« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 933 - Gus Van Sant

2018-07-15 | 🔗
Filmmaker and kindred guitar noodler Gus Van Sant meets Marc in the garage and jumps in for a deep dive on his movies, including Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho, To Die For, Gerry, Elephant, Last Days, Milk and more. Gus tells Marc why doing Good Will Hunting felt like such a personal risk at the time, why the remake of Psycho got green-lit in spite of itself, and why his latest movie Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot owes its existence to Robin Williams.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Let's do this, how are you what the fuckers, what the fuck bodies, what the fuck you nears, what the fuck vases what's happening? I threw a new one in there. Someone just sent it to me. I'm sure I've had it on the list before what the fuck vases. Who wants to be that who, or did I just speak to someone out? did someone just think I'm a fuck face, but now I threw one in there, so go, and you are right. I mark mare- and this is my show, w e f. It's a pod cast eve the plug into your head. How going in there good showed at gus van aunt is here, he's on the show he's not here right now, as I speak to you, but he's on the show, how good is watermelon as just a onset but in the summertime man I've been eating so much fucking watermelon. I think it's good. I hope it's they're, making me pre diabetic, but it's
is dumb diadem. On kind of you know you can eat things that the have any amount of sugar in a totally non sugar situation. You eat a lot I'm going through. couple melons a week. It's a bad habit watermelon habit I got a melon on my back, oh man. I gave up. I can't wait for summer to be over, so I can stop just carrying around watermelons its. bad when get itchy and you get cannon squarely and you get a run out. The hope woods or vons ralphs or wherever the fuck. You can get a melon ha cheese, but it's good pour salt on it. Awesome! That's it it's just! That's my ah summertime tip salt, your melon alright, that's a house that, before I forget tell you what's happening, I'm going to be I saw this week the nineteenth twentieth and twenty first doing shows. Working on that hour, I'm going to it wise guys in salt lake city on the third and fourth of august.
In chicago. I think that show sold out at the thalia theme I believe his warm playing august. Thirty, eight through September first albion, blooming ten at the comedy attic and september six. We I'll be in minneapolis at acme and twenty one and twenty two I'll be at denver at the comedy works. Doing some club work of provide links for that on my site. That's what's happening. We talk to you guys since global glow got nominated for all these emmy awards. They got a bunch of emmy awards. I did get one in no, I did not get robbed and no, I did not it's like that. This sort of imposed, Competition thing is is a it's a little disturbing in some ways. Yeah, I'm glad that that that allowed thought that I should have gone. But the fact is it's it's all gravy for me, folks, everything is is going fine, I'm not I'm, not a big award winning guy, for whatever reason there were times towards the beginning.
couple years years of this podcast, where I really was upset that we didn't get a peabody and I think it was because the word fuck is in the title of the show- or there was some fuck at the p who didn't want. Wanna know give us the can satisfy action of get one of those things and what really mean in the long run. The fact of the matter is that people enjoy what we're putting out there the enjoy, what I'm putting out there, I'm making it an honest living out of it and then, and I'm thrilled the show got nominated for a best com He series production design for narrative program. That was, also nominated casting for a comedy series, Jan euston, in her crew yeah, that's great cinematography for a single camera. There is nominated great directing for a comedy series, gray, hair style, for a single camera series. Nice congratulations, ladies outstanding main title sequence- It is amazing, it's all amazing make up for single camera series. Awesome stun coordinate for a comedy series of
program awesome and then, and then betty gilpin, fuckin betty gilpin. Its nominated by supporting that is big tack, you're back he is such a force, man, I nobody at all before we started doing it, but she is complete sort of wasting oddball she's a real risk take her with what she does, no matter what she does it of how she's approaching a character she's going to push it and it's something to watch. I love working with all these people. I love working with those women and again this imposed. petition thing is annoying look we're we're all competitive. I think that by nature people are compare Maybe I do you kind of have to be the survive, but let's assume that a Your genetics have gotten you here. So there was some natural competition along the way in the last a thousand years and remind me to tell you about genetics, I got my genetic
breakdown back and boy. What a surprise! oh yeah, you guys are going to be really surprised. I waited weeks for this any I was supposed to do that show where they do this sort of like this. Is your life genetic show and they never got back to me now. I know why Now I know why my genes have persisted, but date they stop with me a brain, particular line. They stop with me. I have no children, my brother kids, but they stopped with him too, because his kid are all dotted, but that you know that's great. You, kids are kids, but, But you know I I dunno know if it was part of our innate desire to not propel the it's sort of legacy of what we come from and obviously it's not malignant. It's not horrible. It's little needy a bit a bit erratic What the self involved in in maybe at times in depressive, an anxious but look I got my air
three me back? and I was excited about it. I when I went all in you know it gimme. The whole breakdown. Tell me what I'm going to get tell me you wouldn't have done, into eye of the whole business and drumroll please, because my ancestry reports, my ass, a story: composition is jus. They, just I don't know if it's it did, if that's the unique to me, but it just says jew, basically it says ninety nine point, five percent eskenazi, jewish so I guess no surprises, no viking. I was hoping for a little bit of viking. I was hoping for a little bit of something there's a point four percent broadway european, but looks are right around that russian poland dad hole the green spot,
the big global map. Is it in the area that I kind of new, but I was really open that somewhere back there, my great great great great grandmother may have consensually fucked, a viking so I got a little of that, but the, but no, no that that's not there- but now I know now- I know I'm a full anjou without form broadway european, that is also probably jewish, So there you go now. We all know hey couple of things, just in the climate we live in at any time, you're thinking they can't they can anytime you thinking they, and they would every time you think they won't. They will. And there doesn't seem to be anything holding them back. So I'm going at this early I'll, bring it up occasionally to your friends. Who were detached from the process who feel that they don't have a place in the political world order that may not have an effect on their wise, please planting the seeds for them to vote
in november into two spread. The word. They can they? Will they do everything you imagine it so profoundly amazing how how quickly and easily people in this entering people in power shameless we slip into complete more, depravity and moral bank roughness. It's a human thing, nothing unique. Everybody's got that It's just that you know an opportunity, and you could find yourself in some deep shit while a lot of people have found that opportunity, power and we're all in some deep shit because of complete shameless personal and moral corruption. It's it's we quite astounding they will they can they do they get. Oh also, another thing I get emails, occasionally have a big actor in here.
Typically recently maybe Josh brolin and paul rudd and I seem we condescending to. superhero movies and you think, that's rude. I want to tell you this. You know, honestly from my heart. I will contain you doing it. I will continue to condescend to grown ups, who defend almost you know: maniacally integrity and need and greatness of superhero movies hook. Look I'm all! entertainment, I'm glad you enjoyed. I don't go, I'm not even saying that I wouldn't enjoy what I'm saying is the consolidation, and leveling of the cultures, taste, infantile intent and product is something that's been coming for a long time. It's great for movie companies aid. They can just no guaranteed to make millions on franchises. we're fundamentally designed for children. So the fact that grown ass fuck in person and you ve got a kind of to find it in your periphery in your fuckin world view that these are good.
I need you can't get enough of a great that's good for you but the truth of the matter. Is it pushes away and it pushes aside your real dialogue and real human stories. you got to go to Siberia. I got to go to the landlady to see it, a movie that you know his grown up themed and it is actually provocative and proactive in terms of making you think and making you move forward with your life and seeing things differently have to go. I gotta go find knows I got it. I gotta watch over my living room because the audiences and big enough to join defy the release of of these films that didn't. You were once known as grown up movies. Thrillers equations a good example, but keep coming at me about my tone around marvel movies or any superhero movies, I'm going to remain condescending as a grown person who quest
examine. Usually when I'm talking to an actor, it's it's it's slightly condescending, but it's really ribbing, I'm just busting balls and every time I've done it. They knew exactly what I was doing and they have it within them to. But money is money. Entertainment is entertainment, but it was not posed to be that every move, yes to be like a fuckin amusement park ride. It wasn't supposed to be that you now. Why are they talking what of my listening to how come someone's not flying, whereas the blowing up way- and you may be- I sound like an old man, but your gun in person you're just waking up. I can have my point of view and I'll remain condescending. Cuz. I feel like that's the place to be on this one and I'm sorry, I'm sorry for her feelings and you're mad that I don't, the flying man, I'm sorry as he wants ice scream. You want some ice cream. Do. You want a beer, you're old enough to have beer you're old enough, had too much beer don't cry hi because I made fun of them taped guy. I saw that trip with me the documentary that was kind of my.
bending very provocative. Really. The main amazing, actually been seeing a lot of movies. I saw davide digs movie spotting. I'm going to talk to him on thursday and was that was a great sort of your personal heartfelt oakland movie. That has some interesting sort of. Snow and cultural twists in it from a very kind of grounded and human place. It was great to see I'll talk to him about that on thursday today to Gus van sant about his movie. Don't worry, he won't get far on foot which again is a very human story. It deals with the recovery. It deals with grief that deals with tragedy, in this movie and joaquin phoenix is a pretty fucking amazing man
It's weird that you know. As I talked to actors- and I work with actors, you can see how they, you know where they come from, with their acting, and it's very it's. It's very interesting part of my life to to kind of see how stories are told and how people construct characters and do things it's a I dunno I'm enjoying it as the world burns, if of mind so obviously gus vans aunt has done a lot of films, goodwill hunting elephant to die for drug your cowboy he remade psycho any there's a lot of films. This man has done a lot of different types of movies and a lot which I have seen in and enjoyed and found to be provocative, something tomorrow movies at elephant and what was that one? Last days, I think it was called very, very poor. It can very challenging and and and and great, and it was sort of like. I was a little nervous to talk to him, but I, like talking to directors, has specially ones that kind of,
do a lot of different things that take chances that take risks, there's nothing better than talking to her if people who are willing to take risks willing to fail willing to keep pushing to find a truth that in a way that hasn't been explored yet so This was a. This was an honour for me, and this is me and Gus Van Zandt. The movie I mentioned, I don't worry. He won't get far on foot is now playing so this mean gas. I won't you play for a long time with thirty years right. Well that's what I did to like you just play by yourself. You play along the records and stuff along with all kinds of record here like why my history they used to play with Charlie Christian, are you so you can really do it here. I can do that really, and it's me thinking, you know cause. I don't know what I'm doing. I can't say: oh that's an
That's right, that's an e m Even now, I'm like I should have learned this kind of thing. I e! I boy, you can't go out! Oh I don't music, but you can you can identify chords yeah, I can records like them. Your corridor and go into like minors. Seven, everywhere on the right fretboard. What I can learn them. You know, but you can. You can sort of noodle around with charlie christian. That's pretty good. Like you do t bone. Walker too, I can can probably do any money or like play along with the rioters you're they're playing right? I can kind of, like so of the people that I've emulated are like jimi, hendrix Eric Clapton right yeah I mean that only yet using hendricks is easy. If you got a strap yeah. I know it's like india, If you just get into a thing you can, you can kind of sound like the sort of shirt yeah and I don't even know the right chords. If you've learned the hendrix chords, then you can really sound like no yeah, I mean I that's. I used to do that all the time I just rat out my old place and uh yeah you it's the tone. It sounds like him, so you're like a real
where then you ve, given by the eu having play with people for years it sort of a meditative thing. Right. I'm just I'm just sort of daydreaming and yeah yeah. I've always got ya everywhere, have always got there. So how are you lived in was Phyllis, I think, officially, for year like I saw my last place in Oregon and I here and and and springs. Oh okay, see that! Well, that's nice! I'm not stuck here I can go to a hotter place when it gets hot here now even one hundred and twenty in palm springs, isn't like the weather we're having here at ninety four here's. What do you? What do you make of that? Why is that? You think because of the irony I think, and though yeah there's just no humidity over there, so you can kind of like dry yeah. Can you walk at, it feels good until you realize you have no liquid in your body, exactly that doesn't mean you have to drink yeah.
So do you miss me? It's big shift at me, but portland very specific. Do you miss that Why had been there for so long? I think at this point I do I miss it. I probably wouldn't miss it or we'll miss it like in a few years here I'll just go like. I should really just get back. There How long did you live there? We did you grow up there, though right I moved there and when I was seventeen and nineteen seven thousand four hundred and sixteen and I went to two years of high school and then I the college in rhode, island and then to back a risky you did what years were that liking? seventy five to nineteen, seventy one, seventy five who is there who do we know the I was talking her I'm in charge. rocket. Was there d member him using deal right, kill themselves any? Yes, you didn't he.
He was there. He was one of my big influences actually really, as just as a person it's a globally. He killed himself right. I got in point of reference the sad, but I know I was here influence. He and of foam film, one of them since I was in the film department. Media were I do They will go out and do this thing they that charlie was already doing called meet. The stars charlie, would go out on his own, dressed up to just meet Alice cooper and see. If you get back to really like. Can we get backstage without any credentials where they shooting it and and then with Scott Sorenson He started shooting it for this is like for class project, rising and which they did later on saturday. Night live a little bit and, and it just I saw it in a class and thought it was super funny and join them. Couple times. Oh yeah screwed up the sound
we sound guy. I was the sound guy and it was if they were just. He was just also a singer lead singer of the motels now it was not the l version, the punk rock band, but the the profit it's rhode, island motels! Oh, I didn't know their value fabulous motels. There was two! Oh now. I know that that's the fabulous motels in in provenance, I think, is forgotten, lesser known, but it was in providence. It was like the biggest thing we had kind of we have what kind of music was it? It was art rock. it was a band that would come out. playing as one band called likes iron grandmother, grat right funny, comedy rock ray. I am like the tubes, the shore and would play as iron grandmother fur like sir seven song. Then they would go back station and change into the motels or electric driveway, some other, so they all went to remedy
and they all resistant- I started really from martin mall. The mall had a band called soup. and that of all into he was a raise these. While he was arrested. He was a painter, yes said conjure again, I don't really andrea gandia comedy rock or anger hit, his case jazz jazz, and I saw him at the roxy, but he's in the sixteen had a band and then TIM Duffy took over and there was a band called Can the snatch not solely yet and you know engendered like a few other bands and eventually the motels, while I'm going to have real legacy yeah. That's me wiles, nan of studies. It you have to end the but the head, and the talking has worked like David byrne would do, sir things along with the man. I think performance pieces in between sets and things. So he was so sort of in there yet so you were there in the seventies early seventies
the mid seventies. So I get that time. with the sixties. I mean that's when all that performance art everything was really blowing up at that jan it was. The sixties were kind of hanging over into the seventies yeah and so everyone that was the guy, the older students like charlie- slavery or charlie rocket or even martin more they were the of the senior steersman that I got certain things then continued. On and we were new means and sort of learning from them like. Oh, you don't have to do it sure you can do rock musical pottery something different than what you already do and what you start out doing, I was, I think, when on a lot of people were painters yeah. I know the talking has we're all painters and I was a painter and but I majored in film you dare make. Do you still paint and I still paint you do you ve got any of you. Show your paintings and everything something
when I'm I can. I figurative abstract. What are you a little figurative and little bit abstract Are you like doing it, not unlike guitar, it's something that you enjoy doing when you feel pressured exact to do it? It's yours If you do that with film too, but I mean but like with those things, it's like, you don't have to tell anybody, you have to do it for anybody right. It's nice exactly as nice out of reach the cause. It seems to me. the seventies like after the sixties, like once the hippy got drained seventy than just became drugs and sex and it had more edge more edge to it. That seem to be sort of the the petri dish of where you started to develop your your sensibility. Yeah I think I'm is influenced, I think, by all the things happen in the sixties, were culminating in seventy one is when I ended up there in making heart, in this case, cuz we were in art school
I know it was a reaction to vietnam, as just. You know as much as you were involved in vietnam already. I think everyone was, but it was partly that or a reaction to the reactions to vietnam or some people had been in vietnam, and one of my classmates ia had had a nervous break and in a submarine in in our really in the pacific who is a painter, were people with you that were never had had been in combat and wow, but I mean just the holes thing was happening in the sixties, whatever you could call it was was well happening in the seventies and by mid seventies. I think it was sort of changing so so finish race. Do you go off for for years I tried to leave after my first year, and then I was talked back into it by my parents of course, and
oh yeah. They were supportive, that's a good sign. He was supportive and, and then it, graduated in seventy five and came the europe. I went to europe for a little while and then came to l, you do and where we were in Europe just hanging around I went on a on a student group visiting in rome we were visiting filmmakers just. Oh, we talked to Fellini retirees you how many people are with you there about eight Why, then, there about sixteen in total, but that particular visit was about eight students. I went to the set of casanova. We went to the site. seven beauties by lina wertmuller, went to talk to peso real in his in his house, but it was just a couple months before he died, tinto bra was, I feel maker he was making salon kitty.
sort of a semi, porno and entertainment yeah in an impact on you, do I mean when I, I he, I think it was just amazing. I remember we were amazed was the first time you are on sets. Yes, exactly see. You're on Fellini set. Fellini they did did anything impact you about how he worked or anything I mean he well. It was night and it was late at night. At the end, we ended up getting there about eleven. Because they were shooting all night and we they shot until say two o and when we got there there was a cauldron. It was it a farmhouse yeah so the fire, though the fire was lighting up the set, and they were some extra light. Sciatic flashing and in the middle of there was a group of of twenty five people in folding director's chairs yeah in a square. Yeah five by five in the middle of them was the tallest
and in the world who was in the film right in costume, she was an extra large chair. So it's kind of weird graphic area. Twenty five people We were told like in whispers that fully and donald Sutherland weren't getting along like there are discussing the scene and they ve been discussing it for an our and we're all just sitting here waiting and I said, were all these people in their chairs and like well, then their people that insist that without without them, Fellini cannot make a movie each one of them. His aunt fairly, what I was doing as I will was twice. I was twenty one right, ok, gotcha. I thought in my I bullshit you are better than thinking. I make no need twenty five people to travel with at all the time and sit in a score as a realise in in italy when you go to a film festival, There will be a lot of people around
though invite the cardinal in them and the bishop and now by people from the military invite people that the kind of to invite the answer they end up, not necessarily needing to be there, but there their rights are, there might have been the same with if we need group did you we get to see him direct. Are you No, I think they they discussed the whole time the the tallest woman. Oh got up to go to the bathroom, which was funding is when she rose up everyone kind of coward, because you was and she went to the bathroom came back. I don't think I remembered seeing any sort of organ. yeah, we're ok to you guys and then on the way back from the set when we broke his talked to us as we walked here, and I wasn't one of the lead. Pi like there were two of my fellows and we're on either side. So I to them talk rather than talking directly and do their me or make an impact. We had lunch with them. I mean-
We knew I knew her work she still around. I think she, I think she is. She was a bit of the character. I remember you know I I know I remember when seven I was young when, when seven beauties came out, but I remember it being a, she had a very powerful presence, white glass in the end and the white life here, so she she was having. We were having lunch in june, carla jean. He was there at lunch with us and we just work kind of like part of the lunch. I don't remember speaking to her either, but It was an impasse. Laney was all possibility. Was it was more like eight students tie and like no hearing him talk, and so we each each. We were talking to him one by one beyond it. Ask us like what we wanted to do a hand. Cinema yeah so just like had our moment,
How do you use your and my moment was kind of awkward, because I can I I sort of I wanted cinema to be a little more malleable like the novel and a given novel, because in a novel you can start off one place and you know space into like another time period and come back to where you were very easily way and cinema can do that, but it's like difficult for the audience, they seem to need more linear linearity italian So I said I wanted to translate a in the film he asked how I put it and he didn't understand that he was like. Why would you want to hold there why would you do that? Why would it bother you, and so I just like let it slide that that was it. There was a translator, so that sounds like it
okay, okay yeah. I wasn't nervous, but yeah, two months later he was gone one of the last people. Well that sounds exciting an exciting thing to do after college, and then I went london to to rum visit some friends that were there to find work which wasn't happening, and I do by then I have been in europe for three months was starting to feel I'm sick and decided. I was listening to turn blue and china have their thinking about California Oregon. I thought I should just go at this. Hang it up go to california, go to l, a you looking for work, just down a set anything yeah, anything yeah and either it wasn't a lot of work in general right in there in nineteen seventy five in london If you go to l so just up here and worry? and lives.
In argyle, street and franklin. Ah, then, what was that like that was that was nice yeah it's like it is now. It's the same actually noticed. There was apartment that some friends of mine had that I lived with and they were bouncers at the roxy. Oh yeah, guarantees in the seventy so they would let me in the back door and I could go see the shows what going on, then I remember seeing John prime. Yeah. I saw great, I just found recently still new record his I saw patty psmith heyday, like perverse delay, performed it's great. I would see people also, I didn't know who they were. I sure would I end up in the backstage always crazy sunset boulevard and she was pretty crazy, yeah and the rainbow next necker at in the parking lot in between there was a lot of sort of dressed up people.
Crazy craziness. I saw martin mall there. Oh yeah we're yet friends, and then I didn't know him, but I said hi to him in the parking lot and then I was a. I was originally student and had he How do you refuse a great vine? I've I fan. Did you get a job? I got? Yes, I got a job within about six months. I got there really great job? I am cuz you're looking for work in hollywood as a young filmmaker, you know you're giving pointers as you're doing it. We have people that you're meeting and somebody said you know You can call people up. You know you can call John John cassavetes up and get him on the phone now offices. You can call Alfred hitchcock on the phone and I was like okay and I just would have filed that away like I can do that so chevy chase had come for his first visit to since he had become
star? I am and sudden at life, which was brand new at that that moment and down there. Asked him in calendar section of the l a times. What are you going to do when you're in l a- and he said I'm going to maybe visit a friend? Can shapiro who's a video takeaways in beverly hills we can shapiro. He made the groove tube chairman and I looked in the but can he was there his shapiro, I can call him up that, there's and us1. and I got a job with them. he? What did he do kentucky fried movie or just a groove to right, and then he did modern problems, oh yeah, later with chevy with joey yeah and he had a difficult time because he the groove too, like his a homemade new york movie right, thousands in it or just I'm a real. at one where, where were a chevy,
they were singing looking over and then I was in a cohesive clover, a guy playing down his head right over there, and there is brown twenty five, which is the advertisements for a week for on twenty five, which looks like shit created from the most picket. The idea, There's a lot of great bits I mean is essentially electra site is, if you will get at it, Saturday, night live before Saturday night live and lorne michaels worked for, can like when I there. They are learned had just left to do so. live a couple months earlier, but he was in the office that we were in while working as his writer and Oh so he just took Saturday night live and pitched at NBC or was influence, I am here as it had the news in iron musical acts yeah they ass. It had skits turning from tv shows all of it not take away from more michael's but your comedy focused a little yeah- I mean I I liked
film. I liked yeah, I, like mel, brooks I liked comedic filmmakers and working with. Can I met a lot of the comedians of the period like tim time listen, you're pat, It was a writer and he had come from the smothers brothers and he was many up I so yeah a the minneapolis guys, part of the right. At the end, these big writing groups with writing. Groove two number two: and which never happened, and he had an office at paramount, so it was like you're on the lot. I was like on the lot, So for me that was being really big stuff and then would you what you learned from that experience and I was learned that I I learned that I wasn't really able to to pitch or think up. Comic comic,
since you're here, because I tried a couple of times with the professionals. Then I realized. Oh I'm done dying, so you realized, like a comedy, is not for me. It just will not the kind of comedy writers I liked I appreciated it and I was I sort you know- was he as fixed by whenever I go to open night open mic night we have at the come at the earliest artist or I can Monday's on Monday as it was a free place to go beyond ass, crazy loved it better than I Probably could never do stand up comedy You say that you liked it so much effort, but I liked it so I am a basically rowing joints at the meetings. Are you That was your job. That was my main jackass buying the cheese and crackers beforehand. The joint kid yeah yeah- that's nice survey, but so what Do you move towards making your first film the shapiro plans I was,
I haven't story written by william burroughs called the discipline, which I had read when I was in providence in a bookstore and I, had by the time I was working with superhero or right. About that same time. I had also looked up whimper in the phone book in new york city at the bunker at the bunker he resigned in the phone book. I called him up and I went over there basically to ask him in person for the rights and also because in the jack, correct books that every I was visited boroughs only exactly a buyer. I was going to is visit, bully and our meeting was very cordial. He very nice and he had been to l a so he gave me addresses of people to look up in l a where I was headed and then I ask at the meaning can. Would you give me the rights and he was like way up while my agent,
which I did and then they you know they knew. There was no money in short films, so yeah they allowed me to so eventually made that short, is about a sudden minute short and its are none son. You too, oh yeah. I can see it and it's it's communicates. funny and can Shapiro did the voice it's gotta, be here and it's bruises writing so kind of steer. very dry he's hilarious. Yes, vines he's really I see you had a uranium since college. You won a college when I from naked lunch and other no kids were reading naked lunch yeah, it's a mine, Well, but you know when you start to realize the way he and I imagine he had a relationship with him cause. Determine what two movies are one or that he had bits I mean he was almost. Billion in meant to stick exactly mikey characters.
There was a way of delivering it. He was a real comic performer moving. The first time almost when he was on a saturday night live in like was eighty one or something, and I had no idea who he was because I was just a. College, I watched him read those sections from naked launching, unlike what the back it s, always guy yeah my blower. I think that's how I've besides meeting, am I didn't go to see one of those readings at why you he would read: read there yeah and was kind of explained some explained he read it like police report, because the ep his brother, I was like wow like a police report, like he's a police captain in at the bench, and and he did that's. How are you yeah. He said he's definitely had a character. That was what he was public with.
Did you will re guys? Friends did you remain clients? I was friends later I mean that particular project happened. I showed him a tape, the opposite. At that time there was an even be a just rising a real, tape and then it wasn't until later, when I was making drugstore cowboy that there was this character, named old tom who was an old junkie that are less care at your bobby hues. New when he was younger and he sort of looked up to him administer minister, the minister well now burst turn them into tom, the priest, the time he was just old tom, so I thought boros would be the perfect guy to play this character. and so we sent him the script and he was Yeah, you know like I I'd play it, but only it's flake? He had something more going. This guy is like tom forgotten all, the person. I want to me an older person that has something happening so yeah we said
Whatever you want to do go ahead, you can do that just so that you do it and he's so. He rewrote this whole part and made him a an mats part too. He really made all those see with them together boroughs or or his assistant australians wrote james greyhounds, James greenhouse and you know after that- and we saw him one day, two thousand and sixteen very like it seemed like that. You got the walk and talks were improvised and those we're just them talk rhyme making stuff, because I keep very good walk and talk narrator of what's happening. seeing them in documentaries do that, but I could tell that Matt. Character was wise. it like it was really happening. Whatever was happening was really happening and he was going. What do I do? Edinburgh is, is I used to know croaker, but you may all before that right before that I made no changes
it was a a small book by a poet named, walk Curtis, who lived in portland he was come. My sort of it was my fault, feature film, I admit another, sir. Sort of a feature in hollywood, when I was living in hollywood that didn't really turn out that. Well, was it about? It was called alison hollywood about a girl who moves to hollywood and of gets in trouble, medically wasn't really like playing well I cut it down. It was a short film by the time I was done with it and then melanesia was the was the film after that, I didn't see that one I want to is a black and white film and it's about a it seemed like a complicated relationship. it's a bout, a a gay poet skid row, old town of portland and Falls in love with a mexican migrant boy here who he who serve
there over the winter. He is trying to survive the winters until the next growing season with his friends here and there kind of getting in trouble cry, so the poet like becomes their friend and gives them right in his rise in his car and tries to serve seduce number, doesn't really work out that longing begin, exactly which yeah it's on on some struck? You can see that already had done in the car. Durian clerk criteria- oh good, so it exists. So so then, like that, that sort of set a theme for I mean, like you, the town. Why was it was like a street story? Was a poet store he sort of like against bird of workers is like through the guy burke of portland area, which Ginsburg would hate when, when ginsburg come to portland what would try to insinuate himself into the scene and get rid of get rid of him because he was sort of copying is deal. Did you know? Alan E,
to be friends of alan through through boroughs, and through also we shared a publisher. We we had photobooks that we we had matt during this, like book signing, I was just looking to his left yesterday. It has gone through my books and I got those old city lights. Is the small pocket series now it's it's really kind of amazing to just to do even at a at a glance. Any Allen. Ginsberg poem is so uniquely his and so like there's so much movement, antigua now it's a page he was going nice guy use. Great I mean burrows was the type of person that really you know there were certain things that he really like to talk about it. Like I talk about guns. Yeah as poisonous snakes control control. drug addict, especially a government control, there are areas, sure,
whereas Ginsburg was a little more light. He wanted to hear what you were thinking about. He wanted to teach you about things that been going on, you know of in the underground. You know like I guess, say you like he would he would explain to you how, during a a protest. The feds would put like troublemakers in the front of the practice of the riot to her. He had a rocket tours. He would just he would. try and download, information that wasn't the weren't going to get him out yeah, which was, I always thought, was really interesting, because you're younger than them and and you're sort of like you, you know to diaz the that. Did you ever get to the moment where you're like not right, I think I've had enough neither either either get that's good. I wanted to always, and it wasn't really with them. Like four it's an enterprise It was usually like one or two nights, or something like that. So I was always like all years.
and they were, woodboro, is my relationship. Was I learned at the very end of our relationship before he died that I look, If somebody he knew when he was younger. I really that there was this whole other thing going on that. I wasn't really aware of now. Who tells you that he did he did like that, would, if I it makes It's that he he would. He would. Entertain you like longer because you were like actually this person, drugstore cowboy was the first big one right like or everybody out what the fuck is. This guy's great, I remember and it was clear after mono chair was able to with the small pretty. I got it from festivals. The also the independent film scene was happening right right. Then in it was. It was really it been going for awhile that and it was, system in place so kind of like hit it right at the
at time and avenue pictures finance, drugstore cowboy, yeah, which was a novel, friend of mine had the manuscript for jose whose novel Fogel, who was in northwest sort of criminal. He was in in jail at the time that I was shopping at around he was in walla, Walla, state penitentiary in washington. And there was an unpublished novel. It was an unpublished novel. He had a few one there one called safe sandbox and there was one called drugstore cowboy- and there was a few others and how'd you find that guy I found him because of a friend of mine was taking a course with it. I am writing a writer who is teaching in prisons, and he also His teaching outside of prisons as well, he was hooking up the the prisoners. The insiders with the outsiders world basically
get manuscript sent around. Oh and my friend, Dan Dan Yost had two of these manuscripts right and started pit? I was starting to pitch it before even wrote a script. Actually avenue the became interested in that one he said foamy levers in black and white and drugstore cowboy almost seemed like the color was like saturated earlier little little high contrast or something was it? What was the choice on that well? It was weird I mean it was shot. By Bobby oman who shoots a lot of was anderson movies and I, that what happened? Color wise was our art director david brisbane, who is now a guy had chosen to use a lot of black and a lot of green because we really wanted to make a black and white film, but we weren't really allowed to buy our producers, so he to sort of like make it
so you're mine saw it in black and white and even those in color. It also serviced portland. Now too, like there's the definition darkness, is a like monsieur Ekstrom and then likely my own private, idaho, like I remember, I still remember this one. I remember the weirdest part of that movie, guess who was one of the genes? Who did that? He's got an apartment or he just sits on a couch and starts rubbing his feet, on the on that, like something almost looks like this one, I was that guy was the guy. Was our publicist making control and I had invited him to play this may I ask because he would the type of care. He was the correct type of character and he had a lot more. He had written something on his own. That was like twenty five pages that he expected to film
but when we ended up in the room where This was a living, david brisbane again the production yesterday. Cowboy also did my umbrella. Put in a new white rug, weird that he said were these slippers, I that was probably ad lib, because we had to wear slippers when we went in there because of the the steamers of the white rug. So he had in that case, We were rehearsing his shoes slipped on the carpet because it was so new here and he had these new like sort of dress. It was here so he was. He was pretend to do I'm right to any claim while he was doing it that done ballet when he was a child, and it just looks so funny. We use it. Ok, we're shooting this year, hence like it is so excited. I remember once because he was excited movie like it so in then it becomes sort of more you're dealing with
these guys that are are are kind of on the margins. It sort of became a place that you explored pretty well, but those two movie certainly do you feel like that. That was a duty where you were at the time to avoid causing your curiosity, certainly sort of range. Probably was I mean my if film was more like tried to be a comedy yeah, Alison hollywood. It was also about somebody that was dispossessed losing our way and holly were living on the streets eventually, so I lived about away from hollywood so I saw a lot of kids on the street, I wasn't one of the kids. He didn't really wasn't hanging out with them. I was smoking pot with them or anything you weren't larry, clark, no, although I admire that. I just was visual visualizing, seeing their lives and like imagining but they were, or maybe maybe, reading John right she about what was going on on my own street and
what's going on was pretty heavy. You know like if you really did did get involved. It was very heavy, yet it is in my own, private, idaho and in in drugstore cowboy as heavy as it was you, the some You tempered the tragedy here is how he would boulevard at that time. I think I think that both of melanoma was very funny yeah, as a book drugstore cowboy also was funny, even though you reading and not really get the humor, but it was like it was little bit like larry Clark lie. I think it was funny and then My own private, idaho, is more surrealistic realistic. There are many maloney moments as well, because river was in our collective right in that that that was the town comedic, which came from georgia, Elliot Silas, minor area noses like this weird influence there and a little bit of samuel Becker and then a real little bit over the reality and then shakespeare What did shakespeare write did so was you know many issues on line worthy there's a fund
These good in that sense, you know what I mean they mixed up right solely on very was really like a cloud amending the ethics, and then there is a shot were. Doesn't a house fall out of the sky here, my making that up? barn ideas, a little bit and play their assets, which you should pass away any on any do a burgundy and with which our church to movies yeah yeah. interesting was it in play. I mean consciously the cut up method. I had done it. You know that I and my own I had had he. I try I had like, thing by cutting, up and re writing them like he was. Explaining so having already done that also had done a lot of because of robert roach russian brig. When I was a student, the school student we did collages. That were you know, things cut out of magazines and pasted together here so I mean I was used to two cutting things up
bring them together. A marshall mcluhan wasn't influence. All these. sixties. Things were an influence, so they are all there. The beats through race day through the arden and then at my own protocol into my own private, idaho, as as I was putting everything I had into that one in it did well, and that was it didn't it. I remember the new line was very happy and you know you changed Keanu cheered trajectory a bit. Four million toad they again. There is a lot of funding and that then there's a lot of fun to die for his whole areas. We don't dark satire and you work with by canada and he's writing that gittin of going back again to the shore Piero world among young, before it yeah from the that's graduate. He didn't graduate and he He was a prankster in the fifties. Again go on talk, shows as a character You know, and I haven't been character that wanted to like put
panties on horses. You know be right was obscene shirt did that script exist without you I mean. What would you know that was that was a and I had the same agent there I can where we met, and thus it was through. The asian play was through the agent and but was interested in working on something together, yeah so producer, had had options the book called. Right to die for india by his manhood and dumb buck. To be the screenwriter, and I ought to be. The director of the project may work closely together in it no, because you know buck sort of like luxembourg. send to his writing room in. Like oh yeah, you know he doesn't, he doesn't sort of spit this with me. Well, I got one was written. That was it needed. It was well. It was so good that I didn't have any. How many for changes did he like? A movie
He was happy with movie. There is some things maybe that he doesn't like, but I mean one of the things that he did when he wrote it. I remember him saying that there were a lot of ways to get this together, because everything was like a a bit. You know what I mean it yet, almost like georgia You could do it as many different ways in the editing room. It's very interesting like the where joaquin phoenix was at at that time. I guess the river had passed away just had just done, but like his acting because in the new movie, don't worry, he won't get far bike You can really see the ark within your films with that guy of, like his craft, just evolving. To like this, like it, in it, he was all in and on to die for, but it was almost feral like. He was almost like an animal- and and in
but very raw in the new movie he's it's such a meticulous and controlled the very vulnerable performance, it's kind of an amazing thing he did but like How is your relationship like? Have you been in touch with him over the years or yeah I had after to die for, pretty much in touch with him, We are neighbors in new york for awhile lived in york and we had projects that we serve of imagined together, that we never did. And even then we are all like kcr and walking myself found herself We were all neighbors in new york. We found ourselves here in a having near each other are really so. Continue like to start our. I'm going kind of dreaming together and so when this particular project, don't worry, he won't get far on foot became.
Available that I had worked on in the nineties became available again about robin Williams. Robin Williams was one of the originators. The project really yeah and for the late as the leader, and here he was developing it. How long ago is that ninety somehow says, but I won't time ok, after robin and I worked together in good, Hunting. He had offered me this particular story to develop for him so I had done. I had developed a couple scoops with robin me out and then it just sort of was one of those projects that never he never got to write and eventually, when Robin had died, it surface again and sony now really call me and they said You know what do we do with this? They still can, but they still had. They were still curious about it because of the attention that had robin had given it or yeah or else they just have a library that how certain things have bigger price. eggs than others they they want. I like seldom or-
get our maybe do something with them oh yeah, and with robin on good will hunting. I mean you know that was a huge turning point with him and for matt, damon and ferb, and I'm in the in you you were brought in by. How did you get involved with that project, good wanting? Was a an executive at miramax mark tusk, s name, He and I were talking about Boston, we're south boston, sure south ten, he mentioned the script, he said. Oh, we just bought Ben and matt script I said it's about south Boston he's like well, it's about characters that live in south boston. He said I'll, send it to you, so he sent it to me and That's how I got a hold of it. and I really I just called- I called joaquin too- in cases numbering cases, number two fine bends number and got ban and said this is great. You guys I knew that you had a script. I never thought to read it because it was sort, a legendary script written by two
young non actors yeah, I writers yeah. It had been around a few years and I so finally everett read it, and I was like I didn't realize it was so amazing. It's like this amazing thing and if you needed director I'd be interested, which was the beginning of sort of a long process of you know. Other directors considering it on me serve standing line a heart before I could actually an aim you just what was its specific way about that story that made you wanna do it. I I think was it was not like the other stories that I had done. I think it was more of a thing which I was a little scared. I didn't. I didn't know whether I needed the down and dirty s story to survive as an artist or drama What do you mean just eighty at your fear for your personal integrity or that what you could bring to it or
whether I need that kind of energy in order to actually make romantics work, I just cause I've, never done ever. I duns up until then. Grey was a little bit like about anti here is supposed to heroes, and then so I was even cowgirls, get the blues, you kind of like when big and weird dvr kind of did that it's interesting because, like it seems like from I own private, idaho two years surreal. This, like you, kind of deal, took it further and I I see it got a little unhinged mega burn going to sat close to the sun, but so so he so he was a risk for you good will hunting that's the way I felt like As I was saying I'll do it and, as I was saying those words I was thinking. I wonder if I can. You know I need you know something like I've. Before. Can you make a sweet movie? It was very sweet, but there is some isn't it, but I did like the the kind of hidden genius aspect that The janitor is solving the problem. The problem,
on the harvard I born away with very. you know, very, I guess, dead, poet's society. I just had to sort of warm and feeling sure- which I really was a fan of that kind film. I just never had done one so I saw, When I did do that movie, I kind of try you put everything that I was doing in the other movies away to to try and do some It was more like the movie wanted. In the script and in an that in that's and you did it and I ordered a shirt. now: okay, so that I'll. Obviously I can't go through every movie that I want to, but I need to ask I did this pressing question. I mean you know: two we make psycho but frame by frame like that's an obsessive undertaking, and
what did you there's a whole reason behind it after hearing the yeah I do, and I want to hear the reason I want to hear what you earn from it yeah. I I mean I I didn't the process of doing it was the learning it wasn't necessarily the result. In the end. It wasn't really about learning about hitchcock. It was wrong that when, during the the the nineties, the joke about the it is was that they would rather make a sequel than they would in a regional peace, because there was one risk. Nobody would rather copy or contain you a story, that's already known in the public right They were really searching for some way to do that. Now they found out the comics is the way to do it like it already exists right in the its mind and but, The time they were sort searching, they hadn't found common products in universe
their never ending neverending, I mean that's if they just hit what they wanted. Ya been takin the news they hadn't found that guy there said that they were trying to doing like tv shows as movies like they did. The flintstone out a movie did the brady bunch of the movie right. So when I went when I did drugstore cowboy, I was all the sudden meeting with the you know. Heads of studios, because they knew that actors would work with me? Therefore, if they got me on their movie, they could get the actor that they want it. So was less about me, that was about the actors, and so in during one of the meetings cases over at universal said he brought in all of his vice. since one guy was the head of the library and he said in the library we have old films. You could remake. We have scripts that haven't been made yet that you could make just reminded me of that thing that they wanted to do, which is remix.
thing, and I said well, you guys haven't done- is try to take a hit, We make it exactly rather than like we make it an like put a new spin on at the outset. We make rail the act as I've never seen that it on you as an experiment right and the whole thing seemed seemed experimental to me anyway. React so thought why not, and they laughed in that area. I thought it was silly ridiculous absurd and they laughed, and so civil. We will be doing that and that continued every time I would meet with casey? I would bring it back up, because I would remind myself oh you're, the guy, and I blocked and on psycho on not err. Why psycho meant it. You see like the movie that wouldn't work the best here, I would bring it up again and they would laugh again and and later when we did do good wanting and it did really well at the box office before. Ask, was it also gotten nominated nine, oscars or something, and
The studios like to go on a couple. They want a couple of oscars robin one robin and matt and Ben for writing, yeah right, like to do right. You know the night before or the week before the oscars happen. They like get new deals in place with the people that are nominated because as soon as you, when they ve got your movie guy. You know they are right. They got things lean over there. it isn't say: we've got that we get that and I think that's why they do it and then they forget that they have it. You know, after the night's over you're trying to make a deal with me and I had a deal at paramount and I deal with some others. And then my agent was saying universal really wants to do a deal with you. What have you got any thing for them universal universal tell them psycho, my frame new cast in color and that's the idea, and then my even called back and said they think that's fantastic,
saw this american as money talks or the year after the academy awards yeah after the box office hit, it was really the words were also part of so then we were and then then I had to make the decision whether I really wanted to do it after they said yes or like oh geez talking to danny elfman who I wanted. do the score because he was so good at doing bernard herrmann style. He and he said you know: they'll kill you. If you make this, he knew and I was like who will kill me. It's just everyone like the critic the reality that love psycho. I will kill you, and I said you have it. Danny as an experiment, is not about who's going to get killed. This is about doing just doing it here and then I it doesn't matter if they kill me and then later when I got killed, it hurt, but because you a lot of time and do it because you actually care workers, he succeeds, so it didn't work,
the you know. The idea was whether or not you could Actually we make something and it would repeat the box office Oh, that was the that was the sort of weird science experiment sure, but did you did you glean anything from you know the process that as a filmmaker, I think not really I mean it's the same process each time pretty much you've got the model you're trying to make sure. But did you I mean that that was one you an easier because we are, we could copy the template, again I mean yo hitchcock was pretty good at editing, rider like when you were kind of repeating his moves. You'd it didn't, leave any lasting impression on you or we just copying the moves out of my head. No point you said like this is kind of clever what he did I kind of already had looked at it. That way, I could see what he had done, so I wasn't in in repeating it. It didn't ya, nothing I knew in sight, but We know it obviously didn't work, but I think it is. It lasted
it, it's more important now I think because, like yourself, will ask questions about it. It's too it's more alive now than it was before our back when it failed sure ass, I guess the art world or the was they. Now they come on and come around and realize like he was an experiment. He was the experiment yeah. I think that or the you know what I'm going to skip around, but like elephant last days, I thought were: were beautiful, poetic masterpieces both of them I loved them. I didn't see jerry. we're juries the first one yet of the same sort of series. using very you know amounts of time more more as if they really are. In that case the desert, or as if you really are in a high school or what what what? What provoked you to to do that, what what was the like at the time jerry being the first one jerry
I started away as a project that we weren't. We were going to make a film without a screenplay and we were going to we're going to kind of like records and like and an imf improv like make scenes up, but we weren't going to ride him down right so the process of actually doing. We did in in forging the the Maddox and in the the things that that mat casey did here in the desert. I sort of applying a stir il to it according what they were up to and the way to tell the story, and it came from a lot of different sources, the main one being Bela satan tango, haha as a hungarian filmmaker because what we were kind of up to in the desert was sort of that way cuz. I really thought we were going to make a like a john cassavetes film, with a lot of time,
king and they aren't really talking that much. So I thought there's still a way to to keep going on this project yeah and after I did that I I really wanted to try it again and elephant was the next time white lifetime. Why did you choose? You know that columbine jerry and elephant ass days are all based on real incidents? that kind of have a mystery in the middle of them. That can't really be solved, because the the the people, can solve them, are dead right on it was the so the first one was really the Kurt Cobain death which ended. Be the last movie made via the second was columbine in the third one was jerry columbine I have been working on and find a home for it, and found one at hbo with grant colin calendar
and he's the one. That said, I can't do columbine, but I can do elephant and I was like: what's elephant like movie by Alan clark, and I was realizing. Oh that's harmony. Favorite ferret like this, this movie, that I hadn't seen any for two. It is elephant because it was in the middle of a crisis england, with protestant catholic violence, peace that went on BBC in the it ended commented in its way on the on the violence on the senselessness of the violence to Alice elephant was a codename. It was his name for it and then we didn't have a title for it because he didn't want to call it comments, so we just ended up calling elephant which we liked we like to. I can't imagine what that sat was like you know, to be improvising and using new, have not acting kids a it, must adjust their days on, that sat where was menacing.
No, no, they were very good. I mean the people that we that we cast were good at making things up. We we preach, worked with them and fair the kids that we're just really good at just imagining something and they're all quite young. You know like fourteen sixteen, so they were into adapt enough. That, like to just pretend and those are the first movies you'd improvise like that that jerry eleven exactly in the other movies. We had gone off the page, even back and cowboy you know, would like Matt dillon off the you know, writings up or use other texts, you know instead of the ones that we had. There were other times that I have kind of gone off, the page ha. This is the first time that we we sort of that the actual scene not really having something written down and as a director eve, you're excited? It is more exciting to do that, because an artist as this year as a thing
the us itself in real time. Yes, it's very exciting because there's a lot of magic happens at that moment when things are being made up. I think also all three stories we're told as if the the and what they talked about were really not the important thing, right, really the story right. They were just sort of noises that they the characters made between each other. They weren't going to tell you any or like the things that they said weren't going to inform you write. What was your experience with? You know what you had shot. Why was there a clear between identified? We up anti moments and, and things are just kind of didn't work I think we, all three of those movies are pretty much one. Take movie one angle. So what is going on is not it's not edited It's sort of one big long shot. I can't remember
that we arranged it. So there wouldn't really ever be an incorrect thing. Unless somebody just said: stop stops alright go on go on. You know. Did that happened that didn't happen. They weren't unnerving, they weren't hard. They were fun here, the eu as the ark as they were last days and younger elephant and check, is the key could do like whatever they wanted. We, tell them what not to do or what to do they didn't? They knew that we weren't going to like be discipline. and they felt free to do whatever they want and so long as sort of actions. If, as as they get there getting where you're supposed to be getting then which, in the case, elephant they weren't really supposed to be getting anywhere just wondering down. The hall is pretty much you're going to class. What's right trying to get anywhere The shooters are trying to shoot people right, but here last days I mean he's the character is, is trying
avoid people yeah. So he's doing that, I thought it was very good. Yet he said he's a inch actor that guy. I cinnamon haven't seen him in a bali I mean in bully member. He was great and bully and then governments three to milk, which is like a bio pick. You had by a height man you got it like was that What brought you to that project, that was an oliver stone project, originally that he decided after JFK yeah that he was not going to do another assassination movie. he had developed it actually, but with David friends only there was like twelve screenplays. and there were producers who who had had bought the book, the mayor of castro street, which is the original novel about the about his life about harvey's life, media and on that my origin. I worked on a couple employees on that one and it never came about
eventually a different part yeah mine's black came up with a screenplay about the same guy. In the same, you know. Rising to em to politics and his life and seven cisco. So as I said well, I know this very well, so let's go make it the atom you got an amazing cast. Yet we called John How is it for you, working with him I had during another incarnation of the script. I'd actually contacted him before and asked him to to do this. I will pick about harvey milk- and he interested in then we sort of like the project didn't happen, and I lost contact and light years went by, like I think ten years went by and again. We were back into it and sean gotten older. He was more of the year age of the guy of harvey. so I called him back up and I said so. What do you think about
playing harvey milk. He lived in San francisco at the time joined it. Yeah yeah and he's like I'm interested, I or to them. Before I had worked with a lot of different people, I think for him. We have a lot of things that we like, or similar. You know we have similar to anything like styles, so I think that without too much Discussion we've seemed to be in the same track of like what we're up to. I didn't really encumber him with a lot of detail. Things I needed. You know like. the way he held the pen in his or anything like that, because he'll do it he and he's likes to do it, and I found this with a lot of actors. You know if you like, Just do their thing, that's kind of happy place yeah as opposed to micromanaging, and so
they can do that, get some excited because then there contributing their identity things for them. The camera in his case he he was happy, he said I was one of the only directors they didn't feel like punching in the face at the end of the movie, which was a compliment. as it was the other one. Is the police like clint eastwood, that umbrella was great news. Did IRAN did you feel any sort of possibility in that movie. In terms of I mean in every movies you feel huge response, but to gay community yeah it's huge. I mean you're very responsible to sort of like trying, get things as as as you can, I mean It's elusive because I think the the mirror back on that movie, the one thing that we may have like left- a little bit was the in the jaw You know that the gaiety
of laying the life astro like we were. We were so into the politics and the the moment to moment things that I think we kind of didn't capture like the hilarity just arrive at this. Obviously there's more films but but I watch dumb the new one. The one that you're out talk about? Don't worry, he won't get far on foot, and I didn't know anything about that guy. I didn't know that the book existed I didn't know anything about the movie. You know- and I and as a sober guy, which I am on top of I have other things. I thought it was the most effective. Movie about sobriety that I had seen in a long time yet may be ever because I've never seen anybody address the immense process, and I did that a man that won that one number nine yeah a sad making amends with people. You know it if you could in person. You know face to face
at that one scene with jack in a black and keane. Is it and you in built the weight of it properly. You know that I am working his way towards them right in and just like. How do you like? How do you addressed the guy who you didn't even know who is responsible for taking your europe? legs and arms away, basically a Eight, like I'm getting ahead of myself. I just I thought the movie was, was amazing and in he was amazing and and you know what were what it Did you do this? One sort of like the harvey story- it was something that, although I John callahan as a portland and he will he yeah. He was a very visible personal street in portland jerry because of his bright red hair and the speed with He was going down the street usually the time I got to know him, it was because of his cartoons. Like they were being
tempted in the weekly newspaper and if he had written a book. I was aware that there was a book I hadn't looked at, or read it I kind of knew his story, a new one. cartoon sort of explained his drinking and his his? You know attempts at sobriety, in some of the cartoons I haven't, got the picture in his cartoon and he was a mad like he was like a low bottom alcoholic like a real. You know hard core. Kahala. Isn't that that, just for listening, that you know that he wasn't a cartoonist when, when he lost his is his ability to walk in in most of his ability to use his arms in a in a in a ridiculously dumb accident with another he was gay, was an artist of sorts in in high school and twenty one when he had his accident really twenty one, twenty one so he's quite young, and he was in long beach working and the park
If went to was in long beach and the guy, then he met dexter. Yeah was the party guy in long beach, yeah and yeah is that guy real guy. It's based on I don't know his real name but are movie studios, very worried about like real names, I don't think that he ever used any real names in his book John callahan John Callahan. We produce a lot of them. Anyway, though, is a fascinating decision on your part, which I assume was on your part of how you handled the actual accident. It's almost fleeting, what you see of it the car you see them driving, but what actually, changes. The trajectory this guy's wife is is like what five seconds right he would. He was well known in poorly. I had met him because of just being in know around
town just socially, and It was robin williams who had bought the book he and his wife. If you work production company I bought the the John Callahan book. Don't worry, he won't get far on foot and they. invite invited me to to be the actor and to develop a script with a writer. So I found some writer friends of mine and we made a script the sony and they're just sort of wasn't any country animation, a few years later we wrote a second script in two thousand and two again cause he got interested in. And again Robin did. I guess And again we wrote a script sent it in and there was a sort of like been outside silence. As time went by so which could have meant they just didn't like the script or you weren't sure or god forbid. They tell you right
and then you don't usually hear, but I so it could be. You know the studio because the the ideas you're taking robin and you're putting him into this like very real story. Any aquatic pleaded he's a cartoonist easy going through a twelve strikes. the program, and so think by then there had been a number of recovery movies made that money right so who knows what sure of that of those things so timely. Went by and dumb was just one of those projects that that this was never going to get made and then John died into In two thousand and ten and then robin dime after that and sure after robin had died? I think two thousand and fourteen somebody well from sony saying that they had this property that you and then we had written scripts too, and I thought Do I want to like,
so I started to work on a new script, to see whether I kind of like get what I wanted out of it, because that was what was the other. These groups were a little bit writ their written for robin right to do like robin things in her eye and- and we have strayed a little bit from the book, which was a darker a little more austere, and so I worked on something that that I thought which is closer to what I thought was his book and Elsa called joaquin cuz. I thought you know I should Have somebody in mind if I actually get involved So we did on speck, wrote wrote a screenplay walking and I went into sony and then they said no after all this, so but they did allow us to take it somewhere else and then who did it amazon? shop surface, I tell you, and I can't imagine anyone else doing it, but walking in the in the form that its n t you know did there is a certain by his
commitment to back, actor, whatever whatever he did like, because there's a weird thing that that really bad alcoholics have in their demeanor which is like that. The bottom line is they need to drink. You know now where do? Why am I not drinking and you know was able to sort of get that it's it's a it's a corruption of the soul. In a way, you know- and you can see it in their in their disposition, and he was able to do that. Well, you know like that that scene, where you know he's yo, after the accident. He still can't stop drinking and he's in his wheelchair and like knocking that half gallon of wine back in the park and those dudes come up to basically take any just gives them money to get their own like you can like get away, get away. Come get your own bottle. I need all of this and there I mean it, was just a stunning performance, and I thought you just capture also well in the stories city. Like
credibly moving how you going to you, know buddy it's really a recovery movie. you see it. That way I mean that was the thing that we didn't quite, before in the earlier scripts, because, even though didn't go into a. We didn't see him going through and the whole process yeah the The first group was sort of written into. Well chapters, but they weren't specifically about steps right, and I thought what You know that I wanted to actually address the act We could the steps, because we skip over the a number of steps right, but feels like a kind of marching through the steps and that was the kind of thing that I was trying to bring about in this new yeah. I I've never seen it before billina s, weird about that in historically about it, you know,
being reminded by it, but I have grown as somebody who's in recovery to dislike. Look, I e. It helps people period united, I'm sorry, you have said about the tradition button there, but you know we're, not representing a here we're representing a guy story. Right yeah, I mean it's in. intertwine. So I mean there were things about a that I think on were important for the characters paying attention to enter a be tat. By and danny you know, his character had to be used for the authority owner Jonas, those interests in character cause- I don't know how much of that was in the book or work as it was an unorthodox. I mean that this sort of, like the guy who sponsors a people is definitely not unorthodox but the sort of meetings that warrant essentially a meetings there were. Cs, these, were things that John wrote about. He like he may have like made that up
there were certain things that it seemed like John did, with the reality of things, but they definitely have private meetings were both people and it would make sense it's not that unusual, but it wasn't really in a meeting of a sort of a group therapy trip right over there but yeah definitely walking one of the main things that he does is. He gets right into the middle of like his emotions concerning each scene, oh yeah, which is great for for us, for the director and for the How do you made us we sort of in the middle like when he's in the scene he's just really in their yo? You can't really go wrong or how can any makes it that way? Fortunately, trying to do that. I'm assuming dashes this process, that's his process so yet again to that point, and why? What is different from the? Why keen that you never save him right
what was what was different. Did you notice from working with him when he was a kid working the saint it really the same. Really. Here I mean he was way more experienced, doing, don't worry then to die for measures I for he hadn't acted in a while. He had been in things when he was younger like fourteen, yet he was in parenthood right and he had been in space camp which he remembers fondly. But I, he he really immersed himself. I think it's just his natural way to do it in, he just becomes the I think he he not like. I do. Maybe method right from his own version of it right he's he's really lake moving like the character. and when you you know when you say cut, he he's not
in character, but somehow he gets close enough to it that he can pop in and out, while yeah was it was great and I hope it does well for you to hear, and it was great agony who thinks negligent. that was a lot of stuff. I didn't know about him. Why would I first, I am, I taught you and how could I have known so alright. So do we play guitar? Do we I'll. Do a little. I like it. I like the way this sounds. I plug the thing into a new hole and I haven't changed strings yet Edna keeps getting filter
Transcript generated on 2022-07-18.