Jolie too sick to promote film

Also, TV show left Furious 7 star drained, 1000 weeks of screenings for DLLJ, comedian's car crash legal battle moves on, Turkish actress faces insults for working as Pope's translator, Aretha Franklin sings for Taylor Swift and film director's assistant stole US$15,000.
Angeline Jolie.  Joel Ryan / Invision / AP
Angeline Jolie. Joel Ryan / Invision / AP

Angelina Jolie has pulled out of promotional activity for her latest film, Unbroken, because of illness. Universal Pictures said that the actress was suffering from “a mild bout of ­chickenpox”. The film, which Jolie directed, is based on the life of former Olympian Louis Zamperini, who endured torture in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp during the Second World War. Universal said Jolie’s children and husband, Brad Pitt, will represent her at the premiere. The actress also uploaded a video message to YouTube, in which she said: “I will be home itching and missing everyone. I can’t believe it, because this film means so much to me ... But such is life.” The illness comes days after she was maligned by top Hollywood executives in private emails made public by the cyber attack on Sony. The film was ignored by the Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe awards, and has faced criticism in Japan. – AP

TV show left Furious 7 star drained

Furious 7 star Dwayne Johnson says it was impossible not to take his work home with him on his new TNT reality series, Wake Up Call. “By the end of the very first day of shooting I’m driving in my truck back home,” the former wrestler said. “I was drained. I was completely drained, emotionally drained.” The show, which premiered on Friday in the United States, features Johnson and a team of experts confronting and helping people who are down on their luck or who have made poor choices in their lives. “It’s tough. There’s a lot of tears and you’re right there,” he said. “Did I take it home? Yeah, I took it home every night.” Johnson, aka The Rock, was there himself in the 1990s, with no money and multiple arrests. He went on to build a career as a wrestler ­before moving into acting. ­Furious 7, which filmed extensively in Abu Dhabi this year, is due out in April. – AP

1000 weeks of screenings for DDLJ

The Bollywood film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (The Brave-Hearted Will Take The Bride) celebrated 1,000 weeks of screenings at a Mumbai cinema at the weekend, by far the longest run for any Indian movie. The film, a romantic comedy starring Shah Rukh Khan opened in October 1995 at the 1,100-seat Maratha Mandir cinema. Known affectionately as DDLJ, the film still plays on the same screen every afternoon. The tickets – which cost just 20 rupees (about Dh1) – regularly sell out at weekends. – AFP

Indian art auction exceeds expectations

Christie’s strengthened its foothold in the Indian art market with only its second sale in the country, showcasing a range of work by home-grown modern artists. The London-based auction house offered 78 lots at Mumbai’s luxury Taj Mahal Palace hotel on Thursday and raised 752.7 million rupees (Dh44million), exceeding estimates, following its first sale in the same venue last year. The best-seller was Tyeb Mehta’s 1999 acrylic on canvas Falling Bull, which sold for 175.4 million rupees to an internet buyer in New York. Works by other modernists M F Husain and S H Raza were among those to go under the hammer, with the oldest piece being a pocket notebook from author and artist ­Rabindranath Tagore, dated 1889 to 1904. The auction did not quite match the success of Christie’s inaugural sale in 2013, which more than ­doubled ­estimates to raise $15.5m (Dh57m). – AFP

Comedian’s car crash legal battle moves on

Tracy Morgan has won the latest round in his effort to sue Wal-Mart and others over a road crash in New ­Jersey, after a federal judge on Friday refused to delay the lawsuit. The ruling was made on a motion by Kevin Roper, the driver of the Wal-Mart truck that slammed into the back of Morgan’s limo van on the New Jersey Turnpike in June. Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock star Morgan was returning from a ­performance in Delaware when the accident happened. Comedian James ­McNair was killed in the crash, while Morgan and two others were seriously injured. – AP

Motown legends visit Obama at White House

Two legendary Motown groups met US president Barack Obama at the White House on December 12. Members of the Temptations and the Four Tops visited the Oval Office during a White House holiday tour, and also surprised fellow visitors with some impromptu singing in the East Room. The two legendary groups kick off a seven-concert tour on December 29 at the Palace Theater New York. – AP

Turkish actress faces insults for working as pope’s translator

A leading Turkish actress said she has been subjected to insults on social media since acting as a translator for Pope Francis during his visit to Turkey in November.

Serra Yilmaz said she was “accused of being a Christian” by Islamist trolls, who were angry that she had agreed to interpret.

“I was accused of being a Christian just because I acted as the translator of Pope Francis,” Yilmaz told university students in the western port city of Izmir, Milliyet newspaper reported on December 11. “It is ridiculous to judge people by their beliefs. But many people made groundless claims like ‘The Vatican hired you’, or insulted me on social media.”

The 60-year-old stage and screen star, who is fluent in Italian, said she had been hired by Turkish foreign ministry to work as a translator during the pope’s three-day visit to Ankara and Istanbul in late November. – AFP

Aretha Franklin sings for Taylor Swift

It’ll be hard for Taylor Swift top this as a birthday gift: A birthday serenade from none other than the Queen of Soul.

Aretha Franklin arguably had the best performance of the afternoon as the legend gave an impromptu performance of Happy Birthday to Taylor Swift, Billboard’s new “Woman of the Year,” at their annual Women in Music event on December 12. Swift swooned as Franklin sang and the pair embraced afterward and she was given a birthday cake.

Swift turned 25 on December 13 but she was able to celebrate early with the honour. She was one of several women celebrated at the event, which featured some of the biggest names in music, including a surprise appearance by Beyoncé.

Billboard’s Women in Music awards honours the top women in the industry, from executives to artists such as Franklin, who received the appropriately named “Icon” award. – AP

Film director’s assistant stole $15,000

A former aide to The Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan is facing possible prison time after racking up US$15,000 in unauthorised charges on a company credit card.

The filmmaker’s former house manager Selma Nolan Cody pleaded guilty this week to a single count of theft by unlawful taking. The third-degree felony carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for February 4.

The Daily Local News of West Chester reported that 34-year-old Cody was accused of making 195 personal purchases from Amazon, Netflix and other outlets on a card Shyamalan and his psychologist wife gave to her for house-related items.

The Shyamalans hired Cody to manage their rural Chester County home in suburban Philadelphia in June 2012. She left last year. – AP

Published: December 13, 2014 04:00 AM

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