The daily gossip: Hayden Panettiere's own team gave her 'happy pills' at 15, Kevin Smith drops extremely meta Clerks III trailer, and more
Today's top entertainment and celebrity news
Hayden Panettiere's own team gave her 'happy pills' at 15
Hayden Panettiere is ready for a "second chance." The Heroes star in a new People story revealed her years-long battle with opioid and alcohol addiction, reflecting, "I was on top of the world and I ruined it." Panettiere said that when she was only 15 years old, someone on her team started offering her "happy pills" before she walked red carpets to "make me peppy during interviews." This opened the door to her addiction, which became so severe she "could only function" by sipping alcohol right after waking up. She was eventually hospitalized and told "my liver was going to give out," but after entering rehab for eight months, Panettiere says she now feels like "I have a second chance," and she's returning to acting in next year's Scream sequel. "I'm just so grateful to be part of this world again," she said, "and I will never take it for granted again." Okay, Ghostface really better not kill her in Scream 6 now.
Kevin Smith drops extremely meta trailer for 'Clerks III'
The trailer for Kevin Smith's Clerks III wasn't even supposed to be here today. The first footage from the long-awaited comedy sequel about convenience store employees Randal and Dante debuted Wednesday, and it looks like this one will be quite meta. It's about Randal, after suffering a heart attack, making a movie based on his experiences at the convenience store — allowing Smith to insert plenty of meta jokes about the series, including the original film's alternate ending where Dante is shot and killed. Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith are also back as Jay and Silent Bob, and Rosario Dawson reprises her character from Clerks II. The sequel, which comes over 15 years after the second film, hits theaters in September. Will it be good enough to wash away the taste of Smith's Yoga Hosers? Well, let's not go that far.
Netflix is making a 'Stranger Things' stage play
Running up that hill? More like milking that cow. Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer have announced a slate of projects in the works at Netflix under their new production company, Upside Down Pictures. This includes a live-action TV adaptation of Death Note, the popular manga that already got a live-action Netflix movie that nearly nobody liked in 2017. But they're also working on some Stranger Things-related projects, including a "new stage play set within the world and mythology" of the series. The Crown executive producer Stephen Daldry will produce and direct it. Plus, the Duffers are producing a Stranger Things spinoff series, which is based on their "original idea." We don't know what it's about, but on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the Duffers teased it will be "1000 percent different" and won't follow fan-favorite characters like Eleven, Steve, or Dustin. Our guess? Cooking with Vecna.
'Friends' co-creator says misgendering Chandler's trans mom was a 'mistake'
The co-creator of Friends is getting transparent with her regrets over Chandler's trans parent. Producer Marta Kauffman has shared yet another regret about the classic sitcom in an interview with BBC World Service, admitting it was a "mistake" to refer to Chandler Bing's transgender mother as his father throughout the show. "Pronouns were not yet something that I understood," Kauffman said. "So we didn't refer to that character as 'she.' That was a mistake.'" Kauffman has previously apologized repeatedly for the severe lack of diversity on Friends, recently telling the Los Angeles Times she's "embarrassed that I didn't know better 25 years ago" and is now pledging $4 million to Brandeis University's African and African American studies department. Speaking to BBC News, Kauffman admitted, "Yes, I am guilty" of not having enough Black representation due to "systemic racism in our business," promising, "I'll never make that mistake again." Could she be any more sorry?
Taika Waititi forgot Natalie Portman was in 'Star Wars'
Taika, you're breaking my heart! In an interview with Rolling Stone, Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi admitted he once asked Natalie Portman if she'd be interested in being in a Star Wars movie — forgetting she famously played Padmé Amidala in the prequel trilogy. "I said 'I'm trying to work on a Star Wars thing. Have you ever wanted to be in a Star Wars movie?'" Waititi recalled. "She said, 'I've been in Star Wars movies.' I forgot about those ones." Clearly, someone hasn't gotten the "the prequels are good now, actually" memo. That "Star Wars thing" is a film Waititi is set to direct, which Lucasfilm claims will be the franchise's first theatrical release since The Rise of Skywalker. It's theoretically scheduled for next year, yet Waititi says he's still trying to come up with the basic idea — and when Rolling Stone noted Lucasfilm has a tendency to abruptly fire directors, Waititi offered this confidence-inducing response: "Might happen to me!"