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Emma Corrin, who plays Princess Diana on the fourth season of “The Crown,” doesn’t believe the hit Netflix series should be labeled as a work of fiction, as was requested this month by Diana’s brother, Charles, and the U.K. government’s culture secretary, Oliver Dowden. “It is very clearly a dramatized version of events,” Corrin tells me when I chat with her from her London apartment for an upcoming episode of the Variety and iHeart podcast “The Big Ticket.” “This is fictitious in the same way people don’t mistake ‘Succession’ for what actually happened with the Murdochs.” Even so, Corrin says, “I also understand [the request] comes from a place of sensitivity and protectiveness of the royal family and Diana.”
Rita Moreno turned 89 on Dec.11, and I hear she was surprised with a video featuring friends and family wishing her a happy birthday. Among those appearing were Norman and Lyn Lear, Brent Miller, Tony Kushner, “Oz” creator Tom Fontana and co-star Chris Meloni, Innovative Artists’ Nevin Dolcefino, publicist Judy Katz, grandsons Justin and Cameron Fisher, daughter Fernanda Fisher and her husband, David, and cousin Tomas Moreno.
Gemma Chan is in L.A. shooting Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling.” This comes after wrapping Marvel’s “The Eternals.” So what has Chan been getting more questions about — the superhero film (she plays Sersi) or “Don’t Worry Darling” star Harry Styles? “I’ve had a lot of questions about Harry Styles, funnily enough,” says Chan, who can currently be seen in Steven Soderbergh’s “Let Them All Talk.” “What can I say? He’s very talented and so lovely.” She also applauds the performer for his gender-twisting fashions. “It’s very authentic,” Chan says. “It’s just him being really himself and saying you could be comfort- able with whoever you are. Especially nowadays, not just for young men but young men and young women, for all of us to have someone like him who is so popular and known the world over saying something like that.”
In “Let Them All Talk,” Meryl Streep plays an author who is convinced by her agent (Chan) to take a cruise across the Atlantic to receive an award in the U.K. because she is afraid of flying. Streep’s character invites two lifelong friends (Candice Bergen and Dianne Wiest) to come with her as well as her nephew, played by Lucas Hedges.
Chan’s first day of shooting was a restaurant scene with Streep. “I tried to channel my nerves but you can’t deny it, you’re shitting your pants because you’re about to sit down opposite Meryl Streep to do this scene,” the British actor says. “But you know, my character was supposed to be quite anxious as well. So I just tried to use the nerves and used the adrenaline of that, too.”
Last month, Chan was named a new global ambassador for L’Oréal Paris. “In my family anytime there was an Asian face on TV, it would be like, ‘Mom, Dad, come!’ Everyone would rush to come and have a look,” remembers Chan, who grew up in London. “In magazines or any kind of media, it was so rare. In terms of beauty, you just got used to not having the right shade for your skin tone and things like that. Nowadays, we have the ranges of makeup on a much wider scale.”
She believes the beauty industry has even more work to do. “It’s not just about ethnicity,” Chan says. “For me, it’s about seeing a whole wide range of ages of women, seeing people with disabilities, seeing different body shapes, different face shapes. That was just not the case when I was growing up.”
Padma Lakshmi has put together quite a lineup for the “Padma Puts on a Virtual Comedy Show” benefit for Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight. Hosted by Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang, the evening will include appearances by Alicia Keys, Sarah Silverman, Amber Ruffin, Patton Oswalt, Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon and Chelsea Peretti, among many others. The third annual event will stream on Lakshmi’s YouTube page tomorrow, Dec. 17, at 9 p.m. ET.
I caught up with Mark Hamill on Sunday ahead of his receiving the Icon Award at the Voice Arts Awards on Dec. 20. Hamill’s first voice work was back in 1973, but he didn’t become a voice star until two decades later when he played the Joker on “Batman: The Animated Series.” “It was such a pivotal moment in my career,” he said, adding, “I started doing some of the most rewarding character work in my entire career in voiceover.”
And you can add Hamill to the list of people who think there should be an Oscar for voice work. “No question about it,” he said. “SpongeBob SquarePants” star Tom Kenny will present Hamill with the Voice Arts honor. “It’s nice to be recognized, but I feel self-conscious because there are so many more people that are deserving of it,” Hamill said. “I just want everyone to know that I am in the company of some of the greatest actors I’ve ever worked with. They all share in this award, as far as I’m concerned.”
As for Disney and Lucasfilm’s recent announcement that a plethora of “Star Wars” series are coming to Disney Plus, Hamill didn’t want to say much because he knows any quotes from him about the franchise become headline news. However, he did offer, “I’m not surprised, because there are so many stories to tell, and I’m sure that they’re going to tell them.”
Jeffrey Wright will receive a 2020 Made in NY Award from the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment during the IFP Gotham Awards on Jan. 11 for his artistic contributions to the industry. The “Westworld” star will also be lauded for co-founding Brooklyn for Life!, the organization that supports local businesses and provides meals to first responders, hospital workers and public housing residents affected by the pandemic.
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