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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Don’t let TBS’s “Glory Daze” pass you by

When it comes to TBS’s original programming, I was never afraid to indicate my disappointment with the way the network perpetually left the late, great “My Boys” floundering on their schedule without any other series that matched its comedic tone, and having watched the pilot for their new series, “Glory Daze,” an hour-long comedy which looks at life in college circa 1986, I have an immediate fear that I could well see history repeat itself…and that would be very disappointing, indeed.

Not that it’s necessarily the most original concept in the world, you understand. Even if you were to set aside the not-insignificant number of college-life movies that exist, from “Animal House” and “Back to School” to “Van Wilder” and “Old School,” you’d still have several top-notch TV series which have tackled the same topic, including “Greek,” “Undeclared,” and…wait, “The Paper Chase”? Who put that in here?

Well, anyway, you get my point: “Glory Daze” is not the first show about college to come down the pike…and, yet, I was immediately intrigued by the twist of having the show take place in 1986. I admit, the predominant reason it intrigues me is because I actually started college in the fall of ’87 (although if I find out that at least half of the writing isn’t over the age of 40, I shall disassociate myself from the program post-haste). That, and the fact that I heard “Make a Circuit with Me” by the Polecats played during the pilot, which earned the show some serious street-cred points.

Here’s what TBS’s press release on the show has to say:

Big hair, New Wave music and acid-wash jeans – TBS is returning to 1986 fo the new, one-hour comedy series “Glory Daze.” Set on an Indiana college campus, “Glory Daze” features a cast fresh faces, including Kelly Blatz (“Aaron Stone”), Callard Harris (“Sons of Anarchy”), Matt Bush (“High School”), Drew Seeley (“Freshman Father”), Hartley Sawyer (“Killian”), and Julianna Guill (“My Alibi”). Tim Meadows (“Saturday Night Live,” “Mean Girls”) also stars as a recently divorced, very liberal professor with a chip on his shoulder.

“Glory Days” premieres on TBS Tuesday, November 16, at 10 PM (EST / PST). “Glory Days” follows the fun – and awkward – misadventures of four freshmen as they navigate college life, trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be. Joel (Blatz) is a typical guy next door who is determined to keep his focus on pre-med, at least until he meets his unattainable dream girl, Christie (Guill). Eli (Bush) is a virgin who desperately wants to be cool. Jason (Seeley) is a buttoned-down conservative, attached at the hip to his preppy girlfriend. Brian (Sawyer) is a star baseball player strugglign to get out of his father’s shadow. Together, the guys agree to check out fraternity houses, finally coming to the steps of Omega Sigma, where they are greeted by pledge recruiter Reno (Harris). Intrigued by the fraternity’s cool factor, their fate is sealed. They begin a journey that will make a lifetime of memories.

Yeah, I have a bad feeling that the show could well slip into the trap of making too many jokes about things that haven’t yet happened – there’s already been a moment where two students make disparaging comments about the concept of “electronic mail” – but having just suffered through the excruciating experience of watching “Blue Mountain State: Season One,” I am hard pressed to dismiss any college show which appears to be more interested in focusing on the bonds of friendship rather than sex, drugs, and binge drinking.

Not that there won’t be plenty of all of those things going on in “Glory Daze,” too. I mean, hell, it is a show about college.

And speaking of that, now it’s your turn to participate: what are some of your own favorite college memories? Leave ’em in the comments section below…and, remember, you get bonus points if the memories in question originally took place between the years 1986 and 1991!

  

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