Legendary film critic Leonard Maltin and his daughter Jessie are the ultimate movie fans. They love talking about movies, especially with people who share their enthusiasm—from living legends like Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, and Quincy Jones to such contemporary artists as Amy Adams, Viggo Mortensen, Laura Dern, and Bryan Cranston. You’ll meet all kinds of interesting people and hear their recommendations of unsung movies you ought to know.
Alan Tudyk is a gifted actor and a familiar face who achieved cult status as a costar of Joss Whedon’s Firefly and its follow-up feature-film Serenity…but he’s also become the man of a thousand voices. If you’ve seen Wreck-it Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6, or even Rogue One: A Star Wars Story you’ve heard his facility with accents, dialects, and the ability to embody colorful characters. He also stars in one of Leonard and Jessie’s favorite unsung movies, Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil. Alan is only too happy to demonstrate his vocal talents during our hilarious interview. Angelenos can currently see him onstage in Mysterious Circumstances at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood.
Tracy Nelson made a deep impression on a youthful audience in the 1980s TV series Square Pegs and is still acting today. She’s also part of show business royalty: her father was Ricky Nelson, her grandparents were Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, and her maternal grandparents were football star-turned-sportscaster Tom Harmon and leading lady Elyse Knox. (Yes, that means her cousin is Mark Harmon.) Tracy is proud of her heritage and Leonard and Jessie were only too eager to soak up all that history
Alexander Payne is one of the brightest lights in American filmmaking, a brilliant social satirist and observer with Citizen Ruth, Election, About Schmidt, Sideways, The Descendants, Nebraska and Downsizing among his credits as director and writer (usually with his longtime collaborator Jim Taylor). He started, as Leonard did, by collecting 8mm prints of silent comedies with Charlie Chaplin, and has never lost his passion for cinema, as you’ll hear in this compelling conversation with Leonard and Jessie.
Jeff Ross is best known as the Roastmaster General, reigning king of insult humor, but there’s much more to this talented comedian. Leonard and Jessie met him in 2005 when he made a terrific documentary called Patriot Act: A Jeffrey Ross Home Movie about entertaining our troops in Iraq. Now he’s acting on the new season of Sneaky Pete and using his producing skills—and sense of showmanship—to introduce a new series on Comedy Central called Historical Roasts. He’s a smart guy who has earned every bit of his success. Be aware that this episode includes some raunchy and highly irreverent remarks.
Americans first became aware of Jacki Weaver when she played the matriarch of a crime family in the Aussie import Animal Kingdom in 2010. Her chilling performance earned her an Oscar nomination and “overnight” recognition outside her homeland, where she’s been working on stage, screen and television for decades. She nabbed another Academy Award nomination as Robert De Niro’s wife in Silver Linings Playbook and hasn’t had an idle moment since. Her newest release is POMS with Diane Keaton. Leonard and Jessie were delighted to spend an hour in the company of this bright, spirited woman who’s enjoying life to the fullest.
Had Don Hahn just produced Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King he’d have earned a place in movie history—and our hearts. But over several decades he’s done so much more: writing books (like Before Ever After and Yesterday’s Tomorrow: Disney’s Magical Mid-Century), directing documentaries (like Waking Sleeping Beauty) and keeping Disney history alive. Not bad for a guy who started out as a messenger on the Burbank studio lot. Don is self-deprecating and funny but his love for Disney is true-blue, as Leonard and Jessie can attest.
Angie Dickinson has lived an amazing life--and she’s far from done. Knowing and working with the likes of Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, and John F. Kennedy is just a starting point for our candid, wide-ranging discussion with the ageless actress. From a beauty pageant winner she worked her way up to leading lady and never missed a beat. Leonard and Jessie sat, wide-eyed, at her well-worn professional poker table for this memorable episode.
Dave Foley is a busy comedic actor and stand-up performer, but even after thirty years is still cherished as one of the Kids in the Hall. That rowdy comedy troupe made a lasting impression, as did Dave’s five-year stint on the much-loved TV series, Newsradio. Our guest has yet another indelible claim to fame as the voice of Flik in Pixar’s A Bug’s Life. Leonard and Jessie were delighted to learn that Dave is also a student of comedy, past and present, which allowed all three to geek out together on their favorite topic.
Kevin Brownlow is the superhero of film historians, with an Oscar to prove it. Now you can hear his “origin story.” Fifty years ago his book The Parade’s Gone By offered a vivid portrait of the silent film era and its glories, influencing a generation of movie buffs and scholars (including Leonard). He held Leonard and Jessie spellbound as he recalled his first encounters with this medium and how he tracked down actors and directors who were still alive to tell their stories. Kevin’s own career is the stuff of legend by now, and we’re delighted that he was willing to share some of his amazing adventures with us.
You probably know Kate Flannery as Meredith, the resident drunk who made a lasting impression over nine seasons on The Office, but she’s had the show-business bug all her life. She now tours the country with Jane Lynch, singing her heart out, and keeps her comedy chops honed in an act called The Lampshades. Leonard and Jessie were among the people she waited on at a popular Beverly Hills restaurant where she had the chance to observe good and bad behavior among the Hollywood elite. Kate’s got great stories—and a wonderful laugh.
Paula Poundstone is one of the funniest women on the planet, and a longtime favorite of Leonard’s. She’s heard regularly as a panelist on the popular NPR show Wait…Wait, Don’t Tell Me and now presides over her own very funny podcast quixotically called Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone (co-hosted by Adam Felber). Join us as she expounds on everyday matters, the wide net she casts on her new “comedy field guide to life” and—oh, yes—movies.
Heyyyy… it’s Henry Winkler, the nicest man in show business. He’ll always be remembered as the Fonz but he has a new feather in his cap: an Emmy Award (his first!) for playing Bill Hader’s acting teacher on the delightfully dark HBO comedy series Barry. Henry is also a masterful storyteller and held Leonard and Jessie in rapt attention, recalling early days working with Sylvester Stallone in The Lordz of Flatbush and, more recently, writing a series of popular children’s books about a boy with dyslexia (like Henry) named Hank Zipzer. He has a way of putting people at ease and this hour flies by.
Winnie Holzman and Paul Dooley are an amazing show-business couple. She created the TV series My So-Called Life and wrote the book for the Broadway musical Wicked, just for starters. He’s acted in every medium known to mankind, was a favorite of director Robert Altman, created The Electric Company and is currently playing James Brolin’s “father from Hell” on the TV series Life in Pieces—in his 90th year. They’re wonderful to watch (and listen to) because they love and support each other so beautifully. Leonard and Jessie have been fans for years and are eager to share their infectious good spirits with all of you.
Marc Maron has nothing to prove as a stand-up comic or as a podcaster, but he’s still stretching his wings as an actor. He’s terrific in director Lynn Shelton’s entertaining new movie Sword of Trust, which just debuted at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. That’s where Leonard and Jessie talked to them both before an enthusiastic audience at Esther’s Follies. Lynn explains how she combines scripted material and improvisation. Marc is in top form and that’s about as good as it gets! Fair warning: you’ll hear more f-bombs than usual in this episode.
Harvey Guillen is about to make waves! He’s one of the stars of What We do in the Shadows, the new FX series based on the hilarious Kiwi movie that debuts this weekend at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. Jessie has known Harvey since they were teenagers. She and Leonard have watched with awe as he has built a solid career by a combination of talent and hard work. Hearing his story of starting from scratch as a kid and earning his success is positively inspiring.
You probably know him best as the star of TV’s Psych, or you’re watching him on the new series A Million Little Things. But James Roday has a solid background in theater and has earned his wings as a writer and director. His newest project is called Treehouse, a segment of Hulu’s horror anthology Into the Dark that debuts tonight. Leonard and Jessie were charmed by this quietly funny guy who is as thoughtful as he is talented.
This fast-paced episode might be titled “The Young Brad Bird Chronicles,” as the director of The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Oscar nominee forThe Incredibles II tells us about his first visit to the Disney studio—at the age of 11. He returned three years later with a home-made animated cartoon, and eventually he was mentored there by legendary animator Milt Kahl. He wound up pitching ideas to Steven Spielberg and helping create the look of The Simpsons before moving to Pixar and beyond. Brad’s energy is infectious, and Leonard and Jessie can’t wait to share their conversation.
She is an actor, artist, writer and animator. He is an actor, comedian and writer. You may recognize Jonah Ray and Deanna Rooney from the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 revival. Los Angeles residents may know Jonah best as the longtime host (with Kumail Nanjiani) of The Meltdown, a weekly showcase that was home to every top stand up comedian in the country (and eventually became a tv show that aired on Comedy Central.) Together they make a fun and fascinating couple.
Dale Dickey is another of those valuable character actresses who makes every film and TV show better—like Leave No Trace, which reunited her with director Debra Granik, who cast her so memorably in Winter’s Bone opposite Jennifer Lawrence. You’ve seen her in Hell or High Water, Breaking Bad, True Blood, I Am the Night—any film or TV show that needs someone unquestionably real. Leonard and Jessie are fans and enjoyed getting to know Dale, who left Tennessee to make her way in show business. Her memory of meeting Jack Nicholson for the first time on the set of The Pledge is just one highlight.
Mitzi Gaynor was just a teenager when she came to Hollywood. She wound up starring with Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe, dancing with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor, and headlining The Ed Sullivan Show with The Beatles. Her movies include There’s No Business Like Show Business, Les Girls and South Pacific—and that’s just a fraction of her career. How many people can say they worked with Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hammerstein? Leonard and Jessie had great fun with this playful, ever-youthful woman who caught the tail end of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
He’s one of those actors you know and value even if you don’t know his name. Shea Whigham is an asset to every film and TV show he’s in, from Boardwalk Empire to True Detective, American Hustle to The Wolf of Wall Street. He’s not accustomed to talking about himself, but Leonard and Jessie are longtime fans and he obliged us with perceptive stories about breaking into show business and working with master filmmakers like Martin Scorsese. Once you get to know him you’ll want to watch how much he brings to such current films as The First Man and Vice.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller are the hottest team in Hollywood with Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse earning awards, box-office bucks and rave reviews. There’s even Oscar buzz surrounding their ground-breaking animated feature. But these longtime best friends have never rested on their laurels, from the moment they made their first short subjects in college through their baptism of fire as sitcom writers. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs established them in the animation world and The Lego Movie cemented their reputation as innovators who think WAY outside the box. Leonard and Jessie had a great time talking to this awesome duo.
Willem Dafoe is that rare actor who can appear in a blockbuster like Aquaman at the same time he’s starring in a cerebral biopic about Vincent Van Gogh, At Eternity’s Edge. He’s open to all kinds of experiences, contributing voices to Finding Nemo and The Fantastic Mr. Fox and working with a cast of first-time actors in last year’s knockout The Florida Project, which earned him his third Oscar nomination. Leonard and Jessie wondered what drew him to acting in the first place, and learned why he loves taking on challenges in his work. Listen along to one of the most compelling and versatile actors on the planet.
Creating, executive producing, and writing The Big Bang Theory would be enough for most people’s résumés, but Bill Prady is not a one-hit wonder. He spent many years working with the Muppets, and wrote their unforgettable Disney theme park attractions Muppet*Vision 3D and Honey I Shrunk the Audience. He also spent years writing and producing such shows as Caroline in the City, Dharma & Greg and Gilmore Girls. Beyond his credits, Bill is a pop culture guru and a delightful conversationalist, as Leonard and Jessie quickly discovered. No 3-D glasses are required to enjoy this episode.
Most Americans encountered British actor Ben Barnes for the first time as Prince Caspian in the Chronicles of Narnia series. He’s been working ever since, as viewers of The Punisher and Westworld can attest. What Leonard and Jessie didn’t know was that he’s a talented musician, which he tries to incorporate into his roles, and that he loves doing accents—rarely playing an Englishman. He’s intelligent, funny, forthcoming and a real charmer, as you’ll hear for yourself.
He gained fame for his stunt casting as the Winklevoss Twins in The Social Network, but he’s earned respect for his talent in such films as Nocturnal Animals, Call Me By Your Name, and Sorry to Bother You. He can currently be seen opposite Felicity Jones in On the Basis of Sex. But with all that, and a notable family history, Armie Hammer is charming, articulate, and cheerfully self-deprecating. Leonard and Jessie had fun talking to him at this year’s SCAD Savannah Film Festival.
At the age of 21, Chloe Grace Moretz is a show-business veteran, having worked professionally since the age of 5. When she was 19, she lost her sense of identity and walked away from her career, with the blessings of her business manager (who happens to be her brother). She is incredibly articulate, and doesn’t take herself or her profession too seriously… yet she can wax poetic about the many characters she’s played, in films like Kick-Ass, Hugo, Dark Shadows, Let Me In, and Carrie. You can see her now in Suspiria and The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Leonard and Jessie interviewed her at the SCAD Savannah Film Festival and had a ball, hearing stories about Tim Burton, Julianne Moore, and Martin Scorsese, among others. We think you’ll enjoy listening in.
The little boy who scored such a success in the original Jurassic Park is all grown up now—and playing Freddie Mercury’s British bandmate John Deacon in Bohemian Rhapsody. Jurassic costar Richard Attenborough was so impressed with his young costar that he cast him in his moving drama Shadowlands. Director Steven Spielberg liked him so much that he wrote a letter of recommendation when Joe wanted to learn filmmaking at USC. Leonard and Jessie weren’t immune to his charms, either. He’s a bright young man who has his feet on the ground as he forges the next chapter of his rather remarkable career. He offers straight talk with a smile on his face, which is pretty hard to resist.
Most people remember Topher Grace from his star-making role on the popular comedy series That 70’s Show, but this year he showed us a darker side playing KKK kingpin David Duke in Spike Lee’s Blackklansman. Not that he hasn’t been serious before—in Traffic and Spider-man 3, to name just two examples. Leonard and Jessie were delighted to find an engaging interviewee with a wealth of experiences in show business—and a wonderful way of talking about them.
Angela Lansbury sailed away from war-torn England when she was 15, earned two Oscar nominations before she was 20, and is still going strong at the age of 93. She’s as bright and thoughtful as ever, discussing her amazing stage and screen career on both sides of the Pond. Whether you love her as Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote, or as the voice of Mrs. Potts in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, you’ll be captivated by the conversation Leonard and Jessie had with Dame Angela in her Los Angeles home.
From college grad student to director of Creed and Black Panther in a short span of time, Ryan Coogler has kept his feet on the ground. He relies on his wife Zinzi Evans and former USC classmates who form the core of his working team. From his debut feature, Fruitvale Station, through his latest box-office smash, he has found ways to make each film personal to his own experience. Leonard and Jessie are unabashed boosters of this talented filmmaker and loved having a quiet, intimate conversation with him amidst award season tumult.
He’s won five Emmy Awards and is a longtime radio host and political pundit. But guess what? Dennis Miller is also a diehard film buff who revels in watching Turner Classic Movies. Jessie was blown away as Leonard and Dennis started comparing notes on favorite films and the people in them. He’s the same sharp-witted comic he’s always been, but this time the focus is on movies. Excelsior!
At 96 it’s fair to call Norman Lear a living legend. He gave birth to such TV series as All in the Family, Maude, and The Jeffersons. Instead of living in the past he’s reinventing it, supervising a reboot of One Day at a Time, just for starters. He’s worked in television since 1950, but no one seems to talk to him about the movies he wrote, produced, and/or directed, like Cold Turkey or those for which he was a midwife (like The Princess Bride). Leonard and Jessie relished spending time with this highly amusing, soft-spoken giant—even when he fielded a cell phone call from a political fundraiser in the midst of our interview!
We’ve watched Michael Angarano grow up on screen; he’s been acting since the age of 5. He worked with Meryl Streep at age 12 (in Music of the Heart), got to improvise with Frances McDormand in Almost Famous at 13, then joined the cast of Will & Grace as Sean Hayes’ son in his early 20s. He’s a likable, unpretentious guy who credits his family for helping him navigate the often-treacherous waters of show-business. Jessie and Leonard had a great time talking with him about his youthful experiences and more recent successes like a running part in The Knick. Coming soon: his debut as writer and director.
The world-class filmmaker with the distinctive voice is our esteemed guest today. He’s not intimidating—quite the opposite—as he describes his early life, what drew him to filmmaking, and how he teaches students by throwing them in the deep end of the pool, so to speak. His passion is undiminished after more than fifty years of memorable, provocative films, most recently a series of fascinating documentaries like Grizzly Man and Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Leonard and Jessie were more than happy to sit at the great man’s feet and listen to him discuss his extraordinary life as a moviemaker.
He’s playing a hero in The Predator right now, but Boyd Holbrook has been a chameleon-like presence in TV shows and movies like Narcos, The Big C, Gone Girl, A Walk Among the Tombstones, and Logan, just for starters. Along the way he’s had valuable experiences with Gus Van Sant, Liam Neeson, and a host of others. Leonard and Jessie were so impressed by his stories, candor, and genuine passion for all things expressive and artistic.
Get ready to meet a new Jonah Hill—a serious writer-director who has poured his heart and soul into his debut feature film, mid90s, which is playing the festival circuit and opens in theaters in late October. After several years of writing and research (and input from such august filmmakers as Martin Scorsese), he is unveiling his “baby” to the moviegoing public. That’s what brought him to Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas where Leonard and Jessie spoke to him before a live audience. Just as he progressed from broad comedy to Oscar-nominated performances onscreen, he’s tackling something new and exciting in this latest adventure.
Still hale and hearty at 103, Norman Lloyd is one of the few men on the planet who can speak first-hand about Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Martin Scorsese…and even Amy Schumer. (He was in Trainwreck.) He set out to be an actor, and earned immortality as the man who dangles from the Statue of Liberty in Hitchcock’s Saboteur but proved to be even more useful behind the scenes, ultimately becoming a producer on his weekly television series. If you watched TV in the 1980s you probably saw him as Dr. Auschlander on St. Elsewhere. He has been a fixture in show business for ninety years and shows little sign of slowing down. He held Leonard and Jessie in his grip and it’s likely you, too, will fall under his spell.
Not since Norman Lear has one man had an impact on television comedy as great as Chuck Lorre. He has created, co-created, or produced and written such long-running hits as The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Dharma and Greg, Mike and Molly, and Young Sheldon, to name just a few. Leonard and Jessie found him to be candid in discussing the nuts and bolts of steering these wildly popular series. If you like smart TV, chances are you’re watching at least one of his shows. Now you can hear from the man behind the curtain.
Scion of a multi-generational show business family (and the youngest of five siblings), David Arquette has worked as an actor, writer, director, and producer. Listeners of a certain age will always associate him with the Scream series. He won Leonard and Jessie’s heart with an impromptu pantomime performance he gave at a recent Buster Keaton-related ceremony. David is a delightful conversationalist, recounting show business lore and reviewing his own wide-ranging career.
A free spirit and a formidable talent, Catherine Hardwicke started out as a production designer, working with some of the top directors in the business (Richard Linklater, David O. Russell, Cameron Crowe) before taking the plunge herself. Her debut film was the impressive Thirteen, which she wrote with costar Nikki Reed. Since then she’s made all kinds of movies, from personal projects like Lords of Dogtown to the smash hit Twilight. Leonard and Jessie loved talking to this creative, outgoing woman and learning about her journey.
Floyd Norman is an official Disney Legend, and so much more: Walt Disney’s first full-time African-American animator, a contributor to such films as Sleeping Beauty and The Jungle Book, a disciple of Disney’s legendary Nine Old Men, and a story man on such Pixar features as Toy Story 2 and Monsters Inc. What’s more, as Leonard and Jessie have learned, he’s a naturally funny man, a great storyteller, and a sweetheart of a guy with an irreverent sense of humor. He’s even the subject of a first-class documentary called Floyd Norman: An Animated Life. Tune in for some great anecdotes and first-hand memories of Walt Disney. Recorded live at That’s from Disneyland, courtesy of its creators Richard and Nicky Kraft
If you’re a certain age, you probably first saw Peter Facinelli in films like Can’t Hardly Wait and Dancer, Tex. Pop. 81. A decade later he won even more fans as Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the phenomenally popular Twilight movies. He spent seven seasons as another medico, Dr. Cooper, on the TV series Nurse Jackie. Now he’s making his feature directorial debut with Breaking and Exiting, playing in theaters and on VOD beginning today. Leonard and Jessie learn that he’s an actor who loves a challenge, and is proud of his Italian roots (especially his mother’s cooking).
A likable actor with excellent bloodlines, Colin Hanks has built a busy career for himself in such films as Orange County, King Kong, W. and TV series like Roswell, The Good Guys, Fargo and the current Life in Pieces. Now he’s exploring new avenues as a documentarian with two first-rate features under his belt: Tower Records: All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records and Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends). What’s more, he’s a great conversationalist, as Leonard and Jessie learn in this latest episode.
Director and film buff extraordinaire Joe Dante and Leonard go back a long, long time—to their teens, in fact—and enjoy swapping stories about early inspirations, moviegoing adventures in New York City, Joe’s move to Hollywood, his first big breaks, and events leading up to casting Leonard as himself in Gremlins 2: The New Batch. Jessie learns some things she never knew before in this entertaining episode.
RZA is a hip-hop icon, music producer, actor and director. Leonard and Jessie sat down with him at the San Diego Comic-con to discuss his upcoming heist movie Cut Throat City (set in New Orleans during the chaos of Katrina) with two of his talented cast members. Articulate and fun to talk to, RZA’s enthusiasm is infectious. It’s easy to see how a cast and crew would respond to him. Jessie and Leonard flesh out their interview with observations on that one-of-a-kind event known as Comic-con.
Kelly Macdonald became an overnight sensation when she made a memorable screen debut in Trainspotting some twenty years ago. She hasn’t looked back since, doing exceptional work in such films as Gosford Park, Nanny McPhee, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and as the voice of Merida in Pixar’s Brave. Her newest film, Puzzle, gives her a rare leading role and a great showcase for her talent. Leonard and Jessie are unabashed fans and were delighted to find Kelly as unpretentious and fun to talk to as they hoped.
If you remember Bobcat Goldthwait’s “extreme” standup-comedy persona, it might be difficult to reconcile with his career as a prolific TV and movie director. He’s made some great films like World’s Greatest Dad with his pal Robin Williams, and Call Me Lucky, a compelling documentary about one of his mentors, comedian-turned-activist Barry Crimmins. Now he’s presiding over an unpredictable anthology series on TruTV called Bobcat Goldthwait’s Misfits & Monsters. Leonard and Jessie were delighted to meet the real guy behind the comic mask and the creative force behind so many interesting TV and movie projects.
With two drama teachers for parents it isn’t surprising that Logan Marshall-Green grew up in and around the theater. But it was television shows like 24 and The O.C. that got him noticed, and the small screen has continued to offer him great opportunities, as in Quarry and Damnation. He’s just as effective in movies like Prometheus, The Invitation, Spider-man: Homecoming and the current release Upgrade. Logan is articulate and charming, as Leonard and Jessie were happy to discover in their animated conversation.
Paul Williams is a master storyteller: Oscar and multiple-Grammy winner, actor, hit-maker, composer of everything from “The Love Boat” theme to the immortal “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie. He’s as busy as ever, costarring in this season of Goliath with Billy Bob Thornton and serving as president of ASCAP, the performers’ rights organization. He’s also a raconteur, and you’ll hear about everything from Orson Welles to Phantom of the Paradise. Leonard and Jessie are still recovering from the experience of spending time with this exceptional man.
Mia Wasikowska became an instant star in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland eight years ago and hasn’t stopped working since—in a variety of challenging and rewarding parts. Among her credits: The Kids are All Right, Jane Eyre, Only Lovers Left Alive, the underrated Tracks, and Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak. Her latest, now playing in theaters, is Damsel, costarring Robert Pattinson. Leonard and Jessie had a great time talking to this talented actress and budding director. She loves her work and doesn’t take herself too seriously. By the way, she still calls Australia home.
Jessie and a friend needed cheering up one evening and watching the lighthearted girlfriend comedy Ibiza on Netflix was just the ticket. Gillian Jacobs, of Community, Girls and Love joins us for a buoyant conversation with the film’s writer (Lauryn Kahn) and director (Alex Richanbach ), both veterans of sketch comedy and Funny or Die. Their enthusiasm and team spirit are engaging and inspiring, as you’ll hear for yourself.
In honor of Fathers’ Day, Leonard and Jessie invited another father-daughter duo: seven-time Oscar winner Rick Baker, master of makeup whose credits range from The Exorcist and Star Wars to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and his daughter Veronica, who grew up in a kind of wonderland and is now pursuing her own creative ideas at D.C. Rick’s stories of getting started and finding the right mentors are inspiring and fun to hear…along with Veronica’s memories of growing up Baker (especially on Halloween).
With over 7.4 million subscribers and over 2.1 billion views, the CinemaSins (comprised of Barrett Share, Jeremy Scott and Chris Atkinson) have carved out a substantial niche for themselves on YouTube and in the Twitterverse reminding folks that “No Movie is Without Sin.” They’re devoted cinephiles and some of he nicest guys around. Leonard and Jessie got to hang out with them in their hometown of Nashville (and record an episode of their podcast). It’s our very first crossover! Their podcast is called Sincast presented by CinemaSins, you can listen to the episode we recorded with them HERE
Chaz Ebert is a force to be reckoned with. A strong, loving partner to her late husband Roger, she maintains his website rogerebert.com as well as his annual film festival, now known as Ebertfest, in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. That’s where Leonard and Jessie persuaded her to play hooky for an hour of candid and uplifting conversation.
If she didn’t catch your eye in The Tudors, where she played Anne Boleyn, or the last two Hunger Games movies, you likely know Natalie Dormer from her four-year run as Margaery Tyrell in Game of Thrones. Now, this talented actress has made her writing and producing debut on a film called In Darkness. She also plays the starring role! As if that isn’t enough, she’s the lead in the new miniseries remake of Picnic at Hanging Rock. Leonard and Jessie are glad she found time to chat for an hour: she’s articulate and amusing, as you will hear for yourself.
The Duplass Brothers have become a valued brand name as writers, producers, directors, actors and now authors, with an outstanding new book called Like Brothers. Mark discusses the intimacy of his relationship with his older sibling, the perils of collaboration, and the often painful lessons he and Jay learned on their way to achieving their goal: complete independence. Leonard and Jessie interviewed him in the attic of their headquarters, a spacious four-story house where they have shot and edited movies, while giving a helping hand to young up-and-comers who deserve a break.
Alia Shawkat has been acting since she was 9 years old, but when she worked with director Miguel Arteta on the sleeper Cedar Rapids he sensed that she had things to say and suggested they collaborate on a screenplay. The resulting film, Duck Butter, is now available on demand. Leonard and Jessie explore their careers in film and television, from Alia’s long-running role in Arrested Development to Miguel’s exceptional films like The Good Girl and Beatriz at Dinner in this free-flowing, candid conversation.
Ashley Bell, John Michael McCarthy III, and Roddy Tabatabai
Actress (and long-ago schoolmate of Jessie’s) Ashley Bell has made an impressive directorial debut with Love & Bananas. It’s a fascinating documentary about elephant rescue in Southeast Asia, made with the cooperation of a remarkable woman named Lek Chailert. She is the Mother Theresa of pachyderms, a miracle worker you really ought to meet. Ashley and her team join Leonard and Jessie for a dynamic discussion of their film, which is now playing in theaters. Check their website atwww.loveandbananas.com and learn more at www.changeforbalance.com.
Since Americans discovered him in Bridesmaids Chris O’Dowd has enjoyed a busy trans-Atlantic career, appearing on such popular shows as Girls here and Moone Boy (which he created) in England. His fans across the pond already knew how funny he was from the hilarious sitcom The IT Crowd. By now it’s no secret that he is equally at home in comedy and drama, like the new indie release Love After Love with Andie McDowell. Leonard and Jessie enjoyed Chris’ wit and charm as they discussed his multifaceted career.
Stand-up comic, actor, voiceover specialist, author…Patton Oswalt wears many hats and wears them well. Whether you know him from The King of Queens or Ratatouille, a video game, solo comedy special or a cartoon series, he’s always sharp-minded and original. He’s also a great conversationalist, which made an hour fly by for Leonard and Jessie. (This episode was recorded before the recent revelation that his late wife’s true-crime book I’ll Be Gone in the Dark led to the arrest of a serial killer who terrorized the San Francisco Bay area for more than a decade.)
Jim Gaffigan is one of the most successful and best liked comedians in the country. He’s also a best-selling author and moonlights as an actor. Leonard and Jessie discover that acting was always on his agenda in this conversation recorded at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Listen as he engages a live audience without seeming to lift a finger. That’s a great comic talent.
Jon Hamm was so good on television’s Mad Men that some people still associate him with the enigmatic character he played, Don Draper. But he’s shown his versatility in a number of interesting films (like the new release Beirut) and revealed his flair for comedy, even hosting Saturday Night Live. He’s fun to talk to, as Leonard and Jessie can confirm—serious when the subject demands it and gloriously goofy when the mood strikes him. In other words, a perfect guest.
Whether you know him from MadTV, The Mindy Project, or movies like Neighbors, it’s likely that Ike Barinholtz has made an impression on you: he’s a naturally funny guy who projects sweetness and goofiness in equal measure. He costars in the new theatrical release Blockers, which gives him another chance to show his human side along with his comedy chops. Leonard and Jessie had a good time talking to Ike as he checked his iPhone to see if his wife was about to give birth to their third child! (She considerately held off until we finished recording.)
Al Pacino—yes, Al Pacino—spends an hour with Leonard and Jessie talking about the theatrical release of his long-delayed film of Salome(featuring a young Jessica Chastain) and its accompanying documentary Wilde Salome. If you also want to hear what challenges him as an actor…or stories about the making of The Godfather, Dog Day Afternoon, and other classics of American film, you won’t be disappointed. Hey, it’s AL PACINO!
One of the funniest performers around, Bill Hader is also a movie savant, as knowledgeable as he is enthusiastic. Now he’s starring in an HBO series called Barry that allows him to fulfill a lifelong dream to direct. Leonard and Jessie interviewed him in front of a live audience at South by Southwest and had a ball, as you will tuning in.
An overnight success in films like The Faculty and Halloween H20, Josh Hartnett has moved beyond being a teen heartthrob and proved that he’s a long-distance runner. He’s worked on Broadway and London’s West End and is choosing interesting film projects like the indie Oh Lucy! that’s now playing in theaters. Incredibly bright (and likable), he shares stories of working with everyone from Warren Beatty to Harrison Ford in this enjoyable chat with Leonard and Jessie. We even talked about our mutual interest in jazz.
Jimmi Simpson has carved a niche for himself as a young character actor who doesn’t shy away from playing weird, wacky parts. You may remember him as Lyle the Intern with David Letterman, or that guy on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. You may be watching him right now on Westworld or Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. The only thing his portrayals have in common is that they are memorable. Leonard and Jessie discover the bright, articulate man behind these “out-there” characters in a lively and engaging conversation.
Pete Hammond is the must-read columnist for Deadline Hollywood and the best Oscar handicapper in town. He’s also Leonard’s pal, since their days together at Entertainment Tonight, and Jessie’s godfather. He hosts screening series and more q&a panels than anyone can count. How did a lifelong movie fan carve this kind of career for himself? Listen and see how passion, knowledge and determination can spell success. In a business where bad behavior gets headlines, Pete is truly one of the Good Guys. Stay tuned and you’ll hear his predictions for this year’s Academy Awards.
Jordan Peele proved himself a brilliant sketch comedian long ago, but he’s made a remarkable transition to Oscar-nominated filmmaker with his knockout debut feature Get Out. Soft-spoken, articulate and admittedly shy, he is pursuing a lifelong dream of making movies—the kind that inspired him when he was young. Leonard and Jessie are delighted to have him as a guest in the final run-up to the Academy Awards.
The Emmy-winning creator of Everybody Loves Raymond is a pretty lovable guy himself. Phil Rosenthal is a writer, producer, author, and host of an irresistible Netflix series called Somebody Feed Phil in which he travels the globe bonding with people over food. Leonard and Jessie share his enthusiasm for that subject, but he’s also a major movie buff (with particular fondness for Stanley Kubrick) and a delightful guest.
We’ve all been watching and enjoying Dylan McDermott for years. In the hilarious new Fox TV series L.A. to Vegas he gets to exercise his comedy chops as Captain Dave and is having the time of his life. Leonard and Jessie are fans of the show and talk to him about it and other highlights of his rich career: being on Broadway in a Neil Simon hit for a solid year, working with Clint Eastwood, being directed by Jodie Foster, and much, much more.
The man who directed Superman (with Christopher Reeve), The Omen, Lethal Weapon, and The Goonies should need no introduction…but Richard Donner’s career began in theater and television and he has many great memories he’s happy to share. Is there anyone else who can say he directed episodes of Perry Mason, Get Smart, and Gilligan’s Island? Leonard and Jessie were happy to tap into his prodigious memory for an hour of wonderful anecdotes and observations.
The role of Gus in Breaking Bad (and its prequel, Better Caul Saul) has made Giancarlo Esposito world-famous, but he’s been acting since he was 8 years old—on Broadway, in films and television. Some of us first took notice of him in Spike Lee movies like Do the Right Thing and Mo’ Better Blues. His newest film, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, has just opened in theaters. He describes himself as a chameleon but as Leonard and Jessie learn, he is also an extraordinarily charismatic man with a refreshingly positive outlook on the acting profession.
The writers and directors of the new sleeper Small Town Crime pay a visit, following their costar Clifton Collins, Jr. last week. Ian and Eshom Nelms have such energy and enthusiasm it’s no wonder actors like John Hawkes, Anthony Anderson, and Danny Glover are willing to work with them…not to mention Octavia Spencer, who helped pull their new cast together. Leonard and Jessie find it heartening that genuinely nice, un-cynical guys like these can still get movies made. Small Town Crime opens in theaters today and is also available on VOD.
Clifton Collins Jr. costars in the new movie Small Town Crime and is featured on HBO’s Westworld, but his credits are all many and varied: major features like Traffic, Babel, Capote, and Star Trek, episodes of TV series like Alias and Ballers, and a memorable cameo in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. He draws inspiration from his grandfather, Pedro Gonzales Gonzales, a lifelong entertainer who was under personal contract to John Wayne. In this colorful and unpredictable conversation Leonard and Jessie learn how he prepares for a role and makes it his own.
Robert Patrick had to overcome his first great success as T-1000 in Terminator 2. It’s the only way people could picture him, at first. But he beat the stereotype and hasn’t stopped working since: in memorable roles like Johnny Cash’s father in Walk the Line and on such hit shows as The Sopranos, True Blood, and (currently) Scorpion. He’s played opposite Melissa McCarthy and been directed by Clint Eastwood. What hasn’the done? Leonard and Jessie have fun talking with Robert about his prolific career.
Pop culture guru, comedy and animation writer, Jack Kirby biographer, and all-around good guy Mark Evanier joins Leonard to talk about one of their favorite subjects: Laurel and Hardy. Having grown up watching Stan and Ollie on television every day, they find it hard to imagine a generation that doesn’t know and love the great comedy team. Perhaps they will inspire you to revisit, or introduce yourself to, this timeless duo.
Alonso Duralde, the savvy and articulate film critic for The Wrap, joins Leonard and Jessie for a survey of the movie year 2017. They don’t always agree, but Alonso makes his case for some films Jessie and Leonard don’t care for, and vice versa. As the author of the book Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas, our guest also weighs in on some of his favorite films of the season.
Bill Pullman is one of the most familiar faces in movies and TV—and one of the most welcome. To some, he’ll always be the kick-ass President in Independence Day. Others might name While You Were Sleeping or Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs. Leonard and Jessie run through his amazing résumé, right up through Sinner, Battle of the Sexes, and his latest movie, which opens today in theaters and Video on Demand: The Ballad of Lefty Brown. It’s a rare starring role for an actor who always delivers the goods. Try Mubi free for 30 days at mubi.com/maltin!
Stephen Chbosky is that rarity: a popular novelist who directed the screen version of his best-selling book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. He has now followed that success with a beautiful adaptation of R.J. Palacio’s Wonder. It won’t take long to figure out why he’s done so well: his enthusiasm is palpable, whether he’s talking about the moviemaking process or naming some of his favorite films for Leonard and Jessie. Try Mubi free for 30 days at mubi.com/maltin!
From the themes for The Rugrats and Pee-wee’s Playhouse to the score to Thor Ragnarok, Mark Mothersbaugh has composed the soundtrack of our lives for the past thirty years. The cofounder of Devo is a talented artist who never intended to make music a career. Now he builds his own fanciful instruments! Leonard and Jessie visited his studio to talk about music, movies, and his long collaboration with Wes Anderson, among other things. What fun! Try Mubi free for 30 days at mubi.com/maltin!
The man behind The Florida Project (one of the year’s best movies) joins Leonard and Jessie for a candid look at his career, which began on public-access television in Manhattan. His last feature, Tangerine, caused a stir because it was shot entirely on iPhones…but it’s the content, not the cameras, that makes these movies so good. (His latest was photographed on 35mm film.) Sean shares the story of his “overnight” success and explains why he thanks Spanky McFarland and the creators of the Little Rascals at the end of The Florida Project. Try Mubi free for 30 days at mubi.com/maltin!
Six years ago, a film called Pariah (2011) heralded the arrival of a major new voice in American cinema. Dee Rees has fulfilled that promise with her ambitious new release Mudbound, based on the best-selling novel about two Southern families in the 1940s—one black, one white. It opens in theaters and on Netflix today. Leonard and Jessie spoke with the talented writer-director at the SCAD Savannah Film Festival. Try Mubi free for 30 days at mubi.com/maltin!
Richard Linklater is one of the most talented—and unpredictable—filmmakers working today. His new release, Last Flag Flying, is one of his best, but it bears little resemblance to Dazed and Confused, Before Sunset, Waking Life, or his epic Boyhood. What is crystal clear in his conversation with Leonard is that he loves movies and enjoys making them—small or large, mainstream or indie. And as you’ll hear, he also enjoys talking about movies.
For fanboys he will always be Doc Ock in SPIDER-MAN 2. He made an unforgettable big-screen debut in the opening scene of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK opposite Harrison Ford...and he hasn’t stopped working since, on stage, film and television. He’s played almost every nationality, but he’s a Brit, as you will hear, and a man of great good humor who is happy to share stories from his long career with Leonard and Jessie. Try Mubi free for 30 days at mubi.com/maltin!
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. Try Mubi free for 30 days at mubi.com/maltin!
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. Try Mubi free for 30 days at mubi.com/maltin!
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. Try Mubi free for 30 days at mubi.com/maltin!
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.
Best-selling author Michael Connelly is that rare bird: a writer who is fully involved in the TV adaptation of his work. Based on his hard-hitting, deeply researched novels about an LAPD detective, Bosch is now in its third season, and is the top-rated show on Amazon. Michael is also a good storyteller in person, as you’ll hear for yourself. Leonard and Jessie talk about his movie influences and his past experiences with Hollywood.
Actor and standup comedian Baron Vaughn was Leonard’s original co-host on the podcast. He returns to the fold to talk about his roles on Grace & Frankie and the reboot of Mystery Science Theater 3000 as well as a new documentary that’s close to his heart: Fatherless. Baron has a knack for being able to be serious one moment and silly the next. Jessie and Leonard are suckers for this, and you may find yourself reacting the same way.
Leonard and Jessie discuss film festivals they’ve recently attended—large and small—and the phenomenon they represent for filmmakers and moviegoers alike. From the TCM Classic Film Festival to hometown events in San Luis Obispo and Sonoma, California, you’ll learn the ins and outs of these cinematic gatherings. Along the way they recommend some movies worth watching that you can now find online to create your own festival at home.
You all know J.K. Simmons: he’s the Oscar-winning actor who browbeat Miles Teller in Whiplash. He’s Ellen Page’s father in Juno. He’s costarred in such TV series as Oz and The Closer and sells insurance on the side. And for twenty years he’s been the voice of the yellow M&M in those TV commercials. In real life, he’s a hard-working actor with years of experience and lots of great stories. You’ll share Leonard’s interest in this engaging professional who loves what he does.
Hayley Mills was earmarked for stardom by Walt Disney more than fifty years ago. She endeared herself to a generation of fans in such unforgettable films as Pollyanna and The Parent Trap. Meeting this charming and unpretentious woman you’d never know she was friendly with the Beatles or came from British show-business royalty. Leonard and Jessie try to remain nonchalant as they chat with the nicest living legend imaginable.
Kevin Feige rules the Marvel Cinematic Universe—but the President of Marvel Studios wears his crown lightly. A real movie lover and comic fan, he can hold his own with the fanboys while simultaneously juggling multimillion dollar productions. He attended USC because that’s where his cinematic heroes went to school and remains loyal to his alma mater, visiting Leonard’s class on a regular basis. Jessie and Leonard don’t have to prod him to talk about any of these things--it's his passion. That's what makes him perfect for the job.
Dax Shepard has loved cars since he was a kid. Now he gets to race and crash them as the director, writer and star of CHIPS, the new movie that teams him with Michael Peña in a rousing reprise of the vintage TV series. Leonard and Jessie go into high gear with the star of TV’s Parenthood—and creator of the unappreciated feature Hit and Run—in this entertaining episode.
The eloquent Nick Offerman leaves his much-loved Ron Swanson character behind as he costars with Sam Elliott in the new movie The Hero. Leonard and Jessie interview him and writer-director Brett Haley at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, where the film debuted. A live audience didn’t let a steady downpour of rain dampen their enthusiasm.
Edgar Wright is the ultimate fanboy-turned-filmmaker. He has parlayed his love and knowledge into a thriving career, from Shaun of the Dead to Scott Pilgrim and The World’s End, with Baby Driver on its way to theaters soon (after a sneak preview at South by Southwest). He’s as articulate as he is passionate, and shares his enthusiasm for movies with Leonard and Jessie.
Listen up! When Quincy Jones speaks he may be imparting Yoda-like wisdom or talking about his collaborations with Steven Spielberg, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, or Hal Ashby, to name just a few. His film credits range from The Pawnbroker and In Cold Blood to The Color Purple and the must-see documentary Keep on Keepin’ On. As a musician, arranger, film composer, and entrepreneur he is without peer, and arguably the coolest guy on the planet. Leonard and Jessie are clearly in awe.
From her amazing debut in Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures to her long run on the TV sitcom Two and a Half Men, Melanie Lynskey has created unforgettable characters. Her latest is in the Sundance Grand Jury prize-winner I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore, which debuts today on Netflix. Leonard and Jessie discover that Melanie is as engaging in person as she’s always been onscreen…and you’ll hear the Kiwi accent she’s so good at disguising.
You know his face from 30 Rock and Veep, among countless other TV shows and movies. You may also know him as the voice of Baymax from Big Hero 6. Now meet Second City graduate Scott Adsit, improv actor supreme and longtime movie buff. Leonard and Jessie learn about his career and his long association with animation, as voice actor and producer, in this interesting chat.
You’ve seen her on Fandango, Screen Junkies, and the new Filmstruck channel. Alicia Malone is a savvy film lover who came to L.A. from her native Australia and wound up with a full agenda of dream jobs talking about movies. Leonard and Jessie learn how her father introduced her to classic films and set her on this rewarding path.
Leonard and Jessie asked you—our listeners—what films you consider to be classics. That’s the springboard for this week’s conversation about films that have stood the test of time, from the 1930s and 40s and even the 1980s. Everyone’s list is personal, of course. See how many you’d put on your list of all-time classics.
Oscar season is in full swing, so Leonard and Jessie weigh in on this year’s nominees. They also discuss (and recommend) a number of films and performances that were overlooked. We think you’ll come away with at least a few movie tips you’ll want to check out.
Stephen Tobolowsky is one of the most recognizable men on earth, now appearing in two first-rate TV shows, Silicon Valley and One Day at a Time...but he's also an author, podcaster, and consummate storyteller. He even made a successful concert movie using Kickstarter funds this year. Leonard and Jessie talk with him about his indelible role in Ground Hog Day, his unusual connection with David Byrne and the Talking Heads, the perils of actors' auditions, and much, much more.
John Landis is never dull, as anyone who has heard him speak can verify. Leonard and Jessie enjoy a wide-ranging conversation with the versatile filmmaker behind National Lampoon's Animal House, Trading Places, Thriller, and An American Werewolf in London, to name just a few. Subjects range from the current Oscar fare to working with music legends like Cab Calloway (in The Blues Brothers). Fasten your seat belt for a jam-packed episode.
Allan Arkush directed the enduring cult favorite "Rock 'n' Roll High School," but that's just the tip of the iceberg. He studied with Martin Scorsese at NYU, earned his professional stripes working for Roger Corman, and directed great TV series like "St. Elsewhere" and "Moonlighting" long before cable came along. He's still going strong and has wonderful stories to share with Leonard and Jessie.
When Michael Feinstein moved from the Midwest to Los Angeles he landed a job with the legendary Ira Gershwin. Nice work if you can get it! Since then he’s become an ambassador of American popular song—as a singer, pianist, conductor, archivist, and mentor to young talent. He discusses his exceptional career and pinpoints some favorite movie musicals in this week’s conversation.
With five Oscar nominations under her belt and two terrific new movies (Arrival and Nocturnal Animals) Amy Adams could be forgiven for having an outsized ego…but that’s not the case. She’s charming and down-to-earth, as you’ll hear when Leonard and Jessie discuss her exceptional career. Want to hear about working opposite Meryl Streep—or playing a slut in her debut movie Drop Dead Gorgeous? Tune in to this lively conversation.
Meet Drew Friedman: cartoonist, caricaturist, illustrator and pop culture connoisseur. Jessie tries to referee as Drew and Leonard trade stories about oddball movies and actors they admire (from the cast of Ed Wood movies to George Jessel) in this lively conversation. If you’re already a Friedman fan you may want to contribute to a Kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary about him at www.vermeeroftheborschtbelt.com
He’ll always be Aragorn to some loyalists, but Viggo Mortensen is a versatile actor who won well-deserved praise for this year’s sleeper Captain Fantastic. He’s also an artist, musician, publisher and moviegoer, as Jessie and Leonard learn in a wide-ranging and amusing conversation.
Joel Edgerton is one of the most versatile actors of his generation. Currently costarring in Loving, he’s amassed a formidable list of credits in a short span of time, from The Great Gatsby to Exodus: Gods and Kings. He’s also proven himself as a writer and director. Leonard and Jessie discuss his wide-ranging career, the actors he admires most, and exchange movie recommendations.
Laura Dern grew up in show business, the daughter of Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern. She has long since carved a niche all her own, with two Oscar nominations under her belt and a lifetime of colorful experiences. From indie films to Jurassic Park, she has great stories to tell and shares them with Leonard and Jessie.
Can it be sixty years since little Patty McCormack starred in The Bad Seed and earned an Oscar nomination? You won’t believe it, either, when you listen to Leonard and Jessie chat with this delightful woman who has spent her life in show business. She even starred in an indie movie called Mommy as a psychopath whose daughter discovers she is a “bad seed” grown up!
Odds are you’ve been singing and humming Richard Sherman’s songs for most of your life. He and his brother won two Academy Awards for Mary Poppins and spent ten years writing songs for a variety of Walt Disney endeavors—including “It’s a Small World.” But Richard doesn’t live in the past: he’s as busy as ever, as you’ll hear in this lively conversation with Leonard and Jessie. He also discusses his famous father and what it was like growing up in Hollywood.
Bryan Cranston stops by for an engaging and enlightening conversation about his latest movies, the unexpected momentum of his career in recent years, and his modus operandi for keeping his feet on the ground. Leonard found him funny, thoughtful, and candid—and so will you.
It’s been years since Bruce Campbell made his reputation in Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead movies, but now he’a back in Ash vs Evil Dead and having a blast! Leonard and Jessie caught up with him at Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX before an enthusiastic audience!
The one and only Tim Burton joins Leonard and Jessie in a live conversation from Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, following the premiere of his new movie Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children. Tim remembers the pride of seeing his prize-winning monster-movie posters on the garbage trucks of Burbank, California, shares some parenting experiences, and discusses some of his more memorable movie moments.
Ed Begley, Jr. is one of the most familiar faces in television and movies—and has great stories to match his incredible career, from Best in Show to Ghostbusters and beyond. He tells Leonard and Jessie how he came to be directed by Jack Nicholson, and reveals how Christopher Guest steers his actors through their improvised comedy scenes.
This week, Leonard and Jessie meet another comedy legend: Carl Reiner, creator of The Dick Van Dyke Show, partner of Mel Brooks’s 2,000 Year Old Man, director of such hit movies as The Jerk, and a true television pioneer alongside the great Sid Caesar. Carl is still active (and funny) at age 94 as an author and performer. He even graces us with some of his hilarious Shakespearean giberish!
Hard to believe, but after 100 years there are still discoveries to be made involving two of movie’s most towering figures. Leonard and Jessie exchange observations about Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, with suggestions of where you can go to find rare footage and valuable information.
Currently starring with Robert De Niro in Hands of Stone, Edgar Ramirez is steadily building an international reputation as an actor of great strength and versatility. It turns out he is as charming and articulate as he is talented. Leonard and Jessie fall under his spell and talk about his many roles, ranging from Jennifer Lawrence's husband to the notorious Carlos the Jackal.
John Huston launched his film career; Quentin Tarantino rescued it with Jackie Brown, which earned him an Oscar nomination. Robert Forster has spent years in front of the camera working alongside Marlon Brando and other greats. What’s even more impressive is his work ethic, which he explains in eloquent terms. Leonard and Jessie also get his reaction to some of their favorite “unsung” Forster films.
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.
As cofounder of Firesign Theater, Phil Proctor influenced several generations of comedy fans. (One of them was Steve Jobs.) Younger people may know him better as the voice of Howard Seville on The Rugrats. He’s still going strong, providing voices for video games, animated movies like Toy Story and Monsters Inc., and costarring in the YouTube comedy series, “Boomers on a Bench.” There’s nothing Phil hasn’t done in show business; he and the Firesign gang even wrote the first psychedelic rock Western, Zachariah, back in 1971. There’s no shortage of great stories when Phil starts talking to Leonard.
Our guest is Charles Phoenix, the Ambassador of Americana: part stand-up comic, part pop culture curator, and full-time purveyor of fun. His lectures, videos, and weekly e-mail blasts celebrate the joys of life in the 50s and 60s, including moviegoing (with drive-ins a specialty). Jessie and I are great fans and had a great time talking to this effervescent fellow. Check out his site at http://www.charlesphoenix.com/
Leonard and Jessie welcome Doug Benson in a live-audience podcast from the San Diego Comic-Con. Doug and Leonard share notes on some of their favorite films from the current crop, with some timely suggestions on what to see. Then Jessie serves as quizmaster when the two big-league film nerds play Doug’s own creation, The Leonard Maltin Game.
This week Leonard and Jessie welcome fan favorite Clare Kramer, best known for her roles in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Bring It On. She's used that notoriety to become an entrepreneur as the cofounder of Geek Nation. She shares stories about her career and recommends some films you may have missed.
Leonard Maltin and his daughter Jessie welcome the always-outspoken Roseanne Barr and Eric Weinrib, director of the new documentary Roseanne for President! The conversation ranges from the comedienne's presidential run in 2012 to her favorite performers when she was growing up. Eric, whose past adventures with Ken Kesey and Hunter S. Thompson prepared him for almost anything, explains how his long association with Michael Moore led to this collaboration with Roseanne.
The one and only Kevin Pollak is a wonderful character actor who has recently experienced what it's like behind the camera as a director. Kevin joins Leonard to talk about all the lessons he learned directing his first indie comedy The Late Bloomer. He also tells us why his roles in Deterrence, The Usual Suspects, and Avalon are important to him. Plus, Christopher Walken makes an appearance.
Leonard and his daughter Jessie are joined by British actress and singer Danielle Hope to talk about their favorite British actors (including Dani’s mentor, Michael Crawford) and films over the years, including the current release Genius with Colin Firth and Jude Law, the 2014 family comedy Paddington, and the works of the brilliant Mike Leigh. This episode is sponsored by Blue Apron.
The talented Kate Micucci (of the comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates) joins Leonard to talk about her costarring role in the new Mike Birbiglia film Don't Think Twice, which comes to theaters in July. They also discuss people who have inspired Kate in her acting career (including Cloris Leachman and Anjelica Huston), and some of her favorite films, including Searching for Bobby Fischer and While You Were Sleeping.
Alec Baldwin joins Leonard from New York City through the magic of the internet to chat about the joy of doing his podcast "Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin," his memories of working in Tim Burton's modern classic Beetlejuice, and the tradition of staying up late watching classic films on television with his father when he was young. Plus, Alec recommends some of his favorite unsung movies.
Traveling troubadour of comedy Dana Gould returns to join Leonard to talk about practical effects vs. special effects, Don Knotts in hysterical comedy-horror film The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, and the 1943 horror film I Walked with a Zombie from producer Val Lewton. Plus, Dana tells us about his new comedy-horror series Stan Against Evil based on his father.
Jessie Maltin is back to answer some listener questions addressed to Leonard including: his thoughts on Lost in Translation, the future of the Disney treasures, which classic films he would introduce to a younger audience, and much more. Plus, Leonard recommends some sleepers that are currently in theaters such as the Italian-French erotic-thriller A Bigger Splash starring Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes.
Actor, comedian, and fellow movie lover Samm Levine is back to join Leonard for a discussion of films of the 1980s: the box-office hits, enduring favorites, and titles we’ve all forgotten. They also discuss remakes, what it means for a movie to be considered a classic, and the pre-computer & post-cellphone eras in film.
Filmmaker and film lover Joe Dante (Gremlins, Matinee) joins Leonard to talk about writing for the horror/science fiction film magazine Castle of Frankenstein, going from creating trailers to making a feature film of his own, and his classic and cult movies based web series Trailers From Hell. Plus, Joe recommends some unsung favorite films such as John Farrow’s 1948 film noir The Big Clock.
The multi-talented Paul Scheer of How Did This Get Made? joins Leonard to talk about his podcast unearthing gems like the Village People's Can't Stop the Music, wearing out the VHS tapes of movies he recorded as a kid, and the ground rules for doing a remake. Plus, Paul recommends some of his favorite films from the golden age of Hollywood including the 1934 comedy-mystery The Thin Man.
Comedian and actor Gilbert Gottfried joins Leonard and Baron to talk about growing up in New York watching old movies on late-night TV, doing impressions of Humphrey Bogart as he started doing stand-up at the age of 15, and how his lifelong passion for old movies has informed his comedy. Plus, Gilbert recommends some unsung movies you should seek out, including 1968's The Swimmer starring Burt Lancaster.
This week, Leonard and Baron discuss the works of the extraordinary Cate Blanchett and focus on three films in which she disappears into her role: the great Notes On a Scandal, a movie that got a bum rap when it was released, and the Sam Raimi directed supernatural thriller The Gift.
72 From Ed Wood to O.J.: Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski
Screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski have a terrific skill writing movies about real people in their films Ed Wood, Man on the Moon, and Big Eyes—not to mention The People vs. O.J.. They join Leonard this week to discuss how they went from writing Problem Child to biopics, adding their own life experience into their writing, and why their Robert Ripley & Marx Brothers projects never got made. Plus, they recommend some underrated films that have influenced them.
Recorded live at South by Southwest 2016, Leonard, Baron, and Jessie discuss three movies based on True Stories: the 2011 Richard Linklater comedy Bernie starring Jack Black, a semi-biographical sports drama that you should avoid, and Errol Morris' unpredictable 1997 documentary Fast, Cheap & Out of Control.
Filmmaker Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter, Mud) joins Leonard to discuss his terrific new sci-fi chase film Midnight Special, which is best appreciated on a theater screen. Jeff explains why he continues to shoot on film, how he began his collaboration with Michael Shannon, directing child actor Jaeden Lieberher, and making the moviegoing experience special. He also reveals which movies have influenced him as a fan and a filmmaker.
Recorded live at South by Southwest 2016, comedian, storyteller, filmmaker Mike Birbiglia and storyteller Ira Glass join Leonard, Baron, and Jessie to discuss Mike's new film which is produced by Ira, Don't Think Twice. It tells the story of the friendship between members of a New York improv group that is put to the test when their lease is up and one of them lands a TV show. Plus, Mike and Ira recommend a couple of films that you should revisit.
Filmmaker John Sayles joins Leonard and Baron to talk about how he came to make his first feature, Return of the Secaucus 7, as well as The Brother from Another Planet, Eight Men Out, Matewan, and other indie milestones. He also discusses directing music videos with Bruce Springsteen, his process working with actors, and two of his favorite sleepers.
Leonard and Baron return this week to talk about three Sports movies: the delightful 1992 film A League of Their Own, a star-studded turkey that you can skip, and a 40-year-old Motown sleeper called The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings.
This week Leonard and his daughter Jessie shine on a light on some unsung foreign films worth seeing. They recommend three spectacular sleepers: Mariana Chenillo's Mexican drama Nora's Will, Susanne Bier's Danish film Brothers, and Nimród Antal's Hungarian comedy–thriller Kontroll.
Lenny Abrahamson, director of the critically acclaimed Room, which earned Brie Larson an Oscar nomination, joins Leonard, Baron, and Jessie to talk about the letter he wrote to persuade novelist Emma Donoghue to adapt it for the screen, his love of Laurel & Hardy, and one of his favorite sleepers, Margaret (2011) with Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, and Mark Ruffalo.
Leonard is joined this week by his newlywed daughter Jessie! In celebration of this momentous occasion, they take a look at some of the great marriages in movies. From 1998's Polish Wedding to 2006's Confetti, Leonard and Jessie discuss which wedding movies you'll absolutely adore and one you should avoid.
Inspired by the 2016 Oscar Nominees, Leonard and Baron discuss the movies of two actors and one filmmaker: Brie Larson in the tremendous Short Term 12, a turkey from Sylvester Stallone, and a sleeper by the name of Win Win from Spotlight director Tom McCarthy.
Leonard is joined by his ReelzChannel partner, the irrepressible Grae Drake, Senior Editor of Rotten Tomatoes. Grae recalls some of her unique press junket experiences, which include getting her own Bond Girl name from Dame Judi Dench and leaving Dustin Hoffman speechless. They also discuss two favorite films of 2015 that aren’t part of the Oscar conversation: 99 Homes and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
Doug Benson loves movies more than you. Doug's podcast "Doug Loves Movies" has even given Leonard Maltin street cred thanks to the popularity of "The Leonard Maltin Game." Doug joins Leonard this week to discuss his lifelong love of movies and one of his recent favorites, Bone Tomahawk starring Kurt Russell.
New Year greetings from Leonard and Baron! On the first new episode of the year, they discuss three movies inspired by Tales of Showbiz: the wildly ambitious Tim Robbins film Cradle Will Rock, David Mamet's most lighthearted work State and Main, and a turkey that is regarded as one of the worst movies ever made.
Dana Gould, comedian/Simpsons writer/die-hard movie buff joins Leonard and Baron to talk about what lead to his love of horror films, the incredibly wide range of references on The Simpsons that you would either get or not get, and one of his favorite sleepers, Carnival of Souls (1962) directed by Herk Harvey.
Holiday Greetings from Leonard and his daughter Jessie! We all know the quintessential Christmas movies but what are some of the other Holiday gems that have fallen by the wayside? From Elf to The Santa Claus, Leonard and Jessie discuss which films you must see this Holiday season.
This week Leonard and Baron discuss three movies based on True-Life Stories: the 2013 drama Tracks starring Mia Wasikowska (an adaptation of Robyn Davidson's memoir of the same name), a musical biopic told in an unconventional way, and Bobcat Goldthwait's documentary Call Me Lucky which chronicles the life and work of comedian/activist Barry Crimmins which you should definitely seek out.
Scott Cooper, the writer-director of Crazy Heart, which earned Jeff Bridges an Oscar, and this year’s Black Mass with Johnny Depp joins Leonard to talk about his lifelong love of movies, how he makes actors feel at ease, and one of his favorite sleepers, Funny Bones (1995) with Oliver Platt and Jerry Lewis.
Leonard and Baron are back this week to discuss three movies set in New York: the delightful 2009 release City Island, a major league movie that they think is not so hot, and 1994's Fresh, a genuine sleeper.
The Smartest Man in the World, Greg Proops joins Leonard this week to discuss his wide-ranging interest in movies, which he screens in front of a live audience at Cinefamily in Los Angeles. They'll also talk about one of Greg's personal favorites, Don Siegel's 1973 crime thriller Charley Varrick, starring Walter Matthau.
You know him and you love him from Freaks and Greeks, Inglourious Basterds, and his notoriously celebrated appearances on Doug Loves Movies, Samm Levine joins Leonard this week to discuss his lifelong love of movies and one of his particular favorites, James L. Brooks' Broadcast News.
The man who directed National Lampoon’s Animal House, The Blues Brothers, and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is also one of Hollywood’s most avid and knowledgeable film buffs. John Landis joins Leonard and Baron this week to talk about a wide variety of subjects, from Don Rickles to Fred Astaire. He also reveals one of his favorite unsung horror movies of the 1930s.
Jerry Beck of CartoonResearch.com is one of the world's leading experts on Animated Cartoons. This week Jerry joins Leonard to talk about growing up with cartoons, recent animated shorts from Disney and Pixar, and three must-see animated features: Disney's Teacher's Pet, Surf's Up, and Nina Paley's Sita Sings the Blues.
That frightening time of year is upon us and this week Leonard and Baron work up the courage to discuss three terrific films perfect for the Halloween season: a modern classic 28 Days Later, Guillermo del Toro's masterful Pan's Labyrinth, and Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, a clever film that mixes humor with horror.
This week, Leonard and Baron discuss the remarkable Philip Seymour Hoffman and focus on three films from his unbelievable career: the exceptionally great film Charlie Wilson's War, a definite dud in which he's actually very good in, and a sleeper worth checking out called A Late Quartet.
Leonard and Baron respond to Jessie Maltin's concept of naming "chicken soup" movies: films that make you feel better when you’re sick, and others that you might discover when you’re housebound. Examples range from Marx Brothers comedies to 10 Things I Hate About You.
If you haven't seen Fred Willard's face you have been living under a rock for the past 35 years. Fred joins Leonard and Baron this week to talk about his career from his time performing at Second City in Chicago to his work in many hilarious Christopher Guest films. Fred also discusses his love of baseball movies which include The Pride of the Yankees, Field of Dreams, and Clint Eastwood's Trouble with the Curve.
46 Superheroes For the Generations (w/ Jessie Maltin)
Who is your Batman—Michael Keaton, Christian Bale, Adam West? Leonard and his daughter Jessie talk about the movie heroes we’ve all grown up with, and why we’re attached to the ones we saw first…from Superman to James Bond.
Recorded from the 2015 Los Angeles Podfest, Leonard and Baron discuss LA Movies: the 2006 true-crime period film Hollywoodland, a true-crime turkey also released that very same year, and a brilliant sleeper by the name of King of California. Plus, they take questions from the live audience!
Phil Rosenthal, creator of “Everybody Loves Raymond” and the new PBS series “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having” joins Leonard this week to discuss Woody Allen’s Broadway Danny Rose: a hilarious film that showcases the low end of New York show business.
School is back in session and this week Leonard and Baron discuss three films that deal with school life: the terrific social satire Election, a movie with a likable cast that is unapologetically bad, and the breath of fresh air that is 2004’s Saved!
Leonard and Jessie Maltin are back this week to talk about many facets of moviegoing: accepting a movie for what it is and not for what it isn’t, the experience of seeing a movie with an engaged audience at a film festival, and discovering a wonderful movie sometimes by luck.
Transferring hit TV shows to the big screen isn’t a new idea. This week Leonard and Baron discuss three films that have received this treatment: 1991’s dark and twisted The Addams Family, two unfortunate turkeys, and the underrated (and star-studded) SNL film Coneheads.
This week Leonard and Baron discuss three documentaries that are well worth your time and will make you cry: Jesse Moss’ The Overnighters, Crips and Bloods: Made in America, and an inspiring film about two remarkable people separated in age by more than 60 years.
Baron and Leonard are reunited once again! Inspired by leading ladies Amy Schumer & Melissa McCarthy, they discuss three films that feature funny ladies: Whoopi Goldberg in the crowd pleaser Sister Act, Lily Tomlin in The Late Show, a sleeper from 1977, and a stinker from one of everyone’s favorite female comics. (p.s. it wasn’t her fault).
Leonard and Jessie Maltin are back this week and this time they are answering your questions about music in film! What’s the best music score? Which film has the best soundtrack? What are some unknown musical movie gems? Tune in to find out!
Leonard returns along with his daughter Jessie Maltin to answer all your questions! What was Leonard’s first (and second) experience walking out of a movie? What is the best Alan Smithee film? If you can only watch movies from one decade which will it be? Tune in to find out!
This week Baron and special guest Jessie Maltin answer some listener questions addressed to Leonard & Baron including: favorite film of all time, favorite film composers, if they have ever changed their opinion of a film upon a second viewing, and much more.
This week Leonard and Baron welcome Leonard’s wife Alice to sit in with them as they discuss three excellent documentaries that take you behind the scenes of movies in different ways: Casting By, a celebration of the casting profession and casting pioneer Marion Dougherty, Lost in La Mancha which follows Terry Gilliam's doomed attempt to get his film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, off the ground, and It's All True: Based on an Unfinished Film by Orson Welles, the story of a notorious Orson Welles project about South America that was never completed.
32 Films That Left A Lasting Impression (w/ Jessie Maltin)
Inspired by Father’s Day, Leonard’s daughter Jessie Maltin returns to discuss the movies that her dad shared with her growing up—and Leonard explains why he chose the classics. Plus, Baron explains how movies as diverse as Amadeus and the Muppets opened him up to a world of great movies.
This week Leonard and Baron discuss three films that prove cartoons aren’t always intended for children: the first animated feature ever submitted by France as its official entry for the Oscars, 2007’s Persepolis, a stop-motion animated sleeper from Australia, and a stinker from one of the medium’s true innovators. (Hey, nobody’s perfect…)
Every rule has exceptions, and while Leonard and Baron have reservations about many remakes of older films, this week they spotlight a couple they love! They praise the breathless, incredibly funny His Girl Friday, lament that the latest RoboCop was hamstrung from the beginning by a terrible script, and recommend a remake of a spooky Swedish thriller.
This week Leonard and Baron discuss three films adapted from books; two that are great, and one that’s just grating. They’re captivated by the many grace notes of the John Irving adaptation “The Cider House Rules,” and appalled by the bloated, lugubrious “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” before recommending a classic from the 30’s that takes you to a remote, exotic land.
This week Leonard and Baron discuss three movies made by women: Love & Basketball, written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, a reimagining of a popular TV show that’s not worthy of its director or star, and a compelling sleeper written and directed by Dee Rees called Pariah.
This week Leonard and Baron discuss three movies featuring female duos of all stripes! After praising the debut film of a famed directorial duo, they advise listeners to steer clear of the shrill caricatures that populate The Other Woman, and check out the haunting musical sister act Hilary & Jackie.
While Baron is on assignment, Leonard welcomes a special guest-co-host, his daughter Jessie Maltin to discuss the movies that made a deep impact on them in their formative years. Tune in to hear which films changed the game for both Maltins from generation to generation.
This week, Leonard and Baron sing the praises of movies about (fictional) musicians and bands. First, they celebrate Christopher Guest’s faux folk singers in A Mighty Wind, then blast a Broadway rock musical that shouldn’t have left the stage. Finally they recommend a sleeper called Still Crazy—a treat for music lovers and Anglophiles alike.
Inspired by Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner, Leonard and Baron discuss three films in which a director also is the star of the film. Ed Harris’ outstanding film Pollock, a turkey from Kenneth Branagh, and Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming’s wonderful sleeper The Anniversary Party.
This week Leonard and Baron discuss three films that fall under the umbrella of buddy movies: Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin in the classic Midnight Run, a prequel of a buddy movie that shouldn’t have been made, and Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor in I Love You Phillip Morris, a movie you might have missed. Plus, Leonard shares a story about how he managed to land an interview with De Niro when Midnight Run was about to be released.
Cue the digital fanfare! In a first ever Bonus Episode, Leonard & Baron sit down with Stephen Tobolowsky to discuss acting, writing, storytelling, having your scenes cut from movies, the benefits of heated hallways, and of course, whether or not Godzilla was a documentary."
This week Leonard and Baron discuss three films with interesting women in them: Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchett, and Minnie Driver in An Ideal Husband, Charlize Theron in a film they both can’t stand, and Passion Fish, a sleeper starring Mary McDonnell and Alfre Woodard.
Leonard and Baron are back to discuss three films revolving around the world of stand-up comedy: Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy, a great comedian’s semi-autobiographical saga that doesn’t quite add up, and a sleeper with a hell of a Punchline.
This week, Leonard and Baron discuss the inimitable Morgan Freeman and focus on three films from his long career: Ben Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone, another film that even this great actor couldn’t salvage, and a sleeper worth checking out called The Magic of Belle Isle.
This week Leonard and Baron recognize the great Nicole Kidman by discussing 2010’s Rabbit Hole, which earned her an Oscar nomination, another movie with a great cast that didn’t come together (for many reasons), and 2004’s Birth, a most unusual sleeper worth checking out.
Inspired by the release of Chappie, Leonard and Baron discuss three films based around robots. The original sharp and pointed Robocop, a remake worth forgetting, and a striking sleeper called Robot & Frank that you should seek out.
In celebration of Black History Month, Leonard and Baron discuss three significant films. Spike Lee’s monumental film Malcolm X, a turkey about the Tuskegee Airmen that was made with all good intentions, and a sleeper that dates back just over 30 years called The Brother from Another Planet.
Continuing with the Oscar theme, Leonard and Baron discuss the movies of past Oscar winners: Emma Thompson’s knockout performance in Primary Colors, Matthew McConaughey and Nicole Kidman in a very strange movie they don’t recommend, and Denzel Washington in truly inspiring story you should seek out.
Leonard and Baron discuss three worthy individuals who were not nominated for an Oscar this year: David Oyelowo of Selma, who’s equally good in another film about the Civil Rights movement, Ralph Fiennes of The Grand Budapest Hotel in an unfortunate turkey, and a sleeper from the great writer/director Mike Leigh, who brought us Mr. Turner this past year.
In part two of their 2015 Oscar nominees conversation, Leonard and Baron discuss three more films from this year’s contenders: Keira Knightley in the charming musical Begin Again, a movie about magic that sadly dropped the ball, and a sleeper from Norwegian director Morten Tyldum, who gave us The Imitation Game.
Inspired by this year’s Oscar Nominees, Leonard and Baron discuss the movies of two actors and one filmmaker: the movie that put Eddie Redmayne on the map, Reese Witherspoon in a sequel that probably shouldn’t have been made, and a sleeper from filmmaker Richard Linklater’s catalog. Tune in next week for part two!
Inspired by the release of Taken 3, Leonard and Baron praise the versatile Liam Neeson by discussing A Walk Among the Tombstones, another high-profile film that turned out to be a dud, and a sleeper that means a lot to them both.
Inspired by her brilliant performance in Still Alice, Leonard and Baron pay tribute to the fearless Julianne Moore by discussing The Kids Are All Right, along with a rare clunker and a sleeper that no fan of this actress should miss.
In part two of their Movie Musicals conversation, Leonard and Baron discuss three more interesting choices: the Irish musical Once, with its Oscar-winning song, a historically bad sequel that shouldn’t have happened, and a student film from the creators of South Park that’s well worth seeking out.
Inspired by the year-end release of Annie & Into the Woods, Leonard and Baron discuss three movie musicals: the cult classic Hedwig and the Angry Inch, another film that made the transition from Broadway to the big screen in a most unfortunate way, and a sleeper about a singing group that is close to Baron’s heart. Tune in next week for part two!
In celebration of the New Year, Leonard and Baron tackle three enjoyable Food movies: the incredible animated Pixar film Ratatouille, a romantic comedy revolving around two chefs in New York, and a sweet movie about two Italian brothers who own a restaurant in the 1950s.
In the spirit of the holiday season, Leonard and Baron discuss three Holiday films: the classic Black and White film Miracle on 34th Street, a Christmas movie that doesn’t hit the bullseye, and a continental sleeper that you must put on your list. Along the way, they’ll spread some holiday cheer as they talk about other Christmas classics.
Triggered by the release of the new DreamWorks animated feature Penguins of Madagascar, this week Leonard and Baron discuss three other feature-length cartoons: a Disney classic that will make you cry, a big CGI movie that looks great but doesn’t do a good job of storytelling, and a unique, wonderfully wacky sleeper called A Town Called Panic.
Inspired by the release of Horrible Bosses 2, Leonard and Baron return this week to talk about sequels: the good, the bad, and the ugly. They’ll explain why they don’t like the idea of sequels in general, before citing a notable exception, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. They also discuss a terrible sequel (complete with a bad subtitle), and a horror/slasher sequel that’s improbably good given its pedigree.
Inspired by Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, this week Leonard and Baron look back at the breakthrough performances of three remarkable actors: Jennifer Lawrence's performance in a stark film that is compelling to watch, a stellar career that had an interesting start on the big screen, and one film that made a star overnight. Along the way, they discuss the promised breakthroughs for actors that didn’t happen.
Inspired by Steve Carell in Foxcatcher, this week Leonard and Baron look at serious roles tackled by three other funnymen: a brilliant character that Robin Williams brought to life, Jim Carrey in a miscast dramatic lead, and a likable, believable turn by Will Ferrell. Their conversation takes in other examples of comedic talents who turned serious from time to time.
This week Leonard and Baron discuss the films of Matthew McConaughey. They’ll talk about the film that established him as a star, a romantic comedy dud, and the sleeper that paved the way for the McConaissance. Plus, they share their affection for one other unsung McConaughey movie.
Welcome to the first episode of Maltin On Movies with Baron Vaughn. This week Leonard and Baron will focus their conversation on one biopic that’s really good, one that isn’t, and one sleeper that you need to see. Plus, they figure out who they would cast in their respective Biopics.