Austin Nelson from Louisville, KY
Aside from watch TCM, what do you do?
I make one-of-kind custom plush toys. I started out making plush tea sets and dolls for my girls. I once made a plush chainsaw. The coolest thing that I think I have ever made is a plush Godzilla doll and a tiny Tokyo set. My oldest daughter was obsessed with Godzilla when she was three.
What’s your favorite movie snack?
Popcorn! Every movie is more magical with popcorn! (I won’t turn down Milk Duds, though.)
What’s your favorite part of TCM?
Everything! TCM is an old friend that I couldn’t live without. When I was in 7th grade I was really sick for two months. That was when I discovered TCM. The first film I ever watched was The Long Hot Summer. Two words into Robert Osborne’s introduction and I was hooked. I saved my allowance and subscribed to the Now Playing magazine. I used to highlight the movies I didn’t want to miss and stocked up on VHS tapes. Today I get to share my passion for TCM with my girls. Our favorite Christmas movie tradition is watching Bundle of Joy and Susan Slept Here together.
What’s your favorite movie genre?
I love Mysteries and Suspense films. Hitchcock is a personal favorite, but The Last of Sheila is the bee‘s knees.
Who’s your favorite actor or actress or filmmaker of all time? And why?
I am and have always been obsessed with Joan Crawford! I love the free spirited firecracker that she is in the 1930’s, the quietly intense goddess of the 1940’s and the over-the-top melodramatic of the 1950s and 1960’s. I especially love Flamingo Road, Queen Bee and Straight Jacket.
Who would you be thrilled to meet, and what would you say?
I actually did meet Gregory Peck! I was 17 and he was having dinner in the hotel where I was attending my Junior Prom. I had the biggest crush on him! I went up to him and just gushed! He was SO kind. He invited me to join him and we talked for an hour. I felt so glamorous and grown-up in my ballgown, dining with Gregory Peck!
What do you collect?
I love to read! My passion is hunting down and reading the novels that my favorite classic movies are based on. My favorite is my 1st edition of Today is Tonight by Jean Harlow. I also have a British 1st edition of Before the Fact, the book that inspired Hitchcock’s Suspicion and a signed 1st edition of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. It took me three years to find a copy of The Mirage by Edgar Selwyn, which inspired the Crawford/Gable collaboration Possession.
If you had to pick just one, what would be your favorite movie?
Vertigo. No question about it. My husband is from San Francisco and on one of my first visits to his family, his mother drove me around the city and showed my every location! She knew where the Podesta Baldocchi shop had been, where Madeleine’s apartment building and Scottie’s house were and the hotel where Judy lived. My in-laws had gotten married at Mission Dolores and my mother-in-law got us a special tour. It was perfect. Our day ended at the Argonaut Book Shop (Pop Leibel’s bookstore was modeled after it) where I bought my favorite book on the missions in California.
Thank you Austin! For being in our Member Spotlight, we're sending you a vintage, official TCM Now Playing Guide magazine holder, stocked with some cool vintage issues. They're not exactly rare books, but we promise that they're all first editions.
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