Growing up in the ’90s, it was impossible to avoid the influence of Megastar Will Smith. Few back then would guess the Actor and Rapper known best for his starring role in Sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air would have a Career which would see multiple Golden Globe, Oscar and Grammy nominations. He proved Naysayers wrong time and again with one foot firmly planted on each side of the Entertainment World in Acting and Music.
Smith has been balancing time in Toronto with his Family and Friends, with Wife Jada and Son Jaden coming to visit him, and also a starring Role in Supervillain Opus, Suicide Squad, which films here through late August. Just this past weekend, Smith paid back his current Trainer for the Film, Anya Ells, a favour attending a Party she organized for Fitness Model, Michelle Lewin at Maison Mercer.
Playing the Role of Deadshot, who is an Enemy of Batman, we saw Ben Affleck and Smith arrive quietly on-set tonight in the wee hours of the morning situated around Financial District. Affleck was covered completely in a cape to avoid the leak of a Storyline and it is said that he already has finished his work on the Film. Despite being covered, the silhouette of his mask could be seen under the fabric in some Paparazzi-taken Photos.
After a nine-hour wait, we were rewarded with a moment with Smith, who was driven over to Fans waiting on-location, getting out of his SUV to greet them. We gave Smith a quick handshake telling him what a pleasure it was meeting him and after pointing-out that we shared the same name, he called me “Big Willie Style” – the name of his debut 1997 Disc.
Being the most pivotal Character in DC Comics‘ upcoming mega-watt star-powered SUICIDE SQUAD, it was crucial that casting for the Character of Amanda Waller was spot-on. We hear that Oscar Winners Oprah Winfrey and Octavia Spencer were up for the part, if you want an idea how high the bar was raised. They have however completely nailed it with double Oscar Nominee, TONY Winnerand SAG Award-winning Actress Viola Davis, Star of acclaimed Films like Doubt and The Help. She currently can be seen on daring and popular TV Series How To Get Away with Murder in the Lead Role of Annalise Keating.
Seen mostly as an Anti-Hero, Waller sometimes is seen as an Ally to the Superheroes. In the upcoming Film, we see her gathering imprisoned Supervillains whom for exchange for clemency, agree to sign-on to dangerous Black Ops missions.
We absolutely love Davis and her unconventional Career choices – we love her just as much strong as when she is vulnerable, and we appreciate that she generally is low-key, spending much time with her young Daughter while in the City when not at work. It would appear she is dividing her time between here and New York, multitasking Projects.
By chance, we ran into her today and despite being on the phone, she curtailed the call to do a Selfie, which we know is rare. She looked so beautiful even without makeup!! We’ll never forget this and we are on Cloud Nine. Queen Viola!!
You loved him in Battle: Los Angeles and HBO‘s True Blood, in which he played Series Regular Hoyt Foytenberry. After a stint on Broadway alongside the likes of James Franco and Leighton Meester, things now are about to get huge for Texas-born, California-trained Jim Parrack.
The Actor currently is in Toronto working on DC Comics‘ exciting new venture Suicide Squad. With news breaking recently of his casting as Jonny Frost (formerly rumoured to play Deathstroke), fingers have been busy IMDB-ing the Star who is in a long-term relationship with Actress Leven Rambin. The Character is a Thug who works closely with Joker (Jared Leto). Just last week, we chat with one of his True Blood Co-Stars, Deborah Ann Woll!
We caught-up Parrack quickly after a wrap and although he was clear he had to go, he still was nice enough to stop for a Selfie:
Warner Bros. release SUICIDE SQUADAugust 5, 2016, with Production wrapping late August.
We don’t need an excuse to look at Joel Kinnaman, that’s for sure. The handsome Swedish-born Star of AMC‘s The Killing is murdering us with his good looks and by chance we spotted the Actor on a day off, dressed in a colourful Hoodie and Jeans as he waited on a Taxi.
The Actor is in the City working on DC Comics’ Suicide Squad in which he plays Rick Flagg. Details are hush on the Comic Adaptation which puts together a red-hot Cast as their Supervillain Characters are enlisted on dangerous Black Ops missions. It films through August, due in theatres exactly one year later via Warner Bros.
Jada Pinkett Smith needs little introduction. The talented Actress known best for her work in The Matrix Trilogy, Set it Off, Scream 2, A Different World and more recently as Fish Mooney in Gotham (sadly, she isn’t returning for another Season), currently is in town enjoying some quality time with her Family.
Husband Will Smith currently is in Toronto filming DC Comics‘ star-studded Suicide Squad through August and some of the other Stars at his Residence tell me they have spotted him working-out at the Gym in preparation for his highly-physical role. Glad we’re not the only ones who are starstruck! Coincidentally, Gotham also is brought to us by DC Comics, keeping it in the Family!
Smith has been cast in the Role of Deadshot and by chance we crossed paths with Pinkett Smith, who was headed for an appointment. Despite little make-up, she looked just stunning and she was amazingly gracious to snap a Selfie! We appreciate The Smiths are private so we are extra grateful for the gesture. Adore her!
Known best for his work in Eastbound and Down, MADtv and more recently Neighbors and The Mindy Project, Funnyman Ike Barinholtz now sets his sights on Film with recent news of his casting in David Ayer‘s Suicide Squad. The Film based on DC Comics’ popular Comic Book Series, sees a group of imprisoned Superheroes tasked with dangerous Black Ops missions in exchange for clemency.
Word is that Ayer (End of Watch, Training Day) will have his Cast go to some deep, dark places as the Film begins filming tomorrow in Toronto.
Barinholtz was spotted out and about earlier today doing a quick grocery run, stopping for a moment to take Photos with Fans, noticeably fitter and almost unrecognizable in his Aviator sunglasses. The Cast this weekend were spotted partying at Sound Academy on Will Smith‘s tab, one last hurrah before they head to work this week.
See Will Smith rap at the Party, video courtesy of Co-Star Jim Parrack. Could this be signs of new material from him on the Soundtrack?
Stars Scott Eastwood and Cara Delevingne appeared to beabsent, the former partying at Coachella right now, after an aggressive Promo Tour for The Longest Ride and the latter attending MTV Movie Awards festivities in Los Angeles. Jared Leto was spotted sporting his green Joker hair proudly on the streets earlier this afternoon as well!
The Black and Blue Carpet was rolled out tonight at Toronto’s Scotiabank Theatre as Mekhi Phifer and Jai Courtney, Stars of Veronica Roth AdaptationThe Divergent Series: Insurgent, flew-in for the grand occasion. Filled with Selfie-aspiring Fans and eager Television and Digital Media, the Carpet was adorned in blue lit-panels depicting the five Factions known so well by Fans of the Franchise. After strong Reviews and grossing over $150 million in North America, expectations are high of this second Installment.
Many know Phifer for his work on long-running, celebrated TV Series ER and a string of popular Films he made in his early 20s, including O, 8 Mile and Honey. Australian-born Courtney‘s star is emerging quickly with high-profile Roles in Unbroken, A Good Day to Die Hard and recent news of his casting in DC Comics’ Suicide Squad, to film in Toronto next month with a Cast of Heavyweights.
INSURGENT picks-up where Divergent left-off in a futuristic dystopian Chicago. We witness Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James), (Miles Teller) and (Ansel Elgort) on-the-run from ruthless Erudite Faction Leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet), who is determined to capture and test the limits of potentially destructive Divergents (those not belonging to any one particular personality type) at all costs – sparing no lives, placing them through a grueling and deadly set of simulations. Jeanine is in possession of a box containing secrets which Tris‘ Parents lost their lives in the name of protecting. Tris finds herself having to face Jeanine, risking her life for the protection of her People once she is captured. What is the secret which Jeanine is so set on keeping it hidden from Tris and the Population? And how will Tris survive Jeanine‘s fatal Regime?
At the heart of The Divergent Series are some strong Female Characters. Legions of young Women look-up to Tris and we ask Phifer who plays Dauntless Leader Max, about his own Female Role Models. “My Mom first of all”, he says without hesitation, “She was a single Parent who raised me in Harlem. She was a School Teacher who loved the Community – a Choreographer and Dancer. My Mom was definitely an inspiration.”.
Courtney, who just turned 29 this week, thinks likewise, crediting “My mother of course, I think.”. He adds, “My Sister too. There a lot of strong Women in my life, including some friends of mine.”.
Phifer recounts his transition from a young impoverished Actor, overcoming the odds to make it in Hollywood with a Career spanning 20 years. We ask what’s changed from then till now for him. He says, “I’m 40-years-old, a Dad of two and married. I mean, it’s inevitable.”. “That’s the beauty of acting – there’s no age limit. As long as you can remember lines and read, that’s all you need.”.
Our Justin Waldman asks Courtney about his physically-intensive role as Dauntless Leader Eric, who like Phifer‘s Max, reports to Winslet‘s Jeanine. His Character is menacing, in hot pursuit of Tris and Four, playing a Key Role in her eventual surrender to Jeanine. “I was working on Terminator Genisys at the same time as Insurgent”, he reveals. “It was a lot of Cardio and Circuit Work – boring stuff. It’s what I have to do to prepare for work. It’s like reading or researching for a role, but you have to become a bit of an Athlete.”. “It gets old.”.
And for those curious, Courtney remains tight-lipped about his return soon to the City for the star-studded Suicide Squad with the likes of Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Cara Delevingne and Joel Kinnaman. “What am I gonna tell you? We haven’t started yet, but we’re getting ready”, he says before hinting “I’m gonna get to use my Australian accent. I can tell you that much.”.
Watch our Video Chats with Phifer and Courtney:
eOne Films release THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT on Friday, March 20, 2015.