Helen Slater


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But that was your first movie. Yes. And it's it became I, I guess your signature is the best way to put it. But who could have envisioned certainly not you or anybody else that you'd be still involved with supergirl, all these years later and its newest incarnation. Yeah. It's to be playing her mother. Now, I play super girl's mom on the CBS, or now CW show. No see coaching c w think it's still CW. Yes, but a station with letters. We'll just go. I mean, it is sort of the, it's just the oddest job to have had to have played that role because then on smallville which was also about the superman as you know, as a teenager, I played his biological mom from creek. Thanh. And then there's another one to all the animated series. I play Martha Kent. So I think they time they just enjoy. It's not only me, I think it's all of us that have been in this DC universe. Get asked again. And again or what a lovely thing all my gosh. It's so sweet. It's great for you guys who get to do it, and it's great for the fan. Well, I just was at a Comecon in England. Oh, mind, you know, I can tell you, the, the fans the people that are real DC world fan. They are they just love those connections and being able to like a really good. We are talking about this last night, because I was telling my dad doesn't get to watch a lot of TV. And I was saying that this is something that's so common where they bring people in, and it, it really makes it multigenerational in a whole other way. Yeah. So it's not just someone may not know you or supergirl. But now you're super. Girls mum. Yes. And in what at the comic cons, a lot of times it's the parents that's it and the kids will have seen the TV show. And but they always, you know, at the kamikaze they'll print up some right right right in the supergirl. Hang, and sometimes the kids are just like staring at it like it doesn't quite make sense. Melissa Benoist as supergirl from that person on the dad is saying, all that was Super Bowl when I was, and she's very. You too are quite similar. She's very simple, qualities. I can't say I mean I want to say that's the highest compliment. Melissa Benoist is one of the kindest, hardest working, you know, one hour television. I've been on a few shows also as a series regular where the hours are just so unforgiving. It's never it's very rarely a ten hour day twelve hour day and, and with special effects like supergirl, it's the CGI. It's going on many times, fourteen hour fifteen hour days and she has never lost her seat. I mean like just kept the just, you know, she'll say if something feels tiring or whatever, but, but no just no drama behaviors such a I can't say enough great things about her there. So lucky to have found her and really and young winner. Very lucky because she's exactly what you want them to emulate as. Real person. Yes. Because only here nice things and then in the role. Yeah, definitely. But it is the generational it. What makes me happy makes me excited. It's part of what honestly what I love about family guy, and because Seth McFarland is such a he's a jazz nut. You know, he's a musical theater guy. So the same thing, the jokes, the jokes that they will make on that show. Merican dad to you know Pearl Bailey is the name of the high school like very, it's stuff that I realized there are four of us getting it and loving every minute and the rest. Nobody has a clue sign with me. Eight the fine my me that's. Is there a difference in the vibe, the atmosphere, the interactions at a British Comecon, and there is to Ray t-? Well, the accent is so lovely, it softens anything sometimes people coming up and saying, you know, I had a woman in this last comic. Con I mean it was just so odd. And she said to me something like you know, you looked very ill at the comic con from two years ago, just look very sick, and I smile politely, but she's saying it with the loveliest Akron. So like, it's you're kind of getting. Yeah, I'm trying to think what the difference if I can think of what the American comic cons have done. I'm going to metropolis this weekend. I haven't been in quite a while, like ten years. I think they, it's this tiny little one and it's the birthplace of superman. It's metropolis Illinois. And, and I'll have a better sense. Of the American ones from that found the fans are. But usually everybody is so kind and, and many times what they're telling you is not necessarily. Oh, I loved you in the movie, but they're telling you stories like, you know, my dad passed away last year, and I have this memory when I was twelve you know, sitting on the couch and that movie coming on, and it really becomes more about that in that way. It's sort of this unexpected thing, where you're hearing people's very moving stories including people that have been through, you know, just unbelievable tragedy and illness and really willing to share their stories. So I I always feel moved moved by that piece of it. Well that, but that is where we do still need each other, and where the Interweb and everything else you can't really replace is that. And having someone come up and do exactly that, which is this was my whenever I was sick and I was home from. School. I watch with my mom, it's like the end. I think you're speaking to something true, which is just the human that human contact or being connected. Even just for few minutes with, you know, being able to be seen as crazy as the various cons are, and they are crazy. Have you been? Then if you've been in that were in so many. Yes. Yes. Oh my gosh. San Diego comic. Con guess where we tell you con and we've been to isn't it inner crowding San Diego's. That's insane done that once and I don't think I can do that again though. Like I mean that must have been to. Everybody we meet or have any conversation with have been really nice. Yes. Really? Really nice just a lot of so many of them. Yes, I mean, if we start makes you think the mass of humanity, it's like the mouth it. Yeah. But what did you finish? What you were saying. I'm sorry. I don't know if no no no, no. It's, it's, it's that though, it's that the thing that makes me really excited for the cons. Is that whether it's d- Twenty-three or anything else, people plan for them for a whole year or two years? They, they find out who's gonna come and they will sit for hours to whether it's hall H or it's just getting into whatever the city is there, too. I have a lot of friends who go to the cons around the world and across unit there. So many of them, and a lot of for a lot, especially voice actors, there's a lot of them were. This is their life mango from this to this, Jason Marston is oh. Oh, yeah. Everywhere, there's, you know, there's so many and now the artists also the, the cut that's been a huge boom, I think, in the last more than when I did my first one, I haven't done that many, but it now seems like there's this great financial way to make some money during you know, where which is great great. Yeah. So. I don't know how to begin this, exactly. But when you attended the high school for performing arts and New York City, did you actually do production numbers out on the street? I'll just like in fame. Tell me it was just. Thing and I'm not saying it because it's my alma mater, and I love it so much. We my class, which Erica Gimpo. She played CoCo and fame. She was in my class, Lisa Vidal, who's a working actress kisha Lewis, who took over for Jennifer Holliday in Dreamgirls. They were all part of my class, and we were part of the bus and truck, this very split like a special you had to audition in the eleventh grade, and it was an original musical that I composed. And then we would take it on tour in the city to public schools in Harlem Spanish Harlem, and all over the city and we were the kind of kids like our class were the very Singye probably annoying to the musicians are some some track. But we really did like have this kind of innocent buoyant, it wasn't that far off from the fame. I'd say that's just great. Yeah. Yeah. Mean for us, we were, we just were so I mean, when you think now I'm fifty five years old now, and I look back at that fifteen year old and that sense of just joy and youth. And when you just feel like you can absolutely do anything, and just how precious that time is in seeing it, in my daughter, and my nieces and my friends kids that kind of. You know, just facing forward and your life in front of you and what's going to happen really lovely. Did your daughter inherits showbiz bug from you? She went to NYU Tisch. She was in the Stella Adler school, and then she transferred to the film school and made a web series and kind of how she's like you and your husband. She's she has a lot more rob because they have more of that humor from like the office, and they both we've all done improv, but she's really done that improv track. And now if you could see my face anyone, that's listening Leonard and Jesse can see she's now living in Brooklyn, which is fabulous for her with her great Kabbal of women writers, and they're part of this brook- Brooklyn collective, it's like an improv collective, and they get up and do their art and their work and their but you know it's super far away, but she's, she's happy. And she had. Couple of like maybe opportunity to come back to L A. And she was like, you know, I'm really, really happy here, and well we're which I'm from New York, so it'd be although I was living on the on New York on the upper east side, and she's in Brooklyn, so it may as well be Moscow so far from. Yeah. Anyways mom's there so she gets good. That's something your parents artistic at all my parents, they divorced when I was eight years old. And my, my dad worked in public television. He was the general manager in the vice president for PBS, and w t twenty six and then my mom was a she went to law school. When I was a senior, and practice law, and then justed all piecework for the last, I have the best story about her. Can I share? Yes, it's just too, and you can always cut it out if it's too. So she's this really feisty Jewish mother like super overbearing brilliant, like. I went to college at fifteen and just this really intense energy, and she and I have always bumped heads our whole life, but not out of no love just whatever the mother daughter because stalled is, which all mother daughters have to go through. So a few years ago, I said to her, it was just so becoming like a little too stressful. And I said, look, when I come, I'm going to stay in a hotel, we'll still go to the theatre. We'll still go to meals. We'll still see Hannah my daughter, but I just think it's just being and she was, you know, as you can imagine very upset about this. But she we did it. We'd just was what had to happen and around three years into this. I was doing the little movie in New York, and I had a few days off, and I called her, and I was like, mom wanted. I come stay with you. And she was like, oh my God. This is so wonderful. Yes. Come stay with me. And we had the best time ever. We walked through central park, a six mile walk. We stayed up till three in the morning talking about philosophy and. Religion and literature and just the best time. And on the third day and I should just back track a little bit. So her work in the peace movement has been specifically around nuclear disarmament, and she's traveled all over the world you can look up. Alex Slater written articles in the New York Times Alice to we haven't Alice to your mother, your husband anyway, so on the third day. I the phone rings at five in the morning, and I come out, and I have met never really seen my mother cry. Just not seen her really my and she's with stream Watertown, her face. And I'm like, mom, what's happening? What's going on is everything? Okay. And she puts the phone down. And she says we've won the Nobel peace prize. Now, what were the chances her, or one of her organizations? I can that I would be in the house on the morning that she got this news. I took her to Oslo. She was in the ceremony. I had to go with all the family members watching on the video, and it was just one. Of the most incredible not making up. But, like just an extraordinary story in my life that, that happened. Yeah. And the reason I can want want it, and then that's international coalition against nuclear right wrong. Something like that. Is because for in twenty seventeen or yeah, twenty seventeen or twenty eighteen twenty eighteen they did this initiative at the United Nations to get as many countries as possible to sign a petition that would say nuclear weapons are unlawful and because of that one thing that they were able to get done. They were awarded the Nobel peace prize. And you know it was it was an incredible experience. Got to share that with and share with their end that I was in the apartment when it said, I'm not staying we're taking break for a few. It's just too much anyway. So the previous healthy maybe oh my gosh. Sometimes, you know that thing of you just sometimes have to do that. So there you are in. Yes in your senior year. Yes. High school for performing arts. And how does the audition for supergirl come about? So I graduated in June. And then we I said to both my parents, I said, you know, I'd like to take some time to see if I can addition and get get something because the rule was performing arts in general. You weren't allowed to work. Sometimes they were exceptions. But they really were very strong like come and get this training, and it was a vocational high school. It was very strict. And how our member reading that they actually forbid you. Yeah. I mean, it was pretty strong, and there were some a couple of exceptions, but for the most part it really was that was the letter of the law. So I said, let, I'd like to try this, and so I started in July auditioning for things. And I think I addition for supergirl I in September bike beginning of September after I graduated. And you know, it was just a shock. I had to agents at the time one of them wanted to send me up for supergirl and the other one to send me up for super girls friend. So I went with the agent, that would like go for the part of supergirl. Yeah. Can you walk us through that? I'm sorry. You've probably had to tell the so many. No. Okay. Well, my mom, bringing my mom back in Alice, she sewed me Cape. I definitely went in fully propped up. She sold the Cape by I remember the acting in with the other girls, the other girls. They're so how do you get a room with it? Because performing arts on. You know, you are this was dead serious for me. And but I remember seeing the other young women there and no one had a Cape. I was like, well, maybe this is the distinguishing piece nerves. I my heart like bang, bang, bang. Just pounding just the nerves of its of that audition. I remember very specifically and I remember one acting teacher saying the obstacle strengthens the will. So I was like, you know, strengthening the well against that fear, and then I ought dishes, and then they brought me back for screen test in England. And there is a documentary the making of supergirl. I think it's on the DVD now. And Lynn stall master who's revered casting director. Yes. And he talks about his strategy forgetting them to cast me after that first edition was to bring me when they brought me back for the second one before the screen test, he said his thinking was, like, bring her in first, so that he thought that, that would be like, I don't know, somehow that was his strategy as opposed to bring her in last after everybody, and then it was just this wild change of life. Experience I trained with Alf join to trained Christopher Reeve and gain twenty five pounds and did all this weight training translating. I mean it was right boost shirt. You drinking protein drinks and running and weight training fencing horseback riding he just had me do as many athletic swimming three times a week, everything to sort of build up as sense of being an athlete lake being an athlete, and, and then learning how to fly on the wires, which was. Quite a trip. And I and I heard it's actually hasn't changed that much now with Melissa the way they do it, it isn't that much different. They still have like the diaper harness with Rhianna wires and the. I'm watching video of my friend who had a fall, so it, so it's like this morning with Jaylen laughing because you do think all the technology in the world, all the things we have, and he still awkwardly dents in half going. Oh, I just need, only my friend has said and we she night joke about this because she just she directed a couple of years ago, this movie ride about of surfing movie mother surfer, and she said it's six thousand years. We've been in the film and the sound department has not none. Nothing. That's improve with sound. You're still getting wide with them. Putting it right. Traits in your private parties. They haven't like the only thing that. And supergirl flying has just stayed has not improved. Is it true that you actually talked to Christopher Reeve about? I did he was at pinewood studios originally he was going to be in the script, and then I think just the, the way that the schedules are working out. He couldn't do it then. But we did become friends, and I have told this story before of when he and I were in New York, and we were out late one night, and we had gone to dinner, and we were sitting on central park, south or central park west on a park bench, and it was late like, maybe one in the morning and two or three fire trucks comes zooming down central park west, let's just say and Chris turned to me, and he said, oh, here's superman and supergirl and not a thing we can do to help, you know, like the. Yeah. So he was a lovely lovely man. I don't know if you ever got to meet him, just briefly. Yeah. I mean, just so kindhearted. And interestingly this comic con I was at an England Brandon routh ran around. He is. Is really has a Chris vibe, like, just as gentle, hard and kind of warmth into just such a sweetness. And I we talked about it briefly and he said, you know, I've been told that before and really wild anyway. It's one hell of a compliment. Yeah, right. Yeah. You're going to see him haired that. That's okay. Yeah. Yeah. Don't remember your first day on the sound stage, such a good question. What was the first day? I don't. I don't know that. I remember the first day I remember the first day of flying and I remembered that they were starting to pull me up on the wires. And I remember quietly singing to myself. Hello, dolly. I. That song, I guess it was all those summer stocks. Some are. I remember I'd send that when I was little learning how to water ski like trying to get up on the water skis. So I was singing like, Hello, Dolly as they were lifting me. And, you know, you're lift, you're not it's not just two feet. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Any fear out there here and again, just that feeling like you're just I mean, I don't know. I don't know what the implications of this. But you're giving the impression that you're okay. And to yourself and yeah. This sense of your okay? Well, and I trust the people that I was working out joint and the people that were yeah, it goes. There's another funny motion of things that haven't changed. His flying is still the arms out. Yes. So, you know. One, Chris had a thing with, like, because he was a pilot about, like some sort of sectional. Yes. It like there was he was an airplane. Hey, you know what you're superman. You do. Whatever you want. Yeah. Right. You wanna be a plane. You'd be a plane. Exactly. And, and how would you sum up the experience of making that movie wasn't a was it a positive experience? Much sounds like unknown. Yeah. You know, I mean it was it was great. It was a great experience. I mean it completely changed the trajectory of my life. So for the just for that, alone, I feel like it just hold such a place in my psyche. And the fact that it's still going on just the it's that's sort of just an odd. I mean imagine seeing a picture of yourself at eighteen years old when you go to Comecon or some yet, you're kind of it. Oh, it's. So it's, it's very present. Yeah. I wished it was a it had done better. Obviously the writing. I mean I don't know. Part of it was that it was a super girl, and they couldn't fashion it exactly in the same way as superman. I'm not. I don't know. Why not? But then, you know, I went on and did ruthless people and secret of my success and movies that really broke out, I think a little better than what Chris was up against. I think for him it was much, much harder. No, you didn't get straitjacketed no pun intended. Right. That part. Right. Career-wise. Yeah. That was sort of maybe the silver lining of not doing as well. Interesting. Well, you're next film, made a big big impact on my daughter, here, the magin to Billy g. Yep. I. That's one of the very first movies that I saw where I started to understand the whole girl, power situation, which is why I think it has the effect that it does. Yeah, I love hearing that. And I've had so many people share that with me, it was on TV a lot, which is also a factor. Yes. When something's on a ton. Yes. No. And sinks, in it doesn't messages that they were saying, well, I looked, I looked it reviews and it wasn't a super well review now, but and I said to my dad, I have no clue if I watched it now I think I'd still love it. Yeah, just because that's well it holds up place. Yeah. Play for me. That's, that's that movie I didn't realize as well until much later that that was Christian Slater. That's not what stuck in my head. Yeah. And yard can Smith her voice of Lisa Simpson. Because she gets her period in the film, right? Which is a little bit again. You're going. What does that mean reasoning with the lady MTA super embarrassed about? And then when I got. Older, and I went, oh, it misses terrible yet. It now. Okay. But again, in terms of things not changing. What's the first thing in the film that, that shows you're active of power, and you don't own me as cutting the hair, so get some things don't change? And I had people tell me they cut their hair also that, that film they had their for whole look your whole. Look, you go from being what just standard beautiful. Yeah. You know where it's like all I get it. I get react the way they do. And then you're in a biker type Ryano name with the blue and the paint and the hair and the earrings. And everything it it stuck. It did. It was there. And I do I still think about it. That's why meeting you the other day for the first time I just went, oh, by the way, just we had the best time at the do we call it the malls fest. It's all my gosh. That's it's anybody. That's listening that lived in Los Angeles. Or if you live anyway. Where in the world or country, just make it a destination. It was so much fun. We saw song catcher with his not. He's I cannot it was just so beautiful. And I think we did see it when it originally came out. I went with rob. And but I didn't remember so much of it. And we were both just crying and just hard opened in that story is just so beautiful. And now having heard what you do, which we will get into an amid as his, but it makes that much more sense. That's a perfect movie for you to see just so the whole point of the festival, which we will be doing again. Yes. The whole point of the festival was to show movies that needed cried out to find an audience, lean, again, yes, we need that. And I also just that it the family affair that your wife was making. Is it true that Allen g making the woman with the mouse? Let me tell you. I was waiting for a cop to come up. I really was I was waiting for an auto license and just go, listen, you cannot just be pushed she had champagne she's pouring. She made was it was mother's day, which makes sense, which makes it so Alice was pouring. Mom, mom. All right. That was so fun. Alice without. They're just getting everybody. Tanked? The way to go. It was very fun. All the volunteers were so our friends. Yes. That's the thing. We abused everyone. We know. But that's all friends there. Yeah, we'll come every year it was terrific was that the first. I it's going to be I think it's going to just keep getting bigger and bigger and thank you. That's the goal is to have exactly what you had, which is you see something. And you think, oh my God this movie. Yeah. How did I not see it? I'm so glad I did. And I said to friends, you may not love all the movies. Yeah. No, you can't. That's not how it works. But at the very least you won't feel like you, you won't feel like you wasted any time it will still feel valuable Boone of being at the AGIP Shen youthful. All of this all of it was wonderful. And that's why having you. There was such a trip. Oh, yeah. I'm so glad it really was. And then, so you have to tell the story, though of how you initially met them. Well, some years ago, and I mean some years ago, I think twenty five maybe not to be you play this game. But whenever we think it's five it's ten ten oh gosh, I very depressing. Sometime back. Your husband rob watts key. Yes, sent me a copy of short subjects that you had done a theatre troupe layers. We were doing improv and all in gibberish, by the way, are improv in L A. We would do these shows then yeah. Yes. So and sent me, a very cute funny. Wims ical short subject called heaven's poppin. On the Olsen and Johnson show, and we'll be held a pop and I really liked it. And I, I think in those pre Email days, I wrote back in actual letter, I think he's saying how much I enjoyed his quill. Can I tell you what it meant to him to? It was just such a huge just a huge thing in his life. Compliment to have you be saying that. And I think he I know he did he put your quote on the DVD. Because when you're independent, and you're making your things, you know, it's very hard to get any kind of acknowledgement from the real world or from the established world. So that was so kind. And well, it was because the film was charming and really, he's a terrible person, you wouldn't he would never do. Well, I don't think you would probably give your endorsement to something if it wasn't for your tastes now. Closeness hit hit the spot. Yeah. And I'm so that that's what put you back on my radar. And right. Introduced me. You know, the snail mail been rob. So when you walked up to say Hello Maltin fest about a month ago. It was like whoa, Hello. Yes. I remember you guys. Right. We were so happy. We all are. Yeah. I'm so happy. So when you started working as a working actress continued your career after supergirl and Billie Jean, but Billie Jean was that like for you. Well, I'm starting about to skip over your favorite. Hits you across his table charge. Oh, and also interestingly with the whole hashtag whole, too, I just said his hat while to him, you know, everything oldest new again. Yeah, this movie's the Pitta me of that. I mean I don't think it was the first. But just so in the eighties that here was theme. And the guys that wrote it were Walter Bernstein wrote, I believe the first version of the legend, Billie Jean, and he was blacklisted writer during the McCarthy period. And that is why I believe the movie has a lot of resonance resonance because he was telling kind of a political story, even though it's dressed up in a blonde trailer park. You know, curl kids that are on the wrong side of the tracks, and kind of in this hashtag me too movement back, then that it was sort of a modern Saint Joan story. And, but any, my I do think other brighter came in at once Jim Peters came on board. And it did get probably more water. Down or shifted around a bit. But, but I think the nugget of it is there. And that is when I probably was super is what it is. And you the image of you that, that sir just like you're super girl. It is quite funny. It was those roles were like, yeah. And then there's us Billie Jean just looking like a bad. Yeah. You know, can a little bit like Bowie, right? Just and had been ATar song invincible, which I know a lot of people were Fanta. Fanta and Christian Slater is in that and Christian who obviously went on to have a gigantic Donald, he's done really. Well, and people, I know he gets this, because I get it all the time, we play brother and sister in the movie, people are always asked go, I just would be simplicity say, Yep. Yes, we s we are. But I mean, what are the chances of that, that you sell my wife? Your brother and sister. Yeah. Time when when people don't necessarily know either of you oh. Oh I if it was today. I think somebody might have other is actually a well known casting director. Mary Jo Slater. And she had, I think she may have cast me in something before this. But since then I think I had had a new her and certainly had met her before I had done supergirl or legend diligent because she was in the New York Jets in the New York, sees interesting. Yeah. So that means you, do you uprooted and moved here to LA after I did ruthless people. I'm trying to remember the order. I moved to Los Angeles. I was in New York. I had started this theater company with Fisher Stevens, and Nancy Travis called naked angels, and kolber dead. And it went on to do really wonderful things, and it was February in New York City, and I was on seventy fifth, I was living on the Upper West side between Columbus and Amsterdam, and I had to just go to the subway to go down for hersal or something. And I was so. Cold. I mean, it's I'm barest. This is just an embarrassing story. I just and I remember getting home and just thinking, I'm done if I can work in California, Los Angeles. I, I don't wanna be cold like this, or the very short version for them wasn't. It was supposed to fly about my dad commuted for two years from New York to LA for entertainment to know you from New York both my parents, my mum's Bronx. Oh, jesse. My parents are from the pet sounds like it. Yes. Sounds like your mom and my mom, we, we have our Alyce. Yes. And then my dad's born in Manhattan, but raised in Teaneck New Jersey, but gosh so, so they my dad was commuting this trip. My mom would come out with him. They were supposed to fly home, but there was a blizzard, and they weren't sure if they were going to get it was one of those where you might be you might end up in Chicago. You might add up in Syracuse. You change. Hassle. So there was this incoming blizzard, which they were certain was gonna shut down all the airports. Yeah. So we we played hooky for a weekend. Yeah. In february. Yeah. In february. Yeah. And stayed here and we had an outdoor brunch Patty's. Sure, Luke, Elaine. Luke allay to my mom always says we were sitting outside at patties and I said, I'm I'm done now. I'm done with the col-. I'm not there is for some of us. It's not everybody. But for some of us really is was like that, like and now they're both wusses now. They can't handle any kind of weather. They've been immaterial to stay warm is much better in two thousand nineteen. I think the down call the law. I don't know that they had the hype Jesse, we said raise you're never gonna hear growing up here in southern California bundle. Yeah. No, we're layers layers was another one. It's like oh, so, so shirt. Yeah. And then a sweater layers right layers. I did make the move, and then I met rob, my so Helen hunt, and I went to the reason I knew to come out here was not only from doing the movie ruthless people, but because there was a group of actors that actually was my mom had helped organize. It was a filmmakers exchange between Russia and New York, and me Judd Nelson Mary, Stuart Masterson. Helen hunt, Craig Sheffer, Tim ransom Erica. Gimpo and kisha Lewis who were my friends from performing arts. We went to Moscow at in a filmmakers exchanges on the wall was still up so nineteen eighty-seven and they had artists come over here was this exchange, and we went to the national theatre the Moscow, national theatre and toward, and that's held, and I met and had this incredible. Just so much fun talking for, you know, sixteen hours a day. And when she was living in L A, and I came back. She said, I want you to come. Come to Gary Austin's improv class. Oh because she had done improv in Moscow. She got up an improvised and my mouth dropped open. I was like, how the heck do you do that? And she was completely fearless. And when I came to LA, she said, go to Gary Austin's improv class. He founded the groundlings, and she was on a movie she'd gotten a part somewhere. So she wasn't there, and I walked in, and I called her that night, and I said, I met the man, I'm gonna marry rapport. And she said, rob Watson. And I was like, how did you know, and she's like I just knew. And that's where I met, rob. So it's because of Helen hunt via Gary Austin that I met, rob. Moscow via Mazi. My mother. All comes back to. Exactly always, but anyway, but yes. So that's how I ended up in Los Angeles long story short longer start making these high profile movies with very high profile stars co-stars. And I'm wondering, you know, this people and the secret of my success and sticky fingers, guests and city slickers. Chris. Who I'm not asking favorites or anything like no no indiscreet who impressed you I hadn't who on a stage win working in a scene. And you and I have I have two two stories that stand out in my mind, and one was with Peter O'Toole on supergirl. So I was eighteen and green is green is could be. And there was one day where we just there's nothing much. They were setting up the shot or the something, and he said, do some Shakespeare for me because he knew I'd gone to performing are tonight. Did start the Juliet speech though knows the mask of night is on my face else would have made ins blush paint my cheek for that which was over heard me speak tonight, and my arms are flailing and I'm very earnest and I'm just acting my heart out. And he says, you know, I want you to try it again. And this time I want you to imagine that you're holding a daffodil between your thumb and your pointer and just keep your hands down by your side and. And do the monologue again. And this time I did it. I still get. So touched thinking of this, and I could just feel even at that age the poetry coming through without the flailing. And the language was the thing, and that was really one of those profound just acting tip moments. And the other one was with Bette midler on ruthless people, and it was a scene, where it's a very high comedy scene. And I had coached I had learned very early on. It's good to get an acting coach for film because you're not having any real rehearsal, nothing's in time, and the acting coach can actually just help you have things on the day because you're shooting out of order that can bring the scene to life. I worked with Perry, Barry primus. He was a wonderful acting coach from the actress studio. But we got to the day of the scene, where I'm having to tell Bette midler that her husband Danny devito is not willing to pay the ransom. And you know, she's pay Szekely. I have to. This terrible news because we're holding her hostage and, and, you know, the emotion just wasn't there. I had my sensory, and I had my notes from Barry, and I had, but I could the nerves or the something and you've, I'm sure you've talked to many, many actors and you probably have as well that, you know, a lot of the technique is, what do you do in that moment? If you can't, you know how can you stay relaxed, or how are you going to well, in this moment, and I was just struggling and bet turned to me. And she said, I just just let's do one take where you imagine that you're telling me pretend that you're having to tell me that I have cancer now. It sounds very heavy and very dark, but not for my twenty two year old little self it just relaxed the system and I could be in the imaginary world with her and the feeling was all there. And so those are two very strong moments with fancy people, I've had. Many others, without so many, but those are two that stand out in my mind to gems kindness, always sticks with people, that's the first thing another actor wanting to help you and one thing I do notice because I've now been like the last eight nine years, I've been on three television series as, as a series regular playing the mom. That's I'm pretty sure that's true in Austin and here in LA in Vancouver and the pace is so fast. I mean it's it's so there's it really is like NASCAR. Yeah. Like try by just so quickly and so anything you can bring a lot now at this age, like playing the moms I feel like can you just bring a sense of warmth, and like good humor and to help the kids, relax or that? And you know, it really does go such a long way. Even if I can't say enough about the feeling like I'm on the. Other side of I hope I can get it, right. Or I really want on the other side of just how can I make this good for everybody else, or you know, you're, you're not only helping the younger actress on your set? Yeah. But you're kind of being an exemplar for that. You're, you know, you're saying this is how it this is. How goes. Yeah, I hope so. When hopefully they take that with them, you know, how this, of course and it moves and move. We have these people. We remember right? That kind of like you just even if it's just briefly. You're like, oh, I remember, like they were actually it doesn't matter what job you do. Everyone. Everyone has the Davis show was nice to them. I repeat it constantly but everyone and entertainment tonight, treated me like gold. Oh, and because of that different because of growing up there and growing up with them. I've never had patients for route people. Yeah. Because though they I was a kid. They had I could give them nothing. Yeah. They got nothing from me in that sense. They were kind they were so sweet. Yes. So sweet. Down way means a lot, and it, does it sticks with you. And that means that they're young actors who one day when they're are a little older. We'll get to say the same thing. Yeah. Maybe you know it's a cycle, you know that. And that's it. It's also it's also why someone wants to hire you. Yeah. Although that is an interesting thing about the work really being it does I always heard it, and I was like, well, I just think I'm always going to be working, you know, like, I don't know, even though when I had Hannah I really just loved stopping I was working, maybe once a year much less, but I did really love being a mom and raising her. I just always had that sense. The work is here to Lois, come, and it does, but it really is true you get older. And it really does start to it's just lessons. You have to find other other means to keep yourself going. I want to ask you about something I this isn't a anything negative in any way. But you you were. Co-star on a big network TV series. Right. Co created by David milch. Yes. Capital news. Just aired as we're speaking, two point. Oh or something. Right. And, and Lloyd, bridges was star. Yes. And this had all the promise no one ever asks about that this habit, all the promise of being like a new yes show something like Aaron Sorkin snooze. Exactly. Generation later. Yes. And it didn't it didn't work. I know we did one season. And it just kind of I mean he's brilliant. David milch. There's no question, and I saw how he worked with actors people would come in, and if they had a problem he'd be like, come on bring them over to the computer and have them if he was have if somebody had trouble, I remember him going, like, well, what do you think he should say, or, you know, like he was just which always is the best a lot. Darren sorkin. And he's the genius of all geniuses. But I don't know why that didn't go. I, I haven't seen it since then. So I'd be curious. Yeah. Yeah, I know. I think it aired, I think air, it did go on the episode. So it did go. Yeah. Yeah. 'cause I was wondering about that. Because when you're starting a series you don't know, know if it's going to be five years out of your life. Exactly. Or thirteen weeks out of your exactly, and you have to obviously be optimistic and positive and getting ready to settle in. Yeah. Here's long getting to know your fellow actors and the crew, and you're doing the producers and, and sometimes the rug gets pulled down to be very funny feeling. Well, I think I don't think it's just actors I think it's anyone that's in the creative business and generating their own work or being dependent on other people to give them work. It's very unpredictable. I mean it's not for the faint of heart. Sure. And certainly not got you did. Get to do as you mentioned earlier, briefly some voice work for DC. Yes. I play Martha Kent in the DC. It's called. Oh, gosh. Don't re-taped this. Let me just fall on my face. It's the animated Batman the animated series. Yes, I play Talia the Russian villain. And I have a lot of people Comecon come up with their Taliban animated things cell and I signed superhero girl shit. Dc superhero girls. Yes. That DC superhero girls. And I play Martha Kent. I, I lose I am stripped of my superpower, although you're a mom, I'm the mom superhero. And also, I'm a mom that's true. That's true. Remember that? So what has what do you find sustains you? That's such a good question too silky and the fishing the suck. That's the la-. Yes. Well. I think I mean what is sustaining? It is. I think my good marriage. Is that just so embarrassed? Why would that? That's, that's I'll tell the chew them to such a shoutout to rub. Lots key right now. When Hannah went to college, I don't know if it was the first or second year. I don't even know if I've told him this. He knows this though. He's, you know, started this nonprofit turbine arts and does these wonderful improv shows and brings in local LA artists on Sunday nights and kind of just does this as his love and creative hobby on their website. Yes. Turbine arts collective. I think that's sure turbine arts. Oh my gosh. Find that you can find that you can guess. Anyway, it was like the first or second year, and there was this emptiness thing that hit or I don't know how to describe it. I just want mother. Join clubs you. I mean, an all I news starting at around three o'clock in the afternoon, probably the time when I used to pick her up at school or something. I just kind of settle on the couch. And you know, this just this just kind of a little bit blue and dreary, and I just had this impression in feeling of rob and not impression he'd be like, come on old, girl and Sunday nights. He would make me perform, you know, we would do improv shows and things like that, and it was just such a gift to kind of whether he meant to or not, like, you know, get me out, and you just, you know, there's life is still going on, so that, that was that's fun. And that continues to go on. Do you enjoy improv? I do I do. He's masterful at. I'm not just saying it because he's my husband. There are people that are just and he's teaching it. Now, does these he teaches introduction, and then two classes during the week for this particular technique, which is not based on comedy? It's based on you only do impr-, you only take from what you're getting from the other person. So you're never having to think up something funny, or come up with a funny line. And he's, he's really interested in that way of working. But yeah. And then the but in terms of what is sustaining or what my friendships, I think, really help a lot being. I've been a composer, I have made five records. I've just finished a sixth album that's been helpful. Yeah. I'm and center. Yes. Well, that's because it's like too much work to find other people. I'm like. I know I have done musical theater workshops and in fact, Cal State Long Beach did a production. I my last album before this was based on the ugly, duckling Hans Christian Andersen's, ugly duckling and Cal State Long Beach this woman as part of her thesis in her grad, pro agreed school. She directed a play of it, and it was beautiful. These kids were incredible. These college kids, performed it as theater piece, which was very in keeping at my performing arts days, bus and truck writing these theater Hughes. So yeah, yeah. But Tom fast that sustaining multi faster. So the Selke and the fishermen is I'm calling it sell key now but it is the store. It's the myth of the Selke in the fishermen, which is a very well known myth in the Scotland Ireland Celtic traditions, but you can also find it in South America, and in Iceland, and in all the cultures have this story, and I read it in this book by Clarisa pin, cola SD's, she wrote this wonderful book called women who run with the wolves. She's a union psychologist, but she took these archetypal stories the Selke being one of them ugly. Duckling was one of them the match girl Bluebeard, and she uses these stories from her union point of view to say, all women, these are rites of passage that all women will go through. And so I was reading it with Helen hunt. We were we had a little women's reading meditation group, and we read through the book and. I was so lit up by that story. And in fact, Helen had I told me about the story before we even read it in the book. So she had heard it beginning beginning and the, the themes of the Selke in the fishermen are about the ability to trust your intuition. And it's the fishermen steals, the pelt of Selke, and she has to live on land for seven years with the fishermen, but they actually do fall in love, and they have a child and after seven years, her skin starts to get very chapped and dry and she has to return to the ocean. And then it goes on from there and took two three years for me to write it mostly because I couldn't get past the abduction the stealing of the pelt that was just especially in light of the hashtag metoo and it just felt too. But once I made the adjustment and reread Clarisa Pinkel Esti story that it is actually a love that falling in. Love can be an abduction doesn't have. Be a literal objection that kind of pushed me through, and I'm super super excited about it, where we just finished mastering, and it will be available and I tunes probably in July August. So you wrote the music, I wrote everything. Yeah, I all my albums are my there. This is my hobby. My I feel like what is that? Oh, I think it's Meg Ryan in with tongues, where she goes my soul in. You've got mail when she's describing, but it is sort of my soul work is using thing going at. That's all you, especially we were listening to it. Together. It is you Lanc you very, it's really beautiful. My dad remembered that you performed at Ganga's Cohen. Oh, yeah. I used to do that. But then it started to feel like you're just having your friends. Come see you. And I was like, oh, I don't wanna make them come out and get Chinese food. Their favorite Chinese though, whenever you want haven't been in such a wild there. Is it still? Yeah. Yeah. What do you get there? What's like number one dish? The no name duck. The no name does. No named up man. I've never eaten. It was think my mother's any. Or is it just because why is it the no name duck? Because it's not a peaking duck. It's like a picking duck. That doesn't require twenty four hours notice when shoo or no, no, the heads these little dumpling. Oh, yes, I'm gonna have to go back. New York echoed, one of the very few places in L A. Do you see the joy that is just yes? At work. I like hearing that we didn't call them that we lived in New York. They were just eggrolls. Okay. Here's my other out here in the spring rolls. Yes, expect you to accept them now. That's unacceptable. Worthless. No, no, no, no. No. It's the most passionate. I've seen you a very. Agro you can feel your arteries hardening as you eat it, so unhealthy it's so completely unhealthy and wonderful, but it is it is what the Jewish people eat on Christmas. Damn straight. Here. That's right. I think was it soda. My are wait. Who's the who keagan? Justice Kagan said that when one of her confirmation hearings that she, she had Chinese food on Christmas, buddy else, or something, like there's a reason a Christmas story is real life. Oh, gosh. Hellum has been such a pleasure having you here. Thank you so much for having me. And I'm so excited after so you give off such a positive radiant. And oh thank you. I'm not a spiritual person in that one. Right. But he did sage the room before you get it. But other than that. No, I but you do you, you emanate thing. Calm and a sense of wellbeing. Thank you very much. Well, it's been such a joy to be here and Jesse my goodness, her skin. Have you ever seen anybody for you listeners? She has the most radiant skin. It's like I'm looking at a painting, I have lupus and a bunch of. Other auto musicians. So I'm really good with makeup. Oh my goodness. Full, I'm sorry, about the, that's okay. That's why I'm good at makeup. But I'll has an you know, we'll your make up his beautiful. Thank you. But I don't think it's makeup people out there that are listening, an inner light to that's coming through. Well, that's a family thing. That's definitely a family thing. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it. Do you social media is? I mean it's I haven't into account, it's Helen are Slater, and I do, put things on there. Well, that's the way I even got, like ten is because Helen hunt was like, tagging me, and then people, I think felt sorry for me. They're like, all right. Nobody's telling our Slater. And I don't really post that much Hellen or Slater. He got I think, because someone had Helen slave happens. It happens. Yes. Not there. We are. And before you tell us all where people can find you and me we should be telling people that we have merged. We haven't been really crowing about that. Oh, we, we are very much the neurotic Jewish in us as we go, we've March, but don't worry about it. It's fine. Nobody did that we don't want to bother anyone with it. I murder for me. Yes. Says the same deal. Now, we do on public Maltin on movies, and we have everything their mugs you wanna wall hanging. Yes. One of everything. But my mom are best buyer is my mother. Wears the shirt that has both of our faces on it. And just so that strangers when they walk up and say, who's that she goes, well, this is my husband and this is my daughter, and they ever show and yeah, I don't mean to top you. But my mom when she has people over for dinner. She's like, I'm just going to play you my daughter's music, just sit. Right. One second. It's so beautiful and she plays Rob's movie comeback, and her TV's in her bedroom. She doesn't have one in the bathroom come back to my bedroom. We're going to show you Rob's movie. It's so wonderful. He's such a genius that way, if family's not there for that, why. Yeah. Even love that shining. Alice Alice's are Alice's telling you are now my I make her model the different tops in pretty well. I wanna get the merch. It isn't say it's t public Maltman movie tea. It's tea public T public. Yes. And you can get all kinds of fun stuff. But more importantly to follow Leonard Maltin. And also may, but mostly Leonard Maltin at on Twitter and Instagram at Leonard Maltin, and at Jesse molten, and then you can go to Leonard Maltin dot com where there's a link for the merch also for the podcast. But where we post a book, roundups and movie reviews in all kinds of good stuff and you just posted a book round up got a so much good stuff in there. I couldn't use. There's a book on Andrea hip burn. There's Nick a book about crazy crazy guys animal house, folks. SNL all those comedy geniuses. Gosh. There's, there's so many different ones. John singleton wrote the foreword Donald bogus. New book Blackhawks Hollywood. Yeah. Oh, still lots of really wonderful looks at rate anyway. That's all there to read, Leonard Maltin dot com, and we will be back talking into microphone so you can hear it next week. Thank you so much for listening, Maltin, on movies is sponsored today by legion at the first fan owned entertainment company, they've got a lot of good stuff. Going on. 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