EVAN RACHEL WOOD HIDES HER GENDER IN “KAJILLIONAIRE”
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Evan Rachel Wood put in a lot of work to make you question whether she’s female in the film “Kajillionaire.” Wood says she worked on posture and movements to make herself look androgynous, down to how she’d put her hair behind her ear. One of the toughest parts was lowering her voice. Wood says she worked with a speech therapist because while she wanted her character to have a low voice, it’s bad for her because she’s also a singer. In “Kajillionaire,” Wood plays the daughter of two low-stakes con artists. The film is out today.
HOLLY HUNTER SUITS UP AS US PROSECUTOR IN ‘THE COMEY RULE’
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Oscar-winning actor Holly Hunter has been entrusted with playing an array of real-world women, from tennis great Billie Jean King to a cheerleading mom gone astray. In “The Comey Rule,” Hunter plays deputy U.S. attorney general Sally Yates, whose decades-long career imploded along with that of FBI director James Comey and others serving in the Trump administration. Comey is played by Jeff Daniels, with Brendan Gleeson as President Donald Trump. The project’s main draw for Hunter was playing Yates, who she says brought “ethical energy and intellect” to her Justice Department work. “The Comey Rule” airs 9 p.m. Eastern on Sunday and Monday on Showtime.
MISSOURI CROWDS AMID PANDEMIC PROMPT REAL-LIFE ‘FOOTLOOSE’
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) – With bars and nightclubs limiting capacity and closing early in the St. Louis area due to the coronavirus pandemic, neighboring establishments in St. Charles are seeing large and unruly crowds. So the city is taking a cue from the 1984 movie “Footloose” and banning dancing. St. Charles leaders met Wednesday with restaurant, bar and club operators and then announced a temporary ban on “music activities” after 11 p.m., starting Friday. Mayor Dan Borgmeyer told KTVI-TV that it does feel “a little bit like the movie ‘Footloose.”‘ The movie starred Kevin Bacon as a big-city teenager who moved to a small town that banned dancing, at least until he turned things around.
BILLY DEE WILLIAMS SAYS HIS HEART IS “BROKEN” OVER GALE SAYERS’ DEATH
UNDATED (AP) – Billy Dee Williams says it was a “true honor” to portray NFL running back Gale Sayers in the 1971 TV movie “Brian’s Song.” Williams tweets his “heart is broken” upon hearing about the death of Sayers, who he calls “an extraordinary human being with the kindest heart.” Sayers died Wednesday at the age of 77.
BRITISH ACADEMY FILM AWARDS CHANGE RULES TO BOOST DIVERSITY
LONDON (AP) – Britain’s film academy is shaking up its membership and its awards voting rules in a review prompted by the glaring lack of diversity in the nominations. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts promised to change after contenders for the 2020 awards were announced last January. No women were nominated as best director for the seventh year running, and all 20 nominees in the lead and supporting performer categories were white. The measures include recruiting 1,000 new members from under-represented groups to join the 6,700-strong academy and expanding lists of contenders for the BAFTA film awards. The 2021 awards will take place in April.
EVEL KNIEVEL’S SON SUING DISNEY OVER ‘TOY STORY 4’ CHARACTER
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Evel Knievel’s son is on a collision course with the Walt Disney Co. and Pixar over a movie daredevil character named Duke Caboom. A federal trademark infringement lawsuit filed in Las Vegas accuses the moviemaker of improperly basing the “Toy Story 4” character on Knievel. His famous stunts in the 1960s and ’70s included motorcycle jumps over the Caesars Palace fountain in Las Vegas and a rocket shot into Snake River Canyon in Idaho. Kelly Knievel argues the Caboom character is a knockoff of his father’s likeness. The Walt Disney Co. says it will defend itself from what it calls Knievel’s meritless claims.