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"They lost it": Margot Robbie's surprise encounter with Barbie fans

<p>Margot Robbie has recalled a sweet story about when she overheard a group of men talking about the <em>Barbie</em> movie, before giving them the surprise of their life. </p> <p>At a screening of the <em>Barbie</em> movie in Los Angeles, the Aussie actress told the audience of the heartwarming moment she encountered in Scotland, shortly after the film's release last July. </p> <p>At the SAG-AFTRA screening of the blockbuster movie, Robbie began, “I had this brilliant experience.”</p> <p>“I was in a pub in the middle of nowhere in Scotland and I listened for about 30 minutes to a group of guys on a bachelor party discussing the <em>Barbie</em> movie, not knowing that I was sitting two or three feet away from them.”</p> <p>Robbie continued, “It was just truly fascinating. There were people at the table who refused to see the <em>Barbie</em> movie."</p> <p>“One guy was like, ‘Dude, it is a cultural moment, don’t you want to be a part of culture?’ And the other guy was like, ‘I’ll never see it,’ and by the end he did want to see it. It was a whole thing."</p> <p>“I wasn’t going to go up to them, but then I did.”</p> <p>Before leaving the pub, Robbie casually waltzed up to the group of men who “lost it” when they discovered Barbie herself had overheard their conversation.</p> <p>“At the last minute as I was walking out I went to their table and I went ‘Thank you for seeing the <em>Barbie</em> movie’,” she added.</p> <p>“It was very funny, they lost it. It took a full minute for them to realise and I was practically out the door and they went ‘Ohhhh’.</p> <p>“People’s reactions to the movie have been the biggest reward of this entire experience.”</p> <p>The heartwarming story comes fresh on the heels of Margot being <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/movies/margot-robbie-snubbed-as-oscar-nominations-announced" target="_blank" rel="noopener">snubbed</a> for a Best Actress nomination at this year's Oscars for the <em>Barbie</em> movie, which caused an uproar on social media. </p> <p>Margot addressed the snub at the LA screening, saying there's “no way to feel sad when you’re this blessed.”</p> <p>“Obviously, I think Greta should be nominated as a director,” she added.</p> <p>“What she did is a once-in-a-career, once-in-a-lifetime thing. What she pulled off, it really is."</p> <p>“We set out to do something that would shift culture, affect culture, just make some sort of impact. And it’s already done that and some, way more than we ever dreamt it would. And that is truly the biggest reward that could come out of all of this.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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The funny reason Robert Irwin wants to hand over his citizenship

<p dir="ltr">Robert irwin has joined in the global outrage of Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig being <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/movies/margot-robbie-snubbed-as-oscar-nominations-announced">snubbed</a> from the Oscar nominations. </p> <p dir="ltr">The wildlife warrior joined the panel of <em>The Project</em> on Wednesday night as a co-host of the show, where the conversation turned to the Aussie actress being snubbed by the Academy Awards. </p> <p dir="ltr">On Wednesday morning, it was revealed that Margot Robbie didn’t receive a Best Actress nomination for her role in <em>Barbie</em>, and nor did Greta Gerwig for Best Director, despite the movie breaking records when it was released in July. </p> <p dir="ltr">Around the world, <em>Barbie</em> fans shared their disgust in the snub, with Robert Irwin echoing their statements. </p> <p dir="ltr">“That's ridiculous. Come on,” he began.</p> <p dir="ltr">“[Director] Greta [Gerwig] and Margot made that movie. That's the reason why we have the Barbie movie, it's ridiculous.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Co-host Waleed Aly then asked if Robert would be renouncing his American citizenship over the injustice and was shocked by his response.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I think it only makes sense,” Robert said. </p> <p dir="ltr">News of the snub went viral on Wednesday, with fans flocking to social media to share their thoughts. </p> <p dir="ltr">One particular tweet went viral, with over 109 thousand likes. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Ken getting nominated and not Barbie is honestly so fitting for a film about a man discovering the power of patriarchy in the Real World," the tweet read.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ryan Gosling, who received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Ken in the film, also shared a statement about the lack of recognition for the women he shared the screen with. </p> <p dir="ltr">In a lengthy statement, he said, “I never thought I’d be saying this, but I’m also incredibly honoured and proud that [the award] is for portraying a plastic doll named Ken.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“But there is no Ken without Barbie, and there is no <em>Barbie</em> movie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the two people most responsible for this history-making, globally celebrated film. No recognition would be possible for anyone on the film without their talent, grit and genius.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“To say that I’m disappointed that they are not nominated in their respective categories would be an understatement.”</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-12395ffc-7fff-c7ac-e4b2-d185f404a16d"></span><em>Image credits: The Project</em></p>

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Margot Robbie snubbed as Oscar nominations announced

<p>The nominations for the 96th academy awards has been announced, and despite <em>Barbie</em> being nominated for eight awards, there were a few notable snubs that fans aren't happy about. </p> <p>The film’s star, Margot Robbie, was not nominated for best actress, despite co-star Ryan Gosling receiving a nomination for best supporting actor for his role as Ken. </p> <p>The film's director Greta Gerwig, was also snubbed as she was not nominated for best director. </p> <p>Fans took to social media to express their thoughts, with many of them unhappy with the academy's choice. </p> <p>"So Ryan Gosling’s nominated for playing ken but Margot Robbie isn’t nominated for playing barbie… in barbie," one person wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">So Ryan Gosling’s nominated for playing ken but Margot Robbie isn’t nominated for playing barbie… in barbie <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Oscars?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Oscars</a> </p> <p><a href="https://t.co/uceB20BB8H">pic.twitter.com/uceB20BB8H</a></p> <p>— poppy ☾ (@scddevereaux) <a href="https://twitter.com/scddevereaux/status/1749792570840907879?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 23, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>"No nomination for Margot Robbie or Greta Gerwig for the #Oscars but Ryan Gosling gets one. Literally the whole point of the Barbie film," another wrote. </p> <p>"Greta Gerwig made a film that was critically acclaimed, culturally impactful, hilarious, unique, visually exceptional, perfectly cast and acted, left people laughing, crying and thinking AND made a billion dollars at the box office. But no Best Director nom?!" another tweeted. </p> <p>One particular tweet went viral, with over 109 thousand likes. </p> <p>"Ken getting nominated and not Barbie is honestly so fitting for a film about a man discovering the power of patriarchy in the Real World," the tweet read. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Ken getting nominated and not Barbie is honestly so fitting for a film about a man discovering the power of patriarchy in the Real World.</p> <p>— Michael. (@yosoymichael) <a href="https://twitter.com/yosoymichael/status/1749794592076034203?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 23, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>In a more positive light, America Ferrara, who played Gloria in <em>Barbie</em>, was nominated for best supporting actress with many saying that her character's passionate speech on feminism had sealed the deal. </p> <p>The film was also nominated for Best Picture, and two nods for best song including Gosling's popular solo <em>I'm Just Ken, </em>and Billie Eilish's <em>What Was I Made For</em>.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

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Aussie actresses clean up at the Golden Globes

<p>Awards season has officially kicked off in Hollywood, with A-listers flocking to the Los Angeles Beverly Hilton Hotel on Monday for the 81st annual Golden Globes. </p> <p>With the very best of the best in the entertainment industry nominated for the best film and television moments of 2023, some of our own Aussie talent walked away with some of the biggest awards of the night. </p> <p>Aussie actress Elizabeth Debicki emerged as an early winner for the TV categories, taking home the award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Princess Diana in <em>The Crown</em>. </p> <p>She beat out the likes of Meryl Streep (for her role in <em>Only Murders in the Building</em>) and Hannah Waddingham (for her role in <em>Ted Lasso</em>) for the award, as she has long been praised by royal fans for her touching portrayal of the late Princess of Wales' last years. </p> <p>Also coming out on top in another television category was Aussie actress Sarah Snook, who was the recipient of one of the biggest honours of the night, Best Actress in a drama, for her incredible performance in the final season of <em>Succession</em>.</p> <p>Meanwhile for outstanding achievements in film, Margot Robbie and the whole <em>Barbie</em> team took home the inaugural Cinematic and Box Office Achievement award, following the global hype of Barbie mania back in July. </p> <p>Margot was also nominated for Best Actress in a musical or comedy for <em>Barbie</em>, but was ultimately pipped by Emma Stone for her incredible performance in <em>Poor Things</em>.</p> <p>Elsewhere in the awards, <em>Oppenheimer</em> came out on top with Cillian Murphy taking home the award for Best Actor for portraying scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer in the three-hour long epic, with the film also being crowned Best Picture and Christopher Nolan taking home the Best Director award. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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"Shut the f**k up": Alec Baldwin confronted by protesters

<p>Alec Baldwin has been caught in the middle of a fiery protest in New York City, which ended in him yelling profanities to aggressive protesters. </p> <p>The Hollywood actor was on his way to teach an acting class when he was surrounded by pro-Palestine protesters. </p> <p>The protesters bombarded him with questions, demanding that he make known his stance on the war in Israel, and who he supports in the conflict. </p> <p>Baldwin was being escorted by police, but found it difficult to ignore the calls of the protesters. </p> <p>“I support peace for Gaza,” he told them.</p> <p>Baldwin’s response only made the protesters more angry. They started to bellow profanities at him, and attempted to inch closer.</p> <p>“Shut your f**king mouth, you have no f**king shame,” one person shouted at the actor, with another adding, “Go f**k yourself,” to which Baldwin said, "That's a stupid question..."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">"That's a stupid question..."</p> <p>Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin refuses to condemn Israel and squares up to pro-Palestinian protestors in New York. <a href="https://t.co/82Y3viJbdV">pic.twitter.com/82Y3viJbdV</a></p> <p>— Lowkey (@Lowkey0nline) <a href="https://twitter.com/Lowkey0nline/status/1736897259088843047?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 18, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>A source told <span id="U8321101731880dF">HuffPost that Baldwin had no intention of getting involved in the protest, and did what he could to avoid any conflict. </span></p> <p>“He had no intention of going to the protest and was not involved in any way,” the insider explained.</p> <p>“He was approached aggressively and repeatedly. The police stepped in to avoid further confrontation so he could make his way to the class safely.”</p> <p>In another video from the clash, protesters continued to ask his stance on the war, to which the actor responded, “Because I’m in Hollywood?” </p> <p>“You ask stupid questions. Ask me a smart question.”</p> <p>As he continued to be escorted out the crowd, the actor yelled, “Shut the f**k up.”</p> <p>In response, another member of the public yelled back: “You did kill someone though, right? You’re a murderer!” in reference to the tragic death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.</p> <p><em>Image credits: X</em></p>

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Liam Neeson filming new movie in tiny Aussie town

<p>The quaint, gorgeous historic Victorian town of Walhalla is gearing up for its moment in the cinematic spotlight as it gets set to become the backdrop for Liam Neeson's upcoming blockbuster sequel, <em>Ice Road 2: Road To The Sky</em>.</p> <p>Yes, apparently, the road to the sky involves a detour through rural Australia. </p> <p>Residents of Walhalla received a letter announcing the impending movie magic, and it's safe to say they're experiencing a mixture of excitement and confusion akin to trying to follow the plot of a Christopher Nolan epic.</p> <p>According to reports, the filmmakers are turning Walhalla into a bona fide Nepalese village. The town's Star Hotel and surrounding areas are getting a makeover to mimic Kodari, Nepal. Now, if you're wondering where Walhalla is on the map, don't worry, you're not alone. Even the residents seem a bit perplexed, with one local commenting online, "Interesting that this is going ahead at the height of our tourist season." Because, naturally, when you think tourist hotspots, you think Walhalla.</p> <p>But fear not, dear residents, for the filmmakers have assured everyone that after their Himalayan escapade, Walhalla will return to its original heritage colours. It's like the town is getting a cinematic spa day, complete with a paint job.</p> <p>Filming is set to take place at two main locations: the intersection of Main Rd and Right Hand Branch Rd and the top of Churchill Rd above the Fire Station Museum. And oh boy, get ready for some action, because the letter states, "During the filming period, there will be stunts involving large vehicles, special effects and prop gun use."</p> <p>Walhalla, known for its scenic beauty and historic charm, is about to witness the fusion of Hollywood glitz and Nepalese grit.</p> <p>Of course, not everyone is on board with this Hollywood invasion. One local expressed concern about the impact on other businesses in town, suggesting, "This would have been much better slotted into the quiet time in August." Clearly, they're not buying into the idea that summer is the best time for a Nepalese makeover.</p> <p>But fear not, skeptics! Another resident pointed out that the influx of up to 200 crew members per day will be a boon for local shops. "What a great thing for the area," they declared. And who can argue with that logic? Imagine the crew swarming the pub, devouring schnitties and downing pints of Carlton lager. This could be the most Aussie-Nepalese fusion experience since Vegemite momos.</p> <p>As the charming town of Walhalla braces itself for the coming storm of movie magic, we can't help but wonder: Will Liam Neeson's next iconic line be, "I will find you, even if I have to navigate the treacherous roads of rural Australia"? Buckle up, Walhalla, because the road to the sky might just be a detour through down under.</p> <p><em>Images: Visit Victoria / Netflix</em></p>

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Readers respond: What is your go-to movie when you need a good cry?

<p>There's an abundance of movies out there, but not many that can bring you to tears. </p> <p>While <em>The Notebook </em>and <em>Beaches </em>are clearly the fan favourites for our readers, here are a few other recommendations that you can watch this holiday season. </p> <p>Get those tissues ready! </p> <p><strong>Carol Wardley </strong>- Its a wonderful life</p> <p>Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLR3gZrU2Xo" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>, and stream the movie on Stan.</p> <p><strong>Denyse Galle</strong> - Me Before You and A Walk to Remember </p> <p>Watch the trailer for <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh993__rOxA" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Me Before you</a> and stream it on YouTube, Apple TV or Amazon Prime Video.</p> <p>Watch the trailer for <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3B2XBcp7vA" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A Walk to Remember</a> and stream it  on Apple TV or Amazon Prime Video</p> <p><strong>Kerrie Anne</strong> - The Remains of the Day</p> <p>Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jALmEb72beg" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a> and stream it on <em>Netflix</em>.</p> <p><strong>Ken Smyth </strong>- Dancer in the Dark. That ending...</p> <p>Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53vr9EiOH7g" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a> and stream it on <em>Apple TV</em>.</p> <p><strong>Michael Kopp</strong> - Bambi</p> <p>Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDGv4GIR7A4" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a> and stream it on <em>Disney+.</em></p> <p><strong>Anne Connolly Finnegan</strong> - The Bridges of Madison county </p> <p>Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up-oN4NtvbM" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a> and stream it on YouTube.</p> <p><strong>Leone Mitchell </strong>- Love Story with Ryan O’Neal and Allie MacGraw beautiful</p> <p>Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYhS8q66L38" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a> and stream it on Foxtel Go,  Binge or YouTube</p> <p><strong>Julie B</strong> - The Colour Purple</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFMCW5-jdqM" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a> and stream it on Netflix. </span></p> <p>Are there any other movies that make you cry? Let us know. </p> <p><em><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Image: Getty </span></em></p> <p> </p>

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"Kevin Kline and I killed a man in Denmark": John Cleese's startling admission

<p>John Cleese has made a startling admission on his new video series, <em>The Dinosaur Hour</em>, where he hosts intimate chats from a twelfth-century castle.</p> <p>The <em>Monty Python</em> actor claimed that he inadvertently killed someone at a screening of his 1988 comedy film <em>A Fish Called Wanda, </em>which co-starred Kevin Kline and Jamie Lee Curtis. </p> <p>“We killed a man … Kevin Kline and I killed a man in Denmark,” Cleese said, according to the <em>Daily Mail</em>. </p> <p>“He was a dentist, he had a huge laugh. A famous laugh. Very popular. It was in Aarhus, not a big town, but everybody knew him," he added. </p> <p>“And he went to see Wanda and he started laughing about two minutes in and never stopped.</p> <p>“They carried him out dead, he’d had a heart attack.”</p> <p>Cleese is known for his shock factor during TV appearances and interviews. </p> <p>In July, the <em>The Fawlty Towers </em>actor <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/i-don-t-want-to-talk-about-it-john-cleese-shuts-down-waleed-aly" target="_blank" rel="noopener">shut down </a>Waleed Aly's question about the iconic sitcom before poking fun at the <em>The Project</em> star's name. </p> <p>“We can’t let you go without talking about Fawlty Towers – at least I can’t, because I think it’s one of the greatest shows …” the broadcaster began, before Cleese shut him down. </p> <p>“I don’t want to talk about Fawlty Towers,” he said.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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Meg Ryan is back after a "giant break"

<p>Meg Ryan is back and she has spilled it all, ahead of her first rom-com release in nearly 15 years. </p> <p>In an interview with <em>People Magazine,</em> the <em>When Harry Met Sally </em>star revealed the reason why she took a step back from her career. </p> <p>"I took a giant break because I felt like there's just so many other parts of my experience as a human being I wanted to develop," she told the outlet. </p> <p>"It's nice to think of it as a job and not a lifestyle. And that is a great way of navigating it for me."</p> <p>The 61-year-old also shared the inspiration behind her first rom-com <em>What Happens Later, </em>which she directed, wrote and starred in. </p> <p>"It came to me during lockdown," she gushed. </p> <p>"The essence of it is these two people who are stuck together. I just love that idea that we're held in a space, even if it feels conflicted, maybe for reasons that heal them."</p> <p>This is the first rom-com that she has acted in for over a decade, with her last film in that genre being <em>Serious Moonlight</em> back in 2009.</p> <p>In another another conversation with <em>Interview</em> <em>magazine's</em> Carol Burnett, she opened up about the process of making her film. </p> <p>"Truly, the easiest part was acting in it," she told the publication. </p> <p>"I want to direct again just so I can sit in the chair, because I’m sure there’s a lot of things I missed."</p> <p>"I hadn’t done a role in a really long time, but it was fun with David," she added, referring to co-star David Duchovny, known for his role as Fox Mulder in <em>The X Files</em>.</p> <p>"A lot of it was done in two shots. I’m proud of that. I set up everything beforehand so that once we were there, it was just David and I trying to tell the truth."</p> <p>She revealed that the film was assembled together with a very "deliberate" process and a budget of only $3 million. </p> <p>"We had to do it really quickly. A lot of those extras weren’t even ours, they were real people," she said. </p> <p>"We went back in post and made everybody the same palette. There’s a lot of stuff you can do digitally now, thank god." </p> <p>The actress first shot to fame in 1980 for her girl-next-door image, after playing the love interest in iconic films like the original <em>Top Gun </em>and <em>When Harry Met Sally. </em></p> <p><em>Images: Getty Images/ Edward Berthelot/WireImage</em></p>

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Oprah reveals measly salary from The Color Purple

<p dir="ltr">Oprah Winfrey has shared the shockingly low salary she received for starring in the 1985 film <em>The Color Purple</em>. </p> <p dir="ltr">Ahead of the release of the reimagined movie musical, Oprah opened up about the experience making the original film, and the measly salary she received for her role. </p> <p dir="ltr">She revealed that “they were only offering $35,000 (A$55,500) to be in this film,” but she deemed it “the best $35,000 [she] ever earned.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“It changed everything and taught me so much,” she said. “It is God moving through my life.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The film was a global sensation, grossing nearly $100 million in 1985 dollars (the equivalent of $286 million when adjusted for inflation) and earning 11 Academy Award nominations, including Best Supporting Actress for Winfrey. </p> <p dir="ltr">In an interview with <em>Essence</em> conducted between Winfrey, who is an executive producer on the upcoming film adaptation, and some members of the new cast before the SAG-AFTRA strike, Winfrey said that she couldn’t “even begin to tell [them] what it means to [her]” that they chose to take on this project.</p> <p dir="ltr">“A person who wanted nothing more in my life than to be in <em>The Color Purple</em>,” she continued. </p> <p dir="ltr">“God taught me to surrender — that was the big lesson for me.”</p> <p dir="ltr">During the interview, Danielle Brooks, who is taking on Winfrey’s iconic role of Sofia in the adaptation, thanked Winfrey for “laying the blueprint for Sofia.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Because I know that she’s changed your life, and I can feel that mine is about to shift, too,” she added. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Thank you for leaving space for me but also being there, to hold my hand and answer that phone call when I needed you. You have been such a light, such a beautiful soul.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Martin Scorsese exposes Leo DiCaprio’s irritating on-set habit

<p dir="ltr">Martin Scorsese has exposed Leo DiCaprio’s irritating on-set habit that came to light while the pair were filming the new movie <em>Killers of the Flower Moon</em>. </p> <p dir="ltr">The award-winning director called out the A-list actor in a conversation with the <em><a href="https://www.wsj.com/style/martin-scorsese-killers-flower-moon-b4989f0c" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Wall Street Journal</a></em>, saying that the <em>Titanic</em> star tends to flesh details out and improv while filming, describing his technique as “endless, endless, endless!”</p> <p dir="ltr">Although Scorsese and DiCaprio have worked together on six other films, there was one more actor on the set of the new film that could not stand the ad libbing: Robert de Niro.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Then Bob didn’t want to talk,” Scorsese explained. “Every now and then, Bob and I would look at each other and roll our eyes a little bit. And we’d tell him, ‘You don’t need that dialogue.’”</p> <p dir="ltr">While de Niro wasn’t able to deal with DiCaprio’s improv, director Quentin Tarantino said the actor’s famous freakout scene as Rick Dalton in <em>Once Upon a Time in Hollywood </em>“wasn’t in the script,” but was brought to the table by DiCaprio himself, and took the film to another level. </p> <p dir="ltr">Despite the “endless” technique of DiCaprio’s acting, Scorsese said the actor was instrumental in the film’s success, after he helped determine that the film needed a rewrite in order to avoid being a “movie about all the white guys.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“It just didn’t get to the heart of the Osage,” DiCaprio told <em><a href="https://deadline.com/2023/05/martin-scorsese-interview-killers-of-the-flower-moon-leonardo-dicaprio-robert-de-niro-1235359006/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Deadline</a></em> in May, with reference to the original script. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It felt too much like an investigation into detective work, rather than understanding from a forensic perspective the culture and the dynamics of this very tumultuous, dangerous time in Oklahoma.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Killers of the Flower Moon</em> is in cinemas now. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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What’s insomnia like for most people who can’t sleep? You’d never know from the movies

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/aaron-schokman-1463327">Aaron Schokman</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-glozier-94435">Nick Glozier</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Hollywood appears fascinated by sleep’s impact on the mind and body. Blockbuster movies featuring someone living with insomnia include <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108160/">Sleepless in Seattle</a> (1993), <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0137523/">Fight Club</a> (1999) and <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0278504/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Insomnia</a> (2002).</p> <p>But how well do these and other portrayals compare with what it’s really like to live with insomnia?</p> <p>As we’ll see, most movies tend to either minimise or exaggerate symptoms. Insomnia is rarely depicted as a treatable illness. And these portrayals have implications for the estimated <a href="https://www.sleep.theclinics.com/article/S1556-407X(22)00022-4/fulltext">one in three</a> of us with at least one insomnia symptom.</p> <h2>Back in the real world</h2> <p>Insomnia is a common <a href="https://doi.org/10.1378/chest.14-0970">sleep disorder</a> where a person struggles to fall asleep, stay asleep, or wakes up too early – despite having adequate opportunity for sleep.</p> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-6405.2012.00845.x">Around 5%</a> of adults experience significant insomnia to the degree that it causes distress or impairs daily life.</p> <p>It’s a common misconception that insomnia is only a night-time issue. <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/insomnia">Insomnia</a> can impact your ability to stay awake and alert during the day. It can also affect your <a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-whats-the-link-between-insomnia-and-mental-illness-49597">mental health</a>.</p> <p>At work, you might be more prone to accidents, more forgetful, or make poorer decisions. At home, you might be irritable or short with your friends and family.</p> <p>So what is it like living with insomnia? Apart from the effects of poor sleep quality, many people experience <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2021.101583">anxiety or dread</a> about the night ahead from the moment they wake up. From early in the day, people plan how they can improve their sleep that night.</p> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2016.01.003">A review</a> found people living with insomnia felt their sleep concerns were often trivialised or misunderstood by health-care professionals, and stigmatised by others.</p> <h2>Movies can minimise symptoms …</h2> <p>Nicholas Galitzine’s character in the recent romcom <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10172266/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Red, White and Royal Blue</a> (2023) has insomnia. We’re briefly told he struggles to fall asleep at night. However, we never see any meaningful impact on his life or depiction of the difficulty living with insomnia entails.</p> <p>That said, minimising the impact of insomnia can have benefits. It shows insomnia is an invisible illness, doesn’t have obvious visual symptoms and anyone can have it.</p> <p>But this can perpetuate the expectation someone with insomnia should be able to function unencumbered. Or it can fuel the misconception having insomnia may be beneficial, as in <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050543/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Insomnia Is Good for You</a> (1957).</p> <h2>… or exaggerate symptoms</h2> <p>But most Hollywood portrayals of insomnia tend to depict the most extreme cases. These usually feature insomnia as a symptom of another condition rather than a disorder itself, as is commonly experienced.</p> <p>These movies tend to be psychological thrillers. Here, insomnia is often used as an enigma to keep the audience guessing about which events are real or figments of a character’s imagination.</p> <p>Take <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0361862/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">The Machinist</a> (2004), for example. The main character is emaciated, ostracised and plagued by paranoia, hallucinations and delusions. It’s only towards the end of the movie we learn his insomnia may be the result of a <a href="https://doi.org/10.9740/mhc.n101819">psychiatric disorder</a>, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-R4rQMImHwE?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">In The Machinist, the main character has paranoia, hallucinations and delusions.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>Hollywood’s focus on extreme cases of insomnia is a recurring pattern (for instance, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0137523/">Fight Club</a> 1999, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0434165/?ref_=fn_al_tt_3">Lucid</a> 2005).</p> <p>It’s understandable why Hollywood latches onto these extreme portrayals – to entertain us. Yet these portrayals of insomnia as something more severe or threatening, like psychosis, can increase anxiety or stigma among people living with insomnia.</p> <p>While it’s true other medical conditions including <a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-whats-the-link-between-insomnia-and-mental-illness-49597">mental illnesses</a> can lead to insomnia, insomnia often exists on its own. Insomnia is often <a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-insomnia-and-what-can-you-do-about-it-36365">caused by</a> more mundane things like too much stress, lifestyle and habits, or longer daylight hours at higher latitudes (such as in <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0278504/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Insomnia</a>, 2002).</p> <p>Something these exaggerated portrayals do well is highlight the impact sleep deprivation can have on safety, albeit extremely dramatised. Regardless of profession, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/xge0000717">not getting enough sleep</a> at night can substantially impact cognitive function, increasing the chance of making a mistake.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/emIHzg4VH8A?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">In Insomnia, one character has insomnia because of extended daylight hours.</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Movies rarely depict treatment</h2> <p>It is rare to see insomnia depicted as a health condition requiring medical care. Very few characters struggling with insomnia seek or receive help for it.</p> <p>An exception is the narrator in <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0137523/">Fight Club</a> (1999). But he has to pretend to have other illnesses to receive therapy, again suggesting insomnia is not a legitimate condition.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BdJKm16Co6M?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">The narrator in Fight Club pretends to have other illnesses to receive therapy for insomnia.</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Why does accurate representation matter?</h2> <p>Many people only learn about the symptoms and impact of sleep disorders through pop culture and film. These portrayals can affect how others think about these disorders and can impact how people living with these disorders think about themselves.</p> <p>Uniform and stereotypical portrayals of insomnia can also impact people’s <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/15402002.2011.620671">likelihood of seeking help</a>.</p> <p>Most of these films show young or middle-aged men experiencing insomnia. Yet women are <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/29.1.85">more likely</a> to have insomnia than men. Insomnia is also <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsmc.2022.03.003">more common</a> in older adults, people with a lower socioeconomic background and those living alone. People at higher risk of developing insomnia might not recognise their risk or symptoms if their experience doesn’t match what they’ve seen.</p> <h2>We can do better</h2> <p>While the reality of living with insomnia may not be particularly cinematic, filmmakers can surely do better than using it as a convenient plot point.</p> <p>There are a number of main characters living with different health conditions across pop culture. For instance, the movie <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4034228/">Manchester by the Sea</a> (2016) features someone with <a href="https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/news-and-features/blogs/detail/cultural-blog/2017/07/08/manchester-by-the-sea">prolonged grief disorder</a> and the TV series <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6315640/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0_tt_8_nm_0_q_Atypical">Atypical</a> (2017-2021) features someone’s experience living with autism.</p> <p>But if you’re looking for an accurate portrayal of insomnia, Hollywood still has some way to go. It’s about time insomnia is depicted in a way that accurately reflects people’s experiences.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/211823/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/aaron-schokman-1463327"><em>Aaron Schokman</em></a><em>, PhD Candidate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-glozier-94435">Nick Glozier</a>, Professor of Psychological Medicine, BMRI &amp; Disciplne of Psychiatry, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/whats-insomnia-like-for-most-people-who-cant-sleep-youd-never-know-from-the-movies-211823">original article</a>.</em></p>

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How to make a perfect romcom – an expert explains the recipe for romance

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christina-wilkins-1454385">Christina Wilkins</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-birmingham-1138">University of Birmingham</a></em></p> <p>Picture the scene: it’s a dreary weeknight evening, you’re tired from work, and you want to watch something that will pick you up. My guess is that some of you – perhaps more than would admit it – would pick a romantic comedy.</p> <p>Over the years the romcom has been designated as “chick flick”, dismissed at awards ceremonies (the best picture Oscar primarily goes to <a href="https://www.backstage.com/magazine/article/movie-genres-perform-best-oscars-2179/">drama films</a>) and frequently panned by critics. Yet, critics are not the only ones buying cinema tickets or watching streaming services.</p> <p>A 2013 <a href="https://archive.nytimes.com/economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/14/reviewing-the-movies-audiences-vs-critics/">article</a> from the New York Times found that the romcom was one of the genres most likely to divide audience and critical opinion. Like many other things that are classified as “women’s things”, the romcom is often spoken of as a “guilty pleasure”.</p> <p>Researchers such as Claire Mortimer, who <a href="https://www.routledge.com/Romantic-Comedy/Mortimer/p/book/9780415548632">writes about comedy</a> and women, argue that the dismissal is not just down to the genre’s <a href="https://stjohnslis.libguides.com/c.php?g=1277106&amp;p=9378728">status as “women’s films”</a> but also because romcoms are genre films. Such films are often seen as repetitive – they rely on a number of tropes to be wheeled out again and again and we come to expect certain styles, stories and characters. Some films become key examples of a genre, a kind of “best of”, and form a template which the others either imitate or diverge from.</p> <p>That’s not to say that all romcoms are the same. But there’s a dominant form that we think of as being definitive, called the “neo-traditional romcom”. Tamar McDonald, a professor in film, <a href="https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9Bk-mkvdPYcC&amp;printsec=copyright&amp;redir_esc=y#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=false">argues that</a> this is the main form of the genre now – one that “has no use for realism”.</p> <p>This can be seen in characters running through airports, the absurd lack of communication between love interests and the convenient mishaps. Without these elements though, the resolution wouldn’t be as sweet.</p> <h2>The perfect romcom</h2> <p>So what are the ingredients for a perfect romcom? Looking at the lists of the <a href="https://www.timeout.com/film/the-70-best-romcoms-of-all-time">best romcoms of all time</a> – which the internet <a href="https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/08/best-romantic-comedies-list">isn’t short of</a> – we see similar tropes popping up repeatedly. One popular favourite, <a href="https://www.timeout.com/film/the-70-best-romcoms-of-all-time">When Harry Met Sally</a> (1989), features the “friends to lovers” storyline. This reoccurs in more recent films like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHBcWHY9lN4">Always Be My Maybe</a> (2019).</p> <p>Within a romcom, there typically has to be miscommunication – and lots of it. Although a relationship can blossom steadily, often unknown to the characters themselves, romcoms usually feature a pivotal moment where one character is not understood by the person they want.</p> <p>This miscommunication is also underpinned by conflict. Leger Grindon, an expert <a href="https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/The_Hollywood_Romantic_Comedy/okkZPTEnYqMC?hl=en&amp;gbpv=1&amp;dq=Leger+Grindon+rom+coms&amp;printsec=frontcover%22%22">in romantic comedies</a>, breaks these kinds of conflict into three major fields: between parents and children, the two characters who are dating, or when someone has to choose between personal development and sacrifice.</p> <p>We’ve seen examples of all of three over the years. Children defying their parents’ wishes to be with someone they love is a common theme in the queer love story, like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h58HkQV1gHY">Happiest Season</a> (2020), but is also present in other films, like My <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2mecmDFE-Q">Big Fat Greek Wedding</a> (2002).</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/O2mecmDFE-Q?wmode=transparent&amp;start=19" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">My Big Fat Greek Wedding hinges on conflict between family and love.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>Conflict between the needs of the love interests can be seen in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZKAA5DRF4A">What Women Want</a> (2000). And the conflict between personal development and sacrifice has been a common theme of many recent Netflix romcoms such as <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX6wAGuIMCg">Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between</a> (2022) or <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km7gv28_uX0">The Holiday Calendar</a> (2019). In Hallmark Christmas films (their own sub-genre of the romcom) like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWKYnKGN8OA">Just In Time for Christmas</a> (2015), women often have to choose between their career and their relationship, a common recurrence for the Christmas sub-genre especially.</p> <p>Romcoms can provide escapism, but at their heart the glue of the genre is finding connection through love and laughter. How realistic this is may be shifting, with more recent examples in film and television providing more cultural critique (see comedian Rose Matafeo’s brilliant <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtHC1VmrNXM">Starstruck</a> series, streaming on BBC Three for example).</p> <p>The parameters for the characters of these stories are also changing. Once predominantly white and straight, the genre is opening up to a range of different stories. Recent examples like <a href="https://theconversation.com/red-white-and-royal-blue-review-this-queer-romcom-puts-a-new-spin-on-the-us-and-uks-special-relationship-211533">Red, White, and Royal Blue</a> (2023) and <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9731598/">Bros</a> (2022) put gay male romance front and centre, while <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt15893750/">Rye Lane</a> (2023) and <a href="https://theconversation.com/crazy-rich-asians-a-movie-and-a-movement-101568">Crazy Rich Asians</a> (2018) foreground non-white protagonists.</p> <p>Perhaps this is because – as <a href="https://www.routledge.com/Romantic-Comedy/Mortimer/p/book/9780415548632">Mortimer</a> argues – the genre is concerned with “perennial themes” of love and identity. In a moment where definitions and understandings of identity are shifting, the romcom provides an ideal place to think through these issues in a comforting way. Or perhaps we just need the optimism we associate with the genre at a time of war and economic crisis.</p> <p>Although there may be classics and new challengers emerging for the title of the best, the perfect romcom is one that shows that, despite all the challenges life may throw at us, there is sometimes a happy ending.</p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christina-wilkins-1454385">Christina Wilkins</a>, Lecturer in Film and Creative Writing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-birmingham-1138">University of Birmingham</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-make-a-perfect-romcom-an-expert-explains-the-recipe-for-romance-212487">original article</a>.</em></p>

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"His worst moment as a person": Sean Penn unleashes on Will Smith's Oscar's slap

<p>Sean Penn has become visibly angry as he recalled the infamous moment at the 2022 Oscars ceremony when Will Smith stormed the stage to slap Chris Rock. </p> <p>Penn recalled the award ceremony moment as he reflected on the Academy's decision to not let Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speak at the ceremony. </p> <p>The actor has been a strong advocate for the people of Ukraine in their ongoing war against Russia, and even traveling to the war-torn region to help in their fight. </p> <p>Speaking to <a href="https://variety.com/2023/film/features/sean-penn-slams-will-smith-slap-ai-oscars-1235720417/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Variety</em></a>, Penn shared how frustrated he was that Zelenskyy was silenced, while Smith's actions were the real problem. </p> <p>“The Oscars producer thought, ‘Oh, he’s [Zelenskyy] not lighthearted enough.’ Well, guess what you got instead? Will Smith.”</p> <p><em>Variety</em> noted that the actor was visibly infuriated speaking on the subject, even turning red during the interview.</p> <p>“I don’t know Will Smith. I met him once,” Penn said. “He seemed very nice when I met him. He was so f***ing good in <em>King Richard</em>.”</p> <p>“So why the f**k did you just spit on yourself and everybody else with this stupid f***ing thing? Why did I go to f***ing jail for what you just did? And you’re still sitting there? Why are you guys standing and applauding his worst moment as a person?” the 63-year-old said, referencing his 1987 arrest and jail stint for punching a film extra in the face.</p> <p>“This f***ing bulls**t wouldn’t have happened with Zelenskyy,” Penn added. “Will Smith would never have left that chair to be part of stupid violence. It never would have happened.”</p> <p>Penn was so shocked and infuriated by the moment that he chose to destroy his two Oscars. </p> <p>"I thought, ‘Well, f**k, you know? I’ll give them to Ukraine. They can be melted down to bullets they can shoot at the Russians,’” he said.</p> <p>When visiting Zelenskyy in Ukraine last fall, Penn showed his support by giving the leader one of his Oscars.</p> <p>At the 2022 Oscar's ceremony, Will Smith stormed the stage and slapped comedian Chris Rock after he made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith. </p> <p>After returning to his seat, Smith shouted out, “Keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth!”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Priscilla Presley's reaction to movie based on her life

<p>Priscilla Presley has shared how "emotional" she became after watching the new movie based on her life with her late rock star husband. </p> <p>The 78-year-old attended the premiere of the new film <em>Priscilla</em>, which was based on her 1985 memoir <em>Elvis &amp; Me. </em></p> <p>Priscilla took to the red carpet at the Venice International Film Festival on September 4th alongside director Sofia Coppola and the cast.</p> <p>"It was very difficult to sit and watch a film about you, about your life, about your love," she explained at a media call following the premiere screening.</p> <p>"Sofia did an amazing job. She did her homework, we spoke a couple of times and I really put everything out for her that I could," she added.</p> <p>Priscilla went on to explain why she thought her love story was so intriguing to a public audience, as she spoke about the early days of her relationship with the late rock star. </p> <p>"It was very difficult for my parents to understand that Elvis would be so interested in me and why, and I really do think [it was] because I was more of a listener," she said.</p> <p>"Elvis would pour his heart out to me in every way in Germany: his fears, his hopes, the loss of his mother which he never, ever got over. And I was the person who really, really sat there to listen and to comfort him. That was really our connection."</p> <p>She continued, "Even though I was 14, I was actually a little bit older in life, not in numbers. That was the attraction. People think, 'Oh, it was sex.' No, it wasn't. I never had sex with him. He was very kind, very soft, very loving, but he also respected the fact I was only 14 years old."</p> <p><em>Euphoria</em> star and Aussie actor Jacob Elordi plays Elvis in the new film, with Cailee Spaeny in the title role of Priscilla, which traces Priscilla's early years and relationship with the music icon.</p> <p>Elvis Presley estate officials reportedly slammed the movie, with <em><a title="TMZ" href="https://www.tmz.com/2023/06/22/elvis-presley-estate-officials-slam-priscilla-movie/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">TMZ</a></em> claiming unnamed officials were displeased with news of the production, labelling it a "money grab."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <div style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Proxima Nova', system-ui, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Fira Sans', 'Droid Sans', 'Helvetica Neue'; font-size: 18px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; caret-color: #333333; color: #333333; letter-spacing: normal; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration: none;"> <div class="ob-smartfeed-wrapper feedIdx-0" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"> <div id="outbrain_widget_0" class="OUTBRAIN" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;" data-src="//celebrity.nine.com.au/latest/priscilla-presley-gets-emotional-after-very-difficult-viewing-of-priscilla/d6fd2f98-d746-4664-ada4-e5662a435aea" data-widget-id="AR_8" data-external-id="3820c6a948ab8b24c8020cab9d348600" data-ob-mark="true" data-browser="safari" data-os="macintel" data-dynload="" data-idx="0"> <div class="ob-widget ob-feed-layout AR_8" style="box-sizing: content-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 3px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; position: relative; width: auto; min-width: 0px; clear: both;"> <div class="ob-widget-header" style="box-sizing: content-box; margin: 24px 0px 14px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 18px; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit; font-weight: bold; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #303030; direction: ltr; display: flex; justify-content: space-between; align-items: center;"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

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Margot Robbie's enormous Barbie salary revealed

<p>Margot Robbie is set to take home her biggest pay cheque yet for her portrayal in the <em>Barbie</em> movie, as the highly-anticipated film hits the $1 billion mark at the global box office. </p> <p>Robbie, who started her acting career on <em>Neighbours</em>, both starred in and produced the Barbie film, which was directed by Greta Gerwig. </p> <p>According to reports from <a href="https://variety.com/2023/film/news/barbie-pay-margot-robbie-salary-box-office-bonuses-1235695563/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Variety</em></a>, the 32-year-old Aussie actress made an upfront fee of $19 million to portray the Mattel doll, but that figure will make a significant jump after the lucrative sales, bringing Margot's salary to $77 million. </p> <p><em>Barbie</em>, which was made on a budget of approximately $220 million, hit the coveted $US1 billion mark at the global box office earlier this month, just two weeks after it hit cinemas.</p> <p>Robbie was instrumental in the making of the <em>Barbie</em> film, as her production company, LuckyChap, purchased the rights from Mattel in 2018. </p> <p>She then pitched the film to Warner Bros. and managed to convince Gerwig to both write and direct the blockbuster movie, with Gerwig's partner Noah Baumbach jumping in to help write the screenplay.</p> <p>Speaking of her commitment to making <em>Barbie</em> happen, Robbie recently said she was “overselling” the project in early meetings with executives to get the project off the ground. </p> <p>“I think my pitch in the green-light meeting was the studios have prospered so much when they’re brave enough to pair a big idea with a visionary director,” Robbie said in an interview with <a title="collider.com" href="https://collider.com/barbie-margot-robbie-interview-ryan-gosling/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Collider</em> </a>in July.</p> <p>She added, “And then I gave a series of examples like, ‘dinosaurs and [Steven] Spielberg’ – pretty much naming anything that’s been incredible and made a ton of money for the studios over the years. </p> <p>“And I was like, ‘And now you’ve got <em>Barbie</em> and Greta Gerwig.’ And I think I told them that it’d make a billion dollars, which maybe I was overselling, but we had a movie to make, OK?”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Beyond Barbie and Oppenheimer, how do cinemas make money? And do we pay too much for movie tickets?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-martin-682709">Peter Martin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/crawford-school-of-public-policy-australian-national-university-3292">Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University</a></em></p> <p>I’ve got two questions about blockbuster movies like Barbie and Oppenheimer.</p> <ol> <li> <p>Why aren’t the cinemas charging more for them, given they’re so popular?</p> </li> <li> <p>Why are they the same price, given Oppenheimer is an hour longer?</p> </li> </ol> <p>The opening weekend <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/culture/movies/how-australian-cinemas-and-audiences-handled-the-barbenheimer-juggernaut-20230724-p5dqso.html">for both films</a> saw an avalanche of Australians returning to the cinema. Extra staff had to be put on (although probably not enough) to manage queues, turn away pink-clad fans who couldn’t get in, and clean up mountains of popcorn trampled underfoot.</p> <p>An obvious solution to such a rush of demand is to push up prices. Airlines do it when they are getting low on seats. When more people want to get a ride share, Uber makes them pay with “<a href="https://www.uber.com/au/en/drive/driver-app/how-surge-works/">surge pricing</a>”.</p> <p>Even books are sold at different prices, depending on the demand, their length, their quality and how long they’ve been on the shelves.</p> <p>But not movie tickets, which are nearly always the same price, no matter the movie. Why? And how much has the cost of a trip to the movies risen over the past 20 years?</p> <h2>Why not charge more for blockbusters?</h2> <p>In suburban Melbourne, Hoyts is charging $24.50 for the two-hour Barbie – the same as it is charging for the three-hour Oppenheimer, even though it could fit in far fewer showings of Oppenheimer in a day. It’s also the same price as it is charging for much less popular movies, such as Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.</p> <p>It’s also how things are in the United States, where James Surowiecki, author of <a href="https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/175380/the-wisdom-of-crowds-by-james-surowiecki/">The Wisdom of Crowds</a> blames convention and says "it costs you as much to see a total dog that’s limping its way through its last week of release as it does to see a hugely popular film on opening night."</p> <p>Australian economists Nicolas de Roos of The University of Sydney and Jordi McKenzie of Macquarie University quote Surowiecki in their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167718714000174">2014 study</a> of whether cinema operators could make more by cutting the price of older and less popular films and raising the price of blockbusters.</p> <p>By examining what happened to demand on <a href="https://www.eventcinemas.com.au/Promotions/HalfPriceTuesdays#cinemas=59">cheap Tuesdays</a>, and developing a model taking into account advertising, reviews and the weather, they discovered Australian cinemas could make a lot more by <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167718714000174">varying their prices</a> by the movie shown. We turn out to be highly price sensitive. So why don’t cinemas do that?</p> <h2>‘There’s a queue, it must be good’</h2> <p>It’s the sort of thing that puzzled <a href="https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/economic-sciences/1992/becker/biographical/">Gary Becker</a>, an economic detective of sorts who won the Nobel Prize for Economics in the early 1990s. A few years earlier, he turned his attention to <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/2937660">restaurants</a> and why one particular seafood restaurant in Palo Alto, California, had long queues every night but didn’t raise its prices.</p> <p>Across the road was a restaurant that charged slightly more, sold food that was about as good, and was mostly empty.</p> <p>His conclusion, which he used a lot of maths to illustrate, was there are some goods for which a consumer’s demand depends on the demand of other consumers.</p> <p>Queues for restaurants (or in 2023, long queues and sold out sessions, as crowds were turned away from Barbie) are all signals other consumers want to get in.</p> <p>This would make queues especially valuable to the providers of such goods, even if the queues meant they didn’t get as much as they could from the customers who got in. The “buzz” such queues create produces a supply of future customers persuaded that what was on offer must be worth trying.</p> <p>Importantly, Becker’s maths showed that getting things right was fragile. It was much easier for a restaurant to go from being “in” to “out” than the other way around. Once a queue had created a buzz, it was wise not to mess with it.</p> <h2>Cashing in from the snack bar</h2> <p>There are other reasons for cinemas to charge a standard ticket price, rather than vary it movie by movie.</p> <p>One is that it is hard to tell ahead of time which movies are going to soar and which are going to bomb, even if you spend a fortune on advertising as the <a href="https://variety.com/2023/film/box-office/barbie-marketing-campaign-explained-warner-bros-1235677922/">makers of Barbie did</a>. In the words of an insider, “<a href="https://variety.com/2018/film/opinion/william-goldman-dies-appreciation-1203030781/">nobody knows anything</a>.”</p> <p>Another is the way cinemas make their money. They have to pay the distributor a share of what they get from ticket sales (typically <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167718714000174">35-40%</a>). But they don’t have to pay a share of what they make from high-margin snacks.</p> <p>This means it can make sense for some cinemas to charge less than what the market will bear – because they’ll sell more snacks – even if it means less money for the distributor.</p> <h2>Rising prices, despite some falling costs</h2> <p>But cinemas still charge a lot. From 2002 to 2022, Australian cinemas jacked up their average (not their highest) prices <a href="https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/fact-finders/cinema/industry-trends/box-office/ticket-prices">from $9.13 to $16.26</a> – an increase of 78%.</p> <p>In the same 20 year period, overall prices in Australia, as measured by the <a href="https://theconversation.com/whats-in-the-cpi-and-what-does-it-actually-measure-165162">consumer price index</a>, climbed 65% – less than the rise in movie ticket prices.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="E2kxi" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/E2kxi/5/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>A 2015 study found Australian cinemas charge more <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/306227560_Counting_the_cost_the_impact_of_cinema_ticket_prices_in_Australia">than cinemas in the US</a>.</p> <p>Yet some of the cinemas’ costs have gone down. They used to have to employ projectionists to lace up and change reels of film. Digital delivery means much less handling.</p> <p>A now-dated <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/about-us/publications/developments-in-the-cinema-distribution-exhibition-industry">1990s report</a> to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found the two majors, Hoyts and Greater Union/Village, charged near identical prices except where they were faced with competition from a nearby independent, in which case they discounted.</p> <p>Whether “<a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/The%20Cinema%20Industry.pdf">by design or circumstance</a>”, the two cinema chains rarely competed with each other, clustering their multiplexes in different geographical locations.</p> <h2>Longer films no longer displace shorter films</h2> <p>I think it might be the multiplex that answers my second question: why cinemas don’t charge more for movies that are longer (and movies are <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/culture/movies/bigger-than-ben-hur-why-movies-are-getting-longer-and-longer-20220322-p5a6ty.html">getting longer</a>).</p> <p>In the days of single screens, a cinema that showed a long movie might only fit in (say) four showings a day instead of six. So it would lose out unless it charged more.</p> <p>But these days, multiplexes show many, many films on many screens, some of them simultaneously, meaning long films needn’t displace short films.</p> <p>Although we have <a href="https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/fact-finders/cinema/industry-trends/screens-and-theatres">fewer cinema seats</a> than we had a decade ago (and at least until the advent of Barbie, we’ve been <a href="https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/fact-finders/cinema/industry-trends/screens-and-theatres">going less often</a>) we now have <a href="https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/fact-finders/cinema/industry-trends/screens-and-theatres">far more screens</a>.</p> <p>Long movies no longer stop the multiplexes from playing standard ones. And because cinemas like to keep things simple, you pay the same price, no matter which movie you chose. <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/211121/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-martin-682709">Peter Martin</a>, Visiting Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/crawford-school-of-public-policy-australian-national-university-3292">Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/beyond-barbie-and-oppenheimer-how-do-cinemas-make-money-and-do-we-pay-too-much-for-movie-tickets-211121">original article</a>.</em></p>

Movies

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5 memorable locations from ‘80s films to check out

<p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Everyone loves a good movie, and everyone loves a holiday, so what do you get when you combine the two? The time of your life! </span></p> <p>It’s widely known that the ‘80s spawned a whole host of films that went on to become cult classics - from the likes of <em>Heathers </em>to <em>Footloose</em>, <em>Dirty Dancing</em>, and <em>The Terminator</em> - and forged the way for cultural changes that ring true decades later. </p> <p>But did you also know that for many of these iconic films, real-life locations served as the inspiration for many memorable scenes? </p> <p>And while some may have changed slightly in the years since cast and crew flocked to them, some are like stepping into a time capsule - or a stage for you to re-enact the films as you see fit. </p> <p><strong>Lake Lure, North Carolina - <em>Dirty Dancing</em> (1987)</strong></p> <p>Anyone who’s seen<em> Dirty Dancing</em> can tell you that ‘the lift scene’ is one of the film’s most iconic moments. And it - along with a few others from the film - were filmed in North Carolina’s very own Lake Lure. And with the spot boasting its very own Lake Lure Inn &amp; Spa - where, coincidentally, the movie’s stars stayed while working on the project - it could be the perfect getaway location for your next holiday. </p> <p><strong>Guesthouse International Hotel, California - <em>National Lampoon Vacation</em> (1983) </strong></p> <p>For those embarking on their very own<em> National Lampoon Vacation</em>, you’re in luck - the hexagonal pool is near exactly the same as it was when Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold enjoyed a nighttime swim with Christie Brinkley’s The Girl in the Ferrari. </p> <p><strong>New York Public Library, New York - <em>Ghostbusters </em>(1984)</strong></p> <p>The 1984 film sparked an entire host of sequels, games, parodies, and conventions for avid fans across the globe - as well as one incredibly catchy song. However, for those that would like to go above and beyond just calling their friendly neighbourhood ghostbusters, the  New York Public Library’s flagship Stephen A Schwarzman building is the spot where the team had their very first encounter with the film’s ghosts. </p> <p><strong>Griffith Observatory, California - <em>The Terminator</em> (1984)</strong></p> <p>Fans of<em> The Terminator </em>should immediately recognise this site as the one where Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator arrived in the nude, and basked in the glory of LA at night. It’s a popular location, and while a must-see for fans of the film, it also makes for a good afternoon out - the observatory itself boasts free entry, stunning views, and a range of fascinating exhibits inside to entertain the keen mind. </p> <p><strong>The Grand Hotel, Michigan - <em>Somewhere in Time </em>(1980)</strong></p> <p>The Grand Hotel was the primary location for romantic drama <em>Somewhere in Time</em>, and they’re proud of it. In fact, a poster for the film is reportedly even still on display there, and hosts weekends of celebration for the 1980 hit, too. </p> <p>The island the hotel is set on doesn’t allow cars, so anyone hoping to throw themselves back in time and fully immerse themselves in a ‘different world’, this National Historic Landmark may be just the place to do it. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty, Booking.net</em></p>

Movies

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Extreme Hollywood body transformations have become standard preparations for film actors – but we need to consider the consequences

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/gemma-sharp-314703">Gemma Sharp</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bronwyn-dwyer-1453560">Bronwyn Dwyer</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p>“…when you’re shooting a film like Magic Mike, and you’re doing dance routines for two weeks at a time, you have to peak every day. So that became kind of crazy. We had a gym in the parking lot, and we’d all be lifting weights on set all day,” <a href="https://wegotthiscovered.com/movies/interview-channing-tatum-joe-manganiello-magic-mike/">explained actor Joe Manganiello</a>, about performing in the film Magic Mike.</p> <p>It is not unusual for actors to undergo drastic changes in preparation for a role, including gaining muscle and losing body fat for that shredded look. In fact, this is becoming the norm in Hollywood.</p> <p><a href="https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a43945188/jake-gyllenhaals-road-house-transformation/">Jake Gyllenhaal</a> in Road House, <a href="https://www.insider.com/michelle-rodriguez-rege-jean-page-workout-dungeons-and-dragons-sdcc-2022-7">Michelle Rodriguez</a> in Dungeons &amp; Dragons, and <a href="https://www.menshealth.com/entertainment/a42532547/paul-rudd-marvel-ant-man-interview/">Paul Rudd</a> in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, have all undertaken body modifications for roles this year.</p> <p>As the audience, we readily accept these body modifications to be part of the preparation for the role without necessarily considering the potentially long-term physical and mental health consequences.</p> <h2>So how do they do it?</h2> <p>From what Hollywood shares with the general public about these body modifications, which is generally very limited, it appears these transformations occur through excessive exercise and highly restrictive diets.</p> <p>Nevertheless, these Hollywood workouts are highly popular with ordinary people, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Chris Hemsworth’s workouts <a href="https://sustainhealth.fit/lifestyle/most-searched-hollywood-actor-workouts/">particularly sought after</a>.</p> <p>These regimens resemble those of competitive bodybuilders, <a href="https://journals.lww.com/hrpjournal/Abstract/2019/07000/Competitive_Bodybuilding__Fitness,_Pathology,_or.3.aspx">whose success also relies on appearance</a>.</p> <p>The <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00007256-200434050-00004">typical process for bodybuilders</a> involves two phases: a “bulking” phase, during which the goal is to have enough energy for muscle growth, and a “cutting” phase, when the aim is to lose weight but not muscle.</p> <p>The end result of such a process is usually highly applauded, even though drastic measures have been taken to achieve such a look.</p> <p>Actors of all genders are undergoing these body transformations for <a href="https://www.sportskeeda.com/comics/10-marvel-actors-whose-body-transformation-shocked-world">various roles</a> such as superheroes, athletes, or the portrayal of real-life people.</p> <h2>What are the consequences?</h2> <p>“I’ve become a little bit more boring now, because I’m older and I feel like if I keep doing what I’ve done in the past I’m going to die. So, I’d prefer not to die,” <a href="https://www.menshealth.com/uk/fitness/lifestyle/a29725245/christian-bale-no-more-body-transformation-roles/">said Christian Bale</a>, who has undertaken multiple extreme transformations for roles.</p> <p>To achieve what is needed for a particular role, extreme measures are often taken. However, the consequences of these measures, such as use of substances, exercise dependence, and an increased risk of developing muscle dysmorphia and/or an eating disorder, is seemingly not common knowledge.</p> <p>A concern for the bodybuilding community is the widespread use of drugs, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4026349/">often multiple drugs at a time not obtained through prescription</a>. Androgenic-anabolic steroids are commonly used which can have extensive negative effects on the human body, including on the cardiovascular system, hormones, metabolism and even psychiatric wellbeing.</p> <p>Exercise dependence can also occur when an individual engages in an extreme amount of exercise, to the point at which <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11936-018-0674-3">physical, psychological or emotional harm</a> can occur. We are not sure exactly why exercise dependence happens, but it could potentially be a form of <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19585969.2023.2164841">behavioural addiction</a>.</p> <p>Another risk is <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4977020/">muscle dysmorphia</a>, a subtype of body dysmorphic disorder characterised by the individual being preoccupied with the idea their physique is not muscular enough, even if they have a high degree of muscle.</p> <h2>What about the dieting impacts?</h2> <p>There are many similarities between the requirements of bodybuilding and eating disorders. Both are characterised by restrictive diets, high levels of exercise, potential social isolation, and adherence to a <a href="https://journals.lww.com/hrpjournal/Abstract/2019/07000/Competitive_Bodybuilding__Fitness,_Pathology,_or.3.aspx">rigid schedule</a>.</p> <p>The seminal <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002231662210249X?via%3Dihub">Minnesota Starvation Experiment</a> fundamentally shaped our understanding of the changes a person can experience when they are consuming less than their daily nutrition energy needs, such as during the “cutting” phase for bodybuilders. This research showed that people who are experiencing starvation for a period of time will experience devastating impacts in the physical, psychological, behavioural and social aspects of their lives.</p> <p>Some of the many documented changes included reductions in heart muscle mass, heart rate and blood pressure, dizziness, fatigue, increased feelings of depression and anxiety, obsessive thoughts about food, and withdrawal from social activities and relationships.</p> <p>Concerningly, even once a person is renourished, the psychological issues around body size and food <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/eat.23095">can persist</a>. Therefore, even after an actor has returned to their pre-modification weight and size, it does not mean they have recovered from the consequences that came with that body modification.</p> <h2>What are the impacts on the general public?</h2> <p>Rapid changes in physical appearance are not realistically achievable for most people. So seeing actors doing this seemingly easily with the assistance of their professional teams sets an <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40894-022-00179-4">unrealistic standard</a>.</p> <p>For people without the same income or access to resources to achieve these body modifications in a safe way, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8872588/">more extreme means</a> would be undertaken and consequent damage to mental and physical wellbeing can ensue. These body modifications are definitely a case of “do not try this at home”.</p> <p>There are many risks when undertaking dramatic body modifications, most of which are not talked about in public. Actors are just as vulnerable to these risks, despite us rarely seeing what exactly they go through to achieve these dramatic transformations. Hollywood is a highly competitive environment, and being honest about body modification and its consequences could stop an actor landing their next gig.</p> <p>We don’t recommend body modifications in any way, but if someone does want to make a change to their lifestyle, we strongly recommend consulting with a team of health professionals to ensure physical and psychological safety during the process and beyond.</p> <p>––</p> <p><em>If this article has raised issues for you, or if you’re concerned about someone you know, do not hesitate to reach out for support. For concerns around eating, exercise, or body image visit the <a href="https://butterfly.org.au/">Butterfly Foundation</a> or call the national helpline on 1800 33 4673. For concerns around drug use visit <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/our-work/drug-help">Drug Help</a> or call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/207722/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></em></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/gemma-sharp-314703">Gemma Sharp</a>, Associate Professor, NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow &amp; Senior Clinical Psychologist, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bronwyn-dwyer-1453560">Bronwyn Dwyer</a>, , <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: 20th Century Fox</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/extreme-hollywood-body-transformations-have-become-standard-preparations-for-film-actors-but-we-need-to-consider-the-consequences-207722">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Is the Barbie movie a bold step to reinvent and fix past wrongs or a clever ploy to tap a new market?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-gurrieri-5402">Lauren Gurrieri</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>After a months-long marketing blitz, the much-hyped Barbie movie is released this week.</p> <p>From a <a href="https://news.airbnb.com/barbies-malibu-dreamhouse-is-back-on-airbnb-but-this-time-kens-hosting/">Malibu Barbie dreamhouse</a> listed on AirBnB, an AI tool that <a href="https://www.barbieselfie.ai/au/">transforms selfies into Barbie movie posters</a> and multiple Barbie-themed brand collaborations ranging from nail polish to roller skates, Barbie is everywhere.</p> <p>She has even gone viral as a fashion trend known as <a href="https://www.elle.com.au/fashion/barbiecore-27286">Barbiecore</a>, exploding across social media with people embracing vibrant pink hues and hyper feminine aesthetics. A Barbie world is upon us.</p> <p>Although some have criticised this <a href="https://twitter.com/MosheIsaacian/status/1673415496929267712">saturation</a> strategy, it is a very deliberate marketing ploy to revitalise and redefine a brand with a contested position and history.</p> <p>As well as attracting adults who grew up with Barbie and are curious to see what’s changed, the reinvention is drawing in those younger fans swept up by the tsunami of marketing and merchandise.</p> <p>Despite being one of the <a href="https://www.newsweek.com/brandspark-most-trusted-brands-america-2022">most trusted brands</a> with a value of approximately <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/1009126/barbie-brand-value-worldwide/">$US700 million</a>, Barbie has long attracted feminist criticism for fuelling outdated and problematic “plastic fantastic” sexist stereotypes and expectations.</p> <h2>The Barbie backlash</h2> <p>Only a few years back, Barbie was a brand in crisis. <a href="https://time.com/3667580/mattel-barbie-earnings-plus-size-body-image/">Sales plummeted</a> across 2011 to 2015 against the cultural backdrop of a rise in body positivity and backlash against a doll that represented narrow ideals and an impossible beauty standard.</p> <p>After all, at life-size Barbie represents a body shape held by <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01544300#page-1">less than 1 in 100,000</a> real people. In fact, she is so <a href="https://rehabs.com/explore/dying-to-be-barbie/#.UWs-5aKyB8F">anatomically impossible</a> that, if she were real, she would be unable to lift her head, store a full liver or intestines, or <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/305/6868/1575">menstruate</a>.</p> <p>The backlash has also been in response to growing concerns about how she influences child development, particularly how and what children learn about gender. Barbie has been identified as a <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1740144521000243#!">risk factor</a> for thin-ideal internalisation and body dissatisfaction for young girls, encouraging <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S174014451630208X">motivation for a thinner shape</a> that damages body image and self esteem.</p> <p>And despite the multiple careers Barbie has held over the decades, research highlights that girls who play with Barbie believe they have <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11199-014-0347-y">fewer career options than boys</a>. This speaks to the power of toys to reinforce gender stereotypes, roles and expectations, and how Barbie has imported narrow ideals of femininity, girlhood and womanhood into young girls’ lives.</p> <h2>Reinventing a long-established icon</h2> <p>In response to this backlash, Mattel launched a new range of Barbies in 2016 that were promoted as <a href="https://shop.mattel.com/collections/fashion-dolls#filter.ss_filter_tags_subtype=Fashionistas">diverse</a>, representing different body shapes, sizes, hair types and skin tones. This was not without criticism, with “curvy” Barbie still considered thin and dolls named in ways that drew attention foremost to their bodies.</p> <p>From a white, well-dressed, middle-class, girl-next-door with friends of a similar ilk, Barbie has since been marketed as a symbol of diversity and inclusion. To signify the extent of the transformation, Mattel’s executives gave this project the code name “Project Dawn”.</p> <p>Mattel - like many other brands joining the <a href="https://theconversation.com/victorias-secret-joins-the-inclusive-revolution-finally-realizing-diversity-sells-163955">“inclusivity revolution”</a> - knew that diversity sells, and they needed to make their brand relevant for contemporary consumers.</p> <p>Diversity initiatives included a line of <a href="https://shop.mattel.com/pages/barbie-role-models">female role model dolls</a>, promoted as “introducing girls to remarkable women’s stories to show them you can be anything”.</p> <p>Barbie was also given a voice in the form of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5BsRl9zFaeSKIL4XD-pdGHGbJRvkfe8S">Barbie Vlogs</a>, where she expressed her views on issues including depression and the <a href="https://www.bustle.com/p/barbies-vlog-about-the-sorry-reflex-is-the-feminist-pep-talk-all-90s-babies-need-to-hear-9852366">sorry reflex</a>. A gender neutral collection called “creatable world” was added in 2019 to open up gender expression possibilities when playing with Barbies.</p> <p>Such efforts were crucial to undoing missteps of the past, such as a “Teen Talk Barbie” that was programmed to say “<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSL2-rbE9AM">Math class is tough!</a>”, or the compulsory heterosexuality that Barbie has long advanced.</p> <h2>The latest step in Barbie’s transformation</h2> <p>Barbie the film is simply the next step in an evolution to make brand Barbie inclusive. And with a rumoured film budget of $100 million, the supporting marketing machine provides a critical opportunity to reset the Barbie narrative.</p> <p>With Greta Gerwig, acclaimed director of female-led stories such as Little Women and Lady Bird at the helm, and a diverse cast of Barbies of different races, body types, gender identities and sexual preferences, the film and its creators have sought to assure audiences of the film’s feminist leanings.</p> <p>Addressing the complicated history of Barbie is crucial for audiences who grew up and played with the doll and are grappling with introducing her to the next generation of doll consumers.</p> <p>Yet, Robbie Brenner, executive producer of Mattel Films, has explicitly stated that Gerwig’s Barbie is “not a feminist movie”. Indeed, the main character still represents a narrow beauty standard - tall, thin, blonde, white - with diverse characters in place to support her narrative.</p> <p>Which begs the question: are these inclusion initiatives simply emblematic of diversity washing, where the language and symbolism of social justice are hijacked for corporate profit? Or do they represent a genuine effort to redress the chequered history of a brand that promotes poor body image, unrealistic ideals and rampant materialism?</p> <p>What is clear is that in today’s climate where brands are increasingly rewarded for taking a stand on sociopolitical issues, brand Barbie’s attempts to reposition as inclusive have paid off: sales are now booming.</p> <p>Seemingly, Barbie’s famous tagline that “anything is possible” has shown itself to be true.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. 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More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-gurrieri-5402">Lauren Gurrieri</a>, Associate Professor in Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/is-the-barbie-movie-a-bold-step-to-reinvent-and-fix-past-wrongs-or-a-clever-ploy-to-tap-a-new-market-209394">original article</a>.</em></p>

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