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Patrick Stewart stars as Walter Blunt in the Starz series Blunt Talk; a straight talking newsman who brings his English wit and wisdom to American broadcast news. This is not your Star Trek or Shakespeare Stewart. Blunt is much more politically incorrect; a bawdier, mischievous scalliwag who spoons his female manager, snorts cocaine, suckles prostitutes and makes no apologies for his behavior. And that's just the first four episodes!
Patrick tells host Robin Milling the character is closer to him personally than any other in that he shared his deepest secrets with writer Jonathan Ames (HBO Bored To Death) which made their way fictiously into the series. He even named the character based on his pseudonym.
Patrick talks about his first on-camera sex scene with Elisabeth Shue, guest stars from the Enterprise including Brent Spiner, and throws down a rap about salmon, charmingly revealing there are many hidden talents we have yet to discover about him.
The Bacon Brothers, Kevin and Michael join host Robin Milling backstage at City Winery in New York City to talk about their new album 36 Cents. A blend of folk, rock, soul and country; this band of brothers debuted in 1995 and are still going strong 20 years later.
Their songs have always had a sense of humor, but not always, such as Hookers & Blow which Kevin says has a much darker side. 'With the kind of straight ahead lives that both of us live; being married for a long time we lead pretty normal sort of lives. So when somebody said, 'well how was your weekend my joke is, oh you know it's just the usual, hookers and blow! It's kind of a walk in the shoes of this guy who is messed up.'
Currently on tour, Kevin tells Robin they've played everywhere from The Roxy in Los Angeles to even a pork festival at Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana. Michael says, 'I think we have a really hardcore group of fans that really appreciate the band's music.' The show featured a young musician from WHEELS (Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School) who jammed with The Bacon Brothers on stage using a donated guitar from WQXR's instrument drive. Kevin says, 'Alot of the schools and kids throughout the five boroughs in the New York City school system don't have access to instruments. And they don't get lessons. Music as you know is a really peaceful, healing, brain-making pleasure. We're trying to raise money now on six degrees.org to refurbish some of these instruments that they have.'
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What do you do when you're born to legendary comedian Richard Pryor and white Jewish go-go dancer Shelley Bonus in Los Angeles, California, spending your formative years navigating what it's like to be Black and Jewish? You write a show about it! Rain Pryor joins host Robin Milling for a backstage chat about her one-woman show, Fried Chicken & Latkes, now playing at the National Black Theater in Harlem, New York.
On stage Rain tells poignant tales of her childhood, growing up in Beverly Hills in the heyday of the 60s and 70s, expertly weaving in the voices of her mother, her Bubby, her father's grandmother, and her dad. There was the time when she was five and someone called her the 'N' word, and all through her teenage years valley girls bullied her just because she looked different. She tells Robin, 'Growing up in Beverly Hills there weren't kids like me. I think I just wanted to feel normal. It wasn't like I wanted to be white. I didn't want to be black. I just wanted to be OK to be me and it wasn't. I was bullied when kids would chase me down the street throwing rocks at me; that's bullying. It felt like I was running for my life through Beverly Hills! And I literally hid in bushes.'
And then there are the stories of her famous father who had Miles Davis play her a lullaby to send her to dreamland, and when she first realized his comic genius. Father and daughter relationships can be tricky after divorce, but Rain also had to deal with sometimes coming second to her dad's fame and career. She tells Robin how his presence is still strongly felt even 10 years after his death, and dedicates the show to his memory.
It appears to be a long time since David Crosby released a solo album; 20 years and counting. Croz, named for what his friends call him, is 11 tracks, some of which he wrote with his son James Raymond. It's the amalgamation of the inevitability of time passing. Crosby tells host Robin Milling that time is a theme that has run in his songs throughout his life.
He also reflects on how his near death experience has impacted his life since, and where he is headed. He says, 'I think your time here on the planet is the most valuable resource you have. I came to that from having wasted a great deal of it. I wasted years and years of time just getting loaded or just getting laid or just being a crazy man.'
In this candid, outspoken, provocative and blatantly honest conversation, Croz talks about debunking song myths, what drove CSNY to break up, his Woodstock memories, and where he currently stands with Neil Young to name a few topics. His rants on Twitter exemplify his need to tell it like it is which he says might be a Leo trait he's always had.
No matter how much he may get in trouble for speaking his mind, the music has always been his essential means of communication which he describes as a 'lifting force on the human race.'
For more information on David Crosby visit his website www.davidcrosby.com
It's been 42 years since the original cast and crew of the 1973 film Jesus Chris Superstar have all been in the same room together, and tonight (April 27), Director Norman Jewison, Ted Neeley (Jesus,) Yvonne Elliman (Mary Magdalene,) Barry Dennen (Pontius Pilate,) and Josh Mostel (King Herod); to name a few, will reunite for a special screening at the Beekman theater in New York City.
Getting the band back together so to speak would've happened much sooner for Ted whose boundless enthusiasm for what he calls his life-changing role has never left. He tells host Robin Milling, “I've been trying to get this reunion to happen since the film came out. I've been trying to get all of us together to do another production; if nothing else just to hang out for a few days. It's never happened until now. And the fact that we'll all be in the same place at the same time with Norman is a miracle!”
Miracles have been known to happen in the life of Jesus Christ, but it almost didn't happen for Ted who reveals he almost missed out on being cast in the iconic role. He also tells Robin how he met his wife of over 40 years, Leeyan Granger on the set and how their two children have been happily following dad's adventures as a superstar.
Most actors run from one role defining their legacy but Ted has embraced Jesus, still performing the role wherever and whenever he can; most recently touring Italy for a year. He says joyfully, “It completely changed my life, spiritually, personally. So why slap that in the face? And I still love it; every performance is like the first time all over again. That music starts to play and I just lift off the ground, 'ok take me wherever you want me to go!”
Kevin Pollak joins host Robin Milling at the Tribeca Film Festival, now in it's 14th year to discuss his film Misery Loves Comedy. Kevin wrote and directed this insightful documentary about what goes on behind the laughter and what drives today's hottest comedians to get up in front of a roomful of strangers to be the center of attention and tell jokes. Kevin was ultimately curious about the type of person who suffers from 'hey look at me syndrome devoted to acceptance and appreciation.'
He tells Robin he began with a very strict shooting schedule which allowed for a commitment from comedians; most of them his friends such as Jimmy Fallon, Amy Schumer, Christopher Guest, Janeane Garofalo, Bob Saget, Lisa Kudrow, Tom Hanks, Kevin Nealon, and Larry David; to name a few. By the end he had over 60 but one that was sorely missed is the late Robin Williams, a mentor and close friend to Kevin, who unfortunately was not available during the locked-in time. Kevin says they had hour-long conversations which made up for his absence, and when he passed while he was editing the film it was a 'no brainer' to dedicate the film to him in his memory. “It was frustrating for both of us. He wanted me to know how much he wanted to be in the film, how much it meant to him that I was doing this and spoke a great deal about his own journey and misery and happiness and life. All of those things that long-time friends talk about.”
Kevin keeps very busy with his own podcast, Kevin Pollak Chat Show, and has no immediate plans to join his friend Larry David on the Broadway stage in A Fish In the Dark. He tells Robin, “I'm happy for Larry's now historical Broadway success but that is the last thing I want to do!”
Milling About visits The Big Bungalow in Nashville, Tennessee. Located in historic Edgefield, it's a homey three bedroom B&B, owned and operated by Ellen Warshaw. A native New Yorker, Ellen tells host Robin Milling how she came to Music City with the dream of continuing her career as a singer/songwriter when 'the 80s and MTV killed my careeer'! As John Lennon says, 'life is what happens while you are busy making other plans;' Ellen made a go of it but found her style wasn't in harmony with everyone else's so she set her sights on something new. She says, 'It wasn't my heart. Rock 'n roll was my thing and here it's a different language. It wasn't fun anymore, so you have to move onto the next thing. I write feel songs and country music is story songs and that wasn't my story.'
That next chapter of her story was the hospitality business, specifically a B&B which came to her in a eureka moment one morning. Her philosophy was, 'if you build it they will come and that's what happened!' Her love of music is infused in The Big Bungalow with The Music City Room; covered with her own memorabilia and a country music decor. The other rooms are The Grandiose Suite and The Cozy Room. She also hosts house concerts in her living room where all the local musicians gather to jam.
The other kind of jam is served with the delicious breakfasts such as French Toast Casserole and Spinach and Feta Frittata with homemade fruit and nut bread. Ellen admits it was a learning curve to turn down the fancy. 'In the beginning I was making things like smoked oyster and proscuitto quiche with provolone cheese but nobody ate it!' Now her motto is simple but tasty.
Milling About visits The Sagamore Resort in Lake George, New York, an idyllic property on Green Island in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. Everywhere you turn is a view of the lake and the mountains. General Manager Tom Guay who grew up in the area tells host Robin Milling guests can hike the surrounding mountains as well as relax. There's a serenity with the sweet smell of pine permeating from the year-round lobby fireplace. Just outside is the Veranda terrace where brides begin their matrimonial walk down to the lake to say, 'I do.' The 385- room resort in existence since1883 is rumoured to be haunted, especially Room 209. Director of Sales Lori Rehm tells Robin about the resident spirits. There's a 1930s maid whose affair with a guest caused the wife to smother her with a pillow. Lori says some guests have seen someone in a maid's outfit standing in the corner or felt the blankets being tugged down by someone, and when the lights were turned on there was noone there! Visit www.thesagamore.com
Gary Busey wants you to get into The Busey Zone, interactive webisodes where you ask Gary questions and learn from his unique perspective on life, like 'A Moment With The Hobbits.' Gary tells host Robin Milling he's visited Middle Earth in his dreams through body projection. He says, "I time travel in my dreams." These observations come from a Harley Davidson accident when the curb split his head open and he died after brain surgery, seeing the other side. He jokes, "I could tell you more but it's like explaining an orgasm to a 10 year-old; you can't really discover it all!"
There's three books in the works from the mind of Busey including his autobiography, "360 Ways To See An Elephant;" meaning there's more than one way to see something. Plus a two- volume collection of his Buseyisms; Gary takes the letters from a word and creates a definition. His buddy Donald Trump is 'Taking Redirection Understanding Massive Power.' And from the man who played Buddy Holly, will be his book of lyrics 'Song Poetry.'
For Busey's outlook on life visit http://www.buseyzone.com
Gillian Anderson joins host Robin Milling to discuss The Fall, her first lead investigative series since The X Files. Playing a detective superintendent investigating a serial killer in Belfast, she jokes she's had nine years of medical school as Scully. The Fall is shot in Belfast and the tourism board has Gillian to thank as room 203 in the Hilton Hotel, where her character stays in the series, is booked through the winter of 2014.
Gillian tells Robin she's got a bit of an identity crisis, being born in Chicago and moving to London. In grade school she used her English accent to make friends, but kids can be cruel so she adopted an American accent. Now she says she can't escape 'the Britishisms' and calls London home.
You can also see Gillian on the NBC series, Hannibal as Lecter's therapist, and the upcoming series Crisis.
Multi-talented performer Sam Harris joins host Robin Milling for a backstage chat about his one-man musical, 'Ham: A Musical Memoir,' now playing at Theater 511 at Ars Nova in New York City. Directed by Billy Porter, featuring pianist Todd Schroeder, the show is based on his autobiography, 'Ham: Slices of A Life.'
On stage Sam expertly tells stories, speaking about his life's journey from boyhood to the present; whether in song or candid monologues. He tells Robin he's embraced the term, 'ham,' recalling his earliest performance at three singing The Star Spangled Banner at a football game in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. Sam says performing is everything to him. 'It was my coping mechanism being a little bit of a different kind of kid growing up in rural, Baptist South; the buckle of the bible belt! For a burgeoning gay showbusiness kid it was a little freaky especially being born in the early 60s.'
And for those not born in the 60s, Star Search was the American Idol of it's day, where Sam won the 1983 grand champion singer with his rousing rendition of 'Over The Rainbow.' He tells Robin he accepts the legacy, along with his other accomplishments as an actor, a writer, and a recording aritst.
Sam talks about the cathartic experience he feels exorcising his demons on stage, although some things were left in the book such as his alcoholism; celebrating 11 years sober. Even though the show is personal to his life experience, he tells Robin it's universal. 'I don't think there's anybody who doesn't feel outside. I don't think there's anybody who doesn't need to be told 'you're enough.''
For more about Sam visit http://www.samharris.com/
Jim Sturgess joins host Robin Milling to talk about his new film Upside Down. Jim tells Robin he actually had to practice hanging upside down for the role and got to 20 minutes with the aid of gravity boots; but not before nausea got the best of him! He even has an upside down kissing scene with his co-star Kirsten Dunst who had some previous experience with that in Spider-Man.
Jim says he was asked to appear in the Spider-Man musical on Broadway by his Across the Universe director Julie Taymor but opted to help out in the workshop with Bono instead. He prefers playing with a band and writing his own music rather than having back-up dancers behind him on a stage. One band he tells Robin was Saint Faith; a seven-piece outfit he started in Islington which he says never saw the light of day.
Music will always be there for Jim, but these days he prefers acting. He talks about working with the Wachowski brothers as an Asian man in the controversial film, Cloud Atlas, and is excited about his upcoming role as real life bank robber Eddie Dobson in Electric Slide.
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