Tag Archives: Interview

Stephen King On Doctor Sleep, Donald Trump And Why He Often Writes About Children

The best-selling novelist, Stephen King speaks to TIME about the upcoming adaptation of his story Doctor Sleep, his thoughts on Donald Trump and why he often writes about children.

Read the interview HERE.

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Stephen King On His New Horror Novel, The ‘Nightmare’ of Trump, And Stranger Things

Donald Trump was still months away from being elected president when Stephen King began writing his new novel. But The Institute — out September 10th and centered on a 12-year-old boy stolen from his parents in the night and locked up in a mysterious facility — is likely to remind readers of certain immigration policies. “I can’t help but see similarity between what’s going on in The Institute and those pictures of kids in cages,” says King. “Sometimes fiction outpaces fact.”

This isn’t the first time a King book predicted the political future: His 1979 book The Dead Zone was about a Trump-like aspiring president threatening global apocalypse if he took office. “Fiction has foreseen Trump before,” says King, “always as a nightmare. Now, the nightmare is here. But I don’t want to force my worldview on people. I’m not George Orwell, and this book isn’t 1984. It wasn’t meant to be an allegory.”

King is calling in from his house in Maine, just a couple of weeks after traveling to Foxborough, Massachusetts, to see his first-ever Rolling Stones concert. (“Keith looked a little tentative and just putting in the time at first, but then he caught fire.”) He’s still reveling in the surge of interest in his work that followed 2017’s It, now the highest-grossing horror movie ever. “I think a lot of kids watched the [1990] It miniseries with Tim Curry, and it scared the living shit right out of them,” King says. “They couldn’t wait to go back and see it again.”

Like IT, The Institute is about a group of children who band together to battle an unspeakably evil force. The twist this time is that they all have telekinetic or psychic powers and the adults who run the facility force them to undergo medical experiments. “I wanted to write a book like Tom Brown’s School Days,” King says, referencing the 1857 Thomas Hughes children’s classic about a British boarding school. “But in hell.”

A book about ­clairvoyant kids battling a shadow organization will surely draw comparisons to Stranger Things. Which was, of course, heavily inspired by Stephen King books. “I like [Stranger Things] a lot, but it does owe something to It,” the ­author says. “That’s another book about kids who are weak and helpless by themselves — but together can make something that is very strong.” 

Long before Stranger Things and even It, children with supernatural powers were at the center of King books like Carrie, The Shining, and Firestarter. “Like a pitcher that has a great fastball or slider, you go back to what worked for you before,” says King. “I do think that kids are sort of magic. When I was a young man, I could draw [inspiration] from my own kids. Now that I’m so much older, I am drawing from my grandchildren and what I see them doing and how I see them interacting.”

The Institute could be the next King project to be ­adapted by Hollywood, joining The Stand (CBS All Access), The Outsider (HBO), and Lisey’s Story (Apple TV+) — plus the seven movies he has in development. King has script ­approval on all of them. “The scripts have to work,” he says. “They can’t have 19 pages of flashbacks to when the characters were kids. I want the pedal to the metal as much of the time as possible.”

The film adaptation of King’s 2013 The Shining sequel, Dr. Sleep, comes out November 8th and features Ewan McGregor playing an adult Danny Torrance. Though King has always hated Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of his book for changing so much of the story, he allowed the Dr. Sleep filmmakers to use elements of Kubrick’s version. “My problem with Kubrick’s film was that it’s so cold,” King says. “The reason I didn’t have any problem with this script is they took some of Kubrick’s material and warmed it up.”

King’s next book, If It Bleeds, is due out sometime in 2020. It’s a continuation of his ongoing Holly Gibney detective series. “I have to do a polish on that,” he says. “But it’s basically done.” He’s already jamming away on the one after that (though he’s not ready to divulge any details) and the sudden surge of interest in his work has been a great motivator to keep going. “I’m 71 years old,” he says, “and a lot of people my age are forgotten and I’ve had this late season burst of success. It’s very gratifying.”

Naturally, retirement remains the last thing on his mind. “That’s God’s decision, not mine,” he says. But I’ll know when it’s time. I’ll either collapse at my desk or the ideas will run out — the thing you don’t want to do is embarrass yourself. As long as I feel like I’m still doing good work, I can’t see myself stopping.”

Reprinted from Rolling Stone

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Rolling Stone Cover Story: The Softer Side of Howard Stern

After years of psy­cho­therapy, the King of All Media looks back, repents, and rescues a few kittens…

Howard stern hasn’t released a book in 24 years. Back in those days, he was a guy who didn’t think twice about calling Rosie O’Donnell a “fat pig”; using a giant, rotting fish as a mallet to spank a naked woman on the air; or viciously mocking a member of his “Wack Pack” with Down syndrome he’d dubbed “Gary the Retard.” On the cover of the book Miss America, he dressed as a drag queen, and inside he offered detailed accounts of his private cybersex sessions with fans.

The Howard Stern of 2019 — who spends his free time fostering rescue cats or painting watercolors — can only shudder when that book and its 1993 predecessor, Private Parts, comes up. “If I read them, I’d want to jump out a window,” he says. “I haven’t picked them up in years. They are snapshots of who I was back then, and I want to take that guy and shake him. I was a selfish prick. I can just see that quote in Rolling Stone, ‘I was a selfish prick.’ But it’s true.”

It’s before 8 a.m. on a Thursday in mid-April, and Stern is usually at his Hamptons home or Palm Beach estate by now, since he broadcasts Mondays through Wednesdays only. But he’s come into his SiriusXM studio in New York for a rare extended interview timed to the release of his new book, Howard Stern Comes Again, a compendium of his best interviews with the likes of Lady Gaga, Stephen Colbert, Gwyneth Paltrow and other A-listers.

Stern is now friends with ex-antagonists like O’Donnell. Gary is almost never seen; when he is, Stern lovingly calls him “Gary the Conquerer.” “Retard” has vanished from Stern’s vocabulary, along with bits that demean women or minorities. He vacations with friends like Jimmy Kimmel and Jennifer Aniston, and goes to parties with Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Martin and others he used to torment.

To Stern die-hards, this is blasphemy — the equivalent of Johnny Rotten singing Pat Boone songs. Superfans gather each day on the Howard Stern subreddit to blast their former hero, calling him “Hollywood Howie” or “PC Howie” and arguing over when they stopped listening. (Oddly enough, they all seem tuned in to current show developments.) But as Stern settles onto the studio couch usually reserved for show guests, he says he doesn’t care about the Reddit crew. As he reveals in his new book, he recently had two cancer scares. First, he almost underwent chemotherapy when his white-blood-cell count was off the charts, but discovered at the last moment that he was suffering from mercury poisoning from eating too much fish. Then, in a hypochondriac’s nightmare scenario, he got a full-body scan and doctors saw a spot on his kidney. They said there was a 95 percent chance it was cancer, and he had major surgery, only to wake up and learn it was a cyst that had burst.

In the book, he also says that after many years of psychotherapy he has come to terms with his narcissism. He says he no longer has any desire to humiliate or insult guests to score ratings. In an era when former heavyweights like Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer have been pushed out of the industry due to their treatment of women, it’s no small irony that Stern’s couch is now where some of the biggest names in the industry go for in-depth interviews. It’s the sort of third-act surprise that few people would have ever predicted for the guy formerly known as Fartman.

Read the full Rolling Stone interview HERE.

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Billy Joel On Turning 70, Donald Trump & Why He Writes Music Just For Himself Now

Billy Joel hasn’t released an album of new pop songs since 1993, but that hasn’t stopped him from selling out Madison Square Garden every month for the past five years and packing baseball stadiums across the country each summer. “I’ve gone onstage and said, ‘I don’t have anything new for you, so we’re just going to play the old shit,’ ” Joel says on the phone from his house in Palm Beach, Florida. “And the audience goes, ‘Yeah!’ I’ll be sitting in the stadium looking out at 30,000, 40,000, 50,000 people, thinking, ‘What the hell are they all doing here? Why now?’ I guess, in a way, I’m an anachronism. There aren’t that many of me left. There’s a rarity to it, which gives it value.”

Read more from Billy’s interview with Rolling Stone.

Listen to Billy’s new playlist, “Live Through The Years,” and stream rare live performances for the first time ever!

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How Howard Stern Became A New Man

Over the past 13 years, Howard Stern helped SiriusXM satellite radio grow from a fledgling experiment into a 33 million-subscriber empire. But Stern, who made a name for himself as a potty-mouthed shock jock, has evolved as a celebrity interviewer and as a person. 

He talks with Tracy Smith about his new book of interviews, “Howard Stern Comes Again”; his psychotherapy; a health scare that demonstrated he “wasn’t Superman”; and how he and his wife are guardian angels to a thousand rescue cats.

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Pet Sematary Exhumed: Stephen King Looks Back At His Most Disturbing Story

Stephen King calls one morning to set up an interview — and he’s singing.

“I hear you want to talk about… ‘I don’t wanna be burrrried / in a PET Sem-a-taar-yyy!’” the best-selling author croons over long distance.

The Ramones based that pop-goth song on his 1983 novel, it was featured in the creeptastic cult-favorite 1989 movie, and now — as most things associated with this tale — it gets to live its life again as part of the haunting new version of Pet Sematary hitting theaters April 5.

It stars Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz as parents who move their family to the edge of the Maine woods, where there is a hidden place that resurrects the dead. Lithgow costars as a kindly neighbor, who reveals secrets best left buried, and Jeté Laurence plays their curious daughter, Ellie, who has too much curiosity for her own good.

King has a complex relationship with Pet Sematary. Over the decades, the 71-year-old storyteller has done a lot of monstrous things to a lot of people in his novels, but the rumor persists that he thinks Pet Sematary crossed a line, that it’s too morbid and troubling, and he only published it to escape a book contract.

It turns out all that is real.

So is a lot of what happened in the book. That’s why it bothers him.

Read the entire Entertainment Weekly interview HERE.

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Stephen King’s Origin Story

In the nearly half-century since author Stephen King began entertaining and simultaneously scaring the bejesus out of his countless fans around the world, filmed adaptations of his work have become so much a staple that we’re now deep into the remakes phase of his prolific output. The 2017 feature film version of King’s “It” grossed $700 million worldwide, 27 years after the creepy clown yarn had terrified TV viewers in the form of an iconic miniseries. This year, horror fans will be treated to a 30th anniversary remake of King’s classic terror tale “Pet Sematary.”

Consider this: There are currently nearly 50 King projects in various stages of production and/or development per the film and TV business-tracking site IMDb, including: the “Shining” feature film sequel, “Doctor Sleep,” a film sequel to “It,” a third season of “Mr. Mercedes” and the second season of the King-Universe TV series, “Castle Rock.”

King was first named-checked in Variety in summer 1974 when Hollywood producer Paul Monash obtained the film rights to King’s first published novel, “Carrie,” which had just hit bookstores only weeks earlier. While a modest seller in hardback, in paperback, “Carrie” became the first of King’s many million-sellers.

Read more about Stephen King’s early years HERE.

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Brandi Carlile Steps Out of The Shadows And Into The Grammys Spotlight

Bow down to Brandi Carlile — the only female artist nominated for six or more Grammys this year. 

Variety’s cover star reveals her biggest professional regret, the designer she’s been maxing out her credit card buying, and what life in a log cabin is like.

Read the article HERE.

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How Author Brad Meltzer Uncovered The Secret Plot To Kill George Washington

Bestselling author Brad Meltzer is known for crafting fictional thrillers. Now he’s focusing on a real-life mystery. 

In his new book, “The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington,” the plot details an effort to undermine the American Revolution just before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Meltzer joins “CBS This Morning” to discuss how he discovered the story.

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USA Today Interview: Chip Kidd, How I Became a Book Designer

With a body of work spanning from designing the iconic cover of “Jurassic Park” to writing his own novels, Chip Kidd has worked with some of the most famous names in literature and cartoons. The words and designs of the TED speaker, book cover designer, author and editor have been seen around the world, and Kidd’s advice rings true: “Do it because you love it.”

USA TODAY caught up with Kidd to talk about everything from doppio macchiatos and Carrie Fisher to developing a thick skin and what will be on the first line of his obituary.

Read the interview HERE.

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