The daily gossip: Elijah Wood says Harvey Weinstein was made into an orc, Taylor Swift gets roped into Virginia's gubernatorial race, and more
Today's top entertainment and celebrity news
Harvey Weinstein inspired an orc
It turns out another horrifying monster was hidden in The Lord of the Rings all along. Elijah Wood revealed on an episode of Dax Shepard's podcast Armchair Expert that the Lord of the Rings crew designed one of the orc masks in the trilogy to resemble Harvey Weinstein "as a sort of a f--- you" to the since-disgraced producer. The film trilogy was originally set to be made at Weinstein's Miramax, but it moved to New Line after Weinstein reportedly threatened to fire director Peter Jackson. Wood didn't specify where this Weinstein-inspired orc can be found in the movies, but he declared, "I think that is okay to talk about now, the guy is f---ing incarcerated. F--- him."
The Virginia gubernatorial race has now roped in Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift fans have bad blood with Scooter Braun, and one Democrat thinks this might help him become Virginia's next governor. Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe has purchased a series of ads aimed at fans of Swift, tying his Republican opponent, Glenn Youngkin, to the sale of her master recordings. When Youngkin was co-CEO of Carlyle Group, the private equity company helped fund the sale of Big Machine to Scooter Braun, a sale Swift has famously spoken out against. The ads are targeted at Swift fans and feature the hashtag #WeStandWithTaylor. McAuliffe has already served as governor for four years, so he's apparently hoping this will convince Virginians not to tell him, "We are never, ever getting back together."
Britney Spears thanks fans for the #FreeBritney movement
Britney Spears is showing appreciation for the #FreeBritney movement as she inches closer to actually, officially being free. The pop star thanked fans on Twitter for fighting to end the conservatorship she has been under for 13 years, writing, "Because of you guys and your constant resilience in freeing me from my conservatorship ... my life is now in that direction !!!!!" This came after a judge last week suspended Spears' father, Jamie, as conservator of her estate, though the conservatorship itself is still in place for now. But with the controversial legal arrangement's end potentially in sight, Spears tweeted, "I cried last night for two hours cause my fans are the best and I know it."
Russians beat Tom Cruise to filming in space
Mission not accomplished. A Russian film crew headed to space on Tuesday, and they're set to become the first people to ever film a feature film in orbit. Actor Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko arrived at the International Space Station with plans to spend 12 days shooting scenes for a movie called Challenge. In doing so, they've beaten Tom Cruise to the punch, as he was plotting his own $200 million movie that was once expected to be the first feature film shot in space. It isn't clear when Cruise will blast off for his no-longer-historic space production, though on the bright side, we can presume COVID-19 safety violations won't be as much of an issue up there.
William Shatner is worried about peeing in space
Speaking of space, a slightly nervous William Shatner is ready to be beamed up. The Star Trek star is set to be launched into space next week on Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket, and he told Today he's "thrilled and anxious and a little nervous and a little frightened" about it. At 90, the actor will become the oldest person to go to space — and he had one important question ahead of the trip, jokingly asking, "What do the space guys do if they have to go to the bathroom?" When Al Roker noted Shatner will probably be fine considering the trip will be just 11 minutes long, Shatner quipped, "When you're 90, 11 minutes can be a long time!"