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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

 

 

Entries in Betty White (2)

Monday
Apr172017

Call Answered: Tom Malloy: "Fair Haven" and "Midtown"

Tom Malloy, Photo Credit: Birdie ThompsonIt's always exciting when an interview I did with one person leads to an interview with another. It was because of my interview with Fair Haven filmmaker Kerstin Karlhuber, that I found my way to actor/writer/producer Tom Malloy, who produced and co-starred in the film.

It was great getting to learn more about Fair Haven from Tom (a film about a young man who returns to his family farm, after a long stay in ex-gay conversion therapy, and is torn between the expectations of his emotionally distant father, and the memories of a past, loving relationship he has tried to bury) as well as all the intricacies of his career including the other films/TV shows he has produced/starred in, including the Amazon comedy series Midtown (co-created with his friend stand-up comedian Scott Baker) about the banter that happens between cops.

For more on Tom be sure to visit http://tommalloy.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

1. After my interview with Kerstin Karlhuber, I am so excited to have the chance to speak with you! So, let's start with Fair Haven, which you produced and co-star in. What attracted you to this story? Why did you want to produce the film & co-star in the film, as opposed to just one or the other? What were some of the challenges of being both producer and actor? From the moment I read it, I thought the quality of the screenplay was top-notch. I was attracted to the project because it was such a sweet story, a story of a father and his son, and, at the end of the day, was all about love.

Kerstin asked me to produce, and she wanted to shoot it in Vermont. I initially turned it down because I didn’t have the bandwidth to get away and didn’t want to be away from my kids for too long. But then I called her back and asked if she’d be able to shoot in Rochester, NY, where I have a lot of family, and the rest is history.

As for producing, almost all of the projects I’m involved in have me as an actor somewhere. I believe, in 14 films, I’ve only not played a role twice. Acting is still my greatest passion. On set, with a film like this, since I was the sole producer, I only took a small role, a day-player type role. I believe I shot for 2-3 days. That’s the only way to do both. In the films (like Love N’ Dancing or The Alphabet Killer), where I was the lead role, I was lucky enough to have other producers involved who were able to cover for me!

2. In addition to Fair Haven, you also star in and co-write/produce the comedy series Midtown on Amazon, which is the brainchild of you and former NYPD Cop/current stand-up comedian Scott Baker...about the banter that happens between cops. First of all, how did you and Scott come to know each other and how soon after did you go, we should create this show? What do you love about working with Scott? Do you have any real life cop stories you can share with us? Scott and I met on the set of the movie Anger Management, with Adam Sandler. We were both playing NY Yankees in that movie, no lines. He and I hit it off right away, and the banter you see on Midtown is the exact banter between us in real life! We just play off each other so well, which is why I love working with him.

My favorite times are when I throw something out comedy-wise, and he picks up on it and throws it back to me. That’s when I know we’re in total comedy synergy on stage or in the show…which is completely improvised.

As for real-life cop stories, Scott wrote the book The Funniest Cop Stories Ever, which were true stories of the NYPD, so he’d be a better one to ask!

3. Who or what inspired you to become an actor, writer, producer? I remember when I first came up with that concept, around 2004. I told my agent at the time that I was going to be an actor/writer/producer, and she told me I was foolish to not focus on one of them. I claim that the same agent today is telling her actors: "You need to be all three." So much has changed with the business, and I have so many actor friends out of work or taking jobs in other industries because they can only do one thing. Being a "triple-hyphenate" has allowed me to not work anywhere outside the business and thrive! Plus, intrinsically, I’m an action-oriented person, so sitting around was never an option. I always just wanted to create my own projects.

4. Another film you starred in is Hero of the Underworld, where you play the overnight manager of an upscale hotel who takes it upon himself to become the savior of a guest who's been nearly beaten to death by her boyfriend. There is a line I love in the trailer that says "Every man gets a chance to be a hero or a coward." When in your life have you been the hero and when have you been a coward? Yes, I love that movie and it was based on true events. But good question about hero/coward. I’ve played the hero many times, I believe…broken up fights, helped people on the street, etc.  As for coward, I can’t think of the last time where I really felt that way. I try to live my life with the "no should’ves" rule. I never want to walk away and think "I should have done that," or "I should have said that." Not to say that I don’t get scared! I have tons of fear, but I just NEVER let it stop me. That’s a key to success right there…never let fear get in the way. Accept the fear and just do it anyway!

Tom Malloy5. You are also starring in the upcoming series Dropping The Soap with Jane Lynch, which is a behind-the-scenes look at a failing soap opera. With all the shows and films you've been in, what is the juiciest behind-the-scenes story you can tell us from a project you just knew was not going to do well? Such a great show, so ridiculously funny! I’m so proud of the show. I knew from the moment I watched it that it was going to be a hit. As for juicy stories, those would have to be after the premiere because my distribution company (Glass House Distribution) acquired the series after it was finished.

6. Let's just play with the show's title for a moment...If you were to "Drop the soap," what would you hope to find after you picked it up? Hopefully not a naked guy behind me in a prison shower. I think that’s where that expression came from!

7. You got to work with one of my idols...Betty White! What was that experience like? What did you learn from her? That was the highlight of my career so far!. She was so incredible…everyone on set immediately wanted her to be their grandma! 

As for learning something, it was just great to watch her have fun! A lot of times actors take life too seriously, and she was having fun with her lines and that was so great to watch. So I guess the lesson there is to have fun with your performance, and the audience has fun with you.

Jack Black & Tom Malloy at the Renal Support Network annual Charity Poker and Bingo Tournament8. When you are not acting, you enjoy playing Celebrity Poker Tournaments and participating in the West Coast Swing Dancing competitions. In poker, the highest win is a Royal Flush. What, in your career thus far, would you consider to be a Royal Flush? And when was a time you were like, "I fold"? Yes, I LOVE poker. A Royal Flush in my career would be the first day we started shooting Love N’ Dancing. That movie was a nightmare to get going, and it was such an accomplishment to actually make it happen. I’m still hurting that it didn’t become a major hit, and I’m developing a new dance film/romantic comedy that I hope to produce and star in this year.

As for, "I fold," that would have to be the time I had all this money from Beijing to shoot three movies and the people funding it just disappeared. I was in the middle of shooting a film, and, though I was able to finish it, the money was gone. I had to shut down production offices and let people go…a nightmare!

9. What do you feel the rhythm of dancing has taught you about the rhythm of life? Again, I think the intrinsic lesson is to have fun. Your body stores so much of your emotion, and expressing emotions through movement is a fantastic feeling.

10. As an actor who has be interviewed time and time again, what is one question I didn't ask that you wish I had (and please provide the answer to that question)? Q: What’s an important lesson you teach your kids?

A: Never grow up. Always have the innocence and wonder and joy and laughter of life to keep you going. People who "grow up" are just beat down from society and negative reinforcement, and imposed "rules." I’m still a kid and will never change that.

11. On "Call Me Adam" I have a section called One Percent Better, where through my own fitness commitment, I try to encourage people to improve their own life by one percent every day. What is something in your life that you want to improve by one percent better every day? My goal is to start drilling down my focus as specific as possible. Sometimes I get spread too thin, and I have to keep telling myself not to say yes to everything coming at me because then I won’t be able to truly be 100%. So I’m going to focus more and more everyday!

Tom MalloyMore on Tom:

An award winning and critically acclaimed actor, Tom wowed Hollywood with his stunning turn in the indie-cult favorite GRAVESEND in 1998, which was produced by Oliver Stone.

Most recent films include: SCREAMERS (Coming Fall 2017), HERO OF THE UNDERWORLD (on VOD everywhere) directed by John Vincent, starring Tom, Nicole Fox, and Quinton Aaron (for this film, Tom won BEST ACTOR at the Chain NYC Film Festival, and BEST ACTOR at AC Cinefest, FAIR HAVEN (Coming to SHOWTIME Summer 2017) directed by Kerstin Karlhuber, starring Tom Wopat and Michael Grant, ASHLEY, directed by Dean Ronalds, which was in theaters in 2013, and is now on VOD, LOVE N’ DANCING, which was directed by Rob Iscove (She’s All That), and stars Amy Smart, Tom Malloy, Billy Zane, Rachel Dratch, and Betty White; the psychological thriller THE ALPHABET KILLER, directed by Rob Schmidt (Wrong Turn, Crime & Punishment in Suburbia) and stars Eliza Dushku, Cary Elwes, Tom Malloy, Timothy Hutton, Michael Ironside, and Oscar Winner Melissa Leo; and a thriller directed by Mary Lambert called THE ATTIC, starring John Savage, Malloy, and Elisabeth Moss.

Tom is currently starring with Comedian Scott Baker in the improv cop comedy MIDTOWN, which can be seen on Amazon, now in it's second season.

Tom is a graduate of the famous Improv Olympic (IO) Training Center in Los Angeles (former graduates include Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Steve Carrell). Tom has also appeared in principle roles on LAW & ORDER, THIRD WATCH, KIDNAPPED, THE SIEGE (with Denzel Washington) and ANGER MANAGEMENT. As a Stand Up Comic, Tom has appeared at Caroline's Comedy Club and the Broadway Comedy Club in NYC, and at the LA Improv.

In addition to his work as an actor, Tom is an accomplished author whose book BANKROLL: A New Approach to Financing Feature Films is considered the "gold standard" of indie film financing instruction. A second edition came out in 2012.

Tom has also competed and taught classes in the smooth, hip-hop dance style known as West Coast Swing. He was trained by seven time U.S. Open Champion Robert Royston.

Tom has trained for years in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, first training with Royce Gracie back in 1992, prior the UFC even existing! He currently trains in Beverly Hills with the legendary Rigan Machado. He is also a professional poker player, and for over a year was one of the highest ranked celebrity players on the now defunct MegaFrame Casino.

Finally, Tom worked for 10 years as a nationally known motivational speaker for adults and kids. He traveled across the country spreading his positive message to students of all ages. Over the years, he has spoken to more than 100,000 students.

Thursday
Oct092014

Call Answered: Richard Tanner: small PARTS: Hollywood Fringe Festival Encore Series

Richard Tanner"Call Me Adam" chats with actor and writer Richard Tanner about his one-man show small PARTS, which is enjoying an extended run in the Hollywood Fringe Festival Encore Series from October 15-November 19 at The Lounge Theatre in Hollywood, CA (6201 Santa Monica Blvd, between Vine St and N. El Centro Ave).

small PARTS is part cautionary tale, part irreverent skewering of show business, using multimedia to chronicle the ins, outs, highs, lows, and mind boggling absurdities of Richard's 20+ year career as a working actor in over 75 feature films and primetime shows including NBC's smash hit The Golden Girls as "Young Stan," The West Wing, CBS' The Agency, and ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars. CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS!

For more on Richard be sure to visit http://richardtanner.net!

1. After a successful run in the Hollywood Fringe Festival, your one-man show, small PARTS, is making a return for 6 performances only in their Encore Series. What excites you about having this extended run? THAT IT’S ONLY ONCE A WEEK, AND DOESN’T IMPINGE ON MY ALL-IMPORTANT WEEKEND-LEISURE TIME. LOL 

THE SERIOUS ANSWER, OF COURSE, IS THAT IT ALLOW ME TO SHARE MY STORY WITH MORE PEOPLE, RE-SHARE IT WITH THOSE WHO’VE INDICATED THEY WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN, AND CONTINUE TO PERFORM WHAT IS, FOR ME, AN EVER-EVOLVING PERFORMANCE.

2. What made you originally want to write a show about your 20-year career in Hollywood? NO ONE ELSE OFFERED TO. LOL IN TRUTH, I’D NEVER SEEN A ONE-MAN SHOW THAT ADDRESSED THE SAME THEME.  I’D SEEN LOT OF PIECES ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT PURSUING, OR LETTING GO OF ONE’S DREAM.  BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT LETTING GO OF ONE’S DREAM – AGAINST ALL URGES/ADVICE TO THE CONTRARY? (AND YES, IT’S A COMEDY. :)

Richard Tanner in "small PARTS"3. How does your show differ from other one-person shows about Hollywood careers? UNLIKE MANY THAT I’VE SEEN, IT’S NOT A COMPENDIUM OF "AND THEN I DID..." RATHER, IT’S MORE OF A CAUTIONARY TALE ABOUT THE STUFF NO ONE TELLS YOU WHEN YOU’RE STARTING TO PURSUE A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD. (I DID MENTION IT’S A COMEDY, RIGHT?)  ALSO – AND VERY IMPORTANT TO ME – IT’S NOT JUST A "TALKING HEAD" SHOW – IT RELIES HEAVILY ON MULTI-MEDIA; PROJECTIONS, SOUND, ANIMATION. THERE ARE EVEN SUBTITLES WHICH ACT AS A SECOND "CHARACTER." AND DID I MENTION AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION?

4. How do you feel the Fringe Festival helped nurture this show in a way that another festival might not? AS A FRINGE FESTIVAL VIRGIN (IT’S NICE TO STILL BE A VIRGIN AT SOMETHING), I CAN’T SPEAK TO OTHER FESTIVALS. I CAN SAY THAT FROM THE START, THE HOLLYWOOD FRINGE EMPHASIZED COMMUNITY – ENCOURAGING ALL PARTICIPANTS TO SEE THEIR COLLEAGUES SHOWS, INVITE THEM TO THEIRS, CROSS-PROMOTE SHOWS, SHARE TIPS, SOCIALIZE. AND DRINK. A LOT. LOL

Richard Tanner5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing small PARTS? TO NEVER, EVER MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES I DID. (SEE A PATTERN, HERE?  MAKE A JOKE, THEN GIVE A SERIOUS ANSWER.) FIRST AND FOREMOST, I HOPE THEY’RE ENTERTAINED. AND NEVER, EVER BORED. I ALSO HOPE THAT THEY’RE A BIT CAUGHT OFF GUARD BY WHY I HOPE ARE UNEXPECTED ELEMENTS – IN BOTH FORM AND CONTENT. THE MOST GRATIFYING RESPONSES I’VE HAD HAVE BEEN, "I DIDN’T WANT IT TO END,” AND, “I’M NOT AN ACTOR, BUT I COMPLETELY IDENTIFIED WITH YOU."

6. Out of all the TV shows you were featured on, one of my favorites was as "Young Stan" on The Golden Girls. Looking back, what did you enjoy about being on that show? What did you learn from The Girls? IT WAS THE FIRST PRIME-TIME, HIT SHOW ON WHICH I’D BEEN CAST, WHICH WAS A THRILL. IT WAS ALSO MY FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH A THREE-CAMERA, LIVE AUDIENCE SHOW, WHICH, FOR SOMEONE WITH A THEATER BACKROUND LIKE MYSELF, WASEXTREMELY SATISFYING.

AS FOR THE "GIRLS," BETTY WHITE WAS EXACTLY WHO SHE APPEARS TO BE (NOT ALWAYS THE CASE IN HOLLYWOOD), AND ESTELLE GETTY WENT ON TO DO A READING OF A PLAY I WROTE, MYSTERIES OF THE RAINFOREST.

Richard Tanner7. Out of the 75 feature films you've been in and TV shows you've been on, are you able to pick out a few favorites? What made them your favorite? I’M ASKED THIS QUESTION A LOT, AND WITH NO FALSE MODESTY, I CAN’T. (AND NOT BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL MY "CHILDREN," AND I LOVE THEM EQUALLY, AS I’VE HEARD SOME ACTORS SAY. LOL). IN TRUTH, MOST OF MY CAREER "CHOICES" HAVE BEEN WHETHER TO GET A PAYCHECK OR NOT. :)  I WILL SAY THAT I’VE WORKED WITH SOME DIRECTORS WHO IMPRESSED ME GREATLY WITH THEIR ABILITY TO STAY CALM UNDER PRESSURE, AND THEIR GENUINE UNDERSTANDING OF – AND KINDNESS TOWARDS – ACTORS. WEST WING WAS SATISFYING IN THAT REGARD, AND BECAUSE OF THE EXTRAORDINARY QUALITY OF THE WRITING. (THE FACT THAT IS WAS HUGELY POPULAR DIDN’T HURT, EITHER.) AND THERE ARE SOME INDEPENDENT FILM PROJECTS WHICH REMAIN DEAR TO ME BECAUSE THEY ALLOWED ME TO STRETCH AS AN ACTOR.

8. What's the best advice you've ever received? WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY, DON’T PICK AT SCABS, AND ALWAYS WEAR CLEAN UNDERWEAR IN CASE YOU’RE HIT BY BUS. IF YOU COME SEE THE SHOW, YOU’LL GET TO HEAR—AND LAUGH AT -- PLENTY OF THE REALLY BAD ADVICE I’VE RECEIVED OVER THE YEARS! AND HERE’S A GREAT INSIGHT I RECEIVED: EVERY AUDITION IS A CHANCE TO DO WHAT WE, AS ACTORS, LOVE TO DO MOST IN THE WORLD – ACT. (PRETTY GOOD, HUH?)

9. What have you learned about yourself from being an actor? THAT IN ORDER TO SURVIVE – NOT JUST AS AN ACTOR, BUT IN THE WORLD – ONE MUST MAINTAIN A BALANCE. BETWEEN WORK AND PLAY. GENEROSITY AND SELF-INTEREST. SERIOUSNESS AND SILLINESS. SOLITITUDE AND COMPANY. SELF- CONFIDENCE AND OPENNESS TO CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM. AND ESPECIALLY – AS AN ACTOR – THE ABILITY TO MAINTAIN A THICK SKIN AND AN OPEN HEART (FREQUENTLY SIMULATENOUSLY). YOU TRY IT. :)

10. How do you want to be remembered? FOR GIVING SMART, FUNNY, MEMORABLE ANSWERS TO INTERVIEW QUESTIONS.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? TO CONTROL TIME IN ORDER TO HAVE ENOUGH OF IT TO DO EVERYTHING I’D LIKE TO DO. THAT, AND THE POWER TO GET IMMEDIATE SATISFACTION EVERY TIME I CALL THE PHONE COMPANY.

12. If you could be any original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be? RED. (THAT’S A FLAVOR, ISN’T IT?) 

Richard TannerMore on Richard:

Richard Tanner has Guest-Starred in dozens of primetime episodics, from THE GOLDEN GIRLS (in which he first came to the public’s attention as "Young Stan") to his recurring role on CBS’ THE AGENCY. Other notable appearances include THE WEST WING , JAG, MONK and STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE. Some less notable appearances include the direct-to-DVD films BUDZ HOUSE, STONERVILLE (opposite the late, great Leslie Nielsen) and C’MON MAN, opposite Chris Rock’s brother, Tony. Forthcoming features include SPANNERS, THE ADVOCATE, and ODD BRODSKY, in which he plays…Quentin Tarantino(!?)

A native New Yorker and Phi Beta Kappa graduate from Cornell, Richard toured the NYC cabaret circuit with his songwriting partner, Stephen Flaherty (RAGTIME, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, SEUSSICAL). Subsequently, he worked extensively with improv and sketch groups on both coasts. Thespianically (?), he appeared in the West Coast premiere of JOINED AT THE HEAD at the Pasadena Playhouse, was an original cast member/co-creator of the long running Off-Broadway hit, GRANDMA SYLVIA’S FUNERAL, and portrayed both Eddie Cantor and Dean Martin in the Los Angeles workshop of the original musical, SAMMY!, directed by Debbie Allen.

He is a member of L.A.’s oldest storytelling collective, The Story Salon, and regularly performs his original stories at such events as "Pinata" at the Bang Comedy Theatre, "Wordplay" at the Fake Theatre, and "Tasty Words" at Every Picture Tells a Story. He’s the founder of The Drama Club, a play-reading salon, and author of the play, MYSTERIES OF THE RAINFOREST, which was workshopped with late Estelle Getty, and subsequently under the sponsorship of Michael Patrick King (SEX IN THE CITY).

In his spare time (besides dropping names) he’s written for such publications as Esquire, The Village Voice, and The N.Y Daily News , and has completed the requisite number of unproduced screenplays, as per California Civil Code, section 38-41.