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.”

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
04:39
Lesli Linka Glatter on preparing to direct David Lynch's Twin Peaks, and on the phenomenon of the show
01:56
Lesli Linka Glatter on how the ensemble cast of ER worked together, including George Clooney
01:29
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with David Caruso and Dennis Franz on NYPD Blue
02:59
Lesli Linka Glatter on Steven Spielberg being her mentor on Amazing Stories, and on what she learned from him
02:03
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing the classic Mad Men episode "Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency"
02:49
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
12:35
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
14:32
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
07:03
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
05:10
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
05:59
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
07:45
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
06:59
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
08:09

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
07:39
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
10:02
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
11:08
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
08:16
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
09:12
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"
11:49

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
07:45
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
10:06
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
08:13
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
16:12
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
22:32
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
03:43
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
04:09
On what she likes about directing, and on her dream project; on career achievements and regrets; on The Television Academy Foundation's Interviews
05:28
On advice to aspiring directors and producers; on where she sees herself in the then-future
03:12
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
01:18
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing the Amazing Stories episode "No Day at the Beach"
00:53
Lesli Linka Glatter on Steven Spielberg being her mentor on Amazing Stories, and on what she learned from him
02:03
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Clint Eastwood on Amazing Stories
00:51
Lesli Linka Glatter on how she went about choosing work as a director, and on what she learned from working on Amazing Stories
02:25

Brooklyn South

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Lesli Linka Glatter on collaborating with Steven Bochco and David Milch on NYPD Blue and Brooklyn South
01:28

ER

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Lesli Linka Glatter on how she came to direct ER, and on working with John Wells
02:34
Lesli Linka Glatter on how the ensemble cast of ER worked together, including George Clooney
01:29
Lesli Linka Glatter on the ways in which shooting an episode of ER was a unique experience, and on mishaps while shooting
02:56
Lesli Linka Glatter on the process of preparing to shoot an ER episode
02:05
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing the guest stars of ER
01:16
Lesli Linka Glatter on being involved in post-production of the ER episodes she directed
02:01
Lesli Linka Glatter on returning to direct ER in its final season
01:14
Lesli Linka Glatter on the legacy of ER
01:29

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)
01:35

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
03:00
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
04:39

Gilmore Girls

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Lesli Linka Glatter on directing the presentation pilot for Gilmore Girls
01:51
Lesli Linka Glatter on setting the tone for Gilmore Girls as the director of the pilot
03:15
Lesli Linka Glatter on the challenges of shooting the fast-paced dialogue on Gilmore Girls
00:59
Lesli Linka Glatter on Alexis Bledel as "Rory Gilmore" and Lauren Graham as "Lorelai Gilmore" on Gilmore Girls
02:54
Lesli Linka Glatter on Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino
01:03

Homeland

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Lesli Linka Glatter on how she came to direct Homeland, and on shooting a key scene with Claire Danes and Damien Lewis
05:15
Lesli Linka Glatter on becoming executive producer of Homeland
02:28
Lesli Linka Glatter on the plotting of the storylines for Homeland each season, and on the direction of the show
02:23
Lesli Linka Glatter on how the then-current presidential administration changed the tone of Homeland
02:47
Lesli Linka Glatter on life imitating art with Homeland, and on the show adapting to current events
01:59
Lesli Linka Glatter on deciding which episodes of Homeland she is going to direct
03:27
Lesli Linka Glatter on the Homeland episode "The Star," which featured the death of Damien Lewis' character "Nicholas Brody"
05:39
Lesli Linka Glatter on Mandy Patinkin as "Saul Berenson" on Homeland
02:02
Lesli Linka Glatter on Rupert Friend as "Peter Quinn" on Homeland
04:19
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Claire Danes as "Carrie Mathison" on Homeland
02:22
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
01:49
Lesli Linka Glatter on Homeland filming at a Syrian refugee camp
06:01
Lesli Linka Glatter on Homeland moving locations back to New York for season 6, and on the storylines for that year
13:20
Lesli Linka Glatter on dealing with Claire Danes' pregnancy on Homeland, and on the possible end of the show
03:11
Lesli Linka Glatter on what she anticipates the legacy of Homeland will be
01:06

Mad Men

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Lesli Linka Glatter on how she came to direct Mad Men, and on the character of "Don Draper"
04:11
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Matthew Weiner on Mad Men, and on learning to direct his scripts
01:41
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
03:20
Lesli Linka Glatter on the visual style of Mad Men
01:57
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
05:57
Lesli Linka Glatter on attention to detail on Mad Men, and on directing the classic episode "Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency"
03:50

NYPD Blue

View Show Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on being hired to direct NYPD Blue, and on the style of the show
03:07
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Steven Bochco and David Milch on NYPD Blue
01:24
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing nude scenes on NYPD Blue
01:27
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with David Caruso and Dennis Franz on NYPD Blue
02:59
Lesli Linka Glatter on collaborating with Steven Bochco and David Milch on NYPD Blue and Brooklyn South
01:28

Twin Peaks

View Show Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on how she came to direct David Lynch's Twin Peaks
03:34
Lesli Linka Glatter on preparing to direct David Lynch's Twin Peaks, and on the phenomenon of the show
01:56
Lesli Linka Glatter on how she approached directing Twin Peaks, and on the experience of directing the show
01:33
Lesli Linka Glatter on making an on-screen cameo on Twin Peaks
00:56
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Mark Frost on Twin Peaks
01:09
Lesli Linka Glatter on her directing style on Twin Peaks, and on working with the ensemble cast of the show
01:30
Lesli Linka Glatter on Kyle MacLachlan as "Agent Dale Cooper" on Twin Peaks, and on the 2017 revival of the show
01:35

West Wing, The

View Show Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing
02:40
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
04:14
Lesli Linka Glatter on the production of a typical episode of The West Wing
04:13
Lesli Linka Glatter on John Wells taking over The West Wing from Aaron Sorkin at the start of season 5
03:09
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing memorable episodes of The West Wing
05:07
Topics

Advice

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on advice to aspiring directors and producers
00:41
Lesli Linka Glatter on advice to aspiring producers
01:01

Bloopers

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on mishaps and pranks that happened while she was directing ER
01:36

Censorship / Standards & Practices

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing nude scenes on NYPD Blue
01:27
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
04:39

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
01:35

Classic TV series episodes

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing the classic Mad Men episode "Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency"
02:49

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
02:03

Diversity in Television

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on gender discrimination in her career, and discrimination and harassment in the television industry
04:49
Lesli Linka Glatter on how things have changed for women in the industry since she started
01:33

Drama

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing the classic Mad Men episode "Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency"
02:49

Emmy Awards

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on her Emmy nominations for Mad Men and Homeland, and 7 total Emmy nominations (at the time)
01:35

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
02:12

Historic Events and Social Change

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on gender discrimination in her career, and discrimination and harassment in the television industry
04:49
Lesli Linka Glatter on how things have changed for women in the industry since she started
01:33

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
02:12
Lesli Linka Glatter on Steven Spielberg being her mentor on Amazing Stories, and on what she learned from him
02:03

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
01:35
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing the classic Mad Men episode "Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency"
02:49

Technological Innovation

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on how technology has changed directing
01:04

Television Industry

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing nude scenes on NYPD Blue
01:27
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
03:20
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
04:39
Lesli Linka Glatter on mostly being focused on television in her career, but also occasionally working in film
01:02
Lesli Linka Glatter on how the television industry has changed since she started
01:32
Lesli Linka Glatter on advice to aspiring directors
00:41
Lesli Linka Glatter on advice to aspiring producers
01:01

Women

View Topic
Lesli Linka Glatter on gender discrimination in her career, and discrimination and harassment in the television industry
04:49
Lesli Linka Glatter on how things have changed for women in the industry since she started
01:33
Professions

Directors

View Profession
Lesli Linka Glatter on her early days in Los Angeles, and on being on sets learning how to make films
02:08
Lesli Linka Glatter on how she went about choosing work as a director, and on what she learned working on Amazing Stories
02:25
Lesli Linka Glatter on coming in as a director on an established show
03:18
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
04:14
Lesli Linka Glatter on how she prepares to direct after she gets a script
03:16
Lesli Linka Glatter on the role of an assistant director and director of photography
02:46
Lesli Linka Glatter on where she is physically during a shoot, and on working with the editor
00:44
Lesli Linka Glatter on what she likes about directing, and on her dream project
03:06
Lesli Linka Glatter on advice to aspiring directors
00:41

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
04:14
Lesli Linka Glatter on advice to aspiring producers
01:01
Genres

Adventure/Espionage Series

View Genre
Lesli Linka Glatter on being tapped by Steven Spielberg to direct Amazing Stories
09:40
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing and executive producing Homeland
01:07:29

Classic Anthology Series

View Genre
Lesli Linka Glatter on being tapped by Steven Spielberg to direct Amazing Stories
09:40

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

View Genre
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing NYPD Blue
13:44

Drama Series

View Genre
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing Twin Peaks
12:13
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing Freaks and Geeks
07:39
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing Gilmore Girls
10:02
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing
19:24
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing Mad Men
21:01
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing and executive producing Homeland
01:07:29

Medical Dramas

View Genre
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing ER
15:08

Sci-Fi/Supernatural Series

View Genre
Lesli Linka Glatter on directing Twin Peaks
12:13
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
03:00

Steven Bochco

View Interview Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Steven Bochco and David Milch on NYPD Blue
10:37

David Caruso

View Person Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with David Caruso and Dennis Franz on NYPD Blue
02:59

George Clooney

View Person Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with George Clooney on ER
00:46

Claire Danes

View Person Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Claire Danes as "Carrie Mathison" on Homeland
02:22

Clint Eastwood

View Person Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood on Amazing Stories
08:50

Dennis Franz

View Interview Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with David Caruso and Dennis Franz on NYPD Blue
02:59

David Milch

View Interview Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Steven Bochco and David Milch on NYPD Blue
10:37

Mandy Patinkin

View Person Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on Mandy Patinkin as "Saul Berenson" on Homeland
02:03

Thomas Schlamme

View Interview Page
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
04:14

Steven Spielberg

View Person Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood on Amazing Stories
09:40

Matthew Weiner

View Interview Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on working with Matthew Weiner on Mad Men, and on learning to direct his scripts
01:41

John Wells

View Interview Page
Lesli Linka Glatter on how she came to direct ER, and on working with John Wells
02:34

All Interviews

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