I joined HLN’s The Daily Share earlier to chat about #CalmYourselfIn4Words (immediately thought of beer), #MondayMotivation (not a fan) and Bernie Sanders (surprised I was able to answer this one coherently considering we were getting wrapped and I didn’t even hear the question).

Thanks for having me back, HLN!

77WABC and “The Gunz Show” host Gunz checked in for this week’s “Weekend Scoop,” recapping the previous night’s GOP Presidential Debate and talking about a couple bands he’s feeling at the moment.

Catch Gunz on our sister station, 77WABC, and on his music radio show airing at idobi.com.

Photo: facebook.com/DonaldTrump

Photo: facebook.com/DonaldTrump


“The Diary of a Teenage Girl” was a breakout hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Based on a novel, the plot alone raises eyebrows and piques curiosity: a 35 year-old man takes the virginity of his girlfriend’s 15 year-old daughter. The movie is set in 1970’s San Francisco.

Predatory? Sure. But director Marielle Heller and the cast – starring Bel Powley as 15 year-old Minnie and Alexander Skarsgård as 35 year-old Monroe – knew that in order for the film to work, there would need to be a balance of both maturity and innocence.

“We wanted to make it interesting and layered and find moments where, you almost not root for them to be together but it was important that you didn’t hate (Monroe) from the first to last scene,” Skarsgård explained to me during a press junket for the film at the Crosby Street Hotel in Manhattan. “We wanted to make it more uncomfortable for the audience, where they have to (ask themselves), ‘Oh, I don’t know how I feel about this.’”
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Skarsgård places a lot of credit with Heller, who worked on this movie as writer and director for 8 years, and Powley, who he says the film couldn’t have worked without. The British actress turned 23 this past March.

“We had about two weeks of rehearsals in San Francisco before we started shooting,” Skarsgård explained as to how he and Powley developed their on-camera rapport. “To have that much time was such a luxury.”

The actor, known for “True Blood” and “Zoolander” along with the starring role in next year’s “Tarzan” film, said the rehearsals were more like a hangout. The director and two co-stars sat around a table, drank coffee and just talked about the relationship between Monroe and Minnie.

“Diary” also stars Kristen Wiig as Monroe’s girlfriend and Chris Meloni as Minnie’s father. It received a limited release in New York and Los Angeles but will expand showings throughout the month.

Heller’s objective with the film was to help people have a better understanding of teenage girls. Skarsgård, who doesn’t have any kids, still finds himself a bit in the dark on that subject.

“And I don’t understand teenage boys either!” he continued. “If I met myself when I was 15, I would not understand myself at all.”

One Direction learned last week that American media can rival European outlets in aggressiveness when it comes to prying open the personal space of celebrities.

The boy band performed on ABC’s “Good Morning America” for the show’s summer concert series in Central Park, a day ahead of headlining MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. In addition to singing the new single, “Drag Me Down,” all four gentlemen sat down for an interview with hosts Michael Strahan and Lara Spencer.

It was a rather run-of-the-mill interview until about two and a half minutes in.

“Well I gotta say Louis, from one father to another, I want to congratulate you on your upcoming fatherhood,” Strahan lobbed in the direction of Louis Tomlinson. People Magazine reported a few weeks ago that Tomlinson was expecting a child with Los Angeles stylist Briana Jungwirth. Despite a number of outlets following suit with various updates citing numerous sources, the closest anyone got to a confirmation was a radio interview in which band mate Liam Payne said how excited he was for Tomlinson.

But last Tuesday, the collective reaction of 1D told the story: the guys looked stunned, and clearly were taken aback that Strahan would force Tomlinson to confirm the news in front of a live, national TV audience.

“Thank you,” the singer replied. “Obviously it’s a very exciting time so I’m buzzing. Thank you.”

The guys then went over six seconds – feeling closer to eternity – without speaking. Spencer broke the silence by noting Harry Styles seemed a little quiet.

“No!” he shot back, sitting straight up in his chair. “I’m having a great time.”

Waking up at the crack of dawn to perform on a show, only to have two of the show’s hosts attempt to get your best friend to break his silence on a pregnancy sounds like a lovely way to spend a Tuesday morning.

We don’t know how far along Jungwirth is in her pregnancy, nor do we know if she has had any complications to this point. I pray she has not, but regardless it’s none of our business. And if Strahan really wanted to congratulate Tomlinson “from one father to another,” he would have done so from one man to another, when the cameras weren’t rolling.

Photo: https://instagram.com/michaelstrahan/

Photo: https://instagram.com/michaelstrahan/

I joined the panel on HLN’s “The Daily Share” Tuesday and talked about a plethora of topics, from deadly plants to celebrity breakups to Ronda Rousey.

A big thanks to the fine folks at HLN for having me on!

In this week’s edition of “Trend Hungry Tuesday” – Resident Fashionista Jessie Holeva highlighted a trend that Rihanna trended for: body bling.


Visit Trend Hungry to find the latest fashion 411 on a skinny budget, and catch Jessie every Tuesday evening on “Ralphie Tonight.”

Photo: instagram.com/badgalriri/

Photo: instagram.com/badgalriri/

Last weekend I visited Charlotte, N.C. for my first time. A friend of mine from college lives there, so in addition to getting to see them, I was able to experience what “Southern Hospitality” is all about.

Overall I was impressed with the area. They call their downtown area “uptown,” thus invoking a Bruno Mars-sing-a-long every time it was mentioned (“Funk you up!”). About 75 people move there a day, so the the city is experiencing a vast amount of growth.

Of course, my trip did not come without its share of moments that reminded me I was far from home. At a house party, a woman spotted an oppossum and immediately went to grab her gun. Later she explained that she would have shot it but she left her purse in the car.

Other noteworthy moments: jogging past a front yard with a chicken pen (live hens included!), seeing a liquor store with a kids play area and of course being called an “expletive Yankee.”

There were also some great people, excellent food (BBQ! Grits!) and a whole lot of sunshine.

Technically there are two guests in this episode of, “Hey, Really Excited.” The title-guest is the talented and lovely Leona Lewis, who is dropping a new album this September. She talks about the creation of ‘I Am’ and performs the single, “Thunder.”
Hey, Really Excited
The second? Race Taylor, who I teamed with for the Leona interview!

I’ll also update you on my summer travels and I recap my trips home to Niagara Falls and Randall’s Island for Urban Mudder.

Hello! Magazine.com Lifestyle Editor Jordi Lippe checked in to “Ralphie Tonight” for this week’s edition of “Weekend Scoop.” She talked about Evan Ross and Ashlee Simpson’s new baby, Guy Ritchie’s wedding and an online auction for various pieces of the Mad Men set and wardrobe – including Don Draper’s car!
madmen

On September 4, 2014, Leona Lewis wrote a letter to her fans. Posted via a snapshot on Twitter, the singer talked about a “rollercoaster year” and “taking the huge step away from Syco and Sony.” Syco Entertainment is Simon Cowell’s record label; Lewis landed with Cowell after winning “The X-Factor” in the UK over eight years ago.

But after four albums, including one of the holiday variety, Lewis felt it was time for a change. She left Cowell for Island Records, and a year and a week to the date of dropping that open letter, Lewis will release her new LP I Am.

She does not find the timing too significant though.

“I didn’t even realize it would be a year,” she told me. “It wasn’t planned like that. Naturally it just happened that the album was kind of done around then and it was time to release it.”

Lewis later clarified that she had been working on this material for much longer than six or seven months; rather almost two years.

“Before (the letter) I had gone out on my own and started creating the album,” Lewis noted. “I was making it but I didn’t know what label I was going to sign to or what was going to happen.”
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This album started by Lewis simply creating music with no other purpose or plan besides the creation itself. She collaborated with super-producer Toby Gad (“All Of Me,” “If I Were a Boy”) and their work led to I Am.

Outside of a track penned by Diane Warwick, Lewis and Gad receive writing credits on every song. Other writers who contributed to the LP include Anne Preven and Wayne Wilkins. There are no featured artists on any of the songs outside of Leona.

“I think for this album it was so important to just kind of have it as my own thing because it was so personal,” she explained. “So collaborations as far as producers yeah, but not artist-wise.”

Lewis will drop I Am on September 11. The first single at U.S. radio is called, “Thunder.”