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Aja Naomi King receives Lincoln Shining Star Award at ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood

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The Lincoln Motor Company returned this year as an exclusive automotive sponsor for ESSENCE’s tenth annual Black Women in Hollywood event held last Thursday in Beverly Hills. 2017 marks the eighth consecutive year Lincoln has been the exclusive automotive sponsor for the event.

This year’s event celebrated black excellence in film honoring singer and breakout actress Janelle Monae, producer Issa Rae, Black-Ish star Yara Shahidi and How To Get Away With Murder actress Aja Naomi King. King was presented the Lincoln Shining Star Award by her co-stars Viola Davis and Alfred Enoch.

Kenya Freeman, lead designer for Sylvia Mollie created custom dresses inspired Lincoln Black Label for Lincoln Art of Arrival contest winner, Adeola Bakre, and Lincoln Blogger Bar host and author Demetria Lucas D’Oyley. The designs pulled inspiration from Black Label themes Rhapsody in Blue (Bakre) and Center Stage (D’Oyley).

“This year’s honorees embodied class and elegance similar to our flagship vehicle, the all-new Lincoln Continental,” said Raj Register, multicultural communications manager, Lincoln.

Celebrities like Alfred Enoch, Cynthia Ervio, Loretta Devine, Laverne Cox and Debbie Allen arrived at the star-studded event in the latest lineup of Lincoln vehicles including 2017 Lincoln MKZ and Continental.

More photos below:

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Fly Recap: 10th Annual Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards & Gala Presented by The Lincoln Motor Company

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ESSENCE, the preeminent brand for African-American women, proudly honored remarkable moments and performers in film and television at yesterday’s 10th annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards & Gala. Honoring Hollywood’s “Next Generation” the 2017 ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood awards were presented to Janelle Monáe, Issa Rae, Aja Naomi King and Yara Shahidi.

Known as one of  Oscar week’s most exalted and star-studded events, the red carpet included celebrity appearances and guests such as Gabrielle Union, Shonda Rhimes, Viola Davis, Pharrell Williams, Common, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Laverne Cox, Alfre Woodard, Holly Robinson Pete, Sherri Shepard, Tyrese Gibson, Alfred Enoch, Letoya Luckett, Quvenzhane Wallis, Debbie Allen, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Loni Love, Margaret Avery amongst others. Cynthia Erivo offered a heart-wrenching solo performance between honoree acceptances.

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Powerhouse actress Aja Naomi King was presented the Lincoln Shining Star Award by Viola Davis. Multi-talented singer, songwriter, actress, and model Janelle Monáe was presented the Breakthrough Award by Pharrell Williams. Issa Rae was presented the Vanguard Award by Debbie Allen and Yara Shahidi was presented the Generation Next Award by Tracee Ellis Ross. 

The ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards & Gala will be televised as an ESSENCE and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network special, airing on Sunday, March 5 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on OWN.

The ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards & Gala was presented by The Lincoln Motor Company and sponsored by AT&T, Coca-Cola, Colgate® Optic White®, GEICO, L’Oréal Paris, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Walmart.

Please visit Essence.com for highlights and behind-the-scenes footage from the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards & Gala.  Follow Essence on Twitter @essenceonline #BlackWomenInHollywood and join in the discussion at www.facebook.com/essence.

Photo Credit: Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Essence

More photos below.

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Viola Davis Is New Voice of Delta Airlines

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Before the crack of dawn, while most are soundly sleeping, many Delta (NYSE: DAL) customers are up and raring to go in pursuit of opportunity. They are ambitious and they cannot be stopped. Visit any Delta terminal around the globe and – no matter how early – each is graced with these should-be-sleepers, and the Delta employees who support them, as they head out to change the world.

Delta’s new TV spot “4 A.M.” embodies the spirit of its customers and their determination to venture out into the world and take ownership of opportunities every day. While each customer journey may be different, they all share the in the same relentlessness mindset to be the difference that creates change. Delta’s frontline employees are also featured within the ad showing that same relentless spirit and thoughtful reliability in assisting customers in their pursuit.

While the spot puts customers and employees at the forefront, it also features the steady, sure and aspirational voice of Academy Award Nominee and Golden Globe Winner, Viola Davis, who will be the voice of Delta for the next year.

“Viola Davis is an incredible talent and a natural fit for Delta and the “4 A.M.” spot that introduces her as the new voice of Delta,” said Tim Mapes, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “She is true to herself and, like many of our customers, wakes up every day with the grit, determination and will to go out into the world and conquer it.”

Delta’s newest ad is a continued evolution of the airline’s Keep Climbing campaign and celebrates how opportunity often begins – with an early wake-up call and a flight to an important meeting, a long day at work or a big life moment. The campaign focuses on allowing customers the opportunity to enjoy incredible experiences, adventures, and opportunities around the world.

“4 A.M.” was shot in New York, Shanghai, Mexico City and Los Angeles and will begin airing on Feb. 6.

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Oscar Nominations 2017: Hidden Figures, Moonlight, Fences and more

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The 2017 Oscar Nominations have been announced and the nominees paired with Black Magic is astounding! Ending off the list were the picks for Best Picture which included Moonlight, Hidden Figures, Fences, Arrival, La La Land, Manchester of The Sea and more.

In total, a number of 7 African-Americans have been nominated for the iconic accolade.

The movie ‘Moonlight’ received a number of 8 nods. These nominations make Moonlight co-editor Joi McMillon the first African-American woman to be recognized by the Academy for editing and director Barry Jenkins only the fourth African-American to be nominated for “Best Director” (John Singleton, Lee Daniels and Steve McQueen were prior nominees). This is Joi’s first feature film and Barry’s second feature.

Written and directed by Jenkins, ‘Moonlight’ is having an incredible awards season. The film is the only release of 2016 that has topped over 300 Top 10 Lists praised by writers and critics nationwide. In addition to taking home “Best Motion Picture – Drama” at the Golden Globes earlier this month, Moonlight has earned six NAACP Image Award nominations, a Critics’ Choice Award, four Gotham Awards including “Best Picture,” a National Board of Review Award, three SAG nominations and much more.

The Academy Awards will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and will air LIVE on ABC on Feb. 26.

Check out the complete list below:

Best picture:
“Arrival”
“Fences”
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“Hidden Figures”
“La La Land”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Lion”
“Moonlight”

Lead actor:
Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Ryan Gosling, “La La Land,”
Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”
Denzel Washington, “Fences”

Lead actress:
Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”
Ruth Negga, “Loving”
Natalie Portman, “Jackie”
Emma Stone, “La La Land”
Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins”

Supporting actor:
Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”
Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”
Dev Patel, “Lion”
Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals”

Supporting actress:
Viola Davis, “Fences”
Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman, “Lion”
Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”
Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”

Best director:
Denis Villeneuve, “Arrival”
Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”
Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”

Animated feature:
“Kubo and the Two Strings”
“Moana”
“My Life as a Zucchini”
“The Red Turtle”
“Zootopia”

Animated short:
“Blind Vaysha”
“Borrowed Time”
“Pear Cider and Cigarettes”
“Pearl”
“Piper”

Adapted screenplay:
“Arrival”
“Fences”
“Hidden Figures”
“Lion”
“Moonlight”

Original screenplay:
“Hell or High Water”
“La La Land”
“The Lobster”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“20th Century Women”

Cinematography:
“Arrival”
“La La Land”
“Lion”
“Moonlight”
“Silence”

Best documentary feature:
“Fire at Sea”
“I Am Not Your Negro”
“Life, Animated”
“OJ: Made in America”
“13th”

Best documentary short subject:
“Extremist”
“4.1 Miles”
“Joe’s Violin”
“Watani My Homeland”
“The White Helmets”

Best live-action short film:
“Ennemis Interieurs”
“La Femme et le TGV”
“Silent Nights”
“Sing”
“Timecode”

Best foreign language film:
“A Man Called Ove”
“Land of Mine”
“Tanna”
“The Salesman”
“Toni Erdmann”

Film editing:
“Arrival”
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“La La Land”
“Moonlight”

Sound editing:
“Arrival”
“Deep Water Horizon”
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“La La Land”
“Sully”

Sound mixing:
“Arrival”
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“La La Land”
“Rogue One”
“13 Hours”

Production design:
“Arrival”
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
“Hail Caesar!”
“La La Land”
“Passengers”

Original score:
“Jackie”
“La La Land”
“Lion”
“Moonlight”
“Passengers”

Original song:
Audition
Can’t Stop the Feeling
City of Stars
Empty Chair
How Far I’ll Go

Makeup and hair:
“A Man Called Ove”
“Star Trek Beyond”
“Suicide Squad”

Costume design:
“Allied”
“Fantastic Beasts”
“Florence Foster Jenkins”
“Jackie”
“La La Land”

Visual effects:
“Deepwater Horizon”
“Doctor Strange”
“Jungle Book”
“Kubo”
“Rogue One”

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Last Night in NYC: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Usher and More Attend Special NYC Screening of Fences

Last Night at the Rose Theater, at the famed Jazz at Lincoln Center located in NYC, Denzel Washington, Viola Davis and the cast of Fences movie hit the red carpet for a special screening. The special night also proudly supported the Boys & Girls Clubs of America whom Denzel has been a proud spokesperson for many years.

Pauletta Washington, Denzel Washington.
Pauletta Washington, Denzel Washington.

Fences other cast members that graced red carpet alongside Denzel and Viola were Mykelti Williamson, Saniyya Sidney, Jovan Adepo, Stephen Mckinley and Russell Hornsby.

Of course the people behind the amazing the film were in attendance as well, executive producers Dale Wells, Charles D.King, Aaron L.Gilbert and Molly Allen,co-executive producer Brad Feinstein,production designer David Gropman and producer Todd Black.

Other notable guests in attendance were R&B superstar Usher, actress Denise Vasi, U.S.gymnastics Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas, Civil Rights activist Rev.Al Sharpton, actress/singer/dancer Adrienne Warren, actress Zainab Jah, actress Bebe Neurith,actress Afton Williamson & many more.

After the screening it was time to celebrate, the cast and guests hit Tavern on The Green for the official screening after party. The iconic actress Phylicia Rashad came out to celebrate with the cast and crew of Fences last night and yes she looked amazing.

-Pictured: Phylicia Rashad.-
-Pictured: Phylicia Rashad.-

The night looked truly amazing as all of that black star power converged on NYC last night to celebrate a powerful film.

Fences is in theaters now in select cities NY and LA and opens Nationwide on Christmas Day. For more photos from the night hit the gallery below and after that hit the next page to see three clips from the film.

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PHOTOS: Marion Curtis/Starpix/Paramount Pictures

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Watch The Powerful New Trailer For ‘Fences’ Starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis

Fences already had folks talking Oscar worthy just off its first trailer, this new trailer only gets the people talking more!

Denzel Washington plays Troy Maxson and Viola Davis plays Rose Maxson in Fences from Paramount Pictures. Directed by Denzel Washington from a screenplay by August Wilson.
Denzel Washington plays Troy Maxson and Viola Davis plays Rose Maxson in Fences from Paramount Pictures. Directed by Denzel Washington from a screenplay by August Wilson.

Based of the Pulitzer Prize-winning August Wilson play, directed by and starring Denzel Washington who plays Troy Maxson, an African-American man trying to raise his family in the 1950’s while dealing with race relations and coming to terms with events that went on his life. His wife Rose Maxson (Viola Davis) is there to let him know he’s not alone in this battle and help him build a relationship with his son Cory (Jovan Adepo).

So soak in the powerful trailer above while your still enjoying those Thanksgiving leftovers.

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Fences is in theaters, Christmas Day, December 25th!

PHOTO: Paramount Pictures

ALSO READ

Watch The New Trailer For ‘Hidden Figures’ Starring Taraji P.Henson, Octavia Spencer & Janelle Monae

 

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Denzel Washington and Viola Davis Gives Stunning Performance In ‘FENCES’ [Video]

FENCES is directed by Denzel Washington from a screenplay by August Wilson, adapted from Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play. The film stars Denzel, Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, and Saniyya Sydney. The film is produced by Denzel Washington, Todd Black and Scott Rudin.

Fences Official Channels

Hashtag: #FencesMovie

Facebook: /FencesMovie

Twitter: @FencesMovie

Instagram: @FencesMovie

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Will Smith, Viola Davis, Margot Robbie and More Hit The Black Carpet For NYC Suicide Squad Premiere

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uicide Squad has been the talk of the town, hell the country since reviews hit the web (some scary) about DC’s latest crack at the big screen. On Monday, August 1st, stars of the film hit the black carpet for film’s premiere at the legendary Beacon Theater in NYC.

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Viola Davis, Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto

The films main players Will Smith (Deadshot), Viola Davis (Amanda Waller), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag) Jared Leto (The Joker), Cara Delevingne (Enchantress), Jay Hernandez (El Diablo), Adam Beach (Slipknot) and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Killer Croc) celebrated the release of the highly anticipated film with excited fans. David Ayer the film’s director was also in the building to celebrate the huge occasion.

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Also on hand to celebrate was Will Smith’s son and known caped crusader (see his prom photosJaden Smith. No he was not in costume this time around but it would have been really dope if he was.

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Jaden and Will Smith

Everyone looked absolutely amazing and in good spirits and with the news of those impressive first week box office numbers they should be. Who cares about a negative review at this point right? One question though, does Will Smith look 47-years-old to you?

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Will Smith

Well you know what they say, “good black, don’t crack” and Will Smith doesn’t look a day over 30! Suicide Squad hit’s theaters August 5th, but if you want to know what I thought about the film checkout our review.

Stay Fly!

PHOTOS: Warner Brothers

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The Cast and Crew of Suicide Squad Unite For NYC Press Junket.

Meet The Bad Guys: Will Smith, Viola Davis and More Featured In Suicide Squad Mini-Trailers!

 

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FLY Review: Suicide Squad

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atman V Superman was supposed to be the gem of the DC extended movie universe but it sadly didn’t live up to the hype. Fans and critics slammed the movie calling it a cinematic mess as DC is trying to get on pace or come relatively close to Marvel. DC fans and myself shifted all of our hope on Suicide Squad praying that this film about a rag-tag team of DC’s most vile villains will save the day. The million dollar question is, did it? Well step into this review shall we?

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Amanda Waller (Viola Davis)

*Mild Spoilers Ahead*

Now here’s the basic run down of the film, Suicide Squad follows Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) a hardcore, ruthless and tough as nails patriot. With the emergence of Superman and other meta-humans she decides she wants to put together a team of “special” individuals who could give them a chance and take on missions that regular soldiers just can’t do. Plus if they failed they could just blame it on these special individuals cause they are the bad guys duuuh. Ladies and gentlemen I introduce to you the Suicide Squad!

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The Squad

The team is composed of The Joker’s (Jared Leto) psychotic girlfriend Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), half-man, half-crocodile Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), the boomerang throwing burglar Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), marksman/assassin Deadshot (Will Smith), the ancient witch Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) and the deadly assassin Slipknot (Adam Beach). Now you didn’t think Waller would just let this group of villains run around unsupervised did you? That’s where Wallers right hand man Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) and Katana (Karen Fukuhara) come into play.

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The Squad protecting Flag!

 

They are there to make sure the villains don’t go rogue and complete the mission, it also helps that each of them have bombs implanted them that can be detonated at the first sign of any trouble or if Flag somehow is killed during the mission. Now what’s their mission, well one of the gang goes rogue and it just happens to be the one with the magical powers. They must somehow find a way to unite and work together as a team to stop the world from ending. A job once tailor-made for Superman but we know what happened to him.

 

VERDICT

I went into Suicide Squad with extremely high hopes that this will be the film that would put DCEU on the right track. Unfortunately that was not completely the case in the end. David Ayer successfully managed to make a better movie than Snyder’s lackluster Batman V Superman film. To be honest that’s really not saying all that much though at all. Let’s point out the positives first shall we? I absolutely loved Viola Davis as Waller, she absolutely nails the character and will have you saying wow at some of her brutal actions in the film.

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Deadshot and Harley Quinn

Will Smith was very good as Deadshot and at times the film felt like it was his own standalone film, and his action scenes were absolutely on point. Margot Robbie shines as the psychotic Harley Quinn and absolutely nails Harley’s use of “puddin” and “Mr.J”. At times it’s absolutely ridiculous to see her hold her own against super natural forces with a baseball bat but she makes it work. Killer Croc, Katana and El Diablo manage to hold their own in the film each showcasing their skills and what they bring to the team. It takes sometime for DIablo to engage but when he does he owns his scenes.

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Katana

The pacing in this film was extremely better than the jumbled mess that was Batman V Superman. It immediately does a great job of gauging your interest in the film with the introductions to each of the characters. The brief cameos from Batman (Ben Affleck) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) in the beginning of the film were perfect and worked extremely well. Not to mention the score for this soundtrack is amazing and I guarantee will have you nodding your head a few times while watching the movie.

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Now here’s where the film starts to lose me, the characters on-screen chemistry just doesn’t click at all. At times it seems like the squad is painfully trying to show they can co-exist  but in the end they just fall flat. There is one particular moment where the squad worked perfectly. It’s a well written bar scene where they all just take break from saving the world to grab a drink and Harley hops behind the bar and starts serving drinks as they discuss among each other if they want to continue the mission or not. But that’s it unfortunately for the cohesiveness.

giphyAnother problem with the film is there is just not enough Joker.

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The movie will leave you feeling as if you were cheated out of Leto’s Joker whom he went to great lengths to get in character for.We get small doses of him in the film but it’s just not enough and will leave you wondering if in fact Leto can even hold a match to Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight.

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Harley Quinn and The Joker

The Joker is at his best when he is paired with Harley on-screen in the film as they put on display the chemistry these two can bring in future films.

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Cara’s Enchantress is supposed to be one of the most powerful characters in the movie but ends up being one of the most lackluster characters.

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lNot even the love story between June Moone/Enchantress and Flag can save her character in the film.

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Rick Flag and June Moone/Enchantress

Captain Boomerang and Slipknot are easily forgettable almost immediately in the movie and don’t truly show their potential.

While the film’s cast was made up mostly villains it wasn’t as dark as Batman V Superman which brings us to the humor aspect of the film. The one liners in the film were just flat and had more of punch in the film’s many trailers. The biggest disappointment this film shares with Batman V Superman is its main villain and climax. The final battle will have you asking more questions if anything trying to figure out exactly what you just witnessed.

 

Now don’t get me wrong Suicide Squad is enjoyable but that’s as far as my admiration goes for the film as whole. A film this big is supposed to great but it’s just barely good and continues DC’s current wave of mediocrity with their films. Maybe I’m asking for too much, but in the end I just really wanted this film to be absolutely amazing. We deserve it! Hopefully 2017’s Wonder Woman can help alleviate the disappointment from this film. We got a long time till that day comes though.

3 out 5 (Barely)

Suicide Squad hit’s theaters August 5th!

PHOTOS: Warner Brothers 

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The Cast and Crew of Suicide Squad Unite For NYC Press Junket.

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uicide Squad is literally days away from hitting theaters, and we know y’all are excited for this film that puts all of DC’s worst villains on one team to try to make a difference for once in their lives. Yesterday in NYC, team SFPL was invited to a special press conference featuring the entire cast of the upcoming DC movie Suicide Squad.

The good folks at Warner Brothers wanted to make sure all the invited press and guest felt like they were in the movie and pulled out all the stops. They turned the historic NYC structure Moynihan Station into a replica set of the maximum security prison where the members of the Suicide Squad were held.

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Harley Quinn’s Cell From The Movie

Around the faux prison set each of the characters amazing costumes were placed around strategically in front of each station where each cast member conducted their interviews. Allowing the press to get an up close look at the details that went into each one.

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The real reason most folks were there to meet and talk with the cast of the highly anticipated DC film. The press conference took place in front of Harley Quinn’s cell from the film.
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The participants of the press conference included the films main cast: Will Smith, Viola Davis, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Cara Delevingne, Joel Kinnaman, Karen Fukuhara and Adam Beach. The film’s Director David Ayer and producers Richard Suckle and Charles Roven also sat in on the press conference as well.

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Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis and WIll Smtih share a laugh.

Will Smith lead the cheers as the press was introduced to films very diverse cast of stars and he also supplied the humor as well. The cast spoke on living up to the hype of the movie, writing the characters onto the big screen and bringing them to life.

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Joel Kinnaman explaining Adam Beach’s warm up routine.

The cast shared funny set stories like Jai Courtney always being naked, Adam Beach’s unusual stretching routine and Joel Kinnaman knowing all of their secrets. Margot even discussed the time David Ayer punched right in the nose while going over fight routines. The cast also touched on how the intense roles had taken some major tolls on their bodies. Both Will and Joel revealed they both suffered torn calf muscles while filming and Margot revealed her role was very rigorous being she had to do all of her work in heels.

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Margot Robbie

The leading ladies of the film also spoke on what how they”tapped” into playing their characters. Margot revealed for research purposes of course that she looked at Ted Talks on Schizophrenia since her character Harley is basically psychotic. Viola Davis revealed that in order to get into her character Amanda Waller who is known bad ass she had to go back to her past.

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Viola Davis talking about becoming Amanda Waller

Viola tells the story of her 8-year-old self and how tough she was and how she “could beat someone’s ass” then and tapping into that version of herself to help her get into character. Viola also credited a book “Confessions of Sociopath” given to her by Joel that helped her become Amanda Waller. Joel also shared a super hilarious story how Viola would yell mean things at him while she was behind camera calling him a “little bitch”.

David Ayer then followed that up that by saying he wanted women that had voices and that had power and were powerful as women. He felt as being a father of two daughters that was extremely important they see that translated on movie screens.

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Another thing that was touched upon was the fact this film boasts such a super diverse cast. David Ayer touches on growing up in a diverse neighborhood in South L.A. and being the only white kid in the neighborhood. He points out he is married to a Latina woman and that he feels kids like his own have to see people the look like them in films. He also feels there is “strength in diversity” and that Hollywood should definitely be more inclusive.

To sum it all the experience was very amazing indeed, our very own FLY guy Beanz did it for the gram with Jaden Smith who was decked out in full costume.

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#jadensmith is too cool. #SuicideSquad

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To see more exclusive photos from the press conference hit the gallery below:

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Suicide Squad hit’s theaters August 5th! Stay tuned for our review of the film dropping tomorrow!

Stay Fly!

PHOTOS: Bernard Smalls exclusively for Stuff Fly People Like

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