TIME celebrities

Chris Rock and Malaak Compton-Rock Split After 19 Years

Chris Rock and Malaak Compton Rock
Kevin Mazur—WireImage/Getty Images Chris Rock and Malaak Compton Rock at the 65th Annual Tony Awards at the Beacon Theatre on June 12, 2011 in New York City.

They have two daughters together

Chris Rock and his wife are divorcing after nearly 20 years together.

“After much contemplation and 19 years of marriage, Chris and I have decided to go our separate ways,” Malaak Compton-Rock, a philanthropist and founder of the nonprofit styleWorks, said in a statement Sunday. “Being fortunate enough to lead a life of service by working with those most vulnerable makes me well aware of life’s blessings, even when faced with difficulties.

“While recognizing that this is a significant change, my children remain at the center of my life and their well-being is my top priority. It is in this spirit that I sincerely ask that their privacy and the privacy of our family be respected during this transition in our lives.”

Rock’s attorney, Robert S. Cohen, confirmed the couple has split.

“Chris Rock has filed for divorce from his wife, Malaak,” Cohen said in a statement. “This is a personal matter and Chris requests privacy as he and Malaak work through this process and focus on their family.”

The Top Five star, 49, wed Compton-Rock, 45, in 1996. They live in Alpine, New Jersey, with their two daughters together, Lola Simone, 12, and Zahra Savannah, 10.

In 2010, they shot down claims that Rock had fathered another child out of wedlock. Three years earlier, the stars defended their “happy” relationship and “beautiful family” amid divorce speculation.

“The best part is just having a partner,” Rock said in 2007 of being married. “There is no real worst part. I’m not going to say there’s a worst part. I mean, I’m a comedian – comedians like to work alone. So maybe I’m not the ideal guy to be married to, in that sense.”

This article originally appeared on People.com

Read next: Chris Rock and Questlove Talk the Greatest MCs of All Time and Collaborating on New Movie ‘Top Five’

TIME movies

Box-Office Report: The Hobbit, Unbroken Beat Into the Woods

INTO THE WOODS
Peter Mountain—Disney Meryl Streep stars as the Witch in Disney's Into the Woods

The Stephen Sondheim musical isn't out of the woods yet

Betting against Disney is usually a bad idea, but not this time: Into the Woods opened this weekend and came in third at the box office behind The Hobbit and Unbroken.

But just because Into the Woods didn’t top the box office doesn’t mean it bombed. The film grossed $15.1 million Christmas day, meaning it had the fourth largest Christmas day opening gross in history behind 2009’s Sherlock Holmes, 2012’s Les Miserables, and this year’s Unbroken.

Although Unbroken beat Into the Woods on both their opening days and opening weekends, the two were neck and neck: Into the Woods made $15.1 million Christmas day, Unbroken made $15.9 million. Into the Woods made $31 million over the weekend, Unbroken made $31.7 million. As it turns out, audiences were equally intrigued by the star-studded musical and the Oscar-ready drama.

But neither of these new releases could outshine The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, now in its second weekend. The final film in the Hobbit trilogy made $41.4 million, enough to earn it the number one spot at the box office once again. This was only a 24 percent drop from the previous weekend, when it opened with $54.7 million and proved that the Peter Jackson series is going out on a strong note.

The rest of the top five was also made of films in their second weeks: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb came in at number four with $20.6 million and Annie at number five with $16.6 million. These two lighthearted PG-rated flicks were undoubtedly helped by the family-filled crowds heading to the theaters on and around Christmas who didn’t find any of the other new releases—Unbroken, Into the Woods, or The Gambler—appropriate enough for younger viewers.

And speaking of The Gambler, perhaps Christmas weekend wasn’t the best time to open the Mark Wahlberg-fronted film, which came in at number seven with $9.3 million. While it’s smart to put darker dramas in theaters during this time of year to (among other reasons) give older viewers something to see during the holidays, it’s competing with dramas surrounded by much a lot more buzz, like Unbroken.

As for the rest of the weekend’s top ten, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 was number six in its sixth week with $10 millionand, in other milestones, has made $306.7 million domestically to date. The Imitation Game ($7.9 million), Exodus: Gods and Kings ($6.8 million), and Wild ($5.4 million) rounded out the box office ten.

1. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – $41.4 million
2. Unbroken – $31.7 million
3. Into the Woods — $31 million
4. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb — $20.6 million
5. Annie – $16.6 million

But the movie that’s been talked about more than any of the top ten is The Interview. The controversial Seth Rogen film played in 331 independent theaters (as well as on websites like YouTube and Google Play) and grossed $2.8 million over the four days beginning with Christmas and $1.8 million over the weekend.

This article originally appeared at EW.com

TIME movies

Rogen and Franco Will Live-Tweet The Interview as It Hits iTunes

The platform joins Google Play, YouTube and XBox in offering the previously canceled movie

Correction appended Dec. 28, 2014

The Interview will be available for download on iTunes, Apple announced Sunday. The platform joins Google Play, YouTube and XBox in offering the previously canceled movie.

“We’re pleased to offer ‘The Interview’ for rental or purchase on the iTunes Store,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr told Reuters in a statement.

Though the film has largely been panned by critics, the movie’s stars remain upbeat about it on Twitter and elsewhere. The lead actors, James Franco and Seth Rogen, prepared to live-tweet a viewing of the movie at 5 p.m. E.T.

Read more: The Interview, the Movie You Almost Never Got to See

The Interview, which had its release canceled amid threats to attack theaters that showed it, ultimately opened in more than 300 primarily independent theaters Christmas Day and earned more than $1 million in box-office revenue. While the sum is significant, it is far less than it was expected to earn had it been released widely, and it remains to be seen whether Sony Pictures will be able to earn back the $44 million cost of making it.

The original version of this story misstated the start time for Rogen and Franco’s live tweets. It is 5 p.m. E.T.

TIME celebrities

Harry Potter Actor David Ryall Dies at 79

David Ryall
Rex David Ryall

British character actor David Ryall, known most recently for his roles in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Mr. Turner, died on Thursday at 79, according to reports.

Actor Mark Gatiss broke the news on Twitter on Saturday, remembering him as “a twinkling, brilliant, wonderful actor.” Ryall’s daughter, Charlie Ryall, confirmed the news as well.

While he was perhaps best known for replacing Peter Cartwright as Elphias Doge in the seventh Harry Potter film, Ryall had an expansive television, film, and theater career that began in the 1960s.

His most television credits include Outnumbered and The Village. He also portrayed Prime Minister Winston Churchill on several occasions — in the 2002 television movie Bertie and Elizabeth, in Two Men Went to War from the same year, and in 2006 in the TV series Le grand Charles.

This article originally appeared at PEOPLE.com

TIME movies

Idris Elba Stirred But Not Shaken by James Bond Rumors

The British actor has handled cries for him to assume the 007 mantle with self-deprecation

Idris Elba, you aren’t helping your cause!

In a self-deprecating attempt to quash speculation that he’ll someday play James Bond, theLuther star tweeted what he believes is an unflattering photo of himself sporting a knit hat and a scruffy beard.

“Isn’t 007 supposed to [be] handsome?” he Tweeted. “Glad you think I’ve got a shot! Happy New year people.”

First of all, the 42-year-old British actor still looks pretty dang good. Secondly, the idea of him taking over for Daniel Craig isn’t that far removed from reality. In one of the leaked emails that emerged during the recent Sony hacking scandal, Sony Pictures chief Amy Pascal wrote to a fellow executive that “Idris should be the next Bond.”

 

Elba also gave a thumbs-up to the idea during a recent interview. When asked on Reddit if he’d like to assume the classic role, Elba said, “Yes, if it was offered to me, absolutely.”

The high-profile gig, however, won’t be open for a few more years. Craig has reportedly said that he’s signed on for one more installment after Spectre – the 24th Bond film that’s set to be released in November 2015.

This article originally appeared at PEOPLE.com

TIME Music

Listen to Thom Yorke’s New Song ‘You Won’t Like Me When I’m Angry’

Thom Yorke
Jim Dyson—Getty Images Thom Yorke performs in London, Oct. 8, 2012.

The Radiohead singer tweeted the lyrics to the somber record early Saturday

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke released a reflective new song this week, titled “You Won’t Like Me When I’m Angry,” that’s available at a price of pay-what-you-want.

The song follows Yorke’s LP being made available via Bandcamp months after its September Bit Torrent-only release.

Saturday morning, Yorke tweeted lyrics to the sleepy song which borrows its title from the Incredible Hulk’s tagline.

h/t Rolling Stone

TIME Music

Ally McBeal Singer Launches Kickstarter Campaign for New Album

Vonda Shepard Performs In Berlin
Frank Hoensch—Redferns/Getty Images Vonda Shepard performs live during a concert at the Passionskirche on May 8, 2014 in Berlin.

"I've been searchin' my soul tonight..." for funding

Remember that infectious Ally McBeal theme song?

It’s been more than 10 years since the cult ’90s hit ended its five-season run, and now the creative force behind the catchy opening tune “Searchin’ My Soul” – Vonda Shepard – is ready to get back in the spotlight.

Shepard – who also appeared as the bar singer in the series – has continued to produce music and recently turned to Kickstarter to help fund her latest work.

“After a long time of just hanging back, and still playing shows, and recording and writing, I decided to just dive in and try [Kickstarter],” Shepard tells PEOPLE. “So far, it’s going really well.”

Shepard says that one of the Ally McBeal stars has already contributed to her campaign – which runs until Jan. 15 and has a goal of $35,000 – although she won’t reveal which one.

“A couple of people have just been so, so supportive … I’m still friendly with a few of the people in the cast,” she says.

As for life after the series, “I just kept making records, touring in Europe a lot and then I had a baby in 2006, so my life has been very, very much family-orientated. But I can’t really stop doing the music because it really feeds me,” Shepard says.

“The two together are a really great combo: the family life and then being able to go play some shows and write.”

This article originally appeared at PEOPLE.com

TIME celebrities

Report: Dustin Diamond Speaks Out About Stabbing Arrest

Dustin Diamond
Ozaukee County Sheriff/AP This Friday, Dec. 26, 2014 booking photo provided by the Ozaukee County Sheriff shows Dustin Diamond. Diamond, who played Screech on the 1990s TV show "Saved by the Bell," has been charged with stabbing a man at a Wisconsin bar.

On Friday, Dustin Diamond—better known as Screech from Saved by the Bell—was arrested by the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department for allegedly stabbing a man. While few details were known at the time, reports of what happened are now starting to trickle out.

According to a report obtained by CNN, Diamond claims that the incident began when a group of intoxicated people became unruly, and so he left his girlfriend, Amanda Schutz, to go close out his tab. When he returned, he allegedly found Schutz bleeding with two men holding her hair. According to the report, Diamond was accosted by another man when he moved to intervene, and inadvertently stabbed the man in the process. The wound was not life-threatening.

CNNis also reporting that other people in the Port Washington, Milwaukee bar claim that the incident began when women started shoving each other, and that “a women was upset because people were taking pictures of her and her boyfriend.”

This article originally appeared at EW.com

TIME celebrities

Rapper Ludacris Proposes to Girlfriend on Private Plane

"She didn't say yes. She said HELL YES!"

Ludacris is now officially a member of the mile high – proposal – club.

The rapper took popping the question to new heights when he proposed to girlfriend Eudoxie Mbouguiengue on Friday.

But his longtime love’s response wasn’t the one-word answer he was waiting for.

“She didn’t say yes,” Ludacris, 37, teased on Instagram. “She said HELL YES!”

Sharing a collage of the couple’s big moment, Ludacris included snapshots of his fianceé showing off her shock and excitement, along with a picture of the words “Eudoxie will you marry me,” written on a marbled backdrop.

Before announcing their engagement, Ludacris shared photos of family and friends getting ready to board a private plane. “Let the festivities begin … #vacation,” he wrote.

But, despite the pending proposal, the future groom played it cool.

“This that ‘I’m bout to sleep this whole ride face’ ” he added alongside a photo with Mbouguiengue on the tarmac.

This that "I'm bout to sleep this whole ride face" #vacation

A photo posted by @ludacris on

What's in the past is history, what's in the future is a mystery.

A photo posted by @ludacris on

This article originally appeared at PEOPLE.com

TIME movies

REVIEW: Into the Woods: A Disney Musical for Adults of All Ages

Meryl Streep is the Witch and Anna Kendrick Cinderella in this sturdy transformation of the Sondheim show about what happens when fairy tales come true

What took Hollywood so long to make a movie of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s 1987 Broadway musical Into the Woods? In the early ’90s, director Penny Marshall staged a reading (and singing) of a prospective film version with Robin Williams as the Baker, Goldie Hawn as the Baker’s Wife, Cher as the Witch and Steve Martin as the Wolf. Lapine approached the Disney studio, then in its cartoon renaissance with Broadway-influenced musical hits like Aladdin and The Lion King, about turning his show into an animated feature.

Lovely ideas both, and nothing came of them. This fairy-tale epic had to wait ’til now to find its Prince Charming in Rob Marshall, whose 2002 Chicago is the only film musical since Oliver! in 1969 to win the Best Picture Oscar. Marshall also directed the fourth episode in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise: a scurvy snooze, to be sure, but a billion-dollar grosser at the worldwide box office. So the studio entrusted him to find a balance between what the mass audience expects from a Disney musical fantasy — rated a kid-friendly PG — and what Into the Woods actually is: a clever mashup of familiar fables that packs a sour Freudian twist into a score without any breakout hummable songs. (That’s the real reason it took 27 years for the show to come to the big screen.) The result is a smart, appealing, upside-down children’s story for adults of all ages.

“It’s a little bit of The Avengers,” said Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis, making a wishful analogy to the studio’s all-time top grossing movie, “in its use of popular fairy tale characters.” Here, Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) upsets his mother (Tracey Ullman) by selling the family cow for a handful of magic beans; Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford) tangles with the Wolf (Johnny Depp); Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy) is freed from her captor the Witch (Meryl Streep) by a dashing Prince (Billy Magnussen); and Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) confounds her wicked stepmother (Christine Baranski) to get to the ball where her designated Prince (Chris Pine) awaits to make her dreams, or maybe his, come true.

Binding these stories is one in which the Witch promises good tidings to a Baker (James Corden) and his Wife (Emily Blunt) if they bring her artifacts from the other four: “The cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, the slipper as pure as gold.” They make good on their quest, the rest get their hearts’ desire, and that’s when the trouble starts.

You know the fairy-tale drill, especially from the Disney versions: the heroines endure awful stuff in rites of passage that lead to a joyous resolution of, usually, marriage to a prince. Into the Woods follows that template, then asks what happens after Happy Ever After? Dark doings: climate change creepier than the “blight” in Interstellar, a reign of terror from a vengeful Giantess who blends the less agreeable aspects of Medea and Godzilla and, worst of all, sieges of marital ennui inflicted on Cinderella, Rapunzel and their handsome husbands.

This harsh break in tone, from Happy to After, can work fine in the theater, where audiences have an intermission to consider what’s happened and prepare for what’s next. (Sondheim and Lapine used the same format in their 1984 musical Sunday in the Park With George: Act I portraying the painter Georges Seurat in the 1880s, Act II set a century later and focusing on the frustrations of a lesser artist named George.) The patrons for this sort of show are adults, mostly, who can afford $100-plus tickets and are expected to be able to absorb the switching of emotional gears.

But Hollywood movies are meant to satisfy expectations, not subvert them. And for a Disney mainstream audience packed with kids, the challenge of consuming a complex story and its jaundiced sequel in one sitting might prove confusing or depressing. The so-so B rating for Into the Woods in CinemaScore’s survey of early attendees — as opposed to a glittering A-minus for another Christmas Day opening, Angelina Jolie’s forthrightly inspirational war movie Unbroken — indicates that many viewers thought they were getting Frozen and instead felt frozen out.

No surprise here. Hollywood has always seen Sondheim as a caviar brand unsuitable for a popcorn industry. Into the Woods is only the fourth of the 13 musicals for which he’s written the lyrics and music to be made into a movie. (The first three: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, his only knockabout musical comedy, filmed in 1966; A Little Night Music, with its breakout song “Send in the Clowns,” in 1977; and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, starring Depp and directed by Tim Burton, in 2007.) On Broadway, they love Sondheim’s old shows, which are constantly revived, but not his later work; he hasn’t had a new show staged there since Passion, 20 years ago. Still sturdy and active at 84, he’s like an aging rock star whose fans want him to play nothing but the greatest hits of his youth.

This Sondheim admirer would like nothing more than for a new generation to discover him through Disney’s Into the Woods. (The $27 million it earned in its first two days of release is a welcome sign, whatever the disappointing CinemaScore.) Lapine, who wrote the movie’s script, reduces the number of violent deaths and grievous adulteries in his original, but he and Marshall do an admirable job translating the material into a real movie, with a gnarly forest and the measured use of special effects: the crows that help Cinderella pick hop breadcrumbs, the Giantess (Frances de la Tour) stomping mournfully through the forest.

The director has also coaxed winning, assured turns from his cast. Yes, the kids — Jack and Red Riding Hood — are bratty, and the male characters variously vain, weak or outrageously predatory. (As the Wolf, Depp slavers like a lupine gigolo, then makes a quick exit.) Even within these narrow confines, Pine and Magnussen make splendid popinjays in the princes’ comic duet “Agony.”

On stage or on film, Into the Woods is a showcase for the ladies. Kendrick, who at 12 earned a Tony nomination as Dinah in the 1998 Broadway production of Cole Porter’s High Society, gives full comic poise and import to Cinderella’s wavering desire to be a prince’s bride in “On the Steps of the Palace.” Ullman, a prime dazzler in the recent Encores! updating of The Band Wagon, makes a rich meal of her small part. Baranski is a deliciously malicious stepmother, flanked by Tammy Blanchard and the always ripely funny Lucy Punch as her daughters. Spitting out insults and swanning about in their gaudy frocks, they could be the Grimm Kardashians.

In this ensemble piece, the plum roles are for those playing the Witch and the Baker’s Wife: Bernadette Peters and Joanna Gleason in the 1987 original, Vanessa Williams and Kerry O’Malley in the 2002 Broadway revival and, best of all, Donna Murphy and Amy Adams in a miraculous staging two years ago outdoors in Central Park. At 65, Streep can be utterly convincing as both the crone Witch and the youngish stunner she becomes when the curse is lifted. She gives an excellent reading of the show’s most plangent and cautionary ballad, “Children Will Listen.”

As for Blunt: that she’s ravishing is no secret, but who knew she could sing with such precision and zeal? A figure of both goodness and goodness, the Baker’s Wife covets Jack’s beans in the song “Maybe They’re Magic.” When Blunt is onscreen, these woods are alive with the magic of a fractured fairy tale that wise parents might tell to a sophisticated child — a parable of grownup wonder and angst.

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