Interview with Carla McCloskey

Carla McCloskey writes an inspirational and insightful book based on the wisdom she got from her grandmother."

Carla McCloskey grew up in Lodi, Wisconsin. She studied in Spain and graduated from the University of Wisconsin before moving to Los Angeles, California. Carla was a teacher, theatre director, actor, and musician before she was selected to become an assistant director by the Producers Association. She was one of the first women in this position. She met her husband, Leigh J. McCloskey, her first day in “the business” on the television series, Executive Suite, in which Leigh was starring. Carla went on to be the assistant director on many films including The Goodbye Girl, California Suite, Death Becomes Her, Point of No Return, Point Break, The ‘Burbs, The Color of Night, Hook and Jurassic Park. She worked with directors such as Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, Robert Zemeckis, Richard Rush, John Badham, Herbert Ross and Cher. She also worked on the television series Amazing Stories, Babylon 5, Ally McBeal, Gilmore Girls and The Closer. She began directing on Gilmore Girls. Carla also worked as a Production Executive for Sony in Spain.

Carla McCloskey writes with the wisdom and simplicity that she learned during her early life in Lodi, Wisconsin,a picture-perfect small midwestern town.

At her Grandmother's side she developed the life tools to balance rich personal relationships and family with a demanding life in Hollywood as a director and assistant director to many of today's most notable actors and filmmakers. She lives in Malibu, California with her husband, Leigh J. McCloskey.

They have two daughters, Caytlyn and Brighton. Her husband, Leigh, is an actor, author and artist. Together they have shared the many facets of a life in Hollywood while never forgetting to live a life in love. Carla has successfully counseled many friends and colleagues over the years and is often acknowledged as the therapists' therapist. She has written Grandma Told Me So to help others find and keep the best possible relationships in their lives.

1. Carla you have written your first book, what inspired it?

I had been working on some major films such as Hook and Jurassic Park which I know affect many people, but I felt that I wanted to do something personally for others. I meditated for months asking the question what I could do to help others and I finally heard the words, “Write what you know.” My husband and I are blessed with an amazing relationship. I felt I could share with others the wisdom that makes a relationship work. This wisdom comes from many sources including my grandmother, my husband, myths, and stories from our lives in Hollywood.

2. You have had a long successful marriage to artist and actor Leigh McCloskey and you guys host a variety of events at your home, please tell us a bit about them.

We have had philosophical discussion groups in our home, Olandar, for thirty-five years. After I retired from my film career I decided I wanted to have salons here and our home has become a venue for artists to showcase their work.We have wonderful events multiple times a week. Primarily we screen documentaries with the filmmakers including Phil Donahue, Louis Psihoyus (The Cove), Tom Shadyac, other Academy Award winners and nominees here for Q & A. We also have musical events (The Yale A Capella Choir, Jazz and Classical groups), One man shows on Walt Whitman and Thomas Paine, amazing speakers on everything from String Theory to Healthy Eating and Meditation, Sound Healing—the list is long and very diverse. I LOVE having these events. We have become a center of community in Malibu and many call us the best kept secret in Los Angeles. Word is getting out so we’re not such a secret anymore, but we love the creative and passionate people who come here. My husband, Leigh, has created an amazing room called The Hieroglyph of the Human Soul. Before each event he gives a tour of this completely painted, multi-dimensional space. People come from all over the world just to see his creation. Check out his website to see more Needless to say it makes for an amazing evening to experience The Hieroglyph and then a wonderful program. People leave here very inspired. It makes us very happy.

3. What was the most important advice your grandmother gave you?

My grandmother was an amazing woman. She raised me to appreciate the values of a traditional Midwestern lifestyle. She taught me so much. I have a list of 89 of her maxims that I weave throughout my book. Such sayings she would repeat such as “Walk what you talk” or “To have a friend, be one”, but I think the ones that came to be important for me after facing death a few times was to never procrastinate—“Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today” or “We are here today and gone tomorrow—live today.” It is so important to make the changes necessary and take action to have a loving relationship today and to do the things that are important today. We might not be here tomorrow.

4. You have also had quite a successful career in film production and have worked with some pretty notable filmmakers, will you continue this?

I am forever grateful for the amazing career I had in film and the fantastic people I worked with, but I don’t intend to continue in this arena. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose,” Grandma’s Maxim #65. I so love what I am doing now and I have a wonderful sense of purpose and fulfillment. I also don’t have to get up at 330AM and work 18 hours a day!

5. Will there be a sequel to your book and where can we purchase it?

I have two other books in progress—“Living in an Alien Body” which is advice for people who have had strokes and “Small Miracles and Minor Wonders” chronicling the amazing things that happen to us every day. When you notice these miracles and wonders and thank the universe for them they happen even more frequently.

There may be a sequel to Grandma Told Me So. You can buy my book at Bank of Books in Malibu, Diesel, the Bookstore in Brentwood and Mystic Journey Bookstore in Venice. Of course it is online, but I like to promote these independent small bookstores. You can also come to one of our wonderful events and buy it here at Olandar. Send me your email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will add you to our list.

The link to buy the book on Amazon is:

There is also an ebook available at Barnes and Nobles and other websites.