My Freelance Work

  • With one role, Bob Odenkirk has played four characters — is a fifth in the cards?

    L.A. Times Envelope8/17/17

    Con games are about trust — but Bob Odenkirk, who has a trustworthy face, insists he could never pull one off. “I would feel too guilty,” he says. But Odenkirk, whose roots are in comedy writing for “Mr. Show” and “Saturday Night Live,” has made an acting name for himself as a con artist of multiple personas, including Saul Goodman (on “Breaking Bad”) and Jimmy McGill (on “Better Call Saul”). With its third season just ended, “Saul” has cleared the way for Jimmy’s transition into the more cynical Saul, while Odenkirk keeps everyone guessing (and laughing).

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  • ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘Leftovers’ star Ann Dowd feels a certain kinship with both Emmy-nominated roles

    L.A. Times Envelope8/17/17

    If the name Ann Dowd doesn’t ring bells for you, just turn on the TV: She’s a veteran character actress who happened to score her first two acting Emmy nominations this year, one for taskmistress Aunt Lydia in “The Handmaid’s Tale” (supporting) and one for “The Leftovers” as Patti Levin (guest actress). And while she has a way of scaring audiences straight with her dour, stern looks it never takes long for Dowd’s nuanced performances to reveal there’s a beating heart under that strict surface. She met with The Envelope recently at the Beekman hotel in New York and spoke about finding herself in both roles, and learning to know when to let go.

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  • Peak TV means so much gets overlooked at awards time — The Envys are here to fix that

    L.A. Times Envelope8/17/17

    Peak TV is a boon for audiences. But Peak TV is a trial for those who hand out television awards each year: The dizzying array of choices means there’s no way many worthwhile performances and series will even get talked about, much less a nomination or an Emmy Award. So we’re here to help. By looking deep into the nitty-gritty of the past season, The Envelope is singling out the lesser-noticed, spotlight-worthy moments and performances among some of our favorite shows. And keep in mind, we’re looking at an entire season of episodes, so no complaining about spoilers. So with that in mind, ladies and gentlemen, we give you The Envelope’s Envy Awards.

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  • Setting the scene in ‘Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘Atlanta’ and more: Writers explain the draw of nominated episodes

    L.A. Times Envelope - 8/17/17

    A season takes months to write, weeks to shoot, hours to watch – and once it has an Emmy nomination, often what separates it from winning and losing an award can boil down into just minutes. Such pressure! So how do writers determine what the “key” scene is in their Emmy-nominated episodes anyway? Here’s what the 12 nominated writers shared with us when asked just that and as we learned, the definition of “key” varies widely – and contains multitudes.

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  • ‘The worst pain a woman can go through’: ER docs misdiagnosed my twisted ovary

    Today.com - 6/28/17

    In early June, Anne Wheaton, wife of “The Big Bang Theory” actor Wil Wheaton, began experiencing excruciating pain on her right side, pelvis and torso. In the ER doctors suggested it was a kidney stone, gave her medication and sent her home to see if it would pass. Days later, her agonizing pain was getting worse.

    “I’ve had two kids, and it still wasn’t at that level of pain,” Anne Wheaton told TODAY. “The surgeon [later] told my husband that this is the worst pain a woman can go through.”

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  • Watch what happens when Andy Cohen talks about his growing empire

    L.A. Times Envelope - 6/15/17

    Andy Cohen is a busy man. “I subscribe to the [Ryan] Seacrest-ian model of employment, which is to keep adding things that I love,” he says, and his résumé proves it. The former Bravo exec is now host and executive producer of the network’s “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen” and EP of “The Real Housewives” franchise. He has a SiriusXM “Radio Andy” channel, is a bestselling author with his Andy Cohen Books imprint, tours with Anderson Cooper and is the host-executive producer for Bravo’s new “Andy Cohen’s Then & Now” and the revived “Love Connection” on Fox.

    But that crazy workload didn’t stop him from offering The Envelope’s Randee Dawn the interviewer’s seat on the set of “Watch” and … well, watch what happened.

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  • Dynamic Duos

    Emmy Magazine - 6/15/17

    Great casting makes great TV duos, but even with supremely talented actors, there’s an unpredictable X factor in any pairing. Randee Dawn chatted up five terrific twosomes to find out what makes them click —
    and why you just gotta have friends.

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  • ‘Better Call Saul’ stars Jonathan Banks and Giancarlo Esposito break bad a second time

    L.A. Times Envelope - 6/08/17

    Walter White may have been “Breaking Bad’s” antihero protagonist, but at least half of that iconic series was indelibly stamped by two of its supporting characters: Giancarlo Esposito’s meticulous meth-king businessman Gus Fring and Jonathan Banks’ cop-turned-hitman Mike Ehrmantraut, both of whom (spoiler alert!) died in the series. But “Better Call Saul,” which takes place before those events, has worked a TV miracle by giving Gus and Mike a second chance to make a bad impression — in the best possible way. The Envelope joined the actors at AMC’s New York offices amid a thunderous rainstorm that provided the perfect soundtrack for their chat.

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  • Costume Designers Bend Period Rules for Today’s TV Audiences

    Variety - 6/01/17

    Had Phoebe de Gaye wanted to go for total accuracy in portraying the era of Elizabeth of York, who was married to England’s King Henry VII and mother to King Henry VIII, she could have spent a lot of time with extreme headdresses and dangling facial gauzes or veils. But those watching “The White Princess” may note that neither are present in the Starz series.

    “I would have loved to experiment with those things, but headdresses would have interfered with composing shots, and the gauzes would just have come between the audience and the actor,” the costume designer says. “You want to create a a window into the past for today’s audience, so you give it complexity and conviction, but you don’t want it to feel like a history lesson.”

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  • Production Designers Create Sets for TV That Support the Actors Without Overpowering Them

    Variety - 6/01/17

    Among the large ensemble cast assembled for FX’s “American Horror Story’s” sixth season was a rookie – one that would appear in 85% of the finished series: Roanoke House.

    The 8,000-sq.-ft. built-from-scratch structure – reflecting gothic, colonial, art nouveau, and Shaker architecture – was production designer Andrew Murdock’s crowning achievement, and a star of the show.

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