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Motherless Brooklyn director Edward Norton on how the film tackles ‘the cost of progress’

“The film is about an underdog,” says Motherless Brooklyn director Edward Norton, who also adapted the screenplay based on Jonathan Lethem’s best-selling novel. Norton could be saying the same thing of himself: The movie was a labor of love for the thrice-Oscar-nominated actor, 50, who spent nearly two decades getting it made. “Writing it was…

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Motherless Brooklyn director Edward Norton on how the film tackles ‘the cost of progress’

“The film is about an underdog,” says Motherless Brooklyn director Edward Norton, who also adapted the screenplay based on Jonathan Lethem’s best-selling novel. Norton could be saying the same thing of himself: The movie was a labor of love for the thrice-Oscar-nominated actor, 50, who spent nearly two decades getting it made. “Writing it was an off-and-on process for me,” he admits.

The 1999 book is set in the late ’90s, unlike the film, which takes place in the 1950s. Norton plays Lionel Essrog, a detective with Tourette syndrome who investigates the murder of his mentor, Frank (Bruce Willis). Along the way, Lionel runs up against power-hungry New York city planner Moses Randolph (Alec Baldwin) — loosely based on NYC megabuilder Robert Moses — who destroys diverse neighborhoods to make way for his real estate plans.

“I think one of the great ironies of Brooklyn is that you had all these historic middle-class and working-class African-American neighborhoods, and what a lot of people don’t realize is that a lot of those neighborhoods got tagged as slums and torn down so that the projects could be built, which then became real slums,” Norton says of the now uber-trendy borough.

The actor, who first moved to New York nearly 30 years ago, says that Brooklyn is currently “unrecognizable” to him. “Change is good, but I think [people are] looking at what the cost of progress is,” he says.

Ultimately, Norton hopes audiences come away with a more hopeful message: “The essential theme in the film is that part of becoming heroic is stepping up and taking care of other people,” he says. “And the way people are looking out for each other over power and money is the way to stay true to who we say we are in this country.”

Motherless Brooklyn hits theaters Friday.
For more on this fall’s most anticipated movies, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly at Barnes & Noble and newsstands now, or buy it here. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.
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Rachel Zegler to play Snow White in Disney live-action film

Zegler, who will make her feature film debut in December in the long-awaited Steven Spielberg-directed “West Side Story,” has been cast to play iconic Disney princess Snow White in an upcoming live-action reimagining of the story, Disney confirmed to CNN. “Rachel’s extraordinary vocal abilities are just the beginning of her gifts. Her strength, intelligence and…

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Rachel Zegler to play Snow White in Disney live-action film

Zegler, who will make her feature film debut in December in the long-awaited Steven Spielberg-directed “West Side Story,” has been cast to play iconic Disney princess Snow White in an upcoming live-action reimagining of the story, Disney confirmed to CNN. “Rachel’s extraordinary vocal abilities are just the beginning of her gifts. Her strength, intelligence and optimism will become an integral part of rediscovering the joy in this classic Disney fairytale,” director Marc Webb said in a statement.Webb, whose other films include “(500) Days of Summer” and “The Amazing Spider-Man,” has been signed on to direct the new take on Snow since May 2019.Production is anticipated to begin in 2022.

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Avril Lavigne partners with real-life ‘Sk8er boi’ Tony Hawk in TikTok debut

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Avril Lavigne partners with real-life ‘Sk8er boi’ Tony Hawk in TikTok debut

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DaBaby Talks Finding a ‘Middle Ground’ Between Comfort & Style Ahead of BoohooMAN Collaboration

“I love me some mutually beneficial partnerships,” DaBaby tells Billboard of the fun new team up. “It’s always a blessing, so them wanting to work with me made things pretty easy. Them giving me the opportunity and creative input on the designs and what was going on with everything — that definitely made it a silky smooth…

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DaBaby Talks Finding a ‘Middle Ground’ Between Comfort & Style Ahead of BoohooMAN Collaboration

“I love me some mutually beneficial partnerships,” DaBaby tells Billboard of the fun new team up. “It’s always a blessing, so them wanting to work with me made things pretty easy. Them giving me the opportunity and creative input on the designs and what was going on with everything — that definitely made it a silky smooth collaboration.”The boohooMAN x DaBaby collection, which includes everything from relaxed yet sleek track sets, tees and statement graphics to loud and expressive fits in matte satins and paisleys, was inspired by the effortlessly cool lifestyle led by the star. “I love being comfortable when I dress because I do so much moving around,” DaBaby says of his mindset while designing the collection. “But I also like looking good while being comfortable, so I like to find a middle ground with making clothes that you can still move around in but at the same time, they’re still very expressive and give some sense of style.”As for his favorite style in the collection, DaBaby loves the “all white shorts set with the white shirt and daisy dukes” pictured in the campaign image above.”I feel free when I wear it,” he reveals. “It’s all white, nice and clean. I feel like that’s to move for the summertime. If it had nothing to do with me, I would still buy it.”While DaBaby has no problem rocking iced-out chains and fashion-forward fits, he knows that finding your own sense of style can be intimidating. “Just be yourself, that’s what fashion is,” he advises those interested in fashion. “Expressing yourself. If you’re being yourself, you can’t go wrong.”Ahead of the June 30 launch, shop boohooMAN’s range of summer styles here.

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