Conversations are inspiring Career Retrospectives with preeminent actors who explore the process and profession with an audience of fellow artists. Conversations focus on personal experiences and artistic influences that inform and shape careers; discuss current and past projects; share valuable insights into the craft and industry; and preserve creative legacies.
Presented in Los Angeles, New York and cities nationwide.
Conversations with Nia Long (2016)
Career retrospective with Nia Long on June 27, 2016. Moderated by Jenelle Riley, Variety.
Since making her film debut in John Singleton’s Oscar-nominated film, “Boyz In The Hood,” Nia Long continues to cultivate a versatile resume in both film and television.
On the big screen, Long will can be seen opposite Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele in New Line’s feature comedy “Keanu.” No stranger to box-office success, Long has been a part of three successful film franchises, including the “The Best Man,” for which she earned an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture, and its 2013 follow-up, “The Best Man Holiday,” which earned critical and commercial success. Martin Lawrence’s “Big Momma’s House” and “Big Momma’s House 2” collectively earned over $300 million and earned Long an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture. Additionally, Long co-starred in the Ice Cube family comedies “Are We There Yet?” and “Are We Done Yet,” which spawned the TBS comedy series “Are We There Yet?” Most recently, Long starred in “The Single Moms Club,” which she co-starred with her son Massai, and additional film roles include “Friday,” with Ice Cube and Chris Tucker; “Made in America,” with Whoopi Goldberg; “Love Jones,” which won the Audience Award at Sundance and earned Long an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture; “Soul Food”; “Stigmata”; “The Secret Laughter of Women,” opposite Colin Firth; “Alfie,” with Jude Law; and “Premonition,” with Sandra Bullock.
She first caught audience’s attention as Will Smith’s love interest on NBC’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” which garnered her first NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Long co-starred alongside Vanessa Redgrave, Sharon Stone and Ellen DeGeneres in the Emmy-nominated HBO telefilm “If These Walls Could Talk 2.” The performance earned Long an NAACP Image Award Nomination for Best Actress in a Television Movie. Her portrayal of Officer Sasha Monroe on NBC’s “Third Watch” earned her two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series. Additional television credits include recurring roles on “Judging Amy” and “Boston Legal.” Most recently, Long starred in the political thriller “The Divide,” from director Tony Goldwyn and writer Richard LaGravenese, and appeared on Showtime’s “House of Lies,” which earned Long an NAACP Image Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
Behind the camera, the actress made her directorial debut on Ashanti’s music video “Baby,”the third single from her platinum-selling debut album, “Ashanti.” Additionally, Long directed the music video for platinum-selling gospel artist Yolanda Adams’ single “This Too Shall Pass,” from the #1 selling gospel album, “Day By Day.” Continuing her work behind the camera, she is currently developing a feature film that centers on renowned world champion boxer and trainer Ann Wolfe.
In addition to her film and television work, Long’s passion lies in supporting her community. With her family roots in Trinidad, she aims to be the liaison between the youth in the United States and on the island of Trinidad. In 2013, Long was a vocal proponent to the Barack Obama reelection campaign and has remained active in supporting women’s rights, education and affordable healthcare.
A Brooklyn native, Long resides in Los Angeles with her two sons and fiancée, Ime Udoka, assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs.
Conversations with Topher Grace (2015)
Career Q&A with Topher Grace. Moderated by Bruce Fretts, Closer Weekly.
Acclaimed actor Topher Grace first caught the attention of audiences as one of the stars of the iconic television series, That ‘70s Show, before going on to make his mark on the big screen in numerous films.
Topher currently appears in the Sony Pictures Classics drama, Truth, opposite Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett, Dennis Quaid and Elisabeth Moss. The film tells the true story of a group of journalists – with Topher portraying rebellious researcher, ‘Mike Smith’ – who uncover a conspiracy that would bring down President George W. Bush’s presidency. The film will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Topher is currently in production starring alongside Brad Pitt in the upcoming Netflix black comedy, War Machine, in which he plays a civilian media adviser to Pitt’s four-star U.S. military general trying to win the war in Afghanistan. Based on Michael Hastings’ book, “The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan,” and directed by David Michod, the film is scheduled to debut in 2016.
Topher has also made the move behind the camera and recently completed production as producer and star of the romantic musical comedy, One Shot, directed by Isaac Rentz. The film features Anne Heche and Taye Diggs and follows a failed Broadway singer who now works as a production manager who must save opening night by wrangling his eccentric cast and crew. On screen he’s also wrapped on the supernatural thriller, Home, expected for release by Universal in 2016.
On the big screen, Topher won the National Board of Review award for Breakthrough Performance by an Actor, as well as a New York Film Critics award, for his roles in In Good Company and P.S. in 2004. As a member of the ensemble cast in Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, he also won a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2001.
Additional film credits include Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar; Gary Marshall’s ensemble, Valentine’s Day, opposite Anne Hathaway, Bradley Cooper, Jamie Foxx and others; Sam Raimi’s Spiderman 3; Robert Luketic’s Win a Date With Tad Hamilton; Mike Newell’s Mona Lisa Smile, opposite Julia Roberts; and Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven and Ocean’s Twelve among many other memorable roles including, most recently, American Ultra, opposite Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart.
On the small screen, along with That ‘70s Show, he has also appeared in Curtis Hanson’s Golden Globe winning TV film, Too Big to Fail, for HBO. He also appeared in The Beauty Inside, a 2012 social film developed by Intel and Toshiba. Directed by Drake Doremus and co-starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, the film is broken up into six filmed episodes interspersed with interactive storytelling that all takes place on the main character's Facebook timeline. Topher won a Daytime Emmy in the category of Outstanding New Approaches - Original Daytime Program or Series.
In 2014, Topher made his Off-Broadway debut in Paul Weitz’ acclaimed Lonely, I’m Not, opposite Olivia Thirlby, for Second Stage.
Topher grew up in Darien, Connecticut and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
Conversations with Diahann Carroll (2006)
A career retrospective with Diahann Carroll on June 21, 2006. Moderated by Paul Ryan.
Conversations with Andy Serkis (2014)
Career Q&A with Andy Serkis on November 7, 2014. Moderated by Scott Mantz, Access Hollywood.
Andy Serkis is known to millions of fans for his portrayal of the depraved creature Gollum in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, as the giant ape Kong in Jackson's King Kong and as Ian Dury in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. For his portrayal of the revolutionary chimpanzee Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Andy received a Virtuoso Award at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, and was nominated as Best Supporting Actor by the film critics associations of Houston, San Diego and the Washington Area as well as the 2011 Satellite Awards and the BFCA Critics' Choice Movie Awards. He reprised his role as Caesar in 2014's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Andy earned the Evening Standard Film Award for Best Actor for his tour-de-force portrayal of rocker Ian Dury in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. He scored nominations for the Emmy and the Golden Globe for playing murderer Ian Brady in Longford and earned the Empire Award for Best British Actor for The Return of the King. Along the way he's portrayed Albert Einstein, Vincent van Gogh and, in Mike Leigh's Topsy Turvy, the madcap choreographer John D'Auban.
In recent years, Andy has branched into other aspects of entertainment. He's directed a short film, Snake and a stage play, The Double Bass. He was Second Unit Director of The Hobbit. He's been active as a writer, director and performer in some of the most successful video games.
Andy formed Caveman Films to produce independent films in UK, and The Imaginarium Studios in London to bring performance capture and other technology to bear on the performing arts.
Conversations with Jennifer Aniston (2014)
Career retrospective Q&A with Jennifer Aniston on December 7, 2014. Moderated by Jenelle Riley, Variety.
Conversations with Ronald “Khalis” Bell (2018)
Q&A with Kool & The Gang's Ronald “Khalis” Bell on January 24, 2018, moderated by multiple Grammy award-winning producer and Emmy-winning musical director Steve Jordan.
Ronald “Khalis” Bell co-founder of Kool & the Gang was a driving force behind one of the most successful groups of the last five decades. Khalis composed, arranged produced and performed some of the most popular music of our time.
In 1964, a young Ronald Bell and his brother, Robert “Kool” Bell, joined neighborhood friends Spike Mickens, Dennis Thomas, Ricky Westfield, George Brown, and Charles Smith to create a unique musical blend of jazz, soul and funk.At first calling themselves the Jazziacs, the band went through various names changes -- The New Dimensions, The Soul Town Band, Kool & the Flames – before settling on their famous moniker.
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Fantastic interviews! I watch them on YouTube and listen to them in here.