Friday, June 13, 2008

Four Wine Questions For: Hal B. Klein

In March I started a new blog feature “4WQ4", an article where I would feature a four Q&A with a “celebrity” in the wine industry. How about if I feature a celebrity that made a movie about wine?

You may also remember in March I blogged about the movie Bottle Shock complete with a trailer. Well, it just so happens my four questions will be for independent film actor, Hal B. Klein who appears in the newly released movie! Klein has been making a name for himself on the silver screen by portraying quirky, off-beat characters, and he does just that in the quaffable comedy,Bottle Shock, with leading stars Bill Pullman ("Sleepless in Seattle" and "While You Were Sleeping") and Alan Rickman ("Harry Potter" and "Sweeney Todd"). The film is based on the true 1976 event, The Judgement of Paris. Bottle Shock has already premiered at film festivals across the country and is slated for theatrical release in August.

Hal B. Klein can also be seen in two upcoming movies, Nobel Son (also with Pullman and Rickman) and Killer Movie (with Jason London, Leighton Meester), which was extremely well-received at this year's Tribeca Film Festival. And last but not least, I found out that Hal has a new found interest in food and wine. He has his own cooking blog, This Man’s Kitchen, a You Tube This Man’s Kitchen pilot and he plans on becoming the" next big wine snob!" And now, "4WQ4:"

W5: Tell us about Shenky, the character you play in the new movie, "Bottle Shock." How does he figure into the story of the "Judgment of Paris"?

HBK: Shenky is one of the "cellar rats" who works at the winery. They were a bunch of partying young guys who worked in the Napa Valley, sons of the winemakers and locals. Shenky is Bo Barrett's (Chris Pine) best buddy. He's kind of the devil on Bo's shoulder, his party buddy.

W5: Did working on "Bottle Shock" encourage you to learn more about wine?

HBK: I learned a lot about wine. It was hard not to! We were shooting in all these beautiful vineyards, and it naturally made you curious. Also, the real Bo Barrett, who is now the winemaker at Chateau Montelena, was on set a lot. He gave us all a great education on wine! I wasn't much of a wine drinker before the shoot, so it was all new to me. The whole process of how wine is made is totally fascinating. It's a real combination of art and science. There is also a whole lot of money involved. We were shooting in Chateau Montelena's wine cellar one day and I was leaning on a wine barrel. Bo was kind enough to point out there was a half-million dollars of wine aging in there. Later that day, we shot a scene where I was hosing off the cellar floor with a high pressure hose. All I could think about was not hitting the barrels. It turns out I couldn't mess them up with the hose we were using, but I didn't know that until later that day!

W5: You grew up in the Bay Area and went to school in California. To what extent were you aware of the state's wines and the wine industry when you were younger?

HBK: I was aware of the wine industry, but it wasn't really something I thought too much about. In college, good wine was "good wine" because it was cheap and came in a large jug! I know a lot more now, that's for sure.

W5: You've developed an interest in cooking. What's your killer specialty, the dish you make when you've got to impress.

HBK: I'm really interested in cooking- in food in general, actually. How it's grown, how far it's shipped, how it gets to our plate. I'm really passionate about helping people cook great food, too! It makes such a difference. I have a few things I like to cook to impress people. My favorite is a version of chicken marsala that I do with fresh basil and rosemary. It's really flavorful. I also make a great mac 'n cheese that knocks the socks off of people.

W5: Thank you Hal for taking the time to answer my questions. Okay, I know I only said four questions, but please indulge me - - Okay, spill: Is Alan Rickman a total wine snob? I mean, he is portraying the real-life British wine authority, Steven Spurrier in the movie, Bottle Shock.

HBK: Rickman certainly had the greatest depth of wine knowledge. It was impressive. I didn't have any scenes with him, but when we were premiering the film at Sundance, he seemed to really know his stuff. His appreciation for fine wine defiantly works for his character in the film. (Photo: Klein as "Shenky')

1 comment:

Steve Berke said...

I enjoyed reading your work. I'll come back for more

Keep up the good work :) from TheStillery, a stuart bar in Florida

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