VIOLETT BEANE TALKS “GOD FRIENDED ME” AND HER LOVE OF BAKING 0 122

With credits including appearances in The Leftovers and The Resident to her name, it was her role of Jessie Quick in the smash-hit CW series The Flash that saw Violett Beane truly come to global attention. She’s currently starring in the CBS show God Friended Me and with a secret film project lined up, ThisIsTheLatest caught up with the talented actress to discuss her early career ambitions, what she does with her downtime and her support of environmental and animal causes.

TITL: You fell in love with performing while in middle and high school, but prior to that, did you have any other career ambitions? What was and is it about acting and performing that makes you so passionate about it?

Violett Beane: I wanted to open a bakery! I love baking and creating recipes. I might still do that someday, you never know! I was raised in Austin, Texas which is where I really found my creative side. I went to an arts high school that technically you had to apply for, and I was in theatre for a long time. I just loved acting and performing. When it came to senior year, I realized I didn’t really want to go to college necessarily at that point in time. So I decided to commit fully to my passion and I found a local agent in Austin and just started sending in taped auditions for film and television.

TITL: You’re perhaps best known for your role of Jesse Quick on The Flash. Looking back, do you have any favourite memories of being on set and what impact did being part of such a successful show have on you both personally and professionally?

VB: One of my favorite memories was my very first day on set. I was so nervous but luckily, the scene was with Tom Cavanagh and he was so nice and really helped me that first day.

The biggest impact was just honestly how much I learned. You learn something different from every set but with The Flash, I was really just learning the basics and what it meant to be on a high-production television show and working with that great cast and crew. Also, the fans were just so supportive and loyal from Day 1 and that has been so amazing to experience.

TITL: You’ve also starred in The Leftovers and The Resident, as well as featured alongside Lucy Hale in the film Truth Or Dare. How important to you is it that you’re able to take on a varied number of roles, and how much character prep do you tend to do for each?

VB: Very important! I want to learn and experience new situations and expand my craft with each role and I have been very lucky so far to be able to have that chance. As far as prep, I do research before each role. For example with The Flash, I went right away to a local comic book store in Austin and bought as many comics with Jesse Quick as I could.

TITL: What’s been the highlight of your professional career so far?

VB: Very hard question! But I have to say that putting on the super suit as Jesse Quick for the first time was crazy to experience! It’s not every day you get to be a superhero.

TITL: Your new show, God Friended Me premiered fairly recently and was picked up for a full season by CBS. What drew you to audition for the show and the part of Cara? What can you tell me about your character?

VB: Well when I was auditioning during pilot season last year, I was reading a ton of scripts and going in multiple times a day for things. It was honestly one of the only ones that I read that really left me feeling uplifted and positive at the end of it. I think with the world we’re in right now, we kind of need something like this.

God Friended Me is about an atheist who gets friended by someone calling themselves God on Facebook. He ignores the request because he doesn’t believe in God and he thinks someone is messing with him. Eventually he accepts it and he starts getting these friend suggestions for people. He sort of ends up being a change in their lives. I play Cara Bloom, she’s an online journalist and she ends up being one of the friend suggestions that Miles gets. In the pilot, you see that she struggles with the fact that her mother left when she was really young. She came to New York in search of her and she’s actually found her, but she doesn’t really know how to take the next step. That’s when Miles and the God account enter. Then she decides to stick around after they’ve helped her. Each week, there is a new “friend suggestion”.

TITL: What would you say makes God Friended Me different from the many other shows out there and how would you sum it up in a few words? What is its unique selling point?

VB: I think the show is very uplifting and ultimately is about inclusivity and connectivity and it does this by showing different beliefs and lifestyles.

TITL: If you could appear in any other show, past or present, which would it be and why?

VB: There’s so many great shows! But what immediately comes to mind right now is Orphan Black. That show was so amazing and it’s a dream to someday work with Tatiana Maslany. Also, I am currently obsessed with Killing Eve. I can’t wait for season 2!

TITL: Are there any other upcoming projects you can tell me about or are you just waiting for the next ‘right’ role to come along?

VB: Right now God Friended Me is keeping me pretty busy and I will be shooting the series until spring. But I am also going to be shooting a film next year. I can’t talk details yet but I think fans will be really excited once the news gets out.

TITL: Away from acting, you’re passionate about environmental and animal causes such as Meatless Mondays, and have partnered with PETA for a campaign. How important do you feel it is for people with a platform such as yourself in particular, to use said platform to speak up about the issues that matter to them, and do you wish more individuals would do the same?

VB: With my social media and in life, I don’t try to force my beliefs on people but rather try to start the conversation. I have learned people have a lot of opinions and they’re often times fear base opinions. When I did the PETA campaign, I got a lot of comments from people saying, ‘Why do you have to shove this down our throats? Why are you putting this in front of us?’ Some people are very passionate when they feel that something is going to be taken away from them and fear is what drives negativity, I believe. It is a defense mechanism and I feel that once we are able to break that wall and be open and just have a conversation, things could be better. So spreading awareness is the biggest key and I just want people to not go blindly into their choices.

TITL: Finally then, given that filming and performing can be tiring, especially with long shoots, what do you like to do for down-time? Do you have a favourite vacation spot or one particular hobby you indulge in?

VB: I bake! I love creating yummy vegan and gluten-free donuts, cookies, brownies. You name it! And of course, spending time with my bunny, Milo, and puppy, Kora. I also love traveling and my favorite place so far has been Thailand.

God Friended Me is airing Sundays on CBS and you can keep up to date with Violett by following her on Twitter and Instagram. Header photo credit: Storm Santos.

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2019 GRAMMY WINNERS ANNOUNCED 0 16

Dua Lipa, Kacey Musgraves and Childish Gambino were among the big winners at this year’s Grammy Awards.

Country-pop star Musgraves took home four prizes in total, including Album of the Year for Golden Hour. The singer-songwriter, who bagged the top prize over the likes of Cardi B, Drake and Janelle Monae, thanked her “sweet husband” during her acceptance speech, who she met and fell in love with during the recording of the collection.

Musgraves also picked up awards for Best Country Album, Best Country Solo Performance for Butterflies and Best Country Song for Space Cowboy. Golden Hour is the singer’s first Top 10 on the Official UK Albums Chart, debuting at Number 6 upon its released last April.

Meanwhile, Dua Lipa won Best New Artist and Best Dance Recording for her Silk City collaboration Electricity. The singer thanked her fans, “who have allowed me to be the best version of myself.”

Lipa also paid tribute to the “many female artists” in the category, adding: “I guess this year we’ve really stepped up”. The comment was a not-so-subtle dig at Grammys president Neil Portnow, who last year brushed off criticism of the lack of female winners by saying women needed to “step up” in order to be considered.

Elsewhere, Childish Gambino won Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Music Video of the Year for This Is America, and Lady Gaga picked up prizes for Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Pop Duo Performance, the latter for Bradley Cooper duet Shallow from A Star Is Born.

Here are the winners and nominees from the 2019 Grammy Awards:
Album Of The Year — Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves
Record Of The Year — “This Is America,” Childish Gambino
Best New Artist — Dua Lipa
Best Rap Album — Invasion Of Privacy, Cardi B
Best R&B Album — H.E.R., H.E.R.
Best Rap Song — “God’s Plan,” Drake
Best Country Album — Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves
Song Of The Year — “This Is America,” Childish Gambino
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance — “Shallow,” Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical — Pharrell Williams
Best Rap/Sung Performance — “This Is America,” Childish Gambino
Best Rap Performance — King’s Dead, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake / Bubblin, Anderson .Paak
Best Rock Album — From The Fires, Greta Van Fleet
Best Rock Song — “Masseduction” St. Vincent
Best Metal Performance — Electric Messiah, High On Fire
Best Rock Performance — When Bad Does Good, Chris Cornell
Best Urban Contemporary Album — Everything Is Love, The Carters
Best R&B Song — “Boo’d Up,” Ella Mai
Best Traditional R&B Performance — Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand, Leon Bridges / How Deep Is Your Love, Pj Morton Featuring Yebba
Best R&B Performance — Best Part H.E.R. Featuring Daniel Caesar
Best Latin Jazz Album — Back To The Sunset, Dafnis Prieto Big Band
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album — American Dreamers: Voices Of Hope, Music Of Freedom, John Daversa Big Band Featuring Daca Artists
Best Jazz Instrumental Album — Emanon, The Wayne Shorter Quartet
Best Jazz Vocal Album — The Window, Cécile Mclorin Salvant
Best Improvised Jazz Solo — Don’t Fence Me In, John Daversa
Best Reggae Album — 44/876, Sting & Shaggy
Best Dance/Electronic Album — Woman Worldwide, Justice
Best Dance Recording — Electricity, Silk City & Dua Lipa Featuring Diplo & Mark Ronson
Best Contemporary Classical Composition — Kernis: Violin Concerto, James Ehnes, Ludovic Morlot & Seattle Symphony
Best Classical Compendium — Fuchs: Piano Concerto ‘Spiritualist’; Poems Of Life; Glacier; Rush, Joann Falletta
Best Classical Solo Vocal Album — Songs Of Orpheus – Monteverdi, Caccini, D’india & Landi, Karim Sulayman
Best Classical Instrumental Solo — Kernis: Violin Concerto, James Ehnes
Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance — Anderson, Laurie: Landfall, Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet
Best Choral Performance — Mcloskey: Zealot Canticles, Donald Nally
Best Opera Recording — Bates: The (R)Evolution Of Steve Jobs, Michael Christie, Garrett Sorenson, Wei Wu, Sasha Cooke, Edward Parks & Jessica E. Jones
Best Orchestral Performance — Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 11, Andris Nelsons
Producer Of The Year, Classical — Blanton Alspaugh
Best Engineered Album, Classical — Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 11, Andris Nelsons & Boston Symphony Orchestra
Best Pop Vocal Album — Sweetener, Ariana Grande
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album — My Way, Willie Nelson
Best Pop Solo Performance — Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?), Lady Gaga
Best Country Song — “Space Cowboy,” Kacey Musgraves
Best Country Duo/Group Performance — Tequila, Dan + Shay
Best Country Solo Performance — “Butterflies,” Kacey Musgraves
Best Music Film — Quincy, Quincy Jones
Best Music Video — “This Is America,” Childish Gambino
Best Regional Roots Music Album — No ‘Ane’I, Kalani Pe’a
Best Tropical Latin Album — Anniversary, Spanish Harlem Orchestra
Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano) — ¡México Por Siempre!, Luis Miguel
Best Latin Rock, Urban Or Alternative Album — Aztlán, Zoé
Best Latin Pop Album — Sincera, Claudia Brant
Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling) — Faith – A Journey For All, Jimmy Carter
Best Children’s Album — All The Sounds, Lucy Kalantari & The Jazz Cats
Best Folk Album — All Ashore, Punch Brothers
Best Contemporary Blues Album — Please Don’t Be Dead, Fantastic Negrito
Best Traditional Blues Album — The Blues Is Alive And Well, Buddy Guy
Best Bluegrass Album — The Travelin’ Mccourys, The Travelin’ Mccourys
Best Americana Album — By The Way, I Forgive You, Brandi Carlile
Best American Roots Song — The Joke, Brandi Carlile
Best American Roots Performance — The Joke, Brandi Carlile
Best New Age Album — Opium Moon, Opium Moon
Best Song Written For Visual Media — “Shallow,” Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media — Black Panther, Ludwig Göransson
Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media — The Greatest Showman, Hugh Jackman (& Various Artists)
Best World Music Album — Freedom, Soweto Gospel Choir
Best Roots Gospel Album — Unexpected, Jason Crabb
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album — Look Up Child, Lauren Daigle
Best Gospel Album — Hiding Place, Tori Kelly
Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song — “You Say,” Lauren Daigle
Best Gospel Performance/Song — “Never Alone,” Tori Kelly Featuring Kirk Franklin
Best Contemporary Instrumental Album — Steve Gadd Band, Steve Gadd Band
Best Immersive Audio Album — Eye In The Sky – 35th Anniversary Edition, The Alan Parsons Project
Best Remixed Recording — “Walking Away (Mura Masa Remix),” Haim
Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical — Colors, Beck
Best Historical Album — Voices Of Mississippi: Artists And Musicians Documented By William Ferris
Best Album Notes — Voices Of Mississippi: Artists And Musicians Documented By William Ferris
Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package — Squeeze Box: The Complete Works Of “Weird Al” Yankovic, Weird Al Yankovic
Best Recording Package — Masseduction, St. Vincent
Best Arrangement, Instruments And Vocals — “Spiderman Theme,” Randy Waldman Featuring Take 6 & Chris Potter
Best Arrangement, Instrumental Or A Cappella — “Stars And Stripes Forever,” John Daversa Big Band Featuring Daca Artists
Best Instrumental Composition — Blut Und Boden (Blood And Soil), Terence Blanchard
Best Alternative Music Album — “Colors,” Beck
Best Musical Theater Album — The Band’s Visit, Original Broadway Cast
Best Comedy Album — Equanimity & The Bird Revelation, Dave Chappelle

HUGH JACKMAN TO PERFORM AT THE 2019 BRIT AWARDS 0 23

We are so excited to announce that multi award-winning actor and performer Hugh Jackman is set to open the show with a performance from the global musical sensation The Greatest Showman.

This show-stopping BRITs performance will be under the creative direction of Michael Gracey, the film’s director.

Hugh Jackman has carved a successful career both on stage in front of live crowds. From his award-winning turn on Broadway as the 1970s singer/songwriter Peter Allen, to Wolverine in the blockbuster X-Men franchise, he has proven to be one of the most versatile actors of our time. Jackman garnered his first Academy Award® nomination for Best Actor for his performance in Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables, and his standout performance as protagonist Jean Valjean also earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical, as well as SAG Award® nominations for both Best Ensemble and Best Male Actor in a leading role, and a BAFTA Award nomination. Most recently, he was nominated for his role as P.T. Barnum in The Greatest Showman. His ‘The Man, The Music, The Show’ World Tour will kick off this May, which includes five nights at The O2 Arena, London.

The Greatest Showman has taken the world by storm since its theatrical release at the end of 2017, hitting the top spot in the UK by early 2018 and becoming the most purchased home entertainment release after Avengers Infinity War and Star Wars The Last Jedi.

The film’s soundtrack, composed by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, was the UK’s best selling album of last year, topping the charts in several countries including the US, Australia, UK and Japan and reaching No. 1 on iTunes in over 70 countries. The 5x Platinum certified soundtrack has to date sold over 5.4 million records worldwide, with 1.77 million sold in the UK, and is the second album in 30 years to spend 11 consecutive weeks at No. 1 in the UK, equalling the record set by Adele for her album ‘21’, and was the longest running soundtrack at No. 1 in 50 years. ‘This is Me’, taken from the soundtrack, won a Golden Globe for ‘Best Original Song’ and was nominated for an Academy Award; the soundtrack was also up for two GRAMMY awards, and last night was announced as winner of Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media.

BRITs Chairman and Chairman & CEO of Sony Music UK and Ireland Jason lley said:
“We are delighted to welcome the Golden Globe and Tony Award winning superstar Hugh Jackman to the BRITs stage this month with a performance that is set to be nothing short of spectacular. The Greatest Showman soundtrack dominated the charts in 2018 breaking records all over the world as well as here in the UK. It’s only fitting that the UK’s biggest celebration of musical successes should be kicked off with a performance from the biggest selling album in the UK of the last year.”

The Greatest Showman is the latest performance to be revealed for The BRITs, following the announcements of P!nk, Calvin Harris with Dua Lipa, Sam Smith and Rag’n’Bone Man, Jess Glynne with H.E.R., The 1975, George Ezra, Little Mix with Ms Banks and Jorja Smith for the UK’s biggest night in music.

The BRIT Awards 2019 with Mastercard take place Wednesday 20th February at The O2 Arena, London, broadcast exclusively on ITV and hosted by Jack Whitehall. Clara Amfo and Alice Levine will be back to host this year’s Red Carpet show on ITV2 on the night of the awards for the third year running.