James Flacco Is Not An Elite Quarterback But Might Now Be An Enemy Of North Korea

The Baltimore Ravens may want to double check the security of their emails after President Barack Obama sort of named the team’s quarterback, Joe Flacco, while discussing an international controversy involving Sony, North Korea, hackers and actor James Franco.

“I think it says something interesting about North Korea that they decided to have the state mount an all-out assault on a movie studio because of a satirical movie starring Seth Rogen and James Flacco,” Obama said during a press conference on Friday, via NFL.com.

For comparison, here is a look at Franco and Flacco:

James Franco:

james franco

Joe Flacco:

joe flacco

And here is what James Flacco might look like:

James Flacco…according to President Obama pic.twitter.com/7jdPgu9Fq4

— Jim Rome (@jimrome) December 19, 2014

Obama’s comments came one day after Sony canceled plans for the release of “The Interview,” a film starring Franco and Seth Rogen. The comedy is about the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and is believed to be the cause of a cyberattack that leaked many sensitive Sony emails and documents. The FBI announced on Friday that there is information indicating North Korea is responsible for the attack.

The Super Bowl-champion quarterback seemed to get a kick out of the incident, tweeting at Obama and Franco:

.@barackobama It’s James Franco, not James Flacco ;)

— Joe Flacco (@TeamFlacco) December 19, 2014

Welcome to the family, brother. @JamesFrancoTV

— Joe Flacco (@TeamFlacco) December 19, 2014

As noted by SB Nation, those on Twitter not in the extended Flacco family used the opportunity to crack a joke about the perennial debate over the signal caller’s “elite” status:

Obama just called James Franco “James Flacco” and everyone tweeted the same joke. http://t.co/EQBqj1jE6K pic.twitter.com/43bsoRPYjd

— SB Nation (@SBNation) December 19, 2014

The name was such a hit that Slate created “The James Flacco Name Generator.” It gave readers a chance to “Obamify” their name. According to the name generator, Franco’s co-star in the film would go by Seth Romo:

seth romo


Little Girl Makes The Case For Strong Female Characters By Listing What They’ve Taught Her

Frustrated by the lack of strong female characters in literature? So is this little girl.

On Wednesday, military officer and author Myke Cole tweeted a page from his 10-year-old niece Mia’s scrapbook in which she details the important things female li…


HuffPost Live’s ‘Spoiler Alert’ Picks The Best TV Shows Of 2014

It’s been a wonderful year for television, with shows like “Transparent,” “The Comeback” and “Orange Is The New Black” delivering top-tier writing, acting and directing each and every week. But with so many shining series, which shows hit the highest notes this year? HuffPost Live’s “Spoiler Alert” tackled that question on Friday, when host Ricky Camilleri, HuffPost Entertainment editor Matthew Jacobs, HuffPost Live news editor Ryan Buxton and Decider.com deputy editor Tyler Coates picked the 10 best shows of 2014.

Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live’s morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!


11 Perfect Gifts For The Instagram Addict In Your Life

Instagram has already blessed us with five new filters and other updates this holiday season. But if you’ve got friends who just can’t get enough of the photo-sharing network (and we all do), you may need even more Instagram-themed gifts.

And wow, the…


Hollywood Journalist Nikki Finke Reportedly In Talks With Politico

Nikki Finke, founder and former editor-in-chief of Deadline, is said to be in talks with Politco about joining the site as a political columnist, The New York Times reported Friday, citing anonymous sources “familiar with the discussions.”

According …


Neil Patrick Harris Makes His ‘AHS’ Debut, Kim Kardashian Gives Her Mom a Reality Check + More in Today’s Last Lap


From Side Show to the Main Stage: Will and Anthony Nunziata

It’s said that “two heads are better than one,” a cliché being cashed in this year, with conjoined twins hyped as the trend of the season. On TV’s FX, there’s Bette and Dot Tattler of “American Horror Story” fame, and on Broadway, Daisy and Violet – the real life Hilton sisters portrayed in the revival of Side Show, which will close early in January, having played an eerily similar twin number of 77 performances. However, another pairing has proven that their talent will outlast more than just one season as crooners, cabaret and concert stars, Will and Anthony Nunziata.

Joined at the hip, if only in the figurative sense, these young men are realizing a dream that began by performing together in grade school and has grown swiftly from there, to being soloists at Boston College, making a splash at New York City’s highly regarded cabaret venues and now selling out symphony halls around the country.

I caught up with the Nunziata twins by phone mid-tour as they’ve been traveling the country with their shows “Broadway, Our Way” and “A Broadway Holiday,” the former of which they performed twice that day at the Kravis Center, in Palm Beach, the “Carnegie Hall of South Florida,” as Anthony describes. Coincidentally Anthony was driving past the 2,200 seat hall when I called, a venue he says he and Will would also pass as children (while visiting their grandparents) and daydream about performing in one day.

“The Kravis Center has always been on my bucket list, since I was very young,” Will says. “I’m literally our harshest critic, but both audiences were just unbelievable”, he explains. “I’m just so grateful that each time we get to perform, whether small or big venues alike, each time it’s just another affirmation that the music and our blend of comedy is something people want… [for that,] I’m filled with gratitude.”

He may be his harshest critic simply because so many others have only lauded the Nunziatas for their talent and showmanship. The New York Times remarked that Will and Anthony “display an engagingly, brassy professionalism,” and The Wall Street Journal added that they’re “blessed with strong voices and leading man looks.”

Leading men, indeed. The handsome twins are a nearly impossible pairing of talent, stage presence, and charisma. They almost seem like a photocopied pop idol cut-out from the 1960’s – but like any photocopy, they’re never exactly the same and that’s the same with the Nunziatas. They’re as different as they are alike, allowing them to not only stand out as a duet, but also showcase their talents as individual artists.

At “face value,” as much as they look alike, their features, albeit subtle, differ slightly. Talking with them, both have an artistic intensity to their voices, but with varied nuances, tone and manner of speech. Because they were travelling, they asked me to call them separately as not to be confused for one another on the phone. Interestingly, when I compared the recordings, they actually sounded distinctly different; the concern may have been valid, or it might simply be a symptom of twins so often compared to one another, who are also striving to prove their individuality.

In many ways, the source of this individuality can be traced back to their parents’ style of child rearing “I do have to say, our parents – thank God – raised us as individuals,” Anthony says. “They did not dress us up alike. They did not put is in the same classroom early on. They really allowed us to thrive and grow as individuals, which is a blessing.” Will added too, that he’s, “really grateful our parents never forced us to do anything,” making their musical pursuits that much more authentic, as “it was just something we started to do together.”

2014-12-19-WAChristmasphoto.jpg
A Nunziata Christmas (Photo provided courtesy of Will and Anthony Nunziata)

He acknowledged that artistically, being twins is part of their duet appeal, but it’s not enough to sustain their career or even be credited for their success, to date. “I understand better than anyone, the twin thing, it makes us stand out,” Will says. “To some people it’s our ‘gimmick,” [but] that can kind of get old, fast… old, stale and boring.”

Instead, Will says their success long-term will be in “really honing our individual talents and not taking that for granted. We are two artists that happen to be brothers, that happen to be twins.” “Our two faces on a poster, its frickin’ interesting… it’s some kind of, ‘Oh my God, let’s go look at the freaks!'” Will says candidly. “What I love so much [though] is that we leave audiences not only realizing the power of family, but also the power of finding yourself in a duo.”

As much as the Nunziatas draw a line in the sand between the overall package and the individual gifts inside, they seem keenly aware that their unique pairing sets them apart from other song and dance men. Intentional or not, they’ve made themselves a curiosity and although it’s not their sustaining force, it’s still a strategy that’s advanced their career, even if its with innocent intentions.

2014-12-19-WAFirstMusicRehearsal.jpg
Will and Anthony’s first vocal lesson, taught by their father (photo provided courtesy of Will and Anthony Nunziata)

Well before they were selling out symphony halls, both brothers, now 31, tell a sweet story about growing up in Pelham Manor, New York and appearing in a community theater production of the musical, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Will played Charlie Brown, while Anthony was Linus. “Being the younger brother [by a minute], but the nice young brother that I am,” Will sets up the story, “Charlie Brown sings ‘The Kite’ as a solo, but I thought it would be a great moment for Charlie Brown and his friend Linus to share the stage, almost in a brotherly way.” “Convincing” the director that these two characters were “like brothers,” the song was turned into a duet.

Will explains his motivation, first sweetly, then with a punch, “Because I kind of felt bad that Anthony didn’t get the lead, but believe me, I was very happy that I did.” Anthony also remembers that moment fondly. He admits that he counted how many solos Will had, knowing he only had one (“My Blanket and Me”), “But I remember man,” Anthony adds, “that it was really nice of Will to offer [The Kite] as a duet.”

The duets have continued since then. When asked about their favorite moments performing as kids or teenagers, they both referred to the show, The Secret Garden, when they played the two male leads and performed the song “Lily’s Eyes,” and on a larger scale at age 12 when they sang the jingle for the Honey Nut Cheerios holiday commercial that ran from 1997-2002. They were also selected in college – both attending Boston College – to perform a solo with the Boston Pops (“Our Time” from Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along).

Anthony points to that moment with the Boston Pops as a turning point and epiphany in their career. A tremendous accomplishment for any performer, he says that’s when they began to explore how they could continue this momentum after graduation. “Let’s go and put our names out there,” Anthony remembers. “Let’s develop this brand. Let’s develop who we are as people, who we are as individual artists.”

Specifically, they sought out to establish that brand through an “old school sensibility,” Anthony describes. “When you look at Barbra Streisand and Tony Bennett, a lot of these names,” he explains, “they started out in the clubs, they started by putting their names out there in the music scene themselves. I kind of like that because it allows us to relate to audiences better. I like that after a 90-minute show these complete strangers feel like they know us.”

All positives aside, it’s hard to imagine that the Nunziatas suffer any less sibling rivalry than other brothers and sisters, especially those who pursue the same career. However, both Will and Anthony say their competition is not exactly how fans might expect. “We are fiercely competitive,” Anthony admits. “When we get on stage, we’re competitors. Not against each other but together, as we want to win this performance.”

Even outside of performing, they say this spirit is core to their relationship exercised through many other shared experiences as they were also cross-country runners, all-state tennis players, and swimmers in their teenage years. Anthony says, to “copyright” their dad, “Well, you guys always competed against each other like in tennis or sports or singing, because you wanted to help not only each other’s potential but help each other exceed,” he explains. “We always had the sense of support and love.”

Also, while they do share the stage as “Will and Anthony Nunziata,” they are also working to advance their own pursuits. Will has begun directing for the stage, with a range of Broadway and cabaret performers. Anthony, has started to go out on his own, releasing a single, “The Prayer” last year, and performing his first solo concert at Broadway supper club, 54 Below, earlier this month. Additionally, the “brains of the business” as Will puts it, Anthony says that together with Will’s directing skills, they’d like to see what they can accomplish as TV, video and music producers, living their “mission” to “inspire and entertain.”

With that mission, the pair have also established a master class and educational outreach program to help students discover and advance their music skills. “Fiercely passionate people,” as Anthony describes he and Will, they try to instill in their students the same sense of drive and collaborative competition that has helped them achieve remarkable acclaim from sports to the stage. He says that in essence, they share that, “we’re here to tell you, we don’t know what you have at home. But you have to – excuse my French – fucking do it. Life is so short and precious, go for what you love to do.”

Will and Anthony Nunziata currently have concert dates scheduled throughout the fall. For more information, visit www.willandanthony.com.

Steve Schonberg is the editor-in-chief of www.centerontheaisle.com.


Freedom of Expression Is Worth Fighting For

It has been a deeply troubling week for defenders of freedom of expression. After a hacking attack that the FBI has now officially connected to the government of North Korea, and subsequent threats by the hackers, theater chains refused to show the co…