Thursday, June 17, 2010

Interview with... Robbie Rist

What do Cousin Oliver from The Brady Bunch, and Michaelangelo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have in common? If you don't already know, you're about to find out!

The Brady Bunch was a whole hit TV sensation, and remains so today. In the later portion of the series, for six episodes, they had a cousin come live with them; Cousin Oliver.

Oliver was played by Robbie Rist, of whom it is my esteemed honour to interview.

1. People love The Brady Bunch, even to this day. What was it like on set?

I was nine. It was awesome. Surrounded by grownups telling me how funny I was. (and I was pretty damn funny)

2. Any memories you care to tell us about your time playing the cousin, Oliver?

Susan splitting my lip open on the teeter totter (we were screwing around and I flipped up over the handlebars and slid on my face all the way down.....). You can see this big ole carbunkle on my lip on the last couple of episodes.

3. You’ve gone on to a very successful career as a voice actor. How did you get involved in this aspect of the industry?

I was with an agency that had a kid's department, print, print commercial and VO. Whenever the VO department needed a young voice they would come down to the kids department and have us read. I started picking up more and more work and soon VO overshadowed on-camera. Which was fine with me. VO definitely appeals to my ADHD.

4. What can you tell us about being the voice of Michaelangelo in all three live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies?

A crazy good experience in that I seem to keep stumbling in to these giugs that really enter the cultural zeitgeist and stay there. There seem to always be new turtle fans. And I am the only one who is the voicve in all three movies. heard Mike Bay is gonna produce a new one. I'm guessing they won't call me in because they want to 're-invent' again....sigh....

5. How did you get involved in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles productions?

Auditioned for it. Got. Not a tough gig for me as I went to high school with the surfers who almost invented that cadence.

6. What can you tell us about Galactica 1980?

I was so thrilled to be involved as I was a huge fan. Too bad I was involved with the Galactica that sucked.

WOW! Thank you Robbie!
Man, honestly, I loved doing this interview with Robbie.
If you liked what you read and you wish to comment, please do. You can also email me at

Until next time.

Interview with... Krista Sutton

I really hope you guys enjoy this next interview.

It'd be a hoot for me to find that you've gone out and rented Amercian Psycho, based purely on this interview with Krista Sutton.


1. Your reflection is on the movie poster of American Psycho. How do you feel about that?

Well, first off, to be a part of that movie, with that cast and with director Mary Harron, was a thrill -- so, to have my work "live on" on the poster was a really cool bonus. This was a groundbreaking film and that scene became so controversial and recognizable...for it to be used on the poster and in press as a lasting image for the film made sense. I am proud to have been a part of it in any way.

2. What was it like on the set?

Mary Harron and her design team were exacting from what I saw. Every minute detail was scrutinized to portray the 80s in the most authentic way... so a long discussion could take place about an ashtray. I remember being nervous about the chocolate ("Varda Truffle?") we were eating and the PRISTINE white set which represented "Patrick Bateman's apartment". It was interesting as well (for the short time I was there) to watch Christian Bale and Mary work. They were a great, intense team...debating each moment in the story and in the characters. Exciting to watch. Christian Bale stayed quite inward and in would have to, with that role. During filming of "the" scene it was a "closed set" and very respectful and professional. It was an intense scene so there were some moments where we blew off steam and laughed a little but mainly we were concentrating on what we were trying to portray and to do our work as actors.

3. What can you tell us about Stir Of Echoes: The Homecoming?

Ernie Barbarash, the director and writer of Stir of Echos:The Homecoming was also a co-producer on American Psycho. We were at the premiere together at Sundance. He was in Toronto (where I am from) shooting and I went in to meet with him about this fun role where I would play the brassy but loveable best friend of Rob Lowe's character's wife's (the lovely Marnie McPhail). I had a blast working with him. And of course Rob Lowe is a real was great to work with him too!

4. Can you please tell us about acting roles you have taken on, outside of film?

My most recent (favorite) role has been as a Mommy in real life:) I have recently been doing voice over work including some Audio Books which has been a new and intense challenge. I did several for Meg Cabot who writes so authentically for young audiences. I love theatre too. Most recently I played Pam opposite Hunter Foster and Sally Struthers in The Full Monty. I also starred in and co-produced a musical called This Could be Love. We brought it to NYC to the NY Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) where it sold out and got great reviews. I had been nominated in Canada for a Dora for this role (The Dora's are Canada's Tonys) so this show is dear to me. I did some TV guest roles too...but....did I tell you I had a baby? lol.

5. What would be a dream role for you?

I would love to do a comedy TV series. I love drama but comedy is my true love. Tina Fey is my girl-crush.
Oh, and...This Could be Love is a comedy....taking that to Broadway would be dreamy also.
ummm....and a big fat film role too.
Ahh so many dream roles, so little time.
sigh. I love my job.

6. Is there an event and/or charity you would like to bring to our attention?

I have been involved for many years in Arts education and in bringing the arts to "at-risk" youth as well as schools where arts programming has been cut. The Arts are not a luxury. They are a necessity to the human soul and to development of well-rounded, involved, engaged and peaceful adults!!

7. What’s coming up next for you?

A film that I co-wrote and star in called A Wake was at the marketplace at Cannes and has been submitted to festivals. I hope that it will get a release at some point in the near future. I am also hoping to do a run of This Could be Love in Los Angeles soon. The rest? Only the actor-gods know ;)
Thank you very much Krista. You were a sheer delight to interview and I wish you all the very best continued success.
What did you think of this interview? Please comment, or email me directly at
Until next time!

Interview with... Norman Orenstein

A film score can sometimes literally make or break a movie.
I could do into immense detail as to this argument, giving you opinion on which movie had the better score, and why.
And by whom.
However I'm providing you with some insider info courtesy of Norman Orenstein.

1. How does the type of movie affect your work as a composer?

Movies are produced through the efforts of many people with a large array of talents. Typically, by the time the film composer sees a fine cut of a film (or a rough cut), the director has done his or her work capturing the performances of the actors and establishing the "look and feel" of the film. As the music score is one of the final elements created for the film, the musical score may be the last opportunity to push or pull the emotional and visceral senses. The composer's effect on a film is arguably substantial. Film composers provide their talents just as the other professionals who preceded them, the writers, directors, directors of photography, editors and so on. The music that I compose for a movie comes from the inspiration derived from that "look and feel" of the film along with the direction I am given. Each film is different, each director and producer has a different vision. I simply do my best to deliver what is asked of me. In the end, I meet my deadline.

2. Do you have much pre-release insight and exposure to the movies you compose?

My involvement is usually during the post-production stage so I do see some of the pre-release activity. As composer, I am informed and supplied with the progress on visual effects as well as any dialog changes or picture editing alterations. Occasionally I will meet actors who come around for any ADR sessions. I'm often in earshot of producers business regarding screenings, promotion and distribution issues and the occasional lawsuit.

3. Can you tell us a personal favourite movie you have worked on?

I have enjoyed almost all of the films I have worked on. Working with Ernie Barbarash ("American Psycho 2", "Hypercube", "Cube Zero", "Stir of Echoes: the Homecoming") is always fun. George A. Romero's return to independence, "Diary of the Dead" is also a favorite of mine.

4. Which is your favourite musical instrument?

My main instrument is the guitar. I started out playing blues guitar and I still love it. My favorite instrument might be the Waterphone.

5. What’s coming up next for you?

I cant really talk about what coming up, but I can tell you about a film that has been completed. It is a horror film that was shot primarily in China and it is called "Walking the Dead". I am currently scoring the series "Forensic Factor" and "Case Crackers" and recently finished a documentary series called "Ancients Behaving Badly".

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions Norman!

What did you think of this interview? Please comment, or email me directly at
Until next time.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Interview with... Eric Spudic

There's no greater form of escapism than horror movies.
And when it comes to horror movies, there's no greater person to talk to about them than Eric Spudic.


1. What drew you to work in the horror genre?

I love blood and guts! The first films I purchased when I got my first vcr were NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, CHILD'S PLAY, CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS, DAY OF THE DEAD, and PET SEMATARY. Just enjoy seeing zombies, vampires, werewolves, killer kids, creepy dolls, and death. My favorite thing is getting killed, ha!

2. Some of the movies you’ve appeared in have some far-out titles, such as Werewolf In A Women’s Prison. What’s up with that?

Movies with funky titles always stand out on the resume. Plus, they seem to get rented more on Netflix. Sometimes I'll submit my headshot/resume based on the title alone.

3. How does horror challenge you as an actor?

Horror lets you adrenalize. I actually like running, jumping, yelling, stabbing, and acting terrified. The horror films are often the best demo reel material because you're at your most serious. I enjoy those tense situations, the suspense. Horror can be pretty grueling, take after take. Especially when you're covered in blood or wearing dentures.

4. How does horror challenge you as an actor?

I often fart during filming.

5. What has been your funniest moment on set?

Once a year I go to Fangoria. I've also been to Twisted Nightmare Weekend and Chiller.

6. What would be a dream movie role for you?

The dream role would be to play a vigilante who has to avenge his family's death. Always been a sucker for films like DEATH WISH, THE ANNIHILATORS, AMERICAN COMMANDOS, and THE EXTERMINATOR.

If these titles float your boat I recommend you check out
Sorry I couldn't actually find any images of Eric, however these movie posters seem pretty snazzy, yeah?
I'd particularly love to watch Werewolf In A Women's Prison too.... Gee, I wonder why?
What did you think of this interview? Please comment, or email me directly at

Interview with... Pamela Sutch

I don't know about you, but a big drawcard for me with watching horror movies is the beautiful actresses which always seem to find their way into mischief.
Needless to say, when the opportunity came to interview Pamela Sutch, I grabbed it!
The opportunity, not Pamela. :)

1. What do you think makes horror movies so popular?

I think, for the younger generation, they just like to get scared. As a teenager I was mystified by paranormal experiences. I guess that's just natural for all kids. Eventually you grow out of it and your standards for a good horror movie are much higher.

2. Do you enjoy working in this genre?

Horror movies aren't the only genre that I have worked in, but yes, I have done my share. I do enjoy aspects of them. I'm a character driven actress and these movies are a lot of times driven by strange quirky personalities. Also, if your an actress working in b-indie movies, chances are good they will be horror/sci-fi. That just so happens to be the genre that distributers are much easier to except and get out there.

3. What preparation work do you do before each role?

If there are a lot of lines (monologues), I will speak the lines out loud numerous times until they flow and are memorized. Sometimes there are tongue twisting sentences that aren't in your normal way of speaking. So you have to say them until they roll out comfortably. After that, I can begin to feel the words and develop the character. I will then add some kind of movement/props. Then, most important, I will listen to what the co-actors are saying and react off of them. That's the key for me. Feel from what they are giving me.

4. What would be a dream project for you?

I'm working on it now. I just about have a completed feature length script that I will soon begin to look for backing to produce. The main character ends up with a case of amnesia and then develops flashbacks. It will have some horror elements + action/martial arts, lots of twists and turns and a great ending. I will produce it under my Siren Tales Productions name,, and it will be the largest production that I have produced/directed.

5. Do you have any new releases coming out that you acted in?

Look forward to the release of "Warriors of the Apocalypse" on ITN distribution. That's an Action/martial art horror flick by Killer Wolf films. I was fortunate to have a nice leading role and plenty of fight scenes which feature my martial art abilities.

6. When you’re not working, what do you do for fun?

Socialize, dance, sing, go to picnics, see bands, have a nice glass of red wine, dinner at outside cafe's, ride a bike, swim, plant flowers, laugh, watch movies, eat ice cream, walk, exercise, feed the birds, hug my cat, see family, street fairs in the city, shopping, hiking, long walks....and sleep.

7. Have you ever attended a Horror convention?

Yes, I attended many of them years back. Not so much anymore, my direction has changed a bit.

Thanks for your time with the interview Pamela. I sure had fun reading your responses.
I hope the readers did too.
What did you think of this interview? Please comment, or email me directly at
Until next time!

Interview with... Gary Portnoy

This interview was both a blessing and a curse.

Everyone knows the TV show, Cheers, right? Gary Portnoy composed the theme song.
As such by the time I'd finished Gary's interview and got his responses I had the theme stuck in my head for days.

Now, that's the makings of a good composer!
I hope you enjoy this interview. I can guarantee you, Gary will answer an age-old question, and settle a very-long running dispute.
Thanks Gary! Enjoy.

1) The Cheers theme song is known the world over. This must be a great feeling to you as a composer.

Indeed it is. For a writer it is truly a blessing to be able to create something that resonates all around the globe. I am very grateful for that!

2) What was it like composing this iconic theme?

Well, when you are composing a song you have no sense of what it might one day become. It is just another “child” that you hope will have the best life possible. I will say that I did have a deep feeling when we were working on it. But the “iconic” part can only come with time.

3) What can you tell us about your work on the theme?

On my website I have written in great detail about the “birth” of the Cheers Theme and many people have told me that they have enjoyed reading the story.

4) What other musical pieces have you worked on?

On my website, under "Gary's bio", there is a story called “One Writer’s Journey Through The Trenches Of The Music Business” and it follows my career from its very beginnings to the present time.

5) What’s coming up next for you?

Nowadays I am more into collecting mid-Century American and British Studio Pottery. But every now and then, whenever my musical muse appears, I always pay attention !!

6) It’s been a point of conjecture between my brother and I for years. You’re the only man who could possible answer this, settling a long-standing discussion. Did Woody Harrelson sing the Cheers theme song?

No. Gary Portnoy sang the Cheers theme song.

Thank you very much Gary.
Now all I can say to my brother is, "Ha! I knew I was right.
What did you think of this interview? Please comment, or email me directly at
Until next time.

Interviw with... Neil Ross

Trust me when I tell you, voice-actors are always a hoot to interview.
Fans of the cartoon GI Joe will know my next interviewee quite well.
Neil Ross provided the voice for Shipwreck in GI Joe. He has also provided a lot of other voices along the way.

This makes for a fun interview.
Read on.

1. How do you prepare before taking on a new voice-over acting role?

I did a lot of the preparation when I was a kid compulsively listening to albums by Peter Sellers, Peter Ustinov, Jonathan Winters and others over and over again not even knowing why. After that, whenever I needed a voice or an accent to pay off a joke in the lunch court at school it would come to me. I started out ripping off those folks and gradually developed some of my own stuff. When you audition for a game or animation project you don’t get a lot of time to prepare. You have to think fast and improvise. There’s no ‘secret’ to what I do. I look at the visuals of the character and read the character description and if all goes well, I start hearing a voice in my head which I try to reproduce and I hope the powers that be like it.

2. You’ve worked on some iconic shows in the past. Do you have a personal favourite?

Some shows I remember fondly because they were great fun to do. Sometimes you get a really great group of people to work with but unfortunately the results aren’t what you’d hoped for. But in the end I guess I’d say my favourites are the ones that were successful and are remembered. Transformers, G.I. Joe and Spiderman come to mind. I also recall Voltron with great fondness. It was the first really big project I ever got to work on.

3. Do you have a favourite character you have provided the voice for?

Again, a lot of folks remember Shipwreck in G.I. Joe and he was a fun character to play so he would be a favourite. The Norman Osborne/Green Goblin combo in Spiderman was an interesting challenge. I also had a lot of fun playing the pompous newscaster Whitley White in Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. I was usually trying not to crack up as I performed his lines. Then there was Honest John in the feature film An American Tail. What a thrill to work in a Steven Spielberg project.

4. How does it feel knowing you’ve worked on some of the 80’s and 90’s iconic cartoon characters, beloved to this day?

I started out in radio and there were two sayings about that business: ‘You’re only as good as your last show.’ And: ‘All we’re doing here is writing on water.’ So many of my old radio buddies have been forgotten and it’s a shame. Some of the cartoon shows and characters I played have given me a bit of a legacy and that’s very gratifying.

5. Have you ever attended a convention to meet the fans of your work?

I’ve appeared at ComiCon in San Diego two or three times on Mark Evanier’s Animation Voice-over panel. I haven’t done any specific show conventions.

6. What’s coming up next for you?

I’m booked to be the announcer on the AFI Tribute to Mike Nichols which airs in late June. I’ve been working on a game titled Rage which comes out in 2011.

Thanks for the interview Neil!
I hope you guys dug that. It was a hoot to conduct, let me tell you!
What did you think of this interview? Please comment, or email me directly at
I always appreciate feedback.

Interview with... Jeffrey Weissman

And now for the little-known tale of George McFly.

I'll let my interviewee fill you in on what I'm referring to, and I can assure you you're in for one VERY interesting interview.

It is with great honour that I bring to you my interview with Jeffrey Weissman.

1. How did you get involved with Back To The Future?

I got involved in the Back to the Future films by auditioning. An agent called me and asked if I'd go in to be a photo double/stand in for Crispin. They didn't tell me that Crispin was not returning to the role until just before the shoot.
I met with the assistant directors, then read for casting directors, then had make up effects created and did a screen test, and then was hired.

2. What was it like on the set of both films?

Being on the set was hard work and fun. I got on well with Bob Z., MJF, Lea, Tom, Billy and others. It's a lot like plugging into a family when you work on a film, and since these folks were together before, it was nice to be the new adopted relative on the set. Though the make up unnerved folks, since production decided to try to use Crispin's likeness without his approval, and ultimately they had to pay him off for doing so.
I'd often be in make up four hours before needing to be on the set. So if we were starting the shoot at 8:30 am, I'd be in the make up trailer at 4:00am to get the appliances on. I played George ages 17 & 77 in part 2 and age 47 in part 3. People still don't realize that there is a different actor in the recreated scenes in both films. Ultimately it was a mixed blessing, because the producers and Crispin didn't get along, and it was unfortunate that I was caught in the middle of their ego & bad business battle.I have benefited from being a part of the films mostly from the appreciation of the fan base. I've made many wonderful friends and acquaintances from around the world at my appearances at DeLorean Car Shows and Fan Conventions.

3. What can you tell us about working on Pale Rider?

Pale Rider was a great experience. My hard working agent found out that Chris Penn had moved out of the role of Eddy Conway (He wanted to play a "bad guy"), so Chuck LaFont, who was cast as Teddy moved into the Eddy role, and the Teddy role came open, and Warner Brothers feature casting were going to try to cast from their own files rather than put it out in breakdown services. My agent thought I would be perfect for the role, I went in and auditioned on tape for Clint, and he cast me. I didn't meet Clint until just before shooting my first scene and I had a funny moment where I followed him down where he was scouting the shot that was to be filmed after my shot, and when he turned to me (I was standing behind him), I said, "Mr. Eastwood, I just wanted to introduce myself before we started shooting, etc", and he said, "I know who you are, who do you think hired you?".

4. How was it working alongside Clint Eastwood?

We had a great cast & crew on the film. Everyone adored Sidney Penny, and her folks were very friendly and supportive of everyone. (Her Pop, Hank Penny, is the legendary country music song writer/performer.) Once again, it became like a family. I got close to Carrie Snodgrass, who had an amazing talent, and fought hard for her character to do things that originally wasn't scripted. Michael Moriarty is another incredible talent that has a very compassionate soul. Richard Dysart, Richard Kiel, Billy Drago, JD Johnson, SA Griffin, Fran Ryan, many fine talents Clint put together and we all got on nicely. There were a few bumps in the road. A blizzard came in and shut us down for three days while on location in Ketchem/Sun Valley, Idaho, and we also had to endure some freezing temperature and winds. Clint & Bruce Surtees had the main set built on top of a mountain, so everywhere Bruce set his camera there would be a breath taking view. The Sawtooth, Salmon River, White Cloud Mountains were majestic, and it shows in every outside shot.
Clint let me take some chances. I was playing a half wit, and I often would let Teddy get so excited that his feet would give out from under him. We didn't get to use any of that footage, but I heard that it was funny. I had a great time building the character. I had Teddy fishing in trickles of water, and obsessed with going to the mercantile for candy. The scene where Spider, "my Daddy" gets shot took three days to shoot. If you look closely, Doug (Spider) is standing in sunlight, and when you cut to Chuck & I (Eddy & Teddy) on the porch of Blankenship's Mercantile, we are in a blizzard. And when we finally get over to Spider's dead body on the last day of shooting that scene all the snow had melted, so Clint had to bring in the sow machine, and when Blankenship comes over to the boys, you see chunks of "snow" blow through the air (real snow doesn't act like that). I recall during the ADR (automated dialogue replacement) sessions Chuck & I were fooling around doing imitations of animals in the studio, while waiting for Clint & company to return from lunch. And we were oblivious that Clint had returned and was enjoying our animal impressions. We stopped when we realized he was there, but he insisted that we record some of the imitations. At the beginning of the film, there is a goat running down a hill, and you can hear my goat impression dubbed for the goat in the shot.

5. You've established yourself in film, commercials, and TV, as well as teaching the art of acting. How do you find teaching other actors?

I enjoy teaching and watching actor talents discover the tools it takes to work authentically and fully. I teach a very strict technique for cold reading and scene study that really demands getting out your critical mind, and allow the character to move in. And I use elements of several classic acting teachers' techniques: fantasy work, emotional recall and objective personalization as back ups for when your well runs dry during long shoots.I also teach and mentor writers developing projects, and I work with directors on how to communicate in actor terms. You can see where I'm teaching at my website, on the news &/or teaching pages

6. What can you tell us about your extensive career in theatre?

I love to act. I started in theater, and there is nothing to compare to the live audience reward for me. I have years playing Shakespeare to modern scripts, environmental productions, where the audience is immersed into a show (sometimes playing roles themselves), and I've lots of improv shows under my belt. The improv forces you to go into the unknown and not preplan and tell stories. There is nothing better than to tell a great story in an instant, and have the audience respond, "there's no way you didn't pre-write that show"!

7. Are there any charities/events you would like to discuss?

I do as much as I can for charities. It's good for the soul, and as a "public figure" I sometimes get awareness out to the needs of these great causes. I've emceed, auctioneered, hosted and played characters at events for The National Brain Tumor Society (I lost my older brother Michael to a brain tumor in '86), The Michael J Fox Parkinson's Research Foundation & Team Fox, The National Heart Association, The Jeffrey Foundation, The Crones & Colitis Foundation, The Buck Institute, The WillMar Center for bereaved children, WeSpark Cancer Support Center, the Mentor Me Program, Make A Wish, the Motion Picture Home and others. I often give percentage of my proceeds from live appearances to charities too.

Now, talk about an interesting interview! Am I right? Am I right?!
You bet I am!

Thank you very much to Jeffrey. Everyone truly, Jeffrey's a great guy. He was an enthusiastic about this interview as I was, and I couldn't be happier.
Thanks again.
What did you think of this interview? Please comment, or email me directly at
Okay everyone, until next time...

Interview with... Bobby Ray Shafer

I love it when I line up an interview, and the person being interviewed says, "Who put you up to this?" Haha.
It's that kind of humour that's the reason I interviewed Bobby Ray Shafer in the first place.

You'll find Bobby as Bob Vance in The Office.
And now on to the interview....

1. You’ve appeared on some of TV’s greatest shows. From an actor’s point of view, how do you feel about this?

I have? Really? Which ones? But seriously, it's an honor, because it means that you're getting to work with some of the best and brightest. Also, the next theater playbill bio and/or the L.A. Times obituary should read pretty solid. "Too bad he's dead! Look at these credits!"

2. You’ve been in comedy, drama, and even more comedy. Which do you prefer, and why?

Comedy is more fun, but drama allows you to journey into heightened emotional realms. It's a far easier day romping about with Steve Carell as Michael Scott at Dunder-Mifflin than having your fingers cut-off and watching your family members murdered as I did in the upcoming home-invasion thriller: 'KNIFEPOINT.' But they both have their rewards and satisfactions; though the dramas (and violence) have a way of taking longer to recover from both physically and emotionally.

3. What has been your favourite show to work on, so far?

THE OFFICE. Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration.

4. Can you tell us about acting work you have been involved in, outside of TV?

I've done thirty films and dozens of commercials and theater productions. Years ago, while bar tending at Nicky Blair's on Sunset (see Jack Nicholson's: 'THE CROSSING GUARD'), I met Telly Savalas, and I asked him for the title of a film that I had just seen him in (on late night TV) where he played a Confederate soldier hacking up people with a sword in a silver mine in Nevada. He looked at me and said: "Son, I've got no fucking idea which one it was." So I've always aspired to get to that level where you can't even remember all the parts. As Joe Ely sings it: "I've got no destination -- and I'm halfway there."

5. What’s coming up next for you?

Next up is a feature film in Thailand entitled: 'KING OF VAMPIRES,' in which I play a German Mercenary. I have a TV series in development that I wrote entitled: 'THE DUKE'; about a P.I. who thinks and acts like John Wayne. D.B. Sweeney and I have an internet series that we're launching entitled: 'THE OPPORTUNIST,' which is a 'FUGITIVE' style scenario, and I'm also working on a feature-mockumentary: 'ALL ABOUT DICK,' wherein B-Movie Director Dick Dix does porn. And season 7(!) of THE OFFICE resumes shooting in July. My airplane disaster movie: 'TURBULENT SKIES' with Brad Dourif is being released soon and also look for the aforementioned: 'KNIFEPOINT.'

See Bob? Top you this was a legit interview. :)
Thanks a bunch for your responses. I thought they were brilliant.
Of course I wish you all the very best.

I hope my readers do too.
What did you think of this interview? Please comment, or email me directly at
Until next time.

Interview with... Patrick Barnitt

I thought Se7en was a particularly creepy movie, especially because of Kevin Spacey.
When he wants to, he can be downright evil.

What's even more creepy is the resemblance between Kevin Spacey and my interviewee, Patrick Barnitt.
But therein lies the story. And what a story it is!
Read on.

What requirements were needed to be Kevin Spacey’s body double in Se7en?

I got a call from an agent who asked me if I could meet David Fincher right away about doubling Kevin Spacey in a film called Se7en. I drove immediately to New Line and met with the Assistant Director, Michael Kahn. We talked and said.."You're perfect, we need to send you over to Fincher right away."
I met with David and he very quickly told me I had to do study the final scene in the desert so that all of the movements would match with Spacey's. I studied it for days before we shot. The two other doubles and I played the scene exactly for 2nd Unit and air to ground photography. I was also used in first team with Brad Pitt. Spacey was unavailable to shoot, so they threw me in there which was very cool.
I'm sure that my physical dimensions had a lot to do with getting me the job, being similar in height and weight to Spacey. Both Richie Varga(Pitt's Double) and Duane Shepard(Freeman's Double) were very close in size and stature to the two other leading actors.

Chad And The Alien Toupee certainly sounds interesting. What can you tell us about it?

Chad and the Alien Toupe is a short sci-fi/comedy web-pilot written by Cary Anderson who is an old friend of mine.We shot it last August. I collaborated with a bunch of old pals on this. It was a blast. I played an astronaut. Tim Russ and Robert Picardo from Star Trek: Voyager both appear in the film. It was great to see them after all this time. It was directed by Peter Paul Basler.

Is there a dream character or production you would like to be involved in?

As far as Dream Production is concerned...I'd love to work with Oliver Stone and Martin Scorcese. I'd also love to play the Hollywood Bowl and Madison Square Garden someday.

What’s coming up next for you?

I am currently filming an indie-horror film called, "Coffin" with Kevin Sorbo and Bruce Davidson. It's been a blast. Many late nights! I play one of the leads, the character of Jack Samms. It's being co-directed by Derik Wingo and Kip Tribble, who is also the writer on the project. A great script. Shooting ends next week. After the film, I plan on going into the studio and recording some new material. I also have a national Subway commercial running.

Is there any event or charity you would like to bring to my readers’ attention?

As far as a charity is concerned...Tennessee flooding

Thanks for answering my questions Patrick You've given some great insight here and I really do appreciate it.

I look forward to seeing your future work.
What did you think of this interview? Please comment, or email me directly at

Interview with... Michael Reaves

You've got to love this next interview.
What do Star Wars, Gargoyles, and the TV show Sliders all have in common?
They've all been written by Michael Reaves.

Honestly, any one who has written for Sliders is okay in my book. Man that was a good show!

Enjoy the interview!

1. You've written some of the major cartoons of the 80's and 90's. Are any particular favourite of yours?

BATMAN: TAS, of course-- how often do you get to re-interpret and redefine a legend? And win awards (and get paid) for doing it? Hard to see the down side … GARGOYLES, because it's just as much fun being in on the ground floor and creating something iconic. GHOSTBUSTERS, because I love writing comedy action-adventure -- and I actually got to write a episode called "The Collect Call of Cthulhu". A pity no one knows what a collect call is any more …CENTURIONS, because it gave me the chance to do what is arguably the first "cyberpunk" episode of anything on American TV. And, of course, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, which still nets me more fan mail than any other show.

2. Most of your work has been writing for teams of characters. How is this different from writing for solo characters?

Well, let's not forget Batman -- you don't get much more solo. For the most part, though, it was just a matter of finding the particular character's voice -- which, unfortunately, usually meant finding that character's schtick. Whenever I could, I would try to take the comedy relief/jerk/weak-willed character and give him more depth. Eric from D&D was a good example of this. (An added benefit of doing this is that the actor will generally love you for it, and give you his best effort.)

3. What writing processes do you take on before tackling each project?

"Writing processes"? I suspect you're speaking of something analogous to an actor's "motivation". For my part, I find checking my bank balance can provide considerable motivation.

4. What are the differences between writing for cartoons, as opposed to writing novels?

The main difference is more words = less pay. Other than that, the ability to get inside the characters' heads in a novel, and not as much slavish adherence to structure, there's not that much differ-

Wait. I forgot budget. John Sayles once said something to the effect of never once having the money people tell him that he'll have to forget about Chapter 3 because they're losing the light. Writing a book, your only limit is your imagination, whereas even cartoons have budgets.

Wow! Thank you Michael.
Now if that interview wasn't all kinds of awesome than I don't know what is.
What did you think of this interview? Please comment, or email me directly at

Interview with... Donald F. Glut

This interview is for the people who used to love Saturday morning cartoons.
I'm talking about the good ones, from the 1980's.

He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe, Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends, even DuckTales. Donald F. Glut is the man to thank you these shows, and I bring to you my interview with him.

1. What was it like on the set of King Kong?

Just so people don’t start thinking I’m older than I really am, we’re talking about the 1976 KING KONG! It was actually kind of dull. My then wife and I, and also well-known fan and artist Larry Byrd and his wife, were among hundreds of non-paid extras who were supposed to be the audience when Kong escapes from the Los Angeles Coliseum sports stadium. We sat there for hours while “MC” Bob Hastings tried his best to keep us all entertained and happy. The big Kong robot was rolled onto the “set” with cables supporting it, where it just stood like a statue. People were getting impatient, some of them actually leaving. As some of the extras kept yelling about wanting to see the robot work, Hastings kept assuring them that – if everyone remained patient a little bit longer – they’d see it in action. Finally the Big Moment came and the robot did nothing. Hastings promised that, if the extras came back the next night, the problems with the robot would be dealt with and they’d see it in full operation. No one in my group came back and I’m glad we didn’t.

2. You’ve gone on to write for many TV shows. What do you prefer, live-action or animation?

Live action. Animation scripts are much longer and more detailed to write, because the writer is pretty much directing the movie or TV show on paper. Whereas a live-action script is written in master scenes, leaving the angles and cutting and so forth to the director, an animation script has all the camera movements, cuts, angles and so forth written into the script. This results in a much longer script. A script for a live-action “half-hour” TV show episode can run about 20 or so pages – while I’ve written scripts for “half hour” animation shows exceeding 60 pages. That’s because the director of an animation show mostly works with the voice actors, not the visuals. My animation scripts generally went from my hands to the storyboard artists.

3. What can you tell us about the live-action Spider-Man TV series?

Nothing, really, because I never worked on it. I watched it and it looked pretty cheap to me.

Bad questioning on my part here. I was meant to discuss Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends.

4. Land Of The Lost is considered a cult-classic. It must’ve been fun to write for the series.

Yes, it was. And it paid well, especially in residuals when the series went into syndication. Also, the show featured dinosaurs, in which I am passionately interested.

5. He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe, and Transformers have such avid fans. Does this restrict your writing in any way?

No, because when I was writing for those franchises they hadn’t yet acquired their fan bases. In both cases that you mention I was there at the beginning, creating much of the lore – characters, places, origins, back stories, etc. – before any fans were even aware of these series. Now it’s kind of puzzling, that so many people actually liked those shows so much or were so “inspired” by them. To me both MOTU and TRANSFORMERS were quite silly concepts, even the stuff I created, with a lot of inferior writing and bad animation. To me working on both were just jobs, pretty much what we call “hack” work. I have very little pride regarding either of them.

6. What’s coming up next for you?

Well, I really don’t want to write comic books or animation anymore, although Dark Horse is reissuing in hardcover “archive” books all my old OCCULT FILES OF DR. SPEKTOR comic-book stories, and I am currently doing voice-over acting dubbing in Japanese anime feature-length movies into English. Mostly, though, I’m interested in making movies. My company Frontline Entertainment ( has already made six low-budget, very sexy and campy, mostly horror movies, all of which I wrote and directed. Our most recent movie is BLOOD SCARAB, a combination vampire and mummy film that’s a sequel to four of our previous films. Right now I’m trying to raise funds to make a female werewolf movie. Also, I’m working on yet another supplementary volume in my ongoing DINOSAURS: THE ENCYCLOPEDIA series of books. Finally, a new company called Pulp 2.0 Press has just published my vampire novel BROTHER BLOOD, about a Black vampire in 1969 Los Angeles. That same company will soon follow that book with 13 more of my books, including brand new editions (with all typos corrected!) of my “NEW ADVENTURES OF FRANKENSTEIN” novel series.

Despite my silly questioning I want to thank Donald for taking the time to respond.
You're tops Donald!

I hope my readers enjoyed reading as much as I did conducting the interview.
What did you think of this interview? Please comment, or email me directly at
Until next time.

Interview with... Greg Proops

Now for an interview I'm sure a LOT of people I know will go crazy over.
Don't ask me how, because I'll never reveal how I did it, but I have interviewed the one, the only, Greg Proops.

Greg, as you know, was on the very funny Whose Line Is It Anyway?
And now, on to the interview.

1. Whose Line Is It Anyway has a cult following, even to this day. What was it like on set?

Fun. We laughed and cracked each other up. I still perform with almost evryone from the show so we must have had a good time. we trust each other.The UK guys are all still my friends.

2. I’ve always wanted to know, how do you get involved in a show like this?

They came to san Francisco where I was living and cast McShane and then me. I got lucky.

3. Easy To Assemble is another great show in the making. How do you find this production over, say, The Drew Carey Show?

Well, Illeana puts it all together with her team. It is more labor of love and I adore being part of it. Drew's show was a big network deal and all that.

4. What’s it like working alongside Illeana Douglas?

She is fabulous. It really is all her idea and she killed it.

5. You’ve since gone on to do voice-over work. It must be great to showcase this side of your talent.

It must indeed.

6. The world of Asterix is a childhood favourite of mine. How did you get involved in Asterix And The Vikings?

My friend Jack Fletcher has helped me immensely. He asked for me.

7. Is there any event or charity you would like to bring to my readers’ attention?

Feed people baby. Right in your home town. Give your friend money.

Thank you very much, Greg!

Did you enjoy this interview? I sure did. Got a big kick out of it.
Please comment, or email me directly at
Until next time!

Interview with... Gerald Home

It's amazing the things you can discover when you interview Star Wars-related people.
This interview hits very close to home for me.
That's not a pun on Gerald Home's name. I'm talking about the fact that Gerald has frequented the Athenaeum Hall in my home town of Lilydale.
What are the odds, hey?
Gerald's also the original Mr Muscle too. :)

1. What was it like on Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi?

There are several facets to this question:

First of all, it was the 3rd Star Wars film to be made, and as the first 2 had been monumentally successful world-wide, we all knew that we were working on a film that would be a huge international hit. We also knew that we were part of cinema history, and that we were part of something which had become a global cultural icon - the Star Wars phenomenon.

But having said all that, when you're working on something, you have to try to forget the history, or it could overwhelm you, and everyone must focus on the work at hand at any given moment.

So if you ask me what it was like physically working on ROTJ, the answer is
- it was very hard work! Jabba's Throne Room, for example, wasn't a particularly big set, yet at times there were well over 100 people on it:
actors, mime artists, extras, helpers, costume people, technical crew etc.
Imagine all those people in a relatively small space, then add cameras, hot lights and smoke guns, and you'll begin to picture how hot and sticky it was much of the time - and was even worse once we were inside our masks.

But all that was the nature of the job, to be expected, so there was no complaining by anyone. It was just incredibly exciting to be part of it all.
And we were very well taken care of: each of us had a dresser who removed our masks whenever possible. When it wasn't possible, they used hair dryers to give us fresh air - through any orifice they could find in the masks!

The slightly sad thing was that we were supposed to be heavily featured in scenes with Jabba the Hutt. In fact, we rehearsed before filming started, and worked out lots of "business" to be used in filming. But when all those other people came on set, we often got lost in the crowd, and much of what we had rehearsed wasn't used. It's interesting to think of how the Jabba scenes might have looked if we Jabba's Aliens had been featured more.

2. What can you tell us about your characters on Star Wars?

I can tell you that I'm one of the few actors in Star Wars history who played both Light Side and Dark side characters!

My main character was called Squid Head when we were filming. At the time
(1982) all I knew about him was that he was a Bad Guy, part of the court of the most vile gangster in the galaxy, Jabba the Hutt. That was the character description I was given, so I knew this character was very Dark Side.

Star Wars fans will know that in later years, Squid Head was given the name Tessek, and a whole back story was written about him (in Tales from Jabba's Palace). I only found out about all this a few years ago, and was delighted to learn that I didn't in fact die in the Sail Barge explosion in ROTJ! For over 20 years I had thought I'd been blown up along with Jabba, but no - I had escaped and returned to Jabba's Palace to pick up the money I had embezzled from him! I also learned that my/Tessek's brain is still alive, having been lasered out, and is now kept in a nutrient jar. So you never know, he/I might return one day.

My other character was very Light Side: the Mon Calamari Officer, trusty right-hand man to the nicest man in the galaxy, Admiral Ackbar.

When we were in the middle of shooting the Mon Calamari scenes, I was given
2 pages of additional scenes to learn, with dialogue. These were experimental, involving myself and Ackbar. They weren't used in the final film because the mouth of my Mon Calamari mask wasn't designed to be operated animatronically, and so didn't move convincingly.

I kept 2 call sheets from the Mon Cal filming, one white and one yellow.
Yellow means second unit, usually directed by a second unit director, but the scenes involved were blue screen Battle of Endor scenes, and George Lucas directed them himself because only he knew what (battle scenes) would eventually be in those blue screens.

On the call sheets, I'm called Officer/Controller/Aide, and in the additional scenes all the "Aid" lines were mine.

3. What preparation work did you do, as an actor, for these characters?

People sometimes ask me why I'm not in the credits for Return of the Jedi - but I am there, under Mime Artists, near the end of the credits, after Ewoks.

There were 9 of us employed as Mime Artists, though we all came from various backgrounds: some were actors, like me, who had studied mime, some were puppeteers or acrobats or street mimes and clowns. What we all had in common was that we were all performers who knew how to bring characters to life without the use of dialogue, which isn't easy inside masked costumes.
That's why we were called "Mime Artists", but in fact we were on the same contracts as the actors who worked on ROTJ.

As we were employed to play these very physical roles, the only real preparation we could do was to make sure our bodies were fit and in good shape physically.
There wasn't any real character preparation I could do, other than to remember that Squid Head was a Bad Guy and the Mon Calamari Officer a Good Guy - and as I was playing 2 characters, I worked out different physical shapes for each of them: Squid Head was always very upright and moved stealthily and gracefully, whereas my Mon Cal was more hunched up, reflecting the fact that he was often sitting over a console.

4. My brother and I loved the show, so I¹d like to ask, what can you tell us about your time on the set of Time Gentlemen, Please?

What an interesting question! I'm glad to hear you and your brother liked it. I didn't know it had been shown in Australia (or maybe you've seen it on DVD).

I absolutely loved working on this show: the writing (by Richard Herring) was brilliant and Al Murray was very nice indeed, and totally supportive and appreciative. It was a fun set to work on, with no stress or difficulties.
And watching Phil Daniels work up close was like seeing a lesson in acting for the camera: he was/is very, very good at what he does.

And of course the part of the Leprechaun was a gift for me because I was able to use so many skills at once: puppetry, acting and voice, along with an Irish accent. You'll know that I had a lot of swear words to say. Well, to be honest with you, I found that very liberating! It's not often that an actor gets to talk like that in public, and when you do, you've got to go for it and give it all you've got. So it was a kind of release. Definitely one of my favourite jobs ever - so thank you for asking about it.

While I'm on the subject of my work being seen in Australia, let me tell you about the face inside the Star Wars masks which was seen in TV commercials in Australia in the late 80s and 90s! I was the original Mr Muscle in the TV ads for Mr Muscle products. Who knew all those years ago that Mr Muscle was inside those Return of the Jedi characters?! To refresh you memories, here are links to some of those ads:

Finally, let's talk about the present, as I'm still very much a working
actor: 2 films to watch out for in the coming months, which I think you'll be interested in:

LONDON BOULEVARD, starring Keira Knightley, Colin Farrell, Ray Winstone and a host of others, directed by William Monahan who wrote The Departed. I have a tiny part in this, playing an undertaker, in a scene in a cemetery with Colin Farrell.

CHATROOM, directed by Hideo Nakata (The Ring/Ringu and Dark Water), starring Aaron Kich-Ass Johnson. It's a psychological thriller. I have a small part in this too, though I play an unpleasant character which Star Wars fans won't like! It was a joy to work with Hideo Nakata. I've seen a preview of the film and loved it, though critics at the recent Cannes Film Festival didn't like it much. I guess it's a film for younger people, not middle-aged critics!
I emphasise that my parts in both films are little more than cameos, but I'm not concerned about that: it's almost impossible for actors like me to get parts in Hollywood films shot here in London, so I was thrilled to be involved, even in a small way, with such talented people.

Finally, to Maarten and all the blog readers, what else can I say but...
May the Force be with you all!

Thanks Gerald. I couldn't have put it better myself.
What did you think of this interview? Please comment, or email me directly at

Interview with... Adrienne Wilkinson

Interviewing smart, sexy, funny actresses; that's the life for me!

Adrienne Wilkinson has appeared on Xena: Warrior Princess, ER, Angel, and Days Of Our Lives. So of course I was thrilled to bits when she agreed to be interviewed.
Here you are; enjoy! :)

Photo 1. *

1. What was it like on the set of Xena: Warrior Princess?

Adventurous, magical, funny, exhausting, surprising, daunting, etc. It's hard to encapsulate the experience in a quick answer, but I can say it was one of my very favorite acting experiences. I worked with wonderful people-- fantastic actors and crew to work with, but they were also really great people to know. The stunts were always challenging, the scripts unexpected and everyday was a new adventure. I loved it.

Photo 2. *

2. You’ve done numerous Star Wars video games. What attracts you to the characters?

Maris Brood is my most well known Star Wars character and she is delicious! She has this great story of growing up in a complicated situation and just trying to survive. She is smart and strong and her life has been difficult. She is a Jedi who was finally pushed to the brink of sanity and that allowed the dark side to creep in.
I have additional Star Wars characters that people will have to keep an eye out for in the future.

Photo 3. *

3. What preparation work did you go for the voice of Daphne in the Scooby-Doo video game?

In that game I was the voice match for Sarah Michelle Gellar who had just filmed the Scooby-Doo movie, so my job was to match her voice as exactly as possible. It turns out that our voices are already somewhat similar and I just worked from there to capture both the character of Daphne, but also the specifics of Sarah's delivery.

4. What can you tell us about your work in dance?

I grew up as a dancer. I believe I was first put into classes when I was 2 years old. I studied dance and gymnastic and performed with various groups through my teen years. I dabbled a bit in everything from tap and jazz to lyrical and even Highland dance. I do hope to incorporate those skills into my acting work one day. I'm currently helping to produce a short film that is centered around the life of a dancer who suffered a stroke and tries to recover her dance ability after that. We are only in the early stages at this point, but check back with my website and I will post updates once we get the project underway.

5. People have a fear of public speaking but it’s something you’ve really taken a shine to. Do you have any suggestions for people to overcome this fear?

I'm lucky in that most of my public speaking revolves around my work as an actress and as such, I'm usually speaking in front of fans of the projects I've done, which means the stories I can tell are exactly the ones they want to hear. And no, I don't usually get nervous because that doesn't help the situation. If you are comfortable and having a good time onstage then so will the audience.

6. You’ve received many nominations and awards. I just want to congratulate you on this. It must be a great feeling.

Reflections was a film I completed a couple of years ago, and I am thrilled at the response it received at film festivals. It has received awards at nearly every festival it has appeared in. Of course all of us involved with the film, loved the material, but it's wonderful to see the public and the festival judges reacting to it so positively, as well!

7. Do you have any event or charity you wish to bring to my readers’ attention?

I work with several charities and support several causes. If you visit, I have a charity page with several links to organizations I recommend. Additionally, I have an annual charity auction run through my website that supports families dealing with medical expenses. Each year we choose a new family and I auction off tons of memorabilia and other items associated with projects I and my friends have been involved with (autographed photos, scripts, wardrobe, props, jewelry, collectibles, etc). The auction usually runs in November-- just check my website for updates. I also have a 'SHOP' page on my website that offers photos and other items for sale year round. All proceeds go to charity. For more information on my current and future projects, fans can visit:

I highly recommend my readers check out the following

I thank Adrienne for all her time and patience with this interview. I'm just very happy to be able to bring it to you guys finally.
I hope you enjoyed it.
What did you think of this interview? Please comment, or email me directly at
Until next time.

Please note the * credits for these photos as follows;
Photo 1 was taken by Isaac Matthew White
Photo 2 is from 8 Days A Week LA
Photo 3 was taken by Scott Bradley of http://www.pulsestudios/

Straight 2 DVD thanks the photographers for these references.