TIME movies

Maisie Williams—Game of Thrones‘s Arya—Doesn’t Know What Happens Next Either

Maisie Williams
Maisie Williams at the "Game Of Thrones" Season 4 premiere at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center on March 18, 2014 in New York City. Taylor Hill—FilmMagic / Getty Images

The actress' first-ever film arrives in theaters July 4

Maisie Williams — the actress behind fan-favorite Arya Stark on Game of Thrones — just passed the written portion of her driver’s license test. But that’s not the only reason she’s psyched. Heatstroke, the teenage actress’ first-ever movie and her second professional acting gig, is arriving in theaters and on VOD on July 4.

“This is the first time I’ve actually spoken about the film. This is really exciting for me, to actually be able to talk about this a bit more. It’s not been quite as secret as Game of Thrones but that doesn’t mean it’s any less exciting,” she tells TIME. “You hear about so many child stars who have their one movie or one series and then that’s it. I remember [getting cast] just being like a breath, like, this is my future. It’s all very well people saying Game of Thrones is the biggest show ever, but you have to keep up with that.”

And making a movie proved to be a new experience, despite her experience with Thrones. For example, Williams says she still doesn’t know all the Thrones crew members, because the operation is so massive, but that Heatstroke was on a smaller scale, so she got a better sense of what was going on behind the scenes. On the other hand, there are some similarities between the projects: in Heatstroke, she plays a rebellious teen whose trip to Africa with her hyena-researcher father turns deadly, leaving her to make a dangerous trek across a hostile landscape — which isn’t so far from what she’s been through on Thrones recently. Plus, her experience with direwolves (sort of) came in handy: Williams says that her favorite moments on set were working with the live hyenas involved in the story.

“It was absolutely amazing to be that close to a hyena, this legit wild animal. It’s not like a tiger or a polar bear that if you go to a zoo you can see in captivity. I just feel like humans have made those sort of animals so much less impressive by bringing them into our world, but something like a hyena, you don’t see that every day,” she says. “They came so close, they were nibbling my shoelaces and breathed on me.”

Which is not to say that Williams knows whether any Heatstroke-Game of Thrones comparisons will hold up when the HBO show returns for its fifth season, which hasn’t started filming yet (though it’s been confirmed that portions will be shot in Spain). “We haven’t got the scripts, we haven’t got our schedule, we haven’t got anything like that,” she says of the next season of Thrones. “Everyone thinks that we know everything. They’re like, Can you spoil anything for the new season? We’re like, We don’t have a clue. No one tells us. We’re waiting like everyone else.”

And that’s another thing for her to be excited about: finding out. Williams says that the time between the Thrones season finale and the beginning of shooting the next season can be an odd time, full of a feeling of being “left in the middle,” but that she’s heard rumors that new scripts will be coming through soon. Not that she’ll tell anyone when she does know what happens to Arya next.

“As soon as you do spoil something, they’ll be the first ones to tell you that you’ve ruined it and you’re so annoying,” she says. “People act like they want to know, but they really don’t.”

TIME Television

Did You Ever Notice How There’s a Seinfeld Generation Gap?

Seinfeld
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes, Larry Thomas as Soup Nazi Wren Maloney—NBCU Photo Bank / Getty Images

It's never too late to understand why babka matters

Twenty-five years ago, on July 5, 1989, the first episode of Seinfeld aired. It got good enough ratings to give birth to a behemoth that ran for nine seasons. On that fateful summer day, about half of today’s millennials — the generation commonly seen as covering people born in the ’80s and ’90s, and sometimes the first years of the ’00s — weren’t born; the rest were probably too young to get the jokes, which were about things like whether a cup of coffee was really decaf and the awkwardness of not knowing whether a house guest was looking for a romantic weekend or just a cheap place to stay in New York City.

But by the time the show went off the air, it was a huge hit with younger viewers. A 1995 Ad Age article stressed that Seinfeld was good at reaching a young audience, and the show maintained its strength with the 18–49 demographic through its finale. A Pew survey timed with the 1998 finale found that 62% of high-schoolers surveyed (and 46% of those younger than high-school age) had watched the show; the figure for those aged 18–29 was a full 81%.

However, as this auspicious anniversary approaches, a surprising phenomenon has emerged. There is a Seinfeld generation gap, or so suggests an informal, statistically insignificant but highly persuasive survey of TIME’s millennial staffers. For some in their mid- to late 20s, Seinfeld had seeped into their brains despite being too young to have seen the original broadcast. But several of those born in the early ’90s confessed to never having seen the show or, even if they had seen it, not watching enough to get any reference.

“I know that it’s ‘a show about nothing,’ but that’s all I know,” said one 22-year-old. “I miss all the Seinfeld references.”

“I’ve never seen it, so I don’t get any references,” concurred his 23-year-old colleague, with a sad-face emoji.

Obviously there are a million things that could explain this situation: the tiny, skewed sample size; differences in senses of humor; a preference for Friends. But the thing about Seinfeld — one reason the 25th anniversary is particularly worth noting, and why it matters that the generation gap exists — is that Seinfeld succeeded at being more than just something you watch. It’s also a hotbed of cultural references. These poor people–my own peers, I shudder to think–have been hopelessly lost during a lifetime’s worth of conversations, not understanding why they won’t get any soup or why it’s noteworthy that pretzels make you thirsty or the problem with talking close, high or low.

A quarter of a century later, Seinfeld references remain fresh. In the last day alone, the phrase “not that there’s anything wrong with that” has appeared, Seinfeld-free, in a Wall Street Journal piece about Harvard Business School, a Gothamist story about a restaurant relocating and a gossip-y report on The Stir about Kylie Jenner. The phrase shows no signs of going anywhere soon — nor does “master of my domain,” or Festivus.

So consider this a call to arms — or, rather, a call to reruns. Seinfeld has been renewed for a fifth cycle of syndication, which means it’ll be on TV through 2017, and it’s available online too. Non-Seinfeld-watchers of the world, watch. You have nothing to kibosh but your ignorance and, well, yada yada yada.

TIME Television

Fox Says Glee Star Chris Colfer Wasn’t Fired

"Glee" 100th Episode Celebration - Arrivals
Chris Colfer JB Lacroix—WireImage/Getty Images

"Rumors of his dismissal from Glee could not be further from the truth."

Fox denied Glee star Chris Colfer was leaving the show just minutes after a tweet from his verified Twitter account said he was “let go” from the cast, saying the actor was a hacking victim.

In a statement to TIME, 20th Century Fox Television said: “We’ve been alerted that Chris Colfer’s Twitter account has been hacked. Rumors of his dismissal from Glee could not be further from the truth. We love Chris and look forward to working with him again this season.”

Colfer’s manager separately told The Hollywood Reporter that Colfer’s account had been hacked and that the actor was on a mid-Atlantic flight without access to Internet.

The initial tweet set off an Internet firestorm–it was shared more than 6,000 times within an hour after it was tweeted–and prompted media outlets to report he was leaving.

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 2.18.00 PM

The tweet came ahead of what Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy has said will be the show’s sixth and final season and nearly a year after another show star, Cory Monteith, died.

TIME Television

The Full House Crew Reunited for Dave Coulier’s Wedding

Cast members reunited at the Montana ceremony

Actor Dave Coulier’s Wednesday wedding doubled as a reunion for the classic ABC sitcom Full House.

Show creator Jeff Franklin and cast members John Stamos, Candace Cameron Bure, Andrea Barber and Bob Saget all traveled to Paradise Valley, Montana to see “Uncle Joey” tie the knot with photographer and producer Melissa Bring on Wednesday. Bure, who played DJ Tanner in the 80’s and 90’s sitcom, and Barber, who played Kimmy Gibbler, previously told Us Weekly they would be each other’s dates at the wedding—both their husbands stayed at home to watch the kids.

Full House, which aired on ABC from 1987 until 1995, followed the life of Danny Tanner (Saget), a widowed father who asks his best friend Joey Gladstone (Coulier) and brother-in-law Jesse Katsopolis (Stamos) to help him raise his three daughters after his wife’s death. Only the oldest Tanner daughter, Bure, attended the “reunion,” as Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen—who played the younger daughters—were not at the wedding.

The cast members who did attend, though, made sure to chronicle their adventures on social media. Franklin tweeted his feelings after he gathered the show’s leading men for a photo:

Barber and Bure—”partners in crime” as Bure calls them in this Instagram snap, which she posted today in honor of Barber’s birthday—clearly had fun in Montana.

So did Stamos, captured here by Saget while walking with a bench.

TIME Television

Seinfeld at 25: There’s Still Nothing Else Like It

Seinfeld
Jason Alexander as George Costanza, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes, Jerry Seinfeld as Jerry Seinfeld and Michael Richards as Cosmo Kramer George Lange—NBC/Getty Images

Some TV shows are classics because of all the followers they influenced. Seinfeld is one great that's never truly been imitated.

When Fox unveiled its 2014-15 schedule to advertisers in May, soon-to-be-former network head Kevin Reilly introduced one of its new sitcoms, Mulaney, as having “the makings of a Seinfeld for a new generation.” It was an eyebrow-raiser, partly because (1) talk about setting the bar high for the poor show and (2) how many shows over the past 25 years have even tried, let alone been able to legitimately claim, to be the next Seinfeld?

There’s a lot of talk around the show’s quarter-century anniversary (July 5) about its legacy, and sure, it has plenty, beyond its continuing ubiquity, quotability and popularity in reruns. You could argue that it allowed future sitcoms to assume a more sophisticated comedy audience (OK, though it’s not like Cheers was exactly Hee Haw). In New York magazine, Matt Zoller Seitz argues incisively that its influence was at least as much in drama as comedy, as its unlikeable-yet-much-loved characters “paved the way” for antiheroes like Tony Soprano.

And yet–as maybe befits a show that didn’t go soft and have its characters start families–Seinfeld doesn’t have nearly as many kids running around the neighborhood as its contemporaries or followers. Friends begat a zillion young-adult hangout comedies. The surrogate-family structure of Cheers is everywhere, as is the reality-TV influenced mock-realism of The Office and the machine-gun jokestream of The Simpsons. The X-Files, Lost, The Sopranos, American Idol have been relentlessly homaged and stolen from.

Seinfeld, on the other hand, is at best echoed, and only rarely well. Excepting Curb Your Enthusiasm–can Larry David be influenced by himself?–maybe the only current comedy that’s reproduced Seinfeld‘s gleeful mercenary approach to comedy is It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. For the most part, though, after 25 years, Seinfeld is like its quartet of incarcerated characters were at the end of its finale–alone in its world, sufficient unto itself.

That’s not a criticism of Seinfeld. It’s one more reason the show is great.

There’s a tendency in criticism, not just TV criticism, to define greatness by influence. Great artists don’t just paint canvases, they launch movements. Great musicians pass on their DNA–like The Velvet Underground, of whom it was said everyone who bought their first album started a band. Maybe it’s a way of quantifying what’s ultimately a subjective judgment: if you can point to a legacy, to followers, to a school, you’re saying that history agrees with your verdict.

Influence is one measure of greatness, but another, opposite one is inimitability. Some great art reproduces virally. And some is the product of a perspective (or in the case of Seinfeld and David, two) that nature can’t come up with twice. There will always be wild-eyed poets, but there was exactly one William Blake.

Which is why in many ways Seinfeld seems as different from anything on the air today as it did 25 years ago. (OK, 24 years ago–it took a while for Seinfeld to really become Seinfeld.) It has a comedian’s purity of focus on the sanctity of the joke above all–above sentiment, “relatability,” larger social meaning–that still feels bracingly we-don’t-give-a-damn. (Bryan Cranston’s dentist, who converted to Judaism out of no larger social agenda but simply “for the jokes” may have been the most echt-Seinfeldian of all Seinfeld bit characters.) Sex and the City mirrored its quartet structure and observed New York City minutely, but God help Seinfeld if it ever tapped out a what-it-all-means on its laptop. There are many sitcoms today of equal or greater ambition, but Louie and Girls, say, are still devoted to being about things: Jerry, George and company would sooner spend life in prison than wax philosophical about love or be the voice of anyone’s generation, even ironically.

And “no hugging, no learning”? Cosby-esque “learning” may be out of fashion but there’s plenty of hugging on the brilliant likes of Parks and Recreation. Arrested Development had a Seinfeldian darkness, but it still told you that family was more important than breakfast. (Jerry had a kitchen full of cereal to refute that argument.) Hell, even antihero dramas like Breaking Bad assume a moral universe of good and bad and judgment. George may not have poisoned his wedding envelopes, but his shrugging off Susan’s death was in its way colder and more gangster than anything Walter White did with Lily of the Valley.

People have had a lot of fun imagining how Seinfeld might be received today in the Outrage Dome of social media. College Humor, for instance, wondered what if would be like “If People Talked About Seinfeld Like They Talk About Girls.” It’s a funny bit, but in fact people did assail the show’s whiteness and privilege back then, its racial missteps like the Puerto Rican Day Parade episode and its alleged nihilism–there just weren’t as many platforms to do it from. The Twitter account Modern Seinfeld, likewise, imagines the show in the era of Instagram, but honestly, there’s no modernizing Seinfeld: it’s as audacious, timeless, and unparalleled as when it was made.

Which is why I don’t expect, or really want, ever to see a “Seinfeld for a new generation”: the show exists outside generations and time. Oh, and Mulaney? I’ve seen the pilot. It’s fine, and there are some superficial Seinfeld similarities (standup comedy segments, friends hanging out in the lead character’s apartment) but it probably needs time to find itself, just like a certain sitcom did 25 years ago. If it does–who knows?–it could become something that is like nothing else. This is the Zen koan of TV comedy: How do you become the next Seinfeld? By not being it.

TIME Television

Once Upon a Time Casts Its Elsa

The popular snow queen is coming to TV

Georgina Haig will play the role of Elsa—as in, Frozen‘s snow queen—in the upcoming season of Once Upon a Time, ABC said Thursday.

Haig has previously appeared in the movie The Sapphires and, as Etta, in the TV show Fringe.


The news that Elsa would appear in the fairytale-centric show made a splash in May when a suspiciously similar looking woman appeared in the show’s season finale. At the time, executive producer Edward Kitsis told TIME the mysterious new character was definitely Elsa but that the actress who would play the newly-beloved Disney character had not yet been cast. The idea to include the character had been brewing for months, as it became clear that popular love for Frozen was not just a passing fad.

Frozen characters Anna and Kristoff will be played by Elizabeth Lail and Scott Michael Foster.

Read More: How the Producers of Once Upon a Time Kept That Frozen Shocker a Secret

TIME Television

Pamela Adlon on That Louie Scene: ‘We’re Going For a Feeling’

2013 Winter TCA Tour - Day 9
Actress Pamela Adlon of "Californication" speaks onstage during the Showtime portion of the 2013 Winter TCA Tour at Langham Hotel on January 12, 2013 in Pasadena, California. Frederick M. Brown--Getty Images

Pamela Adlon opens up about her controversial scene in "Louie" that left fans wondering what to think -- and how to feel -- about the show

Louis C.K. startled fans when he featured an uncomfortable — and controversial — scene in his show Louie last month during the episode “Pamela, Part 1.” In the episode, Louie attempts to kiss his friend Pamela (played by co-producer Pamela Adlon) against her will and ends up chasing her around his apartment, grabbing at her as she attempts to get away from him. Pamela even spells it out, telling Louie — as he’s grabbing at her — that he “can’t even rape well!” Eventually Louie manages to kiss Pamela before she’s finally able to leave.

Many viewers were put-off by the scene — which quickly became known as the “rape” scene — and were left wondering just what Louis C.K. and Louie were up to. As TIME’s James Poniewozik wrote about the scene in June: “It feels terrible to watch–not just the grappling, but the cringing kiss Louie coerces out of Pamela, and the fist-pump he gives himself afterward. And there’s no reason to doubt Louis C.K. meant it to look and feel precisely that terrible.”

Now, in an interview with Vulture, Adlon herself has commented on the controversial scene, saying that she initially found the whole confrontation hilarious:

[W]hen I read it I was dying laughing, because in the script he said, “Louie approaches her closing off the ring” — which is like a boxing terminology — and then he said, “and she’s holding on to the walls and furniture like a cartoon cat.” So when I read it, it read hilariously. Then on the day that we were shooting it, I was like, “Let’s really get into it,” and I grabbed the dresser and all of that. And then at a certain point, I looked at him and I said, “Somebody might get mad.”

Adlon also disagrees with people who viewed the eventual kiss as forced, adding that her character consented at the end of the scene. But if Aldon thinks fans shouldn’t be wondering what to think about the outcome of that scene, she’s also quick to note that the response that the episode triggered — although largely negative — wasn’t unwelcome:

The notion that we’re being careless and putting some kind of dangerous message out is offensive to me. But I can’t help what people feel and what reaction they give to things. I said something to Louis at the beginning of this season, which was that when we’re doing stuff, more than going for a laugh or anything — or a reaction — we’re going for a feeling.

Considering Poniewozik, not to mention many other viewers, have noted that watching that scene felt terrible, it sounds like Louis and Adlon achieved at least part of their mission.

[Vulture]

TIME Television

Game of Thrones Headed to Spain for Season 5

Game of Thrones
HBO

The country could serve as the Kingdom of Dorne

Game of Thrones fans may be seeing a whole new kingdom next season.

Part of the HBO fantasy drama’s fifth season will be shot in southern Spain, near Seville, the network announced Wednesday.

Filming will take place later this year, according to the Hollywood Reporter, and no specific locations will be revealed until closer to the shoots.

This announcement confirms earlier comments by U.S. ambassador to Spain and former HBO executive James Costas that the company was in “firm negotiations” with the Andalusia Film Commission to find filming locations in Spain.

Spain is filled with Moorish castles like Seville’s spectacular Alcazar and buildings like Osuna University with its castle-like spires, which the Reporter speculates would make it the perfect setting for the Kingdom of Dorne — home of Prince Oberyn, the ill-fated Dornish royal who met a grisly end in Season 4.

Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss told Entertainment Weekly last month that season five would feature Dorne, saying: “Who wouldn’t want to hang out in Dorne? They have admirable values and priorities. And have you seen Oberyn’s coat?”

Spain will now join the long list of locations that have served as host to the popular show, following Croatia, Northern Ireland, Malta, Morocco, Iceland and the United States.

[Hollywood Reporter]

TIME Late Night Highlight

Independence Day Fireworks Make Dane Cook Nervous

The comedian said he always wanted to be a firefighter or a policeman growing up, and the potential hazards from fireworks scared him

Comedian Dane Cook stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live and talked about how, as a kid, he spent Independence Day worrying about wind advisories and fireworks.

“I remember like, you know, walking around and warning neighbors,” he told Kimmel. “I’d be like, ‘Listen, you have some dry brush in your backyard,’ handing out like, goggles. I was very concerned.”

Cook was on the show to promote his latest movie, Planes: Fire & Rescue, out July 18, where he again takes the role of Dusty Crophopper, an airplane that leaves the glory of the racing world behind to help out a crew of firefighting aircrafts.

 

TIME

BBC Says Sherlock Will Return With a Special and 3 New Episodes

From left: Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson and Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes
From left: Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson and Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes Robert Viglasky—Hartswood Films/MASTERPIECE

After teasing fans with the hashtag #221back, the BBC has announced that "Sherlock" will be returning for a special episode followed by three new episodes

BBC announced Wednesday that its hit show Sherlock will return for a special episode, followed by three all-new episodes.

The announcement wasn’t a complete surprise for the show’s biggest fans, as BBC had teased a mystery announcement earlier on Twitter with the hashtag #221back.

Shooting on the special will begin in January 2015 and shooting on the episodes will follow later next year. There’s no word yet on when the new episodes will air, but star Martin Freeman (who plays Watson) told the Telegraph that he thought that Sherlock would likely do a Christmas special in 2015.

“It’s taken a little while to get the dates sorted as none of the boys are exactly sitting back twiddling their thumbs but there was unanimous goodwill to make this work, so we’re thrilled that 221b is going to be inhabited again,” said executive producer Sue Vertue,.

In addition to when fans will get to see Benedict Cumberbatch resume his role as the famous detective, BBC is also keeping fans guessing who will be appearing in the new episodes. Sherlock’s nemesis Jim Moriarty (played by Andrew Scott), who was thought to be dead, announced his return at the end of the last season on a screen in the back of a black cab; the BBC has been teasing his return along with the announcement.

Yet it’s still too early to know what to expect and Sherlock creators seem happy to keep fans guessing. Despite all the teasers, co-creator, writer and executive producer Steven Moffat said in a statement, “we’re reasonably confident that the very next thing to happen to Sherlock and John, is the very last thing you’d expect.”

 

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