The Dark Version Of Hollywood In ‘The Arrangement’ Is All Real, Say Cast And Creators

From the beginning, E!’s drama “The Arrangement” attracted whispers that it was inspired by Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ rumored contract marriage and their entanglement with Scientology.

Despite repeated protests from the show’s creator and cast, the press just couldn’t let the comparisons go. The Washington Post even ran a piece with the snarky headline, “Sure, ‘The Arrangement’ is totally fictional.” 

If you’ve been watching this season, which only has two episodes left to go, you’d know that although the contractual relationship between movie star Kyle West (Josh Henderson) and up-and-coming actress Megan Morrison (Christine Evangelista) is at the core of the story, that’s where any parallels to what we know of Tom and Katie’s relationship ends. Plus, there has been no allusion to Xenu or anything of that ilk when it comes to the show’s Institute of the Higher Mind, the creepy cult-like self-help organization that has its claws deep into Kyle and is coming hard for Megan. 

 But the Washington Post was right, in a sense. “The Arrangement” isn’t fictional ― at least, it’s rooted in reality. Part of what the show does best is shine a light on the darker and manipulative side of Hollywood. Beyond the control and privacy that Megan loses as she enters into a contract relationship, the series also excels at depicting smaller behind-the-scenes moments — publicist-staged meetings of famous exes, jealous co-stars, and actors losing roles to bigger names. 

The series’ leads say much of what viewers see on the show rings true to life. 

“I think [the series shows] a lot of what people are willing to do for fame or a job or for success,” Christine Evangelista told HuffPost in an interview shortly after E! had announced the series’ second season renewal.

To illustrate her point, the 30-year-old actress pointed to last week’s episode, in which Megan discovered that her friend Hope (Katharine Isabelle) had leaked Megan’s nude photos to the press.

“That happens all the time [in real life], where a relative or a friend will call up the press. Whether it’s for their own fame or for financial gain, they divulge unwarranted information. That happens all the time,” she said. 

“[It’s] the same thing with scripts or actors being dropped from movies because they’re not of a certain stature or for whatever reason,” Evangelista continued. “That happens all the time. So we really show the rejection and the pressures of Hollywood.”

Evangelista’s co-star, Josh Henderson, also believes the series’ depiction of Hollywood is “spot on.”

“I mean obviously, things can be dramatic because we’re doing a TV show, but when it comes to like the stories we’re telling within the industry. I think they are pretty spot on,” he said, adding that he couldn’t think of anything on the show that might not portray the industry in a realistic manner. 

In short, “The Arrangement” throws out the glamorous notion of Hollywood as a place of wealth and success with no downsides for celebrities. In promoting the show, the show’s stars have seen firsthand just how true to life its subject matter really is. 

“I think people do a very good job of keeping it under wraps a lot of the time, but it is sad,” Evangelista explained. “And as we’ve been doing these junkets and these interviews, people, I think they think they can just divulge information to me ― but people have come up to me to say that they know that this person has been in some sort of arranged relationship, or this person’s photo was leaked in a certain way. It happens and I think it’s kind of true and there is some sadness to that.” 

Similarly, when HuffPost spoke to series creator Jonathan Abrahams, he said that everything on the show is borne from personal experiences.

“In the writers’ room, we don’t have a stack of Star magazines, but what we do have is a bunch of people who have been in the industry, who have relationships with people in the industry, and we all have stories,” he said.

He gave the example of the speech that Deann (Lexa Doig) gives to Annika (Courtney Paige) in the pilot episode about force of personality and the difference between talent and success. 

“Somebody gave me that speech or something like when I was very young and impressionable and sort of desperate to have my movie made. It was kind of attached to an indecent proposal,” he said. “We’re not making up fantastical stuff. I think one of the things that was so interesting to me about doing this show, is when you are talking about a romantic relationship that requires intimacy and authenticity as this sort of bedrock, how do you do that in a world where authenticity is so scarce?”

Henderson and Evangelista said that viewers will need to brace themselves for the season’s final two episodes. 

“I keep saying that it’s like an atomic bomb dropped on everyone. The season ends in such a way that I don’t think the audience is going to expect,” Henderson told HuffPost, adding that the Institute will become a bigger character by the finale. 

A big theme throughout the season has been control,” Evangelista added. “And the Institute is much larger than Megan, it’s much larger than Kyle. It’s much bigger than their relationship, so how much that controls her and her decision-making, we’ll start to see, and if she’s even able to keep up with that.”

“The Arrangement” airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on E!

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Ian Somerhalder And Nikki Reed Celebrate Wedding Anniversary With Touching Notes

If these two don’t make you want to hold your significant other a little closer, then you truly might be a vampire. 

“Vampire Diaries” star Ian Somerhalder and “Twilight” actress Nikki Reed took to Instagram on Wednesday to celebrate their second wedding anniversary. The pair each posted sweet notes and photos, sharing their love with each other and their fans. 

Somerhalder, 38, posted a close-up shot of himself and Reed on their big day, writing, “To the most amazing human in the world. Thank you for 2 incredible years of marriage. Today, two years ago to the minute, we said ‘I do’ and I couldn’t be happier or more grateful to you for this life. Thank you for being my best friend the hardest-working, kindest, most patient and most talented woman I’ve ever known. To you my love, I say that I know we will have so many of these we can’t even count them. Partly because I’ll be so old… I love you.”

Reed, 28, wrote an equally beautiful message to her husband, calling him “my guy, my man, my honey, my partner in this life, my better half in every way.” 

Alongside a black-and-white image of the two smooching at their wedding, she wrote, “At exactly this time two years ago today we walked hand in hand into the next chapter, our chapter, together. Every day gets better, every moment calling for even more. Navigating the waters of life with you is the greatest and most rewarding adventure I’ve ever known. We climb, we grow, and we laugh at all of it. Thank you for being exactly who you are, and for loving all of me. Thank you for your willingness to go even deeper. Until you, I had no idea what could be. Until you…Happy Anniversary ❤.”

Somerhalder and Reed tied the knot on April 26, 2015, during a sunset ceremony in Santa Monica, California. They began dating shortly after Reed split with her first husband, Paul McDonald, and Somerhalder ended his relationship with “Vampire Diaries” co-star Nina Dobrev. The couple got engaged in January 2015, and the rest is a lovely, romantic history. 

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Scarlett Johansson And Tilda Swinton Spark ‘Whitewashing’ Fury With Asian-Inspired Movie Roles. Again.

The backlash following “Ghost in the Shell” and “Doctor Strange” is finally fizzling out. But critics are going after actresses Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton yet again.

This time, for being cast in Wes Anderson’s upcoming stop-motion film, “Isle of Dogs.”

As Fox Searchlight released the film’s April 2018 premiere date along with a Japanese-themed promo poster on Tuesday, people couldn’t help but notice Johansson and Swinton’s names included in the star-studded cast list.

Their names, along with most of the words on the poster, were printed in both English and in Japanese kanji.

It’s leaving many with a sense of déjà vu.

Critics said the actresses’ roles in Anderson’s Japanese-inspired film were adding insult to injury after both starred in big budget movies accused of whitewashing Asian roles.

Last year, Swinton was cast as “The Ancient One,” based on a Tibetan sorcerer in the Marvel comic “Doctor Strange.” And in March, “Ghost in the Shell,” a live-action remake of a Japanese anime, debuted with Johansson as the main character. The outrage for both movies went viral as critics bashed Hollywood for choosing to cast white actors instead of Asian ones.

Both actresses defended their roles but seem largely unfazed by the criticism. And now, Johansson and Swinton’s appearance in yet another Asian-inspired film is just too soon for some.

This is Anderson’s first film since his critically acclaimed 2014 movie “The Grand Budapest Hotel” ― and with a cast that includes Bill Murray, Bryan Cranston and Edward Norton, the animated film is expected to have the same appeal.

Set in Japan, “Isle of Dogs” follows a boy’s journey as he looks for his dog, according to the movie’s website.

Anderson has said that his film was heavily influenced by Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. It also features a number of Japanese talent, including musicians Mari Natsuki, Yojiro Noda and Yoko Ono and actors Akira Takayama and Akira Ito.

It’s unclear which characters the actors will voice, so it may be too soon to judge the movie’s casting decisions as a whole. But that hasn’t stopped people from calling out Swinton and Johansson.

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Street Artist Uses Awesome Spray Paint Skills To Unveil HuffPost’s New Logo

A British street artist just gave HuffPost a helping hand in unveiling its new logo.

Jody Thomas celebrated the HuffPost rebrand launch on Tuesday by incorporating the new emblem into one of his pieces in Bristol, southwest England.

He spent hours meticulously spray-painting one of his signature, photo-realistic hands onto a wall in the Bedminster neighborhood ― and finished it off with a stencil of HuffPost’s logo.

We captured the entire mesmerizing process in the above time-lapse video and live-streamed the final 20 minutes of the project via Facebook:

The 43-year-old artist braved varying chilly weather conditions of sunshine, wind and rain to complete his work. But he said, “I really enjoyed the whole day.” 

The Facebook broadcast was delayed for 20 minutes as heavy showers struck the area. Luckily it cleared up soon after, giving the wall sufficient time to dry and Thomas enough of a gap to finish the final 10 percent of the piece.

“In good old British fashion, we were almost scuppered by the weather,” joked the Bristol-based artist. “But at least we didn’t get caught in the biblical hail storm that struck afterwards.”

Thomas began painting at the city’s celebrated Barton Hill youth center around 1988 — alongside other notable artists such as Inkie, Cheo and the world-famous (but still elusive) Banksy.

He stepped away from the scene around 1990 to study and work in graphic design. But Thomas returned to street art in the late 2000s after being misquoted in a book that said he was coming back. He’s since exhibited his work in New York City and London.

Thomas will feature alongside 300 other painters from more than 40 countries at “Upfest” — Europe’s largest live street art and graffiti festival — in the Bedminster area from July 29 to 31. 

You can check out more of his work on either of his websites or his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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Lana Del Rey And Stevie Nicks To Cast A Joint Musical Spell On Upcoming Album

Confirmed witch Lana Del Rey and former Fleetwood Mac siren Stevie Nicks have collaborated on a track appearing on the former’s upcoming album, “Lust for Life,” Billboard reports.

No other information is available about the song, which spells were involved in its creation, or whether listening to it backwards reveals a secret message, according to the site. While Del Rey, who recently joined a global effort to hex President Donald Trump, may occasionally delve into blacker arts, it is thought that Nicks, a guest star on “American Horror Story: Coven,” uses her powers only for good.

The album, which features the single “Love,” will be out “soon,” according to an announcement posted March 29 showing Del Rey flaunting her inner Samantha Stephens.

With a less melancholic Del Rey on its cover, it’s set to include a couple other collaborations: one with The Weeknd, on the title track, and another with Sean Ono Lennon, which includes a lyric referencing his famous parents.

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Drums Please! Will Smith And DJ Jazzy Jeff Reveal Comeback Gigs

Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff are taking a break from the norm, and reuniting for their first live performance together in what seems like forever.

The hip-hop duo, who starred in hit ’90s show “The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air,” will perform at MTV’s Summerblast Festival in Croatia on Aug. 26 and the Livewire Festival in Blackpool, northwest England, the following day.

Smith revealed the news via Facebook on Monday:

After Smith wrote that the “first two shows are locked,” it prompted speculation that the duo would be reuniting for other events in the near future. The stars have yet to confirm if they’ll perform at any other events.

The revival comes after last month’s reunion of “Fresh Prince” cast members Smith, Tatyana Ali (Ashley), Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton), Karyn Parsons (Hilary), Daphne Maxwell Reid (Aunt Vivian ’93-’96) and Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey).

Jazzy Jeff, whose real name is Jeff Townes, made guest appearances on the show but he was not in attendance. 

Ribeiro shared this snap of the reunion to Instagram, and paid tribute to James Avery (Uncle Phil), who died in December 2013:

Always amazing to spend an afternoon with my Fresh Prince family. Wishing that James Avery was still with us to make this complete.

A post shared by Alfonso Ribeiro (@therealalfonsoribeiro) on

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Bill O’Reilly: ‘People Are Trying To Kill Me Right Now’

Bill O’Reilly made a thinly veiled reference to the sexual harassment scandal that cost him his job at Fox News by comparing his situation to that of his father, who served in World War II

On his podcast Wednesday, O’Reilly read a message from a fan who complimented his book, “Killing the Rising Sun.”

“I really like the way you wrapped it up, Bill, the last bit about your father caught me off-guard, but it was a really nice twist,” O’Reilly quoted. 

He then talked about how his father was a naval officer en route to Japan “and would have been killed in the invasion had the atom bombs not been dropped.” 

O’Reilly said he wouldn’t be here if his father had been killed in the war. 

And a lot of people are trying to kill me right now, as you know,” O’Reilly said. “But we’re going to tough that one out.”

He then recommended his book as “a great Father’s Day/Mother’s Day gift.”

O’Reilly also said the next book in his “Killing” series will be released in September. 

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The Metropolitan Museum Of Art Might Start Charging Out-Of-Towners Admission

Admission to New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is free ― technically. The institution promotes a “suggested” entrance toll of $25, but, after a few lawsuits, it’s become abundantly clear that patrons can in fact pay nothing and still revel in the glory of art history. 

That could change for some, though. According to The New York Times, the Met, which is currently embroiled in a multimillion-dollar budget deficit snafu and accompanying staff shakeup, has been in talks with NYC officials about potentially charging an admission fee only for visitors who live outside of New York.

The move would, as the NYT and several other outlets since have pointed out, be controversial. The Met is a public institution, once mandated by a 1893 state law to offer free admission at least five days and two evenings per week. (Since 2013, it adheres to an amendment to its lease with the city that allows it to renegotiate the pay-as-you-wish policy in the future.) It receives annual grants from NYC ― without paying taxes or rent ― now totaling $26 million. That amount, however, covers only approximately 8 percent of the museum’s $332 million annual operating costs.

In the face of a $10 million deficit that could balloon to $40 million in the next year and a half, according to the Wall Street Journal, instituting a two-tiered admission structure could alleviate some financial pressure. The Met’s current blanket “suggested” admission structure generated $39 million in the 2016 fiscal year, amounting to 13 percent of the museum’s overall revenue. The NYT speculates that charging tourists would generate tens of millions of dollars more.

Reports in 2013 noted that six in 10 visitors shirked the full $25 fee, many of whom were locals familiar with the then-”recommended” nature of the fee. (After the aforementioned lawsuits, the Met settled upon slightly clearer language for its fee signage: “suggested.”) “It’s the unwitting out-of-towners who get yoked into chucking up the full price,” The Atlantic wrote, noting that third-party ticket websites ― like Groupon ― didn’t always communicate that fees were not mandatory.

When asked whether or not talks concerning the admissions structure switch were indeed taking place, a representative from the museums sent HuffPost the following statement:

Our admissions policy is one of many components of the Museum’s operating budget, all of which are continuously under review and refinement. The Met and the City are partners, and always in conversation on how The Met can continue to thrive and best serve all of New York City and beyond. While we have started preliminary discussions about our admissions policies, we have not submitted an official, detailed request.

A request for comment from the City of New York has yet to be answered.

Why is the Met in debt? There are several potential contributing factors: namely, financial mismanagement amid previously rising salaries, staff increases and expansion and rebranding plans. Plus, visitors ― particularly young ones ― are indeed paying less at the door, which, according to Daniel H. Weiss, the Met’s president, matters. A decline of “30 to 40 cents per person is material,” he told the Times.

A two-tiered ticket system is hardly unheard of; pay-as-you-wish is more common. Some major museums like the Art Institute of Chicago allow locals in the city and state of Illinois a discounted entrance fee. Still, the response to the free-for-locals-only suggestion for the Met has been met with some criticism.

“Especially at a time when our President is fueling his supporters’ xenophobia, the last thing we need is to make foreigners (let alone fellow citizens) feel less welcome at our country’s premier repository for world culture by instituting a two-tier admissions structure,” arts writer Lee Rosenbaum wrote on her blog.

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Newly Inked Demi Lovato Wants You To Know She’s Not A Tattoo Copycat

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Demi Lovato has officially inked herself with none other than the king of the jungle. That’s right, Lovato now has a lion’s face on her hand. 

The “Confident” singer’s new tattoo was done on Tuesday by New York-based celebrity tattoo artist Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy, who also inked Cara Delevingne’s lion tat on her finger. 

We certainly see the similarity, but Lovato was quick to call out anyone who thinks she’s a copycat: 

As for the significance of Lovato’s new ink? She hasn’t said anything yet, but we’re sure there’s a meaningful reason behind it. 

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These Epic GIFs Show ‘Romy And Michele’ Was About Friendship AND Fashion

Can you believe it’s been 20 years since Romy and Michele interpretive danced their way into our hearts?

”Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion,” the quirky comedy about two friends who are equal parts Mary and Rhoda, was released on April 25, 1997. Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino are the film’s stars, but their outfits were main characters, too. 

Fashion is threaded throughout the film and the duo’s friendship. Whether it was their “Vogue-approved” handmade reunion outfits or quirky workout gear costume designer Mona May said would have been made by Romy and Michele themselves, these pals communicated through clothing as much as their absurd, highly quotable dialogue.  

Their closets were colorful treasure troves.

Their accessories were on point.

Their workout clothes were perfect.

Their road-tripping attire was second to none…

…and so was their partywear.

Their final reunion looks put everyone else to shame…

…but they looked totally babely in business casual, too. 

Even their laundry outfits were fun.

On the 20th anniversary of this fun-loving film, grab your bestie, fold some scarves and remember, you don’t have to have invented post-it notes to be total fashion icons. Just be yourselves. 

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