Jennifer Lopez Posts Passionate Ben Affleck Kiss on Instagram

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez have now officially shared PDA on Instagram. For Lopez’s 52nd birthday, she posted a carousel of photos of her celebrating on a yacht in St. Tropez.

“5 2 … what it do …,” she captioned the series of photos.

The very last photo in the carousel might be of interest to Bennifer fans who have been waiting for this moment:

jennifer lopez ben affleck pda insta debut

Jennifer LopezInstagram

Here is the full series of photos:

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She also posted this video of her showing off her birthday look as she rings in 52:

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J.Lo and Affleck technically went Instagram official on Thursday night, when they appeared in an Instagram grid photo with Leah Remini at Remini’s birthday party. The photo was in a series seen in this video:

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Eagle-eyed fans caught it, though.

jennifer lopez and ben affleck


Today marks the first time the pair have kissed on Instagram, and it comes two months after the two were first speculated to have gotten back together.

In early May, they were seen on vacation together in Montana.

“Ben and Jen spent several days together in Montana,” a source told Us Weekly then. “It was just the two of them on vacation together. Big Sky is a special place to Ben.”

A source later told E! that the two were happy making a relationship work long-distance:

“They have no problem meeting up wherever,” the source said. “Ben is happy to be a part of her life in Miami, where they spent a lot of time at home being low-key and relaxing together. They have had a great few days that feels effortless and easy.”

Lopez has since made the move from Miami and has been seen looking at houses in L.A., with her kids and Affleck in tow.

“They’re spending all of their free time together and making each other a priority. J.Lo falls hard and has certainly done the same with Ben again this time around,” a source told Entertainment Tonight in July. “Ben is a guy’s guy and does his own thing, which J.Lo loves. He has his own life and is famous in a different way than she is and is not trying to compete with her by any means. They just support and love each other.”

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Who Is Malcolm McRae? – Meet Anya Taylor-Joy’s Rumored Boyfriend

Anya Taylor-Joy has kept her personal life as private as she can manage as her Hollywood profile grows. But ahead of The Queen’s Gambit actress’s Saturday Night Live hosting gig in May 2021, Taylor-Joy was photographed making out with musician Malcolm McRae in New York City. The photos sparked dating rumors—and come after Taylor-Joy spoke about having a partner in her ELLE May 2021 interview.

Taylor-Joy has not explicitly confirmed that she and McRae are dating, but they didn’t exactly hide their romantic connection in the city. According to Page Six, the two were seen holding hands and kissing multiple times while walking around the Big Apple.

anya taylorjoy and malcolm mcrae kissing in nyc

On July 23, The Sun’s “Bizarre Column” by Simon Boyle reported that McRae “has practically moved into [Taylor-Joy’s] L.A. home.”

“They are inseparable and spend all of their time together,” a source close to Taylor-Joy reportedly told Boyle. “Her schedule is really hectic because she is so in demand following The Queen’s Gambit, but he is always there for her.”

The source continued: “Malcolm is practically living with her at her home in L.A. now, and they spend every night together.”

Here, all about McRae’s career and what’s known about his relationship with Taylor-Joy.

McRae is a 27-year-old musician and actor.

Per McRae’s IMDB bio, McRae “was ‘discovered’ at the AMTC (talent competition) among 1,100 hopeful actors at age 12, where he won Over All Young Actor, 2006.” McRae starred in a short film, Brotherly, in 2008 and played Gene Grady in 2020’s How’dy!.

Music is McRae’s real focus though. His IMDB bio cites him as playing “guitar and piano” and singing “pop, folk, rockabilly, rock and musical theatre.” On his Instagram, McRae plugs his rock band More’s music, most recently posting footage of himself playing his song “Settled In” in April.

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More is a two-member group that McRae and Kane Ritchotte (formerly of Portugal The Man) created and that is signed with Warner Records. The band is verified on Spotify and has been together for over three years now. They released the first half of their two-part EP, 1/2, last summer.

In a July 2020 interview with Rain magazine, McRae spoke about his history with Ritchotte and the creation process for 1/2. “The writing process was a span over three or so years,” he said. “Kane and I were doing solo projects individually and had a few songs we had written and recorded separately. We met up and decided it was fun to write together and bring our songs together. So we finished 10 songs over about three years.”

McRae is originally from Alabama.

According to More’s Spotify bio, McRae came to Los Angeles from the South a few years ago. As the band wrote, “Malcolm had only recently fallen in love with a young woman and followed his foolish heart, dropping everything to move to Los Angeles. Well, his heart was mistaken. The relationship was a disaster. But the music that followed wasn’t. Within a week of meeting, the two [McRae and Ritchotte] realized that the music they made together transcended what either was doing alone.”

McRae spoke to American Songwriter 10 months ago about how he worked as a paralegal in Pasadena, California, and wrote song lyrics for “Elaborate Attraction” while at his desk job.

In his Rain interview, McRae spoke more about the inspiration behind “Elaborate Attraction” and how his late father influenced its lyrics. “My dad was an investment banker,” McRae said. “He passed away when I was eighteen, but that song revolves around and is based on some of his life. He studied classics at an Ivy League school and so the reference to Joseph Campbell, that’s what we took the video from. We wanted it to be an antihero’s journey. All 17 points of Campbell’s hero journey… we wanted to make them super menial tasks with an incredibly small reward for each task. It symbolizes what the song is about which is nature versus nurture.” McRae’s brother Keene McRae directed the music video for the single, and its YouTube video has gotten more than 93,000 views.

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McRae told Rain that music helped him and Ritchotte get through the coronavirus pandemic mental health-wise. “I’m grateful for the outlet and you don’t need many resources to write music, you know?” he said. “If we didn’t have that in this quarantine, I would be entirely morbidly depressed and unfulfilled. I mean, I don’t know how anybody’s survived. I don’t know how not everybody is writing an album right now.

Taylor-Joy first spoke about having a partner in March 2021.

Taylor-Joy and McRae’s exact timeline is not clear nor has either explicitly confirm they’re dating. But the 25-year-old actress spoke to ELLE three days after the Golden Globes, indicating she had a significant other in March 2021 while explaining why she was doing her Zoom interview from her bathroom.

“My partner’s just come back from work, and he’s moving around all of his equipment, so this was the safe spot,” she said. She didn’t offer any more details on who he is, how long they’ve been together, and didn’t confirm outright that they were living together.

Taylor-Joy did open up to Vanity Fair earlier this year about a past relationship ending right before she began production on Emma in March 2019, meaning her relationship with McRae is likely more recent.

“Prior to filming [Emma] I’d just had a devastating breakup, and it had challenged everything,” she said. “I was just incredibly insecure and very, very unsafe in my own skin.” Taylor-Joy had been working constantly during that time, immersing herself in the characters she played while not taking the time to learn about who she is.

She could go into an art gallery and recognize the pieces each character she played would like, “but I had no idea what I liked,” she said. “I had no clue of what I would choose for myself. I’m sitting here talking to you, and for the first time, I’m like, I know what I like. I know what I, as a person, enjoy!… The whole of 2019 was me becoming a woman, essentially.”

Taylor-Joy and McRae both follow each other on Instagram.

In a subtle sign of their ties to each other, both Taylor-Joy and McRae follow each other on Instagram. Neither Taylor-Joy nor McRae have posted about each other though or liked the other’s Instagram posts. It’s a choice that helps keep their relationship as off-line and private as possible.

anya and malcolm following each other on instagram


anya and malcolm following each other on instagram


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After 25 Years of ‘The Daily Show,’ Its Creators Revisit Their Legacy—And Their Regrets

If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then The Daily Show must have a monstrous ego. Only a handful of television forms have inspired the same number of byproducts, wannabes, dupes, spin-offs, and successors as the 25-year-old newsroom satire-cum-talk-show. It’s easy to trace many American late-night hits, from Late Night with Seth Meyers to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver to Jimmy Kimmel Live!, back to The Daily Show, which launched with host Craig Kilborn in 1996 but reached its cultural apex with Jon Stewart at the helm. Televised political comedy in the U.S. would likely not exist in its current form without the scrappy cable program as guide and guardian. So it’s all the more arresting that the show, which has propelled the careers of more than a few prominent white men, was, in fact, created by two women.

Madeline Smithberg and Lizz Winstead have already stated for the public record that their influence on The Daily Show feels “erased.” The writer-producer duo, both veterans of The Jon Stewart Show when they migrated to Comedy Central in 1995, lived in the same apartment building in Chelsea at the time. Their friendship was seismic; together, they had undeniably smart ideas. Although they had both left The Daily Show by the end of 2003, they were nevertheless the orchestrators of its genesis. They created the format, they brought in the talent, and—sometimes—they broke the news.

“It’s one of those things where, if you went back in time and tried to do it again, you could never recreate it,” Smithberg says, as she and Winstead prepare for a 25-year anniversary celebration. The two of them are—somehow, impossibly—electric over Zoom. They frequently talk over each other, leaning back and belly-laughing as the other finishes her sentences. They are clearly thrilled to be recognized for their contribution to modern comedy.

stephen colbert and jon stewart on the daily show in 2015

Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart on The Daily Show in 2015.

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Yet, the pair are not without any regrets. They discuss The Daily Show as if it were a slightly insolent firstborn child—adored, even favored, but uncontrollable. The satire has become its own beast; it has taken on a life and a breed that features only pieces of what Smithberg and Winstead created in 1996.

And yet, this is still The Daily Show we’re talking about. It is still one of the first of its kind. And it’s their baby.

Today, the two of them are shepherding their own separate projects: Smithberg is the host of “Mad in the Kitchen,” a YouTube cooking show, and Winstead co-founded Abortion Access Front, a reproductive health organization fueled by comedy. As they now reflect on 25 years since their first episodes of The Daily Show, they shared with ELLE their thoughts on what Trump did for comedy; what today’s talk shows are missing; what they’re most proud to have created; and what, even now, they regret.

I’d imagine it’s bizarre to have lived through a quarter of a century of The Daily Show.

Madeline Smithberg: It’s like—so I get those silly LinkedIn notifications when people are celebrating work anniversaries, and this recent one was for one of the first people we ever hired when we were still in the Comedy Central building. “Congratulate her on 25 years at The Daily Show.” And I dropped my phone! I was like, “That’s not possible because I’m only 27.”

You were a very precocious 2-year-old, then.

MS: Yeah, I was very, very ambitious.

So where did the nugget of an idea that was The Daily Show originate? How did you know it was something with legs?

MS: The Daily Show was really an obsession of Doug Herzog, who was the president of Comedy Central at the time. When Doug got to Comedy Central, he had a bone to pick, and he was obsessed with SportsCenter. His mandate for himself, for Comedy Central as a network, was to create its version of SportsCenter.

Lizz Winstead: That makes me laugh every time I think about it. We were like, “Uh huh, SportsCenter!” And then, “We’ve never seen SportsCenter.”

MS: My son is a giant sports nut, so SportsCenter would get its revenge years later. But anyway, when [Doug] first got to Comedy Central, he came to me and wanted me to be the head of original programming. And I was like, “Do I look like an executive to you?”

And then they offered me The Daily Show. And I said, “Absolutely not.” I was trying to get pregnant. I had been on Letterman for six years, two years of the Jon Stewart Show. I wanted to be on something that was once a week. I just said no. And then Lizz—

madeline smithberg

Smithberg in 2006.

L. CohenGetty Images

LW: I was plotting her death, by the way, if she was going to turn it down. I was literally like, “Madeline, this is secretly your dream,” because it was my dream.

MS: Every time I went to the ladies room, Doug Herzog would corner me and go, “Why won’t you do The Daily Show for me?” And I said, “Doug, we’ve been through this. I’m not going to do it.” And then finally, one day, he pushed so hard. And then came the magic words: “You do not have to shoot a pilot, and I will guarantee you will be on the air for a year.” And I just looked at him and I went, “Okay.” And so it began.

How did you dream up this concept, one that’s been endlessly replicated since?

MS: So we knew it wasn’t a sketch show. We knew it was about what was happening in the world. We knew that it had to feel important with the capital “I,” but more smart and creative. Everybody was angry. I think The Daily Show really was the result of people’s disgust and anger specifically with television news.

LW: The reason that the show really worked is—in creating this foundation—we brought people over from news. We were able to say to somebody, “Hey, why don’t you leave that career that you went to college for to make fun of that thing and destroy your relationships forever?” To be able to have that year-long promise, we were able to get some talent that might not have come if it was just a pilot or a 13-week guarantee. That, and the clarity of vision, are why we get to sit here and talk about it lasting for 25 years.

Do you think part of the show’s longevity is thanks to the fact that it was actual commentary on real events? It was, if we’re being honest, a form of news analysis?

MS: Absolutely. But I don’t think it was our intention for it to be an actual news source, and, when that happened, I was just laughing. The intention was to literally satirize the media and make fun of bad things or questionable things that were happening in the news. But, in order to do that, we had to tell the story first so people could follow along with us. But it was never our intention to be legitimate.

LW: I think, too, we realized, in order to be able to fill a show four nights a week, we had to tell some news stories. And so we had to be, on some level, newsmakers. And when we realized that big stories were coming across the AP wire that weren’t even being reported, I was like, “Oh my God, [the media] is so bad at news!”

So you imitated the news. How did you do that without your own newsroom?

MS: This was before Google and YouTube and stuff. And so, the scrappy, MacGyver way that we did it— we had a friend that worked at Entertainment Tonight or something that gave us their LexisNexis log-in. At one point, we started just recording CNN 24 hours a day, and we built a banner that was bigger than theirs. It was fair use because we were commenting on it. Over the course of the seven years that I was there, we did get footage deals and licensing clips. And we built a library of B-roll.

We loved our jobs. We looked forward to coming to work every day. It was one big, giant family. We went out almost every night after the show; we had parties.

LW: Everybody smoked. We were smoking in the office constantly. I had a bar in my office. I got all of my furniture from a yard sale in the Hamptons.

When you look back at the 25 years of The Daily Show and what you started with, what do you think you nailed? And what do you regret?

MS: I think what we nailed was the fundamental conceit of the entire thing, which is the mock seriousness and earnestness and self-absorption. What I feel the most regretful of is that we did not have more diversity in our writing staff and on our show. Lizz and I are two women. We got, what? One, two female submissions? We got zero of color. We weren’t as aware of the larger problems; we were just fighting to stay alive, and I think that if I could go back, I would have really made a much, much, much deeper effort to get every single kind of diversity represented in our staff, particularly in the writing style. We had a lot of women producers, but it was me and Lizz in the writers’ room.

lizz winstead

Winstead in 2019.

Cindy OrdGetty Images

LW: Yeah, and I think that when you read about the sexism in news and the sexism in comedy, I think that it would have been wise to really tap into our news connections more to say, “Who are some really angry, disgruntled women?” I think we could have found and should have done a better job finding the ragey producers and bringing them over as we did with the men. And I guess the only thing that makes up for it for me now—and I think for you also, Madeline—is that when we moved onto other projects—

MS: We’ve never made that mistake again.

The Daily Show helped set the precedent for late-night political comedy. What, in your opinion, does late-night political comedy need now? What’s missing?

MS: It goes right back to our last conversation. It’s missing women, and it’s missing some more diversity. It’s largely a white man’s club. Samantha Bee is only on once a week, and Amber Ruffin is on Peacock, God bless her. It’s often the white guys’s show. I like them all, by the way. I’ve been watching all of them. I think Seth [Myers] is terrific. I love Jimmy [Kimmel]. I was anti-Fallon ever since the hair ruffling, but he grew on me during the pandemic. The guy is frigging talented, and he has unbelievable writers.

Colbert is Colbert, and it was interesting to watch him try to be pussyfooting and distance himself from politics, then throw everything away with Trump. I don’t know what he’ll do now. But I think it’s great, and then there’s all the shows on Comedy Central that are spin-offs of it that are really interesting. But I think we need to shake it up. It can’t look like a board meeting of the NRA.

LW: I also think viewing habits and patterns and how we live in the world—I’m curious as to how people even watch late-night now. If they watch it in segments, if they watch it on their own time. Like, is late-night TV appointment viewing the way it once was? Or are the segments just what people watch every once in a while?

MS: It still is a refreshing way to process the events of the day. We’ll watch hours and hours and hours of CNN and MSNBC and network. But then, once we’ve processed the raw materials, it’s like, “Okay, how did the late-night show spin it?” It’s just, it feels like an anachronism to not have it feel more reflective of the changing audience.

Here’s a favorite question among comedy critics: In your opinion, was Trump a boon for political comedy?

LW: No, he wasn’t. [He] was a boon for buffoonery. Political comedy done well can be thought-provoking.

So many of the shows that are on late-night right now would not take politics in their packets, shied away from political material—until Trump. And so, Trump was this catalyst. It created, to me, a lot of people doing amateurish political jokes that were about physicality. It was literally dissecting a sociopath. It wasn’t furthering anything.

If you could tell me that people learned the way that they learned about Dick Cheney and Bush’s cabinet and all of that [on The Daily Show], then I would say Trump was good for political comedy. But I would say all Trump did was dominate the conversation so that people couldn’t elevate the other important issues that were happening around it,

the late show with stephen colbert

Donald Trump with Stephen Colbert in 2015.

CBS Photo ArchiveGetty Images

MS: The problem with Trump is he’s almost doing the job for the comedians. It’s like gilding the lily; the guy is a self-parody. And I don’t think I agree 100 percent with Lizz. I think it was the easy way for the late-night hosts to do their range of Trump imitations from really good to really okay. But no one was looking at what happened that made this guy get elected and really focusing on what we should be terrified of.

Another common criticism of political comedy is that it stokes the partisan divide rather than repairing it. What’s your response?

LW: I think that, anytime you are blaming comedians for the state of affairs, you are not looking at the big picture. I heard that so much; I heard it about The Daily Show when I was there. “Is it just creating cynicism?” It’s not The Daily Show‘s fault that the media is garbage and people are cynical. People are cynical because they’re not getting information from the media. And the comedians looked at this as an opportunity.

And when people were mad at Jon Stewart for leaving The Daily Show, instead of being mad at a media that’s so terrible they have no place else to go to get information, that ain’t Jon Stewart’s fault. It’s not the comedy writers’s fault. It’s the fault of everyone else that created a marketplace for the messengers bringing it. The partisan divide didn’t happen because of the comedians; the partisan has been there forever.

MS: I wish we could have that much power.

LW: Exactly. If that was true, everybody from The Daily Show could have run for president.

Madeline, you’ve talked before about how you feel political comedy has grown increasingly processed and sanitized over the years. Do you both still feel that way? And do you think the prognosis looks any better now?

MS: As someone who was inside of it, I cannot see it getting better at all. I don’t think there’s anything on network television and comedy that I really would go, “Oh, I got to watch that.” I think that there are some great things, as I said, on the streamers, and that goes back to allowing creative people to do their jobs.

LW: I often think that people put a lot of shiny things around bad writing, and I think that if you lead with quality content, and, like Madeline said, give people the freedom to do what they want to do, they will deliver things that are great.

There’s so much opportunity now. I came in [to The Daily Show] with an activist mind, and I have always worked through an activist lens. I’ve come to terms with the fact that the activist lens leads for me; comedy comes out of my body, but so does activism.

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