Sunday, June 16, 2024

Among Cambridge celebrity issues, surely the most weird this week has been an item from Stuff — the New Zealand version — in which Mindy Kaling becomes the top example of writer Nicole Elphick’s musings on “When celebrities disappoint you.” Why?

“My boyfriend informed me ‘She’s Republican,’” Elphick writes. “I went on a half-hour Google binge trying to prove him wrong. Unfortunately, all I turned up was her inclusion on lists like ‘Actresses and Female Singers You Don’t Realize are Conservative’ and tweets referencing Vince Vaughn’s support of Republican politician Ron Paul, which Kaling said ‘makes me like him more.’”

Kaling has also sent such tweets as “Dear David Geffen, love your Malibu hotel. Totally agree with you re: beach riff-raff. Love, new-money Republican, Mindy Kaling” and in her book, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns),” repeats a friend’s eulogy — including a bit about how “she’s weirdly pro-gun Republican.” None of this is really compelling evidence given that she’s a comedian who’s also gone on Conan to recount her “Today Show” appearance with Bill Clinton and how she may have had a shot with the Democratic ex-president, since she’s “totally Bill Clinton’s type.” (In a 2007 blog post, Kaling wrote “What most people don’t know about me is that I’m way conservative,” but she wrote that in the context of supporting the writers’ strike disrupting Hollywood productions at the time.)

Despite being a woman of color from Cambridge who’s the daughter of an OB/GYN, maybe Kaling is a Republican? Stranger things have happened.

Not many.

Whatever her political leanings, people dying to see her new Fox sitcom, “The Mindy Project,” before it arrives online or has its television premiere can go Sunday to the AMC Framingham for a sneak peek. Chances are slim there are still slots to get in, but The Boston Globe has the details.

Speaking of conservative Cambridge actors, if it has been harder to spot John Malkovich and his beret around Harvard Square for a while, in part that’s because he’s been off shooting “Red2,” the sequel to the 2010 film about aging spies. Malkovich, 58, was in the first with Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman, part of what the Hollywood Reporter is calling “Hollywood’s New Hot Demo.” The first movie cost less than $60 million to make and grossed $90 million in U.S. box office alone, making a sequel almost inevitable. The “Red2” teaser poster is out, as you’ll see above.

Meanwhile, Ben Affleck, fresh off presenting and winning at the Do Something Awards for his Eastern Congo Initiative, tried to quash rumors he’d be directing (and possibly taking a role in) the upcoming “Justice League” movie.

“I’m not working on the ‘Justice League.’ One of the problems with entertainment websites is that they need to fill pages, and that’s how rumors get started,” he told Liz Braun in an item in the Toronto Sun. “‘Justice League’ sounds really exciting, but it’s not something I’m working on.” Braun remains skeptical, saying “Affleck could truthfully say he’s not working on the Justice League (right now) but still go ahead and direct it in the future.”

By the way, Affleck, an ardent Democrat, won’t be at the Democratic convention this year, The Associated Press says.

Matt Damon — who is apparently Affleck’s 10th cousin once removed — has joined the third Stand Up to Cancer telethon, which will be shown from 8 to 9 p.m. Sept. 7 on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and more than a dozen cable channels; and The Wraps says there are enough hopes for an Oscar or two for Gus Van Sant’s environmentally themed “Promised Land” for it to get a qualifying limited theater run in December. It stars Damon and John Krasinski, both of whom co-wrote from a story by Dave Eggers.

Rapper Sammy Adams has had an up-and-down August. He turned 25 on Aug. 14, got good reviews for his latest, 15-track mixtape (which “does not deviate from [upbeat party music, but] this is not to say that ‘OK Cool’ doesn’t showcase Adams’ growth as an artist and producer,” says Nick Wesdock at The Daily Athenaeum) and plenty of attention for releasing a video for his song “All Night Longer.” Here’s how the fans at Idolator describe it:

Adams makes out with girls, throws back some shots and probably comes close to vomiting a couple dozen times. The fun party atmosphere gets an assist from some humorous animation, which may or may not be caused by the pink elephants running around Sammy’s inebriated brain.

In a comment that should narrow eyelids as readers do a quick test for irony, James Shotwell at has this take on the video: “Some will hate, but if it’s his life then it’s the story he needs to tell.”

Ah, but then Sammy Adams hit Houston’s Rice University for a show with the Tontons and Travis Porter, did a pre-show interview like a big shot (Saddest quote in retrospect: “To make the live show what it is, it takes a lot of prep, and you really need to think about it. A lot of people sort of just come out on stage and play their full songs with full lyrics behind it, but we aren’t that type of crew. We want to go out and prove ourselves. We want to show that we have what it takes to make any lineup anywhere across the country”) then went onstage as headliner only to find himself, in the words of aptly titled student news site The Rice Thresher, giving “a rousing performance in front of tens of students.”

“Quite frankly, there is no reason we should not be able to attract an artist big enough that students come out and pack [the performance hall],” wrote Seth Brown and Ryan Gupta, rubbing it in.

Student-provided crowd estimates said there may have been a peak 400 students, down to as low as 30 by the time Sammy Adams — whose big hit was “I Hate College” — got halfway through his set.

Electropop band Passion Pit, meanwhile, has all the love and cred they can handle as they perform at the Reading and Leeds festivals and prepare a November tour of the U.K., but writer and singer Michael Angelakos says he’s intimidated by the audiences. “I think English crowds are a little more … they kind of terrify me a little bit,” he said, quoted in NME. “They’re the cool kids, you know? I don’t consider myself very cool.”

At the band’s first-ever Singapore show, Angelakos couldn’t have been too intimidated. Asia One’s review of the show leads off with how midway through the show a female fan yelled to him with “unbridled passion”: “I want to make love to your beard!” Whoops and laughter followed from other concertgoers, Victoria Barker writes.

And from Washington, D.C., writer Stephen Bradley assures us the Mighty Mighty Bosstones — formed in the early 1980s when Cambridge “high school chums” Joe Gittleman, Nate Albert and Ben Carr approached Dicky Barrett about fronting their band, according to the band’s official historyrock as hard as ever.

This post was updated Nov. 10, 2012, with a link to a blog post by Mindy Kaling.