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THE MAN

Liam Neeson's GQ Cover Story

Liam Neeson

Paola Kudacki/GQ

He was on-set with Woody Allen when the Soon-Yi scandal broke.

When his fiction family is taken, he takes them back. When delivering an oddly Shakespearean soliloquy in a mostly crappy movie—something like, “Yes I’m an alcoholic, yes I’m a horrible father, but I did not hijack this plane!”—you believe him. And when someone calls him THE Liam Neesons, you don’t ask questions. Liam Neeson is the man.

And the action star is gracing the cover of GQ. He does the interview from a space he uses for meetings and to “sit and read and think.” (If that doesn’t sound like the Batcave, we don’t know what does.) But he’s not just a superhero. He’s a single father who, just like all dads, is worried about his boys getting hooked on drugs.

Neeson puts a toothpick box on a coffee table. “All right then, Let’s have at it.”

California Girls

Living Like ‘The Hills’

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John Shearer/Getty

Kristin Cavallari hosts a new style show, Lauren Conrad covers ‘Allure’ this April, and Audrina Patridge regularly pops up on taxi cab TVs. Why are we still taking lifestyle advice from the former stars of ‘The Hills’?

I watched Laguna Beach, and both of its subsidiaries—The Hills and The City—religiously. My early high-school self wanted to be the perfect mix of Lauren, Whitney, and Lo—a cool, popular girl with some serious style. While I grew older and left my days of lingerie tanks, Abercrombie and Fitch, and denim mini-skirts with Uggs behind, the cast of my favorite shows seemed to stay the same; nearly a decade later, they are still capitalizing on their high-school fame.

Around ten years have passed since Lauren Conrad, Lo Bosworth, Whitney Port, Kristin Cavallari, and Audrina Patridge made their reality television debut, forever ingraining themselves in the minds of Millennials. Yet, regardless of their impact on our friendships, relationships, and yes, even style, way back when, it’s hard to actually see where these girls—my young teen idols—actually fall in the reality of, well, the real, grown-up world today.

On March 17, Cavallari embarked on her most recent career move, a hosting gig for E!’s latest fashion, beauty, and lifestyle series, The Fabulist. On air, Cavallari, alongside fashion designer Orly Shani, dishes on the season’s hottest trends—jumpsuits, white-on-white, and rainbow-colored hair. If it’s obvious, they’re probably talking about it, as their trends are referenced by “the point of view of the industry experts and red-hot tastemakers who are driving the trends.” But Cavallari isn’t really to blame for the transparency of the show. She’s just trying to turn her Hills fame into a more sustainable career—“I had been wanting to get into the hosting world, but it had to be the right job,” Cavallari told The Examiner. Rather, we have to ask ourselves: why do we give the iconic “mean girl” of reality show past the authority (and experience) to tell us what is (or isn’t) cool?

The Message

‘Noah’: A Global Warming Epic

Darren Aronofsky’s longtime DP, Oscar nominee Matthew Libatique—who also shot ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Iron Man 2’—says the Biblical epic offers a stern warning about climate change.

The battle lines have already been drawn when it comes to Noah, filmmaker Darren Aronofsky’s staggeringly ambitious $130 million adaptation of the Noah’s Ark story from the Book of Genesis.

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Paramount Pictures

Conservative pundit Glenn Beck, the blowhardiest of the blowhards, claimed it might spread “dangerous disinformation” (he hasn’t seen it). It’s been banned in Pakistan, Bahrain, Qatar, U.A.E., and Indonesia, for allegedly contradicting the teachings of Islam. While Pope Francis reportedly gave the film the Vatican’s blessing after a brief tête-à-tête with the film’s burly star, Russell Crowe.

DEEP COVER

The Bar Crushed By BMI

A cover band’s naive performance of ‘Freebird’ has caused bar owners an expensive headache they wish they could tune out.

Last August, a small-time classic rock cover band performed at a bar called 69 Taps in Medina, outside Cleveland. By all accounts, it was a pretty typical show for Alter EGO, a quartet of middle-aged music men who’d long since come to terms with the fact that their 30-to-50-year-old audience (mostly comprised of their wives, friends and neighbors) preferred hearing hits.

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The Daily Beast

“An original song can be a set killer,” drummer Rob Bisker, who works in home medical supplies, told The Daily Beast. So they played “Jesse’s Girl” and “Bad Moon Rising” and “Brown Eyed Girl” and other songs you’d expect to hear from any classic rock cover band at any dive bar in any American town. They also played “Freebird,” a song not typically included in their repertoire. They knew it was cliché, Bisker said, but he and his band mates decided to learn the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic just in case someone happened to yell out a request for it, as drunken concert goers are wont to do. As predicted, someone did, and on that August night at 69 Taps in Medina, Alter EGO performed a few minutes of “Freebird” for the first time in their cover band career. 

UNGOOP

What’s ‘Conscious Uncoupling’?

Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin have announced their intention to ‘consciously uncouple’—whatever that means. But could something quite sensible lie behind this hokey-sounding separation cleanse?

For Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, there will be no clothes thrown out of windows, car tires slashed, and screaming confrontations on the street. No, unsurprisingly for this queen of all things holistic—who once heard rocks talking to her—even the breakdown of her marriage must come, as they say, from a good place. As revealed in a break-up statement on her website Goop, she and Martin have decided to “consciously uncouple.”

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Mario Magnani/Getty

Consider yourself in good company if you think this sounds like one of those hippy-dippy expressions new-agers say in the heat of the Los Angeles sun, and in response everyone around them just nods politely while thinking, “Yeah, good luck with whatever that is.”

I Love the ‘90s

‘The Bitch’ Survives Typecasting

After years of being typecast as ‘the bitch’ thanks to ‘The Hangover,’ Rachael Harris finally gets the warm sitcom role she deserves in Fox’s Surviving Jack.

Rachael Harris is not a bitch.

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Rachel Harris of the new television show "Surviving Jack" participates in Fox Broadcasting Company's part of the Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter 2014 presentations in Pasadena, California, January 13, 2014. (Kevork Djansezian/Reuters)

That's important to clarify right off the bat, because you just might have the wrong impression of the Surviving Jack star. Before landing the role as the warm, but mischievous, mother in the '90s-set ABC sitcom, Harris has made a career out of playing the kind of sharp-tongued, caustic characters that you relish watching on TV and in movies but wouldn't be able to handle spending two minutes in the same room with in real life. You know, for the sake of your self-esteem.

Artist First

More Than Just a ‘Girl’

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Jemima Kirke. (Jessica Miglio/HBO)

Playing Jessa is both a blessing and a curse for Jemima Kirke. It helped the artist/actress win her latest exhibit in San Francisco, but she’d rather be seen as, first of all, an artist.

Before the world came to know her as the actress who plays the wistful bohemian Jessa Johansson on the hit HBO series Girls, the 28-year-old London-born, Brooklyn-based Jemima Kirke was an artist. Kirke even earned a BFA in painting from one of the most prestigious art schools in the country, the Rhode Island School of Design, the alma mater of artists who include Jenny Holzer, Kara Walker, and the late Francesca Woodman. Her art career may have taken an unexpected detour due to her role on Girls, but a new exhibition proves that Kirke, who maintains that she’s an artist before an actress, is still on her way to making it. 

Last Friday, San Francisco’s Fouladi Projects opened an exhibition of Kirke’s paintings entitled, “Platforms,” which runs through May 10. Kirke’s second solo show features oil portraits of women in her life. The exhibition almost didn’t happen; Kirke was initially hesitant when the women who run the gallery, Holly Fouladi and Hope Bryson, approached her about staging a show of her work after discovering her email address on her artist website.

“I said no at first because I was a little bit unsure if I wanted to take gigs based purely on the Girls celebrity, which is, of course, how they found me,” explained Kirke. “I realized very quickly that’s a silly principle to have, because that is how they know who I am, and that I should be grateful for that, and I am now.”

What happens when a faux psychic detective is busted for having lied to the cops for eight years? That’s a good question. Unfortunately, the series finale of ‘Psych’ doesn’t tell us.

What happens when faux psychic detective Shawn Spencer is busted for having lied to the Santa Barbara Police for eight years? That’s a good question. Unfortunately, the series finale of Psych doesn’t tell us.

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USA Network

“The Break Up” was as satisfying of an ending as possible given the lackluster season. There was a surprise cameo and some memorable throwback lines (“Have you heard about Pluto? That’s messed up, right?”). For those of us who have stayed around for eight years, that was an adequate thank you.

Is Bradley Cooper bumping 71-year-old Harrison Ford? Here’s your ultimate guide to the rumored ‘Indiana Jones’ movie.

It’s been nearly 25 years since the last Indiana Jones  movie. (Unless you count 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.) But after Disney’s  $4 billion purchase of Lucasfilm and the announcement of a new Star Wars film, the hunt for any information that hints at a new Indiana Jones  movie has been on. Here’s what we know so far.

Indiana Jones

David James/Paramount Pictures/Lucasfilm, via AP

1. Harrison Ford thinks it would be “perfectly appropriate” to be Indiana Jones at the age of 71.

Holy Trilogy

New ‘Star Wars’ Plot Revealed?

Thirty years after ‘Return of the Jedi,’ the new ‘Star Wars’ films may tell the story of Han Solo and Princess Leia's twins and, of course, the temptation of the Dark Side.

"A satisfying sequel is difficult to pull off. Many geniuses have defeated themselves through hubris."—Abed Nadir, Community

"Objection, your honor. The pod race was pretty cool."—Lawyer, Clerks: The Animated Series

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The Daily Beast

Questions of Science

Why Is It Cool to Hate Coldplay?

Hearing Coldplay premiere its new album ‘Ghost Stories’ before a small group in L.A. (where you could have sensed Chris Martin’s and Gwyneth Paltrow’s impending divorce) makes it clear that hating the band says more about you than them.

Circle May 19 on your calendar. That’s the day British megaband Coldplay will officially return from wherever it hibernates when it isn’t promoting an album and begin, yet again, to promote an album. This one is called Ghost Stories. The first two singles, “Magic” and “Midnight,” have already materialized online. Next up: magazine covers, late-night TV, the requisite stadium tour. Singer Chris Martin will appear as a “key advisor” on The Voice, where he will presumably show contestants how to add at least one falsetto part to every song. Global ubiquity will ensue.

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Chris Martin of Coldplay performs at Air Canada Centre on July 23, 2012 in Toronto, Canada. (George Pimentel/WireImage)

Not incidentally, May 19 is also the day Serious Music Fans will remember that they’re supposed to hate Coldplay and rush to the Internet, the airwaves, and the local pub circuit to remind the rest of us how vast and all-consuming their hatred is. Yet again.

Man or Muppet?

The Muppets’ Music Maestro

Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie is behind the music of 'Muppets Most Wanted.' He gives us his best Swedish chef impression and shares his dream for a Miss Piggy and Celine Dion Vegas show.

Bret McKenzie is probably the only guy alive who identifies as part elf, part Conchord, and part Muppet. The actor and musician, known as one half of New Zealand comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, is also fan-fiction favorite Figwit in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies and the maestro behind every original song for The Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted. McKenzie’s songs are wry, self-aware, and often self-deprecating (Muppets Most Wanted’s opening number begins with the lines “We're doing a sequel / That's what we do in Hollywood / And everybody knows / The sequel's never quite as good”), but the man clearly knows what he’s doing: He won an Oscar for Best Song for writing “Man or Muppet,” the ballad sung by Jason Segel and his Muppet brother Walter in the 2011 film.

Bret McKenzie

Zachary Scott Photography; Courtesy New York International Children's Film Festival

The Daily Beast caught up with McKenzie at the New York International Children’s Film Festival—where, along with Walter, he hosted a sing-a-long for a theater full of kids armed with glow sticks, whistles, plastic maracas, and fake mustaches—to talk about making Muppet music, his non-reunion with fellow Conchord and Muppets Most Wanted co-star Jemaine Clement, and his (lack of) Elvish skills.

Watch Out

Game of Thrones’ Bisexual Villain

He’s hedonistic, fearless, and wants the Lannisters’ heads on a platter. Get to know the man behind your new favorite character on HBO’s bloody and sexy saga.

There’s a scene early on in Season 4 of Game of Thrones, the wildly popular HBO-stewarded goulash of blood, sex, and swords, that epitomizes Oberyn Martell—a seductive, mysterious new character on the series better known as “the Red Viper.”

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Pedro Pascal and Indira Varma in a scene from season 4 of "Game of Thrones." (Helen Sloan/HBO)

Oberyn is laying in bed naked with his de facto lover, the striking, bodacious Ellaria Sand, as well as his newly appointed piece, a strapping young man.

“Everyone has a preference,” the man says, probing Oberyn about whether he prefers the company of a man or a woman.

“Then everyone is missing half the world’s pleasure,” he replies.

Kaput

Why Did Gwyneth and Chris Split?

The end of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s marriage is sudden, but it’s definitely no surprise. A history of the events leading up to the “conscious uncoupling.”

Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin’s nearly 11 year-long marriage is over.

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Gwyneth Paltrow, left, and Chris Martin are seen at the 3rd Annual Sean Penn & Friends HELP HAITI HOME Gala on Jan. 11, 2014 at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Colin Young-Wolff/Invision/AP)

“It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate,” reads a statement posted on Paltrow’s lifestyle website, Goop (which subsequently crashed from all the web traffic). “We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separated…We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner. Love, Gwyneth & Chris.”

SHE’S BACK

Return of the Bunny Boiler

In 1987, ‘Fatal Attraction’ had cinema audiences screaming, “Kill the bitch,” as Glenn Close terrorized Michael Douglas and family. The stage version, which just had its world premiere in London, features a more complex villain and the darker ending its creator wanted. SPOILER ALERT!

It’s taken more than a quarter of a century but Alex Forrest, the unhinged villainess in Fatal Attraction, has finally got her revenge.

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Michael Douglas, Glenn Close star in "Fatal Attraction" 1987. (Paramount/Everett)

You may recall the melodramatic home invasion sequence at the end of the film; Alex, played by Glenn Close, is shot dead and, despite the husband’s infidelity, the Gallagher family lives if not totally-happily-ever-after, then at least intact. That Hollywood ending was a re-shoot, tacked on to the end of a brilliant psychological thriller by nervous studio executives.

Why the GOP Is Angry About Colbert

When Stephen Colbert was announced as David Letterman's successor, Rush Limbaugh and company both criticized and politicized the move. Keli Goff discusses whether they're actually mad.

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