Chloë Sevigny Joins ‘Lovelace’

Now that Demi Moore has dropped out of the upcoming Linda Lovelace biopic to seek professional help, our favorite stylesetter Chloë Sevigny is stepping in. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sevigny will play "a feminist journalist on freelance assignment for a men’s magazine to find out who the real Linda Lovelace is."

Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, Lovelace features Amanda Seyfriend as the famous porn star, supported by the likes of Sharon Stone, Juno Temple, Peter Saarsgard, and James Franco as Hugh Hefner (really). You may recall the film’s revolving door of cast members first triggered when Lindsay Lohan was fired, so we’re not sure if this is the final-final star roster, but we really hope Sevigny sticks around.

Manolo Blahnik Says Today’s Actresses Are ‘All the Same’

We know who won’t be wearing Manolo Blahnik heels at this Sunday’s 85th Academy Awards. In a recent Q&A for the March issue of Interview, the iconic footwear purveyor quips that the starlets of today are difficult to disinguish. " I don’t even know Amanda Seyfried or whatever—they’re all the same! I try to remember—the only one I remember is Julia Roberts because she’s particular. Anne Hathaway… Pretty? Yes. Wonderful actress? Yes. But, I mean, I don’t even remember her. What is it about her?" Ouch.

Blahnik goes on to say that Hathaway was really good as Cat Woman in The Dark Night Rises but he just doesn’t remember her. So, who are the stars that Manolo does like? "I almost fainted on that girl, the tiny woman from France, no, from Mexico… Salma Hayek," he tells Tim Blanks. "But she’s a sweet girl, beautiful. I love that. This is what I really love: Where are those girls? I was looking the other day, Lara Flynn Boyle in Twin Peaks and that other girl Sherilyn Fenn—they’re old-school girls like Elizabeth Taylor, and I think that’s so fabulous." Peep the complete interview here

New Image of Amanda Seyfried as Linda Lovelace; Biopic Set for Sundance Premiere

Yesterday we brought you the fifteen movies we’re most excited about at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but it seems we forgot one big one: Lovelace, the biopic about Linda Lovelace and her starring turn in the classic ’70s porno Deep Throat. Stills from the film have been trickling online in the fast few months (and there’s something about that phrase that makes me a little uncomfy considering the subject matter of the film), but a new image of Amanda Seyfried in the titular role’s groovy hairdo popped up this morning.

Entertainment Weekly shares the image as well as more details about the film, which has an impressive cast assembled.

Sharon Stone, Juno Temple, Wes Bentley, Hank Azaria (in the directors chair), Robert Patrick, Bobby Cannavale (partially obscured in the upper right corner), and Chris Noth (standing beside the camera) co-star in Lovelace. Peter Sarsgaard also stars as Lovelace’s husband, Chuck Traynor, the man she later claimed abused her and coerced her into the porn world. James Franco will appear as Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, and Adam Brody (seated in the chair) is fellow porn actor Harry Reems.

Will Lovelace be a hit? Few movies have been able to capture the essence of porn the way that Boogie Nights did nearly sixteen (sixteen! it’s been that long!) years ago. It’ll definitely be a movie to keep an eye on. 

Check out the new still below:


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The Voice Behind The Voices: Top Vocal Coach Liz Caplan

You’ve heard her joyously thanked in Tony and Emmy Award acceptance speeches, and you’ve sung along with the fruits of her work on record-breaking pop/rock albums, blockbuster movie musicals, and Broadway shows about Mormons and Dublin street musicians. As the voice behind the music industry’s top voices, vocal coach-teacher-supervisor Liz Caplan is a story all her own. Since arriving to New York in 1978 with just $300-worth of babysitting money, she’s amassed a clientele that includes The Goo Goo Dolls, James Blunt, Lily Allen, Neil Patrick Harris, the Broadway casts of Book of Mormon and Once, and more. And when you couple her students with her two apps, her consultation to all major record labels, and her team of associates that teach her licensed technique, a Liz Caplan empire is born.

But you’d never know it when you meet her. Clad in a bright tunic in her sun-lit Chelsea studio where you’re greeted by her very vocal and gentlemanly dog Schanuzee, Liz is the image of contentment. Better yet, joy. The secret: her mind-body approach to coaching. By mixing homeopathy, physical alignment, and nutrition, Liz has created a style that seeks to, as she explains, "melt" people – drawing forth their true spirit, and giving it the freedom to be heard in their voice. 

And she does exactly that. For an afternoon, I had the chance to have a lesson and conversation with Liz, where she shared some of the most thrilling moments of her career, a shocking singing no-no, the truth behind tone-deafness, and one miraculous story.

You have a kind of sixth sense, and you’re also a bit of a guru. When did you realize you have this talent to understand voices?
Since I was a child, I’ve always had this freaky gift of being able to hear what frequencies are missing in somebody’s voice. I’m able to locate it and hear when someone is locking their head, their shoulders, tensing their feet. The moment that tension is released, the sound pops open. I truly believe the voice is completely perfect; it’s what we do to it before we breath and sing that makes it imperfect. 

What’s it like for you to watch a live performance? Are you constantly in coaching mode?
I can’t help it, but the answer is yes. For instance, I work with Amanda Seyfried, and worked with her on the movie version of Les Miserables. When I sat down next to her to watch the premiere, which was so exciting, I told myself, "Okay self, relax, let the movie just wash over you." But I couldn’t help but dive into every person’s voice. It’s just what I do. When it comes to what you were put on this Earth to do, for me it’s analyze voices.

How did you prepare her for the role of Cosette?
Amanda didn’t just get an offer; she had to audition a bunch of times. She came into classes pretty much everyday for six months. There was a moment where I said, "I’m going to make this happen for her. I’m going to do everything I possibly can to get her this role." And I still have the voicemail on my phone when she called and said, "Hi. I’m calling to let you know I just got off the phone with the director. And I’m Cosette." 

You have so many thrills like this.
I think it’s the kind of thrills I’m supposed to have in my life. When I was a singer, I couldn’t handle them, but when I apply them to my students, I can; it’s so joyous because it’s in my heart but outside of me. It’s like the energy my client, composer/lyricist and performer Lin Manuel Miranda, gives off everyday. It’s pure joy, because you’re doing what you’ve always wanted to do. So my applause is when my client gets the part.

What about the time Book of Mormon actress Nikki M. James won the Tony? 
I was in the third row because I was working with Neil Patrick Harris on the Tony Awards, as I always do, and when Nikki said, "to Liz Caplan, my voice teacher who saved my life and my voice," my husband turned to me and said: "She just said your name." And I went into this place where a vacuum happened and I had to watch it myself to remember it. 

You work mostly with clients sent by Broadway producers and management companies. But you also do emergency consulting work with record labels. 
Yes, recording companies will call me when an artist has to do a really huge gig and they were on tour and suddenly lost their voice. I’ll be with them for an entire day and give intermediate voice lessons – 15 minutes here, 20 minutes here, 30 minutes here – from 9am to when they do their gig at night.

And that doesn’t overwork their voice?
Nothing I do will ever fatigue the voice. I feel like when I’m teaching, I have a miner’s cap on with a flashlight. I’m always inside the voice and throat and trying to get a feel for what’s going on. Everything I do is to limber up the intrinsic muscles that cause that fatigue and are overcompensated. 

What’s it like promoting a healthy, holistic vocal approach in an industry known for debauchery?
I’ll never judge what artists want to do with their mind and body, but I do feel that if you want to be at the top of your field and aim for that award, then you want to take care of yourself; do yoga, meditate for just 10 minutes a day, eat properly. It can be a hard, depressive industry, and if you’re not taking care of yourself, you’ll always feel a step behind the artists who work out, eat right, win awards. If you treat yourself positively, all of that will actualize itself positively into your career. 

Besides drinking and depressing yourself to death, what’s the #1 worst thing for your voice?
Advil. Do not take Advil. Ibuprofen is a blood thinner, so it thins the blood going to the vocal cords. If you’re singing something really hard and you’re taking ibuprofen, the risk of hemorrhaging your vocal cord is tremendous. Take extra strength Tylenol. 

Be honest: do you think anyone can sing?
Yes. If you can hear the pitches of police or fire engine sirens, then you can sing.

Then what about tone-deafness? Does that exist?
Actually, no. People who say they are tone deaf were just not exposed to music growing up. I call them "tone-ignorant." They were usually very into athletics as a kid, and rarely saw shows or listened to music, so they weren’t exposed to any music. With a good deal of lessons, it’s easy to reverse, and always a revelation for them when they finally hear themselves sing in-tune. 

Four paws appear underneath the door, as Schnauzee scratches to come in. Liz opens the door, and he takes a seat beside her.

Your dog can really sing. How old is he?
Eleven. He got diagnosed with cancer in June, during Tony week when I was working with Neil. They gave him 30 days to live and said he has the worst kind of cancer an animal can get. So I called all of my homeopathic healers and medical intuits, and today is day 188. He’s on supplements and enzymes and I cook him organic food. 

And it’s gone?
He’s in remission. He went into remission on the day they said he would not live. While the medical professionals told me nothing would help him, my homeopath said, "This is going to be hard, but if you do this regimen, you might be able to get him okay." And he was. I will tell you, I have had students who have won Tony Awards, Grammys, all of that, and this is my biggest accomplishment yet.

Josh Gad

‘Les Miz’ Proves There Are Two Kinds Of People In This World: Cosettes And Éponines

I caught an early screening on Les Misérables last night, and while I’m forbidden from publicly expressing my opinions about the film until December 11, it did remind me of something I’ve known for a long time. In this crazy, mixed-up world of ours, there are only two kinds of people: those who want to be Cosette, and those who want to be Éponine. And it should be obvious which team I’m on.

Look, Cosette is the worrrrrst. I mean, she’s pretty and all, and she sings like a beautiful bird or WHATEVER, and Marius falls in love with her instantly, blah blah blah. But she’s also cooped up with her weirdo surrogate father, and her mother was a consumptive French prostitute. She doesn’t even get a song all to herself! Well, I guess she does technically, but "Castle on a Cloud" sucks and it doesn’t really count because it’s Young Cosette who sings it, and nobody wants to be the girl who’s stuck sweeping up after the owners of a French inn and stumbling through the dark woods to fetch water from the well. Yeah, she’s the adorable face of the musical, but I am willing to bet a lot of money that she also has an adorable tapeworm, too. Adult Cosette, who just kinda stands around wearing ruffles and doilies, only gets to sing with other people, and one of them is in a trio with Marius and Éponine, who is our true hero. 

Éponine, Éponine, Éponine. Is there anyone more tragic in musical theater or literature? Nope! Probably not! First of all, she has that unfortunate name: Éponine Thénardier. Woof, you guys. She really had the cards stacked up against her from the beginning, being the daughter of the terrible French innkeepers. Always the victim of irony, Éponine was pampered as a child, but then she grows up and becomes just some poor little street rat while her father digs through the Parisian sewers, prying gold teeth out of dead people. And in the eyes of Marius, that doof, she’s just a friend, because he’s too infatuated with Cosette, the boring blonde who can’t even leave her house. (The one silver lining: that jaunty cap!)

What does Cosette do besides look pretty? She certainly doesn’t get herself shot in order to protect the man she loves unconditionally and unrequitedly. And she definitely doesn’t get to sing the one song that every musical theater nerd secretly sings alone while crying alone in his or her bed, desperately hoping for high school to be over already. Those kids know about love and loss, and so does Éponine.

Basically what I’m saying is this: screw your Team Edwards and your Team Jacobs, because when it comes right down to it you’re either a Cosette or an Éponine, and if you choose the former, I can’t trust you. Not even you, Amanda Seyfried. 

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What’s That? You Want More ‘Les Misérables’ Footage?

The long-awaited, hotly-anticipated, perhaps a bit over-exaggerated Tom Hooper adaptation of Les Misérables hits theatres in just over three weeks, leading to much reblogging and GIFing and expressions of all the feels all over the Internet. The folks at Vulture even have a Les Miz advent calendar with a new post every day leading up to Christmas Day and the film’s release. Over in this corner of the Internet, we’ve gotten super excited at new footage (albeit with some reservations about Russell Crowe as Javert) and asked for the film’s stars and publicity machine to cool it with all the talk about Anne Hathaway’s Fantine crash diet.

And now, another cog in the ol’ hype machine, as five more short but still quite enticing clips from the film have been released. Samantha Barks finally gets some preview screen time, and in an excerpt from a rain-soaked "On My Own," shows indication that she was definitely better suited to this role than the five billion other actresses and singers that were tied to the role. Another surprising highlight is Hugh Jackman’s "Who Am I?" where he shows off the frenzied talk-singing style he explained in earlier interviews, and it does feel a bit more natural than more traditional performances of the song. Elsewhere, there’s more from Anne Hathaway in the crux of "At the End of the Day," Eddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfried singing "A Heart Full of Love" and the all-important Prologue introduction of Jean Valjean to Russell Crowe’s Javert.

These clips are all well and good and should give the fans plenty more feels to feel about, but we’re still waiting for more from Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen as the villainous Thénardiers in these preview clips—for highly recognizable actors who are getting fairly high billing for this film, we haven’t seen a whole lot of them yet. Anyway, watch. 

New Trailer for ‘Les Misérables,’ In Which We Hear A Song That Isn’t “I Dreamed A Dream”

You’re probably still weeping over the first trailer for the upcoming Tom Hooper-helmed Les Misérables feelings extravaganza, which dropped earlier this year and featured a devastating rendition of "I Dreamed A Dream" from Anne Hathaway. You may have even watched that trailer on repeat several dozen times upon first viewing, which is totally okay because we did too. But pretty much every piece of promotional material about the movie since has mostly hinged on that "I Dreamed A Dream," which is great, but that’s one number out of many that make up the musical. Well, in the new UK trailer, we get some new numbers, new scenes and an even more crushing "I Dreamed A Dream," all which feed into the hype, but with at least one caveat.

Anne Hathaway still breaks your heart, "One Day More" still stirs and most of the principal cast looks pretty solid, and we get our first glimpse of Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen as the Thénardiers (the latter in the middle of "Master of the House"), which is just gonna be the greatest. But one of the bigger nagging questions about the film has been the casting choice of Russell Crowe as Javert, who gets two of, like, the best musical numbers in the whole show and requires great complexity and nuance. Crowe can act, certainly, but can he sing, or at least, deliver as Javert? As we feared before the first footage even hit the web, Russell Crowe opens his mouth, and, uh, it’s not great. Maybe Tom Hooper is just tantalizing us and he actually brings down the house with "Stars," but for now, it looks like Crowe’s Javert will be a lot of shouting and uninspired, almost nervous-sounding vocals. Woof. The rest of it looks pretty great though—it’s hard not to get excited about the barricade scenes, especially with a good round of "Do You Hear the People Sing?" thrown in for good measure. Watch. 

Dreaming Dreams of Time Gone By With More ‘Les Misérables’ Footage

Recovering high school theatre geeks are aflutter once again with the release this week of a Regal Cinemas interview featuring more footage from Tom Hooper’s upcoming adaptation of Les Misérables. Hooper and the cast seem particularly excited about the fact that they’re doin’ it live—unlike traditional movie musicals, which rely on a prerecorded soundtrack and lip-synching, the actors sing with a piano piped into an earpiece, allowing for them to dictate the pace and delivery along with their acting and character development and what-have-you. Basically, it’ll be like a stage musical except with more familiar names and you have to sit through half an hour of advertisements before. 

We hear several of the cast members sing for the first time, including a swelling "On My Own" from West End veteran Samantha Barks as Éponine, a rather high-pitched but very enthusiastic Amanda Seyfried as Adult Cosette and some serious moments of serious ACTING! from leading man Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean. There is, however, a serious lack of Russell Crowe as Javert, leaving us with some questions. Crowe can certainly act as the stone-faced lawman, but can he break from his 30 Odd Foot of Grunts past and give us one hell of a "Stars?" That’s gonna be the dealmaker/breaker of this movie. 

And, of course, the first voice we heard in the initial trailer released several months ago, Anne Hathaway, sounds off on some of her choices as Fantine, most notably choosing to sing "I Dreamed A Dream," normally a belter of a production number that sometimes wins regional talent competitions, in a manner that a desperate and defeated person slowly dying of tuberculosis actually probably would. 

"There seemed to be something selfish about trying to go for ‘the pretty version,’" Hathaway tells the viewers. "She’s devastated. She’s literally at the bottom of a hole, looking up and realizing she’s never going to climb out of this. So I just decided to apply the truth to the melody and see what would happen." 

And then her version of "I Dreamed A Dream" kicks in, with all its beautiful but brutal notes, and with it (for some of you) come your plans to abandon family Christmas dinner to go ugly-cry in a theater for four hours. Watch below — we’ll still be here when you’re done having a moment. 

First Look at the ‘Les Misérables’ Movie (and Anne Hathaway’s Crash Diet Results)

Hang on to your straw fedoras, gay guys and 14-year-old girls, because the first official trailer for Tom Hooper’s big-screen adaptation of Les Misérables, the most spirited musical telling of poor French people in the history of Broadway, is finally online! And everyone’s here! Hugh Jackman! Russell Crowe! Emaciated Anne Hathaway! Amanda Seyfried! That guy from Savage Grace (J/K, no one saw Savage Grace) who kind of looks like a snake! Everyone but Taylor Swift, thank God. (Remember when we were all worried that Taylor Swift was going to be in Les Mis? We dodged a bullet there.)

I’ve got to say, this one gives me chills? I’ve been Team Hathaway since Rachel Getting Married, even if a friend of mine was correct in her description that Anne Hathaway looks like someone Photoshopped her face on a head that was slightly too small for it. But she’s got some spunk, and she can sing "I Dreamed a Dream" as good as any other woman who has played the role of the most kind-hearted prostitute in French literature. (Yes, even you, Patti LuPone.) It appears as if her crazy diet also worked out! While we don’t get to hear anyone else sing (I’m kind of curious to see how much growling Russell Crowe will pass off as "singing"), the movie looks lush while still depicting the shitty life of 19th century Parisians. Oh, yeah, and barricades? Has anyone ever understood what they were fighting about? I’ve seen it twice and I’m still too swept up by "On My Own" to give a shit about post-revolutionary politics. Snooze!