The little boy who scored such a success in the original Jurassic Park is all grown up now—and playing Freddie Mercury’s British bandmate John Deacon in Bohemian Rhapsody. Jurassic costar Richard Attenborough was so impressed with his young costar that he cast him in his moving drama Shadowlands. Director Steven Spielberg liked him so much that he wrote a letter of recommendation when Joe wanted to learn filmmaking at USC. Leonard and Jessie weren’t immune to his charms, either. He’s a bright young man who has his feet on the ground as he forges the next chapter of his rather remarkable career. He offers straight talk with a smile on his face, which is pretty hard to resist.
Most people remember Topher Grace from his star-making role on the popular comedy series That 70’s Show, but this year he showed us a darker side playing KKK kingpin David Duke in Spike Lee’s Blackklansman. Not that he hasn’t been serious before—in Traffic and Spider-man 3, to name just two examples. Leonard and Jessie were delighted to find an engaging interviewee with a wealth of experiences in show business—and a wonderful way of talking about them.
Angela Lansbury sailed away from war-torn England when she was 15, earned two Oscar nominations before she was 20, and is still going strong at the age of 93. She’s as bright and thoughtful as ever, discussing her amazing stage and screen career on both sides of the Pond. Whether you love her as Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote, or as the voice of Mrs. Potts in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, you’ll be captivated by the conversation Leonard and Jessie had with Dame Angela in her Los Angeles home.
From college grad student to director of Creed and Black Panther in a short span of time, Ryan Coogler has kept his feet on the ground. He relies on his wife Zinzi Evans and former USC classmates who form the core of his working team. From his debut feature, Fruitvale Station, through his latest box-office smash, he has found ways to make each film personal to his own experience. Leonard and Jessie are unabashed boosters of this talented filmmaker and loved having a quiet, intimate conversation with him amidst award season tumult.
He’s won five Emmy Awards and is a longtime radio host and political pundit. But guess what? Dennis Miller is also a diehard film buff who revels in watching Turner Classic Movies. Jessie was blown away as Leonard and Dennis started comparing notes on favorite films and the people in them. He’s the same sharp-witted comic he’s always been, but this time the focus is on movies. Excelsior!