TIME Parenting

Ed Sheeran to Kids Who Stutter: Embrace Your Weirdness

Ed Sheeran gave this speech at 9th Annual American Institute for Stuttering Benefit Gala

This is the second award I’ve ever got in America, so that’s pretty nice.

I didn’t actually know I was getting an award tonight, because I didn’t expect one. I was coming here to support the cause. I got an email from Emily [Blunt] a couple of months ago telling me about the thing, I said, “of course I’ll turn up.” So turning up today and saying your getting an award is pretty wild, but yeah.

I was a very, very weird child. Very weird child. And I had a port-wine stain birthmark on my face that I got lasered off when I was very young, and one day they forgot to put the anesthetic on, and then ever since then I had a stutter—and I also had very, very big blue NHS glasses – NHS is the National Health Service, one day, I hope you’ll have the same.

And I lacked an ear drum on one side of my face—one side of my ear—so stuttering was actually the least of my problems when I went to school, but it was still quite a difficult thing, and the thing that I found most difficult about it was, knowing what to say but not really being able to express it in the right way.

So I did different speech therapies and stuff, which wasn’t very successful. I had homeopathy, which is like herbs and s—, where you’re drinking… It’s alright.

But I got heavily into music at a young age, and got very, very into rap music—Eminem was the first album that my dad bought me. I remember my uncle Jim told my dad that Eminem was the next Bob Dylan when I was—say what you want, it’s pretty similar, but it’s all just story-telling. So my dad bought me the Marshall Mathers LP when I was nine years old, not knowing what was on it. And he let me listen to it, and I learned every word of it back to front by the age I was ten, and he raps very fast and very melodically, and very percussively, and it helped me get rid of the stutter. And then from there, I just carried on and did some music, but it’s I think the one thing I actually wanted to convey in my speech today for not so much the adults here because I feel like the adults are fine—you’re solid, everybody’s got a lot of money and everyone’s chillin’. But more the kids that are going through the therapy, and I want to stress the point that it’s not—stuttering is not a thing you have to be worried about at all, and even if you have quirks and weirdness, you shouldn’t be worried about that. I think the people I went to school with that were the most normal and were the coolest when we grew up—I was telling Emily earlier that one of the cool kids from school now does my plumbing. So that’s a fact. That’s a fact, so being my thing that I want to stress most here tonight is not necessarily to shed light on stuttering or make it a thing. It’s just to stress to kids in general is to just be yourself ‘cause there’s no one in the world that can be a better you than you, and if you try to be the cool kid from class, you’ll end up being very boring, and doing plumbing for someone that you don’t really want to do plumbing for.

And just be yourself, embrace your quirks—being weird is a wonderful thing. But I think, you know, I’m not very good at speeches, I don’t really do a lot of speeches but I think the one thing I want to say is be yourself, embrace yourself, embrace your quirks, and embrace your weirdness.

And from from a stuttering point of view, don’t treat it as an issue—work through it and get the treatment that you want to get, but don’t ever treat it as an issue, don’t see it as a plight on your life, and carry on pushing forward. And I did alright—I did alright is all. Emily did alright. Nice, thank you.

TIME movies

This Is What American Hogwarts Could Be Like

What would it be like to go there? TIME can only imagine

Let’s be real, J.K. Rowling is wonderful. But how has she kept the inner workings of American Hogwarts from readers and fans for so long?

Earlier this week, the Harry Potter author tweeted the possibility of an American school of witchcraft and wizardry, which could play a role in the upcoming movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. For the uninitiated, the film is a spinoff of the Potter series, based on the fictional book of the same title, written by a character named Newt Scamander, who is famed for discovering Hippogriffs and other magical creatures. Rowling is writing the screenplay herself, and Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne will be playing Scamander. Emma Watson has also said she’d be up for a cameo.

Seeing as the film is set to take place around 1920, decades before Potter and his cohorts Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley are even born, it’ll be interesting to see a pre-Potter wizarding world—and perhaps even a glimpse of this mysterious school for American wizards. There are plenty of theories about the exact location of the American school, but TIME decided to imagine what it would be like to be a student. Here are five theories:

Its Name
A wizarding school that was founded more than a century ago probably would have needed to leave “witchcraft” out of its name, since witches were persecuted (see: Salem). Perhaps it was called Wizarding Preparatory Academy, and began allowing witches to learn alongside the wizards in the early 1920s, after women won the right to vote in America. (However, the wage gap between male and female teachers likely persisted.)

Getting There
There’s no platform 9 3/4 in New York City’s Penn Station, but at the Union Square subway station, there’s the L train, which began running in the 1920s. Haven’t you ever wondered why it doesn’t run on certain weekends? Perhaps magicians from across the country could travel to Manhattan via the Floo Network—which Rowling describes as a network of connected fireplaces—arriving at cozy bars, where they’d ideally be served salted caramel butterbeer before heading to the L train.

The Food
Since the American Hogwarts was likely founded after the British original (which came about in 990 AD), the founders could have adopted the same four house names Potter fans are familiar with from the books: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin. Imagine if each house had a separate dining hall; perhaps the Slytherin Snack Shack would have been the most popular in the 1920s, stocked with delicacies like many flavors of deviled eggs, all made by house elves who worked under poor conditions for decades before finally revolting in the mid-’40s. The Hufflepuffs’ basic Food Hall might have served nothing more than baked ham, a common 1920s dish, for meal after meal—leading some students to pine for a polyjuice potion that would transform their identity so they could sneak into the other houses.

The Sports
Quidditch, of course, would be popular among young American witches and wizards, since its importance in the wizarding world dates back centuries, but America would also need its own magical pastime. Perhaps they could call it Praeli, derived from the Latin word praelium, meaning battle, and it could be similar to baseball but played with the bludgers from Quidditch and just one player on a broom. The sport would have its fair share of fans, maybe making its way across the pond to Durmstrang, one of the other wizarding schools, but failing at Beauxbatons in France when a third-year student is seriously injured during a game.

The Professors
The students at Dub Prep—as they would likely nickname the school—would ditch the Professor title used at Hogwarts and use Mr. and Mrs. as well as sir and ma’am. The only exception, or should we say Xception, could come about if Charles Xavier arrives as an adjunct professor, teaching a special class in Defense Against the Dark Arts.

Could any of this be possible? We’ll find out when Fantastic Beasts hits theaters Nov. 18, 2016.

TIME Television

Here’s Where Orange Is the New Black Left Off Last Season

What you need to know before season three premieres Friday

Binge-watching a show like Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black in just a few days means never letting a cliffhanger leave you hanging. But it can also leave you with a fuzzy recollection of what happened when it’s time for a new season one year later. With just a few days before 13 new episodes of Netflix’s prison drama (prison comedy?) arrive all at once, here’s where last season’s most important story lines left off:

Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling): Prison hardened Piper in season two, evident by the way she treated new inmate Brook Soso, who may have been a bigger fish-out-of-water in Litchfield than Piper first was. Piper also got to leave the prison for some outside excursions in season two — some not so fun (Chicago, to testify in court) and some…still not so fun (she’s granted furlough, but only for her grandmother’s funeral). During that brief time away from Litchfield she visits Alex, learns of her plans to flee town and has her best friend Polly (now in a relationship with Piper’s ex-fiancé Larry) tip off Alex’s probation officer.

Alex Vause (Laura Prepon): A plea deal for naming a drug lord in court freed Alex from prison, so Orange fans didn’t see much of “the Betty Page of Litchfield” last season. But her cooperation with the legal system wasn’t enough to take the vengeful kingpin down, so Alex spent much of her freedom on the outside fearing for her life. She even decided to flea town at one point, but Piper (via Polly) rats her out to her probation officer and gets Alex sent back to prison.

Taystee (Danielle Brooks) and Poussey (Samira Wiley): Taystee had long history with the villainous Vee, as we learned from season two’s flashback, so she spent much of the season by her side, despite warnings from Taystee’s BFF Poussey, one of the few inmates who seemed immune to Vee’s spell. That put a serious strain on their friendship, which Vee manipulated to her advantage. Thankfully, they patched things up after Taystee wisened up to Vee’s devious ways.

Dayanara Diaz (Dascha Polanco): Pregnant with super-cute-security-guard Bennett’s baby, she spent season two worrying about her child’s future, fighting with Bennett over his lack of responsibility and second-guessing her plan to name Pornstache (the corrupt corrections officer) as the father to protect the real dad. Bennett eventually spilled the beans to fellow prison employee Caputo, who pretty much shrugged off the confession and told Bennett to stay quite about the relationship.

Galina “Red” Reznikov (Kate Mulgrew): The last time we saw Red, she didn’t look so good — Vee had just taken a slock to her face and given her one brutal beating, betraying whatever semblance of a truce the longtime rivals came to during the previous night’s storm. At first Red didn’t want to go on the record about the identity of her assailant to the prison authorities, but Sister Jane helped convince her to speak up.

Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren (Uzo Aduba): Vee took Crazy Eyes under her wing, not out of the kindness of her heart, but because she realized she could turn one of Litchfield’s most troubled inmates into the perfect foot soldier for her evil bidding. She even convinced Suzanne to take the fall for assaulting Red, but after Red broke her silence and named Vee, Officer Healy stepped in and produced a work order saying Suzanne was working electrical during that time.

Nicky Nichols (Natasha Lyonne): Her sex contest with fellow womanizer Big Boo aside, Nicky didn’t have a whole lot going on last season — her big moment in season two happened when she stole Vee’s stash of heroin in retaliation for attacking Red, which set off a series of events that led to Vee’s demise. For all the good it brought to Litchfield, that theft may not be so good for Nicky, a recovering heroin addict who could be tempted by her spoils in season three.

Lorna Morello (Yael Stone): In a heartbreaking flashback last season, we learned Morello’s fiancé Christopher wasn’t actually her fiancé, just a guy she jealously stalked to the point of putting a bomb under his real girlfriend’s car. She even took advantage of her prison van privileges to sneak away one day and break into Christopher’s house, but he noticed her intrusion and showed up at the prison to threaten her and reveal her delusions to the other inmates. Morello later used her van powers for good when she handed the keys to dying inmate Rosa, whose joyride also put an end to Vee.

TIME Television

How That Simpsons Break-Up Will Stand Alongside Other Sitcom Splits

TV comedies have never quite known what to do with divorce

In its upcoming 27th season, The Simpsons is set to split up its central couple, yet again.

Homer and Marge Simpson, who were legally divorced in the show’s eighth season and who questioned their union in the 2007 Simpsons Movie, are to be legally separated next season, executive producer Al Jean revealed. The separation, Jean said, will give rise to Homer’s attraction to a character voiced by guest actress Lena Dunham.

There’s no particular reason for Homer and Marge to get separated now (especially given that they’ve already been divorced and remarried); after that first breakup, which only happened due to a series of contrivances, the couple have stayed together through all manner of financial and child-rearing calamities together.

But divorce on TV comedies is generally taken fairly lightly. Ross Gellar of Friends had three marriages conclude with little real fanfare (first wife Carol has custody of son Ben the vast majority of the time; second wife Emily just disappears; third wife Rachel basically stays pals with Ross until they finally reconcile in the show’s finale.) Frasier and Niles, on Frasier, have both been through at least one divorce by the time the series ended, and all take it very much in stride. Frasier lives on the opposite end of the country from the son he notionally shares with his ex-wife. Ed O’Neill’s Modern Family patriarch only rarely speaks of his ex-wife, despite the fact that he spends so much time with the two kids he shares with her. This goes as far back as The Brady Bunch; the central couple (one a widower, one a possible divorcée whose past is left unwritten) left the past entirely behind them when they got together.

Television comedy is about looking forward to the next plotline or punchline, and it’s no wonder that when divorce comes up, it’s usually to end a plotline that isn’t working, rather than to spark a new one. Ross’s breakup with Emily, for instance, was meant simply to cart Emily off the premises, not to spark a new plotline dealing with Ross’s feelings about divorce. The slate was wiped entirely clean, as it was after Jessa ending her marriage to Thomas-John in Girls or Charlotte divorcing Trey on Sex and the City. In that latter case, at least, Charlotte got to keep Trey’s apartment, but there was little lasting impact on her character; Jessa could be said to have been changed by her divorce, but it was more symptom than cause, and she disappeared shortly afterwards anyhow for a few episodes.

Divorce is one of those aspects of life that, though quotidian, simply isn’t that funny. It’s a good way to clear the decks, and then swiftly move on with little fanfare. (Those comedies that deal seriously with divorce’s aftereffects are, like Louie, the very darkest.) What’s surprising about The Simpsons returning to this well is that the show hardly needs to; it’s not as though Homer or Marge is going to be written off the show. With few exceptions, the show resets back to where it began at the end of every episode.

But perhaps that makes The Simpsons ideally placed to feature divorce; so few comedies deal with the end of a marriage as something other than a way to expediently get someone out of your life forever that The Simpsons‘s reconciliation plotline will, at least, be novel.

TIME Television

Homer and Marge Simpson Are Splitting Up

Lena Dunham will provide the voice for Homer's new love interest

Twenty-seven seasons in, Springfield is about to get its biggest heartbreak yet—Homer and Marge Simpson are set to legally separate.

According to Al Jean, executive producer of The Simpsons, this season’s premiere features the discovery that Homer Simpson has been suffering from narcolepsy all these years. The new diagnosis sends Homer and Marge’s marriage into a downward spiral, and eventually, the two split up.

Still, the fun is far from over. According to Jean, Homer soon moves on to another woman—his pharmacist, voiced by none other than Girls creator Lena Dunham. “We’ll have cameos from the other women from Girls,” too, Jean told Variety.

This is the second big piece of news Jean has dropped on viewers this week. Simpsons producers at the ATX Festival in Austin on Saturday announced that Sideshow Bob will actually kill Bart Simpson in this year’s annual Halloween episode. And last month, Harry Shearer, who lends his voice to Ned Flanders and Mr. Burns on the show, announced that he would not be returning for its 27th season.

The premiere of the new season is scheduled to air on Fox on Sept. 27.

TIME Television

Game of Thrones’ Davos Talks Shireen: ‘It Hit Very Close to Home’

Spoiler alert: actor Liam Cunningham spoke about Sunday's episode

Game of Thrones fans who were devastated by the loss of Shireen on Sunday’s penultimate episode of season five are not alone.

Liam Cunningham, whose character Davos forged a relationship with Kerry Ingram, the actress who played the greyscale-ridden Baratheon, over the duration of the show, told the New York Times that her death was a shock.

“I was astonished,” he says of learning how the HBO hit would kill her off. “Well, listen, nothing astonishes me on this show, to be honest with you. But it hit very close to home.” (His character, however, won’t learn of Sunday’s events until this weekend’s season finale.)

Cunningham anticipated some backlash around the death, as the show has been criticized recently for its gratuitous violence against women after the character Sansa (Sophie Turner) was raped earlier in the season.

“I think there’s going to be controversy after Shireen,” he said. “We had that thing with Sansa. I completely get it, but it’s a challenging show. One of the reasons it’s as loved and admired as it is, is it doesn’t take the easy route. It really does throw things in your face.”

The season five finale airs Sunday at 9p.m. on HBO.

TIME Video Games

This Ratchet & Clank Trailer May Finally Have Pixar Beat

Imagine a playable CGI-caliber world as visually grand as anything out of Emeryville

Our first gameplay glimpse of Sony’s Ratchet & Clank for PlayStation 4 just hit, and developer Insomniac’s partner-platforming reboot looks pretty dang amazing.

Sure, you’re saying, “But ‘Pixar beat’? Come on!” I don’t just mean visually. Graphically speaking, “equalled” may be fairer (itself no mean feat). But how many CGI-animated film-caliber worlds can you zip around and live inside and basically direct yourself? Pixar, we still love you, but we can’t play you — except maybe that’s about to change when this thing hits next spring.

Bear in mind you’re looking at scenes from the upcoming 2016 Ratchet & Clank CGI-animated film intermingled with gameplay clips. Having trouble distinguishing the latter from the former? Me too.

TIME Television

Here’s How Emilia Clarke Reacted When She Heard Danaerys Would Meet Tyrion

Nick Wall courtesy of HBO Michiel Huisman, Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Nathalie Emmanuel and Iain Glen in 'Game of Thrones'

Season five of Game of Thrones saw Emilia Clarke and Peter Dinklage share their first-ever scene together

The Mother of Dragons and the Half-Man shared their first scene together in the show’s history on Game of Thrones this season and you couldn’t find two people more excited about that than the actors who play them, Emilia Clarke and Peter Dinklage.

“I’m like: ‘Oh my goodness, I’m talking to that dude on my telly,’” Clarke told Entertainment Weekly about what was running through her mind. “I’m nervous. Butterflies. This is huge.”

For Dinklage, the scene was a long time coming. “I knew it had to happen,” he said in a sit-down interview with Clarke right after finishing filming the scene. “I’d heard from [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] that it was inevitable.”

The characters’ meeting, however, caught Clarke by surprise. “I was just flipping along reading, reading—“WHAT!?” she said. “And then at the end of the episode, there was a break and I was like, ‘Why don’t you send me the next script? I want to know what happens.'”

Read the rest of EW.com’s interview with the Game of Thrones stars here.

TIME movies

Plans for Another Pitch Perfect Are Taking Shape

The Barden Bellas perform in a scene from Pitch Perfect 2
Universal Pictures The Barden Bellas perform in a scene from Pitch Perfect 2

The screenwriter behind the first two films is reportedly in negotiations for a third

Here’s some aca-mazing news for Pitch Perfect fans: following the sequel’s impressive $160.9 million gross at domestic box offices, the studios behind the film are pursuing a third installment of the series.

Universal Pictures and Gold Circle Films are negotiating with screenwriter Kay Cannon, who wrote the first two movies, about coming back for a third, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Though star Rebel Wilson has been vocal about her willingness to reprise her role as the hilarious Fat Amy, the involvement of other Pitch Perfect players is up in the air. Before Pitch Perfect 2 hit theaters, star Anna Kendrick told TIME she wasn’t focusing on her future with the franchise. “I’m not one to count my chickens, so I just want to see how this one does and find out if there’s an appetite for that before I even think about it,” she said.

And while there’s also no word about whether Elizabeth Banks, who stepped into the director’s chair for the sequel, would return, she must be thrilled with its success given the dearth of blockbusters helmed by women directors. “I felt ready and wanted to do it of course, but I also felt like once I said yes, I couldn’t screw it up,” she told TIME recently. “There was definitely that pressure. It is very rare, and because it’s rare, I unfortunately—whether I like it or not—am taking on a role here.”


TIME celebrity

Watch Jimmy Fallon Turn This Ed Sheeran Song Into Utter Musical Nonsense

Denis Leary and Molly Shannon perform some 'nonsense karaoke' too

Tuesday’s episode of The Tonight Show featured a particularly absurd round of “Nonsense Karaoke,” a segment in which Fallon and his guests sing pop songs with rewritten lyrics.

First up was Molly Shannon, who sang “Waterfalls” by TLC. The chorus, however, went from “Don’t go chasin’ waterfalls” to “Don’t throw Jason’s Barbie Dolls.” Just because. Next up was Denis Leary, who performed “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard. His chorus became “Ask your sister for peas in a baseball glove / Play some Boggle with Jeeves and his hairless pug.”

Finally, Fallon took on Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.” Get ready, because it’s super weird.

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