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Anthony Anderson Stars In New Netflix Film “Beats”

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The Black-ish star is set to play an ex-music manager in Netflix's upcoming South Side musical drama. Uzo Aduba (Orange Is The New Black), Emayatzy Corinealdi (Roots), and Khalil Everage (The Chi) also star in the movie.
 

 

Directed by Chris Robinson (The New Edition Story), Beats follows an agoraphobic hip-hop prodigy (Everage) and a disgraced former music manager (Anderson) cross paths in Chicago’s South Side and help each other face demons of their pasts.

Beats will debut on Netflix on June 19th. Check out the full trailer below.

 

 

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‘SCRIPTING REEL CHANGE’ AT THE 5TH ANNUAL ESSENCE HOLLYWOOD HOUSE

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Essence Hollywood House

March 8, Los Angeles—Black entertainment elite joined the next generation of media talent at the fifth annual Essence Hollywood House.

The networking event took place the day after Essence’s Black Women in Hollywood Awards, held at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and hosted by rapper-turned-producer Method Man. This year’s honorees included Danielle Brooks (‘The Color Purple’), Halle Bailey (‘The Little Mermaid’), and Nkechi Okoro Carroll (‘Found’).

Makeover and Headshot ‘booth’ at ESSENCE Hollywood House (Photo by Betti Halsell for Hollywood Melanin)

This year’s Hollywood House focused on ‘Scripting Reel Change.’ It provided a creative space for writers, directors, actors, producers, and other behind-the-scenes talent to explore and discuss what it means to gain traction in Hollywood and beyond. Guests received candid advice from prominent industry representatives and invaluable networking opportunities. They were given mini makeovers, followed by professional headshots, speed mentoring, and numerous intimate panel discussions.

During the “Black on Screen: A Global Dialogue” panel, Actress Phylicia Pearl Mpasi, known for ‘The Lion King’ Broadway musical, explained the different levels of self-love she went through to see herself in different spectrums of acting as a Black woman from the Democratic Republic of Congo. “I was in a space where I don’t know where I totally fit in, but I know the experience of feeling isolated and feeling like an ‘other’ is a feeling I didn’t want anyone else to feel,” Mpasi said, “I truly feel like the universe, God, gave me the Lion King so I can finally learn and embrace my Blackness.” Mpasi also recently starred in the remake of ‘The Color Purple’, playing the younger version of Fantasia Barrino’s Celie.

The discussion also touched on issues of colorism and the role of the African diaspora as a whole in the entertainment industry.

Essence Hollywood House
Barkue Tubman Zawolo, Osas Ighodaro and Phylicia Pearl Mpasi (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

This year’s theme also focused on equipping film and television communities with the essential tools needed to overcome some of the entertainment industry’s most difficult issues and reach their full potential.

During “Office Hours” (a series of expert-led workshops), a panel discussion focused on perfecting one’s pitch. Leading the conversation were noted screenwriter Tiffany Yarde (‘Roadmap Writers’) and producer D’Angela Proctor (‘The Summoning’), who discussed essential items to include in a pitch. The industry pros emphasized the importance of keeping the buyer’s attention and making sure they see the vision.

D’Angela Proctor and Tiffany Yarde (Photo by Betti Halsell for Hollywood Melanin)

Yarde dissected the elements needed for a strong elevator pitch. “The main thing you want to do is grasp the person’s attention,” she said, “The way you do that is by establishing a connection.” The Director of Competition for Roadmap Writers unpacked the value of developing connections early on in the conversation.

On the main stage, Essence’s own Stephanie Dunivan hosted a cast talkback panel that revealed an exclusive release of the first episode of “Diarra from Detroit,” a modern comedic mystery thriller that highlights dating, friendship, and possible kidnapping.

Stephanie Dunivan, Claudia Logan, DomiNque Perry, and Diarra Kilpatrick (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

Diarra Kilpatrick, the creator, showrunner, and lead actress of the show, discussed her upcoming BET series and revealed her go-to restoration techniques for keeping up with a demanding schedule.

“I’m still learning how to do that [rest]. But for me, I would say baths are like my Prozac. I love a good bath,” Kilpatrick said, “Another thing is sex. I think it’s important, as Black women, we should always put pleasure on the menu and figure out, ‘How am I giving myself pleasure…sometimes we don’t put pleasure on our to-do list.”

Essence Hollywood House
Rechelle Dennis, Zaria, Laya DeLeon Hayes and Da’Vinchi (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

The Essence Hollywood House welcomed many more notable guests, including Academy Award winner Da’Vine Randolph Joy, producer and president of Foxxhole Productions Datari Turner, and ‘BMF’ star Da’Vinchi. They discussed a multitude of industry-related topics, such as Black equity, the ins and outs of production, success stories, and what it means to be a working actor in Hollywood.

Essence partnered with BET+, Coca-Cola, Smartwater, Black Filmspace, and The Black House Foundation to make this event possible.

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Denzel Washington and Jake Gyllenhaal to Star in ‘Othello’ Play

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Othello

Denzel Washington and Jake Gyllenhaal will star in a new production of William Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy, Othello. The play, directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon, is scheduled to open in the spring of 2025.

Denzel Washington, known for his captivating performances in Training Day and Malcolm X, is no stranger to the stage. The two-time Academy Award winner has also garnered a Tony Award for his role in the 2010 revival of Fences. His more recent work in The Tragedy of Macbeth earned Washington another Academy Award nomination. In this new production, the film and theater veteran will take on the titular role of the Moorish general who falls victim to jealousy and manipulation.

Joining Washington is Jake Gyllenhaal, a versatile actor who has garnered acclaim for his work in both film and theater. Gyllenhaal’s notable film credits include ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ ‘Nightcrawler,’ and ‘Donnie Darko.’ In 2019, he received a Tony nomination for his performance in ‘Sea Wall/A Life.’ In ‘Othello,’ Gyllenhaal will portray the villainous Iago, a role that promises to showcase his remarkable talent for portraying complex characters.

The casting of Washington and Gyllenhaal in these iconic roles has generated much buzz among theater enthusiasts and casual fans alike. The collaboration of Washington’s commanding presence and Gyllenhaal’s nuanced character work promises to bring new depth to this classic tale of love, jealousy, and betrayal.

The production will be directed by Kenny Leon, a Tony Award-winning director known for his work on ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ and ‘American Son.’ This will mark another reunion for Washington and Leon, who previously collaborated on ‘Fences’ and ‘A Raisin in the Sun.’

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Terry Crews Reveals $4000 Paycheck for ‘Friday After Next’

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Terry Cruz Club Shay Shay

In a recent episode of Club Shay Shay, the popular podcast hosted by Shannon Sharpe, actor and former NFL player Terry Crews shared a surprising revelation about his earnings for the 2002 comedy film “Friday After Next.” In the candid conversation, Crews opened up about the early days of his acting career and the challenges he faced as a struggling artist.

Terry Crews on club shay shay
Friday After Next (2002)- Ice Cube, Terry Crews, Mike Epps

Crews, who played the role of Damon Pearly in “Friday After Next,” shared that he was paid a modest sum of $4,000 for his work on the film. This revelation surprised many fans and industry insiders, as the movie grossed over $33 million at the box office. However, Crews explained that he was still relatively unknown at the time and was grateful for the opportunity to work with Ice Cube and Mike Epps. “I got my shot. I got paid maybe $4000 on ‘Friday After Next,’ he shared. “But that’s why I came up to Cube and said, ‘Thank you. Thank you. That was a start. Now, I make money now!”

During the conversation, Crews also spoke about other challenges he faced as a young actor trying to make a name for himself in Hollywood. He shared stories about working odd jobs to make ends meet and the sacrifices he made to pursue his dream of becoming an actor.

Terry Crews in Training Day (2001)

Denzel Washington’s ‘Training Day’ is another movie in which the ‘White Chicks’ star appeared. Unlike ‘Friday After Next,’ he made nothing off of that job – as he initially agreed. “I didn’t get zero [for Training Day], but it changed my life forever,” he clarified. “You wouldn’t know who I was if it weren’t for a no-paying job.”

The Club Shay Shay episode featuring Terry Crews officially aired on Wednesday, Feb. 27, and garnered significant attention on social media. You can catch up on it the full interview here.

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