90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Inscrutable, Ubiquitous Wallace Shawn

With Guest Host John Harwood.

From “The Princess Bride” to “My Dinner with Andre “and “A Master Builder,” actor and writer Wallace Shawn joins us.

Actor Wallace Shawn attends special screening of "Turks and Caicos" hosted by Vogue and The Cinema Society at the Crosby Street Hotel on Monday, April 7, 2014 in New York.  (AP)

Actor Wallace Shawn attends special screening of “Turks and Caicos” hosted by Vogue and The Cinema Society at the Crosby Street Hotel on Monday, April 7, 2014 in New York. (AP)

You know him as an impish villain in “The Princess Bride,” or an improbable Lothario in “Manhattan,” or the voice of Rex the Dinosaur in “Toy Story.” But Wallace Shawn’s real passion is not acting but writing. He spent 15 years translating and adapting a 19th century Norwegian play by Henrik Ibsen – which is now a new movie, “A Master Builder,” starring Shawn and his friend Andre Gregory. We’ll ask how he balances the twin sides of his working life – and competing demands from audiences and his own conscience. This hour, On Point: a conversation with Wallace Shawn.

- John Harwood

Guests

Wallace Shawn, actor, screen writer and playwright. Star of the new film, “A Master Builder,” among many others.

From The Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: Wallace Shawn: Wrestling With Success — “[Wallace Shawn] sees himself as a writer, even though he’s never really been accepted as one, he says. The 70-year-old Mr. Shawn finds playwriting more central to his identity and compares acting to walking a cute dog. ‘People stop and say, ‘Oh my God, your dog is great, I love your dog!’ ‘ he says. ‘In a way, it’s very gratifying, and you start thinking, ‘They really like my dog!’ But it’s not quite you.'”

New York Observer: Wallace Shawn, Hollywood’s Favorite Comic Villain, Wrestles with the Double Life — “>Wallace Shawn lives in Chelsea. Meet him at a café in the neighborhood, and, making conversation while perusing the menu, ask what street he lives on, and he will begin smiling that gleeful, rueful, slightly malevolent smile that, along with his bouncing, perpetually astonished, faintly lisping voice, makes him such an indelible comic villain on TV and in movies. Smirking madly, he will decline to name a street, explaining that his mother was a ‘brilliant woman’ with ‘too much emotional energy to devote to her children,’ and as a result he is quite secretive.”

The Paris Review: Wallace Shawn, The Art of Theater No. 17 — “I love going to plays. There’s a subconscious side to it, obviously—some people like to be spanked for XYZ psychological reasons, and I like to go to plays, and I can’t entirely explain why. But on the more conscious level, I simply love watching actors act.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 1, 2015
In this Dec. 19, 2014 file photo, oil pump jacks work in unison, in Williston, N.D. The number of drill rigs in western North Dakota's oil patch has slipped to a five-year low with the falling price of oil.  (AP)

American energy production at a time of low oil prices. Oil, gas, wind, solar. And what the changed oil price landscape means.

Apr 1, 2015
Characters and logo from BabyFirstTV , a television and digital entertainment group specifically targeting infants and babies younger than two years old. (BabyFirstTV / Facebook)

TV and screen time for babies. Toddlers. It’s so tempting. So available. But is it a good idea?

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 31, 2015
Jazz icon Billie Holiday performs in New York City's Club Downbeat in February 1947.  (Library of Congress / Creative Commons)

A meditation on the life and music of Billie Holiday. The lady who sang the blues.

 
Mar 31, 2015
Some of the hundreds of people who gathered outside the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday, March 28, 2015, for a rally against legislation signed Thursday by Gov. Mike Pence stand on the Statehouse's south steps during the 2-hour-long rally. (AP)

Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Critics call it anti-gay. Business leaders say bad for the economy. The governor’s not backing down. We’ll dive in.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: March 27, 2015
Friday, Mar 27, 2015

More on the incessant email debate, plus some goats living their best lives and the sad allure of Manhattan’s shuttered Pommes Frites.

More »
3 Comments
 
Mobile Payments Offer Convenience If You Keep Your Email Safe
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Thinking about moving your wallet to your phone? You can! And maybe you should? But TechCrunch senior writer Josh Constine has a few things to tell you before you do.

More »
1 Comment
 
Using Technology To Get Your Kids Outside
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

The latest and greatest — using apps to make natural exploration more fun for your kids.

More »
Comment