Hey, everybody, you're listening to Smart Lists hosted by Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and myself, Sean Hayes.
I know I wish my voice was more masculine to this show is about learning through laughter and the brains of people around the world who are far smarter than us. Three idiots. And each week one of us brings on a guest to the other two don't know about. So with that, let's jump into the smart little rocket ship and let's blast off into the universe together.
Oh, I think I just heard myself on. Smart, smart list is brought to you by AutoZone, America's number one battery destination, auto parts advice accessories get in the zone. AutoZone welcome back to Smart Lists.
Yeah, welcome. It's nice to be here.
Jason, do you have a recital today? Your mat, your hair is matted down. Are you dude are you going to court. Have you got to. Are you trying to be. Did you catch a case. Oh there it is. There it is.
There I was trying to pin my wing back. You know what I can do. I can put on here. Let me help. Let me put on my workout headband. Oh, I'm sorry. You're going to love this. Oh, God. You're going to love this with the glasses and everything. It's kind of a really good look.
Mm. Oh, look at that, do you wear that working out for real? Yeah, got to keep my hair out of my face. Wait, you wear that had been work.
Well, I got blue. I've got red. I've got white. Someone's American. I've also got some fuzzy Birkenstocks and I've been wearing what is red meat.
Red meat just and jobs.
Yeah. Open for H.J. is just a more economical way to say it. Blue. You know we keep it with the bees. That's for B.J. and then white means there's really no bad ideas that our listener, our listener log on for quite a while ago.
I know. So how funny is it that we have to do? Why don't hang on. Why don't we have your your camera? Well, because because I have a special guest. Our special guest is our studio. Should I take off my headband? No, our guest our guest really enjoys it. And they're going to tell you why in a second. But our guest we have said this before, like this guest requires no introduction.
But truly, this is one we need to carve out 20 minutes. We need a big introduction. So we have I produced a musical.
No, no, this this person has done it all and has been is a multi Academy Award nominated actor is a has acted in over 4000 films, all of which are the biggest films that have ever been on The Face of the Planet movie. Four Thousand was also a cast member of Saturday Night Live, has literally done everything that show business has asked him to do. He has done it and given back tenfold.
Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, your friend and mine, Mr. Robert Downey Jr., mother or son of bitch?
Oh, RJ, it's on like donkey dung, so don't remove the headband.
It's very Charlie Sheen platoon. Send up a movie. Wow. It really is.
Actually, Robert, I we met like quite a while ago. Bob Robbie.
We met quite a while ago if you don't robinov but then you have to remove the jaw because that would be embarrassing.
So I think that we met the very first time I was at the SAG Awards when you won over me, when you were on Ally McBeal and we had to do press in the back and you were the kindest, nicest person I'd ever met that night.
It was it was awesome. And I was like, I can't believe I'm meeting Robert Downey Jr. was so cool. And my next question is last question. No, I think that was that I forgot that you done Ally McBeal.
You did a few.
You're on for quite a while, right? I got out of the jury. Yeah. Yeah. I went onto the show, the shirt. I remembered an old pager number and I got kicked off the show.
I love that journey. Yeah, the page your days. And then you just got to go down to a payphone and wait for them to call and make sure no one takes the pay phone. And there's only one there. Buddy, can you step back? I'm expecting a call.
You know, there's a lot of stress.
I don't know what version of Raleigh Studios, Manhattan Beach you were at, but we had dressing rooms with landlines.
Oh, yeah. No, I wish I was that.
I was at the Hilton at the 405 and sunset in the revolving bar. Yeah. Yeah.
How is this phone not getting tied up in its own courts? This bar is turned 18 times since I paged him back.
How long's it been?
It's been 45 ghetty centers. That's how long it's been.
Robert, I'm taking quite a bit of supplements each day. Amanda My wife has got me dying for them to kick in.
Yeah, she's just got me she's got a bunch of of people that she trusts the first two suspects that that understand medicine, Western and Eastern. And I am the proud recipient of some of that thing. But I am swallowing about 30 supplements a day as a result. You're you're about at that with me, aren't you? I've seen I've seen your kit. Yeah.
Where are you at thirty varies. But look, I know Amanda and I know that whole circle of alternative medicine.
You might be responsible for a couple of these doctors that I'm having to listen to.
Just put your hand out and take it, particularly nowadays. I mean, you know, you go get blood work and they say, oh, you're I use a little bit this or that. And there's all these new things that the deeper you go into looking at a panel, the longer you can sustain.
When your doctor checks your blood as he looks at your Iron Man guts, I usually sniff after a real powerful job.
Yeah, that's a trademark. If you were a recording artist, what are you looking at here? Albumen, eyes. Now, do you feel I'm still on the supplement thing? I, I don't feel bad but I don't know if I feel great because I don't, I haven't knock wood. I haven't felt bad for a long time. I can't attribute this to the supplements. I don't know whether it's just because it's that or because I'm not eating a cheeseburger every day or I'm no longer drinking.
Or are you still going the vegan. Beyman Are you still. No I tried to, I did that to drop the cholesterol and I did it for six months and I dropped one point.
You had a scary you've got a very high cholesterol. I know that because we share the same doctor and she, she gives me results.
I think you're cool with that. But my question, Robert, is do you you you know, there's a question in here. Yeah. I was just I'm famous for all that you see. You believe in all this stuff. You're still taking them or you just kind of like, I don't know if they're working or not. All I know is I'm not dead yet, so why screw with it? I'll be I'll just keep doing what I'm doing.
Well, I mean, look, some of it is pretty irrefutable. You can go by how you feel or you can go by the recommendations of people that are smarter than you. But again, these are, you know, desperate times, desperate measures. It's very odd. And tell me if you can relate to this since March and knock wood and we've done everything we're supposed to do and I've lost a friend to covid. And folks we know obviously have gotten in and it's a big deal.
But it's also odd how few other things have come up within my circle of friends or people I know since because the threat has been so homogenized and made into this one thing that I don't usually you get a summer cold, right. But strangely, at least in the areas where people are following all the guidelines and the protocols, all that sort of stuff is just down just because people aren't interacting with each other, do you think?
Probably. And then you have to go to what's the real element here is an unprecedented psychological shift. And in having done actual time, there's something very interesting about having your your movement limited and all that. And for kids and all that stuff is stuff. So I think a lot of it is, you know, there's an immunological response to. These crazy circumstances, you think, yeah, it's funny, you bring that up like being confined and talking about doing actual time, people talk about quarantine.
When you hear people are going like, oh, my God, I've been stuck in my beautiful house for the last six months. Are you like, dude? Yeah, shut the hell up.
No, I'm not, because every what everyone's going through is what they're going through and it's specific to them and it is a big deal.
How long were you were you were you given time to think about it all? How much time did you spend being quiet in a room?
How long were you incarcerated? I think what he's trying to say. Yeah. I mean, just ask the question, how long were you locked up?
You're still mumbling.
That was the most severe tone maché mumble, something like dungeon for play to me.
How long do you want to be locked up? I did.
I did twelve days once, four months, 13 days a second time. And then something like three years or so. Two and a half. I forget the last time it didn't matter because it was state time. What does that mean? It just means you're not in county, you're not in some awful spot. You're just in a prison actual prison where you have significantly more freedom.
For how long? I don't know. I think well, I know that Judge Meira, God bless him through the book, the gavel, his wig and the bench at me, his wig.
So I think I had a three year suspended sentence and but then I appealed. It turned out he had over sentence me. And I really I don't I don't blame him for it. I have done the same thing.
Really. What did you want, three years in a jail cell? Were you? I think it was twenty six months or something like that. Wow. Wow.
See, I've done things in my life not to avoid prison, but I'm just fingers crossed my. Oh God. That be so hot. Yeah. Yeah. So so hot.
Just for a weekend I would imagine knowing you as I do, I'll bet you can probably say that you grew mentally and spiritually to the positive in a way that you would never take back, that you've you probably better now than you ever were because of that focusing of the mind during all that isolation. Yes. Well well, first of all, I probably deserved it. So that helps, second of all. It's very monastic and rather dangerous and isolating and, you know, it's awful, it's traumatic, but again.
For someone who's never been told to stay at home and drop ties with their family and missed birthdays and funerals and weddings and not see the birth of your sister's baby or whatever, and it's you know, it didn't bother me. Sorry.
Right. Well, that's that's what I'm trying to gently ask is that you probably found the growth in it to the extent that there is some of that isolation. Getting back to what Bill was talking about, about although it was kind of this quarantine thing, we're reading articles. We're hearing things about how people are finding the plus and the minus of isolation. And and it is a choice. I would imagine what you went through was something completely different and quite a bit more severe, obviously, but.
And public. Yeah, but I would imagine you found some real growth during the quiet time, just sitting there thinking with no choices. No. No ability to distract. Yeah, I think I've said this before, but here's a crazy thing too. If you've got a trippy life and and I think all of us can agree that just being in the entertainment field is, you know, we know the psychological breakdown of folks like us. Something about having a cell door close behind you.
Wow. And this is when I was in Twin Towers and the glamour slammer, you will never be safer than you are when a correctional officer or the sheriffs lock you down in that room as long as you trust yourself. You will never be safer than that because until the morning when they pop them open. Yeah. Wow, wow. One time I remember saying this is a while ago you told me this and I think you're over now. But I remember you telling me that one time at the Four Seasons they fucked up your room and they put you next to the elevator.
Yeah. And I thank you for bringing that up. Well, yeah, because a lot of people think my pain isn't real either. Sure. And I was just so I, I didn't walk.
I marched to that front desk and I said you weren't even sure if you could hear the ding ding. Because it's in my head. Is it. It's loud enough in my head. It must be in yours by now knowing it was there.
Because, you know, you're going to hear in the morning, sir, and the repeated trauma to because I heard they give you a 2:00 p.m. check in, but housekeeping hadn't really gotten down into the.
Why this. Glad I didn't bring the story up. Thank you. No way, I want to say that because I come from a family of several addicts and I always and I've asked I've had this conversation with well, several times to I always find I'm fascinated with how the brain works about that. And so I always ask people like yourselves if I had a drink in front of you. I was doing a line of coke, which I've never done or smoke.
I smoked pot or whatever it is in front of you. Now, at this stage, after all you've been through, is that a trigger for you? Are you enough? Have you gotten beyond the fact that actually not only is it not a trigger, I see that. And I'm like, I really don't want anything to do with that.
Or is there still a part of you that that likes that or wants that it's been long enough?
Where to me, like we had some guests over and it was my my buddy's fiftieth birthday. And before that there was some guest visiting Europe, a couple of kids, and one of them had to go out of town. I could tell I was just like, all right, get two bottles of white tomatoes and one bottle of rosé, get two bottles of Veuve Clicquot in the ground. I know.
I takes me back to Paris the way you just said that. I still know the experience the same way that if you're allergic to a medication, but, you know, that would take the edge off for someone else, you would say, you know what, I have some of that now.
And you want that for someone else in a way that's a caretaker in you. You're very good. Caretaker will say so that I was there for one of those and you were offering somebody wine and then you thought you were like, come with me. And I went with you to get the bottle of wine. And then you held it for half the trip upstairs.
And then I handed it to like a relay race. How long ago was that?
Four days ago or days ago. Oh, by the way, that's just still an experiment because nothing happens when it happens. Right. You know, you let's say you get insulted and two weeks later, listen to the podcast.
Really two weeks later, like we were saying, that's when you have to come back and you're really ready to go confront that person. Right, because you've had time. Yeah. Anyway, we we know what to do.
And I got your I got your boy here and we keep an eye on each other and it's a great community.
It's also the other thing that's fascinating in my brain, too, is whatever part of the brain that is wired to addiction, once you've kind of curbed that or even if you haven't and then fame hits like, for example, you were always famous, you were always working, you were always in the public eye.
But then when this marble thing happened and now you're literally a viable, gigantic global product now, and the world does that because they say fame can be a drug to. Does that trigger anything or does that replace it? And do you have to be careful about that?
Triggers all the character defects, but you don't have to worry about that until you're at that part of your recovery. To me, more than anything, I was just like I had something that I was like, wow, leave it to me to fuck this up. Right, right, right, right. And and so I knew my own my own inclination.
Well, I was going to say the other thing is you brought up and you were just alluding to it, which is, you know, the thing and you hear this a lot in AA and in recovery.
That community is the opposite of addiction. Right? Right. And that's what's so important. And yeah. So, you know, we joke about having the hot potato bottle of wine. But to answer your question from my side, if I'm there, I don't feel I don't feel threatened. I don't feel like I'm just going to rip the bottle off the top of the bottle and I'm going to guzzle it under the table like, I mean, can't be too sure.
Can't be too sure. There's still enough time left in the day to do it. But I know that especially if I'm there and he's there.
That I'm really good at it, and if it's Robert or if it's one of my other friends and he's got a million people in his life and I have a million people in my life, that's the key to me.
And if I'm there with a red headband, you know, that you'd rest of the day is going to be taking care of the rest of the days.
A party. Yeah, that means that it's Ozarks season for we're on the front of the boat. I think it should be you and I had been dancing slow dance for opening credits.
Now, Robert, you're too humble to be comfortable with this question, but were you aware, was it a conscious shift in your incredible inner power to shift your addiction to having fun, your hedonistic instincts, and and drive those into work, into family, into friends, into the support work you do with other buddies? That that struggle? I mean, it is incredible what you have done on the back side of what you have been through and you have doubled all of your success, experience, influence over the people that you care about.
And an industry was a conscious say, OK, I know I got an engine here. I just I should point at a more responsible way. Or you just like, oh, gosh, look, this is happening again for me. I'm not going to screw it up this time.
And, you know, and it was less proactive and just kind of playing defense of sometimes, you know, that whatever the usual mosh pit, just if you could slow down the response, had to be great to match his no matter how slow the question is.
By the way, I want to I want Will to interpret this his own way.
Was riding the mike like he's about to gobble this knob.
Oh, when he starts grabbing the bottom of it, OK.
Slower half the time. Whatever all that that maelstrom of all my rationalizations and all that, sometimes it just goes away and you see something clearly, you have a moment of clarity. If you're lucky enough to get that, you can squander it. And I've done that a bunch, too. Sometimes you get it and you also realize that you're redlining. The hubcaps are off and you are not even going to forget. Make it to any destination. You're not even going to make the next filling station and you're going to be stuck.
And I think also part of it was a function of age because I wasn't a kid anymore. I was in my early 40s and I was like, oh, my God, this again. Yeah, but I really wanted all that dumb stuff that let's just face it, we all think we want and then we get it and we go down the k hole of realizing that it was never really that it was just about feeling, you know, useful and occupied and wanting to maybe have a leadership position just because if you're in a leadership position, you're more obliged to not drop the ball.
So, yeah, well, that yeah. And I was going to say, Jason, that, you know, it's funny that you ask that question, because I will say that as your friend, I've noticed that you have turned a lot of energy and stuff that you otherwise used to pour into late night activity. And you channeled that. You made a decision. We've talked about it and I've seen you make that decision. You've put it into your life and your kids, into your home and into your work.
And you actually made a conscious decision. Am I right about that?
Yes. But well, as you say that, I start thinking about, oh, my God, I'm so lucky that I've got an opportunity to work in this business, because if I didn't, what would I do with all that ambition?
What would I do with all of that? I want to do the right thing. Now, with all of this energy and all of this sort of drive, I just I worry about maybe that's why I work so hard and try to diversify that. I don't want that that that portal to go away.
But, you know, one of the things is it and you guys both kind of alluded to it. And one of the great things about Downey is that he does seem very calm and and he does have very for a guy who's been through a lot, he has a lot of say why would have come?
Maybe not, but he's got a lot of sage words for. But the other the flip side is that he is constantly of service.
And that's a big thing. And, you know, I see it and he's such a great example. I've told him to I I'm amazed and in awe of how much of service he is to other people in and out of whatever. He's constantly of service in his life. And I think that that removing that sort of constantly worrying about the sense of self allows you that room to grow. Would you agree that you don't have to be as aware or thinking about what am I going to do?
Yeah, it's just it's just that Jedi mind trick played on self for the highest good. And, you know, let's let's not split hairs here. Bateman, you and I should have both been Hollywood casualties. We were raised to go, oh, my God, the shadow of our dads.
The thing the that the pressure is killing me. Oh, now I've got it. Now I feel empty. You know what? Let's let's make a mockery of this opportunity.
I appreciate being coupled with you, but you, my friend, have have gone past the most incredible self-imposed adversity. It's just going to make for an incredible book if you ever put it down one day.
Sean, I'm going to do it this weekend. I'm going to change my life. That's a good call. Your skin is looking a little late. No, no oil in my car. I'm going to go to AutoZone and then I'm going to change the oil in my car.
I'm very excited. Oh, AutoZone is America's number one battery destination. But you're going there for oil. Yup. Well, you're right. There are America's number one battery destination. They got their last batteries. Well, the batteries, more consumers choose. Yeah, yeah. But but they also have oil and everything you need for a change. It's called an oil change special.
Oh, OK. Changing your oil shouldn't really be special, Jason. It's not like a graduation or engagement. It should just be regular. You know, you should change your oil like every three or 5000 miles, depending on what an oil change special is. A deal where if you buy an oil filter with your oil, then you get a discount, making it an oil change special. Again, you should always change your oil filter when you change your oil.
Doing what you're supposed to do doesn't make it special. Sometimes a special actually even includes an air filter, not special, just the right way to do it. Or a cabin air filter. Well, if you change all three filters, that is a little bit special, especially if you get those steep cabin air filters, the ones with the odor eliminators. That's special.
And what's even more special is I can order it all on AutoZone dot com and I can pick it up in a store that day, or I can have it delivered as fast as the next day, next day delivery. Now that is well, again, special is the deal. It's not, you know, who's my special boy changing his own oil? I am. I am.
Batteries, breaks oil and more order from AutoZone dotcom for same day. Pick up, get in the zone.
AutoZone So listen, here's the deal. I'm glad that I'm getting a chance to talk about this.
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I mean, it's incredible, I mean, I have to set five alarm clocks to wake up, I'm in such a deep, deep sleep, I will say you're in a better mood these days. You don't. You seem to be in a better mood. Yeah.
Listen to me. Yeah. I'm Bertsch Rested. Are you look at, you know. Thank you.
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Where were you with leave? No, life was not there. OK, but I do remember you coming in. And I was excited because I thought, oh, well, here we go. We're going to go. I get to get my party on. But you went into the bathroom and then came out and then and then you were off to the next. But I was like, I wonder if he left anything behind the toilet for me.
You know, I'm one of my moves. Used to be this is a lot of this, too, is called the old living amends. Like some of this, I feel it's important to host your life, the people you love in this in that you're meant to take care of them and make sure their needs are met. And it's a story I used to be known as the guy who would go into my girlfriend's roommate's bathroom and go, I'm going to piss in this potpourri.
I don't know how long it will take him to realize what I've done here just to be funny or just because just because it was irreverent and weird. But usually there would have been a little tinge of resentment, like, you know, Amber shouldn't have said that to me.
So I wonder in her very long until this little basket of dried flowers is going to smell like a fucking Panther's dick.
And there's Dick. All right. Let's shift for one second. Can we talk a little bit about work, family balance? Are you happier now that I think I don't know much about your career, but just from the outside looking at it, I'm assuming that the marble thing is at a slower speed now or or or you're done with that now. Yeah, that's all done. OK, so then I'm assuming you're able to spend even more time with the family now.
Are you are you a more comfortable ratio, work. Family balance. Sure.
But quiet as it's kept the last three to five years. Once you're in a big ensemble where it's like working with Mercury to get everybody in one frame, let alone in the same city for a day out of six weeks, I would be at home more often. Now, the big missing integer here is is Susan Downey, Esq.. Your wife and really was such a part of the turnaround in the best mirror and partner for me. So we're out here.
She's up in her office. Nothing has slowed for the strong of spirit during this time because you can get a lot done remotely. You just don't have those natural breaks where you get to drive somewhere or hang out in the hallway or stand by the cooler for a minute. So I think for a certain type of personality, this has been a relentless pride swallowing sige of a time, but very productive. Well, I am a little bit more the.
I'd like to be of service all day long, will they notice when I'm sneaking away to take that hour and 17 minute nap after I've had a handful of custom colored Eminem's? Yeah.
And the what is the custom color? Well, if you go to Dylan's candy bar industry. Oh, yeah, that's right.
He has like platinum status at Dylan's candy. Is that still you're not off drugs, sugar, so you just mainline an hour's worth of sugar and then you sleep for the kids.
It's for the kids. Last year last year, Downey came out and he was here with the kids for like a couple of weeks before Susan got here. And it was sugar time went every night till 11. He's like, I don't know, understand the kids are going to sleep. But I'm like, yeah, you're letting them eat Reese's Peanut Butter and Eminem's until 11:00.
So first of all, I have bad, indulgent instincts, but I'm always working on them. So it's like I'm always on demerit status. So I'm like Avis, I'm number two. I try harder. I'm always trying to make up for winning.
What is the thing that Susan yells at you for giving the kids? Yeah, it would be too much pirate booty or pretzels after the already had a snack or 61 seconds of the ice cream or whatever.
I'm just like, yeah, yeah, I eat ice cream almost every day. Go ahead. Right.
OK, particularly lately. And, you know, my here's my here's my four word answer. Double up to Statton.
Calm down about this. Just understand we got this down. Yes.
Do people call you Robert or Bob or what do they call you? Robert. Thank you.
So, Robert, Sean, you know why they go on that? I have no idea what. So, no, I didn't know people called you something for short, like a nickname.
Oh, when they earn it they get it. OK, it's ok. Yes. OK, go ahead with the show anyway. Jay. Yeah, so exactly.
So to Jason's point earlier about balance of family work and life and all that stuff, I always ask other actors this because I fluctuate between that fire in my belly of wanting to prove myself as an actor and stretch my, you know, wings.
And you're not talking about your eyebrows right now, right, brother? Oh, no. I was going to bring that up. That's actually where I'm going in your belly. I want to interrupt your question with the question.
How many times have you and hubby almost got divorced since you woke up this morning before noon? Twice. And now it's around the fence. Around the fence. We're just we're just making it. Fourteen years. We're in mediation.
So we're at about 500000 square dances logged on. Right. I'll do this.
I said this to the guys. I do this almost every morning. I go like this. Hey, Scott, you want to make out.
Like do you still have the fire in your belly to be an actor to like prove yourself to right to that ambition that still drives you? Do you still have that after all of your success?
I have an ambition to do things that I thought I could do well but haven't done before. Kind of like your boy Bateman has been. And I think like any of us, you never you don't want to ever give up a juicy role. But the other thing is, I'm really good. I'm like a first aid. I think through this script I've been sent with an offer and I realize, you know what, this really is 47 days in a tank, right?
22 days of nights, 15 hours a day, eight hours a day, whatever.
Well, that that I've got, they'll be crazy. What do you how dare you insult the guys? Oh, sorry. Excuse me. Six hours tops a day shot next. No, no.
I love the way you can predict how many nights are in it too. You can probably predict there's going to be a lot of base camps that are far from set. So I'm not going to have the trailer near me.
OK, so this is what I'm saying is all of that. Yeah.
Here, let me answer the question. The question is, you know, are you still feeling it? And my thing is I'm never feeling it until I get there. When the first clapper goes, I wake up and once the first clapper goes on there. Sure, totally.
But what if it all went away? Yes, fine. OK, how about that because because I have a lot of hobbies and I, I like tweaking on a bunch of stuff.
Name one. Why are you so angry? John, Jesus, I don't know, I want to know what they are more than Hobie's. I have other interests and things that I felt drawn to. So to to be clear, any actor is a liar. If they say, how would you feel if it all went away? I'd be fine because I was right.
Huh? Yeah. Nice.
Or actors who announced their retirement.
I'd like to announce my retirement to make shoes. First of all, this is this would be worth it, guys.
Would be pretty funny if ever your show business just retired people. Yeah. So I'm sorry. This you're so-and-so and so-and-so have been retired. Like, wait, why.
It's like the Premier League. You get relegated. Yeah. What would be number one on that hobby list that you'd go to the first day your career went all the way?
I would dive even deeper into the martial arts and start opening up some studios. And are you serious?
Dojos are Jojo's academies. Can I tell them dojo is Japanese, right? Yes. He's corrected me on this before the.
Oh, so don't dojo is not what it's dojo mean then. Did I fucking stutter?
That's for dojos for karate and and you're doing with Dojo is for not for kung fu, which is what Downey does kung fu anyway.
Let's I want all of us to name another interest, so I'll name one. But we've got to go around, OK. Mine would be technology based climate crisis solutions.
Now are you me. Next Monday, no more candy commercials.
Mine would be private jet fund.
Oh, not interested. Give us a real one. Come on brother.
I know you do you deep movie. Yeah. I think that sports hockey crap definitely sports hockey stuff.
But I think that I don't know. I'd probably spend more. I'd like to go back to school and study history.
So would the rest of us like you to do that?
American history or world history? World history. European history much. That's cool. I like that.
Yeah, I spent that's what I spend most of my time reading.
Give it to me is I play piano. I studied piano my whole life and thought that I was going to be a composer and a conductor and all that. And then as they say in the business, I took a left hand turn, Hey, I'm here. I am talking to you.
Find the piano. There's this guy selling them. I don't mean playing them now. So I'm I really enjoy that.
I went away from it for for several years and now I've kind of discovered it again.
So I started playing a lot lately. I love it. Jason, what's the thing you would do? I would I I'm incredibly interested in politics for all the obvious reasons lately. And it's not going away. It's going larger and larger and larger. So I would probably go that direction.
Hayes, I have a request. Yes.
Anything Jason and will know. Slower, my dad I'm doing a documentary about my dad, Bob Senior, he is hell bent on me recreating this song I sang for the Kiwane Solo Festival when I was 15. Shubert's Fisher Viarsa. Oh, yeah, it sounds familiar. I probably couldn't recall it either. What does that mean? Does that mean you sang a song in German? Yes. Oh, boy, here we go. So he would. He wants me to do it.
As part of the documentary, he's hijacked the documentary because he saw a cut up and said he's got no rhythm.
What we need is some German singing underneath this sequence.
He's the best. He's coming. He's coming here next week. Anyway, I brought a pair of later Hosn with me. Sure. Later, Husan, literally. And I don't know if you have a piano handy, but the only way I could do this and record it and film it because I told Daddy can hijack the documentary that Chris Smith is actually directing as long as we can film him hijacking the documentary we're doing about it. That's hilarious.
Would you consider accompanying me? Sure. Of course I would do that. Thank you. That's my guess. I got my get from, hey, can you get me the music?
No, no. That's the only thing. The caveat. Mean. Can you give me the music? What? What are you insane?
I got my last question.
Well, you've done a fantastic job of driving this interview today. Thank you.
You come with any questions? No, listen, I was asked to drive it. Weren't you supposed to be lobbing bombs from the sidelines?
No. But I thought that you guys kept jumping on and saying stuff. So I was, you know, we love. So I wanted you to feel that you were free. I know. I know. I mean, letting it breathe. I have a bunch of hard hitting questions.
I want to ask Robert. I would come, etc..
West Side of Manhattan, what's your Upper East Upper East Side most speaking of Manhattan, that does your mind do you have fond memories of your brief stint on Saturday Night Live?
I have memories. I thought it was in a what? How did that happen? Yes. So how did that process happen? That was one of the questions of Anthony Michael Hall was cast. He said, I want my boy to be on the show. That's not how it works.
And that's not that's not going to happen. And you see weird science, Anthony Michael Hall here. I'm saying my boy down, he's on the show. They're like, well, let's let's see.
All right. But listen, he's great. You're going to love him. He'll come audition, whatever. But then we're going to need Belushi and Aykroyd to hold office. And we want bunk beds in there with NFL sheets. Is that going to be a problem?
Like, let's do the audition first. And by the way, I'll tell you a really fun part.
We were doing the show and it was the MTV Awards. And all I remember is at one point.
We're in a drop top DeSoto with a driver with white gloves on, I'm sitting with Anthony Michael Hall in the back seat and David Lee Roth is shotgun and we're going somewhere to do something stupid. And I said, you know what? I'm right where I'm supposed to be. Where did you go and what did you do? Where it went gets sadder and sadder and more pathetic and starts opening up some old wounds.
So let's do it. Don't go too far.
But we've talked about Leif Garrett. We've talked about on camping trips and stuff, bikes with bikes on the top so they can ride into town and get messy. So you can tell a little bit about what happened down.
He's probably got some nice life stories. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We had good times at that man. She get life on the show.
I love a bit of life, Garrett. I'll tell you. You do love him. Yeah. Appreciate that do regular Iraqis right now. Yeah, it's going to come down a little lower for life. Yeah, bring a little lower. That's our boy, right? Just above the eyebrows.
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One serious question, and then we can start with the serious questions when you because when I first started learning more about you and your dad and how he was a filmmaker and he was an actor and he brought you on, and then you guys did drugs as a kid, and then you guys went through all of this journey and you just revealed on this podcast that you're doing a documentary about him.
How did you come around to forgiving him? Like, how did you come back around to having a relationship with somebody who, like, I'm sure you went through the stages of blaming him and all that stuff because I still blame my dad and I don't know how to get over it.
But the doc is a hit piece, right, Tony? You have not forgiven him. You want to drag him across the coals.
It's got Shia guerrilla style, never ending interview.
And it's you in a frozen wink at the end. Oh, Dad, you're going to get this later in life.
Well, first of all, the forgiveness thing was, if you have any empathy, it's too hard to stay in that. My experience is your fault. But I'll tell you something. I'll just tell you this story because this is what life is like, right? My dad and I decided we were going to follow George Hamilton around while he was doing a la caja faux traveling company. Sure seems like a plan. OK, and we started doing that.
Then my buddy Ashley Hamilton was there and then dad started filming stuff of George and Ashley together. My dad said, you know, the real stories, these two fucking guys. Right, which I thought was father and son, I go, you're right.
The father and son story is more interesting than the play. He goes, Yeah. Matter of fact, fathers and sons throughout time, this is this is a real that's a subject I was like, yeah.
So for people who don't know the movie Birdcage with Nathan Lane and Robin Williams, that based on the Khaja correcto.
So I say, yeah, like even look you shot. Fuck you, we're done.
So I say to to senior, I go, Yeah. Like even you and me. That's a story because it's a story anyway. So but fathers and sons in general. And then he said, you know, the real interesting story is and then he told me about this other father and son, Sean Flynn, who was Errol Flynn son, actually did all the stuff that his dad did in the movies he was in going into Cambodia or crossing the Laotian border.
He was a photojournalist, a real adventurer. And then he got lost and probably taken prisoner and probably executed. And I was like, wow. And so then he started sending me, like betrayal's on what he thought the documentary that had nothing now to do with Ashley and George about Sean and Errol, the Flins. And I'm like, what is he driving? I said, so I thought maybe I could trick him into me doing a documentary about him while he thinks we're doing a documentary about other fathers and sons.
Huh? And then I got busy and went to a couple movies and then came back. And Chris Smith, who's arguably the the greatest documentary maker around right now, one of the top guys he started getting into, and he said, I really like this. And he liked it even more when my dad started saying, I'm a show, this clown ought to make a documentary or whatever, because he's like, I love it because your dad only cares about the moment.
And just because the documentaries about him doesn't mean it isn't a project. And so if we're going to do a project, let's do something, because documentaries so boring, everyone was just sitting there talking. He should be walking around. And so you're shooting stuff like people talking about my dad buy a duck pond and he's like, cut back three weeks later when the ducks are big.
And then, like the screen says, three weeks later and the ducks are back or we're sitting at a table and I'm like, you know, Dad, I just really want to save when we're going through all that stuff. Because look at the king.
The king's got a lizard head go in tight on the lizard head, you know, and I'm just like, I fucking love him so much. Yeah, he is a true or so my missus, who I thought would be super skeptical because this is not cheap. She watches the first cut. She goes, you know, I understand your dad now. I can't wait. I can't wait to see this. It'll be pretty great. I can't wait.
You're in it. You're part of the. Don't you?
You're literally in it. So, Robert, is there is there a camera shooting the camera that's shooting the documentary is there. Yeah, that's great. When do we get to see this? Well, how close are you to doing? Well, he's coming out next week.
He says we've got about six or eight days of shooting left. I was like, oh, hold on a minute. Now, what is Chris Smith say?
Chris says, we need two different budgets. The budget for the movie I'm doing about your dad in the budget for the movie your dad is doing based on the fact that he doesn't think my movie is any good, even though it's a documentary.
That's okay. So let me ask you something, Robert. Has the has the shift happened yet where the son now becomes the parent? Look, let's just agree that the meditation on one's closest family associates, in this case the father son relationship, it is I don't even know part of the reason that I keep this is so numinous look it up to me is because I feel drawn to figuring out all this stuff that is entirely unconscious that I won't really figure out.
Like I said earlier, you know, it's like two weeks later you realize what you would have said. This is going to be like years from now. I'll probably have a smidge of an understanding about what it all meant.
And I also know that he's leaving breadcrumbs. I know it. I know that intuitively he is doing part of this to leave some sort of incomprehensible, perfect messaging to me, or at least that's what I'm I'm expecting, you know, on that.
It's something I've thought about we've all been thinking about because we're all roughly the same age. How much, Robert, do you think in thinking about your dad and looking like that is that's the tree. I am the acorn. How much do you think you're going to change between now and the end of your life? Or do you think I'd throw this out to you guys, too? Do you think that there's like we do a lot of changing, obviously, when we're teenagers and whatnot, but like, once you become a certain age, I feel like the moves are not that big anymore.
Or maybe they are. How much how much big how many more big moves do you think you're going to be making?
I stopped growing at 17 years old. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm much the same since I would agree with that. You're not going to hear anything out of me. I don't need to hear anything.
I'm just being kind taking it to both you guys. Robert. Yes, dear. Yes, please. The growth, it depends on what happens. So almost any time I run, it's been either the things were too painful to not change or I was confronted with something that if I didn't adapt, I was going to perish. So it could be illness. It could be. But I always leave open the possibility of some great new inspiration.
I totally believe that we're following this little golden thread of things where, I mean, how did the four of us wind up here today? How many things had to go right for this? I think about that stuff all the time. Yeah, but.
But do you have anything sort of and I'm not asking you to to to to say what it is, but is there something that you kind of have earmarked that this is this is one thing I'd like to change before I'm done or you pretty content you strike me as something. It's OK to say that you're not going to be calling yourself perfect. But like I would I wouldn't be surprised if you said that you were content. You seem to have really put the work in.
I look, I mean, you know, 70 percent maintenance. I want to I want to head in the direction that you have so expertly gone. I want to write and direct, even though it just sounds like the worst, worst job in the world.
But I think I have to even if I just do it once, like Don Cheadle directed one of my favorite movies of the last five years, Miles ahead, he plays Miles Davis and Ewan McGregor plays this guy, is trying to get an interview. And all Miles wants to do is go get the coke that this guy owes him. And it's but they learn a lot about each other. And I love Don Cheadle is amazing, OK? And I was like, Don did.
What did it feel like? Because, I mean, the role in the thing goes hated it. Oh. Is like, why it was terrible.
What the directing part. Just the short shooting schedule, the budget, the billing decisions, you know, because like on set we're shooting like, you know, whatever, you know, and Tony and like between takes he's like playing cards and talking smack. And it's just like it's the easiest job in the world. He's like rolling off a log. There is such a natural and then that is nothing. You're answering 30000 questions a day that people should be walking over to you to tell you that they don't answer you.
First of all, you've got obviously you've got the capacity for it. Only you don't need me to tell you that. And you are really an artist and you do have a real understanding. And that is grown counter to what, Jason, you were saying your your perspective has changed in the last ten years, certainly in the last twenty years.
Right. I mean, a lot.
And the discipline that that that you have is is cannot be underestimated. Sure.
But well, certainly you have a lot of discipline, but also like your just your desire to artistically express yourself at any given moment is constantly there.
It's right beneath the surface or it's on the surface or it's out there. Right.
I mean, that's something that you're always kind of doing and I mean that as a compliment. And I can imagine that that would be so, such a difficult thing for you to do to to write and direct.
Do you think the writing would be more difficult than the directing or vice versa? The writing?
I think any anyone who's. Been even near a good writer. You see that they just get lifted up into this space where they're really just channeling the best connective ideas that are out there somewhere, somehow, you know, some people are really good nuts and bolts writers, but I mean, it's just the best. My dad says this. Anybody can act. Few can direct, nobody can, right? Mm hmm. So if you're a writer, by his estimation, you are top of the food chain.
Funny, I actually know the guy who wrote that book, Jesus, God Help US. That probably takes us to a commercial, but. Yeah, yeah, I know. But to all that and I, I go on and on almost every episode about.
Do you sure do. Anyway, thanks, Robert. Well done. Given give my man.
I guess I go on and on about how brilliant Jason Bateman is way when in Ozark. Oh I'm so far up his ass I'm going to leave him Scott before I let him finish. But I always ask you, Jason, to I was think about this.
I guess I haven't asked, but we've been talking to Robert about this.
I don't know how you can divide your brain into conceiving the direction of a scene and then shelving that and going in front of the camera and acting. It just seems like so much overload on the brain. I don't know how you do it and you do it so brilliantly.
Honest, quick answer is that you do all the directing and then when it's time to to act, you just do the acting. So like between hang on, I got to write this down.
So you just direct and then you act. Yeah. OK, between action and cut. Number two is act is that. Yeah. Between action and cut. It's the acting, everything else is the directing. All right Sean, what do you like that I do.
Like take your time.
Do I like I like you and that's more than your hands man. I'll take it. OK guys. I always tell. Well he's the funniest person alive. No, no, no, no.
I'll second I'll tell you this. He's the person on Earth that I ever met who enjoys being himself the most. And it's infectious. Yeah, nobody.
But I find that that will laughs the hardest at nobody but himself.
That's self-love. We're all for it. I actually I don't think I've ever met a person that doesn't love every second they spend with well or not. Yeah, that is. That is true. That's true. Yeah. Come on.
Maybe they know how close we are so they, they don't, they don't talk to me how much they hate you. Yeah.
I'm going to be on the street gone. I just don't like them. I just get it. I'm not a fan. Yeah. Not for me. Not for me. I don't get it.
It's it's a great Hollywood like, hey, what do you think of the the movie. Nobody wants to have an opinion in case they're wrong or they'll lose their job over it. So I was like, what do you think of the thing?
Was it for me? I mean, I don't get it, but I definitely see how people.
So you didn't like it. How great how great was it having down here?
It's like, oh, leave it to Lukow. Incredible. I know. Robert, thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Please say hi to Susan. I will. Thank you. Most of all, you're my new friend. I know these other guys pretty well.
Robert, I adore you. I truly do. I am and been a huge fan of yours and business and now I'm a huge fan of yours in life for real. And I just love you.
Likewise. Thank you. And I also love your business. Oh, God. Fuck, I said it wrong. Now get in the car.
Thank you for coming and doing this. That was a great episode, right. Having having Downey. Incredible. Love him. Thank you. Know, we got to pretend you're not here. We agree. Was that right?
He was amazing. I mean, for so long. Nice going.
You know what? We can't pretend that Danny's not here. This is the first time we're ever doing the goodbye with the guest in the house.
That's just be one of the people saying how great it was witnessing his own funeral. How great was it having Downey today was like, oh, my, he nailed it.
Well, he's still here. So, I mean, it's all downhill from here. Oh, my God. The ratings. Look at this spike. Do you think so? I can't wait.
I'm making a documentary about him, making a documentary about his dad. He's making a documentary about his own life.
And Jason, I wanted to ask you, will you do wardrobe on it?
Red headbands for everybody? That was so fun.
I just wanted to say because I want to be the first to say bye, baby smart. Smart.