Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend



Issa Rae remembers what life was like when she was starting out in Hollywood: no money, and just hoping for a chance to be discovered.

The first episode of her viral webseries “Awkward Black Girl” launched a decade ago. She ran out of money, then was saved by a Kickstarte­r campaign. So Rae, now an aspiring entertainm­ent mogul with a reported new $40 million WarnerMedi­a deal, wants to lighten the load for others hoping to climb the entertainm­ent ladder. She’s teaming up with LIFEWTR, PepsiCo’s bottled water product line, and its “Life Unseen” campaign. They’re hoping to shed light on 20 up-and-coming creatives in fashion, film, music and visual art from underrepre­sented communitie­s. Their content will be featured at, and their individual artwork will be displayed on a collection of 20 bottles starting next month. There’s also a #LifeUnseen­Contest on Instagram that includes a chance for five more artists to be mentored by Rae and provided $10,000 each for future projects.

British actor Helen McCrory, who played the matriarch of a crime family on the TV show “Peaky Blinders” and the scheming Voldemort ally Narcissa Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” movies, died Friday. She was 52. Her husband, fellow actor Damian Lewis, said she died after a “heroic battle with cancer.” McCrory starred in the TV thriller “Fearless”; played lawyer Cherie Blair, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in the 2006 movie “The Queen”; and had roles in Martin Scorsese’s film “Hugo” and the James Bond thriller “Skyfall.” Onstage, her roles included the Greek heroine “Medea” at the National Theatre in 2014. At the same theater in 2016, she starred in Terence Rattigan’s “The Deep Blue Sea.” McCrory and Lewis, star of the TV series “Homeland” and “Billions,” married in 2007 and had two children. Actor Viola Davis was named Woman of the Year on Friday by Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatrical­s. She is set to be honored Thursday in an online ceremony that will include a speech from Davis as she is given her ceremonial pudding pot.

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