Hey, folks, today's episode is sponsored by Squarespace from websites and online stores to marketing tools and analytics, Squarespace is the all in one platform to build a beautiful online presence and run your business. There are no hidden fees or price hikes in all websites are optimized for mobile. And it's so simple. Folks start with a design template and use drag and drop tools to make it your own head to Squarespace dot com slash WTF for a free trial. And when you're ready to launch, use the offer code WTF to save 10 percent off your first purchase.
Let's do the show.
Lock the gate. All right, let's do this, how are you? What the fuckers, what the fuck buddies, what the fuck? STRs, what the fuck Nicks? How are you? What's up? It's Mark. Hello. Hi, it's Mark. Hello. Hello. Is anyone there? Hi. Can you hear me? It's Mark. Am I. Hold on. Maybe it's muted or something. Am I now. Can you hear me.
Hey, what's going on. Are you ok. I didn't see you either. Is the mute on turn your video on. Is it video. This is in video. This is audio. That's why you can't see me. Hello. Can you hear me. How's it going, you guys? All right. I don't know what that was. That was a short performance piece called Can You Hear Me? That I wrote this morning. I wrote it in real time.
Did it feel like that? It felt pretty scripted, though, didn't it? Are you OK? I'm OK. I feel OK.
I'm going to talk to Christopher Lloyd today. Now, of course, we all know him from back to the future and Karcsi. But Christopher Lloyd has been working consistently in theater, TV and film for 60 years now, I don't know, I don't prioritize taxi, I don't prioritize back to the future.
For some reason, I got hung up in a lot of the early stuff, particularly he played Taber in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and an unforgettable role as one of the patients at the loony at the sorry. At the mental hospital. At the loony bin. At the nuthouse. At the coocoo shack. At the mental institution and I got off on that, I start, you know, I don't know, you know me, but we can talk about that.
Sounds good. I don't want.
There's some true evil in this fucking country, there's some true racist evil, and I don't I didn't want to sound like I did not focus enough on those horrendous, racially based killings of Asian women and the horrendous targeting of Asians here in America in general. It's awful. And I had dreams, man. There's just an awful. Contingent within this country, it's very scary and obviously what the Asians have been going through for years since they first got here.
It's awful and it's more awful now. I had a dream. That I was in a car handcuffed and there were Nazis driving it, but they weren't Nazi Nazis. They were like they look like hipster Nazis, I just knew they were Nazis, you know, like selvage denim Nazis, they look like a handmade belt Nazis, you know, waxed beard Nazis. Trucker Cap Nazis'. Kind of guys, it might might wear some whites boots. And in a handcrafted t shirt, maybe a Filson jacket, nazis' guys that look like they might be in a comforting SEMIH folk outfit, Nazis'.
And I remember I was in the car. And I was. Handcuffed with sitting sideways in the back seat behind the driver, and I just noticed the guy in the passenger seat with his waxed beard and long hair. Was disinfecting his hands. Because he was going to punch me in the face. And I couldn't understand what what he was doing, was he putting alcohol in his hands when it would hurt me more or protecting himself? I don't know what that detail was about was a dream.
And I remember saying, like, look, look, I know, I know I'm a Jew, but you don't have to do this.
And he's like putting this stuff on his hands and he's kind of hit one into the other with that smack sound that that little smacking sound like you have to do this.
And he said, hey, man, I'm not going to do it. The South is going to do it. And we just kept driving, that was a dream. I don't want any emails about judging the South that was in my dream. That's another dream about some, you know, a woman that I seem to be in a relationship with. I had no idea who she was and I knew she was mad at me and leaving me.
But I don't I don't in it. I was sort of like, we're breaking up. I don't even know who you are.
I don't know what that means either. Then there was another dream, I kept asking this guy not to sue me.
I don't know about what I don't know. This happened in quick succession.
You know, when you wake up and you come back, oh, where are we now? Guess I'm in a car with Nazis. Then you wake up and then you come back and look what's happening. Now, this woman wants a divorce and I have no idea who she is. Wake up and pee and come back. Why? Why does Ned Beatty want to sue me? Why wouldn't he just not do it? I keep telling. I keep saying, please, you don't have to do this.
And it was Ned Beatty, a younger Ned Beatty. I have some of the great character actors in my dreams. You know, those guys work, man, they show up everywhere. The great character actors, Ned Beatty making an appearance, as I believe the attorney who is whose client was suing me. And he did a great job. He did a great job with the part.
If you're having trouble meeting your goals, people or difficulty with relationships or trouble sleeping or you're feeling stressed or depressed, better help is available, better help offer secure online professional counselors who can listen and help. It's simple. You just fill out a questionnaire to help assess your specific needs and better help will match you with your own licensed professional therapist. Then start communicating in under 48 hours, under 48 hours.
Log into your account any time and send unlimited messages to your counselor. You can schedule weekly video or phone sessions and everything you share is confidential. It's easy and free to change counselors if needed. You've heard me say this before, but it's true, so it's worth saying it again.
It really helps to talk to someone. All right. Trust me, it helps. WTF with Marc Maron is sponsored by Better Help and our listeners get ten percent off their first month of online therapy when they visit. Better help dotcom slash WTF visit, better dotcom slash WTF and join the over one million people who have taken charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced, better health professional. All right, hello. Yeah, I can hear you.
Hello. Christopher always on the show today, and I'd like to announce the I have a new roommate, I mean, a new relationship. His name is Sammy. Sammy Red.
Also aliases, I think are going to be the Sam after. Sam, the man, Sam, Sam, Sam, Sam, Sammy, Sammy, Sammy, boy, Sammy is a six week and change old. Ginger kitten. White face, white, just kind of stripey, not really red. He looks very panicked and very confused, but my friend Kit brought him over. He had to be removed from his mother with the other kittens in the litter for safety reasons.
And he got about four weeks in on the nip with the with the brose in the city's. Learn some tricks, seems to be cleaning himself, Kit had him on the bottom for a while. We got to meet in this. We got to meet in the solid food. He started eating the solid food and the kibble. She brought him over. We got a tent. We got some blankets, got scratching post, got fake mouse, got a fake sardine, got a little tiger head thing set up to the room boxes in the corners.
Initially, the issue was, will he poop normal? Can we get some normal kitten poop? I've got him on the kitten food, little pumpkin mixed in some probiotic and he's going at it. He's coming along. Buster is.
Yeah, uh, uh. At the door, I've got to see each other a bit, Sammy doesn't seem to give a fuck busters.
I don't it really strikes me what I'm getting from Buster, what I'm projecting on to Buster, what I'm feeling like Buster would be saying if he could is like, why the fuck is that? Is that here? But not like, oh, shit, I'm in trouble, not like I'm going to kill that thing, but like, why is this little fuck here? We had a good thing going, man. We finally got rid of the oldest and it was Meenu man.
Meenu walking down the road of life together. And now you bringing this little fucker. What am I going to do. I'm going to use him as a goddamn ball and a bat him around and throw him up and down. I don't know Buster's a mean fucker so we'll see what happens. But the impression I got was that he's like, all right, he's not a threat to me, but he's obviously going to be a time suck for for you, which means less time for me.
And that's going to cause me a little anxiety. So I might have to beat up on a little bit. That's I'm just saying that's what's going to happen in the future.
Uh uh. That's all I'm just saying, I just say I'm just letting them know what's up and I might pee on your shit. So heads up.
Hey, if you have 33 minutes, you never have to worry about a break in at home ever again. That is how quick and easy it is to set up a security system from simply safe. It's the kind of thing that's so easy to do. You can do it during a Netflix binge while watching a game or listening to a certain podcast, this one. And they're not kidding about how fast it is the set up. It's always the number one reason we recommend simply safe, because we can vouch for how quick and easy it is to set up.
Simply safe is also incredibly easy to customize for your home. Just go to simply safe dotcom slash WTF. Today you can easily choose the exact system you need or get help from one of their experts. The whole package will get to your house in about a week, which means by this time next week you and your family can go to bed knowing your home is being guarded. It's easy to assume everyone in your house already feels safe, but they might not, and it's worthwhile to talk about it.
Simply safe is a small, easy step to make sure everyone feels safe at home.
Go to simply safe dotcom crash WTF today to customize your system and get a free security camera that simply safe dotcom slash wtf today. S&P I Saffy Dotcom slash WTF today.
I went to the farmer's market with. Why is the sweat singer's husband, Noah? He's a chef and he has gotten in over there with that, when you're a wholesaler, you do in the business get in a little early.
But it was it was there checking people. They're distancing. They're only getting a certain amount of people.
And I've been out into that farmer's market in Hollywood for years and I got some stuff and it was nice. I don't even know why I'm telling you this. I guess I just wanted to tell you that I went out to the farmer's market and bought vegetables and was among the people everyone masked, everyone buying greens about some fish at the fish guy. I got some oranges is the orange lady and some avocados at the also the orange lady. She wasn't orange.
She sold oranges and avocados. So I guess she was the orange and avocado lady. Talked to know about some cooking tips. And that's all, hello, hello. Hi. Hello, is this on can you hear me. So I got to get rid of some apps.
Because now I got the citizenship and I've got the I've got the thing that comes with the ring, that community, so I'm getting it from all sides. Like Citizens app, you get the police blotter report like man with. Hat and butter knife. Spreading cream cheese on his arm in ongoing talks. I saw one from the citizens up, old woman sitting in sun. There was concern like she couldn't be trusted to enjoy the outdoors by herself, that someone ought to go over there and check on her.
And then this ring thing is even more crazy because there's a man in my yard, police have been called. Then you ring customer number four, is it the same one from yesterday when customer number seventy two, did you call the police ring customer number 84? Didn't this happen to you two days ago? Ring customer number 72 again. Did you call the police? Ring customer number nine. What kind of man? Not to be racially explosive, but size maybe ring customer number 72.
Some guy from two days ago ring customer number 42. Did you call the police?
And then the original complaint? Oh, it's my husband again. I've got to stop calling the police so much.
I don't need the distraction. Or do I seem like I'm entertained by it?
Seems like I'm entertained by it. We're not going to do it, the South is going to do it.
So, look, Christopher Lloyd is in this new movie, Nobody with Bob Odenkirk, which I watched. Bob was good. Christopher was great. It's one of those movies. I don't really see these kind of movies, but I liked it. It's about the unassuming guy there all of a sudden is just a fucking maniac for the for the good.
It's in theaters this Friday, March. Twenty sixth. And Christopher's wife, Lisa, was there when we we had this talk and and you'll hear her chime in a few times.
And that's this is it. As I said before, we covered One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest like it was a new film.
This is me talking to Christopher Lloyd.
Be afraid you can fall asleep if you go far back. Yeah, take a rest. It's a reclining mode means it's time for nap.
I'm always there. Yeah, I'm alive now. You're very alive. Spry on it. I watched a movie last night running around with guns. That's good. I haven't done anything like that before.
It was just I liked it.
Oh, really? You never done what? The gunplay had a little dog play here. That but this this was a hard core kind of, you know. Yeah, I was into it.
I mean, when you when you approach something like that, I mean, what age is it different than another role? Because it's sort of over the top and you sort of know that. So you can just go to town. Right.
I was intrigued by the character. He was highly skilled, slick, dangerous. Motherfucker. Yeah, mostly because he just had a lot of cool. He was very smart. He knew how to handle the hardware and do a little strange kind of stuff and entrap the victims, whoever they might be. And then he retires, get a little old, you know, to be a carry on like that. And then his son gets gets in that pickle and I come out of retirement and I have what, like the last the last climax does go for it.
So what if this becomes a franchise? You're gonna have to do that guy again and again?
I hope so. I hope I live long enough to do it. I got it again. I just I figure I'll be be here at least for one more shot if it happens.
Like, you know that back story, though, like just the idea that you put that back story together, was that something, you know that because you've been acting a long time and, you know, when you approach something like that, do you create a back story or is that something the director brings to you?
I that's what I kind of I mean, it was suggested in the script, but it wasn't anything they gave me. I just you know, it comes out of retirement and he loves to read stuff again where you started in New York, right?
Yeah. And where'd you grow up?
I was born in Stamford, Connecticut, and my folks always had an apartment in New York, so I would constantly go back and forth. Then as soon as I got to high school with the drama school in New York when I was 19, think and I never left, I was I stayed there until what was nineteen eighty five and I moved to L.A..
And where'd you go to drama school. Where, where do you start acting or the neighborhood playhouse school. The theater. And I had a fun loving all anonymizer. Yeah he was, he was the greatest and he made a total impression on me and what I learned from him.
What kind of guy was he? Because I tried to give an impression to him because he was sort of like the American version of the method, correct?
Oh, yeah, yeah. Yeah, very much so. I mean, he had such poise intelligence, he would have three hour a three hour class at the Naval Playhouse the morning, another three hour and the afternoon. And that has professional class three hours at night. And that's a lot of time to sit in the chair watching people get up and do the do the stuff he never, ever lost focus. He he he he watches somebody doing their work.
Yeah. We analyzing it, put it, and then he give the precise exact commentary on it and he was always supportive. He didn't mess around, but he had a strong sense of humor, wit that is very dignified, you know, the handsome kind of guy.
And like what tools did you when you when you approach acting even now like what stuff? I mean, obviously know I've known this from talking to many actors, you know, over and over again that a lot of it is just, you know, how you just you kind of cobbled together your own system and you do what you do.
But were there things that you learned from Meisner that you still are conscious of doing?
Yes, I am. I mean, I don't think I have so much now. Back then, I do a bit of playing whatever one night I could go wrong. It's like I was in a group that well, that's why it's like I'm wallowing around the stage trying to get into it again. And my sister taught me how to keep focus and how to get back back in the groove and all that technique for that which was based. A lot of people a little perplexed was a word.
A word. Oh, really? To somebody else, you know, I'd say, who are you? They say, who are you? And it changes the behavior as you go along.
Yeah, I get like a yelling match. But what he always said, what you do depends on what the other does. So you're always connected and attached and it pulls the emotions long eventually as well. Would you get the sense of it?
And I mean, that's probably I mean, it's probably more consistent doing that in theater. I imagine once you make the the jump to film, it's harder to hold on to that focus because, you know, you're shooting everything in pieces.
Yeah, but you still while the cameras rolling, it could use it. Yeah. Yeah. We'll use it in any context, really? Yeah, just listen and stay present. Yeah. Yeah. So you did how much?
You did a lot of stage work initially, right?
Yes. Yeah. Do you miss that? I do, but I still go back and do some, you know, it's not like I got to the movies and no more theater, I'd keep it up. There's always another play comes up and I want to do and I do King Lear the summer. Really? What are you doing that at the Berkshire Shakespeare Company.
How do you spend time in Massachusetts? Did you spend time there when you were a kid? Yes, I went to boarding school for the third to the eighth grade in Western Mass in West Newton, Massachusetts.
Yeah, yeah. I'm familiar with Massachusetts. Sure.
I started my comedy career in the in the small towns and villages of New England. And I lived in I lived in Massachusetts for several years. I lived in Boston, Somerville just I lived in Brooklyn, just shy of Newton. But I know Newton, you know, Route nine.
And I did a lot of gigs down the Cape. You know, there used to be a gig down in Yarmouth at a Chinese restaurant. I did.
I was all over New England. So what was your first play? Well, my father my first paid job in New York because I get off, off, off, off, off Broadway all over the place. I was going for one workshop to another, but at the same time job it out of the summer stock regional theater. All but the first play I've had in New York. I remember the Chelsea Company of it was Robert Kalthoum was director and it was Caspar Caspar Aha.
By Peter Hankey, I think Australian. All right. And I got it all before and it just kind of threw the doors open.
That was it. That's where it started. That's interesting. So at the beginning you were probably doing what years were this? In the 60s, mid 60s.
I got that play in nineteen seventy two or three.
So when you were doing that, the off off Broadway stuff you were running around doing summer stock, but were you doing all kinds of weird, kind of, you know, progressive theater shows down in the village and stuff and then going and doing like Noel Coward in New Jersey was a lot of, a lot of them actually situations.
I remember because everybody worked I. I was fortunate that I didn't have to have a job to get through the day, but most actors who were struggling, they'd be working during the day and these workshops are all right, or sometimes rehearsals would be start at 12:00 or 1:00 a.m. because that's the only time everybody was available. Right. So there was a lot of that got pretty weird. Basford.
Do you remember any strange sort of like experimental productions that you did? Well, sort of.
I did a play called Hypatia three. Yeah. It was kind of a Robin as they were together. It made no sense whatsoever. It was always more actors on stage at the scene in the audience.
Yeah. And I was about to divorce my wife from the time I first won. My next wife was in the cast. OK, well, it was a change of everything, changing of the wives that the ceremony of the changing of the wives.
Yeah, not not least. At least it came later, but it was just a weird show. Yeah. But it was kind of typical. Right. Right.
So you didn't have to work because you what you got. I guess you come from a family.
I have a family. You know, they were kind of well off don't you.
Like I read somewhere that was that, you know, you can trace your relatives all the way back to the Mayflower.
Yeah, I'm told that I have never sat down and done done my homework to see if it's really true. Right. I think it was all the second life. Well, I don't know all of it.
But back you know, back in the day where your mom was from, I guess her family was part of the founding people of Texaco, huh?
Yeah. Yeah, my grandpa. Did you know him, though? He died. I think he died the year I was born.
Was he like a wildcatter with you out there with the drills or was he, uh, I don't think so.
Too much. Yeah. He went he went to school somewhere in eastern Pennsylvania cause out there he met a guy who was already because Pennsylvania was one of the first places to get the coal. Oil. Yeah. And another guy from Texas and the three of them collaborated. They didn't go Texaco. Yeah.
And and you didn't have to work.
So interesting because I kind of have an inside awareness and knowledge of the beginning of the whole oil. They had it out and all this going west, which is not a bad idea. But that was that was like an interesting phenomena that came. And now it's going, thank God.
Yeah. I mean, maybe I hope in the nick of time. Yeah. It might be too late. Yes, I know. We'll see.
How did you when did Cuckoo's Nest happen.
How did that happen.
I have a nineteen seventy three. Yeah I think so. I don't know, I mean I wanted to do film but I just, I didn't. When I walked in an office first and made people in the film, I just felt because I was a you know, you know, what do you call it. Extraverted. I yeah.
I'm not, you're not a song and dance man. You're you're a tall you're a tall, intense gentleman. Yeah.
You know, all I got was thank you for coming, weirdo.
Get out. So, uh, so I figured I was getting to the point because I'd be set up. Nothing to happen. Not even a nibble. And I'd feel that, you know, some actors don't make the bridge from theater to film, OK? And then I was doing a production of Macbeth at the downstairs fair at Lincoln Center of the Bible. But there's a theater down below with Christopher Walken was Macbeth. Oh, wow. And a few other characters.
Uh huh. And John Symond referred to it as that swinish production of McBeath. The guy was walking.
Did he have the same intensity then? Yes, he did.
And back then I was just getting the dog. And it was very odd that no Christopher Walken. Yeah, but this is fucking Shakespeare. You know, I've never seen anything like that and I we've worked together since. I love him. I mean, he is an extraordinary character person.
So you're doing that. You're doing that show and whatnot. And I was kind of a crazy mood. And they set me up, Coogan says, came to New York to cast. And then this guy been setting me up, set me up to meet him, and I went up and auditioned. The auditions consisted of Milos Forman sitting in the way Nurse Ratched would sit out of a circle. Yeah, I would be there myself and the other actors coming up to audition.
We'd sit like that and Milos forward would sit in the middle, get conversation by getting headiest guy, you know, and that's how he decided whether or not to do it so that I got a letter, OK, I got to do it. So that was that's wild.
So he Milos Milosh would have you you'd sit in the semicircle or the circle and then what? He rotate guys in and out during an improvised audition.
Yeah. Have he may have but he'd have them. They just feed you get things wrong between us and who is do you remember like it was.
Was Davido in your audition. No. And did you did you have that character of Tabor right from the get go. Did you make decisions around how that guy would be?
Well, I did whatever I did. I auditioned. And what I said, you got it. I got this novel and studied it.
Had they done the stage play in New York already? Yeah. Danny DeVito was here. They are off Broadway production at the time. Oh, he was.
I know that originally it was Mike Douglas was trying to put it together as a vehicle for Kirk. And I think maybe it was Kirk Douglas. I don't know if he was Broadway or off Broadway, but I know that Kirk Douglas did McMurphy. And I can't even I can't even imagine that.
Yeah, I don't I think he did it on Broadway. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That and I love that came of it. So he gave it to his son.
He well his son produced it, right. Yeah. Where'd you guys shoot that. There was that shot and like in a coastal town. Was it shot in Seattle or somewhere.
Salem, Oregon, right there. We're going to have this complex of buildings that included a prison state.
And for the, you know, people who are a little mentally mentally ill and they have the third floor and pharmaceutical drugs came in, they could take they could leave the hospital and take care of themselves with various other drugs as zombies.
They could go out into the world and sleepwalk. We took over an entire floor, which had a game room and the bath and sleeping quarters, all the stuff needed for the floor. Did he make you sleep there?
How deep did you guys go?
We did sleep here sometimes because each of us had the same bed with a little table with a drawer to put your personal effects in or and and then at night they closed it up.
So you're you're in a cage locked. Oh, look at sometimes we did that sleep there, but voluntarily we were being punished.
So the group I mean, because it was quite a group, you know, there was I mean, the different all the guys it seemed that were in that crew with you either went on to, you know, major acting roles or at least character acting roles. I mean, Brad Durov has been around forever. Evites. Sidney Lasic was he was great.
Oh, yeah. I remember Bill's father how to do a close up on Sidney Lasic. And he finished his life and and, you know, just let the camera run because he knows he's got to get gold.
Well, you, too. I mean, that that moment where, you know, there's like I can't imagine the process of shooting that he must have shot.
He must have shot a lot of silence with you guys because there's those scenes where you just sitting there and you know, that moment where you don't realize that your foot's on fire is like I mean, that's it's imprinted in my unconscious. I mean, like that moment where you're like you just lose your fucking mind.
I mean, you he defected from. Slovakia has already established a film career, but he told the story of beer in the subway and subway encircles Slovakia late at night. Just two or three people waiting for the train. And there was a guy smoking and he just did that. Flip flicked the cigaret butt and it landed in a person's cough and saw this. And eventually it kind of caught fire and the guy went berserk. So he wanted he does fear that that belongs here.
Well, I'm glad he let the guy burn in order to get that idea. Yeah. That's why he didn't step in. He went he let the scene play out.
Yeah. A a person he was.
I've talked to Danny DeVito, but it's so interesting to see Davido in that part because Davido such a sort of like cantankerous, brash little man and, you know, and and as a martini, he's the opposite.
He's like this weird kind of almost, you know, no bounds read ameba like, volatile the vulnerability of that guy.
You guys were doing some real acting there. And I think it was really, you know, and it seemed like, you know, certainly the Meisner's stuff and that type of training was probably great for for for that particular movie, you know, because there was a naturalness to it that he was going for.
And even Nicholson, who I think was also I don't know where he trained, but he was definitely in like, you know, a Methodist kind of guy, that there was a naturalness to that, to all of you guys. It was kind of amazing.
Well, Milos insisted on that. I mean, if he did something too big or was a natural light kind of order, he. No, no, no, no.
And did you did you enjoy working with with Jack?
Oh, I loved it. I he was an idol of mine before Cuckoo's Nest. From what? The tale of five easy pieces, et cetera. Ryder You know, I just thought he was the catalyst. Best thing on at the I remember the first day I walked on the set while he was there to talk to the the whatever I was. I hear this guy, you know, and he was wonderful. He was just great at it, you know, because most of us had scant experience in film.
And he just he helped me out do this. You know, he was just so generous. Oh, yeah.
I had seen the bad scene where Denzel sprays everybody. Yeah.
And I have a I'm with William Redfield blessed play a game and I'm going to play the game. Play the game. Although he said and Redfield was diagnosed with leukemia. And so I went to a hospital and everything so that C never got completed at that moment. And there was I was souls. That's who I really, really loved as a who he was. They were thinking, what are we going to do, pull the plug or what are we going to do?
So they changed the schedule around about three weeks later, we came back or maybe less of that, but he came back. So we got into the scene again and I could not find it. I couldn't find my Bojana, so to speak. I you know, I just, you know, I was, like, feeling awkward. Well, I try not to show it, you know. Yeah, I was a little. But Nicholsons, they just kind of walked up to me very casually and just sort of quietly told me something.
I wish I had it. Put it right there, put it right.
I did. Just soft and quiet. And it got right in your head. It was very attentive to all of us.
That's great, man, because you I mean, you work you work with him again, right? A couple of years later, going south. Going south.
That's kind of a weird, funny movie. Belushi's in that now.
Yeah. My daddy, he had Danny Steenbergen and that was Mary Steenburgen first. That was her big break.
That was her first film. Yeah, I do believe. Yeah.
And Nicholson had got her the gig. She was like a waitress, you know, he I can't I. Talk to her about it, it was she loves Jack, I mean, she she credits Jack with, you know, making you know, getting her, you know, her start.
I did a Broadway musical before going south. And one night I'm doing this. This they are the stage manager comes back and says, Jack Nicholson is in the audience and he's like, come back to dressing. So he came back. Meryl Streep was there in my dressing room and a lot of Alanya rang a bell. A lot of the German actors. Oh, and the lady that Jack was going with, Angelica, Angelica Houston, all crammed into my little dressing room as before the consul left.
He said, I'm doing something this summer. I'll send the script to if you're interested. And it was called So I.
What a sweetheart. What a sweetheart. You know, I love hearing those stories that he was sort of because he always looked like he was having a great time and nobody loved making movies more than that guy and anything. And it's nice to know he was a good guy, you know. Great. Yeah. You know, it's weird.
I was looking I'm sort of fascinated with I got to watch it again because, like, I got it in my head, the onion field as being a terrifying movie. And I know and I know you were in that, but I almost watch it again this morning because I've been sort of curious about watching it, because I know James Woods in it. Back before James Woods became like this cultural monster, he was just sort of a and an emotional monster in movie roles.
But now he's sort of politically a pariah. But I do remember that being a fairly menacing movie.
Yeah. Yeah, an incredible story. I read the book Horrified and it's a real, real happened. And I was I was a lawyer in jail. I kind of right up to the set it up or whatever. I've got to say it again.
He had he what did say I haven't thought about it in years. And I remember being I was really young. I'm obviously young. I was terrified.
She was that was my that same experience I had, you know, I'm fifty seven so I remember seeing it when I probably shouldn't have seen it.
And because my parents didn't know the, you know, what are meant. Oh.
So they would just take me if they couldn't get a babysitter. I saw Deliverance when I was eleven. Did not need that.
When did you move out to L.A..
I think in seventy six. Yeah. Seventy Six Cuckoo's Nest came out. I didn't have an agent and Cuckoo's Nest came out and I got a letter from an agent, the burse agency, to say that if I were on the West Coast like to have lunch. So I packed up so fast I got it. Oh yeah. Well I drove from New York to St. Louis one day and one shot. One shot. I did that, too.
Is it weird, though, when you look back on that, Chris, about that the sort of strange moments of of that panic and desperation at the beginning where, you know, and now years later, you realize that these guys, they're just they're just like doofus executives that you made us, you know, jump through these fucking hoops. I mean, I'm not bitter and I don't and obviously I'm not you. But, you know, when you look back on, you know, I remember one time I panicked because I had to get from from New York to Los Angeles for a FOX meeting, you know, at the studio.
And, you know, I drove because I was moving there and everything was crazy. And then you get there and they don't give a shit. They don't know that you just turned your life upside down to be there to be your shit.
I guess so. I guess that's true at the beginning. I guess we never know. You don't want to be that guy. You know, he doesn't give a shit. So, no, I'm stuck in St. Louis trying to make a meeting.
So you ran out there to Gershuny and you and that was your agency. You sign with them? Yeah.
I mean, and I went out. I went out. All these people in the oil gave me a list of agents to check out, you know, I don't know. So I went out there and he was one of the first agents I went up to see. And I remember I got to his office. I did a while. They are rather be on and they took me out to lunch, another with another associates. And we went to Joelle's for lunch at the Beverly Hills.
You Thunderbird convertible. Yeah, that was it. And I thought they gave you the full treatment.
Yeah. Yeah. And then I declined sign asked you to sign. I thought this is an important thing. I got to go through this list first, you know. Oh. And then he gave me a job I was assigned and he said, this is a low budget film in Santa Fe, New Mexico. What was it? Oh, it was what was it in Santa Fe?
17. Oh, yeah. Yeah, OK.
Christopher Walken and a Canadian French Canadian actress who's kind of faded out. I don't know what happened to her, but she was, you know, and I was I got there five days ahead of time because I wanted to I had to ride a horse. I had to make up with wolves.
So I was a complex dog, come from Mexico. And I was there five days and took in the scene. Yeah. And the morning that I was to be first established on camera, I've been there five days to get everything ready, but I couldn't get anything out of the back of the park. But they did a dealership so I could go there. I go to the makeup trailer to get the way that I was going to be wearing. Yeah, she got very testy out there and she got the weight of thrown at me from there.
I went for the producer director and I gave my notice and Christopher Walken called me up. So, Chris, what are you doing? A all that. And I called Gurche know. And the guy I spoke to, he was a little bit off the hook. He said, you don't walk on your first, you know, and they had sent the contracts to me in Santa Fe. So I had the contract as I had signed me up and I said, well, I got the contracts.
What do you want me to do is sign them. And I thought that maybe we feel good that I could, you know, make my own decisions if there was something I didn't want to do. And they put up with that, you know, did you did you do it? No movie, no eye wall.
It's so funny that it was it all hinged on a makeup lady.
And then there was a Arang, on the other hand, guy with the horses. He would he would have let me ride the horse. I want to go. I probably read much more than he had at that point, but it was just.
Yeah. What did you grow up riding? Horses.
Yeah, we had horses out riding school. Oh wow. All that stuff. I spent several at a ranch in Wyoming.
I didn't realize that you work with Jack another time in the postman, huh. Oh yeah. It always rings twice. Yeah. I have a little piece that occurs either before, during the credits when he's driving down the road and I'm hitchhiking here or I'm driving and he yeah. I really don't remember. Yeah. There we go. And he has that breakfast first thing but that, that, that was it. But it was very nice.
There's a lot of fun. Do you like is he a guy you keep in touch with ever. I have. In fact I was with Daddy and somebody the other day and we all asked each other how we talk to and out of his head. So I don't know. Hmm. I don't know what's happened to.
Yeah, yeah. It's hard to be with the plague and everything. You know, you're used to seeing him. At least you see him at the game and you're like, OK, he's there at the game. He must be OK.
So how did because it seems like all that stuff about Cuckoo's Nest is like right there. It's right. Those memories are so fresh because it was such a profound kind of experience, you know. Do you feel the same way about taxi?
I say, yeah, taxi. It's funny because I came out from New York. I told Gurche, yeah. I don't want I don't want to do any sitcoms. Right. I had a kind of a New York attitude that to do a sitcom and sell your soul.
Yeah, a lot of guys felt that way. Dustin Hoffman felt that way. A lot of actors felt that way.
Yeah. Yeah. So he would send me once in a while up to just meet people, even if you know, like Starsky and Hutch and some others, I don't remember what. And then toxic.
You didn't do any episodic work, you didn't do any bit parts walking on little parts and TV though not I have since but but not before taxi.
Oh oh. They set me up and it worked out well.
What soldier on it. Why, why. Why, why were you able to, to adjust your, your, your sense of integrity. What sold you on wanted. Was it James Brooks. Who is it.
I just sold out. I didn't take any anything at all that doing it. Yeah. No I, I got the script and. I just saw something similar to the way I looked at the part that I saw, you know, kind of felt I could do this. Like what?
When you read it, what was it like? You know, what was it that got you that made you realize, like, this guy, this guy's got legs for me, you know?
I mean, I don't remember exact words, but, yeah, they they described it well, and I felt I could do this and not that I had a background in that area, but I you know, I felt I could do it. And I went I had a neighbor in Laurel Canyon who was clearly out of the bushes and he found this jacket with a peace sign like I had. I wore that to the audition and all leave us, you know.
Yeah, I got I got in the frame of mind of when I finished, I was I got out the door, said, where that money.
Oh, that's right.
That's what I wore one after the second year, somebody stole the jacket from the God it but they you know, so it was some, some old hippie garbage jacket from the camera that long had this guy found it in the bushes.
Yeah. Be funny and thank God there was no body there.
Now like it seems like, you know, your character was, you know, extreme and over-the-top and intense and you know, and then you had Andy there, you know, doing his his character, which is over the top and intense, but in a different way.
Did you guys get along pretty well?
We all got along. I mean, there were times when Andy would do something like Elate or whatever. He did something that pissed off Tony. Tony Danza. Oh, yeah. Tony Danza got out of fire extinguisher over the door and I swear, fall Waldo's fall.
But that never got got bad because we love doing the show. We had great writers and we all clicked and our funny ways.
Yeah, I worked with Judd a bit. He played my father for a few episodes on a show and a sweet guy.
You know, we just of all the casts that I've been in, taxi always keeps together. We just we just did a zoo the other day with my little and Calc and Tony and John, we're still in each other's lives.
And it's great. That's nice.
That's nice. You know, because I always ask people that, you know, because I you know, as a fan of movies and TV, I took after years of doing this and talking to you guys. Yeah. I always assume, like, it took a long time to to break my my idea that, like, I always assumed everyone hangs out afterwards, you know, but they don't.
Oh, I was stunned and I was The Cuckoo's Nest was my first movie. It was a 12 week, the 12 week shoot. And we all became comrades. And Nicholson I remember the rap the last part. The last week I saw the Cuckoo's Nest was the boat trip, you know, where we all go fishing trip. Yeah. And then we wrapped it and it was like, oh, nothing. It was oh. I was like, oh, heartbreaking.
But that's nice that they were I mean the TV's different because I mean, you know, you with those people for years like a family for chrissake.
I know. And then and then back to the future that became I mean, yeah I that's like, you know, taxi was huge and your character was huge. But it seems like the back to the future thing just put it all over the top and that's who you're going to be for the for the rest of time.
Yeah. Yes, I know it's takes me a little bit, but I don't care because I got other stuff to work on.
Oh no, no. I mean I know but it like it was these things when you look back on them actually I don't know, it's weird because you would have thought it's actually the opposite that I think about it because, you know, as Reverend Jim, you know, you had this you know, you were typecast by as that for a while, but then back to the future happened. You just became that guy.
And even as Uncle Fester, I mean, you're actually you actually you know, you you are always I see you as you I don't associate you with the with the role.
All right. I don't even know why I said that, but I guess I just said it because, you know, it must it must you must be excited when something has legs enough to keep going. You know, it must. Somewhat nice to to to reengage with casts, even in a sequel, again, to do that kind of work.
Yeah, well, as a future resonated in a way with people. Yeah. More than anything else I've done, partially because so many generations of children, young people have grown up over the years and who suddenly claim that the future was their life, you know, to to look at. And and that's a good feeling. And so many people who have seen who grew up or the movie became engineers and scientists and surgeons. Really? Yeah. And they all attributed to watching that film.
So that's a good feeling.
That's amazing. And you go you and you actually I guess those fans like, you know, the fans you have for like Star Trek as well, some of the Star Trek work you did. They're very intelligent, sweet, sensitive, nerdy people. So, I mean, because you go to Comic-Con right now.
Yes, I do. And is that fun for you? Do you wait? Is it. It is fun.
Well, when I first started it a few years ago, whatever I was, I kind of tentative, you know, but it had these people coming in who are glad to see you and wanted to share their moments with you. And it's you know, sometimes I wake up when I first turn out, I wake up in the morning and said, oh, my God, I want to go sign autographs right now. Yeah, yeah.
If I get there and I forget all that because it's just so interactive. Yeah, it's great.
So now when do you like have you like coming back full circle here. Do you know the play or have you done Lear before.
No. Oh yes. I've been in the production years ago three times but now I'm doing it, I'm, I'm really aware of it before I was playing various parts in it because that's one of those roles where, you know, it's, you know, sort of this weird gift that that a certain type of actor at a certain age, you know, is either, you know, enabled to do.
Yeah, well, I I'm I have some trepidation. I like what. That I can pull it off. You know, it's it's it's huge, not not just in terms of life, but the depth of the emotion that's required, you know, that you can just. Yeah. Dance around. Yeah.
And so it's a big deal, but it's such a great part. And I know it's just something that to be that. And I never thought about it when I was in the three productions years ago. I never thought to myself, well, I want to play that part some day. I just didn't consider it, you know? And then about five years ago, I woke up. One day I got me it. It's like, okay, well, I don't know where that came from, but I think I'm in a good situation now up at the Berkshire Shakespeare Company.
And so it seems like you just keep working. I mean, like you are you were how do you decide what to do? Is it a matter of time or quality or you know, it seems like you'd like to keep working and you're just going to keep going.
I just got to keep going. I know when I started out, I had doubts that I was going to work at all, you know, that I kind of I got into a workshop or whatever. So and I love doing that, I you know, I don't care what the part is played on it, whatever, as long as I feel a connection, I just go do it.
Yeah. And he's still in. You enjoy it. Oh, yeah, totally. I'm doing a film now. George Clooney.
Oh, George fucking Clooney. Sure. Yeah.
And Ben Affleck. Yeah. And it's I was so excited. We've already started shooting and I'm and I said very different character from from you know, I'm not repeating anything I want to watch movies at.
As based on a novel, The Tender Bar, the tender bar is a guy who dreamed of being a ballplayer for what didn't work out and something that I was still trying to get. He gets this old house in Manhasset. His family has no sons, you know, so it's a house full of his family who can't afford to live anywhere else. And he hates it. He hates that the house.
It looks like it's a big ensemble piece. Yeah. Yeah. Well, it's great that you're still working.
And I thought this new movie that that nobody film, you know, I know Bob. And and I thought it was it was kind of it's not the kind of movie I usually watch by watching last night. And it's fun. It's what my dad calls a real shoot him up.
That's good. But it was great work.
And it's great talking to you, Chris. And continued success, my friend.
All right. Thank you. Thank you. Christopher Lloyd, the new movie is Nobody, which was Good, Bob Odenkirk plays the heavy in theaters Friday, March 26. And don't forget, if you're struggling right now, check out Better Help. It's a secure, affordable online service providing professional counselors who can listen and help you just fill out a questionnaire to help assess your specific needs. And better help will match you with your own licensed professional therapist. WTF with Marc Maron is sponsored by Better Help, and our listeners get 10 percent off their first month of online therapy when they visit.
Better help Dotcom to visit, better dot com slash WTF and join the over one million people who have taken charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced, better health professional. And now let's play some guitar that I'm sure I've played before, but it's always a little different because it's fresh, serving it up fresh, same three chords fresh here it is relatively clean, a little vibrato. Had a bit reverb Stratocaster straight in.
Boomer lives monkey and the Fonda Cat Angels everywhere. Sammy Red is here.