Interviews

 

My approach to conducting an interview is influenced by Playboy. Growing up, I flipped through the men’s magazine, occasionally hiding it underneath my pillow, and I liked the magazine’s fresh, candid, and intellectual editorial content. During the 2000 presidential campaign, I was asked to interview each candidate for the Philadelphia Inquirer. I’ve since interviewed many artists, intellectuals, and business leaders, including Sydney Pollack, Dick Cook, Vincent Bugliosi, John McCain, George W. Bush, David Halberstam, and Olivia Newton-John.

 


Texas Governor George W. Bush (1999)

Published September 26, 1999 in the Los Angeles Daily News

A brief, 15-minute interview has been scheduled, taking place in the middle of a large, empty ballroom with two chairs and a couple of plants, while a team of assorted aides, performing a symphony with cell phones and pagers, watches and listens.


John Stossel of ABC News (1998)

Published May 23, 1998 in the Los Angeles Daily News

ABC News reporter John Stossel, who practices advocacy journalism, established himself as a unique voice in television reporting when he became a correspondent for ABC’s 20/20. The former consumer editor for Good Morning America began to anchor a series of popular TV specials in which he challenges widely accepted notions and sacred assumptions on both the right and the left. Stossel, 51, generally presents the relevant facts of an issue before he peppers the viewer with bold questions about work, science, love, sex, happiness and death. Stossel, who has won 19 Emmy Awards, was interviewed at ABC News in New York.


Robert Benton on The Human Stain

Posted November 26, 2003

Army veteran Benton’s intense interest in people—their emotions, their thoughts, their actions—is evident in the tremendous scope of his career, from his dramatizations of divorce (the 1979 Oscar-winning Best Picture, Kramer vs. Kramer) and widowhood (Places in the Heart) to his stories of a heavy-drinking grandfather (Nobody’s Fool) and his adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s Billy Bathgate.


Robert Benton on Feast of Love

Posted October 7, 2007

At a coastal hotel lobby during a recent visit to southern California, writer and director Robert Benton (Kramer Vs. Kramer, Nobody’s Fool, The Human Stain) talked with me about his new picture, the romantic ensemble piece Feast of Love, featuring Morgan Freeman, Greg Kinnear and Jane Alexander. Mr. Benton, interviewed before the movie opened, discussed certain scenes, the cast and his thoughts on love.


Alexandre Desplat on The King’s Speech

Posted January 20, 2011

Composer Alexandre Desplat recently spoke with me from Paris about his new score for The King’s Speech. He has scored some of Hollywood’s best motion pictures, including Casanova, The Upside of Anger, The Queen, The Painted Veil, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. We talked about them all during our interview.


Robert Osborne on Liza Minnelli

Posted December 9, 2010

The incomparable singer and actress Liza Minnelli, winner of the Oscar®, Emmy®, Grammy®, and four Tony Awards®, sits down with Turner Classic Movies (TCM) host Robert Osborne in one of his best interviews yet for a new Private Screenings special, scheduled to premiere Saturday, Dec. 11, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT). They discuss the lives and careers of Minnelli’s legendary parents, Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli. Read more >>


Alan Menken on Disney’s Tangled

Posted November 13, 2010

Alan Menken is, as his official biography states, among the Walt Disney Studio’s most prolific composers. The New Rochelle, New York native co-wrote Aladdin’s romantic “A Whole New World,” Pocahontas’s sweeping “Colors of the Wind,” and dozens of memorable songs for Disney’s animated classics The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991) and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996). Menken recently talked to me about his work for Disney’s new animated picture, Tangled, based on the children’s story of Rapunzel. Read more >>


Alejandro Amenabar on Agora

Posted May 30, 2010

Director Amenabar, whom I first met and interviewed at the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard to discuss his haunting, Oscar-winning The Sea Inside in 2004, talked briefly with me about Agora from Spain during an interview by telephone. The South American-born composer, writer and director, who speaks in a thick Spanish accent, talked about Agora’s ideas. Read more >>


Alejandro Amenabar on The Sea InsideThe Young Man and the Sea

Posted May 27, 2010

Making an uplifting movie about a man who wants to die was a challenge Alejandro Amenabar couldn’t resist. After the fantasies Open Your Eyes (remade as Vanilla Sky) and The Others, the 32-year-old writer, director and composer chose a more intimate—and controversial—subject for his latest picture, The Sea Inside (Mar Adentro in Spanish). He started with the basics.


Chinese CinderellaFalling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah

At first glance, Adeline Yen Mah’s life would seem perfect; her father was wealthy, she grew up in bustling Hong Kong, and she was sent to live in London when she was admitted into medical school at the age of 14. Later, she married for love, had two children, a successful career in medicine, and she became chief of anesthesia at a California hospital. Read more >>


Robert Mayhew on We the Living

Robert Mayhew, a philosophy professor at Seton Hall University, is the author of Aristotle’s Criticism of Plato’s Republic, The Female in Aristotle’s Biology, and Ayn Rand and Song of Russia, and the editor of Ayn Rand’s Marginalia, Ayn Rand’s The Art of Nonfiction, Essays on Ayn Rand’s We the Living, Essays on Ayn Rand’s Anthem, Ayn Rand Answers, Essays on Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, and Essays on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. His latest book, Plato: Laws 10, was published by Oxford University Press in 2008. Dr. Mayhew earned his PhD in philosophy at Georgetown University in 1991. Read more >>


John Porter

Posted March 25, 2009

John Porter was a U.S. Congressman from Illinois for 21 years, serving on the powerful Appropriations Committee, and as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. All government health agencies and programs, except military and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and all government education agencies and programs were under the jurisdiction of his subcommittee. Before his election to Congress, he served in the Illinois House of Representatives. Today, Mr. Porter, named by a magazine as one of Washington’s “top 50 lobbyists”, serves as a partner in the Washington, DC, law firm Hogan & Hartson. This interview focuses on John Porter’s thoughts about science. Read more >>


Earl Hamner

Posted February 12, 2009

Best known as the creator and producer of the long-running CBS series The Waltons, Earl Hamner’s work ranges from his early screenplays for Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone to his script for the 1973 animated musical adaptation of E.B. White’s children’s novel, Charlotte’s Web. The 83-year-old bestselling writer sat down to talk about remaking Charlotte’s Web, his new book, and his classic television movie, The Homecoming, at his office in Studio City, California. Read more >>


HSA Bank President Kirk Hoewisch

Posted February 8, 2009

The year was 1901 and someone in Howards Grove, Wisconsin, observed that the first automobile to appear in town was driven by a man from nearby Sheboygan. A century later, the town is making its mark on another new vehicle—which has the potential to revolutionize how one pays for medical treatment. It is the Health Savings Account (HSA)—widely available to most Americans in the growing money-for-medicine movement—and this Midwestern town’s bank is playing a prominent, if unlikely, role in advancing the radically free market-oriented idea. Read more >>


Thomas Carter

Posted January 31, 2009

Known for his movies about daring individualists, director Thomas Carter (Coach Carter, Save the Last Dance, Swing Kids) turns to the story of America’s first doctor to successfully separate craniopagus (Siamese) twins in a Turner Network Television (TNT) original movie, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. The movie premieres at 8 p.m., Saturday, February 7. Read more >>


Robert Osborne on Ernest Borgnine

Posted January 23, 2009

Since Turner Classic Movies (TCM) premiered on cable television in 1994, Robert Osborne has been the host and anchor. A writer for the Hollywood Reporter since 1977, Mr. Osborne, author of 80 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards, covers movies, TV and Broadway. His newest interview, an hour with character actor Ernest Borgnine (Marty), airs on Private Screenings at 8 p.m. ET, Monday, January 26.


Robert Osborne on Katharine Hepburn (2007)

Posted January 23, 2009

In honor of the centenary of Katharine Hepburn’s birth on May 12, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) host and motion picture historian Robert Osborne talked about the great screen actress, TCM’s Star of the Month. Read more >>


Robert Osborne on John Wayne (2007)

Posted January 23, 2009

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) host and movie historian Robert Osborne talked to me in 2007 about screen legend John Wayne, an actor who represents the iconic American hero. Read more >>


Turner Classic Movies’ Robert Osborne (2006)

Posted January 23, 2009

With Turner Classic Movies’ premiere of The Essentials, host Robert Osborne takes over for director Sydney Pollack and, paired with co-host Molly Haskell, will present this season’s classic motion pictures. Read more >>


John McCain

Sen. John McCain talked about abortion, altruism and Mother Teresa in my wide-ranging 1999 interview. Read more >>


Walt Disney Pictures Chairman Dick Cook

The Disney studio’s top businessman talks about Enchanted, Pirates and Narnia—as well as a fire on the Monorail—in this exclusive interview. Read more >>


Alumni Profile: Amgen’s Ed Garnett

This 2000 interview was published as a profile in the alumni magazine for the College of Business Administration & Economics at California State University, Northridge.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Amgen’s vice president of human resources Edward F. Garnett attended Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks and was a member of the last class to graduate from Cal State Northridge’s predecessor, San Fernando Valley State College, in 1971. Read more >>


Jack Germond

This 1999 interview was published in the Arizona Republic.

It’s easy to spot Jack Germond; most know him as the heavy, liberal columnist whose blunt insights were a regular feature on the lively television program, The McLaughlin Group. Read more >>


Lamar Alexander Lamar Alexander Emphasizes Individual Liberty

This 1999 interview with Lamar Alexander was published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Los Angeles Daily News, San Jose Mercury News, Arizona Republic, Bangor (Maine) Daily News, and the Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune.

Born in Blount County, Tennessee, Lamar Alexander was raised by his schoolteacher parents, who taught in Maryville and sent their son to public schools there. Read more >>


First HSA President William West, M.D.

This 2005 interview was conducted for the non-profit charitable organization Americans for Free Choice in Medicine (AFCM). Mr. Holleran has served as editorial adviser since 1994.

Pennsylvania-based First HSA is a profitable business run by what Ayn Rand called “the forgotten man of socialized medicine”: the doctor. Read more >>


Martin Russ

This 2000 article was published in the Hartford Courant, the San Jose Mercury News and Los Angeles Daily News.

Sandwiched between the worldwide upheaval of World War II and the controversial Vietnam War, the Korean War, which lasted from 1950 to 1953, is the forgotten war. Read more >>


Dr. Dean Edell

Variations of this 2001 interview were published in the Hartford Courant, Buffalo News and Los Angeles Daily News.

Before there were Drs. Laura, Ruth, and Drew, there was Dr. Dean—Dr. Dean Edell. At a time when most news networks have a regular stable of on-air doctors—one for every calamity—Edell was a pioneer as one of America’s first media doctors. Read more >>


Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio On Pirates of the Caribbean

Originally published by Box Office Mojo

Box Office Mojo interviews the writers who created Captain Jack Sparrow. Read more >>


Lasse Hallstrom On An Unfinished Life

Originally published by Box Office Mojo

As An Unfinished Life premieres on DVD, director Lasse Hallstrom talks about Robert Redford, Jennifer Lopez and ABBA. Read more >>


Earl Holliman

Originally published by Box Office Mojo

With Police Woman finally on DVD, Box Office Mojo interviews the 1970s show’s co-star, actor Earl Holliman, about his career, his chemistry with Angie Dickinson and the feminist attacks on the sexy show. Read more >>


Christopher Nolan

Originally published by Box Office Mojo

The Batman Begins director discusses comic books, the 1978 Superman and heroism, what makes a blockbuster, James Bond and and watching Mary Poppins with his family.


Chris Van Allsburg Question and Answer with Writer Chris Van Allsburg

Originally published by Box Office Mojo

With Zathura on DVD, the nation’s top chidren’s book author and illustrator talks about his picture books, including The Polar Express, and the process of making his books into movies. Read more >>


Lasse Hallstrom On What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

Originally published by Box Office Mojo

With a new DVD for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape starring Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio, director Lasse Hallstrom talks about making the classic small town picture. Read more >>


Michael Paxton Championing the Example of Ayn Rand; Her Sense of Life Inspires Filmmaker

Originally published February 15, 1998 in Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)

This month, Ayn Rand appears on the big screen—for the first time since her movie debut. Many people don’t know that the author of “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged” arrived in Hollywood as a penniless immigrant from the Soviet Union and was soon cast as an extra in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1927 “King of Kings.” Read more >>

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