Dear Mattel, thank you for finally acknowledging that Barbie promotes a negative body image to young girls. Thank you for now offering three other body types for Barbie: Curvy, Tall and Petite. May I suggest a few more?
Denzel Washington and Michael B. Jordan in “Fences”?
Deadline.com reports that rumor (or perhaps just someone's brilliant wishful thinking) and says that Tony Kushner of “Angels in America” fame has been brought in to help pull together the screenplay for “Fences.”
The late August Wilson wrote a screenplay based on his play – reportedly adding locations such as a bar and making characters simply referenced on stage into full-blooded people who appear, I’ve heard – and Kushner and Washington may be using that to forge a screenplay.
The website also reports that producers want to shoot “Fences” in 35 to 40 days and have it ready by year’s end. April could bring the possible start of filming in Pittsburgh.
No word yet on any opportunities for local actors seeking speaking roles or those wanting to be extras or even if Viola Davis will be able to reprise her role as the wife of Washington’s character.
For Deadline report:
Photo of August Wilson by Bill Wade/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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Right winger Lee Stempniak received a small honor last week when he was named the NHL's second star of the week. It capped off a stretch of three games in which Stempniak had four goals and one assist.
Did the recognition mean a lot to Stempniak?
"No, not really," he said. "I mean it's nice. I think it's more of a reflection of how our line has played and how our team has played as a whole."
Stempniak had been a surprising part to an equally surprising Devils team. Initially brought to New Jersey on a professional tryout contract this past offseason by Ray Shero, his former general manager in Pittsburgh, Stempniak is the Devils' second leading scorer with 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) in 50 games. That offensive output has helped the rebuilding Devils, to surge to a 25-20-5 record and playoff contention.
Movement isn't anything new for Stempniak. He has played on eight teams in his 11 NHL seasons including five in the past three seasons alone.
Earlier this week, prior to the Devils' game against the Penguins in Consol Energy Center, Stempniak talked about his life as an NHL nomad.
What was it like this past offseason waiting until late into the summer for a contract?
"It was a difficult summer in terms of not knowing where I was going to be. Having to wade through the offers and opportunities and ultimately decided to come to New Jersey. There's some comfort for me knowing [general manager Ray Shero] knew me as a person, as a player. It was a fresh start with New Jesey. New [general manager], new coaches and some openings for new players and that was really appealing to me. The opportunity to go to a team and not just make a team but I really believed I could play a big role on the team. I'm proud of the fact that I've been able to do that but I had a lot of belief in myself and New Jersey was the right fit."
From your brief time in Pittsburgh, did you know anything about John Hynes during his time as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins coach?
"Just from guys coming up. Guys that were sort of up and down, really liked him, said he he was a great coach. Heard great things. I knew [left winger] Bobby Farnham from being around Boston [during] summers and he spoke really highly of him. I've been impressed since day one."
What is it like playing for Hynes?
"He's a great communicator. I think that's the one thing that coaches now, the good communicators need to clearly lay out what their plan is for the team, their identity for the team. The coaches all use video very well to drive those those points home. He's intense. He's very fair. He knows how to get us to play the best way. The system he has for us really suits our team. It's a credit to the coaching staff and the players they brought in."
This is the second year you've gotten a contract late into the offseason. Does that ever get routine or scary?
"I wouldn't say scary. I guess disappointing in a sense that you have a young family and you want to get situated and be ready to go. I really had a lot of confidence and belief in myself. I feel like I had a good year last year in New York and finished very strong in Winnipeg. I knew I could play. It was just the matter of finding the right opportunity. The way the system was, there was a lot of contracts that didn't go up much. It was sort of a log jam for a lot of players. For me, the important thing was to not be bitter about anything. To go in with a clear mind and be motivated. I approached it the same way as when I went to New York last year. It was a one-year contract with a new coach, a new organization. They didn't know anything about me. I had to go out and have a good training camp and earn a role or ice time. That's been my story my whole career."
You've been with five teams in three seasons. Is that harder on or off the ice?
"Off the ice I'd say. The last two years, I've been separated from my family. When I was here, I got traded to Pittsburgh, my daughters were five days old and they were in the [neonatal intensive-care unit] for a month because they were [born] six weeks early. Fortunately, I got to go home I think four times during that time I was here and spend the day. Last year, I didn't see the wife and kids for two and a half month when I was in Winnipeg. That part of it is hard. I understand that's part of the business. That's nothing compared to people who are in the military or stuff like that. But to me, that's the hardest part."
On the flip side, you're clearly in demand. That's a good problem.
"It is. I've been on expiring contracts. Last year with New York, they won the Presidents' Trophy so that was a case of going to another playoff team but in the past, with teams at the bottom of the standings, going to playoff teams on expiring contracts. So it's sort of circumstantial in a sense."
(Photos: Getty Images)
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You know the commercial.
The one from October 1979 with "Mean" Joe Greene drinking a Coke and tossing his jersey to a kid — "Hey kid, catch! ... Thanks, 'Mean' Joe!" — and warming the hearts of a nation.
Well, if you don't know it, watch the original commercial below:
That kid, Tommy Okon, is all grown up, and People has the story of his reunion with Greene. The two discuss why the commercial was such a hit.
"That commercial's kind of what Joe is: tough, football player, who's a nice guy," Okon said.
The reunion was part of a CBS special called Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2. Watch a clip from the special below: