You see, Llewyn Davis (played by Oscar Isaac) is an artist -- a man with refined musical tastes who looks down upon the supposed songwriting talents of Jim Berkey (Justin Timberlake). Well, except when Llewyn finds himself out of money and agrees to play guitar and lend backup vocals to one of Jim's new songs. It happens to be a nonsensical protest song about President Kennedy sending the singer into outer space against his will. With Timberlake's earnest lead vocals, it also happens to be one of the catchiest and most delightful songs released in 2013.
How does a mini-masterpiece of ludicrousness like "Please Mr. Kennedy" even come into existence? Granted, there are a few examples of real "Please Mr. Kennedy" songs that served as an initial inspiration -- here's an example by Mickey Woods -- but something as delightful, weird and musically appealing as what's in the finished film had to come from the combined thought process of a few people. In this case, they were Timberlake, Grammy- and Oscar-winning songwriter and producer T Bone Burnett, the Coen brothers, Driver (who adds his strange, deadpan delivery of a few key phrases as musician Al Cody), and Isaac (who acts generally confused about how many "puh puh"s he's supposed to say before every "Please" in the song title).
Ahead, Burnett, Isaac and Driver recount their experiences writing and recording "Please Mr. Kennedy."
T Bone Burnett: There are a few different "Please Mr. Kennedy" songs. There was a group in the '60s that made an attempt at satire called "Please Mr. Kennedy Don't Send Me Off to Vietnam." And Tom Lehrer -- he was the great musical satirist this last half of the century in the United States -- and a lot of people tried to do what he did, not to very good effect. So, we went back and took that as the beginning point, the "Please Mr. Kennedy Don't Send Me Off to Vietnam," and tried to get a little closer to Tom Lehrer than they were -- and make it about outer space.
So, here's the way the song started: It started from that germ and I wrote about 10 of 15 verses in Ogden Nash-style -- because I'm always trying to be Ogden Nash. And Justin and I were going out to Norm's Rare Guitars in the Valley to find a guitar for him. And we went through 20 or 30 guitars where we finally found it. He said, "Let's go write that song." I had the words in my pocket and we went into the office, he took it out and he started singing the melody -- he went right into it. So, that's how that song started. We wrote the melody there, at Norm's Rare Guitars. And then we sent the lyrics back to Ethan and Joel and they edited and refined and changed and rewrote them.
Perfecting the Lyrics
T Bone Burnett: Even though everything was recorded live on set, we did three records so that we would know by the time we got to the set what we were doing.
Adam Driver:: We recorded a song, pre-recorded, before anything was shot. And they were like, "We're not really quite happy with it. It's not really what we want it to be."
T Bone Burnett: All of the verses I think became the amalgam of stuff we had all written. I couldn't say who wrote what now. I sort of wrote the original framework and then Ethan would take the lines he liked and re-rhyme them or re-word them -- things like that -- write a new line or write a new verse. I think we kept throwing it around for a few weeks -- even as we were in the studio recording it.
Adam Driver: We worked on it, then they kept shaping it. So everyone was naturally collaborating. I wish I could say that I was more involved, because the people that were involved, I felt like it's probably best if I just, you know, take a back seat to T Bone Burnett and Justin Timberlake and the Coen brothers and Oscar.
T Bone Burnett: It's not a joke song -- it's dead serious. It's mean to provide levity -- those are the hardest to write, the joke songs.
Oscar Isaac: They push it right to the limit, but no further.
The lyrics of "Please Mr. Kennedy" tell the story of a man who is afraid that President John F. Kennedy is going to send our protagonist into outer space against his will. A ludicrous notion considering that people who go into outer space generally want to go into outer space.
T Bone Burnett [Laughs] That's the idea. Exactly.
Adam Driver: Yes, usually you would imagine that there would be many stages where people can bail out.
T Bone Burnett Wouldn't that be hilarious? A song about not going off into outer space being a hit?
Recording "Please Mr. Kennedy"
T Bone Burnett: It is a joke song, but here's the thing ... even if a song is supposed to be bad in a film, it still has to be great. Because if you put bad music in a film, it's just bad -- then the film's bad. You can put good music in a film and say it's bad and the audience will believe it's bad, but it will still be good and they will still be entertained by it, even though they're told it's bad. And, on top of it, underneath all of that, it really is great.
Oscar Isaac: That's the thing, I remember that was a piece of direction. Once you commit to doing it, you commit.
T Bone Burnett: We were looking for what Adam was going to do; we didn't have a part for him.
Adam Driver: I think there was a time when everybody was kind of like doing the sound effects. So everyone was kind of like going, "A-OUP!" to each other.
T Bone Burnett: And I did that "Ohh noo!, Ohh yeah!," or whatever -- I started doing a doo-wop, but that's all I did. I did it maybe one time and then he picked that up and then Ethan would say, "Now go 'outer space,'' -- the way Adam read the lines, we would just feed him things and he would take off with them.
Adam Driver: Then even on the day -- it was Ethan or Joel, I can't remember, I think it was Ethan -- he was like, "Maybe you should be like warming up here," where I tried a couple of things. Then they just shaped it. But it was all them.
T Bone Burnett: He is fearless. Adam Driver is not always trying to get on his best side, you know?
Off to the side, Oscar Isaac is expressing confusion to co-director Ethan Coen. Isaac's role (and Llewyn Davis' role) is to provide a "puh puh" sound effect lead up to the "please" that starts the chorus. Their conversation -- Isaac's confusion on just how many "puh"s he's supposed to sing -- was immediately written into the final film as a conversation between Llewyn and Jim (Timberlake).
T Bone Burnett: That's pure Ethan. That's pure Ethan Coen, for sure. And it went down just like that. Ethan was going, "No, go 'puh, puh'" and Oscar is going, "Well, wait a second."
Oscar Isaac: Yeah, it's true. Ethan kept pushing for weirder and weirder sounds from everybody. So, that's where the "puh, puhs" came from. I remember being like, "What?"
T Bone Burnett: And then they just used it right in the movie, except it was Jim explaining it instead of Ethan.
Oscar Isaac: What I actually say to Justin was the actual conversation I had with Ethan. "You want me to 'puh puh'? Alright? OK?"
The End Result
Adam Driver: Like, how do you do a song that is obviously goofy and funny, but has to be realistic enough that you can believe in the story that people are like, "I love this song! Yeah, 'Please Mr. Kennedy,' yeah"?
Oscar Isaac: Oh, yeah, it's a funny song. There was definitely some breaking here and there.
T Bone Burnett: Music in film is a special effect -- it creates a heightened reality. So, it's like an explosion or something. So, even if it's bad, it still had to explode.
Adam Driver: I wish I could be like, "Yeah, it's a part of my plan. It's what I was after." But, they wanted it to be that.
T Bone Burnett: It's like a great R&B song from the '50s or '60s, which is what we wanted. We didn't want to do a bad, hokey, lampoon of folk music.
Oscar Isaac: You have a good time, because you're a musician and you like to play -- even if it's shitty music. And the thing is, it being shitty, that's just Llewyn's point of view. It's not the Coens' point of view or T Bone's. They want to make it a great song.
T Bone Burnett: It's a knockout.
On Sept. 29, 2013, a special concert was held in New York City to celebrate the music of "Inside Llewyn Davis." Isaac and Driver performed "Please Mr. Kennedy" live in front of an audience, only with Elvis Costello filling in for an absent Justin Timberlake.
Oscar Isaac: To be on stage with Elvis Costello, that's all pretty new. On the set, I know that if I screw up [the "puh puhs], I have another take. On the stage, that's it, man. It was definitely, definitely intimidating.
Adam Driver: [Joking] Right, Elvis Costello. Then T Bone says, "Jump on stage with Oscar." We're all going to be singing and Patti Smith will be there. This is all part of my plan.
Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.
Today marks the 26th Anniversary of World AIDS Day and we are still looking for our moon shot. Yes, there have been remarkable strides in the international response to HIV/AIDS. New infections are down by over 50 percent worldwide. Nearly 10 million people in poor countries are now receiving treatment that weren't just a decade ago. There's greater awareness and prevention, more effective treatment and more access to it -- especially in the West. But if we're focused as a nation, as a people, as a planet, we are at a far more powerful turning point -- the beginning of the end of AIDS.
We are on the cusp of ensuring everyone in the world living with HIV receives the treatment they need to survive. Science is showing signs this would control the pandemic once and for all. Someone fire up the rocket boosters, because this is possible and possible within the next decade. Treatment for everyone is a very reachable goal championed by leading HIV advocates, world leaders, global organizations, and dignitaries. Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, Archbishop Tutu, Elton John, and many others have spoken eloquently on the specifics of how to see this dream realized.
This is our moon shot.
To borrow and reimagine the words of President Kennedy: We choose to end AIDS. We choose to provide access to treatment to everyone in the world living with HIV by the end of this decade, not because it is easy, but because it is hard; because it will save millions of lives that for too long have been overlooked, cast aside, and forgotten; because it will help elevate a generation out of poverty, heartbreak and despair; because children regardless of race or geography deserve the opportunity to pursue their dreams; because it will prove that the collective hearts of humanity are more powerful than stigma, homophobia, and indifference; because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.
There is much work yet to do, seven out of 10 children still don't have access to treatment. We need to turn that number around. I have seen the power of the on the ground programs of Keep a Child Alive, the organization I co-founded 10 years ago with Leigh Blake. As part of the international movement to expand access to treatment to those most in need, we have touched the lives of more than 300,000 children and adults affected by HIV in Africa and India. I am encouraged by the stories of young people like Aimee in Kigali, Rwanda, and Evelyn in Kampala, Uganda, who came to us as children, were initiated on antiretroviral treatment and provided compassionate care; they are still coming back, still taking their medicines, and now entering their teen years with a bright future ahead. Such a transformation seemed impossible just a decade ago.
Ten years ago under the previous administration both Republicans and Democrats championed the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which put nearly three million people on life saving treatment, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa. During this decade one million babies globally that would have been infected have been born HIV-free, and the spread of HIV has slowed, even in the hardest hit countries. Congress recently voted to extend PEPFAR, which is remarkable, especially at this time when Republicans and Democrats can't seem to agree on anything. President Obama expanded this program and increased the number of people receiving HIV treatment to six million. (Mr. President, we understand your administration's goal is to once again double the number of people receiving treatment. We're counting on you...)
The Global Fund replenishment meeting to be held next week in Washington is an opportunity to remind ourselves that we can't stop now. Let's be bold enough to imagine that in ten years -- 2023 -- all people living with HIV in the world will have access to life-saving antiretroviral treatment. No baby boy or girl will be infected with HIV. We have conquered AIDS. But this vision depends on how big of a commitment we, as nations, religious institutions, the private sector, individuals and communities, are willing to make to see this mission through.
Now is the time to build on our success and remain vigilant. We have a roadmap to end this epidemic and live in a world where ALL PEOPLE regardless of geography have access to life-saving medicine.
We can (and have) high-fived each other for our past achievements. Everyone who has marched, donated, rallied, lobbied, prayed, or searched for an end to AIDS can certainly feel good about how far we've come. I have seen the love in action first hand. But World AIDS Day was never meant to be a victory lap. It's a mile marker.
World AIDS Day reminds us all of the role we have in ending this disease: We can encourage our representatives to expand funding for PEPFAR and the Global Fund. We can utilize the power of our social media platforms and networks to help keep HIV/AIDS on the forefront of minds by spreading awareness about the great work left to be done. We can support the many organizations doing good work to prevent HIV, support those living with HIV here in the US and around the world and to help reduce the stigma associated with the disease.
As President Kennedy said in the moon shot speech, "If this capsule history of our progress teaches us anything, it is that man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred." The millions affected by HIV are counting on our generation's brave and bold determination.
Here's some ways you can help:
Keep a Child Alive
Black AIDS Institute
Greater Than AIDS
Contact your elected official
Hutcherson just kind of blended in to his surroundings until the show was over (much like Peeta in the first “Hunger Games” movie, really). And, honestly, I’d take this any week over a host who makes the whole proceedings about him or her. (I don’t think we have to mention any names here.)
Join me, if you will. For this week’s edition of the SNL Scorecard:
(Also: I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the work of Chris Harnick who gets up every Sunday to edit these posts and who is now moving on to bigger and better things. Anyway, expect more typos in the future.)
Sketch of the Night
”Office Boss” (Beck Bennett, Josh Hutcherson, Kenan Thompson, Taran Killam, Vanessa Bayer) I’m under the impression that Beck Bennett used this adult baby character as his audition and that would make perfect sense. And it’s nice that he finally got to do it on the show. And there’s no way that we won’t be seeing this as a recurring character in the future. I mean, with Bennett’s deep, monotone voice, this is near impossible not to laugh at.
”’80s Party” (Vanessa Bayer, Josh Hutcherson, Ensemble) My least favorite part of this sketch was the fact the punchline was Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl.” After basing an entire sketch on a known, but certainly not overplayed song from The Outfield’s “Play Deep” album (“Your Love” peaked at number seven on the Hot 100), the punchline of the sketch turns out to be the most overplayed, perhaps widely known song from the entire decade of the 1980s. I can only guess this came down to “Well, we need to play something else at the end and the most obvious choice was used. Also, I wish Josh Hutcherson knew the lyrics to "Your Love" because his lip-synching was pretty lousy. Alas. Still, hey. “SNL” based an entire sketch on The Outfield’s “Your Love.”
(Due to song rights issues, this sketch isn't online.)
”Dancing” (Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett) I’m glad that Mooney and Bennett are getting this kind of stuff on the air. And Mooney is quietly having a pretty nice rookie season -- I say “quietly” because his stuff is airing deeper into the show and isn’t quite getting the recognition it deserves.
”Matchbox 3” (Jay Pharoah, Kenan Thompson, Josh Hutcherson, John Milhiser) I honestly wonder if this is funny to anyone who doesn’t live in New York City. Perhaps this kind of sketch falls on deaf ears much like my disdain for “The Californians.” Regardless, I do live in New York City and this was pretty dead on stuff -- especially when subway performers try to do their act during rush hour, it really does wind up being something kind of like this.
”Bugs” (Mike O’Brien, Josh Hutcherson) Mike O’Brien: What a weirdo. I mean that in the most positive way possible. I honestly could watch a 30 minute show of Mike O’Brien talking to bugs. (OK, yes, that last statement might be hyperbolic -- but not counting “Parks & Rec,” have you actually seen NBC’s primetime lineup? I feel “Mike O’Brien Talks To Bugs” would do quite well in comparison.)
”Josh Hutcherson Monologue” (Josh Hutcherson, Kate McKinnon, Noel Wells, Cecily Strong, Vanessa Bayer, Kenan Thompson, Bobby Moynihan) Well, he seems nice. And the “easily injured” joke was solid. Yeah, yeah, the whole “Hunger Games” theme was a bit convoluted, but we couldn’t have an entire show without some mention of the movie and it’s actually impressive that this was the only mention of the movie. And, again, Hutcherson seems nice.
”Weekend Update” (Seth Meyers, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant) I’m not sure what happened here: Aidy Bryant’s “The Worst Lady on an Airplane” should have been comedy gold. It’s one of those “Weekend Update” segments that, when the title of the character is announced, it’s hard not to get excited because we all know terrible people on airplanes! Alas: it didn’t hit. It happens, but this one felt a little more disappointing than usual. Actually, this was the most disappointing “Update” of the season -- and certainly the shortest. The whole thing just felt rushed. Honestly, it’s hard to be too critical of “Update” considering how good it’s been overall this season -- just not tonight.
”Thanksgiving Guest” (Vanessa Bayer, Josh Hutcherson, Aidy Bryant, Taran Killam, Bobby Moynihan, Kyle Mooney) Yeah … I’m not sure if this sketch knew if it wanted to be a play on “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” or if it just wanted to be a sketch about a turkey that is dating a human being. Anyway, this seems like a bit of a missed opportunity. (Though, the shot of an actual turkey leaving the house was quite bizarre.)
”Girlfriends Talk Show” (Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, Josh Hutcherson) It’s usually Aidy Bryant who makes this recurring sketch at least notable -- but Bryant’s yin to Cecily Strong’s yang just seemed off for whatever reason.
”Cold Open: Piers Morgan” (Taran Killam, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Moynihan, Beck Bennett) OK, yes, the George Zimmer/George Zimmerman joke wasn’t bad. But other than that this was possibly the most lackluster cold open of the season. C’mon, just bring Moynihan’s Mayor Rob Ford back again -- there’s no shame in that, I guarantee it.
”Animal Hospital” (Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Josh Hutcherson, Kate McKinnon, Kenan Thompson, Brooks Wheelan) Boy, this went nowhere. There seemed to be an interesting idea here -– and, hey, live animals! -- but I think there may have been too much of an attempt to be “weird” as opposed to just being weird (see Mooney and Bennett’s “Dancing”).
”Best Buy” (Bobby Moynihan, Cecily Strong, Josh Hutcherson, Ensemble) I don’t know what else to say about this recurring sketch other than, again, it just seems mean-spirited and crass. And the best thing about this sketch -- Tim Robinson’s dopey boss character -- is now gone. I get that it puts the whole cast on stage at once, but when the main joke here is the overuse of the word “bitch” -- please, please put this one out to pasture. Actually, no, I would never want to eat cheese made from this sketch. Just make it go away.
Average Score for this Show: 5.75
· Lady Gaga 6.06
· Edward Norton 5.91
· Josh Hutcherson 5.75
· Bruce Willis 5.68
· Kerry Washington 5.60
· Tina Fey 5.35
· Miley Cyrus 5.20
Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter. Click below for this week's "SNL," Not Ready For Primetime Podcast featuring Mike Ryan and Hitfix's Ryan McGee.
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I was wary to discuss "The Sopranos" at all with Imperioli (who, of course, played mobster Christopher Moltisanti on David Chase's acclaimed show) out of fear that since the subject comes up so many times in his day-to-day life he may just be over it by now. This is not the case. Imperioli's eyes light up as he recounts tale after tale -- including an admission that he wasn't a huge fan of the first script.
Imperioli, who I met at his lower Manhattan hotel room, is now co-starring in Spike Lee's "Oldboy." He plays Chucky, a bar owner who helps his childhood friend, Joe (Josh Brolin), on a mysterious quest to find out who has imprisoned Joe for the last 20 years. The results are ... well, not really what you would expect (unless you've seen the Korean film on which "Oldboy" is based).
Did you audition for "Oldboy," or was the role offered?
Spike called me -- I had worked for him a bunch of times. And he called out of the blue and had assumed that I had already gotten the offer from my agent, which I didn't. So he called and said, "I'm really psyched we're working together again." And I'm like, "What? What are we doing?" He's like "Oldboy! You're playing Josh Brolin's best friend." I said, "Spike, I don't know what you're talking about."
It's interesting when Spike Lee makes a kind of movie that isn't what he is most known for doing.
Yeah, he is a filmmaker. Because when he started out, he was identified with being a "black filmmaker." He was telling these stories and they were mostly black characters. They weren't necessarily, like, "She's Gotta Have It," could be any race, it doesn't matter. Because he really was at the forefront of a new kind of generation of cinema where a lot more African Americans were going to be making films. Originally, they started calling him "the black Woody Allen," and he probably hated that title. But, that's only a part of who he is ... he's a lot of things and over the years, we've seen that his filmmaking and his art encompasses all of those things.
Did you watch the original movie?
No. This one I haven't seen, either. I'm going to see it at the screening tonight here in New York, then I will see the original.
There's something I've always wondered. On "The Sopranos" you were playing younger...
Yeah, my character was younger than me.
After "The Sopranos" ended, did that ever affect you for other roles? That people assumed you were younger?
I think people always thought I was more of a Guido than I am. That's more the issue.
They knew you were acting, right?
Not necessarily. They kind of thought it was more like "Jersey Shore" when it came out.
I'm not kidding! I think a lot of people thought that we were not necessarily even actors -- that they had found us in New Jersey and put us on television. I think a lot of people had that perception.
Not after it had been on for awhile, right?
No, no. At the beginning.
A lot of people are insane [laughs]. And then they'd meet me and they would be kind of disappointed that they weren't meeting Christopher.
Sad but true.
Like a lot of people, I recently watched all of "The Sopranos" again. It was better than I even remembered it was.
Obviously David Chase's vision of the whole thing, it's beyond brilliant -- and really, really creative and amazing. But, in addition to that, I think the fact that it's really funny. Like really. Like pee in your pants funny. And in an absurd, sometimes even slapstick way, which is great. But, there's this kind of magic that happened with "The Sopranos" because a lot of the actors, for me, I knew and had worked with most of those people.
Two of the actors, John Ventimiglia and Sharon Angela -- Johnny played Artie and Sharon played Rosalie Aprile -- I was in acting school with them when I was a teenager. I had done movies with Vinnie Pastore and Tony Sirico, and I know Edie Falco, we had done some stuff together. So, in some sense, it was kind of like this generation of New York actors having this moment to do it together, like as a band. Rather than something that was cast in Hollywood and you got a bunch of good actors and made a good TV show. So, there was that other added element of magic that I think happened.
You've been on television shows since then. Can you tell when that magic is missing?
When I read the pilot of "The Sopranos," I wasn't terribly blown away by it. I'll be honest with you.
Number one, I needed a job at the time. Number two, there really wasn't big shows on cable. Yeah, I thought it was a good character, it was kind of fun, but I wasn't so clear on the tone of the show. I thought it was more of a spoof of the mob. So, if you just read the pilot, you don't really get a sense of how deep he was going to go, David Chase. I knew it was good, but it wasn't something like, "I have to do this," or that I was blown away by it.
But then I saw some of the people who were going to do it -- like Edie and Lorraine [Bracco] and Vinnie and Tony. I didn't really know Jim [Gandolfini], I didn't know his work. But, when I saw those actors -- especially Edie, who was always one of my favorites and who I had a lot of respect for for a long time -- I was like, "okay, that's cool." But it wasn't until we started shooting the first season when the other scripts started to come in -- when you saw, "Oh, wow." The scripts kept getting better. So, it wasn't until we started seeing those scripts.
You wrote a few episodes. How did that come about?
I wrote a spec script after the first season, because I had really fallen in love with the show. Particularly with all of the characters. I wanted to get into the minds of the other characters. So, I wrote a spec script between the first and second season and gave it to David. And during that time, also, "Summer of Sam" came out -- I was one of the writers there -- and David saw that. So, between those two things...
He's famously tough on his writers. Was he as tough on you, even though you were in the cast?
Yeah, he was very tough -- tough on everybody. But, not in a bad way -- in a very good way. And I think the biggest thing I learned from that guy was the detail. Because, as a writer, his attention to detail and specifics was incredible. Nothing was ever generic; nothing was ever taken for granted. If ever a delivery boy shows up at the door with a pizza, it was always like, "A Pakistani guy with a Brazil soccer jersey who has a limp shows up with a pizza" -- and the guy has no lines! Everything was like that. Always.
I just interviewed Alan Taylor for "Thor: The Dark World" about of all the death scenes he's directed...
Alan Taylor directed "Thor"?
"The Dark World," yes. You didn't know that?
No. I had no idea. That's pretty cool.
But Christopher was his favorite death scene.
You know, when I was 17 or 18, I worked on an NYU film and he did the sound on it. And when he came on "The Sopranos," I recognized his face. I was like, "You went to NYU, did you do this?" He's like, "Yeah, I was the sound guy." It's so weird.
I don't have a question, but I I just want to say that I met James Gandolfini randomly at a bar one night and he was nice to me when he didn't have to be and I never forgot that.
Yeah, he was that kind of guy. You know, I think the thing with Jim was, my mom called and said, "everyone is calling me," after Jim died. I said, "Why is everyone calling you?" She goes, "Because everyone feels like they knew him." When someone like Michael Jackson dies, this huge mega-star that people are mad about, he always seemed like they worshiped him from afar. He was on this pedestal. Whereas with Jim, I think they all felt like he was one of them.
And he was a big part of this city. He was just out and about everywhere.
Another friend of mine who is an actor who lives in Tribeca said there was a big snowstorm and he looks out his window and he saw Jim shoveling some woman's car out of the snow. And he said, "I feel kind of safe knowing that Jim Gandolfini lives in the neighborhood." And I understood what he means, because you would see him out and about. He's not someone who traveled with bodyguards in limousines.
Have you seen "Enough Said"? It's very touching.
No, I don't know if I'm going to see that. It's tough. I mean, I've seen some clips from it and it seemed like more than anything, that's closer to who he was than anything else I've seen him in.
Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.
As part of the event, Guetta's music video for "One Voice" debuted Friday on the side of the UN building. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and Guetta recorded a message for the proceedings.
Fans are directed to post on Twitter and Facebook using a double hashtag: #TheWorldNeedsMore #YourWord. The "YourWord" portion of the hashtag should be replaced with a word one of the following sponsors has chosen: Barclays Bank (#Inclusion), Western Union (#Education), Gucci (#Strength), Crescent Enterprises (#Entrepreneurs), KT (#Dreams), Intel (#Empowerment) and GlaxoSmithKline (#Healthcare) and the Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation (#Dialogue). Guetta himself has sponsored #Love.
For every tweet, the corresponding sponsors will donate $1 to humanitarian aid. In an interview with HuffPost Entertainment, Guetta said his involvement with the project traces back to World Humanitarian Day, when he allowed the campaign to use another song, "Without You."
"I was very happy to give it to them and it was a very successful campaign, so they came back to me to see if I wanted to be involved in The World Needs More...," Guetta said. "I'm honored to be a part of it. I made a video for a song called 'One Voice' to try and raise awareness for the campaign. I think that it's just wonderful."
The video for "One Voice" will debut on Guetta's Facebook page and the campaign's website. The World Needs More... is a collaboration between the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the UN Foundation, the UN Development Programme and the International Council of Voluntary Agencies.
To celebrate the project, we spoke with Guetta about the song, critics who dismiss him as a sellout and whether or not he'll step back from touring in the near future. An edited transcript of our conversation follows below.
Had you already been working on "One Voice" before this campaign?
I'm actually still working on it! It was already there but it just sounded perfect for what they wanted. It's always like this, though, you know? That's the great part about being a DJ -- I can play the record on Thursday and go back to the studio on Friday.
Do you usually work up to the deadline?
Oh yeah, yeah. [Laughs] Always. I'm not the only one, trust me. I'm also producing for other artists and everyone is the same. We always say that the album is not finished until it's in the shop. We all do this.
Do you think that dance music is getting a little more involved in philanthropy now? There's Dance for Life, Tiesto's involvement with (Red) and your work here.
I think dance music always had a hippy part to the culture, since its beginning. I feel like I'm all about love and sharing my passion, and this is also about sharing and collaborating as one. That's what this campaign is about, so it makes a lot of sense. I don't know, it's kind of natural that dance music would also be part of things like this.
Have you engaged in philanthropy prior to your involvement here?
This is the first time that I've done anything publicly like this, but I'm very happy about it.
Would you ever start your own foundation?
I guess it's probably easier for me to support people who are doing it right. When I see how amazing their work is, I'm just trying to help and be a vehicle for the information. I don't think that I could do something as amazing as what they're doing. Because I have a very big social media community, I can help show how amazing they are. Even today, just visiting the UN, I've learned a lot about what they're doing here.
Have you had any moments in your wide travels that reminded you of how much of the world lives?
If I'm being very honest, if I play in Brazil and I'm on the way from the airport and I drive through the favelas, it's pretty far. But I have to be honest, even if I'm playing all over the world, I'm going from the airport to the luxury hotel and I don't get to see what is going on and where people live. That's why I did this -- I know it sounds crazy, but it just comes with my job. I'm going everywhere in the world, but I haven't seen everything. So I can't say that my touring has led me to be conscious about what's going on in the world, because that would be a lie. All I can do is try to help the people who are really doing this job.
When did you realize that you were being seen as a pop music producer or as someone who favored commercial sounds?
It's interesting, you see, because I always wanted our music to touch more people. I'm part of the artists that made that happen. Even though we are now one of the popular music movements in the world, it's not exactly just pop music. I don't know how to explain it, but even though at some point, I wanted to just be like, "this is it, this is the new pop music," when I would open for big pop artists at concerts, I would realize that there was a difference. It's different than an electronic festival. If I'm sharing the stage with a big pop star, there is a difference.
So many people like talking about dance music artists "going pop," but it almost feels more like pop has come to dance music.
Absolutely, absolutely. That's my whole thing, actually. People say a lot of stuff but I was bringing a lot of urban or pop artists into our world. I never felt like I was going into their world.
Do you feel like it's the people who started listening to dance music last year who are most likely to call you a sell-out, but that fans who paid attention since the beginnings of your career as a producer have a better perspective?
Oh my god. [Laughs] You are so right about this. A lot of the younger dance music fans don't have a sense of the culture of where we are coming from and what the history of this music is. So they might misunderstand some of it.
Do you have a very different mentality when you're producing for them than for yourself? Or is it more like you produce, you'll take it to them and if they don't like it you might just use it for yourself?
Usually that's how it works, but there's a difference between whether it's a David Guetta record of I'm producing for an artist. If my name is just in the credits and not as an artist, then I'm kind of just working for the artist. That's what I'm doing -- I could even do something different, because I love music. I don't only love electronic music, I like all of it. But if it's going to be on one of my records, it's going to be different.
What are you looking forward to the most?
Right now I'm looking forward to this project, The World Needs More. I think it's the biggest thing that I've ever done and I'm trying to focus on it. Today I was in the UN and I met with the Secretary General and we recorded a message about the Philippines and for the campaign. This makes me think and step back a little bit from what I'm usually doing, which is just running, running, running. It's just nice to do something a little different and more important than only taking care of my own person and my own music. Even though my music is, of course, making a lot of people happy. But this is bigger.
Do you see yourself touring less in in the future?
I just love touring. It's a lifestyle that I love. I love being in contact with people, that's my motivation for making music and it's my inspiration when I make records. I want to imagine people getting emotional or dancing when I perform. So I don't really imagine just becoming a producer and staying in a studio, because then I wouldn't know what to do.
MTV's docuseries zeros in on a very 21st century idea: What are the lives of children conceived by anonymous sperm donation like?
After a bevy of reality misfires, from the latest Real World to the obscene Buck Wild and the forgettable Washington Heights, MTV has come up with Generation Cryo, a documentary series that may actually carry some resonance. The teens and young adults featured in this six-part series are from all over the country, and have one thing in common -- they were all conceived via sperm donation from the same donor.
Generation Cryo focuses on one girl's journey -- Breeanna, 17 -- as she seeks out her half-siblings through the Donor Sibling Registry. Along the way, she also hopes to gain enough clues and support to meet the man who is half-responsible for 15 young lives. It's a subject that also is currently being portrayed in the Vince Vaughn movie Delivery Man, a remake of a popular 2011 French-language Canadian film, Starbuck, which takes a look at things from the perspective of the donor finding out about all those he helped create.
There are a lot of things about Generation Cryo that make it worthwhile, but number one among them is Breeanna. She's a dynamic, likable and self-assured focal point for the series. The half-siblings she sets out to contact and meet (some of whom have met each other in the past via that same website) also are -- at least as of the first two episodes -- incredibly normal. They actually look and act like teenagers, not the spoiled fashionistas or the conniving villains who usually populate reality shows. It's refreshing.
On Breeanna's journey (which, for all its charm, sometimes can feel a little too producer-prompted in its magical nature), she meets half-siblings whose families represent the gamut of reasons for choosing sperm donation, and also a spectrum of feelings about it. Breeanna has two mothers, but others were raised by single mothers, or in nuclear families where natural conception turned out not to be possible. In the premiere's most moving scene, a father tears up when discussing his insecurities with his non-biological children, "I failed in doing the one thing a man is supposed to be able to do."
These settings seem to inform how the children later react to the notion of being the product of sperm donation (a fact that it seems almost all of them have been told at a young age). The children (many are twins) of single mothers say they yearn for a father figure and want to find the donor, whereas others worry about offending the father they know and love, who raised them (ideas about nature versus nurture come up a lot). Issues about how the donor, if found, would fit into their lives, and what this means to all those affected are addressed frankly and, often, very emotionally. These are the same kinds of things also brought up in adoption documentaries, but Generation Cryo distinguishes itself both in the number of connected siblings at play, as well as the casual, but also sci-fi comments specific to sperm donation, like "Can I borrow your DNA?"
Though the mystery of the donor's identity and Breeanna's quest to find him drives part of the story (in fact, it's something one of her half-siblings disapproves of vehemently as an invasion of privacy), her new connections with her half-siblings are the series' core. The variety of the families met, in terms of where they live and their personal stories, is fascinating in its normalcy.
The character-driven docuseries format of the the show may at first look run-of-the-mill, but beyond its surface appearance Generation Cryo is genuinely engaging. It's also reminiscent of MTV's older documentary series, before the reality boom that it helped create. MTV is even keeping some relevance to the series' appearing on its channel by identifying for viewers the music that plays underneath the scenes during the episode, music that is occasionally actually under the radar. MTV being cool and culturally relevant again? Perhaps the most surprising thing unearthed by Generation Cryo is not the new ideas of what family means in the 21st century, but the fact that it is MTV that's driving the conversation in a meaningful way.
Elba also isn't afraid to think big when the discussion is about his career. He's adamant that he wants his own superhero movie -- Elba plays a smaller role in the "Thor" films already -- and he hasn't given up on the idea of playing James Bond at some point during his career (though, he knows he will need a lot of fan support for that to ever actually happen). All of these things seem a little more realistic after his performance in "Mandela" -- a biopic of the South African leader that spans from his time as a young lawyer to his election as president.
You're having a nice year.
Yeah, man. It's been an amazing year. I had "Luther," which is my show, was very successful this year. Then I had a really great film, "Pacific Rim" ...
And you're in the No. 1 movie right now as we speak, "Thor: The Dark World."
[Laughs] I am in a No. 1 movie. I am not the one who made it the No. 1 movie.
It's weird because I think of you as a leading man, but it's fun to see you still show up to play Heimdall, which is a smaller part. Do you want to keep playing that part?
Well, I'm obliged to do it until my contract is fulfilled. But, you know, I really wouldn't mind being the lead in a superhero movie.
Yeah, man. Why not?
Well, you look like you're having fun in the Thor movies.
Yeah, I mean I always like to be really present in any kind of role and any size of role. It just reflects badly if you're terrible with a small role. So, I wouldn't say "no" to smaller roles.
Is there a particular superhero that you want to play?
No, there isn't one. For Halloween, I wore Superman. And I was like, "I don't mind this cape being behind me" [laughs].
You could bring the cape back in style. Everyone will start wearing capes if you wore a cape.
[Laughing] Yeah, man, I wouldn't mind giving that a go. But, no, other than that, I don't really have any superhero that I like. There was talk about Luke Cage at one time -- I thought Luke Cage was a pretty interesting character. They were going to do it, but I don't know what happened...
They are developing him into a television show.
That's right, yeah.
The first time I ever remember really asking questions about apartheid as a child was after seeing the all-star protest song, "Sun City."
Oh, yeah, yeah...
Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed, Hall & Oates and The Fat Boys were all involved...
I remember that, yeah. In England it wasn't a huge hit ... I remember the video for it.
Jonathan Demme directed it.
Oh, really? No way. Really?
It wasn't a huge hit here either because it was critical of Reagan and a lot of radio stations refused to play it.
I feel that America was sort of polarized by apartheid and didn't know how to feel about all of that -- whether they should support it or not. Even in England, for some of it, Thatcher didn't do much. I think she even branded Mandela a terrorist at one stage.
You got Mandela's voice down really well. Is there a fine line between a portrayal of Mandela and and an impression of Mandela?
Well, it's the difference between interpretation and impersonation. What I actually suspected is that if you put my voice and Mandela's voice together and play them back-to-back, you would realize that it is close, but, it's not as close to the real thing, which is almost impossible. What is happening to audiences is that, "Oh my God, I haven't heard Mandela speak in a long time and that's what he sounds like the last I remember." And that's good because it's an interpretation.
Did you feel pressure taking this role? Was there a thought of, "If I screw this up, this will live with me for awhile"?
Yeah. Oh, yeah. At first, when I got the part, I didn't want to play it, actually.
Yeah. I was like, "No, man, come on."
So they came to you?
Yes. I was like, "Come on, man, come on." Mandela -- surely Denzel should be doing this. And Denzel was doing it and had the script for a very long time -- and Denzel was too old to play certain parts was the word.
I think Denzel also might be too famous.
You know, I'm so wary that the press takes things out of context and I don't want that, but the producers wanted a different version of Mandela. They wanted the young guy and the more so revolutionary guy that we don't know much about. And I didn't know that when they first came to me ... and in my heart of hearts, I was like, "I will never work again if I fucked it up."
I don't know if that's true, but people would remember that.
Yeah. And as it turns out -- I'm 41 right now -- and what Mandela was going through after his time -- being a man of presence, very popular, very in the public eye -- there was some similarities in our lives, for real. Being singled out as "the man to watch" type thing -- which is great as an actor. But as an activist, I don't know. Do you know what I'm saying? The point is, Justin [Chadwick] highlighted all these points to me and said, "Hey, man, this is why you should try and play this role."
And there's the aspect that this is one of those "defining"-type roles. This isn't "Ghost Rider 2."
[Laughing] This is probably going to be the only time in the whole wide world where you can actually reference "Ghost Rider 2" and "Long Walk to Freedom" in one paragraph. I mean that's actually incredible.
Very similar themes.
[Laughs] Stop it. Trust me.
But if people weren't happy with your performance in "Ghost Rider 2," I don't think anyone is going to care for too much time after.
[Laughs] Yeah. They should.
They were more concerned with the Ghost Rider urinating flames.
But with this, this one will stick with you for awhile.
Yeah. And I'm really proud of it -- biopics can hit or miss, you know? As far as biopics go, this is actually one of the ones that I really think did a good job of it.
I googled your name earlier for research. Do you know what the first autofill was?
Umm ... It's probably "Idris Elba Girlfriend"?
It was James Bond.
Really? James Bond? I didn't know that was still sort of in the mix.
I think people still like that idea.
I say it all the time, but if it was to ever happen and if I was ever to get offered that role, that would be the will of a nation. That would be like, "Wow, human beings are really powerful. They really made that happen, because Barbra Broccoli certainly didn't" ... it would be the will of a nation because everyone has been saying that to me.
I guarantee that once Daniel Craig says he's done, the will of the nation will happen. There will be online petitions, all of that kind of stuff.
Of course that will happen.
[Laughs] Why do you think so many corporations are going to pay any attention to that?
I think "Mandela" will help.
This is the movie that they'll say, "See! We can't put Moneypenny [Naomie Harris] and Mandela in Bond! It would be like watching Mandela all over again!"
Not one person is going to say that.
Your name was mentioned in conjunction with "Jurassic World," but your publicist said it wasn't true. I'll just say that I wish that were true.
No, it's just a rumor.
I liked the idea.
So this new "Jurassic Park," it's really going to be made?
I do hope you get your superhero movie.
That's what I'm talking about! [Elba flexes his bicep.] That's going to be my slogan: "That's what I'm talking about!" [Elba flexes his bicep again.]
Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.
Ashton Kutcher and his fiancee Mila Kunis were photographed taking their elderly English Bulldog into a clinic to be put to sleep. I found these photos distasteful for many reasons. The first being that any dog owner knows how this situation feels: It is truly heartbreaking. Saying goodbye to your best friend is one of the worst days of your life. For it to be photographed and displayed publicly is completely unnecessary, and a sad reflection on the moral compass of the photographer and the paper that bought the image and published it.
Secondly I feel that if I, a client or friend, were in the process of having to do this, the last thing you want is a photographic record of it. Every owner would want privacy, calm and to be left alone.
Ashton Kutcher made the brave yet utterly miserable decision to put his beloved dog down, and when you go through with such a decision, a little bit of your heart goes with your dog. You share your life with a dog and you dedicate your days, life and love to this four legged friend. It broke my heart to see such an occasion reported like it was an exciting news story.
It also highlights the lack of public discussion around the bereavement process a pet owner will go through when they lose their beloved companion. For many of us, a dog may share our lives for 15 years or it may have just been part of our world for a much shorter time. Either way, your dog living with you, interacting with you and comforting you is something to be cherished. When your dearest dog departs it can for some feel like they have lost a best friend and many people underestimate this. If you are having to make some hard decisions or are facing a future without your dog I would urge you to contact the Blue Cross Bereavement line. The charity offer a phone no where you can call to talk to trained counsellors who can help you and are more than happy to discuss your situation if you do not feel comfortable discussing with people in your life.
Sure, the story of a young woman battling to the death in a government-sanctioned arena and a cancer-stricken man who cooks crystal meth might not seem to have a lot in common, but, as it happens, the director of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," Francis Lawrence, was binge-watching "Breaking Bad" as he was filming "Catching Fire," and he found some inspiration on the small screen.
Francis Lawrence takes over the "Hunger Games" directing reins from Gary Ross, which comes with a bit of pressure, because the first "Hunger Games" movie made a lot of money. With "Catching Fire" (Lawrence will also direct the final two movies), Lawrence must give it his own spin, while staying true to the books and the aesthetics that were established in the first movie. In other words, he has a lot of people to try to please.
"Catching Fire" seems to have a different tone than the first movie. Was that intentional?
No. I mean, quite honestly, I think that for me, it's all driven just based on the story. I think that I'm a different person; I'm going to definitely have a different style at least visually than Gary does. But, I think all of my choices were not about trying to do something different, but rather just how do I tell this story in the best way possible. There were some parameters that I had because of the first movie, some aesthetic choices of what did District 12 look like -- what does the Capitol look like? -- what kind of makes those things look the way they do. And a bunch of casting had already been done, obviously. But other than that, there was a lot of room to sort of create and to grow and to sort of make "Catching Fire" my own and just try and tell the story as best as I could.
Is there any pressure like, "Hey, people already like this. Don't mess it up"?
No, not really. Again, I guess I just wanted to kind of build on it. I think that I understood people loved it. I think I understood what people loved and I wanted to kind of build on that and grow with that -- and I wanted to kind of add to it so that bringing some new cast members in or making some new decisions or having some scenes that aren't in the book -- sort of world-growing scenes that fans might really love -- I thought that would be kind of a treat for fans.
How many days into shooting did the Jennifer Lawrence/Francis Lawrence name joke stop?
Oh, they still haven't.
No, no. They still haven't. I mean, occasionally, Jennifer will just turn to me and say, "You know what? We don't talk enough about our last name." She'll say that. I mean, we constantly joke, because in every single article, it says, "Francis Lawrence, no relation" -- of course, because it never says, "Jennifer Lawrence, no relation." And we say that when we do press conferences, the card in front of my seat should just say "No relation."
Or you should adopt the nickname F-Law.
[Laughs] Yes, exactly. Yeah. Somebody did, on my trailer on the first movie, put a nickname where I was "Flawrence and the Machine."
That's a good one.
Yes. Yeah, F-Law. Yeah, but the jokes have not stopped.
When a movie is based on a popular book series, especially a book series that so many people have read, can that be a disadvantage as a filmmaker?
Oh, totally. I think for sure somebody who's read the book will not experience the movie in the same way. I think it's like, then, you're sort of seeing a movie sort of come to life that you may have imagined differently -- and you may be surprised and pleased. Or you may not. Or you may just be bummed a certain scene is gone. You may really enjoy some of the things that we've added that aren't in the book. But the twists, the turns, the basic sort of plot line, the basic sort of character turns, all that kind of stuff is not going to be a surprise for anybody who's read the book. So, I think as a film experience, it'll be far more enjoyable for those who haven't read the books, just because it'll be new.
There are scenes that are similar to what happens in the first movie -- like the introductions and then even the first part of the games. Was there a problem of, "What do I do to make this stand out to viewers so that this isn't the same thing that they saw last year?"
Yeah, I tried to be very mindful of that. I mean, I think that ["Hunger Games" author] Suzanne Collins was also mindful that it's -- just the story's different. So even there may be kind of a structural mirror to the first movie -- you know there's going to be a reaping, you're going to go to the Capitol, you're going to have some training, you're going to do that kind of stuff, you're going to meet the tributes -- that the story this time is different. That the tributes this time are very different, that the ages are very different, they're very different kinds of people...
Right. I feel we know them better, too.
Yeah, I think so, too, and I think that also that my goal was to sort of make sure that the emotional value in each of those scenes that may be similar are very different. So, if you're going to have a chariot sequence, in the first movie, it might have been at night -- this one is going to now be during the day so we get to see more of the Capitol. You get to see more of the experience, right? But it's a different experience. If the first one was about a girl and a guy going out into this kind of gladiatorial entrance and feeling sort of shocked like deer caught in the headlights -- sort of afraid and dazzled. This next one is, "OK, these are veterans now coming in." They're not fazed by the spectacle, right? This is more a showdown with Snow -- that it's about looking and connecting with Snow in this moment as they're sort of cheering her name, so that the emotional value of something that could be really similar is very different.
I know this answer might be obvious, but the more I thought about it, I wasn't sure. Which of your prior movies prepared you for this more: "I Am Legend" or "Water for Elephants"? Because there's the romance element of the latter movie.
No, it helps, I have to say -- but I think quite honestly that "I Am Legend" prepared me more, just for the technicalities of it all. You know what? I'm going to take that back. I think that it's sort of both; it's even. I think the thing is, technically, "I Am Legend" helped, because we were under the gun. It was a quick prep. It was a big movie. It has loads of effects. So there's a lot of technicalities and big world building. "Water for Elephants" I think helped me because I was dealing with a certain kind of a love triangle. And I quite honestly learned some lessons. After the movie came out, I sort of saw the way people sort of perceived the movie and perceived the relationship -- and I learned quite a lot about what I intended and what I think people took away from the movie and how those didn't quite meet up. So, I think having been through that really helped with my presentation of their love triangle in this movie and what I was trying to portray.
The third book, "Mockingjay," is being divided into two movies that you are directing. How do you approach that story? Because I know quite a few people who don't like that story as much as they like the story in the first two books.
Well, I think it's all approach. I think, quite honestly, for me, the third book is the book that gives the stories their meaning -- and that's what I'm most excited about. To be able to take these stories to its finish, but also to be able to tell the story that sort of gives them all their kind of greater meaning, is really important to me. But, we all hear that kind of stuff, so I'm very mindful of it. And what I can try to do that we did with "Catching Fire" is make it as rich and emotional an experience as possible. So, if we can continue to keep the story in sort of Katniss's point of view and keep you emotionally engaged with her and make the story as compelling as possible and give each of the characters that we present as emotional a story as possible, I think that we'll really keep people engaged in the world of "The Hunger Games."
Did you like ending on a cliffhanger?
I like a cliffhanger. I was saying, what's really interesting is I became really obsessed with "Breaking Bad" while we were making this and binge-watched the entire series up until these last eight episodes while we were making "Catching Fire." And the more I watched those episodes, I just became sort of convinced that you can do that kind of stuff with movies, too. I know it's weird because TV people used to always look at movies for inspiration, and now, suddenly, we're looking at some great TV shows as inspiration. But they opened bold and they end bold, and I just think that that's fun stuff.
Having seen every episode of "Breaking Bad," this makes complete sense. And I did want more.
Yeah, yeah. No, well, that's a good thing. And hopefully, that's the idea, is make people want more -- make people want to see what's coming next. And look, we're not making it up, you know? The story's already out there; it already exists. The big difference with something like "Breaking Bad" and this is obviously, you've got to wait a year, as opposed to just waiting a week.
Well, it's comparable to waiting between seasons.
Yeah, that's true. I guess you could look at it as that last episode at the end of season five or whatever of "Breaking Bad."
When they split the season in half, we had to wait a year to find out what happened after the toilet.
Yeah, yeah. Well, look, we're doing that with "Mockingjay" [laughs].
Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.
Morgan Platt, 10-Year-Old Cancer Patient, Makes Music Video Of Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’ At Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (VIDEO)
Platt wanted to spread awareness about her cancer (along with other types of cancers being treated at Connecticut Children's Medical Center), according to a press release from the hospital.
She was diagnosed with a brain tumor in June of 2011. During one of her treatments, she took it upon herself to make the music video in hopes of it going viral.
In the past two months, we've seen the staff at the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and University of Minnesota's Amplatz Children's Hospital put together their own viral videos -- once again, celebrating the courage of children who are battling major illnesses.
Platt decided to do one on her own.
With the help of her mom, Kathy, she got the nurses, physicians and other patients and parents involved to produce a heartening and inspiring version of the song.
“It’s these little bursts of greatness for these kids that keep them going,” said mother Kathy Platt. “I’m so proud of Morgan. She’s defying the odds!”
The Hole In The Wall Gang, a New Haven based non-profit that Paul Newman founded in 1988, helped shoot and edit the video.
“When Morgan and her mother contacted our Hospital Outreach Program to help with their vision for this video, we saw it as a great opportunity to shine a similar spotlight on the playful, caring and welcoming atmosphere of Connecticut Children’s,” said Mike Dauphin, the videographer and editor of the “Roar” video.
Watch these champions “roar."