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10 Questions: Harry Shearer
April 9, 2002, By Film Force.
Ten answers from the star of The Simpsons and This Is Spinal Tap.
– How can anyone not know who Harry Shearer is?
If you’re a Simpsons fan, you’ve heard his voicework emanating from such characters as Mr. Burns, Smithers, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, and many more.
If you’re a Spinal Tap fan, then you know him as Derek Smalls ? the rocker with a penchant for vegetables.
If you’re a radio listener, then you’ve probably heard his weekly program, “Le Show.”
However, what you may not know is that his directorial debut has just been released (currently in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco). Teddy Bears’ Picnic (which he also wrote and funded out of his own pocket) revolves around the yearly retreat that the rich and powerful men of the world attend deep in the California redwood forest ? a retreat steeped in secrecy, where these mighty men basically go wild for a week. This year, however, their bacchanal begins to unravel as their veil of secrecy is lifted and all hell breaks loose… And, it’s hilarious. You can view clips from the film here or visit the official website.
In conjunction with the film’s release, Mr. Shearer has graciously answered our hedonistic (and completely uncouth) 10 Questions…
1. What is your favorite piece of music?
Probably Brahms’ second piano concerto.
2. What is your favorite film?
3. What is your favorite TV program, past or current?
4. What do you feel has been your most important professional accomplishment to date?
Helping to create This Is Spinal Tap.
5. Which project do you feel didn’t live up to what you envisioned?
Being in the cast of Saturday Night Live.
6. What is your favorite book?
Too hard to choose. I love a lot of books by the late Stanley Elkin.
7. If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
Rigorous enforcement of the antitrust laws.
8. Who ? or what ? would you say has had the biggest influence on your career?
9. What is your next project?
I’m writing a comic novel called Not Enough Indians. I’m writing a film script called Community Service. I’m doing a pilot for FX.
10. What is the one project that you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to be able to?
A full-on production of the musical comedy I co-wrote a few years back, “J. Edgar!”, about the life of J. Edgar Hoover.