It wasn't until the Aug. 6 episode of Pose, "Revelations," that Billy Porter had his very first love scene — at 49 years old. The first-time Emmy nominee told The Hollywood Reporter that it was a nerve-wracking position to be in as an artist, but something he'd absolutely do again "when it's right."
"Making love, sex is the most vulnerable of places that a human can be in with another person," Porter told THR on the red carpet at a Friday event celebrating his and Pose's Emmy nominations at the Pacific Design Center. "As an actor, to share what that personally looks like to you, it's new. It's very vulnerable. It was hard for me to watch because it was actually very real. That's something that's very private. It's a private moment that I feel like I have now cracked open and begun to share in how I tell stories now."
The Tony- and Grammy- winning actor plays the confident, wise Pray Tell, an elder in the ballroom scene of late '80s and early '90s New York City. And though the character has faced plenty of vulnerable moments in the first season and a half of Pose, the sex scene is Pray Tell at his most open.
"That's what I love so much about television — because of multiple episodes, multiple hours, we get to see characters evolve and grow and live in a more real-time fashion," Porter told THR. "And I'm excited that people get to see this human being, this archetype, this African American out, gay, powerful, man."
Later, in a conversation with Pose executive producer Ryan Murphy, Porter discussed how long it took for him to accept his place as a leading man after facing so much homophobia throughout his career, his scene-stealing Oscars fashion moment, and being able to "lean into the joy" he's currently experiencing in his life, as Murphy put it.
He wants his character to be able to experience joy as well: Porter told Murphy the thing he wants most for his character is to experience a real, functioning, loving relationship. For gay men in that era — the of the HIV/AIDS crisis, before life-saving drugs became widely accessible — "our love was transient," he said on the panel.
"Everything was transient. Our love was transient. You could just throw it away, because you could fall in love with somebody and they could be gone a week, so we got used to that," he said. "We got used to our love being in the dark."
As he told THR on the pink carpet before the event, being able to represent that lost generation is a huge achievement for him.
"I am thrilled that I lived long enough to see the day where I can represent the generation that I am in. The one where, when the pill came, we just stopped talking about it," he said. "You know, there's a whole generation of people that don't realize that we lived through a plague. It was a real plague. Like the kind you learn in elementary school, the bubonic plague. And I feel like our show really gets to remind the world that that happened, and hopefully create a different kind of empathy and a different kind of presence in terms of how we move forward, the choices that we make, and how we move forward as a society."
Porter's big sex scene came in creator Stephen Canals' directorial debut, and Porter, who is currently directing a play in Boston, said his turn to helm an episode is scheduled for season three.
"I'm slated, hopefully, to be directing next season. We had talked about that a while ago, so that's my hope," he said. "That's where I'm headed."
While the sixth episode contained Porter's big musical moment for the season — "I think our episode sixes are looking like they're going to turn out to be the musical episode," he said, the final two episodes will contain a time jump to 1991, according to Murphy, with the series likely ending around 1996, when HIV medication became widely available.
Writer and producer Our Lady J told THR that the final two episodes of Pose's second season will be both heartwarming and dramatic, in true Pose fashion.
"a very special episode of television," she said. "It's an homage to episodes we've seen in more mainstream context, but with our community at the center of it. And then of course, episode 10 has all the trauma because that's the season finale."
Even though Deadpool 3 wasn't announced during this year's San Diego Comic-Con, Ryan Reynolds is here to tease us about the future of the Merc With a Mouth. Since the Disney/Fox merger closed in March, Deadpool is now under Disney's control, which means the character will likely be folded into the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point down the line. When exactly? That hasn't been revealed, but Reynolds may have just "leaked" that it's going to be in Phase 5.
This came as part of a recent Instagram post that Ryan Reynolds made in honor of what he calls the "Lakeaversary." For those who may recall, five years ago, someone leaked some Deadpool test footage that made its way online back when Fox was refusing to give the green light to the character's solo movie. The internet was set ablaze and it more or less forced the studio's hand to move forward. To commemorate the occasion, Reynolds shared a conspiracy yarn board which attempts to determine the individual who leaked the footage. He shared it with the followed caption.
"Investigation heading into year 5. Or as I call it, 'Phase 5.' The point is, I love conspiracy-yarn. #LeakAversary"
Being his not-at-all-subtle self, Ryan Reynolds slipped in that "Phase 5" bit, which he knows fans are going to jump on. Marvel announced their entire Phase 4 slate at SDCC this year, which includes a host of movies and Disney+ TV shows. They also teased a bunch of projects for Phase 5, including a Blade reboot, and reboots of other Fox properties such as the X-Men and Fantastic Four. Yet, we weren't treated to a Deadpool 3 announcement. If we're to take Reynolds' tease here literally, and considering he's posting this on the anniversary of a famous leak that led to the first Deadpool movie, we can assume he's teasing the arrival of Wade Wilson in Phase 5 of the MCU.
It's also well-worth examining the board a bit closer. We see a ton of suspects, including Ryan Reynolds' friend/enemy Huh Jackman, wife Blake Lively and even Betty White. The entire creative team behind the first movie, including writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, as well as director Tim Miller are featuredl. It's been stated previously that one of them, or Reynolds, were the only ones who could have leaked the footage. To that point, Reynolds even jokingly states on a note, "70% sure not me."
Related: Deadpool Creator Begs Hugh Jackman for Wolverine Crossover in Open Letter
Deadpool 2 director David Leitch recently indicated he had no info on a possible new movie within the MCU, but hopes to return should the opportunity arise. It's also been previously indicated that Marvel and Disney feel the franchise can continue at its new home. And considering that the previous two movies grossed more than $1.5 billion combined at the box office, it would be far more surprising to find out Deadpool 3 isn't going to happen. It just won't be until at least 2022. Be sure to check out Ryan Reynolds' Instagram post for yourself below.
In 2018, Black Panther became the first “comic book movie” to be nominated for Best Picture. Joker is trying to become the first to win: Warner Bros. has taken the first stop towards Oscar glory by premiering the Todd Phillips-directed, Joaquin Phoenix-starring film at the Toronto International Film Festival and Venice Film Festival, where it will compete for the prestigious Golden Lion.
Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera told Variety that Phillips was the one who pushed Warner Bros. for Joker to contend for the festival’s biggest honor previous winners include Brokeback Mountain, The Shape of Water, and Roma instead of playing out of competition, like A Star is Born last year. He told the studio, “I don’t care if I run the risk of not winning. Why shouldn’t I go in competition when I know what we’ve I’ve got on our hands?” according to Barbera, who added, “I have to say, Warners was convinced rapidly, because it’s a really surprising film. It’s the most surprising film we’ve got this year.”
“This one’s going straight to the Oscars even though it’s gritty, dark, violent. It has amazing ambition and scope.”
Barbera’s comments what Cameron Bailey, the artistic director at the Toronto International Film Festival, recently told IndieWire. “It’s an original story that allows the filmmakers to go in an original direction. It’s got some real dark tones to it, but it’s just grounded in this career-best career performance by Joaquin Phoenix,” she said. “I think all the awards bodies will be taking notice.”
Joker opens on October 4, unless you’re at Venice or TIFF, in which case you’re in for a tWiStEd time before the rest of us.
As the summer movie season begins to wind down, we can't help but be excited for some of this fall's biggest releases. And one of the most anticipated movies of the Oscar season is surely Downton Abbey. The classic TV show is getting the big screen treatment, and it's sure to be an elegant affair. Today, we have the final U.S. one-sheet for this continuation of the saga, which splits The Crawleys and their staff apart.
From Focus Features and Carnival comes the first ever movie based on the hugely popular Downton Abbey TV series, which ran on PBS here in the states. The feature length adventure will only be in theaters, kicking off its run on September 20, 2019, helping kick Oscar season into high gear. Most movies based on popular TV shows seldom go onto garner awards attention, but Downton Abbey is a very different beast.
This fall, the worldwide phenomenon Downton Abbey, becomes a grand motion picture event, as the beloved Crawleys and their intrepid staff prepare for the most important moment of their lives. A royal visit from the King and Queen of England will unleash scandal, romance and intrigue that will leave the future of Downton hanging in the balance. Written by series creator Julian Fellowes and starring the original cast.
Michael Engler is directing Downton Abbey from a script written by Julian Fellowes. Gareth Neame, Liz Trubridge, Julian Fellowes produce the movie. And it is full of returning faces, along with a few newcomers. The truly epic ensemble cast includes Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Joanne Froggatt, Matthew Goode, Harry Hadden-Paton, David Haig, Geraldine James, Robert James-Collier, Simon Jones, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Tuppence Middleton, Stephen Campbell Moore, Lesley Nicol, Kate Phillips, Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton and Penelope Wilton.
During its small screen run, Downton Abbey collected 3 Golden Globes and 6 Prime Time Emmys. So its chances at scoring an Oscar or two are pretty decent. The film will go full-on widescreen to enhance the theatrical experience. The original TV show was shot in 16:9, but the movie will be presented in the scope aspect ratio of 2.39:1.
Related: Downton Abbey Movie Begins Production
It is expected that a final trailer will be premiering here shortly. This latest poster comes to us direct from Focus Features and offers a fresh look at that truly remarkable group of actors that have been gathered for this big screen experience.
A deadpan “Really?” was Pose actor and red carpet sartorial king Billy Porter’s initial reaction to his Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role as the no-nonsense ballroom emcee Pray Tell on the FX series about the New York City ball scene in the ’80s.
Porter, who was on vacation when he learned of the news, talked to Deadline about his limited oxygen intake since he realized Tuesday was Emmy nomination day. “I just haven’t been breathing for the past day,” he said in anticipation for today’s announcements of nominees. “So today, I was able to breathe — that was my first reaction!”
When Pose premiered, it made TV history with the largest transgender cast and broke ground with LGBTQ storytelling. As Porter points out, his nomination marks one of the first — if not the first — time an openly gay Black actor has been nominated in the Lead Actor category. In addition, the show’s nom for Outstanding Drama Series continues to blaze that trail for the queer community and other marginalized groups.
“It really opens up and creates a different kind of conversation in a different space,” said Porter. “It’s about representation. It’s about all people’s stories being told. It’s about the art. We creative people have the power to transform hearts and minds doing the work that we do and I am just thrilled to be able to do that. It feels like a calling. I’ve lived in that ministry, came up in the ’80s and lived through the plague — and I’m here for a reason. I’m here so I can be on this other side to tell this story about this world. We’re here. We’ve always been here and we’re not going anywhere — get used to it.”
Porter said that he never imagined that a show about LGBTQ counterculture like Pose would be recognized by the mainstream let alone the Television Academy. “There was no context for this,” he comments. “I said the same thing about marriage equality. When we were growing up, there was no context because you could never see it. I’ve always had huge dreams but I realized now that my dreams have been springboarded off of things I have already seen. They weren’t about dreaming the impossible. They weren’t about dreaming things that didn’t exist. Ryan Murphy, Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk, FX — everybody involved in the show taught me how to dream the impossible. The sky is the limit now, honey!”
Pose is currently in its second season and Porter’s character continues to develop and he gave a little bit of a tease in regards to what we can expect in Pray Tell’s future.
“There’s a lot of gag-worthy things,” he teases. “One of which is Pray Tell gets a little bit of a love interest so that’s nice. They’re not cutting our dicks off anymore — they keep gay people neutered very often so Pray Tell is no longer neutered! Which is good for me.”
He adds, “I have been in this industry for 30 years and have never been the object of anyone’s affection or love interest. I have always been the gay best friend, the clown so it’s really interesting to move this space. It’s very humbling.”
Porter said that his 50th birthday is the day before the Emmy ceremony — and a win would be a good gift for him.
Throughout the last three months, One Day At a Time developers, executive producers and showrunners Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce kept the Save the Show campaign going after the comedy’s cancellation by Netflix with hopeful messages on social media.
Today they have good news for ODAAT fans - the series has found a new home on CBS Corp.-owned basic cable network Pop for a 13-episode fourth season to debut in 2020. While the primary piece of the deal between Sony Pictures TV and CBS Corp. is the show’s premiere on Pop, it also allows for repeats to air on CBS later in the year.
Going from a premium SVOD platform like Netflix to a basic cable network is not easy as there is a major difference in the series budgets. With negotiations, the gap in the production part of the budget was made “not significant,” according to Sony TV President Jeff Frost, but there still will be reduction.
Gloria Calderon Kellett, Mike Royce Shutterstock
“It's a lower budget, we all made sacrifices, we all came up with compromises in order to keep the show going but nothing to prevent us from making the show that we wanted to make,” Calderon Kellett said. “That's one of the things about Pop that made it really exciting for us -they made very clear that they wanted to keep making the show we want to make; that's all you want to hear as a creator.”
In Season 4, ODAAT will continue the storylines of the characters, with Elena in her senior year and talking about college, Alex getting older, Penelope becoming a nurse practitioner, Lydia left in Cuba, Schneider as newly sober and in a new relationship and Victor being newly married and how that impacts the family.
“And it is 2020, so we will be discussing I'm sure some version of politics as it affects this family,” Calderon Kellett said.
How does she feel being able to continue the show with a new season airing during an election year? “Exhilarated!,” Calderon Kellett exclaimed.
Moving from Netflix to Pop can also help the show be more timely and topical, Royce said.
“It's very interesting because instead of binged at once, we are going to come out once a week and will be able to be a little closer to when things will be happening,” he said. “Will still of course will be producing it well ahead of the events that are happening but that will be a new experience to have the timing of it.”
While Sony TV had the cast of the series under contract until October, the ODAAT writers were free to take other jobs. Some of them did, and that’s a good thing, Calderon Kellett said. The cast, led by Justina Machado and Rita Moreno, also includes Todd Grinnell, Isabella Gomez, Marcel Ruiz and Stephen Tobolowsky.
“One of the wonderful things that we meant to do with the show is to give young writers of color and LGBTQ writers an opportunity, so the fact that many of them have moved on to other shows is actually a victory because it's doing the work we have been doing since Season 1,” she said. “While we are sad to see some of them go to other jobs, it gives us an opportunity to find new writers. So we have some clutch players that are back and then we have some new writers that we are reading right now and going to be meeting that we are really, really excited about.”
Royce gave props to Sony TV executives for getting ODAAT resurrected.
“The moment the cancellation came, Sony said, ‘we are going to get this show another home,'” Royce said, acknowledging that he was very skeptical at first because, as a veteran comedy showrunner, he had gone through a number of cancellations and “it’s almost never a real thing.” But “in this case, Sony really made this happen so we need to take our hats off to them .”
Calderon Kellett gave shout-out to ODAAT’s loyal fans who “were so wonderful, and supportive and generous” following the cancellation by Netflix. “To get canceled and have that type of outcry really made us think, ‘We've done something right’.”
And she wants to continue doing it.
“We love making the show, we love these people, we love this cast,” she said. “We lave this type of storytelling in a Norman Lear fashion, we love telling it about this family, especially right now when the Latinx community is still pretty vilified in the press by the administration, so to be able to put something forward that is positive and hopeful about a Latin immigrant family doing right in America seems important. We are really honored and thrilled to be able to do it and so grateful to Pop and to Sony for allowing us to continue to tell this important story.”