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Maggie Gyllenhaal Plays A Sex Worker In HBO's 'The Deuce' Not A Prostitute

The Academy-Award nominee along with cast mate Gary Carr discuss the humanity behind HBO's new show 'The Deuce'

In HBO's new series The Deuce, Maggie Gyllenhaal plays seasoned sex worker Eileen “Candy” Merrell who on any night may end up on her knees, her back or both with a plethora of Johns willing to pay $10 for the room and $30 for the service.

Set in 1971 during Time Square's more deplorable days before the chain restaurants and family friendliness, Candy walks the streets independent of a pimp to act as her employer or protector. "No one's making money off my p***y" but me," Candy proclaims. Yet despite Gyllenhaal exposing herself physically and emotionally on screen, the 39-year-old actress keeps her private life close to the chest.

"I keep my heart out of the press," the Academy-Award nominated actress said adamantly at the start of the interview.

Gyllenhaal along with cast mate Gary Carr (Downton Abby) who plays the charming yet ruthless pimp CiCi discussed the humanity of the character they bring to life. Both also made sure to refer to the job women perform in this occupation as sex workers and not prostitutes.

"Well, I got told off by some sex workers online. They were like 'please call us by what we would like to be called.' Fair enough." Gyllenhaal recalls of doing research for the role. "I just didn't know. They were saying we're not prostituted people. We're sex workers, this is our job."

Dubbed the deuce for the slang used to denote 42nd Street, the men and women who call the strip "their office" are a cast of characters driven by the power of the almighty dollar. Carr says CiCi-who's first introduced to viewers after picking up Lori, his newest girl, inside the Port Authority-walks the line between caring for his women and protecting his investment, even if it means doing so violently.

"You have to remember with these guys, everything is about economy and business and making money. You have to make money, that's number one," the 31-year-old British actor said. "He definitely cares for Lori and he cares for Ashley as well and all of his girls. I don't want to make him sound...but if someone's going to hurt them or do something to them, it's going to be him. I know, it sounds crazy."

While Simon and Pelecanos who created The Wire bring to life that moment in American culture where sex becomes transactional on a domestic scale, Gyllenhaal and Carr are steadfast their characters are more than just one-trick ponies.

"I think what's unusual maybe about the way the sex workers are portrayed in this piece, and the pimps too,  is that usually you just get to see on TV and film a prostitute working. Annie Sprinkle, who was once a sex worker and she still does really interesting pornography, I spoke to her and she said that a street walker in 1971 would probably sleep with eight to 10 men a night. That's an experience that I think is difficult for many women to imagine, but if you get to see someone who's job that is also as a mother, as a sister, as a lover as a thinker and as an artist then all of sudden you have all these ways into understanding this person and you can see that element as their work," Gyllenhaal explained.

Sex workers may be the breadwinner in the situation, but it's historically been pimps who receive the glory and are considers owners of cool for their ability to manipulate and manage multiple women. Yet despite how pop culture has depicted these men, Carr says The Deuce doesn't exalt their tactic, but in fact shows how multifaceted they are.

"What I think is really great, especially when it comes to sex workers, we're humanizing them as people and they're whole experience," Carr said. "With pimps, I don't think they're glorified in this series at all and they're not perfect. What I like about it is that we see human sides, we see they're emotion, sensitivity or even fear."

Carr knows it's a long shot, but says hopefully The Deuce will allows viewers to see sex workers as human beings performing a in-demand service.

"That's the most important thing for me in life. I care about people and human beings. I feel like we've been given an opportunity here to bring that to the screen and to have other people view that as well. If we could show other people, people and humanize them and their experience, that's a really great thing. Hopefully some kind of love or compassion could be born from that and then some kind of understanding, and hopefully after that some kind of progression," Carr said.

The Deuce debuts on HBO Sunday, Sept 10 

 

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‘Chappelle’s Show’ Removed From Netflix At Dave Chappelle’s Request

Chappelle’s Show is no longer streaming on Netflix, at the request of Dave Chappelle. The comedian reached out to the company to ask them to remove the series, for which he received no residuals, and they quickly complied.

On Tuesday (Nov. 24), Chappelle’s posted an Instagram video from a recent stand-up show, called Unforgiven, where he further explained his reasoning for not wanting the Viacom/CBS-owned show to stream on Netflix. “[ViacomCBS] didn’t have to pay me because I signed the contract,” he explained of the sketch comedy show. “But is that right? I found out that these people were streaming my work and they never had to ask me or they never have to tell me. Perfectly legal ‘cause I signed the contract. But is that right? I didn’t think so either.

“That’s why I like working for Netflix,” he continued. “I like working for Netflix because when all those bad things happened to me, that company didn’t even exist. And when I found out they were streaming Chappelle’s Show, I was furious. How could they not– how could they not know? So you know what I did? I called them and I told them that this makes me feel bad. And you want to know what they did? They agreed that they would take it off their platform just so I could feel better.”

Episodes of Chapelle's Show had been streaming on Netflix for about a month. While the showw has been wiped from the streaming outlet, episodes remain on Comedy Central, CBS All Access, and HBO Max.

Watch Chappelle’s full clip below.

 

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50 Cent, Joy Bryant, Nicholas Pinnock Talk New Season Of ABC's 'For Life'

Months after its debut, ABC's For Life has returned for a new season. Based on the true story of Isaac Wright Jr., a former-inmate-turned-lawyer, the drama series' protagonist, Aaron Wallace (Nicholas Pinnock), fights for his freedom and safety in and out of the courtroom while fighting for that of his fellow inmates. As Wallace inches closer to finding substantial evidence to exonerate himself, he reconnects with his ex-wife Marie (Joy Bryant) and pregnant teenage daughter Jasmine (Tyla Harris).

"When I met with Issac, I almost couldn't believe what he was saying to me. He went to jail, became a prison rep, came back created a case law through other people's cases, and worked his way out of jail?" said Curtis "50" Cent" Jackson in a recent interview with VIBE correspondent Jazzie Belle. "You know more people that saw things not going well [in prison] and said I'll take a bad situation before I take the worst situation and cop-out because they know the system will just wash them up and that will be the end of it."

The first season of For Life essentially covers the first 9 years of Wright's experience while in jail. This season, topics like Black Lives Matter and social justice are addressed and Wallace finally reenters society. "There are 5 different Aarons I'm playing," shared British actor Nicholas Pinnock. "One is Aaron who is the prison rep. One is Aaron who is the father and husband to Marie and Jas(mine). One is Aaron with the prison warden and his relationship with her. Another one is Aaron just as an ordinary prisoner. And then you have Aaron the lawyer...and then in Season 2, we have a sixth layer. There's Aaron on the outside."

An unspoken source of strength lies in Marie who has supported and served as a "ride or die" figure in the first season. When asked about addressing those who don't agree with her prior decision to move on to Wallace's friend, Bryant pointed out her character's humanness. "Marie had to make some hard choices when Aaron was sent away. They may not be things that people agree with. 'Oh, she's with his best friend' or whatever, but she was left holding the bag, literally," she pointed out. "Things aren't always so black and white. People have to make decisions based on where they are and what they feel they need to do at the time and everyone can have whatever opinion they want."

Watch VIBE's full interview with Bryant, Pinnock, and Jackson, who also co-executive produces the show. New episodes of For Life premieres Wednesdays at 10 pm ET on ABC.

Interview's music bed provided by Gus.

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‘Black Panther’ Sequel Will Reportedly Begin Filming In Atlanta Next Year

Filming on the highly anticipated sequel to Black Panther is set to begin next summer. Marvel Studios will start shooting the Ryan Coogler-directed sequel in July 2021, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“The series are the priority, “ a source told THR of Marvel’s film strategy going into next year. “Ramping them up takes a lot of focus. The movie machinery is well established.”

The shoot will last at least six months. Princess Shuri, the character played by Letitia Wright, who plays King T’Challa's sister Princess Shuri, could take on an expanded role given the death of Chadwick Boseman.

Narcos: Mexico actor Tenoch Huerta will reportedly join the cast, while Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett and Windsor Duke are also expected to return for the second installment of the Marvel film.

In September, Black Panther’s executive producer Victoria Alonso denied rumors that Boseman would appear in the film via CGI technology. “There's only one Chadwick, and he's not with us,” Alonso said. “Our king, unfortunately, has died in real life, not just in fiction, and we are taking a little time to see how we return to the story and what we do to honor this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, in reality.”

Boseman, 43, passed away from colon cancer in August.

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