Djamila, it's this going to be me and you and. Everyone will be listening. OK, ready? This is Don't Ask BTIG, I'm Tig Notaro, we are not. Nobody, so everybody goes. If you are here today is Jameela Jamil, you've seen her on the good place and she has her own podcast I Way. Hi, Djamila. Hello, how are you? I'm good, thank you so much for coming today. No, I'm a I'm a massive fan and big friend, so I the pleasure and honor is all mine.
Oh, well, the feeling is mutual. And I think that there's going to be a lot of people thrilled that you're making an appearance on here.
You you very famously got your role on the good plays with almost no acting experience.
Would you say that takes a lot of confidence? What does that take?
I think it takes shamelessness. I think it takes my fundamental belief system of thinking that failure is cool. And I have had this belief system for like 15 years where I just think the only true failure that really exists is not trying at all. I think when you take a risk on something where success isn't guaranteed, I honestly look at it as a heroic act.
I like your style. And do you have any do you have any advice for people that might be wanting to take a big leap to do that, sort of maybe their own version of what you've done?
Yeah, I think it's really important to just look at life as one giant bucket. You know, really, we get one shot at this, not to quote Eminem for too much of this whole cast, but I think that it's really important to remember that that fear should never navigate any of your decisions in life. It's really important that you don't let it do so. And it's really important that you don't allow the fear and projections of other people to to navigate your decisions, because a lot of people are just fear mongering us because either they're afraid for us or they have put too much importance upon the shame of failure or they don't want to see you succeed at a risk you're taking, because then that will make them feel like shit about all the risks they didn't take in life.
If you go out there and we're like so many people told me not to move to America, so I mean, I'd say ninety nine percent of the people when I was 20, I was at the top of my career and in Britain and I was just going to leave the whole thing behind and just start afresh in a much bigger country where no one knew who I was, where I was pushing 30, I was not a size zero. And I am South Asian.
And there are, what, five South Asians in mainstream media at the moment in the United States. Exactly. So, you know, and so it's so I was told by everyone that I'll disappear without a trace. And I was like, OK, at least I won't be haunted by truly two of my most hated words when put together in the English language, which is what if don't be haunted, those words, the sting never dies off of regret.
Yeah, and I only know I only regret the things in life that I don't do.
Yes. And I try very much to live my life similarly.
And I, I've always said when people ask if I have regrets or because I do fully believe that every every step has led me exactly here and I'm more than happy to be exactly where I am in life. I did realize recently that I do have one regret and it's I wish I had never smoked a cigarette in my life, but I bet I bet you looked so cool while you smoke.
I have to say, I did look really good.
You know, it is it is it is crazy that that is exactly the only reason people start smoking, because it takes the only thing.
I got bullied at school for refusing to for refusing to smoke. People believed me at school. So that's how intense, I'm sure, the 90s about smoking. It was just like, well, you're never going to wake up. Oh, my gosh.
I was even more so in the eighties anyway. I really. Yeah. Now, this episode is going to be our first episode in the New Year.
And are you somebody that that does resolutions or anything like that or do you.
Yeah, but my resolution is always the same to continue to get better at the word no. You know, just to use the word no more times this year than I used it last year. I don't believe in New New Year. New you. I believe in New Year. Happy. Are you more honest.
You real you you know, and it sounds like you you you do a lot of no's and yeses based on what you were just talking about before. You you have to say yes to a lot of things. And you're also saying you got to say no to a lot of things, but also you have to say a lot more no's.
I believe in life to have the opportunity to say yes to the right things. You know, I have to turn down. The fear mongering of my team, where it's like if you miss this opportunity and I'm like, I just don't think it's going to be very fun or interesting for me or I say no to toxic people because they drown my mind in toxicity and in all of that bullshit. And then I don't have the clarity of mind to make good, intuitive decisions.
Right. And I wasn't always like this. I think I became like this at 19 and I've just never looked back.
What what changed at 19? Because it seems like you have such crazy clarity.
I was hit by a car into another car and broke my back. And I just think everyone should be hit by a car into another car as a teen. Listen, OK, as a teenager, I'll tell you something. One time I was sitting at a red light and there was this woman that was 9000 years old in a car next to me. And I happened to be looking at her when I saw her get rear ended and I saw her poor little old head slam into the into the steering wheel.
And I thought. She was she was probably days or weeks away from getting out of this lifetime. What on earth did she need that for?
No, that's that's totally inappropriate. Yeah, no, I think when you can bounce back and obviously I'm being very flippant and tongue in cheek here, I'm not being literal to anyone who who is on Twitter who's listening to this right now. I just but what it did is it woke me up. I was 17 when I got hit, but then I was stoned on morphine for like a year and a half. And it wasn't until I was kind of almost 19 starting to reemerge.
And I just I had this kind of existential awakening about how I was going to how I was going to live my life and that I was suddenly so horrifyingly aware and in a way that you never get to be that young or so rarely get to be that young of how easily life can just be taken away from you, how how fast everything can be taken away from you. Suddenly it slips away. And this year, I think was a huge example of that for everyone of Christ.
The whole world stopped turning and everyone lost all of the things that we had become so complacent about just having access to. And so I felt very I felt way less shellshocked by twenty twenty than I think a lot of my peers, because it's kind of happened to me just in my own personal space before. Yeah. So and so.
I think after that I left with what I hope other people leave last year with, which is a we just don't know how much time we have left.
Ron, that what you want runit happiness like get off the fucking treadmill and the rat race of life and actually do what you're going to look back on with joy, because I think a lot of people looked back on their lives last year with regret of what was quote unquote, normal. Was that good for me? Was I happy that I spend enough time with my friends and family who I now desperately miss? What did I do it all for? I think that there's a lot of existential crisis that came up twenty twenty.
And I hope that people channel it into a positive direction this year. We're in a new year. This is a fresh start. And let's let's let's throw everything at our mental health. Every money, every bit of money you going to spend on cellulite removal cream, which doesn't work and the aging cream doesn't work.
And so offensive, I beg to differ. I use all of those creams and they have really made a difference in cellulite and my anti aging. So what you're looking at right now, it's all thanks to those creams, all of my beauty creams. If you want to know about my beauty regimen, I am here to discuss it. Gripe well, aside from that's where we differ.
I say Williams, I say throw all of your money at beauty creams.
OK, OK. Well, controversially, I disagree. And I think you should spend all that money if you have it on therapy. Honestly, therapy and good times.
I have spent a lot of money on therapy since I was about 17 years old and I just had to finally make that switch to beauty creams and it worked. Look at how I mean, you look at me, I will be fifty in March and I do not look. Anything but fairly pubescent family. Now, Djamila, the good place, taught a lot of people about ethics. Yeah, and do you feel like you learned more about how to be a good person on that show?
Or did you just have you just been nailing it since you were 19? No, never.
Never. I'll never nail it. I'll never nail being a good person because I'll always be untangling my own like trauma, internalized bullshit, internalized misogyny, internalized bitterness like perfection is death. You know, there's nothing further to learn once you get that. And so, no, of course I will. I will I, I don't think I ever have been or ever will be. I always refer to myself as a feminist in progress because I believe that we are always in progress and the world is always updating.
And if we're not going to be open to that, then what's the point of life?
I you know, I have always felt very thankful for the my mother would tell me if anyone has a problem with me or with what I want to do, tell them to go to hell. And I have carried that belief with me. Yeah. Belief system and vibe. And people are always like, why are you how come what you know, looking at me with confusion, with moments in life that should have maybe gotten a different reaction from me.
And I'm always like, look, I was raised by somebody that told me to tell everyone to go to hell. And so, yeah, it's it's something that I'm forever grateful for 100 percent.
And for me, it it's not it's not possible. So why try to please or be approved of or be believed or understood by anyone when at the end of the day, even if you live your life so perfectly and I know so many women who do, people will still find fault with you. If anything, look at like Taylor Swift or even you know, I mean, co-stars I've had when they live this perfect existence, people say that they find them annoying because they're too good the to like too much of a good girl, a goody two shoes, too much of a perfectionist.
It's grating, you know, so you can't win as a woman. So I can try. I'm just not playing the game anymore.
Look, I like that you think Taylor Swift is perfect because we are once again aligned. Yeah, no. All right.
Well, we have a lot of people that are waiting to learn a lot from you, and they have some we have some questions to get into from our listeners.
And are you ready? Oh, so ready. All right. The first question comes from Grace. Grace asks, I have a nemesis. We work in the same field. She overcharges and underpays and she threatens and spies on her employees. Most of the time. I never think about her and just on my own life. But sometimes I fantasize about bringing her down. Should I be the bigger person and just move on or should I destroy her, destroy, destroy her?
I don't believe in being the bigger person. I believe in being the smaller person. I honestly think that my health suffered tremendously from my obsession with trying to rise above. I realize that rising above is just an abusive tactic taught to us by people who want to be able to make us eat shit and then feel somehow good about ourselves and smug for just swallowing it. And so I fundamentally disagree. Report her to take her down. I'm a perton, which means that I come from a part of the world like the mountains where are like the one of the most fundamental definitive traits of my tribe is that we live for revenge.
And so get out of your system, don't swallow it. It'll turn into some sort of terrible autoimmune disease otherwise. OK, and I'm I am on your side.
Call HRR, deal with this.
What if you what what about our industry where there isn't? And what if somebody is working in a world where there is no H.R. and how do you.
I think there are eight of us now in our industry. I just got a very, very powerful man fired from a huge network for legal reasons I can't talk about.
But I found him to be very, very toxic and abusive and disturbing and reported him. So I and I I'm sure I've now risked my relationship with that company going forward. Mm. And and and it was not an easy process, but I, I, I refuse to just tolerate bad behavior because it reminds me of school, it reminds me of all the shit that I ate at school from other people. I thought I was supposed to, but but what are you asking is in between?
I'm just thinking, oh yeah, all of that.
I mean, I've certainly spoken up about people and and risked my safety, whatever that is in my career, to speak out about people or on topics. But I'm just there are people out there that are very powerful, that are very much in control of a lot. And then you you have people that are scared to speak up or protect themselves totally.
And look and I had the upper hand not only because now I am fairly powerful and I'm not that powerful, but still, I also don't care if I lose my job, I, I feel as though I'm ready for any kind of twist and turn in life. And I don't ever put the importance of my happiness in any single thing outside of myself, be that career, be that a love, be that anything thinness. Where do you come from?
Nobody speaks like this.
I come from so much trauma. Take like such a terrible first twenty six years that have just kind of morphed me into the Terminator where I just keep coming back. Now I personally just I am my own fucking H.R. as far as I'm concerned.
I just love hearing that. I think it's, you know, I, I feel very similarly and like I said, I've acted very similarly. And I think that it's good to for me and others to hear that, because it's just it's tricky when somebody has an upper hand and you feel powerless, powerless and mistreated beyond comprehension. And I remember when I did my TV show exposing the producer on the TV show for sexual assault and harassment, people were telling me I would never work again.
And I remember saying, then that is how it goes. But I know that what I'm doing is true. And so that is where my power comes from, is that I have gotten truth from victims and that is where I stand and feel powerful moving forward with this. And if my career goes away that easily, then I was never firmly planted here in the first place.
That's amazing. That's an amazing sentence. It feels as though more often than not you do what the fuck you want. And I think that that's really important for people to see. And I and I, I despair of all of that. And it is predominantly women, but also a lot of men who make us feel weird for doing so because what we're doing isn't actually weird. It might feel that other stuff is the weird stuff, that this stuff is weird.
It's insincere. It's dishonest. It is there is a dishonesty in tolerating bad behavior because, you know, it's bad, you know, it hurts. And then you are smiling and kind of grinning and bearing it. That's a dishonest, unintegrated thing to do. And please understand that that comes from no place. I'm not judging your dishonesty. I understand that you may be in a situation where you can't get out or you rely on that job or you have to feed dependents.
I get that. I'm just saying that let's not treat the people who are looking for liberation at all costs as as the old ones out. Let's look to them as kind of as reassurance that maybe it'll be OK if I also say no to this oppressive situation. You know, I mean, I do, and I just love you more and more, so I was going to say I hope that helps, but I feel like that will for sure help anybody and everybody listening.
We are going to come back after the break with more questions. Jamila, this next question is what I call a boy, it's the messy ones, you know. Yeah.
Boy, oh, boy.
All right. Trish writes, My boyfriend's a bad kisser. Everything else in the relationship is golden. Do I even bring this up? It's truly not a big deal for me, but I can't help but wonder if there's a solution.
First of all, can you imagine, after everything you've said, that you just your answer to this is just just just suck it up so that you have the love of a man in this world? Yeah, no time. I tell people before that I don't like the way that they kiss. And I think it's really I bet that turns them on. Well, no, it's honestly like it's a choice, isn't it. Right. It's like you might not find me a good kisser, like we might just have different kissing techniques.
And so I've said before to someone on a first date during the case, I was like, oh, I'm sorry, but I didn't enjoy that case. And I would like to enjoy the kisses more because I really enjoy you and this is how I enjoy kissing. If you don't enjoy kissing the same, then we probably shouldn't do this. I'm not going to tell you that you have to kiss like this in your life, but if you want to kiss me, then that's what I'm going to need.
I'm feel free to tell me what you need and well, it was awkward as OK.
But then he rose to the challenge and I was very, very impressed and he became a very good kisser almost instantly. So I say, have the conversation, be kind, be respectful of someone's pride. Yeah.
And just make sure that they know that, you know, it's their choice. Would you if you would like to keep kissing me, you need to meet these requirements.
And I don't know that I fully believe that Trish thinks it's not a big deal. And so I'm a firm believer in the tip of the iceberg theory. And so if it's even just that, it if it even surfaces. Yeah, there's a whole triangle behind that tip, you know. And so I think that for you to write in having an issue with this, Trish, I think you do have a problem with it.
And so I do echo what Jameela saying in that you should say something, but definitely be be gentle about it because it's tricky.
So maybe open up a conversation about maybe what I thought you might. Yeah. Like what you could maybe do differently or better. Yeah, I and a lot of these questions with let us know how you're doing it.
Give us an update and and of course I mean it but I really mean it. Trish. Yeah.
Let us know how this conversation went because I always refer to these sort of things as a litmus test. You know, just I think it's really important. The good old fitness test. How's it going to go? All right.
Well, keep us updated. And Djamila, do you consider yourself a good roommate?
Yes, excellent. If I do say so myself. Yeah, I know that. Why are we moving in, are you inviting me to movies? I like going to see if you would like to live with me. Stephanie are four and a half year old twins, my father in law who lives with us and a cat and two new kittens.
Yes, please. Thank you. Well, Stephanie will be thrilled because she is a huge fan of yours.
Oh, that's very cute. Very kind.
What makes you a good roommate?
I it pertains to our next question. OK, I've had very, very, very bad roommates before and I remember how oppressive and horrific that felt. There was something very specific about living, about having someone in your personal living space who doesn't meet your needs or make you feel safe or who just isn't considerate. And I think that traumatized me so early on. My first ever roommate used to get like, hi and move all of my furniture onto the roof of our house and to use to piss piss out of our window.
That was on a pedestrian street on the second floor of the pedestrian street. So I lived with this maniac who would smoke crack until 7:00 a.m. with all of his friends. And I had a job that was a live television early. And so I think I became obsessed with never being spoken about like that roommate. And so I'm very considerate. I'm very careful of other people's feelings. I love giving space and I like cooking for people and buying food.
I think you should move in.
I must talk to Stephanie about this. I'm very excited. Well, yeah, I'm asking because Katie asks.
I live with a 40 something dude, and he laughs like a hyena and sneezes so loud, I feel bad telling him to shut it down because the laugh is obviously joyful and I don't know if he can control his sneeze volume. I'm considering moving out. Please advise. Well, first of all, Katy, you have written in to somebody who sneezes louder than probably your roommate. And I have to explain to people, if I tried to suppress it, my brains would come out of my ears and I don't even know what I would do.
It's not possible.
I cannot suppress my sneeze.
I see your bad sneeze and I read you the fact that I get no warning before my sneeze zero. I don't know what I don't know what's wrong with my nervous system. So I sneeze massively and out of out of nowhere so suddenly that I then scare myself. So I sneeze and then I scream, which is the worst I've like about the level of bad sneeze.
It's also how much do you scare yourself. Yeah.
No, I thought to myself and then scream so that Katie would have no patience for you. And I feel like, I feel like you're probably not crazy about this guy on other levels because you start out by saying, I live with a 40 something dude. I've lived I used to live with four guys in a house when we were all just talking stand ups and that was our crash pad and in Venice. And I wouldn't call any of them 40 something or 30 something dudes, I, I was close to them and I had relationships with each of them.
They irritated me as I irritated them in all of our different ways. But it sounds like, yeah, you don't really like this guy.
Maybe they know there were no redeeming qualities at all. And in the letter, no.
Yeah. And and I think I can I mean. Yeah, if you don't like someone, then they're joyful, annoying laugh, it's not going to be OK and they're sneaky. I mean, there's just there's no way around it, whereas if you cared about somebody, you might tease them about their laugh or you might there might just be more of a dialogue around the sneezing or the laughing.
Also, like your home is your haven. And so it sounds like you need to get out as soon as possible. I know we've been in lockdown for over a year, but almost a year. But I would say that it is it is imperative for your mental stability that your home, your your house and your home is a place of peace, tranquility and safety. You know what I mean? I know exactly what you mean. No one needs to be annoyed in their own house.
I'm annoyed enough being out in the world. I need to come home and finally get a rest from being so annoyed all the time.
And as much as I loved my four roommate guys in that house, I remember going to do laundry. And I reached up to take the the bottle of bleach off of the the washer and dryer. And somebody hadn't put the cap on top of the blue note and it went all over me and ruined a shirt and jeans that I loved.
And I kid you not. I put the cap on the bleach and I walked right into my bedroom and I started looking for apartments to live by myself, and that was the end of that for me.
I, I was Googling two minutes later because I just thought, I cannot complain about this. I cannot bring this to anyone's attention. It is time to move out one hundred percent.
So are you a clean person or a messy person? I'm a clean person. I am horrendously messy, but I keep all of my mess only to my own space. Sort of like a raccoon, you know, just so interesting. Very secretive.
Why? Well, I have to say, it's not the secrets kind of out because I can see behind you and it looks a little disorganized on the shelves. Well, this is my boyfriend's studio, to be fair. Oh, person. And we'll keep our mouth only to our bedroom. So the rest of our house is fairly neat, but our bedroom is just I mean, we would win some sort of student award for the floor drop. We're just but if there's something very comforting about finding someone who not only judges you, but thrive similarly to you in our own like disorganized child, like chaos.
And, yeah, I live in a clear enough life in my head. I need some chaos and it's in my bedroom.
Well, that's the thing is you have such razor sharp precision with everything you're thinking and saying.
And then it's just hilarious to think that you have a stake in chess.
Yes. So, Katie. Yeah. Get out. Move out of there.
Go start your Google search for your own apartment or find right now. Right. This idea right now. Right now. All right, Djamila. Here's our last listener question, OK? It comes from charity. Over the last few years, I have had major health problems, I'm 39 and sometimes now need a cane. I have a gigantic scar running vertically down my torso. I'm single and terrified to attempt to date. I am proud of what I've overcome.
But do you have any advice about getting over my intense fear of being rejected because of my health or my scars? Well, charity, if you're at all familiar with me, you might know that I've had some health issues and I have my share of scars and I I completely feel you on this because I remember. Even before I had scars, when I started to learn that I had different illnesses, I was so scared to share that information because I was scared I would lose work.
I was scared, frankly. I was scared I was going to die and then living through everything. I then had fear that I was going to be unattractive with scars, I didn't know I would think, how am I going to share this when somebody sees my body and, you know, oddly. The people that I was attracting found scars, cool and sexy, including Stephani scars, just represent healing and and I would slowly start to get yourself out there if you're asking this question, than you're it sounds like you're ready to check it out.
And I just can't imagine somebody is going to go in from you. No, and if they do, they're the wrong person, you know, I've had health problems since I was born. I have a condition called Alice Downlow Syndrome. I've also struggled in my life with tumors and cancer. I have scars across my breasts that my my current boyfriend told me he loves because they mean I'm still alive. And I have this condition I have is a lack of collagen in my body, which means that it impacts every single cell in my entire body.
Old and new. And it means that my heart doesn't work properly. My kidneys, my my skin get scarred so easily I'm constantly in pain. I swelled to twice my size all the time. I, I, I'm not an easy person to I'm not a completely easy person to be able to, to care for. And in a partner I need someone who's willing to care for me and I only I consider it my my right to only date someone who's willing to take that on with love and in other ways I will be able to emotionally support them or maybe care for them.
Another thing I want to say is that I think it's imperative that people do not enter into any situation with shame. When you are going through something that is harder than most other people, your fucking hero go and get the love that you deserve from someone who is worthy of it. And and someone who will not look after you or who finds that unattractive is weak, shallow and boring.
Jarmila Djamila take. I do. I can't get over you. I can't get over you. You won't let me live with you because I told you a messy so I think I'm going to put I'm going to extend my house.
You know, we've been talking about putting a guest house over the garage perfects and I'll just shove you in there with just a bunch of dirty laundry and, you know, old spoons or whatever. I don't know what you enjoy having around.
You can love an old for folks buried everywhere. It's like it's like an Easter egg hunt. It's insane. I just I just want to say I'm sure that meant so much to charity to hear.
But I have to tell you, it meant so much for me to hear that from you, because I you know, I we forget we forget the shame chips away us because not enough of us talk about our health struggles because of the stigma and taboo about it and the fact that we we never see disability as something sexual or sexy or desirable. You know, look at fucking this, the crisis that is Hollywood. It is erasure. It is a lie that most of us are not walking around with some sort of chronic psoriasis or eczema or stomach problems or this, that and the other or maybe even a mental health problem.
You know, we're all suffering and we're not talking about it. And then it makes us feel alone in our struggle and then it makes us less likely to put ourselves out that put yourself out there. You never know who you're going to find. I never thought that a twenty six year old frontman, like Grammy winning musician was ever going to want to take someone on like me who had so many so many extra caveats. So things patients that I would require.
I never thought that he who could have all these like completely able bodied Victoria's Secret models would want someone like me. But but over time, I like very quickly I was determined to find my confidence that, no, I can deserve this. And and my the person I have built myself into. But is reward enough for, you know, some of the patients that is required in order to to live with me.
Now, have I mentioned how much I love you? Oh, no, you haven't. But I think we should talk about it at length. Well, I know you have to leave. You have to get on a flight. But I know I could I could say this. No, no, I could take this on the flight.
Well, I just I'm so genuinely floored by you and I'm so thankful for your brain and your mouth and your actions. And I just can't thank you enough for coming on here and and sharing with me and everyone.
And I really have had such a unique experience today. I'm just absorbing everything you're saying and and feeling just inspired and powerful from from you.
And so thank you. Thank you very much. And I'll go tell Stephanie to I was going to say clean up the garage, but I guess just leave it as well.
Yeah. All right.
Well, thank you again. And do you have anything you'd like to plug before we leave on my podcast?
It's called IWA, which to me the demo. And, you know, if you can tolerate my bad language, probably don't listen to it with very small kids in the car, although they're secretly saying these things behind your back. Anyway, I hope that you join me on my ever, like, ever extending learning journey and we can all learn together. So that's it. Other than that, thanks. Wonderful. Thank you. Bye, everyone.
Bye. That's what Joe. Don't ask, BTIG is hosted by me, Tig Notaro, it's produced by Thomas Willette, Mary Nof and Tracey Mumford. Our editor is Phyllis Fletcher, executive producer Lauren D. Engineering and Sound mixing by Eric Rachmani, digital production by Christina Lopez. Talent Booking by Marianne Wei's Production Assistants by Nancy Shiu. Our theme music is Friend in Tig by Edie Brickell and Kyle, Crush Them and Listen To Your Heart by any Burkel special. Thanks to Hunter sideman Lily Kim and Alex Shefford.
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