Three-time Oscar winner John Dykstra may go down in history as the man who devised the Light Saber for Star Wars, but that’s just one achievement in a lengthy career in visual effects. In fact, he helped usher in the modern era of fx and has adapted to digital sleight-of-hand…but he misses the scrappy days when he built actual models and then blew them up! His credits range from Spider-man and Stuart Little to Quentin Tarantino’s last four films. Best of all, from Leonard and Jessie’s point of view, he has retained his youthful enthusiasm and is exceptionally articulate about his work.
With films ranging from The Shawshank Redemption to Starship Troopers and recent TV appearances on The Mandalorian, Emergence, Billions, and The Crown (as LBJ), Clancy Brown is the living definition of a “working actor.” He’s also been the voice of Mr. Krabs on Spongebob Squarepants for more than twenty years! Leonard and Jessie have been after him for many months to appear on the podcast and finally found a day he wasn’t on a soundstage; it was well worth the wait.
Craig Ferguson is one of the funniest men on the planet, as he proves yet again in his multi-episode web series Hobo Fabulous, a hybrid of stand-up comedy and documentary on the Comedy Dynamics network. It’s no surprise that the former late-night host is a master of conversation, leaving Leonard and Jessie to marvel at his rapid-fire mind. He has significant film credits, as well, not the least being his voice-over work in the How to Train Your Dragon animated features. Be sure to listen if you’re in need of cathartic laughter.
Actor, musician, director, renaissance man: Peter Weller is all of these, but he’s best remembered as the star of RoboCop. He’s also a fascinating conversationalist, as Leonard and Jessie were delighted to learn, with stories about such luminaries as Mike Nichols and Otto Preminger.
Actor, stand-up comic, filmmaker, pioneer podcaster—Kevin Pollak wears many hats, but he’s overwhelmed by the response he’s now enjoying for his supporting role on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. A natural comedian from childhood, he has parlayed his gift for mimicry (and solid acting instincts) into an enduring screen career. Leonard and Jessie are longtime fans and enjoyed spending time with him, even egging him on to do some of his uncanny impressions.
Greta Gerwig is riding high on the rave reviews and Oscar nominations for her heartfelt adaptation of Little Women (still playing in theaters). In the midst of awards-season chaos she found time to spend an hour with Leonard and Jessie, to talk about her ever-expanding career—which also includes being mother to an adorable toddler. For a high-profile actress and filmmaker she is refreshingly straightforward about her accomplishments, and extremely likable to boot.
The one and only Alice Maltin makes a long-awaited return to the podcast to share her thoughts about awards season and the past year in movies and television. She’s the real critic in the family—and still Leonard’s favorite moviegoing companion. Leonard and Jessie compare notes with her on films they’ve loved and TV shows that have captured their attention. They don’t always agree 100%, but that’s what makes for good conversation.
If you wonder how Netflix became the colossus it is today, meet Ted Sarandos, its chief content officer. He’s been there twenty years and set in place the machinery that’s attracted Martin Scorsese, Alfonso Cuarón, Eddie Murphy and other A-listers. Leonard and Jessie wanted to know more about the man behind the curtain and Ted traced his personal saga, from video store manager to the most powerful man in Hollywood. It’s quite a story!
Costume designer Sandy Powell has been nominated for 12 Oscars and won three. Christopher Peterson earned an Emmy nomination for Boardwalk Empire. Together they designed the clothing for Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman—for the stars as well as the extras, covering several decades. Leonard and Jessie were fascinated to hear their experience on this massive endeavor and their impressions of Scorsese, who appreciates what the right wardrobe can do for his film—and his actors.