Daily gossip

The daily gossip: Jeff Daniels honored to have parasitic worm named after him, the Lord of the Rings show has a title, and more

Today's top entertainment and celebrity news

1

Jeff Daniels honored to have a parasitic worm named after him

What an honor! Jeff Daniels says he's finally made it now that scientists have named a species of parasitic worm after him. Researchers from the University of California, Riverside, discovered a worm that kills tarantulas, and they went ahead and named it "tarantobelus jeffdanielsi" after Daniels, according to Variety. It's a reference to his role in Arachnophobia, the 1990 movie about a town being attacked by spiders. His character in the movie was a "spider killer, which is exactly what these nematodes are," parasitologist Adler Dillman said. Daniels joked that when he heard the worm would be named after him, he wondered, "Why? Is there a resemblance?" But, he added, "I was honored by their homage to me and Arachnophobia. Made me smile. And of course, in Hollywood, you haven't really made it until you've been recognized by those in the field of parasitology." Emmys, Shemmys, right? 

2

Amazon reveals the title of its insanely expensive 'Lord of the Rings' show

How many times can Amazon squeeze the words "the" and "rings" into the name of its new Lord of the Rings show? Prime Video revealed its upcoming The Lord of the Rings streaming series will be titled: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. The showrunners teased that "until now, audiences have only seen on-screen the story of the One Ring — but before there was one, there were many … and we're excited to share the epic story of them all." Prime Video's dramatic teaser video slowly reveals the title graphic, and the company said it actually "physically forge[d] the title in a blacksmith foundry, pouring fiery molten metal into hand-carved wooden ravines shaped to the letterforms." Okay, now they're just boasting about how expensive this endeavor is. One season will reportedly cost over $450 million, and Jeff Bezos himself posed with the wooden title. We'll find out whether his quest for the next Game of Thrones flops when the show debuts on Sept. 2.  

3

Brian Cox says Jeremy Strong 'got hoisted' by that 'New Yorker' profile

Good news: the Jeremy Strong New Yorker profile discourse is back! Succession star Brian Cox weighed in on the December profile of Strong, which prompted some colleagues to jump to the actor's defense. "It was Jeremy's idea, the whole article," Cox told Variety. "He pushed for it, and you know, and people kept warning him about it. In a sense, he got hoisted by it, and I think it was unfortunate." The profile of Strong drew some pushback from people like Jessica Chastain and Aaron Sorkin, who suggested it made his acting process look ridiculous and unreasonable, while others defended the piece as fair. Cox argued Strong put himself in a "very, very vulnerable position" with the profile, and when asked if Cox might be putting himself in a similarly vulnerable position with the release of his brutally honest new book, he shot back, "No, no. Listen, I'm too old, too tired and too talented for any of that sh--." 

4

The Rock clarifies the massive T-Rex skull in his office is just a replica

The Rock says ... no, he didn't drop over $30 million on an actual T-Rex skull. When Dwayne Johnson recently appeared on Monday Night Football, viewers couldn't help but notice the massive T-Rex skull that was just casually sitting in the background of his shot. After a T-Rex skull known as "Stan" was anonymously purchased at an auction for $31.8 million in October 2020, some speculated this buyer was, in fact, Johnson. But the Rock took to Instagram to clarify, "I am not the mystery buyer," explaining that he actually has a "REPLICA CAST of STAN" in his home office that he "had made and purchased." He added that considering the real fossil is "considered to be the most perfectly preserved skull ever found," if he did own it, "I sure as hell wouldn't keep him in my office." And to think all we've got going on in the background of our Zoom shots is piles of dirty laundry. 

5

Jason Mantzoukas will voice Tommy Lee's penis

It sounds like the new series about Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee may just leave us asking, How did this get made? Lily James and Sebastian Stan play Anderson and Lee in the new Hulu show Pam & Tommy, and Variety revealed it features what the outlet dubbed a "penis tête-à-tête." One scene reportedly involves Lee wondering "whether he's falling in love" with Anderson, and he "discusses it in a heart-to-heart talk with his penis," Variety writes. Providing the voice of Lee's penis will be Jason Mantzoukas. Director Craig Gillespie said shooting the scene was "just awkward" because "you've got four puppeteers working with an animatronic penis," while Stan declared, "I treated it like it was an intimate buddy conversation that one might have when they're falling in love." Writer Robert Siegel also said Hulu was supportive of the idea, although there was some "gentle pushback" because "you've got to push back a little when a talking penis is presented to you." Yes, we're always saying that! 

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