Sean PennArmchair Expert with Dax Shepard
- 1,359 views
- 17 Aug 2020
Sean Penn (Milk, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, I Am Sam, Into the Wild) is an American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, author and humanitarian. Sean chats with the Armchair Expert about recognizing limitations, the freedom he finds in writing books and the impact of cancel culture. Dax wonders what drove Sean toward humanitarian work and Sean talks about the human desire for wanderlust. The two talk about the point at which assets become embarrassments, their mutual love of Bukowski and Sean's disapproval of insincerity.
Welcome, welcome, welcome to armchair expert. I'm Dan Shepard. I'm joined by Monica Miles. How are you doing? Oh, I'm so good because we have such a fun guest today.
I know. What a flattering gas.
Probably the best living actor is at least tied. Yeah, he's the best. Yeah, he's incredible.
Sean Penn. That's right. Sean motherfucking Penn is a two time Academy Award winning and Golden Globe winning actor, director and writer. You know, from Milk, Mystic River. I am Sam the Thin Red Line, Dead Man Walking Carlito's Way, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. And he has a series of books that we'll talk extensively about. Bob, Honey, who just does stuff. And the newest installment, Bob Honey sings Jimmy Crack Corn.
What a treat. What a darn treat. We heard him on Stern and we were just like, could this guy be any more articulate and wonderful?
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He's not. Oh, my goodness. How are you doing? I'm doing very well. How are you? Good. I'm really, really, really, genuinely excited to meet you over this zoom in Iraq.
Great to meet both of you. I got to tell you some stuff.
I woke up at 5:00 a.m. this morning. I don't do that. I wake up at 8:00, whatever. My kids are up. But I woke up at 5:00 with a lot of anxiety about talking to you because the personal stakes are really, really high. And there's a lot I'm bringing a lot of baggage into this, and I just wanted to own it all up front. All right. Are you feeling. Do you feel appropriately worn?
Yeah, I can probably worn you back, but go ahead.
You've weirdly been involved in how I was trying to define myself as a man.
And I think it starts with learning at a young age that you loved Bukowski and that you became friends with Bukowski. And I just was obsessed with Bukowski. And I thought there's must be something that would draw him to Bukowski, as I'm sure you've done with people. When you were growing up, I was like, that tells me something about you in the best way. And I just wondered, how did you come to meet him? I had gotten a gift of one of his books of poetry, I guess, when I was about to 22.
And it was a volume that was of war all the time that had some of his paintings in it, you know, and, oh, writing with his actual acrylics and in it. And I kept reading and reading it. It was something so fresh from the formality of what poetry was to, you know, a surfer growing up in Malibu. And I think that it just really struck me as a life of, um, familiarities that were familiar. Somehow there was something in the straight shooting ness of it, the vulnerability of it.
So then many years later, I was determined to work with Dennis Hopper for us to come up with a project to do together because his early movies as a director had really influenced my interest in film. And so I met Dennis through a mutual friend and we had a lunch and I told him that I wanted to work with him.
At that time, he was not getting directing jobs, hadn't for over a decade, because he he ruffled some feathers in the business of some pretty sure Caraways.
And I was at a kind of hot spot in my career, I suppose, and was in a position, I think, to get something going if we could come up with something we wanted to do together. And he suggested that I read a screenplay of Barfly, which was already published and on sale of books, swooped down on Sunset Boulevard.
So I went and got it. And I got thrilled with the idea of making that movie with Dennis.
But Dennis told me something else, which was that he had had a long term, bad, bad relationship with the fella who had commissioned it. It was a commissioned work by a French director and they'd never gotten it off the ground. So I went to the director, Barbet Schroeder, and said, can we mend this thing? Because I'd like to make this movie with Dennis Hopper. And he says, we'll make it with me. And it was too late for that.
I was already committed to do it with Dennis if we could do it. So I called Hank later being asked to call Charles Bukowski.
Hank calls through his publisher, the Black Sparrow Press, and they got in touch with him and said that he would call me on the payphone at Musso and Frank's four o'clock one afternoon just to get a booth close to the phone so I could get it before someone else did.
Wow. It sounds like a 30s like newspaper or something. It was like that. Yeah.
Phone rang and he kind of growled my name to make sure it was me answering the phone. And I said, yep, and he said he said, you're my last favorite actor.
And I didn't know if that meant at least favorite or if he had no more time for favorite actors.
I mean, so many things just really quick. He could only have three favorite actors. And you your number three also, you're the least favorite actor of his. It's up to you to decide.
In either case, we struck up a friendship. I started spending every Sunday down at his house for the next almost 10 years in San Pedro in San Pedro, originally in conversation about whether we could, you know, pry this thing from Barbas hands or get Barbet on board to support it, because this blood feud with Dennis Hopper was about 20 years old and really shouldn't have meant anything at that point.
But he remained determined and I guess it got out there that I was interested in doing this project. And so Mickey Rourke chimed up and said to Barb, Hey, I'll do it with you. And so they went and did it. And my relationship with Hank continued separate.
Apart from that, you must have read Hollywood. Oh, yeah, I was there for so long. Yeah.
Yeah. And then you even you offered to do the movie for a dollar. Wasn't that kind of famous story around it?
Yeah. I think you said I'll take two dollars and I'll do it with you to the. So he got, he got the deal.
So OK. Would you attempt to isolate what is appealing about Bukowski? I think no matter what you look like, you feel like the guy with boils. I don't know. I felt like the guy with boils like that.
He was and there was some beauty to his rejection of society and that he was just honest about the fuck up he was and that there was some beauty to that. And I think what appealed to me as a young man was, oh, you can do that, right? You can go, oh, there's society's norms. And I'm going this way and I don't give a fuck. As long as I'm honest, it'll come out in the wash.
Was any of that enticing to you? Yeah, I think very much on point.
One of the things I remember asking him, because very rarely would he extend a look in the eyes, kind of an animal like thing, he could be talking very gently about something very tender or something aggressive, but he would be off line many times. And I asked him once said, you know, you don't you don't really connect in the eyes too much. And he very quickly, you know, there was no affectation to it. He just said, I don't like eyes.
And, you know, when you think about the things that we value. Yeah. What we attach value to the connection is, you know, people toast, they got to the eyes or the symmetry of a face or the color of the ocean in all of these things.
You know, it's it's what's the real value? What's the real value of success? What does it mean?
What is the word really mean? And he was off the page on all of that. So you had like the poem I Met a Genius where he talks about, see, it's not that beautiful. You know, we can imagine somebody who's been in a horrible accident, doesn't have eyes. Is there not beauty to see in them? Well, of course there is. And so there was something. For everybody, and yet most people found that, which was for all of us, frightening, intimidating, yeah.
Yeah, everything that he wasn't it just because he spoke kind of a pure language and a more honest one, the more universal one, which I think is why he was so, you know, universally red around the world. Yeah.
What I also really, really liked is I was a fucking lush and I was proud of being a lush. I thought I was Bukowski in many ways, or I think I was trying to be Bukowski.
And I've always been obsessed with artists who seem to have lived the worst life on paper, but they contributed some song or some book that kind of exonerated them from all that. And I very much have always sought exoneration for being someone who cheats and partied too hard. And the idea of that really appealed to me for a big chunk of my life.
Yeah, well, look, we know that being a lush, I've been a lush myself, being a lush, you know, ultimately an unsustainable value added.
However, when we look at the kind of anti exoneration period that we're in, that's not sustainable either. Oh, I agree.
You know that you're right. There's got to be, if not a celebration and embrace of the imperfections of all of us or we're just going to be an increasingly hypocritical society and and and a kind of game out hater society hating things that we ourselves possess, judging our neighbors for shit we did an hour ago.
And it's the opportunity to call somebody out somehow supersedes the ability to recognize that we see the same thing in the mirror, as you say, five minutes earlier. Yeah.
Yeah. And do you fear? I have a fear. And I think it's present in your book that the new expectation of perfection is going to limit the pool of people. We have to solve our problems to such a degree that I don't even know how we progress. Right.
Like if the barrier of entry is perfection, who's standing to to solve a problem?
Yeah, I'm what you get is a kind of order of reversal. And so you have the least responsible, the least self reflective people with the greatest amount of voice and power. And so that sets the standard a lowering of the bar of the human spirit that is creates a mass depression. And I think that that along with this covid pandemic and all that comes with it and all that will come with it, the kind of excess mortality issues, people who are afraid to go visit public health facilities, check a lump here or here who will end up getting their first diagnosis at stage four.
And instead of stage one or two, you know, we're going to be living with the effects of this. And there have been a lot of things, you know, in the kind of psychological pandemic that preceded covid that we've seen really on a kind of exponential rise in our divisiveness. And it's not just a political divisiveness. It's a devices in this of aspiration and a kind of freedom of connection, of thought that becomes all too cautious and less magical.
Things happen, I guess.
I don't know what the outcome is now that everything's kind of out loud and broadcast. It's certainly opening everyone up to this shame machine. That's one aspect of it. But then another part of me thinks, well, you just can't hide it. So the shit you and I got away with that there are no witnesses to, would now have lots of witnesses.
And my thought is, will this eventually lead to all of us owning our warts or are people just going to get so good at crafting their curated presenting self as to avoid the shame?
Like, I don't know what the outcome is. Do you have an opinion on that?
I mean, my practical opinion in my again, use the word spirit opinion are antithetical to each other. I hope that in the end it is going to have been a valuable adventure and that somehow the technological and the too much information, personal information we have on each other will we'll sort of find like water, find its own level and merge with a new level of humanity that we up our game. Yeah, but that's not going to happen today. So it's going to take in deep breaths and looking real long.
And, you know, there was a line I saw in a wall somewhere in Omaha, Nebraska, years ago. I ended up tagging a movie with it dead, which is every new child born, is proof that God is not yet discouraged of man. And so I don't even know what I think of God in the conventional sense. I tend to be among those who feel this is going to end in a black abyss and that that's OK with me.
And the some interview I watched of you in the last 48 hours, you were like, well, the science is in. So we're all going to dematerialize here shortly.
So many words.
He's like, you can go electric, but the fat lady has sang.
I was like, well, certainly the fat lady sung on that, which we knew. And so do we check standing up and say, let's walk into this and have the courage to say we don't know what it's going to be and maybe it's going to be bad. Maybe it's going to be sublime, but it ain't going to be tomorrow. Right.
OK, I can't imagine you want to talk about your movies too much. That's my guess. But I have to tell you about a couple, if you'll indulge me. Racing with the moon. I think my first feelings of love are that movie. I think Dave Grusin Score, which I listen to all morning this morning with my seven year old daughter, cry maybe four times. I don't think there's a prettier score ever made. Did you have a beautiful time making that?
I just pray.
Yeah, it was really a magic moment. Mendocino, California, early 80s, I suppose, was still so intact to what it had been. It was where they had shot Summer of forty two, which probably was my first, you know, movie relationship with love. So the place was predisposed to light me up. The only downside to that experience was it was a World War Two era movie and it seemed to make sense after having done several plays where I smoked cigarettes.
But I put them right down afterwards. It was smoking through that movie when I was leaving because I'd driven up there in my 79 Camaro and I'd been up there a few months shooting. And when I left, I left, you know, as I always did the cigarettes behind.
And I got down by the Albian River and I heard the tobacconist calling John come back and to shovels.
And I went back and I'm still trying to beat that one. Turkish Alvo's. Is that mean camels? No, they were actually a Turkish company. Oh, OK. Yeah. And I was even influenced by the packaging. It kind of was like a sharp emerald green and they were they were a mild, non filtered cigarette. So I used I used those through the movie and they got a hold of me. Yeah. Yeah. It is funny, right.
I remember being conscious of it even I think about eighteen. I was like, oh, this isn't a bit anymore.
Like me smoking with my buddies. It's not a joke anymore. I am now doing this 30 times a day and I can't foresee myself not doing it. And those are weird moments where when you're not in on the joke anymore.
Yeah, well, when you go from master to slave like that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It, it's, it's a tiny little window of master. I just also wanted to say I just Falcon and the Snowman was such an incredible movie and I just adored Timothy Hutton so much. And I think you did too. Yeah. What magic sauce did he have that was so attractive.
Yeah. Among other things, the guy was such a smart guy and so, so purely talented and and also a very generous man. And he he was really responsible for me as much as anybody getting into movies, because I think it had been at least a decade when I started working in the theater. I didn't expect to work in movies to my late thirties because that's pretty much who the leading actors were. Yeah, at least mid thirties guys like McNulty.
When I was graduating high school. Great. McNulty was almost 40 years old by the time he did. Rich man. Poor man.
Right, right. Or forty eight hours. Yeah. Like that. All that time. Yeah. You know, he worked in the theater for years before any of that happened. And so that was the expectation. And then Tim Hunt and because they weren't making movies, it was kind of like almost not since the era of James Dean had they had, you know, young actors carrying the pictures. Yeah. Until ordinary people and Tim Hutton kind of blew the doors down on it.
And then projects were developed around him. And it was a casting director had come see me in a play in New York and got me an audition. But Tim was in there auditioning with all the guys, playing the main roles. And I remember after working with him that day, first time I met him and before he had time to chat with the director, after I left the room, he he looked down the hall after me and he says, I'll see you later.
And I got offered that movie Taps after that. And so then we had a great time working together. It came very close. And then. This Falcon and the snowman came up with John Slazenger, and that was another adventure, but yeah, he kind of kicked it off for virtually the entire generation.
Tim Hutton did OK. And then at close range, here's where I go. Oh, this guy is Manlius. Fuck, you got jacked for that movie and it really like there was another.
Dax's has an obsession with male bodies, male bodies. In fact, there's a calendar just behind your head that Monica makes for me of all my favorite male bodies every year.
Yeah, it's pretty gross. Fucking love muscles. That's the time where I'm like, oh, this guy has a real masculine bent. Of course, I loved bad boys when I was younger because that was hypermasculine too. But you start working out and I'm just curious. I want to know, was there a decision where you're like, oh, I'm going to get jacked? What would have happened there? I'm interested in your your masculine journey.
I was going to be very, very violent, is shot by my father in that story.
And it was a simple thing of saying, you know, we know that tall folks, fat folks, skinny folks, short folks can survive gunshots.
But in a two hour story, I didn't want there to be anything I could do to help us be able to be as violent as possible to just feel that you're talking about somebody sturdy body.
I thought to just try to straighten up that I'd feel more confident in that and not think about it more. You know, now it's very common. People find a reason to change their bodies for roles and so on, sometimes very organically to the nature of the thing. And sometimes, I guess just do it.
Oh, I've done it just to do it. To have an excuse. Yeah. Yeah.
Well, you know, whatever gets you, even if this is a good thing.
So then it was quite an experience doing that because I was you know, I was kind of naturally lean up until that point.
You look just like a surfer. You look like it was clear that you served. I was a lanky guy and in fact, had a difficult time putting weight on. So with that, you know, you're drinking all these shakes full of amino acids and whatever weight gain powders and eat and seven times a day and going to the gym. Yeah, it was quite a ride.
But you've never let it go. I've monitored your body, as I do most male bodies, and I've watched it over the years and it has stayed ribs.
I'm a binge exerciser. OK, you cut me like right now I'm a slug. I've been between, you know, flying around the country, pumping up these covid sites and post-production on a movie I had shot before it. I've, you know, been sitting on airplanes within ninety five masks and then talking to people in masks and then driving to the next place and eat fast food in between and then coming back to an edit room and puffing and puffing and eating crap.
Yeah. Actually you got me a little bit in the Zoni day because my new bride has got me started on a cleanse and which all leads to the beginning of exercise again.
But I've always been able to recover pretty fast. Yeah, I think there's that thing. If you did it when you're young, you know, you have that kind of muscle memory and you can get back into some kind of shape.
I agree. By the way, your bride, you know, she lived at my house. I did know that. Yes, it's rare that I interview someone whose new wife lived at my house. It's the sweetest person she has.
She is. She is indeed. Yes. Laila lived downstairs below us. And I was like, you can live as long as you want is as long as you don't wake up before eight a.m. ever and wake me up.
We're good to go.
Did she violate. No, no, no. She was I don't have a single memory of her disturbing me in any way, which is easy to do. She's a pretty good sleeper.
OK, now two other obsessions of mine that you seem to share at least, or maybe you don't, but obviously into the wild was fucking so tremendous. I mean, what a humongous directorial accomplishment. And I love Krakouer. I love Krakouer in a way that I haven't read fiction virtually since I discovered Krakouer thirteen years ago. Like I tried to read Lolita a while ago. I'm like, everyone loves this book. Let me oh, this is interesting.
And this didn't happen and I just can't do it. So do you love Krakouer? Have you read all of his books? Have you become friends with him in that process?
Yeah, very much so. And and like you, I got you know, we're the there was this sort of a family of writers that came up in nonfiction, sort of experiential journalists like Krakouer, Sebastian Junger and and I very much got off fiction reading that stuff because it was kind of high reality. And also typically infused with some kind of a as great a passion as any fiction might have in terms of the pursuit of the storytelling. Mm hmm.
And within the the wild in particular, because it had to do again with something. And when we talk about Bukowski, the kind of familiar manifest differently in all of us. But there is a wanderlust in us. And I think that even if for some people it's a metaphor of it, and in others it's literally to get lost in the wild. And that goes beyond, you know, the kind of rites of passage is, man, that's the rites of passage as human beings.
And you see with Into the Wild, I've known of many men and women who have some to to their demise pursue that story in ways you might have seen recently that they took the bus away from the river where it had been because one more group had made a kind of pilgrimage and and lost their lives doing it in a very unpredictable and it seems fairly benign area. But Alaska, with its permafrost and its mud drops in its rivers, you really never know whether that one mile ahead of you is safe to cross or not.
Yeah. Now, what I connected to in that book, I guess I'll ask you if you do, is the pursuit of identity. I have to imagine you've been on a complicated search for identity as most people are. I certainly have been. And having a romantic sense of what that identity is, is like. It's what I'll get you to move across the country and then it'll also kill you. And it's like learning to recognize it, confront it, exploit what's great about it, try to minimize the shitty part of it.
Did you relate to that part of his story of just like I have to be so extreme, I got to do something? Could you relate to that desire?
I think that within any kind of wanderlust, within any kind of romantic adventure, some of us are born with a level of caution, gene, that others are not. And so sometimes you have very intelligent people won't apply it because they don't really have it right.
And other people will be let's let's say it just dumb about it. Yeah. Yeah. And not respect what they're taking on enough. I've always had a kind of I'd start with a kind of survival gene. And then when I felt I was pushing something beyond that which I could no. Then I would know it before I pushed it. Hmm. It's the reason I probably that I haven't become a pilot. I've always longed to fly helicopters. But my understanding of helicopters is from most pilots.
It's those that are fixed wing pilots first that seem to have the deepest level of aerodynamic understanding when they become a pilot of a helicopter. And I knew I would have to skip the fixed wing part because it just kind of bored me.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's really tedious, right? I gave it a shot and I'm like this too fucking tedious.
I thought I'd be like, What are you going to do now? It's like watching this fucking dial, then that dial. It's not for me.
It's kind of like believing the scientists. If I believe the pilots that you're a you're a better helicopter pilot. If you've flown fixed wing and I'm not going to fly fixed wing, then I'm going to fly a helicopter, but I'll fly in them. I like to fly with a good pilot.
I'm actually really impressed that, you know, the line that you know, that you shouldn't fly helicopters because you have lived a life where people probably don't say no to you very much, is my guess.
Oh, that's a good point. So I think it's extra impressive that you can say no to yourself.
Yeah, someone would let you fly a helicopter. Certainly. Yeah, well, I guess I take it back. I did fly a helicopter.
My son took lessons for a while for a movie that he was in the movie we shot in South Africa. And at one point over the Kalahari Desert, I was asked if I wanted to take the controls. He had been flying us for about an hour with a pilot on the dual control system because he was still new at it, but he was flying us pretty steady and smooth for about an hour. My son Hopper was. And then they said, come on, just so he and I switch seats.
And it was I'm going to tell you literally, it was less than two seconds by the time they went to the controls, about fifty.
And I thought I was on our way to death because it's a very, very sensitive those things, you know, a very small move of the mouth of the joystick. And a lot happens that birds and and I made a lot happen real bad.
That's and you basically confirm what I think my. I've flown in a helicopter enough, and all I do is stare at the pilot and I'm like, I fucking got this. I know exactly what to do. And we have a debate on here all the time. He thinks he could fly a plane if he needed to it. And I'm just saying, if they come into the cabin and they say someone's got to land this plane and there's no pilots on board, I think I'm a great candidate because I'm cocky.
And that's virtually what you need is confidence. I think it's one of the big elements.
Well, let's put it this way. If you're on a single engine plane and you've got one pilot, it's not you and that pilot has a massive heart attack, you might as well be able to tell yourself you can do it because that's true.
It costs not only in a million shot, two million.
There's no real stakes. You're going to die and you might as well try to land this plane.
Yeah, but I think knowing one's limitations is a valuable tool set. Stay tuned for more armchair expert, if you dare. We are supported by Squarespace.
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OK, I want to talk about cause you were on Stern the other day, and I doubt you care, but I do. What a fucking amazing interview. I called Monica immediately and I was like, you must listen to this interview immediately.
And she did. And she's like, oh, my God, he's one of the smartest guys in the world. It was such a great interview. You're so articulate. I don't even know that. I've heard you, like, lay it down like that. It was really, really impressive. And I guess I was shocked to know because, again, this is all projection. This is all mired in my own baggage. But I've seen you over the years.
Like Katrina happens. I turn on my CNN to see what an update is.
And you're in a fucking rowboat helping someone out of the water. I'm left guessing how this happened. Right. Did you read the Pat Tillman Krakouer book?
Yes. Women Find Glory. Yes. Now, prior to reading that book, all I knew was an NFL player quit at the NFL to go join the Army in. My first two thoughts were, a, either this guy's like crazy Christian and it's like some kind of Christian crusade, or, B, he's done something so bad that he feels like he has to atone for that.
He has quit the NFL. And then I read this book and I'm completely fucking wrong. And the guy was just this unicorn of integrity and I'm like blown away by who he is. But after reading the book, there have been times I've turned on the TV and I've seen you in a rowboat.
And I thought, what the fuck is he doing there? Is this, like addict shit like I'm at home. It's 4:00 a.m. and I decide I'm getting involved in that. And I can and I'm gonna and that's my my bad guess at it.
In the same way, I was judgmental, Pat Tillman knowing nothing about him.
But I think when I heard what you've done with Cor, I was like, no, no, I have him wrong too. I don't know what his motivation is here in core in the success of it. And you mobilizing thousands of people and you getting more Korona test done than most municipalities.
I'm like, no, no heat. This motherfucker went to Haiti and he figured something out and now he's he's scaling it. It's really impressive. And I guess I'm I'm wondering, how do you explain your weird motivation to end up in a rowboat 12 hours after the footage starts? And how does it lead to Haiti or Katrina?
Was the baptism in a way, because I sat around watching the news for the four days, just waiting to see the Calvary come in. Right. And seeing that it wasn't and then kind of inching around saying something's wrong here. And then, you know, once I had a thought because I had known New Orleans pretty well and spent a good section of the year previous to the hurricane there and new, a lot of people knew my way around. So I started putting out some calls, kind of feeling out what it would be to go there.
Would one be in the way. Right, right. You know, government response and so on. Maybe there was another day in there where after I had gotten. A call from a friend who had fled there right before the hurricane and kind of affirming to me that, you know, if you feel like you can do something, you should go. You're not going to be in anybody's way. It's chaos. And one of two things I came away with was that we would like to think that in the best of circumstances, government can really cover this themselves.
But, you know, in a government of, by and for the people, people got to play. And you know what we don't have what we should have is, you know, cause of civilian volunteers and responses in all lanes and all the sectors of response and in preparedness. And we don't have that. We can't pretend that we thought we did. When suddenly does a hurricane say, oh, the government's not taking care of it? Now, in the case of Katrina, as in the case of covered, the government response by and large has been null and void.
I mean, virtually absent at the wheel. That said, with it in perfect balance, you would still need bodies, more bodies involved. So I went and was able to join up with a couple of people that I knew and we were able to get a boat. And in the first day we brought 40 people out of the water of Central City area. And so when Haiti happened, it was sort of the same thing at first where you have that first moment.
And I've never been to Haiti. Mm hmm. And so that was its own dynamic. But, you know, part of this is I had the time I could pay for the flight. I had the luxury of those basic things. And so I called some of the people I'd worked with in New Orleans, some people I had met in the aftermath of that. And we were pretty quickly able to mobilize a group of about 30 people to get there.
And I guess about the fifth day after the earthquake and we landed with just the idea we'd have enough resources to make sure we weren't taking anybody else's. We'd have several doctors with us, a bunch of, you know, to one degree or another experienced at least hearty people willing to get in there.
And we'd find out, you know, broken down house or something to camp out at, which is what we did for the first few days with the main intention being that I had been in touch with Paul Farmer, kind of legendary Harvard fellow doctor who started Partners in Health in Haiti.
And he told me that what was needed were 350000 vials of morphine and ketamine just for the traumatic surgeries and so on and amputations.
You had that in your suitcase, right?
Well, the funny thing, I, I always I always made that. I always make the joke that, you know, an actor in Hollywood knows where to get narcotics, but not both narcotics.
But I was able to get Hugo Chavez to commit to three hundred and fifty thousand vials to be flown into his embassy with the assurance that we with our rented pickup trucks, would pick them up and deliver them the trauma centers and so on. So the plan was to be there a couple of weeks and just push all that morphine and ketamine up. And once we were there, I saw the dysfunction of NGOs, the dysfunction of a lot of what was going on, the U.N. cluster system.
Certainly the you know, the government of Haiti was brought to its knees at that moment. All of its ministries had collapsed into pancakes. Most of its most committed people were killed in the first 10 seconds because they're the ones who stay past three or four o'clock in the offices and we're the ones that were killed. We very quickly embedded with U.S. troops over there, 22000 U.S. troops, and had a kind of experience guide into how to do the immediate disaster response.
And there was also a kind of code of compassion, I think in the whole three months that the twenty two thousand troops were there. And keeping in mind that the Haitian people, you know, this was the separation by one, they all lost somebody. And with all of their resources gone, their businesses, the numbers astronomical.
Was it like one hundred and eighty thousand people died or something outrageous, like it's around 250 miles on that were killed in a country at that time, only 10 million.
So it's a it's a huge calamity. And in the entire time, you know, with people's emotions being as raw as they were, their desperation, their needs, the United States military didn't put flex cuffs on one individual. And you can imagine how they were sometimes treated, but they were also ordered to keep their weapons shouldered, their helmets off, their glasses off to be a soft posture, human presence, and to expect to at times be berated.
And over time, there was an enormous amount of bonding that happened with the military.
Here in the Haitian people that we saw and we thought, well, we could work like that and then maybe grow it in some ways, that the military is restricted from growing it, you know, and also we'd be able to stay longer.
So I guess in the reverse engineering, in answer to your question about how it all happened, the part I'm not really mentioning is I was drawn to people be there in the military or in the NGO world who became mentors. And then we started moving out into the United States and the Bahamas on hurricane response, building it out, rebranding the original organization into what is now core. And and with that, then we we went into the covid testing, as well as maintaining our operations in all of the regions.
covid testing got its own incredible shot in the arm initially by grants from the Rockefeller Foundation in California. And then Jack Dorsey with his amazing in excess of a billion dollar commitment worldwide to fight covid and in many out of the box ways. And he came in cumulatively now with 30 million dollars and we haven't gotten any money from governments money. We've gotten we're from very few private sector groups and then individuals. And without without Dorcy, there'd be no core.
Where would people go if they wanted to personally donate? Is there like a website or something?
Yeah. Call response Dog Corps response dot org.
By the way, we got we got about a thousand Republicans and Democrats working these tarmac parking lots all over this country, giving it their all and they need all of our support at great risk to let's add it's not without risk.
And then on top of that, you want to make sure that people are getting clear messaging. For example, if you live in a multigenerational home, what are the options on quarantining if you get positive?
And I think communities need to participate in this know no one organization can do it all, whether it's community leaders or pastors in the community where people understand. OK, well, my cousin Johnny has a garage down there. We've made a comfortable corner. If someone in our house gets sick, Johnny's cool with that one. We've got windows open and we can bring food. And they got there 14 days. But backup plans in communities and this is the messaging that's not getting out there because it's it's really kind of seven, eight simple necessary steps to be ready.
But on the other end of it, you know, if we were to do, which I believe we should do, is a nationwide total shutdown. Why? Because it's the right message, not because every place needs it as much as the other. But we all need it together. We need to be in solidarity in that attrition. I know I speak from privilege. I know a lot of people go through hell, but my fear is that they're going to go through so much longer that hell if we don't get this thing quashed.
But there's no reason to do that until the Defense Production Act has been super stimulated and we know we're going to have the test everything necessary so that everyone really gets it and buys in depoliticise is it. And just says we're at a war and we're going to win it now.
Yeah, I mean, that seems to be one of the bigger hurdles is like there's very little consensus or there is consensus, but it's not being communicated as consensus. It's like you just keep hearing such different things. It's hard to figure out what one you want to bet on. Yeah.
And you look at human nature, wants to believe it's over and it's going to be fine. So if you give them an excuse to feel that way, that's what they're going to do. And that's why we've got this gigantic rise in community spread.
Well, also, I got to say, I'll just I've said it on here on record. I actually weirdly related a lot, although I did the right thing at all times.
I quarantine and then I mask and bla bla bla. I get tested a lot. Some shooting.
I related to the distrust of the government. I related to the premise at the beginning was, look, we're all going to get this, it's going to take 18 months to get a vaccine. But what we have to do is flatten the curve so we don't overwhelm the medical system. And I was like, yeah, that makes great sense. I'm in. Then it became clear that we hadn't overrun the medical system and I needed a new premise and I wasn't given a new premise.
And I started feeling like, I'll give you the examples. Like my mom was like, we're moving in with this guy, OK? Why we're going to be so happy there. OK, great. And then we're there and I go, well, everyone's miserable. Why are we still here? And there was no backup explanation. And so that's just my own personal baggage. So to me, it just was very reminiscent of trusting adults and they lied to you.
And I just have to trust you and I have to believe you. And I'm sorry I have a bad track record of trusting people and going along with it. So I very much understood the emotional component for a big section of the country that has had shitty fucking adults in their childhood and who had shitty stepparents and they're not up for trust in. People at their expense now, with all that said, I said all that out loud on here multiple times and I said and I got to do the very best thing, regardless of those feelings.
And I've done the very best thing. And I'm going to continue to do the best thing. And I just have to do that because I have some modicum of ethics.
Yeah, I mean, there's another rule of thumb in this that we can, you know, again, common sense can observe it. First of all, as we know, some hospital systems were truly overrun. Yes. And we lost a lot of frontline workers. And certainly the nursing homes were a major hit all over the country. But, you know, it's true that as imperfect as the rest of us, so are scientists. But what's really the only thing that's been imperfect is some of the good news that they've wanted to pass on.
The bad news has been pretty dead on every time and has borne out and what they tell us now and what I believe deeply is that but for an incredible sea change between now and the fall, when people start having flu and whooping cough and they believe they've got covid, and the panic is not only their health, but that unemployment stopped yesterday, that people are not going to come through that life as we knew it may never come back. And then hospital systems get overrun because people are these ActiveX.
Well, selfish, the religion of the selfish. So, you know, I think that when we as for a lot of our discussions start in the fall and try to work backwards and say, did we do all we could do before that time when the flu season starts?
Because it's not just getting the flu, it's also that it gets colder places and people start to stay inside with each other more. And, you know, the again, so far, the scientists have been pretty dead on with their concerns this way. And I think there's also these catch phrases like fear mongering. Well, how about brave man being brave enough to listen to the science, look it in the eye and say we're going to get through it anyway?
Yeah, ignoring it's not the bravest lane to pick if you're not if you're not scared of both what's happening economically and health wise with this pandemic, then you're just asleep at the wheel. We get so upset when we've got a tangible active shooter. This active shooter has killed more than all active shooting scenarios, all wars since Vietnam, American deaths and in Vietnam alone was a 10 year accumulation of bodies in five months. We've well beat that. Yeah.
Yeah, well, that gets into the hiccup of human thinking, right.
Like we have such outdated reactions to relatively few deaths if they come from an area that we find unacceptable. Right. And if for some reason there's some level of acceptance with people dying of illness. But if it's if it's a terrorist, let's spend a trillion dollars on it. There's a mental hiccup. We stop valuing each death equally. And we were elevating some of the deaths to this very disproportionate reaction.
Yeah, it's a kind of reflective version of of some kind of protective glory. You know, we must stop this bad guy. And yeah. And and it really is a transparency of a great flaw of our kind of basic caring that shouldn't be based on something that's easy to hate. How do you hate a virus? You just it's just it's just bad and has to be stopped.
And, you know, when you when you get into a lot of these, you know, even criminal acts and you get to know where the where we're looking to punish the punished, it's really how do we fix this thing and can it be as important as fixing somebody who's walking around with a rifle downtown and shooting people in a parking lot or a school?
How many tests have you guys administered at this point?
Over a million test, which is over one fiftieth of the total tests in the country.
Oh, my gosh. OK, so interpersonally for you, self-esteem wise, I mean, it's clear you've said it.
There was times where you didn't want to act anymore. I remember being broken hearted by that and not understanding that. But does your self-esteem require, you know, that you feed it with other things every day?
I think that I am either in fatigue or purpose. If I've got purpose, I got no fatigue. Otherwise, you know, I let the the beast of the world get to me.
You're unexpected, like when they meet you and they talk to you. You get the reaction of, oh, you're not what I expected, you know, I guess probably we all do a little get that if we're in the public in any way. It's funny, I did a talk with Seth Meyers earlier today. I'd never met him. And he sent me a thing that he did, a kind of a skit on Saturday Night Live where he played me.
And he was apologizing because he said, Gushin, you're not what I expected, because the way he played me was humorless and self-righteous. And I said, I kind of know that guy I saw it is as accurate to certain moments of, you know, we get in certain bubbles. Funny you mentioned the Howard Stern Show, you know, at five o'clock in the morning if you're in California.
Yeah. Doing that.
So I don't remember that interview at all. I want to ask you, did you really want a nice talk?
But I was in that kind of you know, you really laid into you about smoking and finding you're like, man, I did not get up at 5:00 to have you remind me of how shitty smoking is.
I think I've only had one cigarette while we've been talking.
Yeah, you should kill as many darts as you can. I'm on my second packed lip of Copenhagen, which I'm quitting September 1st, just in case you're worried. Oh, fucking nicotine, man. It's such a good drug. But all the delivery systems are terrible. Yeah, OK, I want to talk about your book and I'm trying to get it out of you and I'm feeling some reluctance and that's to be expected. But I'm really interested in you're recognized as the greatest actor of your generation, of our generation.
You had heroes or I'm assuming you had heroes like Nicholson, who you have clearly had some special relationship. Right? I mean, he you directed him three times. I don't know that anyone else has had that honor, really. And I think we'd probably agree. Right. He's the fucking peak of Everest. They broke that mold. Yeah. And again, it's all projection.
I'm just wondering how similar we are. I'm an approval junkie. I'm an approval junkie to the end.
That's my first addiction. Probably once you have Nicholsons approval, does everything shatter? Is it dangerous to have Nicholsons approval? Like who's next? Who could we search out for validation once you have Nicholsons?
I don't know. I almost feel like I would have to find a new source of fuel and life approval.
You know, it's it's funny how my own experience with that is maybe just another way of thinking about it. But, you know, most of what we see I even saw it again in this Michael Jordan thing having to do with the approval of the father. Yeah, I was in a very lucky club, myself and my brothers. We had a very approving father, you know, and he kind of was famous for the line. You go your own way, kid, you know, and he just kind of had a faith that it was going to take us where we wanted to go was had a real gentle hand based on that.
I don't think I have the same father complex. Yeah, certainly.
I wanted his respect and I appreciate moments when he took pride in something that I did. But there was never that kind of depletion that made me feel like I had to fight for it.
Yeah, yeah. OK, great. So that's a huge difference. Now, there's also this very masculine pursuit to your life. So I'm blaming mine on no dad. How do I get male approval? Oh, Wheely a motorcycle. I'm in. Get me the motorcycle. Jump that thing. I'm there. Get in that fight. Sign me up. I just want you guys to go. You're a man. That's how I end up with all these dumb hobbies and bad habits.
And I'm wondering what is your drive towards danger and conventional masculinity?
Not that it is an ongoing. But, you know, certainly when we're in our late teens, there's a big acceleration of that. Some of that's chemical, right? Yeah, but there's a constant peeling of that onion. If it's not about the drive to fulfill something, then it's a drive to understand where certain parts you come from. And so you're always in that, you know. And I think that as one gets older, then pretty typically you start to need to reflect on that more because there's that last bit of of getting human that you got to do that, who knows?
Maybe the hardest bit, because it's shedding a lot of stuff you've relied on in private. Yeah. And I think that our children pushed that out of us, the intimate relationships. You know, as I said, I just got married. And they live, you know, certainly pushes stuff to the surface that has to be understood. And for me to be, you know, better at stuff, better person and better communicator. So I think probably the most sustained warpage of what starts in our late teens is the pride we take in bullshit that we haven't quite shared and the kind of demons that we're most fond of.
Well, maybe that we think define us right on some level, like it's define us until they start to embarrass us. Yeah, yeah, yeah. There's no real line.
And there's stories I used to tell that I've made me the king of any party. And then I've tried a couple of them out in the last five years. I'm like, oh, everyone hates that story.
I probably tried one of them out like five days ago. We all have those stories.
But I will say whenever when I heard you on Stern and also like your Academy Award speech, there's been a few moments where I thought to myself, I would expect you to be in in recovery or something.
You have some self awareness, which is pretty unique, your ability to own that you've been hard to root for or that you have taken yourself very seriously at times or all these things that you seem to kind of effortlessly unload. And it doesn't seem to have any shame attached to it, which to me generally I associate with like recovery.
That's generally where people get to. It's like, yep, I did all this. I owned all this. I said sorry when I could, and that's me. I just wonder where that comes from. You just intuitively evolved or self-aware. Do you do therapy or anything?
Over the years I've done a fair amount of therapy, you know, started off kind of ultimatum therapy initially by the courts and then by relationships, you know, where there was an ultimatum either. And it took a while to, you know, find people who I felt that kind of trust and respect of doing that kind of stuff. That bit by bit people emerged. And then I got very interested in it. And by interested, I don't mean just intellectually interested.
I mean, I got sold. You know, it's kind of how you use it. If I didn't take all of what they had to offer, I walk away forever. Lessons that were really significant and things that you just subconsciously start practicing well is that you have muscle memory, right?
It's like all of a sudden gets. Yeah.
And the and the benefits and the calm and the and all of that. So I think that it's a combination of doing therapy and then practicing that therapy. And like most things, you have backslides. Yeah, yeah.
Yeah. And and so, you know, I try not to kick yourself in the head too hard and get on with the day. But, you know, again, partly no, I never bought into this idea that by being in work that's public, like in the movies, things like this, that that you owed anything other than to do your work. Well, I never bought into this. It goes with the territory. So because of that, I never felt any additional shame.
But I felt additional awareness at times.
Yeah, I totally hear you. I agree there is no deal. It's all what you're comfortable with.
I guess it just goes with the territory that people fall in love with you and people want what they want you to be, what they want.
I want you to be identical to me because I looked up to you and we're learning we're not and all have to live with that.
Stay tuned for more armchair expert, if you dare.
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OK, Bob, honey sings Jimmy Crack Corn, so we have a mutual friend, Bradley, and I read the thing you wrote about him, which I thought was awesome. And then I called him like, this is crazy that he wrote this thing about you. And he goes, Oh, we're buddies now. And all your buddies. What's he like? And he said, well, he has the best bullshit detector of anyone I've ever met. So he's the type of guy, if you're just dead honest with him, he'll like you.
I think that's his assessment of you. Any objections so far?
No, I like that. The only thing I don't like is being bullshit by me.
Well, to me, it depends how entertaining the bullshit is. But yeah, in general, I'm always looking for someone's true intention to a fault. So, Bob honey sings Jimmy crack corn.
What you need to know really quick is that I'm dyslexic. I did not learn to read or fifth grade. The fact that I fell in love with reading it was because Bukowski was so simple for me to read. That was the gateway to a bunch of other stuff. And I graduated to much harder things.
But when I tried to read this book with my eyes, there's so many big words in it that I couldn't both recognize those words on the page and then go through the right Rolodex in my head of what the word was, say it out loud and then keep track of what was being said.
So then I got it on audio. I listened to your book twice on audio because I really, really genuinely wanted to get it.
And I got to say, something did happen in my second go round. I think my brain was so busy trying to put your book into a compartment I was comfortable with. I guess I enter it knowing like, oh, he loved Bukowski. I love Bukowski. It's going to be Hemingway esque. It's going to be simple. It's not going to be metaphorical. It's going to be literal. Right. So right out of the gate, I'm like, OK, it's a different thing than I was expecting.
And then I keep trying to put it in this box. The second go round, I have stopped doing that. Right. It's kind of like I stopped trying to figure out the end of the movie and I can just enjoy the movie now. I found myself laughing hysterically at Bob's acid trip.
And I think because I'm an ex drug addict, there were some details in there that were so fun for me, one being that Bob was repeatedly hearing and then saw with his own eyes an elevator door opening and shutting repeatedly.
I was like, this is such a specific acid thing. Like you got to be on the inside to appreciate that. Then the fact that it's revealed that drug trip lasted thirty five hours, I was like, this is such a specific number. Thirty five hours. It's like a Seinfeld selection of words. It's that specific and it's fucking perfect. Thirty four is not the right number. Thirty six is not the right number. Thirty five is the perfect number for a seven hits of acid trip.
And I was laughing hysterically. My wife and I were driving to Malibu and I listening to it in the car.
And then I started to think of your book and in different ways. And I was like, OK, my first thought was, I'm getting it. It's Susan, it's Dr. Seuss. For adults, there's a playfulness and there's a Dr. Seuss. Right. And then that led me to there's a Hunter S. Thompson next to it, you know. So I got to say, on the second go around, I felt like I clicked in to your mojo.
There's so much alliteration. There's all this playful business going on because it's not linear in any way. Right. Grasping at what's going on a lot of the time. And then once again, I stop trying to do that and just listen. I found it very enjoyable and I found a lot of the commentary, the political commentary stuff I very much identify with.
And I guess I don't know if you do, but part of me desires to be Bob. Honey, I want to act without any fear of repercussion. And I like you. I'm in a position where when I act, more than one person's watching. So I, I have to think a lot about how I act.
And I'm trying to act as genuinely as I can, knowing there will be fallout. And I have to weigh how much fallout I'm willing to deal with over something.
And I imagine you're in that position times ten. And was there some cathartic joy in creating a character that had zero regard for that aspect of life in twenty twenty?
Let me give you a break. One thing I had done an audible on the first book on Bob Honey, who just do stuff. I didn't like it at all and they agreed to take it off. It was one that I recorded myself and I thought I did just a terrible job and then never did do an audible on the first book. The second book, the one that you listen to since Jimmy Crack Corn, is easier to understand had you got the first one.
But yes, it was exactly what you're saying.
It was kind of like the gloves were completely taken off. I kind of lavished in the idea that I was going to write this thing so that if someone and I would never expect someone to or not to dive in and look up the words. God knows, you know, because of the alliteration of it, it got its best reviews from great writers. It got the worst reviews of every critic.
It was like destroyed by by by critics, which I came to be really exhilarated by.
Tell me how this could be a great tip for anyone. This was anybody who would assume to be annoyed by what they thought I was. This would be fodder for and they they could close off and make judgments on what this was and what the use of language was. I will tell you that it was a direct assault on the lack of use of language that I feel is coming from the so-called academic community in many cases.
Are you blind in the fact that we're both liberal progressives and we're also nervous about the censorship that's happening in academia? Are we are we aligned in that? Oh, yeah.
Yeah. So we actually I can't see if I can see it from here, but I got reviews like, shut up, Sean Penn, just shut up.
You know, they just didn't want to have it, whereas these really significant authors came into it with an openness to what it might be. The language is its own assault, the Dr. Seuss, this of it is its own assault. It's like stop rhyming at me.
Stuff that made me laugh and.
Right, right, right, right. If you don't kind of laugh at the torture of the style. Then you're not going to get the style and it's going to squeeze you. And so it it kind of was this character I could apply things, some of which had had direct experience with and just exaggerate or color them any way I wanted and just ride this guy steady, clear, if not off mine.
Sarshar, let's try this hat on for a minute. Yeah.
So I had a blast writing those books, I just had a blast writing them and and I do think in some ways that they are maybe better served. Audible The actor who did the second book I think did a real good job. Yeah he did. You know, I didn't give him an awful lot of guidance and it certainly would seem the kind of writing that would take a lot of guidance. But that also let me know that it's there to be understood if you want to.
And he had the fortitude to do it. And as you know, I appreciate you do by listening to it twice. And I think the way you describe it is correct. But I would like to have the same fellow do the first one. So it remains for those who want to succumb to the challenge.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. These are Cloo based books also. In other words, I will say to you now, these are totally understandable conversations. It takes somebody, I suppose, who is not dependent on people deciding, I'm going to take this until I get it. That would be a lot to ask. Right. Right. But for anyone who did, it's there to be found. You know, it's kind of the thing with screenplays.
When you write them, every sentence you write could cost you another hundred thousand dollars to produce.
When I was reading it, I was thinking that you're so limited when you're writing and, you know, the buck's going to stop with you. Right. You're going to have to be there with twenty nine days of shooting and you got to figure out how to. And so you don't you don't paint yourself into a corner when you're writing a screenplay that you know you're going to have to deal with, but you can do any fucking thing. They could be in in a scene and who cares, right.
Like I have to imagine the freedom of that is really appealing to me. Yeah.
And I think that that's a reaction to doing a lot of years of movies and finally, you know, being bled on that responsibility of writing into more money and more money. And you write anything you want on a on a printed page and it doesn't cost any more to print. Yeah, that was a great thing. Speaking of but also, I should say, the more I mean, I've seen it when it first came out, but I've had to go back and watch a three or four times Idiocracy, OK, because it is so much of what we experience every day.
And I thought to put it in a kind of humorous context made sense. And yet when I saw Idiocracy the first time, I remember thinking we are so close to being there.
When I saw it the next three times, I had that really uncomfortable feeling of here we are.
This isn't the future. Yeah. Yeah. And I got to say, you know, this is Robert Duval said once about acting. You know, it's is that the limitation most actors have? Because you're very clearly a very bright guy, is that they let their intelligence show when they're supposed to go under, when the character is under. You did not let your intelligence show at all?
Oh, no. I was all for better or it was painfully stupid.
I mean, really. And it becomes very human because you really feel unable to help that person.
I think that's a really gracious assessment of it. Yeah, I will never see that movie.
You should see that movie. It's a classic performance. It's really flawless and it's shocking. And it is it's almost saddening because it's become a commentary on a real thing now.
Oh, yeah. President Camacho, when you're watching it, you're like I mean, this is great. This is an eleven. This could never happen.
And then you're like, take away the muscles, then it's President Camacho.
Well, we've got till November at least the night is young. As I thought about talking to you, I was like, I'm going to bring in so much shit to this.
And I was thinking, had I ever met you in real life, I would be normal, as I have been trained to do. But in my subconscious, I would be seen. You punch out a photographer, see your alcmene on my head, see the Airstream you lived in after your house burned down, just all this stuff.
You've been with me for thirty eight of forty five years.
And surely most people you meet have the same thing going on in their subconscious. And I just wonder I have some experience with it, but not at all. What you have. I just wonder is is it. Credibly isolating your spidey senses are fucking sharp, and I can tell you can feel it. And is it is it isolating?
Well, I would argue that, you know, you're a very unguarded, very bright guy, very generous guy, and you have had your own journey and your own talents that that I would, you know, have my own things going on about, you know, just human interest in you. At the same time, I think it's isolating when people hide things. I think it's isolating, especially when they hide things that you feel presence of. But I think that when when people are basically here for a common humanity, it's refreshing to talk to somebody who's open and curious about stuff.
I like to think I am too. So.
Well, I can tell you that I'm dying for your approval, but I got it 10 minutes ago so the rest of my body is going to be fucking on fire.
Last question. Did you go to California City after you read under the banner?
Yeah, I had been there a few times before. It was while we were shooting into the wild. We were in Colorado City. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We would we actually went in, you know, on our scout trips a couple of times and watched as they put a couple of SUVs behind us following us. I think Jeff's was still on the run at that time and know they're there. It's a very interesting community, you know, and you see the Scientology also in the sense of the brokering of, you know, religious rights and so on in kind of debunked fraud schemes.
Yeah, it's really something.
Yeah, my wife and I read that at the same time. This the last time we read a book together and we put it down and I was like, you want to go to Colorado City right now?
And she's like, Yeah, let's go. And we drove straight there, got followed, like you said, for an hour, went to the little cafe. They had had a piece of pie.
I was certainly poisoned us with because everyone was on high alert that we were there. They were not on high alert because they knew who either of us were. They certainly had no clue. Wasn't that that was very surreal. Like children of the corn fucking.
Yeah. And, you know, it's almost like inherent parameters because within 100 miles of Colorado City, almost everything that's built is built by their construction contract. So. Right. Sitting in a diner chatting about, oh, we're on our way to Colorado City, some of these here.
And I do. It's wild. It's wild. OK, I have a thousand more questions, but I'm going to I'm going to let you go. Such a pleasure talking to you.
I'm so glad this happened. Good to talk to you both. You give our love to Layla and congrats.
I will. Well, I hope to meet in person soon.
Yeah. Let's get as soon as we get this beast disarmed. Right.
Let's get on a helicopter. All right. Thank you. And now my favorite part of the show, the fact check with my soul mate Monica Padman.
Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.
Or being tested right now. There's no lights in the attic. It's it's above 100 degrees in here and it's nine pm.
So it's dark. It's dark. It's hot as Hades. Yep. But here we are. How could we not come in here and chat about Sean Penn? We had to. It's a must.
But do you want to tell people what happened or do you not want to tell people? Well, let me tell you, I'm a little conflicted about it. I will. I will.
But I got to say, I do not want to get in the habit of getting attention for being injured. You know, I'm saying like, I love attention. I'm an attention whore. Yeah. And an approval junkie.
So I just I hesitate in getting attention for being hurt because I think it's a bad pattern to be.
And I don't think you're at risk of exploiting injuries. OK, I've never experienced that from you. So I think you can tell people what happened if you want.
OK, I was passin six guys at Sonoma Raceway on a motorcycle, on a motorcycle. And I was braking very, very hard, hard enough that the back wheel was off the ground for a good, I guess, one hundred yards. And then someone turned in as they had the right to. I was totally at blame. I thought I would be able to slide in between, but someone turned in and I was already under full braking. I couldn't go anywhere.
I clipped their bumper and then I went over the handlebars and landed pretty hard. And first time I've ever been down on the track, it was a little demoralizing. It was a bummer. Yeah. And then Side now got thoroughly yelled at by the track crew for not getting off the track soon enough.
Why? What does that mean?
Well, the rules are with good reason that you should second you crash, get off the track so you don't get hit by a motorcycle.
But my motorcycle has landed in the middle of this turn and the tires in the black part of the motorcycle were facing the oncoming riders. And I was very nervous and we're going to see it. And I just couldn't live with the guilt of someone t bone.
My motorcycle went down. Oh. So I was I was standing next. It but I very safe spot and just waving my arms so people could see it and then so the fine folks that work at the track just came and really let me have it.
They were you know, they were scared for you. Yeah, I guess that was what was probably fueling it, but they really let me have it. And I was too injured to really object. So I just took it on the chin when I sat in the pits for about an hour and a half on my shoulder. That's what was really hurting in my hand a little bit. And then I went back out for two sessions and then it was just too painful by the end of it.
So I then got in the car and I drove back from Sonoma to L.A., which is about five hundred miles, and then woke up today we went, you and I and Mom and the girls went to Delta's little graduation for her preschool covid style.
So everything was only five of us there. And we had masks on. Yeah, I feel obligated to say we were being safe. Yeah. And I got to a point while we were there that I thought, you know, I really should go get this checked out at the hospital.
So I've been at the hospital for seven hours today. All day. Yeah. And the final tally was for broken ribs. The clavicles broken in three places and I need surgery. And then I broke my hand that I had broke a couple months ago. But good news, I had broke three of those Tal's or carpools, I guess their carpools and those held up.
Those those didn't break. But fingers are in fact, news still.
Yes. And then the fourth, my pinky metacarpal, it broke.
So so you got in a bad motorcycle accident and that's what happened. That's what happened. Yeah.
Yeah. I'm so sorry that happened. That's OK. I feel very bad. About what.
Well, it's just it's inconvenient for everyone. I'm sure it scares everyone. I'm sure you and Kristen were scared and you know, I feel guilty about that.
Well, not unlike when you we had drawn on you said, you know, it's a little selfish.
People care about you, that you have this hobby. And I think you jinxed me. You didn't take me back.
But I feel guilty. And I know you didn't jinx me at all. If you ride on the track long enough, you're going to go down.
I don't want you to feel guilty that people care about you. People are allowed to care about you. And if you feel guilty, that makes us feel guilty for making you feel guilty. So it's a bad cycle and people care about you and that's allowed.
Well, here's why I feel guilty. It's not like I was sitting in a stoplight and someone rear ended me and I got hurt, you know, is actively doing something dangerous.
Yeah, I think because it's a reckless hobby, I feel guilty that people have to have the emotional concern about me.
You know, I think it's OK to feel a little guilty about it, but, you know. I know.
OK, all right. I'll stop doing that part. Feeling guilty. Yeah. And what about the motorcycle part? We'll get back to that.
Well, man, I don't think I'm going to quit, but I think I might be willing to quit for the remainder of twenty twenty. Oh, OK.
Were you hoping for something? A little. I thought maybe substantial. I was, but OK, we'll circle back.
OK, we'll circle back. We'll earmark it. Yeah. And then we just have to talk about Sean Penn real quick. What a treat. What a treat. Very, very flattered. You want to do the show. Same.
And he loves Idiocracy. That was mind blown. I almost wasn't digesting it when it was over. You go. You know, Sean Penn just said, you're a good actor. And I was like. That is what happened, right? I kind of felt like that happened, but then I didn't want to be crazy. You have to take oh what a compliment from the best actor. I've got to tell you, I felt pretty darn nice. Good.
I'm glad you could take it in.
I, too, have a bad habit of assuming that everyone is motivated similarly and just. Most of the times for him, my guess is we're way off. Yeah, well, you know, not always a pretty unique person he is. And yeah, his motivations are very interesting. And I can't relate to them in a neat way.
Like he's you know, he's expanding your mind of your personality possibilities. Well, I adored him.
When the interview ended, you go, oh, I'd marry him.
Yeah, I'm going to marry one second. Yeah, I remember now I have to up my date page on my profile.
So if anyone doesn't remember her original dating profile had to include Matt and Ben. Well, obviously, which makes total sense. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. So what had that brought you to like 50? Yeah, and that seemed like, OK, you were pushing it, but it made total sense.
I mean, you got to include those guys. Yeah. And then we saw Once upon a time. That's right. In Hollywood. And you panicked.
Rightly so. You're like, oh my God, I'm not even including did not include Brad Pitt and my dating range. Yes. It would be ridiculous to not include him. Yeah. And then now after Sean Penn, he just he turned 60 like a few days after we interviewed him.
So you've now got to push it to 60. Yeah. Who is there anyone left that. Ruth Bader again. Even older. Oh wow.
OK, rbg. Yeah. If we interview her you might change. I might have to. Wow.
I really respect you. I really do. It's so great. You know what it tells me you're not going to let the pressures.
Well this shouldn't surprise me.
You don't succumb to peer pressure, but you're not going to let societal conventions stand in the way of love for you.
I'm not. Now, here's if you want to marry Sean.
And he wasn't already married to Layla, who we like a lot. A lot.
She's beautiful, wonderful person. But if she weren't in, you wanted to marry him, I guess I would be supportive in that. I want to hang out with you, too. Yeah, of course. But I am I'm worried about what happens when you're a widow at a very young age.
I see that. But I would rather well, there are some pretty stars out.
Oh, hopefully the crow will fly in the window right now, full speed. And I mean, if that if that happened, I would be like, yeah, that's that's about right.
The natural progression of what's going on.
Oh my gosh, I, I would be grateful for the time I had OK. And that relationship. And of course I'd be heartbroken if if we didn't ante age by then. Oh right. Which I'm counting on. Yeah but ok. But if not then I would just be so grateful that I had that much time and that special relationship.
So that part all I support. But I guess I'm a little worried about you hitting the dating scene at fifty but maybe I don't want maybe I'll be ok.
Maybe I won't need to date again. No you'll be, you'll need your carnal needs met. Don't you think I have toys? OK. Would you ever. Can you imagine yourself being 50 or 60 and using the services of a male escort? No, no, no.
OK, so I'm not going to do that.
OK, but maybe I'll find, like, another 50 year old who doesn't really want to date but would just be interested in some sexual activity.
OK, that's not a terrible plan. Now, you don't want a male escort, but what about if you were. Well, you'll be loaded and not only from your own money, but you'll have inherited Seans.
Oh, right. Yeah. And think about that.
Yeah. So you'll you'll be loaded. What about the notion that you'd have a boyfriend and he's like 30 and you know that a big chunk of his attraction to you is the comfortable lifestyle you provide.
Would you be OK with that?
Is he a good companion? Is he good? He's nice. But you just know that a big factor in why he likes you is that you've got some money and some comfort and you can travel with them. And he likes the lifestyle you provide. Hmmm, well, I wouldn't be comfortable feeling used, but if I was getting a lot out of that relationship, if all my needs were met.
Well, that's the thing. I think if you were with a person your age who you had the suspicion that they liked you for your money, it would be a deal breaker.
Oh, for sure. But there's something about it being a like a 30 year old dumdum where it's like you're not insulted by that. He's just the 30 year old dumdum. You know, he's a dumdum.
Well, all right. I don't know what he is. Well, if he's. Is that what I'm trying to make him, whatever you would be most comfortable with?
So I guess I said dumdum, because then you want it to be like this guy's a dumdum. I'm not insulted by this.
Oh, I see. All right, I'll do it. OK. OK, I'm sure we know we're agreeing to I don't know at all anything, but I only have one fact for Sean O'Reilly and that's actually not a fact because he kind of corrected it immediately. You said California City, but meant Colorado City. Oh, and if it wasn't clear in case it's a Mormon town.
Well, it's a FDL. It's a fundamentalist Mormon. That's right. Town. So not to be confused with your average Mormons.
Oh, yeah. Thank you for clarifying. Yeah. The Mormons in particular are the the quickest to make sure everyone understands that they don't approve of the. Yeah, I feel like that's good.
That's good. That's calling out the extremes in there.
Yeah. It is interesting though, I hesitate to say this because I did get one thing wrong in the past. As you recall, I said that the Mormons believe Jesus was born in the USA. That's not the case. They just believe that he visited the USA after resurrection, right?
Yes. So I got that wrong.
But what is interesting is they dismissed the fundamentalists as they should. Good for them. But the fundamentals are practicing. The early version of Mormonism like they did to have polygamy was totally acceptable.
Do you think polygamy is inherently wrong? Yeah, I don't. I don't at all.
First of all, throughout human history, there's been many, many polygamists hunting and gathering societies. There is a group that anthropologists have studied that had one woman married to two husbands. That was standard. I forget all the reasons why.
But anyways, I don't think that a consenting adults of the same age, if they want to be in a three way marriage or a four way marriage, I don't care at all.
The problem is, is in practice, all the examples we have end up becoming pedophile mills. Yes. Or all these old shitheads trade 13 year old daughters to one another. And it's fucking disgusting and and it's rape. And so I do not condone, obviously, that version, but I do imagine there's an ethical version of it. Or the producer of your favorite movie, Jerry Weintraub.
Oh, he had two wives. I mean, I think he was married to the second one, but they all lived together. Really? Yeah.
And what I read from the Warren Buffet documentary, I don't know if it's explicit, but it seemed to me that he had two girls.
Wow. His wife moved to San Francisco and he very much loved her and she loved him. And then she asked one of the neighbor girls if she'd make sure that Warren was eating because he's liable to forget to eat because he gets so into those spreadsheets. And so she started coming over to make him dinner and then she ended up living there and then his wife became ill and he was with her and then she died. And he's still not living with that woman.
So I'm assuming that there was some kind of interesting arrangement.
Yeah, I don't think it's inherently wrong either, but I do think it would probably get very tricky with the wives because, yeah, one is probably the actual wife. Right. Or at least the first. First. Yeah. And then there's probably a ranking system within the wives that maybe the husband doesn't even know about.
What bed does the husband sleep in or the wife married to many husbands in in the show. Big Love in that show, which I have to imagine is based somewhat in reality. He had nights at different houses, so he was like at one house on Tuesdays.
But yeah, I think what would be inevitable is you'd have the first wife and no matter how good their relationship was, the fun chemicals are gone as far as like novelty. And then a new gal would hit the scene and so they'd probably want to do it a lot more. Yeah. And now this could go either of two ways, though. The first wife might be so thrilled she doesn't have to fuck the guy anymore.
So that could be a big bonus. Yeah.
Just seems like I'll tell you minimally, you'd have to be really open communication.
Yeah, that's true. That's very true.
I mean, you'd have to have a lot of check ins and sit down vulnerability out the one and then you add like a third and more.
Kind of fascinating. If everyone feels like they're getting what they need, I say great. I just wonder if it's actually possible. Right. I'd like to show.
Oh, we should try to interview someone. Not on the pedophile scale. Yes. Let's look into it.
Yeah, we should look into some polygamists that aren't gross or at least like maybe a scholar on it. If such a thing, there must be someone must study that. Yeah. There's got to be like some ground rules.
Well, but you're right. I mean, like, societies did do it for a long time. So how did they manage it? I know there's different expectations back then. The. Ah, now I think that's part of it now the expectation, again, kind of estás thing where we feel like our partner needs to check all of our boxes.
Yeah, yeah. Now, in many of the tribes that we studied, I'd say the vast majority, the men and women didn't even live together. You had women's houses and you had men's houses. Oh, interesting. And so in general, you'd have like this long house with, you know, 40 dudes in it. And there was a clear rank, you know, the status of who was the chief and all this stuff. And that person had several wives.
And down the ladder they have less wives. But then the wives are all just living together. And then they gather all day and then they co parent together all day.
So, yeah, I'm sure that their relationship in any way resembles what we would think of as a relationship. That's true.
You know, maybe it's not what we're thinking of. Like who gets to have a romantic dinner with.
Yeah. Like who gets to watch Netflix and chill to me as a co-dependent.
It just sounds way too much like a lot. Oh, I think of it inevitably one of the four people would be feeling upset. Yeah.
Unless that person had somebody else in the village to like. It's probably all pretty incestuous, like Lucy Goosey asylum seekers without outing any of my friends at home.
I got to say, we we got pretty close to that kind of lifestyle at one point. You did when we were in our twenties, just everyone sleeping with everybody.
No one really gave a flying fuck, to be honest. I was like very little hurt feelings, as I recall.
Really, half of my ex-girlfriends have dated half of my friends and. Wow.
And everyone felt fine with everyone was really chill with it. Yeah. Wow. Exceedingly cool. Very open minded. I don't really know what the explanation is other than I feel like that friendship group in particular. Everyone had such incredibly defined lanes.
They were like everyone knew the thing they were and everyone had like a role and no one was like swimming for where they fit in.
It got it. And that helped probably competence wise. Yeah. And what a life you've lived.
It just got kind of sad when I said that. Why? Like I'm dead. Well, like, you kind of almost died. Oh no. I didn't even come close to almost dying to say, yeah, I know, I know.
I feel worried and say, oh no, no, no, no, I'm not.
I'm just grateful that you're OK to me too. I'm grateful for the folks at Cedars. They were so darn nice. And oh, this is worth saying one of the nurses was an armchair. This sweet gentleman from the Philippines.
He's been here for five years. Zero accent. I said, that's interesting. You have no accent.
And he said, well, I loved American movies. Oh, wow.
And I said immediately, do you believe in ghosts?
And he says, no, but I used to when I lived there just slowly doing a focus group. Yeah.
Just trying to gather some data. That's lovely. Shout out to him. Shout out to the fine folks at Cedars. And, you know, I think I've already said this, but one of my nurses when I had my seizure was an arm chair.
Really? Yeah. The hospitals are full of armchair. Well, that's crazy flattering.
So flattering. And then I, of course, was like, if you listen to a tool. Oh, go on. He's like, no, I'm. Oh, my God. You got to listen to that.
So great. It's funny because I'm like, would they be interested in medical stuff or would they be like, I already know that.
Should I want to listen to whoever if I would listen to a daily on podcasting? Oh yeah. Yeah, me too. Me too. In fact, so my friend Ethan snappily who I love.
If you met Ethan, you know, I'm telling you, I don't know if I know anyone that's got more percentage of magic in them. And so I noticed that he was a guest on Ricky's podcast last month.
Yeah, it was a great he's doing his interviews with the guest on his balcony with the door shut. Oh, my God, it's hysterical. So he clicks his fingers during the interview. Whenever he clicks his fingers and the guests can click their fingers, things come on their face like a little monster takes a poop on on Ethan's dad.
And then Ethan clicks and he's got a mustache and he's talking. He has a mustache on. It was really funny. I really liked it.
And then it took me over to Ethan's podcast, American Glutting American Glutton in fucking a is it good?
And he's so good at it. Oh, that's awesome.
Well, if he's 90 percent magic, I'm not surprised. And because of his own personal story, like you guys know Ethan from American History X from my name is Earl. He's been a blow tons of great, huge movies. I met a man without a paddle. He was a bad guy, but really he's a good guy and he is one of the most interesting people in the world. He was acting, but then he got into poker, then he became this guy's kind of caddy and he traveled the country just being a jester for this guy while he gambled.
Then he got super into art and he made all this money buying and selling paintings. Wow. The thing that he's, of course, been the most interested in forever is wait, because he was at one time, I think is most was five 10.
Wow. And he currently, I want to say, is like to 30 or 40.
Wow. Super muscular. And he did not get gastric bypass or any of that. And so the level of knowledge he has on diet, exercise, all this stuff. So anyways, so I of course I text both them like, oh my God, I listen to your podcast. It was fantastic. And then Ethan, I've been listening yours. It's incredible. What episodes would you recommend? Blah, blah, blah. And then he said, can you talk for five minutes about podcasting?
So then we talked on the phone on my ride home yesterday and he's like, is this annoying? And I'm like, I could talk about podcasting for 20 hours straight. Yeah, I'm so interested in it. Yeah.
All the mechanics of it and the advertisers and the platforms and all that stuff. Yeah.
What's new? I remember we had one thing happening, advertising based, and I asked our agent, I was like, well, what if this happens? Like, can you give us an example of what if this happens? And he said, no, I can't like this is the first time, this is the first time that this is happening. And I was like, oh, my God, so weird to be on the forefront of something or the beginning of something that's that's especially a media form.
I feel like I've just been joining things that are one hundred and twenty years old. Yeah. Yeah. I love that it's brand new and I also love that there's no, like, Mount Rushmore.
There's no actually very freeing. Yeah.
There's no big studio megalith. There's no. Yeah we love it.
Yeah. Thanks for letting us do this. Even simply American glutton. Check it out. Listen to the first one where he explains his story of his journey on weight loss and then go to Episode five. I think it's Tom here. OK, I think we should have this guy on to he was talking about how to accomplish goals. He trains people for combat. Oh.
But he has these techniques for goals I found so fascinating also.
Yeah. And also check out Sean Penn because we love him. Yes. And you love him too. Yes. And also check on our show, OK, don't go check out all these other shows, maquilas in our show. Love you.