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

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Bill Paxton is up for a “Twister” sequel. Anyone else?

In an interview with Bullz-Eye in conjunction with the season premiere of HBO’s “Big Love” (Sunday, Dec. 10th), Bill Paxton revealed that one of the items on his to-do list is a sequel to his 1996 blockbuster, “Twister.”

“I’ve had a meeting at the studio with Kathleen Kennedy about it,” Paxton said, whose inspiration for a sequel came as a result of a trip that he took to the Ozark Mountains last spring.

“I flew into St. Louis with my buddy Scott Thomson, who played Preacher in ‘Twister,’ and we rented a car and drove down to southeastern Missouri, into the Ozarks,” said Paxton. “We spent the night, and the next morning we got up and we started tracking the trail of the most famous tornado that ever hit the country, which was the Tri-State Tornado of 1925. It still holds all of the records. It was called the Tri-State because it was a mile wide when it came down from the sky on the afternoon of March 16, 1925, and it was a rural area, but, boy, before it was through, it crossed the Mississippi, it cut across southern Illinois, where it hit a lot of towns. The biggest one was Murphysboro, which was…it literally looked like Hiroshima after it hit. And then it went across the Wabash, into Indiana, staying on the ground three and a half hours and cutting a damage path 219 miles long, killing about 700 people. There’s actually footage that I found in Murphysboro at their historical society. They had footage from a biplane that the government sent down, just to do aerial footage of all of the destruction and the damage. So we just did that to kind of get some ideas, and from that I kind of extrapolated an idea for a sequel. And I kind of put that together into a format, and now we’re kind of waiting to see if that’s going to move forward.That would need Steven Spielberg’s blessing, ultimately, and they probably won’t take it to him ‘til there’s real studio interest, but I think the 3D applications of that could obviously be pretty amazing.

“The only reason I’d like to revisit that ground is because I realize we’re living in a time where big movies cost so much to make that the town is looking for built-in audiences,” admitted Paxton. “Of course, I’m so glad to see that the success of ‘Avatar’ is disproving that theory, but…I always thought the first ‘Twister’ was an exciting ride, but I thought a sequel could explore it in a more enthralling way, getting into more of the history and the lore, more of a darker version of the first one.”

Although it may sound more serious than the original “Twister,” Paxton doesn’t think that fans of the first film would have any problem accepting the sequel. “I think you’d still want to have a lot of the dark humor and all of that, with the flying cows and everything,” he said, with a laugh. “I think you could kind of intrigue people more by getting into a little more of the lore and really understanding. I just think there’s a lot more to explore there. When I researched the first film when I was getting ready to do it, I just found so much stuff. Ultimately, I was happy with ‘Twister,’ but I also had thought that it could’ve gotten a little deeper into it.”

What you do you think? I can’t say I’ve been chomping at the bit for “Twister 2,” but Paxton has proven in the past that he can make just about anything worth watching, and his point about how such a film would be perfect for 3D is certainly food for thought.

Check out the full interview with Mr. Paxton by clicking right here.

  

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TCA Tour, Jan. 2009: “Big Love”

I’m very much out of my element when it comes to discussing “Big Love.” Not that I’m not interested in the show, but I simply haven’t watched it. I know, however, that another fine member of our editorial staff – one J. Codding – is a regular viewer, so I wouldn’t dare miss the opportunity to cover the upcoming third season of the show. Plus, really, whether you’ve watched the show or not, who in their right mind wouldn’t want to sit in on a panel that includes Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny, and Ginnifer Goodwin?

If you haven’t followed the behind-the-scenes activity on the show, it’s been kind of a weird time for “Big Love” since it left the airwaves back in August 2007. The writer’s strike led to a delay in production for the show’s third season, and when the strike was concluded, executive producers Mark Olsen and Will Scheffer made the decision to throw out the ideas they’d come up with for Season 3 and basically start fresh.

“It’s always good to have more time and more time and more time to digest story and to reconsider choices made,” said Scheffer. “It makes the show stronger, deeper, better, you know, to have a couple of goes at initial assumptions. And so it was a blessing in that way, a mixed blessing because we were late coming on back to our fans, but, you know, I think that that little interim period where we weren’t writing when we were just sort of protesting and showering and such that we could have this time to breathe into the characters and the stories even more than we would have if we had just gone on our straight route. You know, I think the show would have been great, but I think what we have now is like beyond great.”

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