Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Interview with... David Hedison

Whenever I interview someone related to the James Bond movie I really love it because I get to rub it in my brother's face.
By far he is a much bigger fan of the film series than I am, although I did like some of Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig's first Bond film.
But I digress.
David Hedison was in two Bond films, as well as plenty of TV work such as Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Trapper M.D., and Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea.

I thank David for all his time in this interview, and I hope you enjoy the read...

1. How did you get involved in the Bond movies?

After my second daughter was born, we lived (and I worked) in the UK for a few years. I was friends with the screenwriter, Tom Mankiewicz, and he let me read his script with an eye for me to play Felix Leiter. I liked the script, Tom got me a meeting with the producers and I was cast to play the part with Sean Connery. Then Connery quit, and my good friend Roger Moore was hired to play James Bond.

2. What were they like to film?

First class, all the way. I loved doing both my Bond pictures, I was treated so very well. Cubby Broccoli and his wife were friends. I had a lovely time filming both.

3. Would you please tell us about your work on Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea?

It was very hard work, we had to produce an hour show in 6 and 1/2 days or go over budget and Irwin didn't like us to go over budget. So we worked. It was easy with Richard Basehart, he was always prepared, ready to shoot, always gave me something to work off. We had a good cast, everyone got along and we got the episodes filmed. It was beginning to wear on me, after three years. I basically had no life when I was filming, but I thought we did some really fine work those four years, in shows like Mutiny, The Saboteur, and the Two Phantom episodes.

4. Which do you prefer; TV work, or film work?

Film. They are always in such a rush to get TV work done. I never feel I have any time to establish any kind of character development. One take, two, move on.

5. Have you done any theatre work? Would you please tell us about this?

I made my stage debut at age 13, I worked as an apprentice at Wellesey and Newport in 1949 and 1950, did regional summer stock theatre in 1951, 1953, and 1954 and worked in New York City 1952-1956. I toured in plays in 1969, 1979 and did summer stock again in 1981, 1985, 1988 and in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2007. I've done plays in Los Angeles and Connecticut and Palm Beach, FL. I've done stage work on PBS and the BBC. I love doing theatre anywhere I can, in between my film and television work.

6. What is it like filming in front of a live studio audience?

You have to keep your concentration. And where you are in the piece. It can be nerve-racking, as there are no cuts or re-takes. On stage in a theatre, you can sometimes hide a mistake, but not live. You have to go out there and do it and hope you get it right.

7. What is coming up next for you?

I've been working with the Southern California Special Olympics. Those kids have so much heart. I enjoy raising money for their competitions and being a judge and handing out medals. It is a very rewarding experience. I also teach acting at the Actor's Studio West. I enjoy sharing my decades of experience with the young talent that comes to learn there.

8. Is there an event or charity you would like to bring to my readers’ attention?

See above. www.sosc.org Special Olympics Southern California Chapter

Thank you very much David!

I'd love to know what you thought of this interview, so please feel free to leave a comment below.
Until next time!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Interview with... Frazer Lee

I've interviewed some cool people since starting this blog, but I didn't realise how cool someone would be until I had a chance to interview horror writer/director Frazer Lee.

I've long been an admirer of Frazer's work, and so when I interviewed him I kind of slipped in a request for an autograph. Not only did he send me an autograph, he sent me his written work, Urbane And Other Horror Stories (see the image below).
WOW! So to that I say thank you Frazer.

And I'll thank you if you comment after reading this very cool interview.

1. What was your first paid movie work?

My very first paying job in movies (and I'm showing my age now) was as a film extra in a musical rom-com called "Bert Rigby You're A Fool" starring Robert Lindsay. I worked for three days, as a "football hooligan", "coal miner strike supporter" and (excitingly) "bus passenger". It gave me valuable insight into how a movie crew works and taught me that on set there is zero glamour and a lot of waiting around freezing your ass off! From there I worked a lot of different crew jobs, runner, production assistant, best boy, gaffer - anything that kept me on set and learning.

2. How did you go from being a writer to being a director?

I'd done a little bit of writing and directing (theatre) at college, so i always did both really. When I adapted Christopher Fowler's short story 'On Edge' for the screen, I was in no doubt I would direct the movie too, as the subject matter just sang to my perversions and obsessions. Luckily I found production partners who were willing to risk their money on my vision for the film as writer/director. Nowadays I have projects that are pure writing projects including screenplay assignments, short fiction and novels - some that are writing/directing projects - and others which are purely directing projects (from other writers). Each one has its own kind of character and I know instantly if it feels like something I'll want to direct. A few movies got made that I worked on as writer only: 'Palazzo Massacre' is a Norwegian/Italian giallo short I script-doctored, and 'Simone' is a horror short based on my script 'Hair of the Dog' made by the talented folks at 386 Films USA (unrated DVD available now from www.386films.com). 'Panic Button' is a feature-length horror/thriller I was hired to write by Movie Mogul Films that just wrapped in Cardiff, Wales. It has been a weird and strangely liberating experience to do the intense writing work and then kick back and get onto the next thing while someone else has all the fun on the actual movie shoot!

3. Please tell us about the short films you’ve directed.

'On Edge' was my first short film as writer/director. I aimed high with the film because I really wanted it to make an impression. It was shot 35mm Anamorphic with top-of-the-range Panavision kit - I was like a kid in a candy store! Author (of the original short story) Christopher Fowler kindly allowed me to adapt and shoot it, and was hugely supportive during the process, helping us to get the editing done at his facility The Creative Partnership - and he even made a cameo appearance in the movie, look out for him in the dentist's waiting room! We had some amazing talent to work with, not least cinematographer Alan Stewart, FX guru Bob Keen and actors Doug Bradley, Charley Boorman and Beth Murray. Everyone put a real shoulder behind it during a difficult shoot in a cramped dental studio, I couldn't praise the cast and crew enough really. The film premiered at Rotterdam Film Festival and since then has played dozens more festivals, Web screenings, TV - even winning some awards along the way. It also received theatrical distribution from Columbia TriStar, playing with a feature film in London cinemas. I was very proud of that achievement as you don't see many short films in theatres these days.

'Red Lines' was an entirely different approach. The film was my reply to a challenge set by some producers who were setting up a horror anthology show for Internet and TV and who specified the maximum running time could only be 5 minutes... oh and they needed a finished film within 6 weeks! I woke up from an intense nightmare one evening and scribbled notes for the screenplay on the back of an envelope in red ink. Next day, I sat down and wrote the script, circulated it and got great feedback. A few days later, cast and crew were in place and 'Red Lines' was born. We shot it digitally as it was only really ever meant for TV and the Web, but the anthology show folded, so the film started playing festivals. The shoot was manic, we covered everything in 12 hours, just crazy. Doug Bradley shot his scenes on his only day off in between shooting 'Hellraiser: Deader' and 'Hellraiser: Hellworld'. I remember it was Bonfire Night (5th November in the UK) and fireworks were going off outside during the shoot, which made things difficult. Doug announced a special anniversary while we were filming - it was Bonfire Night 20 years previously that marked his first shoot as Pinhead in the original 'Hellraiser'! Another proud moment came when the film opened for 'The Toolbox Murders' at its San Francisco premiere (at Fearless Tales Genre Festival). Director Tobe Hooper was there and he came up to me and congratulated me on "creeping him out" - I couldn't believe it! He was a real gentleman in person and continues to be a real inspiration of mine. 'Red Lines' won Best Short at that festival too, so I flew home a very happy man.

Here's the book Frazer signed for me. You should check it out for yourself and give it a read (just not in the middle of the night when you're home alone).

4. What is the appeal of working in the horror genre?

I always say horror is the King of all genres because you can have your love story, your action sequences, your favourite character types and what have you - everything any other drama has. But on top of all that you get to play with this amazing box of tricks - special FX, atmosphere, allegory (and of course just "gory"!). I have worked in other genres, but I can't help but work in horror because that's how I'm hardwired. I might be writing a "cutie fluffy bunny family picnic" scene and I know - I just know - that people are going to start bleeding. I just can't help it.

5. What would be a dream film to direct?

Honestly, anything that's on my slate currently would be a dream to direct. And it is a big dream, because for every film that gets made there are hundreds, thousands, that sit on the shelf gathering dust. "Persistence is all" in this game.

6. What’s coming up next?

More fiction, more scripts and hopefully more films! I guess I've learned my lesson the hard way, by talking about movie projects prematurely and then feeling like an idiot when they don't go into production. So I'll just say I have a couple of things that might, if the movie gods decree, happen. And if they do my friends, they will scare the living crap out of you!

I encourage you to check out Frazer's website at www.frazerlee.com
and I hope you enjoyed this very interesting interview.
Until next time!

Red Hill

Red Hill is everything an Aussie movie should be.

It's not common place for me to review movies which have just been released in cinemas however I braved the Christmas shoppers at the local shopping centre to see this movie. After looking for a car spot for 20 minutes, and waiting in line to get my ticket for 15, I can safely say my patience was rewarded.

Red Hill awoke the bigotry in me.
That's what makes the bad guy so bad. The perceived initial hatred you have for him. Until it's justified and he starts blowing people away.
Here's the trailer.


And here's the movie poster.

The story is easy enough to follow. Shane Cooper (Ryan Kwanten) moves to Red Hill to take up a position at the local police station.
The same day as convicted killer Jimmy Conway (Tom E. Lewis) escapes from prison and begins heading to Red Hill to get his revenge.

Yep, that's Ryan Kwanten, from Home & Away, and also of True Blood fame.
I haven't watched True Blood but if this movie is anything to go by, Ryan's in for a long career in the movie industry, going from strength to strength.
I still think this is Ryan's best piece of work so far though.


Playing alongside Ryan is Steve Bisley as Old Bill, Chief Inspector of Red Hill.
Old Bill is a force of nature and I could think of no one better than Steve Bisley to play the role. In fact, Steve was the entire reason I saw this movie.

Here we have Shane's wife Alice (Claire Van Der Boom). Unfortunately I couldn't find an image of Alice, but Claire Van Der Boom plays her very well.
And I just realised her character's name is Alice Cooper. I wonder if that was intentional?

Shane quickly finds that things run a little slower in Red Hill, and Old Bill's word is gospel.

But it doesn't take long for the shit to hit the fan. That's when the fun begins.

I was reluctant to show you a photo of Jimmy Conway (Tom E. Lewis), as his disfigurement is quite spectacular. I wonder how long he had to sit in the make-up department each day....

And even still he still looks like Aussie actor, Shane Cooper (no relation to Ryan's character).

Among the cast is Aussie stalwart and all-around likeable bloke Kevin Harrington, who plays the role of Barlow.
Barlow brings some much needed laughter to the film, even if it is just for the first few scenes.

Rounding out the Aussie cast is Gleason (Cliff Ellen). Those who know Cliff Ellen know the TV shows and films he has appeared in. He's a hard-working true blue Aussie legend.

All up I enjoyed this film thoroughly. I do have a gripe though in that the film makers give Jimmy Conway a back story, rather than have him solely be a convicted murderer and cop-killer, on the hunt for more victims.
Whilst I heard some movie patrons crying over Jimmy's back story, I felt it was a real cop out.
The questioning of Jimmy's guilt felt like a means to appease the lefties and tree-huggers who couldn't stand to see an Aboriginal as the bad guy killer.

Overall though I give this movie 9 out of 10.
In a time when the term "Aussie film" puts a bad taste in your mouth, Red Hill stands out as a brilliant, brilliant piece of cinema.
I highly recommend you go see it.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Interview with... Jeremy Bulloch

As an interviewer you want to search out and find the people who have done big things in their career.
Someone who is at least in part associated with a franchise. That's a dream interview.

Jeremy Bulloch is at the pinnacle of interviews, having appeared in Doctor Who, 3 James Bond movies, as well as Boba Fett in 3 of the Star Wars movies, as well as Captain Colton in Episode 3.

Yes, 3 Star Wars movies as Boba Fett (he appeared in a short video titled Return Of The Ewok).

He was also in Full House. The man's done it all!

I feel very privileged to bring to you my interview with Jeremy Bulloch.

1. What was it like to be cast as Boba Fett?

Being cast as Boba Fett was amazing as I didn't really think about it much. To me it was another job.

2. Can you please tell us about your involvement on the Bond films?

I played in three Bond films, all with Roger Moore. In two of them I was Smithers, Q's assistant. My appearances were very brief but I enjoyed myself on each film.

3. Does TV work appeal to you?

I enjoy all sorts of work in T.V. Stage and of course film.

4. Can you please tell us about your time on Doctor Who?

I did two Dr Who stories, one with William Hartnell in the Space Museum and one with Jon Pertwee in The Time Warrior. The sets in The Space Museum were a little shaky but if the story is exciting you don't notice things like that.

5. With your involvement in three large franchises, have you since done much convention work?

I have done quite a bit of convention work especially in the celebration years of each film from Star Wars.

6. What would be a dream role for you?

My dream role would be a man who has all the personalities of every character I have played.

7. What’s coming up next?

I have nothing planned at the moment. That is what is so exciting about being an actor. You never know what is around the corner.

8. Is there an event or charity you would like to bring to my reader’s attention?

Cancer research.

Thank you goes out to Jeremy for this interview.
I hope you enjoyed it. Please feel free to comment below. I'd love to know what you think.
Until next time!

Interview with... Michele Waitman

She was Sarah Michelle Gellar's stunt double on the Buffy TV series, and has done some great stunt work on movies such as Spider-Man 3, Poseidon (2006), Mean Girls 2.
Her latest work is on the remake of Footloose.

Of course, I'm talking about stunt performer Michele Waitman.

Here's my interview with Michele, who has some interesting things to say.

1. How did you become a stunt woman?

I started doing stunt work after graduating from college, I got a job working at the Indiana Jones Stunt Show at Walt Disney World. I received amazing training from the best in the business.

2. What work did you do on Spider-Man 3?

I did ND (Non descriptive) stunts on Spider-Man 3. I was a pedestrian walking across the street when Sandman came through and it was a close miss with a taxi car that was being blown my way.

3. Do you prefer stunt work on TV, rather than film?

I love doing stunt work on TV and Film. They both are different though. TV works on a much faster pace. Films my take many months or not, but I enjoy both.

4. Can you tell us a bit about your involvement in Mean Girls 2?

Mean Girls 2, I stunt doubled Nicole Gale Anderson. It was a flag football game. It was a lot of fun. I worked with some old friends and met some new.

5. What has been your biggest stunt so far?

Biggest stunt so far has to be having twin boys! My boys are 13 years old now and have done some stunt work themselves. My whole family is in the business and we look after each other for advice and support.

6. What’s coming up next for you?

I just finished working on "Footloose" stunt doubling Julianne Hough. I don't have a next project at this moment, but things change really fast in this line of business. I look forward to any work that I get because I love doing what I do!

Thank you for the interview Michele.
Thank you also for the autograph. I really appreciated it.

I'd love to know what you think of this interview so please feel free to comment below.
Until next time!

Interivew with... Chris Gann

As a movie reviewer, and now someone who interviews celebrities/actors/stunt men, it's now become a mission of mine to interview someone in particular.

And today's the day. I've finally done it.
I've finally interviewed a Terminator.

Chris Gann appeared as the T-600 in the TV series, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Since then Chris has gone on to appear in Dollhouse, the new Hawaii Five-O series, and a stint in General Hospital.

Here's what Chris had to say...

1. How does it feel to be a part of a select few actors to play a Terminator?

Playing a terminator was a great experience! I did a few episodes of Sarah Conner Chronicles (a couple of which were never aired because the show got canceled). The make up was intense, getting ready for the day took 3 to 3 1/2 hours, and when you were done it took over two hours to get all cleaned up. There is such a great back story to all the Terminator characters, I played a "t-600" which was considered an early model Terminator with a lot of flaws still in the design. As the Terminator became more advanced the T-600 became obsolete but the human race still had to deal with the few that were left (including myself). Some days there would be three types of Terminators on set, all in different forms of evolution. The show had a huge built in fan base. I received tons of letters from fans of the T-600.

2. May you please tell us a bit about your involvement in the xXx movie?

This movie was my big break. When I auditioned for director Rob Cohen and casting director Ronna Kress it felt like I did not belong in the room. At my second callback There were a half dozen recognizable actors that were going out for the role of "TJ" and at the time my resume was pretty modest. That being said I new I performed well in my audition and I was just grateful for the opportunity to meet Rob and Ronna. Two weeks pass and my phone rings. When I pick up the phone someone on the other end says "Hi Chris, its Rob Cohen". Well as you can imagine I thought it was a buddy playing a joke on me but as he continued talking I realized that he was the real deal. He said he really liked my acting and knew I was qualified to do my own stunts which he thought was really important for the characters of TJ and Virg (Virg was played by Joey Buccarro). The movie went great, I worked on it for about two months. I became friends with a bunch of the worlds best stunt men (which has led to many other stunt acting roles in my career) and Vin Diesel and his camp. A few years later Vin put in a good word for me and helped me get a part on the movie "The Pacifier" which I worked on in Florida for a couple months, another great experience!

3. How did you get involved with General Hospital?

I had a recurring role on the hit ABC soap "Port Charles" the same casting team also worked on General Hospital so they have brought me in to do various roles for them. I envy the regulars on Soap Operas, they get to work in town, have pretty normal hours, and have millions of adoring fans. They also are pretty solid actors which usually they don't get credit for. They have to master dialog and shoot quickly to keep the show moving. It is always fun to work on General Hospital, there cast and crew are fantastic and no matter how long it has been since I worked on the show, they always seem as if they are happy to have me back when I come in and work.

4. What would be your dream film role?

I love comedy! When I first started in acting some of my first roles were sit-coms. I felt my strength is comedy but somewhere on my journey I have gravitated more to action/stunt roles. So to answer your question, my dream roll would combine both of my strong suits. A physical comedy like "The Hangover" or a dark comedy directed by the Cohen Brothers. I look forward to the time I get to star in one of Rob Cohens action movies. Rob and I are friends and I love the way he directs. I think we will reunite some day.

5. What’s coming up next for you?

I just did an episode of "Hawaii Five-O" What a great experience. I spent a week in Hawaii and got to work with the same team who brought you the hit show "24" If you get a chance to see the show check it out. It is going to be another hit for CBS! I did stunts on "Transformers 3" and "Vampires Suck" and tv shows CSI Miami and House. I also have 4 new national commercials running in the USA and Canada. You can see them soon on my website and you-tube.

6. Is there an event or charity you would like to bring to my readers’ attention?

I work with a worldwide charity that has a goal of nourishing the world. The Kologoris foundation http://www.reliv.com/US/EN/The+Foundation.html has helped thousands of malnourished people get there health back and that is just the start. We want to ensure that kids and adults all over the world can live a healthy life. Please check it out.

Now that's what I call an interview!!!
Thank you so very much to Chris Gann for his time and effort. It certainly means a lot to me.

If you want to know more about Chris and his work please check out his site at www.chrisgann.net/
Please feel free to leave a comment below, as I'd love to know what you all thought of this interview.
Until next time!

Interview with... Dunia Montenegro

Now for something a little more... adult.
Well, a lot more adult.

I have interviewed porn stars before, because they seem to be some of the most honest people out there. When I happened upon the chance to interview Dunia Montenegro however, I didn't realise how revealing she would get!

Dunia Montenegro is one of Spain's greatest porn stars, however this means her English isn't all that comprehensive.
That being written though, I believe you will enjoy what she has to say.

1. How did you become a porn star?

It was addicted to the sex and wanted to know if she might manage to be a porn star.

2. What is the appeal of being a porn star?

sex, sex, sex!

3. Favourite porn star to work with?

Girl: Sharka Blue. Guy: Mmmm... Toni Ribas!

4. Who would you love to work with, on film?

Would like work with Belladonna, Tera Patrick, Jenna Jameson or Bobbi Eden. Actors? Really like Ian Scoth and Manuel Ferrara.

5. You’re very attractive. Do you also do modelling work?

Oh, yes. You can see some pics here http://www.fotoplatino.com/lucianasilva

6. Have you been to adult conventions to promote your work?

Oh yes, i have been in: In Finland in Turkky, Oulu and Helsinky, In USSS in AVN Las Vegas, In Germany in Venus Berlin, In Spain in Exposex Madrid, FICEB Barcelona, Mi vida Loca Ibiza, in South America in FICEBA Buenos Aires, In Italia in Milano, In England in Erotica London, In Portugal in Lisbon and Oporto, In Swiss in Geneve and Zurich, In Hungary in Erotika Budapest...

And there you have it peoples.
Hope it was as good for you as it was for me.
Until next time!

Interview with... Bob Levy

Interviewing comedians is a lot like trying to pin a leaflet on the windshield of a speeding vehicle.
You're lucky if you even get the leaflet anywhere near that car.

I write this as most professional comedians are extremely busy, and are always working.
Case in point is Bob Levy. Bob's been a professional comedian for years, also making numerous appearances on the Howard Stern radio show in the US.
So with that in mind in advance I think Bob Levy for his time with this interview, and I hope you enjoy.

1. What made you want to be a comedian?

whores and easy work aha

2. What’s it like doing comedy on radio, as opposed to on stage?

radio alone is easy its when you have people that dont know when to retire trying to lead you it makes it a mess

3. Which do you prefer?


4. Have you taking your act on the road?

yes all throught the u s and canada

5. Does comedic film work appeal to you? Is this somewhere you’d like to take your career?

yes i,m starting to do that now

6. Melbourne, Australia holds the annual International Comedy Festival, which gets bigger and bigger. Would doing something like this interest you?

yes it would australia is a place i would love to visit

I for one would love to see Bob's show.
I ask all his fans to post their comments about this interview, and about Bob in general, done below.
And if you get the chance, check out some of Bob's work. It's great stuff.

Until next time!