TIME celebrities

John Green and Bill Gates Are Teaming Up to Bring Clean Water to Ethiopia

Gates has said he'll match $100,000 if Green can raise it

Author John Green has gotten a lot of attention for his heart-wrenching novel The Fault in Our Stars, the bestselling young-adult-novel-turned-blockbuster-movie about two young cancer patients who meet in a support group. But most fans who only know of Green for this reason aren’t aware of his philanthropic efforts, in which he leverages his large social media following and YouTube fan base. His charitable fundraisers have been geared at everything from cancer to censorship to malaria, but now he’s tackling clean water with the help of Bill Gates.

Green’s biggest fans call themselves “Nerdfighters,” those whose goal in life is to, in Green’s words, “decrease world suck,” and Gates seems to have joined the bandwagon, pledging to match the $100,000 Green hopes to raise through “nerdfighteria.”

Green traveled to Ethiopia with the Gates Foundation earlier this year and documented the trip in his weekly YouTube video, saying that “with 80% of people living in rural areas,” the need for clean water in health care centers was vital. He also raved about the impression that Gates and his foundation’s CEO Susan Desmond-Hellmann left on him.

“To be honest… I kind of assumed that Bill and Sue were visiting Ethiopia for, like, a photo op,” he says in one of his videos. “But they were there to ask questions, and lots of them…and watching Bill and Sue gravitate away from cameras and toward health workers, it became clear to me that the Gates Foundation fundamental principle that all human lives have equal value isn’t just rhetoric.”

Green and Gates seem to be quite the power duo, with Green writing on Gates’ blog: “My visit to Ethiopia wasn’t sad—at least not merely so. It was invigorating and encouraging. And sad. … But we shouldn’t look away or feel discouraged. We should get to work.”

As of Monday afternoon, Green’s donation page was raising more than $1,000 every 30 minutes. Watch one of his videos about his trip below.



TIME movies

Cara Delevingne Lands Lead in John Green’s Paper Towns

Cara Delevingne
Cara Delevingne George Pimentel—Getty Images

The model lands her first major film role

There’s no official description of Margo Roth Spiegelman’s eyebrows in John Green’s young adult favorite Paper Towns. But based on the casting announcement that 22-year-old British model Cara Delevingne will play the female lead in the film adaptation of Green’s bestseller, they’re sure to stand out when Margo comes alive onscreen. Delevingne will star alongside Nat Wolff, who also starred in Green’s The Fault In Our Stars.

Set in Orlando, Florida, Paper Towns trails Quentin Jacobsen (Wolff) as he follows clues left by his missing neighbor Margo–with whom he happens to be smitten. Green’s droves of fans are sure to speculate who will play the book’s supporting cast of quirky misfits who help round out the story. Screenwriting team Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter, veterans of Green’s material who also adapted Fault and The Spectacular Now, will be responsible for transferring prose to film.

Delevingne’s addition to the cast was confirmed by 20th Century Fox and Green, who took to Twitter to share the news with his millions of follows.

Jake Schreier, known for Robot and Frank, will direct the film, which is due out in 2015. The casting news comes on the same day the The Fault In Our Stars extended edition is out on DVD and BluRay, complete with a deleted scene starring Green.

TIME Books

Watch the New Trailer for Carl Hiaasen’s First YA Novel

Clinton Tyree, the wild-man Florida governor from almost 30 years of Hiaasen fiction, is back—this time in Skink—No Surrender, a book for younger readers

Bestselling author Carl Hiaasen is joining other adult writers who have recently gone young-adult with Skink—No Surrender, out next week from Knopf. Hiaasen, the author of Florida-based crime thrillers like Strip Tease (which became the movie starring Demi Moore) and Bad Monkey, has also written four novels for children.

Skink—No Surrender, his first for young adults, introduces the teen audience to the eccentric character of Clinton Tyree, a glass-eyed, roadkill-eating Vietnam vet and former Governor of Florida who has gone crazy and lives off the grid (read: on the beach), costumed in a floral shower cap and long beard woven with vulture beaks. He is known as Skink, both to the characters in the book, and to readers who would recognize him from numerous “grownup” novels, as Hiaasen calls his adult books, starting with Skink’s first appearance in Double Whammy 27 years ago.

Richard, Skink—No Surrender‘s teenage protagonist, meets Skink on the beach as he waits for his 14-year-old cousin Malley, whom readers soon learn has run away from home with a boy she met in an Internet chatroom. Richard and Skink form a two-man search party, and the novel is off and running.

Though it’s typically the teen characters in young adult books who have readers itching for a sequel, it’s the adult in this story who leaves a lasting impression. “Kids dig the irreverence of the fact that [Skink] sort of lives on the edge and does exactly what he wants,” Hiaasen says in the book’s official trailer, revealed today on TIME.com.

TIME Music

Troye Sivan: ‘Pop Music Is In Such an Exciting Place Right Now’

Troye Sivan
Actor Troye Sivan attends the 4th Annual Streamy Awards presented by Coca-Cola on Sept. 7, 2014 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Kevin Winter—DCP/Getty Images

The 19-year-old YouTube sensation talks about his new EP

Troye Sivan is on the cusp of mainstream superstardom: the 19-year-old South African-Australian pop star is making a name for himself with the release of his latest EP, TRXYE, which quickly topped the iTunes Charts in 58 countries upon its release. Sivan built an ardent fanbase on YouTube, where his channel has more than 3 million followers; he signed with EMI Australia shortly after releasing a song and video inspired by the book The Fault in Our Stars. Not only did he garner the attention of fellow lovers of Fault, but author (and fellow YouTube star) John Green became a fan, too.

“I know it sounds cheesy,” Sivan says. “But the book genuinely changed my life. I didn’t know what to do besides go to my piano and try to write something about it.” All proceeds from the song have been donated to Princess Margaret Hospital for children in Perth, which is still benefiting from its sales.

Sivan’s first major-label EP features dark pop that marries intimate lyrics with electronic sounds. TIME caught up with him to hear more about what’s next for the up-and-comer.

TIME: Has your career felt like a whirlwind recently?

Troye Sivan: I didn’t expect this at all — it’s been crazy!

Your song meant a lot to “The Fault in Our Stars” fans. As a fan yourself, were you pleased with the movie?

I think they nailed it, and I’m super proud of John Green. He’s always been such a big supporter and I know that he even tried to get the song in the movie. He’s such a nice guy and it feels really cool that we both came from YouTube, and his creative work changed my life.

Where else do you find your inspiration?

When I got signed and started to write for the EP, I didn’t know what it was going to be. I feel like part of getting better at writing is knowing where to find that inspiration. Right after something happens to me, the first thing I’ll do is go write when those feelings are really, really fresh. I’ll hum a tune into my phone sometimes.

Speaking of your phone, you’re very active on social media — what does it take to get your attention on Twitter?

The ones that I tend to notice will be people who are funny. I love, love, love how I have a witty and funny audience so when they’re funny, I can’t help but respond and get involved.

Do you like being called the next Justin Bieber?

I don’t mind it — it’s flattering. I get it because we both came from YouTube and I’m super proud of what he’s done professionally. I think that the music is a little different, but I’ll let people be the judge of that.

What is some of your favorite music right now?

I’m listening to a lot of Broods, a band from New Zealand. And Wet is a band from New York that I’m really loving. I think pop music is in such an exciting place right now and I do kind of credit that to Lorde with “Royals.” I think that song changed everything in the pop scene. All of the sudden, alternative pop music became pop music.

TIME movies

Watch the Latest Gone Girl Trailer

The new trailer shows an even creepier look at the film adaptation of the bestseller

During Monday night’s Emmy Awards, a new trailer debuted for the much-anticipated film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel Gone Girl. The David Fincher factor is in full force thanks in part to an impressive score from Trent Reznor, who won an Oscar for Fincher’s The Social Network.

There’s nothing that new in this trailer compared to the others — aside from a quick, although creepy, look at how Nick and Amy meet. The story follows the mysterious disappearance of Amy Dunne (played in the film by Rosamund Pike) and the husband (Ben Affleck) who looks as if he’s responsible for killing her. Gone Girl hits theaters Oct. 3.

TIME Television

Winnie Holzman: My So-Called Life‘s Angela Chase Would Have Been a CIA Agent

UNITED STATES - AUGUST 25: MY SO-CALLED LIFE - gallery - 8/25/94, Claire Danes (second from right) played Angela Chase, a 15-year-old who wanted to break out of the mold as a strait-laced teen-ager and straight-A student. Pictured, left to right: Jason Leto (Jordan Catalano), A.J. Langer (Rayanne Graff), Wilson Cruz (Rickie Vasquez), Lisa Wilhoit (Danielle Chase), Devon Odessa (Sharon Cherski), Claire Danes (Angela Chase), Devon Gummersall (Brian Krakow), (Photo by Mark Seliger/ABC via Getty Images) Mark Seliger—ABC via Getty Images

On the 20th anniversary of the cult classic My So Called Life, the show's creator talks about what could have been

If it weren’t for Winnie Holzman, pop culture might be a very different place. Claire Danes might not have been discovered; gay teenagers might not have made it onto TV; we may never have known the glory of Jared Leto’s incredible long flowing hair.

It all originated with the beloved hourlong drama My So-Called Life, which aired for a painfully brief single season back in 1994 and has picked up troves of fans in the 20 years since it aired.

While we’ll never know if Angela gave Brian Krakow a chance, we do have the scoop on which way the show would have gone. Holzman, who says she created the show because she wanted to be honest about what teenage life is, spoke with TIME about Angela’s future and if the show could have been saved in a social media era.

TIME: Did you know My So-Called Life would stay relevant to audiences for this long?

Winnie Holzman: It’s very easy to say to yourself, well, how am I going to be relevant? How am I going to connect to people? Rather than focus on that, I tried to focus on the idea that if you’re being honest and you’re being authentic about your own experience, then you have a real opportunity to connect with others. The show had a life of its own and a destiny of its own, which was so rewarding because when we were making the show, we could feel that it had a power. When it was canceled so early and then had this thing of coming back and having this life, that’s something that you don’t see every day. That’s something that’s very precious.

Your daughter, Savannah Dooley, has been very open about what the show means to her. How did that happen?

At first, the show was my place of work, and she would come and get to know the actors and play hide-and-seek on set. There was a beautiful transition where she did discover the show. What’s interesting is that she’s a lesbian, and I think it was very meaningful that even before she completely understood that she was gay, she knew I had created this gay character — this beautiful kind of coincidence.

Are you still in touch with the cast?

I’m still friends with Claire, which is one of the most treasured relationships in my life. She means a great deal to me as a person, and we’re so close in so many ways.

What would have happened to the characters if the show hadn’t been canceled?

There were thoughts I had, and I would have done some version of them. I wanted somebody to get pregnant — that probably would have been Sharon. I was also picturing something that had to do with Patti becoming depressed over the ending of her marriage. I was picturing Angela stepping into a leadership role where she really had to become almost the designated adult. So again, it’s all so theoretical and it remains that. Claire and I joke that she would have gone and become an agent in the CIA!

Do you think the show could have been saved if social media were around when it was canceled?

The Internet had been invented, like, 5 minutes before the show aired. At the time there was a huge push. I don’t know that it really would have made any difference, because it was the network and their needs and how they viewed the show.

What are you watching now?

Well, I really love Orange Is the New Black. I know Jenji [Kohan] a little bit as a colleague, and I think that the show is incredible. It’s a show that I fiercely admire.

My So-Called Life is available to stream on Hulu.

TIME Opinion

No, Catcalling Is Not a Form of Empowerment

People walking, blurred motion
Getty Images

A New York Post writer explains why she loves being catcalled and finds it empowering. Here's why she's wrong.

The first time I was harassed on the street it was physical. Walking down St. Marks Place in Manhattan, I screamed when a man riding a bicycle grabbed me from behind and continued riding. No one nearby said a word, no one chased after the guy, no one asked me if I was OK. In fact, the surrounding crowd of people made me feel embarrassed for screaming.

Since then, I’ve been grabbed only one other time, but the number of times I’ve been verbally harassed is too many to count. It gets my blood boiling every time—I’ve tried ignoring them, I’ve tried giving them dirty looks, I’ve tried talking back to them. I’ve even gone to such lengths as wearing a sweater over my workout clothes every single time I step out the door, even mid-summer, as my curves in Spandex seem to give men—of any age, race or neighborhood—the welcome invitation to comment on my body.

So when the New York Posts’s Doree Lewak published an article called “Hey, ladies—catcalls are flattering!” it made me almost as angry as when men comment on my body. Lewak attempts to make the point that seeking out attention goes hand-in-hand with feminism, which is about self-empowerment. She adds that she prefers compliments to crude comments. But the message she’s sending is wrong. Street harassment is a gateway to physical harassment. If you send the message that any kind of verbal harassment is acceptable, you send the message that all harassment is OK.

Lewak cites her “first time,” when she was 20 and construction workers called after her. But it’s not just construction workers who are verbally harassing women. The construction-worker whistle is an outdated stereotype that Lewak is using to simply stir up controversy. If women only had to put up with whistling from a few men in hard hats, an eye roll could suffice as a reaction. What women are actually dealing with are verbal attacks that make us feel unsafe, that make us feel threatened.

She also writes that these hardy construction workers “need something to look at” when they’re breaking for lunch, and she’s happy to be that distraction—which is her right. But the assertion that men “deserve” or should be allowed to expect this is something else altogether.

To legitimize catcalling is to give voice to those who don’t deserve it: the man who told me he wanted to perform oral sex on me, the man who said he wanted it the other way around and the man who said he could have me if he wanted me. Instead of empowering all women, you empower the man who grabbed my dress in the East Village, who licked his lips and looked me up and down.

Self-empowerment means being empowered from within. Not being empowered by catcalls.

TIME celebrities

Robin Williams Was Battling Parkinson’s Disease, Wife Says

Susan Schneider and Robin Williams
Gilbert Carrasquillo—FilmMagic/Getty Images

Says "sobriety was intact" when he died

The wife of Robin Williams revealed Thursday that at the time of his death, the late comedian was not only battling depression and anxiety but the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease.

“Robin’s sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly,” said Susan Schneider, in a statement.

Parkinson’s affects nearly 10 million people, according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. The National Institutes of Health cites that “for people with depression and Parkinson’s disease, each illness can make symptoms of the other worse.” Research linking the two has focused on depression following a diagnosis, but it can be assumed that the actor’s depression predated his Parkinson’s diagnosis.

Schneider was Williams’ third wife. Read her entire statement below.

“Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the frontlines, or comforting a sick child — Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid.

Since his passing, all of us who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration for him from the millions of people whose lives he touched. His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles.

Robin’s sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.

It is our hope in the wake of Robin’s tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid.”

TIME Television

Here Are the Adorable Kids Joining Downton Abbey‘s Cast Next Season

Your first look at the child actors playing Sybbie Branson and Master George Crawley

Finally, some good news for Downton Abbey fans. After killing off several beloved characters in recent seasons, the show’s creator Julian Fellowes has introduced a couple of adorable child actors to play the offspring of some of the show’s departed characters.

Downton Abbey
Allen Leech as Tom Branson and Fifi Hart as Sybbie Branson Masterpiece/PBS

The little ones already look adorable — now, just imagine them with British accents. Fifi Hart, 4, will play Sybbie Branson, daughter of the late Lady Sybil Crawley and Tom Branson, once Downton’s chauffeur. As a tearful refresher, Sybil died of toxemia shortly after giving birth in a heart-wrenching episode that was only the first to outrage fans.

Downton Abbey
Oliver and Zac Barker as George Masterpiece/PBS

Later that same season, Matthew Crawley died in a car accident on the drive back to Downton from the hospital where his first son and heir had just been born. Master George Crawley will be played by 3-year-old twins Oliver and Zac Barker, who look like they could be the actual offspring of Dan Stevens, who played their fictional father. Lady Mary, George’s mother (Michelle Dockery), is not pictured with her son, of course, as she’s probably too busy being courted by many a gentleman to bother with the nanny’s work.

The children, only seen before as infants, represent the time jump the show is taking for next season. Mary could be remarried by now, for all we know.

Downton Abbey season 5 will premiere in the U.S. on Jan. 4, 2015.

TIME celebrities

Daniel Radcliffe Does Not Find Tinder Addictive At All

Caitlin Cronenberg—CBS Films

The actor trades in his Gryffindor robes for a heart on his sleeve

Daniel Radcliffe is doing an excellent job of shedding his Chosen One persona — even if the public can’t seem to let go. His latest post-Potter performance strays far from fantasy with a charming and cheeky look at love in the new film What If.

Radcliffe plays Wallace, a Toronto-based twentysomething who falls hard for Zoe Kazan’s Chantry, and is forced to live in a torturous will-they-won’t-they romantic limbo. The film is earning fans already, thanks to a stellar score from indie-pop fave A.C. Newman and critical comparisons to 500 Days of Summer. Radcliffe talked to TIME about the supposed dying art of romantic comedies, what he thinks of Tinder (he isn’t on it, for the record!) and the men who inspired his idea of love.

TIME: Do you think romantic comedies are really a dying art?

Daniel Radcliffe: The two genres that I can think of are romantic comedy and action, and the big thing that happens across both of those is that after we have a few really, really good ones, people sort of latch on to that, but without paying any attention to what made those films really good. And what makes any film really, really good is caring about the central characters. You can basically have whatever story you like, and if you care about the main people it doesn’t matter what anything else looks like — you’ll go with it and you’ll be invested. We’re just so saturated by bad [romantic comedies] that you feel that’s the state of the genre. There are a lot of bad movies out there across all genres. I don’t know if it’s specifically that romantic comedies are on a resurgence or that they’ve died out — I think that when we get a surplus of bad movies, it can leave the impression that a genre is sort of going bad, but it’s nothing more than too many.

With so many people on dating apps, is it making romance a messier space?

People are still just having sex — it’s just happening quicker now. I think that’s the thing. The end result of Tinder is the same as it used to be when men went out to a pub in England on a Friday night — it’s just that it’s faster, I imagine. I don’t think that romance is on the decline — people are not tired of that. I’m not on Tinder, so I don’t know. It is hilarious though to watch some of my friends on it. If that girl walked up to them in a bar, they’d be lucky to talk to her, and there’s an excess of people on Tinder, and they’re swiping whichever direction, and it’s an odd thing. But I don’t think it will change the nature of love and relationships as much as people think it’s going to, because ultimately you still have to meet that person face-to-face.

Have you ever played with your friends’ Tinder accounts?

We had one longish day of rehearsal on Cripple of Inishman where we ended up on someone’s phone for a while and that was sort of my introduction to it. I’m sure if I had it, I might use it, but it’s not addictive to me.

The dialogue in What If is so conversational. Did you and Zoe improvise any of it?

I think it’s a testament to how good the writing in the movie is that we’re being asked about this. But there is a slight qualifier — probably 40-50% of what Adam Driver says is probably improvised. Zoe and I did a lot of improv — like the first diner scene — a lot of improvisation is involved in that. But generally speaking, [screenwriter] Elan [Mastai’s] writing is very naturalistic and real — in the same way that the British version of The Office was a show that I think everybody felt was improvised when it came out but was actually entirely scripted, and I think that’s the same sort of writing.

You mentioned you’re interested in doing some screenwriting. Do you have tips from Zoe, who wrote and starred in Ruby Sparks?

Zoe, actually, was one of the first people to read what I’d written. I had this idea for something and I bashed out the first 20 pages of the script really quickly and had the moment of immediately doubting everything I’d written and my idea as a whole. I showed it to Zoe, and I asked if it was even worth carrying on with, and she gave me a very emphatic reaction, which was yes, definitely keep going with this. I’d love to direct one day. The main reason for writing is that I feel like it’s probably easier to write something myself than to convince some other writer to give me his script as my first film.

In the movie, your character is such a hopeless romantic. Who’s influenced your view of romance?

The romantic poets of England, the second generation of Keats, Byron and Shelley were something I got really into when I was about 16. I still am. I think there’s something in the way they write and see beauty in everything, and the possibility for beauty in everything. It is romantic and I like to think I share that. I wouldn’t say I’m up there with Shelley and Keates and Byron in terms of romance, but I think that’s sort of where I got my ideas of romance from.

The movie is full of awkwardness. Do you have any awkward date stories?

I’ve got plenty of awkward stories. I don’t think I have any awkward date stories, which I suppose is a good thing.

What do you think Wallace could learn from Harry Potter about dating?

Oh, God. Well, I think, in a funny way they’re both slightly similar in that they are both much less direct than I would be about a situation. I’m not very good at living in uncertainty, and Wallace definitely is. And I’m trying to remember more of Harry’s dating history now.

It was just Cho Chang and Ginny Weasley, right?

That was it, really, wasn’t it? Harry’s dating situation was all set against the backdrop that he’s going to die at any minute, so there’s probably a lot more urgency with that.

Have you given any advice to Harry Potter co-star Rupert Grint, who is making his Broadway debut this fall?

I haven’t given him advice, but I can’t wait for him to come to Broadway, I’ll definitely be going to see it. It’s a real thrill to see him on stage. It’s like someone you went to school with doing something else in a totally different context and being brilliant at it. It makes you proud.

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