Backstreet’s Back…

One of the more exciting parts of my weekend was covering the Backstreet Boys 20th Anniversary Fan Celebration at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood on Saturday. Of course I wasn’t as excited as the people who camped out from 8pm on Friday, or those who paid $150 for a meet and greet [ie a quick hello and a picture if you’re lucky] but I’ll admit I did struggle to contain my inner fangirl when Brian Littrell walked past me.

Along with doing interviews with the press, a Q & A with the fans and giving a sneak peek of their upcoming documentary, the group gave the crowd a preview of their new album and for any BSB fans out there, I’m happy to say it’s a return to form. Uber producer Max Martin [ who is responsible for Quit Playing Games, Everybody and I Want It That Way, to name just a few] is back and his influence is clear on the new record.

We heard eight songs [full album which was also produced by Prophet and Morgan will be 13 plus bonus tracks] and the guys gave a little bit of background on each.

Soldier: Nick and Howie wrote this one and it’s a typical, upbeat BSB song. Instantly recognisable as one of theirs.

Breathe: This is similar to any slower song on a typical BSB album

Trust Me: More acoustic driven, none of the group wrote this but they all agreed they instantly fell in love with it and had to have it on the album.

Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of: This was inspired by the Backstreet Babies and Kevin started crying twice when talking about it, once during press interviews and again with the fans.

In Your Arms: Howie and Nick teamed up to write this dance track.

Madeleine: More guitar led and co-written by AJ, who wanted to write something about the epidemic of bullying.

Try: James Morrison wrote this and AJ takes lead vocals. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a Morrison song, quite soulful.

Permanent Stain or PS: Even more so than Soldier, this is classic Backstreet Boys, just a pity about the terrible title!

Check out a mash-up below 



Backstreet Boys vs Leonardo DiCaprio

Yesterday (20.04.13), I went to the Backstreet Boys 20th anniversary fan celebration at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood. I was covering it for work but honestly, I really went because I love Backstreet Boys. Although, I have got nothing on most of the fans there when it comes to BSB love but that deserves a post all of its own.

The guys were telling some stories of their adventures from the past 20 years and this one from A.J. McLean might be one of my favourite celebrity stories ever….

We were at the MTV Europe Music Awards in London [in 1996] and at a club afterwards I needed the bathroom. I told my security guys I was fine to go upstairs on my own and back then I used to wear way too many accessories so I was wearing a pair of goggles with my outfit. I saw Leonardo DiCaprio and said ‘Hey man, I’m a huge fan’ and he just looked at me, grabbed my goggles and pinged them back in my face. He had two huge bodyguards with him so there was nothing I could do.”

In 1996 Leonardo DiCaprio was hitting the big time with Romeo & Juliet and Backstreet Boys had just released their debut album Backstreet Boys in Europe.

Check out 1996 Leonardo DiCaprio [he has never looked as good since] and A.J. wearing his ridiculous goggles and tell me, even if you are a BSB fan, you wouldn’t have been tempted to do the same!

Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo

Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo

A.J. McLean over-accessorising

A.J. McLean over-accessorising

And as a bonus trip down memory lane, here’s the Romeo & Juliet trailer and Backstreet Boys’ Get Down video. Enjoy!

I am Jack Reacher…

…Well not really, but I tried. You might remember I mentioned last week about the Jack Reacher training day I was going to for work.  It took place on Wednesday at Paramount Studios in Hollywood and was way more fun than I expected.

First of all, it was pretty great to get to spend the whole day on the lot. We were on New York Street, which as you would expect, is designed to look like typical New York streets, with everything from apartment buildings to a subway entrance.

Every time I step on to a movie studio lot I consider quitting journalism for anything to do with the film industry, as they’re just such magical places to be. But unfortunately that’s not likely to happen!

Anyway, Jack Reacher has Tom being his usual action star self, doing everything from stunt driving to winning fights even when he is hopelessly outnumbered of course.

Joey Box from the stunt driving team talked us through the car chase scenes that Tom took part in and we even got the chance to drive around the lot in the iconic  V8-powered Chevrolet Chevelle  from the movie. An environmentally conscious car this is not, I was practically choking from all of the fumes it was giving off but it is pretty badass and looks awesome.

There’s one scene in the movie where Jack Reacher faces off against five guys, memorably saying ‘Remember, you asked for this,’ before taking out three while the other two run off in fear.

We had Rob Alonzo [assistant stunt coordinator and fight coordinator] and his stunt men perform this sequence for us and they even taught us how to do it ourselves. They showed a basic 10 step plan which after practicing [a lot] we acted out, with them as the bad guys, and the whole thing was recorded. I will not be posting it here as I look like an absolute idiot but it was so much fun and the guys couldn’t have been any sweeter. Even though most of us were terrible, they were incredibly encouraging and threw themselves into every take so we all got some fun footage.

Many of these guys have worked with Tom in the past and not surprisingly the overwhelming consensus is that he is “intense”. They said he’s better than many of the stunt guys out there and would be on set working on his fight scenes until 2am before being back at 6am for shooting. That’s dedication but after I struggled to get the 10 steps for one tiny fight scene right, I can only imagine how much work goes into doing all your own stunts for a full movie.

I might not agree with his insistence on sticking with scary Scientology but I definitely don’t doubt Cruise’s work ethic!

Jack Reacher is released on DVD in the UK on April 22

Paramount Studios

Paramount Studios


Jack Reacher's V8-powered Chevrolet Chevelle 

Jack Reacher’s V8-powered Chevrolet Chevelle


stunt cars

stunt cars


Assistant stunt coordinator Rob Alonzo (left) and stunt coordinator Paul Jennings (right)

Assistant stunt coordinator Rob Alonzo (left) and stunt coordinator Paul Jennings (right)

Me, attempting to be as tough as Cruise and failing miserably

Me, attempting to be as tough as Cruise and failing miserably

Sounds like Lindsay Lohan is playing herself in The Canyons

I had never heard of Nolan Gerard Funk before last night but he was on Glee, is a new cast member on Awkward and more importantly he worked on The Canyons with Lindsay Lohan so he gave me the scoop on her.

Life imitating art?

“Lindsay definitely gave me a lot to work with. As an actor I think the least interesting thing about an actor is their personal life, but Lindsay plays a character who has gone through so much with substance abuse, lots going on in their personal life, and she gives a great performance.

“There was so much controversy about Lindsay, and then with [porn star] James Deen being cast, too, but we’re all so proud of the movie. It’s getting great buzz from serious film people so I’m excited for everyone to see it.”

He also worked with Vin Diesel on Ridic so this young kid from Canada could be one to watch.

“Working with Vin Diesel on Ridic was amazing. I didn’t even have to see a script, I was just so excited to work with Vin Diesel and blow stuff up. It’s every young actors dream.

“I had to bulk up for the role and also just because I was going to be working with Vin. We were all like pumping iron in the hotel room.”

Check out The Canyons trailer here 

A quick chat with Game of Thrones’ Missandei

Confession: I’ve never seen Game of Thrones! I know right, I’m definitely in the minority and it is on my list of things to do. I have a feeling I’ll get addicted when I do get around to watching it so it needs to be carefully planned.

Recently though, I interviewed GOT newcomer Nathalie Emmanuel [British readers will know her as Sasha Valentine from Hollyoaks], who landed the role of Missandei in season three. Nathalie is a self-confessed GOT nerd, and confessed she tried not to get her hopes up after the audition because she was convinced she’d never get a role in the show she loves so much.

Obviously things worked out for her and she is now winning rave reviews for her portrayal of the former slave and servant of Daenerys Targaryen [Emilia Clarke].

Check out my article on Nathalie here

Nathalie Emmanuel

Nathalie Emmanuel

Nathalie as Missandei

Nathalie as Missandei