Lock the gate. All right, let's do this, how are you? What the fuck is what the fuck buddies? What the fuck? A Horlicks? What is happening? How's it going? Where are we at? Round and round we go. Groundhog Day came and went. And you know what? It was no surprise.
I mean, if we're thinking about the movie Fuck and living it right, I just saw that on the calendar is Groundhog Day and you're like, Oh yeah, no kidding. So is yesterday. So it was last week. So is the day before yesterday. That lasted a week. So is the two weeks ago that lasted a year. I don't have any sense of time. Has it gone, people? You all right? Stanley Tucci is on the show today.
Stanley Tucci, you know you know Stanley Tucci from Big Night Devil Wears Prada, the lovely Bones. He was in spotlight. He's in a new film called Supernova with Colin Firth that I watched.
And Stanley Tucci. I was happy to talk to him. That being said, part of the weirdness.
There's a few things that are going on for me. I mean, again, I'm fortunate and grateful that I'm living in a certain amount of comfort that many people cannot have or don't have.
And there's a lot of anxiety, pain, fear, destitution, desperation, discomfort, sickness, just the entire spectrum of horrible humanity and things that can happen to people are happening.
And, you know, I am grateful and lucky to to have a certain amount of comfort in this time. But the repetition of everything and the the lack of relief from the cycle is a little tricky. And I was talking about it with my friend Megan today about, you know, it's because what do you have to look forward to?
I mean, before even in your life, even if your life was going slow, at least you could think like, well, in three weeks I'm going to go take that trip to visit my mom or I'm going to you know, we're going out of town for my birthday.
We're going to spend the weekend here. We you know, we've got that meeting in a week and stuff. Now, everything is confined to your desktop, to your computer to zoom. And no one's really traveling that much. Some people are. But it's not without a tremendous amount of anxiety and protocols. And there's nothing casual about anything. And there's just none of those things, those markers.
You know, birthdays come and go, people come and go, it's everything is happening that happens in life, but now it's in this vacuum of isolation and and pandemic and plague.
And it's tricky because the repetition becomes tricky. The patterns become tricky in the sense that you do and can.
Feel like you're losing your fucking mind. And it's uncomfortable. And I look, I'm in show business, and it's fucking bizarre because there are times when I'm like, what are we doing? What do we just what are we doing? Is anybody watching any of this? I mean, you were I did The Tonight Show a while back from my backyard, and yesterday I did the Tamron Hall show from my dining room. And my production values on my IGY Live are the same as major network television shows and everyone's adapting.
Granted, there's some part of entertainment that fortifies denial that there's it's a relief. You know, it's like, please entertain me, get me out of this, get me out of what I'm feeling. Get me out of every day being the saying, get me out of this panic and fear of getting covid get me out of my financial crisis, out of the possibly my hopelessness, please entertain me out of this fucking darkness. That's a tall order.
But there is this weird consistency to things like I have conversations with management about, you know, movies and about TV ideas and about taking meetings with, you know, network executives.
And there's part of me that's like, why? What the fuck is happening? There's nothing happening.
Granted, a few things are shooting. There are protocols in place. But it's like, why? What? It almost feels like we're lying to ourselves.
You know, hopefully we can come out of this and reckon with it. That will remember it, that will shift our priorities, that will change our perception of how we live life and what we have to do in the future on so many levels. A great deal of what we're going through now are just vestiges of an old way of life that seem sad and empty. The Golden Globe seems sad and empty. You know, I'm nominated for Critic's Choice, which is very exciting.
But the award shows it's almost like we're just acting as if we're going through the motions, going through the motions of what sort of defined our sense of information and entertainment before covid. And it's sad, a lot of it.
And it's hard for me not to to see a lot of what's going on, the machinations of show business, of sort of getting back to work stuff that just feels kind of, you know, like out of touch and sad and desperate.
But I'm in it.
I mean, I enjoyed getting up early to do the Tamron also to do a live segment as a performer about podcasting on television. It's what I used to do. I mean, if it had been the real life, the real world that we used to know, I would fly to New York, I would get to the studio, I get hair and makeup. The place would be buzzing. There'd be snacks. I'd have a producer come up to me and a guy with a mike come up to me and everything would be lit and on fire, not literally on fire, but just jacked up.
An audience would be excited.
It would be just all the the the fixtures of show business, all the the bells and whistles are going and, you know, and then he set up and you get out there and you entertain, you give people a jolt in the morning.
It's like morning radio or anything else in morning entertainment. But now this sort of vacuum of it, the faces on the screens, the host in an empty studio, you can hear the fucking footsteps reading of her walking to the to the podium and and then turning on the juice and getting it going and then cutting to me in my living room, hoping my cat doesn't interrupt the thing, hoping that my signal stays alive. Yeah. Hoping that I don't you know, I look into the right camera very bad at that.
But that's the adaptation I got to make before I would have been there an hour and a half early, getting hair and makeup, getting miked, looking at the other guests, meeting the other guests, seeing my management team, everybody, a buzz food, donuts, swag bag.
Now, I was literally in bed. Twenty minutes before. And I put some clothes on. I checked my hair and I said, well, that's good enough. Not like I look good. I put a jacket on. This is good enough.
That's show business, that's entertainment, followed by crying. But maybe I'm being too dark, maybe I'm being too negative. Maybe we need it because that repetition of patterns, the landing back where you started every day, the strange drift of time that not knowing how much time has passed, it does concern me.
The human nature right now, because of how jacked we are and how symbiotic we are with the pace of technology that we hold in our hands, with the pace of images flying by and with the pace of how we get information, is that we don't hold on to things long enough and that we're willing to let things disappear quickly. Things just get churned under just into this, you know, the undertow of a tidal wave of garbage information. There's no way to prioritize things and get sucked into the past.
So far gets dragged out so far. Something important, something you should hang on to all of a sudden gets sucked into the undertow. And it's miles out, miles out, unable to to wade, unable to paddle, unable to stay afloat. And it just disappears. It disappears behind a wall of information garbage, we got to figure out what to hold on to and how to hold on to it again, what's important? What is vital? What is connected now?
And I think we all miss just being around people. Casually without, you know, just seeing eyes above a mask. You know, in different. Sort of frequency's of. Panic and anger. And fear and discomfort and sadness, desperation, just eyes above masks. Peering out. For Conexion.
It's rough, man, hang on, you know, hang on, one thing that's happened over the past years that we've all re-evaluated how we spend our time and and and I can tell you this honestly, going to the post office is not one of the things I've prioritized in my life.
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Right. So Stanley Tucci, everybody loves him, great actor, great character actor, he's great at being Stanley Tucci as well.
He's in the new movie Supernova, which is in select theaters right now and will be on digital platforms starting February 16th. And we talked. This is me talking to Stanley Tucci.
Where are you? I'm in London, in my studio, so that's where you live all the time. Yeah, basically that's because your wife is British. Yes. And that was the that was the way it landed. You're like, I'm leaving. I live there.
Yeah, kinda. I mean, you know, she came and lived with me and my kids because my first wife passed away 11 years ago. So we had three kids and and then I met Felicity and she came and lived with us for two years. And then we came we decided to move here when the kids were well, the twins, they're 21 now. So they were 13 and and the other one was 11.
But you were living where? Upstate. Where were you? Yeah, no, we were in Westchester. Yeah. Now, do you own the restaurant there, right? Yeah, kind of.
I mean, I, I owned it but I didn't really have I was a small owner in it, but unfortunately it had my name on it ish.
But weren't you advised that that was not a great thing to do.
No, I saw no advertisement and that was dumb.
It's like I don't know why we all have dreams of owning restaurants. Was your dream that you would, you know, stop in and be like, Hey, Stanley.
Yes, yes. And that I would, you know, be able to throw a sandwich together there and have parties.
It was a friend of mine who was a chef who set it up and then another fellow who was a dear friend who, you know, it was his money, really. And. Right. And it ended up being it didn't work. No, I wasn't around a lot either, because I had to go. I was away working. And it was it was just a disaster. Did the mob get involved? Certainly enough.
I wish they had might have been successful. You grew up in that area, though, right? I mean, I did some research on it. You did it. Well, that's nice of you in Westchester, right?
Yeah, I grew up in Catona. It was a great place to grow up. You don't know that when you're a kid, but now you know it and your folks like they were just what they do for a living.
My dad was an art teacher at the high school in a couple of towns just South Chappaqua High School, which was a very wealthy area. So, you know Horace Greeley. Yeah, exactly.
You know, went there. My first girlfriend went to Horace Greeley. What? And you know who else went there? Pete Berg, the director. You know, the director came early. I didn't know that they grew up.
And she had my girlfriend grew up in Chappaqua and she went to Horace Greeley. So that's part of my past by her.
So what year are we talking about? She probably graduated high school in eighty two. Eighty three. Eighty two. Eighty three. Would your dad have been there?
Yeah, actually he would have said yes. Have been close to retiring. And if you. And what's her name. My father remembers at the age of 90 he remembers everyone.
Her name at that time was Sarah Reuben. Oh he. Oh yeah. He never liked her. Yeah. It came up in. Yeah. I mean you have to stuff. Yeah. You've got a short list of students that were terrible and.
Yeah. I don't know if Pete Berg was interested. He taught.
Yeah. Yeah I taught that the art department. Brilliant. Brilliant guy.
My dad was he a painter, painter, sculptor, calligrapher, jewelry maker, pottery. Everything really. Everything taught mechanical drawing everything.
And your mom was what.
My mom works in the office as an assistant to the principal at the school as well. Yeah. Yeah. But could have easily been a professional chef. I mean not arguably. I mean one of the greatest cooks I've ever, ever, ever. And not because she's my mother. Right. But the more you travel and then you come back and you taste her food, you go, I don't know how she did that. Really.
Where did not where did you learn? Are they like first generation? The two of them? Yeah. She learned from her mother. So they were born. My parents are born in America, but her parents were born in Italy and my dad's parents and she learned from from her mom.
So that's where you got your love of it. Yeah.
And she really became an autodidact. I mean, she really just all she read was, you know, were cookbooks and she taught herself, I love it.
I fucking love cooking when I'm especially lately I my mother was a terrible cook, just awful.
So I'm sorry. But that was not was incapable really and had and still does a manageable eating disorder.
Oh so she was. Well she was. It don't get too concerned. She's ok, she's healthy.
All right. But. She resented food, but as I got older, you know, I had a professor who I taught me who, you know, it wasn't the class, but, you know, we became friendly that you could just learn how to cook. Like, you can do that.
And and I love to do it. And it's weird when I'm cooking now, I've got this smoker like a suburban smoker. Oh, wow. And I smoked like I'm doing junk food because I'm a Jew. And I smoked I smoked my own fish. Really?
Yeah. What do you want. What kind of fish?
I smoked some sturgeon yesterday. I brined it. I dry brined it in salt, garlic powder and sugar. Then I let it sit overnight and then I smoked it for like four or five hours, basted it with honey, put some paprika on it, chilled it and ate it this morning for breakfast with some beets and horseradish.
I could ju man, that's pretty Jewish. Yeah. I mean that pickled some onions I made kosher varnishes the other night.
What the fuck. Yeah. Where do you live. In Kiev or some. What was maybe my desk. Well yes. Wow. I love that I made it with schmaltz and yeah. That's so good.
I render the schmaltz from a bone broth I was making and I made the Akanksha which schmaltz. And now I, I gained nine pounds in four days.
Good, good, good. What do you, what do you go to. You're a cook. What do you, you write cookbooks. So like if you're feeling bad and you want to eat your feelings.
Yeah. What do you, what do you do.
I cook comfort food, you know, I cook which one's a lot of pasta. I love pasta in varying varying forms.
I think I like pasta with really simple pasta marinara pasta with tuna and tomato. Right. Mm. Delicious with lots of onions. It's super sweet, delicious pasta with peas and tomato carbonara I love which I learned how to make properly when I was doing this television show this year and last year and and pasta today. I made pasta with conolly beans. Kale kale. Yeah. And a little bit of tomato and some chicken broth and it's like a pacifier.
Jola sort of. Yeah but I eat it, I eat it literally practically every day, you know.
Make the homemade pasta. You buy the.
No, we occasionally make homemade pasta but normally a chore. Right. Well yeah. With two little kids and the thing. Yeah yeah yeah yeah.
They want to make like shapes and animals. Do you ever do a lamotrigine. Yes. Yeah I love it.
Do you use that. You use the guanciale. Good for you. Yeah. Good for you.
It's different right. You could use the the other one.
Pancetta. No good. No no it's good. It's fine. But once you have guanciale it's like it's completely elevated.
It's like what is that. How is that so different. Tasty. It's fun. I don't know what's the job.
You know it's the javal and it's, it's also the way, the way it's cured and that. Yeah. Extra sort of thickness of the of the skin and the pepper that's put put on top, which is the way you should make carbonara with that. With the guanciale.
Yeah. But it seems like it's not as easy to find as pancetta. No, no it's not easy to find. I mean not on the Internet. It's actually easier than it used to be.
You got you got like before the Internet, you have you had to have a guanciale guy going on solidaire.
You had to, you know, make your own guanciale. That's the time consuming. Better to the guy. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But that's the thing about cooking, like like especially in L.A.. You never lived here, though, did you know?
When I decided when I get obsessed with a dish, I was dating a woman who years ago who liked bucatini Lamotrigine. So I gotta figure out how to do it correctly. Right.
And I don't even know if she ever had it with Gwon Charlie Badcoe financially in Los Angeles. What turned out was not easy. Was not easy.
No, because it's not there's not I found this every time I've spent time in Los Angeles. There's not a huge number of Italian, you know. I mean, up north there are more. That's true because of San Climate and the. Yeah, yeah, yeah. They're quite different and all the wine country. And, you know, it's very different you up there. But L.A., it was like when I first started going there four hundred years ago, I was like, you know, where are the Italian delis?
Not there's not no there's the ones that are here aren't even that good. You know, it's amazing for Italian food in Italian delis. New Jersey.
Oh, yes, yes, yes. See, I haven't spent a lot of time in New Jersey, but yes, it's a huge. Huge Italian American population back in the day used to be just driving down the highway. Like you think that Italian place is any good? Of course it is. It's New Jersey. But wait, where are you from?
I am genetically New Jersey. I grew up in New Mexico mostly. But my parents are both from Jersey, my family, they're all Jersey, New Jersey Jews.
But you grew up in New Mexico for. Yeah. For like, you know, third grade through high school. Wow. In Albuquerque. You ever shoot in Albuquerque? I have, yeah. Which one?
I almost shot myself in Albuquerque too. Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. No, I'm kidding. Yes. Well it was, it was. It was tough. Yeah. What show. Yeah.
I spent a week there one night, you know it was, it's like, you know it was but there were some nice places but yeah.
No I was a movie. I did with them Kevin Costner and Nathan Lane swing vote.
You were all stuck in Albuquerque. You and. Yes.
Yes. But then we ended up moving outside to this nice little hotel and that kind of desert. And you had a beautiful view of the mountains. And it was quite pretty. It's pretty.
It's pretty. It gets a bad reputation. Got a little beat up over time.
So, yeah, the first the big movie, like the first time I remember hearing about you in a big way was the the big night movie which you based. And you did that with Campbell Scotton.
Right. And you guys, you talk to him.
I haven't talked to him for a long time. No, but we went to high school together and in Catona. No. So we went to John Jay in South Salem.
So you guys, you hang out at his house. He hangs out at your house. Yeah, with George C. Scott there.
No, he was not there. According to her. She was around. Yes. Did you act in high school?
Yes, Campbell and I acted in high school together and. Oh, you loved it. I mean, I really loved it. Yeah. We had this really cool guy who was right from the get go. Yeah, he is this wonderful teacher who was he was the music teacher. He was you know, he was the ran the chorus. He did the plays. He was this really wonderful guy who lived in Manhattan and commuted to to Westchester every day.
He did the opposite of what everybody else did. And he was a very sophisticated, really, really lovely guy. You know, we did Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead at our high school. Yeah. I mean, wow. Yeah, yeah, yeah. He was cool. He was an inspiration.
He was just really cool. And at that time, you know, it's in the 1970s, you could go it was it was an open plan school like most of them were in Westchester. A lot of them were in Westchester. And so, you know, you walked outside all the time from class to class building the building. And you had this beautiful theater in the in the school. But then there was an annex, which was his domain. And the annex was just this separate school building where just one room where you did choir practice or you auditioned for plays, you practice plays.
So you he did acting classes and he'd bring people in from the community who had been in show business and have taught me, said, yeah, this guy was like, you know, amazing.
Isn't it amazing. Like when you think back on that, that that guy, just one teacher in your life, in your high school, probably changed the entire course of your life?
It did completely. And I'll tell you, the thing that makes me sort of sad now is that if we just look at the architecture of the school, there was an openness to it, but there was also an openness to the curriculum and to teach and to teaching. And my father will attest to this, having been an art teacher, that all so much of that has disappeared. And it's really unfortunate. I visited the school a number of times and it was heartbreaking because they basically enclosed the school.
So there was a physical manifestation of what was happening educationally. And I found that depressing.
Well, it's sad. You know, it's sad what's happening, education in general. But I imagine, you know, in the 70s, you know, everything that was coming in, not only was it more a liberal culture, but I mean, there was a lot of things changing in approaches to education, to theater, to film, to everything. So if that guy's down in New York and he's coming up and he's bringing all these new ideas, yeah, it must have been exciting.
I mean, to be in high school at that time, your brain is just opening up in the early 70s. It must have been just mind blowing.
It was it was fantastic. I mean, like where my dad taught it was this really great school. And, you know, they had a. They had a kiln where they would make part of the fire thing, they had a jewelry station, this and that, but they had a smoking area. This is the weird part. They had a smoking area. Yes. Yes. Right outside the art room. Right.
A little dubious. That was like that was quite obvious. I mean, yeah.
Since the research had come out in the nineteen fifties sixties. Yeah.
Yeah. I think what it was is I think that schools because you could smoke at my high school outside. Yeah.
And I think they were just like we're not going to stop them, you know, how are we going to stop everybody.
Everybody fucking smoked. I mean everybody. I loved it. I'm so happy. I don't, I don't miss cigarettes. But I was on nicotine until just a year or so ago. I was I, I would stay on, though. I do the gum and the lozenges I just loved.
Did you do the patch thing? No, because I wanted to feel the high. I did. I've been on off the patch, but I like the lozenges. They're like nicotine candies. Oh really? Did you smoke?
I smoked, but I was never a devoted smoker. I mean, it was something I, I could take or leave. It wasn't.
Is there anything that you can't take or leave that was like a problem exercise.
I'm not kidding. That sounds funny. Exercise and martinis. Oh, you like the martini. I like martinis and pasta.
So did you move to New York City to start the career? I mean, did you went to school? You went to college and did the acting?
Yeah, I went to. But I mean, I didn't really go far. I went to SUNY Purchase, which is oh, excuse me, the State University of New York, because, you know, it was affordable and it was a conservatory and one of the best programs in the in the country because like I said, it was a conservatory. You had to audition to get in. They took 30 students per per year and you were in what was called the company.
You stayed in that company for four years with the same teacher, which I'm not so sure it was a great idea. But luckily, I had a brilliant teacher. So who was that fun? A guy named George Morrison. He used to he was one of the original second city people. And he ended up having a school with Paul Sills and Mike Nichols in New York after he left purchase. Really?
Mike Nichols, did you ever work with Mike Nichols? No, I didn't.
And but I knew Mike Nichols and he had asked me to do a few things and I couldn't do them. And I was heartbroken because if there was one director I wanted to work with, it was Mike Nichols. But was that it was the timing of things or that. Yeah, it wasn't quite right or right. But I got to know him and I was even more enamored of him once I met him.
What was your first real gig? Well, I guess I was cast in a I don't remember.
I did like some commercial things or a little thing off Broadway or something, but then I did like a Miami Vice, I think was the first really thing I ever did on television, like just playing. It was just like two scenes. I hadn't really experienced America, so much of Florida. And I shot there for a few days. It was really weird. And then I ended up going back and played another role as a Mafioso. And then I started to do a lot of TV stuff and little roles and movies and you know, you know how it goes.
So that sure.
Little says here that you were like you did a little bit in Prizzi's Honor.
Yeah, but that's not actually true because I was supposed to have one line, but it ended up going to a friend of Jack Nicholson's. So I was I was a glorified extra. But you were on the set. I was on the set with John Houston, with John Houston, who I think at that point was so old that, you know. Yeah, yeah.
It's so it's sort of amazing the career you've had and how many you know, how recognizable you are and how much like I feel like I've known you since I was a kid. I think like we grew up together.
So there he is again.
You know, it's haunting me. But it's interesting.
The kind of career that you have is the career of a guy that works, you know what I mean? Yeah. And like when you got into the racket, I mean, what was your plan?
What did you think you were going to be doing? Primarily theater, or what were you thinking as an actor that you just wanted to do stuff?
I just wanted to work and I really just wanted to work doing it all. You know, at the time when I started so 1982, I got out of college, you know, there was that very clear division between you're a theatre actor, you're a television actor, you're a film actor. And it was an unfortunate division. It was a snobbishness to it, right?
Yeah, I was. It was weird, it was weird and wrong now. Yeah, that has all disappeared, thank God. But, you know, the British never did that. The British always went back and forth. You did TV, you know, did a play into the movie. Then you went back into the theater, blah, blah, blah, and you did a radio play.
It's just it's a smaller business there.
It's a smaller business, but it's a healthier business. Now, I think America is finally and it was it was it was HBO that really changed everything. HBO to me once they started doing their original films, there became this this crossover, you know, it's not TV, it's HBO, but it actually is TV, but it's really cool. And they were putting money into projects and casting people who weren't huge movie stars in movies of significance, that they were taking scripts that that people that studios wouldn't buy and they would make them into movies and they were really fucking good.
And I think that changed the landscape. And and that's why we have what we have now, which I think is a much healthier landscape.
But it seems like you are always sort of like moving back and forth between all of them.
Yeah, because I had to work, you know, I had to make money. And also, you know, I wasn't a leading man. I was an actor.
Were you ever disappointed about that?
Yeah, I you know, I'd give anything to look like Marcelo Mastroianni, but, you know, that's never going to happen.
And I'd love to look like Ryan Reynolds. That's not happening.
Yeah, it's just had to accept. You had to accept.
You have to make do with what you have murder one with sort of a big deal, right? Yes. That was a big deal. I put you on the map in some ways.
Yes, I guess. Yeah, it did. I did it because I thought it was really cool. But of course, you never knew what was going to happen. It was a very unusual structure. It's a structure that we know now very well. But what Steven did at the time, people were like, we love the show, but nobody watched it. But it it coincided with me doing a big night and and the two of them sort of sort of came out at the same time.
And I didn't you know, it was it did shift things significantly for me. But then, like, show is it? It goes like, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Well, I mean, it's good that you take that in. You know, you've worked with a lot of the a lot of great directors I have.
I've been very lucky. I mean, you know, when you look at like even working with Alan Pakula or in The Pelican Pre-election Brief like that, was it? Yeah. I was so excited to work with him because he made some of the, you know, these iconic films that I grew up with. I think All the President's Men still arguably one of the greatest American movies ever made.
Oh, yeah, it's great. And Parallax View. I think he did. Yeah, he did. Extraordinary. And I talked to I got to know Redford through through through Sundance. And I was to go and advise at the lab and everything. And, uh, and I told them, like, that is it's just one. And he you know, he produced the movie, too. Yeah. And it's one of the greatest movies ever made and it still holds up and I watch it.
Yeah, I watch it all the time. I watched it recently too.
It's extraordinary. Those shots I mean he has that shot with Redford where he's talking on the phone and the camera pushes in. It's I timed it once. It's a five and a half to six minute shot and really. Yeah. And you don't even the brilliance of Alan Pakula was you had no idea that the camera was even moving and it was going well, as I think you shot it. So so the cameras just pushed them before you know it.
The little guy's doing is talking on the fucking telephone. Right. And it is so compelling. And then it's over and you realize that's a solid six minutes that you've watched right through. And you end up here from. Yeah. Way back here.
So, yeah, I thought that the movie that you were in and you were great in that Spotlight movie which I watched. Oh, I love that movie. Well, that's a similar type of movie. Yeah.
Because it's one of these things where you're unfolding, you know, an insidious conspiracy. And the action is really about the characters, the learning of the unfolding, the unfolding. Right. Like it's not an action movie, but your character was so great.
That was. It's a great role for you. I was so honored to be asked to do it. I love Tom McCarthy. Yeah, I think he's so talented and I knew him a little bit. And when he asked me and I read it, I thought, oh, my God, yeah. Yeah, no, that's one of those movies where you're like, you know, you there's you'll do whatever you can to to do it. They don't they don't even have to pay you.
It doesn't matter. You just do it. You never it. Yeah.
And that part was so great. Yeah. This is the kind of aggravation and the sort of acceptance of of of you know, the plodding work.
Yeah. Of a guy, you know, who is up against all odds but continues on and he's still at it.
He's still doing it. What's his name. The real guy, Mitchell Garabedian.
And I did not meet him before because it was suggested that I not meet him because he's quite contentious. And at one point there was they were like, we think he might sue us. We don't know what's happening. And I was like, why would he do that? He's like basically like the hero of the film in a way. And then he saw the movie and he loved it. And and I met him briefly at the premiere. And he was so nice that we talked on the phone a couple of times.
And, you know, he's he's really but that's an extraordinary person who does stuff.
So that's so interesting that he was he didn't trust nobody. Yeah. And that's why. Woody but that's why. Woody, why would you why would you trust Hollywood, right? I don't. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
So you weren't concerned in that part like your version of him was your version.
Yeah, I did what I could to yeah. I, what I did was I was able to find some stuff on YouTube of him talking and, you know, you know, news reports and things like that. So I was able to use that and then but not you know, it's always hard to if you're doing an accent, any kind of accent, but a Boston accent. You know, there's it's tricky. Yeah, it's tricky. And you don't want to go too far.
So I tried to just pull it back a little bit because sometimes if you do it, even people who have Boston accents, you go, come on, pull it back. Yeah. To make it easy to do, you know, Matt Damon, stop it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. When you do you work with a dialect coach generally. Yeah.
If I, if I feel that it's that I need it. Yes. I tried to do one thing. I did a thing here like a year after I moved here called Fortitude, which was this series for Sky Atlantic. And it was really interesting. And I did it because it was a wonderful role. But also there was Sophie Grabow was that great Danish actress, and Michael Gambon, arguably one of my my favorite actors ever. Yeah. So I was like, yes, yes, yes.
And the character was written as Scottish. So I said, OK, I'll give it a shot. So I asked this dialect coach to come in, whom I think I had that briefly, but was a very she's brilliant and, you know, had friends in common. And my sister in law had worked with her. And so she comes over to my house. We start to read through it. We work for twenty minutes and I go, this is a terrible idea, isn't it?
She goes, Oh yeah, OK.
I said, OK, so then I have to call the producers and go, I think, look, I tried this.
I'm sorry, I don't want to compromise the show or my career. So I think maybe let's just do British. And then I couldn't figure out what kind of British to do. So I was like, you know what, I think he's American. And they went, Yes, I think that's fine. Thank God they can celebrate that, celebrating it. Exactly. Why did we come to this guy in the first place? You know? Yeah, dialects are scary, man.
Yeah, scary. And some of them it's funny, some of them it's easy. And others, you know, I remember Matt Damon saying that the you know, when he did Invictus, that it was one of the hardest dialogues. He said he worked for six months or more with South African. Yes. Which is incredibly I find stuff like that incredibly difficult Australian. Someone someone suggested in a movie that they were like, could you. Could you.
Could you be Australian, I was like, no way, you know, getting getting. I was born Australian. Yeah, but yeah.
Now what's the most challenging one you think you pulled off? You know, oddly enough, a lot of times an Italian accent is hard because Italian there's a lot of variations within it because Italian has so many different dialects and yeah. Pronunciations of words and things like that. So there are times even when I hear my own Italian accent, I go, I go, no, OK. Is a bad. It is a bit. Yeah.
How do you feel about doing stage work. Do you. It doesn't seem like you do a ton of it but you enjoy it.
Yeah. I haven't done it since I directed a play about 10 years ago, nine years ago on Broadway that I love. I love that experience. Prior to that I had done a lot of theater, but the last I did was Frankie and Johnny in the classroom and it just about killed me in every way. And after. Yeah, and after that, I didn't have a great I was you know, there were just too many reasons why it almost killed me.
But I, I no longer longed to go on stage like I once did after that. And it's strange because I've been very lucky enough to be offered a lot of, you know, great roles here in England and in America. And but I don't have that yearning as much as I used to.
What makes it challenging? Well, I think if I can do a short run, that's fine. But I feel like after you've done a play, you've rehearsed to play, you open up. You do like five weeks after five, which I think you want to leave a play on an inhale. Yeah. And I always see actors leave plays on an exhausted exhale and and and I can see that in performances often. Sure. And well yeah.
I mean I can't imagine doing it every day. Matinee. I know you're talking about eight shows a week and it's brutal. It's it's brutal. And people think I only work three hours a night or whatever, two hours a night. You start by three o'clock in the afternoon. Your mind is going to your performance. Right, right at you go. By the time you go to sleep, it's one o'clock in the morning. You have to sleep until 10.
Otherwise you got to work out or whatever and then do your business and see your kids and do whatever. But the thing is, you never see your kids. You don't have dinner with them. You can't pick them up at school. You can't, you know, put them to bed and you cannot wake up with them in the morning.
So it just eats your entire. Yeah.
And people think, oh, it's the most sort of regular life. So it's like it's the opposite of a of of a normal lifestyle. More, almost more and more than a film. Oh no. I of a film.
Well but with film most of the time you're sitting around waiting for lighting a place to go and then you know, you don't have you once you get the hang of it. I don't know what your process is, but, you know, you kind of memorize, you know, scene for scene or day by day. I mean, with a play, you've got to cram all that shit in your right.
Right. And then it's there and it's there. Once it's there, it's there then. But I always believe that after five weeks, people start inventing things simply to invent things, either to entertain themselves. They're the people they're playing opposite now or they just start going, you know what, I think I can get a laugh on this if I do this, which then throws off the whole balance of the thing.
I think if you don't like the thrill of it every night, do you know what I mean? You can't like who I talked to David Harbour, David Harbour. I talked to him.
He said one of the funny things about like, you know, that that panic, you know, right before you go on stage where you don't think you know your life, he says he's like five seconds before he goes on stage. He's like, someone give me a fucking script.
I still have dreams. I have dreams. Yeah, I had one the other night about going on stage and not knowing my lines and not, you know, or like I'm not dressed properly or, you know, it's just pathetic. Still. Still. Oh my God. It's haunting. It is. But I know. I'll do it again, I want to do it again. It just has to be the right circumstance, you know, now this I watched the I watched the new movie Supernova.
Oh. And I enjoyed it. It was very it was heavy to me. Yeah. How well do you know Colin?
Well, I know him really well. We've known each other for 20 years. Oh, really? So you guys were friends going into this long time? Yeah. Yeah, I asked him to do it. The director sent me the script. I loved it. I thought, well, the only person I can think of of the appropriate age who's a brilliant actor and one of my close is Colin. So I asked him, I slipped it to him and he really goes, my God, it's beautiful.
I said, I know. And then we did it. And then we switched roles because I was supposed to play the other role. He was supposed to play my role. And then. Oh, really? Yeah. Then at one point, Colin, Colin said, Stan, I think we should we should switch. And I said, you know, I've been thinking the same thing because every time I rented it, I was like, it doesn't something doesn't feel right.
The it might I don't know. I feel like I'm more comfortable. And Colin is the one who brought it up. Anyway, we told Harry, this poor director who looked at us like, oh, God, have I made a huge mistake, you know, if he's too old, too old to Kakas coming, we want to switch roles and. Yeah, yeah. By the way, had both. Yeah. And what did he say.
Yeah. No he said, he said all right well let's read it both ways. So we did just a few scenes and it was very evident we basically auditioned for Harry for the opposite roles.
So you play a couple and you are in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's.
Yes. Well, yeah. Yeah. Little even. Yeah, more either. More so early onset Alzheimer's. Yeah.
Early onset Alzheimer's. So what did you do to prepare for that as an actor. How did you define. Because like I think what was most interesting about your characterization of, of that was the fight against it, that you know, the pride, you know that that occurs. You know, when somebody is, you know, because you were much further along than even you let on to the audience, have me watching it. You know, you don't really know how far along you are until he looks at your writing.
And that's the beauty of Harry's script. I mean, it was all there in the writing. And then Harry gave me his research and I watched documentaries and read stuff about that with the doctor who worked with people. And that was all I needed.
So what did you focus on, you know, to sort of drive the way your brain would work in the role?
I mean, how did you do that for yourself? It was really about yeah, it's about absence, really. As we all get older, you walk into the pantry or you walk into the. Yeah, whatever room and you go, right. Why did I walk into this room right now? Just take that and expand it. What a terrible feeling. Yeah, but to be lost.
Yeah. Suddenly you're looking at someone or you're looking at this is a particular kind of early onset where it affects the way you see. So if you look at a piece of paper with writing on it, you cannot discern what that writing is. So you have to figure it out. Yeah.
So it's so sad and brutal and like I don't really know. Yeah.
They give away the sort of turn in the film, but I guess so, you know, for you guys to play a couple, I mean with all those years of friendship, I mean, it must have been interesting in terms of getting closer. Yeah.
Yes, it was it wasn't it wasn't what we expected.
In what sense? I mean, you guys are both straight guys. Yeah. And, you know, it's sort of like, hey, pal, we're going to we're going to kiss a little bit.
And but, you know, you feel safe with that person, right? Because you know them, because they're like they're your best friend and one of your best friends. And you're willing. Yeah. I mean, he was he was more hirsute than I expected, but. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah.
And. Closer or where you definitely need a break, a break from each other? No, no, no, it definitely brought us closer. We were closer already and then it just brought us closer.
It is sort of a beautiful movie. I've seen a couple of films lately that kind of move it at a pace that, you know, doesn't over explain everything, you know. And I thought that the way the script revealed the elements of the relationship and of the disease was was very, you know, moving. And it's it's heavy.
You know. You know, you wonder like I like the movie.
But like, you know, when you when you make a film like that is beautiful, it is it's so painfully sad and you wonder, like, you know, what is an audience supposed to to do with that?
And it's really just to appreciate the poetry of love, I guess, you know? Yeah, I think so.
And also that what you know, I think part of the reason film or theater or any art form exists is, you know, to hold the mirror up to life. But. Right. But also which means if you do that, you know, an audience feels like they're not alone and and that there is an understanding, a universal understanding of love and loss. And I think particularly in this film, because it's not just a guy and a girl, you know, a handsome guy and a pretty girl is like right to older guys.
Yeah. The whole thing isn't what we would expect. And yet. And yet what that the what those people are experiencing is what everyone experiences, no matter what your gender, no matter what your sexual preference or orientation doesn't matter. Political orientation doesn't matter. Love is love and loss is loss.
And one of those is guaranteed in life. There you go. Yeah, I mean, I understand that it also.
It does not. It does not. Culturally, we don't.
Really acknowledge it is probably as much as we should, that there there's it's so common, you know, losing people, losing your mind.
I mean, it's like and it's like when it happens to you as it happened to you with your with your wife and like I lost somebody recently.
Yes. I'm sorry, but that was the first time I, you know, like somebody that I loved and like was died tragically. Like I but but almost everyone experiences that.
Yes. And you don't really know what to do with it. And people don't necessarily know what to do with it either.
No. And I think and depending upon your situation, your socio economic situation, you're the country you're living in, you can experience that profound loss again and again and again or rarely. I mean, if we look at Syria, right, if you look at you know, I mean, look, I mean, that's happening every minute of every day. And that the extreme loss, I can't imagine. Yeah, we can't we can't imagine. We lose a climate of.
Yeah. A climate of loss.
And but like it's interesting, though that you bring up absence because that's what I like. That's what becomes really hard to understand. Is that, you know, somebody was here and now you live with their absence for the rest of your life and it's almost active and it's always there that, you know, that that absence, like you grieve, you move through things, your heart heals, you know, your mind heals. Maybe you move on.
But like that absence is so is so profound because all possibilities are gone, you know, which means that your heart doesn't heal, your mind doesn't heal and that you don't move on.
You never do. Well, then what happens?
You mean you just you compartmentalize then.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And you have to in order to heal and move on. Right.
But yeah. You integrate it, you accept it. That, that old Jewish thing, you know, the, the idea of may her memory be a blessing is really a great thing. Yeah.
That's, that's beautiful.
But yeah it's like that it ultimately it's the only way you can look at it. You know, you you have to get past regrets or, or self-pity or any of that and just sort of like what a gift it was.
Yeah. How do you how do the people who went through the Holocaust, who were sent to Auschwitz, who lost children in Auschwitz and then survived themselves, then went on to live their lives, have another family? Yeah. How and function fully. How how do you lose a child and not just lose a child, but lose a child in that way and continue your life? I don't know. I guess what choice do you have? You have a choice, but who does that serve what.
Right. Right. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know.
It's interesting that like, you know, in your life as an actor, you know, you've played some pretty real monsters.
You know, when you do you are you able when you approach those roles, like even playing, you know, Eichmann or the the the murderer in the.
What was that? The lovely bones. Lovely bones.
Do you have to detach your empathy entirely? I mean, how does how do you look at life through the eyes of those characters?
The only way you can look at it is that they were human beings. They're monsters. We think of them as monsters, but they were human beings. Right. Right. So there's I talked about this recently with some of that they playing Eichmann. Eichmann was you know, they found him in Argentina. Right. Mossad got him in Argentina. The Mossad agent, you know, had him in a room for a couple of days. And so he wasn't supposed to he started talking to him and asked him a whole bunch of questions.
He said, well, how could you kill all those people? How could you facilitate that? How could you? And they said, you know, well, you know, that was my job. That's what I was supposed to do. Right? I said, well, what about the children said, I love children. And when they found him, he was playing with his children in his house and able to detach because of ideology. Yeah.
And what he said was they said he said, but yeah, you love children. But what about all the children you sent to their deaths? You said, well, they were Jewish, right? So what kind of mind is that horrendous. Right. So he cries, talking about children and then he just safai justifies killing children by saying they're Jewish. They're talking. Talk about a disconnect.
Well, that's the brain fakery of. You know what? You see it here.
It turns out it's it's a lot easier to make people think of other people as as as another as others fucking horrendous.
Yeah, but I did want to say this before we go is that I've watched I have a guilt. The Devil Wears Prada is a strange, guilty pleasure of mine that I've somehow managed to.
Yeah. So many times. Yeah. And I just love that movie. I love those women. I loved you in it. That must have been the greatest time it was, you know.
But, you know, sometimes you do a movie and you're like, yeah, oh yeah, yeah.
You know, you want to just you're like, when's my last day? You know, and with that movie, I didn't want it to end. But it ended my when my work ended, I was just sort of hanging around and we were having wine and stuff on the set with David and everybody. And then I just want to leave. I don't know. I don't know what it is. So is that is that where is that how you met your wife, your current wife?
I mean, I was married and Kate was alive with actually, we found out just before I did that movie that she had breast cancer. So I did the movie and she started treatments. And then, you know, we had the premiere and then, you know, she was alive for four more years after that. And it was. Yeah, but that's where I met Emily. Right. And we became friends. And actually, Felicity, my sister, my wife, she and Kate talked at the premiere that night and have a photo of them together, which is so odd.
And then many years later, I ended up marrying Felicity.
And you have children with both? Yes. Kate and I had three kids and Felicity. I had two.
Five kids. Yes. Oh, so you've got young kids now? Yes, I have a two and a half year old and a six year old, and then I have twenty one year old twins and a 19 year old. Everybody get along.
So far, so good from time to time. Yeah. There's always, you know, but yeah. Yeah, it's OK.
And how are you, how are you holding up with the, with the plague.
You're right, it's fine. I mean this is the second lockdown. I experienced symptoms last March. You did. Yeah. But they were they were minor and got it. Yeah. And then I had the antibodies at one point and then they don't show up again. But I lost my sense of taste and smell for five days, as did all of my older children. Felicity never had any symptoms. Did she get it too though. No, we don't know.
Oh, she always shows up negative. So I think that, you know, I hope I'm not being naive, but I feel like according to the science, that there are antibodies that exist in you even if they don't show up in the tests. So, so far, so good. And this lockdown, this time, we're just more acclimated to it. We're just more used to it. Have you worked during the. I have. I have been so busy.
That's the weird part of it. Yeah. I worked in Italy shooting two more episodes of this documentary series, CNN. I, I then went to Spain and did a six episode thing for television. So I was gone for two and a half months in the fall. During the first lockdown, I wrote the first draft of a memoir like My Life Through Food Food Memoir four with recipes for Yes with some recipes was for Simon and Schuster. And now during the second lock down, I finished the second draft.
And, you know, we've been working on the edit for the SO and I'm going to go do something here and in London starting in March. So what are they got? The zone system masks its masks.
You'll be tested in Spain. I was tested once a week here. I'll be tested every day. I'll be tested five times a week, right? Yeah. And it's all very careful you're in these bubbles. And so production is moving ahead, which is great. And they're incredibly cautious and so far, so good. Great.
So now so the cookbook thing that you did a cookbook before, it's sold pretty well.
Yeah. Yeah. It's been a long time ago. I put it together for my parents that we rereleased it. Years later it went out of print and then Felicity and I did a cookbook together about six years ago.
You're through. Your dad still alive? Both your folks.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. My mother tested positive for covid. Yeah. I said, how are you? All right. She goes, I'm fine. I mean, I can. And my father tested negative, you know. I don't know.
He's ninety. You can't kill them. I swear you can't kill. When did you live in Italy? I lived in Italy when I was 12 and 13.
What was it like a sabbatical exactly. Change your life changed my life completely. It was so cool. What part? Everybody spoke Italian at Florence. Do you speak Italian? I speak Italian, but. But corruptly, you know, it's just, you know, it's I started taking lessons again. When I was going to do the series, and it's been very helpful, Florence is the best. Unbelievable. Yeah, I'm a teacher and it's so beautiful, you know?
I mean, you can still you can walk. A lot of those streets have been around for just hundreds and hundreds of years. It's amazing, stunning. And it's. You know, it's tiny. And I. I really like that.
And the cars are tiny. The roads are tiny, tiny everything. Theodoros, the cathedrals are massive. Right. Right. Yeah. Power of God. Yeah. Well, I love talking to you. Likewise. This is a real pleasure. I know. I feel like I'm not even doing like a podcast or something. No, no. I'm just talking. You're so easy to talk to. How come I haven't seen you before?
I don't know. I'm around when you come, you know, hang out. All right. All right. It was it was a pleasure.
And I'm a big fan of the work. Well, take care of yourself.
Thank you. You too. Stanley Tucci had a nice talk. He was loose, it was good. Yeah, the movie is called Supernova. It's in select theaters right now, will be on digital platforms starting February 16. All right. I just I'm getting sloppier with the guitar. Clearly, clearly sloppier. But that's not going to stop me. Not going to stop me. Omar lives monkey in LaFonta. Cat angels everywhere.