1. Gwyneth Paltrow is the World's Most Beautiful Woman, says People
Who is World's Most Beautiful Woman? A woman so beautiful that her title requires distinct capital letters? According to the people at People, who surely employed a painstaking, complicated algorithm to find the answer, it's Gwyneth Paltrow. And what a fortuitous coincidence, since Paltrow also stars in a movie that hits theaters next week! The actress earns the honor just a few months after People crowned Channing Tatum the Sexiest Man Alive, raising the distinct and intriguing possibility that the magazine is recruiting candidates for some kind of hotness Hunger Games.
2. Gus Van Sant directed his very own Fifty Shades of Grey short
Hollywood has been dragging its feet on getting the film adaptation of "mommy porn" favorite Fifty Shades of Grey into theaters, so Milk director Gus Van Sant did the next best thing: Directed a scene from the novel himself. The Wrap reports that in a preemptive bid to be considered to direct Universal's upcoming feature-length adaptation of the E.L. James novel, Van Sant recruited Magic Mike's Alex Pettyfer and an unnamed actress to film the steamy scene in which protagonist Anastasia Steele loses her virginity — surely the sexiest moment of most people's lives.
3. Zach Braff wants you to Kickstart his Garden State follow-up
Good news for those fond of the gratingly whimsical: Zach Braff plans to make a big-screen follow-up to his insufferable 2004 indie hit Garden State — and you only have to pay him $2 million to do it! According to Yahoo! News, Braff is following the Veronica Mars Kickstarter route by asking fans to donate the funding for the film, which is currently titled — and this is not a joke — Wish I Was Here. On the film's Kickstarter page, Braff reveals that he was actually "about to sign a typical financing deal" to make the film, but pulled out of the agreement to avoid "signing away all [his] artistic control." So if the idea of an even Braff-ier version of Garden State appeals to you, feel free to head over and donate some money to a multimillionaire who already turned down all the money he needed to make his movie anyway.
4. Jon Hamm is hosting the ESPY Awards
Who's the best candidate to host an awards show devoted to the best in sports? According to ESPN, it's an actor best-known for a quiet, ponderous AMC drama. Mad Men star Jon Hamm has agreed to host ESPN's annual ESPY ceremony, an awards show designed to honor the year's best athletes, who would otherwise receive no public attention whatsoever. The Associated Press doesn't explain exactly what Hamm's hosting duties will entail, but based on Hamm's performance in Mad Men, we suspect it will involve a lot of vague, generally nonsensical monologues that sound really convincing when they're being delivered by a handsome guy in a suit.
5. Vanilla Ice is going Amish
What do you do when you've become a national punchline? Rapper Vanilla Ice is going to the only place where he can get away from your "Ice Ice Baby" jokes: An Amish community. According to CBS News, the rapper is slated to star in a reality show on the DIY network called Vanilla Ice Goes Amish, which will follow Vanilla Ice as he immerses himself in a traditional Amish community, and tries his hand at a traditionally Amish lifestyle — a lifestyle which he apparently believes includes a gaggle of cameras documenting his every move.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- China's leader is telling the People's Liberation Army to prepare for war
- How I lost all my money
- The religious right isn't retreating — it's reforming
- How to save money: 12 great personal finance tips
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- 10 things you need to know today: December 22, 2014
- A brief history of the Christmas present
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