Entertainment

"Everyone is fascinated with bad guys": Christian Bale goes from Batman to "butcher" in 'Thor: Love and Thunder'

Marvel Studios

Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters this weekend, and for Christian Bale, the film gave him a chance to pivot from playing a beloved hero, Batman, in Chris Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, to this film's heavy: Gorr the God Butcher.

The character begins as a devout man, whose god failed him and his people -- particularly his daughter -- and he gets the chance to get even. Soon, he begins a galaxy-wide vendetta against all gods, including, of course, Chris Hemsworth's titular god of Thunder.

"It's a lot easier to play a villain than it is to play a hero," Bale enthused at a recent press event. "Everyone is fascinated with bad guys immediately, and then the beauty of it is that Taika can make it bloody hilarious and really moving as well," referring to writer-director Taika Waititi.

Bale adds, "I don't know if it's pushing it too much to say 'sympathy', but certainly you sort of understand maybe why this guy is making awful decisions, you know -- and he is a monster and he is a butcher -- but yeah, there's possibly a little understanding of why he came to be that way."

Thor: Love and Thunder also stars Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Russell Crowe, and Chris Pratt and his Guardians of the Galaxy pals. It opens nationwide July 8.

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Hayden Panettiere opens up about struggle with alcoholism, postpartum depression

Good Morning America

After four years away from the Hollywood spotlight , actress Hayden Panettiere is opening up for the first time about the challenges she's faced that nearly destroyed her career.

In a People and Good Morning America exclusive interview, the 32-year-old said that she'd been "struggling for a long time."

"I didn't know where the alcoholism was ending and the postpartum was beginning. And I ran myself pretty ragged," she said.

Since her hit show Nashville ended in 2018, Panettiere said the years that followed have "been difficult."

"I just needed a break," she said.

Shortly after the birth of her daughter in 2014, Panettiere was overcome with postpartum depression. She told ABC News' Kaylee Hartung she turned to "the bottom of a bottle" for support.

"I didn't have any negative feelings towards my child," she said. "I just knew I was deeply depressed," like she "was in...this haze that just wasn't me."

"People around me were more concerned about my usage of alcohol than they ever were about the postpartum depression," the actress admitted.

They thought she was "being a crazy woman" or "an overly emotional female," but Panetierre said, "it was so out of my control."

"I felt like I was walking blind," Hayden expressed. "And I don't like to ask for help either. I wanna be that strong, stoic woman. But, I mean, when you see a happy-go-lucky girl for years suddenly on the floor in a puddle of mess and alcohol, you gotta know something is wrong."

Eventually, Panettiere sought out the treatment she needed, which included making friends who could understand her struggles.

Panettiere says she is now sober and is taking things one day at a time.

"It's an everyday battle," she said, adding, I'm grateful to say that I'm sober today."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


In Brief: Chris Evans, Emily Blunt prep for 'Pain', and more

Chris Evans has joined Emily Blunt in the cast of Netflix's Pain Hustlers, according to Variety. Blunt plays a high school dropout "dreaming of a better life for her and her young daughter" who "lands a job with a failing pharmaceutical start-up in a yellowing strip mall in Central Florida," per the streaming service. Her "charm, guts and drive catapult the company and her into the high life, where she soon finds herself at the center of a criminal conspiracy with deadly consequences.” Evans' role has not been revealed. The Captain America star will next be seen in Netflix's The Gray Man, alongside Ryan Gosling and Ana de Armas...

The CW has announced the fall premiere dates for its primetime lineup on Monday. Stargirl provides a teaser of sorts, with an August 31 launch. Then the 2022-23 season opens in earnest on October 2 with the premieres of Family Law and Coroner. Kung Fu kicks off its new season October 5, followed by Walker and Walker: Independence on October 6. All American and All American: Homecoming debut October 10, then it's The Winchesters and Professionals on October 11. October 14 kicks off the new seasons of Penn & Teller: Fool Us and Whose Line Is It Anyway. Finally it's, Criss Angel's Magic with the Stars and World's Funniest Animals on October 22...

HBO Max on Tuesday released the official trailer its upcoming Issa Rae-directed comedy series, Rap S***. The show centers on two Miami-based rappers -- Shawna, played by Aida Osman, and Mia, played by KaMillion -- who try to find success in the music industry. The series will debut on July 21, with the first two episodes premiering as a special event. The eight-episode season will then air one episode per week, wrapping up on September 1... (Trailer contains uncensored profanity.)

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'Bachelorette's Michelle Young says split with Nayte Olukoya "not something I foresaw"

Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images

The Bachelorette alum Michelle Young is finally shedding some light on her breakup with season 18 winner Nayte Olukoya, a turn of events that left her blindsided.

“I will say this is not something that I foresaw and I'll leave it there,” Michelle said during an appearance on Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti's Almost Famous podcast on Tuesday, adding that she has “good days” and “bad days” and is “leaning on...friends [and] family for support” as she navigates the breakup.

“Breakups suck. Breakups are awful,” she explaining that “what's so difficult is that it sometimes feels like it's not in your control. You wake up and you some days you just feel like, ‘OK, I just have to...give it time."

"But it is this situation where I'm like, ‘This is not how the story ends for me.’ Where I'm at right now emotionally, mentally, like, how my heart feels -- this is not how the story ends and I deserve to really make it to that point where I get those things.”

Nayte, meanwhile, has denied allegations that he was cheating on her, writing on his Instagram stories, “Not every breakup needs to have someone to blame. Yes, many of you seem to paint me as a red flag/ f*** boy … But I’m actually a decent guy, and I only want to continue getting better. As we should all want for ourselves,” according to Us Weekly.

Young and Olukoya, who got engaged during the December 2021 finale of The Bachelorette, announced their decision to end their relationship in respective statements on June 17.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Reimagining of 'Beauty and the Beast' coming to ABC December 15

Disney

To celebrate the milestone anniversary of the Oscar-winning animated film, ABC and Disney are teaming up for a "one-night only" event called Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration.

Airing on December 15 at 8 p.m. ET, the two-hour animated and live-action "reimagination" will pay tribute to the original 1991 film and its legacy "by showcasing the fan-favorite movie, along with new memorable musical performances, taking viewers on a magical adventure through the eyes of Belle," according to a press release.

The live-action performers will be announced at a later date, but John M. Chu, the director of the hit Crazy Rich Asians and the musical movie In The Heights, is producing. British director Hamish Hamilton, a veteran of the Super Bowl halftime show who has worked with the likes of Eminem and Madonna, will be calling the shots.

The original Beauty and the Beast was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Picture category and took home a Best Music trophy for composer Alan Menken.

The movie was remade into a hit live-action adaptation starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as Adam/The Beast. It also featured performances from Josh Gad as LeFou, Luke Evans as Gaston, and featured the voices of Ewan McGregor as Lumière and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Stranger Things' finale helps series cross billion-hours-viewed mark

Netflix

Stranger Things brought the fireworks for Netflix over the weekend. 

For the first time since the global phenomenon Squid Game, viewership for Stranger Things surpassed 1.15 billion hours on the streaming service following the drop of season 4, volume 2 on July 1. That's a record for an English-language show on the streamer.

The show's fourth season made up for more than 301 million hours of that staggering total for the week spanning June 27-July 3, landing it on the top 10 for English language TV shows in 93 countries.

The previous Stranger Things seasons also landed on the list in that period: Its first season ranked #3; season 2 #6; and season 3 came in at #5. 

The Korean import Squid Game holds the Netflix record for the most-viewed series overall, with 1.65 billion total viewing hours worldwide.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


James Cameron dishes on 'Avatar' sequels, disses series' "trolls"

Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Thanks to a 2021 rerelease that nudged it past Avengers: Endgame, 2009's Avatar remains the highest grossing movie of all time.

Its haul -- before a September re-rerelease -- stands at $2.8 billion.

That said, there are many who wonder how Avatar got there in the first place. Director James Cameron has heard those gripes; in true James Cameron form, the man working on four sequels to the original doesn't hold back.

"The trolls will have it that nobody gives a sh** and they can't remember the characters' names or one damn thing that happened in the movie," he grouses to Empire magazine. "Then they see the movie again and go, 'Oh, OK, excuse me, let me just shut the f*** up right now.'"

He's also not worried about the run time of December's sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water which -- as of now -- is around three hours.

"I don't want anybody whining about length when they sit and binge-watch [TV] for eight hours," Cameron says. "I can almost write this part of the review. 'The agonizingly long three-hour movie …' It's like, give me a f***ing break ..."

He adds, "Here's the big social paradigm shift that has to happen: it's OK to get up and go pee."

As for its three sequels, which will roll out through 2028, the Titanic Oscar winner explains, "I think eventually ... after [Avatar] three or after four -- I’ll want to pass the baton to a director that I trust to take over," he mused, adding, "Or maybe not. I don't know."

Cameron says the third Avatar movie is in the can, having shot concurrently with the second, which adds Kate Winslet to its original cast, which includes Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldaña and Sam Worthington.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Not very gentlemanly: Theaters cracking down as "gentleminions" trend helps push 'Minions' prequel to box office record

Universal Pictures

Viral trends might seem a little peculiar to those technically too old to be a part of them, but enjoying things ironically is a key element to the TikTok generation.

And a new trend helped propel Minions: The Rise of Gru to a July 4 box office record.

Even before the social media platform was a thing, Gen Y used Instagram to meme Shrek -- and with it, Smashmouth's "All Star" -- back into the public consciousness, and now Gen Z has set its sights on Minions.

To that end, droves of mostly male teens, who are technically out of the kids movie's demographic, have been showing up to theaters all over the world.

Wearing business attire in tribute to the series' supervillian Gru, voiced by Steve Carrell, the Gentleminions, as they've dubbed themselves, have been posting their en masse movements into movie houses, where they watch with synchronized tented fingers -- again, a la Gru.

Some bring bananas, the little yellow critters' favorite snack.

Hey, we said it's peculiar -- but it's still more wholesome than the Tide Pod challenge.

After millions and millions of viral views, some movie chains have had enough. They're banning the suited teens from theaters after some acted rowdy -- and yes, some bananas were thrown.

A theater chain in the U.K. even complained about "massive" financial losses from having to refund other patrons' tickets because of the Gentleminions' ungentlemanly behavior.

That said, Universal Pictures couldn't be more pleased. "to everyone showing up to @Minions in suits: we see you and we love you," the studio tweeted. To boot, the movie's official account also posted a montage of the Gentleminions to -- where else -- TikTok.



Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Quentin Tarantino and wife Daniela welcome second child

Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Oscar winner Quentin Tarantino and his wife, Daniela, had an extra special fourth of July this year: They welcomed a baby daughter on July 2.

The filmmaker, 59, and his actress, model, and singer wife, 38, broke the happy news to People in a statement.

The pair met in 2009, and got engaged in June 2017. They married the following year, and welcomed their first child, son Leo, in February of 2020, after Daniela appeared in the director's 2019 film Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood.

Speaking of, Tarantino once told Jimmy Kimmel that Leo wasn't named after that film's star, Leonardo DiCaprio, explaining, "We almost didn't name him that because people would assume I named him after Leonardo DiCaprio -- which, nothing wrong with that, but I didn't." Tarantino said the boy was named after his wife's grandfather, and also because "in our hearts, he's our little lion."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Chris Rock and Lake Bell fuel dating rumors with LA dinner date

Frank Micelotta/20th Century Fox Television/PictureGroup -- Walt Disney Television/Yolanda Perez

Chris Rock and Lake Bell fueled romance rumors on Saturday after being spotted on a dinner date in Santa Monica, California.

A source tells The New York Post the duo dined for almost two hours. Rock and Bell were reportedly holding hands as they walked out of an Italian restaurant, but immediately let go of one another's hands when they saw the photographers.

The 57-year-old comedian and 43-year-old actress were also spotted catching a Cardinals game together at St. Louis' Busch Stadium last month.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


In Brief: 'Frasier' reboot getting off the ground this fall, and more

That long-awaited Frasier revival could begin shooting this fall. During an appearance on CBS' The Talk on Monday, Kelsey Grammer, who played the titular psychologist and radio show host on the NBC sitcom, which ran from 1993-2004, revealed they were “in the final stages of the final script for the first episode of the Frasier reboot and it looks pretty good.” He added, “I’ve had a couple of runs through it, and I cried, so you know, I’m happy. Plot details are being kept under wraps, but Grammer said last year last year that the character, who moved from Boston to Seattle for the original series, “thinks he’s gonna go off and do one thing, and sure enough, his life takes him in another direction...And he ends up rich beyond his dreams”...

Avatar director James Cameron previously revealed his vision to follow up the original 2009 blockbuster with an epic four-film saga, but with the first of them, Avatar: The Way of Water, set to hit theaters in December and a third already in the can, the legendary filmmaker tells Empire he may be ready to "pass the baton" to another director. “The Avatar films themselves are kind of all-consuming,” he explains. “I’ve got some other things I’m developing as well that are exciting. I think eventually over time -- I don’t know if that’s after three or after four -- I’ll want to pass the baton to a director that I trust to take over, so I can go do some other stuff that I’m also interested in. Or maybe not. I don’t know”...

After leaving the NBC daytime soap Days of Our Lives in 2020 after a 37-year stint, Kristian Alfonso is reprising her role of Hope Williams Brady in the Days spinoff Beyond Salem -- seeming to contradict an earlier statement. However, Alfonso insists it's not a return, telling Soap Opera Digest, “[Beyond Salem] is, I feel, a branch of it...I have seen online where viewers have stated that I said, ‘Never’ regarding [returning someday] -- I never said never. I said that I will not be popping in and out like other actors have done in the past. I didn’t say I’m never, ever coming back. I was not absolute.” Beyond Salem premieres July 11 on Peacock...

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Mrs. Maisel' star Rachel Brosnahan responds to Highland Park mass shooting "I'm sick to my stomach"

Amazon Studios/Andy Kropa

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star Rachel Brosnahan took to Twitter to express her frustration about the mass shooting that occurred at the July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois on Monday.

"I grew up in Highland Park and this parade is a highlight of the year for so many families. I’m sick to my stomach every time news like this comes out," the actress tweeted. "But I don’t wish the pit in your stomach as you call your family and friends to make sure everyone is okay on anyone. No words."

The tweet comes after a gunman opened fire on a Fourth of July parade in the Midwest city on Monday, killing at least six people and injuring over 30, including children. Five of the victims died at the scene of the shooting while one died at a hospital, according to officials.

Robert "Bobby" Crimo III was arrested in connection with the shooting and described as a person of interest following a vehicular pursuit Monday evening after an hours-long manhunt, police said. As of Monday night he has not been charged in connection with the shooting.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Minions 2: The Rise of Gru' opens with record-breaking $125.1 million July 4th weekend

Universal Pictures

Minions 2: The Rise of Gru is now the July 4 holiday box office record holder, earning an estimated 125.1 million dollars from Friday through Monday. That's also the second-best debut for a Despicable Me/Minions movie, about three-and-a half million less than the first standalone Minions movie earned in 2015.

MInions 2: The Rise of Gru -- featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Taraji P. Henson and Michelle Yeoh -- did pretty well overseas, too, scooping up an estimated $93.7 million for a worldwide total gross of $202.2 million between Friday and Monday.

Top Gun: Maverick held on to second place, delivering an estimated $25.5 million over the three-day weekend and $33.3 through Monday. The Top Gun sequel has earned a total of $544.5 million overseas, bringing its six-week global tally to upwards of $1.1 billion worldwide.

Dropping to third place is Elvis, which collected an estimated $19 million in its second week of release. The biopic has earned a total of $70 million in North America and $113 million worldwide.

Pulling up in fourth place is Jurassic World: Dominion with just under $15.7 million. Adding Monday's estimated totals, that figure swells to roughly $19.7 million. After four weeks, Dominion has raked in $331.8 million domestically to go with $492.7 million internationally, where it opened a week earlier than in North America. Its worldwide total currently sits at $824.5 million.

Rounding out the top five is the horror film The Black Phone, taking in an estimated $12.3 million between Friday and Sunday and $14.4 million through Monday. The film, starring Ethan Hawke, has earned a total of $49.7 million in North America and $74.4 million globally after two weeks.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Kamala Harris speaks on "outrageous" decision to overturn Roe v. Wade at 'Essence' Fest

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence

Vice President Kamala Harris participated in a "fireside chat" with actress Keke Palmer at the Essence Festival of Culture Saturday, where she spoke on important issues pertaining to women and the Black community.

Speaking on the "outrageous" decision to overturn Roe v. Wade -- the law protecting the right for women to have an abortion -- Harris shared her thoughts on the ruling's implications and its effect on other personal topics like contraception and same-sex marriage.

"What else might be vulnerable that we otherwise thought was settled law?" she questioned.

She called the decision a "serious matter" -- a phrase applauded by those in the audience a part of the Black sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, of which Harris is a member. "It requires all of us to speak up, speak out and to be active," Harris said. She added, "We have to recognize we're a nation that was founded on certain principles that are grounded in the concept of freedom and liberty."

Remembering the words of Coretta Scott King Harris said, "The fight for civil rights -- which is the fight for freedom, the fight for liberty, the fight for justice -- the fight for civil rights must be fought and won with each generation."

In relation to the continued fight for freedom in America, Harris suggested two key points from King's words: "The very nature of these fights is that whatever we gain, they will not necessarily be permanent." And that, "you have to be vigilant."

"Don't be overwhelmed to the point that we are disheartened and we think that we can't do anything about it," she said. "It's the nature of it that these gains will not be made. And so we must be vigilant and we must remember we are always going to have to fight to maintain these rights."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Marvel's newest star, Aramis Knight, talks playing 'Ms. Marvel''s Red Dagger

Marvel Studios

Actor Aramis Knight made his debut in Wednesday's fourth episode of Disney+'s Ms. Marvel, and his team up with the show's title character, played by Iman Vellani, was an instant hit with fans. 

Knight plays Kareem, a masked vigilante crime fighter and one of the mysterious group of Pakistan-based heroes known as the Red Daggers. 

A visit to her grandmother's native Karachi to study the origins of her powers led Vellani's Kamala Khan to be tracked -- and later defended -- by the group.

Knight tells ABC Audio he was sure he was auditioning for the character -- who goes by the Red Dagger in the comics -- when he heard about it, in spite of Marvel's famous secrecy.

"When I heard ... they were looking for Southeast Asian actors and that it was a Marvel show. Didn't take much research to figure out that it was Ms. Marvel," he smiles. 

"And then I started reading the comics and found Kareem. And I was like, 'Oh, this must be who I'm auditioning for. I mean, come on! Like, I look just like the guy!' And I just had a feeling from then on."

We wanted to know if Knight was ready to see cosplayers playing him. "YESSS!" he says. 

"I'm trying to go to Comic-Con this year [in July], trying to take a picture with every person who dresses up as Red Dagger."

He adds, "I'm really hoping we get some Halloween costumes. A couple of my friends have already promised me that they're going to be 'me' for Halloween ..."

The actor of Pakistani descent says, "Overall ... I'm just excited to ... represent for our culture, to be able to be a superhero, to be able to do what I love and to be a part of a company like Marvel. It's just, it's amazing!"  

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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