Beneath the yellow-feathered Big Bird mask is a gray-haired guy who has played the character for over 45 years. I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story, a moving documentary about the puppeteer behind Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird, will premiere May 5 on iTunes with a theatrical release to follow. The movie, which won critical acclaim at several film festivals, traces Spinney’s life from crafting puppets with his mother to his collaborations with Muppets creator Jim Henson. Though many of Spinney’s colleagues are long retired, the 81-year-old has no plans to put down the puppets: Spinney’s handpicked successor has been waiting in the wings for almost 20 years.
Based on her popular New York Times essay about telling her son that she had fallen in love with her closest female friend, actress Maria Bello examines the modern family in Whatever … Love Is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves, on shelves now.
Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara team up as a new odd couple in Hot Pursuit, out May 8. Witherspoon plays an uptight policewoman trying to protect a drug dealer’s recently widowed trophy wife (Vergara) before she testifies.
Back to Cali
Rock duo Best Coast sticks to relatable lyrics about being young, bored and in love on their third album, California Nights, out May 4. But they also get psychedelic on the title track, which singer Bethany Cosentino calls “audio weed.”
‘THE QUESTION I’D LONG POSED TO MYSELF–WHETHER TO BE MARRIED OR SINGLE–IS A FALSE BINARY.’
MUMFORD & SONS DROP A NEW LP
This appears in the May 11, 2015 issue of TIME.