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Hearing set for Michael Jackson doctor Conrad Murray

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Dr. Conrad Murray, center, is shown with his lawyers Edward Chernoff, left, and Michael Flanagan at his arraignment in January.

Los Angeles (CNN) — Defense lawyers in the trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor want to shield jurors from commentary by Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor who now hosts a daily show on the HLN network.

Daily commentary by Grace and others during the Casey Anthony trial this summer was “like a final argument by the prosecution,” Dr. Conrad Murray’s lawyer, Michael Flanagan, said Wednesday.

While the defense has not decided whether to ask that the jury in the Murray trial be sequestered, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor hinted at a hearing Wednesday he does not think it would be necessary.

Flanagan predicted media coverage of the trial of Murray, charged with involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death, will be bigger than the wall-to-wall coverage of the Anthony case that just ended in Florida.

“How many final arguments do we have to face in this case?” Flanagan asked. “Are we going to face the one in the courtroom and the one when they go home?”

Grace addressed the issue Wednesday during her eponymous show.

“The doctor charged in the death of music superstar Michael Jackson, killing him allegedly with a powerful propofol anesthesia, wants the jury sequestered, from me! From US!” she said. “Claiming watching ‘Nancy Grace’ will prevent a fair trial; that the jury will be biased. So I guess that makes us, umm … the good guys!”

Keeping jurors in a hotel, with deputies watching over them, for two months would be expensive for the Los Angeles court system, which is already suffering under tight budget constraints.

HLN, which carries Grace’s nightly show, is owned by Turner Broadcasting, which also owns CNN.

Pastor announced Wednesday that jury selection will begin September 8, despite prosecutors’ request for another three weeks to prepare their case because of “scheduling issues.”

Jury selection was underway in May when the defense requested a delay so its expert witnesses could have more time to prepare for new experts hired by the prosecution. Pastor then dismissed hundreds of prospective jurors and rescheduled the trial to start in September.

The judge will visit Sony Studios soon to review more than a dozen hours of raw video of Jackson’s last rehearsals for his “This Is It” tour to decide which clips, if any, will be shown to the jury.

Lawyers for each side spent the past two weeks viewing more than 100 hours of video, narrowing down what they thought was relevant to the case. The prosecution selected 12 hours of video, while the defense identified four.

Flanagan said the video showed him that Jackson was “very talented, that he’s pretty good; even on his bad days, he’s good.”

The defense was looking for clues in the video to show that Jackson was in ill health in his final days, but Flanagan said it was not detectable in his performance video. Jackson also did not appear to be depressed in his final days, he said.

The defense will argue that none of the “This Is It” video is relevant to the criminal trial and would be “a big waste of time.”

“It shows him onstage performing,” Flanagan said. “I don’t know why that’s relevant as to what happened the night that he died when he couldn’t sleep.”

Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009, was from an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol, combined with other drugs, the Los Angeles coroner ruled.

Murray, whom Jackson hired to care for him as he prepared for his comeback concerts in London, allegedly administered the fatal dose.



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Gallery: Big opening weekends

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Pitbull talks music, brand, and immigration

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Hollywood, California (CNN) — It’s Press Day at the swanky Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. While a growing lineup of journalists waits in the green room, Pitbull gets down to business in a hotel room next door. He rattles off one perfect soundbite after another. He laughs. He mugs for the camera.

When the 30-year-old chart-topper is asked to ignore the interviewer and directly address the video camera, he leans forward and stares down the barrel of the lens.

“Welcome to Planet Pit,” he says.

For Armando Cristian Perez, it’s all about connecting with his audience and expanding the Pitbull brand. He used to be known as Mr. 305, a reference to the area code of his native Miami. But on his sixth studio album, he’s going global. And if there’s any question about his intentions, the first cut on “Planet Pit” is called “Mr. Worldwide.”

Pitbull’s new track with Marc Anthony, “Rain Over Me,” is shaping up to be a smash. His last single, “Give Me Everything” featuring Ne-Yo, hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In the past few months, the Cuban-American rapper has performed on “American Idol,” “The Voice,” “The Billboard Music Awards,” the “Today” show and all the big late-night programs. He’s rolled out a line of vodkas under the name Voli, and he may or may not be joking when he talks off-handedly about designing a collection of high-end women’s shoes.

“We like to stay sexy, baby,” he purrs. “From Miami, everything we do is sexy.”

Thanks to an infectious new album and some irresistible dance beats, Pitbull is finding himself the life of the party this summer. He may not be Mr. Worldwide quite yet, but he’s Mr. Everywhere. And he’s sexy, baby.

CNN: Is this where you’ve always envisioned your career going?

Pitbull: Did I see myself where we are at right now? No. I’ve always had a goal, though. I’ve always had goals, always had visions, always had a plan, always been very strategic. ’09 was freedom in music. 2010 was invasion. In 2011, empire. I started doing shows in places that I couldn’t pronounce, didn’t know existed, and I’ve seen people that didn’t speak English or Spanish rapping to every lyric and singing to every hook. I said, “This is the type of music that I want to do.”

CNN: “Planet Pit” is a happy summertime album.

Pitbull: It embodies an escape because there’s so much negativity going on in the world right now: wars, economies, revolutions, immigration, tsunamis, you name it. There’s always something going on, and people need that 45-minute-to-an-hour-and-15-minute break, where they just escape and not worry about bills, health care and God knows what. That, to me, is when you’re making great music: when people can just forget about what’s going on.

CNN: Your new single, “Rain Over Me,” features you and Marc Anthony.

Pitbull: It’s the first record he’s done in English in over 10 years. We feel it’s going to be a strong contender all over the world and obviously something that can contend on the charts.

CNN: You used to dress in athletic jerseys and baggy clothing. Now you’re dressing like something out of “Miami Vice.” How does it feel to be wearing tight pants?

Pitbull: Well, let me tell you about the growth of Pitbull, not only musically but from a sense of fashion. I grew up in a city where all the guys that we looked up to were very sharp, always looked good, spoke well, were gentlemen but were very dangerous, whether it was the “Miami Vice” or “Scarface” look.

This is the truth: I’m into sales. I love deals. I’m definitely a sucker for steals. Now I’m able to afford a different sense of fashion, but it’s still on the clearance section! So how does it feel to be in tight pants? Great! It feels really good, because I was always wondering how you run away or get into any type of physical confrontation if your pants are right here (points to his thigh area).

CNN: Your parents are immigrants from Cuba. How do you feel about anti-immigration legislation in states like Arizona and Georgia?

Pitbull: When it comes to immigration laws in the United States of America, I think that it’s very contradicting to everything that this beautiful country stands for. This is a country that’s been built by immigrants. Native Americans, yeah, but as far as everybody else, we came here. If we start pushing people out or not allowing them in or not allowing them to indulge in at least feeling what it’s like to have freedom and maybe in their own way to live out the American dream, I think it’s very contradicting to everything that the Constitution stands for.

CNN: How do you feel President Obama is doing?

Pitbull: I think in light of everything, he’s handling it well. Obama, keep doing your thing.

CNN: When do you think we’re going to have a Latino president?

Pitbull: As far as a Latino president, I think it’s around the corner.



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Google+ has a ‘celeb acquisition plan’

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Lady Gaga appears with Google's Marissa Mayer. The singer has 11.7 million Twitter followers, but she's not on Google+.

(CNN) — Google would like its new social network to be well-known in Hollywood circles.

To that end, the Internet giant is drawing up a “celebrity acquisition plan” to help publicize Google+, its 3-week-old social network, according to Google e-mails reviewed by CNN.

As part of this initiative, Google is beginning to devise a system that would verify the identities of public figures who sign up for the service, said Brett Schulte, a Hollywood consultant and organizer of social-media gatherings called Tweet House.

The validation process would prevent people from impersonating celebrities and perhaps feature a button on legitimate profiles similar to Twitter’s “verified” stamp, said Schulte, who said he discussed the project with Google employees.

A Google spokeswoman declined to comment. “We aren’t yet sharing any details on future plans around Google+,” she wrote in an e-mail. “We plan to add a lot of features and functionality to Google+ over time.”

Google put out a call recently for applicants to join its “business profiles” test program, which will allow companies to create special Google+ accounts.

For profile verification, Google is still weighing how the method would work. One option the team considered would involve asking a celebrity to fax a copy of his or her driver’s licenses to the company, Schulte said.

More likely, Google will arrange a list of the top talent agents and consultants who would be able to file requests directly, Schulte said. “They seemed to be very interested in having celebrities,” he said.

In 2008, Google launched a trial program in the United States that allowed people to validate the identities tied to their Google Profiles. The system could check someone’s name and phone number against telephone records and ask them to enter a PIN code upon receiving a call, or enter a credit-card number to be checked against a third-party database. In exchange, people would get a green “verified name” badge on their profiles.

Twitter previously allowed anyone to apply to have a “verified” tag applied to their profile pages. The company, which has more than 300 million people using its micro-blogging service, has closed that program to the public. “But we continue to verify partners, advertisers and accounts that regularly deal with identity confusion,” a Twitter spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail.

Facebook does not have a front-facing system for promoting legitimate pages, although it does have a form for “authenticating” a page to receive customer service from the company. Facebook representatives also respond to reports from users about pages that are suspected to be fake.

Being “verified” on Twitter has become something of a status symbol. It’s sought after among celebrities who take to the service. Schulte is one of a select group of insiders who help celebs, such as singer George Michael and CNN’s Dr. Drew Pinsky, get into the verification program.

Michael “Psycho Mike” Catherwood, the radio personality who was the first eliminated on the recent season of “Dancing With the Stars,” had his Twitter account verified a week ago with the help of Schulte.

Catherwood, like many celebrities, has little interest in joining Google+ but would consider doing so if Google offered him incentives such as validating or promoting his profile while eliminating imposters.

“For a living, I voice my opinion, and so I’m very guarded and very protective of my opinion,” Catherwood said. “I don’t want anyone to muddy up the waters with false opinions that seem to be.”

Google+ is off to a promising start, especially with tech-savvy early adopters. It added 10 million members in less than three weeks, Google reported on its quarterly earnings call last week. It looks to be on a similar trajectory as Twitter was during the network’s fledgling period, with a similar list of Internet notables among the most followed.

But Twitter reached a new stratosphere when it got the endorsements from athletes and luminaries, such as Ashton Kutcher and President Barack Obama.

Google appears to be looking to trace that blueprint to reach a wider audience with Google+. The company has managed to get big names, such as Lady Gaga and Tina Fey, to drop by its campus to speak for YouTube audiences, but the challenge will be getting each actively to maintain yet another online profile.

Complicating that task, Google+ got off to a less auspicious start with at least one celeb. Actor William Shatner said his account there was unexpectedly deactivated after greeting his fans and later reinstated.



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William takes Kate to see ‘Bridesmaids’

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The royal couple are avid film lovers and enjoyed meeting some top movie stars while in Los Angeles at a BAFTA celebration.

(PEOPLE.com)Prince William and his new wife Catherine said that when they returned to the U.K. from their tour of Canada and visit to California that they wanted to live a life “under the radar” at their Welsh home.

So, what better way to lead the life of normal newlyweds than to go on a movie date?

On Saturday, the couple headed from Anglesey, where William is based as an Royal Air Force search and rescue helicopter pilot, to the nearest multiplex at Llandudno Junction, about 40 miles away, to see the American comedy “Bridesmaids.”

Other moviegoers were soon excitedly Tweeting about the sighting. “My friend from Uni has just seen Prince William and Kate Middleton in my local cinema,” a Twitter user wrote Saturday.

Cineworld confirmed the outing in a Tweet Monday, posting, “Prince William Kate Middy saw “Bridesmaids” at Cineworld Llandudno this W’end. Wonder what they made of Kristen Wiigs ‘one eyed’ impression?”

The royal couple are avid film lovers, and loved meeting some top movie stars like Nicole Kidman, Barbra Streisand and Tom Hanks while in Los Angeles at a BAFTA celebration. A palace source tells PEOPLE that Kate was “as thrilled as anyone else would be to meet people who she has seen on the screen.”

William and Kate are expected to spend most of the rest of the summer in North Wales, with William working and Kate considering what patronages and causes to adopt in her new public role. They are also expected to travel to Scotland to visit Queen Elizabeth’s estate, Balmoral.

“They have the rest of their lives to be public figures and working hard on behalf of the Queen and want to keep things on a level and enjoy their marriage,” palace spokesman said last week.

See the original article at PEOPLE.com.

© 2010 People and Time Inc. All rights reserved.



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It’s a girl for Ivanka Trump

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Ivanka Trump said she and husband Jared Kushner will strive to raise their daughter so she is grounded and not spoiled.

(PEOPLE.com) — The Trump empire has expanded again.

Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner welcomed their first child, a daughter, on Sunday in New York City.

“This morning [Jared] and I welcomed a beautiful and healthy little baby girl into the world,” Trump, 29, announced via Twitter. “We feel incredibly grateful and blessed. Thank you all for your support and well wishes!”

Herself the daughter of Donald Trump, “We have our work cut out for us to ensure that our daughter is grounded and not spoiled,” the “Celebrity Apprentice” judge –who admitted she was terrified of labor and delivery — says.

Trump married Kushner, owner of the New York Observer, in October 2009.

See the original article at PEOPLE.com.

© 2010 People and Time Inc. All rights reserved.



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Peter Dinklage should win an Emmy

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Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage has earned an Emmy nomination for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series.

(PEOPLE.com) — While HBO’s epic fantasy series “Game of Thrones” has stirred much debate over its nudity and violence, Peter Dinklage’s scene-stealing turn as Tyrion Lannister has been almost universally praised, even scoring the American actor an Emmy nomination for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series.

His recognition should come as no surprise to fans of the show and author George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series, on which “Thrones” is based, but for newbies looking to understand Dinklage’s appeal, here’s a few reasons why we think the actor, 42, deserves Emmy gold for bringing Tyrion to life:

SPOILER ALERT!

He’s no pushover

With his older sister Cersei ruling over Westeros as Queen and her twin brother Jaime serving in the King’s Guard, Tyrion is often overlooked and considered an embarrassment to the Lannister family, having been born a dwarf and incapable of serving as a solider.

But despite the lack of respect he receives from his tyrant father Tywin, Tyrion never ceases to impress, and often outsmart, his rivals. Dinklage plays the character as a confident and competent voice of reason with whom the audience can identify, in addition to being the only person in the Lannister family willing to stand up to Cersei’s insufferable son, Prince Joffrey.

He’s sympathetic

Despite his status as a Lannister, the richest house in Westeros, Tyrion treats even those considered beneath him with the same respect he does his equals, in particular, the bastard Jon Snow.

Being the illegitimate son of Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell affords Snow little privilege, and Tyrion is quick to counsel the boy on how to deal with life as an outsider during their journey to Castle Black, home of the Night’s Watch.

Likewise, he finds empathy for the fate of Stark’s young son Bran, who is paralyzed in an accidental fall that, unbeknownst to Tyrion, was orchestrated by his siblings. On his return journey home, he stops at Winterfell and provides the Stark family with saddle instructions that will allow the boy to ride again.

He’s hilarious

Dinklage’s true talents as an actor are no more on display than in bringing moments of comedic relief to an otherwise dark and bloody series. W

hen imprisoned at the Eyrie, the home of Lady Cateyln Stark’s sister Lysa, Tyrion barters his freedom by agreeing to confess his crimes, and goes on to mockingly atone for stealing a servant girl’s robes and leaving her naked, filling his uncle’s boots with goat excrement, and masturbating into his sister’s dinner.

The scene also unites Tyrion with mercenary Bronn, played by Jerome Flynn, who becomes Dinklage’s comedic counterpart as the series progresses.

See the original article at PEOPLE.com.

© 2010 People and Time Inc. All rights reserved.



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Theories about ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ trailer

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The Dark Knight Rises trailer features a quick shot of Tom Hardy's villain, Bane, in his strange mask.

(EW.com) — The first teaser for next year’s “The Dark Knight Rises” is airing in front of a little movie called “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”

For those of you who missed the “Hallows” midnight screening because you’re too tired/too busy/too no-longer-a-college-student, here’s the lowdown on the “Rises” preview.

It kicks off with a montage of scenes from “Batman Begins,” with Bruce Wayne walking over the frozen tundra while Liam Neeson narrates his speech about becoming “A legend, Mr. Wayne.” “Every Hero Has a Journey,” say the intertitles. “Every Journey Has an End.”

Cut to: A shockingly intimate shot of Gary Oldman’s Commissioner Gordon, lying on a hospital bed, breathing through what appears to be an oxygen mask, speaking in a tremulous voice.

He tells someone offscreen — it’s pretty clear that he’s talking to Batman — that people believed in him, but then, suddenly, “You were gone. Now there is evil rising. The Batman must come back.”

From offscreen, Christian Bale’s voice — and this sounds specifically like his Bruce Wayne voice, which could indicate that Gordon has figured out Batman’s true identity — says, “What if he doesn’t exist anymore?” Gordon, sounding like a man who hears his own death rattle: “He must…he must…”

There’s a quick shot of Tom Hardy’s Bane in his weird mask which literally looks exactly like that photo from a couple months ago, then a long shot of buildings collapsing which literally looks exactly like that poster from a couple days ago, and then the real attention-getter: A single shot of Batman, braced for a fight.

Bane steps into view. We only see him for a second, from over his shoulder, but he looks huge. For the first time in the Nolan “Batman” that I can remember, the Caped Crusader actually looks a bit scared. (The shot only lasted for literally two seconds, but I could’ve sworn Bats was wearing a new outfit.)

A final title promises, “The epic conclusion to the Dark Knight legend,” while terrifying chanting plays in the background.

All-in-all, it’s a weird way to launch the year-long lead-up to “Rises.” In my sold-out “Potter” theater, there was nary a cheer or clap after the trailer, which either indicates that everyone was stunned into confusion, or I somehow found the one theater in the country filled with people who had no feelings whatsoever about “The Dark Knight.” Let’s try to decode the trailer with some theories:

– When Gordon tells Batman, “You were gone,” it seems like an indication that, following the climax of “Dark Knight” — in which Batman become a hunted fugitive, Bruce Wayne decided to retire his alter ego.

Maybe “Rises” will be about his attempt to start a new, normal life — kind of like Peter Parker in “Spider-Man 2″ — only to get called back into service after the arrival of Bane.

The haunted man of violence who tries to lead a peaceful life, only to be forced by circumstances and fate to return to his old ways, is a recurring plot point in the films of Michael Mann — a director who has had a huge influence on Nolan’s work.

– What’s up with all the destroyed buildings, and why does Gordon look like he’s on life support? For hints, look back to the storyline that introduced Bane to the Batman mythos.

In “Knightfall,” Bane freed Batman’s Rogues’ Gallery from Arkham Asylum and set them loose on Gotham City, creating relentless mayhem and sending the city spiraling into anarchy.

People have theorized that the strange chanting is coming from Arkham inmates. It’s possible that Gordon was injured by Bane — or perhaps even targeted. As for the buildings, here’s a wild idea — could it be that Nolan is flavoring his story with elements of “No Man’s Land,” the other great Batman story arc about a citywide descent into anarchy?

Sure, “No Man’s Land” seems a bit fantastical for Nolan’s realist mythos…but then again, so does Bane.

– Lastly, a note about that shot of Batman and Bane. When you think about it, all of the villains in “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight” weren’t really all that physical; the Scarecrow and Ra’s al Ghul were both most dangerous when they were getting inside of Batman’s head, and the Joker openly scolded Batman at the end of “Dark Knight” for thinking that their battle would just come down to fisticuffs. (There were also various gangsters who did various gangster things.)

It’s interesting, then, to consider that Bane is such a beast of a man — you can tell that these two dudes will wind up fighting each other tooth and nail, just like Schwarzenegger and the Predator (or, more recently and hilariously, the Rock and Vin Diesel in “Fast Five.”)

And something about the finality of all the intertitles — “Every journey has an end, the end of the Dark Knight legend” — makes me wonder if “Dark Knight Rises” will be a genuine ending.

Like, not a “Superhero flies off into the night, forever hunting evil” ending, but an old-fashioned “This story is over, it will not begin again” ending ending. (Remember: When Bane met Batman in the comics, this happened.)

And since Nolan, Bale, and Warner Bros. are adamant that the Dark Knight series will end with this film, you have to wonder: Could this be the first superhero movie with a genuinely unhappy ending? Could Christopher Nolan’s Batman die? Or at least be very badly injured?

We’ll post the trailer as soon as it becomes available online. In the meantime, did anyone else out there see the pre-Potter trailer? What did you think?

Are you surprised that the trailer focused so heavily on Bane, with nary a shot of Anne Hathaway or Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Anyone else intrigued by the fact that “Dark Knight Rises” is apparently building so strongly on “Batman Begins,” a film that “Dark Knight” really kind of ignored?

Could this join “Toy Story 3″ and “The Return of the King” in the tiny pantheon of trilogy-enders that are actually good?

See the original article on EW.com.

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© 2010 Entertainment Weekly and Time Inc. All rights reserved.



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The ‘Harry Potter Generation’ opens at the close

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Fans in New York dress up in Harry Potter style to attend the opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II.

Editor’s Note: Andrew Slack is the president of the Harry Potter Alliance, a not-for-profit organization with close ties to J.K. Rowling and some of the actors from the Harry Potter movies. The Harry Potter Alliance seeks to apply the lessons learned and inspiration from the Harry Potter books to everyday life. That includes fighting against what they see as real-world evils, like climate change and illiteracy, as well as bringing the joys of Quidditch to schools across the country.

Orlando, Florida (CNN) — As I write this from a conference of 3500 Harry Potter fans outside of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, the energy in the air around the final film is not only excitement, but gratitude.

We are grateful for the bonds of friendship we have made in this fan community and grateful for those “other friends” we know we can always visit in Hagrid’s hut, to sit down over tea and rock cakes and plot new adventures.

We’ve spent years being called “delusional” for taking the Gryffindor Common Room, the Great Hall at Hogwarts, and the sweet shops in Hogsmeade so seriously — as if they were real. As if they were nothing more than a cheap way to escape from our daily reality.

But as the book comes to a close, Dumbledore reminds us that “Of course it is happening inside [our] head…but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

Reality is mysterious. And the reality is that a fantasy book aimed at children has forever changed writing, publishing, literature, music, sports, social media and social activism.

In a digital age filled with families lining up for iPods, iPads and iPhones, there was one exception to the rule: For well over a decade, millions lined up at midnight to get their hands on a copy of a hardback book. Translated into almost every language as it seamlessly cuts across cultures, Harry Potter became the most requested book by detainees in Guantanamo Bay (outside of the Quran).

The reality is that Harry Potter has taught a generation to be creative, compassionate and courageous as we continue to love.

For some, the final film means it’s an end of an era. Not for me and not for most fans. As we approach the final film in the Potter franchise, I’d like to point out that the moment in book seven when a Golden Snitch Harry is holding “opens at the close” so too does the Harry Potter Generation — our minds, our hearts, all open at the close.

Like the snitch, we “open at the close.” The advent of the seventh movie is not an ending, but an opportunity to take what we have learned at Hogwarts into the world.

The organization that I run, the Harry Potter Alliance, inspiriing fellow fans to act as Harry would in our world. We’ve sent five cargo planes to Haiti, donated more than 88,000 books across the world and funded the protection of civilians in Darfur and Burma.

Right now we are negotiating with the CEO of Warner Brothers to make all Harry Potter chocolate fair trade so that the Harry Potter brand is no longer associated with the practice of child slavery that is common in the cocoa trade. To date we have the signatures of more than 15,000 Harry Potter fans including four stars of the films.

In a world that is, like Harry’s, often in dark and difficult times, we in the Harry Potter Generation are ready to open at the close. We are ready Ms. Rowling, Harry, and Dumbledore. Thank you for preparing us. We look forward to this last film and we will see you soon!



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Tom Felton is ‘Team Slitherin’ all the way

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Actor Tom Felton, who plays Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, attends the Deathly Hallows Part II premier in London.

(CNN) — As the blondest brat in the Harry Potter universe, actor Tom Felton has no qualms about portraying the theoretically unlikable Draco Malfoy. So why do so many fans devote themselves to “Team Slytherin?” Felton muses on the possibilities with CNN.

CNN: You have a fairly active dialogue with your fans. Can you explain to the muggles why fans are so into “Team Slytherin?”

Felton: I definitely can’t answer; I have no idea. I’m always curious when 7-year-olds and 8-year-olds come up to me and say, “Yeah, Draco’s my favorite character.” I always think, “Hmmm, I’m not sure if he should be.”

I’m not sure. I’ve been told that people like a bad guy, or I guess people love to hate someone. I guess Draco has filled that role for quite a few years. But yeah, I’m “Team Slytherin” all the way.

CNN: Was it ever difficult to play such a mean-spirited and dirisive character as Draco Malfoy?

Felton: Nothing but joy. I took great joy in every minute of it. It was like playing the polar opposite of me, really. It was kind of easy to step into his shoes and be delightfully horrible to everyone around me. I really enjoyed it and it never struck me as being difficult. Which is a little strange, in itself. I guess there’s an evil kid inside me waiting to get out.

CNN: Is it ever possible for you to have a good hair day after a decade of bleaching your locks for the role?

Felton: Not really. I’m just grateful that I still have hair on my head after that many years of dying it. So yeah, it’s actually turned back to its normal condition and is in not bad shape. Thanks for asking.

CNN: What kinds of perks do you get for being a part of the Harry Potter franchise? Do you get a lifetime supply of butter beer?

Felton: I’ve yet to cash in that coupon. What perks? We get the DVD a week before it comes out. We’ve been a couple of times to the Orlando theme park, the Wizarding World, and when we’re there we’re usually told to drink as much butter beer as we like. So yeah, you could call that a lifetime supply, I guess.

CNN: Harry Potter has established itself as a consequential fantasy franchise. Has it influenced your tastes or is there a different genre that inspires you?

Felton: I’m sure Harry will go down as this kind of fantasy thriller, but I see it as everything. It’s a romantic comedy, it’s dark humor, it’s kind of everything in every one of the films. It encompasses a lot. I’m not really a genre kind of guy. I don’t like to label films with a genre. I like all films whether it’s dark or light, love, hate, whatever it is, I enjoy it.

CNN: Was it ever heroes vs. villains on the set? Did you have a “Team Baddies?”

Felton: You mean as the actors? No, not really. Bear in mind, we usually spend about 2% of the day in character, the rest of it is just us. So most of it is just normal chat. I hate to sound boring!

CNN: Do you have a favorite memory of your time spent on the Harry Potter films?

Felton: I don’t really have one, that’s sort of like saying pick your favorite memory of the last 15 years. Everyone asks that. It’s the whole experience. The people that we work with, the relationships that we’ve made, the costumes we got to wear and all the stupid stuff we got to do. It’s just the whole experience really. it’s very hard for me to pick one memory.

CNN: What’s the most unexpected thing about being a part of Harry Potter?

Felton: I guess that we’re still here. Every year we kind of said, “When are the fans gonna get bored of these and move on?” But they never did. Every year the fans got more and more excited by everything. And it’s kind of crazy that we’re still here today talking about it. That’s definitely one of the things that surprised me the most about the whole thing.

CNN: What is J.K. Rowling like?

Felton: She’s exceptionally down to earth. She’s one of the most down to earth people I’ve met. She’s very, very sweet — I’m always blown away by how down to earth she is. She’s a really, really nice person and it’s always a pleasure getting a chance to hang out with her.

CNN: So many people around the world are fans of Draco. What is Draco a fan of?

Felton: Other than villainous ways? He’s a fan of snakes. Slitherin. Evil deeds. You know what, it’s weird because that’s kind of a changing question. Because in the recent films I think it’s slightly different. Probably freedom and, you know, not his parents. It’s a tough one. He’s a character with two sides.



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