Zendaya fights for equal audition opportunities

Equal opportunities are important across all industries and upon all forums, but especially so in the highly visual, visible and influential world of Hollywood.

And so for multi-hyphenate Zendaya, making sure all are considered for acting jobs is just one way to achieve equal access to opportunities and ultimately, equal representation. In a new interview in Marie Claire‘s September issue, Huffington Post reports that the 21 year old told Janet Mock that her process for auditioning is both intentional and barrier-breaking.

“I always tell my theatrical manager, ‘Anytime it says they’re looking for white girls, send me out. Let me get in the room. Maybe they’ll change their minds,'” she said. “And, honestly, if there’s a part that I didn’t get or that I really wanted at the time, shit always ends up working out.”

Using the example of her role as MJ in “Spiderman” as an example, HuffPost says while the role wasn’t written for a woman of color, Zendaya pressed forward for an audition.

“I definitely went into it like, ‘Hopefully they’ll’ ― as they call it in the industry ― ‘go ethnic,'” she said, according to HuffPost. “I remember making the decision to straighten my hair. I didn’t know that they were going to be more diverse in their casting. I didn’t know that I was walking into a situation where they were already breaking the rules. You get so used to having to break the rules for people.”

The is one type of rule breaking we’ll fully support! Click here to read the full interview.

Clinton makes cameo on ‘Madam Secretary’

Art and reality are merging for an all-new episode of CBS’ hit show, “Madam Secretary.”

According to Huffington Post, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton will take to the small screen for an episode of the show alongside other former secretaries of state, including Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell.

The episode the trio will star in will air on Oct. 7, says HuffPost, the show’s fifth season premiere, with fictional “Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord (played by Téa Leoni) ask[ing] the three former secretaries of state for their advice on how to handle a fragile situation.”

As for the impact the three will make on the show, Executive Producer Lori McCreary said in a release that their presence is profound.

“Having three powerhouses of diplomacy agree to come on our show is awe-inspiring and humbling.”

New Disney initiative supports female filmmakers

Women have a story to tell, and this new Disney initiative is showcasing just that.

According to Variety, Disney’s new “Dream Big Princess” project has “has selected 21 girls and women from 13 countries to develop digital short films about women who inspire them.”

In addition to giving female filmmakers the opportunity to tell stories about the influential women in their lives that work in industries ranging from entertainment and sports to government and science, Variety also says that they will participate in professional workshops that include a “training session with Apple technical experts, mentorship from the female-led production company Summerjax, and meetings with Disney film veterans.”

All shot on iPhone X cameras, each filmmaker’s project will be shared on Disney social media starting on Oct. 10, says Variety, and with each like and share of the films with the hashtag #DreamBigPrincess, Disney will donate $1 to the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign, which empowers and positions girls all over the world to be leaders.

One of the film’s subjects, Disney CCO Jennifer Lee, who Variety says won an animated feature Oscar for “Frozen,” says the Dream Big Princess initiative serves as an extension of Disney’s mission to inspire kids.

“Using the journeys of characters like Anna, Elsa and Moana to inspire kids to dream big is at the very heart of what all of us at Disney do,” Lee said, according to Variety. “The #DreamBigPrincess series is the perfect extension of that vision, providing a powerful platform for the next generation of aspiring filmmakers to create content about the women who have inspired them.”

Dunham deconstructs before-and-after photos, all in name of body positivity

Lena Dunham is never afraid to make a point, and she did just that recently, this time using her own photos.

According to HuffPost, the actor and “Girls” showrunner took to Instagram to post two side-by-side photos that illustrated how her body has changed in the past few years. In the caption, HuffPost says she used the space to discuss how each difference in her body came with a difference in her mindset — and vice versa.

“On the left: 138 pounds, complimented all day and propositioned by men and on the cover of a tabloid about diets that work. Also, sick in the tissue and in the head and subsisting only on small amounts of sugar, tons of caffeine and a purse pharmacy,” she wrote. “On the right: 162 pounds, happy joyous & free, complimented only by people that matter for reasons that matter, subsisting on a steady flow of fun/healthy snacks and apps and entrees, strong from lifting dogs and spirits”

Showing that being thinner doesn’t always mean that someone is happier (or healthier), HuffPost says Dunham ended her post by admitting that sometimes she looks at the ‘before’ picture “longingly,” even as an “OG body positivity warrior.” But then she “sometimes looks at the left picture longingly, until I remember the impossible pain that brought me there and onto my proverbial knees.”

Ending on the words, “As I type I can feel my back fat rolling up under my shoulder blades. I lean in,” encouraging all of us to “lean in” to who we are and accept ourselves as we are.

Rodriguez uses Emmy money to send undocumented student to college

Gina Rodriguez is using the money that would otherwise be spent on Emmys “For Your Consideration” campaigns and giving to the worthiest of causes: education.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the “Jane the Virgin” star convinced her show’s network, The CW, to use her portion of the “FYC spend toward a college scholarship for an undocumented high school student.”

A member of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s board of directors, EW says Rodriguez partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles to “locate a Latinx high school student who plans to attend Princeton University in the fall,” allowing the student to “complete a four-year degree without financial burden.”

For Rodriguez, the attempt to do something for the Latinx community is natural, even one that has been encouraged by showrunners.

Our show has always jumped at any opportunity to help me do something for the Latinx community,” said Rodriguez, EW reports. “So I asked my showrunner, Jennie [Snyder Urman], if we could do something different with the money this year.”

And something different they did.

Winfrey gets exhibit in Smithsonian

It’s not often that someone gets to actually see an exhibit of their life, let alone actually have one dedicated to them. But for Oprah Winfrey, both of those just came true.

According to AOL, the famed journalist, TV personality and spiritual guru received her own exhibit dedicated to her life’s legacy in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. Called “Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture,” AOL reports that the exhibit “includes videos from the start of her career, personal mementos and more.”

Among some of the cool artifacts incorporated into the display is the red dress Winfrey wore in “the iconic Oprah Winfrey Show episode when she surprised the entire audience with a new car,” according to AOL, an outfit Winfrey herself explained she chose to match the ribbon on the cars she gave away.

Also included is a journal entry Winfrey wrote the night before the national debut of The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986, says AOL, that wonders how her forthcoming show might affect her life:

“Exactly eight hours before the national first show,” it reads, according to AOL. “I keep wondering how my life will change. If it will change. What all this means. Why have I been so blessed? Maybe going national was to help me realize that I have an important work or that this work is important. I just know that I must be pressed to the work of the high calling.”

And change her life it did.

 

Aniston snags role as first female president in Netflix comedy

It looks like the United States might get its first female president after all — that’s all because of a brand-new comedy coming to Netflix.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, in a new Netflix production called “First Ladies,” Jennifer Aniston will star as America’s first female president, and playing her wife will be comedian, actor and writer Tig Notaro.

The script is also co-written by Notaro, says THR, who worked with Stephanie Allynne to tell the tale of “Beverly and Kasey Nicholson, America’s first female President and her wife, the First Lady, in a story that promises to show that behind every great woman is another great woman.”

Also working on the project are Adam McKay and Chris Hency (executive producer), reports THR, along with “Will Ferrell, Jessica Elbaum and Betsy Koch for Gloria Sanchez Productions.”

Zendaya talks Hollywood, colorism at Beautycon

Zendaya has achieved quite a bit at a such a young age: at just 21, she has had starring roles in television shows and movies, dabbled in music and is even entered the world of fashion as a designer. But with all of her success comes a responsibility, says Zendaya, and that responsibility is to pave the way for her successors.

According to HuffPost, the multi-hyphenate recently spoke in conversation with Uber’s chief brand officer Bozoma Saint John at the Beautycon Festival, taking a moment to address colorism in the entertainment industry and share some sage words about representation.

“As a black woman, as a light-skinned black woman, it’s important that I’m using my privilege, my platform to show you how much beauty there is in the African-American community,” she said, HuffPost reports. “I am Hollywood’s, I guess you could say, acceptable version of a black girl and that has to change.”

However, she said there is no need for there to only be one “acceptable version of a black girl.” In fact, she is trying to blaze a trail for increased representation and inspire others to shine their light in the process.

“We’re vastly too beautiful and too interesting for me to just be the only representation of that,” said Zendaya, according to HuffPost. “What I’m saying, it’s about creating those opportunities, sometimes. You have to create those paths. And that’s with anything, Hollywood, art, whatever.”

Amen to that.

Fallon to Fey: ‘I hope my kids grow up to be like you’

Jimmy Fallon recently used part of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to pay some high compliments to friend and former Saturday Night Live co-star Tina Fey, and it resulted in a pretty touching moment.

According to HuffPost, to commemorate the opening of Fey’s “Mean Girls” musical, Fallon had guests to show “to stand in front of a poster for the play and describe how the “30 Rock” creator inspired them” while Fey stood hidden in a back room listening and then surprising them with hugs and tears.

But, as HuffPost reportsthis wasn’t the only tear-jerking moment of the episode; Fallon said there was one more person who wanted to deliver a “heartfelt message” to Fey — him.

While his comments were not without jokes — namely, jokes about their ages — HuffPost said Fallon offered that Fey “changed [him] for the better” and serves as an example for all, including his own children.

“I met you when I was 23, I believe you were 45. And I was lucky enough to work with you and grow with you and learn from you. A lot of people in this world have dreams or goals or ideas, but not everybody goes out and fights to make them happen but you’re someone who did. You didn’t get served this, you didn’t get given this as a gift. I know firsthand, you worked so hard and found a voice and found your way, and you made your own dreams come true, and most importantly even now you’re making other people feel like they can do the same thing and change the world.

Today, I’m 27 years old and I have two daughters, and my hope for them is that they grow up to be leaders like you and that they’ll be as fearless and confident in their strengths as you are.”

Ending his remarks with a simple “I love you,” Fallon proved what we already know — Tina Fey is one for the ages.

Beyoncé unveils Coachella pop-up shop

If you can’t stop thinking about Beyoncé’s epic — and history-making — performance at Coachella, you can now own a piece of the show, thanks to a new pop-up shop.

According to Harper’s Bazaar, “Beychella” merchandise is now up for sale in an online pop-up shop, featuring a pieces inspired by her performance that show off “the same lettering and panther logos that adorned her Coachella wardrobe.”

One tee — the Nefertiti T-shirt — shows just one of Beyoncé’s stunning Balmain looks from the show, says Harper’s Bazaar, while other sweatshirts and T-shirts display what looks like it was “inspired by US university fraternity logos, which typically employ Greek lettering.”

Pieces start around $35, and will be available until mid-May, according to Harper’s Bazaar.