Sydney native Ryan Kwanten learned his craft while working on the popular Australian TV series Home and Away, racking up 223 episodes. He gained further notice on Summerland but broke through to stardom on the red-hot HBO series True Blood. He’s seldom idle for long, having costarred in such recent series as The Oath and Sacred Lies, and while he’s now a California resident he still commutes for work. He can currently be seen with fellow Aussie Kodi Smit-McPhee in the futuristic 2067 on Amazon Prime and other streaming services. Leonard and Jessie found Ryan to be a thoughtful actor with an admirable work ethic and an interesting career to look back on.
Leonard and Jessie met the very likable Josh Ruben at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where he was screening his spooky comedy Scare Me, his debut feature which is now playing on Shudder and has been certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. He was hired as a cast member and director by College Humor in 2008 and hasn’t looked back. You’ve seen his work in scores of TV commercials, and you can check out his gift for parody at http://joshsmindhouse.com/
Leonard and Jessie welcome Jeanine Basinger, perhaps the most influential film teacher of our time. She has shaped the thinking of many of today’s best writers, directors and producers at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Along the way she has written invaluable books like A Woman’s View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women 1930-1960, The Star Machine, and most recently The Movie Musical!, to name just a few. Most important, she has been a devoted friend to the Maltin family. It’s a pleasure to welcome her to our podcast.
Howard: The Howard Ashman Story is a moving documentary by Don Hahn about the incredible man who set the Disney studio on a new course with The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. Now available on Disney+, this documentary inspired us to craft an unusual episode of our podcast. We spoke to producer-director Don Hahn, Howard’s longtime life partner Bill Lauch, his sister Sarah Gillespie, the voice of Belle (Paige O’Hara), director John Musker, and Howard’s musical collaborator Alan Menken to offer you an intimate portrait of the gifted man whose life was cut short by AIDS