Winter 2011 TCA Press Tour: Top 10 Quotes from Day 7

American Idol

1. Q: Are you going to have to put Steve on a five second delay on (‘American Idol’)?
Steven Tyler: Fuck, no. (Pauses) I question whether I should have done that just now.

2. Q: So how does it feel to be a Latina on (‘American Idol’)?
Jennifer Lopez: I don’t know how it would feel to be anything else.

3. “Having done ‘The Shield’ and ‘The Chicago Code,’ I’d feel much more comfortable being pulled over by the Chicago PD than the LAPD at this point.” – Shawn Ryan, “The Chicago Code”

4. Q: Can you talk about how you find the voices for new characters like this? Do you work with the producers and they say, “We kind of want this sound,” or do you look at the character sketch and say, “Hey”? How does that work?
Eugene Mirman: We went on a year long walkabout, and then it came to us.
Kristen Schaal: Trying to go get in touch with our, like, spirit animals. Like mine’s a tiger, and I studied tigers for a year.
Eugene Mirman: That doesn’t answer your question at all. We played around in the studio over a period of probably year and a half or two recording and rerecording stuff for this pilot, and sort of, with both us and direction from Loren and FOX, sort of, I think, found the tone and voice, but also I have a spirit animal too.
Kristen Schaal: What is it?
Eugene Mirman: I’m not telling anybody. No one cares.
Kristen Schaal: Sounds like a turtle.
Eugene Mirman: It’s a “minx,” if that’s an animal.

Eugene Mirman and Kristen Schaal, “Bob’s Burgers”

Bob's Burgers

5. Q: For the showrunners (of ‘Terra Nova’), I have a time-paradox question.
Brannon Braga: Oh, dear God.
Q: Aren’t the people who sent them back, who aren’t going back with them, worried about being fixed out of existence? And what exactly are they hoping to achieve by doctoring the past, and why are the people in the present not worried about being unmade by them?
Brannon Braga: I feel like we’re at a “Star Trek” convention.

6. Q: I have a question about the timeline (of ‘Terra Nova’). 85 million years ago, it seems to me 20 million years from then, there’s a giant asteroid that destroys all life on Earth?
Alex Graves: Yes. The series will not go 20 million years.
Brannon Braga: Let’s just say that they’re acutely aware of that fact and have a plan in mind.
Rene Echevarria: And they have 20 million years to effect that plan.

7. “I take the subway all the time, and when I go on, the first thing I do is I say, ‘Don’t everybody get up. It’s me. It’s Colonel Quaritch from ‘Avatar,’ but keep your seats,’ you know, because I really don’t want to be recognized by people.” – Stephen Lang, “Terra Nova”

Stephen Lang

8. “I had this idea where it was basically like…I’m pretty responsibile. I work hard at what I do, but I sometimes forget to return DVDs…back when you actually returned DVDs…or I forget to pay parking tickets. Then I realized that, if I just budgeted like $300 a year for the cost of being Bob, like a Bob Tax, that I wouldn’t beat myself up about it or whatever.” – Bob Fisher, “Traffic Light”

9. “(With ‘Lone Star,’) we made a show that we really loved, and we thought that the creators were very talented, and they made an excellent show. I think, for the most part, you guys really believed in the show and liked the show as well. And we put the show on, and not enough people showed up to watch it. And we were very disappointed in that. And it’s the reality of the business that we’re in. It’s intensely competitive. It’s always more competitive year after year. And you make the show — the best shows that you can. The truth is that it failed. It failed to meet the expectations that we had. It doesn’t mean that that we don’t like the show, that we don’t respect the people who made it. Kevin (Reilly) and I talk about this a lot. I’d much prefer to fail with a show that we’re creatively proud of than fail with a show that we’re — I guess ’embarrassed of’ would be one word — that we don’t believe in, that we don’t think has a level of originality and creativity.” – Peter Rice

10. Odette Yustman: I have a love interest (on ‘Breaking In’). I have a boyfriend named Dutch, who is played by the genius Michael Rosenbaum. He’s a supercool guy, and I think that they are going to try to bring him in more throughout the series, but he’s a very interesting fellow. He sells clean urine on eBay. Enough said.
Q: I’ve got to ask because I think this needs to be known: what on earth does anyone do with clean urine? Who would buy it?
Christian Slater: Drug testing.
Bret Harrison: To pass a drug test, yes.
Christian Slater: Drug testing. See, what you do is…well, we can really do a whole lecture here.

  

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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!’”

Read the rest of this entry »

  

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A Preview of Bullz-Eye’s Chat with Stephen Lang of “Avatar”

Stephen Lang is having a heck of a good year. Not only did “Public Enemies” find him once again teaming up with his old buddy Michael Mann (the two worked together back in the day, on “Crime Story” and “Manhunter”), but he also picked up a plum role in “The Men Who Stare At Goats.” And how’s he going to be following those two solid gigs? By turning up in one of the most anticipated films of the year: James Cameron’s “Avatar.” Bullz-Eye had a chance to chat with Lang about his experience as a a player in those films, as well as some of the many other roles he’s played in his career, including his work “Gods and Generals,” “Last Exit to Brooklyn,” and others, and you’ll be able to check out that chat in its entirety next week. But as a Thanksgiving treat, here are a few quotes to get you psyched for the full feature…

* On finding his way into “Avatar”: “I’d auditioned for ‘Aliens’ about 20+ years ago, and (James Cameron) talked about that in our conversation, so, y’know, I’ve kind of gone on record as saying that this was the world’s longest callback. But what happened was Margery Simkin, who is his casting director on Avatar, showed him…for my show (‘Beyond Glory’), the ad in the New York Times and other papers is this kind of really hard-nosed military shot, very macho, and Margery said, ‘Hey, Jim, look at this!” And he went, ‘Huh. Lang. Huh.’ And then at the same time, they both kind of went, ‘Quaritch!’ So that was it. It was very fortuitous, you know?”

* On first reading the script: “Because he’s an excellent writer and extremely descriptive and specific, (James Cameron) paints a very, very clear picture of what’s happening and what this world is. And, you know, it never for a moment entered my mind to doubt that he would make it real. I mean, that may be because I have a good kind of reader’s imagination, in a way. You know, I’m able to visualize. Like, I believe magicians. I’m a good audience for magic and stuff. I tend to make that bargain with a writer quite easily, and so it just never occurred to me that it would be anything less than what it said it was going to be on the page. And I look at that now, and I think, ‘God, that was kind of lamebrained of you. This is weird, difficult stuff that doesn’t exist.’ But he’s got such a great team of colleagues and people who are committed to his vision on this thing that it’s all come together.”

* On his character, Col. Quaritch: “He’s an old Marine, and he’s very hard and tough, he’s very skilled, he’s very ironic, he’s very sharp. And he’s something of a cynic, which is never a good thing to be, but he is. He’s got kind of a jaundiced view of the mission now, because it seems doomed to failure on a daily basis, and his job is basically to keep his people alive. It’s a flat-out hard thing to do, y’know? And there’s kind of a hearts-and-minds attitude that he really can’t cope with. It’s difficult to do your job when you’re interested in preserving more than protecting. So I think it’s kind of brought some hardness and change in him. It just makes him into a pretty tough guy. But at the same time, there’s so much that’s admirable about him, which makes him kind of intriguing, because I don’t think you doubt his resolve, you don’t doubt his personal qualities or his courage or honor. He kind of carries the vestiges of the Marines with him.”

* On getting in shape for the role: “I was relatively buff, because I was working in a tanktop half the time on stage, anyway, but I just went kind of into hyperdrive after that and really worked to beat that old body into shape, to get that carcass where…I didn’t want to be looking at it and see anything hanging where it shouldn’t be hanging.”

* On what he’s seen of the film thus far: “When you see it in its final form…and there are many pieces that I’ve seen in their final form…it’s quite stunning. You just kind of go, ‘Oh, yeah. That’s it.’ But, still, even what I’ve seen it in its final form, I haven’t seen it in, say, IMAX, let alone IMAX 3D. I haven’t seen it on the big screen. I haven’t seen it with Horner’s music. You know what I mean? So there are things that I haven’t seen. But what I have seen…I mean, I remember looking at pieces of it over two years ago, when I was looking at some of it in fairly rudimentary form, just sort of animation templates, and even that stuff was exciting to me. You could just imagine what it was going to be like, and to watch the metamorphosis has been totally cool.”

* On how people should approach “Avatar”: “Just approach it like a movie and enjoy it. Buy your popcorn, put on your 3D glasses, and take the ride. And then when you’re done, come out, talk about it, and then go back and see it again, because there’s a lot to see, y’know? (James Cameron) makes films that are popular for everybody, but they’re also very, very much for audiences of sophistication and discernment. There’s a lot to see on his pictures. I mean, look, I think it is unrealistic to think that you can do kind of ‘Titanic’ numbers on it, but nevertheless, that’s what you strive to do. But for my part, I just wanted to play my role in this whole process as fully and as well as I could. I just wanted to hold up my end of it.”

Check out the latest “Avatar” trailer – the three-and-a-half minute one – by clicking here, and be sure to keep your eye on Bullz-Eye for the full-length chat with Stephen Lang!

  

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