#40 - Michael Lehmann

Director Michael Lehmann immediately made a name for himself with his feature-length debut in Hollywood - the dark, quirky, decade-defining Heathers in 1988. Then three years later he also helmed the much-maligned Bruce Willis vehicle Hudson Hawk. It was a one-two Hollywood Punch, and could have been a high-profile Fall From Grace, but instead Michael persevered and his particular and unique directorial vision graced a few more box office efforts and a ton of episodic television. (Like what? Like...oh, The Larry Sanders Show, The Comeback, Big Love, Nurse Jackie, The Big C, Bored To Death, American Horror Story, Dexter, True Blood, Californication...basically any good show you've ever seen, ever, he's had a hand in.)

Most recently Michael has been involved with the HBO series The Brink and the Patrick Stewart series on Starz, Blunt Talk. And, who knows, he may have directed another twenty episodes of something new since I had this conversation with him two days ago.

The high points of Michael's path include growing up with eclectic cinema tastes and doing community radio at KPOO in the San Francisco Bay Area to studying art at Columbia in New York and philosophy in Germany to being the receptionist at Zoetrope Studios (via Francis Ford Coppola's babysitters) to pushing boundaries of convention at USC's cinema championing something called Beaver Gets a Boner...and beyond.

Michael is gracious, intelligent, quietly passionate and has unique insight into this so-called "Golden Age of Television" as he just happened to transition into the small-screen world with uniquely fortuitous timing, even if it included some personal resistance.

Enjoy! -LM

Follow Michael on Twitter @docstrangelove