Mon, 23 April 2018
I chatted with Screen Actors Guild nominee Leonardo Nam, star of HBO's Emmy-winning sci-fi series Westworld, which just had its second season premiere last night. We talked at length about the importance of visibility, opportunity and representation in films and television and his early role models and acting idols, Sidney Poitier and Denzel Washington.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina to Korean parents and then raised in Australia, Nam knows a little something about cultural diversity. TheLA-based actor constantly defies stereotype with his versatility and is actively making sure other Asian-Pacific and Asian-American actors and filmmakers get noticed, including his ambassadorship with the Asian Pacific American Visionaries Short Film competition sponsored by HBO and his support of multi-cultural designers in what he wears on the red carpet.
Nam broke big with the 2004 Paramount Pictures film The Perfect Score, playing a lead role opposite Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson but is beloved for his role of Brian McBrian in 2005's The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and the film's sequel (for which he was almost replaced). He talks fondly of his mentor on that film, Debra Martin Chase, who really went to bat for him for a role that was written as a blond-haired, blue-eyed guy. We might fan out over the movies juuust a little bit. Nam also reveals a touching story of a young female fan of the book who was not happy when she found out he was cast but had a change of heart once she saw him in the film.
Talking Westworld, Nam teases a bit of what's in store for Felix's hero status after helping Maeve escape last season and what Westworld, and television like it, has to say about the state of the world today.
Westworld season 2 airs every Sunday on HBO. Listen to the full interview below.
Wed, 4 April 2018
Emmy Podcast #21: Talking Westworld, The Handmaid's Tale, Roseanne and One Day at a Time with Vox.com's Todd VanDerWerff
In the first Emmy podcast of the 2017-2018 television season I am joined by a familiar voice - Vox.com's critic-at-large Todd VanDerWerff.
The first hour of this 90-minute podcast focuses heavily on the Outstanding Drama race which sees the return of Game of Thrones after taking a year off and now going up against last year's winner The Handmaid's Tale. How will that affect the return of Westworld? Its 22 nominations last year are likely to take a hit with Game of Thrones competing directly with it in multiple categories.
Delving into comedy finds a lot of talk about Roseanne's ratings-bonanza return, the chances for One Day at a Time to stake its Emmy claim and whether or not reboot fever (that also includes Will & Grace) will find its way to nominations. With Veep out of contention this year, the door opens for Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (and Amy Sherman-Palladino into the Emmy conversation) as well as HBO still having four comedies to choose from in Silicon Valley, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Insecure and their freshman show Barry. We also talk about how FX could position Pamela Adlon and Better Things to have a much-needed conversation about Louis C.K. from one of the people closest to him.
Finally, Todd makes a desperate plea for...well, I'll just let you listen and hear for yourself.
This podcast runs 1h 32m with opening and closing music.
Opening music: Westworld theme by Ramin Djawadi
Closing music: "This Is It," by Gloria Estefan - theme song for One Day at a Time
Direct download: Emmy_Podcast_21-_Talking_Westworld_The_Handmaids_Tale_Roseanne_and_One_Day_at_a_Time_with_Vox.mp3
Category:Emmys -- posted at: 11:51am PDT
Wed, 28 February 2018
It's all down to this.
Oscar voting is now over and the big show is on Sunday. In this 65th podcast I am thrilled to be joined by Vanity Fair's Joanna Robinson.
This podcast focuses quite a bit on the race itself, how this season has gotten us to three possible Best Picture winners, the obstacles it took to get there and how our predictions were led by passion and gut versus simple statistics.
Will it be Three Billboards? The Shape of Water? Get Out? Or possibly something else?
With the acting categories seemingly locked up, we talk about the divergence of early critics wins versus the televised awards, the possible importance of Original Screenplay telling us something early in the show and close with the categories that always end up making or breaking your Oscar pool predictions: the shorts.
Take a peek at the Gold Rush Gang's Final Oscar predictions here before tomorrow's publication.
This podcast runs 1h 13m with music
Intro: "And the Oscar goes to..."
Outro: "New York City by Day," by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Desperately Seeking Susan
Mon, 19 February 2018
In this 64th Oscar podcast, I am joined by Gold Rush Gang member Matt Dinn the day after the BAFTA awards where Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri won Best Film and the four acting frontrunners - Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri), Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri) and Allison Janney (I, Tonya) all repeated their wins from the Critics' Choice, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards in an historic sweep.
But, is Three Billboards actually the frontrunner to win the Best Picture Oscar? Over the course of just over an hour, Matt and I make the cases for why it can and why it won't. Same for The Shape of Water. The Critics' Choice, DGA and PGA winner seems like a good bet. Or is it? Digging deeper, we discuss the path for a Get Out win in the face of seemingly insurmountable statistical odds. How much will the preferential ballot impact these three films and which stands the best odds with it? Will Original Screenplay be a deciding factor?
With every Best Picture nominee facing one obstacle or another, stats and history start to fall by the wayside and let gut feeling and instinct and the impact of social relevance to take over.
This podcast runs 1h 16m with music.
Outro music: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan.
Tue, 23 January 2018
It's Oscar nomination day and I have Awardsdaily's first lady of Oscar talk Sasha Stone with me to discuss and break down this morning's Oscar nominations and what the state of the race looks like now.
Sasha and I dig deep into where Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Shape of Water are after their SAG and PGA wins, what that Martin McDonagh director snub means and how the current brewing backlash of his film could stop it dead in Oscar's tracks.
Get Out and Lady Bird feature heavily as contenders that could find themselves with less baggage than the two guild beasts and the Academy showed this morning that they're diverging on a different path than those guilds with over-performers like Darkest Hour and Phantom Thread and under-performers like I, Tonya and Molly's Game.
This podcast runs 1h 9m with music.
Intro: Andy Serkis and Tiffany Haddish announce the 2018 Best Picture Oscar nominees (via the Oscars' YouTube page)
Outro: "New York City By Day," by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan
Wed, 17 January 2018
It's Wednesday, January 17th and this is the FINAL Oscar nomination predictions podcast of the 2017-2018 awards season.
Through the roller-coaster of this awards season we found ourselves without a true frontrunner until really just this month in Three Billboards but, is it? Can Get Out, Lady Bird or The Shape of Water turn the tide? How did critical frontrunners like Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project) and Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird) stumble once the televised awards started?
Gold Rush Gang member Bryan Bonafede and I explore this season's Oscar race in great detail: from missed opportunities, to why studios keep putting prestige releases at the end of December (and when it sometimes works like I, Tonya) and the possible look of this year's nominees through the optics of a new Academy.
There's a handful of Producers Guild (PGA) and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) talk as both groups announce their winners this weekend, just days before Oscar nominations.
We break down top categories and analyze chances of outliers, discuss if Netflix will finally break through this year with Mudbound and where and finally, reveal our one nomination wish for Tuesday.
Sit back, this podcast runs 2h 10m with music.
Intro: Oscar nominations introduction
Outro: “New York City By Day, ” from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan
Thu, 4 January 2018
This 61st podcast is focused on the Golden Globe Awards this Sunday, January 7th and our winner predictions.
I am joined by Gold Rush Gang member Matt Dinn and we break down what is one of the most competitive, up in the air awards seasons in years, in almost every category.
Will there be a sweep like La La Land last year or will the HFPA want to stay away from that backlash? Will that Globes-only screening pay off in more than just nominations?
Is is Ronan or Robbie? Metcalf or Janney? McDormand, Streep or Hawkins? Can Timothée Chalamet upset Gary Oldman?
With nearly every category having two and sometimes three viable contenders it's going to make for a very fun show. We think we have some good ideas on who will actually triumph in the end.
This podcast runs 1h 11m 45s with music
Note: Between 26:20-26:30 Matt's mic dropped out
Intro: "Waiting for the Globes," from the 59th Golden Globe Awards
Outro: "New York City By Day, " from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan
Fri, 8 December 2017
Oscar Podcast #60: Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Predictions with Kayleigh Donaldson of Pajiba
Oscar Podcast #60, the second in a week, welcomes the fantastic Kayleigh Donaldson of Pajiba to talk about Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nomination predictions.
A healthy portion of the first part of the Golden Globe conversation centers around Get Out, both in its quality as a film and its likelihood as a Golden Globe Best Picture nominee. Talk about Call Me By Your Name, Dunkirk and the Darkest Hour are abound.
The Screen Actors Guild conversation details the nature of nominees being dependent on the SAG nom comm getting screeners and how odd nominees can find their way here. Kayleigh and I both agree that the main category here, Cast in a Motion Picture is chock full of likely and worthy contenders and that it's going to be a bloodbath.
Mudbound is a point of contention as to whether is lives or dies on SAG nominations or not.
It's at this point that we take a sojourn into the wonder that is The Florida Project, which happens to be among both of our favorites of the year.
We wrap with a few nominees we feel we might only see here at SAG (hint: mine if from Logan and it's not Hugh Jackman).
You can see my official Golden Globe predictions here, and my Screen Actors Guild predictions will be revealed this weekend.
This podcast runs 1h 9min with music.
Intro: Get Out TV spot #3
Outro: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Desperately Seeking Susan
Tue, 5 December 2017
Oscar Podcast #59: Critics' Award Season Begins; Talking Call Me By Your Name, Three Billboards, Get Out and more with guest Kyle Buchanan
In this 59th Oscar Podcast I am joined by Kyle Buchanan, senior editor of New York Magazine and Vulture.com.
We start by discussing the first round of critics' awards: the National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and what their wins for Call Me By Your Name and The Shape of Water could have on the upcoming (ongoing?) road to the Oscars.
Throughout, Kyle peppers the conversation with his insight on voters, the importance of being the 'movie for right now' and we dip a bit into Screen Actors Guild talk, especially regarding Get Out (watch out for a new podcast for that this weekend).
We wrap up addressing some of the controversies surrounding contender Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and reactions to Call Me By Your Name.
This podcast runs 1h 5m 25s with music.
Intro: Call Me By Your Name TV spot
Outro: "New York City By Day," by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan
Sun, 12 November 2017
It's been quite a while since our last Oscar Podcast but we're back with #58 talking about the downfalls of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and the avalanche of accusations and allegations that have rocked Hollywood this last month. The first section of the podcast my guest, Gold Rush Gang member Matt Dinn, and I talk about the impact of this on the current landscape of the Oscar race, specifically to The Weinstein Company's awards efforts and the surprising news last week that Ridley Scott would cut Kevin Spacey out of his Getty kidnapping drama All the Money in the World, replace him with Christopher Plummer (the actor he originally wanted for the role of Getty) and the race to do this and keep the film's December 22nd release date.
Then we examine the exciting and complicated Supporting Actor race with its multiple dual contenders from the same films this year, including Call Me By Your Name, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. We make our cases for the top 3: Sam Rockwell, Willem Dafoe and Michael Stuhlbarg as potential winners and if Armie Hammer can break the 26-year curse in this category.
Next is Supporting Actress which focuses on frontrunners Allison Janney (I, Tonya) and Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird) and the mother-daughter theme of this category and the contenders at large. I make my case for Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) to get in if Universal pushes hard and gets her out there and that this acting category could be the only that will have a POC represented (most notably, Octavia Spencer in The Shape of Water and Mary J. Blige in Mudbound).
Lead Actress gets a ton of talk time (of course) with Meryl Streep (The Post) and Frances McDormand (Three Billboards) dominating that as well as looking at our existing top 5 and wondering how or who could break through that solid-looking lineup that includes Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya) and Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird).
Lead Actor also finds itself with three solid contenders but open doors for spots 4 and 5. Will Tom Hanks go supporting for The Post like Jason Robards did for All the President's Men? Will Jake Gyllenhaal see another year where he hits precursors only to be snubbed at Oscar? What about how very white this category is? It seems only Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) and Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.) could make that not happen but it's going to take some heavy lifting by their studios to do it.
With intro and outro this podcast runs 2h 7m.
Intro: The Post trailer via 20th Century Fox
Outro: "New York City by Day" by Thomas Newman from the Desperately Seeking Susan Original Motion Picture Soundtrack