TIME Music

See ’90s Boy Band Members Then and Now

As the new Backstreet Boys documentary hits theaters, see how they and other boy bands of the 90s have changed over the years

TIME Music

One Direction Was In the Studio With Nickelback

Chad Kroeger taught Louis Tomlinson how to play the drums

Nickelback is one of the most hated bands on the Internet. One Direction is one the most beloved on the Internet — at least if you’re a teenage girl. So if the two groups are indeed working together, as a recent crop of Instagram photos from former Daughtry drummer Robin Diaz suggest, you better brace yourself for whatever emerges. When it comes to that song’s capacity to break the Internet, Kim Kardashian’s butt pales in comparison.

Family Photo with Chad's engineer Gordini fastest cat behind the board!💥

A photo posted by Robin Diaz (@robindiaz) on

TIME

Hagrid is in the Hospital

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Robbie Coltraine as Hagrid in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Warner Bros.

He got sick on the way to a Harry Potter convention.

The actor who played Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies has been rushed to the hospital after experiencing flu-like symptoms on a transatlantic flight.

Robbie Coltrane was rushed to a Florida hospital as soon as his flight from London to Orlando landed. He had been traveling to Orlando, home of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park, for a “A Celebration of Harry Potter” event at the park. And according to TMZ, Coltrane’s co-star Michael Gambon, who plays Dumbledore and is also scheduled to appear at the event, was on the same plane.

The actor is expected to be hospitalized overnight for treatment. Universal Studios confirmed in a statement to Bay News 9 that he will miss the event, but Coltrane’s agent released a statement that he’s expected to recover shortly.

Read next: At Last, You Can Read Harry Potter in the Gryffindor Common Room

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Music

Everything You Need to Know About Katy Perry’s Super Bowl Performance

The Voice Of Germany - Semi Finals
Katy Perry performs during the semi final show of 'The Voice Of Germany on Dec. 13, 2013 in Berlin. Timur Emek—Getty Images

How did she get the gig, and what will she perform?

On Sunday, Feb. 1, Katy Perry will perform at the halftime show of the Super Bowl in Glendale, Ariz. Perry is just the latest in a recent string of edgier and more contemporary acts (after Bruno Mars last year). For the NFL, this is a chance to draw in women and families who might otherwise not tune into what is traditionally the year’s most-watched TV broadcast; for Perry, it’s a chance to expose her music to a wider audience.

Here’s what the uninitiated need to know:

Why her?

Perry is among the most successful recording artists of her generation; her 2010 album Teenage Dream tied a record first set by Michael Jackson when its first five singles all hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Her most recent album, 2013’s Prism, generated the chart-toppers “Roar” and “Dark Horse.” She has enough recognizable music to fill out a twelve-minute set that even non-fans will recognize, and enough of a following (she’s the world’s most-followed Twitter user) to boost the show’s ratings. (Last year, the halftime show was watched by more people than the average number of viewers for the whole game.) Perry’s persona as a performer of self-esteem-boosting music, too, is a boon for a league whose athletes’ treatment of women has come under close scrutiny in the past year.

Isn’t she a little risqué, though?

Perry’s image straddles the line between provocation and family-friendliness (sometimes uneasily): She’s cutesy enough that her come-ons and outfits don’t seem unfit for a family broadcast. The NFL wants a broadcast people will be talking about, but dreads a repeat of Janet Jackson’s 2004 “wardrobe malfunction.” Perry has said her “soft-serve sexiness” aesthetic remains within the bounds of propriety.

Who are the special guests?

The “American Woman” rocker Lenny Kravitz has already been announced, and Perry has only given vague hints as to what their collaboration will look like. The Associated Press has reported that rapper Missy Elliott is to be Perry’s second guest, in keeping with Perry’s own hints that it would be a female artist from a previous generation of music. Elliott took a brief hiatus from her long hiatus to rap on the remix for Perry’s 2011 single “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” but it seems more likely that Elliott will perform something more recognizable as her own. At an NFL performance describing her second guest, Perry said: “When you hear the first ring of the chord…I think jaws will drop and faces will melt.”

What will Perry perform?

TIME’s predictions are here, and they’re all hypothetical: The roles Elliott and Kravitz will play, for instance, is an x-factor. At her NFL press conference, Perry said she will incorporate medleys into her performance in order to ensure she gets to enough of her songs to please her fans, and confirmed that “Roar” and “Firework,” her two most explicitly inspirational songs, will be part of the act.

What will the whole thing look like?

Perry has said that the football field will be overlaid with a surface that will allow for elaborate graphic elements and that she will wear multiple colorful costumes over the course of the performance, an unusual step: Both Madonna and Beyoncé, the two most recent female solo acts at the halftime show, dressed relatively simply in basic black. She has also said that lions (a subtle nod to “Roar”?) and sharks will be incorporated into the performance.

What’s next for Perry?

Perry’s promotion cycle for Prism would seem to be coming to an end after her planned European and Asian tour dates from February to May. And she’s said she is not planning to use the show as a springboard for surprise new material. One thing Perry can count on, if history is guide? A significant sales boost for her past material in the weeks after new fans discover her work.

TIME Television

What We Learned From Game of Thrones Season 5 Trailer Leaks

Actor Kit Harington as Jon Snow in a scene from "Game of Thrones."
Actor Kit Harington as Jon Snow in a scene from "Game of Thrones." Helen Sloan—HBO/AP

A few fans were lucky and bold enough to take sneaky shots from last night's IMAX screening event of the show

HBO’s much-anticipated Game of Thrones trailer is spreading across the Internet, teasing epic awesomeness from the show’s upcoming fifth season. The trailer debuted as part of the drama’s IMAX screening event, which opened late last night; a few fans sneaky-shot video. Some of the biggest revelations from the bootlegged footage include:

— Varys urging Tyrion to seek out and help, it seems, Danyerys: “I believe men of talent have a part to play in the war to come.” Tyrion: “I will never sit on the Iron Throne.” Varys: “You could help another climb those steps and take that seat … The Seven Kingdoms needs a ruler loved by millions with a powerful army and the right family name.” Tyrion: “Good luck finding him.” Varys: “Who said anything abouthim?”

— Littlefinger telling Sansa: “There’s no justice in this world. Not unless we make it. Avenge them”—presumably referring to her brutally murdered family members.

— Tommen and Margaery together in what could be yet another wedding scene (good luck with that!).

— Arya in Braavos, in her new costume, picking up needle and knocking on a fateful door.

— Dany pledging, “I’m not going to stop the wheel. I’m going to break the wheel,” along with shots of Ser Jorah in gladitorial combat and the broze harpy statue atop Dany’s pyramid being toppled.

— Also, the trailer is set to a rather moody cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes.”

— All exciting stuff leading up to April 12. Hopefully, HBO will realize very soon it’s better to release this trailer online officially rather than let the footage get pirated everywhere (hint-hint)… and boy, hasn’t that been the story of HBO and Thrones distribution in general?

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME Television

Game of Thrones Is Actually Too Big for IMAX

Kit Harington on 'Game of Thrones' Helen Sloan—HBO

Seeing the HBO epic on the big screen will remind moviegoers of how far TV is advancing beyond film

 

Anyone who has purchased tickets to watch the final two episodes of season four of Game of Thrones on an IMAX screen this week will not be disappointed. On a big screen, the Battle of Castle Black is even bloodier. The dragons are even more ferocious. The creatures Bran encounters are even…stranger.

But a funny thing happened halfway through the New York City screening on Thursday night. Music swelled, bodies fell lifeless and people did not know whether they should cheer.

At first, it was simple. Jon Snow taking command of Castle Black drew a roar from the crowd. The death of a certain cannibal shortly thereafter also received applause. But when Ygritte was shot down, the crowd hesitated. Some clapped, while others shushed. I suspect a few even cried. Were we happy Jon Snow’s life was saved, even if his would-be killer was his one true love?

Matters got even more complicated in the final episode. The onscreen appearances of Stannis, Daenerys and Tyrion all elicited cheers, but that support was far from unanimous. When Brienne and the Hound drew swords for what was by far the most graphic, bloodiest scene in the two-hour broadcast (think — really think — about how gross it is when she bites off his ear, then multiply the size of your laptop screen by about a million), the two had equal supporters. Like the people of Westeros, the audience’s loyalties were divided among characters. It’s a common occurrence on living room couches, but a strange one to experience in a massive movie theater.

The Game of Thrones fanbase rivals that of any major movie franchise — Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Avengers. But when audiences line up to see new installments of those films, they already know when they will boo and when they will cheer, who is good and who is bad. Even the most complicated of blockbuster films can only spend two hours drawing out the intricacies of character relationships. Game of Thrones has had dozens of hours to do so.

Fans of the books always knew A Song of Ice and Fire was more complicated than its counterparts in the fantasy realm. After this screening, they should take a break from pestering George R.R. Martin for his next book to thank him for handing his story rights over to HBO, rather than a movie studio who would have made it morally black-and-white.

Kicking off Sundance this year, Robert Redford commented, “Television is advancing faster than filmmaking.” Critics have long acknowledged that in the past decade or so, television writers have learned to take advantage of their elongated timeline to create interesting storylines rather than sheer spectacle. Television showrunners have also been more willing to take risks on the small screen — maybe because there isn’t as much money at stake. The result is unlikable heroes, appealing villains and an emotional realism that studio tentpole films rarely achieve.

Never has this been more apparent than last night — when Game of Thrones took its cinema-worthy show to the big screen and proved too large for it.

Read next: Release of Next ‘Game of Thrones’ Novel Will Not Happen in 2015

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Television

Watch John Oliver Explain Why He Tased Himself for the Troops

The late night host recounts how far he'll go for a laugh

Last Week Tonight host John Oliver appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and discussed how far he’d go to make people laugh — including injure himself.

The 37-year-old comedian told Letterman that during a USO Tour to Afghanistan in August, 2013, Oliver had just finished performing a set for the troops when a soldier asked if he’d tase himself. Oliver, looking for a laugh, agreed.

The visit marked the first USO tour for Oliver, who was touched by the trip as his wife is a former Army combat medic, who deployed to Iraq.

The next season of Last Week Tonight is slated to return to HBO on Feb. 8.

TIME Books

Release of Next ‘Game of Thrones’ Novel Will Not Happen in 2015

This image released by HBO shows Kit Harington in a scene from "Game of Thrones."
This image released by HBO shows Kit Harington in a scene from "Game of Thrones." Helen Sloan—AP

Fans will have to make do with a compilation of prequels rather than the next instalment in the saga

George R.R. Martin’s The Winds of Winter, the long-awaited sixth novel in his ‘A Song of Ice and Fire‘ saga that inspired the HBO series Game of Thrones, will not be published in 2015, his publisher told The Guardian on Friday.

Jane Johnson said HarperCollins would instead be publishing a new illustrated compilation of three official prequel novellas to the series, The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight.

“The short novels have been previously published in separate anthologies but never put together before, and this will be a particularly beautiful edition,” Johnson told The Guardian. But she added that she had no information on a possible publication date for The Winds of Winter, which fans have been eagerly awaiting since Martin published the bestselling A Dance with Dragons in 2011.

In December Martin posted on his website to suppress speculation over the book’s release. He wrote: “I’ve said before, and I will say again, I don’t play games with news about the books. I know how many people are waiting, how long they have been waiting, how anxious they are. I am still working on Winds. When it’s done, I will announce it here…I don’t know how I can make it any clearer.”

[Guardian]

Read next: Amanda Peet Thought Husband’s Show Game of Thrones Was a ‘Terrible Idea’

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME celebrities

Wendy Williams Explains What Celebrities Can Learn From Kim Kardashian

Wendy Williams
Wendy Williams Omar Vega—Invision/AP

The talk-show host and media personality celebrates her 1,000th episode Friday—and dishes to TIME about her most memorable interviews

How is Wendy Williams doin’? Pretty great, actually—the storied radio personality turned syndicated talk-show host is celebrating 1,000 episodes of The Wendy Williams Show, now in its sixth season. And when she’s not discussing her Hot Topics and giving audience members unfiltered advice on camera, she’s producing a number of projects behind-the-scenes (like Lifetime’s Aaliyah movie last year), overseeing her wigs line and developing a clothing line to add to the collection.

TIME caught up with Williams a few days before the big milestone to talk about her celebrity bucket list, the importance of trashy reality shows and why she loves Judge Judy.

TIME: Looking back, who has been your most awkward interview?
Wendy Williams: I can’t call it awkward, but certainly it was different, and that was Russell Brand. I found him smart, witty and sexy! And he smelled good. But here’s the kicker: He was on Howard Stern, and Howard said, “Who are you crushing on now?” He said, “That black lady with the talk show, Wendy Williams!” When he came to the show, everything that I said, he would bring it back to me and how he’s attracted to me. Not in a disrespectful way! I was blushing on the inside.

Who of your frequent celebrity targets has the best sense of humor about it?
Kim Kardashian. Listen, Kim has a really good sense of humor. She knows who she is, she knows what she puts out there. She is not one for her feathers to be ruffled. After six seasons, I would hope that celebrities understand that I’m really no different than Rona Barrett, Walter Winchell—two legendary celebrity chatters—and what I do is no different than Life & Style magazine or the entertainment section of TIME magazine. The same stories that I’m telling are the stories people are talking about! Maybe it’s the way I deliver. I come with strong opinions, but strong opinions are what drive the show.

Who is the most elusive? Whom do you want on your show but haven’t been able to book?
The Rock. I think he’s handsome. I’d love for him to pick me up and curl me. And then I want to sit down and talk to him—he seems like a down guy. I’ve met most of my heroes, not necessarily on the show, but in real life. Judge Judy came this season. Oh my God, she is the aunt I always wanted to have. You tell her things you don’t tell your own mother, and then she gives you straight talk with the answer. It was my understanding that Judge Judy does not do a lot of talk shows. I said, “Okay, that will never happen,” and then I see she wants to come to the show! She came, and her husband Jerry sat in the audience. Judy was telling me that Jerry watches my show on the treadmill every morning. I will treasure that moment forever. But general wish list? I don’t really have one. As a matter of fact, I love meeting celebrities, but my favorite Wendy shows are all Hot Topics and Ask Wendy.

How do you vet and choose Hot Topics when celebrity gossip can be so unreliable?
We usually deal with two or more sources. We never just take one source and run with it and put it on Hot Topics. We have a legal department in our building. My Hot Topics team is very good at raking through. They might give 10 stories on any given day in a morning meeting, but I might only get to five stories. I read stuff, I watch TV, I come with stories. Maybe that’s why it comes so naturally—I’m really interested in celebrity culture and really do care! More often than not my team is right on point. It is a collaborative effort, and I listen with respect to everyone on staff. I just happen to be the lucky girl with my name on the marquee. When I don’t want to do something, it’s never a hard no. Convince me why I should. Convince me why I should wear that dress, or why the sky is blue when I see green.

Some people think celebrity culture and reality TV are trashy. Why is it important to have “low-brow” entertainment in our culture?
Reality TV is kind of a reflection of how the world is running these days. We have no attention span. Microwaves aren’t fast enough for us anymore. Some of the best shows on TV get canceled after three episodes. People aren’t given a chance. We forget about our entertainers if they’re not in front of us. We move on to the next one. Now, for a lot of people—and me, sometimes, I’m embarrassed to say—a reality show is not a reality show without someone being dragged across the floor by their hair. I like cute reality. You’re never going to catch any wig-pulling on Wahlburgers. But I also have been known to glance at Love & Hip Hop. The more ratchet, the more entertaining. It’s escape.

Has there ever been a question you regret asking?
No, but there’s a question I regret not asking. Chris Rock was on the show. He’s always a great guest, very funny, very engaging, very honest. A week after he goes on the show, it’s announced that he’s getting a divorce from his wife of 18 years. I had no idea that they were actually getting a divorce. You hear about marital discord, but if you’re married, there’s always discord going on. I didn’t know they were going to be divorcing, so I felt duped. I often wonder if I had said to Chris, “So how is Malak, everything still good after 18 years?” Would he have answered me honestly? Would have I gotten a good scoop for the world? I will never know—until I run into him again.

You did radio for decades before moving to TV. What was the biggest surprise?
Nothing was really surprising, but there were a few adjustments I was resistant to: people helping. I’m not good at people helping. I’m now used to somebody shopping for me or somebody doing my hair or doing my makeup. I don’t need people under me all the time asking, “Do you need anything? Are you okay?” I’m fine! I know that sounds like an odd problem, but I’m fiercely independent and didn’t get this kind of success until I was in my 40s. I already knew what it was like to change a tire, get a mortgage, to be a fully grown woman. With success on TV, life has become more complicated. You don’t just run up to the ATM and drop your paycheck in anymore. You don’t just do things. Everything has to be planned or an event. I can’t just talk to you on the phone. There’s two other people on the phone! There’s the publicist and my assistant. It’s all odd!

You became well-known on the radio for being so confessional. Is it harder to be intimate in front of a live audience?
No, I actually find myself making a concerted effort not to say one word too many. Doing that show is as easy as slipping on a comfortable pair of jeans. They say the number one fear is public speaking—I’ve never had a problem with that. I light up when I have to entertain. Radio helped me develop an already-fertile imagination. In radio, it’s you in a room. You have to be a real wordsmith. You have to use your words to paint a picture. That’s the best training I could have had to keep this show going. I still use that same language to paint a picture, only now I can see the crowd’s reaction. They sit there and they laugh, or they think I’m ridiculous. Either way, no one’s falling asleep.

TIME celebrities

Roseanne Barr Says No One in Hollywood Was Surprised About Bill Cosby

Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - June 24, 2014
Roseanne Barr is seen in Hollywood on June 24, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. RB/Bauer-Griffin—GC Images/Getty Images

The comedian said she hopes he can make amends

Rosanne Barr says she wasn’t surprised at all when sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby came to the fore, and that no woman in Hollywood was surprised either.

In an appearance on Access Hollywood, Barr said, “There’s hardly any hairdressers or waitresses who don’t know somebody [affected by his actions].”

Yet the comedian believes that Cosby could still make amends for his alleged wrongdoings: “I have hopes that he would just make it clean and make it right,” adding that his ample fortune could be put to use, perhaps in the form of a scholarship.

“There are so many ways,” Barr said, “[But] here is nothing more powerful than ‘I am sorry.'”

[USA Today]

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