In an interview with MTV’s Alexa Chung, Sebastian Stan says the most dramatic alteration of his appearance was for his play Talk Radio. According to Sebastian, the blond hair he had for 6 months was the biggest change he had to go through for a role.
It takes a solid understanding of two parallel universes to adapt a stage play into a film… and fortunately for writer/actor Eric Bogosian he paired up with Oliver Stone, an accomplished writer/director who had a flare for the political and an eye for the silver screen. Together they’ve brought to life the filmic version of the Alan Berg story [read about him]. Talk Radio, however, is not based on a true story, instead it is inspired by the haunting shadows of Berg’s assassination.
The opening scene of the film finds us halfway through a live broadcast of Barry Champlain’s (Bogosian) talk show. Barry is a contemptuous prick of a Jew, constantly bad-mouthing and harassing his followers, interrupting complimenters and hanging up on anyone who bores him, behind the glass of the studio, looking on is his producer Laura (Leslie Hope), his engineer Stu (John C. McGinley) and his boss Dan (Alec Baldwin). The inciting incident arrives in the form of a suit who wants to put Barry on nationally. The opening twenty-five minutes are absolute perfection, they combine the claustrophobic atmosphere with the lookers on and I haven’t even mentioned how superb the dialogue is.
Talk Radio is not without its flaws, but it is certainly the best Oliver Stone film.