May 08
2019

Social Bite’s sleepout is going global as the Edinburgh charity’s fundraising event will take place in Times Square, New York – with the help of Will Smith. Dame Helen Mirren has also signed up to Social Bite’s biggest charity campaign yet, with 50,000 people around the world sleeping outside to raise money for homelessness. Sleep in the Park, the brainchild of Social Bite founder Josh Littlejohn, has been growing and growing since it began in 2016. In December, 10,000 people took part in sleepouts in all of Scotland’s major cities. On Wednesday, Social Bite announced The World’s Big Sleep Out would take place on December 7 this year. The flagship event will be in Times Square, with Will Smith reading a “bedtime story” to those taking part. Dame Helen will read to those in London. Events will also be taking place in Edinburgh, Chicago, Newcastle, New Delhi, Santiago, Dublin, Newcastle, Dublin, Belfast, Cardiff, Brussels, Barcelona and Madrid. Social Bite said: “The campaign is positioned as the ‘Live Aid’ for the issue of global homelessness – a one-off international event aiming to raise an incredible $50,000,000 and focus global attention on the issue. “Holywood Stars Dame Helen Mirren and Will Smith have agreed to perform the ‘bed time story’ in London and New York respectively, with more big names and musicians yet to be announced throughout the world.” They added: “Partners for the campaign include the Malala Fund, UNICEF USA and the Institute of Global Homelessness, who will be able to support a target of around 1,000,000 homeless and displaced people with the funds raised. Local charities will also significantly benefit where the events take place. “What was born in Scotland is now being adopted worldwide, creating a unity like no other before. “We set out on this mission to be a Scotland for the world to follow, and we hope that this campaign will inspire others around the world to address this local, global and important issue. “We’re extremely proud to be a part of this incredible movement and we hope you are too.” You an find out more on the Big Sleep Out website here.

Apr 18
2019

Let’s hope Helen Mirren has seen her performance in The Fast & Furious 8 in the meantime, because she has another one coming up. In the latest trailer for Universal’s Fast & Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham come out swinging. The trailer then pivots to a widescreen introduction of Idris Elba’s Brixton Lore, a cyber-genetically-enhanced criminal mastermind, who announces he’s coming for the duo and Shaw’s sister, Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby). The latter stole from Lore a catastrophically deadly virus, and Lore wants it back. In line with previous Fast & Furious films, the world-saving mission becomes part family business, with Helen Mirren’s red-lipsticked Magdalene Shaw even making a brief appearance in a red jumpsuit behind a glass partition. “Look after your sister,” she says before Hobbs and Shaw buckle up to take down a slew of international baddies. A barrage of punches, car chases, explosions and airplane ejections follow, as Lore re-appears, announcing himself as “black Superman” before going head-to-head with the leading duo. However with Hobbs and Shaw seemingly unable to slow the genetically altered villain and his army of mercenaries, the two go off the grid to Hobbs’ home turf. Written by Chris Morgan, a regular scribe for the Universal franchise, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw hits theaters on Aug. 2.

Apr 15
2019


Dame Helen Mirren was on hand at yesterday’s BFI & Radio Times Television Festival, and has said she was “scared” and “frightened” by her new role as Catherine the Great, according to The Independent. The actress – who stars as the titular Russian queen in the Sky Atlantic drama – described the show’s creator’s decision to write the part for her as a “terrible mistake”. Speaking at the festival, the veteran actress explained that a pair of producers she had previously worked with had read an interview in which she had mentioned wanting to play the powerful monarch. She said: “I made the mistake when I was doing an interview and someone said, ‘what would you like to do next?’ Maybe it was after Elizabeth. “I said, ‘Well, I’d quite like to play Catherine the Great, actually. That would be an interesting character’. “People heard that, producers David Thompson, who was involved in Elizabeth, and Charlie Pattinson – and they went off and raised the money. “It’s really bad. I was, ‘oh no, that’s a terrible mistake’. But then I was committed. I couldn’t wriggle out of it.” Dame Helen, who also starred as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen, said being responsible for kick-starting such a vast project had worried her. “I think I was nervous. I think was frightened,” she said. “I don’t know why but I was. You set yourself up to fall flat on your face. I’ve always been very wary of saying ‘I’d like to do this’, because it is a recipe for disaster. “It’s better to allow things to come randomly and brilliantly.” The Oscar-winner’s induction into the Radio Times hall of fame closed three days of panel discussions and talks at the festival. Dame Helen also defended Catherine the Great against claims of promiscuity and that she had had sex with a horse. She said: “That was calumny thrown at her by history because history doesn’t like very successful, very powerful women. “They have to drag them down and history tried to drag Catherine down. I hope we are going to reinstate her reputation as the incredible leader that she was. “I’m not saying she didn’t have her faults. She made mistakes and finished up quite tyrannical but she was originally a reformer and a Westerniser, if you like, of this vast, vast country.” Catherine the Great is set to air on Sky Atlantic this autumn.

Apr 12
2019

A couple of fantastic production stills from the upcoming HBO miniseries “Catherine the Great” have been added to the photo gallery.

Apr 10
2019

Lionsgate’s Summit label has decided to give Luc Besson’s Anna a high-profile summer release. The crime-thriller, starring Russian supermodel and actress Sasha Luss opposite Helen Mirren, will open in theaters on June 21. Anna’s opening was put on hold last year when Belgian-Dutch actress Sand Van Roy filed a complaint in May 2018 accusing the director of drugging and raping her at a Paris Hotel. In November, five more women came forward in a report in French investigative magazine Mediapart, alleging sexual misconduct. In total, at least nine separate women have accused the director of sexual assault and harassment. In late February of this year, the Paris prosecutor’s office dismissed the rape charges after an investigation failed to turn up evidence to support Roy’s allegation. Nevertheless, promoting Anna could prove problematic in terms of putting Besson in front of the press. Lionsgate and Summit acquired domestic rights to the movie before the rape charge and other allegations. The movie is his first directorial effort since Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets — which featured Van Roy — hit theaters in 2017, grossing $225 million globally. Anna also stars Luke Evans, Cillian Murphy, Eric Godon and Anna Krippa. The story follows former model who turns government assassin (Luss). Mirren plays her boss. Toy Story 4 and Child’s Play also open nationwide over the June 21-23 weekend. Edit: An international teaser trailer, which features completely different scenes, has been added as well.