Guess who’s my guest on this week’s “Just for Variety” podcast? Barbra Streisand! We talked about her new album “Release Me 2,” why we haven’t seen a Babs biopic à la “Rocketman” and the movie she still may direct. Check out our chat Aug. 6 on Variety.com, at Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.
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Attention, Marvel Studios: Eugenio Derbez wants to play a villain in the MCU. “I’m not the kind of guy who is tough, so I would like to do something sweet but very mean,” the actor tells me. “I want to be extremely mean — but something very smiley and charming.” In his latest film, “CODA,” Derbez shows off his dramatic chops playing a high school music teacher who inspires one of his students (Emilia Jones), whose parents are deaf, to pursue her dream of becoming a singer. He learned how to play piano for the role. “My teacher was the same who was coaching Ryan Gosling for “La La Land,” he says.
Known for his comedy in his native Mexico, Derbez had a hard time getting dramatic roles. “In my country nobody would hire me for drama because I was doing comedy my entire life,” he says. “Every time I wanted to do drama, they were like, ‘What are you talking about? You’re the funny guy. If I put you in my movie, everyone’s gonna laugh.’ I was frustrated.” He moved to the U.S. seven years ago: “I started receiving other offers like ‘CODA’ or ‘Miracles From Heaven.’ I was like finally now I can start from zero and start another kind of career.”
Derbez hopes that audiences will opt to see the movie — which Apple bought for a record-breaking $25 million at Sundance — in theaters. “When you’re at your house, the phone rings, the dog barks, people are talking to you,” he says. “There are so many things that distract you from the movie. So I don’t like it. I hope that people can go to theaters and watch it first there.” As I recently first reported, Derbez is developing a family adventure movie based on the Lotería card game for Netflix. “It’s going to be like a ‘Jumanji’ kind of film,” he says. “So it’s like the Latin ‘Jumanji.’
Speaking of streaming, über-producer Charles Roven understands why studios are resorting to day-and-date releases, but he also says, “I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’m a huge fan of a simultaneous release of a whole slate.” I caught up with Roven at the premiere of his latest movie, Warner Bros.’ “The Suicide Squad.” “You get some revenue flow from simultaneous release, but you’re actually cannibalizing the different windows. … There’s no way of getting that big jump of grosses you get with each individual window.” He adds, “I’m hopeful that when COVID is over we’ll go back to maybe not the exact kind of window we’ve had for theatrical but a discrete window.”
EXCLUSIVE: Aaron Carter is no stranger to taking his clothes off. So much so that the 33-year-old former child star even has an NSFW OnlyFans account. Now Carter is going full Monty in person. He’s joining the Las Vegas production of “Naked Boys Singing!,” a campy 60-minute gay musical revue in which the all-male cast perform in their birthday suits. “I think the naked body is a beautiful thing,” says Carter, who identifies as bisexual. “We were all born naked. I love doing OnlyFans. I’ve been an OnlyFans model for over a year now, and people are very uplifting. They make you feel attractive and good about yourself. I love that social media platform more than any other platform. It’s not about the money. It’s about the fans.” Carter’s run in “Naked Boys,” which is produced by Tom D’Angora and Nick Padgett, begins Sept. 8 at the Jewel Box Theatre.
<img class="size-full wp-image-1234971431" src="https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/pray-away-doc.jpg" alt=". - Credit: Courtesy of Tribeca Film Institute" width="1000" height="563" srcset="https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/pray-away-doc.jpg 1000w, https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/pray-away-doc.jpg?resize=150,84 150w, https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/pray-away-doc.jpg?resize=300,169 300w, https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/pray-away-doc.jpg?resize=125,70 125w, https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/pray-away-doc.jpg?resize=681,383 681w, https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/pray-away-doc.jpg?resize=450,253 450w, https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/pray-away-doc.jpg?resize=250,140 250w" sizes="(min-width: 87.5rem) 1000px, (min-width: 78.75rem) 681px, (min-width: 48rem) 450px, (max-width: 48rem) 250px" />Courtesy of Tribeca Film Institute
Please watch “Pray Away.” The Netflix documentary, produced by Ryan Murphy and Jason Blum, chronicles the rise and eventual closing of Exodus International, a Bible-based organization that practiced horrific gay conversion therapy. Director Kristine Stolakis tears up when talking about the inspiration for the film — her late uncle, who was sent to conversion therapy because he identified as transgender. “He never came to terms with who he was, so I think this would be a really hard film for him to process,” she says. “That is a strange reality to live with because I made this film out of grief and love for him. I would happily trade this film for his life.” When I ask Stolakis if she’s planning on adapting the film as a scripted feature, she smiles before teasing, “There’s nothing I can share officially, but it’s a great question.”
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