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In theaters June 2
Wonder Woman was the best thing in the otherwise mediocre Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and anticipation for her turn in the cinema spotlight has been mounting ever since. The wait was worth it: the sword, shield and lasso-wielding Amazon warrior princess is fierce and fabulous in the thrilling action movie that takes her from the idyllic island of Themyscira to the trenches and battlefields of World War I. Chris Pine plays Steve Trevor, the dashing spy who crash lands into Diana’s world and sets the plot—and mission to save the world--in motion.
“Fans have been waiting a long time for this, but I believe people outside the fandom are ready for a Wonder Woman movie, too,” says director Patty Jenkins. “She’s strong and kind, exciting and stylish, powerful and effective, and just as fierce as the boys. She’s a badass, and at the same time she stands for love, forgiveness and benevolence in a complicated world.”
“What attracted me so much to this character is that she is so many different things, and they live within her in such a beautiful way,” says Gal Gadot of the DC Comics heroine. “She’s the greatest warrior in the comics, but she can also be vulnerable, sensitive, confident, and confused...everything, all at once. And she never hides her intelligence or her emotions. She’s curious and warm and loving. She’s sassy and has her own attitude, but she’s not trying to be perfect. She embodies all the most wonderful qualities that I love in people.”
Gadot, a former Miss Israel, underwent five months of training during preproduction that included horse riding, martial arts, weight lifting and cardio. “As exhausting as it was, I felt strong and fit and ready,” she says. “We mostly focused on fight choreography. I did a lot of sword work and boxing. It helped me build my body and it’s very explosive, which was very important for the character.”


Not surprisingly, she was “bruised all the time. Nothing major. The most painful thing was when I stepped on a sea urchin during a fight sequence,” she says. (That happened in Italy, where the Themyscira scenes were shot; the rest of the movie was filmed in the U.K.)
“Diana is set apart from most comic book superheroes by her gender, but it’s her approach to justice that I believe really makes her unique,” Gadot says. “She not only wants to rid the world of evil by taking out the bad guys, she also wants to encourage men and women to be the best human beings they can be, and she does this through love, hope and grace.”
Returns June 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CMT
Nashville bid a sad farewell to beloved heroine Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton) this year, but the country music biz drama welcomes two new female characters in the second half of Season 5 this summer, joining Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), Scarlett O’Connor (Clare Bowen) and Rayna’s daughters Maddie and Daphne (Lennon and Maisy Stella).

Rachel Bilson (Heart of Dixie, The O.C.) debuts in the fourth new episode as Alyssa Greene, Highway 65 Records’ new head of marketing, and Kaitlin Doubleday (Empire) plays singer-songwriter Jessie Caine, an old acquaintance of Deacon’s (Charles Esten) who returns to Music City to overcome a troubled past, reboot her career and reclaim her son. She first appears in the June 15 episode, the show’s 100th.
But there’s plenty of plot to dig into before their appearances. Set ten weeks after the winter finale, the summer premiere finds Juliette dealing with the unexpected reception of her new album, pregnant Scarlett awaiting the results of a paternity test, Maddie recording a song with Juliette’s guidance, and Daphne, struggling with the pain of her mother’s death, shows a rebellious side. She also befriends a homeless girl (Odessa Adlon). These storylines continue in the music-heavy second episode, much of which takes place at a music festival. Singers RaeLynn, Cassadee Pope, and Michael Ray guest star.

Premieres June 4 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime
I’M DYING UP HEREMaking it in standup comedy has never been easy, especially for women. And it was even more difficult in the 1970s, when newbie female comics didn’t get as much stage time or recognition as men.  Along with some personal struggles, that’s the obstacle Cassie Feder (Ari Graynor) faces in Showtime’s new series I’m Dying Up Here. Set in the fictional Los Angeles comedy club Goldie’s, the show follows a misfit family of struggling stand-ups who perform for free and dream of impressing Johnny Carson and “getting the couch” on The Tonight Show.
“Exploring comedy to find the pain it comes from is such a fresh take on comedy and isn’t usually explored,” says Graynor, whose credits include The Sopranos, Mystic River, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and For a Good Time, Call… Unlike most of her male co-stars and the series’ executive producer Jim Carrey, she’d never done stand-up comedy
“It’s definitely scary when you’re standing in front of 100 people, extras or not,” Graynor says. “There’s no place to hide. Jim said at the kickoff dinner for the pilot, ‘It’s your responsibility to alchemize the pain into something beautiful.’ The funniest things are things that are the most true.”

To prepare, she watched comedy routines by Elayne Boosler, Richard Pryor, and Robert Klein and read books about women in the ‘70s. “But even though it’s set in the ‘70s it feels like a mirror to today. A lot of the issues they were confronting are the same,” notes Graynor, who loved the character when she first read the script. “I’ve been playing a lot of broad comedy, which I love and is so fun but I was yearning to express a deeper part of myself in my work. Cassie was strong and tough and vulnerable and sad and going through a lot. It was a chance for me to stretch my wings.”
The other main female character in the show is club owner Goldie Herschlag, who’s loosely based on Mitzi Shore, founder of L.A.’s Comedy Store. Oscar winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter) is fantastic as the fierce and foul-mouthed Iron Lady behind the laughter.
In theaters June 16
ROUGH NIGHTIn the raunchy, raucous and very profane comedic tradition of Bridesmaids and The Hangover, Rough Night reunites five college friends for a bachelorette party weekend in Miami that goes hilariously awry. Starring Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, Zoe Kravitz, and Scarlett Johansson as the bride-to-be, it follows the hard-partying quintet as they happily carouse around town. But then, back at their beach house (where they meet the swingers next door, played by Demi Moore and Ty Burrell), they accidentally kill a male stripper, try to cover up the evidence, and their night spins out of control from there. Bring on the girls behaving badly!

Available for streaming June 23 on Netflix
In the 1980s, the TV series GLOW: Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling aired in syndication from 1986-1990 and became a quirky pop culture hit. Now it’s the inspiration for GLOW, a Netflix dramedy starring Alison Brie (Community, Mad Men) as a struggling actress who goes to a casting call and winds up in the wrestling ring with an idiosyncratic crew of women, who--between head-butts and body slams--become a rather unusual sisterhood.

For Brie’s Ruth Wilder, a serious actress, the new job is an adjustment, especially when she’s cast as the villain in the wrestling storyline (for reasons that become clear in the premiere). Also starring comedian and podcaster Marc Maron and Betty Gilpin (Nurse Jackie, Masters of Sex), GLOW has the producing muscle of Jenji Kohan and Tara Herrmann from Orange is the New Black (which returns for Season 5 June 9) behind it. The soundtrack is nostalgically rocking: it features ‘80s hits like Scandal’s “The Warrior” and Journey’s “Separate Ways.”
Beginning June 30, Brie will be seen on the big screen in the very out-there comedy The Little Hours, which is set in a medieval cloister but has a modern day sensibility and the profanity-laden language to go with it. She plays one of a trio of nuns, each one sexually carrying on with the convent’s hunky handyman played by Dave Franco (Brie’s real life husband). The cast also includes Kate Micucci, Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Fred Armisen, Jemima Kirke, Adam Pally and Nick Offerman.
In theaters June 23
A gothic thriller set in Virginia during the Civil War, The Beguiled stars Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning in a story about the teachers and students at a Virginia boarding school who take in an injured Union soldier (Colin Farrell) whose presence ignites a powder keg of seduction, jealousy and murder. “Selfishness sets in,” says Fanning. “The women begin to turn on one another.” And, eventually, on him.

Farrell loved being the only man in the mix, “surrounded by extraordinary talented actresses. Since for a lot of the story my character is lying down, I had the best seat in the house, watching them work!”
Writer-director Sofia Coppola had her stars practicing their southern accents for an hour every day, and Australia-raised Kidman took that mandate even further. “I did a very particular Southern accent, and I tried to keep that going before and after takes at times,” she says.
The film was shot in Louisiana, mostly at Madewood Plantation House, which should look familiar to Beyoncé fans. Queen B’s “Sorry” video from her Lemonade album was shot there.
Later this year, Fanning and Kidman will reunite on screen in a very different period movie, the comedy How to Talk to Girls at Parties. Set in 1970s London, it’s about a romance between a punk and an alien.
In theaters July 21
Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith—in their first movie together since 1996’s Set it Off--Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish play lifelong friends who leave their men, children and inhibitions behind to take a wild Girls Trip to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival. Shot last summer in the Big Easy and at the real Essence Fest, where Mariah Carey and New Edition were among the performers, the atmosphere was steamy both on and off screen.
Director Malcolm D. Lee has described the R-rated comedy as “The Hangover meets Sex and the City. Women are just as lascivious and sexual as men,” he pointed out. “They want to let loose and have fun.”
Premieres July 25 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC
Misfit outsiders gather and band together—vampires, witches, and others with unique abilities among them---in Midnight, Texas, the titular safe haven for the strange and different in NBC’s series of the same name, based on Charlaine Harris’ book series.
MIDNIGHT, TEXASAriele Kebbel, who played a vampire on The Vampire Diaries, plays kickass hit woman Olivia Charity, a human in a relationship with a vampire (Peter Mensah) that feeds on her life force.  “This is my favorite character to date,” says Kebbel, noting that Olivia has a mysterious past that accounts for her anger and rage. “As the series goes on, you’ll learn more about her.”
To play the action-heavy role, Kebbel trained in weapons, fighting technique, choreography and general conditioning for two or three hours a day. “I was so sore. I took many ice baths,” she says. But I always wanted to do something like this.”
The actress, also known for the series UnREAL and Ballers, hopes to take what she’s learned for the role to the big screen. I’d love to be in an action film,” she says. “And I’m also a sucker for a good rom-com.”
In theaters July 28
Charlize Theron is an Oscar winner (Monster) who rocks the red carpet in glamorous gowns, but recent roles in Mad Max: Fury Road and The Fate of the Furious have established her as a badass action movie star.  Her latest movie Atomic Blonde, based on a graphic novel called The Coldest City, casts her as her fiercest character yet.

Theron trained intensively for three months to play butt-kicking British spy Lorraine Broughton in the thriller, set in Germany in 1989 before the fall of the Berlin Wall. She became equally adept with a gun and hand-to-hand combat in order to “beat the crap out of a lot of tough guys” in the movie. “My hope is that it will take the audience on a crazy-fun ride with a ton of in-your-face action and a storyline that will keep you guessing until the last minute,” she has said.
Set to a pulsating ‘80s soundtrack, the movie also features a steamy encounter between Lorraine and a female French spy, played by Sofia Boutella, who was the warrior Jaylah in Star Trek: Beyond and plays the title role in The Mummy, in theaters June 9.
Vanessa Williams and Tichina Arnold head the cast of the VH1 comedy Daytime Divas, about the behind-the-scenes fireworks at a daytime talk show. It’s inspired by Satan’s Sisters, a novel by former View co-host Star Jones, who will guest as herself. Rachel Weisz stars as a manipulative—and deadly--widow in the period drama My Cousin Rachel, and Rooney Mara stars as Meagan Levy in a fact-based flick about a Marine and her combat dog, both in theaters June 9.
When Younger returns to TV Land for its fourth season on June 28, Liza (Sutton Foster) will be dealing with the fallout from her secrets, lies and deceptions, and in the second season of OWN’s Queen Sugar, the Bordelon sisters continue to fight to make a go of their sugar mill and honor their father’s legacy. It has its two-night premiere June 20 and 21.
Prime Suspect, the British detective series that famously starred Helen Mirren, gets a three-part revival in a prequel set in 1973, with Stefanie Martin as young Jane Tennison. It premieres on PBS’ Masterpiece June 25.
Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell play a couple who turn their house into a gambling casino to pay for their kid’s college tuition in The House, opening June 30, and Naomi Watts plays a not-so-ethical therapist in Netflix’s Gypsy, which begins streaming the same day.
Freeform’s The Bold Type, which follows the lives and loves young women who work at fashion magazine, has its two-hour premiere on July 11, and the ABC dramatic thriller Somewhere Between, debuting July 24, stars Paula Patton as a San Francisco TV news producer desperately trying to stop her daughter’s murder. / Issue 192 - April 8184
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