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POP INTERVIEW: HBO “Treme” Star Jay Huguley on an Actor’s Passion

Check out Nicole Russin’s interview with the multi-dimensional, multi-talented Jay Huguley!

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You might have seen him on your favorite Lifetime chick drama Army Wives and recurring guest roles on shows like Nashville, Drop Dead Diva, Brothers & Sisters and Alias. Now, Huguley can be seen on the HBO hit Treme, filming on location in New Orleans. He e-mailed about the show, his career and what you don’t get to know from watching him on TV – an actor’s life is more than the 30 minute glimpse but a long life of hard work.

Out of your mixture of television work, which has been your favorite genre to work in and why? You did a CW teen drama, guest role on MadTV, etc. Very versatile!
For me its always about the character. If the character is interesting and multidimensional and really has some kind of inner life, then I’m happy. I find that I don’t think in terms of genre – and maybe that has something to do with why I’ve been lucky enough to work in so many different kinds of projects. If I can make the character a real person with a real life and a history, then it doesn’t matter if it’s on a half-hour comedy or a one-hour drama.

Women often talk about the challenges they face in finding worthwhile roles, avoiding being seen as objects and competing against stereotypes. What about men in Hollywood? What problems do you face in seeking quality work, earning equality among your peers or bringing something extra to your job?
Im so glad you are asking me that. Women get asked that all the time and I always think that it’s a question that men never hear. The parts definitely get more interesting for me as I get older. I’m never asked to just be “the boyfriend” anymore, and there is a huge relief that comes with that. It should be exactly the same with women. Women get more and more interesting, and beautiful, as they get older. I mean let’s face it, Diane Lane was always a really pretty girl, but now she is a drop dead gorgeous, interesting, sexy woman and she is one on a long list. Hollywood looks differently at men in their 40s than they do women in their 40s and I don’t know why that is, because there are a lot of great actresses that we should be seeing more of. We’ll see what happens when I get into my 50s, if it starts to shift, but I can’t complain now.

When you guest star on a show, it is like a first holiday meal with a tightly knit family you know next to nothing about. What do you do when you play a new character on a program so you fit in well not only with the cast offscreen but as a strong actor on screen?
You really need to grab the reigns and make some strong choices. I’ve gotten better at it over the years, but it still can be awkward. You have to claim your space right away. Every set is different and you can usually tell a lot in the first five minutes. I have a friend who says, “Some sets are like a big, crazy, dysfunctional family waiting for someone to show up and be the sane one.” I think that’s true.

You cannot be luckier than working on a well written HBO program. Treme is no exception. Please talk about your role on the show, experiences, life offscreen, etc.!
When I got the call that I had gotten the job on “Treme,” it was like winning the lottery. The show’s creator is David Simon and I have been a huge fan of his work for a long time. Like a lot of people, I worship ‘The Wire.” I play Will Branson, a real estate developer who is trying to capitalize on the money coming back into New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Like a lot of David Simon’s characters, we don’t know what we are supposed to think of him. He seems like a good guy, and sometimes he doesn’t. “Treme” was the best set I’ve ever been on. When everyone is that talented and smart and committed to telling a good story, it’s incredibly relaxing for an actor. Everyone feels like a collaborator. The show is all shot on location in New Orleans with the best directors and actors and musicians. They have spoiled me for everything else. The only downside is the 10 pounds you gain eating at all of those great restaurants. When I finished the season, there were seriously pants that I could not button.

Who has been your favorite co-star? Onscreen? Offscreen? Why?
I just worked with Michael Fassbender on a movie that is coming out next year. I love the way he works. He’s totally focused and like a great athlete with his head in the game. I’m not an actor who likes to talk in between takes, and Michael is like a boxer who goes right back to his corner when they say cut. There is a strange freedom in that, to know the guy you’re working with cares that much about getting the scene right. I love that. I did a TV series a few years ago called “Brothers & Sisters” and worked a lot with Calista Flockhart. I learned so much from watching her, on set and off. She is maybe the most open, available actor I’ve ever worked with. She seems to take all of the preciousness out of acting and she has the best instincts. I would love to work with her again.

What is your personal story?
I think there are all kinds of actors. I did my first play in college, “The Glass Menagerie,” the great Tennessee Williams drama. I remember walking home one night after a performance and thinking that acting was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It scared me to death. How am I going to make a living? It’s a very unusual life you sign on for as an actor. You have to be bold and fearless and patient and resilient. My goal from the very beginning was always to get better and better, and to play interesting parts. I think I will have the same goal when I’m 90.

I’ve been really lucky in my career, but the thing I valued most was getting to study with the great Milton Katslelas. He changed the way I saw the world. He had great respect for art and for artists, in a way that I hadn’t seen before.The first time I did a scene for him in acting class, he said “You’re good, but there’s one thing we really take care of. Theres a bit of an apology in your work. I can sense it.” I looked him right in the eye and without really knowing what I was saying, said “I’m so sorry.” He burst out laughing and so did the class. But we were off on our journey. Milton believed an actor should be what he called an “Artistic Killer.” By that he meant someone who finishes what they start, who leaves no stone unturned, focused and hard-working and never takes “no” for an answer. By the time I came to study with him, he had worked with George Clooney, Michelle Pfeiffer, Gene Hackman, Gena Rowlands, Bette Davis, Alec Baldwin — all a lot of actors that I admire. To this day, every time I walk onto a set, I have his voice in my head saying “Nothing is impossible. Nothing is out of the question.”

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Lizzo Is An Icon In The Making – And Here’s Why

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Mirror, mirror on the wall don’t say it ‘cause we know Lizzo cute. And by cute I mean extremely talented, gorgeous and totally inspiring!

A few months ago I was watching The Ellen Degeneres Show when I witnessed one of the most fun, exciting and awe-inspiring performances I’ve ever seen. Lizzo popped onto the screen in a sparkly, pink getup and began singing what would become her big hit song, “Juice,” – I was immediately hooked (more like obsessed). During this performance she also jammed out on her flute alongside her plus-sized backup dancers and suddenly I knew I had been changed forever. I did some more research on the rapper/singer and found out I had been sleeping on this gem! Lizzo has been doing bad all by her damn self for years, having already released two albums in the past. I am suddenly mad at every single person who neglected to tell me to jump on the Lizzo train sooner! If you’re like me and need a bit of catch up, I’m going to break down exactly why you need to know this icon in the making.

You can throw a stone in any direction and hit a triple threat nowadays. Lizzo’s brings talents we have yet to see in the mainstream music industry.

If singing, rapping and dancing make Lizzo a triple threat, what does flute playing making her?!? A STAR THAT’S WHAT! Lizzo has displayed her abilities as a talented flautist, which is not an instrument you would necessarily think of in conjunction with the rap genre making this talent all the more extraordinary. Lizzo even used her flauting skills to compete (and defeat IMO) with Ron Burgundy. Not Will Ferrell, but Ron Burgundy.

Oh, and she can also twerk while playing the flute. 

As if playing the flute wasn’t impressive enough, Lizzo can also twerk while playing. I really hope some high school kid is deciding to take band just so he/she can flutwerk their way around campus like their fav flautist, Lizzo.

Lizzo uses her platform to inspire and raise up everyone around her.

Lizzo uses her voice for more than just creating fire music, ya know. She uses her platform to defend the belief that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Her Twitter is filled with positivity and strong messages about acceptance.

 

Uhm…she’s straight up gorgeous. 

We cant forget to mention that Lizzo is a straight up beauty queen. She is known to switch up her look but I’ve never seen a bad pic of this queen. To solidify my point, she is now officially the first, plus sized black woman to be featured in Playboy magazine!

Credit: Playboy.com

Move over Avenger’s, Lizzo has been in a comic book too!

Ok indulge the nerd in me on this one…Lizzo was even featured in a comic book!!! That’s right, she has become so influential that even Marvel comics wanted a piece of the Lizzo-pie. Check out this shout-out in Unstoppable Wasp #4!

 

So now that you have become as obsessed as I have, you are probably wondering how you can get even more Lizzo in your life. Well lucky for you, her new album dropped TODAY! Her third studio album, Cuz I Love You, is available anywhere you listen to music and let me tell you, YOU WILL LOVE IT. The album is varied and showcases all of Lizzo’s incredible range with some songs being upbeat and funky, and others being slowed down and heart wrenching. For a taste of what to expect, click below to listen to the title track of the album. If the new album still doesn’t satisfy the hunger for more Lizzo, she’s also on tour! You can click here for more info on tour dates.

Oh Lizzo…you are most definitely 100% that bitch.  

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Cher Slapped, Sang And Lip-Synched Her Way Through Her ‘Tonight Show’ Takeover

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If I could turn back time, I would watch Cher take over The Tonight Show again and again.

Give me a rapid vibrato and a strong hair flip and I am just about the happiest man on earth. There isn’t much the iconic Cher can’t do as proven by her lengthy career as an actress, singer and now broadway producer, so it was no surprise when she became one of The Tonight Show‘s most memorable guests in history last night. Cher wasted no time diving into the fun, giving host, Jimmy Fallon, a helping hand with his opening monologue. And by helping hand I mean she slapped him…not once but twice! I am now twice as jealous of Jimmy Fallon. The slap was of course a recreation of Cher’s legendary slap from her Oscar-award winning role in Moonstruck. All these years later and it is still a very effective way of shutting people up.

The Cher-takeover didn’t stop there! Cher hit the couch to answer some burning questions that fans (me) wanted to know about life as a living legend. During her chat she opened up about how painfully shy she was and is despite growing up in show business. She revealed that she was actually so afraid to sing in intimate settings that she lied about disliking “I Got You Babe” when Sonny Bono first introduced it to her just so she wouldn’t have to sing on the spot. It’s hard to imagine the showgirl being so shy but she confirmed that “it was really terrible, I was so shy.” During the chat Cher also confessed that she’s never actually heard a good impression of her! Even though she has to be one of the most impersonated celebrities of all time, she said she struggles to find any inkling of herself in all of the weird facial expressions and “bullish*t”!!! God I love her. The hour then segued to Cher’s new, autobiographical, hit Broadway musical The Cher Show which prompted a performance of “I Got You Babe” by the musical’s Sonny and young Cher, Jarrod Spector and Micaela Diamond. The audience nearly fell out and I audibly gasped when Cher herself joined Spector to finish the performance.

Of course a Tonight Show takeover would not be complete without a little lip-sync battle. This lip-sync battle was different than any other, however, as both Cher and Jimmy lip-synched to drunk bar patron renditions of Cher’s “Believe.” That’s right, Jimmy sent a camera crew to a karaoke bar at 1am and filmed their takes on the classic hit and used those vocals as the source of the lip-sync! Everything about this is hilarious!

The hour seemed to fly by and things only got more exciting as Jimmy brought the three leads from The Cher Show to the couch. Stephanie J. Block, Teal Wicks and Micaela Diamond cozied up next to Cher and gushed about what an incredible experience it has been working with such an icon. All four ladies closed the hour with an incredibly performance of “If I Could Turn Back Time” and how I wish I could just to be able to relive this hour over and over! I do believe this hour will go down in books as one of the best Tonight Show moments in history.

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Lori Loughlin Shockingly Pleads Not Guilty In College Bribery Case

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After Felicity Huffman pled guilty to her part in the college bribery case, it was assumed Lori Loughlin would do the same.

As if the college bribery case wasn’t already filled with shocking twists and turns, Lori Laughing and husband Mossimo Giannulli have just pled not guilty on all charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The couple face a minimum of 4 years and 9 months in prison for allegedly paying $500k to get their daughters into the University of Southern California. As if things weren’t sticky enough, the Full House actress and her fashion designer husband were indicted by the federal grand jury last week for an additional charge of money laundering. The couple waived their right to appear in court and instead entered their plea via court documents filed by their attorney.

The entire scandal revolves around 13 wealthy parents who used money to bribe college coaches and standardized test administrators to grant their children admission into USC. Prosecutors say that some of the parents went so far as to facilitate cheating on the SATs and ACTs for their children, while others used the money to coax the administrators into smoothing out the children’s paths into college.

Felicity Huffman, the other high-profile actress embroiled in this scandal, entered a guilty plea last week for paying $15,000 to have her daughter’s SAT test rigged. After insisting that her daughter had no knowledge of the wrong-doings behind the scenes, Huffman faces a minimum of 4 months in prison.

Like what you read? Follow @ChrisSiretz on Twitter and Instagram

 

 

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