Tag Archives: Judd Apatow

‘Freaks and Geeks’ Star Samm Levine: William Shatner Is a Gigantic %&?@$#!

Call it The Revenge of the Geek.

For years, Samm Levine – whose starring role in Judd Apatow‘s short-lived NBC series Freeks and Geeks rendered him a cult hero – had been a William Shatner fan.

CAPTION: Samm: Goin' where few Shatner fans have gone before.

Samm: Goin' where few Shatner fans have gone before.

But after coming face-to-face with the man, Samm isn’t exactly singing his praises.

Interviewed on BlogTalkRadio, the one-time standup comic recounts how his impersonation of the original Captain Kirk helped him land the role of geek Neal Schweiber on Freeks.

“I finished my read and I turned to the casting director and said, ‘Can I do it now?’  And I did – I did my Shatner,” Samm, who’s also featured in Quentin Tarantino‘s upcoming WWII Nazi-hunting flick Inglourious Basterds, tells Movie Geeks United host Jamey DuVall.

“And then she showed that tape to Judd Apatow… He didn’t particularly care for my read, but he liked that I did the Shatner, and that I knew that [co-executive producer Paul Feig] was coming into New York the next week.

“So he put me on the call-back list, with the only intention of having me do Shatner for Paul to make him laugh. And, mercifully, Paul had the bright idea of having me read for the character Neil. And the rest is history.”

William: I'm moo-vin' out (of Samm's way).

Shatner: I'm moo-vin' out (of Samm's way).

Then, after Jamey asks, “Is Shatner aware that he’s responsible for your acting career?” Samm launches into this story:

“I don’t think he is. And I tried to talk to him recently. I ran into him at a Billy Joel-Elton John concert out in Anaheim [Calif.] and, apparently, he has mad cow disease.

“Because I said, ‘Oh, ah, William.’ And I’m standing, literally, right in front of him, and he did not turn to acknowledge me.

“And then I said, ‘Mr. Shatner.” And, again, he would not turn to acknowledge me.

“And then I finally said, ‘Bill!’ And he just walked on by, as if I wasn’t there.

“So there are only two reasonable excuses for that. One: He’s a gigantic a – - – - – -.

“Or two: He’s clearly just an old man with mad cow disease.

“And since he is beloved to us all, it must be the latter.”

To hear Samm’s full interview, click here.

Inglourious Basterds, starring Brad Pitt, opens Aug. 21.

Ron Lester: 350-Pound Loser – and Lovin’ It!

It’s been seven years since Varsity Blues star Ron Lester underwent the dramatic surgery that allowed him to shed 350 pounds – after leaving him dead on the operating table.

“This is what’s left after losing 348 pounds,” says Ron in his new BodyBuilding.com video.

“This is what’s left after losing 348 pounds,” says Ron in his new BodyBuilding.com video.

Now he’s back on BlogTalkRadio to update us on his progress, and let us know what’s next in his career.

Atop the list of questions from fans who’ve watched the actor’s new BodyBuilding.com video (and know that’s he’s already had 16 epidermis-tightening procedures) will no doubt be, “How do you plan to get rid of all that extra skin?”

But rest assured that World Talk Live! host Brett Cohen will cover that territory and more when Ron – who once tipped the scales at 508 pounds – appears live today at 4:30 p.m. ET.

After moving from his hometown of Kennesaw, Ga., to Los Angeles in the mid-1990s, Ron began his showbiz career a stand-up comic. His first acting role was in the 1997 flick Good Burger. Two years later, he landed a recurring role on the Judd Apatow-produced NBC comedy Freaks and Geeks.

I stiol;

"But I still have a lot of skin to remove," laments the 38-year-old actor.

In 2001, Ron appeared in Not Another Teen Movie, parodying his role as the rotund Billy Bob in Varsity Blues. That same year, he underwent duodenal-switch surgery, and flatlined during the risky procedure.

Now the actor clocks in a healthy 160 pounds.

To hear Ron’s BlogTalkRadio interview today, click here.

For more on Ron, click here.

Varsity Blues’ Ron Lester

STORY UPDATED Nov. 25, 2008 @ 5:35 pm ET: Ron Lester spoke with BlogTalkRadio’s World Talk Live! today, discussing his ongoing recovery from his 2001 weight-loss surgery, his new fitness regime and his upcoming role in a Judd Apatow comedy – in which he’ll be wearing a fat suit. To hear the interview, click here.

“The hard work of so many, sacrificed by the disrespect of few,” said Coach Bud Kilmer (Jon Voight, also a BlogTalkRadio guest) in 1999′s Varsity Blues. Today, Ron Lester, who portrayed linebacker Billy Bob, joins BlogTalkRadio for an exclusive interview.

Lester

Comedian and Actor, Ron Lester, joins The War Zone tonight at 9pm ET. Lester, who won hearts the world over as the hard-drinking, gregarious big man who suffers greatly at the hands of his brutally demanding coach played by Voight.

Lester’s a whole different man now – and smaller too, having slimmed down from his former 508 pounds. Join them live tonight.

Varsity Blues’ Ron Lester

STORY UPDATED Nov. 25, 2008 @ 5:35 pm ET: Ron Lester spoke with BlogTalkRadio’s World Talk Live! today, discussing his ongoing recovery from his 2001 weight-loss surgery, his new fitness regime and his upcoming role in a Judd Apatow comedy – in which he’ll be wearing a fat suit. To hear the interview, click here.

“The hard work of so many, sacrificed by the disrespect of few,” said Coach Bud Kilmer (Jon Voight, also a BlogTalkRadio guest) in 1999′s Varsity Blues. Today, Ron Lester, who portrayed linebacker Billy Bob, joins BlogTalkRadio for an exclusive interview.

Lester

Comedian and Actor, Ron Lester, joins The War Zone tonight at 9pm ET. Lester, who won hearts the world over as the hard-drinking, gregarious big man who suffers greatly at the hands of his brutally demanding coach played by Voight.

Lester’s a whole different man now – and smaller too, having slimmed down from his former 508 pounds. Join them live tonight.