ICYMI: Rebel Wilson airs beefs, fans doubt Amy Winehouse biopic and Ramy Youssef calls for peace

ICYMI: Rebel Wilson airs beefs, fans doubt Amy Winehouse biopic and Ramy Youssef calls for peace
  • PublishedApril 3, 2024

So, you’ve been in a chocolate coma all weekend? That’s OK, we understand.

To help you catch up, here’s everything you missed in entertainment over the Easter long weekend.

Rebel Wilson goes nuclear before the release of her new memoir

Australian comedian and actor Rebel Wilson has been teasing the release of her new memoir Rebel Rising by airing some of her showbiz dirty laundry.

First, she took aim at Sacha Baron Cohen, who starred alongside Wilson in 2016’s Grimsby. Wilson claimed via social media Baron Cohen was a “massive asshole” to her on the set of the spy flop, saying he repeatedly attempted to coerce her into filming a nude scene that she ultimately turned down.

Baron Cohen denied her claims through a spokesperson: “While we appreciate the importance of speaking out, these demonstrably false claims are directly contradicted by extensive detailed evidence, including contemporaneous documents, film footage, and eyewitness accounts from those present before, during and after the production of The Brothers Grimsby.”

In an advanced excerpt of the memoir published over the weekend in Stellar, Wilson also shared her negative feelings about working on Australian shows including Fat Pizza and The Wedge, which launched her into stardom.

“I was in a boys’ show, so I had to take their fatphobic jokes right on my double chin. All people cared about was that I was fat and funny. And I was doing both of those things very well,” Wilson said of her time starring as drug dealer Toula on SBS’s Fat Pizza.

In response, Fat Pizza creator Pauly Fenech defended the show on Instagram claiming that Wilson was an “ungrateful person” who without Fat Pizza “would have not had the success she enjoys”.

Finally, in an excerpt shared with US Weekly, Wilson claimed that singer Adele “hates her” for how the media compared the two women.

“There was a moment when she was bigger, and some people would confuse us for one another … I am assuming, because to be fair I’ve never asked her,” Wilson wrote in her book.

Rebel Rising is out April 2 in the US. Australian publisher HarperCollins could not confirm a local release date when contacted by ABC Entertainment.

— Velvet Winter

Back to Black is nearly out and you need to hear Marisa Abela singing as Amy Winehouse

Ahead of the highly anticipated biopic‘s April 11 release date, we’ve been cursed with a new clip, set to Marisa Abela’s jarring take on Amy Winehouse’s Stronger than Me.

It comes as Abela shared in a recent appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show she underwent vocal training for “two hours a day for four months” to prepare for the role.

— Yasmin Jeffery

Quiet on Set to release fifth episode to deal with aftermath

Investigation Discovery’s four-part series that delves into the dark side of Nickelodeon in the 90s and early 00s has thrown the industry into disarray.

In Quiet on Set, Drake & Josh star Drake Bell confessed that he was sexually abused by Nickelodeon dialogue coach Brian Peck, which resulted in a 16-month jail sentence for Peck.

The series also featured multiple interviews with former employees of Dan Schneider, who backed claims that the kids TV producer created uncomfortable and unsafe working environments. Schneider’s 19-minute apology video has been rejected by multiple former castmates.

A fifth episode, entitled Breaking the Silence, is slated to premiere in the US on April 7. The episode will feature new interviews with Bell, All That’s Giovonnie Samuels and Bryan Christopher Hearne, and Hearne’s mother Tracey Brown, all of whom appeared in the original docuseries. Plus, All That cast member, Shane Lyons, will appear for the first time.

Quiet on Set: Breaking the Silence will also feature a roundtable conversation facilitated by journalist Soledad O’Brien, where the former cast members will speak about their reactions to the series and how to protect children in the industry going forward.

Quiet on Set premieres in Australia on ID, Binge and Fetch from April 5. Breaking the Silence will premiere on April 19.

— Velvet Winter

Ramy Youssef says the thing on Saturday Night Live

Poor Things star Ramy Youssef isn’t backwards about coming forwards with his opinions about the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict.

When he walked the Oscars red carpet he proudly sported an Artists4Ceasefire pin. He donated all funds from the last 12 shows of his 2023 US tour to Gaza through American Near East Refugee Aid. His new special More Feelings pokes fun at the responsibility he has to address the issue as a Muslim person with a platform.

So all eyes were on Youssef this weekend as he hosted Saturday Night Live. The veteran variety show has been cagey about mentioning the conflict — unless you count that one tepid Please Don’t Destroy/Timotheé Chalamet sketch.

But Youssef didn’t sugar-coat it when he broached the topic in his opening SNL monologue, recounting that he had two friends call him, asking to pray for them. One was asking for help in a custody dispute over his dog, while the other sought prayers for his family was missing in Gaza.

“So that night, I go to pray, and my prayers are… complicated. I’ve got a lot to fit in. I’m like, ‘God, please, please, help Ahmed’s family. Please stop the suffering, stop the violence, please free the people of Palestine, please. And please free the hostages, all the hostages, please,'” the comedian said.

“And while you’re at it… you know, free Mr Bojangles, he’s a beautiful dog. I’m praying for that dog.”

— Velvet Winter

The new Queen of Country gets honoured for her innovation

The 11th annual iHeartRadio Awards were held in Los Angeles on Tuesday and, although the company/platform has a name that makes me cringe every time I read it or, even worse, have to say it out loud, they put on a pretty great celebration of music.

Hosted by none other than number one Meryl Streep fan Ludacris, the ceremony had performances from TLC (!), Green Day (who celebrate the 30th anniversary of Dookie this year wtaf), Lainey Wilson, Tate McRae and Jelly Roll. Oh, and also JT *sigh*.

Some of the night’s highlights were:

JoJo Siwa giving KISS on the red carpet for some reason (it would seem the reason is to tease her “bad girl” rebrand, coming April 5):

But the real reason most people kicked their awards-season fatigue to rally behind the event was simple: Beyoncé.

Queen Bey has been honoured with the Innovator Award, presented by none other than Stevie Wonder!

This is a particularly pertinent accolade, following the Good Friday drop of the mind-blowing, 27-track record, Cowboy Carter.

After a lot of wild speculation that she would be announcing a tour, and lots of nerves that she would only appear on screen (like Taylor Swift did when accepting Artist of the Year), Beyoncé strutted onto the stage, wearing immaculate vintage Versace, in her trademark calm-but-powerful way.

In a gracious but unperturbed nod to the backlash, gatekeeping and racism she has received from some in the country music scene, she said: “My hope is that we’re more open to the joy and liberation that comes from enjoying art, with no preconceived notions.”

She then went on to thank the likes of 40s music goddess Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the inimitable Tracy Chapman and the first Black female artist to play the Grand Ole Oprey, Linda Martell: “Thank you for executing your dream, so we all could follow,” Bey said.

Now, back to listening to YA YA on repeat.

— Katherine Smyrk

Lorde covers Take Me to the River for the Talking Heads tribute album

Peep the third single from Everyone’s Getting Involved: A Tribute to Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense, from the inimitable Lorde.

The 27-year-old New Zealand singer-songwriter shared a letter alongside the single, in which she told the story of the first time she heard Talking Heads, describing her cover of Take Me to the River as her “interpretation of that pixelated spiritual experience”.

“I didn’t let myself tidy it up too much, it had to feel young and imperfect, the peeling posters, the jaw of acne. It’s beyond a great honour to be part of this compilation,” Lorde wrote.

“In doing so, I am reaching back through time and pinning something to that kid’s wall. Hope you like it.”

Lorde’s take on the 1978 Talking Heads cover of the original 1974 track from Al Green follows covers from Paramore and Teezo Touchdown for the forthcoming tribute album, which will also feature songs from Miley Cyrus, girl in red and The National.

I’m sorry to report we still don’t have a release date. Please accept this compilation video of Lorde shushing various crowds for 1 minute, 22 seconds, as my apology.


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