Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Celine Dion Offers a Portrait of Resilience in New Documentary

 Canadian singer Celine Dion attends the New York special screening of the documentary film "I Am: Celine Dion" at Alice Tully Hall in New York City on June 17, 2024. (AFP)
Canadian singer Celine Dion attends the New York special screening of the documentary film "I Am: Celine Dion" at Alice Tully Hall in New York City on June 17, 2024. (AFP)
TT

Celine Dion Offers a Portrait of Resilience in New Documentary

 Canadian singer Celine Dion attends the New York special screening of the documentary film "I Am: Celine Dion" at Alice Tully Hall in New York City on June 17, 2024. (AFP)
Canadian singer Celine Dion attends the New York special screening of the documentary film "I Am: Celine Dion" at Alice Tully Hall in New York City on June 17, 2024. (AFP)

Music legend Celine Dion vowed Monday her "passion as a performer will never disappear," despite health struggles she says are still just a small part of her monumental story.

"I'm not dead," the singer told AFP on the red carpet ahead of the premiere of the new documentary "I Am: Celine Dion" that focuses on her soaring career and more recent struggles with a rare neurological disorder that has hampered her ability to perform.

"When life imposes something on you, you have two options. You deal with it or you don't want to deal with it," Dion said, calling her decision to speak out about her condition in the documentary both "the greatest gift and the greatest responsibility."

"It's not going to go away," she said of the disorder. "I'm going to have to deal with this. And I am."

The 56-year-old first disclosed in December 2022 that she had been diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome, a progressive autoimmune disorder with no cure.

Treatment can help alleviate symptoms of the condition that can cause stiff muscles in the torso, arms and legs as well as trigger severe spasms.

"The show will still go on," she promised, but said it was important to be honest about the struggle.

Irene Taylor, the Academy Award-nominated director behind the film, told AFP that Dion's one ask was to be able to tell her own story, in her own words.

"Would that be possible? Instead of other people talking about me?" she recalls the superstar requesting.

"That was like music to my ears as a storyteller," Taylor said.

"She just opened up and was very authentic ... in her joy and also in her suffering."

The documentary will begin streaming globally on June 25 on Prime Video.

Dion was forced to cancel a string of shows scheduled for 2023 and 2024, saying she was not strong enough to tour.

She made a surprise appearance earlier this year at the Grammy Awards, presenting the Album of the Year award to Taylor Swift.

Dion has sold more than 250 million albums during her decades-long career.

The Quebec-born star's "Courage World Tour" began in 2019, and Dion had completed 52 shows before the Covid-19 pandemic put the remainder on hold.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : ‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ Celebrates Friendship, Ryan Reynolds Says

Canadian-US actor Ryan Reynolds (L) and Australian actor Hugh Jackman pose on the red carpet upon arrival to attend the UK sneak peek event for "Deadpool & Wolverine", at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, west London on July 11, 2024. (AFP)
Canadian-US actor Ryan Reynolds (L) and Australian actor Hugh Jackman pose on the red carpet upon arrival to attend the UK sneak peek event for "Deadpool & Wolverine", at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, west London on July 11, 2024. (AFP)
TT

‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ Celebrates Friendship, Ryan Reynolds Says

Canadian-US actor Ryan Reynolds (L) and Australian actor Hugh Jackman pose on the red carpet upon arrival to attend the UK sneak peek event for "Deadpool & Wolverine", at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, west London on July 11, 2024. (AFP)
Canadian-US actor Ryan Reynolds (L) and Australian actor Hugh Jackman pose on the red carpet upon arrival to attend the UK sneak peek event for "Deadpool & Wolverine", at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, west London on July 11, 2024. (AFP)

The global promotional tour for "Deadpool & Wolverine" touched down in London on Thursday, with stars Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman bringing their bromance to the movie's UK sneak peek event.

The two have entertained fans with their humorous, high-energy appearances at previous stops in Shanghai, Seoul and Berlin.

The third installment in the "Deadpool" movie franchise sees Jackman's Wolverine return from retirement to help wise-cracking Deadpool (Reynolds) save his world.

"It's about friendship," said Reynolds, who also co-wrote and produced the film.

"There's so many moments in the movie where it's hard to tell if Deadpool's talking to Wolverine, Wolverine talking to Deadpool, or it's Hugh and Ryan talking to each other. And I'm really proud of those moments."

Jackman had not planned to reprise the role of the gruff, clawed X-Man Wolverine. But the Australian actor said his mind started changing after he watched the first "Deadpool" film.

"It was something in here," he said, pointing at his heart. "I really thought I was done. And then, five or six years later, I was driving and I just knew in my bones I wanted to do that."

"I knew for fans it would be the thing they'd waited for, I knew it'd be a kind of dynamic that we've never seen before. I had no idea how hard it would be physically at age 55 to do it but it's absolutely worth it. I have loved every second."

Secrecy surrounds the film's plot details. Respecting the characters and their legacy was at the heart of the writing process, said director and co-writer Shawn Levy.

"But then we pushed them into areas that other movies haven't," he said. "I think you're going to see some aspects to both their performances that are quite different than what we've seen in their prior films."

The only Marvel-Disney movie released this year, "Deadpool & Wolverine" is expected to be a box office hit when it begins its global cinematic rollout on July 24.

"There is a lot riding on it but we've worked really hard to deliver the goods," said Levy.

"I focus on the opportunity, not the expectation. The creative opportunity to connect with a huge global audience in a new way, in a surprising and fresh way, that was delicious," he said.

For Reynolds, 47, releasing the film to the world comes with other concerns.

"I feel like I've waited my entire life to do this one movie. The only problem that poses is I don't know what the hell we're supposed to do next."