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POP INTERVIEW: “K-11” Actor Ralph Cole Jr.

Ralph Cole Jr. stars in K-11, a film written and directed by Kristen Stewart’s mother, Jules Stewart. Acting in a movie with ER’s Goran Visnjic was a big step for Cole, who previously built up his credits on TV shows like Harry’s Law, Two and a Half Men, The Chris Rock Show and Desperate Housewives.

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Ralph Cole Jr. stars in K-11, a film written and directed by Kristen Stewart’s mother, Jules Stewart. Acting in a movie with ER‘s Goran Visnjic, as the character Kay-Kay, was a big step for Cole, who previously built up his credits on TV shows like Harry’s LawTwo and a Half MenThe Chris Rock Show and Desperate Housewives.

ralph cole jr

The theme of “K-11” is really unique and almost sucks someone in. With the film being about jail, have you ever felt “jailed” in your life and what did you do to escape your metaphorical “prison” to happiness, either personally or in your career choices?
What a terrific question! Metaphorically, I felt jailed when I tried to be what I thought casting directors wanted me to be..which is impossible. Once I was myself, I was free!

You said in a previous interview that your favorite acting gigs are sitcoms. Do you do anything special preparing yourself for humor?
I excavate every possible nuance the writers have given me to present the funniest scenarios possible.

What would you do differently if you were in a sketch comedy show that changed the script up to the last minute like “Saturday Night Live?”
Like sketch comedy, sitcom dialogue can often change up to the last minute. In my experience, my approach stays the same…remain flexible so as to absorb your updated dialogue with ease.

As someone who won an NAACP Award himself, you know best of all that we can’t pretend racial issues don’t exist in entertainment. We still don’t have movies opening like crazy where we see tons of racial diversity in romantic comedies. As much as I love Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck, etc., we could think of the other hand: how might those same movies perform if we had an African-American actor in the lead roles? Have you ever encountered any negative situations based on your race? How did you look past these bad events to move on to better things?
It remains disheartening that racial issues exist anywhere. As for my work in the entertainment industry, I feel fortunate to not have experienced negative situations based on being Negro. If for some reason I have not booked a role because of the color of my skin, I am pleased to be unaware because I always move onward and upward to better things.

Regarding incredible African-American performers and actors, who are your favorites?
Wow, another delicious question! Growing up, I thought Mom’s Mabley was hilarious. Scatman Crothers, Alfre Woodard, Sidney Poitier, Michael Jackson, CCH Pounder, Morgan Freeman, Viola Davis, Angela Bassett. Also, while not on a stage necessarily, but a “performer” all the same, Harriet Tubman. There are so many fierce Negroes!

If you could have a sitcom created just for you similar to any previous one, done your way, which show would you rely on for inspiration?
“I Love Lucy!”

With web radio, you either love hosting or hate it. I tried it and felt I was all wrong for it because I cannot be myself when I see myself talking into a telephone. I feel as if I am talking TO the telephone, haha. So with you, clearly, you are successful with your Universal Broadcasting Network program and have a natural knack for doing it. What do you love about it and what are your secrets to making audio work for you when we as a society are so accustomed to needing visuals whether we are in the audience or the people being heard or seen?
Here is the secret revealed: I love to talk. I love to talk to friends on the telephone. I love talking to Planet Eartha with the click of a button from our UBN studio! For those who need visuals, we can be live streamed as well.

If you had to interview yourself, asking yourself something you may feel is very deep, touching a tough spot as your hardest ever question for your gig as a radio journalist, what would you ask yourself? Would you be willing to give the answer to your own question…to yourself? And what might you say?
Do you think your effeminacy has prevented you from booking roles? Absolutely. Our society is not tolerant of the effeminate male but as part of this society I am worthy of every possible opportunity. And as I stated earlier, once I was myself in all facets of my life, I was free. And that freedom has led to me being a veteran industry participant.

Who are your favorite people you have had on your show, and your favorite moments?
On the Set with Jasper Cole is a tremendously listened to radio show. My first and foremost favorite person has been Jasper himself. Our favorite moments are derived from us laughing with wild abandon. That happens every show. Denise Boutte, Alicia Minshew, Suze Lanier-Bramlett, Jennifer Bassey, Leslie Jordan, Carolyn Hennesy, Leon Acord, Cerris Morgan-Moyer, Lisa Ann Walter, Carlease Burke, Damien Haas, Ronnie Butler, Jillian Rose Reed, Tony Sweet, Marty Shannon, Jeffrey Patrick Olson, Norma Micheals, Shanica Knowles, Jason Boegh, Sally Kirkland, Galen Gering, Corbin Bleu, Jared Allman, Elaine Hendrix, Olivia Summers, Matt Fahey, D.J. Shangela Pierce, Diana DeGarmo, Ace Young, Stephen Grove Malloy, Freda Payne, Jeffrey Sumner, Rib Hillis, David Pevsner, Jennifer Gimenez, Ann Walter, Chad Darnell, Jon Huertas, Robert Hensley, Jason Stuart, Versa Manos, Dylan Hyde, Morgan Giesler, Valarie Pettiford, Bill Oberst Jr., Markus Redmond, Efren Ramirez, Stephen Foster, Dara Zane Scully, and Bruce Vilanch are a few of our guests that have added to the popularity and hilarity!

How do you think good comedy can lead to being a powerful dramatic actor?
Good comedy allows you broad strokes. Powerful drama is more subtle and refined. Being able to harness and sculpt a dramatic performance from your comic options is a terrific journey.

K-11 opens in theaters on March 15.

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‘Pitch Perfect’ Barden Bellas Virtually Reunite To Perform Beyonce’s ‘Love On Top’ And Of Course It’s Aca-Amazing!

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A little aca-quarantine can’t stop these bad belters.

A lot of casts have been virtually reuniting during this quarantine with some distant gatherings more memorable than others. Of course, anytime the ladies of Pitch Perfect get together it’s a singing spectacular that goes viral almost instantly and this time is no different.

Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins reprised their roles as the hostile hosts of the a cappella singing competitions, Gail Abernathy-McKadden-Feinberg and John Smith respectively, as they introduced the Barden Bellas. The powerhouse singers including Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Hailee Steinfeld, Chrissie Fit, and Hannah Mae Lee then crush their rendition of Beyoncé’s “Love On Top.” And you know if you’re going to cover Queen Bey it better be good. Oh and streaming the song will not only sound good but it will some good too because proceeds from downloads of the cover will benefit UNICEF’s efforts to support children in Lebanon and around the world who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Aca-amazing!

To donate to UNICEF directly click here.

To stream/download the song click here.

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Disney Reveals Early Unseen Sketches Of Buzz Lightyear Who Was Almost Called ‘Lunar Larry’

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The space ranger could have looked a lot stranger.

It has been 25 years since Toy Story hit theaters…god we’re getting old…which means we have loved Buzz Lightyear for decades now. The beloved space ranger has become a staple in pop culture with his zest for adventure and signature catchphrase but what if Buzz was never “Buzz?”

To celebrate the milestone anniversary Disney has shared sketches of the early concepts for Buzz Lightyear who was actually going to be named “Lunar Larry.” Points for alliteration but sounds more like a cheesy superhero parody than a cool, futuristic action figure that every kid would have on their Christmas list. The pencil drawings vary in style but most of them feature an “LL” on the rangers chest. As time went on, the renderings began to look more and more like the Buzz we all know and love.

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Along with the sketches, Disney also announced the launch of their virtual film festival “Pixar Fest.” The family-friendly fest will premiere on August 9th in the UK with an epic stream of Pixar movies on Disney+ along with other exciting content such as watchalongs, animator masterclasses, quizzes, arts and crafts for kids, and product releases. 

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Disney Just Released A ‘Hocus Pocus’ Board Game And It Looks Wickedly Fun

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*Souls of innocent children not included.

Grab your broomsticks, stir up the cauldron and light your magic candles because game night just took a wicked twist!

Partnering with Ravensburger, Disney just released a Hocus Pocus board game and it will make for a magically good game night. This board game is unique in that game players are not competing with one another, rather they must all work together to stop the Sanderson sisters from completing their potion before sunrise. With the help of Thackery Binx the cat, you will have to dodge Winifred, Sarah and Mary as they cast spells and use potions to thwart your valiant efforts.

“The Black Flame Candle has been lit. Now the Sanderson witches you must outwit; Or with a wretched evil potion, a foul spell they’ll set in motion. Stun the witches and ruin the brew before the sun can rise anew! Work together to stop the Sanderson sisters from draining the lives of Salem’s children by ruining their potion before the sun rises!” It’s like being in the movie!

Credit: Ravensburger

The Hocus Pocus board game is available for $19.99 on Amazon and includes one cauldron board, 50 Ingredient cards, a Witch board, 13 Spell cards, a Sun token, 4 trick tokens, a rulebook, and one black cat Binx meeple. It’s perfect for ages 8 and up and 2-6 people can play at a time. The game takes about 30 minutes to complete which is perfect for a game night with friends and family…don’t want another never ending Monopoly situation here.

To purchase your own Hocus Pocus board game click here!

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