• Dwayne Johnson said he hopes to honor the amputee community by playing a former FBI agent with a prosthetic leg in the new action thriller Skyscraper. In the film, Johnson plays the security consultant of a Hong Kong skyscraper who must save his family and the city from harm when the building becomes engulfed in flames. The problem is intensified when he's framed for starting the blaze. "I was honored to play an amputee, and to make sure that I did right by them," Johnson said on the red carpet for the film's U.S. premiere Tuesday night in New York City. "The research was very extensive. I spent a lot of time with amputees." One of those he consulted joined Johnson at the premiere: Jeff Glasbrenner, a Paralympian who became the first American amputee to scale Mount Everest in 2016. Johnson called him "an amazing man." The film's writer and director Rawson Marshall Thurber called it "incredibly important" to represent the amputee community. "There hasn't been an amputee as the lead of an action film, ever, as far as I know. And I thought it was high time and I hope we're not the last. I think Dwayne worked really, really hard to represent that community and honor that community. And I think he did a fantastic job," Thurber said.
• Angela Ponce, the first transgender woman to compete in the global Miss Universe pageant, says that whether she wins the beauty title or not, she wants to make history as a role model for transgender children around the globe. "If my going through all this contributes for the world moving a little step forward, then that's a personal crown that will always accompany me," says the 26-year-old model and activist representing Spain. Ponce beat 20 other contestants in the Miss Universe Spain gala on June 29, qualifying for the global round of the contest that has allowed transgender women to participate only since 2012. The location and dates for this year's contest are yet to be announced.
• Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin says she was "duped" and fell victim to British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen during an interview for his Showtime series, Who Is America? In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the former Alaska governor wrote she and a daughter traveled across the country for what she thought was a legitimate interview. But she said Baron Cohen had "heavily disguised himself" as a disabled U.S. veteran in a wheelchair. Palin said she sat through what she called a long interview full of "Hollywoodism's disrespect and sarcasm" before she walked out. She's now challenging Baron Cohen and Showtime to donate proceeds from the show to a veterans charity. Showtime has no comment. An email seeking comment from Baron Cohen has not been returned.
In this photo taken on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, Angela Ponce, who won Spain's Miss Universe competition in June, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Madrid, Spain.
In this Sept. 21, 2017, file photo, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks at a rally in Montgomery, Ala.
A Section on 07/12/2018
Print Headline: Names and faces