Posts By Liz Black

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Elizabeth Banks Rumored For Hunger Games Role

This is quite the exciting week for Hunger Games fans. Not only was it announced yesterday that the roles of Rue and Thresh have been cast in the film, but today we’ve learned that Elizabeth Banks is the favorite to play Effie Trinket, the wig-wearing prim and proper chaperone of Katniss and Peeta in the book trilogy. While we initially pegged Amy Poehler as the perfect Effie in our Hunger Games casting predictions, we think Banks is a pretty great choice. This leaves Haymitch and Prim as the only remaining big roles left to be cast, and at the rate we’re going, we should know those details very, very soon.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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The Hunger Games Casts Thresh And Rue

The producers of The Hunger Games have been busy fleshing out the cast of their film, and they’ve just announced that they found two relatively unknown actors to play two of the more well-loved characters, District 11 tributes Thresh and Rue. Newcomers Dayo Okeniyi and Amandla Stenberg will portray the young tributes forced into the Hunger Games arena with Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence). Okeniyi only has one film to his name, a feature called Slew Hampshire which has not yet been released, and twelve-year-old Stenberg has a slightly longer resume (and quite the IMDb bio which is worth a read—we love that it includes the fact that she has ridden in the Goodyear blimp), as well as her own website, AmandlaStenberg.com.

Pretty safe to say that these two won’t be unknowns for long.

[Photos: IMDb]

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Check Out Some Stills From Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part II

It’s no secret that we plan to openly weep when the Harry Potter series comes to a close once and for all. As soon as the credits to Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part II start to roll, we will be blubbering messes, we’re just that attached to this franchise. But we still have a few more months of anticipation and excitement before our emotions turn, and with that in mind, we’re super-psyched to get a look at these Harry Potter stills published in Entertainment Weekly. These new shots show Harry in the interior of Gringotts, a scene with the Death Eaters, and herbology whiz Neville Longbottom going all swordsman on Nagini the Snake’s ass. Oh, God. Neville. Just thinking about him gives us chills.

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[Photos: Entertainment Weekly/Warner Bros.]

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Robert Pattinson Gets Yet Another Wax Figure That Looks Nothing Like Him

Last year, Robert Pattinson‘s brooding mug was commemorated with two wax sculptures at Madame Tussaud’s in London and New York. The photo above on the right shows Wax Pattinson 2010 in all his sheepish, scruffy glory at last year’s unveiling. But this week, RPattz got yet another wax figure made in his likeness for the Berlin outpost of Madame Tussaud’s (above, left) and we’re not really thrilled about it. Sure, it has an updated, shorter hairstyle, but the face is somewhere in between Matthew Perry during his drug days and Gerard Butler on Slim-Fast. And even though Rob pulls off sexy-disheveled better than anyone, did they really need to make his outfit look like drunk guy at 3am after a wedding, with the crooked tie and messy collar? We weren’t loving the 2010 version, but we’ll definitely take it over this new, not-improved version.

Check out a few more shots of his new wax likeness, both alone and throttled by some excited fans who are just trying to live out their dream.

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[Photos: Getty Images]

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Flashback! Tiffany And Debbie Gibson Are Going On Tour This Summer

Be still, our eleven-year-old heart. ’80s teen pop stars Tiffany and Debbie Gibson are going on tour together. Yes, in 2011! Tiff told Page Six, “We want to journey through the ’80s and all the artists who influenced us,” which means they’ll perform their own singles but also cover songs by artists like Stevie Nicks and Reba McIntyre. (Lord, we don’t ask for much, but if you could let them cover “Fancy” we’d be forever in your debt.)

All this time we thought these two singers had a huge rivalry as teens. Turns out they get along so well that they can easily transition from making a SyFy movie together (last year’s Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid, obvs) to a summer tour. If we’ve learned anything from these two it’s that peace and harmony can be achieved, just as long as everyone wears funky vests and jean jackets.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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Time To Ditch The Red String: Madonna Reportedly Has Left Kabbalah

This is hard to believe, but Madonna has reportedly quit Kabbalah in order to join an even more secretive religion, Opus Dei. The star made the red-string-bracelet-loving sect of Judaism prominent when she began following the faith several years ago and several other celebs like Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, and Victoria Beckham followed suit. The Opus Dei, on the other hand, has no celebrity followers that we know of because it’s incredibly clandestine. (And oddly, a form of Catholicism, the religion Madonna grew up in and has always been critical of.)

The religion was famously written about in The Da Vinci Code and controversially involves practices like “mortification of the flesh,” or self-mutilation. Joining the religion even involves a secretive process.  Madonna reportedly had an exploratory meeting at the London Opus Dei headquarters last week but she’s not a “fully paid-up” member yet. Which begs the question, between Kabbalah, Opus Dei, Scientology, and the Mel Gibson Megachurch – are there any celebs who belong to religions that average people are a part of?

[Photos: Getty Images]

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$9 Million Will Buy You Donna Martin’s Sex House

Good news for the world’s richest Beverly Hills 90210 fans: The house where Donna Martin lost her virginity is for sale, and it’s only going for $9 million! Donna Martin, played of course by Tori Spelling, lost her v-card to David Silver, played by Brian Austin Green after years of withholding her precious flower. It was a tender, candlelit moment in a four-poster bed that ends up looking like a condom PSA, but it was a milestone for old Donna, and for anyone who grew up watching the show. The building where Donna (and best friend Kelly Taylor) lived is actually located in Hermosa Beach, CA, and is being marketed as “the 90210 house.” So if you have a spare $9m lying around and want to be known as the crazy super-fan who bought the 90210 house, this might be the thing for you. Personally, we’re holding out for Jim and Cindy Walsh’s Spanish-style ranch to come on the market.

Just for old time’s sake, you can watch the video of Donna and David doin’ it in the beach house after the jump if you can handle/stomach it.

[Photos: Daily Mail/Getty Images]

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Christina Aguilera’s Divorce Finalized Today

Any shred of hope the world had for Christina Aguilera‘s five-year-old marriage to Jordan Bratman is gone: The pair finalized their divorce in court this morning. Aguilera filed for divorce back in October and, after a required six-month waiting period (which, for so many reasons, must have seemed like the roughest six months of her life), a judge finalized the request today.

As you already know, Aguilera didn’t need an official divorce to start shacking up with her new beau, Matthew Rutler, he moved in to her California home before Bratman had even gotten a chance to move out. Aguilera and Bratman plan to share custody of their 3-year-old, Max.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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Charlie Sheen Ruins Ferris Bueller For Us, Admits To Sleeping With Jennifer Grey

We’re as tired as anyone of Charlie Sheen and his Violent Torpedo Of Truth tour, but as pop culture nerds who get nostalgic for our youth, our ears perked up when we heard some of the tidbits from Charlie’s latest show. While performing in Toronto this week, Charlie reportedly divulged that the first (of many, um, lucky) lady celebs that he had sex with was Jennifer Grey, his co-star in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  We wonder if he called her Shauna?

Sheen also said on stage that his very best friends in the world are Sean Penn, Nicolas Cage and his dad, Martin Sheen. We know for a fact that Sheen is close with Cage and his father, but the Sean Penn thing seems weird. Like how Lindsay Lohan says she’s best friends with James Franco. Of course, given that we don’t really believe much of what Sheen says, all these things could be untrue (and Ferris Bueller and Sean Penn would remain in our good graces), so believe what you will, this is a crazy person we’re talking about.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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Idol Finalist Jacob Lusk Has A Criminal Past! (Sort Of)

Of all the contestants of this season of American Idol to be in trouble with the law, Jacob Lusk isn’t the first one we would have thought of. (Actually, this season barely has any bad seeds when you think about it, huh?) But leave it to TMZ to dig up Lusk’s mug shot from when he was arrested in 2010. Yes, the former spa concierge turned angelic-voiced Idol hopeful has a criminal past that almost prevented him from being on the show. Fortunately, it’s a pretty tame story that shouldn’t tarnish his reputation too much. (Although that wife beater he’s wearing in his mug shot is definitely something we didn’t peg him for.)

Lusk was cited in 2009 for not paying his fare on the L.A. Metro and received a ticket from the police. He didn’t attend his court hearing for the incident and a warrant for his arrest was created. Then, in 2010, one day after learning he was picked for Idol, he was pulled over in a traffic violation, and since he had a warrant, he was arrested and jailed for two days. After pleading with the judge, he was released from probation and allowed to compete on Idol. Hilariously, TMZ reports that Lusk sang to his fellow inmates while he was in jail which is adorable and also sounds like a lost episode of Cop Rock. Let’s hope that his new found fame means he’ll get driven everywhere from now on and he’ll stop getting into transit trouble.

[Photos: Getty Images/TMZ]