Feature: The Top 15 Interviews on HollywoodChicago.com in 2011

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Star Joe Swanberg

Joe Swanberg stars in his directorial debut Kissing on the Mouth.
Joe Swanberg stars in his directorial debut Kissing on the Mouth.
Photo credit: Joe Swanberg

Interviewer: Matt Fagerholm

Background and Behind-the-Scenes: Joe Swanberg has long been one of my favorite local filmmakers ever since I randomly rented his debut effort, “Kissing on the Mouth,” which I found utterly galvanizing in its boldness and insight. I had previously interviewed Swanberg a few years ago, but was left yearning to conduct a more in-depth conversation about his evolution as a filmmaker. His film, “Uncle Kent,” marked a definite turning point in his career, and provided the perfect launching pad for an in-depth interview about his revitalized creative drive and audacious plans to tackle several pictures at once.

Memorable Quote:… I felt like I had a target on my chest. My movies had been singled out as being really sloppy while some of the other “mumblecore” directors—like [Andrew] Bujalski was ‘the purest’ and he shot on film and was a real artist, and then Aaron Katz was ‘a poet’ with this beautiful cinematography, and I was just like this terrible hack who made these really crappy looking, s—-ty movies with his friends. That’s why I just had to stop reading anything written about me because as soon as I stopped reading it, it went away. ” 

StarBurt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds in Chicago, April 2011
Burt Reynolds in Chicago, April 2011
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Interviewer: Patrick McDonald

Background and Behind-the-Scenes: I called this interview “Hanging with the King,” because to me Burt Reynolds represents an era of Hollywood in which he absolutely ruled, much like Clark Gable. Now in his seventies, Reynolds still has the magnetism of his earlier days. Reynolds also worked his way up through the show business system that began with television, and didn’t hit it big until he was in his early thirties. Now in the twilight of his stellar career, he deservedly basks in his achievements. He hugged me at the end of the interview, which was surprising. I couldn’t help telling him, for all his contributions to the era of his kingdom, that I loved him for it.

Memorable Quote:First, I’d done a lot of bad pictures. You can learn from bad pictures. Sometimes you learn a helluva lot more from a bad picture than a really great picture, because in a great picture you have a wonderful director who is your safety net. When you are asked to do a triple [act, do stunts, etc.], it’s nice to have a net. I’ve been asked to do a triple, and there was no net. But I was young, crazy and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Sometimes I missed and landed wrong, and in this cold Chicago weather I can feel when something hurts, ‘ooh, yeah, that’s The Longest Yard.’ I can name the pictures from what hurts.

StarGary Oldman

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Photo credit: Focus Features

Interviewer: Brian Tallerico

Background and Behind-the-Scenes: It was a roundtable that felt intimate. It was a promotional tool for a new movie that felt like a conversation about the entire art of acting. And it was both insightful and even hysterical. And now that I’ve sat across from Gary Oldman as he did a two-part impression of Al Pacino (the old “Godfather” era and the current one), I truly thought to myself, “OK, I’m never going to top that moment. I can retire now.”

Memorable Quote:I go to movies with my kids and I just feel a bit like ‘god, I need a Tylenol and nap after that.’ And that’s why I run to the DVD and I put in ‘The Conversation’ and that’s the sort of kind of movie I want to watch.

Click on the name of the interviewee in the headline to read the full interview. Click here for details regarding the “Flashback Weekends.” Click here for information regarding the Hollywood Palms Cinema, Naperville, Illinois.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Senior Staff Writer

© 2012 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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