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Sep 6, 2013

Cumberbatch, playing Assange, praises WikiLeaks founder’s achievements

TORONTO (Reuters) – Actor Benedict Cumberbatch didn’t get any help from Julian Assange in his preparation to play the founder of WikiLeaks in the film “The Fifth Estate,” and guesses Assange probably won’t like his portrayal, even though the actor sees it as celebration of the activist’s achievements.

Cumberbatch said he didn’t have access to the polarizing figure behind the whistleblower website after Assange “stated very clearly at the beginning of the project that he didn’t want to condone the film.”

Sep 6, 2013

‘Fifth Estate’ exposes WikiLeaks in Toronto film festival debut

TORONTO, Sept 5 (Reuters) – “The Fifth Estate,” an unlikely
thriller that chronicles the emergence of anti-secrecy website
WikiLeaks and its enigmatic founder Julian Assange, premiered at
the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday.

English actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Assange,
called the debut at Toronto the “perfect marriage” of a
festival, known for its popular participation, and a film, about
what he called “people journalism.”

Sep 5, 2013

Jennifer Hudson tackles ‘intimidating’ role of Winnie Mandela

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – For Oscar and Grammy-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson, the decision to play anti-apartheid activist Winnie Mandela in her first lead role was no easy matter, especially when she saw what the former South African first lady meant to the nation.

In the biopic “Winnie Mandela,” which opens in U.S. theaters on Friday, Hudson plays the ex-wife of Nelson Mandela from the time she met him as a young woman, through decades as the public face for her imprisoned husband’s fight against white rule.

Sep 4, 2013

A Minute With: Vin Diesel on going dark, getting ripped and Facebook

BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) – With a voice several octaves underground and a piercing stare, action star Vin Diesel goes to an even darker place as Riddick in the third installment of the sci-fi film series, nine years after “The Chronicles of Riddick.”

In “Riddick,” which opens Friday, Diesel’s ex-convict character leaves his comfortable world as leader of the Necromonger death race to search for his homeland. Once double-crossed and left for dead, he resolves to rebuild himself, both physically and morally, but must do battle against beasts and bounty hunters.

Sep 3, 2013

In era of leaks, Toronto film festival tackles transparency

LOS ANGELES/TORONTO (Reuters) – As director Bill Condon was finishing up his film “The Fifth Estate” about Julian Assange and anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden started leaking U.S. security documents, reigniting the public debate over secrecy, security and whistleblowing in the Internet era.

“The same lines were being used, the same script was being recited, it was fascinating,” said Condon. “And then Assange appeared and became part of the story.”

Aug 30, 2013

Showtime bets ‘Ray Donovan’ will be summer success for years

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – From the FBI agent tripping on acid to the action film star marrying a transsexual, the Sunday night Showtime drama “Ray Donovan” has served up its share of bizarre twists.

In the tale of a ruthless yet morally conflicted Hollywood “fixer” played by Liev Schreiber, “you never know where it is going to go,” executive producer Mark Gordon says.

Aug 26, 2013

Hollywood reflects on race in year of black, civil rights films

LOS ANGELES, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Race in America has been a
hot topic of debate this summer and Hollywood, as if on cue, has
muscled its way into the conversation.

This year is shaping up to be a big one in film for African
American, black and civil rights themes, offering audiences
different lenses through which to consider the complex question
of racial equality, both historically and in the present day.

Aug 7, 2013

‘Elysium’ delivers action, destruction and a deeper message on life

LOS ANGELES, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Director Neill Blomkamp and
leading man Matt Damon mostly want summer filmgoers to be
completely entertained by the action-packed, sci-fi thriller
“Elysium.” But if the audience could also ponder the question of
what to do about world poverty and inequality, well, that would
be a bonus.

“Elysium,” which opens this weekend, is not the typical
light summer fare served up in big-budget Hollywood productions.
And Blomkamp, the South African who made waves with his first
feature, “District 9,” is no typical director.

Aug 7, 2013

Downton Abbey draws ‘handsome’ new men for Matthew-less Season four

BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) – It is hard to say who will grieve more for Matthew Crawley when the next season of the wildly popular television show “Downton Abbey” airs: his on-screen widow Lady Mary or the legions of fans of the show.

At least the fans can rest assured. Several eligible bachelors will swoop in on the mourning Mary and her English estate in Season Four, producers and cast members said on Tuesday, offering U.S. critics a tease of what lies ahead.

Aug 7, 2013

Downton Abbey draws “handsome” new men for Matthew-less Season 4

, Aug 6 (Reuters) – It is hard to say
who will grieve more for Matthew Crawley when the next season of
the wildly popular television show “Downton Abbey” airs: his
on-screen widow Lady Mary or the legions of fans of the show.

At least the fans can rest assured. Several eligible
bachelors will swoop in on the mourning Mary and her English
estate in Season Four, producers and cast members said on
Tuesday, offering U.S. critics a tease of what lies ahead.

    • About Mary

      "Mary Milliken is Entertainment and Lifestyle Editor for the Americas since July 2013, based in Los Angeles. In 15 years with Reuters, she been bureau chief in Washington DC, the West Coast and South America and has organized news teams covering everything from presidential elections to economic crises to natural disasters. She speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese."
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