Jimmy Kimmel jokes about being tapped to host Oscars
On Monday's episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live," the comedian joked he likely got the job based on the proximity of his show's studio.
"The producers and the Academy went through a long list of names -- and in the end, they decided that -- since I am already right across the street from where they do the show -- I was the closest person to host," Kimmel said. "I guess I have to get a tux now. Or maybe I'll wear jean shorts?"
Kimmel also announced his wife is expecting their second child.
"There's a lot of exciting stuff going on. Congratulations to me," he said. "I'm hosting the Oscars and I had sex. Two things as a teenage boy I never thought would be possible."
Oscar producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd are betting on Kimmel to infuse the show with new energy -- and boost ratings -- after an 8-year low for last year's ceremony.
ABC has an agreement with the Academy to broadcast the Oscars through 2020. Coming off Kimmel's well-received performance as Emmy host in September, Disney/ABC Television Group chief Ben Sherwood made no secret about wanting him at the helm on Oscar night.
"We thought Jimmy elevated the Emmys. We thought Jimmy has earned it and we're very hopeful that Jimmy will get [the Oscars job]," Sherwood said.
Kimmel's got a tough task ahead of him -- as several previous Oscar hosts can attest to.
Still, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs expressed confidence they've found the right host.
"He knows who he is, he knows the audience and he knows how to captain a ship with many moving parts," Isaacs said in a statement Monday. "We're thrilled he has agreed to host our show."
The 89th Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017.
Saroo Brierley's inspiring search for family roars to life in "Lion"
Brierley was 5 years old when he was separated from his older brother one night while at a train station in rural India.
Brierley's older brother had left him sleeping on a bench, but when he returned, Brierley -- then known as Sheru -- was gone.
Young Sheru had awoken from his nap and boarded a train in search of his older brother. His day-long journey landed him more than 700 miles east of his home, in a place where he didn't speak the language.
He'd later learn he'd ended up in Calcutta.
For weeks, he lived on the streets, escaping a bevy of dangers. Eventually, he was taken in at an orphanage and adopted by a couple in Australia, after officials failed to locate his family and hometown.
Since Sheru did not know how to spell his name, Brierley ended up going by an incorrectly spelled version -- "Saroo."
Twenty years later, Brierley decided to launch a search for the mother, siblings and home he remembered only in fuzzy childhood memories. To do this, he decided to retrace his steps using Google Earth.
Those who don't know the rest of the story soon will. (Warning: Some movie spoilers follow below.)
Brierley's journey to find his family in India is the subject for The Weinstein Co's "Lion," a movie due out November 25 that is a likely Oscar contender.
But when he started his quest, Brierley said the possibilities -- the interest in his story, his subsequent book and the film starring Dev Patel that now tells his tale -- were the farthest thing from his mind.
"I was just so high on hope and so determined to find what I'd been sort of yearning for for some time and defuse the weight off my shoulders," Brierley told CNN in a recent interview.
Brierley has now seen "Lion" a few times, he said. And even though he lived the experience, he said the film was a "roller coaster of emotions."
"I tried to suppress my tears but I couldn't," he said. "It was just so hard to."
He wasn't the only one. Brierley said his Australian mother Sue, played in the film by Nicole Kidman, was "enchanted" by the movie.
"She was speechless at some times, to the point where she grabbed my leg and almost dug her nails into it," Brierley said, laughing.
Brierley's warm relationship with his adoptive mother is one of many emotional drivers in the movie. And though some parts of the movie were "heightened" for storytelling purposes, Brierley said it was important to him and the filmmakers that the characters be portrayed authentically.
He was especially pleased with one key scene between Patel and Kidman, in which they talk about her motivation for adopting him as a boy.
"The way that was acted out was just so organic and pure," he said.
There's one key opinion Brierley is still waiting to get -- that of his birth mother, Fatima Bi Munshi.
He said they're working on getting the movie translated into her native Hindi, as she does not read. Though he's recounted his experience to her before, he thinks the movie will put the journey into a greater perspective.
"I think it's going to give her a shock as in, 'Whoa, I didn't realize that this is actually what happened,'" he said.
CNN's Sara Sidner visited Brierley's mother back in 2012, shortly after the two had been reunited.
Then, she recounted the disappearance of her son and spoke about the devastating second loss she experienced the same year. Brierley's oldest brother, who had accompanied him that fateful night, was killed a month after Brierley went missing.
"I would go to sleep at night and my mind would wander in madness," she said. "I didn't feel like eating. I kept looking out for him on the streets, asking people about his whereabouts. I found him nowhere. It was a very difficult time."
Brighter days have fallen upon the once fractured family.
Brierley said he's been back to India about 14 times since they were reunited, in part thanks to the trips he's taken as a result of the interest in the story of their reunion.
"It's worked pretty well and I'm so touched and humbled about everything --- that things like this can happen," Brierley said. "I wish there were more stories like this."
He's working to make that happen.
Brierley said he hopes to get into script writing, with a focus on penning films that lift people's spirits. He wants them to walk into the theater "thinking about things that are going to change their minds in a positive way [or] ... who they are as humans."
Brierley's life has undoubtedly changed as a result of what started as an against-the-odds quest. And though the ultimate result came with some sadness, he said at the end of the day, "that's just life."
"I guess this was my destiny," he said.
CNN's Sara Sidner contributed to this report.
Taylor Swift's secret songwriting makes everybody watch Calvin Harris' Twitter feed
The former couple apparently mixed business with pleasure and the result while catchy, isn't playing out pretty. A representative of Swift told People magazine Wednesday that the pop star secretly wrote the song "This Is What You Came For," under the pseudonym,"Nils Sjoberg." The hit, recorded by Harris and Rihanna, has been at the top of the charts all summer.
Swift's contribution, of course, was not news to Harris, who one would assume was there when the collaboration happened. But he quickly launched into live-stream-of-conscious mode about the reveal in a series of tweets.
Though initially complimenting Swift as an "amazing lyric writer" and saying his ex "smashed it as usual," Harris was not pleased that sole credit was going to one of the most successful songwriters of all time.
"I wrote the music, produced the song, arranged it and cut the vocals though. And initially she wanted it kept secret, hence the pseudonym," he wrote. "Hurtful to me at this point that her and her team would go so far out of their way to try and make ME look bad at this stage though."
What Harris tweeted next reads slightly bitter ex-boyfriend.
"I figure if you're happy in your new relationship you should focus on that instead of trying to tear your ex bf down for something to do," Harris added, referring to Swift's relationship with actor Tom Hiddleston. "I know you're off tour and you need someone new to try and bury like Katy ETC but I'm not that guy, sorry. I won't allow it."
Swift is no stranger to social media spats, previously exchanging words with Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry.
Harris concludes by appearing to address Swift directly, "Please focus on the positive aspects of YOUR life because you've earned a great one."
Considering Swift has spent her summer throwing celebrity-packed Fourth of July parties and locking lips with Loki, it seems she's already doing so. Let's just hope she and Hiddleston keep their collaborations on the dance floor and out of the studio.
How Prince stayed so private in the age of celebrity
"He would ask me 'Who is that? Who just walked in the room,'" recalled Kim Berry, Prince's hairstylist and friend for over 20 years. "He was watching at all times."
Prince Rogers Nelson was a man who couldn't afford not to be.
In an age where many celebrities don't want to do anything away from the public eye, Prince avoided the spotlight. Instead, he wanted it to shine on his art.
Which is why it's no surprise that just as quietly, his remains were cremated and a private ceremony held following his death at the age of 57.
He was a man who, despite his showmanship, shied away from fanfare. Having crafted a musical empire, taken on his industry to fight for the rights of artists and survived with a career artists half his age would have envied, Prince was careful and built his inner circle almost as meticulously as he did his compositions.
Friends paint a portrait of a funny, giving, and spiritual man who quietly gave whenever and wherever he could to help others and who was deeply protective of his privacy. He was the antithesis to the current culture of reality and social media stars who stay bathed in the glow of their followers.
Not that Prince was against being famous.
More that to him, fame was a tool to get his art better seen by the masses. Before today's artists were offering free downloads of music, Prince was giving away CDs at concerts and sharing his music in any way he could.
What we do know is that transformed from a man whose sexual lyrics caused him to be condemned by the more conservative to a devout Jehovah Witness who would not allow swearing in his presence.
Toure, who penned the book "I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became an Icon," told WBUR that Prince appealed to our desire to spiritually connect.
"And there were a lot of people following, worshiping celebrity at another level," Toure said. "And when you have Prince as this massive celebrity who's sort of feeding your sexual needs, and also giving you this sort of spiritual, religious thing, it's a very seductive cocktail."
Despite his earlier reputation as a lover with high profile relationships including some of his protegees, Prince slowed his roll in recent years where the ladies were concerned. In 2014, he told Rolling Stone's Brian Hiatt that he was celibate.
"Libido is energy," Prince said. "I go back and forth. It's like fasting: it's a practice and you get better at it over time, you know, but no one is perfect ..."
It was all a part of how he insulated himself and his life.
His family was his band and his crew, and he was deeply devoted to that family. They were the ones who knew of his many philanthropic efforts that were done with such little fanfare. There are homeless people who have no idea that coats they are wearing came from the singer and his Love 4 One Another Foundation.
Berry knows first hand about his largess.
When her friend's son died, she said, the woman had no insurance and Prince stepped up to bury the boy. He always wanted to bless others, even as he was scrupulous about who he allowed into his inner circle.
"To be that big in the music industry you have to be guarded," Berry said. "So many people were takers. Everybody was trying to see what they could get from him, how they could steal from him, how they could con him into doing something he would regret later. So he was very closed."
That meant using fake names when he traveled, throwing potential groupies off by putting the band and crew up at a different hotel so fans thought Prince was also there. And always engaging in activities that his group could enjoy together like going to the movies, traveling the world or even just playing basketball on his court at Paisley Park.
Prince was loyal to those who he allowed in and they returned that loyalty.
Berry first met the singer in 1992 when she was dating one of his bodyguards. When Prince's hairstylist quit, Berry offered her services to which he asked her if she traveled. She hadn't really, but she grabbed the tools of her trade and went for it when Prince announced that their flight was leaving in an hour and a limo would be picking her up.
She got the job, but with one caveat: Prince needed her to lose her long nails as he had a sensitive scalp.
"I said 'OK' and started popping [the nails] off in front of him," Berry said. "He started laughing and said, 'You're funny!' He said, 'You're gonna work out. Go back to the hotel, we leave for Miami in the morning. ' "
No one loved a good jest better than Prince.
CNN commentator Van Jones was a good friend of Prince, and called him "a comic genius."
"He could easily have given Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Kevin Hart a run for their money," Jones said. "Sometimes we would watch black comedy acts together on his computer, and then he would riff their routines. He could always make them 10 times funnier -- without ever using curse words!"
Berry said Prince was very cognizant of the celebrity culture and those stars who were tabloid fodder. She said they would sometimes watch television together while she did his hair, and Prince would remark on the openness of celebs in this day and age.
"He said he didn't understand how people lived that way," Berry said. "His business was his business. That's how he stayed mysterious."
As questions linger about his death, what is clear is that one of the biggest stars on earth knew exactly his place on this earth, even if fans didn't know as much about him as they did other stars.
In one of his last interviews in November, he said he didn't miss the years before he was famous.
"These days, I can get more done," he said. "I'm far more respected than I was before, when I say something with regard to changes in the music industry."
Wrestler, entertainer Chyna is dead at 45
Police in Redondo Beach, California confirm that Laurer, 45, was found dead in her apartment on Wednesday. Police say they were notified by a friend who went to check on her and found Laurer unresponsive. The cause of death is under investigation, but police say there are no signs of foul play.
"It is with deep sadness to inform you that we lost a true icon, a real life superhero. Joanie Laurer aka Chyna, the 9th wonder of the world, has passed away," said a post on her website.
After graduating from the University of Tampa, Chyna started training in the world of professional wrestling and in 1996 she was named the "Rookie of the Year for the Women's Championship," according to her website. She wrestled in the Royal Rumble and King of Ring tournaments and became the only undefeated Women's Champion in WWF (World Wrestling Federation) history.
"Thoughts and prayers go out to Chyna's family. She was always cool with me. #Rip9thWonder," wrote wrestler James Storm on Twitter.
Stephanie McMahon of WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) posted "She was truly a pioneer in our industry, and she will be missed. #RIPChyna."
Chyna also appeared in TV, magazines, music videos and in adult films. Her 2001 autobiography is titled "If They Only Knew" and calls her "part feminist, part superhero, Chyna blazed a trail where no woman had gone before."