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17: Interview With Oscar-winner George Chakiris, Part 1

August 21, 2015 10:07 a.m.

Oscar-winner George Chakiris talks about his work on "West Side Story" and will hold a Q&A on Monday, Aug. 24 at 8pm at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park.


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

I’m Beth Accomando, your resident Cinema Junkie. It’s not every day that I get to interview an Oscar winner…

And the winner is George Chakiris…

But I had a chance to speak with Chakiris by phone on Wednesday because he’s just been cast in the Old Globe’s production of In Your Arms that opens September 16th and he’s coming to San Diego on Monday to join me for a Q&A before the screening of West Side Story outdoors at the Globe’s Festival stage. How perfect is that. The film, which shot many of its dance sequences on the streets on New York City, is well suited to being screened under the stars.

I’ll have a follow up podcast with Chakaris next week where we’ll discuss In Your Arms and his career but for right now, it’s all about West Side Story and his role as Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. And I should mention that the interview starts in what appears to be a nice quiet room but about half way through I suddenly starting to hear hammering and sawing. Apparently the interview was set up at a house where construction was taking place. But like I said, you don’t get to talk to an Oscar winner every day so you have to roll with the punches… and the saws and the hammers. We begin by talking about the prologue where the cast take to the streets of New York for a phenomenal dance sequence.

I’m Beth Accomando and this is the Cinema junkie podcast. You’ve been listening to my interview with actor and dancer George Chakiris. He will be joining me Monday August 24th at 8pm on the outdoor Lowell Daviies Festival Stage for a Q&A before West Side Story.

If you enjoyed the interview, please go to iTunes and give it a rating. You can also reach me on Twitter @Cinebeth or on the Cinema Junkie Facebook page.

Thanks for listening and if you’re addicted to film like I am, subscribe to my podcast and mainline film with me 24/7.