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WILL AND JADA GIVE AWAY LOTS OF MONEY December 22, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 10:20 am
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Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have deep pockets when it comes to charities. Tax returns for their foundation show the couple gave $1.3 million in donations last year to a variety of religious, civic and arts groups, reports Fox411’s Roger Friedman.

 

       The columnist wrote Wednesday: Smith’s biggest single contribution was, as usual, Yesha Ministries of Philadelphia. He gave the born-again Christian based organization run by Reverend James Robinson a whopping $250,000. That’s a hefty raise from the $140,000 he gave them the previous year. Another $200,000 went to a Christian ministry outside Los Angeles called Living Waters.       

        He also gave a combined $122,500 to the Church of Scientology, broken into these donations: $67,500 to the New York Rescue Workers Detoxication Fund, $50,000 to the group’s Celebrity Center in Hollywood and $5,000 to ABLE, another Scientology offshoot. Smith and his wife have also supported a private school called New Village Academy they opened this fall in suburban Los Angeles that uses Scientology learning concepts.       

        The star of movies like “Hancock,” “I Am Legend,” and the upcoming “Seven Pounds” also donated thousands of dollars to a Los Angeles mosque, other Christian-based schools and churches, and to the Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Center in Israel. And though Smith is not featured in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” he also sent $25,000 to the Progeria Research Foundation. Progeria is a disease that causes rapid aging.

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WILL SMITH’S ‘SEVEN POUNDS’ CHARITY TOUR ROLLS ON December 15, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 10:48 am
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Will Smith has been traveling around the country participating in charitable works as part of a promotional tour for his new film “Seven Pounds,” which follows a suicidal man determined to change the lives of seven strangers.

 

       “If there’s a message, it’s ‘you gotta help somebody.’ Even if it’s somebody’s car breaking down, use your cell phone. Something little like that. We gotta help one another to get the quality of life we’re all striving for,” Smith told the Minneapolis the Star Tribune.      

       The actor’s appearance at a premiere Friday in suburban Edina, Minn. doubled as a fundraiser for Second Harvest Heartland, the state’s largest hunger-relief organization. Tickets to the screening were given to the first 250 people who donated nonperishable food.       

       “It’s cool to have the goal of being the biggest movie star in the world. But why? It’s been revealed to me that the question is: Whose life is better because you woke up today?” said Smith.      

       Vikings player Bernard Berrian was also on hand to donate 300 holiday dinners to the organization. Smith even choreographed a touchdown dance for the NFL receiver to perform during his next trip into the end zone.

 

       Smith’s promotional tour also includes stops in Miami, Dallas, St. Louis, Cleveland, Denver and Charlotte, N.C.

 

Why Will Smith Gets Shy During Love Scenes December 8, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 12:02 pm
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He’s tackled everything from angry aliens to rowdy robots with aplomb, but there’s one thing that still makesWill Smith uneasy: Love scenes. 

“My grandmother was really firm about how men are supposed to treat women,” the actor said Friday at a press junket for his new dramaSeven Pounds. “So for me, my worst nightmare is for an actress to … feel like I’m taking this opportunity to get a little quickie feel – you know, some legal cheating going on!” 

“I just need, specifically women, to feel comfortable around me,” he added. “I just don’t want to feel like I’m that dude.” 

But when Smith’s shyness threatened to spill into his romantic moments with Seven Pounds costarRosario Dawson, his wife Jada had to step in.

“Jada said, ‘Listen, I know you’re uncomfortable, but you better not embarrass me,’ ” he said with a laugh. “She said, ‘When you do that love scene, you better show ’em what you’re working with!’ ” 

Something else Smith is working on: Getting used to all the attention paid to his eleven-year marriage. 

“I was with [rapper] Redman the other day [and] he said, ‘Man, listen. I’ve got this relationship that I’m trying to make work, but I’m telling you, if you and Jada don’t work, I’m done,’ ” Smith said. 

“That so terrifies me that there are people’s lives that I can affect like that just with little stuff, not even having to do anything big,” he continued. “So I don’t want to break that … I might mess something up, and that sorta keeps me in a place where I’m really focused and paying attention, and I just don’t want to step wrongly.”

 

‘LEGEND’ WRITER TO PEN NEW WILL SMITH FILM November 20, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 11:18 am
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I Am Legend” co-writer Mark Protosevich is in early talks to pen the remake of “Old Boy,” which “Legend” star Will Smith is developing with director Steven Spielberg.

 

      As previously reported, DreamWorks is currently securing the remake rights to the 2003 Korean film about a man’s mysterious kidnapping, 15-year imprisonment and feverish quest for revenge upon being released.

 

       Protosevich has also written “Poseidon” and “The Cell,” and he worked on “Thor” for Marvel Studios. His screenplay for “Legend” helped the film earn $584 million in revenue worldwide.

 

       Smith, meanwhile, was in Miami recently for a charity screening of his latest film, “Seven Pounds,” in which he plays a man who does remarkable things for seven strangers. In keeping with the movie’s theme, Smith also donated 300 turkeys to the needy.       

       “Seven Pounds” arrives in theaters on Dec. 19.

 

Will Smith’s Son Cast As ‘The Karate Kid’ November 19, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 11:30 am
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Film will be co-produced by Will Smith

It’s been 24-years since The Karate Kid hit theaters, and for the past few months rumors have swirled that a remake was in the works. 

According to Variety, those rumors have now been put to rest: Yes, there will be a remake and the star will be none other than Will Smith’s son Jaden. 

The film, which is scheduled to begin shooting next year in Beijing, China, will keep the plot of the original classic, and will be produced by Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment company, and the film’s original series launcher, Jerry Weintraub. Chris Murphy, the film’s original screenwriter, will pen the new version. 

Jaden Smith is best known as the charismatic 10-year-old who co-starred alongside Smith in the 2006 film The Pursuit of Happyness

 

BERRY AMONG HONOREES FOR ESSENCE LUNCHEON

 

Halle Berry, Diahann Carroll, Gina Prince-Bythewood and Taraji P. Henson were announced as honorees for the second annual Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, to be held Feb. 19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

 

       The star-studded event commemorates the magazine’s annual Hollywood issue by saluting four of Hollywood’s finest who have helped to change and inspire positive images of black women in television and film–both in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes.       

       Berry will receive the Power Award, Prince-Bythewood the Visionary Award, Carroll the Legend Award and Henson the Lexus Star to Watch Award.      

       “By presenting the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, we continue our legacy of supporting and celebrating the accomplishments of actresses such as Halle, Diahann and Taraji and filmmakers such as Gina, who all embody excellence in Hollywood both in front of and behind the camera,” said Essence editor-in-chief Angela Burt-Murray.

 

       The 2008 inaugural event, which honored Jada Pinkett-Smith (Power Award), Ruby Dee (Legend Award), Suzanne de Passe (Visionary Award) and Jurnee Smollett (Lexus Star to Watch Award), hosted A-List stars including Will Smith, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Kerry Washington, Star Jones and more.

 

MICHAEL BAISDEN STRETCHES ABC RADIO DEAL November 17, 2008

 

ABC Radio Networks has locked in a multi-year deal with Michael Baisden for his nationally-syndicated The Michael Baisden Show, currently the top-ranked Urban afternoon program in the country.      

        “Michael’s show has developed one of the most loyal audiences in radio today and his consistently strong ratings have made him a brand of choice for key advertisers,” said Jim Robinson, President of ABC Radio Networks. “Renewing our original agreement was a priority and positions us for substantial success in the years ahead.”       

       Baisden broadcast his show live from two of the presidential debates and President-elect Obama became a regular guest of the program through the primary season and months leading up to the general election. Baisden’s election results broadcast in Miami drew a live audience of more than 5,000 Florida voters and the show’s guests included Donna Brazile, Forrest Whittaker, Denzel Washington, Michelle Obama, Will Smith, Gayle King and Spike Lee.       

       “Our show has come so far in such a brief period of time yet I know the best days are still ahead of us,” said Baisden. “Connecting with my listeners and providing them a forum is what drives me each and every day. I’m thrilled to know I’ll be taking the program to the next level and reaching even more listeners with the same phenomenal team.”      

       The Michael Baisden Show launched in syndication with ABC in 2005 and has grown to 68 affiliates. It holds the number one position in its slot in key markets such as New York, Philadelphia, Detroit and Washington, D.C.