For decades, Rosanna Arquette has graced both the silver screen and small screen, turning out numerous award-winning performances and appearing in critically acclaimed films like Crash, Desperately Seeking Susan, and Pulp Fiction. Her newest project, however, is somewhat of a departure from what she's taken on in the past as she appears in the folklore/musical podcast, Bear and a Banjo — produced by the Jingle Punks and iHeartRadio.
Described as a fictional anthology series centering around an unlikely musical partnership between Bear, whose powerful voice can change hearts, minds, even history; and Banjo, a guitar player with a mischievous persona, each episode spans through time across the '30s to the '70s, placing the duo in pivotal moments of American history where they unwittingly influence and define events that would shape the 20th century. Speaking exclusively to PopCulture.com about the groundbreaking series, Arquette shared details of her role and the character she plays.
"The character that I play is a mysterious person who appears to have had a deep connection with Bear," Arquette said. "I am the only person that Dr. Q can find that has any real tie to his emotional past. I retell this musical ghost story of sorts that is really well-written."
Arquette goes on to share how writer and author, Tom Piazza, who worked on HBO's acclaimed series Treme and has an "amazing literary career," put together a script that had her immediately reacting.
"Playing this role against Dennis Quaid as Dr. Q was extremely interesting and challenging as an actor," she admitted. "It was somewhere between doing a play and voiceover work. But ultimately he was directing it in the booth alongside Jingle Jared [Gutstadt] — they have this amazing co-directing dynamic process and it was extremely exciting to be a part of. I think there's much more stories to tell in the podcast space."
Arquette confirmed that this is "the first time" she has "done the long-form version" of a project like this, but added that she "really, really loved it."
"It was so fun to do the work not worrying about my makeup and hair and all that," she quipped, adding how the opportunity has her interest officially piqued with wanting to do similar projects in the near future. "I just got to concentrate on the work in front of me, and the play and acting alongside Dennis Quaid who was wonderful to work with. I had a great time and would like to do this more."
The actress also shared her friend and fellow award-winning actress, Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich, Capote) was recently in the podcast Homecoming and played it for Arquette, who found inspiration in the performance. "She was so good in it," Arquette disclosed to PopCulture.com.
The Whole Nine Yards star went on to open up about what drew her to the musical folklore project, explaining it was all about being a big fan of the creative artists behind the project, including the likes of Nic Pizzolato (creator of HBO’s True Detective), novelist Piazza, award-winning writer Jummy Jellinek, accomplished journalist BIll Flanagan, and multiple Grammy winner T Bone Burnett.
"I'm a big fan of Bob Dylan and music in general," she shared. "The music that Poo Bear, Jared [Gutstadt], T Bone and Bob Dylan did for this is absolutely phenomenal. This album and story is truly amazing — and it's the first time anyone has ever done a soundtrack for a scripted series podcast. So, it's really exciting to be part of something that's first and new, especially something with great music and culture behind it.
She went on to praise Gutstadt, sharing how he created "an amazing new genre" and "is certainly a podcast pioneer in that regard. "[He's] evolving the medium significantly," Arquette said.0comments
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