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'How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World' tops new movie releases
Universal (NEW YORK) -- Here are the movies opening nationwide Friday: * How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World -- The third and likely final installment in the How to Train Your Dragon series -- the film's being billed as "The Epic Conclusion" -- follows Hiccup, again voiced by Jay Baruchel, and his dragon, Toothless, as they discover their true destinies and test the strength of their friendship like never before. The animated film also features the voices of Cate Blanchett, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Kit Harington and F. Murray Abraham. Rated PG. * Fighting...
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Where's the beef? Wolfgang Puck's got it this Oscar Sunday
ABC (LOS ANGELES) -- As sure as a winner will forget to thank their significant other on the podium, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck will be running the kitchen for the famed Governors Ball after the Oscars Sunday night. It's the 25th year that Puck's been crafting A-list edibles for A-list guests at the official after-party of the Academy Awards, and once again, he caught up with ABC Radio to talk about the most indulgent items on the menu this year. "We all know black truffles are expensive, we have 30 pounds of that," he explains. "You know, caviar is not...
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'A Star Is Born' co-star Anthony Ramos would rather the film change a life than win awards
L-R; Lady Gaga, Anthony Ramos; Clay Enos/Warner Bros. (NEW YORK) -- A Star Is Born is up for eight Academy Awards this Sunday, including Best Picture, but for one of the movie’s stars, winning isn’t everything. Anthony Ramos, who plays the best friend of Lady Gaga’s character Ally, tells ABC Radio that the film’s effect on audiences matters more to him than any trophy. "I think at the end of the day…you can win the most awards -- I mean, you could win every award -- but if people connect to it and people feel, that's what matters the most,...
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"Now this is a story..." Will Smith to revive 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' character in children's book series 'Fresh Princess'
ABC/Randy Holmes (LOS ANGELES) -- Will Smith is bringing something extremely fresh to the children's book world. According to Entertainment Weekly, Smith has partnered with HarperCollins and author Denene Miller for a new book series called Fresh Princess. Inspired by Smith's character from his iconic '90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the three-part picture book series will follow Destiny, "a cool, energetic, and strong-willed girl who approaches every day with her own signature style." That is, until she moves to a new neighborhood where nothing is "quite the same." But Destiny reacts by putting a plan into motion that...
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'A Star is Born' has been "an amazing ride," says Oscar nominee Sam Elliott
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures (LOS ANGELES) -- Oscar Sunday is almost here, and Sam Elliott is -- finally -- a nominee this year, for his work in A Star is Born. The beloved character actor has been working in front of the cameras for more than 50 years, but he received his first-ever nomination for Bradley Cooper's adaptation of the Hollywood classic. Elliott is up for a Best Supporting Actor trophy Sunday night for playing the brother of Cooper's troubled musician character. Elliott tells ABC Radio that he suspected the film was destined for greatness. "I think the odds...
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Following arrest, Jussie Smollett is removed from the final two Season 5 episodes of 'Empire'
Chicago Police Department (CHICAGO) -- Hours after returning to the set of his show Empire following his arrest for falsely reporting he was the victim of a politically-motivated hate crime, Jussie Smollett has been temporarily cut out of the show. In a statement obtained by ABC News, the show's producers announce that they have removed his character from the final two episodes of the series' fifth season. Signed by series executives including Lee Daniels and Brian Grazer, the statement opens by saying, "The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us." It continues, "Jussie...
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Michael B. Jordan says a 'Black Panther' Oscar win would "inspire and motivate" future filmmakers
Marvel Studios (NEW YORK) -- With the Oscars only days away, Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan is already envisioning what it would mean for the blockbuster Marvel superhero film to win Sunday night. "It would definitely set the bar pretty high," Jordan tells ABC Radio. "But, also to inspire and to motivate a future generation of filmmakers." Although Jordan says it would be exciting to see the film win and light a fire in other black filmmakers to create similar narratives, the Creed II star says the film being acknowledged on Oscar night goes deeper than just inspiration. "To...
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Jussie Smollett's legal team criticizes "law enforcement spectacle"
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images (CHICAGO) -- Jussie Smollett's legal team apparently isn't happy with the way his case has been handled by investigators. “Today we witnessed an organized law enforcement spectacle that has no place in the American legal system," declares a statement issued by his attorneys Thursday afternoon, hours after Smollett was arrested and formally charged in Chicago for allegedly faking a hate crime against him last month. The statement goes on: "The presumption of innocence, a bedrock in the search for justice, was trampled upon at the expense of Mr. Smollett and notably, on the eve of a mayoral...
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How the other half shivs: $13,500 "Axe-throwing experience" part of this year's Oscars gift bag bonanza
ABC/Randy Holmes (LOS ANGELES) -- Sure, "it's just an honor to be nominated," as many Oscars hopefuls will be saying this weekend, but being recognized by the Academy -- win or lose -- is an easy way for celebrities to scoop up a ton of freebies. The gifts included in the nominees' SWAG bag this year includes more than $100,000 worth of goodies, according to Forbes -- though Distinctive Assets, the company that packages all the nominees' stuff, stopped counting after 2016, when the retail value of each was clocked at $260,000. Among the goodies gifted by the company this...
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Judge sets $100,000 bond for Jussie Smollett, orders 'Empire' actor's passport surrendered
Chicago Police Department (CHICAGO) -- A Chicago judge set Jesse Smollett's bond at $100,000 on Thursday and ordered him to surrender his passport, hours after a Chicago Police Department press conference, where Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson blasted the Empire star, saying that Smollett's alleged staging of a hoax attack was a "publicity stunt...to promote his career." Standing before Cook County Circuit Court Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke, Jr., Smollett appeared steadfast. He's repeatedly insisted that the attack was real and that he is a victim. When first assistant state attorney Risa Lanier told Lyke that the actor had picked up the...
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She's back: Wendy Williams returns to her show on March 4
ABC (NEW YORK) -- After a nearly three-month extended hiatus from her daytime talk show due to health issues, Wendy Williams is set to return to her namesake show next month. The news of her return came on Thursday via a statement from the show's production company, Debmar-Mercury, which was posted on the Wendy show Instagram page. "Wendy Williams is an incredible talent with the most unique voice in daytime," the statement read. "We can’t wait to welcome her back to her iconic purple chair on the set of her show on Monday, March 4th." The statement continues, "We so...
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Anna Paquin talks "amped-up" role in 'Flack'; remembers "shocked" reaction to Oscar win at age 11
© 2019 Pop Media Group LLC. All rights reserved (NEW YORK) -- On the new Pop TV series Flack, Anna Paquin plays Robyn, a publicist who cleans up high-profile messes but can't seem to clean up her own messy life. Paquin, who also serves as a producer on the U.K.-set series, says her character's "amped-up" life mirrors the craziness of her chosen profession. "As we all know, news cycles and the Internet happen instantaneously, so there's no time to sort of think of things too much or dwell on things too much, the actress tells ABC Radio. Decisions have to...
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