Queens of the Stone Age Announce New Album “Villians”

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE “VILLAINS”
OUT AUGUST 25 ON MATADOR RECORDS
Preorders Live Now Including Instant Grat First Single “The Way You Used To Do”
North American Tour Dates Announced—Including Headline
Stops At Madison Square Garden, Red Rocks & More
Tickets On Sale To The Public June 22
Face The Truth At http://www.qotsa.com

“The title Villains isn’t a political statement. It has nothing to do with Trump or any of that shit. It’s simply 1) a word that looks fantastic and 2) a comment on the three versions of every scenario: yours, mine and what actually happened… Everyone needs someone or something to rail against—their villain—same as it ever was. You can’t control that. The only thing you can really control is when you let go.”—Joshua Homme

Hundreds of epic shows, memory lapses, unexplained injuries, one yearlong detour with Iggy Pop and multiple Grammy nominations later, Queens Of The Stone Age reemerge from the desert newly scarred and somehow strangely prettier with lucky seventh album, Villains, out August 25 on Matador Records. Now available for preorder on deluxe vinyl, standard vinyl, CD and digital (all formats include an instant download of first single “The Way You Used To Do”), Villains consists of the following songs:

1. Feet Don’t Fail Me
2. The Way You Used To Do
3. Domesticated Animals
4. Fortress
5. Head Like A Haunted House
6. Un-Reborn Again
7. Hideaway
8. The Evil Has Landed
9. Villains Of Circumstance

Produced by Mark Ronson and co-produced by Mark Rankin and mixed by Alan Moulder, Villains is the first full album offering from Queens Of The Stone Age since 2013’s …Like Clockwork gave the band its first #1 album in the U.S. (and #1s in Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Portugal, Scotland, #2s in the UK, Canada, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand, Finland… but really, who’s counting?). Like the stunning artwork of returning illustrator Boneface, the sonic signatures of the lineup that took …Like Clockwork around the world and back—Founder/guitarist/vocalist/lyricist Joshua Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen (guitar, keys), Michael Shuman (bass), Dean Fertita (keys, guitar), Jon Theodore (drums)—are as unmistakable as ever, though coexisting with sufficient new twists to induce recurring double takes. As Homme himself puts it, “The most important aspect of making this record was redefining our sound, asking and answering the question ‘what do we sound like now?’ If you can’t make a great first record, you should just stop—but if you can make a great record but you keep making records and your sound doesn’t evolve, you become a parody of that original sound.”

Of his role working within such a closed and confident ecosystem as Queens Of The Stone Age, Ronson says, “Queens are and have always been my favorite rock n roll band ever since I walked into Tower on Sunset and bought Rated R in the summer of 2000, so it was incredibly surreal to be welcomed into their secret, pirate clan—or the ‘jacuzzi’ as Josh likes to call it. I also knew that my super fandom alone would not keep me in the jacuzzi. There were moments during the making of the album in which i was aware i was watching my musical heroes craft something that was sure to become one of my favorite moments on any Queens album. And to have some part in that felt like being in a dream–a very heavy, dark, wonderful dream.”

Longtime Queens cohort co-producer Mark Rankin added, “After the baptism of fire that was …Like Clockwork, I was excited to get into the studio again with the challenge of pushing the sound for this record, especially with the the addition of Ronson into the creative mix. We wanted to evolve the production to be processed in a modern way yet be totally organic and still performed fully live, like lifting a veil and what you thought was electronic is actually live and things are not as they first appear… What we’ve made is forward looking yet unmistakably Queens.”

Queens Of The Stone Age have also confirmed a slew of North American dates filling in the space between and beyond their previously announced appearances at Outside Lands and Riot Fest. The new shows, which include Queens’ first ever Madison Square Garden headline, are detailed below. For tour dates and tickets, head over to http://smarturl.it/QOTSALive.

For further information, keep an eye on Queens Of The Stone Age sites and socials and just let go.

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
“VILLAINS” North American Tour
with Special Guests ROYAL BLOOD (Sept. 6 through Oct. 24 Headline Dates)

June 22 — Rapids Theater — Niagara Falls, NY
June 24 — Amnesia Rockfest 2017 — Montebello, QC
August 10 – Majestic Ventura Theater – Ventura, CA
August 12 – Outside Lands – San Francisco, CA
September 6 – Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY
September 7 – Festival Pier – Philadelphia, PA
September 9 – Budweiser Stage – Toronto, ON
September 10 – 20 Monroe Live – Grand Rapids, MI
September 12 – Express Live! Outdoor Pavilion – Columbus, OH
September 13 – Stage AE (Outdoors) – Pittsburgh, PA
September 15 – Agora Theater – Cleveland, OH
September 16 – Riot Fest – Chicago, IL
October 9 – The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT
October 10 – Red Rocks – Morrison, CO
October 12 – Peabody – St. Louis, MO
October 13 – Crossroads KC – Kansas City, MO
October 14 – Roy Wilkins Auditorium – Saint Paul, MN
October 15 – Eagles Ballroom – Milwaukee, WI
October 17 – Fox Theatre – Detroit, MI
October 18 – Old National Centre – Murat Theatre – Indianapolis, IN
October 20 – TBC – Washington, DC
October 21 – Agganis Arena – Boston, MA
October 22 – State Theatre – Portland, ME
October 24 – Madison Square Garden – New York, NY

Photo: Andreas Neumann

Members of White Zombie, Queens Of The Stone Age, Primus, Ministry and More Expose Truths in New Tell-All Documentary About 90’s Alternative Rock

UNDERGROUND INC.: The Unsung Story of Alternative Rock
 
Members of White Zombie, Queens Of The Stone Age, Primus, Ministry and More Expose Truths in New Tell-All Documentary About 90’s Alternative Rock
 
Watch the Official Film Trailer Here
 
Make UNDERGROUND INC. a Reality by Supporting via Kickstarter
It was the early 90’s – seemingly out of nowhere, a little grunge band called Nirvana began outselling massive commercial artists like Michael Jackson. This immediately caught the attention of the giant record companies. These small underground bands branded as ‘alternative’ or ‘post-punk’, went from being inconsequential to being potential behemoths in record sales – and the hunt began.
 
Hungrily sweeping for the next Nirvana, a buying frenzy ensued as small indie labels were bought out by the commercial labels on a never before seen scale. A&R execs would see random alt-rock bands perform in a bar and appear after their set offering unheard of financial offers and immediate global exposure. It seemed these band members were set for life – so what happened?
 
Verity is revealed in UNDERGROUND INC.: The Unsung Story of Alternative Rock, an upcoming documentary destined to be the ultimate look at the alternative punk and metal scene in the 90’s, and a must see for serious music lovers. Told by the artists who pioneered a sonic subculture, this feature-length documentary tells the real story of the 90’s – exposing viewers to an amazing catalog of the era’s rarities and buried treasures, while re-living the struggles, triumphs and tragedies, as well as the debauchery. UNDERGROUND INC. will dig beneath the manufactured truth to explore what really happened, exploring a time unlike any other in the music industry!
 
UNDERGROUND INC. features interviews with members of seminal 90’s rock, punk and metal groups such as White Zombie, Queens Of The Stone Age, Primus, Bad Religion, Stone Sour, Clutch, Red Fang, Failure, Ministry, Quicksand, Helmet, Steve Albini, Sepultura and dozens more. Viewers are getting an in-depth, raw look at the scene from musicians who were at the forefront.
 
 
UNDERGROUND INC.‘s original music is composed by Peter Mengede (Helmet), Grammy nominated record producer Alex Newport (The Mars Volta, Bloc Party, Death Cab For Cutie) and Mark Bradridge.
 
In order to get this documentary out of the creation stages and into the homes of music lovers, the creators of UNDERGROUND INC. have launched a Kickstarter campaign. The Kickstarter campaign will run for 32 days, and the project goal is $40,000.
 

Blu-ray Review “Hands of Stone”

Actors: Robert De Niro, Edgar Ramírez, Usher Raymond, Ellen Barkin
Directors: Jonathan Jakubowicz
Rated: R
Studio: ANCHOR BAY
Release Date: November 22, 2016
Run Time: 105 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Normally, I am not a huge fan of sports films. Just not my thing, but I decided to check this out due to the talent. Robert De Niro, Edgar Ramírez, Usher Raymond, Ellen Barkin all deliver great performances. I enjoyed the film but it is what I calla a one-timer, I don’t ever see myself revisiting this one and I have a feeling that people are going to forget it as well quite quickly if not already.

Official Premise: Hands of Stone follows the life of Roberto Durán (Edgar Ramírez), the Panamanian fighter who, with the help of his trainer Ray Arcel (Robert De Niro) made his professional debut in 1968 as a 16 year old and retired in 2002 at the age of 50. In June 1980, he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond) to capture the WBC welterweight title, but shocked the boxing world by returning to his corner in their November rematch, famously saying the words ‘no más’ (‘no more’).

The “Hands of Stone” Blu-ray comes with a Digital HD copy. The 1080p transfer is sharp and packs as punch as does the DTS-Master Audio 5.1 track, which worked with the boxing. The special features are nothing special either. There is a featurette going behind-the-scenes on the star boxer in “Roberto Durán: A Boxing Legend, a Nation’s Pride”. Other than that, there are only a few deleted scenes, and two lyric videos.

Free Passes to Advance Orlando FL Screening of “Hands of Stone” starring Robert DeNiro

Want to see Robert DeNiro’s latest film before anyone else? Click here to get passes to the screening below! First come first served! Passes are limited!

The advance screening will take place on WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 17th, 7:30pm @ AMC ALTAMONTE MALL

HANDS OF STONE
In: 8-26-2016, Wide
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Written & Directed by: Jonathan Jakubowicz
Produced by: Jonathan Jakubowicz, Claudine Jakubowicz, Jay Weisleder, Ben Silverman
Cast: Robert DeNiro, Edgar Ramirez, Usher Raymond, Ana de Armas, Ellen Barkin, John Turturro
Genre: Drama, Runtime: ~105min
Rated: R
Synopsis: HANDS OF STONE follows the life of Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez), the Panamanian fighter who made his professional debut in 1968 as a 16 year‐old and retired in 2002 at the age of 50. In June 1980, he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond) to capture the WBC welterweight title, but shocked the boxing world by returning to his corner in their November rematch, famously saying the words “no mas” (no more.)

Blu-ray Review “The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smackdown”

Actors: Jeff Bergman, Kevin Michael Richardson,
Tress MacNeille, Grey Griffin, Eric Bauza, John O’Hurley, Russi Taylor, Brie Bella, Nikki Bella, Daniel Bryan, John Cena
Directors: Spike Brandt, Tony Cervone
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Run Time: 50 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

WWE and Warner Bros have been teamed up on there animated film, “Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery” last year, which was a fun time. There follow up to that film is “The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smackdown”. This is exciting because there hasn’t been new “The Flintstones” content in 15 years and it is very welcome. This film includes various WWE Superstars including John Cena, Rey Mysterio, The Undertaker and even Vince McMahon himself. I only wish that this was longer than 50 minutes because I wanted so much more or at least lets hope that they have future installments of new “The Flintstones” very soon.

Official Premise: When Fred loses his family’s vacation money, he hatches one of his hair brained plans to get it back. It’s a sports entertainment spectacle that involves throwing his best bud, Barney into the wrestling ring with the likes of John Cenastone (John Cena), Rey Mysteriopal (Rey Mysterio) and even The Undertaker, with Fred himself as event promoter! The crowds roar, the “clams” are pouring in from ticket sales and even Mr. McMagma (Vince McMahon) is taking notice of all the hoopla. Including all-star appearances from The Boulder Twins (Brie and Nikki Bella) Marble Henry (Mark Henry) and Daniel Bry-Rock (Daniel Bryan), it’s time to get the whole family together for hard-hitting, side-splitting laughs from the most epic event in all of prehistory!

Warner Bros is releasing this film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD copy included. The Blu-ray transfer is solid. The animation looks great and the colors are vibrant. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track also sounds great with the voice work and the rope slamming fun. There are also some great special features included as well. There  are two featurette included here. The first is “The Superstars of Fred Flintstone Entertainment (FFE)” and the second one is called “How to Be a Stone Age Superstar”. Both are worth checking out for sure. There are also two bonus cartoons included, which are fun to watch as well.

Own it on Blu-ray™ Combo, DVD & Digital HD March 10

Blu-ray Review “The Sword in the Stone: 50th Anniversary Edition”

Actors: Ricky Sorenson, Karl Swenson, Norman Alden, Sebastian Cabot, Martha Wentworth
Directors: Wolfgang Reitherman
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Run Time: 79 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Growing up, my sister and I just to watch “The Sword in the Stone” quite a bit and it was always one of our favorites. It has been many years since I’ve seen the film and yet it is still as ever entertaining. I was very impressed to find that I know (somehow) recall all the lyrics to the fun songs like “Higitus Figitus”. The music in this film is so great, I forgot how much I love the score. One thing I can’t come to terms with is the fact that this film is already 50 years old, that just blows my mind. Having watching this as a kid, to now have a daughter of my own, I can’t wait to share this with her.

Disney has been releasing all the animated classics in their library recently onto Blu-ray. Along with this, “Robin Hood” (1973) and and “Oliver & Company” (1988) were released as well. In fact after looking into it they should be coming to an end shortly with only fourteen more theatrically released Disney Animated Classics left with two more set for this year alone. Next up we have “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” and “The Little Mermaid”.

Official Premise: Disney proudly presents the 50th anniversary edition of a spellbinding and beloved animated classic. Conjure up magical family fun with the humor, adventure, and Academy Award-nominated music (best score – adaptation or treatment, 1963) of The Sword In The Stone – on DVD and now on Blu-ray combo pack for the first time ever! Take an amazing journey with a young orphan named “Wart” and the extraordinary wizard Merlin. According to legend, only someone with the purest character and inner strength can pull the enchanted sword from the stone and claim the throne of England. Armed with newfound confidence and the power of friendship, Wart discovers his destiny and learns the best magic is the kind you find inside yourself!

Disney is releasing this film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy included. I have to admit though, I am a little disappointed in the release overall. The 1080p transfer is not the best, especially coming from Disney. I know the film is 50 years old but I am not sure how much restoration (if any) they did to this film since it looks a little iffy. Overall, it is still very enjoyable and a big improvement from past DVDs but not what I expected from in terms of Blu-ray standards. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track delivers at least very well, especially with the music and action.

Back to disappointing again with the special features. Come on Disney, this is for the 50th anniversary, where are the new and exciting extras? The only new feature is a never-before-seen alternate opening presented in black and white storyboards. “Music Magic: The Sherman Brothers” discuss about the men behind the films music. There is a short excerpt from “All About Magic”, hosted by Walt Disney. There are two classic animated shorts including “A Knight for a Day” and “Brave Little Tailor.” Lastly, there is a sing along with the movie, done in karaoke style.

CD Review: Queens of the Stone Age “…Like Clockwork”

Queens of the Stone Age
“…Like Clockwork”
Release Date: June 4, 2013)
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Matador Records
Running Time: 46 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“…Like Clockwork” is Queens of the Stone Age’s first album since 2007’s “Era Vulgaris”. I was a huge fan of 2002’s “Songs For The Deaf” but I never felt that they really topped that album since. Well “…Like Clockwork” is a great revival for the band and they have never sounded better. Each track is epic and very kick-ass, with each one out doing the next. The drumming role has been split with Joey Castillo tackling tracks 1-3 & 6 and Dave Grohl on 4-5 & 7-9.  This has been the first time that Grohl has returned since “Songs for the Deaf”, so I was super excited about that as well. “…Like Clockwork” also delivered the band their first number one debut on the Billboard 200, making it the highest U.S. chart position to date and their first album to top the charts in the United States. So these guys are on FIRE!

Besides Grohl drumming in, “…Like Clockwork” has tons of great guest appearances line-up, some of which were really surprising. Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor lends some vocals on tracks “Kalopsia” and “Fairweather Friends”. Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears pops in on the vocals for “Keep Your Eyes Peeled” and “Smooth Sailing”. Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys appeared with vocals and guitars on “If I Had a Tail”. Brody Dalle, who also appeared on “Lullabies to Paralyze” and “Era Vulgaris”, sings also on the track. Lastly keep an ear out for Elton John, who plays his piano and sings on the track “Fairweather Friends”. So in terms of guest appearances this album easily scores a 5 out of 5 stars.

The album was produced by Joshua Homme and QOTSA, recorded by Mark Rankin with additional engineering by Alain Johannes and Justin Smith, at Josh’s studio, Pink Duck, in Burbank, CA. So I think it is save to that that “…Like Clockwork”, the bands sixth album that they are back and with a vengeance with some of their best material to date. So after debut at the top spot on the charts with more than 90,000 copies sold in the first week. The band, including founder Josh Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen, Dean Fertita, Michael Shuman and Jon Theodore will hit the roads of North American with a huge world tour in support of “…Like Clockwork”. So be sure to show your support and catch them live this summer! I am sure it is going to be epic just like the album!

Track Listing:
1. Keep Your Eyes Peeled
2. I Sat By The Ocean
3. The Vampyre Of Time And Memory
4. If I Had A Tail
5. My God Is The Sun
6. Kalopsia
7. Fairweather Friends
8. Smooth Sailing
9. I Appear Missing
10. …Like Clockwork

CD Review: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas & Mark Stone “The Runaway Bunny, The Story of Babar and Goodnight Moon”

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas & Mark Stone
“The Runaway Bunny, The Story of Babar and Goodnight Moon”
Label: GPR Records
Release Date: November 13, 2012

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t know about the classic books “The Runaway Bunny” and “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown and “The Story of Babar” by Francis Poulenc. These are not new stories in fact they are all from the 1940’s. “Goodnight Moon” is from 1947. “The Runaway Bunny” is  from 1942. And “The Story of Babar” or aka “L’Histoire de Babar” dates back to 1945. These stories are still very timeless and a must read for any child before bed or anytime, in fact. In case you are wondering, this is not a your typical straight forward audio book. These books are read alongside new classical music interpretations of the these stories. If you are a fan of classic music and timeless stories, this would make a wonderful addition to your collection. I can see this CD being a must-listen with my daughter as she grows up.

So what makes this CD special is that Oscar winners Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas are reading two of these three books along with the wonderful musical compositions besides them. Catherine Zeta-Jones narrates “The Runaway Bunny” along with music by Glen Roven and performed by the Piano Trio Version with Trio 21. Michael Douglas lends his voice to the beloved story of “The History of Babar”, which is backed with a score by Francis Poulenc and Jason Worth on the piano. These performances are very well acted and gives the stories great delivery. Lastly but not least is “Goodnight Moon”, which is a story I have become very familiar with as a new parent.  It is sung by English Baritone Mark Stone along with the GPR Festival Choir. This release is very well done and entertaining.  It is also a great way to not only make these stories more interesting but also introduce your children to the world of very fine classical music.

Sean Stone talks about his new film “Greystone Park”

Sean Stone is the son of well-known director Oliver Stone. Sean is not only directing but also writing and starring in his film “Greystone Park”, read our review here. Media Mikes had a chance to find out what it was like working on the film, with his father and what we can expect next?

Mike Gencarelli: How did the concept for “Greystone Park” come about?
Sean Stone: Well, it was about the same way that you see in the movie. I met Alex Wraith in October 2009 with my father, since he worked on “Wall Street 2”. We all had dinner one night and found that that Alex had been breaking into Greystone for like three years prior to meeting me. He would bring a camera to record his experiences; otherwise he said no one would believe him. He had an idea for a movie based on these experiences. The whole idea was based around that location itself, which was just so perfect. When he told me about it, I thought it sounded cool and had always wanted to have a ghost hunting experience, so I checked it out. When we went the first time, wee did get end up getting lost for real like in the movie but luckily we got out after an hour or so, once we found a door that wasn’t locked. But we said what would happen if we got lost inside and couldn’t get out. Then we kept writing the rest of the story based on that. That became the basis for about 80% of the film.

MG: How was it not only directing but also writing and starring?
SS: Challenging [laughs]. It is a big challenge to really immerse yourself into that world. In one sense it is easier if you are doing a documentary. But if you are operating the camera, giving lines and acting at the same time, it starts getting complicated. The hardest part was that there were certain things that we had to have staged. We had to make sure the camera was in certain places to hit right at a specific moment. That was really the tricky part from the directing point-of-view. Luckily, I was able to trust my actors to use the camera as their eye, for example. Then I would be able to be in a scene acting and still be able to cue, let’s say, a footstep or a door closing. I would have to be able to be conscious in and out of the scene. It is like a magician, having a  hand out and trying to setup a distraction for the reveal.

MG:What do you feel that the film brings new to the found footage genre?
SS: Well, ours is based on a true story. We actually broke in, went to these places and had these experiences. I have never been a big fan of the found footage genre. It is one thing to tell a story based on real events. It is another thing to just concoct a story and pretend it is real. I feel that “The Blair Witch Project” was the worst offender is that regard. Even the “Blair Witch” itself, I thought there was a real witch myself [laughs]. That was the age before internet, you didn’t know that stuff. But with “Greystone”, I don’t think we belong bunched in with films like those. We broke in, actually had these experiences and this is our story.

MG: How did you get your father, Oliver Stone, involved in this project as well?
SS: That grew organically out of the fact that I was going to play myself. Originally when we wrote it, I was going to have my friend play my character and just focusing on directing. But then the producers, Alex and a few other people I trust pushed me to play myself in the film. They said it would be more interesting. What happened next was that I called my father, their already was a character written for the father, and just asked him. At first he was hesitant, since he was thinking that people would say its nepotism or be extra critical about it due to that. But we decided just to do it anyway and he went with it. I think that there is a reality TV quality to that and I find it very interesting.

MG: Having worked with your father directing on numerous projects, tell us about your director style?
SS: What is interesting that before we even started shooting and just had the script, one of the investors said he told this project felt like “Natural Born Killers” meets “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. At first I didn’t understand that until we shot it and cut it. It does look like “Natural Born Killers”.  It is uses a lot of cuts, a lot of edits and even some stock footage. We used a couple different cameras on the shoot also to get a different feel. The overall effect has this hallucinogenic quality. It was not intended that way. The one thing that I learned from my father would be to shift styles depending on what kind of movie you are trying to tell. He has always been able to do that by telling one story in a classical shooting fashion and then tell another with a different avant-garde post-modern way.

MG: What do you have planned next?
SS: I am working on a martial arts comedy. It will be an homage to 70/80’s action hero cinema. It is called “Enter The Fist”. We have a website (http://www.fistthemovie.com/) up currently, you can check it out.

Interview with Leonard Stone (1923-2011)

Leonard Stone is known best for his role as Sam Beaurgarde in 1971’s “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. Leonard has worked on over 100 TV shows. Movie Mikes had a chance to travel back to the 70’s with Leonard to discuss his role in “Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory”.

Click here to purchase “Willy Wonka” merchandise
Click here to view our “Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory” Interview Series

Mike Gencarelli: How did you originally get the role of Mr. Sam Beaurgarde in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”?
Leonard Stone: Mel Stuart (the film’s director) called me in because I had worked with him before on another picture (1970s “I Love My Wife”) He knew me…knew my work and he said “if you want to do it we can do it.” It was that quick. I didn’t have to keep coming back. I did ask if I could bring my wife along (to Germany for the shoot) and he said “yes.” When we got there my wife found out there was a small part in the film for a woman to play my on-screen wife. Just one quick scene at the auto lot. She asked Mel if she could play it and he told her “No. You’re not right for the part!” (laughs) It’s now years later and Mel’s divorced and she and I have been together for over forty years.

Mike Gencarelli: What was your fondest memory working on “Willy Wonka” Most of the other cast members we’ve interviewed point to the unveiling of the main chocolate room.
Leonard Stone: Oh yes. It was very exciting. They didn’t allow us to see it until it was time to shoot it. So when we walk through the door and see the room for the first time, we really are seeing the room for the first time. The reactions they got on film were real….we were stunned it was so beautiful. Plus a lot of the things we did off set. We would go bowling on our off days. And the studio got us a tent at the Octoberfest which was a great time. And Gene (Wilder) my wife and I would often go out to dinner together. Gene was just getting into wines and he would “discover” one that he would loved and that is what we would have for dinner. Another thing that amused me so much was that Roald Dahl (author of the book the film is based on) didn’t like some of the things Mel was doing with the film. They were always butting heads. Now Dahl was nice and tall…very thin…he stands like the letter “S”. He’s got great British bone structure…a very handsome man, speaks with an impeccable English accent. And he would swear at Mel in that accent and it would break me up because it sounded so funny coming out of his mouth.

Mike Gencarelli: Do you still keep in touch with any of the cast or crew from the film?
Leonard Stone: No, not really. I know that Mike Teevee (Paris Themmen) left acting and became a cameraman. And I just saw Denise Nickerson at a photo signing in New Jersey. But I’m here in San Diego so if they want to they can find me. (laughs)

MG: How do you feel about the 2005 remake with Johnny Depp?
LS: I liked some of the film. And I think Johnny Depp is a wonderful actor. But I didn’t like some of his choices as Wonka. I personally think he gave a lot of the story away from the get go by the way he played it. I didn’t understand some of the changes. Like why Violet had a mother and not a father. Mike Teevee had a father and not a mother. I know Roald Dahl jumped on Mel a lot because he wanted the movie to be darker. I’m sure he would have liked the new one because it’s much darker than ours. When I heard about the new version I thought it would be great to have a walk on in it, just for the hell of it. So I contacted them. I even called the over in London and said I’d be happy to do it but they said they weren’t using anybody from the other one.

MG: Besides “Wonka”, you have worked in over 100 TV shows, any favorites?
LS: One of my favorite television roles was on “Lost in Space.” I played a con man in outer space by the name of Farnum. It’s one of my favorites because the director let me create the performance. One of the associate producers didn’t like it but the director, who I’d worked with many times before, knew it was the right way to go. And that episode is one of the highest rated shows in the series. It was so popular that the network told the producers to “write another show for this guy!” I’m just an old fashioned character actor. A lot of people don’t even know my name but they know my work.

MG: Are you working on anything now?
LS: I’m hoping to have a children’s book out soon. The publishers think it will be out by the end of the year. They’re aiming for that. I’ve got a great illustrator. Joe Sable is his name. He’s worked for Disney…Hanna-Barbara…a bunch of places. We got together and he loved my story. He says he’s having so much fun doing the illustrations. It’s called “Keepy: The Kangaroo That Never Grew” He’s a kangaroo that never grew who was raised by a mouse family and thinks he’s a mouse. It has a moral in it, as will any of the follow up stories. I’ve already written a couple of them. I wrote it because I’m tired of all of the violence that kids see. The young kids see so darn much of it. Everything has to be sharp and bloody and shoot-em-up. In fact, a few of the publishers I showed it to said it was “too soft” or “too old fashioned.” And I told them I intended it to be.

Click here to purchase “Willy Wonka” merchandise
Click here to view our “Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory” Interview Series

Interview with Leonard Stone

Leonard Stone is known best for his role as Sam Beaurgarde in 1971’s “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. Leonard has worked on over 100 TV shows. Movie Mikes had a chance to travel back to the 70’s with Leonard to discuss his role in “Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory”.

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Mike Gencarelli: How did you originally get the role of Mr. Sam Beaurgarde in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”?
Leonard Stone: Mel Stuart (the film’s director) called me in because I had worked with him before on another picture (1970s “I Love My Wife”)  He knew me…knew my work and he said “if you want to do it we can do it.”  It was that quick.  I didn’t have to keep coming back.  I did ask if I could bring my wife along (to Germany for the shoot) and he said “yes.”  When we got there my wife found out there was a small part in the film for a woman to play my on-screen wife.  Just one quick scene at the auto lot.  She asked Mel if she could play it and he told her “No.  You’re not right for the part!”  (laughs)  It’s now years later and Mel’s divorced and she and I have been together for over forty years.

Mike Gencarelli: What was your fondest memory working on “Willy Wonka”  Most of the other cast members we’ve interviewed point to the unveiling of the main chocolate room.
Leonard Stone: Oh yes.  It was very exciting.  They didn’t allow us to see it until it was time to shoot it.  So when we walk through the door and see the room for the first time, we really are seeing the room for the first time.  The reactions they got on film were real….we were stunned it was so beautiful.  Plus a lot of the things we did off set.  We would go bowling on our off days.  And the studio got us a tent at the Octoberfest which was a great time.  And Gene (Wilder) my wife and I would often go out to dinner together.  Gene was just getting into wines and he would “discover” one that he would loved and that is what we would have for dinner.  Another thing that amused me so much was that Roald Dahl (author of the book the film is based on) didn’t like some of the things Mel was doing with the film.  They were always butting heads.  Now Dahl was nice and tall…very thin…he stands like the letter “S”.  He’s got great British bone structure…a very handsome man, speaks with an impeccable English accent.  And he would swear at Mel in that accent and it would break me up because it sounded so funny coming out of his mouth.

Mike Gencarelli: Do you still keep in touch with any of the cast or crew from the film?
Leonard Stone: No, not really.  I know that Mike Teevee (Paris Themmen) left acting and became a cameraman.  And I just saw Denise Nickerson at a photo signing in New Jersey.  But I’m here in San Diego so if they want to they can find me. (laughs)

MG: How do you feel about the 2005 remake with Johnny Depp?
LS: I liked some of the film.  And I think Johnny Depp is a wonderful actor.  But I didn’t like some of his choices as Wonka.  I personally think he gave a lot of the story away from the get go by the way he played it.  I didn’t understand some of the changes.  Like why Violet had a mother and not a father.  Mike Teevee had a father and not a mother.  I know Roald Dahl jumped on Mel a lot because he wanted the movie to be darker.  I’m sure he would have liked the new one because it’s much darker than ours.  When I heard about the new version I thought it would be great to have a walk on in it, just for the hell of it.  So I contacted them. I even called the over in London and said I’d be happy to do it but they said they weren’t using anybody from the other one.

MG: Besides “Wonka”, you have worked in over 100 TV shows, any favorites?
LS: One of my favorite television roles was on “Lost in Space.”  I played a con man in outer space by the name of Farnum.  It’s one of my favorites because the director let me create the performance.  One of the associate producers didn’t like it but the director, who I’d worked with many times before, knew it was the right way to go.  And that episode is one of the highest rated shows in the series.  It was so popular that the network told the producers to “write another show for this guy!”  I’m just an old fashioned character actor.  A lot of people don’t even know my name but they know my work.

MG: Are you working on anything now?
LS: I’m hoping to have a children’s book out soon.  The publishers think it will be out by the end of the year.  They’re aiming for that.  I’ve got a great illustrator.  Joe Sable is his name.  He’s worked for Disney…Hanna-Barbara…a bunch of places.  We got together and he loved my story.  He says he’s having so much fun doing the illustrations.  It’s called “Keepy: The Kangaroo That Never Grew”  He’s a kangaroo that never grew who was raised by a mouse family and thinks he’s a mouse.  It has a moral in it, as will any of the follow up stories.  I’ve already written a couple of them.  I wrote it because I’m tired of all of the violence that kids see.  The young kids see so darn much of it.  Everything has to be sharp and bloody and shoot-em-up.  In fact, a few of the publishers I showed it to said it was “too soft” or “too old fashioned.”  And I told them I intended it to be.

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Click here to view our “Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory” Interview Series