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Abigail Spencer’s Flower-Delivery Service Opens First Retail Space

BY LINDZI SCHARF | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren #picks-all

The actress’ County Line Florals subscription service was created following her father’s fatal heart attack. “When something crazy happens to you that’s traumatic, you have a choice — to do something beautiful with it.”

In time for Father’s Day, actress-producer Abigail Spencer’s County Line Florals flower-delivery service has opened its first retail space at Free Market, a new collective of shops in Playa Vista. The collective, owned by Alchemy Works and Apolis founders Raan and Lindsay Parton, also includes Jeni’s Ice Cream, Loqui restaurant, Heyday skincare, hatmaker Teressa Foglia and the Studio C boutique.

When Spencer spotted what looked like a greenhouse at the site, she knew it was meant to be and called upon design firm Maneuverworks to collaborate on building out County Line Florals’ roughly 1,000-square-foot new home.

“We are creating a space that people will want to hang out at,” Spencer says of the shop, which will feature a “florista bar.” All bouquets (from $65) are predesigned and listed on an iPad menu. “You can go around Free Market, get a glass of wine or some ice cream, and then sit back at the bar and watch your florista make your creation. It’s a good date night.”


 

 

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“We Want to Be a Part of the Change”: Why Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe Stepped in to Save ‘The Bachelorette’

BY JACKIE STRAUSE | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren #picks-all

The former leads of the ABC reality dating franchise, who are co-hosting the 17th season in place of Chris Harrison, speak to The Hollywood Reporter about signing on amid controversy.

Tayshia Adams already stepped in once to save The Bachelorfranchise. Midway through production on the 2020 season of The Bachelorette, the franchise alum fielded a call from producers to take over the starring role from Claire Crawley, who had unexpectedly exited early after finding love. In the end, Adams’ takeoverwas a success; she found love with her winner, Zac Clark, and helped to move the franchise needle towards featuring more representation onscreen along the way.

Now, she’s doing it again with Kaitlyn Bristowe for the next Bachelorette. During a time of controversy and uncertainty for the hit ABC and Warner Horizon franchise after the problematic season of The Bachelor, the former Bachelorettes signed on to co-host the 2021 cycle that was left rudderless by the departure of Chris Harrison. Their joint role was announced in March, about one month after Harrison had stepped aside following a widely criticized interview where he excused racially offensive behavior from Rachael Kirkconnell, who went on to win the historic Bachelorseason with Black star Matt James.

When Adams and Bristowe accepted the high-profile hosting rose, the franchise was making national news over its failures in handling race. At the time, Harrison said he planned to return (his exit later became officialthe day after The Bachelorette premiered), but what quickly became clear was that the Mike Fleiss-created reality dating franchise needed to fill Harrison’s job for its immediate future, as season 17 of The Bachelorettewith star Katie Thurston was about to go into production.

“I know that we are a huge step for the franchise,” Adams tells The Hollywood Reporter of the two women serving as the current face of the show. “There are so many steps that are being taken to change the franchise right now, but this was something that I wanted to definitely be a part of. If I can help change the franchise in any way, or change peoples’ perspectives on the show, then I wanted a part of that.” Bristowe adds, “Tayshia and I both came into it saying, ‘We want to be a part of the change.’ We wanted to see it in every way possible and I think we were both really pleased in what we saw.”

Adams and Bristowe spoke to THR together during a press day for the now airing cycle with Thurston. Below, the duo explain why they feel they are representative of the changes the embattled franchise is aiming to make, beginning with The Bachelorette season 17.

The premiere for Katie Thurston’s season has been well-received by Bachelor Nation — the consensus being that former Bachelorettes hosting The Bachelorette makes sense. From your shoes, what responsibility did you feel when stepping into a position that was filled by a familiar face for almost 20 years?

Kaitlyn Bristowe: I think we felt a responsibility to not compare ourselves to his time and his role on the show. We are not Chris Harrison. We are Tayshia and Kaitlyn who have been in the position of a Bachelorette; we’ve been a contestant, we can relate to everybody who is living through this journey. And, like you said, having women come in and host and mentor Katie, who is doing this for the first time, makes a lot of sense.

Tayshia Adams: We were able to have relatable conversations. We’ve been in her shoes. Not many women or people in the world can actually say that, and us providing that perspective for her is something you are definitely going to see in the conversations throughout the season. It made sense for two women to help navigate another woman going through this journey.

Chris Harrison’s status with the franchise has been in flux since February. Did it surprise you when you found out that he wasn’t coming back and that you guys were getting this gig?

Bristowe: It surprised me and it didn’t. It surprised me because he has been a part of the show and the face of this show for 20 years, however many seasons. And then it didn’t surprise me because I see how much the franchise is trying to make the right changes. Even bringing two women into the show is a nice change-up for everyone to see. So, a little bit of both.

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams with Katie Thurston (center) on the June 14 episode of ‘The Bachelorette.’ ABC/CRAIG SJODIN

As the franchise’s first female hosts, how do you hope your season is received differently?

Adams: We’re able to have conversations that only we can relate to. This journey is not typical; you can possibly fall in love with multiple people and we can help her navigate those feelings. Katie is very sex-positive; Kaitlyn can really hone in on those conversations with her and let her feel comfortable in being who she is, and be empowered and strong. And we both provide a really good perspective and take and advice when she needs it. That’s always something that other women who have been in her position can really help her with.

Bristowe: And we do it through the whole season, people will see that. We both felt empowered to help Katie and I know Katie felt empowered in herself that we could give her that confidence and say, “How you are feeling is valid.”

Adams: I think you felt that in watching night one.

What surprised you most about this role now that you’ve been behind the scenes on the other side?

Bristowe: What surprised me was how invested everyone behind the scenes also gets in peoples’ feelings and relationships. For viewers at home, sometimes you think, “Why are you crying night one? You just met her.” But being there, you’re in it and your emotions are so high. It’s just more real than you could ever imagine it being.

Adams: At the time, when you’re in the position as lead, you don’t know if you can trust anybody or if you’re making the right decision. Being on the opposite end, we were very invested in her journey and helping her navigate these waters. And, even with the guys as well. Now that we’ve been in this position we were able to say to her, “No, you can trust us. It’s really tough. Your feelings are valid.” It’s just as tough being on the other side.

Amid the criticism and backlash against the franchise during Matt James’ season, you both spoke out to advocate for change and say that it was time for more inclusion. When the two of you signed on, what were some things that were important to you that you wanted to see change this season?

Adams: For me, I know that we are a huge step for the franchise. I wanted to make sure that people saw that women supporting women is an amazing thing to see on television. We do not have to tear each other down. We can help each other. You’re seeing us front and center help support another person. There are so many steps that are being taken to change the franchise right now, but this was something that I wanted to definitely be a part of and have my hand in. And if I can help change the franchise in any way, or change peoples’ perspectives on the show, then I wanted a part of that.

Bristowe: We were both honored to step in and be a part of that change because we saw it in the diversity of the cast and the diversity behind the scenes. Bachelor Nation is really incredible because they will hold people accountable and they will also stand by the franchise if they do see the changes being made. I think Tayshia and I both came into it saying, “We want to be a part of the change.” We wanted to see it in every way possible and I think we were both really pleased in what we saw.

Adams: Absolutely.

Tayshia, you have said that you felt supportedbehind the scenes during your season, with your producer on the ground and with the diversity team as a resource. This season, did you feel there was more diversity behind the scenes to support this cast?

Adams: One-hundred percent. I think it’s great to see that it’s not just for the lead, but for everybody else behind the scenes and all of the contestants. From my own experience, I have seen a lot of change since my first day. From my first day on the scene until now. And it’s nice to be there and see it for myself in a different light, in a different position. And that it’s within the entire franchise, not just for the lead.

Katie Thurston told THR that change doesn’t happening overnight, but that change is happening. Did you two feel like you had more involvement in the creative process because of the situation, where you were you able to vocalize suggestions and/or feedback during filming?

Bristowe: That often came up. They actually gave us the opportunity to sit down and say anything that we were feeling: “What do you think? What do you feel? What could change?” And I really appreciated them coming to us to make sure we felt [involved]. I can’t really think of anything specific right now, I just know that those conversations were always had and it was nice that they came to us.

Adams: Since the first day, they said, “If you guys have any insight, please let us know.” And we really did have the opportunity to chime in and say we want this or that. I really appreciate that because we didn’t know what our roles were going to be and how much involvement we were going to have. But since day one, they said, “You’re a part of this.” It was really refreshing, actually, and it took me by surprise.

Would you recommend that female hosts stick around for Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette in the fall and would you two be interested? [Note: Bachelor in Paradise will have rotating guest hosts, while a host, or hosts, for The Bachelorette season 18 has yet to be decided.]

Bristowe: Well, we can’t go back now! I think we did a pretty good job — if I find out where they’re filming and I’m not a part of it, I’m showing up anyways! (Laughs.) I think you have to really listen to your audience, whether that is them sharing their concerns about the show or what they love about the show. I think people really enjoyed this refreshing season and what women can bring to the table when it comes to empowering one another, and I think people at home really like to see that. We’d love to be a part of it. And even if it’s not us, we would love to see women involved.

Adams: Absolutely. If it’s not us, we would love to see women involved. I think Katie has even spoken to the fact that it really helped her and encouraged her. It’s a very different experience.

Are there changes that you’d like to see come back, or other improvements made, for the season 18 of The Bachelorette?

Bristowe: You know how we say that love comes in all shapes and sizes and colors? I think we can always grow in that way. That’s just how I feel, moving forward, that it can always grow. Any show can. Anything that you are putting out into the world where there is an audience watching, you always want to evolve as a show and I think they have the opportunity to always grow.

Adams: And I think they also listen to how the show is perceived by the people. If people speak out on something else and they bring something to their attention, it doesn’t go unseen by the franchise. I think change is something they are open to, obviously, and very aware of, as you can tell with just us sitting here right now. So, who knows. I’m sure a lot more will change in the future and I’m excited to see the change.

Katie said there was one moment in particular where she couldn’t have done this without the two of you. What can you tease?

Bristowe: I definitely sat with her on a bathroom floor at one point!

Adams: Yeah, you did. I almost pounded through some walls like, “They did what?!”

Bristowe: I think it was important for Katie to know that we had all felt that way, at some point, in our own journey. If you get to a point where you’re so overwhelmed with emotions that you want to quit and go home, I kept joking that then you’re doing it right. Because that means your whole heart is in this and that you’re taking this extremely seriously, as you should. We all feel that way at some point or another and we’re here to pick you back up off the bathroom floor, tap you on the butt and say, “Get back out there.”

Adams: It’s at that point that you don’t want to give up. You want to keep leaning into the process, because your heart is really in it and you never know what you can get if you keep going.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

The Bachelorette season 17 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.


 

 

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‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ Turns 40: Karen Allen Revisits Her Iconic Character With New In-Depth Tales About Making the Classic Adventure Film

BY RYAN PARKER | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren #picks-all

Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Frank Marshall look back on the legacy of Marion Ravenwood and discuss how only one actress could do her justice in the historic blockbuster.

The journey for Karen Allen to become the iconic Marion Ravenwood in Raiders of the Lost Ark all started with a 3×5 card calling for college-age actors to appear in an upcoming comedy, later titled Animal House.

Twenty-six years old at the time, the actress had just moved from Washington, D.C., where she attended George Washington University, back to New York City to study acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. And, “by a fluke,” as she says, Allen landed a role in what would go on to become the 1978 National Lampoon comedy classic.

Her pebble had landed in the water of Hollywood, and the ripples of success began to radiate out, with Allen soon thereafter nabbing roles in Philip Kaufman’s The Wanderers and William Friedkin’s Cruising, starring Al Pacino. But it would be an action-adventure dreamt up by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg that would make her a star.

Considered by most to be the greatest action-adventure of all time, Raiders of the Lost Ark was a blockbuster of gigantic proportions (worldwide gross of $389.9 million off an $18 million budget) and won five Oscars, the most in 1982 (including nominations for best picture and best director). It spawned three sequels (a fourth now in production), along with endless toys, clothes, posters, books, theme park rides, games and countless homages in film and television series. The Paramount jewel made Allen a household name, forever changing her life — sometimes not for the better, as she would develop agoraphobia for a time due to all the sudden, constant attention.

Now, as Raiders of the Lost Ark turns 40, Allen — along with visits from star Harrison Ford, Spielberg, Lucas and producer Frank Marshall — looks back on her time on the production with The Hollywood Reporterto share new in-depth tales about bringing Marion Ravenwood to life (with harrowing snake and burning bar stories), opening up about how, for a time, she resented the film following its massive success before embracing it, and how the beloved character forever shaped her career and life, among much more.

“I Had Truly Fallen in Love With the Character When I Did the Audition”

Auditioning for Raiders of the Lost Ark was one of the most unique (and bizarre) experiences Allen has had in her decades of making films. Her name was mentioned by several directors, including Animal House‘s John Landis and Kaufman, pals of Spielberg, who was on the lookout for his Raiders female lead. Amy Irving, Debra Winger and Sean Young were also in consideration. (Young would go on to co-star with Ford in 1982’s Blade Runner.) Allen got a call to meet the Jaws director for a short introduction.

“I had my attention on Karen to be in one of my films ever since I saw her play Katy in Animal House,” says Spielberg, adding that her character “didn’t let Boon [her boyfriend in the film, play by Peter Riegert] get away with much either!” Allen did not see a script during the initial meeting. The two were merely getting a feel for one another. “We talked for maybe 10 minutes, he didn’t tell me much about the film, but I knew from what he said she was a tough character,” Allen says.

Of the character’s genesis, Lucas explains, “We had felt the need for a good foil for Indy, someone who’d give him a past. Marion was a character that was like Indy, also tough and full of spirit — clearly a match so you’d be able to tell why they got along … and why they sometimes didn’t. In creating their backstory you could also get into the story much faster, like when she punches him in the face. You know right away there’s history with those two and you jump in from there.”

Allen was cast shortly after Tom Selleck dropped out of the Indy role due to a commitment with ‘Magnum P.I.’ Harrison Ford would ultimately become the iconic lead.EVERETT COLLECTION

Weeks after her first meeting with Spielberg, the actress was on her way to Los Angeles for screen tests opposite several actors she knew, including friend John Shea and her Animal House castmate, Tim Matheson. And then it happened.

“I don’t remember how long it was, but I got a call that they were offering me the film. They wanted me to read the script and give them an answer within two days. They had a courier bring the script, and he had to sit in my room the whole time while at the hotel. Then I had to give it back to him. That is how secretive they were, even back then! Obviously, I said yes. I had truly fallen in love with the character when I did the audition.”

The Raiders story was only believable if the adventurous archaeologist had a counterpart who could hold her own, so casting the right actress was crucial, says Marshall, the film’s producer. “Marion was feisty, smart and funny. She was an action hero in her own way,” he says. “She didn’t depend on him, but he had to depend on her.”

Allen and producer Frank Marshall on the ‘Raiders’ set. Marshall had to play a pilot who Marion knocks out because all the stuntmen had fallen ill.COURTESY OF FRANK MARSHALL

Allen fit the bill for the role perfectly, says Spielberg, highlighting that “Marion Ravenwood was every bit Indiana Jones’ equal. That’s the way we wrote her and that’s what Karen made a meal of.”

Although she didn’t realize it, the Carrollton, Illinois, native had been preparing to play Marion since her youth. She left home at 17 and moved to New York City at 20 to study art and design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. After two years of study, she took a year off and traveled: six months by herself through the West Indies and then with two friends to Mexico, and through all of Central and South America. “I had a real adventurous spirit,” she says. “I was never really a girly girl.”

“The Way the Scene Was Written, She Didn’t Have That Strength of Purpose”

For Allen, the Raiders of the Lost Ark production was arduous but also pure joy. For the most part, Marion Ravenwood was all right there on the page, and Allen delighted in bringing the tenacious, spirited character to life. “It was empowering,” Allen marvels. And because of that confidence, Allen diligently persuaded Spielberg to change an instance the actress said did not feel right.

“A scene I really didn’t like was where I am captured and in the tent and Paul Freeman as [René] Belloq comes in and brings a dress,” Allen begins. “The scene as it was originally written was much more about me trying to seduce Belloq in order to escape. And from the very beginning, I thought, ‘No. If we really think that even for a moment she really would sleep with him in order to escape, then the love story between her and Indiana really didn’t have much power.’ The way the scene was written, she didn’t have that strength of purpose.”

Allen took her concerns to Spielberg, who for the most part wanted to stick to the script. However, he said if Allen could come up with something better, then that is what they would shoot. “Paul Freeman and I at lunch would improvise. And out of that came that scene in which I try to drink Belloq under the table. The seduction part then is only a ruse. The little piece I also added is she puts the dress on in order to hide the knife under her clothing. It gave the character a kind of integrity and a real sense of loyalty and love to Indiana Jones. I always felt that at the heart of it is this young girl who fell madly in love with him and has never been able to get over him.”

Allen possessed a robust screen personality, with Spielberg noting that she “used it to make Indy blink … more than once. She challenged Indy’s eminent domain all through the story — and did it without the use of a bullwhip.”

Good storytelling requires strong characters regardless of genre or gender, Lucas says, using Star Wars as a reference point. “From my own work, Leia was always meant to be a leader. She was smart, in the moment and looking at the big picture. She was in charge of things and a Rebel leader from the get-go. Luke was fresh off the farm, and Han was a dubious character from what she could tell at that point. Marion didn’t have the same vantage point, but she was just as tough, too. She ran her life and business and bossed folks around with the best of them. They were different characters but shared the same strengths.”

“There Were a Few People on the Set Who Were Bitten by the Pythons”

Among the most memorable scene for Allen (and audiences) is the one where Indiana and Marion are trapped in the Well of the Souls, which took eight straight days to film. “It was a challenging section of the film to make for me,” Allen says, specifying that falling dust and debris was constantly getting in her eyes and throat. “And the whole section was much longer and drawn out, but it was just too much. Once you see 20 mummy faces and snakes coming out of their eyes and mouths — a little goes a long way.”

“If you go back to the ’40s, there were such great, tough dame-type characters. But in the ’50s, ’60s and early ’70s, we wandered into this strange period where the female characters weren’t fully developed,” Allen notes.  EVERETT COLLECTION

Ford remembers Allen as a trooper, who was ready for anything the audacious production threw at them. “Karen is so much fun to work with,” Ford says. “She’s wonderfully funny, inventive and talented. She brings energy to the work. She’s not fussy in any way. The character she played was a very brave character, and she had to be brave to do it.” 

Allen was allowed to do a small portion of her stunts, such as snippets of Marion falling into the catacombs. But, for the most part, her stunt double, Wendy Leech, handled the big action moments. “Karen was like a real-life Marion. She would try anything. When we had scenes of action, she wanted to do it. And we let her do things up to the point where it was safe,” Marshall says. 

Marion was complicated and had several layers, which Lucas says was essential for the story. “That strength of character was important to me and will always be a part of Karen’s creative legacy as well,” Lucas says. “Marion wasn’t one-dimensional, she was relatable, determined and vulnerable. She had what people called moxie. She and Indy rescued each other. … Just keep them both away from snakes.”

As for those snakes, having grown up for a while in the countryside, Allen said she was fine with them — but not so much the tarantulas in the opening, a day she was happy to not be on the call sheet. But the actress says she was unfazed by the throngs of slithering reptiles in the Well of the Souls. Still, she has several shiver-inducing anecdotes about that week of production.

“The cobras were handled in a very special way,” Allen vividly reminisces. “And there was an ambulance just outside the set and a nurse who had antivenom. Often there was plexiglass between us and them. Still, there were a few people on the set who were bitten by the pythons, which aren’t poisonous — but it is a nasty bite. No one was in terrible danger with the pythons — unless you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think it was our first assistant director who was trying to protect someone else who got bitten by one.”

“I was drinking colored water. And I know it is disappointing when people hear that but of course, they don’t realize you’re doing take after take,” Allen says of a question she gets a lot about Marion’s drinking prowess. EVERETT COLLECTION

Perhaps even more dangerous than the Well of the Souls catacombs scene was Marion’s introduction as the owner of a bar in Nepal, which catches fire during a shootout for her medallion (the headpiece to the Staff of Ra).

“All the things in the fire, we did together, Harrison and I,” she says. “There were no stunt people on that section. The fire was real — and it was a little perilous. We were leaping over objects and not everything went the way it was supposed to, so there were times when things were supposed to fall behind us and instead they fell in front of us. But it all went fairly well.”

“I Didn’t Know Whether to Take It Personally”

Because of Star Wars, by the time she met the 38-year-old Ford, he was already a massive star. Allen was in awe of her castmate, whom she says was a delight and a giving mentor. Still, the two actors prepared to work in different ways, which she says could be frustrating.

After he was cast, Ford invited Allen to his house to have dinner with himself and his girlfriend, later wife, Melissa Mathison. “We didn’t meet again until we were in London to work,” Allen says.EVERETT COLLECTION

“The thing that was challenging for me at the time was Harrison very much worked privately,” Allen says. “He liked to work on his lines and a scene by himself in the trailer. He didn’t much like to run lines with other actors. In the beginning, I didn’t know how to take it. I didn’t know whether to take it personally. Coming out of the theater, I was so used to working with other actors and running lines. So it took me a while to make an adjustment to that. But then we got into a groove with each other. I found him so fascinating.”

Of their time on Raiders, Ford looks back warmly. “I was very pleased to have the opportunity to work with her,” he says, noting at the time that Marion, along with Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia and Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley, shattered the damsel in distress-era archetype. “Those are rare women and rare characters,” Ford adds. 

Having already played Han Solo twice by that time, Ford knew how to partner with the camera for big action moments, a skill Allen had to quickly learn. “I had done walk-and-talk-type films. And in that context, it behooves you to forget the camera is there, just play the scene. But in a film like Raiders, you have to be very aware of where the camera is and what it is doing,” Allen says. “There is a technique I just did not have while learning by the seat of my pants. To watch Harrison and see all the ways he was able to accomplish these things — he would do it in a very calm, very clear, very beautifully articulated way. And he was very helpful to me.”

“I Got Agoraphobic for a While”

Allen vividly recalls the first “extremely intimidating” time she saw a cut of the film. It was on the Paramount lot with Spielberg and studio executives. Allen was the only woman in the screening room.

“So that was a tough way to see the film,” Allen notes, adding she was both surprised and thrilled with the final product. “I didn’t have a context for the style of film in my head, so it was like this revelation! It was so not what I was thinking, but I really loved it. And I love the relationship that ended up on the screen between Indy and Marion.”

Paramount execs knew they had solid gold with Raiders, immediately sending Ford and Allen out on a publicly tour. Not long after, the film opened — and took off like a rocket. Allen’s head was swimming.

“When a film starts to be so huge, you feel it swirling around you,” she says. “When a film gets such attention, it is just such a phenomenal change. You don’t feel like you change at all, but things change all around you.”

Of course, change is not always positive. Overnight, Allen went from a mostly anonymous New Yorker to a star who could not walk down the street without being stopped several times. That took a toll.

“I got agoraphobic for a while,” Allen says. “I had a hard time going outside my apartment. There is protection in anonymity. You’re so used to moving through the world. And then you’re in a film like Raiders of the Lost Ark, it’s like all of that shifts. The fans are enthusiastic, they just want to meet you or have you sign something for them, but it’s new and different and you don’t know what’s happening.”

“I Have Had Women and Girls Come Up to Me and Say How Much Me Playing That Role Meant to Them”

For some time, Allen considered Raiders a double-edged sword. The film cemented her spot in Hollywood, but she had feared roles would be limited. And she was correct. Scripts came rolling in — all with Marion-like characters. Allen had no interest.

Of the endless merchandise the franchise has produced, the actress says, “It’s thrilling to be a toy, but also hard to absorb.” Of course, Allen has several of her figures, including the rare Kenner line original.  EVERETT COLLECTION

“Being a young actor and Raiders being my fourth film — I had this desire to distance myself,” Allen says, explaining why she went back to the theater for more than a year even though she was told by some it a massive misstep. But Allen didn’t care. The theater was her first home.

She would be back in front of the camera for John Carpenter’s science fiction romance Starman (1984), starring Jeff Bridges, who nabbed an Oscar nomination. Allen would go on to appear in such classics as Scrooged (1988) and The Sandlot (1992) and reprise Marion in 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, among her more than 60 film and television credits.

“It’s been a journey for me to be in Raiders of the Lost Ark,” says Allen. “I have come to love and appreciate that it gets passed from generation to generation. And I have had women and girls come up to me and say how much that film, and how much me playing that role, meant to them. They felt it changed the way in which they saw themselves as a woman. So, I have developed a profound sense of gratitude for how lucky I was. And now 40 years later, I am so proud to be identified with it. Not that I ever wasn’t proud, but I don’t think I appreciated it as much as I have come to appreciate it later in my life.”


 

 

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Emmys: Where Does Film End and TV Begin?

BY SCOTT FEINBERG | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren #picks-all

The yearlong pandemic blurred the already thin line between the media, with movies that were meant for theaters landing on streaming, and Marvel hopping onto the small screen.

As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, the line distinguishing film and TV is blurrier than ever.

Things have been moving in this direction for years. Movie stars like Glenn Close and Kevin Spacey increasingly began doing TV series. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences started massively expanding in order to become more demographically diverse and opened its doors to people who primarily have distinguished themselves on the small screen, such as Betty White, Donald Glover and Eva Longoria. And the Sundance, Cannes, Telluride, Toronto and New York film festivals all began screening content bound for TV, like ESPN’s seven-hour and 47-minute, five-chapter documentary — or docuseries — O.J.: Made in America, which was awarded an Oscar.

But things shot to a whole different level during the pandemic. With most movie theaters closed, AMPAS allowed projects to qualify for the Oscars even if they received no theatrical release before debuting on TV. WarnerMedia chief Jason Kilar, who rose to prominence as TV streamer Hulu’s first CEO, declared war on the “exclusive theatrical window,” which had sustained theaters since the advent of television, vowing that every 2021 Warner Bros. film would be released concurrently in theaters and on HBO Max. Ted Sarandos, co-CEO and chief content officer of Netflix — one of the biggest players in the world of TV, which still gives Oscar hopefuls only token theatrical releases — was elected chairman of the board of trustees of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. The Spirit Awards — presented by Film Independent — joined the Gotham Awards in adding TV categories to its ceremony. The Oscars telecast was produced by Steven Soderbergh, who promoted it by saying it would be just like a movie. And then Discovery, the TV behemoth, merged with Warner Bros.’ aforementioned parent company, just days before Amazon bought MGM, sparking speculation that James Bond spinoffs might soon be coming to Amazon Prime.

Emmy season has further confused matters. Back in May, the TV Academy announced that it no longer would consider content that had been nominated for an Oscar — in other words, that we no longer will see projects like the documentary feature Free Solo winning an Oscar and then an Emmy. It makes sense that the TV Academy wouldn’t want the Oscars’ leftovers — but oddly, films that unsuccessfully pursued Oscar nominations are still Emmy eligible. Go figure!

Content that was created specifically for television also is increasingly cinematic. The leading contenders for the TV movie Emmy, Sylvie’s Love and Uncle Frank, were created for the big screen and premiered at Sundance; 2020’s winner in the category, Bad Education, premiered at Toronto. (So much for the made-for-television “movie of the week” having a shot in that category.) And then there’s the new limited or anthology series category, which this year includes vehicles for movie stars Kate Winslet, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant (Grant has said of The Undoing, “I regard it as a film”); multipart projects directed in their entirety by Oscar winners (Steve McQueen and Barry Jenkins) and directors (Susanne Bier) of Oscar-winning films; a series from comic turned movie behemoth Marvel (which also is behind top drama series contenders The Mandalorian and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the latter of which Marvel chief Kevin Feige called “a Marvel Studios movie played out over six episodes”); and, yes, a show inspired by and named after the 1996 film Fargo.

McQueen’s Small Axe is the most interesting case. A masterful five-part opus about London’s West Indian community, with installments ranging from 64 to 128 minutes, two of its parts were invited to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival (but didn’t because the fest was canceled), and three of its parts premiered at the New York Film Festival before all of them hit BBC One in the U.K. and Amazon in the U.S. It has been treated as a single film (named best of the year by the L.A. Film Critics), five separate films (some included on critics’ year-end top 10 lists, like David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: The Return in 2017) and a limited series (with a Critics Choice nom, plus a win for John Boyega). McQueen’s own description of Small Axe hasn’t really clarified matters. “These films were made for television,” he told Rolling Stone, which sounds like an argument for them to be considered separately in the best TV movie category. He went on, “They can be projected in cinema, but … from the beginning, I wanted these films to be accessible to my mother, I wanted them on the BBC. It was always going to be on TV, the five films. But at the same time, they premiered in the cinema. There’s no absolutes anymore.”

With TV networks trying to lure COVID-cautious Emmy voters out of their homes by screening content at drive-in movie theaters, and with the Film Academy, as of April, forbidding hard-copy screeners in order to steer Oscar voters to the members-only streaming app on their TV, the future is looking, well, confusing. Stay tuned.


 

 

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Critic’s Notebook: ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ Held an Unflattering Mirror Up to America

BY LOVIA GYARKYE | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren #picks-all

The final episode of the E! reality TV show marked the end of an era with a family that transformed before our eyes into expert marketers of the self.

Fourteen years ago, a young, wide-eyed, freshly tanned Kim Kardashian introduced her chaotic family to America. “We’re the modern-day Brady Bunch with a kick,” she said in the premiere of E!’s Keeping Up With the Kardashians, the reality TV show dedicated to chronicling the lives of the eight Kardashian-Jenners. Tonight, with the final episode of the 20th season, a surreal chapter of American television history came to an end.

Of course, the finale of KUWTK does not mean the Kardashians are going anywhere. (The family has signed an exclusive multiyear deal with Disney to star in and executive produce a reality series on Hulu and other Disney platforms.) But it does present a unique opportunity for reflection. After all, no one has managed to capture the nation’s attention quite like them.

“There’s a lot of baggage that comes with us, but it’s like Louis Vuitton baggage,” Kim joked in that first episode. “You always want it.” And, well, she wasn’t wrong. The show catapulted the Kardashian-Jenners to unthinkable levels of fame and spawned several fortunately short-lived spinoffs, like Kourtney and Kim Take New York or Kourtney and Khloé Take the Hamptons, that followed the siblings’ adventures in different cities.

Nothing quite hits like the original, though, and watching KUWTK has been like witnessing the story of America unfold — replete with its contradictions, vampiric relationship to Black people, obsession with remaking itself, capitalistic dysfunction and almost comical lack of self-awareness.

The early episodes, running about 30 minutes, were shorter, lower-quality productions that possessed a certain charm. The family was trying to “overcome” Kim’s sex-tape “scandal,” an endeavor that eventually morphed into an effortful attempt to ascend the mountain of celebrity culture. Seeing the Kardashian-Jenners grasp for a world that did not necessarily want them made it easier to accept their often silly, histrionic behavior — and at times even feel sorry for them.

Then, the tides changed. The family figured out the formula to fame, and applied it aggressively. Several of the Kardashian-Jenner women transformed right before our eyes: thickening their lips, hips and butts, rocking box braids, elongating their nails and publicly aligning themselves with influential Black men. They wantonly lifted their aesthetics from Black women, and became cool without acknowledging the source of their inspiration — as many white Americans inside pop culture and out have done, and continue to do. Naturally, they were rewarded: They graced magazine covers, launched business ventures and attended high-profile events like the Met Gala. They were no longer the punchline; they were the plot.

After they changed their looks, they changed their stories — or perhaps the two happened in tandem; it’s hard to say. Kim’s sex-tape fiasco was read as feminist (despite her protestations). She became a calm, compassionate mother, social justice advocate and wife to you-know-who. Kourtney broke up with Scott and came to represent fierce independence and unabashed honesty. She appeared sick of her family and her relationship with Kim soured, culminating in an on-air physical fight in Season 18. Khloe shed her ugly-duckling persona and her narrative became wrapped up in two troubled relationships, first with Lamar Odom and then with Tristan Thompson. Kendall seemed to distance herself from the clan, started modeling and gave off easygoing, chill-girl vibes, while somehow never letting us forget that she was the family member with a “real” career. Kylie — well, Kylie had a baby, launched a cosmetics line to help other people get “Kylie lips” and became “the youngest self-made billionaire ever,” at least according to Forbes.

The parents had their own evolutions, too: Kris embraced her role as a savvy businesswoman and ferociously protective guardian of the tribe, while Caitlyn came out as a trans woman, nabbed her own reality show and recently launched a gubernatorial campaign grounded in frankly incoherent politics.

The truth behind these narratives was slippery and decidedly not the point. The Kardashian-Jenners, after all, weren’t like other celebrities: They had made themselves, and those selves were aspirational.

Yet the façades became harder to uphold as their fame increased, and their actions eventually lost them public sympathy. They preached sisterhood in the same breath as bullying Jordyn Woods after her alleged dalliance with Khloe’s on-and-off boyfriend Thompson. They asked people to respect their challenges with body dysmorphia while promoting weight-loss pills and manufactured body goals. They remained silent as Kanye West donned MAGA caps and launched a bizarre and misguided 2020 presidential bid. It seemed as though the Kardashian-Jenners were always victim to someone or something, rarely accountable for their own actions.

The series finale, which aired in two parts, seemed to nod at the direction in which the family’s public image has been slipping, and peddled a different kind of aspiration — one rooted in saccharine, unpersuasive gratitude. As a way to celebrate the end of almost two decades of having their every move recorded, the Kardashian-Jenner family (except Rob and Caitlyn) retreated to a luxurious house in Tahoe. They hung out and played not one, but two games that required them to take trips down memory lane and recall embarrassing, exciting and cutesy moments from past seasons. Between these scenes were interview clips where members of the family expressed ever-more gratitude for the show while bathed in a lush light that made them appear angelic.

I suppose the idea was to conjure nostalgic and affectionate feelings among viewers. Look at how far the family has come; aren’t you proud? The answer is no, not really. The Kardashian-Jenners live in a bubble that’s no longer fun to observe, even casually. As expert marketers of the self, they have figured out another way to commodify the sentiments of a particular moment. Their gratefulness has a perfunctory sheen to it, the product of people forced to recognize their vast wealth and celebrity for the good of the brand.

In the finale’s closing moments, Khloe asked the family to put memorabilia into a time capsule that they will unearth in a decade or two. The choices made by each family member were telling: Kourtney picked a T-shirt from her kid’s clothing store; Kim put her first fragrance from her perfume line; Kendall added a painting of their old home; Kylie, the first three lip kits she created; Kris, a framed “license” of her status as “Momager,” a moniker referring to her function as the mastermind behind their fame; and Khloe, a key to the Dash boutique and a hard drive of interviews she conducted during their stay in Tahoe.

Most of these objects, you may note, are tied to the women’s ability to generate capital, implicitly acknowledging the entire point of not just the series, but the empire. The act felt like a cheap reminder that, for this family, the end of KUWTK is probably the beginning of something else. Consider us warned.


 

 

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Flag on the Play: How an Ambush Interview Put Fox Sports Host in a Legal Red Zone (Guest Column)

BY DANIEL NOVACK, TANVI VALSANGIKAR | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren #picks-all

Whether Shannon Sharpe and Fox Sports could receive a penalty for airing a call with Julio Jones without his knowledge depends, in part, whether California or Georgia law is at play.

 

On May 24, NFL Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe nabbed an interception on his Fox Sports show, Undisputed, when he called star wide receiver Julio Jones, then a member of the Atlanta Falcons, to discuss the player’s future. Jones, apparently unaware Sharpe was calling while being filmed live on television, confided that he was seeking an exit, stoking trade rumors and discussion of journalistic foul play.

Ethics aside, Sharpe may have committed the second legal equivalent of an encroachment penalty in sports talk radio this year, following the podcast recording conflict between Barstool Sports and Sommerville, Mass. mayor Joe Curtatone. While most states and federal law only require one party to a telephone conversation to consent to being recorded (so-called “one party consent” jurisdictions), some states go further to protect privacy. For instance, under California law, a person who records a confidential communication — even one they were themselves party to — can be punished up to $2,500 dollars, one year in the county (or state) jail, or both. Further, any person who has been injured by such a violation in the state may sue to recover $5,000 dollars in damages or three times the amount of the actual damages sustained by the injured person, whichever is greater. (Jones is in the midst of a three-year $66 million contract.)

California just happens to be where Undisputed is filmed. Therefore, Sharpe could face serious penalties. However, any attempt to prosecute or sue Sharpe will have to contend with a potentially fatal flaw: Georgia where Jones appears to reside (though he is on his way to Tennessee) is a one-party state. Which state’s law would apply? Could Fox Sports be on the hook? Let’s go to the tape!

Offsides

Because Jones was presumably a resident of Georgia, Sharpe must contend with two jurisdictions. The good news for Sharpe is that, because Georgia law allows either party to a conversation to record, there is no realistic path to liability there. That means only a California court can serve as a field judge.

In circumstances involving an out-of-state victim, a court must assess which state’s law should apply. A California judge will compare each state’s governmental interest in the outcome to determine which law to apply. In 2006, the California Supreme Court did just that in the case of Kearney v. Salomon Smith Barney, when a California resident sued a Georgia business for recording her on the telephone without her consent. The court applied California law to the out-of-state defendant on the grounds that “a failure to apply California law in this context would impair California’s interest in protecting the degree of privacy afforded to California residents by California law more severely than the application of California law would impair any interests of the State of Georgia.” The Court essentially reasoned that while Georgians may not expect privacy for themselves in that situation it’s not too much to ask that they respect Californians’ privacy.

Here, we have the opposite formulation. Therefore, the question becomes: Which state has a greater interest in having its law apply to protect a Georgia victim? Here, a court could very well run the ball all the way back into the opposing end zone. By applying California law, Georgians’ expectations of privacy would be determined by the location of the person they correspond with, which would undermine the balance set by the state. On the other hand, California’s interest in punishing this conduct by its residents is arguably less than its interest in protecting its residents against it.

At the end of the day, it may be a fortuity on Sharpe’s part that he called Georgia, but it would be harsh to punish him when his call was legal on Jones’ side of the equation.

Ineligible Receiver

Even if California law ultimately applies, a court might question whether any conversation with a bombastic Fox Sports host could be considered “confidential” and warrant protection. However, California courts have rejected the notion that a listener’s occupation is relevant, so long as an individual had an objectively reasonable expectation that no one could overhear the conversation. So, while Sharpe may have been free to recount his conversation after the fact, recording could be strictly out of bounds. This distinction reinforces the tenets of California’s Privacy Act, which seeks to prevent the increased use of computers and other sophisticated information technology in violating individual privacy. Further, courts have held that secret monitoring denies a speaker an important aspect of privacy in a communication — the right to control the nature and extent of the firsthand dissemination of their statements.

On the other hand, if Jones took the call while within earshot on others, it could render the recording within bounds — and if he knew he was being recorded and chose to speak regardless that would also doom any legal claim.

Neutral Zone Infraction

What about Fox Sports? Ordinarily, under the 2001 U.S. Supreme Court case Bartnicki vs. Vopper, the news media is not liable for violations of the law by third parties. Unfortunately, Fox Sports’ hands are far from clean here. For one, the network would have a hard time claiming it simply received illegal materials. In Bartnicki, the defendant had no involvement in the illegal act. Here, the actual recording was done by Fox Sports’ own cameras. While the First Circuit recently invalidated a Massachusetts anti-wiretap statute to the extent it prohibited the secret audio recording of police officers performing their official duties in public, it is unlikely that Sharpe or Fox Sports could prevail on similar First Amendment grounds. There simply isn’t as compelling a public interest in NFL scoops.

Lastly, though the Undisputed producers were reportedly unaware of Sharpe’s intentions (indeed, it may have been a snap decision), and lack of intent is a defense to the Privacy Act, the producers continued to tape for the entirety of the roughly minute-long call. Further, Fox Sports could face liability under the doctrine of respondeat superior. California courts have held employers liable for misdeeds committed within the scope of an employee’s job. Did Sharpe break script, or was it authorized? Either way, Fox would have to explain why they didn’t call timeout.

Extra Points

So far, there is no indication that the L.A. District Attorney’s Office or Julio Jones are contemplating legal action. But the next time Sharpe wants to hit record without giving a heads up, he would be well served to make sure he isn’t calling a Los Angeles Ram or San Francisco 49er.

Daniel Novack is a publishing industry attorney and chair of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Media Law. This article reflects his personal views only. Tanvi Valsangikar is a second year law student at Rutgers University School of Law.


 

 

 

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CNNPlus, Anyone? Cable News Preps For Streaming Future

BY ALEX WEPRIN | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren #picks-all

CNN, Fox News and MSNBC — facing declining linear TV ratings — are “walking a tightrope” in developing digital while keeping lucrative carriage fees.

Cable news channels are at a tipping point. Fox News, CNN and MSNBCare coming off a record-smashing news year, propelled by a wild 2020 election (and its aftermath), not to mention an ongoing pandemic. And yet, with the cable TV business in a state of decline driven by cord-cutting, all three channels are planning for a post-cable world, one in which Americans primarily stream their news.

“It’s an enormous opportunity for the news brand that gets it right,” says former CNN U.S. president Jon Klein, who subsequently founded two direct-to-consumer streaming businesses. “The beauty of streaming is that you can have near-perfect knowledge of your audience, in a way that cable distribution has never allowed. That is the pot of gold waiting at the end of the streaming rainbow for news networks.”

And their strategies could not be more different, with CNN developing entirely new programming and products, Fox News leaning into its primetime programming, and MSNBC bolstering the priorities of its parent company.

The effort drawing the most intrigue at the moment is CNN’s, with its so-called “CNNPlus” service in development. Details on the product remain sparse, but someone familiar with the plans tells The Hollywood Reporterthe idea is for it to have a mix of live programming and on-demand content, including shows hosted by talent like Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon as well as new hires. Talent could explore other genres for streaming, like having an anchor who typically hosts a live TV newscast host a deep-dive interview show. (The Wall Street Journal first reportedCNNPlus development plans.)

CNNPlus will include “interactive” content, according to a job posting for the service. Exactly what form that would take remains unclear, but for an example one could look to a project called “2020 in Our Words,” which CNN launched June 1. The series — which notably is the first CNN digital product to require a user to register an account with the news outlet — combines text, photos and video in an overarching format looking at last year.

“We don’t think it’s just repurposing [CNN’s linear channel] and putting that online, in some IP-directed format,” said WarnerMedia executive vp direct-to-consumer Andy Forssell, speaking at a Barclays conference June 3. “Some of that content is going to change. … What is that going to look like, and what does an internet-native CNN look like online?”

Contrast that to Fox News, which does stream its linear channel, but only overseas, through a service called Fox News International, which is available in some 37 countries. In fact, Fox was early to the streaming game, launching its $6-per-month Fox Nation streaming service — a hodgepodge of shows featuring Fox News talent, as well as entertainment programming like cooking shows and acquired films — in late 2018.

Fox has taken a similar strategic path as its competitors, taking talent from TV and giving them streaming platforms. Most notably it created Tucker Carlson-branded original shows, including Tucker Carlson Originals, earlier this year.

“What we found out is that when we put on live event content like CPAC or exclusive content like the Tucker Carlson Originals … the subscription rates go up dramatically,” Fox COO John Nallen said at the JPMorgan conference May 26. “And in fact, on the heels of those two pieces of content, we saw subscriptions go up 40 percent in the last two months.”

But it has also gone further than any of its linear competitors: This month, Fox News began streaming its primetime shows on Fox Nation the day after they air, making its most popular programing available to stream, albeit on a delay. It also embarked on a promotional campaign offering a free one-year subscription to any active-duty military member, or any veteran. That campaign potentially makes tens of millions of Americans eligible for free subscriptions.

“These are all subscription drivers to attract the average fans for Fox News,” Nallen added. “The channel … is at the heart of everything. But the ability with that loyal audience to extend the brand into these other areas is what we’re really focused on.”

Fox News is also launching an ad-supported free streaming service, Fox Weather, later this year.

And then there’s MSNBC, which is leaning into parent company NBCUniversal’s streaming strategy, rather than branching out on its own. The channel is having its talent host MSNBC-branded programs for Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, rather than try to compete with a stand-alone offering. The Choice, which is the channel that MSNBC programs on Peacock, includes news analysis shows hosted by talent like Mehdi Hasan and Zerlina Maxwell.

MSNBC is owned by a cable company, Comcast, and its bet on streaming still revolves around the bundle, even as it accepts the decline of traditional pay TV.

“A few years ago, we had expected Comcast to be the industry’s bulwark against cord-cutting, if only because we assumed that their broader corporate interests would lead them to preserve video subscriptions,” wrote MoffettNathanson’s Craig Moffett and Michael Nathanson May 27. “To their credit, they are clearly not allowing their ownership of NBCU to influence what they think is best for their cable unit.”

If news and sports are the glue that holds the bundle together, that glue is already beginning to weaken. ESPN, the biggest player in the sports world, is already hedging its bets with ESPN+, and Disney CEO Bob Chapek said at a JPMorgan conference May 24 that while the company is committed to linear TV (and the reliable strong cashflows it delivers, “when the time is right to really stomp on the gas and go even stronger into our direct-to-consumer platforms for sports, we’ll do that.”

“We saw how quickly the switch could be flipped with Disney, that is what the news networks be prepared to do as well,” Klein says.

He adds that the companies are “walking a tightrope,” as they balance the decline of linear TV and investing in direct-to-consumer, but that in the long run the benefits of owning the relationship with viewers (instead of leaving it in the hands of a pay TV provider) are worth the risk. “Their challenge now is to understand that those experiments are going to become their main business sometime in the next five years.”


 


 

 

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“You Have to Feel Sick in Order to Feel Good”: Barry Jenkins, Ethan Hawke and the THR Drama Showrunner Roundtable

BY THR MAGAZINE | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren #picks-all

Misha Green, Katori Hall and Peter Morgan join the discussion on why the job can be like “jumping without a parachute” and telling stories that make executives nervous.

In the past, a question posed to a table of creatives about the projects that each would love to tackle if only Hollywood were ready for them would be met with a laundry list of wistful responses. But Barry Jenkins, the showrunner and director behind Amazon’s celebrated Underground Railroad adaptation, took one look around The Hollywood Reporter‘s Drama Showrunner (virtual) Roundtable — where he was joined in late April by Lovecraft Country‘s Misha Green and P-Valley’s Katori Hall, along with The Crown‘s Peter Morgan and The Good Lord Bird‘s Ethan Hawke — and said, matter-of-fact, “We’re telling those stories now.”

And then he continued, using the opportunity to praise the audacious work of his peers. “The shit that Misha has done over the last few years is batshit crazy — like, in the best way — and Katori has a show on the air about strippers in the South. I mean, it’s batshit crazy,” said Jenkins, acknowledging that the projects that he’s referenced had, at times, terrified the executives who oversaw them. “But if someone is not afraid of what you’re doing, then are you doing the right thing? Are you moving in the right direction?” With that, the hourlong conversation took off, meandering often into deeply personal and powerful terrain.

I want to start by acknowledging this past year. How has this period impacted the stories that you want to tell, or with whom you want to tell them?

MISHA GREEN My storytelling hasn’t changed. It’s always nice to have something that’s in conversation with what’s going on in the world at the time, but I feel like we’ve kind of been in this moment for a very long time and it’s nice to see other people — more people — acknowledging it.

KATORI HALL My second season started, in terms of the writers room, earlier in 2021, and for me it was like, “I have to reflect the time.” And I must say, it was hard to get some people on board with telling a story about a strip club that was actually dealing with the pandemic. It was like, “Oh my God, people are gonna have masks on?” I was like, “Does it matter? They ain’t got no clothes on.” So it’s been interesting, that kind of worry of people not wanting to actually have artists deal with what is going on because there is this feeling of, “Oh, you don’t want to be a Debbie Downer.” But we’ve got to be the mirror.

How about the rest of you?

ETHAN HAWKE Whenever anything hard is happening, I feel a little bit like Jonah getting swallowed by the whale. I don’t really know how this time period is affecting me, and I won’t really know until we’re through it. This year has been different than any other in my life. I’ve been a professional actor since I was 13, and all of a sudden I’m realizing that that’s where I draw my self-esteem from because it’s being taken away from me, and I haven’t had it taken away from me in a long time. So I know it’s impacting something inside me, but I don’t think I’ll know what to say about it until I’m out of it.

PETER MORGAN And I have a habit of writing about things that happen, real-life events, historical events, so I’ve got a 10-year rule — I need to wait 10 years before I have a clue what I think about it. That’s not to say I don’t have my own thoughts, it’s just that it feels like if I were writing about it now, it would feel like a journalistic response and it doesn’t allow for metaphor in any way.

BARRY JENKINS I think that especially with the people gathered here, the work is already in conversation with what’s happening out in the world. And for Underground Railroad, in particular, we got through 112 of our production days and had to stop in March, and then we just went into the edit. And at first, because the world shut down and then the world, or at least this country, exploded [in racial justice protests], we thought, “Oh I wish I could go back and rewrite the show.” But then as it began to take shape, to co-sign what Misha said, it was very clear that the show was already in dialogue with what was happening because it has been happening for so damn long — too damn long. So, it was a reinforcement to keep going and just keep approaching the work in the same way. It’s why I also love what Peter said. I often think that we look at things with too microscopic a lens, and if you look at a period, you can see all these consistencies, all these patterns, and I think it allows you to create something that much more richly speaks to the time that you are being affected by. And yet, some of this shit has been happening for so damn long that no matter when you do it, it’s going to be in conversation with what’s happening.

I’m curious, when was the last time you or perhaps your network or studio partners felt genuinely scared to tell a story? 

GREEN I feel like every time I’ve tried to tell a story, everyone has been afraid of that story.

So, what was the fear this time? 

GREEN With Lovecraft Country, we were being very ambitious. We were doing a lot. And it was this idea of reclaiming the genre space for people of color — that was the mandate that I set out with. And I think that you say that and the network goes, “Cool!” And then you get in it, and they’re like, “Ooookay, um, what are we doing here? This is a lot of money, too, and, uhh …” So, I think that, to me, if the network isn’t a little afraid, are you doing something? Are you doing anything worth doing if we’re not a little afraid of what we’re doing?


 

Is that how all of you operate? 

HALL Man, I feel like that’s just the story of my life. (Laughs.) It’s definitely been the story of P-Valley, unfortunately. It was even hard to get someone to say yes to developing it. The whole enterprise kind of makes people clutch their pearls a little, to this day. I had an interesting journey, just being fully transparent, where the show was embraced by Starz, but then the entire team that I started with, who were really championing the show, all left for a variety of reasons, and so there was this whole new guard coming in. It felt like, “Oh my God, I’ve got to pitch my show over again to the people who are now currently my partners.” And even the most well-intentioned execs can sometimes make rash decisions, so they were like, “We don’t know if we really want to step on this cultural land mine of having a show that centers the Black female experience but from a stripper’s perspective. We don’t want to perpetuate stereotypes, so we’re just afraid, Katori.” To the point where the show was kind of canceled before it aired.

Oh, really?

HALL The whole show was in a position of having to prove itself [again]. There was this one moment I like to label “titty-gate.” Titty-gate was very interesting in that there’s an episode where [our execs] realized, “Oh my God, we bought a show that is about strippers, there are titties here.” It’s like, OK, yes, they’re here, but it’s a truthful deep dive into a very valid way of working. A lot of women have been able to take care of families, put themselves through school, survived, doing exotic dancing work. A cut came in and it was all this kerfuffle of, “Oh my God, we have to cut it all out, it’s just too much.” And it made me realize that oftentimes a woman, particularly a Black woman standing so firmly in her sexuality and in her body and not being afraid of a white gaze or a Black gaze, that can be very threatening, even if people who are looking at that image don’t necessarily clock it as such. And so we went through the process where an executive had to fly down [to our set] and was like, “Can she do the lap dance but not in his lap?” And I’m like, “That ain’t a lap dance. And the story is going to shift if she’s not doing a lap dance, because she has to be close enough to hear what these two men are talking about, therefore she’s got to be in their laps.” I have always said, we go through this lens of the female gaze and it is really much more about what these women’s bodies can do versus how these women’s bodies look. And so I do think I was able to get them to a place where they trusted me to the point that the actors went, “I felt empowered.” They are the subject of the show and not an object of the show.

Were there things that made the rest of you or your partners nervous? Barry, this idea of “getting it right” is something I’ve heard you say. What did that mean to you?

JENKINS [The Underground Railroad is] a very sensitive subject. It’s the kind of imagery that people don’t trust to be done right, and so there is a lot of responsibility taking it on. And I’ve been fortunate that even though I think some of the work I’ve done has dealt with “touchy or difficult subject matter,” I have always had very supportive partners, partly because I put myself out front. If this shit doesn’t work, it’s because I didn’t make it work. I don’t think anyone else should be blamed for the failure of these images arriving whole or arriving with tact and taste and something illuminating about the experience they are trying to excavate. I did want to ask Katori, because I had the same damn experience, where I set this show up with one group of people, and then that whole group of people got the ax, and I had to re-pitch the show to an entirely new group of people. And in doing that, trying to make sure I was presenting it whole, as my vision, not as the vision that would fit this new group of people. It was a very strange process, because you do want to move in communion with the folks who are helping you create these things, and yet you realize very quickly, “Oh, there’s an image in my head and there’s an image in your head, and unfortunately, you’ve got to be able to see the image in my head, because otherwise this isn’t going to work.” Is that common? I’m new to TV.

HALL Yeah.

HAWKE That’s happened to me in cinema, too. To have the administration that produced the movie gone by the time you’re in editorial and [the new execs] don’t like the movie, or they want it to be a different movie — that has been a continuing narrative in my 30 years of experience. It has happened more than I would have liked. It’s very difficult. I feel for you guys.


 

So, what do you do?

JENKINS For me, it’s strange because there’s so much damn story, and as showrunners, it lives and breathes and dies with us. And it’s a lot of energy and emotion to then take that story and realize, “Oh shit, I have to share this again and yet still keep this kernel, this energy, whatever the core nucleus of it is, intact and not betray myself in explaining this thing to you.” Because I do feel like when we verbalize some of these things, people can grab onto it and it’s like, “Well, shit, I said it this way today, but I’m going to say it this way tomorrow,” and I’ve got to make sure that this thing is still funded and when we get to set, this is still what we’re doing.

Do you feel like you sold the show that you ultimately made?

JENKINS Oh, undoubtedly. What [is the expression]: Take me out on my shield? On this one, you’re going to have to take me out on my shield. Yes, it wasn’t easy, but the show I sold was the show I made.

Ethan, you have used that same phrase, “I wanted to get this right.” What did it mean to you? 

HAWKE Well, in my situation, it had to do with honoring a contract I made with [The Good Lord Birdauthor] James McBride. I’ve very rarely in my life loved a book as much as I loved this book, and I just wanted to give it to everybody I knew for Christmas. And then I started realizing that the way to do that is to make it a show and really put it in everybody’s home. And I learned a lot on this. You can’t talk about John Brown and not piss a lot of people off. A lot of white people hate John Brown, and some Black folks hate John Brown. He is a religious person who was violent — there’s a reason why he is not taught in grade school. I think some executives would get excited, like, “Oh, it’s got a gunfight at the end,” and then they realize what the gunfight is about and then they get really confused and then they get really nervous. (Laughs.)

Right.

HAWKE I was liberated, though, because The Good Lord Bird is primarily a comic novel and it’s told by an unreliable narrator, so I didn’t have the [same pressure of having to get] it historically right. I had the job of trying to tell Onion’s story the way Onion told it, and there’s a weird tone thing that McBride is going for that is just his own. And trying to put that onscreen felt very dangerous, because if it was not comic enough, then we should be doing something else, and if it was too comic, it had no emotion to it. And then if the acting is too farcical, you’ve lost the plot; and if you don’t have some elements of caricature you’re going to … It was its own mysterious beast, and it made a lot of people nervous around me.

What did that look like for you?

HAWKE The truth is, it’s a very strange thing. You have to be bullish, put on your blinders and, as Barry said, just go for it every day. And the more I got criticized, the more I’d just laugh and say, “You’re totally right,” and keep doing what I was doing. Because you really need their support. It’s too much money, there’s too much at play, you need allies, but you also need to believe in yourself. And it is so easy to chop anyone off at their ankles and make people insecure about where their heart is, or what they are trying to do. Also I fail sometimes and make mistakes, and you need the support of strong collaborators to help you stay on target. And at the same time, I just kept doubling down. I had faith in what McBride was trying to do, and I felt that if I hung that around my neck like a talisman, I would survive any storm. You know, I had a funny meeting, before I started this endeavor, with Chris Rock, who said to me, and I’m paraphrasing, “You’re lucky that it’s an option for you to talk about race. It’s never an option for me. Whatever I do, I’m talking about race, even if I’m not talking about race.” And then he said, “Talking about race in America is a little bit like getting in the ring with Mike Tyson. Most people get knocked out in the first round. You just [have to] keep standing there, trust your heart, take the punches, learn your lessons and keep moving forward.” And that was good advice for me.


 

Peter, in another person’s hands, The Crown could very easily fall into soapy territory, particularly this last season as you explored Prince Charles’ love triangle. Why has it been so important for you to avoid that, and does that ever come with pushback from or discussion with your collaborators?

MORGAN Netflix have been really dreamy partners. I don’t find showrunning easy. It’s a lot of work and it’s pretty relentless, and the idea that I could do what I do up against constant institutional pressure from the network or, in this case, from Netflix, I wouldn’t know where to take the energy from. I don’t have any energy left for a fight. And thank God I don’t need to. I do have plenty of fights, though, and they come from British cultural life. Unfortunately, people don’t respond to this family in a rational way here [in the U.K.]. It is something of a national religion, and so there are fundamentalists on either side, and I am either too aggressive or [too soft], and it’s very hard to just follow my own path. I used to go out a lot more, I used to have more of a life, to be honest, and I’ve really bunkered up. It’s quite intense in the media storm here, sometimes, in the aftermath of the show. And to go back to your original question, I’ve found that I spent a lot of my career pitching ideas that nobody wanted to make and staring at unbelievably disinterested faces. And I completely agree with that idea of feeling like you’ve got to somehow be jumping without a parachute before you do it. I have a couple of ideas that I want to do next, and I don’t think anyone will touch them. But I love that feeling of going against the grain and just [putting] your head down and doing it. And of course it can backfire, but no one wants to repeat what they have already seen, and I certainly don’t want to repeat what I’ve already written. So, yeah, you have to feel sick, don’t you, in order to feel good?

Peter, you reference an obsession with the royal family in the U.K., but a good swath of the U.S. seems to have devoured the interview that Oprah did with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. You had to have watched, too, so my first question is … 

MORGAN I haven’t watched it.

You really haven’t?

MORGAN It’s not my time period. I can’t make sense of it at the moment, and there was a lot of heat around it and a lot of discourse. I didn’t watch the funeral [for Prince Philip], either. I don’t know why. I think about these people enough in my professional life, and that fell into my private life. So, at some point, maybe I will watch it, but I haven’t watched it yet.


 

Misha, you are adapting a book by a white man. How do you think the story was changed by your perspective as a Black woman?

GREEN I don’t hold anything sacred when I’m adapting something. So I just do whatever I want, and I feel like Matt [Ruff, the author] did this amazing job of platforming this show. He had written the novel because he wanted to make it a TV show, so it was ripe for that adaptation. And I just took all the great stuff that I loved in it and put that onscreen, and then tried to add some great stuff that I love, and then some great stuff that the writers and everybody on the crew loved. For me, there was no, “What am I bringing to this as a Black woman?” because I am a Black woman, and so whatever I’m bringing is what a Black woman is bringing to it. So, it never even crossed my mind to think about it in terms of, “Oh, a white guy wrote this and what needs to change because of that.”

Ethan and Barry, you both worked with source material. What were the things that you and the authors said that got both sides comfortable with moving forward?

JENKINS For me, it was that Colson [Whitehead] said he was going to go off and write another novel, so if I needed him I could ping him, but otherwise it was, “Go with God.” It was interesting, because I adapted this book coming off of adapting James Baldwin [with If Beale Street Could Talk] and I couldn’t speak to Mr. Baldwin about that adaptation, so I tried wherever I could to not make changes. But I could talk to Colson. And I would text or call him when I had an idea, and he’d get back to me eventually, and usually he said yes. But for the most part, he didn’t want to be involved unless I felt compelled to bring him in, and I think that was great because going into production, being both the director and the showrunner, it allowed a lot of freedom to really find things on the day and allow the story to keep evolving away from the book.

Ethan, you’re a white man working with another white man to tell this Black man’s story. What were the things that got McBride comfortable with you adapting it?

HAWKE Well, he would really have to speak to what I said that made him feel comfortable because, gosh, I don’t know. He needed somebody to play John Brown. That guy was going to have to be white, you know? And [McBride] and I really got along. There are a couple of funny stories that bounce to mind. One is that I did a rough sketch of what the whole show would look like, I wrote it all out — no money had changed hands, and I wanted to show him before anything got real. He runs the choir at a church near my house and he said to come on over after choir practice, so I rode my bike over there to deliver this draft to him. I knock on the door after church is over, and the woman who runs the church came out and said, “The air conditioning is up over there, go fix it.” I said, “No, I’m here to see James McBride, he’s the choir director.” And she’s like, “Don’t worry about him, the air conditioning is over there.” Then McBride walks out and he says to her, “That’s Ethan Hawke.” And she’s like, “Who’s that?” He said, “Did you ever see Training Day?” She said, “Oh my God! Well, the last time a white guy was here, it was to fix the air conditioning.” McBride and I had a huge laugh about that and we decided that if in 2018 this is happening in Brooklyn, then we’ve got to start working together and telling these stories.

I love that.

HAWKE But it’s hard to say when the trust happened. Like your experience, Barry, [McBride] understands human creativity, and that you can’t really do it if you’re worried you’re being policed. So, he gave me a tremendous amount of freedom, and he was there for us when we needed him. I called him up once, I was trying to find John Brown’s voice, and in the book he talks about how he [speaks in] a high timbre, and so I said, “I keep working on this high voice and I just can’t figure it out. What does a high timbre sound like?” And he’s like, “I just liked the way that word sounded, but it would be terrible if you talked in a high timbre.” (Laughs.) And then he said, “How do you think he should talk?”


 

Katori, I’ve heard you say that Black folks have said, “Katori, you’re Ivy League-educated, why not do something about lawyers and doctors? Why do something that plays into the pathology of the Black community?” How do you process and respond to such comments? 

HALL Well, you don’t respond to them in the Twitter way because ohhh there’d be some Twitter fights, I’ll tell you! (Laughter.) You have to respond through the work. And for me, as a young Black woman who grew up in the South, centering the Southern experience, I feel this great responsibility, to be honest. And my entire career I’ve struggled with this. I’ll take a saint like Dr. Martin Luther King [Jr.] and make him into a man [in her 2009 play The Mountaintop] and then all of the sudden I’m being punched at. I turn to strippers down in the Delta and it’s like, “Oh my God, why you puttin’ that Jezebel image out there?” It’s like, these women exist. And I feel as though you deny Black people their humanity if you do not allow them to be all the different shades of themselves, from the wretched to the aspirational. And so you have a moment to yourself, where you’re like, “Oh my God, am I bringing my people down? Am I bringing the whole movement back?” But no, you are bringing the whole movement forward when you reflect people’s truth, especially if it’s a group of people who are consistently marginalized, like sex workers and queer Black folk. And to be able to constantly subvert expectations, assumptions and stereotypes is the power of art. To be able to put characters in peoples’ living rooms that they never would invite into their house, that they think they don’t know or care about, to me, that is a tool for social change. If I can make you believe that this life, this fiction, is a human being, then you can’t go outside and look at homeboy who is bagging your groceries and think less of him. That’s why I have often said “F you” to all of those pressures, and this idea that you are responsible for making us look good. It’s like, “No, baby, I’m responsible for telling the truth,” and that has always been my guiding light.

Hollywood likes to pigeonhole people. Peter, you’ve been in the royals lane for a while now. Do you ever just want to pitch, like, a zombie drama just to show that you can?

MORGAN Yeah, I would, very much. (Laughs.) I definitely have a couple of ideas that I probably could only take to the theater. We are all realistic here, and this is ultimately a commercial medium, isn’t it? And sometimes if there are things you want to say and you can’t find partners to go with you in a commercial landscape, then thank God there’s the theater, where you can really express yourself and more dangerous or politically controversial ideas. There’s definitely an idea I want to do and I can’t see anybody giving me the money to do it.

GREEN After The Crown? After The Crown, I feel like you could literally [do anything].

Peter just touched on this idea of expectations, which brings me back to you, Barry. From now on, everything you do says, “From Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins.” What kind of weight comes with that, and has it impacted your choices at all?

JENKINS No, it hasn’t. That film [Moonlight] is 5 years old and that film won an Academy Award, but the other shit has got to come into the world brand-new, so it’s best to leave that award at home.

Marketing doesn’t leave it at home. It is on every billboard, every ad.

JENKINS And that’s good for marketing. (Laughs.) It’s embarrassing to me. And also it has nothing to do with the content of the piece that it’s attached to. And even the awards themselves, they don’t fundamentally change the piece that they’re attached to. And there have been so many folks who have made things that were worthy of any or many of these awards. … So no, it doesn’t affect me, especially because no matter what I’m doing, somebody ain’t gonna be happy. It’s like, I’m doing Underground Railroad. “What? Why you doing that shit with slaves?” Then I’m doing Lion King. “Why you doing this shit with lions?” It’s like, what the hell? What can I do? And when is that Academy Award going to protect me from this Twitter clap-back? So, just put it out of sight, out of mind.

HAWKE You know, Barry, if I may, it might be interesting to you to know, and I hope he doesn’t mind, but I was friends with Philip Seymour Hoffman, and one of the things he said was that the only thing that competed with abject failure in his psyche was winning the Academy Award. It was one of the only things that played around with his self-esteem and motivation. He felt embarrassed when people would say it. But then also it would attack him inside his own brain. He’d sit in a cab and go, “Wait, I’m an Academy Award winner, why am I in this piece-of-shit cab?” Like, he’d feel his own psyche at war with this label, and that the label created this baggage that was in his way because it’s not real. And sometimes you’re failing [but] you’re doing the best work of your life and you’re learning the most and you’re enriched; and sometimes you’re winning out the wazoo and you’re doing really mediocre work. So if that self-esteem doesn’t really come from in here, then it is in your way. And I only tell you that to say that you’re not alone. It can be an albatross around your neck.

JENKINS Yeah. But because of the way it happened and because of where I’m from, it kind of demystified it in the moment of it happening. So, it just kind of is what it is.

HAWKE Oh, good.

JENKINS But if it helps sell shit, A-OK. (Laughs.)

I want to end on a lighter note. If you could join another writers room for a few weeks, which would you join?

GREEN P-Valley.

HALL Misha, come through, girl.

JENKINS I imagine Peter doesn’t have a writers room, but I’m very curious hearing him talk about it now, not watching any news and it’s always at least 10 years ago. I’m trying to figure out what the fuck happened 15 years ago that Peter is trying to pitch but he’s afraid to. (Laughs.)

MORGAN Mmm, well, I can’t tell you about what I’m frightened to pitch, but I do have researchers. I have 12 people and we speak every morning at 10 a.m. We do a Zoom for about an hour. They are the people who help me with the writing — I write every day and I send them the stuff and they annotate it. The bits that I wish were true turn out not to be true, so they limit my path, but then they open up new avenues for me to go down. So I have a lot of company, they just tend not to be other writers — they are historians, academics, researchers, and they’re great company.

JENKINS I think I’d have a lot to learn by watching someone else do it. I’ve only been staffed in one writers room, on The Leftovers season two, and I didn’t get to do much. But I don’t know how someone else does this, and I have also only ever seen one other director direct, and it’s a very lonely process. It would be interesting to see how someone else goes about it, because it is very mystifying for me. And I did it at such a breakneck pace, I don’t know even what I did.

Did you learn anything from the Leftovers experience?

JENKINS Oh, Damon [Lindelof] was relentless. No idea, even the best idea, is good enough, and so you just keep pushing and pushing and pushing and pushing. Something is brilliant for, like, three days and then you put it on the floor and you smash it. I took that with me as a director-showrunner out in the field. It was like, “Oh yeah, this was great on the page, but now can we smash it? We might as well. I mean, shit, we’ve got nothing but time.” So, that’s what I learned from that room, even though I didn’t get to do much. Damon is brilliant, and he just smashed everything, smashed it all, and he would build it back up, and it was really beautiful to witness.

How about the rest of you, what room are you joining?

HAWKE I would join the writers room of some new Star Wars TV show. I’d love to geek out and channel my inner 14-year-old and write the Boba Fett series or the Obi-Wan series and do my Buddhist research and put it into Yoda’s mouth and have some fun. I’d love to do that.

MORGAN And I’d just like to go in a completely different direction. I’d like to either go to the zombie movie that you were suggesting I do earlier, or go to one of those 1950s network comedies where they had to get the script done by 6 p.m. every day, and the pressure was really on, and it was a group of people, and you were all hammering it out together, and it was against the clock, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, because that’s desperately stressful and awful, but it would excite me just because it is such a different [thing than] I’m doing at the moment.


 

 

 

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Danny Elfman Freaked Out Flight Attendants While Composing ‘Batman’ Score on Plane

BY RYAN PARKER | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren #picks-all

The Oscar-nominated artist explains the music hit him “at the worst possible time.”

Danny Elfman has a wild tale about how he composed his iconic score to 1989’s Batman, which he said involved freaking out several flight attendants.

The Oscar-nominated artist was a recent guest on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast where he talked about his illustrious career from the lead man in Oingo Boingo to the slew of his beloved film scores.

While discussing his process with Maron, Elfman shared that creating the score to Tim Burton’s Batman was particularly awkward — and hilarious. The award-winning musician explained that he had flown out to London to visit the set and see a bit of the film for inspiration. The flight back to Los Angeles is when things got wild.

“That hit me at the worst possible time,” Elfman began. “On the way home, the thing fucking hits me. And it was like, what do I do? I’m on a 747. How do I do this? I am going to forget this all. I’m going to land and they’re going to play some fucking Beatles song, and I’m going to forget everything.”

Elfman said he had his recorder that he took everywhere, so he used it. “I start running in the bathroom [and hum phrases] and I go back to my seat, and I’m thinking, I’m thinking. Ten minutes later, back in the bathroom,” Elfman said. “And then back to my seat and then back to the bathroom, because I couldn’t do this with the guy sitting next to me.”

At one point, Elfman opened the door and was greeted by a flight attendant who wanted to know if he was OK and did not seem to believe it when Elfman reassured he was not up to anything. “Ten minutes later, I am back in the bathroom, And I open the door and this time there are three flight attendants,” he said. “And they were probably going, ‘What the fuck he is doing so frequently? You can’t do that much blow. You can’t shoot up that often. What is he doing in there?!’ And I piece by piece was working out the Batman score in my head.”

In a separate interview he did in April, Elfman revealed that he was not pleased with how his Batman score was used in the film. Elfman said he was “reasonably happy” with the mix of the score, his 10th, but disappointed with the dub, or how the music was transferred into the film.

“They did it in the old-school way where you do the score and turn it into the ‘professionals’ who turn the nobs and dub it in,” he said then. “And dubbing had gotten really wonky in those years. We recorded [multi-channel recording on] three channels — right, center, left, — and basically, they took the center channel out of the music completely.”


 

 

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Delta flight diverted after unruly passenger attempts to enter cockpit

By Kelly Yamanouchi, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troy Warren #picks-all

A Delta Air Lines flight was diverted after an unruly passenger caused a disturbance by attempting to get into the cockpit.

Delta Flight 386 from Los Angeles to Nashville was diverted to Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Friday, and the passenger was removed by law enforcement, according to Delta.

The FBI said it responded to the incident and there is no threat to the public. An investigation is underway.

The flight on a Boeing 737-900 had 162 passengers and six crew members. The passengers were taken on another flight from Albuquerque to Nashville hours later, Delta said.

Passengers tweeted video of the incident on the plane.

In the video, the passenger is repeating “stop the plane” as a flight attendant and passengers hold him down and and tie his hands and feet.

There’s been an increase in unruly passenger incidents over the past year, prompting the Federal Aviation Administration to put in place a zero tolerance policy for such disturbances.

The FAA said a passenger in December tried to open the cockpit door on a Delta flight from Honolulu to Seattle, struck a flight attendant twice and threatened him. The agency proposed a $52,500 fine against the passenger.

FAA administrator Steve Dickson, a former Delta Air Lines executive,said in a statement earlier this year the policy directs “strong enforcement action against any passenger who disrupts or threatens the safety of a flight, with penalties ranging from fines to jail time.”

Federal law prohibits interfering with crews, physically assaulting or threatening to physically assault anyone on a plane.

Unruly passengers who cause flight diversions could end up facing a bill for the costs. In 2017, a federal court ordered a passenger to pay $97,817.29 in restitution for the costs of a flight diversion after he lost his temper, threatened his girlfriend and struck a flight attendant.