huffington post interview

Lin-Manuel Miranda Is Too Busy Planning His Oscars Date With Mom To Worry About MacPEGOTing

Miranda has always been a huge fan of the Oscars and has taped the ceremony every year since “The Little Mermaid” ― the movie that made him want to be “in this game” ― won Best Score and Best Song in 1990. Although he says it’s a “real thrill” to be attending the award show, he’s very anxious to be in the room where it happens.

“I’ll be so nervous. Anything other than just sitting in the audience nervously will be hard for me,” he told HuffPost of the possibility of being a part of a performance of “How Far I’ll Go.” (It was confirmed on Thursday that Miranda will be singing a duet of the song with “Moana” star Auli’i Cravalho.) “I’m there for the party. I’m there to really just soak it all up. You grow up watching the Oscars so to actually be there, I’m really excited.”

Despite all these goings-on in his life, Miranda hasn’t slowed down. Although his run as Alexander Hamilton on Broadway has ended, the actor is currently in rehearsals for “Mary Poppins Returns,” which he’s starring in alongside Emily Blunt.“It’s a giant ‘effing musical,” he said. “I feel really comfortable because coming from the theater, I know it’s a luxury to have a lot of rehearsal, but you don’t always get that when you’re making a movie. So for me, it feels like a theater project that we’re getting to put on film. I keep joking like, ‘When do we start previews? I can’t wait!’ I am dancing harder than I have danced since ‘In the Heights,’ because I didn’t dance that much in ‘Hamilton,’ and so getting to do that has been really fun, exciting, liberating. It’s been really good.”

Click through for the rest of the interview on Moana and the Oscars!

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How A Prince Concert Led Lionel Richie To Adopt Nicole
"I said, 'I’m never, ever going to leave you.'"

I knew bits and pieces of Nicole Richie’s backstory, but I’d never put it all together until this video series.

#TalkToMe is a new(ish) Huffington Post feature where children interview their parents.  Most of the featured videos are of famous folks (Ariana Huffington has one with her daughter) but anyone can film a video at home and send it in to possibly be featured for the segment.  In this webisode, Nicole Richie interviews her adoptive father Lionel and it happened to be a Prince concert that brought them together.

Sheila E. (E, short for Escovedo) was a musician in Prince’s ban before she broke out on her own with “Glamorous Life.”  (If you’re my friend and you’re reading this, you need that song in your life if you’re not readily familiar…and if you aren’t readily familiar, we probably ain’t that close anyway.)  Her brother Michael Escovedo was playing in Prince’s band after Sheila and dating Sheila’s personal assistant.  They had Nicole Richie, but neither of them were stable enough to raise a baby and Nicole got passed from relative to relative until she was adopted by Lionel Richie and his wife.

The legendary singer talked to his daughter about his roots in Tuskegee, Alabama, and his musical influences. He also opened up about how a Prince concert led him to an important “discovery.”

“The discovery was not the show for Prince,” Lionel said. “The discovery was: there’s a 2-year-old on stage with Prince playing a tambourine.”

That little tambourine player was Nicole, whom Lionel met backstage after the show. The singer, who knew Nicole’s biological parents, realized later that Nicole’s “family situation was falling apart” and wanted to help.

“I think we decided that … what we’ll do to kind of give you some stability was we’ll be like legal guardians, but nothing more,” he said.

That eventually led to Lionel and his then-wife, Brenda Harvey Richie, adopting Nicole. At this point, the “All Night Long” singer was at one of the heights of his career and explained to Nicole that while work required him to be gone for weeks and sometimes months at a time, he would always come back.

“I remember you had abandonment issues for obvious reasons. You’d been handed around to every relative in the family,” he said. “I remember what I said to you. I said, ‘I’m never, ever going to leave you.’”


I’d always assumed Lionel knew Nicole’s parents (which he did) but I hadn’t realized it was a Prince concert that provided the spark that led to adoption.  What a cute story just in time for Father’s Day about the Purple One bringing folks together.


Here’s What The Future Of Energy Might Look Like. And It’s Pretty Amazing (VIDEO)

You’re already familiar with solar power, wind power, and even water power. But when it comes to the future of energy, those renewable power sources soon could be old news. Scientists and engineers are now building mashup versions of the renewable sources we’re using today with the goal of generating power with even greater efficiency and sustainability.

“The next category is sort of putting together elements that already exist but haven’t been put together,” John Rogers, senior energy analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists, told The Huffington Post in a telephone interview. “What comes to mind is solar and wind… or putting solar panels in places they haven’t been put before.”

That’s not all. Work is continuing on fusion energy, and scientists are also exploring ways to harness energy from space. Check out the video above, and/or read the transcript below for four promising sources of energy that may power our future. Don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments below. C'mon, talk nerdy to me!

A Few Comments on Tony Goldwyn's Huffington Post Interview

Link to Tony Goldwyn’s Huffington Post interview (August, 2013). I’ve only reblogged questions/answers on which I want to comment. 

These questions were interesting in that some of them weren’t trite. On the other hand, the interviewer had a tendency to do the absolute most with some of her questions. It’s like she was trying to come up with unnecessarily convoluted theories (e.g. the question about Fitz pursuing Liv to get back at Rowan as the head of B-613; Fitz self-sabotaging by sending in Jake to watch Liv) to show how much attention she pays to the show. Anyway, good job Maggie. Here’s what I think of some parts of this interview.

MF: How soon this season will we find out who leaked [Olivia and Fitz’s relationship]?

TFG: Very soon. And you will be really shaken by it.

KP: The only culprits that would intrigue me are: Olivia, Fitz (unbeknownst to Olivia), David, Edison, babies Ella and Teddy.

MF: What is Fitz’s attitude and demeanor when we pick back up with Season 3? Back to the booze? Getting back on track politically? Reeling in any way from that big reveal?
TFG: You know, it’s interesting because all hell is breaking loose at the White House over this revelation, and Fitz is kind of trying to regain his center. I think he’s kind of the calm in the storm, in a way. He’s really determined to be a stabilizing force, if that’s even possible, because everyone is running around like chickens with their heads cut off. And Fitz is not having that. We’ll see him trying to think clear-headedly, even though that’s extremely difficult because he gets kind of buffeted at every turn.


KP: Pray tell, Tony. Why would Fitz be so calm in this midst of the mistress bomb? I would think that he would want to do everything in his power to protect Olivia’s good name. Unless…does Fitz know something the rest of the White House doesn’t? Like some sort of plan that he was privy to before said bomb dropped? I know there could be multiple reasons for his calm. On previous occasions when his personal life has been a topic of media concern he has either 1) threatened to give up the presidency (107); or 2) Told the media to fuck off (221). He won’t go with any of those routes this time. 

MF: And they’re usually involving Mellie. I mean, his head in her lap – come on, man!
TFG: Yeah, it killed me too. I couldn’t figure that one out! It was great – I thought it was a great story turn, but it was very hard to do.

KP: Tony, I love that you are not giving away a damn thing about what this visual plot twist–one that infuriated so many people–means for the new season. Again, I have a feeling we are being played with regard to that scene, but we shall see. Only 5 weeks to go.  

MF: I’m sure. Do you think Fitz and Mellie can ever be happy together again?
TFG: No. I don’t. I don’t think so. That’s just me – I have no idea what Shonda’s intending, but I don’t see it. I think Fitz knows that he and Olivia are supposed to be together … whether they ever will be is anyone’s guess, but I think once you know what he knows about Olivia, there’s no way you can backtrack and settle for a relationship like the one he has with Mellie. It’s just too toxic and too fraudulent on a lot of levels. Even though he has genuine respect and love for Mellie, and he feels a duty to her, but I think Fitz and Mellie are not good for each other.

KP: Welp. This man sure is consistent about how he sees the Mellitz ‘relationship’ (as opposed to 'marriage’). It’s pretty bold of him to come out and be so definitive in his statement against that relationship. Most actors wouldn’t do that if they had any inkling whatsoever that they would have to sell the legitimacy of that relationship down the line. They would express how they personally feel, but be non-committal in denouncing it. This is unmistakably a denouncement. One never can tell with Shonda Rhimes, but I’m going to foolishly believe that the future looks bright for that presidential divorce. 

MF: [Scott Foley] was telling me that you all are going to delve more into Jake and Fitz’s past connections this season. What can you tease about that?

TFG: Honestly I don’t know what I can tease, but I know that’s true – there’s lots of suggestions that that’s where we’re going. There’s a lot of dark tunnels we’re gonna be going down, I suspect, that dig up more details about Fitz and Jake. He’s a very interesting character who I think is just going to get more complicated as we go.

KP:YES! Flashbacks to the #Fake (Fitz + Jake) friendship is one of the few things I will cop to seriously wishing for in season 3. I don’t care if it’ s me all alone in a corner celebrating. 

MF: We know Fitz has secrets with his past in the Navy … do you want us to see more bad guy Fitz?
TFG: You haven’t seen it enough already? I already committed murder! [Laughs.] Absolutely. That’s the best thing about the show, I think – all of us are equal parts dark and light. I would be frustrated if Fitz suddenly became the squeaky-clean good guy. Then he’d be much less compelling. I think what makes him really interesting is you get really invested in him but he behaves as badly as anybody on this show.


MF: No please don’t spoil anything, but you can talk theories: We know they’re truly in love now, but is it possible that Fitz started out his relationship with Liv with the wrong intentions? To catch her father in his blindspot?

KP: Tony, hole up. Imma let you finish, but first, Maggie…is it?

Are you for even one second suggesting that my dear Fitzgerald, as Governor of the great state of California (fuck you RI, you aren’t the only one that’s great. I don’t care if your congressman is cute), knowingly pursued a relationship with Olivia Pope because he knew she was the daughter of Rowan Pope, head of B-613????

I don’t know where you are coming from on this. I’m not gonna call you crazy because almost anything can happen on this show. But this? 

Why would this make any sense? Would this not completely upend the very foundation of the central romance on the show?  Wait, am  I the idiot? I would have to write paragraphs on how much sense this does not make given the narrative we have received. And believe me, I know this text better than I know most of my family members. Right now I just feel like,


If you turn out to be right, I will be perturbed.  Alright, Tony. Hurry up and say whatchu gotta say, boo.

TFG: Oh my God. I hope not. Wow. Jeez – now you’ve got me worried! [Laughs.] Oh my God, I’m not gonna sleep tonight!

MF: Fitz seemed so devastated when he found out Liv and Jake had hooked up and yet … he sent Jake! Do you think he was self-sabotaging just a bit, knowing that it’d be hard to get re-elected as a divorced man now with his mistress?

KP: I have to interject myself before I get to Tony’s answer because this question is doing the absolute MOST. First, why would it be Fitz’s “fault” that Liv slept with Jake when that level of betrayal from Jake had not occurred to Fitz. Like, ever. Clearly he trusted him. Secondly, I don’t appreciate the paternalism of the question. Olivia chooses her suitors. She doesn’t  just fuck any handsome guy over 6 feet. Fitz doesn’t have any control over who Olivia chooses to allow between her magical thighs when the two of them aren’t together. Again, as I have previously said, Olivia’s sexual agency is not Fitz’s concern. She’s not his property, and therefore has no reason to feel betrayed by her for having sex with any guy when they are not together, let alone a friend she didn’t even fucking know about. Like, 


Ok, Tony, back to you. 

TFG: No … no, I don’t think so. I think Fitz completely trusted Jake in a moment when he was trusting absolutely nobody, and he needed desperately to have somebody he could rely on. Whatever their past bond is, he really trusted Jake. Even though he was devastated to find out that Olivia had slept with Jake, and that Jake had betrayed him … which was no small thing. I think he really had genuine trust and faith in Jake in a way that is very unique to people that’ve been in the kind of stuff that Jake and Fitz have been in together in the past. At the same time, I don’t think Fitz is really threatened by Jake. I think he knows Olivia loves him. So as much as he is angry and resentful and would want to kill Jake, it doesn’t make him question Olivia’s love for him.

KP:Tony, thanks for confirming that Fitz is not a paternalistic asshole. I understand Fitz was devastated that his best friend and love of his life had sex that I never want to see on my tv again. However, I’m glad your sense of betrayal lays with the party who knew the most and deliberately took advantage of his situation and your trust. Boo, hisss to him. 

MF: What has been your favorite “Scandal” scene so far?
TFG: You know what was really fun to do? [Laughs.] This sounds a little more superficial than it’s intended, but the love scene in the Oval Office, when we ended up making love on the desk … I just thought that was such a great scene. The playfulness of it, and what it said about the nature of Liv and Fitz’s chemistry, and the kind of incredibly boldness of Shonda Rhimes to create that scene in the first place, to have sex on the desk in the Oval Office. It was just so outrageous – that was really fun, and I loved doing it.

KP: Tony Goldwyn, 

Much has been said about this comment, so I’m not gonna go on and on about it. This man knows what he is doing with the things he says. He’s got an adorkable boyishness to him, but he’s extremely perceptive. 

MF: In a word, how would you describe Season 3 so far?
TFG: It’s not a word, but pushing the envelope. That’s the way I would describe it. Shonda’s continuing to forge ahead and surprise … there’s no repeats. It just continues in Season 3. I am really amazed at her ability to just keep driving forward. She’s just on fire.

KPHere’s hoping I feel like this about the surprises:

and not like this:

MF: Are you slated to direct any more episodes this season?
TFG: Yeah, I’m going to direct one in the second half. I’m not sure which one yet, but I know it’ll be in the second half.

KP: Couple of things. 1) Given the Olitz-heavy episode you directed in season 2, I am hoping the same for the second half of the 3rd season. Clearly this means that the arc of 3B has been at least outlined, even if the episodes haven’t been sketched out. I’m not gonna take this as an omen of bad news for Olitz in season 3A (first 12 episodes). 2) I’m mindful that he’s got a lot of prep-work to do for his own show which will start filming during the winter hiatus. I’m just hoping for more 220-like goodness. 

Get Off The Computer And Complete This Italian Teacher’s Summer Assignment. You Won’t Regret It.

A summer homework list assigned by Cesare Catà of Don Bosco High School in Fermo, a small town on the Adriatic Sea in northeastern Italy, is currently going viral across that country.

Instead of giving his students required reading assignments, Catà gave them a prescription for how to live an inspired life, telling them that in the next few months, they should take time to admire a sunrise, dream about the future and read, because reading is “the best form of rebellion you have.”

The Huffington Post interviewed Catà, who said he models his teaching methods on Mr. Keating, Robin Williams’ character in the 1989 film “Dead Poets Society.” “Surely a pupil could consider literature, philosophy or grammar as instruments to become himself,” Catà told HuffPost in an email. “I think that the radiance of summer, especially during adolescence, could have a special spiritual influence.”