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His new book is called It's called Greenlights. That was called believe, it's called green lights. It's about green lights. We'll find out real quick. Matthew McConaughey.
Oh, I gave up his name. But he's he's awesome, he's just a he's one of those rare people that's an actor that I enjoy. Listen, I enjoyed just listening to him talk about life. He's a unique human being. I really love talking to him.
And here he is, the great and powerful Matthew McConaughey government podcast, the Joe Rogan Experience train my day job and podcast, my life all day.
Hello, Matthew. Hello, Joe.
What's going on, man? You got a book out.
You got a book, a green light, trying to get to what makes a guy who is successful as you as an actor.
What makes you want to expose more of yourself? Because that's kind of what you're doing by writing a memoir, right? You're exposing your thought process, your your life, your lessons. Now, another way of communicating, you know what, I do my day job as an actor, it's got four filters from the raw expression. There's water, there's my raw expression, there is what's being recorded, there's what's being edited and what's being put on the screen.
I wanted to do something where I got rid of the filters writing a book. There is one filter because it's the written word. What you do, what we're doing now, when you do stand up, that's no filters. That's the direction it's live. The big show is always recording sort of ultimate goal.
But I wanted to I wanted to put it down and say, hey, I want to I'm part of these movies. They're usually written by somebody else, directed by somebody else, edited by someone else, financed. But someone I was like, now I want to go direct my own movie. I want to produce my own movie that I do that I want to put the words on a page. And I'd been writing for thirty six years, so I had a lot of content to go through and see if it was something worthy of sharing.
Yes. You've been keeping a journal for thirty six years. Yeah. What made you start doing that. I think probably in the beginning, the usual reason someone writes in a journal, you know, I'm heartbroken, Gretchen Donnelly broke up with the rebels on my face.
Why do I only have Peachfuzz of my pecker and everyone else?
And then in my early twenties, I remember I was I was kind of role and I was in college. I had a job at money in my pocket. I had a nice girlfriend. I make it my grade. My relationships were good. And I remember going, Oh, you hadn't been writing in the journal. There's much notice. You don't do that so much when things are going well. And I said, I think you better start writing down things when things are going well in my gut.
My idea was that, hey, you're going to get in a rut again. You lose your frequency, you get in life. You might want this to go back and look at to help you recalibrate. And that proved to be true. So many times we dissect failure and hardships, but we don't dissect success. And going back in those journals, I found that there are times when I got in a rut later and I was able to go back to those journals and go, What were your habits when you were rolling, man?
Who were you hanging out with? Where were you going? What were eat, what we drink and how much sleep were you getting? How are you looking at life?
And they helped me recalibrate in the times when I was off frequency and get back on the rails again and find my frequency again.
What were the things that when things were going great? Well, what was what were the common factors, common factors.
Will one check in with yourself before checking in with the world when you wake up in the morning, really to sit there and take a little time, read a little something that's between me and me. Right? A little something that's between me and me before picking up the damn phone and saying, hey, what e-mails came in or hopping out in the kitchen and going and everyone else is already going, hey, hey, what's up?
Take, take, take, take ten minutes to check in with me before checking in with the world or the other things. Sense of humor, a sense of humor. I found that I was laughing more happiest time in my life when I got my wink back, man when I got a link, if I lose my wink, it's like, oh, I'm taking things too seriously.
So I had had more of a sense of humor. Didn't they take things as personal in many ways and. Wasn't asking permission as much as Roland, asking permission, like, what do you mean by that?
Well, I asked permission about, you know, having the confidence to believe in something I want to do and just doing it and saying, hey, if you ask permission, you're already creating one of those filters away from the rocks and just do it.
It's like, don't you can what you're saying, what it sounds like is like you almost like self medicated with a type of medication or a type of meditation that you invented yourself. You almost like figured out a meditation because that's what people who meditate, that's what they say to do, take an X amount of time, 10, 20, whatever it is, minutes out of the day, focus on your breathing, clean the mind out of anxiety and stress.
And if you do that on a regular basis, you'll have a happier life. And you seem to have figured that out on your own. Or did you read books about doing this?
I think I figured out on my own. I mean, the other thing that I didn't tell you was to book in the day before I say my prayers at night to go through the day, which I don't know about you, but it can be hard to remember what you had for breakfast after dinner. When you're going to bed, it can be hard to remember what those first things we did in the day. So I'll go back through my day when I'm happiest.
I go back to my day and I like to write a mental note of what is tomorrow, what are my plans for tomorrow. That's a big stress reliever for me. I think I learned it on my own. I've always been a list keeper.
I love making a long list of things to do during the day, and I add everything that I add that the simple things that you know you're going to do anyway in the list, like kiss your wife, you know what I mean? You drop a deuce, whatever it is. I write things that I'm going to do just so it's more to mark off the list.
You write, you write down, you have to take shit like really just remember, you know, enjoy that or read something or read something funny or have a listen to that favorite tune. Here's something that I know, because the longer the list, the more things I can walk off that day, the more I feel like I accomplished in, the more it makes it kind of easy to do the hard stuff.
You know, I do that with some things that I have to do, like exercise and writing. I do that with some things. But it seems like you're very meticulous with this.
I go through hot streaks and cold streaks on it. You know, I do it more times than others, but I've found that those are the common denominators, some of the things I do when I am the most happy. I'm not a big meditator, but my exercise, like I'm breaking a sweat once a day, exercising. I find for me that is necessary because it puts it a demarcation between all of my responsibilities. And I could look up, you know how it is if sometimes you go through the day or days and you're so busy and I'm good on autopilot getting stuff done.
But everything you have to do, stress comes when those responsibilities feel like they're stacked vertically on our shoulders and there's a proverbial weight on our shoulders. When I go break a sweat, all of a sudden all those things that were stacked vertically on my shoulders, my responsibilities lay down and they're laterally out in front of me. So there's no more weight on my shoulder. And I find that I get those things done better and with more enjoyment. If I just go, Oh, there they are in front of you, just hand to one, then hop to the next one and handle that and the next one to handle that and much more better.
But I need those. I see demarcations between my responsibilities. If I go break a sweat. Yeah, I couldn't agree more with that, I think there's a biological need for that when human beings are under pressure, because I think the way our bodies are set up, pressure historically, genetically met, your life was in danger and you had to exert energy and your body stored up this energy. You had adrenaline rushes, you had anxiety. You had all these different physical needs that you had to take care of.
And if you don't exert energy, those physical needs are not met. And your body's confused at stores up a lot of this and you just you get anxious, you yell at red lights and people just freak out. Generally, your tolerance for bullshit is way lower. But if you can just get that physical need taken care of your way better at handling life way better.
Yeah, I couldn't tell people that enough. I'm a broken record with it. I say it too much and I love hearing people like yourself, successful people that have thought about a lot of the various aspects of what's good and bad about their life. Express that because I think everyone needs to hear it. It's just we need to hear it from enough people so that it just becomes ingrained in everyone's head everyday. Brush your teeth every day, break a sweat.
Just just do it. I mean, it's it's good for so many things. Yeah. You know, people talk about, oh, don't know, stress. I'm like bull shit. Yeah. The stress is fine. Means you give a damn, you know what I mean.
You're going to have stress, you're supposed to stress. But I know I handle things better and more thoroughly and more like myself, like I want to. The outcome is always better and I enjoy doing it more. If I do go break that sweat and get those endorphins going. That presses reset for me and shows me a little separates all the events, like I said, laterally. And they don't feel like they're stacked up on top of me. Yeah.
Also sleep me. How much do you get a night. Nine and a half. Whew. I love it. That's great. I wish I could do that goddamn when I get a nine and a half an hour night. Oh my God, I feel so good the next day. I feel amazing. I feel like a newer person.
Well, I'm lucky I have a wife that says, no, no, no, you get your laugh, I'll get my seven because I'd rather handle the stuff I handle that you don't while you're sleeping, then be around you when you hadn't had enough sleep.
Well, you set it up, right? Yeah.
I can't stress that enough to sleep is everything. Sleep, exercise, health, keep the body functioning correctly. All those things, they they're not just it's not a vanity thing and it's not a laziness thing. It's literally like it improves the quality of the way the mind functions and you get better things done. You're the quality of your work will be better. Definitely think more clearly, you don't waste your time chasing down bullshit, you don't you do the right kind of work.
You know, we all know that I love hard work, but I've had many times in my life where I'm doing the wrong kind of work. I love the kind of work where I've accomplished what I needed to do during the day. And I lay my head on the pillow and I'm exhausted because I got done what I needed to get done as best I could. I do not like the exhaustion at the end of the day where I'm like and I feel like I was just going to revolutions, man.
I don't know if today had any ascension to it. I didn't build anything today. Was it? I don't I don't know if maybe I went backwards, you know, I don't like that kind of exhaustion. And that's the kind of exhaustion that actually I don't go to sleep. Well, I actually it keeps me up.
The only thing I get good out of those shitty days is a desire to never have those shitty days again. I think the the good the good aspects of negative feelings is recognizing how good positive feelings are, how good are the feelings of accomplishment are by failing. And that's why we talking about, you know, like no stress, just live in peace. That's a crock of shit. That's like never feel bad. Well, then you never can appreciate feeling good, like hills and valleys.
But I'm with you 100 percent on that. I mean, I write in my book, you know, and I get asked a lot.
Do you do believe in fear? I'm like, well, hell yeah.
I believe the fuck doesn't believe in fear. We know you see no fear. Oh, those people are so silly.
Like, no, no, no, no, no. I do I do fear. I fear every single day it's the overcoming of the fear or I know being raised.
You know, we were a physical discipline family. We got that. We got the belt. We didn't get grounded. My parents motto was, we're not going to ground you because that takes away your time and your time is your most valuable thing. Now, we never got injured. We just get hurt. At the time you cried and it was over with, but there were things that I did not do growing up and still do not do for fear of the consequences that your work for me on read time.
Things I did not do growing up like that be a lot of fun, but not so much, not more fun then how much it's going to suck if I get caught.
Physical consequences are it's a very controversial subject because a lot of people think I don't hit my kids, but a lot of people that I know who are my age were hit when they were young and they look back on it and they say, you know what I learned from that? And my parents didn't they didn't beat me. They physically punished me for something that I did wrong. And they they didn't do it to be sadistic. They did it because they cared about me and that's how they were raised.
It's a very controversial subject because people get up in arms with the idea of hitting children, you know?
So, yeah, you bring it up that that it was beneficial to you is going to have a lot of people's hackles raised.
Sure. And I get asked all the time and I've shared it openly how I was raised and what kind of corporal punishment we got. I don't choose to you discipline my children the same way my parents did, but I've said this before. I wouldn't trade one single of those asked what I got for the values that were instilled in me from getting them. And I'm very clear and was at the time that I earned everyone I got I earned everyone and we were family.
You know, my parents like, we get it over with and over and it's over and we don't hold grudges. No one's going to speak of it again. And if you got in trouble, that was the night dad would take us across town to our favorite burger joint and let us stay up as late as we wanted. It was and it was over. You got more trouble if you brought something back up, you know, to somebody in the family.
Yeah, but what about when you do that? No, no, no. They already got in trouble for that. You don't bring it back up. You could not go to sleep in our family holding a grudge. My parents would stay up all night and let you miss school to sit there and keep hashing out until we could hug it out, try it out and say, I love you and move on.
Sounds like a wise family. I mean, that's a controversial thing to say. If they hit you, a lot of people would say there's other ways to do it. But the way they made you hug it out and stay up all night and communicate, it sounds very wise. I think it was you know, I don't you know, like I said, I don't choose to discipline my kids the way my parents disciplined me, but I damn sure don't judge them or say what they did was wrong, where they came from.
A different era as well, right?
Yeah, I'm different. Yeah. That's a thing that it's very difficult for people to come to grips with, is that, you know, human beings that were raised 30, 40, 50, 60 years ago, it was a different world. It just was different. And we know more now. And like you're saying, you do not choose to discipline your children that way. But it was so common back then. It was yeah, I mean, it was you know, my parents were probably thought they were taking it easy on their boys more than their parents treated them.
Yeah, they brought a much more harsh. Yeah.
You know, and it's it's like I said, there are things I did not do that I should not have done for fear getting my backside.
So their value in that in that fear and consequences and consequences go both ways. You know, there's good and in the bad as a consequence of everything we do. But there were definitely things I didn't do that I should not have done for the fear of the consequences that were useful to me.
Is this the writing of this book? Is some of it almost like. Like letters to your younger self, like a lesson to people who are like you coming up, because one of the things that's so beneficial to young people with reading autobiographies and memoirs of successful people lived extraordinary lives, is you get to see all the thought process. You get to see the warts, the failures, the whole thing, the fears, the anxiety. You get to see it all.
So you go, oh, that Matthew McConaughey guy, he's a normal dude. He's not just the guy from Dallas Buyers Club and all these movies. He's a normal human being. And maybe I can one day achieve heights like him as well. Or maybe I read this book and I'm someone who feels like, you know, as we often do and we're going through a crisis that we're the only ones and it's only happened to me. I'm the center of the universe.
No one else will understand. And you can go, well, here's a guy who's successful who shoot. I haven't maybe thought he just kind of rolls out of bed and makes everything look easy, which you find out. I try to work to get to that point, but maybe you look and you hear and you go, oh, he went through some similar things. I share some stories in here that are very subjective to me. But the more subjective and personal I got, the more I found that, oh, these are more relatable to the more amount of people out there.
So you may read a story and go, I have that story, a similar story in my life. Well, here's how I handled it or wished he would have handled it or here's some help. He got along the way here somewhere where he he took a walk about with himself and found out some things about himself. Maybe that's something I could do for myself. So there are some tools in the book for someone to see themselves in and help navigate our way out of crisis, red and yellow lights, but also how to navigate things when we are catching green light.
Because I have a chapter called The Art of Running Downhill. You know, I self survive, self sabotage myself. And things were going too well before until I learned that that really wasn't my right to put a roof over my expectations for myself. And who the hell did I think I was?
Well, that's more common than not, isn't it? There's the people get what they call imposter syndrome. You know, you don't feel like you deserve all the good things that are happening to you. And it just seems odd. You see it happen to other people. It almost makes sense. You see other people being very successful. You're detached, but when it's happening to you, it's almost like this. This is uncomfortable because this is not normal.
And so I'm going to fuck this up so that I feel like I used to feel before, which at least even if it was failure, it's comfortable. I'm accustomed to it and need some resistance.
Yes. You know, and look and I think there's very healthy ways to create resistance in our lives when we are on so-called easy street. Yeah, that may be a challenge in ourselves in the right way. You know that we need to create resistance to overcome it, to feel most alive. But there's also foolish times to create resistance. And the fact of that is things are going so well. You think that's how it's going to be for the rest of your life?
No, trust me, the uphills coming, the drama, the real drama is come and don't create any false drama in front of you right now because you're kind of patronizing yourself. The real drama is going to come. Someone is going to get sick. You are going to get hurt. Something will happen in your life. The world will do under you or you'll do it to yourself. So don't trip yourself running downhill and faceplant. Break your frickin nose just because you needed some resistance running downhill.
Yeah, because that uphills coming in. I mean, but to go back to the first part of that, I'm a big fan of creating resistance to keep myself in check and to make sure that I'm feeling most alive to overcome the right things in my life.
Yeah, me as well. I find physical resistance is the best thing to calm my mind and to provide physical challenges that allow me to it allows me to deal with success easier because there's bullshit that I have to deal with.
But the bullshit is physical and it's sometimes as challenging mentally to do it very physically, exerting exercises or particularly jujitsu or martial arts because it just breaks you down. And so that's the other stuff that's sort of it seems like it should be complicated, but it's not. You don't know why you don't sweat it as much as it sobers you up.
Yes. A very literal way. And in the same way, it's a daily routine to sober yourself up, just throw off them. Indesit mendacious bullshit in your life that you were so concerned about and get down to what really needs to happen. Mountains become mole hill. You know, it's big moments in our life sobers up, too. I know my father moving on and passing on from this life sobered me up in a way that I then stepped up and said, oh, you don't have your dad to rely on anymore to catch you when you fall.
All these things he's been teaching you that you've been kind of making B, B minus his in life. Now, you better start making eyes at him because he's not there. So you better take some ownership. And I remember when he moved on, I carved this in a tree, be less impressed, more involved. And what it was as soon as he passed away, I noticed that all the things that I was revering in life mortally, like the fame people, that success money they lowered down to high level.
Things that I was looking up that and all the things that I was patronizing and condescending and I was sloughing off, that's not worthy of me. They rose up to my level and I remember saying, boy, the world is flat.
I'm looking it in the eye. I see further. I see wider. I see clearer. I've got to take ownership of myself and I still with my heart higher, still in my head higher.
And I walk forward and started doing things. And that way that center without asking too much permission all the time and got a lot more done. It became a lot more myself and found more satisfaction.
Yeah. Sometimes people do need some wake up call to let you know that this is a temporary existence and make the best out of it and enjoy it. And sometimes it doesn't happen unless something tragic happens like they are in a terrible way, but also a beautiful way. There's a lot of power and tragedy because you get something on the other end of it and you get clarity. We will get some clarity out of this tragic and awkward time of covid, yes, there are lessons we're learning that we didn't even know what they are right now, that when we get out of it, we'll inherently be part of our being.
That will go for. I sure as hell hope so. But, you know, us humans were quick to snap right back to how we were before.
My concern is that it's t it's happening so fast, but it's going to take a long time to sort of even out and for us to reach equilibrium.
That's what I'm worried about with this weight, that what's happening is deterioration, that, you know, the financial deterioration, the fear, the changes with the masks and the social distancing and everything is happening so fast.
I'm worried it's just going to take a long time for people feel comfortable again. Oh, yeah, I mean, look, I think for for millions of people, yeah, this is the new normal, I think. I don't think we're ever really going back to how it was. I mean, this is a year that agree or disagree with how we've gone about it and how things have been politicized here and that this is the year that have shaken our floor.
I don't believe this is ever this year's going to be on page 14 of the news for quite some time. I think we've got a lot of rebuilding to do in the long term. It may be a 20 year build. Yeah, no, I agree.
It's it's a strange it's just feels strange. You go outside the world just feels different than it felt a year ago. And that's that phrase, the new normal that people like to bring up. And this is this is where we find ourselves. But I along with you, I'm I'm almost always optimistic and I have a lot of faith in human beings. And I think that we can get through this and have a very valuable lesson about when things do happen that are positive and good.
Maybe we won't take it for granted as much as we did before because we never thought that something like this is ever going to come along where the whole world is going to shut down for seven, eight, nine, ten. Who knows how many months.
Yeah. Forced to enter. Yeah. We had upon us in something that we don't take enough time to force upon ourselves and choose upon ourselves to do.
You know, you talked about optimism and I'd love to open that up with you and faith in mankind. And I was asked the other day about how do I trust and this is a time in the world with this great distrust and people don't believe me, don't just trust you, don't you don't trust others. You end up not trust yourself, et cetera. That bridge of reciprocity goes back and forth and then everyone's walking in circles, but. My answer, and I never thought about it until this guy asked because I was like, well, like I'm talking to you right now, Joe, I give you you have one hundred percent of my trust until you don't I'm not coming in hedging my bet with you or anyone that I meet for the first time.
I'm not coming in. I'm like, well, you're going to have to really earn your trust with me. I'm looking out for, you know, you have one hundred percent. You may ask me some questions right now that I'm not going. I think he's getting something else that's not really in my best interest. And maybe then you start losing some trust. But as of right now, we meet you have one hundred percent until it starts to decrease.
And that's all that's up to you.
I try to go towards everybody like that first. So how is that? And let's talk about optimism because. There's foolish optimism, there's like and I don't think you and I are saying is, hey. Glass half full will always see it half full. No, and let's recognize that it's half empty. That's the inevitable part. It's half empty or half full. Now, what's the constructive way forward? What can you do?
Something with the half the glass got another nine and a half. It's got something in it. Well, I think what I can do is, is with the half that's got something in it, make something irrigates and create more water so I can fill it up. I mean, it's choosing where can we be constructive in the choose the affirmative. And that's not a foolish optimism because a lot of times I think certain optimism, a Hallmark card optimism can almost deny that there was the other half the glass that was empty or deny it's a problem.
And I'm not I'm not not I'm not really a purchaser of denying where there's a problem.
You've got you've got what I call whiskey philosopher wisdom. Like, if you and I were having a couple of drinks at the bar, I have a feeling you would say some cool shit that I would remember and I would take home. And I go, I be like lying in bed, going to so I'm going to remember that. That makes a lot of sense.
Where did you get that from?
Oh, I think I mean, I grew up and found this storytellers.
I love lyrics. I love bumper stickers. I love slogans. I love to deconstruct a big conversation down to what's a one liner? What's the title of that song we just sang? What's the title of this this hour or whatever you and I talk. What's the title of a relationship I had? What's that? And you get enough of those going, Oh, what's the album title? I think of things lyrically and I think that may be where it comes from, as I think in a musical in a musical way.
Is this something you've acquired? Is this something you always had or you just sort of slowly developed it?
I think I'm guessing it was slowly developed, I mean, again, I come from a from a family of storytellers where we sat around the table and told stories. And if you didn't tell your story, good.
Somebody at the table took it over and you'd better be telling a good story and not dragging on or losing your train of thought because somebody else will step in and roll over you.
So when you wanted to get a word in, you better be a good storyteller.
Well, is that how you got into acting like this? The ability to entertain because the storyteller is essentially an entertainer?
Sure. Well, I went to film school first because when I look back at the diaries, I really couldn't admit that I wanted to be in front of the camera as an actor, but that's what I really wanted to do.
But I went to film school because I felt like being the storyteller behind the camera was something that my dad one could digest as a possible route forward for his son. And it was all that I could digest at the time. So when I made the leap to film school, I immediately would direct actors by performing myself in front of the camera. So I really liked the first person subjective performance. And then I got that that job in that summer of ninety two days confused or I ended up three lines turned into three weeks work.
I'm getting paid three hundred twenty bucks a day. People tell me I'm good at it. I keep get invited back to set. I'm like is this legal.
And so I went back, graduated, picked up and packed up my U-Haul and drove west young man two weeks out of, out of graduate in college.
And you know, I didn't have that story. Of roughing it when I first got out there, first two auditions, I went on, I got the job. That's pretty fucking amazing. Yeah. Did you when when you say that you didn't want to admit that you wanted to be in front of the camera, like, what do you think was holding you back? I think it was the look, I was raised in a blue collar family where you get a job, you work your way up the ladder company ladder to be in the arts, to be in front of camera.
The actors sounded so vain, sometimes so avant garde, sounded so European sounding so, so, so nothing stable about it.
And so to bring that up to my dad, even bring it up.
Like I said, it was not even in the vernacular of my dreams. I did not even dream about the only place that I admitted it was in my diaries. And I found those where I wrote to myself before I even consciously admitted that I did want to be an actor all the way back since nineteen eighty eight. But I never admitted it until I started doing it and turned it in about nineteen ninety three that I was like ok, I think I can do this, I'm giving it a shot and I love this.
It's totally understandable that you would fall into some form of self sabotage if it came that easy, if all of a sudden you're on dazed and confused, all of a sudden you do your first two auditions, you get the gig, everything's rolling. You're young and handsome. Whoa, come on.
Nice. I mean, how did just self correct? What I did, I I got it really happened around 96 after I did a film with Time to Kill. I remember the Friday before Time to Kill Open, that's the movie that that I was the lead in a big budget movie that was the one that made me famous. So the Friday before that movie opened. I know there's one hundred scripts I wanted to do, I would have done anything to do any of these scripts.
Ninety nine. No, you can't. One, yes, you can. I'm walking down the three prominent Santamonica, 400 people on the promenade, three hundred ninety six mile an hour business, four of them checking me out to girls that thought I was cute. And a couple other people maybe like my shoes.
The Monday following that weekend, Timika opens at night, the Monday following. All of a sudden, out of those hundred scripts, ninety nine yeses, you can do any of these, Matthew one no. All of a sudden, that same promenade walk I took four hundred people now three hundred ninety six were staring at me and four people weren't. One of them was blind. I think it inverted the world became a mirror. I noticed. Oh shit.
I don't need strangers anymore. People are coming up to me going like I'm so sorry about Miss Hudd. And I'm going, wait a minute. Number one, what's your name? I've never met. You had you know, I had a dog whose name is Miss Hot and has cancer. You just skipped five filters of how do you know what I mean. And I remember feeling unbalanced about it. How old.
I'm twenty three at that time. I'm being told I love you. I love you.
And in my mind I'm going man, we don't throw that word around. I've said that to four people in my life. Oh. So I want to know what the heck was real, what really mattered and.
I was looking for a place to go. I need to get out. I needed to go. Those demarcations we talked about earlier, I needed to go break a long sweat. I needed to go let my memory catch up, see what the hell was real, what was not.
So I packed up my stuff, went to a monastery for about a week.
And then I got back and I went off.
I had this certain dream, a repeating dream that came to me. And I went to Peru and plotted the Amazon for twenty two days and it was a forced solitude. Nobody there knew my name. They didn't speak English. I was forced to be with myself and my thoughts in my own company, which I was not enjoying.
So after about 12 days of shaking the monkey off my back, figuring out what the hell is going to forgive myself for and what I was going to lay down the hammer and say enough's enough about, I came out of it, woke up one morning light as a feather and shook hands with myself and said, We're going to be all right, man.
You're the one person I can't get rid of McConaughey, so we might as well get along and re-entered. And that recalibration helped a lot to disseminate through all the bullshit and all the excess of affluence that was coming at me at the time.
And I found some discernment and I found some discrimination in my choices again and moved on from there. But I've had to do that. I've had to take off on my own many times to go recalibrate.
That sounds like the story of a man running and the rocks fall right behind him like you just missed it. Like to also 23 years old, you weren't a child star, but it was so damn close. Like we all know what happens when your personality develops in the spotlight and you're famous. Almost no one gets out alive.
I mean, I understand it. I wasn't ready to go out to Hollywood before I did. Hollywood is not a place to go find yourself. Hollywood is a place where you can be anything you want. It's infinite. Yes. Is well in the infinite.
Yes is as you know, the infinite options can make a tyrant of any of us.
What does that noise. It keeps going off on your end. That's on my end. What it was. It's emails coming in. It's a crazy ding thing.
Is that what you get when you get emails that get the fuck out of me?
Just do nothing.
Nothing. I don't check them once a day. Oh, see, I don't text, you know, I don't like to email more than text because. I can press, pack and flag and email, I can't flag a text, I was text, allow me to flag it. Oh, I'm going to save that answer later. And if I would just do text, I may forget you wrote. And then two weeks later, I never wrote in that.
I do that where it doesn't go deep and there's I don't know, maybe Jodie Foster made it out alive. She might be the only you worked with her, did she? Nor did she make it out alive of being atonement fame.
She made it out alive. You know, she was. Yes, she was. But she the Coppertone girl on the beach.
She was a bunch of things. She she wasn't. And she in taxi driver. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, man, she did.
You know who else did Ron Howard. Yes, he did. He's a very nice guy. I ran into him at a doctor's office. He couldn't have been nicer and more normal and really enjoyed talking to him.
Yeah. Solid, you know, but I don't know. I've never talked to them about how they navigated in their youth. They obviously had some support because, you know, I see the I see parent with their with their children and they want them to be and for the camera. And I've even seen some stuff that we work with.
And the mothers behind the camera, like Olan Mills, photography, going cheese, say cheese in the director, you go, oh, no, no, no, no, no, no. This is not Olan Mills. We just want the the child to be himself or herself. If they have the courage to be themselves in front of camera, don't be at thing like in the thing. This is not a Olan Mills photo shoot. And so a lot of times I've seen the parents.
They're the ones that actually need the recalibration. Yeah. To go, whoa, don't be. You're making your child doesn't know who he or she is yet, and yet you're forcing them to try and be someone else. And that's their reality. There's danger in that.
Yeah, sure. No, there really is. It's it's very unfortunate when you see that you've worked with kids that have had to play your kid. Like, is that is that feel conflicted to you when that happens, like you almost like don't want them to do it?
No, I there's been some of my most comfortable roles as playing a father or father figure.
And I think that's because the one thing I always knew I wanted to be in life was a father. I knew that since I was eight years old.
What I mean is for the children themselves. Do you feel weird for me? No, no. The kids that are playing your child, like knowing that they're going to be in a film at a really young age, they experience all this.
I mean, I'll check in with you know, again, what I've noticed is it's the parent that may need the recalibration, the kids just fine.
But then you see the mother or the father loving it more than they're loving it or loving that child isn't from the camera.
We couldn't finish it.
Well, you know, when I can I've tried to talk about are your values in line here because your son or daughter is future and who they are is spending on how you deal with it. I've also seen parents handle it really, really well. You're going you're going to work. You have a job to do if you have a talent to do that. But you still come home and you still do the chores and you're still my son or my daughter who acts just like you do.
And we don't do any of that other that B.S. You're not things aren't going around here and you don't want to steal.
I wouldn't want I wouldn't want my child to be raised in Hollywood by Hollywood. I now early in my career, I was like, no, I would never want my kids if I have them doing what I do. I've completely turned a 180 on that. I would love if my kids got into the industry that I'm in. It's been great to me. I've met some of the most creative, awesome people in my life, but there's a time I wouldn't want them to go find out who they are in Hollywood in the Hollywood game by being an act or that kind of story.
Tell your own. I want to know their own story first before they're going to go tell someone else's story.
Yeah, I've likened it to like almost like a chemical process. Like if you want to make a poxy, you have to add a bunch of different ingredients. And if you don't add the ingredients while you're mixing it up, it'll never be sure. It'll never really firm up. It'll never be complete. And I feel like that's one of the things that happens to a lot of child actors, like the experience of people not knowing who you are. You have to earn their respect.
You have to earn their love, earn their friendship, prove yourself, not have people love you before you even meet them. That's just that seems toxic for children. It just seems crazy. I think it is highly toxic. Yeah. You know, we started off the conversation on this topic ten minutes ago.
Not many have recovered. No, not money from that. The insecurity, the lack of knowing who they are, the lack of talk about resistance. You know, Hollywood is a place of yes.
Yes, of course you can be whatever you want. It's Halloween every day. Now, wait a minute.
If you're playing dress up every day and you have the option to be whoever the heck you want and you know, you want to go to the club all night, you can do that, too.
Everything's a yes in those infinite yes. You can get lost and not found. Yeah.
I think, you know, you've got to have some structure. And like I said, I went out of twenty to twenty three. I don't think I was ready to go out there before I went out there because I had a sense if I didn't as much, I had a sense of who I was. I had a very clear sense of who I was not. And that helped me because I was able to see some things and be invited to some things to be around some place.
I was like, you know what, this is a stop, not a day for me. This isn't really going to feed me and really turn me on. This is a short term, you know, something I'm getting that's feed me in the short term. But this isn't going to last. Is that really who I am?
Yeah, I've I've talked to a few child stars that sort of got like Miley Cyrus is one that I talked to recently. And, you know, you see it in the conversation when she's describing what it was like to grow up famous. And it's it's a very difficult path. And I don't you know, I think Jodie Foster, Ron Howard is a few that have gotten through it so much to actually sit down with those folks and try to figure out what's the common denominator like, how did they do it?
Science. There'll be some great plans about how they did it. You know, a story about I had a teaching tool that had to do with something.
I pulled off in Hollywood for my kids and I'm big on delayed gratification and. You know, after I won the Oscar for Best Actor, my kids are like what you get the trophy for? And I said, Will you remember a year and a half ago, we're in New Orleans, pop out, go away. You wake up in the morning. I was already at work and I'd come home and have dinner with you, tuck you in and you wake up next morning.
I was gone again and maybe you said I look like a giraffe because I was so skinny and I get and I go, well, what I was doing for those 30 days when I was gone all day a year and a half later. Somebody said deemed that excellent work, and they gave me a trophy for that work. What I did a year and a half ago and I remember that song click, they were like, Oh.
Oh, our future is a compounding interest, you know what I mean? We can ask it, oh, you can build you can do something today and get rewarded tomorrow.
And it was it was an example that worked for them, understanding that you can you can get you can invest and make choices to engineer more. Ah.
Oh, I know. I know. That was a milestone for you and obviously you won the Oscar for it. But there's something about these physical transformation roles when when an actor does something where you realize like they're literally torturing themselves, I mean when would how would you get down to how much did you weigh?
I weighed one thirty five. And look, you know this I was not torturing myself. I was militant. The hardest part was making the damn choice. It was my responsibility if I looked like I do now. Playing Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club, you are out of the movie. The first frame of bullshit here. And he's not stage for Chevy. Come out. What's my job? I had to lose the way. Once I made my mind up, I did the smart thing.
I gave myself five months. I got on a diet where I'd have my tapioca pudding or whatever, three eggs in the egg whites in the morning, five ounce of fish, cup of vegetables for lunch, five ounces of vegetables for dinner. As much wine as I wanted to drink. And I lost two point five pounds a week like clockwork.
No exercise as much wine as you wanted to drink, much as a one.
How does what kind of diet is it worth to point out? And it didn't matter if I was going to the treadmill, I'm burning two thousand calories a day or not two point five pounds a week clockwork. And what happened in that time? This is another reason that I really didn't torch myself. And people say, oh my gosh, it's been so heart attack. Now, what I learned from it that that the body's more resilient than we give it credit for.
I the power I lost from the neck down equally or more so sublimated to the neck up, I was so my mental game was so acute and so on point.
I was clinically smart.
It didn't matter if I drank my one to 1:00 in the morning at four thirty a.m. no alarm clock thing. I was up every morning, had an incredible amount of mental energy. I had no leverage from my neck down on my knees. I had no insulation anywhere. You know, my body would hurt when I try to run ten feet. But from here up, there's some things I actually miss about it. What do you think?
What was the process like? Why did your brain work better when you were starving yourself? I think because it wasn't relying on I think on a cellular level, I felt my body going, hey, do you use a baseball term? You've got people over there on the bench, in the dugout, then you got people out in the field that are sitting in the in the bullpen, not working out on a cellular level, cellular level.
My sales and were in the dugout and over there in the bullpen had to get up and go, whoa, we're not getting fed.
We need to get fed. We got to we got to exercise here. We got to come to hut.
Hut. Because the body's not getting we're not getting what we used to get. We're not placated by what we use to get our insulation's gone. Are what we relying on is what we used to rely on is gone.
So I think my whole body woke up and my brain got really super, super sharp on that as well. So I think it was the going without the there's a bit of a it was what I went without that sharpened up and made my brain on the cellular level much more hungry.
What do you weigh normally? One eighty eight, Jesus Christ, so you lost 50 pounds? Yeah, there's roles where guys do this where it defines their career in some way, like Robert DeNiro when he gained weight for Raging Bull. Christian Bale when he did The Machinist. Yeah, yeah. There's these these roles where a guy or a woman just transform Charlize Theron when she played Monster, they they transform their body.
And it's like it's a different level of of commitment. And when you entered into that film, it was this the first time you'd ever had to do that?
Yeah, first time ever. I mean, you got Jack for that. I don't know how jacked you were before for that Dragon movie. I'm sorry. I forget the name Ring of Fire, and I fucking love that movie.
I was like Baby Chavannes and God, Miss Fantan was a great movie. Talk about a guy who was about no bullshit. Well, that was a sobering character. I miss that guy.
Yeah, it was a fun character. But you were jacked in that movie. You Jack normally or did you have to get Jack for that movie?
I got more Jack for that. Look, our family, my dad, we come from our anatomy. The mechanics have big tricep.
My dad, you see, you loved it. I'd be sitting there as a kid and my dad was a big guy. Six four, two sixty five. I played Kentucky Bear Bryant got drafted by the Green Bay Packers. He was a big bear of a man. And he comes in the living room one night and I'm in front of the TV watching my favorite show, Incredible Hulk. There's Luke Rick.
I'm like standing in front of the TV doing all this. He goes more, what are you doing? I was like, Dad, look at it, man. I mean, he's got these baseball sized biceps. Look at him. Wow. And he goes, uh huh, he takes off his shirt. Because let me tell you something, because that right there, because that's nice, makes the girls scream, you know, it's for show.
He goes that right? There he goes. That's the work muscle. That's the one that puts a roof over our head.
That's Ferdo show and the tie steps for Ferdo. So I had big triceps. So when I went worked out and if I take a little bit of creatine, my triceps go bananas. So that was a minor transformation. It wasn't that difficult to do. No, it was minor is a lot a lot of boxing and and just some nice, you know, throw its weight around. You just got fit.
But for Dallas Buyers Club.
Yeah, well, I try to stay within 10 pounds of striking weight of whatever I need to do for the role.
Was it hard to make the decision to do that for Dallas Buyers Club, though, because that was a giant transformation? I mean. It wasn't hard, I was looking for something to be all consumed with, something to be obsessed with, a singular obsession. This is my job. So my life revolved around that. My wife made me meals, chose me. I didn't go to Pizza Hut and say no thank you to the pizza. I'll have a salad.
I did not even put myself in front of temptation. I was a hermit. I stayed in my my wife made me the meals and I studied and wrote and created the character all day long. And I never got tired of that. So my world, I was in a bubble. I just put myself in a bubble for four, five and a half months. And that commitment to put myself on that island, to know that this is it's good to have this singular obsession.
You you cannot go far enough. McConaughey that was there's a freedom in that. There's a freedom I've always found of been having having a character that can commit that much to you cannot go far enough, though.
That was your thought process. Yeah, I knew when I got down to one thirty five, I was like, oh, OK, that's good. And mind you, I will tell you this, when I started to eat more at one thirty five to say let's slow this train down and quit losing weight, my body had already got the message and had its blinders on that we're going south and it kept going south. So that was a bit scary because I kept losing the way because my body had gotten already gotten in in the rhythm of losing weight.
And like I said, it turned a blind eye on getting any more food. So there was a tough transition there for about two weeks to get my weight to balance out again and say, let's just hold one thought.
So you dropped below one thirty five at one point in time, just went below the one thirty five, got down about one thirty two and then brought it back up. Now, how long did it take for you to physically recover from something like that? Were you back to normal and still recovered?
Really, because I thought that I thought that when I saw you in that film, I told my wife, I remember saying this like, this is going to take a long time for him to bounce back because I know how hard it is for guys to cut, wait for fights. And I know a lot of guys that have really depleted their body doing that. And when I saw you that gaunt and skinny arms like he's eating his body, your body ate itself.
It's the only way.
Yeah, I look, I came back and I did true detective after that. And I got on true detective. I got to about one sixty seven and held and I loved that weight as well because I had a little more leverage at a little more athletic ability, more insulation around my joints. But I was still pretty stripped and ripped slowly coming back from that.
I did learn this. I had to come back very slowly because I had heard stories about people that go Well now I'm back. Now I'm going to gain weight. I can eat as much as I want and that you can go back and look deformed. You can be your features can come back. If you rush it, they can come back in odd ways. So I very slowly.
But the weight back on.
I then did a roll a few years ago, I guess it was about four, three, three years after that where I put on forty seven pounds so I was twenty.
What was that.
Which is a hell of a lot more gold. It's called gold. It's a hell of a lot more fun to put that weight on than to take it off where I was a cheeseburger king and my family loved me in that role because I was captain fun. I was yes to everything. Milkshake for breakfast. You've got it. Let's go. Now, that was I've never talk about at that time. I was still mentally sharp, not as sharp as I was when I was down one thirty five, but at two twenty libido was through the roof.
I couldn't, I couldn't catch a cold if I swam in the damn canals of Amsterdam and I was like the abominable snowman. I was insulated and had great energy during that time. Now coming back from that, I still got a couple of things on my back here around the way I'm like where that that came up with that Roland Gold and what's that still doing hanging around, you know?
So I did have to come back slowly. But I will say this, you know, one eighty eight. Since then, that's my fight and wait before I look a little different than the one eighty eight before then before Dallas Buyers Club. It's a different 180.
So it did take a physical toll. Sure, I would say, you know, even neck and things like that, you know, neck and bone structure is the same, but where in that book between how much of this is just getting older, too, and having less fat cells, I'm not sure.
But yeah, it didn't hurt.
Like I said, I think I stretched my body. I noticed when when I got down to that weight at one thirty five, if I tried to sprint in 10 yards and I just my knees buckle, I had no insulation. And these are.
Yeah, I watched it again recently just to kind of get it into my head. And that's what I was thinking. Like this is going to take a while to bounce back from. Like I almost forgot how gaunt you got. It was it was striking, you know, and that's a fuckin crazy commitment, man. You drinking moonshine? What are you doing there?
What is this, some Cambodia? Oh, it was either that or whiskey a few hours.
OK, yeah. You're computer guy. I love that stuff daily.
I do. Yeah.
That's that's great for the immune system.
When you look at a role like a role like Dallas Buyers Club or something like that, like what makes you choose a role. Does it just have to resonate with you? Is it who's involved, who the directors are, the producers, the other actors that are committed to it? Like what makes you decide this is interstellar? Let's do it.
All right. Well, first, what's the pedigree of the people around me, the director, the script, the producers are are are they excellent? Are they the right for the story? I do look at that. But the main thing I look at is like this character. The last twelve years I've been able to choose characters that that made me shake in my boots the right way. You know, that good kind of scared where you're like, oh, I don't know what the hell I'm going to do with this, but I can't wait to find out.
I like characters where the decisions are really going to cost them, where there's consequences with every single scene that they're in and the favorite consequences to have or something like Iran. What if it's life or death consequences, something like a man's in how can I remain? I'm getting becoming extinct. You know, those are great. OK, we brought it down to the bare necessities, how to survive or how to stay alive from that place. Then I can then I can give my all that choosing roles where.
I'm not going to have any compression from the ceiling to the basement of the emotions I want to give. No one's going to tell me, oh, you can't be that angry. Oh, no one's going to tell me you can't be. That said, you can't cry that hard. No one can tell me. You can't laugh that hard. No one's going to tell me you can't hurt that bad. I don't like to be. I've been enjoying choosing roles that have a really high ceiling and a limitless ceiling in this basement to where I'm at.
You can can go as deep or as high as I want to with them. There's a lot of roles that have done in my career, for instance, like with romantic comedies where those emotions are compressed for a reason, the ceiling. You can't laugh that loud. You can't love that hard. You can't get that pissed off. You'll sink the ship. But those movies, they die built for buoyancy.
I've been enjoying the dramatic roles and that's what I love about drama, is that. Now it's up to the individual actor, your ceiling of how much you want to love or your basement or how much you want to go for it.
There is no there is no limit on either one of those. That's the kind of role that really has been turning me on. And that makes me feel like I'm having an experience in the making of the movie, in the architecture of the character, rather than just going and doing a job and getting a paycheck during the quarantine, the lockdown.
My family and I had movie night basically every night, especially when the kids were doing Zoome classes, because, you know, it just it was we had to do something different. So we mix it up and we watch contact again. And I haven't seen contact in forever.
And first of all, God damn, what a good movie. That was a good movie.
And that's a good movie and a great movie about aliens like like a movie that it gives you a different perspective on the possibilities of contact and and just the fact that it was a Carl Sagan book.
And there's just so much good to it. That character that you played was a fascinating guy, and I kind of feel like there's some of you in that guy. Sure, I mean, you are you are am I wrong here you are religious in some way.
Yeah, absolutely. And I want to I want to bring this up in this day and age when people go, no, I'm not religious. I'm only spiritual. You know, the Latin root of religion is re legat. And Lagat means to bind together. Re means again.
Well, in a world that's saying I'm only spiritual because I want unity, that's exactly what religion means. We bastardise the meaning of it over time and we've excluded people and we've corporatism such. But yes, I am religious.
That character. You know, I had written stories, I'd written a college paper called John Wayne Goes West. And it was about how do you how do you how can you be a believer in a world of science? And I remember writing things like you're the make of that movie, like science is the practical pursuit of God. The two are not exclusive. They dance together there. They go together, belief in science. And I never saw those contradictions.
And that's part of what the reason I attacked that role and became part of that that movie.
I wanted to play a person that had that point of view of a believer in a world of science, not at the exclusion of science and not the exclusion of belief.
Yeah, it's a confusing role for a lot of people. If someone is a believer and also a proponent of science because they want to know what are your literal beliefs like, are you taking the Bible at its literal word or do you use it as some sort of a guide book of the experiences of these people that lived thousands of years ago that have been translated from multiple different languages back to English? And is there wisdom in those translations? Is there wisdom in those original thoughts, these thousands of years of people contemplating and mulling on these things and that so many have used these as a scaffolding for morals and ethics and for societies?
If. It's a it's I mean, for people that go, oh, it's a it's a circus book or people that nonbelievers and I'm like lost to the best one going. There's a lot of great truths that come out of the Bible and it is open for a lot of people. It has been interpreted and reinterpreted. It has been translated, has been handed down. I find myself I don't know what to do in my daily life with the burning bush.
I don't know what to do with that. I do know what to do with love your neighbor like yourself.
I do know what to do with Matthew six twenty two. If I be single, their whole body will be full of light. I do know what to do with some proverbs that I can take into daily practice and go, oh, I felt my life.
I felt improvement. I felt success in my relationships, in my relationship with the day, with my career, by following that, by treating others how I wanted to be treated, the golden rule. So I take the practical stuff myself and try to try to utilize it and pick out what can work for me.
When you when you say you don't know what to do with the burning bush, what do you mean by that? I don't know what to do on a daily basis with the teaching of. And then he, you know, and then he here he showed up as a as a burning bush or the magic tricks. And I don't know what to do with Jesus healed everyone that then he couldn't walk. And he does when he can walk. I don't know what to do with that.
I don't I don't know how to take that into my life and go, oh, there's something useful and practical and healthy for you, Matthew, that you can practice there. So the magic that leans in towards what we call now more fantasy, I don't know what to do with that. I this is philosophy is proverbs, and there's teachings that I think are very valid and very helpful that we could all be reminded of that are in the Bible that I do find quite useful.
Yeah, I think it's almost impossible to figure out what they were trying to say with a lot of the things. That's why it's so it's open to interpretation, but also open to manipulation. And that's where people have a real problem with it when it's used for to to separate people, to exclude people, to marginalize people, to judge people. But it's hard for people that understand those aspects and that those things happened to actually pass out, that there's good about it, too, and that there's a lot of really valuable lessons in these books.
One hundred percent. Look, I get it, I mean, you know, it's like what are our what our fathers teach us? How your fathers, your life?
Well, I don't really know him. I have a complicated family history.
OK, well, fathers are a father figure. I have a stepfather. He's still alive and I'm close to him.
Well, step brother, when he goes, you'll find out some things where the messenger and the message weren't exactly in simpatico. That means you throw the messenger app that you like. I'll bullshit. You weren't following all that stuff. No, you take the message. This is the stuff that you can that could work for you, that maybe they wanted it for you. They couldn't follow through on it themselves. There's certain parts of the Bible that have that, too.
You don't throw out the whole you don't think it makes any sense to throw out the whole book. It's what we're doing in society now. I mean, we're we're we're making people persona non grata because of something they do or in. And that is that is right now deemed wrong or it's the hot point and a hot topic right now. You can't erase someone's entire existence. Where the heck does some forgiveness go? And again, that like optimism.
It's not erasing the crisis. It's not saying there wasn't a problem. First, it's not saying that there's version parts of the Bible that have been people have bastardized and used in the wrong way.
But you don't throw the whole book out and say, well, it's all it's all bad, then it's all these because it's false. Have you encountered difficulty expressing this in Hollywood? You know, Hollywood is predominantly left wing and very secular or Jewish in some circles, but it's not like a place where Christian fundamental values are espoused openly. You know, a lot of a lot of Jewish folks are in Hollywood, and that seems to be OK with a lot of people.
But some other religions, particularly if you're a fundamentalist Christian or if you have Christian values, a lot of people frown upon that. Why? Why do you think that is? And have you had difficulties with that?
I don't know. I haven't had it difficult. I have had and I won't know any people in the bus, but I have had.
Moments where I was on stage receiving an award in front of my peers in Hollywood and there were people in the crowd that I have prayed with before dinners many times, and when I think, God, I saw some of those people go to clap, but then notice that will be a bad thing on my resume and then sit back on their hands while.
And I've seen people read the room and go, whoa, that wouldn't bode well for me in the future if you're getting a job or getting votes or what have you. I have seen that. I've witnessed that. I don't I don't judge him for it. I just wish that it seems like a silly argument. There's it's a you know, one of the things that our our our people, some people in our industry, not all this, there's some that go to the left so far as our friend Jordan Peterson, who's back so as being back that go to the liberal left side so far, that is so condescending and patronizing to 50 percent of the world that need the empathy that the liberals have gives and should give to to to to throw what, legitimize them because they say they are a believer.
It's just so arrogant and in some ways hypocritical to me.
Yes, so I haven't run into, you know, I haven't headbutted trouble on that, but I've always like my my career up pretty much gone my own my own path and by hook or by crook, just trying to figure a way out and do what I was doing.
And I haven't been measured or noticed where it is harmed or gotten my way of what I wanted to achieve in Hollywood.
I think he slipped through the net. You got first far enough down the river where it's not going to be a problem.
Well, kind of like when I, you know, like my mom when I first got famous. You know, it's a great story in the book. Right, when I got famous, I'm trying to figure my own shit out, right. And then next night I get to call my buddy, says, hey, you watch this. I'm the one you turn on hard copy. And there's my mom with the cameraman taking a guy to our house.
And this is where I caught him in bed with Melissa down there. Oh, don't worry about it's no big deal. I've seen it. Now I'm going I call her up.
I'm like, Mom, what did you do? She's like, what I got. Don't say what I can hear it in.
You're on the other end of the line. You're watching it do is hard copy. She's like, Oh. I didn't think you'd find out you were my mom and I's relationship was strained, I couldn't I didn't have a mother to talk to to share things with us because he didn't show up on hard copy.
The next night. My career got solidified enough. You know, I slipped through the net. I was I was stable enough. I went and let go of the rain and said, Mom, you go for it. You can take the mike any time. You can hit that red carpet where your short leather dress and talk, whatever sale, whatever stores you want to. But again, it took a while for me to feel stable enough to slip through the net, let her go by herself as well.
This thing you're talking about with people disparaging people for their opinions and their beliefs and their the way they're living their life, I think a lot of this is coming from this condensed way of impersonal communication that we're getting from social media, I think is this is so much of the way people are judging people and the way people are communicating with people. One on one is how human beings are supposed to talk.
That's how we're supposed to work things out. And when you look at a person's eyes and you experience their their feelings and you read their social cues, that's how we communicate and that's how we work things out and hash things out and and figure each other out. And maybe someone has a different set of beliefs in you, but they happen to be your neighbor and you like them and you're like, hey, man, tell me, what's it like to be a Sikh?
What is it like to be Muslim? What is it what are your beliefs as a Quaker? Like, what do you what what's going on in your life? Tell me. I had a neighbor who was one of my favorite neighbors I've ever had. He was a Scientologist and he was a weird dude man, but he was always friendly as hell. And I would go outside, we'd have weird conversations about these things that he was doing. And I just try to figure him out and he you try to figure me out.
We you know, we always wave to each other. We're always friendly. I miss that guy. But he he and I if we were talking online, I'd be like, you know, if I was a younger man and I was dumber. And he said something about his belief and I thought that was stupid, I'd probably say, what kind of dumb shit is that? You believe that nonsense written by a science fiction author, but talking to the guy, that that was never the way I talked to him when he and I were looking at each other.
We're just two neighbors trying to figure each other out and just trying to be friendly and have a harmonious neighborhood. Well, it's one of the one of the things I think you're going to like about your new home, the city. I mentioned this to when I when I when I called you to say welcome. You know, one of the great things about Austin, Texas, is even though it's the the blueberry in the tomato soup, the more liberal city in the conservative state, you can see neighbors next door to each other talking to each other.
And one has the Trump sign. The other one has a bad sign in the yard. They're still having a conversation. No one's going sneaking out the middle line to go rip that other person sign out. Yeah, it's when Austin is at its best.
It has. It has that. You know, I think that the you know, and I've got young children and they're starting to get we don't allow on social media yet.
But you see, these people were living in a time where you put out something of yourself and you're old. Value of yourself is reliant on what the world out there, strangers, you don't know, comment about that.
And if I put out a picture that I'm really excited about on Instagram tonight. And if I'm going to look what the reaction is and the majority says, if you were gonna do this, all of a sudden I have a bad night, I'm having a bad time.
But if you go the same picture and you go awesome and the consensus awesome all of a sudden. You've controlled how I feel and I'm having a great night, I'm in a great mood, so we're we're sort of at the behest people of we're reacting. That's that's kind of what we're doing more on this. So we're reacting. And you look at, you know, things that things that go on on issues right now. Everyone's reacting to to to things instead of instead of creating the story or having an opinion coming out of the gate.
And I understand it to some extent, because people get you get hired and fired on those things these days, you know, hired and fired, whether you're hired and fired or not hired because you don't have as many people following your whatever it is. That's a measure now of what we call success in this life. You know, what's up at the top in America?
Money and fame, baby. You got that? You made it in America, you are successful, we pat you on the back, we give you respect. I got nothing against money and fame. I got money and I'm famous, but. That's not where my value system lies and what I'm what is most important to me and what I'm trying to teach my kids is a way to get that. And if you can do it in a way to have your value system appraised, that.
But it's tough because that's not what the world right now, especially America, rewards people for.
Yeah, I think there's a real issue with social media in particular with children in that we're just not designed for that. We're not designed for that kind of communication. And it's so easy to dismiss someone who's just text on a screen. It's so easy to just shut people down. And it's you see people getting praised because they're famous and because they're wealthy. I mean, how much of what social media is for a lot of young kids is seeing famous people in front of Lamborghini's with a million dollar watch on.
It's a bizarre posing ritual that people are doing.
It's very strange story about that. I'm in Miami Southeast now. Mind you, I really like Miami because it's so obvious. I mean, in L.A., people get like a boob job or a job or a cap job and they try to say no to an natural.
In Miami. They go, I just got my calf job.
I just got a boob job holding up calf jobs.
How many people do have jobs? Oh, God, guys, we'll go get a calf implant. Is that real? That's still happening.
And in Miami. They're they're showing you like they're out, that there's no shame in that there's no embarrassment not in that. All right. I'm in Miami making a film, and it was the beach bum. And I'm walking along the beach and there's this guy, unbuttoned silk shirt, got his gold chains on his all greased deputies leaning against his purple Lamborghini. And he's got someone taking pictures of him.
And I'm seeing what's going on at the palm trees in the back in the ocean. So I ask him, I said, what are you doing? And he goes, Oh, man, I'm to get this picture taken from my Tinder page.
Man sat there in the next 20 minutes. Two other guys came by and I asked Agogo, is that your Lamborghini goes, No, no, no. I just rented it for the day for my tender page.
Pick two guys walk by in the next 20 minutes.
And paid him 50 bucks to lean against his purple rented Lamborghini to get their Tinder page pic.
I wonder if it works, OK? It's got to work with someone.
And he got his, you know, got his rent paid for a Lamborghini.
Yeah, well, Miami should have a passport to go there. It's a it's barely America. It's a lot of fun. It's a great place, a lovely city. I love visiting there, but I don't think I could ever live there.
I go to Miami and I just go, you guys fucking out of control like that.
It's the only place before I was doing my last Netflix special, I was using these yonder bags. And what a yonder bag is, is you have to put your cell phone in the bag when you go in there so you can't film the show or you can't talk on it. And the idea is that the people won't be distracted because their cell phone will be in this magnetic pouch. You have it. You have possession of your phone. Nobody's taking your phone.
But when you want to leave or use the phone like someone's someone's going to call you, maybe you got a babysitter. You can go outside, they'll open the pouch up and then you can use your phone. Like most shows, I did this. I did shows all over the country. The shows people were more attentive. They sat down, they didn't get distracted by their phone and they just listened in Miami. All they did was get up and go outside.
So the whole show, the fucking shows, like an hour and 45 minutes, it's just people getting up and going out and coming back and getting up and coming back and getting up and coming back. It was like people were constantly going back and forth. I don't know if they're doing coke or if they're just part, but they were the idea of not having their phone with them. They're like, why? What the fuck? I need my phone.
They're so distracted, so chaotic. It was a lot of fun, though.
And I'm not complaining where the mannequins, even the mannequins have fake boobs.
It's true. It's true. It is true. If you go to a department store, the the mannequins have giant fake boobs. Yeah. Because, look, the girls that want to buy those clothes also have fake boobs. They don't want some weird natural body.
Like, how am I going to know what's going to look like on me? And again, I'm not shitting on Miami. I love it here. I love it. Yeah, rather.
But I always said if you want to starve to death, open up a bookstore in Miami because nobody buying books there, nobody's buying greenlights. They might get the audio book listen to when they're on the treadmill. But it's a wild place. And and that show that I did, the shows that I did down there, they were fun. I had a great time. The audiences were great there. They laugh hard, but they were just all over the place, just up and down and back and up and back, coming back and sitting down excuse me, pardon me, up more people.
I'm like, you guys are out of fucking control. Yeah, yeah.
It's a it's an obvious place. Have you ever seen the documentary Cocaine Cowboys? Yes.
Well, that's all the whole cultlike. How it all got started down there. All the craziness. That's cocaine cowboys.
One and two of my all time favorite documentaries. Just Miami's got a wild fucking history.
Yeah, it does. And stories like that make great films, though, because there's some there's there's real live stories about this country in particular. But this world in general that, you know, like Scarface or something like that, we're just like this is kind of based on reality. You know, it's one of the beautiful things about a film is that a film like Scarface will make you look into that like, well, how much of this is real?
Did they really do that? Oh, yeah, they really did send over prisoners and release prisoners, sent them to America. And they really did have hundreds and thousands of murders and gun violence, all of the streets and cocaine everywhere. And that's real.
That was real. Yeah. And was happening. You know, that that's a. You know the best, it's always said, you know, truth is stranger than fiction, but yeah, I mean, one of the one of the words have a page in the book about my least favorite word in the English language being unbelievable. No, it's all pretty. Unbelievable. And you see it happen like. Yeah, wow. I didn't think that was possible.
Well, it damn sure was. And it's usually stranger than any Hollywood script could make it or more exciting.
Yeah, I say unbelievable too often and it's sort of a placeholder word for holy shit. Right. You know, unbelievable. But it is believable.
Yeah. For sure. I mean, you have to be pretty odd in this day and age to be unbelievable.
I don't remember the last thing I saw that was unbelievable, whether it was or whether it was like, are you fucking kidding me? I'm like, you know, boy, it's one thing you can depend on people being it's people.
Yeah, well, so in your life right now, when you know you've had this incredibly successful career and I assume you're still writing down these lists of things to do when you when you look at, like what you would like to accomplish. I mean, you've accomplished so much in the world of acting and filmmaking.
Is there something out there that really is a goal or a thought that's sticking in your mind or something you haven't done yet?
Yeah. One of the things I got to do that's at the top of the list is do my best to. Shepherd, three young children through this thing go off and be independent and autonomous and hopefully competent young individuals. That's that's priority number one. But personally, there's a there's a role that I've created and assumed for myself of minister of culture. And it's about finding a shared. Competent value system, and it's something that I'm going to initialize it hopefully right there in Austin, values, as far as I can tell, are the the common denominator that they're they've always been cool.
There's ones that we can agree on. They work, then they work now. They will not go out of style. We're in such a time right now where our social contracts are so broken and they're broken with ourselves as well. We don't have expectations of each other or of ourselves. It's kind of like a nation divided. And in Austin in particular, as a very popular and fast growing city, it's changing a lot.
And, you know, Austin is a city. It starts to consume more than it creates, starts to not be conscious with its money, starts not to invest in itself. If too many people come to Austin from California, where they come from and try to turn Austin into why they left, where they were coming from, we're going to look up in ten years and go, what the hell happened? And Austin's got a lot of soul, got a lot of soul, and I think it lies in its values.
So this is sort of campaign movement that I want to push is reminding those of us from Austin why we love it. There also is a place where nobody's too good that is good enough and initiating and educating newcomers and saying, hey, here's who we are, who are, who were not. If you don't really want to abide by who we are and what we believe in, make it a stop, not a stay. Keep on moving. But I think Austin Knights have earned that, and I think newcomers will appreciate that.
I want to look up in ten years in being Austin, be a city that's an example of a place that became a metropolis that held on to its soul, that the things you look at around town, crime rate, employment, et cetera, are still at numbers that are incredibly respectable. But we don't get going, get loose. It's a very creative town, you know. And like I said, it's the it's the blueberry in the red state.
But it's not an anarchist town. It's not a dirty town. It's not a sloppy town. It's an innovative town. It's a creative town. And it's a young town. And, you know, I think we all know progress is not saying yes to every new thing. Progress is more about innovation, but it's also relying on tried and true things that work have worked and will continue to work. And I just wanna remind us of the certain values that we have is off tonight and as individuals.
And you know where that goes from there. If that goes outside of Austin and through the United States, it's a scalable idea that I dream of. I could go outside of the United States, it could go worldwide and success. I like looking at cities and people looking at cities as individuals that have personalities and reminding the people, Celesio, let's sell a city to the people that live in it, sell Austin to Austin and to people who have come into it.
That's that's that's my goal. That's what I'm into right now. That's the character that I'm inhabiting right now in my life that's not on the screen. I wanted someone to say, hey, the big shows, live life, the recorders always on. And what's the story we're telling in life?
That's that's the that's the character I want to play right now in my life outside of my family. That's not on any kind of screen or any kind of capsule that's going to be on your television screen. It's just going to if I pull it off, it's going to be something that I'm just living and doing and coming.
There's something about this town that's very unique and I knew it for years. I've been coming here to stand up since the 90s. But, you know, when the pandemic hit and I decided to move here, well, I did have that feeling like, boy, a lot of Californians are going to move here. Yeah. How do we not fuck it up? And you and I had this very conversation, like, don't turn this into the place you left.
So what specifically do you think people need to not do? Did not do. Yeah, well, you're coming to Texas because you got the taxes, you're coming to Austin because it's affluent, it's happening. You're coming for the people, the food, the swing attached. And it's a creative town. It's alive, it's young.
You've got to pay a tithe. Asked us to do for you. Ask what you can do and personalize the placement. I mean, give your time to the city. It is a place, like I said, that nobody's too good and everybody's good enough. We don't run over people to get where we're going. Austin will open up their proverbial Rolodex. And you tell me if you if you felt this with yourself quicker than any city I've ever been to as a newcomer.
Oh, yeah. You want to go on some contacts here? Yeah. I mean, in some ways I'm like Austin boy, you know, you maybe could take more ownership of that IP, but it gives it away. It's very free and we trust it's a very trusting town and a town of second chances for people. But don't take advantage of that freedom. Understand that there's responsibility to the freedoms that we have, that we do have to earn it daily and don't just over leverage ourself and spend because, hey, we're the most popular person in school right now.
Don't get caught looking in the mirror at ourselves going, oh, great, look at us. We're number one, we're popular.
We we still got boots on and we still pull them on and strap them on to get and get and get work done. Even though we're young and innovative in Tech Town, we're still a classic. And, you know, it's accountability, it's responsibility. It's fairness to other to other people. It's understanding. Where is Austin idyllic and what is it really? Because in some ways I think of Austin, I'm finding out it's not as ideal as I think it is in my in my mind.
And well, I've got well, I've got a listening tour and I talk about the diversity in Austin. And it is a international destination. I talk about the you know, the equality of Austin. The rule in Austin is always been all you got to do is be yourself.
That's kind of the that's what's cool about Austin, not what you think you ought to be, but just be yourself. Didn't matter if you're blue haired, short lesbian, American Indian cowboy, sheriff, whatever. Everyone sitting at the same bar having a drink and no one yelling about their place.
Because if you yelling about, hey, I want to let you know I'm different in Austin, Austin's like going, what were you on about? We didn't really care. That's one of the great things about Austin. At best, it celebrates differences when Austin is at its best. Austin's not trying to homogenize people to say, hey, we're all the same.
No, we're not. We're all very different, and that's cool, but we do have some social contract amongst us, we're a clean place. We don't lie, cheat and steal to get where we're going. We look ahead. But we appreciate tradition at the same time. We take care as much as we can of of our natural beauties around here. Same time, we're Metropolis. We're growing up. Now, how can we go up and wide and still grow deep?
That's what I want to lean into, is what are the roots? So we're not just, again, looking up in 10 years and going, how do we become where did all these socialites come from?
You know? Yeah. One thing that's plaguing Los Angeles that I'm starting to see here is the homelessness in tent form all over the city. Los Angeles is out of control. I mean, it's bizarre that it hasn't been handled. I mean, I was just having a conversation with my friend Brian about it before the show, and he was telling me that in Burbank, they just shut that down. They won't let it happen. You can't just put up a tent somewhere.
I mean, I'm an empathetic person and I think that, you know. All the people that are out there that are homeless, that are down on their luck for whatever reason, whether it's they've been abused or they're alcoholics or drug addicts or whatever it is, they're all our brothers and sisters.
And I don't I'm not a social engineer. I don't know what the solution is to something like that. But I know that it gets out of hand. It's gotten out. If you go to Venice, my friend Bridget sent me a video of her driving down Venice. And it's a mile of tents. I mean, a straight mile.
She got the phone out the window and it's just tents everywhere. Like, it's it's crazy. How does someone how do you put a stop to that without being an asshole? How do you how do you maintain empathy and say, hey, you can't put a fucking tent up on the sidewalk? A great question, and I don't know the answer, you said it earlier, look, a lot of the most of these people have a mental challenge or they've got drugs.
And so, you know, in Austin, we're putting some up in some some at hotels. I don't know to what extent that's that's working. You know, I've got friends who have businesses downtown who who they've got homeless people camping out in front. And if someone walks in there, they're getting berated by this person that's homeless that has this mental something mentally askew and they're not in their nugget. I don't I don't know. You can't eliminate the problem.
But how do you read this question of how do we rehabilitate is an ongoing question, not just with homeless people. You know, it's you know, with people that aren't that don't have mental problems.
It's we have the question of of rehabilitation. I mean, and for those people, I'm like, well, you have to be sincerely seeking retribution and understand what you did wrong to get the chance to be forgiven and be and rehabilitate and get a second chance for the homeless people. I think I mean, I think if you're going to go to the how do we how do we get a more mentally stable or and can we to what extent get them mental health and not just keep picking them up and saying, let's move them to this side of the curve and.
Well, that curb got full. Let's move to this side of the curve and then you end up with a shanty town or something. It's you know, I think they're always going to be to some extent, you know, there's going to be homeless. There's always going to be some socioeconomic imbalance. I don't think we're ever going to. That's another thing that I think we have to, as a people, especially on the left, have to realize this is so perfect equality amongst all of us and perfect justice.
I don't think that's a possible destination for anybody. I think it's great to keep. America is is a constant chase to chasing yet. Yes. It's it's we never will get there. And that's the point. Just keep chasing it. Try to have a little ascencion in our in our journey going forward and a little bit of evolution. But we're never going to arrive at this utopian state where toucha we did it. It's it's it's the Garden of Eden before an apple was eaten.
You know, it's not going to happen. I don't believe so.
I don't I question how how the best way to rehabilitate situations and like the homeless one all the time. And I don't, I don't know the answer. I do if we can get him some mental help and then give somebody not just if we can make jails, not just a holding cell. I mean, think about it.
If jails really worked, what you've done your time. You ought to be even money, right? Yeah, yeah, you should be better. You're not even money. You're coming out with the Scarlet Scarlet Letter on you and you're you're going to have to work five times harder than the next guy to get that job. You know, if you're an offender of such, you're going to be found and located and they're going to share your location through through the city and you're going to find out from your neighbor that you're moving in and you can understand the people going out, only that somebody living next door to me.
Right. Well, if rehabilitation worked, it would be like, well, no, it's OK because they did their stint. It doesn't really work like that. So it's a constant question I have about about how to what's the best way to rehabilitate it?
No one seems to have an answer. It's a everyone throws their hands up in the air and just keeps on moving. Just what do you I don't know. You know, one of the things you were talking about before Jordan Peterson talks about that equality of outcome is a terrible idea. Equality of opportunity is a fantastic idea, an opportunity to succeed. But the problem with equality of outcome is there's not equality of effort. And that's one of the beautiful things about society, is that you and this what we're talking about before, about reading your memoir and reading an autobiography of a successful person, is realizing that there's work to be done.
There's things you have to do in order to to be this person that that people admire. And it doesn't come easy. And some people aren't going to do that work. And if they're not going to do that work, they're not going to achieve that outcome. And that's just life. And, you know, and the equality of opportunity, you know, that's not even real because different people start off at different blocks in life. They start off in different spots.
They start off with different challenges and different physical attributes and physical problems. Everyone has their own hand of cards that you're dealt, but. Treating people equally and giving people the best possible chance that we can as a community and as a culture, that's what we all strive for. And the problem with the homeless situation and the problem with prisons, it's a similar problem is that the downtrodden, the people that have hit a bad spot in the game of life, like what is our responsibility to them?
And if we are a community, there's only three of us and one of us is fucked up. We go, hey, let's help Mike. You know, he's he's fucked up. Let's let's try to bring Mike into the fold and give him some life lessons and give him some love and hope that we can bring them back up to a point where a couple of years from now, we're looking back on this going, hey, look, you used to be over there and now you're here and everything's great.
That's what we'd ultimately love. But there's almost too many challenges and too many people and and everybody has their own problems. So people throw their arms up, their arms up in the air and they keep moving. And these things don't seem to get better. The prison population seems to increase. Homeless population, especially during this pandemic, has increased. I don't have answers. You know, I really don't. So it's I'm spinning my wheels as much as the next guy.
Yeah. Yeah, it's you know, it's into question is yet to be answered on many levels before this time, after the after this time, that equal opportunity, that's that would be the gig that would be there. Then then you could measure because we are all born with different innate abilities. And if we're fortunate enough to be in a position, we go, well, I'm going to do what I'm good at and I'm going to work my backside off for it and I'm going to get educated about I'm willing to put in the work.
New America is a place that that's the American dream. That's what they mean by the land of opportunity. If you you should have the chance to pursue what you want to do and if you're willing to work for it and get educated on it, you have an opportunity to make a life.
I understand there's not complete equal opportunity across the board. I understand that I personally was born with different innate abilities than you or someone else. I was also born with more opportunity, more opportunities than a lot of people. I was born into a family.
That's one of our biggest diseases I think that we have in the states is that the family breaks up sometimes too quickly, too easily. You know, mom or dad get the going gets tough too quickly. So, you know, I you know, I was some would say symmetrically speaking, I'm a good looking guy. So that's got me in doors that maybe wouldn't have got other people in to try to do my best once I got in the door.
I'm not going to apologize for any opportunities I've had, but I do understand that I've had opportunities that other people have not had. I've created many on my own, but I've also been introduced and met people who open those doors. For me, that would not have been open for other people. Yeah, what do we what do we do with them? I think there's a place and this is what I'm striving to get to and understand more and more, the none of us do a damn thing about anything unless it's personal.
Intellectually, we talk about it, it makes sense, but we really don't take action until it's trespassing on our walls.
And it's going to affect me or you or my family.
That's when we go, OK, I'm going to take action.
So I think whatever we do, it's got to be personal, the the choice that I'm making for my own selfish choice, for me, there's a place where there's a choice, where that also is what's best for the most amount of people, where the personal choice is also the best choice for the most amount of people.
I call it the egotistical utilitarian. That's where the I mean, the way that's that's where we're what we want is what we need. And what we need is actually what we want.
What's best for us is best for the most amount of people where what where were the most selfless. We're actually the most selfish.
Whether we're the most selfish, we're actually the most selfless. That's the place where when I talk about, like green light, there's a place to create green lights that are best for ourselves and others at the same time. That's the whole I don't know exactly what that place is all the time. That's the place I think we could all be a little more conscious of, of how we go about moving forward and making choices.
Based on that, Austin seems to be of a manageable size. As I was trying to describe this to one of my friends in L.A., he's like, what's so great about Austin?
I was like, first of all, people aren't devalued because there's not too many of them. There's a problem with when there's too many people, then people become a nuisance. There's too many of them. Austin doesn't have that problem. So when I look at, like the homelessness problem in Austin, like, you know what? This is not out of control yet. This seems like you could still fix that. Like someone's got to realize that this could get out of hand.
And this is a thing that you can kind of it's it's within the boundaries of resources to step in and manage this. And it made it now. Yes.
Before it gets out. Yeah. And ten years ago, shit is too late. It's out of control. Like Venice. Yeah. Just grow and in turn our backs on that.
Not look at it now all of a sudden it's out of hand and I don't know what to do with it now.
It's quick. It happens quick. Venis. Two years ago was not this. There was a few tents every you know, here and there you'd see tents. Now it's fucking bonkers. And I would I mean, obviously, you're dealing with a much larger population in California. But this this place is special. I mean, it really is. There's there's it's it's it's a great size. And the people here are really exceptional. It's it does have a personality.
It has a very unique, like a mixture of cowboys and hippies. It's a weird spot. You know, it's that melting blending of all these different types of people here is made it very tolerant and very unique. And the fact that there's a university here and there's a lot of artistic people and musical people and creative people, so real, it's a real good spot. And I'm happy to be here, but I don't want to fuck it up.
Well, there's a lot of you know, there's a there is a community in Austin and Austin at its best does come together and realize that it has an identity to move forward with, to protect. And you're right, it's not so big. And I believe that it can grow and but it can grow while still having a sense of itself and its own identity and to protect that identity and grow forward. Turn the page progress. Yes, it's coming, but also preserve the core DNA of who we are.
We're no longer the little hippie down and just had some music in the capital and at university. Now we're dotcom tech town, we're banker, town, lawyer down, international destination, all those things. That's fine. But in that there's a there's a Austin has I want to have to find a listening to a lot of Austin. This is what our Constitution is in Austin that's separate from anywhere else.
So this is something you're actively trying to do. You said a minister of culture is something you have a thought in your head of how to how to do this.
Yes, I have a bit shared values campaign that I've put together. And I want to sort of advertise and sell Austin to Austin all around Austin.
And it's just sort of sort of value based aspirational messages just to remind us who we are to keep the community as tight as possible to form expectations and solidify expectations amongst ourselves. So if someone acts outside of those, they're noticed and then kind of nudge back, that's another thing Austin does very well. Austin, Austin, I don't know how it is now since we've had like the protest with Black Lives Matter and stuff.
But Austin used to be it was a great. Relationship with the police force, not just with me, with Matthew Guy, walk down the street with John and Jane Doe, you going to, you know, even jaywalking across the street, they caught you before and nudged you over today before they gave you the ticket.
There was a there was a play of like they were part of the community that they felt like, you know, you give them away. You didn't see a cop and often go, oh, shit, you smile when you waved. And if you remember, they weren't looking. You never felt like they were looking to get you. Crime was low, you know.
So we'll see how that relationship has to be worked on in the city of Boston right now.
You know, quite a bit. Yeah.
What were your thoughts when the whole idea to defund the police came to fruition? Well, let's break that down.
One, defund the police, that monitor, if you wanted to say it, it's almost like it should have been renamed because defunded does not sound anything like there's been money reallocated to different areas of handling some police exercise. It sounds like you got a million. We're taking three hundred thousand. Good luck. Yeah, and that's not exactly what it is, to be fair. The community and the police, and not just in Austin, but all over, and I think they are doing this in Miami to bring up Miami, need to get back together and the community needs to say, here's what's unfair.
Here's how here's how I feel. Unfair as a black man or a person of color or or whatever whatever situation. Here's here's here's my problem with my relationship with you as cops. Well, the police got to get clear to go, OK.
Our whole force is it screwed up, we have to have law and order. We all agree on that. Yes, we can all agree on that. We've got a few bad apples that either need to be trained better so we don't have those kind of bad apples or people or cops choking under, under, under. I mean, the word as in fumbling at the goal line. I don't mean literally Jugend.
I mean that, that don't follow through on, on, on, on their duty in the right way when they're under that, when they're under the gun, under the heat of the moment. That's what I mean. There are cops that have done that. So few of these bad apples need to be removed. But they also we need to make sure we're training them better. Now, also, the cops need to go to community and go, can you all remember and understand our point of view that we're like the tow truck driver.
We're not called when there's good news. We're called when it's bad news, we're coming in going looking for trouble. All right, so we're already under stress if we even get a call. So can you help us in our way that we communicate? Can we get trust again that if a cop says, hey, stand still, can't hold him up? Yep, I'm doing that, that we're not going to be something is not going to happen to us that shouldn't that there will be a because obviously of the situations like that, you're not being called you're not in that situation when it's good news, you know, so everyone's already tensions are high.
But that's you know, as far as the fun we're going to see, we're going to see if this reallocation of money like in Austin and other places, how that works.
I mean, my first gut instinct was. I don't see how that repairs. The relationship between the community and the police force, I don't see how that's that's coming together. It's I don't see how that's going to rehabilitate that relationship. And now you have spite on both sides. Again, we're going to see I don't know if we really had a bird in hand when we made the change. Do we have we practice these other. Have we seen these other forms where the reallocated money goes to four nine one one calls and stuff?
We've seen these other forms work and we've seen them be improvement. I don't know. So hopefully we'll see if this is just sort of guinea pig in the idea.
We'll see how it works.
But I'm all for saying, OK, instead of taking away your money and your funds, which you could use to train better and work on the relationship of what your what your job is and what you expect and what communities expect from you, I'd rather have done that than pull money from them. So we're going to see how this experiment goes.
Yeah, I couldn't agree more. I think they need training. They need more training and more understanding. I think we all need to understand that there's a tremendous amount of these people that are under insane stress every day and they probably have massive PTSD. And, you know, if you're every time you're pulling somebody over, you're worried about getting shot. Every time you're visiting someone's apartment for a domestic abuse case, you're worried you're going to get killed. Are you going to see someone killed?
You've seen murders and deaths. And the human mind is not designed to deal with that kind of stress day in, day out. And a lot of these people, you know, when you see these horrible reactions that cops have to situations where they do completely overstep their boundaries and and abused people, I think a lot of those people are really fucked up by the time they get to that point. And I don't and those people were fucked up before that.
That's what they got before they even became a cop or they became a cop for the right reason. They had personal problems.
And we need to filter those people out. And that also comes through training the same kind of training that they filter people out through the military. You know, when you want to be a Navy SEAL, you got to go through buds and good luck. If you have a lot of character flaws, you're not going to make it. They will be exposed.
And I think that counselling and training and then communication with the communities, what we need, we don't need to defund them. It seems like a popular social sentiment that people are repeating because it puts you in this ideology of a person who cares and is progressive. But I don't think it's ever been fleshed out and I don't think people have thought it out in the long term. And if you look at the consequences of how this is playing out in New York City, homicides are up by hundreds of percent.
Burglaries, armed robberies, everything's up. It's not good. The defunding of the police has been horrible for New York City. The consequences have been the exact opposite of what everybody hoped they'd be like.
And I'm worried about that here as well. But Governor Abbott has stepped in and said he's going to put a stop to that, which is, you know, there's talk about not giving the towns that do this. They're not going to have access to property taxes. And, you know, obviously there's no income tax in Austin and in the state of Texas. So the governor supposedly stepped in and going to iron this out. So I'm hoping it works out and cooler heads prevail.
I'm with the training and have more reverence for the job and understand they're called in when they're not called in when it's good news. You know, my my my brother raised her as a real good, interesting take. I think, like, you know, gun control in Texas is a big right to carry state and gun a gun state. But he brought up the samurai sword, how there was a reverence for it.
And I remember how we were brought up. You you got your toy gun and then you got your daisy one pop. And until you'd mastered that, like not turning in ever, if you turned and even though it wasn't cocked and it was aimed at someone got the gun taken away from you, you know what I mean?
But you had to master the daisy gun first. And then after years of that, you moved up to the twenty two and you had to master that and you had to make sure it was always unloaded and put back in the game. You've got a reverence for this tool.
There's a long sort of initiation reverence before you could move up to a larger gun. Yeah, we've lost a reverence for that tool and the samurai sword is a good example because there's a reverence for that.
There's an initiation period to get to where you could have that.
Right. And and I think that be you know, that's kind of one of the places where I live with the that is too easy to get to get a gun sometimes that that there should be that background check which goes back and do when we're talking about with police force. Background check training, have a reverence for the job, understand the expectations, understand it's a high stress job. Can you handle it?
Let's learn how to handle it, because they have to call audibles in the moment that our life. Audible's Yeah.
And as we said, get rid of the ones who can't because it is a hard job and hard jobs are not for everybody. And I think that and that's that punishes the good cops when someone does a horrible thing like the George Floyd case, all those good cops who would never think about doing that ever in their life ever are lumped into the same category as that guy. And I think that's awful.
Yeah, I agree. Yeah. Listen, man, I enjoy talking to you. This is great. I really do. And I wish you luck with your book. And I've loved your movies and I wish you nothing but success and and let's get together and break bread someday. I look forward to it, Joe.
Thanks, man. Joy talking to you and I look forward to doing it.
Let's do it, brother. Thank you. Thank you. Good luck with the book. Goodbye. Thank you, friends, for tuning in to the show and thank you to my all time favorite bands, the ones I'm wearing right now, I don't even have to check because it's all wear me undies. They're the best to get 15 percent off your first order and free shipping. Go to my undies. Dotcom Rogan. That's me undies dot com slash Rogen.
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