x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Also, Ashton Kutcher gets techy, Bruce Springsteen tours South Africa, and more.

Left to right, Hugh Jackman with his mother-in-law Fay Duncan and his wife Deborra-Lee Furness. Andy Kropa /Invision / AP
Left to right, Hugh Jackman with his mother-in-law Fay Duncan and his wife Deborra-Lee Furness. Andy Kropa /Invision / AP

Hugh Jackman honours mother-in-law

When Hugh Jackman decided to marry the daughter of a woman who’s dedicated her life to fighting cancer, he became part of the fight as well – it was a package deal. The X-Men actor said that when he asked his mother-in-law Fay Duncan – the president of the Fight Cancer Foundation in Australia – for her blessing when he proposed to Deborra-Lee Furness, she told him that supporting the fight against cancer was one of the requirements. Last week, Jackman and his wife paid tribute to Duncan, one of several honoured at the annual Angel Ball benefit that raises funds for cancer research. He joked: “If you’re expecting an actor to start sucking up to his mother-in-law, you’re absolutely right.” The evening featured performances from Pharrell, Usher and Chaka Khan. – AP

Lenovo hires Ashton Kutcher to design new tablet and star in advert campaign

Lenovo has hired the tech-savvy actor Ashton Kutcher to help design and pitch its latest line of tablets, dubbing the Hollywood star a “product engineer” who can bring his ideas along with his image. It’s the latest tech foray for the Two and a Half Men performer, who recently starred in a biopic about the giant of innovation Steve Jobs and has invested venture capital in more than a dozen Silicon Valley start-ups. The deal was announced last week at a live-streamed Lenovo event in Los Angeles. Lenovo’s first video advertisements for the new Yoga Tablet feature Kutcher acting as a product tester in his boxers, a spacesuit and aboard an airplane. Kutcher also has appeared in advertisements in recent years for snack chips and cameras. – AP

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band set for three shows in South Africa

Tickets went on sale last week for Bruce Springsteen’s first tour of South Africa, decades after he and his E Street Band campaigned for the end of apartheid. Springsteen and the band will play gigs on January 28 and 29 in Cape Town and February 1 in the Johannesburg suburb of Soweto, a crucible of the anti-apartheid cause. The group were vocal opponents of the racially segregated, white-dominated regime that ended in 1994. In 1985, Springsteen’s guitarist Steven Van Zandt founded the Artists United Against Apartheid movement to promote a cultural boycott of the country. The group produced an album, song and documentary titled Sun City – named after a casino and concert venue that was built in the north of the country to attract foreign performers. Springsteen as well as the stars Jackson Browne, Rubén Blades, Miles Davis, U2, Ringo Starr and Bob Dylan all took part. Tickets for the Johannesburg gig went on sale at a starting price of US$30 (Dh110) apiece. – AFP

Kardashian and West file lawsuit after YouTube co-founder videos proposal

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West sued a co-founder of YouTube on Thursday claiming that he violated a confidentiality agreement by posting a video of the couple’s marriage proposal to his new video-sharing website. The couple’s lawsuit states that Chad Hurley wasn’t invited to the elaborate October 21 proposal at San Francisco’s AT&T Park, but was allowed to stay because he signed an agreement not to post any video or images from the event. West allowed other cameras to film the event for possible broadcast on E!, home to his fiancée’s show Keeping Up With the Kardashians, according to the suit. Hurley posted a fuzzy, two-minute-long video on his new website, MixBit, that showed West proposing to Kardashian while an orchestra played. The video also showed the ensuing celebration with Kardashian’s family and invited guests toasting the newly engaged couple to the celebration. Kardashian and West are seeking unspecified damages from Hurley and his company, Avos Systems Inc. – AP

Lou Reed died doing tai chi, says widow

The American rocker Lou Reed breathed his last “looking at the trees” while doing tai chi, says his widow.

The influential 71-year-old songwriter and musician died last week of complications from a recent liver ­transplant.

In a letter titled “For Lou Reed” posted on Thursday on the website of The East Hampton Star, Laurie Anderson recalled her husband’s final moments at the couple’s house in the village of Springs, New York.

“Last week I promised Lou to get him out of the hospital and come home to Springs. And we made it!” wrote ­Anderson.

“He died on Sunday morning looking at the trees and doing the famous 21 form of tai chi with just his musician hands moving through the air.”

Anderson, herself a singer and performer, said that Reed was a tai chi master and spent his last days “being happy and dazzled by the beauty and power and softness of nature”.

Tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that helps reduce stress and anxiety and is often described as “meditation in motion,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

Seen as the godfather of punk, Reed and the Velvet Underground – the band he formed with the Welsh musician John Cale in 1965 – influenced generations of rock bands such as The Who, REM and ­Nirvana.

“Lou was a prince and a fighter and I know his songs of the pain and beauty in the world will fill many people with the incredible joy he felt for life,” Anderson wrote. “Long live the beauty that comes down and through and onto all of us.” – AFP

Tasty cause for Sesame Street

‘Imagine what it will be like to have our kids begging us to buy them fruits and vegetables instead of cookies, sweets and chips’ – Michelle Obama announced on Wednesday that the non-profit organisation behind Sesame Street will let the produce industry use Elmo, Big Bird and Sesame Street’s other furry characters free of charge to market fruits and veggies to kids. – AP

Aishwarya looking forward to Dhoom 3

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who sported a grunge look and a perfect figure in the hit action-thriller Dhoom 2, is looking forward to Dhoom 3. “Dhoom 3 is looking fabulous. It’s a franchise that all of us have enjoyed. It looks like it’s going to be fun and I am definitely looking forward to it,” she said. The actress was paired with Hrithik Roshan in Dhoom 2. Her husband, Abhishek Bachchan, starred in the previous two movies and will reprise his role in the third film. When asked about her comeback plans, she said: “Films are not made overnight. The fate of the film is decided in two to three hours but filmmaking takes time. I am looking forward to it, but things takes take time and for that, I apologise to my fans.” Dhoom 3 also stars Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif and is scheduled to release in December. – IANS

Akshay Kumar’s Boss to release in Iraq

Akshay Kumar’s action drama Boss is set to hit the screens in Iraq on November 28. Boss was distributed internationally by Krian Media, which released it on more than 400 screens worldwide. The movie was also the first Bollywood film to be released in Panama, said a statement. Produced by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Cape Of Good Films and Ashwin Varde Productions and directed by Anthony D’Souza, the action-comedy also features Aditi Rao Hydari. – IANS

Krrish 3 brings Diwali success for Roshan

The actor Hrithik Roshan says that he’s overwhelmed with the response to his latest film Krrish 3, and is glad that this Diwali is going to be a happy one for him and his family. “I want to thank the audience from the bottom of my heart and from the entire team of Krrish 3,” the 39-year-old said at a Mumbai cinema where he watched the film with the audience. “I am so overwhelmed that I can’t find words to thank them. I am happy and it is going to be a happy Diwali,” he added. Directed by Rakesh Roshan, Krrish 3 stars Hrithik Roshan as the superhero in the third instalment in the franchise that began in 2003. The film features Vivek Oberoi as the villain, Kaal. Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut also play pivotal roles in the film. Krrish 3 is out in UAE cinemas now. – IANS

SRK thanks fans for birthday wishes

Shah Rukh Khan, who turned 48 yesterday, expressed his gratitude for the love bestowed on him by his fans. The superstar took to Twitter to thank his fans for gathering outside his house in suburban Mumbai on Friday night with fireworks and his posters. “Thank you, everyone, all who came outside my house with firecrackers and posters. Love to you all and apologies to my neighbours. Your love makes me happy,” Khan tweeted on Friday night. “‘The mark of one born with noble qualities is being born without envy’- Francois. Now because of your love, I envy no one. Thanks, all, for ennobling me,” he added. – IANS

Ayushmann Khurrana and Sonu Nigam to star in new sitcom episode together

The actor Ayushmann Khurrana and the singer Sonu Nigam have been approached for cameo roles in the Indian sitcom Bh Se Bhade. “We have approached both Sonu and Ayushmann for a cameo in one of our soon-to-be telecast episodes,” the show’s producer J D Majethia said. Bh Se Bhade is about a man who has a knack for solving the problems of those around him. The show is expected to have more cameo appearances in each episode. It also stars Sarita Joshi and Atul Parchure and is broadcast on Zee TV. – IANS

Rampal over the moon about Mars link-up

The actor Arjun Rampal is the new “chocolate hero” ambassador for a campaign by the confectionery brand Mars. “I believe in partnering with brands that I use and appreciate. Mars Inc makes and sells my favourite chocolates. This is the first time that I have done a campaign in which I play a character that is me – an actor,” Rampal said. – IANS

Time for a Koffee break

Karan Johar is back on television with a brand new season of his talk show Koffee with Karan, this time with the tagline “Behind the Scenes. Beneath the Sheets”.

Season four’s first episode will be broadcast on December 1 with a new guest list. Expect the unexpected, as friends and foes, star families and couples come over for a friendly cup and a whole lot of conversation with the gossipy filmmaker. Johar has shot a new promo for the latest season, where he will be seen in a special ­Broadway-esque musical, marking the first look of what is in store.

He is also working on a new film, Shuddhi, starring Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor – The National staff