Living With Alopecia – Amber Jean Rowan Shares Her Story

When she was just 15 years old, one of Amber Jean’s friends noticed a bald patch on her head. After a doctor’s visit, she discovered she had alopecia. Twelve months later, Amber Jean was completely bald. Over a decade later, she is now a working actress and on this month’s cover of Irish Tatler magazine.

How did Amber Jean go from the shock of the diagnoses to loving the skin that she is in? We talk about this, the struggles, the highs and the important conversations that we all need to be having, hair or no hair, in this latest episode of “The Bellissimo Files” Podcast. Listen below.

 

 

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“The Only Success That Matters Is Happiness” Ricky Gervais and Kerry Godliman (“After Life”)

Ricky Gervais is back with his latest 6 part series, for Netflix, After Life.

Just having his name attached to a project has people assume controversy. There have been one liners that have come out of this series that have caused outrage amongst some groups. The thing is, the line taken on it’s own does sound controversial, but, if you give the series a chance, and actually watch the whole thing, you will see why that line works in the context of the whole piece.

“It’s always happened to me, but it’s not just me. If you deal with sort of taboo subjects, which I do, then someone, somewhere, is going to find something you say offensive. I’ve embraced it and I’ve pushed back, and as long as I can justify everything I do, you try and make it bullet proof. I assume as many people are going to hate this as love it – for whatever reasons.” Ricky commented.

I fall into the second category. After Life is one of my favourite things Ricky has done to date. It’s funny, dark, uplifting and starts many internal conversations that we need to have with ourselves.

There’s lots of social commentary throughout. Including our clickbait culture. “Everyone’s furious” says Ricky about the clickbait titles. “No we’re not! We don’t care and wouldn’t have known if you hadn’t written about it.”

The conversation comes back to people being offended. “When people say that joke is offensive, I want to go, ‘no, no, you found that joke offensive’. There’s nothing offensive about the joke, it’s subjective. You’ve got to own that emotion. That’s what being offended is. It’s having an emotion. If someone says, ‘I’m offended’, they may as well say, I’ve got a pain in my leg. I go, ‘what do you want me to do about it? Thanks for telling me but there’s nothing I can do about it’. Ricky continues, “What you mean is that you never want to hear something you don’t like ever again.” Kerry adds, “If you are offended, there are ways to avoid not hearing stuff.”

Our conversation moved from controversy back to what After Life does so well. It has the viewer constantly questioning what is important in life. For Ricky, that answer is simple, “The only success that matters is happiness”!

Before our time is up, I have one final question for him, will there be a season 2 of After Life? “I always do definitive, finite, and end, just in case I die the next day. But, I fell in love with the characters and I have started thinking about it. I’d love to do a second series.”

While Ricky starts working on season 2, we can all watch season one of After Life, when it drops on Netlix tomorrow.

 

 

 

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Tony Way and Mandeep Dhillon On Why They Jumped At The Chance To Work With Ricky Gervais Again

Ricky Gervais is back with a new series, premiering on Netflix on Friday, After Life. Many of the actors in this series are people Ricky has worked with before. Two such actors are Mandeep Dhillon and Tony Way.

For Mandeep, the chance to work with Ricky again, the important topics raised in this series, and the fact that it’s just a beautiful series is the reason why she jumped at the chance to be a part of  After Life.

For Tony, it’s simply because Ricky asked. “It could have been anything and I would have said yes”, said Tony.

Actors like working with Ricky because he puts his trust in them. “A lot of the parts were written with people in mind … He involved us and that was nice. We were able to help shape the character but we can’t take credit for the funny lines.” commented Tony.

Both actors took a lot of lessons away from this series, including being responsible for your own life and not living with regrets.

During our chat, Mandeep and Tony also spoke about how they feel about the world of celebrity and fame.

Tony also shared what it was like working on Game of Thrones. “I saw it become huge. I was in season 2, had a season off and then went back and it was insane! It was suddenly the biggest thing in the world. I haven’t really cashed in on that yet, but that will be a part of my retirement plan.” he joked.

As much as he enjoyed working on Game of Thrones, both himself and Mandeep, loved working on After Life and are hoping that a second season is in the works. If it is, they will definitely be back for that!

Season one of After Life lands on Netflix on Friday 8th March 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“I Like To Work” – Rebecca Ferguson On Going From Film To Film

Rebecca Ferguson plays the villain, ‘Morgana’, in the latest retelling of the “King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable” tale,  “The Kid Who Would Be King”.

I loved sitting down with Rebecca as she was so  refreshingly open and honest.

We spoke about so many different things in our 10 minute conversation – the film, consent, gender equality, raising boys, making movies, working out, how she feels about committing to two more “Mission Impossible” films, and so much more. This is a chat definitely worth listening to.

“The Kid Who Would Be King” is in Irish cinemas now.

Below is the “Consent With Tea” video Rebecca mentioned in our chat.

 

 

 

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“I can finally join in Ian McKellan & Michael Gambon’s Wizarding Conversations” – Patrick Stewart on “The Kid Who Would Be King”

Patrick Stewart and Angus Imrie both play one of the most famous wizard, “Merlin” in the latest re-telling of the King Arthur tale, “The King Who Would Be King”.

Patrick shares how he can now be a part of Ian McKellan and Michael Gambon’s wizarding conversations, and how he came close to being Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings”.

Patrick also shared the latest on the “Star Trek: Picard” series and what we can expect and what might be missing!

“The Kid Who Would Be King” is in Irish cinemas now.

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Joel Egerton Shares Why He Couldn’t Walk Away From “Boy Erased”

Joel Egerton writes, directs and co-stars in “Boy Erased.” Based on Garrard Conley’s memoir of the same name, “Boy Erased” tells the story of how Jared Eamon’s (Lucas Hedges) life is thrown into turmoil when, at 19, he is outed by a college classmate and his parents send him to conversion therapy.

I got to catch up with Joel to chat about the film. He shared with me why he was, initially, hesitant to bring this movie to the big screen, representation in film in front of and behind the camera, the importance of allies and how the idea of doing what we think is best for our loved ones can actually hurt them most.

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Review: “Boy Erased”

Based on Garrard Conley’s memoir of the same name, “Boy Erased” tells the story of how Jared Eamon’s (Lucas Hedges) life is thrown into turmoil when, at 19, he is outed by a college classmate.

When Jared’s parents find out he is gay, his Baptist Preacher father (Russell Crowe) and  religious mother (Nicole Kidman), as advised by their religious community, decide the best thing for their son is to put him in, a church supported, conversion therapy course. Jared attends out of fear of, not only be shunned by his community, but by those he loves the most too – his parents.

This film is a very difficult watch, however it is a very important story to be told as in today’s world there are still 36 US states, and numerous countries around the world where conversion therapy is legal.

Instead of contributing to the hate, this film comes from a place of love. It doesn’t set out to vilify the parents, instead, it asks the question, how can a family who love each other so much cause their son so much pain?

Jared’s parents truly believed that they weren’t doing bad things to him, they were actually doing this for him. That is one of the most heart breaking parts of the whole film. Dictated to by religion, they (initially) failed to see that what they were doing for their son was causing him so much pain and suffering.

There are outstanding performances from all of the cast. However, Kidman’s portrayal of Jared’s mother who is torn by the love for her child,  the right thing for him, and what her religion tells her is the right thing to do for him, is gut wrenching.

Writer/Director, Joel Edgerton, lets the story unfold and doesn’t opt for sensationalism or over dramatics to evoke emotion from the audience. Sometimes this makes for very slow film making but in this case it works as you really take in what is happening.

I left the cinema feeling anger (that in today’s society this can still be happening), sadness (how can love be something that is not celebrated?), and hope. “Boy Erased” is not an easy watch but it is a must see.

“Boy Erased” is in Irish cinemas now.

 

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