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Rosario Dawson on Tackling the Role of Wonder Woman … and Being a Role Model

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Over the past 25 years, Rosario Dawson has intricately woven herself into the tapestry of American pop culture.

After making a splash onto the public stage at the age of 15 in the controversial film “Kids,” she has since appeared in blockbuster films like “Men in Black 2” and “Sin City,” endeared herself to a legion of Marvel fans as recurring character Claire Temple on the now defunct Netflix Marvel superhero series, and acted opposite the likes of Denzel Washington, Will Smith, and Ryan Reynolds.

Now Dawson takes on perhaps her greatest challenge — Wonder Woman herself.

No … Gal Gadot doesn’t need to look over her shoulders. Not yet anyway. Dawson is voicing Princess Diana in the animated film “Wonder Woman: Bloodlines.” During an appearance at New York Comic-Con to promote the film, Dawson took some time to reflect on the upcoming film, her long career and the need for additional representation of women of color behind the scenes in Hollywood.

You’ve voiced the character of Wonder Woman in other animated films, but this is the first standalone film where she takes center stage. What’s it like to be Wonder Woman?

Incredible. Really a dream come true. It’s been a few years now in different iterations of her in different stories. So it’s incredible to graduate to the classic  origin story with our twists and playfulness and bringing in characters we haven’t seen in a long time. I think it’s a perfect moment with the Wonder Woman live action film coming out soon and this sort of resurgence of an appreciation of this dynamic, powerful character who appeals to boys, girls and everyone across the whole spectrum.

The character was first introduced in the early 1940’s. Why does she have appeal that’s lasted generation after generation? 

She’s just so powerful and there’s a beautiful origin to her that I think is inspiring in the same way as a Spider-man or Superman. There’s something magical and dramatic that draws you in. She’s got that thing that all of us wish to have … where you can extend that olive branch and be someone who’s capable of being the smartest person in the room and also having incredible heart … but also having the ability to back it up with strength she is a warrior. It’s an olive branch in one hand and a sword in the other.

Looking at your body of work you move so easily between different genres it’s hard to put your career in a box. Is that by design?

You know I’ve been with the same manager since I was 19, so they just know me and the different things that I care about and love. I’m one of their clients that they know they can send a lot of different things to … like if it’s say a first time director. They know that’s where I started,  so I’m always interested in looking at that. I don’t always need to have some huge big name. I’m not always looking for the biggest budget or biggest paycheck when it comes to certain story lines that I’ll get to explore and share. 

Speaking of first time directors, you became one yourself in 2019. What was it like sitting in the director’s chair for your short film “Boundless”?

I learned so much. It felt like the first time where all of the disciplines I’ve been active in for so long and all the experience that I’ve gotten were useful beyond just anecdotes for an interview. I got to run the set and if a location fell through or if we can only work these many hours because we’re working with teens or we’re doing a build or we’re doing green screen and then we’re doing a tear down. Just like all of this different stuff. It was really remarkable.

There’s so little representation of women in general and in particular women of color behind the scenes. How do we get from where we are to where we need to be?

When you look at the numbers, they’re atrocious. The speaking roles for women … even the amount of words that are said on any particular show or movie in comparison to how many male words are spoken. When you see the absence of women on boards or as directors and you see some of our biggest actresses saying they’re still fighting for equal pay even though they’re headlining films and they’re still not getting the credit they deserve … there’s still a lot of work to be done.

But at the same time … I think you’re seeing a galvanizing in Hollywood in a way that I’ve never seen in my 25-plus years in the industry so I find it encouraging because I’ve been on a lot of those sets. I’ve sat there getting SAG minimum while my co-stars are getting paid millions and busting my a– and seeing how people are treated. I’ve been around a lot of different folks that were allowed to be jerks because they were “geniuses” and now because there’s content in so many different spaces and so many more artists being able to rise to the top, you’re able to see you can do a really amazing projects with really wonderful  people and no one has to be sexually harassed and no one has to feel like they’re having to have a second job in order to make ends meet. We can all be there doing our craft and be respected and paid well. It’s exciting. I’m looking forward to the years to come and being very much in that fight.

What does it mean to  you to be considered a role model for the ground you’ve broken in the industry? 

Actor Sid Haig Dies at 80

[NATL] Actor Sid Haig Dies at 80

I remember when I did “Josie and the Pussycats” and we had dolls that had just come out and my doll was brown. I had parents coming up to me saying ‘I am so excited you did this because this movie is out there and I can give my daughter a brown doll.’ Now you’re seeing such a plethora of options. I understand that for the real critical change to happen, which is legislatively, we have to change culture and to have been able to embody, share and disseminate stories that need to be told with radical black and brown characters in them which I’ve been able to do in many different ways over my career whether it’s producing it or narrating a certain film or acting in some sort of story.

“Wonder Woman Bloodlines” is now available via digital access and arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Combo Pack on Oct. 22.

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Restaurateur and Lifestyle Maven B. Smith Dies at Age 70, Family Says – NBC4 Washington

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What to Know

  • Restaurateur and lifestyle maven B. Smith has passed away at age 70, her husband said
  • Smith died of complications from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease at her home on Long Island on Saturday night, according to her husband
  • A New York Times article published when Smith starred in an off-Broadway play described her as a “trailblazer for African-Americans,” as well as a “renaissance woman”

Restaurateur and lifestyle maven B. Smith has passed away at age 70, her husband said. 

Smith, whose full name was Barbara Elaine Smith, died of complications from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease at her home on Long Island on Saturday night, her husband Dan Gasby said in a Facebook post. 

“It is with great sadness that my daughter Dana and I announce the passing of my wife, Barbara Elaine Smith,” Gasby wrote. “Thank you to all the friends and fans who supported B. and our family during her journey. Thank you to everyone for respecting our privacy during this agonizing time.” 

B Smith

Wendell Teodoro/WireImage

“Heaven is shining even brighter now that it is graced with B.’s dazzling and unforgettable smile,” he added.

Smith was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2013, her website says.

Born in Pennsylvania, Smith got her start as a fashion model — becoming one of the first black women to grace Mademoiselle magazine’s cover, according to her website — before seguing into television and the food scene.

In the mid 1990s, she was the host of “B. Smith With Style,” a nationally syndicated talk show that aired on NBC stations across the country, including NBC 4 New York.

Smith ran restaurants in Manhattan, Sag Harbor and Washington D.C., wrote three books about cooking and entertaining and had a home goods collection at Bed Bath & Beyond, the “first line from an African-American woman to be sold at a nationwide retailer,” her website notes.

A New York Times article published when Smith starred in the off-Broadway play “Love, Loss and What I Wore” described her as a “trailblazer for African-Americans,” as well as a “renaissance woman.”

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Daredevil ‘Mad’ Mike Hughes Dies in Homemade Rocket Launch Filmed for TV – NBC4 Washington

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Daredevil “Mad” Mike Hughes died Saturday when a homemade rocket he was attached to launched then crashed to earth in the California desert, NBC News reports.

The stunt was apparently part of a forthcoming television show, “Homemade Astronauts,” that was scheduled to debut later this year on Discovery Inc.’s Science Channel.

In a statement last year, Discovery, Inc. described the forthcoming show as a look at “three self-financed teams with sky-high dreams, in their cosmic quest to explore the final frontier on shoe-string budgets.”

Hughes, 64, was known both for his homemade rockets and for his belief the earth is flat.

Read the full story on NBCNews.com.

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Lizzo, ‘Just Mercy’ Win Top Honors at NAACP Image Awards – NBC4 Washington

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Lizzo was named entertainer of the year and “Just Mercy” won best motion picture, best actor and best supporting actor Saturday at the NAACP Image Awards, as the show that recognizes entertainers of color ladled honors on the film that was snubbed by bigger shows throughout awards season.

“We are such a beautiful people, this is just a reminder of all the beautiful things that we can do,” said Lizzo as she accepted the night’s last and biggest award, leaping and dancing off the stage at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium as the show ended.

Host Anthony Anderson of “black-ish” opened the show, telecast on BET for the first time, with a monologue that took a shot at the lack of diversity at the Oscars and Hollywood’s other ceremonies that handed out awards earlier in the year.

“Unlike other awards shows, we actually have black nominees,” Anderson said. He may well have been talking about “Just Mercy,” the acclaimed film that was snubbed by the Oscars, Golden Globes and other ceremonies in the long awards season.

Michael B. Jordan won best actor in a motion picture for his role as a crusading defense attorney in the film, and Jamie Foxx won best supporting actor for the wrongly convicted man he fought for.

“This project is a lot bigger than me. It’s about every person that’s wrongfully convicted and sitting in a jail cell right now,” Jordan said as he accepted the award.

Foxx won his fifth career image award for his role in “Just Mercy,” saying, “Thank you so much, black people, African-Americans, and everything else we are.”

He added, “Its always great to get it from black folks because we are so talented.”

Lupita Nyong’o won best actress in a film for her role in “Us,” and 15-year Marsai Martin won best supporting actress for her role in “Little” over superstar names including Jennifer Lopez, Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer.

Martin’s award went with three more she won Friday for her roles in “Little” and “black-ish” during the non-televised first night of the Image Awards.

“Thank you to all the beautiful black girls out there who inspire me every day,” Martin said as she accepted the supporting actress award.

Martin’s “black-ish” cast mate Tracee Ellis Ross won best actress in a TV comedy series, her ninth career Image Award.

“I love being a part of this ever-growing chorus of black women owning our legacies,” Ross said as she accepted the award.

It was a big Image Awards all-round for “black-ish,” which took home seven, including best TV comedy and best actor in a TV comedy for host Anderson.

The NAACP gave its Chairman’s Award, which goes to people who show exemplary public service and “create agents of change,” to civil rights legend U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.

“The NAACP has been like a bridge over troubled waters,” Lewis, who is suffering from pancreatic cancer, said in a pre-taped acceptance speech from Washington. “We’re going to have some more troubled waters, and we’re going to need the NAACP.”

Rihanna received the NAACP President’s Award for special achievement and distinguished public service. She called for racial, religious and cultural unity during her acceptance speech.

“If there’s anything that I’ve learned, it’s that we can only fix this world together,” Rihanna said. “We can’t do it divided. Tell your friends to pull up.”

She added, “We’ve been denied opportunities since the beginning of time, and still we prevail … Imagine what we can do if we do it together.”

Beyoncé was the big winner at Friday night’s non-televised gala, winning six awards, including outstanding female artist and album. She also won outstanding duo/group for her collaboration with her 8-year-old daughter Blue Ivy, and Saint Jhn.

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Meghan Trainor’s Dad Hospitalized After Being Hit by Car – NBC4 Washington

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Meghan Trainor‘s father was suddenly in danger. 

The famous songstress’ father, Gary Trainor, was hit by a car and hospitalized, the star’s spokesperson confirmed to E! News. “He is okay and in stable condition,” the spokesperson noted. 

Citing sources close to the family, TMZ, which broke the news, reported Gary was taken to a hospital in Los Angeles on Friday. Per their report, the accident happened as he was crossing the street on foot. According to the website, via law enforcement sources, the driver involved in the accident stayed and spoke to police and reportedly told the authorities his dark clothing made it difficult to see him.

Meanwhile, the Grammy winner has not commented publicly on the accident involving her beloved father.  

Meghan Trainor Pulls Back the Curtain on the Music Industry

Gary Trainor is no stranger to Meghan’s fans as he’s been a staple figure in her career, having often accompanied his famous daughter on the red carpet and serving as a guiding musical force. 

“I look up to him all the time,” she previously told “Today” host Hoda Kotb in 2018 of her dad. “Everything I do, I’m inspired by him.”

She also shared the uplifting advice he often gives her in challenging times. 

“Anytime I complain about anything, he’s like, ‘Life will get better if you let it,'” she said. “Sometimes in life you can’t control what happens—most of the time you can’t control what happens,” Meghan said, “but you can control how you look at it and how you can stay positive about it or find the good in it.”

E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.

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Quentin Tarantino and Wife Daniella Pick Welcome First Child – NBC4 Washington

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Quentin Tarantino has a new reason to get out a camera. 

The acclaimed 56-year-old filmmaker and his wife, Israeli singer Daniella Pick, have welcomed their first child together after she gave birth on Saturday to a baby boy. “Daniella and Quentin Tarantino are happy to announce the birth of their first child,” a rep said in a statement. 

No further details about the little one were shared. 

Fans first learned the “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” director and writer was going to become a first-time dad back in August when a spokesperson confirmed there was a baby on the way.

“Daniella and Quentin Tarantino are very delighted to announce that they are expecting a baby,” the rep said at the time. 

Celebrities Who Became Dads After 50

Their new family member comes just over a year since the new parents wed in November 2018 after getting engaged in 2017. 

“They got married in an intimate and private wedding with close friends and family in their place in Los Angeles,” Pick’s rep told E! News at the time.

“The ceremony was inside in front of a small group of family and friends including Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth and Eli Roth. There were only about 20 people and it was very intimate and private,” a source said. 

“THANK YOU FOR ALL THE LOVE. We’re so excited and happy to celebrate our engagement here in ISRAEL,” Pick wrote on Instagram at the time of their engagement. “Thanks for your kind wishes. We feel truly blessed.”

Now, more well wishes are on the way for the new mom and dad. Congratulations! 

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