Tag Archives: host Jamey DuVall

SoundBits: Jamey DuVall’s Passionate Journey into the Magic Lantern

Jamey DuVall appears to be straight out of central casting, namely from the office marked “Movie Gurus.” What with his not-so-vague resemblance to Orson Wells and a surname that’s thisclose to Bobby Duvall’s, our Movie Geeks United! host brings an air of authority to discussions of all things cinematic – not to mention the ease at which he puts such notable guests as Jon Voight, Francis Ford Coppola, Jeff Goldblum, Brian De Palma and Alan Rickman. Adding to the Lakeland, Fla., resident’s screen cred is the fact that his interviews frequently generate news that’s carried on the Internet Movie Database and other leading industry outlets. That said, it’s time we stop scribbling and start shouting “Action!”

Give us a 15-second pitch for your show – why should listeners tune in?

Movie Geeks United! is produced by and for people who share a deep love and appreciation of film. Our interviews cover the latest films by involving every facet of the industry, from the lead actor to the makeup artist to the composer. Past guests have included screen idols, big- name directors and more than 400 other professionals working in front of and behind the camera.  We also pay tribute to the films and artists who have shaped our lives, like we’ve done with directors like David Lynch and Steven Spielberg, or films like Heat and Gone With the Wind. Those specials feature conversations with artists and scholars who have unique insights into the subjects we’re exploring.

CAPTION: Jamey (left) and Orson (right): Fellow film citizens separated at birth?

Jamey (left) and Orson (right): Fellow film citizens separated at birth?

Tell us two things listeners would be surprised to learn about you?

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Michael Jackson Planned to Step into Jimmy Cagney’s Shoes, Says ‘Captain EO’ Producer and Longtime Pal Rusty Lemorande

Unlike his idol Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson never established himself as a movie star – namely in a musical remake of the 1938 James Cagney flick Angels with Dirty Faces – and it’s a reget he took to his grave.

That, according to the King of Pop’s Captain EO collaborator, and friend of 25 years, Rusty Lemorande.

CAPTION: "He really wanted a film career," Rusty tells us of Michael (above in 1999).

"He really wanted a film career," Rusty tells us of Michael (above).

In an exclusive interview with BlogTalkRadio, Rusty – who produced and co-wrote the 3-D, Francis Ford Coppola-directed Captain EO as a Disney theme park attraction in 1986 – recounts how Michael came to sign on for Angels and another feature during the early ’90s.

“Michael was pretty pleased with our relationship, and he had just set up his film company at Sony-Columbia. And the problem was, with all the development people, etc. – and it was a pretty thick company with people – he wasn’t committing to anything,” Rusty, whose other production credits include the 1983 Barbra Streisand star vehicle Yentil, tells Movie Geeks United! host Jamey DuVall of the pop star, who died June 25 after suffering cardiac arrest.

“I think people didn’t understand how to relate to him. I used to say to him, ‘You’re a little like Arnold Schwarzenegger. You can’t do any part. The part has to be tailored to you. He became a star because of Terminator.

“Well, Michael said, ‘You come up with some ideas.’ And I came up with two fairly quickly.

CAPTION: Jimmy (right) was among the screen idol Michael hoped to emulate.

Jimmy (right) was the screen idol Michael (left) hoped to emulate in "Angels with Dirty Faces."

“One was to remake an old film called 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, which was a [1964] Tony Randall film that involved a child protagonist, and the other was to remake the film Angels with Dirty Faces, which is a James Cagney film. Michael was a huge James Cagney fan.

“Michael loved both projects. Part of it was the way I explained it to him, talked him through it. We had sketches done and creatures made – you really had to turn it into the toy version.

“On Dr. Lao, we had the set miniatures built of the circus and he committed to both, which was a major event at the time.

“One was set up at Warners. And the other was set up at Turner – who owned the remake rights. And everything was going great. Fantastic!

“And then the first scandal hit.”

CAPTION: The King of Pop with Francis during the production of "Captain EO."

The King of Pop with Francis during the production of "Captain EO."

(In 1993, Michael was accused of child abuse by the father of then 13-year-old Evan Chandler. Though he denied the allegations, the pop idol eventually settled the suit out of court for $22 million.)

“I remember it as vividly as I remember when I heard President Kennedy was shot. I was in my car driving to this studio where we were building these miniatures, where people were going to come and see them. And someone called me and said, ‘Did you see what’s on the news? Michael Jackson’s ranch has been raided,” continues Rusty.

“The truth of the matter is, very simply – and in fairness to Hollywood and the big studios – they have huge investment obligations to their shareholders. So they got very nervous. They didn’t know if the audience would still be there for Michael.

As the title character in "Captain EO."

As the title character in "Captain EO."

“Suddenly, nobody wanted to touch him… It was quite sad that it never happened, because it was very important for Michael to be in movies.

“He used to talk about Elvis Presley’s career and say, ‘If Elvis hadn’t made all those films, he wouldn’t be as remembered as he was.'”

During the 30-minute interview, Rusty also reveals how he came to earn Michael’s trust while he and The Godfather director were working on Captain EO.

“The secret of working with Michael Jackson was to think, how would you, literally, deal with a 10-year-old boy?

“Francis got it. At one point, he was having trouble directing Michael. Michael didn’t seem to respond to the kind of word dialogue that a director largely uses.

His only other big-screen appearance: Co-starring as Scarecrow in 1978's "The Wiz."

His only other big-screen appearance: As Scarecrow in 1978's "The Wiz."

“So [Francis] sent out for some masks: happy masks – like clown masks – and scary masks. And when he wanted to elicit an emotion from Michael, he would put on those masks and it would be as if a child were reacting to a mask. And it was effective!

“Michael loved to go toy shopping. But the adult in him wanted to drive his car. And he drove like a maniac. I was always grippin’ my seat.

“He loved masks. He had masks in his glove compartment, which he would put on as he drove. His explanation was, ‘If I don’t put it on, people will see it’s me and they’ll chase me.’

“Then we’d go into a toy store. Then it was funny, because the mask he’d wear into the store would usually be like a woman’s harem mask kind of thing, with a veil across his face.”

To hear Rusty’s full interview, click here.


Burt Young: I Was Sore at Sylvester Stallone After ‘Rocky V.’ ‘We Didn’t Talk for Years and Years’

Now we know why Burt Young played Sylvester Stallone’s dyspeptic bother-in-law Paulie so convincingly in the penultimate Rocky picture: He was peeved at the he-man.

Interviewed on Movie Geeks United, the legendary character actor says it was only his daughter’s fond memories of his earlier collaborations with Sly that repaired an epic rift.

CAPTION: Burt (above): Much, ah, happier in the final Rocky flick.

Burt (above): Much, ah, happier in the Rocky finale.

Rocky V…was a clinker. I was sore. In fact, he and I didn’t talk because I was sore about what we didn’t do to help that movie,” Burt tells host Jamey DuVall of the 1990 film.

“We really didn’t talk for years and years and years – until they told me he’d written another story [which] was turned down. But he believed in it,” Burt continues.

“My daughter…grew up with the Rocky things, and she was reminding me how we used to work together – write together, rehearse together – and the joy we used to have out of each other from working.

“So I was invited as part of the audience when [Sly] was doing that Contender [TV] series with Sugar Ray Leonard. And it was the first time we said hello in many years.

Yo, Paulie! With on-again pal Sly at the “Rocky Balboa” premiere.

Yo, Paulie! With on-again pal Sly at the “Rocky Balboa” premiere.

“And he said, ‘Burt, I’ve been turned down on this,” he adds of Sly’s script for Rocky Balboa, which would be brought to the big screen in 2006.

“But I only want to hear what you have to say about it.’ So he sent me a copy. And it was magnificent.”

Burt also chats with Jamey about working with co- star Jon Voight and the late director Hal Ashby on the 1982 comedy Lookin’ To Get Out, and about working with the late Rodney Dangerfield on 1986’s Back to School.

“At the beginning, we got off on the wrong start,” Burt says of Rodney.

“So for a while I barred him from my trailer for poor conduct and deportment.”

To hear Burt’s full interview, click here.

Jon Voight Reveals Inspiration for Character Played by Baby Daughter Angelina Jolie in Her First Flick

CAPTION: “Maybe the whole story will come out one day,” Jon (above) tells us of Hal’s inability to ever meet daughter Lee in person.

“Maybe the whole story will come out one day,” Jon (above) tells us of Hal’s inability to ever meet daughter Lee.

NEW YORK, March 18, 2009 (BlogTalkRadio) – Talk about art imitating life, or vice-versa – or something like that.

Here’s the story: In 1981, Jon Voight signed on to star in a comedy called Lookin’ To Get Out, which he’d co-written.

Co-starring would be Burt Young of Rocky fame, and the stunning Ann-Margret.

Directing would be Hal Ashby, a maverick who’d made such hit flicks as Harold and Maude (1971), Shampoo (1975) and Being There (1979), and who would die of cancer 1988.

Jon had been pals with Hal since 1977, when Hal directed the golden boy opposite Jane Fonda in Coming Home, for which Jon won his first and only Oscar (just as Jane won hers).

Cut to 2007. “A young Scottish writer by the name of Nick Dawson, who’d fallen in love with Hal’s work. . .called me up and said, ‘I’d like to interview you. I’m doing a book on Hal Ashby,’” Jon tells Movie Geeks United host Jamey DuVall.

CAPTION: Fatherhood, interrupted: (l-r) Jon with Angie and Ann-Margret in “Lookin’ to Get Out.”

Fatherhood, interrupted: (r-l) Jon with Angie and Ann-Margret in “Lookin’ to Get Out.”

A few months later, Nick called again, to arrange a meeting with Jon.

“May I bring Hal’s daughter with me?” said Nick.

“I didn’t know he had a daughter,” said Jon.

“She was trying to get in touch with [Hal] during his lifetime,” Jon tells Jamey. “But they never met. . .I’m sorry I didn’t know about this, because I was close enough to Hal that I definitely would have been able to get them together.”

Angie: Lookin' to get in – to pictures.

Angie: Lookin' to get in – to pictures.

A few days later, Jon met with Hal’s daughter, Lee Ashby McManus, and Nick.

“They started to talk about how much they loved Lookin’ to Get Out. And I asked Lee, ‘Why is it your favorite film?’” says Jon.

“She said, ‘Because I think the girl in it’ – the little girl at the end, played by Angelina Jolie as a little baby – ‘was me,’” adds Jon of his daughter, to whom he has barely spoken since 2002, when he said in a TV interview that she had “severe emotional problems.”

“And I thought about it and I said, ‘Yes, it’s very possible that it was you,’” he continues.

“I remember the discussions [Hal and I] had. We were thinking of going with a little boy. But Hal wanted it to be a girl.”

CAPTION: “He was a very loving man,” says Jon of Hal (above). “He cared for everybody.”

“He was a very loving man,” says Jon of Hal (above). “He cared for everybody.”

Tonight, March 18, at 10 p.m. ET, Jamey unspools his full 20-minute chat with Jon, in which the actor also dis- cusses how he discovered the lost director’s cut of Lookin’ To Get Out; working with Hal on Coming Home; making the film that made him a superstar, Midnight Cowboy; and why his brother, who wrote the rock anthem Wild Thing, changed his name from James Lesley Voight to Chip Taylor.

And if that were not enough, Burt (as in the aforemen- tioned Burt Young) will be joining Jamey live to offer his on-set recollections of Lookin’ To Get Out.

Also on the show will be Nick Dawson, whose new bio is titled Being Hal Ashby: Life of a Hollywood Rebel.

The director’s cut of Lookin’ To Get Out makes its world debut April 3 at the Sarasota Film Festival. For more information on the event, click here.

To hear Jon’s full interview, click here.