Bernard Hiller is an International Hollywood Acting Teacher and Life Coach. The goal of the podcast is to share with you the inspiring stories from our Academy Award Winning guests and show-business professionals. Their knowledge and insight will be a key element in helping you on your journey towards success.
Actor/Comedian - Kevin Pollak
1:25:21Kevin Pollak has had a long and prolific career as a standup comedian, impressionist, character actor, and director. He has appeared in over 90 films, including The Usual Suspects, A Few Good Men, Casino, Grumpy Old Men, and the award-winning original show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. He has worked with some of the biggest stars and directors in the industry over the course of his career including Martin Scorsese, Jack Nicholsen, Tom Cruise, Barry Levinson, Robert De Niro, Sophia Loren, and so many more. In this episode of Actors Guide to Success Kevin and Bernard talk about how Kevin got his start in the industry, tell some hilarious tales from the movie sets he’s worked on, and share his philosophies on acting, auditioning, and directing. Show Notes: 4:47 - Kevin reminisces about his early interest in comedy 8:50 - Kevin talks about his start as a stand-up comedian 10:38 - Kevin examines his talent as an impressionist 11:58 - Bernard “interviews” Kevin’s Christopher Walken impression 12:45 - Kevin talks about how impressions and comedy helped him to create characters 15:35 - Kevin discusses “bombing” as a comedian and rejection in auditions 17:06 - Kevin names his main inspirations in standup comedy 17:37 - A brief tangent about James McAvoy in Cyrano de Bergerac and other powerful stage performances 19:07 - Kevin confesses his insecurities about being an actor 21:17 - Kevin talks about what it was like on the set of A Few Good Men 23:22 - Kevin tells the story about when his mother flirted with Jack Nicholson 28:10 - Kevin further elaborates about what it was like on set and not being able to “get there” in an intense scene 32:08 - Kevin talks about the subtle anti-Semitism in the classic court scene of A Few Good Men 34:32 - Kevin remembers when he stood in for Jack Nicholson 37:44 - Bernard asks Kevin where he developed compassion for others 39:49 - Kevin talks about Barry Levinson and auditioning for Avalon 46:33 - Kevin shares his advice for actors just getting started in the business 54:53 - Bernard and Kevin discuss the process and heartbreak of auditioning 55:28 - Kevin talks about the transition from auditioning to getting offers; agreeing to a role in The Usual Suspects 1:02:30 - Bernard and Kevin discuss the importance of taking risks and being a poker player 1:04:38 - Kevin talks about being a character actor and the character actors he has admired; Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau 1:08:14 - Kevin reminisces about working with Sophia Loren 1:11:08 - Kevin gives further advice on acting and being intentional 1:13:29 - Kevin explains what he still loves about the industry; The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel 1:15:32 - Kevin advises actors to create their own material and adapt their favorite stories 1:17:47 - Kevin talks about Casino and working with Don Rickles and Martin Scorsese
Casting Director - Kerry Barden
36:36Kerry Barden is the award-winning casting director of over 200 films and TV shows, including Sex in the City, Winter’s Bone, The Help, 13 Reasons Why, and the 2016 Best Picture Academy Award-winner Spotlight. He has been nominated eight times for the Outstanding Achievement in Casting award by the Casting Society of America and won three times. He was also nominated for an Emmy for Sex in the City. He majored in theatre at the University of Georgia and has a producer credit on the film Conversations with Other Women. In this episode of Actors Guide to Success Kerry sits down with Bernard Hiller to talk about the ever-evolving business of film-making, his personal philosophy on life and art, and how to get noticed in an audition. Show Notes: 2:17 - Kerry explains his start in casting. 3:00 - Kerry and Bernard talk about purpose and career. 3:30 - Kerry talks about “saying yes” to opportunities. 5:00 - Kerry shares the advice he would give to actors just starting out. 8:23 - Kerry explains what he looks for when an actor walks into an audition. 9:17 - Kerry talks about the “don’ts” for auditioning 10:33 - Bernard and Kerry discuss how globalism has affected casting films 11:05 - Kerry explains the vital skill of self-taping 12:43 - Kerry talks about energy and connection in an actor’s performance 13:39 - Kerry and Bernard talk about how to have a fulfilling personal life as an actor 14:48 - Kerry discusses the importance of acting classes, following other artists, and studying the film-making process 16:14 - Kerry explains how someone can contact him or expect to be seen by him 17:30 - Kerry reveals the best piece of advice anyone ever gave him 18:43 - Bernard and Kerry talk about Sex in the City and Jennifer Lawrence’s breakout role in Winter’s Bone 22:25 - Kerry elaborates on how the film-making process has changed and diversified, and how to make your own opportunities 27:21 - Kerry and Bernard talk about awards, director Tom McCarthy, and Spotlight 32:00 - Kerry dispels some myths and misconceptions about casting directors 34:25 - Bernard and Kerry discuss the power of storytelling and Kerry reveals his favorite recent acting performances.
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Hollywood Agent - Jackie Lewis
38:33Jackie Lewis has been an agent for the past 30 years. She started as an agent in NYC and then came to LA to open her own agency. Her insight into Hollywood and show business is invaluable. Listen to her advice, it will take your career further. She started her career representing kids and now works with some of the top talent in LA. We love her having attended our class and she has found many actors in our classes that she now represents.
Journalist - Pete Hammond
59:39Pete Hammond is a 5-time Emmy nominated Hollywood influencer. In addition to being the chief film critic of Deadline Hollywood, Pete is the awards editor and columnist for the Oscars and a columnist for the LA Times. Currently, Pete also hosts the KCET Cinema Series every Friday night on the PBS owned station where they show must-see movies. In this episode of Actors Guide to Success with Bernard Hiller, Pete discusses the joys of working in Hollywood, shares his personal picks for the Academy Awards, and explores the future of film. Pete is the “pre-eminent voice of what works and what doesn’t work… if Pete likes your movie, you have a chance”. SHOW NOTES: Pete talks about what got him into Hollywood and cinema as a kid - 2:20 Pete discusses his journey from NBC page to journalist - 3:05 Pete details his passion for show business and the struggles of the job - 6:03 Pete shares stories about watching films with Eva Marie Saint - 10:54 Bernard and Pete discuss the Oscars appreciation for actress Laura Dern - 12:06 Bernard and Pete talk about the Best Supporting Actress nominees - 17:25 Pete discusses the Best Supporting Actor nominees and why he believes Brad Pitt will win this year - 18:40 Bernard and Pete share praise for Quentin Tarantino and his talent in casting - 23:00 Pete explains why either Renee Zellweger or Charlize Theron deserves to win for Best Actress - 25:28 Pete shares his personal experiences with Charlize Theron, Renee Zellweger, Cynthia Erivo, and offers praise for Scarlett Johansson’s - 28:00 Pete claims that Joaquin Phoenix will win for the Best Actor category this year and explores why ‘The Joker’ was so great - 30:38 Bernard and Pete discuss Leonardo DiCaprio and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” - 33:24 Pete talks about Peter Farrelly and his own involvement with the success of “Green Book” - 34:48 Pete discuss films that age well despite being originally poorly received, such as ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ and ‘The King of Comedy’ - 38:35 Pete talks about writing bad reviews, Robert De Niro, and special effects - 40:21 Pete explains why he believes “1917” will win Best Picture - 44:51 Pete discusses voting in the Academy Awards and shares his favorite films of the year - 47:49 Pete expresses his concerns on the effects streaming will have on cinema - 51:10 Pete shares a story on the importance of believing in yourself - 52:05 Pete believes insecurity is the biggest threat yet a vital source of success for actors - 55:36
Screenwriter - Brian Currie
38:33SHOW NOTES: Brian discusses how he originally moved to California and began an acting career [4:42] Brian offers advice on succeeding as an actor [7:59] Brian details his transition from struggling actor to screenplay writer [9:49] Brian describes some of his first screenplays [11:16] Brian shares his current projects and sources of ideas and creativity [12:50] Brian offers his best 3 tips for starting as an actor [14:38] Brian discusses working with Peter Farrelly and the actors on Green Book [16:52] Brian shares how Peter and himself convinced Viggo Mortenson to star in Green Book [20:40] Brian shares the importance of staying positive and the best advice he’s received [24:10] Brian shares his experience at the Oscars [27:07] Brian offers advice on how to start a career in film writing [32:03] Brian and Bernard discuss the nature of show business [34:30] Brian offers advice on becoming a producer and how he met Peter Farrelly [35:25]
Actor - Dimiter Marinov
33:20Not many seasoned and accomplished actors would learn a new instrument BEFORE landing a role in a film, but that is just what makes Dimiter Marinov so unique at his craft! He is multi-talented, intuitive and takes the curve balls life throws at him with a bone-tickling sense of humor. In the second Episode of Actors Guide to Success with Bernard Hiller Dimiter speaks about his life journey, learning classical music, the ‘heart flip’ that led him to pursue a career in acting. He also speaks about the challenges of growing up in a communist country, how he landed in America, the funny story of what made him move to Costa Rica and finally making it to the outstanding role in the Academy Award-winning film “Green Book”. In this episode: Dimiter talks about his early childhood and his accomplishments at an early age as a very talented violinist - 3:18 Dimiter talks about the incident that led him to pursue a career in acting - 5:29 Dimiter sheds light on the propaganda that led to his arrest by the KGB, and its impact on his life and career prospects - 7:16 Dimiter explains the motivation behind finishing the five-year graduate program in one year and three months - 8:20 Dimiter reminisces on his time in Germany and the defining moment that led to his decision to permanently move to the United States - 9:08 Dimiter talks about his unbelievably moving story of the family that opened their home to him during his first few years in the United States - 11:13 Dimiter shares his journey to his first acting break in California with the San Diego Repertory Theatre in 1999 - 16:09 Dimiter talks about how he accidentally bought a restaurant on his short trip to Costa Rica which prompted him to move there with his entire family - 16:56 Dimiter speaks about his entry into Hollywood at the age of 45 - 18:05 Dimiter speaks about his journey to bagging the iconic role in the Academy Award Winning film Green Book and how in only 5 days he learned to play the cello - 19:16 Dimiter talks about the important life lessons he learned along the way to success - 25:41 Dimiter shares his hilarious first meeting with Ashton Kutcher - 29:25
Director - Peter Farrelly
1:03:08Film Director and Writer Peter Farrelly has been mostly known for his quirky and romantic comedies that he together with his brother Bobby directed and produced - the Farrelly Brothers. His films include Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary, Myself and Irene. In the first Episode of Actors Guide to Success with Bernard Hiller, Peter tells us about his life journey and an incredible 26 years career as a filmmaker. Learn how from being a salesman he went into making movies and becoming a two Times Oscar Winner for writing and directing the best Picture of 2018 - "Green Book”. As we dive deeper into the interview Peter gives invaluable advice to upcoming writers and actors. He talks about how not getting his dream job as a writer for Sinefeld was a turning point in his career and how he never directed a movie before making his first hit Dumb and Dumber. In This Episode: Peter talks about receiving an unusual call after the academy awards - 2:20 Conversation between Steven Spielberg and Peter Farrelly at the Oscar party - 4:15 Peter talks about how in his mid 20’s he decided to pursue writing as his career and how soon after he discovered that it’s not that easy to make a living with writing - 5:15 Peter talks about how he and his friend wrote a screenplay called Dust to Dust, an early version of his hit movie Dumb and Dummer - 8:30 Peter talks about how he started writing with his brother Bobby - 9:40 Peter describes why nobody wanted to read a script called Dumb and Dummer and how he had to change the title so people will actually pay attention to it - 11:20 Peter talks about the role spirituality plays in his life, why fear is actually your friend and the importance of starting writing today because you can always make it better later - 12:15 Advice for writers - 19:15 Peter talks how the idea for filming Green Book came to life - 24.46 Advice for Actors from Peter Farrelly. An exercise that will help you act and sound more natural - 25:30 Peter describes how he never directed a movie prior to making Dumb and Dummer and the importance of asking for help - 29:05 Peter talks about faith. How he always felt that everything is going to be ok despite being as he says “the worst student in class” - 33:53 Peter explains his unique way of writing screenplays and how he changes the viewer's perception of the villain - 34:55 Peter explains the challenges his brother and him went through when writing There is Something About Mary - 38:13 Peter talks about various scenes in Dumb and Dummer and how he resisted the movie studios trying to influence changes - 40:00 Peter talks about his involvement with Sinefeld and how not getting his dream job at the time set him up for a successful career as a director and filmmaker - 42:44 Peter talks about working with Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali - 45:30 Another Advice for actors from Peter Farrelly and the importance of creating your own opportunities - 50:22 Peter talks about his upbringings - 53:29 Peter speaks about the invaluable advice he has been given when starting his career - 55:50 Peter talks about his experience at the 91st Academy Awards - 58:45 Peter talks about the importance of enjoying life now and that winning two Oscars haven’t made him less or more happier - 1:02:40