Barry Bostwick talks about new film “Finding Joy”

Barry Bostwick is one of those actors that you know you’ve seen but sometimes can’t name. Let me help you out. The California-born Bostwick was bitten by the acting bug early, often putting on shows in his backyard with his brother. After high school he moved to New York to continue his education and started getting small stage roles. His career was made when, in 1972, he originated the role of Danny Zuko in the Broadway musical “Grease,” earning his first Tony Award nomination. Another nomination came with his work in “They Know What They Wanted.” The third time was the charm when, in 1977, he won the Tony Award as Best Actor in a Musical for “The Robber Bridegroom.” In 1975 he starred as Brad Majors in the still-cult classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Television fans may remember him as the Mayor on “Spin City” or as the title character in two “George Washington” mini-series.

Bostwick is now appearing in the new film “Finding Joy, ” which opens this Friday, June 7. While promoting the film he took time out to speak with Media Mikes about the weather (we spoke after a much publicized week of tornado-like weather), spray tans and why, forty years later, “Grease” is still the word.

Mike Smith: Hello from Kansas City.
Barry Bostwick: You’re still there? You haven’t blown away yet? (laughs)
MS: So far.
BB: I don’t know how you do it. You guys are braver then me. (laughs)

MS: Can you give us a little insight into Alan, your character in “Finding Joy?”
BB: Was that his name? (laughs) I never remember the names of my characters. He’s a very interesting guy. He’s very agoraphobic…he hasn’t left the house in years. And I found that to be a link to his whole personality and character. He would import any excitement in his life through his girlfriend. It was an interesting journey for this guy to unbind himself from his reasoning about why he couldn’t leave the house as well as unbind himself from the reasons he Is so angry and resentful towards his son. It all comes together in the end and he’s able to solve all of these issues. (SPOILER ALERT)…..And then of course he dies! That’s movie-making (laughs)

MS: What attracted you to the role?
BB: There were some real challenges for the character, and for me there were many opportunities to try to be funny…try to be quirky…try to be different. The hardest part was keeping my tan. He has this hideous orange tan which is a side effect of the erectile dysfunction drug he’s taking. Every two days I had to stand naked in front of some young girl in my hotel room as she sprayed me down. It was very uncomfortable. Mostly because I was standing naked in front of a young girl in my hotel room! (laughs) It was a very weird situation. It took forever for that spray tan stain to get out of my hair. When I look at photographs from the film I think to myself, “God, I look like George Hamilton.” The white hair and the dark tan go very well together. The quirkiness was also what I found interesting. In mainstream show business I have a tendency to be cast in more conventional roles for my age. So myself, and many other actors that I’m a contemporary with, get very attracted to these projects because we get to do things we may not be able to do anywhere else. I also get to work with a lot of exciting, young talent. Whether they’re behind the camera or acting…it’s people who are experiencing their creative chops for the first time. Sharing the excitement of them getting their first movie made. There’s an enthusiasm that’s catching and you like to be a part of those people that are just starting out and still have that energy.

MS: When you’re on the set with someone who’s just starting out do you ever think back to when you were just starting out?
BB: Oh, yeah. I try to tell them how damn lucky they are to have a job in show business and to not complain about the hours and the food. (laughs) I know I wouldn’t want to start out in show business these days. I have an 18-year old son (Brian) who wants to be an actor. One week he thinks he’s just going to hit the pavement and become a big star and then the next he’s thinking he’ll never make it. He knows that there are 10,000 young guys in Hollywood who are starting out on the same level. It’s a tough, tough, tough, tough time. These days you not only have to be a good actor. You have to be a computer genius and a networking maven.

MS: Here’s a name I’m sure you’ll remember: Danny Zuko. You originated the role of Danny in “Grease,” earning a Tony Award nomination for your work. Why do you think the show is still so popular after four decades?
BB: I think it’s because of the archetypical characters that everybody grew up with. Everybody had a gang of some sort, whether it was just friends in the neighborhood or a real gang. And I think that the issues that they face in the show…personal issues of identity…are universal. Every actress at that age likes to play the “bad girl” and every actor likes to play the “bad boy,” and “Grease” is full of these phony “bad boy/bad girl” characters that, underneath it all, are really quite innocent and genuine. Just like kids in high school it’s all about façade and image. And the music is fun. Plus I think kids like to say “f***” on stage! (laughs)

MS: What do you have coming up?
BB: I have a web series debuting June 3 called “Research” which is being platformed out in 10-12 minute episodes. I have a movie coming up on the SyFy Channel called “Blowing Vegas Off the Map” and I just finished a film called “Slay-Bells” where I play a biker-Santa. I’ve also got a role in an episode of Showtime’s “Masters of Sex,” a series about Masters and Johnson, which should air in the fall. I’ve got a lot of family stuff…my son graduates high school this week and I’m knocking on every piece of wood I see!

Jody Thompson talks about working with Barry Levinson on “The Bay”

Jody Thompson is the star in Barry Levinson’s new found-footage horror/thriller “The Bay”, which is being released on November 2nd.  Jody also co-stars this Fall with Bette Midler and Billy Crystal in Parental Guidance”. Jody took out sometime to chat with Media Mikes about his roles and what we can expect from the films.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your character in the film “The Bay”?
Jody Thompson: I play Officer Paul. I liken him to the Barney Fife of the town. It takes place in this really small town and which experiences an ecological outbreak, with these creatures all isopods. These are actually real creatures. These creatures get inside the townspeople and start eating them from the inside out. So if you can imagine Barney Fife with bodies flying through the street, then you have my character.

MG: How was it working with such a critically acclaimed director like Barry Levinson?
JT: It was really the drawing force for me to work on this picture. A chance like that doesn’t come by pretty often, so I was really pumped. Honestly, I put the audition on tape, forgot about it but when I got the call back I was psyched since he is such a well-respected director. It was a great project to be involved with.

MG: Tell us about your story line in the film?
JT: There are about four/five different story line and mine is one of the story lines they follow. It was challenging but the way the film is it works. My story has a bit of an arc but let’s just say it doesn’t end well for my partner and I. Just to be able to grab on to something like that I feel like I was able to work with this role a bit. So I thought it was really great.

MG: How was it working with Kristen Connolly, whom I loved in “Cabin in the Woods”?
JT: I did not. It sucks. I worked with Christopher Denham though and he recently had a really big part in “Argo”. So it was cool to work with him on this.

MG: The found footage genre is very hot right now, how does this film stand out from the rest?
JT: I always thought it was a little hokey in the found footage films, when someone is in the house but they keep the camera running. I would be outta there. The cool thing about this is that it is about an outbreak that happens in one day and it takes footage from all different sources. There is Skype cameras, (in my case) there is police cameras, iPhone and many others. They weave all these media forces together to tell a pretty convincing story. If you didn’t know this was a film, there is some believablility to this.

MG: How worked in both film and TV, what do you enjoy most and what do you look for in a role?
JT: My forte is comedy and I consider myself a character actor. Any chance I get to make people laugh is what I love the most. It doesn’t hurt when certain actors, directors or locations come into play. This is the stuff that I look for when I am choosing a role.

MG: How was it getting to work with Bette Midler and Billy Crystal on “Parental Guidance”?
JT: I only got to see Bette during the table read. But working with Billy Crystal was really crazy. I started talking with him one day about hosting the Academy Awards and telling him that he has been the best of all-time. He then started doing all the bits. It was awesome. It was like a free show. At the time I was shooting, Eddie Murphy was slated to host the Academy Awards. I finished shooting and like a week later Eddie dropped out and Billy Crystal got invited back. I thought that was really cool and I was saying that I was responsible for this [laughs]. But he was really awesome and I consider him a comedy legend.

Barry Sloane talks about joining ABC’s “Revenge”

This month when ABC’s hit show Revenge returns it will be welcoming English actor Barry Sloane as Aiden, “a mystery man from Emily’s (Emily VanCamp) past”. Previously seen by American theater audiences in Broadway’s Jerusalem last summer, Sloane comes from acclaimed turns on British tv shows such as Hollyoaks and Holby City. Along with “Revenge”, Barry talked to Media Mikes about his upcoming film roles in “Penthouse North” and Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah”.

Lauren Damon: So you’re joining into “Revenge” cast which you’ve done before on other established TV shows, how is that?
Barry Sloane:  It’s great, it’s a really cool show and  when the opportunity came up to be a part of it, I was very excited, you know.  It’s got a fantastic cast. Great actors, isn’t it? I knew it was going to be a fun part. From what I was told about the character , it’s going to be a cool character to play and there’s a lot of mystery to the guy, We’ll do some interesting things.

LD: All I’ve read is that he’s a ‘mystery man’ from Emily’s past, but a lot of times her people from the past don’t do so well, is that a concern for you?
BS: (Laughs) Well these things, you know, you come in and I think the main thing is you’re going to be involved in with Emily, Emily VanCamp’s story, so getting to work with her quite closely is going to be great because she’s fantastic and she’s a great girl as well. We’ve had a couple of scenes so far that have gone really well so you kind of come in to these things and you never as an actor, you never kind of say ‘oh I’m going to be here three, four, five years’, you know. You kind of come in and the first thing, you do an arc or something interesting like that. So with these types of shows it’s always interesting because you get as much as the viewers most of the time because you’re kind of getting scripts very close to when you’re filming it. So you never get any  information so when I’m doing this type of show I always enjoy it because I kind of open the script and it’s like ‘Oh, that’s what I’m doing this week!’  It’s always an exciting moment when you get that and especially when we all get around and do the table read and you get to hear it for the first time. So who knows what’s going to happen but I’m excited to get the next script, that’s for sure. (laughs)

LD: The finale of the first season was a crazy, sort of white knuckle episode, are you working on anything that compares?
BS: They set the bar very high.  And that’s why you know, when you’ve got a great following viewing, they’re very passionate about the show, the fans of the show. I think Mike [Kelley]’s got some great ideas to keep everybody hooked and there’s so much more that can be told with the story and what Emily’s going to go through—or Amanda, should I say?— so there’s going to be loads of twists and turns and intrigue and drama, all the things you expect, you know? It’s going to be fun.

LD: “Revenge” has been getting the kind of ratings that “LOST” used to get, are you excited for that level of viewers?
BS: I don’t know that I’m entirely prepared for the level of exposure that will come with the show but I kind of, as with anything, it’s all about the character and the job really. And you know, anything else that comes with it will be fun I’m sure. But it’s only good to have that many viewers if you do a good job, so I intend to do a good job! (laughs)

LD: No pressure, by the way!
BS: No, that’s cool!

LD: Is it different working here than in England?
BS: Well, the weather’s fantastic, and the people are great and there’s an ocean.  The locations I’ve filmed at so far have just been beautiful,  just amazing places. You’re getting to work along a lot of the coastline of  Los Angeles, so it’s…yea, I’ve got no complaints! Let’s put it that way.

LD: Are you allowed to say if you’re kind of more of a bad guy? Or are you in the middle?
BS: Again, the information that’s out, he’s a character that’s linked to when Amanda was becoming Emily so they kind of went through a lot of the same things, they’ve got a history together.  I’m the kind of guy that gets things done in the same sense that she does so I think he’s as perfectly  as dangerous as  she is.

LD: She seems kind of like a revenge sniper, she picks her target and she gets it done…
BS: Yea, she’s quite dark and dangerous, she can hold her own, she could probably take him. But I’m having a good go. (laughs)

LD: I see you’ve got movies coming up as well like “Penthouse North”?
: Yea, “Penthouse North is due for release”, I think, November time. Got a screening coming up soon with Michael Keaton and Michelle Monaghan, should be viewing that with them soon. And I’ve just been, prior to this, just before I flew out to LA I’ve just filmed the new Darren Aronosky film, “Noah”.

LD: That’s huge…
BS: Yea, yea, it’s going to be epic. I was working with Russell Crowe, so that was cool. He’s a cool guy.

LD: What’s you role like in that?
BS: I’m playing a poacher who—obviously Noah’s keen on animals and I’m playing a poacher. I’m playing a poacher, he’s trying to kill animals. So you can work out how that’s going to end up! (laughs) It’s a fantastic script, it’s such a good script and with Darren Aronofsky directing and stars like Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connolly, Anthony Hopkins, Ray Winstone, you know, with a cast like that it’s just going to be a huge huge movie and it’s not going to come out til 2014 so I’ve kind of got a few years to wait to watch it. But just to be part of it is really exciting and I hope to work with the guys again.

LD: Where was that filmed?
BS: We filmed in Iceland.

LD: A lot of things are filming in Iceland recently…
BS: Yea, well it’s because you get twenty-two hours of daylight, it’s just good for filming. When I arrived I was given like a welcome pack with an eye mask and I was like  ‘Hmm, that’s odd, why am I given an eye mask?’ and then having come out the bar late and then I was like ‘Ah, because I won’t be able to sleep!’

LD: And then “Penthouse North” looks to be a heist movie, are you also kind of bad in that one?
BS: In Penthouse North? Yes, I’m quite an unsavory character in that shall we say.  I’m kind of Michael Keaton’s associate so, he plays a guy called Hollander, who’s a very very dangerous man shall we say. And however dangerous I might be, he is a lot more dangerous than that. Again, getting to work with that guy was amazing.

LD: He’s Batman…
BS:  Exactly. Exactly, you know it’s not so bad. Yea,  it was quite funny because I did that with Michael Keaton—so I’d just worked with Batman and then I got a pilot called Gotham, which was strange, so I thought this is becoming very Batman-themed.

LD: How did it go with “Gotham”?
BS: Gotham’s done, yea we made it for ABC, and we didn’t get picked up unfortunately. But it was a fantastic pilot and Francis Lawrence directed and he’s now doing the Hunger Games sequel and it was Michael Green who co-wrote The River and Heroes and Kings. So the script was incredible, so I’m sure Michael is going to get something huge very soon and hopefully I can be a part of that.

LD: And obviously ABC kept you on for “Revenge”.
BS: Yea. Yea, I must have done something right! (laughs)

LD: Do you think you’ll ever get back to theater after your big “Jerusalem” run?
BS: Yea, absolutely. I mean, it’s kind of difficult to top the whole “Jerusalem” experience because  that was just like an epic dream theatre job, you know? …The whole cast was just golden and the whole experience of doing it was wonderful and just the quality of the piece as well. I mean when I get back to the UK that’s the first thing I want to do is maybe work at the Royal Court again or do some theatre when I get back just to get back into it and get the live audience.

LD: Now when you’re in England, are you based in London?
BS: I had been but I moved back to Liverpool to be close to family for a while and then obviously when you do that you end up getting a job in LA (laughs) So we were close to family for about a month and a half.

LD: I’m sure they appreciated it.
BS: Yea! Yea, a month and a half with me is enough for anyone I think they were kind of happy for me to leave (laughs). But yea, so it’s all good and I’m excited for this season on Revenge, it’s going to be fun and hopefully the viewers are going to enjoy it and they’re going to enjoy the character.

Revenge” stars it’s second season on September 30th at its new time slot of Sundays at 9pm on ABC.

Barry Williams and Danny Bonaduce talks about Syfy’s “Bigfoot”

If you are a fan of SyFy, they you must be a fan of their original movies. This summer, the month of June is packed with new great films. “Bigfoot”, Syfy’s Saturday original movie, premieres on Saturday, June 30 and easily is the best of the month. It stars two 70’s TV legends Barry Williams (“The Brady Bunch”) and Danny Bonaduce (“The Partridge Family”). Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Barry Williams and Danny Bonaduce about working together on the film and what we could expect with this fun film.

Mike Gencarelli: So can you guys talk about how you became involved with this show and what made you want to do it?
Barry Williams: It was really easy for me. They said that they were talking to Danny Bonaduce and they wanted me in the movie. And I said as long as I can beat him up I’ll do the movie.
Danny Bonaduce: Fair enough. I, interestingly enough and I hope this doesn’t make anybody look ill prepared because the movie went off like a hitch. It was perfect. Everybody worked really fast. But I was doing my radio show two years ago and heard that I was doing a movie about Bigfoot with Barry Williams. I called my agent who also has my name on Google Search and he said I just read that too. I said is there any truth to it? And he said I haven’t heard a word about it. And two years later we started production. It was really bizarre but it’s neat.
BW: I have to tell you too, I love doing a monster movie. It’s great fun to do because it’s only scary when you watch it and not so much when you do it. I’m always interested in something where I have a chance to save the world.
DB: God I’ve got to disagree with Barry vehemently. This is going to be a long phone call. Scary movies are not that scary when you watch them but it was terrifying to make. I even asked Barry, I said hey man, when that guy says look up here and scream because Bigfoot’s going to eat you and there’s no Bigfoot. You’re just staring off at a big stick with a piece of tape on it because we’re going to put in by magic – I’m sure there are some initials, that Bigfoot will be there later. Everybody screams. I said Barry, do you like feel really stupid when we do that? And Barry said no, I’m an actor. When he says Bigfoot’s right there I assume Bigfoot’s right there. And I went wow, I’m bad at acting because I feel really stupid.
BW: Well see, I paid a lot of money for acting lessons so I’ve spent my whole life trying to justify them.
DB: Hey don’t – I swear, I said – I was talking to a reporter. I said Barry Williams, I don’t know if you know this or not, but is a real live actor. To be honest with you and not just flattering to Barry. Honest to goodness, I have another occupation and this came along as a gift.
I didn’t have to audition, I didn’t have to jump through hoops and that’s what a lot of actors have to do and one of the reasons I don’t really do it anymore. So I was more than pleased to do it. But Barry, God bless him, not only takes it very seriously but made it kind of easier on me to do because he’s really, really good at it.
BW: Well Danny’s being very modest about his talents and what he brings to the table. But we did work together well. I’d do it again for sure.
DB: Yeah. Me too. I don’t know what happens to Bigfoot at the end of this but if he dies bring him back. If he has a cousin yeah, it was fun.
BW: We brought in the Air Force with like nuclear missiles. I think Bigfoot is going to bite the dust in this. DB: Well don’t give away the end man.
BW: Okay. Forget I said that.

MG: So Barry, you had done “Mega Piranha” a few years ago. Talk about how this was different, working on this creature feature than the other one. And did you kind of give Danny some tips on how to go about working on one of these?
BW: You know, the format for working on a movie is working on a movie. Danny has plenty of experience working on television and movies. So no on that. The difference with this and “Mega Piranha” was I was much more involved in the process. My role in Mega Piranha largely took place in offices and in cars. So I was kind of away from the cast through most of it. In this we were out working on location, we’re working with a green screen, we’re working in some pretty challenging circumstances because Seattle enjoyed the worst storm in 100 years through the time we were filming. And so it was very hands on and I had a lot more to do in it. So overall I it was a more satisfying experience if you could say.

MG: What’s your take on the legends of Bigfoot in general? Do you actually have any kind of belief in the Missing Link?
DB: I just moved about eight months ago and I do my new radio show – I guess I should publicize this as long as I have a chance on KZOK 102.5 in Seattle. Seattle, which I didn’t know because it was weird doing a Bigfoot movie that wasn’t about Seattle. I didn’t know this about Seattle either. Bigfoot is one of the main things about Seattle along with the rain and gray skies. In the airport is the Sasquatch Café. You can get your Bigfoot burgers and Bigfoot’s a thing up here that people talk about all the time. Now our Bigfoot in our movie is enormous. If there was something hiding that big I believe – and when I say this immediately all of the techno nerds are going to go hey, he’s one of us. It wouldgive up a heat signature and we would find it. Do I believe that there is something – I don’t know if it’s necessarily out in the woods or under the sea or in the sky but I believe for sure that there is something unlike us that has equal or superior intelligence. So whether it’s a Bigfoot or you’re using Bigfoot as an umbrella for aliens or not the Loch Ness Monster because that’s really an inlet and the Loch Ness Monster would starve. But do I believe in stuff like that? Yeah. Absolutely.
BW: Well I certainly believe the Bigfoot in this movie. If there is a real Bigfoot just whatever his size, I hope he’s not as angry as our guy because our guy is not having it. He pretty much is cutting a swath, right…
DB: And he’s really scary.
BW: …down the town. Yeah. He is scary. And I’m not sure – he’s as big as King Kong. I mean this thing is fast too. But I’m fascinated with theories and concepts. And like Danny was just saying, in Seattle it’s quite a big deal. The sitings, the trackings I enjoy kind of observing it. And you have to know that somewhere in there there’s got to be some type of missing link or something that’s bridging the gap through our own evolution. But it’s hard to imagine with GPS taking it down to inches of where you are that if we really wanted to find it, it would be pretty hard to hide.

MG: You are two of our pop culture icons and there is yet another pop culture icon of ours in this film, Alice Cooper. Can you tell us about working with him?
DB: I’ll start with this one. I know Alice a little bit. I’ve had the pleasure of talking to Alice a few times in the past but never working with him. And he really intimidated me. Not the crazy makeup and I’m so envious of that leather jacket. That leather jacket rules. But the director, Bruce at one point we had a real problem with continuity because as Barry said in the opening, we had a snowstorm that Seattle has not seen in at least 50 years if not 100. I mean everybody wasflipped out. Snow doesn’t stick to the ground here. That doesn’t happen. We are essentially snowed in and then it melted really fast. So we had to shoot things in a very – not quick as in haphazard but quick in as people had to think very quickly. And I’m sorry, what was your basic question again? I started to answer questions about the weather.
BW: Working with Alice.
DB: Oh, thank you. So we had to change things to match that the snow had melted and we had just shot the original master shot with no snow. So at this point he just looks at me and he says why don’t you and Alice just riff for a minute which means improv which on the radio is one thing. With people filming you and Alice Cooper standing there and Alice is really clever. I said to him – my line was – my one written line and then that’s where we were supposed to riff for almost two full minutes, I had said come on, you have to help me out Alice. We go way back. And he goes go way back? I’ve known you for two hours and I already hate you. And he hit me with a riding crop. And I thought this is a really – this is an interesting way to delve into the world of improvisation with Alice Cooper who insists on hitting me. But I mean it’s super neat.
BW: Absolutely. I was – I knew we needed a pop icon in the role and Alice was not yet cast when we started the movie. And when I found out he was coming out and going to join us I was absolutely beside myself. I’m a big fan both of him, Kiss and he came in full regalia with all the leathers, the riding crop and a very cool guy. And I was also, you know, hoping because I sing a song in this movie and I was kind of hoping maybe I get some props from the Man and that didn’t happen. I think he referred to it as – was he – he was asking Danny about whether…
DB: I just saw the clip.
BW: …this thing was a hootenanny.
He looks at you. He looks at you singing and he says, what is this a hootenanny?
BW: Yeah, a hootenanny. Right. I didn’t quite get that little wish fulfilled. But he’s a very cool guy. He’s nice to have in the movie and a lot of people don’t know this about Alice but he is a scratch golfer. He’s a really good golfer. So there you go.

MG: So was this movie fun, grueling or both to shoot?
BW: I go crazy when I watch actors and actresses get on television and they go oh, it was so much fun to make. Making a movie is not what you’d call fun. You get good things that come out of it but it’s work. We had some extra challenges on this one because most of it was filmed outdoors and the weather was not cooperating. So we had that element to deal with – wind, snow, matching. We worked at night. We didn’t have heaters in a lot of places. So you just do what you need to do and keep your eye on the ball which is how it’s going to turn out. I wouldn’t say fun but I’m glad that I did it and I’m pleased with what I’ve seen that’s come out. But grueling, you know, it was a tough shoot. It was a tough shoot.
DB: I don’t mean to just say ditto because that would make me a poor interview. Barry has been overly kind but also rather insistent. And I thought that was nice too. On the set of the movie I would ask Barry’s advice a lot. I’m not shy. I have other talents. Barry’s really good at this so I would ask Barry how should I play this, how should I do that? But I got very nervous because I gave an interview about this movie and the first thing they said was so, how was it making this movie and I didn’t think about the all encompassing question. All I thought was knee deep in snow for four days straight and the outfit I had already worn so it was established which was not warm, when you go on the scale of hard I mean we weren’t, you know, soldiers in the deserts carrying an 80 pound rucksack. I’m a talk show host. I stand in front of a microphone and try to be amusing. That’s my real job. Out there acting beside a skilled actor like Barry Williams in the snow – it really did have its more difficult moments. But like I said, this was a big deal in my life. I don’t do this kind of stuff anymore. This was just handed to me. Do you want to be in a monster movie. Do you want to be in a monster movie with Barry Williams? And I thought who says no to such things? I was going to ask the same question about our celebrity boxing match. Somebody asked me why would you do that? And because I like to box I said somebody asked me if Iwanted to box Barry Williams. Who says no to things like – these opportunities do not come along every day. But hey, it was an arduous shoot at the very least.
BW: Yeah. And in addition to which Danny – we were actually filming around Danny’s radio schedule so he’s getting up at 4:00 in the morning, on the air at 6:00 all the way until 10:00 and then driving up an hour away to the film location and working into the night. So it was challenging as we say. And regarding the boxing thing I’m glad that I did it but save the tape because that is the last time you will see Barry Williams in a boxing ring.
DB: Smart call Mr. Williams. I’ve done it about 12 other times and every time you think it’s a good idea that I thought it was a good idea and then eight weeks out I start getting scared and is this going to hurt and by the way, it always does. So you’ve seen the last of me doing the same thing. I’m with you.
BW: Stuff happens in the boxing ring.
DB: Yes it does.

MG: Bruce Davison is the director and your characters kind of have an adversarial thing
going. Did he give you room to kind of play off each other and kind of come up with your own thing?
BW: Yes.
DB: Well he did, I believe, it will depend on the movie which I have not seen yet. I’ve seen some of the trailers. But Bruce said – he kept looking at me with this really intense face and I think not mocking in a bad sense or maybe I mean parroting, the expression that I had. And yes Barry Williams and I do have an adversarial relationship but we’re mad at each other. And like I said, Barry’s the trained actor between the two of us. The script says I think – Harley Henderson is my name. Harley’s really made and to the point of violence. Well all I can do is replicate what I’ve seen in my real life whether it was the way I was raised or whether it was the way I really used to get really angry and fight. But I’d grit my teeth and get ready to do my line and Bruce would say just bring it down Danny. Just bring it down. He said there is so much more power when you do – and it really – I must tell you I felt like he was mistaken. But he’s the boss. You do what the director says. I remember that much from the Partridge Family and the few shows I’ve done after. And on the good side see I remember doing the rage thing and then the clip that made it where it’s just – where I just throw it off cuff – I’m going to kill Bigfoot. His take on it was much smarter and he’s absolutely right. Sometimes replicating real life just the way it actually happens, at least in my head, is not as good as a delivery. And Bruce Davison gave me a lot of direction that was very helpful.
BW: I want to say and I think everyone at Syfy should know, that the hero of this movie is Bruce Davison.
DB: For sure. Good call.
BW: He had to change gears in the middle of the race. We had to edit and cut. We had to make things work because certain locations were not available. There were time constraints. There were all kinds of things that a less flexible director never would have been able to overcome. And so yes, he was leaning heavily on the actors and – both in being prepared and also making some of the carving out some of the characterizations as adjustments had to be made throughthe movie. And he never wavered. He was always organized. He always had good ideas and he would come to us when he wasn’t clear about those ideas. But by the time we got to the set we were ready to go. And he finished that film I think a week early. I don’t know another director that could have done it. And he’s an actor. So for Danny and for me, you know, the kinds of things that Danny was just talking about in terms of how to produce something to the greatest effect, he knows how to relate that to us and it made it a lot easier for us.

MG: So you guys battle it out, quite a bit on the film as we’ve discussed before. I’ve got to ask, the chemistry between you two was just great. Did you guys have any good outtakes during shooting and/or have a hard time keeping it serious?
DB: I had a hard time because I’m really out of my element, I had a hard time with some things. But you know what? Barry and I – see each other off and on maybe ten times, 15 times throughout the years. I’m realizing I’m throwing around these accolades and I don’t want you to think we’re best friends. It’s just that I had no problem keeping it serious because Mr. Williams, I just want to – I’m really prefacing this to make sure everybody knows, really keeps it serious. It’s off – when they say cut then he says Barry Williams, the guy that got there in the morning and the guy that’s going home in the van with me at night, so to speak, or back to the city anyway. But I mean Barry Williams is the consummate actor. I interview people that are like Barry Williams and like me in the sense that they got really famous for something and not that I’m not super grateful for Danny Partridge, I wouldn’t have half the stuff I have had I never been Danny Partridge. But you’re kind of stuck with it. And Barry’s done a more successful job than most at being able to branch out from that. And I think the reason that is, is because he takes his craft so seriously that when we’re shooting it’s work. And I remember distinctly he would take a pencil and paper along with the director – he wasn’t impolite or anything. But he would say things like this doesn’t make sense. I’d agree but I’ve got to tell you if we would take an extra five minutes I wouldn’t have mentioned it. Barry was looking out for the quality of this movie all the time.
BW: What I did want to say about what was cool was, you know, Danny does – four hours of talking every day. And it’s basically him and he’s really entertaining. The amazing thing is that doesn’t stop. He shows up on the set and he takes right off again. And it’s just as funny. It’s like being entertained between all the takes and the drives and the rides back and forth. So it was really fun because he’s funny. So there we go.
DB: Well thank you. To some people that sounds funny. Others, that’s my wife, would just say please stop. There are no microphones in our house. To which I just want to get microphones in my house.

MG: The creature features can range anywhere from really serious to really campy. How did you determine the right tone to play your characters?
BW: Good question.
DB: I do comedy if you will. There are no jokes. I’ve never written a joke in my entire life. But the flavor of my morning show which has been on the air for 25 years and done pretty well by the way.
BW: Yes.
DB: Most of the feeling for comedy is where to put your emphasis. And if the movie itself is supposed to be like tongue in cheek then the only way to make it more funny would be to play it as straight as possible. I know for myself and I think I can answer for Barry but since he’s right here I won’t. For me my answer was to play it as straight as possible. And I played mine like I wanted those trees out of there. Barry and I were at each other’s throats. I played my character like I wanted him dead. I played it as straight as I could play it. If it’s campy, that will add to the campiness. Plus like I saidBarry does much more of this than I do. But the fact of the matter is it’s written. The dialog is pretty serious at some point. So I thought – I think the premise probably puts the tongue in cheek. But at least on my place I play it as seriously as I can. Barry Williams: Yeah. That’s – and you’re exactly right. When you cast Danny Bonaduce and Barry Williams in the same movie – in a monster movie you know it’s going to have some degree of camp to it. That’s why we’re picked. And so it’s going to have that certain tone. But the only way to play the movie is to play it for real, for keeps and let the situations and the appearances – of Bigfoot and the circumstances, let them kind of play out. It’s all a little bit larger than life in that sense. I think this movie will be best enjoyed with a box of popcorn in your lap.

MG: What was your favorite monster movie growing up, both of you?
DB: I don’t know if you want to consider it a monster movie but this is with your, you know, as a disc jockey or a talk show host I’ve moved into half a dozen cities or more and there are some things that you can just count on. And one of them is so what’s the scariest movie that’s ever been made and your phone lines light up. Now I usually have a fight between the Exorcist and Jaws. And in my world Jaws wins out because it’s now been 35 years, something like that but I dive.And I will tell you there is not a time that I dive that at some point I don’t hear that (da da, da da) from Jaws. Jaws continues to scare me especially on night dives. So if you consider – and I don’t think there’s ever been a Great White shark that big ever caught so I’ll still make it a monster. My favorite monster movie therefore is Jaws.
BW: Growing up Frankenstein – the green one with the things coming out of his neck.
DB: The bolts. Yeah.
BW: That was the one it would just stay with me after the movie was over and I’d be looking under the bed kind of thing.

MG: After Debbie Gibson and Tiffany did “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid”, they went on tour together. Any chance you guys might do something?
DB: Wow. It’s a great question and probably a wonderful tour. It’s very funny. I know both of those young ladies rather well. The year I got into radio was the years they were the hottest. Now Deborah as she prefers to be called now, did you know she’s in the Guinness Book of World Records?
BW: For what?
DB: For the youngest person to ever write, produce and perform a million selling album. She wrote all the words, wrote all the music. Yeah, she’s in the Guinness Book of World Records. I saw her on Broadway. She’s just a really, really talented girl. Tiffany is a wonderful girl too. I’m not sure what I would do on a tour with Barry Williams because I’ve done stand up comedy for David Cassidy a couple of times when he’s been in the towns where I’m working. And Barry is a consummate performer. He’s got a song and dance show that he takes on the road. But comedy is so frightening. It’s hundreds of people daring you to laugh plus if Barry and I were to go and do something together they would want funny reflections from the Partridge Family. Well, it was a very long day and I was ten years old. I have a couple of funny stories but I don’t have a half an hour’s worth so I don’t know what I would do. But Barry’s got a show he takes on the road.
BW: Well I will travel but I’m stationed and living in Branson, Missouri where I’m doing – it’s called Lunch with the Brady Bunch. And so it’s a standing show here. I do it four days a week and it opened this year. And it will be here for the foreseeable future. And it’s a nostalgic ride in a very kind of on the nose way for people that watch – I watch 50 year old women become teenagers in the show because they’re back to 12, 11 years old when they were watching the Brady Bunch and it’s a lot of fun. So I do take that out as well. We don’t have plans to go out on the road everybody’s got a busy schedule. I’m in Branson. He’s in Seattle. He’s doing a radio show. I’m performing a show here. And you never know. The right thing could come along. We’ll get to spend some time together with all of you and maybe someone will come up with something that makes sense for us and we’ll show up and do it.

DB: Can I ask a question, what is – because I’ve seen your stage act. What is Lunch with the Brady Bunch?
BW: That’s the show that I’m doing.
DB: Are there other Bradys there?
BW: I have the new Brady Bunch kids with me. So they are all…
DB: Oh, very smart. BW: So I’ve got them in costume, original choreography. We’re doing all the music. It’s multimedia. It’s, you know, I’m using support clips and graphics and photos and stories.
DB: Oh, that sounds fun. I would totally come see that.
BW: It’s the whole ride. In fact at one point, there are a couple of things but one of the songs, I talk about how the Bradys became a concert – or recording act because I had gone to the producer and I said look, there are all of these families that are making records. And some of them are selling millions of records, why not the Brady Bunch kids? I mean look at the Jackson 5, look at the Osmond Brothers, the Archies and of course the Partridge Family. And then the Greg character that I – is in my show he comes out and sings with everybody, I Think I Love You.
DB: Oh, that’s hysterical.
BW: And a little bit of One Bad Apple and ABC and Sugar Sugar and like that.
Danny Bonaduce: Oh, that sounds like a great show.
BW: It’s a fun show. It is a fun show.

Interview with Barry Bostwick

Barry Bostwick is known best for his role of Brad Majors in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”.  The film has become timeless over the years and it is been ranked as one of the biggest cult classics.  Besides “Rocky Horror”, Barry is also known for his role of the mayor Randall Winston in the TV series “Spin City”. He is currently appearing in the TV series “Cougar Town”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Barry about “Rocky Horror”, his TV work and also his busy plans for 2012.

Mike Gencarelli: How does it feel – because of “Rocky Horror” – to be known as an “asshole” for the past 37 years?
Barry Bostwick: It’s an honor to be an asshole! In fact my father, when he was alive, used to say “I am the father of Asshole!” He was very proud of the fact that I was asshole. He was a Rotary member because he was in business. He used to get fined a lot. Apparently the Rotary Club does funny things and they would fine the members if they thought something funny. Every time “Rocky Horror” was on television at Halloween my father lost money. (laughs) He was o.k. with it.

MG: Which cut of “Rocky Horror” do you prefer: the UK version that includes the song “Super Heroes” or the US version that cuts it?
BB: I like it complete. I like it with “Once in a While.” (NOTE: “Once in a While” was a song sung by Mr. Bostwick’s character, Brad Majors, in the original theater musical. For fans of the film, it would occur immediately after Brad has been seduced by Frank-n-Furter. The song was recorded for the film but was cut before it was released. In 1995, for the film’s 20th anniversary, the footage was finally shown. “Super Heroes” is a song that appears at the end of the film in the British theatrical version. The song comes immediately after the house lifts off. The footage was cut from the American version but the song itself was included on the American soundtrack album). It was one of those bizarre, explanatory kind of scenes…I’m not quite sure why they cut it in the first place. I understood why they cut it after my “thing” with Frank-n-Furter because it just slowed the movie down. It was the wrong time for somebody to sit down, smoke a cigarette and sing a ballad.

MG: Movie remakes have become quite prevalent within the past decade or so. If “Rocky Horror” were to be remade, do you think it would resonate with audiences as much as the original 1975 version did?
BB: Well, it’s a fantasy film. It’s a comedy. It’s like the movie “42nd Street.” Highlighting old musicals. And it’s also an old musical from its time. And the spoofiness of it makes it timeless. There’s really nothing you could update. I don’t think anyone should try to re-film it. It would be like doing the black version of “The Rocky Horror” show…like “The Wiz” from “The Wizard of Oz.” I don’t know how you’d do it. You basically have to do the show and it’s already been done. I don’t even like it when it’s done on stage now because the audience feels they can talk back to the actors on stage. To me that crosses the line of entertainment. I can understand that in a movie theatre because it’s “their” thing. But if you pay a hundred bucks for a seat at the theater you don’t want to be interrupted by some kids trying to out-shout the people on stage. I also don’t think the show works very well on stage. There’s a real dead part about two-thirds of the way through. I’ve seen it a couple of times on stage and it doesn’t really work. It’s a one-off. It’s a bright, colorful, kitschy…it’s a great movie of it’s time. I actually thinks it’s a really good movie. Not just a sensation…not something that was found and brought out of the gutter. It was actually a very well made movie that didn’t happen to click because of the subject matter when it came out. It was certainly ahead of it’s time. But if you ever go watch it without the audience participation I think you’ll see what a tight film it is.

MG: Your career has included a wide variety of television work. Is there any particular project that stands out for you and is there any one behind-the-scenes story that you never grow tired of telling?
BB: I don’t have a lot of “behind the scenes” stories.  I don’t have a great memory for them.  I sort of just do the projects and forget them.  But there is one – – I did a mini series called “George Washington” in the early 1980s and people still come up to me and say they found it very influential.  Somebody stopped me yesterday while I was getting my car repaired.  He said, “you know, you were responsible for me teaching history at the high school level.”  And he explained that he had been a kid in a high school class where the teacher played all of the mini-series.  She made it so come alive for him – the movie and the discussions afterwards – that he decided to become a history teacher.  What an honor it is to be a part of that mans life.  It happens all the time to me.  People from a certain generation will come up to me and say how much they appreciated the ingenuity and the influence of that film.

MG: “2010: Moby Dick” was a fun film.  Talk about playing Captain Ahab.
BB: (laughs) That was one of those ten day jobs where I did it just to see if I could do it.  I knew there would be elements of the film that would be deathly under-produced and that the special effects weren’t gong to be that great, but the character was so interesting to me.  He was so off the charts.  He was so larger then life.  It was challenging to run the line between this very classical, archaic character and an actual modern day person who could run a submarine – someone who could have actually gotten the job.  It was a tightrope act for me.  In one hand, he’s so over the top and so nuts.  In the other hand, not having someone just shoot me in the head and say “he’s in the wrong place”…..(laughs).  One story about that movie.  You know the harpoon gun at the end?  Two days earlier they handed it to me and said, “here’s your harpoon gun.”  It was some bullshit little spear gun that they’d gotten at some yard sale.  And I said, “what are you talking about…this guys has to go fight a god damned WHALE!”  So I went home and in two days I made that gun.  I didn’t want to be embarrassed by the fact that they only had a dollar and a quarter, you know, to make that movie.  I still have that gun mounted in my workshop.  I felt the gun had to be something reflective of the character…much larger then life.   

MG: You’ll be playing Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the forthcoming “FDR: American Badass!”. Given the title alone, we’re curious about this one. Care to share?
BB:  That movie was fun!  I haven’t seen the whole thing but the movie is very subversive.  Somebody compared it to the old “Batman” television series.  Every character says “fuck” at least three times in every scene.  If you look at the teasers on YouTube, one begins “another fucking moment from another fucking blah.”  I’ve got a sixteen year old son and a fifteen year old daughter and I’ve been trying to teach them not to say the word “fuck” and they tell me “well everybody says it.”  It doesn’t really have any meaning anymore.  I fought with them for years on it.  Then I do this movie where every other word is “fuck.”  They haven’t seen the film yet but I’m not sure what my argument is going to be from this day forward.

MG: Any plans to return as Roger Frank on “Cougar Town” this year?
BB:  I did one two weeks ago and I’m supposed to do one this week.  I think it’s the last episode of the season. They had their order cut to 17 or 18 shows this season.  I’m just waiting to get a phone call to find out when I go back to work.  I’ve got one more episode.  My character is running for mayor…maybe they’ll wrap that story line up before the season is over.

MG: What else do you have planned for 2012?
BB:  I have three or four films that are about to be released…they’re playing the circuit.  One is called “Finding Joy,” which is a sweet movie.  I play a bizarre, very agoraphobic guy who kills people!  I think it’s one of the best films I’ve ever made.  It’s just being distributed now and playing festivals.  If you have a chance to find it somewhere please see it. It’s a dark, “Coen-esque” comedy.  Then I have another one called “Home Run Showdown,” which is a kids movie about Little League baseball.  I enjoy working with the younger talent coming up.  And I enjoy encouraging their work if I like it.  If I can get a small film into festivals by attaching my name to it, than I’m happy to do it.  I’ve also got a pilot coming out on TNT tentatively titled “BFF,” which would star Julie Haggerty and myself.  We play the parents of a couple of kids in their mid 30s who still live at home, while his best friend from high school moves back to the small town to raise his family in the small town environment.  Trying to recapture the youth he had.  Once again, I’m playing odd and bizarre.  Very odd and bizarre this year!

Interview with Todd Barry

Todd Barry is a co-star on Adult Swim’s “Delocated”. The show returns for season three on February 2nd. Todd also has worked with Louis C.K. and Darren Aronofsky. He is also co-starring in David Wain’s new film “Wanderlust” this Spring. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Todd about working on the show and what he has planned for 2012.

Mike Gencarelli: What can we expect from season three of “Delocated”?
Todd Barry: I think there is going to be a lot more prostitution and violence in it. Peace, Love, Prostitution and Violence. That’s always good.

MG: Any further issues developing between Todd and Sergei?
TB: There is always something going on between those two. However I don’t want to give too much away. We just finished shooting everything last month. Shooting was scattered over a few months. They would just call me when they needed me.

MG: Tell us about Todd Barry playing Todd Barry on the show?
TB: I am playing myself to a certain extent however it’s a little bit heightened. It’s always great to be on a show that you are not embarrassed about. The show is both smart and funny. It’s good to be part of something like this and it’s nice to have a job where you like everyone.

MG: You’ve worked a lot with Adult Swim, tell us about you originally got working with them?
TB: I don’t remember exactly how it started but, with animation it seems as though once you do a voice then you get called in to do some other things. I think my work on “Dr. Katz” may have started our lasting relationship.

MG: Tell us how you got started working with Darren Aronofsky?
TB: I have known him for a while through other people. I guess he saw me somewhere and thought I would be good for the wise ass/mean guy at the store in “The Wrestler”.  We also worked on a fun short called “The Original Black Swan” for Funny or Die.  That was ALOT of work but it turned out good and was worth it.

MG: Tell us about working with Louis C.K. on his show “Louis”?
TB: I have known Louis for a long time. I think that show is going to start up sometime in February. I tend to get quite a bit of acting through people who know me.  This is a fun show to work on and I look forward to it.

MG: Tell us about working with the “The State”/”Wet Hot American Summer” crew in “Wanderlust”?
TB: That was another one where I have known David for some time. He is a really relaxed guy. Most people I work with are very similar as they want to have you stay loose and have a good time.  It is a fun film.  Everyone involved was just so great to work with.

MG: Due to your stand-up background, do you find yourself improving a lot when you are shooting?
TB: If they let me. Sometimes the script is very rigid but I think the better things I have done are less rigid. The ones I enjoy are when you just get an idea of what the director wants and you get to go from there.

MG: You also have a role in the upcoming film “Vamps”, tell us about that?
TB: That film is sort of a vampire version of “Clueless”, in its most simplistic description. Alicia Silverstone is in it along with Malcolm MacDowell and a whole bunch of other people. I play Sigourney Weaver’s right hand vampire.  It was a fun picture to work on.