I feel a little stressed today.
Actually, I’ve been feeling a little bit stressed all week.
(Cue Violins, Mancini).
It’s a big thing for me to admit that because I’m not usually a sharer.
I’m sitting here trying to work out why – why am I pulling my hair out?
If I had time – there’s the first problem – to write a list, I’d pencil down things like : the lack of booze that’s been entering my system, the lack of sleep, the job juggle-acting I’m trying to do at the moment, my aching and damaged feet, irritatingly daft associates, a 10kg baby I’m forced to carry around, like a bag of packed oranges, around department stores on the weekend because she won’t ride in her pram.
It’s probably a combination of all those things. I guess. One thing’s for sure, the vessel’s had enough. Its fuel meter is flashing an empty sign. The brain’s decided to go to Fiji. The leg’s have decided to attend the opening at a brothel in Beijing. The writing hand has decided to blister up and hump a band-aid.
Yes, it’s definitely time for a drink. Or six.
Ten years I’ve been doing this job for. That’s about nine years more than I expected to be doing it.
I originally only envisioned being an entertainment journalist for a very short period of time – and even then, just part-time. I used to work for a film company, in a marketing capacity, and was asked by some magazine editors whether – based on my contacts and horniness for gossip – whether I’d like to do some â€˜writing’ in my off-time (say, weekends). I decided â€˜why not! – I don’t mind taking money for critiquing Dannii Minogue’s new tits!’ …. One thing lead to another and two magazine jobs turned into twenty jobs. It goes without saying, I decided to â€˜take a break’ from the hustle and bustle world of film publicity and try this â€˜journalism’ thing.
It worked out well. Made a nice living out of it. Even own a boat (albeit a toy one that my daughter plays with in the bath).
I was 23 then. I’m 33 now.
Moviehole was something I built pretty early on. I thought It’d be a good place to store all my interviews, stories and…. Dannii-Minogue-new-tits stories.
I knew that film websites could turn a dollar, and bring an audience (my friend Garth Franklin had done it with “Dark Horizons“) but I never expected Moviehole to be one of them. Â It turned into a monster. I never expected to get anywhere near the traffic it does. I definitely didn’t expect to be still editing and maintaining it a decade later.
I do wonder whether I should’ve just spent all my time and energy on Moviehole from day one and made that the sole source of income, instead of merely doing that at night and working for â€˜the man’ in the day. I committed to working for several publishing companies, a couple of which I still work for today.
As of August 2008, I edit magazines, I’m also assistant editor of a street press, I ghost-write another magazine back-to-front (under a pseudonym), I’m the entertainment editor for several men’s mags, as well as a music mag, and I also review and interview for a bunch of newspapers, chick rags and radio shows. They put the food on the table, but Moviehole’s where the name’s been made. I can’t walk away from it now.
I enjoy doing the â€˜hole -it’s probably the funnest of my â€˜jobs’. There’s nothing like a good fuckin’ vent at the end of the day. And I can’t quit the magazines I work for – they put the topping on the Morris family Pizza. Without them, we’d be eating Margarita.
Though I now also work in distribution – slowly making in-roads back towards the field I originally vacated to become a â€˜part-time’ film reviewer and gossip hound – and production – as any film producer knows though, you end up â€˜paying more money out’ with your first few films than you make back – I’ve decided to keep my feet planted in the entertainment journalism circle. Aside from the usual conflicts-of-interest, it’s a gluey juggle – - if only because I haven’t got the time to wear two different name badges. And my request to have myself cloned was rejected by… whoever saw my picture.
I haven’t had a holiday in about…. Jesus, three years!? I work every day. Every night.
Mornings – I work as a sales consultant for a film company and also the abovementioned magazines/newspapers
Afternoons – I look after my 1-year-old daughter whilst updating Moviehole and doing whatever phone interviews I can with her tugging at my jeans
Evenings – from about 10pm I retire to the computer where I continue to â€˜write’ for the next couple of hours – at least until America wakes, at which time I put on my â€˜film producer’ hat. Until about 3am, I work (whether that’s by participating in a conference call with someone, or some other type of communication tool, or simply re-writing something) on my films.
“Why did you decide to start working for a film company again? Why didn’t you just keep doing the journalist stuff?” – Clint’s many friends.
Answer : It’s easy – you get sick of the same job after a while – you have to shake it up or you’ll go nuts. I needed a change. I needed to be reinvigorated. I needed to do something a little more creative. And that’s exactly the same reason why I decided to get into filmmaking – Christopher Showerman, my producing partner, and I both needed a change. Our careers needed a boost – he wanted to further his acting career by dabbling in writing and producing, I wanted to stop talking about other people’s shitty movies and start talking about my own. Ha. You have to evolve. Some people spend their whole lives trying to work out what they want to do with their lives… no harm in trying to find an answer earlier than at 74.
But this is all beside the point – what I’m getting at is that stress is vacationing at my place this week. And yes, I know, I have to do something about it. The best place to probably start is by resting… or better yet, sleeping… but I’ve got too many deadlines and responsibilities to even consider that. And even then, when I do lie down and decide it’s time to get some shuteye, the mind doesn’t turn off. It’s still in work-mode.
â€˜The Insomniac Stresser‘ – sounds like a Marvel comic villain.
I know, it’s a serious issue – and one that can’t always be fixed with VB.
The Better Health website says, “Work-related stress can be caused by various events. For example, a person might feel under pressure if the demands of their job (such as hours or responsibilities) are greater than they can comfortably manage. Other sources of work-related stress include conflict with co-workers or bosses, constant change, and threats to job security, such as potential redundancy. In Australia, the total cost of workers compensation claims for stress-related conditions is estimated at over $200 million every year. According to the National Health and Safety Commission, work-related stress accounts for the longest stretches of absenteeism. However, what one person may perceive as stressful, another may view as challenging. Whether or not a person experiences work-related stress depends on the job, the person’s psychological make-up, and other factors (such as personal life and general health).”
Informative….Â But this is what scared me. Check this out :
“Men under high levels of chronic stress at work are more likely to die from any cause than their peers” – this site here says so
That’s cause for concern. OK, so I’ve acknowledged it – I’m stressed. What do I do about it? It’s not like I can just chuck a 6-pack in the car and go down to the beach with some mates for the week. I have priorities. Surely some of you guys have a couple of different jobs and/or kids and are finding it hard to juggle all of it?
I don’t think I realized just how exhausted and weary I was until this week – when I told a courier to go,er, fuck a goat. Literally. He was a rude bastard anyway – I didn’t answer the door straight away, because I was on the phone, and by the time I got there he had disappeared to his truck where he proceeded to write out one of those annoying â€˜sorry, you weren’t here, so you have to come and pick your parcel up from our depot – located 1000 kms away” cards. He grumbled about having to “write out a whole card”. I then asked him what his job is. He grumbled again. He then said â€˜you should’ve answered the door when I knocked”. I just went off like Russell Crowe at a losing Rabbito’s match. I’m glad he deserved it – because otherwise I’d feel fucking bad. But he’s not the first person I’ve told where-to-go the past couple of weeks – there’s been a few that have managed to easily ruffle my feathers and get clucked.
“You need to chill”, my wife – doing her best Mr Freeze – likes to say.
And she’s right. I do.
So this is where I ask for your input – how does one take a break when… he can’t take a break?
Drink suggestions also welcome.
Use the contact form to make suggestions! and thanks!
10 years of Moviehole…
As I said, it’s been ten years I’ve been doing Moviehole – and it’s been good. I’ve probably done about 400 interviews – some good, some bad, some just plain useless. Mostly though, we’ve gotten some good stuff.
Some of the first people I interviewed? Let’s think. Tom Long (remember him? He was in “SeaChange”), Jennifer Love Hewitt (lovely girl), Warwick Davis (never in my wildest dreams did I envision meeting an Ewok!), Anthony Daniels (fuck the ewoks! I got to talk to C3P0!) and Nichelle Nichols from “Star Trek”. I even remember talking to Steve Guttenberg. Ha.
Ten years later and I think I’ve pretty much interviewed everyone I’ve wanted to (bar Michael J. Fox – who probably isn’t well enough to do interviews anyway, sadly.) – John Travolta, Harrison Ford, Reese Witherspoon, Jack Black, Will Ferrell, Nicolas Cage, Sam Raimi, Samuel L. Jackson, Hilary Swank, Hugh Jackman, Kevin Smith, Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Renee Zellweger, The Rock, Gus Van Sant…. As I said, probably done a few hundred interviews now. Good bunch.
Here are some quotable highlights from some of the interviews I’ve done over the years:
An amiable Anthony Daniels on his reluctance to play a gay droid
â€˜’I was cast against will actually. I was quite insulted to be offered a role as a robot; I mean I was a serious actor. I wasn’t going to be in some weird American movie as a robot, yet my agent insisted on it” – Anthony Daniels, “Star Wars Episode II : Attack of the Clones”.
Broken Lizard on their plans to film “Club Dread” in Australia (didn’t happen)
“We’re pushing to make it here. It’s very beautiful and tropical, and Australians are sweet. We could cast Paul Hogan as the old guy and kill him off.” – Broken Lizard, â€˜’Super Troopers”
Former “Baywatch” babe Erika Eleniak, playing-the-girl-Elliot-kisses-in-”E.T”
“Steven was wonderful with us kids! He was soooo much fun! He laughed and joked with us all the time. I remember one day on set we had these ‘scented’ magic markers and Steven TASTED some of them to see if they tasted as good as they smelled!!!… (laughs) and obviously to make us laugh. He was also very gentle and understanding. He made me feel as safe and comfortable as possible… especially when the day came to do the “kissing” scene because I was so nervous” – Erika Eleniak, “E.T”
Brett Ratner on working with Edward Norton and Harvey Keitel on “Red Dragon”
â€˜’Tony’s actually a control freak, but when I give them the notes I do prepare them and I do like to know what they’ve done. I mean Edward is a great actor; he really is… I suppose he just has a different process. I suppose most actors just want direction. And Harvey is the worst – he’s like the actors studio’s worst fear – he’s like ‘what are these three words doing here,’ ‘What day is it?”’ – Brett Ratner, Red Dragon
Steve Guttenberg on why he did so many god damn “Police Academy” sequels
“They were great. I mean you have to be loyal. Everyone can pooh-pooh all those sequels, but what about all these other sequels at the moment: Men in Black 2, Indiana Jones, they’re all after money too. It’s the way the business is” – Steve Guttenberg, P.S My Cat is Dead
Jack Black on growing up.
“I was the clown. I wanted to be laughed at and I wasn’t very funny. It took a lot of years of wanting to be funny before anything funny happened. Based on my need. The Class clown is always secretly the saddest of all.” – Jack Black, “School of Rock”
Marlon Wayans on returning for the “Dungeons and Dragons” sequel.
“Oh hell no. Lord of the Rings had a budget, it was a great fantasy. Dungeons and Dragons they put a dragon on a fishing pole” – Marlon Wayans, “White Chicks”
Matt Damon on why “Project Greenlight” started to suck.
“You’ll see on one of the first episodes of “Project Greenlight” me having this big argument – a total meltdown actually – with the guys from [studio] Dimension. They walked in and basically chose that movie Feast for us. It was supposed to be a community decision. I was like ‘what the f**k is going on’?” – Matt Damon, “The Bourne Supremacy”
Robert Luketic on working with JLo on “Monster-in-Law”
“I thought I was going to be working with a monster. I thought I would have to bow to twelve people before the question [I'd asked] made it to Lopez who’s sitting on a throne.” – Robert Luketic, “Monster in Law”
Owen Wilson on modern-day comedies
â€˜’Bad News Bears, the original, that would probably be rated “R” now, what with Walter Matthau driving around drunk and throwing beer cans at Tatum O’Neal. Because they [the studios] are all about making us much money as possible, and think they’ve got it down to a science, they eliminate those elements” – Owen Wilson, “Wedding Crashers”
Joss Whedon on why “Firefly” was doomed from the beginning
“It was weird because Fox had taken some big chances on shows, which were very successful for them – but there was one executive in particular [there] that just didn’t ‘get me’. I will never understand what their problem with the show was as long as I live. Their advertisement in TV Guide? ‘Meet the Most Spaced Out Crew in Space’. I read that and thought ‘something is horribly wrong – we’re going to get cancelled.’ It was a bad match, and I take full responsibility for not paying attention to that. It was clearly a bad match from the beginning – they wanted Bumpy the Werewolf Slayer” – Joss Whedon, “Serenity”
Heath Ledger on the controversial “Brokeback Mountain”
“I heard at one point that West Virginia was going to ban it, but that’s a state that was still lynching people until about twenty years ago” – Heath Ledger, “Brokeback Mountain”
Guy Pearce on whether or not he’d like to play a role in the “Star Wars” prequels
” I wasn’t in the first one or second one, and I can’t imagine the third one could be any worse than the first one. But nah, not for me” – Guy Pearce, “The Hard Word”
Michael Madsen on one sequel he didn’t want to be involved in
“Species 3? If there is a god, I hope it’s not happening” – Michael Madsen, “Die Another Day”
Christian Bale on the rumours that he’ll one day play Batman or James Bond
â€˜’No, that’s Bateman, not Batman! Actually both characters would be a dream come true, wouldn’t it? James Bond is every British actor’s Holy Grail in many ways – the most recognised British character on the big screen. I’ve also been a big fan of Tim Burton’s Batman movies. His almost gothic approach brought a wonderful cinematic feel to an American hero. I’d love to do either part but I’d also worry about being typecast. James Bond in the new Millennium has so much potential – in the new movie xXx, the Bond character is skewered as being out of step for our times – Bond is in dire need of updating. And Batman is a wonderful character – the duality between his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, and the dark knight could be a fascinating character study.” – Christian Bale, “Reign of Fire”
Toni Collette told me about image.
“Most people, when they met me, were like â€˜Oh my god, you’re so thin! I can’t believe you played Muriel!” – Toni Collette, “Connie and Carla”
Gus Van Sant on remaking “Psycho” – again!
“I wouldn’t remake another movie again, however, I’m thinking of remaking Psycho again. Doing a third remake. The idea this time is to really change it – we’re talking about doing a punk rocker setting. Viggo Mortensen suggested it. He knows all the right people to get involved – all the right punk rockers etcetera – so he would definitely be involved if we go ahead” – Gus Van Sant, “Gerry”
Peter Berg on why “Million Dollar Baby” shouldn’t have won the Oscar
“I’m very anti-Million Dollar Baby. I think it’s a rotten message. When we were filming Friday Night Lights we had a kid break his neck, a 15-year-old, who became a quadriplegic,” says Berg. For that youngster to see Eastwood’s new film, and hear it’s message, is appalling says the director. To go and see that that movie and come away thinking that Hilary Swank’s [character is] better off dead and that the noble thing was for Clint Eastwood to choke her to death before she’s even had a real chance to process the shock. I have a problem with that movie. It’s offensive.” – Peter Berg, “Friday Night Lights”
Edward Furlong on “Terminator 3″
“I didn’t see it, but I heard it wasn’t very good” – Edward Furlong, “The Crow : Wicked Prayer”
Hilary Swank, still very down-to-earth.
“In an interesting way I never went in this business for the acclaim of it, or the dressing up part of it. I love people and stories, so all that is a side-effect that happened and still blows my mind. Seriously, I walk by, and I see them, and I think I am in the wrong house. I go to these shows and I keep thinking, â€˜Who is going to come and pull me out’, because I don’t know if I belong here, because it feels like me. It is just Hilary from this little town. I am like, â€˜How did this happen?’” – Hilary Swank, “The Reaping”
Edgar Wright on the new “Die Hard” film.
â€˜’Couldn’t they have CGI’d the receding hairline in!? Bruce Willis is good bald, but it kinda feels like you’re watching Butch Coolidge (from Pulp Fiction) or Hostage running around. He doesn’t even have his vest on; it’s a leather jacket. They nailed it in Die Hard: With a Vengeance – the first two thirds of that film were great.Â â€˜’ – Edgar Wright, “Hot Fuzz”
Nicolas Cage isn’t too disappointed he didn’t get to play Superman – or so he told us.
“While I enjoyed Superman I think Brandon [Routh] was the right choice for that part” – Nicolas Cage, “Ghost Rider”
Adrian Grenier on becoming more famous by the minute
“My life is getting closer to Vince’s by the second. He’d better watch out, I’m going to start stealing roles from him” – Adrian Grenier, “Entourage”
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly on their “Talladega Nights” research
â€˜’We did watch Days of Thunder – just for kicks – and we also wanted to watch Robert Duvall talk to a car. [In Duvall voice] â€˜C’mon, I want you to be real good out there’” – Ferrell/Reilly, “Talladega Nights”
Guillermo del Toro on something that disappointed him about “Hellboy”
â€˜’If I had a bigger budget there, I would’ve added a couple of more monsters” – Guillermo del Toro, “Hellboy”
Sam Raimi explains Venom for me
“There are a lot of fantastic elements about Venom that you could say are in conflict with the realism we wanted to have in the picture. But we just said â€˜Kirsten [Dunst] and Tobey [Maguire], you’ll just have to do the heavy lifting here to bring us back down to Earth’ because Venom’s this wild goofball from outer space.” – Sam Raimi, “Spider-Man 3″
Don Mancini’s original idea for “Seed of Chucky”
“One notion was to do a parody of Hannibal, centering on the sole surviving victim of Chucky, bent on revenge. Another idea was to do A Clockwork Chucky — Chucky is somehow “deprogrammed,” so that the thought of violence and swearing makes him sick. Come to think of it, I still think that idea is pretty funny. Imagine it: Chucky’s sitting in the back seat of a car parked on some lovers’ lane, while a couple of teenagers are making out in front. Chucky glances around: there’s a knife; there’s a cleaver; Chucky’s just dying to do his thing, but his hands are shaking and he can’t even bring himself to pick up a weapon! It’s a true existential dilemma for Chucky” – Don Mancini, “Seed of Chucky”
Paul Rudd on â€˜the comedy classic’ “Overnight Delivery”
â€˜’I was flicking around a few months ago and it was on. I watched about ten minutes of it. Reese was great in it and then there’s me… it was like â€˜Wow, look how funny I’m trying to be’.” – Paul Rudd, “Knocked Up”
Michelle Williams on the media’s treatment of Heath Ledger.
“[This one newspaper] they’re turning into like Who or OK [magazine]. They’ve been really tough on Heath, and he takes it personally. They’ve been tossing out this stuff about him being a spitter (reports say he had spat at journalists), and it’s just so mean, and it really hurts his feelings. He’s not that way at all. It’s not true. The only spitter in our house is Matilda” – Michelle Williams, “Brokeback Mountain”
Chris Klein on the disastrous “Rollerball”
“I was really disappointed. It was my first time working on a really big action piece and we all went out there and tried our best. We had John McTiernan directing the movie, and at the end of the day it wasn’t received well. I don’t know…I guess you have to sometimes take the good with the bad. Sometimes what you put out there isn’t going to stick.” – Chris Klein, “Just Friends”
Charlize Theron doesn’t see any real correlation between her roles in â€˜’Monster” and â€˜’North Country”.
“I know that’s an easy assumption to come to… but I’m way more interested in human nature than specifically female nature. I’m also very interested in projects that are a little bit different and that offer up different challenges. Unfortunately, it’s still the case that projects with female leads that aren’t completely vacuous are quite rare. They’re really quite rare, and I was really attracted to this material because it was tough and because Josey Aimes is similar to Pai from Whale Rider in that both of them face fierce opposition but both rise to the challenge in a very gentle and unexpected way” – Charlize Theron, “North Country”
George A. Romero on why it took so long to get another zombie movie up
“9/11 Happened. Nobody wanted to touch it. They all wanted to make bubblegum movies then” – George Romero, “Land of the Dead”
Rob Schneider on the disappointing “Deuce Bigalow : European Gigolo”
“I never wanted to do a sequel because I didn’t want to have the feeling I have now – that â€˜God, I could’ve done better’” – Rob Schneider, “Deuce Bigalow : European Gigolo”
Jason Schwartzman on meeting Steve Martin for the first time
“I just sat down on the couch and was like ‘Three Amigos is just perfectly incredible!’. For like half-an-hour I was gushing. I was confident that I had lost any chance I might’ve ever had of being in the movie” – Jason Schwartzman, “Shopgirl”
Will Arnett says audiences are too young to appreciate “Grindhouse”
â€˜’No they’re not and also I think – remember, I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about – a lot of reviewers in the states took great pleasure in taking Harvey Weinstein apart. It didn’t have anything to with the movie – it’s very personal. That’s unfortunate. I feel for Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino and really… Harvey Weinstein. Say what you will about the guy – and people say all sorts of things about him – but he has managed to turn out interesting movie after interesting movie over the years. If you look at the movies that he has greenlit, produced and financed, he has done single-handedly a lot more for cinema over the last twenty years than a lot of other people.” – Will Arnett, “Blades of Glory”
Jessica Alba on watching horror movies as a kid.
”I saw Nightmare on Elm Street when I was five. I snuck behind my parents’ couch and I watched the entire thing. I didn’t sleep in the middle of my bed forever…. All the way up until I was about 13, I wouldn’t sleep in the middle of my bed because I was afraid I would get sucked down. I’d also watch anything about demons or ghosts or something that is torturing your soul but that no one else can see” – Jessica Alba, “The Eye”
Rachael Taylor on her “Transformers” role…
“….s warm prop? It’s true. I felt a lot more invested and an integral part of Shutter than I did Transformers – and though I’m thrilled for the actors from it that have gone on to bigger and better things, myself included, it was very helpful – because the star of that movie, lets be honest, were the damn robots. Michael Bay is also certainly not known as an actor’s director – certainly not an actresses’ director.” – Rachael Taylor, “Shutter”
Jon Favreau on being friends with net nerds
“I think it becomes a bit of a game of cat-and-mouse between the filmmakers and the online community, because you want to keep surprises, but you want to keep it fresh. There’s a whole rhythm of give-and-take that goes on between the filmmaking community and the Internet community. Some people get it, some don’t.”- Jon Favreau, “Iron Man”
Harrison Ford on those flops
“You don’t hit it every time….but you try”- Harrison Ford, “Firewall”
Gee, I sound stressed even as I write this, don’t I?
On a final note, have you seen these yet? they’re really cool T-Shirts from Nerdoh. They are a little more subtle and cooler than the average movie logo or slogan, pointing a subtle finger and paying homage to locations, companies and products within them. For instance Monster Joes salvage from “Pulp Fiction” or Titty Twister’s infamous bar From ”Dusk Till Dawn”. It’s a good idea. Worth a look, kids!