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The Last Word: 112 Reunites! Akon Goes Bollywood! Marlon Wayans Plays Pryor?

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How’s it going? The week has come and the week has gone. From Bank of America  eliminating their overdraft fees on debit cards to University of Chicago researchers declaring that men who stay in good shape are more prone to enjoy more years of good sex to former track star Marion Jones signing with the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock, it was another five days in paradise once again.

 

Thoughts and prayers go out to Jada Pinkett-Smith, who recently lost her father, and fans, family and friends of former ‘80s child star Corey Haim, who died Wednesday (March 10). Shout out to Mo’Nique and Sandra Bullock for taking home their first Oscars, NBC for finally booking Betty White to host Saturday Night Live on May 8 and the sounding boards, who always seem to find a way back to reality after being lost in fantasy.

And now we have…the Last Word for the week ending March 12, 2010.

 

1.       Marlon Wayons Embraces Upcoming Portrayal of Richard Pryor; Talks Dramatic Expansion

It may be strange, but I believe that comedians make the best dramatic actors. If you don’t believe me then look at Mo’Nique, who collected an Oscar for her work in Precious, Eddie Murphy, who landed an Oscar nomination for what he did in Dreamgirls and of course, Jamie Foxx, who more than earned his Academy Award-winning actor title with his memorable turn as Ray Charles in Ray.

So with all that history, could the future include an Oscar speech from Marlon Wayans? The possibility could be there as the funnyman gears up to portray comedy icon Richard Pryor in Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said.

And while he has some out of comedy experience in 2000’s Requiem for a Dream,  Wayans is best known for his unique brand humor that was present in the Scary movie films as well as Little Man and White Chicks. Still, playing Pryor went to Marlon and not the most likely person to play the comedy legend, Mr. Murphy.

Murphy’s publicist told the LA Times that his client was in talks regarding the project but that “differences on the creative front” led to the star and the filmmakers going in different directions.

Nevertheless, the publicist says that “Eddie thinks Marlon will be wonderful in the role and he’s given his blessing for Marlon to do it. He’s looking forward to seeing Marlon in the role.”

So the question is can the Wayans brother do justice to Richard Pryor and not totally f-it up and prove his critics right?

If Mr. Wayans’ plans of expanding his craft are any indication and the buzz surrounding his screen test for the film, then the answer is yes.

‘I think I’ve proven to some people — the ones paying attention — that I can do more. Everybody else, well, they can wait and see and make up their mind,” he shared with the Times.”…This is like an invitation to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro for me, and I’ve never been more excited in my life than when I got the role,” continued Wayans, who grew up listening to Pryor on vinyl records. “ I want to be in dramas, I want to produce, I want to write and I want to prove I can handle a role such as this one…Richard Pryor meant so much to black people. Bill Cosby was like Martin Luther King but Pryor, he was like Malcolm X.”

 2. Jennifer Hudson Joins All-Star Tribute to Quincy Jones; Joins March Madness With One Shining Moment

Quincy Jones’ influence in  the music world is rivaled by only a select few. So it goes without saying that if you’re selected to be one of the people paying tribute to the producer, it would behoove you to be like Jennifer Hudson and heed the call.

 The songstress is one of more than 15 artists and producers lined up for Q: Soul Bossa Nostra, a project featuring new interpretations of some of Jones’ best-known works. In addition to Hudson, the Bossa Nostra album will include contributions from  Akon, Usher,  John Legend, Robin Thicke, Warryn Campbell, Scott Storch, Three 6 Mafia, Snoop Dogg, T-Pain, Wyclef Jean, Jermaine Dupri, David Banner, Bebe Winans and DJ Paul.

Hudson will put her stamp on “You Put A Move on My Heart,” a hit originally sung by Tamia on Jones’ 1996 album, Q’s Jook Joint, while Akon takes on “Strawberry Letter 23.”

Q: Soul Bossa Nostra is slated to be released in May or June.    

In Other J-Hud news, look for the Oscar winner to provide vocals for “One Shining Moment,” the song that plays each year at the end of CBS’ broadcast of the NCAA men’s basketball championship game.

Hudson will be the first woman to sing the song , which plays over highlights of the NCAA tournament. Previous  “One Shining Moment” performers included Teddy Pendergrass and Luther Vandross.

 3. Nate Parker Won’t Follow Hollywood Road of Negative Black Male Roles

 Anybody looking for Nate Parker to play a less than stellar African American male on the big screen can hang it up right now.

 The 30-year-old entertainer may not be a household name, but he’s creating his own buzz by giving the typical Hollywood roles for black actors the cold shoulder.

 “I will not do roles that emasculate black men, and the film must give me a platform to speak on,” Parker recently told the Chicago Sun-Times while promoting his new film, Blood Done Sign My Name.  The cause is such a priority that Robinson goes out of his way to show those who are and aren’t as fortunate that his range of roles go beyond what they usually see in the movies.

 “…that’s why it’s important that I only do roles that show strong black men. If I emasculate myself, I lose credibility. I can’t walk across that street then and inspire those brothers,” said Parker, whose film work includes The Great Debaters and The Secret Life of Bees. So it should come as no surprise that the actor makes a point of mingling with youth who aren’t in school as well as those who are.

 Although the thought of doing other types of movies is appealing, Parker believes his talents are better served in a deeper capacity. “I’m part of a community that leads every negative statistical category in America.,” he said. “Like President Obama and Martin Luther King Jr., I have an obligation to show young people a better way.”

 Look for Parker to continue making waves in the name of positivity in his next film, Red Tails. The movie, which also stars Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard, centers on the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American pilots to fly in combat during World War II.

  

4. Zoe Saldana Talks Sex, Little Criminals and the Joy of Aging

 In life, it’s automatic to want love and want to be loved. And if you’re having the success that Zoe Saldana is having, then love is just the icing on the cake.

 So why not let folks know exactly how you feel about the ultimate form of affection between you and the apple of your eye? From the looks of it, being blue Avatar hasn’t done anything to lessen Zoe’s desire for 24/7 seven sex.

“Love it, love it, love it — can’t live without it! I love sex,” the actress shared in the April issue of Essence. “I love skin. I don’t believe the body is something to hide.”

 I’m sure life is good for Zoe and her boyfriend Keith Britton, whom she’s been dating for 10 years. Sex is just one of a couple of things the entertainer is seeking more of as Saldana continued her I Love Sex and Proud Of It magazine tour in Glamour magazine’s April issue.

“I want to have more sex, travel more, drink more wine and love life,” she said, while expressing the joy of getting older. “I love aging. Why would I want to be 21 for the rest of my life? Glamour is about feeling good in your own skin.”

 With sex being the topic of choice, it’s only natural to want everybody to feel the same way she does, right? But America being the way it is, open discussions about sex just aren’t that mainstream yet. At least when it comes to bringing up the topic with kids.

 “I think in American society, we’re messing up our kids by taking away the education on awareness of sexuality and replacing it with violence, guns and video games,” Saldana explains to Essence. “We’re breeding little criminals.”

 In Other Words…Shakira’s work on behalf of children has earned her a medal from the U.N. labor agency. The songstress , who has worked as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, was honored for her efforts to help impoverished children. Shakira ‘s work with children can be traced to a variety of sources that include her Barefoot foundation, which provides nutrition to more than 6,000 children in Colombia, and her membership in the ALAS foundation, an organization that advocates for children across Latin America.

 She may not have scored an Oscar for her performance in Precious, but Gabourey Sidibe has moved on to the small screen as she officially joins the cast of upcoming Showtime series The Big C. According to The Hollywood reporter, the actress will featured in a recurring role as a smart-alecky student.

The Big C stars stars Laura Linney as a repressed suburban wife and mother who reclaims her life after a terminal cancer diagnosis.

 Marlon Wayans may have a lock on playing Richard Pryor on the big screen, but Don Cheadle is getting the green light to portray another influential entertainer, Miles Davis.

The jazz legend’s family gave the go ahead for Cheadle to portray Davis in a film he’ll star in and direct. Grammy-winning musician Herbie Hancock will provide the score for the movie. In addition, Davis’ son Erin and nephew Vince Wilburn Jr. will be on hand to help Cheadle with the film, which has no release date at this time.

Now that he’s made enough money to retire after signing Lady Gaga, what is next for Akon to do. Go Bollywood, of course. The hitmaking singer/producer is breaking into the Indian film market via a song for the soundtrack to the movie RA.One.  

 According to film’s star, Shah Rukh Khan, Akon will record the song in Hindi for free and be featured in the accompanying video to the track. “India is my next focus area,” Akon said regarding plans to invade Bollywood. “I want to try different things, want to explore… want to enjoy my work. We have the same kind of entertainment, the only difference is of tradition and language.”

As we remembered the legacy and music of the Notorious B.I.G. there comes news that former Bad Boy Records group 112 are reuniting for a new album. The reunion was confirmed earlier this week via Twitter by group member Quiness  “Q “Parker.

 “In the studio wit my boys mike and daron! New 112 album comin soon!,” Q tweeted.

The upcoming 112 album will be the follow up to the group’s 2005 gold certified album Pleasure & Pain.  

  Looks like Amy Winehouse is working on a new clothing collection as well as her highly anticipated third album. WWD reports the singer is aligning with British label Fred Perry, for a 17-piece fashion line that includes a girlish twinset; slim, thigh-skimming pencil skirts; capri pants, a mini bowling dress, and Fred Perry’s signature polo shirts.The mostly black collection, which will be priced between about $32 and $150, will continue over four seasons and be sold in Fred Perry Authentic boutiques as well as through select wholesalers around the world.

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