Sunday Matinee: King Cohen [Film]

“Buckle up for KING COHEN, the true story of writer, producer, director, creator and all-around maverick, Larry Cohen. Told through compelling live interviews, stills and film/TV clips, the people who helped fulfill his vision, and industry icons such as Martin Scorsese, J.J. Abrams, John Landis, Michael Moriarty, Fred Williamson, Yaphet Kotto and many more, including Larry himself, bring one-of-a-kind insight into the work, process and legacy of a true American film auteur. Few can boast of a career as remarkable or prolific, spanning more than 50 years of entertaining audiences worldwide.” – October Coast

Larry Cohen has always been one of those maverick figures that I feel like I always knew was out there, but really didn’t know anything about, until now. King Cohen dives directly into its attempt to make unwary viewers understand just how important this man was to the world of film and television. It also brilliantly provides the strong sense that with a strong work ethic and willingness to go as far as possible, pushing the limits of both society and the world of cinema, some really great art can be given to the world. Because that was exactly what Cohen did, and even continues to do.

And just as previously stated above by our friends at October Coast, and as any showcase of a film legend should do, there are a TON of wonderful interview subjects that are more than willing to tell you that Larry was, while a bit eccentric, probably one of the nicest guys in both old and new Hollywood. The brilliant Steve Mitchell (the man who wrote the seminal horror classic Chopping Mall!) knew exactly what he was doing, and managed to chop this brilliant film together to make a very lovely ode to a man who both changed cinema, but also rethought the way it could be created.

King Cohen begins its theatrical run July 27 in markets including Los Angeles and New York.

Special event screenings of the film will also be held throughout July and August in cities including Asheville, VA and Yonkers, NY.

Kari Wahlgren [Interview]

Voice over artist Kari Wahlgren, Photo Credit: Michael Becker, Styled by Lauren Bernard, Makeup and Hair by Maxine Christians

Hello Dear Readers! Today we have another amazing interview with a brilliant voice over artist from our beloved Fallout franchise, the wonderful Kari Wahlgren. And much like our previous guests this week, she is also a master of the on screen/stage screen as well. For my fellow Wastelanders out there, Kari is the voice of the one and only Proctor Ingram in Fallout 4. You know, the one keeping the Brotherhood of Steel mechanically sound?! That is, right before I tend to blow them all to pieces in my own play throughs, but that is besides the point.

Kari is an incredibly talented actress and voice over actress that has been in just about everything you know and love. From Disney animated films, to the biggest video game franchises that have been enjoyed by so many, to every sort of television series you could love in the world of anime and beyond. Anime fans especially should be excited about her upcoming return to the legendary series FCLC that is on Adult Swim on Saturday nights! She can be heard in the upcoming Adam Sandler led film Hotel Transylvania 3. Video game fanatics will recognize her vocal chops from series like Final Fantasy, Halo, The Elder Scrolls, Skyrim, and just so much more. She really can do anything!

So Ladies & Gentlemen & Non-binary alike, please enjoy some amazing words from the extremely accomplished and amazingly talented human being, Kari Wahlgren!

When did you discover that you had a unique talent for the world of voice over work? Was it always something you had imagined doing as a youth, or did you just find yourself excelling in this line of work one day?

I knew from a pretty early age, I think.  I was really into cartoons as a child and had a sense that someone was doing the voices. I told my parents I wanted to be a Disney cartoon character one day. I’ve always had an eye on it as a part of my creative career.

 

What was your very first paid gig in the voice over world that you remember getting? And did this experience help shape your work in some shape or form on your future endeavors?

I was on a studio tour with my parents on my 11th birthday, and they were looking to cast a girl my age in a radio drama.  They asked me if I’d like to audition, and I got the part, and I recorded two episodes right there on the spot.  That was my first voiceover job, and it definitely made me want to do more VO work in the future.

 

One project that you have worked on was performing as the Brotherhood of Steel’s jack of all trades Proctor Ingram in the video game we adore around here known as Fallout 4. So, amongst the plethora of video games you have added your talents to, how does the Fallout world stand out in your mind?

I think they used a fake working title for the game when we were recording it, so I didn’t know what I was working on for a while. I had only enough context to know who my character was but not what was happening overall.  I remember the character artwork being very cool and being impressed with the script…I didn’t find out until later that it was Fallout 4.

Fans of the Fallout series are a very die-hard group of people, to say the least. I am confident in saying this, as I believe I am one! So how has your fan interaction been when it comes to the world of Fallout? I know it is only one specific project you have worked on, but I am curious to know how my fellow Fallout fans react in your presence? 

Actually, not a lot of people know I worked on the game!  That’s one that surprises people! If there are fans out there doing cool fan art of Proctor Ingram, please share it on social media…I’d love to see it!!

On the topic of die-hard fan bases…you also happened to work on a bit on a show with one of the biggest cult followings around these days, which would be Rick & Morty. In your own personal opinion, as someone who has worked behind the scenes, what do you believe it is about R&M that has managed to generate such a large following? What sets this show apart from other animated series in the same vain as this one?

I think Rick and Morty manages to be both gross and offensive and incredibly smart! Justin and Dan are two of the most brilliant guys I’ve met…their brains operate on a whole different level, and it comes across on the show.

Beyond the world of voice over work, you are also an accomplished theatre performer as well as having done some on-camera work. I am curious to know how you might compare the two forms of performance? What do you find to be the benefits to each style of performance?

In voiceover, you are limited to using your voice to create your character.  In theater and on-camera, you can use your body language and facial expressions and props, but you’re also more limited in a way.  I play everything from babies to grandmas in voiceover, and I wouldn’t be able to play those parts on camera…there’s a great freedom in that.

Voice over artist Kari Wahlgren, Photo Credit: Michael Becker, Styled by Lauren Bernard, Makeup and Hair by Maxine Christians


What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to share with our readers?

More new episodes of FLCL2 are airing Saturday nights on Adult Swim, which is really exciting.  I also have a few new projects that I’m hoping to be able to announce really soon.  You can find me on Instagram at @kari_wahlgren and Twitter @KariWahlgren .

I try to post all of my updates there, and I love hearing from the fans!

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Listening to the band Slaughter in my car.  I geek out pretty hard over those guys.

Ellen Dubin [Interview]


Hey Folks! We have another absolutely amazing interview for you all today which keeps in line with our love for both strong female voice over artist and actresses as well as our undying desire to talk about Fallout 4! Because if I have to admit it, if I am not working on this blog, or it sometimes becomes stagnant for a couple of weeks, I am probably getting sucked into my 42nd play through of Fallout 4. Nevertheless, we have some amazing words from a truly amazing and talented individual to share with you all today!

Ellen Dubin is a brilliant actress and voice over artist who has been involved with just so many of your favorite projects, it’s hard to really narrow them all down. We talk about a couple of specific projects that I personally love and enjoy to this very day, including the aforementioned Fallout 4 where she actually voices the roles of two characters that I have probably killed with every play through I have ever done of the game. I feel kinda bad about it now that I know Ellen is such a nice and wonderful person. But in all honesty, I just did it again about a month after getting these amazing answers from her. So I guess I am not to be trusted. Another role from Ellen that you all will know and love is her work as Ilene in the seminal classic film Napoleon Dynamite. It’s such an amazing film, and while Ellen was one of the characters you wanted to hate, you sort of had to understand her whole side of the ordeal in a way. Maybe? I don’t know, that might be a stretch?

The point is that Ellen has not only been able to pull off the roles of somewhat dubious characters both in front of the camera and in voice over roles, which seems like a breathtakingly hard task to pull off. And her career spanning close to 30 years has given us so damn much to be impressed by, and we just so damned lucky that she was willing to take some time to answer some of our questions in great length and give some beautiful insight into her amazing career thus far. Sometimes we just get so lucky that we find people that are as extremely talented as Ellen and they also happen to be just so damn nice!

So with that, please enjoy some amazing words from the brilliant Ellen Dubin!

When did you decide that you wanted to play pretend for a living? Was it a long term yearning to be an actress that brought you into this world, or did you just find yourself within the world one day?

I never set out to be an actress. Most of my actor friends had that dream right from the start. I was a very shy insecure child with flat feet and poor posture and my wonderful parents enrolled me in ballet classes to gain confidence, relate to other children ,stand up straighter and get stronger feet.  At the end of each season there would be a ballet recital. It was there on stage where I could feel the most confident. I loved the live reaction of an audience and  relating to them and working off their energy.  If I was doing a dramatic ballet, I would always do an extra arm wave -my dying swan took a lot longer to die. If I was doing a comedy ballet, I would wait for the laugh before I did the next step. It was in this world of make-believe that I felt alive and at home. In this world of pretend, I was bitten by the performing bug and wanted to continue to strive for more and more and learn everything I could. My ballet teacher who was very blunt used to say to me : “You are not a great technical dancer but you have the ability to make an audience feel and laugh.”

I ended up having a major knee injury at an audition for a ballet company and had to figure out what I was going to do with myself in this devastating time in my life. I went to university and took a couple of English literature courses that focused on Shakespeare , Greek comedy and tragedy and theater history. We also had to do shows as part of the curriculum. Mostly academic but also creative.  I realized that if I wanted to stay in the performing arts world, I had to continue learning -so outside of university,  I studied  other types of dance- jazz, character dancing and tap, singing, acting, piano ( my dad wanted me to be a concert pianist but I couldn’t sit still at the piano) , scene study and improvisation. I was fortunate enough to audition and land roles in various musicals.  The world of ballet taught me discipline  focus and artistic courage. I ended up doing a wide variety of theater productions from farce to drama to Shakespeare to musicals.  I feel the stage is the best training ground for the magical world of pretend.

So acting came about because of a knee injury….


What was your very first gig as an actress that you can remember working on? And did that experience help shape who you are as a performer today?

I think everything you do as an actor whether it turns out great or not shapes you as a performer and as a human being. I have learned something from every production I’ve been in .

My first paying gig was doing two musicals in repertory at a dinner theater where I not only performed in the shows but had to serve food at the intermission and before and after the shows. What a juggling act!  These two plays began the pattern of me being known as a very eclectic actress. A few nights a week, I would be playing the oldest earthy daughter in the amazing musical Fiddler On the Roof. And the other nights I would be playing a ditzy character with a squeaky voice in the 1920’s musical No No Nanette. These two characters could not be more polar opposite.That began my love of keeping an audience guessing! I was very lucky to start my career being very chameleon like. I loved doing research on the different time periods and really making specific character choices. I got a kick out of dealing with the costumes of the time period- what a great learning experience. Attention to detail became very important to me in everything I played. The experiences of being on stage and doing the same role every night for several months taught me how to keep a performance fresh and work with a team of other actors plus behind the scenes people. No matter what type of genre you work on in this business, I have always believed it’s a team effort. It taught me an appreciation  for everybody’s job in a production, as well.

Being on stage also gave me the technique  to be able to bring something up at the drop of a hat – an emotion quickly. Remember, you don’t have a chance at a second take. So you have to be so on point and aware of everything in the theater. So when I got  roles on television and film , I had a solid technique to draw on. I always stayed on set to watch the older actors, as well. I would hide in a corner when they were working and absorb everything. I feel like I am always learning ! No matter what genre you perform in, there is always more you can do with a role.

I still get butterflies before every job I do which is apparently a good thing- enthusiasm and nerves combined!

In 2004, you appeared in one of my all time favorite feel-good comedic films of all time, the now classic Napoleon Dynamite. I’ve never worked in the film industry, but I would love to imagine that film that is so fun to watch as this one would have a pretty fun set life as well. So what was your experience like during the filming of Napoleon Dynamite? Was it as much fun to work on as it was for us to watch?

I have to start off by saying that never in my wildest dreams did I have a clue that Napoleon Dynamite would become the anthemic comedy of a generation. I still get fan mail from this iconic comedy. I wanted  to share with the readers that I got this job because one of the producers was a fan of my Sci-Fi work. He had interviewed me for a Sci-Fi magazine about a wild and wacky show I did called Lexx. This goes back to the previous question where you never know where another job will lead so you learn to be appreciative of everyone you work with or who you are interviewed by.

Flash forward a few years later, I get a call from the man who interviewed me – now producer Chris Wyatt asking me if I wanted to work on a  film that shoots in Preston, Idaho? He sent me the script and I thought this is a bit weird but I had never been to Idaho, I hadn’t been offered anything at that point without an audition so I thought what the heck, I have nothing to lose. Sounds like it could be a fun experience! Nothing ventured; nothing gained!

Being on the set of Napoleon Dynamite, I have never laughed so much. When Jon Heder made his first entrance when I opened the door in our first scene, I have never had to suppress a laugh so hard in my life! I was literally biting my tongue because I wanted to scream with laughter. He stayed in character the whole time and every time I went by him I wanted to laugh like crazy.  One of the other delights of working on this movie was working with Efren Ramirez (Pedro). We worked on  a crazy comedy feature film  called Tammy and the Teenage T- Rex together. We could not keep a straight face about that film either- it starred Terry Kiser, Denise Richards and the late great Paul Walker.

There was constant fun on the set And I really enjoyed the lunch hour because we shot at an actual person’s house in Preston ,Idaho and we would eat in the backyard and sit and chat on the swing set like kids. It wasn’t fancy, We stayed in a very rundown motel –I was across from the fabulous Tina Marjorina . But I loved it!  One of the highlights of my career. Jared Hess , the director, was very specific about the style of comedy he wanted. Most comedies are high energy and fast paced. Napoleon Dynamite was very low key in its energy. We all had to take it down  a notch and it worked so perfectly. Very unusual style of comedy!

The reaction of the fans has been beyond heartwarming. This is a movie that  that had no budget and at the time had no A list movie stars and It was a multi-award winning  ginormous success.  It says a lot about content and characters , doesn’t it?  Filmgoers identified with this movie. There is a nerd in all of us! YEAH!

You have worked quite extensively on screen as an actress, but also as a voice over artists on so many animated or video game projects. I am always curious to know, as a brilliant artist working steadily in the two different functions, what would you say is your preferred method of performance? Are there benefits to each type of performance?

Every project I work on, I put my heart and soul into .The voiceover part of my career is the newest addition. I love the freedom of being a voiceover actor. I love the challenge of creating a world without props , costumes ,hair ,make up , set and the absence of the other actor. I can be 3 years old, I can be 300, I can be a lizard, I can be a queen! I am not judged on my physicality, my age, my gender. So that is a huge advantage as a performer. There’s more freedom to play different characters, for sure.

I find that the writing especially in video game roles very emotionally charged and fascinating.The creators  take you in so many different directions depending on what the player chooses- So  you have to record a huge variety of  storylines in the studio. Video games are extraordinarily sophisticated now so I also love the depth of the material. Love that you’re have to turn on a dime when you record video games.At one point you could be mourning the death of your brother and then next line you are a wench in old England serving beer in a pub. I find that my stage background really helps to get to the emotion very quickly in a video game and also the language in some video games is very Shakespearean especially if you’re doing a fantasy type read, so all my training in stage work really comes in handy for that type of language and name pronunciation .

I also love the challenge of diving in because the material is so secretive, Sometimes you don’t get the material till you walk into the studio so you have to be a very quick reader- a fast cold reader. Love that too. Even though I am using my voice, the physicality in the booth in front of the microphone is very evident. If you watched my recording, you would sometimes thing you are watching a fight scene or a jousting match. I am actually miming swing a broadsword, or waving my arms gracefully if I am playing a majestic character or hunched over if I am playing a Charr in Guild Wars 2 , for example, my movement training also comes in handy to give a full rounded performance which comes out in the voice.

The only thing that I miss when I do voiceovers is relating to the other actor I still love that human contact. But I have to use my imagination and imagine what the other actor might do and give a few versions so they have that to choose from when the other actor in another studio records his or her section. It’s a very unique process!

I love what genre I am doing when I do it! But voice over is in the top two! And like the world of sci fi ( which is another one of my favorite type of gigs), the fans are the most passionate and devoted!

Over the last year or so, we have spoken with about a dozen of your fellow VO actors from our beloved video game, Fallout 4. You of course did the vocals for a couple of the top Institute cohorts that play a major role in the third act of the game. With that, I am curious to know what your experience has been like being a part of this franchise with such die hard and loyal fans? And have you managed to play or see your characters be utilized within the game?

Ha, first of all thank you for letting me know that I’m in the third act of the game! That’s the first I’ve heard of it. I am absolutely so grateful for the Fallout 4 fans. I really realized  how diehard they are when I was walking around San Diego Comic- Con in a Fallout T-shirt – I was stopped all the time. And when they found out about my Institute characters they started quoting lines from the game that I didn’t even remember recording! Now that’s loyalty! The impact of the Fallout 4 game is just so rewarding. It is certainly a special club to have voiced this game. One fascinating tidbit , in one scene my two scientists characters are talking to each other. The director Chris Faella and myself found that amusing and challenging. Because they weren’t drastically different- just had different backgrounds.  We decided to make one more cynical and older and the other one a bit greener to differentiate. Love that collaborative effort!  Here is a quiet confession – I have never played a video game in my life! Ssh! I think if I started I would never stop. I will leave that to the amazing fans! Shhh! Shh! What happens in this interview, stays in this interview!

LOL!

Without trying to place the burden directly on your proverbial shoulders, I feel compelled to ask about the current climate and conditions for women in the world of film and television, both in front of and behind the camera. Appearances might seem like there have been strides towards change, but there is still such a small percentage of women working behind the camera, and still seem to be so few roles for strong female characters on camera. With that being said, in your own personal opinion and experience, what needs to change, like instantly? What are some aspects that maybe the average movie-goer or show viewer may not know about?

This is a very profound question, as you know and I’m not sure what the outcome of all of this will be but I do know that it is important to talk this out. I feel that strides have been made because more and more women and men are feeling more comfortable coming forward and sharing their experiences if things aren’t out in the light then we don’t know about them. With the high profile cases, this is helping people  express what has happened to them. That said we do have a long way to go and I think there are more stories to tell. When this started to come out, I started to think about some of my own experiences dealing with abusive artistic directors, photographers, producers throughout my career and I remember when I started in the theater having a director who was very “hands-on”. At the time, he wasn’t some huge powerful Hollywood type, but he could hire me for lots of other shows and he was powerful for me at my young age. And I just let him do what he did when he directed. I just thought that that was the norm. He was touchy-feely with all the actresses. It was uncomfortable but I giggled a lot and made jokes because I didn’t know how to handle it. I think at an early age both boys and girls should be taught how to deal with this kind of situation.  Meaning it is ok to say NO. Sadly sometimes it gets to the point where it is so violent and abusive ,even an adult would not be able to handle it. I really hope that we can continue to talk about it and people do not get cynical as new cases are revealed. We have a long way to go in hiring female talent on camera that are not just the girlfriend with the short shorts, or the hooker with a heart of gold. I think about my early career on camera when I played a lot of “sexy” parts. I am hoping that writers  will write more than just about our private parts. Fully realized characters that have more to say and do then  be the object!

As far as behind the camera and in video games, I have been fortunate to work with a few female directors who are all working now but we do have a long way to go in hiring more directors, writers, gaffers, sound people etc.  And I don’t necessarily believe that we have to just have females working with females. The wonderful male population can just as easily hire women crew!  And write fully realized female characters.

We have been taught from in early age as women to be subservient , not aggressive and not dominant. And an interesting thing would be one day just to say what a great part for woman. Not a strong woman not a powerful woman just a woman that that would encompass everything. Minus that adjective.

I think the average movie or theater goer, has no clue that this is happening. Remember they see the finished product and don’t get to peel back the curtain and see what is really going on. But with the press lately, the cinema or theater goer is learning more, as well.

I am not sure this will ever be a hundred percent solved in any business but we must continue to talk about it. Parents should keep on talking to both their kids and educate from a young age. We have made some baby steps lately…. But lots more to talk about for sure!  And to teach the next generation……..

Respect for all human beings! What a concept, huh!?

g_-_leg-1.jpg”> Peter Scolari is Robert in the comedy Boeing Boeing where he plays a non suspecting visitor of his friend Bernard (Michael Lamport) Paris apartment.
Ellen Dubin is Gloria who is one of three stewardess “finacees” Bernard surprises Peter with a hot blooded kiss.

[/caption]What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

Staying close to family right now.  Love spending time with my family. My number one priority.

I am working on a video game in Toronto which of course I cannot say anything about and I am also the voice  on a wonderful project as a continuing character in a major television project out of Los Angeles .It is a great role that again signed a major NDA for.  Can’t wait to share this one .  And hopefully will be doing a few indie films in the fall. Stay tuned!

I also hope to be at San Diego Comic Con this year. I would love to see your readers come out and say hi. For future updates because life is so uncertain right now, it’s best to check  ellendubin.com or my fan Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/EllenDubinActor/ or @EllenDubinActor twitter page

What was the last thing that made you smile?

This question!! Actually, all of your questions. A huge piece of carrot cake! And seeing my mom smile!

Julie Nathanson [Interview]

Photo: Jason Willheilm / Stylist: Simona Sacchitella / Hair & Make Up: Muamera Pulic

Oh Dear readers, do we have not only a wonderful interview to share with you all today, but honestly this is going to be an amazing week! As many of you know, and some of you are probably here for this specific reason….we love us some God damned Fallout. The entire series, but specifically Fallout 4. And with less than 4 months left until we get to explore this universe in a whole new way, I am so excited to share some words from a few more (added to the dozen or so we have already spoken with) folks who helped bring the characters of Fallout 4 alive. And we are kicking this off in a very big way.

Today we have some great words from the amazing voice over artist and actress Julie Nathanson who is just an absolute delight and a genius in her craft. True Fallout fans will know her as the mysteriously optimistic Penny Fitzgerald who can be a bit loosed lipped about what is truly going on at Covenant.

And as it always seems to be, it was so damn great to hear about the plethora of amazing work that Julie has given the world. She has worked on a ton of other video games including work in the Far Cry and Final Fantasy series, as well as on screen and animated voice over work on series ranging from Powerpuff Girls to Beverly Hills 90210. Seriously, this amazingly talented human has done it all! She even has a new series on YouTube Red featuring Kat Dennings and John Cena to share with you all, which we will discuss below.

So with that, please enjoy some amazing words from the brilliant Julie Nathanson!

When did you first discover that you had a talent for the art of performance, both on screen and in the voice over world? Was it an early passion that drove you to these professions, or did you just find yourself in this world one day?

When I was six years old, we put on a little play at school. I remember it was the first time I had ever seen an audience from a stage. Parents in folding chairs and everything. Anyway, I was in the second skit, but when the curtain went up, the kid from the first skit was nowhere to be found. Empty stage. The audience started murmuring, and general child chaos ensued. I saw this unfolding from backstage and immediately threw my hair into a low ponytail, put on the weatherman’s hat and suit jacket the absent kid was supposed to wear… and waltzed onto the stage. I did his entire scene. And then my own. Apparently, in my excitement, I had memorized the entire play. Not just my lines. Everyone’s lines. I’m fairly certain that was early evidence of my passion for performing. (Either that, or really weird memorization skills. I did memorize the first 60 digits of Pi in eleventh grade. But that’s another story.) So, yes, I discovered my love of acting at a very early age. It’s funny, I’ve never told that story in an interview before, but it really was pivotal.

One of your gigs as a VO artist has been on a video game series that we hold rather sacred here at TWS, and that would be the Fallout series. Specifically Fallout 4, in which you had a couple of roles in. So, I am curious what it has been like to become a part of this die-hard community specifically, as compared to the plethora of other series you have worked on. Have you received any sort of specific attention for your roles in the Fallout world?

Oh, I was so excited to play in the Fallout world! My roles in Fallout 4 aren’t huge, but they’re fun. Especially Penny Fitzgerald. She’s a little eccentric, and she’s also a little annoying. I like playing quirky characters. The fans were incredibly kind and enthusiastic, and I was really grateful to be welcomed into this beloved world. Plus, Courtenay Taylor, who voices the Female Sole Survivor, is one of my closest friends, and I loved watching the community embrace and celebrate her awesome performance.

 

Penny Fitzgerald in Fallout 4

When you are working on a video game series, I am curious to know just how you may personalize the character? What do you do to make sure that these characters come to life? How do you put your own spin on characters like these?

I always start with knowledge and empathy. I study the lines and character descriptions, looking for clues to a deeper understanding. I want to make the character real for myself before I attempt to make it real for anyone else. That’s the first step to personalizing it. Once I’m clear about who this person (creature, elf, computer, adorable blob of goo) is to me, then I get to work on the scene itself. The voiceprint comes last, and if I’ve done my homework correctly, it falls out of my head organically. Even with an oddball character like Chocolina (Final Fantasy 13-2, Lightning Returns), once she was clear in my head, her wild enthusiasm flew out of me like the bird-like wacko she is. For Jess Black in Far Cry 5, the process was a little different. I have a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, so I have a deep understanding of trauma. This helped me dive deeply into Jess’ world and make her pain – and even her sarcastic coping skills – very real to me.

Photo: Jason Willheilm / Stylist: Simona Sacchitella / Hair & Make Up: Muamera Pulic

I understand that you have been working on a pretty exciting new project available on YouTube Red entitled Dallas & Robo? Can you tell us a bit about this project? What will we be hearing you do on this project?

Dallas and Robo is basically a 1970’s trucker movie in space. With cannibal bikers. What more could you ask for?? It’s hilarious, and the cast is phenomenal. Kat Dennings is hysterical as Dallas, and John Cena is fantastic as Robo. I play the Computer voice, which has somehow become an odd niche for me as a voice actor… playing A.I. voices and computers. And I’m so human in real life! The first episode is streaming now for free on YouTube, and the rest is available on YouTube Red.

I also understand that beyond the voice over work, you are also a wonderful singer in your own right. Where does this passion stem from? And what sort of music brings you the most joy to create?

Thank you! My father loved grand opera, and I have an abiding love for this music. I have studied classical singing for many, many years. My mother is an otherworldly gifted blues harmonica player, and my grandmother played drums for decades. I love that you asked about joy. That’s actually the answer to your question. The sort of music that brings me joy is the sort of music I like to sing. Whatever brings me joy. If I ever came out with an entire album, it would be such a mix of genres! Little opera, little indie, little musical theater… but in the coming weeks, I am releasing a cover of Aimee Mann’s “Wise Up.” The song has meant so much to me at various points in my life, and I am excited to share my interpretation of it. I haven’t created much in the way of original music, although I’ll be releasing a lullaby I wrote later this year. See? Another genre!

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to share with our readers?

I’m voicing some incredibly cool projects about which I’m very excited (NDAs for all of them – I’m sorry!), and I’m also writing a couple of new scripts at the moment. Between these and the upcoming song releases, I’m definitely keeping busy. I’d like to thank your readers for being interested in multitasking artists like myself! Feel free to connect with me on social media. I’m pretty active on Twitter (@julie_nathanson), and I post about voiceover, odd humor, kindness, and weird words. And I’m finally getting better acquainted with Instagram (@julie_nathanson). Come say hello!

What was the last thing that made you smile? 

To be honest, just being asked this question made me smile. And prior to that, I smiled because I thanked someone for her caring friendship. Gratitude – feeling it and sharing it – brings me joy.

Sunday Matinee: 1/1 [Film]

“Breathless, daring, and undone in a million pieces. Describing both the film’s style and main character, 1/1 submerges the audience into the mind of Lissa, a twenty-year-old girl trapped in rural Pennsylvania, who grapples with sex, drugs, love and loss. When a possible pregnancy forces Lissa to take a hard look at her life, both her and the structure of the film mature, illuminating a brighter path ahead.” – Big Time PR

Wow, just wow! I have to be very honest and admit that I was unaware of the actress Lindsey Shaw prior to sitting down to watch 1/1, I was more drawn to the idea of seeing Judd Nelson and Dendrie Taylor who I have always admired. But I will be god damned if I did not find myself almost entirely drawn to the amazing talent that is Shaw. What an absolutely stunning performance! I seriously can not think of a single moment in this film where she was not completely spot on and brilliant in her portrayal as Lissa. Especially being somebody who has felt that bitterness and resentment to the fact that you may very well be stuck in a place that is as frustrating as it is saddening. I can state with all honesty that she absolutely nailed it! Nelson and Taylor may have been the draw for me, but I left with a whole new love for the brilliant Lindsey Shaw.

And what a hell of a story, I should probably add! Shaw’s amazing performance was obviously guided by an amazing script by Jeremy Phillips. The frustration and turmoil of desperate times during desperate situations is a subject that so many of us can feel right to our cores.  And Phillips has created a brilliant visual demonstration of said turmoil with this brilliant film. With an amazing soundtrack from the amazing group Liars, the list of amazing things about this film would go on forever. Suffice to say, 1/1 is a genuine, honest, and damn near perfect film that everyone needs to see.

1/1 will be released July 17 on VOD, DVD and Blu-ray(special features and unreleased Liars track available on Blu-ray) For more information about the film, go to oneoveronemovie.com

 

 

Lowell Dean [Interview]


Today’s interview subject is a guy who I was very excited to learn more about. Lowell Dean wasn’t exactly a name I had in my mental rolodex, and I will be the first to admit that it was shameful to not know of his work beforehand. But hey, we all learn and correct ourselves at our own pace, right?

I found out about Lowell whilst randomly coming across a couple of projects he has given the world known as Wolfcop, and that film’s follow up Another Wolfcop. And I am here to tell you folks, they are AMAZING! Dean is a man with an brilliant knack for truly unique storytelling, which is something that is very admirable and sadly a bit too rare this day and age. It was quite a shock to me when I attempted to simply get some words from somebody who was on the set of Chained, and to find myself becoming a HUGE fan of that random person’s work, and feeling like a damned fool for not knowing sooner.

So Ladies and Gentlemen, let us not be fools, let us be knowledgable and all-knowing of a man with a brilliant mind, who managed to take a seemingly campy idea and spin that shit into pure gold. Please enjoy some amazing words from the brilliant Lowell Dean!

What inspired you to get into the world of filmmaking? Was it a passion you can always remember having?

On a basic level, I’ve been interested in filmmaking since I was 7 years old. That’s when my best friend and I started making movies with his parent’s home video camera. Before I even knew what filmmaking was, we were shooting hours and hours of ridiculous VHS skits and fight scenes. Some days on set, in the best possible way, I feel like not much has changed.

How did you get your start in the film business? What was the first gig you can remember being a part of? And has that experienced helped shape who you are as an artist?

When I decided I was serious about pursuing film as a career, I took a film studies degree in university and then took any job I could in the industry. I spent a decade working my way “up the ladder” as a production assistant, assistant director and editor until I finally started writing and directing my own features. Every job along the way was a big learning experience, but to be honest I learned the most making my own short films on the side, which I would do once a year. You learn so much making a short film – and the stakes are lower – so you can find your voice and make mistakes without tons of money on the line.

Where did you come up with the idea for your incredible character we all know and love known as WolfCop? What made you decide you wanted to tell this tale?

I had just finished my first feature film as a director, 13 Eerie, on which I learned a lot. I realized that whatever I was going to do next I wanted to write myself, so that it would be closer to my sensibilities and my voice. I narrowed down all my ideas to a cop film and a werewolf film. I couldn’t decide which to choose and pour my time into, so I jokingly smashed them together. WolfCop was born. That idea excited me and felt familiar… but also weirdly fresh. So I dove in with both feet! 

And running through the credits of Another WolfCop, I noticed the appearance of one of our most beloved heroes has a cameo in the film, the legendary Kevin Smith! How did this come to be? How did you get ole Silent Bob himself involved with the project?

It was a case of good timing and good fortune. Kevin Smith was scouting his film Moose Jaws, and since the actual city of Moose Jaw is in Saskatchewan he was up in Canada at the time we were shooting Another WolfCop. Our executive producer J. Joly reached out to him, and the rest is history! It was kind of surreal, to be honest. A really fun day.

In 2012, a film was released that has truly haunted me since I first laid eyes upon it. That film was entitled Chained. And I understand you worked on this absolutely insane project. I am always curious what it would be like to be on a set like that? Was it all somber and awkwardness? Or did you all find a way to keep a light heart around such dark content?

Funny you should mention Chained! I was a third assistant director on that film. It was an intense shoot. I had no experience as an assistant director – or any desire to be one – but when I heard Jennifer Lynch was directing I was determined to be on that set, just to watch her work. In the process of that film,  I learned a lot about the role of being an AD, and Jennifer was wonderful and shared little tidbits of directing wisdom along the way. Even though the content was dark, the key creatives behind it were playfully twisted so the mood wasn’t overly glum! But yes, it was intense. 

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to share with our readers?

I just directed SuperGrid for producer Hugh Patterson (one of the producers behind the WolfCop films). The film is a sci-fi “future western” and should be out later this year.  Other than that, I’m currently developing other film and TV projects. Hopefully I can share more details about them soon! 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Good question. I smile all the time, so who can keep track! In terms of entertainment, The Last Man on Earth is the last TV 

show that made me really happy. But sadly…  it dead.

Check out this trailer for the brilliant Wolfcop:

Rotimi Paul [Interview]


Today we are honored to feature one of the hottest young talents in the modern world of film and television. He is the multi-talented and multi-faceted actor and filmmaker Rotimi Paul. Having already appeared in many your favorite television series thus far, from project like Bull and Blue Bloods, to a few great appearances on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (which we will discuss below), audiences are going to be amazed by this amazing talent when he will appear in the highly anticipated addition to the Purge franchise on July 4th, in The First Purge.

We were excited to learn more about this amazing young man, and were definitely not let down. Rotimi tells us his thoughts on the Purge franchise, his experience around the infamous Jonestown massacre that he will be showing the world about through film, being Chewbacca, and so much more! We are honored to have this man with us here today to showcase for you fine readers!

So Ladies and Gentlemen, please enjoy some amazing words from the brilliant Rotimi Paul!

When did you first discover that you had a passion for the world of performance and other aspects of the world of film and theatre? Have you always had the proverbial itch to work within the arts?

I was never really much of a ham as a child. I grew up in the Caribbean before moving to New York, so I mostly spent my time playing sports when I was a kid. I knew that I wanted to be an actor in about sophomore year of college at Syracuse University.  I started to really get into the theater at that point in my life, and I couldn’t shake the itch after that. I ended up getting a theater minor and heading to NYC after graduation to go to an acting conservatory called William Esper Studio for 2 years.

Scrolling through your IMDb page, I notice one interesting credit that has me very intrigued and would love to hear about. Among a few appearances on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon…you once portrayed Chewbacca? What exactly were you doing as Chewy? How was that experience for you overall?

Hahahaha (laughing fondly). That was one of the first acting opportunities I got after completing my conservatory training. I sent my headshot and resume into SNL actually, and they forwarded it onto Late Night with Jimmy Fallon which had just started, and they called me up. It was such a cool experience to be there and see Jimmy do his work in that setting. The sketch was titled “Highly Illogical” and it was a music video for his Tu-Spock character. Black Thought of The Roots was also in it, so it was really just a lot of fun.

Audiences will be fortunate enough to see you on the big screen in the latest installment of one of the most original film franchises out there right now, The First Purge. What should fans of the Purge franchise thus far be excited to see? What will we be seeing you personally bringing to the story?

Fans can definitely get excited about seeing how The Purge started. It’s such a cool concept and I think this film makes it even cooler by pealing back a bit of what the audience has come to expect as the norm and instead show what it took to get there. I think my character personally brings to the story a sense of danger that can be present when people don’t have any opportunity around them. In our dramatized and fictionalized world, I think that I represent a person who sees the first Purge night as an opportunity to do better for myself.

I understand that you are also working on a documentary that is intriguing by subject matter alone, entitled Surviving Jonestown. Can you tell us a bit about this project? What inspired you to make this film?

Definitely. Surviving Jonestown is a documentary that I’m working on that tells a bit of the story of what happened in Guyana, South America on November 18, 1978. My family is Guyanese, and I was inspired to tell this story because it is my Dad’s story. It is literally his story of survival as he was one of the pilots on the ground that day that was slated to fly out some of the members when the shooting started. Through being intrigued by his story, I began researching and hearing from other people involved and went from there.

If you were handed the opportunity to portray any legendary figure (for good or for bad) in world history, who would it be?

Sidney Poitier. Seeing him in A Raisin In The Sun had such a profound impact on my desire to act. I have never seen a portrayal of him. What he meant for the perception of black men at a time when film wasn’t doing its best to show us in a multifaceted light is extraordinary. He had an incredible involvement in providing positive counterbalance to the limiting imagery of his era. I always want to  leave things better than how I found them. By use of his talents, intellect, convictions and appeal, he did just that.

What else does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

Hopefully more interesting characters in film and TV. Don’t tell anyone, but I have no idea how the story ends; I’m winging it, literally just trying to enjoy the ride. Anyone who wants to follow my journey can do so at @rotimipaul on Instagram and @RotimiAPaul on Twitter. I always appreciate when people who are supporters of my work reach out.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

An online video. I’m easily amused.

Catch Rotimi in The First Purge, in theaters on July 4th. Check out the official trailer for the film right here:

Sunday Matinee: Troll Inc. [Film]

“From innocent meme culture to malicious propaganda, the avant-garde has moved online and they have an agenda. Emerging from deep within underground computer programming culture, internet trolls are disenfranchised and using the click-bait obsessed mass media to propel their performance art into the mainstream. Whether mischievously entertaining the masses, influencing presidential elections, or manipulating journalists and corporations, trolls are either saving us or driving our culture off of a cliff. Prosecuted as a whistleblower by the Federal Government, Troll Inc. follows the world’s most famous Internet troll, Andrew Auernheimer, and his merry band of provocateurs as they take on corporate America, the media, and political-correctness.” – October Coast PR

Wow. Fucking WOW! What a god damned story this was! I am almost ashamed to admit that I was completely and utterly unaware of the events depicted in Trolls Inc., and had absolutely no idea who the illustrious “weev” was. I’m not certain that I really do now, or if anyone really understands this man. I do know that this is an absolutely brilliant documentary that attempts to bring light onto a dark situation, that should have been light all along. Although I am sure that it can be debated otherwise, I have found this story to be one of a man who was simply trying to do the right thing, was rejected horribly, and decided to have some God damned fun with it all, and ended up losing far too many months of his life to the bullshit pennial system that is plagued with corruption and absolute nonsense. This film is an amazing depiction of an entire culture of people who are just, well, way smarter than you, and are indeed the modern day avant garden artists of this modern tech-reliable world.

 

 

Troll Inc. is available on VOD now. 

 

Check out the trailer to Troll Inc. right here: