Red Nose Day founder says ‘Love Actually’ short was an easy sell

In just a few days, “Love Actually” fans will find out what has happened to their favorite characters since the film first turned audiences into absolute mush 14 years ago.

The film’s writer and director, Richard Curtis, who is also the co-founder of Comic Relief, a charity that produces Red Nose Day in the U.S. and UK, said it was a no-brainer to get his cast back together for a short sequel.

“I picked ‘Love Actually’ because it was one thing I had up my sleeve,” he told CNN. “I saw the film for the first time in a decade, and that got me thinking I could very quickly say what’s happened to everyone.”

The 10-minute short premieres as part of “The Red Nose Day Special” on May 25 on NBC.

Reuniting Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley and Liam Neeson on screen didn’t take much convincing, according to Curtis.

“They were very willing,” he said.

But a full-length sequel is not in the works.

“The truth of the matter is sequels are hard, and ‘Love Actually’ was very hard to get right,” Curtis explained. “It was the film of mine that changed most between script and edit. The script went really well, but there’s a particularly complicated thing with 10 stories. The edit is like three-dimensional chess.”

Curtis co-founded Comic Relief with his friend Lenny Harry in 1985, after a trip to Ethiopia. Curtis said he “saw such terrible things” that he wanted to do his part to end child poverty. Three years later, they launched their first Red Nose Day in the UK.

“When I started it, I thought it would last for one year,” he said. “So it’s turned out to be a very unruly, but long-lasting child.”

According to the organization, Red Nose Day has raised $1.3 billion since its inception. Money raised goes to multiple charities, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Feeding America, Save the Children and Oxfam.

Curtis said celebrity involvement has had a tremendous impact on the success of Red Nose Day over the last three decades. He cited the time he asked J.K. Rowling if she would donate a signed copy of “Harry Potter” as an example.

“She said, ‘You know, I’ve been thinking of doing these two ‘Harry Potter’ pamphlets ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and the one about Quidditch,’ and she said, ‘Why don’t I write those for you?’ From that one letter I wrote, we made $28 million dollars.”

“If you ask somebody to do something for good, it’s amazing the things they will do,” Curtis said.

Beyond celebrity participation, Curtis also credits the longevity of Red Nose Day to its “strangely” appealing symbol.

“The first year at Walgreens, my girlfriend said you’ll sell 50,000 [noses] and we sold five million in the first 10 days. There is just some little magic there,” Curtis said.

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Powers Boothe, actor in ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,’ dies at 68

Actor Powers Boothe, known for his roles in “Sin City,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” and “Deadwood,” has died at 68, his publicist, Karen Samfilippo, said.

The Emmy-winning actor passed away Sunday of natural causes in his sleep at his Los Angeles home.

A private service will be held in his home state of Texas, Samfilippo said.

His family is also considering a memorial celebration in his honor for a future date.

Boothe is well known for his villain roles and Westerns. He played a key role in the HBO series “Deadwood” as saloon owner Cy Tolliver.

In 1980, Boothe’s leading role in the TV movie “Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones” earned him an Emmy for “outstanding lead actor in a limited series or special.”

He accepted his Emmy in person unlike many nominees and presenters who boycotted the event as part of a Screen Actors Guild strike.

“This is either the most courageous moment of my careers or the stupidest,” he said while accepting the award, TIME magazine reported.

More recently, Boothe starred as Senator Roark in the “Sin City” franchise and as Gideon Malick on Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Friends and colleagues took on social media to express his condolences for Boothe’s passing.

“It’s with great sadness that I mourn the passing of my friend Powers Boothe. A dear friend, great actor, devoted father and husband,” actor Beau Bridges wrote on Twitter.

Boothe’s co-star in the 1984 war film “Red Dawn,” actress Lea Thompson remembered the actor.

“I loved acting with you #PowersBoothe you were a gentlemen and a great actor,” she wrote.

His Deadwood colleague, Garret Dillahunt, described the actor on Facebook as “a formidable adversary, baseball lover and poser hater”

“Give em hell Powers,” he wrote.

Boothe grew up in a cotton farm in western Texas.

He became the first person in his family to attend college when he went to Texas State University.

It wasn’t until he received a fellowship to enroll in a Southern Methodist University graduate program in Dallas that he saw acting as a career.

“Before that, I never thought about it,” he said in a 2012 interview with American Profile magazine. “To me, going to L.A. or New York was like going to the moon!”

He began his acting career in the 1970s in the Oregon Shakespeare Company before he landed a role in a Broadway comedy called Lone Star in 1980.

In 2009, Boothe was inducted in the Texas Film Hall of Fame along with actor and singer Billy Bob Thornton.

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‘Fate of the Furious’ races to biggest global box office opening ever

“The Fate of the Furious” crossed the finish line on Sunday as the biggest global opening in movie history.

The eighth film in the popular “Fast and Furious” franchise raced to an estimated $532.5 million box office opening around the world this weekend, according to its studio Universal Pictures.

That total beats the global record held by Disney’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which made $529 million worldwide its opening weekend in 2015.

There’s one caveat: “Force Awakens” didn’t have the benefit of opening in the world’s second largest movie market, China, until a month after it was initially released.

“Fate,” meanwhile, opened in North America and 63 international markets, including China, the U.K. and Mexico.

“Fate” also broke box office records for bringing in the biggest international opening in movie history. The film made an estimated $432.3 million overseas, which lapped the record $316 million that “Jurassic World” made abroad in 2015. Domestically, “Fate” made an estimated $100.2 million over the weekend.

Final numbers will come in Monday, and they could fluctuate. But for now, “Fate” holds the record.

The film, which stars Vin Diesel and was directed by F. Gary Gray, is the highest-grossing opening for an African American director ever, according to Universal.

The film also drove past records in China, a growing movie market. It nabbed the country’s biggest three-day opening of all time.

The record-breaking weekend of “Fate of the Furious” is good news for the future of 16-year old series. Universal has already announced a ninth and tenth installment for 2019 and 2021.

“This is an astonishing feat for a decade and a half old franchise that launched as a marginalized car culture movie with no stars and no imaginings of a long-term franchise future,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore.

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Tina Fey to white college-educated women: ‘You can’t look away’

Comedian Tina Fey is not amused by the college-educated white women who voted for President Donald Trump. Fey called out that particular demographic during a discussion Saturday on access to reproductive care hosted by the American Civil Liberties Unio…

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Tina Fey to white women who voted for Trump: ‘You can’t look away’

Comedian Tina Fey is not amused by the college-educated white women who voted for President Donald Trump.

Fey called out that particular demographic during a discussion Saturday on access to reproductive care hosted by the American Civil Liberties Union.

“The thing that I kinda keep focusing on is the idea that we sort of need to hold the edges, that it’s sort of like a lot of this election was turned by kinda white college-educated women who would now maybe like to forget about this election and go back to watching HGTV and I would want to urge them to like ‘You can’t look away.’

“Because it doesn’t affect you this minute but it’s going to affect you eventually,” she said.

Exit polls suggested that 44% of white female college graduates voted for Trump in the November election.

“I personally will make my own pledge as a college-educated white woman to not look away, to not pretend that things that are happening now won’t eventually affect me if we don’t put a stop to it,” Fey said.

Trump and Pence

Fey said the organization’s ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project had “our back in the fight for gender equality.”

“Women’s rights have come a long way in the last century but there’s still a long, long way to go. Did you know that women still only make one Ghostbusters movie to every two made by men? And men average Oceans 11 for every Oceans 8 that goes to women. That is simply unacceptable,” she joked.

Fey said the battle now was not just for progress.

“Gains that we’ve made over the past 100 years are under attack. Luckily Mike Pence isn’t allowed to go down and shut up Planned Parenthood unless his wife goes with him. So you know, if we can just keep Karen busy scrapbooking — we can all still get pap smears,” she said.

While In Congress, Pence was at the forefront of a conservative effort to block any federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood because the organization — which provides women with cancer screenings, counseling services and tests — also provides abortions.

On Thursday, he cast the tie-breaking vote for a measure that would repeal an Obama-era rule that was designed to prevent states from blocking Title X funding from going to health care providers that perform abortions.

Fey also jabbed at the President: “Earlier tonight in what is surely an April Fools’ joke, the President proclaimed that next month will be national sexual assault and awareness prevention month … so now we know what he gave up for Lent, that’s good,” she said.

A number of women have accused Trump of sexual harassment. In October, he apologized after a previously unaired taping of “Access Hollywood” surfaced in which Trump bragged about being able to grope women because of his “star” status

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