About the Show
“Matt and Greg Used To Interview Movie Stars” is all about the junket world of the 1990s that Matt Levitz and Greg Srisavasdi used to inhabit. The idea of the show is to bring you into those rooms to experience what they experienced, sitting at a large round table with the biggest movie stars in the world, working with and against a dozen other colleagues, all attempting to get the best soundbites. You’ll hear fantastic stories from these movie stars and filmmakers, many of whom are no longer with us, all about the movies that they were there to promote, and also about their own lives and careers. You’ll also hear the previously unheard banter, joking, occasional arguing and petty sniping, that went on in those rooms between the soundbites. Then bookending the unedited interviews, Matt and Greg will provide context about the junket world and its politics, and also about the interviewees’ careers, to help you further understand everything you're hearing.
Film junkets played, and continue to play, a large role in marketing a new movie’s theatrical release. Back in the 1990s, the way that it worked was about a month before the world got to see the film, a few dozen junket journalists (more commonly known as “junketeers”) would see the movie at private screenings, and then spend a weekend interviewing the movie's stars and filmmakers. These interviews would primarily take place at hotels in Los Angeles and New York, though occasionally in Hawaii, Toronto, Orlando, Houston, Washington DC or San Francisco, and the junketeers would fly to those far-off cities at the studios’ expense. The radio rooms that Matt and Greg occupied were group interviews, where the journalists stayed put and the interviewees rotated in. Those conversations lasted anywhere from fifteen to forty minutes.
Matt and Greg worked for different companies, but because junket participation required that you see four to six movies every week, then spend all weekend doing interviews, the two of them wound up spending more time together than they did with their families. The age range of the junket group was very staggered, but Matt and Greg are only two years apart in age, so they became fast friends. They sat together at most of the screenings and at most of the junket tables, flew together to out-of-town trips, and hung out together in all those different cities. Greg was even a groomsman at Matt’s 1994 wedding. After Matt stopped doing junkets in the early 2000s, the two didn’t see each other very often anymore. But every time they did, it was like a day hadn’t passed. The connection and the camaraderie never waned. So when Matt had the idea for this podcast in late 2017, he knew that there was only one person who could co-host it with him. And then after that person and seventeen others passed, he settled for Greg.
The junket tapes that this show uses are provided by L.E.G. Productions. All rights reserved.