In a special crossover episode we combine United States of Dramerica and America the Beautiful Game. We talk to whisky lover and soccer expert Oliver Wyss. The former Swiss international youth player, coach, agent and soccer tech is now the President of Soccer at Orange County Soccer Club in the United Soccer League. We talk about the controversial new European Super League, his love of wine and then whisky and the state of soccer in the United States. Oliver tells us about working on Playing for Keeps with Gerard Butler, being sold expensive whisky at Glasgow airport and how much he enjoys work Orange County's partner club Glasgow Rangers. He talks about the transformation of US soccer, its continued shortcomings but also how they might win a World Cup in 2030. And why he wants to share a Bruichladdich Black Art with Michael Jordan.
We talk to stuntman, fight co-ordinator, martial arts specialist and member of the famous Crosby family, Luke. He talks about his great-grandfather Bing, the extraordinary career of his mother Spice Williams-Crosby and his fascination with martial arts - not surprising given his father Gregory trained with Bruce Lee. We talk growing up in a celebrity family, the community of black belts and why he chose stunts over acting. And Luke tells us about family film night, earning his SAG card playing a ninja and why he wants to share a Japanese whisky with Bruce Lee.
We talk to veteran whisky and luxury travel expert Ricky Crawford. He tells us about the growing importance of sustainable travel, how it's going to become more important post-pandemic and the genesis of his Amazon Prime show Leave No Trace. We talk about green luxury travel in Scotland, the purity of distilleries and his time as a roving whisky ambassador - including a disappointing trip to the Playboy Mansion. Ricky tells us about his new virtual Scottish corporate tour company - where he is one of the three Dram Good Laddies, what he misses about drinking whisky with friends and his love for the Maldives. And he tells us why he wants to drink a Glenlivet with George Clooney.
We talk to screenwriter Grant Pierce Myers. He talks about the excitement of working on The Maze Runner, his parents organizing a special screening for their friends in his home town and his favorite line from the movie. He tells us how he celebrates movie projects by buying bottles of whisky, his love for the cherry-infused bourbon made by Traverse City Whiskey Company and he tells the story of being fired from the Maze Runner - and how the lead actor didn't even realize he was the writer. Grant tells us how he would pitch a movie about Trump, how the pandemic ruined one of his latest projects and whether his new projects will have masks and social distancing written in to them. He talks about script envy, the Maze Runner being sued for stealing someone else's idea and how he feels about the Maze Runner sequels making less money than the first. And he tells us why he wants to drink any whisky with Ernest Hemingway on a boat - and his favorite cocktail stories.
We speak to immigration lawyer Lorraine D'Alessio, founder of the D'Alession Law Group. She talks about the 'hardest year' for her and her clients, battling the combination of the complex and ever-changing world of the Trump administration's immigration policy combined with the challenges of Coronavirus. She tells of the heartbreak of stranded families, jobs lost and her efforts to find novel ways of helping families. And hope that the new Biden administration will make immigration pathways clearer again. The former model also tells her personal journey from catwalk star to award winning lawyer. How her first clients were models and casting agents and some of the prejudice she faced both at the beginning of her career and even now. And Lorraine tells us why she wants to share a Jefferson 17 Presidential Select with her English grandfather.
For our 50th episode of the podcast, we have ex-CIA operative John Sipher. In a powerful and damning interview he talks about the damage being done to the Intelligence Community by the current administration, the risks to America from a delayed transition and his anger at the current relationship with Russia. He talks about how the pandemic will change intelligence gathering, the complications those currently serving face doing their jobs and how dangerous the politicization of intelligence work can be. John also explains how his company Spycraft Entertainment bridges the intelligence services and Hollywood, which shows are the most realistic (very few of them!) and how much material there is to work with at the moment. He also talks about scotch and espionage, taking a Russian defector to Scottish distilleries and why he wants to share a Lagavulin with Winston Churchill.
We talk to documentary filmmaker Tom Stubberfield, founder of Bullitt Films. He talks about his projects with the Chilean mine rescue, the Thai cave rescue as well as Hurricane Katrina and the Kilauea eruption in Hawaii. Tom talks about why documentaries are enjoying a golden age, the emotion of filming rescues and dropping dynamite out of a helicopter. He tells about his travels around America, the power of human story telling and why he wants to share a Laphroaig with Martin Scorsese in his garden. See more from Tom at www.bullittfilms.com.
We talk to the multi-talented David Kwong about puzzling during lockdown, missing live audiences and his love of bringing magic to the big and small screens. David has leaned into the virtual world, hosting instagram live puzzles and now has a full set in his basement for the sold out 'Inside the Box' show. He tells us about compiling puzzles for the New York Times, his favorite magic history stories and working on movies like Now You See Me - where he had to literally tape a coin to Morgan Freeman's hand - and shows like Deception and Blindspot. We talk about the science of magic, taking advantage of faulty wiring in the brain and his TED talks about it. And he tells the amazing story of Chung Ling Soo. David drinks a Talisker 10 while I enjoy a Bunnahaibhain - which has the same Scrabble tile value as his name. Tickets for his new show are available here - https://www.geffenplayhouse.org/shows/inside-the-box/
We talk to the Sage of Saratoga, leading horse handicapper Andy Serling. He tells us how horse racing has grown during the pandemic, what makes the sport so special and how legal sports betting is inevitable in America. He talks about falling in love with his home track of Saratoga, how race tracks without crowds are "sad" and how a horse's name impacts its odds. Andy describes how much research he does on each race why he backs his picks with money and his hopes for big crowds after Corona. And why he wants to share a Blanton's bourbon with Philip Roth at Saratoga.
We talk to actor Brad Beyer who pays tribute to his 42 co-star Chadwick Boseman. He talks about working with the Black Panther actor and his portrayal of Jackie Robinson, how the film handled race and his sadness at the loss of such an acting talent. Brad tells of getting an appreciation for whisky from his acting teacher, mentor and friend the legendary Wynn Handman, who sadly succumbed to Covid in April. Brad also talks about his acting career, the difficulties of the industry during the pandemic and what might happen next.
We talk to news and sports broadcaster Gavin Ramjaun. He tells us about reporting on sport during a pandemic, the importance of mental health for middle-aged men and buying the Saudi Arabian oil minister a Macallan. We also talk about race discrimination in broadcasting, why sports commentators need to get back to venues and why he set up a men's lifestyle channel. And why he wants to have a whisky with Donald Trump.
We talk to Beverly Hills lawyer Jeff B Cohen about writing books, how puberty ruined his child acting career and, of course, being Chunk from the Goonies.