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5 Incredible Diana Rigg Stories

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Photo: United Archives/Helmut Reiss/United Archives via Getty Images

Dame Diana Rigg died peacefully at the age of 82 on September 10, leaving an esteemed acting career as her legacy. After breaking out as Emma Peel in British spy series The Avengers and playing the only woman to marry James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, she found success on stage and screen alike, winning a Tony for playing the title role in Medea and an Emmy for a supporting role in the BBC miniseries Rebecca. She acted until her death, playing Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones, and has two performances (in the BBC miniseries Black Narcissus and Edgar Wright’s horror film Last Night in Soho) yet to come out. But Rigg was also known for speaking her mind offstage, never tempering her direct sense of humor, and smoking 20 cigarettes a day, even late in life. Her public comments and interviews are an endless treasure trove, so creating a list of her best moments is an almost impossible feat, but here’s our attempt at selecting five of the best Diana Rigg stories.

Rigg kept it no secret that she disliked her experience shooting On Her Majesty’s Secret Service with George Lazenby. (It was the only Bond film for both actors.) “He kind of thought he was a film star immediately, and started throwing his weight around,” she told the BBC in 2011, of Lazenby’s first film role. When the movie came out, a rumor swirled that she purposefully ate garlic before scenes with him — started by Lazenby himself, after a producer wouldn’t let him promote the movie in the U.S. Rigg denied it in a 1970 open letter to the Daily Sketch. “No, George, I did not eat garlic on purpose,” she wrote. “No, George, I was not, as you said, guzzling champagne in some warm bar when we had the row.” Lazenby later denied the story in a 1981 interview with 007 magazine. “Diana Rigg was having lunch about four or five tables away and she yelled quite loudly, ‘I’m having garlic today George, I hope you are.’ You know, it was just a joke,” he explained. “[The press] took it down as if she ate garlic so she could put me off, but I don’t quite remember smelling garlic on her, and it was quite a lot of fun with her and she’s another bright lady.” Remembering Rigg upon her death, Lazenby alluded to the incident. “We were good friends on set,” he wrote on Instagram. “Much was made of our supposed differences, but that was the Press looking for a news story.”

On Rigg’s nude scene as Héloise in the 1970 Broadway production of Abelard and Héloïse, New York critic John Simon wrote, “Diana Rigg, the Héloïse, is built, alas, like a brick basilica with inadequate flying buttresses, and suggests neither intense womanliness nor outstanding intellect.” Rigg was uncomfortable with nude scenes at the time, later saying, according to the BBC obituary, “I come from Yorkshire, and no one from Yorkshire takes their clothes off except on a Friday night.” But the line inspired her to put together the 1982 book No Turn Unstoned, compiling actors’ self-submitted worst reviews. Most of the submissions came from British actors — Glenda Jackson, John Gielgud, and Ralph Richardson among them — and the few Americans to participate included Katharine Hepburn. She later turned the book into a one-woman show for 2014’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. “I was never tilting my lance at them — nothing like that — I just wanted to encourage young players, by showing that we all get it at one time or another,” she told the Telegraph at the time.

When Rigg returned to Broadway in the 2018 revival of My Fair Lady, she took on the non-singing role of Mrs. Higgins, alongside Lauren Ambrose as Eliza Doolittle. Ambrose didn’t perform the Sunday matinee shows to rest her voice, which bothered Rigg, according to an email the New York Post obtained. “I learnt, courtesy of a newspaper, that our leading lady will not be appearing in future Sunday matinees,” she wrote. “It is time managements put their audiences first and insist on the old adage, slightly adapted by me, ‘The show must go on — with ALL principals.’” The Post also interviewed Rigg, who clarified — but didn’t walk back — her comments. “I’m flying the old flag for a generation of actors who performed even when they were at death’s door,” she told the paper, adding that she busted a vocal cord in rehearsals for Medea in 1994. “But I suppose it’s a tradition that has been lost. It’s the norm these days, so I guess I should just shut up.”

Rigg admitted last year that she never kept up with the series that brought her final breakout role as Olenna from seasons three to seven. She “hadn’t got a clue” about the plot, she said when she accepted a special award at the Canneseries TV festival. “Just like with The Avengers, I wasn’t watching Game of Thrones and had absolutely no idea of its influence in the world,” she said. She also remembered her “incredibly difficult” screen test, “listing all the things my marching army would need … the sheep and the cows and the soldiers.” Rigg added, “I read that and thought, ‘These guys are testing an old actress to see if she can get it into her head.’ I thought, ‘I’m going to do it in one take.’ And I did.”

Upon the news of her death, writers shared their own stories of meeting Rigg. “Circa the GoT s3 premiere, I found myself in an elevator w/Dame Diana Rigg, wrapped from head-to-toe in wool to stave off a bad cold,” Rolling Stone TV critic Alan Sepinwall tweeted. “‘I’m looking for the chemist,’ she told me. ‘I believe his name is … Duane?’” (We’ll guess she meant a Duane Reade pharmacy.) Vulture’s Mark Harris shared his own story on Twitter. “2 years ago I sat next to Diana Rigg at a Tonys party. She was in My Fair Lady–at 80,” he wrote. “She told me it was a great role because she could get tons of reading done btw scenes. Then she gave me her phone and said, ‘Find Uber on this and get me the hell out of here.’”

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Bad Bunny Is Releasing A Line Of Glow-In-The-Dark Crocs

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There’s a trend of musicians partnering with shoe brands, like Travis Scott working with Nike, Kanye with Adidas, and J. Cole with Puma. Add Bad Bunny to the list. The Puerto Rican singer unveiled his own collection of footwear, soon to release a line of his very-own Crocs.

Bad Bunny’s eye-catching Crocs, which are apparently making a comeback, have a special feature. While at first glance the shoe boasts a stark white exterior in Crocs’ original design, his version are able to completely glow in dark when the lights are turned off. Of course, no pair of Crocs would be complete without their plastic accessories, Jibbitz, which Bad Bunny made sure to insert into his collection. The charms include stars, planets, as well as Bad Bunny’s signature logo.

In a statement about the collaboration, Bad Bunny said he’s been a “longtime fan” of the shoe brand: “I believe in being true and not placing limitations on myself, which is also something Crocs represents, and this is the message I always want to make sure I send out to my fans. As a longtime fan creating my own design for Crocs was a lot of fun. I hope they inspire others to have their own fun with their personal style and wearing what makes them happy.”

Check out photos of the Bad Bunny Crocs collaboration above.

The Bad Bunny x Crocs Classic Glow Clog hits online stores 9/29 at 12 p.m. EDT. Get them here.

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Watch Mastodon, Russian Circles Members Cover Alice in Chains

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Mastodon’s Brann Dailor and Russian Circles’ Mike Sullivan joined for a collaborative version of Alice in Chains’ “Rain When I Die” as part of the “Two Minutes to Late Night” quarantine cover series.

Dailor plays drums on the colorful rendition, adding harmony vocals alongside lead singer Justin Suitor (Painted Wives). Sullivan and Stephen Brodsky (Cave In, Mutoid Man) nail the song’s wah-wah guitars, and host Gwarsenio Hall adds bass. Midway through the track, the quintet break into the riff from another Nineties rock classic, Soundgarden’s “Spoonman.”

“Martin Scorsese’s Alice in Chains doesn’t live here anymore,” reads the video’s YouTube caption. “We covered ‘Rain When I Die’ and we did it with some added panache!”

The Alice in Chains cover is the 23rd installment of the “Two Minutes to Late Night” series, which features bedroom-style videos that benefit the participating artists through Patreon. Recent installments have included a take on Robyn’s “Ever Again” (featuring members of Mastodon and Royal Thunder) and an all-star version of Rush’s “Anthem” (with members of Mastodon, Coheed and Cambria, Tool and Primus).

In early September, Mastodon issued Medium Rarities, a 16-track compilation album featuring covers, soundtrack songs (including “White Walker” from Game of Thrones), live takes, instrumentals, B-sides and one previously unreleased cut (“Fallen Torches”). The band released a new track, “Rufus Lives,” as part of the Bill & Ted Face the Music Soundtrack.

Mastodon have reportedly started work on their eighth studio LP. They’ve yet to announce a release date for the project, which which follows 2017’s Emperor of Sand.

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Fleetwood Mac Shot Up The Spotify Charts & It’s Probs Due To That Dude Vibing On His Skateboard

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Remember that TikTok of the dude just vibing to “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac while skating down the highway? It’s probably the reason you’ve had the song stuck in your head over the past few days, and why a decades-old song is suddenly the 90th most-streamed song on Spotify globally.

The TikTok blew up outside the app when it was shared to Twitter on September 26 with the caption: “I don’t use this verbiage often but this is a whole vibe. Simple as that.”

Within just days it copped well over 200,000 retweets and over 828,000 likes. The view count has clocked an astronomical 21.3 million views and counting.

That’s not to mention the amount of times this video was embedded into other tweets, themselves getting tens of thousands of likes.

Now, it seems, all of us at home have had “Dreams” stuck in our heads and have been vibing with the dude from afar.

In Australia, “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac (specifically the 2004 remastered version) had been hovering around the 100-mark on the Spotify Top 200 chart for the past few months.

On the day the tweet went viral, the song shot up to 55 on the charts. The day after, it rose to become the 48th most-streamed song in the country.

It’s a similar story in the US, where the song went from hovering around the 200-mark all the way to being the 24th highest ranking song in just a couple of days. In the UK the song went from sitting comfortably around 150 on the charts to number 53.

In New Zealand – where people are apparently obsessed with the Fleetwood Mac banger – there was still a noticeable jump in the last couple of days days.

On the normal day across the Tasman, “Dreams” is apparently the 50th most-streamed song on Spotify, which is both nuts and awesome. However after the tweet blew up, it’s now the 33rd most-streamed song.

Globally, the song’s gone from not charting in the top 200 at all to suddenly being Spotify’s 90th most-streamed song around the world.

The original TikTok has also done pretty well. It’s got almost 15 million views and over three million likes since being uploaded less than a day before it blew up on Twitter.

@420doggface208Morning vibe ##420souljahz ##ec ##feelinggood ##h2o ##cloud9 ##happyhippie ##worldpeace ##king ##peaceup ##merch ##tacos ##waterislife ##high ##morning ##710 ##cloud9♬ original sound – gillytheanswer

@420doggface208 aka Nathan Apodaca was apparently known as Tío TikTok (Spanish for “Uncle TikTok”) but now the masses have simply crowned him as the Vibe King.

“Yesterday after I did that video, as you guys know the shit went viral – holy sheep shit,” he said in a followup TikTok.

“I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart from DoggFace, me and my family, to all you guys.”

It was enough for the official Fleetwood Mac Twitter account to share the video themselves, saying: “We love this!”

In one of the wildest comebacks of the year, a single TikTok has managed to make a mid-2000s remaster of a song from the 70s suddenly explode on Spotify.

“Reach for the stars,” Apodaca said in a message to fans.

He’s not wrong. Let’s see how high it ends up charting.

Image:
TikTok / @420doggface208 | Getty Images / Kevin Mazur

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