• J.K. Rowling said she will release a new Harry Potter story, featuring former Hogwarts professor Dolores Umbridge, on Halloween.
• America’s first permanent cat café–an eatery where patrons can play with adoptable felines–opened in Oakland, Calif.
• Marvel announced new big-screen superhero franchises, including Black Panther and Captain Marvel.
• Benedict Cumberbatch nailed Beyoncé’s walk from the “Crazy in Love” video during an appearance on BBC America’s The Graham Norton Show.
Optical illusion met fine art in the Op-art movement that began in the 1960s, and British artist Bridget Riley, known for paintings like Ascending and Descending Hero, below, is its foremost figure. See her work at the Art Institute of Chicago from Nov. 11 to March 15.
‘I’m considering going as hunky Conan O’Brien–but that might be too far-fetched.’
MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, former Secretary of State, responding via Twitter to an O’Brien joke about dressing up as “slutty Madeleine Albright” for Halloween
In Horns, opening Oct. 31, the 25-year-old Harry Potter vet plays Ignatius Perrish, who grows devil horns after he’s accused of killing his girlfriend.
Just curious: Did the horns ever fall off during filming?
Sometimes. I would have a snake on me, and it would wrap itself around the horn and start gripping. I’d be like, “Uh, you need to get this off me. It’s going to break.”
You couldn’t control them with Parseltongue [the snake language from Harry Potter]?
No, no. It’s funny–being so close to Potter for so long, I can’t even see references to it in other places.
Your character in Horns is American. What did you do to nail the accent?
I’ve been told my American accent sounds very similar to Chris Columbus, who directed the first two Potter films. That makes a lot of sense–he was the first American I spent any length of time around. I owe it all to him! But also, we are so suffused with American culture in England that you don’t have to go anywhere to find it. I grew up watching Friends and Frasier.
Are you excited that Friends is coming to Netflix?
Oh, is it? Is that a thing that’s happening? Very good!
Now that you’ve played a pseudo devil, what’s your favorite deadly sin?
Gluttony. I know I don’t look like it, but I can put food away. I tried Butterfingers for the first time yesterday.
How did that go?
They are maybe America’s best contribution to chocolate. I’m high on Butterfingers at the moment.
“ON MY RADAR
• BoJack Horseman
“It’s very thoughtful and very clever about celebrity.”
French artist Edgar Degas exhibited only one sculpture during his lifetime: Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, a wax-and-clay depiction of a young Parisian ballerina named Marie van Goethem. Not much is known about her, other than that she was fired from the ballet shortly after the sculpture debuted in 1881. But a new musical, Little Dancer, starring Tiler Peck, above, imagines how her life might have played out as a ballerina caught between humble career beginnings and the trappings of fame. It runs at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater in Washington until Nov. 30.
1 million +
Number of copies Taylor Swift’s latest album, 1989, is projected to sell during its first week (ending Nov. 2), making Swift the first artist to do this since … herself, in 2012, with Red
Weirdest Real-Life ‘I Can’t Work’ Excuses
CareerBuilder.com and Harris Poll asked thousands of employees, hiring managers and HR professionals to share dubious reasons they had given–or received–to justify a work absence. Here’s a paraphrased sampling.
‘I just put a casserole in the oven.’
‘MY PLASTIC SURGERY NEEDS “TWEAKING.”‘
‘I woke up in a good mood and don’t want to ruin it.’
‘I GOT STUCK IN THE BLOOD-PRESSURE MACHINE AT THE GROCERY STORE.’
‘I ACCIDENTALLY GOT ON A PLANE.’
• Dorothy, a new app-and-sensor system, lets people command their phones–to order a pizza, for example–by clicking their heels together three times.
• Kim Kardashian said her older-model BlackBerry phone is her “heart and soul” and she buys replacements on eBay so she’ll always have one on hand.
• The Belgian chocolate company ISIS had to change its name after potential customers confused it with the Islamist terrorist group.
• A 26-year-old woman spent a full week at a 24-hour Kentucky Fried Chicken in China after getting dumped by her boyfriend. “I needed time to think,” she said.
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