SPOTLIGHT ON THESE ACTRESSES

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Here is a list of some of our favorite up and coming actresses. Whether they are shining on the big screen, or stealing the scene away from their co-stars, these talented ladies are inspiring in so many ways, on and off screen.

CAMREN BICONDOVA

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Camren Bicondova is a dancer, actress, and model who first graced us with her presence back in 2012 with her cool girl dance crew, 8 Flavahz, on ABDC. The talented crew was the runner up on the seventh season of the popular American television series, but that wasn’t the last you would hear from the star or her crew. 8 Flavahz continues to preform to this day, while Bicondova  balances her hectic work schedule. More recently, the dancer was casted to play a young Selina Kyle on the TV series Gotham. Bicondova’s portrayal of the notorious cat burglar has become somewhat iconic due to her stellar acrobatic skills and her resemblance to Michelle Pfeiffer who also played catwoman in Batman Returns. Hopefully, we see a lot more from Camren in 2016, but for now don’t forget to catch her in Gotham and Check out her sick dance crew below.

 

ADINA PORTER

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Obie award winning actress, Adina Porter, is best known for her roles in True Blood and Prison Break. More recently, Porter portrays Indra, the second hand command to the warrior queen Lexa in the post apocalyptic drama The 100 based off of a trilogy by Kass Morgan. Porter’s portrayal of the ruthless commander is definitely unforgettable and easily makes her one of my favorite characters. Be sure to check out Adina in The 100 alongside other powerful females on the CW. For the meantime check out a clip of the Emmy nominated series.

 

LINDSEY MORGAN

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Mexican-Irish actress Lindsey Morgan is another actress to watch out for. Although Morgan is best known for her role in General Hospital, her portrayal of the mechanic Raven on The 100 is heartening. Raven is the short tempered, confrontational “tomboy” that everyone loves. More importantly Raven is such an inspiring character for females to be watching on TV. She is a stubborn, strong and independent mechanic that kicks ass. Be sure you don’t miss Morgan as Raven on The 100.

 

 

ZOE KRAVITZ

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Lolawolf lead singer Zoe Kravitz, is truly an all around star. Not only does the singer front a band, she is also a model and actress. The young daughter of rockstar Lenny Kravitz (Hunger Games) and iconic model Lisa Bonet (The Cosby Show) made her acting debut in the film X-Men First Class as Angel Salvadore. Kravitz went on to star in movies like the box office hit, dystopian fiction Divergent, The Emmy nominated action flick Mad Max, along with other notable side projects like Dope and The Road Within. The Balenciaga model played Marie in The Road Within, a character who has bulimia. Kravitz has also opened up about her own personal struggles with bulimia in the past. The singer more recently appeared on the show Portlandia and is set to be in a couple more movies this year. Check out the singer hanging out with SZA below!

 

 

DAISEY RIDLEY

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Although this now familiar face has a decent amount of acting credentials, she truly was an overnight sensation. If you don’t know by now, Daisey Ridley portrays the hero Rey in Star Wars The Force Awakens. Let me tell you, I wasn’t to keen on the famous Sci-Fi movie due to its lack of diversity, but Ridley truly has a force that cannot be ignored.  Ridley’s role is a big leap for females in Sci-Fi. What differentiates Rey from other heroines such as Katniss or Tris is that she is not afraid to embrace her destiny, unlike the popular dystopian characters. Rey also doesn’t seem to be to fixated on boys, which makes complete sense seeing as she’s probably to busy trying to save the galaxy. Ridely executed the role with perfection and I can’t wait to see what Rey and Ridley has in store for us in the future. In the meantime check out the trailer for the new Star Wars film below!

 

PRIYANKA CHOPRA

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Priyanka Chopra is the most beautiful (both inside and out) human being to walk this earth! The former Miss world has a vast and impressive resume. The UNICEF Good Will Ambassador spends her free time promoting various causes including environmental issues, women’s rights, and health and education. Chopra is also a very popular Indian film actress who recently made her acting debut in America in the popular ABC TV series Quantico. If  you have not had a chance to catch the action packed drama yet I advise you to do so. Remember how I was talking about a lack of Asian actors/actresses and characters in TV and film? Well, it is very important that when we are given the chance to see various people from different backgrounds on TV that we take it, so it shows that those TV shows can be just as successful as any other. In Quantico Chopra portrays the FBI agent Alex, who is framed for terrorism by her own employer, due to her ethnic background. Alex must prove that she is innocent before it is to late. Quantico has a lot of strong diverse characters and isn’t afraid to talk about Islamophobia. Chopra is an inspiration both on and off screen. Don’t forget to catch Quantico on ABC and watch the clip below!

 

NATHALIE EMMANUEL

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Best known for her role as Sasha Valentine in Hollyoaks and her portrayal of the translator Missandei in Game Of Thrones, Nathalie Emmanuel is truly unforgettable and she keeps popping up in my favorite sci-fi/fantasy films and movies.  I love Emmanuel as Missandei in Game Of Thrones, more recently she was in The Scorch Trials. She is one of those actresses that deserves a lot more recognition than she currently has. Check out Nathalie’s interview for The Scorch Trials. below!

KEKE PALMER

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Keke Palmer is one of the most underrated young talents of her generation. From a young age, Palmer won everyone over with her portrayal of Akeelah in the inspiring movie Akeelah and The Bee. Palmer went on to star in her own TV series on nickelodeon True Jackson VP, which went on to receive not only an audience, but multiple NAACP awards. After True Jackson ended, Palmer changed her focus to music like most teen-stars. The newfound singer released an  R&B album titled So Uncool. Soon after, the actress hosted her own talk show Just Keke on BET and also took broadway by storm in the production of Cinderella. Seeing Palmer play Cinderella gave me nostalgia for the 1997  Cinderella movie starring Brandy. More recently, Palmer starred in a TLC movie and co-stars in FX’s  Scream Queens. It also seems as though the starlet is trying to revamp her music career, the singer released a catchy track titled “I Don’t Belong To You” last year along with a controversial music video. Check out her latest music video below!

MALESE JOW

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Chinese-American actress,  Malese Jow is another one of those faces that you see everywhere. At a very young age Jow started acting in  TV series like Unfabulous, Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, and iCarly. Jow then went on too star in every adolescent girls favorite movie Bratz, where she portrayed the cool, smart, and fashion savy Bratz, Jade. Jow has also co-starred in popular TV series and movies  like The Vampire Diaries, Star-Crossed, Aliens In The Attic and The Social Network. More recently, Jow appeared on the the CW’s hit TV series The Flash. Jow portrays the Korean-American TV reporter, Linda Park,  who is also married to Wally West in the comics. Although Jow’s role was short-lived, hopefully The CW will bring her character back. There’s definitely a lack of asian actresses in film and TV. I would love to see Jow come into her own and get her own show, or star in a movie. Jow is set to be in the TV series Filthy Preppy Teens, as of now there is still no news on the show. In the meantime check out Malese in CW’s The Flash below!

SAOIRSE RONAN

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Young Irish actress, Saoirse Ronan is an extraordinary talent, who first stole the screen in the fantasy movie The City Of Ember. Ronan went on to star in multiple flicks like the haunting The Lovely Bones, the action packed Hanna and Violet and Daisy, along with the Oscar winning film The Grand Budapest Hotel. Not only has Ronan been nominated for multiple Academy Awards, she is also one of the youngest actresses to be nominated. More recently Ronan is set to take on broadway in The Crucible, where she will play Abigail Williams.  Ronan also starred in the film Brooklyn where she plays the Irish immigrant Eilis. Brooklyn is up for an Oscar for best motion picture, along with Ronan for best actress. Although it is highly unlikely that Ronan is going to win, due to the current Jennifer Lawrence craze, Saoirse definitely deserves the award for her portrayal of Eilis. Brooklyn is definitely a film I can see myself revisiting in years to come. Can I say the same for Silver Linings Playbook or Joy? Most likely not. Check out how to pronounce the young starlets  tricky name below!

Featured Image by: Lady Aiko, you can check out some  more of her artwork here

Talking Advantageous with Jennifer Phang

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Last week, one of the most-lauded science fiction films of the year was released digitally, on demand, and in cinemas in New York and the Bay Area. The film, Advantageous, a special jury award-winner at Sundance, tells the story of a single mother and the sacrifices she makes for her daughter in a pre-dystopian, near-future not unlike our own time.

Starring Jacqueline Kim (Star Trek Generations), Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty), and Ken Jeong (The Hangover), the film’s writer/director Jennifer Phang recently joined Keith for a special one-on-one edition of Hard NOC Life.

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One on One with Arrow Director Lexi Alexander

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Arrow fans, are you ready for next week’s episode, “Beyond Redemption,”  directed by fan-favorite Lexi Alexander? Fortunately, the woman behind such films as Green Street and Punisher: War Zone — and one of the best follows on twitter — was kind enough to sit down with Keith to talk media representation, directing superheroes, and whether she should be a permanent guest host of Hard NOC Life.

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#AskLexi II: We Are Lexi

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On a very cold sub-zero January evening in Minnesota (talking windchill -30 F people) , one of our favorite NOCs was ready for some questions. Director, writer, activist, martial artist, general badass, and real life superhero Lexi Alexander joined me at The NOC for another round of #AskLexi. I wasn’t prepared for the hundreds of fans that overwhelmed us with questions, but the feeling of love radiated out of the computer and warmed my heart in the chilly house. Here are some highlights.

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Are queer people of colour finally entering the mainstream?

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Media Diversified

by Phelan Chatterjee 

Recently I watched the first episode of Aziz Ansari’s Master of None with a friend. The first thing he pointed out was the seemingly in your face diversity; “Oh look, a Jew, a Pakistani and a black lesbian! They seem to be ticking all the boxes…”

This seems to be a fairly widespread view; that cultural output in the 21st century has become a ‘political correctness’ machine, churning out diversity quotas at the BFI, targets at Channel 4 and pesky Lenny Henry and now Idris Elba demanding minority representation.

But the fact remains that for far too long British film and television has been telling the stories of a strikingly narrow subsection of society. My friend’s comment got me thinking about my own family, which is South Asian and white, and my friends, who are white, black, Asian, Middle Eastern, Jewish, Muslim, Christian and atheist. They…

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Women Photographers at National Geographic

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While scrolling down the Instagram of National Geographic, I notice something odd and daunting for someone like me, who has considered photo-journalism for a career. Barely any photos by female photographers seem to show up on the lengths and lengths of the Nat Geo Instagram. Even more daunting is that this is something I have noticed also while reading their magazine and even checking out their Snap chat stories.

Of course, photojournalism is a difficult task, and even more so for women when traveling alone is much more dangerous and even frowned upon.

Knowing the hardships of a female photojournalist, Cathy Newman documents the struggles and successes of many female photographers for National Geographic in her book Women Photographers at National Geographic.

Newman looks all the way back to 1914, where Eliza Scidmore immortalized a young Japanese child. She takes a look at practically all the famous females who were behind the camera for Nat Geo, including Margaret Bourke-White, Dickey Chapelle, Annie Griffiths Belt, Dorothy Hosmer, Edith Watson, and so many more.

I know audio books are becoming increasingly popular in our fast paced world where there is not much time to read. But missing out on these glorious photos would be a terrible mistake. Check out the book where you can find it on Amazon for a whopping $0.01.

(Cathy Newman above)

Neighbors 2

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An interesting new twist comes along in the sequel to Neighbors (awarded best comedy of 2014). Starring Chloe Grace Moretz, along with the fantastic Kiersey Clemons, Beanie Feldstein and even Selena Gomez. Returning main characters of the last movie go head to head against the new sorority in town that is changing the rules. Changing the image of the “prefect sorority,” Moretz, Clemons, and Feldstein are the founders of a new type of sorority in which they party they way they want and are not restricted by the social norms.

I am really looking forward to this movie, the trailer (linked above) looks great. My favorite scene from the trailer must be when Beanie Feldstein flies out the window of a car and immediately gets up and runs away.

Also, if you haven’t heard, The Fifth Wave, Starring Chloe Grace Moretz as well, is coming out soon. Shaking up the old tall tale of aliens, Moretz goes up against them in this action thriller. If you’d like to check out the trailer it is linked below.

 

Camren Bicondova and Angel Gibbs New Choreography & Tinashe’s “Party Favors”

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It is easy to tell how much fun the Gotham sensation, Camren Bicondova, and her good friend and amazing dancer Angel Gibbs, is having. Their own personalities shine in their choreography, and they aren’t afraid to show their mistakes as well. Although they are young dancers they can definitely hold their own with some of the best dancers, as both have proved on their run on the TV show ABDC with their crew 8 Flavahz. Also, song choice is top notch with Tinashe’s “Party Favors.”

If you have the chance also check out Tinashe’s music video for “Party Favors” linked below. Definitely a great video as well and well done with representation for transgender individuals.

Grimes- Kill V. Maim

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From Grimes’ new Album ‘Art Angels’ comes Kill V. Maim, her new song and video taking on a cyberpunk, dystopian fantasy. But the party goes on in the video, with amazing contrasts and cute cartoon pop ups that seem to fit right in. The synth pop singers eerie aura seems to radiate well in this video with, what must be, inspiration from the film Mad Max. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet I suggest you do at the link above.

Five Potential Superhero Roles For Jennifer Lopez

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Although American Idol is coming to a close, host, singer, actress, and entertainment icon Jennifer Lopez isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Last year she co-starred with Viola Davis in the critically acclaimed thriller, Lila & Eve. Currently she can also be seen on the NBC police drama, Shades of Blue.

It was around this time last year when Lopez made it known that she’d be interested in landing a superhero role.

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My Top 15 Television Series of 2015

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They say there’s nothing  good on television. Clearly, more than a few shows were trying to disprove that saying. 2015 kept me busy in terms of reviewing shows but more than a few proved to be well worth it.

As is the standard, for a series to be reviewed (much less nominated), it must meet the guidelines of my Media Litmus Test.

So without further adieu, the following are my Top 15 Television Series of 2015:

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Chris Lebron on the invisibility of black women

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Feminist Philosophers

Chris Lebron (Yale) has a wonderful new piece in The Boston Review on the invisibility of black women in our discussions of race and civil rights.

Over the past few years, as the mainstream media reported a seemingly endless stream of stories about black men being killed by police, one could be forgiven for thinking that black women are not victimized to the same degree. Such a contention would be tragically misguided and would be complicit in black women’s public invisibility. Though Sandra Bland’s suicide following her abusive arrest made national headlines—as did the shooting of nineteen-year-old Renisha McBride when she sought help at a white family’s door after crashing her car—few Americans have heard about the many other black women who have fallen victim to the same racist forces that choked the life out of Eric Garner: Yvette Smith, Malissa Williams, and Rekia Boyd name but a few.

And…

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