Robin Williams, Oscar Winner and Beloved Actor, Dead at 63

This is going to be tough. I’ve had the great fortune, followed by genuine sadness, in the past to see a young talent break through, shine brightly and then die. Two people that come to mind are River Phoenix and Heath Ledger. Both great talents and both taken way too soon. The fact that I have been entertained by Robin Williams for almost four decades only makes the pain of his passing hurt more. Williams died earlier today, with the cause of death pointing toward suicide. He was 63.

I can remember Williams’ appearance on “Happy Days,” where he first gave life to Mork, the alien from the planet Ork. With his brightly colored suspenders and soon to be catchphrase “Nanu nanu,” Williams, like Mork, invaded our televisions and made them his own. I can still remember gathering at my friend Scott Gilbert’s house, just after my 18th birthday, with other friends to watch the debut of the new comedy “Mork and Mindy.” I can still remember the laughter, which peeled from the living room throughout the house. The show, and Williams, were such an instant hit that within a few weeks the movie theatre I was working at brought back an R-rated sketch comedy called “Can I Do It ‘Til I Need Glasses,” trumpeting in the ads that the film “starred” Robin “Mork” Williams. Williams really only had two brief appearances in the film, but that fact wasn’t enough to keep people from paying their money and selling out the opening weekend performances.

In 1980, the studios came calling properly, with Williams playing the title role in Robert Altman’s “Popeye.” Two years later, he showed he was much more than a funny man when he took the lead in the film version of John Irving’s classic novel “The World According to Garp.” He continued filling theatres in the 80s with a series of comedies, including “The Survivors,” “The Best of Times” and “Club Paradise.” In 1987, he teamed up with director Barry Levinson and earned his first Academy Award nomination (for Best Actor) for his role as Airman Adrien Cronauer in “Good Morning, Vietnam.”

Oscar nomination number two came in 1989 for the Peter Weir directed “Dead Poets Society.” He starred opposite Robert DeNiro in Penny Marshall’s “Awakenings” and alongside Kenneth Brannagh and Emma Thompson in “Dead Again.” He even managed a small cameo in his friend Bobcat Goldthwait’s film “Shakes the Clown.”

1991 saw him star as the grown up Peter Banning in Steven Spielberg’s “Hook.” That same year he earned Oscar nod number three opposite Jeff Bridges in “The Fisher King.” The next year he exploded (literally) as the voice of the genie in the animated Disney hit “Aladdin,” So acclaimed was this performance that the Hollywood Foreign Press presented Williams with a special award for his work. He later amazed audiences when he donned a fake bosom and gray wig to portray everyone’s favorite housekeeper, “Mrs. Doubtfire.” During this time he would also show up in small cameo roles in films like “Shakes the Clown” and “To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.” In 1996 he co-starred with Nathan Lane in Mike Nichol’s “The Birdcage” and as a young man who grows up too fast in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Jack.” The next year saw him co-star opposite two young actors who found work by writing their own script. The writer/actors were Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and Williams received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the duo’s “Good Will Hunting,” which also won Affleck and Damon an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Williams continued working in a mixture of comedies and dramas, including “Patch Adams,” “Bicentennial Man,” “One Hour Photo” and “Insomnia.” He also contributed his voice to such popular animated films as “Robots” and “Happy Feet.” He appeared as President Theodore Roosevelt in “Night at the Museum” and it’s sequel (and had just completed work for the third installment). He returned to episodic television last year opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar in the CBS series “The Crazy Ones,” which was recently canceled. Last year he also appeared as President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the critically acclaimed film “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” This past May he starred opposite Mila Kunis and Peter Dinklage as a man who is mistakenly told he has 90 minutes to live in “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn.” The Internet Movie Data Base lists three remaining projects (including the third “Museum” film) to be released.

I’ve tried my best to sum up the highlights of a thirty-six year career in these past six paragraphs. I’ve hit the high notes of a career that also had low times. Williams, along with Robert DeNiro, were with the late John Belushi the night the comedian overdosed and died, and that experience supposedly scarred Williams straight for quite a while. He recently had a couple of return trips to rehab, which proves nothing except that he was human. But I’ve chosen to remember the best about Robert Williams. To me he will always be the young man in the bright suspenders, standing on his head on the closest chair and exploring the world with the wide eyes of a child. He had so much to learn, and so much to teach us. Good night, Robin. God bless you!

Enter to Win Robin Williams’ latest film “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn” on Blu-ray [ENDED]

To celebrate the Blu-ray release of “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn”, Media Mikes is excited to giveaway one (1) copy of the Blu-ray to our readers. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of this prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite film with Robin Williams. This giveaway will remain open until July 25th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Comic Legend ​Robin Williams, Mila Kunis, Peter Dinklage ​A​nd Melissa Leo ​Headline ​Heartfelt Comedy Arriving On Blu-ray, DVD And Digital HD July 22 From Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Some people have bad days. Henry Altmann (Williams) has one every day. Always unhappy and angry at the world including everyone in it, Henry sits impatiently at the doctor’s office when he is finally seen by Dr. Sharon Gill (Kunis). Sharon, who is enduring her own bad day, reveals that Henry has a brain aneurysm. This news makes Henry even angrier, yelling at Sharon he demands to know how much time he has left. Faced with Henry’s anger and insults, Sharon abruptly tells him he has only 90 minutes. Shocked and reeling by this news, Henry storms out of the office leaving Sharon stunned by what she has just done in a lapse of judgment. As Sharon goes on a city-wide search, Henry struggles with his diagnosis, determined to make amends with everyone he has hurt in his life.

Zelda Williams talks about the film "Noobz" and her love for video games

Zelda Williams is daughter of actor and comedian Robin Williams. She co-stars in the new film “Noobz” alongside Jason Mewes, Blake Freeman, Matt Shively, Moises Arias and Casper Van Dien. She is also known for appearing in Nintendo’s television commercials for the Nintendo 3DS game “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Zelda about how she got involved with the film, her love of gaming and what she has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: How you were approached to co-star in “Noobz”?
Zelda Williams: It was like any audition really. I met the director and talked with him about what I liked about the character and the idea to get paid to play video games [laughs]. The cast/crew are really a fun group. With them being such gamers as well, it was like looking for a kindred spirit. So it was a lot easier having that aspect in place.

MG: Tell us about preparing for you role of Rickie?
ZW: [laughs] Thankfully it was pretty easy. Pretty much everyone in the film played a more debauched version of themselves in real life. Rickie is sarcastic and silly but pretty much fairly normal, actually. It was interesting to play the straight man to everyone else goofing off. I really enjoyed it. Especially being able to be the chick gamer in it was also quite fun. Otherwise [laughs], there really wasn’t much prep needed.

MG: Being a gamer yourself, what are you currently obsessed with in the video game world?
ZW: I like playing “Assassins Creed”. I don’t play as much when it is the busy season in L.A. because you can just lose yourself. I was one of those people that would play for 8-9 hours and it doesn’t help you be productive. I still loves games though.

MG: Having a father like Robin Williams, do you feel that comedy comes natural?
ZW: No, not at all [laughs] I think I am really happy that I got his wits. I am quick and snappy but funny is a hard gig. I am happy that I don’t have to be the goofy funny one. I am not speaking a mile a minute and expected to make people roll in their seats. There is a lot pressure in that and it is something that I have avoided for a while. Growing up with comedy, I have an enormous amount of respect for it but is not something that I set out to do.

MG: How was it hosting of the live show “The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses”?
ZW: It was wonderful. I met them because of the Nintendo commercials I did and they asked me if I would be interested in hosting. I had no idea that they had a symphony behind this show, besides seeing it at E3 briefly a few years ago. It was fascinating to me but also scary as hell. I have really bad stage fright. But it was really wonderful. Music has such a connection with nostalgia. It was also great to see parents, who are fans of the game, now bringing their kids. Fans were attending all dressed up. People wouldn’t have assumed that when this game originally came out in the 8-bit world that it would played in front of an audience with a full symphony orchestra. It is interesting to look back and just think that they would have had no idea!

MG: I also a big fan of your Nintendo commercials for “The Legend of Zelda”
ZW: It is actually quite funny; doing the Nintendo commercials we actually had the opposite backlash than you would have expected. I really loved working with Nintendo and I think they are such wonderful people. A lot of people loved those commercials. But the gaming community took the other side of it and immediately starting complaining that I was pretending to be named after the game etc. It was very bizarre since half of the community went up in arms about it. But I found it very funny. They are the same people that I don’t think want to see comedians and fun people acting like gaming competitors in “Noobz”. I get it that the gaming community is very elitist but it is just really funny to me.

MG: Are you able to talk about your role in the third season of MTV’s “Teen Wolf”?
ZW: I am not sure I am able to talk about that just yet. I am good friends with Colton (Haynes) and he let that out a little early [laughs]. But next time we talk I will be able to discuss that more.

MG: Can you tell us about your film “Never”?
ZW: “Never” is a wonderful film. Thanks to Kickstarter, it got its post-production funded. I have never had a project do that and I think it is really great. I have a lot of faith done in crowd-funding if it is done properly. The film itself is really different from projects like “Noobz” or “Teen Wolf”. I play a lonely lesbian character living in Seattle, who is in a band. I get to sing three songs in the film. But it is not a musical though; it is more like “Once” where there is a reason why they are singing. But in this film, a straight guy falls in love with her. They become best friends and that’s where things get complicated. So a lot of it has to do with dealing with their friendship and feelings.

MG: What else you have for 2013?
ZW: The rest of 2013 is just working and writing. I am now writing scripts. I am very lucky to have found the team that I did to work with, since they are pushing them along well. Hopefully I will be going into production on one of my scripts soon.


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Vision of Disorder’s Tim Williams chats about new album “The Cursed Remain Cursed”

Tim Williams in the lead singer in the Long Island-based hardcore band Vision of Disorder. I have been a fan of these guys since day one and were a major influence in my taste of music. The band released their latest album “The Cursed Remain Cursed”, which was the first studio recording in over a decade. The album is also one of their best to date. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Tim about the album and the how the hardcore scene has changed over the years.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about the inspiration behind “The Cursed Remain Cursed”?
Tim Williams: Long story short, it was a long process…which is fine. We took our time. A lot of the inspiration both the songs and the lyrics were based on how I was feeling during the time. Things were a little hairy in my life for a while. So I was dealing with that and then also the disbanding of Bloodsimple. I was looking forward to just getting in the studio, taking my time and not having to rush out on the road right away. Just kind of settling down a little, you know? Things were really busy for a long time and it was good just to say in one place and make some music.

MG: It’s been 11 years since your last studio album; how do you feel that the sound for VOD has evolved in that time?
TW: I think we have changed as people and musicians. We are a little wiser and know what we want and know how to get it. I think going when we went out own way for that time and made it on our own terms really helped also. I think the biggest difference this time around for VOD is that we are more mature and know how to handle the business better.

MG:The tracks on this album are just as hardcore matching the self-titled album, you have any difficulty keeping that level of anger through the lyrics?
TW: No, not at all. There is plenty to be mad about [laughs]. There are also plenty of things to talk about in the world. The things that I draw my lyrically content from are very present and have not run dry from that well. It is difficult to do well, so you need to take the time to make it what it is. Just pushing out the first thing in your head and holding it. So it is not hard to conjure it but it is hard to make it good.

MG: What was your biggest challenge heading into the studio?
TW: My biggest challenge was to try and not make the same mistakes. I wouldn’t go as far as to stay relevant but to make really good music and not fall back on the stuff that we have already achieved.

MG: How was it working with producer Will Putney on this album?
TW: It was great. I have done work with Will before back on Bloodsimple. He engineered their second record. VOD recorded about 3-4 demos for this record to see how they sounded. We did a demo with Will and that one just destroyed every other demo we did. It just captured what VOD should be. We went back and forth with a couple different producers. Long story short, based on the connection I had with him, I just kept pushing for Will over and over. Finally, it all worked out. It couldn’t have been a better choice because the proof is in the pudding and Will was a very intricate part of that record. He really just let us be VOD and that is why it worked. Will knows how the band is supposed to sound and I feel that we did it right.

MG: Any B-sides that didn’t make it onto this album?
TW:We wrote a lot of songs for this record. There was a lot that we didn’t even bring to the pre-production. There was one song that actually was tracked but  there was so much shit I had to get done and I didn’t even listen to it. Everything was going so good and I didn’t want to waste 2-3 days on a new song, when the other shit was so great. That might come out some day…you never know.

MG: How does you feel that the hardcore scene has changed since you started?
TW: It has definitely changed. How do I feel? It doesn’t really matter…it changes, you know? It will change with or without me. I feel fortunate that VOD was around when it began – or I would say was morphing into a different thing, like from the 80’s into the 90’s. We were very fortunate to have been involved with the scene in the 90’s with bands like Madball, Dark Side, the original Life of Agony, Sub-Zero and all those bands that were really hardcore. To be a part of that and actually succeed was a cool thing. Seeing VOD be able to come back is even better. It has really been a crazy ride.

MG: We going to have to wait another decade before we get more material again?
TW: This album is still new, obviously. But yes, we will like to do more records down the line. We are just going to continue on and probably crank out another one and just keep going. Why will we stop right?


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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.

Hank Williams III talks about new solo albums

Hank Williams III has recently released four new solo albums. These albums were the first to be released by William’s newly formed label Hank 3 Records. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Hank 3 about what it was like releasing four albums simultaneously.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the idea of releasing four albums simultaneously?
HW3: For me I wanted to try something different. There are many different angles. Doing something different was the first one. The second part for me was trying to make another mark in musical history. I am standing on my own two feet. People can look back on my career and see that I did quite a few different things with the family he was from. A third reason is I haven’t been able to sell a CD at any of my shows in almost 18 years. I wanted to be able to give the fans a chance to see all the different sounds and a chance to also buy them. I don’t know if I will ever have that much focus or drive to do that amount of work again in a short period of time. There are all kinds of things that prompted me to push myself a little harder and do something un-standard. I also kicked off Hank 3 Records with these releases. What better way to do it than to come out of the gate strong.

AL: What made you decide to start your own label?
HW3: Basically I am going through one lawyer instead of five or six. I have less people trying to tell me what I can or can’t do. It’s pretty simple what I am trying to do. I am making music and touring. When I get a chance to work with another musician I don’t want that opportunity shut down. I have always known my sound. Henry Rollins gave me some advice a long time ago about only really needing a good distribution company as the other stuff is already in place. I kept his words very close to me. So far things have not been an issue. However if it starts cutting into my creativity then I might think about changing it up. Right now it is just another way of trying to become more hands on.

AL: Did the writing/recording process vary at all between the four albums?
HW3: The country is always a bit more serious to me. I have to worry about pitch and the tone as well as the timing. I take that a lot more serious when I am working on the country sound. At night I would do a lot of the “ADD” and “3 Bar Ranch” stuff. It was a good way to end the session and wind things down. For a couple of months it was working from the time I got up until the time I went to sleep. Things were full on. I have always been that way when I have been working on the country stuff. You have to be sharper with that stuff. The other material I am playingmostly by myself so things are less intense. There are no outside players coming in and needing your ideas explained to them.

AL: What interested you in using different auctioneers in the back ground of the “3 Bar Ranch” album?
HW3: I have always looked at cattle auctioneers as different singers. I thought the speed of the auctioneers combined with the speed of heavy metal were a good mix. I lost more than 60% of the guys I wanted to use on that album because they didn’t feel comfortable with what I was doing. I was trying to explain to those guys that they weren’t going to like the music or understand it but I was in no way making fun of their industry. I wanted to offer inspiration to younger auctioneers in a different way. I also wanted to give maybe aspiring bull riders a different kind of music to get all amped on before going on an 8 second run. There are quite a few angles but it just goes back to doing something out of the box and different. This album is only for select people out there that might get into this kind of stuff. For me it was a lot of fun. I pushed myself to some other limits as a player. It was a good way to end all of the records.

AL: Did you use samples of auctioneers or did you actually go out and record at various places?
HW3: Basically I would have to try and track the guys down. A lot of them already had stuff up on YouTube. I would call and talk to them about what I was doing and make them an offer. Everyone got offered the same deal. It didn’t matter if you were 17 years old or one of the highest paid auctioneers out there. I just told them this is what I was offering and would they want to be a part of it. When I started losing like 60% of the guys out there I went and recorded a few local people. I did all of the Tennessee auctioneers in person. There were a few guys that were really helpful. Some of the older guys have started to see what I am doing and they have gotten a feel for what it is. I am being a little different but trying not to be disrespectful. At times people don’t quite understand creativity or art views.

AL: What has it been like playing these albums live?
HW3: It’s been fun. By the time I get to the “3 Bar Ranch” stuff we are about 3.5 hours into it. We have taken the audience through a lot of different moods already. For that last little segment it’s pretty intense. For me it’s a lot of fun. When everything is right it feels great. For now we have to work around samples of the auctioneers. One day it would be great to find the right kid who can do that stuff live and correctly. Until then we have to work around the samples. We have done 5 tours with “3 Bar Ranch” so far. There are still some people hanging out at the end of the show who come up and tell us their minds have been blown. It’s always good when you leave an impression on someone.

AL: Personally is there one of the four albums that stands out for you above the rest?
HW3: It just depends on which way you are looking at it. Creativity wise a lot more went in to “Ghost to a Ghost” and “Gutter Town”. This was only because of all the outside players and effects. There was a lot more work that went into that as opposed to “Cattle Callin” and “ADD”. It is intense but not as intense. That stuff is a little more fun and I don’t have to be as strict on myself. It’s like taking a break in a way. The hardest part out of all of this was the mixing. Each album is special to me in its own way. People seem to recognize more with my roots in country music more so than in rock or heavy metal. I try to make sure I deliver some stuff to the hardcore fans out there.

AL: Do you have any more tour plans for these albums?
HW3: We are getting ready to do a Mid-West run which will be sort of a short tour. From there we will be heading over to Europe for about a month. That will take us through mid July. When I get back from that and I take some time to put myself back together we have a west coast run scheduled for August. We are possibly trying to get into Canada as well.

AL: Do you think you will be back in the studio anytime soon?
HW3: Once I break even. I have to keep working until I break even. Once that happens and everyone is satisfied then I will be able to think about that. For me I can’t get creative until I get everything back level.

CD Review “A Tribute to John Williams: An 80th Birthday Celebration”

Conductor: John Williams
Composer: John Williams
Label: Sony Music Masterworks
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Tracks: 15
Running Time: 68 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t love the scores from John Williams. He is such a legend with his music. The new collection is a celebration of Williams’ 80th birthday and is a real wonderful tribute to his career to date. Over almost six decades, John Williams has composed score to some of the biggest films in history including the “Star Wars” series, “Jaws”, the “Indiana Jones” series, “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” and the first three “Harry Potter” films. The guy literally shows no signs of slowing down either with 2011 proving to me a very busy year for him with “The Adventures of Tintin” and “War Horse”. Both of them were even were nominated for Oscars in the 84th Academy Awards. So sit back and get ready to celebrate the works of one of our greatest composers.

For the man that has won twenty-one Grammy® awards, four Golden Globe awards and five Academy Awards®, you can’t encompass every known track but this does a really great job. I actually really enjoyed the specific track selections especially from the film “Jaws”. The obvious choice was to use the theme that we all know…”duh nah”. But instead they included the track “Out to Sea/The Shark Cage Fugue” and I really enjoyed that decision. It is not what you would expect and was a great change. The choice to use a track from “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” was an interesting choice, it is different and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I also enjoyed the tracks from “The Adventures of Tintin” and “War Horse”, I haven’t had much exposure of the score prior and I loved them.

This collection of songs include guest appeared from both Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma. Perlman plays violin beautiful on both the themes from “Sabrina” and “Schindler’s List”. Yo-Yo plays cello on two tracks also “Elegy for Cello and Ochestra” and “Going to School” from the film “Memoirs of a Geisha”. This release is all the first time that Williams’s recording on his “Happy Birthday Variations” track has been recorded and released. Overall this release is a celebration and it definitely succeeds in doing that and encompasses the massive career of this amazing legend. I very much recommend this for all fans of film scores and the work of John Williams.

Track Listing:
1. Sound the Bells! from American Journey
2. Out to Sea/Shark Cage Fugue from Jaws
3. Theme from Sabrina (w/Itzhak Perlman, violin)
4. March from 1941
5. Adventures on Earth from E.T.: The Extra-terrestrial
6. Dartmoor, 1912 from War Horse
7. The Adventures of Mutt from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
8. Harry’s Wondrous World from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
9. Elegy for Cello & Orchestra -Yo-Yo Ma, cello
10. Going to School from Memoirs of a Geisha (w/Yo-Yo Ma, cello)
11. The Mission Theme (Theme for NBC News)
12. Theme from Schindler’s List (w/Itzhak Perlman, violin)
13. The Adventure Continues from The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
14. Throne Room & Finale from Star Wars
15. Happy Birthday Variations (Previously Unreleased)

Interview with Kansas’ Rich Williams

Rich Williams is the lead guitarist from band Kansas.  The band is responsible for such memorable songs such as “Carry on Wayward Son” and “Dust in the Wind”.  The band is currently touring the country with there Collegiate Symphony Tour.  Media Mikes was able to chat with Rich about the tour and what he enjoys most about performing on the stage.

Mike Gencarelli: What can we expect from this year’s Collegiate Symphony Tour?
Rich Williams: The tour is going great! This was something we started last year and because of the great response we received we decided to do it again this year. We are hoping that the more colleges we play others will pick up on what we are doing and they will want us to play at their school as well. It’s been a great time.

MG: What has it been like working with the college students on the shows?
RW: It’s a lot of fun. The students seem to really enjoy it and they get to do something they may normally not have the chance to do in their normal curriculum.

MG: What do you like most about performing live as of late?
RW: It’s hard to describe as this is what I have always done. A long time ago I used to work at a liquor store while I was in college and then I started playing. I really haven’t done anything else. It’s a normal day to me. Everything is really fun however, when we have a couple weeks off I tend to go a little stir crazy.

MG: Is there one song that you really enjoy playing live each night?
RW: There are a lot of songs I enjoy. We have added quite a few songs to the set recently. We added a song called “Down The Road” back into the set. We have been playing a lot of symphony shows as well as shows at state fairs. There are some songs that don’t work without the symphony so we have to fill that time in. We haven’t played “Down The Road” live in a year or two. A lot of times we will pick a song, rehearse it in the dressing room and then go out and play it. It’s fun not to be on auto pilot.

MG: What were the bands initial inspirations?
RW: Everyone in Topeka at the time was in a band after the British Invasion hit. Some people eventually lost interest or got a day job. After a while the musicians who were left were the ones who either wanted play the Holiday Inn lounge or who really wanted to make it.  We were all really inspired by the things coming out of Europe and none of us were ready for a real job yet. All of us wanted to do real original music and that’s what really got us started.

MG: What type of music have you been listening to lately that you really enjoy?
RW: I really don’t listen to music as of late. I am just so busy that I don’t have time for anything. If I do listen to something it’s probably because I walked past a speaker that was playing something and that’s what I am listening to.

MG: Your song “Carry On Wayward Son” was featured in the video game “Guitar Hero”. Have you ever tried playing it?
RW: Before “Guitar Hero” came out they sent me all the hardware for it. The thing is I never heard back from them. I wasn’t really too interested in the game but my kids did enjoy playing it. The game has brought a lot of new people to our concerts and it has really sparked something. In my opinion anything that promotes playing music is great.

MG: “Dust In The Wind” is often used quite a bit in movies. How do you feel about the ongoing popularity of the song?
RW: Those things are what keep us out there. Both the songs you mentioned are bigger than we are. People a lot of the time know the songs but they don’t know us as a band.

MG: Are there any plans to record and release new material?
RW: It would be great to do one but then there is reality. They take a lot of time and money to put together. We are out there playing because we love it. Not for the money. If we were going to be recording an album it would be us as a band paying for that. Besides the fact that I am not independently, radio won’t play anything new and people don’t really come to shows to hear new material. Once you realize that reality that people don’t truly care about new material you have to come up with a way to recreate yourself. That’s why we did the symphony album and tour. It’s a way of doing something different and fresh with what you already have.

Interview with Ian Patrick Williams

Ian Patrick Williams started his career working on the film “Re-Animator”. From there he was thrust into the world of sci-fi/horror starring in films like “TerrorVision”, “Dolls”, “Bad Channels”, King of the Ants, and most recently “Growth”.  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Ian about his films and what he has planned upcoming.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you start your film career off?
Ian Patrick Williams: While working as a stage actor in Chicago, I did my first film for director Andy Davis called “Stony Island”.  I don’t think it was ever released, but Andy went on to direct a lot of major films including “The Fugitive”.  Then Stuart Gordon directed a play we co-authored called “Bleacher Bums” for PBS-TV for which we (the cast and co-authors) were given the Chicago Emmy award.  After moving to L.A. in 1980, I worked mostly in TV until doing “Re-Animator” with Stuart in ’83.

MG: Tell us about working on the film “Dolls”.  Can you recall your experience?
IPW: The best way to learn about “Dolls” is to listen to the commentary track that Carolyn, Stephen, Carrie and I did a few years ago.  I had been in Rome the year before shooting “Terror Vision” with Ted Nicholau so I already knew my way around the city.  We shot on a small studio built by Dino DiLaurentis just outside of Rome.  What most people don’t realize is that the entire house was actually a set built inside one of the sound stages!

MG: What was your biggest challenge working on the film?
IPW: I suppose the only challenge was that with such a small cast, there was very little time off  – we were all working pretty much every day.  Fortunately, I had spent so many years doing theater with Stuart and Carolyn that we had an automatic shorthand together and didn’t need very much rehearsal.

MG: You have worked a few times with Stuart Gordon on films like “Robot Jox” & “King of the Ants”.  Tell us about how you started that.
IPW: Stuart had started directing theater in Madison Wisconsin when he was in college; he then moved to Chicago and started the Organic Theater Company with Carolyn and then-unknown Chicago actors Joe Mantegna, Dennis Franz and Meshach Taylor.  He first hired me to do a production of “Rashomon” at an open air theater on the University of Chicago campus; a few months later he invited me to go on a European tour with the company.  We’ve worked together on and off ever since.

MG: You worked on an episode “Freddy‘s Nightmares”.  Tell us about that show.
IPW: It was a treat to work with both Tobe Hooper and Bob Englund.  Because it was the pilot episode, there was a fair amount of chaos as the network and producers were haggling over exactly how the show should look.  As a result, we frequently worked 14 hour days.  Because of union turn-around rules, we couldn’t start up again for another 12 hours.  So on day 1, we’d have a 6:00 AM call and get home after dark.  By the time the work week was over, we were getting home at dawn and called at 6:00 PM to work all night!  But it was worth it to be known as the guy who ‘killed’ Freddy Kruger.

MG: Tell us about playing the ‘evil villain’ in the recent film “Growth”.
IPW: I had done a table read for the director and producers playing a different character.  But by the time production began, they had done a re-write and that character was omitted.  The role of Mason was cast with an older actor; but for some reason, he had to drop out two days before his scenes were to be shot.  They made a frantic call to my agent asking if I could fly to Martha’s Vineyard and take over the role on a moment’s notice.  It took about an hour in the makeup chair every day making me look like I was 70 or 80 years old, depending on the scene.  I think the special effects are quite good for a low budget film, which should give confidence to all first time directors without a lot of money.

MG: Do you enjoy working more in television or in film?
IPW: The process is pretty much the same.  TV is usually a little faster because they have to shoot an hour long episodic in seven working days.  A bigger budgeted film can take months to shoot, which can actually become pretty boring.  I shot a small role in a “Spider-Man” parody called “Superhero: The Movie”, produced by the Weinstein brothers in 2008.  There were several days when I sat in my trailer for 10 hours, only to be told they weren’t going to get to me that day.  I’d much rather be on a lower budgeted film if it means I’m working all the time.

MG: Tell us about what you are working on upcoming.
IPW: I’ve acted in a few more low budget films: “Dire Wolf”, “Action Hero” and “Simon Says”, but I have no idea when they’ll be distributed.  I’ve recently gone back to my first love: theater.  In recent months, I’ve performed in the plays “Lucia Mad”, “Puzzlers” and “Judgement at Nuremburg”, all in the L.A. area.  As far as future film or TV roles, like all actors I’ll just have to wait and see.


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Interview with Ashley C. Williams

Ashley C. Williams is one of the stars of the horror film “The Human Centipede”. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Ashley about working on that film as well as what is has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: What did you think when you first read the script for “The Human Centipede”?
Ashley C. Williams: I was shocked but I was pretending not to be since I knew that wasn’t what they wanted to see. There wasn’t really script though when I first went in. It was more like a premise, but was also very interesting to me.

MG: At what point did you get to read the script then?
AW: In one of my call backs, I think it was the third. They had a breakdown of each scene and what each scene would consist of. At that point is when I really found out more in detail what the film was going to be about.


MG: Was it uncomfortable for you staying in that position throughout shooting?
AW: It definitely was uncomfortable for me to be in that position to shoot scenes. It was difficult at first and I wasn’t sure how I was going to have to approach it from an acting perspective. I figured I would just wing it, especially for those insane moments, like anyone would. Overall though, it was exhausting and definitely mentally and physically intense.

MG: What was the longest duration you were in that position?
AW: Actually we were never in that position for longer than five minutes. We would go in shoot a scene and then we were able to get out of it very easily. Whenever they would yell cut they would then throw blankets on us. It wasn’t that difficult in that sense. Althoughafter five minutes our knees would start hurting, our backs would get strained from being pulled forward by Aki. Whenever he would walk Ashylee and my back would be pulled forward. That part was a bit harsh on us.

MG: How was it working with Dieter Laser, was he really as creepy in real life?
AW: On the set we never got to know him because he kept to himself and stood in character the whole time. Until the last day on the set we had a cast party. He was all smiles and wanted to get to know us and we just asking “Who is this man?” He was amazing to work with and gave us so much to feed off of. Even when he wasn’t on the set he would be there behind the camera for us to see to work off. That was great. He was really great to work with.

MG: Tell us about the film, “Empty” which you also star in?
AW: It is about the worldwide gas crisis. It focuses on a couple who come out from a camping trip for a week and find that the roads are deserted and there is this major gas issue. Then from there try have to survive. It resolves around their relationship and how work with each other. It is a thriller/sci-fi/drama. It comes out on DVD, July 26, 2011.

MG: You will also be starring in “Hallow Pointe”, are you excited to be working on this film with such a great genre cast?
AW: I am honored to be working with all of those people. We haven’t started shooting yet and we are currently in pre-production. I am really excited. It is a werewolf film and I have never been a part of that type of film before. It is going to be really fun. I had met Thomas Churchhill at a convention, the director, and we met he said offered me a part of his film. So I am really excited.

MG: What are you currently working on?
AW: I am currently shooting a drama/comedy/coming of age film called “Leaving Circadia”, in which I have a supporting role. We are shooting that right now in New York City. It has a really great cast. Christian Coulson, who played Tom Riddle in “Harry Potter” series. Also Michael Cerveris is in it…he is a Tony award winner. So I am really glad to be apart of it.

“Men of a Certain Age” Interview Series

To mark the premiere of the second season of “Men of a Certain Age” on TNT, which airs Monday at 10pm. Our 3 friends in their late 40s, Terry, Owen, and Joe, very realistically and inspiringly played by Scott Bakula, Andre Braugher, and Ray Romano, test the bonds of their friendship as life continues to lob grenades in their paths.

This season it looks like Owen hires the perpetually underemployed Terry and they drive each other nuts. Joe continues to explore his newly single lifestyle while attempting to maintain a healthy relationship with his kids, including his daughter Lucy, played by Brittany Curran. Although this isn’t an outright comedy, there are comedic moments throughout the real-life interactions brought to us by the entire cast. You don’t have to be 40+ years old to enjoy this show, you just have to be a fan of great writing and acting. “Men of a Certain Age” airs at 10pm on TNT.

Movie Mikes had a chance to interview some of the cast from the show. Check out the interview below and enjoy. More interviews will be added shortly throughout the coming weeks.


Interview with Brian White

Brian White started his career as a professional football player for the New England Patriots. After two seasons on the field, Brian had an off-season meeting which led him onto the acting field. Movie Mikes had a chance to speak with Brian about that chance meeting which got him into acting as well as his role of Marcus on the television show “Men of a Certain Age”

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

Adam Lawton: What made you decided to switch from a pro sports career to a career in movies?
Brian White: It wasn’t really a planned transition. I was offered a chance to audition for a role on a TV show. At the time, I was in LA trying to get back into football and I had really wanted to go to the Raiders camp. I was having dinner with my agent to discuss getting in, when a casting director came up to our table and asked if I was an actor. I told them “no” and my agent immediately said “yes” I was and took the persons card. The next thing I know I am at an audition with around 500 other actors who all were there for the same part. After a short time, they let me know I had got the part on “Moesha” and the rest is history.

AL: Even though this role came along, were you still trying to pursue a football career at the same time?
BW: An average football career is two years, which I had already completed. I had a nagging injury that I never allowed to get better, so I had already led that dream in a sense. I needed to find something that I could do until I was 85 not 35. Once I started acting, I found I was able to get the same type of spontaneity and ability as I had in sports. So after about two or three years in…I was hooked.

AL: Is it harder prepping for a sports season or an acting role?
BW: For me it was a lot easier prepping for a sports season because I knew how to do it. There is a science on how to prepare for a sport. There is nothing scientific about acting. You’re creating stuff out of thin air and then trying to exist in reality with those pre-set conditions. There really is no one way to prepare. In football there is always at least a playbook.

AL: Can you tell us what is in store for your character this season on “Men of a Certain Age”?
BW: Well going back to season one, my character Marcus played more of a foil to Andre Braugher’s character. Marcus represented the alpha male. He is the top salesman and is really full of young ambition. In season two, you’re going to find out what happens when Marcus encounters another alpha male type at the dealership. You’re going to get to see how both of those characters, who are very similar, are going to survive in the same tank. From what I have seen in the scripts I think people who enjoyed the show last season are really going to enjoy it this season!

AL: Whats it like getting to rival someone like Scott Bakula?
BW: Just getting to work with Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula is a blessing. Working with those guys is like being in a master acting class. I have had the opportunity to work with really great people. Besides Andre and Scott I also have been able to work with Michael Chiklis. My TV experience really has been a gift from God. Those guys come to work and they have a very blue collar work ethic. They really try to get better each and every day. I have become a better person and actor just by being around them.

AL: I’m sure having Ray Romano on set provides for some pretty good behind the scenes antics?
BW: Actually on set Ray is more serious. He is a naturally funny guy. He is one of those guys that doesn’t have to turn it on to be funny, it comes very natural. A lot of the funny moments come from the fact that these stories you see in the episodes actually happened to Ray and a lot of the writers. The last episode of this season is going to feature a softball game and Ray told me that all the events that happened in that episode happened in real life.

AL: What was it like working on “Mr. 3000” with Bernie Mac?
BW: That was my first time being in a studio film. I really got to see why people liked working with Bernie. The crew that worked with him had been with him since the beginning of his career. He was such a pleasure to work with and very grateful. I remember a few nights when we were shooting at Miller field and there were around 10,000 extras and Bernie stayed until he had shook everyone of their hands each night. Bernie always said that if he was to change than everything else would change. He was always trying to remember what kept him up. That never left me. He really set a foundation for me.

AL: Do you have any other projects coming up?
BW: I have several projects coming up. I am in the process of producing a film, also in which I co-wrote the script called “Hustle”. The film is slated to start shooting in Europe this coming year. I have three films that are about to be released “Cabin In The Woods” directed by Drew Goddard, “Politics of Love” which is based on a true story and a romantic comedy titled ” The Heart Specialist.” Starting early next year, I will be kicking off my youth empowerment campaign with “Black Carpenter”. “Black Carpenter” is a book and curriculum that I wrote. There will also be a lecture tour in support of the program. “Black Carpenter” also has partnered with Operation Hope to start a financial literacy program which will provide information on banking and the importance of finance.

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

Official Website for “Black Carpenter”
Official Facebook for “Black Carpenter”

Interview with Kristina Anapau

Photo Credit: Ray Texel

Kristina Anapau co-stars in this Fall’s “Black Swan” playing the role of the competitive dancer, Galina. Kristina’s past credits include “Cursed”, “Madison”, “Cruel Intentions 3” and TV’s “Knight Rider”. Movie Mikes had a chance to ask Kristina a few questions about her role in “Black Swan” and find out a little bit about her already impressive career.

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Mike Gencarelli: Can you tell us about “Black Swan” and your role in the film?
Kristina Anapau: Black Swan is a paranormal thriller set in the professional ballet world in NYC. I play Galina, a Russian soloist in the company who’s competing with, Nina (Natalie Portman) for the lead role in Swan Lake.

MG: How was it playing the villain in “Black Swan”?
KA: I wasn’t the villain, per se, rather an extremely competitive ballerina who has her sights set on the lead role. The training was physically intense, however, it was well worth it and I am pleased to have been involved.

MG: What was it like working with Darren Aronofsky?
KA: I feel privileged to have been part of this production. I am a big fan of Darren’s previous work. The Fountain is one of my favorite films. Darren has a clear vision of what he is looking for in each moment, which creates an incredibly focused environment that I enjoyed very much. The dancing demanded unwavering discipline. His method of direction and the resulting climate on set lent itself beautifully towards the film painting a realistic depiction of the ballet world.

MG: Can you tell us about your experience working “Cursed” with Wes Craven?
KA: Even though he creates exceedingly scary films, Wes is an extremely kind and soft-spoken gentleman. As a director, he is able to work with actors in a way that is collaborative, while maintaining a strong trajectory towards his vision. Every day on set was a pleasure; I very much look forward to working with him again.

MG: Do you prefer writing and performing your own music or acting (Kristina had a recording contract with Hollywood Records and tour w/ Destiny’s Child)
KA: Both have their respective challenges. Nothing beats the energy of a live audience while performing musically. The issues of creative control over one’s musical direction can be frustrating and I find in acting the subtlety that shapes a theatrical performance, while under the guidance of a director, and support within a cast, is solely one’s own.

MG: Do you find a major difference between working on TV to working on movies?
KA: Yes, in film, it seems one has more freedom and time to create a complete character. I enjoy both mediums, there are some very intelligent television programs on air that I would like to be involved in.

MG: Tell us about some of your other upcoming projects?
KA: I have a great film called “The Speak”, that will be in theaters next year, as well as a gritty independent film called “5 Souls” in which I play a blind woman; It was one of the most rewarding acting experiences of my career to date. Anyone interested can follow me on Twitter @kanapaufans for up to date news on these films and their release dates

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Interview with Ernie Hudson

From Winston Zeddemore in the “Ghostbusters” series to Warden Leo Glynn on HBO’s “Oz”. Ernie Hudson has played a wide array of roles. Movie Mikes’ Adam Lawton got a chance to talk with Ernie at this years Chiller Theatre convention and got a chance to ask him about his career and the possibility of a “Ghostbusters 3”.

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Adam Lawton: You played Warden Glynn on HBO’s hit series “Oz”, was it hard for you to come out of that role when shooting was all done for the day?
Ernie Hudson: No it’s not hard. It’s acting. I would be in the character on set with all the other guys who are into their roles but at the end of the day I am very clear about who I am and who the character is. It was an interesting character. I think if an actor plays a character that he loves or people seem to like that character more than him, it’s very tempting to want to stay there.

AL: You were in the Crow with the late Brandon Lee was it hard for you and the rest of the cast to go back to work after the tragedy that occurred involving Brandon.
EH: I didn’t want to go back and do it but a lot of the guys felt that Brandon had worked so hard on the film, that it would be a shame not to finish it. So we came back and finished after about an eight week break. “The Crow” is actually one of my favorite movies. They really did a great job with it, but it’s just so tragic. They had actually called me to do the other films but I felt that after the first one it should have been put to rest.

AL: Working with Bill Murray, you must have some interesting behind the scene stories?
EH: Bills a great guy, he’s kind of quirky but I love him. He’s a guy who is very much into what he’s feeling. I know he really cares about his work, which is probably why there hasn’t been another “Ghostbusters” as of yet.

AL: Rumors are “Ghostbusters 3” is in the beginning stages?
EH: Dan and Harold are working on the script. If it happens we will see but Bill has been the hold up. His definition of good is a little bit different than everybody elses. So we will see, I would love to see it happen. I know the fans have been asking for it…so hopefully.

AL: Any projects you have coming out you would like to tell the fans about?
EH: I just finished a movie called “Doonby” with Jon Schneider. I also how worked on some voice work for the animated “Transformers” series and also “Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2”.

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Interview with Tanna Frederick

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can keep up with Tanna on Facebook as well as by going to her website and

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