Haviland Morris [Interview]

Haviland Morris

So there is this little John Hughes film from the 80’s called Sixteen Candles that is considered one of the sweetest teen romantic comedies of all time.  Pretty much like anything John Hughes ever did, really.  30 years ago, everyone wanted to be from that small town in Illinois with the jocks, nerds, preppies, etc., just like 20 years ago I wanted to be a student at Bayside High dating Lisa Turtle.  But, I digress.  In this little film there was a smokin’ hot dame named Haviland Morris.  The woman who (I had assumed) behind one of the first pairs of breasts I had ever seen on a movie (right after Jennifer Jason Leigh in Fast Times at Ridgemont High).  Haviland’s character was always my favorite in the film because I could relate more to Anthony Michael Hall’s character more than Jake Ryan, and Anthony was the one who got her in the end!  Molly Ringwald was alright, but in my mind she was no Haviland!

And Haviland has continued to do some amazing work since included her diabolically sexy appearance in Gremlins 2, a few year stint on the soap opera One Life To Live, 2013’s Burning Blue, and so much more.  She is just as beautiful as ever and her talent has only grown.  It was an honor to be able to share a few words with the legendary prom queen of the 80’s herself to discuss her varied career, her other life as a real estate agent, and what the future holds for Haviland Morris.  Hint on the last topic:  even she doesn’t know.  Enjoy!

Was it strange doing a topless scene in a PG movie? How do you think John Hughes got away with that?

Well . . . I didn’t really do one. You’d have to ask my body double. Although it was definitely strange having someone else be me, naked. Disconcerting, really. But flattering, too, since they picked this 18-year old girl who ran 10 miles a day and had an absolutely gorgeous body.

Sixteen Candles was released just before the advent of the PG-13 rating, which is how he “got away” with it. Before the MPAA introduced the PG-13 rating in July of 1984, PG covered the whole territory from not quite appropriate for a G, right up to whatever merited an R.

What was the pace like working on a soap opera like One Life To Live? Did you enjoy the work?

I don’t really have any memories of the pace, per se, but I am a supremely bad soap opera actress. I was only on that show for a couple of days a month over a few years, so it never really became my clubhouse and, I have to say, I never got good at it. But I enjoyed it, anyway – actors do like to act.

You still continue to work as an actress, yet still maintain a career as a real estate agent. Is it tough to juggle both? And which do you find more rewarding?

Tough? Yeah, maybe a little, but some of us don’t feel awake unless we have at least one too many balls in the air. I really love both; they call on such different parts of me, but I was born an actor. I don’t have to do it every day, but I couldn’t face the prospect of never doing it again. If you told me I could never sell another apartment, I think I’d just figure out some other ball to juggle.

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You appeared as the Laurie in the stage production of Oklahoma….in China? What was that like? Were the Chinese receptive to the play?

You know, I’ve read on the internet that I did that, but I don’t know where that came from – it’s entirely untrue. I was actually in 2 productions of Oklahoma – one high school production in Singapore and one community theater one in Hong Kong, but I never played Laurie. I think I was just in the chorus – or maybe I had some dinky, 2-line part. I suspect that the audiences of all nationalities received those particular productions as we do here in the United States: those with offspring on stage were wildly proud and everybody else managed to live through it.
You have graced the stage, television and film. What would you say is your favorite way to perform?

It’s all great fun. I tend to be a small-strokes kind of performer, so my work is probably better suited to film, but I never have that “Oh my God, here I am, doing what I always wanted to do!!!!!” feeling except when I’m on stage.

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What does the future hold of Haviland Morris?

Oh yes, where DID I put that crystal ball . . . ?

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Remembering that production of Oklahoma – Thanks!

Karyn Parsons [Interview]


If you grew up watching television in the 90’s, you might remember a little show called The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  Yes, the show with probably one of the most revered theme songs in history featuring the man behind “Parents Just Don’t Understand” before he became a parent himself and won Oscars and such.  And then there was Hilary.  Sweet sweet Hilary Banks.  Everybody loved the self righteous rich girl who never really seemed to have a clue, but we loved her anyway.  The fact that she was and is a stone cold fox doesn’t hurt matters either!.  Karyn recently moved more behind the camera and into the world of motherhood, so we haven’t really seen her in a while, so I thought it would be great to catch up of her and see how life has been treating her, talk about her time in Bel Air, and see what the future holds for this lovely and compelling actress.  So, here you go!  Enjoy!

Was it difficult and/or insulting at times to play the sort of ditzy young girl when you portrayed Hilary Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air?  What did you find to be Hillary’s strong points? 

I loved playing Hilary. It was fun. Great to be able to be such a self-centered person and say all sort of things you can never say. The ditzy part came more from her just being so concerned only with what was important to her at the moment. She looked at things through a very narrow tunnel.

Strong points?…… Hmmm… well, she was never coming from a malicious place. She loved her family. She was driven, had lots of energy, and nothing could stop her form getting what she wanted…. except Will sometimes. Oh, and she had (sometimes!) great fashion sense…. and was able to go out on a fashion limb.

How was that experience of being a member of a television family overall?

Awesome. My personal experience was great. As an only child, I was able to suddenly have a brother and and sister. We were (and still are) tight and pretending to be a real family for 6 years was incredible. I love those people.

What was the set life like when you were working on The Ladies Man?  Was it as fun behind the scenes as it seemed to be on the screen?

Very funny. WIll Ferrell is insane in the best possible way. Tim was very hard to keep a straight face with. Hard not to blow takes. And it was great hanging out with director, Reggie Hudlin. A very smart and funny guy.

Your role in your husband, Alexandre Rockwell’s, film 13 Moons as well as your stint on the television show The Job, were sort of a stretch from most of your previous work where you mainly worked in the field of comedy.  How was that transition?

Well, The Job was a comedy, although a different brand of comedy. It wasn’t a transition so much for me as for the viewer who has seen me doing only comedy. I’ve been doing various roles and worked in different genres as long as I’ve acted.


What was it like studying under Jim Krusoe?  What made you want to get into writing?

It was great. I want to study with him now. I wish I was in Santa Monica for that one reason.

My quick answer is that Jim made me want to get into writing, but really he just showed me the window, and how pretty (and ugly, and everything else) it could be. I’m the one who went through it.

How did you become involved with the creation of Sweet Blackberry?  Can you tell us a bit about the company, and what made you want to get into working on projects directed towards children?

It’s really simple, actually. My mother was a librarian heading the Black Resource Center in a Los Angeles library. She’d call me and tell me incredible true stories of Black people from history. Stories I’d never heard that blew my mind. I wanted to bring those stories to kids, but in a fun way, more like reading a fairy tale than getting a history lesson. I wanted to plant small seeds early, so that kids could grow up knowing the many contributions and achievements of black folks instead of having to discover these stories so much later in life after they’ve already been taught (by omission) that these achievements are few and far between. Or never discovering them at all.


What does the future hold for you?  Will we see you in front of the camera in 2013?

Well, I don’t have a crystal ball. I very well may be in front of the camera soon.

We’ll see.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My daughter told me my favorite joke (she likes it , too!).

There Is No Mountain: There Is No Mountain [Album]

There Is No Mountain - There Is No MountainAbout 5 years ago I discovered this little band from Portland, Oregon that I found absolutely intriguing, they were known as The Ascetic Junkies.  And over the years, they became an absolute must on playlists and mixtapes (remember those?) I would make for the rest of my days thus far.  The spawned two amazing albums, and a brilliant short fed E.P.  But, as wonderful as they may have been, times change and things have to be done.  Creative spirits move with different cross winds against the musical spectrum.  In the several years I have been doing this music writing thing, I have watched a few of my “favorite” bands simply dissolve for one reason or another.  Thankfully, I seem to fall in love with such creative spirits that I know I will hear form them again.  And sometimes they come back better than ever.  This is no exception with the dissolving of the AJ’s, and the lead into a new beautiful creation form the front man and woman known as There Is No Mountain.  In fact, this is one of the greatest offsprings of a band I love since Her Ghost debuted after The Fenbi International Superstars became a thing of the past (another story that makes me cry).

With all the sap behind, let’s get focused.  There Is No Mountain is at its worst a beautiful recreation of all of the things we once loved about Kali and Matt from The AJ’s.  At its best, it is a completely original and truly creative take on everything the duo has learned over years of performing and a perfect example of growth in the human mind.  Nothing proves this point better than the beautiful tracks “Good News” and “The Nail Salon”.  While at first listen they seem to be some sort of reincarnation of the past, they soon shift into a strange psych filled folk that we haven’t really heard from them in times past.  And it really doesn’t stop there!  The opening cut “Owl Hymn” and a latter track “I’m Not Convinced” actually – wait for it- ROCKS SO HARD!  Alright, well, maybe the tracks are still just as light hearted and pretty as you would come to expect, but, the electricity that is heard and more importantly felt in these tracks is undeniable and much harder than a trusted fan might be used to.  And I will be damned if they don’t absolutely kill it.

There Is No Mountain

There Is No Mountain’s debut album is, in itself, a beautiful album.  If I hadn’t been a huge Ascetic Junkies fan in my own right, I guarantee I would have still heard this album and absolutely fell in love.  Yes, it could very well be just the continuation of Kali and Matt that keeps me so entranced, but I am sure there is something more.  It certainly feels as though the is lovely couple as realized that what they have is something very special, but it could be fun to change things up just a bit, which seems to be exactly what they have done.  And I want to put it on the record as saying that they have not only done just that, but, they have created the finest records of the year thus far!

And with that, be sure to catch There Is No Mountain in a city near you!  They are playing across the country as this is going to “press”.  They have already traveled thousands of miles from Portland, but they are still looking to double back home!  Check out their tour dates, and find yourself wherever they are to catch what is sure to be an absolutely lovely evening that will leave you with a giant smile on your face, and a swelling in your heart.

For a complete list of shows from There Is No Mountain, just stop by HERE.

Johnny Pemberton [Interview]

Johnny Pemberton

So there was this guy that just seemed to be popping up on television and in films so much that kept me asking myself:  who the hell is this guy?  And more importantly, why isn’t he big ass star by now?  That man would come to be the extremely hilarious comedian Johnny Pemberton who you may recognize from films like The Watch, This Is 40, In the Loop, and on television shows like It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and as the host of MTV’s Megadrive.  But what made me so interested in Johnny was his minor, yet amazingly done, role in the recent adaptation of 21 Jump Street as hapless dork in the film named Delroy.  The only thing I didn’t dig about that film was that we didn’t get to spend enough time getting to know Delroy.

So I thought, what the hell.  Let’s get to know the man behind the nerd himself, Johnny Pemberton.  We were fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to exchange a few words with the man himself and find out what he has been up to.  And be sure to tune in to Feral Radio to checkout his hilarious podcast Twisting in the Wind.  Enjoy!

You made your third appearance in the Apatow/Jonah/Rogen in the upcoming comedy This is 40, after co-starring spots in The Watch and 21 Jump Street…what do you think it is that keeps you coming back?

Do you mean why do I keep coming back to that same relative location in the film universe OR why do they keep hiring me?

The answer the former: I got hired and was compensated financially for my acting services rendered.

The answer to the latter: No idea. I think I did a good job on the first round and they realized they could trust me with a portion of their illuminati secret agenda.

You played a lovable sex deprived nerd in the blockbuster 21 Jump Street. Is this true to life? Or are you actually a lady killer by nature?

Absolutely true to life. They actually retroactively wrote the character based on my own personal relationship experiences. ‘Delroy’ was supposed to be an unlikely pimp of sorts, but when they met me they decided to pedal back a bit and make ‘Delroy’ more of a fun loving sex deprived nerd with a latent sweet tooth for women of the night.

Can you tell us a bit about “Family Tools”. Should we be seeing a debut soon? And what role will you be playing?

It’s a great show about a crazy family in a town where people live and work. Sometimes the characters have an argument or a disagreement, but generally things work out by the end. Sometimes there is a challenge that one character will face whilst another character is facing a different challenge simultaneously. Oftentimes these 2 events will come together at the end of the show for a hilarious blow out. Right now the show is set to debut in May 2014 on the east coast, then midwest and west coast in the autumn of that same year. I play Mason. He’s the son of Terry, nephew of Tony, cousin of Jack. He suffered a minor head injury early in life which may of may not have affected his personal development.

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Can you also tell us a bit about the web series you were involved in called Aim High? How did you become involved with this series?

I was shopping at a Ralphs supermarket in Culver City when I ran into the auteur director Robert Rodriguez who was buying some props for his latest movie. We got to talking and he spilled the beans about this project he heard about that was casting nearby in a few weeks. fast forward a few weeks later… I took the bus from Downtown LA, where I was living at the time, down Adams boulevard to Culver City and auditioned for the part of Marcus. They liked me and asked that I hang out for a few hours while they made a decision. I walked over to J-N-J burger for some BBQ then bought some records at Records LA. Then I went back to Bandito Bros and they said I had the part. also I love Thor Fruedenthal, the director.

As an actor, where would you like to see yourself in 10 years?

I don’t think there will be human life as we know it on this planet in 10 years time. If I survive the coming singularity when our machines wake up and take on sentient life then I will probably be doing theater in a woodland community somewhere near a clean water source in Northern California.

Have you ever thought about getting behind the camera? If so, do you think you would stick with comedy? Is there another genre you might like to produce or direct?

I haven’t just thought about it, I done it. It’s actually where I initially saw myself entering the industry, or ‘stry as we in the industry call it. But then of course I started acting when I got discovered and had to walk that road, which I’m still walking and totally enjoy. I plan on stepping back behind the camera in due time, but probably with some small things make for an overseas audience. Australia is a great place.

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If you could recreate a starring role from any 1970’s film, what would it be? Why?

Jack Nicholson’s role in “Five Easy Pieces” because it’s so intense. The jokes he cracks are so heavy and make the maximum impact that fly off the page. It’s impossible to ignore and/or not laugh. Sorry, that’s a movie not a sitcom. I would probably say anyone from The Bob Newhart Show that would allow me close access to Suzanne Pleshette. She’s a stone fox.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I saw an older gentleman trying to park his car in Santa Monica and he totally bumped an already parked car. This was in front of a crowded restaurant window at lunch time. Thank goodness for bumpers right!

But actually the last thing that made me smile, literally, was my girlfriend calling out for a puppy as she lay in bed this morning. we don’t have a puppy, but she thinks that if she keeps calling for one it will magically appear and lick her face then fall asleep on her lap as she looks at shit on her ipad I bought her with money I made from being on TV.

Scott Ian [Interview]

Scott Ian 2

As an outsider looking in to the world of heavy metal, some names and faces are comparable to the likes of sports stars.  Even if you never watch basketball, you know who the hell Michael Jordan is.  And even if you don’t listen to heavy metal too much, you probably know bands like Metallica, Megadeth, and the subject matter band of the day….Anthrax, with their lead guitarist Scott Ian and his signature bald head and long ass goatee.  He is without a doubt one of the pioneers who helped build American based heavy metal into the massive powerhouse of creativity that is is today.

But, if you are a regular reader of Trainwreck’d Society, you may have noticed that we have never covered, or spoke with folks from the world of heavy metal or even hard rock.  We mainly deal with pussy rock some might say.  It’s not my regular brand of listening, but when I do, Anthrax is always on the playlist. Therefore I could not pass up the opportunity to have the legend himself on the site.  So, I called in a favor from a man who I consider a Heavy Metal expert, Sir Adam Mattson.  Adam’s knowledge and expertise surpasses even the likes of the Google demons so I asked him to come up with a few questions for Mr. Ian himself.  And I think you are going to like what he came up with.  We managed to steal just a few words from Scott as he is an extremely busy man, currently doing two tours at the moment, selling out shows across the globe.  Though short winded, we are so excited to have him on the site.  Enjoy!

You have a spoken of a word tour coming up soon, without giving too much away, what kind of words can we expect to be spoken?

A lot of words about the ridiculous, poignant, charming, mysterious and hilarious situations I’ve been a part of over the last 31 years of being in a band.

Anthrax has a new EP of classic rock covers coming out. What made you pick the songs to cover that you did?

Covers are always songs that we already know, have been playing forever. They’re songs we play to stave off the boredom of soundchecking with our own songs.

You have gotten to tour with some of the greatest and most important metal bands of all time. Who has been your favorite? Who is left that you would like to share the stage with?

Touring with Iron Maiden has always been great. We’ve done shows with them since 1988 and they’ve always treated us amazingly and for us to get to share a stage with our heroes is a dream come true.

We’ve never played with AC/DC. That would rule.

What has been the proudest moment of your career?

Playing Yankee Stadium with the Big 4 in 2011. That and my career. 31 years and counting...

If you weren’t making music for a living, what would you be doing?

I’d like to think I’d be writing professionally in some capacity. Maybe comics since I already do that.

What newer artists keep you excited for the future of heavy metal?

Any band that has the balls and the will to make a go at it.

Who would win in a fight, Chuck D or Brian Posehn?  Why?

Exactly. Why?

What is it gonna take to see a Stormtroopers of Death reunion?

A reality show on Bravo.Scott Ian

What is it like having Meat Loaf as a father in law?  Does this make for a bad ass Thanksgiving?

It’s awesome. We have a lot in common and he kicks ass.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

FaceTime from Australia with my wife and son a few minutes ago.

Learn how you can catch Scott Ian and Anthrax in a city near you at their official website.

Lotte Kestner: The Bluebird of Happiness [Album]

Lotte Kestner - The Bluebird of HappinessOh Lotte Kestner.  Lotte, Lotte, Lotte.  It is incredible how you never cease to surprise your adoring fans.  For so many years you have never failed to impress us time and time again.  You continuously validate yourself as the owner of a pair of the finest vocal chords in the business today.  And you only seem to be getting better and better.  The Bluebird of Happiness is the third album that the legendary Anna-Lynne Williams has released under the pseudo name Lotte Kestner, and her second album chock filled with (mostly) original tracks.  And what a damn gem to say the least.  I can think of no better follow up to her amazing album of covers known as Stolen, than this beautiful album.

  To put it bluntly, this is such a pretty album.  It is a perfect collection of brilliantly versed, wonderfully comprised works of art.  Each track is as wonderful as the next, and at the very least is a wonderful continuation of Lotte Kestner’s debut album China Mountain.  And of course it would behoove me not to bring up that, yes, The Bluebird of Happiness contains her now praised cover of Beyonce’s “Halo”, which has received a great amount of attention on the inter webs, and deservingly so.  While I may personally choose tracks like “Cliff”, “Wrestler”, or “Turn The Wolves” as far superior tracks, it is undeniable that Anna-Lynne Williams has managed to re-create a beloved song in the pop world, and made it all her own.  But, each track on this album is absolutely brilliant and worthy of an abundance of listenings over a couple of bottles of wines and a few smiles amongst friends.

Todd Grimson [Interview]

Todd GrimsonIn so many ways, horror novels can be far more frightening and breath taking than films any day of the week.  This is simply because the imagination is a hell of a thing, and the visuals you create in your head can be far more disturbing than anything Wes Craven or John Carpenter could even try to imagine.  And you know you have found a great horror writer when you find yourself taking a moment to pause and ask yourself – what the hell were THEY thinking when the were even creating this frightening stuff.

And with us today is one of the day’s finest horror and occult writers of the modern age, Todd Grimson.  Grimson has produced an abundance of wonderful tales of zombies, vampires, all the stuff that just scares the hell out of most us when done properly.  And properly is exactly how this brilliant mind does it.  In a day and age so obsessed with ruining the ancient tradition of horror, we should be so lucky that this man exists.  And we were fortunate enough to be able to steal few words from the man himself to discuss his latest books,

You started out working in hospitals, which semmingly had a major impact on your writing.  What do you think affected you most about this labor? 

The experiences were different. First came almost 2 years in Surgical Intensive Care Unit, where I overcame squeamishness about blood and seeing people in pain…..and watched, many times, people die. I was 24, 25 yrs old. I held one patient’s hand while he flatlined, tried to see if I could feel the moment When. Meanwhile I was reading medical textbooks and (at home, living downstairs from a cocaine-dealer) playing classical piano with improvisations. Then, after a year of unemployment in between, I worked nights in the Emergency Room, which was much more of a social job, interacting with those who’d had violence done them, or their drunken friends, Friday and Saturday nights, getting to know homicide detectives and uniformed police. It never crossed my mind that I might write about this constant inflow of experience, not until some years had gone by.

Describe your time in Tangier with Paul Bowles? Any similarities between Burroughs and Kerouac in their heyday?

It was funny that I became friends with Bowles. It happened because we argued about Huey Long, and then began laughing about it. Ordinarily Bowles was extremely reserved (albeit polite) with those who talked with him about literary matters. It seemed to me that many at that time were more interested in his dead wife, Jane, than in Paul. Also, he was quite surprised I had actually read all of his novels and stories not just The Sheltering Sky.

How did it feel to have your strange dreams put to paper in Brand New Cherry Flavor?BNCFsm

This has always been my approach to writing. I never really had much interest in journalism per se, in being a reporter. I wanted instead to discover new landscapes and geographies, mysteries others ignored or could not describe. So much of journalism seems to me to fall into the trap of following conventional psychology in order to “fit in” – which basically means writing about things the reader already knows and accepts before or without really reading the text. Just so, people read reviews rather than approaching material with fresh eyes and making judgments on their own.

Besides the obvious adult oriented content, what sets your writing apart from the likes of, say, Stephanie Meyer or Anne Rice?

Realism. I try to be realistic. Anne Rice, for instance, in Interview With A Vampire, had three characters, vampires, living in early 1800s New Orleans, each killing one victim apiece every night. New Orleans was not that heavily populated then, but even now, the numbers make the scenario ridiculous. What happened to all the bodies? Why did each bite instantly kill rather than wound? I talked a lot with some physicians I knew, trying to make things more realistic – while still basically sticking to the “vampire rules” as established by Bram Stoker, even if I subtracted the supernatural elements.

Which do you find more fascinating in the realm of the undead – zombies or vampires – and why?

Zombies might as well just be a pack of wild dogs. There’s no psychological element, other than” “Oh, my friend’s been bitten! How long should I wait before shooting them in the head?”

Aside from your own, what was your favorite book of 2012?

I really liked Nam Le’s The Boat , whenever that came out. I always enjoy the stories of Deborah Eisenberg, and anything Dennis Cooper does. I’ve recently become interested in Robert Bolano.

Tell us a bit about your most recent release, Stabs At Happiness.

Todd Grimson2It’s a collection of thirteen stories, at least three of which are novella length. The pieces range in setting from Havana in 1958 to unmapped portions of the Amazon to Tangier in the 1980s. You never what world or atmosphere you might find yourself entering within each story. I tried, in writing each piece, to truly experiment, and sometimes this led me into milieux and mindsets unlike anywhere I or the reader have ever been – except perhaps in true dream-worlds… dream-worlds not in the sense of fantasy exactly but maybe finding oneself in the sheer strangeness of San Francisco’s underground nightclubs and secret societies of 1932.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Watching the Greek film Dogtooth the other night, when one of the daughters of this very isolated, odd family performs a unique, crazed version of Jennifer Beals’ famous dance at the finale of Flashdance. This is really something that has to be seen to be believed.

Vanessa Angel [Interview]

Vanessa AngelOh sweet Vanessa Angel.  How you were the modern day Ginger, but with the kind hearted sprit of Mary Ann for a formative young male when you shot to the screen on the hit television sitcom based on the classic John Hughes film, Weird Science.  And to top it off, you performed in what I still consider to be the finest Farrelly Brothers film to date, Kingpin.  Your beauty is as recognizable as your delightful acting chops.
Okay, I will stop withe fascinations now, just long enough to state that I am super excited that we have been allowed the opportunity to steal a few words from one of the most beautiful and prolific women who has ever graced the stage and screen.  And although she took some time off to play the most important role of her life (mommy, of course) she has never truly faded out, and has had a great career that is definitely booming once again, and she is still just as impressive as she has ever been.  Ladies and gentlemen – please welcom actress, model, fashion designer, mom, genius – the  amazing Vanessa Angel!
Kingpin is by far the most superior of the Farrelly Brothers films, in my personal opinion. How was it making that movie and working under the legendary comedic duo?
Kingpin is definitely one of the highlights of my career. I feel very fortunate that Peter and Bobby Farrelly took a chance on casting me as Claudia and filming was just an incredible experience. They were coming off the success of ‘Dumb and Dumber’ and a lot of actresses were keen to work with them. During the auditioning process, they fought for me, as I was kind of the dark horse. I was on hiatus from ‘Weird Science’, so thankfully my schedule allowed me to be available for the film. I can remember Peter calling me to tell me I got the role and I literally jumped up and down with joy! They are just great guys with a wonderful, close knit family and everyone made me feel welcome and included. They have a lot of family members and old friends come to do cameos in their films, so the atmosphere on the set is very warm. We shot mostly in Pittsburg and surrounding areas, so we were all together, which helps create a bond with the cast and crew. I was a little intimidated to work with Woody at first, as he takes a while to warm up to people, but once we got our first scene completed, I felt a lot more comfortable. I knew Bill Murray a little, as I had met him through Dan Aykroyd and was so excited to get the chance to work with him. He helped me a lot creatively during the shoot and was so supportive. Randy Quaid was great too and it was so fun to watch him transform into Ishmael everyday. The role was written as someone in their early 20’s, hence the reference to him as ‘kid’ but Randy bought such a sweetness to him that it really worked. Peter and Bobby work so well together and really trust each other. They have great instincts and a brilliant sense of humor. Bobby would always be at the monitors and Peter would communicate more directly with the actors. They were always coming up with new ideas for funny scenes, so a lot of moments were added as we filmed and weren’t in the original script. You really have to trust their process and take a leap of faith. I was unsure of the scene in the parking lot when Woody and I fight and he punches my chest. I had to wear these mechanical cups that moved and I wasn’t really into the idea, until they assured me it would work and now I think the scene is hilarious, the way I can stand up to him physically and mentally. It took a while for people to discover the film and it wasn’t a big box office hit initially. I think after the success of ‘There’s something about Mary’, people took a look at the Farrelly’s previous films and discovered ‘Kingpin’. I think it has a lot of heart, as well as cutting edge humor, and audiences respond to the characters as well as the comedy and it’s wonderful that after all these years, it’s become sort of a classic. It was wonderful to work together again with The Farrellys on ‘Hall Pass’. It seemed like no time had passed and the set was fun and warm and I felt like part of the family again.
What was the dynamic like between you and your cast mates on Weird Science? What are your most memorable momements from being on that show?
There was a lengthy auditioning process for ‘Weird Science’. John Asher, Michael Manasseri and Lee Tergesen had already been cast, so when it came to the final few callbacks, I got to read/audition with the guys, which made it a lot easier. I got to know them a little during that process and we could feel that we had good chemistry. I was so excited to get the show, as I hadn’t done much comedy and wanted to see if I could step outside my comfort zone. I thought Lisa was such a fun and sweet character and I approached it as though she was seeing things for the first time, almost like a child, with innocence, yet a little mischievous and fun while she had also been programmed with smarts and wisdom. The show had been picked up for 13 episodes before the pilot was even shot, so we had the luxury of knowing we had some time to find the right dynamic. We actually shot 2 episodes before the pilot episode, so we had time to get the timing and tone right before we filmed ‘She’s Alive’. John was the funny, goofy guy, who worked very spontaneously and Michael was much more serious and worked hard on his craft and timing. Lee Tergesen is one of the funniest people I have ever met and the whole cast and crew were always happy when he was on set, making everyone laugh. I actually met my husband of 16 years through Lee, so I will be forever grateful to him for that! The show was filmed, one camera at Universal Studios. It was fairly new at that time to film comedy without a live audience but it meant the days were long, averaging 13/14 hours. There was quite a lot of special effects and blue/green screen, so it was the only way it could really work. We had a lot of fun together, although you’re always racing the clock on tv, so there’s a sense of urgency to get the day completed on time. The crew was so great too and really helped make the days easier. I would look forward to seeing what stories the writer’s had come up with each episode and what crazy, fantasy situation we were in. I had to sing, dance, play with different accents, so it was challenging at times to quickly hone a new skill. I remember having a quick drum lesson for the rock and roll episode and learning to tango with Michael for ‘Spies R Us’, as well as various other things. I sometimes had very uncomfortable costumes to wear and was always up at the wardrobe department getting fitted for some outfit. I even had the costume designer make my wedding dress, based on a dress I had worn on an episode. It was a wonderful show and it helped me to grow as an actress and also to step out of myself and not take myself too seriously. During the first season, my father was very ill and passed away and I remember feeling so fortunate that I had to go to work every day and step into the fun of the show, which helped keep things in perspective during a difficult time. I think of it now as such a special time in my life and have truly fond memories.Vanessa Angel2
What is your greatest non-entertainment related influence in your career? Why?
I’m not sure about a non-entertainment influence but I grew up just outside London and although my family wasn’t in the entertainment business, my mother loved going to the theater and in school we read classic literature and plays at an early age. I had an older sister who was very smart and popular and I was kind of the awkward, shy, skinny girl, so I think I had an inner desire to be ‘seen’ from an early age. My sister and her friend and I would put on plays/vignettes for our parents and their friends and I would always have to be the ‘character’ role, being the youngest and I often got the laughs and I think it made me feel validated and that may have been an initial seed. I was a part of all the school plays and definitely felt more comfortable in that world. We even performed The Caucasian Chalk Circle when I was around 12 and other weighty material, as well as comedies and musicals. I never thought of pursuing a career in acting but after being discovered as a model and later having the opportunity to be cast in my first film, ‘Spies Like Us’, looking back it all sort of made sense and I think it was my destiny to take this path. I think this life has sort of forced me to face my demons. As an actor, your constantly in the position of being judged and it takes a lot of courage to be rejected so often. I think the need to come to terms with who I am and not needing others to validate me has been a constant learning curve in my life and you have to get to a place where you feel comfortable in your own skin, regardless of what others think of you. That’s been a big life lesson and influence that’s comes from being an actress.
Since I became a mom in 2001, I now take into consideration what my daughter would think when I consider a role. I have done a few films for fun, like Baby Genius 2, that I thought she would enjoy!
Can you tell us a bit about VANE LA? What made you want to get into the world of fashion?
I have always loved clothes and fashion and took ‘needlework’ classes at school and made a lot of my own clothes from age 9 on. Then when I started modeling at 14, I was fortunate enough to work with some of the best designer’s, stylists, photographer’s and fashion editors, who really influenced me. VANE LA kind of happened organically. I started making a few dresses for myself about 3 years ago, simple styles but in great fabrics that I couldn’t find made at reasonable prices in stores. I had a friend who worked at Ron Herman at Fred Segal, which is one of the most popular boutiques in Los Angeles and she put me touch with the buyer, who loved one of the dresses I made and ordered 200 dresses for their 4 stores. I had to figure out very quickly how to make that happen! I’ve had to learn a lot about the fashion business and am still working on growing the line. The initial dress sold really well and from there I started offering different styles, and introduced tops and t-shirts too. I like a simple, casual yet elegant kind of way of dressing and my designs try to capture that essence. I sell at a few boutiques, including Ron Herman and Rona in Studio City. I feel quite proud of it, as I literally do all of it, expect the actual manufacturing, on my own. A lot of people in this business get the chance to collaborate on some kind of fashion line but they are basically just lending their name. Not to knock them but I literally do all of it on my own, including delivery! I have a very basic web page, www.vane-la.com and a VANE LA facebook page to check out.

Can you tell us about Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft in which we will see you in this year? What will you be doing in the film?

Hansel and Gretel is a dark, modern day twist of the fairy tale. BooBoo Stewart from the Twilight films stars, so it’s aimed at more of a tween/teen audience. I play Ms. Keegan, the school guidance councilor, who is not who she appears to be! I enjoy playing characters that are hiding their truth and are deeper and darker than they show on the surface. To be honest, you have to keep in mind that this film was literally shot entirely in less than a week! David DeCoteau was the director, whom I’m really fond of and enjoy working with. It’s actually extraordinary how quickly he can make a film. Not easy to get 20 pages shot in a single day! I always say there are films out there that aren’t great that had several months to shoot, and they have no excuse, so if anyone is critical of this endeavor, keep that in mind! I am happy to have the opportunity to work with people I like and wanted to work with David and Eric Roberts. I think for what it is, its a fun watch.

What does the future hold for Vanessa Angel?
I hope the future holds many more years of feeling fulfilled creatively and a sense of contributing something meaningful. As a mother to an 11 year old daughter, I want to be the best role model I can be and help her to grow and flourish and navigate these next few years. I made a choice to cut back on my work once she was born, and although my career has suffered for it, I feel very glad that I have been able to be there for her in her most formative years. Now I’m ready to work more and I hope the future holds another tv series. I feel I have matured and have a different more experienced voice to share and would celebrate the chance to be a part of a show. I want to continue with my fashion line and get more involved with causes I feel are important. I feel more politically aware and have a sense of greater responsibility and a desire to be part of the solution to the problems facing the world. If I can find even small ways to do that, then I feel I am contributing positively.

Vanessa Angel3What was the last thing that made you smile?

I just saw an unexpected photo of a friend wearing one of my VANE LA dress at a red carpet event today, which made me smile and I was also getting some oranges off a tree outside my kitchen early this morning and a baby bunny hopped away with the cutest white bunny tail. Can’t help but smile at that. We have a rapidly growing family of bunnies living in our yard at the moment, much to our lawn’s dismay!

29 Great Love/Missing You Songs [Exclusive]

As many of you fine readers may know, I am currently dislocated from the woman I love, and the children we created together.  And to put it frankly….it sucks.  Throughout our almost ten years of marriage, I have had to run off all over the world for stints of time ranging from two weeks to six months.  But this time is a doozy.  If you have read the Travelogue section, you will know that I am in South Korea for the remainder of 2013.  An entire year away (although there will be a couple of reunions in the near future).  And dammit do I miss her, and she the same.

Technology these days makes it far more easier to stay in contact than ever.  When I left on my first trip to the desert way back in 2006, I was allotted a daily phone call and a couple of minutes on Myspace (Remember that thing?) on a public computer.  Now whether you are in Afghanistan or South Korea, there are things like Skype and Magic Jack, as well as WiFi fucking everywhere!  So, it is not so bad.  But still, it sucks.  We miss each other dearly, even though we see each other almost every day in a digital manner.  There are two other things you need to know about myself and my beautiful wife though:

1.  We love music!  And for the most part, we agree on almost every genre of music.  Or she at least deals with my choosing all the music, and then complaining about some of her choices.  What can I say, I’m a critic.  Critics are assholes.  But really we do both love a grand selection of modern indie rock, and 90’s alternative that makes up probably 75 percent of our catalog.  We differ when it comes to what is “real classic rock”, but that is an entire argument in itself.  Also our general music choices don’t match our moods.  I dig happy go lucky folk songs by the likes of Golden Bloom, and she is into some dark twisted shit like Civil Twlight.  Pretty weird.

2.  We are corny as fuck.  Sometimes, that is.

We are so corny in fact, we have made it a regular thing to research pretty little love songs to post on each other’s Facebook pages, and then Melissa makes them into a mix tape and sends them to me in care packages alongside Tim’s Cascade chips and pajama pants.  Yes, I know, it is corny.  But I will be damned if I didn’t say how great it is to see these videos on my Facebook page, and how much I enjoy looking up something for her.  It is just another way we manage to kill this disgusting thing called time that we must spend apart.  Some of them are obvious.  Especially the 80’s Monster Ballads.  But, how can you not love those, right?  You’d have to be a soulless bastard to not feel moved by “More Than Words”.  But, we manage to pick out some pretty good stuff.  And just like anything that is personal between Melissa and me, I want to share it to the world for my own exploitation!  And by no coincidence at all, today is my lovely wife Melissa Trembath’s Birthday!!  Now, I know she wouldn’t want me to throw out her age for the world to know, so I won’t do that.  But, I will say………..

Here are 29 Great “Love/Missing You” Songs you absolutely must hear!!  (I love you baby!)

***Disclaimer:  This is obviously not a definitive list.  And there is no real order.  Just like what you see, folks.***

(6/22/13) Additional note:  A brand new list of 29 (More Great Love?Missing You Songs is up and available now, HERE.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Into My Arms

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Into My Arms

29. Dispatch - If You Call My Name Out Loud

Dispatch – If You Call My Name Out Loud

28. Fun. - The Gambler

Fun. – The Gambler

26. Stevie Nicks & Don Henley - Leather & Lace

Stevie Nicks & Don Henley – Leather & Lace

25. Buddy Holly - True Love Ways

Buddy Holly – True Love Ways

24. Sophie Madeline - You Make Me Happy

Sophie Madeline – You Make Me Happy

23. The Moldy Peaches - Anyone Else But You

The Moldy Peaches – Anyone Else But You

22. Matthew Sweat & Susanna Hoffs - Sweet Melissa

Matthew Sweat & Susannah Hoffs – Sweet Melissa

21. Better Than Ezra - Desperately Wanting

Better Than Ezra – Desperately Wanting

20. Belle & Sebastian - Didn't See It Coming

Belle & Sebastian – I Didn’t See It Coming

19. Extreme - More Than Words

Extreme – More Than Words

18. Gin Blossoms - Hey Jealousy

Gin Blossoms – Hey Jealousy

17. Counting Crows - Colorblind

Counting Crows – Colorblind

16. David Bowie - Lets Dance

David Bowie – Let’s Dance

15. Boyz II Men - I'll Make Love 2 U

Boyz II Men – I’ll Make Love 2 U

14. The Weepies - I Gotta Have You

The Weepies – I Gotta Have You

13. Peter Bjorn & John - Far Away, By My Side

Peter, Bjorn, and John – Far Away, By My Side

12. Neutral Uke Hotel - King of Carrot Flowers

Neutral Uke Hotel – King of Carrot Flowers

10. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Home

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home

9. Neil Nathan

Neil Nathan – Do Ya

8. Meat Loaf - I'd Lie For You (And That's The Truth)

Meat Loaf – I’d Lie For You (And That’s the Truth)

7. Mark Geary - You're The Only Girl

Mark Geary – You’re the Only Girl

6. The Lumineers - Flowers In Your Hair

The Lumineers – Flowers In Your Hair

5. Loretta Lynn & Jack White - Portland Oregon

Loretta Lynn & Jack White – Portland, Oregon

4. Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love

Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love

3. Justin Nozuka - Be Back Soon

Justin Nozuka – Be Back Soon

2. John C. Reilly & Jenna Fischer - Let's Duet

John C. Reilly & Jenna Fischer – Let’s Duet

1. Hootie & The Blowfish - Hold My Hand

Hootie & The Blowfish – Hold My Hand

That will do it folks.  Now obviously, there are so many other great tracks to choose from, and we might even do a sequel to this someday.  Melissa and I have shared several more videos already.  We shall see how it goes and maybe we return with another addition.  Get your YouTubing on folks!!

Stephen Rebello [Interview]

Stephen Rebello2When I heard there was going to be a film about Alfred Hitchcock in the works, to say I was intrigued would be an amateur sentiment. I was freaking ecstatic. Like millions of viewers across the world, I am a huge fan of pretty much anything Alfred Hitchcock did in his illustrious career. But, when I heard that the film was less than a biopic, but more of a period piece, I became even diligently ecstatic. In this day and age, there is a world wide web that could provide several different versions of a man in a biographical sense. But, when we deal with direct periods, such as the making of a film that completely redefined the career of an already acclaimed filmmaker (i.e. Psycho, if you hadn’t caught on yet), we get a more detailed and in-depth look into the emotional stamina of a subject. And if that weren’t enough, I learned that film was based on a book written by a man who I had only known as a fantastic journalist. And after reading Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, I knew that between the film, and the as per usual far superior book, I had stumbled upon an in-depth look into something beautiful.

And lo and behold, I managed to be able to steal a few words with the author of Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, Stephen Rebello to get an even greater insight into the world of Hitchcock. And while we were at it, we got to showcase the career of a man that has had an abundance of personal and professional achievements in his esteemed career. And through a bit of research, I learned some pretty amazing and/or interesting factoids about the great Mr. Rebello himself. We are very excited to introduce one of the today’s finest writers, journalists, humans of world of words today. Enjoy!

How does one move from the world of social work and therapy…..to journalism in the entertainment world? Are there any similarities?

I’d call it some fantastically weird , cosmic collision of ambition, neurosis, persistence, hard work, and incredible amounts of luck punctuated by occasional flashes of talent. I don’t think I’ve gotten here in ways that are very much different from how people have been doing it for decades – I’m talking about the ones who gravitated to careers in the arts from law, newspaper reporting, fiction writing, film criticism or what have you. I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I’ve been dreaming and imagining from the womb. I sang professionally as a kid, too. I’ve found new ways to sing, I guess. Even while I was happily working as a therapist, I began to write pieces that got the attention of editors and publishers and one thing lead to another. I’m just grateful that, from the beginning, there have been those who seem to like the sound of my ‘voice’ — and continue to, especially as it evolves.

Did you find yourself slipping into some sort of neurotic way of being while researching and writing about a subject that revolved around murder and psychopaths? Did you ever have to stop and analyze yourself?

Not any more neurotic than usual. I’m not a Method writer. I roll up my sleeves and become a relentless, endlessly inquisitive detective, psychologist, worker bee. Doing research, you’re a living camera, a tape recorder, a witness. Doing research for something like this, you become a tape recorder, a witness, a camera, a detective, a psychologist, an interrogator.  Researching Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, the murderer and psychopath in question was Ed Gein, whose 1950s crimes and pathological personality somewhat inspired writer Robert Bloch’s creation of the Norman Bates character in his novel, Psycho.

When I was researching, I was up to my neck in original vintage script notes, sketches, casting notes, production schedules, contracts, and screenplay drafts. More than that, I was spending face time on a weekly basis with the people who actually made Psycho – and others films – alongside Hitchcock. That was insanely fun, thrilling and informative. It almost felt as if I were plunged back into the time when Psycho was being made. Years later, when my agent and I sold the screen rights to Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho to one of several bidders, eventually the film studio hired me to do several rewrites of the existing screenplay adaptation of my book. Shifting from non-fiction to fact-based fiction was an exciting transition. I had already spent months immersing myself in the ‘50s, the era in which Psycho was birthed. I devoured period music, books, magazines, news footage, videos, and the films of the era. The iconography, conservatism, optimism, paranoia, mores, notions of romanticism, the slang and language were absolutely crucial to me – though they were less so to others. It drove me insane whenever people involved in the film version of the book kept trying to have the characters throw around anachronistic, clichéd phrases like “serial killer” or insist on having Hitchcock talk self-consciously to other characters as if he knew Psycho would be a game-changer while he was filming it. Hitchcock was a genius but he wasn’t clairvoyant. Anyway, some battles you win but you lose many others.

Stephen Rebello3

Through all of your research for Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, what would you personally say was the most surprising and unique trait of Mr. Hitchcock?

As you mentioned earlier, I was a therapist and I’ve been in therapy, which is an important professional requirement. Aside from that, I’m very present in the world so I have to tell you that very little about human behavior surprises me anymore. I work in Hollywood, remember? The most revealing things about Alfred Hitchcock came from the remembrances of those who worked on films with him, socialized with him, knew him for years and years. I learned how painfully self-conscious he was about his appearance and how that shaped his work and his life. I found out how disdainful he was about collaborators whom he thought were unprepared or giving less than their best. How open he was to actors who were intelligent, engaged and thoughtful, which is why he so enjoyed Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh, for instance. How emotionally strangled he could be, to the point where he often had to communicate through others. How he would spend time and money surprising someone he liked by sending them a rare, expensive book or an imported delicacy. How he would financially support old coworkers during rough patches in their lives, sometimes for decades. How, to ease his terrible emotional pain, he sometimes fabricated fantasy romances involving women he knew he could never attain. How contradictory and complex he could be. How relaxed and playful he could be on a movie set, knowing he’d already sweated the details for months if not years. We live in a world full of people who somehow seem certain that they know the ‘real’ Hitchcock, have some inside knowledge about what made him tick. They don’t want their Hitchcock messed-with. It’s almost like, “Don’t you dare confuse me by telling me actual facts.” I trusted his collaborators, who graciously and candidly shared so many different insights into the many faces of Hitchcock they knew

In hindsight, were there any segments you would have liked to have seen differently in the film Hitchcock? And what is your overall opinion of the film?

Films based on real events work best for me when they dramatize actual facts in powerful, unexpected ways. So, maybe selfishly, I like Hitchcock when it’s sticks to the kind of movie that I was envisioning, the kind of movie I wanted to see, the kind of film for which I was hired to write dialogue, scenes and characters. For instance, as I mentioned to you before, for the screenplay, I had no interest in the real life murderer Ed Gein because the novel and film Psycho are about the fictional creation Norman Bates, not Gein. Hitchcock could not have cared less about Gein, either. I kept trying to minimize or cut those scenes because they ate up valuable storytelling time without much dramatic payoff. Others liked them, so there you go. I’m all about Hitchcock when it’s focused on him battling hostile studio executives, using any trick in the book to convey his artistic vision to his actors and crew, enlisting his wife Alma’s expertise in “fixing” the movie, orchestrating Psycho’s evolutionary advertising campaign, enjoying the sounds of the audience reacting to seeing Psycho for the first time. What I miss is Hitchcock’s inner life and struggles as a man and a great, complex artist, his revealing, rich relationships with graphic designer Saul Bass, composer Bernard Herrmann, his assistant Peggy Robertson. All that said, though, I’ll never forget that day in 2008 when I finished and sent off to the film’s then-director a speech I’d written for Alma. It’s the one in which she sets Hitchcock straight, really laying into him for his casual cruelties, neglect, monomania. She reminds him exactly who she is as a person, a mate and collaborator. That particular scene, among others, comes from a very deep place in me and in Hitchcock, it’s virtually word for word how I wrote it. Some old friends called to bust me after seeing Hitchcock because when Alma sarcastically tells Hitchcock that Doris Day should do Psycho as a musical, my friends reminded me I’d made that exact wisecrack to him back in Boston, Massachusetts when I tried to lighten the mood as we were leaving a grim, devastating film about the Nazis. Several people contributed to the Hitchcock script but I always saw Hitchcock and Alma’s fascinating relationship as the project’s emotional heartbeat. There were many other strong scenes – with Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles — that would have brought the viewer deeper inside Hitchcock’s creativity, his complex relationships with coworkers, his larger-than-life humor, his sadness, his genius. They were never filmed. I miss those.

Quite the opposite of psychopaths, you have written books based of the art of films like Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame…the Disney versions. What made you want to start working for Disney?

I’ve loved classic Disney animation from childhood and my storytelling has been influenced by Disney. A fantastic Disney publicist and great friend named Howard Green was a fan of Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho and kindly brought me in to meet with the studio executives who were interviewing writers to work on their making-of books. I got the OK and had the privilege and challenge of documenting the production of three of Disney’s animated films. That led to my getting hired as a writer doing story development for several Disney animated feature projects, as well as my writing the teleplay for an ABC TV musical based on Sleeping Beauty. Like many other projects, those scripts are locked in towers guarded by dragons but crying out to be filmed.

Stephen RebelloYou have had the opportunity to interview an immense amount of incredibly interesting people. Who, besides Alfred Hitchcock, would you consider to be the most intriguing person you have spoken with?

What a privilege, right? So many. A standout has to be the great illustrator Al Hirschfeld, who held me spellbound for hours in his incredible Manhattan home and studio telling me tales of his art and of people he knew intimately –the Marx brothers, Will Rogers, the Gershwins, Moss Hart, Rodgers and Hart, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Fannie Brice, Fred Astaire, Jack Benny. His intelligence, gusto, the way he bit into life still inspire me. Interviewing Ernest Lehman, one of Hollywood ‘s greatest screenwriters known for North by Northwest, The Sound of Music, Sweet Smell of Success, Sabrina, West Side Story, led to an extraordinary friendship and mentorship that I miss to this day. He was razor-sharp, complicated and so funny. We both have a sardonic, gallows sense of humor, a taste for the macabre, a love of understatement. We nearly collaborated on a book about his hair-raising experiences making Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf with Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Mike Nichols. Unfortunately, Ernie got cold feet about doing the kind of tell-all book he’d originally set out to do, so the publishing deal collapsed. We were also deep in discussions and exciting new ideas for an original screenplay that he’d wanted to do decades before with Hitchcock. The agents were actually working on the deal. One day, I showed up for a story meeting. That morning Ernie had taken a cab to a doctor’s appointment and had just come back. Anyway, he announces that our movie project was off. Why? He’d tried-out the idea on the cab driver and the cabbie hadn’t liked it enough. I was stunned and thought the mood would pass, but the more I tried to reason with him, the more he resisted. We brought each other potential new material, but we could never seem to agree. I think he was frightened of competing with his incredible past successes. Oh, but, if only.

Your book Reel Art: Great Posters From the Golden Age of the Silver Screen was positively revered as a one of the finest books written about Hollywood. And that was 25 years ago. Therefore, if you could add any additional “reel art” from the years since you released the book, what would make the book? What would not? Why?

There’s been continued interest in another Reel Art book but that’s all hot air until someone actually steps up to the production costs involved. Too many posters of the past few decades have just been assemblages of “floating head” photos of the stars. Too many contemporary posters are also too much like the work of Saul Bass. There have been some cool, imaginative ones, though like Brazil, Fargo, The Tree of Life, The Truman Show, American Beauty, Walk the Line, Moon, Batman, 127 Hours, Cloverfield, Moonrise Kingdom.

What was the first book you can remember completing? Did it have any impact on you?

At six or seven I won a supremely cool Schwinn bike in a Peter Pan lookalike contest at a local movie theater, so I read Peter Pan probably to figure out whether winning that contest was a slam or a good thing. Anyway, by the time Barrie described Peter as “clad in skeleton leaves and the juices that flow from trees,” I was just wowed. I loved the adventure of flying over London rooftops, the pirates, the Indians, the Lost Boys, all of it. By the end of it, though, the whole play made me incredibly sad and melancholy which it’s supposed to because that queasy dark underside, those deeper implications are big aspects of Barrie’s genius. It’s interesting that the project Hitchcock most wanted to film throughout his life but never got to make — or was never allowed to make — was Mary Rose, a dark, sentimental ghost story by Barrie. I wish he had done it in the ‘50s at Paramount starring Audrey Hepburn.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Aside from some of your questions, you mean? I got a completely unexpected message this week from one of our most respected American writers telling me how wonderful and underappreciated he thought Hitchcock was. That was incredibly nice and moving. When he added, “But it would have been even better if it were more like your book,” well, I’m not going to lie. I’m still smiling.