TIME Bizarre

Shia LaBeouf Doesn’t Mind Being Called a Cannibal

He's 'lurking in the shadows,' according to a new song

Some might be taken aback if accused of being a cannibal, but not a one Shia LaBeouf.

In a new video by singer-songwriter Rob Cantor, dancers and singers fly across the screen in a dramatically recounted battle between an unnamed character and Shia LaBeouf. The 28-year-old is “lurking in the shadows,” “killing for sport” and “eating all the bodies,” the song goes. But if that weren’t weird enough, the music video ends with LaBeouf giving the performance a standing ovation.

It’s all very strange, but then again so is Shia LaBeouf.

TIME Music

This Is Bette Midler Covering TLC’s ‘Waterfalls’

Yes, seriously.

On Nov. 4, Bette Midler will release her first album in six years. It’s called It’s The Girls and features covers of songs by famous girl groups, ranging from The Boswell Sisters to TLC. Yes, that TLC. Listen here as she offers her take on their 1995 classic, “Waterfalls.”

Yeah, we don’t really what to say either.

TIME World

7 Famous People Who Surprised Us by Speaking Chinese

Mark Zuckerberg busted out some Mandarin in a recent Q&A in Beijing--here are some more people who have unexpectedly impressed with their language prowess

When Mark Zuckerberg gave a Q&A in Mandarin Chinese, the Facebook founder left his audience of Beijing college students—and the rest of the world—stunned and impressed.

Zuckerberg, who was visiting Tsinghua University after being appointed to its board, said he began studying Chinese in 2010 because his wife, Priscilla Chan, comes from a Chinese background. When he was planning to propose, he even asked his Chan’s mother in Chinese for her daughter’s hand in marriage. Some are speculating that Zuckerberg’s Chinese—clunky and off-tone, but nonetheless capable—is also a way to win over the Chinese government, which has blocked Facebook among other American social media networks.

Here are some of the famous people who have surprised us through their dexterity with a language so challenging for English-speakers to learn, the U.S. Defense Language Institute ranks it as most difficult (alongside Japanese, Korean and Arabic).

Vanessa Branch

The British actor shocked audiences when she began speaking fluent Chinese during an episode of Entourage and in the film Suburban Girl. Branch also starred in a Chinese feature film called Milk and Fashion. The film’s director told the Shanghai Daily that she was “the first non-Asian Hollywood actress to star in a Chinese-speaking lead role.” Branch learned the language while studying at Middlebury College, where she double majored in theater and Chinese, she told Arude Magazine in an interview.

Kevin Rudd

Australia’s former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd majored in Chinese at the Australian National University of Canberra, and then continued his studies in Taiwan. He has delivered speeches in fluent Chinese and also conducted Q&As in Chinese. The humble politician once told an interviewer that his “Mandarin is really bad, and it’s getting worse and worse.” And yet he still managed to conduct the entire interview fluently with excellent pronunciation.

Mark Rowswell (Dashan)

The Canadian performer known by his Chinese stage name, Dashan, isn’t that well known in the West. But he’s a household name in China known for his acting, comedy and hosting gigs done in his native speaker level Mandarin. Rowswell learned Chinese as a student at the University of Toronto before moving to Beijing to study at Peking University. He rose to stardom after performing a skit in Chinese on CCTV’s 1988 New Year’s Gala, a Chinese television broadcast viewed by nearly half a billion people.

Herbert Hoover and Lou Henry Hoover

Hoover is the only U.S. president to be proficient in Chinese, which he learned after he moved to China with his wife, Lou Henry Hoover, after they graduated from Stanford, according to the Hoover Association. They lived there for nearly two years while Hoover worked as a mining engineer. The future First Lady was more fluent than her husband, and when they moved into the White House, they occasionally conversed in Chinese if they didn’t want others to hear them.

Mira Sorvino

Golden Globe winner Mira Sorvino hasn’t spoken Chinese on camera, but the Mighty Aphrodite Oscar-winner studied the language at Harvard, where she majored in East Asian Studies. In August, Sorvino said on her Reddit AMA in response to whether she was still fluent in Chinese that “It’s mamahuhuda. Which means ‘so so’ or ‘half-horse, half-tiger.'”

Lou Jing

The half-black, half-Chinese singer sparked a nationwide discourse on racism in China after competing on Go! Oriental Girl, a Chinese reality TV singing competition. Jing, who was born and raised in China, spoke and sang in perfect Chinese, flooring people who assumed she wasn’t actually from China. Dubbed the “Chocolate Girl,” she took the stage after being eliminated to tell audiences not to judge her by her skin color: “I think I’m the same as all the girls here, except for my skin color,” she said. “We share the same stage, and the same dream.”

TIME celebrity

Watch Jessica Lange Sing a Haunting Cover of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Gods and Monsters’ on American Horror Story

All while wearing an awesome feather boa

First, American Horror Story: Freak Show actress Jessica Lange sang a delightfully bizarre rendition of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars.” On this week’s episode, though, she took on something a bit more modern.

The 65-year-old actress, in character as Freak Show manager Elsa Mars, sang Lana Del Rey’s 2012 hit “Gods and Monsters.” The whole thing, of course, has a totally haunting, spooky vibe. For comparison’s sake, here’s Del Rey’s music video:

We’ll be curious to see what Lange covers next on the show. Maybe the writers will throw us a total curveball and have her cover “All About That Bass.” You never know.

 

TIME celebrity

Brad Pitt Is Zach Galifianakis’ Latest Victim on Between Two Ferns

Featuring a cameo by Louis C.K.

In another hilarious episode of Between Two Ferns, Zach Galifianakis shows he is not afraid to ask Fury star Brad Pitt hard-hitting questions like, “Do you think people focus maybe too much on your looks and don’t even, you know, realize that you’re just a s***ty actor?” Watch closely for the brief cameo by stand-up comedian Louis C.K.

MORE: President Obama on Between Two Ferns: How Funny or Die Made It Happen

WATCH: President Obama on Zach Galifianakis’ Between Two Ferns

MORE: Obama vs. Galifianakis: Who Won Between Two Ferns?

Read next: Watch President Obama on Zach Galifianakis’ Between Two Ferns

TIME celebrity

The Situation’s Day in Court: Here’s How 5 Other Celebs Dealt With Tax Troubles

"Love, Loss, (Gym, Tan) and Laundry: A Farewell To The Jersey Shore" - 2012 New York Television Festival
Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino attends "Love, Loss, (Gym, Tan) and Laundry: A Farewell To The Jersey Shore" during the 2012 New York Television Festival. Dave Kotinsky—Getty Images

A brief history of the IRS vs. famous people, from Lauryn Hill to Sophia Loren

Last month, Michael Sorrentino — better known as “The Situation” from MTV’s Jersey Shorewas indicted (alongside his brother Marc Sorrentino) for allegedly failing to pay taxes on nearly $9 million of income. Thursday, Oct. 23., the brothers head to court for their arraignment in Newark, N.J. (Please note: the original arraignment was set for Oct. 6, but the judge kindly postponed it so The Situation could go film a reality show called Marriage Boot Camp in Los Angeles. No, we’re not making that up.)

The Situation and his brother face one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, along with three and two counts, respectively, of filing false tax returns for 2010 through 2012. The Situation also faces an additional count for allegedly failing to file a tax return for 2011.

But Mr. Sorrentino is hardly the first celebrity to get into an, er, situation with the IRS. Here, a look back at some other stars who found themselves facing serious tax troubles:

Al Capone

What was it that finally brought down America’s most powerful mobster — who in this case we’ll consider a celebrity? Tax troubles. In 1931, authorities found Capone guilty of tax evasion and hit him with an 11-year sentence. By the time he was released, Prohibition was no more — and other mobsters had taken over his organization, as TIME reported. His health began to deteriorate too — a result of having contracted syphilis — and it was really just all downhill from there.

Lauryn Hill

In 2013, the legendary hip hop artist served a three-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to tax evasion. The Grammy winner was convicted for failing to pay nearly $1 million taxes, People reported. She told the judge she intended to pay the taxes eventually, but was unable to do so during the period of time when she dropped out of the music business. Shortly before her sentence began, Hill took to her Tumblr to post a sprawling open letter, where she connected America’s deep history of racism to her IRS troubles.

Willie Nelson

When somebody mentions the name Willie Nelson, a few things probably come to mind: a twangy voice, long gray braids, a deep love for marijuana — and a hellish battle with the IRS. In 1990, the country legend owed $16.7 in unpaid back taxes and had to hand over many of his possessions to keep himself out of prison. To help pay his debt, the country crooner even released an album called The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories? in 1992. Nelson struck an agreement with the government that if the album sold 4 million copies, his debts would be cleared. That did not happen — but it did come close, pulling in $3.6 million. By 1993, Nelson finally settled his tab.

Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes’ relationship with the IRS has been a tumultuous one. The saga began in 2006 when the actor was initially accused of tax fraud. Two years later, a federal judge sentenced him to three years in prison for willfully failing to file his tax returns. Snipes began his sentence in 2010 and was released in 2013. He soon dove back into his acting career with a role in 2014’s The Expendables 3 and, now, with a rumored role in another Blade film.

Sophia Loren

Fun fact: film legend Sophia Loren served 17 days in prison in 1982 over a dispute with the Italian authorities over her 1974 tax return. Here’s what happened: she declared less income that year because her compensation for the film Il viaggio was deferred, thus moving her into a lower tax bracket. Officials, however, maintained that she should have paid a higher rate. She appealed the ruling but still ended up being forced to serve 17 days (of a 30-day sentence). But in 2013 — nearly 40 decades after the dispute began — Italy’s Supreme Court finally cleared her of the tax evasion charges. So yes, she paid the right amount after all.

TIME celebrity

Here Are Bill Murray’s Thoughts on Tinder

He doesn't need it to get a date

Bill Murray dropped by Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday to talk about his new movie St. Vincent — but ended up talking about Tinder instead.

Kimmel brought up the mobile dating app, kind of out of nowhere, asking Murray if he’d ever consider using it (or if he’d even heard of it.) Murray indeed knows about Tinder, but he has no interest in participation. “I feel like I’ve lived that life and I can live that life any moment,” he says with confidence. He then goes on to prove just how skilled he is at hitting on people without the help of an app, and things get a little weird.

TIME celebrity

Watch the Nun Who Won Italy’s The Voice Perform ‘Like a Virgin’ in New Music Video

Her debut album is out Nov. 11

The nun who won Italy’s version of The Voice is out with a music video for her single “Like a Virgin.” Her debut album Sister Cristina, out Nov. 11, will feature covers of Coldplay’s “Fix You” and Alicia Keys’s “No One” — the song she performed during her audition that went viral, racking up nearly 62 million views on YouTube.

For comparison, here is Madonna’s music video for “Like a Virgin”:

WATCH: Nun Stuns Judges of Italy’s The Voice with Amazing Alicia Keys Cover

WATCH: Nun Wins Italy’s The Voice

TIME Media

Leave Renée Zellweger’s Face Alone!

2014 ELLE Women In Hollywood Awards - Arrivals
Renée Zellweger arrives at the 2014 ELLE Women In Hollywood Awards at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 20, 2014 in Beverly Hills, Ca. Steve Granitz—WireImage/Getty Images

Brian Moylan is a writer and pop culture junkie.

There is a very real reason why the actress would want a whole new face: we were all incredibly mean to her old one

Last night Renée Zellweger did something totally normal for a celebrity of her magnitude: she went to a red carpet event. But something different happened when the photos from her trip in front of the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards step and repeat hit the wires. Everyone freaked the hell out. “Is that you, Renée Zellweger?” CNN asked. “What has Renée Zellweger done to her face?” the Daily Mail cried. “Stop what you are doing: Renée Zellweger has a whole new face,” Metro implored, past the stage of mourning where we ask questions and are moving toward acceptance.

Yes, it’s clear that Zellweger has had some work done. Welcome to Hollywood. I would like to introduce you to Meg Ryan’s lips, Nicole Kidman’s forehead, and everything that is currently going on with Bruce Jenner. The reaction to Zellweger’s big reveal seems more than a little bit unjust.

Most outlets are taking the tack of asking readers if her new look is good or bad, and there are some people that will fall on either side of the debate. However, the subtext to this question is always, “Holy hell, what did this lady do to her face and how is she going to fix it?!” If it was a text from your best friend, it would have about 100 times more exclamation points and probably the emoji of the girl crossing her arms in front of her body. Everyone is very concerned that Zellweger doesn’t look like herself anymore. Her signature squint is gone, her lips seem a little more full and less pursed, and her cheeks just aren’t quite as puffy as they used to be.

It’s always dicey for an actress to mess with her looks. When her face is unrecognizable, it distracts from her work as an actress (and any lack of mobility in the face can certainly make it harder for her to ply her craft). Why would Zellweger want to look like someone else when she makes money partially off of her appearance? That seems to be a bad decision. Just ask Jennifer Grey’s nose and Kate Gosselin’s new haircut. (Actually, please don’t ask Kate Gosselin anything, it’s better that we just keep on ignoring her for the time being.)

But there is a very real reason why Zellweger would want a whole new face: we were all incredibly mean to her old one. Here is a post likening her to Mr. Magoo and making multiple stabs at her appearance. Here is a mock up for Renée Zellweger’s Extreme Sour Lemon Candy, making fun of her pout and squint. Here is her Urban Dictionary entry calling her a “cure for a case of the boners.” Here is Dlisted saying she looks “like she’s staring directly into the sun after swallowing a cup of Sour Patch Kids dust” right before retiring her nickname Squinty Zellweger forever. Here is me making a really lame cheap shot on her back in 2009. Oh, I have been mean to the Zellweger myself, and I should be ashamed.

Now, you wonder why Zellweger would want to do such extreme things to her face. Maybe it’s a reaction to the extreme things that are constantly said about her old one. If people always made fun of a giant mole on my neck, I would have that removed too. If I was bullied for being overweight, I might think about going on an extreme diet just to shut the haters up. Maybe Zellweger did the same thing and, now that she fixed the squint and pout that have created a million “looks like she’s having an allergic reaction to shrimp” jokes, everyone is being just as mean.

The celebrity media is fascinated with bodies. Headlines are constantly made out of “baby bumps” and “bikini bodies,” as if these aren’t real people but instead lumps of flesh for our inspection, like breeding animals at the state farm. (The women certainly get it worse, but we’re increasingly critical of men without Gosling-esque abdominal muscles, too. )

I sincerely hope that the media’s fascination with Zellweger’s appearance didn’t lead to her undergoing such extensive surgery. As we’ve seen, her detractors aren’t going to let up. There is no appeasing the beast. The only solution is to disappear from public view entirely. Harsh scrutiny is the price anyone has to pay to pursue a very public career and we shrug our shoulders and say they should know that. But is that clause in the unspoken celebrity contract really non-negotiable?

Maybe we should just leave Renée Zellweger’s face alone altogether? It’s her body and she can do whatever she wants to it. If she wants to get “I am Bridget Jones” tattooed across her forehead, then she should feel free to go ahead and do it. Sure, her changes might cost her some jobs, but that is a decision that she made and she can deal with it.

Now that her new face has been revealed, we’ll all get used to it, just like we have Cher’s, Madonna’s, Kenny Roger’s, and the countless iterations of Dolly Parton’s and Joan Rivers’ (RIP). Pointing, gawking, and screaming about it says more about our media, our vanity, and the type of society that would lead a star to completely rearrange the most personal part of her body than it ever will about Renée Zellweger.

Brian Moylan is a writer and pop culture junkie who lives in New York. His work has appeared in Gawker, VICE, New Yorkmagazine, and a few other safe-for-work publications.

Read next: Renée Zellweger: ‘I’m Glad Folks Think I Look Different’

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME celebrity

Watch Kelly Clarkson Cover Sam Smith’s Hit ‘Stay With Me’

Clarkson recently sang at Symphony Park in Charlotte, North Carolina

A clip of Kelly Clarkson singing Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” is rightfully going viral.

Clarkson performed the hit song at a recent show in Charlotte, North Carolina, telling the audience, “I love this song.”

Other artists who have covered “Stay With Me” recently include Jessie J, Ed Sheeren and Meghan Trainor.

The pop star, who got her big break on American Idol, is expected to release a new album in early 2015. Given that this rendition of “Stay With Me” has been trending on Facebook, perhaps it would make a popular track on the upcoming record. As E! points out, she has already hinted at a possible “special guest.”

MORE: Kelly Clarkson’s Baby: It’s a Girl!

PHOTO: Kelly Clarkson Shares a Very Awkward Family Christmas Photo

Read next: Damian From Mean Girls Made a Hilarious Parody of ‘Stay With Me’

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