Top producers and scribes take center stage in The Hollywood Reporter's Producers and Writers Roundtables, which air starting at 7 p.m. tonight on PBS SoCaL as part of a holiday television event.
THR's Stephen Galloway and Matthew Belloni sat down for an open conversation with Lone Survivor's Mark Wahlberg, American Hustle’s Charles Roven, Lee Daniels’ The Butler’s Pam Williams, Captain Phillips’ Michael De Luca, 12 Years a Slave’s Dede Gardner and Gravity’s David Heyman that included discussions about collaborating with A-list filmmakers, renegotiating with talent for sequels, and personally and professionally handling the unexpected exit of a lead (The Dark Knight’s Heath Ledger, Harry Potter’s Richard Harris, Fifty Shades of Grey’s Charlie Hunnam).
Wahlberg explained the appeal to actors of taking on a producing role in Hollywood.
"The only reason why I wanted to was because I was never going to get the script first,” he revealed. “I had to wait for Brad Pitt to pass; I had to wait for this one to pass. So I had to go out there and create my own thing, find material, develop it for myself and have creative control. I'd rather be behind the wheel of a car going down a highway at 200 miles per hour than in the backseat with somebody else in control. So that was it for me, and then I just loved it, and it was addictive to me."
Meanwhile, Galloway and Belloni also talked shop with The Monuments Men’s George Clooney and Grant Heslov, Gravity’s Jonas Cuaron, Before Midnight’s Julie Delpy, Enough Said’s Nicole Holofcener, 12 Years a Slave’s John Ridley and Lee Daniels’ The Butler’s Danny Strong, discussing the headaches when rewriting for film studios, the public backlash over news-to-script accuracy, and the challenges of writing roles for themselves as actors.
Clooney opened up about the backlash he and Heslov received after their breakthrough Good Night, and Good Luck.
"Bill O'Reilly does a half-hour show about why my career is over. He brought in some producer that goes, 'I'll never work with him again.' I'm like: 'I don't know who she is! I've never even seen her before.' (Laughs.) And I called my dad and said, 'Well, am I in trouble?' And he's like: 'Do you have a job? Do you have money?' And I said, 'Yes.' He goes: 'Shut up. Grow up. Be a man. What are you afraid of? A lot of people have taken a lot worse chances. You can't demand freedom of speech and say, 'Don't say bad things about me.' "
The Hollywood Reporter and PBS SoCaL, which is available in 18 million households in the greater Los Angeles area, have partnered to produce The Hollywood Reporter Roundtables series, which features Hollywood’s leading Academy Award contenders in intimate discussions. The five-part series will continue during the holiday season through Dec. 30 on PBS SoCaL's HD channel, KOCE.
The Actor Roundtable, with Matthew McConaughey, Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, Josh Brolin and Michael B. Jordan, debuted last Sunday night.
The Director Roundtable, featuring Steve McQueen, Paul Greengrass, David O. Russell, Ben Stiller, Alfonso Cuaron and Lee Daniels, aired last Monday.
The Actress Roundtable, featuring Oprah Winfrey, Amy Adams, Emma Thompson, Julia Roberts, Octavia Spencer and 12 Years a Slave's Lupita Nyong'o, aired Sunday night.
In addition, PBS and The Hollywood Reporter have partnered to air THR's exclusive discussion with Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Terence Winter about Paramount's The Wolf of Wall Street. The 30-minute interview, Episode 1 of THR's new series The Hollywood Reporter in Focus, aired Sunday and again on Jan. 6.