Gingers! So what’s the big deal? Why are so many of us apparently fascinated by folks with red hair, light skin, and occasionally freckles? Especially when such individuals become media personalities? “Red” is the rarest natural hair color on the planet: Only 1-2% of the world’s population have it. Red hair has been associated with personality traits such as fiery temperament, combativeness or aggressiveness, and an overactive–if not downright freaky libido. Religious and mythological figures from King David to Judas Iscariot to the Egyptian God Set have all been thought to be, or depicted as being Gingers. Oh, and with apologies to Marvel Comics and Chris Hemsworth: According to Norse mythology, Thor was a redhead–not a blonde.
As for why redheads are called Gingers in the first place, there seems to be no real consensus: It’s primarily a British term, and still considered mildly derogatory to many in the UK. One popular theory is that it has nothing to do with color, but instead refers to the hot-blooded demeanor redheads supposedly possess. Most likely, it started in the middle ages, when “Gynger” referred to the coloration of a red rooster. Regardless of the hows and whys, redheads stick out, and more than a few have made indelible marks on popular culture. Here then is ten of the most well-known and influential Gingers, who have risen to iconic status….despite the unfortunate handicap of having no souls.
Every day the internet produces an astounding amount of goodies and gems. Most hilarious, some amusing, but all worth at least a few seconds of your time. We here at Nerd Bastards try to bring you the best bits of news and nerdery the webz has to offer, with a bit of snark thrown in. But sometimes not everything makes the cut. Monday through Friday we’ll be bringing you our inbox leftovers, our forgotten bookmarks, the nerdy bits that simply slipped through the cracks. You can submit items to Nerdy Bits by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOVE: The only 2013 calender you’ll need; featuring Battlestar Galactica alums Tricia Helfer and Katee Sackhoff. Yeah. It’s exactly as sexy as you are imagining. Imma keep the pervy comments to myself, though. The duo created this calendar for Acting Outlaws, their charity that raises funds for various causes. I can’t be dirty nerdy when charity is involved. [NerdApproved]
It looks like all that hard work Jason Segel did for The Muppets movie is paying off once again, this time in the form of a continental partnership of science fiction and puppetry.
Sadly, this isn’t the long awaited Muppet’s “Pigs in Space” feature film we’ve all waited for, but it does mean Kermit and company are coming back to television — sort of.
Pairing with the United Kingdom’s highly popular BBC network, the one that does the show about that time traveling doctor (perhaps you’ve heard of it?), the Jim Henson Co. will be creating content in the form of No Strings Attached. The show will reportedly be based on the original Muppets Show, where various celebs will show up each week taking part in a series of sketches and games. The catch? Well, these will be different Muppets — no Kermit, no Gonzo, not even a measly Pepe the Prawn.
Here’s a release from the BBC on their partnership:
Danny Cohen, Controller BBC One and Karl Warner, Executive Editor Entertainment Commissioning, have commissioned BBC In-house Entertainment to make a pilot for BBC One. The project is a co-production with The Jim Henson Company.
In No Strings Attached (working title), a brand new cast of puppet characters will invite two celebrity guests to enter their world. The guests will go head to head in a series of unique games run by the cast of characters and take part in a variety of sketches, in what will be a warm, cheeky, family affair fuelled by a healthy dose of off-the-wall, madcap fun.
Danny Cohen said: “It’s wonderful to be working with The Jim Henson Company and a writing team led by Danny Baker.”
Derek McLean, Creative Director, BBC In-House Entertainment, said: “We are delighted and honoured to be providing both desk-space and an original idea to such a powerful array of showbiz talent, in what promises to be the longest credit roller in history.”
The creative team behind the show includes Brian Henson as lead puppeteer and Danny Baker as lead writer. The puppets have been created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop in Los Angeles.
Executive producers are Derek McLean and Andrew Westwell for BBC Entertainment, Brian and Lisa Henson for The Jim Henson Company and Martin Baker and Peter Coogan for Baker Coogan Productions, long time Henson collaborators.
Filming will take place overseas with the new cast of puppets created out of Henson studios in LA, with Jim’s son and current chairman of the Jim Henson Company Brian Henson serving as executive producer of the show. Journalist, radio DJ and screenwriter Danny Baker will be covering all the written material and comedy.
Hopefully this new show will translate well for those of us on this side of pond, otherwise the comedic aspect will be lost on us trying to figure out where No Strings Attached is funny. Oh yeah, did we mention that the celebrities will obviously be British? This gives us hope for the day we’ll all be expecting: The Doctor, any Doctor, in a Muppet’s sketch! Based on that thought alone we should be happy with what we are getting.
Do you remember when Shia LaBeouf talked about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull admitting that it wasn’t really all that great and that he dropped the ball? Well, to refresh your memory here’s what he said,
I feel like I dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished. I have a relationship with Steven (Spielberg) that supersedes our business work. And believe me, I talk to him often enough to know that I’m not out of line. And I would never disrespect the man. But when you drop the ball you drop the ball. You get to monkey-swinging and things like that and you can blame it on the writer and you can blame it on Steven. But the actor’s job is to make it come alive and make it work, and I couldn’t do it. So that’s my fault.
In a recent interview, Harrison Ford responded to these comments by saying, “I think he was a @#$!-ing idiot”
As an actor, I think it’s my obligation to support the film without making a complete ass of myself. Shia is ambitious, attentive, and talented – and he’s learning how to deal with a situation which is very unique and difficult.
It seems like Ford is of the opinion that, even if you feel that a film you were involved with has failed, it’s best to keep it to yourself. Meanwhile, LaBeouf is taking ownership of how unfortunate he and Indy 4 was. The question is—who’s right here? Do you stick behind your work as a sign of respect, even it’s shit, or do you become vocal about it as a means to not repeat history? I’ll leave you to debate in the comment section below.
One can say a lot about George Takei. He’s a talented actor, public speaker, and can really pull off wearing a non-baseball hat in public. His sexual orientation was never something I worried about while growing up watching Star Trek reruns, I was more concerned about Sulu getting in some sword play on screen. Over the years George has taken many stands in support of gay and lesbian rights and some very public stands against some of the hatred and slurs made by people in the news. He’s done it with a style and dignity that has impressed me. I used to just like him for his acting roles, now I respect him as a stand up guy.
George discussed the topic of “White Washing” in Hollywood at conventions before, I remember a talk he gave about the difficulty of just getting auditions for roles that were specifically written for Asian characters. In a recent interview with The Advocate George discusses this common and recurring Hollywood issue of casting Caucasian actors in Asian roles. The most recent example is the adaptation of Akira, where producers are courting cacasian actors for roles written for and portrayed in manga and animation as Asian.
Below are some of the interview highlights:
Were you surprised to find out Warner Bros. is courting white leading men for roles in the adaptation of Akira?
George Takei: It’s not a surprise because that’s been a Hollywood tradition. For example, when I was very young, I read Pearl Buck’s epic novel of China, The Good Earth. And that film, all of the principal major roles were cast with Caucasians. As a matter of fact, Luise Rainer, who played the wife, won an Oscar for that. Paul Muni was her husband. It’s an old Hollywood tradition that we’ve always been battling, not just Hollywood but Broadway too, if you remember Miss Saigon and the furor over that. So, no, I really wasn’t surprised, but the audience has changed now, and I’m surprised Warner Bros. is not keeping up with the audience. The manga and anime phenomenon is mostly white in this country. It originated in Japan, and, of course, it has a huge Asian fan following. But it’s the multi-ethnic Americans who are fans of Akira and manga. The idea of buying the rights to do that and in fact change it seems rather pointless. If they’re going to do that, why don’t they do something original, because what they do is offend Asians, number 1; number 2, they offend the fans. The same thing happened with M. Night Shyamalan. He cast his project [The Last Airbender] with non-Asians and it’s an Asian story, and the film flopped. I should think that they would learn from that, but I guess big studios go by rote, and the tradition in Hollywood has always been to buy a project, change it completely and flop with it. I think it’s pointless, so I thought I would save Warner Bros. a bit of failure by warning them of what will most likely happen if they continue in that vein.
It seems this is particularly still a problem for Asian and Asian-American actors. Do you see something like this happening with a role written for a black actor?
Oh, absolutely not. African-Americans have made enormous advances. There are a whole host of bankable stars who are African-American. Can you name one bankable Asian-American star? No. There isn’t. You have Denzel Washington, Samuel Jackson. A whole host of them. One can’t name a single Asian-American whose name you can take to the bank and get a project financed. We are making headways. I’m not a pessimist. We have made tremendous headways from the time I started in this business in 1957. Asian faces are part of the ensemble in many TV shows playing not roles that are specifically Asian, but playing doctors and detectives. Advances have been made, but we have still not caught up with the African-American achievements.
Why do you think there seems to be a reluctance to cast Asian-American actors in leading roles?
I don’t think it’s a reluctance, they just don’t know better. They have the experience of Shyamalan’s project, and I would think any savvy production company would learn from that. So I’m really baffled by the lack of learning from experience. Hollywood doesn’t like failures, and there’s a string of failures in the past. With this effort, I’m trying to warn them of what is likely to happen with this Akira project.
What would you ideally like to see happen with the Akira adaptation?
Well, ideally, they should do it properly and get Asian-American actors cast in those roles. In the adaptation they would of course be speaking in English and understandable to a popular American audience. That’s the whole point. They bought a project that is popular and enormously loved by its fans, and if they want the fan following to support the film, that’s the way you do it.
I am glad George took a logical and thought out stand on the subject and not an emotionally charged one. By appealing to the financial argument, George might just get Hollywood money men to listen, and that might lead to changes.
The world has lost a legend of fantasy literature. Diana Wynne Jones, author of Howl’s Moving Castle, Dark Lord of Derkholm and many other classics of the genre, died Saturday in England after a two year battle with lung cancer.
The news of her passing began trickling onto the net Saturday, first from a death date added to her Wikipedia page, and then through the Twitter feed of her friend, fellow author Neil Gaiman, who wrote a lengthy post on his blog Sunday about Jones and her death. Among the more tear-jerking passages from the post are things like this:
“I do miss her, very much. I have some wonderful friends. I have people in my life who are brilliant, and people who are colourful, and people who are absolutely wonderful, and who make the world better for their being in it. But there was only one Diana Wynne Jones, and the world was a finer one for having her in it.”
A post on Jones’ own website announcing her death also noted that we have not seen the last of her work. Earwig and the Witch, a short novel for young readers, will be published later this year, and a book of interviews, essays and lectures will follow next year.
She was a treasure to everyone who loved works of the fantastic, and she leaves behind dozens of wonderful works that we can keep reading and sharing, to remember the wonderful imagination she shared with us.
Oh noes! The only good thing in Batman Forever has died. Michael Gough, the actor who portrayed Bruce Wayne’s servant and confidant Alfred Pennyworth in four Batman films, passed away Thursday at 94 years of age. 94? Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit, that bastard was old when I was born. Fuck, I thought he was 94 when batman came out.
We’re going to need to need a bigger cave 🙁
Gough’s career included more than 100 movies and TV shows, from early Doctor Who and The Avengers, countless Hammer horror films, and movies such as Top Secret, Sleepy Hollow, and several Shakespearean adaptations.
All respect to Micheal Caine, but I’ll always consider Gough the definitive Alfred. RIP you glorious bastard!
Are you tired of Charlie Sheen yet? Well I’m certainly fucking not. His show, Two and a Half Men, is shut down for the season. His kids have been taken away. All as a result of his bat-shit crazy out bursts and of course he’s substance abuse problems. He’s an ‘effing mess! I’m just going to put this out there, he looks like… Skeletor and older than his dad! You could house a large baby in his nostril. Suffice to say, I love this man! Who could resist a man with “tiger blood,” ”Adonis DNA” and “fire-breathing fists”?
So, as you know (from one of the many quotes above) Mr. Sheen has practically invented a new language with his rants and ramblings. It’s become a bit of a media phenomenon. His musing and misdemeanors are everywhere. And now, they’ve made into Star Wars.
Ladies and gentleman allow me to introduce to you a video mash-up entitled “Sheen Wars”. Mashing up Charlie Sheen’s recent rant and Darth Vader. It’s pretty much what the internet was made for. It was clearly created by fools and trolls and meant for Gnarly Gnarlingtons.
It’s hard to ignore a good celebrity meltdown. From the likes of Robert Downey Jr. to Britney Spears to Mel Gibson and now Charlie Sheen. Charlie Sheen has taken the common celebrity meltdown and cranked it up to eleven with a blitzkrieg publicity tour to rival a blockbuster movie opening.
This last week Charlie has been making the rounds of all the radio and television talk, interview, and celebrity news shows. Sheen’s publicity whirlwind has given us many great new “Sheenisms” as I’m now calling them. While great on their own, these rambling Sheen rants have been taken to a new level by artist Chris Haley and writer Curt Franklin of the webcomic Let’s Be Friends Again, who found a better use than just pasting them on some crazy cat picture: putting them in the mouths of superheroes.
Here’s my Nerdbastard shot at one of Charlie’s quotes, “I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available, because if you try it once, you will die and your children will weep over your exploded body.
The results of the Charlie Sheen handjob.
Check out the what other superheroes Charlie has been channeling after the jump.
Courtney passed away yesterday at the age of 81. First appearing on Doctor Who in 1965 not as a military officer but as Space Agent Bret Vyon in The Dalek’s Master Plan, he would appear on the show regularly from 1970 to 1975 in his most famous role. He played Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart for the first time in 1968. One of the Doctor’s most faithful companions he joined the Doctor on dozens of adventures, mostly during the third Doctor’s banishment on Earth where he worked closely with U.N.I.T. (UNified Intelligence Taskforce, formerly United Nations Intelligence Taskforce)of which the Brigadier was in charge.
The Brigadier handled anything his association with the Doctor threw at him. Aliens, robots even plastic dummies were all handled under pressure with grace and a stiff upper lip. Not one to fluster easily sometimes he would be quick to jump to a violent solution, to the dismay of the Doctor, but Courtney’s brilliant acting of the character allowed him to be beloved by fans.
After the Doctor began hopping galaxies again and spent less time on Earth the Brigadier would still appear in later episodes. He had a particularly prominent role in the big cross-time event, The Five Doctors. Only recently did he reprise his role on The Sarah Jane Adventures in 2008. Of course what’s really disappointing is we’ll never get so see the Brigadier team up with the good Doctor again. Seeing Courtney and Matt Smith together would have been a treat indeed.
After the jump enjoy some clips of classic Brigadier, he was one hell of a chap and one of the best allies the Doctor ever had.