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Anna Kendrick May Be a Princess, But She’s No Damsel in Distress

Anna Kendrick as Cinderella in Into the Woods Peter Mountain—Disney

The actress talks Into the Woods, Meryl Streep and the version of Pitch Perfect that never got made

Anna Kendrick might not strike you as a Disney princess: The 29-year-old actress is known as much for tweeting about things like her post-Oscar hangovers as she is for playing feisty outsiders in Pitch Perfect and Happy Christmas. But Kendrick’s Cinderella in the upcoming film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, out Christmas Day, may surprise you. Kendrick, who was nominated for a Tony for her performance High Society at just 12 years old, will also sing in Pitch Perfect 2 and The Last 5 Years in 2015.

TIME talked to her about singing with Meryl Streep, empowered princesses and how she fought for big changes in the Pitch Perfect script.

TIME: Were you a princess person growing up?

Anna Kendrick: I won’t lie to you: I was a big fan of The Little Mermaid. I would do that thing in the pool, where I would flip my hair back because I wanted to be Ariel. But my older brother didn’t want to have an embarrassing little sister, so he insisted that I be exposed to other things. In retrospect, someone two years older than you is not necessarily qualified to say, “I think you’re old enough to watch Pulp Fiction now” because I definitely was not. He was responsible for making me a weird little kid.

Wait, how old were you when you saw Pulp Fiction?

I was about 11? Maybe some kids are emotionally prepared to deal with Pulp Fiction at 11. I was not. And I think that’s made me the person I am today. I’m not complaining, but I did have nightmares for a little while. It’s all character building.

Obviously the princesses in Into the Woods are very different than your traditional princesses. There seems to be a moment right now with Frozen princesses not waiting for their princes to save them…

And Maleficent as well!

Totally. You’re now among the growing list of princesses who can save themselves. What are your thoughts on that evolution?

Into the Woods has existed for years, but if more people being exposed to it through this movie continues that trend of princesses saving themselves and making their own choices, I think that’s fantastic.

I remember my best friend and I when we were running around the playground, she and I would dream about saving boys from falling off cliffs — not the other way around. But we would whisper these fantasies to each other, as though we weren’t supposed to be daydreaming about being the savior. We were supposed to be daydreaming about being saved. So I’m glad that it’s being represented in film because I think that that instinct exists in girls, and it’s nice to acknowledge that that’s normal.

Pitch Perfect did something similar. The first time I saw it, it reminded me a lot of Bring It On, except it was more about the female friendships than Bring It On was. It felt like progress.

Oh wow. Really? I haven’t seen Bring It On in so long. That would be interesting to revisit.

The big kiss at the end of Bring It On matters more than the competition, right? But in Pitch Perfect, the kiss isn’t the last scene. The big reveal at the end is who won the trophy because that matters more than the romance.

It’s so funny you say that. There was this scene that got deleted anyway, but originally the low point in my character’s journey was supposed to be when I found out this guy I vaguely had a crush on at the radio station had a girlfriend. And I was like, “That sucks.” And I fought so hard so that my low point could be that I didn’t think that I was ever going to get any real responsibility at the radio station. I think that we ended up on a mixed version of the two. The scene got deleted anyway, so it’s a moot point. But yeah. I was like, “That’s garbage!” It can’t just be like, “Oh my crush has a girlfriend. I guess I was wrong about everything.”

Right, I thought initially the movie was going to be a competition between the scummy guy and the good guy, but then it wasn’t, which I think is what makes it unique.

They just realized in the edits very quickly that it was all about the girls and spending more time with the girls. So that was an awesome direction that it ended up taking. And I’m excited we’re revisiting that in Pitch Perfect 2.

You moved from Broadway to L.A. for a pilot that didn’t end up airing. Why stay out in California rather than move back to New York?

Man, the quality of life was just sort of irresistible. When you have no money in New York, you’re living in a shoebox and it’s freezing. When you have no money in L.A., you’re living in a slightly larger shoebox, and you can go outside and feel okay about your life for a minute.

Then your big break was in Up in the Air. You’ve said after that movie, you were offered a lot of business suit type roles, and you turned them down because you didn’t want to get pigeonholed. But you will have been in several big movie musicals before the age of 30. Is there a reason you can keep doing those and not feel the same way?

Well, you’re right. It occurred to me that maybe doing four musicals was not a great career plan. After doing Pitch Perfect, I didn’t expect to do other musicals, but then I was offered The Last Five Years and Into the Woods, which are two of the greatest pieces of theater that I can think of. So obviously I wasn’t going to be like, “Oh I’m trying to really stay away from musicals right now, so thanks but I’ll pass.” When certain opportunities come along you throw the rules out the window.

Had you seen Into the Woods as a kid? What was your initial reaction to it?

I grew up watching the Bernadette Peters version on VHS. Like so many people before me, I thought that the end of the first act was the end of the show because those are the stories that we know. And I was kind of unnerved by the second half. It made me feel uncomfortable. But that’s what makes it so compelling and beautiful. The second half of the show is where people have to face the consequences of their actions.

That’s definitely true for many of the characters who do bad things. But I felt like Cinderella didn’t do anything wrong. Did you?

I know what you’re saying. It’s a hard question because she’s such a put-upon character. But her mother asks at the grave, “Do you know what you wish? Are you certain what you wish is what you want?” And this happens all the time in real life, where you think you want one thing, but then it turns out you don’t. Getting into that sort of situation has consequences. She doesn’t act especially selfishly, but she also doesn’t want to make more hard choices about how to deal with the real tragedy that’s going on in her world now.

Why do you think Cinderella keeps running away from the prince so much?

Well, this is a character who’s been abused and neglected her whole life, and she is presented with the trappings of love. She doesn’t know what love is. And then it sort of turns out her instincts are correct and this isn’t love. So it’s difficult to leave the world that she knows even if it’s a bad situation. And then later she’s again incredibly brave to leave a better situation because she says, “I deserve better than this.”

Did you always want the Cinderella part?

As a young girl obviously I was very enamored with the Little Red part. And it was a funny transition in my brain to be told I would be auditioning for Cinderella because I think of myself as, like, a screeching 12-year-old more than I think of myself as a kind-hearted ingenue. But I reminded myself that I’m a grownup, and that’s the deal.

What was it like working with Meryl Streep?

I would say that Meryl shares a certain quality with George Clooney [whom Kendrick starred with in Up In the Air], which is that she understands that actors think of her as one of the most intimidating people you can possibly meet or work with, and still she makes you feel comfortable. She has this incredible talent of making you forget how totally intimidating she is. And it’s no easy feat. I really think that it’s something that they’ve thought about and worked on.

So are you taking notes for when you’re further along in your career and trying to put people at ease because you’re such a big deal?

I don’t think I’m going to have to worry about that.

You have done a bunch of movies that have like these super-intense, young fan bases, between Twilight and Pitch Perfect and now Into the Woods.

Yeah, it’s like the opposite of what I expected my life to ever be because I feel like I’m so bad with kids. When they walk up to me and are excited to talk to me, it’s bewildering. I always feel like I’m going to disappoint them. But I haven’t broken any hearts.

I do think I go into this kind of like beauty pageant contestant voice, which is silly because if they liked Pitch Perfect, they know that’s not my character. I was talking to this little girl, and after they left my friend was like, “Are you running for office?” I was trying to say all the right things. But I’m slowly getting better at it.

You are very active on Twitter and say a lot of things that aren’t necessarily PG. Do you ever worry that some angry parent is going to complain?

I know. I guess that was my concern when I first started on Twitter, but I find that the weirder I go, the happier I am, and the happier my followers are. When I think of a silly thing to say and then try to find the PG version, it’s just, like, a waste of everybody’s time. So yes. I worry that a parent is going to get mad. But I don’t know. I mean, I saw Pulp Fiction when I was 11, and I turned out okay. I think my followers can handle it — a couple f-bombs in tweets.

I’ve also heard people describe you as like the ultimate cool girl partially because of your Twitter presence. Do you like that people think you’re approachable or is it overwhelming?

Hell yeah! It’s the first time in my life people have thought I’m cool. I really wish that I had figured that out in high school.

You tweeted that you were jealous of your friend Aubrey Plaza being the voice of Grumpy Cat. If you could voice one character, a cartoon of whatever, who would it be?

Woah. Um. Oh my God I don’t know! Maybe Boba Fett? That would be a hell of a crossover movie.

I think people would see that.


Read next: Anna Kendrick Makes Getting Locked Out Look Like Fun

TIME celebrities

Multiple Fractures for Bono in NYC Bicycle Accident

Bono arrives at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 2, 2014 Chris Pizzello—Invision/AP

U2 says it will have to reschedule its planned weeklong appearance on NBC's Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

(NEW YORK) — An injury to U2 singer Bono after what was described by the group as a “cycling spill” left him with multiple fractures that required him to undergo two surgeries, a doctor said Wednesday.

Bono was in a “high-energy bicycle accident” when he was trying to avoid another cyclist on Sunday, orthopedic trauma surgeon Dr. Dean Lorich said in a statement from NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Hospital for Special Surgery.

Bono arrived at the Manhattan hospital and underwent multiple X-rays and tests that showed he had a facial fracture involving his left eye socket, his left shoulder blade fractured in three places and a left elbow fracture that went through the skin and left the bone in six pieces.

Lorich said Bono underwent a five-hour surgery that included washing his elbow out, moving a trapped nerve and inserting three plates and 18 screws on Sunday night. Bono had another surgery to repair a fracture to his left little finger on Monday.

Lorich said Bono will need therapy but a full recovery is expected.

On Sunday, U2 guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen posted that “Bono has injured his arm in a cycling spill in Central Park.” They said the band would have to reschedule its planned weeklong appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon.

TIME celebrities

Jerry Seinfeld Says He Is Not on the Autism Spectrum After All

Jerry Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld pauses as he is interviewed on the red carpet at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Oct. 19, 2014, in Washington. Kevin Wolf—AP

"I’m not on the spectrum”

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld has backtracked on recent comments he made stating that he was on the autism spectrum.

In an interview with Access Hollywood, Seinfeld said he does not fall on the spectrum, contrary to an interview with NBC a few weeks prior in which he said he did.

“I don’t have autism, I’m not on the spectrum,” the Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee star said Wednesday. “I was just watching a play about it, and … I related to it on some level.”

The comedian was commended by members of the autism community after he told NBC’s Brian Williams in early November that he might be autistic. “I think in a very drawn-out scale, I think I’m on the spectrum,” he said, adding that he didn’t see being on the spectrum as dysfunctional but merely an “alternative mind-set.”

TIME celebrities

Bill Cosby on Rape Allegations: ‘I Don’t Talk About It’

This previously unaired footage marks the first time Cosby has had any response other than remaining completely silent

Bill Cosby said “I don’t talk about it” when asked to comment on the numerous sexual assault allegations he has faced over the years, in a video segment released Wednesday night.

The previously unreleased Associated Press footage marks the first time Cosby has had any response other than remaining completely silent on the matter, as he did recently on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Since 2005, more than a dozen women, two of whom came forward recently, have accused Cosby of drugging and raping or molesting them. These charges, for which Cosby has never been criminally charged, began to garner more attention last month after footage went viral of comedian Hannibal Buress calling Cosby “a rapist” during a standup routine.

While giving a joint interview with his wife, Camille, on Nov. 6, Cosby was asked to comment on the Buress segment. Cosby refused to answer.

“There’s no response,” Cosby said. “There is no comment about that. And I’ll tell you why. I don’t want to compromise your integrity, but I don’t talk about it.”

MORE: Here’s Everything We Know (and Don’t Know) About the Bill Cosby Rape Allegations

TIME celebrities

Massive Snowstorm Traps Band Interpol for Over 40 Hours

Paul Banks with Interpol perform at The Tabernacle on Nov. 10, 2014, in Atlanta.
Paul Banks with Interpol perform at the Tabernacle in Atlanta on Nov. 10, 2014 Katie Darby—Invision/AP

The group has been subsiding on Vodka, dry food, and Tim Horton’s

The rockers of Interpol have been stuck in the snow that pounded Upstate New York, for almost two days.

In a message posted on the New York City–based band’s website, the group had to cancel two shows in Canada because of the early winter storm. The group reportedly played a show in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday, and were on their way to play in Toronto when their tour bus got stuck in the snow near Buffalo, N.Y.

On Tuesday they announced the cancellation of a show in Toronto and on Wednesday they did the same for a scheduled appearance in Montreal.

It’s with great regret that we have to announce the cancellation of our show tomorrow night in Montreal. We’ve been stranded in a snowstorm outside of Buffalo for over 40 hours and still don’t know when we’ll be able to move from our current position. We’re disappointed that we won’t be able to visit as scheduled but we’ll make it up to you, Toronto and Montreal. We love you guys. We were really looking forward to the shows.

According to Instagram posts and tweets, the group has been subsiding on Vodka, dry food, and Tim Hortons.

Between 4 and 6 ft. of snow have fallen in the Buffalo area so far, and additional 2 to 3 ft. of snow are expected to fall by Thursday.

TIME celebrities

Katie Nolan on Bartending, Regis and ‘Tweeter’ and One-upping Bumgarner

21st Century Fox, Inc And FOX Sports 1 Rings The NASDAQ Stock Market Opening Bell
Katie Nolan of Fox Sports poses for a picture after ringing the opening bell at the NASDAQ MarketSite on August 16, 2013 in New York City. Andrew Toth—FilmMagic/Getty Images

"I hate saying I’m a comedian, because then people stick their finger in your face and demand you tell a joke"

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: A twentysomething Boston-based bartender of Italian and Irish heritage develops a cult following while riffing on sports and pop culture from some little-known corner of the Internet, then gets snapped up by a major sports media conglomerate for an unusual role. But this isn’t 2001, and Katie Nolan’s voice is an octave or two higher than Bill Simmons’s. In No Filter, her daily video series for foxsports.com, she’s saltier and saucier than cable sports’ usual fare. And the show’s D.I.Y. aesthetic — she works from a small studio, with two producers — would hardly fly on TV either. On a recent Wednesday we caught up with the 27-year-old Framingham, Mass., native at a bar near New York City’s Union Square.

Dickey: What do you usually tell people you do?

Nolan: I don’t know. I make funny videos. I hate saying I’m a comedian, because then people stick their finger in your face and demand you tell a joke. But the other thing people call me is “a YouTube sensation,” which is even worse.

Dickey:How’d you get started?

Nolan: I was bartending in Boston five, six nights a week, living in my grandmother’s condo. By the way, I’m a really good bartender — that’s the only skill I can confidently say I have. At the time I was really into Barstool [an aggressively impolitic Boston-centric sports and lifestyle site], and I thought I was good enough to write for it. So I started my own blog, called Bitches Can’t Hang, with my takes on pop culture and the news. It was so stupid. Have I mentioned it was so stupid? But somehow the blog Guyism found me and wanted to publish my posts.

Dickey: And how’d you get into video?

Nolan: Guyism wanted a daily video series. They told me they were planning on hiring a girl, and then hiring someone to write all her jokes. Then they figured it would be easier just to get me, so they offered me $750 a month to do it, which turned into an offer to move to New York and do it full-time for $30,000 a year. So I moved to Hoboken [N.J.] with two girls I found on Craigslist. Two or three months into that, one of my bosses came to me and said Fox wanted me for their new 24‑hour sports channel, and that if I went, the company that owned Guyism would get money. It was like a dowry. Oh, you’ll give us a cow, and we’ll give you Katie.

Dickey: Do you know how Fox found out about you?

Nolan: I have no idea. My YouTube videos weren’t even getting that many views. Maybe they thought, Oh, she’ll be cheap! Four different people at Fox have come up to me and said, You know, I’m the one who found you. And I think, Uh-huh, yeah, I’ve heard that. But you have to just smile and scream, “Oh, thank you! I owe you my life!”

Dickey: How’d your start go at Fox?

Nolan: They flew me out to L.A. for an audition, which I bombed. I had never read off a teleprompter, and I didn’t know I needed glasses. They told me I bombed it too. But they still wanted me. I had another screen test that went a little better. And then they told me they wanted to put me on a show with Regis Philbin. [Crowd Goes Wild, which ran from August 2013 until it was canceled last May.] I was like, What the f—? He’s still doing TV? I Googled him and found out he was 82. My grandmother is 82, and some days she doesn’t even put her teeth in.

Dickey: What’s Regis like?

Nolan: He’s exactly the person you see on TV. He came into my dressing room and said, “This tweeter you’re always talking about, what is it?” I told him it was on the Internet. He said, “Oh, they have it on there? How long would it take to teach me?” I said I could teach him, but it would take an hour a day for two weeks. He said, “Forget it, no thanks.”

Dickey: Any memorable interactions with athletes while doing the show?

Nolan: [Knicks guard] J.R. Smith was so nice. I’m a Patriots fan, so I wanted to hate [safety] Bernard Pollard and tell him he ruined my life. [Pollard’s hit in 2008 ended Tom Brady’s season.] But he was such a nice guy. The only guy who was really, really awful was [former NHL winger] Sean Avery. The most surprising thing was that I really never got hit on.

Dickey: What was it like when the show got canceled?

Nolan: The show had always been chaotic. On Mondays it felt like we were doomed. Tuesdays we felt we were getting the hang of it. By Wednesday we thought we had a hit. On Thursday someone was threatening to quit. And by each Friday, I was like, I don’t want to do this anymore. The day we got canceled, I got three calls from Fox — they all went to voice mail — saying, “We’re picking up your option. We just want you to know we see a bright future for you.” I didn’t even know they had an option! I was flattered.

Dickey: Now you’re doing No Filter for foxsports.com, and you’ve had some hits, like the video you did about Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner. How did you chug six beers?

Nolan: I saw some people write that the video was good up until I faked being drunk at the end. Boy, I wish. It happened so fast. We got the idea, and my boyfriend, Dan, brought the beers over, and in the 40 minutes it took me to drink them, I just kept looking at him off-camera, saying, “You’re so handsome, you’re so supportive. Am I slurring my words?” We were supposed to go on a date night. Instead he got me four pieces of pizza and put me in bed.

Dickey: You got a lot of pickup, too, for the serious piece you did about Ray Rice. Do you want to do more serious commentary?

Nolan: I make silly videos, that’s what I do. I don’t want people to get confused. But with the Rice thing, it had been on my mind. And I thought, as a woman in sports, I had to say something. I’m happy I got my point out there, that women should be represented more in sports media. They really should be. But some people thought I was saying I should be an analyst. And I can’t do that.

Dickey: So what do you want to do?

Nolan: I want to do something like what Jon Stewart does, for sports, something for college students to watch when they get home from the bars. They have shows like that in New Zealand and in England. But it’s never worked here — people take their sports too seriously. So we’re stuck with ESPN reacting to the news in the same five ways, all day, morning till night. But really, I’d just be happy writing jokes about sports and beer for other people.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

Correction: The original version of this story used an image of a different Katie Nolan. It has since been updated.

TIME celebrities

Anna Wintour Implies Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Are Not ‘Deeply Tasteful’

Vogue Kanye West & Kim Kardashian

"I hope another Kim Kardashian comes this year!" said the Vogue editor

When Vogue magazine put (a fully clothed) Kim Kardashian and Kanye West on its cover earlier this year with the unwieldy hashtag #worldsmosttalkedaboutcouple, some accused the magazine of being desperate for buzz. (Never mind that the issue’s sales reportedly failed to meet expectations.)

But during a talk at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday, Vogue editor Anna Wintour said being the #worldsmosttalkedaboutmagazine has always been the goal — while also suggesting that the two stars are not “deeply tasteful” people.

“I think if we just remain deeply tasteful and just put deeply tasteful people on the cover it would be a rather boring magazine,” Wintour said. (Is she unaware that, as far as Kim covers go, the Vogue appearance was about as tasteful as you can get? Did the Paper cover break the Internet at Condé Nast?) “Nobody would talk about us. It’s very important that people do talk about us.”

Wintour sounds like she’s throwing a lot of shade at the couple, but the rest of the editor’s comments appear to be complimentary. She said Estée Lauder’s decision to make Kardashian’s half-sister Kendall Jenner their new face was “fantastic,” and Wintour also said she has a long history of putting controversial celebrities (such as Madonna) on the cover of the magazine and helping make them “part of the establishment.”

“I hope another Kim Kardashian comes this year!” Wintour concluded. The Internet has been warned.

TIME celebrities

NBC Dumps Bill Cosby Sitcom Plan

Bill Cosby during an interview about the upcoming exhibit, Conversations: African and African-American Artworks in Dialogue, at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art in Washington. ON NOV. 6, 2014.
Bill Cosby during an interview about the upcoming exhibit, "Conversations: African and African-American Artworks in Dialogue," at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 6, 2014 Evan Vucci—AP

The move follows Netflix “postponing” its plan to stream a Cosby stand-up special next week

NBC has halted development on its Bill Cosby sitcom. In the wake of mounting rape allegations against the legendary comedian, the broadcaster has shelved its plan to return The Cosby Show star to prime time.

The move follows Netflix “postponing” its plan to stream a Cosby stand-up special next week.

NBC first announced an untitled family sitcom starring Cosby last January, with a pilot to be written by former Glee star Mike O’Malley and sitcom veteran Mike Sikowitz. NBC intended to potentially debut a series next fall.

Despite the traditional-media and social-media tempest, Cosby has never been convicted with a crime related to the allegations. The allegations accuse Cosby of crimes during the 1970s and ’80s. Cosby has also declined to answer questions about the accusations.

The sitcom news first put Cosby’s name back in the headlines and some media outlets began to report on past allegations against the star, where women have accused Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing them. When asked about the issue at NBC’s press tour in July, entertainment president Jennifer Salke told reporters, “We’re very committed, and that’s an important show for us.” While NBC’s entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt told reporters after the network’s panel: “All I do is try to put on shows that I think are good, with extraordinary talent. I think he’s extraordinary. And I think the show will be good. All the other things will sort of sort themselves out.”

The allegations significantly spiked in media attention last month after a video of stand-up comic Hannibal Buress calling Cosby a rapist went viral. A few weeks later, a meme-generating social stunt on Cosby’s website backfired when users took the opportunity to mock the comic for the allegations. Then late last week, Cosby canceled a planned appearance on David Letterman’s CBS late-night talk show.

On Sunday, after Cosby refused to answer questions about the allegations during an NPR interview, Cosby’s attorney John P. Schmitt released this statement: “Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives.”

Yet on the heels of the statement, another woman surfaced with a new allegation of sex abuse by Cosby when she was 19 years old. Then on Wednesday, Entertainment Tonight broke the story of former America’s Next Top Model judge Janice Dickinson also accusing Cosby of rape when he was on The Cosby Show.

This week, the media has swiveled to focus intensely on NBC’s project, as well as a Cosby stand-up special, Bill Cosby 77, which Netflix plans to stream on the day after Thanksgiving. Variety took a poll and found 72% surveyed said NBC should cut ties with Cosby over the allegations.

For NBC, the situation represented a tough spot: Cosby was the star of the network’s top-rated sitcom, which aired for eight seasons. His return was touted by the current executive brass. And essentially nothing has changed since most of the allegations have been around for years.

Yet as the media din increased, it became clear NBC had little choice the Cosby brand has turned toxic, at least for now. As Cosby’s disastrous meme-generating stunt proved, any effort to market a show starring the comedian would be met with considerable criticism. Still, this rejection by the network that became synonyms with the actor’s success and brand represents a key moment in the fall of “America’s dad.”

This article originally appeared on Entertainment Weekly

TIME celebrities

Cecily Strong Will Perform at the White House

Cecily Strong at Boa Steakhouse, West Hollywood, Aug. 24, 2014.
Cecily Strong at Boa Steakhouse, West Hollywood, Aug. 24, 2014. NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

SNL cast member will crack wise on the same stage as Barack Obama

Saturday Night Live cast member Cecily Strong will perform at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner next year, the association said Wednesday.

Strong has been co-anchor of the faux news segment Weekend Update on the show. She was raised in suburban Oak Park, Ill., outside Chicago, and began in the Windy City’s comedy scene.

“Her political humor is sly and edgy, and it comes with a Chicago accent,” WHCA president Christi‎ Parsons said in an email to reporters. “In the 82-year history of our dinner, she’ll be the fourth woman to serve in this role.‎”

President Barack Obama is also expected to tell jokes at the April 25 dinner, as he has in past years. The annual event, known in some Washington circles as “nerd prom,” brings together journalists and government and political officials for a night of revelry at the White House.

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Tracy Morgan’s Future in Doubt as He Battles Severe Brain Injury

It's uncertain whether the actor will ever fully recover

Tracy Morgan suffered severe brain injury in his near-fatal highway crash more than five months ago and he may not be “the Tracy Morgan he once was,” his lawyer said Tuesday.

When a Walmart truck slammed into a limo van that was carrying the actor and several other comedians on their way back from a show in Delaware on June 7, the former Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock star suffered traumatic brain injury, his lawyer Benedict Morelli said.

“He’s fighting to get better, and if there’s a chance for him to be back to the Tracy Morgan he once was, he’s going to try to do that,” Morelli said, according to the Associated Press. “He’s still fighting and trying to live his life at the same time and trying to get better, and he’s just not better. We’re hoping and praying to get him back to where he was. But the jury’s out.”

The crash on the New Jersey Turnpike killed one passenger and injured three others. Morgan spent several weeks in a hospital and rehab with a broken leg, nose and ribs. Morgan sued for punitive and compensatory damages, and the Walmart driver, Kevin Roper, was charged with four counts of assault and death by auto.


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