Hey, dear listeners, today's guest is Seth Green, who, you know from Robot Chicken, Family Guy, Austin Powers. It would take an entire episode to list everything as you'll soon hear. Seth and I have met each other over the years, but we've never really gotten a chance to talk. I was already impressed by his accomplishments, but after talking with him, I was even more impressed by who he is as a person.
Later in the episode, I'm joined again by dating expert, coach, matchmaker and one of my favorite people, April buya. April is the founder of Level Connections and has over 20 years of experience helping people navigate relationships and find love. Once again, I want to tell you how grateful I am for your kind reviews and sharing our show with your friends. Please keep sending us your questions and telling us your stories. Just go to unqualified dotcom and look for the link.
And now here he is, Seth Green.
Ladies and gentlemen, you are listening to Unqualified with their host unifiers. I had this realization that you and I have sort of known each other tangentially for over 20 years, but this will probably be the longest conversation that we've ever had.
I was thinking about that. I feel like we would have bumped into each other at, like those Nintendo release parties. Yeah, back in like thousand three, 2003. I've known about you for so long and been, like, attentive to your choices and your work for so long that it feels like forever.
How would you assess my choices? You've been awesome because it's different. It's not only your material choices, it's your performance choices and everything I've seen you in. You make such distinct performance choices that you're irreplaceable. And that's always the thing that I've known about you, Seth.
So I think we've got so many people in common and we've known of each other and like bumped into each other enough times that I know we've met in person a handful of times, but I realize, like, we've never hung out. We've never had this long a conversation. So I was excited as well.
Oh, Seth, thank you so much for doing this. I am so glad to be talking with you. It's mutual, but it is interesting to embark on like an intimate conversation, especially how we know each other, which is through like how you summed it up, 20 years of knowing and like mutual admiration.
And now here we are podcasting, though, it's like I don't know. I think as an actor, I've always been comfortable with oversharing because I've done a lot of interviews. I've walked a line between what is my real life and what I'll share publicly or what I'll reserve for myself or for friends. But just that habit consistently over the entire time I've been working, has gotten me very comfortable with candid conversations with strangers.
I agree, in fact, so much so that I don't even know if I have much ability to not have more intimate conversations.
I know. Well, this is an interesting thing. Do you find that that helps or hurts you? Because I find that my accessibility tends to create an implied intimacy with a stranger that I may not be sharing. And so I'll speak so candidly with somebody about something that's happening, and then I won't see them for seven years and I literally won't remember our interaction. They're like, you don't remember my grandma just died and you gave me these sage words that I've lived by for the last seven years.
And I obviously feel terrible for not recalling at all what they're talking about.
I do sometimes think that maybe I think sometimes I give a promise of an intimate friendship because my conversations are intimate. And it's not that it's disingenuous, it's just that I don't have the time.
Yeah, well, I don't know if anybody actually, at least within this business, holds each other not accountable, but like takes offense to that everybody that's successful is working all the time. And then if you've got a kid or a family or like a life outside of this business, your time is just absorbed. I have really tried to not get my feelings hurt, and I've reminded myself consistently that these are the interactions that we get. This is our community and everybody really understands.
That's said to me at one point, Darcy Kardin was on his show and she was talking about the invitation to the party and feeling like you're always going to get kicked out of the party, like you've gotten invited and then you're inside. And then someone's going to figure out, like eyes wide shut style that you don't have the password and you've got to get out. And DAX was so considerate about that. He's like, you don't ever really get kicked out of the party.
You just take your own time off and you rewrite your narrative, whether you're Michael Keaton or Eddie Murphy or anybody that has like seemed to have a gap or come back in a big way or even just running into each other at the Emmys and expressing that it's been like, oh, my God, a year since we've seen each other, we should get a dinner or something and how improbable that date really becomes.
And we couldn't be in more of a comparative competitive industry. And especially like most of us, when, you know, you start out, you're auditioning, you're hustling all over town. I wonder about our relationship as actors with rejection if we're better at it, because we expect it. Like when you would audition, you don't audition anymore.
I still do. Just because I do. Yeah, because I like to prove it. I like to to the casting person or the audience has got comfortable in seeing you in a specific way and you kind of can't hold that against them. But if I've got an idea about something and nobody believes me like they're not going to give me an offer, I will absolutely audition. And then if I'm not in, I'm not it. That's the only thing I've gotten better at over the years.
When I was young, maybe even seventeen or eighteen, a friend of mine's dad was a director and he directed a very prominent movie that cast like actual stars in it. And we got to watch the audition tapes. Really? Yes. With famous people. And the biggest thing that I noted was a couple of things. One who is off book and who was not, and what a difference that makes to the viewer, whether you are sort of basically memorized and partially interacting versus really knowing the words and having an opinion and expressing a point of view how different that was.
But then the biggest thing that I realized was you, as the viewer can just tell if somebody is it or not, and especially if you're the director. So that gave me a real comfort in knowing that sometimes, no matter how good an actor, because we'd watch a tape we like, that's a great actor, but they're just not right for this role against this person in this movie. So that made me a little more comfortable.
That's always been my feedback when I get rejected. Yeah.
How are you about that kind of rejection? Because I started so young that I had to compartmentalize it at a very young age.
Yeah, I learned to not tell anybody, like to not talk to my parents about it. I would never call my agent and ask if I did. Well, my pride kind of took the wheel. How do you deal with it?
I put a lot of effort into it and I can tell the difference between when I have or have not. And I think I hold myself to a very high standard because I started so young with such professional people, like I started when I was seven. And so I got the benefit of watching people's entire careers like people I met when I was seven. I met people who were 19, were in their 60s, now you know what I mean? And I paid close attention, both looking back and staying current.
So I felt like I had really good perspective on what a career could be or where choices were important. And it's not just about just right now. You have to be thoughtful about assembling things in a certain order. But with auditioning, you know, no one's got the imagination. And as much as you'll get the one casting agent who is like, I can't believe you dressed for this part, but at the same time, like, I'm not going to wear a full outfit, but if the person is a business person, I'm not going to come in in sweats.
Yeah, if the person is a sweats guy, I'm not going to come in in a suit. So it really depends on the casting person. But what I try and do and I'm not always good at it, is be as prepared as possible, have memorized the script, have an opinion, have some choices, have some ideas. Yeah, I always heard Philip Seymour Hoffman just offhandedly mentioned making exactly the opposite of what his first instinct was as a choice.
So whatever his first instinct was, he would find the exact opposite. So if the scene called for a character to be really loud and really aggressive and it's in all caps with a lot of exclamation points, then he would come in and just be like fucking furious with you. And I can't wait to feel your neck between my hand know. And if the character was supposed to be really quiet, he'd come in, like, furious with all this anger.
So I always thought about that. What's going to get me noticed? What does anybody paying attention to? It gets a little harder the more known you become, especially if you get known for any personality stuff. And social media is made that even harder, I think, for actors to just be actors, because there's such an emphasis on sharing this personal side of you, which then creates a dynamic between you and the audience completely. You know, I used to joke Dennis Miller would do movies, and it was never like watching Robert De Niro do movies.
It was like, oh, Dennis Miller is a cop in this movie, you know what I'm saying? Yeah. So the more I become known as a personality, the harder I have to work to be seen as a versatile actor.
What's your relationship now with social media?
Well, I use Twitter and Instagram. I liked Twitter in the beginning because it felt like content that I was in control of. And when I first signed on to Twitter, it was like maybe two thousand ten. And there were so few people on it. I mean, there were over a million people on it, but there weren't any trolls. There weren't people who had made a career out of, like, gaining notoriety from dragging you. So I got to do really fun stuff.
Like one night I was supposed to hang out with Zach Levi. And I texted him, hey, I've got an idea if you want to play along, and as I was pulling up, I said, think I'm a kidnap at Zach Levi tonight. Stay tuned. And then he tweeted like five minutes later. Just heard scratches on my window. Weird noises in the neighborhood. Anyone seen coyotes going to go check it out? And then I tweeted like five minutes later with the image of a trunk of a car.
I said, all cops got him, exclamation point. And it was like five minutes later, my mouth was covered with an ether soaked rag and now I'm in the trunk of a car. And all I hear is Chris Griffin's voice from Family Guy. And we carried this on for like an hour, two hours, just us back and forth.
That's amazing. I used to have a more fun relationship with it as well.
And then it became, I don't know, easily misinterpreted or or even just like reading comments. I'm not crazy about it. Yeah.
Twitter's become less fun now. There's absolutely no regulation. And I think what's interesting is that these private companies like Facebook or Twitter imagine themselves to be the arbiter of free speech, as if this was some public space where everyone has a right to speak and it's not. It's a private company. It's just like a restaurant that reserves the right to refuse service to anybody that comes in and sits on the floor like you're not going to let that person stay in their own shit while other people are eating just because it's like it's a private space.
You have to conduct yourself in a way. So I think if there's some more restrictive regulation and like greater accountability on the side of the platforms, then we'll be in a far better space to make it fun again.
I feel like you should testify before Congress. So I moved here in 1989 to Los Angeles.
You must have been very, very busy. Yeah, that's probably the busiest.
How would you describe that time? There was a new rise in teen movies, right?
Teen media in general we made can hardly wait. In ninety eight, I guess. And that was the first teen based studio movie in some time. And everybody had been talking about harkening back to the John Hughes era of these very emotionally relatable movies that played for over thirty five, but especially under twenty one. And the screenwriters, the directors wanted that to be an R rated movie and we had R rated gags all the way through it. And there was a point where everybody got nervous, like I don't even know if you remember around the same year Miramax made Studio 54 and that was supposed to be a hard R movie.
And instead they tried to make it a PG 13 movie because they thought if they had never Campbell in it, who had done so well and scream that they would get the scream teen audience instead. They just, like, softened everything that made Studio 50 for a thing. So same can hardly wait. The studio was hesitant to make an R rated movie. They completely cut every R rated gag out of it, which makes it a little choppy. But nobody can notice.
Honestly, if you pointed out and then the very next year American Pie got made and that movie exploded gangbusters hard. Our teen comedy, everybody was like, all right, this is the path. And then for a while there were just a string of them. Yeah. So then around maybe twenty five, I did Scary Movie. I was busy doing that and I did some pilots and I was auditioning for other I think I auditioned for Josie and the Pussycats and you know, like I don't have but anyway.
But then there was a shift. And when did you make House Bunny.
The house bunny was two thousand seven because I remember seeing that movie and feeling like that was your Legally Blonde, like it felt like such a flawlessly executed concept. You're so fucking funny in it. Thanks.
Well, this is what I'm going to ask you about, because during that time, work felt like it was really drying up for me. Yeah. And I never thought of myself as a very funny person. I was like in comedy.
I couldn't even get an audition for anything dramatic, you know what? Yeah. Anyway, but so then it felt like if I wanted to continue to pay rent, I had to be proactive. And you were one of the first actors that I had heard of that was so proactive with your own career. It was really inspiring with robot chicken. That's my memory. Is that accurate? Like you feel like you were kind of at the forefront of actors making a shift to really having a degree of control, at least actors our age?
I guess I just didn't think about it.
I never thought about myself in comparison to my peers as far as like where we were because we were all such different things. But for my entire career, I had seen actors, whether it's Ron Howard or Michael Douglas, go from being just actors to taking a greater control over the kinds of projects that they were in, especially Michael Douglas. He produced One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and got both Danny DeVito and Jack Nicholson to be in it. And I just remember hearing the.
Story of how that got done. I was like, oh, so you have the opportunity to get the rights to a book you like and figure out how to make that into a movie. And I saw guys that I liked, like Ben Stiller just making their own stuff, whether it was The Ben Stiller Show or Heat Vision and Jack, which was a pilot that didn't get picked up, but it was like all those things were like super informative to me.
Whether it's Conan O'Brien producing a show like look, well, that was way ahead of its time. It's still a performer taking a greater control of their own thing. But robot chicken was an accident. I didn't expect that to become what it's become. When we first started that, it was Web based in ninety nine, like right on the edge of two thousand. And so the Internet was still dial up and there was no streaming media on it.
Like it took you three days to download a video and there weren't really portals, it was all sort of text based. And so I had a friend of mine who was the editorial director for like one of the biggest genre publications at the time. So the Premiere magazine of Nerd Culture was Wizard magazine. The Entertainment Weekly of Toys was called Toy Fair Magazine. And so I liked all that shit. I was just into it. So I became buddies with the editorial director of the thing, visited him in New York, or we went to Comic-Con together in like ninety four.
So we were just like in it at the ground level because we were interested in that stuff. And then I had an idea I was supposed to go on Conan for like Austin Powers too. And I had seen smart people like Fred Armisen or Dana Gould, instead of doing an interview, do a bit or I'd seen like Bruce Willis go on Letterman and do some big bit instead of like an interview. And I thought, oh, wouldn't that be fun?
And so I called my buddy and I'm like, I had an idea. I know Conan got this promotional thing made from Hasbro, like an action figure of himself. And I've got one that was from Austin Powers that's probably in scale against his 12 inch by five inch. I thought it would be really funny. And I said, Do you know anything about stop motion? Like, I've been interested in it, but do you know anything about producing?
And he's like, I have no idea. But we've done a lot of toy photography, so let's do some research. And I kicked around a lot of places we call like Aardman and we tracked down the Kyoto brothers. And we were just like, how do you do this? And we wound up working with these guys who went on to develop an animation studio called Screen Novelty's Awesome Guys. And we rented out a space on Melrose that is now a denim store.
But for a while it was a pet store and office spaces. And I took the office space and the two guys took over the fucking pet shop. That's Frass. And we had this little square where we were producing these webisodes. But that was the first time that I had that realization. I'd made all the phone calls. I had gotten coffee for the seven people that were there. I had coordinated our lease. I had brokered a deal with the lawyer from Sony that wound up producing the content because it was as simple as they're like, hey, we don't know what the web is.
We don't know if this is going to work. But Sony was trying to develop a linear content portal like YouTube back in ninety nine, and they invested heavily in it because it was sort of like, nobody knows, there's no rules, there's no laws. So they were like, well, let's get a bunch of creative people who know how to stretch a dollar. And it was literally me and Fred Armisen and like three other people producing video content.
So they gave us less than fifty thousand dollars. And with that we produced forty five minutes of stop motion content that I had and broke it up into twelve two to four minute episodes. And then the whole platform spectacularly failed. But my partner and I were like, I don't know. I think this is something, I don't know what it is, but I think this is something. So that's in about two thousand and we started shopping it around.
I was calling MTV and Comedy Central and Mad TV because we thought maybe it was interstitials. We thought maybe it was something like liquid television. I had been a fan of the spike in my sick and twisted festival of animation in La Hoya, which was where Beavis and Butthead and South Park premiered. So I knew all these people and I was deep in this world. Now, I was like, this is something when we started that first day of production for that Sony thing.
And I had made all the calls and I had the keys to the space, I had this realization that that's what producing is. So right in that moment was the very first time I understood what it is to produce and why it is that the producer of the film accepts the best picture Oscar because they're the one who took this thing from an idea to distribution and they're the one that made it happen at every step. It gave every artist that gave every employee what they needed to be able to render their best services.
And at the end of the day, we made forty five minutes of content. So I realized in that moment I was a producer. This is what producing is. And I called the lawyer and was like, let's you and me broker a deal. This platform is failing. This content could live somewhere. Let's you and me broker a deal where I can take this content out, try and sell it somewhere and you guys don't feel like assholes. So he and I made an agreement for us to not go in the context.
We still controlled the derivative rights, but for Sony Digital, which doesn't even exist anymore to forever get a credit on. Robot chicken, and to forever get I think it's less than a thousand dollars an episode, they get a royalty fee built into it because they produced the derivative content. But we spent four years between the time that I got that lawyer to agree and when we sold it to Adult Swim. And some of that is just the culture catching up.
It's the formation of YouTube. It's the sharing of short comedy. It's the growth of a renegade platform like Adult Swim, which was only available after midnight on fucking Sunday. So nobody's even watching this weird mad stuff. But the head of the company at the time, Mike Glasgow, who since retired, he met us in some shanty type rental and he had already watched our forty five minutes. And he said in the meeting, I don't like stop motion.
So we were like, what are we doing here? And he said, but I like this. This is weird. This is funny. How do you guys feel about making quarter hour episodes. And I was like what's quarter hour is like 15 minutes. I was like, oh sure. But this kind of way where it's sketch based, where it's compact. And we were like, sure. And next thing we knew, we'd made a deal with Adult Swim to produce 20 quarter hours of a show that had no title.
And we had to figure out how to do that. So all of a sudden we were doing that. That's amazing. It's a weird pivot.
I tried in the first season to still make movies, but it's a 14 month production. So at one point during the production of our first season, I flew to London and Hungary to make a movie. And first of all, the time change the time. Change between those two made it very difficult for me to not work twenty four hour days, but that's pretty much what I was doing. I would finish a day on set where I had performed my hardest and then I would finish my night up having either teleconferencing with my partners or watching downloaded media to make edits.
And he was nuts. When I was in Hungary, the hotel had no Wi-Fi except on the balcony. So it's snowing there. And I'm literally sitting bundled up with like an umbrella, trying to have meetings with my partners at the equivalent of 3:00 in the morning. Oh, God. So I came back from making that movie and I was like, I think this is untenable when I'm making this show. I think I only have to be making this show.
There's no way for me to do both. Yeah. And for the first three seasons, the studio that we were working with compressed the time between seasons to only a month or two. So you have to imagine you work for 12 to 14 months and then take a month off and immediately start that same marathon. And by the third season, I put it in my contract that from the time we deliver our last episode, from the time we deliver our last episode, we have a guaranteed six month gap until we start writing again.
Amazing. And nobody likes that. Nobody but me likes that. Everyone else is like, let's just get back to work. And I'm like, no, let's take a minute and let this all be fun again and then get back to work.
What an amazing journey. Damn you work hard. This episode of Unqualified is brought to you in part by best friends who doesn't like complex puzzles and collecting bugs and great music, bright, colorful visuals. And you've got best friends. The closest thing I can compare it to is the yoga class I took once. It takes focus when you need to match fifty green leaves and defeat five slugs with only twelve moves, you can't really waste your moves matching the yellow flowers or you'll never hit the green leaf goal at higher levels.
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OK, I have some questions for you, if you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be? That's tough.
I mean, there's a lot of places that I love, but there's also plenty of places I haven't explored. So my favorite city in the world has always been New York. And one of my favorite places in the world has always been Central Park. But New York has changed so much and I haven't lived there in the last many years to know if it feels the same to live there. So I'd probably say something like Paris, which would force me to learn French.
Oh, I thought you were going to tell me that you were going to set up a tent in Central Park and get to know the city.
Yes, I've taken over the castle like Nick from Family Ties in My Demonlover. Is that too deep cut?
That's how far over your head is that, that's such a deep cut, it was over my head. I admit it, it's OK. But did you ever watch the TV show Family Ties? Yeah. Yeah. At one point, Justin Bateman started dating a guy who was like arguably the dumbest person on the planet. And then he went on to make movies. And one of the movies was called My Demonlover, which was just broken down on how did this get made as one of the most insanely ridiculous movies of all time.
I won't even get into the premise. There's just a fact. There's a castle in Central Park. And in this movie they posited that this demon had been squatting in that castle, which was madness. So that was where that cut came from. OK, but truthfully, I think I live in like Paris, a friend of mine spent a year in Paris, really had an incredible experience just having a simple routine. This is where I get my coffee.
This is where I get my clothes on. This is where I get my lunch. This is where I get my dinner. This is the park. I walk around if I want to feel inspired. This is the room I sit in or the balcony I sit on when I don't want to do anything. Like it felt very meditative. And, you know, it's so ancient and full of awesome stuff.
It does feel like it's a city that needs knowing. I don't know what city actually doesn't.
Do you have a favorite city that you live in for a year or a place that you would want to live? You know, when I was a kid, I wanted to buy a log cabin and I was obsessed with the Yukon Territory in Canada. I loved being alone and I like traveling in my own loneliness. Yeah, I feel you. Yeah.
Did you ever get to visit or did you ever spend time in a log cabin or.
Oh, no, not really. I shot a movie in Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan. Have you been there? Have you ever shot there before?
I have not, no. But I've shot in Calgary and Toronto and Vancouver and did the drive. You did? I stopped in Whistler on the way to Squamish. Oh God. What is that place called? Bam bam. Thank you so much. I didn't go all the way out to Banff. I went about midway. A beautiful.
OK, so you're going to go with Paris. All right. What is your favorite rainy day movie? That's hard.
I love a lot of movies for a lot of different reasons and it's been a while since I've really spent time with anything. Yeah. You know, my wife watches stuff over and over again, and I have not like since I was in my twenties, done that like heavy re watching of something. And I kind of miss that meditation on a particular piece of content. One of my favorite movies of all time is Defending Your Life, which is Albert Brooks movie.
I saw that movie four times in the theaters and I've recommended it to everybody. And then raising Arizona, which I didn't discover until it was on video. But I've seen that movie so many times. And then I went back and started studying the Coen brothers like a blood simple.
What's interesting about those two movies that you picked up in your life and reason Arizona, they finesse tricky tones. They are both totally blurry a little bit and they finesse them so well, which is, I think, one of the trickiest things about making a movie, if you're going to blur tones, is how to keep your audience emotionally invested with the story, don't you think?
I do. I do. And it speaks to the genius of Albert Brooks and his performance in that movie. While directing and having written the movie, I've been envious of that accomplishment because it resonated so well with me and it's flawless at every turn. You know, it obviously comes with experience. It wasn't the first film he wrote or directed, but it really spoke to me at the time because I was a teenager and it was about not living your life afraid.
Like the moral of that story is, don't be afraid in your life. Take chances, take risks. It's worth it. Fight for it. Be embarrassed. It's such a great movie.
And I was thinking also about raising Arizona and the level of charm and performance. Holly Hunter is so fucking charming and delicious.
Everybody's arguably broad in that movie. Yes, yeah. But believable because of the performers level of commitment and sincerity. That's what the Coen brothers do so well, is balance that tone. They get actors that are real actors with gravitas, and then they encourage them to do slightly madcap performances that are still rooted in believability.
I think a lot about sincerity of character. And I was thinking, too, about like when I play because I mostly play characters not always, but in my twenties they were so illogical that it was very difficult to play. Yeah, but I always attempt to be sincere, even if I can't be flashy or splashy, I guess. Yeah. And I think that you do the same thing with your performances. I try. Which is a rare ability I think.
Well, it goes back to that thing I learned from watching those tapes. What gets you noticed? How do you stand out so that somebody is not just fast forwarding through the tapes? And also what do I bring to it, like stepping outside of it? I always appreciate like writing anything or just observing things as a whole. You're like, oh, this part needs to play this role. Like defending your life is a great example. The waitress at the restaurant where he orders the pancakes, she just says things like, what do you need?
And he's like, wow, that was fast, and she's like fast and delicious. You know what I mean? So it's just a couple of lines, but that moment is gold. And so I've always thought of myself as a character actor. I've always thought of myself as a supporting actor. I didn't come to this wanting to be famous. I didn't come to this wanting my name on the marquee. I just loved performing. I really love getting in the head of a character and making them real and then playing my role in the thing.
I love getting a bunch of people together and putting on a show. That's what I'm in it for. That's my beating artist's heart that will never disappear. So I focus on two things. What does this story need from me? And in a lot of cases, the director or the writer is the only one that can tell you what you need to do so that you're not overdoing it, so that you're not under doing it. And then it's up to me how to take these lines, whether it's a lot of lines or a few lines and make this a real person that would logically come to these conclusions, that would organically be speaking these words.
And how would they react or respond to this kind of stimulus or input from another character.
Do you have an example of a project that was particularly tricky?
Yeah, the trickiest one. I think the one time I really had to wrap my head around something and ultimately I was overthinking it. There was a scene on Buffy where my character is a werewolf and I've left the town of Sunnydale where the Hellmouth is. And my ex-girlfriend, I went off because I didn't know how to control being a werewolf. And she became a witch in my absence and started a same sex relationship with, oh, my God, I'm just blanking on it.
But it's honestly not.
Was it consensual or did she put a spell on her lover? No, no, no, no. We broke up and she started a new relationship and discovered all these things about herself. And it was actually a really powerfully supportive storyline. And a lot of people wrote a lot of letters. Oh, that's amazing.
It formed a whole community about the positivity of those kind of explorations and those kind of feel like we had an episode where I come back and I meet the girlfriend and she hasn't told me and I'm supposed to, as a werewolf, smell it on her, you know what I'm saying? And so we meet and there's not enough dialogue for the subtlety of this moment. And I kept asking Joss, like, how does this need to work? And he kept saying, you're overthinking it.
You just catch it. And, you know, and I was like, I'll just try it. And when we did it, I still felt like this was too abbreviated of a moment. But when I saw it as the audience, I was like, oh, God, I really was just overthinking it because you, as the audience are with it seeing the scene. And then this moment is just that moment. You're so right.
I'm sure I've overthought way too many things, but it is about me as an actor wanting to be sincere in the moment, even if something's a farce, like even if you're making clue, you need all those people to believe what they're saying, no matter how madcap it is. So that's the work that I do. I make it real for me in my head so that I can react appropriately, but also have a position with my lines, whether they're few or many.
Well, and even on like a base, I think this larger concept can almost be condensed into, like the idea of when you're carrying a suitcase or a bag of groceries and you need it to be actually have I can tell when people are holding empty coffee cups, right?
And as an actor, you don't necessarily want to be lugging around something heavy, but you kind of need those. At least I do. Or the I have a big shoe thing with my characters like and I also had to wear wigs a few times that really messes with my head.
Does it change when you see yourself, though? Because I've done a bunch of prosthetic makeup and I forget that I'm wearing it. And then the second that I see myself, I'm like, right, I'm this guy. Same thing with like a wig or a fake beard or something. If I'm not seeing it, then in my head I'm not thinking about it. But the second I see it, the outfit, when I get the hair just right, then I feel like right.
This is the difference between me and this character. You're right.
Like with the house bunny wearing those costumes changed me, you know, could not. All right.
So on what occasion do you lie, Seth? I don't like lying. And that gets me into precarious positions. But I also understand where I don't need to be forthcoming and where being forthcoming would compromise or hurt someone else. And so those are the only instances where I don't lie. I'd say I withhold, but I pride myself on the validity of my word and that when I speak it is the truth and that when I make a promise that I honor it.
And that's the most basic thing that I keep for myself, you know what I mean? Because when I was younger, when I was like a little kid, I lied all the time about whatever because I was scared and super insecure. And then the older I got, the more I realized how important it is to be trustworthy, to be responsible, to be honorable and dependable. And so I kind of made a conscious choice just to not lie.
I love that. All right. What was your first love? Like I. First, love, I got, gotta warn you, I was romantic from a very young age, and I think I scared a lot of girls with my overtures because I, like, went for it in an embarrassing way.
I want to hear about this. I did all of it. I mean, I, like, walked a mile in the snow to bring my first grade girlfriend a box of chocolates on Valentine's Day. Oh, you know what I'm saying? I've made books. I've had sold stuffed animals for people like I've made very romantic gestures.
Does that mean your heart's been broken a lot or. Oh, yeah.
Yeah. Oh, yeah. I've taken a lot of heartbreak, but it's OK. I think it's important. I think it's important, too. And it's sort of the same thing as a role where you realize there's nothing wrong with you. You're kind of perfect. You're just not perfect for me.
I love that. OK, what is a trait you dislike another's dishonesty? What's a trait you dislike in yourself?
Impatience. OK, what was your first job? So the very first.
Well, is that true? Because I raked leaves and shoveled snow around my neighborhood for money and I feel like it was before I started acting, but it might have been after. I'm trying to crunch the numbers because the first official job I got was the year I turned seven and I did a slew of commercials in that year and even got to do guest spots on a soap. And I was just so hungry.
You remember enjoying it? Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I assume your mom took you and she took me, but she did not want to like I drove that train the whole time. That's amazing. It's a weird thing and I realize how rare that is just by having so many friends who by the time they were graduating, still were unsure of what they wanted. And I'd already been almost ten years into a career.
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This episode of Unqualified is made remarkable by Maker's Mark. Today I'd like to tell you the story of Marjoe Madingley Samuels, who was a chemist, baker designer and all around Badass. Together with her husband Bill Marjie helped create a new type of bourbon. You know it today as Maker's Mark Marjoe was pretty much responsible for everything that distinguishes the maker's brand, the name, the label. She even had the idea to hand up every bottle in the iconic red wax, something Maker's Mark continues to do to this day.
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And remember, Maker's Mark crafts the bourbon carefully and they ask that you enjoy it that way. OK, what qualities do you look for in a friend? Honesty, integrity, a casual ability to converse, the ability to both have a conversation and also comfortably sit in silence?
Yeah, OK. What talent or ability would you most like to have?
Oh man. I would love to be able to slam dunk a basketball, but that falls into several other categories.
There was a point in time where I really was very serious about learning to fly planes. Oh, I got to make a movie and I had to get 12 hours of tarmac training just to be able to use the pedals and understand the mechanics of it. And then we flew this fucking plane into the air and shot scenes of me in the pilot's seat because the yoke is switchable. And the guy who'd been teaching me operated the yoke with the throttle and everything for the takeoff.
But I had to operate the pedals for the takeoff because the pedals aren't on either side. And as I'm operating the pedals for our takeoff, which is essentially just keeping everything straight, as you get the throttle going enough to turn your propellers and its your flaps to get off the ground. I had this realization as we're leaving the ground that I was going to have to operate those pedals on landing, which I've just never done. It is literally terrifying.
And I'll make the long story short as it can be. I did it and in that moment I realized that it really was just that it's as simple as driving a car and learning to drive a vehicle. You just have to understand all of the instruments. You have to understand what everything means. You have to know how to handle an emergency and you have to be able to keep your wits about you should one arise.
I did see you kind of wipe your brow as you started to tell this story.
Yeah, that's one of the scariest things I've ever done, truly one of the scariest things I've ever done, just because we're like coming in for a landing and I don't have the yoke, but I'm on the pedals.
So this guy and I have to coordinate flawlessly. Also, the cameraman was squeezed into the cargo of the thing. Oh, my gosh. And when we both realized at the same time that I was going to be operating these pedals on takeoff and landing, that I've never done this before, we both lock eyes like, oh, my God, I'll do my best not to kill us all. The last thing I want to do is break this plane.
OK, what qualities do you look for in a romantic partner?
Well, I've been married a little over 10 years now and my wife and I were friends for a year.
I was going to ask you how you met, OK? Yeah, yeah. We met at Golden Apple Comics for their grand reopening because we were both friends with the family that ran the place. So we're both such nerds. We had moved to California and independent of knowing one another, sought out a home based comic shop and found the same one and had a similar experience of becoming friends with the family that owned it and frequenting the place, even though we never met.
So we met at the grand reopening, she had been asked to take pictures, photography as a hobby of hers. And I was there signing a comic that I had created with a buddy of mine. And so we met very briefly in that moment just to say Hi, I'm Claire. I'm the one who's going to be taking your picture. I'm not weird. And I was like, don't even worry about it. And we were both at the time in other relationships, so we weren't even considering something romantic.
And then months later, we ran into each other through a mutual friend at a hotel. I was like twenty seven the year the Comic-Con had a Hollywood invasion. So we met in a buddy's hotel room. He was having like a hotel room party.
And she was like, oh, you remember me? I was the one to go not taking the pictures. I was like, I totally remember you. We wound up smoking a joint together and then everywhere that weekend that I was, she was we knew all the same people. We were all the same parties. We had a lot of friends in common.
We were always really happy. When you saw her, you're like, Oh yeah, there's Claire. Yeah. Oh, that's cool. She's here again. Yeah, that's amazing.
And so randomly I was like, we you both going through breakups. I didn't really want to date anybody. I kind of just wanted to hang out with somebody I really didn't want to, like, get into it. I felt like I had rushed so many things or held on to my last relationship for longer. And I was like sort of kicking myself for being in that position. I really didn't want to lead somebody on. So when we hung out, it was not a romantic thing.
And all of our conversations were honest and without any attempt to obfuscate, like we weren't trying to deceive each other at all. We were just like, hey, are you my friend? And that first day we like smoked a joint and drove to in and out. And then I was like, You want to watch some TV or something? And I looked at my TiVo cue and she said, we have almost an identical TiVo cue. Except at the time I was watching American Idol, I think it was the second season ever.
And I found the whole thing fascinating. And I was watching Gossip Girl because my friend Michelle was on it.
And to support her, Claire was like, I don't know, this guy's watching Gossip Girl.
I don't even know. Yeah, but again, we weren't trying to be romantic. And then like 10 or more months into being friends, we had like a drunken oops. We slept together kind of night and it didn't seem to break our friendship. So I thought maybe that was just something that happened. And you know, I've had friends that I'm friends with where you sleep with each other and it's just like a thing that happens where it's not like we're going to date now.
Right. And I think I was super conflicted about that in the early part of it. And then it sort of came down to she's just not the type of person that's going to do that and was starting to develop a different kind of feeling for me. And I knew that I had a kind of feeling for her, but I was also really, you know, once bitten, twice shy kind of thing and frankly, scared to take that kind of leap because I really felt like if we date, we're going to get married, like we're just that kind of connection.
So it was like I had to be sure and I had to make sure that she was sure. I just didn't see us breaking up.
I wonder if you had been used to being a pursuer because I felt the same way, like growing up. I never really, like, hit on anybody or anything, but I always felt most of my relationships that I probably liked the guy more than he liked me.
And, you know, I think things shift as you get older or whatever, but so when a guy liked me, it made me feel insecure, like, why does this guy like you?
Yeah. And I also liked being in control. So I wonder if Claire wants to develop a relationship with you. I wonder if that gave you pause in that way.
I don't even think that was what she wanted. Like she was not trying to have a boyfriend. Like it snuck up on both of us. Just the fact that we were such good friends and then had a romantic connection as well like that was surprising for us both. Everyone around me who I introduced her to as like my new best buddy, they were like, OK, we'll see you at the altar, guys.
I think I was determined to stay single. I think I was determined to not get into a relationship that would get broken up. Like I just didn't want to make the wrong choice. I was really frightened of getting into something, and especially because I had developed feelings for her and really cared for her as a friend. I especially didn't want to hurt her either by trying to continue down that path or by not continuing down that path. So it just kind of became obvious at some point because we were like, all right, well, let's not sleep together.
Let's see if we can just stay friends, because I was like, I'm honestly not in a position where I want to be in a relationship. Let's see if we can just be friends. And, you know, that didn't work because like being together, we instinctively want to, like, cuddle together if we're watching TV or we instinctively, like, want to tell each other things or share things.
You want to be intimate on all levels. It really became obvious that it wasn't going to be possible for us to just be friends. And so if I was serious about us not taking another step, then we just would not have to. It's really funny because we had a dinner date that we'd put on the books months before this realization to take a couple friend of mine to the Magic Castle on a double date. And Claire and I were in this place like for a month or two, trying to be friends and just bumping up against it.
So that night at the Magic Castle, we're like our other friends is a married couple and we're like trying to tow this line between just being friends. And it's really funny because that same night she confessed to me that she was ready to tell me to go fuck myself. She was like, I can't do this. I can't half way this. I've got to just not be your friend. This hurts too much. I think I like you. I can't be friends with you.
This same night I told her I don't think I can be without you at the Magic Castle.
This is a great scene. Well, it happened later. Like we both had a lot of drinks in us and we went back to her apartment and I was like, oh, I probably shouldn't drive. Do you want me to sleep on the couch? And she was like, Well, you probably should, right? You probably should. And I was like, I probably should. And then I was like, I got to be honest, I don't want us to not be friends.
I don't want us to not be together. And I'm terrified of this. But it feels worth the risk at this moment. And she was like, I was about to tell you that you have to.
That's amazing. So that night was sort of the beginning of a redefinition.
That was the point where we said, all right, well, we're a couple. And then it was like a year later I proposed to her.
I love that this episode of Unqualified is brought to you in part by Peacocke on Wednesday, November twenty fifth Bayside gets a reality check when Emmy Award winning 30 Rock writer Tracy Wakefield brings us a contemporary, irreverent and optimistic reimagining of Saved by the Bell and even more exciting, Elizabeth Berkley. Lauren and Mario Lopez are back. John Michael Higgins also stars as Principal Todman alongside the new class featuring Bellmont Chameli, Dexter Darden, Mitchell Hogue, Alicia Pascal Pena, Jose Toter and how scary Velasquez.
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OK, so I hear you're a big Star Wars fan. How how would you rank them? So if you consider all Star Wars canon viable in this list, yes, that includes, like the Clone Wars cartoon or Rebels or the Mandalorian shit. Then I made a list. Who do I even do this for? I can't remember now. It was another podcast. And they were like, we want you to do this. So I started doing it once.
My favorite is Still Empire, the Empire Strikes Back, the original sequel. It's Chapter five technically, but it's the second movie that ever came out.
OK, so it opens with after they've been given their medals in the first one.
Yes, OK, the Empire Strikes Back is all about them getting tricked. They go to Cloud City. Boba Fett takes Han Solo back to Jabba the Hutt. Darth Vader reveals to Luke Skywalker that he's his father, which is the secret that Ben Kenobi has kept from him.
Which one has the sandpit? That's the next what? The sand creatures in Jedi. It's pretty tough. I will say this. My list goes all over the place, but my number three after Jedi is the Clone Wars series. The animated series is one of the best, most viable pieces of Star Wars content ever produced. And it's like six seasons long.
OK, some of the episodes are a little iffy, but especially as it gets into the last four seasons of it, it is all so good and it's all the canon that they're exploring in the new show, The Mandalorian.
OK, what's your least favorite? Which one, like, disappointed you? Right. So it looks like the last one, number fourteen is Attack of the Clones, which is the second of the prequel movies. I can't remember who's in that. That's Natalie Portman. That's Hayden Christensen. Oh, yeah. Yeah, yep. All right. I'm down with that.
It's not even like it's a bad movie. It's just in this ranking of what is the best versus what is my least favorite. I had to put these in a ranking order. You're shitting all over Natalie Portman.
How dare you? I was such a stand for Natalie Portman so early. I saw her a professional and I was like, yo, this kid is going to be enormous, even her own Garden State, like she's the best.
What I loved about, I think, the first three. Well, nostalgia, of course. I can't separate the early viewing. You know, when you see a movie at age nine or whatever, you love it.
They're all great. Sure. But I love the whininess of the characters. I love like Uncle Irwin.
What does that great quote? It goes well, I was going to go to Toshie station and pick up some power converters me.
OK, but then this leads me to another question before we get on to other things out of the superhero characters that I would know, OK, not too many. Who's the most fully fleshed superhero?
Do you think that's really hard? It really is, isn't it's a question a naive person would ask. Well, it's also like in the comics when you're talking about mainstay characters like Batman or The Flash that have been around for 60, 70 years. They've been written in so many ways. You could argue that there's a completeness to their characterization. But I think the Marvel movies have done a really great job of staying true to the characters that were in the comics while evolving them in a way that cinematic.
But we also kind of crossed a lot of thresholds just as a culture. Dick Donner, Superman was the first time where they literally put a superhero into the real world and it remains one of the best cinematic executions of a character because it's very true to the character and you really feel like it's happening in the world, like you buy that that is a superhero, a God in a world that is volubly of human beings. But over the years, you know, culture has gotten a little like we've stopped making Halle Berry Catwoman and we've stopped making Ben Affleck Daredevil.
And you have instead, like the Netflix Daredevil. And whatever Catwoman shows up in whatever new Batman movie will be categorically different than the silliness that the studios were trying to peddle to us earlier, that you're right.
That's a really fair point. It is interesting to be able to shift a character, morph it into something that feels a little more relevant and more dimensional.
Well, I tell you this, I never read a lot of Doctor Strange. He showed up in a lot of team up comics that I read. And so I was aware of his mini series, like When He Fought The Devil or things like that. But I never really cared about that character. And when I saw that movie, I was like, Holy shit, Doctor Strange might be my favorite. This movie's incredible because we'd already seen so many catastrophic.
The Sky is Falling Marvel movies. I was like, how are they going to make this anything new? But their final battle, which was a reversing time battle where all of the combatants were using the reversal of time to their advantage or disadvantage. I was like, I've literally never seen anything like this so cool. I haven't either, because I didn't see it. It's worth seeing really. That Doctor Strange movie is a really good one. Yeah.
All right, cool. I will. All right. So what is your greatest extravagance now? This is silly. I'm not an extravagant person, so I don't spend a lot of money on clothes. I've never bought like a fancy car. I had a Mercedes for a minute, but just because I really was driving a lot and I was like, I want this drive to be pleasurable. So probably the most extravagant thing I've ever done. We've got a pool at our house.
And we have a lot of hillside, which if you lived in L.A. and lived on a hillside, you'll know that over time, just the way these settlements were developed, it's a lot of soft soil. So you have to retain the hill.
Did you spend a lot of money in hill retention? I have, but that's not the extravagance of the extravagance was my wife and I were talking about a diving board or a slide into the pool and I started looking at the hillside and our deepest point on the pool. And I was like, you know, we're going to have to retain this hillside at some point. I wonder if there is a way to do a straight up raging waters to slide in this hill.
No way. So I started doing some research called a contractor. He tracked down a guy that repurposed and refurbished his stuff from close down water parks. And he takes huge like 50 foot slides on tours to what? Music festivals? So if you're at a music festival, you want to get on this like a hundred foot slide, do a splash pool, you can do it. So I had that guy come out here. We had a whole conversation about hillside retention, what the curves would be, what would not kill a person with speed, what the angle of entry could be and what was possible.
And so probably the most extravagant thing I've ever done and the way I justified it was because I was combining a need to retain this hillside with expensive cement. But I was giving it a purpose by funneling a twisty ninety six foot underground tube slide into it.
Nobody will beat this extravagance and set a water slide is fucking rad.
It's good shit. And I had at one point turned my condo into a tree house like I know special effects people. And so I had columns and corners and I was like, what if we put like trees in these columns and corners and this loft was more of a tree canopy, so it looked like the loft itself was in a tree. What would that cost? And the special effects have been like, oh, here, we'll make that for you.
So everybody already thought I was crazy. Anybody that came to the tree house thought I was crazy. But then I sold that place and moved in here. And now anybody that comes here and sees this slide is like, you're a fucking maniac. That's the best return on investment I've ever had on anything ever.
Awesome. I love that answer. OK, when have you been impulsive?
I'm not terribly impulsive, but the true answer is I'm impulsive when all of the information lines up, know what I mean? So like I've impulse bought things or I've impulse experienced things, but all of the facts have to make sense. I've never just like thrown caution to the wind and done something without investigation or without working through the practical side of it.
I bet that quality is what makes you such a great producer as well.
Oh, I definitely consider all of the consequences of something and that does probably benefit me with producing.
I think you may have missed out on some fun times in New Orleans, though. I won't say that I haven't.
I mean, I've done you measure the options and you're still here, so you did it. Yeah. All of my spectacular failures have luckily been in private.
For what historical figure would you start a fan club?
It's probably Nicolas Tesla because he was pioneering all of this wave technology like wireless tech in his time. And all of his research was kind of buried or co-opted into other things. But he was so ahead of his time with his thought process, like he's damn near Galileo. Yeah, all that stuff like I'm big into all of the space exploration. I think the privatization of space flight is one of the best things that could have happened. People didn't seem to understand that NASA wasn't shutting down.
They're just closing the Challenger program because it was a reusable vessel that could not be updated. And so it had technology on it from like the 70s and the 80s at the latest. So anyway, I'm worried for all that stuff, too. I was early adopter to the Tesla company. Do you have a Tesla? Yeah, my first Tesla was ten, I think like twenty ten. I got one of the first six thousand s models off the line.
OK, this is a question that I ask with hesitancy every time. OK, to whom would you most like to apologize and why.
God, I really try in the moment to take accountability and admit when I'm wrong or at fault. So all I mean by that is I don't have a lot of regrets. I don't have a lot of, like, unspoken apologies.
You're good at apologizing in the moment, not taking personally, just being like, you know what?
I was wrong. You were right. I'm so sorry. Or like, I see how what I did. Did you like this? And I'm sorry. I like to acknowledge those things and move forward. I think it's really healthy. But there's realizations that I've come to over time and I have thought about going back and like writing a letter to this person or that person saying all these years later, I had this realization about our last interaction and I just wanted to apologize for my position.
I now understand where you were coming from, where at the time I simply wasn't capable of it. But I haven't and I don't know why. I'm probably like, embarrassed and a little scared. Yes, I know.
I'm with you. My apologies are still left.
I said, well, well, like when I was young and got opportunities to meet with major studios about producing things or was trying to develop something with senior executives. I was very headstrong and wildly inexperienced and didn't quite understand the position that I was in and that the people that were there were not actually trying to hold me back. They were trying to reconcile what I wanted to make to fit into what they were capable of making. And so, you know, I love confrontation, but I appreciate a civil debate.
I like calmly referencing actual facts and then coming to a conclusion about it. And so I found myself in the position fairly often of getting notes or being told things by executives that I knew to be not true. And I had the facts to back them up. So I got into debates with people who were meant to be my allies and I alienated them.
It's very difficult, though, in this industry to figure out like the friend or foe or who is your ally. But I think the realization as I get older is that it's exactly what you said, is that if you're working with people they want to nurture, you're not often brought into a situation with a combatant.
Right. Especially if they're like an executive. But my my buddy and I were just talking about this last night, talking about auditioning and how far you go, especially when you're known like how far do you go, because there's such a fine line between Patricia Arquette and Sean Young. Right. Both of those stories. No. Huh. Well, there's this famous story that Patricia Arquette in auditioning for True Romance Heat on the floor when meeting Tony Scott, just like got some bad info.
And she's like, this is what Alabama would do. So I'm doing it. That's a legend. But then there's the truth that Sean Young wanted the part of Catwoman in Tim Burton's movie and showed up on the Warner Brothers lot dressed as Catwoman, trying to find Tim Burton. And he literally, like, hid under his desk so that he didn't have to see her. And she got labeled as like a crazy person for being passionately self promoting. And so as an actor, you're always wondering, well, which is the risk to take.
Right. But that's way off topic from apologizing.
All right. Do you have a greatest regret?
My regrets or any time I, like, wronged somebody or done somebody wrong or hurt somebody's feelings and there's so much that you're not in control of that I don't spend a lot of time regretting it.
OK, in one word, how would you like to be remembered?
So there's two things about this. There's the Egyptian prophecy that you exist for as long as your name is spoken, you have two deaths. There's the death that you experience and then there's the death when no one ever says your name again. So I've always kind of thought that all of this is in the moment. And aside from accountability, you shouldn't be concerned with being remembered. Like, I'm not going to construct a mausoleum. I'm not going to have some Jim Morrison gravestone.
I'm unconcerned about it. The work that I've given, I hope that that will live on the entertainment I participated in. I hope that that will exist. But I'm unconcerned with people speaking my name. I'm all about the audience and the audience feeling the feels, whether they're funny or dramatic. I'm all in for that. But I don't think that anybody can really expect to be like guys like George Lucas will forever, permanently be a legacy legend. I don't think he was aiming for that.
He just sort of happened to be so brilliant and good at it that he became this thing. Keanu Reeves said the best thing he was on Fallon or Colbert or something. And they said, what? Oh, what happens when we die? And he said, well, the only thing I know for sure is that the people who loved us will miss us. That's beautiful. I thought that was so poignant. Yeah. So I think that's the best you can hope for, is to have made love and connections and for anybody that loves you to remember and miss you.
All right. Last question, Seth. This one's easy. What's the meaning of life?
It's forty two. Everybody knows that this is arrogant to even try and posit this. But the conclusion that I've come to it's a John Lennon song. He says last night, the wife says, don't worry when you're gone, you don't take nothing with you but your soul and soul, since we really don't know for sure what is. For this human existence or what is after this human existence, we only guess it's only faith. For me, the meaning of life is connection, experience, memories, right?
It isn't about accomplishment or money. It's about making connections and feeling feelings and having no regrets at the end and having a life of memories.
And that's really beautiful. And I share your sentiment says I can't thank you enough for doing this today. This was great. You're amazing. My pleasure. I'd love to meet your wife sometime. And I would love to go down water slide someday. Any time. Any time.
Give me some advance notice so I can heat the pool, OK? I love it, but I said thanks again. See you again.
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So get started today at better h e l p dot com slash f a r us. Talk to a therapist online and get help. Hey, everyone, April Buyer is back with her wisdom and insight, proving that at least one of us knows what they're talking about. For more on April and our other experts, you can find links on our website, Unqualified Dotcom.
Hey, April, welcome back. Thank you again for doing this. Thank you. It's been awesome. OK, let's call Kayla. Hello. Hi, is this Kayla? Yes, it is. Hey, it's on, how are you? Oh, my God.
I'm here with April via. Hi, Kayla. April is amazing. She is a dating expert. She's a coach. She's a matchmaker. She's so much more. I've learned a lot. So, Kayla, will you tell us what's going on? Yes.
So I'm twenty three. I'm finishing up my last year of college right now and may all be done. So I'm free to move about the cabin, do whatever I want and my one friend who I met our senior year of high school. So we're coming up on five years of knowing each other. I have been madly in love with this kid since he first met me in this class. And I yelled at anyone who ever tried to take a seat because I just knew he was it.
He was actually my first kiss when I was twenty. Please don't judge me. I'm a late bloomer. When I went to visit him, when he went away to college because I paid for community college and then after school he ended up moving to Texas. But we have always maintained a really close relationship in high school. We text, we Skype. I visited him in August, leaving tomorrow to visit him again for a week for Halloween, and I've always had feelings for him.
He had a couple of partners in the last few years, but over one Skype session, he was like, I've always had feelings for you. If you want to give us a shot, would you be willing to move to Texas? And while my impulsive self would love to drop everything and everyone I've ever known and just up and move over a thousand miles away from Jersey to Texas, my fear is a I don't know anyone there. I don't drive.
So I would be completely reliant on him to get to work, to get to the doctor anywhere. I don't know if I can get a job in my field there. I'm majoring in television production, he says, someone who's interns at a news station around him. So in theory I could. But I'm also afraid that I'll get there, move all my stuff almost thirteen hundred miles away. I have no one else. And he'll realize after a couple days like, Oh, I don't like this trip as much as I thought, and I'll be kind of left stranded in a state where I don't know anything or anyone.
Yeah. So my question kind of is like why I had such strong feelings for him for years and would love to. I don't know if that's just me being impulsive or if this really is a good idea because we've been friends for so long. But I haven't even told my family yet. I have no idea how they would react. No one in our family has ever even moved out of the state, let alone in another time zone.
So it's up to April and myself to determine what. Yeah, yeah.
Why are you going to Texas? I'll be like date. Yeah. Well, thank you, Kayla.
I was about to be like, I don't need to hear anymore. Just pack up and move. April, will you tell Kayla you should move to Austin or not.
No pressure there. Hey Kayla. Well, very exciting. First of all, I never want to throw a wet blanket on any kind of feeling that is exhilarating. So, so nice that you have this connection with him. I think we should just ask some really good questions of you and for you to ask of yourself so that you can make a more informed decision. The good news is you're so young that you cannot make a mistake. I like that there's nothing that you're going to do whether you stay or go that's going to have any kind of impact in a negative way.
OK, so that's the good news. It's not like you're leaving, you know, a twenty year career or your own children and you own a home and you've got to sell it like that's the good news. So first and foremost, never make any decisions out of fear or scarcity ever. If he wants you now, he can wait. You don't have to make any kind of rushed decision. And any time we make a decision that isn't in the light, meaning we haven't told, everybody tells me that there's more to do.
You know, you haven't told anybody yet. And I are the only ones that you share this with.
I feel so privileged. I don't know about honor, but I feel privileged that I have this very secret information over here.
Yeah. So I know you guys have been friends for a while, but how long have you guys been like, romantically linked?
So when we were in high school he did have a girlfriend. They were on and off. So during their off periods we would be very flirty, which I know is messy, but I'm glad it was years ago and not currently because that would be a red flag. Our sophomore year of college is when I would go and visit him and we would do stuff. So again, after he left then and he was so far away, he said he didn't want to do anything long distance, so he had other partners in the meantime.
But since covid started, we have been romantically linked with one another, I would say, but on and off for a few years, but consistently since February, March.
OK, has he come to see you? No, just because he works full time and he can't quarantine for two weeks where I can so I can get on the plane, then I can come back here and be OK where he can't lose that much pay because you pay some bills. And I'm very fortunate that I don't right now.
And to see if he sent you a ticket to come see him. Yes, he purchased the first one and then paid for everything while I was there. So I purchased the second one. And then I then moved him for groceries and stuff because I want to be equal.
And when you say since covid February, March, you guys have been romantically linked. How many times have you seen him? How many visits have you had since February, March?
I went for a week in August and then I'm leaving tomorrow for another week.
Oh, Kayla, do you get a sense that you're more into him than he is to you?
I do feel that way just because I'm a super open person. Everyone knows everything about me. No one ever has to guess how I feel. And he's not so like a birthday card. I'm like, you're so important to me and my favorite person. I adore you. And while he really appreciates it, that's just not how he expresses his affection. So I feel that way. I think also with my insecurities, I feel like everyone I know hates me.
So even when he says like, no, I like you and I'm willing to pay for your rent if you were to move down here, I'm willing to drive you anywhere you need to go. Like that's how he expresses it. I'm just more open and I'm like, I would die for you.
April, what do you think? It sounds like he's into her. Yes. You know, Kayla, reading your letter, the first thing I was worried about, of course, was was this like a whim invitation? Right.
And that's why I made him say it during the day soberly. And I was like he kind of made me move to Texas. And he was like, yes, I did have feelings for you. I wouldn't ask to have you move here for me to live with me, to pay your bills before you get a job to help you find a job like he's invested, but he just doesn't express it as much as I do, which is fine. Not everyone's comfortable with it, but I definitely say it all the live long day.
Well, April, now that she's going to see him tomorrow, how do you think that they should talk about this? You know, slow and steady wins the race? I'm sorry. There's just no reason to panic or to make any decisions that haven't really been communicated. OK, you know, you said something really important. You're a communicator of feelings. He is not don't so easily discard. That is miss. Because one day that's going to be very important to you, that you end up with someone who communicates the way you do, it may not seem like it's that important right now, but trust me, it does become important.
You're not necessarily insecure. It could be that when people don't communicate with us, they can bring up feelings of insecurity because they're not saying it right. It's not enough that he's doing practical things right. He has to also be saying, you know, I can't live without you. The next thing, if you get there and you don't have a job and he's paying rent and you're in his place, his apartment, his friends, his car, you run the risk.
And it's not a big risk. But you do run a risk and you need to know about this, of watering down your chemistry. He then becomes leader, boss, daddy, protector, provider at a time where it might be too soon.
You know, you've known each other a long time, but you had that week in August and then you're having your five day little tryst starting tomorrow. In my opinion, it's not enough to have any kind of knowledge to make a move, OK? And I know that's not what you want to hear, so I'm sorry. No, I really trust you guys with my whole heart. And that's why I wanted to ask.
I think you have some work to do and questions to ask yourself. Remember, it's not so much about what you ask others, because if you ask others, do you want me here? Is it going to be OK? The knee jerk reaction is sure, but you're the one taking the risk. It's not a big risk. Like like I said, you don't have a mortgage, correct? Correct. All right. You don't have babies. You don't have a job.
You're leaving. Why can't you guys, especially since there's not any kind of job there, why can't you slowly trickle your move to Austin with trips as you're doing this way? That's where you can go and maybe start applying for a job so that there's something that you have of your own long before you get there, so that if, God forbid, if the relationship falls apart, you're standing on your own two feet because otherwise you're going to blame him and you're going to blame yourself.
So can we do that? Yeah. Can we baby step it? You know how I love baby steps on it?
Absolutely. I agree.
My friend is actually getting married in the South in January, so I was thinking of spending two weeks there from New Year's to her wedding because it'll also be cheaper to fly there from Texas. But to see like, OK, two weeks, that's longer. That's kind of how we do together for this long. Can we are we compatible? And then while I'm very like, OK, I don't want to rely on you within walking distance from your place, like, what can I do on my own?
Or just a cheap uber ride from your place so that I can save my own money. And if worse comes to worse, if I have to move back or if I have to get my own place, then I'll be OK. Yeah, I mean, I don't see any reason.
I think it would be silly to go stay in a hotel. You're already intimate, right? So I don't think it's any risk to stay with him. But the more independent two people are and I'm not talking about independent of love for each other, but the more you have your own life and make decisions for yourself, the more appealing you're going to be to him. Because right now it's easy for him to say, come on, give it a try.
And I've seen a lot of women get lost in the shuffle doing something like this. And it was all on his schedule going to him, making the plans, paying for their trips, uprooting themselves. And if you put all of your eggs in that basket, you have to prepare for the relationship might not work out. And then you have to love Austin so much. If it doesn't work out, you want to stay because you have friends and you have a life there.
And so it's it's about seeking out friends and finding your own stuff. I just think it makes you safer and it makes you more appealing as a partner. Right.
I also want to know, like, why you immediately go to what if he says I don't like this girl off with her head as opposed to you thinking, what if I get there and I don't like him as much as I thought?
Like, I'm just wondering why you run to the idea of him disappointing you rather than you disappointing him.
April, can't we blame society for this pressure on us to be scared that the guy won't like us or the person I don't like? Women assume more responsibility.
I would love to blame society. No, no.
But the thing is, in my experience is men have an equal responsibility as well to be generous in their love or their affection. And I don't know why we have to capture them.
It's that old training, right? It's like, please, your man. Women tend to do more self assessment of how could I have been better? What could I have done? More women tend to blame themselves first before. They blame their partner. It's normal, it's natural for me. I'm also just an insecure person. I'm twenty three. I've never had a relationship and the last person that I was talking to wasn't the nicest and would tell me whenever I did something wrong like this is why no one else wants you.
This is why no one has ever want to do. And it's just like all I did was wear shorts again. And that kind of also lowered my already low self-esteem of like, oh, it is where I'm twenty four friends that are engaged and I've never had a boyfriend like what's wrong with me so that I've had this kid on a pedestal for years. My first thought is definitely like he's going to think I'm weird. He's not that like me as much if I go there for an extended period of time.
It didn't even occur to me that I would go and not like him as much.
It's really hard to make a really good choice in a partner if you yourself haven't kind of course, corrected your self-esteem because that's the foundation to make every single decision and the way people spiral when there's a breakup, they're spiraling.
Not so much. They miss that person is that they're kind of in that torment of, oh, my God, who was I that I put myself in this position? And that can be lasting. So we don't know when this concept of when you fly, you've got to quarantine when that's going to end. But I kind of feel like the New Year is going to bring some new answers for us. So what I would like to see is a lot more effort than just his ask.
I would like to see him wanting to know you, wanting to know your life. They're wanting to know your family, investing himself in your life, and at least a minimum of six to eight months of a dedicated relationship before there's even a thought of moving.
And if he says, I can't do this long distance for very long, so sayonara, then he wasn't invested at all. Because if he thinks you're somebody that he wants to live with and share a place where he should be patient and not just look for instant gratification of like, well, I don't like long distance. So can you just move here and uproot your life? You're in a really good position to do it. You're in your last year of college.
It's not going to cost you that much big deal. You make new friends. That is actually the best part of all of this new city, new friends pushing yourself to get involved in groups and activities and things that you love outside of him so that you're not just becoming friends with his friends. That's the best part of all of this. I love the idea of throwing yourself into a new city and not knowing anybody and not knowing your way around town and not having a community and building it like that's so cool, because what's going to happen is you're going to build yourself through that.
You will come out of that stronger, smarter, more social, more confident. Any time you throw yourself into a situation like that, you get to see what you're made of.
So I like that part. I do, too. I love the messaging Austins around town in general. But I think you should be in love with the idea of that experience as a whole as opposed to moving to, I don't know, the Yukon territory for this guy or whatever. I think looking at the entirety of the picture will be crucial. And just like April said, you know, if it doesn't work out between you and this guy, the idea that maybe you find an awesome life there in Austin if you're ready for that kind of thing, I think taking it in steps is really good advice.
Hey, April, do you think that they should really broach the subject too much this weekend? I mean, it feels like it's almost too much pressure to put in over an intense weekend.
I love that you said that you have like a baby relationship right now and you're making the baby run before it can even crawl.
Go this weekend. Have a great time.
Don't ask questions that our leader questions to figure out if you should move there. I'm not even talking about asking him questions while you're on the plane or however you're getting there right down. Like, what are the qualities I want in someone? How do I want to feel when I'm with my guy? What are the things that are most important to me? What are my values? And then as you're sitting there with him over the next five days, you're going to make a mental note like box checked.
Box checked. Yes, yes, yes.
That has nothing to do with the move, taking the move off of the plate, seeing how much he brings it up. Yeah. And just enjoying yourself. I think this is just a little cart before the horse. And financially speaking, I don't want you to be in a position of this guy paying your bills. So unless you have a good six months of revenue, right. Of savings in your account, I would not move there. So if you want to move there, I would start hustling and get money in your bank account.
He might be paying the rent. I don't think it's fair for you to get there. And he's asked for half the rent, right? He could pay for dinners and things like that. But as far as your bills, if you put him in the. Position of paying for your life, you are stuck because I think you're smart and I think you might get there and you might realize that he's not what you want. And a lot of young women, when they move in with a guy, they get stuck and they think they've got to make a relationship work because they're not empowered financially within the relationship.
So be super careful of that, get busy, get money in your bank. And so therefore, if and when you do go, you've got some cash to keep you sane and independent, let him do what he wants to do. But don't make him responsible for your bills because that sets you guys up for a possible derailment of your relationship that maybe didn't need to happen.
In my first marriage, I was the bill payer a lot the whole time and I didn't mind it because I thought it was making him happy so he could pursue some other things. But I'm sure I resented him, but I think he resented me even more. It sort of bled into the other areas of everything in a way that I didn't anticipate. I thought I could rise above the financial stress.
Does that make sense to you, Kayla?
It makes so much sense. I'm a very impulsive person and I would move tomorrow. I wouldn't even unpack my stuff. The university can keep my bedding like I would move immediately. So to actually put it into perspective, like that's probably not the greatest choice you can take because then you're stuck. It definitely makes more sense to spread it out. And you made a good point that if this is a long term thing, then a couple of months here, saving up shouldn't make a difference in terms of where we can go from there.
I think your time should be dedicated to each other. I think you guys should have good conversations. A lot of Zoome chats some weekends away. I think a lot of things that you should be doing in the meantime. But, yeah, impulsive actions are usually a cause of not willing to do the deeper dive to get the real answers because they're hard. Right. It's not always fun to think through this stuff. It's more fun to just be impulsive, like you said, and just pack up and go.
But also it relates back to self-esteem. When you feel really confident about yourself, you know that you've got that center and you can kind of sit back and relax and go, wait a minute, I am worth waiting for. Like, it's OK if I don't move there tomorrow, OK?
I'm so impressed that you, like, wrote in to us and stuff because I would have been in Texas yesterday and then, you know, high likelihood broke and the little lonely.
I would already have her chops on her cowboy hat. Spurs.
Hey, Kayla, thank you for doing this. Have a great time this weekend. Thank you. And really, like, think about how if you see yourself in Austin, the city, in addition to getting to know him even more as you guys have like twenty four hours a day together. And thank you so much for doing this. Thank you so much. Have a great time. Absolutely. Bye bye.
April, thanks again for joining us today.
Thank you so much. And a five four bye bye.