INTERVIEW

Paul Telfer (Xander, DAYS) shares his top recommendations

Netflix Series: “I am sure everyone is saying it but I absolutely love COBRA KAI. It’s just fantastic. I always loved The Karate Kid when I was growing up. Karate Kid is one of the most perfect films, and for them to do such a clever, heartfelt, exciting, funny follow-up to it all these years later that still somehow honors the sequels, which I know everyone doesn’t like but I do because I’m a nerd, it’s just fantastic. The fact that my wife absolutely loves it, too, just speaks to how well-done it is.”

Podcast? “I’m very late to podcasts — I just listen to NPR in my car — but the only one I do listen to is the TCM one with Peter Bogdanovich [The Plot Thickens]. I love TCM and I’d always read the Bogdanovich stuff over the years, and it’s really, really well done, especially if you love old movies like I do.”

Book: “It’s very heavy and my wife is finishing it now, but it’s called The Darkening Age by Catherine Nixey. It’s about the beginnings of the Christian church and the end of the Classical period of stoicism and all of the different religions that were in Greece and Italy during the time of the rise of Christianity. It’s just fascinating. Just a completely different perspective on the early parts of Christianity before it became a global religion. It’s written by the daughter of a monk and a nun, and it’s really well-done.”

Exercise Program: “I’ve been working out at home like everyone else, and I don’t know if what I do is particularly useful to anyone else, but an exercise staple throughout the past six months has been an overhead squat. It’s a very complicated maneuver where you hold weights over your head and squat down with them extended — it’s really tricky in terms of balance. But if you have a lot of space and a lot of time, I’ve been doing that. Overhead squats, I dare you to try them.”

Charitable Organization: “The one that I work with the most is called Homes for Families. It’s a nonprofit construction company that builds affordable housing for veterans — especially disabled veterans, and it helps them buy the homes and build equity in them and actually have a nest egg — and look[s] after people who are transitioning back into civilian life.”

Musical Group: “Our main quarantine jams has been Phantogram. We’ve been a huge fan of Phantogram through this. They’re like a pop band, like alternative pop, but their lyrics are super-dark and have been on the nose about a lot of the quarantine stuff; some of the lyrics feel like they were written during the quarantine. So the lyrics are depressing but the music is uplifting, so you get the best of both worlds.”

Kitchen Appliance: “Really, the main thing I’ve been using in the kitchen is my cast-iron skillet. We’ve been grazing throughout the day and cooking one big meal, and the skillet is usually the beginning of that. Ten dollars. Cast-iron skillet. You can’t beat it.”

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