Michael Imperioli leads a much different life from the one led by his iconic television character Christopher Moltisanti on The Sopranos. Michael and Marc talk about what it's like to have played a role that left such an indelible mark and how his career as a writer, director and actor has taken shape since the show's final episodes.
Sign up here for WTF+ to get the full show archives and weekly bonus material! https://plus.acast.com/s/wtf-with-marc-maron-podcast.
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
The guy or I'd woods you this? How are you at the blogger is what the fuck bodies, what the buccaneers, what the particles, how warrior mark marin's devotee of welcoming the show breaks today Michael imperially christopher, is on the show. I don't if feel like that but that's what he's known for god dammit, I mrs surprise us the ever sit down and just think yourself fuck. I, mrs sopranos, like back Can you say back in the day? I don't know if it was back in the day, but when they run and withdrew the first kind of show of its kind, were you just look or two. It was like a craving euro like sunday, ninety lock in and just what what's going to happen, I had no idea that was come and that type of television that sort of its laws-
former cereal eyes, to mean that there is nothing new about that, but just a fact that, like breaking bad, that way to that, you enter every episode, not knowing what the fuck is going to happen and also great characters and in Michael imperially paid wait, a grey character on that he was great and good fellows he's great in his movies. Great easy is a great guy and I strove to talk to him because he's those guys character was so defined. Sopranos, where you think I'm going to talk to that. Guy he's that guy, but it was great talking to him, made me miss new york. You know- and I was just there I need only mention some stuff about about new york. You know I am has go back you I finally got some good weather. I think I told you that, and and went down? I live there, long time and on a nice day, new york city, there's really nothing that compares to it.
Nothing like new york, there's no, comparing any other. eighty or play some or feeling tonight work is it is it is of itself, and it is amazing, huge, spectacular, moving the best city and I started in some guy cab driver of our people That's what you do in new york right he's talking about it about how nothing field new york you get in it and when you're in it, you view with the energy of it and if you know the b there it's it's, it's there's nothing more, exciting, is to walk in new york city. On a beautiful day I there was a couple of moments there. You know I was walking and I was in between things I was there to to meet with people. For a thing about a thing: I two hours- and I was just It was almost like far whether in an obvious way-
jos- I had the slice and or two maybe three Don't you know what I mean I can do? I was on a trip. and. I was wandering around- and I literally nothing new! Just like why? Don't I have anything to do? I'm in new york? Isn't there somebody in need to see? Is there someplace? I need to go. and I was like- no man- you just in new york- you just here- When two places nearing dear to my heart and went to do this, we're meeting place of perry street and when in time to the earth. Days of the day easy, clean time his place. If you know what I'm talking about something you do if you down, if you're in the year in the sea Would society be shooting? parry street when you're in new york city, it's a class it's an institution, its old tie me man But I was with my my producer, Brenda mcdonald, my beard partner in this endeavour, w e f india
you downtown. And we're at a meeting. We went to a meeting about a thing we were right there, The world trade centre at the sight the new building. I not seen the new building. I not seen the memorial and I was there that day. I was in queens and my roof feeling Obliterated and in shock I don't think I've been down to that site, certainly not since it and crunched under construction, and maybe you I I I'd gone down their weeks ass. the horror. where he was just a smoking, pile of of steel, mangled steal that you can really get I was too, but you could see down the street Remember there was a lot of talk about what the memorial would be, what the new building would be.
And everybody was she chiming in about this or that so I've been really really out of the loop cause. I had left new york I'll compelled and I felt like I needed to go see the memorial. I had no idea what it was to be like what effect it would have, how it could be effective. and its? It was amazing its, It's an amazing memorial. They, its literally the body use of the original towers? There's two of these. It is to this memorial and in it just a job. Square. It's a whole in its a waterfall on all four sides and then there's a pool at the bottom and then another square hole that you just just darkness it. You can't see bottom of the water goes into it all around. The top are the names of the victims, and there are two
these and their massive in their quietness, subtle and the profound and moving. I didn't know how. I would feel when I went down there, but stand there and to have the reflection and to have to honour, the dead in an and honoured the the the memory of happen there and the ongoing sort of, Partake of that you, don't you, don't really realize it in that you have this heart ache, this grief and to check in and with it we have something that was felt obviously around the world, but certainly if you would in new york, it was at its profound injury. and ass I stood there. I was thinking of this. They did this right man, you know, I am moved, I'm I'm thinking back. I am elevated,
Did sir, it was beautifully done and it's something you should really see if in your new york distant, no matter what you think about what happened, it happened and and people were killed that day and it was horrible, but to really pay respect, no easy trick, and I don't even know who designed this thing but to use the space of the of the of the towers that were once there in an why they're gone and what that represents an too integrate into that space, a sense of living, grief and respect for four. We won, who was lost air. was no easy trick. No easy. Ask and it's a beautiful, beautiful piece of work, living memorial art
and the new towers nice guy be honest. I didn't go up in it, but it's nice. It's hard to be there, but I'm glad did it did it definitely had the effect of of of of bringing back something painful, of integrating the grief and of of elevating, the loss and and And- and sending it off. and gave a little bit of closure there. It was is profound. I had no idea, I didn't know what to expect. You know now something like that's going to hurt you. but obviously you know there are was of us who were there and it was well- Everyone knows it was saying anything news tough day but the memorial was spectacular and I appreciate it
Also a funny thing happened in n Y, see at those classic thing. I was in a coffee shop, a off you a brandon and I was walking down a new. Some guy was looking at me like you, gimme that look there look or are like you. I know you aren't I and I like you, but I'm trying to be cool happens. That work for others, I'm from with the look from within and without walking out and he looks at me because I will get amity and I'm ok. What's up buddy gus, hey, hey, mark, hey markka, you have big fan, I'm a big fan. Any his brain got a little jangled there in the moment, and I was saying well well. Thank you out to our nice meeting. I asked him his name. I don't remember now and I'm sorry, he told me his name and I'm walking down and just hey, hey, keep up the good luck. I mean we're, keep up the guy ol boy screwed up, but keep up the good luck. That was a beautiful mistake. I was one of the greatest things ever heard of.
get out of my dude. That's that's! That's a shark that's what that is, keep up the good luck. try man the have been all my life finally got a little go, a little run of it, but Jesus keep up the good luck. If you can, if you gotta, run, go and keep up the good luck, I clean the garage man, I do it mattingly I do. I just say I do a yearly, but I hadn't done in a while, and I had to throw out a lot of stuff move some stuff out vacuum. Where does the dust come from? I don't even have the window open here. What is dissolving? What is eroding what is coming apart? that causes so much does is it for me and my emanating does do guess. I was it got to the point here. Well, obviously, who been been in production line, you know something you figured out that sometimes we record interviews and we don't dumb my right away, but now like we gotta get back on it and I was the sitting. My garage, my gun, a little shame this mess and it no longer as the kind of cool, charm,
did the garage once had now just looks clutter did just access shit everywhere. This chaos there's a mess, is garbage yours dust, and now I got the I cleaned up can breathe in here and now time to start entertaining people again more, frequently with pride cluttered shit hole. The garage looks good though were scared If I'll write about found some interesting stuff it's weird when you do the cleaning because I was like I gotta do it at my mind to it, but then you end up just just watching your life, slowly pass before your eyes as you go through piles in boxes We are looking at my high school diploma, look in its, by road. Ten years ago I got a stack of fuckin like we gotta glances from two thousand and one nineteen. Ninety nine, what I don't even know I kept us get had to keep him at some point four, ex reasons
did looking at my schedule now a sort of weird underneath or fire in here, like a little lamp, that's What's with the ground, its flesh, before the garage I picked it up and there was a fully preserved lizard skin a wizard had shed his skin under their perfectly and I dont know how it got under their cause. It was depressed, I don't know, I don't know if it was magic, but I do know that a lizard shed his skin perfectly beneath amplifier in my garage and I've tried to do that, I can only aspire to the perfectly shed skin. right now? It's enjoy my my conversation, Michael imperially, spectacular, grey did you just gonna- I mean, if your fan
I hear his voice. I just love, listen, I'm doom! for as long as we talked here, we go the weird I dunno. I guess I associate you with new york in my head. I was there forever too two years ago, yeah are have Let me see thrilled no barrier and now I was for me to change. Yeah where'd, you go Santa Barbara right Why santa Barbara? I didn't! I didn't you know I didn't. I live in a big city and yeah. That was the thing S and me. New york is the greatest city in the world and, if you, but if you Don'T- I live in a big city- you can't live there. right more easily able to one of state brilliant. really crazy about the suburbs in new york cannot but mobile. Further up white, though that country, the hudson valley, I wanted some day, we were ready for some
Do you live by the beach about a mile and a half? Well, that's not there. How long of a drive is there an hour and a half, Well, thanks for coming down thanks, it's weird because you know you and those guys I feel like I've, seen all my life, I feel familiar with you, of course I do not know, I feel the same about you, reject, drove we're not very familiar with each other at all, but no deal like we are, but in reality were not. You know, I don't know. I guess night I mean like because I it's hard when he doing a raw like you did sopranos for as long as you did it for people not to have this fuck your relationship with the of course, I even the you know when you point spider and all that stuff like when I was younger, I feel like I was younger when I saw how do you forty nine to fifty one, not that big a deal. But I mean I imagine that people come up to you all the time and they're like hey. What's up all the time all its time, never going to go away. It'll, probably not
Miss that show body. Do you. I was a lot of fun. You know what I mean. Come camaraderie. We had a real. I know a lot of those guys even before sopranos, seattle, mother, jog, yeah, some of them from acting school over my new john Ventimiglia, who played the chef already bhutto or yea mania movie He was in my met him when I was seventeen acting school were roommates in there sharon, Angela who's. Also my movie she's great hungry ghost. We went act. I know, since I'm nineteen really How old we you around the same age is how many me yeah, but we, you know some of those people in my class started working together in india, film and in theater, and we start accompanied one goal was it it were as an offshoot of Lee strasbourg incident was a woman named lane aiken who started her own studio. Bah allibone was in the classroom beer so is one those ones where we everyone kind of gravitated around the personality of that woman who have
that way out. What's your name, Elaine ache and ass, she die a number of years ago with ass, a great teacher. So you apart the whole thrust of new york. Acting thing do we did. I took some guys we're still adler you did How is spread those teacher right? She was still alive, I took them As with how old are you dean yeah and you just have to do that right. I just does said I finished high school and I wind up not going to college yeah. I kind of bailed yeah the night before I was supposed to leave in September just said: I was going to go upstate all money in an hour's dates. Quota, sunni, sunni and I was like an hour I wanna, be in the city. I wanna be an actor and that's what I did, but I m You know my teacher was really cool issues like in a look. You don't have to go to college, but if you want, in an actor, you ought to be an artist. You have to really educate yourself and your. I learn about art, and this was a lamb painting and music and
literature, yeah, ok and I want to museums with her and she turned round to books in one on one sometimes yeah. So this woman, who is white in her seventies by then she was probably in her late sixties. Maybe early so is taking you around the seventeen eighteen year old kid to the museum of modern art and stuff to the met. She was very generous. You know that way and very young. You know another kid who is in that class a guy named Tom Gilroy who's. Now a writer director, he just said a movie called the cold lands that came out and he directed a movie called spring forward. A number of years- and he an actor then- and we start he started we produced. But arthur miller, play call incident at vichy that Tom directed and I produced back in eighty eight I was like started producing when I was in marley when I hear and he started right. Then he started writing. So we started producing his stuff and let's alone people who, in my movie were way back in the eightys. We were doing this stuff. What now?
interesting to me. It's also interesting how you like, when she would take it in museums, stuff what What did you learn? What did you put together that tankers words you grow up? I grew up right outside of the city, mount vernon. York n y. Where were you? What was your family like what your man do, whose bus drive in the bronx really for thirty years, So is the government job right at each city job I'm ties, pension retire, that's what we ve got and for the whole way right. My router is still works, but he's routine gets a passion to Wednesday. he drives a couple: doctors, opera, like in the car, yet pretty mellow the item really well and your mom mom's retire, she was in the school jordan, a public school. Shall we, What you do teaching her now secretary, and so you grab working class new york, yeah italian here very yeah a tie, nero third generation right
but very much that was my neighborhood and friends and he asked of catholic yeah food lots of it. My girlfriend good stuff? We won't need. The chop thing now is obsessed with shop for a long time. I won the celebrity competition. I hadn't I've had the comment on here, scott Conan, I've had. I didn't he wasn't on my episode. I've had a you know: what's in they alex, going to challenge. She was one of my judge, she's tough man. She was good to me, though, how to get to know who are you forget I was the final list was print chastising who is the the olympic women soccer team, she was, the chicken took off her shirt in there. We weren't sports brother famous picture. She was at the fire was me in her and though she guy she's pretty good here. Would you learn how to cook? now I worked in restaurants for many many years in all aspects. The business
and I learned a little bit there were. Then I really learned from doing it goes. My wife doesn't cook. So when we started having kids I used get take out new york from every restaurant, we were always on the go and I started hating every I got got sick of every backer menus yeah. I just wanted home food, so I started learning stuff that I liked and you know still just keep after. You know a He is doing it. You start you got knack, firing good ever you know you guy, I feel for joey I like to eat it. Like but some people can't fucking do it. They can cook this get it takes a little. I guess you have to have a little neck. Do you get I like you? I think that the key is like you have to be able to conceive, sit conceptualize. What your cool! That's exactly right! Cn you've got to see the end and you get inspired by an ingredient like where I live. They have a great farmers market on the weekend and you see what's in season what looks good and then you're like oh, I can make this year with it and you have it right to nice cycle.
After the museums year and got you hang around this acting teach. What an emigrant allaying lane acre now famous. John John vent, a million I went with her when they had up a member in the late eighties. They had the hermitage in russia. They sent this big collection me ever of. The big impressionist again gone because once but that had never been seen in the west. You know long term. I think, though it was probably better before still before the walking but somehow they had this exchange or we went to see these paintings in it and it really made a big. It was the first time I kind of understood what an artist did you know like. While what is he doing? What he's not just painting, what he sees painting is interpreted what he sees through his emotion that day. the kind of clear drunk in russia exactly what she wanted you to know that are either Painting by van Gogh called rain. I haven't seen it since.
but it was very abstract. It was. You know it was his thing of the rain and of that kind of clip. For me at least one moment right was a big moment nerves, but in I remember that an early instilled, you know, cons conceptual notion of what an artist does or can do, and she gave me the that's very big that for a teacher in stone, a student Well, it's it's interesting than she knew innately you as somebody's teaching creative people, how to act that you need to know about these other things. Yes, we know you Do you know if you're not gonna, go to college, you need to broaden you're right. You thing right Isn't she never said you need to get good headshot right? She was total. unconcerned with the whatever methods of getting work. She never spoke about agency never spoke about auditions. Anything like that. She was all about the craft and endless it. And what do you? still use her principle. Or idea all the time I do
Because it's should do the thing I took most. From her is a way of creating privacy. Ah, you know in them in this on the set right here so you can be free to express yourself without any inhibitions, we're in now That was an idea. She showed you that, while through technique through you know they since memory, you know there was, as one exercise call private moment which, basically you you create say you know mark you're going to create how you feel in this cause you like being in the studio you get inspired in the scenario you create here, so you imagine, helga, here's the walls, here's the shells years the books and then you in future that, with whatever senior doing ok and for an hour in and I can use that is sometimes you know: you're use shooting on the street news people watching and this helicopters and rise noise and his people yelling and let's go. Let's go
to find a way to send her yourself to concentrate the focus in these things in that's one way that really works mean that something that sheet taught a see she really. That was a big exercise for her yeah and I noticed you know in your movie, which I why yesterday, which it has been a few years right too, shot end two thousand eight. And where is it at now, you can just get it it's available on. It was on netflix for a long time. I don't know if it's still there was there for a long time, and it's the hungry go see, I don't know of it the website, if you can order there, Virgil films is the distributor you could probably order from them. Will you with their movie oil, how it to make that twenty five days here and he wrote all thing indirect holding up a little bit of a cameo in their night. You not in it at all. Now I thought you were the copy I think that's my brother, it will. I say I love you too much. Cheesy put our weight that mine, my younger brother, I used in my father, was a guy who picks stew
up in the car service in the beginning? Oh yeah, man. No, I thought it was a very engaging movie amazonia little disturbing near and it did. Took on all the big questions. But I I notice that everyone was. in their balls off yea in the sense that like these, where you're you know, because I didn't know a lot of those people, I know the kid I saw him in the in the the movie with ryan gosling yeah. I think this was his first movie like how old was he eighteen, I didn't, know him he would. That was pretty much only part that we audition people they much everyone else in a movie that the parts were written for them. My wife and I theatre that we built in new york. We had we produced new place for a number. You remember that what was called studio, Dante, yeah and a body in nineteen of those actors, were in productions or in the class we had classes there. We taught act, you taught me, am I taught Sharon Angela of inscrutable who play johnny sack and
Sandro moves now on oranges, the new turkey's another, yet other led in the media, foremost taught at this at the theatre. but mostly we produce new place shrimp No from comedy, he's to book a room at the drop, Did you work the room? Nutter nine, never work there. I remember his name, I remember him being around, but you Where you stand up in vegas, not much I don't want to bring my son tonight as he says, he's stand comedian. Is he yeah. He suddenly just turned seventeen saturday and last year he's been performing on in clubs. And I have met him now. You ve, never member. He ain't he's he's in junior in high school, so he had a lot of projects, but he couldn't make it down, but he was He caught her was the one who said you have to do this. Joke, as he has a book that you wrote that I got hammond ease the mind. My book of that is a very big fan of that's very nice.
That's good! That's landed you kind of seal a deal. You know he psyche guy because he's a big admirer of yours So ass we was his name vadim Vadim at that where'd, you get that russian to my wife is rush hour, really wise. Yeah, that's exciting man. Why wish the best of luck? How's? He doing is funny he's funny man. He did. He writes his own studies, he's here, he performed once in a at the John love. club, the universe is how many guys I was I was now. It was a good good experience for him calculators with in a real comics yeah was. It was like additional your location, yet sound the nation people who are gone on the web. When this, the staff there is greater, really good people, used on a bunch of clubs in santa Barbara he opened for leak, camped the opening up of reaction of the algarve in here you have a team open for months in santa Barbara couple.
Pretty good com, as got twenty minutes fifteen teen handwritten that's great man You feel that you can go in the arts, its, I mean it, scary, watching him in ten o clock on saturdays roomful of drunk people view sought. You know he look really yeah he's. I haven't seen what he looks even younger. Ah, he gets out He did then it's really frightening. I like, but in terms of like the are you concern for the struggle of entering show business, I think titty everything's struggle, I mean what is in the struggle a minimum rights You know he's gonna have to support himself do in other things, anyways rail, it's it's not unlike any other job, it seems, but that's a good. Look at people are going to do with they're in a dozen to do what they would put. Hopefully, if there feel the courage here and the support here. He has a really good teacher and set up name. Louise Polenka stand up teacher nea
really here she'd. She runs a teen, that's how you get into it. She runs a teen comedy class in santa barbara awe and He was kind of doing class clowns, stuff and getting in class. Clown trouble in school, where I found this glasses, you gonna go. Just then he said not to want to do this in the first emmy when he goes. That's the greatest thing of ever done and now he's hooked yeah, I suggested to challenges real energy yeah. That's that's and- and he always is a great she's, been a great now you've got a comic in the fe. I got a comic in the film and one of the The kids out today see the oldest. He's a middle. I have a daughter who's, twenty who's, twenty four, whose are into photography she is in school, in new york at suny, purchase, ring shooting in our management now really she's, getting into studying that and then over thirteen, oh boy, who's into guitar yeah, all artists, all in the art holier you
It's all right. I do here you good. yeah, that's vague! What you know what I'm saying I play I play in a bad. May I read about an outcry doomed. I didn't you can find a record though the soundtrack was That was a great soundtrack opening opening instrumental is as young as my band is as open and the but the. A lot of the singer that you here the singer songwriter stuff that was alive, two new plays in my bandy he base, but he writes his own music and he scored a lot of that originally sound a great. He did a lot of that for the yes, It sounded santa stones, he he's really good and then the boy stuff, like the opening instrumental is, is our ban, but he did his own stuff for the or was it the original dream? It was a side dream. Rock and we won by amusing, acting kind of was the first thing I went into her eyes.
Plan in bands pretty much at the same time here and ice play guitar one bad and then I started singing with another band, I, when I started working as an actor- and I couldn't do both at the same time or at that point in my life, so you know I was You know the one banner was in I was singing, it was a drummer and a guitar player. and they went on they day after I left there. this woman Brenda sounder, who is in the fields have and they formed, and they formed a out of that some of it music that they are that we wrote that we wrote they went on and did other versions of my lyrics every yeah really good, but it so I I that there was some no in the eighties in new york, a lot of
people were doing a lot of different things and he wasn't on common, for artists to in basque, how to ban the he played in the bandwidth vincent gaol the girl living vincent about over the painter when he started the he was an act. Are you him. I met him once on the street. We run into each other and had about it to our conversation on the blue. ST the only time we ever met yeah. I think he was I didn't want if he lives here, he's he's interesting yeah, I'm all about that guy, the I haven't seen him in awhile, then always he's very talented. was scary to some people? Think that it's one of those guys you guys are young he's fucking with me or not. We are a very there was or was it wanted? times you just all the son, you stop it. You do and have this to our conversation on when you never met it was very net, was really one new york in the eighties. I was there and eighty nine you know that's when I got.
and it was sort of like there was still that that feeling of vitality to worry side, art scene and what was left of performance art was sort of still around. It was right before it all kind of went away and became something else. It seemed like exciting, poyser was very excited When will you they're like where eighty three, so that was the middle untasted and you were right. What seven seventeen year olds, like oz, yeah, yeah no not at the tv show here. We everything was still like happening, why I was very exciting parties and stuff and who, as you know, basque yacht? No, I didn't know. I knew some of people from that seen a used couple years later, like any sharp, far debbie Debbie maser was part of that scene and Joey areas, and most people here exciting goddamn man. Why no like watching your movie, I give you wrote that that came out. He had a fight with something
here and there is a lot of people have in a lot of people in my circle. That's that movie came out of place of you know. Spiritual, searching and addiction seeing a lot of addiction around me yeah. A lot of you know, and what started out as a part of the scene and kind of casual and part of the lifestyle and and then over time you see it start to just destroy people, horrible mere people, you're strong, I can't stop and they rely on it, and you know it's. It goes from being. You know something. That's that's part of your youth to put something: that's killing you via. He saw out of there What movie like they struggling with the spiritual elements and to be there character was quite an interesting character. Remind me a little of the movie hard role to play here the guy there is no sort of
monica possessed with the truth in its existentialist sort of or what he thinks is that right, he's the EU. It's all a negation. Yes, that's what happened. name. It started out. He probably start out with very good intentions and had a lot of artistic and sensibilities and ambitions, but have a quite fulfilled. And you know had, cut was a seeker, a spiritual see out, you know, may read and then that stuff started to turn on itself when he couldn't Basically he couldn't let go of his ego. right. He wanted on his own terms. You know he kind of Almost too smart for his own good right, an end. He understood things in a very little actual away, but he was never able to really integrate those things into true compared in an action. You know he takes this guy this. He he he does. He takes this homeless guy him, but he starts out with very different intent. He kind of does it as this kind of character.
in kind of right on the raw hang him with this guy by drinking in the park and there he kind of responsibly gets a motel room. He puts this guy in the sky. Kind of vienna starts started, MIKE shit in actually it's all over himself and he has to clean it up and you don't see it, but you know I was. I spared the viewers, all that's what I thought those interesting moment is what that guy going to do in the fact that he clean them up, you know was what sort of an interesting moment or that he may their choice right to the split yeah it it kind of was based on was based on a real life experience. Actually, when we, my wife and I owned a bar for awhile yeah, I've never actually told anybody this that that was based on this. What happened was the guy was drinking in the buggy really drunk hast thou. So this figure, I let him sleep, but now its work in the morning were cleaning up guy still passed out. So we the guy up,
turns out. He's on leave or a wall or something from the military and doesn't know where he's staying this is it with bars in chelsea doesn't know where he staying in new york is ideas as ours owner I called. father in arizona as fathers know, anything doesn't know where he staying doesn't know. If you with the army or not he guy was an asshole. The guy was- and you know, just degrading women cursing it other customers nasty to me in old, fuck you and I'm sorry. I know you can cause here. You can't well now we eat he passes out now he wakes up. I don't know to do them, so I put him in a cab, again the cab with him is he still shit faced shit faced in his mind, doesn't know where he is here. We gotta this hotel
on the west side at a nose like a flophouse and cheap place? I you I didn't have whenever our money army there know what area get him. A rule was like fifty bucks bring. now. I gotta get him up the stairs and he starts cursing people, and I start yelling at him. Pretending, unlike his sergeant like your soldier. Your job is to protect the people, not to abuse the people. As I go, you ok, yes, you're right, put him in bed. That was, you do took that we're all five dollars on his ear. the nightstand and then closed door and then just left right, and in all our fears. Well, why are you going to do that? You know the guy's an asshole you should do, but if, if I left him on the street, he probably would someone would have kicked his head in or something, but he as he was rolled him whatever he or he would have started mouthing off wrong person right, but so when I was writing the script, I kind of thought of that thing in that's like when you die
when you take that step, the kind of help somebody just because you feel a little bit, you know that the ngos young, he was probably twenty- want the eye to write. He was got drunk in my place I feel kind of responsible way. I didn't know what else to w take them to my house. You know what I mean: cause kids and nigga yeah. Who knows? What are you gonna do right I like you, you wanted I didn't have the heart to leave the guy on street, where I was the only other op he didn't know where to go. He had a hotel key no name of the hotel on you know them. It was just like so maybe you'll figure it out the next day. That's what thought. Why he's going to figure sum out the next day when he sober elite hell? No, I know where to earlier what were you saying about when you start to get involved when you do something compassionate there that there's a moment? What were you why, Where do you know where your opening itself to its non azeri gonna? Go the way you're not gonna, get reward in the guy like abused me whole time. Roadie much Kirsty me locked, attacked me at one point:
when we got out of the cab started No one at me and that I just remember that I left the proposed law early attack me one eye and I had the kind of common down again, but you take that step and it doesn't just because you're acting out of you, try it. In nice guide. Writing that gonna go the way you want, and I understand that you being nice nor or appreciate right right. That's where that seeing came out that's interesting! Isn't it in its out the same seo? No! Otherwise inspired by the idea of selflessness oil, it say because it was. I think looking back on myself saying it was kind of a bullshit altruistic act in my mind? I think I was kind of I don't know I mean, maybe in some in some
So do you took care of the guy kind of responsible right? I mean so what I permission have served them all those. I didn't serve them. Someone else did, but we probably should have been more careful on how much the guy was drinking. When we would. You know So I think we re address that you want to call your continuity was yes right, probably why that was still good. I never back from the guy. Her back wide and leave my information, but he don't even think he probably remembered where he was. I don't know how we got there. I think he, There was people, but At some point. He was alone. He didn't remember who he was with america I mean imagine, waking up in then- and then I thought got imagine he's in a way cup in that hotel hung over here. he's not going to know where the hell he is yeah, even when he walks out he's not going to know where he is here. Yeah, it's grenades, no money an exciting day for him exciting
I try to figure out how to get back with all that. Where did you find that with that screen that script, because you know it's nicely shot- is beautifully put together? It's a it's, a big undertaking that movie it's funny cause. I notice you were shooting a gimme gimme records and they have one. I just saw him. it's the same guy. He moved here. He was a friend of the producer. Have he let us have shot there? My dvd shot I drove by- and I was like god, that's. The play. Jackson was as overcooking to your own store, yeah yeah same guy and we got posters from rob. Robert pollard gave us. Posters over him. He had guided my voices and and Lou gave us upholstered use for the for them. well, that's nice yeah I had to reach out, for my tv show I gotta reach out to everybody, can't fucking everything you can't put a digital lou, reed yeah. He came to the when we screened it in new york. He came to see it, which was a big deal for me. I get unite. Lose my hero, basically out of anybody
can love and I just bought a second copy of the blue mask. Yesterday. That's a good one, so he heap, form in two thousand. You did the ecstasy out money was. He did a thorny play the knitting factories, because we are all my manager, I said could you get yeah because the show was on the air. So at that then I I was able to like get tickets. Some time said: can you get tickets for lou reed? She said, okay, as it was sold out, she got me tickets am the show is over and my wife Rats leave and someone came said: lou wants to meet you like, I'm just not unaware. Why guess they
the tickets to the publicist and he never met him before he. I met him twice, but he didn't know I was in. I met him on the street, he he would walk. I lived in the village, he lived in the villa you'd see what lou reed walking around the village from time to time and a couple of times I said stuff, but he didn't know who I was because I went and got a record signed by him in college who added that a record store. I told the story before he was just shopping. No, no, he was, he was there to sign the record. Waited on line to get that to me would record I got, I was like gotten resign transform, but he was on, but he was on the new. In the new sensations junket fraeulein trance my god yeah. I got transformer, but I got all the velvet stuff. I got all kinds of. I love it: okay, alright! So, okay, so we went backstage and he was like he he you know he just was really nice and we stayed in a state.
in touch. You know I ever he was nice. What he's our air? I just was very complimentary about the show and my acting, and he was really happy that I came in and I just said man. I said you, your music, as he's been with me. You know my adult life and has got me through a lot of things in a game. You big, I was a very big moment for me and on my wall, my office. I have the last email that I got from him two months before he passed away and he did you know to me? He was the great american poet of the twentieth century yeah. I mean him in Ginsburg men they when you look at the scope of what he's done over all. this time and he was still so throughout is towards the end of his life, so creative and still doing new music and just be brilliant and so new york so now you are not the same without it can't be he did you got a furore anything now I didn't
I was here and no west coast. I wasn't did you know you're, sick, yeah, yeah, everyone pretty much I didn't mean, and then I find that he had to transplant here, Is that what happened didn't take. Is that what happened? Mutual friends said: yeah you got the transplant, it wasn't so you know I got back and annoyed when you got back in touch with him and then you know that was the right one. The night we had the screening of regos was at the reuben museum in new york, which was a buddhist museum, tibetan buddhist art and he came, and I was like that was to me that was at some as to those who are dad's generation, whereas we're third generation away from that, but they were around men and when I worked at a place called cafe, brook cells on greenwich avenue in new york near across street from that place. Work for this is nineteen. Eighty there was a place called the rare book room so one day I walk into the place greg
Of course, I was in the area with the we're great close behind the counter antonov he's working narrow. What and then herbert hunky walks really and the reader or lawsky c'mon, guys we're all still around in the eighties and now game of thrones, just a little will or will will tiny or junkie are hunky right when he died living? I was living on the same floor as the chelsea. Oh tell us, he lives on an uneasy for you. it tells the hotel for about a year and he was on the floor that and the the the last time I saw him. I helped him in a cabinet said some day only to do the same. For you, Then he died a couple of months later. Did you meet ginsburg or was he gone? I met him on the street outside ST mark's church outside of poetry. Reading got him to sign a kaddish katia brown sent cottage kurdish yet, however, those guys were aroused great for you see, I know I know I know I mean that,
I mean tourist was in new york for you. I never met boroughs thank you down on the over by sea, be gb somewhere for, while down the bowery bianca and yet up there, john giorno lives in that laugh. Now still, I think, the same place. I think he and he inherited it or took it from what who turned you rwandan, those guys. and what I am I glad I you know term was the guy that I mentioned Tom Gilroy, whose now it you know four maker We are on the road. When you were, I get I never heard of those guy. Then I started reading, although all the I long. I was your thing. I love accion right because ninja yeah because it gets you into new york, he gets you're. Like you know, through that portal you get to warhol you get to the loo, you get to everybody in a way. Yes, because if you, if you're, compelled creatively along those lines of it You know even the army, both resisted, though fight back against it, but that was it. You know that that beat new york is worth while the beats
really kind of gave birth to the hippy movement, if at all, I'm not sure that they're happy about it but yeah well, I mean look at the influence it had on on in a politically and surely arteria yeah. I think they like to the push back again so, like you know that the whatever eisenhower was doing whatever by like, but between yo capacity and wheelbarrows yeah the evening you get along things. You know, I mean you, don't get you don't really get like. They all seem to have their role, because boroughs is The portal to all that heroin. Laugh, I mean to like you, know the gore vacation of it any of and then the whole than does the Paul bulls. Reality then enjoy jeering guys in the dream, machine and really wild stuff carnero. They just did you know that they just found this long lost letter. Have you heard about Joe Anderson letter, which it it's called the joan anderson letter so NEO cassidy wrote terawatt Why even caroline, why is it
and Joan edison was a girl and neil was dating. Ok, I'm, but he wrote Kerouac a letter. This is before on the road. We have eighteen page letter care I agree that letter and basically you know that he wrote the town, the city, which is a very much more straightforward. Neither now is worth book here, right, classically and yet I'll he read this letter this letter basis, change the way in Kerouac. Add this epiphany, I'm going like this guy, this pontanus bob prose right, which is how neil wrote letters. Riah was twenty two, but he was an anomaly and very kind of on it. S, reform scuba yeah, but had this incredible literary sense from joshua. Had this letter I hear them. They colleague jan andersson, because he mentions the story of Jan andersson, a girlfriend. I think rwanda in a mental hospital, some like that anyway. Carry is it too ginsburg and circulate among the beats and Denis lost its been lost since the fifties. Really it just me, surfaced in the archives of an old defunct public,
now called the golden goose press, but one letter really was the key to changing kind of american literature, sure it's it's really quite em. They thought it fell into the you know that the pacific ocean san francisco sausalito- that was the last time it was seen. Re hasn't been seen and fifty year at the amazing. Yeah. The letter where he's like I won't nielson going to do it I guess it's me it's pretty, while its great that's. Ass, an aim that year into this issue, because I mean I love it- I love it. yeah. I know it was a big big moment in you know in. church in itself. For you I mean you know that I think that it sort of informs to me you are. Certainly that movie knows this the idea of searching for either spiritual truth or poetic. Truth artistic truth, uneasy I got your compelled by that
in that year, whatever give the bee generation gave you, whatever the gift a lane gave you in, standing there. You have that within you. It sorted what drives yeah yeah so in terms of of struggle. with these things was drugs ever a problem, for you know that wasn't a problem for me, but it was problem for a lot of is around me, so you saw the horror of it, but what about the spiritual search? Where'd you land on that I was brought up catholic. I got exposed to the buddhism through to jack Kerouac. You know, through reading his stuff, in my early teens, but I didn't I kind of like the idea is of it, but I wasn't. I wasn't really ready for it. You know I started toward around time when I wrote this movie I was really reading aloud a different kind of spiritual riders. Like Virginia, Ben ski and got at night and all that stuff you can follow? I liked it a lot, but it didn't really nothing.
Really kind of took hold me till. I started reading tibetan buddhism saga really wanna start gonna teachings and started seeing actual real authentic tibetan buddhist teachers. You start going to teachings. What is one? Do there just sit there, listen to listen to teach her to the guy. Yeah I mean my teacher. Is a guy named guardian room whose to ben buddhist lama who ah is his late seventies. Now he spent twenty in prison in tibet. After the chinese, you know occupied tibet in nineteen, fifty nine and then, when you got our prison made his way. to the west through india, but you know like I said, oh, I would read a lot of these books be or I got into buddhism and ran. They would make sense and inspire me, but nothing really The book was done then stick in stick, but
through buddhism. I found a practice that you can. You know, start to work here, on a daily basis or some semi daily basis cn again, and then then I felt things sticking more like a meditation brackets yeah medicine. no definite what else while reading reading vinos texts and but that the most important thing is to fight in the tibetan buddhist tradition, the the the guru did. The teacher is of paramount importance really mine had funding or a teacher arts oh, you do. Meditation and the key the I gotta dilemma is about Most importance was at me because easier, you know he's your link to the teachings of the buddha which ran in and then goes back. His lama goes back to his lot and allow why, like the tibetan tradition, is
because of its geographic location, its isolation, It was isolated for so many centuries that a lot of the teachings comments. You know stayed very real They stayed in very specific lineages oral lineages from one per one teacher to the next, and so you know now and twenty century you, you know, they're still leaves teaches alive who, like arch and pusher, who became a monk in tibet, you know before it was. Inspired by the Chinese. So now are you in touch with your guy. yeah I saw last week in arizona, the centre in arizona and desert in the mountains. How often do you have to check in wide whenever I can, he has a centre and allay in arcadia that he he tee they once in awhile and all over the world actually in in asia and europe
then, when you say teachings, when you go so you read and you teach what he teaches are many on different things. You know I mean until teach on different aspects of boot when the teachings of the buddha very vast. You know he took the buddha taught for fifty years. He really has there's a lot house on a day to day basis outside of being, calmer. Whatever has I'll be problem, solver move through things. Well, I mean this is more for other people to say about me, who are with me all the time to confirm that it's actually true. In my mind, I, like, I think, there's certain. What did you know? I mean for me: it's a lot. You know something happens and you react to it right. That's how you sure so practice. Give you a moment or a gap to think or pause before
react right, so somebody cause you off. Your instinct is drive by you're, the guy, the thing that you're hurt him off right do some like that. How can a dimple sure sometime? This is just an example You and angry guy no, no, no unnecessary, I'm just given you I'm not getting. I got even my own example, greece and its general exam poker, but then you can ever more. Will you get that it's mind that it's like okay, this is what I want to do. Is this going to be product? What you know, because one of the big tenants and foundations of you know buddhism is karma. I may have of cause and effect every action as reaction of yes things. So your act if you do a very aggressive act, very often the reactions gonna be of aggression, sure yeah I get it, but you know beef. I know these things, but before they only once or funds,
intellectual. I won. You actually started if you, if you are lucky enough to to be around teachers and be around really good. Authentic teacher la and develop a practice that may be used, be able to I mean I'm a student man, you know kindergarten pay out and india, but don't worry, for I am yet. I find a lot of its very rich a lot of wisdom there for me. There's you been in funny enough What does this we shot? This two thousand eight, this film then as soon as it was then editing year in an era when the film was added one confound, the teacher so two thousand nine around fifty six year, pre recent six year, much good me and it doesn't require anything of EU financial year promoting wiser unicycle religion, it's more
well, I mean it doesn't require you to do anything, no man unless you want to feel know, I support what are you going to support if you feel inspired to do that? But it's not no. They don't who people they don't do any proselytizing? They don't go door to door when twenty those things here I am so is that why you screen the movie at the tibetan buddhism yeah, you are, it must be noted. Then we want. You know we we near, I forget exactly how they came about, but we we thought it would be a call. What is interesting, though, because there is something poetic about buddhism and with the earth sort of you know. You back for lou, infer poets and for stuff like that further, and I did a bunch of fun, razors rebooted blues and was up student of mingora and pushchairs was another tibetan buddhist lama, privacy ill for a long time, I don't know I mean you know
and you become a buddhist. You take refuge, that's what it's called when you actually officially would ever be. I'm! U take refuge. It's called taking refuge on the net, if he did. But I know you are he he studied with meagre in pushing for a while. Now He was involved in the buddhist community in new york and a lifetime of blue eyed in Spain at a time, but the time I spend with them was very precious to me here. I can't say I spent tonnes but a manner but you know he's nice guy you he was, a generous and kind gill nets. We hear so the first when he started getting roles we're like what eighteen nineteen. When did you play spider? One? Do that when I was twenty three twenty two twenty three were you friends the kid who played the leodis brother.
A he's in new york and gorg yeah karen Kevin corrigan, yeah, well the crew. I know him now I mean we met a little bit after goodfellas, but I knew his brother, his brother and I worked in a wedding hall in the in the bronx as waiters, really his brother Kenny. oddly enough, but Kevin's, a great actor. I love yeah, I think he's true. I just didn't know VR how many all knew each I knew. I know him way back before you know, probably right after good. He worked in a wedding hall. the italian weddings, one when, when your high school seventeen a lot of kids in my neighborhood did. I tell you, you get the job with scorsese saves you always demo. Amazing whites. Are you going on a general casting? I went just gone and an agents to starts. I was, I guess I was twenty two, the eight eighty, nine twenty three annum So I went to me the casting director taylor, Elam Louis, and they settle
I liked what I did- and the next thing I know is auditioning for him. And we just block was your mind: blown oh man, tying kid actor in new york and it for him courses and then I didn't know, and then they said deniro is going to be in than it used to mean seen with you. I was just like you know, praise it's like all of a sudden from you know, college and now you're playing on the yankees, something, as you know it, age? Was he a big influence on you, Deniro yeah sure How could he not are? You were not at that point in time here, seven days early, eighties, fair, sir, I'd say they cast you and then, like you, gotta, do that thing I had to do that's in, which was all pretty much all the dialogue was improvise was different. Every time and except for the line where he tells the guy to go fuck himself, but all that other stuff was all improvised scores ages? I get to go fuck yourself,
as I said all he said, was, so the first seen I don't say that go forty seven seconds in the first you I just it bring, bring image, bring Japan Amelia drank the enemy without a new area, but about what the thing that he did that's crusade did that whistle cool was he said to me when I got there he was. I come treat the actors as the character on and off the asset and then kind of easy from, because I was so nervous. You know so I didn't have to later. What I did was, I told the prompt, I said, let me take care of the table which they did and I set the bar. and then I went up to one came, sat down I down, I would you want you? Would you want to drink Jimmy here and he was like shot a scotch. Does,
the first he was gonna and then so I brought him this and was now the camera wasn't right right here, that kind of helped just too to a kind of be that the along with you, after a long day because he doesn't want to heat up. The last thing he wants is some young actress start to talk about mean streets or something to him. He wants to do his thing. He doesn't want to. How did you start in the business bobby you? He doesn't want to hear that. So you like a year into acting so when I buy, then I was about five. Six in all cases, studied I'd, gone on auditions and auditions for years and never got shit for years it a play right before them. So where do you? How do you put together? That is a very significant two scenes at her great but yeah that those that you put the gun a character yeah started, we started rehearsing, see the genius scorsese we shot to day one scene one day. It may have almost the whole day to do the whole scene, the first hours in the morning, expenses rehearsing yeah
improvising. So I I started off and I was a litte more a little bit of a wise ass and, of course they said no, maybe it's good if the skies like little slow right, mickey's, not just so as I okay, so I started, stuttering, which made do you not gave Joe patio ought to work right? That's all I haven't. We just did a different every time it just stuttering stuck I guess you know slow, I was it will slow my mommy yeah right, you were well. I just was just any adding and video united discloses like that's it yeah. Yes, I mean the age you no good director, somebody like makes an atmosphere like what I was talking about. for by you want to create. You wanted sense. A privacy say I don't feel inhibited right. The worst thing could have some asshole yells at you,
embarrasses. You makes you feel like scared to create ryan. You close up, and you just do as avenue. Oh yeah really there's a lot more and more? for you, Nobody knew you. When you have a little bit of juice and business people tend to treat you a little more, especially when you young they take liberties, you know yeah. Well, I know you are you done it? A ton of movies, but, like I come, but the sopranos like. I can't imagine Why did you have any idea? Was gonna go forth now? No, no! No, not at the beginning, no did you know James before now I knew everybody else, but not whom I do not know is work now mouth we it wasn't a lie. There wasn't a ton of it and had done a lot of, plays broadway yeah you ve become friends with them. Oh yeah sight after the bad now you're one of our first scenes
I was driving him and I think it's that it's the pilot, it's it's in the and we chase some guy he's running down the sidewalk we chased him with the car and stuff like that, and now I m really not a drive. I can tell anybody that at the back down the sidewalk with extra running around, and I didn't like five On the fifth take I smashed the lexus into the the tree, and I think, my god they got a fire. Like my second day right. This guy's the star. He must think I'm an idiot. He just looked and said you are not a driver. Here is a he started laughing and asked.
from then on. It was always he he was a good, really good guy the friend I was so sad that all this terrible was just terrible. I I it was just shocking and the people go into like how how does the in the certain people just like these forces in the world, then you a witness, does come yeah. That was shocking, really shocking, so our young, fifty two young guy, he, I guess he was not healthy. but you know I know, people who were less healthy who thoroughgoing the honest man alive. You will say white and take care. As I said, you know what a lot of people don't take em. So did you know I know the fuck knows. I mean I saw him two weeks before he died. He looked great. He looked happy look chill. He was cool, I'm glad that he was happy so you how many of you did, how many seasons did seven,
and can I got to know what it was I to be on that show, but like the spirit, It's like looking forward to that fuckin show. If every sunday was a raid was good. It was. It was nothing like it. It's very exciting. It was nothing like if are for. To be a part of? It was very exciting. Now do the two due to play a junkie You know I didn't work. Where were you? What was your sense memory on that? Never too, you know you make it whatever you want. You know what it's like getting. I only europe we'll try some diana you now. You know what you're doing less, but you know that it was. It was, The interesting character was refund apply because he he he went all over We also screenwriter, there's no clean, but he tried really hard what I really liked about it, everybody talks about If a movie, you should do somebody actually, when wrote, you know you re, really kind of heat
he had a lot of you, no harm I like to hear that I like that there is a sort of that there's a weird innocent thirty. Striving to india and butter? And the other say it's fucking killer? Yes, and a nut and a general all those things, but but made it very. Very fun to play was great. Do you back enemies in nothing but good feelings about the whole situation. Oh yeah even even if he have the rest of your life, give christopher is going to be you're gonna, be that guy I have control over that had a it mean it. Did something that I stand behind me. It's amazing thing guys do like I was there. I was wondering if I like how why didn't they do all kinds of like, like us stuff like lunch boxes in shit. Did you guys do you guys get like they d arnault machine him by machines and not much of that.
I don't know. I wasn't in my deal with wild, not much of those things yeah. I wonder how much of what doesn't matter it doesn't matter. So all right, so we had a bar for how long one I've heard about when a mirror. Ok, so then I kind of worked with her. Therefore one my brother worth there my best and worked there, and it was it was. How long was really small? Can small bar little lounge and chelsea? What was it? Ca cl rouge near Helen was able to see it or after that I only run the theater. We had the theater for about seven years. That's a pretty good run. What was the plan? Did? Did you crap out or what what happened was? What was enough for profit right? So where is all, it's fun. Razors did donations and within two thousand eight than the economy collapse, we lost all our corporate funding and it became impossible that was a thing. You've done a loud, the big part smallpox
it's all kinds of movie parts and what was what was the content? The last movie, that was a mexican film? He or she came out this summer, I played MIKE Todd, am todd, taught was a producer around the world. Eighty days, counting floss was the biggest star in spanish speaking, world massacre yan all over wherever they speak spanish and he started that move here. So now I don't adding me up and said you want to do, and I don't want to mexico city injected whoopi. His great have the movie. Do I did You know when it opened believe it or not. the men for world it was, it was wet, electing a fail fell, but this in an american has lots of eighty known. I know now that I mean I don't know anything about it, open it had those I vanish leaking right, not mine. That was all irish I had a lot of english, mostly spouse, but that we can open. It was the highest growth. Screen
it only open, unlike three into screens, but those cause all the air. these very beloved, even india. In america they are the watches movies. People of the address content fosters unseen, plus contains bar fly. the EU is one of the great the mexican clowns now. So what are you? got going now, then I don't tv shows here and there this that had some good parts I did a pilot for amazon called mad dog that they're amazon. their pilots and then decide whether they want to do it's very different model Then they decide whether they want to do it or not it. Some kind of like deliverance, meets the hang over comedy m. Get our colony. They have a lot of darkness is very dark. And it's Ben chaplain steve's on Billy's aims in the pilot.
What does it say? How many malka youse can? I saw you won't always a movie you pay. The carbon the one with the two peters move. No, the lovely bones yeah that interesting movie. That was fun. Air was really fun. what about directing the movie right, one again, I'm writing something now that I hope our direct at some point, but I m I'm working on a project as a writer right now that it's not kind of finalize. I can't really talk of riot but its it doubting a really cool movie from the early ninetys, a cool cult movie, adversary, I'll. Let you know when it's fine, your idea to do it, If somebody approached approach me to work on it, What's great, Sarah and another writer see a busy, I'm always busy. You know I mean I can I you know I keep myself busy goodman
was great talking. I appreciate you have avenue, was really really fun. That was never to talk like this with us. andy and best of luck with everything and tell your kid, we can't give him. Let's get a sunny homeward somehow thank him. That he might enjoy wonder what I have to find some nice diagram and thanks That's our shows a great deal from Michael. I love that guy's. Dear from that guy great to talk to what I guy here like I went, bought something as on twitter and I follow, send highs the MIKE place. They had a mike like, like just added at his guitar amp MIKE Mike it's just this little mikey putting your in front of your guitar amp. I think it's like a nine one, six or something, and I'm like I need one of those, because the guy god knows I'm a professional musician out here. My garage, but it's just this
specifically for this just copy. However, there available definitely a powder. Who Why, at the is the fairly? you and abstract, castor in just a old style. Very, basic cry baby why why paddle like I used to when I was in high school but didn't really know how to use it, I don't think I know how to use it right now the door opened.
Well. Why why why? Why? Why? Why why? Why the? Why? Why bomer lives.
Transcript generated on 2022-09-17.