Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
Celebrity couple J.Lo and A-Rod split because «we are better as friends»
Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez and former New York Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez called off their engagement because «we are better as friends,» announcing the breakup on Thursday just months after denying their four-year relationship was on the rocks. «We have realized we are better as friends and look forward to remaining so,» Lopez, 51, also known by her nickname J.Lo, and Rodriguez, 45, known as A-Rod, said in a joint statement.
Helen McCrory, the «beautiful and mighty» British actress known for playing steely female characters on stage and screen, has died of cancer at the age of 52, her husband, Damian Lewis, said on Friday. The shock announcement drew tributes from author JK Rowling, fellow actors including Michael Sheen and from the artistic director at London’s National Theatre who hailed McCrory as «unquestionably one of the great actors of her generation».
Frontline nurse shocked and touched by Taylor Swift gift
An American flight nurse says she was shocked and touched to receive a surprise gift box and personal note from music star Taylor Swift thanking her for her work in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Britta Thomason, who heads the Air Evac Lifeteam base in Dublin, Georgia, last month gave an interview to a local newspaper about her job, in which she said she liked to listen to Swift’s music when relaxing.
New Zealand awards Amazon extra $116 million subsidy for ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV series
New Zealand said on Friday it has agreed to give Amazon extra rebates on its expenses for the filming of «The Lord of the Rings» TV series in the country, hoping to reap multi-year economic and tourism benefits. Amazon will get an extra 5% from New Zealand’s Screen Production Grant in addition to the 20% grant the production already qualifies for, the government said in a statement.
Romanian director Alexander Nanau says a double Oscar nomination for his documentary «Collective» means a tragic 2015 nightclub fire and subsequent healthcare scandal at the heart of the film «will not be forgotten». Sixty-five people died after fireworks used during a concert at The Colectiv nightclub in Bucharest ignited non-fireproofed insulation foam, triggering a stampede.
Love story ‘Time’ takes incarceration fight to the Oscars
Garrett Bradley’s award-winning documentary «Time» may be about incarceration, but, according to the director, it’s really a love story. The Oscar-nominated film follows Fox Rich over several decades as she fights for her jailed husband Rob, serving a 60-year sentence for a bank robbery the couple carried out in the 1990s, to be released from prison in Louisiana.
‘Black Panther’ director won’t boycott Georgia for superhero sequel
«Black Panther» director Ryan Coogler said on Friday he would shoot the hit movie’s sequel in Georgia as planned, despite his opposition to restrictions on voting rights in the state that have prompted calls by some for a boycott. Coogler said in a guest column for Hollywood trade website Deadline.com that pulling out of Georgia to make the sequel would adversely affect the lives of people involved in making the film.
(With inputs from agencies.)