“Ice Cold” director Karam Gill shares how hip hop jewelry docuseries evolved into story about the American Dream

Courtesy of YouTube

YouTube Originals new four-part docuseries Ice Cold — which premieres today — uses the prism of hip-hop jewelry to explore deeper issues around racial inequality and the American Dream, but it didn’t exactly start out that way. Director Karam Gill tells ABC Audio that the initial idea behind the project was to use jewelry as an entry point to explore hip hop.

“Hip hop has been explored through fashion, it’s been explored through so many different avenues but not specifically jewelry,” the LA-based filmmaker shares. “The project ended up where it’s at right now just over the course of time. That story became less about just flash and prices. It’s so much deeper.” 

“… You start to realize ‘Wow this is actually a conversation about the American Dream… the perception of people based on where they come from or the economic reality of where they’re from and how our society views people,'” he explains. 

Gill goes on to note how pianist Liberace and actress Elizabeth Taylor, both of European descent, were viewed differently for adorning themselves in elaborate jewelry compared to someone like Jamaican rapper Slick Rick. “Why is that? What does that say about us?” he asks. 

While Ice Cold shines a light on some of society’s inequalities, it also dives into the hip hop subculture through a variety of different lenses — from the point-of-view of some of the genre’s biggest names like MigosCity Girls, and Lil Baby to top celebrity jewelers like Ben Baller and Johnny Dang.

The overall goal of the docuseries, though, is “to provide context.”

“I think people will have appreciation,” Gill says. “I don’t think people will be writing off rappers, hopefully, as much anymore for expressing themselves.”

Ice Cold is available to stream on Migos’ YouTube Channel

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Magical History Tour: Hulu releases trailer for anticipated documentary series ‘McCartney 3, 2, 1’

Hulu

Hulu has released the trailer for McCartney 3, 2, 1, the streaming service’s forthcoming series centering on an in-depth conversation between Paul McCartney and acclaimed producer and fellow Grammy winner Rick Rubin

Directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Zachary Heinzerling and co-executive produced by McCartney and Rubin, filmmaker Peter Berg and others, the series is a exploration of McCartney’s work with The Beatles, his musical segue into “the emblematic ’70s arena rock of Wings,” and his long career as a successful solo artist.

“We were writing songs that were memorable, because we had to remember them,” Paul jokes in the trailer about his work with The Beatles, as he and Rubin explore the creation of classics like, “All My Loving,” “With a Little Help from My Friends” and “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” among others featured in the just-released snippet.

According to the streaming service, the six-episode McCartney 3, 2, 1, “explores music and creativity in a unique and revelatory manner,” as Macca and Rubin have an “intimate conversation about the songwriting, influences, and personal relationships that informed the iconic songs that have served as the soundtracks of our lives.”

The series, which premieres Friday, July 16, will be available in the U.S. as a Hulu Original and internationally on Disney+ as a Star Original.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“It’s about time”: Skating legend Tony Hawk says he’s “excited” that skateboarding will debut at Tokyo Olympics

YouTube

For the first time, the Olympics is officially adding Skateboarding, Surfing and Sport Climbing to the upcoming Summer Games. 

Skateboard legend Tony Hawk and sports commentator Sal Masekela [massa-KEH-lah] helped celebrate the new additions — and what it took to get them to the Tokyo Games — with a documentary called World Debut now out on the Olympics’ YouTube channel.

Hawk tells ABC Audio that the film traces the origins of the three sports, and the hurdles they faced en route to being included in the Tokyo Olympics. “[T]here was a lot of heartbreak in that,” he explains. At times, it was looking like it wasn’t going to happen. And then it finally did receive the inclusion and then COVID hit. So there’s a lot there’s a lot of emotion in it.”

Hawk, arguably the sport’s first superstar, says of skateboarding, “It was never on the radar, it was always considered this sort of outcast activity and it grew in popularity as kids came to embrace it, [and] it will now be recognized on this international scale. And I just think it’s exciting. And I think it’s about time!”

Tony adds, “It’s exciting, especially for the new generation of skaters who now will grow up with the notion that they could be Olympians from the get-go, and that’s not something I ever imagined through my youth and not even through my 20s or even 30s.”

Masekela predicts the new additions will catch on with fans of The Games, noting, “I think it’ll be no different than what we’re used to seeing with gymnastics, with ice skating — subjective sports that are about personal expression and technique — and the audience…after…watching more and more runs and routines, getting a feel for what the high level of performance looks like.”

Sal adds, “That’s what’s so exciting about this, is that they’re going to get educated and become fans. You know, the Olympic stage, viewing a new sport and getting engaged with it and learning about its culture and its history, and its characters, and what it takes to perform, you know, from that point forward.”  

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Peacock goes full ‘Bridgerton’ with 1800s-inspired dating show ‘Pride & Prejudice’

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If swiping right isn’t your cup of tea, but high tea in the Bridgerton universe is your idea of ideal courtship, you’re in luck. 

Peacock is going back in time with an 1800s-inspired reality dating show called Pride & Prejudice

The streaming network announced the series with a Lady Whistledown-inspired invitation, promising “a time-traveling quest for love.”

Hopefuls can apply on a special website, which asks potential candidates the following questions: “Do you long for a night of romance, chariot rides, and balls?…Do you want to pursue love in a whimsical, international location?”

If you’re lucky enough to be selected, Peacock promises, “[W]e will transport a heroine and eligible, hopeful suitors to a beautiful, international location, where they will get to experience what dreams are made of.”

The invitation adds, “In the end, our heroine and her suitors will discover if the ultimate romantic experience will find them, true love!”

However, the romantic experience won’t be easy — and not just because of the corsets. “Only noble suitors are encouraged to take on this profound and thrilling quest, should they have the vigour to out-romance the rest,” the announcement warns.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Robert Downey Sr., filmmaker father of Robert Downey Jr., dead at 85

Downey Sr. and Jr. in 2008 — Larry Busacca/WireImage

Robert Downey Sr., the filmmaker and actor father of Robert Downey Jr., has died at 85, the Marvel movie star just announced on Instagram.

“RIP Bob D. Sr. 1936-2021,” the post begins, noting that Downey Jr.’s father died Tuesday evening.

“Last night, dad passed peacefully in his sleep after years of enduring the ravages of Parkinson’s,” Robert notes, calling his father “a true maverick filmmaker [who] remained remarkably optimistic throughout” his ordeal.

The actor then quips of Downey Sr.’s third wife, Rosemary Rogers-Downey, “According to my stepmom’s calculations, they were happily married for just over 2000 years.” He added about the music producer and writer, “you are a saint, and our thoughts and prayers are with you.”

Downey Jr.’s mother, his father’s first wife, Elsie Ann Downey, died in 2014.

Born in 1936, Robert Downey Sr. started his entertainment career as an actor after a stint in the Army, and throughout his career, he starred in TV shows and films, with credits including The Twilight Zone and Saturday Night Live on the small screen, and movies such as To Live and Die in L.A. and Boogie Nights.

However, it was his career as an avant-garde director decades earlier that left more of an impression: notably the 1969 race-based satire Putney Swope, and the 1970 comedy Pound, which ranks as a five-year-old Downey Jr.’s first acting credit. Downey Jr. also appeared in his father’s 1997 dramedy, Hugo Pool.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Iliza Shlesinger explains why it’s important to support dive bars through the #KeepTheDiveAlive campaign

ABC/Rick Rowell

Today is National Dive Bar Day and comedian Iliza Shlesinger is doing her part to ensure those small businesses aren’t left behind during the post-COVID-19 economic recovery.

The Good on Paper star spoke to ABC Audio about her partnership with Seagram’s 7 Crown American Blended Whiskey, which rolled out its annual #KeepTheDiveAlive campaign.

“This was a very cool way to give back and do something meaningful,” she said.

#KeepTheDiveAlive aims to protect dive bars — especially those impacted by the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. To assist in recovery efforts, Shlesinger starred in a series of hilarious videos that provide “training materials” to former regulars who may be out of practice after a year of Zoom meetings. The tongue-in-cheek videos show Iliza demonstrating the do’s and don’ts of dive bar etiquette, such as how to properly order a drinkwhat to wear and, overall, how to be a supportive patron.

Shlesinger says sharing those videos and utilizing the #KeepTheDiveAlive hashtag on social media will help support those businesses.  “Every time people share the content we created for their hashtag #KeepTheDriveAlive campaign, Seagram’s donates $7 dollars to [the Main Street Alliance] nonprofit that helps local businesses, some of which are dive bars,” she explains.

The Spenser Confidential star says not only did dive bars help her career by giving her places to hone her craft, but reveals she also used to work at one before her big break. 

“These are part of the fabric of our local economies. These are not mom and pop businesses, but independent businesses that we all have a connection to in one way or another,” says Shlesinger. 

The campaign runs through July 24.

 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

‘Loki’ director Katie Herron teases the final two episodes: “There are definitely questions that we will answer”

Marvel Studios

(SPOILERS AHEAD)We’re down to the last two episodes of the Disney+ series Loki, and director Kate Herron recently teased what we can expect in the final installments; episode five of Loki drops on Wednesday.

Herron explained to Hollywood Life the purpose of Loki’s first post-credit scene, in which Tom Hiddleston‘s titular character finds himself in a strange place where he confronts three other Lokis after being pruned by Gugu Mbatha-Raw‘s Ravonna.

“I just felt like it would just give it a bit more punch, basically,” she explains. “It was meant to have that kind of surprise intention, obviously, but I just felt prolonging it and giving that gap really gave it the punch that we were after.”

As for the post credits scene, where Loki asks “Is this Hell?” — referring to one of the nine realms — Herron says the significance “is just that he doesn’t know where he is, and he’s wondering if it could be that.”

Regarding Ravonna’s reason for pruning Loki, Herron promises, “We’re going to find out so much of what she knows and where her head is at as the story continues.”

“I love how Gugu played it when Mobius — played by Owen Wilson — is deleted. She’s doing it for the greater good, but she has that moment after where she takes a breath,” she continues.  “It wasn’t an easy decision.  So I think, for me, more of Ravonna and how she feels about everything is to be answered, but there are definitely questions that we will answer in regards to that.”

Herron also says the series will explore Loki’s reaction to seeing different variations of himself, as well as if he and Sylvie — played by Sophia Di Martino — will be reunited by the end of the series.

Marvel is owned by Disney, parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Billy Crystal and John Goodman on the “gift” of the new spin-off show, ‘Monsters at Work’

Disney+

Today, Disney+ launches its Monsters, Inc. spin-off series Monsters at Work with two episodes. Billy Crystal returns as one-eyed would-be funnyman Mike Wazowski and John Goodman reprises his role as his fuzzy buddy, James P. “Sully” Sullivan. 

The series is based on the Oscar-winning 2001 Disney/Pixar hit Monsters, Inc., which created a world in which monsters scaring kids at night generated energy for the City of Monstropolis. But the movie closed with the Monsters finding a new source of energy: comedy.

For motor-mouthed Mike, he sees it as a great opportunity. For Crystal to play him, however, it’s a fun challenge.

“He’s he’s on speed dial, isn’t he?” Crystal tells ABC Audio. “It’s such a thrill to play him and it’s so exhausting at the same time. After like four-hour sessions of being him with such high energy. I’ll take a nap for three or four days,” adding, “But that’s what I love about him. You know, it’s one of my favorite characters of anything I’ve done.”

Crystal also says of Monsters at Work, “[T]he great thing about it is families can watch it together.”

Goodman agrees. “It’s a rare thing now to sit down with a family, be able to watch something. Everything’s so splintered. But This stands, the test of time. People that I run into, that’s usually the first thing they say is ‘Monster’s Inc.! Where’s Sully?’ And I am I’m proud of that, to be able to be a part of these artists’ world.” 

Monsters at Work also features the voices of Jennifer Tilly, Pixar veteran John RatzenbergerHenry Winkler, and comedian Gabriel Iglesias.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Scarlett Johansson on breaking down her Black Widow character, she’s “really reckoning with the trauma”

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Not everything in life — or movies — is black and white, there can be some gray areas, which is a big part of Scarlett Johansson‘s Black Widow character’s past. 

The 36-year-old actress stars as Natasha Romanoff in the upcoming Marvel film that takes a deep dive into her background. Speaking with Entertainment Tonight about the movie, which she says is one of her “greatest accomplishments,” she elaborated on the struggles that her character is faced with. 

“Natasha is really reckoning with the trauma she has faced and she’s been running away from,” Johansson shared.

“She’s been a part of a large organization for her entire life, and I think that there’s a lot of gray in that,” she said. “You’re working towards a greater goal — for better or worse — and it’s not driven by any personal desire. We’ve alluded to that — I mean, that was Thanos’ big argument, right? — and the Marvel universe has played with that idea a lot.”

“In Ultron, [it was] how many casualties for a greater good is acceptable? And Cap has always said zero. It’s been a big debate, that’s what Civil War was about,” she explained. “It’s a gray area that she had no active choice in but has felt so guilty about, and [she’s] not understood or been able to really deal with the trauma that she’s experienced because of that. And it’s Yelena who allows her to — even, like, forces her to — reflect on that, so she can move past it.”

Black Widow will hit theaters and be available on Disney+ with Premier Access on July 9.

Marvel is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Amazon Prime debuts trailer to Val Kilmer’s autobiographical documentary, ‘Val’

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime has released the trailer for its upcoming documentary about the life of Val Kilmer, called Val.  Culled from thousands of hours of film and video footage that Kilmer shot himself over his many years in Hollywood, the doc also details his battle with throat cancer, which has left his voice slurred, but his spirit unbroken.

The footage also is a time capsule: It takes viewers behind the scenes of iconic movies in which Kilmer starred, including Top GunThe DoorsHeatTombstone and others. 

Amazon says of Val, “This raw, wildly original and unflinching documentary reveals a life lived to extremes and a heart-filled, sometimes hilarious look at what it means to be an artist and a complex man.”

The film debuts on Amazon Prime on August 6.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.