See Jennifer Lawrence act and sing in high school play

Plus, Bette Middler thinks Ariana Grande looks ridiculous, Idris Elba releases a Mandela album and Rachel McAdams joins 'True Detective'

By Andrea Tim | Published: 25 Nov 2014

Video: YouTube

Before winning her Oscar, Jennifer Lawrence was a high-school Shakespearean
We'll never run out of things to love about Jennifer Lawrence. The latest reason stems from a video showing the Hunger Games actress in high school, playing Desdemona in William Shakespeare's Othello. Even then, she had the spark that has made her the award-winning talent we know today.

CNN spoke to Walden Theatre artistic director Charlie Sexton, who said that Jennifer was "precocious and energetic." The then-14-year-old also had a small singing part in Othello.

"She had to sing a cappella and you know, that's not easy to do and a lot of kids will shy away from it," Charlie said. "That doesn't surprise me that she had the courage to do that because she was determined and unflappable."

So Jennifer does sing! And if you listen to her sing The Hanging Tree in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, you'll find that she's a little bit more musically inclined than she admitted to David Letterman.

Bette Midler has some harsh advice for Ariana Grande
The mainstream music vibe has changed so much over the decades, and Bette Midler isn't pleased about it. She says pop music is being "pornified" and that there are no restrictions anymore.

(Photo: Theo Wargo/NBC)

"It's terrible! It's always surprising to see someone like Ariana Grande with that silly high voice, a very wholesome voice, slithering around on a couch looking so ridiculous," The Beaches actress told The Telegraph. "I mean, it's silly beyond belief and I don't know who's telling her to do it. I wish they'd stop. But it's not my business, I'm not her mother. Or her manager."

Bette thinks the whole culture is beyond her, but she sticks to the traditional when it comes to advising upcoming artists: "Trust your talent. You don't have to make a whore out of yourself to get ahead. You really don't."

The Divine Miss M has spoken, people. No more slithering. And we hope, by extension, no more butt-slapping.

Chris Martin was spotted at Gwyneth Paltrow's book signing
This isn't a separated husband stalker kind of story. Coldplay frontman Chris is still very much friends with his wife Gwyneth and remains supportive of her work, even going so far as to attend her recent book signing at her Goop pop-up store in Dallas, Texas. Also at the event were the couple's two children, Apple and Moses.

Despite having 'consciously-uncoupled' in March this year, Gwyneth and Chris have not gone in for the usual post-split theatrics. Although they have been linked to other people – Chris with Jennifer Lawrence and Gwyneth with Glee procuder, Brad Falchuk – they have also remained incredibly gracious and caring towards each other. Gwyneth recently called Chris "father of the year." And so our hope for a conscious-recoupling continues.

Idris Elba releases an 11-track album inspired by Nelson Mandela
Idris played the South African president in the 2013 film, and was so moved by the great man's journey that he started writing songs about it on a keyboard and laptop during filming in Johannesburg. Enter the British actor's fourth EP, Idris Elba presents mi Mandela (you can stream the album on Spotify).

"I'm hoping that South Africans can relate to this song when it comes to Mandela," he wrote in The Huffington Post, referring to Tree, a song from the album. "Although it's personal for me, a song written to my father, Mandela was like a father to an entire nation."

The songs are influenced by South African music – even a cover of Mumford & Sons' Home, sung by Maverick Sabre, keeps to the theme. The album features a number of artists including South African Mbaqanga group Mahotella Queens, American singers Audra Mae and Cody Chesnutt, and British soul and R&B artist Shaun Escoffery.

That's not all for Idris. Mi Mandela is just the first of a series of his character albums; the next will be about John Luther, the detective Idris plays in BBC series Luther.

Rachel McAdams to play female lead in True Detective Season 2
Two months after Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn were confirmed to star in the second season of HBO's crime drama series True Detective, Rachel McAdams has been announced as the female lead, Sheriff Ani Bezzerides.

Joining her in the cast are Battleship's Taylor Kitsch and Rachel's Sherlock Holmes co-star Kelly Reilly. Taylor will play motorcycle officer Paul Woodrugh, while Kelly is Jordan, the wife of Vince Vaughn's character, Frank Seymon.


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