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This Week's Cover: Inside the Mind of Louis C.K.

In this week’s Entertainment Weekly, writer Melissa Maerz examines the inner world of Louis C.K., who’s quickly becoming everyone’s favorite comedian — though he wants to keep that reputation in check. Having racked up raves from Joan Rivers and Chris Rock for his painfully funny FX show, Louie, and earned more than a million dollars by selling his comedy special Live at the Beacon directly to fans through his website, he knows the backlash will come eventually. “It’s gross to be giantly famous,” he tells EW. “Anybody who’s a huge superstar is suffering. They’re garish and bloated. It’s like having a fever.”

So he’s invented an equation for finding the perfect amount of fame: “Comedians find their level. Then they get pushed down another 70 percent. Then they float back up to 75 percent. And that’s about where they belong.” READ FULL STORY

This Week's Cover: The New Art of Coming Out in Hollywood

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In this week’s Entertainment Weekly special report cover story, writer Mark Harris examines the new, casual method gay celebrities are using to reveal their sexuality publicly for the first time. Fifteen years ago, when Ellen DeGeneres decided to come out of the closet, it was big news. Not just big: It was the cover of Time magazine, and a major story on OprahPrimetime Live, and CNN. Last month, another star of a popular TV comedy went public with his homosexuality. But the news that The Big Bang Theory’s Emmy-winner Jim Parsons is gay was reported with such matter-of-fact understatement that many people’s first reaction was a quick Google search to see if maybe he was out already and we’d all just failed to notice.

But sometimes big news arrives quietly. That new blink-and-you’ll-miss-it style is an important hallmark of changing times. READ FULL STORY

This Week's Cover: 'Twilight' Exclusive! Meet Renesmee, Breaking Dawn -- Part 2's Wild Child!

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It’s the beginning of the end. When The Twilight SagaBreaking Dawn Part 2 hits theaters on November 16th, it will mark final installment in the blockbuster franchise. But that’s not to say it won’t pack a bunch of surprises—and several new characters. Chief among them is Renesmee, the half-human, half-vampire baby of Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson), who is played by Mackenzie Foy, 11. “It’s a  hugely important part,” says director Bill Condon, who loved watching Foy and her older costars interact. “They were amazing with her,” he says. “It really  brought something paternal out in Rob, and Kristen was especially protective. I’d have to interrupt them when they were in deep  conversation to get going with a scene.” It helped that Stewart began her own acting career as a child, in movies such as The Safety of Objects and Panic Room. “I loved chatting  with Mackenzie,” she says. “I’m always curious about what’s  going on in the minds of kids on set. She’s really close to the age I was when I started.”

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But Pattinson points out that having an impressionable youth on the set curbed certain cast members’ predilection for raucousness. “We’re all around the same age and we’re really not polite to each other anymore,” he says. “You’d have to tone it down when Mackenzie was around.” Or at least  attempt to. “She had a little swear jar, and I think she made 850 bucks or something.” READ FULL STORY

This Week's Cover: The cast, characters, and crazy new season of 'True Blood'

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When penning the fifth season of True Blood, the frightening yet disarmingly funny vampire drama that returns to HBO this Sunday, creator Alan Ball found inspiration (in all places!) by watching the scary-in-their-own-right presidential primaries.

“My first instinct about going into religion and politics was from watching Michele Bachmann, who thinks she has a direct line to God.” Ball told EW. “What would happen if she became president? A lot of right-wingers would like to see a theocracy in America. From there we thought, ‘What would a vampire theocracy be and how would you justify it? What kind of impact would it have on humans?’”

The result is a battle between the Tru Blood-sipping Authority, headed by Roman Zimojic (Christopher Meloni), and religious extremists like the Sanguinistas, who believe humans were created by God for one purpose only: to serve as a hearty meal. “Sanguine is from the Latin word for blood, and I was trying to find a name that like a real movement,” explains Ball.

We think it works!  READ FULL STORY

This Week's Cover: 'The Amazing Spider-Man' heads up your Summer Must List

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A lot of people will tell you that summer is the time to head outside and enjoy Mother Nature. We say, nonsense! Why would you want to mess with the heat and all those ants when you could be sitting in an air-conditioned IMAX theater on July 3, when The Amazing Spider-Man opens? Speaking of Spidey, Marvel’s web-slinging superhero swings his way to the top of our annual Summer Must List issue — your essential guide to all of the best movies, TV, music, and books of the season.

If you notice something different about the masked man on our cover, you’re not alone. Since we last saw him in 2007’s Spider-Man 3, Peter Parker & Co. have undergone some major changes. Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and Sam Raimi are gone (thanks for the memories, guys!); Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Marc Webb are in (the pressure’s on, guys!). In our early look at one of this summer’s most feverishly anticipated tentpoles, we get all of the inside scoop from Garfield, Stone, Webb, and Rhys Ifans — who plays Spidey’s latest onscreen nemesis, Dr. Curt Connors, a.k.a. The Lizard. READ FULL STORY

'Magic Mike' star Joe Manganiello's craziest pre-fame job? Hint: It involved a pirate suit

In case you haven’t heard yet, Magic Mike (out June 29) was inspired by star Channing Tatum’s old career as a stripper. So when EW got Tatum and his cast mates Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello, and Matt Bomer together for this week’s cover story , we asked if anybody else had a pre-fame job that might make a good Steven Soderbergh movie.

Everyone shared their best odd jobs (Bomer worked on a gas pipeline; McConaughey spent a wild year in Australia), but it was True Blood star Manganiello who had the entire table engrossed with his showstopping story about his craziest before-he-was-famous gig. In fact, he told it so perfectly that we’ve decided to share the whole thing, barely edited, right here. READ FULL STORY

Channing Tatum on 'Magic Mike' manscaping, plus exclusive video from our cover shoot

Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike (out June 29) is based on Channing Tatum’s actual experience as a stripper in his teens. But getting into character for the movie still required some out-of-the-ordinary preparation for the 21 Jump Street star and his costars Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello, and Matt Bomer. Check out this (slightly NSFW) snippet from EW’s raucous roundtable interview with the stars, available on stands this week, before clicking through our exclusive photo gallery.

EW: They told you to wax for the movie? READ FULL STORY

This week's cover: Channing Tatum and the cast of 'Magic Mike' in a nakedly honest interview

In honor of Channing Tatum, the star of 21 Jump Street and The Vow whose stint as a stripper inspired Magic Mike (out June 29), this week’s cover does a little striptease of its own. Once you’ve taken in the sight of Tatum looking dapper all by himself, the flaps open to reveal a photo of him with his Magic Mike pals Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello (True Blood), and Matt Bomer (White Collar), all of whom play dancers at a male revue in the R-rated drama, directed by Steven Soderbergh.

(See Tatum and McConaughey talk about their best dance moves in a video below. For even more exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, visit us on Facebook.)

EW brought the group back together for a wet and wild photo shoot followed by a rowdy, booze-soaked dinner, where the costars swapped their best stories about acting, waxing, and baring (nearly) everything in their new film. “Actors, generally, if we finish our scenes early one day, we go home. It wasn’t like that on this set. Especially during the dances—we were there cheering everybody on,” says Tatum, who was there when a frenzied group of extras accidentally ripped off McConaughey’s thong during a dance number. “It was a collection of women being like, ‘I have to tip him,’ and then the weight of all the dollar bills in their hands just took [his thong] off,” Tatum recalls, laughing. Consummate actor that he is, McConaughey didn’t even break character. “I stayed in sequence,” he says proudly. “I went for the tuck. [Mimes covering his manhood] I went for the roll. [Mimes doing a forward roll] And I finished the dance.”

Watch the video below. READ FULL STORY

This Week's Cover: A behind-the-scenes look at 'Prometheus,' Ridley Scott's return to sci-fi

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In this week’s cover story, Entertainment Weekly provides an exclusive sneak peek at this summer’s top-secret, 3-D space epic Prometheus —  director Ridley Scott’s eagerly-awaited return to science fiction after three long decades — and attempts to get to the bottom of the question that every fanboy wants to know: Is the new film a prequel to Scott’s 1979 face-hugging, chest-bursting classic, Alien?

Ever since Prometheus was announced in January 2011, the R-rated sci-fi odyssey has been shrouded in mystery. Little was known about the film except that (a) its cast includes Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, and in the lead, the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Swedish actress Noomi Rapace; (b) the script is by Jon Spaihts and and Lost‘s master of the mysterious Damon Lindelof; and (c) its story revolves around the crew of a spaceship called Prometheus that heads off to a distant planet whose inhabitants visited Earth long ago.

But an exclusive visit to the set of the film — two hours northeast of Reykjavik, Iceland — yielded more answers. There, EW watched a master director at work and sat down with the star-studded cast as they tap-danced around calling the R-rated film an Alien prequel. “There’s definitely a link to Alien,” says Fassbender, who plays the spaceship’s resident android. “There are creatures in it that you’ll recognize, but that’s only one tiny facet of what’s going on.”

Scott, who’s making his first sci-fi film since 1982’s equally visionary Blade Runner, is the toughest nut to crack. At first all he’ll say is, “There may be a vague notion, some slight DNA from the original Alien. But barely. Fans of the original Alien will notice some things, especially toward the end of Prometheus. Like 12 minutes from the end. But I can’t really say more than that.”

But eventually, Scott does say more than that.

To find out how much more, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday, May 11.

Entertainment Weekly is now available on most tablets, including the iPad, Nook Color, Kindle Fire, and Samsung Galaxy. Think of it like the EW you already love, but on steroids: With our digital magazine, you can buy the recommended movies, albums, books, and DVDs while you’re reading about them. Plus, you can watch music videos and film trailers, and find movie showtimes in your neighborhood. Current subscribers can access the digital version of EW for free by downloading the EW app (also free) and logging in using your name and address or the information on your subscription label. Single copies of the magazine are also for sale through the app if you prefer to read EW that way. If you’re not a subscriber, but would like to become one, you can do so by going to ew.com/allaccess.

This Week's Cover: The bizarre, brotherly bond between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton

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This week’s cover story about the offbeat vampire saga Dark Shadows pries open the coffin lid on the longtime friendship between Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton, who have collaborated on eight movies over the past two decades.

Those who work alongside the actor and filmmaker tell Entertainment Weekly that the duo share a kind of secret twin language. “None of us gets their jokes, but they get their jokes and they’re laughing, so whatever,” says Helena Bonham Carter, who should know. She’s as close to the pair as anyone could get, being mother to Burton’s two children, and co-starring in many of their movies, including this one.

Depp agrees with the sibling comparison. “I feel as though he’s my brother,” the actor tells EW. “It’s a weird understanding, this kind of shorthand we have. I truly understand him and know him, I think, just as well as anybody can. He certainly knows me as well as anybody can.”

Burton and Depp bonded years ago over their shared fascination with the abnormal, though the director underplays their much mythologized partnership. “We don’t wear our ‘This Is Our 8th Movie Together!’ t-shirts every day,” Burton says.

Well, not every day, of course. (Sometimes it must be laundry day.)

On Dark Shadows, out May 11, their preoccupation with the peculiar aims to resurrect an eccentric 1966-71 supernatural soap opera that both of them adored as little boys. Set in 1972, it chronicles the life – or whatever you want to call what he is – of 200-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins, who returns to his hometown after being buried alive for two centuries and seeks vengeance on the jealous witch (Casino Royale’s Eva Green) who originally transformed him into a bloodsucker.

His oddball descendants, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloe Grace Moretz, Gulliver McGrath, and their live-in psychiatrist (Bonham Carter) join forces to help him fight her latest advances – and also, maybe win the heart of a nanny (Bella Heathcoat) who may be the reincarnation of his long-lost love.

The crew who regularly turns up on Burton and Depp’s projects are kind of an odd lot, too. “A film family is a family, and it’s a beautifully dysfunctional family,” says Burton.

And like any family, they deal with adversity, newcomers, and yes, even death — sadly, not always the made-up kind.

To find out more, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday, May 4.

Entertainment Weekly is now available on most tablets, including the iPad, Nook Color, Kindle Fire, and Samsung Galaxy. Think of it like the EW you already love, but on steroids: With our digital magazine, you can buy the recommended movies, albums, books, and DVDs while you’re reading about them. Plus, you can watch music videos and film trailers, and find movie showtimes in your neighborhood. Current subscribers can access the digital version of EW for free by downloading the EW app (also free) and logging in using your name and address or the information on your subscription label. Single copies of the magazine are also for sale through the app if you prefer to read EW that way. If you’re not a subscriber, but would like to become one, you can do so by going to ew.com/allaccess.

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