WWL>Topics>>12-5-13 2:10pm Angela: with actor Bryan Batt

12-5-13 2:10pm Angela: with actor Bryan Batt

Dec 5, 2013|

Angela talks with Bryan Batt, New Orleans native and cast member of TV's "Mad Men."

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

While I said earlier that Sunday shall live right and today is minding because I get to interview three incredible man and the first and -- so -- and so grateful that Mike Anderson had a the FBI here would take the time to talk to us and just bearing interest. Now our next hour I get to talk to one of the most talented actors New Orleans has ever hatched. Ryan back went from being -- child star at lac Petit theatre. To a Broadway star on the great white way from Broadway it was hello Hollywood. Were recaptured a coveted role on the hit TV series madman. And in between those great experiences. The big screen called most recently in the critically acclaimed moving twelve years of slate. And somewhere in that fast glamorous life Bryant and his partner opened a very successful business on magazine street and now on the North Shore. So the question is when did he find time to write two books one attribute to this much beloved mother. Singer dancer actor businessman author. Brian that is the whole package. And you -- are the whole package. I'm looking live up to that not quite an introduction. Thank you for reading what I wrote I hit a look at. What do you really aren't pulled back -- -- -- -- that your home I love being on this. -- hate to sound like -- but there is no place like common refuse to believe that you can't go home. And its cities so welcoming and I never really really completely. The -- everytime I had to break on Broadway between shows I'd have a vacation. We -- come here. You know and and on my friends wanted to -- what are my favorite things about being from New Orleans is. When I say I'm from New Orleans like -- one of two responses it's either 01. -- which go back or. You know I've I've heard it's wonderful can't wait to go to war. -- and you just to get that Peoria you know you do not get that area has to feel I think you know not to offend period. Lucky. You know I just have this image of you you're dancing and singing Newman high school to protect you literally are in La petite and did at that moment you say I wanna do brought calm and you know always. I was very theatrical as a child and and I think it was just my placement and my family you know -- worked out. And also making them very theatrical families my grandmother was a very well known dancing teacher and my grandfather a month. Father's side of town to punch train beach he actually wanted to be -- -- So -- I just came to a naturally I'll always loved it was actually shot. And still am in some circumstances like sometimes you you create this bravado -- personality to. To hide in and to survive in the world I just I enjoyed the work. As even as a kid but. When I was in third grade I was booed off the -- and here. Hit human and that in the Christmas pageant. And my mother had choreographed it's one of my stories in the book room because she heavy she's my mother and I -- -- -- -- war. But. She choreographed as wonderful tap dance number and have a light up nose and and at one point it was good stood on my head and activist in the feet well the entire. School what not you know they look and I was -- have done upside down looking at all of these kids clapping like. Good that you thought about what it did it and -- -- and I thought oh isn't cool -- all the cool kids what went in and I'll never forget Mike. Drama teacher at Newman cute -- Greenberg. One year in high school just cornered. Cornered me in the hall in said. Winning in a time out from -- play. You -- you wanna do it and you knew he'd be good when he and typed from a -- don't be afraid of the okay treatment and when someone takes the time to like region like New York I think you can. And I did and that was it as I was I was. Hooked ever since I didn't -- make a living in Britain it's very difficult to make a living as an -- -- -- that was kind of at some point to take probably a -- go to new York at a time. And try and did you get. Ran out to shoot did you get a job no no no IM pound the pavement with very fortunate at at that time in New York. I made they had to come in equity library theater and the new people that would move to New York they would have the opportunity to audition for the and it will showcase. It's not probably production due -- Streep plays and that's musicals. And both. My different -- Kath -- who's also from New Orleans we moved together within. A week of each -- to -- we graduated from Tulane and you know we were friends friendly in college but when we -- to New York. And we lived we knew each other from what we bonded like initiative that prices sister from another mother it's it's you know craze a close we are. But we both a cast the -- -- to get. And we both got agents out of it so and then it was like almost two years in the nose in my first public. How to handle rejection. On the first. -- -- Helen Thomas when you first get to New York really there's so many people are so many actors. You know the time the rejection would get means when it gets all the lead down to the wire were part. And it was it was for some reason that you know they wanted to blonde they wanted someone a different type I never get him to the theater protection. The sound of music and it was between me and the other guy for Rolf. We'll look at me. You know I'm not necessarily mean -- Aryan Nation and -- him the dark here one big eyebrow if I didn't clock -- you know bring out its job very. -- if you. It doesn't and I'm not a it's a great leader has Zeneca is that going to be there right so I didn't get it but you know. Talent wise is bad yeah I thought I was better -- But that's not. Part of a lot of this entries industries also knowing the marketing of yourself and look in -- 200 it is he's you know image and how Europe is that musicality is that you still have to -- practicing and and you have to and sing and dance and act. And acting to me is the first because you can listen to someone sing a song and sell it wouldn't. But in less -- acting song unless there's emotion behind each ward -- leader in each note. And telling a story I'd rather listen to a CD. To -- them to live -- different story but back to rejection when nude when the rejection got to me is when I took it personally when it was. So when I worked with before you know and and you know you get down the line and it's not you know. And -- can I -- Steve did become personal. Which you know he carried on that hit the big town and we're gonna take a quick break we're gonna come back talked to Brian bad about those moments on Broadway. And film and TV right after that. Brian that are very special guests who was at the super actor singer dancer. TV person it just and threatened to go on and on and businessmen and author OK we're gonna go back to broadly looking to get your big break yes and of course mother sit in front. I'll yet my mother and my grandmother came to opening night to express 25 years. I didn't realize that for that -- at the long story can kick -- to protect its orbit. McCain and -- holidays when you hear the national theater and my mother actually. Chaired hundreds of theater way back. And -- -- on my mother and another charming she realized that someone that's the thing and that's our son. Retiring to discourage him because it's hard life. -- and it. So win it opened on Broadway and sent it program. It to the Gershwin -- to properly me. In my law it is that's walking by a few months ago and the -- 25 years -- And she had than it was easier to get rules. It was I had -- in my press freedom with the microscope Gregory who's not with an import them. -- tell two people lost. But he was snippy. And he said when I want to welcome a -- -- let's if you stay. And it -- to -- like with with with show business you just as good as the last. No matter what you Nolan and some people think you knew -- will be used in addition some actors when he reaches certain success don't audition night. Unfortunately have not reached that status. I'll have been offered things but I still have to addictions a lot different thing. But no matter why you you're you're tested. Constantly and just like any job that you do well. You wanna be up on scan study you know what can possibly see. And them you keep up on moment to keep craft go it's the most fun. Sure yeah. Wonder if it was that likes to express with my first. Skate into concrete the birth loved. And then -- A lot. Even doing. -- On the wonderful place and I. Stood by the lead and from Gary Beach and because he was going to be missing them a lot of performances. It's going to be the producers so I knew I was going on. And so I learned so much in the it's just a lot of respect for anybody who wins. In 'cause it is on top. And so difficult walk in and I was I had a great time I want to take as you know. -- On hammer I don't hammer -- I don't go I don't. All look like a truck and away from not secretive world bought but it was an interest in transformation and an on should go to do to really great old fashioned Jerry Herman musical. And I got to work with him Harvey Firestone and Andean -- act again in some really great people. For the scarlet and very romantic and it was a wonderful world of two children now -- It might be too expensive but the leading characters super delegates to play this aristocratic British nobleman. Then he goes and despise to save its friends in Paris and -- And he plays it's easy with the top. And then he always changing and despises the sword fights he gets the girl in the and it it's it's it's exciting. And with most exhausting because he is the characters and will this 24 and eighth and 22. And constant change like crazy really unique Republican on -- -- ever. Did you. Hate to teach him there and hope. For not lines fell on all of all of the above and I'm. One night in it was after 9/11 and I'm still in Beauty and the Beast and I remember just. How to -- be our guest and you can't remember lines can ambulance what's wrong with what he's doing here. And that's what that moment and the phone just came out I didn't miss a note or. And -- oh you really have to be in the moment now and I started little content and never without merit. The first few performances yet and he had them under your belt and then it's fun for unity I. Thrive on that kind excitement. Walking on the -- -- -- that -- mean I think it had something to do with 9/11 we could we want purses to go back to you know. And it was a bit of -- I was crazy man my mother's actually visiting. Doing that and had that for. And them but I was stationed there and La -- the thing via -- Think in the world with point and that something's really wrong with this picture you know but we got through it thank god. Another time in scope and now with having sort fight with Rex -- And I ripped my pants so bad. -- -- it was a period or the 1790. Costin. And he just started laughing at serious moments that I have to go. To the guillotine but I don't really and no one can -- on to the audience. On a -- So I'm like -- -- in the anarchist you had -- -- they thought the part when I. Give me huge give me your shell and it took a look like -- Gypsy or whatever and and and by an -- cabinets and since he comes back. And I just not in you get him and then. Platform she wouldn't that -- broke he broke down a flight of stairs from the audience that. He got up and kept you kept singing thank god that we didn't -- I thought. You know anything. Can go wrong we'll go wrong. Now in between these great shows people for them on television and certainly meant ministers. Phenomenal but. To some of the other -- I did not know that you've done some spots on the against the world turned all except. Years ago yes he I am I a lot of actors pay the rent by new -- small rules on those that was every Cuban waiter. On -- -- quickly -- but the kids to scale would ever play. You know in the eighties and nineties. But then the argument was imagine with it and what I loved. And I still am so grateful to Matt Weiner. That. I wanted to mention I actually walked -- went to the book take this would -- but it's sort. It's a Katrina story to. Mine and -- gods child I'm Ramsey Schmidt has a wonderful wonderful young lady she's the winners and down. Katrina when I was of what Tom on the way we were in on vacation. And I saw on you know the storm coming that's common current picture of the cancer we re going definitely one about hurricanes wary doctors don't worry -- I got a flier on Texas and connect with family there can't spot. Couple days later in the entire gulf discovered that the storm it's something like we've never seen before. -- and just making sure that came with -- panic flights have been canceled everyone got out. Right after that to -- -- unit we're gonna find -- way she's that you can't get back I couldn't and it. My god child Ramsey and called just had to stand -- -- I'm off work I beat hospital should that Egypt but my car won't start -- -- and take my call and -- had to take my mom too which is of course Celtic and so but not only did she do that she went to our store magazines and he's not named after my grandmother -- She was wonderful. She boarded up the store. And raised everything up and he's walker. Did the same from home. And is it -- column and drove my mother. To safety. She said the house the car distort. Me and my mom not necessarily an apple might. So we -- -- how do we get repaid -- kind of act of heroism. And of course Tom partners said you know -- -- -- he always comes the best ideas he's in she's never been to Paris to always want it to let's -- That we -- it broke the bank -- this wonderful vacation called his supervisor nature she had a week off. Surprise to witness that Christmas and it was like a parade -- a picture of the Eiffel Tower to the -- what like you're gonna past years with great you know. Not like it tears to anyway. So a matter -- ten days a week before the vacation I get a call my agent saying you know they wanna see this TV pilot called -- And down. It went what's the date it was like in the middle of this Parisian vacation. And for the first time in my life. I chose life over theater over -- business that you know can't beat the can can anything about the time that narrowed to. I said if they don't find -- point I'll be more than happy to come and audition but this is more important. And we went and had a great trip to Paris at one time span. -- -- in rehearsal for the floor on which showed my agent columns that you know why they didn't find that one it would too good to go in and of course I'm going in so doing and inspect Rana. Read the scene for Matt Weiner and the director. And the taped it and an -- -- called that you have. You have to act -- and you had life yeah. And you -- to play -- stay with this we're gonna continue our talk with Brian -- but now let's go to Don names in the newsroom. We're talking with Brian Bennett who's just a tremendous talent to it and so many ways. Let's talk briefly about but you were in twelve. Man -- told -- -- -- yes it is a slave. Very powerful very powerful movie which is exceeding. Rave reviews. The director Steve McQueen British director. Is quite is quite phenomenal and -- and this was a very well known book. Over a hundred years ago it's written by. Solomon Northrop and he was a free man of color living in new York and he was. He was also a musician who and to them he was lowered to DC. For a Plame gate and then was poisoned and then sold into slavery and for twelve years. He worked as a slave until he was freed. And it's it's it's brutal it is powerful but it is honest and it's true to the story and it's of the like you've never seen and and and in some of interviews with with. The wonderful director Steve McQueen he he. Some people are saying he didn't make it is racial. As. Some people would want to be in he said it's now he says it's about man's inhumanity to man said. And so true and think about it and slavery was not just the United States problem. It was a worldwide problem unfortunately in some places in some aspects that still exists today. So it was it's a beautifully told beautifully filmed beautifully acted it. Film and I'm so how to be a part of it even if just one thing remains well that's okay it's one look forward to -- now you'll also in another movie recently. Yes but I was pretty much edited out of park land Walter Cronkite. Films of Walter Cronkite and picking apart I've played I'm in a move apartment about the Kennedy assassination and it didn't do on the box office -- of upon and it. I played Malcolm killed was the associate Press Secretary Hendrick in the Kennedy administration and he had a unfortunate task of being the first person to tell the -- the world that president Kennedy was actually dead and he recently. Not upped the task and he was you can see -- -- art. And them instead of that they went to like -- right to -- on but you know that which does not kill me makes better. You're bringing -- -- you worked for pork you do it and then you end up on the cutting it happens you know it happens. You that's why I just ID's stop and walk I just I do with the best job I can. And then like -- that because also with film and television. You're at the mercy of the editor. Unity could countless times a madman with a like this this was the take -- confuse and and he didn't even go near that take something else but what the what he did with it you know how they. Edited together it was better than I ever dreamed could be. So that is such. Talent and get an -- when you have a character for as long as you did on men and do you have an influence with the writers to say now that I know this character. You know what about justice. Not on match I'm Matt is he knew exactly from the get what he won it for each character in the journey of everything he knew exactly. This will be both you know micromanaging but you know you wanna be micro managed one that brilliant you know that we do we're not allowed to change one word. The script that some customers will love you improper but not not a match because also it's so well written so -- blown out. I used to say you don't really have to teach have to say the words and don't look at the camp -- up. But I am but sometimes the only thing I did say was I can be I would love for Mike Arctic art. Need to be married and in the second season that was the first scene he's with his wife. So I don't know I have something to do that or that was just in in the cards already. But you know it was so much fun to be a part of that we had no idea we from the pilot. That was still riding on this planet and we had to wait for an entire year for it and be finished. Forced to start filming and I am a member of sitting around the table. Speaking to people interesting. But the script was Smart. And when -- -- filming it it was like walking and going back in time. Absolutely and it just -- and Jon Hamm in the first person was with him like okay they're casting this right he knows what he's doing. And he would have these Haitians I mean these like long. Long model. And he was word perfect person to step popular three lines. -- so critical. And he kind of set the tone and it was just one of these. You don't it's a great experience you have to play great language like it to be like a tunnel for and it all those years with a great family. You on -- And stars align and everything goes right in an entity meant to be and then. You know it does have the critics it was really the press it was immediate with you people that I really need this show take off because no one was looking to an EMC to look for -- -- television it was slow old movies and we -- the first series. And then came breaking bad and the Walking Dead in the moderate and unit but the first time I remember we were nominated the first. Nominations came that was the Golden Globe that was all thrilled. But they weren't -- having that ceremony so we didn't get ago. But then Jon Hamm won and we -- -- it was kind of and then we won all the awards and then next thing you know what the sag awards the next thing you know what that means it was crazy. And it was wonderful but you know it's years ago I was in a show called sunset ball. And I is in the ensemble and I understated -- male lead to calculus. And the same time a movie of the labor a movie version of the play -- did the cut keep my role in the movie of Jeffrey. The movie came out I was getting very good medicines and and bright and I was also going on the lead -- and principal. And a friend of mine who is now producer came in to send them. Enjoyed it. Because it doesn't always happen in the Pacman Imus is still very young and ambitious -- and spin it into something and everywhere mayor and and I didn't really. Take Italy and so when mad -- happens I just kind of sat back. And let it happen and actually caused it there's so many moments in life that are so wonderful and so magical. We've spinning around and I had we were going we would that's -- opening our eyes and our minds and our hearts. To all this wonder that's around us. Great lesson you and great lesson from Bryan Bennett stay with us we're gonna continue and we wanna hear about Brian that the businessman by activists. This is lucky Angela talking to Ryan Burnett who was just a real gift to entertainment and definitely to this community. Fabulous career but he continues and so many other roles and we just have to bring up very quickly statement Forster who's one of the great photographers of this town. Is having another fabulous show of celebrity photographs and I got the invited of course you're on the -- I -- but if he he'd just captures. Everything right and that is going to be opening this Saturday. Not at. The -- satellite on -- street yes and also this Saturday is artist against. Part against a beautiful wonderful -- event at -- And you can get there's tons of -- at great prices and on the on the auction. And -- a lot of great entertainment -- there's. He news wires are going to be singing and other performers and also a it's it's more about grown up beat them so they're gonna have on the stale on the stairs and a few of the local burlesque performers and phentermine Patrick Boyd who is abruptly performer. -- dancer. And he performed sometimes every year that you -- -- -- abroad we've payers so it's kind of it's east trip but it's the best dancing I'm probably in the kind of bear some poll -- okay. It's gonna be a little twist it's going to be fun. OK and we are grown ups that we -- so let's talk about you made the decision you've been in business for ten years like yeah actually opened his woman 2003 and we just opened. Last year on the North Shore on them I mean when nine. But it is like no end to all you can do well I don't do it all by myself. You know Tom really runs allowed the store we have a wonderful manager he -- and wonderful staff. -- great for you to invest in -- I think that's. It could have a New York it could -- -- Tom mainly did -- I've always -- design and always love shopping and always -- giving you know and so I would love to we'll I would always -- the stream of opening up a fine gift and home furnishings. And he knew Tom was doing this on Madison avenue for many years and companies and employers and you know you do so well. He really you should open your revenge. And I was supposed to do this shows that we had in the workshops in the recording in the felt threatened. And that's that the windows open let's jump let's let's do it and he was the one that city when I mean of course I wanted to do it in points with let's do it no. You know content you're -- out of there and -- people say you know with great dreams in energy and enthusiasm. Oh my own business but it's also very hard work it is the hardest work you know when when -- When we put in the store together woke up and you know cold sweats many times. I have put my entire portfolio. Started you know I don't know anything all it's all that was I think I have good taste. -- -- I think that he needed business and it really has been very knock on wood successful. New Britain happen all the national magazines and I just love when people come in and they find that special thing for someone and when I'd -- also with a range of prices you know and the a lot of them things that I as a as a an artist or all sorts. Designers have created for the store he knew very New Orleans -- -- -- have a new. Product line of all these wonderful frames and trays and posters and things that world -- and -- You are you argue -- unarmed and -- now but it through and we can love it raises a -- We also have our frustrations and wonder what yours would -- in a perfect world in America our roads. Yeah that's. There under construction that's fires are reunited them telling everyone to please go and shop local and shop your. You local local stores whether it's oak street or magazines to where we are or highway when ninety where they're doing a lot of -- road work on in the North Shore. You know -- take you have an extra few minutes with traffic is moving and the stores are open and I think it's a civic duty. Two to invest in our city and shopped locally and Allen in -- -- pay tax one I'd give it to your room city. You know where -- where can really help you know hold different aspects you know. Actually Saturday. Was small business yes yes yes and I was bopping around some barrels a small businesses and gently and I cannot tell you the number of people -- -- It's small -- they got -- They got they got to wanting good and so much great stuff going on here during National Geographic just said that we're the one of the top three cities. Must cease cities of 2014. That's pretty amazing that's amazing and and and also I am HRC Human Rights Campaign. Did this survey of all the different cities about which ones the most tolerant of the most equal rights for people. And of course a new York and a handwritten LA go under at Boston got a hundred. New got a 91 which is pretty respectable. It is that there's got to step. That's -- big step up and that would be my my my my my grief right now and were. But otherwise there's a lot of work to do and I'm very proud of the city I think the city has rallied. And there's a Renaissance going on here like never before and I'm so thrilled and honored to be part of it he knew the petite is back -- up again running their. And that's what you know what we're gonna take another break I'm gonna talk -- a lot to stay with this this is talking to Brian Bennett and Angela under the anyway. Brian -- demand for all seasons but also a guy who helped. Lot Petit theatre survived -- has now it's reopened its got a restaurant and it's sold out. It's fantastic the first three shows have done so well we just closed here. And it was people Iraq and rolling and have a great time but it's great tableau of the wonderful restaurant to -- and restaurant. Next door it really is a great symbiotic relationship and with its theater. This historic theater which will be 100 years old 2016. Where it was you know almost a million dollars in debt. It's now completely dead free it as a wonderful. Million dollar plus renovation and an endowment which in the arts is a rarity. Is a rarity and we can live. Running -- -- -- just one and now your ultimate role oh gosh. Whatever someone writing specifically for me right now. At some BGC that I'd I'd love to play against type. You have never played we. So it would look bad about Africa. And social suite. He could do anything in mind thank you know I think Q as this community thank you for coming home. Continued success with everything you do -- Thank you very much a winner but he stayed with a minute and is bought the I wanna remind everybody our next hour is. Tom Fitzmorris we're gonna talk food now let's go to -- names in the.