Cloverfield Actress Lizzy Caplan Talks New Media

Lizzy Caplan is probably best known for her role in “Cloverfield,” which documented a group of people on the run from a monster in New York City through the lens of a handheld camera. When I spoke with her for an interview at The Trades, she credited the enormous popularity of the film partly to the way in which it appeals to the “You Tube generation” (a term which she admittedly hates). “It’s a very current film,” she said. “It’s drawing on all the stuff we deal with now.”

Caplan added, “Everybody has a camera, and it’s this generational thing where everybody thinks that their videos are worth showing to the public. A lot of times, there’s a million terrible You Tube videos that are pointless.”

More importantly, Caplan expressed her opinion that “Cloverfield” reflects the capacity of citizen journalism. “I think [the movie] struck a chord with people, because if there were to be some huge, terrible disaster – whether it be a real disaster or a monster attacking the city – there would be some excellent footage. We’re prepared to document anything that happens.” Continue reading

James Lesure Ventures into the Jungle

© NBC

© NBC

Following James Caan’s departure from Las Vegas, James Lesure was probably the best pure actor on the show. Now, NBC is tapping Lesure for a new role on Lipstick Jungle that his publicist describes as a “welcomed change of pace with a few surprises for viewers.”

He’ll play blunt CEO, Griffin Bell, who makes his mark by terminating Brooke Shields’ character from her job.

Having interviewed Lesure on multiple occasions, I can attest to the fact that he is not only a skilled actor but also a truly nice guy. Most recently, I spoke with him last October for an article at The Trades. At that time, he stressed the importance of imparting realism to a role. “With every script, I’m going to try to bring an element of believability and quality to the story,” he told me. “I approach every episode like that.”

You can see James in action tonight on Lipstick Jungle at 10/9c on NBC.

Chuck’s Zachary Levi Discusses the Future of Television in the Era of New Media

© NBC

© NBC

During my recent chat with Chuck star Zachary Levi for an interview at The Trades, we had a chance to discuss the role of new media and the future of television. He said, “If I had a crystal ball, it would tell me that in the next 20 years, a lot of people are going to have one box, either made by Microsoft or Apple. That box is going to download every movie, every television show, every song, every videogame, everything. It’ll be your control center, and you’ll be able to do whatever you want from it.” Continue reading

Joshua Gomez: Expect Morgan to Mature During This Season of Chuck

© NBC

© NBC

Fans of NBC’s Chuck know Joshua Gomez as Chuck’s comical best buddy Morgan Grimes. When I spoke with Gomez for an interview at The Trades, he revealed that Morgan may undergo a bit of a transformation this season.

“The writers have definitely allowed him to mature,” Gomez told me. “He’s definitely taken on a greater responsibility at Buy More. In season two, you’ll see that Chuck is definitely gone a little more…it leaves Buy More open.” That, of course, drops more responsibility into Morgan’s lap.

Even so, don’t expect Morgan to have a radical transformation. In Chuck’s season premiere, which you can see tonight on NBC, Morgan creates a steel cage match to help determine the store’s new assistant manger.

Gomez admitted, “He’s still this still really fun guy who doesn’t have too many cares in the world who just wants to hang out with his buddy and get through life doing as little work as possible.”

Chuck’s Zachary Levi Loves Lost

© NBC

© NBC

I have an upcoming interview with Zachary Levi, which you can read at The Trades on Monday, Sept. 29 ahead of Chuck’s season premiere later that night.

During our conversation, he talked about his admiration for Lost. “I love, love, love Lost and have since day one and will always love it,” he told me.

It’s not surprising to hear Levi profess his Lost fandom considering that in an episode last season, Chuck referenced Lost’s Oceanic Flight 815. “I literally peed my pants with glee when I read the script,” Levi joked. “I was like, ‘Thank you. I’m so glad we’re making a reference to it.’ I just love [Lost] so much.”

Levi also recalled a time when he read a post online where someone speculated that there was a feud between the writers of Lost and Chuck given that the show referenced Oceanic Flight 815. “That’s the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard,” Levi said about the post. “Why would we even draw attention to another show? We’re doing it because we love it. We’re doing it because we have respect for it. What a cool little Easter Egg for people to find.”

Aside from both shows being primetime standouts for their respective networks, I respect the distinctiveness that each carries. Both find a way to blend action, drama and comedy within the carefully crafted structures of their stories. It would be nearly impossible to pigeonhole either series, a quality of originality that more network entertainment shows could benefit from.

Congratulations to Jeff Probst

Congrats to Survivor host Jeff Probst on his Emmy win last night. It’s a deserved honor given his key role in Survivor’s long run of success. Even with American Idol’’s popularity, Survivor has to be the king of the reality world considering its remarkable staying power. Season 17 of Survivor begins this Thursday on CBS. If you haven’t yet read my interview with Jeff, check it out at The Trades.

Dancing with the Stars’ Kym Johnson Reveals the Secrets of Dancing

KYM JOHNSON, WARREN SAPP (ABC/HEIDI GUTMAN)

KYM JOHNSON, WARREN SAPP (ABC/HEIDI GUTMAN)

I have an interview with Kym Johnson at The Trades in which she discusses the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars. As someone who admittedly has no rhythm, I have to admire any celebrity who would go on TV in front of millions of people and try to master ballroom dancing. I have even more admiration for a professional like Johnson, who makes it look so effortless.

So, what’s the secret to being a good dancer? “Obviously, you have to have technique,” she told me during our chat. “You’ve got to have that special little something – that spark that [makes you] light up on the dance floor. Charisma’s a big thing for me.” Continue reading