Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The 100 Most Powerful Celebrities

Forbes has released a new list of the most powerful celebrities in the world. Oprah Winfrey reigns as number one; and Lady Gaga has catapulted to the number four spot. Here's the top 10 actors, actresses, musicians, and personalities. These hotshots are huge in Hollywood. See the full list HERE.


1 - Oprah Winfrey: $315 M

2 - Beyonce Knowles: $87 M

3 - James Cameron: $210 M

4 - Lady Gaga: $62 M

5 - Tiger Woods: $105 M

6 - Britney Spears: $64 M

7 - U2: $130 M

8 - Sandra Bullock: $56 M

9 - Johnny Depp: $75 M

10 - Madonna: $58 M


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jason Segel in GQ

He graduated from high school sitcoms to the Hollywood A-list and a role as a 3-D supervillain in Despicable Me, but the resolutely down-to-earth Jason Segel remains both freak and geek.  He talks to Alex Pappademas about marriage, fame, and Muppets, in the July issue of GQ.


Jason Segel on if he’ll ever get married:

“For me it's much more about meeting the right person. I don't have that thing that women have—'I've gotta be married by the time I'm 33, gotta have a kid by the time I'm 35.’ Let's see where life takes me, you know? If I met the girl, I'd marry her tomorrow.”

...on being famous and having bus loads of tourists yell at him:

“I think it's hilarious. And I think our group, the Judd Apatow circle—our ‘thing’ is that we're normal dudes. All our movies are just us kind of sitting around smoking pot and just hanging out, and people tend to treat us like that, like [hey-brah dude voice] ‘Oh, shit, what's up? Can I buy you a shot?’ And we are those dudes. When we started out—when I got Freaks and Geeks, I was like 18, Seth was 16. Judd wasn't who Judd is now. And we would sit around and just wax poetic about how we'd take over Hollywood someday. And then it happened, that's the weird part of it—but I think in our minds, we're still those dudes, sitting around like, ‘We're gonna show 'em all!’”

I’ve attached a photo for your review.  Read the full GQ article HERE.

Photo credit: Martin Schoeller/GQ

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

M.I.A. in GQ

M.I.A. gets loud in the July issue of GQ, opening up about Sri Lanka, her wedding style, and growing up without her father:


M.I.A. on what she wants to wear to her wedding:

“I’ve always wanted to get married in a white suit,” she says. “I used to work at a Kodak lab in England, cutting photos after they’d come out of the wash, and in one I saw this couple getting married on a beach in white suits, and their kid was there.”

...on growing up without her dad:

“England gave me a free education,” she says, “but my grades suffered because I didn’t have my dad to help me. I’ve paid the price. I’ve had the cause and effect, all that shit. I feel like I don’t have anything to do with my dad.”

...on her childhood in Sri Lanka:

“I lived on a street, a dead-end street. There were like seven or eight houses, and then you turn the corner and there was another seven, eight houses. But my whole family lived on the street. So it was amazing. I grew up with about a hundred of my cousins, playing hide-and-seek all over the village and the temples.”

See the full article here.

Photo credit: Miguel Reveriego/GQ

Monday, June 21, 2010

Filming Has Started on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides


Production has commenced on location in Hawaii, the United Kingdom and Los Angeles on Walt Disney Pictures’ and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ sweeping comedy adventure Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, directed by Rob Marshall, the fourth entry in the blockbuster franchise which has already reaped $2.7 billion in worldwide box office from the previous three films, and the first to be filmed and presented in Disney Digital 3D.   Johnny Depp returns to his iconic, Academy Award-nominated role of Captain Jack Sparrow, newly joined by Academy Award winner Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane and newcomers Astrid Berges-Frisbey and Sam Claflin.  Also rejoining Johnny Depp and Captain Jack are Academy Award-winner and three-time nominee Geoffrey Rushand Kevin R. McNally.  The film is slated to open May 20, 2011.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Taylor Lautner on the Cover of GQ

At 18 years old, Taylor Lautner has found himself to be the heartthrob of millions of teens around the world, despite his short acting resume. His loyal Twilight fans have propelled him into the spotlight for his role as Jacob Black, (once a mob of rabid “Team Jacob” members swarmed him in a Brazil, forcing him and co-star, Kristen Stewart, to lock themselves in a small room until the SWAT team arrived). But this level of fame, as GQ senior editor Mickey Rapkin discovers (over lunch at the Olive Garden), comes from an extremely humble and oddly fortuitous beginning – one that involves a karate program, the Blue Power Ranger, and his pilot father. And while Lautner seems to have learned to cope better with his popularity, the young star demonstrates an impressive level of modesty and a sincere appreciation for his comparably quiet home-life for someone experiencing such success so early on.


Taylor Lautner on what it felt like to present at the Oscars, with Kristen Stewart:

“I would have passed out if she wasn’t there!” Lautner says. “You’re looking down and you’re talking to George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio—and they’re listening to you!”

...on having to audition a second time for the role of Jacob Black:

“I’m in the gym, and I’m doing reps, and I’m reading the books, and I’m studying the character. I’m just saying to myself, ‘I want this role. I love this role. I’m not gonna lose it. And I’m gonna know it better than anybody, and I’m gonna do that extra

rep, because I’m gonna be Jacob Black.’ ”

...on if he’s considered getting his own place:

“Um, you know, not so much. There’s really no point. I’m so busy. I really haven’t thought about it.... The thing I love is that my home life hasn’t changed.  I still help out with the garbage.  I still help out with the lawn.”

…on being careful about his rep as a “beefcake”:

“Originally I was supposed to take off my shirt. The script [of Valentine’s Day] said we were walking into school and Willy takes off his shirt. I said, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa. Time out. He’s gonna take off his shirt in the middle of school? No, no, no. The reason I took off my shirt for New Moon is because it’s written in the book that way. And there’s reasons behind it.”

For more of Taylor’s interview, go to:



*Cover Image: Mario Testino/GQ

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Box-Office Beat

Will Smith's son is a movie star in the making. His new film Karate Kid brought in a whopping $56 million. See what other flicks made big bucks... Glam's got the box office beat.


1 – The Karate Kid: $56 M

2 – The A-Team: $26 M

3 – Shrek Forever After: $15.8 M

4 – Get Him to the Green: $10.1 M

5 – Killers: $8.2 M

6 – Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time: $6.6 M

7 – Marmaduke: $6.0 M

8 – Sex and the City 2: $5.5 M

9 – Iron Man 2: $4.6 M

10 – Splice: $2.9 M

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fine-grained playback status in gPodder and Panucci

I've just uploaded Panucci 0.9-alpha0 to Maemo 5 Extras-Devel. This package is the first one based on the new codebase, which includes support for sending fine-grained playback status messages to gPodder and also receive metadata about episodes from gPodder. This makes listening to podcasts and managing your listening queue even more comfortable. The following screenshots are from development versions of gPodder, but you'll soon be able to enjoy these new features with the upcoming release. Until then: Please test Panucci 0.9-alpha0 in Extras-Devel (I won't be promoting this package to -Testing yet, but report bugs against it if you try it from -Devel), so we can fix any outstanding bugs until the first final release.

So, what's working so far? gPodder gained the display of the current position and total time in the episode actions dialog:

This position information is automatically sent from the newer Panucci version (so it depends on you using Panucci for playing podcasts). Another cool side-effect is that this information will be synchronized with gpodder.net if you are logged in and have enabled synchronization, so you can finally start playing back episodes on your computer, and then pick up where you left on your mobile phone on the go. You can also view a detailed overview of what parts of an episode are played on gpodder.net:

This is really an important feature milestone for gPodder (and Panucci), and it's nice to finally have playback status and episode duration information inside gPodder. Expect a new gPodder release soon, released together with the new version of Panucci (due to the branching history of Panucci, there are some feature regressions, like missing display orientation controls, but these will be re-added in the next few weeks as we move along).

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Check Out Rose Byrne in GQ

Rose Byrne, featured in this month's GQ, sheds her genteel Aussie upbringing to sing songs about her lady parts in the comedy Get Him to the Greek, now in theaters.


Check out the GQ Article HERE.

*Photo credit: Ben Hassett/GQ

Anne Hathaway Talks About Alice in Wonderland

Anne Hathaway talks about working with Tim Burton, using a green screen, and eating fried crickets... Alice in Wonderland is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.


What did you make of the platinum blonde look and shimmering white gown you have in the film?

I think the look of my character really fits into Tim Burton’s canon, when you look at a lot of his heroines. A lot of them have pale hair and shadowed eyes and dark lips. I think this is the more extreme version of it. She is the White Queen so obviously the color of her hair is informed by that. What I was struck by when I saw the film was that the hair and make-up actually matched what I was trying to do with the character – which was to play her as someone who was good but with a tiny bit of darkness in her. I thought that came out in the lips and the nails. I was so happy that I did not recognize myself.

Where did the vegan/punk rocker description of the White Queen come from?

That came from the script actually. When she says it is against her vows to harm any living creature, well I am a geek - and I had a lot of time on my hands, obviously – so I made up a whole back story about how she maybe liked meat but it made her sick and how maybe her parents saw her sister start to display violent tendencies and so they got her to make a vow that she would never harm another living creature. So she had repressed her aggression and hadn’t explored it. So that is where the punk rock and vegan thing came in.

Were you a fan of the books?

I loved the books. I didn’t read them till I was at college. I was really struck by Alice’s emotions and the way she felt overwhelmed by the world around her. Also I was so entertained by the world of the books. When I was doing my research for the film I read a lot of essays on the books. One of the things that someone pointed out was that Wonderland is a place of extreme emotions. People [in Wonderland] have emotional reactions to things – often angry reactions. I remember when I read the book that my hormones were raging and I felt a connection to it. I had been planning on reading the books for some time because when I was in Fifth Grade a teacher had us memorize the Jabberwocky poem. So when Johnny was reciting that in the film I was saying it along with him.

What was it like to work with Johnny Depp and Tim Burton?

Johnny, Tim and Helena are all like this awesome rock band and I felt like I was invited to play back-up on their album. And then they would say…here’s a solo…and be like, oh really!, Thank you! Tim has a joy to him and a commitment to his own aesthetic that I respect so deeply. I felt so privileged to be around and I was so inspired by that. When you work with Tim Burton everybody not only tries as hard as they can, they also bring their most creative selves and everyone does what they can to make it as special as his vision. So one of the biggest differences about working with Tim is how much he inspires people. On this film Tim pointed me in the direction that he wanted me to go in and then he basically said to do what I wanted to do with it. I had been very nervous about working with Tim because I had admired him from the first time I saw Beetlejuice and I didn’t want to disappoint him. I wanted to fit into Wonderland, which was a mad, imaginative wonderful world. Also I was very nervous about working on green screen, which I had not done before. So I worked out all the details before I got on the set and Tim was totally open to everything. He is not a director who says ‘no’ very often. He likes to play, he likes to explore. Even if he might disagree with you or if he doesn’t understand where you want to go, he will give you the opportunity to try. For instance my character having a weak stomach was a happy accident. He made an entire arc in the movie about that and I was so happy with that. I don’t know him very well but he is very easy to get along with. He is very interesting, very funny and he is a rule breaker.

You have gone from Princess [in The Princess Diaries] to Queen, but not the usual type of Queen. Are you drawn to roles that subvert expectation?

I try to bring an unconventional approach to all my roles. It is not necessarily to defy expectation but it is more to ask what would I expect in reading this and how can I mess with the rhythm of this character?

What about preparation?

I have been very lucky. I have worked with wonderful directors who love actors and who are creative. On this film I only worked for two weeks and I had six weeks to prep the character.  That is just the ratio that I like. I love long prep and rehearsal periods.

It is said that you are very choosy with your roles?

I have never thought about it that way. My choices are character driven. I want to play characters that interest me in films that are directed by film makers that I respect.

Do you think that after Rachel Getting Married and your Oscar nomination that people saw you in a different light?

People that I really respect have come up to me and said that they did not think that I had that in me. That is a very nice feeling but I wasn’t out to prove anything with that role. But that happened without me trying and it was nice. I started when I was so young and my goal has always been career longevity and so I always planned to take my time with everything and explore things. I am not sure that I could have played a character like Kym [in Rachel Getting Married] before I did. I had a lot of growing to do and I still have a lot of growing to do. So I just hope to work with people who are going to help me grow.

How important for you is it to mix things up by doing Indy movies and big budget productions?

I have been told it is very important. But it is just that I don’t like repeating myself. I like to change it up a lot. So I have explored as many options and genres and types of films as are available to me.

A bonus must be that this film has the quirkiness that Tim Burton brings?

If Tim had asked me to do Blade Runner – The Musical I would have done that. Actually that is a great idea, I would want to see that AND be in it! But actually the fact that Tim was doing Alice made it even more exciting for me. And that it was a return to Disney was wonderful. But it was really more that I was motivated by Tim and also I fell in love with the White Queen. From the moment I saw her in the script she sparkled to me. I was really drawn to it. I have always had strong feelings about which role I was drawn to. And it has always been the role in the script that I have been asked to consider. I have been very lucky because not every actor is given the option of auditioning for a different role.

Tim says he had Nigella Lawson in mind as a model for the White Queen. Do you have things like that in mind?

Unless you are playing a real life person it will be inspired by other things. For the White Queen there were a lot of different sources. I was looking at silent films with Greta Garbo and looking at the way she moves and I looked at Debbie Harry for the glam, punk rock element. And Tim had mentioned Nigella and she helped in the cooking scene because of her ease in the kitchen and the way Nigella is very sensual with food. I wanted the White Queen to have that.

Do you cook?

I’m trying. I am new to it. One in five things is very good and everything else is nice effort. I am working on the basics right now and trying to find my go-to chilli recipe. The other day I roasted a chicken that I have got to say was awesome. But I used a lot of butter and it’s not hard to make chicken taste good when you use a lot of butter. I am not a very imaginative cook, I follow recipes, but I really do enjoy it. That and baking. I used to be a vegetarian but obviously I am not a very committed vegetarian when you roast chicken. My favorite recipe is the Waverley Inn’s Chicken Pot Pie. That is a restaurant in the West Village of New York where they make a Chicken Pot Pie that is the most delicious comfort food ever! I found the recipe and I have made it a few times and it is really fun. I like time consuming cooking projects when I spend all Sunday in the kitchen making a big meal. I like Sunday and I invite people over for brunch and then it turns into dinner.

You are not an adventurous cook but are you an adventurous eater?

I have eaten Fried Crickets. It was fine. They were very greasy and dense. They were crunchy but I did not think they were nice. But I was happy that I had done it. The one thing that I absolutely cannot eat – it turns me off – is tripe! I cannot eat any type of intestine. A friend has come back from Bhutan and they showed me pictures of something they ate and it was the grilled guts of some animal and it was not appealing. I get a little nauseous thinking about it. So I am not that adventurous. The Travel Channel would never give me my own show.

So how was the green screen experience in Alice In Wonderland?

There was a huge room that was just green. If I had had to work on it longer I might have got freaked out but it was just two weeks. Tim knew what he was doing and most of the cast had worked on green screen before, so I just watched what everyone else was doing and pretended I knew what was happening. I felt that way at the world premiere when we met Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. What do you do? Is it ma’am as in jam?

What do you think of Blu-ray?

It’s great. Honestly I am not really technical so my dad could answer that question better. My parents have Blu-ray and I love watching things at their place. Whenever we pop something in my dad just sits there and for the first five minutes of the movie goes…’Oh, Blu-ray! Gosh this is great!’ And I’ll say that’s great dad but I don’t know what’s going on in the plot.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND is Available on Blu-ray & DVD June 1st!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Streaming video to the big screen

This is a pretty obvious hack and nothing new at all, using plain command line tools that existed for ages. Still, it might come in handy, and maybe you did not even think about it yet:

Prerequisites are a computer with an installed SSH server and mplayer or a similar media player. On your N900 (this obviously works just as well for the N800 and N810), you just need the SSH client for the first variant, and Python for the second variant. No other tools or apps are necessary.

In my case, I downloaded a video onto my N900 using gPodder, but I didn't want to watch it on the small screen, and I don't have a TV to hook it up to. So I decided to just stream the video over the network to my computer (ideally initiating the stream from the N900).

What you need to do is find out the $DISPLAY variable in your X session on the computer (:0 usually works, but strangely I'm on :4.0 with Ubuntu 10.04 here). You can do this with echo $DISPLAY in a X Terminal on the computer. Remember that value. Now, let's go to the X Terminal on the N900, cd into the folder with the videos and note the file name. To stream the video fullscreen to the computer, use a command like this: ssh username@computerip 'DISPLAY=:4.0 mplayer -fs -' < filename.mp4.

If you don't have SSH access, an alternative is to use HTTP for streaming (e.g. with VLC, which is also available on Windows and Mac OS X). The easiest way to do is (if you have Python installed, which you most likely have) to cd into the directory that you want to share (the directory and all its subdirectories will be shared - be sure to have no sensitive data there!) and use the command python -m SimpleHTTPServer for some instant HTTP server goodness on port 8000. Use VLC or a web browser on your computer to access the share. You can use Ctrl+C to stop the server.

So, if you want to browse the downloaded podcasts of gPodder on your computer, use the following command sequence in X Terminal:

cd MyDocs/Podcasts
python -m SimpleHTTPServer

Now, use the web browser on your computer (connected to the same network) and access http://n900ipaddress:8000/ to get a directory listing of all downloaded content. Copy the URLs into VLC and start streaming over the air.

Usually the limiting factor here is the wireless bandwidth and the reading speed of the eMMC. Apart from that, no restrictions apply - you can easily stream HD content, as the decoding is done on your computer, and the N900 just reads the data and sends it unmodified over the network without much processing (that's why everything said here also applies to the N800 and N810 and should work just as well).