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Amber Heard Shares Captivating Behind-The-Scenes Photo From Aquaman

While it certainly was never guaranteed, Aquaman has been smooth sailing through the treacherous holiday blockbuster season ever since its release, and now it’s nearing the one-billion-mark in worldwide earnings. Aquaman‘s leading lady, Amber Heard, who plays the fierce underwater warrior Mera in the blockbuster hit, is now sharing a behind the scenes shot of her fearless character in full costume and makeup. Take a look:

The 32-year-old actress took to her official Instagram account to show off the stunning picture of as her character, accompanied with the caption “#tbt reflective Mera on the set of #Aquaman.”

Amber Heard’s acting credits date back 15 years, but her involvement in the DCEU universe, starting with an appearance in 2017’s Justice League, certainly marks her highest-profile role to date. She will likely always be remembered as the flame-haired partner to Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry, and with the film’s continuing success, she has a lot to be proud of.

Amber Heard wasn’t always on board to brave the seven seas in a DC film when she was first approached by Justice League director Zack Snyder about the role. You can’t blame her; female characters in comic book movies often get a bad rep for being one-dimensional damsels in distress or the eye candy standing behind the leading superheroes — which presumably any beautiful Hollywood woman could do.

Zack Snyder assured her that Mera is no damsel. “She’s a warrior queen,” he told her, and that’s when Amber Heard became interested.

Since Aquaman started filming in May 2017, the actress has taken her Instagram followers along for the ride as she spent over four months getting in shape to be Mera. She would train for six days a week on weight and strength workouts and learning special martial arts training for the many action-packed sequences she has beside the star-studded Aquaman cast.

Mera is the daughter of King Nereus, played by Dolph Lundgren in Aquaman, and she is on a mission with Arthur Curry around the world in search of Atlantis’ lost trident and to convince Arthur to step forward and embrace his destiny as the rightful king. In the comics, she is Aquaman’s queen, though only a potential budding romance second to their working partnership in the blockbuster.

The character is being introduced for the first time to many on the big screen with Aquaman, which first became a big hit in China before blowing the domestic box office out of the water too. The most popular scene among China audiences in Aquaman is apparently one funny moments that features Mera eating a flower.

Mera is also one of the few female heroes in the DCEU, only second to Wonder Woman. As the DC universe expands, Warner Bros. does look to aspire to introduce more badass women from the comic books with Birds of Prey featuring Huntress and Black Canary alongside Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, and a Batgirl project in the works. Until then, you can meet Mera in Aquaman, in theaters now.

Justin Bieber Is Releasing A Greatest Hits Album — But Will There Be New Music?

Wanna feel old? Justin Bieber‘s career turns 10 this year. Yes, ten. Belieb it or not.

Back in 2009, the then-teenage YouTuber caught Scooter Braun’s attention and released his first EP, My World, which boasted fan-favorite bops like “One Time” and “One Less Lonely Girl.” The rest, of course, is history: four studio albums, four world tours, and three No. 1 hits later, JB is unquestionable pop royalty.

To celebrate that defining (though plenty topsy-turvy) decade, the newly married singer is compiling all of his best songs into a greatest hits collection called, appropriately, The Best. Bieber hasn’t commented on the release yet, but Universal Music Japan confirmed the news on Instagram, unveiling the album’s black-and-white cover and revealing its release date: February 27, just a few days before the pop star’s 25th birthday.

Instagram

With four albums under his belt, Bieber certainly has no shortage of material to fill out the album’s tracklist. But it’ll be interesting to see if he uses the compilation as a chance to drop new music. The “Sorry” hitmaker has remained mum about his recent time in the studio, but on Instagram last year, he did hint that something’s in the pipeline. Alongside a video of a young fan who was worried he’d quit music indefinitely, JB wrote, “Don’t believe everything you read sweet little girl. You will hear something from me sooner than you think.”

That promise — coupled with Braun’s since-deleted tweet about #JB5 arriving in 2019 — could mean we’ll hear fresh material soon. Either way, get excited to celebrate The Best of the Biebs next month!

Eddie Murphy’s Coming To America 2 Just Took A Big Step Forward

Looking at Eddie Murphy’s extensive resume of comedy work, it’s safe to say that 1988’s Coming to America is one of his most well-known projects. The story about the Zamundan prince who traveled to the United States in search of a woman to marry was a commercial smash, and it was reported in early 2017 that Coming to America 2 was in the works. Today brings word that Murphy will be reuniting with the Dolemite is My Name director for the sequel.

Craig Brewer, who just directed Eddie Murphy in Dolemite is My Name, the upcoming Netflix biopic about X-rated comedian Rudy Ray Moore, has been hired to helm Coming to America 2. Jonathan Levine has previously been tapped for that job, but apparently unknown circumstances led to his departure, and now Brewer will be sitting in the director’s chair. Here’s what Murphy told Deadline about Brewer coming aboard for Coming to America 2:

It’s Not Just American Fans Who Love Bohemian Rhapsody

If mathematics is the universal language, then music might be the next closest thing as great music transcends boundaries, physical, cultural and linguistic. So it should come as no surprise that Bohemian Rhapsody, the story of Freddie Mercury and Queen, is not just a domestic hit, but a global one. In addition to its American fans, Bohemian Rhapsody has become a full-fledged phenomenon in Japan and South Korea.

Bohemian Rhapsody opened in South Korea on November 1st and the film has sold a whopping 9.4 million tickets there. The $73.9 million at the box office makes South Korea the third-biggest contributor to Bohemian Rhapsody‘s success after the United States and Japan. Even more impressive is the fact that those 9.4 million tickets were sold in a country with 51 million people, meaning an impressive percentage of South Koreans went to see the music biopic in theaters.

That box office success is not the only indicator of the degree to which Bohemian Rhapsody has taken South Korea by storm. According to The Washington Post, the fervor around the film and Queen has seen Queen-related events popping up across the country. These include an exhibition of photos from the band’s official photographer, as well as a tour put on by Queen tribute band, The Bohemians.

Queen’s songs have also been in heavy rotation on South Korean television and singers from the country’s K-pop bands staged a televised tribute at the end of the year. A major broadcaster even capitalized by playing the iconic Live Aid concert that was recreated in Bohemian Rhapsody‘s invigorating ending.

Bohemian Rhapsody opened a little later in Japan on November 10th and that market has quickly caught up and surpassed South Korea with $74.8 million according to Box Office Mojo. Word of mouth has driven the movie to huge success in Japan with people discussing the film, seeing it multiple times and singing and dancing in the theater.

One theater is even offering moviegoers a discount if they show up wearing a Queen shirt or Freddie Mercury attire. Queen has always been popular in Japan but like here in the U.S., it is the younger generation that has showed up in surprising numbers, with parents recommending the movie to their kids, showing the generational transcendence of Queen’s music.

Things like the sharing of music between old and young and the dancing in the theater go against cultural norms in the country, showing that the effect this movie has had there is far from the usual.

And while Rami Malek might not be doing karaoke anytime soon, it is hugely popular in Japan and one tabloid even published tips on how to sound like Freddie Mercury when singing at karaoke bars.

Bohemian Rhapsody‘s success is truly remarkable as it is now the most successful music biopic ever. The film has crossed $748 million worldwide and in addition to that financial success, it now enjoys a critical victory as well, having won the Best Motion Picture – Drama award at the Golden Globes.

Bohemian Rhapsody is hoping to keep the buzz and the dollars going as it heads into the Oscars. The film is back in domestic theaters with sing-along screenings, so that just like our Japanese counterparts, we no longer have to fight the urge to clap our hands and stomp our feet to Bohemian Rhapsody‘s electrifying concert scenes.

Bohemian Rhapsody is now playing. Check out our release schedule for all of the biggest movies to look forward to this year.

What Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Hoop Earrings Mean to Latina Women Like Me

Like many Latina women, I got my ears pierced when I was a baby—my mother took me to the pediatrician to have it done less than a month after I was born. (According to her, there were many other new moms and infants in line at the doctor’s office to do the same.) She says I cried through the night afterward, but she kept the earrings in because, as Puerto Ricans say, antes muerta que sencilla. Better dead than plain.

I’ve worn earrings ever since—mostly hoops, the cheapest pair my mom could find at the mall still made from real gold. And I had to be careful with them: One time, after I lost mine, my mom tightened a butterfly back so hard on my new earrings that we needed tweezers to take them off. But I loved these hoops. They were a rite of passage, one that Latina mothers offered their daughters as a symbol of their womanhood. I was raised to always be accessorized, no matter the occasion.

To me, my hoops were an heirloom, until I learned I’d have to set them aside to be taken seriously in certain circles. When I decided to take my ballet dancing seriously, I ditched the hoops for a pair of stud earrings (or “dormilonas,” as we call them back home)—the former represented a heritage of salsa and more rowdy dancing, which had no place in professional ballet. I stopped dancing when I was 17, but I kept the feeling that, if I wanted to be perceived as polished, my accessories needed to be more delicate.

PHOTO: Shutterstock

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on the House floor on January 3.

My mother embraced hoop earrings, for all occasions. But there are Latinx folks that are a little bit more careful, even conservative, about hoops because of the stereotypes people assign to what we wear. “My parents wouldn’t ever let me wear them because they felt it would put me into a box, being that I’m Latina and my family is from the Bronx,” says writer Thatiana Díaz, 26. “I know that my mom had a fear of being put into a box and not being taken seriously as an immigrant.”

Briana Mendez, 25, who now works in brand partnerships, had that happen to her growing up in the suburbs in Florida. “I’ll never forget getting made fun of in middle school for wearing hoop earrings that were gifted to me—I was called names and felt extremely belittled,” she says. “After that day, I stopped wearing my hoops and opted for pearl studs to fit in with the more preppy girls from my neighborhood.”

I rediscovered hoops when I moved to New York. I wanted to keep Puerto Rico close to me, so I decided to embrace those cultural touchstones: the nameplate necklaces, red lipstick, Puerto Rican flag paraphernalia, and, yes, hoop earrings. I kept coming back to the pair my mother handed to me as a child because they reminded me of her unapologetic femininity. They made me feel more like a woman—a Latina woman.

But I still felt like there were certain places I couldn’t wear them, or couldn’t be accepted wearing them. So when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Bronx-born Puerto Rican Democrat from New York, was sworn into Congress wearing a white pantsuit, a red lip, and big gold hoops it wasn’t just a good look—it was a radical act.

PHOTO: Getty Images

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez taking her oath.

In true AOC fashion, the outfit was a collection of references, honoring the women who paved the path for her to take her oath on Capitol Hill. “Lip and hoops were inspired by Sonia Sotomayor, who was advised to wear neutral-colored nail polish to her confirmation hearings to avoid scrutiny. She kept her red,” she tweeted. “Next time someone tells Bronx girls to take off their hoops, they can just say they’re dressing like a Congresswoman.”

I saw myself in her that day: Throughout my professional career, I’ve stepped into spaces of privilege where I felt I wasn’t meant to belong—but instead of pushing aside my heritage to fit in, I insisted on wearing it boldly. Like Ocasio-Cortez, it’s good to remind people (and all of Congress) when there’s a Latina was in the House. I wasn’t the only person who, on that swearing in day in January, felt she had more in common with a congresswoman than in a lifetime. “To see a Latina woman like myself—making history and headlines, and being celebrated—own her whole look, her whole identity, gave me joy,” says Victoria Leandra, 22, a producer and writer.

For Latinas in positions of power, something as simple as wearing hoop earrings can feel like a small rebellion against the status quo. Among the corporate-grey suits and nude manicures, they announce our presence, loud and proud.

PHOTO: Getty Images

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on the House floor.

And people are cheering for her to continue wear her signature earrings. “Seeing AOC proudly wear hoops in Congress made me realize that […] I should embrace what I love to accessorize myself with and never feel ashamed for it,” says Mendez. “Hoops should be destigmatized as unprofessional.”

Ocasio-Cortez is a reminder to celebrate who we are and what we can achieve, that Latina women do have a place in the boardroom, the court bench, and, yes, Congress. She proved to me and other Latina women: You shouldn’t have to sacrifice identity for the sake of professional success.

Says Díaz: “I plan to wear my hoops for interviews, meetings, and any professional setting to make the statement: I’m a Latina, I’m from New York City, and I’m dressing like a Congresswoman.”

Frances Solá-Santiago is a writer and video producer from Puerto Rico based in New York. Follow her on Twitter at @frances_sola.

The Best Loungewear and Sleepwear Robes

When I finally moved out of my parent’s house and into my first apartment, it took multiple trips back and forth to finally get settled. But it wasn’t because I had too many things or got too sentimental to leave, rather, it everything to do with not having a fancy robe. I’ll explain.

“Firsts” have always held a special importance to me, particularly through the lens of fashion. The first outfit I vividly remember wearing was a pink tie-dyed skirt, knee-high white boots, and a shirt with two bedazzled “drama” pins on the sleeves. It was the first day of middle school. I can’t recall much else from that time, but I know exactly what I wore for every first after that—the blue tank top I wore for my first kiss, the boots I wore for my college graduation, the leopard pants I wore on the first day of my first real job. Some people have scent memories, I have my wardrobe.

Moving out of my family home was another big milestone. I had finally accomplished my goal of owning a tiny part of the city I grew up in after dreaming about it and saving for it for years. I wanted the next chapter of my life to begin with something dramatic. I wanted to walk into my new apartment for the first time wearing something I would be able to wear years later and be reminded of the first Big Adult Thing I did. The reality, of course, was much less glamorous. On that first trip, I opened the door wearing pajamas; the next time, sweats; the following, I can’t even recall. Nothing I owned felt right.

My parents were starting to get annoyed. On the day of the real, final move-in, they sat me down. “This time, it’s for real,” they told me. If I wanted to be wearing something else, why hadn’t I changed out of my sweats? I didn’t want to admit that I kept putting off the real, final move-in because I hadn’t put on the right outfit, the one I had always envisioned myself wearing. I wanted—nay, I needed a fancy robe.

In my mind, nothing says “I’m a real-ass adult” like a fancy robe. It’s something you only wear for yourself—you can’t really take it out of the house, given that the luxurious fabric clings to your body and is held together by nothing but a single knot. The very fact that it isn’t a necessity is what makes it so desirable, in my eyes. It’s comfortable and it looks nice, but no one’s seeing you in it. You wrap yourself in one when you need “me time,” to unwind from being a Real Person out in the Real World. But because I didn’t have one, this big milestone didn’t feel real.

I spent the first week in my new apartment feeling like an imposter. I wore T-shirts and boxer shorts, I slept on a mattress on the floor, and I pulled together outfits from a mountain of clothes piled up behind my bedroom door. When I couldn’t find a solution to this funk, I went out and bought a silk robe. I was still sleeping without a proper bed frame, still picking out whatever clothing I could make out from the pile—but putting on the robe made me feel like this work-in-progress was still a move forward, a step towards growing on my own. It’ll take time, but I’ll get there. The robe reminded me that I had done it: I had a space that was my own, where I could do things I wanted, where I could wear something just for myself.

It’s been a while since that moment, but that feeling still persists every time I cloak myself in a new robe—whether it’s smooth silk, plush cotton, or a whisper of lace the result is always the same. Do yourself a favor and add one to your at-home wardrobe. I promise you won’t regret it.

Normani Barges Into 2019 With The Sultry Sam Smith Collab ‘Dancing With A Stranger’

In fall 2017, Sam Smith stepped into James Corden’s SUV for a particularly memorable Carpool Karaoke segment. In it, he got a surprise from the ladies of Fifth Harmony, his well-documented absolute faves, and the gang sang his choice 5H cut, “Work From Home,” all together. It was a nice moment.

Since then, the 5H members have gone their separate ways, all launching solo endeavors in 2018, and Smith has teamed up with Calvin Harris for a house track and contributed a song to Netflix’s reboot of Watership Down. But now, Sam’s ultimate dream has been realized, thanks to a new collab with Normani.

On the sultry “Dancing With a Stranger,” the pair flex their respective cavernous voices, with Smith’s warm depths mirroring Normani’s airier delivery. Though the song tackles the mystery and excitement of new possibilities in the wake of heartbreak, the beat’s very reminiscent of Ariana Grande’s preservation anthem “Breathin,” which makes the twin voices on “Dancing With a Stranger” feel even more resilient.

It might be a nice surprise on Normani’s live set, as she takes her solo material on the road opening for Ari on the mega Sweetener World Tour beginning in March. (She just hit the cover of Billboard, too.) Smith, for his part, celebrated the “gorjjjjy” song’s release with a glass of wine and some selections from Patti Smith’s memoir, M Train. Good stuff.

Check out “Dancing With a Stranger” above. Maybe throw it on as you go out and dance with strangers.

Noah Centineo Is Starring in Another Netflix Rom-Com—With a *Riverdale* Star

If you thought 2018 was the year of the rom-com, just wait. Netflix announced on Friday (January 11) that Noah Centineo is starring in his third romantic comedy for the streaming platform—alongside, wait for it, Riverdale star Camila Mendes.

The movie is called The Perfect Date and, according to IMDB, it centers on a high school senior (Centineo) who launches a dating app wherein he becomes a stand-in boyfriend for people upon request. Laura Marano, who you probably know from Austin & Ally, also stars with Mendes and Centineo.

“Very Important Announcement Alert🚨 @ncentineo will pretend to be your boyfriend this summer! Well, he will in the Netflix original movie The Perfect Date w/ @camimendes and @lauramarano,” Netflix posted to Instagram alongside two stills from the movie feature Mendes, Marano, and Centineo.

Summer isn’t that far away, right? Check out Netflix’s post for yourself, below:

Marano regrammed Netflix’s post, writing, “So excited to finally talk about this!!! See you guys in the summer.”

Netflix was largely responsible for bringing back the rom-com in 2018 with its slate of summer movies, which included The Kissing Booth, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Sierra Burgess Is a Loser. Centineo emerged as a breakout star from both Sierra Burgess and To All the Boys, and was quickly dubbed the Internet’s boyfriend by, well, the Internet. He’s also set to appear in the Charlie’s Angels reboot later this year, starring Kristen Stewart and directed by Elizabeth Banks.

Here’s hoping The Perfect Date is just one of many romantic comedies Netflix has in store for us this year.

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James McAvoy Plays 20 Different Personalities In Glass

M. Night Shyamalan’s 2016 psychological thriller Split not only marked a comeback for the director, it also featured an ambitious performance from James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb, a criminal with a slew of distinct split personalities, including a 9-year-old boy named Hedwig and an older woman known as Ms. Patricia. In Glass, the upcoming sequel to Split, which was also revealed to be a spinoff of Shyamalan’s 2000 film Unbreakable, audiences will meet plenty more of Kevin’ other personalities. Here’s what we can expect, per Shyamalan:

Wow, looks like we could be delving into just about every one of Kevin’s personalities by the end of Glass, along with catching up with Bruce Willis’ David Dunn and Samuel L. Jackson’s Elijah Price 19 years after the events in Unbreakable as the three characters all find themselves in the same high-security hospital.

Ahead of the release of Glass, _M. Night Shyamalan, Samuel L. Jackson and James McAvoy sat down with Fandango’s Erik Davis and talked about how the _Split lead character will be developed in upcoming release. McAvoy said by the end of the 2016 film, he had played about 11 personalities, but this time they figured out all 24, with 20 appearing in Glass.

If only half as many personalities were in the villain’s standalone origin story, Glass is packing in a lot for the character this time around. Fans of Split are certainly curious to learn about all the unseen characters in their film introduction, so it does make sense that Glass will delve into them.

However, Glass is also pulling double-duty as a sequel to one of M. Night Shyamalan’s most beloved films, Unbreakable. The 2000 film was a successful follow-up to The Sixth Sense starring Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. After Willis’ character, David Dunn, is the sole survivor of a devastating train accident, he learns of more superhuman abilities such as strength and being able to see visions of crimes before they happen through touch.

Jackson’s character, Elijah Price, helps David see his amazing abilities, but in a stunning twist, he is revealed to be the villain to David’s hero, orchestrating many “accidents” to find someone unbreakable to counter his fragile bones that keep him in a wheel chair.

In Glass, it looks like Elijah will team up with Kevin to break out of the mental health facility, leading David Dunn to need to break out as well to find and stop them from wreaking havoc on the outside world. The character’s will face off when Glass hits theaters on January 18.

Chris Hemsworth Had To Remember He Wasn’t Thor Filming Men In Black: International’s Stunts

Chris Hemsworth has a lot of experience with stunts, having played Thor in the MCU since filming commenced on 2011’s Thor. The actor is next set to do some stunts for another major franchise in Men In Black: International, but according to the Hemsworth, it was a real challenge to remember he was playing a less god-like character on the big screen this time around. Per the actor:

Since Men in Black and its sequels and now spinoff have always dealt with fictional weapons and a slew of aliens, it’s easy to see why real humans may not have been the first thing Chris Hemsworth had on his mind when he started filming Men In Black: International.

Chris Hemsworth clearly wanted to give input into what his Men In Black: International character, Agent H, could do, at least per his comments to EW. However, sometimes his experience with what Thor could do in the MCU sort of got in the way with the more human tendencies and limitations of H.

Still, it clearly should be nice for Chris Hemsworth to take a break from large weapons and infinity guantlets for a while and suit up in a different kind of suit. In general, one would think that it would be pretty fun to play a superhero, although Chris Hemsworth has talked previously about how he had Thor fatigue before filming Thor: Ragnarok.

At one point, Chris Hemsworth was hopping from project to project so frequently that he announced he was taking at least a six month break from acting, although I have no idea if he capably got to it in 2018, as Bad Times at the El Royale was released a few months after 12 Strong and Avengers: Infinity War and Men in Black: International started filming back in October of 2018. Perhaps there was a gap between Infinity War and Bad Times? I certainly hope he had the chance to de-stress.

Regardless, clearly Chris Hemsworth was not going to say know to the chance at joining another big franchise, and joining that franchise with his peer Tessa Thompson, who also starred in Thor: Ragnarok.

We’ll see if the dynamic duo can strike gold twice when Men In Black: International hits the schedule on June 14, 2019. Be sure to take a look at this year’s other big releases with our full movie schedule.