« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 1397 - Ben Foster

2023-01-02 | 🔗
Ben Foster was 14 years old and when he had what he calls a breakdown. Ben had a moment while acting where he completely lost himself and he needed to get back to that place at all costs. Marc talks with Ben about how he chased that feeling from the set of a Disney Channel sitcom into dramatic work in movies like Hell or High Water and Kill Your Darlings, where his commitment to the role is never in question. They also get into his two most recent performances in The Survivor and Emancipation, where he felt a deep responsibility in depicting both the victim and perpetrator of human atrocities.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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all right. Let's do this, how are you what the fuckers, what the fuck bodies, what the bottlenecks what's happening? Happy new year? being new year day. two of twenty Wendy three, how going for you is it all, working out exactly as you had expected come on what what Geraghty screw up its day too got. You ve already made mistakes. What you do, what did you you made promises? What you do wrong, how go wrong already. What he What went wrong in your head to change amazing disposition, you had at twelve o one on january. First. Is it all an illusion? Is it just something we make up this calendar year this time passing business? I don't know I didn't? I didn't head into new years with the too much vacation is a didn't really sneak up, but this last week has been right
Did we uneventful, there's that strange time in between christmas and new year's that weird ages, there's a there's, a quiet to it and then, this sort of some kind of weird pause, an egg can be kind of melancholy and a little dark eyes. If you let it I mean, I'm not surrounded by family, As you know, I was out there with my dad over christmas, but I'm back and I'm hanging out and I'm getting I've done around the house and I'm wondering what the next year hasn't store, what the the of my life thousand in store, more likely and you know and just trying sort of move into it, It's weird do not have a plan heading into the new year. I I don't it's. It's been a long time since I haven't had deadline, weather, special or a series of shows, or what have you, but now he's doing this talk any you talking to people.
and I believe, I'm kind of thinking about the new stuff, the new. stuff is happening. I'm just gonna throw my self, upon stage as off this possible here in town to see what unfold because I guess that's what I do, people, what are you do, You know what I mean I mean. Did you have that moment where it's right? guess I why there's some things? I want to change about me for the new year or whenever you choose to do that, say that thing the obviously you usually talking. Things you think are negative, but There are some things that in terms of work or creed activity were you sort of like well? This is I'm going to do it this this year? I'm going to do it. I'm gonna I'm going to write the screenplay. I'm gonna make the music I'm going. do it down these goals and I'm going to achieve them. This is how I'm gonna do it and then,
a few days ago by maybe a week or so you like, while not really doing anything any differently, but I think that's always been the way I work there's something in my mind that I really want to get done. A goal usually weird and impulsive, and a bit small white, whether it's too You have learned a song or to fix a joke or to tat kind of manifest sums they were acting role, hopefully or or if its. If it's, in based creative endeavour, I'll put it in my head, but don't change anything and if its real and if it's something that you know is in my heart, actually, a kind of happens without it being a stressful thing without me, doing a diary about a door or putting it on my vision, border or or whatever it usually just if its, if its it fits in
subtext. My brain is something I want to and the faster I want to do it usually comes to pass. It may not be as satisfying as I would have wanted it to be, or or as as sort of life changing, but it'll, usually happen Do it a lot. I am not talking about big dream. She remarked curing cancer, not selling out arenas. these are just a little things that I get my head. I wanted to do. I'm buying killing a chicken right now I like that's a good example. I'd, never smoked a chicken and I thought to myself a week or so ago. It's maybe I should smoke a chicken. I had a relatively we. The ogre smoke chicken and albuquerque- and I thought well- flavour of the meets good but they're just something rubbery about the skin and lean I've, a smoker. Why try to smoke. One as opposed to just cook slow smoke, a chicken. So there's a great, apple. I put it in my head, drag that
smoking a chicken, but really smoking and not just cooking. It is a goal that wanted. I wanted to make that happen, and I put it in the back of my mind and sure enough? Folks, as we speak, right now. Courtiers on january first and my dreams of smoking, a chicken are happening. There happening right now. I've asked we got to go, take it off the grill. and and come back in here and restart, not all thing, but at this will be interesting, apposite though you hear it relies brendan too is to put a musical interlude. In years of it, and you're not gonna, go get that chicken off the grill it's been on it there for three hours or so. Ok, I pulled it off. It looks pretty good.
I said for a while I'll, let you know, but this is a good example. I put it in brain put it on the back burner and then it happened. I guess that's the key to it is If you dont pressure yourself too much about getting something, you want to done done and just kind of put in your head and then leave it there, don't talk about it. work it through in your brain gonna realise that your hearts into it. and eventually when the time is right, you will manifest it. This is a notebook shit. This is a mystical, its not putting too much pressure on yourself because annual you'll talk yourself out of it one way or the other or you'll talk it over. So much that is good, dissipate. Some you can sit in the back your head for years and I'm look. I'm no creativity, coach or anything. But there's a few things that I would back on over the last year over the last ten years. That kind of
said goals for myself, but didn't work towards in in a step by step way, I just kind of like man. I really want to do that and now just stick it in the back of my head and then one day or like undue in it. Oh, my god, I'm doing it so Chicken is a small example that, but I did it, I smell the chicken it sitting in the kitchen? I guess I didn't say this, but there have been fosters on the show today who a great actor, a great actor and I've been trying to get him on the show. For years now, I m not even for any real reason other than like. I might disguise a fuckin he's too will deal man. He a great actor and I'm interested in what makes our guy take me. I've got The first time I saw him was in alpha dog. He was in hell or high water. He was in three ten to yuma, kill your darlings. He played a william burroughs, lone survivor. He was in hostels
and this past year he was an emmy nominee for his role in the survivor on hbo plays I think the guy's aims harry haft, a box while he had, he was forced to box in auschwitz and it was kind of mine blowing and I didn't know anyone who had seen It- and I was right. This guy put this work in Why can we work Does a mild robert Duvall impression and right now he's in the movie emancipation on apple tv pause, which I just watched and these horrendous he play a horrendous man, but he brilliant at it. So We finally got him in here, and it was great. It was a great to meet him this episode is sponsored by better help, people there's a lot of pressure in the new year. You might set some goals that you're not sure how to achieve how just talking about that, or you
If you look back on the past year with some regret, sir, you might just feel bogged down or feeling the effects of winter weather working. The therapist can help you don't have to completely turn the page once a new year, but a therapist can help you get close to the best version of yourself sometimes about gettin out of your own head? That's why I'm always talking to people, whether it's a guest in the garage or a professional therapist, I'm working with talking through your experiences with someone else helps you feel like you're, not alone in the fight, if you think giving therapy try better help is an option that convenient flexible, affordable and entirely online. Just fill out a brief questionnaire to get match, with a licence therapist an inward folks, and sometimes you might not feel like Therapist is a good fit. That's right, you can switch their any time for no additional charge. If you want to have a more empowered life therapy can get you their visit, better dot com. Swash w T have today to get ten percent off your first month. That's better help. Hd Lp got slash w E f
My pleasure right now to to share with you this conversation I had with Ben foster virus tremendously as an act you can watch emancipation, we can stream it on apple. Tv The survivor is on h, b, o max and as I was nervous again been heading into biscuits ever like way. What what's this Where am I going to go with this guy? Am I are we going to do it as it goes? happen. This is me and Ben foster. your grandfather did reproachful twenty years. Do you remember him, do you know The idea. Where'd you go up or more in boston was raised in iowa
Really all I would note Boston time level, wherefore but would go visit them my grandparents. Are they were there? What part? Well they moved out to the cape, the council or high in us? right. I ass irish, I'm a split eastern european, jew and kind of irish. But english on your mom side, eastern europeans, you father, really Then he was from dorchester. Oh now they ended up their hats, heavy irish business after it. it didn't sound easy, but it boy named sue in the Duma. so I'll and you were even more People are from jersey. My jews are from jersey, my wife's from jersey, oh yeah. What part? What town, watching and watch on not sure where that is my dad was from jersey city. My mum was from pompton lakes morris. I think it's more bergen county, my! I can never get it right, but all the people come from jersey
bugger up a new mexico x. You do what you shoot there. everything's, great and the humor hell or high water. Lone survivor shower high water, new mexico yeah outside albuquerque, ugh yeah, that's where I grew up. You stay was wanted No, we stated this spot that apparently was a mental hospital for children. That would be. Converted into a hotel, holy shit, anathema goodbyes network or not not a ghost around where the fuck is that now, because he's right there are now becoming really able to really you member remember the name. You know I ve on this point that I just why the court forgetfulness or I m just choosing what to remember. That's a data wipe yeah that that the name of that place, gear,
If children's mental hospital that I slept in five months per month, it's always a residential hotel. You had a kitchen and whatnot yep, oh yeah, that kind of I don't think the kids did, no, I'm sure not I'm sure they weren't allowed to have that stuff no flames, but that was That was shot, they shoot somewhere shit there I was almost gonna buy Place there, but then there's no water there, either in its pretty by what am I looking for. You can't go home. What are we looking for? Do you know, I'm asking you well I thought it would be nice to have their cause. You grow up some place, it's got it sort of his party or psyche, I think Do you find that with iowa I moved around so much when you were a kid well boston originally, as we said in our for sure, small town, so where an hour fairfield south the corner ten thousand people tm community. Transcendental meditation out. So there also that's one and is one of the original ones. It is the original one
site that those high to how it's our tee, I always nazis, or in idaho teams, in iowa different, different taking different group. Folks ran away from Boston. where it says they they they they, while our family as law, goes together with the house got broken into two too. My brother and I were mouse ma father was a tm teacher for years, and my mom was a reception, is in new york. then your tea employed at the tm place. They were, they were in their early part of that early adapter, so they must have been like in the first wave white with the beatles, their post beetles, but They were early, they were very much early. Who is actually a teacher
lecture on on transcendental meditation with Stephen foster still around. He is still doing that. Yeah, we're like lecturing- oh, not lecturing, no, but we'll I'm not necessarily a group guy now, but I dig the technique. Yeah, my my my girlfriend who passed away was a like. She did it. I mean she was in men like twice a day. Twenty minutes, no matter what no matter. What where she is like, I gotta go, carve it out of the schedule. She a film director and like she'd, go. Do it amazing if the woman I'm with now she started it cause she's, a David lynch fan sure, but she didn't stick yeah. I don't think she sticks she's doing some meditation now, but not not the t m, but she went she went and paid for her secret sentence: yeah yeah, yeah gotta by the ticket data right where man you get your get sentence secrets, but I find it I'm attracted to it
I didn't stick with it. I can't why can it be as addicting as cigars, there be something right, but you grow up with it. So it's just what you do yeah I've I've I I grew up only doing that only knowing that and then I left it behind and returned to it. No really, you know just twice a day guy you, to be used at me when I was growing up twice we deal in. It was amazing and as as a kid as we went with school, we were deep but it's one of those things where you can get misunderstood as a cult, well, what what what I'd say is any group people doing a thing that involves certain rituals, you that is not an established. Religion could be considered a cult ok fur. myself will say not a group,
I try to avoid group think when in ten year let the technique itself of transit, devil meditation, be it through the David lynch, translation or rhoeteum cellular. It's it's been invaluable to me and one that I return to and I found them it. It quiets the racket. yeah. I could use a bite like, but education. Is holding that moment what's I was talking to my wife about this. Today, if you have a technique, Whatever that is, innovation, We'll call meditation I emailed lou, but it's not like. Oh I meditating so good right now, it's their return is the muscle right your mind, drifts, you go somewhere and you're like oh return to center, who yeah I get it yeah and that's a good year, just to keep reinforcing righteously to stop it. and let it pass come back was due in the us, don't break it. How great the china way but you can anytime I now
You know, you know, you know you know Did you down to you. every time you David lynch about it. Yeah I have I have missed. I'm talking about anything and it is being in his presence and not just a thrill, just a delight dude here, you know it was a long wait, but he made the fable means worth watching. I'm I've, I've, heard I haven't seen yet, but I wage afford he's doing for doing ford music. fort eyepatch ford area, It is the one question when I heard that he did that my push was was issuing honour on banana, because I was it's part of the law. Afford is not only the eyepatch, but when he would get anxious yeah, he would gnaw on these handkerchiefs constant, really and it was like. Oh, he didn't make that choice, alright, no, he He was writing a cigar. Winch was
in the end in he lit the fuck out of it, and it was great he's a smoking tamar, the two performances better. Stealing that make the movie. fucking judd Hirsch. yeah man, invoking lynch judge her shows up at the wild uncle who gives him some life advice. A young spielberg. Does this crazy ex carney uncle? Is we as russian jus need more of this life? Yeah man give me David lynch with an eyepatch yeah and judd Hirsch has occurred. He sold. I just who cared so I'm slow to the punch and films right now, your brothers and act, or two He does a lot of things. He is an actor younger brother, how much younger! For years, I got two and a half between me and my brother. Does he live far too right now, not happy about it, I'm sir, he died. So how does it
happen that two you end up in the arts, I mean obviously have supportive parents. They seem like open minded folks, certainly open minded. It was pretty who work too. Fallen over the dream and the dream being being in the dream right. The collective during that provide for people, that's provided and see in a school planned saying, while I'm transported, I will I want to feel more that you remember the boy I do. What mid summers are really stream, you shakespeare even yeah? How is adaptation and fifth grade we talking eight years old out so iowa, eight years old? Oh, but it was a grownup production nope. It was a high school product of kids, young kids and you were like fuck yeah. That's it right. There pack holy smokes yeah and I went back. I became better. The were you karla, lowest greater city. Amateur
wasn't a trip. Terrific student, that try to hold me back and kindergarten just really wanted to. He were merely real disappointment like a crushing, a crushing and finally, the kids in design right, then that's so Started in first grade you're on your way it Let me out of this room and these kids and the cruelty of it and the weirdness of it. Even our and tim school I wanna be a part of that feeling that I felt as an audience member unity and school and there are still problems. Of course, there are problems everywhere, just kids, kids are kid. Kids are kids, but wait till I got this tm school. I get your ip now, what, did the rest of the town like think you're weirdos, like you were amish,
if there were amish nearby, oh well, so everybody was in the same state. Everybody is looking at each other mean like you're, a weirdo too yeah. It's just that we didn't share it. We didn't what and also you didn't have to dress up for years, yep, No, we did actually that's that's where it leans a little. Oh yeah. You call, privates bore. You call it called but what was the outfit If it's not, while the country we weren't, we were enough or, like gray, panza button up shirt, where time everyone warm air rid of warm, I had no idea that cameron that deepen places- oh. I told him I mean this: is while the other golden domes. Oh yeah, golden domes, sir those right next the school where the man would go and the women go to their golden dome and meditation time I've sold his car. I am
I'm just saying there are qualities and all you could call me main guy. Well, Maria. She d those guy beetles guy, he was a good guy. Did they find anything should be about him I never heard anything shitty about him as good but the moment you stirrup pudding, profit involved is always a question right. However, you have to pay for people to teach, the thing yeah and a farmer is not giving away his food right. So if your gives her some kind of nutrition to the world once he Last year, some of the organizational issues came up we no longer kind of associated. So much with that and and then David lynch came in and was trying to make it more affordable and finding ways to give it away, or at least share it? That's what I thought with with vats with people who can
with trauma. It's been highly. It is highly effectively at reading anxiety trauma. I don't we. Doing theatre in in high school problem. When I was nine, I was it was just a box mover, would help yeah yeah just waiting for a line here and just excited to be around it yeah and damn worth doing, pre pretty poorly in in in school. I'm sure, there's some worrying issues there. The am never looked into the wood they did? My parents did have yeah but burn. The results are real. Anyone tell you I like, I'm that we're not giving you a label. Okay! Well, that was nice There are amazing yeah. Truly I mean my. My parents are a good truth. As a good, true, a good thing to hide from you, I guess is why why yeah, what do they know
your parents, but whoever gave you the level and by the way that label may change once than new dsm comes out sure So you have no idea now. I've based or can't do math is out there math, I'm a spatial think her. What does that mean? I just see things I see, but once it gets into the o numbers, yeah, the I'm, no good at it. No, I did ok with geometry, because that is yes, your picture yeah. I could dig on that yeah. You did yeah. That was my big math year there was a good year for you, geometry was it I algebra no can do together and none of it. I had no idea but geometry mike. I we draw pictures and we prove things from the picture perfect. gun nailed, did so no jewishness in the house jewishness arrows permitted of so doing so it doesn't it
you can you can mix, you can mix the tm. What do you mean you get deaf early mix, the dm with anything here, like certain other communities right so that that takes it a little out of court world. Yes, that that you can I went with fellow classmates who jewish here too little temple in an fairfield iowa, but we so we need a practice that the higher holiday area and yet there interesting jewish grandparents toy who came to our town, My my grandmother's from romania, yeah and my grandfather s family, in the ukraine and as for my people from Ukraine my mother's side. We are where we are located: communist biddle, sk, small village, which
ultimately long story short, the reason why I moved to new york after a light was I worked with a guy, wonderful writer, director or in overman, who I met. about you for like an hour there. It is israeli met him. We make film called the messenger. We finish the film I'm supposed to head back to allay. I've been there for two twelve years back loading information, yeah spatial think you're. Here, ok, yeah, comical sphere in the emma where we ve just have a chat needlessly. Can my family's former subtle village communist, the dusk as you are family moved to new york? Truly there was that was it moved because of ord, and you guys are best friends right. He's he's my brother. I met him, I was a general meeting. I think I think it was. I can't remember why, but I was running round meeting people as one does
yeah and- and we talked for a long time- I can't remember, but I I I know I shared an idea with him because he said you guys were trying to do something similar or along the lines that will guide this idea for tv show about social workers, that's right, yeah, and- and he said you guys we're doing some and of course I was gonna fuck, so they're doing it, but happen. I didn't mind, we solved it, but they didn't make it. I see what was it? What was your angle on the social work? Why worry interested? being deeply moved by, but by a word it or in, and I talk often about a service. What does it mean yeah and being in an feeling lost. When you don't know what you're in service of right and the weather that's what gave meaning the christianity originally believe service part one would hope We can return to these ideas. No matter we you to a ok,
well tell service, oriented service It's a mixed bag and aid, but that's all premise of it show for somebody, listen to their story. You get out of your own garbage for a while love. It yeah so that was- boys appealing. Did you have an experience of the social worker? Let my father's sister here, anti susan amazing woman was a social worker, visa and she's. an extraordinary human being right and now has started a wonderful foundation for fora for cancer, research and and family healing culture. Cancer in boston mass and she she and my nana we lost family members too. the disease and decide Family members needed more care support so yeah conquer cancer,
and she started and social work now has been built this here and the foundation reaches out to people for cattle, counselling and process process or financial aid or activities like painting. If you're struggle, or even the family members who are struggling with it here with it, and there is a wonderful, it's called the hope garden they started in nets in boston. You can buy a brick or an end and mention a loved one soon, who survived it soon, who didn't and a place where you can meditating your own way in nice, yet his nice grief and death in the process of a terrible and hard, not a lot of support around it, not a lot of cultural conversation around it. The I think the entire capitalist model was built yeah, avoiding it entirely the reality of death. in our culture. It is, it is my
blowing we don't hunted and integrated into our daily life as acceptances exploration right now? It's it's rough. How you feel about it, which part The inevitability I think, about lurid day, have your way and in a way of contemplation anybody. think, about our point of view. I think every night I'm like sees it. well yeah, I'm fifty nine people why that was there is there is it there there's a there's, a spiritual belief of of meditating on your own fatality and and by doing that four times a day of action practicing that considering ones, mortality, actually a healing process
enlivens life rather than being a morbidity. It's it's of releasing your fear right. I mean I mean I tried. I do think about every day, and you know I am I met. My parents are still live in their they're, both age, my dad's drifting and you know, they're in their eighties, so start to think of a life and what it means like the thought I have almost always after lay in bed going. I gave way I get on in a dilemma, I still I right my second about his eyes. I get rid of some shit too much shit, even just Financing like ours They can't find me with all this shit. It's that's the satisfying. I wonder how many people be worse, but, like you when you use a buddy, it's just you just you'd therewith their shit and some has to make decisions about the shit Allow me she is just right now. In a way do we throw it away? What do we do?
can you hold onto shit? It's it's like, in another phase of the same type of meditation the talismans, the the the the the memories of it, the smells of it, the german in it were even just- containing that space keep some kind of. right lifeline where you choose a couple of pieces of prime shit who any keep it here. Yeah, how's mincio things for sure yeah Michael in and out arrived. Yeah like. Why didn't give a shit about this thing? This has an order that is used up its purpose, and I I need to get rid of this. It is it's actually a vacuum. Rather than of hearts, I can feel Energized biter activated its taking now at sitting. It's a relationship, worn out, worn out that stone. So But you never got to you, never got it descriptor, he never the social
we did, and I didn't know and as a no organ and I were were- were pitching the concept of, but we didn't do that yeah, It's like it such an unsung world, and it's so like it took to us was this: it was a portal into the entire Structure of society here goes there is social work. You know you, if you get into state funding you get into politics. She gave them the drug problems, getting the criminality you get into the injustices of the legal system you get into the everything family. Family I'm a horse so deem of daily how you're you're in iowa the short version has not. Student, Start writing short, plays sketches or play serious, always can comedic all the way all the way of adding obsessed out. My dream was to be honest and no real
will I wasn't allowed to watch violent movies being in this tat community, but be ironed, showed me comedy yeah and when I got a little bit older, they showed me get a vcr copy of like the best of esa metals right, so that's comedy was go three funny the gate and if so, where people started watching the place and they would laugh, he asked I felt good because, like you know, I'd I'd like to see in a comedy, I dont know that I have really come my way, yeah? Well, I mean what would you like to do that much rather laugh you, if you are offered a cavity like it seems, you could be like ie you could be the the good, in a good cop, the bad cop and a good cop, bad cop, funny thing bright. It call me nobody's herbert waiting for that cup comedy you need a comedy man come on
so got loaded with the wood, just started working on accents, Adam and dialects, and Ghana, yeah and impressions, but it was all rich little based sure I was really protected. It was not. My parents is kept me kind of out of time. aha is martin and lewis. Really, the Marx brothers yeah looney tunes all the way yeah that was the world buster Keaton, Charlie chaplin, that's what I was allowed to watch. So I put a tape out of He just doing silly stuff, like my dad filmed it doesn't he got a hold of it? and they said with the audition acquits that cause. The kid you sent it in family.
uber was le have to know someone in l, a friend of the family from Boston right knows an agent yeah which is meet these kids yeah yeah. They did so. You were doing the sketches with your brother. Now with my brother. We did a couple of school plays together, but mostly it was writing and then ended up winning an international award for this play that I did with it wrote acted in what was the award. It was for best short play for a kid, is a program called odyssey of the my hotel them area of all sure you gotta work on it. Just with your classmate, as I throw around that organization, I think it's changed names. I have an odyssey of the mind, yeah great really wonderful sunday that please creatively. I could he's fine, I'm some kind of
confidence in yeah, because it's immediate and when you when you like we're going up time time, yeah paint the sets yeah yeah make the thing. Try that line do that yeah. If we do great, are so much fun, yeah, so is the seizure bit there and they say. Would you read these words, so I read the words: did you read the words again on tape so did and you're doing this on tape, and I, where you went to, I went to l a and then they they ok. You gotta, show well see your eye his nature that fourteen wafts, so that's how it starts and after that, more twenty five episodes. He did a bunch here. that was flash forward. It was flash forward disney shoe comedy. I mean children's best friends, growing up next to a door to each other girl. You consider yourself, like when the disney kids, don't I don't, how I associate, but you weren't mouse cartier, but I mean we, but your
The kid show where their other actors, that we know that the union that came up through the list khazars disney kid like having got swings disney kid is anything: he was on her Joe I think, but I guess I didn't know that at this time, drop down eyes dropped out. I bought a proficiency, Testa had kind of mental breakdown at age. Fourteen How that manifest me infested where I did. Four episodes of this disney show never been on a set before yet knew nothing about it. Families got involved, get on set and, and I'm in love with the thing we shoot for it. Let's hear or for episodes ya, I returned I wish for a year and these the world. Just your fourteen here. Wouldn't put fourteen on anybody. It's a tough things are changing area.
changing brains, gone crazy, everything's, just norman's hormones for chemical and it wouldn't really dark We were back in this tm school. It was very dark and he'd seen you'd been the other side you ve been to hollywood. Well, I've been to toronto, that's not nothing! I left around on trying to great music scene. I have drawn or vancouver I love. Oliver for permanent residence. Yes, yes, I wish you luck. Thank you. Do you have it? I don't no you're good. You can hang out and fight the fashion. Here man awaken the dynamo I've thought about Portugal. Well, that's a lot of you were doing
can I needed to be similar, I feel like an outsider. I don't wanna just be hanging around with other experts in Portugal. You know, without knowing the language, you know that's fair, asking people where there eating you know what are you having a gesture yeah? So after the mental breakdown by We'Re- u hospitalized her At hospitalized yeah, but to be it was a It was harry and now being apparent in all this mental the sucker. there's there, there's a lot more resources now that there was an end, the conversations alot, more open yeah, but through this, what will, all fourteen year old breakdown. When I returned to the show the shows picked up they had snapped in me, and they wanted the disney Ben they had before, and the law
and, as example, would be like hey Becca, let's go get some pizza yeah like people. Don't talk like that? Oh it's busy you're, a real actor as the people. Also just now so they hired enacting coach and his trying to get me to be more up or some thirty perky and it didn't work and we just talked about getting lost in a scene and what does that mean it tasted it? Play was like would lose a moment where I got lost and I've blacked out, and that became the drug I want that back where I want that, How do we get there, but wait where it was around the disney shop play in between but that is always sort of like I don't know if you're at that age, you know that's the goal. That is the achievement of acting Maybe you know or were you like? I want to get lost in a character or you knew that you like acting but did you know that that to do it pure
would be to get lost. Her did happen, coincidentally, coincidentally air, don't play in between. It was a very: play. Then he was called joovy were kids with dealing with social workers. May just play play that not not for anyone under ants. I checked out were there, but I did something happened. I was there. Oh wow, this scene took place and people responded very positively yeah yeah yeah, and it was like that water, that liberals, This was whatever that in between space was, I gotta find a way to get back yeah, so that was just the head of coke right or your vows. Your first grade, yes, sexually out or right is that it direction was immediate. and how do I get back yeah at war? so that means you have to put it he to put
play some sort of process it's like moving around in the dark house that isn't yours, you're, just bumping into the furniture show. So you go back to the disney show and were you able to wake live with that? I mean it sounds like he had quite a few more episodes to do it was. It was a. I think was great in terms of technically learning. To be honest, to be honest. Set here but the value started adjusting, but that's not a bad thing to have great. Ultimately, yeah. So when do you start to to shift in timor, as around being able to do that you'll get your buzz there are brief moments amid these are flash its re yonder chasing the zone, yeah, or or as a musician yourself when you're just you're in a lick, and it's just it's moving through your current, it's bigger than you sure, you're making room. Why do that leg as a stand up? You know things happen, they come and you stay in it and it's kind of amazing because you don't know where it comes from which exciting part about it. If-
work improvisational or you are equally yourself open something will be delivered and you you can't force it or make it happen, but when it happens right, ok, Well, how do you set yourself up each everyone's waiting for the muse at the moment of his own, your chasing it, but your prayers when you're doing stand up. Is there a way that you tried it? say yourself up, while that yeah because, like you know, I'm not, I don't write jokes. I to me that's right performing math, so you know right. You know I mean it's like ape was being was this so again, I do polish over time, but process begins improvisational like so so How I make myself available whether I'm totally conscious of it or not, but I ve been doing it this way for a million years for as long as I ve been doing, it is used put your son, you corner yourself and you have to get out and you know- and you're in that moment- for me, it's like! What's that
How am I going to you know like I'm funny, so if I I put myself by quarter myself up there and I don't know where it's going to go. Then I got it funny and something more come here. and then I hold onto those pieces, and eventual they become for peace, so I don't know where their delivered from, but it's the best part of any show that I do moments of improvisation, were I feel open enough to just let things happen and and that's what happens when you let go, it doesn't happen for an hour by but sometimes it's just that it can be just a line. I just shot on h, b, o special last week in new york town hall read on and there are thanks and there are moments in there, which there are an almost my specials that never happened before and won't happen again. So I know that like its great that had happened in that context, then you ll notice it, but there is one more but that like made a bit complete
it was incomplete until the knight of the special I mean it was strong enough, but I thought beat happened, and I might know where did that. For it is the same with acting legitimacy. It it's the its back yourself up there was much homework and be opened to whatever happens right and listen to it right. Similar except mine is a life of comedy. Yours research and immersion in a role you sure, are you you're immersed in your life. Your perspective, your point of view right and you are yes, that's right- and you're you're, giving yourself the opportunity to cover new door left or right a beat a moment at it. not an hour, and they were chasing seconds marietta at over further that's the drug. That's
it's not nearly it's never been nailing any any time and and that was a great it took time to learn- was men in now all this her never works. I'm I'm not a nailer me. I do not nail, but you know with their performance, like I don't know, I think it's minimizing to say somebody nailed something when you have an arc of a character is something transformative happen sooner It seem I don't know like I watched the like, I think the first time I saw he was in alpha dog and I was like who the fuck that guy that's crazy. You know it's a colorful yeah, but then you you, I saw you I I mean I dunno it's when it happened, but I I was, I was at sundance for some reason think with pr bigly as movie. I saw, kill your darlings around here and
and, like you, I'm a big boros guy. So I can anyone who's going to take on burrows and mike night. Listen, and I think I did alright. Do you like it here? He does homework, sounded good sounded like bill kind of dry and weird uncle bill, and you know so, then I was sort of like I'm bored with their ben MR experience, look forward to seeing you around well well that so nice- Would you do for? Would you out? How did you get into bill, o n t oh yeah, yeah, yeah, where are your gun touch with with James grower, holds who runs the estate stager and shared a lot ass, very generous with me, too, do not try to nail it, but but being parents to get lost yeah, that's it
I mean I've slept at his house, so slept in burrows bedroom in ST louis or wherever yeah. So it was weird we just yeah he's a. He casts a long shadow and a complicated history, particularly today I dunno. If people will talk about him, that much I talked to patti smith about him was kind of funny cause cause he hit on patty. In new york. Everything is, she was a guy, oh well, amid, but they became life. Lifelong friends after that's a good story. Miss great story here yeah. I remember the first time I saw William burroughs was when I was a freshman jenny appeared on Saturday night work and I had no idea. We was, and he wishes nike add no. If you did a bit it did bit there? He sat there at a desk on ass. It must be nineteen. Eighty, two
and he did doktor Van way, man. Yes, yes, you get me a new scalpel nourishes was got no age too, so I dont like who the fuck is. This guy had no idea- and I kind of like through my mind, open I got into the beach after that was the right time goods a what a spiral near but I'm curious about the the new movie, because I guess I have questions about the survivor emancipation survivor. I didn't know that story, and I guess it's unknown story of Harry haft right, I mean I didn't know the story. No, either but I watch a movie, you know, and it's like one of those movies as a jewish guy and as a guy that you know, watches movies and I've talked to Levinson. I've interviewed weapons and- and I didn't know the movie existed and I'm like how do how do I not know that this movie's been out for awhile right? great your great in any you do the whole thing I
I can say nailed it, but you put your work in two does not mean that I am. I think my question was when I went. I realise that the movie been out for a while and that it was this convent amazing film, about a flawed but amazing. I knew who survived heartbreaking movie in so many fuckin weighs heavy story about this box in auschwitz was at auschwitz or when the other ones was at auschwitz, as starlet of shirts. Here. Why would you do that right? you'd lose weight. You learn The dialect the language you learn of life The work enough, in the sense of like you, want but to see it. For sure you re able to see here it and
Do you walk away from something like that from that muslim, with three or four years, your life we shall in thirty eight days, but he had a poem. feedback back on right, where we were str strategic in that in that, when I took it on here and Barry called up and said, do you want to do this film year and it covers three? decades of a man's life and extreme weight loss is involved as well as weight gain there for digital techno. genius it. I can't let you got the wrong actor. I can't do that. Just as I do I, my brain froze. Yet it was on a conference call and they said well, we can digitally shrink, you can digitally make you big and I just sit wrong actor can do it, like I just said no we're given the time if we can make time I dont know quite how it's gonna work let's do it analogue yeah? It would be
fair to this material. I wouldn't be able to face myself. I dont know how to do this. If I'm just walking around having lost ten pounds me out. We have to go for the so we started in the camps, yet so I had five months to drop the weight in Lhasa, the two pounds got down to one hundred twenty two hundred twenty three yeah, something like, and then we took five weeks off, and just Was for the ring, so I put on fifty just eight and worked out, and so in eight new services for like in auschwitz in the camps, you're fighting, it has the nazi who is sort of giving you take it, delivers the new the shit out of other jews in the ring to the death. and in a very indebted killer, better we are, and then enter the world escape a death march, the harry
If the death march, he found himself in new york. And is only trade was his hands was what they call it. Tomato can boxer really yet a little bit of fame because of his story. His narrative bear gear, the survivor of outfits ia, Seventy three lives past through his hands his fellow jews, gladys a when he kills his friend it around. You mean is relevant. I'm I met his son who wrote the book but we're deep into the shoot. I didn't want to speak with him loose intimidated in Haiti salmon and player father? So just in two hours and hours of testimonies of survivors
and watched hours and hours with the shoah foundation was worked with closely with us. So I wanted all those voices in me that was my I just I needed to just saturate an end, the stories and you start hearing these continuities. in survivors stories. I hope there. A loved one was still alive and that's what you played in that and that's envy We explore those ideas. Viktor Frankl talks about it, man search for meaning, Trusting in that movie that you know the thing that sticks with me? Is it you know you're holding under this love. This girl and you re But when you were a teenager in poland, yeah right and then your whole life, you know it's ear and in an but you realize that you know what Do finally the stories open at spoiling. Anything you know find out that she's actually still live, that the the idea that thou
what was important was hoping that what was your whether the love was whatever it was. It was so young and so short but it was enough is enough day. I knew You know any like doubt that was what's amazing, and also that he held onto it and the shame of not reconnecting Foresaw shame of that, the waited the shame of their character. How did you live with that? Will to return to the idea of service here goes to to make sure that we felt lived in and also progressively americanized ya. as it goes from a young man, the camps surviving the camps day in and day out. This most brutal way in america, as a as a boxer and his whole point, his goal was trying to get his name in the paper, so maybe the guy
from poland. Might he's still alive. The girl that kept his heart, his energy, his focus, his ability to survive, you might see it and they could reconnect And as much as he tried, he didn't, he couldn't find her he married some one else. They had kids and why You ve gone through a trauma impossible trauma a prolonged. I get Kevin. I came its even harder, contextual eyes, with modern language degree did one organization be up that happened in the camps, but they don t, a little knock there it is, of a survivor. There are many and they somehow were able. Two compartmentalize that shit over how long it took the middle. fortitude or the spiritual fortitude the.
ruthlessness. The devotion to the hope being reunited. That was the to do that I heard over and over again was the thing that kept me from the got me up. when you want to drop when he had no, you know so left on your body, your physically depleted and in a word camp and if you can't work year thrown into the oven, chick gas chamber or the fire pit get close to their material emotionally. He know. May I just I guess the the question I was trying to ask in framing the owner see way was at least to me, there's a movie that everybody should see and you should be in a sort of recognised for that for that that journey. you took, you know, and I am sure you are But what I want to know has a guy who acts occasionally is
Do you walk away from that work? You know feeling satisfying yeah like I did the work in that's enough. completing the film was one of the most profound experiences because I was allowed the opportunity to consider the whole years of mankind and all so finding a glimmer of hope, thinking you threw that. So just on a personal level, my life has been enriched and there's there's more gravity to this house: experience you hope see the work, course. You only have to say here that I really like that. personally I dive
the words when I speak to my wife, about, like I'm clean fuel, clean air the work speaks for itself. The storage should be seen the should be talked about here. particularly now and when, when My lord, I mean the burning books and manning books again this fascist mentality is is, is is trying to erase not only the holocaust, but what we done to the enslaved people of our countries. The way the genocide repeats itself, time and time again throughout the world. Via you home, That a story can not be just trojan horse as homework but actually tender rise, a heart like you you make, Today is the worst day of your life. and we all have those moments. you may say I can't get out of bed today,
I don't know why I'm going to work? I don't know who I am with. I don't know who I am we're. Take a b is take a bee, take a breath, flecked not on the horrors of life, but that endure it is available to you it's in there, it's in your dna and it's worth fighting for for those seconds. I it man, if you can At their eat, something take a nap drink, some water, if you're lucky enough to have those at your disposal right Well that well, I guess, like I thought it was great. I thought the performance is great stories great loved that the the way that you managed a guy- gets older, carrying, not the trauma, memories, but the memories of what he had to do to survive. And then ultimately not being able to to to to live with that. I think you know in terms of stopping fighting, So many survivors of of and the skin
ply two soldiers, sure don't talk about it right, though still try compartmentalize any can't. You can't put trauma where you can. You can stuff it, but it's gonna pop out somewhere else, and this is him in trying to fight by forgetting me and he can yeah. Why thought was very honest about that about how you know his family life starts to kind of a road and we gotta we gotta, look at it. So now you turn around and do what I mean some time between it, but this character and emancipation is the office the other side of the wire right now, going into that or when he started repair That did you realize that I mean. Did you feel the weight of that for sure winner for shared the script award assets? Wireless is really ass. It moved well yeah, and I wanted nothing to do with that movie. I just I just
We went to auschwitz to prep. The survivor here on each be oh, she can see an ant one folklore as we are pieces? I want you to assent they play a man enter of slave, the enslaved and I just want to look at those things anymore it and want to look at the atrocities of man, and once said, I want to lift the veil and as a good luck- and I wish you all the best thing- it's wonderful you're doing this. We need this movie, but right now I want nothing to do with it and I stayed up all night like. Why don't I want to do this and you have yourself talk: re touch yourself, right How do you list availed of white heat. And the reason for not wanting to do it was because I was afraid of it. and that's the reason to do it So we were able to have really is: dream open, nervy conversations about
white racism and these groups that are popping up and with Well, and and with Antoine it happened very fast, it was it was. I don't want to do the movie or that's what you started talking and then I was up all night and I just started spiralling as you do and. and as written this script, the character was a southerner, very flamboyant cage in big mustache, a lotta hate extra hate speech, very colorful character on the edge come up. Fourth of July and said you are left the whale. Let's put it in, and then in the mid west. Take him out of the self endless explore how a man learn. State is like a game and lets ass those questions, so we distorted sharing news articles. Look at George Floyd right, look at the
and there was this line in a book that we shared called without sanctuary about the lynchings in america and used you take them. The hanging man out of the forest, you see all these kids whitefoot smile and smiling people here later combeferre area, and there was a line. There was an essay in it either in this book, forget who it was. Who is either it wasn't frederick douglass it wasn't james Baldwin, but I'm stuck, which was relentless matter effectiveness of racial violence? relentless matter, effectiveness, let's get into that one. keep sameness. What's, let's explore that when we just wove those so then I could be in service. That was that was how, Click in it's not about doing this, colorful What was interesting because it seems that you tapered the character a little bit from somebody. You know he was a thoughtful person,
in a caricature. He didn't strike me. As you know, flamboyant in the way of a sort of evil, dandy, right, the trope right every lift. The veil right. Take we seen it. We ve seen the racist southerner will not all southerners or racist a novel northerners herb civil rights activist thrive where my and parents were. as jews when they get there they sell out, will my grandfather, my father, my Nana mark with martin luther king a month after summer in Boston, around yeah He would pick a war for progressive jews. Did that's what we did. We and. That is another reason for not wanting to be a part of film, and then I realized, if we can inverted. The words of James Baldwin, frederick douglass and talk about white fear,
into the mouth of the man who's doing these things we can, we can get rid of the trope yeah it was. It was a kind of a interesting, tight wire act, because you know you didn't overplay that guy he wasn't a caricature. You know he like a sort of like mad. Tat of neo kind of the fight for and an we acquired force what is interesting, the way that was scripted that you eat you, back story? to how you know. You're your heart was broken and the evil came in. We worked on that for months. That one manoa yeah. Before it was. It was a lot of sexual violence in and bill or writer was game to collaborate and The thesis was, if you're collectively, we we we all got the same pagers, say: ok when you're born Are you a racist? Are you in Anti semite. Are you born that way and if you
believe that a baby is not borne that way. If you come in pure and your taught that mere how how let's, let's look at that and that's and we d massaged that into the fabric of the care, we see now into a man, learn to hate from his father. Carries on that, but instead specific way, because, like you, you know that that that story of a man learning to hear from his father, like I mean that was depicted pretty like well in america, history ex very well with the backstory of young with that scene with the kid and his father you're right, and you can see that way, but this way was in your character, animates pace ones. It was more insidious because there was fundamental, soul. Crushing heartbreak there. Yes no, the kids goodwill, the kids mary caretaker his friend
I mean it was so concise, You know in the way that you handled it as an actor that you didn't you, you told the story. We even explain the story you you just your shifted from telling the story to and that's the way it is. If we talk about and asked the question of? Why? is violence come from, say: ok, people act out, violence, they're afraid which I think facile sees the writing on the wall of the great question is what if they return the favour on us? Can you imagine, What? What have we done? I am by taking responsibility for this, and that mindset is we have to keep them down, have to keep them down. So, if we can poses questions within a film a viewer. Might it it's cloaked.
It might provoke a conversation. That's the best thing you could Four is an artist. you're a filmmaker, especial with this stuff, because, like even myself in in some of the interviews, I've done lightly and some of the reading of done lately said I painfully, ignorant of black history. in this country, modern black history, and yet in the arts and in interest and its actually what you'd the current sort of Entitled white cultures trying to censor the book, their banning are books about black history. These histories that their trial To push aside are our response stability, the inn, Americans. Yes to this, and then, when I find myself really you're saying things like had no idea. Even if it's about movies
yeah elvis mitchell in here. Talking about re right. It's like I do know that these movies, I always thought they were too campi, but they're. Not they are expressions of a community found a way to make them against all odds, so of provoking conversation. I mean that's that and when I watched emancipation you know I didn't know what to expect. You know, because Sadly, you know as well as just a movie guides like here, is. It can be like twelve years of slaves secondly like jangle I can I can I take it can handle it, but you know, We'll smith connect, the fuck out of things is again and you know you guys both showed up when that thing with four hearts and it was you know it was pretty pretty incredible. willesden his finest work in this. It's astounding I didn't see, will smith said: I saw a man who's this deep in it felt like
for lack of a better word prayer. Everyone was in service of this. Walking on those plantations. we filmed on the plantations. That's a hanging tree that still up where they hung here. In beings for the color of their skin. It. it's in the ground. You feel it when I went out, shreds to study research for the survivor, you feel it. go through those gates. You touch the rails where six billion are brought in miss. Let you feel that it felt very similar on the plantations in our own country that sea It is when the final moments of bullets heading you played a well, he played a well, you know in any aware, came it was it was a satisfying moment. glad of satisfying the ices my mom and the premier array,
in a moment out there and the crowd erupted in applies actually mom. I'm glad to hear that with you, but I mean Well, how did you guys did you you and will meet in in terms of. Process. I mean what was. Did you guys you show up in in and do it should showed up? Did it now, he came with his work. You came up your work and that was that we didn't say a word to each other to the last day: six months, a shooting, not a word, not a word. wasn't planned and it wasn't go in with some. Gary idea, really, this is normal I'm not gonna talk to, will smith
it's going to be him and you're allowed to you're allowed to do anything. You want sure yeah kite. Are you going to your trailer? You want to eat craft services smoothie here, yeah yeah. She really should try the chemo yeah I just walked in on said You feel it incredible set once again working in a of work camp with enslaved. I know you're all right away after watching that the survivor my curious he's back in a camp man gimme that cop, but yeah authority time for the comedy. Maybe we should do one I'm ready k or in ireland let's go or an scott one of the greatest sense of humour in his is in one of the finest raiders working today or in movement ideas, please I'm ready for Are you definitely need to come? I is one
It is one ear. Okay was great occupied likewise ones, yet ones, ura when's! Your show out the special out. I am, I think, we're hoping for sprang. Maybe February I just voted directors cut figure I do I do. I talk a lot about grief in it now talk about like I did Yoga I do in auschwitz joke in it. Believe me, yes, When I talk about like the idea of humor coming from profound darkness like for me, it's not sorry because it disarms it and framed in a way that I can handle, and I say there must have been some whole areas: people in auschwitz and people like what they their shock to mike they were all jews. You tell me that wasn't one guy, they said you can watch Murray tonight. He does all the nazis, its polarity he's the best gabrielle. but there was there- was
of course there what you read that primo levy book I mean it's all just shy of, like you know, someone doing stick em regime. There is a million different ways that these I tried to see. Did you read that in preparation did it? I'm astounding it it's in the survivor yeah, we have the there's that batch oak right. Oh mother, I used to tell that yoke not stage, one of my favorite jokes, it's one of my favorite jokes, great jewish joke it's the best. We need to laugh, and it and we have to laugh at darkness. Yes, in the funny thing is most jokes: type and certain era for probably five dec. It's all the jokes or jewish jokes. They're all jewish check. This is how we made it in this country. Writing fucking, jokes! gotta make it somehow, let's go have a cigar. Let's go. Have a cigar good. Talking to you like what
then foster love. We got The survivor is unaids. Real max and emancipation is on apple tv plus I enjoyed hang out for many people. Three years ago, tomorrow january third, twenty twenty- I talked with brad pitt and lean dicaprio for an hour at the arc light theatre, in LOS angeles, that thought even open. Any more got: it's been three years. Jesus Listen to this, with the very you admire and how we gonna you're, getting you so nice about me. You don't fan! I really really is I'm talking about you, honey, on the movie you're going off about out of that. My shell dire love. This show I've seen it. Three times higher salaries, they might I've. It's my happy place
To see you miserable makes makes me not feel so bad that the burden for others, you really are yeah and I love, but I just love how you think. I told you this when I bumped into you how you'll you'll, like suffered some minor and justice in the world yet from another. Have it out with and you suffer no fools and then you invite him back to listen to you to your new turn bush on things like we're, where equal now we're all humans it. Why think that's an attempt at an eye if you have their problem? Where lack like, asshole and then in a new kind of call, your way back into someone's life, and hopefully, though, forgive you for it see, I thought you were justified is is I did I did either. I thought you were speaking for all of this and then you, then everything is ok. Things, ok, usually until it comes back later point is that's a fine episode, one of the last big ones we did before covert hid. It was a different time. People go enjoy
for free in all podcast feeds. If you ve never heard it. It's episode one thousand and eighty six, and if you want all episodes of deputy of ad free go sign up for w tia, plus just click on lincoln the episode description or go to w tee of pod dot com and click. W e, F plus, thursday show I talk to Collen hanks, before we go to day a reminder that this episode sponsored by better help, sometimes life You bogged down and he may feel overwhelmed or like you're, not showing up in the way that you want to when you feel empowered, you're, more prepared to take on everything life throws at you. If you want to live a more empowered wife therapy can get your their visit better out outcome, slash w e f! Today too, ten percent off your first month. That's better help hd l, p d, com, slash, wtf and in memory of the great boat did whose birthday was last week. will play guitar for you now right
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Transcript generated on 2023-02-10.