Today's pop-culture roundup includes "A Most Wanted Man," Harry Potter and his sex life, a Comic-Con surprise, Luke Skywalker, our mystery music video and much more.
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN: And his final starring role, per the Los Angeles Times, “The last we see of Philip Seymour Hoffman in "A Most Wanted Man," he leaves his car and walks out of the frame. As it tragically turned out, he was exiting his acting career as well, and this taut, involving thriller, the late actor's final starring role, is a fitting film for him to leave on, not only because it is so expertly done but because his role was so challenging.
“Even for as brilliant a chameleon as Hoffman, a hefty man who won an Oscar for convincing us he was elfin Truman Capote, making us believe he was Günther Bachmann, a German intelligence officer, had to be one of the most demanding roles in a lifetime full of them. Even John le Carré, whose novel is the film's source material, wasn't sure he was up to it.” http://lat.ms/1o07Cus
HARRY POTTER SAID WHAT?: Too much information, per Elle, “When you’re cast in a global franchise like Harry Potter, your face winds up on everything from pillowcases to toothbrushes. Which made star Daniel Radcliffe’s next trick even more impressive: The boy wizard persuaded us to take him seriously as a man. He went full frontal on Broadway in Equus in 2008. He spoofed his child-star image by playing an exaggerated version of himself on the HBO series Extras (for those who missed it, in one scene he dangles a large condom in the air and quips, “Let’s just hope it’s big enough!”).
“This month, the transformation is complete, with the 25-year-old Brit’s first romantic comedy, What If—a modern-day When Harry Met Sally… costarring Zoe Kazan. Offscreen, Radcliffe is in a grown-up relationship with actress Erin Darke, whom he reportedly met on the set of last year’s Beat Generation origin story, Kill Your Darlings. Here, he opens up about losing his virginity, public nudity, and the rules of having attractive friends.” http://bit.ly/1qD6Uv8
TWIN PEAKS: For those of a certain age, per Rolling Stone, “. . . On July 29th, a new, Blu-ray box set, Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery – which contains every head-scratching episode of the series, the Fire Walk With Me feature and nearly 90 minutes of deleted scenes from both the show and movie – will hit store shelves. But nearly a quarter of a century after its premiere, the element of the series that arguably resounds the loudest is Badalamenti's moody, jazzy score, which occasionally included cameos by his and Lynch's dream-pop protégée, the flaxen-haired singer Julee Cruise.” http://rol.st/1l18vmO
COMIC-CON CHECK-IN: A surprise appearance, per The Wrap, “Christopher Nolan has made three Batman movies, but he had never visited Comic-Con until Thursday, when the director made a surprise appearance to promote his upcoming film “Interstellar.” Nolan appeared alongside the film's star, Matthew McConaughey, a fellow virgin at the year's preeminent fan convention.
“What caused the secretive Nolan to emerge from his shell? “I wanted to see what all the fuss is about,” Nolan said, to much applause. His last four movies have all opened over the summer, complicating any trips down to San Diego.” http://bit.ly/1rDPFb8
MORGAN FREEMAN: The voice of. . .Alvin?, per People, “Jimmy Fallon took the smooth, calming drawl of Morgan Freeman's voice up a few notches on Thursday's Tonight Show.The Oscar winner, 77, stopped by to promote his new movie Lucy, costarring Scarlett Johansson, but Fallon had other ideas. After watching Freeman sip helium on the science show Through the Wormhole, the late-night host convinced the star to do it again.” http://bit.ly/1rRBcrf
JUST A PROP: A very expensive prop, per Us Weekly, “Sean Penn hasn't put a ring on it -- yet. Despite widespread speculation to the contrary, Charlize Theron and Penn are not engaged, a source confirms exclusively to Us Weekly. The Mad Max Fury: Road actress sparked rumors this week when she was photographed wearing a diamond ring (on that finger!) at LAX Airport on July 23.
“Theron's stunning accessory is an Anita Ko Leaf Ring in 18k yellow gold -- but it didn't come from Penn, a second insider tells Us. In fact, the South African beauty, 38, treated herself to the $4,900 piece of jewelry.” http://usm.ag/1np3F7v
STAR WARS: And Luke Skywalker, per The Hollywood Reporter, “Mark Hamill stepped out for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy UK premiere at London's Empire Leicester Square on Thursday, but his conversations inevitably centered on the 2015 installment of his own Disney universe, Star Wars. "It was certainly unexpected — I already had a beginning, middle and end, I never thought we'd come back," he told the BBC on the red carpet of filming Episode VII. "To go on to those sets that evoked so many memories, it is just astonishing." ’’ http://bit.ly/WHg0tF
STEVE IRWIN: His daughter keeps his spirit alive, per The Insider, “Bindi Irwin turned 16 on Thursday, and the daughter of the late Australian animal expert Steve Irwin celebrated by getting her driving learner's permit. . . She also was joined by 2,000 guests for a party at the Australia Zoo in Queensland. Along with her mom, Terri, and her brother Robert, 10, they fed crocodiles, blew out the candles on a giant cake, and hung out with her Aussie singer friends The Veronicas.” http://yhoo.it/1zcuqQf
MICHAEL JACKSON: Of his daughter, per TMZ, “Paris Jackson is back in the L.A. area -- possibly with a boyfriend -- and we've learned the point of the visit is to re-establish Jackson family ties. Paris was hanging out in Calabasas Wednesday night with some friends as guardian T.J. Jackson followed closely behind. It looks like the guy with the dark hair might be a date or a boyfriend.
“Sources connected to the Jacksons tell TMZ ... the doctors who have been treating Paris after she tried to take her life have told her she needs to create a family support system ... because she's become estranged from her entire family. We're told doctors were concerned 16-year-old Paris' only meaningful relationship has been with Debbie Rowe -- her biological mother who does not have custody.” http://bit.ly/1noM3bI
AND FINALLY: Today’s mystery music video. http://bit.ly/1zcuZtj
--Skip Wood firstname.lastname@example.org