Marilyn Ghigliotti reflect on her role in “Clerks” and on news of “Clerks III”

Marilyn Ghigliotti is best known for her role of Veronica in “Clerks”. With the director, Kevin Smith, announcing that “Clerks III” will be his final film, Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Marilyn about the news and reflects on her role in the original “Clerks”.

Mike Gencarelli: How can you reflect on Kevin Smith’s latest news to make “Clerks III” his last film?
Marilyn Ghigliotti: Well, it would be great. I think a lot of people really want to know what is happening with the characters anyway. I do not know if Veronica would be brought back or not – it would be really nice if she was. I am constantly asked that question about a third film. I was just lucky enough to work on the first film and play that character that everyone loves. In the same respect, I like the fact that fans are curious but I only know the same as them right now [laughs].

Mike: Why do you think these characters resonate going on 20 years now?
Marilyn: I think because they are believable. Everybody can relate to these characters. I am thinking because Kevin Smith had a lot of things against him but he beat the odds and was able to make this film possible without a studio. Since then it has just grown over the years. I have even had a nine year old girl come up to me and said that she loves the film [laughs].

Mike: Reflecting back on “Clerks”, at what point did you realize that this little film wasn’t going away?
Marilyn: It was when we were all at Sundance, which is when Miramax bought. Brian (O’Halloran) and I knew that the meeting was going on and we waited on pins and needles to see what was going to happen. When we got word it was bought by Miramax, where were really excited. Even then though, we didn’t know what to expect but we knew it was going to be a little more than we anticipated.

Mike: Do you have a highlight of working on that film?
Marilyn: All of it really. Next year is 20 years since it was filmed, so it is quite a long time. It was just a great experience. I remember we went in very late to shoot and at the time I was working at a salon as well. So I would be lucky to get an hour or two sleep after shooting before going off work. During shooting we got to meet the town drunk that would come in and buy cigarettes very late. We had hot bagels that we weren’t really suppose to have. So things like that.

Mike: Did you have any challenges with the sharp and quick dialogue for Veronica?
Marilyn: Oh yeah! I kind of trip-over my tongue naturally. You can even see, during the scene when Dante is painting Veronica’s nails. Kevin had enough film that he probably could have done a few more takes but I just kept tripping over my tongue. Even though, I come from theatre, which includes a lot of lines to memorize for a stage performance. For me learning lines is always a stressful thing. I want to be able to say them correctly as they are written.

Mike: Did you ever get approach for a role in “Clerks II”?
Marilyn: No, it never did. I did get to go to the premiere out in Red Bank though. I can see why she wasn’t in the film. But I could also could have seen a little cameo with her in it as well. There are many possibilities that I can see for Veronica in “Clerks III”. I know that Kevin writes his stories on how he is feeling at that moment, so it could have nothing for my character as well. But I am still hoping.

Mike: Besides acting, telling us about your work as a make-up artist?
Marilyn: Before I started acting, I was a practicing hair stylist in a salon. At a certain point, I was looking for something new. I was always interested in the entertainment field growing up, in some respect. I always wanted to take dance lessons as a kid and used to always watch musicals. I just ended up falling into it and I am happy I did. My parents brought me up telling me to get an office job or become a secretary to have financial security. Nothing against my parents but I am glad that I fell into this.

Mike: Tell us about what you have planned for next year?
Marilyn: There is one project called “Geek USA” that came about from the sound guy, Phil Bladh, who I worked with on “Alien Armageddon”. It was based on his prom when he was in High School. I was originally supposed to play his mom but there was a scheduling conflict. So I just play a store clerk and hopefully the scene isn’t cut [laughs]. It was fun though! I also just did a day on Neil Johnson’s latest film “Starship: Rising”. He was the director of “Alien Armageddon”. It was only one day but I love getting to work with him and he puts me in these roles that you wouldn’t normally expect to see me in. So, that was fun to do and I like getting to show range.

Corri English talks about her role in FEARnet’s “Holliston” and Season 2 plans

Corri English is the star of FEARnet’s “Holliston”, created by Adam Green and Joe Lynch. The show completed it first season this summer and will be returning for it’s second in 2013. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Corri about her role on the show and the plans for season 2.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you end up on the show “Holliston”?
Corri English: I had worked with Adam a couple of times. I did a series of holiday claymation webisodes he did for American Eagle. The series was called “Winter Tails” and he had me do some voice work on those. Shortly thereafter Adam was doing one of his infamous Halloween shorts and needed someone to fill in for Daniel Harris because there was a scheduling conflict. We had a great time doing that and became friends. “Holliston” has had a couple of incarnations so when he first started putting that together he brought me on board to do the show. It was really exciting to work with Adam again and see the show come to life as I had been attached to it for about 2 years prior to shooting.

MG: What do you enjoy most about your character and how does she relate to yourself?
CE: I know Adam pulled certain parts of our personalities in to the story. He made my character an aspiring country singer. I am actually a country singer. For the audience I know things are a little bit blurry because we all have our own names. At times they may not know where the characters end and where we as real people begin. I feel like anything on the show can happen and that is something that I really love. Initially Adam told me about the role and how I would be the girl that was always breaking his heart and that the audience would probably end up hating me. However, until that happens though they are going to torture me. (Laughs) I think in season 1 Adam found out I was up for anything and has really ran with that in season 2.

MG: What do you think it is that makes the show work?
CE: I think for fans of horror there are tons of those references going on within the show. Also though for people who may not necessarily be horror fans there is a whole lot of other stuff going on. Adam did such a good job of creating characters that I am sure everyone can relate to at least one of the characters on the show. I think there is so much heart and real life emotion going on that it makes the show interesting. There is a lot of reality in the show.

MG: What was a highlight for you of season 1?
CE: Laura and I had so much fun with the market basket episode. That was something that came out of rehearsal and Laura not being able to say those lines as English is not her first language. Sometimes little quirky things would come up and she couldn’t tell the difference. They would just let stuff like that go on forever. There were a bunch of really great guests on the first season as well. Tony Todd was great and also getting to meet John Landis was awesome.

MG: Can you give us any updates on season 2 of the show?
CE: We just finished filming. We shot most of the show on sets here in Los Angeles however for the last episode we actually shot in Holliston, Mass. We finished up with a found footage episode so we are running around the woods “Blair Witch” style. It was a fun way to wrap up the season. I am really excited for fans to see the new episodes because it dives much deeper in to the characters and their relationships. When we got done with the table read we were all laughing and crying. There will also be an animated episode this season as well as a holiday special which bridges the gap between the 2 seasons.

MG: Can you tell us a little about your band Broke Down Cadillac?
CE: We are a country/rock band that works out of Nashville. We have a ton fun doing it and we also have had quite a few opportunities to write songs for television and films. It’s really great when I get to put the singing together with the acting. I get to sing one of our songs on the show this year which I am very excited about.

CD Review: MxPx “Plans Within Plans”

“Plans Within Plans”
Rock City Records
Tracks: 13

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Plans Within Plans” is the 9th studio album by the pop punk band MxPx. The album is the follow up release to the bands 2007 release “Secret Weapon”. The album features 13 new tracks and is the band’s debut release via Rock City Records.

The 3 boys/men from Bremerton, Washington are back with their latest musical offering which is chocked full of that MxPx signature pop/punk sound we have all come to know and love. Right off the bat “Plans Within Plans” catapulted me back to 1995 when I first discovered this band. The groups sound has remained unchanged over the years and could be compared to your favorite pair of jeans. They just fit. Songs such as “Aces Up”, “Best of Times” and “Lucky Guy” cover everything from lost loves and friendships to youthful hopes and dreams. Though I enjoyed most of the tracks on the album I would have liked to have heard a little bit more diversity and growth especially from a band now on its 9th album. I understand the thoughts of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and not wanting to alienate fans however, this is punk rock! Stretch your legs and experiment a little. At the same time certain things are better left unchanged and MxPx may be one of those things. Long time fans will quickly find solace in the new album while new fans will be exposed to the classic pop/punk experience MxPx is known for.

Track Listing:
1.)    Aces Up
2.)    Screw Loose
3.)    Nothing Left
4.)    The Times
5.)    In The Past
6.)    Best of Times
7.)    Stay on Your Feet
8.)    Lucky Guy
9.)    Far Away
10.)  Cast Down My Heart
11.)  When It Comes to You
12.)  Inside Out
13.)  Nothing’s Gonna Change

Blu-ray Review “Best Laid Plans”

Directed by: David Blair
Starring: Stephen Graham, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, David O’Hara
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Distributed by: Well Go USA
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Running Time: 108 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: N/A

“Best Laid Plans” caught my eye due to the fact it is an urban reworking loosely inspired by John Steinbeck’s novel “Of Mice and Men”..but meets MMA fighting.  The film itself is slow-paced in the beginning but is packed with really wonderful performances.  Stephen Graham, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and David O’Hara are absolutely fantastic in this film.  I mean fantastic!  David Blair is a amazing director and he really nails it with this powerful British Drama.  I would highly recommend this film, especially for MMA fans.

The film revolves around two friends, Danny (Stephen Graham) and Joseph (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), who is the muscle of the two but has a mental age of seven.  Danny gets really deep in debt to a crime boss and had no choice but to use Joseph in a series of underground cage fights in order to help Danny pay his debt.

The film is very thrilling and makes you want to re-watch a second time the minute it ends.  It is also very gritty and the violence is very raw and real.  Although the film does not contain any special features at all, Well-Go USA released this film as a combo pack.  There is a Blu-ray and DVD disc included in this set.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from this film overall I am very glad I saw it and I highly recommend it.  BTW did I mention that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje gives one of his best performances of his career.

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 Robin Thorsen

Robin Thorsen is known for her funny and lovable character Clara on the web series “The Guild”.  The web series is entering in season five this summer and is hotter than ever!  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Robin about working on the series and about her character.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with “The Guild”
Robin Thorsen: I found the casting call online on Actors Access and it just said “The Guild: Pilot”.  The role of Clara [laughs] actually said “ex-cheerleader, fairly ditsy, kind of neglectful mother in an enduring way”. I said say “Hey I can play that!” [laughs].  I went to the audition and there were a lot of older women there, and I was the youngest person.  But I just went in and I guess I did something to make Felicia (Day) like me. It was actually my first big audition since I graduated college, so it was pretty sweet!

MG: What is the thing about Clara that you love the most?
RT: I think the best is… let’s face it she is a neglectful mom [laughs].  She does it though in such a funny endearing have to like her. I loved playing a character that is almost borderline taboo.   She is a mom and she drinks.   She also chooses the game over her kids but at the end of the day, she is this lovable character.

MG: Do you have a favorite season to date?
RT: I think the past two seasons have been quite fun.  We got a bigger budget.  I got to work with Amy (Okuda) in this past season.  It is always best to get to act with the rest of the cast then oppose to trying to act in front of a computer.  I think season four was written exquisitely.  It was so much fun and we got to see how Clara deals with her pregnancy and kind of forgets about it for the first half [laughs], then realizes she shouldn’t do that. Every time we get to work together it is a lot of fun.

MG: Do you find it easy or difficult working on the web series?
RT: “The Guild” has really been the only thing I have done.  I have a done a few guest spots on other web series and a little tiny movie.  It is a little stressful because we have to do so much in such a small amount of time but I love it.  I love being able to go to work and flushing out two or three episodes.  You also kind of at that borderline stress mentality because…you don’t wanna fuck up. Sean (Becker), our director is amazing.  Felicia is so great.  Everything we film I get worried if I am doing the lines right and Felicia always says we wouldn’t move on if it wasn’t good or you didn’t look good.  It is really nurturing and always a good experience filming.  It great to see how this show has come along from being produced from a PayPal account to now being produced by Microsoft.

MG: Tell us about working on the music videos, was it a blast?
RT: Yeah! Of course…What would happen if I actually said, No they were awful, I can’t believe I am part of that [laughs].  No, they were tons of fun to do.  The Bollywood “Game On” video was a little long for me, I was there all day.  Vincent (Caso) and I had to shoot our porition at night.  So our call time was really early and then we were just hanging out.  It was really neat though because I got to see everyone else film.  I really [laughs] don’t have a lot to do in these videos.  I am usually sitting down drinking something [laughs].  That is the extend usually of my participation.  I love being part of them. It just more exposure for the show…and us for that matter. People have come up to me and said “Oh my gosh, your in that music video” and I am just shocked.

MG: What can let us know about upcoming season five?
RT: Oh my gosh, I am stocked about it.  I wish I had information to tell you but I am in the dark. I know they are doing pre-production now.  I am thinking we are going to do some sort of a convention thing due to the end of season four. I can’t wait to get the script and read it and find out what crazy antics we get into.

MG: What else do you have upcoming?
RT: I actually just guest starred on another web series called “Awkward Embraces”.  It is really funny and witty. Jessica Mills is the brain child behind it. It is another kind of nerdy geek girl centered web series, which is awesome.  In the TV world you don’t get many of those.  I am excited to be apart of it.