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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Designing Women: The Complete First Season

When you work for a web magazine which has trumpeted itself as “The Guys’ Portal to the Web,” you have to learn that, despite your best intentions of covering a diverse amount of TV-DVD releases, your bosses aren’t always going to be as enthusiastic about your review picks as you are. After having suffered through a slight chastising over my decision to praise “Blossom: Seasons 1 and 2” on Bullz-Eye, it seemed like a wise move to avoid an argument and just do my review of “Designing Women: The Complete Series” over on Premium Hollywood instead. This is, after all, practically the antithesis of what the average Bullz-Eye reader would be watching…and given how many times the episodes have been rerun on the Lifetime Network over the years, one wonders if even the show’s fans really need to own it on DVD. (That’s a joke, of course: “Designing Women” fans have been clamoring for the show to come to DVD for years, so you can only imagine their excitement.)

The back of the box boldly declares that the cast members of “Designing Women” – Delta Burke, Dixie Carter, Annie Potts, and Jean Smart – “brought a new kind of Southern spirit to American television. Smart, ambitious, and outspoken, they embodied the ‘new’ Southern woman.” That’s as may be, but it doesn’t feel terribly groundbreaking…and if you check your ’80s sitcom timeline, it’s pretty obvious that CBS’s interest in picking up the show stemmed from a desire to entice some of the women who were watching NBC’s “The Golden Girls.” To be fair, however, creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason devised the show mostly because she wanted to see the four actresses, each of whom had worked with her in the past, teamed up in a show together.

“Designing Women: The Complete First Season” might as well cause estrogen to come billowing forth from your DVD player, so much is it geared toward the fairer sex. Not that that isn’t to be expected from a show with a title like that, but it really needs to be underlined, lest any guys find their girlfriends or wives asking them if they’d like to check out the set with them. God help you if you end up in such a position, but if you do, then you can at least request that you watch the following episodes, which have solid guest stars: “Design House” (Stephen Tobolowsky), “Grand Slam, Thank You, Ma’am” (Gregg Henry), “I Do, I Don’t” and “Reese’s Friend” (you can never go wrong when Hal Holbrook turns up), and the two-parter entitled “Old Spouses Never Die,” which features Michael Jeter and Scott Bakula. There’s also the occasional saving grace of Meshach Taylor, who pops up as ex-con Anthony Bouvier once in awhile, but he’s not a regular in this season, so he’s certainly not around every episode.

Lastly, if you are a fan of the show but you can’t imagine any need to actually own the set (seriously, every episode must’ve been aired on Lifetime at least a thousand times), you might be swayed into a purchase by “Designing Women: A Reunion,” a 36-minute retrospective of the show which took place at the Paley Center for Media in 2006. Taylor is conspicuous in his absence, but it’s nice to see Burke, Carter, Potts, and Smart together again, along with Bloodworth-Thomason, as they discuss the legacy of the show.

Click to buy “Designing Women: The Complete First Season”

  

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