A fascinating interview with Kenneth Branagh, actor and director who chats about his early acting career, being nominated for Oscar, directing, Shakespeare, being directed by Dame Judi Dench, location scouting in Guernsey and much more, courtesy of the SAG Foundation. Enjoy.
We all remember the amazing “bromance” (as it got labelled) that received worldwide attention between Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen – fueled by rather wonderful photos that the two of them took during their tour of the UK & USA with “Waiting For Godot” and “No Man’s Land”, which likely goes down in history as the most successful social media campaign for a theatre company – ever.
Well, this Saturday, we revisit these two friends and actors as they chat together about their shows, the pressures of producing as well as acting, their careers to date, their influences, why plays should be experienced and played – not read in school, their film work, the importance of keeping theatre ticket costs reasonable for students and much more, courtesy of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. Enjoy!
Happy Monday! It’s March already and the year is in full swing. So, today we thought we’d bring you a video, courtesy of Academy Originals, featuring US Casting Director Marci Liroff. Marci has worked in casting for many years and is a font of information about the biz. She writes a regular column for Backstage (among other publications) and has cast many, many film and TV projects, including E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Blade Runner, Mean Girls, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, St Elmo’s Fire, Poltergeist, Footloose, Pretty In Pink, The Spiderwick Chronicles and Gothika to name a few.
In this video, Marci talks about the role of the Casting Director and the creativity involved in doing her job. It gives a great insight into what a Casting Director actually does and how they see their role in the filmmaking business. Enjoy.
A great (and funny) interview with Kevin Bacon, courtesy of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, where we learn the issues of actors using social media, the advantages of having a director for a cousin and the importance of remembering which audience you’re talking to, among other things (and that’s just the first 5 minutes!). Perfect for a relaxed Saturday morning coffee viewing. Enjoy!
A lovely and funny chat with US Actor John Goodman, where he talks about his life and career, auditioning and what he would tell his younger self if he had the chance to dispense that advice (we’ll give you a hint, it involves the word “relax”).
Best advice given? “Learn your lines.” And when things are going pear-shaped on set: “Slow down and keep focused on the guy you’re working opposite and everything will take care of itself.”
(Note: we know that the video cuts out a couple of times, but you don’t miss anything important and it only goes to grey screen twice for about 10 seconds each time – just letting you know!).
Today we thought we’d bring you a round table panel interview with four producers based in Hollywood, including Judi Levine – an Australian producer who arrived in LA 18 years ago and just had her (and her husband’s) first major movie success with “The Sessions”.
Side note: As actors, we often forget that we are not the only ones who have to graft and slog and keep aiming high against all the odds. The truth is that just about everyone in this biz has to do the same thing – no matter which side of the camera they stand on.
This interview session gives you a great idea of what a producer does and how that relates to you as an actor – which is always useful information, and, as they say, knowledge is power.
The panellists are:
Chay Carter (Producer, Argo)
David Klawans (Executive Producer, Argo, Producer, Nacho Libre)
Judi Levine (Producer, The Sessions)
Sean McKittrick (Producer, Donnie Darko, Producer, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies)
Wandering around the internet, we ended up browsing the archives of our local public broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), where we found this gem of an interview with Matt Damon from 2013 for the program 7.30 Report with host Leigh Sales.
We always enjoy Matt’s interviews. There’s something grounded about him that just makes us want to listen to what he has to say. It also helps that he comes across as smart and well-read. We also really like Leigh Sales as an interviewer. Normally hip-deep in politicians’ refuse, navigating to the truth (quite often successfully), it was fun to watch her have a break from all that, be a little star-struck and yet still ask well thought-out questions and conduct an interesting and insightful interview.
Have a break from what you’re doing (the video only runs about 7 minutes) and learn what advice Matt’s been given during his career, what fame was like when it suddenly arrived and enjoy his Jack Nicholson impression (we did) …
Now that the Oscars are behind us, with all the glamour and madness that comes with it, we decided we’d like to hear from someone who represented the Hollywood of old, along with all the graciousness, humbleness and love of craft & the biz that comes with such experience.
This feeling was inspired during the presentation on Sunday, when, while saddened to see the various names and faces of those who have passed over the last 12 months, we also felt a surge of gratefulness for all those who came before us and that we had them for as long as we did. The desire to listen to one of the greats and soak up the information, stories and knowledge they held became very strong – which was the point where we thanked the powers that be for the internet. We were delighted, after a quick search, to discover this interview from the Screen Actors Guild Foundation’s “Conversation” series that features one of the greats who only recently left us, industry legend, Mickey Rooney, undertaken in 2004.
This is a chance to hear about the history of American entertainment – from burlesque and vaudeville to movies and television to online, this man has experienced it all and his stories are fascinating and enlightening, insightful and funny. “Change is good as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody.”
The biggest takeaway advice: “Don’t retire, inspire.” And that’s exactly what he did and does. Enjoy.