Scoring several major movie stars to headline your independent film is quite the coup when you’re an unknown name in Hollywood but keeping them on board as your finances and luck run out is another matter entirely. Just ask Matt Hookings.
The writer, producer and lead actor of the forthcoming British historical boxing biopic, Prizefighter, was ecstatic to sign A-listers Russell Crowe and Ray Winstone last year after months of negotiations.
The 32-year-old filmmaker from South Wales has spent a decade trying to tell the story of James “Jem” Belcher who became the youngest English boxing champion in history at the age of 19 in 1800.
It has been a journey that has, at times, almost destroyed him because of the egos, uncertainty and financial turmoil involved.
At least five times, he was told it was “game over” for his film. “Everything was on the line – my life, money, career, credibility,” Matt says, lowering his voice. “My body and my mental state.”
So, when Gladiator star Crowe finally agreed to play Jem’s grandfather, the former Norfolk boxing champion Jack Slack, Matt thought his prayers had been answered.
It took three approaches, including a single £1,200 phone call to Crowe’s manager in Australia, convincing him the shoot could still happen after Covid-19 shut down international travel.
Then he nearly lost the star after a lastminute location switch to Malta put millions of pounds on the line.
Thankfully, the Oscar-winner came through. But the stress wasn’t over.
FIGHTING FIT: Filmmaker Matt Hookings wrote the film and stars as Jem Belcher (Image: Steve Reigate)
As they filmed pivotal scenes last November, Russell decided to shake up the hectic filming schedule.
“He said, ‘You look like you can play tennis,'” Matt remembers.
“He looked my body up and down and said, ‘Let’s play tennis tomorrow at 3pm. Bring a friend. I’ll w bring my girlfriend’.” In the midst of managing actors, crew, caterers, distributors and studio executives, Matt was suddenly scrambling to find a female friend who could face off against Russell’s American girlfriend Britney Theriot, 31.
But he couldn’t find any women who could play the game, only another guy.
Fine, said Russell. Yet, the Australian star’s famous temper surfaced as play started and he began losing. “He got angry,” says Matt. “I was just tapping it over the net, which made him run.” Did he let Russell win?
“I want to pretend I was being cool and let him win but no, we both won one [set]… but he was getting angry.”
He smiles at the memory. His mates were in stitches at the absurd situation. “I was finishing the film and hadn’t been paid and they were saying, ‘You’re broke as hell but you’re texting Russell Crowe about tennis? It’s insane’.”
Rewind the clock to 2012 and 22-year-old Matt would probably agree.When he set out to tell Jem Belcher’s rags-to-riches story, he never imagined one day his own tale of adversity would parallel that of his protagonist. Nor that by making Prizefighter, he would uncover a personal connection with Ray Winstone, who plays Jem’s trainer Bill Warr, more of which later.
So how did it all start? “I gravitated to the story, I was immediately hooked,” Matt says, speaking to me in The Ring, a central London pub and shrine to the famous former boxing club that once stood across the road.
“Jem was billed as the youngest champion at 19, was blind at 22 and dead by the time he was 30,” says Matt. “He went through so many ups and downs.”
Born into poverty in Bristol, the butcher’s son was an elegant fighter with a brilliant mind. “He was like a Muhammad Ali,” says Matt.
“He was way ahead of his time. He wrote a treatise on how boxing was about speed, movement and intelligence.”
The teenager’s meteoric rise was aided by his good looks and stylish dress. He won favour with aristocratic society in an era when pugilism was still primitive. “His fights were like events – he added theatre and brought in women and children,” says Matt.
“It wasn’t just men sitting there with jugs of beer. There was a celebrity about him but it was short-lived.”
Jem his sight in one eye in a freak accident before making an epic return in 1805 to try to regain his Champion of All England crown. The film’s climax sees him take on Henry ‘the Game Chicken’ Pearce, played by former boxer Ricky Chaplin.
Matt wanted authenticity for his fight scenes and watched 140 boxing films. “They are real hits,” he says.
“Ricky’s ribs were bruised and so were mine. We were exhausted, elbows were b*******. It was a war.”
Oscar-winner Russell Crowe as Jack Slack in Prizefighter (Image: Signature Entertainment)
Matt was adamant he would play Jem despite opposition. If this sounds familiar, it is. Sylvester Stallone was a washed-up actor when he pitched his Rocky script to producers in the 1970s and had to bulldoze his way to the titular role.
But Matt had good reasons to play Jem. Like him, he was born into a boxing family.
His late father was the former British heavyweight champion, David “Bomber” Pearce, a Welshman dubbed as “Newport’s Rocky”.
The ex-steelworker was retired from the sport in 1984, aged 24, on medical grounds after a brain scan showed irregularities.
He appealed the decision and fought unsanctioned bouts but later developed epilepsy and died of SADS (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome) when he was 41.
Matt was just 12. “He gave his life to the sport, he had that passion and drive in him,” he says. His parents separated when he was young and he knew his father only fleetingly growing up. “I’ve learned more about my dad with this film than before,” he says.
Matt’s mother remarried when he was seven and he and his brother, Bernard, four years his senior, moved into his stepfather’s home in Newport.
His father lived behind his maternal grandmother’s house and he would sneak over to see him. “He definitely forgot stuff the last times I saw him,” Matt says. “There was definitely a change, which surely could have only been caused by boxing.”
It is because Matt is the “spitting image” of his dad that the drama graduate discovered Jem’s story in 2012.
Matt Hookings in Prizefighter (Image: Signature Entertainment)
He had become one of a “core group” of acting stuntmen working on Hollywood films Wrath Of The Titans, Snow White And The Huntsman and Maleficent when one day someone mistook him for his dad after reading an article on David.
Matt took a look and next to it was a small write-up on bare-knuckle fighter Jem. His interest piqued, he fell down a “wormhole” of research and found strange similarities.
“He died on July 30th, which is my birthday. Our height and body build were similar – I’m 6ft 2in, Jem was 6ft 1in – and his mother was called Mary like mine.” Convinced the role was meant for him, he started boxing training.
That was back in 2015. But talent and graft mean nothing in Hollywood if your story lacks a big name, even if your dad was a world-class boxer. It was years before Matt convinced anyone of his film’s merit.
Sales agents were baffled why he wanted to make a boxing film set in the 1800s. “I told them it’s original, it’s never been done,” says Matt. “There isn’t one boxing film that explores the birth of the sport.”
He pursued executives at Cannes, turning up at their hotels and meetings. He approached the nowdisgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein as he walked the festival in 2016, begging him to read his script.
“‘Yeah, whatever’,” recalls Matt. “He was an a*******.” His script ultimately went through more than 300 revisions. Ridley Scott’s son Luke Scott almost came aboard.
But the turning point was in late 2020 as a second lockdown loomed.
Matt convinced a well-connected friend, veteran British stunt coordinator Steve Dent, to send his latest draft to Ray Winstone and Russell Crowe’s manager.
To his amazement, Ray came on board quickly and they spoke over video in January 2021. It prompted a revelation from h E E db hi lf f the East End-born actor, himself a former amateur boxer.
“He knew my dad and used to watch him fight in the 1980s,” says Matt, who was delighted. Then several days into shooting, Winstone revealed to Matt and his brother just how close the pair had been. “He wasn’t going to tell me but felt confident we were getting along well,” says Matt.
“He said, ‘I thought I should let you know that I was in the room with your dad when he got the brain scan with the doctor’.”
The brothers were stunned. Matt knew people loved his dad but not like this.
“Ray was serious and meaningful the way he said it. You could tell it was something he remembered as well and it touched him. My brother was in awe I was in shock.”
Still, it was a strange moment to be blindsided by such huge news. “It touched me deeply because no one had ever been able to say that they’d been that close to him.”
But there were other stresses.
Ray Winstone in Prizefighter (Image: Signature Entertainment)
The film’s production in Wales was moved to Lithuania last summer after the Welsh government’s film agency couldn’t push through funding in time.
Matt was devastated, given that a statue of his father stands in Newport. His sanity was ultimately saved by the physical exhaustion of boxing every day.
Sadly, the same cannot be said for Jem, who died an alcoholic in failing health at the age of just 30, which is, thankfully, where parallels with Matt’s life end.
After a difficult few years, Matt is excited to finally share his film with the world. And even though he’s been to hell and back, he’s already enthused about his next project.
“It’s about a Chicago police officer who is working with the Mafia and is linked to the murder of JFK,” Matt says.
Once again he’s ready for battle and it makes complete sense. He’s a fighter, obviously.
Prizefighter: The Life Of Jem Belcher streams on Prime Video from July 22
Grace and Frankie: Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda star in trailer
Today Jane Fonda’s comedy western Cat Ballou, which stars fellow film titan Lee Marvin, airs on Film4 from 12.50pm. The 1965 film follows schoolteacher Catherine Ballou, and her tribulations after returning home to find her father’s life is under pressure from local developers keen on his land. In order to protect her father, Catherine puts together a gang of outlaws to protect him, with hilarious consequences.
Cat Ballou was nominated for five Academy Awards, including a win for Marvin in the Best Actor category, and placed tenth in the American Film Institute’s top westerns of all time.
Though Fonda herself wasn’t nominated for an Oscar, she remains box office gold when it comes to awards season, having collected two of the prestigious gongs herself over the years for other projects.
She followed in the footsteps of her influential father Henry, who remains one of Hollywood’s most endearing figures.
But Fonda once recalled the heartbreaking advice Henry gave her when she was considering a turn in showbusiness.
Jane Fonda on her father’s brutal parenting: ‘Unless you look perfect, you won’t be loved’ (Image: GETTY)
Jane and Henry Fonda (Image: GETTY)
As a child, Fonda noted how she suffered from “poor self-image” and lacked confidence when it came to her appearance.
She detailed what Henry said when it came to her image during an interview with Harper’s Bazaar in 2011.
The legend explained: “I was raised in the Fifties.
“I was taught by my father that how I looked was all that mattered, frankly.
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Henry Fonda with his son Peter and daughter Jane (Image: GETTY)
“He was a good man, and I was mad for him, but he sent messages to me that fathers should not send: Unless you look perfect, you’re not going to be loved.”
In a separate interview with TV legend Oprah Winfrey a year later, Fonda went further into her struggles with her appearance.
She added: “It took me a long long time to realize we’re not meant to be perfect, we’re meant to be whole.”
Then, she spoke candidly about developing bulimia, which was an issue that her mother Frances Ford Seymour also faced.
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Jane and Henry Fonda (Image: GETTY)
Seymour sadly passed away by suicide when Fonda was 12, and Fonda said of her own condition: “It was in my forties, and if you suffer from bulimia, the older you get, the worse it gets.
“It takes longer to recover from a bout… I had a career, I was winning awards, I was supporting nonprofits, I had a family. I had to make a choice: I live or I die.”
More recently, Fonda reflected on her longevity, admitting to Vanity Fair in April that she didn’t actually believe she’d live as long as she had.
Now aged 84, Fonda described how when her career first began she knew she “needed to move out of my father’s house”, in order to succeed.
Filming locations in UK (Image: EXPRESS)
She continued: “I never thought I would live this long. In a year, I’m making three movies.
“If you had told me that at 85 I’d be in three movies… I would not have believed that. I didn’t think I would live past 30.
“So just the fact that I’m alive and thriving is a big surprise.
She added: “I can’t say that I wanted to be an actor.
“I needed to move out of my father’s house and live on my own that was made very clear to me, and I didn’t know what to do.
“And I became friends with Susan Strasburg, and she told me I should study with her father. And so I did.”
The Blink-182 rocker, 46, proved he’s ready to work again as he was seen leaving a recording studio after his hospitalization for pancreatitis.
The husband of Kourtney Kardashian rocked a white tank top, dark wash jeans, and several chains around his neck as he left work on Wednesday.
Barker, who was taking a phone call when he was photographed, completed the casual look with dark shades, black sneakers, and a backpack over his shoulder.
It comes one day after he was seen returning to the studio for the first time, having been rushed to the hospital just last week.
The drummer was spotted behind the wheel of a Mercedes G-Wagon on Tuesday, heading into a Calabasas, Calif., recording studio, where he greeted the studio operator with a friendly fist bump.
Barker has been recovering from pancreatitis, which was triggered after undergoing a colonoscopy.
He later revealed the “life threatening pancreatitis” was caused by a “small polyp” being taken out in a “very sensitive area usually handled” by specialists, noting that a pancreatic drainage tube was damaged.
Kardashian, 43, was photographed by his side as he was carried on a gurney into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, writing that it had been a “scary and emotional week.”
“I am so grateful to God for healing my husband, for all of your prayers for him and for us, for the overwhelming outpouring of love and support. I am so touched and appreciative,” she added.
Barker also received support from his wife’s sisters, Kim Kardashian, Khloé Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner, who sent him a floral arrangement.
He shared a snap of the bouquet of white roses on his Instagram Story Tuesday, writing, “Thank you,” and tagging the siblings.
Kourtney’s mom, Kris Jenner, and boyfriend Corey Gamble also sent a get well soon note along with a bouquet of orange flowers.
Hollywood chef Wolfgang Puck puts caviar on salmon pizza
Today, Gene Tierney’s much loved 1943 fantasy comedy Heaven Can Wait airs on Talking Pictures TV, from 12.55pm. The story follows the Devil as he reflects on the life of the recently dead playboy Henry Van Cleve, and whether he should reside in Heaven or Hell in the afterlife. The picture was nominated for three Academy Awards and also co-starred Don Ameche, but is often remembered as Tierney’s breakout role, which saw her receive top billing in adverts.
Though it afforded her a newfound level of success, Tierney later remarked that the film’s director Ernst Lubitsch was a “tyrant on the set” and “the most demanding of directors”.
She recalled in her 1978 book Self Portrait: “After one scene, which took from noon until five to get, I was almost in tears from listening to Lubitsch shout at me.
“The next day I sought him out, looked him in the eye, and said, ‘Mr. Lubitsch, I’m willing to do my best but I just can’t go on working on this picture if you’re going to keep shouting at me.’ ‘I’m paid to shout at you’, he bellowed. ‘Yes’, I said, ‘and I’m paid to take it – but not enough’.”
During her career in Hollywood, Tierney’s love life was also often spoken of, including reported relationships with the likes of Kirk Douglas and marriage to fashion designer Oleg Cassini.
Gene Tierney’s ‘hopeless’ love with JFK ended over heartbreaking marriage snub (Image: GETTY)
Gene Tierney is considered one of Hollywood’s most beautiful stars (Image: GETTY)
But one relationship Tierney had wasn’t unearthed until she revealed it in Self Portrait, decades after it originally happened.
This was with former US President John F Kennedy, also known as Jack.
The relationship went from strength to strength after starting out in 1946, when Tierney met Kennedy after her marriage with Cassini had broken down.
Kennedy at the time was a young World War Two veteran, who was visiting the set of Dragonwyck, one of Tierney’s upcoming film productions.
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Gene Tierney was married twice (Image: GETTY)
But, even though their relationship deepened over the year they were together, Kennedy admitted there was little future for the pair as a result of his ambitions to become leader of the US.
Writing in her memoir, Tierney said: “We were having lunch one day in New York.
“Just before we were joined by some of his friends, he looked at me and said, out of the blue, ‘You know, Gene, I can never marry you.’ In the chatter, the exchange of greetings as his friends settled into other seats, I said nothing.
“Then it was time for Jack to catch his flight back to Washington.
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John F Kennedy before he died (Image: GETTY)
“As he moved away from the table, I sat still, and in a voice just above a whisper I said, ‘Bye, bye, Jack.’ He stopped, walked back across the room, and said, his smile a little off-centre, ‘What do you mean? That sounds kind of final.’
“‘It is.’ We looked at each other for a long, timeless moment. Then he turned and left to catch his plane.”
Though this marked the end of their time together as a couple, when Kennedy was elected President in 1961, she sent him a note to congratulate him on his victory.
Though the pair did meet again between the breakdown in their relationship in 1947 and Kennedy’s win, Tierney herself noted how she “should have known our situation was hopeless”.
Filming locations in UK (Image: EXPRESS)
She added: “I have never talked with reporters about Jack, and until now had never written about us.
“Only he knew how serious his feelings were.
“But, obviously, when a man tells a woman he can’t marry her, if he feels compelled to say so, then the subject must have been on his mind.”
Tierney received an Oscar nomination in 1945 for Best Actress, missing out to eventual winner Joan Crawford for her role in Mildred Pierce.
She died of emphysema on 1991 just 13 days before her 71st birthday.
Heaven Can Wait airs from 12.55pm today on Talking Pictures TV.
Tom Cruise is set to become a sexagenarian on 3 July, with the Top Gun star reaching his seventh decade of life but still looking years younger.
Tom will turn 60 on 3 July, and he’s been reportedly planning two huge birthday bashes, including one in Chipping Norton’s Soho Farmhouse. Tom is said to have fallen in love with the private members’ club when his pal Simon Pegg hosted a party there.
A source told The Sun: “In Britain the invite list will be a Who’s Who of his circle – they’ll be asking the likes of David Beckham, James Corden, his co-star Simon Pegg and obviously his partner Hayley Atwell will be there for both.”
Tom doesn’t look his years, but he’s not alone – let’s take a look at some celebrities who are 60 or will soon reach the milestone birthday, but you’d never think it.
Musician Sheryl Crow certainly doesn’t look her 60 years, and while she did come close to getting a little help from the needle, she backed out.
“A friend of mine bought me a Botox gift package for my 42nd birthday after I kept saying to her how good she looked,” she told the Express in 2013.
“When the technicians came in, I saw they had those really high eyebrows and I just went, ‘What am I doing?’”
Rankin admits he was nervous working with the Queen (Image: GettyImages)
But in 2001, when asked to photograph the Queen at Buckingham Palace in advance of her Golden Jubilee, he admits he was quaking with nerves. “I was s******* myself,” he recalls. “She had a real sense of humour, a glint in her eye; a really powerful human being.”
He was given just five minutes to photograph his monarch.
“We had a bit of a chat. She made some jokes. I can’t remember them because I was so freaked out over meeting her. I remember her walking in and feeling that aura wash over me. I’d never met anyone who had that.”
The resulting photograph is a brilliant bright-eyed, smiling image of the Queen, set against a Union Jack backdrop, which was eventually displayed at Windsor Castle and the National Portrait Gallery.
His portrait of Tony Blair wasn’t quite so successful. Taken on the eve of the Iraq war, it shows a prime minister clearly exhausted, haggard and under stress. “I took a really rotten photograph,” he complains now. “It was a really quick shoot. It was inappropriate of me to do that and I was criticised for it.”
Blair’s successor, Gordon Brown, on the other hand, came across as happy and smiling. “He was really charming, funny, engaged, the opposite of what I expected,” Rankin remembers. “People say he’s really dour. Not the guy I met.”
Rankin has photographed people from the Queen to actors and Prime Ministers (Image: GettyImages)
Rankin – everyone calls him by his middle name – is sitting on a vast blue sofa in his north London agency, Rankin Creative. It’s from here that he directs his business empire, heading up projects in photography, advertising, publishing and film production.
He is known for his more unconventional portraits. There are the models with faces distorted by Sellotape or rubber bands or nails, for example.
He has also photographed people with terminal illnesses or war wounds.
There was Kate Moss covered in spray paint and fellow model Gisele Bundchen in her underwear; American actor Jared Leto attacking the camera with a baseball bat, or David Bowie baring his teeth. There have been hundreds of famous pop and film stars in various unorthodox poses.
Rankin believes it’s his willingness to collaborate closely with his subjects that allows him access to some of the world’s most famous people. “I don’t tell them what to do,” he says.
“Even before digital photography, I would show people Polaroid photos. ‘How do you feel about it?’ I would ask them. I don’t choose pictures I know the person doesn’t like. If people trust you, they push themselves to go further.”
Some in the industry have gone so far as to call Rankin “Britain’s greatest living photographer”, although he squirms at the idea.
“I’m definitely not,” he says, insisting that fashion and portrait photographer David Bailey and war photographer Don McCullin should be ranked far above him.
“They are the two living photographers who are absolute icons,” he adds. “I’m nowhere near that. I wish I was.”
Brought up in Scotland, Yorkshire and Hertfordshire, before settling in London, Rankin studied accountancy but was far more interested in getting behind the camera. He attended two photography courses, dropping out of both, before setting up the style magazine Dazed & Confused.
In 1995 he married Kate Hardie, the actress daughter of TV presenter Bill Oddie.
Together they had a son Lyle (now 26) before divorcing. In 2009 he married model Tuuli Shipster. The couple live together in north London with four pet dogs, not far from his creative agency. Despite his background, he speaks with a southern accent.
On moving from Glasgow to Yorkshire, he had a Scottish accent. When he later moved from Yorkshire to Hertfordshire he had a Yorkshire accent. After each relocation, he was ridiculed so much by school peers that he quickly adopted the accent of his new surroundings.
Rankin is known for unconventional portraits (Image: GettyImages)
Nowadays Rankin calls himself a “cultural provocateur” and a “media rebel”, explaining how he has always been drawn towards taboo subjects.
“I think it comes from being born in Glasgow to a Glaswegian father and mother. When I was a kid my parents taught me it’s okay to be contrarian.
“Even though my father and I disagreed on just about everything – he was working-class right-wing and I’m middle class socialist – he always taught me to question things and to form my own opinions.”
It’s an attribute that explains why Rankin recently launched an exhibition, aiming to question censorship on social media platforms.
Called The Unseen, and running until next week at East London’s Quantus Gallery, it features hundreds of photos by members of the public that have been removed – often without explanation – from social media such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok.
The images – a selection of which appear below – include innocent images of models wearing tight underwear or leather clothing. Some are pictures of crossdressers or plus-size models. One shows a man wearing Arabian-style headgear. Others include a child breastfeeding, a plump woman squeezing her tummy and a woman with a disability.
Rankin explains how many social media platforms are now so vast that, when it comes to checking content, it is not humans who do the checking but computer algorithms.
“What should be censored is paedophilia, upskirting or nudity,” he says. “I’ve got no problem with that kind of censorship. But [in this exhibition] it’s people who are posting things about race, body size, disability – innocent stuff.”
“It doesn’t make any sense because it’s algorithms judging the content. If you’re going to police something, you need people doing it.” He wants the platforms to explain to users why they are removing content. “It’s their beast. They created it and they make a load of money out of it,” he says.
“They should employ more people and take responsibility. Most of it just requires common sense.” In addition to taking photographs,
Rankin directs films, adverts and music videos – including a famously lewd one for American singer Miley Cyrus.
The social media accounts linked to his business enjoy hundreds of thousands of followers, so he’s understandably outspoken when it comes to this type of media. He uses social media for at least 45 minutes a day, “mainly Instagram and a bit of TikTok.”
What particularly concerns him is the way these platforms cause such polarised opinions – leading in a large part to the rise of cancel culture, where people are ostracised, sacked and censored for certain opinions.
“I think cancel culture is exacerbated by social media,” he says. “Not because we, as a society, are more puritanical but because there is no discussion or debate on social media platforms. It’s either black or it’s white. Opinions become more and more extreme and further apart.”
Rankin and Jill Furmanovsky (Image: GettyImages)
RANKIN doesn’t blame social media users for this polarisation, rather the technology itself. “If you create a ‘like’ button, you’re creating a ‘hate’ button at the same time,” he explains. “You can’t have love without hate. It’s Yin and Yang. As soon as you have a like button, you have people saying: ‘How dare you like that!’.”
When new technologies take over societies, they often cause social problems, he says. He compares this digital revolution we’re living through to the industrial revolution in the 1700s, or the invention of the printing press three centuries before that.
“Social media is still so new and so difficult to navigate,” he adds. “We’re all just toddlers in this world.”
He also worries that online platforms are making us all incredibly narcissistic, especially with the filters which allow us to manipulate and beautify photos.
“We’re obsessed with manufacturing this ideal image,” he says. “I think that’s a really unhealthy thing, especially for kids. Any 12-year-old can use the filters to change every single thing about their image. What does that do to your head? It’s messing with your self-perception and identity.”
But he admits photography has always been an exercise in manipulating the truth.
“Photographs are lies, essentially,” he says.
“With photos, you can paint with light, or make someone look thinner with a lens change.That ability has been around for ever and now, with social media filters, it’s in everyone’s hands.”
The interview concluded, Rankin then poses for a few portraits himself. He admits to “hating” it when the camera lens is turned on him and stalls for a few minutes to shave a bit of stubble hair from his chin.
Finally, he reveals which celebrities he would still love to photograph. He’s very keen to shoot the Queen a second time, now that she has reached her Platinum Jubilee. And the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy intrigues him. But there are two key characters who stand out above the rest: Barack Obama andVladimir Putin.
“They would be great subjects,” he says. “Either the good or the bad.”
“Stranger Things” star Jamie Campbell Bower was spotted kissing his girlfriend, Jess Moloney, in Malibu, Calif., over the weekend – confirming that he and ex Ruby Quilter called it quits.
A source told Page Six on Monday that Bower and Quilter broke up two years ago and he has been dating Moloney, a photographer, for nearly a year and a half.
Bower, 33, was seen locking lips with the brunette as they cozied up together in the sand during a day of surfing. They were also seen practicing a few yoga moves, with Bower at one point helping his gal pal apply sunscreen to her face.
Both were dressed in wetsuits as they splashed around in the waves during their adventurous southern California outing.
At one point during a break from surfing, Moloney even rested her head on the actor’s shirtless chest as he soaked up some sun.
Bower didn’t appear to be hiding his affection toward Moloney as they heavily packed on the PDA with lots of touches and cuddles.
The actor was last linked to Quilter, a tattoo artist based in New York City. They made their red carpet debut as a couple at the London premiere of Bower’s movie “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” in November 2018.
The duo kept their relationship under the radar over the years, rarely discussing their love life and only occasionally posting content of each other to their respective social media accounts.
Prior to Quilter, Bower reportedly dated model Matilda Lowther from 2014 to 2017, “Emily in Paris” star Lily Collins on and off from 2012 to 2018 and “Harry Potter” actress Bonnie Wright from 2009 to 2012.
A rep for Bower did not immediately respond to Page Six’s request for comment.
The “Queen’s Gambit” star – who is dating musician Malcolm McRae – is sparking engagement rumors after she was photographed flashing a ring on that finger while disembarking from a private jet in Sydney, Australia, last week.
“She bounded off the plane and then seemed to flash the ring at her driver before getting in the car,” an eyewitness told the Daily Mail, who was first to report the news on Sunday.
“She was either showing off the ring or doing a dance move. Either way, she looked ecstatic.”
A rep for the actress did not immediately respond to Page Six’s request for comment.
Taylor-Joy, 26, looked chic in a brown top and matching trousers for the outing, which she paired with a checked overcoat and a long pendant necklace.
She styled her platinum blond tresses in loose waves, as she clutched onto a packet of chips and carried her adorable cat, Kitsune, in a pod-style backpack.
While the “Peaky Blinders” star is notoriously private about her dating life, she and McRae, 27, have reportedly been dating for more than a year.
The couple spent the past month Down Under in the Australian outback, where she’s been filming the “Mad Max” prequel, “Furiosa.”
They made their red carpet debut a few months earlier at the Vanity Fair Oscars afterparty in February, before offering fans a tiny tidbit about their romance.
“I said to my partner the other day that he was my hobby,” she told British Vogue in March.
“I see reading as something that I have to do. He loved it because he’s the same.”
She continued, “I’ve finally found someone who will happily sit in silence with me reading. We’re basically 80 years old and seven at the same time and it works really well.”
Rebel Wilson took her romance with Ramona Agruma to new heights over the weekend, enjoying a dreamy helicopter excursion over Iceland.
A post shared to her Instagram Stories showed the “Pitch Perfect” star, 42, and her fashion-designer girlfriend in matching blue puffer coats, standing in front of a firehouse-red chopper with a flat, grassy landscape unfolding behind them.
“Trying to look cool whilst freezing 😜,” Wilson, 42, wrote in text overlaying the image.
A subsequent snap captured a headset-clad Wilson in-flight in the aircraft.
While her Icelandic images appear unequivocally elegant, Wilson was pushed into a much more awkward position earlier this month after an Australian newspaper forced her into a public reckoning with her personal life.
As previously reported, a Sydney Morning Herald columnist voiced a grievance about the newspaper having given Wilson two days to comment on a story that would have unilaterally outed the actress vis a vis reporting on her relationship with Agruma – only to have the “Senior Year” star divulge the reality of her sexuality on her own Instagram prior to the “scoop.”
Responding to the outpouring of support on social media about the situation, Wilson tweeted, ”Thanks for your comments, it was a very hard situation but trying to handle it with grace 💗.”