- Arts + Culture
- Political notes
Ben Affleck: Just as the three-for-three director turned down a “Justice League” job, Affleck has seemingly rejected taking on the next “Star Wars” movie now that the property is owned by Disney. “I’d be too busy worrying about how the action figures would look for each character to direct the actual movie,” he told MTV, saying there were several directors who could do a good job but calling out J.J. Abrams by name: “J.J. would kill it, he would crush it, but he would be great at anything.”
He was speaking at an event centered around GQ’s Men of the Year list, which he’s on with Channing Tatum. But Tatum is also People magazine’s Sexiest Man of the Year, a sort-of honor Affleck had back in 2002. “I think [Channing] is [deserving], and always has been,” Affleck told Access Hollywood. “He’s a very good guy and an extremely, extremely sexy man.”
Oh, 2002, when Affleck was dating Jennifer Lopez. Thanks to “Argo” effect, which keeps him in the public eye as an artistic success story, he has plenty of opportunities to think about that time. While he’s also talking about how he worked on Terrence Malick’s “To the Wonder” basically to see Malick direct (“I understand it got booed quite thoroughly at [the Venice Film Festival]. Honestly, you have to want to see that movie — there’s hardly any talking. It’s a tone poem. If you don’t want to see that, you should not go,” he told GQ, recounting how Malick would give as much attention to trees as actors) and the difficulties of adapting Stephen King’s “The Stand” into a three-movie epic (“We’re having a very hard time. But I like the idea — it’s like ‘The Lord of the Rings’ in America”), he’s also talking about how much he hated being a celebrity (“I was surrounded by suck-ups who wanted to be on my side because they thought it was cool”) and felt murderer Scott Peterson got “slightly better treatment” in the media, resulting in him moving to a small town in Georgia to get away from it all.
He was probably ecstatic when Mashable asked him to name his eight favorite TED talks.
Casey Affleck: Little brother Casey, meanwhile, has his deal to write and direct a movie about baseball’s Josh Hamilton based on the book Hamilton co-wrote, “Beyond Belief: Finding The Strength To Come Back.” Deadline was first to report the deal. The story: baseball phenom gets addicted to crack cocaine, his wife kicks him out and he’s reduced to mowing and cleaning toilets at a baseball training facility. Now he’s beaten the addiction and back on top.
Matt Damon: With Monday being World Toilet Day and Damon being the co-founder of conservation group Water.org, of course there’s lots of gentle toilet humor, um, floating around for publicity purposes. The Mother Nature Network notes that Damon and Water.org partner Gary White brought back their “Talk Sh*t All Week” twitter campaign and that the star (with shaven head from “Elysium”) also has a “True or False” YouTube video game posted.
Damon is also still drawing attention from a Hollywood Reporter actors roundtable, in which he said he hopes his daughters stay far away from acting, because the industry is “brutal” for women, and recalled from making “Good Will Hunting” and the time immediately afterward that “you kind of retard emotionally at the moment you become famous.”
Conservatives are still freaking out over “Promised Land,” Damon’s upcoming anti-fracking film with Gus Van Sant and John Krasinski. The Heritage Network has posted the entire script to see if it can spread the feeling.
And the fashionistas at Style Bistro are still freaking out about the fedora Damon wore for “The Adjustment Bureau” last year. The sites’ advice: Don’t try it. “If Matt Damon and Ian Somerhalder can’t pull off this look without looking uber-cheesy, you my friend, probably can’t either,” the site says.
Mindy Kaling: While Kaling’s newly birthed “The Mindy Project” sitcom continues to be the jumping-off point for seemingly every recent sales pitch and thinkpiece concerning women’s weight and age in Hollywood, as well as the phenomenon of the all-media star being forced to repeat their own jokes, it also gets some attention on artistic merits. The fact that “Barney Miller” veteran Hal Linden will guest star drew some ink last week, for instance. But there are also lengthy analyses of the show itself and what it says about women and relationships. Even a Crushable story with the innocent-sounding headline “If Mindy Kaling And Chris Messina Don’t Kill Each Other, They’ll Make A Great TV Couple” has some commentary about gender roles, while ThinkProgress’ commentary is as sharp as you’d expect with the headline “Why ‘The Mindy Project’ Is As Big A Mess As Its Heroine’s Love Life.” Alyssa Rosenberg writes:
But that total disinterest in actual women’s health pervades the show. My discomfort with the show began in the pilot when Mindy flat-out missed a delivery, blew off another in the midst of a date, and faced absolutely no consequences for her flagrant disregard for her patients. Obstetrics and gynecology are delicate health care issues, and I’d initially hoped that The Mindy Project might break television’s normal awkward silence around them. As that hope faded, I hoped that the show might at least redeem Mindy’s immaturity in other areas by demonstrating her basic competence as a doctor, something that provided the emotional and M.I.A.-scored climax of the pilot. But we’ve never seen Mindy in an extended scene with a patient since. I understand that the choice of setting is an homage to Kaling’s late mother, but she could have done better, or at least more with the idea than this.
Passion Pit: As the electropop band launches its UK. tour, singer and lyricist Michael Angelakos has a Gigwise interview that goes in depth on his recent bout with depression. There’s lots of good stuff, including Angelakos’ comments about some of the motivations behind his creative process:
I love honest music. You can hear when people are fake now. Anyone can make a song today. Anyone can write a pop song with a hook and a synth line. What sets people apart is the personality and the humanization of it and I wanted to humanize this project, make myself vulnerable and show that this is actually a band. From that, to the lyrics being so personal and being so direct in getting across these pretty sad and depressing instances, perhaps maybe even more so than I ever intended for. All across the board I felt this was a humanization of what everyone perceived to be just an electropop band.
Sammy Adams: The rapper did a remix of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” that has the kind of person who’d care buzzing: Will they date?
He sings about her “red lips so hard to miss” and calls her a “good girl gone bad/too much for a Kennedy.” The two met at an show over the summer and have had no reported meeting since while the country pop star was dating Conor Kennedy, but at the end of his remix Adams says, “I guess the whole world knows now.”
While the rumor is that Swift and Kennedy faked their breakup (OMG!) to soothe an alarmed Kennedy clan, conjectures about a Swift-Adams dalliance go on — with not everyone expecting a storybook romance. “Swift’s entire music career is based on breaking the hearts of men and then incorporating those emotions into her mindless lyrics,” Renier Palland says at Celeb Dirty Laundry.