Culture Feature

12 of the Craziest Celebrity Homes of All Time

Because celebrities are not "just like us."

If there's one thing that celebrity magazines have taught us, it's that "celebrities are just like us."

They use their mouths to eat food, and they occasionally use their legs to walk outdoors. Sometimes they don't even look like a team of makeup artists and fashion designers have sculpted every facet of their look! So normal.

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There's not really a lot of confusion about why Leonardo DiCaprio keeps ending up with beautiful younger women.

Famous, wealthy man-children have been leveraging their status and power to pursue young women since wealth and fame became concepts. It's almost more uncommon for a man in that position to date someone age appropriate. In the past, however, it was easy to imagine that many of the young women DiCaprio was seen with might have been nursing girlhood crushes connected to his heartthrob status as the young male lead in Titanic (1997).

Famous scene of Kate Winslet being the same age as DiCaprio's current girlfriend

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© REUTERS

The problem with that theory as it relates to Camila Morrone is that she was born in 1997, six months before Titanic (1997) premiered. So unless she was a particularly advanced infant, it's unlikely that she was aware of DiCaprio's breakout role. Perhaps, then, she saw his 2004 performance as Howard Hughes in The Aviator and was left indelibly marked by the sense that DiCaprio was a man who could date young aspiring actresses well into middle age—and clearly Leo is just so method that he was unable to drop that part of the character.

Whatever her early impressions of him, now that she is nearly half his age, she feels confident that she has matured enough to be with a man so stunted that he wants to keep dating beautiful women who were children for most of his career. She even feels that their relationship is worth defending. In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, Morrone, 22, responded to critics of the 23-year age gap between herself and DiCaprio, saying, "There's so many relationships in Hollywood—and in the history of the world—where people have large age gaps… I just think anyone should be able to date who they want to date."

camila morrone hot

Of course she's right. You don't have to look far back "in the history of the world" to find royals marrying off their daughters before they'd even reached puberty. And Hollywood continues to be rife with mismatched couples—like Dennis Quaid and Laura Savoie—that are reminiscent of old Hollywood drama like Charlie Chaplin's marriage to Oona O'Neill, when he was 53 and she was only 18. Or how about Elvis Presley, at 25, marrying a 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu, or 27-year-old R. Kelly secretly marrying 15-year-old Aaliyah

aaliyah age ain't nothing

There's a saying that goes, "Everything in life is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power." There's an extent to which the power relationships and vulnerability inherent in sex and love can be gratifying and exciting for both parties, but there's a tremendous potential for those dynamics to get out of hand. If left unchecked, it's easy for a power imbalance to blur the lines of consent, and a big age gap often results in a big power imbalance. But should these concerns really apply to Camila Morrone?

That depends. Obviously, there's a big difference between a 14-year-old and a 22-year-old, but what may not be as obvious to someone whose brain is still developing is that there is also a huge difference between a 22-year-old and a 45-year-old. In the eyes of the law, they are both adults. They can sleep together, get married—hell, she's even old enough that they can go drinking together! Though if they ever rent a car together, he should probably be the driver, because insurance rates go through the roof for people whose brains are not done maturing

The point is, someone who has been 22, who remembers what it was like to be 22—23 years ago—should know that a 22-year-old is still learning a lot of the basics about life. By and large, they are impressionable, naïve, and pretty easy for an older person—especially a wealthy and respected celebrity—to manipulate.

camila morrone The Los Angeles Times

Camila Morrone may be an exception to that. She may be wise beyond her years, and the connection that she and DiCaprio have together may be that rare kind of soul-bond that is so profound and unquestionable that age really does become irrelevant. Certainly, if that's what she feels is going on, then she has every right to invest in that belief and see how it plays out—even if it ends up being one of those twenty-something mistakes that she learns from. Alternatively, if it's just exciting to spend some time with someone as famous and interesting as Leo, and she's not taking it too seriously, all the better.

Either way, we shouldn't let our morbid curiosity about a mismatched couple undermine her autonomy. No one can tell her what love and romance should look like in her life, and any suggestion that she's in it for Leo's Hollywood connections looks pretty absurd when you consider that her stepfather is Al Pacino. Camila is just fine—great even…but we're all going to keep commenting about Leo as long as he keeps seeking out women who are so much younger—and potentially very vulnerable to that power imbalance. You get one, maybe two age-defying soul-bonds per lifetime, Leo! At this point, dating women who are in that sweet spot of technically-legal-but-with-a-brain-that-is-still-developing is just your thing, and it is not a good look. Maybe stick with climate change instead.

mickey and the bear poster

In the interview, Morrone also expressed her desire to be recognized for more than her connection to Leo, saying of her new film, Mickey and the Bear, "I think more and more now that people are seeing the film, I'm slowly getting an identity outside of that… which is frustrating, because I feel like there should always be an identity besides who you're dating." With any luck, the positive reviews are a sign that she will soon have made a name for herself, and will not be thought of as "Leo's girlfriend" for much longer.

And with a bit more luck, maybe Leo will commit to a relationship long enough for a girlfriend to enter her thirties.

Culture Feature

This Haunts Me: Why Is Roy Orbison's "Crying" Always in Apocalyptic Movie Scenes?

It appears at critical moments in "Gummo" and "Mulholland Drive," among others, and always seems to signify something absolutely terrifying.

Roy Orbison's "Crying" is one of the most haunting songs I know.

It also appears in the final frames of two of the most haunting films I've ever seen, Gummo and Mulholland Drive. This is probably why I was so struck by the appearance of Orbison's ghost.

OK, technically Orbison didn't come back as a ghost. He starred in his own hologram tour last year, and his reappearance was simulated by a few beams of light refracted through a prism. Still, something about it seemed excessively eerie, partly because Roy Orbison's music has always seemed oddly holographic to me.

Roy Orbison songs sound particularly holographic when used in film, where they tend to exist in stark contrast to the reality of what's actually happening onscreen. The late crooner's songs are the exact sort of dreamy 1950s-style ballads that frequently soundtrack films' violent, disorienting, and apocalyptic conclusions.

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Conspiracy Theory Titanic

We all know the story of the RMS Titanic—the largest, most luxurious cruise liner in the world that was supposedly 'unsinkable' was on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic in April 1912.

On the morning of 15th April Titanic struck an iceberg, and within a mere three hours, had sunk to the bottom of the ocean killing 1517 of the crew and passengers on board.

 

The Theory

Titanic was built alongside two other ocean liners being constructed at the same time—RMS Brittanic and RMS Olympic.

The Olympic, was almost identical to Titanic, and both were owned by the White Star Line, a company which was controlled by wealthy financier JP Morgan.  The Olympic was was launched with much fanfare in 1910, and during a voyage in 1911 was involved in a serious collision with a naval warship HMS Hawke off the coast of the United Kingdom.

An inquiry found that Olympic was to blame for the collision which had caused her considerable damage and accordingly, White Star's insurers refused to pay the claim.

White Star was facing financial ruin. They would have to foot the bill for Olympic's repairs plus Titanic's completion date would be delayed while the workers switched focus—they couldn't afford to have two ships out of action.

The theory is that White Star committed insurance fraud by patching up the Olympic and making some quick changes to convert it into Titanic. The replacement 'Titanic' would then be sunk (or crashed deliberately) on her maiden voyage (as an added bonus another White Star ship would be on hand to heroically rescue all on board). White Star would be able to claim the insurance for a brand new ship and the original Titanic, would be pressed into service disguised as the Olympic.

The 'Proof'

  • When the Olympic had collided with HMS Hawke it sustained damage to the keel, giving the ship a list to it's port side.  When Titanic set sail it was listing to port. The list was noted by several survivors of the tragedy.
  • Rumors were circulating around the shipyard that White Star were going to carry out the insurance fraud (many types of similar marine insurance fraud have been documented around this time).  Evidence of these whispers are borne out by;

    • Titanic was only half full when it set sail from Southampton.  Given the prestige of the ship and the necessity to make it financially viable, it seems odd that White Star didn't do all they could to fill every cabin.
    • Titanic struggled to find enough crew for the voyage.  This was despite the fact that there was a nationwide coal strike at the time which meant that thousands of fireman, greasers and boiler stokes were out of work. Yet still they refused to work on the doomed ship.
    • Last minute passenger cancellations. There were 50 high profile passengers booked onto Titanic's maiden voyage who mysteriously cancelled at the last minute.  The most notable was JP Morgan himself, the owner of White Star.  He claimed illness a few days before the trip but seemed perfectly OK in France with his mistress on the day Titanic was sunk.  Other cancellations were Henry Clay Frick, Horace J Harding and George Washington Vanderbilt, who were all wealthy businessmen connected to Morgan.
    • JP Morgan had several valuable bronze statues removed from the ship just one hour before she set sail.

JP Morgan—owner of both Titanic and Olympic who cancelled his place on the fated voyage.

  • The newspaper headlines. Many of the early published news headlines read that all passengers survived—almost as if the initial press release was already planned and sent out before details had filtered through.  The headlines were quickly amended when it became apparent that many had perished.
  • The SS Californian was another passenger ship owned by JP Morgan that was the closest ship to the stricken Titanic and the Captain's inaction was blamed for the large loss of life on the Titanic. The ship had set sail five days previously (despite the coal shortage) and was sailing with no passengers. It had stopped in the middle of the Atlantic and its only cargo on board were 3000 blankets and jumpers.  The belief is that it was waiting to rescue the Titanic's passengers after the ship had been deliberately sunk. Edith Russel, one of the Titanic survivors was adamant that officers assured her the Californian was on its way to rescue them.  However, it sadly wasn't the case. The Californian had shut down their radio for the night, so when the real disaster struck they weren't aware they were needed until it was too late. The Captain was woken and advised that distress flares had been spotted, but ignored them, claiming he thought they were just another shipping company's rockets. So despite help being only 12 miles away, it was left to a Cunard ship, HMS Carpathia to steam 60 miles through the ice to rescue 706 survivors.
  • Titanic First Officer Murdoch spotted the iceberg ahead and for some reason ordered the ship to be turned full astern—this however increased the risk of a collision which he would have known.  If the iceberg had been struck full on, there would have been damage and a loss of life to the the crewmen in their bunks, but the ship would have stayed afloat and made it to New York. Striking it side on meant that six of the watertight compartments were ruptured—too many to enable it to stay afloat.
  • Captain Smith and the officers did not have any sense of urgency when Titanic hit the iceberg.  It took 35 minutes for the first distress signal and radio communication to be sent.  It took 45 minutes for the crew to start preparing the lifeboats and was an hour and 25 minutes before women and children were loaded into the lifeboats. It's almost as if he was expecting a rescue ship to arrive imminently.
  • The rescued crew were detained in New York for 24 hours and forced to sign a document ensuring they would remain silent about the events.
  • The design differences between the two ships.

    • The portholes.  The two ships were very similar to look at when they were built, apart from the portholes and windows.  The Olympic had 16 portholes and unevenly spaced windows, while Titanic had 14 portholes and evenly spaced windows.  However by the time the 'Titanic' set sail, it had acquired an extra two portholes, taking it up to 16 and the windows appeared unevenly spaced.
    • The bridge. The photograph of Olympic moving into a dry dock for repairs after the 1912 collision provides a unique opportunity to view the two ships side by side.  Clearly visible is the difference in the bridge position.  On the Olympic the upper bridge deck is level with one beneath it, whereas on Titanic it was overhanging the lower deck slightly.  The third photograph of the Olympic arriving in Southampton in 1925 clearly shows an overhanging upper bridge deck.

The Olympic on the left and Titanic on the right and the 'Olympic' in 1925

    • The nameplate. Both Olympic and Titanic had their names engraved onto their hulls.  Examination of the wreckage however, shows that the name Titanic was actually made from iron letters and attached to the ship with rivets. Two of those letters have fallen off due to the length of time the wreck has been at the bottom of the ocean, and the engraved letters M and P are clearly visible.

The engraved letters M and P visible on the wreck's hull when the steel rivet attached letters fell off.

    • The paint.  Grey undercoat was used on the original Olympic, and black on the Titanic.  However footage from the wreck shows where the top-coat has flaked away, a grey undercoat is visible.
    • The propeller.  As part of the repairs to the damaged Olympic, a propeller that had been destined for Titanic was diverted to the Olympic.  Wreckage of the propeller shows the part of the identification number on the sunk propeller as '01' which is part of the Titanic's id number '401'.

The wrecked propeller with the '01' part of the identification visible.

So do you believe that Titanic never actually sank?  That it was her sister ship, the Olympic who was already damaged beyond economical repair? That White Star pulled off the biggest insurance fraud of the time—receiving a reported $10 million?

 

Facts and figures about 'Titanic';

13 — honeymooning couples on board

40,000 fresh eggs in the provisions

64 — the number of lifeboats the ship was equipped to carry

20 — the number she actually carried

28 — people were in the first lifeboard which had a capacity of 65 people

160 — minutes between striking the iceberg and sinking

2 — dogs survived

6,000  — artefacts have been recovered from the wreck site

 

And, check out Popdust’s previous Conspiracy Theory Thursday posts here!

kate winslet leonardo dicaprio titanic romance

Kate Winslet knows we all want her and Leonardo DiCaprio to get together - but is it ever likely to happen?

At this stage, it doesn't look very likely! Ever since they pair were launched into superstardom thanks to playing Jack and Rose in 1997's Titanic, there has been speculation about their relationship.

Leonardo DiCaprio Would Like Y’All To Know He’s NOT Been Raped By A Bear

But according to Kate, they have always been just friends and will always be just friends, because Leo doesn't view her in a romantic way.

"I think the reason that friendship works is because there was never any romantic thing," Kate told Marie Claire UK.

Leonardo DiCaprio Gets The Most Pussy In His Posse—But Then You Knew That Already

Never? Boooooooooooo!

"It's so disappointing for people to hear that, because in the soap opera of the Kate and Leo story we fell in love at first sight and had a million snogs, but actually we never did," she continued. "He always saw me as one of the boys. I've never really been a girly-girl."

Leonardo DiCaprio Welcomes Robin Thicke Into The Folds Of His Pussy Posse

Kate goes on to explain her relationship with the actor was more intense thanks to the insane filming schedule for Titanic, which forced them to rely on each other just to get through it.

"We needed each other to lean on because we were very young and working all kinds of crazy bloody hours and it was a shock to the system," she said.

"She's the greatest person," Leo previously told USA Today about Kate. "She's so genuine. I love that girl."

Leonardo DiCaprio Dances Like Your Dad....Your Dad at Coachella…On Acid

Oh just get together already! Pleeeeease?

New letters that appear to be a first-person account of the sinking of the Titanic have been discovered.

Dated 1955, the letters were written in French by a woman named Rose Amélie Icard and translated after being posted to Reddit. Rose was the traveling companion of an American by the name of Mrs George Stone; both were rescued on the lifeboats.

"Towards eleven o'clock Mrs. Stone and I went to bed. Three quarters of an hour later, as the liner was cruising at full speed, a terrifying shock threw us out of bed..."

Rose goes on to describe what happened on deck as people were being loaded into the lifeboats:

"At this moment we witnessed unforgettable scenes where horror mixed with the most sublime heroism. Women, still in evening gowns, some just out of bed, barely clothed, disheveled, distraught, scrambled for the boats. Near me were two handsome elderly [people], Mr. and Mrs. Straus, proprietors of the great store Macy's of New York. She refused to go into the boat after having helped in her maid. She put her arms around the neck of her husband, telling him: 'We have been married 50 years, we have never left each other, I want to die with you.'"

She also recounts the moments after the ship disappeared forever into the Atlantic:

"Suddenly, there was darkness, whole and inscrutable, shouts, horrible yells, rose in the middle of the creaks of the boat, then that was it. Sometimes, 43 years after the tragedy, I still dream about it. From the 2,229 passengers and crew, only 745 were saved."

Here is the link to the full translation by Reddit user frenchlitgeek.