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October 22nd, 2012
06:30 AM ET

EXCLUSIVE: The real 'Argo'? Alina Cho talks to embassy workers who eluded capture in Iran in 1979

The new film "Argo," directed by and starring Ben Affleck, is getting plenty of Oscar buzz.

It's based on an incredible true story of six American embassy workers who escaped capture during the Iranian Revolution in 1979. During the Iranian hostage crisis, 52 Americans were held for 444 days. It started in the Carter administration and ended the day Ronald Reagan took office. The movie documents the little known covert CIA operation that got them out.

This morning on "Early Start," Alina Cho shares her exclusive interview with the "real" embassy workers on whom the film was based.


Filed under: Entertainment • Iran
June 20th, 2012
01:30 PM ET

Sorkin's muses? Ashleigh Banfield and Christine Romans attend "The Newsroom" premiere, spot their contributions to the show

You may not know it, but there may be more CNN anchor influences in the new HBO show "The Newsroom" than you'd think.

On Monday night, "Early Start" co-host Ashleigh Banfield and CNN Business Correspondent Christine Romans attended the highly anticipated premiere of "The Newsroom." It's the newest project from screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, best known for his work on the TV show "The West Wing" and the movie "The Social Network."

Though Sorkin has insisted that his lead character in the show is not based on any specific news anchor, he did admit to Christine that the show's financial reporter was loosely based on her.

"He said, look, none of these characters are based on anyone. Except there's you in the Olivia Munn character. And he said now she'll grow on you," Romans says on "Starting Point" this morning. "I said, wait a minute, what is that supposed to mean, am I not going to like her? Is she's like crazy and socially inept? He said no, no, no, she always goes back to markets and the money. How every story is about the markets and the money. And who has the money and who needs the money and wants the money and how people are trying to get the money. And he said 'I've been watching you for years and that's what you always talk about.' It was really, really flattering."

Christine wasn't the only one whose work influenced the show. Ashleigh, a long-time friend of Sorkin's, admits she helped him work through early concepts of the show.

"One of his first questions was, 'Walk me through it. How does the whole thing start on a big breaking news story?' I said it doesn't start like you think it starts. It's an organic thing," Banfield says. She explained to Sorkin the chain of events that would lead to a big story getting covered by a news network, like the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. She says she provided him with at least 40 pages of notes on what it's like to work in news to help Sorkin shape the show.

You can see Ashleigh and Christine's contributions yourself when "The Newsroom" premieres on HBO this Sunday, June 24th at 10pm.

In the mean time, here are some photos from the premiere party last night. Of course, Piers Morgan had to jump in there for some of the fun!


Filed under: Entertainment
June 13th, 2012
10:57 AM ET

Joan of Snark: Comedian Joan Rivers talks about her book, says Obama and Romney are 'both idiots'

She's the legendary comedian, actress, jewelry mogul, and "Fashion Police" spotter. Of course, we could only be talking about Joan Rivers!

She's packed in all her jokes and put-downs into a blunt, uninhibited, totally uncensored book "I Hate Everyone...Starting With Me." Zoraida Sambolin recently sat down with her to to hear her really dish it out and also tell how she learned to take it.

Rivers talks about almost every topic under the sun, and gives her take on:

The Presidential race and candidates President Obama and Mitt Romney
"Both idiots...how dare you spend 2 years campaigning. This country is in trouble. They should do what England does – six weeks to find out what everyone thinks before they vote for them for Parliament...I find the whole thing disgusting."

On fashion and doing the red carpet
"The red carpet, when Melissa and I started doing it, you could say things...now everything is so closed. If you say something about Meryl Streep, her PR person won't let you have Tom Cruise...E! said please go back and do the carpet. Melissa and I said no, we'd much rather go back and do the next day and tell the truth."

On criticism she goes too far with her jokes
"I go sometimes too far on stage, but I'm at the age now where I really think my audience is my friends. I know it sounds stupid. I come on stage, and there are, like, 4,000 friends there...I think you must laugh at everything. Life is so terribly sad."

What she hates about herself
"Where do we start? My god, the breasts and you notice where I'm looking. The breasts, the thighs, the accent. Listen to myself on tape - you know, - everything."

On plastic surgery
"I did a little tweaks all my life. And that's the way people should do plastic surgery. You should do it that people don't really notice. They just say, doesn't she look good. I love when they say, she's rested. Yes, she fell asleep on the operating table."

On her opinion on less-than-beautiful people
"I hate ugly people. If you are ugly and you know who you are, I could start right now pointing out. Just get up and get out, because trust me, at the end of the evening, you're going to be just as ugly at least be home."

See more from Zoraida's sit down with Joan Rivers below. And don't miss our web extra, where she talks about the intelligence of pigeons in New York City.

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Joan Rivers: Romney, Obama 'both idiots'

Comedian Joan Rivers, author of "I Hate Everyone...Starting With Me," shares her blunt opinion of the presidential race.

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Joan Rivers on staying relevant

Comedian Joan Rivers, author of "I Hate Everyone...Starting With Me" talks about staying relevant in modern culture.


Filed under: Comedy • Entertainment • Plastic surgery • Politics
June 13th, 2012
06:05 AM ET

WEB EXTRA: Joan Rivers says she'll never leave New York City, but after 20 years she's learned pigeons are dumb

In this hilarious web extra, comedian Joan Rivers explains what it would take to get her to sell her beautiful New York City apartment. She also shares some things she's learned about pigeons she's learned.


Filed under: Entertainment
May 18th, 2012
06:51 AM ET

'The Dictator' producer Larry Charles talks controversial film, working with Sacha Baron Cohen

Larry Charles discusses Sacha Baron Cohen's characters and explains whether or not he's worried about offending audiences attending his new film, "The Dictator."


Filed under: Entertainment
May 18th, 2012
05:18 AM ET

WEB EXTRA: 'The Dictator' producer Larry Charles discusses his career, upcoming movie

Writer and director Larry Charles sits down with Zoraida Sambolin to discuss his recent collaboration with Sacha Baron Cohen on the movie, "The Dictator," and his work on famous television shows such as "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm."


Filed under: Entertainment • Web extra
May 17th, 2012
11:29 AM ET

TEASER: 'The Dictator' director Larry Charles on cutting his beard for art

He's the man behind some of the most outrageous television and film comedies of the last 10 years. Larry Charles is an award-winning writer, producer and director of such comedy classics as "Seinfeld," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Entourage," "Borat," "Brüno," "Religulous" and now "The Dictator."

Charles sits down with "Early Start" anchor Zoraida Sambolin to talk about the dictator, his beard, and his career in comedy.

In this web teaser, Zoraida asks Charles about the importance of his beard, and if he's ever had to cut it off for a project.

Watch the full interview on "Early Start" Friday at 5am Eastern.


Filed under: Entertainment
May 7th, 2012
06:46 AM ET

'Hulk, Smash!' box office records – 'The Avengers' a bright spot after hard movie year

We don't normally do weekend movie wraps. But today there are two hundred million reasons to do one.

This weekend's box office was dominated by superheroes battling evildoers for the fate of the Earth. In the real world, the superheroes of "The Avengers" didn't have to do much battling.

The comic book movie redefined the meaning of blockbuster this weekend, bringing in $200.3 million according to Disney. That's the biggest domestic opening weekend in box-office history.

Shattering last summer's record setter which was "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2." Analysts estimate that "The Avengers" is on track to rake in over $1 billion globally.

Christopher John Farley, senior editorial director of digital features at the "Wall Street Journal," explains why people were flocking to the theaters for this movie.


Filed under: Entertainment
April 24th, 2012
11:00 AM ET

EXCLUSIVE: Alina Cho talks with Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones on "The Best Man" on Broadway

Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones on their performances in a revival of "The Best Man" on Broadway.


Filed under: Entertainment
April 24th, 2012
05:42 AM ET

WEB EXTRA: Angela Lansbury agreed to work on "The Best Man" if James Earl Jones agreed as well

Alina Cho finds out that Angela Lansbury agreed to work on "The Best Man" if she could work alongside James Earl Jones.


Filed under: Entertainment
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