EP 267: Director Barry Levinson on Paterno, Pacino & Our "Wag the Dog" Reality
Director Barry Levinson explores the Penn State sexual abuse scandal that ended Coach Joe Paterno’s career in his new film PATERNO on HBO. He explains why he wanted to present the straight facts of the case without actually taking sides, talks the about the student riots that broke out when Penn State fired Paterno, and reveals what the film has to say about Americans’ views on issues of loyalty, tribalism, and the truth. Barry Levinson also recalls his early days teaming up with another "coach" Craig T. Nelson to form a nightclub comedy duo, writing sketches for THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW, directing his first movie at the urging of his mentor Mel Brooks, and he shares behind-the-scenes stories from some of his classic films including DINER, TIN MEN, RAIN MAN, AVALON, and more. Plus Barry Levinson talks about why Hollywood doesn’t make films about human beings anymore, whether he’d like to make a sequel to WAG THE DOG for the age of "fake news," and how an infamous drug kingpin got him into his first acting class.
PATERNO is available now on HBO GO, HBO NOW and HBO ON DEMAND. Today's episode was sponsored by AppRiver, Adiamor Jewelry, and Grasshopper.