Book Review “The Klein Files: Lost at Sea – The Hunt For Patrick McDermott”

Author: Philip R. Klein
Paperback: 343 pages
Publisher: Klein Publishing
Release date: January 23, 2012

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

If I asked you about the “Patrick McDermott Case” you might not recognize what I was talking about. But if I added “Olivia Newton John”s missing boyfriend” before the name you’d certainly understand.

In the summer of 2005, while on an overnight fishing trip, Patrick McDermott vanished. A quick and hasty search by the Coast Guard, as well as investigation “experts” on land, concluded that he must have fallen overboard and drowned.

In the search for the ever popular ratings, the television program “Dateline N.B.C.” contacted famed investigator Philip Klein and asked him if he would take one of two cases they had been following. Intrigued by the celebrity aspect, and the fact that nothing seemed kosher in the information presented to him, Klein took the McDermott case. For over two years he and his team interviewed witnesses, checked alibis and investigated leads previously dismissed. And they got their man!

A true storyteller (I would love to just sit down at a table with Mr. Klein and hear some of his exploits), Klein begins the book in the middle of a harrowing plane ride. With his wife, Inga, he is escorting a suspected kidnapper and the young child she abducted back to Texas. Approaching the runway at 200 MPH the front landing gear fail to lock, causing the plane to skid. Cool heads prevail, thankfully, and everyone gets off safely. But those few minutes inside the plane are riveting. Once Klein accepts the case he and his team begin to systematically follow the clues. And there are many. Most of them point to McDermott’s horrid ex-wife, described by anyone that would talk about her as a bitch. And that was the polite word. As the case progresses Klein and his team literally travel the globe, setting traps and beating bushes. Taking advantage of the world wide web they set up a “spider” web site, one that captures the IP address of everyone that visits it. They also set up a public web site which, within 48 hours of the first “Dateline N.B.C.’ show airing, crashes 39 times and gets over 2 million hits!

While Klein is the lead investigator he also praises his “team,” from his office workers to his field men. And to Inga! It’s clear that she is the force which guides him, both personally and professionally, and his words of appreciation ring true.

If you’ve ever wanted to get inside a missing person case…and I mean INSIDE…then “Lost At Sea” is a fine entrance.

iPhone Game Review “Sea Wolf”

Format: iPhone
Version: 1.2
Price: $1.99
Coastal Amusements, Inc.

Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

“Sea Wolf” is a remake/reboot of the classic Midway 1976 arcade game. The news isn’t all good though, this update has quite a few problems on the iPhone. The game play is decent but I had a big problem with the controls and the stability of the game itself. The controls are mostly motion-based but I found that it was too restricted and didn’t allow total control. Also when you have to shoot the planes coming at you, you need to use your finger on the screen and end up blocking your shooting view.

In the game you take control of a World War II submarine and your goal is to sink enemy ships with torpedoes and also shoot down enemy planes with your turret guns. Overall the game is definitely easy to just pick and jump right in. It does have a lot of action and levels to play. But the weak color design makes the game feel very repetitive after a short time.

Version 1.2 was recently updated to address bug fixes and stability but I feel that there is still some major bugs hiding away. During game play, I have experienced the game constantly crashing and when you resume playing the graphics are all scrambled. This forces you to have to start a new game and entirely lose your saved state.

Short Film Review “The Sea Is All I Know”

Director: Jordan Bayne
Starring: Melissa Leo, Peter Gerety and Kelly Hutchinson
Blue Eyed Cherokee Films
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 30 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Right off the bat, I had to watch this film twice back-to-back since it was so intense and emotional to absorb in just one viewing. Even though the film is short doesn’t mean it is not mega packed with features some deep issues. Melissa Leo is fantastic, as usual, she delivers a fantastic performance and shines. I am not a big watcher of short films and I think that this film will open many doors for me as a critic. It is amazing so you are able to tell such a meaningful and intense story is such a short period of time. This film is wound so tight and so powerful that the you find that you were holding your breath throughout.

The story is amazing a girl (Kelly Hutchinson) who is terminally sick at home with her mother (Melissa Leo). She is suffering very much and asks for her family to assist in her death to relieve the pain. Her fisherman deadbeat father comes into picture and comforts both her and her mother. They deal with the issue at hand and have to make a very hard and moral pressing decision.

All is all great performances by all. The short is very smartly and sharply directed by Jordan Bayne. I am looking forwarding to see further work of hers. If you have a chance to catch this make sure you do it pass it up since it is surely not to be missed. I wish it a feature because I couldn’t help but want more but for what it was great.

Oscar Worthy Award Winning Film “The Sea Is All I Know” starring Academy Award Winner Melissa Leo

Oscar worthy Award winning film ‘The Sea Is All I Know’ starring Academy Award Winner Melissa Leo

‘The Sea Is All I Know’ stars Oscar Winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter) and Peter Gerety (The Wire) and encompasses the controversial subject of assisted suicide.  Through this extraordinary journey the film shares a story of love in the face of death.

This wonderful picture has already won awards from Palm Springs International Film Festival ‘Best of Festival’ and the Rhode Island International Film Festival where Melissa won the ‘Grand Prize for Best Actress’.  Not surprisingly ‘The Sea Is All I Know’ is already receiving rave reviews; Darryl MacDonald, Executive Director of Palms Springs International ShortFest calls it “An Oscar Best Bet” and an “incredibly moving tale of family and faith” while praising the performances “Melissa Leo gives a heart-wrenching, typically brilliant performance.”   Jessica Gardner from BackStage praises the director Jordan Bayne saying she “allows the viewer to get pulled into the     characters’ inner conflict” as well as the stand out performance from Melissa “Leo’s raw, jaw-dropping performance can take an audience’s breath away” and Peter “Gerety is so perfectly cast, he turns in an outstanding and multilayered performance”.

‘The Sea Is All I Know’ is an honest portrait of a family coming to terms with their relationship to death. When estranged couple, Sara [Melissa Leo] and Sonny [Peter Gerety], come to the aid of their dying daughter, the experience sends them spiraling into spiritual crisis and brutal heartbreak. In the end, an act of selfless love, renews their lives, transcends their loss of faith, even death itself.

Jordan Bayne wrote, directed and produced this heartfelt film. Through excellent casting and classic story telling she has created an Oscar worthy unconventional love story  ‘The Sea Is All I Know’.

Official Website: www.seathefilm.com

Interview with Chandler Riggs

Chandler Riggs is starring in AMC’s new TV series “The Walking Dead”. Chandler plays Carl Grimes, the son of lead characters Rick and Lori Grimes. Movie Mikes had a chance to ask Chandler a few questions about his character and how it has been working on the show.

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Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with the TV Show “The Walking Dead”?
Chandler Riggs: First, my agent asked me to go on tape for “The Walking Dead”, and then they didn’t call us back for so long that we forgot about it. They called us two months later and after a couple of auditions, I was told that I got the part!

MG: Tell us about your character of Carl Grimes in “The Walking Dead”?
CR: Carl is the son of Rick and Lori Grimes. Carl is an average kid trying to adapt to this destroyed world and the other survivors. The first step in surviving is to have his mom and dad together and be a family again. That is the first of many problems.

MG: Where you familiar with the comic book series?
CR: I wasn’t familiar with the comic book series. My dad googled “The Walking Dead” and when we found out that it was a comic, we went to our local comic book store and bought a few issues.

MG: How did you prepare for the character?
CR: I prepared for Carl by reading the comic books and thinking about how he must have felt. We also watched a few movies that featured kid actors in intense roles to get an idea of what would be expected of me.

MG: How was it working with so many fantastic actors?
CR: I loved it. They treated me like an adult. Not just a little kid that annoys everybody!

MG: What was the best of working on the show so far?
CR: There are so many things that I loved.I really don’t think I have one favorite part. To see that I am part of something that means so much to so many people is really awesome.

MG: Are you a fan of horror films? Do you have a favorite?
CR: Yes. I love horror films. My favorite is “The Mist”. It was so cool seeing Laurie, Jeffery, Juan, and the amazing job that Frank did in directing that movie. Especially the creepy way that he ended it!

MG: What was it like working on the movie “Get Low”, any cool moments?
CR: It was so cool seeing Bill Murray and Robert Duvall. They were also very nice to me. My favorite part in “Get Low” was a deleted scene and didn’t make it into the movie. I got to shoot Robert Duvall!

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Interview with Steven Yeun

Steven Yeun may be new to Hollywood but he is off the right start. He is currently co-starring in AMC’s “The Walking Dead” as the character Glenn. Steven also loves doing improv and is currently part of a comedy duo. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Steven about his role in the TV show and his up-and-coming career.

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Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your character Glenn in “The Walking Dead”?
Steven Yeun: Glenn is kind of the scavenger of the group. He is a young kid but he is always willing to help do the right thing. He slowly starts growing and turning into a man and finding his family within this group he is in.

MG: What was it like working with Frank Darabont?
SY: I didn’t get to directly work with him. He directed the first episode. My character comes in around the second episode. What was great though was he was behind the show the in every way. He had his hands in every single episode. It was so great.

MG: How has it been working on the show?
SY: I do not have much to compare it to but if this is what Hollywood is, than this is the best. The experience has been unreal. From the cast to the crew everyone is so behind it. Since I came in so fresh, everyone was kind, supportive and willing to help with any questions I had. I tend to ask a lot of questions and they have been so great. All the veterans have mentioned that this is as hard as it gets. We have some really difficult moments in terms of physically and emotionally.

MG: Are you a fan of the horror genre?
SY: I have to be honest, I am not the biggest horror man. Mostly because they scare the crap out of me [laughs]. Zombies I am cool with. Like vampires, werewolfs and othermythology I love. Ghosts…I can’t do ghosts.

MG: Where you a fan of the comic series before working on “The Walking Dead”?
SY: Yeah, actually I was. When I graduated school in 2005, I moved to Chicago and a friend of mine told me to check it out. I picked it up and literally couldn’t put it down. i literally bought tons of issues after that. It was surreal for me actually being a part of this.

MG: Tell us about your film “My Name is Jerry”, which recently was released on DVD?
SY: It is an independent film, I got be apart of like two or three years ago. Doug Jones plays the lead. It is about a guy that is coming to terms with his life. He gets into a bunch of things and meets people. One of the them being my character. It is a pretty fun movie.

MG: What else are you currently working on?
SY: I actually do a lot of improv. I’ve got a lot of live shows here in LA with a friend of mine. It is called Left Hand, the Improv Duo. That is it for now and just trying to see what else is out there for me.

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Interview with Adam Minarovich

Adam Minarovich is making a name for himself on many levels.  He is currently co-starring in the new AMC series “The Walking Dead”. Minarovich has also written, directed and starred in his own projects, including “Ankle Biters,” “Wiseguys vs Zombies” and “Exhibit A-7.”  He also wrote and co-stars in the upcoming film “Chop.”  Movie Mikes had a chance to talk with Adam about working on “The Walking Dead” and what’s coming in the future.

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Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your role of Ed on “The Walking Dead”?
Adam Minarovich: It’s awesome.  As an actor living in the southwest it was right in my backyard.  It’s something I would have killed to be on.  I read for a lot of the parts that were in the graphic novel and I didn’t really fit any of them for various reasons.  But they wrote the character of Ed into the show and I was lucky enough to get to play him.  Ed is not a nice guy (laughs).  He’s married to a member of the survivor camp, Carol, who is in the graphic novel.  He’s not the nicest guy and he just hangs out at the camp.  I mean it’s an honor to play any character in anything Frank Darabont has anything to do with.

MG: Were you a fan of the comic series before working on show?
AM: A friend of mine has been telling me about “The Walking Dead” for some time but I never had the chance to check it out.  But when I heard this was coming up I started reading it and I’ve never read so long in my life!  I sat in a chair and just read one story after another.  I couldn’t put it down.  It actually gave me a new hobby.  Now I’m obsessed with graphic novels.

MG: What was one of the scariest things that happened on set?
AM: The experience itself was really awesome but I’m trying to think it anything really weird happened.  To sit in the makeup chair with Greg Nicotero was awesome.  He’s really a funny guy.  I’m so used to working on low budget stuff where everything messes up and it’s funny to talk about later but on this set nothings has screwed up so I don’t have any funny stories.  I mean usually somebody catches on fire or someone breaks a leg or the director freaks out but none of that happened so I really don’t have any cool stuff to say.

MG: I am just guessing but you are a big horror fan, right?
AM: I love all genres of movies.  I mean I’m not a real big “date movie” fan (laughs) but I love them all.  And I love horror.  That’s why it was so kick ass to meet Nicotero.  Meeting Michael Rooker on set was awesome too.

MG: You just wrote, directed and starred in a film called “Exhibit A-7.”  What can you tell us about it?
AM: It’s kind of a POV (point of view) film.  I describe it as “Blair Witch meets The Strangers.”  It’s about two couples going to New Orleans.  One of the ladies is pregnant.  The decide to take a road trip and they video tape the trip.  The movie is the “found” tape of their trip.  Half way through they end up in Georgia and come across the wrong group of people.  My character is Adam.  We all just used our real names.  It made it easier to stay in character by not having to remember different names.  My character wants to, for various reasons, document what’s happening to us.  He wants to show the police what these people are doing to us.  But halfway through the film the bad guys take over the camera.  And then they…document the rest.

MG: You also have another film coming up called “Chop.”  Tell us about how that came about?
AM: Trent Haaga at Troma liked the script, got some cash and optioned it.  I went out to Los Angeles and played a detective in the movie. He did a great job, I just saw a cut of it a while ago and it looks fantastic.

MG:  Anything else you have planned upcoming?
AM:  I wrote a script called “The Pawnshop Chronicles”.  It has been optioned by a great director, can’t say much more though.  My last few projects I have really been able to work with people I admire and look up to and I’m so pumped about that.

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Interview with Jeryl Prescott

Jeryl Prescott is what people in Hollywood call a triple threat.  She not only acts but writes and directs as well.  She added a fourth hat, that of producer, with her short film “Multiple Choice” in 2006.  She has appeared in such films as “Skeleton Key” and “Vacancy 2” and on such television shows as “One Tree Hill,” “Brothers and Sisters” and “Hawthorne.”  2011 will find her co-starring in the film “Bolden!,” a fictional look at the life of jazz musician Buddy Bolden.  The film co-stars Jackie Earle Haley, Anthonie Mackie and Michael Rooker. Jeryl can now be seen in the new television series “The Walking Dead.”  Movie Mikes had a chance to talk with Jeryl about her role in the show and what to come in the future.

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Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your character, Jacqui, in “The Walking Dead”?
Jeryl Prescott: The character was created by Frank Darabont.  She is not in the comic book series, so you have to watch the show to see how she fits into this world.  She’s the kind of woman who can surprise you. Jacqui is a southern woman.  I’m from the south, and the southern women I know and love are often nurturing, but fierce and bold when necessary, and really unpredictable

MG: What has been the best part about working on the show?
JP: The Walking Dead team is such an amazing collection of human beings!  No BS.  From the producers to the cast and crew, everybody connected with it.  It’s like the coming together of some perfect force.  For me especially, doing my first recurring role on a series, it is such a divine experience.  As for my favorite thing, probably watching the zombie magic up close, having lunch with zombies, talking with them between takes–surreal.

MG: Were you familiar with the comic series?
JP: No, but I am now.  I have the Compendium.  It requires a bit of weight lifting to carry it around.  And it’s only 48 of the stories!  There are like 76 of them.  I like to think of it as a giant graphic novel, and it’s fascinating.

MG: How does working on a TV series, like “The Walking Dead”, differ from doing movies like “The Skeleton Key” or “Vacancy 2”?
JP: It’s such a different experience.  With “The Walking Dead” it’s like we’re making a new movie every week.  We’re basically making a new, complete movie every week.  The benefit is that you get to stick with the same character week after week, which is nice.  But the challenge is that you’re processing, mentally and emotionally, a chunk of experience in the course of the week.  But in a film, you have months.  And you’d have those months to read through it.  But on “The Walking Dead” the scripts may change overnight.  I mean we might not even have a script “locked” until the night before we shoot.  So the challenge there is enormous.

MG: Are you a fan of the horror genre in particular?
JP: It must speak to my aura. It must read “she’s perfect for scary stuff.”  It’s an amazing little trend as my career develops.

MG: What else do you have planned in the coming months?
JP: Pajama parties at my place for The Walking Dead on Sunday nights!  And I’m in an upcoming film called “Bolden!”, which is actually being introduced to the world right now by a companion film called “Louis,” which is a silent film.  It is being presented in six or seven major cities with live musical accompaniment by Wynton Marsalis (who is also one of the films’ producers) and his orchestra.  And it is a fascinating and unique film experience.  It focuses on the early childhood experiences of Louis Armstrong.  And it’s a way of introducing to audiences the time period when Buddy Bolden lived.  (Note:  Buddy Bolden was one of the greatest musicians in New Orleans at the turn of the 20th Century and was instrumental in the creation of both ragtime and jazz.  The film is scheduled to open in 2011.)  It really will be a great experience.
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Interview with Andrew Rothenberg

Andrew Rothenberg is currently appears in AMC’s new TV series “The Walking Dead”. He is a not a stranger to the horror genre, though. He had a recurring role in Season 1 of HBO’s “True Blood”. Movie Mikes had a chance to talk with Andrew and discuss his role in “The Walking Dead”.

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Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your character Jim in “The Walking Dead”?
Andrew Rothenberg: Jim is a man of few words. I don’t want to give away any of his secrets, let’s just say he is dealing with the shock of where he finds himself, how he got there and what will be next.

MG: Where you familiar with the comic series?
AR: I had not read the comics before this project came around. When I mentioned it to friends it became very clear that this was a well known comic series among the comic book/graphic novel folks. I quickly ran out and got my hands on the first few in the series. It truly jumped off the page, and with the exception of his hair line, the character of Jim greatly resembled me.

MG: How closely does your character’s storyline follow with the comic series?
AR: You won’t see many differences. I tried at times to recreate images that I remembered from the comic while shooting scenes that were similar to what was in the comic. The only difference may be that I do talk a little more once I open up to the group.

MG: Having done a lot of television, how does this show compare to the others?
AR: This was by far one of the best experiences yet. The sense of camaraderie on set was remarkable, from the actors, to the crew, producers, directors, and all the way to Frank Darabont’s ever present hand. The integrity this project has will show. The show is a serious one for the most part and as is usually the case in such situations, there is a lot of comic relief behind the scenes. These were all some of the most fun and funniest people I have had the pleasure of working with.

MG: What has been the hardest aspect of working on the show?
AR: Ironically the toughest aspect of the show turned out to be its greatest attribute. The intense heat in Atlanta at times was absurd. We were outside everyday, all day, and often covered in alcohol based dirt and blood, in clothes that we had been wearing for a month. I have never sweat so much in my life. However it created quite a “we’re all in this together” feel on the set that helps make the characters and their plight, that much more real.

MG: How was it working on “True Blood” series?
AR: “True Blood” was another great one. I was there right at the beginning and nobody knew it was going to be a hit. Its funny but the first time we had a vampire fight on “True Blood” and had to do the whole fang thing I remember looking around and thinking, “Boy here I am acting like a vampire, I hope I don’t just look like an idiot” But we went for it, and it worked.

MG: Tell us about working on one of my favorite show on TV, “Castle?”
AR: “Castle” was fun, even without any zombies or vampires. Everyone on the show seamed to be having a great time and they were all very welcoming to me. I was doing an interrogation scene, as I have a hundred times before, but this time two things were different, one: the character, even though he was a scumbag, knew this time he had not done anything wrong and had a secret to tell his interrogators, and two: he had a finger cut off. Both fun.

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Interview with Juan Gabriel Pareja

Juan Gabriel Pareja is currently starring in AMC’s new TV series “The Walking Dead”. Juan is no stranger to acting, he has already worked with director Frank Darabont in “Stephen King’s The Mist”, Oliver Stone in “W.” and with Robert Rodriguez on “Machete” . Juan took some time to chat with Movie Mikes about his films and his role in “The Walking Dead”.

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Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your character Morales in “The Walking Dead”
Interestingly enough, I play a character who was not in the original Kirkman series, but who was created as a write-in by Frank Darabont (to whom I feel incredibly indebted to, btw). Being a write-in, I think, is a bit of a blessing in disguise. Die-hard fans may wonder who the heck I am and take a moment to connect with my character, but at the same time, my character’s storyline, and demise, is not already programmed in the world of the comic-book, as is the case with a few of the other main characters in the series. So I like that it is kind of an open-ended character with limitless possibilities. Also, the character I play, Morales, is one of the few survivors of the camp who is fortunate enough to be surviving the zombie-apocalypse with his nuclear family intact. I think this certainly adds a slightly different dynamic than the other lone survivors, as I’m fighting not only for my own survival, but for that of my family… a struggle and perspective shared with our protagonist, Rick, and his family. Overall, I think Morales sees himself as a moral compass (perhaps we all see ourselves that way). Heck, it’s right there in his name! Seriously though, I think he does his best to keep people calm, centered, and rational when tensions rise high, when the defecation hits the ventilation, as I heard someone say recently. I think it might have been on the latest video game I’ve been playing, “Bad Company II”.

MG: Is it connected at all with the character you played in Frank Darabont’s “The Mist” also named Morales?
Funny you should ask….. When I arrived in Atlanta this summer for the table read of what was to be my first episode, Guts, Frank made a quick joke regarding that coincidence, and that I might always end up playing a ‘Morales’ in any of his future projects. But no, there is no correlation between the two characters in either project, just me, and of course the apocalypse of your choice. A little side note for aspiring actors out there, you never know where your next project is going to come from. I actually just arrived in LA (I had been working in the Texas and Louisiana markets for a while) earlier this year, trying to figure out how I was going to make ends meet and get an agent. I was actually out knocking on doors for the U.S. Census when I got the call from my Houston agent, telling me that Frank was doing this new show out in Atlanta, that he remembered me from “The Mist” years earlier (in Louisiana), and wanted me to submit for this new role. I couldn’t believe it. I was floored, reeling with joy, and overwhelmed with gratitude. You never know which seeds that you plant along your journey are going to take root and sprout into something amazing.

MG: What has been the best part for you working on this show?
It is impossible to say really. It has all been a dream come true. Sometimes I’m not even sure if I realize how unbelievably huge this opportunity has been…. I think it is still setting in. It is incredibly validating to be working with such an amazing ensemble of actors on such an awesome piece of television history. I guess if I had to boil it down to one thing, it is the people I was working with, day in and day out, often times in uncomfortable and challenging environments. Not only are they all wonderful, talented actors, but also just terrific and impressive human beings! Incredibly supportive and always generous, there was a synergy on this show which I’ve been told is uncommon. And not just between the actors, but with absolutely everyone involved. They are all at the top of their game and are giving it all they’ve got. I mean come on, Frank Darabont, Gale Ann Hurd, Greg Nicotero, the folks at AMC, and countless others. You can’t go wrong there. I feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to work with such amazing talents and industry heavy-weights. I also have high hopes that this new-found level of exposure will help me find representation out in LA and allow me to pursue my career more aggressively.

MG: Even though you character is not in series, did you read the comics to research the story?
Oh absolutely. I didn’t know anything at all about the series when I got the call. As soon as I did though, I marched down to the local comic book store in Burbank… I think it may have been the very same one where Frank first discovered the graphic novel years ago. I bought the first compendium collection of issues 1-48, and consumed it in a couple of days. I mean, it’s no wonder Kirkman has gained such a worldwide audience. Once you start, it is incredibly difficult to put down. With such rich material, it is easy to imagine keeping the audience riveted and the series going for years to come.

MG: What was it like working on a film like “Machete”?
Oh that was a lot of fun. It was a short stint of a few days’ work spread over a couple of weeks time. I’ve known that Robert Rodriguez was someone who I aspired to work with since he first did “El Mariachi” and then “Desperado” many years ago, so it was a real pleasure to finally get to meet and work with him. It was particularly gratifying to work with Robert because he is a fellow Latino and Texan who has brought some of his Hollywood success back to his home state with his Austin-based production studio. And Danny Trejo is just great. Talk about not judging a book by its cover. After years of seeing such an iconic, rugged, and downright mean-looking face on this guy, I couldn’t have been more impressed by his sheer kindness and generous spirit on set. He really couldn’t have been a nicer guy.

MG: You have worked with such great directors, Frank Darabont, Oliver Stone, and Robert Rodriguez, how was it working with such great talent?
Each time I nearly had to pinch myself to see if it was really going on. I mentioned Robert to you already. And Oliver Stone?!? I was beside myself. Giddy really. One of the greatest directors in the history of the medium. And super kind, very accessible, and generous with his compliments. And Frank–hands down amazing. My all-time favorite film has been “The Shawshank Redemption” from back to my earliest days in high school. To work with him on The Mist was special enough, but to then have him remember me and bring me back for such an epic undertaking, is simply extraordinary. It is surreal to have worked with these three greats, and I don’t know if I’ve always done the best job at processing that fact. I mean, I grew up hoping only in my wildest dreams to maybe one day work with one of these men. And it ended up happening all before ever setting a foot in Hollywood. It can also be a little unnerving at times because often you get very little actual direction, and it’s easy to end up wondering if any of the choices you are making on camera are any good at all. But you have to just trust that no news is good news, and that they know what they are doing when they cast you. I heard someone once say, 90% of directing is in the casting.

MG: Besides acting, what are some of your other hobbies?
Dancing. I absolutely love to move and groove to great music, specifically to live Latin salsa beats. It is a great way to have fun and burn calories at the same time. I’m staying active these days also, doing a bit of hiking here and there, and trying to muster up the courage to maybe start training for a half-marathon. I also like to sing, make people laugh, and can easily spend hours just sketching away.

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Interview with Gil Gerard

Gil Gerard is most know for his  role Capt. William “Buck” Rogers in “Buck Rogers in the 25h Century”.  The show is still loved by fans everywhere even after 30 years.  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Gil about his role in the show and his upcoming projects.

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Mike Gencarelli: How did you get the role of Capt. William Rogers in “Buck Rogers in the 25h Century”?
Gil Gerard: I received the opportunity and turned it down three times.  Finally my agent told me to read the script.  I read it and it was pretty great.  So, I decided to do it.  I turned it down because I didn’t want to do a cartoon character.  I have seen the old Batman series and didn’t want to that type of show.  “Buck Rogers” was based on a cartoon.  I thought that Buck had a great sense of humanity and a great sense of humor.  That is what attracted me to the role.

MG: Have you ever seen any of the original television show or movie back in the 30’s?
GG: Yeah, I saw it when I was a kid.  I preferred the westerns to the serials.  I watched “Buck Rogers” and I also saw “Flash Gordon”.  I got to tell you it was pleasure to meet Buster (Crabbe) when he guest starred on the show.  We became great friends and remained friend until he died.

MG: Do you have a favorite episode from the series?
GG: Yes, it from my least favorite year…which is the second.  I liked ‘The Satyr’.  It gave me a chance to do some character acting.  It also reminded me of what I would have like the show to do for season two.  Which was basically stay on Earth and have adventures on Earth.

MG: 30 years ago, did you have any idea that this show will still be holding on with fans?
GG: No, If I did I would have saved all the props and wardrobes.  I could have had all that stuff.  It was just a job for me.  I did it, the show ended and I did other things.  It is amazing that after 30 years people still remember and love the show.  It is incredible.

MG: Did you get to keep any of the props?
GG: I did.  I have the star fighter from all of the fight scenes.  It was the Buck Rogers’ star fighter.  I have it here in my house.

MG: You have you blog and you frequent the convention scene, do you enjoy keeping in touch with fans at conventions?
GG: Yes very much.  It is very gratifying that people still remember it and it is a really nice things.  I enjoy meeting the fans and talking about the show.  It is nice thing to be remember for something like that.

MG: Tell us about your two upcoming projects “Blood Fare” and “Lost Valentine”?
GG: In “Blood Fare” I play a professor.  It is like a civil war horror film. It relates to the old legends.  It was a great experience and I really enjoyed it.  It was very low-budget independent film.  I love to deal with people that are creative, young and trying to get things started.  I just love the energy.  “Lost Valentine” is with Betty White and Jennifer Love Hewitt.   I play Betty’s son.  She is a woman who is widowed in World War II, her husband was MIA.  Jennifer plays a TV reporter who is doing a story on her.  The whole thing revolved around the fact that he said goodbye to her on Valentine’s day back in the 40’s.  Jennifer ends up finding what happened to her husband and the lost valentine becomes the found valentine. It is a really a nice story.  It will be on the Hallmark Channel probably around Valentine’s day.

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