Thomas Griffin Dunne is an American actor, film producer, and film director. He studied acting at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City.
Actor, producer and director Griffin Dunne drops by the studio to talk about vanishing New York, teaming up with Martin Scorsese and Sidney Lumet, the timelessness of Billy Wilder's "Ace in the Hole" and the life (and work) of his famous family members, Dominick Dunne and Joan Didion. Also, Otto Preminger takes a bad trip, Jerry Lewis interprets Gore Vidal, Griffin sneaks onto the set of "Gilligan's Island" and Tim Burton (almost) directs "After Hours." PLUS: "The Panic in Needle Park"! The artistry of Harry Nilsson! The brilliance of Rick Baker! Howdy Doody pleasures himself! And Griffin shares the screen with the Material Girl!  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Actor-producer-director Griffin Dunne (This Is Us, Dallas Buyers Club, An American Werewolf in London, My Girl), sits on the couch for a deep dive! You'll hear Griffin and me analyze: His fascinating family history, including: His father, writer Dominick Dunne His aunt, writer Joan Didion His uncle, writer John Gregory Dunne His daughter, actor Hannah Dunne His mother, brother, and sister, Dominique Dunne, who was murdered at age 22 by her boyfriend Meeting Janis Joplin at Tom Wolfe's party Parties with George Stevens, Jane Fonda, Billy Wilder, Tuesday Weld, Roddy McDowall + oodles of Hollywood icons His friends, like Tony Goldwyn (Scandal, Network) and Charles Wessler (Green Book) His "first," "second" and "third" acts His early jobs (waiter! camel feeder!) His Oscar date (hint: it's Griffin's "BF") Being a father His troubles in school Domestic violence Worrying about things we can't control This Is Us Martin Scorsese But I don't want to give it all away!  Just press play. # Big thanks to Sofitel New York, where we recorded this episode! Visiting New York? Book a room at Sofitel. # WATCH Griffin Dunne & me behind-the-scenes! # SEE pictures of Griffin Dunne & me recording. # Watch Roddy McDowall's home movies taken at Griffin's Malibu beach house.  # JOIN MY (FREE!) SPECIAL INSIDERS GROUP   JOIN ME behind-the-scenes of my adventures in Hollywood! Follow me on: Instagram:  @reallyfamouspodcast Twitter: @kara1to1 Facebook:   @karamayerrobinson YouTube:   Really Famous   # I want to interview ... YOU! (Or someone you know.) Want to do something spectacular for someone in your life? Give them an episode of Really Famous (for their own private collection...or yours!). I'll interview anyone you like -- your family member, friend, colleague, you -- and package it as a podcast episode. It won't air on Really Famous, but you'll have a major keepsake -- forever. Get started here:  # Celebrity interview by Kara Mayer Robinson. Music - Take a Chance by Kevin MacLeod - incompetech - Creative Commons
On the latest episode of the Talkhouse Podcast, Simon Baker (best known for playing the title role in The Mentalist) talks with fellow actor-turned-director Griffin Dunne, who he has known for two decades. The two friends discuss Breath, Baker's newly released directorial debut – a coming-of-age surfing movie, in which Baker also stars – as well as directing vs. acting, the challenges of making an authentic surfing movie, the documentary Dunne made about his aunt Joan Didion, how “human cinema” will outlast superhero franchises, a hilarious story about Dunne's father giving him “the talk,” and much, more. For more filmmakers talking film, visit Talkhouse at Subscribe now to stay in the loop on future episodes of the Talkhouse Podcast.
I wish they’d send Joan to space. She's a real writer... who wrote about true things. I want her to describe the feeling and the wonderment of what life would be like. But they don't send writers to space. Only scientists (for now). Joan Didion pioneered a new genre in writing: "creative nonfiction." Before her, storytelling and nonfiction never touched. They were separate. She's one of my all time favorite writers. And I spoke to her nephew, Griffin Dunne, a filmmaker, director, producer, actor... And now, he's a documentarian. “Every family has it’s tragedy," I said. "But not everybody dives into that tragedy decades later to re-explore it." The documentary is about his aunt Joan Didion. "Was it painful for you to go through every piece of tragedy in your life?” I asked. You don't usually see directors or documentary makers making a movie about somebody so personally close to them. “I think she knows that I love the people that we lost," Griffin said. "We’re the last two standing in the family. I think when she looks at me she sees someone who loved her husband and her daughter. And when I look at her, I see someone who adored my mother and adored my father. We grew up together. ” Her story's never been told. "Why'd she let you do it?" I said "I can only sort of guess what the reasons are," he said. Sometimes mysteries stay mysteries, but also become art. This is why Griffin was able to make the documentary. And make it beautiful, creative, and inspiring. He titled it, “The Center Will Not Hold”. This podcast is about so many things. Joan Didion’s writing. Griffin Dunne’s career. But most of all, I think he taught me about instinct. He told me about his daughter. She wants to be an actor (my daughter does too). He discouraged her a little bit. Encouraged her, but also told her about all the heart ache. But Joan told her, “Do what you want to do. Do what you feel and what you love. Forget everybody’s advice, follow your gut.” I think we all need a Joan. At least I do. Make sure to read the full show notes here: And don't forget to subscribe to "The James Altucher Show" on Apple Podcast or wherever you get your podcasts!See for privacy information.
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Creator Details

Jun 8th, 1955
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
6 hours, 51 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 559005