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Matthew Modine may be Hollywood’s most reliable touchstone

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By Marianne Garvey, CNN
Updated 11:55 AM ET, Tue February 16, 2021

(CNN) — Matthew Modine has the coveted kind of Hollywood career — his pick of roles, always working, yet generally left alone in public.

A familiar face on television and movie screens for decades, Modine can most recently be seen on Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” and his latest project, a horror film called “Wrong Turn” on Amazon Prime.
CNN spoke with the actor about his long career, how he’s choosing his roles, and how he’s remained a part of the Hollywood conversation over the years.
“It’s wonderful to have had a long career and been able to continue to work,” Modine tells CNN, adding, “You know, luckily ‘Stranger Things’ came along. What you always have to do is remain a part of the conversation and, you know, remain relevant in the industry. Because if you’re not a part of the conversation, there’s a good chance that you won’t get employed.”
    In “Wrong Turn,” a reboot of a 2003 horror flick, Modine plays a devoted father whose daughter goes missing on a hike on the Appalachian trail and he does everything in his power to find her.
    In his mission, he encounters a dangerous cult who violently attack outsiders who cross their path.
    Why a horror film this time?
    “Because it wasn’t about zombies and monsters,” Modine explains. “It was about real life monsters and things that things that are relatable. I mean, you can say that young Trayvon Martin made a wrong turn and went through a neighborhood that was very much like the circumstances of this film. My daughter is hiking with her friends on the Appalachian trail, very innocently and they make a wrong turn. They go to someplace where there’s this community of people that before the Civil War made the decision to create their own community up in the mountains and divorce themselves from the rest of the world.”

    In order to get into the right frame of mind for the role, imagining the worst for your own children, Modine says the feeling of protecting them came easy, and also recalled a scary memory from his own life.
    “It was easy because I have a daughter and a son and God forbid anything should, should ever happen to them. Where they get put into harm’s way, but you would do everything as a mother or father to protect your children and to help them through a situation. And so that, that was easy.
    “And it happened to me once when my son was only about two or three years old, we were in Washington Square Park in New York City. He was riding his bicycle with training wheels. And the park was really, really packed with people that day. And he said he wanted a hot dog. I looked for where the hot dog cart was and I saw it. And in that 10, 15 seconds, my son disappeared, disappeared, and I couldn’t find him.”
    Modine says it was at the height of his career when strangers were approaching him and asking for autographs, and all he wanted to be was the person finding his son.
    “It was about absolutely horrifying until I found him,” he says, adding that he found his son “just continuing to peddle his bicycle,” to his relief.
    The new movie requires some physical strength on Modine’s part, as he attempts to track down his daughter. He eats well and walks six miles each day, he says. At 61, Modine adds he is approaching stuntwork a bit more carefully these days.
    “If you go back and look at films that I’ve done in the past, especially ‘Cutthroat Island,’ there was a lot of physical stuff where I was danbgling from ropes and pushing Gina Davis off a cliff,” Modine says, “I was hanging from a 300 foot cliff and I caught her one handed.”
    He says that stunt ripped his right arm out of the socket, and he “learned my lesson,” but he still wants to be believable on screen.
    “When you’re in a real physical environment and you’re climbing a mountain and jumping out of the way of obstacles and dangerous things, you just have to react to the situation,” he says.
    Modine still loves to study people too, in order to be able to play all different kinds of roles.
    “I just drove across the United States because of Covid, I just was tired of being in quarantine. So I got into my car and drove across the United States,” he says. “And I did that because like Atticus Finch says in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ ‘You never really understand a person until you climb into his skin.’ And that’s what I do when I’m acting, I try to get in the skin of another person and see things from their point of view, and oftentimes we lose touch. We’re not seeing America. We’re not seeing what people are suffering through.”
      While Modine says luck has played a role in his success, selecting the right projects has also been key.
      “I heard somebody say the other day that when you meet as a soldier, you want to have someone who’s got dents in their armor, because that means they’re battle tested,” he says, “You don’t want to go into battle with somebody with bright, shiny armor because they haven’t experienced the war. And I feel that way as an actor, that I’m battle tested. I’ve, I’ve had some tremendous successes and been a part of some films that are and continue to be a part of the conversation that are as relevant today as when they came out. And then there’s some that weren’t so successful and so I’ve got some dents in my armor, but both the good and the bad are part of life.”

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      The third ‘Spider-Man’ film finally has a title

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      By Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
      Updated 6:49 PM ET, Wed February 24, 2021

      (CNN) — Until Wednesday, rumors about the title of the third Spider-Man film have been a web of lies. But the truth has been revealed.

      Tom Holland will swing into theaters in December in “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” Sony and Marvel have confirmed.
      The film will be the third installment of the Holland-led franchise that has also included “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”
      Director Jon Watts, who directed the first two, returns for this film.
        Earlier this week, cast members Holland, Zendaya and Jacob Batalon presented a series of fake titles (like “Spider-Man: Home Slice” and “Spider-Man: Phone Home”) on social media, drumming up speculation that the official title would soon be revealed.
        The film is set to be released December 17, 2021.

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        DWI charges dropped against Bruce Springsteen, who pleads guilty to just drinking in the park

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        By Evan Simko-Bednarski, CNN
        Updated 12:54 PM ET, Wed February 24, 2021

        (CNN) — Bruce Springsteen pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges he imbibed alcohol at New Jersey’s Sandy Hook National Recreation Area, despite knowing it was prohibited.

        “I had two small shots of Tequila,” Springsteen said in a virtual appearance before New Jersey Federal Court.
        The plea came after federal prosecutors agreed to drop charges that Springsteen was operating a vehicle under the influence and driving recklessly, charges Assistant US Attorney Adam Baker said the government would not be able to prove.
        “The evidence we reviewed indicates that after the defendant’s arrest, he submitted to a breath test at the ranger station, and his BAC reading was .02, which as the court is aware is well under the legal limit of .08,” Baker said.
          Noting that the prohibition on alcoholic drinks at Sandy Hook was two years old, and noting Springsteen’s otherwise clean criminal record, Judge Anthony Mautone sentenced The Boss to pay a $500 fine plus $40 in court fees.
          While Springsteen has often sung about driving “suicide machines” down the New Jersey Turnpike, bragged of having his “carburetor, baby, cleaned and checked — with her lines blown out she’s running like a turbo jet,” and sang of being “sprung from cages on Highway 9 — chrome wheeled, fuel injected, and stepping out over the line,” Mautone remarked on the singer’s clean driving record.
          “I have in front of me the driver’s abstract of this defendant, going all the way back to 1973,” Mautone said. “There’s three violations in the whole abstract. In fact, two of them aren’t even violations and the third one is use of a hand-held cell device. Rarely would you see a driver’s abstract so devoid of any entries as I see before me, Mr. Springsteen.”
          Springsteen was arrested at Gateway National Recreation Area on November 14 and charged with DWI, reckless driving and consuming alcohol in a closed area, according to a spokesperson for the National Park Service.
          That night, a source close to the singer said earlier this month, Springsteen took a shot of alcohol with fans in the park after taking a photo with them. The source added that Springsteen is known to take photographs with fans. “That’s typical Bruce,” the source said.
          One officer said they observed Springsteen “consume a shot of Patron tequila and then get on his motorcycle and start the engine,” according to a probable cause statement obtained by CNN.
          Springsteen told the officer he had consumed two shots of tequila in the previous 20 minutes, according to the probable cause statement.
          “SPRINGSTEEN smelt strongly of alcohol coming off his person and had glassy eyes,” the officer said in the statement, adding he “was visibly swaying back and forth while I observed his eyes.”
            Springsteen, according to the officer, took 45 steps during the “walk and turn” test “instead of the instructed 18.”
            Prior to the screening, the officer said he approached Springsteen and informed him alcohol was prohibited in the park and asked whether Springsteen was leaving, to which “he confirmed he was going to drive out of the park,” the statement said.

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            BTS covers Coldplay and more on MTV Unplugged debut

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            By Chloe Melas, CNN
            Updated 10:15 AM ET, Wed February 24, 2021

            (CNN) — BTS made their debut on MTV’s Unplugged Tuesday night and played some of their greatest hits.

            The international K-pop sensation, which is comprised of Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V and Jungkook, performed “Telepathy” for the first time live, along with “Blue & Grey” during Tuesday night’s broadcast. BTS, which stands for Beyond The Scene, broadcast live from Seoul, South Korea.

            The group recently told CNN that they felt they needed to give their audience new music amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
            “If everything went according to plan, we’d be on tour right now, but the pandemic has changed everything,” Suga said. “So we thought about what we can do, and what we can do best at this point, in this situation. Everyone is going through such a difficult time, so we wanted to cheer them up.”

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            Taylor Swift’s re-recorded ‘Love Story’ is back on top of the charts

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            By Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
            Updated 9:08 PM ET, Mon February 22, 2021

            (CNN) — Taylor Swift’s re-recording of “Love Story” is now a success story.

            “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” debuted at No. 1 on this week’s Hot Country Songs chart, according to Billboard.
            The song is shockingly Swift’s first No. 1 debut on that chart. It is also her 8th career No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, the last one being 2012’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”
            “Love Story” was originally on Swift’s album “Fearless,” which was released in 2008. Swift has been hard at work re-recording that album after losing the rights to her master recordings predating 2019’s “Lover” after they were sold to a company owned by music manager Scooter Braun. (Braun’s company sold them in late 2020.)
              Swift’s re-recording — titled “Fearless (Taylor’s version)” — will be released April 9.

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              Mandy Moore welcomes baby boy with husband Taylor Goldsmith

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              By Marianne Garvey, CNN
              Updated 6:19 PM ET, Tue February 23, 2021

              (CNN) — Mandy Moore has welcomed her first child.

              The “This Is Us” actress took to Instagram on Tuesday to announce that she and her husband Taylor Goldsmith, lead singer of the folk rock band Dawes, are now parents to a baby boy.
              “Gus is here,” Moore captioned a picture of the baby in an adorable blue onesie. “Our sweet boy, August Harrison Goldsmith. He was punctual and arrived right on his due date, much to the delight of his parents. We were prepared to fall in love in all sorts of brand new ways, but it goes beyond anything we could have ever imagined. M + T.”
              In January, Moore told Romper that she had high expectations for her child.
                “I want to raise an intelligent, feminist, loving, compassionate young man, who respects women, and who understands boundaries,” she told the publication.
                  Moore also sang her husband’s praises, saying he was born to be a dad.
                  “I think he’s been suited to be a father pretty much his whole life,” she said. “He’s been gearing up for this. Like in the morning, it’s funny, I’ll reach for my phone and he’ll reach right for whatever baby book he’s reading.”

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