VIOLA DAVIS ON CHANNELING MA RAINEY
LOS ANGELES (AP) – If you’ve seen the trailer or commercials, you no doubt noticed that Viola Davis transformed herself physically to tackle the role of Ma Rainey in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” But the Oscar-winning actress says putting on the hair, padding, costume and makeup to look like the legendary blues singer also changed her personality. Davis says that instead of being timid and shy as she is in real life, she as Rainey was more self-confident and “unapologetic about her sexuality.” Davis says playing Rainey was “freeing” for her since she is so unlike the singer. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” will be released Friday on Netflix.
NFL AND NICKELODEON TEAM UP FOR PLAYOFF GAME
UNDATED (AP) – It will be the NFL as you’ve never seen it before. Nickelodeon and CBS Sports are teaming up to do a playoff game aimed at drawing younger viewers to the gridiron. It will happen Jan. 10, when the networks will air a wild-card postseason contest. CBS will air it as it usually does, while Nickelodeon will tailor the action to its youthful audience. Expect to see characters like SpongeBob SquarePants running out of the tunnel and players being covered with digital slime after they score touchdowns. Kid-themed commentary will be supplied by the cast of Nickelodeon’s “All That.”
SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL PREPARES FOR UPCOMING EVENT
UNDATED (AP) – It will be big. It will be diverse. And it will be robust. But the upcoming Sundance Film Festival will also be mostly virtual. Organizers say the 2021 version will kick off Jan. 28 with the premiere of a documentary about propaganda and the spread of COVID-19 in China. Another film to be screened opening day will be a documentary directed by Questlove of The Roots. It’s about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which attracted more than 300,000 people – but was widely overlooked in the wake of that year’s Woodstock festival.
NEW YEAR’S EVE ON TV
NEW YORK (AP) – At least this year, you won’t have to feel ashamed about not having plans to go out New Year’s Eve. With large gatherings still forbidden in most areas, the TV networks will be catering to shut-ins. Gloria Gaynor will perform at the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square, doing her pandemic-appropriate signature anthem, “I Will Survive.” Meanwhile, Jennifer Lopez will join Cyndi Lauper and Bill Porter for ABC’s annual New Year’s Eve broadcast. Both will honor essential workers who have pitched in to help us retain some sense of normalcy during the pandemic. And both events are closed to the public and will be presented as TV-only affairs.