From The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Taxi to such movies as Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News and As Good as It Gets, writer-director-producer James L. Brooks has created quality entertainment for decades and has no intention of slowing down. He has served as mentor to the likes of Cameron Crowe and Wes Anderson and continues to work with young talents behind the camera. Oh yes—he’s also produced The Simpsons for the past 30 years. Leonard and Jessie were honored to talk to this multi-award-winning talent about his remarkable career.
Cord Jefferson is riding high as the Oscar-nominated writer and director of American Fiction, which has widely and properly been acclaimed as one of the best films of the past year. Even more exciting is the fact that Jefferson has never made a movie before. Leonard and Jessie enjoyed exploring the building blocks of his career that led to this achievement. He was on the writing staff of Larry Wilmore’s Late Night comedy show and Aziz Ansari’s Master of None, among others, when a series of events pointed him toward filmmaking. Step One was finding a property he cared enough about to adapt and then direct. Unlike other neophytes who get their first break right out of film school, Cord had traveled the world and worked as a journalist before he ever stepped foot on a movie set. We are eager to see what comes next.
As editor of Empire, Nick de Semlyen presides over the best film and television magazine in the English language: Empire. Every issue is jam-packed with deep-dive articles, interviews, set visits, and fun facts for both the fan and the aficionado. Nick has also written two excellent books examining American films of the 1980s: Wild and Crazy Guys and The Last Action Heroes. Leonard and Jessie got to meet him on their last trip to London which cemented a friendship that grew out of their admiration for his work. This episode affirms the belief that the only thing better than watching movies is talking about them with a fellow enthusiast.