It’s been a historic year in the world of entertainment. These are the 10 Most Fascinating – the people who helped shape and re-define it.
Baldwin continued his run as Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live” (which earned him an Emmy). He hosted more episodes of ABC’s “Match Game” revival (which earned him an Emmy nomination). Baldwin was also the star voice of DreamWorks Animation’s “The Boss Baby”, the year’s third highest-grossing animated film. It has been nominated for the Best Animated Feature Golden Globe and Annie Award. 2017 also saw Baldwin filming next summer’s “Mission: Impossible 6”. He also released a new memoir (Nevertheless) is now in talks to host an ABC talk show and bring his Trump to Broadway.
It’s Gadot’s second year in a row on this list. “Wonder Woman” was a box office smash, critical darling and cultural phenomenon. She also returned for “Justice League”. But Gadot was just as impactful off-screen, stressing that she wouldn’t come back for “Wonder Woman 2” unless Warner Bros. got rid of producer Brett Ratner, who was accused of sexual harassment.
She’s been an indie movie darling for years, in films like “Frances Ha” and “20th Century Women”. But her directorial debut, “Lady Bird”, which she also wrote, has become an anthem this awards season. Gerwig earned Critics Choice nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for this coming-of-age comedy starring Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. The story is inspired/very loosely based on her life.
After 17 years, March’s “Logan” marked the final time Jackman would portray Wolverine on the big screen. The role that launched him into stardom has been a tough one for Jackman to let go – but he’s ready to move on to new chapters of his career. Last week, he received his third Golden Globe nomination for his performance in the new movie musical “The Greatest Showman”. Jackman has been attached to play ringmaster P.T. Barnum since 2009.
After years of small parts in various films, and his supporting work on HBO’s “Silicon Valley”, Nanjiani starred in his breakthrough movie – “The Big Sick” – which he co-wrote with his wife, Emily V. Gordon. The romantic dramedy, based on a true story of his life, has gotten some of the best reviews of any movie this year and has been nominated for the Best Picture Critics Choice Award and Best Ensemble SAG Award.
The former “Key & Peele” co-star released his directorial debut, the thriller “Get Out”, on Oscar weekend. Now, Peele may be headed to this year’s Oscars ceremony. “Get Out” received rave reviews and earned $175 million. It’s also up for the Best Picture Critics Choice Award and the Best Picture – Comedy or Musical Golden Globe. Peele admits he had nothing to do with the film being placed in that category. He also lent his voice to DreamWorks Animation’s wild and hilarious “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie”, based on the popular book series.
On Nov. 8, this legendary director announced he would edit all of Kevin Spacey’s scenes out of his upcoming film, “All the Money in the World” and re-shoot them with Christopher Plummer in the role of J. Paul Getty instead. Oh yeah, and Scott said he’d still release the movie by the end of the year. Within a couple of weeks, Plummer was featured prominently in new TV ads, posters and trailers. And Plummer, Scott and Michelle Williams just received Globe nominations. “All the Money” is set to officially open nationwide on Christmas Day.
The longtime TV host became Kelly Ripa’s new “Live!” partner in May – just under a year after Michael Strahan left. Just days into his run on “Live!”, it was announced that “American Idol” was making a surprisingly quick return… at ABC. Seacrest got into some heated negotiations with the network, finally settling on a deal to once again host the show that made him a household name. Seacrest was accused of misconduct by one of his former makeup artists, but he quickly denied the allegation.
On Jan. 8, Streep received the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes and made a speech directly aimed at President Trump. This signaled a movement among Hollywood stars to openly share their political views throughout the rest of awards season. Streep may very well win another Globe in a few weeks (and then the Oscar) for her performance in the new, timely drama “The Post”, where she plays Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham.
And The Most Fascinating Person of 2017: Jimmy Kimmel
In February, Kimmel hosted The Oscars for the first time. I’d been suggesting ABC should finally let their Late Night man do it for years. The show was going very well – Kimmel’s jokes and bits were really funny, and his on-edge and professional persona felt right for the evening. And then the envelope snafu happened. Kimmel, who was set to do one final bit with Matt Damon in the crowd following the Best Picture win, rushed to the stage and tried to sort things out as best as possible.
And he did a good job. He took control of the situation while still staying true to himself: off-the-cuff, honest and unpredictable: “I blame Steve Harvey for this.” His monologue the next night, detailing everything from his POV, was terrific. Kimmel later admitted The Academy asked him to come back the morning after the show, and it was confirmed over the summer that Kimmel will emcee the 90th Oscars ceremony on March 4th. Expect that envelope talk to return during the monologue.
Kimmel lent his voice to the dad role in “The Boss Baby”, and in April, he became a dad once again to son Billy. However, Billy was born with a heart disease and needed open-heart surgery at just three days old. Kimmel took the week off from his show and returned on Monday May 1 and gave an emotionally powerful monologue describing what Billy went through – along with him and his wife, Molly.
Kimmel thanked everyone at the Cedars-Sinai Hospital and the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for all they did, along with all the people who sent them cards and well wishes. Kimmel finished the monologue with a plea to the government to make sure every family can be able to care for their children in difficult times: “No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life. It just shouldn’t happen.”
Kimmel became the voice to turn to in Late Night in 2017, with his monologues on Health Insurance and the Las Vegas shooting. He also returned to Brooklyn for a week of shows, one of them with guest (and idol) David Letterman. Kimmel also revealed his “feud” with Jay Leno is no more.
And just last week, he brought Billy on the show following his most recent heart surgery: “Daddy cries on TV, but Billy doesn’t.” Billy will have to have another surgery when he is 6 years old.
Kimmel isn’t afraid to be honest and open to everyone – making him the most relatable and moving person on TV and in entertainment in 2017.