Comedian Mike Epps has had a career filled with memorable appearances, classic jokes and, obviously, plenty of laughs. Whether it's for his illustrious stand-up career, his hilarious acting roles or his occasional features in music albums, everyone seems to know the Indianapolis funnyman in one way or another. While the man certainly needs no introduction, Epps has been finding himself more in the spotlight in 2015 than in recent years, primarily due to his current U.S. tour as well as being cast as one of the greatest comedians of all time in an upcoming movie.
Playing his idol
Earlier in 2015, it announced that Epps had landed the lead role of playing Richard Pryor in an upcoming biographical movie that will be directed by award-winning director Lee Daniels. There were many other talented actors up for the role, including Nick Cannon, Marlon Wayans and even Eddie Murphy, but the part was ultimately awarded to Epps, a role he's said to be nervous about, but extremely grateful for at the same time. In an interview with Larry King, Epps expressed how incredible of an opportunity playing Pryor is for him.
"I'm so honored to even be considered or chosen to play the greatest of all time," Epps told Larry King. "I feel well connected to him and I'm going to trust and hope that he's going to be with me in spirit as I represent him."
While Epps has plenty of experience in show business, this will certainly be the biggest role of his career, but fortunately, he'll have plenty of talented people aside him all throughout production. While Eddie Murphy was in discussions about playing Pryor himself, he has since signed on to play the part of Pryor's father, LeRoy "Buck Carter" Pryor. In addition to Daniels directing, Harvey Weinstein is on board to produce the film, which will surely be one of the most highly anticipated films of next year.
Before committing himself to filming the Pryor bio, Epps has a handful of shows across the U.S. during his current tour. He'll be stopping in cities ranging from Memphis to Portland to Phoenix, with multiple performances scheduled for each city. Now is the time to see Epps channeling his idol on stage before he relishes the chance to portray him on the big screen.
When many people think of Eric Church, it's easy to listen to his songs of the blue-collar lifestyle and see his tough-guy music videos and think that he's someone you'd certainly not want to mess with. That's what actor Chris Pratt apparently thought as well, as the star of the blockbuster "Jurassic World" recently declared in an interview that the inspiration behind his lead character of Owen Grady was indeed none other than mainstream country's biggest outlaw himself.
Is Owen Grady actually Eric Church?
Anyone who has seen "Jurassic World" knows that Chris Pratt's lead character Owen Grady isn't your typical action hero. Grady is a technically an expert in training velicoraptors in the movie, but it's his constant swagger, snappy comebacks and overall cocky-yet-charming demeanor that allows him to be awe-inspiring and relatable. Many of those characteristics, aside from training velociraptors, can also be attributed to Eric Church, the man known for his confident tracks such as "Guys Like Me" and "Drink In My Hand." Turns out that Church's behavior was quite an influence on Pratt's development of Grady for the movie.
In an interview with GQ Magazine, Pratt admitted to including Church in his mantra he'd repeat to himself before every take, which was "Flow core, no TC, volume up point five, Eric Church." 'Flow core' was a reference to his paddleboarding posture, while 'TC' was an abbreviation for triple chin, reminding him to keep his forehead up to avoid having a, fuller face. 'Volume up point five' reminded him to project his voice while 'Eric Church' was to help Pratt recall Church's song "Dark Side," one of the country star's edgier songs off of his 2014 album The Outsiders.
The actor would repeat this phrase before every take, and extensively listened to the song "Dark Side" to channel the nature of a kind-hearted quasi-outlaw who is the focal point of Church's song. While Church has yet to publicly respond to Pratt's declaration to the singer as an influence, one can only hope that the country star would be up for perhaps making a dinosaur-inspired track for his next album. Church is currently on tour with shows scheduled until early September, including multiple festival appearances along the way. Tickets are currently on sale for the majority of the concerts.
While many suspected the once acclaimed and popular Guitar Hero video game franchise was officially on hiatus, recent announcements have declared the game will be back and better than ever. Slated for release in fall 2015, the game is being titled "Guitar Hero Live," and while details are still scarce, an official lineup has revealed that Fall Out Boy leads the way among other rock giants such as The Rolling Stones, The Black Keys, Green Day and more.
Game will produce more live music feel
Previous games in the Guitar Hero series tended to focus more on the skill aspect of punching in buttons while playing user's favorite songs on their own TV screen. However, a recent video has been released by the game's producers Activision that emphasizes how this version in particular will be more catered to producing the live feel bands like Fall Out Boy create every night while selling out arenas.
The game will be a first-person experience, where you'll be a member of a band that starts off playing the low-key, bar shows until you work your way to the top, packing stadiums with thousands of fans. The graphics will also stray away from the cartoonish qualities of previous installments and instead incorporate live action footage, so your bandmates and audience members will look like real people. Fans in the crowd will also respond to how well you play, booing if you begin to miss notes and cheering you on as you exceed expectations.
Year of Fall Out Boy
Being announced as one of the leading bands for the new Guitar Hero game is just the icing on the cake for Fall Out Boy in 2015. This year is shaping up to be something special for the band hailing from Wilmette, Illinois, as they inch closer to their 15 year anniversary with a worldwide tour that kicks off in June and is slated to go on until late October. April alone has seen a lot of activity from the pop punk rockers, as the band made a special performance at the 2015 MTV Movie Awards and bassist Pete Wentz threw out the opening pitch for the Chicago Cubs in his nearby hometown of Chicago.
Back in January, the band released its sixth studio album titled American Beauty/American Psycho, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, being the band's third No. 1 album and selling 218,000 equivalent copies in its first week. Critics responded to the release with rave reviews, and the album has spawned singles such as "Centuries," "Irresistible" and "Uma Thurman."