Game of Thrones actor on his fatal fight ‘Beyond the Wall’

You just knew all of our Game of Thrones heroes wouldn’t survive that perilous trek “Beyond the Wall.” And when the White Walkers and wights (and zombie polar bear!) closed in, it was knot-topped red priest Thoros of Myr (played by English comedian and actor Paul Kaye) who paid the ultimate price.

“I got the news last summer sometime, I missed a couple calls from [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss], and that’s the kiss of death,” Kaye tells EW.

Was he disappointed that Thoros wouldn’t make it to the final season? “Obviously,” he says, but the actor was far more relieved that his character came back into the show last season and for season 7 in the first place. In George R.R. Martin’s novels upon which GoT is based, the journey of Thoros becomes intertwined with that of another character, Lady Stoneheart, who’s not in HBO’s version.

“It looked like they weren’t following Lady Stoneheart’s storyline in the show, so I prepared myself not to re-emerge,” he says. “So it was great to get back and have this adventure. Just staying alive for six seasons is an achievement in itself on this show.”

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Thoros was mauled by an undead bear after heroically saving The Hound, then perished amid the freezing cold on a rock island surrounded by his companions. “It’s glorious, really,” Kaye says. “And I like the fact I get [cremated] with my own booze as well —there’s a message there somewhere.”

Looking back at his time on the show, Kaye (whose upcoming credits include the 2017 zombie film Anna and the Apocalypse and the 2018 film Tomorrow) says he has particularly fond memories of filming his scenes in season 3 in the Brotherhood Without Banners cave hideout. “It was a special time,” he says. “My cast number was 47 and I was 47. It was just beyond my wildest dreams.”

There’s just one thing about his storyline that bugs him. “I used to like polar bears,” he says, “but not anymore!”

Veronica’s Sexy Ex Is Coming To Riverdale

Archie and Veronica’s red-hot romance may soon be derailed by the arrival of an attractive ex. Entertainment Weekly reports that Riverdale has cast actor Graham Phillips to play Nick St. Clair, the former boyfriend of its carrot-topped protagonist’s main squeeze, for the CW hit’s second season. Your move, Betty.

Fans of The Good Wife will recognize Phillips from his previous role as Zach, the earnest, tech-savvy son of Alicia and Peter Florrick (Julianna Margulies and Chris Noth). The 24-year-old actor also played the love interest of Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland in the 2016 Netflix original movie, XOXO.

His latest role will be a far cry from his good guy roots, however, according to Riverdale executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.
“Nick is an old classmate of Veronica’s (played by Camila Mendes) from New York, and despite his parent-pleasing veneer, he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing: a hard-partying Lothario with dark desires and an unchecked sense of privilege,” Aguirre-Sacasa told EW. “His arrival in Riverdale will threaten Archie’s (K.J. Apa) relationship with Veronica, and may even put some of our characters at risk.”

Dun-dun-dun. As ominous as that sounds — unless you’re strongly shipping Archie and Betty (Lili Reinhart), who was last seen getting hot and heavy with Jughead (Cole Sprouse) — Nick’s visit won’t last too long. Phillips is currently on board for just two episodes when season 2 returns on October 11. How much damage could he possibly do?

Of course, this does cast more mystery on those behind-the-scenes season 2 photos which show Veronica being dolled up as a bride. Dastardly Nick couldn’t possibly be the groom in a Gossip Girl-style twist, right? Right?

Williams says it’s great time to be actor of color

NEW YORK — Jessica Williams says it’s a great time to be an actress of color, and applauds Netflix for leading the way in promoting diversity.

Williams, who cut her teeth as a correspondent on “The Daily Show,” takes on her first starring role in the streaming network’s original film, “The Incredible Jessica James.”

The actress feels Netflix helped shape stories about people of color, citing original programming like “Master of None” and “Orange is the New Black” that are able to “showcase people of color in an amazing way.” While inclusion continues to improve, especially on Netflix, Williams says the struggle for racial equality is far from over.

“I think it’s a difficult time in some ways to be a person of color, and I think the same for actors of color, but I also think it’s a great a time. Because I think now … there’s so much more room, I think, for us to be seen, and there’s room for us to create our own stories,” Williams said.

Williams feels great pride that she’s part of a movement toward greater diversity on screen, calling it something that makes her heart warm and sing. She said she remains mindful of the actresses who paved the way.

“It’s like so many black actresses that came before me and my generation. They came before and they did not necessarily have this opportunity that I feel like I have now, and so I’m really grateful for that, and I really do think it’s a really great time to be an actress that is black, in a way,” she said.

But that doesn’t make shifting gears from a comedy news show to a feature film an easy choice. Williams certainly felt some trepidation with the move.

“I was really nervous because this movie does have comedy in it. It also has a lot of heart, and some sweet moments. So I was worried whether I would be able to portray that or not. But I had a lot of fun doing it, and I found out that I could,” she said.

Written and directed by Jim Strouse — who previously directed Williams in his 2015 film, “People Places Things” — the story was written with Williams in mind. Her desire was to correctly depict the “life of a modern, young black woman,” and took it a step further by also taking on the role as an executive producer.

“Just in case I had things to say creatively,” Williams said.

Strouse called Williams a comedy ninja and the right actress to portray the ever-changing nature of romantic relationships.

“I remember when a relationship goes astray or whatever, you break up, you don’t talk and in like maybe months down the road you have coffee,” he said. “Now it’s like, you ghost and maybe a couple months down the road you start liking each other’s photos again. It’s a weird time.”

He called the dynamic interesting, then with a knowing smile said, “I don’t know if it’s healthy.”

As for her previous gig, Williams has the distinction of being the youngest correspondent hired for “The Daily Show.” Now she’s hoping to join the list of the show’s alumni who have moved on to bigger and better things.

“To be mentioned among people like Samantha Bee or Hassan Minaj and Steve Carrell and Steve Colbert is insane,” she said. “It’s, it’s very surreal and I think — I packed up everything to move and be on the ‘Daily Show’ and I was nervous because I was 22. I was, umm, I had a lot of big shoes to fill working with Jon Stewart. I felt like in the beginning I had a lot to prove, and it’s really an honor to be among those people.”

Why Supernatural Is Finally Ready For A Spinoff, According To The Showrunner

For the first time in a while, there will simply be enough room in the story for Supernatural to do justice to launching a spinoff. Andrew Dabb and the team behind the scenes will be able to do more than simply cram everything together for a one-and-done backdoor pilot; they will be able to build a new dynamic that can sustain a show of its own without feeling unconnected to the series that has won so many fans over the past decade.

The new spinoff will be fittingly called Wayward Sisters, and it will be comprised of characters Supernatural fans have already come to know and love over a span of many years. Sheriff-turned-hunter Jody Mills will be the protagonist, and she’ll lead a group of young women who lost their families in supernatural tragedies. Kim Rhodes will reprise the role of Jody, along with other returning actresses Kathryn Newton as Claire Novak, Katherine Ramdeen as Alex Jones, and Briana Buckmaster as Sheriff Donna Hanscum. This crew of Supernatural veterans will be joined by newcomer Clark Backo, who will play Patience Turner, and together they’ll hunt monsters as one badass group.

All things considered, Wayward Sisters already sounds like it will appeal to Supernatural fans much more than the first spinoff attempt did back in Season 9. In the first backdoor pilot designed to launch a spinoff, Sam and Dean discovered five mafia-esque monster families in Chicago. The characters who would anchor the spinoff were brand new to the Supernatural universe, and fans had no real reason to grow attached to them. That spinoff never made it to series.

If Wayward Sisters gets the series order from The CW, the odds are pretty good that we’ll get semi-frequent crossovers with Supernatural. The characters have close ties with each other, and we can bet that the Winchesters have a lot of lore that could be useful to the ladies. We’ll have to wait and see.

Supernatural will return to The CW in the fall, with the Wayward Sisters backdoor pilot airing at some point later in the season. Check out our summer TV schedule for what you can watch in the meantime. If you’re not up on what shows will be back, take a look at our breakdowns of the renewals and cancellations of network TV and cable/streaming.

Tyra Banks talks branding, baby and business

Tyra Banks learned the importance of standing out from the crowd as a teenage supermodel strutting the runway.

“I really had a natural way of walking that was a little different, sometimes a little wacky, and I would notice people smiling,” says Banks who even got standing ovations in the midst of fashion shows. “I was like ‘Oh wow. They like this. This is my signature walk.’ So that’s when I understood. … that differentiation was important.”

Banks continues to stand out from the crowd, transcending the world of modeling by becoming the creator and executive producer of America’s Next Top Model, the owner of a cosmetics and skin care company TYRA Beauty as well as the investment firm Fierce Capital, and the newest co-host of America’s Got Talent. She recently added yet another role to her plate, co-teaching the art of branding to students at Stanford’s Graduate School of business.

Branding is a skill that all of us need to master, Banks says, since society’s selfie-taking obsession with Facebook, Instagram and other social media channels means that “there’s a personal brand that you’re building even if you don’t know that you are. So I think it’s best to be equipped with the tools to make sure that you are shaping something that can serve you in the future.”

Banks taught the branding course last month to students whose ventures ranged from creating a life-saving device, to initiatives aimed at transforming the current political culture.

In addition to having the 25 pupils define their brand, they learned how to communicate it through various media and how to represent it in their personal appearance so that the public “at the blink of an eye can recognize you, from the way you look, to the way you sound, to the words you use, to the pictures that you post. … I think the more obsessed you are, the better chance you have of breaking through the clutter.”

Once your brand is established, Banks says, “the most important thing is to watch your competition and to see if your brand that is now very successful is being copied, because when people see something that’s good, everybody jumps on that bandwagon.”

Banks has learned that first hand.

“I pivot constantly in my career,” she says, adding that when she notices the competition, she thinks ” ‘Oh no, you will not catch up. … Boo, don’t you know you should just make up your own thing, because we’re about to change this, and you’re going to look obsolete because you’re going to be copying something that I don’t even do anymore?’ And that’s why the other shows have not worked.”

Another tip that Banks’ students received came from a social media expert, Gary Vaynerchuk, who informed them that posting messages, photos and tweets shouldn’t feel like a chore. “You need to focus and you need to be great at it,” Banks says, “so if you’re on every single platform, but you only like a couple of them, get off of those. … platforms and focus on the ones that you like.”

Banks, who is now mother to a 1-year-old son, York, said that such balance is important in other aspects of life. A few years ago, she was gracing magazine covers not because of her modeling career, but because of her television success and business acumen. She was chosen for Time magazine’s 100 most influential people, became one of Glamour’s women of the year, and at one point simultaneously hosted America’s Top Model and her own talk show.

“I was on fire,” she says. “I was so successful. … but I was exhausted and I was sad.”

She recalls preparing to interview then-Senator Barack Obama for her talk show, and rather than have her staff review his writings and prepare notes, she insisted on reading Obama’s books herself. “I was really going overboard,” she says, to the point “where I probably would have had to go to the hospital if I didn’t slow down.”

But after her son was born, “I definitely focused on him. I didn’t do any work at all for months.”

She has a nursery on set, a nanny, and York’s dad is very involved with his care and upbringing. “We are co-parenting and doing such a great job raising him that I don’t have to do less,” she says noting that her mother is also about to move closer. “So it’s like this beautiful village around York. But I’m there every day.”

And as Banks prepares to star in as well as executive produce Life-Size 2, a sequel to a 2000 Disney film that she previously starred in, Banks has also learned to let the teams working on her various projects communicate with each other so that she can better focus on one item at a time.

For instance, when she was teaching at Stanford, she was asked to fly to Los Angeles to do some press around America’s Got Talent. Banks refused. “I had to be there for my students, ” she says, and the show’s producers understood. They said ” ‘ You know what? We appreciate that. … you stay there and we’ll figure it out.’ ”

Banks says that focusing and not letting one part of her life overwhelm another has helped her “to be super present for my baby. … (I’m) mama in the morning, and I’m mama at night and sometimes all day when he’s with me and I don’t feel like I’m going crazy at all.”

Did Katy Perry ask drag queens to work for free

Drag queen Vicky Vox claims Katy Perry refused to pay drag queens to appear in one of her upcoming music videos.

On Tuesday, Vox called out an anonymous singer for “begging drag queens to do a music video for two days with no pay, they own costumes and all.”

Vox continued, “It wasn’t until we all said NOPE … that they said maybe there might be some budget. But they’ll get back to us tomorrow? No, f—k this. You need to know today, you stressed that. Do you think we just like to prance around for sugarplum dreams? Bitch, THIS IS F—KING WORK.”

“Drag queens should not have to beg you to value them. Not only is it insulting you asked them to value themselves as worthless,” Vox fumed. “You were going to USE them for your gain. Then say maybe when they say their time is valuable … you say maybe … NO!”

Perhaps alluding to Perry’s “Swish Swish” lyrics, which include “Karma’s not a liar / She keeps receipts,” Vox added. “Yes, I have receipts. I also don’t think the person whose video this is would be doing this on purpose. But, really tho, SHE KNOWS BETTER.”

Vox also took aim at “RuPaul’s Drag Race” stars who agreed to appear in the video free of charge, writing, “HOWEVER, apparently drag race girls said they’d do it for free… and local girls said respect my time. Fame chasers vs paper chasers.”

On Wednesday, Vox revealed Perry, 32, to be the pop star culprit.

“Yo, @katyperry .. just so it’s clear. I had love for you. Your team f—ked up,” Vox tweeted Wednesday.

Vox proceeded to tweet out a series of memes and graphics explaining why unpaid work in exchange for exposure was wrong.

A rep for Perry, who recently boasted about her huge “American Idol” payday, told Page Six, “There is no truth to this.”

Ariana Grande

Live Nation is proud to announce Ariana Grande is bringing her world tour to China for the first time this coming August. The multi-platinum selling and Grammy Award-nominated artist is ready to ignite this summer with her debut performance in China.

In less than a year, ARIANA GRANDE captured the No. spot 1, twice, on the Billboard Top 200 — first with her Republic Records debut “Yours Truly” and also with its 2014 follow-up, “My Everything.” “Yours Truly” yielded the game-changing pop smash “The Way” featuring Mac Miller, which went triple-platinum, landed in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, and seized No. 1 on the iTunes Overall Top Songs chart. Meanwhile, the platinum-selling My Everything garnered a GRAMMY Award nomination for “Best Pop Vocal Album” and spawned the six times-platinum hit “Problem.” Upon the single’s release, Ariana became “the youngest woman to debut with over 400K sold first-week,” while the song ranked as the 5th “highest digital song debut for a female artist” and 9th highest ever. Moreover, it debuted at No. 1 in 85 countries, topping the iTunes Overall Top Songs and Pop Songs charts for four weeks.

In 2013, Ariana was named “Best New Artist” at the American Music Awards. Other accolades followed, with Ariana winning “Favorite Breakout Artist” at the People’s Choice Awards 2014, the “Young Influencer Award” at the iHeartRadio Music Awards, the “Radio Disney Chart Topper Award,” “Choice Female Artist” and “Choice Single” “Problem” at the 2014 Teen Choice Awards, and more. At the 2014 MTV VMAS, “Problem” was named “Best Pop Video” as well.

2016 saw Ariana released her mega-anticipated third full-length album, driven by the title track, which captured No. 1 on both iTunes Overall Top Songs Chart and Top Pop Songs Chart minutes after release. The album also debuted in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, earning her the distinction of becoming the first artist to debut on the chart with the lead single from her first three albums. The album also hit platinum in China within 48 hours and it’s approaching its 6th platinum now.

Do not miss the opportunity to watch Ariana’s first ever performance in mainland China!

Rihanna Strikes 30th No. 1 ‘Pose’ Atop Dance Club Songs Chart

“Pose” is the sixth leader from her album “ANTI.” Plus, “Despacito” conquers Dance/Mix Show Airplay.

Rihanna rules Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart (dated July 15) for a milestone 30th time, as “Pose” rises 2-1. The track was remixed by Alex Acosta, Country Club Martini Crew and The Perry Twins, among others.

Rihanna moves closer to Madonna, who has racked up 46 leaders, for the most No. 1s in the chart’s 40-plus-year history. Rihanna is also gaining fast; since Madonna’s most recent No. 1, “B**** I’m Madonna,” on Aug. 15, 2015, Rihanna has reached the top seven times, the most of all acts; Disclosure trails with four leaders in that span.

“Pose” is Rihanna’s third topper of 2017, the most of all acts, following “Love on the Brain” (Jan. 21) and “Sex With Me” (April 8). Dua Lipa is the only other artist with multiple No. 1s thus far this year (two).

“Pose” is also the sixth leader from Rihanna’s album ANTI, following “Work” (featuring Drake, April 23, 2016); “Kiss It Better” (Aug. 6, 2016); “Needed Me” (Aug. 20, 2016); “Love on the Brain”; and “Sex With Me.” (During that run, she also reigned as featured on Calvin Harris’ “This Is What You Came For,” which logged a rare two-week reign on its way to becoming the chart’s No. 1 song of 2016.)

Rihanna is the first act to achieve as many as six No. 1s from an album since Katy Perry landed seven from the original edition of Teenage Dream in 2010-12: “California Gurls,” the title cut, “Peacock,” “Firework,” “E.T.,” “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” and “The One That Got Away.” Also in that era, two more toppers, “Part Of Me” and “Wide Awake,” were released from the set’s 2012 re-release, Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection.

Dating to the Dance Club Songs chart’s Aug. 28, 1976, inception as a national survey, here’s an updated look at the acts with the most No. 1s:

46. Madonna
30. Rihanna
22. Beyonce
19. Janet Jackson
17. Mariah Carey
17. Katy Perry
16. Kristine W
16. Jennifer Lopez
15. Donna Summer
14. Dave Aude
14. Enrique Iglesias
14. Lady Gaga
14. Pitbull

‘DESPACITO’ DOMINATES: Meanwhile, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee bring the current Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Latin Songs No. 1, “Despacito,” featuring Justin Bieber, to the top of another chart, Dance/Mix Show Airplay (2-1). The first entry and No. 1 each for Fonsi and Yankee, “Despacito” is the fourth Dance/Mix Show leader for Bieber, who previously led with “Sorry” (2016), “What Do You Mean?” (2015) and “As Long as You Love Me,” featuring Big Sean (2012).

Between “Sorry” and “Despacito,” Bieber reached No. 2 with three tracks: “Love Yourself” (March 2016), “Cold Water” (by Major Lazer featuring Bieber and MO; October 2016) and “Let Me Love You” (by DJ Snake featuring Bieber; December 2016).

Scots do not care if they are related to Marilyn Monroe

The search for Scottish relatives of screen icon Marilyn Monroe was launched amid much fanfare and huge optimism.

The American descendants of the Scottish Munro clan had excitedly discovered that long lost cousins of the glamorous Hollywood icon hailed from a remote town in the blustery Highlands.

Soon after they began testing the DNA of locals, to their joy, Clan Munro USA found a match. However, amid deepening suspicion from the Scottish side of the family, the trail appears to have rather run cold.

The one Munro found to be related to Marilyn Monroe failed to respond to any contact from the Americans, suggesting he wants nothing to do with the project, even after volunteering his DNA.

Scots, the American genealogists have learned, are not interested in finding out if they are related to an American actress, even if she was one of the most biggest stars of all time.

Colin Munro, of the Scottish Clan Munro Association, spoke of a disdain for being lectured about their heritage by the American side of the family.

He said: “Scots think they know who they are and don’t want to find out if they’re wrong.

“It could also be that many Scots do not believe anything is really free.”

Clan Munro USA has been forced to concede that it is rather disappointed with its findings, “surprised” that the less enthusiastic Scots did not get involved.

The project began after it was discovered that an ancestor of Monroe was a soldier exiled to America after the English Civil War and launched an appeal to find more ancestors.

Organisers might have been forgiven for getting their hopes up when they did eventually find one living descendant of the US actress.

“We found one Scot who shares DNA with Marilyn Monroe’s relatives. He has a close DNA match,” revealed Margaret Bardin of Clan Munro USA, Texas.

“He lived in the north-east of Scotland and has Scottish heritage but moved to Birmingham. That gentleman participated as a favour and we paid for his testing.

“He has not continued to correspond with me. We have to respect his privacy.”

The Clan Munro Association appears to have washed its hands of the whole affair, pointing anyone interested in the DNA project firmly in the direction of America.

“Do not contact the Clan Munro website about DNA matters”, it declares on its website. “The contact is the (US based) Munro DNA Project.”

Hector Munro, 67, chief of the Munro clan, acknowledged that there was a vast difference in attitudes between the Americans and their Scottish counterparts when it came to tracing their lineage.

“The Scots think they know their history so they aren’t as keen to get involved,” he said.

“The further people get away from the Highlands, the more interested they are. It’s about capturing that feeling of belonging.”

Mr Munro, from Dingwall in the Highlands, said the ultimate aim of the project was to broaden the Munro DNA database and that the Marilyn link had likely been used as something of a hook to capture the imagination.

“Obviously, she is rather iconic,” he added. “They tried it with James Monroe, the fifth US president, but didn’t get any takers.

“I suppose they thought if they threw in a bit of sex they might get a different result but I don’t think it has.”

Mr Munro also noted that Brits were “a bit more reserved” than Americans and rather more reticent about handing over personal information.

Clan Munro USA launched its offer of free DNA testing to Munro men of Highland origin last summer, to coincide with what would have been Monroe’s 90th birthday.

The Some Like It Hot star, who died aged 36 in 1962 of a drugs overdose, was born Norma Jeane Mortenson but took her screen name from her mother, Gladys Pearl Monroe.

Research based on DNA from a paternal relative of her grandfather, Otis Elmer Monroe, found a link to a John Munroe, a soldier from Aldie, near the small town of Tain on the coast of the Dornoch Firth, who travelled to America in the 17th century.

Munro was thought to have been one of hundreds of Scottish mercenaries who fought for the Royalist cause during the English Civil War before being exiled after its defeat by Oliver Cromwell. He is thought to have eventually settled in what is now Rhode Island.

The YDNA tests look at the Y chromosome which is only carried by men and is passed virtually unchanged from father to son.

Colin Munro suggested any potential links with Marilyn may be a little spurious.

“We are talking about more than ten generations ago and of course, Marilyn didn’t have this Y chromosome at all,” he added.

Taylor Swift Won’t Allow Joe AlwynRomance To Stop Her From Making GreatHeartbreak Songs

aylor Swift is blissfully happy in her romance with Joe Alwyn, but doesn’t mean we’re going to be denied heartbreak songs on her new album. We’ve got EXCLUSIVE details.

You’ve gotta admit that some Taylor Swift‘s best songs are about getting her heart broken into a million pieces. The 27-year-old is putting together her much-anticipated follow-up to 1989 and fans don’t have to worry that her chill romance with actor Joe Alwyn, 26, is going to make all of her new tunes super cheery. “Taylor’s musical success has been through heartbreak, that is very obvious, very clear. And now that she is in a great relationship with Joe she is not going to let that effect her music moving forward. We are still going to hear songs that deal with sadness, heartbreak and of course a rebuttal on Katy Perry,” a source tells EXCLUSIVELY.

Taylor had so much man drama in 2016 that just because she’s happy now, she still has a well to draw from when it comes to breakup songs. Her 15-month relationship with DJ Calvin Harris, 33, came to a crashing end when they abruptly pulled the plug on things with a joint split announcement on June 1 of last year. Then just two weeks later she embarked on a whirlwind romance with actor Tom Hiddleston, 36, that saw their love travel across three continents in three months before they suddenly broke up. Tay definitely has plenty of recent heartbreak material on her hands!

“Her new music isn’t going to be all happy because she knows that doesn’t always make a good song and that doesn’t sell records. At the end of the day she wants to have her music be more gritty and visceral like Alanis Morissette during her days singing ‘You Outta Know’ instead of when she changed and got more happy with her singing ‘Thank You,’” our insider adds. Whew! That’s a relief. This is the longest amount of time Taylor has taken between albums so she must really be putting together something really special for her fans, and we can’t wait to hear it!

HollywoodLifers, are you stoked for new music from Taylor?