Will Smith's longtime costar Nia Long says 'he's now able to be human,' plus more news

Compassion for Will

Will Smith deserves some slack, according to his longtime “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” costar Nia Long. Nia, 52, played Will’s fiancee Lisa on the hit series and has stayed friends with him since. “I will always love him. He’s had an incredible career, and he’s carried a burden for many years to try — to represent what perfection looks like. Or what achievement looks like,” she said of Will, 54, in a recent Yahoo interview. “I don’t think that — at least when we were growing up — there was room to be human. I think he’s now able to be human,” she continued, echoing comments Will’s ex-wife Sheree Zampino made about the infamous slap he gave Chris Rock onstage at the 2022 Oscars. “We all have our moments in life where we need to reconcile things that we suppress. And I think — it’s hard growing up in this business and being front and center every day, all day,” Nia added. Addressing a recent dark time in her own life — when her fiance was caught having an affair — Nia said even in those “devastating moments … you pick yourself back up, and you keep it moving.”

Last August, Sheree told the Daily Mail, “I hope people will allow [Will] to be human” after the slap scandal, because, “you cannot heal without forgiveness.”

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Pete Davidson scrubs his Kim Kardashian tattoos

Easy come, easy go. Five months after his split from Kim Kardashian, Pete Davidson appears to have gone “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” with his tattoo collection and removed all traces of the relationship. The “Saturday Night Live” alum took a dip in the ocean in Hawaii over the weekend and photos published by Page Six show his chest, neck and other parts seems to be free of Kim references. That’s probably a good thing since he was traveling with his rumored new lady-friend and “Bodies Bodies Bodies” costar Chase Sui Wonders.

All the Kim tats now appear to be gone, including the words, “my girl is a lawyer,” initials repping Kim and her four kids and Aladdin reference to the former couple’s first kiss during an “SNL” skit in which Kim played Jasmine. Even the the “Kim” Pete had branded on his chest at one point is now just “a faint scar,” per Page Six.

Pete also had some laser work to do after his 2019 split from his former fiancee, Ariana Grande, covering up the bunny ear he’d inked on his neck in honor of her “Dangerous Woman” album and nixing the phrase “Mille Tendresse,” from his neck — a his-and-hers tat he got to match Ariana’s. According to Stylecaster, he covered that one up with the word, “Cursed.”

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Lady Gaga praises Taylor Swift’s bravery ahead of Oscar nod

A few days before Lady Gaga snagged her fourth Oscar nomination, the singer publicly praised her pop peer, Taylor Swift, for her candid remarks about a past eating disorder. Gaga —— who’s up for Best Original Song for “Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick” — was on TikTok when she spotted a clip from Taylor’s 2020 documentary, “Miss Americana.” The clip shows Taylor revealing she struggled with food and body issues when she became famous very young. That “gradually” turned into a full-blown eating disorder, she shared.

“That’s really brave everything you said 🖤 wow,” Gaga, who’s also battled an eating disorder, wrote in the TikTok comments, earning a slew of positive feedback from fans. “Love the support between two amazing women,” one user wrote.

In “Miss Americana,” Taylor opens up about how she bounced back from the disordered eating, too. “I’m a lot happier with who I am,” she says at one point. “There is always some standard of beauty that you’re not meeting,” she says later, detailing how achieving it all is “just f****** impossible.”

Taylor’s Grammy-nominated “Carolina” from “Where the Crawdads Sing,” failed to make the cut for Best Original Song in the 2023 Oscar nominations, which were announced Tuesday (Jan. 24).

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Every Best Actor nominee is celebrating his first Oscar nod ever this year

Austin Butler became one of this year’s all-first-time Oscar nominees on Tuesday (Jan. 24), with his Best Actor nod for playing The King in “Elvis,” though he called the honor “bittersweet” given Lisa Marie Presley’s recent death. Austin’s in good — and unanimous — company in the 2023 Best Actor category, which for the “first time in decades” is filled entirely with newbie nominees, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Also up for the top actor honor are … Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”), Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”), and Bill Nighy (“Living”) and Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”).The Banshees of Inisherin,” which scored nine nominations in all, and “Elvis” are also both up for Best Picture. They’re joined by frontrunners “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which leads this year’s race with 11 nominations, and “All Quiet on the Western Front,” nominated for nine awards. The Best Picture nominees also include “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “The Fabelmans,” “Tár,” “Triangle of Sadness” and “Women Talking.”

Reflecting on his nomination on “Today,” Austin Butler struggled to stay positive in the wake of Lisa Marie’s unexpected death on Jan. 12, just days after she cheered for his Golden Globes best actor win. “It’s sort of a bittersweet moment right now because I think of how much I wish she was here right now to get to celebrate with me,” he said in part, per People. “It’s the same thing I feel with Elvis; I wish that they could see these moments, you know? It’s just sort of strange to celebrate at a time of such deep grief. But I sort of think of it as a way to honor her. This is for her.”

Jane Fonda reveals which four-time Oscar winner ‘intimidated’ her on set

After more than six decades in Hollywood, there’s still one star who stands out as having made Jane Fonda nervous … and not in a good way. Asked if any celebs gave her the jitters over the course of her career, Jane, 85, recently told AARP The Magazine, “I was intimidated by Katharine Hepburn, that’s for sure. My God.” She went on to recall, “When we made ‘On Golden Pond,’ she made sure that she was always top dog and that I knew it. I think my costars will tell you that I really try to do the opposite and make people feel comfortable.” To be fair, the elder actress kinda was the top dog at the time. Katharine, who was 71 when she made the 1981 classic — Jane was 44 — ultimately added to her Oscar collection for the role.

It’s not the first time Jane’s shared her less-than-warm impression of Katharine. Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar in 2021, she recalled: “[Katharine] was really competitive. She really thought that I was out to win more Academy Awards than she was, and when she won for ‘On Golden Pond’ I called to congratulate her, and she said, ‘You’ll never catch me now.'” Ouch. Jane did come up with something positive to say about the experience, though. “What I loved about her was that she took the job of being an elder very seriously. She was intentional about teaching me and talking to me, including giving me line readings, and I found that just wonderful,” she shared, adding, “She did not like me.”

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