The Burbank Reports
Joshua Maurer

Posted by Erika/Kaj/Lindy/Mel/Pen/Sheila on 2/24/2007

* * * * * * * * * * JOSHUA MAURER * * * * * * * * * *

Erika: What an absolute treat it was to meet Joshua! For starters I think we're all blown away by how accommodating he was to us. He was so very considerate of us, such a sincere and really sweet guy.

He was also very well-versed about the show, and very articulate and passionate about Tour of Duty and the Vietnam War. If you wanted to get serious and deep about ToD, Joshua was the man. And if a few riffs on the blues harp was your thing, he was the man for that, too!

When he talked with you, he always looked you right in the eye and listened closely to what you had to say. He also said a lot, but he did not waste a word! I enjoyed talking with him.

Josh said to us this was the first time they'd ever done anything like this, in terms of meeting fans. He was very enthusiastic about being there and seemed to think it was a great idea.

He mentioned he'd heard about a ToD convention in Washington DC, and asked if that ever happened. I could only recall reading about "The Hill 2001 Tour of Duty Convention" on Craig's main site, and remembered reading that the 2002 gathering was cancelled. I told him as much and he seemed to think that the cancelled trip was disappointing. But I added that we would definitely love to do a fan convention.

Then he said he would love to go to Vietnam, and that he loved Vietnamese food. He said he liked cha gio (Vietnamese egg rolls) and pho (noodle soup). I helped a little in the pronunciation of "pho" but I was impressed by his Vietnamese! He also said he liked "the sauce" and for a split second I thought about that horrid "Mama-san special sauce" that the VC woman spat into LT's rice in "The Luck."

LOL But instead I said, "The fish sauce?" (which is as fundamental to Vietnamese cuisine as salt and pepper are to American cuisine) and Joshua said, "Yeah!"

Hey, maybe the next fan convention could be in Vietnam, huh? Convention and goodwill tour?

Sheila: Joshua was drop-dead gorgeous.

He and the other guys seemed to think we all just wanted to talk to Terry and were genuinely surprised when we wanted to talk to them. When I told (Josh and Steve, I think) that I always had a soft spot for Ruiz, Josh sort of laughed and smiled, and said, "Yeah, we all did."

Erika: Josh and Steve considered it to be a privilege to have people such as Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer David Hume Kennerly, and producer Ronald L. Schwary involved with Tour of Duty. They said it was an honour to have that kind of talent working on a television series.

Sheila: At the auditions, Joshua originally read for the role of LT. Think how differently things would have turned out.

Erika: He talked about how long the audition process was, too. He said he really enjoyed Horn's character, and that Stephen Caffrey did a great job as LT.

Sheila: Regarding Joshua's line in "The Hill:" "I don't believe in this war--I never did , I never will. But I do believe in helping my friends. I guess that's worth fighting for." I actually told Josh that this was my favourite line of his, and then he told me that he wrote that. He also said he wrote quite a lot of his lines in that episode. He looked really chuffed that I liked it.

Erika: I asked if he did his own harmonica-playing in the show, and he said that in the pilot episode, it really was his own playing and that he had had lessons. But that in another episode, the playing was dubbed in.

Sheila: I told Josh that I'd never known another show, English, Australian, American or anything, that was so perfectly cast and well acted. He seemed really touched.

He has already written an outline of a reunion script. This was something to do with the reunion movies talks last year when they were talking about the idea of a tragedy bringing them all back together.

Mel: I remember Joshua talking about pitching some mini-series projects to CBS. One in particular was based on Stephen Ambrose's book on D-Day. He said if it was picked up he had promised parts to the other guys.

Sheila: When we were talking about lines and scripts, Josh said something like, "except Terry, all he said/had to learn was move-move-move-move-move."

I asked Josh if he thought the cast brought their own personalities to the characters and he thought they did.

Erika: He said he related to Horn's character about the war, and that he brought that into his portrayal of Horn. He said although he tries to get into any character he plays--whether or not he's like them--with Horn, it resonated with him personally.

Sheila: Josh also said he knew his character was being written out. I think someone else asked whether or not it was his choice, and I don't think it was.

Josh and Steve agreed that the series went downhill after Season 1. In other words, after they had left! LOL I gather Josh thought the introduction of women in Season 2 was all wrong as well, but I can't remember all the conversation.

Sheila: Josh told us about the biscuit incident in Sitting Ducks, and the fact Terry thought Josh was going to kill him with his driving.

Erika: That sounded like a very eventful episode for Josh and Terry to shoot. LOL Josh said it had been a while since he'd driven a stick, and Terry was sitting in the jeep all sprawled out, arms hanging out the sides, and they passed through this gate. And Terry missed the gate "by this much."

With the biscuit incident, it was the scene of him and Terry staked out by the Buddhist temple, where his character Horn is devouring a bunch of crackers, driving the Sarge batty with all that crunching.

He said this was the longest shoot. They had to do about 25, or 40, or 50 takes. (Terry and Josh couldn't agree on a number.) He said it wasn't just his character who was hungry--he himself hadn't had anything to eat. So he really was hungry when they filmed this scene. When the writers had written this, they hadn't anticipated how the biscuit-eating would affect the shoot. So Josh would say his lines while chewing, and it just kind of came out like [mumble mumble mumble], and nobody could understand what he was saying. All it did was get food sprayed on Terry. So they kept filming that part over and over, and it was just more and more biscuits on Terry. Eventually they just started cracking up and it got to where they couldn't even look at each other any more. He said he probably went through 100 crackers.

He said you just don't do that with television. With movies, yeah, but you really don't see people doing 40 takes for a TV show.

I guess the crew thought it was worth the laughs, huh? LOL Does this have anything to do with the "biscuit man" thing with Terry?

Sheila: I didn't speak directly to Josh's wife but she seemed very nice.

Erika: I told her how wonderful it was that this event was put together, after all these years and that maybe now people have had more time to think back on the war and on ToD, too, and that the interest and dedication to the show was still strong. She agreed it was fantastic and it was clear she was proud of the show, and Josh's part in it.

Mel: Joshua's wife mentioned that she'd been involved with ToD from the beginning, that while she was still in school, she'd flown over to Hawaii several times to visit him during first season.

Mel: And Joshua's daughter - how lively she was, and struggling to get out of Dad's grasp and take off running (and the way she was kicking made me fear that Joshua was going to get hurt - LOL)

Sheila: Josh mentioned Craig, I remember saying he doesn't live that far from me. He asked us if we knew him and said something about what a nice guy he is.

Erika: When he was talking about Craig, he paused and asked something like, "Do you guys know him?" And we all nodded our heads and said, "Yeah!" in unison. He seemed pleasantly surprised, and he asked if we've ever talked to Craig or met him, and I said, "Oh yeah, we talk with him all the time." And Josh, knowing we were from all over the world, looked at us like, "Really? How?" and I added, "On the boards."

Sheila: I asked Josh if he thought the rest of the cast knew that there was still such a strong following of the show all these years later. He said he really didn't think they did.

Erika: And I think they themselves were surprised. On Friday when Joshua offered to bring his personal CBS photos, he said he hadn't brought them initially because they didn't know if anyone would even be interested! Can you imagine? But seeing our enthusiasm, he said he would definitely bring them the next day for us. And he did.

Sheila: I did ask Josh if he thought that now that the other cast knew there was such an interest in the show, would they be more likely to show up at a future convention? And he said he did think so.

Erika: As Joshua left on Saturday, he turned back around to us and said if there was another ToD convention he would be there.

The Burbank Report, Part 2, 
 Joshua Maurer

Posted by Erika/Kaj/Lindy/Mel/Pen/Sheila on 2/24/2007

* * * * * * * * * * JOSHUA MAURER (continued) * * * * * * * * * *

Lindy: WOW? What can I say?

Josh was just the sweetest most beautiful person. He was there with his wife and daughter and what a gorgeous family they make? I thought it was so sweet that Josh brought his family along to the convention. He was so amazing with his daughter. Feeding her, playing with her, bouncing her around, in between signing autographs for fans. What a lovely sight that was to see?

It was obvious to me that he is blissfully happy and content with life a.t.m. And he is an extremely proud man. Both of his work, and his family. And it shows.

When he spoke, he spoke quietly and really thought about every word that came out of his mouth. And he looked you right in the eye when he was talking to you. And there was a warmth and sparkle in those eyes. His interest in talking to the fans was genuine. And he was so easy to talk to.

he had some wonderful photos from his time on Tour of Duty and took time to explain to us where some of the shots were taken and from what episode they were taken. He autographed two for me and when I asked if I could have a photo taken with him, he welcomed me with open arms. He was quite tall beside me, and kindly offered to kneel so I didn't feel so short beside him, lol, Is that sweet, or what? It just meant the world to me.

He mentioned his two favourite photos (the one where he's looking rather pensive after shooting the bell down on Sitting ducks. And the other one is of him wearing his headscarf thingy LOL) Both photos were taken by this photographer (whose name I cant remember right now) But Josh likes the way the guy works. Apparently he is very popular with the celebrities. And Josh said you can always pick his photos. he just has a certain style and he's very very good.

Erika: Josh was talking about David Hume Kennerly. Both he and Steve admire his work.

Lindy: I mentioned to Josh that I was impressed with Horn's harmonica playing and his love of Blues in the series and right from the start of this Convention I intended to take along a harmonica and get Josh and Terry to autograph it. And maybe Id even get them to play us a song or two?

That's of course, if they really knew how to play.

Erika very kindly went and bought two harmonicas for us to get autographed. One for me and one for her.

Erika: Lindy told me about her idea on Wednesday night and I thought it was brilliant, to have Terry and Josh sign harmonicas. But being that it was Wednesday night and Lindy was in Burbank with no car, I decided to go on the harmonica-buying mission on Thursday while I was still in my own hometown. In hindsight if we had had more time, we could have brought dog tags or first-aid kits (?) for Steve, and skateboards for Eric to sign! Next time...

Lindy: For years I've been wondering if either Josh or Terry actually played? I doubted Terry did. But felt Josh may have dabbled a little. It sure looked like he was really playing on the show.

To my surprise, when I asked Josh, he recalled it as a very fond memory. Said he actually took lessons in playing, just for the show. And that he got pretty good.

Terry almost spat out his Pizza.

I then asked Terry about Zeke's mastery of the harmonica.

He was quick to admit he sucked. BIG TIME LOL. Not a musical bone in his body. And then praised Josh. Saying he really could play.

I said I loved the Horne/Zeke Anderson introduction in the Pilot episode. Where Zeke just falls in love with Rogers playing. And chooses him for the platoon solely so he can teach him to play LOL.

Then Josh wondered out loud....I wonder what happened to those harmonicas?

That was my cue right hand them the ones Erika and I had.

Josh was blown away. he thought it was a really novel idea to bring along harmonicas for an autograph.

he suggested we should sell them on Ebay LOL.

I said "NO WAY! Im keeping this"

Erika: Me too! It's super duper.

Lindy: I then got brave and asked both Josh and Terry if they'd play us a tune.

Terry just rolled his eyes LMAO

But Josh opened the case up, took out the harmonica, put it to his lips, and like he was born to it, played the softest sweetest blues melody. And he was really really good!

And I went OMG?? I really got him to play???? this is awesome. I gotta get a photo of this.


After he played, he autographed it for me. And autographed Erika's as well.

He then noticed the brand of harmonica was called a HOHNER.

"Well would you look at that? That's almost Rogers last name?. Hey, Lets do something fun here?" he joked

Then he crossed out some of the letters with his marking pen and made it read HORN

Then we got Terry to autograph them.

I made mention of his line "You're on the air, baby" in Under Siege saying all the guys sounded like they were clowning around in that part of the episode.

 He got real excited and was bursting with pride, "I adlibbed that. That line wasn't in the script at all."

Josh said how he'd gone to a market in Hawaii and bought these John Lennon glasses and when he put them on, he got in this real silly kind of mood. The line "You're on the air baby" just kind of sprang to mind and the words spilled out of his mouth.

Everyone cracked up. So the line stayed.

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