Hollywood Spotlight Chat
Aug. 7, 1997
lost_it_in_the_backseat asks, "What's the most
embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you on camera?"
leetergesen says, "What do you mean--the most embarrassing scene?
Maybe the--I don't know if it was licking the boots or biting the
lost_it_in_the_backseat asks, "If you didn't make it as an actor
what do you think you'd be doing to make a buck?"
leetergesen says, "Pumping gas. (laughing)"
HSHost says, "Noble profession."
guest13936 asks, "Is it hard to go out into public without getting
leetergesen says, "It's the only thing I'm suited to do. No most of
the time it's really nice. A lot of time people don't. You see them
recognize you and they don't say anything. Today a girl recognized
me and I noticed and she said, you're my favorite one on the show.
The fans love the show. It's great. I've known Tom Fontana for about
10 years and there's other people on the show who are my friends.
It's awesome. It's a great group of actors. I feel privileged on all
levels. The writers and crew are great."
pete_the_dragon asks, "What would you suggest to a person just
starting in the business."
leetergesen says, "When I was about 22 I had just gotten out of
school and was frustrated. I went into a bit of depression. My
brother is a recording engineer. He said if this is what you care
about then you should not put any restraints on yourself. You could
be 40 before things start happening. Stay focused on what you really
want. I was doing plays and stuff like that. Stay focused."
horsehead_in_the_bed asks, "If you could work with anyone you wanted
who would you choose?"
leetergesen says, "The cast and crew of Oz. There's a lot of people.
I love Jeff Bridges and Robert DeNiro. Those kind of people -- Jack
HSHost says, "The ones that are easy to get."
leetergesen says, "All the people who call me every day."
horsehead_in_the_bed asks, "What's been your favorite project so far
in your career?"
leetergesen says, "I'd have to say Oz. The first
Wayne's World movie was a gas and
a lot of fun. This -- Oz is -- I've been able to do things that I've
never been able to do and it's gratifying."
HSHost asks, "Does it carry over into off-screen life?"
leetergesen says, "We made two groups of eight and at end of eight
you are beaten down by it. It takes a while to shake off once you're
done with it. I was once staring a guy down like I would do on Oz
and I had to ask myself, 'What am I doing!?'"
Dan_K asks, "Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite
leetergesen says, "I'm a big fan of Bukowski. I love "Ham
on Rye." That whole sort of genre of writers."
homer_simpson asks, "Have you played and practical jokes on your
leetergesen says, "There's a lot of fooling around that goes on
within scenes. I think what' interesting is that people who come on
show for one episode -- they think we're all hard guys. We are just
like little girls giggling and playing. It's like summer camp."
homer_simpson asks, "What is the funniest or most embarrassing thing
that's happened to you on the set?"
leetergesen says, "I don't know. I don't really have an answer for
horsehead_in_the_bed asks, "What is something you wish people would
ask you that they never do?"
leetergesen says, (laughing) "How about, 'Do you want to work on a
movie for Martin Scorsese for a million dollars?' Never."
darby_didnt_crash_he_burned asks, "What's the biggest misconception
people have about you?"
leetergesen says "I think a lot of people have a misconception that
I am sort of embarrassed or not proud of the work I do on Oz because
of the places I have to go in it. There's been a lot of degradation
and stuff like that. It's play and it's pretend and it feels good to
go to those places sometimes. I don't know if I've answered that
johnny_the_blockhead asks, "Who would you like to be stuck on a
deserted island with?"
leetergesen says, "My dad and my family. Maybe Pamela Anderson.
poking_gumby asks, "Have you ever really been to jail?"
leetergesen says "I've never -- No!"
HSHost asks, "Have to think about that?"
leetergesen says, "Yeah. What I've realized is that the prison
system is completely ridiculous. It makes better criminals. A lot of
what has happened to people is because of the environment they live
in. There are a lot of things that could be done to take care of
these people. If someone kills someone, they're disturbed. They're
frustrated by what their opportunities are. I think they get
desperate. I think there should be some work done to work with these
people and try to make them better members of society. I think we
throw them away."
HSHost asks, "Better solution?"
leetergesen says, "Some sort of rigorous sports camp. I don't know.
I think that first-time felon movie -- that sort of thing where they
are given a sense of themselves. It was sort of a juvenile camp."
HSHost asks, "Particulars?"
leetergesen says, "That idea is great. Give
them a sense of value. The reason people don't commit crimes is
because of sense of self. Oh yeah."
homer_simpson asks, "Who is your best friend in the cast of Oz?"
leetergesen says "Eamonn Walker. He lives in London and he's just
such a great guy. He's one of those actors who really is so into the
craft of acting. It's a blast to hang around with him unless you're
not an actor and then it would be a drag!"
porchmonkey asks, "What is the best encounter you have had with
leetergesen says, "Don't have one."
HSHost asks, "Worst?"
leetergesen says, "No. I don't want to get into those. If you don't
have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. I like to
travel. I have a motorcycle. I like to take trips on that. I love to
read. I love to crank Molly Hatchet. (laughing)"
HSHost asks, "What's Molly
leetergesen says, "Southern rock band."
johnny_the_blockhead asks "Who do you go to the movies to see?"
leetergesen says, "Anything Jeff Bridges is in. I've been interested
in smaller films. Trying to think of something I saw recently that
was really good. 'Opposite of Sex' was great. I find that bigger
movies -- I find myself feeling ripped off. It's the same thing over
and over again. I thought Zorro was an amazing action film. All
those horse tricks were incredible. I love watching stuff like
guest13981 asks, "What type of music do you like?"
leetergesen says, "A lot of different stuff. Molly Hatchet. Recently
I've been getting into the Propeller Heads. I love Morphine. I'm
into all that old disco. I just saw Heart at the House of Blues.
Barracuda rock!! It was a good show."
horsehead_in_the_bed asks, "If your life could be a song, what would
it be called?"
leetergesen says, "Who is that lucky MS!! (Laughing) I think that
guest14260 asks, "What other films have you done?"
leetergesen says, "I was in Point
Break with Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves. I was in two Wayne's
World movies. I just recently did a movie called Chick Flick. I was
on series Weird Science. I
played Chett. I've done a couple movies for HBO. I've been all over
HSHost asks, "TV or film?"
leetergesen says, "I've been doing a lot of TV recently and have
been lucky enough to have a lot of freedom. Even on Weird Science.
On Oz the art that I've been able to do is great. That's what I like
about my career. You would never say he's that guy who does this. I
have call waiting. I'm going to ignore it!! I'm always on the phone.
It will only take 15 minutes -- let me take it."
poking_gumby asks, "How does your acting represent who you are as a
leetergesen says, "Something about that I see -- I'm coming up with
an answer here -- I see the humanity everywhere even in the lowest
of lows. I know -- that's a tough question. I feel like I have
empathy for the struggle of life. There's honor in everyone.
Something like that. (laughing)"
Dan_K asks, "What would you like to leave as your legacy?"
leetergesen says, "I don't know. I'd like to leave people feeling
good about their lives. Is that a legacy? I'd love to leave behind
peace on earth."
sammythemammy asks, "Is it easier to portray someone similar to
yourself or someone very different?"
leetergesen says, "I think that everything that I do has a strand of
me in it. Usually the things that I respond to are things that I can
understand or relate to. Did I answer that question? I'm getting off
on the tangents."
ExciteUser asks, "Off the wall: What was your inspiration to become
who you are?"
leetergesen says, "I don't know. When I was young was the first time
I thought to myself, I want to entertain. I think I was like 5 or
something like that. I remember being in the middle of my living
room and my parents had some friends over. I was in the middle of
the room dancing and everyone was laughing their heads off."
ExciteUser asks, "Does he ever reject a scene he doesn't like?"
leetergesen says, "Never! I put myself in Tom Fontana's hands with
this role. What would I be editing out? No -- I trust that it all
serves the character. I trust Tom as a writer. I go to places where
the character has to go. AND let me say this too -- sometimes I've
been afraid of something but when I feel that fear, I know that's
where I have to go. Make it possible for you to do that. Choices
that are based on ego irritate me. When I started talking to Tom
about this part, what we wanted to explore was a guy that had no
skills. Everything he had was in outside world and what did he need
to do to survive. I think we've done that."
HSHost asks, "How would prison change you?"
leetergesen says, "I had a friend in jail for about 10 years and I
think changes occur to person who was not involved. I imagine the
inner life of a person who goes through that -- if not a hardened
criminal -- it's a living nightmare."
horsehead_in_the_bed asks, "What are the best and worst things about
leetergesen says, "Can I answer that when I'm famous (laughing).
Where I am with it -- I wouldn't say there's anything bad about it.
I love when people approach me. I love it- - I've always wanted to
entertain. People really respond to my character. There are women
who are like mothering to me when they see me. It's great. I
absolutely love that!"
porchmonkey asks, "Has a fan ever gone to extremes to meet you, or
have you ever been stalked?"
leetergesen says, "No, nobody has the guts to stalk me."
pete_the_dragon asks, "If you could have a dinner party and invite
anyone you wanted to from all of history who would you invite and
why? (Up to 6 people)"
leetergesen says. "Six -- The first person I would want would be my
mom who died nine years ago. It would be great to spend another
night with her. That would be it. if I could get that, that would be
enough. I wouldn't need anybody else."
lost_it_in_the_backseat asks, "Who are some of your heroes?"
leetergesen says, "I was thinking of some famous person and I was
like, what would I want to say to them when I'm having dinner with
mom. Superman. he's able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. I
feel like the world is full of heroes because in life there are so
few victories and things that make you say YEAH! I think anybody who
wakes up every day and doesn't put a bullet in their brain is a
hero. Life can be very hard and I don't even have it hard, but I do
know that it's tough sometimes. I think people have a lot of courage
whether they know it or not."
porchmonkey asks, "Who is the most interesting person you know (or
leetergesen says, "I feel family obsessed. My dad is one of the most
interesting people I know. Tom Fontana is a really talented guy. I
feel lucky to have him. My niece Casey is totally awesome. She's
eight. All she says to me is "good." Everything I ask her is "good."
She's amazing. Can you hold on a second?"
horsehead_in_the_bed asks, "What would you like to do that you
haven't done yet?"
leetergesen says, "I'd like to have a child."
HSHost asks, "Don't let them watch Oz."
leetergesen says, "Till they're 35?"
HSHost says, "That's the age parents always threaten with."
leetergesen asks, "Isn't that the age where you can be president?"
HSHost says, "I think 45. How old was JFK? Anybody out there have
the answer--I think he was 38 or 39. Look at Bill Clinton. If it
works for them, leave them alone. Nothing like a true Democrat. They
seem perfectly fine so..."
HSHost says, "She's the one who has to deal with what he does."
leetergesen says, "Is anybody denying Mick Jagger. He can't fool
around with an intern? Give me a break."
ExciteUser asks, "How old was he when he started acting."
leetergesen says, "I was about 12 or 13 when I started plays. I was
25 when I started making a living at it."
Joanee asks, "When was the last time you behaved badly in public?
What did you do?"
leetergesen says "Wow! I stripped naked and put salad dressing all
over me. It was about 2 weeks ago. We were doing late-night cabaret
thing. I spoofed one of the projects happening there. That was how I
HSHost says, "This is where we need video show."
leetergesen says, "It's not that spectacular. If they've seen the
show, they've seen me. Watch the show for full frontal nudity. Do
yourself a favor."
HSHost says, "Should have warned me before chat."
firebreathing_malomar_cookie asks, "Three words: Boxers or Briefs?"
leetergesen says, "Briefs -- I need scrotal support. (laughing)"
johnnyquest asks, "What was the worst dating experience you ever
leetergesen says, "Wow!! I've had a lot of those. I can't answer it.
There's been too many of them. This was recently. I was out to
dinner with woman who would not stop talking. It was just like the
kind of thing where it ceases to be conversation. I drove her so I
couldn't ditch out."
HSHost says, "That's when you meet somebody there."
leetergesen says, "You totally bail. I think I've got food
pete_the_dragon asks, "Do you work with any charities?"
leetergesen says, "Yeah actually a friend of mine is putting
together a thing in Austin, Texas, for breast cancer. That is also
what was involved with my mother's death. I'm going down in
September to do a night where they're going to raise money. We are
now not filming Oz. We probably won't start up again until January."
leetergesen says, "Eight episodes takes four months. With Oz it's a
weird situation because idea behind series is money will be made
back when syndicated. Financially it's a strange thing and they've
been trying to work that out. They did a poll about the show and the
only negative comment was that there weren't enough episodes."
porchmonkey asks, "Have you ever felt that the acting profession
suffers because people become more concerned with the almighty
dollar than the craft?"
leetergesen says, "I don't think the craft suffers. I think
individuals suffer sometimes because they get stuck in a place where
they only are interested in what will make them money. It's tough. I
think there's always great performances."
poking_gumby asks, "What was your favorite subject in high school?"
leetergesen says, "I loved Spanish and English. I loved English
class, literature class."
guest14266 asks, "What was the worst job you had to take to make a
buck before you made it."
leetergesen says, "I waited on tables a lot in New York and that is
a pretty hellish job. People are horrible when they're out to eat.
They either are people who have a lot of power and when they come to
eat they just want to eat. There's people who don't feel like they
have a lot of power and this is the one time when they're going to
get everything they want! About a week before I quit waiting on
tables a woman was sending back her salad for the second time and I
told her to shut up and sit down. I was a great waiter -- don't get
me wrong!! Don't cross me!"
HSHost says, "I'd be afraid to."
leetergesen says, "Exactly."
ExciteUser asks, "What do you do in a typical day?"
leetergesen says, "When we're working it's usually a 12 or 13 hour
day. We never leave the set really because exteriors are flashbacks.
It's usually when you first come in. You're inside. You come out
around 7 or 8 and realize you've missed an entire day. You go to eat
somewhere in New York and then you go to bed and start over again.
Now I'm in L.A. I wake up and go for breakfast at favorite coffee
place. I go to the beach or I go to San Diego. There's a lot of
great things to do. I go running. I work out. I wish I could just be
frozen when I'm not working. It drives me up a wall. I love relaxing
but it's tough..."
HSHost asks, "Workaholic?"
leetergesen says, "I feel best on a set. There are a couple of
things coming up. I'm going to do a play out here probably in
September or October. It's a drama. Play called 'Burness.'"
horsehead_in_the_bed asks, "If you could change one thing about
yourself what would it be?"
leetergesen says, "Wow!! That's a tough one. When you're as near to
perfection as I am... I think I'd try to make myself a little more
organized when it comes to day-to-day sort of things. Like in paying
bills. It seems like an imposition."
porchmonkey asks, "Did you go to acting school?"
leetergesen says, "I am naturally talented but I went to a Musical
Theatre School called the American Theatre and Dramatic Academy. I
wasn't that interested in musical format anymore. I studied acting
privately with Kate McGregor-Stuart. I took a Meisner class as
porchmonkey asks, "Do you have much of a problem with paparazzi? How
do you deal?"
leetergesen says, "I have no problems with the paparazzi. The only
people who take my pictures are the Department of Motor Vehicles."
johnny_the_blockhead asks, "Does being a star mean you get lots of
leetergesen says, "My nookie has always been around the same level
whether I was working as an actor or not. Waiting on tables there
was always a delightful babe factor. You've got a hand up on them
when you're feeding them."
sammythemammy asks, "Are you enjoying this chat and do you do these
type of things often?"
leetergesen says, "This is my first chat and I am having fun
although I feel a sense of inadequacy. I feel like a dope! I hope
I'm answering these questions fully enough. I live to satisfy
HSHost says, "You're doing a great job."
leetergesen says, "I'm getting the hang of it."
bilbobaggins asks, "If you could have three wishes what would they
leetergesen says, "I would wish -- it's so hard -- you don't want to
do the obvious. I might wish myself into Europe. I wish I could be
closer to my niece who is eight... You realize that she's growing up
and I'm sort of missing it. They live in Baltimore. I'd wish for
world peace. Wishes are so hard."
bilbobaggins asks, "Any desire to write or direct?"
leetergesen says, "I have been writing a little bit for myself. Not
really in any sort of format. Directing is definitely something I
feel like I could do. What I've always wanted to do is be an actor.
Right now I'm in such a good place and I'm just enjoying having that
dream being lived out. I haven't gotten to another dream yet."
HSHost says, "Kennedy was born in 1917. You don't have to be 45 to
run for president."
leetergesen says "I think it's 35. So there."
HSHost says, "You win."
horsehead_in_the_bed asks, "If you were running for president who
would you pick to be your VP?"
leetergesen says, "I would without a doubt pick Donald Duck because
he always stirs things up and you can never really understand what
HSHost says, "Thanks."
leetergesen says, "It was fun."
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