TIME WTF

World’s Most Pierced Man Denied Entry to Dubai

Rolf Buchholz
German Rolf Buchholz in Berlin, Dec. 4, 2010. Markus Schreiber—AP

Rolf Buchholz claims the Emirate's officials said they were worried about black magic

He may have more than 100 piercings on his face, but it wasn’t the metal detectors keeping Rolf Buchholz out of Dubai this weekend.

The tattooed German man, whose 453 piercings — 278 of which were around his genitalia, as of 2010 — earned him a Guinness World Record, claims airport workers told him that Dubai officials were worried he practiced black magic, the Associated Press reports.

Buchholz, who works in IT, was planning to visit United Arab Emirates to appear at a circus-themed nightclub scheduled for Friday when he was stopped before entering customs, but after having his passport stamped and approved.

“I got never an official answer,” Buchholz told the AP, which was unable to reach immigration and airport authorities for comment. “They are friendly but nobody answers your questions.”

Buchholz, who also has horn implants in his head, says he was ordered to never return to Dubai, though he he’d gladly come back — if the country ever allowed him.

[AP]

TIME movies

Moviegoers Find The Expendables 3 Dispensable

BRAY_20130917_EXP3_12291.dng
Phil Bray—Lionsgate

But Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy continue to dominate

The latest instalment in the Expendables franchise proved to be, well, expendable at the box office this weekend, pulling in the lowest domestic opening weekend of the series.

The Expendables 3 grossed only $16.2 million domestically, finishing in fourth place behind Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy, the No. 1 and No. 2 films, respectively. The movie’s new PG-13 rating failed to drawn more viewers than its R-rated predecessors, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and an online leak of the film may have hurt its chances in theaters as well.

Let’s Be Cops, which opened Wednesday, snagged the third spot with a $17.7 million weekend — about how much it cost to make — bringing its five-day gross up to $26.1 million.

The Expendables 3, which stars Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham among many others, wasn’t the only disappointment: the decades-in-the-making adaptation of The Giver, starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep, came in fifth with a gross of $12.8 million.

[THR]

TIME Crime

Ferguson Curfew Extended As Justice Department Orders Second Autopsy

As Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon slams local police for releasing robbery video allegedly showing Michael Brown's involvement

+ READ ARTICLE

Updated 1:45 p.m. ET

A curfew will be enforced for a second night in Ferguson, Mo. Sunday, a day after Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency over some protestors’ clashes with police over the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Missouri Highway Patrol spokesman Al Nothum said the midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew had been extended to a second night, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. One man was shot and seven people were arrested the first night, as pockets of protestors attempted to defy the order.

On Sunday the Justice Department also announced it would be conducting its own autopsy of Brown, who was shot and killed by police on Aug. 9. “Due to the extraordinary circumstances involved in this case and at the request of the Brown family, Attorney General Holder has instructed Justice Department officials to arrange for an additional autopsy to be performed by a federal medical examiner,” department spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement.

The attorney of the family of the 18-year-old told TIME Saturday that lawyers for the family had hired a independent forensic pathologist to conduct an independent autopsy. The office of the St. Louis County Medical Examiner said the teen died of gunshot wounds in its original examination but had not specified how many times Brown had been shot. Fallon said the results of the state-performed autopsy would be taken into account by the DOJ.

Brown was killed after an encounter with a police officer, recently identified as Darren Wilson, who police say was responding to a “strong-arm robbery.” Local authorities have said that Brown was shot in a struggle for the officer’s gun and had matched a description of a suspect who allegedly stole $50 worth of cigars from a convenience store.

But at least one witness disputes that account; CNN reports that some witnesses say Brown was in a surrender position when he was shot, which has led many Ferguson residents claim the killing was yet another instance of racial profiling and police brutality.

Nixon, appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation, said Sunday that police tried to “besmirch” Brown by releasing documents and video footage alleging his participation in the robbery before his death.

“I mean, when you release picture and you clearly are attempting to besmirch a victim of a shooting, shot down in his own street, a young man and at the same time you’re releasing information to try to make it, to tarnish him, then properly, there was a lot of folks that were concerned about that, and I do think it flamed it back up and has caused us to have to deal with some of that,” Nixon said, Politico reports.

CNN reported Saturday that the video was released over the objections of the Department of Justice, which worried it might enflame racial tensions.

TIME Television

Orange Is the New Black Locks Up 3 Creative Arts Emmy Awards

Uzo Aduba
Uzo Aduba accepts the award for outstanding guest actress in a comedy series for her work on “Orange Is the New Black” at the Television Academy's Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theater on Aug. 16, 2014, in Los Angeles. Phil McCarten—Invision/AP

Uzo Aduba won for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

The main Emmy Awards are a little more than a week away, but Netflix upstart Orange Is the New Black has already stolen a march on its big-name competitors.

At the 2014 Primetime Creative Arts Emmys — a precursor to the main event that mainly focuses on the technical, behind-the-scenes work of television production — the comedy drama set behind the bars of a women’s prison took home three big awards.

Uzo Aduba, who plays Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren, claimed the award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series on Saturday, while the show’s casting director, Jennifer Euston, won for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series.

“I don’t know how to say how incredibly impressed I am to be a part of this show day in, day out,” Aduba said while accepting her award, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The show also won an editing award.

Among the other winners were HBO’s Game of Thrones, which took home 4 awards, and Saturday Night Live, which won 5.

Aduba’s co-stars Laverne Cox — the first openly transgender woman to be nominated for an Emmy — and Natasha Lyonne were also nominated for the same guest-star category. The show is up for several more awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series, during the main awards due to take place on Aug. 25.

TIME Television

Game of Thrones Takes Crown for Online Piracy

Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan—HBO

Fans illegally download Game of Thrones 300,000 times every day

Correction appended

Game of Thrones rules over all challengers when it comes to online piracy.

Just a few months after setting online downloading records with its season premiere, the hit HBO show has been named the most pirated form of entertainment, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Semetric, a company that monitors online media consumption, says that episodes of Game of Thrones at the height of their popularity make up more than half of all television-related downloads on piracy websites that use the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol — that’s more than the total of all music downloads on those sites.

While the rise of streaming services has somewhat supplanted music piracy, Game of Thrones is still in high demand. The show ended its fourth season in June — when fans downloaded the finale 2 million times within 24 hours — but there are still approximately 300,000 downloads of the series each day.

The original version of this story incorrectly described the role of BitTorrent in Semetric’s findings.

[WSJ]

TIME Television

Downton Abbey Cast Laughs Off Water Bottle Gaffe on Instagram

The actors posed for a group photoshoot to raise awareness about limited access to clean water in developing countries

The stuffy aristocrats of Downton Abbey have a sense of humor after all.

Last week, an uncropped publicity photo of Downton Abbey characters Robert, Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and Lady Edith Crawley (Laura Carmichael) revealed an embarrassing anachronism: a plastic water bottle that was clearly out of a place in a show set in the 1910s and ’20s.

After much mocking — the incident sparked its very own Internet meme — the hit program appears to be taking it in stride. Several members of the cast “embraced ‘water bottle-gate'” Saturday and posed with water bottles on Instagram in order to raise awareness for WaterAid, a U.K. charity that works to provide access to clean water around the world.

“After seeing the reaction the picture caused earlier this week, the cast and crew came up with the idea of turning some of this attention towards an issue around water that really matters,” said a spokesperson for ITV, the channel the show airs on across the pond, in a statement. The Instagram post includes a link to information about how viewers can donate.

“Raising awareness” doesn’t always make a difference, of course — but it certainly did with the ice bucket challenge this month.

TIME celebrities

Alexander Skarsgård Jammed With Taylor Swift on the Set of The Giver

Alexander Skarsgård
Alexander Skarsgård Richard Shotwell—Invision

The actor also explains why he "couldn’t stop laughing" during True Blood's recent gay sex scene

When he’s not sucking blood and casting smoldering glares as vampire Eric Northman on HBO’s True Blood, now wrapping up its final season, Alexander Skarsgård is happily enjoying utopia in The Giver, in theaters Friday.

Or maybe it just seems that way: the film, based on Lois Lowry’s young-adult classic, is set in a community seemingly free of suffering, but full of painful secrets. Skarsgård plays the father of Jonas (Brenton Thwaites); when Jonas learns what his dad is really up to at work, he tries to save the community from its own rules with the help of Jeff Bridges’ titular wise elder.

Here, the Swedish actor talks with TIME about the young-adult classic, hanging out with Taylor Swift (who has a small but vital role in the film) and what True Blood has in store for Eric Northman.

TIME: Is The Giver big in Sweden? I feel like everyone I know in America read it as a kid.

Alexander Skarsgård: Not really — it’s not part of the canon like it is in the States. I heard about it when I came to the States, but I only read it a year and a half ago.

What drew you to the project, then?

I’ve always been interested in those Orwellian dystopian novels, like Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World and obviously Orwell’s 1984. I thought, this — even though this caters to a younger audience — was really interesting and scary. It was a character I was fascinated by, someone who could do these horrible, horrible things but still be innocent in a weird way. What is morality? If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t understand the concept of death, is what he’s doing wrong or not?

How do you play a character that, by nature, has no highs and lows without being flat?

To me, it was about potential. I wanted the audience to feel that there’s more potential. So when he’s interacting with other members of the family, you want to feel that he could have been a fantastic dad, a fantastic husband. Because of the circumstances, there’s no opportunity for that. That made it really sad. I found that interesting because if he’s just a robot, then there’s no life, there’s nothing interesting there. I wanted to feel that this was a human being, a real man who was obviously shaped by this society and the drugs he takes with his morning injections. He’s numb.

The Giver, like much of the YA fiction that eventually followed it — The Hunger Games, Divergent — is about making choices and deciding, as a reader, what kind of person you’d be in these situations. Would your 12-year-old self have been a Jonas or someone who follows the rules?

I think we’d all like to say we would have been like Jonas because we’re more comfortable saying that, but I’m afraid almost all of us wouldn’t be like Jonas. We’re all the heroes of our own lives, and when we put ourselves in those situations, we always think we’re going to be extremely heroic, but obviously most of us wouldn’t. How would that even be possible to do when you don’t understand what pain, suffering and love are?

The story is timeless — was there anything that needed to change as it came to the big screen decades later?

Not really. It was more about small things, like using holograms instead of screens. A lot has changed in the past 20 years when you envision the future. I know that Lois Lowry spent a lot of time growing up on military bases, so it was that idea in her head. I like that in the beginning of the film it looks inviting — that makes it more interesting when you’re drawn in. “This looks nice, I could live here!” But once you get inside, then you start to see what it’s really like to live in a society like that.

Jeff Bridges has been wanting to make this movie for nearly two decades. Did he share his vision with you?

Jeff was absolutely incredible. He wanted to direct it at first, but finally he was old enough to play the Giver, so Phillip Noyce came aboard instead. Jeff and I only had one or two scenes together, but he was always on set with the most amazing energy, and that spread to everyone. It was really inspiring to see an actor with his body of work — he’s a legend — so curious. Watching him take direction from Phillip was unbelievable. To see Jeff Bridges, working on a project that he knows so well, still in that creative space of wanting to collaborate, wanting to learn, wanting to grow and wanting to surprise himself, was really fantastic to see.

Many of the characters don’t cross paths in the film. Was it isolating to shoot?

Jeff created at an atmosphere where we really bonded and we hung out. We were on location in Cape Town, very far from our loved ones back home, so we all hung out on weekends. Jeff is a very social guy. We would throw these big dinner parties and he would always bring his guitar. The only thing was I had to wrap early, because I was going on an expedition to the South Pole right after The Giver. I only had one scene with Meryl, but I was dying to work with her. It’s a scene where she shows up in our home in a hologram, and I had to be done with the film before she could get there, so unfortunately we were never on set [together].

Wait, if Jeff is bringing his guitar, did you have jam sessions with Taylor Swift when she was shooting her scenes?

Yeah, absolutely. We had a piano in the hotel lobby. People would take turns and play the piano and sing. I was better on the couch with my beer, howling along. It was really lovely, actually.

Let’s talk about True Blood. That dream sequence between Eric and Jason got people very excited. Can you tease anything about their romantic-sexual futures as the final episodes approach? The people need to know.

I can’t say much about the plot, but that was a very memorable scene. Ryan [Kwanten] is so funny. It was a very tough night for me — I couldn’t stop laughing. He’s a hilarious guy. But we knew that scene was coming. We shot that scene where he drinks my blood in season six. There wasn’t a real plan to follow through, but then when we shot it, it was strangely sensual, and Ryan and I just looked at each other after shooting that scene last year like, “We’re definitely going to see that dream sequence.” Sure enough, a couple months later we got the script, and there it was.

What was your reaction when you saw how the series ends?

I’ve been really happy with this whole season. To me, that’s Eric at his best, when he’s got one clear objective: revenge. When he’s that focused and determined, it’s so much fun to play that and hopefully watch as well. The fact that I’ve gotten to work with Kristin Bauer [van Straten] so much this season — I always miss her when we shoot seasons and we don’t get to work that much. It’s been great finishing this series side by side with Kristin. I really liked how we leave Eric at the end of this show. I’m very happy with it. Hopefully fans will be as well.

TIME Music

5 Ways Becky G Knew ‘Shower’ Was a Hit

Becky G 'Shower'
Becky G performs at the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday, Aug. 10. Matt Sayles—Invision/AP

Everyone can relate to the song, the singer says — even if you don't understand the words

Resistance is futile: Becky G’s breezy ode to first love, “Shower,” is such a seasonally appropriate sugar rush that it’s borderline preposterous the song hasn’t been a more serious contender for Song of the Summer. If the track doesn’t grab ahold at first listen, just give it time — it took a few days for even the 17-year-old’s family to catch on.

“I think the word for it is ‘contagious,'” Becky G (real name: Rebecca Gomez) tells TIME. “When I first started singing it for my cousins, they were like, ‘Oh, it’s a good song, I guess.’ Two days later, they’re like, ‘Yo, what the heck, I cannot get this song out of my head.'” Now it’s a full-blown hit, cracking the Top 20 on multiple Billboard charts as well as iTunes — but Gomez says she still has trouble processing the song’s success.

Here are five times she knew she was onto something:

When she first recorded the song: “We listened to it all the way through and all of us couldn’t say anything — we just were quiet and looking at each other and smiling,” says Gomez, who’s signed to Dr. Luke’s record label. She describes the hit producer (Kesha, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson) as the Mr. Miyagi to her Karate Kid. “I think we all had that little spark in our eyes and that little feeling it was going to be something special. We didn’t know what it was going to be, but we knew it was going to be special.”

When her grandparents got on board: “My grandparents don’t really listen to pop music, and they only speak Spanish and only listen to Spanish music,” the singer-songwriter explains. “And then they tell me they love ‘Shower’ — they’re singing it around the house. It’s a great feeling for a song to be acknowledged and accepted by not-so-expected people.”

Because her grandparents are from Mexico, Becky G is planning something special for when she plays a few dates in that country as an opening act on Katy Perry’s Prismatic World Tour. “I think singing a song or two in Spanish with a mariachi might be really cool,” she says. (After that, she’s hitting the road with Jason Derulo.)

The first time she performed it live: “I first performed it a 21-plus club, and, earlier in the day, I had performed for an all-ages family crowd,” Gomez says. “All these little girls are singing ‘Shower’ and then, that night, I go to a club and people are partying it up and singing ‘Shower’ with me. It just shows that music doesn’t have a limit.”

Now that the song has taken off, the crowd reaction is even more palpable. “People go bananas and start bringing out their phones to start recording and they start singing the words with me,” she says.

When it took off on Vine: Gomez owes social media a great deal — Dr. Luke signed her after discovering her videos on YouTube. Now, “Shower” has found a home on the video app Vine, where Gomez’s army of fans, known as the Beasters, are recording six-second covers en masse.

One clip, from Vine star Rudy Mancuso, stands out: “He does a lot of funny Vines, but he also makes music and did a little piano cover to ‘Shower,'” she says. “I thought it was so cool because I follow him on Vine and so do all of my cousins and siblings. They were like, ‘Oh my God, look at this!'”

When she hears the song on the radio: “Every time is like the first time,” says Gomez, who first became interested in performing at the age of 9 to help her then-financially burdened family earn extra money. “It’s exciting because all this hard work, all the sacrificing that me and my family have gone through, all the hardship, it’s really starting to pay off. I’m totally grateful.”

TIME movies

Exclusive: Watch Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges Face Off in The Giver

The Giver (Bridges) tries — and fails — to appease the Chief Elder (Streep) in a new clip

+ READ ARTICLE

You don’t want to make Meryl Streep angry — not when she’s the playing the seemingly benevolent Chief Elder of a community that’s not-so-utopian behind closed doors.

But that’s exactly what the titular character in The Giver, played by Jeff Bridges, does when his protege Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) starts sharing secret repressed memories of civilization with his blissfully ignorant friends.

Catch the scene in the YA classic’s film adaptation when it hits theaters this Friday.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 46,389 other followers