Over 30 years have passed since we were first introduced to Ron Underwood. It was 1990 and Kevin Bacon played the starring role in a little motion picture that could entitled Tremors. It was impossible to market (a comedy horror?) yet the film filled with such heart ultimately earned itself a substantial cult following—spinning off multiple sequels and two TV series over the next two decades. In fact, Underwood, the film’s director, says he returned from Tremorsfest, a fan weekend celebrating the film’s legacy, just last summer.

From Tremors to City Slickers and Heart and Souls to Mighty Joe Young, Underwood spent his first decade in Hollywood making feature films, but his shift to television has been quite remarkable in the last 25 years. Chances are, you’ve seen plenty of Underwood’s work (perhaps without noticing) since the list of shows includes TV’s biggest hits: Monk, Grey’s Anatomy, Nashville, Fear the Walking Dead, Scandal, Agents of SHIELD, Castle, Burn Notice, Boston Legal, Ugly Betty and a dozen more.

At the center of Ron’s incredible body of work—from his early days as an assistant trying to break into a tough industry to his current status as a sought-out director—the acclaimed director says his aim has stayed essentially the same decade after decade: to offer a story that truly connects.

On this episode of the Resistance, Ron joined us for a meaningful conversation about the importance of fear and what it signals, the work of stewarding creativity in a team setting, and the throughline of a long career in Hollywood. 

VISIT: Ron Underwood