May 142015
 

KevinandRobertaskype1KevinandRobertaskype2
Shortly after Kevin Rahm joined the cast of Mad Men, I was lucky enough to have a friend (virtually) introduce us. Since that time it’s been something of a Mutual Admiration Society, peppered with we-really-need-to-do-an-interview-one-of-these-days moments. So I wasn’t shocked when Kevin agreed to do the interview via Skype, and it made for a more fluid and fun conversation. See translation: Fluid and fun also means we ran long. You’re getting Part 1 now, and Part 2 middle of next week, as a reprieve from the wails and WHYYYS of the post-finale frenzy. The show will end, but The Basket will be alive and well for years and years to infinity, with fresh material–like Part 2 of this interview!

Kevin and I spent about five minutes being happy to meet each other and getting settled (me checking recording devices and such), and talking about:

1. The fundraiser he’d just done the day before in Louisiana for The Academy of Children’s Theatre (ACT), which he could not say enough great things about–like how he got involved because his niece was a student there; like how fantastic the co-founder Cynthia Whitaker was; like how 90% of the students go on to get full scholarships and almost all–if not all–the rest get partial scholarships.

2. How it was he knew our mutual friend, Bob Bergen. Kevin worked with the late beloved actress Kathryn Joosten on Desperate Housewives–she won an Emmy for her performance as Mrs. McCluskey (I adored every moment she was onscreen on The West Wing). Ms. Joosten served, along with Bob Bergen, as a Governor of TV Academy’s Performers Peer Group. She encouraged Kevin to join the Academy–he hadn’t known it was an option. At her funeral, Kevin approached Bob and asked him how he might help, and from there he became active in the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Performers Peer Group, with Bob as something of a mentor.
(As for me, I’d studied voice acting with Bob awhile back, taking his workshops several times. Kevin and I agreed he is among the nicest humans alive.)

3. Then there was this whole thing about our mantras. His is “Don’t be an asshole,” which he actually presented to the kids at ACT as “Don’t be a butthead,” and mine is “Suck less,” which, coincidentally, really helped me the last time I worked with Bob Bergen. This all led to….

Kevin Rahm:I had a couple of moments like that when I was on the set of Mad Men, where I was just, Oh, God, I suck so much; this is so bad. Which is daunting. It’s daunting walking into that world. My favorite quote–my first big role, the one that changed me where I was like, okay,I’m an actor now–was Waiting for Godot. It was at Brigham Young University, I was a freshman in college, 21 years old or 22, and Todd Parmley, who’s still one of my best friends, played Vladimir and I played Estragon, and I got a great poster. It was the back of Beckett’s head and onstage is Lucky and Pozzo, and the quote from Beckett is “No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Roberta Lipp: Love.

KR: Right? It’s the more positive version of “Suck less”. Continue reading »

FacebookGoogle+RedditShare
Apr 292015
 

On the night of Tuesday, April 28, the Lipp Sisters attended “An Evening with Matthew Weiner” (creator of Mad Men, as if you didn’t know) at the 92nd Street Y in New York.

Lipp Sister-Weiner-Lipp Sister (Roberta, Matt, Deborah) at 92Y

Lipp Sister-Weiner-Lipp Sister (Roberta, Matt, Deborah) at 92Y

Matt was his usual fascinating self. This time he was interviewed by Richard LaGravenese, a writer interviewing a writer about writing. At one point Matt turned the tables to discuss LaGravenese’s most famous work, The Fisher King.

Lacking recording equipment, we resorted to note-taking in the dark, so forgive the choppiness of our impressions.

The focus was heavily on writing (which we both love), and when LaGravenese said that The Sopranos must have been an incredible place to learn, Matt said “I played for the Yankees”. Working with David Chase (which Matt always credits with making him the writer he is) happened between writing the pilot and the rest of the series, and transformed what the series became.

“There are a lot of rules about storytelling that I don’t believe in,” Matt said. He talked about the idea that only novels can be internal (describing how incredibly internal the novel Revolutionary Road is), while film and TV have to be external. But he’s made Mad Men a very internal show, listing The Lonely Crowd as descriptive of its mood and motif. Continue reading »

FacebookGoogle+RedditShare
Jennifer Getzinger Exclusive Interview, Part 3--the wrap up!

Jennifer Getzinger Exclusive Interview, Part 3–the wrap up!

Apr 28, 2015

Jennifer Getzinger sat down with us for over an hour. In this segment, we discuss A Little Kiss, Orange is the New Black, Michael Ginzberg’s nipple, the job of script supervisor, and the influence of Darren Aronofsky. Here’s Part One and Part Two. Deborah Lipp: You’re working with amazing ensembles. Now you’ve also done Orange […]

Full Story
Jennifer Getzinger Exclusive, Part Two

Jennifer Getzinger Exclusive, Part Two

Apr 27, 2015

In Part One of our interview with one of Mad Men‘s most extraordinary directors, Jennifer Getzinger, we covered The Forecast and My Old Kentucky Home. In Part Two, we talk about The Suitcase, learning how to direct, and how not to direct. In Part Three, we’re going to open with Orange is the New Black, […]

Full Story
Coffee With Shirley: The Sola Bamis Interview

Coffee With Shirley: The Sola Bamis Interview

Apr 25, 2015

Note to readers: This interview took place via email. I have taken a couple of liberties to make it seem more “chatty.” Sola Bamis is someone the Basket knows and loves for her portrayal of Mad Men‘s Shirley, admin par excellence at SC&P. Shirley and Dawn are the first African-American employees at the agency, providing […]

Full Story
Basket of Kisses Interviews Jennifer Getzinger

Basket of Kisses Interviews Jennifer Getzinger

Apr 23, 2015

Jennifer Getzinger started with Mad Men as the script supervisor, and has been with the show from the pilot. In Season 2, she graduated to the director’s chair, and has been gifting us with some amazing episodes ever since. This week’s The Forecast is her last episode of Mad Men. We sat down with Jennifer on […]

Full Story

Open Thread: The Forecast

Apr 19, 2015

The split season is a bit of a mind-fuck, isn’t it? Because this is the third episode, but it isn’t–it’s the tenth. So we’re moving slowly, but also with swoop-lurchy escalation. Kind of. Okay we don’t know what we’re doing. Just sit back and, as they say, enjoy the ride. If you are new to […]

Full Story
Basket of Kisses Series Finale Party!!!

Basket of Kisses Series Finale Party!!!

Mar 22, 2015

Watch this space for details.

Full Story
Downton Abbey BasketContest!!!

Downton Abbey BasketContest!!!

Mar 13, 2015

Yo, Downton Abbeycases (and everyone else), we have a contest! Tell us who a hero of yours is in comments below (limit one comment, por favor) for a chance to win one of the following prizes: • A photo of Brendan Coyle (Mr. Bates), autographed by Mr. Coyle himself! • A copy of The World […]

Full Story
Jon Hamm Birthday Week Continues

Jon Hamm Birthday Week Continues

Mar 11, 2014

Jon Hamm on playing the period: I certainly don’t know that world either. Neither does Matt; it’s a different time. But again, it’s not required to have lived through any of this to be affected by it. I think that, again, alienation or dissatisfaction or wondering where your place is in the world or in […]

Full Story
It's Jon Hamm's Birthday!!!!!!

It’s Jon Hamm’s Birthday!!!!!!

Mar 10, 2014

And you know what that means…. Jon Hamm on why Basket of Kisses is awesomesauce: You know, it’s interesting, and we talked about this briefly when you visited, but I’ve been reading your site since its sort of foundation….and it’s really amazing that it is; sort of the depth that you guys go to and […]

Full Story
MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT from AMC

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT from AMC

Sep 17, 2013

I’m just going to let the press release speak for itself: MAD MEN SERVES “SEVEN AND SEVEN” AMC Orders Extra Episode, 14 Episodes To Be Equally Portioned Between Spring 2014 And 2015 NEW YORK, NY, Sept. 17, 2013 – AMC announced today that the final season of the Lionsgate series Mad Men will be expanded […]

Full Story
Jon Hamm.  Professional doofus.

Jon Hamm. Professional doofus.

Aug 21, 2013

Said with love, of course … This young BoSox fan a great story to tell.

Full Story