I had seen actress Riki Lindhome in smaller film parts and guest-starring roles, but I first really took notice of her a few years ago when Garfunkel & Oats, the comedy musical duo she performs in with Kate Micucci, was one of the acts at a fundraiser I attended. Somehow I've never managed to plug their work as part of the Friday Free-for-All, but their songs are catchy, witty and often laugh-out-loud funny.
But this isn't a post about Garfunkel & Oats, it's about one of Riki's other side projects, her podcast interview series Making It with Riki Lindhome. This landed on my radar due to the subject of one of her latest interviews - . He's a relatively obscure actor whom you might remember (but probably don't) as Dancer of Joy Numfar from a late second-season episode of Angel. Oh, and he also created Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, co-wrote the anticipated Cabin in the Woods, and directed the forthcoming Much Ado About Nothing, and The Avengers.
I've read several hundred Whedon interviews over the years, and Riki's ranks as one of the best. Some of the material will be old news to die hard Whedonites, but there are fresh anecdotes in there and newcomers to all things Joss will find plenty of value in the one-hour podcast.
Among the highlights:
- Whedon discusses a period early in his career where he met with his agent because he was being pitched a talking dog movie. As you might expect, Joss wasn't too keen on the fact that this was the state his career was in. As a joke, he quipped to his agent that he could write "Die Hard on the George Washington Bridge." This wasn't a joke to Joss's rep, who brought the conversation to an immediate halt and practically ordered him to "go home and write it." Guess what? It sold.
- Joss also discusses the script doctor portion of his career, mentioning he once wrote director Jan De Bont ("Speed") a six-page memo about why the director shouldn't do Cowboys & Aliens, saying it would be impossible to make that work.
- When the conversation turns to The Avengers, Joss says that the process of shooting the film was more like doing his web musical Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog than anything else he's done. As he puts it, there was a lot of "run and gun" on the Marvel superhero opus set for release later this year.
- Finally, this quote might be the most valuable thing Joss says in the entire interview:
"I've had people say to me, 'You know, I've thought I might like to write.' And I'm just like 'Turn around and go away.' I don't ever want to hear that. If you're a writer, you need to write. You have to do it. And you need to have to do it because it's grueling. You have to give yourself over to it completely... that is what you are and that kind of passion and tenacity is necessary when people are telling you it's not going to work out."