• As a promo stunt for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, Pizza Hut built a real-life pizza thrower.
• This summer the University of Virginia offered a Game of Thrones class on both the book and the show to explore themes “through the skills of literary analysis,” according to its professor.
• LeBron James sent apology cupcakes to his neighbors in Ohio after media and fans caused chaos during speculation about his return to the Cavaliers.
• Video of Rachel Dratch and Tina Fey’s pre-SNL sketch show “Dratch & Fey” has finally surfaced online–and it’s just as wacky as you’d expect.
Amount Robert Downey Jr., a.k.a. Iron Man in Marvel’s blockbuster franchise, earned from June 2013 to June 2014, making him the world’s highest-paid actor for the second year in a row, per Forbes. No. 2: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, with $52 million.
BRICK BY BRICK
We already have official state birds, quarters and songs–so why not official Lego dioramas? That’s what photographer Jeff Friesen has created (unofficially) for his book United States of LEGO, out Sept. 2. Of course, his vision for each state’s signature scene may not match what you learned in school. Case in point: New Mexico’s cowboy-alien mashup, above.
‘Hip-hop is a contagious culture.’
QUESTLOVE, defending Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, who has caught flak for inauthenticity (she raps using a Southern-like drawl); he called her summer hit “Fancy” a “game changer”
High school students can’t practice law–so it’s a good thing that the actor once known as Zack Morris on Saved by the Bell is a grownup now. The 40-year-old’s courtroom buddy-comedy Franklin & Bash returns to TNT on Aug. 13. Here, he talks to Time.
There’s an upcoming episode called “Good Cop/Bad Cop.” Which are you more likely to be?
There are parts of me that would be a bad cop and parts of me that would be a good cop–which, by the way, is why I’m not a cop. I think I answered that question poorly if I ever want to become a public figure.
I don’t know. You did a good job of equivocating.
But as a public figure, you never say, ‘Well, I could be bad.’ You say, ‘I would never!’
O.K., so no running for office. What about being a real lawyer?
I actually toyed with it briefly.
Being a lawyer?
Yeah, the creator of Raising the Bar [another legal show that starred Gosselaar] worked at Seton Hall University, and he said, ‘Look, we can do this.’ I don’t think I could do the James Franco of it all and say, ‘Eh, f-ck it, I’m going to school,’ and make it work between my films and TV.
But it would be cool to walk into a courtroom and surprise people.
Or even if I just did my own contracts. I could save money that way.
This is a great plan.
All to save that extra 5% or 10%. I’m doing it!
I have to ask you about Saved by the Bell before you go.
The 25th anniversary of the first episode is coming up this summer …
Oh, my God.
Why “Oh, my God”?
That’s a long time.
Does it feel like 25 years have passed?
I don’t remember that time, so I guess yes. We did over 100 episodes. There are certain stretches I remember–not the episodes themselves but the fun that we had.
“ON MY RADAR
• Lone Survivor on DVD
“It was a great movie but really horrible to watch what these guys went through.”
• Music-finding app Shazam
“I’m always Shazam-ing things.”
To capture this otherworldly image–part of a project called Exobiotanica–artist Makoto Azuma launched cameras and a floral arrangement into the atmosphere from Nevada’s Black Rock Desert on July 15. (Azuma also launched a bonsai tree, not pictured.) The helium-hoisted device got 87,000 ft. into the air before falling, but the flowers were never recovered.
Celebrity Hidden Talents
The Internet recently exploded after Chris Pratt–prompted by his interviewer–started perfectly French-braiding an intern’s hair during an Entertainment Tonight segment. But the Guardians of the Galaxy star isn’t the only actor with an unexpected skill set.
The entertainer taught herself to unicycle when she was 10 years old; after decades of practice, she mastered tricks like cycling backward and jumping curbs.
Before he was 007, the actor studied circus arts at theater school, where he learned how to breathe fire.
We might associate the League of Their Own star with baseball, but she’s also a master archer who made the 1999 U.S. Olympic team semifinals.
The actor learned to knit from his grandmother and even appeared on the cover of the book Celebrity Scarves 2: Hollywood Knits for Breast Cancer Research.
The actress showed off her real-life accordion skills during an episode of AMC’s Mad Men. “I always loved that instrument,” she has said.
• Blake Lively, founder of newly minted lifestyle site Preserve, admits she’s “no editor, no artisan, no expert.”
• Orlando Bloom reportedly tried to punch Justin Bieber at a restaurant in Ibiza, Spain–in the presence of Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, no less.
• The web app I Know Where Your Cat Lives uses metadata from Instagram to pinpoint where cat pics were taken.
• Bye, bye, bye: Sony’s Legacy Recordings put out an ‘N Sync compilation album reportedly without telling the band.
FOR TIME’S COMPLETE TV, FILM AND MUSIC COVERAGE, VISIT time.com/entertainment
This appears in the August 18, 2014 issue of TIME.
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