"Caesar is one of the most empathetic characters that I've ever played," says Serkis.

Andy Serkis Says Politicians Can Learn From 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'

He is known throughout Hollywood as the Motion Captured King. Indeed, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes star Andy Serkis has taken the futuristic technological advancement from gimmicky eye-candy to respected, award-winning performance. The overwhelmingly in-demand actor—who sparked serious buzz amongst critics who felt he should have been nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for his transformative work as the tortured Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy—is back again as Caesar, the highly evolved leader of the apes who must now deal with the aftermath of the virus-inflicted collapse of human civilization.

According to Serkis, the follow-up to the 2011 prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes finds his character taking on a more nuanced, emotional role.

"[Caesar's] being pulled in lots of different directions," he told VIBE Tuesday during a Brooklyn, New York screening of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. "He has a family, he has a wife, he has a teenage son. He has a counsel of apes, some of which are sort of connected to him, some of which don't believe in him as a leader. He's now trying to solve issues in terms of finding a peaceful solution to an escalating conflict."

But it's not just fans of the long-running science fiction film saga that forever became part of our pop culture with the groundbreaking 1968 film Planet of the Apes who should be snatching up movie tickets when Dawn opens this Friday (August 11). Our elected officials could also learn a thing or two from Caesar as he and his Simian followers take on their human counterparts in the race for survival.

"He's a politician, and also he has to remain true to himself," says Serkis, who is set to star in the sequel to the 2012 mega blockbuster Marvel's The Avengers and the much anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII. "But also he is an internally conflicted person and ape because he does reflect both humanity and [apes]. I think Caesar is one of the most empathetic characters that I've played. I think that's the key to a successful leadership. Being able to keep your ears open at all times." —Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29)

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Donnie McClurkin Sent To Hospital Following Car Accident

Gospel legend Donnie McClurkin couldn't be more grateful after surviving a car accident this past Wednesday (Dec. 12).

The "We Fall Down" singer was driving on the road in the earlier part of the day when he passed out and began weaving into traffic. He reportedly struck the middle concrete island.

Following the incident, he posted a selfie of him on the hospital bed in scrubs on Facebook. Along with the photo, he explained that he woke up from the accident with stitches on his left thumb, on top of having a sprained wrist, and hurt knee. His car was also completely totaled.

"I AM ALIVE!!!! Somewhat mangled, stitches on left thumb, sprained wrist, hurt knee, but I’m still here! God and two angels saved my life!," the Grammy-winning artist wrote.

He also mentioned that two "angels" pulled him out the car to safety and medical attention. "I owe them...I am still here by the grace of God! Thank you, Lord...thank you!" he added.

On Friday (Dec. 14), McClurkin posted to his Facebook page again, sharing several photos of his destroyed car. "This is the totaled car that two angels rescued me from ....after passing out while driving I don’t remember most of what happened a day and a half ago...but God," he wrote. "I overrode doctors and sisters advice and flew to KENYA today for ministry Saturday @ TWO RIVERS. and home on this Sunday to celebrate life."

In happier news, McClurkin also took time to plug in his new Christmas single titled "My Favorite Things." Check out McClurkin's posts on social media and stream his new song below.

READ MORE: Big K.R.I.T. Drops Surprise Gospel-Influenced 'Thrice X' EP

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Douglas Grundy

Nicki Minaj's Boyfriend Kenneth Petty Received 18 Violations During Prison Stint

Nicki Minaj's new boyfriend, Kenneth Petty has a very troubled past.

On Friday (Dec. 14), TMZ revealed court documents disclosing Petty's history of disciplinary actions while he was an inmate in New York for manslaughter from 2006 to 2013.

When he entered the correctional facility, he was reportedly written up for creating a disturbance. Later during his stint, he was hit with a slew of disciplinary actions following a series of violent actions that included fighting, making terroristic threats, and "disobeying a direct order."

In 2009, prison faculty placed him in solitary confinement for four months as part of being reprimanded for nine different violations. Petty lost privileges that included the usage of the inmate telephone service, recreational activity, and the prison canteen.

In addition to his prison violations, Petty is a convicted sex offender. At the age of 16, he was tried as an adult served a four-year sentence for attempted rape of a minor.

Petty, who hails from the same borough as Nicki, Queens, knew the platinum-selling rap star since she was a teenager. They dated for a short period years prior to reuniting.

Minaj posted various photos of her and Petty going on a vacation getaway earlier this month. Sources close to Minaj told the celebrity gossip website that the 36-year-old hip-hop artist is  "happier than she's been in years" with Petty.

 

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Sandy Hook Elementary Evacuates After Bomb Threat On 6th Anniversary Of Mass Shooting

Sandy Hook Elementary School was reportedly forced to evacuate its students and administration on Friday (Dec. 14), after receiving a bomb threat, CNN reports. The incident occurred on the sixth anniversary of the school's tragic mass shooting.

Newtown, Connecticut Police Lt. Aaron Bahamonde stated that the threat didn't appear to be substantial, but they decided to  evacuate the facility as an extra precaution.

Bomb squads reportedly swept the school and surrounding area for explosive devices but did not discover anything on the property. They later concluded that there was no immediate threat. The school administration dismissed students and faculty for the rest of the day however, considering the previous incident.

As previously noted, Sandy Hook endured a horrific mass shooting on Dec. 14, 2012, in which 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult, staff members.

Earlier this month, thousands of documents were released about Lanza that revealed his mental state and social status in the years leading up to the shooting.

The shooting is not believed to be in connection to the recent string of bomb scares around the nation that targeted major politicians including the former first families Barack and Michelle Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

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