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Episode 51: TV Writer Mike Lam & Volcan Tequila

As Hollywood adapts to shifts multicultural and digital in nature, Mike Lam has a unique view of both as co-creator of the standout Spanish-language Netflix comedy series, Club de Cuervos. About to shoot its fourth season, the show documents the power struggle that ensues when the owner of a fictional Mexican soccer team dies, passing it on to his squabbling son and daughter. On this episode, Mike talks about the serendipitous origins of the show, the unique challenge of translating comedy...


Episode 50: TV Writer/Podcaster Jessica Gao & Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir

Hollywood isn’t exactly teeming with Chinese-American writers. So Jessica Gao makes up for it by doing the work of several people: writing on shows like HBO’s Silicon Valley and Comedy Central’s new sitcom Corporate, doing feature rewrite work, and co-hosting the Whiting Wongs podcast alongside Community creator Dan Harmon. While helping us drink Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir, Jessica talks about the time her parents sent her back to China on a plane by herself as a child to learn the...


Episode 49: Jersey Boys' Joseph Leo Bwarie & Sicilian Wines

Having played Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys for a record eight years and more than 2,000 shows, Broadway star Joseph Leo Bwarie amazingly said he never got tired of playing the legendary singer and performing his iconic songs. With this impressive stamina in mind, the guys put him through the Hollywood Uncorked ringer, forcing him to drink three wines from Sicily and to tell numerous stories from his long career in movies, recording, and theater. As a result, Joseph describes his first TV...


Episode 48: Rude Jude Angelini & 2015 Saint-Joseph

On a very special episode of Hollywood Uncorked, we get an unforgettable visit from hip-hop provocateur, Rude Jude Angelini. After finding fame as the in-house insult comic on the Jenny Jones show in the ‘90s, Rude Jude eventually caught the attention of Eminem, who hired him to host the “All Out Show” for his Sirius XM channel, Shade 45. While Scott, Tom and Ben spend the episode sampling 2015 Saint-Joseph, Rude Jude samples his own “chemical of choice” as he spins yarns that range from...


Episode 47: Manager Ashley Berns & Valpolicella and Amarone

How did Ashley Berns go from a desk job in London to becoming a Hollywood manager at management powerhouse Circle of Confusion? In this episode, Ashley tells the whole sordid tale—which began with a simple plan to drive across the country with a friend. While discussing with the panel how Disney’s purchase of Fox will affect the entertainment industry and the spec script market, he also helps sample two lesser-known Italian wines: Valpolicella and Amarone. Meanwhile, we learn how Tom’s New...


Episode 46: Reality Producer Craig Armstrong & Australian Cabernet

Where does reality sit in the entertainment landscape—as its crowd-pleasing future or in its sordid past? We sit down with prolific reality producer Craig Armstrong (The Hero, Fashion Star, King of the Nerds) to talk about how the genre is hard to classify, as it’s got as many tiers and categories as movies and scripted TV. As guest host Gren Wells helps the panel drink three cheap(ish) bottles of Australian Cabernet Sauvignon, they discuss the ingredients of a successful reality series,...


Episode 45: Actress Cristen Coppen & Cabernet Franc

With its notorious instability at an all-time high, is Hollywood worth a full-time effort anymore? For actress Cristen Coppen and many others working in the entertainment industry, the answer, increasingly, is no. Despite regular work and appearances on countless TV shows and movies including Road Trip and Hulu’s Casual, Cristen set out from the beginning to complement her entertainment career with outside endeavors like her handmade jewelry company and investments in several John Deere...


Episode 44: Producer Nick D’Angelo & Lopez de Heredia Wines

Nothing looms larger on Hollywood’s horizon than China—how to appeal to its audiences, attract its investment dollars, and navigate its rules and customs along the way. In this episode, we talk about the intricacies of Chinese funding with two American producers who have done plenty of it: Resonate Entertainment’s Brent Emery and Nick D’Angelo of China-backed Cristal Pictures. Over three bottles of wine from Spain’s Lopez de Heredia winery, the panel discusses the negative affect of a...


Episode 43: Manager Zach Cox & Thanksgiving Wines

Circle of Confusion literary manager Zach Cox joins the podcast to talk about the ongoing spate of sexual harassment and misconduct incidents in Hollywood, and whether overlooked norms in the industry played any role in them. During a frank and emotional discussion, the panel ponders if anything will change as a result of the revelations, and debates the path forward for both the victims and perpetrators. They also try three bottles of wine paired specifically for Thanksgiving dinner – no...


Episode 42: Director Jonathan Kesselman & Burgundy (Fixin)

Jonathan Kesselman got his big break directing the 2003 cult hit The Hebrew Hammer, which he had directed as a short film at USC Film School. And while he continued his career directing major commercials and comedies like Jimmy Vestvood, Kesselman always thirsted to make a sequel of Hammer. A window of opportunity opened up last year when investment rules changed, allowing non-accredited investors to participate in a film’s equity. To capitalize on this, Kesselman shot a short earlier this...


Episode 41: Producer Steve Wegner & South African Wines

Steve Wegner (Insomnia, The Blind Side) was 12 years old when he saw Blade Runner, and even wrote a paper on it in film school. Little did he know he would become a producer on the film’s much anticipated sequel, Blade Runner 2049, which topped the box office this past weekend on some of the strongest reviews for a sci-fi movie in recent memory. In this episode, Steve joins the panel as they drink South African wine and discuss how a Blade Runner sequel came to be – from the “ah-ha” moment...


Episode 40: Actress Heather Ankeny & Burgundy (Marsannay)

Are acting auditions really as painful as La La Land makes them look? Do you really have to know somebody to get your start in the business? Is the notorious “casting couch” really a thing? These questions and more are answered this week by actress Heather Ankeny (Weeds, Criminal Minds), who helps the guys kick off a journey into France’s Burgundy region by sampling Pinot Noir from the village of Marsannay. Along the way, she talks about leaving a job working for the Denver Nuggets to try...


Episode 39: Producer Tom Williams & Merlot

Was Hollywood’s summer slump a one-off caused by tired sequels and real-life natural disasters, or did it represent something more ominous for the theater-going experience? To discuss Hollywood’s broken system for releasing movies, we sit down with Tom Williams, who was on the team behind one of its most notable recent casualties, Logan Lucky. While Williams talks about working with directors like Steven Soderbergh and Alexander Payne, and how The Notebook became the biggest surprise hit...


Episode 38: Superstore’s Lauren Ash & Costco Wines

Every week, actress Lauren Ash delivers some of the most aggressive and just-plain-wrong comedic moments on network TV playing megalomaniacal Cloud 9 assistant store manager Dina Fox on NBC’s breakout sitcom Superstore. With the show about to enter its third full season, Lauren takes time out from her shooting schedule to help us drink through – what else? – three Kirkland wines from big-box retailer Costco. As the wines deliver some pleasant surprises for the panel, Lauren delves into the...


Episode 37: Ad Exec Mike Pierantozzi & Russian River Chardonnay

As an executive creative director for advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi in New York, Mike Pierantozzi has a front-row seat to the closer-than-ever relationship between Hollywood and Madison Avenue. In this episode, we discuss how narrative storytelling is now sometimes indistinguishable between advertising and top-tier Hollywood content, how advertisers work to keep eyeballs on their product, and why top talent is flocking to commercials. Along the way, we do a number on three Russian...


Episode 36: Survivor Winner John Cochran & Thai Food Pairing Wines

As perhaps the biggest underdog winner in Survivor history, John Cochran isn’t afraid of making big moves. But he might have saved his biggest play for his post-Survivor life as the Harvard law grad turned his back on a legal career and instead pivoted to being a writer on CBS sitcoms The Millers and Kevin Can Wait. In this episode, Cochran helps the guys find the perfect wines to pair with Thai food while explaining why entering his first writing room was like walking onto the Survivor...


Episode 35: Screenwriter Marc Klein & Five-Cent Sale Wine

What happened to the romantic comedy? Despite being on constant rotation on cable TV, they’ve largely disappeared from the modern cinemaplex – but can they come back? In this episode, we discuss the downfall and future prospects of the rom-com with screenwriter Marc Klein, noted crafter of beloved versions of the genre such as Serendipity with Kate Beckinsale and A Good Year with Russell Crowe. As Marc helps the guys drink three wines Ben found at the BevMo Five-Cent Sale, he traces the...


Episode 34: Social Media Writer Emma Tolkin & GSMs

A third-generation writer, Emma Tolkin’s father scripted movies like Deep Impact and Changing Lanes, and her grandfather Mel served as head writer of Your Show of Shows, where he presided over one of the most legendary writing rooms in Hollywood history with fellow luminaries Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Sid Caesar. But when it came time for Emma to pursue her own writing career, she took her talents to the internet where she’s handled social media duties for the Anna Faris podcast...


Episode 33: Director Mike Mitchell & Mourvedre (Part 2)

In Part Two of our sit-down with director Mike Mitchell (Trolls, Lego Movie Sequel), we dust off two more bottles of Mourvedre and take a hilarious stroll down the long road that took him from the Midwest to Hollywood. Along the way, we visit waypoints like his time at CalArts, storyboarding for Spike Jonze, his first directing job helming Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, and how to work around a corporate agenda when you’re putting together a major animated sequel. Oh yeah, and we also learn...


Episode 32: Director Mike Mitchell & Mourvedre (Part 1)

Given his role directing blockbuster animated sequels like Shrek Forever After and the upcoming Lego Movie Sequel, we thought it only appropriate to give director Mike Mitchell a two-episode arc to discuss his career as an animator and filmmaker in Hollywood. While drinking three hard-to-find bottles of Mourvedre, Mike walks us through how he developed the Trolls movie by going to the very origins of the ‘70s dolls themselves, the “hippie commune” that is Hollywood’s animated community,...


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