Actress Octavia Spencer speaks at GREY GOOSE Hosts Silver Rose Awards Gala at Vibiana on April 6, 2013 in Los Angeles
*Octavia Spencer has been added to the cast of “Black and White,” a project that mixes racial tension with a bitter custody battle and reteams star Kevin Costner with his “Upside Of Anger” director Mike Binder.
The drama focuses on attorney Elliot Anderson (Costner) who is widowed after the car crash death of his wife.
Elliot has raised his bi-racial granddaughter Eloise since his daughter died in childbirth. As he struggles with his grief, Elliot’s world is turned upside-down when the child’s African American grandmother Rowena (Spencer) demands that Eloise be brought under the care of her father Reggie, a drug addict who Elliot blames for the negligence that led to the death of his own daughter.
Elliot finds himself deeply entrenched in a custody battle and will stop at nothing to keep his granddaughter from coming under the watch of his reckless son-in-law.
Ultimately, the studio notes in a press release, “‘Black and White’ is a searing portrayal of a broken man caught up in a struggle clouded by bitterness, blame and racial tension who learns to forgive and how to provide for the only family he has left.”
The film is based on Binder’s own script, and is a co-production of Costner’s Treehouse Productions and Binder’s Sunlight Productions, along with Todd Lewis.
Principal photography begins this summer in New Orleans.
Diddy walks out of Chateau Marmont in Hollywood (March 9, 2013)
*Sean “Diddy” Combs is among the newcomers joining Kevin Costner and “42” star Chadwick Boseman in “Draft Day,” which begins production today in New York.
Rosanna Arquette (“What About Brian”), David Ramsey (“Arrow”) and W. Earl Brown (“Rectify,” “The Lone Ranger”) have also been announced as part of the production from Co-producers Summit and OddLot Entertainment.
As previously reported, the film – directed and produced by Ivan Reitman – centers on an NFL GM (Costner) in Cleveland making personnel decisions on draft day. The dramedy revolves around events during a single day.
Jennifer Garner, Frank Langella and Ellen Burstyn are also on board.
Filming in New York will take place at Radio City Music Hall during the NFL draft, which begins today.
*Kevin Costner revealed in an upcoming interview with Anderson Cooper that he reached out to Whitney Houston, his co-star in “The Bodyguard,” as she struggled with substance abuse by writing to her.
“There are some people that really love Whitney, and a couple times during the last seven, eight years, asked me, would I write her a letter?” Costner tells Cooper. “When someone says, will you write a letter to someone who you know is having trouble … I did. I don’t know if those letters were ever read.”
Houston died on Feb. 11 at the age of 48. She was found face down in the tub of her suite at the Beverly Hilton hotel by a member of her personal staff, and efforts to revive her were unsuccessful.
Asked by Cooper if Houston was struggling with substance abuse while filming “The Bodyguard,” which was released in 1992, Costner replied, “Not that I know of, no … I elected to let Whitney have her life after ‘The Bodyguard.’”
Costner delivered a stirring speech at Houston’s funeral. Recalling how Houston was uncertain about her acting abilities while preparing to film “The Bodyguard,” Costner said, “Whitney, if you could hear me now, I would tell you that you weren’t just good enough; you were great … a lot of guys could have played part, but you were the only person who could have played Rachel Marron at that time.”
Costner’s appearance on “Anderson” will air in May. Watch the Whitney portion of the interview below.
*Millions of Whitney Houston fans watched final tributes from family and friends during the live broadcast of her home going celebration at Newark’s New Hope Baptist on Saturday, February 18, 2012, just one week after her untimely passing in Beverly Hills, California due to unknown causes. It was a dignified ceremony that maintained reverence of the Baptist tradition, except for a few awkward moments.
The one camera that was permitted, kept viewers abreast of the proceedings without distracting the private and emotional nature of what was going on inside. Though news outfits from all over the world vied for access, a media circus was banned from the sanctuary. By now, full accounts have been given of Dionne Warwick’s officiating, Pastor Marvin Winans’ eulogy, Tyler Perry’s sermonette, Kim Burrell’s rendition of “A Change Is Gonna Come”, CeCe Winans’ “Don’t Cry For Me,” and the chilling original requiems by BeBe Winans and AliciaKeys. It was all to be expected from the hierarchy of music stars that were Whitney Houston’s warm and personal friends. What many did not expect was the stark and noble gesture of lifting Ms. Houston’s shiny gold casket onto the shoulders of the pall bearers for the recessional as her voice rung from the speakers singing “I Will Always Love You.”
At the close of the lengthy services a troupe of uniformed men marched up the isles, but were dismissed by the woman in the gold jacket. It is reported that this was Carolyn Whigham, owner of the Whigham Funeral Home. Then another team of men entered from the sidelines. Within seconds Whitney’s casket was onto their shoulders for the march outside the church. EURweb researched ceremonial burials and came up with this historical account. The ceremonial function of pallbearers dates back to ancient Rome. The person’s cloak or garment was referred to as his pallium. It was spread over the body or coffin from home to the cemetery. The pallium was carried by a friend or a loved one, while another group of men carried the body mounted on their shoulders. By the Middle Ages, the pallium simply became the pall, a rectangular cloth that typically covers the coffin while lying in state at a Christian Church. One group of men were assigned to carry the coffin, while another were charged to proceed along side them to make sure that the pall did not drag to the ground. Over time the second group of men, became obsolete and the term “pall bearer” refers to those assigned to physically remove the casket from the place of final services to the grave site. In military and state funerals, the U. S. flag serves as a pall over the casket. Due to Whitney Houston’s career achievements, her passing was observed by flags waving half staff in New Jersey upon orders given by Governor Chris Christie. Thus the highly ceremonial nature of Whitney’s funeral was within reasonable protocol.
Ms. Houston was interred Sunday, February 19, 2012 at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, New Jersey. It is fitting to mention that the Whigham Funeral Home has been a staple in the Jersey area for 60 years and has overseen final arrangements for jazz great Sarah Vaughn, jazz trumpeter Woody Shaw and gospel singer James Ausbin Smith, among others who were famous and not so famous.
*Kevin Costner, Whitney Houston love interest in her first film “The Bodyguard,” will speak at her funeral to be held Saturday in Newark, New Jersey, reports People magazine.
Costner will address those gathered at the New Hope Baptist Church to speak about the passing of his close friend and former co-star. Houston made her big-screen debut in the 1992 hit movie, which earned over $400 million at the box-office. The film featured Houston’s Dolly Parton penned song ‘I Will Always Love You’, which has sold in huge quantities since her sudden death on Saturday.
The soundtrack to “The Bodyguard,” as well as Whitney’s self-titled debut album, are among the biggest selling albums of the past week, with Houston posthumously shifting over one-million.
Houston’s mentor Clive Davis will also speak at the funeral, while a musical performance will be given by her godmother Aretha Franklin.
A source close to the singer’s family said Clive in particular had been instrumental in keeping spirits up over the past few days, saying, “They’re leaning on him for emotional support. He talks to them hourly, and he’s a very big part in planning her funeral.
*Kurt Russell is reportedly in talks to replace Kevin Costner in the Jamie Foxx film “Django Unchained.”
Russell, 60, would play malicious plantation overseer Ace – a role originally given to Kevin Costner, who bowed out of the project last week due to scheduling conflicts, according to the trade magazine.
The movie, which boasts an all-star cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz, is slated for theatrical release on Christmas Day 2012.
Russell would be reteaming with helmer Quentin Tarantino, who directed the veteran actor in his 2007 film “Grindhouse.”