Great talk with James Murray (or as you may know him, Murr), easily one of the funniest pranksters on TV! We chat about humiliation, touring, getting thrown out of a plane and what it's like to have a hit TV show with 3 of your best friends!
You have been doing this for years. Do you still feel embarrassed during some of the punishments?
We get embarrassed daily! We're not strong men, we scare easily. The most embarrassed I've been recently was when the other Jokers made me nude model in front of a dozen strangers in an art class as they drew my naked, nude, clotheless body with no clothes on it.
You recently had Imagine Dragons on and performed a punishment on stage at their concert. Tell us about it.
We're huge fans of Imagine Dragons! It was a funny story how it all came about. We were filming last year in Washington Square Park, and totally randomly, their manager was walking through the park with his family. As soon as he saw us, he came up to say what big fans the band was of Impractical Jokers. That's how we all met and became friends. So when we heard they were performing at Jones Beach, it seemed like the perfect punishment for Joe and Sal. It was probably the coolest / scariest thing we've ever gotten to do on the show, and the band is amazing!
Speaking of big moments, can you tell us about Rosie O’Donnell pranking Q.
We've been joking for 3 seasons now that Q looks like Rosie O'Donnell. They really could be brother and sister. Rosie was a fan of the show, and tweeted us about the uncanny resemblance. A few secret tweets and phone calls later, she agreed to make a surprise guest appearance on the show to punish Q. He had no idea that she was going to walk in the room as his twin, it was perfect!
Favorite and least favorite punishment:
My favorite punishment was when we broke into Sal's house while he was away on vacation and seriously f**ked with his home. My least favorite is coming up in Season 3 - the guys threw me out of a damn plane from 15,000 feet, even though I am deathly afraid of dying to death.
Do you get recognized when filming pranks?
Sometimes, but there are so many people in NYC, that we manage it well. In season 3, we're actually shooting a few episodes in other states, like Texas and Georgia. It will be interesting to see what happens!
Your comedy troupe, The Tenderloins, tours all over the U.S. How is the crowd reaction?
We love the live tour so much. It gives us a chance to see the impact that Impractical Jokers has on people. The fan response continues to overwhelm and amaze us - they know every line from the show, they wear Larry shirts, they make posters and chant "Let's Get Sexy". It's awesome.
What can we expect to see on future episodes?
The punishments are getting bigger and better, we're hoping to have a few more surprise celebrity cameos this season, we'll be doing episodes this season in Texas, Atlanta and Atlantic City, and of course, lots more hilarious embarrassment for us!
The show has done very well. You have a lot of loyal viewers. What do you think draws people to it?
I think people really relate to our friendship. We've been best friends since Freshman year of high school, know everything about each other, and love to make each other laugh. We have so much fun making the TV show, and I think that comes across on screen. People always say they have friends just like us. And Joe shouting LARRY!! is just damn funny.
Craving more? 'Impractical Jokers: The Complete First Season' DVDwill be available on Nov. 26, 2013.
The DVD will include all 17 episodes from the first season as well as commentary from Q, Sal, Joe and Murr, behind-the-scenes features and deleted scenes.
For Impractical Jokers tour dates, visit their comedy troupe website www.TheTenderloins.com.
From Asia to Canada to the United States Celina Jade has certainly made a name for herself. Celina gives us an exclusive interview on what her summer in Hong Kong was like, how her music has shaped and is continuing to shape her, and what is in the works for The CW’s Arrow and her character, Shado.
You just spent the summer in Hong Kong working on Good Morning Hong Kong. Tell us a little bit about that.
I went back to HK during the hiatus and was cast to play the leading lady in a rock & roll original musical Good Morning HK. It was really fun. I went from fight, fight, fight to sing, sing, sing. I don’t think I’d ever sung so much in my life.
It has been almost a year since the independent release of your first self-written album. In retrospect, how do you feel about the release and the songs on the album?
I’m glad I took the leap to release my album independently. I was sitting on it for a while. It was difficult finding a label to represent me who was willing to work hand-in-hand with my managers, who I have no interest in leaving, because labels now-a-days want to own you (sadly it’s so hard to make money with music now). Despite this, I decided it wasn’t going to stop me from doing what I love. I have since placed my songs in TV/film projects I’m involved in, and I’m content with that.
How does it feel to be filming the 2nd season of Arrow? Do you feel a deeper connection now with Shado?
I do actually. A lot has happened to Shado since she arrived at the island… especially with Yao Fei’s death, there’s a real reality check there. I think the gravity of the situation has forced her to realize that every moment counts because it could be her last. That in turn affects every decision she makes, whether it’s a decision of survival or a decision of love. I do think that I have Shado’s spirit within me.
Arrow is based on a comic book. Did you read the comics before auditioning?
I confess I didn’t read the Green Arrow comics before coming to play Shado. The comic books are not as easily accessible in Hong Kong as they are in the States. I do enjoy superhero fiction though. I think there’s a part of us that fantasizes about having some sort of super power. If I could have one, it would definitely be teleportation!
What do you think has made Arrow so successful?
I think the writing, directing, the cast, the fights and the fans make the show successful. Everyone wants to see a regular person find the hero within him or her to do justice for humanity. What’s that Mariah Carey song? – ‘Hero’. J I wonder if Shado will ever burst out into that song to Oliver. Haha JK.
Can you give us any sneak peeks of what to expect from this season on Arrow?
I can give you a sneak peek into the Island! After the hiatus, 5 months passed, and we see that Oliver and Shado’s relationship has developed. But this relationship’s effects on the team are questioned as a threat arrives… Pirates.
Photo Courtesy of www.meici.com
As a legendary Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Ben Randall (Kevin Costner) was all heart and no regret. But it all comes undone in the span of one night when he goes out to the menacing seas with his crew to make a rescue and he is the sole survivor. Following that fateful night he’s ordered to teach at “A” School--a demotion for a man of his stature and seniority--an elite training program that helps turn the best recruits into the best Rescue Swimmers. Randall teaches the cocky students the only way he knows how and his tough tough love is initially met with skepticism by his fellow trainers who think of him as a has-been. But one student in particular Jake Fischer (Ashton Kutcher) catches his eye and draws his ire. Fischer is cocky hotheaded and highly skilled--just the right pedigree to make a great Rescue Swimmer and a lot like Randall was at his age. Randall rides him extra-hard while Fischer only hopes to one day be in the same boat as his mentor. Be careful what you wish for Jake! Costner's always been an acquired taste--sometimes a downright noxious one on first bite--but there's no denying he slides right in here. Roles that feature him as the aging provider of wisdom are now his true calling and the sooner he accepts it the better. And even still Costner gets to flex his action muscle a bit. As for Kutcher the only thing he shares in common with Costner is the last two letters of his last name--as actors these guys are each other’s antitheses! And in a weird way they strike a nice chemistry because of it one that is borderline exciting to watch. As a standalone actor in The Guardian Kutcher is a bit misplaced and seems to know it. He nails the physicality of the role but while the character's attitude and brashness befit Kutcher the peak dramatic scenes with Costner leave something to be desired. A pleasantly surprising turn from relative unknown Melissa Sagemiller (The Clearing) as Kutcher's girl toy and reliable supporting performances from Sela Ward and Neal McDonough round out the cast. Director Andrew Davis' proximity to his career peak The Fugitive cannot be measured in time: He's a lot further away from the mega-hit than a mere 13 years. But in Hollywood if you have a Fugitive under your belt you'll never run out of chances to replicate it. That's the current juncture for Davis--one last shot at Fugitive glory...till his next last shot. It's hard to say what The Guardian will do at the box office but Davis' stodgy direction doesn't necessarily help its chances. The movie can be boiled down to awful pacing: the first and last 15 minutes are high-octane action and everything in between is low-octane Top Gun (the non-action scenes!). That blame belongs to Davis and writer Ron L. Brinkerhoff. But only Davis can shoulder the other flaws such as a single scene of dubious camerawork--filmed to look like handheld-montage style completely deviating from the movie's context--and the special effects during the somewhat cheesy action sequences which may remind you of a theme-park tour during which you learn how they filmed a boat scene...in the '80s!
Richard Riddick (Vin Diesel) has a really bad rep and with good reason: Five years ago convicted killer Riddick escaped the galaxy's law enforcement during a botched interplanetary prison transfer and has been on the lam ever since. As The Chronicles of Riddick picks up our antagonist finds his relative freedom has been compromised when mercenaries out for the $1 million bounty on his head discover his location and hunt him down. Riddick escapes their clutches steals their ship and sets off for Planet Helion to find Imam (Keith David) the Muslim cleric he rescued in Pitch Black and the only person who could have squealed his location to authorities. But while Riddick's hunch about Imam are correct the cleric has a reason for luring the mammoth murderer out of hiding: Helion is falling to unholy armies of Necromongers--warriors who conquer by force in the vein of Star Trek's Borg. Of course Riddick doesn't give a damn about the Helions or their plight--until he gets wind that the Necromogers want to kill him because of an old prophecy that foresees their end at Riddick's hands. Like it or not Riddick is left with no other choice but to battle the Necromongers.
The character of Riddick is unquestionably what made Pitch Black one of the most sequel-worthy sci-fi films in years. And Riddick would not have been one of sci-fi's most intoxicating characters if it weren't for Diesel. Like his Dominic Toretto in the 2001 actioner The Fast and the Furious Riddick is a villain of few words but when he speaks his carefully chosen words have impact--even if the dialogue is at times overly theatrical. Riddick is the perfect antihero; a cold-blooded and indifferent being who somehow evokes more compassion than the film's so-called good guys. Joining Riddick are some recurring characters including David as Imam but Riddick benefits the most from the addition of some new characters particularly Colm Feore as Lord Marshal the Necromonger leader whose goal is to rid the universe of all human life. Feore channeling nuggets of Julius Caesar into his role makes for one of Riddick's most thrilling foes. Another prominent addition to the cast is Judi Dench who has a surprisingly small role as Aereon an Elemental captured by the Necromongers and used for her special powers including ESP.
Writer/director David Twohy took his horror pic Pitch Black which gained a cult following since it was released four years ago and managed to successfully turn it into an sci-fi actioner of epic proportions. Everything is grander here which is almost a given considering Twohy shot Pitch Black on a dime in Australia using colored filters. In Riddick the director distinguishes the film's different environments--the Necros' mothership Crematoria's cavernous prison and Helion--using warm to cool tones that are dazzling yet more subtle than its predecessor. The CGI effects get a little gamey at times but production designer Holger Gross' gargantuan sets are impressive and help craft Twohy's otherworldly vision into a plausible one. And although Twohy jumps genres from Pitch Black to its sequel his storyline evolves logically from the original premise. But while moviegoers unfamiliar with Pitch Black will be able to follow the story easily enough they may have a difficult time grasping what makes Riddick such a big deal; the film explains the legend but never fully captures its quintessence. This could hurt Riddick's chances to broaden its Pitch Black fan base.