Why Natalie Portman wanted to reimagine classic children's stories in new book
Ever notice how classic fables and children's stories like "The Three Little Pigs," "The Tortoise and the Hare" and "Country Mouse and City Mouse" all center around male characters, almost exclusively? Natalie Portman has — and as a mother of a boy and a girl, she's not satisfied with those one-sided perspectives. That's why she's created new options with her first-ever book, "Natalie Portman's Fables." Written for kids, the book features reimagined versions of the characters and stories she grew up on. "I love these classic stories and wanted to update them to be more reflective of the world in which we live," she told followers on Instagram this week. According to PopSugar, Natalie was also inspired to write the book after poring over the "feminist baby books" that came her way when her daughter, Amalia, was born in 2017. "It felt sad to explain to a small child that girls and women have so many obstacles or why they are treated differently, before they've even started experiencing the world," Natalie explains on the book's website. "I didn't want to feel like we had to throw out the history of child-raising," she noted. "instead I wanted to make the stories reflective of the actual world, where about half of the animal kingdom is female, and half is male, and some are neither or both." Natalie's book hits shelves Oct. 20.
Keep reading for the latest on Halle Berry's new romance and more …
RELATED: Natalie Portman's best style moments
Inside Halle Berry's 'mature relationship' with new beau, singer Van Hunt
Things are apparently heating up between Halle Berry and singer and producer, Van Hunt, who've been dating for "several months," according to People. "They are spending a lot of time at Halle's Malibu house," a source tells the outlet. "She really seems to enjoy the quiet time. Van has met her kids, so it seems pretty serious." A second insider says the two celebrated Halle's 54th birthday together in Las Vegas in September, adding that she and Van, 50, share similar interests and have lots of "respect" for one another. "Both are very successful and smart, and they seem to be in a mature relationship," says the source, adding that the romance "seems like a really good match." Halle shares a 12-year-old daughter, Nahla, with ex, Gabriel Aubry, and a 6-year-old son, Maceo, with estranged husband Olivier Martinez. She filed for divorce from Olivier back in 2015 but it has not yet been finalized. "Halle has been through a lot of stress in her past relationships but this one seems very positive," People's source adds. "She is really happy."
Kerry Washington, more stars react to Breonna Taylor decision
Like so many other Americans, Kerry Washington, Alicia Keys, Common and more stars responded with outrage on social media Wednesday after a Louisville, Kentucky, jury failed to charge any of the officers involved in Breonna Taylor's death with homicide. Only previously fired police officer Brett Hankinson — one of three cops involved in shooting the late 26-year-old medical worker five times in her own home — was indicted Wednesday. He was charged with first degree wanton endangerment for recklessly firing into other apartments during the drug-related raid on Taylor's home via a no-knock warrant. No drugs were found in the home after Taylor died in her hallway; a suspect police claimed retrieved packages there was allegedly already in custody when the officers barged in on March 13."[Kentucky Attorney General] Daniel Cameron is on Donald Trump's short list as replacement of #RGB on the Supreme Court," Kerry, who's spoken out multiple times about Taylor's death, posted on social media after the verdict was announced. "The same man who decided to not charge the officers responsible for killing #BreonnaTaylor. Vote," she added. "This is is a PRIME example of Rotten to the CORE!!!" posted Alicia Keys. "UnJust!!!! Disrespectful and BLATANT DISREGARD!!!! Infuriated!!!!!!!" As protests broke out in Louisville and beyond, Viola Davis voiced her frustration as well, posting, "BLACK LIVES MATTER!!! Cannot be said enough times," while Common tweeted, "#SayHerName: #BreonnaTaylor," alerted followers about the Dan Cameron connection and posted, repeatedly, "#JUSTICEFORBREONNATAYLOR."
RELATED: Kendall Jenner urges followers to register to vote in her first Instagram Live
Christina and Ant Anstead reportedly endured 'a very difficult year' before separation
Navigating the stress of 2020 with a new baby at home may have been too much for Christina Anstead and Ant Anstead's new marriage to bear. The "Flip or Flop" star announced last week on social media that she and her husband of less than two years had decided to separate. Neither she nor Ant have shared any further information about the seemingly sudden split, but a source tells E! News things have been complicated for the couple for some time now. "Bringing home the new baby was extremely difficult and challenging," the the insider says of the pair's 1-year-old son, Hudson, who was born in September. "It's been a very difficult year with a lot of hard times," the source adds. "She never thought she was going to get a divorce so soon. She tried to give it more of a chance but it became very clear that it wasn't going to work." Despite their decision, Christina was reportedly wearing her wedding ring when she returned to the set of "Flip or Flop" on Monday. And according to his recent social media posts, Ant seems to be in contact and on good terms with Christina and her kids from her relationship with ex, Tarek El Moussa.
Alec Baldwin urges Ellen DeGeneres to 'keep moving forward' after scandal: 'We need you'
Alec Baldwin may be a father of six, but when it comes to coaching, he's apparently better in the career realm than in the delivery room. The actor, who recently welcomed a son, Eduardo, with wife Hilaria Baldwin, video conferenced into "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" Wednesday. Rather than downplay the toxic work environment scandal that's dogged the show host for much of the year, he shared encouraging words with Ellen two days after her monologue apology. "You just keep moving forward, because it's not the same without you," he told her, speaking from his home, according to USA Today. "You're funny. We need you, we need you, we need you. Keep log rolling as best you can, OK?" Ellen assured him she'd "stay on the log before Hilaria and 2-week-old Eduardo joined Alec on the screen. That's when we learned he's maybe not the best labor coach. It seems, for example, that when Hilaria went into labor, Alec stopped for some food on the way to the hospital. He vaguely denied that the trip to the hospital went down like that. "I have photographic proof," Hilaria assured him and viewers. "I was taking photos, so it's really hard for you to not agree with this." There was a "but," though: "In his defense, it was my idea," she continued, "… because the last two babies that I had, I didn't invite him while I was in labor until I got my epidural, because he drives me crazy." Elaborating on Alec's seeming proclivity for getting "hangry" at the wrong time, Hilaria said her mindset was basically, "… you need to eat something because later on I'm going to kill you if you don't eat something, because I'm not going to be able to handle you." Eduardo joins older siblings, Carmen, 7, Rafael, 5, Leonardo, 3, and Romeo, 2, as well as 24-year-old half-sister, Ireland Baldwin, whose mom is Kim Basinger.
Gwyneth Paltrow admits coparenting with Chris Martin is often 'harder than it looks'
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin have taken plenty of heat for using the term "conscious uncoupling" back in 2014 when they separated. But they went on to prove it was possible to stay so close with an ex that you even include that person and their new partner in things like dinners, family vacations and, in Gwyneth's case, her second wedding. As the Goop founder told Drew Barrymore on her talk show Tuesday, however, pressing forward with Chris for the sake of their kids hasn't been easy after 12 years of marriage. "It's like you're ending a marriage but you're still in a family. That's how it will be forever," Gwyneth explained (via People). "Some days it's not as good as it looks. We also have good days and bad days, but I think it's driving towards the same purpose of unity and love and what's best for [our kids]." While putting Moses, 14, and Apple, 16, first, she added, Gwyneth and Chris have actually gotten to a place where their relationship "now is better than our marriage was." Echoing some of what she wrote in an essay for British Vogue last month, Gwyneth went on to explain how getting to that point required each of them taking 50/50 responsibility for what went wrong. "We are all part good and part bad," she said. "It's not binary — we are all gray area. We all are trying our best. I really wanted my kids to not be traumatized, if it were possible. Chris and I committed to putting them first and that's harder than it looks because some days you really don't want to be with the person that you are getting divorced from. But if you're committed to having family dinner, then you do it. And you take a deep breath and you look the person in the eye and you remember your pact and you smile and you hug … and recommit to this new relationship that you are trying to foster."
Time 100 stars Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade praise their 'wildly inspiring' children
Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade are two of this year's Most Influential People, according to Time. According to Gabrielle and Dwyane, however, all the credit belongs to their kids, whose "moments of bravery" have inspired them above all else, they tell the magazine, which celebrated its annual Time 100 list on Tuesday.
"Freedom exists in so many different forms," Gabrielle says in a video that accompanies their profile. "We are so blessed to be in a household where we have free children." The actress, who's spent much of the past year fighting for more inclusivity on TV and supporting her 13-year-old stepdaughter, Zaya, as she came out as transgender in February, continues: "It's beautiful to watch truly free children. We have another daughter who is 13 who has the freedom to be exactly who she is, who she was born to be, to be her most authentic self. She doesn't ask permission to exist. That is wildly inspiring." As John Legend says in the clip, Gabrielle and Dwayne have shown the world, "what's possible when you lead with compassion and understanding," while being "good allies to young people as they are figuring out who they are." Gabrielle's also covered in a Time tribute by activist and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, who writes that the star is "intentionally directing her attention, influence and resources to advance an agenda that deliberately celebrates the most marginalized among us, including Black women and girls and queer and trans folks." She goes on to say: "[Gabrielle's] dedication to inclusivity was especially evident in November, when she was controversially fired as a judge on America's Got Talent after calling out multiple counts of racial insensitivity and a toxic work environment on the show." Former NBA star Dwayne, meanwhile, "sees that he has a larger purpose and that his athletic career put him in a position to make the world a better, safer and more loving place," according to John.
Cynthia Nixon, Sharon Stone react to the idea of Sharon as the next Samantha Jones … if 'SATC 3' ever happens
At this point, it seems unlikely the world will ever get a third "Sex and the City" movie, a project all the original main cast members except for Kim Cattrall have said they'd sign on for. That hasn't stopped fans from clamoring for it to happen, though. On Tuesday's edition of "Watch What Happens Live," one of those fans suggested to guests and "Ratched" costars Cynthia Nixon and Sharon Stone that Sharon might be a good Samantha Jones 2.0. "I think Sharon would be, of course, totally amazing," Cynthia replied, according to ET. "Kim was incredibly great as Samantha, I think Sharon would totally make it her own," she continued. "But I've also heard many people say, including Kim Cattrall herself, that if we were to have a different fourth woman that maybe it would be a woman of color this time and I think that would be amazing as well." Sharon agreed, telling the viewer that a woman of color as the next Samantha just seems "right." But she also didn't nix the idea of taking over for Kim. "… Any time I could have the opportunity to work with Cynthia would be an honor to me," she said. Kim has left no question over the past couple of years that she is not interested in revisiting her 10-season-long run as Samantha.
Kim Cattrall has 'no regrets' about Sarah Jessica Parker rift
While Cynthia Nixon's "Ratched" promo left her open to questions about a potential replacement for Kim Cattrall in "Sex and the City," Kim faced similar queries while promoting her new Fox drama, "Filthy Rich" this week. Asked about her infamously sour relationship with Sarah Jessica Parker in an interview published Monday, Kim assured the Los Angeles Times there's no need to rehash why she doesn't get along with SJP. She also said she has zero "regrets" about what went down between them. "Everything is on Google. So, I encourage you to Google it about anything that I've said," Kim said when asked where she and Sarah Jessica stand today. "I feel that that was then, and when I look at what's going on around me, I just don't have any regrets." Kim's first public condemnation of her former costar came in conversation with Piers Morgan in 2017, when she said they were "never friends," among other things. The next year, while mourning the death of her brother, she accused SJP on social media of "exploiting our tragedy to restore [her] 'nice girl' persona." Still, Kim told the Times she looks back on her "SATC" days in a positive light and even kept her character's prop diary once the show ended.