Product Review “ASUS MeMO Pad 7”

After experiencing the ASUS Transformer T100, I wanted to see what else ASUS had new to offer. I came across the ASUS MeMO Pad 7 7-Inch 1 GB Tablet, but from the moment I took it out of the box, I knew I wasn’t thrilled. The tablet takes quite a while to turn on, which is probably since I have been playing with a Acer Chromebook, which boots in a mere seconds. The tablet is too big for one hand and too small for two hands, so I felt awkward trying to maneuver it in my hands. ASUS is saying that this is one of their thinnest and lightest MeMO Pads, so it is definitely small but in terms of lightness, I felt that it had a little extra weight to it then I actually expected. If I take my iPad Mini compared this, it is not much lighter.

The technical guts of the device are as follows: 1.33 GHz Quad-Core Intel Atom processor, Android 4.4 KitKat. It comes with an 16 GB Storage expandable by 64 GB with micro SD, 1 GB RAM. There is also a 2 MP Front Camera and 5 MP Rear Camera with Auto focus (1080p Video Recording). Besides the boot time, the device is otherwise pretty smooth since it comes with a powerful Intel Atom Quad-Core processor. The picture quality on the device is also solid. The colors are vibrant, clear and bright with the IPS Display with 170-degree wide viewing angles.

Some of the features that are included with this are ASUS HomeCloud, which is a one-stop destination to access your video and music streaming across cloud storage. It also auto-uploads photos from your device. The camera has several different neat features including Time Rewind, which allows you to rewind your photos and never miss an important moment. All Smile, which gives you to the option to pick the perfect smile. Smart Remove gives you the option to easily remove unwanted moving objects from your photos like photo bombers. Last is Auto Selfie, which takes high resolution selfies with the rear camera without worrying about missing a person.

Other features at the ASUS MeMO Pad 7 include is a brand new interface called ASUS Zen UI. It is customizable to your own personality. It comes with eMusic to play and download music with your given 75 complimentary music downloads from ASUS. Also includes is Zinio, which gives you access to 5000+ digital magazines from around the world and you even get 6 free Mini-Subscriptions to your favorite magazines and a $10 voucher at registration. Lastly since this is only 16GB storage, there is the ASUS WebStorage Service available, which allows to you get 500GB of online storage free for 2 years. So you see that there are some decent features included with this device but I personal wasn’t very wowed. I would rather stick with a slightly larger and more functional Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Product Review “Asus Transformer Book T100”

If you are wondering “What is the Asus Transformer Book T100?”, it is a 2-in-1 ultra portable laptop with a detachable 10′ tablet. Asus has really been putting out some amazing products recently. This was the first of hopefully many that we managed to request to review for the site. Most people today a tablet or for the average user it would be an iPad. I am tried of an iPad where you don’t have any freedom to do what you want to do. I was looking for something that I could use for both work and play and this tablet definitely delivers in both departments.

Even though, the Asus Transformer Book T100 is a tablet, it has laptop like performance with the latest Intel Atom Bay Trail-T quad-core process and running Windows 8.1 operating system. So you have the option to use it as a tablet or attached keyboard and use it like a mini-laptop. All the features are there including Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013, which comes pre-installed and Windows Store stocked with Xbox Live games and music. The battery like is decent with the ability to last 11 hours web browsing. It is not like an iPad but you can do so much more with this you have to expect the battery to be drained faster.

Let’s get to some of the tablet’s core features now. Even though the system’s storage comes in a mere 32GB/64GB, what this does have is UNLIMITED ASUS WebStorage, which is not only cool but amazing! It does a file synchronization update for every item instantly as modified and added. The display is a very sharp 1366 x 768 IPS with wide viewing angles. It is able to output full HD video via it’s Micro HDMI port. The sound includes built-in high quality stereo speakers. I am a music man myself, I felt that there could have been a little extra “umph” added to these speakers personally.

The style of the complete device itself is rather cool. I like being able to just snap the keyboard on and off and work via touch screen or via laptop. My main concern with this though is in fact the size of the keyboard, maybe I have fat fingers but I had a terribly hard time typing on this keyboard, especially when using the shift key. Also, I would have loved….loved this to have had a back light on the keyboard since I spent a few nights trying to position the light from the screen to the keys in order to see what I was typing. That feature would have made this much more attractive to me in terms of using it since in terms of its features are otherwise pretty great.

Now I didn’t go much into the full HD video option, which can be connected via it’s Micro HDMI port, I took this on a trip with me (with the proper cable) and I was able to play videos for my daughter in the hotel TV right from the tablet. Since there is nothing worse that hotel TV, this literally made the trip. Traveling with this also was a treat because it is extremely mobile. The Asus Transformer Book T100 is not only one of the lightest ultra portables available right now, running at 2.2 lbs, it also one of the lightest 10-inch tablets (solo from keyboard) running at a mere 1.2 lbs.

So if you are a casual tablet user and looking for something light, portable and feature packed this will be the device for you. This is not a full laptop that you can be gaming on. It looks amazing with Netflix and other games though especially “Tiny Death Star”, which is a blast to play on this little device. The device is also extremely affordable running around MSRP $399 and Red and White colors are due to be available later this month!

Interview with Rob Huebel

Rob Huebel is comedic actor currently playing the role of Dr. Owen Maestro on “Children’s Hospital”. The show just started its third season on Adult Swim. He is also known for his roles in the TV series “Human Giant” and the movie “I Love You, Man”. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Rob about his role on “Children’s Hospital” as well as his upcoming projects.

Mike Gencarelli: What do you like most about playing Dr. Owen Maestro on “Children’s Hospital”?
Rob Huebel: The cool thing about doing stuff on that show is you are really surrounded by some very funny people. The cast is just super funny. We shoot the show extremely fast. I think it takes about a month to shoot a season. We aren’t together very long so when we are shooting it’s a really intense and fun activity. We also are very lucky in that we get to do pretty much whatever we want. It’s kind of rare that you can think up a crazy idea, film it and then put it on television. A lot of times you can’t do stuff like that because there are large corporations limiting what you can and can’t do. With Adult Swim we are able to get away with a lot more.

MG: How do you feel that season three differs from the previous seasons?
RH: I think season 3 is different because we are starting to spread our wings more. Early on in the show we all knew that the show was only 15 minutes long so we could shape it in a variety of ways. We knew we didn’t always have to be in the hospital even though a majority of the show takes place there. I think this season there are 4 episodes that are totally different from everything which is weird but funny. I think people will go along for the ride especially since it is only 15 minutes long. We really like to just have fun with the characters and make fun of this world and season three will show that.

MG: Since the show is only 15 minutes, do you ever feel limited in each episode?
RH: I think for us it’s a good thing. We have always thought that we don’t really want to over stay our welcome at the party. I think if the show was even just 1 minute longer people would be like “fuck it! I’m not watching this”. (Laughs) There is something great about the show being only 15 minutes long. People will buy into something for that short amount of time. 30 minutes would be just too much and we would have to come up with actual plot lines instead of just talking about boners.

MG: Tell us about the episode this season that you wrote as well as starred?
RH: Myself and Paul Shearer wrote that episode and it’s about our buddy Rob Riggle who guest stars on the show. He plays this really handsome Dr. that everyone likes and all the girls want to sleep with. Well he gets killed within the first 30 seconds of the show. The rest of the show is basically all of the other doctors trying to death with that. Henry Winkler decides he is going to offer therapy and everyone is mandated to attend. You get to see a lot of everyone’s inner problems.

MG: Can you tell us about any crazy moments from behind the scenes?
RH: We had a bunch of porn stars on set one day which is always great to have on a children’s show. I’m sure we won’t get into any trouble with that. I gave Rob Corddry Chlamydia. (Laughs) he thinks it’s just the flu but I told him it’s Chlamydia. I’m a doctor I should know. We also found out I am married with a child and I die. (Laughs) I really want to stress the Chlamydia though.

MG: What can you tell us about your upcoming show on Fox called “Family Album”?
RH: That was a really fun thing that might be picked up mid-season. It didn’t get picked up for the fall but we still might get to see it. Shawn Levy who directed “Night at the Museum” and “Date Night” directed the pilot. Myself, Mike O’Malley and Rachel Harris are in it and it’s more of a family comedy. I play the weird uncle that is completely inappropriate at all times which is right up my alley. It would be really cool if it becomes a show. I don’t know who makes those decisions but that should be a show!

MG: Tell us about working with George Clooney & Alexander Payne in the upcoming film “The Descendants”?
RH: That was amazing. I have a very small part in that movie but I was really lucky to get to do that. It was a dream job being in Hawaii for 3 weeks and getting to work with George Clooney and Alexander Payne. I wasn’t sure if I was getting paid or I should be paying those guys. It is upsetting how much of a great guy and how funny George is. It almost makes you want to hate him. Alexander Payne is one of my favorite directors, so it was really great.

MG: You are re-teaming with Rob Corddry and the gangs for “Rapturepalooza”, what can you tell us about that?
RH: We just shot some of that up in Vancouver with Craig Robinson from “The Office”. John Francis Daily who was on “Freaks and Geeks” and who is now on “Bones” is a part of the project as well as Anna Kendrick from “Up in the Air”. The film is basically a comedy about the end of the world. The rapture has already happened with a bunch of people being sucked up to heaven leaving all the lame people here on earth. Craig Robinson plays the anti-Christ and Rob and I work for him. It’s pretty funny!

Adult Swim’s “Children’s Hospital” Interview Series

“Children’s Hospital” is an off-the-wall comedy/medical drama television series, created by and starring actor/comedian Rob Corddry. The show contains a great ensemble cast including Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Rob Huebel, Ken Marino, Megan Mullally, Malin Akerman and Henry Winkler.  June 2, 2001, marked the starts of the show’s third season.  The show has even spawned a spin-off already “National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego: Sport Utility Vehicle” which is set to premiere July 21, 2011 on Adult Swim.

Movie Mikes is a big fan of this show and had the chance to chat with a few of its cast members. As of June 29,2011, we have interviewed Megan Mullally and Rob Huebel. We will be adding more cast members as the season three progresses. Stay Tuned!

Make sure to watch Children’s Hospital Thursday’s at Midnight on Adult Swim!

Megan Mullally

Rob Huebel

Interview with Megan Mullally

Megan Mullally is known best for her role of Karen Walker on the TV sitcom “Will & Grace”. Megan is also a stage veteran, most recently on Mel Brooks’ original Broadway musical, “Young Frankenstein”. Megan is currently starring as Chief on Adult Swim’s “Children Hospital” and the show just started it’s third season. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Megan about working on “Children Hospital” as well as some of her other projects.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you first get involved with playing the chief on “Children’s’ Hospital”?
Megan Mullally: My husband Nick Offerman had done a movie with Rob Corddry that never saw the light of day and they became buddies during that time. Rob had written some episodes for the web and he had written a part in those for Nick. Rob gave Nick the scripts and asked him if he knew of any middle aged women that did comedy [laughs]. Nick put me on the list and that’s how that happened. I had only met Rob one time previous to doing the show and I didn’t know a lot of the other cast members either but they are all great to work with.

MG: What do you like most about playing that character?
MM: It’s a really fun character to play. The show is very innovative and I dare say a few of the episodes are ground breaking for what it is. It’s very freeing to play the ugliest, grosses person in the world. I can get ready in about 10 minutes as I don’t wear any make up and I wear a man’s wig which I bought on Hollywood Blvd. The show is jokes but it also is very innovative with its concept. It’s this weird mix of stupid dick jokes and innovation.

MG: Who came up with the idea for you to use a walker on the show?
MM: That would be me! My character is supposed to be riddled with all these crippling diseases yet everyone wants to fuck her. In the web series I had these metal crutches that wrap around your arm but they were reducing my scrawny white Irish arms to smithereens, so I switched to a walker. We added a hunchback as well but it doesn’t seem to read very well as we couldn’t figure out how to make an actual hunchback. We ended up using a pregnancy pillow stuffed into some pantyhose that tie around my body. It’s really made up of like a nude colored pair of boy shorts underwear with a pregnancy pillow stuffed inside that I put one arm through a leg hole and the other through the waist.  So it is hysterical.

MG: How do feel this season stands out from the others?
MM: I think that every season the shows get more and more ambitious technically and conceptually. I think that what they are doing with the show visually is what makes it innovative. Rob has told me that for the next season there should be no continuity between episodes. Characters in relationships in one episode shouldn’t be together for the next and nothing should be commented on about previous episodes or occurrences. They are trying to go that certain way on purpose and the show continues to get more ambitious in terms of the visual.

MG: How do you feel this show compares to working on “Will and Grace”?
MM: It couldn’t be any more different! “Will and Grace” was never improvised and it was more of an old fashioned mind set where you learned your lines and you came in and did them.  It was very character driven and used season arcs. “Children’s Hospital” is largely comprised of people with improv or sketch backgrounds. Some of the actors write episodes and it’s a completely different vibe. Most of what you see on screen is scripted but we do a lot of improvisation and maybe 10 percent of that ends up in the show. It couldn’t be any more different. It’s really a no holds barred type situation and you cannot be for better or worse too big on the show.

MG: You are known for your stage work. Do you prefer one over the other?
MM: I like doing both. I did a play in Los Angeles about a year and a half ago called “The Receptionist”. I loved doing that and it’s probably one of my most favorites that I have ever done. We performed in a small 99 seat theater and I just loved the play and the cast so much. Going to New York to do a year of a musical again, I am not as enthused about as I am when I do a short run of a play in Los Angeles.

MG: Besides season three of “Children’s Hospital” what other upcoming projects do you have going on?
MM: I’m coming back on “Parks and Recreation”.  I am also doing an arc on another show, however I can’t say quite yet which one as I haven’t signed a contract. I am in the process of developing shows to produce and I have one that is doing really well right now. There is also talk of doing one of the “Children’s Hospital” episodes as a musical and touring it, which I really hope happens. There are also talks of doing a “Party Gown” movie, which would be really fun.

Interview with Robert Lantos

Robert Lantos is the producer behind the film “Barney’s Version”. Robert has been trying to bring Mordecai Richler’s novel to the big screen since first reading the book in 1997. After Mordecai’s death in 2001, Robert was on a mission to get this movie made to honor, what he felt was, Mordecai’s best work. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Robert about getting this film made and about working with the author Mordecai Richler.

Click here to read our review for “Barney’s Version” which is available now on Blu-ray/DVD combo.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your road to bringing “Barney’s Version” to the big screen?
Robert Santos: It goes back more than 25 years ago. The author of “Barney’s Version”, Mordecai Richler had written a screen play for a book he wrote called “Joshua Then and Now” which he and I made into a movie that starred James Woods and Alan Arkin. Since that time we have had a relationship where he sends me advance copies of his books, which was the case for “Barney’s Version”. I first read the book in 1997 on an airplane where I made a spectacle of myself due to my intermittent laughing. I really felt I was reading an author’s magnum opus. I knew before I finished reading the book that this was going to be a movie. He and I began working on it together with Mordecai writing the screenplay. Sadly he passed away before it was finished and from that point forward this became more than a movie. It became to me a mission to honor the quality of Mordecai’s work and to make a film he would be proud of.

MG: Paul Giamatti won a Golden Globe for his performance, amongst other awards, what do you like most about the character?
RS: Paul is a multi dimensional human being, which is how Richler wrote the character in his book and it is also how I envisioned the role.  Like most of us he is flawed and often his own worst enemy. Despite the many flaws he has we get to feel for him and root for him. We can’t not love him! Paul had to play this part because I couldn’t imagine a conventional Hollywood movie star type pulling this roll off. I was really drawn to this project because of the fact it’s not your typical film that gets made in this day and age. It’s not about fantasy characters that are strictly good or evil it’s about various shades of grey.

MG: This is your second time working with Richard J. Lewis after 1993’s “Whale Music”; tell about working with him again on this project?
RS: Richard and I have known each other for some time, as I had produced his first film. Richard came to me after I bought the rights to the book and Richler had passed. He kept telling me how much he loved the project and wanted to be a part of it. After some storming on his part and him writing a draft for the screen play that I didn’t even know about, I chose him because of his dedication to the project. We didn’t end up using the screenplay he submitted however Richard’s was much better than any other we had received by various other writers. He really just dropped his version of the screen play on me from out of the sky.

MG: Tell us about working with Michael Konyves who wrote the screenplay?
RS: I chose Michael’s screenplay because he took a lot of things from the book while at the same time making some very bold statements as to what he was leaving out. The book covers a lot in its 500 pages. Michael’s script really focused on the heart of the story. The love story between Barney and his 3rd wife really was the focal point. Part of the reason this took so long to get to the project going was because I had used many different writers. I was trying to include everything in the book because I loved it so much and I wanted everything in the book to also be in the script. Michael to his credit disregarded my instruction and made those very bold sweeping decisions that really worked. When I read his script I had the same reaction I had when I first read the book.

MG: What is your favorite novel by Mordecai Richler?
RS: I think “Barney’s Version” is Mordecai’s greatest work and it is one of my favorites but I love all of Mordecai’s books. I actually own the rights to “Solomon Gursky Was Here” which was written before “Barney’s Version”. I think “Barney’s Version” is without a doubt Mordecai’s most mature work.

MG: As a producer, what do you look for when approaching a project?
RS: It changes with what stage I am at in my life. This stage of my life I look for something that I believe moves me and that will move others. Also if I feel the movie needs to be made and others probably aren’t going to make. I take interest in things like that.

MG: “eXistenZ” is one of my favorites; tell us about working on that film?
RS: That was all about Dave Cronenberg. Some projects I do because I love the vision of the director. With Cronenberg it’s always been about the way he is going to tell a story. I have made three films with David thus far.

MG: Is that related to David Cronenberg’s cameo in “Barney’s Version”?
RS: That was for fun. I called him and some other directors I have worked with in the past to make cameo’s in the film. It was in a way my own personal souvenir. David was really a stand out in his cameo. It was fun.

MG: What is the next film you are working on?
RS: You will have to forgive me however I don’t like to talk about projects until I am ready to shoot.

Interview with Candy Clark

Candy Clark has always been a free spirit. Born in Norman, Oklahoma, the family moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where she graduated high school and then headed to New York City. After scoring a small role in the John Huston directed film “Fat City,” she won the part that she will forever be remembered for, slightly ditzy Debbie Dunham in George Lucas’ look back to 1962 “American Graffiti.” For her performance, Ms. Clark was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress. She finished the decade of the 1970s with roles in such television shows as “Banacek” and “The New Dick Van Dyke Show” while appearing in such films as “The Man Who Fell to Earth” with David Bowie, “The Big Sleep” with Robert Mitchum and Jonathan Demme’s “Handle With Care” (also known as “Citizen’s Band”) which reunited her with her “Graffiti” co-star Paul Le Mat. The two joined forces again for the underseen sequel “More American Graffiti.” In 1983 she appeared opposite Roy Scheider in “Blue Thunder.” Other notable films include “Cat’s Eye,” “At Close Range,” “Radioland Murders” and David Fincher’s “Zodiac.” On television she has appeared in such shows as “Magnum P.I.,” “St. Elsewhere,” “Matlock” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” where she played Buffy’s mom.

I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Ms. Clark a few years ago at a celebrity event where she very graciously signed a few items for me and shared some stories about her past. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with her again for MovieMikes.

Mike Smith: What led you to pursue a career as an actor?
Candy Clark: Well it was kind of given to me on a silver platter…my first job. And after that it became really difficult. But once I was in the game I got hooked. My first role was in a film called “Fat City.” I didn’t really want to be an actor…I was kind of made to do it. I was given an audition by this casting director…really all I wanted to be was an extra. But once I did that role I was hooked! I was on my own and it took me a year to get my next job. I’ve never been very good at auditioning…that’s always been my weakest point.

MS: Your next feature film was “American Graffiti.” Did you have any idea that this little film would strike such a chord with the public?
CC: I knew that it struck a chord with ME. I really identified with the characters because they were doing exactly what we were doing growing up in Ft. Worth, Texas. In high school we used to drive around…go to Carlson’s Drive In then drive to the Lone Star Drive In then back to Carlson’s then back to the Lone Star. Everyone would just go round and round all evening. It was exactly what we did. So when I read the script for “American Graffiti” I was like, “wow…I get it!” I was really happy to get a part in the film. Like I said, auditioning has always been my weakest point…I had to do a screen test for the film. I didn’t have to audition, thank God, but I did have to do a screen test where I had to memorize a scene. It was kind of a cattle call of all of these actresses. We were all in one room in a warehouse. Charles Martin Smith already had his part so when I met him I thought, “I’m not going to get this…he’s a lot shorter than me. I’m too tall.” But lo and behold I got picked…and I think our height difference made it more funny and charming…and cute.

MS: You received an Academy Award nomination for your performance as Debbie in “American Graffiti.” What was it like being recognized for your work so early in your career?
CC: I highly recommend it to everyone (laughs)….to be nominated for an Academy Award! Two weeks prior to the awards, after never having gotten patted on the back side before, it was flowers, telegrams…that was back in the day when they HAD telegrams. I was the center of attention and I really loved it. I knew I wasn’t going to win so I didn’t prepare a speech or anything. I thought for sure that an actress named Sylvia Sidney was going to win. She’s been around for a long time and she was up for a film called “Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams.” But lo and behold Tatum O’Neal took home the award. She walked away with it…a nine year old! (NOTE: Tatum O’Neal was actually ten years old when she became the youngest actor to win a competitive award for her role in “Paper Moon.” The other nominees that year were Linda Blair for “The Exorcist” and Madeline Kahn for “Paper Moon.”)

MS: So, is it really an honor just to be nominated?
CC: (laughing) I think so! I certainly didn’t mind it.

MS: Why did you wait almost three years to do your next feature (“I Will I Will…For Now”)?
CC: That was my next big role. I also had a great part in “The Man Who Fell to Earth.” But sometimes you have to take little parts here and there for money…I’ve never been averse to receiving money for work, that’s for sure.

MS: In my opinion, “More American Graffiti” is very under appreciated. Do you have any ideas why it wasn’t as well received as “American Graffiti?”
CC: I felt all along that…I did the film because I was the one that pitched George Lucas to make another “Graffiti.” I thought for sure that we would just pick up where we left off. And I think the audience was looking for that too. But the second film got very dramatic…it wasn’t as comical and fun. The Vietnam War…all of that stuff. It was just a little too off the beaten path for most fans. I think if they’d just picked it up where we left off…the film was so complicated because they kept interweaving different years AND different film styles. It became a film you really had to see more than once because it was so complicated. And in my section, it was all split screen—we were postage stamp size. In some of the shots your eyes didn’t know where to go on the screen. It was a very complicated technique they used with that movie. (NOTE: “More American Graffiti” follows the lives of several of the first film’s main characters. The film techniques Ms. Clark refers to is the way the film was shot. For the Vietnam sections featuring Charles Martin Smith’s Terry the Toad character, the film was presented like a documentary. For Ms. Clark’s section, which takes place during the hey day of psychedelic music, the majority of the action was told in multi-screen takes and very bright colors.)

MS: You co-starred with Robert Mitchum in “The Big Sleep.” Were you apprehensive about working with an actor of his, for lack of a better word, stature?
CC: Not at all. I’ve never been “wowed” by meeting or working with someone. I’ve worked with David Bowie…who was a big superstar. Roger Daltrey (lead singer of the Who) was my neighbor for a while. I’ve always approached them as people…not somebody on a pedestal. It’s just a knack that I have…it probably comes from all of the improve classes I went to. He was very nice…very down to earth. He told great stories about “old” Hollywood…back in the day. He was really a very approachable actor. Not at all intimidating.

MS: You appeared with my all time favorite actor, Roy Scheider, in “Blue Thunder.” What are your memories of him?
CC: He was another person that was very down to earth and approachable. He was very easy to work with. He wasn’t as tall as I expected him to be (laughs). He was very wiry. But when he was being filmed he had this bigger than life persona. He was very photogenic…you liked looking at him when he was on screen. He had a great face.

Interview with Gary Daniels

When you think of actions movies, you should be thinking about Gary Daniels.  He recently co-starred along side Sylvester Stallone in “The Expendables” and Wesley Snipes in “Game of Death”.  Gary took a few minutes to chat with Movie Mikes about working on his films and what he has planned upcoming.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how it working with Sylvester Stallone both acting and directing in “The Expendables”?
Gary Daniels: As you can imagine I was kinda excited at the prospect of working with the writer/creator of “Rocky” and the star of “Rambo” and I have to say working with Stallone didn’t disappoint . The man has an incredible energy, whether working out in the gym with him or working on set…the man is full of energy. He is constantly in motion but is very focused.  He knows what he wants, has a clear vision and knows how to get it. As an actor it instills confidence in you when your director is clear about what h e wants and how to go about achieving that result. He is a very intense director but I found him to be very open minded when I had any kind of suggestions about the blocking or the character. I found him to be very inspirational.

MG: What was the most difficult task of working on “The Expendables”?
GD: There wasn’t too much that was difficult about working on “The Expendables”, I have done quite a few action movies now. For me, as someone that has done leads and is used to having a lot of say in the choreography and direction of my fights, I would say the most difficult thing was not having any input in those areas.

MG: Tell us about working on the film “Game of Death”, does Wesley Snipes still have game?
GD: I was hired on “Game of Death” kinda last minute and the script was being re-written as we were shooting…which presented its own challenges. I wasn’t about to turn down the opportunity to work with Wesley Snipes, but I didn’t get to play the character of Zander the way I would have liked to.  But part of being an actor is being mailable and being able to accept direction, so I always give 100% regardless. It’s always fun playing the bad guy, especially one as ruthless as Zander. Plus its always educational when you have a chance to work with such experienced actors as Robert Davi and Wesley Snipes. Wesley was obviously going through turmoil in his life at the time we were shooting, so whether he bought his A game to the film or not I will let the viewers judge for themselves. He is obviously a talented individual or he wouldn’t have reached such heights in his career.

MG: You reunited with “Expendables” cast Eric Roberts and Steve Austin, in “Hunt to Kill”, tell us about working working on that film and with them again?
GD: Most of my scenes in “The Expendables” were with Steve and Eric, so we spent a lot of time together.  They are both very down to earth and funny guys, so we had a blast together. It was Steve that called me and asked me to work on “Hunt to Kill”, so it was an easy choice to say “Yes”. I didn’t have any scenes with Eric in “Hunt to Kill” but was with Steve most of the time. For a bloke that looks so big and intimidating he is one of the nicest guys you can hope to work with on and off the set. On this film I got to choreograph and shoot a fight between us. It is always a challenge to choreograph for the different kinds of athletes, actors, martial artists that you work with in films and this was no different trying to highlight both of our strengths as we are obviously from very different backgrounds.

MG: How was it working with Steven Seagal in “Submerged”, any cool set stories?
GD: ‘Submerged’ was not one of my favourite experiences, my character was originally very pivotal , but Mr Seagal had other ideas and in the end.  They might as well of hired a stuntman to play the role as all the dialogue and relationship between his and my character was cut. Well every actor has their own vision for their films and being the star of the film you will usually get your way so for me I just get on with it and do the best I can under the given circumstances. Actually most of the cast and crew were from England,  so we all had a blast on and off the set. Nuff said!

MG: Tell us about playing Kenshirô in “Fist of the North Star” and working with Tony Randel?
GD: I was a fan of the anime before I was asked to do the film. So I knew it was gonna be very difficult to translate the anime to live action, especially back in 94 before CGI had been so developed. But I loved the character that I wasn’t about to turn it down. The first challenge for me was the physical one, Kenshiro (like most anime characters) has an awsome, huge physique. So I began a regime of training lifting heavier weights than I had worked with before and went from 180 to 192 lbs. Trouble is we were working such long hours during the summer in a sweltering sound stage with no air conditioning, that as the shoot progressed I slowly lost all that weight as I couldnt get in the gym to maintain. I think Tony had a good vision for the film but he certainly wasn’t into martial arts and didn’t like to shoot the fights. He felt the heart of the story was the love triangle between Kenshiro, Shin and Julia and that by focusing on that it would elevate the film above being a mere ‘martial arts’ film. Personally I think the fans wanted to see Kenshiro kicking ass. Again different visions, but overall I like the film and the way it turned out. The trouble when making an adaptation of an anime or video game is that you have to try to make a film that appeases the hardcore fans but also makes sense to viewers that have no idea about the original source material…not easy.

MG: What has been the most difficult film that you have work on to date?
GD: Every film presents its own challenges. Coming from a martial arts background my hardest challenge is trying to convince producers/directors to take me seriously as an actor so sometimes I end up trying too hard. Then when I choreograph action its tough getting the powers that be to let me control how it is shot and edited. When I do the lead in smaller films, I  wish I could work on bigger films that get more exposure. When you get on bigger films but playing smaller roles,  I miss being involved in the film making process.  The grass is always greener on the other side. Some films you get along with everybody but some there is a clash with other cast members, as I say every film presents their own challenges.

MG: Tell us about some of your upcoming projects?
GD: I just spent three months in Thailand working on the 1st two parts of a trilogy , “The Mark – Light 777” and “The Mark – Bangkok Rising” with Craig Scheffer and Eric Roberts…yes Eric again. The 3rd part will be shot in Europe this summer. Next up will be the lead in a MMA project called “Forced to Fight”. I am also waiting to hear on a bigger project that goes this summer but its not locked so I don’t wanna say too much right now. I am training hard and reading scripts ,so as always in this business the future is never easy to plan.

Interview with Chaske Spencer

Chaske Spencer is known best for playing his role of Sam Uley in “The Twilight Saga”. Chaske is currently preparing to start filming “Breaking Dawn Part 1 & 2”. Movie Mikes had a quick chance to ask Chaske a few questions about working on the series.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about what you like most about your role Sam Uley in “The Twilight Saga”?
Chaske Spencer: I like that he looks out for the rest of the wolf pack…like a big brother figure.

MG: Did you read the books before your work on the series?
CS: Yeah, I read them once I booked the role.

MG: What was be the most memorable part of working on the series for you?
CS: Meeting all the fans has been the biggest thing. Everyone is so amazing and traveling to places I never would have gone to like Australia, Berlin, New Zealand has been so great.

MG: When do you start filming “Breaking Dawn”?
CS: Not sure yet. Everything is pretty hush hush [laughs].

MG: How do you feel that “Breaking Dawn” is going to satisfy its fans?
CS: I am sure it will be awesome and the fans will love it. Each film gets better and better.

MG: Tell us about your other upcoming film “Shouting Secrets”?
CS: “Shouting Secrets” is a real family character driven story. The thing I love most about it is anyone can relate to the story, it is not specifically Native.

MG: How did you get started with your production company, Urban Dream?
CS: My manager Josselyne Herman and I decided to create the company, so we could produce our own projects. She knew Ted Kurdyla and his resume is pretty impressive. So we decided to find projects to develop. “The Block” is the first one we are working on and we are trying to get that funded.

Interview with Brian Yunza

Brian Yunza is a Director/Screenwriter/Producer known best for his work on the “Re-Animator” and “The Dentist” series. Most of his film work falls into the horror genre. Brian has also started production company, Fantastic Factory. He has worked quite a bit with Stuart Gordon and they are both big fans of H.P. Lovecraft and together they have developed several of his stories into films. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Brian about his films and what he has planned upcoming.

Mike Gencarelli: Can you reflect your favorite film in the “Re-Animator” series?
Brian Yunza: My favorite of the “Re-Animator” films is the first one because that not only invented the thing but it was also the first movie I had produced. Not to mention that it was the most successful. When you make a movie for the first time everything is new, every situation is unique, each challenge is fresh. Just like a first love, a first film is a process of discovery that can’t be repeated. If “Re-Animator” had turned out badly perhaps I would have buried the memory and moved on to another movie for my fond reminiscences. The sequels have a place in my heart, of course, but I am well aware that each of them had the goal of fulfilling certain expectations created by the first film.

MG:Tell us about working on “The Dentist” series? Would love to see that series continue?
BY: The first film in the series originated as an idea by the head of Trimark Pictures, Mark Amin. I agreed to develop and direct his idea and at that time my company would have also produced it for him. Mark didn’t insist on a particular story, only that the film should focus on the fear of sitting in the dentist chair, not on some fantastical or sci fi type of twist. We listened to pitches from over two dozen writers before settling on the story, and even then the script didn’t give us what we wanted. The process of working with Trimark was a very supportive and congenial one, and when I went off to Canada to produce Crying Freeman I was happy for them to make the movie without me if that worked out better for their schedule. When I returned and new writer had made some interesting improvements in the script and Pierre David had come on board to produce. I rejoined the project even though the budget had been slashed and worked on the script with on of Pierre’s executives while we were in pre production. Trimark did a great job of helping us find an appropriate and talented cast for the movie, and I can’t say enough about Corbin Bersen and his contribution to the film. He was more than just a lead actor, he was always there to help solve problems with creative solutions. I was insecure about The Dentist- I just didn’t know if it was going to work. I had never had such a minimalist situation for a story which led me to design the shooting of the movie more than I ever had before. It also had something I was not experienced in which was a ‘body count’. I was concerned that the killings be stylish and visual. All the sound and music was done by Alan Howarth in his studio in a very short time. Finally, when it was all over and I had seen it with a few audiences my fears were allayed and I realized that it did work and Corbin’s dentist character was truly memorable. The sequel was more difficult in many ways, not just because the budget was even smaller, but because I was unable to work with the script until the weekend before we began shooting. So, Corbin (and leading actress Julian McWhirter) would have dinner each evening after work to review and amend the scenes for the next day. The sequel is less successful than the original, but a lot of fun in its own way- mainly because the Dentist character is so much fun to watch. Corbin and I have discussed often our desire to continue the series. But we can’t because we don’t control the rights. Corbin is determined to revive the character. It was the character that introduced him to genre films and he now he loves the genre.

MG: When making “Return of the Living Dead III”, how much did you lean on the prior films in the series?
BY: I don’t think I “leaned” on the previous “Return” films at all. I admire the first one greatly, and was very aware that it was an unofficial sequel to “Night of the Living Dead”- so I wanted to respect both of those movies while doing something original. The straight forward horror of Romero’s film and the EC Comics style of O’Bannon’s film both influence “Return 3″”, but I think that the film that screenwriter John Penney and I fashioned goes its own way. Some fans were not happy that “Return 3” wasn’t as comedic as the first, but as a fan myself I find “Return 3” to be a very satisfying, fun horror film. I changed interpreted the underlying mythology of the living dead in a way that I felt did justice to both Romero and O’Bannon- the Trioxin gas remains as the reanimating agent, but the saliva of the living dead was able to turn victims into zombies. The studio, Trimark, insisted on only one requirement- that the movie contain “brain eating”- so I decided that the living dead ate flesh, not for the meat, but for the nerves in it, and the biggest bundle of nerves was the brain. So, you can see that I wanted to take the story a little more seriously that “Return 1”.
I didn’t draw on “Return 2” for inspiration as I thought it had been burdened by the requirement to carry on characters from the first film and to be wildly comedic. I was actually more inclined toward an ironic humor and especially the character of Julie as a living dead heroine. After making “Bride of Re-Animator” I realized that I was most interested in the character of the “Bride” and she only showed up in the third act. So with “Return 3” I was able to make that kind of character the core of the movie.

MM: Going from working in the horror genre, how did you get involved with Disney and “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” as co-producer and writer?
BY: After making “Re-Animater”, Stuart Gordon (director of “Re-Animator”) and I were having a BBQ at my house and decided that we should make a movie for our young children. I recalled imagining myself to be smaller than a blade of grass as a kid, riding on an ant, and how exciting that would be. Stuart immediately saw it as a Disney movie and we quickly came up with the idea of an inventor who shrinks his kids. We were able to get a meeting with a development executive at Disney and on a plane ride back from Rome (where we were shooting “From Beyond and Dolls”) Stuart and I wrote out the whole story on a legal pad and pitched it upon arriving in LA. Surprisingly Disney loved the idea and immediately and put it into development. For the next year we worked on the project making set designs and storyboards, casting and special FX. We built all the sets in Mexico (full sized since there were no digital FX back then). Unfortunately, a few weeks before shooting Stuart had health problems and had to bow out.

MG: What was the most challenging film you have worked on?
BY: That’s almost impossible to say because there have been so many difficult ones. But, I would say that the first film I did in Spain, the one that kick off the Fantastic Factory and demonstrated whether the idea of producing genre films in Spain using Spanish crew and talent would work, is one of the candidates for most challenging. That was “Faust: Love of the Damned”. One that would top “Faust” is the one I just finished, “Amphibious 3D”. Shooting in Indonesia with Indonesian crew and some Dutch key personnel, doing it in 3D and having lots of creature FX and CGI- well that was incredibly challenging. The guys who built the 30 foot long sea scorpion lived in the middle of the island of Bali, worked on the floor and had never been on a movie set before. But the main thing that made the production difficult was the collapse of the financing in the middle of the production. This is one of the main reasons for disorganization and insanity on a movie set: the lack of a solid financing structure. Everything is in flux. It is like building a house with a faulty foundation. However, maybe by challenging you don’t mean difficult, but, well, “challenging”. In that case certainly “Re-Animator” qualifies because it was the first movie I produced, and it was immensely challenging to try to do something one has never done before. Or “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”. Designing a movie for a mass audience with the Disney tradition to live up to is pretty challenging. Or how about “Beyond Re-Animator”? Making a “Re-Animator” movie that isn’t a complete failure when the only other person on the set that has an inkling of what we are trying to achieve is Jeffrey Combs. Shooting with a completely Spanish crew with mostly Spanish actors and trying to live up to the expectations of the fans was seriously challenging. You know all the movie productions have been involved with been very challenging, and a lot of that has to do with the goals we set for ourselves. One each one I try to raise the bar as high as I possibly can – and that’s the challenge.

MG: Do you think you will ever continue the “Re-Animator” franchise?
BY: I have been doing my best to continue it. After my years doing the Fantastic Factory I came to LA with the plan to get financing for a trilogy of “Re-Animator” sequels that would continue and bring the saga to a close. It was kind of shocking to be to not find a strong desire to participate at places like Lionsgate and New Line. Well, even then the business was changing. I continued developing the stories for the three films, and at one time thought that we had the financing in place for the first of the trilogy, “House of Re-Animator”. That was to be Herbert West in the White House. Stuart Gordon was going to direct and William Macy agreed to play the re-animated president. I wanted to have Dan Cain come back so we could have a good confrontation between him and West. But, the financing fell through. Then Obama got elected and Stuart lost his enthusiasm because he enjoyed the idea of using some of the irony in the film in political satire. The political angle to me was less interesting because I am of the opinion that politics works fine in sci-fi, but horror is more the domain of psychology and religion. At present I am actively developing a script for “Re-Animator Unbound”! It is the story of what happens after Herbert West’s adventures in the White House and he has gotten black ops funding for an experimental project. For the first time he has a fully equipped laboratory. Once I get the script in order I will try to get Jeffrey Combs to agree to do it and, one way or another, get the financing for it.
By the way, Stuart Gordon is presently presenting his adaptation of “Re-Animator” into a musical comedy- entitled, believe it or not…”Re-Animator :The Musical”. It is really entertaining and should be a big hit.

MG: Tell us what other upcoming projects are you woking on?
BY: I am currently working with The Little Film Company’s Robbie Little on the financing plan for “The Men”, a sci-fi thriller by Dan O’Bannon (“Alien”, “Total Recall”) which Stuart Gordon will direct. The script is really great, about a woman who discovers that all men are aliens – so you can see that even though it is a thriller it will have a good dose of irony. It is a project that I worked with Dan on way back twenty years ago so I am really thrilled to be seeing it finally get going. Of course, I am working on “Re-Animator Unbound!” I am developing a 3D immersion film called “Necronauts” based on the short story of the same name. And I just finished co-writing with John Penney a pretty wild script called “The Pope”. Mainly I am working on arranging for a financing facility for making another label, or line, of films.

Interview with Carrie Preston

Carrie Preston is known best for her role of Arlene Fowler in HBO’s “True Blood”.  The show has been such a big hit and season four is getting ready to premier this summer.  Carrie also recently completed directing her second feature film “That’s What She Said”.  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Carrie about “True Blood” and also her upcoming film.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved originally with the show “True Blood”?
Carrie Preston: Originally, I first met Alan Ball in the feature film he wrote and directed called “Towelhead”. When we were shooting that, I was playing a Texas wife of Aaron Eckhart’s character. I was playing this Southern narrow minded women, which was very different from Arlene but it made Alan think of me for “True Blood”. We were talking and I asked him what he was doing next and he said “Well, I’ve got the pilot about vampires for HBO”. I just couldn’t think of anything more different than what he has done before. He said “I think I might have a part for you in that”. My agents got a hold of the script and I actually didn’t know what character he was talking about. Arlene on the page is really nothing like me in real life [laughs]. He thought I could bring something to it, so I auditioned and I got the part.

MG: What is the best part for you playing Arlene Fowler?
CP: I like to find an interesting and complicated alchemy between the drama and the comedy. It is a challenge because I know that what the task I have been given on the show is to serve up some of the more comedic moments. But as an actor I like to find the reality behind the moments and it is has been a really interesting journey in making her character more than just meets the eye. On the page, she is something designed to be easily ridiculed as a racist or a redneck. Being a Southern woman myself, I try to honor the truth of what the woman is going through, which is quite a lot. She is a single woman with two kids, trying to support them with a waitress job and surrounded with an entire breed of what she perceives as killers are now infiltrated into society. So it is a lot of deal with [laughs]. Yes, there could be comedy from that but there is also a lot of dramatic truth for Arlene and that is really fun for me.

MG: How do you feel that you character has changed since season one?
CP: Well she has certain deepened and the writers have given her more conflict in each season. Certainly our show has a lot of conflict. So I think that her dealing with these new things every season has made her more complicated and interesting.

MG: What has been the most challenging episode to shoot to date?
CP: Well it was certain challenging during the orgy scene in season two [laughs]. When we were all wearing our black contact lenses, which you could see really well out of them. They couldn’t put your full prescription in them if you use contacts, which I do. So everything was kind of blurry and it was also like 40 degrees at 4am in the valley. There are bunch a naked people around you and you are having simulated sex [laughs]. So we were able to find the humor in that but it was definitely one of the more challenging days for me on “True Blood”. I don’t have it bad at all though compared to the others with all the blood and the combat. I am lucky I haven’t had to deal with the blood much.

MG: What can you tell us about the upcoming season four?
CP: As far as Arlene, we left off season three with the baby on board. Arlene has a lot of conflict about that and has really ambiguous feelings because the father of that child is an evil serial killer [laughs]. Even though he is not in the world anymore, it is still a great concern to her that the sense of the father will be passed on. She doesn’t know how she feels about bringing the baby into the world that might carry some of that. So that problem definitely grows exponentially as we get to season four. I can’t tell you exactly what happens but it will continue to be a great concern and issue for her. Things are definitely not right in the baby arena.

MG: What can you tell us about the latest film you are directing?
CP: Yes,  I directed a feature film called “That’s What She Said”. We shot it in NYC in October for 20 days…it was a quick shoot. It stars Anne Heche, Marcia DeBonis and Alia Shawkat. We have a great cast and it was written by my dear friend who is also an actor, Kellie Overbey. It is comedy about three women in the city, two best friends and a women they just meet. One of them is getting ready for a date and everything goes wrong. We like to call it “a chick flick that is not for pussies” [laughs]. So I am very happy with that and I am in the final stages of post production. We should have it ready to start submitting to film festival and sales reps around April, so we are almost ready.

MG: How do enjoying directing versus acting?
CP: Certainly what I have done as an actor my whole life has been very helpful for me getting an eye on the camera. One of my strengths I have is I know how to communicate with actors and I certainly speak their language. I tend to pick people to direct that are character based and focus on actor driven pieces. I would certainly like to learn how to direct a big action film but that might take a lot more time for me. I like to play to my strengths. I am also find that directing for me is a wonderful enhancement to my acting career. I like to be creatively challenged, I like to be busy and I like to have projects that I can pour myself into. With directing you have your hand in everything. Acting, which will always be my first love, you have only have part of that picture. With directing or producing, you have to give attention to all aspects of the creative process. I find that I am very humbled by that and I am also inspired by the collaborative process. I try to surround myself with people that are really great at their job, so we can create something really special. It is really fulfilling when something completes from inception to birth.

Interview with LisaGay Hamilton

You may know LisaGay Hamilton from TV’s “The Practice” but she is currently playing “The best American mom ever” according to her co-star, Andre Braugher, in her new show “Men of a Certain Age”. With the show just starting season two on TNT, Movie Mikes had a chance to catch up with LisaGay and as her a few questions about the show and her career.

Click here to purchase “Men of a Certain Age” Season One on DVD

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about season two of “Men of a Certain Age”, what are we going to expect from you and your character?
LisaGay Hamilton: I think what is really exciting for me is that we are trying to go into exactly who Melissa is. Not only is she the best American wife ever [laughs]. Or as Andre (Braugher) says, “The best American mom ever”. He says I am the perfect television wife. I am happy to see her more and what her personal life looks like. They are beginning to explore that a little bit. We had a lot of fun this season with testing and finding out what my character might be good at. We had a couple of really fun episodes trying to figure that out.

MG: What has been the best part for you working on the show?
LH: I would say the best part is Andre Braugher. Andre and I went to school together, actually at Juilliard. It is a real treat to work with someone that speaks the same language so to speak. As well as someone that I can completely trust personally and professionally. He is a dear dear friend. I am very lucky to be working with him. I could not ask for better.

MG: Prior to “Men of a Certain Age”, you were on “The Practice” for many years, how does working the show differ for you?

LH: Part of it, I feel very fortunate since it is tough being an actor period. Let alone being a women. Let alone being a woman of color. I had the opportunity to work on two great shows, both “The Practice” and “Men of a Certain Age”. Both of the shows share similar qualities. They both have superior writing and acting. I have had the best of both worlds for me. I think what is different is the experience in terms of my character.  I have the opportunity for Melissa Thoreau is to play a little more of a cool person. You didn’t really get to see Rebecca be a sexual being or someone that was intimate, you did not get to see that at all. I really like that on “Men of a Certain Age”, LisaGay the actress get to show her dramatic side which we know but also gets to show my comedic side. I also get to be a human being with a social love and has a sexual life.

MG: You have done both TV and movies, which do you prefer doing and why?
LH: Yes…theatre [laughs]!!! I prefer theatre if I could pick my choice [laughing]. But of course it is impossible to make a living as a theatre actor. If I could have my world that would come first. The best of both worlds is being able to travel between all three worlds. That being film, television and theatre. Lastly it is just called working. Just being a working actor is a privilege.

MG: Terry Gilliam is one of my favorite directors, what was it like working with him on “12 Monkeys”?
LH: I did work with him but I had the tinniest of roles. I vaguely being in the same room with Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt as I sat on the floor being one of the 12 monkeys [laughs].

MG: Tell us about your upcoming film “Beastly”?
LH: We are hoping it comes out in March in 2011. Our fingers are crossed it will actually see the light of day. I was really appreciative of the experience. I am of a different generation.  I am a woman of a certain age. I have never seen “High School Musical” or those type of films. It was nice to see the next generation of young performers come up. It was a lot of fun.

MG: Anything else upcoming for you?
LH: My fingers are crossed that I will be able to direct an episode of “Men of a Certain Age” in the near future. No promises have been made but I am lobbying hard.

Click here to purchase “Men of a Certain Age” Season One on DVD

Interview with Scott Bakula

Scott Bakula is one of the stars of TNT’s hit show “Men of a Certain Age” which returns this Fall for its second season. Scott is no stranger to television after starring in classic hit television series, “Quantum Leap”, “Star Trek: Enterprise” and “Chuck”. In “Men of a Certain Age”, Scott really shines in his role of Terry. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Scott about his work on the show and whats to come in season two.

Click here to purchase “Men of a Certain Age” Season One on DVD and Scott’s other films

Mike Gencarelli: What drew you to star in “Men of a Certain Age?”
Scott Bakula: They sent me a script and told me it was for the new Ray Romano TV show. I was interested, as I’m sure everyone was, to say what Ray was going to do after “Everybody Loves Raymond.” I was really just taken by these three guys and their relationship. I thought it was unusual television…I thought it was unique television. And risky because…in the world we live in today is anybody going to tune in to watch three old guys talking about “stuff?” And happily it’s worked out. I think at the time that I came in to audition Andre’ (Braugher) was pretty close to being a done deal. I didn’t know he or Ray so I said, “let’s go see if I can get along with these guys!” We hit it off and then I went back a couple of days later and did some scenes on video, which they sent over to the network. Ray jumped in and we talked about the material. And I got the part.

MG: What has been the best part, for you, in working on this show?
SB: When the three of us are doing something together…that’s when I think the show works great. Ray came from stand up and has a unique sense of humor. He has a lot of character. And a lot of his life’s views are in the middle of this piece…in all three characters. We have a really good time working together. It’s very easy…very natural. We laugh a lot and have a really good time. That’s very unusual I think.

MG: That’s what I like about the show. The three of you guys…it’s so natural. It’s like you’re not even acting.
SB: I agree with you. And that was the hope…that’s why we all went through the audition process. I mean, you have three guys who once had their own t.v. shows. A few t.v. shows. And to put the three of us together could have been a disaster. One guy might want more of this or more of that or more attention. But we just don’t have any of that. It’s very easy and simple. And I think that shows on screen. And that’s lucky.

MG: We recently interviewed Melinda McGraw, who co-stars with you. How is it to work with her?
SB: We’ve had a really great time. You know it’s funny…we worked together 20 years ago on “Quantum Leap.” Her first t.v. show was “Quantum Leap.” And I remembered her well from that show…it was a very distinctive episode. It’s funny, because I hadn’t seen her in 20 years and the way her character is introduced is that she and I had done a commercial 20 years ago. And that commercial is now on YouTube all of a sudden…it’s done in a retro, really bad way. It’s one of those things where you know everybody is laughing at it and making fun of it. And so we reconnect that way. And in real life I hadn’t seen her in 20 years either, so it’s been a really comfortable relationship. She’s a great actress. And she fits in with the style of the show really well.

MG: What can we expect from your character, Terry, in season two?
SB: Well the big thing is that he’s working at the car dealership…and that’s a big challenge for him. Just having a regular job is a huge challenge for him. He’s trying to do a good job for his friend. He’s trying to put his life together. He does a lot of growing up this year on the show. He does a lot of growing up this year on the show. He gets into a rivalry with another employee of the dealership and it’s typical guy stuff. He gets competitive and he gets ticked off and they kind of have this rivalry. But Terry also finds out that he can be successful at something and that is a big deal to him. And now this relationship with Melinda comes along and he’s experimenting in being in a committed relationship. Of course, in the tradition of our show, there are a lot of seriously bad bumps along the way, which I don’t want to give away. It’s a rocky ride for Terry. Which is what you’d expect from a guy like him.

MG: The show is very funny, but also has a very dramatic tone. How is it to play both sides?
SB: I love it. I think any artistic endeavor…if it’s just one thing that’s not life. Life is a lot of things happening at once. Some days it’s tough and other days it’s goofy. It’s moment to moment. The things that pull you down…you just never know. And that’s what I think life is. And I think the show reflects all aspects of it. And I think that’s why people are relating to it. We’re not trying to be, “oh here comes the big drama scene,” or here comes…we’re really bouncing all over the place. With three guys in different places in their lives it also gives us great variety.

Click here to purchase “Men of a Certain Age” Season One on DVD and Scott’s other films

Interview with Tanna Frederick

Tanna Frederick first came on to the scene in the 2003 independent film “Inescapable” and is one of the stars in the upcoming theatrical release of “Queen of the Lot”. MovieMovies’ recently got the chance to speak with Tanna about her upcoming release.

Click here to purchase Tanna’s movies

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about your new movie “Queen of the Lot”?
Tanna Frederick: “Queen of the Lot” is the sequel to 2007’s “Hollywood Dreams”, which was about a girl from Iowa who moves to LA.  The story tells about her search for fame and her journey to find it. “Queen of the Lot” is set three years later with the same characters. Margie, the main character, has had some success as a B-movie actress, and is now dealing with this sort of plague of Hollywood. She has reached somewhat of a celebrity status, and made some good pictures, but she’s at a place where she is saying to herself “why do I still feel empty and lost?”. She’s under house arrest in this film due to a couple DUI’S. Margie has new “A-list” boyfriend that is played brilliantly by Christopher Rydell, and then Margie meets her boyfriend’s brother, who is played by Noah Wyle. It is at this point when the sparks begin to fly and a love story begins.

AL: I read the cast listing, and it had your character listed under a different name for the sequel?
TF: Since the last movie Margie has changed her name to Maggie Chase, due to her managers telling her that Maggie Chase sounded more actiony. (laughs)

AL: Was it easier for you to be more comfortable in your role having worked with this cast and crew previously?
TF: Yeah, Henry Jaglom had this stable of actors that are so fun to work. Karen Black, David Proval, and Katherine Crosby, who was a real treat for me to work with. It feels like you’re surrounded by family, and there’s definitely a safety net there.

AL: Did you get more freedom with the character this time having played her previously?
TF: I felt a lot more comfortable with her. This was the first time I have reprised a character. So it was kind of interesting stepping back in and realizing that this character, even though she had changed in certain ways, was still a part of me. I had a great time with being able to do that.

AL: What was it like getting to work with David Proval and Noah Wyle?
TF: David is one of my closest friends out here. We actually just finished a play called “Just 45 minutes from Broadway.” David is a delight. We have such a great rapport. He is very committed and takes his craft very seriously. Noah was amazing to work with as well. The banter we had was very unexpected. Noah is so bright and witty. His character is very jaded in comparison to my character’s optimism, so the back and forth was really fascinating. We had really great chemistry and that doesn’t happen often, so it was a joy to work with him.

AL: Is there going to be a third edition of this series of movies?
TF: Yes, I think that there will be a Margie trilogy. We are going to keep Noah in it and see what happens maybe in another three years down the line. Everyone always asks what happened to these characters and asks for them to come back.

AL: Do you have any other upcoming projects?
TF: I am going to be going back on stage with a show in couple months, and I also have a film which is of the play I was in “Just 45 minutes to Broadway” which comes out in 2011. I have another film coming out called “Katie Q” which was directed by Ron Vignone. Outside of acting, I am involved with the non-profit organization, Safe Our Surf, which works towards keeping our oceans clean. I am also prepping to run the LA Marathon with a hope of qualifying for the Boston Marathon, so I’m pretty busy.

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Interview with Ian Ziering

Ian Ziering is best know to all as the always scheming Steve Sanders from the television series “Beverly Hills 90210”. Movie Mikes’ Adam Lawton got a chance to talk with Ian at this years Chiller Theatre convention and got a chance to ask him about his career and his upcoming spoof movie “The Legend of Awesomest Maximus”.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us what it was like working with such a beautiful cast on “90210”?
Ian Ziering: Any time you get to work with great people is always good and I got to work with such a great cast and they are like brothers and sisters to me.

AL: You got to work with fellow “90210” cast mate Brian Austin Green in the movie “Domino” can you tell us about that?
IZ: Anytime I get to work with a fellow cast mate from that show it’s like a double bonus. Brian’s a great guy and a fantastic actor and the fact we got to work together on a Tony Scott picture was just an incredible experience.

AL: Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming character Testiclees in “The Legend of Awesomest Maximus”?
IZ: Well it’s a spoof movie and he is the world’s greatest gladiator but his Achilles tendon is well you guess. But about six months prior to the role I had started training and conditioning and got down to around 11% body fat and I immediately booked that role and it was a great opportunity to take my shirt off when I am in the best condition of my life.

AL: You look pretty sharp right now….
IZ: Oh well thank you, I know you mean that in the gayest way (laughs) so I will take that as a compliment.

AL: OK to wrap up what’s your favorite “90210” episode?
IZ: Probably when Steve’s corvette gets stolen or when he was the pizza delivery boy and rents the Walsh house out for a porn movie production.