RICK PADILLA

Rick Padilla saddled up at Shark Pig HQ and had a very thoughtful and down-to-earth conversation about his friend Hal Ashby. A no-holds-barred Hollywood ex-pat, Rick was Hal's business associate in his later years, and was helping develop at least 5 different projects for Hal before he passed. One of those films was Brautigan's The Hawkline Monster, a project we are so eager to know more about. Hal mentored Rick and the two built a solid friendship that transcended the film biz. Thanks for sitting down with us Rick Padilla!

DAVID O. RUSSELL

If I had to contain my excitement regarding this interview with David O. Russell I would need to commandeer the Goodyear Blimp. DOR sat down with us with the agenda of itemizing SHAMPOO but what resulted was a jam session on all SCENES of Ashby brilliance. Recited. Word by word. With Mensa accuracy and beautiful insight. I wish I could have asked him about one thousand more questions outside of the world of 1970s cinema. 

TONY BILL AKA JOHNNY POPE!

Last week we had a moment to sit and talk about SHAMPOO with Tony Bill, producer/director/actor who plays producer Johnny Pope in SHAMPOO. He offered up some amusing insights on what it was like to play the straight guy in the COOL film, as well as his take on the Beatty/Ashby/Towne trifecta of direction. Very honored to get a moment with the charming and hilarious Tony Bill!

ADAM McKAY ON BEING THERE

We are treating each of Hal’s films of the 1970’s as case studies where contemporary directors break them down and act as a guide for those sections. Because the ultimate film geeks are film directors themselves- we thought this added layer would give a voice to Ashby’s influence on current filmmaking. It was so cool to catch up with Adam McKay and talk about Being There. In case you’re not a film nerd, McKay is the hilarious mind behind Anchorman, The Other Guys, and Step Brothers to highlight a few hits in his very prolific career.

He broke down his appreciation for Being There on a meta-level by examining celebrity worship, media obsession, and chance. By using a present-day lens to dissect how virtually unknown people can oftentimes rise to positions of power simply by mirroring the actions of those around them- he drew super insightful impressions of Chauncy Gardiner’s rise to power and fame.

As a veteran comedian and comic writer/director, his insights on Peter Sellers performance and comic timing are fascinating. McKay sees the humor and meditative qualities of the film, but also the darker undercurrent of the plausibility of this scenario actually happening- and how Jerzy Kosinski informed the darker side of the narrative. Although what’s interesting about the filmBeing There is that we also got to talk to the person who actually wrote the screenplay. Stay tuned for more on that.