If you saw Stephen Tobolowsky on the street, you might think you know him from somewhere. The character actor has appeared in over 100 films and TV shows, with recurring roles in Heroes, Deadwood, Glee and now The Mindy Project.
In his memoir, The Dangerous Animals Club, Toboloswky charts the highs and lows of life as a character actor. Some of his roles have been so small, he says, his characters didn't even have names — as, for example, with his turn as "Buttcrack Plumber."
I have a quibble with the title of David Skinner's new book, The Story of Ain't. In fact, that pariah contraction plays only a supporting role in the story. The book is really an account of one of the oddest episodes in American cultural history, the brouhaha over the appearance of Merriam-Webster's Third International Dictionary in 1961.
Paul Thomas Anderson (left) works with actor Joaquin Phoenix on the set of <em>The Master.</em>
Credit Phil Bray / The Weinstein Co.
Navy veteran Freddie (Phoenix) falls under the influence of cult leader Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) in Anderson's film, which critic Ella Taylor describes as "one of the <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/09/13/160942878/master-actors-deliver-glimpse-into-cult-life">most twisted father-son tales</a> ever told."
For Paul Thomas Anderson, moviemaking is not just an art; it's also about time management.
"At its best, a film set is when everybody knows what's going on and everybody's working together," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "At its worst, [it's] when something's been lost in communication and an actor's not sure how many shots are left or what's going on, and the makeup department's confused."
In 1978, it seemed that every kid in Britain wanted to be in a punk band. But in Birmingham, that blighted industrial scar in the middle of the island, there wasn't much punk to be seen. The oasis was a club called Barbarella's, and that's where Dave Wakeling and Andy Cox hung out.
At age 66, Neil Young has taken the advice of his doctor and stopped smoking marijuana — though he's not "making any promises," he says.
The Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist has a new memoir titled Waging Heavy Peace, in which he talks about his music, family and medical conditions, including polio, epilepsy and a brain aneurysm. In the book, he describes a particularly painful procedure he went through, which has since been banished.