Well, Jason Kennedy has finally listened to everyone--he put a ring on it!
E! News has exclusively learned that our very own entertainment co-host and his girlfriendLauren Scruggs are engaged. We've learned the surprise proposal happened in the fashion blogger's hometown of Dallas tonight in front of close friends and family.
Scruggs walked out to her balcony that overlooked a field where Kennedy had spelled out "Will you marry me" with candles, and when she went down to be with him, he presented the blond beauty with a Jennifer Meyer diamond.
"It's a blur but I can't stop smiling. She told me I couldn't surprise her, but I got her good. This is the best night of my life," Jason tells us.
PHOTOS: Lauren Scruggs is a model survivor
Kennedy began dating the 25-year-old Still Lolo author—who was injured in a propeller accident in December 2011 that left her with a prosthetic arm and removed her left eye—in early summer of last year, and while they kept their romance private in the early stages, it's nearly impossible for the twosome to not flaunt their adorable love for each other now.
Aside from their numerous aww-worthy Instagram shots together (from beach pics to sweetValentine's snapshots), the E! News co-host gushed about his lady during an interview withGlamour magazine.
"I'll admit it, being a so-called good boy has paid off for me. I've got my dream job. And I've found my dream girl," he told the magazine sweetly.
It's pretty clear...nice guys (finish last (not)) win the race.
by Bruna Nessif
Denzel Washington #Preaches to Young Actors in Training Session, 'Thank #God for #Grace and #Mercy... We All Fall Short of the Glory'
Singer/actor Tyrese Gibson uploaded a video onto his social media of actor Denzel Washington using his influence to encourage upcoming actors to put their faith in God.
In a video shared on Facebook, the "Fast & Furious" actor records Washington telling actors in training their desires for good they have is "God's proof" that the actor already has the dreams they just have to "claim it" and work for it.
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The students looked captivated as they listened to the Academy Award winner talk about staying thankful to pray to God.
"I pray that you all put your shoes way under the bed at night so that you gotta get on your knees in the morning to find them," Washington said. He then directed them and said, "And while you're down there thank God for grace and mercy and understanding. We all fall short of the glory, we all got plenty."
"If you just start thinking of all the things you've got to say thank you for, that's a day. That's easily a day," he added.
Washington is presently starring in Broadway play "A Raisin in the Sun" and told the crowd that he and the cast pray before every show. Pointing out that one of the younger cast members always prays that the production would "touch someone," which Washington said all actors have the potential to help someone.
Another piece of advice he shared with the blossoming actors was to focus on using their gifts for something significant and not get carried away with earthly riches. "You'll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse," he said.
"Now I've been blessed to make hundreds of millions of dollars in my life. I can't take it with me and neither can you. It's not how much you have but what you do with what you have," he said.
The actor has spoken publically about his faith. He is reportedly a member of the West Angeles Church of God in Christ and has been for over thirty years. He also has publicly said he reads the Bible "every day."
During an interview with GQ magazine in 2012 Washington explained his experience with the Holy Spirit.
"It was too intense. It almost drove me away," Washington said. "I called my mother, and she said I was being filled with the Holy Spirit. I was like, 'Does that mean I can never have wine again?'"
Gibson is also a Christian and is constantly talking about his faith on social media although he does admit he is a work in progress.
Patricia Heaton is famous for her Emmy Award-winning role on Everybody Loves Raymond and her current role onThe Middle. The veteran actor and outspoken Christian says that Hollywood is home to more believers than you might expect.
The actress explains: "most creative people have a deep spiritual well that they're drawing from even if they don't know it. . . . The arts are being creative—I mean, God is a creator, he creates constantly, and when you're in a creative place like Hollywood, there's a lot of opportunity to talk and share and find common ground."
Believers are indeed more common in Hollywood than most people know. Did you know that...Sean Astin, famous for his work in Rudy and Lord of the Rings, regularly meditates on the phrase, "Allow me to be an instrument of Your will." Kirsten Powers, a political analyst for Fox News, says that "my whole life had centered on Democratic politics" before she became a believer and now stands publicly for Christ.
I'm convinced that God is calling even more believers into places of such visibility. Sociologist James Davison Hunter is right: culture changes when believers achieve their highest level of influence and "manifest faithful presence" as salt-and-light Christians (Matthew 5:13-16).
But there's a caveat, according to Heaton: "If you're on a set every day with 12 people, they get to know you and see how you treat number one on the call sheet and number 49 on the call sheet and how you act. Whether you act entitled or whether you are kind and generous and compassionate, and also, do you show up on time? Do you know your lines? Are you professional? All of that stuff speaks volumes."
Abraham Lincoln noted that "actions speak louder than words." Even his words, among the most eloquent in political history, would not have been effective if his life had contradicted his rhetoric. You don't have to be an actor in Hollywood to influence people today. But you do have to live in such a way that your life illustrates your faith.
Excellence is a biblical imperative: "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men" (Colossians 3:23). So is glorifying God with your life and work: "Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" (Colossians 3:17).
What influence has God entrusted to you today?
Written by Jim Denison
In Hollywood, you can always tell the “talent”, i.e., the actors, writers, and directors, by the casual way in which they dress. Jeans and t-shirts are the norm. And usually, the more casually dressed, the more talented (or at least the more successful). On the studio lot and around town, this show business dress code also serves to separate the talent from the “suits”, those studio chiefs, network executives, and agents, who, like their counterparts in traditional business, wear, well, suits.
What are not so easy to spot in Hollywood are the Canadians. Yet, it turns out that there are a lot of them and they have been turning up in Hollywood since before talkies. From the Silent Era to the Golden Age to the New Hollywood, Canadians have in large part shaped show business. Hollywood’s foremost “suits” and “talent” are and have been from Canada.
Hollywood as we know it began with the two major studio pioneers, Jack Warner of Warner Brothers and Louis B. Mayer of Metro Goldwyn Mayer. These two built the industry. Both were Canadian. Warner secured the technology to bring sound to motion pictures and he reigned as a studio head for 40 years, greenlighting more Hollywood movies than anyone. Warner serves as the original archetype for every hard charging studio chief that has come after him. Think Tom Cruise’s Les Grossman. Mayer, meanwhile, invented the “Star System”, the method whereby publicists, agents and studios turned actors and actresses into stars by carefully crafting their public personas and images. Variations of this system are still an integral part of today’s Hollywood. The difference today of course is that any press, good or bad, will satisfy the star makers.
Of course, Hollywood has always been about the stars. In that regard, Canadians have also dominated. Hollywood’s very first movie star was Mary Pickford. Born and raised in Toronto, Pickford went on to become the biggest star in the world during the 1920’s and was dubbed, ironically, “America’s Sweetheart.” Pickford also possessed keen show business acumen and co-founded the United Artists movie studio.
The great, golden age dramas of the forties and fifties saw the rise of the Canadian theater actor. Raymond Massey, Christopher Plummer, and, yes, even Leslie Nielson, were in high demand and commonly thought by American audiences to be British stage actors.
In modern times, Canada has produced its fair share of superstars. Michael J. Fox, Jim Carrey and Keifer Sutherland have all enjoyed the status, at one time or another, of being the highest paid movie or television actor. In that vein, Canadians also produce a lot of comedians. For example, Saturday Night Live, that bastion of U.S. political and cultural satire, counts nearly as many Canadian alumni as American. SNL itself was created and continues to be produced by Canadian Lorne Michaels. The youthful and ubiquitous Seth Rogan and Michael Cera continue the long tradition of Canadian funnymen.
Canada is also the source of Hollywood’s most bankable directors. James Cameron, born in Ontario, directed the two highest grossing movies of all time. Neil Blomkamp, a Canadian transplant from South Africa, is the leader of the new wave of young filmmakers who are using technology to bring in the blockbuster on a budget. Meanwhile, Canadian Jason Reitman leads the charge for directors of quality independents. After three feature films, he has four Academy Award nominations to show for his efforts.
As impressive as the names is the numbers. The Canadian ex-patriot community in Southern California, numbered at over 1 million, represents the largest collection of Canadians outside of Canada. Many of these Canadians work in the entertainment industry. The shear number of talented Canadians in Hollywood ensures that Canadian influence over U.S. movie and television production will continue.
And while all of those Canadians are located on U.S. cinematic soil, Canada has emerged as the location of choice for U.S. film and T.V. production. Vancouver, which has been a popular filming location since jump street (or at least since 21 Jump Street), has grown to become the third largest film and TV production site in North America. According to the B.C. Film Commission, last year there were 239 motion picture projects shot in the Vancouver region generating over $2 billion in production spending.
Bringing the Canadian influence full circle is the announcement recently that ABC, CBS and the CW Network had purchased Canadian-produced television dramas and sitcoms. Each of the networks plans to air the Canadian shows in the U.S. this summer and may include them as part of their fall line-ups. This is an unprecedented coup for Canadian programming. Even the King of Kensington couldn’t crack the U.S. market in its heyday.
So what accounts for this disproportionate Canadian influence over what is the primary source of American culture? Mike Myers once remarked that the difference between Americans and Canadians is that Americans grow up watching TV while Canadians grow up watching American TV. Indeed, it is the unique combination of our proximity to the U.S. and our distance from it that gives creative Canadians special mastery in observing, interpreting and portraying the uniquely American character.
More importantly, the force of Canadian talent in the entertainment business has transformed the U.S. movie industry into the North American movie industry. Ultimately, as Canada and Canadians increasingly exert their influence, the industry will hopefully further evolve to where moviegoers will increasingly demand portrayals of that culture and character that is uniquely Canadian.
In the meantime, when you next come across a location shoot or watch an award show and you want to know where in the pecking order a particular Hollywood player belongs; do not look at the clothes. Instead, just look at the passport.
by Keith Fraser on July 27, 2010
It was 1994 when the decision was made that "FILM" would be the way to express and fulfill the life of Jamie Rauch, actor/director/writer/producer and author.
Jamie encountered Jesus in January 1997, and has never looked back to what his life could've been. He lost most of his friends and family as he proceed on with a life with Jesus. At times Jamie thought all of his dreams were over, only to later to be called by God to Bible College in 2000.
Once Bible College was over for Jamie in 2002, he married the love of his life Mandy. They soon proceeded a life of making it in the film industry. By 2006 Jamie made his first major award winning film as a co-producer, ultimately winning "best international film" in LA at the "168 film festival" in 2010.
Around Sept 2013 Jamie was in discussion with a friend about his heart to change the film industry, for Good! He was talking about the effect film has on our culture and the way we think and even the way we view things at times, but also the corruption that takes place behind the scenes of the filmmaking process, such as drugs, alcoholism, OD’s, abuse, long hours of work, divorce and over medicating etc. So out of this heart for change, the idea was birthed for Jamie to be a sort of “Chaplain” or "life coach" to the workers of the film industry.
So from that day forth, God has been in action, setting this dream in motion. In a short few months The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC, has come on board to partner with us through Mission Canada to be the first film industry Chaplin to connect and encourage the Christians that are already a part of the film industry and to reach out to and show the love of Christ to those that are searching and lost. To ultimately build a team of like-minded people across Canada that are excited for change and to see the biggest influential industry in Canada to be under God's leadership! Jamie and Mandy Rauch have this to say about their ministry as they embark into the fundraising stage:
"We believe that the Kingdom of God WILL advance in Film Industry/Hollywood and we want YOU to be a part of this amazing ministry. This ministry is self-funded, strictly funded by donations. Every donor will be kept up to date with newsletters and annual meetings. You also get a tax receipt and full budget disclosure upon request. We want to try and meet all of our kind donors. Please pray and ask God how much a month He wants you to give. Thank you for all your support! We need you, and the Entertainment world needs you! Be blessed and grace and peace to you!"
Jamie & Mandy Rauch
Hollywood Exec DeVon Franklin: 'Heaven Is for Real' Box Office Success Can Green-Light More Faith-Based Movies
DeVon Franklin, Senior Vice President of Production for Columbia TriStar Pictures, is praying for a major turnout for the new film, Heaven Is for Real, in theaters this week. Blockbuster sales at the box office would, according to the Hollywood executive and devout Christian, result in more faith-friendly features on the big screen.
"The success of this movie opening weekend directly correlates to the decision to green-light and make more of them. It's an immediate thing," Franklin told The Christian Post via phone on Tuesday. "If there's a sense that there's a growing market and a growing hunger for more films like this, then the desire to continue to provide more films will increase, and decisions will be made to be able to make more films like this.
"With the success of this movie this weekend, I'm praying and believing and trusting God that it will be successful, then decisions will be made quickly on continuing to make sure that this audience and audiences like it that want more product like this will have more products available for them."
Heaven Is for Real, based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name, dramatizes the real-life story of the Burpos family, whose youngest son, Colton believes he visited heaven during a near-death experience and shares his story with the world.
The story behind the film, distributed by Franklin's TriStar Pictures and that counts T.D. Jakes among its list of producers, packs the kind of punch that will draw audiences into theaters, or so the 35-year-old executive believes.
Franklin, also an ordained Seventh-day Adventist minister and author of the bestselling book, Produced by Faith, recently shared with CP what decision-makers like himself look for when choosing quality projects for the big screen. Also, he talked about why he believes Christians should engage more in Hollywood and the film industry if they want to see more films made that are reflective of their faith, values and interests.
Below is a transcript of CP's interview with Franklin, which has been edited for clarity.
CP: What kind of elements do you look for when a project or pitch comes your way? What makes you say this could be a hit?
Franklin: One is just do I connect to it? That's the number one thing. The other thing is, is it commercial? Is there a concept being explored in the idea that it seems like it would make sense for a wide audience to see it? Those are just really two of the key things. Reading the script, if it's a spec script or a book, [and determining] how well am I connecting to it. Am I turning the page? Is the concept marketable? Is there an idea or a hook that an audience would find interesting? Those are really two key fundamental areas that I use to evaluate which projects to do.
CP: Tell me a little about Heaven Is for Real. What elements does the movie have that will attract not only people of faith, but just an audience in general?
Franklin: When you read the book, the book was just incredibly interesting, and the mystery of it. I actually remember reading it and just turning the pages, I literally could not stop. After getting done with the book it was like, "Wow, this is a book and a story that really needs to be heard and needs to be seen around the world." So it really came down to that connection. The book itself was a New York Times Bestseller and sold millions of copies around the world, and I understand why. The book feels really, really powerful. With bringing it to the screen, it just was a matter of how to preserve the integrity of the story. Because it's a true story, preserving the integrity of it was very, very important in making sure that the same power of the book, we could try and demonstrate that power in the film.
CP: What are you thoughts on controversy that films like Noah and even Son of God faced in terms of being criticized by some Christians as not being "biblical enough?"
Franklin: I think anytime you make a film it's always open to criticism. There's no film that is an exception to that. Some are going to feel that, depending on what the movie is, it's not faithful enough, and some might feel that it's too faithful.
My thing with Heaven Is for Real was, it's based upon a true story, it's based upon the life of the Burpos, a family out of Imperial, Neb., and young Colton, their youngest son [who] had a near-death experience at the time. For Heaven Is for Real, it was so important to preserve the integrity of their story because it's their life. At the end of the day, when the movie is already out and I've moved on to another film and the other producers have moved on to their films, it's still going to be their life. So our goal with this film was to preserve the integrity of the family's journey in a way that they would be proud of it and that it's something they could stand behind their entire lives.
CP: You'll hear some Christian rappers say, "Stop calling it Christian rap, it's just rap or hip-hop." Do you feel like that at all about the film industry?
Franklin: My hope is that one day that will we just get to the place where it's just "movies." When you look at the life of Christ, Jesus didn't come with a faith-based Gospel. He came with a message that would change the world. My hope and prayer is that movies made in this space will have a similar approach and a similar impact. I do think that sometimes putting a label on them can be very, very limiting when in fact there may be people who need the message of the film that may not think it's for them because of the label. So yes, I do hope that eventually we'll be able to break down these labels and these films will be judged on their own merit.
CP: In a 2012 story on your promotion to Senior VP of production, it said you'd be overseeing material geared toward "the urban and faith-based markets." Can you describe those two markets briefly in terms of what it is you believe they want?
Franklin: I think that when you look at those two markets, and the movie-going market in general, people want stories, number one, that are entertaining. If you're asking someone to spend a whole evening when it comes to taking family and what-not, the expense is on there. First and foremost, there has to be a good entertainment proposition. It's really about finding stories that are entertaining. The second thing is finding stories that will connect with audiences in a personal way.
Having been involved in Sparkle, Whitney Houston's last film, the goal there was to make that movie relatable and to make that movie emotional in a way that it would really connect with the audience and strike a chord. So whether it's an urban film, a faith-based film, a superhero movie, it's really truly important to develop the script in a way in which, one it's going to be entertaining; two, what about the story is going to connect to the audience? What about the story is going to inspire the audience? It's really important to think about all of this regardless of the genre.
CP: What do you say to Christians who remain skeptical toward Hollywood due to past negative portrayals of their faith?
Franklin: In order to affect culture, you have to be a part of culture. One of the things that God has been doing in my story is to help break down the barriers that sometimes we as Christians put around Hollywood. I was taught, "Hey, Sodom and Gomorrah, you can't go there and keep your faith." I was like, "Well, I believe God is calling me to this industry, and the industry is an industry that impacts the world. So what better way to impact the world than to be a part of an industry that can do that?" My hope and prayer is that we won't put a stigma on the industry, but that we would look at it the way that maybe God looks at it, as another avenue to reach and help people.
CP: In what ways are you specifically encouraging Christians to get more involved in Hollywood and the film industry?
Franklin: I encourage and counsel Christian filmmakers all the time. The thing that I say is, "At the end of the day, become great at what you do." Whether you're writing scripts, whether you want to direct films, whether you're producing movies, become great. It's so, so important to become a master of your craft. Study it, learn it, absorb it, know how to write great screenplays, get into a screenwriting class, look at books that can help you write better, become a great director, study the greatest directors ever in school. It's so important … the better control you have over the art form, the better art you will make. I really try to drive this home with as many young Christian filmmakers that I come across.
CP: Any final thoughts on Heaven Is for Real as it opens this week?
Franklin: I'm just excited about it, really praying everyone goes to see it. I can't wait to see the response and reaction. I've screened it already for a number of audiences around the country and the response has been incredible. So I'm just praying and believing that it's the same response once it comes out.
BY NICOLA MENZIE , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
Hollywood Actor: God-Based Movies Are Thriving Because ‘People Are Looking for Real Hope and Real Change’
Hollywood actor Kevin Sorbo told Glenn Beck Thursday that God-based movies are thriving at the box office because “people are looking for real hope and real change.”
“Hollywood just thinks it’s New York and L.A., that’s all that exists,” he remarked. “There are a bunch of states in between with a lot of people that have good morals, strong beliefs. They want movies that inspire them, that inspire their kids. … And if you look at the history of Hollywood — if you look at the movies with the biggest return — it’s always been family movies, comedies, things like that.”
The star of the mega-hit Hercules, which he told Beck was once the most-watched show in the world, Sorbo is one of the stars in the recent box office success God’s Not Dead. Costing only roughly $2 million to create, the movie has already made back over $50 million.
The film joins Heaven Is For Real and Son of God as yet another faith-based movie that has stunned critics at the box office in recent months.
Sorbo said he’s not telling Hollywood to stop making violent or graphic movies, but said he finds it interesting that Hollywood “[ignores] the ‘business’ side of ‘show business’ so often.”
He also commented on how rare it is for movies with Christian or conservative values to be made in Hollywood.
“Freedom of speech — it seems to be something that’s sort of going away in this country,” Sorbo commented. “I don’t mind other people’s points of view. I’m open to debate. … It’s just weird that — why does the viewpoint coming from conservative Christians in Hollywood have to be cut off? I don’t get it.”
Sorbo said one of the main goals for the film is to “start discussions,” and they’ve been blown away by the response.
By Erica Ritz
Jamie has been in FILM since 1994, and is a full time minister of Jesus Christ to the FILM INDUSTRY