‘Quiz Lady’ Production Design Used ‘The Price Is Right’ as Inspiration – IndieWire – Armessa Movie News


When hearing the logline for Hulu’s new movie “Quiz Lady” — a wild sister prods her shy sibling into appearing on a quiz show to pay off debts — one could be forgiven for assuming that Sandra Oh plays the more together Jenny and Awkwafina the one getting into shenanigans. But one of the delights of the Jessica Yu-helmed comedy is watching these two actresses play atypical roles. It’s Oh who roars into town and Awkwafina who has to be forced off her couch and away from her stockpile of popcorn. And the fun they’re having is contagious.

“Sandra’s character is entirely inappropriate and self-serving and kind of stuck in the past,” Yu told IndieWire. “But she’s not fully accepting that. [Sandra and I] talked about what was the period in Jenny’s growing up that she can’t let go of, and we decided it was kind of like, late’ 90s, early aughts. I think she’s got a little Ariana Grande that she’s trying to cling to.”

Daisy Ridley in "The Marsh King's Daughter"

As for Awkwafina’s Anne, the character’s goal is to blend in as much as possible, until a dognapping requires her to move outside her comfort zone and compete on “Can’t Stop the Quiz,” a nightly game show hosted by a bowtie-clad Will Ferrell. “There was a plainness, all the neutral tones that kind of match the tones of the cubicle at work,” Yu said. “So there were weird discussions where we’re thinking, ‘OK, the wall is this and her skin color is that. What’s anything in between that we could dress her in?’”

Estranged when “Quiz Lady” begins, Jenny and Anne reach a wary detente in order to pay off their mother’s gambling debt and rescue Anne’s dog — but that rapprochement is tested repeatedly as they tentatively embark on a road trip to first audition for “Can’t Stop the Quiz” and then try to dethrone the smirking current champion (played by Jason Schwartzbaum in full smug slimeball mode). Along the way, there is a Benjamin Franklin-themed hotel, a drug-fueled audition, and Oh revealing a gift for slapstick comedy. But even as the comedy goes broad, the relationship between the sisters never settles for easy answers or sentimentality.

“We really tried to spend a lot of time in prep just talking about the script, talking about these relationships, the backstories, so that that bedrock was there for those more weighty moments,” Yu said. “Because I think if you get that right, then you can stray and you can come back, right? But I think a perfect example is a scene in the emergency room, where it starts with some physical comedy. And then it gets to somewhere more real than anything we’ve seen in the movie up to that point. And watching our actors navigate that was really so satisfying.”

(L-R) Sandra Oh as Jenny Yum, Awkwafina as Anne Yum, and Director Jessica Yu on the set of 20th Century Studios' QUIZ LADY, exclusively on Hulu. Photo by Michele K Short. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Behind the scenes of “Quiz Lady” with Sandra Oh, Awkwafina, and director Jessica YuMichele K Short

Equally satisfying is watching Awkwafina nervously navigate her appearance on “Can’t Stop the Quiz,” here the attention and the exposure threaten to unravel her ability to win. An outrageous combination of “Jeopardy!” and charades, the game is both soothing in its rhythms and unsettling in its sudden swerves away from trivia. And for shy Anne, the prospect of acting out clues is truly terrifying.

“With the game show, we wanted it to feel kind of like Oz, right? So the color, everything feels the light. It feels different from anything else in the film,” Yu said. “So what was fun was to be able to visit ‘The Price Is Right’ and just get a feeling for that. And our production designer, Jeff Mann, did a lot of research. We wanted to walk the line between a show where you’re required to be very smart, but also where there’s playfulness.”

“The other thing I loved is it really gave a chance for our actors to just order off the menu [playing charades]. And so some of it was them just working off each other and going for it. There were, in the script, some indications of how they would start certain clues. And then the actor sometimes would just add a little extra something.”

And with a cast like that, a little extra something is a winning formula.

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The Rolling Stones & Lady Gaga “Sweet Sounds Of Heaven” Video Out Now @ Top40-Charts.com -Playlists


New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Last week The Rolling Stones took over New York City club, Racket NYC to celebrate the release of their highly anticipated new album Hackney Diamonds, the band’s first album of new material in eighteen years. With DJ Questlove spinning, the celebration quickly turned into a rock show when Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood took the stage to perform 7 songs from the new album and iconic hits – “Shattered,” “Angry,” “Whole Wide World,” “Tumbling Dice,” “Bite My Head Off,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and Lady Gaga joined the band on stage to perform their single “Sweet Sounds of Heaven” to a packed house.

A video of The Rolling Stones and Lady Gaga’s performance of “Sweet Sounds of Heaven” is out now.

Stream / Buy Hackney Diamonds here: https://amzn.to/3tLe9bT

Hackney Diamonds is their first studio set of new material since 2005’s A Bigger Bang. Since then, the Stones have continued to smash box office records on a series of global sell-out tours and released 2016’s GRAMMY Award winning Blue & Lonesome, which featured their brilliant versions of many of the blues tracks that helped shape their sound, and topped album charts around the world. Last year, they thrilled European audiences totalling nearly a quarter of a million on the anniversary Sixty tour. The Rolling Stones have sold over 250 million albums worldwide.

Hackney Diamonds marks The Stones (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood) first album produced by producer and musician Andrew Watt.

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Awkwafina & Sandra Oh Movie Quiz Lady Wasn’t Meant to Have an R Rating – The Hollywood Reporter- Armessa Movie News


After Jen D’Angelo’s first feature (a script she describes as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead meets Titanic) made The Black List, she received industry attention but quickly realized the endeavor would be obscenely expensive — and a rights nightmare. She instead decided to write a film inspired by her brother, a longtime Jeopardy! whiz who has never made it on the show. From there, Quiz Lady — a sweet, slapstick story about two polar-opposite sisters looking to pay off their mother’s debts by scoring a spot on a game show — was born. D’Angelo details the casting and real-life dynamics of Sandra Oh and Awkwafina, as well as the movie’s R rating.

Did you write this with Awkwafina and Sandra Oh in mind?

I wrote it with the understanding that it would be difficult to get made if I didn’t have incredible actors at the center. When I finished the draft, my manager thought of Awkwafina, who is also a client of hers. She immediately wanted to sign on and then mentioned that she and Sandra had always wanted to do something together. This pairing feels like a miracle. 

How did their casting help inform the final version of the movie?

They really wanted to make it feel authentically and specifically Asian American — especially in regard to the family dynamics. We talked a lot about battling the model minority myth, what that has done to the characters, and how they’ve internalized shame. The changes they made helped everything in the movie feel much more real and brought their performances to life.

They’re playing against type, with Awkwafina as the serious, responsible sister and Sandra as the wild sister, but do you see any similarities between the actors and their characters?

Their relationship in real life does feel very sister-y. Awkwafina really is a whiz. There was a scene where she lists all the best picture Oscar winners in order, and she legitimately did that in real life. Sandra has so much energy and is so interested in people and how things work — the second she walks into a room, everyone is like, “Oh, Sandra is here.” She has this special aura about her. 

Recent female-fronted comedies, like No Hard Feelings or Joy Ride, have really leaned into raunchiness. Were you aiming for a more mild R-rated comedy?

I was surprised that it got an R rating. We weren’t aiming for that because what we really liked about the movie is that it was heartfelt and silly, with some emotional heft to the storyline in the sisters’ relationship. Now that I know it’s R-rated, there’s probably more we could have left in there. (Laughs.)

The film has a top-secret celebrity cameo. Can you tease anything?

I’m so excited to be able to talk about that scene once the movie comes out. I’ll say that in the original script, we had a character who is obsessed with Ray Donovan run into Liev Schreiber, but Liev was unavailable. So I tried to think of a new, funny way to do a joke about celebrity doppelgangers. I had a whole list, like Jake Johnson and Oscar Isaac, or Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Javier Bardem. 

From left: Screenwriter Jen D’Angelo; Sandra Oh as Jenny, Awkwafina’s fictional older sister who conjures a plan to get on Can’t Stop the Quiz.

Courtesy of Joanna DeGeneres; Courtesy of 20th Century Studios

This story first appeared in the Oct. 25 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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Lady Gaga Joins U2 on Stage at Las Vegas’ Sphere – Billboard – Armessa Music News


The stars aligned at Las VegasSphere on Wednesday night (Oct. 25), as Lady Gaga joined U2 on stage for what turned out to be a mini set.

Dressed in a dark leather jacket, black tights and shades, Mother Monster was introduced to stage by Bono as “the most audacious, vivacious woman in any room she’s ever in,” Variety reports.

Sphere is no ordinary room. It’s a $2.3 billion, next-generation entertainment medium, with floor-to-ceiling graphics, thanks to nearly-580,000 square feet of fully programmable LED paneling — the largest screen of its type in the world. The images that have filtered back from U2’s residency are nothing short of mindbending.


See latest videos, charts and news

See latest videos, charts and news

Gaga came to play, and she dueted on “Shallow,” her Oscar-winning, Billboard Hot 100-leading number from A Star is Born, braced by two U2 classics, Rattle and Hum track “All I Want Is You” and the Joshua Tree hit “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

It’s not the first time Gaga and U2 have come together to make sweet music.

Back in 2015, Gaga joined U2 at Madison Square Garden for a rendition of “Ordinary Love,” the rock band’s contribution to the soundtrack for the 2013 Nelson Mandela biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. On that occasion, the pop singer dueted with Bono and played piano.

Gaga is making something of a habit of teaming up with legendary rock bands from the British Isles. Last week, Gaga took the mic during the encore of the Rolling Stones’ intimate show at New York City’s the Racket, for a performance of “Sweet Sounds of Heaven,” the collaborative track lifted from the British band’s 26th album released in America, Hackney Diamonds. With a little help from Gaga, Hackney Diamonds led the midweek U.K. albums chart by a country mile, by outselling the rest of the top 10 combined.

Bono & Co. wrap up their 25-concert U2:UV Achtung Baby Live run in December.

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Safa Shax Releases Another Sad & Emotional Single “Lady In Red” @ Top40-Charts.com – Armessa Music News


New York, NY (Top40 Charts) On October 23rd, Safa Shax released a new single called “LADY IN RED.” It’s an R&B song that talks about love, the kind that makes everyone act like fools. The song’s genres are R&B and Pop, which makes it even more unique. She wrote the lyrics and recorded the song in her studio. She has released more than twenty songs since December 2022. She has gained a reputation for being versatile in her music and has attracted different demographics. She has gained different types of fans from all walks of life. You can listen to the song here:

Safa Shaqsy started singing and writing stories when she was eight years old. She lived in a bedroom apartment, and her parents worked hard to sustain a living. Her father was the only parent who had a job, and living in that apartment was hard, but she made it fun. She had two sisters and one brother, and she played “imagine” with her brother quite often. After starting college, her mother got dementia and separated to live with her family. While her mother was away, Safa took care of her siblings, with the help of her dad, and focused on her college. For years, she and her father made websites to start their online business, but nothing ever worked. After graduating college, she got a job and almost opened a business, but it failed since day one, and she had debts.

Safa started writing books and worked in a job. She thought that was her passion, and submitted so many queries around, more than a thousand, but she got rejected. She thought that if she opened her publishing house, it would be successful, but the publishing house failed as well, keeping her in debt. Years later, she met an online friend who helped her rediscover her passion for singing. She rejected the idea a few times, saying she would never sing. But after publishing one book as a pre-order, she thought of making a playlist of her songs with the theme of her book. Many people loved it too. It wasn’t just her who listened to her songs. She was confused, and changed her name to Safa Shax, to stay anonymous. She changed her song styles and brand. For months, no one knew who she was, until one day she asked herself a question, “Did I work hard for fifteen years, only for my success to be hidden?” Then she revealed her true identity.


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‘SNL’ — Lady Gaga Introduces Bad Bunny’s First Musical Performance – Armessa Movie News


The singer was on hand to introduce the host and musical guest.

Saturday Night Live this week was a who’s-who of special guest stars for Bad Bunny‘s double duty in Studio 8H. While he was busy hosting and performing as the musical guest, he had some help from some celebrities who showed up to perform with him and made this one of the best and most shocking episodes of recent years. From Pedro Pascal showing up in the monologue to Mick Jagger joining sketches like “Telenovela” where he slapped Bad Bunny and Marcello Hernandez while filming a show. Fred Armisen was there in a sketch about discovering the New World and all of it led to Lady Gaga herself showing up to announce Bad Bunny during his first musical performance of the night.

Lady Gaga has been voice in the past about her love of the singer and in the past she has hosted and been the musical guest of Saturday Night Live. It isn’t rare for her to pop into the show whenever a past guest that she’s worked with is on and she’s been on the show herself quite a bit, but this time she came on only to introduce Bad Bunny for his first performance and then to come back at the end of the show and stand next to Pascal during the farewells.

Lady Gaga wasn’t really there to be in the middle of the action or there to join the sketches, she was there to support an artist that she loves, and that meant helping shout out his first musical performance of the night, and it was so surprising to see her there for something so brief.

Lady Gaga Supports Bad Bunny

Image via NBC

With stars like Pascal already there, and he did announce his second musical performance, he could have announced the first. But to have someone like Lady Gaga come just to celebrate Bad Bunny and show her love and support for him on a stage like Saturday Night Live is exciting. She clearly wanted to be there for him and did so by celebrating Bad Bunny, announcing his performance in Spanish, and being there for an artist that she has been vocal about in the past.

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