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For the past year, the Heritage Foundation, an American right-wing think tank, has been engaged in a targeted harassment campaign against Prince Harry. Heritage has marched into court multiple times to try to force the Department of Homeland Security to “release” Harry’s visa application. DHS has refused, saying that every visa applicant has the right to privacy. Heritage’s deranged argument is that Harry wrote about using drugs in his memoir, and then something something, what if he lied on his visa application? That’s it. That’s their whole legal strategy, it’s based on “what if” and endless and baseless supposition. Well, Heritage was back in court on Friday and DHS’s lawyers tried a new strategy. Anti-Sussex Derangers are always calling Harry and Meghan liars, so DHS was like “Harry could have been lying in his book, who even knows, a memoir is not a court of law.”

The Duke of Sussex’s admission in his memoir that he took drugs is not “proof” and could have been embellished to “sell books”, a lawyer for the US government has argued in court. The Biden administration is resisting demands for Prince Harry’s US visa application to be made public to see if he lied about his drug use when he moved to America in 2020.

As a federal court in Washington began hearing the case, John Bardo for the Department of Homeland Security claimed the revelations in the prince’s memoir, Spare, were not “sworn testimony or proof” that he took drugs.

“Just saying something in a book doesn’t make it true,” Bardo said. The prince’s book was written “for a commercial audience” and does “not necessarily tell the full story,” he added.

Judge Carl Nichols, overseeing the case, said early in the hearing that he was uncomfortable referring to the duke as Prince Harry, deciding that it was too informal. “You wouldn’t call me Judge Carl,” he told the court.

Under US law, applicants who are “determined to be a drug abuser” are generally denied a visa, although the government is permitted to make exceptions. Past drug use has caused problems for other celebrities seeking a US visa.

“The duke explicitly admitted at length to drug use” in his book, said Samuel Dewey, a lawyer for the Heritage Foundation, holding a copy of Spare in court. Dewey added that Harry had admitted to taking drugs after entering the US and had not denied the revelations in his memoir under cross-examination in other court cases in the UK. “Spare is a valid admission” of drug use, Dewey said.

The government has refused to reveal any of Harry’s immigration documents, even refusing to say what type of visa he was granted. “There are multiple lawful ways that the duke might have entered the US and do not show government impropriety,” Bardo said.

The judge suggested that the questions surrounding the prince’s visa raised a “suite of red flags”. He confirmed that he had not looked at any of the prince’s visa documents to avoid prejudicing his questioning at the hearing, but said he will now decide “pretty soon” on whether to order the government to submit Harry’s visa declarations for him to view in confidence. A ruling is expected in the coming weeks.

[From The Times]

Apparently, the judge ordered the lawyers to refer to Harry as “the Duke of Sussex” throughout the arguments because the judge was so uncomfortable with the informality of calling him “Prince Harry.” As for the DHS stuff… yeah, you can argue that the book is an admission, but Harry wasn’t “under oath” when he wrote the book. There’s also a difference between “drug abusers” and “drug users.” The foreign nationals who have visa issues because of drugs have usually been convicted or charged with drug crimes internationally. Harry has never been charged with anything, nor has anyone credibly claimed that he is a habitual drug abuser (or even habitual drug user). Saying “I did coke once when I was a teenager” in a book or interview is not the same thing as saying it under oath in court, nor does it follow that Harry lied about anything in his visa application.

Photos courtesy of Cover Images.

Welp, there goes that dream – I genuinely hoped that Travis Kelce flew to Sydney, Australia for an extended stay with Taylor Swift during the international leg of her Eras Tour. Instead, that meathead flew to Australia (a long-ass flight of more than fourteen hours) last week and then was on a flight back to the US in less than two days. It’s not like he flew back for some important meeting or a trip to the White House or something – he flew back to Las Vegas just to party with his team!!

Travis Kelce’s visit to see girlfriend Taylor Swift was short and very sweet. The Kansas City Chiefs tight end, 34, returned to the U.S. on Saturday, PEOPLE has learned.

Kelce had supported the “Anti-Hero” singer, 34, at her first Eras Tour stop at the Accor Stadium in Sydney on Friday after flying across the world to spend some time with her. But it was a whistle stop tour Down Under for Kelce, as he began his journey back stateside on Saturday.

Though her boyfriend wasn’t in the crowd for her second show in the Australian harbour city, Swift had a blast, and happily shared her delight with the audience as they cheered for her.

“”Ah Sydney, you are just … right off the bat you’re making me feel so … just extraordinary right now,” she told the crowd on Saturday in a fan video posted on X (formerly known as Twitter).

[From People]

TMZ had a larger story when Kelce was en route to Vegas, reporting that “when he arrives in Vegas — we’re told TK is set to reunite with his teammates, including his QB and other players … which our sources say had been the plan all along dating back to the Super Bowl…Our sources say this 2nd Vegas get-together with the team isn’t for any particular reason or occasion — we’re told this is just another celebration to ring in the big Super Bowl win.” So… given the crazy logistics of this, why did Travis go to Australia at all? He was already in Las Vegas for some golf thing before he went to Sydney. Why didn’t he just wait until the partying was done and then head out to Singapore to spend more time with his girlfriend? Did he take a whirlwind trip to Australia just to get the Traylor fans off his back? Because they were really mad that he didn’t drop everything to fly to Australia immediately. Anyway, I’m getting a weird feeling about this.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

Amanda Seyfried wore Givenchy to the Berlinale premiere of her latest film, The Seven Veils. I actually like the lace but the whole look is kind of meh. [RCFA]
KFC has released “Chizza” – chicken pizza. [OMG Blog]
Oh, Ben Mckenzie & Mischa Barton secretly dated?? [Socialite Life]
Has the awards season been too long? The thing is, the Globes were too early! And yes, maybe the Oscars should have been scheduled for March 3rd. [LaineyGossip]
Lily Gladstone looked great at the Costume Designers Guild Awards. [Just Jared]
From what I’ve seen, the Hunter Biden stuff is about to blow up in the Republicans’ faces in a huge way and it’s fascinating to watch. [Pajiba]
These Burberry coats are amazing. [Go Fug Yourself]
Lisa Whelchel forgot she kissed George Clooney on Facts of Life. [Seriously OMG]
A 90 Day Fiance guy was arrested for domestic violence. [Starcasm]
Emma Stone regrets joking about Taylor Swift. [Hollywood Life]
I loved this dietitian’s viral video. [Buzzfeed]

Sunday, February 25th will mark the two-month anniversary of the last time the Princess of Wales was seen and photographed in public. That was on Christmas Day at Sandringham, where she appeared to be fine as she spoke to well-wishers and wrangled her three kids. There was a rumor, based on a tweet with a video, that Kate might have been rushed to the hospital on December 28th. All we know is what Kensington Palace has told us, which is that Kate had “planned abdominal surgery” on January 16th and that she needed to be hospitalized for two weeks. Then we heard she left the London Clinic on January 29th, without anyone seeing her or getting photos of her or Prince William (who reportedly “picked her up”).

After her hospitalization, we were told that she was recuperating in Adelaide Cottage. Still no sign of her. Then, two weekends ago, she was moved from Windsor to Norfolk during the kids’ school break. One of the weirdest things about that story is that there’s zero conversation about whether Kate was able to “go back” to Adelaide Cottage after the week-long holiday at Anmer Hall. Like, is she still in Norfolk while her kids are back at school? No one has seemingly asked that. We can’t even get the royal reporters to churn out some placeholder stories about “she’s doing fine, she’s back in Windsor!” Personally, I have my doubts that she was in the London Clinic for two weeks, just as I have my doubts that she recuperated for any amount of time in Adelaide Cottage. I actually suspect that she’s been in Norfolk for much of the past two months (especially since that was the last place anyone saw her).

Another bizarre thing is that at no point has Kensington Palace reassured the public that Kate will make a full recovery. Instead, sources keep pushing back expectations for when we’ll see her again. Maybe around Easter, but oh no, her kids are on holiday again so it will probably be more like May. Definitely in June, of course! Meanwhile, when Prince William made his big Middle East statement, he didn’t sign his wife’s name. It was his statement alone, on his own separate letterhead. All of which has led to even more speculation.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

Rob Lowe turns 60 years old in March. Lowe is an OG Brat Packer and, back then, I never would have thought that he would have the kind of career longevity he’s had. He’s currently on 9-1-1: Lone Star and he’s fashioned a pretty successful and long-running career for himself, mostly on television. Lowe recently chatted with People Mag about his upcoming birthday, his health and wellness in general. I don’t think he’s promoting anything in particular (other than the TV show, I guess), but the conversation ended up going to weight-loss drugs and diabetic drugs. Weirdly, People Mag didn’t note that Lowe is still a spokesperson for the Atkins Diet. Some highlights:

On weight loss drugs: Stressing his commitment to overall health and wellness, the actor shares his concern with people relying on weight loss drugs, referring to medications like Ozempic, an FDA-approved prescription medication for people with type 2 diabetes. It’s one of the brand names for semaglutide — also known as Wegovy — which works in the brain to impact satiety, and is the latest Hollywood weight loss trend. “I see people who are taking all the new weight loss drugs and that’s great, and it’s really changed their lives. But my concern always is, okay, now what?” Lowe tells PEOPLE. “What’s the plan for the longevity of everything? I never ever talk about diets, I talk about lifestyle.”

He has a sweet tooth but he’s trying to be healthier: “I’m trying to be even more disciplined now as I’m older just because as you get older, you need to watch what you eat even more than when you were younger. So I tried to cut sugar completely as my new year’s resolution. And now I’m figuring, okay, that’s not sustainable for me, but how do I really watch my sugar consumption?”

He’s always been into fitness: Lowe notes that he’s never struggled when it comes to having a good grasp on fitness, boasting that he feels “better than I’ve ever felt…I can’t wait to train or to do something physical. I have very good friends and family that have to be dragged into doing something physical… that would be super tough to overcome. I am blessed that I really enjoy physical exertion and adventure. So if I’m not on a set, I build my entire day around what activity I’m going to do. It might be a paddle in the ocean, a hike, running sprints on the track, pickleball, tennis. I’m pretty much up for anything. It’s a lifestyle,” Lowe tells PEOPLE, noting that his latest health goal is trying to find the balance between “longevity and consistency” and “non-injury and pushing myself as hard as I ever did.”

[From People]

On one side, I agree with him that there should be conversations about what happens to longterm users of those diabetic/weight-loss drugs. Diabetics using those drugs are pretty much going to be on the drugs for a very long time, but people using them purely for weight loss have experimented with going off the drugs, to some wild-or-expected effects (like gaining weight back and then some). Again, drugs like Ozempic were and are made for diabetics and it’s been a game-changer for the treatment of diabetes, but… yeah, you’ll likely have to take it for years and years.

It does feel like Lowe is being sort of shady about Ozempic users, like he’s edging up to saying “why not just watch your diet and work out.” Lowe has so much privilege and he rarely ever sees it – the privilege of being a white man, the privilege of second, third and fourth chances in his professional life, pretty privilege and the privilege of “good genes.” He doesn’t know what it’s like to have a genetic propensity for weight gain or diabetes and his casual smugness is rubbing me the wrong way.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

The Duchess of Sussex was making the most of her time away from Montecito on Thursday. Not only was she spotted at Cipriano’s in Beverly Hills for lunch with Clare Waight Keller, she went out to dinner with friends at Asanebo in Studio City. She wore a grey sweater and jeans, and carried a Goyard Saint Louis Bag – you can see the photos here. I’m so glad she’s outside! I wonder if she was in LA yesterday on business. Hm.

Speaking of, the salt asylum over there is still trying to make “the Sussexes want to come back but we won’t let them” into a thing. It’s a Salt Island exclusive, and it’s just a little delusion which makes them feel better about themselves. In any case, Dick Fitzwilliams has so many thoughts about how Harry would be allowed to visit his father but Meghan will never be allowed to “work” for the Firm ever again, because she’s Black.

Meghan Markle has appeared in London via video link to open a new wing of an animal charity – but a royal expert believes the chances of the Duchess (and Duke) of Sussex returning to the UK on a more frequent basis remain slim. The Duchess made a virtual appearance at the Mayhew vet clinic in north-west London on Wednesday to open the Oli Juste ward, named after ‘dear friend’ and dog behaviourist Mr Juste, who died suddenly in January 2022.

But royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams has told MailOnline that, despite reports, the Sussexes are unlikely to resume any senior duties with the family following years of public fighting – and that any visits to the UK will likely involve Harry and Harry alone.

Mr Fitzwilliams said: ‘Harry’s visit wasn’t insincere in terms of wanting to see his family, but it’s absolutely out of the question they could resume royal duties while members of the royal family don’t trust them because of the way they have behaved. They appear to be behind the idea that there might be some form of activity Harry might be interested in picking up during this very difficult time for the royal family while the King is ill and Catherine is still recuperating.’

‘Just hypothetically, assume the situation was such that the royal family felt they could do with a bit of help if Harry, by one reason or another, did undertake duties: it would become a strange circus because the world’s media would be covering it. Harry will come back, I’m sure, to see his father. That’s different. Whether he comes with Meghan, it might be best not to.’

Mr Fitzwilliams added that while a return to royal work ‘might appeal’ to the Sussexes, the rift created through what he called the ‘big three’ – the controversial 2021 Oprah interview, their Netflix series and Harry’s memoir, Spare – made it an unlikely possibility.

‘It may well be they were putting out feelers that he would step in given the circumstances. But consider how weird it would be,’ he said. ‘The whole point is there was a total breakdown of trust between the royal family and Harry and Meghan – certainly between William and Harry. There is no way he could be trusted. The royals have to operate with dignity and the Sussexes, in my view, do not have much dignity. It’s just not a goer. Harry may have been angling towards offering to help but while it may sound helpful on one level it would reduce things to a farce. What would be the public reaction? The monarchy has to have cache. The Kardashians, and I am not comparing them directly, do not have cache. There has to be an amount of that for the family to be taken seriously. There wouldn’t be if Harry and Meghan returned. It’s a non-starter.’

‘What of Charles seeing his grandchildren – what about Lily and Archie? We will see in time,’ Mr Fitzwilliams concluded. ‘The situation is very difficult and obviously one thing that is not going to work is anything that reduces the gravitas of the monarchy, the dignity of the monarchy. But Harry is clearly concerned for his father and will be here again – when and in what circumstances, that’s a “watch this space”.’

[From The Daily Mail]

You heard it here first, people – the dignity of the monarchy is sacrosanct, as it rests on a king who once told his married mistress that he wanted to be her tampon and now that mistress is queen. As much as these people complain about “the Kardashians,” the Windsors would love that kind of attention and that kind of fame. William has been making dumb documentaries too (which no one watches) and the Windsors can’t exist without emptying out their purses on a daily basis to the tabloids. These people are too stupid to understand that they should have been begging the Sussexes to return for years, but you can’t fix stupid so here we are. I’m so glad Harry and Meghan are out of there and just living their lives.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

Carey Mulligan wore a pretty good Schiaparelli to the Berlinale premiere of Spaceman (where Carey costars with Adam Sandler). [RCFA]
LMAO – E. Jean Carroll’s lawyers say they’re watching Donald Trump and they’ll “pounce” and sue him for a third time if even whispers their client’s name. [Jezebel]
Jennifer Aniston’s shorter hairstyle is a vintage throwback. [LaineyGossip]
Review of The New Look. [Pajiba]
This Buzzfeed post just called me a Boomer. [Buzzfeed]
Angelina Jolie spent the day at Atelier Jolie in NYC. [JustJared]
This guy has evil brows. Brows of Doom, even. [Socialite Life]
Millie Bobby Brown snuggles up to her fiance. [Hollywood Life]
What did Drew Barrymore get for her birthday? [Seriously OMG]
A social media account devoted to dad jokes! [OMG Blog]

“Superhero Fatigue” is the name of the game. There’s been a deep shift over the past year or two, where tens of millions of superhero-fans suddenly got really f–king tired of what was on offer. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantunmania was released a year ago to a lukewarm reception and it barely made its cost back for Marvel. The Marvels was unquestionably a huge bomb. And then there was the whole Jonathan Majors mess – Majors’ Kang was supposed to be the centerpiece of like four future Marvel projects. Instead, they fired him as soon as he was convicted of abusing his girlfriend. So, what’s going on with Marvel these days? They are “quietly retooling,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. There was some interesting stuff in this piece:

Marvel isn’t doing endless reshoots anymore: These public-facing moves come as studio boss Kevin Feige recalibrates the creative direction behind the scenes. Early in February, the company completed reshoots for Agatha: Darkhold Diaries, the WandaVision spinoff starring Kathryn Hahn that is expected to hit Disney+ this fall. The company usually budgets five days of reshoots into the schedule, but the studio completed the work in just one, fueling a sunny outlook around the show internally, according to sources associated with the series.

Marvel is hiring mature, professional screenwriters & showrunners: The studio also quietly hired Eric Pearson to polish the script for Fantastic Four, which will shoot this summer in London. Pearson is a company stalwart who worked on Thor: Ragnarok and Black Widow and has a reputation for taking projects over the finish line. Marvel also hired Joanna Calo, the showrunner of acclaimed FX series The Bear, to work on the script for Thunderbolts, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The film will begin shooting in March in Atlanta. Her hiring adds a flair of prestige to the project, which stars Florence Pugh and — according to a source who has read previous drafts of the script — centers on villains and antiheroes going on a mission that was supposed to end with their deaths.

Cleaning up the Jonathan Majors mess: Marvel is also cleaning up the creative mess left in the wake of Jonathan Majors, the once-rising actor cast to play the lynchpin villain role in the next Avengers movies but who in December was found guilty of reckless assault in the third degree and harassment in a Manhattan court after a domestic incident with his ex-partner, a movement coach he met while working on Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Marvel dropped Majors hours after the conviction and is rewriting those movies, which will now either minimize the character or excise him entirely. The first of the new Avengers movies, due out in 2026, was initially titled Avengers: The Kang Dynasty but will be getting a new title to remove the character’s name, though sources say that even before Majors’ conviction, the studio was making moves to minimize the character after Quantumania underperformed, grossing $476 million.

Giving more control to showrunners: On the TV side, Marvel has been reorganizing its operations to allow for greater control from showrunners, a move made after the critical failure of the expensive Samuel L. Jackson spy series Secret Invasion, which sidelined executive producer Kyle Bradstreet after a year, with various creative factions vying for influence in his wake.

A retooling, not a reboot: “The focus is internal this year,” says one insider of all the tinkering going on behind the scenes. Execs are not calling it a reboot, not even a soft one, but more of a creative retooling. It’s no secret that since the 2019 Avengers: Endgame, the company was asked to scale up in an unprecedented way to feed its fledgling streaming service, Disney+, then a top priority for Disney, which was in the thick of the streaming wars. “Some of our studios lost a little focus. So the first step that we’ve taken is that we’ve reduced volume,” Bob Iger said on a Feb. 7 earnings call. “We’ve reduced output, particularly at Marvel,” in order to ensure “the films you’re making can be even better.”

The strikes helped Marvel: The dual writers and actors strikes, while costly to Hollywood, ironically gave Marvel breathing space. It was able to reschedule its movies so that only Deadpool & Wolverine will be released in 2024. And only two series — Echo and Agatha — are bowing on Disney+ this year. Other movies remain in the script stage, while TV shows (such as Ironheart) have filmed, but have no release date in sight. It is all designed to give creatives some breathing room and give audiences the chance to miss the MCU, just a little bit. “They’re not going to give up,” says a source who has worked with Marvel over the past year. “They want to make something great.”

[From THR]

Here’s the thing: Marvel is now taking/getting credit for reinventing the wheel. They’re doing things they should have been doing all along, like hiring a good script doctor to polish their scripts months before the production begins, and hiring qualified, professional show-runners and giving them power and a lot of creative control. That’s what was supposed to happen, dumbasses! Believe it or not, before this modern era of superhero filmmaking, most productions didn’t have to block out millions in the budget for expensive reshoots, nor did every problem get “solved” in post, with the use of CGI and what have you. I think one of the most telling moments of “superhero fatigue” was the larger conversation about how Marvel’s VFX increasingly looks cheap and ugly, to the point where no one could focus on whatever plot. I am glad that it sounds like they’re completely reimagining what they’ll do with Kang and those stories though. Again, that’s what should happen!

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

Embed from Getty Images
Jason and Kylie Kelce met through Tinder. The couple, who have been married since 2018 and share three daughters, are not shy or ashamed about their origin story and have told it publicly several times. In fact, this past Valentine’s Day, Travis took Kylie out to dinner while wearing a Tinder shirt! So what’s this first date story that merits so many retellings? Well, it involves Jason getting drunk and falling asleep at a bar in the middle of the date. On this week’s episode of New Heights, we get to hear the story yet again, only from a third perspective. Eagles teammate Beau Allen appeared as a guest and described being the one who had to help carry a passed out Jason out of the bar.

Jason Kelce didn’t leave the greatest first impression with his wife Kylie! On the latest episode of the New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce podcast released on Wednesday, guest Beau Allen gave his take on the story of how his Philadelphia Eagles teammate Jason, 36, fell asleep at the bar on his first date with now-wife Kylie, 31.

“That was physically one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” Allen, 32, recalled on the podcast as Jason laughed. “That was harder than climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, maybe,” he joked.

Allen shared that he was hanging out with Jason ahead of his first date with Kylie after the pair met on Tinder. “… For a week or two leading up to you guys meeting they were chit chatting online and Kelce’s talking about this girl and saying, ‘I really like this girl, I gotta make a good first impression,’ ”he said.

Allen went on to say that the pair had “pre-gamed” ahead of attending a holiday party in Philadelphia that evening as Jason announced he was going on his first date with Kylie that same night.

“Kelce’s like, ‘Yeah, I think we’re going to meet up with this girl,’ and I’d heard all about her and I’m excited to meet her,” Allen continued. “And the night just went a little bit sideways — and Kelce fell asleep on the bar, like snoozing.”

This hasn’t been the first time Jason has fallen asleep at the bar the pair shared, as Allen added that he has a “disturbing amount of like photos of [Jason] just asleep in various places.”

The football nose tackle then had the difficult task of trying to move Jason. “… It’s like cobblestone streets and you’re fighting me. I’m like straining and I dropped you,” he admitted on the podcast.

“I know I was sleeping but I remember it,” Jason said. “I remember fighting you and laughing my a– off.”

He then asked Allen if he was “shocked” Kylie agreed to go on a second date with him. “I was slightly surprised,” Allen responded jokingly. “But you’re a great guy, you know, charming … how can you not want to go on a second date with you?”

[From People]

Look, I like Jason Kelce and think he’s probably as good a dude as he seems, but I don’t know about that first date story! I wasn’t there and have no physical attraction/connection with him like Kylie does but if a girlfriend told me a story about their date getting drunk and falling asleep during the first date, it would seem like a major red flag to me! Am I being too judgy? Clearly, Kylie saw something in Jason while he was awake, though, so it all worked out in the end. I truly get the feeling that life with Jason is never a dull moment and that every day is an adventure.

During the pod, the brothers also discussed Jason’s cameo on the Season 3 premiere of Abbott Elementary earlier this month. It takes place in Philadelphia, so it makes sense that Eagles players would pop up at some point. To prep for watching his brother’s appearance, Travis started binge-watching the series, loves it, and urged listeners to watch it, too.

“I love that show, man. It’s one of my favorites. I just started binge-watching the first season,” Travis, 34, revealed, before Jason, 36, called the show “great” as he gave a “shout-out” to its creator and star, Quinta Brunson.

“I love what this show represents. And anything that shines light on public schools and the Philadelphia school system is pretty special,” the Eagles center said. “And Quinta does a fantastic job, as does the whole crew over there at Abbott Elementary, so it was an honor that they asked us to be a part of it for sure.”

Travis gave a shout-out to Abbott Elementary as he encouraged listeners to watch it. “I guarantee you’ll f—— like it. A lot of stuff you can relate to if you went to public school,” he said, adding that “the dynamic between the teachers is the best. I love it.”

[From People]

Well, no lies detected there! I love Abbott Elementary and am excited that it’s back. I second Travis and totally recommend anyone who hasn’t seen it to check it out. It airs on ABC and you can stream it through their app or on Hulu. Jason and his teammates appeared on the episode that aired on February 7.

Greta Gerwig covers Time Magazine as one of their “women of the year”…in February?? Don’t get me wrong, the past twelve months have been great for Greta and given her success with Barbie, she can write her own ticket and that’s exactly what she’s doing. I just don’t get why this is happening in February! In any case, this is the first big interview Gerwig has given since she was snubbed for a Best Director Oscar nomination for Barbie. This is not a debate – she was snubbed. But she’s dealing with it well and she’s not making a big thing about it (even though she would be well within her rights to do just that). It looks like she’s already onto her next project, an adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia. Some highlights from Time:

On Barbie’s success: “I remember thinking, If this works, everyone is going to think later that it was inevitable. They’ll say, ‘Well, but it was Barbie.’ But this was not guaranteed.”

She was working on Narnia before Barbie: “Knowing that I’d laid the groundwork for Narnia and wanted to return to it—that’s probably something I set up for myself psychologically. Because I know the right thing, for me anyway, is to keep making movies. Whatever happens, good or bad, you’ve got to keep going….It’s never not astonishing to me that somebody gives you money to make a movie.”

Her movies aren’t just “for women”: “I always think about the intuitive way you love a song or a movie. You love something, and you just love it. You don’t think to yourself, ‘I have to love this because it’s by a woman, for a woman.’ That’s part of it. But it’s not why you love it. You love it because it’s great.”

The uneasy relationship between women and their ambition in a patriarchal society. “I don’t know if it’s gendered.But I know I want to be able to make a body of work that feels like it’s undeniable in terms of the work itself. I don’t want there to be an asterisk next to my name. Do I have more of that than male filmmakers? I don’t know! I know plenty of deeply insecure male filmmakers who are plagued in their own ways.”

On the Oscar snubs: “Of course I wanted it for Margot. But I’m just happy we all get to be there together.” There’s also, she points out, ample accolades for the film at the Oscars. “A friend’s mom said to me, ‘I can’t believe you didn’t get nominated,’” she says, laughing. “I said, ‘But I did. I got an Oscar nomination.’ She was like, ‘Oh, that’s wonderful for you!’ I was like, ‘I know!’”

Movies are for everyone: “You don’t need specialized knowledge to watch a movie. All you need is your human experience. Everybody knows what it is to love people, and everybody knows what it is to lose people.”

[From Time]

“You don’t need specialized knowledge to watch a movie.” This is why I hope she’ll never sign on to direct a superhero movie, because you have to watch everything in a particular order to know this or that backstory. As for what she says about the Oscar snubs… she’s a positive person, an optimist, and that’s reflected here. But make no mistake, she got the message. The Hollywood power brokers have told her in no uncertain terms that while they appreciate that her “doll movie” was so successful, they don’t consider it important or real “art.” Gerwig sees the glass as half full – regardless of the snubs, she still gets to make whatever she wants now.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid. Cover courtesy of Time.

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