01 The Write Elements: June 2015

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Star Scions

My words ended up taking up a little bit for the introduction (which was mostly kept so that's a triumph) but I still had to research and the hard part was finding pictures. Looking through Instagram mostly, but still, to go all the way to a similar night... 
Some really are a spitting image. 

Anyway, take a look at the PDF with the pics and you'll see what I mean  :)

You may not recognise them at first.
But look closer at Maya Thurman-Hawke, Lily-Rose Depp, Brandon Lee and Frances Bean Cobain, and you will see the family resemblance — or at least the familiar last names.
Perhaps last remembered as kids in the arms of their famous parents, this latest generation of celebrity offspring are all grown-up and turning heads at recent red carpet events. 

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Mads Mikkelsen

He was so nice. It's unbelievable. Unfortunately his voice was, oddly enough, hard to understand sometimes

Superhero or supervillain?
Which would you pick, Mads Mikkelsen?
The debonair, versatile 49-year-old Danish actor has pulled off an amazing range of roles in his almost 20-year film career. They include heroic fighters in King Arthur (2004) and Clash Of The Titans (2010), antagonists in Casino Royale (2006) and The Three Musketeers (2011), and his award-winning turn as a disgraced kindergarten teacher wrongly accused of sexual abuse in The Hunt (2012).
But he told M in a phone interview from Copenhagen, Denmark, earlier this month that he really likes breaking bad.
“As much as I enjoy playing good guys, I think that those type of characters need the other side of the coin, the dark side. I embrace it every time I get the chance.”
And he is winning a new legion of fans as the iconic, cannibalistic psychiatrist- serial killer Hannibal Lecter, a role he reprises in the third season of TV series Hannibal. It airs on Fridays at 9.45pm on AXN.
“I think it’s a wonderful character to play. (Hannibal)’s multifaceted. He’s a chameleon and can adapt to any situa- tion that’s given to him in life. For that reason, it’s a gift for any actor to step into the suit of Hannibal because he has so many different faces,” said Mikkelsen.
Season 3 sees Lecter on the run in Eu- rope, accompanied by his psychiatrist Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson) and sporting a new identity.
Richard Armitage also joins the cast as serial killer Francis Dolarhyde, the primary villain of Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon which introduced the char- acter of Lecter. His story is a “powerful part” of the entire season.
Mikkelsen teased: “You don’t have to look out for it because it will be in your face right away. I can’t really say what’s happening, but ‘showdown’ is a small word.”
Unfortunately for “Fannibals” (what hardcore fans of Hannibal call them- selves), it was reported on Monday that TV network NBC will cancel the thriller after the conclusion of Season 3 due to dwindling ratings.
Hannibal aside, moviegoers will per- haps best remember Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre, the blood-weeping poker player who famously tortures Daniel Craig’s James Bond in Casino Royale.
He said: “(The movie) was a spectacular thing for me to do. That was the big- gest film I had done at that point. 

“When I started the film, I had no idea how big it was. I’ve never seen a Bond film myself.
“But the actual work was pretty much like any other (film) I did back home, just that it required more people on set.”
The father of two admitted he got a “minor shock” when tens of thousands of people turned up for the premiere of Casino Royale at Odeon Leicester Square, which was when he realised the magnitude of the project.
But Mikkelsen is not the only Danish actor to have made his mark in Holly- wood.
When asked about his fellow country- man Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who is a fan favourite as knight Jaime Lannister on the hit TV series Game Of Thrones, he said: “I think it’s fantastic what Nikolaj has achieved. We started out together and have done numerous theatre plays and films together as well.
“But very early on in his career, he went abroad and he was very ambitious about working there.
“It’s taken him a while, but now he’s made it and he’s made it big time. So I’m very proud of him. I think he’s achieved something fantastic.”
Mikkelsen confessed he would actually love to be part of Game Of Thrones.
“I wouldn’t want any part, of course. I would be the one that kills him in the show,” he said with a laugh.
He said he was offered a part in super- hero flick Thor (2013) and would “love to be in a Marvel film”, but was not able to commit because of Hannibal.
He joked: “If they one day need an older version of Spider-Man, I’m ready. I can climb walls.”

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Dedicated to TKPS

The article was mainly written by my friend who had a really tough time. Lemme explain.
It was difficult for lots of folks during this period really. For those who don't know: an earthquake shook Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia while students and teachers of Tanjong Katong Primary School were on an overseas school trip. 
Lots of kids lost their lives that day. 
And it was happening during the SEA Games too. So reporters had to go down to the site, to the school and everything, to talk to whoever we could. 
I was actually on the bus to work when my friend was talking to me about being sent there to get quotes. And she wasn't doing so well. Honestly unless you've been a journalist for years, as a normal person, you'd feel something you never hope to experience. As cruel as it sounds, I felt - yeah, felt - like a vulture, something my friend agreed with. Though she was meant to wait for the soccer team, we still had to circle around the school to see who we could talk to, so we could get more quotes from other people. Everyone was paying tribute, which we thought we should do too. The kids were amazing, they really held it together. I got to talk to the kid who was with the group about to go on the hike; a kid who knew the teacher; (everything we had was unfortunately not used because so much was covered the days before, which is THEIR reason and to get the soccer players) and I went crazy taking pictures for my friend's article - which was my main purpose being there. 
The photographers though were scary as heck, every time I went to get a shot they would swarm me.
I got surprisingly good shots of the team and the coach and player. I had zero clue who anyone was, they just looked sincere at that point in time. 
So yes, it's these things I'll never forget. 

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan

I honestly wondered if I would get the chance to interview someone like Cesar, like... just Cesar. Because it was him. And sure enough I got too! 
This two-page spread was amazing to have, though it's not my only one, it's what I wrote. 

Not only that, today's my dad's birthday.... I can't believe he's gone. I believe I can dedicate this to him. 

Cesar Millan has made a career out of taming and training the most stubborn of dogs.
But when it comes to the 45-year-old celebrity dog behaviour expert, there is only one person who can keep him in check — his girlfriend of five years, Ms Jahira Dar.

So how does she manage to do just that?
In a phone interview with The New Paper from Los Angeles last week, Millan said with a laugh: “I think you should ask her, it’s a question for her! She does have a lot of methods. Everybody needs a little rules, boundaries and limitations.”
It was Ms Dar, a 30-year-old from the Dominican Republic, who helped Millan — best known for his hit TV series Dog Whisperer With Cesar Millan and Cesar To The Rescue — through the darkest period of his life.
In February 2010, his pit bull terrier Daddy died and a month later, he learnt his wife planned to divorce him. In May, he attempted suicide.
The Mexican-American celebrity found love again in late 2010 with Ms Dar, whom he calls “The One”.
Millan said: “I will (propose to her soon). But it has to be in that specific place. I think she will en- joy it even more because it’s her dream part of the world that she’s never been to. I can’t wait... I even have the ring now, so it’s a big step.”
Naturally, the proposal will involve dogs.
Before that, the couple will make a stopover in Singapore later this month for Millan’s Love Your Dogs Tour.
In the live show, he shares his unique tech-
niques and reveals the key to happier, healthier relationships between humans and their canine companions.
He will also be tailoring his gig for Singaporean audiences, whom he’s become more familiar with after visits in 2012 and 2014.
He said: “When I did a show in a mall (in Singapore) people brought their dogs... The audience was mesmerised and the owners were absolutely blown away.
“What I’m giving you is not just the ABCs of dogs. What you need is a formula, but also tailoring.
“I saw how you live in the apartments, how people gather in parks, how people walk dogs in Singapore. I notice how that makes the dogs feel.”
Despite his busy touring schedule, Millan also makes time for some special supporters.
He recently visited Patricia Moore, a 14-year-old terminally ill cancer patient from Palmdale, California, whose “bucket list” wish was to meet him.
Millan said: “I get to meet a lot of cancer patients, especially kids, who unfortunately are not doing very well. They love to watch animal shows in the hospital, it’s very soothing and relaxing.
“It brings happiness to people, so a lot of kids say, ‘One day I would like to meet that guy because he saves the lives of dogs’. That’s pretty much what they want, they want somebody to save their lives.”
The father of two sons, aged 20 and 14, even goes to the extent of inviting these young fans to his ranch in Santa Clarita, California, where they get to meet his llama, horse, pigs and goats.
“I love (the kids’) spirit, and their love and sacrifice. The people who have a lot don’t realise life is beautiful.
“But the ones who have less are the most incred- ible ones. You get to see life in them, so I’m always impacted by that.” 

Then this was about Mango

Cesar Millan’s favourite memory of Singapore is of how he helped a local dog come out of its shell. In 2012, when he was in town to do two live shows at Marina Bay Sands, he met Mango (right), an abandoned nine-year- old male mongrel at a shelter.
It had not left its wire mesh pen in seven years.
It would turn aggressive and threaten to bite when confronted with a leash. Even when the pen door was left open, it refused to come out.
The situation got so bad that volunteers at the non-profit shelter, Animal Lovers League, were unable to bathe it or take it for walks.
Eventually, they backed off completely, not wanting to agitate it further.
Millan took one-and-a-half hours to coax Mango out of its pen, after which it was even willing to go for a walk and swim.

He said: “For me, it was a great joy and honour. I took this dog that was pretty much a prisoner of his own and introduced him to his country.”
Ms Cathy Strong, founder of the Animal Lovers League, credits Millan for Mango’s rehabilitation.
She said: “Poor Mango was such a difficult dog to deal with for seven years. (Leashing) him so we could take him out for a walk was an experience none of our volunteers could forget.
“With Cesar’s confidence and advice, we learnt how to handle him. And if he allows anyone to leash him, and that is not too difficult now, he looks forward to his walks.
“But he makes sure he walks you rather than you walk him.”
She added that although Mango is a lot more manageable now, the shelter is still worried as the dog still takes some time to get used to someone.
No one has expressed interest in adopting Mango so far, and Ms Strong said the dog’s age also makes it difficult.
“But he’s a good boy now,” she added.