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Richard Horgan

[Email contact: rhorgan@gmail.com; personal Twitter account: @hollywoodspin] I have worked as a journalist and editor for several decades, beginning in Canada at age 17 with a full-time job at the Ottawa bureau of Associated Press Canada (Canadian Press).

Ben Kingsley Expands Upon His Mother’s Profound Disapproval

ShutterstockBenKingsley2010In the spring of 2010, UK journalist Cole Moreton shared a rather startling interview with Sir Ben Kingsley. The actor, speaking in the pages of the Daily Mail not long after the death that year of his mother Anna Lyna Mary (nee Goodman) at age 96, candidly revealed her pathological inability to show affection for her children and give them any approval.

He pantomimed her dismissal of his British knighthood after it was awarded at Buckingham Palace in 2002. And this week, Kingsley went a little further, filling in the blanks of this unbelievable, ultimate slap. From the actor’s interview with Hollywood-based Filipino journalist Ruben Nepales:

Ben revealed a side story about becoming a knight. “Then [after the ceremony], my mother refused to acknowledge my knighthood, which I found bitterly hurtful. Life is all about balance, isn’t it? That wonderful woman (Queen Elizabeth II) had said, we accept you and love what you do, but my mother refused to acknowledge that it had taken place. She was embarrassed, bitter and jealous. That’s the whole story. I have never told it before.”

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Stony Brook Prof Stresses Value of Old-School Journalism

JonFriedmanStonyBrookPicJon Friedman‘s latest Marketwatch column is a good one. In framing what he thinks it still takes to be a good journalist, he laments the fact that many of his Stony Brook journalism students are fixated on the glittery sheen of the boob tube:

When I asked my students last semester what they hoped to do in their careers, the majority said they wanted to be on television. (The most honest of them declared they wanted to be TV stars, not so much for the big bucks but since it just seemed so darned cool to be on TV!) None of them said he or she hoped to be a link in the chain to the late, great Edward R. Murrow. (Who?)

It’s not my students’ fault that TV news today has taken on the mentality of the fabulous 1976 film Network (a movie most of them had never heard of, much less seen). It’s all about flash and pizzazz. News and entertainment are so blurred that it’s hard to tell them apart.

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Wondering About That Spike Jonze-Jonah Hill Collaboration

It’s that time of year when a lucky group of film journalists including the LA TimesRebecca Keegan jet off to Telluride, Colorado and Toronto, Canada to be wined, dined and awards-season appetized.

OpeningCeremonyNYStoreHere in NYC, in the shadow of TIFF, there will be an event of a different nature but one that involves a couple of very familiar festival marquee names. As first reported by WWD‘s Jessica Iredale, Spike Jonze and Jonah Hill have teamed to produce and write a one-act play for the fall New York Fashion Week presentation of Opening Ceremony’s Spring 2015 line:

Jonze, who has done fashion capsules with Opening Ceremony for his films Where The Wild Things Are and Her, will direct a cast of actors and models in his first project since winning the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Her earlier this year. The storyline is still being finalized, according to OC co-founder Humberto Leon, who noted the play was Jonze’s idea, as was bringing on Hill, who is known primarily for acting though his writing credits include 21 Jump Street and its sequel 22 Jump Street.

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On the Cover of Paper Magazine, Courtney Love Looks Great

Much credit for this goes to photographer Richard Phibbs and shoot fashion director Nicola Formichetti. Together, for the September issue of Paper, they have vividly captured Courtney Love to help celebrate the publication’s 30th anniversary.

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Love will no doubt be pleased by the cover, as well as by the ethical behavior of her interviewer, Alex Scordelis. When the reporter visited Love at her Hollywood home and was told by Love’s manager to wait as she wrapped up a call with David LaChapelle, he resisted temptation:

As I wait and fidget with my iPhone, I notice a bound manuscript, The Girl With the Most Cake, on the coffee table. It’s Love’s long-awaited memoir. I’m tempted to skim for a salacious passage, but resist. From the next room, I can hear Love on the phone with LaChapelle, dishing Internet-crashing quotes that I wish I could print, but shall remain off the record. Her hyperactive white Shih Tzu, Sugar, gnaws at my shoelaces and occasionally jumps on my lap. After 15 minutes, Love reemerges, pulls a cigarette from a pack of Marlboro Lights and lights up.

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Worst Celebrity Couple Short-Form Ever?

JarlosWall Street Journal reporter Mike Vilensky‘s piece about the dynamic twentysomething NYC male duo of John Tuite and Carlos Santolalla starts out with some impressive social media particulars. The two model-photographers-writers are constantly about-town and ready to Instagram, resulting in some notable flashpoints.

But then, for us, it went off the rails:

Inspired by it-couple forebears like “Kimye” and “Brangelina,” Messrs. Tuite and Santolalla also have a combo nickname: “Jarlos.”

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Journalist Revisits a Celebrity Biographer’s Fraudulent Ways

The late author’s editor would not talk to reporter David Cay Johnston. Neither would Simon & Schuster spokesperson Paul Olewski.

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But there it is, nonetheless, detailed in the latest issue of Newsweek magazine. The litany of errors and fabrication committed by celebrity biographer C. David Heymann, who passed away two years ago in New York City:

It’s too bad CBS didn’t want to hear more, because all the celebrity bios Heymann wrote for them and other publishers — dealing with JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe — are riddled with errors and fabrications. An exhaustive cataloging of those mistakes would fill a book, so a sampling from his long career will have to suffice.

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Mad Men Star Ribs London Hotel

The conversation for the Jon Hamm British GQ September cover story took place at New York’s Mandarin Hotel.

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But for Alice Howarth‘s more recent Web sidebar, it was a London boutique hotel with the seemingly perfect name for the occasion. So that’s where the conversation started:

GQ: Is it a coincidence that we’re in the Ham Yard Hotel?

Jon Hamm: [Laughs] it is a coincidence! They spelled it wrong which is retarded, I mean, come on you guys! No double m, what a shame. I can see a gold pineapple from my room on the roof of another building, so it’s like ham and pineapple – very Hawaiian.

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AP Writer Gets the Huge Brangelina Scoop

JakeCoylePicWhen AP welcomed Jake Coyle (pictured) as one of two new film writers last fall, it said it looked forward to both he and [since departed] Jessica Herndon breaking news. Boy, did the wire service get that right.

This morning, Coyle – ahead of People, TMZ, Paris Match and any other number of logical outlets we can think of – broke the news of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie‘s wedding in France this past weekend:

Jolie and Pitt wed in a small chapel in a private ceremony attended by family and friends at Provence’s Chateau Miraval. In advance of the nondenominational civil ceremony, Pitt and Jolie obtained a marriage license from a local California judge. The judge also conducted the ceremony in France.

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BuzzFeed HR Exec: ‘You Can’t Have an Ego Here’

BuzzFeedLogoThe latest installment of Cosmopolitan‘s “Interview Insider” is most apt, since it relates to a media company that has – per the interview subject – ‘hired a new employee every day for months.’ We’re talking BuzzFeed.

When writer Heather Wood Rudulph asked senior vice president of talent Joel Greengrass what BuzzFeed looks for in job candidates, he gave this very useful reply:

“You need to be self-directed and know how to solve a problem on your own. But you must be excited about the opportunity to work with others and understand that you’ll become better by bouncing ideas off of colleagues.”

“You can’t have an ego in a collaborative environment such as this. If you have too much pride of ownership of an idea, this is going to be a difficult place for you to work. The other piece I look for is leadership. I want to sit across my desk from someone — whether just out of college or working in the industry for 20 years — and think, I want to work for you!”

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BET Suspends Producer for Blue Ivy Joke

On Monday’s edition of BET countdown show 106 & Park, the hypothetical thoughts of Jay Z and Beyonce‘s daughter were briefly explored. Guest host Karrueche Tran, as the little girl, joked: “I really did wake up like this, because my parents never comb my hair.”

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On Tuesday, the president of the network apologized via Twitter. And, per AP music editor Mesfin Fekadu, further action was also taken:

A source at BET, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss the matter publicly, said the [show] producer was suspended.

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