In the Dateline episode “Hollywood Heat,” Josh Mankiewicz interviews Hollywood hot shots about the rebirth of the horror genre. He speaks with Jordan Peele, writer and director of Get Out which was nominated for four Oscars at this year’s Academy Awards, and won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Mankiewicz also interviews actress Olivia Spencer, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in the 2011 film The Help directed by Tate Taylor. Spencer and Taylor are working together again but this time for the horror film, Ma. “It’s definitely twisted,” Spencer tells Mankiewicz. The plot: a lonely woman befriends a group of teenagers which leads to torturous consequences for the kids. Fellow Oscar-winning actress Allison Janney (I, Tonya) is in it, too!
The script for Ma was written by Scotty Landes. The UMass grad is known as a writer for comedies including Comedy Central’s Workaholics, Adam Devine’s House Party, and Love You, Mean It with Whitney Cummings. He also sells women’s bathing suits under the name Mudflap and sends all proceeds to ACLU or Planned Parenthood. Landes is “selling these PARTY BELLY swimsuits for people who like to day drink, dance at weddings, and occasionally fall off a boat.” (We’re not making this up; see photo below.) If he’s not a dude, we don’t know who is.
Note: The producer behind Ma, Get Out, and the new Halloween sequel starring Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis, is Jason Blum, who is also interviewed by Mankiewicz. Dateline airs Fridays at 10pm on NBC.