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Oscar nominee June Squibb talks about ‘Lost & Found in Cleveland’ movie

Oscar nominee June Squibb (“Nebraska”) chatted about starring in the new film “Lost & Found in Cleveland,” which was directed by Keith Gerchak and Marisa Guterman.

Academy Award nominee June Squibb
Academy Award nominee June Squibb. Photo Credit: Davon Slininger.
Academy Award nominee June Squibb. Photo Credit: Davon Slininger.

Oscar nominee June Squibb (“Nebraska”) chatted about starring in the new film “Lost & Found in Cleveland,” which was directed by Keith Gerchak and Marisa Guterman.

Marie Curie once said: “We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” This quote applies to June Squibb.

‘Lost & Found in Cleveland’ film

Gerchak and Guterman also wrote the screenplay. Squibb plays Gladys Sokolowski opposite Stacy Keach, who plays Will Sokolowski.

The synopsis: A new American fable about the post-Industrial “American Dream” in the Industrial Midwest – a slice-of-life depiction over a 24-hour period that follows the personal odysseys of five very different people, whose lives intertwine when America’s favorite televised antiques appraisal show comes to their city.

“The directors, Marisa and Keith were so great,” she said. “They have been working on this film for a long, long time. I believe I first read the script about 10 years ago.”

Keith Gerchak and Marisa Guterman
Keith Gerchak and Marisa Guterman. Photo Courtesy of Double G Films

“This new movie was great,” she admitted. “It was great fun to do. I have seen the film, and it turned out really lovely.”

Squibb is drawn to her character, Gladys, due to her “sensibility.” “I worked with Stacy on this movie, where his character was going through the beginning stages of dementia, and it was very interesting to see how she handled it,” she said.

Squibb on working with Stacy Keach

“Stacy Keach is great,” she exclaimed about working with Keach. “I just love him. We had worked together in ‘Nebraska,’ even though we only had a few scenes together there. This was so much fun, especially getting to work so closely with Stacy.”

Oscar nomination for ‘Nebraska’

Squibb starred in “Nebraska” alongside Bruce Dern and Will Forte, which was directed by Alexander Payne.

For her performance as Kate Grant, she earned a 2014 Academy Award nomination for “Best Supporting Actress.”

“The cemetery scene was funny,” she admitted. “The Oscar nomination was lovely. It was very tiring; it was a whole period. We went to the Cannes Film Festival in May, and everybody went crazy, so we started working very early. It was a long process that lasted six or seven months, but it was great fun. It was very exciting.”

“I met a lot of lovely people. Paramount Pictures was behind it, and they were great. They couldn’t have been better to me; they were just lovely,” she added.

The digital age

On being an actress in the digital age, Squibb said, “Well, it’s interesting. People are seeing you all over the place. So many things that I did that would have come into the movie theater and left, are now being seen on streaming.”

“My movie ‘Blow the Man Down’ is big on streaming, and that has been quite a while since we shot that. It has had a whole life on the streaming platforms,” she said.

“Streaming certainly gets our films out to a lot more people,” she added.

‘About Schmidt’

Squibb spoke about being a part of the comedy “About Schmidt” along with Oscars winners Jack Nicholson and Kathy Bates. “That was great fun to do, especially getting to work with Jack [Nicholson],” she recalled.

Advice for young and aspiring actors

For young and aspiring actors, she said, “Find out who you are, that’s what people want to see. You have to study. Find a good acting teacher because that is hard to do. If you can, really work hard to find one. Just keep at it, God knows. It’s a long, hard process.”

Future projects in acting

Regarding her future acting projects, she shared, “I have two films coming out. One is opening on June 21st, and it’s called ‘Thelma.’ We took it to Sundance Film Festival, and it was a big, big hit. We became the darlings of Sundance. That was very exciting. I am going to do as much as I can publicity-wise for the opening.”

“Most recently, I shot a film called ‘Eleanor the Great’ in New York, which was directed by Scarlett Johansson, and she was wonderful. I hold her in higher regards as a director than anyone. Scarlett was really great,” she said.

“I also did the movie ‘Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead,’ which just opened last week,” she said. “I played the babysitter in that one, and I filmed that for a week; furthermore, I also have a Pixar coming out titled ‘Inside Out 2,’ which is kind of funny.”

Voiceover work

“Lately, I’ve been doing more and more voiceovers, so that has been fun,” she said. “I like doing voiceovers as well. I actually started with ‘Toy Story 4.’ They called me and asked me to do it, and I played Margaret, the owner of the antique store. That was my first time doing voiceover.”

“Also, I do occasional work on a cartoon,” she noted. “Those are all fun; I’ve stayed busy.”

Key to longevity

On the key to longevity in the entertainment business all of these decades, she said, “The longevity for me is continuing to do it. I am still working, I am 94 years old, believe it or not! I keep thinking it will end, but it doesn’t. People keep asking me to do things, and they are interesting, so I do them.”

“I am in good health; I take care of myself. I have a great doctor that tests my blood all the time, and he makes sure I am in good health, so everything is going well,” she acknowledged.

Dialogue-heavy

When asked how she handled being dialogue-heavy (memorizing all of those pages of scripts) in her career, Squibb said, “That has to do when you keep on doing it and when you keep at it. I never stopped doing it, so it’s not hard.”

“The brain is a muscle,” she said. “I also like doing puzzles such as crosswords, Word Search, and Sudoku. I just enjoy puzzling, so I think that helps because the mind is always working.”

“What has helped me the most was that I never stopped memorizing,” she noted. “I’ve always done it, and it is still something that I do.”

Alternate career choice

If she weren’t in the entertainment industry, she would have been a “cop” as her alternate career choice. “I’m serious. I wanted to go to class at John Jay College of Criminal Justice when I lived in New York for detective work and forensic work,” she underscored.

“I just love all that. My husband used to say, ‘you would have been a cop if you weren’t an actress’.”

Writing, directing, and producing her own short… What topic would it be on?

If she were to write, direct, and produce her own short film, she responded, “I know mostly about theatre and film, so maybe I would do something about that.”

Stage of her life

On the title of the current chapter of her life, Squibb said with a sweet laugh, “Hang on and keep going.”

Favorite motto to live by

She went on to share her favorite motto to live by: “Be careful who you listen to about what you should do, or what you shouldn’t do. Be very careful; there are some people that you should listen to but there are very few and far between.”

Superpower of choice

Her superpower of choice would be “to fly,” which would allow her “to get around to be saving people.” “There goes ‘the cop’ in me,” she said with a sweet laugh.

Career-defining moments

She went on to reveal some of her career-defining moments.

“Nebraska defined me for a lot of people,” she said. “I also think there were things in the theatre that defined me such as ‘The Boy Friend’ and ‘Gypsy,’ where I played Electra, one of the strippers on Broadway. I was in ‘Gypsy’ with Ethel Merman.”

Married to a Greek husband Charles Kakatsakis

Squibb revealed that she was married to a Greek husband, the late Charles Kakatsakis.

“My second husband was Greek,” he recalled. “We were married for over 30 years. I love Greek food, we went to Greece; it was great, I loved it.”

Success

On her definition of the word success, Squibb said, “Success means to continue to be working.”

Message for her fans and supporters

For her fans and supporters, Squibb expressed, “Thank you, thank you for all the fan letters, and thank you for seeing my work, as well as for enjoying and liking my work. It’s exciting to know that people are out there that like to watch your work, especially, so that’s great.”

Oscar nominee June Squibb
Oscar nominee June Squibb. Photo Credit: Davon Slininger

Closing thoughts on ‘Lost & Found in Cleveland’

For her fans and viewers, Squibb concluded, “This is a wonderful film. It was great fun to make. We started out in the Theater District of Cleveland, and then, we did some location work in some interesting places. I hope everybody will come to see it.”

To learn more about Academy Award nominee June Squibb, check out her IMDb page.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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