Lesli Linka Glatter

Director/Executive Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her three-and-a-half hour interview, Lesli Linka Glatter talks about her early years, and moving to Japan to be a dancer and choreographer. She describes moving to Los Angeles to join AFI’s Women’s Directing Workshop, and Steven Spielberg taking her under his wing to direct Amazing Stories. She recalls directing episodes of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, and making a small cameo appearance on that show. She discusses directing NYPD Blue for Steven Bochco and David Milch, and moving on to ER, directing several episodes over the series’ run. She outlines directing the Freaks and Geeks episode “Kim Kelly Is My Friend,” which the network refused to air over content issues, as well as the pilot for Gilmore Girls, which set the tone for the series. Glatter speaks of directing episodes of Mad Men, for which she received an Emmy nomination, and discusses the craft of directing. She details her time as director and executive producer of Homeland, discussing the many twists and turns the show has taken, as well as stars Claire Danes, Damien Lewis, and Mandy Patinkin. Amy Harrington conducted the interview on May 1, 2018 in Pacific Palisades, CA.

“I love directing. I get to work with artists in all different areas, whether it’s design or camera, and be part of that team. To create a story together is an incredible process. I love being surprised by the ideas that my team comes up with that make the story better.”

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing the Freaks and Geeks episode "Kim Kelly Is My Friend," and on the issues Standards & Practices had with the episode
Lesli Linka Glatter on preparing to direct David Lynch's Twin Peaks, and on the phenomenon of the show
Lesli Linka Glatter on how the ensemble cast of ER worked together, including George Clooney
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with David Caruso and Dennis Franz on NYPD Blue
Lesli Linka Glatter on Steven Spielberg being her mentor on Amazing Stories, and on what she learned from him
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing the classic Mad Men episode "Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency"
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on her college education, and wanting to be a neurosurgeon, and later, a dancer; on her time as a choreographer and dancer in Tokyo
On participating in AFI's Directing Workshop for Women; on being tapped by Steven Spielberg to direct Amazing Stories, and on shadowing many directors on that show; on how she went about choosing work as a director, and on what she learned from working on Amazing Stories
On how she came to direct Twin Peaks; on preparing to direct David Lynch's Twin Peaks, and on the phenomenon of the show; on how she approached directing Twin Peaks, and on the experience of directing the show
On making an on-screen cameo on Twin Peaks; on working with co-creator Mark Frost on Twin Peaks, and on the style of the show; on Kyle MacLachlan as "Agent Dale Cooper" on Twin Peaks, and on the 2017 revival of the show
On being hired to direct NYPD Blue; on working with Steven Bochco and David Milch on NYPD Blue; on directing nude scenes on NYPD Blue
On working with David Caruso and Dennis Franz on NYPD Blue; on coming in as a director on an established show; on collaborating with Steven Bochco and David Milch on NYPD Blue and Brooklyn South
On how she came to direct ER, and on working with John Wells; on how the ensemble cast of ER worked together, including George Clooney; on the ways in which shooting an episode of ER was a unique experience, and on mishaps while shooting
On the process of preparing to shoot an ER episode, and on the guest actors of the show; on being involved in post-production of the ER episodes she directed; on returning to direct ER in its final season, and on the legacy of the show

Chapter 2

On directing Freaks and Geeks, and on working with show creators Paul Feig and Judd Apatow; on directing the Freaks and Geeks episode "Kim Kelly Is My Friend," and on the issues Standards & Practices had with the episode
On directing the presentation pilot for Gilmore Girls, and on setting the tone of the series with the pilot; on the challenges of shooting the fast-paced dialogue on Gilmore Girls; on Alexis Bledel as "Rory Gilmore" and Lauren Graham as "Lorelai Gilmore" on Gilmore Girls
On directing Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing; on what she learned about being a producing director from Thomas Schlamme on The West Wing, and on the experience of directing the show; on the production of a typical episode of The West Wing
On John Wells taking over The West Wing from Aaron Sorkin at the start of season 5; on directing memorable episodes of The West Wing
On how she came to direct Mad Men, and on the character of "Don Draper"; on working with Matthew Weiner on Mad Men, and on learning to direct his scripts; on working around the budget restrictions of basic cable while directing Mad Men, and on the dynamics between the characters on the show
On the visual style of Mad Men; on the number of women behind the scenes of Mad Men, and on gender discrimination in her career and diversity in television; on attention to detail on Mad Men, and on directing the classic episode "Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency"

Chapter 3

On how she prepares to direct after she gets a script, and on Homeland being different every year; on the role of an assistant director and director of photography; on where she is physically during a shoot, and on working with the editor
On how she came to direct Homeland, and on shooting a key scene with Claire Danes and Damien Lewis; on becoming executive producer of Homeland; on the plotting of the storylines for Homeland each season, and on the direction of the show
On how the then-current presidential administration changed the tone of Homeland; on life imitating art with Homeland, and on the show adapting to current events; on deciding which episodes of Homeland she is going to direct
On the Homeland episode "The Star," which featured the death of Damien Lewis' character "Nicholas Brody"; on the cast of Homeland; on Homeland moving locations to Berlin for season 5, and on shooting the show while terrorist attacks have happened in real life
On Homeland filming at a Syrian refugee camp; on Homeland moving locations back to New York for season 6, and on the storylines for that year; on dealing with Claire Danes' pregnancy on Homeland, and on the possible end of the show
On receiving Emmy nominations for Mad Men and Homeland, and her 7 total Emmy nominations (to date); on what she anticipates the legacy of Homeland will be; on mostly staying focused on television in her career
On how the television industry has changed since she started; on how technology has changed directing; on how things have changed for women in the industry since she started
On what she likes about directing, and on her dream project; on career achievements and regrets; on The Television Academy Foundation's Interviews
On advice to aspiring directors and producers; on where she sees herself in the then-future
Shows

Amazing Stories

View Show Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on being tapped by Steven Spielberg to direct Amazing Stories, and on shadowing many directors on that show
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing the Amazing Stories episode "No Day at the Beach"
Lesli Linka Glatter on Steven Spielberg being her mentor on Amazing Stories, and on what she learned from him
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Clint Eastwood on Amazing Stories
Lesli Linka Glatter on how she went about choosing work as a director, and on what she learned from working on Amazing Stories

Brooklyn South

View Show Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on collaborating with Steven Bochco and David Milch on NYPD Blue and Brooklyn South

ER

View Show Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on how she came to direct ER, and on working with John Wells
Lesli Linka Glatter on how the ensemble cast of ER worked together, including George Clooney
Lesli Linka Glatter on the ways in which shooting an episode of ER was a unique experience, and on mishaps while shooting
Lesli Linka Glatter on the process of preparing to shoot an ER episode
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing the guest stars of ER
Lesli Linka Glatter on being involved in post-production of the ER episodes she directed
Lesli Linka Glatter on returning to direct ER in its final season
Lesli Linka Glatter on the legacy of ER

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Lesli Linka Glatter on her Emmy nominations for Mad Men and Homeland, and her 7 total Emmy nominations (at that time)

Freaks and Geeks

View Show Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing Freaks and Geeks, and on working with show creators Paul Feig and Judd Apatow
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing the Freaks and Geeks episode "Kim Kelly Is My Friend," and on the issues Standards & Practices had with the episode

Gilmore Girls

View Show Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing the presentation pilot for Gilmore Girls
Lesli Linka Glatter on setting the tone for Gilmore Girls as the director of the pilot
Lesli Linka Glatter on the challenges of shooting the fast-paced dialogue on Gilmore Girls
Lesli Linka Glatter on Alexis Bledel as "Rory Gilmore" and Lauren Graham as "Lorelai Gilmore" on Gilmore Girls
Lesli Linka Glatter on Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino

Homeland

View Show Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on how she came to direct Homeland, and on shooting a key scene with Claire Danes and Damien Lewis
Lesli Linka Glatter on becoming executive producer of Homeland
Lesli Linka Glatter on the plotting of the storylines for Homeland each season, and on the direction of the show
Lesli Linka Glatter on how the then-current presidential administration changed the tone of Homeland
Lesli Linka Glatter on life imitating art with Homeland, and on the show adapting to current events
Lesli Linka Glatter on deciding which episodes of Homeland she is going to direct
Lesli Linka Glatter on the Homeland episode "The Star," which featured the death of Damien Lewis' character "Nicholas Brody"
Lesli Linka Glatter on Mandy Patinkin as "Saul Berenson" on Homeland
Lesli Linka Glatter on Rupert Friend as "Peter Quinn" on Homeland
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Claire Danes as "Carrie Mathison" on Homeland
Lesli Linka Glatter on Homeland moving locations to Berlin for season 5, and on shooting the show while terrorist attacks have happened in real life
Lesli Linka Glatter on Homeland filming at a Syrian refugee camp
Lesli Linka Glatter on Homeland moving locations back to New York for season 6, and on the storylines for that year
Lesli Linka Glatter on dealing with Claire Danes' pregnancy on Homeland, and on the possible end of the show
Lesli Linka Glatter on what she anticipates the legacy of Homeland will be

Mad Men

View Show Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on how she came to direct Mad Men, and on the character of "Don Draper"
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Matthew Weiner on Mad Men, and on learning to direct his scripts
Lesli Linka Glatter on working around the budget restrictions of basic cable while directing Mad Men, and on the dynamics between the characters on the show
Lesli Linka Glatter on the visual style of Mad Men
Lesli Linka Glatter on the number of women behind the scenes of Mad Men, and on gender discrimination in her career and diversity in television
Lesli Linka Glatter on attention to detail on Mad Men, and on directing the classic episode "Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency"

NYPD Blue

View Show Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on being hired to direct NYPD Blue, and on the style of the show
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Steven Bochco and David Milch on NYPD Blue
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing nude scenes on NYPD Blue
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with David Caruso and Dennis Franz on NYPD Blue
Lesli Linka Glatter on collaborating with Steven Bochco and David Milch on NYPD Blue and Brooklyn South

Twin Peaks

View Show Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on how she came to direct David Lynch's Twin Peaks
Lesli Linka Glatter on preparing to direct David Lynch's Twin Peaks, and on the phenomenon of the show
Lesli Linka Glatter on how she approached directing Twin Peaks, and on the experience of directing the show
Lesli Linka Glatter on making an on-screen cameo on Twin Peaks
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Mark Frost on Twin Peaks
Lesli Linka Glatter on her directing style on Twin Peaks, and on working with the ensemble cast of the show
Lesli Linka Glatter on Kyle MacLachlan as "Agent Dale Cooper" on Twin Peaks, and on the 2017 revival of the show

West Wing, The

View Show Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing
Lesli Linka Glatter on what she learned about being a producing director from Thomas Schlamme on The West Wing, and on the experience of directing the show
Lesli Linka Glatter on the production of a typical episode of The West Wing
Lesli Linka Glatter on John Wells taking over The West Wing from Aaron Sorkin at the start of season 5
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing memorable episodes of The West Wing
Topics

Advice

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Lesli Linka Glatter on advice to aspiring directors and producers
Lesli Linka Glatter on advice to aspiring producers

Bloopers

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Lesli Linka Glatter on mishaps and pranks that happened while she was directing ER

Censorship / Standards & Practices

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing nude scenes on NYPD Blue
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing the Freaks and Geeks episode "Kim Kelly Is My Friend," and on the issues Standards & Practices had with the episode

Characters & Catchphrases

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on Kyle MacLachlan as "Agent Dale Cooper" on Twin Peaks, and on the 2017 revival of the show

Classic TV series episodes

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing the classic Mad Men episode "Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency"

Creative Influences and Inspiration

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on Steven Spielberg being her mentor on Amazing Stories, and on what she learned from him

Diversity in Television

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on gender discrimination in her career, and discrimination and harassment in the television industry
Lesli Linka Glatter on how things have changed for women in the industry since she started

Drama

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing the classic Mad Men episode "Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency"

Emmy Awards

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on her Emmy nominations for Mad Men and Homeland, and 7 total Emmy nominations (at the time)

First Big Break

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on being tapped by Steven Spielberg to direct Amazing Stories, and on shadowing many directors on that show

Historic Events and Social Change

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on gender discrimination in her career, and discrimination and harassment in the television industry
Lesli Linka Glatter on how things have changed for women in the industry since she started

Pivotal Career Moments

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on being tapped by Steven Spielberg to direct Amazing Stories, and on shadowing many directors on that show
Lesli Linka Glatter on Steven Spielberg being her mentor on Amazing Stories, and on what she learned from him

Pop Culture

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on Kyle MacLachlan as "Agent Dale Cooper" on Twin Peaks, and on the 2017 revival of the show
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing the classic Mad Men episode "Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency"

Technological Innovation

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on how technology has changed directing

Television Industry

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing nude scenes on NYPD Blue
Lesli Linka Glatter on working around the budget restrictions of basic cable while directing Mad Men, and on the dynamics between the characters on the show
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing the Freaks and Geeks episode "Kim Kelly Is My Friend," and on the issues Standards & Practices had with the episode
Lesli Linka Glatter on mostly being focused on television in her career, but also occasionally working in film
Lesli Linka Glatter on how the television industry has changed since she started
Lesli Linka Glatter on advice to aspiring directors
Lesli Linka Glatter on advice to aspiring producers

Women

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on gender discrimination in her career, and discrimination and harassment in the television industry
Lesli Linka Glatter on how things have changed for women in the industry since she started
Professions

Directors

View Profession
Lesli Linka Glatter on her early days in Los Angeles, and on being on sets learning how to make films
Lesli Linka Glatter on how she went about choosing work as a director, and on what she learned working on Amazing Stories
Lesli Linka Glatter on coming in as a director on an established show
Lesli Linka Glatter on what she learned about being a producing director from Thomas Schlamme on The West Wing, and on the experience of directing the show
Lesli Linka Glatter on how she prepares to direct after she gets a script
Lesli Linka Glatter on the role of an assistant director and director of photography
Lesli Linka Glatter on where she is physically during a shoot, and on working with the editor
Lesli Linka Glatter on what she likes about directing, and on her dream project
Lesli Linka Glatter on advice to aspiring directors

Producers

View Profession
Lesli Linka Glatter on what she learned about being a producing director from Thomas Schlamme on The West Wing, and on the experience of directing the show
Lesli Linka Glatter on advice to aspiring producers
Genres

Adventure/Espionage Series

View Genre
Lesli Linka Glatter on being tapped by Steven Spielberg to direct Amazing Stories
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing and executive producing Homeland

Classic Anthology Series

View Genre
Lesli Linka Glatter on being tapped by Steven Spielberg to direct Amazing Stories

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

View Genre
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing NYPD Blue

Drama Series

View Genre
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing Twin Peaks
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing Freaks and Geeks
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing Gilmore Girls
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing Mad Men
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing and executive producing Homeland

Medical Dramas

View Genre
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing ER

Sci-Fi/Supernatural Series

View Genre
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing Twin Peaks
People

Judd Apatow

View Person Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing Freaks and Geeks, and on working with show creators Paul Feig and Judd Apatow

Steven Bochco

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Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Steven Bochco and David Milch on NYPD Blue

David Caruso

View Person Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with David Caruso and Dennis Franz on NYPD Blue

George Clooney

View Person Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with George Clooney on ER

Claire Danes

View Person Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Claire Danes as "Carrie Mathison" on Homeland

Clint Eastwood

View Person Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood on Amazing Stories

Dennis Franz

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Lesli Linka Glatter on working with David Caruso and Dennis Franz on NYPD Blue

David Milch

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Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Steven Bochco and David Milch on NYPD Blue

Mandy Patinkin

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Lesli Linka Glatter on Mandy Patinkin as "Saul Berenson" on Homeland

Thomas Schlamme

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Lesli Linka Glatter on what she learned about being a producing director from Thomas Schlamme on The West Wing, and on the experience of directing the show

Steven Spielberg

View Person Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood on Amazing Stories

Matthew Weiner

View Interview Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Matthew Weiner on Mad Men, and on learning to direct his scripts

John Wells

View Interview Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on how she came to direct ER, and on working with John Wells

All Interviews

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