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Dane Cook on the Moment Brad Pitt & Jennifer Aniston Logged On for ‘Fast Times’ Table Read

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We’ve all seen the photo by now: that first picture of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston working together again at the virtual table read for the 1982 teen drama “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” The special is set to stream Thursday after being rescheduled from last month.

Dane Cook, who shared the image on social media, organized the event to benefit REFORM Alliance and Sean Penn’s nonprofit CORE. “Extra’s” Jenn Lahmers caught up with Dane to find out more!

“The first moment we see everyone together on-screen—especially when Jen and Brad logged in and they were testing their equipment, getting their mics ready—seeing them see each other and realizing there is gonna be a lot of anticipation and curiosity because they are megastars,” Dane said.

“They are so charming. They are so beautiful and charming. Beyond talented,” he added. “Some people just have that thing. That moment they got on-screen, I immediately felt like I was back in junior high school, like I was a wallflower. They are the cool people and I’m over here.”

He continued, “We capture that moment. You get to see the script read but see all the stuff that happens that’s unrehearsed… It just feels good.”

Dane also revealed what it was like to be part of the production team, adding, “To put this together and play and participate… In a lowlight year, it’s a highlight moment.”

Click here for all the details!

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‘Cheer’ Coach Monica Aldama ‘Shattered’ By Jerry Harris Allegations, Arrest

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“Cheer” coach Monica Aldama said she is “devastated by this shocking, unexpected news” following the Thursday arrest of her co-star Jerry Harris on the charge that he enticed a 13-year-old boy to send him explicit photos and videos.

“My heart is shattered into a million pieces,” wrote Aldama on Instagram. “I am devastated by this shocking, unexpected news. Our children must be protected from abuse and exploitation, and I’m praying hard for the victims and everyone affected. Please respect our privacy as our family mourns during this heartbreaking time.”

Harris, 21, was arrested in Chicago on Thursday. He faces one count of producing child pornography.

According to the complaint, Harris had in Dec. 2018 began contacting a 13-year-old boy on Snapchat, and the two exchanged explicit photos until the relationship ended in March 2020. Harris confirmed the photo exchange to authorities on Monday.

Harris additionally admitted to having sex with a 15-year-old at a 2019 cheerleading event.

Harris and his “Cheer” co-stars had surged in popularity after the premiere of the six-episode Netflix docuseries, which followed their lives as Navarro College cheerleaders in Corsicana, Texas. Harris quickly became a fan favorite, covering the Oscars red carpet for Ellen DeGeneres and getting endorsement deals with Panera Bread, American Eagle and other companies.

Per a statement from a Netflix spokesperson on Thursday, “Like everyone we are shocked by this news. Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process.”

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How Superman IV Helped Make Morgan Freeman a Star (Podcast)

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In 1987, Christopher Reeve came back from Superman retirement to make Superman IV: The Quest for Peace — a film that became widely known as a disaster.

How did it happen? Why did it happen? All is explained in the latest episode of The Industry, Dan Delgado’s podcast about Hollywood’s strangest decisions. You can listen on Apple or Spotify or here:

Reeve said in 1983, after the release of Superman III, that he was done with the role that had made him a star. Superman III had been a bit troubled, with Margot Kidder relegated to essentially a cameo as Lois Lane after clashes with Superman producers Ilya and Alexander Salkind. Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor was nowhere to be found.

Superman IV brought them back — but the film had a far smaller budget than past Superman films had enjoyed. That limited a crucial scene at the United Nations, the special effects around a new villain called Nuclear Man, and even the way Superman flew.

So why did Reeve return for a relatively low-budget Superman movie, after very publicly hanging up his cape?

As Delgado learns in his investigation of the film, Reeve made a deal to make Superman IV in exchange for a green light for his gritty drama Street Smart. He plays a reporter in Street Smart who invents a story about a pimp, and runs into trouble with a real pimp.

That pimp is played by an Armani-clad Morgan Freeman, who was best known at the time for his work as cool-cat book enthusiast named Easy Reader on the funky ’70s kids show The Electric Company.

Freeman would later call his role in Street Smart “the first real role I had in a movie” and his favorite role ever.

“I went about as far from me as I could get, in terms of acting,” he told HitFix in 2014.

But Street Smart didn’t work out as Reeve had hoped. Street Smart director Jerry Schatzberg tells Delgado on this episode of The Industry that Reeve believed Freeman was stealing scene after scene.

“The problem with Chris was that he didn’t realize how good Morgan was, and when he saw Morgan, he wanted me to change the film to lessen Morgan’s part, and I wouldn’t do it,” Schatzberg said. “Morgan was sensational, and no matter what you do, Morgan would probably be sensational.”

Schatzberg, 93, knows talent. He helped make Al Pacino a star by casting him in The Panic in Needle Park in 1971.

“Chris saw the film and saw how powerful Morgan was in the film,” Schatzberg said. “And I didn’t do anything radical to make him. He was just a great actor.”

Oscar voters agreed: Freeman earned a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. And though he lost to Sean Connery in The Untouchables, he was on his way to greatness. He  eventually won an Oscar for Million Dollar Baby.

Superman IV was enough of a disappointment that we didn’t get another Superman film until 2006’s Superman Returns. Jon Cryer, who played Luthor’s nephew in Superman IV, once told a fan on CNN that it was “sad” to work on the last Christopher Reeve Superman film, and that it ran out of money partway through.

“When they ran out of money they had to cut together an incomplete movie,” he said. “The movie is not finished… there’s effects shots that don’t make any sense. There’s huge scenes missing. I swear, the original script made more sense.”

Reeve wrote in his autobiography, Still Me:

“We were also hampered by budget constraints and cutbacks in all departments. Cannon Films had nearly thirty projects in the works at the time, and Superman IV received no special consideration. … Even if the story had been brilliant, I don’t think that we could ever have lived up to the audience’s expectations with this approach.”

Delgado reports that there may be a much longer and better version of Superman IV than the one director Sidney J. Furue had to release. He jokes that there should be a hashtag: #ReleasetheFurieCut.

Despite the troubles around Superman IV, Reeve’s legacy is secure.

He died too soon at 52, nine years after becoming paralyzed by a 1995 riding accident. He went on to become a powerful advocate for insurance reform and medical research. His New York Times obituary called him a “symbol of courage.”

“It was Mr. Reeve’s personal courage in dealing with his paralysis that transcended both his causes and profession, making him a real-life superhero in many minds,” the Times wrote.

Besides Street Smart director Jerry Schatzberg, guests on this  episode include filmmaker Daniel Kremer, author Bruce Scivally, and Oliver’s Retrospectives host Oliver Harper. You can watch Harper’s documentary on Superman IV here.

 

 

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Drake Won His Rec. Basketball League Championship And Celebrated Like It Was The NBA Finals

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Anybody who knows anything about Drake is fully aware that the rapper is a huge basketball fan. He had the time of his life during the Toronto Raptors’ championship parade in 2019, and he got himself a personalized championship ring worth more than an annual salary at a high-paying job. Drake has been known to play ball himself from time to time (like a run he had with Justin Bieber and Quavo earlier this year), and that includes the Sanctuary Basketball League, his recreational league.

The league championship recently went down (on Drake’s literal home court at his Toronto mansion), and his team came out ahead. Naturally, Drake did some celebrating, and it went above and beyond the conclusions of most rec. leagues: There was confetti, champagne, championship shirts, championship hats, and a raised platform in front of a media wall.

Drake actually got in a bit of a beef after the league finals. Everyday Struggle co-host Wayno commented on Drake’s celebration, “Of course he won the championship in his gym lol.” Drake fired back, “U love to chat about next man ur a nerd.” Wayne responded, “I’m the nerd? nah Gz you just bothered by anything, imagine being bothered after winning a championship.”

Ultimately, this could be the most notable basketball championship in Toronto this year, as the Raptors are fresh off a loss to the Celtics in a back-and-forth seven-game series.

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