Friday, 26 March 2010

The Big Hollywood Interview!!!!

On Tuesday night I found myself having a chat with Hollywood Writer/Producer John Altschuler one of the guys behind of King of the Hill who also co-wrote the Will Ferrell film Blades of Glory. He was talking to me about his new film ‘Extract’ which is released in English Cinemas today.

I spent some time setting things up.....Chick was threatened with the Easter Bunny never making another appearance if she so much as muttered down the stairs, PJ’s on but hair and face done just in case I had to use the webcam, glass of wine in hand.  I then turned my attention to the proper stuff such as getting out the dictaphone to record the conversation and guess what it didn’t work.  Never mind! My memory along with old fashioned paper and pen will have to do so here goes (but forgive me if I use some English words in John’s answers as I only have rough notes!!!):

John!  How are you?  I understand you are in LA, what’s the weather like there today?

It’s like Paradise.  High 70’s and sunny! (jealous much?  Yes, yes I am!!!!)

That’s great.  The weather here is rubbish...lots of rain!  So what can you see from your office window.....the ocean or the Hollywood sign?

Erm....A Courtyard with people eating lunch on side and on the other side the Street.

Very rock ‘n’ roll then! What interview question do you get asked all the time that you really hate?

I don’t really dislike any of the questions but I’m not always sure about the answers I give in case they are boring!

Today your new film Extract is being released in England can you tell me a little about it?

It’s a very excellent Mike Judge movie.  It has a fantastic, comedic cast including Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis and Ben Affleck.  I’m excited about it opening in Britain as we are often told that our humour is too British as it’s very dry and observational.  I think it causes you to laugh involuntarily.

Sounds good but why should my blog readers spend good money going to see it at the Cinema?

Funny Americans (John’s words not mine!!!)

What was the most fun about working on the movie?

The most fun thing was walking in on the first day and there being a Directors chair with my name on it.  I know that sounds vain but I first came to Hollywood 22 years ago and did every crummy job imaginable to get to this point.  To somehow pull it all together and have the Directors chair was just fun.

How did you persuade Ben Affleck to go with the long haired hippy look?

Oh man he took no persuading at all.  As soon as they put the wig on he turned into this complete other character.  You know it was a small budget film (under $7million) and on a Mike Judge film everybody is there because they want to be.  So Ben came in and discussed it with Mike who wanted a Hipster character and that’s what he became and loved it!

What was the worst thing about filming?

Well it was mainly good and everyone was excited as it was all filmed in LA. The cast and crew were all behind the movie but it’s filmed in a bottle plant in the City of Commerce which is the industrial part of LA and the drive there each day was absolutely hell.

So what’s your guilty pleasure t.v. wise is it Desperate Housewives or Glee or something similar? (Thanks to Miss Lucy Halford for this question!)

All of my t.v. watching is a guilty pleasure but yes Glee is one of them

You obviously have good taste in T.V. as I love Glee too!!  Who is the most demanding actor or actress you’ve ever worked with? (Thanks to Linda Kennedy for this question!!)

Bruce Gurn who was a big star back in the 70’s and did a voice for us on King of the Hill.  He was quite a handful.

What has been your favourite project that you’ve worked on?

Everything that I’ve worked on has been good and I liked it.  Blades of Glory was excellent for a stupid movie but I’m most proud of Extract as it’s smart and funny with a humour few can pull off.

Which Character do you wish you’d invented?

Bobby Hill from King of the Hill because that kid was me.  It’s amazing and people have even said how he’s like me.  He isn’t smart or talented he’s just a normal kid.

I read somewhere that you and Dave Krinsky (John’s writing partner) met at Uni.  How did you go from uni friends to Hollywood screen writers/producers?

Well we graduated from College and I told Dave that we needed to go to Hollywood.  Dave agreed so we packed up my Dodge Colt and drove across America.  We started as production assistants which is basically a gopher role!  I sometimes think we had the ugliest path in Hollywood.  We got by doing any jobs and selling some work and then after 12 years we got a steady job.  By that time we were ready for it so able to capitalise on it.

What do you dislike most about working with Dave?

(he thought about this one for a while) I think I hate the fact that everybody thinks Dave is nicer.  If they have a problem they all go to him!

My blog is called Adventures of an English Mum.  What's the most wild adventure you've ever been on?

My wife and I trying to get my 3 and 5 year old through Orly airport to make our connection to Rome.  One kid was asleep, the other was throwing up and we realized the French did not care whether we made or flight or not.  Somehow the adrenaline kicked in and we made it.  Oh, and living by myself in a mobile home when I was 15 was quite an adventure, but that's another story.

And with that I say my goodbyes to John in sunny LA, sign off from Skype and have another couple of gulps of Pinot before phoning my friends and squealing like a girl that I just got off the phone with someone from Hollywood....What? Y’all know I’m easily impressed???

Come back tomorrow for my first giveaway and the chance for you to win a copy of ‘Extract’ on DVD!!!


  1. Job well done, Em! You rock!!
    I was very entertained by your interview, and had no idea who he was beforehand. Thanks! (And now I'm interested in seeing his movie.)

  2. Thanks Nicole. Come back tomorrow for your chance to win a copy of the movie ;-)

  3. High 5 chick!! Interesting interview, I want to know more about him now. And I definately want to see the film. I'll check in with you tomorrow
    Love Auntie Nelly

  4. Go girl! There are worse ways to spend a Tuesday night...

    I have got to watch Glee - I keep seeing it mentioned and must be the only person on the planet not to have seen it!

  5. Wow! Great interview!

    Just followed along with you. Nice to meet you Emma!

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest

  6. Time for a move to a new career me thinks, wasted in HR.
    Organ Grinder.xx