BLACK-ISH CREATOR KENYA BARRIS INKS DEAL WITH NETFLIX: Writer and producer Kenya Barris (Black-ish, Grown-ish, Girls Trip) has signed an eye-popping $100 million three-year overall deal with Neflix to produce new series, Variety reports. Precise details TBD, but Netflix said that Barris will "continue to create stories that reflect culture through an urban, youth and female focused lens." The size of the deal puts him the same neighborhood as Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy.
SCARLETT JOHANSSON EARNS MOST BANK: Scarlett Johansson topped Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid actresses in 2018. She quadrupled her 2017 earnings, raking in an estimated $40.5 million thanks in part to her role as Black Widow in the Avengers films. ScarJo officially dethroned Emma Stone, who didn’t even make the top 10 this year. Coming in second is Angelina Jolie, who earned most of the bank via the forthcoming Maleficent 2. Jennifer Aniston made number 3, earning $19.5 million for her endorsement deals with Smartwater, Aveeno and Emirates airlines. Hot on her heels is Jennifer Lawrence with $18 million, and rounding out the top five is Reese Witherspoon with $16.5 million.
SOPHIA LOREN OPENS UP ABOUT #METOO: Sophia Loren, 83, spoke out about #MeToo, admitting that it has been difficult for her to talk about the scandals that have rocked Hollywood. "It’s very difficult to talk about this scandal and it does give me the chills thinking about it," she said. Loren says she never had to personally face harassment because her late film producer husband Carlo Ponti was often with her. "Maybe I was lucky to have met the right person at the right time," she said. "My life has been very serene." She married Ponti in 1966; they remained together until his death in 2007 at age 94.
LENA DUNHAM ADMITS SHE LOVES DRESSING LIKE A ‘FULL-SCALE BABY’: In an essay for InStyle’s September issue, Lena Dunham confessed that she "peaked at the age of six." As a 6-year-old, Dunham wrote, "I was everything I’d ever wanted to be (formidably adorable), everywhere I ever wanted to go (my bedroom) and hanging with the hottest company in town (my parents). So, like the high school quarterback who can’t stop milling around the football field well into middle age, I have just continued to dress like a full-scale baby." To this day, she simply can’t "buy enough" rompers, blouses with Peter Pan collars and baby-doll shifts.
REESE WITHERSPOON, JENNIFER GARNER, MAHERSHALA ALI TO STAND UP TO CANCER: 2018’s Stand Up to Cancer Fundraising Special on September 7th is going to be a star-studded event. Co-exec producer Bradley Cooper said: "As someone whose family has been significantly touched by cancer, I am proud to again have the privilege of co-executive producing this year's Stand Up to Cancer telecast." Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner, Mahershala Ali, Keith Urban, Matthew McConaughey and Ed Helms will all appear when the commercial-free program airs live over several channels. Since the first telecast ten years ago, the event has reportedly received $480 million in pledges, contributing to new treatments and therapies.
RHOD SAYS SIZE 6 IS TOO BIG: Bravo’s Real Housewives of Dallas star D’Andra Simmons says there’s "huge pressure" to be tiny in Texas. "All the women have to be glamorous and thin and basically look like they’re stepping out of a photo shoot every time they leave their house," she told Page Six. "My mother has perfected the smokey eye at 8 a.m.! So she’s never been overweight a day in her life. She’s just this gorgeous, I mean statuesque woman and she always has been. And to keep up with all the beautiful women and what you’re supposed to be — you’re supposed to be glamorous. You’re supposed to be classy. You’re supposed to be thin. A size two would be preferable. I’m a size six so I’m a little bit over the limit!"
ANGELA BASSETT STUNS IN BIKINI ON 60th BIRTHDAY: Angela Bassett shared a sizzling bikini selfie on Instagram, proving age is seriously just a number for her. The Black Panther star captioned the shot: "Happy Birthday to all my Leo brothers and sisters. Let’s eat cake!"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is back! The Emmy Award-winner made a victorious return to HBO's Veep last week for the first table read, but before she filmed her first scene for season 7, she assembled the crew and thanked them for their support. (Louis-Dreyfus recently took time off to battle breast cancer and heal).
"I really appreciate everyone coming back and working it out to come back," the actress said in an Instagram video right before shooting the first take of Season 7. "I’m very grateful. Thank you very much. Love you guys Season seven!"
"Before the first shot of season 7 of @veephbo. So deeply grateful to be back together with all these superb people," she captioned the video.
Filming of season 7 was postponed in 2017 after she was diagnosed with cancer. The 57-year-old went through four rounds of chemotherapy and surgery since then.
In February, post-surgery, she wrote on Instagram, "Hoorah! Great doctors, great results, feeling happy and ready to rock after surgery. Hey cancer, ‘F–k you!’"
Mum’s the word. Ruth Wilson appeared on CBS This Morning, granting her first interview since it was revealed that her character Alison Bailey had been killed in the August 5th episode of Showtime’s The Affair.
And while she said she’d asked to leave, she also noted she’s "not allowed to talk about why," prompting (of course), a flurry of speculation on the subject. When host Gayle King pressed her on whether her exit could be linked to her salary, she said: "I've never complained to Showtime about pay parity."
Interestingly, in February, she’d told Radio Times that her male cohort Dominic West "definitely gets more" money than her on the series. "Certainly when I signed up to that project, I would have got paid less," she said. "Then the producers might argue, 'Well, he's already done a major American TV show The Wire, so he's already got a level.' But even after a Golden Globe, I'm not going to be on parity. So he definitely gets more than me. I mean, I don't know what the figure is, but I'm sure he does."
Showrunner Sarah Treem told The Hollywood Reporter of her decision to leave: "That was a request, so that was decided basically before we started writing. It wasn't a discovery of any kind. That was very deliberate. And actually, we shot all of her work first. Her whole storyline was shot before we shot anything else."
Late in the day Thursday after much speculation, Showtime issued a statement, contradicting both of them and claiming the decision had been mutual. "We can’t speak for Ruth, but heading into season four everyone agreed the character’s story had run its course. Ultimately, it felt like the most powerful creative decision would be to end Alison’s arc at the moment when she had finally achieved self-empowerment," Showtime said. "The impact of her loss will be felt as the series concludes next season. We thank the many fans who embraced the character of Alison and especially thank Ruth for her indelible work over the past four seasons."
Reality TV star Bethenny Frankel’s ex-husband is questioning her "parental judgment" following the death and suspected drug overdose of her on-and-off boyfriend Dennis Shields, Page Six reports.
"It was reported that he died of an Oxycodone overdose. Our concern is while his death is very sad, this raises serious concerns about Ms. Frankel’s parental judgment," Hoppy’s attorney Robert Wallack said at a hearing Thursday, Page Six reports.
"Considering Mr. Shields’ addiction, what does that say about Ms. Frankel’s parenting that she would allow this person to care for her daughter? This doesn’t just constitute a lapse in judgment, this was just downright dangerous parenting," Wallack said, noting that Shields "cared for Bryn at times when Ms. Frankel wasn’t around."
He pointed to a recent episode of The Real Housewives of New York, which aired May 30th, in which he claimed she "appeared to be intoxicated."
"She was running around without clothes on and then she passed out and it was said she passed out from mixing Ambien with alcohol. Our concerns are whether Ms. Frankel may have some type of substance-abuse problems, so we would ask the court to order drug testing of Ms. Frankel to find out whether that’s an issue," Wallack said.
You never know what’s going to break up a marriage. While Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have been airing their dirty laundry ever since they announced their split in 2016, no one could have predicted that feces-flecked sheets may have led to their demise.
According to U.K.’s The Mirror, Depp believed that Heard soiled the sheets of their bed in an act of vengeance (he was two hours late to her 30th birthday party), while Heard persists in blaming the mess on her dog.
The Edward Scissorhands star reportedly left their L.A. penthouse in a snit following their fight, and the housekeeper found the sheets the next day. The worker opined that the poop was too large to belong to Boo (a Yorkshire terrier), but Heard is standing by her story. A rep for Heard told The Mirror that Boo has "serious" bowel issues.
A source close to Depp, meanwhile, says the 55-year-old claims here is "strong, photographic evidence that connected Amber to the feces," which he opined were left as a "prank."
Heard got custody of Boo and their other dog, Pistol, after their divorce was settled in January of 2017.
Serena Williams has revealed that she found out about 10 minutes before her match against Johanna Konta at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic that the man who killed her sister, Yetunde Price, had been paroled. In Williams’ interview with Time magazine, she said, "I couldn't shake it out of my mind."
Williams continued, "I have so many things on my mind; I don't have time to be shocked about a loss that clearly wasn't at my best right now. When I was out there, was fighting. That's the only thing I can say. It was hard because all I think about is her kids and what they meant to me. And how much I love them."
She added, "No matter what, my sister is not coming back for good behavior. It's unfair that she'll never have an opportunity to hug me."
On forgiving her sister’s killer, Williams said, "I would like to practice what I preach, and teach daughter Olympia that as well. I want to forgive. I have to get there. I’ll be there."
Williams lost 6-1, 6-0 to Konta in the July 31st match.
She is currently preparing for the U.S. Open in NYC.
Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez wants to use her platform to talk about causes that are important to her, she tells Fox News. The 34-year-old, born to Puerto Rican parents, specifically discussed immigrant rights and #MeToo.
"I am all about human rights and that’s what I stand for," Rodriguez said. "Every country has immigration rights, every country has borders – every country does what America does, but we need to be humane."
She referred to President Donald Trump’s handling of immigration issues as "devastating."
Rodriguez recently announced that she’d use her "For Your Consideration" Emmy campaign money to send an undocumented high school student to college. The unnamed student got into Princeton, she revealed.
She also spoke out in favor of #MeToo. Rodriguez said: "Now we have a voice of all the women who are rising up and saying ‘You’re not alone in this fight.’"
AMAZON’S HOMECOMING TO PREMIERE AT TIFF: Julia Roberts’ foray into the land of streaming will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Amazon’s Homecoming will lead TIFF’s TV line-up with four episodes set to be screened. The psychological thriller is based on the eponymous podcast. Facebook Watch’s Sorry For Your Loss, which is created by Kit Steinkellner and directed by James Ponsoldt, will also screen four episodes. TIFF runs from September 6-16th.
MARVEL DROPS IRON FIST TRAILER: Netflix is revealing a glimpse of Iron Fist’s Season 2 (set to launch September 7th). Finn Jones, unsurprisingly, is still kicking butt. Jessica Henwick is back too, as is Colleen Wing, the villain Davos played by Sacha Dhawan and the now semi-bionic Missy Knight, played by crossing over Luke Cage vet Simone Missick."I’m really excited for people to see this trailer as it really teases what this new season offers – an evolution for the series," new showrunner and executive producer Raven Metzber tells Deadline of the revitalized Iron Fist. "I really hope this gets people excited for what’s in store in Season 2 . I’m just so proud of what we all made together and can’t wait until it premieres."
KEANU REEVES IS SET TO PUBLISH ESOTERIC BOOKS: Keanu Reeves has launched an imprint dubbed X Artists’ Books. Among the rarities set to be published by Reeves and his business partner, artist Alexandra Grant: Zus, a visual essay French photographer Benoît Fougeirol reportedly "structured around the 11 ‘Zones urbaines sensibles’ of Paris’s banlieues that presents the Brutalist peripheries as a failure of both the state and imagination."
ROMA TRAILER DROPS: The Oscar-winning Alfonso Cuaron is teasing his return to the screen after four years of silence. The black-and-white Roma will be distributed by Netflix and will premiere at the Venice Film Festival later this summer. The film chronicles domestic strife in 1970s Mexico City as political trouble roils.