Happy Trails to You

“I liked that Helen is a grump,” admits Ellie Kemper of her turn in Happiness for Beginners, an adaptation of the 2015 bestseller. “It is so different from the optimistic, funny, bright-eyed women that I’ve played in the past.” To be sure, Helen is nothing like Ellie’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. But the newly divorced curmudgeon, who’s out to reset her life by going off to the wilderness on a survival course, was a good example for Ellie about taking on new challenges. “It’s mostly about Helen going on this journey to get to know herself better. That’s where any happiness begins, making sure that you’re happy with yourself.”

Happiness for Beginners premieres Thursday, July 27 on Netflix

‘Haunted’ Past

Welcome, foolish mortals! Inspired by Disney’s classic theme park attraction, the new pic Haunted Mansion follows a single mom (Rosario Dawson) whose move to New Orleans gets tricky when she finds her new house is the old haunt for 999 spooky denizens. And while she has to rely on a priest (Owen Wilson), a psychic (Tiffany Haddish) and a professor (Danny DeVito) for aid, director Justin Simien didn’t need much help to get into the spirit of things. “I actually used to work at Disneyland,” he reveals. “And anytime I wasn’t working on the ride I was supposed to, I’d ride my favorite ride, Haunted Manson.”

Haunted Mansion is out in theaters on Friday July 28. 

In the Spotlight: Zach Galifianakis

What he’s doing: Mixing drama with comedy as a toy tycoon in The Beanie Bubble. “It’s fun to do [different things]. Once you start doing the one thing, for me, it’s really boring.”

What he’s done: Starred in The Hangover trilogy. “People used to come up to me and be like, ‘Oh, my kids love The Hangover.’ I’m like, ‘You’re a terrible parent!’

The Beanie Bubble premieres on Friday, July 28, on Apple TV+.