin Bieber, holding what appears to be marijuana. (Or “salvia,” as Miley Cyrus might say.) According to the site, the pictures were taken on January 2, one day after a paparazzo was killed while trying to photograph the star.

And while we can’t verify that the joint-in-hand is, in fact, marijuana — Bieber’s rep hasn’t answered EW’s request for comment at this time — if it is, we’re betting the Biebs crushed some serious amounts of fondue after the fact. READ FULL STORY

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): Starring in 'Newsies' for one night only! -- VIDEO

Here at EW, we’re all pretty big fans of Disney’s Broadway musical Newsies (deal with it, Christian Bale!), but I don’t think anyone in the office would dare suggest that he or she is a bigger fan than me. I mean, I’m sort of obsessed.

Having grown up watching the movie, I saw the show back in April and fell in love. I proceeded to talk every one of my co-workers’ ears off about it, and then wrote a feature story on the show’s success. After that, I posted some online articles, and then, whythehecknot? I posted some more. Hey, I know what I like.

So when Disney offered me the chance to step onto the Broadway stage for a cameo performance in Newsies for one night last summer – with a line and everything! – I wasn’t about to say no.

Of course I documented the whole experience (well, except the initial wardrobe fitting… that would just be awkward), and you can watch it all below. Part 1 chronicles my rehearsal and “performance,” and Part 2 features backstage interviews with the cast talking about their lives on the Broadway stage.  READ FULL STORY

10 ways to improve 'The X Factor'

The X Factor starts its live shows tonight, and frankly, I can’t wait.

Season 2 of Simon Cowell’s U.K.-import competition show is loaded with talent that’s far more compelling than season 1 (sorry, Melanie Amaro –no, really, I’m sorry you had to be in this video). This season’s crop of contestants — shockingly, I’m finding myself rooting for LYLAS — have the potential to create viable vocal moments on stage.

So I’m hoping that the live shows, which will be hosted by Mario Lopez and Khloe Kardashian, showcase that talent more effectively than the early rounds of The X Factor has, because, let’s be honest, this season, which was supposed to establish The X Factor as the utmost singing competition on TV, has been a hot mess.

I believe that The X Factor, underneath all its contrived gaudiness, wants to be a great show. But the only thing standing in the way of that becoming a reality is, well, everything. So here are 10 recommendations on how to improve The X Factor as we head into the second half of the season. READ FULL STORY

The new 'Safe Haven' poster reminds us of something

nicholas-sparks-movie-posters.jpg

Yesterday, Relativity unveiled the official poster for Nicholas Sparks’ latest novel-turned-movie, Safe Haven, which stars Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel and hits theaters on Feb. 8, 2013. The poster doesn’t have anything in common with posters for other popular Nicholas Sparks movies… well, except everything. I mean, seriously:

READ FULL STORY

Meet the new lead of 'Newsies', Corey Cott

He’s the new king of New York!

Broadway newcomer Corey Cott, a recent graduate of the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, has taken over the role of Jack Kelly in Newsies, after leading man Jeremy Jordan’s final performance on Sept. 4. (Jordan is headed to Smash.) Although Cott has already stood in for Jordan 12 times, today marks his first official day as the new lead of Disney’s smash musical.

We caught up with the budding star to hear about his time with the Newsies, and to find out what’s on his entertainment Must List:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When did you first get involved with the Broadway version of Newsies?
COREY COTT: I originally auditioned for it when they were still casting Jack when Jeremy was doing Bonnie and Clyde. It was one of my first auditions in the City. It was in December. It felt fine, but it wasn’t the right time yet. The next time around was the end of June. It’s amazing how six months can change your approach. It was a whole fresh experience, and I felt much more comfortable with what I was doing.  I’d seen the show twice at that point, so I knew the story better, I knew the character better, I knew what I was trying to accomplish in the room. READ FULL STORY

Which 'Oogieloves' star (yes, there are actual stars) should be most embarrassed?

OOGIELOVES-BALLOON-ADVENTURE

Let me be upfront: I haven’t seen The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure yet. Of course, you probably haven’t either, as it just had the worst opening weekend in box office history.

But I sort of want to. Somehow, the film earning that dubious distinction has unleashed an alarming obsession within me for all things Oogieloves in the last 24 hours. I mean, have you SEEN Oogieloves.com?! The sheer WTF factor of this strange, strange franchise is utterly intoxicating. And Oogieloves filmmaker Kenn Viselman seems to indicate that this might be exactly what he was hoping for. “This was never about box office,” Viselman told TheWrap Monday morning. “It was about exposure. We’ve now got the notoriety we were trying to get for weeks before the film opened.”

READ FULL STORY

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