TIME celebrities

Blake Lively on Her First Year of Preserve: ‘The Site’s Not Close to What I Want It to Be’

Apple Store Soho Presents Meet The Filmmaker: Blake Lively, "Age of Adaline"
Jamie McCarthy—Getty Images Blake Lively attends the Apple Store Soho Presents Meet The Filmmaker: Blake Lively, Age of Adaline on April 22, 2015 in New York City.

The actress and entrepreneur on why she started a second career: "I’d tell you after too many drinks, but I don’t drink"

Blake Lively’s website Preserve has been online for nearly a year. But the actress insists it’s still a work in progress.

Lively spoke to TIME for a piece in the issue on stands June 5 about a growing set of Hollywood stars who are building businesses online; the slouchy garments and indulgent snacks on Preserve all showcase Lively’s particular interest in American craftsmanship. But the site isn’t where Lively wants it to be, owing in part due to a set of concerns specific to Hollywood actors: The launch was rushed to coincide with an August 2014 Vogue cover. “I couldn’t call Anna Wintour and say, ‘I need six more months,'” Lively says.

Concerns aside, though, e-commerce suits the Age of Adaline star, who particularly delights in the community spirit among those in the start-up space. She’s spent the past year meeting with executives and business leaders, whereas in Hollywood, she says, the culture is different. “It’s not that actors aren’t generous,” Lively says, “but no one has connected me with Meryl Streep to muse about what has worked onscreen and why.”

TIME: Do you see yourself as an actress or a businesswoman?

Blake Lively: I don’t see an “or” there. I see myself as a storyteller—or at least that’s what I try to do. As an actress, I try to tell stories in the most honest way possible, and hope people will connect to that emotionally. With Preserve, I’m doing the same thing: meeting chefs, meeting artisans, designers, craftsmen. I’m moved by their stories and I’m sharing them with my friends. Instead of keeping that insulated as a personal pleasure, I’m sharing that in a greater way. I’ve always been so drawn to this: I kept over 80,000 photos from 12 years of traveling, taking photos in restaurants and shops, names, photos, business cards. I still don’t know how I’ll bring it all together. This is my attempt at that. We’re a start-up, and we’re experiencing the growing pains of a start-up. It’s a full-time job, and it’s hard to combine with another full-time job. But they lend themselves to each other: I discover antique shops or an incredible painter when filming on location.

Do you see Preserve as a business with a path to profitability? Is there a business plan?

I hope there’s a business plan! It’s a proper company. We have a team of amazing people coming to work and bleeding, sweating and crying every day, and loving it. That’s the goal, of course. You don’t experience these newborn blues in order to have done it and let it fold and check it off your list. You believe it can be impactful and different than everything out there. It’s hard to make something different. I’m lucky to have friends who are successful entrepreneurs, and their companies’ valuations are very impressive and they’re up against time and money. I’ve seen such generosity that I haven’t seen in the profession of acting—it’s not that actors aren’t generous, but no one has connected me with Meryl Streep to muse about what has worked onscreen and why. In the world of entrepreneurs, I’ve been amazed to be connected with other companies’ CTOs and CFOs and talk about what has worked and what didn’t.

Who is the Preserve customer?

It’s women… Women are our biggest audience. The reason I pause is because I believe I am the Preserve customer. It’s my vision and I’m the one creating, curating, and driving this. If I look to myself first, I’m a woman for whom family is the most important thing in my life. I love stories, I love quality stories. Quality doesn’t come with a number. That is to say that yes, one of my favorite restaurants in the world is French Laundry… but I also love Waffle House. If it’s delicious, there’s no judgment. I’ll wear a fancy designer coat or handbag but with a Forever 21 shirt. I love to—you’ll think this is a plug for the site, but I love to preserve things that are old and give them new life. “Is this Chanel?” “No, Forever 21, on sale for $3!” But you pair it with something you had to save up for… or something you shouldn’t have bought and you tear up the receipt so your husband won’t see it. The reason we have a male presence on the site isn’t because we want to reach everyone at once, but because family is so important to me that I don’t do anything for myself without also wanting to give back to them. It’s a very selfish thing to give to others—it feels good to give. My niece can go on Preserve, and my grandma can go on Preserve. That’s the reason it’s the concept of “preserve.” It’s preserving what lasts. That should be able to hit any generation. Our biggest audience would be millennials.

Did you anticipate the initially negative reception to Preserve?

I see what happens in the world of female entrepreneurs and I see what the media does. And that they pit women against each other and there’s an “or”—should women stick to this or this? I knew we’d probably get grilled, or celebrated for being someone they’re not already picking on. It felt like a new kid coming to school: I’ll get picked on, or liked, for being from a different place. And I’ve been to 16 schools in my life, so I’ve experienced that bullying. There is constructive criticism we’ve taken to heart. And then there’s people being mean for the sake of being mean, or when you’re trying to be light and people take you literally. It’s a nasty world. You don’t see male entrepreneurs pitted against each other, destroyed, picked apart, and every word they say served up to judge. That’s disappointing, but we’ve got so much going on that we can’t pay attention. The things that keep me up are things I look at on the site and I know could be better. I knew this was supposed to be better. Time and money, time and money. What I wanted Preserve to be at launch was not what it is at all. It’s just impossible! We found ourselves at launch and we had a Vogue cover set up, so I couldn’t call Anna Wintour and say “I need six more months”—people hacked into our site a week and a half before it was meant to launch, so the site leaked. The site’s not close to what I want it to be. I hope by the time it’s what I want it to be, my standards will be raised infinitely more.

What don’t you like about Preserve as it exists?

Our site was designed the way it was—the Tumblr layout—to have a certain functionality that other sites don’t have. It’s incredibly time-consuming, but it’s what I believe will be the most impactful way to connect emotionally with content, but also to shop. The site was designed for that, but we weren’t able to do that. It’s an e-commerce site that’s a confusing experience—the UX and UI feels like a Matryoshka doll. Our site wasn’t designed to be navigated the way it’s being navigated now. There are comparisons you have to make that are easier to make when you’re a start-up that doesn’t have the attention on it because of my own existing brand. I always thought we’d be able to have our Petri dish of a company and after three or four years, people would notice us and we’d get press and attention. The problem is what most companies want: That level of press or demand. We have a really dedicated community. We have more than we’re equipped to handle. It’s a high-class problem, but quality can be compromised in the execution, whether it’s the logistics of checking out of a site or getting people the packages. If I could, I would personally wrap each present—in my family, we spend two weeks wrapping gifts and we don’t unwrap them until after New Year’s because they’re so pretty! Every layer of the company can and will be improved. It’s hard to have it under a microscope. If I had my dream, I’d put it on hold for six months or a year and then relaunch it. But I’d want to do that every three months.

You were—and are!—such an in-demand actress. Why take on a project of this magnitude?

I don’t know. [sighs] I wish I had a really good answer. I’d tell you after too many drinks, but I don’t drink. It’s such a passion of mine. I never knew I wanted to be an actor. I fell into it and was lucky to have incredible opportunities that shaped my life. There were things I planned for my life that I missed out on. Going to an Ivy League school was my dream. I wanted to be an entrepreneur and carve my own path. My mom is the reason I wanted to do this. She was successful but was so present as our mother. She knew how to sew together any pattern from a ballgown to a bias-cut dress. She was creating an environment and making things magical and she put a story behind everything. I always wanted to do that and thought I wouldn’t be an actor. I love acting and love the opportunities but I dont always feel great at it. The thing I feel great at is this—what I do outside of acting. I think I’m an explorer. I think I’m good at being an explorer and a student. I’m good at sharing, unless it’s dessert! I wanted to do something I felt good at and that I could control. Acting is for-hire; it’s transactional. This, whether it’s good or bad, is something I shaped. I hope it’s something my kids can look up to whether they want to be a part of it. I want to always do things that scare me. This scared me and still does.

TIME celebrities

Gwyneth Paltrow on Comparisons to Other Actresses: ‘There’s Something Slightly Misogynistic About It’

2015 amfAR Hong Kong Gala - Arrivals
Jerome Favre—Getty Images Actress Gwyneth Paltrow arrives on the red carpet during the 2015 amfAR Hong Kong gala at Shaw Studios in Hong Kong on Mar. 14, 2015.

"People are grasping at straws to tie us together," Paltrow says of fellow stars-turned-entrepreneurs Blake Lively and Jessica Alba

Gwyneth Paltrow is tired of being compared to other stars.

The actress and Goop entrepreneur spoke to TIME for a story in the issue on stands June 5 about celebrities who have branched into lifestyle brands; she came down strongly against what she sees as the media’s tendency to lump ambitious women together. When asked if she’d looked at sites like those founded by Blake Lively, Reese Witherspoon, and Jessica Alba—all of which, like Paltrow’s own Goop, offer insight into their founders’ tastes and personalities—Paltrow cited two male stars who have both invested in spirits, saying: “I wonder if George Clooney would be asked about Puff Daddy’s ancillary liquor line.”

This is hardly the first time Paltrow’s stood up for Goop, a site that’s been controversial since its 2008 launch. But that very controversy may well be good for business: Goop is finishing its first round of funding, and Paltrow’s work as an actress is currently on hiatus as she grows the company. Says Paltrow: “I need to focus on this business. I have a fiscal and moral responsibility to other people.”

TIME: How can Goop grow in the near future?

Gwyneth Paltrow: This is an issue we talk about a lot internally. The way that I inadvertently set up the business, we could legitimately go across many different verticals. I think that there are a lot of things we could go into, but the heart of our business is a contextual commerce business. It’s working well for us. The edit is our taste and aesthetic. Everything we buy is within the context of a bigger picture. There’s room to grow there across projects from apparel to home to food. There’s room to grow in the product sales area. We’re also building a robust ad sales business. We’re working on launches for the first quarter of 2016, like an organic skincare line we’re really thrilled about. We’re working on launching proprietary label products we can sell as well. So we’ve got a few things to focus on.

Do fans get a feeling of closeness or access from sites like Goop? Is that the appeal—that people can get a piece of your life?

It’s funny, because when I started the business I didn’t think of it as an extension of myself in that way. I started it to answer my own questions and to aggregate information. I didn’t think of it that way at the time. Now I can look back and say, If you look at the careers of successful people in the entertainment industry, [they] heavily leverage their lifestyle to their advantage. This has happened with more and more thought as I’ve gone along. Initially it was kind of an accident. The world is just changing so much, with social media and the expectation that privacy is a thing of the past. People do want to understand who they align with. If it’s somebody who is on Goop for the celebrity aspect of it, they’re going to find things, for better or worse, that align with me and my values and my tastes.

Is it easier to communicate through Goop than through the press?

Yes, that’s true to a certain extent. I’m not interested in building a celebrity business. I want Goop to be its own brand that can thrive and scale without my involvement at some point. I’m always careful about—the same way I’m the creative force behind this brand, any creative force, their brand will represent their likes and dislikes, whether it’s Jenna Lyons [of J. Crew] or the guys at Valentino or anyone. You’re going to see the materialization of their brand value and aesthetic. I think for me, I’m not trying to infuse the brand with “This is what Gwyneth Paltrow likes.” We’re such a dynamic, large group of people at this point, it’s half me—a lot of things people take as my recommendations are another editor, it’s a collective.

I think with the press, of course I can communicate certain things directly to the world, and I have on a couple occasions. The press is its own animal and is going to do what it’s going to do on the side. I’ve never absorbed that. In this day and age, a lot of press seems very all over the place. Yes, you could use your site as a way to communicate with fans, and yes, I have done that, but that’s not really the intention.

How do you balance two full-time careers?

That’s a good question and it’s very hard. We are in the final stages of closing our series A [round of funding] and I’ve said in 2015, I’m not going to film anything. I need to focus on this business. I have a fiscal and moral responsibility to other people. It’s very difficult to balance. The good thing is that when I am on a film set, I sit around for a lot of the day, My team comes and we sit in the trailer and work. There’s a lot of downtime, so when I do choose to do something, I can focus on the work. But it’s difficult! I’m trying to raise kids, and it’s challenging.

There are several sites started by successful actresses. Do you look at these sites?

This is a very interesting question, because I wonder if George Clooney would be asked about Puff Daddy’s ancillary liquor line. I’m fascinated how the media in particular are so confounded by entrepreneurial women doing something outside of their box. Jessica [Alba], especially, who’s a friend of mine—our businesses could not be more different. There’s not a lifestyle piece to her business. The fundamentals of our sites are very different. Reese launched—our businesses have similarities, but hers has retail. People are grasping at straws to tie us together and I get it, because it makes a good story, but I’m slightly offended by this sort of generalization that happens with myself and Jessica and Reese and Blake. Yes, there are similarities. But there aren’t stories in TIME written saying, “Wow, look at Arnold Schwarzenegger, who did x, y, and z!”

This isn’t an original observation, though, that there are various actresses whose sites launched within a short span of time.

I wrestle with it. I feel there’s something slightly misogynistic about it. This is a common theme. I think Reese and Jessica and I—I don’t know Blake Lively, and I don’t know if Jessica and Reese know each other—I’m friends with both of them and I speak to both of them and I want to do everything I can to support their businesses. I’m not articulating it well, because I haven’t completely worked out what it is, but I feel very proud when Jessica was on the cover of Forbes. I think that’s amazing. You can quantitatively say, “Look what she’s done, she’s been able to conceive of a business and scale it to that size, in that amount of time.” But we have such different businesses.

How, then, do you change the narrative around you?

I think you just put your nose to the grindstone and build your business and scale the best way you know how. You just keep going in hopes the story becomes not people pitting women against each other, which is not founded in truth. There’s no competition. None of us think we’re in each other’s space. I don’t know how you do it! You just get to f—ing work! I think we’re in a funny time for women. We are more and more the breadwinners in families across America or contributing equally; there’s a shift happening sociologically and psychologically. People are wrestling with this new archetype of being a woman with a brain who’s also sexual and trying to do more than one thing at a time. I also feel proud. Why would I not want to do that, if it’s a passion?

Read next: Blake Lively on Her First Year of Preserve: ‘The Site’s Not Close to What I Want It to Be’

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TIME celebrities

Suge Knight Sued for Wrongful Death; Dr. Dre and Ice Cube Named Defendants

Preliminary Hearing For Marion 'Suge' Knight In Robbery Charge Case
David Buchan—Getty Images Marion "Suge" Knight appears in court with his lawyer for a preliminary hearing at the Criminal Courts Building in Los Angeles on April 8, 2015.

Marion “Suge” Knight is being sued by the widow of Terry Carter, the man he ran over and killed in his pickup truck, with Dr. Dre and Ice Cube named among the defendants in the wrongful death lawsuit.

Lilian Carter filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles on Wednesday against Knight, the controversial rap mogul, as well as rappers Dr. Dre and Ice Cube and Universal Studios, the latter three parties for failing to provide adequate security and negligence on the set of the upcoming film Straight Outta Compton.

The lawsuit alleges that Universal was negligent by continuing to film in and around Compton, knowing that Dr. Dre and Knight had been feuding for years. Despite warnings from Dr. Dre to the security team to keep Knight away from the production, he was still able to appear on set. The suit also alleges that Universal was negligent in its hiring of Cle “Bone” Sloan as an adviser on the production. Sloan’s altercation with Knight in the fast food restaurant parking lot immediately proceeded the incident that led to Carter’s death.

Howard King, an attorney for Dr. Dre, called the lawsuit “preposterous,” ABC News reports.

The Hollywood Reporter has reached out for comment from Universal and reps for Ice Cube.

Click here to read the lawsuit.

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.

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TIME celebrities

Melissa McCarthy Hurt Herself in the Most Ridiculous Way While Filming Spy

She got plenty of bumps and bruises, plus she had one big fall

Doing movie stunts isn’t easy, and neither is walking on a slick marble floor. Melissa McCarthy had to do both during the making of her new movie, Spy, and she talked last night on Late Night With Seth Myers about the bruises and pain she incurred.

At one point, McCarthy put out her back on the way to getting a massage, and nearly put the shooting of the movie in jeopardy. No pain, no gain, and no nicks, no flicks, as they say.

TIME Late Night

Johnny Carson Reigns as America’s Favorite Late-Night Host, Poll Finds

Johnny Carson On 'The Tonight Show'
Ken Regan—Camera 5/Getty Images

Twenty-three years after retiring from The Tonight Show — and a decade after his death — Johnny Carson remains the most popular late-night TV host, and it’s not even close, according to results of a scientific poll released Tuesday.

Carson, who hosted the NBC show from 1962-1992, was identified by 25 percent of Americans who were asked the open-ended question: “Who is your favorite late-night television talk show host of all time?”

The Quinnipiac University Poll surveyed 2,105 Americans by telephone.

Coming in second was David Letterman, who earned 13 percent of the vote, though the recently retired host was beat by “none,” which scored 14 percent of the vote.

The Quinnipiac poll broke down the results into four different age groups, and Carson was such a dominant choice among older Americans that it more than made up for the fact that only 1 percent of people ages 18-29 called him their favorite host.

In third place overall was Tonight Show host Jay Leno, with 7 percent. He was followed by his successor, Jimmy Fallon, with 6 percent. ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O’Brien of TBS each got 3 percent of the vote, while Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart got 2 percent.

Even Bill O’Reilly cracked the Top 16 list that Quinnipiac released Tuesday, though he’s not technically a late-night talk-show host (his Fox News Channel show airs at 5 p.m. on the West Coast).

Quinnipiac also asked respondents to name their favorite host currently on TV, and Fallon won with 20 percent of the vote, compared with 11 percent for second-place Kimmel.

Third in the “currently on TV” category was O’Brien (6 percent) followed by Stewart (2 percent). Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert — who gets Letterman’s old show in September — was next with 1 percent.

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.

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TIME celebrities

Sir Ian McKellen Says He Regrets Not Coming Out ‘Much Earlier’

Sir Ian McKellen attends a Meet The Actor event at the Apple Store in London on May 26, 2015.
Ian West—AP Sir Ian McKellen attends a Meet The Actor event at the Apple Store in London on May 26, 2015.

"I think I would have been a different person and a happier one"

For Sir Ian McKellen, coming out not only made him happier—it also made him a better actor.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, the actor discussed the experience of coming out to both his family (“nobody gave a damn!”) as well as the media, saying his emotions became much “freer.”

“I think up to that point, I had been using acting as a disguise—somewhere where I could express my emotions, and draw attention to myself in a way that I didn’t particularly want to do in real life,” McKellen told the Huffington Post. “Acting became not about disguise, but about telling the truth. And my emotions became much freer. I was able to act better as I think you are able to do any job. Everyone’s better if they’re being honest.”

According to the actor, his film career took off after he came out, citing his role in Gods and Monsters as one of the first to garner public attention. In the film, McKellen played the role of director James Whale, who was gay.

“I regret and always shall that I didn’t see the significance of coming out at a much earlier date because I think I would have been a different person and a happier one,” the actor said. “Self-confidence is the most important thing that anybody can have. You don’t have that if part of you is ashamed or hiding something. I can reassure people who don’t feel they’re able to, the world will like you better because people like honesty and authenticity.”

According to the publication, McKellen is set to receive the Trevor Project’s Trevor Hero Award and will also serve as one of four Grand Marshals during New York City’s Pride celebration later this month.

For more on the interview with McKellen, including what advice he would offer to struggling LGBTQ youths, head on over to the Huffington Post.

This article originally appeared on EW.com


Why Caitlyn Jenner’s Name Doesn’t Start With a ‘K’

It was the "media associations"

When Caitlyn Jenner debuted her new name and look on the cover of Vanity Fair this week, the first thing everyone said was “wow!” The second thing everyone said was “why didn’t she spell Caitlyn with a K?”

It turns out that was on purpose. Jenner told Vanity Fair she was weighing names like Heather and Cathy, but Caitlyn kept popping into her mind. When her assistant independently suggested Caitlyn as well, Jenner said, “I love that name, too!” and that settled it.

But how should it be spelled — a C or a K, to keep up with his brood of daughters? Jenner “went back and forth about how it would be spelled,” Vanity Fair reports, only to decide to “break tradition, and the media associations that went with it” and settle on Caitlyn with a C.

Read More: How Transgender People Choose Their New Names

Jenner came out as a transgender woman in a Diane Sawyer interview in April, but didn’t reveal her new name until the magazine cover was unveiled Monday.

[Vanity Fair]

TIME celebrities

Here’s John Oliver’s Perfect Response to FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s Resignation

He'll drink to his downfall

Last Week Tonight host John Oliver, who has been an unabashed critic of international soccer body FIFA, reveled in the resignation of President Sepp Blatter Tuesday:

Oliver had earlier sworn to drink Bud Light Lime if Blatter resigned. Last Week Tonight’s official Twitter account also sent out a celebratory tweet, with requisite gif:

The comedian took on FIFA’s corrupt practices multiple times on his show, most recently last Sunday after the United States Department of Justice leveled a 47-count indictment against nine of the international soccer organization’s officials (though not Blatter) for crimes that include corruption and money-laundering.

He noted on the show that the most surprising part of the arrest was that the United States was the country to blow the whistle. That’s like “finding out that Ke$ha arrested a group of bankers involved in commodities fraud,” Oliver joked.

Despite being re-elected president of FIFA last week, Sepp Blatter announced Tuesday he will step down.


TIME celebrity

Why Caitlyn Jenner Was ‘Worried’ About Her Vanity Fair Cover

But described the photos as "over-the-top great"

When it came to unveiling her feminine style for the first time on the July cover of Vanity Fair, Caitlyn Jenner wanted to really look – and feel – the part.

The 65-year-old, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, discussed feeling worried about how her first portraits as Caitlyn would be received by the world in new excerpts published online from her extended interview with VF‘s Buzz Bissinger.

“I mean these pictures – Annie [Leibovitz], Vanity Fair, spared nothing doing it right, and the wardrobe, everything involved with it were just, the people were just great,” Jenner said after the shoot. “It was, you know, two of the best days of my life.”

She described the final images as “over-the-top great,” despite being nervous about finding her authentic, female appearance.

“I was always worried – you never wanted to look like a guy in drag, you never wanted to look like a guy in a dress, okay. If you’re going to do that, come out, you really have to look the part,” Jenner explained.

She added, “You have to look very feminine, you have to be able to, what I call my presentation is extremely important because it puts people at ease. And if you can do that, okay, people are at ease, they’re just comfortable being around you.”

Now, the reality personality thinks that people might even wonder after seeing the portraits, “My God, why didn’t you do this earlier?”

The former Olympic gold medalist also talked about how she will celebrate her big reveal – by living her life.

“I’m going to go enjoy life. I have nothing left to hide. I am kind of a free person, a free soul,” Jenner explained to Bissinger.

“To be able to wake up in the morning, be yourself, get dressed, get ready to go out, and just be like a normal person. That’s a wonderful feeling to go through life,” Jenner said. “I’ve never been able to do that; it’s always been confusion, it’s always been, you know, I’ve got one side [with] boy clothes, the other side’s women’s clothes. It’s like I cleaned the whole closet out – the boys stuff is gone, okay?”

This article originally appeared on People.com.

Read next: Rob Kardashian Didn’t Recognize Caitlyn Jenner on the Cover of Vanity Fair

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