Hello. You want to talk about Malibu bicycle cops? Yes, I'm telling you, we're missing. Who is wouldn't want to watch you and I as Malibu bicycle cops.
I could get you a list if you doesn't want to watch that, but. Today, we have the great David to Carboni, did I just say to Carboni? We have the great David Kabbani. I didn't I said to Coveny, David Duchovny, double D, that's why he has the great nickname Double D because his name is too fucking hard to say.
One of my favorite people known him a long, long time.
He is for sure the most well read, highly educated actor I've ever known. And people can talk about his amazing accomplishments, whether it's the legendary X Files or the hilariously groundbreaking Californication or Aquarius or his best selling books or his new band that tours and sells records. But to me, he'll always be the guy that did the soft porn of the Red Shoe Diaries.
Ladies and gentlemen, David Duchovny. How are you? I'm good, man, I'm really good. You look great as always. You always look so you're my hero. You're, what, one year ahead of me? Maybe you're only one year old, maybe 60 in August.
Holy fuck. Is that more than one year out? Yeah, yeah.
I mean, not not by much. It's appreciable but no, I'm fifty seven but like there's something about 60. I don't want to, I feel like I want to cut this part out of the show actually.
Kidding because it's, I don't like to like remind people that you and I are like 60 year old man. I know. But I'm also kind of I'm kind of proud of it because listen it is I know about you. Are you happy to be holding the flag for the six year old demo because that's covered?
Well, they have money, you know that.
I don't know. It's it's so odd to think of myself that way because, you know, I just always I always felt like that's fucking old. Right. So, yes. I just don't feel I mean, I certainly feel older than I have physically, you know, but I don't feel I don't feel beat to shit or anything like that. And mentally and creatively, I just feel like, you know, now is when I'm at my most energetic.
So it's just weird. I think people have I think everybody has their own pace in life, you know? And I feel like I feel like I hit my pace a little later and I feel like I'm still in it. So I don't, you know, sixties, it's a big number. And it's it's embarrassing in a way. I don't know why we're meant to be embarrassed about our age in this country, but or in this business. But I think we are.
Oh, I got a couple of reasons why you really want to.
I mean, there's all you got to do is turn on the radio.
Yeah. Radio that shows you I'm old. I said the word radio just now.
Yeah. Is that's how people communicate with radios. Yeah.
Turn on the radio, watch TV and go to a movie and see if they're interested at all. And what the fuck you think. No, I, well I know that I see very quickly that they aren't. I know that. But I think the trick is you have to remain interested in what you think you know, and not adjust what you think or how you think. I mean, obviously, you want to remain open. You want to remain open to ideas.
You want to remain open to what is happening. But, you know, if you start trying to think somebody else's thoughts, I think you're fucked immediately.
Well, listen, you're a huge music fan and an accomplished musician now. And I want to talk about that because I remember when you were learning how to play the guitar. Yeah. On Californication. Yeah. So I want to get into that.
But like, how do you reconcile all the great songs and I know what you loved in music again were of the same age and then and how do you not turn into like the angry man, the old man yelling at the clouds. I mean when you listen to a lot of what's going on in music now.
Well, I think I think I just remember back to, you know, what my parents would say about kind of everybody loved the Beatles, but what they say about the Stones or Zeppelin, you know, and, you know, they didn't get it.
And I don't get the music. I don't get the music that sells. Now, I know that I'm kind of aged out of it just because emotionally. You know, music is so important emotionally when you're a teenager. I mean, it's like the soundtrack of your life and it remains that way. I'm sure you you hear give me a song and you have that feeling. What's the song? Oh, afternoon delight. Let's go. Well, let's not let's not actually go too deeply into that.
But but but they're having they're having their memories. They're having their first experiences. They're having their, you know, the intensity of their young lives. And the soundtrack is happening. And and there is no there's no way to really ever appreciate the depth of their love, of our attachment to the music when we're young and has nothing to do with whether it's good or bad. It's just the fact that it was on the radio or whatever when we were kids.
Anything could anything could be playing on the radio. Absolute dreck. But if it's playing on the radio, that song is etched in stone in the Parthenon.
I would think so. I mean, but think think about like the look again, because we're the same age we can have this frank conversation.
Queen sucks when I was a teenager. People made fun of Queen, you know, but now I can listen to Queen Song and I'm transported back and not because of the movie, but I'm transported back to that time and have a kind of a fondness for it. So I'm a journey.
So, yes, remember, they were they were a joke. And now we just start to weep when I see them. So that's that's like a transformation that happens musically over time. If if they if the music becomes kind of encoded in our our DNA in that way when we're young. So I can't speak to, you know, people's attachment to the music that they hear now because, you know, I'm all for it. It's just a I've already in my MySpace has been take it up.
You know, my my musical memory space has been taken up. It's not that I can't appreciate it. It's just never going to mean what afternoon no lights means to you.
Yeah. I mean, you know, the minute you hear the Starland vocal, you just go. But and then they did they didn't ruin it by putting it in anchorman for you. Was that sacrilegious that you did you dislike that what started as a first cry and how dare you. How dare you. I got horny for Robin in the fourth grade at around the old campsite or whatever the hell is going on. What was happening.
Yeah, that's your memory. That's all yours.
Rob, thank you. What is there a live album to be had from you soon I hear.
Oh no, no, no. I have a new album. We were we were just about finishing up when when covid the quarantine hit. So we're about, you know, ten, fifteen percent away from from getting that done. And, you know, whenever we're allowed back into the studio for four or five people in the same room, we'll be able to finish it up. How much are you writing of of songs?
Generally, I will come up with like a chord progression and a melody and the lyrics and then I'll give it to the band and they'll make it something else. Recently, though, I always just stop, stop, stop right there.
Did you ever think in your career that phrase you just said would come out of your mouth?
Generally, I come up with a chord progression and then I just I just give it to the band. And then. You ever think you'd be saying that straight face?
Oh, no, no. I mean, I was never a musician and certainly I've never been a singer. I mean, singing is difficult for me. It's been something that I've had to really learn and work on so that I don't embarrass myself. So it's really the whole idea of me coming up with a melody is outrageous, aside from the fact that I have people that will work on it with me. But in the last album, the band has begun to to write, you know, bring more of their original stuff to me that maybe a tune that I'll put lyrics on.
So it's been more of a collaborative thing.
Is my memory correct that on Californication you were early on in this process or had you been kind of dabbling with it before?
Were was there was I was super early on because I just decided that I was going to learn how to play guitar and and you'll appreciate this. And true, cheap, manipulative actor fashion. I went to Tom Kapinos and I said, wouldn't it be great if Hank just started taking guitar lessons? Because then I knew that I could get free guitar lessons. So that's amazing.
That's so good. Yeah. So when you started because I dabbled in guitar and I really do mean dabbled, I can play six chords, which is all you need to have fun obviously. But that's right. And I go through it and I stop and I get into it and I stop.
How did it happen. What level were you at when you said, I really want to learn how to play this? We just we were able to fuck around a little bit previously, right. Or no, no, no, no.
I really started from scratch there. But but it was because I never I never really thought that I would. You know, make music in any in any real way. I mean, I really just wanted to know the six chords that, you know, and to be able to sit in my room and strum along with songs that I liked, like, you know, the Starland Vocal Band. So that's all. That's all I ever that was my motivation.
You know, you have so much time in your trailer as an actor, I thought, well, at least I'll be strumming guitar, whatever. And at some point after I, I learned enough chords, I started to see, you know, repetitions and kind of simplicities and rock and roll music, which is what I really liked. And then I thought, well, fuck it. You know, I can I'll I'll try and make some tunes.
And I started hearing melodies, which I didn't think I would do because I couldn't necessarily sing them, but I could hear them. And then, you know, I just start writing from there.
You are famously I mean, talk about you like you're not there, like you're out there, like, I don't know out here.
But, you know, actors are not educated. Well.
Let me jump in here. Let me jump in. I think I would modify that and say. That intelligence is not necessarily something that actors are asked to exercise that often, it's not something that you're going to get applauded for as an actor, that's for sure. So, you know, I've always said to people. I mean, who who want to pigeonhole a creative person, you know, why does an actor think that they can make music wise?
And I think they can write? You know, it's so funny to me that people will. We'll try and pigeonhole somebody creative expression, and I say this without ever comparing myself to the person, but I mean, obviously Shakespeare was an actor, right? I mean, there yeah.
There's no know that that was his main job. And so we don't have a better writer in our in our language, and we never will. And he was a fucking actor. So so take that ill.
And you are you know, I didn't I knew you went to Princeton and I knew you went to Yale, but you got your masters at Yale, correct?
A little more. I was in the program, so I didn't get a Ph.D., but I went further than a Masters. I have what's called a abeed, which is an all but dissertation. So I. I sat my orals, which was a freaky experience.
Y'know, my version of oral has something to do with the Starland vocal.
So how how close are you to finish to finish. Finish finishing that. Amazing. Like are you ever going to go back and be like a six year old sitting in the class to. Yeah.
And only, you know, so close. Only like a 400 page book of literary criticism, which which I would never be able to focus on and do at this point in my life. I had. I disagree.
I disagree with you. Knock that off, dude. Well, I had I had a topic which was actually kind of prophetic in a weird way. I never I never wrote anything. Maybe I wrote an introduction to my dissertation. But when you see your orals, which are you have like 12 categories of of English literature to be responsible, you have to be responsible for ten of them. So basically, you are responsible for everything ever written, except for two areas where you've decided to punt and say, fuck Chaucer or, you know, old English.
I'm going to just say, I don't know any old is. And then you sit in a room with people whose specialty is are thin. Right. But deep. So they know everything about one category that they're going to ask of ten.
So so basically you spend a year studying for this two hour exam, oral exam. My God.
And all you do is just try to read everything or read about everything that you've never read before so that you can go in and maybe hope to not be exposed as the fraud that you really are. And it's just not it's not a possible kind of an expectation to go in with. But you're told that, you know, if when you get asked the question, just keep talking. You know, just keep talking because you want you're basically trying to run the clock out because everybody there's ten there's ten subjects.
So everybody gets, you know, four or five minutes.
So if you can, like, just babble on and try and stay away from the next question, which might sink you, you know, answer the question you want to that you wished was asked and then keep answering it.
That seems like the most high pressure situation. I mean, I've lived through my son taking the bar and any pass, thank God. First time. But this sounds like the pressure of that. I can't even imagine it.
I remember walking it was in New Haven and it was the wintertime, I guess was right around Christmas time. And I remember walking in the snow from my apartment to the to the meeting room and the police department. And I felt like my head was a blimp. I felt like my head. I felt like in the Ghostbusters, I felt like to Stay Puft Marshmallow Man walking through the snow because my my head was just crammed full of everything that I could think of.
And part part of the the last question in the orals is what is your dissertation on? Because if you pass your orals, then you're allowed to go and write your dissertation. So I did have a subject and I never I never wrote the book.
What was your subject? It was called Magic and Technology and contemporary American fiction and prose and poetry. Good God. Yeah. Good God. Right. Too bad. Too bad. That was in a room. But it was actually a pretty interesting topic, which was I'll try to be concise for you. The idea was like. In in the past, magic was like a primitive technology, you know, it was like I could cast a spell on you and make you fly.
Well, now I have airplanes, whatever. And I was like, that's how amazing technological things of the present used to happen. And it was magic. And there used to be like there was white magic and black magic, good magic and black magic and bad magic. And there were like moral fields to magic. Like Dr. Faustus. There was a limit. There was there was a a rightness or wrongness to when magic can be used and how should it be used for what purposes.
And technology is like a modern magic. And yet we didn't have a moral valence put upon it. You know, technology was like, hey, if we can go to the moon, we should go to the moon. Hey, if we make an atom bomb, we're going to drop it. Hey, you know. Right. Technology's always used. So what's the. So these writers that I was addressing was to we're trying to kind of infuse the discussion of technology with a sense of magic, a sense of, hey, don't go there or don't, or there's a moral question about whether we use this thing or not.
It was an interesting idea.
That's way ahead of its time. Yeah.
And then, you know, like the X Files happens and I'm like, wow, this is this is, you know, kind of like I probably would have referenced this fucking show in my dissertation had I. I would.
One hundred percent. Hold that thought. We'll be right back. When you did X Files, did it make you because I think conspiracy theorists and all of that stuff, which, by the way, I I love me a good conspiracy theory.
You do. I do. It's so dangerous.
It's so dangerous. It's so dangerous.
Listen, I'm hearing this from if I should listen to anybody about conspiracy theories, it should be.
Oh, it's very sad that I find myself in this position.
Can you tell me why you think it's dangerous? Long pause shakes his head. I think I think mostly conspiracies, I mean, conspiracies are great drama. Yeah, but mostly conspiracies in real life. You know, they're they're looking for simple answers to complicated questions and a conspiracy conveniently finds a bad man or a couple of bad men who have decided to perpetrate some evil upon the world. And I don't think that's how it happens usually.
Yeah, I by the way, for in full disclaimer, my interest in conspiracy theories is because they're so fucking entertaining. That's true. And so entertaining. That's absolutely true. And seductive and seductive. But when you did when you did X Files, yeah, did you come into it with that world view or was it shaped by going down that rabbit hole? I just had this vision of you like Comic-Con. Yeah. And you're, you know, signing your sunglasses or the hell you're doing.
And every every conspiracy theorist in the world is asking you to go to Roswell to look for the alien bodies or whatever.
Right. You know that happen. Yeah. That magic moment that happened, you know, there was there was you know, if you heard about, like, the lizard people, if you heard about that thing, I don't know if that.
Oh, have I heard about them. I believe they're called reptilians. Right. Right. So there were a couple of years there where people were asking me about lizard people and I had no clue that it was a big thing. And I would just kind of scoff at them like, you know, I'd be signing somebody thing and they'd say, oh, so and so's reptilian or lizard like. Yeah. All right. Why is he calling that guy a lizard or a reptile?
I don't get it. And so this kind of thing would happen to me over and over where there'd be like a conspiracy dejour that I wasn't hip to. And people would think that I was because I played Mulder. And then I you know, I just just kind of go over my head.
Yeah. That that's a very funny notion, like. Queen Elizabeth Killian. Yeah, exactly. All of the royal family. Why do you think it live so long? It happened all the time.
And I go, what the fuck is wrong with people, you know, lizard y lizard? I didn't know. It didn't make any sense to me.
It happened to me once I was doing some kind of Reddit thing as well. And this is a different this is not like science fiction, but like I was doing a Reddit question answer and somebody asked me, you know, what do you think of Pepé Pepijn? Oh, yeah. And this was like twenty fifteen. I was like that. I see the little drawing of the frog. I go, he's cute.
Right or wrong answer, but wrong answer, I didn't know, right, so it's like it's this kind of thing.
Well, but you're making a really good argument right now, and I'm feeling very good about myself because the argument is you've got to kind of scour the dark recesses of everything.
So you have a little bit of knowledge about every like you have deep knowledge. I have my knowledge is a mile wide, mile mile wide, miles wide. But it's like literally razor thin. But I bet you're not going to fuck me up with Pepé or the Lizard people, you've got a good surface area or like the OK, you know, like you can't do the OK anymore. I can't do OK anymore. Right. Who knew? Oh, you knew.
Right. That's what you're saying. I did know. I did know.
But I can't tell you what Chaucer was writing about. Right. I'm not sure I can either, but. But I could fake it.
I think I had to read Chaucer at one point in my very brief educational career, and I just hated it.
It's I guess. Is it The Canterbury Tales? Yes, it is.
You got that. Get the book.
But that's your injury. That's. There you go.
It's like a fucking jazz Californication. Eddie Nero. Honestly, Eddie Nero was honest. I could have played and would have I would have I could play that character every second of every day because it gives you such latitude to go berserk.
Well, I'll tell you what.
And it's what what you what you brought to Eddie that is so quintessentially part of. Of of of what you bring is there was a real I don't know how to say it without sounding corny, but there was just a real love of life. And the guy there was a real Jew out of whatever, you know, there was just like he's saying these nonsensical things is a nonsensical person, but his love is real. Like his his passion is so crazily.
Not commensurate with what he's talking about. You just, you know what I mean? It's like he's an enthusiast, is what I'm saying. And you're able to do that as an actor.
You're really able to kind of display an enthusiasm, which is really kind of beautiful and winning in many ways comedically, more mostly in your comedic work.
I see you do it, but I really appreciate you. And that's what I think makes that character work for me, is his kind of aside from the fact he's completely unfiltered, what you're saying is so much fun, fun to. And for me, playing, you know, the unfiltered quality was a lot of fun, too, until I came across like of with more unfiltered, you know, and then it was like, now I'm playing the straight guy, which is kind of fun to to watch him doing that.
Also, you guys gave me a chance to my first man on Man Kiss. And if you'd made a list of of who I might kiss in my career, man on man, I'm not sure Evan Handler would even be on the list, but I'm glad he was because it was quite romantic.
I know. I know Evan is so great on that show and such a good actor and such and such an interesting cat.
We were on West Wing together.
So he I think he did two seasons of West Wing and I loved him on that, but didn't have any fantasies of kissing him, frankly, when I was working on West Wing.
But, you know, you never know where life's going to take you.
And he was a friend and all of a sudden he was, you know, out of the friend zone for you. And and you made a move on him and it was shot.
You guys shot it like the the kiss from a great guy, Cliff to kisses Elizabeth Taylor in a place in the sun.
Remind me, what, what, what, what why don't you kiss him? I don't remember that. Was I not there that you were sitting right there, I was sitting there, it didn't make an impression on you, but it was in that same set. I think it was the time when I kissed him and then told him that I that I thought we should go kill someone.
Oh, just so horrible. So funny.
You just don't get a chance. I mean, when you get to play a character. That you can get it, you can justify anything right is so freeing and it makes it's just it just makes being you know, I guess there are certain actors always get to wear prosthetics and long noses and crazy makeups, and that's why they love it so much, because they're not they're not bound by playing anything actually real through and through.
That's right. Which is its own level of something. We all know those actors and they're out there and they're great. Right.
But they're basically the way I look at it, they have a fucking free shot on goal every day they show up on the set because not bound by anything that we would recognize is actual humanity.
That's right. That's absolutely right. It's like it's just like motherfucking jazz they're playing.
You know, you want to go how I my other my other big recollection of Californication was how disconcerting it was. To come into a set at 5:00 in the morning and it be like full of fake martinis and girls with nothing on running around and like I'm who doesn't?
Who among us doesn't love that? But like at five o'clock on a Monday morning, I mean, I think I'd been coming off of a show or my Monday mornings for me and Calista Flockhart in a bed reading kindergarten rhymes to our kids. And then I moved over to Californication and it was like I remember talking to the person who wanted to know what kind of dildo I wanted in the scene.
And I was like, this is definitely a different world.
That's the world that I remember. Nobody ever asked me what kind of dildo I wanted. And the same I think. Would you. Sure. You were on our set.
I remember where I was. I remember I remember we were doing a big and that beautiful house. And in that weird house in the Hollywood Hills was a big dinner party scene. And all the cast was there might have been the season finale.
I was in a fight broke out. Right. And I had the idea and Edie in the script was supposed to be really everybody else is appalled, trying to break it up.
She's excited about it and thinks it's interesting. My kind of crazy in my mind, kind of crazy.
And my idea was he would get it from the table, really excited about it and also have an erection.
So you requested a dildo camera?
Well, I had actually already gone to the bathroom and rolled up a towel.
It was a really pants DIY idea, although, yeah, I built it myself and and handy at this point.
At this point, I understood the life of the show. So I did. I knew that no, everybody would love it. So I didn't even ask. I just did it. And then what was really cool is the prop person noticed it clearly and just after take just came up and said, oh, you know, we have dildos, if you'd like one.
And I was like, yeah, hell yeah, I would.
What is your problem? And all of a sudden have an English accent. It's only because he's offering a dildo, you know, that you could call it.
Darling, there are many dildos. You don't have to sell it with a rolled up towel.
But the best part was that when they brought it out, it was in a you know, this was it was in a case like a whole lot like like the very ceremonial leg, like a sword, like a sword.
And that was that was that was the greatest Eddie Nero moment. That was a fun that was a fun show.
Were you were you done when it was over? Did you feel like you'd, like, done everything you could do as Hank Moody?
Yeah. I mean, any television show that goes that long, I mean, I think you can be done at any time after three, four iterations.
One of the great things about doing television is you get to do that many years and you can really dig into a character that you can never do and in one movie. But, you know, after after that long. Yeah, I don't know. I mean, it was always fun to do because I thought Tom's writing was always really fun to try to deliver. But, you know, like artistically or creatively, at some point you're like, oh, well, you know, this is this is nice and the paycheck's good and all that.
But I think I've done that character.
Yeah, I do. People always talk about the the difference between movie acting and in TV acting, and you've done both. And you just alluded to what I think the difference is, is like in a movie you're playing somebody but on TV or living somebody. I mean, you know, whatever's going on in your life, you're on that set so often. You're with you're playing that character more than you're yourself, really. So you're living it.
You're legitimately, just chronologically just, you know, time in the saddle, living it, which is very, very different than sort of putting on the mask and taking it off for eight weeks or even on a long movie, which is, you know, maybe 16 weeks.
It's I kind of I kind of I like them. But when's the last time you've been on stage as an actor?
Oh, I've only been on stage once here in New York. About nine years ago. I did a Niala Boodhoo play. Which one? It's called a break of noon.
It was it was an original play, wasn't it? You're kidding. Yeah.
And I love Neil. I love Neil Libbey. It was it was awesome.
It was so interesting, you know, as you know, to, like, try to do his dialog. It's so. Yeah. Kind of circular. And there's so many interruptions from the other characters and so many restarts and overtalking. And it's it's really daunting at first when you see it on the page like that. But then if you can get into a good rhythm with it, it's an amazing kind of approximation of the way people really talk in life.
You know, then that's the it's like Aaron Sorkin, the joy in it is in the execution.
It's like running a really complicated. Playing the triangle offense in basketball, right? Well, at some point, I think with I haven't I haven't worked with Sorkin, but I think I think I understand what you're saying and I think with a. LabView as well, and or Mamon, I would think people that have a real distinctive kind of verbal flow, it's you have to somehow like. You have to get there somehow, and it's not it's not a lot like an actor get there, it's like almost like a musician get there.
It's almost like one hundred percent. It's almost like you got to start hearing the music and then you just have to you just have to play that song, you know.
Well, it's funny because and I can enjoy doing both of them, but the the we when we would do West Wing act, we actors would come in amazing actors, but they were actors who had to get there as an actor and couldn't do it as a musician. And there was somehow the notion that if you couldn't find it and live it and feel it and get there, that it wasn't acting right. And maybe they're right. It's playing the notes that you're given and crushing within the context of the timing and the notes.
And you got to find the joy in that and in the precision.
I think they're both very rhythmical. And I think what you're saying is right. It is a precision. And especially when when I think back on the West Wing stuff and Sorkin's writing, it's like everybody has to hit their beat, you know, and it's like nobody can take their beat and find it, you know, I guess if you don't if you haven't found it, just just throw it out there. Just just keep it going. It's true.
There's some there's so much fun in that. I find I like it both ways. It's fun to do stuff for you.
It's terrifying when you're when you're when you're speaking so quickly and you realize, you know, you've got like a page of dialog in your head that's about to come out and you're not you think you know it. You know you knew it in your trailer. Right. You knew you knew it yesterday.
But it's just jumping off the cliff and your mouth just continues to move, you know, and you and you just got to hope it's there.
I know exactly what you're saying in the way I always think about it. And it happens every time, no matter how much I prepared, no matter how well I know the dialog, no matter how many takes I've done it, it feels like I'm leaning over the front of an express train and laying the rails down.
That's exactly right. That's exactly right. And I would. I would feel. You know, and and certainly like just to talk about these two cars, like like Mulder and Hank would get on these, like they get on these verbal kind of like express trains. And I just remember the fear. And the exhilaration of having to go in and know that I was going to I was going to execute this shit, you know, and and, you know, maybe I'd fuck up a few times and maybe I'd have better days than than than this.
But it is really so. And it's like being on stage in that sense. You know, the question you ask, it's like it's just you and this, you know, page or two of very well written or funny or technical. Or full of Russian names. Who knows what you had to say on the West Wing, you know? Oh, Erin used to fuck with me because. I was we were all really good at that stuff, but he loved to give me to challenge me, so in military insignias, ranks, names and numbers.
So I got a lot of Mr. President will be meeting with Lieutenant Colonel 3rd Class J.G. John Stevenson of the Seventy Fifth Air Brigade Battalion centered in Charlottesville North.
I got so many of those terrible, brutal specter and laughable.
We'll be right back after this. But you're right, you're a minimalist, I think, and I take that as a I mean that as a compliment. Yeah, I mean, I guess, you know, I have. I have my conception of truth, you know, I mean, I have my my barometer, you know, and it's on the inside. And, you know, when I'm working, I'm trying to find that thing. You know what's truthful to me and I I'm loathe to push it.
You know, there's a freedom. Sometimes I'm pushing it. And in comedy, certainly, certainly we can push harder. But, you know, I kind of have a a very natural distaste for the bullshit or the lie, you know, in my work. So it probably inhibits me a little makes me more of a minimalist than I should be at times. But I think what you're saying, maybe getting to that in me, I mean, certainly when I started out and when I was auditioning, I would always get you know, when I didn't get anything, I would always be like, well, first I would get like, he's a movie actor.
He's not a TV actor because I was only auditioning for television at the time, you know, starting out.
That's a cut, by the way. That's a huge compliment coming from them. Well, yeah, a compliment. And, you know, I couldn't pay my rent, but it was it was a compliment. Yeah, exactly. And but, you know, when it wasn't a compliment, I would get like flat or low energy and shit like that.
And, you know, I thought I was a funny person, a funny I thought I could do funny stuff, but I looked around and I saw, like, the people who are working and in in the funny were were had a different vibe than I did a different kind of energetic vibe. And I thought, well, how am I ever going to how am I ever going to do that? I mean, because I couldn't I couldn't, like, get to that like that like like honestly, I couldn't, like, get to that.
So, you know, there were struggles for me at first I was like even just getting out of maybe you call a minimalist or getting out of like a. Just like, I don't know, a certain tone that I was like committed to as being truthful and then being able to see like, oh, there are other truthful tones, there are other truths exists and different levels of energy that we can get to, you know, and it's just a matter of working hard enough to find those.
But but it is there that energy some people vibrate at a different frequency. So their energy is going to it's just going to be different than yours.
Like my my my friend Bill Paxton, who I think you knew a little bit, you know, who I loved, who passed away four years ago. You know, he could play Chet in weird science, right, where he was like, oh, my God, you got to be kidding me.
And then he could do, you know, one false move or do you know these really like Gary Cooper ACIA thing. And I just I always respond to acting that isn't showy.
I'm not I'm not a big, like, proponent of showy acting.
And that's why I've always been an admirer of your work. Are you when you first when you first started.
I think that influence one of the things I did you were on is that I'm not I'm remembering this correctly. Right.
That's where I met you. I remember that's the movie you met your wife on, is that right?
That's right. So I met Cheryl on. Cheryl was the makeup artist.
Yeah. And you were you know, you were a big star. And I was I had I used to tell this joke on I told her on The Tonight Show once where where I where I said, you know, my craft is so important to me that I've named my children after roles that have been important to me and throughout my life. For instance, you know, because of bad influence, people don't remember if I felt that it was important to me.
And I named my first son club goer number three. So I was garden number three and I was getting my hair done, I think I had one line or two at a club. I had like a password to get into some sex club that you guys. And I think I had to say, like some weird password sounding phrase, let's get my hair done. And you were just really, you know, you were there and you were just really nice to me and just very pleasant.
You know, I had to ask me questions about myself, and that's all I remember. And that and then I think I told you that when we when we worked again together, because I, I worked with, you know, had tiny, tiny roles with big stars like you and, you know, not many of them as as friendly and as respectful, really, as you were. And I was always remember that John Cusack was another one very, very wonderful and respectful, interested person.
I was an extra on working girl, basically. And wow.
So you can say you worked with Mike Nichols. Nobody you know, it ain't bragging if you done it. Yes, I worked near Mike Nichols.
Anyway, you worked in the same room? I did.
If I were you, I'd just be like, you know, when I worked with Mike Nichols, he told Nichols, Yeah, well, Mike said I would drop that name all the time if I could get away.
But I started in comedy with Mike Mike Nichols on Working Girl, you know. Well, it's the truth. It's the truth. You're making it up. I'm not.
So so I told that. I told that Curtis Hanson I ran into it. Well, I had a meeting with Curtis probably seven or eight years ago.
I can't remember what Curtis Hanson, who directed Bad Influence and and a camera, whether it was any other wonderful guy. And I told him that story about, you know, I said Clubcard number three. And he looked at me and he said. You know, I if there was a bigger role, I really would have I would have loved you to do bigger. I'd say, no, no, no, no, I'm not like he really was.
He wanted he wanted me. It was really sweet. He wanted me to know that he thought I was good or something, you know, that. And I was sitting in this meeting with him. But I it's I love that movie.
I love that influence. I think it's a we all do things in our in our careers where.
You just wish it had had had had a better response and the critics really liked it, but it was really ahead of its time. Its yes. I love that movie. I always tell people if they haven't seen it, to watch it.
And now the people realize you've got that amazing line in it.
Well, go to number three.
I mean, that's that's going to bring it a whole new life, I think, from this podcast later, Spader's and it Spader is great in it.
He's great. And everything is and Spader is indirectly responsible for me being on the juggernaut Twin Peaks. Did you know that?
No. So in the year nineteen eighty nine probably. I don't know if I'd done that influence even yet. When was that influence.
Why did you shoot that 90. We did it in 89. We shot it in 89. It's right around that time. But apparently Spader was really good friends with Mark Frost, who was David Lynch, his partner on Twin Peaks. And I think he was showrunner. And Spader had come up with this idea for a character who was a drug enforcement agent who because he was trying to take down this seller who would only only sell to transvestites like Howard Dean so he would only soldiers.
And so as a drug enforcement agent, Spader's character, dressed up as a woman, busted the guy and then found that he liked wearing the clothes.
And he now has become a full time transvestite. Amazing. And for some reason, you know, Spader couldn't do it. Maybe, you know, he had some other jobs. So they opened up the casting to Greater L.A. and I went in and I got that wrong.
I had no idea. That's I mean, the way the way we end up with rolls, I mean, circling back to Californication, I only got that role because we shared the same hairdresser.
That sounds that that sounds very L.A.. It's true. It is true. Well, you know, you and I both have some of the best wigs. That's right.
Not a lot of people know that we're both bald and this hairdresser as an egg, as an actor. Daniel Erdmann, I remember him calling.
You said he said, Rob, Rob, Rob, do this, do this. And I said, so I'm going to call him and we're like doing a scene somewhere. And he just hands me the phone to talk to you and then you and bye.
And I promise you and I do I really mean this had it not gone down like that, had they done the traditional route where the producers call the agents and the agents call me and it wouldn't have happened because I was on another show at the same time. Yeah. And it would have just been about I would this is why they don't tell you, because it's just too much work for the agent. It's just too much work. They don't want to they don't want to negotiate.
You getting the time off from the other show, maybe there's not enough money in it. All that bullshit that goes on in our business.
So I really don't believe I've been on the show. I really don't. I think I think I never would have known you guys reached out.
You'd take your long drives down from Santa Barbara and memorize your lines in the back seat or nap.
Still do. Still still do. I mean, I'm an Olympic sleeper. You know that, right?
I don't know about that. But but I will say this and this will sound like faint praise, but it's not like you come with your bags packed, you come ready, ready to work. You know, there's no there's no you know, you know, you're you know your lines, you know what you're doing. And you come and and everybody else had better be ready, you know, not like you're an asshole about it, but that's I like to work that way to somebody described Gene Hackman that way to some to me at one point that he comes to work with his bags packed, ready to go.
I love that. I love that phrase. Could do. That's so good. Yeah. Hi, I'm Rob Lowe and I come to work with my fucking bags packed.
Hi, I'm Rob Lowe. You see those things behind me? Those are bags. And guess what? They're packed. And guess what? They're packed with acting ability. It would make me believe it to my costars, wouldn't it?
But that's I it's it is funny as you get it.
Look, you've been doing this a long time. Yeah.
You've been you've been through everything you can go through, you name it. You're like and I love working with people like you because of that.
Like, I like to look across the set and look at someone and I know they've been in the trenches and they've earned their bona fides. I love it. And it's harder and harder to do the older you get, you know, because there just aren't people that are that have done what you've done.
And I had this moment and this is going to sound like bragging and it is bragging in a weird way.
But you'll hear. But I was doing a remake of a craft. We just did it last last late fall winter in Toronto. And I was working with, you know, for for young actors that I didn't you know, all these young actors. I didn't really know any of them, you know, and.
I was doing wire work because it's, you know, that that kind of movie, and I thought up my back really badly and oh no, yeah, not nothing permanent, but I was I was incapacitated and I was in a lot of pain and. It was like it was all I could do to to remain upright for the 30 seconds of an over, you know, so I was working with this really great young actress named Kelly Speedy.
And all we need is like on this day was like we needed her an over my shoulder to her and her close up. So I was like, I was going to hang in there and do it. And I swear to God, Rob, you know, when they said action after about ten seconds, I was just thinking, do not do not go to your knees. Do not go to your knees. But I got to get down. I got to get down.
I go down and I'm actually on all fours by Kelly's feet. And I'm not I'm not bullshitting either. I mean, I was like crippled. And she she, like, tapped me on the head and said, when I grow up, I want to be you. And I said, Ali, that's the nicest thing anybody's ever said to me. And I said, Because I know exactly what you mean and, you know, work hard, you know, and be respectful of people's time and, you know, do what you need to do to get get the day's work done.
It's a great story.
And it's it's one of the things I, I look I shed on the business what should on actors a lot on the podcast because there's well, I mean, what we do is so silly and consequential on many levels. But on the other side of it, the the sort of. Chivalrous, respectful sense of tradition, of of of honoring your peers and a certain way to behave on a set.
I love that. I love it, it keeps me going, it's one of the things I love about about, you know, people go, why do you work so much and why do you still fucking grind away? And because I. I love keeping that tradition alive.
And as we get older, we are we are doing that for for the kid, for the kids.
But it's true.
You know, it's like on my show on nine one one Lone Star, you know, I'm fucking old man. Mm hmm. Mm hmm.
You know, I'm working with kids who were not alive when bad influence was right. And, you know, you you want to. You want to lead lead by example, how how did tell me about this wire thing, because this is like. That whole thing about Tom Cruise does all his own stunts. I'm like, I'm happy to not do that. I don't want to like you fucked your back up on a wire. What would you do if you're hanging off of a jet plane?
I don't know. I just I just it was like a decision I made that I thought it would look better, you know, if it was me instead of it was all my decision, really.
By the way, a wire work means you're being hung literally on wires and then they remove the wires visually. It makes it look like you're flying basically.
Right? Well, you know, they have to remove more than the wires because I had my shirt off and what I didn't know. Before I felt I was you know, you look pregnant if you're if you're if you've got a wire on because it's all on your midsection and your entire your entire weight is is just on a belt, basically. So they have to erase the wires and your baby bump as well.
I was talking to some people and I said. That looks terrible because the Plamen and he was like, well, there's a reason Jackie Chan wears flowing shirts, I was like, Huh?
Oh see, I love that kind of inside knowledge. I didn't know. I wouldn't have known. I know it now. So.
So anyway, so what happened was, I guess at some point I just, you know, like, went backwards as I was supposed to and, you know, being my age and having had injuries in my past and some back problems, I think I just kind of irritated something and it got pretty bad. But we were able to get everything we needed to get the yeuk back injuries. Yeah. You know what?
I also loved and I love I've since worked with them a bunch as Rob Bowman on. I worked with them a bunch and he directed the X Files movie as well as a lot of X Files.
Yes, I love the X Files movie. I that was fucking awesome. I don't understand why you can't give me another X Files movie.
That's really a Fox question. You know, they're they're they're weird because it's like there's a home grown property. It's a big a big ticket property. And you think, why wouldn't you try to do another one? But I don't know. Yeah, I don't know. I'm going to get into this business. I'll blow in there.
I mean, if I had Rob Lowe speaking for me, I think I'd be on set right now. Well, hang on for a while. I'm on an airplane for better. For worse. I'm Mr. Fox right now, so I'm going to call the all those guys up and be like, listen, it's the Coveny, Jillian and me.
And we're what? We start out as beach cops. Oh, we left the X Files world and our beach house and we're drinking out a big Slurpee cups.
So, yeah. So we have our cake and eat it, too. We finally get the beach cup thing out of our system.
It's all timing, as you know. It's all timing. That's the scary thing.
When I when I look back and maybe when you look back to his.
Is, you know, none of it had to happen. Yeah, it's just it helps to be talented. Sure. But it's all timing and luck, really, and being and being in that place at that time. And, jeez, it's scary to think back on, you know, if you didn't open this door or you took that left instead of that right, it's like none of it. None of it had to happen.
My whole career was because I used to go to Ohio to see my dad, my parents divorce. We go in the summers. I was 14, going on 15. I had fallen in love for the first time.
My very first love. The week before I go to Ohio for the whole summer, which felt like an eternity, yeah, and I got to Ohio at my new agent, they didn't know anything about anything. My little tiny agency said, hey, there's a big cattle call, TV show.
If you want to pay for your own way, we got you an audition. And the only reason I came back, because I wanted to see the girlfriend and it was a literal cattle call audition.
I got the TV show.
What was it? It was called a new kind of family. It was a it was a sitcom on ABC. And unfortunately, it was directly opposite 60 Minutes.
So we were literally the last we were there were sixty three shows on the air and we were sixty third house.
And how long had you wanted to act at that point? You're 14. How long did you think, oh, I'd like to act. Or had you done any acting in school. No, I'd done a ton.
I did. I wanted to act since I was eight when I saw Oliver and in a local production and saw all the kids on stage. And it was like I was like struck by lightning and knew I wanted to do it, was obsessed with it, driven with it. So I mean, I came back. I always wanted to be an actor. So I didn't it wasn't like I just came back on a whim. But I think about if I had not met that girl, maybe I go, you know what?
It's you know, I'm here in Ohio. I just got here.
I don't really have the money and I don't get it right. When I did the X Files pilot, I had gotten this. It was like I wouldn't call it a maybe as a movie of the week when I used to do the same. Something like that. It was like a couple of scenes in this movie The Weekend, and it was a director who who I was friendly with. And I was going to have to you know, I would I would have to to pull out of that part to do the X Files pilot.
And I said to my agents, I want to do that. You know, she's a friend and I don't want to I don't want to pull out because I thought, well, first of all, I thought, you know, this is about extraterrestrials. There's no way that, you know what's. How long can it go? I mean, it's a fun it's a good pilot, but you're either going to see the aliens or you're you know, then there's there's no tension or you're going to wait too long to see them.
It's like it's not going to. And I wasn't interested in conspiracy theories as we established.
And I was perfectly willing to just say. You know, I'm going to pass on that pilot because I said I do this, this other project and my agents convinced me that that was the wrong thing to do, but that that's what, you know, me being a brilliant tactician. That was yes. That was going to be my move. You're talking about actors being done. Well, that was that was me.
We do need every once in a while someone to say, you know, do this or don't do that. Yeah, I'm a I'm like you.
I'm a fan of work. I think there's always something positive about work, even when it's when it's craft, as you're talking about. Part of it is, is having the integrity to show up.
And and do your work and exercise what it is you've spent so long learning how to do. But, yeah, I don't know sometimes, yeah, I'm not I'm not I would never be a good age and I don't know how to I don't know how to, you know, kind of curate an image or build a career. I don't know how to do that.
I wish I had somebody doing that for me. I mean, I wish honestly I never I made it up as I went along. Honestly, I really, truly did. I mean, you know.
Well, again, Rob, I mean, I think you have to be commended for for, you know, invent a reinventing yourself, you know, a few times now.
And yeah, that show's great, actually, imagination and and great resiliency as a person. I think I think you're very impressive in that. And you found, you know, in the last 10, 15 years, you found a real comedic vein, which I don't think you ever had before. I mean, you might you probably have it in your life as a person, but not so much as an actor. And that's an amazing discovery to happen at your advanced stage of decrepitude.
Listen, you guys pushing 60, we're not meant to change. We're not meant we're not meant to reveal other areas of our lot.
But, you know, so, yeah, we get it right. You know, I think sometimes you can I don't say I have to be arrogant or necessarily pride going before all and all that. But you can you can sit down tonight and look at the sunset and go, motherfucker, I stayed awake. I stayed awake. I kept challenging myself. I kept asking if there was more for me to do. And you did it. A big change.
A big, big shift. Middle of your career since. Well. A professional would end the show now. I didn't say you were good at this.
Well, that's I think if you listen pretty obvious, it doesn't need to be said double D..
Yeah. Love you. Thanks for coming on the show. And we have a surf dinner date coming up soon.
I hope to see you in person soon. And I'm happy you're well and healthy and love to the family, vice versa. Love you, man. Thanks, Rob.
I love that man. He is. I mean, as you just realized, so smart, so well.
Read a decent dude and a fantastic actor. And if you're at all interested in acting or having a career or styles of acting, hopefully you got something out of that. Because I did. I very much did. Hearing David talk about his process is really, really cool. I had a good time. All right, everybody, it is time for the Lowdown Line.
Hello. You've reached literally and our lowdown line where you can get the lowdown on all things about me. Rob Lowe, three, two, three five seven oh. Four, five, five, one, so have at it, here's the beep. Hey, Rob, this is Derek from Chico, California. And I love the pod, one thing I don't think you talk about much is where you've traveled in your life. What is the most unexpectedly wonderful place you've ever traveled to in the world and where would you like to go that you haven't been?
Thanks for answer.
Thank you, Derek. For for Colin, the low down line. I don't know how unexpected it is, but without a doubt, the place that when I landed there and looked at it, I was just moved almost tears by was the island of Bora Bora. It is absolutely magical beyond belief. The other place. Was surprising because you hear about Yosemite.
I live in California, I've lived here in Chico, here in California as well, and I finally got to Yosemite and I came around the corner and looked out of that Yosemite Valley.
My eyes just spilled over with tears. It is the Yosemite Valley if you traveled across the world to get there. You wouldn't have been disappointed, and yet it's right in my state, and I'd never gotten there just beyond spectacular, where would I like to go? Well, you know where I want to go?
I want to go to Japan to ski. That's what I want to do.
There's and I should know the name of it, but I don't. But there's a resort on I think it's the island of Hokkaido and I hope I'm pronouncing it right that has the most poutre of anywhere in the world. And skiing connoisseurs know that that is the place you go for powder.
So the notion of Avin like amazing, authentic Japanese food and powdered whiskey every day is next, literally next on my bucket list. And I'll see you next time. You have been listening to literally with Rob Lowe, produced and engineered by me, Devon Bryant, executive produced by Rob Lowe for low profile Adam Sachs and Jeff Ross, Team Coco and Collin Anderson and Chris Bannon at Stitcher. The supervising producer is Aaron Blair's talent producer, Jennifer Sanders. Please write and review the show on Apple podcast and remember to subscribe on Apple podcast, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcast.
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