Oscar-winning actress Melissa Leo inhabits every character she takes on, from Mark Wahlberg’s mother in The Fighter to the hard-boiled owner of a comedy club in the current series I’m Dying Up Here. In her new movie The Novitiate she’s in top form as a Mother Superior who has devoted forty years to the church. As Leonard and Jessie learn, Melissa discovered acting as a little girl and has never lost her love of pretending. She just does it better than most of us.
A lifetime in front of the camera hasn’t left Elijah Wood jaded or cynical. His enthusiasm and positive outlook are downright inspirational, as Leonard and Jessie can attest after spending time with him (and a live audience) at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. You’ll hear how he was cast as Frodo in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, how he recorded the voice of Mumble in Happy Feet, why working with Nicolas Cage was a dream come true and much, much more.
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Gilbert Gottfried is one of the funniest comedians alive. A revealing and intimate new documentary called Gilbert shows another side of the busy performer, who is also a loving husband, father, and brother. Leonard and Jessie caught up with him at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, where a live audience inspired and energized both the hosts and their guest. Get ready for a blast of TV nostalgia, as well as a look back at Gilbert’s career highlights, from Beverly Hills Cop II to Aladdin. A word of caution: there were no holds barred as far as Gilbert was concerned.
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Keith Carradine’s career has taken him from Broadway to the Academy Awards (where he won an Oscar performing his own song “I’m Easy” in Robert Altman’s Nashville) and beyond. He was in the first season of Fargo and is currently playing the President of the United States opposite Tea Leoni in Madam Secretary on CBS. He also comes from a notable acting family and has many stories to share with Leonard about growing up with his colorful dad, John Carradine.
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Moviegoers fell for Vince Vaughn the moment they saw him in Swingers. That was twenty-one years ago and he's still going strong, tackling a dramatic leading role in Brawl in Cell Block 99. It debuted at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, and that's where Leonard and Jessie interviewed him before a live (and lively) audience. Whether you think of him as that guy from Old School and Wedding Crashers or appreciate his smarts and versatility, you'll enjoy this delightful conversation.
Traci Hines is living a dream come true: she has taken her love for Disney icons ranging from Ariel to Pinocchio and created videos in which she transforms herself into those characters. She has parlayed her fan-based passion into a career and received the ultimate compliment—the blessings of the Disney company itself. Leonard and Jessie know this for a fact: they saw her fan following at this summer’s D23 convention. She’s irresistibly likable, as you’ll learn in this episode.
If you watch Veep you know why Matt Walsh has been nominated for two Emmy awards: he’s simply hilarious as Julia Louis-Dreyfuss’ bumbling press secretary. He’s also a co-founder of Upright Citizens Brigade, which completes his comedy credentials—along with appearances in The Hangover and the remake of Ghostbusters. Leonard enjoys a wide-ranging conversation with Matt about his beginnings, influences and experiences.
When a young, bookish scholar met Gene Kelly years ago she had no idea who he was. Then they fell in love and she got to know the man and his career better than anyone else on earth. Today Patricia devotes herself to keeping his memory alive, and performs a heart-rending one-woman show about Gene Kelly as she knew him. Leonard and Jessie learn some things they never knew in this intimate conversation about the peerless entertainer.
What better way to celebrate the holiday weekend than by revisiting our wonderful conversation with the one and only Mel Brooks. Great stories, many laughs!
Leonard and Jessie spend quality time with the one and only Mel Brooks, who’s as spry as ever and bursting with great stories. He reveals the name of the funniest comedy he ever saw, talks about Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, and The Producers, and explains how he and his pal Carl Reiner screen movies together almost every night. You don’t want to miss this one.
Richard Kraft fell in love with movie soundtracks as a kid, pursued his heroes, and wound up representing Danny Elfman, Jerry Goldsmith, and other titans of film music. Now he produces concerts and shows around the world with his notable clients. He loves what he does and his enthusiasm knows no bounds, as you’ll hear when he talks about his world-class collection of Disneyland memorabilia.
Steven Weber has been on Broadway, London’s West End, and everywhere in between. He costarred on the popular TV series Wings, worked for Mel Brooks in Dracula—Dead and Loving It (and on stage in The Producers), and has appeared on every television show imaginable. He’s also a movie lover of the first rank and a great storyteller, to boot. Leonard and Jessie never run out of topics with a guest like this.
Molly Quinn has won a well-deserved fan following for her performance as Nathan Fillion’s daughter on the long-running TV series Castle… but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. As you’ll hear, she’s a poised, articulate young actress with a bright future ahead of her and a serious love of movies. Wait to hear Leonard and Jessie’s reaction when she talks about Mae West!
Leonard and Jessie took their show on the road and broadcast for a live audience at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival. Their conversation ranges far and wide; one hot topic is the critic’s quandary of swimming against the tide, when everyone seems to like a film more than you do. Audience members chime in with questions, as well, in this lively hour of movie talk.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has become world-famous on the wildly popular Game of Thrones, but as you’ll learn, his seemingly overnight success has been more than twenty years in the making. (He costarred with Mick Jagger and a little-known Jude Law in Bent back in 1997.) Leonard and Jessie discover a hard-working, self-effacing actor with a great sense of humor and a ready supply of anecdotes about his experiences making movies around the globe.
Jenny Slate is smart and funny in equal measure. She’s made her mark on television (on shows ranging from SNL to Parks and Recreation), movies (the award-winning Obvious Child), the Internet (with her creation Marcel the Shell with Shoes On) and even the New York Times best-seller list (thanks again to Marcel). Leonard and Jessie discuss her new movie Landline and a wide range of topics relating to comedy, careers, and real life.
We’ve all been watching Bruce Davison for years—tending to his pet rats in Willard in the early 70s, earning an Oscar nomination for Longtime Companion in 1989, defying the X-Men as a Senator in 2000, and making his mark in an endless variety of roles on stage, television and movies. It turns out he is also a world-class raconteur. Leonard and Jessie were held in rapt attention as he imitated Burt Lancaster, Henry Fonda and a host of others while spinning a series of unforgettable anecdotes. Don’t miss this episode!
Meet the third member of the Maltin Triumvirate: Alice. Wife of Leonard, mother of Jessie, she is an outspoken, lifelong movie fan and has played a key role in Leonard’s life for the past 42 years as both booster and critic. When she was growing up in the Bronx she never dreamed she would wind up in Hollywood, meeting so many people she grew up watching from afar. Leonard and Jessie decided it was time to share her inimitable personality with their listeners. Enjoy!
Billy Bob Thornton is in a class by himself. If you haven’t seen his Amazon series Goliath, you’re missing a great acting showcase…a perfect follow-up to his unforgettable turn on the first season of Fargo. Leonard and Jessie are longtime fans and delight in talking to him about finding his place in Hollywood, working with the Coen Brothers, playing the President of the United States in Love, Actually, and much, much more.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead just delivered a knockout performance as a femme fatale on this season of Fargo, but for many fans she’ll always be Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. As Leonard and Jessie discover, she doesn’t mind at all. She has a knack for choosing cool projects like 10 Cloverfield Lane and Swiss Army Man…and shares stories of her experiences on those films and working with the inimitable Quentin Tarantino.
Kumail Nanjiani has parlayed his success as a stand-up comic into an acting career, notably on Silicon Valley. Now he and his wife Emily have written a movie that was the runaway hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, The Big Sick. Everybody knows (and loves) Ray Romano, who plays the father of Kumail’s girlfriend. Leonard and Jessie ask the two comedians to compare their experiences in the standup world and learn how they made the transition to acting…but it’s clear that being funny comes naturally to both of them.
Director Miguel Arteta (Chuck and Buck, Cedar Rapids) and writer-actor Mike White (School of Rock, The Good Girl) are longtime friends and collaborators with many experiences to share—and a new film opening in theaters starring Salma Hayek, Beatriz at Dinner. Leonard and Jessie hear what they have to say about working with everyone from Jennifer Aniston to Martin Scorsese in this entertaining conversation.
Nick Kroll is on a roll: the hit Broadway show he performed with John Mulaney, Oh, Hello, is coming to Netflix. Kroll Show helped build his reputation as a chameleon-like sketch comedian. He’s provided animated voices for such movies as Sing, Sausage Party, and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie… and made his big-screen dramatic debut in Loving. Somehow he found time to chat with Leonard and Jessie about his multifaceted career—and his comedy heroes.
Leonard’s recent post at leonardmaltin.com about the death of vhs—and what we’ve lost in the process—inspired him and Jessie to discuss the parade of movie and video formats they’ve enjoyed over the years. From 8mm film (yes, film) to Betamax tape and beyond, it’s likely you will relate to at least one facet of this wide-ranging conversation. (P.S. You’d better listen to this episode soon; it only exists in a digital format and who knows how long that will last?)
Michael Giacchino is the hottest—and arguably the nicest—composer in Hollywood. He got his start scoring video games and went on to earn an Oscar for Pixar’s Up. He’s provided the music for The Incredibles, Star Wars: Rogue One, Star Trek, Jurassic World, Zootopia and countless other movies (including the upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes and Spiderman: Homecoming). But as Leonard and Jessie can affirm, his talent is matched only by his enthusiasm and sense of humor. And you’ll never guess what he listens to when he’s driving around L.A.!
Christopher Meloni is an incredibly busy guy: he’s playing comedy on the big screen in Snatched while costarring on Underground and a new season of Hot Wet American Summer on TV. Then there are those Law & Order: SVU reruns. Leonard and Jessie learn why he works so hard: he loves what he does. Although he’s completely down-to-earth, Christopher is quite eloquent about what acting has meant to him. You’ll come away impressed…and you’ll even learn how he wound up in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.