« Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

Bradley Whitford

Bradley Whitford (The West Wing, The Handmaid’s Tale, Get Out) is an American actor and political activist. Bradley chats with the armchair expert about growing up in a Quaker household, the impact of social change through storytelling and the three thoughts that flood his brain when receiving direction. Dax asks about the events that led to Bradley writing episodes for The West Wing and Bradley talks about his experience of playing complex characters. The two talk about professions that draw arrogant people and their mutual desire to say the worst thing at the worst moment.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome, welcome! Welcome an armchair expert Dan Shepherd joined by Emmy nominated Monsoon, Monica flipped it monuments and at no real. It's too met maximum minute. Amanda, soon mouse pattern. Here today we have one of our favorite actors on we love Bradley Whitford. Every time he pops up in a show, I git up burst of excitement, Saxon Natural that actor he so unique got real fingerprint asian american actor is a political activists, he's been nominated for three primetime Emmy awards and one one for his betrayal of White House, deputy chief of staff, Josh Lyman in the West wing.
Greater. Obviously he was also in and get out becomes incredible, and then we have most recently fall in love with him all over again and handmaids tail subject. At a caveat, this was recorded before the many many protests. So please excuse Bradley myself in Monica is silence on the topic throughout the interview, but we do talk about it in fact check the fact check
of the day, its own point, yeah or please enjoy Bradley Whitford. We are supported by policy genius, there's, never a bad time to save money, but now, more than ever, finding smart ways to put some cash back in your pocket can make a big difference. One way to do that is simply to save on thing. Georgia pay for like home insurance. If your own home, reshaping your home insurance rights policy genius could save you a good chunk, a change in the best part. Is you barely need to lift a finger to do it first, first, first head depositing? Is that common answer? A few quick questions about yourself in your property? Then policies will compare your policy against options from top insurers to make sure you're getting the right home insurance coverage at the best possible price policy. Genius finds a better rate than what your currently pain will do. All the work to get you switch a car to policy genius can compare your home an auto policies across different insurers and even mix and match to find you savings. They ve saved their customers. An average of
oh seven hundred and twenty seven dollars per year. Doing just that. So if he liked to put a little cash back in your pocket right now see how much you can saved by re shopping, your home insurance rates at policy genius, Dotcom He'S- Why is this happening. Our EU recording only I, the Abbe, are always be recorded, we're mega fans. Big tat, legitimate mega fans. Of course I go straight imagining what you're like honest sat My interest in you on set is just just know that I'm trying to around out a fantasy. I have about you as a huge France. Just know that that's worth mean from I actually love to be on a set
matter what the material is. I firmly believe that the best preparation for any kind of acting is just to fuck around as much as possible. We must go to the same school, of acting like to a fault them a little too much. You know like happy you now Remember when I started doing movies. I couldn't act until I got a like a laugh out of the crew yeah, so I think to a fault, I'm kind of a people pleaser like I don't get and fights with directors or shit. But if I'm totally honest yeah be honest, Gaza admit to all my shitty behaviour anytime. Any director has ever said anything to me. I go through three silent beats fuck you, I said: ok, what Yes at I'd, like every actor, does to a certain extent.
It can be a marital dynamic. He as well- and I think most of us get to ok what quickly there some people who live on I suck there's some people live on fuck. You can, I add a fourth tier to that which Fernand he is. I fucking did so I also have in my head. I go. I just did exactly that: some defensive, no matter what they say right any yet if they say something completely novel and new, I am my mind still. I did that in the last take in you must have mystic, as you are paying attention the right. I have the filter through that one too. What's really sad about this. Is that the repressed nature of it, because I and I really love directors and I really get along with them, but I fancy is about doing two directors. What directors due to actors by just stand behind them and go yet that shots. You know, I don't think you're. I don't think your gun, just like it like note the fuck out of their direction yacht I've fantasies about
and preferably before they have even made a decision right, because that's kind of my favorite set a notes is like, after up, let's hear the words out loud, rehearsal in then yet some notes like hole and stole your sabre. I haven't even started this. Thank you. even seen me sap, yet I do feel very bad for them, though you must as well especially on West Wing too walk in and Swami violent all best TB director of all time or up there get creates, is very specific terms, look everything the walk and talk that everyone's famous war, and then you got a kind of its it's almost like, given the middle of a attend Tina movie. They let someone come in and indirect a few scenes. Its rivals, preposterous right,
and even in a less exalted television situation there in a terrible position, because they are outsiders who have to pretend to be authority. Figures will end right at an end. It's impossible unrest, solvable quandary. It's like transferring to a new school and then assuming the role of president of the school in your first week like no one's gonna like that do now. he's gonna like in any, and they should make every actually John Well used to do this. John walls would encourage actors at a certain point it to do. Because it's a great thing to do in a long running, show because it make sure actors a lot more sympathetic and cooperate it needs of production.
I cannot agree more so a year. I was on parenthood for six years and I loved the freedom we had. We got two Improvin every heap in that directive and I was like what a fuckin shit show this as an wrangling and fourteen CAS members who have been given total Carte Blanche to Improv in trying to land the play need seen. It was exhausting, yet Mark deplores and stealing his line He was being interviewed on NPR and they said so. You know you're what a career you know: you're you're, an actor you're, a writer you're at director you're a producer, those experiences different, and he starts to laugh areas. Yeah yeah, it's different. If you're a pretty
Sir Writer or director you had the burden of parenthood like your your parenting, this project and in infinite responsibility to bring this thing to fulfil its potential, when you're an actor. It's like you're, a drunk uncle who comes over gives the kids a bunch of Orioles. Let somebody else put to sleep is absolutely true and I gotta go right on West Wing was gonna bring that up, I got to say people have interviewed. Many of us have gone to direct but the notion that you ended up writing to episodes of West Wing blows my mind and I have more respect for that than anything else I mean. I noticed this coming up in the theater. It's not like these. Rate playwrights come along and they're just people who can act them
you know there are always there always there acting skill is common, and I mean I was the miracle of West Wing was Aaron just like ranking. At this insane pace. That will never happen again. He wrote twenty two one hour: episodes for four years: that's the equivalent of eleven feature films a year for four years, says that it is not possible at never seen anyone on a roll. Like that, an end for us. You know the experience with it all feels like upstream like the the material socks you're being rejected nothing nothing really works. I guess it's. You just do vanity sort of keeping you go on, but it really feels very upstream and then like it. Just felt like. Oh
well. They like I'm nuts women upstream anymore, I'm surf, and on top of this freaks writing you now Ah, there was a mind boggling thing. Obviously people know his great writer, but an unacknowledged into mission and skill of his. He could pick up on and exploit what different actors could do was stunning, Richard Chief, he played Toby and he was a guy who's. Brother happens to be my roommate in college, and I had known Richard forever Richard, like a brother, and there's. There is tension in that that nobody would know and Aaron just intuitively picked it up
it actually has to do with what we are saying. I'm like this pathetic floppy puppy. You know wanting everybody to like me. Richard doesn't give a shit he's kind of dark, my joke about him, I'm sure he hates it. When I say But my joke is Richard stewing one man show the only problem. Is he hates the cast? When there was This opposites, dynamic between that error immediately picked up on and put into the political arena and Aaron saw what was happening. with you now and me play Donna, just aside happening because he wrote lay. It was really interesting because now, as you know, we're doing six or thirteen episodes and everything gets mapped out, We had done West wing that way we never would have discovered kind of the relationship with Josh. Donna
They are errands like watching the dailies. Writing the next scrapped going. Oh god, you know with. Let's do that. There is such a benefit to the fact that things are mapped out may become so Syria lies and obviously it's best exemplified in handmaids I love that, but you're right, you don't have the freedom to like recognise some magic to characterise, have and then double down a mad or increase their storyline over the next three things like yeah you'd lose some freedom. It's interesting because it just occurred to me and I've never said this or thought this, but what interesting about working with Aaron who is notoriously, like you, treat him like a play right, meaning you make every word work, you don't you don't go. I've said to be or not to be too. We need to say that the question left Europe. Yeah. You know you figure out a way to make it work and when you doing Aaron stuff, you realise that there is this, that this real rhythm to it. So there is a real structured. What you do-
but with Aaron, you feel like the writers improvising brilliantly, as rise to crafting presenting its just come out of him, and then you get to do at the next week gets a weird combination, yeah A friend did a show of his sports night, and yet he said they would often Firstly, city man sat near dip, the pages are going to be able to stay there coming down and he would literally be upstairs writing that Madam president, war drove already met by now for you to try to write an episode is audacious at the very least it something that he, said you like hey. Do you want to write one cuz, I think I just tell you personally, I stupidly send an episode of parenthood it to our creator, Jason Katims. So hey I wrote this episode and it did not go well.
in retrospect, yeah sure of it was a very serious eyes thing, and I wrote this one off episode and I don't want the pagoda knew him, but it was a rough rough go This was really where the way it happens, era Tommy left after the fourth year. Then it became a more conventional John. Well, running the writers round. And it was everybody knows now he was the show run or any are for yeah yeah. What's incredible, and I asked John once What did you allow like my own mother was like during those first four years? What if Aaron Sorkin gets hit by a bus like what happened and are even food poisoning would fuck everything. I love I asked John I'm so grateful. You did trust Erin entirely with us, but it goes so against the way you like to run a show. How could you do it and without this debate he said when extraordinary talent comes along you, let them run free
which you know the show would not have worked without John, perhaps reluctantly, taking his e r schwinn and just putting a cone around Erin and Tommy, and the rest of us, so that we could do we want when IRAN and Tommy left it was like David caress leaves the branch diminish like you're going somewhere else is totally disorienting, fears that in the house and use knows he's walking down know the driver is David, got a suitcase within issue. I sacrifice, the child, her head season, five, you know. Suddenly we have a writing room.
And everybody was sort of trying to do then imitation of Erin beyond then, in the last couple of years, I think the show kind of found its post Aaron voice became a little bit of a different shop. Anyway, I hadn't idea and I had started pitching ideas, and then I was posted direct, for the first time and I went to John and my dear friend, Eli Addy, the writer who used to be a speech or gore in and worked in. The Clinton White House was a dear friend said the John. I have this idea that I Eli for the episode. I direct, and he said: what's the idea I told them said, give me one page outline, and I said I don't know what you mean and he said just write the story in a page, and I said: ok sirens storing a page and then the next day said three pages. I did that
and then he said five pages and then he said look. I think this is a good idea. I think you might be able to write this if you can give me basically seventy pages in a week, I'll put it on tv and I was in his office my on. Are you u written? Prior to this? I have written some love notes, Our trade at some apologies sum up another guards as this and deepest regrets Kurds. But I was excited about. Writing is thing that I had always want to do. I was not pitching myself right and I think the Monday and his like uniting Gimme seventy pages by next Monday. If you fail, you know, you know, will step in YAP anyway. It was a terrifying. Writing is a particular.
Mind fuck your bobbing in a sea of failure alone, and I loved it inside. It was some weird because, like I'd, never written anything and then like two weeks later hours in June, is doing a monologue. There's nothing like it. Yes, still, I honestly have not seen olive West. early on. I just realized. I don't watch what specifically taken. People that westwards actually a seven year saga of the tragedy of a receding hairline I mean there's nothing like tracking something had, I think, gain right. You know, actors are, I think the reason. A lot of actors are like alcoholics. Waiting to happen is because you are this tiny percentage of humanity that wanders into a Broadway play Ngos I wanna do there
the other like it's a very fucking assertive? You know why I no longer we use the word entitled like. I should do that. Do yeah, it's Eric and and and then you become an actor and you are rendered. Tireless passive you. are at the mercy of somebody writing something you're at the mercy of getting chosen and there's no resolution to this incredibly asserted pathetic need to it public and then being rendered just totally passive. very funny moment I haven't ones is like
a long time is before West Wing, and I was at my brother's house in Boston and his daughter was having a birthday party and this like sweet. Like you know, five year old girl came over to me and said: are you an actor- and I said yeah yeah. Yes, we, I am, and she said, acting now, an ice I said no, no, no! No, she said. Are you acting tomorrow and I banana. Now she said wool. What do you do all day when are not acting and without missing a beat just in formation. Only to this child to explain, I said, I drive around our and I try to make people like me
yeah. That's literally, Canada nodded and walked away, and I was like this fuckin check off play like weeping on a tree like once bonds, I'm in Hollywood use a little girl that got through to Leonardo. ok. Speaking of that, where do we think it all comes from so you're born? in whisk concept than you moved, a Pennsylvania, you grew up in a Quaker household. I have a very limited knowledge of what a Quaker household looks like. I just have the oats. Obviously, in my kitchen they are very wholesome pitcher and lifestyle. Did you explanation for desiring this attention now well now, first of all, Everybody knows that doesn't mean more amish, but well I'm glad you clarified what I did a lot of people like that you heard compounded by the fact that you guys Moody Pennsylvania, which calm to the Pennsylvania Dutch in the Amish,
Isn't the big amish country yeah it is there. Absolutely nothing to do with each other, and my parents became quakers. They wanted to raise their kids as Quaker, the main thing about Quakerism is There's no mediator between you and whatever your experience of the divine is there's no rabbi. There's no preacher, it's a group meditation, I A friend of mine currently is into it and it's like a town hall meeting right. There's no hierarchy and it's like someone can present an idea and then, ultimately, it's all about kind of world service. Yes, The main thing I got as a kid was that your religious experience was meaningless if it did not mean taking action on behalf of others, out in the world nonviolence is the other basic ten an end. Is it's a powerful thing that I struggle with, because I am appalled by violence. I've never been in
fight. I would never go near any sort of physical altercation, but it brings up a lot of questions, especially as I get older. It's very easy to be filled the clean non violent by being emotionally nonviolent in a world where Donald Trump as president in office once things the most yet, where the most disturbing things to me, raising kids is that you know Harvey. Why seems the most successful matured producer in the last fifty years? Donald Trump is present. Apparently being a malignant narcissists works. Yeah I mean I think you could argue that many of the people in the history books were well first and foremost narcissists and then whether they were malignant or not, is I guess, up to interpretation. We have interviewed a bunch of surgeons and we see this like.
parallel between different occupations in the surgeons in general, this you know over generalizing, very arrogant, so fucking. Arrogant, and at the same time I'm going. Thank God there arrogant I dont the guy opening up my skull to doubt himself right or wrong pick a fuckin direction. Go there so all these little niches in the world where all these different personality types ultimately bear fruit, but then they got to live in real life. They got to go home and be a husband and a dad. In that case, serve them. Well, in that situation right I have a funny story. I'm from this weird my parents had three kids and then it basically a ten year break them. My brother, the mistake and on
like the mistakes friend my mom's earliest memory, we're funerals during the flu epidemic. Oh my god. Oh my god, she was born a nineteen fourteen, so I lived in this house. Were it was you know, direct experience. this year through my mother and I will always remember a kind of looking up at the ceiling and gone the second wave you now realize tat the wife but I have this. A brother in law is in his eighties and he's a retired surgeon, his best law, and ever Wes I sent out surgery. and he said as stuff. We lost the sky and I said what what did he die of any goes number one killer, bad luck! no fuck and cure her again
I want the person of fatally with the inside of my body, to have that you know I dont want someone who's We will ensure emotion all I want a Fuckin fighter pilot in their yeah. I don't want a surgeon who you knows. Hobby is haiku. no we're ever goes about Quaker yeah, yeah, Quaker, followed, was everywhere, around you also Quaker we're gonna Quaker, commune now another was that hard in school. If you're, a sort of like nonviolent, you have the sort of one path that the kids around you don't and our fights Staff, I don't know, was easy. I was eating nobody Pixel Quakers, we picked you could pick on.
immigrants in June on the people first round battle furs, yeah you're out Quakers, is a big step, and probably I like almost all a little like look. What gets me after we finish off with a guy with a weird pengelly. We got a fuckin run him up. Like born a jerk and even functions, it is going to hangs there we're not even done with the queers yet for young people. They made the to do list of a bullet. It's you know, there's a lot on their play. Yes, we're getting. I was hair and eleventh Grain I have to be taught in other, Guy I owe my high school Madison. These ties got lost, his name was KEN seamen oh wait. A minute. I mean they're gonna, Miss Eyre Game, right, opposition,
I wish we got no, but I want you to my mind. Parents wake up That's it. That's a movie! I haven't thought about anyone black, given our problem, a line on Facebook that I might terrorists became quakers because my mother liked Quakers, because they have this idea, it's the reasoning another minister, that God is in every body, whatever goddess but she hated organised religion hated it hated. Some is she would Put it goddamn man up there in in a costume telling me what my religious experience would be, My mom, I think, was actually wonderful about that. She would say the spiritual party tricks of organised religion. You know, turning water and the wine miracles she's like if you can't look in your child's I and know that that there is a god, then nothing's going to help you but spare
the party tricks who I like your mom, I like the only thing she wanted in her obituary- was proud. Atheist, strict quakers didn't even have music or anything. So I think I was I used to have fantasies of like that. You know in the middle of the silent meditation of like a white piano being we without the middle of the room and James Brown and a red jumped suit that, although there is something that I want to know in general, in life as you enter a room in you assess everything in the room Do you immediately figure out what the very worst thing you could say would be the S maid to I've made absolutely terrifying, jokes, it's something about you want to
your finger in the fan you now that I feel in every room I enter has the stakes of a high rise that I'm standing on top of like I know what I could do to ruin everything in a second. Yes, all do too This is a joke that I made us working with somebody, and I realise that aid really horrible thing did their child had done and was in jail forever and others is that is ripe for a job well done I would I so by- and I love this guy and I'm hearing this extraordinary. I mean the worst nightmare possible and we were good friends on the set and I knew he was safe, but he bore him really opened up to me about the specifics of the horror, of this event. I said to him: I know how you feel I did a couple of pilots. It didn't get picked up.
Yes, appreciate it. He actually loved him. He said. Thank you think you think he's probably everyone's being so, which is a trigger for me, is probably people are being patronising and some him everywhere he goes he's got this terrible news. Everyone knows he gets this kind of this, like you, know, really predictable sadness yet for someone to make it novel problem. He's just like. Oh I mean that's what I tell myself when I Those same jokes like I'm gonna break him. Out of this right right right like you want to rationalize it, like you, do in a public markets, the things that the bigger the target, the more you want to do it I didn't. I did one with Clint Eastwood, thank God. It was fine
I've got a big Briggs Wing or the vendor. There was a big sway. I have to say I said this before, but handmaids tail is a particularly funny situation because that the crew, their genetically staring typically kit, their Canadians in there just the swedish people in the world. So you hear things like. Ok, I don't want to Russia, but I think we should get the noses on the girls Oh, no, I get how to spread your legs a little. We can't see. Oh thank you. Thank you. General Tilney, combined with the horror always with MOSS, is like she's doing. Sophie's choice, the faculty,
my God knows he's the best actor to ever be on television by current candle fini, for me, are just type is acting with her. You know I got to work with her when she is kid. She is not only giving this performance and like it is the weird lay the sweet. Sat in the world really had yet yeah seems so heavy? We concept, we watch it. My wife like how do you live in that world sixty five hours a week it will be like k o we're ready and she just explodes. You know what this camera raining down on your face now go we gotta go again. You know this is, after all, she is unbelievable. In fact, we had to shut down. She was directing for the first time Ah bomber, you guys were in production when they started yeah. I want a bummer. Stay to arm chair. If you dare, we are supported by bro
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To act. Rounded, did it pose any insecurity for you did you feel like you're superpower was a little bit neutralize going to that set Dana read an australian director who spent task. I was Workin the first day and she kept saying can take some more time and then she said, oh catholic. We have it and I suggest you one more she's a church. The action was in the middle, the conversation I get up, I go into the kitchen, I come back and I opened a beer and I pour it and just as you know, for fun once we had it, you don't set of opening it on the way back. I came, I put it down. I put my class down. I found the opener I took the time.
I poured it and the United took like two minutes to poor this, this fuckin beer and that's the take. We used no share and she's like that's it, and then I felt like I had incredible licence. There's real freedom, emotional, internal freedom when you're liberated from the tax. A obligation of spewing lines now, but that characters just such an interesting at the risk of sounding pretentious. But I've been so lucky that I got to take a turn laid in a career where the act got more interesting, yeah and common denominator was, and the sounds were stupid is just like. Acting is now
that narrowing the aperture of behavior but late. It's finding in these characters where you can open it up like in get out the slightest several things happening at once, and then I got two acts: I'm gonna name drop with Merrill, Streep and standing in front of her. You realize oh she's playing five pianos like like this, thirty five things going on and it serve opened up this kind of exciting, different waves of sort of thinking about not narrowing that opening it up in that character. It's a very fertile ground for a lot of contradictory, where things going on, I think of them, as is sort of like a rabbit Mcnamara who prosecuted the war in Vietnam. It somebody who's, humanity,
obliterated by their big brain here and now the humanities Connally, you know Pekin around, but it's in play You know I mean yeah yeah yeah. Well, what would so fascinating your character and handmaids is like you're just always riveted about whether he is good or bad light ever will pause, but we watch all these together Christian in Montana and we pause will have like a fuckin twelve minute conversation and I'll make my case. clues I've gathered about, you are you're, ultimately, gonna be good or bad, and then they make their case, and I mean what Could you want some, pause and debate whether you're, good or bad, like the fuckin dream. I thank you on a lesser show, a character like this, who is objectively evil would have a an epiphany
and become a hero, yeah Gaia, which would be a total insults to the integrity of the obstacle that a character like June would have to ACE, it'll, be way too easy. There's a scene where I all the commanders over and I make her walk across the room and get a book There are several things going on there, one the commanders of fighting, so, let's just bond over some basic Juliet massaging. The other thing is: is that I'm testing her? You know, potentially going out on a very dangerous limb with this person in what's interesting? Is that unites series is she's.
Leading us and we don't even know it yeah. Oh it's so goddamn guides. So there you better get out, and I was just putting the pieces together that so called that you ve been a part of these two projects. Handmaids tail and get out that are so culturally relevant to the afghan wearing communion than the feminism community, like their psych anthems for both and urine. oh, that's so cool, and that is just luck that you know people are just asked because of Wesleyan like how do you shape your your career, and it always makes me laugh because in is like ninety four maybe with clenched sweat, and I brought the New York Times up to him and the arts and leisure section said something like Clint Eastwood Vision of America as it hey. Did you see this any just started laughing at a vision of America? Like ten years,
I was working with our rang a tank now they think I'm gonna work. There is a fantasy. Are some illusion that people are charging out these trajectories and it just minaret case I mean I think I said why did you catch means said I to study funny to see Josh Lyman Take the top of someone's had nobody here clearly playing on you, know the good liberal Do I love that because I got to say you're the White NASH, we're very aware of it, but when you it's how you re out of the gates that you fuck him love tie your hoods like out, I mean so accurate, the whole white liberal, the Martin Luther King speech, beware of the white level it's all like, as played so perfectly to cause you really. You know that you believe that that's
good thing, you're say listen. I did not think that I would vote for Obama. Fur third term was lifeline like it was just I opened to like yes, every time they fucking have to deal with one of its white people. Either options bad, that's enough was so fun that exclude creating a man How long is this being on our own? I can tell you like, like I read that script at this desk and I closed, allow when an intact the area- and I said Oh, my god like it's up for had Knocker, because
Our movies are about shit. We can't talk about sex and death and nobody had pressed race through that. It's really interesting in all of these things that have sort of culturally land It is because these creators, in addition, their genuine political point of view, are just impatient. Showman, like you know, Jordan is strapping you on a roller coaster, ride of horror that will make what he was talking about, resonate in a way no essay ever. Could you know, but it's very generous to the audience.
oh yeah, it's covered in candy, right and Sorkin in a different way. Although people go, you have at their talk, and so fast errand is throwing interesting characters. You know comic elements. You know I want to let them gonna, given that fourth facts well, Aaron was aware that you do not want to serve civic vegetables. If you want to penetrate the culture you to be focused on storytelling. I mean, what's amazing, just about Jordan. I loved can't peel so much and I was always gotta. I would like to see me. I want your background crossed Yeah you know, and then that show ended and then the script was incredible, but you dont know if it's gonna work were shooting in Alabama spots, shoot no way the experts, the highest expectation of this thing was: it would be a little smart. Our house weirdo horror thing
We want finishing the takes scorn. An arm Jordan called the into loop, and I said how is it you guys? I think it's really fucking actually think it's really good. Like I love you but, like you know, you have to think that I mean you ve just spent in a two years to his knees like nigh, think it's actually I think it's kind of work and for further table any wouldn't. Let me watch anything other from when I had the loop and then I saw the screening at Sunday answers this midnight screening, man. I had never seen a souffle rise like that, the ass crazy praise- all I have a question for you: did you transition from I'm never going to work again to you know what I have a skill set and I'll work like. I have a thing and I will work and I can stop obsessing about that, but it did that happen for you
I would say I like my career goal, is always been like it to have enough money to die in a single room. I just had right as a goal to have yeah. I just don't want other families there. I would just four for a preferred to be alone, although its constant statement skirted right before get out that feels relatively recently like five years ago, has gone. Is this can work anymore? right right right. Do I have to re, evaluate a bunch of. I did a ploy Broadway and there was a person who had won a Tonia worn in the is, and was now an understanding was leaving to go, become a sky.
TG now, in any other, the equivalence of winning a tony award. If you're a lawyer is like arguing a case in front of the Supreme Court, if you ever do that you're going to work forever, there is a constant pain of unsettledness about this that I I never quite get used to it. If we ever go back, I'm doing I'm playing Stephen Sondheim in Lynn, Miranda's movie assigned time from the outside. It almost looks like he's trying to destroy his career like yeah. I'm going to do this painting. This is about a mass murderer, mental musical. The idea- and I think the danger in show business is when you think You know what you're doing First job I ever got in New York, I got out of school and I was very lucky, but I was like catering proofreading and then suddenly, Dull Pullman drops out of this protection of of curse, start starving,
and they were moving from off after off Broadway Cathy Bates was in it. Sam Shepherd Play SAM, you know was around and it was this phenomenal job, and you know that play now cover seen it in this. There is a moment, were character. Wesley Travis, suddenly walks out onstage straight towards the audience completely buck. Naked dripping, wet, ok and then squats, that's what you were doing naked now, I am and picks up alive, Lamb named. Why named Merrill cheap. later in the play this he takes the lamb and slaughtered lamb off stage in any freaks out, starts thrown food in his mouth and one one night, I'm on stage and weeping
and I'm on the Florida literally eating the props you this food as a fridge, and I feel this electric sizzle gag in the bag of my throat ETA goes down and I commend stead and I get salmonella poison which is even if ever had. It is just your spewing yeah, and I have not yet learned that if there is anything that does not have to go on its the show it's so and I had an under study, but you know I didn't want to miss the shop and mean the salmonella was like acted for like three weeks, all it was so close. Ah, I know exactly where to go in and if that it happened.
Lay thing you would know about. Like oh yeah, I know him didn't you like shit on himself back your way in front of five hundred people. Ok, so I'm got to ask you Your new documentary not going quietly windows that come out. Where does that come out? What's it about? It will be out soon it's about adding park HU the lot of people. Now I'm from the flakes son on a plane thing when he confronted Senator Jeff Flake Oddy has, alas, when he was thirty one just add just had a child was having his anniversary dinner his hand felt weird and by the end of the week he leaves diagnose diagnosed. They are, and ADI was before the election. The he's progressive activists who led a thing called fed up, which was about
making sure that economic policy of the Federal Reserve reflected low income and unemployed people, an amazing amazing I and struck down. So earlier, and I ended up doing some things for the dreamers with him and he became a dear friend. He actually performed are marriage and he's just gone through this extraordinary paradox of actually losing his voice and finding his voice politically and in the fight for Medicare for all and he's one of these just rare human beings that they build the religions around whose somehow transcend their personal suffering. By trying to lay the aid it others and he's just a dear dear friend. Annie's funny is hell yeah. I like, I, hardly you. You said a visa because because they sounds heavy, but he
He himself had a lot of yet levity throughout that yeah. Yes, he's in extorted, the guy, and I found out that a crew had been following him throughout this entire process and got their work over over to the two plus brothers who fell in love with it. So that's all summit, I'm excited about all your kids. You have kids, five and seven, two daughters. You have two daughters, yeah I've have two in the sun yeah, I got a imagine you being on. Handmaids is cool right for them that Europe part of something that is pointing out something that so ubiquitous and just right. There were naughty, looking at it that you're you're helping tell some story that benefits them. I think that's cool I mean the reason that show resonates. Is that massage unease at the reptilian brain stem of all right wing, white nationalist movements in that's? What's that you know what's happened,
my kids are, and my son is like really interesting: politics he's never watched West wing. It just makes their skin crawl yeah, which a unit which which understand. You know I would not want to watch. You know my father. Twenty years ago, flirting with Don T want to watch. I'm I'm experiencing one of the most unique things currently, which is so I five and seven year old As the writer and director of Scooby, due for about a year and a half, I laughed, I have so much baggage about that experience and it came out. It came out days ago, my seven year old, his watch it six times she came, sue the bathroom because dad it's the best movie ever see I am. I am not do the new era. The script doesn't resembling none of my work is in this thing and she
Was it more than she's ever loved anything, but the irony that it's her favorite movie she's ever seeing? Is it's really somethin? I grew up in this weird family right where my older brothers and sisters were raising kids, you I've a niece whose and one thing I learned was: if your kids when their towards the end of high school. Don't find you stupid irritating and the way you have conducted your life basically depressing. They won't leave, Eve, good Florence, absolutely a biological imperative. They will find it whether it's the sand, viewed in chewing wheat thins, where you're stupid advice perfect harmony on NBC. Yes, it was a complete and total joy to do. Georgina know Jason Weiner, Jason,
directed modern family and all that producer, and I love That's that show, and he came to me and it was really joyous. Fine, I mean I was tried. You know. Jesus run seems naive. I wanted to put radically different Americans in the same room and you know sort of transcend that divide with music and laughter, and it was real joy, ourself articles one is doing press for doing press for it with this really pretentious thing because you are with us. when people sing together, it's really hard not to get along except CS, and why the Beatles. MRS you analyze money, had a mix up its like a good as I can
I can point out that it makes us it's a musical. He plays a professor at Princeton and he ends up Cochin this religious choir into becoming gray out of a personal vendetta. Cool. I watched the pilots and I loved it. I thought your hysterical. Is you really just walk? You just cut that another six people in the room and you give all them name's immediately in there all brilliant there's, some weird shared dna with you and Bateman. Of that. I love you yeah, don't you guys both have this ability to be shitty at all times, and I asked Bateman How do you get away with being so shitty Anita? Well, I have to let you know that Wade of what I'm dealing with is made me so miserable that you're not add I'm acting now like I have to. I have to be put upon for the shitting this to work, and I'm, like that's awesome no, the mass of it there is math, do it. right. That's why you get away with it. You know right. I mean you know that
that allows him to get away with it, I think of him, mostly in terms of his television career. I know you know, I know he does movies and everything, but I think a lot about you know when Tony soprano walks into the kitchen in year five and is in a really short with his wife as an audience member first of all, you're in bed with them, probably watching it you have five years of experience is so that is so loaded. You no use his weight boomerang. You know he's cheated, you know they resolved, but The relationship with an audience and end with a character, is part of the reason. Like Jason. I can get away with that stuff, causing a feature you're. Not you just don't get to have familiarity yeah, you're right, you're, right, yeah yeah, you can have an earned it in some weird way, we'll Bradley.
I totally adore you. We got along as I suspected. I do hope we get to do it in person some day and are we looking for So whenever you guys resume handmaids were waiting with bated breath for more well who wouldn't wanna, watch disturbing misogynistic nightmare of a future during a pandemic. Try the sea pile ended on so we got a region critical mass, before we figure out. What's, on the other side, manicure straight to meet you nice to meet, you think, All right hope to bump into you in real life me to thank you. So much was fun stay to arm chair there. We are supported I better help now gang it's a little rough out there right now, so, if you're struggling with stress, anxiety, isolation or depression right now, you are not alone now and if you're feeling ice.
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to every. While all to you and to everyone- because I didn't do my job, ok correctly- will compounded by the fact but I'm going away he and he would have had more time yeah, but I didn't do a fact check for this episode. I do not have time or energy more likely to have entered a probably no appetite to do it, which would be totally fine. I just fell like I didn't, have the mental head space yesterday to worry about those facts to light really get detailed into an episode So I did, and so we don't have any hacks for this episode, and I am sorry, but we saw in the chair urea. We still want to chair and there is still so much going on here. But in fact, aside boy was, I termed by him:
broadly well yeah yeah. Oh my god. I found himself so charming to meet her and I have always found in turning your cause. You're a long time. West wing Frahm yeah, you ve said it to him and you said it to rob blow and I feel a little fraudulent. Every Can you say that, because I love that show and I've watched it a lot and I like something is put on it and I'd in the backgrounds of, but I haven't liked watch that show from a to Z, oh me. Neither should we do that yeah. I would love to me too, but I feel like cause. You keep kindness. To that area dies dad on. If I haven't even watch the whole thing Well, I don't know I'm a super fan of Friday night lights and I didn't watch the last season, but I didn't watch the last season for the same reason, do you know I have a bukovsky book up, never read they wanted to end. I can't live in a world where I've read every bukovsky book that there's none left for me.
Likewise. I just I can't bring myself to know the end, a frightening lights. I just need I needed sitting out there in moments were pessimistic to know. I still have something to look forward to that. There are so many showed in so many things will afford yourself at this, sir, S ok, but I was so emotionally connected refrain lines like heartbroken. In love, one a merry. Both Coachee Auntie Em Legion, I want you wanna be in their marriage, and I think that Last season was a little truncated right. It was like a half order may be. I think that it is a little different yeah, and so I was about to start watching us. I am already depressed this isn't a full season. How will I feel when it's over worse than this single strand? enough. I think you can do and I see long enough to be MA am I got some share, lands, Armstrong, darling we loved it. He talks about her
the dark a little bit and I did, and that is the key. Arouse like do you like to believe you, are not cool you're, not a goal also I dont, like I'm very termed by him very charming this fuck, don't like to really handsome two years very handsome he's he's also I ve lost whinnying, ending Tatum. I think their voice on so much alike. I couldn't get any of the editor Ngos, India. No traction with you in prison. I didn't know you were also we're gonna tied one important step to you. I just I want people to think like these people dull. What are they doing anyway? We watched him in the way he talks about that relationship and, basically, how it just doesn't. Work of two people are in the light. like that's only if you're in a narcissist? Well, of course, I was watching a going. Well, I'm married someone, that's exactly you know, it's all what you make of it. You have. You
out in good of events in shit and have your picture taken, yeah sure it's probably overwhelming, if you just fuckin like have a family and hang and watch tv every day yeah like we do. What are you talking about? I unaware of the fact that either of us are in the light and unless we're out a premiere yeah, I feel that it was a very narcissistic thing and rain or problems. any bridge of getting them. I disagree with. This was part of his charm. He seems He very aware is not like in the Michael Jordan Doc when he's watching the videos of people basically saying like he was so hard on, as you put it, he pushes too much or whatever. So he got emotion
about that which I love those like. Oh, that's, a human, that's how you love boys crying. Why thought of things avenant layers lot of factors, but he was sad as you should be. You should be taking in that far as people saw me this way. I didn't know that or oh that hurts my feelings. I misunderstood, or something you lay us does not seem to have that he's very aware of how everyone sees them. He agrees and along with a lot of it, he disagrees with love, but its very almost like pragmatic, again. There was something charming about area very stressed or work, something that I kind of I don't know. The right word is, but the fact that he's honest YAP yet not shame written yeah. Is for me either something about it? I, like I've, dealt with all this or I've own died. This I,
I went down, I lost all. The contracts have been sued and paid out, and I'm on their side of this thing and you I'm not gonna, walk round there s my feeling, shame I can be done honest about it, and I can own all the mistakes, but it's not my obligation out to make it right by by beat living and shame for the next forty years ray. I gonna like that, but I need him to write the wrongs like them. Big, big wrongs like that, the suing the people, the all too? Well that that you know, as I said before, I never gave affected. He was helping. I was always on the assumption. All of them are doping and pretty clear. Mallette are in the dead. It's got a long history of it and start in the eighty or ninety air, and also who cares it's a fucking bicycle race. Twenty one,
bicycle race, I don't. Why do I care of their doping ideas? So part of me, I just like baby to just make that a part of that sport. I totally agree because people can take beta blockers when the performance symphony orchestras have fuckin twenty fifteen vision. through Lasik surgery, if they're a sharpshooter there's all these augmentation, we accept right and then Whatever reason we're like no, that would draw the line there yeah, but the bully stuff he did it is terrible that, after that I hate it like that, I'm assuming people that we're just good people or the team. She wasn't a physician, but she was she everyone? I guess she like a physical therapists type near. I dragged it yeah that that stuff That's got be the stuff, then honk, because I can't imagine he feels a lit guilty about cheating and sport that everyone should and I am sure he feels like yeah guess what I still one seven times, and everyone else was that I am still a female. He still is a female there's, no questioning that you and I
take three thousand liters of yo in we can climb wanted now yeah. I agree with that and he did take some responsibility for some of the things that vacuum Terran ass like basically, what are you feel regret full for your biggest forgotten. He any pensions. Those things that's good. I also think I was kind of uniquely, not uniquely in others tons of attics, but the parts like how did you look in the mirror? How did you say that that part I related to entirely with like. I have this enormous secret, that's occupying Polly, half my life, and then the other half the time I met you see I am at the groundlings and then the other have I'm smoking. Graco strangers are hotel room so harm you the army ass, I am sure I totally related to the notion that oh, no there's just a vault door in my head and I walked through, didn't do this thing and then I walk through it into this. Other thing I just could relate Yak has she asked was harder
look in the mirror like now right, I also agree. I think I think humans, hafta compartmentalize, they justify things all day long every day, so that they can get through it. Yeah, and if your yeah you're, holding a secret like that wiring rain, is protecting you here, and I think we have some but engineering evolution to do that, because I think so often in the first hundred thousand years, we're on the planet We had to do not only our occasionally and I just think that mentally compartmentalized it would kill you yeah yeah anyhow was a dark. We watched is really very good, you're about your just on the verge of telling me something about husbanded yeah. We started this. I was saying: Hudson Hoss, I had a good while theirs as in Thursday's episode,
noted that there were so many videos there are so many things circulate where so many things to watch and no one can expect everyone to like watch all the things but Hoss in menage posted and accused no pose a kind of like shore kind of episode essentially- and it was speaking like very directly to the indian american community about getting involved and acting and not just like looking at it from a far because we're benefiting from civil rights we are benefiting, in the immigration ACT, was like piggy back on the civil rights. All you know some obligation, yeah there's an obligation. I mean I've been thinking about this for days and a few people have asked my thoughts on all of this because I set it on here a hundred times.
That I just want to be why I was one to be weighed and that's true. That's a part of my story. I did I wanted. Then I did everything. my power to like strip away my other ness, my indian ness, all of it so that I could blend in as much as possible, which is, I think, a human things do, but I have always looked at it in like a. It was a defence mechanism that I feel like,
created or something like that. I was unique, unlike figuring out how to like put this otherness aside and I haven't. I never really thought to examine it from a bit more bird's eye view just like. Why did I feel like I had to do the right and it's part of this whole conversation we're having you know, and I also blame myself cause. You know sometimes mean you will have these debates, sir me and Eric or have is having a debate yesterday and like all, have liked coat debates and they like intellectual debates about these topics, and they affect meal a lot more than if we had an intellectual debate on. You know, unlike Chris Soybean Sister on breakers, yeah moral dumbfounded yet like and for a while
so why am I feeling this so much like? I couldn't even recognize why I fell emotionally tied in a deeper way and at one point I was like oh yeah, because I am a person of color and often in these conversations in these debates I am the only person of color, and that is something I did like. I created that I created this. damn where I've basically do you go baby sit Wilson S, skin rat fall. I love the way my life is turned out to use industry. I just I just started thinking like every decision I've made since I was like
Five has been just surround yourself with as many white people as possible in London to their surroundings and their situation and be like them, and now I'm expecting you guys to defer to me, because I I am the only one who has experience what it feels like to be judged based on the cholera, again and I'm expecting of other people too, like defer and not have a debate about it and just be like ok sure. But how can I expect that if all I've done is tell you I'm wide, I'm white, I'm right, I'm why
Why would anyone take me serious? Well, although I think so that certainly could be part of it. But I also think that in this is a part that is always hard to reconcile, which is nobody on Any topic wants to be in a conversation where they're not allowed to have an opinion about it. It's like well, that's just being taught so I might search out going to class or I might search out going somewhere where I'm going to switch into I'm just absorbing information, but any backyard conversation no one's entering it with the thought. Okay, I'm going to enter this conversation and I'll have nothing to say so. Like you're right, I I cannot. I cannot
Late to your experience, I haven't had that experience in that's dead. True, but, as I say, I dont have tons of opinions about the white patriarchy and how we guide ourselves out of it or what's what's productive in? What's not productive, like that's, not the emotional part of these debates that you know that I'm now I I have solutions, nor are they met. I'm just saying there's no reason that the topic of race would be the single topic that one doesn't have an opinion not like. Everyone still has an opinion whether or not they can bring they experienced. It doesn't mean don't have an opinion on it right, but ever One now is noting oh there's so much, I'm not privy to there's so much happening underneath than I dont see every day, every one on Instagram putting up a black posed.
Bang muted, I'm listening mute and I'm listening means I'm listening, I'm listening to these stories. I am putting my opinion whatever, and I guess it also like the idea of an opinion yeah. I may I guess I don't really. This doesn't feel mortgages the to isolate the single thing you and Eric were debating about it was literally. The question of is: is a black Harvard LAW School graduate in a White Harvard LAW School graduate? Do they of equal opportunity in war, so you can have an opinion. that's an opinion. What is actually the it's not like we're having opinions on it, but there is real facts about it. Will there are, and in so in Erics case who he hired lots of lawyers, he was actively in search
black lawyers to law school, yes and then my other friend who came over an hour after that conversation, who also is a partner the law firm. He said they have been actively looking for black attorneys it for a decade air. So you can have a debate in that without having any experience mean a black graduate from Harvard. I think it's ok to have an opinion that is totally trail, but I also think everyone is again I'm looking at it. I said this to him, like you are talking about a law firm in LOS Angeles and he's like yeah the fortune. Five hundred companies do and- and that's true, but the problem is it can't just be the fortune? Five hundred companies that can't just be the the lawyer, We're talking do is at a big big, far around a very pretty videos and that's amazing that those places are doing.
and they should they should lead by example, but it has not trickled down all the way totally agree. So this is where I get so tricky. So you know just the original conversation being about to Harvard grads that the the truth is also that someone who gradually, from Harvard LAW is going to the law firm met. My friend works tat any is going to air and he is going to allay or New York. So it's all about these very specific points is like what is the argument about? I dont think the argument of four. Y know the argument. From our point of view. Wasn't it's a daddy complain feel what happens if you start spinning into these particulars and details in you do kind of ignored the emotion, the thought experiment that he presented to you wouldn't was: would you rather be a black man in America. No longer Harvard harbour a black man in America with a Harvard degree. That was his question, by the way, the answer should always be know the answer.
To deal now you if you were black and you had your personality, would be dead already said that thousand percent a if I weren't dad why most certainly be deck as minor actions, with the cops that's what I'm saying, but I am more Zactly when I know for sure I don't know I'd be dead, but I know for sure I'd be imprisoned, will yeah, but that's because of you like drug but I mean literally, let's say you didn't do drugs. You didn't? Have you got me argue with the t say: yeah I'd be kill you I could not possibly have by entitled I fight authority, point of view.
Our boy able to survive only agree, even if you had a Harvard degree, yeah totally great. So I've just been thinking a lot about that and my part- and I can still say moving for this- was a part of my childhood like trying to remove my otherness cause. That's real and I also think that's a big part of the story, but as we move forward, I'm gonna have an add another sentence, which is that's sad. I dont want that for any one else. I wish that present the case because that's an important part of that conversation that I never say yeah I could see. If I were you, I would think that's very. imply yours, it's I don't know. Anyone here is that that you want. is something other than you were and other that's a positive message. That's a very sad mess. It then. I think what I need to make clear is that didn't help
me getting rid of my other ness, was a disservice. When I'm talking on this, I am on this popular podcast and I work with you guys and I have a life that looks than is amazing, and I would never want, like a ten year old, indian girl to listen that think. Oh, that's the path and need to get rid of my indian s. I dont want that really weapon. I'm not I'm not saying I would change one thing I just don't want to one to like, listen and be like you just try to be what you were all where it all worked out. Just don't feel like you being dear friend, is a problem. I thought that and confirmed by real life experiences. Were you like somebody in an enlarged Europe? Will in a year
an imaginary yams, it's good that everyone's having to think a little bad. It's easy to! Just not you know, stressful and intense yeah. I saw today officially there's been protests in every single state, Orilla yeah. Let's call all fifty states, plus eighteen countries, participated in half black lives matter protests as of today, making it the largest civil rights movement in world history by that's all some yeah there's a few topics in this country that seem insurmountable yeah and there's all these you, no salt rifles is one of em The risk of getting into that debate. I d say you know you watch school, shooting every school, shooting you keep thinking or which will be the one yeah exact that I'll give people the appetite to make sure doesn't having an end. Then it just seems like
it's not yeah, then it gets really discouraging yeah, and then you know Ferguson you're, like during Ferguson like while this you might actually see some structural change. Does that's where it is, I'm just just every one walking round asking people to think differently. It just is is lovely, as that is it will not address the problem there. Just like these will. You haven't says differently in order to vote differently. So that's why I say that Oh yeah, I'm gonna call anyone that, I'm just to me it's kind of like dogs. Areas like when there's a there's a massacre in some sums, his thoughts and prayers. It's like that's, just not gonna, to solve any problem. So likewise, I'm only forty five have been through five or six of these. yeah, see the mayor of allies say, will work on a funnel some money to preventative causes. I am opposed to end of the line. Yeah, that's just the kind of structural thing in the past you seen a lot of politicians, get up and kind of be sympathetic right.
but no one, is really grasp the momentum and made any kind of hard pivotal. Yeah range and in it does appear that that's happening now. I'm such a pessimist, like again I've seen this Sometimes, as everyone has and I'm so discouraged at all times in my life? How could this really be One were like. We have a list of things we try to accomplish Yang back, I'm glad people are putting out list, you know what is it that would help in this? Looking at the system, is this autumn? Anyhow anyhow, I love you. I love you and things are engaging in these conversations for sure it's good practice for me, some so opinionated. I think everyone, in my opinion, this angle topic, you do a good job of dissecting things to the bone. That's year mode of operation. It's a great thing and I guess
For me on emotional topic, such I dont have very many right now. You're, I dont have many emotional topic. Mine was by the way this is your total childhood in mine. Was that was me and cove. It might just listen to these people. They know what's best, for you just do the thing they're telling you too, no, I don't like this. No, you know like for me that was very emotional yeah. I mean I guess I was emotional and that too, to be fair, So there's lately that I've, but by the way, it's kind of like recognising the context and the long term scope a hundred twenty years from now people go Fucking Oak has covered, people had been inside, they were emotional. They already felt, like exact, can underestimate the context by which this one actually seems to be getting some, to change one hand in it's all in the stew. It absolutely almost make you believe in God, like while I'm crazy. This thing serve this purpose.
However, no said that he had the such a good. I will. I would really encourage people to go to the daily show page and watching it out like a teen minute, video on that and the domino effects, and he says that he says you know we cannot disregard that were sitting on top of the backdrop of a pandemic yeah and everyone's in our house yeah, that's part of the dominoes, and then he says in his head. The Amy Cooper Birdwatching was lying. Just the last domino really send this thing in motion and dumb and it's really good heat. He talks about how society is simply a contract law, social ground roads.
just a contract. How can you expect one group to uphold the contract when the other group isn't? He says like what does saluting the target, help you now and then he is like. Well, what does eluding the target not help for them? It's all who cares move here? Isn't it doesn't help me to not lose the target? So you know I'm not I'm by the way, I'm not for or looting and their separate things are looming avenue. There's a road testing happening at completely separate and people are melding them together in the news, is trying to make them together and they're. Not the same thing Bernard was named, there's a good episode of the daily, the Heather Mare Minneapolis, MRS yesterday's up sudden, and it was really when he was a man who is it?
Deborah things, and yet alluding has to stop there that access to help there is no getting everything I dont understand. I feel like the best solution to this would have been the cops have to be. There there's been looting, they have to be their yeah, they should have just below into the crowd, marched everywhere they march and said: hey we're gonna, join you yeah. we'll be around, and racism and breaking windows will stop back, but we're not there's not a line here and you guys are there. I now worry in this with you and were wherein immersed in them. We want change to and let us just hang with you and protect you in do the thing that were good at some are doing now, get some are doing it, but I just think like if that would have been from the job. Yes, I kind of like my unpopular opinion that, if you like tallied up are expense in Afghanistan, which now twenty years in her, however many fucking years, it is it's easy notes in the trillions unilaterally it's like. If we, if we had had the foresight to go, it we're gonna NOS one and three trillion on this arrogant after tat
the country back over. What have we spent three trillion, an infrastructure opportunity by an unknown dies and then the outcome, as you know, at wars, it's gonna be neutral with what the outcome was I have a real hunch. It would have been much more favourable than to have this great ally that benefited from our benevolence than more destruction, absolutely yeah, yeah anyway. Any who love you