"There was never [religious] faith in the house. I think of myself as being Jewish and Irish, despite the fact that I'm English. My dad believes in God, I think. I'm not sure if my mom does. I have a problem with religion or anything that says, 'We have all the answers,' because there's no such thing as 'the answers.' We're complex. We change our minds on issues all the time. Religion leaves no room for human complexity."
—actor Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, The Woman in Black), addressing interviewer Dotson Rader's question in Parade, "Your dad is a Protestant from Ulster [Ireland] and your mom is English and Jewish. Were you raised in a particular religion?" [Parade, 1/6/12]
I always ask God to work through me, and let me be a light of some kind and help in this world, so I always pray for that and I always want to do good. We're all just a bunch of sinners, but we do the best we can. He works through people in His own way, and I always ask him to let me be a blessing to people."
—65-year-old singer and actress Dolly Parton, in an interview with Fox News at the premiere of her latest film, Joyful Noise. Parton also said, "[Joyful Noise] is uplifting and I want people to go away feeling better than they did when they got here, because times are hard right now. Everybody's been feeling a little scared and a little down, and the economy has been bad and people don't know what to think. We just seem to have lost all our morals and principles and values these days." [foxnews.com, 1/11/12]
I always talk about the things I think I need to be good at and that, first and foremost, is to be a good servant to God and my faith, a good husband, a good father, a good son, a good friend, brother, neighbor. Those are the important things I focus on. If I succeed in business and fail at being a parent or husband, then it was all for nothing. Then I've failed."
—actor Mark Wahlberg, whose most recent film, Contraband, opened this weekend at No. 1 [irishecho.com, 1/11/12]
I have no choice [but to be an atheist]. I can't help what I believe. Probably the most offensive thing I ever said was, 'Thank God for making me an atheist.' It was a swipe at all those people who thank God because they won an award. How arrogant is that? There's war and famine, and God's going, 'Know what, Bullock? Write a speech. I'm not going to say anything, Sandra, but write a speech. That's all I'm saying.'"
—British actor and comedian Ricky Gervais, in an interview with Esquire magazine [esquire.com, 1/12/12]
Golden Globes get grimy
Ricky Gervais returned for another barb-filled stint as host of the Golden Globes. Bawdy humor, including multiple crude jokes about sex and the male anatomy (courtesy of Gervais, George Clooney and Madonna, among others) was almost as frequent as bleeped acceptance speeches. As had been widely anticipated, The Artist and Clooney's film The Descendants walked away with the two biggest movie awards of night (Best Musical/Comedy and Best Drama, respectively). Clooney was also named Best Actor in a Drama. Meryl Streep got the nod for Best Actress in a Drama for her turn in The Iron Lady. The Adventures of Tintin was awarded Best Animated Film. Other movie award winners included Martin Scorsese (Best Director, Hugo) and Woody Allen (Best Screenplay, Midnight in Paris). On the small screen, series honored were Showtime's Homeland (Best Series, Drama) and ABC's Modern Family (Best Series, Musical or Comedy). [NBC, 1/15/11; huffingtonpost.com, 1/15/11]
The people choose … Katy
Katy Perry was among the big winners at the 38th annual People's Choice Awards on Jan. 11. She didn't even have to show up to take home awards in five of the six categories for which she was nominated, including Favorite Female Artist, Favorite Song of the Year and Favorite Music Video. Other musicians voted tops included Maroon 5, Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Eminem and Bruno Mars. In the various movie categories, fan favorites included Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Bridesmaids, Water for Elephants as well as Johnny Depp, Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman and Adam Sandler. TV shows and stars receiving accolades were How I Met Your Mother, Pretty Little Liars, Hot in Cleveland, Castle, Supernatural, American Idol, Neil Patrick Harris, Lea Michele, Nathan Fillion and Nina Dobrev. [usatoday.com, 1/11/12; thehollywoodreporter.com, 1/11/12]
Model mad about Cosmo
A former model is trying to get Cosmopolitan censored in grocery stores. Nicole Weider has gathered about 11,000 signatures to get the magazine wrapped in an opaque plastic wrapper and to make it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to buy it. "As a former reader of the magazine, I happened to pick up an issue and was reading it and was completely shocked at how pornographic and explicit the content had become," Weider told Fox News. "I immediately thought of my young teenage brothers and it horrified me to think that they and their friends could be reading this material, and the damage it would do to them if they did." She's particularly disturbed that Cosmopolitan editors seem to be trying to entice younger readers. The February issue features 17-year-old Dakota Fanning on the cover, flanked by cover blurbs that read "Too Naughty to Say Here: But You Have to Try This Sex Trick," "His Best Sex Ever" and "Um, Vagina, Are You Okay Down There?" [foxnews.com, 1/6/12]
The Jan. 18 episode of Modern Family will reportedly feature toddler Lily uttering a bleeped f-word—much to the shock of Cam and Mitchell, her gay adoptive parents. "We thought it was a very natural story since, as parents, we've all been through this," says Modern Family creator Steve Levitan. "ABC will tell you Modern Family gets away with a lot, because I think it's all about context. We are not a sexually charged show. It has a very warm tone so people accept it more. I'm sure we'll have some detractors." [foxnews.com, 1/12/12]
ABC bans B's
On broadcast, it's not a word you want to use in the title."
—Paul Lee, entertainment president on ABC, referencing the word "b‑‑ch." ABC has two midseason shows that originally included the offensive word—Good Christian B‑‑ches and Don't Trust the B‑‑ch in Apartment 23—but the official titles for both have been changed to GCB and Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23, respectively [time.com, 1/11/12]
Kardashians going to the dogs?
The Kardashian clan's popularity may be waning, if TV ratings, magazine sales and product endorsements are any indication. Since Kim divorced husband Kris Humphries last year after just 72 days of marriage, E!'s reality show Keeping Up With the Kardashians has suffered a 14% ratings decline, while the circulation of celeb-focused magazines Us Weekly, In Touch, Life & Style and OK! dropped an average of 18% when Kim was on the cover in December. In addition, footwear company Sketchers has ditched Kim as its celebrity pitchwoman, replacing her with … a bulldog. [foxnews.com, 1/13/12]
Facebook approaching 1 billion
Facebook is poised to cross the 1 billion user mark this year. The digital marketing firm iCrossing crunched the numbers based on Facebook's past growth and estimated that the site could feasibly hit that milestone in August. [reuters.com, 1/12/12 stats]
I will be different, Justin says
I'm not going to try to conform to what people want me to be or go out there and start partying, have people see me with alcohol… I'm never going to make myself so the kids and the parents don't respect me."
—Justin Bieber, chatting with V magazine. The singer, who recently got a tattoo of Jesus on his left calf, says he has no plans to turn away from the relatively innocent pop music that has propelled him to stardom: "I don't want to start singing about things like sex, drugs and swearing," he says. [abcnews.com, 1/11/12]
Me too, from now on, chimes in Demi
I don't drink, I don't do drugs, I don't throw up after my meals, I don't starve myself. There's nothing that I do that I feel ashamed of. … I think sober is sexy. It's cool. I think it's way cooler to be above the influence than under the influence."
—Demi Lovato, speaking to Seventeen magazine about her new attitude after a well-documented rough patch—one that led her to quit her popular Disney sitcom and head to rehab. "I'm not going to lie," she says. "I was self-medicating. I was doing things like drinking and using [drugs], like a lot of teens do to numb their pain." [Seventeen, 2/12; ew.com, 1/4/12]