Category Archives: Interviews

Interviews with TV stars!

Interview with Bones Executive Producers Hart Hanson & Stephen Nathan

bonescall311bsmallLast week, Bones creators/executive producers Hart Hanson & Stephen Nathan spoke to the press about the return of the show to Mondays and what we can look forward to the rest of the season and into next. To start off, check out their answers to my first two questions.

Because Wendell is my favorite squintern, I had to ask about him and the cancer story line. When I asked what they could tell me about whether or not we’d see him soon and why they chose to go with cancer, they said:

Hart Hanson: Nothing. Don’t say anything—

Stephen Nathan: Wendell will be coming back this season. He’s coming back. I think it’s in Episode 18.

Hart: It’s an unfolding story.

Stephen: Yes, we will not tell you how it ends, but we will revisit Wendell. And he will come back mid-treatment and be working at the Jeffersonian still in his old job. Although, that will get very, very complicated, and it will not unfold the way, I think, we expect it to.

Hart: Well, maybe the way we expect, but not the way the audience expects.
 
 
Jump with me to see why they chose the Wendell and the cancer story line. Continue reading

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Interview with Ventriloquist/Comedian Terry Fator

terryfatorcall33smallI recently spoke to Terry Fator, America’s Got Talent season 2 winner, about his new DVD, “Terry Fator Live in Concert.”

This is Terry’s second DVD, following “Live from Las Vegas.” Terry said he’s proud of the first one, but because it came right after his jump to success because of America’s Got Talent, he was “surrounded by people who pushed me and prodded me and took over—they really kind of took over my life and my show.” He didn’t feel he was ready for the first DVD, but they kept telling him it had to be right then, so while he’s proud of it, in the end, he doesn’t feel like it’s entirely his. Terry took complete control of his career shortly after, and “this DVD was a result of that. This one’s mine, and I’m so proud of it. It was three years in the making. I worked so hard and honed all of the routines and tried to get everything as perfect as I could. That’s what I’m just so excited about…looking at this DVD and saying ‘This is mine. This is my creation from the ground up.’”

Terry has a pretty big group of characters now. When asked who his favorite to play is, Terry said he had two favorites. His sentimental favorite, “my cowboy puppet Walter because he was my first professional puppet. My mother gave him to me on my eighteenth birthday. He’s been with me my entire professional career.” As for his favorite, it has to be “Winston the impersonating turtle. He’s the guy that did it all for me. If it was not for Winston… I truly believe he won America’s Got Talent for me.” As to who was the hardest character to play, Terry said there were none that were really that hard to do. “When you spend so much time and energy learning a craft, it kind of becomes second nature,” although he said there are some that are more difficult to voice. “The hardest voices I do are the ones where I have to do a gruff voice, like Louis Armstrong, or a really high voice, like Adele.”

Jump with me to read more, plus to see an exclusive clip of Terry and Winston! Continue reading

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Interview with Keahu Kahuanai from Teen Wolf

keahucallasmallTwo years ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with some of the cast of Teen Wolf at San Diego Comic Con. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to chat with the adorable Keahu Kahuanui, who plays Danny Mahealani. That has now been rectified, as the talented and humble actor took some time to discuss his character, the show, and some interesting details about himself. I enjoyed every minute of our chat and honestly want to be his best friend in a different life!

Keahu’s character, Danny, has played a supporting role in the show from the beginning—the teammate and resident tech guy. He’s also one of the openly gay teenage boy characters that TV has to offer right now, which Keahu takes great care and pride in. He feels his role is important “not just because Danny’s gay, but because it’s important to portray a diversity, and real life imitates art. There are times that TV is the only examples people in some communities can relate to, and we’re helping the world learn that there is a large spectrum of homosexual people in the world. Whether it’s the extreme of Chris Colfer [Kurt on Glee] or the extreme of Danny, it’s important.”

Danny is always being the strong one with the advice for everyone, and while there are few characters he can rely on besides himself, Keahu says that “right now, it’s probably Scott.”

I mentioned that’s a little strange, seeing as Danny is still in the dark about all the supernatural stuff going on, and I wondered when Danny would figure out that something just isn’t right about his town. While Keahu agrees, he figures that maybe “he just hasn’t figured it out because it serves to keep him in the story, or perhaps growing up in the town with unfortunate events just seems normal to him now.” Although the self-admitted geek admits if he was a supernatural character, “it’d be interesting to see how Danny would deal with the prospect of having werewolf powers at the same time, considering the situations he’s put in a witching power would be useful.”

On the topic of supernatural powers, he quoted the great Stan Lee in saying that “with great power comes great responsibility.” He went on to say that “supernatural shows in the past have shown there are advantages to being an objective outsider, non-supernatural party. There are always two edges of the sword. For example: werewolves not being able to control their powers, or vampires with no sun, etc.”

keahucallbsmallRight now, Danny’s biggest struggle tends to lean towards his love life, and currently, he’s in and out of a thing with Ethan. He’s admitted that “the relationships he’s had to go through over the three seasons have been painful; they’ve added interest to the story.” I was curious if there was another character he felt might suit him better or help him be more stable in the love department. I was amused by his witty answer of Melissa (Scott’s mom). He explained that “almost every character on the show has a flaw that makes them interesting on the show, so you’d be trading one set of problems for another. Honestly, of all the characters on the show who I see having the most potential for stability, I’d have to go with Melissa.” Now wouldn’t that be an interesting story line in itself?

While on the topic of stability, we discussed how he had gone to university and gotten a degree before he even started acting. I’m not sure how most families would react to their child changing professions for one as unpredictable as acting, but his stood by him. Keahu said “[my] family has been more or less supportive of my choices, probably because of the aggressive nature of my pursuits. They’ve let me do my own thing. I didn’t go straight from university to acting. I held onto a couple of jobs, and all the experiences from then until now are things that add to what I can pull into acting.”

While asking a few quick end questions, I found out that acting isn’t the only thing that this sexy, intelligent young man approaches with dedication. I was amused to discover that his guilty pleasure is trying to make something before he buys it. I giggled and completely understood while he explained that “[I] hate buying something I think I can make. I will sit down and try making something first. I’ll try to make almost anything, including furniture, desk, and the list goes on.” As a mom who tries to make a lot of stuff from scratch, I had a moment of wanting to sit down with Keahu and figure out what kind of crazy things we could create. He would be the ultimate best friend, and I’m sure we’d end up with some great contraptions, but even better, some amazingly awesome stories to tell.

A couple of quick wrap-up questions:

Favorite TV show (past or present): Game of Thrones, Suits
TV crush: He has a man crush on Robert Downey Jr. for what he’s gone through and resurfaced even better. [Megan’s note: Who doesn’t have a crush on RDJ? Yum.]
What’s on his play list? Graffiti 6, Bloody Beetroots, The Black Keys, David Guetta, Oldies

What a great chat with a down-to-earth guy who admits he’s “a pretty open book. Everything is out there.” He also wanted to just “say thank you for being fans, fans of me and fans of my work. I can’t be thankful enough, because that’s what keeps us being able to do what we love.” I love when an actor acknowledges that without an audience, they wouldn’t exist.

Check out Teen Wolf, airing Mondays on MTV at 10/9c, and let’s hope the creators hear our pleas for #MoreDanny.

– Megan

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Mark Ryan Interview for Black Sails

markryancall21asmallAfter a few years of interviewing people in the entertainment business, there are few that cause me to feel nervous. Mark Ryan was one that stirred my nerves. Mark is the voice of Bumblebee from the Transformers franchise of films, which to some is not as exciting, but to me, it is amazing. I love Bumblebee. Now, fan-girl aside, Mark is an astoundingly well-accomplished actor, stunt choreographer, author, and the list goes on. At the moment, he can be seen as Gates in the new series on Starz, Black Sails, which follows the Golden Age of Piracy in 1715, a prequel to the stories laid out in Treasure Island.

I was curious about the way today’s technologies have affected a show like Black Sails, and Mark was quick to say that “the production values are epic. If you put Michael Bay [the executive producer] together with Starz, you get a production on the scale of this. The technologies today have made it possible to do shows like Black Sails.”

On the topic of amazing production and cast, Mark had some interesting insight into his character, Gates. Gates is the Quartermaster of the ship, the elected voice of the crew and the most senior member. He’s highly respected and loyal to the ship’s Captain Flint, almost to a fault. In fact, Mark said that Gates’s “loyalty is the key. He’s propelled by his loyalty and friendship to Flint, making him appear to be the most motivated. Gates is similar to Bumblebee in that loyalty, and there’s something very endearing and honest about a character that appears to be loyal and trustworthy.” The men trust him “because he’s highly experienced.”

I had a moment listening to him talk about his character and the historic side that enthralled me to the point that I wasn’t even transcribing while we chatted. It was as if my dad was sitting down to speak to me about history and the Templar society, as he often did when I was younger. The Templar society came up when we spoke of the tattoos on the back of Gates’s head. Mark was “very interested in having a mark of some kind. People would ask ‘what is that? Why do you have an All-Seeing Eye in a pyramid on the back of your head and ‘Hold Fast’ on your knuckles?’ Hold Fast is an old naval tradition, of course, and the eye is a nod to the secret societies which were involved with the royal houses during the period. Not just financing, shipping, and navigation, though. It’s similar to the relationship between the Templar and the Assassins, as in Robin of Sherwood. It’s just a quiet nod to those mystical societies and the symbolism of them that plays out through the show, as well. I was allowed to bring little bits of myself to help flesh out the character of Mr. Gates.”

markryancall21bsmallEven as I wrote that, I smiled. Such an incredible man. To me, it’s a sign of great talent and experience that he brings so much to his character and to a chat with a TV addict such as myself. Mark mentioned that the many things he’s done in his career are “all part of the same creative process. Those experiences make you a better actor. The more you understand, the better you are.”

If all actors took that approach to their roles, our entertainment experiences would all be richer. Although, when we spoke on the subject of dramas in today’s television world, he was quick to express his joy that we “are moving into a new era of drama because we can go further. Expand our demographics because we can push the limits. Showtime started it [twenty] years ago with Robin of Sherwood, and now we see it with Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and the new show coming up, Outlander.”

I agree fully that dramas have been entering into a new world, and a lot of this is thanks to the cable networks. They have given us deeper characters, more growth, and shorter seasons, which force the story arcs to be more in depth, but in a smaller amount of episodes. Television is only getting better and will continue to do so if they keep putting out the quality shows like Black Sails.

I usually wrap up my interviews with a few quick questions, but due to my incredible chat with Mark, I only managed two of them.

Favorite TV show (past or present): The Daily Show & The X Files
Guest star on any show (past or present): Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, & Game of Thrones.

To catch more of Mark and his amazing character, Gates, tune in to Black Sails, airing Saturdays at 9/8c on Starz.

– Megan

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Interview with Justin Roiland from Rick and Morty

justinrowlandcall120bsmall

Adult Swim has been making animated shows fun for adults again with the fabulously written Rick and Morty. The talent behind this show is pretty amazing, with Justin Roiland (Adventure Time) and Dan Harmon (Community) at the helm of the creative team. Recently, the hilariously witty Justin took some time out of his insane schedule to chat with me. I have to be honest… I’ve done quite a few interviews over the years, but he quickly became one of my favorites because of his contemplative answers and his overall ease to speak with.

justinrowlandcall120asmallWhen I say he has an insane schedule, I’m not even kidding. Justin is the Co-Creator, Executive Producer, and the voice of both the title characters, Rick and Morty; goodness, I get tired even reading that. While we were discussing his multiple roles and which is his favorite, he said, “It’s different periods of the production pipeline determines where I spend my time, which in some cases, I end up hopping around to different places. When it’s at its craziest, I don’t have an outside life. To be honest, I don’t ever really think what I’m doing is my favorite at the time because I’m so in the moment, but afterwards, I’d have to say that the writing process is the most fun.”

The passion this guy has for his job is easy to see, especially when Justin also said that getting “a huge stack of art to go through is like Christmas every day.” That kind of happiness is hard to find in a career, and it’s inspiring to see.
Inspiration is hard to harness at times, so I was curious if the ability to bend reality that the animation medium brings helps or hinders his creative process. Justin was pretty open about how he got to where he is today in his writing, which is far from the cautious boy he was when writing in his early days. He admits to being “more cautious with the scope of his story” in the past because whatever he wrote had to be brought to life by him and without the budget he has now.

This humble man credits Dan with helping him with this, because he told him to “disconnect from that for this show” and that whenever he gets that urge “that something is too much, or too grand a vision,” to just ignore it. Now, in respect to this show, he just “wanted it to be without limitations.” What a great outlook to have so that they don’t squash the genius that flows so freely from this team.

Speaking of genius… We discussed his outlook for people who want to pursue a career in his field with a nice view. It’s “never been easier, and yet, there’s never been more competition. I tell everyone the same thing, which is to make stuff as early as you can. I started with comics. I didn’t have knowledge of the programs. All I knew was how to draw and write. Just start small and finish what you start.” I think that’s the case with many of life’s milestones: just start small and work until you’re done.

Don’t let Justin’s wise and easygoing attitude distract you from the hilarity that ensues from Rick and Morty. It’s one of the first animated shows that I’ve laughed at in a long time. It has strong comedic timing, quirky characters, and a story arc that could go on to rival the best of the best. My favorite was the episode where Rick and Morty walked around nude to avoid being monitored by the aliens—it was funny because it was so random. If you are looking for a show that not only makes you laugh, but makes you appreciate the random ironic moments in life, then look no further.

At the end of the interviews, I enjoy asking them a few questions to peek into their lives a bit. Here’s what he had to say:

Favorite TV Show, past or present? ”Farscape.”
If you could guest star on any show? The Simpsons because I’ve already been on Gravity Falls and Adventure Time.”
What’s on your playlist? ”It’s all over the place. Everything from DMX to Neil Young. Jefferson Airplane, Nirvana.” [I love his smorgasbord of music because like I always say you can’t trust a person whose TV or music selection is based on genre. They usually aren’t very interesting.]
Guilty pleasure? ”Laying around day, play video games all day.” [With his schedule, I don’t blame him taking that opportunity when he gets the chance!]

Unfortunately, that’s all for this interview with Justin Roiland, but please do yourself a favor and tune in to Rick and Morty on Monday nights at 10:30/9:30c.

– Megan

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