Sofia Wylie Will ‘Bring Some Realness’ To The School For Good And Evil

“I’m certain this hotel’s haunted,” the actress Sofia Wylie says about 15 minutes into our call. When we speak, she’s recently arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she is filming Netflix’s adaptation of Soman Chainani’s beloved fantasy series, The School for Good Evil. In her first film role, she’ll star alongside seasoned actors like Charlize Theron and Kerry Washington as Agatha, a brooding young girl with a flair for formless black dresses and a bald cat named Reaper — that is, not the kind of character who’s afraid of ghosts. “My TV just turned on, that’s not terrifying at all,” Wylie adds. “I’m definitely going to call my parents to have them come over after this.”

Haunted hotel rooms or not, the work never stops, especially for a Capricorn like Wylie, whose varied pursuits have taken her from dancing backup for Justin Bieber to a modeling contract with IMG, a top agency that also represents Bella Hadid and Ashley Graham. At 17, she’s best known for the role of sophomore transfer student Gina Porter in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, which kicks off its second season on Friday (May 14); before that, she entered the Disney Channel fold as the outspoken Buffy Driscoll in Andi Mack. “I think I would get bored if I ever just settled on one thing,” she says. “I just want to keep growing as much as I can.”

When she’s not acting, or modeling, or singing, or fending off spirits, Wylie is a normal teen, trying to earn her high school diploma, decide what comes after and, in her spare time, nail the latest TikTok dance challenge to her favorite Blackpink song. Ahead of the Season 2 premiere of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Wylie tells MTV News about managing it all and what she’s bringing to her debut feature-length role.

MTV News: Could you tell me a little bit about what we can expect from Gina on Season 2 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series?

Sofia Wylie: Gina is trying to figure out if she’s going to stay at East High. If she does stay, the biggest thing she’s going to struggle with is who she wants to be at East High now that she’s permanently here or here for a longer period of time, because she’s so used to hopping around. She has to figure out who she wants to be in this new place and who she wants to be around, too. She gets to play. I got to act with a lot more actors this season, which I enjoyed so much. And I think a lot of people will enjoy the new dynamics that are experimented with this season, because there’s a lot of relationships and chaos that ensues.

MTV News: Are you also balancing school on top of shooting everything?

Wylie: Sadly, I am. It’s the worst. I am so excited to just get to the finish line. I have a semester and a half left. I’m going to finish a little bit early, which will be nice. I’m just very intrigued by the idea of being on set and just getting to focus on the work because I currently am having to focus on the work and the schoolwork, which is not a fun little balancing act.

MTV News: Are you thinking about college or are you going straight into working as an actress?

Wylie: That’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. You’re always told you go to school, you go to more school, then go to work, then you retire, and that’s how your life is. But I’ve realized that it’s not like that for everybody, and I think some of the unconventional ways of living just work better for some people. I think education is so important, but I also want to dedicate my life to acting as much as I can.

MTV News: Right now, you’re shooting The School for Good and Evil. What can you tell us about the show and about your character, Agatha?

Wylie: I’ve been doing a lot of scene-studying and trying to figure out my character because we’re still in pre-production. It’s really exciting taking a book and creating a whole movie or series off of that because you get to bring that character to life. There’s a huge fan base for the books and so many people who love Agatha because of her well-rounded character. She’s so snarky and grouchy but then also has such a good heart and soul. That’s what I really loved about her, reading the books and reading the script, that she has so many layers.

MTV News: What do you hope to bring to the role of Agatha, maybe from your own life or from your own personality?

Wylie: There’s this moment within the books when she realizes she’s always been beautiful. One of her big insecurities is feeling as though she’s hideous and ugly because people have treated her as though she is for so much of her life. And I think that’s such a wonderful message to know that it is not about what is physically there that’s important, but how you see yourself. And the way you see yourself radiates out and that’s what creates beauty. That’s something that I personally can really relate to, that voice inside of your head, how much power it has. I deal with those doubts and those insecurities. And I think I can really bring some realness to Agatha in that sense because I know, as a teenage girl, it can be very difficult to overcome that voice.

MTV News: Are there any moments where you look back and see that you overcame something like that?

Wylie: I think a lot of young girls and boys who look like me, who are mixed, growing up in this world with the specific beauty standards that I might not necessarily fit, it can make you want to just fit into that mold, to change. I definitely did that growing up, where I thought, OK, everyone around me is blonde with straight hair. I need to look like that if I want to be beautiful. I eventually realized I have been blessed with something so unique and that is a part of me. Once I realized that, so many things changed for me. I started booking so many more jobs because I was coming into auditions with a characteristic of myself that makes me stand out and makes me unique.

MTV News: And now you’ve even signed with IMG Models. What is it about the fashion and beauty industries that excite you?

Wylie: I’ll look back at videos on my iPad that I had when I was 6 and there are just these hour-long fashion shows I would put on for myself, these music videos I would create. I’ve always loved fashion and performing. But a lot of people are realizing how important representation is. I’m hoping that for the generation that is coming, that everybody is able to grow up seeing someone who looks like them and knowing that they can do that, too. Seeing someone that looks like you succeed just gives you so much more confidence. I hope that by me pursuing whatever it is within the fashion industry or acting, or singing and dancing, that it allows another young mixed girl to know they can do it, too.

MTV News: I saw you were dancing to a Blackpink song on TikTok. Are there other K-pop groups that you follow?

Wylie: I really like Twice, BTS, and Blackpink. One of my favorite things about K-pop is the performance aspect of it and how each performer has such a unique thing that they bring. I will always be learning their dances at 4 a.m. in the morning.

MTV News: What do you do when you’re procrastinating?

Wylie: I love reading. During a semester that I was really behind, my mom was like, “We can go to Barnes and Noble if you finish your classes early.” So I’m trying to finish my classes as fast as possible and I’m thinking in my head afterward, “Am I really working hard on my schoolwork so that I can then read afterward? Who did I become?”

MTV News: Out of all the things you do — modeling, acting, dancing — what is your biggest passion through it all?

Wylie: That is a very hard question because there have been different points of my life where I would have confidently said dancing is going to be the thing I pursue for the rest of my life, or acting is the thing. I don’t think I ever want to just pursue one thing. And I always want to be very multifaceted in that sense of wanting to produce one day, wanting to direct, wanting to act, wanting to create a clothing line, wanting to do fashion, wanting to model. I think I would get bored if I ever just settled on one thing. I just want to keep growing as much as I can.

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Miss E… So Addictive Unleashed Missy Elliott’s Future. 20 Years Later, We’re Still Catching Up

By Alex Gonzalez

When Missy Elliott got into the studio to record her third album Miss E… So Addictive, the bar was already set high. Her first album, 1997’s Supa Dupa Fly, was accompanied by iconic music videos for “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” and “Sock it 2 Me” that found her dancing in outlandish costumes to elaborate choreography on cinematic sets in collaboration with visionary director Hype Williams. For Missy’s sophomore effort, Da Real World, Williams likewise created the visual for “She’s a Bitch” all while Missy’s continued creative partnership with Timbaland earned her a Guinness World Record when “Hot Boyz” hit 18 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot Rap Singles chart.

Entering the new millennium with So Addictive, released 20 years ago this week on May 15, 2001, the pressure should’ve been on. Yet Missy told MTV News the entire behind-the-scenes experience yielded “a very stress-free album.” “We worked in Westlake Studios in L.A. and we caught a good vibe there! The vibe was very futuristic and retro mixed,” she said in an email. “It varied from ‘Dog in Heat’ and ‘One Minute Man’ — that had the old school vibe — to ‘Get Ur Freak On’ and ‘Slap! Slap! Slap!,’ where the sounds were futuristic, so you got a nice cocktail of music.”

The sound and mood-spanning album and its accompanying music videos still hold up as ahead of their time today. During recording, Missy set out to create music that the listeners would not only hear but also feel. On the album’s lead single “Get Ur Freak On,” Missy raps, “Me and Timbaland been hot since 20 years ago,” a line that holds even more resonance two decades later.

“When we’re in the studio together, she pushes me to the next level,” Timbaland told MTV News. “So Addictive was a very impactful album. And it was very critical for her because she wanted to make each song and each visual different. Every album she does, she’s always like, ‘I’ve gotta be better than the last.’”

Though it was released as the project’s lead single, “Get Ur Freak On” was actually the last track Missy recorded for So Addictive. Timbaland insisted the album was solid and complete, but Missy pressed for one more song. “He went up and down the keyboard, and finally I heard the ‘Get Ur Freak On’ sound, and I said, hey that right there — that is crazzzzzy!” Missy said in an email. “So I ran in the booth with only three sounds on that record. It wasn’t the complete song the world knows now, but I went in and rapped on it and when I came out of the booth, Tim said, ‘That’s crazy.’ Guess he wasn’t mad at me anymore!”

With its infectious Punjabi-influenced melody, “Get Ur Freak On” is a song Timbaland says came from “just vibing in the studio.”

“When I found that sound, I was like, ooh, this feels like India, or ooh, this feels like Bombay,” Timbaland said. “And when people ask me, ‘What was you thinking?’ I’m like, everything you was thinking. I was searching for something that was going to take me somewhere I ain’t never been… It’s like playing a video game. Sometimes you put it on pause. You come back the next day and you see it different. It’s the same thing when you create. That’s how me and Missy are. That’s how we create.”

Timbaland admits he never watches Missy record her songs, as Missy prefers to get in her zone solo. The same process applies to her music videos. So Timbaland, who appears in several of the clips alongside her, was kept in the dark about the concepts Missy imagined until the actual days of filming.

The cameo-filled music video for “Get Ur Freak On” went equally big with Missy grooving in a jungle as dancers wiggle from trees around her. It marked her first team-up with Dave Meyers, who quickly became her go-to visual collaborator for the next 20 years. Near the end of the clip, Missy swings from a chandelier, an element that almost didn’t make it into the video.

“Whatever I would visualize, [Meyers] would try to make happen,” Missy said in an email. “I said at the last minute, I want a chandelier to hang from in my video, and he said ‘OK!’ I said, but I want it to be a big oversized one… and he said, ‘OK!’ He said, ‘Somebody go find Missy a chandelier for her to hang from,’ and Gina Harrell from the video department at the label was like, ‘But we are over budget,’ and Dave was like, ‘But we need it, so let’s find it.’ I don’t even know how much that thing cost but I’m probably still paying for it.”

Another star of Missy’s visuals alongside Missy herself was Trina, who appears in “Get Ur Freak On” and raps on the remix of “One Minute Man.” The two first met in 2000 during spring break at Daytona Beach. At the time, Trina was hot off the release of her debut album, Da Baddest Bitch. Missy recruited the Miami rapper to appear on her own LP.

“Mona [Scott-Young, Missy’s then-manager,] reached out to me like, ‘Hey, Missy’s got this record for you. She wants you to jump on it with Ludacris,’” Trina recalled. “I was excited. Then Missy called me maybe a week or so after that like, ‘Mona said she sent you this, I want to make sure you’re feeling it.’ I remember I was kind of sick at the time. I had a cold. And she had to turn it in I think that day or the next day, and I was like, oh my God, I want to get my voice together. I had no time, I had a deadline. So I had to do it with a scratchy voice, sounding very raspy. And I was like, ah, I hate my voice. And everybody was like, ‘We love it, we love it.’”

In the video for “One Minute Man,” Missy dances in a luxury hotel with colorful rooms, bouncy beds, and even defies gravity in a dojo. In a particularly memorable scene, she pulls her own head off of her neck and continues to sing. Trina said she has been a fan of Missy since the beginning of her career, but she remembers being shocked by the video for “She’s a Bitch.” When it was time to film her part for the “One Minute Man” video, she had no idea what to expect.

“She just said, ‘I’m shooting my video. I need you to be in L.A. Mona’s gonna hit up your manager with all the info,’” Trina said. “‘Everything’s going to be there. All you’ve got to do is show up.’ She didn’t give me no detail, no nothing. So just imagine me, I’m new in the game, I pulled up to her video, and it’s like a museum, because there are dancers hanging off the wall, there’s face paint, and there’s a big bed and it’s moving up and down. It was just next level. It was like being on a production of a movie.”

In addition to instantly iconic music videos, the album’s futuristic sounds made it feel like a brand-new experience. With Timbaland and Missy collaborating on fresh, forward-thinking beats and sonic templates, Missy earned her first Grammys; “Get Ur Freak On” won the award for Best Rap Solo Performance and album cut “Scream a.k.a. Itchin’” won for Best Female Rap Solo Performance.

But immortalizing those fresh sounds was no easy task. Before the days of digital software Pro Tools and FL Studio, Missy and Timbaland recorded vocals and instrumentals on large tapes called reels, which Missy has described as “a headache” to use.

“They required more labor,” Timbaland says. “You grab the tape, you put the tape in, and you have to line it up.  And then the engineer had to go run to work the tape machine, and then run to the back to change the tape and lock the tape… We were in a time where our brains were working faster than what the world was doing.”

To this day, Miss E… So Addictive remains one of Missy’s most revered albums. Her artful visuals have since earned her an MTV Video Vanguard Award in 2019 — “I have worked diligently for over two decades, and I never thought that I would be standing up here receiving this award,” she said in her acceptance — and the six-beat “Get Ur Freak On” melody is one of the most recognizable sounds in pop music.

Outside of her own music, Missy’s pen game is untouchable. In 2002, she collaborated with Trina again to produce “No Panties,” the lead single from her sophomore album Diamond Princess. She has also written and produced tracks for Mya, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton, and more.

But So Addictive captures Missy’s ambition not only as a musician but as an artist. “There were no boundaries when it came to my artistry and music,” she said in an email. “I did what felt good to me and not what was the trend — so if you weren’t following the trends, you basically had to break the boundaries.”

“It was all about the Missy era,” Trina said. “It was the sound, it was the collaborations, it was the videos, the creativity, the space performances. It was just everything that she gave to the game. I don’t feel like there’s any artists in the game that have been as creative as Missy Elliott. I feel like she’s a genius and she deserves all her flowers.”

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Siesta Key Showdown: Did Juliette Go ‘Too Far’ In Her War With Kelsey?

Two wrongs typically don’t make a right, but Juliette seems determined to give it the old college try.

Tonight’s season premiere saw the queen of Siesta Key at odds again with Kelsey, still reeling from her former ride-or-die’s “ultimate betrayal.” Memory refresh: Kelsey accused Juliette of being with Sam (enter “the new kingdom“) for his money, giving both Jules and Sam a piece of her mind. Despite Kels admitting on the reunion special that she totally “f*cked up,” the frenemies haven’t quite moved on.

“I can’t forget her having that lunch with Sam and telling him all those things. That was mean. Kelsey really came off high-key jealous,” Juliette confided to their mutual friend Joe, also dubbing Kelsey’s new swimwear line “basic.”

Jules, who just so happens to also be launching her own collection of suits, then hit below the belt bikini line and went after Kelsey’s new boyfriend Max.

“The first time we met Max, he’s friends with Kelsey and I’s friends, so they were trying to hook me up with Max first,” she shared. “So that always bothered her.”

Dueling boyfriends and bikini lines? Guess not much has changed in Siesta Key. Fast forward to Amanda’s movie screening, when Joe cornered Kelsey for a “sit-down” to rehash Juliette’s remarks.

“She said some shady sh*t about you,” he said. “She was asking about your swimwear line. She brought up Max. I didn’t know it was a Juliette and Max thing first.”

Needless to say, Kelsey was pissed, and she was quick to set him straight. Then she marched straight to the source.

“Joe brought it to my attention that you were talking sh*t behind my back, and you were bringing my boyfriend, as well as my swimwear, into it? Did I steal Max from you?” Kelsey sarcastically asked Juliette. “The weird stuff that’s going on right now, I thought we were going to keep between us. And then you go and talk behind my back and make up bullsh*t.”

Juliette defended her actions, which Kelsey dubbed more “childish games” before (literally) crying to Madisson.

“I’m tired of the people I think I trust coming after the things I care about most like my relationship and my business,” she said.

Ever the voice of reason, Madisson was quick to point out that Kelsey sorta had it coming: “You messed up with Jules once. I think she feels like you came for her relationship, so she’s like, ‘Here’s a little taste of your own medicine, Kelsey.'”

Juliette knew she “went too far” in her comments about Max, later admitting that she “was still really upset” about Kelsey’s interfering in her relationship with Sam.

“I never wanted to hurt Kelsey, but I guess I’d reached my breaking point with her,” she said in a voiceover. “We were all evolving and changing as we grew up, and so were our friendships and our relationships.”

Was Juliette justified, or should she have tried to be the bigger person? Sound off, then tune in to an all-new episode Wednesday at 8/7c.

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‘Baby Mode!’: Can Heidi Convince Spencer To Have Another Hills Child?

Heidi repeatedly stated on The Hills: New Begininngs Season 1 that she was ready to have more children. And during the Season 2 premiere, the MTV mom’s stance hadn’t changed one bit; in fact, her desire to have more babies had only intensified.

During tonight’s episode, the MTV mom ditched her birth control (more specifically, she buried it at Brody’s ceremony) and purchased a slew of pregnancy tests.

“Baby mode! I’ve been ready for a year,” Heidi enthusiastically told Spencer. “I only have so much time to have a baby, and I already was putting my plans on hold.”

However, Spencer was apprehensive about expanding their brood.

“I’m just so concerned that once you get back into mom mode, you forget about yourself,” Spencer said. “Not even me — I know I’m forgotten about. But I think you would want to worry about yourself a little bit. Just throwing that out there. Clearly, you’ve already made a plan.”

Fast-forward to Heidi taking a test — and telling Spencer that she was not expecting.

“I thought we were getting more serious about trying to get pregnant,” she told her husband, as he enjoyed his favorite food (chicken pot pie).

Spencer thought they were just talking about it, while she believed they had decided on it. He explained in a solo interview that when they tried for their first baby, they conceived right after she stopped taking birth control. He pointed out that this was “probably a fluke” and this go around was different.

“I think one of the main factors different between how you got pregnant last time and this time is you had no stress last time,” he told a teary Heidi. “Your life was so relaxing. There was no pandemic; you weren’t trying to run a business.”

Spencer tried to calm Heidi down, but Heidi couldn’t contain her emotions, and he told her to stop being so hard on herself. But Heidi had a tough time hearing his encouraging words.

“I’m seeing it slip away — I’m going to run out of time,” she confessed in private. “I feel like my life is getting so limited, and I feel frustrated that Spencer and I aren’t on the same page right now.”

So will they get on the same page? And will Heidi take Spencer’s words to heart to not put so much pressure on the situation? Be sure to watch the longtime couple on The Hills: New Beginnings every Wednesday at 8/7c.

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‘I Failed Her’: Briana Makes A Sobering Teen Mom 2 Admission About Stella

Briana says she “doesn’t know what to do anymore” about Luis. The context: During tonight’s Teen Mom 2 episode, Stella’s father contacted the young mom about seeing their three-year-old daughter. But when it came time to meet up, after Briana communicated the details for the outing at a trampoline park, Luis didn’t show up.

“He said that he overslept, and he hasn’t slept the last three days,” Briana told Roxanne after the girls got home (while reading text messages from her ex). “He said ‘sorry.’ I said, ‘I don’t need an apology — you owe Stella an apology because she asked for you.'”

Luis admitted he wanted to develop a plan to spend more time with Stella because he recently accepted a local position. He also expressed that he wanted a closer relationship with his little girl, but Briana did not respond.

Said Roxanne: “The fact that he slept through, that is the worst excuse anybody can give anybody.”

In private, Briana expressed her deep frustration and sadness with the situation.

“I feel like I’m trying to protect Stella and show her as much love as I possibly can,” Briana said during a diary cam. “It’s just hard to see Nova with her father and then Stella not with her dad. I know Stella doesn’t understand right now, but later down the road, when she gets older, she will. What am I supposed to say to her?”

She continued: “It’s really hard as a mom. I feel so guilty bringing her into this world and her not being able to experience both parents. I feel like I failed her. I failed her, and I knew this was going to happen, and I failed her.”

Keep watching Teen Mom 2 every Tuesday to see if Luis does, in fact, spend more time with Stella.

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Jay-Z, Foo Fighters, Tina Turner And More Will Be Inducted Into Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Jay-Z‘s Empire State of Mind is well documented, but what about a Buckeye State of Mind? He’ll find out later this year when he celebrates his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

The rap great joins a crop of performers including Tina Turner, Carole King, The Go-Go’s, Foo Fighters, and Todd Rundgren for its class of 2021, what the organization calls its most diverse group of inductees ever.

Indeed, the six honored acts this year span generations of pop, soul, new wave, alternative rock, and hip-hop; the induction of Turner, King, and The Go-Go’s marks the very first time three female artists have made it in via the performers category in the same class.

In addition, an accolade called the Musical Excellence Award will be given to rap icon LL Cool J, late soul/R&B legend Billy Preston, and late metal guitarist Randy Rhoads. Meanwhile, German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk, late jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron, and Delta blues musician Charley Patton will receive the Early Influence Award. The Rock Hall’s Ahmet Ertegun Award, which is given to non-performing music industry professionals, will be presented to executive Clarence Avant.

John Sykes, the chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, said in a statement that this year’s class embody the spirit of the institution: “This diverse class of talented inductees reflects the Rock Hall’s ongoing commitment to honor artists whose music created the sound of youth culture.”

If it seems like Dave Grohl, evergreen spokesperson for all things rock, should already be in the Rock Hall, don’t worry: He is, having been inducted in 2014 as part of Nirvana. The same goes for 20th-century music icons Carole King and Tina Turner, who were both previously inducted for their work as halves of duos. King and her songwriting partner Gerry Goffin — who penned hits like “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “Chains,” “The Loco-Motion” and dozens more — were inducted in 1990; Turner made it in the following year for her long partnership with Ike Turner, which yielded “River Deep – Mountain High,” “Proud Mary,” and more.

The nominations for the 2021 Rock Hall class were unveiled in February and also included Mary J. Blige, Iron Maiden, Rage Against the Machine, Kate Bush, Devo, Chaka Khan, Fela Kuti, New York Dolls, and Dionne Warwick. An act is eligible for inclusion at least 25 years after the release of its first commercial recording.

The 2021 Rock & Rock Hall of Fame induction ceremony, its 36th, will take place on October 30 and will air on HBO and stream on HBO Max at a later date.

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Scarlett Johansson Will Receive The Generation Award At The 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards

Scarlett Johansson has been working in the entertainment industry for over two decades. Long before she was an action star and an actual Avenger, her earliest credits dated back to the 1990s, where she inhabited child and teen roles before taking on deeper, more challenging projects and becoming a critical darling in beloved films by the Coen Brothers, Christopher Nolan, Spike Jonze, and more. In 2019, she joined an elite club by receiving two Academy Award nominations in the same year, thanks to her work in both Marriage Story and JoJo Rabbit.

It’s not a stretch to say that Johansson’s work has spanned an entire generation. At the 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards, that designation will become official: Johansson will receive the Generation Award during the ceremony, set to air on MTV on Sunday, May 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

The Generation Award “celebrates beloved actors whose diverse contributions to both film and television have turned them into household names,” according to a press release. Throughout her quarter-century in the industry, Johansson has made singular impacts in the realms of film, television, and music, turning her into a powerhouse whose work has landed her six Movie & TV Awards nominations throughout her career. She took home her very first Golden Popcorn in 2013 for Best Fight, thanks to a little film called The Avengers.

Accepting the Generation Aware, Johansson will be in good company. Previous award recipients of this honor include fellow indelible performers Sandra Bullock, Jim Carrey, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr, Jamie Foxx, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Mike Myers, Chris Pratt, Adam Sandler, Will Smith, Mark Wahlberg, Reese Witherspoon, and more.

It’s been two years since Avengers: Endgame took the top honor of Best Movie at the 2019 Movie & TV Awards, so if you miss Johansson as Marvel’s Natasha Romanoff, a lynchpin in the Avengers films for over a decade, you’re in luck. She reprises the role in standalone film Black Widow, set to hit theaters July 9.

Hosted by Leslie Jones, this year’s MTV Movie & TV Awards will to celebrate the biggest moments in film and TV from the past year. Sacha Baron Cohen is set to receive the Comedic Genius Award. Find the full list of nominees here.

This year’s party is so big that it can’t be contained to a single special: The first-ever MTV Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted, hosted by Nikki Glaser, will air the next night, Monday, May 17, to honor all the best in reality TV.

The 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards will air live on Sunday, May 16 from the Palladium in Los Angeles at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The inaugural Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted will air on Monday, May 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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‘Party’s Here’ (Again!): Jersey Shore: Family Vacation Is Back

“The family is back.”

Jersey Shore: Family Vacation will return on June 3, and big moments are in store for the longtime roomies as they venture to the Pocono Mountains. From Jenni’s engagement to Baby Sitch (plus some blue powder), the gang is about to have a vacation you “won’t shoreget.”

And there’s also a familiar face — popping out of a cake.

It’s Snooki!

We love the Poconos this time of year! Watch the video to see more of the lovable fam, and do not miss the return of Jersey Shore on Thursday, June 3 at 8/7c!

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Bebe Rexha Goes Deeper: ‘People Need Real Right Now’

By Jack Irvin

As Bebe Rexha settles into a Zoom call from her Los Angeles home, I preface our interview by letting her know it’s “for Rexhars and Bad Bitches only,” referencing a 2017 viral clip in which the pop star yells at “perverts” telling her to “take [her] clothes off” in the comments of an Instagram Live chat. “Yay! Finally,” Rexha says, unwrapping a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup after a long day of press. “Now let’s get the real fucking talking out.”

Rexha isn’t afraid to say exactly what she’s thinking, and it shows in her songwriting. On confessional hits “I’m a Mess” and “Me, Myself & I” with G-Eazy, she sings candidly about her experiences with anxiety, depression, and self-acceptance. It also appears in her social media presence, which features equally candid and often unfiltered discourse with fans, as well as funny photos and clips that are frequent fodder for stan Twitter memes. Where some viral videos capture her making “power-bitch moves,” as when she’s caught confidently strutting in a bright red suit, others find her overcome with emotion: In one clip, she covers her face with her hands and cries during an interview. Rexha is well-aware of her tendency to freely express her thoughts and emotions, but how does she feel when these vulnerable moments are shared among the masses?

“I’ve seen them sometimes, like the one of me crying… [and] the ‘pervert’ one I know, but I didn’t know how big it became until I had people coming to my shows and saying it to me,” Rexha tells MTV News. “If I look good and it’s cute, yeah, I like it. But if I look like shit and they’re making fun of me, no.”

Prior to our conversation, Rexha didn’t know the “power bitch moves” video had made the rounds online, but with her sophomore LP Better Mistakes — her most liberated body of work to date — out in the world as of last week, she says the album certainly counts as one. “A power-bitch move to me is anything that requires putting yourself out there,” she says. “This album is a power-boss-bitch move.”

Better Mistakes comes nearly three years after the release of her debut album Expectations, a gap elongated by changes to the pop star’s team. (She signed to Salxco Management in September 2020.) As she began to craft the new project, Rexha wanted it to live in the same catchy, vulnerable realm of the self-deprecating “I’m a Mess,” which she feels “most connected to” of her catalog of hits. From there, she was inspired to write songs like the piano-driven, self-destructive “Sabotage” and rock-laced “Break My Heart Myself,” which opens the album with direct references to her experience living with bipolar disorder, taking Klonopin to remedy its symptoms, and fearing her own intrusive thoughts. Through her no-holds-barred lyricism and openness about her bipolar diagnosis, which she shared publicly in 2019, she’s always been honest with fans about her mental health. But now she’s letting listeners into her head like never before.

“When I was younger, I would have loved to have somebody to look up to that was open about [mental health], so I didn’t feel so alone,” she says. “It’s something that’ll always be a part of me, and I was thinking if I’m real with my fans, maybe there’s somebody out there who will listen to it and it’ll help them.”

Writing about these often-taboo topics comes easily to Rexha, a seasoned songwriter who’s also penned hits for superstar artists like Selena Gomez (“Like a Champion,” “Crowded Room”), as well as Eminem and Rihanna (“The Monster”). However, she still gets pangs of nervousness before releasing such intimate tracks about her mental health due to how they affect one listener in particular. “My mother, for some reason, feels like she made a mistake and fucked up in some way,” she says. Rexha wrote the Queen-sampling track “Mama” about her mom’s endless support. “I love her to this day. She gets a little upset when I put songs out [about my mental health], but I’m a grown woman now, and people need real right now.”

Rexha was nearly done with Better Mistakes prior to the pandemic, but after its onset, she decided to take more time to sit with it. Then, she started to feel “really bored” and tired of the compositions’ gloomy nature, so she added songs like the club-ready “Sacrifice” and trap crooner “Amore.” These brought bursts of positive, upbeat energy to the project’s eclectic set of pop, dance, hip-hop, rock, and alternative sounds. “I’m like genre-fluid or something,” Rexha declares. “It’s painful for somebody to be like, ‘You have to write one whole album and have it all be one genre.’ Like, I would literally lose my shit.”

One of the only genres she opted to avoid on the album is country, despite the fact that her 2017 single “Meant to Be” with Florida Georgia Line is her biggest hit, with 50 weeks at No. 1 on country radio, a Grammy nomination, and more recently, a Diamond certification from the RIAA for 10 million units sold. “That was a song that lives on its own,” she says, noting that she “wasn’t in the mood” to further explore play with its stripped, plucky tunes this time around, though she’s considering a Nashville writing trip in the near future. In many ways, her foray into Western styles was unexpected, as was the monstrous success of “Meant to Be.” “We did not follow any rules whatsoever,” she adds. “I don’t like following rules.”

She shared the same sentiment working on Better Mistakes by doing what comes naturally to her, and has just so happened to score her many — often unpredictable — hits in the past: collaborating with other musicians. She gathered a group of artists she admires and who simply “felt right” for the record, including Travis Barker (“Break My Heart Myself”), Ty Dolla $ign and Trevor Daniel (“My Dear Love”), Lil Uzi Vert (“Die For a Man”), Doja Cat (“Baby I’m Jealous”), Pink Sweat$ and Lunay (“On the Go”), and Rick Ross (“Amore”). Flexing her curatorial skills, the inclusion of such high-profile features makes the album sound like a top Spotify playlist, a savvy move in today’s listening climate.

Rexha also wants to uplift other artists with her work, hosting the annual Women in Harmony events to bring together women in the music industry to discuss their experiences. She hopes to collaborate with many more women in the future, and an appearance by Doja Cat on Better Mistakes (“I love her vibe. She’s an amazing person,” she says) is a start. “With girls, there’s still a sense of competitiveness in this industry, and it’s really sad,” she says. “I see a lot of other artists who also say they support women, and I know them behind the scenes, and they don’t. They’re not what they say they are, and that’s really shitty.”

Though Rexha still experiences “moments of self-doubt,” she says she’s “definitely in a better place” with her mental health today than she was while writing Better Mistakes. Yet even the fact that she’s also been in a relationship with filmmaker Keyan Safyari since last year doesn’t drive the musician to write about bright subjects like love. Instead, the album features lyrics that chronicle feelings of emptiness and bring a touch of cheekiness to emotional highs and lows (“I know that it’s crazy to die for you, but I’d do it tonight,” she sings on “Death Row.”), making for a dark, edgy listen. “I thrive in darker, minor keys, and darker lyrics and concepts,” she says. “I’m good with my love life, but I can’t write a love song. It’s really hard for me.”

While she felt some of the classic sophomore-album pressure to recapture the success of her debut, above all else Rexha set out to create each song on Better Mistakes without creative restraint or extreme-hit potential in mind. “Right now, it’s more about writing songs that make me happy, and to really keep defining who I am as an artist,” she says. “Then if the song blows up, that’s even more incredible. But if not, it doesn’t define me as a human.” Now that the album’s out, however, how does Rexha want to be defined as an artist? “Like I do whatever the fuck I want,” she says. “I want people to be like, ‘What’s Bebe going to do next?’”

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DJ Snoopadelic And Kim Lee Bring The Beats To MTV Movie & TV Awards

In just a little over a week, on Sunday, May 17, the MTV Movie & TV Awards will celebrate the best in television and film, from breakthrough performances to the slickest on-screen smooches. But the ceremony wouldn’t be complete without a sizzling score, which is why the multi-hyphenate rapper, actor, and media personality DJ Snoopadelic, a.k.a. Snoop Dogg, will bring the beats to this year’s show. It all goes down Sunday, May 16, hosted by the comedian and Saturday Night Live alum Leslie Jones.

The main ceremony will be followed by the first-ever MTV Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted special, which will toast all things reality TV on Monday, May 17. Holding it down alongside the hilariously unfiltered Nikki Glaser, who will emcee, will be the sounds of internationally renowned DJ Kim Lee. Lee first tried her hand at the turntables with encouragement from Black Eyed Peas’s and later brought her love of music to Yo! MTV Raps on MTV Asia.

More recently, she starred in Netflix’s documentary series Bling Empire, which follows a group of ultra-wealthy Asian and Asian-American socialites living in Los Angeles. It is one of the leading Unscripted nominees with two nods, including for Best Docu-Reality Series. RuPaul’s Drag Race leads the Unscripted nominations with four nods total.

The multi-day event will celebrate music in a massive way with the addition of two new categories: Best Musical Moment (presented by Sonic Drive-In) at the MTV Movie & TV Awards and Best Music Documentary at the MTV Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted. The former highlights the instantly iconic songs that soundtracked film, including “I Wanna Rock” from Cobra Kai and Black Is King’s “Brown Skin Girl.” The latter showcases the films, like Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry and Ariana Grande: Excuse Me, I Love You, that let us into the lives of our favorites artists.

Tune into MTV’s Instagram Stories on Monday, May 10 through Tuesday, May 11 to vote for Best Music Documentary. Voting opens for Best Musical Moment opens Tuesday, May 11 and closes Friday, May 14.

The 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards will air live on Sunday, May 16 from the Palladium in Los Angeles at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The inaugural Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted will air on Monday, May 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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