Diane Franklin talks about Better Off Dead, Terrorvision and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Diane Franklin is an icon from the 80’s having starred in “The Last American Virgin”, “Amityville II: The Possession”, “Better Off Dead”, “Terrorvision” and “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”.

She is also an author with her latest book titled “Diane Franklin: The Excellent Curls of the Last American, French-Exchange Babe of the 80s”.

Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Diane to discuss her rise to fame and also her current work in “The Amityville Murders”.

Heather Locklear talks about joining Season 3 of “Franklin & Bash”

What do you do if you have a popular television show with popular stars as it approaches its new season? If you’re TNT you add everyone’s “go to” girl, Heather Locklear. From early 80s favorites like “T.J. Hooker” and “Dynasty” through the highly successful “Melrose Place” then on to “Spin City,” Locklear has always brought fans and, more importantly, ratings to her programs. Next week she joins the cast of “Franklin and Bash,” starring Mark Paul Gosselaar, Breckin Meyer and Malcolm McDowell as Rachel King, the law firm’s newest partner. The new season begins Wednesday, June 19 at 9:00 p.m. EST with an airing of back-to-back episodes. To celebrate her new gig Ms. Locklear sat down for some questions.

Media Mikes: When you first joined the cast, was it instant chemistry between you and Mark and Breckin or did it take a bit of time for you all to gel?
Heather Locklear: You know what, I think anyone would have instant chemistry with those two boys. So that was pretty much right away. We were joking and laughing right away.

MM: And what was it about the role that interested you in being a part of this show? It’s very much a comedy mixed with a drama.
HL: Right. First because of that, that’s different. And also because I’ve never played a lawyer before. And when shows are on a couple seasons already, it’s always nice to go in on that when they are well-oiled machines.

MM: What do you like about the character?
HL: I like that she’s strong and she’s well educated…she knows world leaders and knows her stuff…her business.

MM: Do you see Rachel and Malcolm McDowell’s Stanton having a power struggle over the firm down the line? And what is Malcolm McDowell like to work with?
HL: You know, I do see that down the line. But with Malcolm, I mean yes I do see that a little bit because he hands over the reins to her to, you know, to get everyone in shape. And I step on toes a bit. But it’s so fun working with Malcolm. He’s so twinkly and sparkly and such fun. Have you met him?
MM: No, but we’ve interviewed him for our site in the past.

MM: Because of your popularity – especially on television series – you must get many offers. What was it about this show that made you say ”yes, this is the show that I want to do?”
HL : Let me tell you something. I don’t get many offers. I get a few maybe. But because the show is like a “Boston Legal” – I loved “Boston Legal.” I loved “Ally McBeal” It’s similar to that. It’s a fun show. And it was different than what I’ve done in the past.

MM: If you had to name your three favorite roles what would they be?
HL: Like the shows?

MM: Yes.
HL: Oh, I loved “Melrose Place.” I loved “Spin City,”… both of them with Michael (J. Fox) and Charlie (Sheen). And I loved doing “Saturday Night Live.” That was fun.

Book Review “Diane Franklin: The Excellent Adventures of the Last American, French-Exchange Babe of the 80s”

Author: Diane Franlin
Paperback: 134 pages
Publisher: Diane Franklin
Release Date: August 2, 2012

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

If you grew up in the 80’s and watched movies then you know who Diane Franklin is. If you were a teen guy (or a girl) you most likely had a crush on her. Her first film role was “The Last American Virgin”, which started her career as an 80’s icon. From there she took on roles in film like “Amityville II: The Possession”, “Better Off Dead”, “TerrorVision” and “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure”. These films were a big part of my life growing up. They are also all pinnacle films of the 80’s. This book is a real treat for anyone that is a fan of these films and are looking for an inside look into Diane’s career and life. When I recently spoke with Diane about her book, read here, she told me that she wanted to do this in a way to preserve her experiences and stories on these films for herself, her family and also her fans. It is great reflection of not only her films but also her life outside film.

“Diane Franklin: The Excellent Adventures of the Last American, French-Exchange Babe of the 80s” was self-publishing by Diane herself and is currently available for sale only on Amazon.com and for download to your Kindle devices, click here to purchase. This book is very personal and reads like a friendly conversation. It goes into a lot of Diane’s personal experiences. She includes a lot of great personal photos as well. My favorite part of the book though is how accessible it is. I am a big fan of “Better Off Dead”, so instead of searching through the whole book for what she wrote on that film in particularly, she has set up the book with chapters based on each film. So there are chapters on her films like “Last American Virgin”, “Bill & Ted”, “Better off Dead” etc. This is a very smart idea and a great selling point for the book. Maybe you don’t give a crap about “Amityville II” but you love her in another film. People can go directly to that movie and still enjoy the book.

Speaking of “Amityville II”, we all know Diane’s role in that film is a bit risqué. She goes into a lot of depth about that film as well in the book and fans of the film are going to LOVE IT! But speaking of risqué, Diane has actually rated each chapter dealing with her films, so some are rated PG-13 or rated R etc. So if you are a parent it will inform you on how mature each chapter of the book would be for your kids. It is not very graphic but the subject matter is more mature in the rated R chapters. This is a very unique book and one of the most interesting memoirs that I have ever read. Diane really goes back in time and relives these events and brings these wonderful stories for us to enjoy. What I also love is that the stories don’t stop with her 80’s films it goes into her early life as well and her life before and after she became an 80’s icon. It is very honest and engaging. If you are looking for a very quick, easy and fun read…then be sure to pick this up!

Diane Franklin reflects on her film roles of the 80’s and talks about her book

If you grew up in the 80’s, and was a guy (or maybe even a girl) then you probably had a crush on Diane Franklin. She started her film career with “The Last American Virgin” and from there took over the 80’s in film. She was in films like “Amityville II: The Possession”, “Better Off Dead”, “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and “TerrorVision”. Media Mikes had a chance travel back to the 80’s with Diane, chat about her films and most importantly her new memoir, “Diane Franklin: The Excellent Adventures of the Last American, French-Exchange Babe of the 80s”.

Mike Gencarelli: What made you want to write your memoir, “Diane Franklin: The Excellent Adventures of the Last American, French-Exchange Babe of the 80s”?
Diane Franklin: When I decided I wanted to write a book about my career. I looked back and I realized that I have done so much. I also look back and I think how 80’s it was. The films that I did were popular but more on a cult popular aspect. My kids are teenagers now, but when they were young they were my top priority. You always think about passing things on to them when they get older. They won’t know me as Diane Franklin. I am mom to them. Even though I did so much work in films. My role in the business was also very unusual. I started so young and I worked in various aspects of the business. I thought to myself that I need to write all this down. Firstly, since I wanted it on paper before I forgot it all [laughs]. I was in what movie? The other thing was that I wanted my kids to know my life before I was mom. Nobody can tell that story. My husband can’t tell it. My friends can’t tell it.

MG: How did you end up self-publishing the book?
DF: At the time when I wrote it, it wasn’t like I was on a show and someone approached me to write it and sell it. Most of the time know when people write a book today it is because they are on a show and it works with their current popularity. People will buy it just based on their name. For me, if you know me or my films, I thought people are really going to love to go back and finding out what my career was like from my perspective. I was the girl that you feel in love with [laughs]. There was a lot of things that came into writing this book that I think are incredibly interesting, even just from a historic point-of-view.

MG: Tell us about what we can expect from the book?
DF: I took just not factual events but also my personal experiences. I also tried to put a lot personal pictures in there as well. When I am 90, I want to look back and go “Oh yeah, I know that girl”. So this is a memento for my kids and myself but also a great way for fans to look back. It was also very important for me to make the book very accessible. If you love “Last American Virgin”, you wouldn’t have to read the whole book to find out what happened for that movie. I wanted to make specific chapters for each film. There is a “Last American Virgin” chapter, “Bill & Ted” chapter, “Better off Dead” chapter and so on. So people can go directly to that movie and totally get into it. I wanted it to be a book that they could flip through the chapters and make it easy and fun. I am an upbeat person in general and I wanted it to reflect my personality in the book.

MG: What do you feel makes this book unique?
DF: As a parent, a few of the roles I did were rather risqué. So I didn’t want to talk about this…but not that. You would never get to know me as a person or as an actress unless I talked about everything. So I do in fact talk about everything, but what I did is that I rated the chapters [laughs]. So some are rated PG-13 or rated R. So if you are a parent you can still buy the book and have your kids read it and have them skip over the mature sections. But even if they did read it, is it not too bad. It just has to do with subject matter that is more mature. There is nothing like this anywhere. There is no book like this out right now. I did the film “Amityville II: The Possession” and that deals with some risqué subject matter, I go very in depth for that chapter. I have gotten such great feedback from people that love the horror genre because it is coming directly from me and they are getting an inside scoop on it. I am also not holding back with what I talk about.

MG: So where can people pick this book up?
DF: You can only get it right now on Amazon.com (click here to purchase the book) and it is also available to download on your Kindle device. If you buy the book on Amazon and then add me as a friend on Facebook and look for the black and white photo of me from “Better Off Dead”, you can send the book to me and I will sign it! So there are advantages to being a friend with me on Facebook [laughs].

MG: Being from Long Island, I have to ask about your role in “Amityville II: The Possession”; anything strange occur during shooting?
DF: I actually talk about that in the book. The thing is that because we didn’t shoot it in the house itself, I am sure if we shot at the house it would have had a more eerie feeling. When you are shooting a movie, each one has its own tone or feeling. But when we shot this movie, the tone was definitely somber, even though we all got along. We all worked really well together though. The director, Damiano Damiani, was very calming and as an actor you follow the director. For me as an actress I totally got what he wanted to do on the film. Here is a great “Amityville” story actually. When I saw the film for the first time in Long Island, I was with my friends and I actually got carded going into the movie. I was like “Hello? I am the reason why it is rated R” [laughs]. How ironic was that!

MG: “Better Off Dead” is a film that I always loved growing up with as a kid; how does it feel to have influenced numerous people’s lives?
DF: Oh my God! That is amazing. You never know how you will be remembered. As an actress you just do your work. So many people have seen this film and it is one of those films that has really resonated with people. They will watch it and then pass it on to their kids as they grow up. It actually started as this underground college film in the beginning and developed this word of mouth. I was just so happy that people got to know me through that character. It was a good role and also a good role model. It was also totally 80’s and hilarious. I just feel so blessed and grateful for this film and everyone’s love for it.

MG: Why do you feel that 80’s films are just as popular today if not more then their original release like “TerrorVision” and they have this continued cult following today?
DF: What is that all about? Seriously? [laughs]. You never know how a film is going to do. I never expected these films to have another life down the line on Blu-ray etc. “TerrorVision” was hilarious. When we did it we thought it was a hip movie that was very funny and also campy. We thought it was going to do well. It was like a live-action cartoon. But I think since it was rated R when it came out and I don’t think it found its audience. But today people still watch it and love it. So it’s great!

MG: Recently you have been working with your daughter Olivia DeLaurentis, who has been directing films; how was this been for you?
DF: My daughter makes films and has been since she was little. She won her first film award when she was 12. She was at the Los Angeles Film Festival last year. She writes, directs, acts and edits her own films. This is not one of those “well her mom is an actress and probably helps her”. No, no, no, I wouldn’t do this to a child. She works very hard and for Olivia this is her passion and she loves it. If I had any influence it was that when they were young, I used to do comedy improv and used to involve my kids. We also just came back from the Soho Film Festival with her film “My Better Half”, which I was in. She is 16 now and her film was selected and is competing with adult films…not ‘adult’ films but against other adult filmmakers [laughs]. It is just amazing. She already has a feature script and she is ready to go! So keep an eye out!

DVD Review “Franklin & Bash: The Complete First Season”

Starring: Breckin Meyer, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Malcolm McDowell
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Distributed by: Sony Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Episodes: 10
Running Time: 422 minutes

Season Score: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras Score: 4 out of 5 stars

When it comes to law shows for me it is hit and miss. The show really needs to be able to provide engaging court scenes and also provide light humor to the situations. “Franklin & Bash” does that and more. TNT really scored a hit with this show bringing it into its Summer line-up last year. The show recently started it second season and is already off to a great start. Breckin Meyer and Mark-Paul Gosselaar really work perfectly together in this series and deliver one hell of an entertaining show. If you missed season one, be sure to pick up this season to catch up before watching season two.

The show follows Jared Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Peter Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), who are two of the most unique lawyers that practicing law. They bring the funny to the courtroom ranging from making out with a plaintiff, to fist fighting on the courtroom steps, to chugging beers as evidence. Though their unorthodox methods always seem to get results and win client’s cases. The independent duo catches the interest of attorney Stanton Infeld (Malcolm McDowell)who asks them to join his high-powered law firm Infeld Daniels. Of course, when the duo come on board they find themselves taking the big-leagues for a ride and turning the courtroom upside down. The complete first season features guest stars Jason Alexander, Beau Bridges, Harry Hamlin and Tom Arnold.

The special features are very impressive and jam-packed. Firstly there is a never-before-released blooper reel, which is a laugh riot. There are seven behind-the-scenes featurettes. The first is “Creating the Cases” focusing on the cases taken in the first season. Next “Franklin & Bash & Friendship” takes a look into the duo’s relationship. Franklin & Bash Behind-The-Scenes” takes a look into the making-of the show. “Behind the Behind” features Mark-Paul discussing the scene where he exposes his bottom. “Working for Franklin & Bash” focuses on Kumail Nanjiani and Dana Davis’ roles. “Malcolm McDowell Office Tour” is a tour of the head of Infeld Daniels law firm’s office. Lastly in the featurettes is “Man Cave Tour” is a look into the duo’s bachelor pad. To top off the amazing extras, there are three faux “Frankin & Bash” law commercials.

Breckin Meyer & Mark-Paul Gosselaar talk about Season 2 on TNT’s “Franklin & Bash”

Breckin Meyer & Mark-Paul Gosselaar are the stars of TNT’s hit law drama “Franklin & Bash”. The show returns June 5th for its second second. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with the guys about working on the show and what we can expect from season two.

Mike Gencarelli: What should we expect from your characters in the second season?
Breckin Meyer: I think with the second season, when we jump off, we start with Franklin & Bash becoming equity partners in the firm which, for them, is a great thing because, I mean, it’s more money for toys. But on the bad side, it is a lot more responsibility and also a lot more repercussions for their actions. It’s no longer just the chance of them getting thrown in jail for contempt or getting fired. Now they got 500 employees behind them and they can really cause some damage, and also them representing – if they have to make rain. They have to sign corporate companies and these are guys that are used to fighting against. So how do you stay true to your values when you’re working for them instead of fighting them.

MG: Were you surprised at how well people received Franklin & Bash that first season?
Mark-Paul Goselaar: Oh, see, I have to go really quickly because Breckin took up so much time [laughs]. Yes, we were actually pretty surprised that we had such a big audience.
BM: I’m sorry, Mark-Paul, that’s all the time we have.
MPG: But, you know, I think Breckin and I are huge fans of our own show and so it was just a pleasurable surprise to find that people liked it as much as we did.

MG: So let’s talk about relationships, though. I mean, you guys got any love interests coming in the cards this season? Mark-Paul?
MPG: Yes, there are about two episodes worth of a relationship for Bash. One of the things that we try to do is not have anything come in between the two boys. So – because relationships don’t last all that long. They just sort of give you a glimpse of a different side of the two characters.  I think for me -I don’t know about how Breckin feels about it, but I like when the guys are together so it’s hard for us to bring in another relationship that isn’t Franklin or Bash. But we did do a bit of it over the course of the season. I had a girlfriend and Breckin’s character had a girlfriend as well.

MG: This show kind of stands out from other law shows out there.  Can you describe why you thought the show is so unique?
BM: I think from the get-go what Mark-Paul and I can both respond to is the fact that even though there is a case of a (weak atmosphere) that you have in normal procedurals, with this show, we go home with the characters. It really is – the cases are more of a backdrop. What the show’s really about is the relationship between the two lifelong friends and their kind of dysfunctional family of a law firm.

MG: Now I hear you didn’t really know each other that well before Franklin & Bash started. Have you developed a real-life friendship? And does that translate to having even more fun on screen do you think?
MPG: Well, I knew Breckin. I just wasn’t a fan of his work.
BM: Yes, that’s accurate.
MPG: Yes, that’s pretty accurate. But go ahead, Breckin.
BM: I was hoping that they would get literally anybody but Mark-Paul Goselaar. And then once they got him, it really was just – the money was green so what am I supposed to do, you know, at that point. But no, I think I can honestly it’s by far my favorite day job I’ve ever had. And I think it shows up on screen. The show lives or dies by whether or not you believe these guys are lifelong friends.
MPG: And by daytime job he means by post hole digging and drawing cars as his – car lot, so. This ranks right up there with one of his favorite jobs.
BM: It ranks right up there will pulling weeds.

MG: You guys have a really great list of guest stars for season two. Is there anyone that you are particularly excited about working with?
BM: I was really happy to have Seth Green come on because he’s a buddy and Mark Paul has been on Robot Chicken and we kind of thought he owed us. He has to return the favor. Who else? We have – Shawn Aston was a lot of fun. Rick Fox. Kevin Nealon was great. Chris Klein came on. We’ve had a lot of fun with our guys because, I mean, what you’re offering as actor is basically a week to come and play, you know, to come and have a really good time and our set is a fun set. It’s a fun time. It’s not super serious with no egos. And you get to come play for a week so we had Beau Bridges come back. Jane Seymour comes on as Peter’s mom so we meet Mama Bash.
MPG: I just echo what Breckin just said, but we had Sherry Appleby come on and play your girlfriend and Kat Foster came on and played my girlfriend and, boy, we just had a lot of fun, it just is a testament to our show and the word around sort of the industry is that it’s a great set to be a part of and come have fun and enjoy yourself.

MG: Do you have a lot of room available for improv?
BM: They give us the script. We always make sure we get a take completely on book. And then once we’ve got it definitely in the can, we kind of take our leash off and they say we can – we riff a little bit just as kind of the (buttons), the ins and outs of scenes, we may riff a little bit and it’s more for us. It’s more just to help us kind of solidify these guy’s friendships in our mind, that these guys are real friends who riff and goof off. So luckily enough we all kind of get these characters enough. Sometimes some of that stuff ends up in the show. But I mean, it’s fun to be able to riff like that. It just keeps us alive while we’re having long days.

MG: The first season kind of pushed the envelope when they portrayed Franklin and Bash’s private lives. Is season two going to be pushing the envelope even further?
MPG: I hope so.
BM: We start off full frontal this year.
MPG: We not only go to their private lives but we go to their private parts.
BM: Yes.

MG: Well, besides your private parts, it is different for a legal drama to see their private lives? I mean you guys are party animals.
BM: Yes, I like that we go home with the guys. I mean, I like that we follow their relationship. It’s not just about what happens behind the doors of the courtroom. It’s about what happened in these guy’s lives and how it leads over into the courtroom. But really, it’s about these characters.
MPG: But I also think that they’re less party animals and they really just enjoy the fruits of their labor. I don’t think that they’re the guys that like to sip out of red cups and, you know, and throw a party just to throw a party. They really enjoy having people around them and using their money and having a good time. But they’re not fraternal in that way, right. I don’t think it’s like they’re a party – I mean, we’ve always fought that. We’ve always said you can’t make these guys just party animals because that’s not fun for everyone. You’ve got to have an element – these guys have to have a level of maturity and I think there’s a fine balance to that I think that we’ve created on this show. And, again, with this year, giving them more responsibilities, making them equity partners and (Intel Daniels), having them take on harder cases with bigger clients. And representing people that in the past that they fought against will create for the audience as well as for the characters, the maturity of that that I think you need to have to make this show work. It can’t just all be fun and, you know, parties.
BM: It’s just that’s their approach. There’s more drama – and I think that’s why this season is better than last season, is because there’s more drama and the way that these guys deal with drama is by being more liked and being fun and that allows the audience to not even realize that they’re watching a legal drama in that sense.

Aretha Franklin fills Kauffman Center with Soul

Photo by: Patrick Howell courtesy of Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Aretha Franklin
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
Kansas City, Missouri
May 8, 2012

A few years ago, “Rolling Stone” magazine published a list of the 100 greatest voices in rock and roll history.  No surprise that number one went to the Queen of Soul herself, Ms. Aretha Franklin.  At the beautiful Kauffman Center in Kansas City, her majesty held court for a sold out audience.  And she didn’t disappoint.

Cloaked in a fur coat and carrying her pocketbook, as if she was just stopping by to say hello, Ms. Franklin opened her show with a rousing version of Jackie Wilson’s “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher.”  For the next hour and a half she regaled the audience with many of her hits (“Think,” “Chain of Fools”) as well as some surprises.

The show went off without a hitch.  Almost.  After her second number Ms. Franklin requested that the stage airconditioning be turned off, threatening to leave the stage if it wasn’t.  “I came to give Kansas City my best performance,” she informed the unknown tech, again requesting the a/c be cut.  Thankfully for all in attendance it was.  Later in the show one of her bracelets fell off.  She eventually enlisted the help of her band director, who refastened it to much applause.

Ms. Franklin was in fine voice, hitting all of the notes the audience expected.  She kicked off the second act of her show by sitting down at the piano and paying tribute to one of her mentors, the late, great Sam Cooke.  While images of Cooke were shown on the video screen, Ms. Franklin sang one of Cooke’s biggest hits, “You Send Me.”  “Jesus” she said, as shots of the handsome Cooke filled the screen, “he was a fine man!”  She followed up with a moving tribute

Photo by: Tim Hursley

to the late Whitney Houston, singing a few bars of “I Will Always Love You.”  She concluded the second act with an audience favorite, “Freeway of Love.”

For her encore she informed the audience that the other night she had seen one of her five favorite films on television (among her favorites: “Dr. Zhivago,” “The Thomas Crown Affair” and “Lady Sings the Blues.”  I can only assume one of them is “The Blues Brothers.”)  She then delivered a moving version of “The Way We Were.”  She concluded the evening with her signature number, “Respect.”

On a side note, I must add here that this was my first visit to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and it was easily one of the most beautiful venues I’ve attended an event at, The complex, along with the Sprint Center, is one of the crown jewels in Kansas City’s performing arts crown.

SET LIST:  (Your Love Is Lifting Me) Higher and Higher, Share Your Love with Me, Think, Baby I Love You, Something He Can Feel, Chain of Fools, Ain’t No Way, Instrumental Highlights (the band was TIGHT), Find Me An Angel, Help Me Lift Him Up, You Send Me, I Will Always Love You, Freeway of Love.  ENCORE:  The Way We Were, Respect.

TNT Summons Hit Series “Franklin & Bash” for Second Season

TNT has summoned Franklin & Bash back to the stand for a second season of the hit legal drama starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer. Currently airing Wednesdays at 9 p.m. (ET/PT), Franklin & Bash ranks as one of basic cable’s top new series of the summer. Franklin & Bash is produced by Four Sycamore Productions, Left Coast Productions and FanFare Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television, with Jamie Tarses, Kevin Falls and Bill Chais serving as executive producers. TNT has ordered 10 episodes for the second season.

“This summer, Franklin & Bash has broken out as a hugely entertaining series with great characters, sharp writing and a terrific cast,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming, for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies. “We’re thrilled that the show has drawn such a remarkably strong following and look forward to bringing it back next summer.”

In Franklin & Bash, Gosselaar and Meyer star as two young, fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants street lawyers who cause a seismic culture clash when they join a legendary, button-down law firm. Malcolm McDowell plays Stanton Infeld, a Renaissance man and the patriarch of the law firm. Also starring are Dana Davis, Kumail Nanjiani, Reed Diamond and Garcelle Beauvais.

Since premiering on June 1, Franklin & Bash has drawn 3.9 million viewers in Live + 7, ranking it among basic cable’s Top 5 new series for the summer-to-date. The series is averaging an outstanding 1.8 million adults 18-49 and adults 25-54. Franklin & Bash scores a significant number of viewers through time-shifted viewing, including a boost of well over 50% among key adult demos.


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