Tag Archive | "FX Network"

FARGO: FX Orders Third Season of The Critically Acclaimed Series

FARGO: FX Orders Third Season of The Critically Acclaimed Series

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FX has ordered a third installment of the Emmy®, Golden Globe®, AFI and Peabody award-winning limited series Fargo from Creator Noah Hawley, it was announced today by Eric Schrier and Nick Grad, Presidents of Original Programming for FX Networks and FX Productions.

The second installment of Fargo currently ranks as the most critically-acclaimed television of 2015 according to Metacritic with a score of 96 out of 100, and it also scored 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and has the highest average critics’ rating of any show on TV this year with 9.1 out of 10.

“Year two of Fargo is an extraordinary achievement and, given Noah Hawley’s masterful storytelling, we can’t wait to see where the third, all-new version of Fargo takes us,” Schrier said. “Our thanks to Noah, Warren, Joel & Ethan, John and our partners at MGM Television for making Fargo such a memorable and rewarding journey.”

Fargo returns with an all-new episode tonight – “Did you do this? No, you did it!” (Episode 7, Airs November 23, 10:00 pm e/p) – Lou and Hank investigate in Fargo, The King of Breakfast visits Betsy and Molly, Floyd is summoned away and Bear questions a family member’s loyalty. Written by Noah Hawley and Matt Wolpert & Ben Nedivi; directed by Keith Gordon.

Emmy Award winning Executive Producers Noah Hawley, Warren Littlefield, Joel & Ethan Coen, and John Cameron will all return for the new installment. FX’s Fargo is produced by MGM Television and FX Productions, with MGM Television serving as the lead studio.

The first installment of Fargo garnered universal critical acclaim and won three Emmy awards, including Outstanding Miniseries, two Golden Globe awards, including Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, and a Peabody Award.

The second installment of Fargo, currently airing on FX, follows a young State Trooper (Patrick Wilson) and his Sheriff father-in-law (Ted Danson) as they investigate a grisly case involving a local crime family and a major mob syndicate, and a small town beautician (Kirsten Dunst) and her husband (Jesse Plemons) who inadvertently get caught in the middle.

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Kurt Sutter’s ‘The Bastard Executioner’ To Debut This Fall On FX

Kurt Sutter’s ‘The Bastard Executioner’ To Debut This Fall On FX

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Steel yourself for a gripping and brutal journey through the Late Middle Ages as FX has ordered a 10-episode first season of Kurt Sutter’s new series The Bastard Executionerit was announced today by John Landgraf, CEO, FX Networks and FX Productions. Sutter and an impressive cast recently completed production of the pilot in Wales, where production will resume this summer before airing on FX this fall.

A period drama, The Bastard Executioner tells the story of a warrior knight in King Edward I’s charge who is broken by the ravages of war and vows to lay down his sword. But when that violence finds him again he is forced to pick up the bloodiest sword of all.

“From his important contributions to The Shield to his epic run on Sons of Anarchy, Kurt has been one of FX’s most visionary artists, and we are proud to get him back on the air so soon after the unquestionable success of Sons,” said Landgraf. “The Bastard Executioner has lined up an extraordinary creative team, with Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo and Paris Barclay joining Kurt as Executive Producers and an amazing cast led by Katey Sagal, Stephen Moyer and Lee Jones in the signature role as the Executioner himself. We knew they could deliver something special and, under the expert direction of Paris, they did just that. The fans can’t wait for the first season, and neither can we.”

“Kurt Sutter and Brian Grazer have been spectacular creative partners — and dear friends — to our studio for years, and their collaboration has resulted in a fantastic and epic new series,” commented Fox Television Group Chairmen and CEOs Gary Newman and Dana Walden, whose Fox 21 TV Studios will produce the project with FX Productions.  “The Bastard Executioner, written by Kurt and directed by the talented Paris Barclay, is dangerous, brilliant, emotional and undeniable. This is the perfect follow-up to Sons and another huge event series for FX from Fox 21TVS and FXP. Viewers are in for a wild and spellbinding ride.”

Added Sutter, “I love history. I love theology. I love blood. It’s been very satisfying weaving fact and fiction to create a new mythology that combines all these elements. And with this extraordinary cast — Stephen Moyer, Katey Sagal and newcomer, Lee Jones — this world explodes on screen. I love working with FX and Fox21TVS. They’ve been my family for 15 years. They not only tolerate me, they embrace my extremely disturbing storytelling sensibilities.”

The Bastard Executioner features series regulars Lee Jones, Stephen Moyer, Katey Sagal, Flora Spencer-Longhurst, Kurt Sutter, Sam Spruell, Darren Evans, Danny Sapani, Timothy V. Murphy, Sarah White, Sarah Sweeney, Elen Rhys, Ethan Griffiths and guest star Matthew Rhys.

The Bastard Executioner was created by Kurt Sutter, who will serve as Executive Producer along with award-winning producers Brian GrazerFrancie Calfo and Paris Barclay. Sutter wrote the script for the pilot of The Bastard Executioner, which was directed by Barclay. The project is being produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions.

Sutter was the Creator/Showrunner of Sons of Anarchy, which concluded its seven-season run on FX in December with the most-watched season in its entire run in both Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 (11.7 million average total viewers, and 7.5 million Adults 18-49).

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FX Orders Zach Galifianakis’ New Comedy Series ‘Baskets’

FX Orders Zach Galifianakis’ New Comedy Series ‘Baskets’

Zach Galifianakis

Zach Galifianakis

FX has ordered Baskets, a half-hour, single camera comedy series starring Zach Galifianakis, and co-created by Galifianakis, Louis C.K. and Jonathan Krisel, it was announced today by Eric Schrier and Nick Grad, the Presidents of Original Programing for FX Networks and FX Productions.  FX has ordered 10 episodes of Baskets and production will begin next year with the series scheduled to launch in 2016.

The pilot episode of Baskets was co-written by Executive Producers Galifianakis, Emmy Award-winner Louis C.K., and Emmy Award-nominated Writer and Director Jonathan Krisel (Portlandia, Saturday Night Live, Man Seeking Woman), who is the Showrunner on Baskets and also directed the pilot. Blair Breard, Dave Becky, Marc Gurvitz, and Andrea Pett-Joseph are Executive Producers.

In a world constrained by corporate interests and the homogenization of society, one man in Bakersfield, California dares to follow his dream of becoming a professional clown.  But after an unsuccessful enrollment at a prestigious clowning school in Paris, the only job he can find is with the local rodeo.  Baskets follows Chip Baskets’ (Zach Galifianakis) pursuit of his dream, against all odds, to be a respected clown.

“Zach Galifianakis, Louis C.K. and Jonathan Krisel have created an absolutely brilliant show,” said Schrier.  “To say Zach’s portrayal of the lead character Chip Baskets is hilarious/unique/riveting/fascinating would be an understatement.  We can’t wait for the world to meet him.”

Baskets is the first production under FX Productions overall deal with Louis C.K. and his production company Pig Newton.

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Marilyn Manson Lands Recurring Role On ‘Sons of Anarchy’

Marilyn Manson Lands Recurring Role On ‘Sons of Anarchy’

 

Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson has been cast in FX’s hit show Sons of Anarchy as “Ron Tully,” a white supremacist prison shot-caller who Jax uses to expand his power base. Marilyn Manson is known, by most, for selling millions of records, being a successful writer, painter, performer and provocateur. He has also made many cameos in films and television.

With the creation of a new album and while launching a world tour, he grabbed the attention of SOA creator, Kurt Sutter.

“Sons has been such a big part of my life, as well as my father’s,” said Manson. “So I was determined to make him proud by being involved in what will probably be remembered as the most amazing piece of television cinema. After all, the very heart of SOA is about that relationship. So, now all I need is a motorcycle.”

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The Ultimate Fighter® Fridays: Field Finalized For September 14th Premiere!

The Ultimate Fighter® Fridays: Field Finalized For September 14th Premiere!

The field of 32 of the most talented unsigned mixed martial artists in the world has been finalized for THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER®FRIDAYS which begins FridaySeptember 14, on FX with a special two-hour premiere airing at 9 PM ET/PT.

Similar to the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter® on FX, this upcoming season will run for 13 consecutive weeks, airing Friday nights at 10 PM ET/PT. The eventual season winner – who will be crowned at the live finale on SaturdayDec. 15 on FX, will receive a six-figure contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship®organization.

As previously announced, former interim UFC heavyweight champion Shane Carwin and top contender and previous TUF winner Roy Nelson serve as coaches this season. The bitter rivals – who have already taken their feud public – will also collide in the eagerly awaited main event of the Las Vegas finale.

“Carwin and Nelson are two guys who just can’t stand each other and Roy and I haven’t exactly seen eye to eye either – he’s been a nightmare for me to work with on this show with all his stupid BS,” said UFC president Dana White.

Chuck Saftler, Executive Vice President, FX Networks said, “We feel that the rivalry between these two guys is going to create a season filled with fireworks and high drama, and we already know we can count on Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, Craig Borsari and Craig Piligian to bring the highest quality product to UFC fans, so we couldn’t be more pumped about the upcoming season.”

The list of finalists who will now attempt to fight their way on the show was trimmed from more than 60 invited fighters; 29 of the 170 lbs welterweight fighters seeking to cash in on the opportunity of a lifetime are from the United States, two are from Canada while one is Brazilian.

On Sept. 14, the season will kick-off with 16 gripping elimination fights. The winners in the elimination round, or “Fight In,” will become official cast members and earn their way into The Ultimate Fighter house in Las Vegas where cameras will document their activity before and after their training and fights. The 16 winners will be drafted into opposing teams of eight by Carwin and eight by Nelson.

Each team will train at the TUF gym and reside in the TUF house together for the duration of the season. Winners will advance in the tournament until ultimately, one man is crowned THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER.

The Season Premiere cast:

Bristol Marunde, 30, Las Vegas, Nev.
Cameron Diffley, 27, Las Vegas, Nev.
Colton Smith, 25, Fort Hood, Texas via Ankeny, Iowa
Cortez Coleman, 30, Hugo, Okla.
David Michaud, 23, Pine Ridge, S.D.
Diego Bautista, 26, Lakewood, Calif.
Dom Waters, 23, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Eddy Ellis, 29, Olympia, Wash.,  
Frank Camacho, 23, Camp Springs, Md.,
George Lockhart, 29, Atlanta, Ga.
Igor Araujo, 31, Albuquerque, N.M. via Patos De Minas, Brazil
James Chaney, 25, Klamath Falls, Ore.
Jason South, 34, West Jordan, Utah
Jerel Clark, 23, Reno, Nev.
Jesse Barrett, 26, Tempe, Ariz.
Joey Rivera, 32, Tucson, Ariz.
Jon Manley, 26, Ludlow, Mass.
Julian Lane, 25, Mansfield, Ohio
Kevin Nowaczyk, 23, Chicago, Ill.
Leo Kuntz, 28, Bismarck, N.D.
Lev Magen, 25, Las Vegas, Nev.
Matt Secor, 25, South Glens Falls, N.Y.
Max Griffin, 26, Sacramento, Calif.
Michael Hill, 25, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
Mike Ricci, 26, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Neil Magny, 24, Chicago, Ill.
Nic Herron-Webb, 22, Anchorage, Alaska
Ricky Legere Jr., 26, Corona, Calif.
Saad Awad, 23, San Bernardino, Calif.
Sam Alvey, 26, Murrieta, Calif.
Tim Ruberg, 30, Harrison, Ohio
Zane Kamaka, 23, Klaianae, Hawaii
 

Many of today’s most recognizable names in MMA have emerged from the TUF series, including, among many others, Rashad EvansKenny FlorianForrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar.

So who will be the champion on THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER FRIDAYS on FX? Stay tuned.

For more show information, bios, videos and photos, visit ultimatefighter.com and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter under our new name @TUFonFX or on Facebook.com/TUF.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship®

Universally recognized for its action-packed, can’t-miss events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe, the UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas and with offices in London, Toronto and Beijing, UFC produces more than 30 live events annually and is the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world. In 2011, the UFC burst into the mainstream with a landmark seven-year broadcast agreement with FOX Sports Media Group. The agreement includes four live events broadcast on the FOX network annually, with additional fight cards and thousands of hours of programming broadcast on FOX properties FX and FUEL TV. This also includes the longest-running sports reality show on television,The Ultimate Fighter®, which now airs on FX.

 

In addition to its reach on FOX, UFC programming is broadcast in over 149 countries and territories, to nearly one billion homes worldwide, in 20 different languages. UFC content is also distributed commercially in the United States to bars and restaurants through Joe Hand Promotions, in English throughout Canada via Premium Sports Broadcasting Inc. and in French throughout Quebec via Interbox. The UFC also connects with tens of millions of fans through its website, UFC.com, as well as social media sites Facebook and Twitter. UFC President Dana White is considered one of the most accessible and followed executives in sports, with over two million followers on Twitter. Ancillary UFC businesses include best-selling DVDs, an internationally distributed magazine, UFC.TV offering live event broadcasts and video on demand around the world, the best-selling UFC Undisputed® video game franchise distributed by THQ, and a new franchise in development with EA, UFC GYM®, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo® festivals, branded apparel and trading cards.

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The Legendary Burt Reynolds To Appear On FX’s ‘Archer’ Season Three!

The Legendary Burt Reynolds To Appear On FX’s ‘Archer’ Season Three!

Iconic actor Burt Reynolds has signed on as a guest star in the third season of FX’s critically acclaimed hit animated series Archer.  Reynolds will play himself in an episode titled “The Man From Jupiter,” a reference to Reynolds’ home of Jupiter, Florida.  In the episode, which will air in January, Reynolds dates Agent Sterling Archer’s mother and boss, Malory – much to Sterling’s dismay.

“I think the only person on the planet who’s a bigger fan of Burt Reynolds than me is Sterling Archer,” said Archercreator Adam Reed.  “Archer constantly tries to imitate Burt and always raves about Burt’s movies and all-around awesomeness.  So to have Burt recording voice-overs for the show was just amazing.”

Reynolds’ body of film work expands over five decades and includes The Longest Yard, Stroker Ace, The Cannonball Run and its sequel, Smokey and the Bandit and its two sequels, Semi-Tough, Starting Over, Best Friends, The Man Who Loved Women, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Deliverance and White Lightning.  In addition to starring in Gator, The End and Sharkey’s Machine, Reynolds also directed these films.  For his work in Boogie Nights, he garnered an Oscar® nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1997.  As part of the ensemble of Boogie Nights, he was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in Motion Picture.

Reynolds’ recent television projects includes My Name is Earl, Burn Notice, King of the Hill and American Dad!  For his work in television, Reynolds’ was nominated twice for Emmy Awards for his work on the sitcom Evening Shade and he won the Emmy in 1991.   He has been nominated for seven Golden Globe Awards, winning for bothBoogie Nights and Evening Shade.   During his career, he has won nine People’s Choice Awards:  five for Favorite Motion Picture Actor, three for Favorite All-Around Male Entertainer and one for Favorite Male Performer in a New TV Series.  In 1978, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

FX is the flagship general entertainment basic cable network from Fox. Launched in June of 1994, FX is carried in more than 99 million homes. The diverse schedule includes a growing roster of critically acclaimed and award-winning original series, an established film library of acquired box-office hit movies, and an impressive lineup of acquired hit series.

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FX’s ‘Justified’ To Return With Season 2 On February 9th!

FX’s ‘Justified’ To Return With Season 2 On February 9th!

Criminals beware: Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens is back as FX announced that season two of its critically acclaimed drama series Justified will return on Wednesday, February 9 at 10 PM ET/PT and run for 13 weeks.

Developed by Graham Yost and starring Timothy Olyphant, Justified is based on the works of crime novelist Elmore Leonard, including Leonard’s short story Fire in the Hole.  Fresh off the epic gun battle that concluded season one, season two of Justified finds Bo Crowder dead and the Crowder criminal grip on Harlan County broken.  “Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens” must now face off against the criminal organizations who are moving to fill the void, and he finds himself entangled once again with the mercurial Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins).

The series co-stars Nick Searcy as Givens longtime friend and boss “Chief Deputy Art Mullen;” Jacob Pitts as “Deputy Marshal Tim Gutterson;” Erica Tazel as “Deputy Marshal Rachel Brooks;” Joelle Carter as “Ava Crowder,” Boyd Crowder’s sister-in-law; and Natalie Zea as Raylan’s ex-wife “Winona Hawkins.”  Walton Goggins also stars as “Boyd Crowder.”

Joining the cast in recurring roles this season are Margo Martindale (Million Dollar Baby, The Riches), Jeremy Davies (Lost, Saving Private Ryan), Joseph Lyle Taylor (100 Centre Street) and Brad William Henke (October Road), who play members of the “Bennett Family.”  For generations the Bennetts have been the biggest pot farmers in Eastern Kentucky, and have a long-standing feud with Raylan’s family.

Yost wrote the pilot and serves as Executive Producer/Writer on the series.  Leonard is also an Executive Producer on the series along with Carl Beverly, Sarah Timberman, Fred Golan and Michael Dinner who directed the pilot episode.  Justified is produced by Sony Pictures Television and FX Productions.

FX is the flagship general entertainment basic cable network from Fox. Launched in June of 1994, FX is carried in more than 96 million homes. The diverse schedule includes a growing roster of critically acclaimed and award-winning original series, an established film library of acquired box-office hit movies, and an impressive lineup of acquired hit series.

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‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’ Cast Members Launch Mac’s Tavern In Philly

‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’ Cast Members Launch Mac’s Tavern In Philly

Even though “Grilled Charlie Sandwiches” are not on the menu, fans of the hit TV show It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia are sure to flock to Mac’s Tavern, the real-life bar that Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olsen, also known as Mac and Sweet Dee of Always Sunny, opened this month in Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood. With 17 beers on tap, gastropub fare, a jukebox and occasional acoustic musical talent, it’s sure to be a draw for foodies and Always Sunny fans alike.

The opening of Mac’s gives fans of the hit show a great reason to explore the city where The Gang — Charlie, Sweet Dee, Dennis, Mac and Frank — have done everything from cracking the Liberty Bell to running the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps Rocky Balboa-style. In a two-day, two-night itinerary, Always Sunny fans can see for themselves where the ego-driven characters create scenes all over Philadelphia — that is, when they aren’t arguing or scheming in Paddy’s Pub.

The full tour — including a stop at Mac’s Tavern — is now available at visitphilly.com/sunny.

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Michael Lombardi Talks Apache Stone, ‘Rescue Me’ and More!

Michael Lombardi Talks Apache Stone, ‘Rescue Me’ and More!

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Thirty three year old Michael Lombardi is most known for his portrayal of “probie” Mike Silletti in FX’s critically acclaimed show ‘Rescue Me’. While most people are only familiar with the character he so convincingly brings to life on the show, the truth is, there’s another side to Lombardi. Between filming for ‘Rescue Me’ and other acting projects, Lombardi has found time to form his own band. Apache Stone has been described as sounding like everything from Led Zeppelin to Alice in Chains and they are poised to make a big splash in the realm of rock music. The band, led by Lombardi and his amazing songwriting, have conquered the east coast and are now looking to take their music to their fans across the country. Although he has had ups and downs throughout his career, Lombardi has stayed focused and pursued his dreams with ferocity. Lombardi’s persistence and focus has paid off and his career in the entertainment industry will likely continue to flourish because of it. Steve Johnson of Icon vs. Icon recently caught up with the actor/musician to discuss Apache Stone’s self-titled album, the band’s upcoming tour, what he has learned from Denis Leary, and his experiences on the set of ‘Rescue Me’.


michael_lombardi-4Where did you grow up?

I actually grew up in a small city called Waterbury in Connecticut. It’s about an hour and a half north of Manhattan, New York.

How did music first come into your life?


I was definitely influenced by music at a very, very young age. My parents are very musical people. They always had something on, ranging from Motown to rock. They were very much into Stevie Wonder and all of the sounds of Motown. Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson were always cranking when I was a kid. My parents used to have parties and as a kid, I would dance. I was just always really influenced. It was always in the air, that’s for sure. But like I said, everything from Motown and R&B stuff, to rock and jazz, just the whole array of music and sounds.

How did your band, Apache Stone, get its start?

Let’s see… I came to New York originally to study drums, to try to be a professional drummer. As to whether it was going to be in a band or be a studio drummer, I wasn’t sure. I was actually going to school at a place called The Drummers Collective to study drumming. I started drumming at an early age. I got my first drum set from my uncle when I was a kid. I played really hard throughout my teens. I really buckled down when I was seventeen, eighteen, nineteen. Then when I was twenty I came to New York and started playing. I started getting some work as an actor though. Then, through a few years of studying acting and doing small parts, I hit ‘Rescue Me’. That’s when I started Apache Stone, after that. To be honest with you, ‘Rescue Me’ was able to afford me the opportunity to have a band in Manhattan. It’s certainly not easy in that city to have a band, afford rehearsal space, put together the right group of guys, and find the time and all of that.

michael_lombardi-6How did you come up with the name of the band?

A just picked Apache Stone because I feel it’s a very fierce name. I think it symbolizes things that represent the band, to me. I like the fierceness. Getting back to the Apaches, who were actually referred to by an old Custer-type solider back in the day as the tigers of the human species. That just struck something with me. I just felt like they were very passionate, fierce people.

Your self titled album was released on July 28, 2009. For those who might not have had the chance to check out the album, how would you best describe it?

It’s really interesting when I get asked this question because I’m so close to the album and all of the music. I probably have a different interpretation than what other people might have. I don’t like to talk in detail too much about what the lyrics mean to me and what the songs mean to me. I feel as though I’d like to have people have their own interpretation when they listen to it and let this music take them on their own ride and journey. What I can say is, I definitely feel as though the music and the album will take you on some sort of ride. It will take you somewhere. The lyrics have real meaning. I feel they are poetic and they have weight to them. I think the music really rocks. I think all of the guys in my band are awesome musicians. There’s some really hard stuff, but it rides the fine line between hard rock and stuff that’s melodic and easy-listening as well. I think it has a classical vibe. We have some cool classic rock vibe, like Led Zeppelinly stuff in there. There are songs like that, that are influenced by Zeppelin and The Doors. A lot of stuff of the nineties like Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Audioslave, Alice in Chains. I think we definitely have a lot of that influence in our music, but with a modern vibe.

michael_lombardi-5Were there any challenges while making the album?

Challenges? Well you know what… It’s always tough trying to find the right group of guys that everyone shares the same influence and has the same vision. It took me a lot to put the band together. Basically how it works for us, I would bring in lyrics and stuff. With my lyrics, I sort of have a book of poetry and lyrics. We’d work together as a band. I’d say, “You know what? I feel this melody.” Then the guys would do something. At the end we had what we had for each song. There’s always going to be challenges and bumps in the road during that process, but I tell you, it went really smoothly. Songs came together really quickly. Then we went up to a studio called Sonalysts Studios in New London, Connecticut. It’s an exact replica of The Power Station, which is a pretty famous place in Manhattan. This place Sonalysts was owned by one of the Bon Jovi brothers. We went up there for like a week, stayed in a little hotel right next door, and we just did our thing. It was awesome. It was pretty smooth.

Has the digital revolution of music been a positive or negative impact for someone like yourself and your band?

I think it’s very positive. We have a little deal with myspace records. It’s strictly a digital distribution deal. It’s kind of cool. Rather than being signed on with myspace records and having them give us a bunch of money and all of this stuff and putting our stuff in stores and what not, they just take a little percentage and they put us all over the Internet. We’re on amazon.com. We’re on iTunes and stuff. So for us, at this point, it’s been positive, but I can’t say it’s been tremendous for us. It’s just been a good thing. It’s been cool. The music is out there. It’s up on iTunes and Amazon, so we can’t really ask for more than that right now.

What do you consider the defining moment of your musical career so far?

Wow! Good question! I feel like it’s hard to say if there has been one exact moment at this point. I was trying to think when you asked me that, has anyone really listened to my stuff? I don’t even know who’s listened to it or how many people have. I would like to be able to say Eddie Vedder was like, “Dude, this stuff rocks!” Or Chris Cornell. What it’s been for me is, the whole process of touring and being in these different situations where we are playing in front of a lot of people and they really seem to be enjoying our stuff. The past five months or so we did thirty or forty shows. We played all up and down the Northeast. We played in Baltimore, Philly, Boston. We play in Manhattan a lot. We’ve had some really nice responses. We’ve played some places where a lot of famous people have played in the past when they were on their way up. Bands that I really admire. So that’s been really cool for me.

michael_lombardi-2When and where can people catch up with your band? Do you have any plans for a tour?

Yeah, we sure do. Right now you can hit us up on www.myspace.com/apachestonemusic. We have some tunes up there. There’s a lot about the band and tour dates. We’re doing a lot of one offers right now, here and there. We’re hitting different spots. We’ve got a couple of gigs coming up. We’re playing the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Connecticut, which is a very nice gig for us. It will be really good. We also have a website, which is www.apachestonemusic.com. Our stuff is available, like I said earlier, on iTunes and Amazon. We’re going to get some stuff up on our website too. Tee-shirts and that sort of thing. We’re putting something together now for a tour. We’re working with our booking agent and stuff. From now to the next three to five months, we’re going to be hitting shows. One offers here and there. We’re looking to put together a big tour for April and May. Get out on the road for an extended period of time and try to hit some of our fans and make some fans. Get out and see the people and play live, which is what we love to do most.

What’s next for the band?

Right now what we’ve got going on is we’re constantly writing. We’re deep into our rehearsal space in Manhattan and writing. We’ve got a bunch of new songs we’re working on. We’ve got some really cool uptempo stuff that I’m actually really proud of. We’re going in a really cool direction. It’s just coming together. We’re constantly playing and working on stuff. We’re playing it in our live shows too. So it’s been really cool.

Did any specific actors influence your acting career?

Yeah! The obvious answer would be Marlon Brando. Johnny Depp has been a big influence to me. I love everything he’s in. I think he’s an incredible, incredible actor. I love the parts he plays, the movies he is in, what he does, and the choices that he makes as an actor. He’s a huge influence. Some of my favorite movies are ‘The Godfather’, ‘Boogie Nights’. I love that film. I love off-beat, independent movies and stuff as well. There are a couple of mainstream films that I mentioned that I really like and admire, but I’m really big into indies and stuff as well.

michael_lombardi-1‘Rescue Me’ just finished its 5th season. When the show first started did you expect it to have the longevity that it has had?

No. Absolutely not. Listen, all I hoped for was my first part, my first break. We shot the pilot. I was like, “What’s going to happen with this?” Before that, I had just done a bunch of off-broadway stuff and a couple of small TV parts. Pretty broke in New York as a musician/actor just trying to make my way. I was studying and doing everything I could to sort of improve myself as an artist and just evolve and learn. I got that pilot episode and I think it was anywhere between three and six months later we heard that we got picked up for a full season. I was like, “Oh my God! Is the show going to continue? Am going to die in a fire? Are they going to keep my character? What’s going to happen?” The next thing you know we’re filming our sixth season.

What has it been like working alongside Denis Leary and what have you learned from him?

Denis Leary is great. He wears so many hats on the show. He’s writer, producer, starring in the show. When he hangs out with us as an actor, he’s just one of the guys. He’s really cool. He’s a blue-collar, down to earth guy. What I’ve learned from him is his work ethic. He has a tremendous work ethic. He keeps it real. He keeps it grounded. It’s not easy to do in Hollywood, in that atmosphere. He’s a family man. He’s got a couple of great kids. A great family. He really stays grounded. One thing that really inspires me and I honestly keep in my day to day life is that it’s all about the work and the rest will come. I really truly believe that. With the music, sure I want great things happening with everything I am doing and we all want to succeed and be loved and be judged in a positive light, all that I feel happens after you be your number one, true self and really put your yourself out there and believe in what you do and be real and organic and work really hard.

What’s been the highlight of your ‘Rescue Me’ experience?

Let’s see… I’ve went to a couple of award things, but I can’t really remember what they were, so I guess they weren’t the highlight. Let’s see… I wanted to say working with Michael J. Fox, but I never even saw him on set, so that’s not one. I think all in all man, honestly, the highlight of it is is being able to play a fire fighter in New York City. It’s the coolest city to me. I have so much admiration and respect for what these guys do. Learning about what firemen do all over the country and the world. They’re just real true life heroes. To be able to play one of these guys, even a fake fire fighter, it’s amazing and it’s really tough too. It’s been incredible to be able to do that and try to portray these guys to the best of my ability as an actor. The show is incredible the way one minute you could be laughing and one you could be crying. It’s drama. It’s comedy. The training I had to do at Randall’s Island, which is probie school for firefighters. Going through that. Playing one of the guys and being able to wear the gear and carry the tools, all of that stuff has been awesome.

michael_lombardi-3What’s next for you as far as acting is concerned?

Right now we’re filming our sixth season until March. After that, like I said, I plan to hit this tour for a while with my band. I’m getting myself out there. I want to say this. Hopefully my next choice as an actor, as all actors like to think, is something that I really believe in. I’ve learned so much along the way and I want the next project to be something that I believe in. A story that I really want to tell and a character that I really want to play. If I could do that and get a job doing that, what’s better than that? It’s really as simple as that. Whether it be a play, which would be incredible. Whether it be a little indie film. Whether it be a small part in a big film. Whether it be another television show. Something kind of cool, off beat, and edgy that tells a good story.

Do you have any advice for anyone who would like to get involved in the entertainment industry?

I would say you really have to love it. You really have to love it. You really have to know why you love it and you have to know who you are as well. It’s not about what a lot of people think it is. There is all of that there, but it’s all about the work. It’s all about self discipline. It’s all about taking it very seriously and working very hard. If you think you’re going to get by, or things are just going to happen, or you’re going to go out to Los Angeles and become a star, you’re dead wrong. You put in a lot of time. There are one in a million people who might just catch a lucky break, but how much longevity do they have in their career? You’ve got to be willing to put it out there. Believe in it and love it so much that you can go through ups and downs and hard times. If you don’t, then you really shouldn’t do it because it’s a tough life. I’m grounded as an artist. I’ve learned so much. I’ve accomplished some amazing things, as far as goals that I have set for myself, but there are so many more. There are a lot of ups and downs, like I said. I don’t know where my next job is coming from. As I said, I do it because I love it and I’m going to do what I love to do and do it my best. Hopefully people like it. It’s not easy. You’re never really set. You have to be really grounded, as I said. Number one, love it and be in it for the right reasons.

Is there anything else you want to add or say to your fans?

I really just have to say that I am so honored, and humbled, and privileged to be making a living as an actor. I truly mean that. Anyone who takes the time to either come to a live performance that I am doing with my band or turn on the television and watch something that I am in or whatever else, I really can’t thank the people enough for doing that. It’s incredible that people would even take the time to do that. I love it and I appreciate it so much.

Thanks for your time and best of luck!

Take care!

– –

Be sure to check out Apache Stone at www.apachestonemusic.com or on Myspace at www.myspace.com/apachestonemusic!

You can get all the latest info on FX’s ‘Rescue Me’ at the official site located at www.fxnetworks.com/shows/originals/rescueme/

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Rowdy Roddy Piper Talks “It’s Always Sunny,” MMA, WWE And Much More!

Rowdy Roddy Piper Talks “It’s Always Sunny,” MMA, WWE And Much More!

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Rowdy Roddy Piper is a man that needs no introduction. He started as a small town boy chasing a dream. Through the years, he would battle some of the fiercest warriors ever to grace the squared circle, fight evil aliens hellbent on world domination and capture the hearts of millions of fans around the globe on his rise to super-stardom! His most recent project is no less of a challenge as he takes on the cast of FX’s ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’ in one of his most interesting matches to date! The last chapter in the story of Rowdy Roddy Piper has yet to be written. To hear him tell it, he is just warming up!

Icon Vs. Icon‘s Jason Price recently sat down with this legendary performer to discuss his amazing career, the recent rumors regarding his health, his excitement about working with the cast of ‘It’s Always Sunny’, his son’s blossoming career in MMA and what he has in store for his fans in the years to come! That’s right fight fans, Rowdy Roddy Piper is back once again to chew bubble gum and kick ass…and he’s all out of bubble gum!


A Young Roddy Piper

A Young Roddy Piper

Hey Roddy! How are you doing today?

Good Jason, how are you doing?

No complaints! You?

No complaints. I am doing well. I am on this side of the grass, ya know! [laughs] And I have more kids then I know what to do with! [laughs] Do you have any children, Jason?

Nope. Not yet.

Would you like some! [laughs]

I’d don’t know, Roddy. I hear that they can be quite a handful!

Well, I have a couple, you could have your choice! I want them back eventually because I sure love ’em! But you could have a couple of them right now! [laughs] So what do you have going, Jason?

First off, with all due respect, I want to ask you about your health and how you are doing. I know there had been some internet rumors circulating over the last week and I just wanted to clear that up if we could.

Absolutely! It was actually a very ugly piece of business. I did have some health problems and I was in a hospital in West Palm Beach. While I was in there, I wasn’t in contact on a daily basis with my family and somebody in the press put out a story that I was dying of cancer, terminally, with Lymphoma and that I only had a couple of weeks to live. People sent flowers to my home. My younger kids that are in school, kids came up to them and said that they were sorry about that news. My son that is a mixed martial artist and my daughter that is an actress got it too. None of it was true. I’m not sure where it came from and I don’t know why. Because my family couldn’t get to me, they got rather upset. But the bottom line is that as far as I know, I’m still going to be kicking pretty hard!

Well that is good! That is exactly what we all want to hear!

Thank you very much. I appreciate the chance to clear it up!

piper-4When you started out wrestling all of those years ago, did you have any idea that your career would take you to the heights that it has?

No, no. I was living on the street and I just grabbed onto something. I wasn’t doing well scholastically and I just grabbed onto a chance. I didn’t know where else to go and I just held on. I was so scared that I just tried as hard as I could and here we are. At the time it was just a means to get a quick twenty five dollars. God takes care of fools and babies and he is still taking care of me!

What do you attribute the longevity of your career to?

I think the way that I started. I was fifteen. It was a very hard-knock school but if you made it through that school, you had a basis that was not only an athletic basis but a showmanship and theatrical basis that was hard to beat. By that I mean, as far as getting the basics down and understanding what you were doing and what you were selling and how you had to back it up, ya know? It is easy to come out and say a lot of words but the trick is that every night you have to back it up. I think that is one of the bigger lessons that I learned. It was due to a bunch of wonderful people, old-timers and competitors that were very kind to me in a very evil way! [laughs]

Let’s touch on one of your latest projects. How did you get mixed up with the gang from ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’?

piper-2b-180They are a wonderful bunch of people, man! Unbelievable! I am an experimental model as far as my business goes! With the explosion of wrestling in ’85 and in ’87 I did ‘They Live’ with John Carpenter, so my point is that there are a lot of very nice people that grew up watching different events that I did. The same is true with the cast of ‘It’s Always Sunny’. Danny DeVito, you can look this up on YouTube I think (watch the clip here), 1985 was the last time that I saw him. He was doing an interview and I was a little forward back in those days! [laughs] I burst right into it! It was great to see him again and he is a great guy! Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day are fantastic! Kaitlin Olsen, she is great! They all were so kind when I came onto the set. They let me improv, and being as talented as they are they didn’t have any problem keeping up! It made the episode really special. I wanted to do this piece of work. ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’ is a very hip show to do right now. It’s a good career move and it’s good to keep ya alive, ya know! And it keeps you out there in new ways, sometimes that is hard to do. So I went, and I haven’t done this in twenty years, but I had to audition for it!

Really!?!!

Yeah! I went and auditioned for it and I got the part. Ya know, I remember when Tom Hanks did his baseball movie about ladies baseball, set during the second World War. Madonna was in that film and they made her audition for it. I think it says something for the artist and the clout of the show. I wanted it from the ground, so I was very appreciative when I got it!

Did you teach those guys a thing or two while on set?

piper-3-240-160[laughs] I showed them how to put someone to sleep real quick! [laughs] So if they have any problems with paparazzi, they can choke them out real quick! Rob was good at it! Charlie was really cute. [laughs] I guess I can be a little intimidating, you don’t realize that when you are in my shoes. We were doing this scene right at the bar and I locked right into Charlie there and grabbed him by the pants! He didn’t know me yet, as I was only on the set for maybe five minutes. They thought maybe I was getting a little rowdy! I was gonna take a hard left hand turn on them! [laughs] They tried to get through the scene but they broke down. That broke the ice all the way around cuz I started laughing! I wasn’t meaning to be that mean! It started a really wonderful bonding experience with everybody there. When you see the scene when they are at their home, the bar, know that about three and a half minutes, check Charlie out cuz you will see him breaking down! Now you know what happened! I guess I scared him! [laughs]

Now that you have broken through on ‘It’s Always Sunny,’ are we going to see some more acting or comedic work in your future?

Ya know, there is a company that did ‘The Real World’ called Bunim-Murray. I am in negotiations with them right now to do a sitcom, a developmental deal for a sitcom. I don’t want to ruin it for ya but I am going down to LA tomorrow and I think that will be the next piece of work that I do.

piper-9Awesome! That sounds like it is going to be great for you!

Yeah!

You have mentioned your family quite a bit and we know that people from the wrestling world like Hulk Hogan have dabbled in the world of reality television. Is that something that you and your family had ever given thought to doing?

It surely has been brought up. I have never included my family in my business. But the same time I have a daughter, Ariel Toombs, that is an actress in LA and my son Colten Toombs is a mixed martial artist, so it would be good for them to help gain in their careers. I have all the respect in the world for Hogan but I just wouldn’t want to make those mistakes, so being honest and frank with you as a dad, that is what bothers me with it.

You mentioned your son being involved in the world of MMA. Were you a fan of MMA and being someone who has taken his share of lumps along the way in a very physical profession, did you have any worries with him becoming involved in the sport?

Interesting question, very good. Mixed martial arts is something that has been in the bowels of professional wrestling since wrestling started back in the 1700s, so I was familiar with the style but had no idea that it would come to the heights that it has come to now. My son started when he was eighteen, he is with Team Quest and a wonderful silver medalist from the Olympics, Matt Lindland as his coach. You know, when I started out, they beat me up a lot, man. With Colt, they didn’t do him any favors but I could stop the normal [pauses] “hazing” maybe, that would take its course and does absolutely no good. So, I was worried about that. He has just finished his fourth fight, he has not been beaten yet, he’s turning pro, he’s twenty. I don’t like it, but I sure love him! It’s unconditional love. I would rather him do mixed martial arts then pro-wrestling. With pro-wrestling, the politics and the amount of damage to the body from night after night after night… wheewwww! and I don’t know what they would expect of him. I am glad he is flourishing in his own field but I need a doctor or a lawyer! I don’t need another fighter! A psychiatrist preferably! [chuckles] But I love him, so be a smart fighter, Colt!

piper-7Good advice! I am curious, what is the best piece of advice that someone has given you along the way in your career?

Wow! Holy cow! I’ve got many. A lot of the guys that I fought in the eighties, I fought their fathers. One of the fathers was Johnny Valentine. He is the father of Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, who I had a horrendous match with and I lost fifty percent of the hearing in my left ear. It was in the very first Pay-Per-View ever in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1983, maybe. His father, when I was about sixteen or seventeen and wrestling in Houston, was an unbelievably rough, tough guy. Loooooong matches, he hit real hard. It was the main event in Houston and he was coming back to the dressing room. I had just showered down and changed. I don’t know what got into him but he grabbed me by the throat and slammed me against the wall! He almost knocked me out because my head banged against the wall. He looked at me and he said “I can’t make you believe that wrestling is for real, but I sure to hell can make you believe I am!” I based fifty percent of my career on that! That was a good piece of advice!

That’s definitely one for the ages!

Oh, man! [laughs] He was serious too!

The rumor is that we may soon see you gracing WWE’s Monday Night RAW sometime in the near future!

[laughs] What do you think of that?

Well, I know that you have indicated that you were looking for one more match to put a cap on the remarkable career that you’ve had, so I wondered if that wasn’t going to pave the way for last match.

Very astute. I wasn’t very happy with Wrestlemania XXV. In my mind, I want to put a cap on it as you say, with one more match, an extraordinary performance. Yeah, ya know the clock is tickin’, let’s be honest, so sooner rather then later. So, I think if you saw me in RAW that it would be leading into that match. I don’t know what it is yet. But yeah, you are correct.

Even though you have stepped away from the sport in recent years, do you still follow the world of professional wrestling?

piper-11You know, it is funny, to me anyway, I have never watched wrestling. When I was performing, I never watched the show. When you watch the show, you get preconceived notions and it hinders your performance. This is the easiest example that I can give you: when I first came to Madison Square Garden, the match that I told you about with Greg Valentine that I lost fifty percent of my hearing, I was still pretty bad. They had me in the stable but I couldn’t wrestle. There is a fella named Paul Orndorff and they had me managing him, talking on the stick for him until I healed up. At the Garden, they said “Ok, go out with Orndorff.” I had never seen anything because I didn’t watch. I went out with him and he gave me his robe, I threw it to the guy that brought us down and I stayed out there the whole match. They almost had a riot! When I came back, they had all of these ideas and plans. The truth of the matter is this, Freddie Blassie, Capt. Lou Albano, The Grand Wizard, all of those managers… the way they are supposed to do it and the way the law read… was that they go down to the ring, take the robe and walk back. Nobody ever stayed out. If I hadn’t stayed out, I might not have gotten the attention from Vince McMahon, Sr. at that time that I did get. If I would have watched the show, I would have come back, but I didn’t know any better. Sometimes in my world, that is the best way to come out, man.

piper-8Well it certainly looks like it worked out for you in the long run!

Thank you, thank you, man!

I know that you did a autobiography a few years back but a lot has happened in your life since that time. Is there another chapter to be told there or possibly another book in your future?

Oh man, good for you! You have done your homework! Ya know, the first book, they took sixty thousand words out of it. It made the first book stutter a little bit and there is information that needs to be known. Boy was it hard to do! Holy cow! So much has happened since then. I had a guy try to kill me in a car, while I was finishing writing it and before I went on tour. I was five days in intensive care at Cedars Sinai. I broke my right ankle and four ribs. One rib went into my liver, my spleen and my back in two places. They thought I was gonna die! Somehow I got off the table I guess and went into that tour! So, there is a lot missing. I don’t know, I don’t know! It’s really difficult and now with my reputation, it would be a hard book to write. Ya know what? It’s looming, it’s looming! I don’t know the answer to that one, Jason.

I have to ask you about Ethan Dettenmaier’s Sin-Jin Smyth movie. You had indicated earlier in the year that you were kinda giving it until the end of the year to see what happened before giving up on it. Any movement on that front?

Unfortunately, I have heard nothing from the director/producer. It’s unfortunately that I don’t think I will be able to promote that movie or hang with it. It has been too long. Nothing is happening and I think someone is pulling the wool over someone’s eyes.

Last one for you, Roddy. Do you have any words for the critics or the fans?

For the critics, I would say that you need to see the story unfold before you cast your opinion. Sometimes, the critics on Roddy Piper are harsh and they try to figure out what he is doing. Sometimes he keeps secrets, that way, you enjoy it more when it all unfolds. The critics are hard on me. I don’t know, man… the critics are hard on me. I have been doing this since I was fifteen years old. There’s nobody, NOBODY living right now that has done what I have done in my business. For the fans, without them, I couldn’t have done it and I say to you… hang in there, keep you heart on the right side of life, God on your side and I will see you down the road someplace. I’m not finished yet!

Thank you very much, Roddy. All the best to you and your family!

Cheers, man!

– –

For all the latest news and updates on Rowdy Roddy Piper, check out his official site at www.rowdyroddypiper.com!

You can learn more about what Rowdy Roddy Piper’s two talented kids, Colt and Ariel Toombs, by visiting www.thetoombsclan.com!

You can get the latest and greatest on ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’ at www.fxnetworks.com/shows/originals/sunny!

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