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Tag: This Week's Cover (81-90 of 258)

This week's cover: Seth MacFarlane's Oscar balancing act

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Seth MacFarlane is well aware of his Achilles heel — it’s his Achilles heel.

“It’s the dancing that’s just kicking my ass. I’m not a dancer,” the soon-to-be Oscar hosts admits in this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, which goes behind the scenes of the Academy Awards to see just how the Family Guy and Ted creator intends to pull off the biggest live show of the year. With the animated TV hits Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show to oversee, a comedy Western film starting in the spring, and a particularly song-and-dance heavy awards telecast to emcee, everyone needs a piece of him right now — while MacFarlane is just trying to hold it all together.

After releasing Music Is Better Than Words, an album of swinging jazz songs, he feels he has the song part of “song-and-dance man” down, but a flu virus has left his vocal chords scratchy at a time when he’s pre-recording some comedy bits for the Feb. 24 show. “For the Oscars, it’ll be fine,” MacFarlane promises. “It’s Family Guy that’s always a nightmare. … Sometimes I have no choice but to record even if I’ve got a cold, and you can hear it in the fact that Stewie, Quagmire, and Peter all have a cold at the same time.”
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This week's cover: Your first look at 'Star Trek Into Darkness'

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Sure, J.J. Abrams just signed on to direct the new Star Wars sequel, but before he heads to that “galaxy far, far away,” the most sought after director in Hollywood has another sci-fi blockbuster to finish working on: Star Trek Into Darkness, the follow up to his smash 2009 reboot Star Trek, which earned $386 million worldwide and introduced Captain Kirk, Uhura, and Spock to a brand new generation of Trekkies. Abrams sums up the current state of his career with just one word: “Madness.”

In this week’s EW we give you an exclusive first look at the space age sequel that has geekdom waiting with bated breath. Star Trek Into Darkness, due May 17, has sparked feverish online speculation since the day it was announced — most of it about whether or not the film’s resident baddie, John Harrison, played by Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, is actually the infamous super villain Khan.
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This week's cover: Lena Dunham, the beautiful (and dirty) mind behind 'Girls'

Does anyone not have a very strong opinion about Lena Dunham? The Golden Globes adore her edgy HBO comedy Girls. So does Jon Hamm. And Jon Stewart. And broke twentysomethings everywhere. And probably their parents, too. But in this week’s cover story, Dunham acknowledges that her show has also earned some haters, and she’s ready to respond to everyone from James Franco (who famously called Dunham out for “creating another show about white people… [set] in one of the most culturally mixed cities in the world”) to Barbara Walters (who said she found the show’s depiction of sex “shocking” and “depressing”). Other things she’s ready to reveal to senior writer Melissa Maerz? The story of The Great High School Cheese Puff Fiasco that helped shape her taste in comedy. The inspiration behind that amazing conversation about race that she had with Donald Glover on Girls. Oh, and what happened with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and that “middle school” comment. READ FULL STORY

This week's cover: The Oscar race is on!

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The Oscar race has turned into an all-out brawl. With Hollywood in an uproar over director snubs for Argo‘s Ben Affleck and Zero Dark Thirty‘s Kathryn Bigelow, and Lincoln trying to maintain frontrunner status in one of the most competitive and surprise-filled award seasons in memory, Entertainment Weekly plunges into the dynamics of the ongoing Oscar race in this week’s cover. Lincoln has a leading 12 nominations going into the Feb. 24 ceremony, but Affleck is generating sympathy from voters who feel he was robbed by not getting a director’s nod — especially since he seems to be winning everything else.
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This Week's Cover: Your first look at 'Hunger Games' sequel, 'Catching Fire'

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The revolution has been sparked. In this week’s cover story, EW traveled to Waikiki, Hawaii where cast and crew were in the final days of production on the eagerly anticipated Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire (in theaters Nov. 21). Just as the revolution that could embolden the people of Panem rests on young Katniss Everdeen’s shoulders, the success of the franchise depends largely upon Jennifer Lawrence. After spending the day outrunning death in a nearby jungle, the 22-year-old actress ordered herself a Budweiser and kicked back in the Trump balcony lounge to discuss the sequel, her life now as a blockbuster star, and her willful inability to behave like the nice sound-bite machine Hollywood might expect her to be. “It’s almost like I subconsciously don’t want to work anymore so I’m trying to ruin my career,” she says with a laugh at one point, before leaning in close to the reporter’s tape recorder. “I’m pregnant!” she joked.

From her first meeting with new director Francis Lawrence (“I spit egg inside his mouth when I was talking. Into his mouth”) to the raucous party she hosted for the Catching Fire cast and crew (“When Sam walked in I was chasing Woody and we’d flipped over my couch and Woody had a sock all the way down my throat…”), Lawrence was frank and funny and self-aware. “I’m so aware of all the b.s. that surrounds Hollywood,” she says, “and how everyone gets on this high horse and thinks that they’re curing cancer and it makes me so uncomfortable every time I see it. So I go in the exact opposite direction and end up saying something like ‘I’m pregnant!’ when I’m in two franchises.”
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This Week's Cover: Inside the making (and remaking) of NBC's 'Smash'

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The show that everyone wanted to love — and everyone loved to hate — is back. And guess what? It’s good. This week, Entertainment Weekly gets an exclusive inside look at NBC’s ambitious overhaul of their musical drama, Smash. (Click here to buy the issue.) There’s a lot riding on it for a lot of people, first and foremost the show’s 10(!) executive producers, including Hollywood’s biggest director, Steven Spielberg; Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (the Oscar-winning Chicago); and Tony-winning composing team Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray). This impressive pedigree made Smash the most high-profile premiere of 2012, and the series started strong with a stellar pilot, which followed the team behind a new Marilyn Monroe musical called Bombshell, including the two starlets vying for the lead, Karen (Katharine McPhee) and Ivy (Megan Hilty). Then several things went wrong. Like Ellis (Jaime Cepero), the sweater-vested sexually ambiguous assistant to Broadway producer Eileen (Anjelica Huston). Or the wardrobe of Bombshell‘s lyricist, Julia (Debra Messing), which featured a collection of distractingly large — and ugly — scarves. “I thought it was really shocking, that it offended some people to their bone,” says Messing. “There were some virulent things written about these scarves.” Jokes Hilty, “Who knew that Debra Messing’s scarves would become a drinking game? When I heard that, I was like, Really?”

New showrunner Joshua Safran (Gossip Girl) got the gig after selling NBC on his plan for the new Smash: More star power (Jennifer Hudson! Liza Minnelli!), more ambitious plotting, more original music (including tunes from a new Rent-esque project called Hit List), and absolutely no more scarves. Judging by the first three episodes, Safran has given Smash some much-needed mood stabilizers to eradicate its whiplash tone and character shifts, and the new players — like bad boy songwriter Jimmy (Jeremy Jordan), a love interest for Karen, and Broadway superstar Veronica Moore (guest star Hudson) — bring fresh energy to the storytelling. Basically, this season could be retitled Smash 2.0: Go Big or Go Home.  “Some things you’ll fail with because being audacious doesn’t always fly,” says NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt. “But I think we have to be audacious or we’re dead.”

Watch footage of EW’s cover shoot below with stars Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty alongside Smash newcomer Jennifer Hudson, who appears in three episodes this season. READ FULL STORY

This Week's Cover: The Best and Worst of 2012

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It’s not easy saying goodbye to 2012. Whether we were cheering at The Avengers, dancing Gangam style, or tracking the bad guys on Homeland, this was a wild year for entertainment — and we’ve captured all the excitement for posterity in EW’s 2012 Best & Worst issue, on stands now. Want to debate the year’s greatest hits? Our critics’ annual top ten lists spotlight all the best movies, TV, music, books, games, and stage, from the edgy genius of FX’s Louie to the sugar-rush high of Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe. We’ve also come up with our list of Great Performances, honoring the artists — Jessica Lange in American Horror Story, Javier Bardem in Skyfall, Jennifer Hudson remembering Whitney Houston at the Grammys  — who made 2012 so unforgettable. And we didn’t forget the jeers either: Our lists of 2012’s worst include clunkers like Christina Aguilera’s Lotus and Clint Eastwood’s Trouble with the Curve.

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This week's cover: 'Django Unchained' draws its guns

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Welcome back to History 101 with Professor Quentin Tarantino. Please take a seat.

Three years after he rewrote the third act of WWII with Inglourious Basterds (and a full two decades after he first two-hand blasted his way into Hollywood with Reservoir Dogs) Tarantino is back with another film that splices actual history and cinematic history into one outlandish adventure. This time around it’s a mission for love, not country: Django Unchained, in theaters Dec. 25, follows the story of a liberated slave (Jamie Foxx) — aided by a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) — on a quest to save his wife (Kerry Washington) from the clutches of a cruel plantation owner, played by first-time villain Leonardo DiCaprio.
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This week's cover: Go inside 'The Hobbit'

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If you think all of the amped-up anticipation and feverish speculation surrounding Peter Jackson’s long-awaited return to Middle-earth with The Hobbit has been intense — well, just imagine being Martin Freeman. From the moment he was cast as the reluctant hobbit hero Bilbo Baggins in Jackson’s epic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved children’s book, the British actor has been doing his best to shut out all of the noise for his sanity’s sake. Going on-line to eavesdrop on the fans’ expectations and armchair-quarterbacking of The Hobbit is “a suicide mission,” he tells EW. “If I read one bad thing about me — it can be one person’s opinion in Idaho — I’m like, ‘Jesus, why does everyone hate me?’ ” he says. “If you read four of those, you think, ‘Everyone in the solar system hates me!’ Then even if you read 80 people saying, ‘I think he’s wonderful and I really want to f— him,’ you’re still thinking, ‘But that person in Idaho…’ ” He pauses and adds drily, “In short, I don’t really seek out the Hobbit stuff.”

With the Dec. 14 release of the first installment, An Unexpected Journey, finally almost here, this week’s issue of EW goes deep into “the Hobbit stuff,” exploring the film’s long, difficult road to the big screen and the critical, sometimes controversial creative decisions Jackson has made along the way — most notably, his surprising decision to turn the planned two-film adaptation into a full trilogy. That decision took even Freeman aback at first. “At first, I must say, I was like, ‘Why?’ ” the actor says, adding that he quickly came around. “You kind of think, ‘I’ve already put this much of my life into two movies. What am I going to do now — not put it into three?’ In for a penny, in for a pound.” READ FULL STORY

This Week's Cover: Our Entertainers of the Year!

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And EW’s Entertainer of the Year is… Ben Affleck!

Having captivated moviegoers both in front of and behind the camera with Argo, Ben Affleck earned the number one spot on our annual list of the most talented and original performers who entertained us in 2012.

Fifteen years after he bounded onto the Hollywood scene in 1997’s Good Will Hunting, the 40-year-old Affleck is now older and wiser — and may very well be headed back to the Oscar stage for his political thriller about the real-life covert CIA mission that freed six diplomats from Tehran during the Iran hostage crisis. “I had very low expectations for Argo‘s performance,” says the leading man-turned-director. “I just hoped that over time people would find the movie. Also, being at a place in my life and my career where I know what I’m trying to do, it’s different than being 26. When you’re younger and have the early success that I had — it sounds like the worst Hallmark cliche — but I didn’t have anyone to share it with. I don’t mean I wanted someone to sit by the fire with. But when you have a family and children, you kind of see yourself reflected in them. I want to make the kinds of movies that my kids are proud of. I have higher standards, in a way, for them.”

Not that everyone back at the Affleck household was thrilled about his shaggy ’70s Method hairdo and beard. Says Affleck of his wife Jennifer Garner’s reaction: “My wife is a very polite and kind woman. She and the kids did not like the beard. It had an exposed wire vibe. It was hated in my home.”

See what Affleck had to say about storytelling and working on Argo in the exclusive video below. READ FULL STORY

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