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
Jul 3, 2015
Demonstrators shout slogans during a rally organized by supporters of the YES vote for the upcoming referendum in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens, Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Greece's European creditors were assessing a last-minute proposal Athens made for a new two-year rescue deal, submitted just hours before the country's international bailout program expires and it loses access to billions of euros in funds. (AP)

Overtime pay. Diplomatic ties with Cuba. Greece defaults. Iran deadline missed. Chris Christie jumps in. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Jul 3, 2015
Harmonica master Howard Levy, in a photo dated February 2012. (Courtesy the Artist)

Harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy tears it up with us. From Bach to the blues.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 3, 2015
Harmonica master Howard Levy, in a photo dated February 2012. (Courtesy the Artist)

Harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy tears it up with us. From Bach to the blues.

 
Jul 3, 2015
Demonstrators shout slogans during a rally organized by supporters of the YES vote for the upcoming referendum in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens, Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Greece's European creditors were assessing a last-minute proposal Athens made for a new two-year rescue deal, submitted just hours before the country's international bailout program expires and it loses access to billions of euros in funds. (AP)

Overtime pay. Diplomatic ties with Cuba. Greece defaults. Iran deadline missed. Chris Christie jumps in. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 3, 2015
Friday, Jul 3, 2015

We made a lot of last-minute programming changes these past few weeks, and you stuck around with us through it all. Thanks!

More »
Comment
 
Election 2016: Who Exactly Is Running For President?
Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Who is running for President, anyway? We attempt to help you figure it out.

More »
9 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: June 19, 2015
Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Why our broadcast changed in different markets this week, and a closer look at a puppet theatre vandalism in rural Norway. (Really).

More »
Comment