How famed TV director Lesli Linka Glatter deals with on-set a–holes

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104 shares, 165 points

AUSTIN, Texas — Lesli Linka Glatter, who has directed iconic TV shows including “Homeland,” “Mad Men” and “Twin Peaks,” doesn’t tolerate a–holes on the sets of her shows.

“I have taken people aside,” the Emmy nominee told Page Six at the ATX TV Festival over the weekend, “and said, ‘You can’t treat people like that on this set. We don’t do that.’”

Glatter added that she has no problem doing that either but noted that she would never call anyone out in front of the cast and crew.

“Usually what I found is if you talk to people about it, they actually feel relieved and will embrace that and have an amazing experience because they don’t have to have their backup, they’re not going to get attacked.

“So, to me, you just treat everyone with respect, and if I hear someone not being treated that way, I will definitely have a conversation with them.”

And while Glatter, 68, likes to make sure she’s creating a “harmonious environment” when she’s in the position to do so, she admitted — careful not to name names — that she’s walked into “very toxic environments” before.

“There are people who like the energy from conflict and chaos. Some people feed off of that,” she told us.

Claire Danes and Lesli Linka Glatter on a red carpet.
Glatter — pictured here with Claire Danes in 2018 — executive produced and directed “Homeland.”

Glatter has worked on — basically — every successful TV show of the last few decades from “Gilmore Girls” and “Pretty Little Liars” to “ER,” “House” and “True Blood,” but even she admits that it’s “painful” when she makes a wrong choice.

Again, careful to not be specific with shows, she explained that she once joined a network TV show that was “promised to be one thing and it felt like a bait and switch.”

“There was one particular show I would have given anything to get off of, but it would have been breach of contract, and that was miserable,” she told us, explaining that throughout her career, which she began as a dancer and a choreographer, she was always guided by passion over money. “So when you make the wrong choice, it’s painful. No one plans to make something badly. Everyone has good intentions to make a story well told.”

Lesli Linka Glatter, Rosie O'Donnell, Rita Wilson, Suzanne Todd and Demi Moore on the set of "Now and Then."
Glatter directed the 1995 coming-of-age film “Now and Then.”
New Line Cinema

And even though Glatter broke into Hollywood with help from her mentors, directors Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood, she was still treated less than by men in the business over the years.

“I had totally weird things said to me. Like, you just couldn’t avoid it. Like, you know, ‘We hired a woman once and it didn’t work,’” she said as an example. “No one would ever say, ‘We hired a white guy and it didn’t work. No more white guys. We are done with the white men. They’re done.’”

Glatter is currently working on “Love and Death” with David E. Kelley for HBO Max.

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