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Helen Mirren, Harrison Ford to star in ‘Yellowstone’ prequel

LOS ANGELES — Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford will bring their combined star power to the newest addition to the “Yellowstone” TV franchise.

The pair will headline a Paramount+ series with the working title “1932,” which joins “1883” as part of what the streaming service called the “origin story” of its “Yellowstone” drama series.

Mirren and Ford are among the growing ranks of film actors who have added small-screen projects to their resume as streaming services vie for subscribers with prestige projects and big names.

The latest chapter in the Dutton family saga will be set in an early 20th century and a Mountain West beset by drought and the Great Depression, among other ills, Paramount+ said. It will debut in December.

Writer-producer Taylor Sheridan is the creative force behind the hit franchise, which began with the contemporary drama “Yellowstone,” led by Kevin Costner. The “1883” prequel stars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.

Mirren is among today’s most highly regarded actors, a four-time Oscar nominee who won for her portrayal of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in 2006’s “The Queen.”

Ford’s extensive blockbuster movie credits include the “Star Wars” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” franchises. He was an Oscar nominee for the 1985 film “Witness.”

Tom Brady featured in upcoming Netflix ‘Greatest’ roast

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Tom Brady will be on the hot seat — this time during a Netflix roast.

Netflix announced Tuesday the seven-time Super Bowl champion will be featured first in a series of upcoming specials called “Greatest Roasts of All Time: GROAT.” Brady is the executive producer of the series, with his roast set to tape in 2023.

“To quote my good friend, Marshawn Lynch … ‘I’m just here so I won’t get fined,'” Brady said in a press release, which refers to him as “Gisele Bundchen’s husband” and a “sixth-round NFL draft pick.”

“We can’t wait to burn three-time Super Bowl-losing quarterback Tom Brady, who only went back to the NFL in order to delay this roast,” said Robbie Praw, Netflix vice president of stand-up and comedy formats. “In all seriousness, it’s a huge thrill to work with the greatest football player of all time on this project. No one’s better at taking hits and still coming out on top, so we know the roast will be a breeze for Brady.”

After 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl win after the 2020 season.

The 44-year-old Brady announced his retirement in January, but in March reversed course, saying he’ll return as Tampa Bay’s quarterback for another season.

Brady, the NFL leader in career passing yards and touchdown passes, recently announced he’ll become a Fox Sports analyst when his NFL career is done.

Wesley Morgan wins Colby award for ‘The Hardest Place’

NEW YORK — Author and journalist Wesley Morgan is this year’s winner of the William E. Colby Award for military and intelligence writing. He was cited for his book “The Hardest Place: The American Military Adrift in Afghanistan’s Pech Valley.”

The Colby award, a $5,000 prize named for the former ambassador and CIA director, is given for “a major contribution to the understanding of military history, intelligence operations or international affairs.”

Morgan was still a college student when he began embedding with military units in Afghanistan, more than a decade ago. He has since reported on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for The New York Times, the Washington Post and other outlets.

“I’m excited to receive this award for military and intelligence coverage, since using the lens of Kunar province’s Pech valley to illustrate how those two subjects blended together at key points during the 20-year U.S. war in the Afghan east was one of my goals with ‘The Hardest Place,'” Morgan said in a statement Tuesday.

The Colby Award is presented by Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. Previous winners include Dexter Filkins, Karl Marlantes and Adam Higginbotham.

Queen makes surprise visit

to mark new subway line

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II made a surprise visit Tuesday to a train station in central London to see a newly completed subway line named in her honor.

The 96-year-old monarch, who has reduced most of her public engagements, appeared Tuesday at Paddington Station and beamed as she unveiled a plaque stating she officially opened the Elizabeth Line. The new east-west train line is due to open to the public on May 24.

Calling the event “a happy development,” Buckingham Palace said “the organizers were informed of the possibility she may attend.”

The queen, who wore a sunshine yellow outfit with matching hat, walked slowly as she toured the station with a cane in hand, and she was seen smiling as she met with train workers.

The queen was also given an Oyster card and shown how to use it on a ticket machine. She was joined by her youngest son, Prince Edward, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the official visit.

“We’re all incredibly touched and moved and grateful to her Majesty for coming to open the Elizabeth Line today,” Johnson said. “It was fantastic to see her.”

Tuesday’s appearance is the queen’s first one outside the Windsor area, where she resides, since the monarch attended a memorial service for her late husband Prince Philip at central London’s Westminster Abbey seven weeks ago.

The monarch made her first public appearance in weeks on Friday when she attended the Royal Windsor Horse Show, watching her beloved equines perform. On Sunday, she looked relaxed as the guest of honor at an equestrian show near Windsor attended by celebrities, including Tom Cruise and Helen Mirren.

Her public appearances are being closely watched as Britain prepares to celebrate the monarch’s 70 years on the throne with four days of Platinum Jubilee festivities June 2-5.

Last week, she asked her son and heir to the throne Prince Charles to preside over the state opening of Parliament and deliver the Queen’s Speech, which lays out the government’s legislative program.

Palace officials have said she is experiencing “episodic mobility problems” in recent months and has difficulties moving around.

Jill Biden, Selena Gomez lead talk on youth mental health

WASHINGTON — Selena Gomez joined first lady Jill Biden and U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy at the White House on Wednesday for a conversation about youth mental health.

The singer/actor has been public about her struggles and revealed in 2020 that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Biden, Murthy and Gomez held a conversation in the East Room with several young people, including a mother and a recent Rutgers college graduate, who shared how they had improved their mental outlook.

The strategies they shared ranged from going through multiple therapists to find one who is right for you to using baking as a way to encourage conversation with others facing similar challenges.

“Mental health is very personal for me and I hope that by using my platform to share my own story … I can help others feel less alone,” Gomez said.

Biden praised the participants for sharing.

“It takes courage to, you know, be honest about the struggles that you faced and to tell your stories.,” the first lady said. “And it takes courage to understand that your voice can make a difference and to show your creativity and talents, you know, to all of the world.”

Murthy said open conversation will help change “hearts and minds” and help remove the stigma associated with mental health.

MTV Entertainment sponsored the conversation in advance of the second Mental Health Action Day on Thursday.

Associated Press

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