Angry Reader of the Week: Mike Le

"Banging my head against the wall all day until a good idea spills out."

Hello, everyone. It's that time again. I am pleased to introduce another Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Mike Le.

Who are you?

Mike Le. You can find me on Twitter: @WriterLe

What are you?

A screenwriter and producer of film and television. I'm also a former DJ, lifelong reader of comic books, proud member of the WGA, and forever fan of all things Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

Where are you?

Los Angeles, CA. Or as David Mamet once described it, "Hell with valet."

Where are you from?

I was born in Vietnam. My family escaped the war and ended up in St. Paul, Minnesota where I grew up. Around my freshman year in high school, my family picked up and moved to Sarasota, Florida. I dropped out of college and decided to move out to Los Angeles to write movies for a living. I didn't know anybody in the entertainment business, I didn't even know anybody who lived in LA. I simply drove out West armed with nothing but my dreams and naive ambitions. The very first job I got when I arrived to LA was working at the Blockbuster Video on Sunset Blvd. One day while I was working, Owen Wilson comes into the store. He asked me where he could find two movies. I immediately directed him to those movies. He was curious how I knew off the top of my head where these movies were and without doing a computer search. I told him I had a good memory for such things. He asked if I was interested in filmmaking. I told him I had just moved here and wanted to write. That was the extant of our conversation and Owen leaves the store. The next day, Owen calls me at Blockbuster and asked if I was interested in working for him and Wes Anderson. I said yes and quit Blockbuster on the spot. Within three months of being in LA, I landed the job as personal assistant to Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson.

What do you do?

I wrote a movie called Patient Zero for Sony Screen Gems that is directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Stefan Ruzowitzky, and stars Natalie Dormer, Matt Smith, Stanley Tucci, Clive Standen, John Bradley, and Agyness Deyn. Patient Zero is set for a 2016 release, but we're presenting a sneak peak of some footage at this year's San Diego Comic-Con in Hall H. I'll be on the panel with the cast and director. I also wrote a horror movie called Dark Summer that came out early this year through IFC Films (and now available on DVD), and I have another movie coming out this summer, a psychological thriller called Amnesiac starring Kate Bosworth and Wes Bentley. Currently, I'm working on a novel, have an action script called Desert Eagle set up at Universal Pictures, and am developing several TV projects, including one with the legendary John Carpenter. Previously, I wrote a script called Tokyo Suckerpunch for Fox Searchlight, which was adapted from the novel by Isaac Adamson, and at one point ended up at Sony with Tobey Maguire and Anne Hathaway attached. And I was co-creator (along with Eugene Choi and Eddie Kim) and executive producer of the K-Town reality show and its subsequent spin-off, Roll Models.

What are you all about?

I'm all about telling stories that provocate, entertain, reflect on the human condition, and convey universal truths in the framework of elevated genre, which basically means banging my head against the wall all day until a good idea spills out.

What makes you angry?

I am angry that you can literally count on one hand the number of working Asian American screenwriters in features. Thankfully, there are tons of Asian American writers working on the TV side, but I would love to see more diverse voices in movies at the studio level.


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