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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Nip/Tuck: The Sixth and Final Season

Only on “Nip/Tuck” can a character utter a line like “Dildo sales are down. It’s the goddamn economy,” and make it sound a perfectly reasonable thing to say. There are aspects I will miss about “Nip/Tuck,” and one of them is its ability to take the most outlandishly offensive situation and make it seem relatively normal, at least within the context of the show. But all good and bad things must come to an end, and “Nip/Tuck,” from Season Three onwards, was equal parts of both. The Sixth Season aired in two parts (with a month break in the middle), which at the time were marketed as Seasons Six and Seven. There is no Season Seven, but there is a 19-episode sixth season, and all those episodes are collected in this set. Through watching this block, however, it certainly seems like two different seasons. Confused? Annoyed? Allow me to elaborate and pontificate.

The first ten episodes are all but unwatchable in their awfulness. Not merely content to disturb viewers, these episodes largely depress as well, although it seems unlikely that was the goal. The flaccid economy, and its effect on the plastic surgery business, is stressed in the first episode, but what does it say about a show when such a topic is one of the bright spots? Sean (Dylan Walsh) is still dating anesthesiologist Teddy Rowe, who used to be played by Katee Sackhoff, but now resides in the body of Rose McGowan, which is a true “what the fuck?” soap opera switch, given that it’s hard to think of two actresses that are any less alike in both their method and appearance. Teddy slowly begins revealing her true, black widow colors as the narrative progresses, and on the camping trip from hell, Teddy’s shit hits the fan and splatters all over the place.

Meanwhile, Christian (Julian McMahon), who is not dying of cancer after all, must contend with a seriously pissed off Liz (Roma Maffia), since now that he’s not dying he doesn’t want to stay married to her. Liz’s reaction is understandable, but that doesn’t make her character arc any more palatable, since Liz is the only person on the show we’ve come to believe is truly decent. Kimber (Kelly Carlson) begins dating Dr. Mike Hamoui (Mario Lopez), a development nobody was asking to see, and if ever you wanted to see Lopez dressed in a corset, garter belt, and stockings, well, now’s your chance. Stills from the episode in which Christian talks him into this get-up are bound to haunt Lopez for the rest of his life, which amuses me to no end. Maybe he can put the scene on his reel should the “Rocky Horror” remake ever get off the ground?

Matt (John Hensley) has taken up miming, only to discover there’s more money to be found in robbing convenience stores in whiteface. As per usual with Matt, things go south with his plans, but never as far as here, where he ends up going to prison, and the episode “Alexis Stone II” is surely one of the most self-loathing episodes of any TV series, ever. And Julia (Joely Richardson)? Well, I think she’s in there somewhere, but as has been par for the course in recent times, Richardson’s mind is obviously anywhere but on her character. The patient storylines, too, are revolting. Characters like The Enigma, Jenny Juggs, and Lola Wlodkowski are amongst the most tasteless the show has ever showcased (which is saying something), and the aforementioned Alexis Stone, who manages a two-episode arc, simply gives transgendered people a bad name. It’s a credit to the series that they didn’t have her whip out a knife and slit Christian’s throat at the end of her tale. These ten episodes are some of the worst the show has ever unleashed, and as tough as it was watching them on broadcast, it was twice as tough sitting through them a second time on DVD. Even the most die-hard fans of the show surely knew that it was time to close up shop when these aired last year.

And one must wonder how many viewers the show lost in that block. How many people failed to come back to the show in January for the final nine episodes? I’m willing to bet plenty, which is a shame because, believe it or not, after years of excess, “Nip/Tuck” managed to deliver a nicely restrained, oftentimes poignant batch of episodes to close out the series. The story picks up a few months after the first ten in the set, and Sean and Christian are going to pick up a lifetime achievement award. Only after they receive the award does Sean discover that Christian bought it via a hefty donation, at which point Sean goes ballistic. And from there, the season peels one layer of the onion away after the next, dissecting McNamara and Troy’s friendship and partnership, all while providing endings for every other character on the show as well (most are surprisingly happy, some a little warped, and in one case we lose a character altogether).

One excellent episode, “Dr. Griffin,” is set almost entirely in a psychiatrist’s office, with Sean and Christian unloading their grievances on one another. Even the patient stories have a great deal of heft to them, and take viewers back to a time when the show was as much about the surgeries as it was the main characters. And then there’s fan favorite villainess Ava Moore (Famke Janssen), who returns to wreak some havoc one last time, for the final two episodes of the series.

I once wrote that when “Nip/Tuck” ended, I wanted to have to “scrape my jaw up off the floor and make an appointment for some reconstructive surgery.” I can’t honestly say that happens here, but I wrote that way back when this show and I were still doing a lovely little dance together week in and out. That dance ended some time ago, and yet I was pretty bowled over by the mature series of notes the show went out on. I think that’s how it needed to be, given that it’s been mercilessly and vacuously titillating viewers for far too long now. Given how controversial many series finales are these days, perhaps the biggest surprise “Nip/Tuck” could’ve given us is a finale that wasn’t controversial at all. Well, mostly not. There is that one last thing with Ava and Matt that might just make your blood boil, but I thought it was just right.

The three stars given to this set are merely an average: Two stars for the first ten episodes, and four stars for the last nine. I don’t know exactly how to tell people to avoid one half of a season box set, whilst highly recommending its second half. You’ll have to figure the rest out on your own.

Special Features: There’s just one measly featurette entitled “Tell Me What You Don’t Like About Yourself: The Psychology Behind Plastic Surgery,” which is just as throwaway as it sounds. No celebration for the end of the show, no commentaries, no deleted scenes, no nothing.

  

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Kelly Carlson talks about the end of Kimber Henry and “Nip/Tuck”

It’s happened many times in the past: a character is introduced to a television series as a one-off, but because of either fan interest of a burst of creativity from the show’s writers, they’re brought back. Sometimes they become a recurring character, but in some cases, they go on to become a full-fledged series regular. Such was the case with Kimber Henry, Kelly Carlson’s character on the long-running FX series “Nip/Tuck.” Kimber made her debut in the show’s pilot episode, but by Season 3, she was officially considered to be part of the main cast right up until the show’s final season, when she bowed out, so to speak. Now that “Nip/Tuck” is wrapping up, Bullz-Eye was able to chat with Carlson about her character’s legacy, including how Kimber grew in prominence, the way she came to her end, and, of course, all the sordid stuff that went on in between.

* On Kimber’s evolution from the pilot: “When you take a character like that, with not much background and history, it starts in the eyes, you know what I mean? And that’s simply what I just tried to do: to try and bring some depth to her, and some emotion, for the audience to connect with. Otherwise it’s boring. ‘Cute girl, yeah, who cares,’ you know? That’s not how you get your female fans. I wanted to bring some layers to her that everyone could relate to or understand.”

* On sex scenes: “Julian (McMahon), in the pilot, totally broke the ice with me the first day. The pilot was so graphic, and it was our first day working together…I mean, it was brutal. It was really an uncomfortable situation for both of us, and I had never done a love scene, but he is a funny, funny guy, and he broke the ice for us. After that, the recurring characters were much more nervous than I was. After awhile, it just became routine for me, like I was a broodmare or something!”

* On Kimber’s death: “I wouldn’t have wanted a happy sendoff for her, because it wouldn’t have fit her character at all. It just wouldn’t have. But I have mixed feelings about it. I don’t mind that she died at all. I think that’s absolutely appropriate. But I thought it was fairly quick. I don’t know. Visually, it wasn’t that stimulating for me to watch, so I’m lukewarm on that.”

You can check out the rest of the interview with the gorgeous Ms. Carlson by clicking on the above graphic. I mean, you could click right here, but, y’know, if you’ve got a chance to click Kelly Carlson directly, why wouldn’t you take it?

  

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Nip/Tuck: Season Five, Pt. 2

The press release for this set finishes up with two sentences: “And Liz says ‘I do’ to the last person you’d imagine. Time to stretch your imagination, fans.” When even the marketing department can no longer take a show seriously, it must be “Nip/Tuck.” As a fan since day one, I’m past resenting the show for failing to be as good as it once was, and have moved on to embracing “Nip/Tuck” for the freakshow it’s become. How freaky you ask? Well, in one episode, when Dr. Troy (Julian McMahon) refuses to give a woman an unnecessary mastectomy, she performs the surgery on herself – in the lobby of McNamara/Troy – with an electric carving knife.

Never a show to be too far behind the times, another installment features a pair of lovers who’ve taken their vampiric bloodlust a bit too far. You’ve seen these folks at goth clubs, I’m sure, but have secretly hoped it was all an act. “Nip/Tuck” is here to show you that the freakshow never ends, and that people do indeed partake in mutual bloodsucking. Surely the most outrageous display of hedonistic debasement comes in the form of the guy who likes to fuck furniture. If I hadn’t been laughing so hard, I might have turned away. What’s most noteworthy about this block of episodes, is that there isn’t a villain in the traditional “Nip/Tuck” sense – no Carver, or Escobar – although Eden (AnnaLynne McCord) does show up a couple times to fan a few flames.

In other news, Kimber (Kelly Carlson) wants to inject collagen into her baby daughter’s lips so she can get a head start on a successful modeling career. Sean (Dylan Walsh) is babied by a girl when he pretends to be an invalid. Later on in the half season, he dates Dr. Teddy Rowe (Katee Sackhoff), and they experiment with hallucinogens in the desert when they aren’t having sex in strange houses. Julia (Joely Richardson) heads back to New York after a tragedy, and Matt (John Hensley) does a huge favor for a McNamara/Troy intern (Adhir Kalyan), after the boy is asked to perform his father’s penis lengthening surgery. In another episode, a patient asks that his member be decreased, as he can’t stop fellating himself; Bradley Cooper’s Aidan returns for this installment, pitching Sean a movie based on his life. And in the biggest news of all, Christian dates Liz (Roma Maffia) in a storyline that by no means should work, and yet miraculously does.

You’ll hate the final moments of the season, and accuse the show of selling out, but hey, haven’t we been making this accusation for several years now? “Nip/Tuck” hasn’t sold out as much as it’s bought into its own trashy hype. It’s ambling toward the finish line of 100 episodes for syndication purposes, and the writers are having a field day unleashing an enormous amount of tasteless depravity along the way. It’s become very much of a drug in that respect. When it’s good, it’s really, really good; when it’s bad, it’s still there for the doing, and I, for one, choose to continue jabbing the needle deep into my arm.

Click to buy Nip/Tuck: Season Five, Pt. 2

  

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