TV’s ‘Real Time’ host has promised to target one awful incumbent in the next congressional election and drive that person out of office. This is an excellent idea.
Bill Maher’s liberal fan base has a new reason to cheer (and tune in): this season, he’s using his show’s considerable leverage to flip a congressional district. “There are 435 districts,” Real Time executive producer Scott Carter explains. “Most have incumbents running for re-election. We think our fans can help us narrow down the field of villains, hucksters, and boobs. But, in the end, the choice will be Bill’s.”
Janet Van Ham/HBO
Spoiler alert: The crosshairs probably aren’t going to land on a Democrat. That’s got conservatives predictably up in arms. Sure, the mockery-fest to come might be painful. It might also be unfair. It could even be occasionally stupid. But in at least three ways, Maher’s initiative marks a great leap forward in liberal-leaning entertainment activism. It’ s not just good for the left—or for ratings. It’s good for Republicans, conservatives, and, yes, the United States of America.
He does dozens of takes. There is no improvising and no tinkering with the script. The cast of ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ on Hollywood most uncompromising general.
Almost every actor craves a role in one of Wes Anderson’s movies but working for the Texan auteur is no picnic according to the cast of The Grand Budapest Hotel who spilled the secrets of Hollywood’s most uncompromising “general” to The Daily Beast.
Whimsical and playful by the time they reach the big screen, Anderson’s projects are created in a surprisingly autocratic style. The actors who star in his latest, possibly greatest, film revealed the truth about working for the filmmaker at the Berlin film festival in Germany. Admiration and affection are never in doubt but the cast said it’s the tenacious approach that makes Anderson unique. “He’s so specific in what he sees and what he wants that you better give it to him,” said Willem Dafoe. “He’s tough.”
In 1975, Mel Brooks became the first person Playboy had interviewed twice. Read this Q&A, which covers everything from childhood to America’s problems with the fart, and you’ll see why the magazine went back for seconds.
Forty years ago, Francis Ford Coppola released The Godfather II and The Conversation. It’s hard to imagine another director having two memorable movies come out in the same calendar year, but Mel Brooks did it, too. And in the same year. Blazing Saddles came out in February, Young Frankenstein in December. They are arguably his two best movies and they surely put him over the top as a Hollywood star. The next year he gave what I think is the best print interview of his career. So in the afterglow of Valentine’s Day, when love and laughter are still paramount, please enjoy an American legend in his prime.
Anne Bancroft and her husband, American actor, writer and director Mel Brooks, smile as American actor Dom DeLuise peers over their shoulders at the opening of the play, 'Vanities,' at the Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, California. (Frank Edwards/Getty)
This article originally appeared in the February 1975 issue of Playboy. To read every article the magazine has ever published—from 1953 until today—visit the complete archive at iplayboy.com. For more Playboy, check out PlayboySFW.kinja.com. —Alex Belth
Thirty years after the HIV virus was identified, the modern face of the epidemic—predominantly black and female—remains hidden. Filmmaker Hannelore Williams’ new docu-series wants to change that.
The statistics are upsetting and well known. Despite an encouraging recent drop in transmission rates, black women still represent two-thirds of all new HIV infections among women. In fact, they are 20 times more likely to seroconvert than white women—a greater level of disparity than ever before. The cavalcade of AIDS anniversaries over the last few years has spawned a corresponding interest in producing museum exhibits, documentaries, and feature films about the early years of the crisis. But with a few notable exceptions (Frontline’s “Endgame: AIDS In Black America;” Precious; Tyler Perry’s despicable Temptation), there has been no similar rush to tell the stories of the (black, female) face of the modern epidemic.
Hannelore Williams, filmmaker, actor, and creator of the new docu-series “Dirty 30,” is hoping to change that.
‘Robocop’ represents another step in the studio’s re-emergence after bankruptcy.
The former receiver wasn’t comfortable with gay men until he got to know them, and he predicts the same will happen in homophobic locker rooms once the prospect takes the field.
The announcement of star college football player Michael Sam that he was gay sent shockwaves through the sports world. The reigning SEC defensive player of the year is considered a mid-round prospect in May’s NFL draft and is likely to end up on an NFL team and become the first openly gay player in a major American professional sport. One of the vocal voices in the football world on Sam’s situation has been former NFL wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth who spent a decade in the league on six teams, including the New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, and New England Patriots. Stallworth, a first-round pick of the Saints in 2002, talked to The Daily Beast about Sam and about the challenges and atmosphere that the rookie defensive end might face in the pros. (The transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.)
Q: I take it that this day coming didn’t come as a surprise, that it was a matter of time until a NFL player came out?
A: I kind of caught me by surprise. Especially when I found out that he was a college player. It showed a lot of courage for him to be able to do that. Especially once I found out the whole story that he had told his team before the start of last season, and they hashed out whatever differences that they had at the time and had a successful year. I think they were 12-2 and one game away from playing in the SEC championship and the SEC is one of the—I’m sorry—is the toughest conference in college football. For them to be able to do it, it’s kind of interesting that you can see a bunch of kids from Missouri can do it, but they’re questioning whether NFL team can handle that. That’s kind of disappointing.
The descendant of a fabled New Orleans musical dynasty, pianist Jon Batiste is a thrilling musician who makes no apologies about entertaining his audiences as accessibly as he can.
The Oscar nominated star of ‘Juno’ came out in a wonderful, honest, and heartrending speech at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Time To THRIVE conference. Watch the speech and read the full text of it below.
Ellen Page, the Oscar nominated star of films like Juno, Inception, and the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, is gay.
The 26-year-old Canadian-born actress came out during a stirring speech Friday—Valentine’s Day—at the Time To THRIVE conference. “I am here today because I am gay,” she said. “And because maybe I can make a difference to help others have an easier and more hopeful time.”
Meet the Brits whose first movie after film school, ‘The Voorman Problem,’ has been nominated for an Oscar. Unfortunately, they couldn’t afford the airfare or a tuxedo for the show.
Not every Oscar nominee was backed by Harvey Weinstein or a multimillion dollar publicity drive. Meet the British blaggers whose first movie after film school has been nominated for an Academy Award.
Mark Gill, director of the short film The Voorman Problem, told The Daily Beast that breaking all the rules and a letter sent blind to Kevin Spacey helped to secure an unlikely Hollywood cast for the film. Stellar reviews and an Oscar nomination later, Gill was thrilled but still couldn’t afford the airfare or a tuxedo for his first ever trip to Los Angeles.
From rapping headmasters to Star Wars on the slopes, watch our countdown of this week’s buzziest videos.
5. Star Wars Meets Sochi
As if the Olympic skiing courses weren’t already challenging enough, this Danish television segment ups the ante by shooting lasers at the skiers as they fly down the moguls run.
Sure, you’re familiar with celebrated classics ‘Love Actually,’ ‘Annie Hall,’ and ‘Casablanca,’ but here is a collection of underappreciated romance films for millennials.
Each and every Valentine’s Day, the Hollywood powers that be impose a coterie of awful films on impressionable teens and lovesick adults. This year, in lieu of a sappy Nicholas Sparks adaptation, there’s the miserable-looking duo of Endless Love and Winter’s Tale—a DOA remake and fairy tale misfire.
The dispiriting combination of chilly winter temperatures, snowy sidewalks, and the dreaded V-Day will find many retreating to the comfy confines of their couch for some serious movie binging. You’ve probably heard of the all-time classics—Gone with the Wind, West Side Story, An Affair to Remember, etc.—but here’s a selection of excellent romance films that haven’t received their just due in the annals of moviedom. So, pop a bottle of wine and enjoy these (should be) classics.
His Girl Friday (1940)
The hit Netflix series’ showrunner Beau Willimon walks us through the big shocks of Season 2, and why the show isn’t that cynical. Massive spoiler alert!
At 3 a.m. ET on Friday morning, House of Cards, the dark drama about power and politics, returned to Netflix—and the nation’s business ground to a halt.
We’re kidding, of course. But all across the country, and especially in Washington, D.C., political junkies awoke in the wee small hours of the morning, clicked on Season 2, and began to binge. The story picks up right where it left off, with wily House Majority Whip Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) about to ascend to the vice-presidency and a pack of reporters on his trail. But from there the series takes some surprising—and brutal—turns.
Nathaniel E. Bell/Netflix
Over the span of his tragically short life, we doubt young Marius ever imagined a sobbing Kirstie Alley tweeting on his behalf.
Last Sunday Marius, a 2-year-old giraffe, was slaughtered at the Copenhagen Zoo. Marius, whose genetic composition was incompatible with the zoo's international breeding program, was shot with a bolt gun and fed to lions in front of a live audience. Adding another layer of surreality to this insane story, numerous celebrities have fired up their various social media platforms in an attempt to call attention to the killing.
While Ian Somerhalder plays a bloodthirsty vampire on TV, the real life actor and animal rights activist wouldn't hurt a fly. Somerhalder took to Twitter last Saturday urging followers to sign a petition to save Marius. While the petition ultimately failed, we're sure Ian's adolescent fans appreciated this virtual window into his swoon-worthy, giraffe-cuddling, sensitive side.
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