2009: A Year’s Worth of Interviews – The Top 100 Quotes

Some people think that the life of a work-at-home entertainment writer is one of the most lax jobs out there, since the perception is generally is that all you do is sit around and watch DVDs, occasionally venture out of the house to see movies or concerts, and then sit in front of the computer and write about them. Okay, it’s a fair cop. But when you throw interviews into the mix, there’s a bit more work involved. First, you’ve got to get the interview (they aren’t always handed to you on a silver platter), then you’ve got to do the research to make sure that you can ask some halfway knowledgeable questions, and after you conduct the interview, let’s not forget that you’ve got to transcribe it, too. In other words, yes, there really is work involved…and when I went back and discovered that I’d done well over 130 interviews during the course of 2009, I suddenly realized why I’m so tired all the time.

For your reading enjoyment, I’ve pulled together a list of 100 of my favorite quotes from the various interviews I conducted for Premium Hollywood, Bullz-Eye, Popdose, and The Virginian-Pilot this year, along with the links to the original pieces where available. As you can see, I had some extremely interesting conversations in 2009. Let us all keep our fingers crossed that I’m able to chat with just as many fascinating individuals in 2010…

1. Pamela Adlon: “In the first season (of ‘Californication’), when we had the threesome with the nipple clamps, I was, like, ‘I don’t get this, I don’t know how you’re gonna do it.’ And then, all of a sudden, there’s a crane with a camera hanging over our heads, and you’re, like, ‘Okayyyyyyy. But how are you gonna sell this? How are you gonna make it work?’ And they ended up shooting it brilliantly, cutting it together, and it just all ended up working without me having to compromise my own personal morals.”

2. Jonathan Ames: “After my first novel, my mother said to me, ‘Why don’t you make your writing more funny? You’re so funny in person.’ Because my first novel was rather dark. And I don’t know, but something about what she said was true. ‘Yes, why don’t I?’ Maybe I was afraid to be funny in the writing. But since then, seven books later, almost everything I’ve done has a comedic edge to it.”

3. Ed Asner: “I loved journalism until the day my journalism teacher, a man I revered, came by my desk and said, ‘Are you planning on going into journalism?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘I wouldn’t.’ I said, ‘Well, why not?’ He said, ‘You can’t make a living.’”

4. Sean Astin: “When somebody brings up a movie (of mine) that I haven’t heard about in a long time, I feel like a 70-year-old pitcher at a bar somewhere, and somebody walks in and says, ‘Oh, my God, I was in St. Louis and I saw you. You pitched a shutout.’ It’s real. I really did do that, because someone today remembers it.”

5. Darryl Bell: “The legend of ‘Homeboys in Outer Space’ has become much more incendiary than the actual show. It’s funny how I usually challenge most people who talk about how much they disliked ‘Homeboys’ to name me five episodes. Most of them can’t, because they just bought into the ‘oh, it’s awful, just the title. Oh, it’s terrible.’ What’s interesting is that I had a great conversation with Chi McBride, who was doing ‘The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer,’ which, if you want to talk about in terms of the imagery of what was wrong, that show was much more infamous than ‘Homeboys.’ Yet it’s not remembered in the same way because the title didn’t grab you in the same way. I remember Chi pulled me aside and he was, like, ‘Look, everyone who is criticizing what you’re doing would take your job from you in two seconds. All of them. So all I can tell you is that this is one blip on both of our careers, and we are moving on.’”

6. Adam Campbell: “For some reason, people always pick on the British sensibility, and we always come across as stupid, but remember: we used to run this country!”

7. Nestor Carbonell: “Let me make this perfectly clear: I do not wear make-up, and I do not wear eye-liner. This is something I’ve had to deal with my whole life. I remember I was in college in Boston, I had a commercial agent, and they sent me out for some print commercial stuff. And they called me into the office and said, ‘Look, we called you in to talk to you because we just want you to know that…well, we don’t think you need to wear eyeliner.’ And I’m, like, ‘What?’ ‘Yeah, it’s okay, you don’t have to wear it for print ads.’ ‘No, I’m not wearing eyeliner!’ And I kept dabbing my eyes and saying, ‘Look! No eyeliner! I’m not wearing any!’”

8. Elaine Cassidy: “The last two days of shooting (‘Harper’s Island’) was probably the most hardcore, the coldest anyone has ever been. It was like your head was freezing, and my motivation for most scenes was, ‘The minute this scene is over, I’m heading straight over to that heater to get warm.’”

9. Chris Cornell: “I started as a drummer, so I sort of took on singing duties by default. I had sung backgrounds and some lead vocals from behind the drums in different bands that I’d been in, and I’d gotten great responses for the songs I would sing. I really started pursuing the possibility of being a lead singer based on the fact that I was working a full-time restaurant job and then playing gigs at night, hauling drums around. One day, it just dawned on me that, ‘Hey, I could be in a band and be the singer, and it would be a lot easier!’”

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Andrew Zimmern heads out into the great big “Bizarre World”

Feeling déjà vu? No, you aren’t crazy — Bullz-Eye’s Will Harris has indeed interviewed Andrew Zimmern before. But that was way back when Mr. Zimmern was only the host of “Bizarre Foods” — and now he’s got a brand new show to promote, the smartly titled “Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World.” In honor of the new series, Andrew and Will renewed their acquaintance to discuss a variety of “Bizarre” topics, starting with the “Bizarre Foods” encounter with a witch doctor that indirectly inspired “Bizarre World”:

It was one of our favorite acts…and we didn’t eat a thing in it! I mean, the guy spat up on me, he beat me with poisonous branches, he beat a guinea pig to death against me, he blew smoke on me, he spat up on me again, he lit me on fire…and he did all of this stuff in the name of purging demons from me!

But fear not, “Bizarre Foods” fans — although the focus of the new series might be slightly different, it’s still cut from the same cloth as the show you’ve grown to love. As Zimmern puts it:

I’m a food guy, first and foremost, but I think that if you showed a cut of a ‘Bizarre World’ episode to a ‘Bizarre Foods’ fan, they would never notice that there’s less food. They would just be, I think, really psyched that there’s more non-food stories thrown in.

And of course, food or no food, the main ingredient of either show is Zimmern’s unabashed love for new experiences — a love that proves infectuous for viewers of all ages. In his own words:

The single greatest pleasure that I have in doing this show is when I meet families with 6, 7, 8-year-olds, or teenagers, who say, ‘It’s something the whole family can watch, and it lets us show our younger children that one man’s ‘weird’ is another man’s ‘wonderful,’ and we all kind of live in the same place.’ It’s just the best part of my day.

To read more of Will Harris’ latest chat with Andrew Zimmern, click on the above image or follow this link!

  

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TCA Tour, Day 1: “Man vs. Food”

It probably won’t surprise you regular PH readers that the person responsible for introducing me to the wonder of the Travel Channel series, “Man vs. Food,” is none other than our own Mike Farley. As near as I can tell, the guy lives, breathes, eats, and sleeps food-related television, which is why I always defer to him when the opportunity arises to screen a new series that falls into this particular wheelhouse of his or to interview someone who’s part of such a show. Indeed, he’s already had a nice conversation with Adam Richman, host of “Man vs. Food,” about the show’s first season. But, now, the show is gearing up for its second season, which is why Mr. Richman was in attendance at the TCA tour.

First off, the guy earned my immediate respect when Joel Keller of TV Squad noted that Richman tends to do better in the challenges with hot
foods than the ones which are quantity-based, then asked him how he does it, wondering if perhaps he lines his mouth in wax.

Richman immediately grinned and said, “I saw that ‘Simpsons’ episode!”

NICE.

In actual response to the question, however, he explained, “I actually work with a chef of Indonesian descent, and he was actually the one who sort of opened my eyes to spicy food. Basically, he said, ‘You need to train your palate to taste the pepper, not just the heat, because some peppers have a more sweet or fruity taste, some are more vegetable.’ And that’s honestly what I do. I also happen to really enjoy spicy food just as a taste, so I really enjoy the taste of what I’m eating and I’m sort of able to take the sting out of it and really just enjoy the flavor of it, whereas with quantity challenges, it’s delicious food, there’s just quite a lot of it.”

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