Lots of baby boomers read comic books, but only one pursued his love of comics so far that he wound up buying the screen rights to Batman. It took ten years for Michael Uslan to get that first movie made, with Tim Burton behind the camera and Michael Keaton in front, but it was a game-changer for Hollywood. Michael has told his life story in a book, The Boy Who Loved Batman, and now it’s going to be a Broadway show! During the recording of this conversation Jessie realized that Michael and Leonard must have inhabited the same space at one time years ago. Listen in and you’ll learn the answer.
If you’re casting an unconventional character and you need someone the audience will relate to—no matter how strange his story—you might want to call on Paul Walter Hauser. Clint Eastwood did for the leading role in his movie Richard Jewell, Craig Gillespie did for I, Tonya, and Dennis Lehane did for the current Apple+ series Black Bird. (Spike Lee has used him twice—in Blackklansman and Da 5 Bloods.) Jessie has been a fan since the TV series Kingdom, and Leonard is still catching up with this gifted performer’s work.
Annette O’Toole’s first professional job was dancing with Danny Kaye on his network TV show… and she hasn’t stopped performing since. She’s about to film the fifth season of the Netflix series Virgin River and is brimming with enthusiasm for it. Her credits include six years as Ma Kent on Smallville, an Emmy nomination for playing Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy in The Kennedys of Massachusetts, and an Oscar nomination for the song “A Smile at the End of the Rainbow” from Christopher Guest’s A Mighty Wind (which she wrote with her husband Michael McKean). Leonard and Jessie love talking to people like Annette who love what they do—and are so very good at it.
Dennis Lehane is the best-selling author of Boston-based crime novels that have translated well to film (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone). His first experience with television was on The Wire, a great show that helped inform his new six-part series called Black Birds, which debuts Friday, July 8 on Apple+. It’s an incredibly gripping drama and Lehane is happy to talk about it with Leonard and Jessie. You’ll learn about the importance of casting not just the leading roles (Taron Egerton, Paul Walter Hauser, Ray Liotta) but every person who appears on camera.
Leonard and Jessie are unapologetic proselytizers for the new theatrical feature Marcel the Shell With Shoes On. This disarming feature is an outgrowth of a short Fleischer-Camp created with his partner, actor/comedian/filmmaker Jenny Slate that went viral back in 2010 when that was uncommon. Dean explains how he and Jenny dealt with that phenomenon and tried to protect their precious character, who emerges triumphant in this charming and surprisingly emotional film. If you’d like to hear our 2017 conversation with Jenny, just click HERE. https://maltinonmovies.libsyn.