Hilary Swank, Alan Ritchson on the “responsibility” of telling the real-life story of ‘Ordinary Angels’


The new drama Ordinary Angels is now in theaters, starring Oscar winner Hilary Swank and Reacher lead Alan Ritchson.

Based on a true story, Ritchson plays Ed Schmitt, a blue-collar widower who lost his wife to a rare liver disease that was passed on to their two daughters. Crushed by his loss, and the medical debt from his wife and his daughters’ illnesses, he needs a miracle.

Enter Swank’s Sharon Stevens, a small-town hairdresser who single-handedly rallies an entire community to save his youngest daughter’s life when she desperately needs a liver transplant.

As in real life, Stevens doesn’t take “no” for an answer. “She was so much fun to play,” Swank said. “She’s just a ball of life. I love her.”

“There’s such a responsibility, I think, to play a real-life person. … because you want to do justice to that person,” Swank adds. “But Sharon was just so gracious about, you know, about ‘Just play it how you like,’ you know, ‘Just do your thing. You just shine your own light and do it.’ Which was very gracious.”

Apparently, it worked: Ritchson ran into the real Sharon at the movie’s recent premiere and said she gushed, “‘Hilary nailed it!'”

The movie centers on Ed’s crisis of faith and how prayers can be answered by, as the title suggests, ordinary angels among us. But Ritchson says it’s not a “faith-based film,” per se.

“It just … seemed like a great story,” Ritchson says.

“And I think that’s where we should be approaching any story that we tell, faith-based or otherwise. ‘Is this an excellent story? And are we … striving for excellence in how we relate to this?'”  


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‘John Wick’ star Ian McShane reveals what’s behind ‘Ballerina’ spinoff delay


Ballerina, a spinoff set in the John Wick universe, was supposed to be coming out in June. However, Lionsgate bumped the Ana De Armas-led action movie by a whole year.

And thanks to Wick mainstay Ian McShane, we now know why.

Appearing on the BBC chat program The One Show, McShane spilled that the movie apparently wasn’t up to snuff and “not reshoots, but new shoots” were ordered by Wick series director Chad Stahelski, producer of the Len Wiseman-directed film.

The interview has yet to be available on the network’s website, but a Twitter user posted the conversation.

“You know, it’s like they’ve got to protect the franchise,” explained the actor, who plays The Continental’s manager Winston Scott in the Wick films.

“We did [Ballerina] about a year ago … and Chad’s come in, the guy who directed all the John Wick movies, and they want to make it better. Because they have to protect it.”

McShane also revealed that the Man in Black himself, Keanu Reeves, also appears in the movie, as Ballerina “takes place between John Wick 3 and John Wick 4.”

And incidentally, while McShane seemed to regard Ballerina kindly, he didn’t have much to say about The Continental, the prequel series about his character’s younger days.

McShane seemed to recoil when One Show co-host Ant McPartlin mentioned he’d watched it. McShane, however, did not. “Why would I?” he asked.

“They never asked anybody about it. They just went and did it,” he continued. “Somebody asked Keanu and me about it. We both went, ‘I don’t know. Nobody ever asked us about it.'”

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Power couples: Company ranks most influential entertainment celebrity pairings

Christopher Polk/Golden Globes 2024/Golden Globes 2024 via Getty Images

While not every celebrity uses their social media to sell products, the Australian online casino guide BestAUCasinoSites looked into the Instagram profiles for top celebrity power couples to determine how much potential earning power they have.

With more than 431 million followers between them, Timothée Chalamet and his new squeeze Kylie Jenner were deemed the most potentially influential. Indeed, People recently said a single post from Kylie is the equivalent of $1 million worth of traditional advertising.

Coming in second was Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his wife since 2019, Lauren Hashian. They boast some 397.4 million combined followers. However, as in the gym, The Rock does the heavy lifting here. The wrestler-turned-movie star plugs his many entrepreneurial ventures in play on socials, including his Zoa energy drink line. He could potentially make up to $830,000 per sponsored post, the website says.

Third place belongs to newly announced couple Kim Kardashian and Odell Beckham Jr. With a combined 381.9 million followers, Kim’s the big draw; she could earn a maximum of $777,700 per sponsored post, while pro athlete Odell could earn up to $76,200.

Fourth place went to Zendaya and Tom Holland. They have a total of over 251 million followers — though 184.8 million of those are hers.

The Dune franchise star could make $461,600 per post “if she so wished,” the site says. Her Spider-Man co-star boyfriend has an on-again, off-again relationship with social media, though he currently has around 66.2 million followers.

Kevin Hart and wife Eniko round out the top five with 183.5 million followers combined. Hart reportedly makes up to $452,000 per sponsored post, the site says.

Survey questions, methodology and results have not been verified or endorsed by ABC News or The Walt Disney Company.


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Reality Roundup: Tom Sandoval controversy, ‘The Bachelor”s Maria-Sydney drama update

Have no fear, your reality roundup is here! Here’s a look at what happened in the world of reality television this week:

Vanderpump Rules (Bravo)
Tom Sandoval is coming under fire for comparing his “Scandoval” cheating scandal to the O.J. Simpson trial and George Floyd‘s murder at the hands of the police. The Vanderpump Rules star made the claim in a New York Times profile released Tuesday. “I’m not a pop-culture historian really but I witnessed the O.J. Simpson thing and George Floyd and all these big things, which is really weird to compare this to that, I think, but do you think in a weird way it’s a little bit the same?” Sandoval said.

The Bachelor (ABC)
Maria Georgas and Sydney Gordon didn’t have the best relationship on The Bachelor, but fan-favorite Maria says there are things she would have handled differently. “If I could go back, honestly, I would do things differently, especially when whatever you’re going to say or do is just not gonna make the other person happy. So, next time, [I’m] just gonna zip it,” Georgas said in a TikTok posted Tuesday.

Love is Blind (Netflix)
Matthew Duliba took to Instagram to clear his name after he was portrayed as a villain in season 6 of Love is Blind. “Key element of my story that was never disclosed is that I live an alcohol free lifestyle and did the experiment sober,” Duliba commented on a series of videos the Love is Blind account posted on Wednesday. “It was a key factor in why I had so much difficulty connecting with women in the beginning. There was also many misrepresentations and falsehoods created in my opinion to smear my character. I look forward to telling my side of the story,” Duliba continued.


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Stephen Amell talks nerves ahead of ‘Suits: L.A.’ audition

Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

As previously reported, NBC is spinning off the former USA Network show-turned-Netflix phenomenon Suits into a new show, Suits: L.A. 

“It’s cool that there’s a nice hype around the project,” says its star, Stephen Amell, who gave ABC Audio a peek behind the scenes.

According to NBC, Amell will be playing Ted Black, “a former federal prosecutor from New York who moved to Los Angeles to reinvent himself by representing powerful clients in the City of Angels.”

That said, “his firm is at a crisis point,” the network continues.

Speaking of crisis, Amell tells ABC Audio he had one right before auditioning for the role.

Following a long run leading CW’s Arrow-verse, the pandemic and the Hollywood strikes, Amell said he was a little rusty. “Went in, first in-person audition that I had done in, I don’t know, close to a decade,” he recalls.

“Oh my God,” he continues, “I had a total mental breakdown before the audition. I had been alone with my kids all week. My wife was away and I … had gotten … some sort of, like, upsetting personal news. And I swear to God, right before the audition, I had a full meltdown.”

He recalled with a laugh, “And apparently it worked.”

Amell will be joined by The Walking Dead veteran Josh McDermitt for the pilot, the network just revealed.

He’ll be playing the “energetic, powerful, focused and self-absorbed” Stuart Lane. He’s “an old friend of Black’s, [who] fifteen years prior to the events of Suits: L.A. started a Los Angeles-based law firm called Black Lane Law that specializes in criminal and entertainment law.”


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Jon Taffer on serving up the “intense” new season of ‘Bar Rescue’

Photo: Vivian Best

Make your reservation now: Paramount Network will be serving up the ninth season premiere of its hit Bar Rescue on Sunday at 10 p.m. ET.

The show’s fiery host, bar expert Jon Taffer, famously rehabs bars, and bar owners, getting them back into the black.

It’s never easy, but this season things are different, he says.

“It’s sort of a gloves off season, it’s been fricking intense,” Taffer tells ABC Audio.

“You know, the pandemic is over. The excuses are over,” he continues.

“Some of these people are still stung by the pandemic. They’re, like, in this pause mode, but they’re in a lousy fricking place. And I’m finding they sort of need a kick in the a** to get them moving again and, you know, get them aggressive again,” Jon expresses.

Taffer is grateful to the fans for keeping the show going, explaining that at the center of its success are the stories behind those failing businesses.

“I shot my 250th episode last week, man, which is just — I’ll watch my language — I’ll just say it was unbelievable,” Taffer says of the accomplishment.

He recalls of the landmark episode, “I’m rescuing a bar and it’s an ugly family situation. You know, what I’m realizing [is] this is not about a bar. This is about the impact that a failing business has on a family. And it’s serious stuff.”

Taffer adds, “I looked at this guy and I said, ‘You know, your bar — it can break your wallet or it can break your family. In your case, it broke your fricking family, man.” 

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Greta Gerwig talks ‘Barbie’ “snub”

Warner Bros. Pictures

Greta Gerwig is addressing what was widely perceived as one of the biggest snubs of the 2024 Oscars nominations.

The filmmaker earned a nomination for best adapted screenplay for Barbie along with her writing partner and partner in life, Noah Baumbach, but many fans were upset when she was excluded from the Best Director category.

“A friend’s mom said to me, ‘I can’t believe you didn’t get nominated,'” she tells TIME in its “Women of the Year” issue. “I said, ‘But I did. I got an Oscar nomination.’ She was like, ‘Oh, that’s wonderful for you!’ I was like, ‘I know!'”

As reported, Ryan Gosling, who played Ken in Barbie, was less reserved about Gerwig’s snub — as well as that of Margot Robbie, who failed to snag a Best Actress nomination herself.

In a statement obtained by ABC News, Gosling said he was “extremely honored” to be recognized in the supporting actor category, but that “there is no Ken without Barbie, and there is no Barbie movie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the two people most responsible for this history-making, globally-celebrated film.”

“To say that I’m disappointed … would be an understatement,” his statement continued in part.

Barbie earned a total of eight Oscar nominations this year, including Best Picture — for which Robbie is nominated as a producer — and Best Supporting Actress for America Ferrera.

Gerwig expressed to TIME her excitement for both her and Robbie garnering Oscar nominations, despite them not being in the categories people expected.

“Of course I wanted it for Margot,” she said. “But I’m just happy we all get to be there together.”

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In Brief: ‘True Detective’ coming back for season 5, and more

On the heels of True Detective: Night Country‘s season finale on February 18, Variety reports HBO has picked up the anthology series for a fifth season, with Night Country creator Issa López to direct as part of her new overall deal with the premium cable network. True Detective: Night Country, starring Jodie Foster and Kali Reis, was the most watched season of True Detective, with 12.7 million cross platform viewers, according to HBO …

Netflix is developing a yet-to-be-titled spinoff of the drama series Virgin River, according to Deadline. The potential prequel will reportedly follow Sarah, the late mother of Mel — played by Alexandra Breckenridge — who fell in love with Everett, a man from the fictional Northern California town. Virgin River‘s upcoming sixth season will feature flashbacks of Sarah and Everett. Meanwhile, Deadline reports production on season 6, delayed by strikes and weather, kicked off on Thursday, February 22, in anticipation of a 2025 launch …

Hulu has ordered the comedy series Chad Powers, starring Anyone but You‘s Glen Powell, who also co-created and co-wrote the pilot with Loki season 1 and Rick and Morty vet Michael Waldron. The series is based on the Chad Powers character created by Eli Manning for his ESPN+ docuseries Eli’s Places. Eli also serves as an executive producer, along with his brother Peyton Manning. “We’re both diehard college football fans. When we saw Eli as Chad Powers, we knew that was the way into a big, fun story about this world,” Powell and Waldron said in a statement. “We’re excited to be part of this team, and can’t wait to get Chad in the game. Think fast, run fast.” …


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Danai Gurira, ‘Talking Dead”s Chris Hardwick talk ‘The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live’

Good Morning America — Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

The newest spinoff of The Walking Dead debuts Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on AMC and streams afterward on AMC+.

The show reunites Danai Gurira‘s Michonne with Andrew Lincoln‘s Rick Grimes, years after he was supposedly killed in action.

“This is all an epic love story between Rick and Michonne,” Gurira tells ABC’s Good Morning America.

“She always believed he didn’t die, but she could never prove it and she had to just carry on,” the Black Panther veteran continues.

“So this is like nine years later when she found real clear evidence that he … couldn’t have died. And so, you know, she’s on that journey and we go with her, and we catch up with where he is,” Gurira teases.

Chris Hardwick who hosted the aftershow Talking Dead for years, when the zombie series was a ratings monster — said attending the new show’s Los Angeles premiere was emotional.

The premiere reunited Hardwick with TWD alum like Steven Yeun; Chandler Riggs, who played Rick’s son Carl; and Norman Reedus.

“It was weirdly emotional,” Hardwick said. “It just felt like, ‘Oh my God … when are we all going to be together like this again?’ I mean this [show] was such a significant, you know, profound piece of my life. And it really was special to … experience it again.”

Hardwick gushes of the new six-episode series, “It was fantastic. Stuff happens right out of the gate on the show where you’re like, ‘Oh my God!’ They just get right into it.”

He was eager to say more, but added, “I don’t want to start rambling and accidentally give anything away!” 

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Normani says debut album represents “everything I’ve gone through to get to this moment”

Photo by Emma McIntyre/WireImage for Parkwood

Normani‘s debut album, DOPAMINE, may put an end to fans’ inquiries about new music, but it has a deeper meaning for the singer.

“It feels like a representation of everything I’ve gone through to get to this moment,” Normani says in a cover feature for Who What Wear. “I know I needed time, experiences, and space coming out of [Fifth Harmony] in order to become the version of myself I needed to be. Without [all of that], I would not be able to exist within the creative space that I am in now. I would not be able to make the type of music I’m making now.”

With certain expectations placed on her, Normani says she sometimes finds herself thinking, “Is what everybody is saying true? Did I miss my moment? Did I wait too long? Do they still care?” She notes the self-doubt stems from the pressure she put on herself growing up “to be the absolute best that I could possibly be to be seen, heard, recognized, and acknowledged.” 

Now, Normani’s “on a quest to be able to recognize that all that I am is actually enough.” Understanding the healing power of her music also helps her silence the noise.

As Normani revealed, her parents started cancer treatments when she set out on her solo career, leading her to say, “F*** all of this. This is bigger than the music … This is life or death.”

Though she “always wanted to be there for them,” “pushing through made the circumstances of the last few years feel a bit lighter for my parents.”

“It was in those moments with my parents that made me realize that I have an opportunity to make an impact in this lifetime,” Normani said.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.