Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, Anne Hathaway and All the Biggest Celebrity Makeovers of 2012 (PHOTOS)

Another year, another round of dramatic celebrity transformations.

Bold haircuts were responsible for changing some of Hollywood’s most famous faces — and setting major trends — in 2012.

Between Anne Hathaway’s buzz cut for her role in Les Miserables to Miley Cyrus’ punk rock ‘do, dramatic haircuts became springboards for both beauties to experiment with more daring personal styles.

But hair wasn’t the only thing transforming some of Tinsletown’s brightest stars. Some of our favorite celebs went through some major weight ups and downs this year as well.

A few inches off the top of her head wasn’t all Hathaway lost for her Les Mis role this year — the Oscar hopeful turned to extreme dieting to lose 25 pounds to play the dying prostitute.

 

After giving birth to her first child, Jessica Simpson went with a more healthful approach to shed the baby weight, signing on as Weight Watchers’ newest spokesperson to help her shed the rumored 70-plus pounds she gained during her pregnancy. The new mom recently revealed her jaw-dropping weight loss before announcing her second pregnancy earlier this month.

Some stars, however, weren’t satisfied with just one transformation, shocking us with multiple makeovers in 2012.

Moneyball star Jonah Hill slimmed down in the later half of 2011, leaving fans shocked by this actor’s almost-gaunt appearance. But by mid-2012, Hill had filled out to almost his original weight from years prior.

No stranger to shocking looks, Ke$ha shocked critics and fans alike when she showed off a glam new look at the American Music Awards. But it wasn’t long before the edgy singer ditched her blonde waves and soft makeup for a goth-inspired hair and makeup.

Click through the gallery to check out this year’s most dramatic makeovers.

 

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‘Promised Land’: Matt Damon Squares Off Against John Krasinski in a Mostly-Smart David and Goliath Story (MOVIE REVIEW)

Matt Damon got his big break teaming with Gus Van Sant in 1997 with Good Will Hunting, a memorable character drama written by and starring Damon and buddy Ben Affleck. The film won them a Best Screenplay Oscar and launched their meteoric ascent to the Hollywood A-list.

This week, Damon re-teams with Van Sant for the third time, (after 2002’s Gerry) co-writing Promised Land with costar John Krasinski. Their latest is a satisfactory and occasionally noteworthy drama set in the American heartland where the soft lolling of the cows cannot hope to overcome the roar of corporate greed and real-world politics.

Damon plays Steve Butler, a country-bred city boy working with Global Crosspower Solutions, a $9-billion natural gas company. On the day of his promotion, he is sent to McKinley, Pennsylvania, a farm town hit hard by the recession, to buy up land for the lowest price so Global can exploit the shale beneath their feet for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Joining Butler is Sue Thomason (Frances McDormand), a veteran at Global with a jaundiced eye on the task at hand and another on her boy back home.

Hanging out in a local bar, Butler meets Alice (Rosemarie DeWitt), a school teacher who lives alone in a farmhouse she wouldn’t mind sharing with the right guy.

In the scene, Van Sant frames his actors in a series of singles before they come together in a two-shot. His shot selection combined with their body language is a testament to the filmmaker’s grasp of visual language, rather than simply by documenting its sharp and lively dialogue. That said, by employing a direct and straightforward style, Van Sant elicits resonant performances, especially from Damon, who anchors the movie with nuanced proficiency.

In a scene where a town leader tries to extort money from Butler, Van Sant films his actors in a series of two-shots and singles, and a dolly move which, when it’s completed, traverses the 180 line separating the two, in effect, flipping the table just as one character attempt to turn the tables on the other.

As things seem to be going Butler’s way, into town drives Dustin Noble, (Krasinski) an environmentalist looking to educate McKinley on the dangers of fracking – a David out to stop the “Goliath” of Global.

Up until this point, Promised Land is a smart, character driven drama that takes an insightful look at a compelling environmental issue. Well crafted and clear-eyed, it never proselytizes nor condescends to the small-town America it describes.

But as the second act progresses, the movie begins to lose momentum. Short on plot, the story revolves mainly around the brewing face off between Noble and Butler as the latter begins to grow a conscience.

His evolution feels obvious and unconvincing – a small-town guy at heart, he struggles to fulfill his obligation to the company and keep his hands clean at the same time, a hopelessly naive prospect.

To their credit, writers Damon and Krasinski make an unexpected move building their story around Butler, a protagonist on the wrong side of the issue. Less imaginative writers would have gone with Noble, a guy fighting the odds to do the right thing. But in the end it’s not so simple as to who is the hero and who is the villain.

After a slow and steady battle to win the hearts and minds of the people, (a county fair sponsored by Global, and a door-to-door campaign promising untold riches to gullible farmers), Butler and Krasinski find themselves at a stalemate, one which threatens Butler’s job.

As Promised Land reaches a climax, a plot twist arrives unexpectedly which, while believable, feels inorganic to the story. After avoiding the pitfalls of proselytism for 100 minutes, the filmmakers suddenly seem determined to make a point about nefarious energy companies that is accurate but nevertheless feels manipulative.

Promised Land, a thoughtful movie which aims to entertain as well as inspire debate, gets a wide release on January 4th, but will be shown in New York and Los Angeles on December 28th in order to qualify for an Oscar. But even though its heart is in the right place and its message is clear, they don’t give out awards for good intentions.

Watch the theatrical trailer for Promised Land, and then let us know in the comments below: How well does this film live up to Damon’s first high-profile collaboration with Gus Van Sant, Good Will Hunting?

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Sandy Hook School Shooting Sparks Gun Control Debate: Where Do Celebrities Stand on the Second Amendment?

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting, America is mourning the loss of 26 lives — 20 children and 6 adults — along with the tragedy-stricken community of Newtown, Conn. But that grief has also given way to a highly politicized debate, as the massacre shines a spotlight on the long-dormant debate of gun control.

When gunman Adam Lanza opened fire inside the grade school on Friday, he was wielding a military-style semiautomatic Bushmaster rifle and carrying an arsenal of ammunition. Now the rampage has reignited a political debate around the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms — most specifically, whether assault weapons like the one used by Lanza should be limited or even banned.

As politicians and activists alike debate regulation of such weapons and consider possible policy changes, some Hollywood stars are weighing in on the timely topic.

Director Michael Moore — the brain behind the 2002 documentary Bowling for Columbine, which explored the causes for the Columbine High School massacre and other instances of gun violence — was distraught following the Connecticut tragedy, sharing his thoughts on tighter firearm restrictions on his website.

“I tried to ring a warning bell about this a decade ago. The disease has only gotten worse,” Moore wrote on Sunday. “But…you feel something different in the air across America tonight, don’t you? People have had it, and the outrage is loud and visible. I’m convinced the majority of Americans will now back strong gun control laws…. And perhaps a few are willing to look at the deeper issue of how this country officially sanctions violence as a means to an end.”

Other celebrities echoed his call for gun control action. Rashida Jones argued that “gun control is our only road to freedom;” Ben Stiller made a bid to “stop the access to guns in our country;” Susan Sarandon encouraged her followers to “let NRA know how you feel;” and Piers Morgan wondered whether President Barack Obama will “have the courage to stand up to the American gun lobby?”

But not all of Tinseltown is getting in on the anti-gun firestorm. In fact, many A-listers count themselves as cock-and-pull aficionados. From Angelina Jolie and Amber Heard, to Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon, find out where the stars stand on the right to bear arms.

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Matt Damon Tells Playboy He’s Nude ‘A Lot’ in Liberace Film, Describes Michael Douglas as a ‘Wonderful Kisser’

Matt Damon is getting nude for his role as the lover of flamboyant pianist Wladziu Valentino Liberace – known simply as Liberace — in the HBO movie Behind the Candelabra.

“Normally I’d say no to nudity,” 42-year-old Damon tells Playboy in its January/February issue, on newsstands Dec. 18.

“I mean, it’s tastefully done. Steven Soderbergh directed it and Michael Douglas plays Liberace. But this movie’s not going to be for everyone.”

In the film, due for release next year, Damon plays Liberace’s much-younger lover Scott Thorson – who exposed his life with Lee in a tell-all book and also sued for $113 million in palimony.

The film is so risque that the Oscar winner even shares a romantic, on-screen kiss with Michael Douglas.

“Michael was a wonderful kisser,” jokes Damon.

“For one scene, I had to come out of the pool, go over to Michael Douglas, straddle him on a chaise lounge and start kissing him. It’s not like I kiss him just once. We drew it up like a football plan.”

Damon — who is also co-writing and starring in Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land, in theaters January 4 — opened up to the magazine about his private life, including why he is ”sh*tty” at spicing up his relationship with wife, Luciana.

On the roles he most regrets having to pass up: “Having to say no to Avatar was tough because I particularly wanted to work with James Cameron … I remember thinking, Oh God, not only do I have to say no because of scheduling, but he’s going to make a star out of some guy who’s going to start taking jobs from me later … Milk was another hard one because I was excited it would have been for Gus Van Sant, and I would have had the chance to do scenes with Sean Penn … But when I saw Milk, Josh Brolin was so f*cking good.”

On his image in the media: “The narrative about me kind of goes, ‘He’s a boring married guy,’ which is great, because I don’t get any of that other stuff like Brad Pitt and George Clooney do … People think I’m kind of vanilla and they leave me alone to work, have an actual private life and be a husband and dad.”

On beginning to look his age (42 years old): “I remember having dinner with Tommy Lee Jones 20 years ago. I was looking at his face and thinking, Sh*t, I can’t wait to have lines like that. A guy like that can just sit there and be so expressive. I mean he’s also one of the best actors ever, but I remember being in a hurry to get some of those lines. I’m getting more lines every day.”
On the Bourne legacy coming to an end: “You know what? They might have taken the Bourne series out back and shot it in the head. If that’s the end of it, that’s just the end of it. I hope not. I love the character and the three movies we did, so I’d love to figure out a way to do another one.

On learning new things that he’s frightened of on set: “I learned that I am afraid of heights. When I was doing Syriana, they arranged for my wife, Lucy, and me to go up to watch the sunset over the Arabian Peninsula from the top of that seven-star Dubai hotel that’s shaped like a sail, the Burj Al Arab. So we go to the very top–-60 stories or something—we’re given champagne, and we go, ‘Oh! My God, this is great.” But as I started to walk toward the edge, my legs locked up. I was absolutely frozen. [Lucy] thought it was hysterical.”

On his workout routine: “I don’t have much time between work, parenting and other pursuits I’m involved in, but I lift weights. If somebody’s around to box with, I can hit the focus pads, but I haven’t done that in a while. I used to jog a lot, but now I’ll do maybe one long run a week, or I’ll do sprints.”

On being a man in an otherwise all-girl family:“Lucy and the girls can definitely bring me to my knees. They just know. My wife gives me sh*t because it’s harder for me to discipline my girls, probably because they’re girls. With boys, I could relate more and it would probably be easier. Growing up, girls are so mysterious to us. Even as a grown man, they remain mysterious.”

On growing up with a hot temper: “I would throw blazing temper tantrums as a kid—my parents worried about me. I remember being so angry that I saw red, and no amount of encouragement, love or hugging would get me out of that … there’s a great thing that comes along with being stubborn and obsessive, which is a passion for life. Things matter to you.”

On spicing up his marriage with romantic gestures: “I’m sh*tty at that. I wish I were better because my wife deserves somebody who surprises her with a gift or flowers or some wonderful idea. I’ve never been good at that, and she’s really good at it, which makes me feel even more like sh*t.”

On his legacy: “When I turned 40 I had my whole family and some friends together. I realized I had to make a toast and hadn’t thought of anything to say. I stood up, and what came to me seemed incredibly true in the moment and even more so as time has gone by. I said, ‘I think I might actually be the luckiest guy on earth. I really might be him.’”

As Liberace’s larger-than-life story is set to hit the big screen in 2013, Scott Thorson, a former lover of the flamboyant entertainer, gives insight into the fascinating world of the late performer in this video, below. 

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‘Good Will Hunting’ Turns 15: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and the Cast Then and Now (PHOTOS)

It’s hard to believe that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were in their mid-20s when Good Will Hunting opened in theaters on Dec. 5, 1997.

The aspiring writers and actors would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay (along with a Golden Globe Award for the same category) the following year, forever changing their professional and personal lives.

15 years later, Will and Chuckie — Damon and Affleck — have multi-million dollar careers, families and box office hits under their belts.

Affleck, now 42, took a stab at directing for a third time in the thriller Argo. Damon, now 40, returned to the movies as a screenwriter in the new film Promised Land, reuniting him with Good Will Hunting director Gus Van Sant.

But the lifelong friends aren’t the only ones who’ve enjoyed strong careers since the release of the little movie that could.

Minnie Driver, who played the lovely Skylar in the 1997 film, has continued to receive critical acclaim for such works as The Phantom of the Opera, Barney’s Version and the FX series The Riches.

Perhaps the youngest of the original Good Will Hunting crew, Affleck’s brother Casey has since starred in a long list of big screen releases, including the Oceans Eleven franchise, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Gone Baby Gone.

Like his brother, Affleck stepped behind the camera in 2010 with the Joaquin Phoenix mockumentary I’m Still Here.

Check out the gallery above for a closer look at the stars of ‘Good Will Hunting,’ then and now. Do you have a favorite line or scene from the 1997 film? Share your thoughts below.

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John Krasinski Wants To Have ‘Bromance’ With Matt Damon: 12 Famous Male Friendships (PHOTOS)

Ben Affleck better watch his back: John Krasinski is on a mission to become Matt Damon’s BFF.

“I would love to have a bromance with him,” Krasinski told PEOPLE magazine on Tuesday.

“But I don’t even know if I could even use the word ‘bromance’ because he and Ben are so tight and like a married couple that I’ll never get in there.”

The 33-year-old actor stars in the new Gus Van Sant film Promised Land opposite Damon, 42, who also shares producing and screenwriting duties with The Office alum.

While Krasinski can continue to dream big about his new buddy, he’s got some big Hollywood bromance shows to follow.

There’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, whose tight-knit circle also includes Entourage star Kevin Connolly. Next May, DiCaprio and Maguire will reunite on screen in Baz Luhrman’s film adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

“I’m at the stage in my life and I’m married and have children, so I don’t get to see my buddies as much as I’d like and just the fact I was forced to see one of my best friends everyday was fantastic,” Maguire told Celebuzz in October about working with his pal.

“Then, I got to go to work with one of our greatest actors and be inspired by him. So, I felt very grateful for that time. It was great.”

George Clooney and Brad Pitt have also sustained one of the industry’s longest friendships. But as Pitt gets ready to marry his longtime love Angelina Jolie, it looks like the Ocean’s Eleven actor will look elsewhere for life advice.

“What can [Clooney] tell me? Other than how to protect my liver!” Pitt told PEOPLE in November.

Over the years, the small screen has also seen bromances blossom between the likes of Zach Braff and his Scrubs pal Donald Faison, and Jon Stewart and his former Daily Show correspondent Stephen Colbert, who of course now has his own program.

Promised Land, starring John Krasinski and Matt Damon, will open in limited release Dec. 28.

For more Hollywood bromances, check out the gallery, above. Did we miss any? Comment below.

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Matt Damon In Talks for George Clooney’s ‘Monuments Men’ (REPORT)

George Clooney has already enlisted James Bond for his next film. Now, he’s looking to recruit Jason Bourne.

Matt Damon is in talks to join the period thriller The Monuments Men, a film directed and co-written by the Oscar winner, according to Deadline.

The Bourne Ultimatum star is negotiating for an unspecified role in the World War II flick, which centers on a crew of art historians that must infiltrate Nazi Germany to retrieve valuable art stolen by the Third Reich.

Should Damon sign on, he will join an impressive cast that includes 007 himself, Daniel Craig, along with Cate Blanchett and Bill Murray.

Clooney wrote the script with producing partner and writer Grant Heslov (Good Night, and Good Luck). Monuments Men reunites Damon and Clooney, who were last seen together onscreen in 2007’s Ocean’s 13.

What do you think of this casting news? Sound off below. 

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Celebuzz Dominates 2012 National Entertainment Journalism Awards With 6 Nominations

The Los Angeles Press Club has recognized Celebuzz with multiple nominations for its fifth annual National Entertainment Journalism Awards.

The site’s exclusive report exposing the feud between Community star Chevy Chase and the show creator Dan Harmon — complete with leaked audio of the veteran Hollywood actor calling the NBC comedy series “just a mediocre sitcom” — was named one of five finalists in the Best Online News Report category.

It will compete for the top online honor against peers The Hollywood Reporter, Bloomberg News, The Wrap and Hollywood.com.

The story published on Apr. 10, 2012 made international headlines.

69-year-old Chase, who plays Pierce Hawthorne on the primetime series, was recorded telling Harmon, “I want people to laugh and this isn’t funny. It ain’t funny to me because I’m 67-years-old and I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve been making a lot of people laugh a lot better than this.”

Five months after Celebuzz posted its story, Harmon was fired as the show runner of Community.

Celebuzz Editor in Chief Dylan Howard was also nominated for an industry leading six National Entertainment Journalism Awards, more than any other individual nominee, including the coveted Entertainment Journalist of the Year, an award he previously won in 2011.

The full list of nominations can be read at the L.A. Press Club’s website, here.

The body of work that saw Howard nominated for the highest accolade included scores of memorable exclusives, including the expose series on the underground Hollywood high-stakes poker circuit — implicating A-Listers Tobey Maguire, Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon, the secret Desperate Housewives feud between Teri Hatcher and her costars, an investigation into the world of Scientology and its relationship to Tom Cruise, and the publication of a dossier of evidence that that compelled the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to take a new look at one of Hollywood’s most enduring mysteries, the drowning death of actress Natalie Wood in 1981.

Other noms for Entertainment Journalist of the Year include LA Weekly‘s Gendy Alimurung, RadarOnline Legal Editor Jen Heger, Orange County Register media reporter Gary Lycan and Kim Masters, Editor at Large of The Hollywood Reporter and KCRW.

Howard’s reporting of Whitney Houston‘s drug induced death on Feb. 11, 2012 was also recognized for a social media nod.

Howard’s poker expose and Natalie Wood revelations were nominated twice in the same category for entertainment related investigative story.

The series on the high-stakes gambling was also recognized as the best hard or breaking news print repot in the entertainment industry. The expose first appeared in Star magazine, where Howard previously served as Senior Executive Editor.

The awards ceremony will also honor Jane Fonda with their first Visionary Award, as introduced by Robert Redford, on Nov. 18th at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.

Ben Affleck Weighs in on Matt Damon’s Shaved Head, Directing Wife Jennifer Garner (VIDEO)

Ben Affleck is giving a thumbs up to his BFF Matt Damon‘s new ‘do — even if it is a shocker.

“It takes you off guard,” the 40-year-old told Celebuzz exclusively at Thursday’s charity screening of his new flick, Argo. “I never saw Matt as the skinhead type. But it looks good on him.”

Affleck not only serves as the star of Argo, but also as its director. And despite his film already generating Oscar buzz, the 40-year-old says he’s still honing his skills behind the camera.

 

“I’m a director who’s still learning, but I give myself a chance, which is all you can ask of a director,” he told us at the Argo premiere, presented by Samsung Galaxy SIII. “I’m probably not my own favorite director. I’m very critical.”

He needn’t be: Affleck made his directorial debut with Gone Baby Gone; it received a host of awards and, at the end of the year, appeared on some 65 film critics’ lists of 2007′s best films. His 2010 effort, The Town, received a similar reception.

 

As for Affleck’s next project? He wouldn’t mind working with his better half, wife Jennifer Garner.

“I would definitely love the chance to direct a movie she was in,” Affleck said. “She’s very talented.”

Watch our video to discover more about a possible Affleck/Garner pairing — and see why the the father of three chose to have the Argo screening benefit the Eastern Congo Initiative and Children Mending Hearts charities.

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