“I would be thrilled if it’s embraced by drag queens. I think we all share a love of this kind of costume.” – Angelina Jolie shares her opinion on playing “Maleficent”. Something tells me we’ll be seeing a gaggle of Maleficents on Halloween!
I never went to a prom. Don’t cry for me, dear readers. I’ve made up for it by meeting presidents, royalty, and even Oprah. But, no prom for Billy. One of my closest friends promised she’d go with me, and then at the last minute changed her mind – not that I’m holding a grudge. Whether you go to them or not, proms are part of our lives. I remember years ago covering a story about a gay boy who was named prom queen by his class as a joke. We’ve come a long way, because last week, a 17-year-old Connecticut boy was named prom queen…and he campaigned for the title! Nasir Fleming of Danbury was nominated for both prom king and queen. He decided the only title he wanted was prom queen. Fleming has a long history of being bullied for being openly gay since sixth grade. He says he’s not sure if his nominations in either category were meant as a compliment or a joke. Regardless, he decided being prom queen was “fabulous”. And so it goes (as Linda Ellerbee used to say).
This week brought quite a bit of good news to HBO. The first night “The Normal Heart” aired, it was watched by 1.4 million viewers, making it the fifth most watched HBO premiere since 2010. That said, it was still significantly lower than the 2.4 million people who watched “Behind the Candelabra”, the gay-themed movie HBO debuted the same weekend last year. Let’s put it in perspective – Lifetime’s “Petals on the Wind” debuted last week and was seen by 3.4 million, as opposed to “Flowers in the Attic”, which was seen by 6.1 million people.
Here’s something I don’t get to do very often – write a nice story about Justin Bieber. Actually, I almost never write about Bieber because, eh, why bother? But this is different. Last week, Justin was at the annual American Foundation for AIDS Research “Cinema Against AIDS” gala in Cannes when he found himself eyeing a stunning aquamarine and diamond Bulgari necklace which was being modeled by the former first lady of France, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. It was valued at over $200,000. Within moments, Bieber found himself in a bidding war for the bauble with Leonardo DiCaprio. They went back and forth until Leo’s last bid of $476,000. Just as DiCaprio thought he’d won, Bieber bid $545K and snagged the gem. Justin later said he wanted to buy the necklace for his mom, and also felt inspired to donate to such a good cause. Way to go, Biebs.
Michael Jackson is back in the news with a new hit single. Because, like Tupac, he’ll be putting out new records for decades. He wrote “Love Never Felt So Good” with Paul Anka, and Jackson recorded a demo in 1983. It’s been remixed and enhanced for this current release with the assistance of Justin Timberlake. Surely this is a collaboration MJ would have endorsed. Did you know that Michael Jackson had a HUGE crush on Justin Timberlake? Their paths crossed a few brief times, and MJ finally summoned the courage to invite Timby to visit him. At the appointed day, the buzzer at the gate rang, and Justin asked for entry…with his then-girlfriend Britney Spears. Jackson privately sobbed, “Why did he have to bring HER?” He had hoped to have Justin all to himself. Michael had the pair wait outside an endless amount of time while he composed himself and tried to look happy to see Britney. Like she hasn’t been through that before.
For the first time in history, NBC has given a 12-episode order to a sitcom it is producing with Half-Core Entertainment and Shaw Media. That may not sound historic to you, but Half-Core and Shaw are Canadian broadcasters. So this isn’t like “Once Upon a Time” being filmed up in Vancouver by a US crew. This is a true collaboration between the US and Canadians to make a sitcom. The show, “Working the Engels” is about a family in crisis who must work together. But what it is really about is giving my friend Andrea Martin, perhaps the most talented woman on the planet, a job where she can shine for years to come. Actually, the real lead of the show is Kacey Rohl, who plays the most normal sibling – which is ironic since most of last season she was a murder victim on “Hannibal”, and this season she came back missing an ear! Look, I said she was normal, I didn’t say she had all her body parts! Although it has already aired in Canada, NBC is launching the show this summer. It will air Thursday nights at 9:30 p.m. and will debut on July 10th. I’m begging you – WATCH!
Our “Ask Billy” question this week comes from Victor in Pennsylvania: “Did I actually see a hot naked guy walk by in the beginning of ‘The Normal Heart’? Did guys walk around naked on Fire Island? I don’t remember that in ‘Longtime Companion’. Could you track down who owns that gorgeous body and enormous penis?”
Well, “Longtime Companion” was made in 1989 – something that really has been overlooked when discussing how long it took for “The Normal Heart” to make it to the big screen. As a theatrical release back then, you probably weren’t gonna see a penis. But, I’m loath to call it “gratuitous nudity”, knowing what a stickler for authenticity and detail Ryan Murphy is. To find the perfect specimen, I’m certain that he bent over backwards – or, at the very least, forward. I don’t know who the nude guy is, but I’m happy to post every inch of him on BillyMasters.com.
When I’m still waiting to be invited to a prom, it’s definitely time to end yet another column. Leave it to my readers to find the silver lining in a film about the AIDS epidemic. Still, that’s what you’ll find on www.BillyMasters.com – the site that’s versatile. If you’ve got a question you’d like me to tackle, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before I book a trip to Fire Island! So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.