Gay marriage is legal nationwide (Woo hoo!), and Ben & Jerry's has just the flavor to capture the sweet taste of the historic moment.
The Vermont-based ice cream shop renamed its staple "Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough" carton "I Dough, I Dough" in a chocolatey celebration of the U.S. Supreme Court's historic decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide on Friday. (Maybe we can now just call it, y'know MARRIAGE?)
The pint will be available throughout the summer at participating Ben & Jerry's shops or online through the Human Rights Campaign's website, where proceeds will benefit the equal-rights group.
Outfest, L.A.'s hugely popular LGBT film festival, has announced its star-studded line-up for the 2015 festivities, which kicks off July 9. And we're still trying to pick our jaws up from the floor.
Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, Clint Eastwood, Kelsey Grammar, Sarah Silverman, Molly Shannon, Aubrey Plaza, Melissa Leo, and Ryan Phillippe are just a few of the names featured in this year's selection of films that range from LOL-worthy comedies to poignant dramas to provocative documentaries.
The annual film festival will also feature two sneak peeks of fall TV shows including Bill Hader and Fred Armisen’s "Sandy Passage," a Grey Gardens parody episode of IFC’s upcoming comedy series Documentary Now! and the new TLC reality show I Am Jazz, spotlighting the day-to-day life of transgender teen and Clean & Clear model Jazz Jennings.
Nick Jonas will also join DirecTV’s Kingdom creator Byron Balasco for a special appearance and in-depth discussion on Jonas’s massive following as well as a sneak peek of his role as a gay MMA fighter on season 2 of the critically-acclaimed drama.
What's also got us excited for the festivities is the recently restored edition of 54: The Director's Cut, the cinematic slice of glitz from 1998 about the infamous NYC nightclub that captured the zeitgeist of the late 70s -- this time with 40 minutes of never-before-seen footage. A special screening of the film will be held at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on
As previously announced, the 2015 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival will open with Tig on Thursday, July 9. The festival closes on Sunday, July 19, with François Ozon’s The New Girlfriend. The gala screenings include Nasty Baby (U.S. Dramatic Centerpiece), The Summer of Sangaile (International Centerpiece), Eisenstein in Guanajuato (International Centerpiece), Best of Enemies (Documentary Centerpiece), and Out to Win (Documentary Centerpiece).
If you agree with us, then we'll probably see you at Revolver in West Hollywood this Tuesday when the video bar is taken over by Drunk on Stage, the comedy night hosted by Bruce Daniels and Erin Foley (pictured above). DOS was started in 2007 by Daniels and has been popping up at various locations throughout L.A. ever since.
The show is like a workout room for working comics as well as greener comics to perform new material in front of a live audience. Over the years, comics like Margaret Cho, Jennifer Coolidge, Dave Foley, Wanda Sykes and Roseanne Barr have made appearances...and this week, rumor has it that another legendary name will be stopping by to up the laugh factor.
W Hotels TURN IT UP FOR CHANGE Ball to Benefit HRC at W Hollywood
Hudson kicked off the festivities with a remix of her smash hit, "Spotlight," and then went into her current Gorgon City-produced, 90s-house-influenced single "Go All Night," which got the audience up on its feet. (Seriously, if you haven't heard it, YouTube the video now.) But it was her closing, Instagram-worthy performance of "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" that blew up the entire ballroom and had everyone scrambling to get out their smartphones.
The vogueing ball featured glammed-up transgender models, drag queens and more, and was the third marquee event for TURN IT UP FOR CHANGE, the fundraising and awareness initiative founded by W Hotels Worldwide, HRC, and Hudson herself for the fight for nationwide LGBT and marriage equality.
Ciara, Kelly Osbourne and TV personality B. Scott were also seen laughing and taking selfies in the front row during Jennifer’s performance. And the fun didn’t end there – Ciara even strutted her stuff on the runway before joining Dita and Kelly at the judge’s table.
And naturally, there was an afterparty - located on the rooftop of the hotel where the cocktails and music flowed well after midnight.
Needless to say, we were a little tired this morning.
One of the many performances taking place at the Main Stage belongs to solo artist (and US Weekly fashion contributor) Ricky Rebel whose 2013 single, “Geisha Dance”, spent 10 weeks on the Mediabase chart that powers On Air with Ryan Seacrest. Now, he’s releasing “The Blue Album”, mixed by Claudio Cueni (JLo), after recently playing with Grammy-winner Mya. He can be spotted on stage alongside Kelly Mantle (RuPaul's Drag Race) in two appearances throughout the night.
Also appearing at the Carnaval? Countless scantily-clad boys and girls who will be looking for tricks that will treat them well into the wee hours of Saturday morning.
There are Halloween parties...and then there's Halloween Havoc, one of L.A.'s annual soirees that's been known to inspire elaborate costumes, killer tunes, and countless morning-after status updates.
Hosted at a different private home every year, the invite-only ocassion features a guest list that's as mysterious as the punch that is rumored to be served out of a giant smoking cauldron which usually dries up around midnight...and features some "festive" side effects.
The 2014 online campaign seems to be taking the testimonial approach, using alleged quotes from past partygoers. And it looks like this year promises much of the same:
And then there's this one:
And this one, which makes a pretty damn big claim (sorry, West Hollywood):
Good luck finding out where this year's debaucherous festivities will be taking place...
And if you are lucky, maybe we'll see you there this weekend!
Make sure to report back to us (@HotterInHwood) with a tweet using #Havoc14.
Actress-writer Tara Karsian is jokingly attempting to get a reaction out of her costar (and real-life BFF) Andrea Grano as she pulls up a chair to join our conversation on a Monday night in the middle of the lobby of the Directors Guild of America on Sunset Boulevard. It's one of many instances in which the two actresses display their charismatic banter and knack for playfully prodding each other.
Outfest, LA's long-running LBGT film festival, has just begun, yet the stars/writers of BFFs are already experiencing film festival fatigue. Having finished a whirlwind press tour with the film, the women are doing their best to find some peace and quiet amidst the chaos. "We're so tired" seems to be a common phrase they've been uttering to themselves all week.
BFFs takes a hilarious and heartwarming snaphot of what happens when two straight best friends, the just-broken-up Kat (Karsian) and serial dater Samantha (Grano), pretend to be lesbians in order to take advantage of a free couples weekend workshop. If it sounds a tad similar to a certain MTV hit series (Faking It), think again. Instead of focusing on the fickle (and fluid) preferences of youth, BFFs carefully blurs the lines of friendship and addresses the basic, human desires between women of a certain age.
“We talked a lot about this," Karsian recalls, "that if this were made with two 25-year-olds, with the exact same script, it’d be a totally different film…But I do think when women our age – if there was a questioning – probably the most likely character to question would be your best friend. Someone you’re, for lack of a better term, intimate with – because friendships are intimate. Sometimes you’re more intimate with your friends than you are with the person you’re with because you talk about things like that, and you don’t have to walk on eggshells.”
Just like any independent production, it was a long and arduous uphill climb to get the film made. "We had a lot of line producers say, 'Don't even bother,'" remembers Grano, referring to the budgets they had to formulate to fit the story. There were also the requisite setbacks...like that time they lost their Malibu location for a day due to a mix-up with the vacation rental office they used to find their dream house for the couples workshop sessions. "Andrea had a total 12-year old meltdown," Karsian recalls.
The supporting cast of 'BFFs'
Another setback: uncooperative eyelashes.
Karsian recalls the very first scene on the very first day of shooting: “There was so much glue on my false eyelashes, that literally it [blinking] was like slo-mo,” Tara says. “I had drag queen lashes on.”
“We pissed ourselves laughing,” Grano chuckles.
“It was horrible…these motherfuckers were so long, and they put so much glue…”
“But the one that kept sticking…"
“The costume assistant didn’t know that she needed to cut the drag queen lashes, so this mother, which weighed five pounds – when I would blink, her hair would blow. That’s how big they were.”
“It’s true,” Andrea says, stifling another laugh.
With over two decades of film and TV experience between them, Grano and Karsian, as producers, prided themselves on making sure things ran smoothly for their cast and crew. "We never went over 12 hours. We really wanted our crew to be treated well," Grano says.
And when things wouldn't go according to plan, the women avoided playing the roles of Good Producer/Bad Producer by creating "Alice," an imaginary, tough-as-nails co-producer who could take all the flack. Got a problem with craft services? Take it up with Alice. Don't like the shooting schedule? Complain to Alice. I soon volunteer to help on their next project and pose as Alice's assistant, and we immediately come up with a grand scheme.
Karsian looks at Grano and says, “We’d have to give him a really fabulous name though.”
“He already has one.”
The conversation continues to go off on tangents like this, and since there are no publicists hovering over us with time limits -- rarely the case during interviews -- the three of us go with the proverbial flow, shifting the talk to Gone Girl (my paperback peeks out of my bag, and I urge them to read it before the movie comes out) and their experience with raising funds on Indiegogo. "It was horrible," Grano says, "but at the end of the day, we raised exactly that number and did it for exactly that number. It was voodoo witch stuff…Maybe I’m a powerful witch woman too-"
“You’re not,” Karsian cuts in.
When Andrea Met Tara: The two actresses crossed paths when Tara needed an actor for a play she was directing. A mutual friend recommended Andrea. Cut to: 11 years later, and they’re filmmaking partners and actual BFFs.
Soon director Andrew Putschoegl drops by, and the conversation switches back to movies, particularly of the horror genre. Grano, a fan, admits to never seeing Sleepaway Camp, and I avoid spoiling the surprise ending for her.
But back to the film...Would BFFs work with two straight guys? Or would it be something completely different?
Grano: “I have a lot of straight friends from a small town who believe that if you kissed a guy, you’re gay. Whereas a woman can kiss a woman, and it can be experimental, it can be questioning. I think there’s a mentality in society that…I think you can be bisexual if you’re a man, and people accept that, but secretly, a lot of guys who don’t know a lot of gay or bisexual people believe you’re really not bisexual. So it’d be harder to believe that a man, especially one who’s not 18 and in college, could be questioning like that. I think that’s societal.”
Karsian: “Men’s friendships are different. I’m not saying they’re any less important, but I do think it’s a very different thing. I think women’s friendships, especially when you get older, leans away from superficiality. You cut out the bullshit."
Putschoegl remembers a conversation he had with a well-known film distributor: “The guy who took a look at the trailer watched the movie and said, ‘Oh, it’s a great concept. But there are no big stars. We can’t sell it…but, if you recast it with men and cast it up – like, get a Hugh Jackman in there or someone – try that, do a sequel.”
“It’s a totally different movie with men," Grano reacts. "And you know what he’s saying basically -- and this is another problem with our industry -- that men are more bankable. Because why didn’t he say ‘Do it with Sandra Bullock and Drew Barrymore?’ Then I can say, ‘Okay, I get it. They’re an easier sell than us.’”
But if the basic concept were to remain intact with two female household names, I ask, would the movie be altered for a more general audience?
“They would try to do another I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," assumes Putschoegl, referring to the Adam Sandler-Kevin James comedy from 2007. "And that’s not what this movie and this story could ever be.”
“It would have to be like they were bamboozled into thinking they had an attraction," Grano chimes in.
When the two women initially showed their script around, they were told to sell it. But they were wary of placing the material in the hands of those who could compromise the film's inherent message, its essence. Hence why they took on the enormous responsiblity of bringing it to life themselves.
“The friendship Andrea and I have, I think two actresses could definitely act in these roles," Karsian muses, "but they’re not going to have the built-in history…I mean, I just watched a film about two best friends, and it was very obvious to me that they were two actresses.”
“No matter how good the acting was, you could just tell," Grano adds.
“I don’t know if you noticed this, but we bicker a lot. We banter."
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