2010: A Look Back at a Lot of Interviews

At the end of 2009, I took a look back at 100 interviews I’d done over the course of the year, and it was exhausting…not only for me, but possibly also for you, the reader. Oh, I still think it was a heck of a piece, but I believe I made a mistake by numbering them. I mean, you get about 20 – 25 into the proceedings, and it’s, like, “Oh, geez, I’ve still got 75 left to go? Screw this, I’m out of here.” So this time, I’m not going to tell you how many quotes are in the piece. I’ll just say that I talked to a lot of really funny, fascinating, and decidedly forthright people during the course of 2010, and I’ll let you dive in. Hope you enjoy the chance to reminisce as much I did, and here’s to a great 2011 for us all!

Big Shots at the Box Office

“I was in Australia, touring with my films and live show, and I got an E-mail from my agent, saying that there was interest in me for Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ I thought, ‘Okay, that sounds good.’ I thought it would be for a day or two, maybe a few days or something, and I would’ve been very happy to do that. But then the offer came in, and it was for virtually the entire run of the film. I didn’t even know what part it was for, so I asked my agent, and he said it was for the Knave of Hearts. So I looked up the Knave of Hearts in the original book online and…it didn’t really seem like a character that would require the run of the film. I thought, ‘Something must be different.’ And then I got the actual screenplay, and it was extremely different. I could see that it was written as a sequel. But it was a great part, and I was ecstatic to be in it…and I’m still ecstatic to be in it!” – Crispin Glover, Alice in Wonderland

“They called my agent and said they were auditioning for (‘Inception’), so I flew myself back, I read for Chris (Nolan) once, and I left. I think it was later that day that I heard from my agent, saying, ‘They’ve cut everyone except you. Now, they’re going to go to London to see some people, and then we’ll know more after that. So don’t get your hopes up, but…this is great!’ Then I came back and read again, and I got the job. And then, as you might expect, I freaked out completely.” – Dileep Rao, Inception

“I was actually down at my ranch in South Texas, and my guys called me and said, ‘Hey, we’re trying to get you a meeting with Sylvester Stallone. He’s casting a movie called ‘The Expendables.’’ Several months went by, and he’d already cast ‘The Expendables,’ but he still wanted to meet me for potentially playing the part of Dan Paine. So I went in to meet Sly, it was the first time I’d ever met him, and I’m a huge fan. I remember watching ‘Rocky’ back in ’76 or whenever it was, then getting up the next morning, drinking eggs, and running down the street…and now here I am meeting with this guy!” – Steve Austin, The Expendables

“I was privileged and honored to work side by side with Sly (Stallone in ‘The Expendables’). Most of my scenes take place with him, and I’m telling you, man, he took me under his wing, and it was a brilliant thing. I don’t know what else to say. ‘Rocky,’ ‘Rambo,’ just everything he’s done is iconic, and it wasn’t lost on me. I love the man, and I can’t wait to do another one, ‘cause Sly’s the king of the sequels…and in my whole career, I’ve never done a sequel to any one of my projects. So I’m, like, ‘Sly, I’m ready for ‘Expendables 2,’ okay?'” – Terry Crews, The Expendables

“Jessica (Pare) was just about to disrobe…we were in the (hot) tub…and they were, like, ‘Ready!’ And she took off whatever was covering her in the tub. And somebody asked the boom guy a question just as she was disrobing, and all he could say was, ‘Yesssssss…’ He could only whisper. I didn’t make a joke about it, though. I was just, like, ‘Okay, Craig, keep it cool, keep it together…’” – Craig Robinson, Hot Tub Time Machine

“I made the mistake of using one term loosely and saying (filming in 3D) was a tedious process, and somebody made it sound really bad. The bottom line is that it took a little longer, and the one that suffered more than anybody was (director Kevin Greutert) and the camera guy, because they have to get it right. You know, calibration and being specific with lights and all that stuff. For me, it was a good excuse to go play with the crew that wasn’t on set and crack a couple of jokes, so I got to socialize a little bit more.” – Costas Mandylor, Saw 3D

“Usually, when you’re coming in completely blind with who you’re working with, you don’t know if you’re going to get along, nor do some people put the time in to try to get along. We were all in Pittsburgh, and we did do, like, two weeks of rehearsal before we started shooting (‘She’s Out of My League’), and in those two weeks, we hung out a lot…and, luckily, it went good rather than bad. Because sometimes it’s just awful, and you’re going, ‘I can’t stand that guy!’ So we were lucky. I know a lot of people always say this when they come off work, because they’re kind of trained to say it, but with this one, we all really got along, and I think that’s what helps our chemistry on screen so much: we thought each other were funny, we even liked to hang out afterward, and that played well. ” – Nate Torrence, She’s Out of My League

Folks from the Shows We Blog

“Honestly, as a (‘Mad Men’) viewer…I’m a fan of the show, too…I just loved seeing (Don and Peggy) finally get to talk about things and be together and have things come to a head. You’ve had four seasons of history and life with these two people, and I think that it was just time for us to see them address some of these things. I think that 90% of what Peggy does, she’s learned from Don. I think that she really respects him and looks up to him, and I think he’s starting to ask her to make these decisions on her own. He’s giving her more and more responsibility…and that’s what she wants, but it’s also a little bit scary, and I think that she’s obviously continuing her evolution into becoming who she will be. Also, she…well, I don’t want to say that she’ll become like him, because I don’t think she’ll actually ever end up like him, but perhaps she’ll end up as savvy and professional and as good as he is at his job.” – Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

“I think you’re going to see such a change in everybody (in Season Three). The stakes are much higher. Walt and Jesse are kind of really gently walking on egg shells, struggling to keep their head above water. There is definitely going to be a change in all of these characters. This season is really intense. It’s much darker, if that’s possible.” – Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad

“(Skyler) has run the household, she’s been in charge of a lot of things, and that’s who she is. Then she finally got the opportunity to say, ‘Wait, I can do something here, and I’m going to put my two cents in.’ She finally realized, ‘I can either run with my kid, I can turn him into the police, or I can deal with the situation as it is.’ For the writers, I think the challenge was, first of all, you create a show about a man who’s a good man and who’s always been a good family man and a moral person and kind of a milquetoasty guy and has flown under the radar for all of these years, and then he becomes a criminal. Then, you have to bring in his partner, and how do you realistically make that happen? And I think that they took their time with it, and they slowly gave her enough pieces of her personality so that when she finally came around to it, I think the audience said, ‘Oh, yeah!’” – Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad

“People love Hank as a common guy…and I love playing Hank as a common guy, too! Hank was so much more fun in Season 1 as a bit of comic relief to the dark stuff that was going on. Now he’s become part of the dark stuff that’s going on. While I kind of miss some of the lightness of Hank early on, as an actor, of course, it’s really fun to be able to play someone who is, in essence, a completely different guy now than he was when he first started.” – Dean Norris, Breaking Bad

“I think (Gus) has the capability of being very much the cold killer if he has to. But I think he’s grown to a place where he has such intricate tentacles out there and a network that’s so fierce that he doesn’t even have to touch that. But I wouldn’t for one second think that Gus could not take care of himself in a very, very stealth and very, very effective way. And I think that, because of the way he thinks, nothing gets in the way of the business and nothing gets in the way of the family.” – Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad

“I talked to Vince (Gilligan), and I said, ‘I can do a shady lawyer, but the problem is I’m not Jewish. Saul Goodman is Jewish.’ And he goes, ‘Oh, no, no. He’s not Jewish.’ And he goes, ‘What are you?’ ‘I’m Irish.’ ‘Oh, he’s Irish. You know, he’s Irish, but he took this name to try to win the appreciation of the gangbangers who would use him, so they’d think they have a Jewish lawyer.'” – Bob Odenkirk, Breaking Bad

“My hat’s off to anyone who sustains a series for more than a season or two, because it’s tough. You always have the push/pull going on of ‘I want to keep them watching’ and ‘I want to keep giving them new things.’ To me, the way you hook people is to, oddly enough, parcel it out slowly. Don’t fill the waters with every bit of chum you have. Just put a little bit of bait.” – Vince Gilligan, creator of Breaking Bad

“What I would much, much prefer is to end (‘Breaking Bad’) sooner rather than go too long. This type, this conceit of this story doesn’t lend itself to any real longevity. There’s no eight years here. There’s no seven years. I don’t see seven. It might be able to go six, but if that’s true, then we’re halfway. But are we halfway through the telling of the story? Maybe. But is the telling of the story over when he completely transforms into this other person? Probably, right? I mean, once he becomes this other person and lives this life, is there anything else? I don’t know. Maybe there is more to tell. I don’t know.” – Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

“I got all kinds of the oddest mail from (‘Sons of Anarchy’). People would write me in my character. Like, girls. Angry girls, because I had hit Charlie. ‘Look here, Mr. Weston, I don’t know you who think you are…’ Uh, I think my name is Henry, and I think I drive a Subaru back to my house after the day of work is over in the Valley where we shoot this, you weirdo.” – Henry Rollins, Sons of Anarchy

“(‘Angela and Mary’) had a genuine relationship instead of just something to sort of scandalize the viewers or whatever. When we talked about the way it was going to be handled, I really became very interested in just discovering what someone in that time period would be going through by having such a challenging relationship, to try and conceal it from people. It’s just hard enough to explore yourself, but when it’s something that off-limits…” – Aleksa Palladino, Boardwalk Empire

“The nice thing about (‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’) is that people think I’m my character, which I’m not. I’m not a screaming, yelling, cursing crazy woman. It’s a character I play. It’s called acting. But the nice thing is that if people bother me in the street and I am rude to them, they’re never upset or disappointed! Sometimes people are visibly disappointed when I’m nice! People will come up to me and say, ‘Oh, I love the show,’ and I’ll be gracious and nice, and I can see that they’re upset that I’m not screaming and yelling at them.” – Susie Essman, Curb Your Enthusiasm

“My favorite (‘True Blood’) scene is probably one with Andy, where I talk about, ‘Look, this town might be full of crazy rednecks and dumbasses, but it’s still America,’ and Andy says, ‘Well, that used to mean something.’ And Jason’s comment is, ‘Well, it still does!’ That’s one of my favorite moments. That Jason, beyond it all, is an American, and he has that real sense of patriotism and standing up for what he believes in. And that’s a really endearing quality. And as far as the storylines that I thought didn’t work…? I really don’t know. For me, I like to think that they all did. They all made him where he is today, and I don’t think he would be the same person without those storylines, so…it’s almost like saying, ‘Would you take a part of your life out of the way?’ And I wouldn’t. It’s like saying, ‘Which kid would you rather have die?’ I want them all!” – Ryan Kwanten, True Blood

“You wouldn’t really want to know (what happens in the ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas special.) I can tell. Also, what you have to keep in mind that I genuinely lie. I do. I actively lie to people about what’s going to happen. I’m not officially employed with the BBC. I can say any old thing I like. Even if I told you something, there’s no guarantee that it’s true. Disinformation and the white noise of nonsense is how we get through this!” – Steven Moffat, executive producer of Doctor Who

“Everybody is so good in all of the departments (on ‘The Walking Dead’), it made my life, our lives, so much easier, because it just felt real. Our job…I said to Frank (Darabont), ‘If we’re going to sell this world, what we need to do is make it as raw, as painful, as difficult, as beautiful, as intimate as we possibly can, to make sure that people really buy the fact that there are zombies out there.’ We have to work a lot harder, I think. But, then, that’s a great opportunity. The world is so ramped up that it makes our job more exciting.” – Andrew Lincoln, The Walking Dead

“One of the first shots I had to do on (‘The Walking Dead’), I had to sprint up the street, jump over a bunch of pylons, grab heavy bags, jump back over them, and just run back. And I remember…that was the first day that I got there. And I was not used to the heat yet. And I had been training, but I’d been training in L.A., so it’s, like, 70s and brisk. And I literally had to stop, and they go, ‘You look green.’ And I lay on my back, ate a banana and drank some water, took some pills…it was crazy. And that was kind of how everyone was welcomed to Atlanta.” – Stephen Yeun, The Walking Dead

Prime Time People

“It’s kind of hard to believe that you’re (at the 100-episode mark), especially when it’s hard enough to get a pilot made, let alone picked up. I’ve always maintained that whatever you’re working on, you should work just really in the moment and not think about the next episode. You should just maintain a real strong sense of your work and your ethics and being honest with yourself and just continue to work hard and see where that takes you, whether you do 12 episodes, 20 episodes, or whether you just do a pilot. You’re just fortunate to be working.’” – David Boreanaz, Bones

“I recently just watched the pilot (of ‘Bones’) again, because I’ve been thinking about doing this 100th episode and doing a flashback. I think (Brennan has) become less guarded, more open…she’s trying to learn socially how to interact with people. Watching the pilot, I was, like, ‘She’s very wild, in a way.’ She’s just determined to do her thing and just does it and doesn’t care what anybody else thinks…and I just love that about her! That’s definitely still true. In one sense, she’s become more polished…and I say that in a lot of ways! But she’s just growing up and kind of thinking about something before she does it. And she’s also trying to understand social interaction and people’s emotions and feelings…and her own! Trying to understand other people’s through exploration of her own. She’s not as quick to just kick someone’s ass!” – Emily Deschanel, Bones

“I feel so lucky just to be involved (in ‘Modern Family’). It’s been incredible. I mean, it’s felt really surreal. And then to get nominated for the Emmys…? It’s felt like a dream, essentially.” – Ty Burrell, Modern Family

“I was in fierce denial (about Steve Carell’s departure). It was speculated for a long time, but I always thought he’d stay another year. Yeah, it’s sad. For sure. And infuriating. We found him when he was nothing but a movie star, and we made him a TV star. And this is how he repays us.” – Paul Lieberstein, The Office

“I’ve heard so many other stories about series where, after they’re over, this one had a problem and that one had a problem, but our cast is really, really close. And I can genuinely say that it’s a family situation around here. There’s no jealousy, and everybody gets along so well. To be around Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan…I mean, I learn from the best, so I get the best of both worlds. I learn from the best, and I’m part of a real family.” – Grizz Chapman, 30 Rock

“I didn’t know (‘Community’ had caught on). Has it? I don’t know. It’s back, anyway. It was picked up. But I don’t understand TV well enough to know what ‘picked up’ really means. It could just mean, ‘We’ll give it another shot.’ I don’t know.” – Chevy Chase, Community

“I was focused on my production company, but my agent said, ‘They’ve inquired about you for this script (for (‘The Event’), which is pretty good. You might want to check it out.’ Now, if I’m focused on something creative, I just totally immerse myself, but I always tell them, ‘If something great comes along, let me know.’ And it was incredible.” – Blair Underwood, The Event

“They simply know how to write comedy gold for Barb (on ‘Cougar Town’). The whole show is fabulously written. It’s very subtle, very nuanced…and then there’s Barb. And I think…I really think the writers probably have a tremendous amount of fun with Barb, because Barb gets to say the things that would get anybody else on the show committed. Or arrested!” – Carolyn Hennesy, Cougar Town

“You know, the cool thing (about Jennifer Aniston’s guest appearance on ‘Cougar Town’) is that Courteney and Jennifer’s friendship isn’t a media fabrication. They’re great friends. And so when we talked about doing it, it really became a Courteney thing, talking to her friend, asking her if she liked the show and if she wanted to do it. Jen was really cool and amenable. It was pretty easy. The only thing that was tough about it at all, to tell you the truth, was that we realized early on that we’d love to do it as the first episode, so it became less about whether or not she wanted to do it and more about scheduling. It was just tough, because…I don’t know if you know this, Will, but Jennifer works a lot.” – Bill Lawrence, executive producer of Cougar Town

“We first wrote (‘The Middle’) about three years ago, and we had a deal with Warner Brothers to come up with some idea, so Eileen (Heisler) and I started talking about, ‘Okay, what do we want to do?’ And I guess two things struck home: 1) we were both tired moms, so we thought we should write a show about a tired mom, and 2) living out in L.A., we were yearning for and missing home, in the Midwest.We all have kids, and it’s nice, because there are very few shows anymore, it seems like, for the whole family. Kids watch the Disney Channel, adults watch their own shows…we’re very proud of the fact that you can watch ‘The Middle’ as a family.” – DeAnn Heline, executive producer of The Middle

“I’d been on shows before that have been new, but with this one, not only is the show new, but Chi (McBride) is kind of new to the genre, I’m new to this genre, even the show runners are sort of new to this. So I went into it with an open mind thinking, ‘This is going to be exciting,’ as to how it’s going to come together. And it has been exciting. It’s sort of a collaboration in some ways, where everybody’s influence is kind of…if it’s not heard, then it’s felt and it’s reacted to, and the end product is something that everybody feels a part of.” – Mark Valley, Human Target

“I’m old enough to remember the Rick Springfield series (of ‘Human Target’). Somebody asked me a crazy question today, like, ‘I heard that there was a rumor that Rick Springfield was supposed to be doing this one.’ I was, like, ‘What are you, goofy? The Human Target in a walker?’ Do you know what I mean? But I remember that old show, and…that was pretty bad. But we’re the 2.0 version of that, and it will make you forget about that thing.” – Chi McBride, Human Target

“You want to really always be trying to bring in new viewers and designing stories and jokes to, like, if someone is tuning in for the first time, you would just want them to enjoy themselves. But at the same time, there’s people who have been fanatical about the show from the beginning, and it’s always nice to do little tiny things to try and reward that devoted following.” – Michael Schur, executive producer of Parks and Recreation

“There’s pilot season starting from January all the way to April, where you get a bunch of scripts, and even before they had sent out casting, my agent had sent me the script of ‘Outsourced.’ And I have to tell you, it was one of the funniest scripts I have ever read. I laughed out loud, and I think it was because I was able to relate to it. At the end of the day, it’s there to make you laugh. That’s what the final goal is, and I think it succeeds in doing that.” – Rizwan Manji, Outsourced

“I was at Comic-Con and I saw (an ‘Outsourced’ shirt). I kind of freaked out a bit. I’m, like, ‘Are you serious? A line that I say on television is a t-shirt? One that I did not make myself and give my friends to wear?’ We saw it before we met any of the NBC people. I’m, like, ‘Somebody just put that on!” – Parvesh Cheena, Outsourced

“I think we were very fortunate in that, from the onset, (David Spade and I) seemed to have an intuitive understanding of the other. Very little had to be spoken about or assessed. We seemed to play off of each other very well, and I think that, as we’ve gotten to know each other better and have become friends off the set, our love/hate relationship on the screen has been served better by that. It’s been really terrific.” – Adhir Kalyan, Rules of Engagement

“Those writers (on ‘Rules of Engagement’), any time they get access to a computer and they get to write a script, it’s nudity, nudity, nudity. It’s their favorite thing. I swear, there was a script where the writers actually, after we read the script out loud, they came to me with that look, like, ‘Are you going to hit me? Are you going to hit me?’ There’s so much nudity. I’m, like, ‘You guys, I’m not 16. What are we doing with all of these nude things?’ They’re, like, ‘What? We like it. We think you look good.’ Okay, so I’m naked on camera all the time. It’s terrible. As the wardrobe girls said, ‘You know, those guys would have written it whether you were working out or not, so you’re just lucky that you’re actually in good shape.’” – Megyn Price, Rules of Engagement

“I actually started in comedy. Those was my first jobs: sitcoms. I couldn’t get an audition for a drama to save my life. They were always, like, ‘Oh, he’s a sitcom guy.’ And now they’re, like, ‘Oh, he can’t do comedy. He’s always the killer!’ It seems like you’re always having to re-prove yourself.” – Garret Dillahunt, Raising Hope

“I think (Cloris Leachman) is one of the funniest people who’s ever lived, and sometimes…and I think she’s always been this way, or at least that’s what I’ve heard about her…she simply does not know how to not tell the truth. Her version of the truth, but the truth. She’s as blunt as can be, but God damn if she isn’t funny. She’s just funny!” – Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope

“The thing I love about Lucinda (on ‘Outlaw’) is that she’s very playful, but beyond that, too, she’s not going to play with anyone that she knows can’t take it. Lucinda is street-smart. That’s her thing. She has never formally been educated. She’s just a survivalist. She’s done whatever she’s had to do to get where she is.”- Carly Pope, Outlaw

“They sent me the script (for ‘Blue Bloods’), and…I had been looking for a long time for an ensemble piece, something where I wasn’t just the lead. This really has four leads…and what that really means, practically speaking, is that you’re not going to work every day for 15 hours a day, which is why I finally left ‘Magnum.’ I wasn’t tired of it. I was tired from it. So “Blue Bloods,” in description, fit what I was looking for. Also, when I read it, it moved me, and that’s really what I think gets any actor.” – Tom Selleck, Blue Bloods

“I’m aware of (the ‘Law & Order’ franchise), of course, but aside from one episode that I watched for Vince (D’Onofrio), I really haven’t seen any. I don’t think I need to, really. The writing…I mean, it’s so well done. The rhythms are there, the characters are there. I don’t know what watching it would give me that’s any different than what I feel for it innately.” – Skeet Ulrich, Law & Order: Los Angeles

“When they approached me in 1987 (about ‘America’s Most Wanted’), I said “no” for six months. I didn’t know what Fox was, I didn’t know who Rupert Murdoch was, and I didn’t know who Barry Diller was. I didn’t want to be on television. I was trying to change laws, trying to recover from (my son) Adam’s terrible abduction, and…I was a businessman. I built deluxe hotels before Adam was murdered. So when they approached me…it wasn’t my idea…they said, ‘You know, you’ve spent so long trying to change laws and change the way this country looks at missing and exploited children. How would you like to host the first reality television program?’ My first question – other than ‘who’s Rupert Murdoch?’ and ‘what’s Fox?’ – was, ‘What’s reality television?’ Because America didn’t have reality television. So we were Fox’s first show. I did it because the first guy was a child killer that escaped from prison. He was our first capture. Three days after the show had aired, he was caught in Staten Island, New York. Guess what he was doing? He was running a shelter for the homeless. An escaped killer and rapist. It’s been an incredible experience…but it was really Fox’s idea. They pursued me, and it’s been a wonderful partnership for 23 years.” – John Walsh, America’s Most Wanted

RIP TV

“I’m not saying that (‘Happy Town’) is going to take the place of “Lost,” because that’s a tall order, but this is something that could help fill the void for viewers of that kind of mystery-type show. I think it’s something that if people got behind it and enjoyed it…I mean, if they watch the pilot, I really feel like they’re going to come back for the second episode. And if they watch the second episode, then they’ll be hooked for the whole season.” – Geoff Stults, Happy Town

“The sad thing about sitting down and watching the subsequent episodes (of ‘Lone Star’ is) that you want to be able to say, ‘Ugh, well, then it went south,’ but, really, you sit down and watch ‘em, and you’re like, ‘Hey, that’s pretty good TV. I wish that was still on the air!'” – Kyle Killen, creator of Lone Star

“I’m not trying to say that (‘Terriers’) gets super-heavy, but the stakes get high, and it feels pretty real. I’ve always had this feeling where it’s, like, ‘Look, if you’re on a show and you’re in a dangerous situation, it’s better to be frigging dangerous. It ain’t time to say cute, funny-ass things for the benefit of an audience to chuckle for a second. Let’s suspend that.’ And I thought we fought hard…and Shawn (Ryan) and Ted (Griffin) and Tim (Minear) fought really hard…to make sure that everything felt poignant. Like, if your wife leaves you, it hurts really bad. These things were all pretty real, and it felt like an adult-like, human show.” – Donal Logue, Terriers

“(My show is) like all (MTV’s) other reality shows. You have to put them all in quotations. Are you telling me someone’s not there scripting ‘The Hills’ or recutting that stuff? I don’t think they actually have any reality shows that are the least bit realistic. It’s ‘docu-tainment,’ or whatever they want to call it. I’m just the latest in their long line of victims. My agent told me that beggars can’t be choosers and that final cut was something that was open to the network for branding and creative positioning, blah blah blah. I didn’t realize it was going to be full-on character assassination. I mean, I really do think a lot of the stuff is taken out of context and sort of presented in such a way as to make me look buffoonish…although I did get a kick out of seeing Greg the Bunny in prison. Ah, that was a good day…” – Warren the Ape, Warren the Ape

“My goal with ‘The Hasselhoffs’ is to kind of highlight who we are, get over the tabloid garbage, move on, laugh at ourselves by showing the Comedy Central roast, and highlight my girls and their passion to make it in this business, and what it takes. It’s kind of a combination of ‘Entourage’ meets ‘Fame,’ which is one of my all-time favorite shows, meets ‘The Cosby Show.’ So whether that makes for successful reality television, I haven’t a clue. I really have no idea. We’ve got great reviews, which scares me. Every time I get bad reviews, the shows are a huge success. But we’ve got great reviews, so I told the girls, ‘This is great, but I’m a little concerned.’ So we’ll see what happens.” – David Hasselhoff, The Hasselhoffs

Chatting About Cable

“I got very angry at the way everything went down (with ‘Southland’ on NBC). It wasn’t the fact that we got canceled. It was the way that we were canceled. Once that had happened, the focus immediately became, ‘Look, there are other people involved and interested in looking at the show, so what can we do to facilitate letting them know that there are a lot of people who are interested in the show and don’t want the show canceled?’ Look, this is a business where everybody in the town works with everybody else at some point in their career, and then it loops back around and we’ll all work together again. I was pissed off at a very specific business move that was made at a very specific time to a very specific show, and nothing I said has changed.” – Michael Cudlitz, Southland

“(‘Southland’) is not going to appeal to everyone. And in a sense, I think that’s part of the reason it didn’t work on NBC. If you look at NBC’s programming…and, to a certain degree, all networks’ programming…the shows that are going to actively turn people off…and our show may, because it’s pretty violent and there’s foul language, and some people don’t like that…those shows are going to be made on cable now. And I feel like…I hate to be overly dramatic, but I actually think I’m totally right…I think we were the last 10 PM character-based, edgy, kind of gritty show that will ever be made on network TV!” – Ben McKenzie, Southland

“In the beginning, (the character of Russell) wasn’t all mapped out, because there was the possibility that he was going to be sort of preying on women who were victims of crime. If a woman was suffering and it was his case, he’d get closer than was appropriate. That was kind of where the character was starting, and then he was also having a bad marriage. But then I think Anne (Biderman, the series’ executive producer), switched gears, and she didn’t want him to be, as she said, ‘a serial philanderer.’ She wanted him to just be struggling with the marriage, because in reality, these police officers do find it hard when they spend more time with their partners than their spouses to actually have a connection at home. So that’s kind of the line that we’ve found and we’ve started to follow.” – Tom Everett Scott, Southland

“(Lydia and Russell) definitely have a chemistry, and it was and is a beautiful relationship that a lot of partners have, because they spend so much time together. And, y’know, because there’s no romantic involvement, there’s this guard that, as adults, after so many failed relationships, we automatically put up when it comes to new relationships that you’re not putting up because there’s not any romantic involvement. So they’re able to have this honesty with one another about how they feel about things and not feel like they’re gonna be judged.” – Regina King, Southland

“People had to get past the premise (of ‘Big Love’), and then we knew once they just watched the show for an episode or two, they would realize it was so much more than just some salacious show about a guy with three wives, and this kind of ex-Mormon player, you know. Funnily enough, though, I think the show seems to skew probably 60-40 towards women. I think most of the men who watch it are watching it with their girlfriends or their spouses or significant other. It’s funny how it has caught on. But, still, because it’s HBO, there’s still a lot of people out there that have heard of the show and they still (think), ‘Oh, I would never watch that.’ You know, it kind of exasperates me sometimes, but that’s the way people are, you know? We decide on something before we even really know what the hell it is. And that’s kind of a premise of the show, too. You take something as taboo as most of society’s views towards polygamy, and you put a human face on it, and you create the characters that you can genuinely kind of emotionally invest in and love, and you start to kind of think, ‘Well, God, when you strip it all down, when you strip the religion, when you strip all the mores down, everybody is hoping for the same thing: for the health and welfare of their families.'” – Bill Paxton, Big Love

“The script (for ‘Hung’) was sent to me, and I knew it was a series for HBO, and I just was at a point in my career where I was thinking, “Nobody’s going to want to hire me because I’m not young and blonde,” so I wasn’t really looking at it. But then I noticed that Alexander Payne was directing it, and I had met Alexander years earlier, so I decided I should read it…and I liked it, so I went down to meet Colette (Burson) and Dmitry (Lipkin, the series’ co-creators) and Alexander a few days later. I was up in Washington state, I flew down to California to meet them, and the rest…is history.” – Jane Adams, Hung

“We shot (‘The Pacific’) for the first 3 months in far North Queensland, we were hiking through the jungle, we blew up everything we could see up. And then we flew to Melbourne and we shot episode 3, and…that was such a nice moment. The truth was, I hadn’t seen a woman for so long, man. I mean, to sit at that table read…we just spent the last 3 months around these smelly guys, and then suddenly we’re surrounded by all these beautiful Australian actresses. You just had all these men acting like 12-year-old boys, you know? It was like this competition for affections going on, and it was beautiful. It was just beautiful to see.” – James Badge Dale, The Pacific

“My grandfather served in the Pacific, actually. Not as a Marine, but in the Army in the Philippines and he received a purple heart. I got to talk to him before (we started ‘The Pacific,’) and it was great to know that he knew I was going to be doing this, he knew that I was kind of going to be telling his story in a way. I think it, hopefully gave him some closure on the whole thing. Because he was one of those guys, as many of the veterans are, who talk about, like, the fun things — you know, the jokes with their buddies — and don’t really talk about the tough stuff too much. Sadly, he passed away while we were shooting, so he won’t be able to see the finished product, but he knew I was doing it, and that alone meant so much to me.” – Joe Mazzello, The Pacific

“I just really hope that what I did with my portrayal of John (Basilone) really continues to honor his legacy and does him justice. I mean, I’m not him. I would never even try to say that I am equal to him or anything. I just feel fortunate and honored that I was chosen to portray him. I gave it everything I had, did the best I could physically and emotionally, and hopefully that’s what people see. And I hope that what I did continues to honor him.” – Jon Seda, The Pacific

“(Al Pacino) said things like, ‘Now, let’s not get too haughty. Let’s not get too sure of ourselves. Remember, these people were in uncharted territory. They had to be nervous.’ And I thought, ‘Wow, what a good thing to say…and to remember.’ Because, you know, you don’t want to play heroes, you want to play people. We told (Dr. Kevorkian) about Al’s ‘uncharted territory’ comment. And he said, ‘You’d better believe we were in uncharted territory! We were damned nervous!'” – Brenda Vaccaro, You Don’t Know Jack

“(The film ‘I Know You Know’) was a beautifully written thing, a labor of love by the director himself…and it was, in typical UK film industry fashion, kind of ignored. It got a couple of weeks release somewhere, but it was basically seen by no one…and, perversely, that’s actually one of the reasons that I’m here talking to you just now. ‘Cause I thought, ‘I ain’t doin’ that anymore.’ I’d had a couple of experiences like that in the past couple of years, films that you put an awful lot of work into, and anybody who knows me will tell you that I give 130% every day. It takes a lot out of you, that kind of stuff, and for it not to be seen…? Well, I’m not one of these artists who paints a painting and then throws it under the bed. That’s not me at all. So when (‘Stargate Universe’) came up, I thought, ‘Well, here’s an opportunity for me to do something that’ll actually be seen!’” – Robert Carlyle, Stargate Universe

“(‘The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret’) sort of floundered around Channel 4, they were trying to figure out what they were going to do, if they were going to pick it up or let go of it. Initially, they said, ‘We’re not going to do it.’ I was literally on the phone in my apartment in New York with Jon Benjamin, who was telling me that Adult Swim was not going to pick up our pilot, and the other line beeped in. It was (executive producer) Clelia Mountford from London, and I’m, like, ‘Okay, man, that sucks, obviously, but let me call you right back, I gotta take this call.’ Click. ‘Hey, Clelia!’ ‘David, I have some terrible news…’ I was, like, ‘Are you fucking kidding me?’ I told my girlfriend, ‘If you’re going to break up with me, do it right now. Let’s just get it all out.’” – David Cross, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret

“(I was) dumb as a rock (about sports.) When I got (‘My Boys’), I was, like, ‘Oh, crap.’ And even my friends were going, ‘How did you get this job?’ So I started shadowing sports writers, hanging out in press boxes, going into locker rooms…you know, clearly suffering for my art. Drinking a lot of beer, all in the name of research. And then I grew a gut, and they said, ‘Stop with the beer.’ I’m kidding. But then the show started going in more of a relationship direction than toward a workplace sitcom with an office dynamic, so my knowledge of baseball wasn’t as imperative as I had initially thought it would be. So then I just started drinking more beer, basically.” – Jordana Spiro, My Boys

“It’s a little bit depressing (being the elder on the cast). And I try to ignore it and remind myself that we all age, and that one day these kids will be the old dude on a show. And, you know, I remind myself that I can still do a 60-minute cardiovascular workout, I can do yoga, I surf, I can ride a surfboard, and women still generally seem to flirt with me when I’m out and about.” – Tim Meadows, Glory Daze

“This whole thing about celebrities doing voices for cartoons is maddening, because they create a character for the celebrity who looks just like the celebrity and sounds just like the celebrity, and then they give it to the celebrity and say, “Can you do it?” I have a lot to say, and people are always, like, “Aren’t you afraid you’re going to get clobbered or black-listed or something?” And it’s, like, I’m 60 years old. I’m not afraid of anything or anybody. Those days are gone. That’s the beauty of being an adult: you don’t have to explain shit to anybody…especially when you’re 60.” – Billy West, Futurama

“Let’s get one thing out of the way: the fact that it’s called ‘Brad Meltzer’s Decoded’ is ridiculous. I say to my wife, ‘Honey, what are we have for Brad Meltzer’s Dinner tonight? Because yesterday we had Brad Meltzer’s Chicken, and tonight I’d like to have Brad Meltzer’s Pasta.’ So anything that involves calling me the host…? It just amuses me to no end, because I’m just so convinced that someone’s going to come in and say, ‘Why is that pasty white bald guy on TV?'” – Brad Meltzer, Brad Meltzer’s Decoded

“’Leverage’ isn’t just one thing. You can’t just call it a drama only. It has some very funny, odd, quirky elements to it within the drama. I like the balance that they’ve struck for the show, and it’s a really fun ride to watch it. So, yeah, I’m very happy with the way it’s evolved. I feel like we’re not doing light fare, and we’re also not doing some heavy drama, either. We get to be involved in these scenes of great conflict, scenes of great adventure, character connection…it’s a really nice balance.” – Timothy Hutton, Leverage

“When (‘Heroes’) came on the air, I was watching it, and one day I went into our offices (at Slammin’ Salmon) and said, ‘Jay, there’s a hot, new, dashing Indian on the scene. You’re out, man.” And he said, ‘Oh, are you talking about Sendhil?’ ‘Yeah, the guy on ‘Heroes.’ ‘Yeah, Sendhil. You know Sendhil.’ And then he reminded me: when we were living in New York City, we were sharing an apartment, and Jay (Chandrasekhar’s) 18-year-old cousin came and lived with us on our couch for, like, three months one summer. And that was Sendhil Ramamurthy!” – Kevin Heffernan

“We all knew that there was a chance that ‘Heroes’ wouldn’t come back, and then the ‘Covert Affairs’ guys called me up and said, ‘We shot the pilot, but we’re kind of going to bring in another character. We don’t think the character from the pilot is working, so we’re bringing a new one in the second episode, and we’d love to consider you. How would you feel about it?’ So I found out that ‘Heroes’ was canceled while I was shooting the third episode of ‘Covert Affairs.’ And as an actor, that’s kind of the dream, you know? That doesn’t really happen. So I got really, really fortunate, and very lucky.” – Sendhil Ramamurthy, Covert Affairs

“I’d never thought of myself as an action person. And I’m not really involved in the action on the show, anyway, but…normally, the female action heroes are, like, super-sexy and are known for all of their graduate roles. Me, I’m known for playing the crazy person on all of these weird TV shows. So it didn’t really seem like I was going to be involved in anything involving action, least of all doing the action. But here I am, I’m on a show that has incredible action sequences, and my character does have a few close calls and come close to that. We’ll see. I’m hoping that maybe in the second season my character can start doing some karate or something.” – Anne Dudek, Covert Affairs

“The problem we have today is that people in the United States live by soundbite media, and they don’t do any investigating on their own. All they do is accept what the government tells them, and then soundbite media backs up the government, and they move on, we move on, and the truth is never known. As a thinker and as someone who wants to look at both sides, you just have to weigh the evidence and see what you think has credibility and what you think doesn’t. I mean, you know, people can call me a cynic today, but my government has lied to me so often, and…I’ve been part of the government. I’ve been a mayor, I’ve been a governor, I spent six years in the Navy. My government lied to me. You know, the big question I’d like answered out there is, how come when we lie to the government we go to jail, and when they lie to us we seem to go to war? I mean, that seems like we’re getting the wrong end of the stick.” – Jesse Ventura, Conspiracy Theory

Talk About Pop Music

“The past, to me, is something that…it’s almost like if you have a picture on your wall at home and stare at it long enough, you can’t even see it anymore. I’m at that point in my life. The last original-era (Smashing Pumpkins) album was from 2000, so now you’re going on 10 years since that. All of those things are close to me because of those moments in my life, and there are certainly a lot of memories, but it just starts to look like…you almost become more influenced by others’ thoughts than your own, because it’s so far in your rear view mirror. I’ve had so much life since then that it’s sort of like…I guess I look at it more from a standpoint of appreciation. Like, I appreciate that I did those things, and I appreciate that people still find something and come back and return to them, but…I guess I’ve kind of given up the ghost of trying to fight the fight of the old band. I’m so focused on fighting the fight of the band I’m in right now. And whether or not people understand why it’s called Smashing Pumpkins or if it should be called something else, that to me is such a minor argument, because even if it was the original line-up, if the band wasn’t qualitative, nobody would give a shit. So my number one issue is, ‘Can I create quality music at 43 years old that not only is current in terms of the world that we live in but can stand side by side not only against my past accomplishments but also people’s memories?’” – Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins)

“It’s such an effort to make an album where you feel happy with all the songs and all the tracks. And I’m doing loads of touring at the moment, and, you know, that takes a lot of time and energy doing all that. So making an album actually gets harder. But for me, it’s really important to keep making new songs, to keep doing it. Otherwise, you just stop dead as an artist.” – Howard Jones

“We change the set every night. We mix it up. Some people are going to miss out on their favorites, and some people are going to be delighted to get some obscurities that they didn’t expect to get. But I think it’s more important to make every show a unique experience rather than try and provide a greatest-hits experience to everybody. I think that the people who are coming along are coming based on a long association with the band, and they quite like to hear things that are a little bit less obvious.” – Neil Finn (Crowded House)

“(When ‘Cuts You Up’ became a hit,) I was thinking, ‘Oh, dear…’ I was suddenly being recognized in malls and stuff when I walked around during the day, and I was, like, ‘Oh, no!’ I was being interviewed by ‘Entertainment Tonight’ and all sorts of things, and I thought, ‘Oh, God, I am what I am, and I know I am, but…I may need to take a raincheck, because I’m not sure I know how to talk to these people. They’re aliens from some other planet!’ ‘Hi, my name’s Julie, and I’m the host of this, that, and dah dah dah, and I hear you’re a legend?’ ‘Am I? I don’t know. What the fuck are you on about?'” – Peter Murphy

“I tend to think that ‘The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle’ was Malcolm McClaren’s take on (the Sex Pistols), and that movie, ‘The Filth and the Fury,’ was John (Lydon’s) take on it. But there’s another thing called ‘The Making of Never Mind the Bollocks,’ a ‘Classic Albums’ thing, and I think that’s the most even-handed appraisal of the situation, really. That’s the one that gets my money. You want the story to be straight. But there’s never one story in the band. There’s loads of different ones…” – Glen Matlock (The Sex Pistols)

“(‘LENNONYC’) was very, very emotional for me. And I just never thought it was going to be that emotional, because I thought, ‘Okay, thirty years…’ I’ve been doing John’s songs and dealing with it on a business level for thirty years, so it’s nothing, right? But it wasn’t.” – Yoko Ono

“Pink Floyd offered me a job after Dark Side of the Moon. They said, ‘Come and work for us full-time, do our live show, be our engineer.’ And just at that time, I was starting to get involved in my own production, and Pilot’s ‘Magic’ came out. It was a difficult decision to make, and, obviously, I made the right decision, but it’s sad that we only made one album together. We worked very well together.” – Alan Parsons

“We started (Hootie and the Blowfish) to get drunk and meet girls, you know? And it’s just funny. We got lucky, we had some success, and we decided that we were going to be good guys, do the right thing, and help people when we can. For our state to be recognizing us (with a monument) 25 years after we started this thing, it’s pretty amazing…and it’s pretty damned cool.” – Darius Rucker

A Peek Behind the Scenes

“My very first directorial endeavor was with a ‘Love Boat,’ and I got to direct Susan Strasberg. I’ll never forget it, because her father (Lee) was, like, the patron saint of method acting, and I was really worried about it and kind of nervous about directing her because I’m thinking, ‘She probably knows everything about acting. What can I ever say to Susan Strasberg?’ But it was the very first day and the very first shot, and she did something that made me go, ‘Well, let me go over and tell her that, actually, she should do this and this and that.’ So I went over to her, and I said, ‘Listen, Susan, why don’t you try this on this part and that on that part?’ And it seemed like an eternity when she answered, because I didn’t know if she was going to say, ‘That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,’ or, ‘That’s brilliant,’ or what! But she looked at me and said, ‘Okay.’ And after that, I was cool. I didn’t have a problem directing anybody after that, ‘cause if Susan Strasberg can say “okay” after I give her direction, then I’m not intimidated by anybody!” – Ted Lange, The Love Boat

“I don’t make a strict delineation between narrative, documentaries, short films, videos, commercials. It’s all storytelling. Filmmaking’s hard as a motherfucker, no matter what you’re doing.” – Spike Lee

“I would say that (the sexual tension in ‘Macbeth’) has been increasing for more than a decade or so, and I think it’s just an indicator of the kind of things that interest us today. It was massively important to Kate Fleetwood and myself, and it was for me at the very beginning because, right at the start, I said to the director, ‘I want a young Lady Macbeth. I think this would create a very interesting dynamic, potentially.’ You know, two generations of age difference, which there was. And is it sexual? Oooh, yes. Yes! The way she talks in that soliloquy before she arrives…? The very first thing he says to her is, ‘My dearest love!’ This is one of the world’s great monsters. “My dearest love! Bring forth men-children only!’ Fantastic. Yeah, there’s sexuality in the relationship, isn’t there? And it’s incredibly important. Partly because she uses it as a weapon against him.” – Patrick Stewart

“I fully expected a PG rating (for ‘Coraline’) and would hope that parents would know their own kids well enough to see whether or not it would be appropriate for them, because there actually have been some 3- and 4-year-olds who can handle it, but there have also been some 11-year-olds who couldn’t handle it. It was always a delicate dance of where to go and how far to go.” – Henry Selick, director of Coraline

“A lot of times, people hear a lot of buzz, and then they say, ‘What the fuck…?’ That’s the great thing about getting buzz for a movie: it’s like free promotion. And then the bad thing is that the message boards sometimes run wild on you.” – Ti West, director of House of the Devil

“I’d wanted to work with (Colin Farrell) for about seven years, and I got to know him, and when I finished the script for ‘Ondine,’ I sent it to him, and…I was kind of unsure as to what I’d written. Was it good? Was it bad? Was it a fairytale? Was it not? But he loved the character, and he just leapt on it and said, ‘I want to do this.’ So that was good.” Neil Jordan, director of Ondine

“C. Thomas Howell was the other finalist (for Marty McFly) at the time, but John Cusack was somebody we considered. Johnny Depp read for us, believe it or not. I don’t remember the screen test. I mean, I looked through the notes, and I said, ‘Geez, I don’t even remember that we read Johnny Depp!’ So whatever he did, it wasn’t all that memorable, I guess.” – Bob Gale, screenwriter and producer of Back to the Future

“We have been a little shocked with how people have reviewed (‘Stolen’), because either people really love it or they expected more from the film, and…for us, we always look at the movie as having this wonderful energy about it and a blessing-or-curse sort of thing that goes along with it, and I think a lot of it comes from people’s expectations when they see the cast. They go, ‘Wow, what a phenomenal cast! And really interesting subject matter, too…? This movie should be this, this, and this!’ And, yet, people should remember that they’re looking at a low-budget film. That’s not an excuse in the sense of the filmmaking. I mean, we’re extremely proud of the movie and think it’s actually exactly the film that we were looking to make. But we’re wondering, like, ‘What were your expectations coming in? Were you expecting to see a ‘Bourne Supremacy’ meets ‘Changeling’ or something?’” – Andy Steinman, producer and director of photography of Stolen

“What I didn’t know (about making independent films)…but what I learned!…is that you must ally yourself with an entity prior to the shooting, so they feel part of the birth and there’s an emotional connection to your picture. Because, y’know, they’re dealing with all of the other things that they do have a connection to, and here you are, coming in cold and asking, ‘Will you adopt this child?’ And they’re, like, ‘Why? I didn’t conceive it!'” – Robert Davi, star, writer, director, and producer of The Dukes

“(Jason Calacanis and I) were at Mahalo.com, and he had this little studio. And I said, ‘What the hell’s this?’ He said, ‘One of my worker drones does a ‘This Week in YouTube’ show.’ And I said, before I could stop myself, ‘I think I want to do a ‘Charlie Rose with a sense of humor’ from here.’ And, unfortunately, he said, ‘How soon can you start?’ And my sphincter tightened, and I said, ‘Oh. Right. I guess I wasn’t kidding. Uh…soon?'” – Kevin Pollak, host of Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show

“We met Ronald Reagan (for ‘Monster A Go-Go’). He was very intrigued with the project because June Travis was already committed to it, and I found out about six months ago that, in his radio days, he had kind of a crush on June Travis. I can’t remember what caused the sudden interest in the project on his part, but evidently that had something to do with it. And when I went to my investors and said, ‘Listen, we can get Ronnie Reagan to star in it, and June Travis,’ they said, ‘You’ve got to be crazy! He’s a has-been. He’ll never do anything at the box office.’”- Bill Rebane, director of Monster A Go-Go

“I met with (Claire Daines) for about six hours, and I gave her the oldest VHS tapes I could find of me, where I’d be more autistic-acting. Like, in old programs from the late ‘80s, where I was on a TV show, and some lectures from the early ‘90s. We dubbed those over onto DVDs, and she had those to practice with. Watching Claire play me during the ‘60s and ‘70s was like going in a really weird time machine, and she did an absolutely brilliant job. She’s a brilliant actress.” – Dr. Temple Grandin, the subject of the HBO movie Temple Grandin

“I watched the movie with (Temple) the first time she saw it, and she was in tears. And I said, ‘Why?’ She said, ‘He was only Mr. Carlock,’ referring to her teacher. And the screenwriter and I had decided to call him Dr. Carlock, to convey an eminence that would kind of enhance the impression he made on her. But she thought that giving him his doctorate was a way of her giving back thanks to him for everything he’d done for her. That was lovely.” – Mick Jackson, director of Temple Grandin

“I got to share an office with John Oliver for two and a half years (on ‘The Daily Show’), which was amazing, because he’s one of my best friends. That’s what I miss on a day to day basis: going in in the morning, seeing John Oliver, and just talking about whatever we ended up talking about…which was usually nothing. But we’d do that all morning, and that’s what I miss the most. He wanted to learn, like, a Jersey / Brooklyn accent. Like, y’know, ‘Hey, fuck you, you fucking jerk-off!’ So we worked on it, and it’s still one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard him do…because it’s so fucking bad!” – Rob Riggle

“(‘Hank’) wasn’t working. And no one could argue that, really. It wasn’t coming together. You get an incredible amount of notes, and you’ve got a lot of people who have their feet in this stew, so those are tough. That’s a difficult water to wade through. I can’t even imagine it. I’m not very good at that kind of thing, suffering the opinions of people who’ve never done it. That’s tough. It’s like somebody telling you how you should write your articles or conduct your interviews, having never done either one. It’s hard to take, isn’t it? Someone starts telling you how to do your job, and you’re, like, ‘Have you ever put pen to paper? Have you ever sat in front of a typewriter or computer keyboard and actually had to pull all of this stuff together? Have you done it? Then I’m not sure you’re the best person to tell me how. Did you ever take a journalism class? Did you ever take a creative writing class?’ And they’re, like, ‘Uh…’” – David Koechner

Beautiful Girls

“You would think on a movie like (‘Bitch Slap’), with all of the sexual plots going on, that there maybe would’ve been a certain degree of inappropriateness or sexual harassment going on. But there really wasn’t, and I think part of it was just because we had such a free, open dialogue, and you could make a sex joke and know that it was all in good fun and games. It was almost like we were sitting in a sports bar all day when we were shooting. It was just constant jokes about all sorts of things, and…there was really no term for male or female sexual organs or sexual acts that didn’t have some crazy term made up for the film. In fact, we would have days where we would go, ‘Okay, exactly what is a Rusty Anchor? What does it mean to sluice someone’s badger?’ Just all of these different things, and half of them we were, like, ‘We don’t even know what that means.'” – Erin Cummings

“Oh, God, I so, so wanted to have a bonfire when (‘Star Trek: Voyager’) ended. I was so lobbying for them to let me just burn one of the corsets. ‘Just one!’ But, no. It was so nice to get on a show with actual clothing!” – Jeri Ryan

“I’m such a square in my real life that I’m, like, the polar opposite of Kimber (on ‘Nip/Tuck’). But I get her. In kind of a voyeuristic way, I had so much fun playing the character because my life is so structured and, like, I’m very strict with my lifestyle and what I do. So going to play this character was very fun for me. You know, it was liberating. I always said that we should have The ‘Nip/Tuck’ School of Lovemaking, because I’ll tell you what, I’m sure not one woman has made love on television more than I have. I could start, like, the Strasberg School for Lovemaking on Television.” – Kelly Carlson

“I thought that I wasn’t going to be an actress. I did not want to act, because I thought that I could never be as good as my mom, and so I was always going to be a frustrated person in my life because everyone would say, ‘Oh, she’s not as good as her mom,’ and it was going to be very difficult to match my mom’s career. When I became a model, and then I became quite successful as a model, I still loved films very much, so I thought, ‘Well, let me try and be an actress,’ because then I had the certitude that I could do it, that I could make it. As a model, you have to evolve into something else. You know that it’s one of those careers, like a sports person or a dancer, where you stop when you’re 30 or 35. But it was the success of modeling that gave me the courage to attempt acting.” – Isabella Rossellini

Stand Up Guys

“I was talking to somebody the other day, and he said, ‘I think more people think you’re dirty now than think you’re clean.’ What’s happened now is I’ve got to defend myself, because I’m definitely not an X-rated comedian. I’m just some guy who…I mean, you watch ‘South Park’ and ‘Family Guy,’ and you cover the gamut of everything I could possibly say. So I have a 10-minute hunk of material about what college kids shouldn’t do with small animals. Who doesn’t? But I’ll be in a public place, an airport, and there’ll be five or six people all at the same time, and one’s a little girl who should not know anything I’ve done on HBO, and if she’s going to know anything about me, it’s that I’m the father on (‘Full House’)…but then her father goes, ‘Oh, I loved you in ‘The Aristocrats’!’ And I’m, like, ‘Your kid is six!'” – Bob Saget

“The first couple of years when I would go to London twice a year to work, because I was on a real tight budget. I’m not saying this to try and make people feel sorry for me, but, y’know, I was cheap, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on hotels and stuff, so I would stay at these hostels. I don’t know what they’re like now, maybe they’ve improved that, but, I mean, these places were pretty seedy. Like, little tiny worn-out cots, three guys sleeping in a room the size of a closet, eating canned beans for dinner. Just because, y’know, you’re out there, you’re trying to save money ‘cause you’re not making a ton. There were times when that was a little depressing, waking up at 5 AM ‘cause of the jetlag, and you wake up with a sore back, and there’s a snoring guy about two feet away with you, and you can smell people’s feet. But that didn’t make me want to quit. It just made me want to get to the next level really quick.” – Arj Barker, Flight of the Conchords

“”We knew that anything we’d do (on the reunion tour) would work. It was just, ‘What do we want to do?’ I mean, we’re icons, man! When we first come on the stage, there’s such loud applause that you can almost just go home after that. It’s that warming. So we know that whatever we do is going to be received well, and we take advantage of that and do stuff that we’ve never done before.” – Tommy Chong

“Before (Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro) were supposed to come out (for ‘The Joe Pesci Show’)…not the live show, but the dress show…they came up and they said, ‘They canceled. De Niro’s never been on live television, he didn’t know it was live, he’s not doing it.’ Complete panic attack. But Pesci was going to do it without De Niro, so it was going to be me, and Colin Quinn as De Niro and then Pesci…and then Lorne insisted on bringing out Darrell Hammond dressed as like a fat De Niro. To me, it was just the dumbest thing. The wind was completely blown out of my sails, and during the dress, I was actually a little depressed and annoyed during the sketch, because I knew just Pesci was going to come out, and…it was just going to look stupid. And all of a sudden, I heard the loudest roar I have ever heard in my life on that show, and I turned around…and De Niro was there. I will never forget that feeling, to see that guy just glaring at you with that look he’s got, just nodding his head with this little smirk on his face. It was unreal. Unreal.” – Jim Breuer, Saturday Night Live

“In the past, I’ve had these big sets for these one-man shows, and this one has just a beautiful background which HBO quality controlled…and you can bet that, with the big money going down there, it looks good. Really good. But, you know, I did the very first HBO comedy special, and I did it at a college. And one time, Rosie O’Donnell did one, and she took the money and did it in a little club. HBO was so pissed at her! They want to see production values!” – Robert Klein

“When I was a kid, I found comedy and it…it changed my life. It saved my life, really. I mean, for me, it was, like, the way some kids pick up a guitar and, boom, they’ve got a way to cope. They’ve got their thing. For me, it was comedy. When I heard Carlin for the first time, when I was 12 or 13 years old, that was for me what it must’ve been like for a kid who wants to play the guitar to hear Hendrix for the first time. My involvement in comedy is really quite personal and quite emotional. I have this tremendous passion for it, and I’ve been struck over the many decades I’ve been doing this at how people perceive it as just kind of like…well, like I said, they see as this pop culture fluff. There’s no real comedy criticism, there’s no real critique. Like, where’s the Pauline Kael who covers comedy? It’s as deep and rich an art form as any other, like music or painting or anything, and yet there are no courses in comedy appreciation like there are for music and art…and it’s because people don’t think of it as being that high an art form.” – Paul Provenza

Roles People Played

“I really enjoyed (playing Messy Marvin). I was seven or eight or something like that, and I was hired originally as what’s called a back-up. When you hire kids, you hire your primary, but, y’know, kids are young, so just in case, you also hire a back-up, and for whatever reason, the one who was hired just didn’t work. I’d been there for, like, eleven hours and was ready to go, and then they brought me in and did it…and that wound up being something like eight or nine commercials and a decade-long thing. Hershey’s was great. They would send me boxes of chocolate every year. I was on that short list of special clients, and every Christmas we’d get a big box full of Hershey’s candy.” – Peter Billingsley

“You don’t get to be a top-25 show for five years from just girls watching you. This was actually one of the challenges when we first started (‘Blossom’). The saying was, ‘Girls will watch boys and girls will watch girls, but boys will only watch boys.’ And, obviously, a lot of the trying to really bump up the Joey Lawrence kind of plots, bringing in Playboy bunnies every other week, and guest stars and fantasy things…I mean, those were all ploys to get boys to watch us.” – Mayim Bialik

“I was in New York doing publicity for (‘Dallas’), and I was invited to be on ‘Good Morning America’ with David Hartman, and David said to me, ‘Does anyone know (who shot J.R.)? What about your children? Do they know?’ And I said, ‘Well, they made guesses…and one of them actually got it right!’ And that was the end of it…but when I got off the show, I thought, ‘Oh, my God…’ It was such a frenzy that I thought the press would call my house, talk to my children, and say, ‘Who did you guess?!?’ But it never happened. Nobody called…thank God! But I went into a panic. I called home and said, ‘If anybody asks you, do not tell them who you guessed! You can’t say a word!'” – Linda Gray

“I have been just so blessed and lucky to be involved in a few really amazing movies in my career thus far, and ‘JFK’ is one of them. It will live forever. And whether you agree or disagree with the philosophy or the ideas that are being expressed in that movie, people, when they see it, they remember it. And I enjoyed the hell out of doing that. That was so much fun. You could have an hour movie that seems like three hours, or a three-hour movie that seems like an hour and you’re begging for more…and that’s ‘JFK.’ It just wows you, and you’re, like, ‘Man, I want to do that again!’ So you go see it again. I’d love to be involved in another project that was as amazing as that. It was crazy. Bill Broussard, man…” – Michael Rooker

“I was driving down the street in my convertible Cadillac, (‘Thelma and Louise’) is just out, and these two girls looked over at me from another car right next to me. And one of them said, ‘Omigod, it’s that guy from ‘Thelma and Louise’! Omigod!’ And the other girl looks over and says, ‘Shoot him!’ Yeah, that movie empowered women all over the world…” – Christopher McDonald

“I didn’t even know I was on (‘Spongebob Squarepants’) until my granddaughter told me. You know, you do these things, and then they send them to China to draw them, I guess, for a year or whatever. So the show was on, and my granddaughter said, ‘You know, I think that guy on that show is you!’ And I said, ‘Geez, let me see…’ So I watched one, and I said, ‘By golly, you’re right!’” – Tim Conway

“(’24’) was one of my favorite things that I’ve ever gotten to do. That year, I told anybody who’d listen, ‘I have the best job in Hollywood.’ My only regret is that I never got to do a scene with Kiefer. But Gregory Itzen…what a husband.” – Jean Smart

“I cannot tell you how many people were, like, blown away by that and lost themselves as kids in the world of ‘Silver Spoons.’ And everybody asks about the train. Everybody! Unfortunately, I haven’t seen or talked to my friends from that show in a long time. I saw Joel Higgins, who plays my dad, maybe eight years ago, and I haven’t seen or talked to Alfonso in about four or five years. No, I really don’t keep tight with those guys. It’s just that everybody’s spread out. Joel’s back on the east coast, and everybody’s, y’know, in their own lives.” – Ricky Schroder

  

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