"If I leave behind some good tales and inspire other writers to pick up where I left off and go to the next generation of what their stories are then it's all worthwhile. Norman Corwin spun my life around. If I can do that for somebody else, that's all I need."
About This Interview
In his three-and-a-half hour Archive interview, J. Michael Straczynski talks about his early life and writing career. He discusses working as an assistant to Norman Corwin and having a chance meeting with Rod Serling at an early age. He recalls his journalism career and his book on screenwriting, and discusses his time writing for the animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and for Ghostbusters. Straczynski recalls making the transition to live-action writing on the revival of The Twilight Zone, which led to a job on the writing staff of Jake and the Fatman and later on Murder, She Wrote. He outlines creating, writing and producing the cult-classic television show Babylon 5 and shares his "five year plan" for the series. He speaks of lead actor Michael O'Hare's mental illness in season one, which led to O'Hare leaving the show and being replaced by Bruce Boxleitner. He talks about the CGI, special effects and storylines of Babylon 5 and discusses working with the cast and directors. He recounts his post-Babylon 5 career, which has included the follow-up series Crusade as well as comic books and several successful feature films. Karen Herman conducted the interview on May 15, 2013 in Encino, California.