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Pearce Take – July 16, 2013

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Michael B. Jordan (“Friday Night Lights” forever) is generating plenty of attention for his role as Oscar Grant, a young black man who was killed by a white police officer in Oakland, California, in 2009. With a national release scheduled for 26 July, “Fruitvale Station” had a very successful opening weekend on seven screens. In a sad turn of events, Jordan almost cancelled a scheduled Q&A appearance on Saturday night after hearing about the Trayvon Martin verdict. He decided to speak as planned, saying “I want to hear your questions tonight and answer them. But if you could keep it away from Trayvon, I think my opinion on that is not going to help anybody right now.”

The first UK teaser trailer for “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” has been released. Idris Elba stars as the now-ailing Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa. Naomie Harris (“Skyfall”) plays his wife, Winnie Mandela.

From the Chippendales to “Sharknado”. Who knew that Steve Sanders was so versatile? My favourite lines of the interview:

THR: You’re like Magic Mike.

Ziering: You know, it’s funny, because my wife calls me Magic Ian.

Lulz aplenty.

The cast of “God’s Pocket”, the directorial debut of “Mad Men’s” John Slattery, goes from strength to strength. Domenick Lombardozzi (“The Wire”) has just signed on to star alongside Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks, Richard Jenkins and John Turturro.

“Glee” fans have been encouraged to make donations in Cory Monteith’s honor to Project Limelight. The late actor helped to launch the not-for-profit organisation in Vancouver, a “a free theatre program for kids who are driven to perform.” Donations can be made via the Project Limelight website www.projectlimelightsociety.org. (THR)

Get your PVRs ready. Bill Cosby’s first TV special in 30 years will air on Comedy Central on 24 November.

Mary-Louise Parker is not selling weed any more, so her husband in the new Hallmark Hall of Fame movie “Christmas in Conway” will attempt to build a ferris wheel in their backyard. Is gardening not an option?

Variety exclusively reports that Johnny Depp has moved his production banner Infinitum Nihil to Disney. Depp formed the company in 2004 with his sister, and it was previously housed at Warner Bros.

Martin Freeman has finished his two-and-a-half-year adventure as Bilbo Baggins. A farewell shot from “The Hobbit” can be seen on director Peter Jackson’s Facebook page.

Screen Australia has announced funding for the development of 19 feature films. Recipients include the “Priscilla: Queen of the Desert” team Stephan Elliot and Al Clark, who will be working on a new comedy “Flammable Children”, and author Melina Marchetta, who will adapt her bestselling mystery romance “On the Jellicoe Road” for the screen. Award-winning novel “Jasper Jones” is also set for adaptation. See the full list here.

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About Suzannah Pearce

Suzannah Pearce co-hosted Video Underground with Clint Morris for Melbourne TV. They reunite years later on Moviehole, with Pearce as a critic, news contributor and interviewer.
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