TV and Movies
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A highlight from #921: Top 5 Films of 2023 (So Far) with Michael Phillips
"What kind of a show are you guys putting on here today? You're not interested in art? No. Well look, we're going to do this thing. We're going to have a conversation. From Chicago, this is Film Spotting. I'm Adam Kempner. And I'm Josh Larson. If I want to get out of those small bras, you're going to have to do the same exercise and technique I do. There's an exercise? Of course there is. You hold your arms out like this and you say, I must, I must, I must increase my bust. I must, I must, I must increase my bust. Does that really work? I'm living proof. Now come on, get up. Get up. A memorable scene there from the new Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret. One of the titles competing for a spot on our list of the top five films of 2023 so far. Those exercises must really work, Adam, because it's got a shot at my list. Joining us this week, the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips. It's all ahead on Film Spotting. Welcome to Film Spotting, and welcome to Michael Phillips. You know it's a big show when Michael is here from the Chicago Tribune. And I know you really would much rather be here than say at Cannes. I would. It's hard. This is the worst FOMO I've felt about a festival I haven't visited in many years now. But I used to go for a few years. And yeah, it's really hard to hear about this course. You know, the new Jonathan Glaser film and the fact that somebody found a really good Lebanese restaurant pretty close to the Palais. All that. Yeah. In fact, I'm going to go now. So I'll see you guys. No, we lost them. Hop on. Hop on the Concorde. I'm sure a seat is waiting for you. Michael is here for a special occasion. We are sharing our top five films of 2023 so far. But before we get to all of that, we did want to give you a brief reminder about how you can help us reach new listeners. We want to thank Apple Podcast users Jpalm 65, Comforted by Food, VSO 212, and Aussie Film Geek, all of whom left some kind words for us this past week when they left reviews over at Apple Podcasts. Here's what we heard from Comforted by Food. Every film nerd needs film nerd friends to talk about movies with. And in the absence of real film nerd friends, I have Adam and Josh. I'm a devoted weekly listener since 2019. And I found out my cross -country cousin is also a listener when you read his comments on the air. What fun to be part of a community that includes my dear younger cousin to boot. How about that, Adam? Keeping families together. I mean, that wasn't part of the original mission statement, I assume. But good to see that's happening anyways. Please do share your rating or review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts so we can find those new listeners. I just want to add that I, too, am often Comforted by Food, perhaps too often. And Michael, I'm sure Comforted by Food would have mentioned you, but you're not nerdy enough. You're too cool. You're really too cool for film spotting. Only you, who's willingly going back to Iowa, would actually consider me too cool. The guy from Wisconsin. I mean, these are not, I don't know, are they cool states? I don't know. Yeah, they are not. Where do they fall on the cool ranking? Well, we'll save that top five for another time. Yeah. We are going to get into something more fun on this show. Our favorite movies of the year so far. We're coming to you here with about a week left in the month of May. We're at the halfway point or close enough. Let's dive in. Let's talk about the movies that have stood out so far this year. Do either of you have any opening remarks, anything you want to say about forming your list? Looking back on the year, has it been a good year, a bad year, anything? Or should we just get into our number five choices? Better than I thought, seriously. I mean, we're all seeing things on slightly different timelines. And I think that's probably only going to get more that way as we adapt our lives to whatever this hybrid form of living we're living, because I'm still working at home more than I ever did before the pandemic. Streaming is part of my life. Film going is part of my life. I just get the feeling that we're all on different timelines, even more than we were. But I've seen things coming that months earlier had premiered at Sundance. And it was very easy to come up with 10 films so far that I felt like, hey, not bad, not big films necessarily. Although I have one surprise in that regard. The one Hollywood schlockbuster that I unabashedly enjoyed, which I'm not going to tell you what it is, because that's a suspense tactic. See what I'm doing there? Yeah, save that. I know, but you will be surprised. I would say it's a solid year as well. If I compare it just to last year, it probably evens out. Last year at this time, I had a clear movie in After Yang that had a shot at my number one of the year already at this point. Don't have that yet, but I have a handful of five that I like better than maybe last year's two through five at this point. So I think that all evens out. And yeah, to Michael's point, there are 10 good films I could list that I have seen that I'm excited about, that I would suggest people see or catch up with at this point and feel very good about the top five I've got. Also, to Michael's point, this is a case for me. And we're always doing some catch up when we have these check ins, whether it's the end of the year or the halfway point. There's going to be movies we need to see that we overlook. But looking at my list, I've got a pair of bookends. I've got movies that I saw in the number five and number one slots that I saw when they came out. Otherwise, I've got three movies I just saw in preparation for this list. And a couple of them are still in theaters, but have been out for a while and might be hard to catch at the moment. So I'm going to be praising some films that are tough to see, which is never fun, but should be coming to VOD or some streaming platform soon, hopefully. Let's jump in. Is your surprise right off the bat here, Michael, or are you going to build up to that? What's your number five? My number five is not a surprise. I've been kind of recommending it right and left. It's on Hulu. It's the romantic comedy Rye Lane. Do you know Rye Lane? Have you seen it? An honorable mention for me. Oh, good. Good work. Yeah. I just think this is rain Alan Miller's feature debut. It's set in South London. It's been a great, really, really, really sprightly romance, romantic comedy, about 220 somethings played by Vivian O 'Para and David Johnson that has kind of the same spirit as some romantic comedies from about, I don't know, a decade or more back. 500 Days of Summer, Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist. It's got that same kind of energy, but it's also got an entirely different personality just because we're getting a slice of black London life that I haven't seen given this sort of what could have been just a standard issue rom -com treatment, but just about everything about it, I think, is a step or two above. And it's a really, really sharp talent behind the camera. It's a pretty good script, I think, elevated into a really good movie. So I don't really know anybody I recommended it to that said, yeah, I don't know what the hell you were talking about. I think, you know, it's 77 minutes of fun. What do you want? I mean, I hate to sound like just a marketing hack, but it's 77 minutes of fun. That's Rye Lane. I think I did see that on the poster, Michael. Put it on the poster. So go on, spill the tea. What happened? She cheated on me and my best friend. Wait, is that... No, no, I need to pick this up because it's baffling. You dumped this funny, clever, successful accountant for this jobless human binfire.
A highlight from (Episode 396) "UNSTABLE" Actor/Comedian: Aaron Branch.
"Aaron Branch and you're listening to Monday Morning Critic. Let me ask you, man, like a unique guy, man, stage, stand up, acting like I feel like, you know, I'm not bragging, but like 400 interviews, I think I've talked to a lot of people. It's a combination. I don't see a lot of people. When people tell me they do stand up like you legitimately do stand up like you are in front of a crowd. You are honing your craft. I've seen it's amazing. Thanks. Like, yeah, but it's like, I don't know, like that trio is hard. That is a hard trio, Aaron. It really is, man. And I feel extremely lucky. I started so early, you know, I really feel like I was able to get ahead just by simply understanding that I wanted to do it. It also didn't help that like, sorry, it also helped, I guess that I kind of like just hated school in general. So I think having an outlet that was acting and then also then adding on the comedy piece to it when I was like 15 and 16, I think kind of just gave me a really solid foundation, but a lot of really early lessons that unfortunately, a lot of people have to learn in their early 20s. But I will also say right now is the youngest I've ever seen stand up comedians. I wouldn't be surprised if five to 10 years down the line, you're going to meet a lot more people that are like me on a mass scale, just because it's become such a cool and trendy thing to be a stand up comedian when you're like 18 or 19. So I have something to add to that, but I want to ask you, there's a stand up comedian. I was listening to, I'm going to get the, I'm going to butcher the name because I wasn't, it's not my name. Matt something, Matt, he's right. Yeah. Literally we just, I just performed with Matt last night at the improv in Hollywood. Yeah. His approach to stand up comedy is very unlike the guys I'm going to bring up in her interview. It's very like, um, like he interacts with the audience and there's some comedians, there's a couple of British comedians I can think of that will absolutely toast you if you even try to say something like the way he, he's almost, I don't want to say he's dependent, but like he, welcomes audience interaction. Like he wants it. Like it's not like people are like heckling him. He wants that, but that's an, that's an interesting perspective higher in the way he kind of approaches that. It's true. And also kind of going back to the point I made before he started when he was very young as well. Matt is hilarious. And on top of that, he's really good at like reading crowds and like reading rooms. And that's one of his superpowers, you know, I feel like every comedian kind of has like a thing that they can always pull out of their arsenal of being like, no matter what, if I do this, I know this is going to kill them. You know what I mean? And it might be that crowd work is kind of one of his things. Crowd work is not necessarily my strong suit, you know, like I'm kind of really, I'm like writer's brain, you know, I'm like really, really analytical, um, and try to be very specific about the things that write. And I've just have, that's always served me well. That it's always, um, that whenever I have done that, I've always seen myself succeed. So I, I try, I try to stick to that, but you know, if I need to take down a heckler, I will, you know, um, I've had to do that a few times, but yeah, I don't get that. I don't get why you pay money to go to a show and then like, it's like people that pay to go to a movie that just released and just ruining it for everybody else. Some people just enjoy it. Like some people go to, unlike you, obviously, but some people go to comedy shows, bro, literally just to, uh, either get picked on or see someone else get picked on. They love it. They love it. That is insane. But you know, the thing I'm thinking of is like, so, so your background is you have, like, again, you have some stage and we're going to get into it. You have some stage, you have some, you have some, some screen obviously, but like, you know, I wish there was high schools. You talked about high school earlier where it was like, you weren't thrilled with like, um, high school, like how do you, as a comedian, like there's no like form second city, I get, listen, I get it. I don't think, can you go to second city as a 15 or 16 year old and say, like, I need, I need, I like, can you do that? I feel like it's a little too early. Like, is there a bridge? You can, they, the second city is a really good job of like their youth program. So there are a lot of like second city, like sometimes like middle school, maybe. I'm not sure if I'm a hundred percent correct about that, but there's definitely high school age kids that are running around the second city. And they have like, and they have like day camps and things like that. That's also if you live in the Chicagoland area. I mean, there's a lot of people that don't live in the Chicagoland area and don't have access to that. Um, but I, I tried to audition for the second city when I was 17. Uh, they said that I was too young, but I definitely tried to make that bridge happen. It just took, it took a few more years, but I, you know, I eventually broke that egg, but I was also lucky to have a, like one of the top five children's theaters in my backyard that had an amazing, amazing comedy program that really got me addicted to that whole art form. So Aaron, anyone listening or watching just Google second city.
A highlight from The Robert De Niro Movie Draft
"I'm Sean Fennessy. I'm Amanda Dobbins. And this is the Big Picture, a conversation show about Bobby D. C .R. Chris Ryan is here in studio with us. We're drafting again. Hi, Chris. Oh, sorry. You're talking to me. That's good. That's good. This week we are changing things up. We are drafting, but we are not drafting from a year. We are not drafting from a theme. We are drafting from a human's career. That human is Robert De Niro. This week he stars in the new Sebastian comedy, Maniscalco all about my father. C .R. told me privately off Mike, his favorite movie of the year, actually his favorite movie of the decade. This is by my count, the actually one hundredth credited on screen performance in the acting career of Robert De Niro. By my count, like, does that mean like you went through and hand counted them? Yeah, it's sort of a dominion voting system situation. No, well, he's he's done some voice work. Oh, OK. I learned something interesting that I did not know as I was researching this episode that I'm going to share with you both right now. In 1969, he made a film called Sam's Song, directed by a Greek man. It's a little scene film. Ten years later, at the height of Robert De Niro mania, after he had won an Academy Award, after he had starred in 1900 and worked with great filmmakers as he was heading towards taxi driver, he started a film called The Swap. His performance in The Swap is the same performance from Sam's Song, but was just recut into an entirely different film. Wow. So do we count that performance as one or two performances on screen? Interesting question. Nevertheless, if you do the math, as you can see that I have, you count 100 on screen performances. Did you make that revelation last night? Yeah, well, like 12, 14. OK, that's OK. That's what I'm talking about. This is the kind of work that goes into these episodes. to think that I'm just, you know, firing up letterbox, looking at some titles and moving on to my day. I'm working hard for the content. I'm working hard for you, Amanda. Thank you so much. I'm working hard for you, Christopher. Thanks, bro. Robert Wagner, working hard for you. That's me. And Bob De Niro, the other Bob in our life, has been working so hard for so long. So he's done some great, great work. Amanda, what's your relationship to Robert De Niro? My dad's favorite actor. Yeah, so yesterday I did, in preparation of this draft, ask my dad to prepare his top five Robert De Niro performances. Love this. They're fairly traditional, but I will say he had Deer Hunter at one and two. Is that a Samsung situation? But he really just wanted to emphasize. Emphasize Deer Hunter is at a tier of its own. Yeah, he loves the first half of Deer Hunter. In fact, for his 70th birthday, which was during the pandemic, he had pancakes for dinner and watched the first half of the Deer Hunter. My dad is a legend. I also fondly remember in the, shall we say, less exalted, but certainly financially auspicious portion of Robert De Niro's career in the 2000s, my dad very excitedly emailed me, subject line, Bobby De Niro, text of the email, is filming down the street. And I think my dad was just hanging out in the lobby of his condo. What movie was it, you know? Gosh, should we pull it up right now? I bet I still have it in Gmail. You know, Bobby De Niro. Let's see. Okay, Bobby De Niro. Here it is. Bobby De Niro email. This is Thursday, November 15th, 2012. Bobby De Niro is shooting a scene in front of my condo tomorrow. He will be up and down the street. A movie called Vegas? Question mark. Yeah. Anyway, the scene is supposed to be Brooklyn apartment. That's just, he was so excited. This actually, this is a good segue.
A highlight from Mo Amer - 'Mo'
"Hi everyone and thank you for tuning in to the 495th episode of The Hollywood Reporter's awards chatter podcast. I'm the host Scott feinberg. And my guest today for an episode recorded via Zoom in front of students of mine from Chapman university is a Kuwait born, Palestinian stand up comedian, writer, producer, and actor. His semi autobiographical rookie comedy series mo, which was produced by a 24 and streamed by Netflix, which he co created with rami Yusuf, for which he wrote the pilot and on which he stars, is the first Palestinian American sitcom, and is currently generating Emmy buzz. Since the show dropped back on August 24th, 2022, it has accumulated rave reviews leading to a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes, fans, including Steven Spielberg, and widespread recognition, including an AFI award for being one of the top ten TV shows of 2022, a Gotham award for best breakthrough series 40 minutes or less. A Spirit Award nomination for best lead performance in a new scripted series, and most recently, a Peabody Award with The New Yorker describing its depiction of an undocumented immigrant's life in Houston as quote delivered with a warmth confidence and localism that evokes Spike Lee's Brooklyn E 40s Bay Area or the Philadelphia that Sylvester Stallone memorialized in rocky. All a testament to the man behind the show, Moe emmer. the 41 year old and I discussed his and his family's real journey to America and after two decades to citizenship, how he discovered comedy and honed his comedic skills, accumulating mentors along the way, including Dave Chappelle, what it's been like developing with youssef and acting on both Hulu's rami and his own show, plus much more. And so without further ado, let's go to that conversation. Both of you so much for joining us on the podcast and on this podcast, we always begin truly at the beginning, which I know may seem weird because for people who have seen your work so much of it is drawing on your life story, but just in case we have any newbies to the Moammar story, can you tell us where you were born and raised in what your folks did for a living? Oh boy. Well, I was born in Kuwait. I left Kuwait when I was 9 years old during the first Gulf War. Ended up being Houston, Texas, y'all. And it's been home since then since 1990. And my father was a telecommunications engineer. In Kuwait for the queen of all company there. Learned a ton from him. Even though he passed when I was 14, he was just actually brilliant. I was wondering what he would think of today to seeing the tech and specifically the phones. I think that's what he envisioned when he first became intelligent communications engineer. He knew that he was heading in that direction. I just wish he would have told me because I want to invest it heavily when I was a teenager. But yeah, that's my father, my mom is a homemaker. And a really, really talented public secretly. She is an incredible woman their way. Perspective. Is really like my guiding light. And that's it. Well, so you're the youngest of how many? The youngest of 6, how do you think that? Shapes a person. Well, it's strange because although in the youngest, I had a completely different upbringing than at least my three older siblings. Because they had a more consistent life before the war broke out. He and my brother Ahmed at the completely different experience company Houston to be thrown into a culture and a society really know much about. So it was definitely a massive adjustment, but it definitely shaped a motorway in today. So I'm very grateful for that. And that challenge of having to assimilate the wall alone just really shaped right up today. And I'm very, very grateful. That I had to climb, it's really what has made me successful. When I was now, the fact though that Houston is central to your comedy, you obviously means a lot to you. Why did you guys land up in Houston of all places? And why is it so such a big part of who you are? Houston, I can't answer this but I was too young of why we moved here. I just kind of went where your parents want to go or where should it go? 9 years old, like, well, I would like to just be this choice. That's the best mother. You know, it's not what happened. I'm very blessed, ended up Houston to be honest with you. I absolutely love it here. It is the most diverse city of America according to Forbes, 90 languages spoken in my suburb alone. Did that happen right away, no, but gradually did become that over time. And I just absolutely love it here. It's the fourth largest city, probably the third population. However, it still maintains the phrase each tone.
A highlight from 198: They Call Us Connie
"Wait. Potluck. Did you see canonical Connie? Hello and welcome to another edition of they call us Bruce. An unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America. I'm Phil U and I'm Jeff Yang. And we're delighted to welcome Connie Wang, author of the new memoir in 9 adventurers. Oh, my mother, and of a fantastic story in The New York Times about her name, and the amazing people she shares it with, as well as fellow Connie and cartoonist Connie son. Welcome to the podcast. Welcome. Connie's. It's so good to be here. And to share space with another Connie. You don't thank you so much for having us. Should we be called W and S for this? We deal with our own version of that. If you have not heard, I and Phil and our friend Philip wrote a book together and as a result, we had many variations of the fill fill of identification wars. So we did go with Phil and Phillip and we can talk about the notion of Connie and whether it's short for anything because it is part of your piece that you wrote downstream, but Connie Wang, let's talk about your piece because you wrote a story about your name in The New York Times that has just gone viral. Everybody's reading it and sharing it because of how just beautifully it explores the interrelationship between identity, nomenclature, immigration, generational connection. And it all changes on this notion that your name, Connie, in particular. Is shared by a lot of other people and a lot of other people specifically who are Asian American of a certain age cohort. If you could talk a little more about the piece, again, it's so good. Oh, Jeff, thank you so much for saying that. I'm really glad that people are liking it because it was so much fun to finally write. It's been sitting in my head for, oh gosh, since I was in college, so I don't want to tell you how long that was COVID. It's been decades, you know? And I'm so happy that I was finally able to write it. But the whole point was, I mean, this is the point of my book to me growing up, thinking I was so special for being named after someone on TV, you know, that's not something you hear a lot of. And realizing that that was not a very unique thing that happened. Certainly. Not a very unique thing that even happened in the place that I discovered it, which was my first day on campus at university and realizing there was literally someone with my exact same name standing in front of me who had the same story. And I realized this as like as a millennial, this happens a lot when you realize you're not special, the Internet is the thing that really tells you this. So when I was trying to sign up for my dot EDU, email address, all variations of Connie Wang were taken and I was like, this can't be. Even variations with my graduating year were taken. I'm like, I really don't think that Connie's that popular of a name. I know Wang is like the most popular last name in the world. But the combination of economy can't be that popular. And I was so, so, so wrong. And since then, every single workplace I've been and professional organization, just like the group of strangers, inevitably there will be another Connie and inevitably she will be Asian. I have I have met few non Asian connies in my life. There have been some, but most of them have been much older than me, like their boomers are an older. The ones who are my age have mostly been Latina. But it's like, now I can say with 99% confidence if she is Connie, she is likely Asian. I don't know, Connie sang is like, is that your experience as well? Yeah, I always knew growing up, I think I always knew one other Connie, like in my proximity, like whether it was in high school or college, I think I was one of the early ones when we met Connie Chung. She was talking about the trajectory of her career and starting local and then going national and when that was, and so it was really like late 70s. She was on local TV. And then in the early 80s, she went a national and so my mom was a new immigrant right at that cusp and so apparently I learned this from you, apparently there are a lot of Connie's clustered in Southern California, which is where Connie Chung was on local news. And then it became more dispersed. Absolutely. Yeah, so that was such a fascinating piece of the puzzle for me. And I grew up in Southern California. So it was kind of one of the, one of the early ones. I was definitely the elder Connie at the photo shoot. Well, can we talk about that? Your piece, it inspired this really amazing Connie summit. There are a couple of photo shoot for the article, which has all these Connie's gathered. This is just a small sampling of the Asian counties of the U.S. and then they are joined by Connie Chung herself, you know, sort of the ground zero for the con explosion. And so it was more than just like, oh, isn't it funny that all these Asians are named Connie, it became this really interesting reflection about why immigrants named their kids certain things.
A highlight from (Episode 395) "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" Actor: Austin Freeman. (GROOT)
"And congratulations on everything that's been happening man. Thank you, man. Yeah, I'm looking at your Instagram is a fun follow. I was looking at pictures of you and your stunning. I think it's your better half. If I misspoke 100%, yes. Yes. Let me tell you, you are very lucky. And I'm sure. But it was just great to see you guys out having fun look like you were, you know, I mean, you've done a lot of work in your professional life to get you to this point. So it's a well earned thing. So I'm happy for you, Austin. Yeah, thank you, man. I appreciate it. Yeah, but your filmography though, before we get to guardians, your filmography sneaky good, like you have some things in there like I feel like the mule is so underrated. It's so well done. Yeah, that was probably like my first kind of like big project too that I started on. And I got my feet wet super fast on that one because I was on the net movie for like four months with Clint and like just amazing, amazing stars. So and I was like part of his core family so I got to work with that like the entire time basically basically run a picture. Yeah, and then I totally forgot you're a Walking Dead guy. Like I forget like and I remember you, but it's like it's just such a diverse cast. It's 11 seasons, but like I remember you from that and how'd you like being part of that universe? That's like such a cool I mean I've been a fan of the show since the beginning anyways so it was kind of cool to kind of step into that. I was only in it for a couple of episodes but I was like it was a super fun just to kind of be in and insert it into that very, very strong ensemble cast. And just getting to meet everybody and my first day on when I went into the trailer like there was Norman Reedus sitting there and he was super nice and I got to talk to him and Melissa McBride. I mean, I got to talk to everybody and it was super cool that is such a well oiled machine since it had been I was in season ten so it had been running for so long that I mean everybody the sets were amazing. Everybody was just top of their game. It was really cool. And it's Norman's name in Melissa's name. I feel like they come up a lot. Not that everyone else is like there's nothing on the but those are the two that people always say they made a point of being extra like they were that's who they were. Yeah, they were great and I mean, I met Kerry curry Payton who was king Ezekiel and there were a lot of people that I got to work with that were like had been brought in in later seasons, but I think especially since Norman and Melissa, they'd been there since the beginning, they were kind of like the heart of the show at that point in time. Right. And they were great. They were very sweet. Yeah, that's awesome. And I loved dope sick. I love it. But I had to stop a pause halfway through because it just, not that it hits home with me, but it's really hard to watch because you know what it's turned into in 2023, right? So it's just a fabulous show. I just, I needed a break because it's a lot to process. You know, a 100%. And it's because it's done so well, right? So anything you want to say about I'm kind of working reverse here. So I think you want to say, well, dope. I mean, I was really proud, first of all, how that project turned out. Because I think that just about everybody you talk to has some kind of personal experience with someone who is either suffered from addiction or has died from addiction. And that was, I mean, I remember people in high school overdosing on OxyContin. So it was such a personal personal touch for me that I was just really proud of the work that we got to do on that. And I mean, my God, the people that were in it, you know, from Michael Keaton, Caitlin dever, Rosario, like everybody, they did such deeply just profoundly moving work that I was really, really proud of everybody. And will, will poulter, who I got to work with later on. I didn't meet him on dope sick, but I met him on when I met him on guardians, you know, I got to talk to him. And I was like, hey, man, I just want to let you know, I was really, really moved by the work that you did. And he was like so gracious about it. He's just like a gracious guy in general. But that was like some of the best work that I had seen him do to that point. So I was just like, well, man, you've got range that I didn't see before this. Yeah, he's this, he's the secret sauce in guardians three. I think. Yeah, I mean, there's a lot of good parts. It's a lot of people to that. The last one I wanted to ask you about was Loki. So you are man. You are all, you are doing, you are really doing some pretty positive things here. Is really stretching out with some really quality quality projects. Well, and the cool thing is, is like, since I'm based in Atlanta, Georgia, which is kind of our southeast market. And there's such a cool opportunity for growth very quickly here because the competition is less for one.
A highlight from Fast X and the Desecration of Movies. Plus: Paul Schrader!
"Of the country's most popular podcasts, traveling from city to city all over the country, the trio is joined by celebrity guests. Smart less on the road streams May 23rd only on Macs. Subscription required. Sean fantasy. I'm Amanda Davis. And this is the big picture a conversation show about fast men and about lonely men. Brother. Later in this episode, I'll be joined by Paul Schrader. One of my favorite living filmmakers. We talked about his new film master gardener, his long career as a writer and director, the state of movies, what he wants to say about life at 76 years old, many more things. This is one of my favorite filmmakers really ever. And he's still doing the work, still thinking through life. Still thinking through the experience of life, I hope you'll stick around for our conversation. He was as rye and eloquent as ever. We're going to talk a little bit about master gardener in this episode. But there could not be a more different cinematic experience for master Gardner than the big release of the week. That movie is fast X, AKA fast ten the 11th film in the fast and the furious franchise. It's good. It's good to bring an accounting mindset to this podcast early on. Well, I can assure you that this film was made only for accounting purposes because it is an absolute abomination. And I have not been this depressed in a movie theater, and sometime. And I'm going to open this plainly. Yeah. I don't really like the fast and the furious movies. That's true. I said this before. I'm on the record about this. So I'm not the target audience for the movie. I get it. Even with that in mind, if I don't love a franchise or love of filmmakers work, I still go in with an open mind. I'd like to be surprised. You Amanda dobbins. You've been up and down on the fast franchise. One of the installments is one of your favorite movies in recent times. I have been up and down on the franchise as the franchise has been up and down itself. It's had highs and it has had lows. Let me say right now. This is not a good movie. And even if you're a fan of the fast X franchise, I don't know that I can recommend you spending money to go see this movie. It is notably unsuccessful. I didn't really have a breakdown, like you did, and so if I am interested to interrogate it in real time on this podcast. Well, let's do that. So just a little context around this film. It's officially credited to Louis leterrier, who is a filmmaker who made an Incredible Hulk movie who has worked on the now you see me franchise, he's also done a lot of work in television. He's a sort of big tent safe pair of hands. He did not start out as the director on this project. In fact, Justin Lin did, who has directed many of the Fast & Furious films, and he left midstream, literally in the middle of production. It's not totally clear why he left though, it seemed like there was quite a bit of stress around the production of this film. This is an extremely expensive movie. It's part of a very essential franchise to universal Comcast. And it features a great many stars and ever expanding, I don't know, just miasma of garbage storytelling. I really, really hate what they do with it. I really thought that you were going to say family. And there was a family, I guess. You can't even say it once. I mean, you know, it's just one aspect of the dumb shit over enunciated bland thematics of a movie like this. I realized that it's a turn your brain off movie. So before I get too high and mighty about fast movies, I know what they are. I like a lot of dumb movies, okay? I'm literally last night was planning a solo podcast about the Transformers franchise of films. That's how willing to get into movies like this. I guess no one will do it with you? I don't even want to have to ask anyone. I want to be able to just vamp solo. I'm going to throw to bob every 12 minutes and be like, bob, did you see dark of the moon? Did you see the last night? It's going to be one of those. Because it was a big Transformers head. I was in there. I was in the theaters. So you're well suited to this, bob. But this, I can not abide this. I'm going to describe the plot of this movie as I understand it. I think the plot is really telling. And sums up a lot of the problems. So go ahead. So the film picks up apparently after the sort of midstream in the events of fast 5. And fast 5 features an exceptional action sequence that you have raved about in the past, the stealing of a vault by way of two cars driven by Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, the lead characters then of the franchise before walker passed away tragically. And we see in Rio de Janeiro as this vault is being taken away, that hernan Reyes, this sort of big bad of that film, is sort of chasing after and is murdered, but we learned that in fact he has this much more complicated family circumstance, including a son named Dante, who is played by Jason Momoa. Jason Momoa is then effectively re edited into the sequence from fast 5. So we get a kind of recap, recalibration of fast 5 at the beginning of this movie. Yeah, the opening set piece of fast X is fast 5, re edited with Jason Momoa. Very obviously inserted in in certain shots. Now, I understand the decision making here because fast 5 is widely considered.
A highlight from #920: Master Gardener, BlackBerry, Marker's Sans Soleil (Sight & Sound #5)
"We're not reviewing it this week, Josh, but as Fast & Furious complete us. And generally fans of the series, we did want to acknowledge that, is it fast X or fast ten? I don't know what I should call it. It comes out this weekend. I mean, fast act sounds like something down would say, rather than fast ten, so let's go with that. I do live my life a quarter mile at a time. Easily the most creative movie titling of any franchise fast X I'm gonna stick with X was preceded by the minimalist F9 in 2021, the series ending and flying F 8, The Fate of the Furious in 2017, and then not so fast just Furious 7 in 2015. That's when we jumped on the rocket fueled fest and furious bandwagon. We have on multiple occasions revisited our top 5 Fast & Furious moments from 2015, but we're taking a pass this time, at least spare the listeners. We are sensing that the enthusiasm for this film. Is a little bit diminished from previous installments, our producer felt the same way. Sam put out on Twitter. I'm sensing less enthusiasm for fast X than previous installments. Am I wrong? So far, and we know this is a bit of an echo chamber. These are Sam's followers. 68% said, you're not wrong. Nobody really seems to care. 26% actually said is fast X to the car one. I don't know what you're saying about Sam's followers there, but yes. They're not the most part. They're not gearheads. Okay, okay. Fair enough. That's what I'm suggesting. Probably true. Yeah, I think this backs up our sensibility, our senses about this. And boy, now that you did point out we're completed, though, Adam. We will be catching up with this at some point. You know I can't. I know. Once I'm this far in, I'm 643 films into the MCU and I can't let it go, so you know I'm gonna complete this before the year is out. This is one way and maybe the only way you're more neurotic than me. I think I could live in bliss. The rest of my life never having seen a new fast and furious movie, but I know you can't miss it. I'll get there. Later in the show, I will have some quick thoughts on the new film BlackBerry. That's playing in limited release plus the 5th movie in our sight and sound, top 100 marathon Chris markers sans Soleil.
A highlight from (Episode 394) "DEADPOOL" Actor: Leslie Uggams. (Blind Al)
"Here is Derek Thomas. So Leslie, I'm going to tell you that I probably said this may be twice during 400 interviews, but I'm talking to a legend and thank you for coming on today. Thank you. I appreciate being here. Yeah, I got to say the kid that went to Juilliard has done pretty well for herself. Not bad, huh? No. I'm looking at this filmography and I'm like, Jesus. Some of the stuff I forgot about. When you look at somebody's pornography and you forget about things, like that's a sign of a good actor. You know? Listen, I forget a lot of times. I go, oh my God. I work with that person. I have to say though, just one, not personal thing, but if my research is right, your anniversary is ten 16, right? Yes. That's my birthday. How about that? Oh. Yeah, I mean, it's such a trivial thing to bring up, but not trivial. But I felt like those are both important days in our lives. Absolutely. Absolutely. So we're going to get to this wonderful film that I finished yesterday, such a great film Dottie and soul, but I want I want fans that have seen you in Deadpool to make the connections and really follow you over this because it's a really fun movie. I have to say though, every time I go to the theater to see you as blind Al. The theater goes absolutely nuts every time you speak Leslie, there's never a wasted word. It all is funny. It's all important. Maybe one of my top 5 marvel characters, no one makes me laugh harder than blind now. She's quite a character, and it's a blessing to get that opportunity to play her. Absolutely play her. I mean, she just knocks me out as well. Like, oh my God. She is something. You know, and it's never, it never comes across as acting for me. I always feel like it's so natural for you and Ryan that I'm looking into like somebody's like living room. It's like, to me, it's like you two are so perfect for each other. It's just so wonderful to watch you. What is your relationship like with him on and off screen, Leslie? Well, let me say first on screen. I mean, you know, he's such a wonderful actor and so it's very easy between us and sometimes what's written on the page winds up something else in ad lib. And so we have that relationship where he lasts way about something. And I said, yeah, let's go for it. You know, it works out. Off the screen, you know, he's just naturally funny, but when we're working and, let's say, you know, just sitting around and he's quiet. He's quiet, you know? And he's nothing like that that character of way that he plays. He's lovely. He's got a lovely wife. She's lovely, too. And you would never know that he was capable of being this guy Deadpool, you know? And how many people can go head to head with Deadpool, but blind Al does it like it's nothing. It's so wonderful to watch. I mean, I keep gushing, but like I'm just telling, it's just so, in a time where we don't see many really good comedies, it's just so fun to watch you just do your thing on screen. Well, people, you know, when the first one came out and you know, we could never tell anybody so secret secret. So and I had not seen the film. I like to go with the audiences there. And I was like, first of all, I was knocked out by the movie, but then my phone started bringing in Friends of mine saying that was you. Yeah. Oh my God, that was you. They couldn't believe it, you know? So sometimes people put you in a little box how they think you should be. And then when you have an opportunity to go in a different direction, even your friends are shocked about it. Yeah, it's so funny, authentic, and real, and you and Ryan make for a hell of a team. You're just a part of that as part of that success as Ryan is. And I just, I love watching you and I've been dying to tell you that Leslie, so there you go. Thank you. Thank you. So let's talk about a movie that drops on May 19th called Dottie and soul. So I have to say, what a wonderful cast Leslie, huh? Incredible cast. I mean, it was a joy to make. Because everybody was, it was one of those things again where I looked into doing this movie with people that we would just sit around and they were funny, even when we were just sitting around. Yeah, I get it, yeah. Yeah, so it was terrific to work on. And just Adam, I just thought when I read the script, I said, I loved the script because it has so much to say. And the dialog is how people really talk. Yeah. You know, sometimes you go see a movie and you go. Dialog kind of thing, you know? It was so easy to do with Adam. I think he's super talented. Super talented. Yeah, he certainly is. And so is it marvel Bingham who plays, you know, who's very close to you in the film. She's a wonderful actor too. Oh, yes. You know? She's delicious. You know, but this movie, you mentioned it. It's got to me when I was watching it. It has like an 80s feel to it. Like, it's not like the movie as far as plot, but it has like a trading places with Eddie Murphy kind of type of like, it's just a really well shot. I love the way it kind of comes across on screen, Leslie. Yes, I thought it was the camera. I just loved the camera work that was also in the movie. But I loved about it, is it's a story about just regular people who had dreams and it didn't pan out, but it's never too late. Right. Because things come many, many years later, to her, and she's daddy is able to use her brain for other things and just, you know, doing the routine that she that she has to do. And she hooks up with this young man who has no idea what he's doing. I mean, he's brilliant when it comes to the cars and everything. But as a human being, he lacks a lot. Yeah, yeah. And the fact that they hook up in the nursing home to begin with is a wonderful situation for both of them. And not to compare to blind Al, but it's the same confidence we see. We see the same determination. She's a really good person down. It's just like, I love the way I love these approach in the film. It's very confident. It's very kind. She doesn't beat her chest when she does good things. She's just, she's just a good person, Leslie. Is that how you would describe doddy to those who haven't seen the film yet? Absolutely, because that's why everybody in the nursing home loves her because she's just, she's just a good person. She has a little hustle thing going on. You know, but she brings a light whenever she's there at the home and that's basically what a character is like is that she has this light about her and no nonsense thing about her. And she's
A highlight from (Episode 393) "FROM" Actor: Chloe Van Landschoot. (Kristi).
"I play Christie on from and you are listening to Monday morning. So I was stunned to find out and I found this out on either a Facebook or a Reddit group. That you are actually a nurse. I mean, that is something that hit me like, I think I understand that correctly is my information is my Intel correct Chloe. You're Intel is correct, yeah, you did the correct fact checking. I am also a nurse. Yeah. Wow. And somebody was saying that they worked with you and I was just like really just taken back by the idea that people in your career acting now usually have to make a choice, right? Either you go for you're either a nurse or you're either an actor, but right for right now, 2023 May, we are making both of these work. Is that correct, Chloe? Yeah, I mean, I've been making both since 2016 when I started nursing. Wow. Yeah, I've always done both. It's so funny. A lot of people get thrown off that I do both, but to me they've always fed each other, nursing is some of the best acting school I've ever gotten. Nursing is 95% acting. But yeah, I mean, I kind of built in a way that I was able to do both and yeah, by no means was easy to get there, but I found a flow that allowed me to do both. And yeah, here we are, still doing both. That's awesome. That's awesome. And during the pandemic and Jesus, I can't even imagine like what you went through, what you've gone through. Yeah, I was chaotic. Yeah. But also, I mean, I'm super grateful for everything that I've learned being a nurse because I think it definitely brought me on to from. Yeah. Yeah, there's something there of being in your own hellscape as a healthcare worker. You have some visceral understanding of what it's like to kind of be trapped and have a lot of people look to you for the answer. Do you feel like the day is going to come where you have to make a choice? Like, I get it's working and I get it's awesome, but so acting is taking off like crazy right now and do you feel like there would be a time where it will mean, I guess I'm asking you to predict the future. But I don't think so. I think for as long as I'm alive, I'll stay tethered to it. I think it's a huge part of who I am and what makes me me and I think it started to shift in terms of how often I do it. Given the sheer amount of time that acting and whatnot is taking up right now. But yeah, no, it's such a huge part of who I am and my heart and also why I'm an artist and who I am as a creator. So yeah, it's not going anywhere anytime soon. Good, good. Start to take a different shape, I think, as the years go on. But yeah, no, I owe a lot to that profession, and I'm in a big place of gratitude for it right now. So yeah, I don't see myself taken off. That's awesome. Did you find what drew you to each one Chloe? So what is drawing you to becoming a nurse into the healthcare profession? What is drawn you to acting? I would imagine there. I guess both are helping people in different ways. But what drew you to each profession, Chloe? Yeah, good question. I originally went to school because I wanted to go into medicine. I had a science brain and I enjoyed helping people and that was just kind of naturally a part of who I was and going to medicine makes sense and then I got to school and I was like, wow, I don't want to be in school for 25 more years. So I transitioned into nursing and it was the best decision I ever made. And I started doing some student films while I was in nursing school and kind of caught the bug there. But again, I saw it as like kind of a professional career in any way and then I started to take class professionally. As soon as I started nursing and then I started to see how amazing it was to just be so unhinged in a room and to just let all
A highlight from The 10 Most Anticipated Movies of Summer 2023, and the Most Surprising Film of the Year So Far
"Dobbins. And this is the big picture, a conversation show. About what we're seeing this summer. Later in this episode, I'll be joined by Matt Johnson, the filmmaker behind the new movie, BlackBerry, a funny and fascinating docudrama behind the titular device. It's created in Canada and briefly was the worldwide leader in handheld devices once upon a time until it wasn't. Matt's movie really wonderful and talking with him was a lot of fun. In fact, sometimes you have guess on the showman or I'm like, you'd actually be better at my job than I would be. He was very, very thoughtful and very articulate. I hope you'll stick around for our conversation in part because we're going to talk about the film BlackBerry here at the top of our conversation. You did see the film, did you not? I did. So we've been talking about this wave of films about real-life products in our society, all of our emotional hand wringing about air and what does it mean and oh my goodness. BlackBerry of course is in this cohort along with Tetris and the new forthcoming flamin hot Cheetos film coming soon. But BlackBerry is a little bit different. What did you think of BlackBerry? I really enjoyed it. The difference between BlackBerry and all of those other products is that BlackBerries BlackBerry failed. And so that helps in terms of whatever corporate gen X angst you and I are bringing to this, even though I just really like to reiterate, we are not members of gen X. You're not. But it also just helps in a story telling perspective, like there's a very neat rise and fall and there are themes baked into that failure that are familiar and more about people than just corporate brands, even though there is a decent amount of corporate branding in it, but it's branding for something that no longer exists. So you don't have to feel bad about it. I also realized that I did not know this entire story. I think because BlackBerry is a Canadian company and we are apparently very snotty as Americans about Canadian tech companies. So there are some surprises, which is always a good thing. And then you mentioned I haven't listened to the Matt Johnson interview yet, but I did see the movie and he also plays a role in the movie. And I realized I didn't know who he was in the movie, but figured it out very quickly, and it's because it's the guy who's having a lot of fun. Yes. And this movie, and I was like, oh, that must be him. And it was, because the movie is also having a lot of fun. It knows what it's doing. I think it's knowing references to the time period and particularly the music are funny. And it's not winking exactly, but it's just zesty. It's made by a person who lived through this time for sure, and has a keen attention to it. So it's based on this non fiction book losing the signal the untold story behind the extraordinary rise and spectacular fall of BlackBerry that Jackie McNish and Sean silk off road. And if you know anything about Johnson's movies, it's an unlikely thing for him to do. And we talked about this a little bit because his first two films are these sort of very low budget kind of mockumentary but not so much mockumentary as fake documentary films. About the first one is about an aspiring high school filmmaker who also turns out to be a school shooter and it takes this very unusual tonal approach to that story. It is not at all like a taxi driver style film. It's something much more irreverent than that. And then operation avalanche is about two guys from the CIA who kind of infiltrate NASA. And they're both very rare and winking and strange and slightly discomforting in a way that actually I think is perfect for this story as well because it is funny and it is kind of freewheeling, but there's also something very tense and Matt said something so interesting to me when we were talking, which is that they used long lenses shot at a great distance to make this movie and the reason for that is one it makes it seem like you're sort of peering in on this world that you don't have access to, which is often what this kind of corporate intrigue would reveal. And also that it has a kind of like wildlife documentary feeling. We're seeing these kind of demonic figures. And the biggest reason to see the movie in addition to Matt's filmmaking and the kind of fun recent nostalgia of the story is Jay baruchel and especially Glenn howerton in this movie are both so fantastic as the sort of two co leaders of rim one the company that created BlackBerry. Glen Howard said, of course, from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is on a million in this movie. He is like an absolute demon come to life. Like the embodiment of psycho capitalism and so, so funny. I really loved him in this. Are you always sunny person? Casually. I mean, I've seen a lot of it and can get a general reference, and it always makes me laugh. The dirtbag funniness of all of it. And the Philadelphia Ness of it. It's the most accurate representation of Philadelphia that I have yet seen. Same on film.
A highlight from Brian d'Arcy James - 'Into the Woods' & 'Days of Wine and Roses'
"To the 494th episode of The Hollywood Reporter's awards chatter podcast. I'm the host Scott feinberg. And my guest today is a terrific stage and screen actor and singer. He's best known for his work on the stage over the last 30 years. He's appeared in 15 Broadway productions, garnering Tony nominations in three different decades, specifically best featured actor in a musical in 2002 for sweet smell of success, and best actor in a musical in 2009 for Shrek the musical in 2015 for something rotten. And this year, for a revival of into the Woods, for which he has already shared in a Grammy for best musical theater album. And he was also the original king George the third in Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton when it was playing off Broadway at the public. He's been a part of major films and TV series as well. On a small screen, he starred on NBC smash from 2012 through 2013, and Netflix's 13 Reasons Why, from 2017 through 2018. On the big screen, meanwhile, he starred in two best picture Oscar nominated films. Tom McCarthy spotlight in 2015 and Steven Spielberg's west side story in 2021. The former of which won and also brought him a sag award as part of its ensemble. This year he was nominated for a best supporting performance Spirit Award for his work in Ricky Dan Bros, the cathedral, and is currently starring opposite Tony winner Kelly O'Hara in the off Broadway musical days of wine and roses. Brian, Darcy James. Over the course of our conversation, the 54 year olds and I discussed the number of the people who shaped his desire to pursue acting, some of the tough professional decisions that he's faced along the way, like leaving next to normal and Hamilton after originating roles in them off Broadway when they moved to Broadway in order to star in Shrek the musical and something rotten respectively, how he landed the part in spotlight and how it subsequently led to a whole different caliber of screen acting opportunities than he'd ever seen before. What it's been like over the past year coming out of the pandemic and returning to the stage on Broadway and into the Woods and off Broadway in days of wine and roses, plus much more. And so without further ado, let's go to that conversation. Brian, thank you so much for doing the podcast. Great thank you. It's really nice to be here. to the very beginning. Can you share with our listeners? Where were you born and raised? What did your folks do for a living? I grew up in Saginaw, Michigan, which is right in the middle of the state. As any true michigander, since I wear a podcast, now I am showing you my hand and I'm showing you where sag and I is on my hand, which is right in the center. Was a GM town, right? It was. It was, yeah, it was we were the steering gear division was the kind of mainstay of the GM life there. And so yeah, the Saginaw gears was an ihl. Hockey team there. So there was a lot of an identity around that and a lot of work around that as well. So yeah, so in the 70s and the 80s, that was, you know, that was high times for GM. It's a different story now. Is that going to change quite a bit? But that's where I grew up. My father was a lawyer. He was a trial lawyer, and he would represent the likes of General Motors and he was a great guy. He died when I was 22, just coming out of college. Thanks, yeah. He was an amazing man. And super supportive and intrigued by what I was starting to do at that point in my life. My mother, Mary, my dad's name is Tom. My mom's name is Mary James, and she still lives in Saginaw. And she is an exceptional person as well. And she saw children's books for a long time, had her own company. She got a degree in library science, so she loves books and reading and has passed that down to all her grandchildren and she among many other things. She's an incredible person.
A highlight from 197: They Call Us Girl Taking Over
"Hello and welcome to another edition of they call us Bruce. Nut filtered conversation about what's happening in Asian America. I'm Phil eu, and I'm Jeff Yang, and we are delighted in this early part of API heritage month to welcome some very special guests, Friends of ours, Friends the podcast, and the creators of brand new graphic novel, Sarah Kuhn and Ariel Giovanni, writer and artist of the new D.C. graphic novel girl taking over a Lois lane story. That is the full title, a Lois lane with a Lois lane story. Welcome. Thank you. Welcome back to the podcast, Sarah. I was looking back and I was like, oh my God, Sarah was a guest on the podcast in episode three. We're now on one 90 something and now it's been a long, long way long time coming. Can we talk about growth in the shells, the movie? Yes. Scarlett. Yeah. With Rebecca, who is now the most frequent return guest ever. And that was fun cramming into a studio with y'all when that was still a thing. Way back in the day. So thanks for having me. Well, we are glad to have both of you back and Ariel. We are glad to have you here for the first time. And yeah, and we're particularly glad because we love this graphic novel. You guys have created, and want to talk to you about it. And let's actually really begin by the basic premise of it, because that's kind of the thing that I think everybody's going to spin a little bit on. This is a Lois lane story, but it's not a Lois lane that we have seen before. It's the one we do deserve, though, especially this month. Yes. Thank you. Yeah, so the book is about teenage biracial Japanese American Lois lane. And it is basically her first internship in the big city, the summer before she goes to college. And it's kind of the story of, you know, how she falls in love with journalism, how she becomes the person that we now know her as more frequently is that badass crusading journalist. And it is also a lowest lane story with no Superman, no superheroes, no Clark Kent because it is before he is part of her story. It's fantastic. You know, I will say that one, I was like, oh, when I heard the premise, I was like, how come this seems obvious? Like, this seems like and yet, I was like, oh, nobody's ever tried this before. That's awesome. And then also Sarah keun doing it. I was like, perfect. Chef's kiss perfect. It feels like it's kind of very much in your lane. So to speak. Very much in the Syracuse canon of like, you know. Asian American girl power joy, like finding yourselves, finding solidarity with your Friends, and then just sort of what I know of your work. And the things that you like to talk about, this is a very much like in that Claudia kishi vibe that we are both kind of that we embrace a lot. And so I was like, yes, perfect person to write this story. What made you, I want to know how was this conceived? Did D.C. say, hey, you want to write a list late story? Or did you come up with this? Did you pitch this? Well, it was kind of just a beautiful combination of all of those things. Basically, you know, I wrote another young adult graphic novel for them, shadow of the batgirl that was with the fabulous artist Nicole goo. And it was about the Cassandra Cain batgirl who is the Asian American batgirl, who is the one that I was most interested in writing. So after I had wrapped up the script for that and, you know, we were kind of finishing up the book. I talked with my editor, Sarah Miller, who we love very much, she's an incredible editor of DC Comics, and she's really the one who just shepherded this project from start to finish, Lake really championed it. This is like very much in her Wheelhouse as well. And so I had a meeting with her and I was like, you know, I would love to work with you again. I had a great time writing this Cassandra graphic novel. Is there anything that you're talking about for this line that you don't have yet? Because these things can be very mysterious to us if we don't know everything that's going on with this inner workings of a major corporation. So we kind of talked about some things and she was like, you know, there is something I would love to do, which is I would love to have a YA Lois lane book. I think at that point they had a middle grade Lois lane, but they did not yet have a YA Lois lane. And you know, she kind of said, I would love it if it was sort of about her having her first internship in the big city. You know, it's kind of like the bold type or the Carrie diaries or a lot of these young women discovering themselves for the first time, you know, experiencing life for the first time falling in love with whatever it is they're meant to do. And I was like, okay, definitely, like you said, Phil, I was like, that is like way in my Wheelhouse and I think Sarah, you know, she knew me well enough at that point to really know that. Like she was like, this feels like a match. And so I was like, I mean, I don't know, I don't think Sarah knew this, but Lois lane is like one of my favorite characters of all time. Probably one of the reasons that I became a journalist in the first place, like a lot of Asian people apparently our age, apparently I always projected a little bit of asianness onto her because, you know, in the comics, she was often drawn with really black hair, like it was sort of easy to squint and be like, hey, maybe. I mean, you know, possibly and so I did ask at that point that first meeting, do you think that D.C. would be open to me writing an Asian American Lois lane because honestly at that point I also was not super stoked at the idea of writing like a 180 page graphic novel about a white protagonist, you know, it's sort of like been able to write almost all Asian American protagonists in my career. I've been very lucky that way. And Sarah kind of thought about it and she was like, you know, I think the only editorial mandate we have for Lois right now is that she has black hair. So, you know? Yeah. What try it? Let's do it. And, you know, Sarah again to her immense credit was a 100% in support of this from the very beginning. She really helped champion it. And I mean, I'm still kind of surprised to be honest that they let me do that that they let me in Ariel do that. But they did. And everyone was really enthusiastic about it and on board with it and that is how that started. I gotta say, as far as I'm concerned now, it is canon. You have actually established this canonical black hair. Yeah. Yeah. What it's worth, I mean, D.C. is the home of characters that all kind of plausibly could be Asian, right? Like the Trinity all has black hair. They have names that sound suspiciously like they could kind of be Asian, like Clark Kent. Think about it. Bruce Wayne just twist it a little bit. You've got something there, right? And then, of course, we've actually seen, although we don't want to think about him, actual Asian Superman Asian American Superman in the past on TV. As well as Asian American Lana Lang. So yeah, yeah. So why not? Lois lane. For me, nothing beats the re envisioning of Aquaman, though, as specifically.
A highlight from The Movie Star Rankings: 35 Over 35, Revisited
"Big picture. A conversation show about what else movie stars. We're talking about movie stars again. We're doing a movie star rankings once again. Why are we doing this Amanda? I was hoping that you can answer this. You and I have put a lot of work into this. Yes, we have. And we have a lot of fun on these episodes, but I did have like a 9 34 last night. Like existential. This is ridiculous. This is this one in particular. 35 under 35 is fun, right? The boundaries are a bit narrower. Picking me up and comer. They're talented. They're celebrating. There are somehow the stakes are smaller. This where we're just picking the 35 most famous movie stars of all time. Is arbitrary made up nonsense that makes me feel bad about myself even as I put the list together and put my faves on. There is a practical reason why at least I wanted to do this at this time. And I will share that right now. So we're talking about the 35 biggest movie stars over 35 years of age today. Now last month, national research group, which is an analysis firm that shares data with various companies that hire them. Circulated this new study that listed, according to them, the top movie stars that would get people to show up to a movie in a movie theater. Now this list, which Matt belloni wrote about in his newsletter and talked about a bit on his show and has been written about quite a bit in the press over the last month. Is really weird. And the big takeaway from that list has been old movie stars are as big as they've ever been, and we're having a hard time building up young movie stars. Because of the way that these people were rated. Now, I say this with no disrespect to national research group. I don't know all the details of their methodology. I think this is actually quite a fun exercise. But there's some weird stuff in their list and in their takeaways. One, they asked people in this study to just list 5 people that would get them to show up to see a movie who are the 5 people. In a movie theater. Yes. I mean, that's a really key part of it as well. And that's a key part. I think of this discussion. And frankly, a key part of how we evaluated our list as well. Now, there's a difference to me between name recognition and name memory and who you would actually go see in a movie. For example, on their list. Johnny Depp is number 9. Johnny Depp has not been an in big movie in a long time, in fact, his most recent big franchise he was ejected from. The Harry Potter fantastic piece franchise. And he's considered largely unemployable in Hollywood. He makes a lot of small independent features and he works overseas. Now there are various reasons for that, but he is not a top ten movie star in Hollywood right now. Safe to say. The Rock came in at number two on this list. last two films are Black Adam, which was considered a significant failure, even with a superhero casing. And red notice, which every human I've ever encountered has seen it can agree stinks. And also it's not in theaters. And did not play in movie theaters. And that's also a thing here. There are some very memorable names, some well-known people who have kind of abandoned making movies for movie theaters, and so I think as we talk through we'll figure it out. But anyway, I thought that this study was fascinating. I think, of course, it's flawed like all of these things are, but there were some really big revelations, you know, when Bellamy talked about it, he noted that folks like Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya who I think we understand to be really true rising stars and who you can put franchises on the shoulders of and who people ostensibly would go to check out in a movie should be higher or why haven't they kind of pierced the consciousness the way that Tom Cruise did in 1985. That all is interesting to me, but there's also something here about hierarchy in terms of who can still get a movie made. And that I think will be part of our process as well. Did you have any thoughts on that on that study? I thought it was very flawed. I also just think studies like this are like, what's wrong with America? Basically. And certainly what's wrong with corporations and how we do business and it's just like, oh, you know, we put 2000 people in a room, they didn't really think through their answers. And now we're putting billions of dollars on the line based on this. Guys, come on. That said, of course, it's interesting. It's really fun to talk about movie stars. We talked about this study on jam session as well, because it's hard to know how much of this is just almost confirmation bias of these are the only people who are in movie theaters or who have gotten enough marketing attached to their movie theaters. And a lot of this really is about marketing. And as you said, because what names are front and center in people's brains. And it turns out that Johnny Depp's Pirates of the Caribbean 15 year run has been more effective and his name front and center than any of the 30 something actors who have been in MCU movies because their names are not market, it's not Chris Hemsworth, it's Thor. It's not Chris Evans. It's Captain America, et cetera. So I thought it was fascinating and reflected a lot of what we talk about on this podcast a lot in terms of the difficulty in making new movie stars and the difficulty in breaking things through. And also just really the association of movie stars with old people, which that is the major takeaway as Matt putting out in his newsletter. It's like all of these people are very old. And I think Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, the two examples that you mentioned are like super famous super successful
A highlight from #919: Summer Movie Preview, Tarkovskys Mirror (Sight & Sound #4)
"On your phone. What kind of a show you guys putting on here today? We're not interested in art? No. No, look, we're going to do this thing. We're going to have a conversation. From Chicago, this is film spotting. I'm Adam campanar. And I'm Josh Larson. I thought I might stay over tonight. Why? 'cause we're girlfriend boyfriend. Did you what? I'm actually not sure. Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie there as Ken and Barbie in Greta gerwig's Barbie. What is gerwig up to with her movie about the iconic toy? Like Ken, we're actually not sure. But we'll find out soon. Gerwig, Christopher Nolan, and Wes Anderson all high profile directors with new films coming out over the next couple of months. But what about some under the radar directors and titles? We've got our top 5 summer movie questions. Plus, the next film in our Sight & Sound top 100 marathon, it's all ahead. On film spotting. Welcome to film spotting where we hope you'll come for the summer movie preview and stay for the tarkovsky. Do you think in 1975 they were doing summer movie previews and leading with mirror tarkovsky's mirror? Maybe maybe so Josh later the show will continue our marathon devoted to films that made last year Sight & Sound top 100 greatest films of all time this week it is Andre tarkovsky's 1975 film mirror. Also coming up, a new poll that looks ahead to this year's Cannes Film Festival. That kicks off next week. Quickly, here's your brief reminder to help us reach new listeners by leaving us a rating and a positive review. We want to thank a Rodriguez jangly and G man 8 one one 9 who all left positive reviews for us on Apple podcasts. In their 5 star review, Django writes, great discussions that tend to be so well considered and reasonable that even when they're clearly wrong, I still enjoy listening to them. That happens. That happens here. We're wrong sometimes. I didn't think so, but oh well, G man 8 one one 9 added, I started listening in 2008, a young full head of haired man of 27. I'm still listening in 2023, a bald exhausted 42 year old with multiple frown lines where hair should be. Adam and Josh feel like family to be. And because we're family G man, we would never say anything disparaging about those multiple frown lines and the balding head. No, I mean, think of all the movies you've gained in that time. Some things have been lost. The movies you've gained. Focus on that. If you want to share your rating a review on Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts, we would greatly appreciate it. Let's get into our summer movie preview with some poll results. A couple of weeks back, we gave you three options. Three big summer 2023 movies. Wes Anderson's asteroid city, Greta gerwig's Barbie, and Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer. We asked you to pick one and only one and here are the stakes. We love our stakes here on film spotting. The other two, you can never, ever see. It will be as if they don't exist. And that will be the case according to voters for Wes Anderson's asteroid city, only 24% of the vote and Greta gerwig's Barbie. Only got 31% of the vote gone, forget those ever, were proposed that they were ever filmed, post production, none of it happened because film spotting listeners, they chose Nolan's Oppenheimer 44% of the vote. That's the one of the three we're going to get apparently. And as you may recall, I said I was going with Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer myself, and I knew the stakes, of course, and yet it was only today when I was looking over these words in front of me and thinking about it again that I realized wait a second. You're telling me that I would have a Wes Anderson film. I didn't get to see. And now I know why you went with asteroid city. Exactly. I mean, it was pretty clear logic for me, but how about people who are just kind of in love with this new burgeoning career of gerwig, voters, cut it short. It's done. No Barbie for us. Well, let's get into some of the reasoning. Lucas singleton says, what a tough question. All of these I'm excited for, but I have to go with Oppenheimer. I find myself either blown away or disappointed by Nolan's films, but when he nails it, memento, the prestige, Dunkirk, he nails it. I'm also glad to see his longtime collaborator killing Murphy, get the leading role in a big summer movie. We also heard from Maria. I'm a physicist. I'm biased. I'm really eager to see what Nolan can do with the material and the story of the Manhattan Project. I'm not too sure about the spiral B film having seen the trailer. I was never a fan of the toy. Obviously, I want to see everything from Wes Anderson, but I have voted Oppenheimer. Thank you, Maria. Michael McCoy says, I don't even know what I'd say if ten years ago you told me I'd be more excited for a film adaptation of Barbie than a new three hour Nolan Opus or the latest from Wes Anderson that may somehow be as great as cast yet but ten years ago I didn't have three daughters and even more to the point we did not yet have an auteur in Greta gerwig. Well, stated. Fair enough, here's Jared young from Ottawa, oblique and colorless World War II movie by Chris Nolan, seen it. A colorful, quirky Wes Anderson flick with a cast of thousands, seen it. A summer blockbuster about a Mattel toy franchise directed by Greta gerwig, faceplant, or masterpiece. It's an absolute must see. Here's Chad huizenga in Milwaukee. Boys will watch Oppenheimer men will watch Barbie stolen from someone on Reddit. Okay. I like that Chad is crediting his thievery there. Matt O'Brien just said, it's Barbie. I will not be taking any further questions at this time. We'll move on then to our friend Chicago's Taylor Cole, who of course has to do this in musical fashion. He says, take me down to the asteroid city where the sky is dark and the stars are pretty. And now that will be in my head for the rest of the day. Thank you, Taylor. Yes, it will. We do these previews in the form of our top 5 questions about the summer movie season. And as we noted earlier, we do tend to like to spotlight films that aren't the big tentpole releases aren't the big ones that every cinephile knows is coming out like Oppenheimer and Barbie and asteroid city. I went back and looked at my questions from January, looking at the whole movie year, Josh. And I only had one that was connected to summer. And it was about Barbie. I wondered if Greta gerwig could start her solo directing career going three for three. That was my number one question of the entire movie year. We will get that one answered here in just a couple of months. What's on the slate for you? I did have two questions in that preview that related to summer titles and Sanderson's asteroid city, not surprisingly, it was one of those at the time, there was still a possibility of getting a
A highlight from (Episode 392) "Blindspotting" Actor: Jasmine Cephas Jones (Ashley).
"Hi, Jasmine. How are you? Good, how are you? Good. So I have to say, you know, you went to Berkeley college. I went to northeastern. I feel like we are like, we are extended family, maybe. I don't know. But what did you take away from your time there, Jasmine, anything? Oh, man. I took away so much. I was there for two years, and I was studying vocal performance. I think the beautiful, not a lot of people graduate, Berkeley college and music. Yeah, I know. Yeah. Because they all go on tour and they all form bands together and it's a great way to kind of really be introduced to the music industry. I just learned a lot about, honestly, music theory, I took a lot of music theory in high school. I went to Laguardia. The fame high school. Yeah. Wow, yeah. So I also went there for vocal and I learned a lot of sight singing. That's what they call and also at Berkeley, but just also being around all of these talented musicians and collaboration, I think, was a big, a big thing that I that I learned just learning how to reach out to other people and forming a band forming something. I perform, I formed a cover band while I was there. Nice. And so it was a really amazing experience. And I loved it, but I ended up leaving because I had to do my own acting training, which I really, I really needed at that moment. And it's one of the best decisions I ever made, because here I am. Yeah, absolutely. Musically, if you're getting into Berkeley chances are you're pretty damn talented to begin with. So it's like it's worked out for you, I would say pretty well. One of the things I wanted to ask you was, right? So you went through a rough patch, I was looking at some of your life, right? I think you had grabbed a waitressing job at the point at one point. And people are telling you all the things you aren't, right? You are not black enough, you are not sexy enough. Up to that last one, I'm wondering if that person who said that needs corrective lenses. How do you get through a time when everyone's telling you why you are not, why you're not as a good a person as you think you are. They're almost belittling you backhanded comments. I don't know how do you, how do you get through a time like that when you know your ability, when you know what you're worth? That was a very hard period in my life, and I don't think that that time I was very confident, you know? I think at the end of the day, learning how to get through it was everything was about the work to me. Because even somebody telling me that I'm not sexy enough, like, it's like, well, both, like, fuck that. You know what I mean? I want the role because it's meaty and I can sink my teeth into it. And I want nuanced characters. I don't want just like the sexy role. So, you know, F you like I'm moving on and I'm continuing doing the next audition of what I'm interested in. And I've been able, I've been really lucky and I've been able to really get some amazing parts, you know, due to the fact that of the work that I do and the work, it's all about the work. You know, and that's what you have to go back to and that's what I want to be known for, not known for the sexy character. I want to be known for the complicated character, the nuanced character, the character with so many colors and flaws, so.
A highlight from (Episode 391) "FROM" Actor: Ricky He (Kenny).
"Derek Thomas. Of course. Ricky, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. I've been dying to get you on forever. I had a lot of the cast on and I'm a dying to get you on, so thanks, man. So I gotta tell you, I have a fixation with languages. I am bilingual myself. You know, I read about you. Will you let me know how this sounds? Not home, my joy Ken Dima. And my bad is it really bad? Listen, it's not great. But it's not terrible. I feel like I get the idea. I had a finished director on the other day and I tried to speak finish. That was also a car wreck. So I might stop with the languages at this point. So when you say you're bilingual, what are your languages? I speak poll. I speak Polish and you know, I think that I just have a fixation languages. I'm just so like, yeah. So I have to say, man, I love your character so much. And a lot of the Facebook groups I belong to a lot of the, you know, everywhere on the universe is really high on your character Kenny. I love them for a lot of reasons. I have never, but by the way, you are like, I feel like beyond your years, right? Because I can not put and it's not my business. A number on your age. And I feel like that's a good thing with your character. Like, is like he's put in a spot. Talk about how you love playing joy playing this wonderful character, Kenny. Yeah, totally. I think, I mean, well, you know, the whole age thing in the Asian American community, Asian don't raisin. And it is like, I think some of the fans think I'm like 28, some of the fans think I'm like 16. Some of the fans thought that Kenny's dad Bing Kwan was like his grandfather. You know, like it's like, you know what? I kinda like it. I kinda like preserving the mystery of Kenny's age to add on to the mystery of the show. But no, being Kenny has been being able to play Kenny and from the jump, like season one, it's kind of been a dream job. You know, he deals with so much grief and shame and guilt, but also like, you know, like hopefulness and excitement and enthusiasm, but he's just at the end of the day, like very eager to help out because he thinks that that would give him a sense of control or power over the situation that he's been put in. So it's such an awesome intricate complex character and it's yeah, dream job. Yeah, and the fan base is so protective of you. They are so protective of Kenny. Like, if something happens when we riot, they love it. But it's something that you said earlier that makes me think that because Sarah basically kills his dad. Christy breaks his heart and nobody ever comes to from Bill, right? The one person that comes back is her is her significant other. What are the chances of that happening, then Boyd loses his mind? He has the pressure to keep everybody in that community safe, including his mom. And I don't know, I just feel like Kenny has so much on his shoulders and I watched the way you play him, man. I mean, it's just an awesome character to root for. Thank you, man. Yeah, I think that like, at the end of the day, first of all, like Kenny is a far superior man than I could ever really aspire to be. You know what I mean? Because for all those reasons, with all this going on with all this pressure in this grief and this emotional burden on his shoulders, he still finds a way to kind of continue to prevail and truck along. And I think that a big part of it is his mom, you know what I mean? The only thing left in his life and he has this immense responsibility to take care of her to protect her. And I think that that's the main thing that keeps him keeps him going because yeah, how does the and you know, people have talked about, you know, in the show and also fans as well. It's like this place seems to this town seems to test you, right? It almost feels like how much flu handle. The fact that Mary Elle of all people steps off the bus, Christie's fiance, you know, is a testament to the fact that it's like, how do we break this kid? And early on and some of the earlier drafts when I was reading it, I was like, oh yeah. Oh, yeah. Kenny's done. In terms of like, there's no way that he's either not going to be completely broken or becomes some sort of a villain maybe. You know, like maybe this is his villain origin story. But he finds a way to prevail. And I think that that at the core of it is Kenny superpower.
A highlight from Sydney Sweeney - 'Reality'
"Movie for the white lotus, she landed a spot on Time Magazine's 100 next list, and she is now garnering the best reviews of her career and once again Emmy buzz for her portrayal of reality winner, a former NSA contractor who leaked government secrets in Tina Saturn's HBO movie reality. She's a young woman described by el as the TikTok demographics favorite bombshell and the queen of Gen Z characters, Hollywood's newest it girl, Sydney Sweeney. Over the course of our conversation at the offices of The Hollywood Reporter, Sweeney reflected on how, as a child, she convinced her parents to let her pursue an acting career and the sacrifices her whole family made as a result, including living in a one room motel room for 9 months. How she landed the part of Cassie on euphoria and found that in much the same way Cassie is judged for being sexual. She has been judged for playing Cassie, how she has juggled newfound fame's cons, such as loss of privacy and panic attacks and pros, including the validation of receiving Emmy noms on the same day for her portrayal of two polar opposite characters, why she is so proud of reality the first film on which she was number one on the call sheet and which was made in just 16 days on a shoestring budget, plus much more. And so without further ado, let's go to that conversation. Certainly thank you so much for coming in to do this and great to have you on this podcast. We always begin truly at the beginning. Can you tell our listeners where you were born and raised and what your folks did for a living? Oh, well, first of all, thank you so much for having me. I'm excited that we're finally getting to talk to each other. I was born and raised in Spokane, Washington, which is a smaller city on the border of Washington and Idaho state. My mom did not work growing up, but she was a practice of law. And then my dad was a pharmaceutical rep. And if I have my info correct, it seems like maybe the reason acting first entered the picture is basically essentially the circus came to town. They were just making a movie in town. They were. I'd always told my parents that I wanted to be an actress, but they thought it was like a little girl wanting to be a princess. It was just something so out of left field. And something that no one had any clue what this world even was. And they just kept dismissing it. And then when the small little indie came to town, I found out about it. I put together a 5 year business plan presentation. How old were you? I was like 11. Okay. Of what could happen if they let me audition for this movie? And what was the what were some of the key points here? If I booked this, then I will meet a director, and I will meet producers, and I'll meet people who will be able to introduce me to other people if we go to Seattle. I can get an agent, that agent will then be able to connect me with commercials and TV shows and we can go to pilot season, I start researching what pilot season was. And I kind of just laid it all out of what we should do in the next 5 years. How did that go over? They were like, oh shit, she's very serious about this. And so you guys, was it relocating initially to Seattle or Portland or where was it? We would take a little drive to Seattle, my dad grew up in Seattle in edgewood, so I was like a little outside of Seattle. So we would drive and visit his parents, my nan and papa. And spend some time there and I would do short film auditions and commercial auditions. And I guess I should say. So they let you do that. They love me. They let me do the movie, and I booked it. And it was a small little zombie movie. I think I said two words, but it was amazing. It was such a cool, crazy thing. And once we started doing the Seattle stuff, everyone said you guys should go try pilot season. And so we would drive down to LA, my mom and I. How long schlep is that from? It's like an 1819 hour drive. And there was a point where if I had one audition, my parents were so incredible and my mom was so incredible that we would get done with school at 3 o'clock in the car. We would drive all night so I could get there in the morning, do the audition, and then stay there for the day and then drive back. So I only missed one day of school. Wow. And it seems like, I guess the actual move to LA, can you talk about what you had started to book a few things? Did it make it seem like that's a big step, right? That's a huge step. I think it was a combination of a bunch of things where my whole family kind of fell in love with this whole crazy process and how exciting and new and different it was every single day.
A highlight from Can Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Salvage Marvels No Good, Very Bad Year?
"Has really been struggling for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the most anticipated marvel movie in some years, James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy volume three is out now. To discuss the year in marvel and guardians, Joanna Robinson Joe, you are a mega expert in this field. In fact, tell us about the book that you have written about marvel. It's so funny 'cause usually I sort of brush off expert, but I do feel like after spending over four years writing a book about something, I get to claim it. Yeah, I wrote a book called MCU colon, the reign of Marvel Studios. It's not a marvel thing. If you don't have a colon in the title, yeah, the reign of Marvel Studios is coming out November. And we spent over four years my co authors, Gavin Edwards and de Gonzales and I spent over four years interviewing over hundred of people connected to this universe doing scads of research to try to paint the picture of how marvel took over Hollywood and I agree with you that we are in what I like to call a wobble right now. I would not count marvel out completely. Because they have rebounded time and time again. So I'm not saying they're out, but it's definitely feels like the end cap of an era absolutely this year that we're in right now. And I think tracking that history of the founding of Marvel Studios, the launch of Iron Man, through the massive you can not argue that it wasn't a triumph film event that was, if any Warren endgame, and then this post endgame era and what's going on, all the factors that play into where marvel has found itself now. It's really, it's like it's for marvel fans, sure, but it's also like a Hollywood industry story, which is fascinating to me. And you didn't ask me on your show to promo my book, but yes, I did, of course I did. It's what we're talking about today, you know? It's the Hollywood movie business. Let's get those pre orders up, you know? Just like those pre release ticket sales that marvel is so reliant upon and that we use to prognosticate about the successes or failures of this brand, you know, this is actually the tenth movie guardians since endgame was released, which is seems like more than I would have guessed, honestly. And there have been some big hits in that time and there have been some less big hits. The most recent film is one of the least big hits that they've ever had, not just in the last ten films, or even in the last 5 years, in the last 15 years, since this whole thing has been going, ant man and the wasp quantumania earned four hundred and $75 million or so in the international box office, that sounds like a lot of money to any common human. It sounds like not a lot of money to bob Iger and bob chapek and Kevin feige and the powers that be at this brand. Now, I am one of those people who has a very bad opinion that I didn't think that movie was that bad, but most people thought it was quite poor. And the reaction to it was extremely negative and it felt like a kind of a floodgates moment where this thing that certainly I had been speculating would arrive finally arrived. Like for years, I was like, this is just like any other trend in Hollywood where a certain kind of genre or story type is huge for a stretch and then the audience kind of cycles out or grows out. And so the sort of that film, the reaction to it and it's sort of lack of success felt like a turning point for me. So it's interesting that the movie that comes immediately after that film is one that is not necessarily in its storytelling, but in its identity is like pure marvel. It's something that sword because marvel entrusted a very unique filmmaker with odd characters and made something that 50 years ago you never would have guessed a Guardians of the Galaxy movie would work. But that is the most emblematic of its power was the rise of guardians. Take me back a little bit to the quantumania moment a few months ago and sort of like, did you have a similar reaction? Like, oh, this could be a very dark time for this thing that has been so massive in the world of entertainment. It felt like it was chipping away for a while and I agree that I think if quantumania had been a huge hit, special hit, we would say like, oh, okay, you know, they got it back. And but it wasn't for the reasons that you outlined critically fandom wise, box office wise, et cetera. And then there's all these, what else is happening? It's a damage to the brand more than anything because if you take the from post endgame to now, as you say, there have been some hits, there have been some misses, but I think in those first few films you see coming out of endgame, there was just a tremendous faith in the brand
A highlight from #918: Is Guardians Vol. 3 the Worst MCU Film? Plus, MCU Villains Draft
"You can't save everyone. But if I don't try, I don't think I'll be able to live with myself. What are we supposed to do? Some stood by anything you have to. She stood up. There has to be a line. Phil powley is meet geese. It has to be me for this to work. A small light, new episodes Mondays at 9, now streaming on Hulu and Disney+. What kind of a show you guys putting on here today? We're not interested in art? No. No, look, we're going to do this thing. We're going to have a conversation. From Chicago, this is film spotting. I'm Josh Larson, and I'm Adam kembar. We were gone. For quite a while. But no matter what happens next. The galaxy still needs its guardians. One
A highlight from 196: They Call Us Ten Thousand Things
"Hello and welcome to another edition of they call us Bruce, and not filtered conversation about what's happening in Asian America. I'm Phil U I'm Jeff Yang. And one of the things we really love about this moment in audio history is that we are constantly discovering new amazing podcasts about Asian Americans. We have the opportunity frequently to bring them to your attention as listeners of our amazing podcast. about today is hosted by an old friend of ours a friend of the podcast. None other than the current civic poet of the city of Seattle, author of many poetry books, most recently the poetry collection Virgo with two more books coming in the fall. And host and creator and writer of the podcast 10,000 things shouldn't you pie. Shiny, thank you so much for coming here. Welcome. So delighted to be here to chat with you today. First of all, we want to thank you again for when we visited Seattle on our book tour for rise. You introduced us at town hall and it was a really great night, but one of the thank you for being a part of that evening. That was really awesome. Such an amazing book was so happy to celebrate it with you. It was a delightful evening. We had a packed house. It was one of the first things actually, I think, publicly that most of us had done in the era of COVID as it were. So it was Craig great to see faces and butts in seats and so forth. And to meet you. And at the time, I mean, this is what I was just telling Phil earlier. It's like, I mean, I knew you were doing lots of incredibly cool things because you were the program director for town hall of Seattle as well. The events that are there. I knew you were a poet. I did not realize at the time that you are the civic poet of the city of Seattle. And I'm not even sure exactly what I mean, it's sort of like the poet laureate, right? Yes. Yes. But how long have you held that position and what does it what does it require you to do? What are your duties? What are your responsibilities? What are the ceremonial duties? Yeah, so the position came about in January. I learned about the news in December and the role is really just being an ambassador for poetry in Seattle. And so I am the fourth civic poet of the city and, you know, others have focused a lot on things like teaching workshops or curating and producing events that will likely be a part of what I do too, but I work a lot and have a lot of interest in public art and activation of public spaces so I imagine doing some things related to the visual arts and because I have the opportunity to work closely with the public radio station here in Seattle kuw, what I did for national poetry month, which is the month of April is actually curate 30 days of Seattle poets and poetry for on their digital website and then did weekly broadcast segments about particular poets in the community that I wanted to talk to you more deeply and make sure that the listenership and community was aware of some of the amazing work that some of these poets like raul Sanchez and Roberto ascalon kunlun are doing. I mean, that is amazing. And it obviously is so critical for us to have people in that role of kind of space making for art and to sort of curatorial inviting people to raise their voices, especially if people in something which a lot of people think as Tariq, like poetry, will not necessarily know all the voices that are out there. But I will say that your own voice is a poet is something which really to me points to what you're trying to do with 10,000 things. And what I mean by that is the poetry of yours that I've read really does seem to very much be about taking small things and then kind of uplifting them and holding them to the light. That is, in essence, what you're trying to do with 10,000 things as well through this lens of almost like the found art of Asian America, the found art and history of Asian America. And let's talk a little bit about where this podcast came from. What happened in his first season and what you're trying to do now now that it's sort of expanded into the second one. Yeah, I really appreciate that you see the connections between some of my literary approaches as a poet focusing on image and the everyday and the mundane and how that definitely informs the sensibility of what this podcast is about for me and a different form in which I think similar but different stories can be told. So the origin of the podcast, you know, I came up with the idea in probably like spring summer 2021 and the public radio station had put out this call to the community that they wanted ideas for podcasts like they could pilot and potentially commission for a season. And it was right after the Atlanta spa shootings and I remember being in a really dark sad place about kind of just the state of being Asian American at that time and I think simultaneous to that there had been this story hanging out in my imagination for many months that I had wanted to write about related to congressman Andy Kim who is from New Jersey and on the day of January 6th and the insurrection he was photographed picking up garbage while wearing a blue suit and a surgical mask in the capitol rotunda. And it's been this beautiful striking image object kind of artifact of a moment in history that really spoke to me about a certain kind of leadership and representation that we don't see a lot of. And his story, that image stayed with me. So I kind of began to follow Andy Kim on Twitter and it was really curious about his perspectives and
A highlight from The Top 10 Garbage Lads Movies and Guy Ritchies The Covenant
"I'm Sean fantasy and this is the big picture a conversation show about lads. Today is the day CR Chris Ryan and I have dreamed about is a tribute to a film artist and a subgenre that may not always be reputable. May not always be moral, but as always a good time. From the team that brought you garbage crime, junk sci-fi, trash spies, comes garbage lads, AKA, bloke trash, AKA our tribute to British crime films, we are doing so because the reigning king of this subgenre Guy Ritchie has released not one but two films. In 2023, Chris Ryan welcome to the show. All right, golf. And that's it. That's the last one. No impressions. Okay. This is serious stuff. Tell me what this sub genre means to you. This is reliably the backbone of my movie going enjoyment. Like this is like the stuff that I really, really like. When it's just me, when the wife side of town, there's no big pictures to be done. There's no peak TV to be watched. And I'm trying to decide what to entertain myself with. It is a very specific brand of criminal psychopath. That can only be found on a diet of cocaine lager and potatoes. And he is in these movies. This is a long tradition, obviously Guy Ritchie in the late 90s, early 2000s sort of revived this. And we'll talk about it. I think the long arc of these movies. But let's talk a little bit about riches start because he does have these two films, most recently, about a week and a half ago he released a film that is called literally Guy Ritchie's the covenant. I was quite surprised that our screening that you and I attended together to learn that his name was in the title of this film. It's odd because this is not this does not seem like a signature Guy Ritchie movie. In fact, this is the only movie we'll talk about today that does not bear the hallmarks of this sub genre. Yeah. But we're going to talk about it anyway. Yeah. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Darcy and it follows a U.S. Army sergeant and an Afghanistan war veteran named John kinley, who endures incredible struggle during the war in Afghanistan and who returns to the country to rescue the interpreter who once saved his life from the Taliban. Yeah. What did you think of this movie? I really thought it was quite good. And I say that, I guess, hesitation, but it has been getting pretty good reviews. I think anybody who actually goes to see the covenant will be like, damn, that was, that was really well made. That was what I was hoping for. Yeah. And I have noticed that in a lot of the reviews, people seem to be really pleasantly surprised by the second half of the film. But kind of whatever about the first half, I was the inversion of that. I thought that the first half of the movie was just an excellently well made and well paced war movie, and that the second half, which is essentially these two long rescue attempts, one by Dar Salim rescuing the Gyllenhaal character and the other by the Gyllenhaal character than rescuing his old interpreter is fine and good, but takes quite a long time to get exactly where you know it's going. Strange, it's Richie's 14th film, he does this every now and again. He's a zag artist. He doesn't always make exactly what we'll be describing today. He doesn't always make these kinds of British crime movies. And in the last 5 or 6 years, it feels like he has gotten quite bored with his own persona. And so when he made the King Arthur film, he actually came on this show, he was one of the first guests on the big picture. Isn't that weird? He came into the studio. He was a chapel, right? In the chapel he was in a tweed suit.
A highlight from Shonda Rhimes - 'Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story'
"The Hollywood Reporter's awards chatter podcast. I'm the host Scott feinberg. And my guest today is one of the most talented prolific and trailblazing storytellers and hit makers in the history of television. Through her production company shondaland, she was at ABC the creator head writer and executive producer of Grey's Anatomy, which went on the air in 2005 and is still running, private practice, which ran from 2007 through 2013, and scandal, which ran from 2012 through 2018. They collectively made her the first female showrunner ever responsible for at least three shows with runs of at least 100 episodes. And she was also the executive producer of the networks, How to Get Away with Murder, which ran from 2014 through 2020. Varying combinations of those shows filled a three hour block of prime time TV on Thursday nights for 5 years, a truly remarkable achievement. Since moving herself and her company to Netflix in 2017 in a 9 figure deal that made her the highest paid showrunner in television, she has served as the executive producer of Bridgerton 2020 through the president. And the creator head writer and executive producer of inventing Anna from 2022, and most recently, Queen Charlotte, a Bridgerton story, which will drop on the service this Thursday. She was the first black woman to create and run her own scripted network TV series, the 2016 recipient of the producers guild of America's Norman Lear award for achievement and television, a 2017 inductee into the television Hall of Fame, making her only the third black woman ever inducted after Oprah Winfrey and Diane Carroll, and one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world, three times. Each in different decades. In 2007, 2013 and 2021. A woman described by Ted sarandos as one of the great storytellers in the history of television by Julie Andrews as one of the most powerful creative forces in film and television today, and by Oprah Winfrey as the most powerful showrunner in television period, Shonda Rhimes. Over the course of our conversation at the shondaland offices on the Raleigh studios lot in Hollywood, the 53 year old and I discussed her path to the business and a key mentor she met along the way, why she tends to write about fiercely independent career women who love their work. Why she doesn't like all of the focus that has been placed upon the trailblazing racial diversity of her shows. What factored into her decision to move from ABC to Netflix? Why she decided to tackle a show there centered on the Bridgerton character Queen Charlotte, plus much more. And so without further ado, let's go to that conversation. much for doing this. Great to have you on the podcast. And we always begin here just at the true beginning. Can you share for our listeners where were you born and raised in what is your folks do for a living? I was born and raised and I was born in Chicago. I was raised in the suburbs of Chicago. My mother was a homemaker, and then got her PhD when I was in college, and an educator. My father was a chief information officer for universities. I don't really know what that means. Now it seems like correct me if any of this is wrong, but youngest of 6 kids. Yeah, this was 6. I know that for some people that results in wanting attention, doing something for attention was that you or were you more of a shy no, I was never somebody who was looking for attention. But a big family and I think it actually was a very cocooning experience and I got to hide the fact that I was super shy. For a long time. It seems like storytelling from what I read prepping from this, you were in one way or another doing this from toddler time, right? I mean, how did that first begin to manifest itself? I mean, I think I was dictating stories into it like an old fashioned tape recorder and then trying to get my mother to type them up when I was about three or four. Oh my God, what were your stories about? I have no idea now. I have no idea. And then I would just dictate make sort of radio plays on the tape recorder as well. And try to get those to happen. So you go off to Dartmouth, and I wonder when you started there, what did you kind of imagine your future would look like? And did anything happen there that sort of redirected that?
A highlight from (Episode 389) "Sweet Tooth" Actor: Christian Convery. (Gus).
"Hi, I'm great. Thank you. How are you? Good. Thank you so much for coming on today. I really appreciate it. Thank you. I'm very happy to be here. Yeah, I think you like what I have planned. So I have to first say you are like, I want to say I've had my last 7 guests. They've all been Canadian. So I'm very happy with that. Canadian. So I've been dying to ask you, I was so pleasantly surprised to see you. I just had one or two questions on cocaine bear. I was very surprised to see you in the movie. It was your chance to curse in the movie and do some other things. What was that like for you, Christian as an actor, right? Kind of veering because people see you as gustus wonderfully kind child slash hybrid that is just so sweet. And Henry, on the other hand, is very, is very not like us. So what was that like for you, Chris, it's a curse on camera to do other things you definitely wouldn't do in sweet tooth on camera. You know, it was a complete change because I just come out of filming sweet tooth so I was like totally crazy getting to play Henry and I'm like, oh wow, I didn't realize that I could do this. So it was really fun. You know, getting to completely turn it around and just be this like wild kid in Georgia. It was like totally not kind. Well, is, but he says some bad words. Yeah, he does, he does a few bad things. Do you think, what did people say to you, Christian? Because you're so used to Gus or so used to you being this like sweet and kind soul. What did they say to you after they saw cocaine bear? Oh, they were like, oh my God, you cursed in the movie. That's crazy. Wait, what did they actually put them in the script? That's what my friends said to me when I came out. So it was pretty crazy. Yeah, and I was thinking about this too, Christian, can you imagine if Gus had Christians, if Gus had Henry's personality, how much that would have changed the show? I think that kind of changes sweet tooth completely, doesn't it? Yeah, that was like, I don't even think that would be possible. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Did you get a chance to speak with Ray Liotta? Yes. I actually got to, in the movie, there was a scene and I got to play against him and it was like pretty crazy knowing that I got to act with the great Ray Liotta and it was his last movie before he shall be passed away, but it was incredible, actually seeing him on camera after, for example, watching him over 90 movies and it was crazy. It was like he's one of the staple best actors of all time. I loved getting to work with him. He was incredible. And I'm sure you have many memories of that. That's fantastic. So let's talk about sweet tooth. It very much reminds me very much reminds me of those 80s movies. Have you seen goonies and ET and all these wonderful movies from the past where you're cheering for these kids in this case hybrids to beat these terrible adults, right? And people refer to you and to lady as great kid actors. I just think you're a great actor. I think the two of you are, excuse my language, a hell of a team. When I watch this, I'm not thinking, oh, Christians are great child actor. I'm just thinking, Christian's a great actor. I mean, this kid has me sobbing at the end of season one. Thank you so much, because yeah, everyone says kid actor, kid, or child, but you know there's not really a difference between that because that's right. That's right. Exactly, because anyone can be an actor, essentially that's the beauty of acting. It's not like a normal job or, for example, you can't work as a 9 year old in, let's say, a restaurant or a business management, but acting, you can do it at any age, which is one of the incredible things. For example, in season one of sweet tooth, there were shots of a couple of babies and some mechanical ones, but there was a few real babies, and it's incredible because, you know, people are being brought there, experiencing acting, and I love it. I love getting to see that. Yeah, yeah, I spoke with obviously we're speaking now and I've spoken with and she is just so talented, so composed for her age, same for you, just two great kids that are, that are great actors, not great kid actors. So let's get that straight. So the other thing I want to ask, what is your report like with her on and off camera Christian? So off camera, we're great friends. We already hung out over the course of season one without actually acting together, which was really weird because I thought that I acted with her and she's one, but I actually really didn't. So offset, yeah, we were already best Friends and going into season two. You know, we already had chemistry of gush in 1D and we were really excited getting to film together.
A highlight from 195: They Call Us Shib Sibs
"Two of our heroes. Maya and Alex shibutani, Olympians, advocates, children's book authors, and frankly sibling goals. Maya Alex, welcome to the cause Bruce. Welcome. Thank you for having us on. Thanks for waiting until May. Really appreciate that. Why not? We want to just kick it off with a bit of a bang and you guys obviously have been in our sights for a while. We keep on running into you guys in person and think to ourselves, man, it would be kind of great to actually have them in studio. And here we are. We're incredibly delighted to have you here. And for good reasons, 'cause you have a project, which we are incredibly excited for as well. A new book called amazing, which is an active you're applying to a set of incredible Asian Americans that your profiling for a book which hopefully will be on everybody's wish lists for the holidays and gift lists for this, you know, the shopping days of APA Harris month. As we all know, big shopping holiday. Big commerce month. Definitely. One thing that I want to note though, it's first time on the podcast. Phil and Jeff's voices completely change as soon as the podcast goes. There's like, there is a depth and Heather. Our podcast voices, apparently which are somewhat indistinguishable from another according to some of our at least our early listeners. They had a hard time telling us apart, but I just want to give credit where credit is due. I mean, I'm stoked. We've been fans of yours for a long time. We've been your fan since you guys were kids actually. So it is so weird now to have you guys as full grown ass adults coming on here as, you know, as authors Olympians and everything. But thanks all of us feel old. Look at me, okay? I feel really, I feel really mature in age now. But it's been an awesome to see your journey. I mean, that's a testament to being able to see you guys grow and change and grow up. And I love what you guys have done in terms of your place in our community, the way that you've been able to hold yourself up and be a Beacon of as athletes, of course, but now as authors, a book like this is so special and shines a light in it points to the next generation. It's another sort of lifting up, so I really appreciate where you guys are at, getting to talk with you guys now, just getting to see where you've been and where you're going. It's pretty awesome. Thank you so much. Alex gave you a hard time at the beginning, but I think it's a good sign that we've all been busy, right? And that now we're having this conversation. Yeah, we're really excited that the book is finally out in the world. It's been two years in the making. And I guess you could say based on sort of us knowing each other for a while. The four of us, but I was, you know, specifically meaning my and me. You guys go way back, I know, yeah. It feels yeah, it feels like this has been sort of a lifelong journey that we've been on. And obviously that's what identity is. For many Asian Americans and Pacific islanders and people of color, but our experience has been pretty unique and it definitely our background and figure skating and our relationship is siblings informs the choice to do not only this book, amazing, but also a children's picture book, a nonfiction picture book. Well, you know, as parents ourselves, I mean, it's something which as a younger parent anyway, looking for books like this was incredibly hard. I mean, even as an adult, finding things that tell our stories and that represent our histories is damn hard. It's part of the reason why Phil and I and Philip long actually wrote a book of Asian American recent history. Phil doesn't even shout out. Everyone knows Phil. I know. That would have been even better. Yes, we should just have him kind of walk in. But you know, he's always here with us. He's like the ghost of the feast, but the fact is using the platform you guys have created to shine a light on history on recent history and past history is really remarkable. And at the same time, you guys are part of history. I mean, if you want to go through your own journey a little bit more, I mean, I'm sure a lot of people certainly a lot of people who have who listen to this podcast will know it, but the path you took to the Olympic podium is pretty remarkable. And yeah, I mean, you know, maybe tell us a little bit, tell our audience a little bit about that story.
A highlight from (Episode 388) "FROM" Actor: Kaelen Ohm (Maryelle).
"Kayla, I have to say, so I'm looking at your life and some people have a tough time being just an actor or being just a musician. How the heck have you juggled both this whole time, right? So we're talking Vancouver film school. We're talking this great drummer early. How does this all come to be? I can't imagine juggling. And I'm not even throwing in director and cinematographer and like, I'm throwing in like, and it's just more than that, but it's like, how are you juggling all these balls at the same time? It's been really natural for me to be honest, I think this work can be so seasonal, you know? As actors especially, we might be on a job for one month and then not for 6 months and then for 9 months and not for three years, you know? The pandemic. Yeah, and I think that it's really just I've been listening a lot over the past few years, especially juggling my music project Amara and acting my acting career and just wanting to do those things fairly seriously and just having to listen to, okay, there's a break coming. I need to carve out this time now to make a record because if I sit in my way, then I'm going to miss that window. So I think doing as many little things as I've done over time is just kind of been a means for following interests, but film and music have been both two worlds that have fascinated me kind of from every angle. Yeah. And so I've been lucky that I've been able to step in and learn many different things and be okay at them. I don't think I'm a master at any of the things that I do and I don't know if I ever will be. And some people are sort of wired that way, you know? I think to pick one thing and to be so obsessed with it, but that's all that they can spend their time doing. And it's just not how I'm built and I've come to kind of accept that over time. Acting is one thing that I think it's so multifaceted that mastery of that craft to even understand that as a whole path on its own, but that's one thing that I'm still looking towards for myself. But I hope that answers your question. No, it's a great answer. Yeah, it's a great answer. What's your take on music composition composers, film scores? Is that something like you have an interest in or is it, is it kind of? 'cause I'm thinking, 'cause I'm trying to think of everything you've done in your life. Is that something that interests you? Yeah, absolutely. My own music has always been informed
A highlight from Sheryl Lee Ralph - 'Abbott Elementary'
"And my guest today is a widely admired veteran actress who's nearly half century in show business, has been highlighted by a best actress in a musical Tony nomination in 1982 for the original Broadway production of dreamgirls and a best supporting actress in a comedy series Emmy win in 2022. For ABC's ongoing, abbot elementary. The latter of which made her that awards first black winner in 35 years. Cheryl Lee Ralph. Over the course of our conversation at her Los Angeles home, the 66 year old and I discussed her fast path to a career as a professional actress and her bumpy journey to opportunities worthy of her talents, why in 2001 she walked away from the highest profile screen acting job she'd had up to that point, a major part on UPN's trailblazing comedy series, moesha, and how close she came following some very slow years after that, to walking away from acting altogether, the faithful series of events that led to her meeting Quinta Brunson and landing the part of Barbara Howard, a kindergarten teacher on Abbott elementary, and how she feels about the career renaissance that she has experiencing now as a result, plus much more, and so without further ado, let's go to that conversation. Mister out there, you so much for coming on the podcast, great to have you. And to be here. This podcast, we start right at the beginning. Would you please share with our listeners? Where were you born and raised and what did your folks do for a living? Oh my goodness. Born and raised. You know, it depends. Let's say, where should I be born and raised today? Oh, since it's overcast and I'm feeling like son, I'll choose born and raised in Jamaica, although that would only be halfway true since my dad was the American and my mother was the Jamaican immigrant. So then it could be Connecticut, which would make me a nutmegger and the point there would be that my dad wrote the state cantata for the state of Connecticut called the nutmeg and then in my imagination, wherever tinker bell was born. That's where I was born. And I was raised in a land of sparkle and glitter. There you go. There you go. My dad was an educator, musician, ended his career as a college professor, my mom, a great designer, woman of God and just the goddess to the God that was my dad and our family. They were just, they were wonderful people. And I was so happy that somehow the universe had me choose them as my parents. Fantastic. Now, I understand maybe because they had some very high expectations for their daughter that you were a very excellent student all the way through. Can you just explain? I mean, this is kind of crazy. 16, you're starting at Rutgers, graduating by 19 and just three years. I mean, what was it, where did that academic try? Was it from your folks? Oh, absolutely. You know, my dad told me I can do whatever it is I want with my life. After I graduate from college. So you know oh my God, you get it. I was absolutely in a rush to get on with my life, which kept me out of doing a lot of things that other people were trying or experimenting with or caught up in. I didn't have time for that because I had to graduate. And I'm an immigrant child, so there was no just graduating. You had to graduate well. Like top of your class, and if not top of your class, then very close to it. You know, there was nothing, it was not about being ordinary. It was not about just getting by. It was about making everybody proud of exactly who you were. So the idea then of getting into acting, which I think happened while you were at Rutgers, kind of, right? I mean, and at other campuses, apparently, but was that a tough one to break to the folks? That was a very tough one to break to my immigrant mother. Oh my God. I remember my mother when I was there at Rutgers and I realized I wasn't going to be a doctor. I was not going to be a lawyer, and I was on no track towards marrying one. So it was like, oh my God, I'm not going to be able to live her dream for me. And when I told her, she said, what? You are going to use our hard earned money to be one of those fake and phony people. What's wrong with you? You know, she was really very angry, but it was my dad who said to me, you came into this world with your mother, but you will probably leave this world alone and you better be happy with the choices that you have been you have made for yourself. Wow. Yeah. Now, this is may seem like a random question, but I think it will set up maybe a couple of events that we should cover.
A highlight from (Episode 387) "Sweet Tooth" Actor: Naledi Murray (Wendy).
"So happy to finally be talking to you. Yeah, it's great. It's great. So I'm going to say that I was looking at interviews that you did. I want to say like two years ago three years ago when the interview dropped, you were this little, I mean, you're still a kid, but now seeing you two years later, you know, so my other job, I teach, I'm a teacher for teaching for 27 years at a middle school. So I see kids that are 11 to 13. In your age bracket. So how do you, how do you balance acting? How do you balance life? How do you balance school? There might be one of the best shows on television. Like, how do you do that? That's got to be a tough thing for a kid your age. Well, for me, it's kind of what's been easy because my parents have made it easy for me to balance out the work and the play. It's because it's like one of our main priorities and it was really nice. I'm homeschooled for now. For high school, I'm going back to regular school. So I mean, I've always just been like a hard worker, and I always want to keep myself busy and do all normal good stuff. It's easy, like just hanging out with my friends and all that. Yeah, yeah, that's a good answer. So not only am I talking to a great actor, I'm talking to a series regular now, which is an expanding role for season two. That's gotta be super exciting for you. Yeah. Yeah. So how do you find that out? Because series regular is like, if you're on for those listening who may not know, like if you're on a show to get that title, I mean that's huge. That's the thing you're going for. How did you find that out and how excited were you? Yes. So it was when I realized that I'm not guest star anymore. It was like, and the main characters, like one of the leads, it was like the shocker. I was really excited. Because I knew that would be able to have a lot more scenes with everyone else. Just we opened up a little new world. Yeah, yeah, that's a good answer. We first meet Wendy in episode four, and I mean, granted, you got the official title, you know, for season two, but I gotta say, no offense to Gus, but Wendy's kind of the leader, right? She's kind of been the person that leads. I mean, Gus is, you know, Gus Gus is great, but, you know, even in four episodes in the first season, Wendy was the leader, right? Yeah, 'cause she asked her little, I agree with that. She asked me a little hybrid family and when she meets gut, she's kind of like getting introducing her family to him and kind of taking Gus under her wing, yeah. And you know, Gus, they're just really trying to intertwine each other. Yeah, that's a great answer. And I really do feel like Wendy has like superhero qualities and I'm gonna hold that for a second because I feel like people know that this is produced by Susan and Robert Downey and we know that he's Iron Man. So before I get back to that question, who is your favorite superhero? Who is your favorite superhero? It could be any of them. Anything. I really, to be honest, I tend to always like the villains. I don't know because but superhero wise, who do I love? I really like Captain Marvel. That's a good answer, yeah. She's awesome. Yeah. Yeah, that's a good answer. That's a good answer. You know, and I feel like Wendy kind of has those qualities, right? She's a leader. She's super kind. I want to see the very first episode we saw, we were introduced to Wendy. I think it's when she was on the CB radio, I think. You know, she's trying to talk back and they're like, don't talk back. So she has this like bravery about her. Do you see Wendy as a superhero? Yeah, of course. Wendy is definitely superhero. She's been brought up in this post apocalypse world. She's a hybrid. She's just on her own with her mom. And then she has this idea to bring all these new hybrids and they make a family and then now that in the next season set season two, you can see her without her mom and she really has to step up. Yeah, yeah. How would you describe because everyone I talked to they asked me about shows, I say, well, you know, sweet tooth is really one of the best shows I've seen. I mean, I remember just crying at that last episode. What was called big brother? Big man, big man.
A highlight from Top Five Coming-of-Age Movies and Are You There God? Its Me, Margaret
"Big picture a conversation show about maturation. Later in the show, I'll have a conversation with Kelly Freeman Craig. The writer director of are you there God, it's me, Margaret. It's her second film and it's an adaptation of course of Judy Blume's beloved 1970 classic of young adult fiction. I hope you'll stick around for the chat, but first we do have a couple of films that capture those critical days when young characters are coming of age. We hear that word all the time. What does it mean coming of age? We're going to share our 5 favorite coming of age movies, and we're going to talk about these movies. That are out now. The first of which, of course, is, are you there, God, it's me Margaret. Amanda, you were once a young woman coming of age. I have to assume Judy Blume crossed your path. Of course. What's your relationship to the book to Judy? And then into this film. This was one of the ones that I read as a small person. Or smaller than I am now, I guess. Because I also reread it last week. Well, we know you can fight a kangaroo so you're not very small. You've got some, you've got some height. My husband was like, you do understand that the center of gravity being lower is an advantage for the kangaroo, right? And that's like, oh, good point. I read Judy Blume at the age when you are supposed to read Judy Blume. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia at a conservative pocket of Atlanta, Georgia, and I went to a pretty conservative, a very good but extremely conservative school. And had parents who loved me very much, but didn't love talking that much. So this is how I learn stuff. And I really the books for me had the effect that I think they did for everyone, which is their power and why Judy Blume is Judy Blume, but I remember maybe not like learning about sex and periods and hormones and attraction to other to other people and to boys from these, but it was certainly the most normal, like arena in which I found them. Yeah, it was the most mainstream version of that conversation. And un embarrassing and treating them like everyday topics and things that would be a part of your life without shame. So I remember are you there God? It's me, Margaret. I read Dini. Those are the two that stick out with stick out for me as like a young child because I was also a massive reader, obviously. Instead of having friends. And then no, that's not true. We shared it. I think we had some things in common. Time in our lives. I didn't have siblings. So that's really what I did was just read books. Can I just share with you though? I did have siblings, but it's a big joke inside my house that on a car trips I was desperately trying to finish books in the backseat while my brother and sister were playing together and I was not playing with them. So exactly. Yeah. And then I guess as a teenager, I would have read some of the books for adults, summer sisters, looms really large for me, which is a later Judy bloom installment. And it's lovely. Well, soft core port is unfair because I think she's writing about sex in the way, you know, that is appealing, but not exploitative, I guess, but there is a lot of sex in that book. And you're at a certain age and you're trying to learn about sex in a certain way. And I remember summer sisters being a very pivotal for me. It's interesting because your point about the accessibility of these books makes it unique. I feel like kids were encouraged to read Judy Blume books. You know, these were not like hidden or illicit materials. Well, for us, at least, which we'll come back to that. Right. Well, at least in our experience. And so I find that so fascinating because, you know, Judy Blume, of course, this is kind of her Magnum Opus. This is the book she's best known for. Are you there God? And it is told through the eyes of 11. 11. Okay, 11 year old girl. But she wrote plenty of books through the eyes of boys, too. And, you know, actually, I've talked with Bill Simmons about this. He was a huge duty bloom fan growing up. I was too. I feel like tales of a fourth grade, nothing, like, is this whole other kind of portal and the super fudge books that a lot of young kids, I don't know if kids still read you to boo, I assume that there's been a bit of a boom of late. But she's just this incredibly empathetic warm, funny, but not ha ha, laugh out loud, but she's right. When you're reading her work, it feels like she's talking directly to you, right? And that's like the sign of a great writer. It's a sign of a great writer of young adult and children's fiction. I'm reading so much children's fiction these days. So I have a real regained and appreciation for the art form. And it's fascinating that she has not been kind of widely adapted in the culture like this. You know, she reportedly for years declined adaptations of this book in particular because it's so important to her an important to other people and maybe it didn't seem like the right project had ever come along.
A highlight from #917: Top 5 Joaquin Phoenix Performances, Beau Is Afraid, R.M.N.
"You guys putting on here today? We're not interested in art? No. No, look, we're going to do this thing. We're going to have a conversation. From Chicago, this is film spotting. I'm Adam kempner. And I'm Josh Larsen. I carrot, it's mom. I'm just calling to say that I'm so, so, so excited to see you tomorrow. You're my angel and I love you. Okay. I love you. Okay, bye, sweetie. I love you. A totally innocuous seeming voicemail for mom can sound completely terrifying in the right context. And if that context is the new film from Ari aster, the director of hereditary and Midsommar, then yeah, terrifying Esther's latest bow is afraid, starring Joaquin Phoenix is in theaters now. We've got a review. Plus our top 5 Joaquin Phoenix performances. It's
A highlight from (Episode 386) "Team Downey" Vice President and "Sweet Tooth" Producer Evan Moore.
"Let me ask you this. So USC a big part into who you are today, professionally. USC. Yeah. I would definitely say so. Yeah. I got the internship at team Downey because I'd had a screenwriting class with some of the year before who reached out to me and that was kind of what led to being here. So yeah, a little over 11 years now. Evan, talk about that internship. How does it morph into what you're doing right now? You know, it was just meeting people, I think, really starting to do coverage there at the company, meet the executives at the time. I think my taste really grew with the company and vice versa. Because it was about two years old at that time. So really just kind of getting a feel for the actual business. Kind of learning, learning what Susan and Robert really responded to, things like that, and then just kind of kept getting told to come back and grow from there. You know, is it kind of proving yourself in an internship where you get there, trust to that level right because, I mean, we're going to get to sweet tooth in a moment. Wonderful show. So is it about is it about putting your time in getting your trust with them and then them seeing that you're on the same page? Is it about acquiring that over time? I think so. I think it's definitely a bit of that and I think even as great as USC was in the film school program and I started as a theater major and then did a screenwriting minor, but I think it's such a unique industry that there's really it's always going to be trial by fire the first real job you get, you know? I think a lot of it is learning the ins and outs of the industry and I think every company is going to have specific wants and needs every actor, every director, all that stuff. So I think being a talent driven company specifically like team Downey is, it's definitely learning the kinds of movies that Robert likes that Susan likes and trying to figure out what they aspire to do creatively now that they're at the top and wanted to do things that they really feel passionate about and want to put out into the world. It's a great answer. You know Evan, I've done over 400 interviews. I think I know my movies. I think I know my shows. I probably wake up every day of the week having a different definition for what a producer is. Could you once and for all in your words, tell me what a producer is 'cause I feel like I have variations of what it could be. And I feel like on different projects, it does change the definition, right? Tell me, let's just say sweet tooth. What your role as a producer is what you do. I have a feeling I know, but coming from your mouth would probably be better. Yeah, of course. From our perspective, I think we always view producing as supporting the creator's vision. And like you said, back in very wildly from project to project for us on sweet tooth, it was really we read the graphic novels. We thought they were really incredible. You know, saw an opportunity to do something that felt very new within the post apocalyptic space once we, once we partnered with Jim mickle and just all agreed that we didn't want to do something that felt like the bleak kind of gray toned worlds that we'd seen before. You know, when we first, when we first started discussing the project, it was in the height of Walking Dead and the leftovers, and as great as those shows were, we felt like there was a real opportunity with sweet tooth because Jeff's graphic novels were so driven by Gus hope and optimism at the end of the day. And we felt like there was something that we could do that could be viewed by the whole family, but not talk down to a younger audience. We wanted to do something that I think we all grew up loving and wanted to aspire to make something that felt like it could combine all these different aspects of genres, but do it in a way that the whole family could watch. So for sweet tooth specifically, it was really supporting Jim kind of I think pushing him and pulling him where he needed to to really kind of bring things to the surface. You know, I think we all creatively saw the same show, which I think is really critical and just helping him being like, what was your intention here? Okay, that's not totally coming into surface. What can we adjust? What can we change? And I think really working with Jim and Linda and Warner Brothers and Netflix to just build out the supporting players from the technical HDs to the cast, to the boots on the ground crew. And I think everything just kind of came together in a really wonderful and magical way in New Zealand. You know, yeah, and we're gonna get into that in a second, but you know, you're right about that.
A highlight from (Episode 384) "FROM" Actor: Jamie McGuire (Smiley).
"A few things I'd love to talk to you about. Where do I start? The first thing is I don't think in the history of me watching television shows or any type of shows, whether it's on Netflix or a movie, where I see somebody that is, you know, IMDb says you have one episode. I feel like you're in more than just one, right? I'm sorry for which season. So I feel like in total, IMDb says you're in it for one season, one episode, and I'm like, that doesn't seem right. Unless I'm reading the wrong thing, no, I'm sure I'm in for more than one episode. Yeah, me too. I'm like, I'm gonna have to correct that. And I think because I'm looking, I'm like, wait a second. I know for a fact he's in at least two, potentially three or more. No worries at all. Yeah, so like I was saying, I don't think I ever remember in the history of television because you started as somebody who became part of the show as somebody who was would you say extra Jamie, is that a fair way of saying it? Yes, yes. Background, extra, yeah. So then I feel like they fully realize your potential and maybe figure out that you're perhaps under cast and your abilities and what you bring to the show. Is that a fair way of saying it? I'm just glad they made the decision I'm just glad they made the decision to upgrade me. Yeah, so I guess that's where I'm trying to find out how does that happen. So you get this great opportunity as a background actor. How do you evolve from a background actor to where you are on the show today? And I'll honestly I'm really not sure. I guess I would say it's thanks to the cast and crew there in the fans. I just I'm not sure who exactly made that decision, but I'm glad they did and for that I can thank them enough. Do they pull you aside Jane and say, listen, we have bigger plans for your character. Does that conversation take place? No, that a conversation like that never took place. Just after season one first came out, there was a lot of talk on from Facebook groups. Yeah. Wondering who this person was and apparently I just freaked out everybody, especially with that scene over the scene over the banister looking down. Yeah. And everyone was wondering who I was and no one could find it came up later that I should introduce myself and last year I didn't interview saying who I was and how I became part of the show. And ever since ever since my first day on set, I enjoyed every minute of it. Yeah, yeah, and like I was saying earlier, I don't ever remember a character being as popular or more than some of the series regulars. I feel like I've never seen anything like this. I mean, it's well deserved for sure. But I mean, Facebook itself, I mean, you go to Reddit or anybody talking about from, and I feel like they're talking about you as much or if not more than some of the people that have been in the show every episode. So that's a huge accomplishment, Jamie. Thank you very much. I'm not sure how much in comparison to say most of the main characters. I'm just glad for the attention and the praise that I've been receiving and I really do appreciate everyone, fans, Castro. I just really want to thank them for where I am today. Yeah, yeah. And I want to back up a little bit and then go back into from, but you know, you've always wanted to be an actor Jamie, is that something that you, as a kid, you've kind of longed for and really wanted to achieve, yes, ever since I was a kid, I really couldn't see myself doing anything else ever since I was a kid. I'd watch these movies, TV shows, no matter what genre and just think of how cool the movies are. Amazing, the actors and characters are and one day, I guess I just got in my head thinking, if I could be a part of that one day and that would be just amazing if I could be a part if I could be a part of that and it'd be doing something I love every day.
A highlight from The 1990s Summer Blockbuster Movie Draft
"How are you? I'm doing well. I am thinking a lot about Tucker Carlson and Don lemon who are both vacated from their positions as anchors on cable news networks this morning. And there's job openings now? Yeah. How do you think I would do in Tucker's seat? In Tucker's seat? Yeah. I think you'd have a limited appeal. Do you think Amanda may be better for Tucker? I'm more of a dollar. Wow. Okay. What do you think of the big news this morning? This is your audition. I was going to say, I think this is big news for the extended GMO university. You guys really want to level up? You're going to keep GMO central. You guys and Bobby. Yep. Me weighing in from time to time on Kamala Harris and other pressing women's issues. And then women's correspondent. And then you guys bring in Tucker, you know, 'cause it's not about morals. It's not about ethics. It's just reaching as much of an audience as possible. Oh, so you should come on GMO. I thought that's where you were going. I was like, wow, you know, is there any line we won't cross? Exactly. I like to get burned by the candle just so I know what pain is. And let's come back to it. Let's come back to what do you think Tucker doing a movie draft would be like the most popular episode we ever did. My line is, I won't appear. I won't interact with him, but you guys just have to you'll fund it or license it and keep it to the side. Yeah, there you go. There you go. The movie drafts are the three of us and then sometimes other people. That is the formulation that we have settled on. And so, okay, Tucker and Bret baier. Yeah. Great. CR and Amanda. Great. And Bobby is producing, and it's actually on vacation that way. I wanted to do a fun draft this week. I wanted to do a light one, a kind of silly one. I was having a hard time figuring out what to do next. And then I got to look at the movie ghosted, which is a new film on Apple TV plus starring Chris Evans and Ana de Armas. Which was released on Friday to the public at large. And this film is quite poor. Very bad at being a film. They're taking this movie out behind the woodshed. This shit got turned into glue. It was so fast. It is kind of staggering how not competent it is, given the talent that has been gathered for this movie, but it had me thinking about kind of, you know, we used to be a country, right? We used to be a proper country where every summer you would get a movie like this, a kind of like action comedy with big movie stars that had kind of a reason to show up in theaters to see it, but also was easy to, you know, goes down easy and was easy to watch at home and you know, ghosted is like, it's just like the dog baby of streaming movies. It's just really just a damn shame, like where we are with this stuff. And I'm glad that a lot of movies are going back into movie theaters and the business is kind of booming. Again, in that way. But this feels like the last remnant of a dark, dark three years that we had there. You watch the film. And I watched it at 10 p.m. after the rest of my household was asleep. Gonna be honest at some point I started fast forwarding through the action sequences because the very small little preview that you get when you hit fast forward. It tells you enough. Was enough. You know, I experienced the various fake locations and people twirling around and not looking like they're in the same room. So I really just decided to watch the interstitials of Ana de Armas and Chris Evans trying to build some sort of chemistry. And I have to tell you, they did not succeed. They just had chemistry in knives out. What happened here? I don't know. It's very, very confusing. I also, I was thinking about, I think there is a world where this is like the premise is not the stupidest thing. No, it's that I've ever heard. I mean, it's like very silly, right. It's very common. One doesn't know. It's like mister and misses hijinks. You know, and you can kind of see the ways in which it gets away from them, including inserting an ad for Apple tags into the first 20 minutes of the movie. On his asthma inhaler? So here's what happened. Hit me up. You hit us up and was just like, I saw ghosted. We should talk about it tomorrow. So three three Hannah Sunday, come on, my God. I've been like, give me 20 parts. Tangentially aware. Look at you both did it. That's how much I care about you. She did it. Someone aware of what's going on with ghosted, but had not watched the trailer and I thought that this was a movie about a guy who goes on a date with a woman. And she said, ghosts him because she's a ghost. Yeah. Great premise for our first JML film production. Which is called ghost. Is there other movies with that title? So I was a little bit surprised by the espionage thing. And I just wanted to flag this. One is this is like worse than gray man if that is possible. There's so much machine gun fire in this movie and there's not a single drop of blood. Second of all, we need to have a serious conversation about the pernicious impact of the Rick and Morty writers room on movies and these guys all writing these movies and just being like fit, bit, bit, joke, one liner, ha ha ha, nothing. Wait, it's really serious. It's really emotional. No, it's not. Just kidding. And it's just like, there's like nothing real about any of these movies. There's nothing human about any of these things. They're not one, not two, not three, not four, but 5 callbacks to various MCU moments in this film, which is not produced by Disney. It's a depressing movie. And I really like Chris Evans and I really liked on the Dharma until she went on perhaps the most credibility. I like him too, but make a good fucking movie. I agree. I mean, once upon a time, this was a guy who was in Snowpiercer. So I know that he knows what's good. He knows to remember when Robert Redford was like, I will produce and be in the most excellent shit for like 20 years. Well, not according to Bill Simmons. But you know what I'm saying? And then these guys are like, yeah, whatever you guys deal up LEGO guy. You know, like just send me some well honors. It's a little bit of end of days, you know, Amanda and I are gonna do 35 over 35 next month, which we haven't done in a couple of days. I misread the spreadsheet. We already did it. We did it under last year. And you know what, we updated every 6 months. Do we? We don't. We don't. It's literally every two years. Is it? Yeah. Oh. Okay. That's just how time has been moving for us. Which is very fast and very slow at the same time. But anyway, there was this big report that came out over the weekend, a survey about who are the most residents.
A highlight from Taron Egerton - 'Black Bird' & 'Tetris'
"Hi everyone and thank you for tuning in to the 490th episode of the Hollywood reporter's awards chatter podcast. I'm the host Scott feinberg. And my guest today is one of the top young stars in Hollywood. He's a British born Welsh actor who burst onto the scene playing in East London, juvenile delinquent turned secret agents protege in the 2015 film kingsman, the Secret Service. He then shot onto the a list with his eerily spot on portrayal of Elgin John in the 2019 film rocket man, for which he won a best actor, musical or comedy Golden Globe Award, and was nominated for best actor sag and Bafta Awards, as well as a Grammy. In 2022, his performance in the Apple TV plus limited series blackbird as Jimmy Keane, a drug dealer sent to prison, who was offered a chance to be let out early if he can extract from a serial killer of the location of his victims, has already brought him Golden Globe and sag award nominations and will almost certainly bring him an Emmy nomination for best actor in a limited or anthology series or TV movie as well. A man described by The Guardian as one of Britain's best young actors, taron, edgerton. Over the course of our conversation at the Los Angeles offices of The Hollywood Reporter, the 33 year old and I discussed the importance to his career of Matthew Vaughn and Dexter Fletcher, who have repeatedly championed him for roles, the fortuitous running thread that Elton John has played throughout his life and career, and the grace challenges and rewards of ultimately playing him, why you relish the opportunity to do long form television for the first time with blackbird, even though the show's subject matter took him to some very dark places, plus much more, and so without further ado, let's go to that conversation. thanks so much for doing the podcast. Great to have you. And thank you. This podcast we kind of go through the major moments of each guest's life and career. And of course, the first would be where you were born and raised, and also what your folks did for a living can you share that? Yeah, sure. So I was born in the northwest of England but moved to Wales at a very young age. My mother and my father separated when I was about three and my mother actually moved to Wales to pursue a degree in psychology. And she did that whilst raising me, which is quite impressive. And she then went on, I mean, she did a number of different things, but she ultimately worked in social services for a while. So very, very different from acting. My father also did a number of different things, but you know, had a bit of a creative in that he was a musician, but my mother as well actually for a time design clothes. So I guess they both had sort of creative interest, but not anything to do with sort of acting or storytelling. Yeah. And then I was raised in Wales until I was 19 when I moved to London to go to drama school. And it sounds like acting, it's not like something you were necessarily itching to do, like some kids from an early age, it was more, I guess, acclimating to a new environment. Was that part of it? Yeah, I think I moved a lot when I was young. We always rented houses. We never owned for financial reasons. And I think part of that meant that I had to move around a lot and there was a big significant move that happened in my early teens. Which I struggled with, and to be honest, it was one of a number of extracurricular things I did in order to try and form a social. And acting was the one that really landed and when I started doing it, I just really felt a sense of arrival really. It just felt like the thing that I was supposed to do. Yeah, and that was probably around an 15 that I started doing that. I can not pronounce this word of where you were living or the art center where you were going, but it sounds like it really was a kind of game changing thing being there. What was maybe if you wouldn't mind? Yeah, yeah, that's right. But what was it about the arts center? It seems like it was a kind of formative place for you. Yeah, it wasn't. In fact, I still spend a lot of time there. My family still lived there. It's still my home. And it was. It was, you know, I was there for consistently between 12 and 19. And it was when I kind of formed my identity as an actor, and that art center facility that you mentioned was where that happened. And yeah, it will always be the genesis of my life as an actor. And also there were significant things like a united great English teacher in school who really taught me a love of who really made it all come alive, you know, the things we studied with him and that kind of definitely informed my appreciation of the written word and the storytelling if that doesn't sound too grand. No, no. So by the time you're schooling was done there, was it sort of understood among your teachers, your peers that this was what you were going to pursue acting or how did you wind up at that's not a small thing? No, you know, it was that classic.
A highlight from (Episode 383) "FROM" Actor: Molly Dunsworth.
"This is Molly dunsworth. You're listening to Monday morning critic. Molly, I'm gonna tell you if I see you out my window, just take the flowers and go. Don't try to don't try to convince you're not coming in. We're not playing that game. But we're gonna work our way there. We're gonna work our way there. So big family growing up, Molly, big family, right? You and three other siblings? Yeah, yeah, a brother and two sisters. Wow. And Sarah is also an actor, correct? Yes. Now, do you and Sarah Molly talk shop? Do you guys talk about acting when you get together? Not really, honestly. Sometimes we'll talk about people we know in the biz and, you know, the way of things, but we don't really talk about our techniques or anything like that, I guess. Right, how about you coming up as growing up in coming into your own as an actor? I want to say influences, but were there shows where their movies were their actors or actresses that really kind of sparked your. Dad's an actor, that was an actor, Sarah is an actor. So I'm curious to know if there's other actors outside of that spectrum that maybe sparked your interest or a movie that sparked your interest even more? Well, I grew up on The Goonies. Labyrinth. Yeah. Yeah, good call. Yeah, stand by me. Yeah. Yeah, and then when I got a little older, it was heathers. I was completely obsessed with heathers. Yes. Yes. Great. Pump up the volume. Still gets me stoked when I watch it. So it sounds like you have a pretty eclectic taste in movies, right? Because heathers is awesome. Pop up the volume is awesome. Stand by me. So yeah, I mean, that's great. How about an actor that maybe did it for you outside of your, like I said, outside of the family? River Phoenix actually. When I was younger, I had like a whole collage of him on my wall. He passed away when I was like three, so obviously I didn't discover him until after he had passed away. But I thought he was so brilliant in everything he did and I just, yeah, watching interviews with him and reading his quotes and watching his films, I was pretty nuts over River Phoenix. So I found him very inspiring. And Molly, he's one of those actors that you wonder what 2023 would have been like for him, right? Had he made it and he continued. You know what I'm saying? You know he would have been like just one of those actors that we're talking about in the same sentence, it's like Tom Hanks or Meryl Streep. He would have been in that same that same sentence. So yeah, yeah, very, very difficult, very difficult. You know, dad is a legendary actor. That was literary actor. Highly regarded for those listening or watching trailer park boys is maybe one of the funniest shows I've ever seen. I think it's currently on Netflix. I'm pretty sure it's a crew. So whatever you wanted to say, Molly, 'cause I know how tough it is to lose someone. I mean, granted, whether it's ten years ago, 5 years ago, it's still hard as hard, right? And whatever you want it to say about your wonderful, wonderful dad who's super talented and just brought so many people so much joy. Yeah, and that's what he did in all aspects of his life, really, is brought people joy. He was so generous, you know, to anyone he would need to pick up hitchhikers. He'd like every little thing he did was so, oh, he was magnificent. He was hilarious. He was eccentric and weird and yeah. All those things that just have to be.