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Mon. Mar 4th, 2024
Hollywood at Home New Episode Preview

Hollywood at Home New Episode Preview

Los Angeles, CA: The talented Dulé Hill, known for his remarkable performances and undeniable charm, graces the virtual stage of this week’s Hollywood at Home with The Creative Coalition (link to podcast here). Hill, an Emmy-Award nominee, opens up about his incredible journey in the entertainment industry, sharing captivating stories that will bring listeners behind-the-scenes of his most captivating roles. In this episode, Hill takes us back to where it all began, reminiscing about his first Hollywood acting gig on the iconic series “The West Wing.” With his signature wit and infectious enthusiasm, he reveals the challenges and triumphs he experienced while working alongside legendary actors such as Martin Sheen and Allison Janney. Hill delves into his initial reluctance to take on the role of the lovable Gus Guster on the hit show “Psych,” and shares the rollercoaster ride of emotions he encountered while bringing this unforgettable character to life. Beyond the television screen, Hill’s passion for theater shines through as he discusses his deep-rooted love for the stage, offering a glimpse into the transformative power of live performances and the profound impact they have had on his career.

 

Highlights from Hollywood at Home featuring Dulé Hill: 

 

How “Psych” almost wasn’t: “Coming off of ‘The West Wing,’ it wasn’t really a choice that…most people would make coming off of a critically-acclaimed show that won so many awards… When the role of Gus came up, my agent was really pushing the idea…and I was like, ‘No, I really don’t want to play a sidekick for ‘X’ number of years… When I read [the script] a second time, I said, ‘This character could be fun if he thought he was the coolest man on earth… if he thought he was Billy Dee [Williams], Denzel [Washington], and Wesley Snipes all wrapped up in one, but everything he did was the exact opposite of that.’ He was a corn ball, but in his mind, he was just so cool… You couldn’t tell Gus that he was not the smoothest man on the earth.”

 

On finding the fun after conquering the world (of television): “I take calculated risks… When ‘The West Wing’ was finishing, I knew that I did not want to go do another office drama… When you’re going from working with Aaron Sorkin and John Wells and Tommy Schlamme, and your castmates are Allison Janney and Martin Sheen and Richard Schiff and Bradley Whitford, I knew…that is the top of the mountain in terms of television…the thing that stuck in my head. ‘Dulé, if you try to repeat this, you’re going to keep searching for this and never really attain that again. So just go a different place. Go do something where you can be wacky and fun. Just do something completely different.’ And, thankfully, ‘Psych’ came along.”

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When Martin Sheen taught Dulé the secret Lawrence Fishburne handshake: “I first met Martin… He was there walking in a hallway right outside the Oval Office and he introduced himself. He said, ‘You know Lawrence Fishburne?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘Well, years ago, Lawrence and I, we did a movie and he taught me a handshake back then. It was a movie called Apocalypse Now… He taught me a handshake and I’m gonna teach it to you.’ So he [Martin] taught me the handshake, and just something about him doing that allowed me to connect and see…the humanity of him. ‘Yes, he’s Martin Sheen, but he’s also a guy, and a nice guy,’ and that took away a lot of the stress for me or the pressure of the time.”

 

Allison Janney became family: “She is really one of the loves of my life. I truly adore her. She is so brilliant, so beautiful, so talented, and so consistent, not only on screen, but off screen. And in this town, that is hard to find… I’ve known Allison for 25 years now…[through] times when she’s soaring high and getting Academy Awards, and times where she hadn’t worked in a while. [My son] Levi is always asking about, ‘When are we gonna go by Auntie Ali’s house?’”

 

“The Wonder Years” expands the lens: “This was a product that I thought was important to put out there, to expand the lens, to show that there was more story to be told… It was my wish that the show would have had a longer life and hopefully, [we] could have done more ‘Wonder Years’ of different cultures and experiences, because, in this country, there really is a magnificently diverse group of people that make this nation as wonderful as it is. And oftentimes, I feel like the lens is too closed off, and the more that we can expand the lens, the more that we can see each other, accept each other, understand each other, honor each other, and encourage each other to be the fullness of who we are.”

 

The On-Set Adventures of Actor Jason Kravits

 

Los Angeles, CA: In this exclusive and candid conversation with legendary actor of stage and screen, Jason Kravits, we invite listeners into behind-the-scenes tales that have shaped his multifaceted career (link to podcast here). From a poignant-yet-hilarious moment with Paul Rudd on the set of “Friends,” to the enduring impact of his “30 Rock” cameo, Kravits delves into the intricacies of working with renowned figures like Larry David, Tina Fey, and the late Bob Einstein. His anecdotes unveil fascinating insight from top directors, and the sheer joy of collaborating with icons like John Turturro and Ellie Kemper. Join Kravits as he shares details of his upcoming award-winning, one man show, “Off the Top,” a completely improvised night of music and comedy; and dives into the layers of a life in Hollywood, and offers a glimpse into the moments that shaped his journey.

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Highlights from Hollywood at Home featuring Jason Kravits: 

 

On set with Paul Rudd during the final episode of “Friends”: “What was weird about it, is it was my first experience being on that set. Everybody else was saying goodbye…so it was a deeply personal moment for everybody, except the few of us that were there as guest cast…They had to stop [filming] because Jennifer Aniston got emotional in the scene…there was this quiet moment and Paul Rudd leaned over to me and he goes, ‘This is…so personal… It’s like being invited to watch someone take a bath,’ and I said, ‘What are we doing here?’”

 

On his epic Braverman line on “30 Rock”: “In the episode, my character mistakes Alec Baldwin’s character for a guy who disappeared after high school, named Larry Braverman. And the episode ends with…my voice yelling, ‘Braverman!’…At ‘Kimmy Schmidt,’ I would hear Tina [Fey] or Robert [Carlock] at the other end of the table going, ‘Braverman!’…I was walking down the street in Venice Beach…and somebody passed me and went, ‘Braverman!’”

 

On advice during “Curb Your Enthusiasm”: “[Director] Bob Weide came to my dressing room on day one, and he goes, ‘We don’t usually tell people if they’ve done something we like. We’ll only tell you if there’s something we don’t like. Don’t take it personally. If we like it, we’ll just move on. Otherwise…don’t dwell on it.’”

 

On working with the late, great comedian Bob Einstein on “Curb”: “Bob, he would play these little games with you. He says, ‘Hey, you’re new here, right?…Do you want to recur on this show? You want to come back for other episodes? Okay, I’ll tell you what to do. Wait until Larry’s talking to somebody else, and then walk up to him and tap him on the shoulder really hard. When he turns around, say, ‘Can’t wait to see what my character does next!’ He’ll love it.’”

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On improvising with Larry David “I was improvising something and Larry just stopped and he’s like, ‘Don’t talk about that. Don’t talk about the golf tournament. I don’t want to hear about the golf tournament.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, okay’…And then it slowly just became easier and I started to relax into it.”

 

On his hit off-Broadway play, “Sabbath Theatre” with John Turturro: “John directed me in a play about 12 years ago..It was a Broadway run of three one-acts…by Ethan Coen, Elaine May, and Woody Allen. John and I got to work on both Ethan’s and Woody’s pieces – he directed all three – and we really hit it off…Everything with John is unexpected…He just lets the whole creature out. But as much of a mad man as he can be, and you know how he commands the stage, he’s such a great presence. He’s just an incredibly generous, thoughtful person.”

 

More about Hollywood at Home:

Hosted by The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk, “Hollywood at Home” brings listeners intimate portraits, key moments of discovery, and “art and soul” conversations with iconic entertainment industry personalities from the big screen to the boardroom, from L.A. to D.C. Listen now at http://thecreativecoalition.org/podcast.

 

Previous guests include Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Abbott Elementary”), Marlee Matlin (“CODA”), Jason Alexander (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Alan Cumming (“Schmigadoon!, “The Good Wife”), Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The Middle”), Eric McCormack (“Will and Grace”), Willie Garson (“And Just Like That…”), Colman Domingo (“Euphoria”), Kerry Ehrin (“The Morning Show”), Wendi McLendon-Covey (“The Goldbergs”), Ken Olin (“This is Us,” “Thirtysomething”), Anthony Rapp (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Grace Caroline Currey (Shazam!), and Alfre Woodard (Clemency, “Luke Cage”), among others.

 

More about The Creative Coalition:

Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is the premier nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. The Creative Coalition harnesses the unique platforms of the arts community and entertainment industry to make positive impacts on social welfare issues. The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating, mobilizing, and activating its members on issues of public importance. Actor Tim Daly serves as the organization’s President. The Creative Coalition also creates award-winning public service campaigns, including #RightToBearArts, to promote the efficacy of the arts. For more information, visit https://thecreativecoalition.org.

 

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By Sammi Turano

Sammi has been a journalist for over a decade, specializing in entertainment, lifestyle, sports and celebrity news. She is the owner of TVGrapevine and Football in High Heels and the Host of Grapevine in High Heels With Sammi.

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