Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Frau Farbissna / Actress Mindy Sterling on The Groundlings and the first Austin Powers movie

Mindy Sterling Austin Powers Interview 
Actress Mindy Sterling talks with Justin Bozung for TV Store Online about the influential Los Angeles-based comedy troupe The Groundlings as well as her role of 'Frau Farbissina' in AUSTIN POWERS (1998)...

Actress Mindy Sterling
TV STORE ONLINE:   You've been super busy!

STERLING:  I know!  I've been super busy and I'm doing a project right now that I'm really excited about...

TV STORE ONLINE:  Being that we're talking today, of all days, on Father's Day--let's talk about this comedy that is coursing through your blood...   

STERLING: Yes, my dad was a performer.   He [Dick Sterling] was an actor, singer, and comedian. I definitely think that I got my goofy side from him, even though my mother was pretty goofy too.    They got divorced pretty early in my life but I don't think you can run away from something like that...

TV STORE ONLINE:  And Dick worked with Jackie Gleason...Did you ever met Gleason?

STERLING:  You know I don't know if I ever met Gleason, but I do remember going to see my Dad at the Jackie Gleason Theater. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Director John Hancock on his criminally-underrated ode to absurdist theater WEEDS (1987)

John Hancock director
Writer/Director John Hancock talks with Justin Bozung for TV Store Online about the criminally-underrated film WEEDS (1987).

director john hancock weeds
Director John Hancock
TV STORE ONLINE:  I wanted to ask you about your film Weeds...I believe the inspiration for the film came out of your days working in the theater...

:  Well, my first experience with the subject matter was when I was the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Actor's Workshop--which was the big regional theater in town around that time. My predecessor in that position had gone into San Quentin  every week, or every other week, to work with their prison drama group.    They had taken a production of Waiting For Godot in there.    Their production became pretty famous and it won an award in Brussels.    The inmates got very excited about it, in  particular, one inmate named Rich Cluchey.   He was in San Quentin for armed robbery for life without the possibility of parole.    So, I, in that role of Artistic Director started going in to work with the group in San Quentin myself.  I liked Cluchey.   He was very sympathetic and soft-spoken.   Plus, I felt that he had some talent as an actor.    Cluchey wrote a play called The Cage and I put it on at the San Francisco Actor's Workshop.    Cluchey, obviously couldn't attend, but the play got good reviews and it did some good business.   

When members of the San Quentin drama group would get released I would employ them.   Either they did well, or they did badly,  got drunk, and I had to fire them.    I got to know many of them though.   One of them, Bobby Poole, wrote the screenplay for Richard Pryor's first movie The Mack (1972).    He was a very colorful and extremely interesting guy.   Poole had wanted me to get involved as a producer and director of his subsequent scripts, and as the years pasted, and as I started to make films--it occurred to me that the Cluchey story could make an interesting film.   So I got together with my partner, who was the Managing Director for the Actor's Workshop, Ken Kitch, and we tracked down Cluchey and acquired the rights to his life story.   My wife [actress Dorothy Tristan] and I took out a second mortgage on our house in Malibu so that we could have the time to write the script for Weeds.   We researched it extensively with all the different members of the ex-con drama group.   We wrote the film with Robert De Niro or Al Pacino in mind for the role of "Lee Umstetter."    And Bobby De Niro wanted to do the film.   We had the film set -up with United Artists  for a year or two but then it all fell apart.   Then we tried to set it up with Mickey Rourke but no would buy him.   Finally we got it going with Nick Nolte...

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Download Jim Bridges's 2nd Draft of the Screenplay for MIKE'S MURDER and read what Producer Jack Larson has to say about the 1984 Warner Brother's maudit and the true inspiration behind the film.

Jack Larson Superman interview

Actor-turned-Producer Jack Larson talks with Justin Bozung for TV Store Online about the 1984 Warner Brother's maudit MIKE'S MURDER as well as the real-life inspiration for the film.

Part 4: Jack Larson
Part 5: Darrell Larson

Jack Larson Interview Mike's Murder
Larson & Bridges
TV STORE ONLINE:  Mr. Larson, can we talk about the origins of MIKE'S MURDER?   I was wondering if you could shed some light on the real Mike, Mark Bernalack, and his relationship with Paul Winfield as it's portrayed in the film?

LARSON:  Mark was a terrific, eager, and dedicated young man.  I think he may have been from Baltimore originally.   Paul Winfield, years prior, had met Mark while he was in Baltimore shooting a film.   They met, and Mark expressed an interest in working in films to Paul, but not as an actor.   Both Jim [Bridges] and I knew Paul well, because he had been around town for many years, he had done a play that I had written, and also a play that Jim had written prior to the shooting of MIKE'S MURDER.   So both Jim and I knew him fairly well, and through Paul, we both got to know Mark Bernalack.     Paul had brought Mark out to Los Angeles from Baltimore, and he moved into Paul's house.   Mark was extraordinarily handsome, and indeed, he did start to get jobs on films as a crew member after he came out here.    He stayed with Paul for a while, and after he had enough money to get on his feet, he moved out of Paul's house and took an apartment in Brentwood--where Jim and I lived.   It was in the heart of Brentwood near Sunset and Barrington.   There was a tennis court around there, and when Jim and I would drive down Barrington we would often see Mark teaching tennis at those particular courts.  In fact, those courts on Barrington are the same courts that we used to shoot the scenes with Mark [Keyloun] and Debra [Winger]  in MIKE'S MURDER.  Mark was a great tennis player.  He was an ace.   And he was obviously a locale Lothario to all the single girls in that area.    And he would often have a bandana around his head while he was playing. He was very gallant looking.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Actor Dan Shor talks with TV STORE ONLINE about the 1984 Warner Brother's maudit MIKE'S MURDER

Dan Shor Interview
Actor Dan Shor [John Huston's WISE BLOOD, BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE] talks with Justin Bozung for TV Store Online about the 1984 Warner Brothers maudit MIKE'S MURDER...

Part 1: Mark Keyloun
Part 2: Debra Winger
Part 3: Dan Shor

Part 4: Jack Larson
Part 5: Darrell Larson

Debra Winger MIke's Murder Interview
TV STORE ONLINE: How did MIKE'S MURDER come to you?

SHOR:  What I remember now about it was that I auditioned for more than one role.   I first  auditioned for [actor] William Austrander's role, but I ended up getting the role that I got.

TV STORE ONLINE:   I have an earlier draft of the screenplay for MIKE'S MURDER and your character has much more to do...

SHOR:  Yeah, and we did a lot of improve while we were shooting the film...

TV STORE ONLINE:  So how did you find the character?  

SHOR:   MIKE'S MURDER was based on a real guy that [director] Jim Bridges knew.   The film was an investigation into the gay community of Los Angeles of that time.   Debra Winger was really playing a guy in the film, and Mike, Mark Keyloun, was essentially playing a male hooker.   The character that I played, I based him on Peter Ivers, the guy that did a show on Los Angeles television around that time called New Wave Theater.  I was doing him.  That's the whole interview scene in the film.   We're having a party and my character is walking up to people and asking them what the meaning of life was.    He'd ask people ridiculous questions,  acting really like he wanted to know the answer.    I think he was asking people that had absolutely no idea--but that's beside the point.  It was this whole new wave movement.   It was a minimalist art movement.   The movement wasn't completely gay nor was it completely straight--which was what my character was.  He was completely omnisexual.     You got the sense that my character was unsuccessful with everyone, compared to the character of Mike--who was like the Brigitte Bardot of the film..

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Debra Winger talks Director Jim Bridges and the Warner Brothers maudit MIKE'S MURDER (1984)

Debra Winger interview
Academy Award-Nominated Actress Debra Winger talks with Justin Bozung for TV Store Online about the 1984 Warner Brothers maudit MIKE'S MURDER...

Part 1: Mark Keyloun
Part 2: Debra Winger
Part 3: Dan Shor
Part 4: Jack Larson
Part 5: Darrell Larson

Debra Winger Mike's Murder Interview
TV STORE ONLINE:   I'm really interested to hear what you have to say about the Betty Parrish character.   How did you find her?  Who was she to you on the page of the script?

WINGER:  Well, I was living on a farm in Ohio when [director] Jim [Bridges] fetched me for MIKE'S MURDER.   It was during my first retirement. (laughing)   How did I find the character?   Jim and I worked together so closely.  In a weird way, I think that  Betty was facilitating the story even though if you watch the film--maybe, you might think it's a psychological thriller from the point-of-view of Betty.  But, I felt that she was in service to the story.    It was sort of like she was the film camera.    You mentioned a moment ago how you thought that MIKE'S MURDER was an under-appreciated film, and I guess that, in a way, that was how I saw Betty as well.     I think that there are people in the world, and it isn't like they don't know who they are--but it's as if the world doesn't really appreciate what's special about them.   And when I use the word "appreciate" there, I'm using it in an old-fashioned way.   Like:  "I appreciate what you're saying..."   In that way, Betty was an unappreciated type in the world.  Hence, her job as a bank teller and her invisibility.  That allowed her to tell that story.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

"Mike" of MIKE'S MURDER (1984), actor Mark Keyloun, talks the cult Warner Brothers maudit and his work witih Paul Morrissey in FORTY-DEUCE (1982)

Actor Mark Keyloun talks with Justin Bozung of TV STORE ONLINE about the 1984 cult Warner Brothers maudit MIKE'S MURDER and it's much-talked about cut murder sequence as well as the 1982 Paul Morrissey film FORTY-DEUCE, based on a stage play by Alan Bowne.

Part 1: Mark Keyloun
Part 2: Debra Winger
Part 3: Dan Shor
Part 4: Jack Larson
Part 5: Darrell Larson

Mark Keyloun
Keyloun today.
TV STORE ONLINE:  Before we get into Paul Morrisssey's FORTY-DEUCE  and MIKE'S MURDER--I thought I might ask you a bit about your background.  I know you were born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y...What made you want to get into acting?

KEYLOUN:  Right, but before we did the Morrissey film, we, well, almost all of us, were in Alan Bowne's play, off-Broadway...

TV STORE ONLINE:  Right, yeah..I wanted to ask you about the Alan Bowne play as well...

Mark Keyloun actor Forty-Deuce
KEYLOUN:  Sure.   Well, to answer your first question....The best I can track my interest in acting--My mother, got my two brothers, and myself, into doing commercial television.  We were all just kids.   That was short-lived.    I re-invested myself into athletics.  To my mother's dismay, I was more interested in sports.  Lacrosse and Wrestling.  That kept me busy year round.   It was in the theater of wrestling--in winning, you get bigger audiences watching you and you go to the state tournament.   There is a lot of crowd interaction.  I thought I was a good wrestler, and I always knew that I would win.  So I made it into a bit of show--just to entertain the audience.   That drew me into entertainment.  Later--I was an on-and-off again college student. I went to Georgetown and was an accounting major.  And I just couldn't stand it.    I got involved in the Mask and Bauble Society.   I did a couple plays there.   It was the director, Don Murphy, who had been involved with the Mask and Bauble Society for many years who said to me, "I think you've got something. You should try your hand..."    I was pretty relieved to hear him say that to me at the time--because I had no clue what I was doing.  I didn't want to be an accountant.   So I split.  I left.  I dropped out to Georgetown  and  moved to New York City.   I had some parental pressure on me so I did a stint at New York University after moving into the city.  I switched from Accounting to Psychology and  Biology. (laughing)   None of it was working for me in the end.    Then I met, who is now my wife, Jennifer. At the time she was a theater study at Circle in the Square.   I saw her in a couple plays and she was pretty passionate about acting.   That rubbed off on me.   Fast-forward to Backstage--that rag that comes out in New York.    I would read that for auditions.  I ended up getting a lead role in a play, and through the play I got an agent named Stephen Draper--who was an agent of many great actors.  Stephen, was six-foot tall, and very elegant.  He was exotic. He had been around the block.  He signed me and from there things started to move.     I did FORTY-DEUCE on the stage, and then we shot Morrissey's movie, and from there I took off with Jennifer for California.