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Star Apps: Amy Acker

On CBS series "Person of Interest," Amy Acker plays Root, a hacker and assassin. In real life, the actress -- who has also played Fred/Illyria on "Angel" and Kelly Peyton on "Alias" -- jokes that her grade-school-age son is more tech savvy than she is. I chatted with Amy Acker about Season 4 of "Person of Interest," her most memorable fan encounters, and her favorite mobile apps.

What's Root's defining characteristic? Probably loyalty. She looks out for all the team and does anything the machine asks and never questions … Read more

Star Apps: Dan Stevens

War is hell, and so are ungracious houseguests. That's what one unsuspecting family discovers when David, a soldier just back from combat (played by Dan Stevens), crashes at their home in "The Guest." I chatted with Dan Stevens, the British actor best known for playing attorney and would-be heir Matthew Crawley on "Downton Abbey," about his latest role, becoming an American heartthrob, and his favorite apps.

What was the appeal of playing this particular character? When I came here to the States, I was looking for different challenges and didn't quite know what form … Read more

Star Apps: 'Sixteen Candles'

"Sixteen Candles" has just turned 30. To mark this momentous event, actors Gedde Watanabe, Debbie Pollack, and Justin Henry are attending a special screening of the '80s cult classic today at San Francisco's Castro Theatre. I chatted with the trio about the film's legacy, working with director John Hughes, the scenes that you've never seen, and their favorite apps.

Gedde Watanabe (Long Duk Dong)

Did growing up somewhat alienated as an Asian-American in Utah inform your portrayal of foreign exchange student Long Duk Dong? Absolutely not. [Laughs] There was some of the alienation where I … Read more

Star Apps: Julie Newmar

When you're an actress as inimitable as Julie Newmar, of course you have a rose, a day lily, and an orchid named in your honor. In 1995 she also inspired (and made a cameo appearance in) "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar." Best known for playing Catwoman on the "Batman" TV series, Newmar will appear as part of the California Independent Film Festival's screening of "To Wong Foo." I chatted with Julie Newmar about her most iconic roles, working with the late Robin Williams, her chemistry with Adam West, the … Read more

Star Apps: Five Finger Death Punch and Hellyeah

Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory and Hellyeah vocalist Chad Gray were outcasts before joining the metal scene. Today they're at the center of an ever-growing community of metal bands and fans. This fall they'll tour with Volbeat and Nothing More, starting September 16 in Salt Lake City.

What kind of statement are you making on this package tour? Zoltan Bathory: This is the thing about the heavy metal guys, that we're not going to go away. This is here to stay. And if things get difficult, we'll figure out how to do it anyway. … Read more

Star Apps: Circa Zero

Rob Giles was once a Police fan, mystified by the "Ghost in the Machine" album cover. Andy Summers was once a member of The Police. Today the two play together in Circa Zero. I chatted with Rob Giles and Andy Summers about their new album, "Circus Hero," The Police, and their favorite apps.

How have people responded to a new, post-Police Andy Summers project? Andy Summers: Everybody loves us.

Rob Giles: I thought the response was going to be more polarizing, that people were going to really like it or not, but the response was overwhelmingly … Read more

Star Apps: Nervo

For Mim and Liv Nervo, being the top-ranking women DJs takes a "work hard, play hard" attitude. I chatted with the first sisters of dance music, who next appear at New York's Electric Zoo Festival, about the shows, sharing DJ gigs with Paris Hilton, triumphing in a male-dominated industry, how music has healed their hearts, and their favorite apps.

What can you tell us about your Electric Zoo set? Mim: We've been playing lots of festivals this summer, so we're up to speed with our festival sets. They're short and high energy, and they … Read more

Star Apps: Retro Futura Tour 2014

In the early '80s -- when the US charts were still dominated by '70s rock like Steve Miller Band, Chicago, and Foreigner -- a fresh crop of artists rose up with a revolutionary, synth-based sound that borrowed from Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder and would influence future electronic music. This second British Invasion included Howard Jones, Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey, Ultravox's Midge Ure, Katrina and the Waves' Katrina, and China Crisis. If you missed them the first time around, catch them on this summer's Retro Futura Tour. I chatted with these artists about the tour, the stories behind their … Read more

Star Apps: Armin van Buuren

Grammy-nominated Armin van Buuren is more than trance music's most respected DJ/producer. Through his radio show, A State of Trance, and his "A State of Trance Classics" album series, he keeps the genre alive by highlighting what's fresh and preserving its illustrious past. US fans can taste his trance at New York's Electric Zoo Festival on August 30 or at Las Vegas' Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub on August 31.

Tell us about your Electric Zoo Festival set. It depends on the current releases, and it'll be a mix of what the people expect … Read more

Star Apps: 'The One I Love'

Whereas most moviemakers are happy to dissect every aspect of an new release, actor Mark Duplass and director Charlie McDowell are taking a more hush-hush approach about "The One I Love." "It's a romantic comedy with Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss," says the director. "They go for a couple's retreat through their therapist to see if they can save their relationship." You can't blame this discretion, considering that "The One I Love" has more twists and turns than your average film, not to mention a major surprise ending. But … Read more