Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tom Hanks Says His College Years Inspired 'Larry Crowne'

'I was in junior college because it was my only option,' actor tells MTV News.
By Eric Ditzian

Tom Hanks with Julia Roberts in "Larry Crowne"
Photo: Universal Pictures

The first time Tom Hanks stepped behind the camera on a big-screen production, he captured a story set in the early 1960s, a period he had lived through as a preteen. But the particulars of "That Thing You Do!" — a rock band that rides a hit song to fame but can't follow through on their initial promise — couldn't have been further from Hanks' California childhood.

His second directorial effort, however, was inspired by events from his past, even if it does not seem so at first glance. In "Larry Crowne" — the upcoming comedy he also co-wrote and in which he stars with Julia Roberts — Hanks plays the title character, a guy fired from his job at a big-box retail store and forced to go back to college, where he meets a professor named Mercy Tainot (played by Roberts). But as Hanks told MTV News as part of our Summer Movie Preview week, he actually relates to his character's plight.

"My first years in college were much like Larry's," he told us. "I was in junior college because it was my only option — if I didn't enroll right after high school I would have had no path to any future. Two years in junior college became the jumping-off point for everything that came later and I think this was the same for others — not just kids out of high school, but guys back from Vietnam, wives going back to school after their kids were older, and folks who were looking to change their lives for the better."

While the genesis of the film came from Hanks' early college years, he enlisted Nia Vardalos, whose "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" he'd produced in 2002, to collaborate on the script.

"Nia and I talk all the time and laugh constantly, and I wanted a woman's voice to be a part of the movie, since Mercy Tainot is in a comparable life situation as Larry," Hanks explained. "Nia worked exclusively on the screenplay, based on meetings she and I had, for a number of drafts. Then the script sat in a drawer for a couple of years. I then worked exclusively on the screenplay through the complete production. The story evolved through both of us, though, and what I was shooting for was built up with every draft."

Roberts and Hanks have worked together before, on the political drama "Charlie Wilson's War," but they hadn't shared the screen on lighter material. He does, though, see a connection between that earlier film and "Larry Crowne" in that "we were playing real people in real circumstances." Similarities aside, Hanks simply knew Roberts was the perfect person for the role.

"Julia is Mercy Tainot — funny, wicked intelligent, driven and not one to suffer fools at all," he said. "But make no mistake of Julia's ability to find what is funny in a scene smack up against what is authentic."

For all the comedic elements of the film, there is a dramatic arc for both characters. Larry, for instance, essentially has to reinvent himself in middle age. And if Hanks had to refashion his own life, he joked that he'd strike out in a rather unexpected direction: "I'd go for the Iggy Pop look and gravitas."

Check out everything we've got on "Larry Crowne."

For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit

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Ne-Yo Defends Beyonce 'Dis' Statements

'I'm tired of being nice to dumb people. ... Bottom line, Beyonce is my friend,' 'Irreplaceable' songwriter tweets.
By Jocelyn Vena

Photo: Mawuse Ziegbe/ MTV News

When a comment from Ne-Yo hit the Internet in which the songwriter said that he wished he could have kept the Beyoncé hit "Irreplaceable" for himself, some took it as a dis to the star.

"One song that I gave away and didn't want to, but it's actually a good thing that I did, is Beyonce's 'Irreplaceable'. I honestly wrote that song for myself, but that song taught me a very interesting lesson: Many women don't think that differently. ... However, a man singing it comes across a little bit misogynistic, a little bit mean," Ne-Yo, who wrote the song, said in an interview.

When it was implied on Twitter that Ne-Yo was dissing the Sasha Fierce star with his comments, the singer/songwriter defended himself. "Aiight my dude. Send me the link to where I said ANYTHING disrespectful about Beyonce, PLEASE! Dying to hear this," he wrote. "Just heard the audio where I supposedly dissed Beyonce. ARE Y'ALL SERIOUS!?! Did y'all even listen to what I said!?!"

Ne-Yo then continued to tweet his anger toward those who misunderstood what he said. "I said I originally wrote the song for me. That's true, so OF COURSE I didn't want to give it away originally. IT WAS FOR ME," he wrote. "Once I realized how the song comes across if sung by a guy, that's when I decided to give it away. HOW IS THAT DISSING BEYONCE!?! She took the song and made it a smash, NOBODY can deny that ...

"You know what? At first I was apologetic about what the hacker said, now that I've heard the audio myself, not so much," he continued. "Y'all should listen a lil' harder before you start dissin' people. Makes you look real dumb. I'm tired of being nice to dumb people. ... Bottom line, Beyonce is my friend. To HELL with anybody that ain't SMART enough to understand what I truly meant."

Do you think Ne-Yo was dissing Beyoncé with his comments? Tell us below.

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Wild Pitcher: Derek Lowe Arrested For DUI

Quite the week for the Atlanta Braves.

First, pitching coach Roger McDowell's gay slurs came under heavy scrutiny from the league. Now pitcher Derek Lowe has been arrested for a DUI.

At least Chipper Jones (.289, 21 RBIs) hasn't been hurt yet this year.

Lowe got popped last night in Atlanta after a trooper stopped him  “detected a strong odor of alcoholic beverage” and gave him a field sobriety test.

Derek Lowe Mug Shot

Lowe's BAC wasn't higher than his WHIP (1.34) but it may have been close.

Lowe refused to take the state administered alcohol test and was booked and taken to the jail in Atlanta. He was released this morning on $2,944 bail.

A police spokesman revealed that Lowe was also charged with reckless driving and failure to maintain in his lane, which is why he was pulled over.

And with that, your latest member of THG's celebrity mug shots gallery, everyone!

Lowe is 2-3 with a 3.21 ERA in 2011. He is still scheduled to start this Sunday.


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CANDIDS: Eva Marcille, Christina Milian And The Dream Spotted In L.A.


We have Friday candids for you from the L.A. area and they feature former "ANTM" star Eva, and former couple Christina Milian and The Dream

Eva Marcille was spotted in Beverly Hills, CA having dinner with friends.


She rocked some very very short shorts.

Eva's hair is starting to grow on me.


And across town.....


Christina Milian, wearing red shorts and a white tank top, was seen with her daughter Violet arriving at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Violer is as cute as ever with that chubby face.


And later on that day,


The Dream picked up daughter Violet for a little Daddy and Me time.

And little Violet seems exhausted....adorable.


Photos via JD Pht Bx & MCGM/Splash News/


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Bangladesh Says He's Good With Lil Wayne And Young Money/ Cash Money

Boardsmith says that, despite minor frustration, he has a great relationship with Wayne.

Lil Wayne
Photo: Jeff Gentner/ Getty Images


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Photos | Best And Worst Grammy Fashions

Best And Worst Grammy Fashions

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Elizabeth Banks Signs On To 'The Hunger Games'

Actress will play rose-haired escort Effie Trinket in the film adaptation.
By Kara Warner

Elizabeth Banks
Photo: Bryan Bedder/ Getty Images

Last week's intriguing "Hunger Games" casting rumors are true! Elizabeth Banks has officially been cast in Lionsgate's highly anticipated adaptation of Suzanne Collins' best-selling dystopian novel. Banks will play Effie Trinket, the intense, chirpy, pink-haired escort to District 12's Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark. Effie accompanies and helps prepare the teenagers on their fight-to-the-death journey.

The 37-year-old Banks last appeared onscreen opposite Russell Crowe in the thriller "The Next Three Days," and has a recurring role on NBC's "30 Rock."

She'll next be seen alongside Paul Rudd in the comedy "Our Idiot Brother." Banks' casting announcement leaves only a few more holes to fill in the ever-growing cast, with fans eager to learn who'll play the roles of Cinna, the stylist assigned to the District 12 tributes, and Haymich, the cranky, alcoholic, one-time Hunger Games champion from 12. Although reports surfaced late last week that John C. Reilly was in talks to play Haymich, we've heard that's just a rumor.

Banks joins previously announced co-stars Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta), Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), along with Amandla Stenberg and Dayo Okeniyi as District 11 tributes, Leven Rambin and Jack Quaid as District 1 contenders, and Ian Nelson and Kalia Prescott for District 3.

Directed by Gary Ross and scripted by Billy Ray, "The Hunger Games," the first movie in a possible trilogy based on Collins' books, is expected to shift into production later this year. The film is slated to be released on March 23, 2012.

What do you think of Elizabeth Banks being cast as Effie? Sound off in the comments below!

Check out everything we've got on "The Hunger Games."

For young Hollywood news, fashion and "Twilight" updates around the clock, visit

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'The Office' Recap: Season 7, Episode 21

'The Office' Recap: Season 7, Episode 21

It's the day before Michael's last day, which is weird because this show doesn't usually stretch episodes out more than one day. But it turns out that today is Michael's last day; he just didn't tell anyone. This way he figures he can spend a drama-free day saying his goodbyes and giving his farewell gifts, most of which are pretty amusing.

In other news, Gabe is doing a pretty poor job of holding it together after being dumped by Erin at the Dundies, Andy has been given the biggest clients despite being the worst salesman, and Deangelo is beginning to come unglued.


Watch the full episode here:


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Naomi Watts Wants More Kids!

Naomi Watts and her partner of six years, Liev Schreiber, already have two kids together, but according to the 42-year-old actress, they don't plan on slowing down!

Naomi told In Touch that she would "love to have more kids when the timing is right!"

Although she confirmed to the media in 2009 that Liev had given her a ring, as of now, according to the actress, she "is not married" and "has not had a wedding yet."


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DO WE LOVE IT?: Amber Rose's Shopping Look

Amber Rose donned a one shoulder graphic multi-colored summer mini dress while shopping out at Intermix in L.A. yesterday.  Peep the pics and decide if we love it when you read on....


Interesting look.  So....



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Report: Meredith Vieira to Leave 'Today' in June

Report: Meredith Vieira to Leave 'Today' in June

It looks like Meredith Vieira will be making an early exit from the Today show. In recent weeks there has been much speculation that the morning show host would vacate her seat next to Matt Lauer when her contract was up in September. But now The Hollywood Reporter says that Vieira will definitely say goodbye to the show in June.

An official announcement has still yet to be made, but rumor has it that Ann Curry will be promoted to cohost, while correspondent Natalie Morales will take Curry's place at Today's news desk.

Vieira, 57, took over for Katie Couric in 2006, when Couric left to anchor the CBS Evening News. Couric announced this week that she'll be making a move as well, and will be leaving her post to pursue other endeavors.

Vieira's decision to leave Today is said to be personal. She has been taking care of her husband Richard Cohen, who continues to struggle with multiple sclerosis.

But a network source tells that her family may not be the main reason for her departure.

"Meredith has decided she simply does not want to continue with the grind of a daily morning news show," the source says. "This isn't about leaving to tend to her family -- it's about being done with the phase of her career that requires this sort of a daily, on-air commitment. This didn't come out of the blue and is something she's talked about for some time."

An NBC News spokesperson declined comment. 


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Is Beyonce Prepping Her Next Music Video?

Photos and reports surface of a B video shoot featuring couture fashion and 200 dancers.
By Jocelyn Vena

Beyonce on the set of her next music video
Photo: Robero Cavalli's Twitter

Last week a photo appeared on of Beyoncé, dressed in a blue Roberto Cavalli jumpsuit and a funky maroon fur coat, reportedly shooting a video in New Jersey for her forthcoming studio album.

A rep for the singer never returned MTV News' request for comment and now, nearly two weeks later, details about the video shoot are being revealed. According to Ace Showbiz, the video will be directed by music video auteur Francis Lawrence, who has gone behind the lens for Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Pink and Bey's former girl group, Destiny's Child.

Rumor has it that 200 African dancers and eight choreographers were hired for the clip. According to several online message boards, auditions for dancers were held in Los Angeles. Fan sites such as have posted blurry pictures that appear to show the singer on the set of the video, which is reportedly for the song called "Girl."

In the snapshots, Beyoncé's hair is done up in a faux-hawk, and she's wearing a white jumpsuit and sunglasses. The outfit is reportedly Givenchy couture.

The song is a "female empowerment/girl power type of song that is a definite club banger with Top 40/Worldly appeal," according to one commenter who talked about the open call after his friend attended. "The beat is driven by a sample of a popular club song that a lot of you will probably recognize. There's a breakdown in the song that is described as absolutely disgustingly sick! Definitely an anthem in the style of her singing." The post also backs up the claim that there will be upwards of 200 dancers in the video.

Rumors are floating around that Beyoncé's new album may drop this June. Sony Music Australia boss Denis Handlin told The Telegraph in Australia that "it was just amazing." He added that while he was in New York, the star herself was on hand to play some of the new music.

"She came in and played us six tracks from the album. She wants to do a big tour off the back of this record, which will include Australia," he explained. "These songs, the best description I can give is groundbreaking; she's gone to another level."

Over the course of recording the new album, Beyoncé has been rumored to hit the studio with a number of big industry names like Diplo, Sleigh Bells and Kanye West's producer S1. When she spoke to MTV News last November, she made it clear that sonically she was thinking outside the box.

"Well, I wouldn't say I'm inventing a new genre," Beyoncé explained. "I'm mixing every type of genre that I love and I'm inspired by every type of genre. ... I'm not in a box. It's not R&B. It's not typically pop. It's not rock. It's just everything I love all mixed together in my own little gumbo of music."

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Ryan Phillippe Loves ?Everything? About Fatherhood

Ryan Phillippe, proud parent to Ava, 11, and Deacon, 7, with ex Reese Witherspoon, is clearly enamored with the role of dad. When the actor was asked what he loves most about being a father at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of The Bang Bang Club, he beamed. ?Everything! Everything! I can?t pick one thing!? he told In Touch.

In the film, Ryan, 36, portrays a real-life combat photographer who covered the unrest in post-apartheid South Africa in the early ?90s. At home, his life is much simpler, as he balances the pressures of fame to create a good life for his kids. ?It?s pretty easy,? Ryan said. ?I don?t work all the time, so months go by when I?m at home with the kids full time. It?s not that much of a challenge.?

It?s been an eventful year for the handsome actor. Reese recently wed Hollywood agent Jim Toth, and Ryan is rumored to have moved on with girlfriend Amanda Seyfried, 25. But controversy struck again when ex-girlfriend Alexis Knapp revealed she was pregnant with Ryan?s child in March. Until the baby is born in June, Ryan is reportedly waiting for a paternity test to confirm that he is indeed the father. But The Bang Bang Club?s director, Steven Silver, is fully convinced that Ryan will handle all of his challenges with strength and dignity. ?Ryan is tough as hell,? Steven told In Touch. ?He?s had a lot of stuff thrown at him, and he just handles it.?


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Angelina Pivarnick: Back on the Market

She recently announced that she?s pregnant, and now Angelina Pivarnick's engagement to David Kovacs has been called off.

According to the father-to-be, things are rough between the two of them currently. ?I?m going through a really tough time right now. I have ended things with Angelina.?

And it sounds like the problem was infidelity. David added, ?I got a text from a fire fighter who actually apologized for sleeping with Angelina saying he just found out she was engaged.?

Kovacs also noted, ?I actually found a pair of guy?s underwear in her car. I truly fell in love with this girl and wanted to have a family and grow old with her.?


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Eddie Cibrian?s ex, Brandi Glanville, Reacts to Actor's Wedding News

As actor Eddie Cibrian just made his second walk down the aisle during an intimate ceremony on April 22, ex-wife Brandi Glanville has moved on from the painful end of her marriage, when Eddie was first discovered to be having an affair with country singer and Northern Lights co-star LeAnn Rimes.

Eddie's ex-wife Brandi exclusively tells In Touch, "I'm very happy that my children will have consistency in their lives while on their father?s time, and third time's a charm!"

Meanwhile, LeAnn took to her Twitter page to express her excitement. "Eddie and I are overwhelmed by the amount of lovely well wishes. We are blessed and... I'm Mrs. Cibrian!!!!!" she wrote. ?So wonderful to wake up as husband and wife. Love to all of you.?


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Chris Brown & Snoop Dogg To Appear On New Comedy Show + Jennifer Hudson's Body Creates New Opportunities + Vanessa Simmons On 'When I Was 17'


Chris Brown is trying out his funny side on a new show this summer. Find out more when you read on plus deets on how Jennifer Hudson's new body is helping her in more ways than one and a sneak peak at Vanessa Simmons 'When I was 17' episode...



Chris Brown has ventured from music to movies and now the superstar is set to appear on a new comedy show. The singer will appear on Fox's new series, "In The Flow with Affion Crockett". CB isn't the only celeb making an appearance on the show. Other scheduled guests include Snoop, Russell Simmons, and Michael Strahan. The show is a one hour sketch comedy series hosted by Affion Crockett and produced by Jamie Foxx

The show is set to premiere August 20 at 9 PM. Can't wait to see this one...


And Jennifer Hudson has opened up about how losing weight has changed her life and career.



Jennifer Hudson is getting a lot of attention since losing weight and she says she now realizes that her weight kept her from getting some roles.

In an interview with UK's Grazia magazine, J. Hud said,

 "In this slim world, I do realize I was being discriminated against. I’m offered more parts. There is much more excitement about me now".

Jennifer Hudson decided to drop the weight after giving birth to her son and for her role as Winnie Mandela in an upcoming film. J. Hud also said she never felt overweight. She says,

"I never thought I was overweight. I thought my old look was pretty, on this side, they treat you differently, the opportunities are different, my image is different.”

I guess we can expect to see the new, slim Jennifer Hudson in a lot of tv/movie roles coming up.



Also on TV,


Vanessa Simmons will be featured on an upcoming 'When I was 17' episode on MTV. She discusses her high school sweetheart and how he broke her heart. 

Here's a preview: 


 The episode will also feature Questlove and Christina Perri.




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Justin Bieber & Mark Wahlberg Teaming for a Basketball Movie?

Justin Bieber & Mark Wahlberg Teaming for a Basketball Movie?

Is Mark Wahlberg the latest celebrity to catch Bieber fever? A few months ago, Ashton Kutcher was talking about making a TV show with the teen sensation, and now Wahlberg has revealed that he and Justin Bieber are pitching a movie. Specifically: a basketball movie.

Wahlberg told Vulture on Wednesday that he and Bieber were in talks with Paramount to make a drama about a "reluctant mentor in an inner-city environment." Deadline then revealed that the story would center around street basketball. So if we had to venture a guess, we'd say that Wahlberg will play a grizzled former hoops champion, and Bieber will play an unlikely up-and-comer who teaches him how to love the game again. Valuable lessons will no doubt be learned. More importantly: Bieber will get to show off his real-life basketball skills.

"The tone of the project is described as The Color of Money meets The Karate Kid," says Deadline's reporter, "and it came out of Wahlberg and (producer Stephen) Levinson seeing Bieber play ball in February during a celebrity game held during NBA All-Star Game weekend."

During that game, the 5-foot-five Canadian teen played surprisingly solid ball, earning him the title of team MVP!

Kind of makes sense that Wahlberg, 39, would see something in Bieber, 17 -- after all, "Marky Mark" Wahlberg was once a teen MTV sensation himself. But if you're hoping the two of them will rap together during pick-up games, then you're in for a let-down.

"I will not (sing and dance) and neither will he," Wahlberg says emphatically. "(I could if) I had to, but I've, you know, that's the last resort. I've worked really hard to get away from that whole thing, but you never know. I may just end up coming back full circle."


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CANDIDS: Eva Marcille, Christina Milian And The Dream Spotted In L.A.


We have Friday candids for you from the L.A. area and they feature former "ANTM" star Eva, and former couple Christina Milian and The Dream

Eva Marcille was spotted in Beverly Hills, CA having dinner with friends.


She rocked some very very short shorts.

Eva's hair is starting to grow on me.


And across town.....


Christina Milian, wearing red shorts and a white tank top, was seen with her daughter Violet arriving at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Violer is as cute as ever with that chubby face.


And later on that day,


The Dream picked up daughter Violet for a little Daddy and Me time.

And little Violet seems exhausted....adorable.


Photos via JD Pht Bx & MCGM/Splash News/


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'Housewives' Spin-Offs For NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak?

'Housewives' Spin-Offs For NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak?

The women of The Real Housewives of Atlanta are busy filming season 4, which so far has included a baby shower for Kim Zolciak. Meanwhile, the show's two biggest stars -- arch enemies NeNe Leakes and Zolciak -- are in talks to headline their own spin-off series on Bravo, sources tell The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Leakes' series would follow her as she moves to L.A. and tries to break into Hollywood; Zolciak's series would chronicle her life with NFL player Kroy Biermann and their new baby.

Of course, the network doesn't want them both to leave the mother show; they are the two most prominent personalities of the group, after all.

But keeping them both in the original show may be even more problematic. "The two no longer trust each other, much less like each other," writes The Atlanta Journal Constitution's radio and TV blogger Rodney Ho. "This dynamic must be creating challenges for Bravo producers shooting season four, since they want to maximize interaction among the six cast members while Kim and NeNe probably want to spend as little time face to face as possible."

Odds are that Leakes would be the one to make the break for good. Like Bethenny Frankel of The Real Housewives of New York, Leakes has parlayed her Houswives notoriety into other Hollywood gigs -- such as her current, high-profile stint on The Celebrity Apprentice -- and exploited the media exposure at every turn. That includes a big-time feud with Star Jones, which spilled over beyond the reality series when Leakes made the talk show rounds, complaining about Jones.

No doubt, some may say that The Real Housewives franchise has reached a saturation point, and there's no need for another spin-off. But producers can simply point out that The Real Housewives of Atlanta is the most popular one of all of them. Since it averages about 4 million viewers a week, largely on the draw of stars like Zolciak and Leakes, then maybe these women could carry their own shows. As far as TV execs are concerned, there's only one way to find out.


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Nina Dobrev Drops By MTV Studios

Making her promotional rounds, Nina Dobrev was spotted arriving at MTV Studios in New York City yesterday (April 28).

The ?Vampire Diaries? hottie looked fabulous as she strolled inside, carrying her iPad and smiling for the shutterbugs.

Nina is featured on the cover of the first-ever Seventeen Fitness special issue, and in the interview she talks about her attempt at going vegetarian.

"At the end of last year, I tried being a vegetarian for four months, and after awhile, I started feeling weak, like I needed more protein, more energy. Then I read a review of an episode of The Vampire Diaries online, and in it the writer mentioned that I was looking too thin. I was like, 'Okay, maybe they're right.' It made me think: I need a burger -- a beef burger, not a soy burger."

As for her preferred type of guy- "I like the Chris Pines and the Ryan Goslings -- those types who are fit but not too fit. I'm attracted to the low-maintenance, touseled-but-happens-to-still-look-amazing guy. I like effortless. A guy who wears track pants, a T-shirt and a hat and can still be causal. Not the 'How much can you lift?' kind of guy. That doesn't matter to me at all!"


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Celebs Give Back: Meagan Good Visits The Ronald McDonald House

Actress Meagan Good was in New York yesterday visiting The Ronald McDonald House and we have pics of Ms. Good doing charitable work inside....

While out promoting her latest film, Jumping The Broom, which opens on May 6, actress Meagan Good took some time to stop by The Ronald McDonald House in New York City.


Meagan brought along games and gifts to the children and families she met. 

Meagan also brought along stylist Tiffany Hasbourne and her sister La'Myia Good.  Good to see them giving back.


Photos via WireImage/Nunez


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