‘Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain’ director hopes audiences gain “love and understanding” after watching film

Courtesy of CNN / Focus Features

A new documentary out today looks at the life and death of chef and travel show host Anthony Bourdain, who died by suicide in 2018. The film Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain is from Oscar winning director Morgan Neville, who talked to ABC Audio about why he wanted to explore Bourdain’s life.

“Because I felt like he was a fellow traveler with me,” he explains, adding that, in a way, he felt Bourdain was a documentary filmmaker just like himself.

“He was somebody who was trying to share people’s stories and humanize them and be an advocate for curiosity and open mindedness,” Neville shares.

The director admits that losing Bourdain was sad for him — not just because of losing him as a person, but also because of losing him as “a voice in our culture,” which seems to echo how others felt as well. Neville says he was often greeted with “a heavy sigh” after revealing that he was working on the documentary.

But, he hopes the film “can at least make you see [Bourdain] as a full dimensional, complex and flawed human…maybe that was kind of the goal is like this is a real person who’s got great strengths and weaknesses. And sometimes those are the same things in him.”

Neville also hopes that after watching Roadrunner, audiences realize that “it doesn’t matter if you seemingly have everything, pain is pain and there’s no way around it.”

“And I think understanding that these are humans, that we shouldn’t put them on pedestals and that we really should have love and understanding, because the more you put somebody on a pedestal, the harder it is for them to ask for help,” Neville concludes. 

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain is in theaters now. 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Celebrity chef Jeff Mauro has a theory why reality competition shows are dominating primetime TV

John Lamparski/Getty Images for NYCWFF

Reality competition shows have become popular primetime television entertainment over the past decade.  Sandwich King star Jeff Mauro says he knows why those shows are a recipe for success. 

Mauro explained to ABC Audio how Food Network series such as Chopped — or his own, Kitchen Crash — became staples on the network he’s called home for decades.

“People love to be critics and judges in their home,” the chef said, noting how American watchers have transitioned from passive to active spectators. “It’s so funny how people are, like, ‘What you made wasn’t good! You didn’t deserve to win that!’ Without ever having a bite of it. It’s crazy where you can kind of judge somebody… via your couch.”

Mauro added that reality competition shows create an experience for the audience, which includes “living vicariously through… the judges” to gain a sense of how everything tastes. 

The chef, who’s a paid spokesperson of gourmet dog food Caesar’s Bestie Bowls, says the transition is fueled by the audience’s love to watch food being made.

“We love to see people really dip into their resources to create something really special.  That — with the help of unbelievable crews and cameramen and descriptive judges — you can almost taste it from home,” he said.

Speaking of spectators, Mauro noted of another popular form of entertainment taking over social media — reaction videos. “Nothing’s safe from commentary these days,” he chuckled, admitting online critics have even used him as fodder.

Recalling Kalen Allen‘s viral reaction to the “bougie” mac & cheese made on his other show, The Kitchen, Mauro praised the “funny” and “wonderful” video.

“[He] introduced us to millions more people,” Mauro explained, and revealed that he learned something very important from Kalen’s brutally honest feedback: “I would never make that [mac & cheese] again!”

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“It was not a smart family decision…”: Ashton Kutcher reveals Mila Kunis nixed his Virgin Galactic trip to space

George Pimentel/Getty Images

Actor and successful investor Ashton Kutcher apparently had the dough to go to space aboard one of Richard Branson‘s Virgin Galactic flight to space, but his wife, Mila Kunis, scrubbed his launch. 

Kutcher revealed to the business channel Cheddar in an on-camera interview, “When I got married and had kids, my wife basically encouraged that it was not a smart family decision to be heading into space when we have young children. So I ended up selling my ticket back to Virgin Galactic, and I was supposed to be on the next flight. But I will not be on the next flight.”

The former That ’70s Show star then added defiantly, “But, at some point, I’m going to space.”

Apparently, Kutcher listened to Kunis this time, but, thankfully, not when the actress told her husband that she thought some of Kutcher’s earliest investments — Bitcoin, Airbnb and Uber — — weren’t worth backing. 

As Kunis explained during a recent appearance on Stephen Colbert‘s The Late Show, “He is also really smart at knowing that, sometimes, you shouldn’t listen to your wife.”

The Four Good Days star told Colbert that she initially thought Bitcoin was “a horrible idea,” and said of a then-fledgling Uber, “You’re going to put me in a car with a stranger? What is wrong with you?”

Kunis then confessed, “I’ve never been happier to be wrong,”

Ashton considered her input, but invested anyway — and that paid off big time. It’s no wonder he could afford the reportedly $250,000-a-seat flight.

 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

‘Ted Lasso’ leads TV Critics Association awards with five nods; ‘WandaVision’, ‘Mare of Easttown’ among other multiple nominees

Apple TV+

Fresh from its 20 Emmy nominations earlier this week, the Apple TV+ comedy Ted Lasso leads the pack with five nominations for this year’s Television Critics Association (TCA) awards.

Jason Sudeikis‘ series is in good company: Disney+’s Emmy leader WandaVision, along with HBO’s Emmy nominees Mare of EasttownHacks, and I Will Destroy You all earned four TCA nominations each.

Other shows recognized by the Television Academy this week were also represented in the TCA’s nominations, including The Flight AttendantThe Mandalorian, and Pose.

Like last year, the pandemic means no actual event will be held for the winners to gather their gold; instead, they’ll be notified at a later date. 

Here are the nominees for the 37th Annual Television Critics Association Awards: 

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA

Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You – HBO
Ethan Hawke, The Good Lord Bird – Showtime
Thuso Mbedu, The Underground Railroad – Amazon
Elizabeth Olsen, WandaVision – Disney+
Mj Rodriguez, Pose – FX
Omar Sy, Lupin – Netflix
Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen’s Gambit – Netflix
Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown – HBO

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY

Bo Burnham, Bo Burnham: Inside – Netflix
Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant – HBO Max
Maya Erskine, Pen15 – Hulu
Renee Elise Goldsberry, Girls5Eva – Peacock
Charlotte Nicdao, Mythic Quest – Apple TV+
Jean Smart, Hacks – HBO Max
Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso – Apple TV+
Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso – Apple TV+

OUTSTANDING NEW PROGRAM

Bridgerton – Netflix
The Flight Attendant – HBO Max
Hacks – HBO Max
I May Destroy You – HBO
Mare of Easttown – HBO
P-Valley – Starz
Ted Lasso – Apple TV+
WandaVision – Disney+

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES, MINISERIES OR SPECIALS

Bo Burnham: Inside – Netflix
The Good Lord Bird – Showtime
I May Destroy You – HBO
It’s a Sin – HBO Max
Mare of Easttown – HBO
The Queen’s Gambit – Netflix
The Underground Railroad – Amazon
WandaVision – Disney+

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA

Bridgerton – Netflix
The Crown – Netflix
For All Mankind – Apple TV+
The Handmaid’s Tale – Hulu
Lovecraft Country – HBO
The Mandalorian – Disney+
Pose – FX
P-Valley – Starz

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY

The Flight Attendant – HBO Max
Girls5Eva – Peacock
Hacks – HBO Max
Mythic Quest – Apple TV+
Pen15 – Hulu
Superstore – NBC
Ted Lasso – Apple TV+
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist – NBC

PROGRAM OF THE YEAR

Bridgerton – Netflix
Hacks – HBO Max
I May Destroy You – HBO
Mare of Easttown – HBO
The Queen’s Gambit – Netflix
Ted Lasso – Apple TV+
The Underground Railroad – Amazon
WandaVision – Disney+

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN VARIETY, TALK OR SKETCH

The Amber Ruffin Show – Peacock
A Black Lady Sketch Show – HBO 
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah – Comedy Central
Desus & Mero – Showtime
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – HBO 
Late Night with Seth Meyers – NBC
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – CBS
Saturday Night Live – NBC
Ziwe – Showtime

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NEWS AND INFORMATION

Allen v. Farrow – HBO
City So Real – NatGeo
Framing Britney Spears – FX/FX On Hulu
Frontline – PBS 
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – HBO
Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special – CBS
The Rachel Maddow Show – MSNBC
60 Minutes – CBS

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN REALITY

Couples Therapy – Showtime
Deaf U – Netflix
The Great Pottery Throw Down – HBO Max
Legendary – HBO Max
Nailed It! Double Trouble – Netflix
The Real World Homecoming: New York – Paramount+
Taste the Nation – Hulu
Top Chef: Portland – Bravo

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUTH PROGRAMMING

The Baby-Sitters Club – Netflix
Bluey – Disney Jr.
Donkey Hodie – PBS Kids
Emily’s Wonder Lab – Netflix
Odd Squad – PBS Kids
Sesame Street – HBO
Waffles + Mochi – Netflix
Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum – PBS Kids

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Watch first trailer for 50 Cent’s ‘BMF’; DJ Khaled joins celebrity judge panel for TBS’ ‘Go-Big Show’; and more

Courtesy of STARZ

The first teaser trailer to 50 Cent‘s new Starz drama BMF has been released.

Inspired by the Black Mafia Family — also known as the B.M.F. — the new series will premiere on Sunday, September 26, at 9 p.m. ET. It will then move to its regular time slot at 8 p.m. ET. on Sunday, October 3. As previously reported, BMF follows the real-life story of brothers Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory and Terry “Southwest T” Flenory, who “rose from the decaying streets of southwest Detroit in the late 1980s and gave birth to one of the most influential crime families in the country.” The series stars Demetrius “Lil Meech” Flenory Jr.Russell HornsbySnoop DoggLa La Anthony and Serayah, among others.

In other news, Grammy Award-winning producer and artist DJ Khaled has been tapped to join the celebrity judging panel for season two of TBS’ Go-Big Show. He joins Rosario DawsonJennifer Nettles and Cody Rhodes on the panel. The extreme talent-competition series, hosted by Bert Kreischer, features “some of the most extreme and death defying acts from around the country” as they battle to impress the judges and advance toward the finale’s ultimate $100,000 prize. Production on season two of Go-Big Show begins in August.

Finally, Hulu’s Wu-Tang: An American Saga has set their season-two premiere date. The new season will launch on September 8 with three new episodes, followed by an additional episode every Wednesday. Created and written by Wu-Tang Clan leader RZA, the series follows the group’s formation and examines how Bobby Diggs, better known as RZA, took his vision for the group and made it a success. Wu-Tang: An American Saga stars Shameik MooreAshton SandersErika Alexanderand Joey Bada$$, among others.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Vaccinated comic Gabriel Iglesias tells social media he tested positive for COVID-19

ABC/Ron Batzdorff

Stand-up comic and actor Gabriel Iglesias took to social media to tell fans that although he’s been vaccinated, he tested positive for COVID-19. 

In a video post accompany a message that reads “Announcement I didn’t want to make on my bday,” Iglesias, known to his fans as Fluffy, said, “I made sure I that I got tested by two different types of tests,” adding he has started to show some signs of symptoms, including body aches and chills.

“Other than that, I feel pretty good. I give credit to being vaccinated for getting me through this,” he said, in a voice more muted than usual. 

The comic noted that he has to isolate, forcing him to cancel his five remaining shows at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, and explained that he will “go back to work” when he gets three negative tests. Tickets will be refunded, the venue has announced.

“It’s not the way I wanted to spend my birthday, but I’m alive, and I have cake. I can’t taste it or smell it, but I have it,” Iglesias quipped, adding, “Wish me luck,” before thanking his fans.

Iglesias can currently be heard in the Disney+ show Monsters at Work.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Robert Downey Jr. to play multiple characters in first TV series, an adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘The Sympathizer’

ABC/Randy Holmes

Robert Downey Jr. will appear in a small-screen project for the first time since his short stint on Saturday Night Live, playing multiple characters in an HBO series adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Sympathizer.

Viet Thanh Nguyen‘s book centers on a half-French, half-Vietnamese communist double agent during the final days of the Vietnam War and afterward, after he settles in the United States.

Deadline, which broke the news, says legendary Oldboy director Park Chan-wook will direct the series. The project will be produced by Team Downey, the company that the Marvel movie veteran runs with his wife, producer Susan Downey

According to the trade, Downey Jr. will play several characters, including an American congressman, a CIA agent and a Hollywood director. In a statement, Downey said, “Adapting Mr. Nguyen’s important and masterful work requires a visionary team. With…Park at the helm, I expect this to be a creative producing adventure for Susan, me and Team Downey, and a stimulating process for myself in playing these complex supporting roles.”

The series will reportedly feature a predominantly Southeast Asian cast.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

The problem with “picky”: Iliza Shlesinger explains why women are vilified for having standards

Netflix

Iliza Shlesinger‘s new movie, Good on Paper, is not only based on her real-life dating horror story — it’s also a commentary on women being vilified for having standards.

In the Netflix comedy, Iliza’s character, Andrea Singer, meets a seemingly decent man that she’s neither physically nor sexually attracted to, but she succumbs to the pressure to “give him a chance.”  She learns soon after their relationship is built on a web of his lies.

Shlesinger tells ABC Audio that society frowns upon women who turn down prospective suitors.

“It’s easy to vilify women because our voices have been so underrepresented… It’s easy to make us into the enemy,” she said. “Women are supposed to be grateful and we’re supposed to just like whatever we’re given.”

Shlesinger continued, “Only in our society do we say to women, ‘Give him a chance, he’s nice to you.’ You never hear a mother say to her son, ‘Give this hideous girl a chance. I know you find her repulsive, but if you could just put your mouth on hers…’  It’s a power dynamic.”

The stand-up comic also delved into why women are sometimes deemed “picky.”

“It’s code for — God forbid — a woman knows what she wants. It’s just an attempt to make women doubt themselves,” Shlesinger expressed, noting that cultural mentality emphasizes the so-called “societal shelf-life women are told that they have.”

Good on Paper is a prime example of Shlesinger’s comedy, which tackles hot-button relationship issues while conducting “some real sociological digging.”

“I believe whatever you go through, you can make fun of,” she explained. “It all comes from an analytical place. But, more importantly, it comes from a funny place because — if it’s not funny, it’s just a TED talk.”

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Chrissy Teigen speaks out about being cancelled: “I feel lost and need to find my place again”

Bellocqimages/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

(NOTE LANGUAGE) Chrissy Teigen is offering up her honest thoughts about being cancelled.  The media personality fell from grace after it was discovered she sent messages urging a then-teenaged Courtney Stodden to kill themselves.

The Cravings author released an extensive apology last month, but the fallout continued with Teigen losing endorsement deals, television opportunities and — overall — saw her brand tarnished.

Since then, the former model remained silent on social media, but on Wednesday, she addressed fans for the first time on Instagram and discussed what she’s learned in “Cancel club.”

“I don’t really know what to say here,” Teigen began, “just feels so weird to pretend nothing happened in this online world but feel like utter s*** in real life. Going outside sucks and doesn’t feel right, being at home alone with my mind makes my depressed head race.”

“I feel lost and need to find my place again, I need to snap out of this,” she continued. “I desperately wanna communicate with you guys instead of pretending everything is okay.”

Teigen, who is the wife of singer John Legend, added, “Cancel club is a fascinating thing and I have learned a [whole] lot.” She said the important takeaway is that she fully understands she had “clearly done something wrong.” 

“It just sucks. There is no winning,” the Bring the Funny alum admitted. “I just needed an honest moment with you because I’m just…tired of being sick with myself all day. I don’t even know if it’s good to say any of this.”

Expressing concern that her latest admission will be “brutally picked apart,” Teigen said she can no longer remain silent.

She concluded, “If you or someone you know has also been cancelled please let me know if there is a cancel club reunion because I could use some time off my couch!”

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

‘First Wives Club’: Jill Scott and Michelle Buteau tease the second season and why it “really matters”

Courtesy of BET+

Jill Scott and Michelle Buteau are once again tapping into their funny and spontaneous sides in the second season of the BET+ series First Wives Club

Scott, who reprises her role as Hazel, an ambitious and often unpredictable singer, tells ABC Audio that the new season will bring the same old Hazel — but with plenty more drama.

“You know Hazel is nuts, right?,” Scott laughs. “She’s absolutely nuts and she is going to do whatever her heart moves her to do. She’s showing up to her friends with a little more excitement, and a new boo that her girlfriends [aren’t] necessarily feeling. But Hazel is going to do what Hazel wants to do.”

While Buteau’s character Bree is a bit more family-oriented, the comedian says that when it comes to important decisions, Bree’s a lot like Hazel — she always looks to her gal pals for guidance.

“This is probably the difference between between Bree and I,” Buteau explains. “Bree goes to her friends first and then figures out how to present it… And for me…I go to [my husband] first..”

Even though the characters they portray are mostly scripted, Scott and Buteau agree that the relationships they have on and off screen very “real.”

“The chemistry is on fire because we respect each other, we love each other, and we work well together,” Buteau shares. “We are actual friends. We check in with each other and that’s so important. You can’t just show up to set, especially during COVID and just say your lines and leave. No, we have done too much to get here safely. And we’re going to have fun and we’re going to make it count. And so this season really matters.”

The new season of First Wives Club is now available to stream on BET+.

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