Listen: Director Rob Marshall Wanted ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ To Send a Message of Hope

PLAYBACK is a Variety / iHeartRadio podcast bringing you conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films. New episodes air every Thursday. A film like “Mary Poppins Returns” is sure to connect this holiday season. …

PLAYBACK is a Variety / iHeartRadio podcast bringing you conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films. New episodes air every Thursday. A film like “Mary Poppins Returns” is sure to connect this holiday season. Why? Because there are so few films this year that make you feel the way it does. And […]

Listen: How Kin Community Turns TV Stars Into Digital Dynamos

Like many digital media companies, Kin Community grew its business on the backs of “influencers” who built their audiences on digital platforms like YouTube. Which worked well … until it didn’t. Listen to this week’s podca…

Like many digital media companies, Kin Community grew its business on the backs of “influencers” who built their audiences on digital platforms like YouTube. Which worked well … until it didn’t. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “What we did learn was that when you have open platforms that you can very quickly commoditize talent,” […]

Listen: The Pioneering Feminism of Cher

Cher has been famous for so long, it’s tempting to think there’s nothing new to know about her. But on the latest episode of “Stagecraft,” Variety‘s theater podcast, director Jason Moore and writer Rick Elice — two o…

Cher has been famous for so long, it’s tempting to think there’s nothing new to know about her. But on the latest episode of “Stagecraft,” Variety‘s theater podcast, director Jason Moore and writer Rick Elice — two of the lead creators behind Broadway’s “The Cher Show” — found plenty to unpack in getting to know […]

Everybody has a podcast now, even fictional ’70s news anchor Ron Burgundy 

These days, you can’t be a somebody unless you have a podcast, whether it’s about reviewing bad movies with your annoying friends, recapping every episode of a TV show, or just shooting the shit with your aforementioned annoying friends. Now, even Ron …

These days, you can’t be a somebody unless you have a podcast, whether it’s about reviewing bad movies with your annoying friends, recapping every episode of a TV show, or just shooting the shit with your aforementioned annoying friends. Now, even Ron Burgundy from the Anchorman movies has a podcast, with iHeartRadio…

Read more...

Yorgos Lanthimos: ‘The Favourite’ is Not a History Lesson – Filmmaker Toolkit Podcast

Yorgos Lanthimos talks to the Filmmaker Toolkit Podcast on how he and screenwriter Tony McNamara crafted the unconventional period drama.

When director Yorgos Lanthimos read Deborah Davis’ script for what became known as “The Favourite,” he first became intrigued by the idea of making a period costume drama. On IndieWire’s Filmmaker Toolkit podcast, he talked about what it was specifically that drew him to Queen Anne’s story.

“I was interested in three women that had this kind of power,” said Lanthimos. “And how their relationships, although very intimate and personal, they affected the fate of a whole nation.”

However, he had little interest in making a film that was slavish to history. According to screenwriter Tony McNamara – whom the director hired to rewrite Davis’ script, history was just the starting point.

“I remember [Yorgos] said in some development meeting,” said McNamara. “‘If people are coming to this movie for a history lesson, they’re going to be in the wrong movie.'”

Subscribe via Apple Podcasts to the Filmmaker Toolkit Podcast

For McNamara and Lanthimos, the story was always about the women’s humanity, not the details of their lives. History and primary documentation were fodder for story ideas, rather than source material.

“It was what serves our story and serves the essence of what we’re trying to do,” said McNamara. “And if does, and it’s true, that’s nice. If it doesn’t, we don’t care that much.”

Lanthimos interjected, “Or we’ll fix it. Sometimes when we got stuck, we would look back. If we needed an idea for something and we couldn’t come up with something, sometimes we would go back and check what actually happened and maybe we can get something from there. Sometimes it would be useful.”

In particular, the two collaborators found the womens’ real-life private letters to be helpful. Yet the language of the time, and how the women would have spoken, was something they never concerned themselves with mastering. According to McNamara, they were looking for the characters’ language to be more contemporary and freer than in a traditional period film.

Emma Stone and Director Yorgos Lanthimos on the set of THE FAVOURITE. Photo by Atsushi Nishijima. © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Emma Stone and Director Yorgos Lanthimos on the set of “The Favourite”

Atsushi Nishijima

“We wanted a tone that wasn’t ‘Howards End’ or a Merchant-Ivory. We wanted a tone that was different and reflected what we would like to see in a period film,” said McNamara. “We aren’t from that tradition. A Greek [Lanthimos] and an Australian [McNamara], making a English period movie — what do you expect?”

Lanthimos was also concerned his actors would put too much emphasis on the dialogue. He wanted to get the text drilled into the actors through an unconventional rehearsal process that steered them away from over-intellectualizing their lines.

“I don’t want them to learn the lines by rationalizing what the scenes are and how they’re supposed to do it and how they’re supposed to say certain things,” said Lanthimos. “So I try to have them learn the lines while they’re doing a bunch of other physical activities that basically take away their concentration from the actual lines and what they mean. So they have these very contradicting activity going on – from jumping around a room when [reciting] dialogue – that has nothing to do with [the drama].”

The Filmmaker Toolkit podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, OvercastStitcherSoundCloud and Google Play Music. Previous episodes include:

The music used in this podcast is from the “Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present” score, courtesy of composer Nathan Halpern.

‘The Neighborhood’ Star Max Greenfield on How the Emmys Blew It With ‘The Leftovers’ — Podcast

Greenfield and co-star Beth Behrs reveal their favorite TV episodes of all time, and Behrs describes the “Carol Burnett” sketch that leaves her in stitches.

Max Greenfield has a secret he’s ready to reveal. The “New Girl” star, who’s now part of the ensemble on CBS’ freshman comedy “The Neighborhood,” filled out an anonymous Emmy ballot last year for Entertainment Weekly — and a year after “The Leftovers” had its season finale, still tried to make it his best drama pick. It wasn’t eligible, mind you, but “I love that show more than anything else,” he recently told IndieWire’s “Turn It On” podcast.

“The fact that it didn’t get nominated for [nearly] anything makes me feel like the Emmys are bullshit, just on that alone,” he said. “It was just so perfectly done.”

Greenfield said he’s attracted to shows “that I know I can’t do… This is one that I’d watch and think, ‘I don’t know how this is happening. And I’m just going to watch it as a viewer. It washed over me like a confusing, beautiful blanket.”

The actor said he would rely on his pal Mike Schur, executive producer of “The Good Place,” to help explain what was happening on “The Leftovers.” Asked to pick his favorite TV episode of all time, Greenfield chose the show’s Season 2 finale, “I Live Here Now,” for the poignant ending that wraps up the season-long journey of Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux):

“It was the most obvious, simple, plain moment of television after the most complicated, insane, roller coaster ride that you had ever been on,” he said. “The simplicity of it is what made it so beautiful. Now I can go to bed… That whole season was perfect.”

Greenfield said he hasn’t met “The Leftovers” executive producer Damon Lindelof — even though Lindelof and Schur are pals — but if he did, he would say, “What you’ve done with this show meant so much to me as a human being. I’ve never felt more at peace after having invested so much in a season and a series ever.”

In “The Neighborhood,” Greenfield and Beth Behrs play the Johnsons, a couple who move with their kid from Michigan to Los Angeles and settle in a predominantly African-American neighborhood. Their neighbor Calvin Butler (Cedric the Entertainer) is leery of these newcomers, but his wife (Tichina Arnold) is much more welcoming. It’s a story inspired partly by the experiences of creator Jim Reynolds, who executive produces with Cedric, among others.

They talk about their previous experience working together, on the film “Hello My Name is Doris,” and their favorite episode of TV of all time. While Greenfield chose the Season 2 finale of “The Leftovers,” Behrs went back to a famous 1969 “Carol Burnett Show” sketch starring Tim Conway as a rookie dentist and Harvey Korman as his unwitting patient. Listen below.

Conway’s and Korman’s “Carol Burnett Show” dentist sketch (above) is often included on lists of TV’s all-time best moments. For Behrs, who used to watch reruns of Burnett’s sketch comedy series with her grandmother, it’s been a thrill to actually get to meet and work with the legendary comedian. Most recently, Behrs appeared on the “Carol Burnett Show 50th Anniversary Special.”

“Talk about live audience and comedy, you can’t get better than that ensemble,” Behrs said. “It’s some of the best physical comedy I’ve ever seen on television. And Carol is a genius and I’ve so looked up to her my whole life. When YouTube first came out, they put the Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews Carnegie Hall specials on YouTube and I watched those hundreds of times. She’s a class act.”

“The Neighborhood”

CBS

“The Neighborhood” was a quick return to the world of multi-camera comedy for Behrs, who had spent six seasons on “2 Broke Girls,” while Greenfield — best known as Schmidt on seven seasons of “New Girl,” was ready to try something different.

Neither Greenfield nor Behrs were originally cast on the show, but the duo — who previously worked together on the film “Hello My Name Is Doris” — relished the idea of working together along with a larger ensemble.

“Max was a huge draw for me coming back to multi-cam,” Behrs said. “As soon as I talked to him and watched the pilot, it was a no brainer. We had become friends over the years. It’s nice to do comedy all day every day together.”

After years of a grueling schedule filming “New Girl,” Greenfield said he welcomed the pace of doing a multi-cam comedy in front of a studio audience. “This is the best job,” he said. “And I think both of us had options after ‘New Girl’ and ‘2 Broke Girls.’ I don’t think either of us would have said ‘yes’ if we didn’t think this was the best option.

Max Greenfield and Beth Behrs, “The Neighborhood”

CBS

“We were in the incredible circumstance of getting to see something, getting to fill in a lot of the blanks and know a lot of the unknowns. It was a daunting task to balance out what Cedric and Tichina had created but that was the gamble. Can we elevate what’s there and can we balance these families?”

Neither performer said they were daunted by the subject matter — and actually looked forward to playing the dynamic between both neighbors, and also as couples.

Behrs said she was also attracted to the “grounded” nature of the show’s characters. “When I watched this pilot, I loved that they felt like real people, that it felt like they really existed. If we were going to tackle the issues we’re tackling in a multi-cam, this was the writing and ensemble to do it in. So I had no hesitation in terms of the pedigree being able to deliver this. Comedy is better when you set tension and then release, and Jim Reynolds, our showrunner, and Cedric do an amazing job together having the conversations and figuring it out in the writers’ room. It’s a very collaborative set.”

“The Neighborhood” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on CBS.

IndieWire’s “TURN IT ON with Michael Schneider” is a weekly dive into what’s new and what’s now on TV — no matter what you’re watching or where you’re watching it. With an enormous amount of choices overwhelming even the most sophisticated viewer, “TURN IT ON” is a must-listen for TV fans looking to make sense of what to watch and where to watch it.

Be sure to subscribe to “TURN IT ON” on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every week. Some music by HookSounds.

Listen: Bradley Cooper Explains Why ‘A Star Is Born’ Lured Him to Direct

PLAYBACK is a Variety / iHeartRadio podcast bringing you conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films. New episodes air every Thursday. Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut “A Star Is Born” has taken on a li…

PLAYBACK is a Variety / iHeartRadio podcast bringing you conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films. New episodes air every Thursday. Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut “A Star Is Born” has taken on a life of its own. After a world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, which included a technical snafu that […]

Listen: UFC’s Lawrence Epstein on ESPN Deal, Endeavor Acquisition and MMA’s Growth Spurt

The UFC is poised for a big year in 2019, starting with the kickoff next month of its broad five-year rights pact with ESPN. Lawrence Epstein, chief operating officer of UFC parent company Zuffa, LLC, has no shortage of growth ambitions for the sports …

The UFC is poised for a big year in 2019, starting with the kickoff next month of its broad five-year rights pact with ESPN. Lawrence Epstein, chief operating officer of UFC parent company Zuffa, LLC, has no shortage of growth ambitions for the sports league that is the marketing leader in the growing arena of […]

Listen: Joan Allen on Broadway, Screen Acting and Women’s Roles in Hollywood

It seems safe to say that Joan Allen has a pretty good handle on screen acting — she’s been nominated for three Oscars, after all. But on the latest episode of Stagecraft, Variety‘s theater podcast, Allen revealed that it took a long …

It seems safe to say that Joan Allen has a pretty good handle on screen acting — she’s been nominated for three Oscars, after all. But on the latest episode of Stagecraft, Variety‘s theater podcast, Allen revealed that it took a long time for her to get comfortable in front of the camera. “I found […]

‘The Guest Book’ Creator’s Awkward Jerry Seinfeld Encounter — Turn It On Podcast

It didn’t go well. Greg Garcia also dissects what made “The Andy Griffith Show’s” Ernest T. Bass episodes the best sitcom moments ever.

TV writer Greg Garcia grew up obsessing over sitcoms and comedy — which is why it’s fitting that he wound up in the profession, creating such memorable hits as “My Name Is Earl,” “Raising Hope,” “Yes, Dear,” and his current TBS anthology series, “The Guest Book.”

But he’s still a fan first and foremost, which is why he couldn’t wait recently to finally meet one of his idols, Jerry Seinfeld. It didn’t go as well as he had hoped.

As a kid, Garcia would sneak a peek at “The Tonight Show,” when he was supposed to be asleep, in the hopes that he’d catch Seinfeld as a guest. “I kept watching his career going on, and felt this bond with this person whom I had never met in my life,” he told IndieWire.

When Garcia recently found himself backstage after a Seinfeld show, he couldn’t wait to tell the comedian how he influenced Garcia’s own career. “I had the story in my head down to a tight two minutes,” he said. “I would tell the story and wanted to bury the lede, tell him how he inspired me and then tell him about me.”

As Garcia waited for his turn with Seinfeld, in walked fellow TV writer Phil Rosenthal (“Everybody Loves Raymond”), who took delight knowing it wouldn’t go well.

“‘I want to see you tell a story to Jerry,'” Garcia said Rosenthal told him. “‘Jerry hates people. He’s going to hate that!'”

Sure enough, the exchange was awkward. But Garcia is still thrilled: He got a photo with Seinfeld, and a great story to boot. “I wanted it to either be awkward, or for him to say, ‘Let’s go have dinner afterwards.’ Anything between that is boring. It worked out all right.”

195303 Guest Book 202

Greg Garcia directing Will Arnett in “The Guest Book”

Tyler Golden/TBS

Garcia has always thrived on turning life’s offbeat moments into stories. “The Guest Book,” now in its second season on TBS, was inspired by his habit of writing crazy, fantastical stories in guest books whenever he rents a vacation home. The anthology series focuses both on a core group of townspeople, with a different A-story each week as a new cast of characters rents out the same house.

That has allowed Garcia to play with the form: Each episode takes a different tone, with some darker than others. Last year, the series took place in a mountain cabin and was 2017’s No. 1 new basic cable comedy; for Season 2, the show has moved to the beach — but with some returning renters, and a mostly new cast of regulars. (Returning from last season are Carly Jibson and Eddie Steeples.)

Garcia met up with IndieWire’s TURN IT ON podcast to share what else is new with “The Guest Book,” and also discuss his favorite TV series of all time, “The Andy Griffith Show.” Listen below.

Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by Snap/REX/Shutterstock (390858fm) FILM STILLS OF 'ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW - TV' WITH 1962, ACCESSORIES, DECK OF PLAYING CARDS, ANDY GRIFFITH, RON HOWARD IN 1962 VARIOUS

“The Andy Griffith Show”

Snap/REX/Shutterstock

“The Andy Griffith Show” ran for eight seasons between 1960 and 1968, producing 249 episodes. Griffith, of course, starred as Mayberry sheriff Andy Taylor, while Don Knotts was his bumbling deputy Barney Fife, while Ron Howard was his young son Opie and Frances Bavier was Andy’s Aunt Bee, who helped the widow Andy raise his son. But Mayberry was also populated with a colorful cast of townspeople, and for a young Garcia, it was a rare appearance by the eccentric Ernest T. Bass that made for his favorite episodes of the series. When we asked the TV creator to pick his favorite TV episode of all time, he zeroed in on those five Ernest T. Bass appearances.

“‘Andy Griffith.’ I watched it as a kid so it’s nostalgic, and to me it’s the perfect show,” Garcia said. “You’ve got this small town, and you’ve got this guy at the center who’s the heart of the show. He’s not necessarily funny, but then they surround him with very funny people. And then you get to meet the people of this town slowly and it becomes this world. And I love all the father/son stuff with Andy and Opie. So I’ve always enjoyed it, and Ernest T. Bass was my favorite of those crazy characters. I knew when he was going to be in an episode it was going to be a nutty, fun episode.”

Played by Howard Morris, Bass only appeared in five episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show,” but was memorable for throwing rocks in windows, holding outrageous opinions on the world, and getting in trouble for his schemes. “It was the unexpectedness of this character,” Garcia said. “He’s so random, he throws rocks through windows and then just says, ‘Look at me, look at me, I’m Ernest T!’ and he runs away. You start to get to know him, and then there are stories about him. I love the idea of creating a character that’s sort of nutty and it just seems like that’s all they are, and then you dig deeper and learn there’s a person in there.”

Garcia said he fell in love with comedy thanks to reruns of shows like “Andy Griffith,” “What’s Happening,” “The Brady Bunch,” and “Happy Days.” “All I did was watch TV when I was growing up,” he said.

Garcia started his career in multi-camera sitcoms, but turned to single-camera half-hours as “Yes, Dear” was ending its run and shows like “Arrested Development” and “Bernie Mac” became hits. “Creatively they looked fun,” he said. But Garcia had to prove that he could make the switch: “People weren’t going to jump and say you can write single cam. It’s just the reality. You’re constantly fighting that. So I wrote ‘My Name Is Earl’ as a spec script.”

“Earl” and “Raising Hope” also gave Garcia the reputation for being able to write quirky heartland characters. “I’d like to see more of it,” he said of shows that take place in Middle America. “It’s always what I’ve been drawn to. I’ve always tried really hard that when I portray those people and there’s a lot of those people, and I find the humor in them, but I do so with care and love. Because that’s where I grew up. These are my folks. These are my people and I hope I do a good job in finding comedy in their lives but also finding the relatable stuff people can relate to.”

A caveat, though: Garcia tends to avoid outright politics in his shows. ” My feeling is, you get politics all day long. You just can’t escape it. And you’re going to get it in conversations with people, on TV, everywhere.”

“The Guest Book” airs Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. on TBS.

The Guest Book 203

Greg Garcia directs “The Guest Book”

Tyler Golden/TBS

IndieWire’s “TURN IT ON with Michael Schneider” is a weekly dive into what’s new and what’s now on TV — no matter what you’re watching or where you’re watching it. With an enormous amount of choices overwhelming even the most sophisticated viewer, “TURN IT ON” is a must-listen for TV fans looking to make sense of what to watch and where to watch it.

Be sure to subscribe to “TURN IT ON” on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every week. Some music by HookSounds.

Listen: Barry Jenkins Details the Craft of ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ and Reflects on #EnvelopeGate

PLAYBACK is a Variety / iHeartRadio podcast bringing you conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films. New episodes air every Thursday. After the soaring success of “Moonlight,” writer-director Barry Jenkins is …

PLAYBACK is a Variety / iHeartRadio podcast bringing you conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films. New episodes air every Thursday. After the soaring success of “Moonlight,” writer-director Barry Jenkins is back this year with the lush, penetrating James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk.” It’s very much an extension of […]

‘Widows’ Needs Your Help This Thanksgiving Weekend — IndieWire’s Movie Podcast

Screen Talk, episode 221: Steve McQueen’s heist thriller deserves more attention over the holidays. Plus: Updates from the Governors Awards.

If you’re debating whether to see “Green Book” or “Creed II” over Thanksgiving weekend, Screen Talk co-host Eric Kohn has some advice: Go see “Widows” instead. Steve McQueen’s complex heist movie pulled in a mere $12.3 million in its opening weekend. As Kohn and Anne Thompson discuss in this week’s podcast episode, McQueen’s movie deserves much better than that.

Of course, there are many other appealing options this weekend, including “The Favourite,” which continues its path through awards season, as does “Green Book.” But that movie’s once-obvious Oscar potential is now in doubt, as Kohn and Thompson discuss later in the episode. Thompson provides some highlights from being in the room at the Governors Awards, and they both give a few additional suggestions for titles worth checking out in the days ahead. Kohn also shares some thoughts on the new Showtime series “Escape at Dannemora,” and the episode closes out with a look ahead to next week’s big awards developments, with the Gotham Awards and the New York Film Critics Circle vote right around the corner.

Listen to the full episode below.

 

Screen Talk is available on iTunes.

You can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with Thompson and Kohn on Twitter or sound off in the comments. Browse previous installments here, review the show on  and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts address specific issues in upcoming editions of Screen Talk. Check out the rest of IndieWire’s podcasts on iTunes right here.

In ‘Widows,’ Steve McQueen Does More with One Shot Than Most Directors Do with a Scene

Toolkit Podcast Ep. 67: “I wanted this canvas where you touched upon icebergs, where you saw the tip of it, but you knew the depth of it.”

There has always been an efficiency to filmmaker Steve McQueen’s visual storytelling, but the multi-layered and complex narrative of his new film “Widows” puts the director’s ability to quickly translate complex emotional and dramatic situations to the test. Beyond the effortless way McQueen rips through exposition to ground his film in a story with 81 speaking parts as it weaves through different socio-economic, political, and criminal worlds, “Widows” relies on the audience grasping the emotional and psychological depth of 14 principal characters.

“I wanted to have this canvas where you touched upon things like icebergs,” said McQueen when he was guest on IndieWire’s Toolkit podcast. “Where you saw the tip of it, but you knew the depth of it.”

Subscribe via Apple Podcasts to the Filmmaker Toolkit Podcast

As an example, McQueen points to the introduction of Elizabeth Debicki’s character Alice, whose husband will die in the film’s opening heist. The audience must understand, through a single exchange the morning of the crime, that she is a victim of domestic violence. McQueen offers little in the way of details, but the audience instantly grasps an essential element of the Alice character, both psychologically and in terms of backstory, which proves to be key to how her character arcs through the film.

“There’s a metaphorical understanding of what that is and just by certain things, what her partner says, and you can see the dynamic of that relationship,” said McQueen. “A lot of it has to do with the audience’s history, our communal history. In our own everyday lives, we have an idea of a person, in our daily lives we have glimpses of other people’s lives, an idea, an understanding, a metaphorical sort of nuance look. It’s Tai chi filmmaking – using the audience to help me finish that narrative because they know often what that’s about.”

McQueen would rather give a sharp glance at a situation that stimulates the viewer’s ability to comprehend and fill in the missing pieces, rather than ever have to explain or show the whole. While McQueen enters each film with a clear visual plan, aided by working with longtime collaborators like cinematographer Sean Bobbitt, production designer Adam Stockhausen, and editor Joe Walker, finding his compositions or determining how the camera will interact with the actors is something he leaves until the very end of the process.

Instead, he puts the emphasis of finding the exactness of the scene and expressive staging during early rehearsals with his actors.

Elizabeth Debicki in "Widows"

Elizabeth Debicki in “Widows”

Screenshot

“We never have a shooting list,” said McQueen. “I don’t want to have a situation where I’m bringing my stencil, imposing myself on a scene or location. It’s all about embracing the situation in front of you and have a conversation with the actors. It liberates you, it liberates your camera and sometimes limiting whatever it is gives you a freedom.”

While McQueen and Bobbitt search for the most direct use of the camera to get to the heart of a moment, they often achieve complexity with stripped down simplicity. In one scene from “Widows,” Jack Mulligan (Colin Farrell), who is running for his father’s (Robert Duvall) city council seat, is rushed into the back seat of his town car after dodging questions from a dogged reporter at an event where was he promoting a minority empowerment initiative.

“There’s a sort of momentum and momentum of narrative because also there’s movement, but also you get five different levels of information from that one shot,” said McQueen in describing the decision to shoot the scene in one shot.

The location itself was incredibly important to McQueen and, once his team, after a great deal of initial struggle, found one that would work, he and Bobbitt knew that the camera should be mounted on the hood of the car. It’s an unorthodox shot, where the audience can hear but not see Mulligan and his staffer Siobhan’s (Molly Kunz) frank dialogue in the back seat. What the audiences ends up seeing is their driver and the neighborhoods they drive through as the car takes the politician home.

Steve McQueen, Director/Writer/Producer,

Steve McQueen at the “Widows” premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival

Dale Wilcox

“You see the landscape changing from a predominantly African-American neighborhood, which is disheveled, and we move to a sort more affluent area which is predominantly white,” said McQueen. “[In] that journey we understand this particular person doesn’t really care about the people he spoke about. He’d rather not be in politics. He’s his mother’s son, as he says, and that Siobhan, this lady who doesn’t hardly say a word in the whole movie, is an instigator that pushes him because she wants to push him to become mayor. … There’s another aspect of the person who is driving the car, who is an African-American, and they are saying certain things in the back of the car which he doesn’t react to, because whose going to pay more than Jack Mulligan?”

He continued, “There’s all these layers of information which the audience, we’re not suckers, we understand what people say in private and public, and we don’t need the Access Hollywood tapes to understand, so it’s interesting how you move narrative along and have these layers.”

The Filmmaker Toolkit podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, OvercastStitcherSoundCloud and Google Play Music. Previous episodes include:

The music used in this podcast is from the “Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present” score, courtesy of composer Nathan Halpern.

Listen: Michael C. Hall on ‘Thom Pain,’ Queer Roles and More ‘Dexter’

Michael C. Hall is always hearing about the return of “Dexter” — but not from anyone actually involved in the show. “People on the street are always telling me about the talk of a ‘Dexter’ reboot,” said Hall of…

Michael C. Hall is always hearing about the return of “Dexter” — but not from anyone actually involved in the show. “People on the street are always telling me about the talk of a ‘Dexter’ reboot,” said Hall of the popular Showtime series in which he starred for eight seasons. “There’ve been little percolations, but […]

Listen: ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ Director Marielle Heller Really Wanted to Avoid the ‘Sophomore Slump’

PLAYBACK is a Variety / iHeartRadio podcast bringing you conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films. New episodes air every Thursday. Coming off her critically acclaimed debut feature “Diary of a Teenage Girl,&#8221…

PLAYBACK is a Variety / iHeartRadio podcast bringing you conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films. New episodes air every Thursday. Coming off her critically acclaimed debut feature “Diary of a Teenage Girl,” filmmaker Marielle Heller put a lot of thought into how she would follow it up. She at least knew […]

‘Scrubs’ Reboot? ‘Stan Against Evil’ Star John C. McGinley Is Ready – Podcast

McGinley tells TURN IT ON that he thanked Norman Lear for helping inspire Stan.

Add John C. McGinley to the “yes” column should “Scrubs” ever be revisited on TV. If creator Bill Lawrence is in, so is McGinley. “I love Billy, so if Billy’s doing it, [I am],” said McGinley, who recently visited the TURN IT ON podcast and current star of IFC horror comedy “Stan Against Evil.” “I’d be very surprised if some variation of that doesn’t realize fruition.”

McGinley said he believed the show’s other cast members would be in — as long as it wasn’t a traditional, 22-episode order. “I don’t think it would look like a season,” he said, noting that most of the “Scrubs” alums are busy with other projects. “I think it would be something different… I don’t know what that looks like, however. A two-hour movie? That would be fun.”

Of course, in this age of reboots, reunions, and remakes, McGinley admitted he’s torn over whether it should be revisited. “We did almost 200 episodes of ‘Scrubs,'” he said. “If you didn’t wring that towel dry of everything you wanted to get out of those characters, it begs the question: What were you waiting for?”

McGinley puts Lawrence and “Stan Against Evil” creator Dana Gould in the same pantheon as legendary TV producer Norman Lear, who helped inspire Stan Miller, McGinley’s character on “Stan Against Evil.” Stan is a former sheriff who battles demons — both his own, internal ones, and the actual ones threatening to destroy his town (and the world). McGinley said spending time with Lear has been one of the thrills of his career.

“I met Norman, and I immediately started blurting out how we’ve crafted a TV series, and for the protagonist we’ve borrowed liberally from Carroll O’Connor and Norman’s rendition of this overbearing patriarch [in “All in the Family”],” McGinley said. “I wanted to pay Norman all respect and tell him he is creatively and spiritually and emotionally helping me to authentically create [Stan].”

So when IndieWire asked McGinley to name his favorite TV episode of all time, he came back with one from “All in the Family”: The Season 2 episode, “The Elevator Story.” Listen below.

Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by SNAP/REX/Shutterstock (390918my)FILM STILLS OF 'ALL IN THE FAMILY - TV' WITH 1983, ENSEMBLE, CARROLL O'CONNOR, ROB REINER, JEAN STAPLETON, SALLY STRUTHERS IN 1983Nigel Bruce

“All in the Family”

SNAP/REX/Shutterstock

“All in the Family” was relatively new when “The Elevator Story” aired on New Year’s Day 1972. It was the first episode to take place entirely outside the Bunker house, as Archie (Carroll O’Connor) takes Edith (Jean Stapleton), Gloria (Sally Struthers), and Mike (Rob Reiner) out to dinner to celebrate Edith’s birthday. But when he realizes he forgot to mail an overdue bill, Archie races to pay it — and gets stuck in an elevator with an African-American businessman (Roscoe Lee Browne), a Puerto Rican man (Hector Elizondo) with a wife about to go into labor, and a secretary (Eileen Brennan).

At the time O’Connor was unhappy with the episode, and initially refused to film it. But it’s Archie’s vulnerability that drew McGinley to it. “Archie is a guy who operates so surgically in the world of ‘All in the Family’ as an initiator [of action], with Jean Stapleton always being a reactor,” he said. “[Everyone is always reacting to] Archie just spitting out initiations. In this, he can’t; he’s trapped. So he becomes this observer. And all of a sudden you see what a sublime, layered actor Carroll O’Connor is. I didn’t know Carroll O’Connor, but he impacted me pretty dramatically growing up.”

McGinley said he’s drawn to “wounded men” as characters — like his “Scrubs” character, Dr. Cox. “He was the ultimate damaged alpha male,” McGinley said. “That’s why he was so interesting. There were a lot of missing parts for that guy … I never got the Ken and Barbie [role]. I got the dirty uncle. And that’s a better role. For a little while, you really want to get the Ken and Barbie guy. That ship sailed. And it’s liberating.”

Exclusive - All RoundMandatory Credit: Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Variety/REX/Shutterstock (9765796lb)Nate Mooney, Deborah Baker Jr.., Dana Gould, Janet Varney and John C. McGinley - 'Stan Against Evil'Exclusive - Variety Portrait Studio Comic-Con, Day 3, San Diego, USA - 21 Jul 2018

Nate Mooney, Deborah Baker Jr.., Dana Gould, Janet Varney and John C. McGinley, “Stan Against Evil”

Andrew H. Walker/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

And that’s what drew McGinley to “Stan Against Evil.” The show has a horror mythology, but McGinley is intrigued by what fuels this character’s sour disposition.

“Stan loses his wife of 27 years and his job of 26,” he said. “He’s been fired from his job and he has nothing. What’s interesting and what writers can write are damaged characters… I can turn a joke, and Dana can write them. But what’s going to be interesting about this guy is that he’s hurt.”

As for where the show goes from here, McGinley hints, “Dana did this unbelievably risky thing with the last two episodes that is going to leave everybody who watches Stan scratch their head.”

“Stan Against Evil” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on IFC.

IndieWire’s “TURN IT ON with Michael Schneider” is a weekly dive into what’s new and what’s now on TV — no matter what you’re watching or where you’re watching it. With an enormous amount of choices overwhelming even the most sophisticated viewer, “TURN IT ON” is a must-listen for TV fans looking to make sense of what to watch and where to watch it.

Be sure to subscribe to “TURN IT ON” on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every week. Some music by HookSounds.

Listen: Glenn Close on What ‘Fatal Attraction’ Means in the #MeToo Era

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‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ Director Marielle Heller on What Gets Lost When Movies Strive For Clarity

Toolkit Podcast, Ep. 66: Heller talks about taking on her follow-up to “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” and the importance of leaving room for the audience to think for themselves.

There’s a scene in Marielle Heller’s new film “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” during which Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) is having a dinner with Anna (Dolly Wells), a bookstore owner who buys Lee’s forged letters that are, to Anna’s knowledge, written by famous literary figures. The dinner could be interpreted as a date – the two women have become friendly and it seems as if they like each other.

“I remember getting the note from somebody, ‘Is it clear that they are asking each other out on a date?,’” said Heller when she was guest on IndieWire’s Filmmaker Toolkit Podcast. “And I was like, ‘No, it’s not clear, and nor should it be clear because that’s what it feels like to be a gay woman in 1991 and not being somebody that wears their sexual orientation on their sleeve – this sort of slightly dancing around the issue.’”

Subscribe via Apple Podcasts to the Filmmaker Toolkit Podcast

It’s an incredible scene that reveals so much about Lee’s character. As Anna tries to pivot the conversation to being more personal, sharing intimate details about her own life, McCarthy gives a very guarded performance as Lee backs away, sabotaging any hope that this meeting this could be interpreted as a date.

“Lee is somebody who moves through the world in much more protected, not closeted, but she’s very private, and so her interactions with her potential love are therefore shrouded in these layers of mystery where they are trying to read between the lines,” said Heller. “So much of what is being said is about what they are not saying, and I found that beautiful and exciting.”

One of the things Heller found particularly exciting was that, while rehearsing the scene, both actresses and herself had a slightly different interpretations of why Lee was behaving this way. Not only did Heller see each interpretation as being valid based on what she and McCarthy had already established about the character, but there was also a joy in the audience going through that very same thought process.

“I don’t know why the note is always, ‘Is this clear?’ Why is that the best thing?,” said Heller. “There’s something really getting lost in our desire to overly clarify every detail of a script and make sure every person in the last row could understand every single thing that is happening the moment it happens and no one has to go home and think about it at all. That’s just unfortunate, because some of the joys of storytelling are doling information slowly and letting the audience catch up and letting people figure things out and question things.”

(From L-R): Dolly Wells, Director Marielle Heller, and Melissa McCarthy on the set of CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? Photo by Mary Cybulski. © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Marielle Heller directs Dolly Wells and Melissa McCarthy in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Photo by Mary Cybulski

While on the podcast, Heller also talked about capturing what it felt like being a struggling artist in early ‘90s New York City, why she built up the Jack (Richard E. Grant) role and his friendship with Israel, her process of working with actors and cinematographer Brandon Trost, and what drew her to directing a new movie starring Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers.

The Filmmaker Toolkit podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, OvercastStitcherSoundCloud and Google Play Music. Previous episodes include:

The music used in this podcast is from the “Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present” score, courtesy of composer Nathan Halpern.

‘On the Basis of Sex’ Might Not Be an Oscar Movie, But It Could Be Commercial

Plus: Updates from AFI Fest and DOC NYC.

The Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic “On the Basis of Sex” has premiered at AFI Fest, and first reactions have started to trickle in. As awards season continues to hurdle toward the end of the year, Mimi Leder’s drama enters the conversation in the middle of a busy field. And it turns out that this one might not be a big awards contender — but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a natural appeal to its story. Felicity Jones is its star, but RGB is its brand, and that may be all it takes to help the movie find an audience when it hits theaters in December. Then again, has America experienced too much of the Supreme Court this year?

In this week’s episode of Screen Talk, Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson debate the movie, which they don’t quite see eye-to-eye on. They also dig into other highlights from AFI Fest as well as DOC NYC, both of which began their latest editions this week.

Listen to the full podcast below.

 

Screen Talk is available on iTunes.

You can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with Thompson and Kohn on Twitter or sound off in the comments. Browse previous installments here, review the show on  and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts address specific issues in upcoming editions of Screen Talk. Check out the rest of IndieWire’s podcasts on iTunes right here.

Listen: Jason Reitman Explores the Unanswered Questions Posed by ‘The Front Runner’

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Listen: What ‘the De Niro of Israel’ Stole From Tony Shalhoub for ‘The Band’s Visit’

Sasson Gabay is one of international cinema’s most respected actors: Tony winner Ari’el Stachel once called him “the De Niro of Israel.” But that doesn’t mean Gabay isn’t happy to admit he’s stolen a few tricks…

Sasson Gabay is one of international cinema’s most respected actors: Tony winner Ari’el Stachel once called him “the De Niro of Israel.” But that doesn’t mean Gabay isn’t happy to admit he’s stolen a few tricks from Tony Shalhoub in “The Band’s Visit,” the Broadway musical that Gabay joined in June. The Israeli actor stepped […]