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ENTERTAINMENT
March 8, 2010 | By Betsy Sharkey, Times film critic
For some, not even the heartbreaking finesse of Jeff Bridges' broken country singer Bad Blake can eclipse the pièce de résistance of "The Big Lebowski's" the Dude back in '98. Others would point to "Starman" or "The Last Picture Show." For me, it was 1992's "American Heart," another broken man stumbling toward recovery. But nearly everyone agrees that after five nominations, Bridges was long overdue for his Oscar, and "Crazy Heart" was as good a time as any to recognize one of the finest, most versatile and most authentic actors around.
ARTICLES BY DATE
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Director Nick Cassavetes, whose soft touch with romance was behind that classic date movie "The Notebook," is now responsible for the quintessential anti-date movie - "The Other Woman. " There is no question whose side he is on in this little bit of rasty business starring Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton. My advice to guys? Step away from the vehicle, because "The Other Woman" is out of control and intent on running down a certain kind of male. Even if you're not the lying, cheating, thieving type - that would be Mark, a slickster played by "Game of Thrones'" Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, juggling wife, mistress, other mistress and some other ill-gotten gains - there is bound to be collateral damage.
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NEWS
March 2, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
The brief announcement that Disney plans to add a Marvel-themed land to Hong Kong Disneyland in 2017 raises a host of questions: Will Iron Man, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men be getting their own rides? When will the Marvel characters be coming to Anaheim, Paris, Tokyo or Shanghai? And why, of all places, Hong Kong? Many of the most basic questions remain unanswered, in part because the announcement was made by a Hong Kong government official rather than Disney.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 23, 2014 | By Rebecca Keegan
In the new movie "Hateship Loveship," Kristen Wiig's character, an introverted, thirtysomething housekeeper named Johannna practices kissing herself in the mirror. It's a moment of loneliness that Wiig and director Liza Johnson envisioned as a sad beat in the film. But at a screening last September at the Toronto International Film Festival, Wiig was shocked when audiences laughed at the scene. "I'm so surprised that comes across as funny," she said in a recent interview at a Los Feliz cafe.
NEWS
August 7, 2013 | By Susan Denley
In 1971, Roger Hargreaves created a round, orange character with a toothy grin and named him Mr. Tickle. The creature was the first in a series of other Misters and Misses -- 85 in all -- who were featured in books, DVDs, art shows, products and several television series in Britain and the U.S. Now Mr. Men and Little Miss are being relaunched in the U.S., thanks to Sanrio -- the brand behind Hello Kitty -- which acquired the licensing rights...
ENTERTAINMENT
April 13, 2014 | By Soumya Karlamangla
Fiction writers discussed what it means to write novels about characters and cultures with specific ethnic identities, while also debating who is able to tell those stories, in a panel called "Fiction: Writing Culture and Character" at the Festival of Books on Sunday.  Rebecca Walker has written several memoirs, including "Black, White and Jewish," but wrote her first novel last year, about an American who goes to to Africa. Walker said she paid attention to, and made sure not to fall into, the tropes of the noble savage and the privileged American in telling a story that was both "true and subversive.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 6, 2012 | By Patrick Kevin Day
Election day has finally arrived. While millions of Americans stand patiently in line to fill out their ballots, it may be worth passing the time wondering just how their favorite TV characters might vote. It's not a totally silly topic of thought. If Mr. Burns of "The Simpsons" can endorse Mitt Romney, then can't any TV character have political leanings? If Mr. Burns can vote, then why not Don Draper? Or Tony Soprano? Or even the dowager countess from "Downton Abbey. " (And before anyone complains that she's British and can't vote, please remember...
ENTERTAINMENT
October 10, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
This post has been updated. See below for details. Stan Lee Media, an Internet company that shut down more than a decade ago and has been mired in litigation ever since, has filed a multibillion-dollar lawsuit against Walt Disney Co. The complaint was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Colorado, where Stan Lee Media -- co-founded by the famous Marvel Comics writer, who is no longer an officer of the company -- is headquartered....
BUSINESS
August 21, 2013 | By Daniel Miller
For nearly two decades GLAAD has tracked the presence of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender characters on television. Now, the organization is turning its attention to the movies. The "Studio Responsibility Index," released by the media monitoring group Wednesday, found a significant lack of LGBT characters and story lines in movies released by the six top-grossing film studios in 2012. GLAAD staffers reviewed the 101 films released by 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony's Columbia, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 11, 2014 | By Saba Hamedy, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
It's a man's world -- or at least that's the way it appears on screen. According to a report released Tuesday by San Diego State University film professor Martha Lauzen, the top 100 grossing films of 2013 were overwhelmingly male. Just 15% of protagonists, 29% of major characters and 30% of all speaking characters were female. The study looked at more than 2,300 characters in the 2013 films, and the lack of female representation -- on screen and behind the scenes -- has not substantially improved, said Lauzen, who serves as executive director of the SDSU Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 22, 2014 | By Meredith Blake
In person, Welsh actor Matthew Rhys is charmingly evasive. Rather than offering long-winded answers about himself, Rhys is just as likely to respond to a question with another question, a tendency which makes it easier to understand how he effortlessly slips into so many disparate identities on FX's Cold War drama "The Americans. " Each week, Rhys plays a Soviet spy posing as a suburban American dad named "Philip Jennings. " In the line of duty, he assumes numerous other personas, relying on an impressive array of wigs, facial hair and eyewear to maintain his cover.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 14, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
The heroes and villains of crime novels tend to be average Joes driven into entertaining situations that are realistic enough that readers can understand, three crime authors said Sunday at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Lee Goldberg, screenwriter for the former hit show "Monk" on USA Network and author of "Chase" and "Heist" with Janet Evanovich, was on the panel. In six months, Goldberg and Evanovich went from discussing books while having dinner to producing a New York Times bestseller.
SPORTS
April 13, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
The hallmark of a Mike Scioscia team has always been small ball. Steal, hit and run, take the extra base. The long ball? That was fine for batting practice but it wasn't something the Angels looked for after the national anthem. Times and tactics have apparently changed though, because after slugging five home runs Sunday in a 14-2 victory over the New York Mets, the Angels lead the majors with 20 home runs. And they haven't even had a sacrifice bunt yet. BOX SCORE: Angels 14, Mets 2 "It's not just coincidence.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 13, 2014 | By Soumya Karlamangla
Fiction writers discussed what it means to write novels about characters and cultures with specific ethnic identities, while also debating who is able to tell those stories, in a panel called "Fiction: Writing Culture and Character" at the Festival of Books on Sunday.  Rebecca Walker has written several memoirs, including "Black, White and Jewish," but wrote her first novel last year, about an American who goes to to Africa. Walker said she paid attention to, and made sure not to fall into, the tropes of the noble savage and the privileged American in telling a story that was both "true and subversive.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 12, 2014 | Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
This is not a review, exactly, of the new season of "Mad Men," its seventh and, depending on how you slice it, its last. In order to hang on to this jewel as long as is seemly, AMC will divide its 14 episodes into two parts, to conclude in 2015. It could dollop it out over 14 years, I suppose, each year bringing a single new hour, as precious as that new Wu-Tang album. But there is only so much the people will stand. This is also not a review partly because Matthew Weiner, whose creation this is, is finicky about spoilers - "finicky" doesn't really do it justice.
OPINION
April 11, 2014 | Doyle McManus
Reading is such an improbable idea -- a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading -- and of this weekend's Los Angeles Times Festival of Books -- we asked four readers (who also happen to be writers) to celebrate books that mattered in their lives. If you want a friend in Washington, the saying goes, get a dog. But if you're looking to understand Washington, I'd recommend fiction.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 13, 2012 | By Joe Flint, Los Angeles Times
The courtroom battle between former "Desperate Housewives" costar Nicollette Sheridan and the show's creator, Marc Cherry, over the circumstances of her character's demise is another reminder that for an actor, the only thing worse than not getting a part on a show is getting killed off a show. "It's a one-way contract, they can drop you at any time," said Steve Schirripa, who spent seven years nervously pawing through the pages of scripts for "The Sopranos" wondering if this was the episode where his character would get whacked.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2013 | By Janet Kinosian
There's a bright shot of star power in David O. Russell's period film "American Hustle," and it's not just from its celebrated cast. Veteran designer Michael Wilkinson's late-1970s costumes have something of a starring role of their own. Loosely based on the real-life Abscam FBI sting, "Hustle" lives in a gritty yet sophisticated East Coast world where the con artist characters have plenty of different looks for different occasions. The sartorial tone had to be "just right," says Wilkinson.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 11, 2014 | By Greg Braxton
Since his star-making turn nearly two decades ago as the mentally challenged Karl Childers in "Sling Blade," Billy Bob Thornton has been known for what may best be described as playing expressive eccentrics. There was a bad Santa, an astronaut farmer and a taciturn barber so lacking in human connection that the movie about him was titled "The Man Who Wasn't There. " In FX's highly touted new series "Fargo," Thornton adds to that oddball gallery when he plays a drifter named Lorne Malvo.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 10, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Wonderfully animated and well-voiced, "Rio 2" is nevertheless too much. Too much plot, too many issues, too many characters. But not too much music. Yes, the musical numbers reach saturation levels, but the Latin-influenced jamming and singing are absolutely fabulous. "Rio 2's" music might even save the 3-D animated action-adventure about endangered South American blue macaws from the terrible 2s that affect so many sequels. The eclectic animal and human cast and respective star voices that "Rio" introduced in 2011 have all reconvened to continue the party.
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