Unqualified would like to thank our presenting sponsor, Macy's, for over 160 years, Macy's has been known for their quality products, great prices and trusted service with curated fashion for the entire family and gifts for every important occasion. Macy's is your one stop shop. Go to Macy's dotcom today for all of your home and fashion needs. Hey, everyone, today's guest is actor, comedian and writer Thomas Middleditch, you know him from a zillion things, but I was really hooked after watching six seasons of Silicon Valley in less than a week.
Thomas has been on the podcast before and I couldn't wait to have him on again. He's funny, wise, relatable, and I really hope you enjoy the episode.
Ladies and gentlemen, you are listening to Unqualified with your host unifiers. Thomas, I wanted to start off this podcast by thanking you for talking with me again. No problem.
Can you sum up the last four months in a few words for you want me in general for you so you have a easier way of digesting it? Yeah, if you wouldn't mind.
Yeah, sure. I'll do the universal summer, leaving my personal business at the door. It goes a little something like this venomous political environment leads way to runaway pandemic here in America and select other countries while council culture eviscerates everything in its path. And a leader who hates everything is in charge. And for the first time in. Recorded human history, the Arctic is burning. All right, that's fair summation. Does that help? Yeah, it does.
Thank you so much for doing this.
No problem, but I'll see you next time.
Yeah, I was thinking this morning about the idea of humility, but but I think well, I would like to reflect on that a little bit. Me doing this podcast isn't exactly a humble endeavor. I don't I don't think I've done a very good job of the absorption of humility.
How is that supposed to be worn? How is your humility exemplified or not in your case, you selfish, arrogant prick?
I think that, like, you know, being a white American actress who wants to project feelings of, you know, fuck, I want to be here, everybody or whatever, but at the same time, then I'm not listening.
You know, I guess there's that has the tricky it's a tricky thing.
I think if I knew you were the man for the job to solve this. Yeah. Oh, yeah. I should figure this out. I think it's tricky, but it's undoubtedly tricky. And I think whites should take solace in the fact that it's minor league tricky compared to. People of colors, trickiness that has been occurring for years and years and years, there is no sort of clear cut guide to be like, oh, here's what you should say and do, and here's exactly the thing that you can support without being too much less than that.
It's like it's a tightrope that moves. But the biggest and most important step is to be aware of it and go through the whole thing consciously and with empathy and self reflection, etc..
So, Thomas, what have you learned anything minor about yourself over the last four months? And I'll use myself as an example.
Please do. I used to think poorly of people who were passionate about puzzles. I know that I am one of them. God, I love talking to you, but there's a puzzle in the other room that's like an itch that I need to scratch.
You think I don't want to be playing the last of us, too, right now on PlayStation four of the fuck are we doing here? Let's say goodbye already. I know.
OK, wait. I have like 18 questions I want to launch with you. Launch. Are your parents still married? They are. Do you think that they have a pretty solid relationship. They do now. Yeah. What traits did you get from your mom or what traits did you get from your dad?
And how are you completely different from other as it applies to marriage or just to my own human? I think I been spending some time with my parents and I feel like I've gleaned certain traits from them, especially with my mom, when it comes to being a little anal retentive in the kitchen and shit like that. Like, I really want people to try my food, like in a desperate way.
Yeah, like a sad, sad girl said that.
But I was thinking about that with you. Your dad's British, your mom.
Yeah, they both are. Yeah. So everybody is, except for me and my brother. Well I only ask for the marriage because that was that was your way in. But I realized you just wanted to know how much time I spend with them collectively.
No, I wanted your angle with the whole thing. I've definitely picked up my mum's like sensitivity. So things like lots of things will really kind of affect me in a true pendulum, happy or sad.
And I can think, dear old mother, for that. I think my dad my dad has a bit of a short temperature. A short temperature. Jesus.
Yeah. His temperature ranges miniscule.
Is that 70 degrees. Yeah.
Yeah. I guess it would be Celsius, a real man's temperature. But no, he's, he's got a short temper and he'll never get too severe but and he's much more relaxed now. I mean Jesus is almost 80 years old, but my impressions of my father are always when he is upset with me as a kid like my dad, he he would go put on a proper smile, Tom, because he'd be trying to take a photo. And I'd be like trying to be Jim Carrey or something like that or like, hands off your penis, Tom, because I would be just I was one of those little boys.
I just, like, grabbed it.
I think you were expressing, like, sexual freedom. And yeah, it was very sex positive as a child.
It was your comfort creature. He was right. You can't go diddling around in public. It's not acceptable. I still haven't learned it.
But I think those are good assessments of traits I've learned.
Oh, I will say that they both this is perhaps too like kind of in earnest at the top, but. They both, I think, worked quite hard to imbue both of their sons with this sort of sense of intrepid ness and adventure, like they themselves travel a lot. They they're a gift to me. Upon graduation was like a plane ticket. They're like, where do you want to go? Eighteen year old Kevin like Australia.
Cool. And as a result, I think what I've kept is just this. Sense of adventure and sort of like experience almost at any cost because. Life is totally carpe diem, right? It's it's here and it's gone.
And if you look around you even now, it's it's here but it's shit and it's not at the expense of other, like, adventure at the expense of others.
That's no bueno. But, you know, I don't know experience.
I suppose this is a thing it's a time of extremity in like a lot of different ways from minutia level in my life, like, you know, alternatives for toilet paper to the grander things. But then also I'll flip back to this extreme sense of caution, I guess, and fear. You know, it's like, however, I'm absorbing sort of the uncertainty of the moment. It's just a constant thing. Do you want to be my therapist?
I'm not qualified, but I'll give it a shot.
I think probably for most people, it certainly is for me this moment in time where the macro. Is so insane, like the big picture is so crazy, but I would hazard a guess that most people have micro. Stuff that's going on in their life that's totally weird, you know, their family, their friends, their job, whatever. Personally, my marital status is changing and that's like its own thing to go through that during all this is it's it's competing for bandwidth.
Right. And and to have it's it's completely fine, but it's all for the best.
I've been on that journey. Yeah.
Everything's a pizza pie. And you put it in the oven and you hope you get the right temperature and sometimes you burn it, you burn the crust. What are you going to do?
You make another one. You can. You can or you can be like maybe a pizza isn't my thing. Maybe I'm a calzones man. Let's go to maybe like enchiladas.
I don't know. Yeah, I've always loved pasta. I could probably. OK, I know I started off a little heavy, but can I ask you a series of questions? Yes, please. OK, what is your favorite ice cream flavor? Vanilla. No fucking question. I'm a proud vanilla man.
All right. I mean, I love vanilla, but do you top it? No, I like vanilla. Not only do I like a lot, I like trying different vanilla because not everything is created equal.
There's something simple about it and elegant about it. And if I'm going to have a bunch of scoops, I'm telling you, I just want to know. Now, look, I don't dislike other ice cream flavors. You asked me my favorite, and I'm a vanilla man. Trust me, I make up for it in other ways. Have you ever made your own? No, don't be silly. So my mom's a great cook and she prides himself on, like, finding the best of the best of the thing in the catalog or whatever, like she always has.
But she gets to Haitian vanilla beans that she splits and she scrapes the pods.
And I don't know if you're that intense of a vanilla man, just like vanilla ice cream from an ice cream shop, which is not that often. I'll get vanilla. Do you use a cone? I like a cone. Yeah, I fuck with big time, like sugar waffle.
I like the basic like those like blond kid cones. The best vanilla scoop in a kid come. And I like a hug from my daddy. All right. All right.
Here's a question. You can twist all these questions as you will. Oh, yes. What would you eat for your last meal? Oh, goodness. You can decide if you know, if it's your last meal or not.
Oh, weird. I know.
If I didn't know, I would be like a like a real high fiber content cereal. I had that in the morning and then I walked out and gotten, you know, like vaporized by an alien beam. That's how I'm going out. But if I did now, you know, I've kind of really cut down on me to the point basically of being a vegetarian.
But I believe the term is flexitarian where you kind of like cheat every now and then.
But my mom makes this like roast lamb, roast potatoes, gravy business. That would be pretty cool to have at the end and Yorkshire puddings and all this business. Yeah, it's pretty taste.
OK, Thomas, we're starting this off with you like you're in a place of nostalgia and comfort. There's nowhere else to go. We are being forced to examine every inch of our lives.
I totally agree with you.
OK, what was your favorite toy as a child or the judges judge big time.
Did you have characters? Like would you do dialogue?
Oh, I'm going to talk. I was like, yeah. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. And oh, OK. She knows I've got an older brother, right? Yeah.
I had a bunch of like a bunch of Joes, bunch of vehicles. But one huge thing was called the Rolling Thunder. It was this massive kind of like vehicle that like missiles would come out.
And as a kid, my favorite stuff was like musclemen movies like Schwarzenegger, movies, Stallone, movies, Jean-Claude Van Damme, anything were like the big tough guy just took no guff because I was made of Gus that was only took me all over.
Yeah, yeah. But I would get, you know, like it would just be, you know, kind of endlessly bullied and quite alone. A lot of my childhood I remember I would like put my head down on the ground like clothes when I saw my I would be like the camera for these action sequences of dudes flying around in slow motion each other up. And it was very it was violent, but it was more like Schwarzenegger violent. It was an action movie in my mind.
It was always an action movie. Just yeah, no, I loved it.
And I have lines like my two guys would like watch off the car or something, but then they like high five each other.
I would make them all right. Yeah. Oh yeah.
It's good. Do you remember any favorite lines from those movies? There's like random stuff like Blood Sport. Jean-Claude Van Damme is going to go.
He's trying to get in to the comedy The Underground Fighting like and this Chinese man who's been dubbed over sort of approves him. He's like looking at his papers over and then approves.
And then he goes, OK, you say that's what he says. It's his line.
OK, you say, that was pretty great. OK, USA, OK, USA. And then the main bad guy in that movie is like I think at one point he says, first I break your friend, then I break you. Your next also very dubbed over and he's doing this like PEX flexors and stuff. Yeah.
Do you feel like your relationship with America is different because you have British parents and you're Canadian, right? Yeah, like coming down here. When I lived in Canada, yes. I thought California. Yeah. Was maybe the coolest place in the world. Like it was basically all one big cool shopping mall with people going like like totally radical and like Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze.
You were just cruising around Robin Banks and all of L.A. was Disneyland and just like neon colors and like snakes, I just thought and like and like NWA was there, like hanging out with everybody is just like it was an amalgamation of, like, ingestion of America from California.
Have you seen Karate Kid recently? Yes. Oh, no, I don't know. Not recently. Oh, it's. It's so good because you're right in the sense like for me, coming from north, like, you know, Washington State, but Karate Kid, it was that thing of California. OK, what did you want to be growing up like if you were in fourth grade and you met like a neighbor, like, you know, and someone was like, oh, hi, Thomas, it's really nice to meet you.
So what do you want to be when you grow up? What do you think you would have said at that age? Let's see, is about eighth grade where I kind of like got a bit of the drama bug.
But I think before then it would have been like, I either want to be like a muscle man or. I just wanted to be like, cool, yeah, I wanted to be cool or maybe like a Special Forces fighter or I feel like I'm just trying to think of, like, the stuff that I was into.
And it was maybe in Canada, you guys didn't have to self-defined at such a young age.
I was part of a group called The Green Team that promoted the three Rs, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. And like I really loved Captain Planet as a kid and I'm still environmentalist. But then I probably would have been like, I wouldn't know the word, but I would have been like, I want to make everything green because I would walk around school picking up other people's trash.
Oh yeah, I love it. You were like, this is my power. Yeah. It went over well with the other boys. They really they didn't have anything to say about it at all.
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Thomas, what was your first boss like, the very first was fine. I think actually I could say that my first boss was like a we would do this Heritage Theater shows in my small town, like we build a stage on the park and then I have like period garb and we'd get government grants because we'd be talking about like the local law.
And we'd like Marge on stage, be like, well, let me tell you about the bluebell murder that happened on that mine over there.
You know, bluebell murder. Yeah, the bluebell murder. We've never heard of that. I know.
And it would be like a totally a situation where we walk offstage, then put on a hat and then come back as the mayor and stuff. But that was actually my first job.
That was your first job was put it on Heritage plays about the BlueBell murder, etc..
Yeah. And the guy who put that on is a bit of a he's a bit of a rapscallion, but he is a he's a great guy that really helped, like a lot of young kids get into their first world of theater. My boss after that, when I was traveling, Australia was like a restaurant owner and he was awful. He was so savage to me constantly.
Did you do like the whole the whole East Coast tour? That would have been cool. That would have been cool. I went to Sydney for a bit of the 2000 Olympics and I spent most of my time in Noosa Heads Queensland. I went there and worked in restaurants, went to the beach, drank way too much and came back a virgin.
But I did go to the Great Barrier Reef and scuba through that. I'm very happy I did, because now all of it's gone.
So did your backpack.
No, I was more so just like living with my friends family. It was less adventurous. I wanted to be in hindsight.
I was like, man, I do so much more. But it kind of takes time for you to have the confidence to just be like, oh, I love life.
I. Yeah. Sophomore year of college, I took a semester off and I backpacked around Australia, which sounds the condensation of that phrase backpacked around Australia is sort of I don't know, it felt frustratingly easy, like I had like a Kiwi bus tour. We went from like hostel, the hostel, the hostel. Like I did one of those things where you pay, I don't know, two hundred bucks and somebody just does all the planning and all the work for you.
And you just have to make sure that you don't have athlete's foot.
Oh, that's good. That's a great starter voyage for, you know, a young adult, freshly minted adult.
I don't think I had any action either during that time, but I think that was partly due maybe to my anger. I tended to put people off a bit.
I think you're too controversial. And now now you've got to be a nice little mild duckling.
Yeah. Yeah, you're right. OK, little feathers. It's true.
Do you feel that way, though? I feel that a bit. I also feel the desire to be I've never come into comedy being like I want to be the controversial one that makes everyone go like, whoa, you know, that's never been my goal. So if the world is going like, hey, that's too far, I'm like, OK with it.
I want to be able to. Allow people to think sometimes or I want to maybe dance around the edge occasionally, but I don't want to feel like the whole world is like one big H.R. department can't like caring, not like that.
And you're like, oh, for fuck's sake. Like, what's the point? You know, like, that sucks. There's some kind of balance in there somewhere, but the repercussions for failure are too high.
Yeah, I know. OK, what's the best and or worst advice you've been given? Come on.
OK, good advice. I can't qualify any of the following as best or worst because it requires memory. Recall from someone who has the mind of a gerbil. I can't access those data files so well, but I can go. I can give good or bad advice.
OK, well, let me tell you, maybe it'll maybe it'll spur something in you. Some of the best advice I was given was when Keenan Wayans told me that there's no vanity in comedy. And I think some of the worst, which ended up being the best, was when an older actor told me, if you can do anything else, do it. Both of those kinds of ideas were monumental to me. Hmm. Still nothing.
No, I've got one of this fellow falls under the good advice. OK, there's a couple of goodies. One was, I guess, this whole professional advice that pretends to like Hollywood.
My manager always has to repeat this to me to like run my own race because I fall victim constantly to like, oh, Sonsoles doing that, like, I'm just constantly comparing myself to everybody.
How come people that aren't even in the same category and comparing myself to just the everything and the idea of running your own race is like a pretty good notion because that's true and you can't really, truly control everything.
Yeah, I would liken it less to running your own race, more so you're you're like you're like an adventure tourism person that's gone overboard on a whitewater rafting expedition and you are just careening down this.
Rathod and you're essentially trying to like swim and avoid boulders and maybe maybe if you're lucky, like, oh, there's an offshoot over there where the water gets a little easier, but then they'll probably be a waterfall. It's like you're just going down like this endless mountain water landscape.
Yeah, I think that's something that you and I have in common. And forgive me if you don't believe this, but I don't. But convince me. All right. You and I have been the straight people. And like something that I sometimes refer to is like a bounce card. And on my show, Mom, oftentimes other people get delicious. Yeah. Zesty. Yes. Yeah. Nice precious goodies. Yeah.
And we are sort of the emotional stabilizers that we are the reflection of the audience. The audience looks to a straight man for how they're supposed to feel emotionally towards the scenario. And at times I've definitely felt like fuck, other people get to have fun. And then in our industry to which ridiculously credits like itself with glory that feels frivolous and unjust. But the idea of like, hey, hey, man.
So like, nobody's talking about the pasta.
I know you guys are into the sauce, but come on, it's like so rigatoni, right? Yeah. Yeah. I don't know. Do you feel that way? I don't mean to presume that you do.
I get those feelings for sure, especially at maybe like a table when it hasn't really allowed itself to get on its feet. And it's just like, oh man, all the fun words are for everybody else. And I just have to be like, guys, wait, look at the problem. And it's annoying. But I do feel like there's always an opportunity for the quote unquote straight man or woman to inject any type of spice.
Sometimes is even funnier to have the terrible thing happen to the most put together character, right?
Yeah. The straight man thing is kind of it's interesting. I mean, that really only started happening at the start of Silicon Valley for me. I was always doing characters. I was the weirdo. That was my deal. And I like both. I think it's just a different game and I'm happy to be able to flex both muscles from time to time. You know, I'll make sure like what's cool about animation? For example, you go in there, you're totally insane all the time.
Or when I performed with Ben, it's basically a series of like crazy characters. Ben Schwartz, Middle Eastern Shorts, Netflix, three improvised comedy specials.
Thank you for doing my job for me.
You got it. I don't like being both. I like being the lead. Yeah. Whatever that means.
Yeah, I love this. If you got the chance, you tell me just for like two months out of your year, not even you come in every so often and do like a scene stealing. But that sounds great. I agree. It feels nice to be late. That feels good. But that's not every hour of your day. And there's there's opportunities to be like, oh, man, it's even more opportunities. Because now you say to your agents and not only only have this amount of time, get me, I could do McGillicuddy walk on parts and just be totally batshit.
All the stuff I write for myself now is that rarely do I write stuff where I'm the lead. I just want to be like the coocoo go. There's a lot of things I love about this conversation. OK, what's your favorite rainy day movie?
It's interesting, like having a moment to reflect on my choice of media because honestly, if it was raining, I which I love it when it is because my great an indoor day where I don't feel guilty, my brain goes like, what video games am I going to play? That's fair. But if I decided, oh, I'm going to just watch TV, it's always like what comes on. So I'm just trying to think of like what would potentially come on that would make me feel really good.
Like a hook would be a big one.
Oh came on and it was raining. I would be very excited about that. Good one. All right. Newsis if Newsis came on I'd be like, this is great.
Great day. Great day.
Let's see. That's those are good answers. Yeah. Do you have a favorite book or author. Uh, let's see.
Sadly I have a good chunk of my books that I've read are like fighter pilot memoirs and military history stuff.
But I like a he believes Canadian author called John Irving.
Yeah, of course, John Jahnavi, World According to Garp and and Owen Meany and stuff. I also really like Cormac McCarthy. You know, no country for old men and all the pretty horses.
What is it you like about military books? There's a lot there's a good. Yeah, I want to hear it. I want to hear it. Just pulling back like military history in general.
There's like a little boy aspect of like, oh, tactics, battles, swords or guns are like just like the little pieces that go into the conflict that plays out into your into your mind. That element is fascinating to me. But then also it's this like position that as a person I have never been in and I hope to never be in.
And what I like about memoirs is that you kind of get. A little bit more of a front seat, like, thank goodness, I probably will never know what it's like to have to, like, shoot across one hundred yards and kill or be killed or something, or if I'm like in the cockpit of my Spitfire and I've got a Messersmith on my tail and I just don't know what to do like that. I don't know what that feels like.
So it's kind of like there's an emotional connection. And then there's also like, oh, that's fascinating how they use the you pull in Himmelman to escape. Someone on your six or whatever, or they do pincer tactics, the Blitzkrieg, Operation, Barbarossa, all that kind of stuff is just it's fascinating. But then there's this human element that feels like almost a shocking innocent.
Well, and you love aviation. I do. Will you tell us again a little bit about that?
I say again, because I've forgotten better, but I remember we had an extensive conversation about it before in the previous bag as well, aeroplanes, aeroplanes and modern contraptions that use thrust and lift to soar into the air.
Well, I think for me, it started when I was in my late teens. It all coincided with like getting interested in military history. And then as a result, video games. I played change. So I played like these flight simulator games. And if that had happened, man, like five years before, I probably would have joined the local air cadets, which is kind of like Boy Scouts for the RCAF and been a bit more involved. But it just didn't.
It's just sort of like this casual thing that I thought was like fun at the time. And then I just read more and played more simulators and just got more and more and more into it. And then, you know, around five, six years ago sort of realized, well, I'm not going to be a spitfire pilot, like defending the cliffs of Dover from the wild hunt. That time has come and gone. But maybe since I have like the time and the money to I had to say I have to put that status on it.
But there are different entry points. I will say that maybe I'll give it a shot. And it was pretty challenging, like I got motions to constantly and it was like a bit like going back to school. But now I'm so happy I did it. And it's the thing that has grown and passion over the years. I can't get can't get enough of it really.
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If people can't stop talking, I find that really annoying. Like people who just fill er with words.
I'm like that. No you're not.
You're actually a very good conversationalist. Maybe you're on your best behavior because it's your podcast.
But, but I've met a few people who just that is just like Chatterbox. It's really hard for me to feel present.
And in that conversation do you find like the idea of loneliness in your own brain? Like, would you accept the gift of, like, entering someone else's brain or would that be complete torture? How like, do you know what I mean? I think so, yeah. Because, man, curiosity, that's. Yeah, of course I would go rummaging around someone's thoughts both. Would it make us feel less lonely or more like.
I don't know. Well how are you ever going to remember these lessons. You know. Yeah. If I've dealt with loneliness all this time and have felt it when I'm both by myself and with people and it still happens constantly, then what the fuck is being in someone else's thoughts going to do?
OK, I'm doomed to not be able to remember it when I'm actually feeling, you know, you can't really rationalize yourself out of certain feelings.
You can't think your way out of stuff. You kind of just have to feel them and kind of manage that. Really? Yeah. Everyone's going through their own story. Right. And everyone's the protagonist in their own movie.
And that's fine and dandy. I think a true empath will know that and recognize that. And make way for other people to do that and kind of like feel the storylines of other people. And the worst version of that, the opposite end of the spectrum is you are like a bullet and it's yours, Tory and everybody else has got to make way for it. And if you're not making away from it, then you get stopped. Yeah. OK, if you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?
It would either be like Vancouver or the English countryside. I am a bit of an Anglophile and I just love it there. I do, too.
I remember I saw an interview with you, like talking about the Cotswolds and I can't wait to take my lover and kids like it's a sweet concentration of daily appreciation.
You know, it's pastoral, it's quaint, it's twee. There's little shops, there's all these little hamlets, there's all these there's a thatched roof. And that's when you get the ploughman lunch and all that stuff and everything. So delightful, dear. How are you and all that.
It's just like everything. So in English. Hey, yeah. I'm interested in sort of the minutia of the ancient construction, like even just having a garden or those things that L.A. feels very so very temporary, just the stopping off point to doing some of the wonderful things that. But it looks pretty cool. Yeah, it's the city. Yes. It's a hustle and bustle. Yes. You can surround yourself with trolls and vapid morons and people who are like succubus is.
Yes, of course. But there's a lot of enlightened cats here in terms of big cities. There's some like peace and hippie weirdos out here, which I think is pretty cool. And if you seek them enough, you can find your philosophers. And I mean, we are fortunate to be surrounded by, like, the funniest, most charming people. They literally are professional or what they do because they're funny and charming or good looking. It's like one of the fucking three or talented something.
Yeah, well, so many of them are here. That's an exciting thing to be around and an exciting opportunity to meet those kind of people. And if you have an itch that needs to be scratched, it can be scratched here, like there's an opportunity for all kinds of stuff. So in that respect, it's exciting.
It's a city that that I think provides at least the tiniest bit of opportunity for a dreamer. Yeah. For a creative person who doesn't know anybody who doesn't have any connections to maybe succeed and achieve their dreams. And I don't know of any other city that's like that, at least in the Hollywood arena. And granted, I see that as a fucking white girl. OK, what haven't you taken the time to learn about?
I wish I had more. Just like data in my brain, like more just more knowledge of stuff and the ability to, like, recall it at a moment's notice. I can get it bits and pieces. And I feel like I can make emotional connections, but just sort of like intellectual knowledge would be cool.
What are your thoughts on fishing, man?
I have trouble putting worms on hooks like I'm a real big, big ol purse. That's why I kind of was like, well, it's one of the reasons I like I should probably put my align my practices with what I'm capable of doing and become a vegetarian. But I am I am a big Western. I know. What about myself.
Me too. I wish I was stronger. My brother hunts and when I was going through my first divorce, he was like, I'm going to take you hunting. And at that time I felt like, all right, yeah, I want to bond with you. I want to understand why you love to kill creatures that you love and what that feels like. But I'm not courageous enough.
But also, I don't think I could look down a scope and actually do it. But I also feel ethically like, fuck, I eat this shit. So who am I to not be strong enough to?
Actually, I know you know, well, we're a product of our own conditioning.
You're not forced to confront the world on a daily basis. So it's a completely new thing for you. Yeah, I think it's strange.
Like hunting them out is such a bizarre practice. Like you literally go out into the woods and find the biggest, most beautiful version of a creature, and that's the one you kill.
It's like the elk, the most majestic, the biggest antlers in the most accomplished element of the species. You just rob it, you take it hand of God with this fucking massive rifle and look at my brother's elk burgers. I'm not like passing judgment. I just, you know, it's crazy what we do.
But that's better than, like, having a lot of cows wallowing in their own shit anyway.
OK, when do you feel generous?
Is this is a truly, like, earnest podcast?
All right. All right, all right. I wonder I feel just I'm not sure when, like, if there's a time where when that happens. I have felt generous lately, I guess. Generous. I don't know if that's even the world. I feel generous when I don't throw somebody under the bus because you normally do.
Well, no, but I guess picking the battles, you know, like when I don't know, rubbing my dad's feet or like, you know, like, I guess the range with those.
I don't always feel generous when I buy somebody something nice because oftentimes it feels like the play Kator in me, like this is the easy thing to do if my apologies in the form of something monetary. But what feels really generous to me is truly feeling really right. But keeping quiet about it.
I don't know why I'm struggling with the idea of feeling generous. Maybe it's just wrong, but like to feel generous conflicts with humility in some weird way that I don't really know if that's true. I don't know. Maybe I'm being I should let that go and just feel generous.
Yeah, there's guilt and generosity. Yeah.
The only thing that I can think of that like, oh, that makes me feel generous is being a little bit less like that's that's mine and just not thinking twice, a little bit more financially. But that's a luxury. I tell you this, recently I've been signing up for this organization that is called Pilots and Porres, where you as a pilot can volunteer your time and like transport a dog from a shelter to another shelter that has like more room or like a forever home.
Right. And so I'll be taking, like, dogs from like Sokolova to Phoenix or NorCal or whatever, like that.
That doesn't mean I don't walk around me like I'm generous to do that. It just it does make me feel good, like, OK, there's this paying for. I've been given all these gifts. I am fortunate. I like to do it. I like dogs. I like flying. It feels good. It's complicated, but it does make me feel good. I wouldn't say generous.
I think your examination of it is generous, but fuck yes, it's generous. That's incredible. It may be generous, but I still don't think you should avoid feeling generous. Yes, yeah.
Because this was a conflict in my marriage that I felt very generous and then resented it because I felt the balance, the scales were tipped. And that's an ugly feeling. It's not that you can't have that. So you have to. Abandoning it is like a new quest.
I love how you articulated that. You're so right that true generosity is the silence of expression of it. Yeah, that's a good thing. Yeah, but that's exactly you're saying that it's like I, I do not need to overtly win and I don't need to have the last word. Or maybe that means more to somebody else.
Yeah. I think for me this could be my own hang up. But generosity requires an element of benevolence and benevolence requires an element of ego.
You have to think you're someone to give something right.
That's a beautiful way to put it.
I think it could be ascribed to you, but you can't embody it. Yeah.
What feels familiar to you, Thomas, if I can just crank it in front of PornHub man who we really got somewhere.
I knew I was going to like that with you.
I love it.
But, uh, what feels familiar, I think growing up in and around nature and such like kind of like massive nature that you get in British Columbia or Washington or Alaska or, you know, some of these places, like if you go up in Iceland, you'd be like fucking nature, right?
Like it would just be in your face all the time. I think when you grew up around that it becomes an important element of your life. And to me, it's the most tragic thing that we keep squandering it at an accelerated rate on a year by year by year. So, yeah, that feels familiar. Anxiety feels familiar to me. Yeah, those are the things I know I can count on.
I hear you on that before I let you go. And Thomas, thanks so much for being so generous with your time and your emotions and this amazing dialogue. Yeah. With Be Positive. How did you enjoy MultiCam? I mean, I don't have too much experience of it, to be honest.
I'm just a pilot and I did a pilot of some other show years and years ago, and that's the only experience of multicam I have. I think there are examples of just truly transcendent. MultiCam sitcom's, and I think you actually have to take them on an episode of my personal favorite Seinfeld, really, if you go on TBS or something, you catch it on television. You're only seeing a rotation of about 40 episodes. And the rest, they don't even fuckin air.
If you watch the box set of your favorite sitcom, you'd be like, oh, wow, I don't even remember this. That's because they don't show it again.
I think it's a different way of doing comedy in a different sense of humor that I'm not used to. But I'm kind of like you come to try and figure out how to do. I should have protected you a little bit before I ask that question, because I should have told you how I feel having like seven years on Mom. Uh, I love the thrill of the live performance and I like the challenge of figuring out the weird puzzle. Yeah, it's like, OK, so we take this dialogue and then we block everything out and we learn, OK, who's pitching, who's an outfield, like like whatever.
Like the true dynamic of doing a sitcom that is completely different from anything else that you do and in single camera world.
Yeah, I think there are there are moments, there are moments like on a shoot day or something or we're kind of shooting it before whatever elements that I was like, well, I don't know. Yikes. And then what I did like on the live tape de. The most exciting part was once the scene happened, everybody was like, huddle up, let's make it better. And it sort of felt like a game show where there's like this ticking clock and we're like, fuck, it's five jokes.
And I know that that part's exciting. I was like, oh, I could get into this. The adrenaline part.
You're so right. Yeah, you're so right. That's a great way to articulate it, that it is like the but time to show up. We're going to fucking do our best. And like the adrenaline of every day and not having to go through hair and makeup for most of the days that you're working and you're truly just acting or figuring out the puzzle of this stuff. And, well, it doesn't always feel profound. And sometimes my dialogue is like, why watch?
OK, here you go. I ask you this counterargument. Yes.
Lately I've been feeling even the stuff that I thought would be such a transcendent experience of like, oh, I'm I'm back in love with acting.
Those don't feel so magical either. Like the works. Just a fucking it's a job, you know, and like sometimes it's really exciting to get to work with so-and-so or so or do an action scene. Like for me, I did one of those in like Zombieland two and I was like running around and stuff. I was like, man, I could do this forever.
But most of it is just like, yeah, I'd rather be on stage. I'd rather do an improv. That the sharp death and exhilaration of those things require, I don't know the immediacy.
I haven't done theater in forever, so I don't even know if I can really chime in on your sentiment.
Well, the reality doesn't compare to the dream. The emotion of the dream is like a. Something that like shakes you to your soul, but the reality is you go to work, you learn your lines, you're trying to be at your scene. Cut. Moving on, there's fucking 40 fucking egg sandwiches over there.
Knock yourself out. You're like, that's that's it. Yeah. To me, there's always the disappointment of it, not disappointment. But, yeah, when I when we were doing Mom, I was like, you guys didn't get it. I didn't I felt like I didn't I didn't I didn't do I didn't do my best. I know I didn't do my best to just got the lines out right now, but I didn't do it best. Like I could have done a different inflection or like song.
And I'm like, oh, but that's OK.
You're that's a good thing to have because that means you want to do your you're putting your best work out there. That's what you want to do.
But they but they recognized what I didn't was that if I had forced them to do like three or four more takes, it would have taken another 40 minutes and probably not really delivered anything that different.
You know, they recognize that. And I had to concede.
Sure. But I've learned a ton and I just had to understand how different the format was and my positioning in the format as opposed to like a single camera.
I know what you mean, but I would say don't let your voice go both ways, but don't let your insecurity compete with your desire to do a good job or the other way around.
Yeah, there is something to be sort of like. Yeah, you got it. Don't worry about it. You good go kid. And then there's something instead of like there's there's a better version of this out there.
I don't like the frustration of like. But shouldn't this be a golden. Golden. Oh yeah, of course.
But another thing is like you do twenty two episodes a season. Right. That's so much, so much. When I first started I was chuckles like so how do these work is like oh the show won't find itself in until like the second or third season. And I'm like oh know. Same thing to say. Oh I'll let you go.
I can't thank you enough Thomas. Yeah. Don't worry about it truly.
And I just couldn't love you more so be positive. See it, the Warner Brothers lot room.