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April 10, 2014

Nicolas Cage is making the PR rounds for his new film, Joe, in which he plays a salt-of-the-earth ex-con. The movie features no skeleton ghost riding a motorcycle, but chances are good there's at least one shouted speech.

Still, this marks Cage's return to "serious" filmmaking, a journey back to his indie roots, if you will. And as such, the actor wanted to highlight all he's learned through the years, which he did in an interview with NPR this morning.

Some highlights:

"I had been waiting for the better part of a year to find a script where I could be as emotionally naked as possible… I wanted to go into almost like Dogme style of film performance, where I didn't have to think too much about it and I could just be."

"I spent a lot of time in New Orleans, probably became a man in New Orleans — in fact, I know I became a man in New Orleans."

Referencing a scene in Joe: "This was me trying to find a place, over my entire career, to put my theories about the anatomy of a cool face, which I discovered by watching Marlboro Man commercials..."

Listen to the whole interview over at NPR. Sarah Eberspacher

6:33 p.m. ET
Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images

The Mexican government announced Thursday that drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has been extradited to the United States, where he is wanted in several jurisdictions on federal drug trafficking charges.

The former leader of the Sinaloa cartel, Guzman has been in a prison near Ciudad Juarez; last January, he was recaptured nearly six months after he escaped from a maximum-security prison in Mexico. Catherine Garcia

5:40 p.m. ET

President-elect Donald Trump's impending inauguration prompted the bands the Gorillaz and Arcade Fire to release new songs Thursday, the day before Trump is officially sworn into office. The Gorillaz song, "Hallelujah Money," was the band's first release in six years and was released alongside a video depicting singer Benjamin Clementine inside a cartoon rendition of the Trump Tower elevator:

Arcade Fire, meanwhile, teamed up with gospel singer Mavis Staples for their new song, "I Give You Power." The lyrics, "I give you power / I can take it away," seem to send a clear message to both Trump and any elected official. The song is only available for streaming on Tidal. Becca Stanek

5:01 p.m. ET
David Burnett/Newsmakers

President-elect Donald Trump reportedly plans to make a trip down to Langley, Virginia, home of the CIA's headquarters, on Saturday, his first full day in office. A senior official told NBC News that Trump is planning to attend the swearing-in of CIA director nominee Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), an event that hinges upon whether Pompeo's nomination is confirmed by the Senate on Friday.

Trump's visit could also be seen "as a conciliatory gesture," NBC noted. Trump has repeatedly questioned the capabilities of U.S. intelligence, most notably hesitating to accept their reports about Russian cyberattacks ahead of the U.S. presidential election.

Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer refused to confirm Trump's visit, only saying he was sure "at some point, shortly, [Trump] will visit not just the CIA but a lot of the departments." Becca Stanek

4:16 p.m. ET

TV show reboots are dropping left and right, and NBC just hopped on the bandwagon.

Will and Grace will return for a 10-episode limited run in the 2017-18 season, NBC announced Wednesday. The show's four stars — Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes, and Megan Mullally — will reprise their original roles. Director James Burrows and creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan will also return, per The New York Times.

Will and Grace joins a growing number of 1990s and 2000s TV favorites getting a new life, including recent reboots of Full House and Gilmore Girls. But unlike a lot of other shows revived on Netflix and other networks, Will and Grace will return to its original home on NBC.

Reboot rumors started in late 2016, when the original cast reunited to film a scene about the 2016 election. For a flashback to the show's eight-season run, check out the video from NBC below. Kathryn Krawczyk

3:59 p.m. ET

Inauguration weekend kicked off Thursday afternoon with the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. As their families looked on, President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a monument dedicated to American service members who have died without being officially identified.

The ceremony, which was slated to last roughly 20 minutes, instead wrapped up in just a few minutes as Trump and Pence placed the wreath. Hours earlier, Trump and his family arrived in Washington, D.C., from New York City.

Trump's first order of business in the nation's capital was a luncheon meeting at his D.C. hotel, which was attended by transition officials and incoming White House staff. Later Thursday, Trump will stop by a celebratory concert at the Lincoln Memorial and attend a reception and dinner at Union Station.

Trump's official inaugural ceremony begins Friday at 11:30 a.m. ET. Becca Stanek

3:21 p.m. ET
YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images

On his last day in office, President Obama commuted the prison sentences of 330 federal inmates serving time for non-violent drug offenses. This latest round of commutations, likely Obama's "last major act as president," marks the "most any U.S. president has issued in a single day," The Associated Press reported.

To date, Obama has commuted the sentences of 1,715 people, 568 of whom were serving life sentences, a total that far surpasses that of any other U.S. president. Earlier this week, Obama commuted the sentences of 209 people, including former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

Obama's record number of commutations comes as part of his push for criminal justice system reform. Becca Stanek

3:18 p.m. ET

President-elect Donald Trump's treasury secretary nominee, Steven Mnuchin, did not necessarily find friendly faces among each and every Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. During Mnuchin's hearing Thursday, Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) repeatedly pressed Mnuchin, specifically on the issue of the tax cut that comes with repealing ObamaCare.

Mnuchin did not directly commit to an answer: "I haven't been as involved in the 'repeal and replace,'" he said, when asked who would benefit from the tax cut that would come with repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) also pressed Mnuchin on whether any taxpayer making under $200,000 a year would see even "a dime" of the ObamaCare tax cuts. Mnuchin admitted most of the ObamaCare taxes currently in place are on the wealthy — who would then stand to benefit if they were repealed — but asserted that tax reform "overall" will be scrutinized. Jeva Lange

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