TIME celebrities

The Lessons of the One Direction #FreePalestine Tweet

Zayn Malik
Zayn Malik of One Direction performs at on May 24, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. Dave J Hogan—Getty Images

One Direction's Zayn Malik has learned — as have others before him — the dangers of mixing celebrity and conflict

Usually when One Direction and the phrase “death threats” are in the same sentence, it’s a case of overenthusiastic fans defending their favorite pop stars — but the group’s Zayn Malik has learned that the backlash can go in the other direction too.

On Sunday, the singer tweeted the phrase “#FreePalestine” — a tweet that’s been both retweeted and favorited over 200,000 times, while it’s also led some of his own fans to lash out at him, death threats and all. He’s not the first to experience blow-back over the topic:

  • Earlier this month, a similar message from Rihanna led her to delete the tweet within minutes of posting it. The singer claimed to have tweeted in error, having clicked a tweet link on a website.
  • Basketball player Dwight Howard followed a similar script the same week, adding that he’s never commented on international politics.
  • Cricket player Moeen Ali has been banned by the International Cricket Council from wearing “Save Gaza” and “Free Palestine” wristbands.
  • Scarlett Johansson‘s dual roles as Oxfam ambassador and SodaStream spokesperson caused controversy that led her to tell the New Yorker felt like she was “put into a position that was way larger than anything I could possibly—I mean, this is an issue that is much bigger than something I could just be dropped into the middle of.”
  • Back in 2012, Kim Kardashian tweeted that she was “praying for everyone in Israel” and subsequently that her prayers were also for Palestine, and then later deleted both tweets, explaining on her blog that she was sorry to have offended anyone on either side.

So one possible takeaway from Malik’s experience, and those before it, is that celebrities should just keep their mouths shut when it comes to Israel and Palestine — especially when even Secretary of State John Kerry has trouble being diplomatic about the issue.

No matter what one thinks about Israel, it’s hard to deny that (a) the subject is controversial, and (b) Twitter (or a symbolic accessory, or a product endorsement deal) isn’t exactly a great place to express a nuanced thought about a complicated topic. Case in point: celebrities aren’t the only ones who’ve found that to be true. Even the Associated Press has experienced the pitfalls of tweeting about Gaza, having decided to revise a tweet that seemed to express negative judgment about U.S. lawmakers who support Israel. In a time when people like Malik and Rihanna have a direct line to their legions of fans, they’re all one click away from saying something they don’t really mean, or saying something they think they mean but haven’t really thought through. Safer, then, not to say anything. If the point of being a celebrity is to please fans, it’s pretty clear that Tweeting about Israel is not the way to do it.

On the other hand, Malik’s #FreePalestine tweet was followed by silence. He hasn’t responded to any fans, he hasn’t apologized and he hasn’t deleted what he said. So maybe “#FreePalestine” was really what he meant, with all its possible connotations and consequences. There’s no evidence to suggest otherwise.

Which means that the other possible takeaway is that maybe pleasing fans isn’t actually what celebrities care about most, and that asking them to be quiet about their opinions is an unrealistic expectation. In that scenario, they’re not different from any other Twitter users in that they can say whatever they want — and in that, when other users disagree, they’ll hear about it.

TIME Television

James Franco Tries and Fails to Give 5-Second Summaries of Serious Movies

'The Tonight Show' turns into a high-pressure game show in this clip

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Jimmy Fallon kept James Franco really busy on The Tonight Show last night. Not only did Fallon have Franco give him a pointers on how to take selfies with fans, but the late-night host also made the Of Mice and Men star play a rapid-fire round of 5-Second Summaries.

In theory, the game is simple: one player is assigned a movie title and has five seconds to give a summary of the film so the other player can guess the title. Unfortunately, the rules kept changing while the two played, devolving into a giggle-and-swear fest with Franco getting a quick lesson in what you can and can’t say on television.

While no one was able to get Toy Story or The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, at least Franco was able to figure out Pineapple Express.

Watch part two here:

MORE: When Peter Met Homer: A First Look at the Family GuySimpsons Crossover

MORE: Watch James Franco Teach Jimmy Fallon How to Take Selfies With Fans

TIME celebrities

Arya Stark Dons Spider-Man Mask at Comic-Con

And no one seemed to notice

Arya Stark’s covert wandering in HBO’s Game of Thrones may be rubbing off on 17-year-old actress Maisie Williams, who took to the floors of this year’s Comic-Con convention in San Diego while wearing a Spider-Man mask in order to go unnoticed.

Williams posted an Instagram picture of her incognito stroll on Sunday.

TIME celebrities

Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga and Ice Cube Give Their Artistic Fans Some Love on Instagram

Stars love to see their portraits drawn

Celebrities enjoy a good sketch as much as the rest of us do, it seems. Over the past few months, a number of stars, including Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga and Sam Smith have uploaded photos on Instagram of sketches their fans have made for them.

Many of the stars, like Lena Dunham, Drake, Lupita Nyongo, Kim Kardashian and others recognized the sketchers in their captions, gracing some talented artists with a sought-after mention. Stars of the dog variety can be painted, too, and the canine Instagram sensation Tuna gave a bark for his own portrait artist, too.

It’s a fun trend that we hope continues. Check out some particularly great sketches with some notable personages here.

  • Lena Dunham

  • Ice Cube

  • Drake

  • Lupita Nyongo

  • Kim Kardashian

  • Sam Smith

  • Lady Gaga

  • Nicki Minaj

  • Reese Witherspoon

  • Snoop

  • Courtney Reed

  • Tuna

TIME celebrities

Sandra Bullock Turns 50: Her Evolution From Speed to Gravity

The Miss Congeniality actress turns fifty with fifty acting credits under her belt

How fitting that Sandra Bullock turns 50-years-old with 50 acting credits under her belt. While the Academy Award-winner celebrates her birthday on Saturday, take a look back at her evolution from Speed to Gravity.

TIME celebrity

Harry Potter Grows Up: How Daniel Radcliffe Lost His Virginity

Daniel Radcliffe
Daniel Radcliffe in Toronto promoting his movie What if? on July 23, 2014. Chris So—Toronto Star/Getty Images

The star discusses losing it and baring all in a new interview

Of course Daniel Radcliffe’s first time went well. The Harry Potter star told Elle magazine about losing his virginity, watching bad television and going full-frontal for a role.

“I’m one of the few people who seem to have had a really good first time,” the 25-year-old said. “It was with somebody I’d gotten to know well. I’m happy to say I’ve had a lot better sex since then, but it wasn’t as horrendously embarrassing as a lot of other people’s were.”

That lack of embarrassment could have something to do with his apparent comfort without clothes on (or a quick sip of Felix Felicis to calm the nerves). Radcliffe had a nude scene in the Broadway play Equus in 2008. “There’s something to be said for getting naked onstage when you’re 17,” he said. When asked about what happened when he met a girl who had seen him in the play, Radcliffe joked, “I would normally follow that up with, ‘Oh, cool, you’ve seen me naked.'”

The actor stars in the romantic comedy What If this month, but he admitted that some of his own watching habits lack a certain refinement. He and his girlfriend, actress Erin Darke, enjoy the reality television show Millionaire Matchmaker. “It’s unbelievably compulsive television,” he said. “But I watch [the male participants], and I’m like, ‘How are you speaking to a woman like this?!'”

Harry Potter is much more of a gentleman than that.

TIME movies

Zoe Saldana Says Being a Ballerina Is Harder Than Being a Superhero

Zoe Saldana
Zoe Saldana attends the premiere of Marvel's 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' on July 21, 2014 in Hollywood, Calif. Jason Merritt—Getty Images

The actress had a harder time with her 2000 film Center Stage than she did with Guardians of the Galaxy

Actress Zoe Saldana, of Avatar fame, is going back into orbit in this summer’s Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy.

In this week’s issue of TIME, the star discusses why she likes movies set in space, her thoughts on what the future will be like and her favorite mix-tape songs. But even though playing the alien assassin-turned-hero Gamora took a lot of work (and a lot of early mornings in the make-up chair to achieve that green-skin look), Saldana says it wasn’t her most grueling role.

For that, fans will have to look a little closer to Earth, to her first-ever film role, in 2000’s Center Stage:

TIME: What’s more physically demanding, being a ballerina or being a superhero?

Saldana: A ballerina, for me. When I was growing up, I wanted it so bad and I knew that I was never going to be as good as I wanted to be. It was very disheartening and stressful when I used to dance. But I guess ballet sort of trained me for action.

I can see that.

And it’s fun, also because of being a girl. The fact that you’re able to kind of discover all the things that you can do if you commit to it, if you practice enough. You go, ‘Oh my God, I can do this.’ It makes you feel really empowered and encouraged.

Guardians of the Galaxy arrives in theaters Aug. 1.

TIME celebrities

5 Things to Expect at This Year’s Comic-Con

The convention begins this Thursday, causing rumors to spread about what fans have to look forward to.

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Thursday marks the start of the 44th annual San Diego International Comic-Con, and fans are lining up to be a part of the highly-anticipated action.

The panel for the final installment of The Hobbit trilogy will be held on Saturday, and it is rumored that director Peter Jackson will release a trailer for the film.

The Marvel panel will be covering details on the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. The sequel to the wildly successful Avengers film is expected to get some reveal during the panel.

A large number of the Game of Thrones cast, along with George R. R. Martin, have the show’s panel on Friday, where it is rumored they will discuss the show’s overlap with the novels.

TIME celebrities

Brad and Angelina Finally Get Married… in the Movies

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie attends a private reception as costumes and props from Disney's "Maleficent" are exhibited in support of Great Ormond Street Hospital at Kensington Palace on May 8, 2014 in London.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie attends a private reception as costumes and props from Disney's "Maleficent" are exhibited in support of Great Ormond Street Hospital at Kensington Palace on May 8, 2014 in London. Fred Duval—FilmMagic

Angelina finally says I do...agree to act as Brad's husband in forthcoming movie

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will appear as a married couple onscreen in the new film By the Sea, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

Jolie will write and direct the film, which will star the notoriously unmarried power couple as a couple who actually tied the knot.

Angelina and Brad will reunite onscreen for the first time since the action comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith in 2005. Jolie, Hollywood’s highest paid female actor, will likely take a paycut for the passion project — but may still end up being paid more than her husband, THR reports.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

TIME celebrities

Watch Daniel Radcliffe Grow Up in One Surreal GIF

Ah, they grow up so fast

Getty Images (14); Gif by Joseph C. Lin—TIME

J.K. Rowling recently revealed that Harry Potter is now a 30-something, but the real life actor who played Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe, only turns 25 on July 23, 2014. Take a look at how he’s grown up from a first-year Gryffindor to a grown man — all in one GIF.

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