The son of comic Joey Bishop, Larry Bishop grew up surrounded by show business, not to mention his father's "Rat Pack" pals such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Bishop fils decided to try acting, bu...
As an internet aficionado, both as Tom on Parks and Recreation and in real life, it makes sense why Aziz Ansari would be eager to do a Reddit AMA. The comedian was predictably hilarious as he discussed his new standup comedy on Netflix and much more. Here are his best answers.
The funniest non-comedian he knows: "My brother Aniz makes me laugh harder than almost anyone."
On his childhood dreams: "People always ask whether I dreamed of being a comedian, but I grew up in a really small town in South Carolina and you just don't dream that big there. When you're growing up in Bennettsville, your dream is to just get out of Bennettsville."
The show he's love to guest star on: "I'm gonna start lobbying to play a corrupt Indian senator on House of Cards. Really want to film a scene at Freddy's Ribs."
His Halloween costume: "I was Idris Elba dressed as Thomas the Tank Engine. I dropped in as Thomas at the Comedy Cellar and did standup too. It was super fun."
Why his fake twitter account for Homeland's Sgt. Brody has been inactive: "Lost the password for that account!"
His favorite up-and-coming standup comedians: "Chelsea Peretti, Hannibal Buress, Michael Che, Moshe Kasher, John Mulaney."
On the representation of Indians on TV: "I made the decision early on not to take roles whose sole source of humor is ethnic stereotype humor. And I think over the years, that trend of staying away from that is obviously taken off between myself, Mindy Kaling, Danny Pudi, and many others. As an Indian American, I'm proud because I don't ever remember seeing Indians represented on television or film growing up and now we are. Just think 25 years ago, Fischer Stevens PLAYED an Indian guy in Short Circuit 2!"
On whether he'd ever do white face: "I'm gonna play a white guy in the reboot of Short Circuit. Bring things full circle."
His most memorable scene on Parks and Rec:"Very easy. Ben and Tom are having lunch with a drunk Joan Calamezzo who is creepily hitting on Tom and we have this exchange...Probably the hardest scene I've ever had to get through without breaking. Adam and I just had to skip doing it for the first few takes. It's on the blooper real I believe. Also, props to Mo Collins, who always brings it as Joan."
On voicing DRL on Bob's Burgers: "Getting to do Bob's Burgers is so fun. The next DRL episode is NUTS. I can't give away what they did, but its a great idea and anyone that is a fan of Terminator 2 is going to be VERY pleased."
On why Jerry from Parks and Rec is so disliked: "Get off of reddit Larry"
His favorite Game of Thrones characters: "Tywin Lannister is pretty amazing. Also Hodor."
His favorite on-set experience with Nick Offerman: "When that little puppy licked his mustache."
There is something particularly unnerving about demon possession. It's the idea of something you can't see or control creeping into your body and taking up residence eventually obliterating all you once were and turning you into nothing more than a sack of meat to be manipulated. Then there's also the shrouded ritual around exorcisms: the Latin chants the flesh-sizzling crucifixes and the burning Holy Water. As it turns out exorcism isn't just the domain of Catholics.
The myths and legends of the Jews aren't nearly as well known but their creepy dybbuk goes toe-to-toe with anything other world religions come up with. There are various interpretations of what a dybbuk is or where it comes from — is it a ghost a demon a soul of a sinner? — but in any case it's looking for a body to hang out in for a while. Especially according to the solemn Hasidic Jews in The Possession an innocent young person and even better a young girl.
The central idea in The Possession is that a fancy-looking wooden box bought at a garage sale was specifically created to house a dybbuk that was tormenting its previous owner. Unfortunately it caught the eye of young Emily (Natasha Calis) a sensitive artistic girl who persuades her freshly divorced dad Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan of Watchmen and Grey's Anatomy) to buy it for her. Never mind the odd carvings on it — that would be Hebrew — or how it's created without seams so it would be difficult to open or why it's an object of fascination for a young girl; Clyde is trying really hard to please his disaffected daughters and do the typical freshly divorced parent dance of trying to please them no matter the cost.
Soon enough the creepy voices calling to Emily from the box convince her to open it up; inside are even creepier personal objects that are just harbingers of what's to come for her her older sister Hannah (Madison Davenport) her mom Stephanie (Kyra Sedgwick) and even Stephanie's annoying new boyfriend Brett (Grant Show). Clyde and Stephanie squabble over things like pizza for dinner and try to convince each other and themselves that Emily's increasingly odd behavior is that of a troubled adolescent. It's not of course and eventually Clyde enlists the help of the son of a Hasidic rabbi a young man named Tzadok played by the former Hasidic reggae musician Matisyahu to help them perform an exorcism on Emily.
The Possession is not going to join the ranks of The Exorcist in the horror pantheon but it does do a remarkable job of making its characters intelligent and even occasionally droll and it offers up plenty of chills despite a PG-13 rating. Perhaps it's because of that rating that The Possession is so effective; the filmmakers are forced to make the benign scary. Giant moths and flying Torahs take the place of little Reagan violently masturbating with a crucifix in The Exorcist. Gagging and binging on food is also an indicator of Emily's possession — an interesting twist given the anxieties of becoming a woman a girl Emily's age would face. There is something inside her controlling her and she knows it and she is fighting it. The most impressive part of Calis's performance is how she communicates Emily's torment with a few simple tears rolling down her face as the dybbuk's control grows. The camerawork adds to the anxiety; one particularly scary scene uses ordinary glass kitchenware to great effect.
The Possession is a short 92 minutes and it does dawdle in places. It seems as though some of the scenes were juggled around to make the PG-13 cut; the moth infestation scene would have made more sense later in the movie. Some of the problems are solved too quickly or simply and yet it also takes a while for Clyde's character to get with it. Stephanie is a fairly bland character; she makes jewelry and yells at Clyde for not being present in their marriage a lot and then there's a thing with a restraining order that's pretty silly. Emily is occasionally dressed up like your typical horror movie spooky girl with shadowed eyes an over-powdered face and dark clothes; it's much more disturbing when she just looks like an ordinary though ill young girl. The scenes in the heavily Hasidic neighborhood in Brooklyn look oddly fake and while it's hard to think of who else could have played Tzadok an observant Hasidic Jew who is also an outsider willing to take risks the others will not Matisyahu is not a very good actor. Still the filmmakers should be commended for authenticity insofar as Matisyahu has studied and lived as a Hasidic Jew.
It would be cool if Lionsgate and Ghost House Pictures were to release the R-rated version of the movie on DVD. What the filmmakers have done within the confines of a PG-13 rating is creepy enough to make me curious to see the more adult version. The Possession is no horror superstar and its name is all too forgettable in a summer full of long-gestating horror movies quickly pushed out the door. It's entertaining enough and could even find a broader audience on DVD. Jeffrey Dean Morgan can read the Old Testament to me any time.
The God of Legion secular Hollywood’s latest Biblically-inspired action flick is old-school an angry spiteful Almighty with a penchant for Old Testament theatrics. Fed up with humanity’s decadent warmongering ways He’s decided to pull the plug on the whole crazy experiment and start over from scratch.
Fortunately for us the God of Legion is also a rather lazy fellow. Instead of doing the apocalyptic work himself and wiping us out with a giant flood which worked perfectly well last time He opts to delegate the task to His army of angels — a questionable strategy that starts to fall apart when the archangel charged with leading the planned extermination Michael (Paul Bettany) refuses to comply.
Michael who unlike his boss still harbors affection for our sorry species abandons his post and descends to earth where inside the swollen belly of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) an unwed mother-to-be working as a waitress in an out-of-the-way diner sits humanity’s lone hope for survival. Why is this particular baby so important? Is it the one destined to lead us to victory over Skynet? Heaven knows — Legion reveals little details its script devoid of actual scripture. What is clear is that God’s celestial hitmen want the kid whacked before it’s born.
But Michael won’t let humanity fall without a fight. Armed with a Waco-sized arsenal of assault weapons he hunkers down with the diner’s patrons a largely superfluous collection of thinly-sketched caricatures from various demographic groups led by Dennis Quaid as the diner’s grizzled owner Tyrese Gibson as a hip-hop hustler and Lucas Black as a simple-minded country boy.
Together they mount a heroic final stand against hordes of angels who’ve taken possession of “weak-willed” humans turning kindly old grandmas and mild-mannered ice cream vendors into snarling ravenous foul-mouthed beasts. They descend upon the ramshackle diner in a series of full-frontal assaults commanded by the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) the George Pickett of End of Days generals.
Beneath its superficial religious facade Legion is really just a run-of-the-mill zombie flick a Biblical I Am Legend. Bettany an actor accustomed to smaller dramatic roles in films like A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code looks perfectly at ease in his first major action role wielding machine guns and bowie knives with equal aplomb. Conversely first-time director Scott Stewart a former visual effects artist does little to prove himself worthy of such a promotion serving up some impressive CGI work but not much else worthy of note.
Bobby Garfield (David Morse) returns to his small hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood friend and remembers the fateful summer in 1960 when his whole world changed. The story flashes back to when 11-year-old Bobby (Anton Yelchin) and his best friends Carol (Mika Boorem) and Sully-John (Will Rothhaar) capture the pure joy of youthfulness. When a mysterious stranger named Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins) moves upstairs and starts to pay attention to Bobby the boy suddenly realizes what's truly missing from his life--the love of a parent. Bobby's mother Liz (Hope Davis) is embittered by the death of Bobby's father and shows little compassion for her son's growing needs. Ted fills a void with the boy opening his eyes to the world around him and helps Bobby come to terms with his real feelings for Carol--and his mother. But Ted also has some deep dark secrets of his own and Bobby tries hard to stop danger from reaching the old man.
The performances make the film especially in the genuine camaraderie of the kids. Yelchin Boorem and Rothhaar never deliver a false move with an easiness that makes us believe we are simply watching three 11-year-old children grow up together. Yelchin in particular is able to get right to the heart of this young boy who misses his father and clings to the only adult who will listen. And his scenes with Boorem simply break your heart. (Davis) does an admirable job playing a part none too sympathetic. She manages to show a woman whose been beaten down but who does truly love her son in her own way. Morse too is one of those character actors you can plug in any movie and get a performance worth noting. In Hearts you want to see more of him. Of course the film shines brightest when Hopkins is on the screen. It may not be an Oscar-caliber performance but the actor is unparalleled in bringing a character to life--showing the subtleties of an old man looking for some peace in his life.
If you are expecting the Stephen King novel you may be disappointed. Screenwriter William Goldman and director Scott Hicks (Shine) deftly extracted the King formula of telling a story through a child's eye and explaining how the relationships formed as a child shaped the adult later. Hicks did an amazing job with his young actors especially Yelchin and Boorem. But where the novel continued into a supernatural theme explaining Brautigan's fear of being captured by "low men in yellow coats" (a reference to King's The Dark Tower series) the movie downplayed the mystical elements instead giving real explanations for Brautigan's man-on-the-run. That was the one problem with Hearts--we needed more danger. Introducing men from another dimension may not have been the way to go but had there been more tension the film would have resonated more especially when Bobby risked his own safety to save Ted.
Co-starred in unsold pilot, "Beane's of Boston" (CBS)
Made screen debut in three AIP low-budget efforts
Made TV movie debut in "High Midnight" (CBS)
Made directorial debut with "Mad Dog Time"
Acted in and wrote "Underworld"
Acting career sputtering, played a guard in "The Sting II"
The son of comic Joey Bishop, Larry Bishop grew up surrounded by show business, not to mention his father's "Rat Pack" pals such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Bishop fils decided to try acting, but for more than 25 years he languished in the obscure world of small parts until, in the 90s, Bishop began writing his own screenplays -- often tales of the mob -- and made his directorial debut with "Mad Dog Time" (1996). The latter was the story of a mob boss who is released from a mental ward. Bishop also wrote the script and played a key role. Also in 1996 came the release of "Underworld," which he wrote and had a role. Bishop was born in Philadelphia and raised across the Hudson from Manhattan in New Jersey, but by high school was in Beverly Hills, where he met such future filmmakers as Richard Dreyfuss, Rob Reiner, and Albert Brooks. After graduation, they performed together in an improvisational group, but it soon disbanded. Bishop turned to acting, making his feature film debut in "Wild in the Streets" (1968), the American International Pictures low-budget effort about a teen revolution which has become a cult classic. That same year he appeared in two other AIP movies, "The Savage Seven" and "The Devil's Eight". But his parts were small. Bishop played a pilot in "Angel Unchained" (1970), and a motorcycle gang member in "Shanks" (1974). Buddy Richard Dreyfuss gave Bishop a featured role in "The Big Fix" (1978), which Dreyfuss also produced, but by 1982, Bishop's film career had sputtered to where he was playing a bit role as a guard in "The Sting II". TV also offered unrewarding roles. Bishop guested on such series as "I Dream of Jeannie" and "King Fu," and in 1979 had a co-starring role in an unsold CBS pilot about a retail establishment called "Beane's of Boston". Bishop also had roles in the 1970 TV movie "High Midnight" (CBS), and "The Girl From Left Field" (ABC, 1973). Like many others, Bishop decided that if he was to get meatier roles, he would have to write them himself, but in case, unlike so many others, the attempt worked. He raised the money to make "Mad Dog Time" and it was picked up by MGM/UA earning good critical reaction.
Best known for being a member of the "Rat Pack"; also had his own talk show, "The Joey Bishop Show" (ABC)
Bishop has told interviewers that during lean times when acting roles were few, he survived by cashing in the $10,000 savings bond given to him for his bar mitzvah by Frank Sinatra.
"It took a little big longer for me to do what I wanted to do, but I feel that it's my time. 'Trigger Happy' (the original title of 'Mad Dog Time') is making everything bloom. I feel like we're home." -- Larry Bishop in VARIETY, February 26-March 3, 1996.