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!

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Karyn Parsons [Interview]

KarynParsons

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.

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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.

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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.