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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Entourage 5.5 – Tree Trippers

Call me a cynic, but tonight’s show might have been the worst in the history of the entire series. I’m all for filler episodes where the “Entourage” crew runs around town getting into all sorts of shenanigans, but what in the world was the point of them tripping on some shrooms in the middle of the desert? If you think it was to help Vince decide on whether or not he should do the Benji movie, I have some bad news: Vince was never going to make that movie, no matter how much they paid him. He was always going to hold off for “Smoke Jumpers,” and though Alan Gray has made it quite clear that he will never work with Vince again, next week’s previews suggests that might not be the case.

As for their trip to the Joshua Tree, well, there’s not a whole lot to say. Eric Roberts’ cameo was probably the best part about that whole storyline, and even that felt like a rehash of previous episodes involving Gary Busey and Val Kilmer. There are only so many times you can invite B-list celebs on to the show to prove that they’re hip, and between guys like Busey, Kilmer and Bob Saget, we’ve already had our fill over the last few seasons.

Entourage 5.5

Perhaps worse, however, is the fact that none of the main actors are very good at playing high – to the point that Eric’s big trip-out moment was that he was literally speechless and Drama thought Arnold the bulldog was a rock. Jeremy Piven came the closest to nailing the experience (or at least what I’d expect that sort of experience to be like), but it’s virtually impossible to play Ari stoned since one of his main character traits is that he always appears in control, even when he’s not.

So why would the writers even produce such an episode? You got me. They probably thought it would be fun to watch the gang act all philosophical while under the influence of Eric Roberts’ homegrown magic mushrooms, but it wasn’t. I sat around waiting for something to happen, but with the exception of a mildly entertaining sequence involving Lloyd coaching Ari through his trip, nothing ever did. You’d think that between the “Smoke Jumpers” fiasco, Eric’s aggressive new clients, the bidding war with Amanda, Bow Wow’s comedian character, and plenty of other discarded ideas (like that Ramones biopic), there’d be plenty to talk about. Instead, we get this, and while I was more than willing to forgive the writers a few weeks ago for abandoning all story development to have a little fun, after tonight’s episode, they’re officially back in the doghouse.

  

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