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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Lesli Linka Glatter has directed all your favorite shows, from Freaks And Geeks to Homeland

Difficulty: 0

(dramatic music)

- I'm on your side. - Are you?

- [Saul] I am.

(helicopter whirring)

- Ma'am, we're gonna need to search you.

(dramatic music)

- Back off!

- [Cameron] How does something like "Homeland"

become this constant for you.

Like, why did you keep coming back to it

or why they keep coming back to you?

- You know, that's a great question

because you know, I, as a director, I think,

I love directing in all different genres.

But what kept me invested in "Homeland"

is the fact that we constantly change,

that we're constantly reinventing.

And I love stories that have a big political view

and very powerful characters,

so that kind of juxtaposition

between the macro and the micro.

I love that we go and spend a week

meeting with the intelligence community.

And that the question being asked is,

"What's your deepest fear?

"What keeps you up at night?"

And that's where Alex and Howard and the writers

go into the writer's room

and come up with the narrative of the season.

That is really thrilling to me,

to be at the cutting edge of that.

It doesn't happen that many times in a career,

where you get the right combination

of incredible writing and provocative, challenging work

and such nice people.

We all like each other so much.

- [Cameron] The constants, of course,

being Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin.

What has it meant to be working alongside them

all this time?

- I mean, you're working with the best of the best;

and also, amazingly wonderful human beings.

But these are my partners in crime.

And again, they will go anywhere necessary,

you know, however deep they have to dig,

they are there to do the work.

And I think having such a complex female character

that's so layered and now, iconic in that way.

(intense music)

- [Suki-Rose] You choreographed "To Live and Die in L.A."

- Yes, isn't that crazy?

- [Suki-Rose] It's wild.

So I'm curious about your journey

from choreographer to director

and how those skills all played in together

to become one thing.

- So, I was, going way back into the Dark Ages,

I was a modern dancer and a choreographer.

I was based in Tokyo, Japan.

I wanted a cup of coffee one day

and there were two coffee shops,

right in front of me, in Shubuyaku.

And I sat down with this guy

and he turned out to be an extraordinary person

who spoke 12 languages, perfect King's English.

And ended up, three years later, not in that moment,

telling me, he became like my mentor,

but he told me a series of stories

that I had to pass on and I knew it wasn't dance.

So, that is the only reason I ever directed

because I was told these stories

and I knew I had to do something with them.

They were that powerful.

So that's what I made my first film about.

So I came in with choreography,

but then I had so many other colors

I needed to put in that paint box.

And that's what the process has been.

And you know, the thing that's so great

about directing and being a storyteller

is that you're always learning,

no matter how much you've been doing it.

Each time I start something new,

it's like I'm starting all over again.

- [Cameron] Every time you take an episode on,

from a new show, that's a whole new learning experience?

- Oh, always.

- [Cameron] Have there any that really stand out

in your mind as especially surreal,

or overwhelming maybe, in a good way,

that just felt like a whole new world,

when you started working on the episode?

- You know, like almost every world you walk into,

is a whole new world

and you have to immerse yourself in that world,

whether it's "Mad Men", or whether it's "West Wing",

or "Justified", or "Walking Dead".

And even like, look at "Freaks and Geeks",

that was like almost re-remembering one's own childhood

and growing up and connecting with that,

in terms of servicing the storytelling.

- [Cameron] Speaking of remembering your own childhood,

I wanted to bring up "Now and Then", of course.

(Lesli laughing)

I've been hearing about it a lot more recently,

and I think it's because you are having the people

that grew up with it, having kids of their own--

- Totally. - maybe showing them.

Has it been reflected back to you in any surprising way,

has it come back around?

- You know, it's so interesting

'cause when we made that film,

I felt really compelled to tell the story

about what it was like growing up a girl.

And there were no images of that whatsoever.

There had been all these stories about growing up as a boy

and I felt like I really wanted

to make something that reflected what is similar,

'cause there's obviously a lot that's similar,

but also what's different.

And that summer that everything changes

and you will never be the same again.

And that was kinda the motivation behind that.

And I love that people hold that film in their hearts

in some way and that's an incredible thing.

You don't know what people are gonna think 25 years later,

but a lot of people grew up on it.

And I think that it still resonates in some way.

- [Cameron] Did it feel like an uphill battle then?

To get that made?

- Yeah, it was, though you know,

everyone on board was really committed to getting it made.

So you know, we did get it made.

And it did well,

but it wasn't critically regarded at the time.

I mean, some people liked it, but in general,

that's exactly the response that you're saying

is what the response was.

But I think young girls going to see that movie

and going with their mothers

and having that experience has sustained it.

- [Cameron] Yeah, the people that needed to see it found it.

- They found it, yes, and it seems to last.

Like, last year, everyone got together again

because it was screened at the Hollywood Cemetery.

And that was kind of incredible

and it was like the largest screening they had had.

And I hadn't seen the film in years,

'cause I don't go back and look at things

after they're done and it was just like oh, my God!

The impact, it was palpable

and it was really amazing to see it again

after all this time.

- [Samantha Voiceover] I've spent my entire adult life

trying to recapture the way I felt the summer of 1970.

(Jackson Five's "One More Chance")

- Hey Kenny, where's the fire?

- Softball game, Kennels Field.

- It's gonna be all boys.

- [Teeny] So what are we waiting for?

(Wormer brothers screaming and playing)

- [Samantha Voiceover] That was the summer

when everything started to change.

- When I started directing,

I was always pulled to material and not the format,

and because my first directing jobs,

the first one was for Steven Spielberg.

How lucky is that?

So there was never a sense that TV

should not be visual storytelling.

What I think you do have to do in TV,

is you have to know what the dollar scene is,

and what the 25 cent scene is.

So if you have to move quickly,

you better know what your story's about.

But you still need to have a visual storytelling palette.

And then the next director

I worked for was David Lynch on "Twin Peaks".

And so I never looked at it as a lesser medium.

I love the fact that now, look at some of the best work,

it's all happening in TV.

Not that they're not good movies being made,

but you know, I don't think anyone is saying,

"Oh look at how different this is."

I think now, it's just storytelling.

I'm already starting on a new project,

which I'm very excited about.

I'm actually working with a writer

who was on "Homeland" for the first five seasons,

who created "Cold Case" and created "The Bridge",

whose name is Meredith Stiehm.

And you probably know that the "Homeland" writers room,

certainly in the beginning, was all showrunners,

so that's just extraordinary that that happened.

So Meredith and I, when we were in

one of our yearly intelligence briefings in D.C.,

a man named Juan Zarate from Treasury,

talked to us about terrorist financing

and following the money.

So, riffing off of that, we kind of looked at each other,

"Ooh, that's very interesting."

So we're doing a series, eight part series, for Amazon.

I will direct all eight, she is writing all eight.

Based on a novel called "The Banker's Wife",

which is about the banks that do business with terrorists

and dictators and money launderers and drug runners

and all sorts of nefarious folk.

So, really exciting to be looking at that.

(intense, dramatic music)

- [Carrie Voiceover] No more about my loyalty.

Hold your breath

- [Carrie Voiceover] I did what had to be done.

The Description of Lesli Linka Glatter has directed all your favorite shows, from Freaks And Geeks to Homeland