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Lock the gate. All right, let's do this, how are you? What the fuckers, what the fuck buddies, what the fuck nix? What the fuck stirs? What's happening? I'm Marc Maron. This is my podcast, WTF. Welcome to it.
Today on the show, I talked to Daniel Kaluuya. You know him from the films Get Out, Black Panther Queen and Slim. He won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah, and he's nominated for the best supporting actor Academy Award.
Big time man.
I talked to him. He was in where was he when I talked to him? He was here, wasn't he? Why can't I remember anything, what's going on with my head? Why is every day a month? Why is every day a week? How did that that thing you make you may turn out to turn out OK.
I mentioned a painting last week and a painting that means something to me of the door of the Air America studio, and I know who painted it. It was painted by Christine Anderson Baric. She's a fan of the show and she made the painting, it's now hanging in my house along with other stuff, painting by Scottie Young of me interviewing Fozzie Bear.
I've got to Drew Friedemann. Caricature of me, these are my prized possessions art wise. Very exciting. That's what I've been doing, I've been trying to set up that office and it's I like sitting up there, it's coming along well, but I have a lot of stuff, man. It's like this never ending process of going through a lifetime's worth of stuff. All my stuff has never really been in one place like it is now.
I had a lot of this stuff in the garage, but I also had a storage unit, so now everything of me is around and there's a lot of stuff that I feel like there's pressure.
To be emotionally connected to it, like paraphernalia from TV shows I've done and stuff like the backs of chairs and I don't know what to do with that stuff. I don't really want to make a trophy case. I don't know what I'm not going to hang this stuff up. I don't know. There's only a few things I want to be reminded of. I have what I've got calendars and glow paraphernalia that I mean, I did that show. And I think that the show itself is enough for me to be connected to.
But all this all these little tchotchkes and things they build up over the years, things people send me, fan art, tchotchkes, things from Chute's laminates.
Oh, how do you decide what you really give a shit about or what you're emotionally attached to? You go through it and you realize like, oh, OK. Yeah, I remember this. Right. That was one. Oh that was that wasn't a great time. But I have all these notebooks full of stuff, I'm never going to read them, but you feel this desire to hold on to him. So now I come out with this great idea.
I'm going to file everything that's my solution, no more stacks files, I'm going to file things under little notebooks, big notebooks, legal pad pages from different points in time.
My stamp collection, you know, I had a stamp collection. Did you? I didn't either. I kind of did, but I didn't really think about it much. But I was one of these people. I still kind of am sometimes, but I haven't lately.
If I'd go to the post office and I'd see a nice kind of cool new panel of stamps, you know, they're all in one of the the sheet of stamps for a while there.
They were doing actually pictures with the with the stamps themselves. I've got some of that stuff from several years ago. Was it worth anything to what am I going to do with it? Like, I have things where I look at it like this real collector's item. I can sell this for a lot of money. Somebody would want this. I don't know what to do with it.
I keep it not because I'm emotionally attached to it, but because I know somebody else might want it.
I could just throw it away or I can throw it back into the the great tide pool of used garbage. That's you can always I could always do that. Who am I? Who am I calling you? I could just put some of that stuff into a goodwill thing, but that backfired once on me, I put a poster that somebody sent me or a piece of art, a framed thing. I gave it to Goodwill and it made it back to the guy.
And it was very insulting. So all books that are signed that are sent to me and signed, I have to keep all pieces of art I have to keep.
But the stuff that isn't labeled as such, maybe I should go lowball it, give it to goodwill and let somebody discover it and be like, what an amazing find.
How rare do you find this? What would that be? This is a notebook of Marc Maron's writings. Who? Marc Maron. This is a little Moleskine notebook that I got it. I found it at Goodwill. So you can't write it.
You found it filled up notebook at Goodwill and you bought it.
It's Marc Maron's. I don't know that guy. Marc Maron, the comedian. This is his scribblings. You can't read them, but I know it's his because he he put his name at the front of the book.
This is so cool, Marku. How much you pay for it?
Two dollars. Two dollars for a notebook you can't use. It's Marc Maron's. I don't know who that is. Maybe I'll keep it a file it I have a panel of Star Wars stamps, I have a panel of Jimi Hendrix stamps, I have some John Lennon stamps from another country. I didn't know I was stamp collector, but clearly I have a small, probably highly valuable collection of stamps. I have the blues master stamps. I have the superhero stamps.
I just buy them on the way out. I don't know. What are they worth, man? I have the commemorative stamps of. Charles and Diana's wedding? Yeah, I bought those when I was in Europe at the time of their wedding, I was in France as a younger man and I'm like those commemorative stamps, they're going to be worth some money. I guess it's just in my head. I had a stamp. I had the stamp collecting book at my dad's stamp collection when I was a little kid.
And then I had the little collection where you had to have that, those weird little sticky that the little henges that you had to lick and put one on the back of the stamp than one in your stamp book. I never had anything valuable. Just, you know, you just waiting, man. Maybe someday. Maybe someday I'll find the Upside-Down Plain Stamp. Maybe the upside down plane stamp is in my future. That's what trains people.
To find garbage that's worth millions of dollars, it's a start too young, it's like stamp collecting, coin collecting, maybe you'll be the one to find the gold doubloon from the pirate booty, huh?
Maybe you'll be the one to find a hit or stamps, huh?
Maybe it'll be you. This will set you on a lifetime of poking through shedded flea markets and Goodwills, maybe you'll find that that thing at that garage sale that's worth a billion dollars. Hey, what is this? What's this? What's on this napkin? Is that does that say Picasso?
How much is the napkin? The napkin with the doodle. How much is the napkin? How about. Two dollars. Holy shit, dude, here you go. Thank you. To fucking Picasso napkin. Dude. This is going to be dude. Folks, if you have three minutes, you never have to worry about a break in at home ever again, that's how quick and easy it is to set up a security system from simply safe. It's so easy to do.
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Dude. The fuckin Picasso napkin. We're taking it over to MoMA today, bup, bup, bup, bup, bup, bup, bup, bup, bup.
Is there somebody here we can talk to about this napkin? It's a Picasso napkin.
No business. MoMA Museum of Modern Art. Yeah, but this is just we just for tickets to get in. I got a Picasso napkin. Check it out. Do children Picasso napkin two hours.
We paid for it. OK, do you guys want to go to the museum? Who do we talk to about this Picasso napkin. Maybe you go to an appraiser of some kind. That napkin doesn't look old enough to be a Picasso napkin. It's totally a Picasso napkin. OK, you guys want to step aside so I can help these people.
Hey, listen, this interesting thing when I was talking about last week or whenever was Monday about how I have that feeling of like, wow, this is great. And it's coupled with the feeling of like, what difference does it make? Doesn't matter. Like, any joy that I have is tempered by the idea that, you know, who cares? We're all going to die.
It's meaningless. But I feel. But I love it doesn't matter. It's going to go away. That and my producer Brendan thought it might be trauma, which is possible, might be just straight up existential observation or neurosis, which is which has been with me a long time.
But someone brought up and this is a spin that I enjoy. And I wouldn't have thought if they said the meditation is working.
Like that is the first step to realizing everything just is and you're in it in the moment that you can look at life as it is all at once, and that is enlightenment.
So when I go, man, man, I feel pretty good, but who cares? It's going to be over soon. I'm on the verge of enlightenment. Don't call me negative. I'm about to be a fucking Buddha baby. And don't shoot me if you find the bullet, kill him, don't kill me, though, I'm not I'm never going to be a real Buddha. Come on, I'm not going to let myself get that heavy.
So Sammy, the cat is now officially out of his fucking mind, full on cat, does a sideways crab walk sideways, Sammy? I've got this bathroom with this weird tile, and it seems to fuck with his head, so he does the sideways crab walk the happy crab sideways, Sammy and Buster and Sammy are starting to do a thing together, getting to know each other, which means Buster kind of pops them in. They had a couple of times Sammy rolls over on his back, gets submissive, lays himself out and basically says, come on, man, it's just me.
And you were the only cats in the house. What are you going to be a dick to me? I mean, I'll take it for a little while, but let's fucking jam. I if I can get on with this.
Let's have some fun, old man busters. Like I'm not old man. I'm only five. Yeah, well, I'm fresh. I'm fucking two months old. So you're old bro. Let me fucking run you ragged.
Hey, just take it down a notch, punk. Hey, don't hit me like that. I'll fuckin stand. Right. I'll take it. I'll take it. Look at me. Look at me. I'm taking it. I'm taking the hit. I'm still right here bro. I'm still right here. All right. All right. Just forget it. Just relax. Hey, leave my tail alone. Hey, leave my tip.
You want to go. That's what's happening. Reminds me of many of the relationships I've been in, just waiting for them to realize I'm just annoying and it's going to be that way. And either you love me or you don't.
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Daniel Kaluuya is here on this show, the new movie is Judas in the Black Messiah.
He plays Fred Hampton. He's great in it. He's great in everything he does. You've seen him in a lot of things. Get out Black Panther Queen and swim. So he's an Academy Award nominated actor right now for best supporting, just won the Golden Globe, and I enjoy talking to him. So this is I'm going to share it with you. Share it with you right now. All right.
He's also about to host Saturday Night Live this weekend. Talk about that, too. We talked about a lot of stuff. It's surprising you'll be surprised at who who influenced him the most.
Listen up. Me and Daniel Kaluuya.
I know a man on know it is an honor. It is an honor for me, sir. Well, the feeling is mutual. I think I saw you with that on Sunset, the comedy, The Comedy Store. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Is that the red one?
The dark, horrific castle of dark comedy.
The yeah. I didn't I didn't see you perform, but I saw you when I was walking in closing, I was watching Neil Brennan and that made sense and know the Rowlands was on that show.
Neil Yep. That that would have been me. But you remembered me walking by because I was exuding negative energy or was I pleasant? Did I say I know you.
I just know your face. I listen to I listen to a podcast. I mean, so it's so funny.
When your assistant was like making sure that we didn't we weren't using any video, but she was sort of like, you're not using me. I'm like, no, we don't use any video. It always is weird to me because I'm like, do we not know something?
Is he going to show up without hair?
What is happening is it's kind of alien in alien to me without all the makeup man. I'm not from here. Yeah. You're sorry. Did you move here?
I'm just I'm still on the move. I'm I'm still figuring out where my bases I go back and forth to L.A. or London, but it's kind of it's weird because the pandemic. Yeah, nothing usually shoots in L.A. So L.A. just a place to be. And then you go to L.A., Cleveland or Chicago. And now because of pandemic, not a lot of things are filming. Right. So you just in London, you in one place is hanging around, hanging around.
But I don't mind it. I kind of like it. Come on.
Yeah, I think I understand retirement. I didn't think I would, but I think I do now. I think I understand.
Are you thinking about retirement? I spoke to your head and I think I think what I'm thinking about is like I'm pretty good at doing nothing.
Like I don't mind just having the whole day to think and dick around in my house or do little things.
I don't I don't mind it, you know, I love it. It's one of my favorite things in the world, I realize. And if I never realize I actually like me, I really like it.
I, I think I'm pretty sure I like what I'm into. So I kind of like, oh, that's interesting, that's interesting. I go into this direction direction.
I mean like it will just you wake up, I wake up really early so we call at six a.m. and at 4:00 pm comes and I'm just not really that much, but I've done a lot. But it's like more just like, um, wander in here. And I especially love the beginner independent because no one really knew how to work right. Or do anything. So it was kind of like you had more you time. Yeah.
Because no one was doing anything. You didn't have to be in a competition, you didn't have to present anybody. It was just sort of like a level playing field. Everyone's terrified and not working. Yeah.
That was uh that's usually that's, that's how the Western society works. Yeah.
So look, congratulations on winning the prize, the Golden Globe Prize. Thank you. Thanks. Mom. Was I was that something?
How could that not be great. It's exciting, right. Even if you pretend like you don't care, you do care. Right.
What's care and what does it mean something to you. The journeys to go, you know, so that's what I do. So that's how I feel. Is that kind of like, oh, wow. Like look how far I've come. It's how I kind of process. Yeah, process. Those kind of moments are like, wow. Like it's such a kind of I see it more as checkpoints and go wow, this is like wow. I really was just like saying to a friend at a bus stop that I wanted to do this and now I'm in a house in L.A. within a globe that not dot dot you go, wow, that's what you kind of take in the kind of like it's such a moment where like this has happened that this is true.
So in terms of the globe in in, it's really interesting because I like you win the Golden Globe, but because it was at your house, you didn't have the experience of winning the Golden Globe, you didn't actually have the whole thing around it. So it a very different experience in that sense.
I, I'd actually like to just vibe out just children and yeah, it's it is a very odd reality that, you know, dressing up no red carpet, no photographs, no people going downhill over here.
Daniel over here. Daniel, Daniel over here.
Daniel, you know, that's the way to really that's a weird reality as well, that the norm is with. That's one is like when I when I was when the federal government was shot. Let me smile. Smile.
You know, Daniel, a year at the hand, Daniel, it's like to see someone smile and tell a joke me tell a joke that's say smile what kind of smile you get.
Oh, you got you got it. You got to work on the smile. I never was able to to kind of figure out what the exact red carpet photo shoot smile was. I always have my mouth half open and never happy with it. But some people you notice, they they obviously have the fucking smile nailed. They got it worked out.
They know exactly what muscles to do. They know they they. Have a set smile, you don't have one. I'm putting a thought into that, no, I haven't put my foot into great good. I just kind of go let me keep the neutral face. Let me just go. Neutral place. That's good. And I'm out. Right. If you make me smile, you make me smile. I just want it to be natural. Right is I think neutral face is good.
I go with the non the closed mouth smile. That's my that's what I do. The slight grin, you know like this.
That's what I call it. A smile, right. Yeah, something like that.
I don't know what it is. It's just, it's just short of being angry. Just kind of slightly not that's not true.
I, I just kind of constipated is what you said. It's a kind of constipation.
OK, yeah. Fine. Yeah. I'm not letting the joy out if that's what you're constipated means you are not letting it go you should go. I do.
Hold on to some shit in my heart there. Yeah. Yeah. So I was wondering about like how to start this because like I always like I've been talking to English people lately and I, I seem to be getting along with them better.
I don't know when that happened, but it wasn't that I was judgmental of English people. I just always assumed that there was some part of me that when I was younger, that the way they talked made me believe they thought they were better than me, whereas opposed it was just the way British people talk. So it's gotten much better. And I've been surprised lately by my British experience I Hugh Grant on and that guy made me laugh a lot and I was not expecting that at all.
Yeah. Have you ever met that guy?
No, no. I've seen these recent interviews. The guy looks like a real guy. He's he's a funny guy. Yeah. Yeah. But you just nobody is like a fantasy to the. I was quite surprised about. Yeah me too. And he's a is a real brother. Yeah. I like his energy. Yeah.
I think that was, I don't think he was always there but I think it's come to that. But I have no sense of the city or how people you know grow up there with there. Can, can you tell me like what part of town you grew up in, what you know, what was the story.
I grew up in Camden Town will come then in that part of London. It's part of the north west London. And so based on the borderline, I grew up on the borderline. I grew up on a what? You guys were cool projects. Oh, really? I mean, so. Yeah, how about we call it we call it states.
That's a much nicer name there.
Yeah. I'm realizing now. But the thing is that was big, that's it states. It's kind of like when, when you're honest. When I'm in my memory of this, I never called it in the state you'd call it flat. Yeah. That's and stuff. So I think the state came like when I was like more late teens than I think that's what middle class and upper class people call it. So then you just go, oh yes, it states.
So we stay in the states, but I don't know. I don't know. But I just remember I didn't really consider that a state that's a state.
It sounds like something they labeled them to feel better about themselves and yeah, like rough area come in.
We had a lot of a lot of characters, a lot of a lot of grew up around a lot of people. I've got brothers and sisters. I've got older sister. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've got three sisters in Uganda. Yeah.
You got three sisters in Uganda. Not two sisters in Uganda really.
Have you. Do you travel there. Have you been there.
Yeah I've been there, I've been there a couple of times but when you go there you go there like six weeks ago so you just there. So it was quite intense. Isn't quite an intense time.
You can't just it's not a weekend trip and you have too many family, too much family for that. I really felt like you have to basically like you died when you visited probably three homes a day and like two weeks and then you can have a break and a holiday. But it's like boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. I've seen everyone giving gifts, so, you know, everyone giving gifts and saying, hello, boom, boom, boom, eating food.
Yeah, you gain a lot of weight.
You of who lives there from your family, your two sisters and you just. And your father's there. No, no. He's dead now. He's dead. When did that happen? It happened when I was a kid.
Yeah. Sorry, buddy. No, I'm sorry. Sorry you don't need school, but, uh.
So the sisters are there now. When was the first time you went there to Uganda, seven years old.
And then did you go back like later in life. Yeah.
Went back seven again at fifteen and they'll get a twenty two and when they like big chunks of time and they're not going to Uganda really changed my perspective on life.
I can't imagine you kind of go there and then you know, is I went there when the first time when I was seven. Reality check out. So reality check. As I say, your life, you kind of I'm watching football watching Muslins Arsenal. Yeah. Yeah. Football. And then I'm like, yeah, I can't believe I'm in Africa and I'm watching football then electricity. So yeah, I've seen that to my cousin knows that what happened is that he said so I said, well we'll put it back on.
I said we can't. I said why is it because it's out. I said, when is it coming back. He said, I don't know bro.
I cried so deeply at. Was admitted and an hour later was that they put some candles out, we started speaking, we started talking, I was like, oh wow, I didn't really need to. It's not needed. Like, this is just like this is a tool. That's not necessarily what I was made to feel that way. I was I felt that way. So I felt that way. And it just educated me that that's not the case.
I just have had a lot of experiences that challenge my perception then that like the way I live my life is just a way, is not the way.
And what must be completely different culturally down there. I have no idea what I have no idea. It takes me a long time to learn the history of anything. I just had Serj Tankian on who is in the system of a down band and he's Armenian and he had to educate me about Armenia I don't like.
I guess it's because I live in the United States and I'm, you know, I have a sort of entitled brain or whatnot, but I have absolutely no sense.
And I guess you probably didn't either when you went in when you were seven, what Uganda would be like.
We had a sense of the vibe and the energy, because when I grew up essentially in your house as Uganda, a Ugandan, which is everyone is a Ugandan vibe. So it was like a country version of my home. Right. And then. So then and then. Yeah. And I was like and then I was there. It was just yeah.
It was just a reality check and kind of like and but it didn't I just didn't see I was I'm kind of person I was just going to go, oh, if this is where I'm at, what does this say where I really go into things with expectations except. Except what's happening before.
Well, how is it different? What is the what is the government like down there? I mean, is it is it a dictatorship or what is it down there? Do you know?
I mean, yeah, no, no one is in charge of the whole Bobby one situation. Yeah. And then it's a it's tough Museveni. He's been in in charge for a very long time. And so I'm not into like study it. Look, I took him a couple of things up during the last election to bare bones, but I wouldn't say I'm skilled enough to kind of speak about the platform on a public platform.
And so, sure, I really want to go into that space if I'm not fully equipped.
So needless to say, it's not a democracy per say. They, uh.
Yeah, he's had he's had he's had power for a while to say you have power.
Because when I was growing up, when I was a little kid, I remember when, like, Idi Amin was culturally the guy in charge because he made such a global sort of impact. Like everybody knew who Idi Amin was.
It was crazy. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. My mom your mom met him. Yeah.
I remember when the last king of Scotland came out. Yeah. I said, oh my God, she was oh I met him right now.
You told me that you made me it. Now it's like weapons. She's like, yeah he visited my primary school which is like elementary school that he visited and she shook his hand. I thought, what was he like? He was big.
You and I can see that if you're a little girl, I can see how that makes it. But but yeah.
So yeah. So yeah. I mean, I don't like this stuff. I witnessed people in my life. I've kind of been exposed to them like I need I want to arrive to it from an independent full and perspective as opposed to because a lot of things in life you kind of just you've only heard through other people's opinions on what they saw. So I kind of wanted to really educate myself on that when I got when I got some time. So.
Yeah, but yeah.
Did you do it or are you having it. I'm having yeah.
Like I know stuff as if I was last king of Scotland. I'm like, yeah, that's a director's point of view. Sure. I mean that's another point of view about, you know, so I kind of go, I've got to go. I'll take that by how can I have an opinion on Idi Amin if I watch the film or read a couple of articles.
Look, heard a couple of stories. Yeah. I've just stumbled across, you know, as opposed to purpose. They all want to grow more about this. I want to learn more about this.
Well, so did your mother left before she could really have an assessment of his of his leadership or what he did to the country? How old was she when she left?
She I don't know how old. Yeah, she left just before I was born. When she left. Yeah. So, um, what did she leave?
Did she run away or does she just want to move. It was a light jog.
It was like I mean she's late for the plane is a half. And so she was let me let me jog my lately I feel like I was pregnant. But but yeah.
She just went to more opportunities, just one more for me and more for a family. And, um, she's just decided. Yeah, let's go.
And what did she do when you were going up for work. She like she was with kids. She was special needs kids. So it's. She did that, yeah, she's got great energy. She must be proud of you. She's cool, man, she's she's she's tough, she's tough, but I like my birthday a few weeks ago and and she sent me a birthday card and was like I was like, amazing. And she never congratulated me without saying, I hope you know, what's next month or we're looking forward to seeing what's next question.
The pressure I would wouldn't even know is I used to feel it was pressure.
Now, just like, you know, what is the truth? Because, like, a lot of times you get these kind of instances and it's not it's not necessary to think if anything comes quickly is not the thing. I mean, it's like it's like, oh, cool. So when people ask me Oscar nominated and I was like, yeah, it's like it's like a mostest measure. It's like you get a this it's not like you've completed life because you got a what you're going to do with it trying to use it.
That's how I see these checkpoints in my life. They'll go, oh wow. It's an incredible this fact is coming now. There's a masterpiece quote. He said, If this white man thinks I'm worth one million and I'm less worth ten, then I see that as the same principle going, oh, wow, if this has come to me now, what else can I get interest?
I mean, what else is there? So and I think that's a mentality that she really instilled in me. I think that's that's like my sentence because of she's just like, is there more, you know, don't settle? Are you able to grow? I mean, is that all you have bigotry. Uh huh. But you don't like are you going to go this is this why are you a bigotry tree? You know, I'm going to tell a tree, stop, grow.
And how big how big can you grow? The tree grows really big. Yeah. At some point, you know, go, oh, you're big enough. Yeah. You're going at your own. Yeah.
You know, eventually you say that we could build a house out of this.
Yeah exactly. I want to chop it down I capitalism. Exactly. There you go. We can spread this tree out without it being alive.
Yeah. Yeah. Let's make some paper, some money, not a paper. Make this tree and make some money. Yeah. So it's nice.
It's interesting what you say about it Amin mean in terms of trying to find a point of view on him for yourself, because it strikes me that I, I barely knew the Fred Hampton story. You know, I knew like when I watched a movie, I'm like, oh, I know this story kind of I remember that.
But I had no specifics of it.
And I wonder, you know, like, how did you inform yourself or make his experience, your experience in the way that you were satisfied in terms of taking him on? That's a really interesting question.
You say that again. In what sense do you I mean, in the sense like in the way that you were just talking about Eddie, like, you know, you hear a lot of stories. You realize, you know, is that, you know, but you don't really necessarily know if you have your own opinion of him or know enough about him to talk about him from your own point of view. But it seems like in order to play Fred Hampton that you would have to really absorb a lot in order to, you know, become him from from internally.
And I was just wondering, you know, where did that start and how did you do that?
Because now, whether you like it or not, you're going to be intrinsically tied to Fred Hampton in the sense in the cultural mind, because a lot of people don't know that story. A lot of young people don't know that story. And you're going to be their point of reference. And it's interesting, you did you did a great job, I thought.
And I was just curious, given the way you think and your sort of your passion for the present, you know, how did you start the work on that scary work?
Yeah. If I'm honest with you as to what you're hitting on is that you get to a point where you'll have to. Make a decision and go. This is this is this is it, and this is as much as I know, this is the guy I know we're going to move forward and your man and we're going to have to move forward in this direction, I think, because she's king, the director Judah's incredibly directly like he he he mentioned that the Black Panther had to read this or asked them for the reason.
So in order to be a fully fledged parent, you need to go on six weeks of political education. So I have this reading this. I was reading the reading list before way before she was taken in, before the green light. I was just kind of let me I would I want to read it anyway. Like, what was I reading it? It was like Chairman Mao, Marcus Garvey, friends, phonon, a lot of communist, uh, left wing, fascinating teachings and strategies and outlooks and ideas and concepts and perspectives.
Interesting. And I was just was just taking all that stuff in and uh and then like Malcolm X's on as well, Malcolm X Y and I was taking all that stuff in and I was like, oh, I got to a point where I can't stop being in my head about it. Yeah. I was reading it in order to kind of I don't want to look at the Panthers and Chairman Fred. I wanted to look with the Panthers and we've chosen for I get to the point where you're going to have to step up and embody him.
Yeah. Be the vessel for him and look at him as an individual and do the work and and go for the voice. And and so you start that. And Chuck did an incredible job by pushing me. I think a year before the shoot, we did the speeches. We did his actual speeches a year, a year before the shoot, when these two speeches, when I hadn't done any dialect work, hadn't done anything, it was just a guesstimate.
And then we did that and then we recorded it. And it was a lot it was so important. I think it took me a month to watch it. But this is where I was kind of I was nervous and I was nervous. I just knew the minute I watched I start working as I go. That's not I want to find you not I want to find you this distance. And I have this is so important to do. And in watching it, it was it was never as bad as I thought it was going to be.
I mean, and then you just kind of go, oh, this is manageable. And we just built from the beginning with Augie La Crohn, incredible dialect coach, did a lot of work in looking at his speeches and X, Y, Z, and I took myself to Chicago, but my word went to his hometown, went to his old schools and his old homes, all these all these places. And it was it's like it's like a treasure hunt.
You don't actually know what you're looking for. Yeah. You like you don't know. You just know I want to be in a space. I want to be an environment that allows me to think in a certain way and it allows me to make decisions and grow something and move me right secularly. Moved me and spiritually moved me into his his space because I would look at his speeches and go, I want to move an audience the way I feel moved by him.
Were you able to understand the social and political momentum and message of the Panthers in terms of truly believing them?
I think I believed it beforehand. I think I just didn't I just didn't have those words. I didn't I was I was exposed to that material, but I knew not being a young black man, navigating the Western society in a majority white space, most times there is a there is a frustration, especially if you love yourself, especially if you respect yourself. There is a frustration of the resistance that you get from that. You mean and do you do it creates energy that that I feel the Panther Panther Party represented.
Yeah. So let me taking in it allowed me to it was almost soothing to me. It was I could feel it made me feel less crazy, made me feel like. Yeah. Like I don't feel like I'm. While it's to be in the world. Come on, then, what my spirit is like, I'm just I'm just being what I am saying, I'm not I'm not even what it's like that is the audacity for people to believe that it's theirs to give to me.
Yeah. I mean, how can you give that to me? Yeah. Like, it's like it's I am not. And so they they embody that. They have the words for that they had this that the kind of strategies and the plans for that. And they did it through feeding kids and feeding kids with a breakfast program with educate, educating kids with free medical care. I mean in Chicago with like, oh no, I'm with the Rainbow Coalition.
It was just like it was a level of empowerment. So I was just like, oh, wow, they this already happened. My feelings already happened. People really did it. It's just deepened. What was already there. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's how I felt. It just it's more and more bodies. More and more.
Yeah yeah. Yeah. It's like yes it shows how dangerous fear can be.
Right. And people are scared when people these people are scared. Yeah. These people are petrified and it's dressed as hate is dressed as hate. But it's the naked body is fear. That's probably what is opened, not open deep. And I know this, it's not something that I'm like I'm like I've like learned is something navigating, really navigating and really in London, really occupying the black spaces. And it probably is. And it's you know, English is a white country.
So it's quite pronounced over there with that discrepancy, but probably in a more subtle, polite way that, um, the oppression is, um, the. Yes, you know what they was possible. What they can do if if fear takes in, if fear takes the driving seat. All right. Very I know everything is possible if it takes the travel.
And I, like I just recently have become more in the last five years the difference between the the the sort of class system and also between, you know, colonialism and slavery being the foundation of of the racism in the two different countries.
Like I you know, I don't know that why I would never have.
I just I guess I didn't grow up understanding colonialism, really taking in the damage at that sort of reaped on the whole thing. Yeah.
Because, you know, British great brand and budget in terms of racism is amazing. So it's like I come. So they make you feel like if you're like I really happening aside, it's not really happening this God, it's Christianity is this book and it's got this and this.
Listen to this. Yeah, yeah. We just want we just want everything we have.
I'll give you independence, give independent independent control over. No, no, no, no, no.
We do pray for you. You're free. It was in the sixties you free. So it's like and and so yeah there's a I speak English so it's it's you speak English, you know, and you know, in England, you know, that's there's a lot happening in plain sight. I mean, it's like so is it just like you've got to just look and look what he did. I mean, it's like and and yeah, that's the power of that level of thinking and how deep the intention is from that space.
The empire runs deep. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
It's just and then I think true revolution is internally revolt and internally you're saying no, no, no, no, I don't buy but I don't buy, but I don't buy. But in order to revolt, you've got to see it in some things you do, some things you think that it's empire that is actually if you look at you. Yeah. But it's actually something that is used to control you internally. So you keep on. And so I'm a firm believer in a in a revolution in evolution, you know, saying in order to kind of just be yourself to an occupier in your body and you have to out your thing.
You're a virus.
Yeah, it's the real pandemic. I agree.
But how is it how do you get along with the Keith Good and Keith Coomber school?
I mean, from the way. But now you do. We we met him.
It was just before we should go, uh, we should get out of Sundance and then and yeah, it was just we just kind of like had this really kind of I feel like we're on the same journey. Yeah. We. Kind of times we meet and we do some random things, like doing like a like monologue for like South African kids, like we like to raise Chariot Carnegie Hall. But he was in the same dressing room is like you have these kind of moments in like, well, this is happened.
Wow, this has happened. So get out and do this. Two very significant moments.
It's like I found his character to be, you know, the idea of selfishness and and self-preservation versus community and and community preservation. It was like I thought it was I thought was a really smart script man.
Yeah. No. So it was really intelligently written by Cheryl King and and will burst and then the Lucas Brothers is that it was their right. I know those guys. Yeah, of course. Yeah, yeah. It was their idea.
And it was it was such an interesting way to get into it and really, really kind of see chairmen's politics in debate and in conflict with the FBI ideology. And Keith being like O'Neill, being a host for the ecology, you know, so it's in that sense it was you can kind of understand more about you know, I always say that in order to see who it is, you've got to show who isn't. And that's the point of William O'Neill in this film, right.
Is to amplify Chairman Fred. Right.
Did you talk to were you able to talk to his family at all? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So the Chicago trip I went to Chicago in order to talk to the family could have on that trip because of legal stuff and politics and stuff like that. Yeah. And we went a few weeks later with Dominic Fishback, who plays Deborah Johnson, Michael in the film and all the producers and Shekar and and Will. And we went there and yeah, I like we sat down and we had an eight hour meeting.
Yeah. That was interesting, whichever for a junior at Momoka and it was just amusing. The Hampton home and and it was intense is intense. It was asking us a lot of questions but asking us about who we are as people and what our intentions be for this job and what was not the job it is to tell the story and what our intentions in terms of like in art, that was. Why do you make art? Why do people make art?
You know, I thought it was very it was a Yatta I had to do you have to dig deep and just be honest. He has to be honest. And I really respected it because you just let go if you're flipping playing. Chairman Fred, I need to know who you are. I want to know who you are. That was his son.
And did you walk away from that? Did you guys feel good about it?
Like I felt cool. I don't I don't necessarily assume if you meet someone once, they're like, oh, yeah, it's not like I was just going to go, yeah. Like, it kind of came out. I was honest. Yeah. I just thought if I was me, I was just like this me. This is my wife. This is. Yeah. And then like and then it took us to a couple of areas in Chicago and we um and then we've kept, we've kept in touch and be quite regularly.
So that's what I'm fucking like outside of like, like now I feel like an asshole for even asking you about the Golden Globes in light of the life experience you were given because of this. You know what I mean, John?
I don't think you know so and so, but that's what I try to say. A lot of times it's like, you know, it is I think I said in the speech, just like you, when you give everything to something, you just free. So it's like it's kind of like it's not even like I don't care. It's just like. You like, yeah, like stuff that is stuff that I couldn't open up about, the stuff I saw and stuff, what happened after it in terms of like like the cost that it took for your body to play someone like that to be a vessel for someone like that in the way that I did.
It is a huge cost. It's a joke. This process made me deeply respect that more and deeply respect the process more because it's no joke. So it's that kind of thing. Like when you get awarded, you kind of like you're happy. But, you know, it's just you just know the cost. You just know the cost. So it's just a different you're just looking at a completely different point of view because I'm just like there's a real there's a real I know there's a real cost to you, man.
And so is the. And also. Yeah. Like that experience and the people you meet is I just find that incredible.
When you say cost like in respect, I mean you you did a great job, you know, you did a great job. But what what specifically you what the cost is, what it took you through emotionally.
I had some health issues. Oh really. So is that thing we like to look at that and pick myself back up.
I come so well from exhaustion or. Yeah, a lot of things. Maybe it was like it was like a lot of things. It was a real, you know, real shutdown. So when you, when you, when you are in that space, you're just like, oh wow.
Like. This is the taxes. The cost is this is the cost. So. When something is really expensive, you really want to be like, wow, this is really expensive. And so it's just like whatever you get from it.
I know, I know, I know the real value of the real cost of going in that direction. So it's almost like a it's a humbling experience, like winning a Golden Globe because you're like, OK, it's just that by I had to live it, you know, and I'm just not going to I'm not going to.
When you have those experience and you give you when you give all of your heart, you're liberated from the opinions of others outside of it. It's just it's amazing. And you kind of go, wow, I'm grateful that even like like, oh, like I'm going to go out there. More people are going to watch Judah's because I won a Golden Globe or got nominated for an Oscar nominated. The film got nominated for an Oscar. That's amazing. But then you're just like you just you just operated on a different in different.
Because if you go in, would you say if you put if you go with all your heart, you're free?
I like that because, you know, you have to be conscious of that. You know, like that's something you have to learn about yourself and appreciate because you might miss that, too, right.
This is interesting. Is like the fear is giving your heart then is like you. How many times has fear stopped you from giving all your heart? So it stopped you from actually tasting true freedom interest, you know, and like the true freedom is really still was really silence really just is like it's just like this just is something bad happened to us. Is the I mean, it's like it's just like boom. It's just is. And so it's like you when you give everything you taste that you taste really you don't taste other people's triggers, don't taste perception, not taste judgment.
You don't say you just taste reality. You know, this is what it is. They just give this these body of people have given me an award for something they have seen. That's nice. That's quite a kind thing to be. That's nice.
I mean, it's like and that's not to downplay it. It's not it's not unplayable. It's just that you just gone on a journey and you've given this like. This my heart broken, my spirit like is that is all of me. Yeah, this is spiritual. Spiritual idea is something that you do you like do you have a practice that enables you to see things this way?
In what sense?
Like a meditation practice, a Buddhist practice. Because it is or or, you know, a God.
Well, you know, I just I just feel I just feel it like it's just the truth. I felt that when I when I did plays back in the day, when I did plays back in the day and I did this play up the book so they could suckerpunch the roll call. Yeah, I played a boxer and I trained for three months and I lost like forty two pounds in three months and I was playing a lightweight boxer. And then the last show I remember I was like, that line is where do I go, what do I do.
And then I was the I was looking at everyone and I was just thinking and I just literally broke down on stage and I actually worked for the scene. So I was all right. But you just looking at everyone, I really cared what everyone thought. I really cared. Yeah. And like, I now just look at people and they're going to write their reviews and I'm like, you didn't do free minute plank's with me and you didn't.
You just say, like, how can you like you're not equipped to even capture this. You're not even looking at kind of lacking in the ego. It's just like, oh, I really give you my body. I'll give you everything. Yeah. How can you how can you put that into words.
Just and it was I was free, I looked to everyone, I was like, everyone is whatever how people feel, whatever, I want people to have a good time. I want them to commit. I want audiences to trust me as a person that's going to give a nice vibe of a story and learn something new and interesting. And like what? It's just that kind of going, wow, like when you give you it was just like, yeah, yeah.
You take it up and you're just like. But then I realized before I really believe that this kosner it to me is this this is that this review I mean this and this position means that when you give everything about what that goes right, they will look at any more.
Yeah, I can understand that. And I and I and I do like I have felt that before. But, you know, you're fortunate to feel it. Where have you felt that?
When have you felt like. I believe that that last special I did, you know, after doing comedy for thirty five forty years was the best thing I ever did. I could see my entire life's work in it. You know, I've been doing standup since I was in my early 20s and I think that's that's special.
I did last year with my girlfriend at the time, directing was really the best work I'd done and and it felt I could let it go, you know, like I you know, I saw that, you know, I was in it and that and I worked hard for it. And I was, you know, and I my heart was all in it. And and I and I accepted that. I didn't look at and go like, why I do that?
Or How come I could have. It was the first time that I was like, you know, that's that's great work.
What do you feel shifted in you? What you feel a shift in you for you to even allow yourself to give that much of your heart? Well well, some of it had to do with that woman.
And and that was about the woman that you felt safe. Yeah.
Yeah. We you know, we were partners for a while. You know, we were involved. We were she passed away about about a year ago and so like that was there.
But also the gift that she gave me in terms of believing in myself as a performer, like I spent a lot of time beating the shit out of myself and doing a type of comedy that was aggressive and angry still is a little bit. But I think there was something about her in my life at that time that grounded me in something. Right. And that opened my heart.
So now, you know, in light of that, to keep it open, I just did another movie a few months ago where I really kind of like, you know, like you said, I sort of honored the acting and really, you know, tried to figure out what was great about it and what I was with. And I went all in, you know, I you know, I did a dialect. I did a guy that wasn't innately me.
I wasn't I wasn't getting I was I couldn't just autopilot it. I really had to do the work. And I and I felt better about it.
I feel I feel really like something moved in my heart. And I'm not completely comfortable with that. But I, I kind of understand what you're saying.
I'm really happy that you go to that place, though, to me, because it's the thing is about that place is not supposed to be comfortable. Yeah. That's how you find true comfort is that you kind of feel like they kind of teach you and conditioned to feel like everything you feel comfortable in order to grow to your tool as high as a tree, right? No, you've got to have some brains. I'm sure some somebody is got to come and eat, go something like that.
This stuff is going to happen and it's uncomfortable growing. It's uncomfortable being free.
Yeah, it's hard. Yeah. And keeping your heart open buddy.
But being free is comfortable.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's true. I don't think understanding that type of freedom. Yeah. You can talk about that as a word but you know if it's personal it's in your heart, it's tricky business. You know, you want to try to get it done before you go down.
You know what I mean. To start with down.
Where would you be dead. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But then you come back, you'll come back and you have to figure out again, this is a whole game nine is the whole I. So the computer games got the idea from everything to figure out freedom. All right. You go back again. Yeah. Civil code instead of the way you go. You got to figure this out. I think you just got to figure if I think you got to figure things out.
Did you guys really shoot that last the assassination on the on the anniversary of his assassination, you shot the poison in the poison inseam.
You shot that on the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination. Yeah.
So, yeah, that was that was my experience that they liked the way I let my emotions took over my day. Like it was like I'm usually kind of like put me to a side. Yeah. When I'm, I'm working.
And then like but my emotions and how I felt about Chairman Fred and how I felt about what happened really came came to the fore and full of life in a real way as well. So yeah, we did the speech. We shuki the speech at the beginning of the day just honoring him and just realizing that fifty years later, this man still is bringing people together. And in this one room in Cleveland, it's like it's like he's in his house in a mock up of his house.
Sixty years later, you know, and I'm standing here dressed as chairman, Fred. It's a very surreal. And then when I was doing a scene the bit when I was doing the scene and like, he has to decide about prison X, Y, Z, and so that. I mean, I was resistant to the emotions that I was feeling, then I realized that you just got to accept it and use it. It's the truth of what's happening.
You've got to go lean into it. So a lot of that was part of that, the kind of intensity of that day.
But it's like when you have something to honor, when you're actually engaged, like it's a very rare experience.
But there's there's almost a ritual element to it that you guys were so aware of that and you were summoning something and you were getting closure and moving forward at the same time in this space of this anniversary.
And, you know, it's what a rare and amazing day that is to make that I say it's like this stuff like like what a day that we like to experience those kinds of emotion, to even just be a line to be on that path. Yeah. You are in a mock up of his house. Yeah. Their anniversary filming that scene unbelieve you just like you had an experience that you just can't we can't buy.
You can't purchase. You can't. You just have to be it great.
And that is just like it's incredible that looking back is incredible and I feel really blessed to be a part.
So were you always a serious actor when you've been acting a long time, like since you were a kid?
Yeah, since I was 13. I got into it 13 improv months. Someone like to tell my comedy to. Yeah. Like, I go into comedy first. I was doing comedy. I was doing comedy back in the day. I did a lot of comedy shows like comedy skits. I used to sketches on, um, on YouTube, like musical parodies, EU, all of that stuff.
During my career before Sicario was comedy and um and like and so. Yeah, and so improv and improv is like the biggest reaction you would get. Sometimes you would make kids laugh. It was it was this place called Anisha and made you pay five pounds and you go, you go. And it's just kids that are from the states as well. And then you kind of go there and it's like for underprivileged kids and you go there and you kind of like you have this big stage.
And I was looking at you and it's I mean, you doing the scene. Yeah. The teacher goes first line. Why did you do that? Yeah. And then you got to go write. A 13 year old doing is petrifying.
And if you're rubbish, if you're crap here, they just laugh at you so they'll get bored as kids watch. Yeah. Yeah. But it was such an incredible training ground because they were honest. We were like, we don't even get interested right now. It's like you got to do something. And so I realized that, like and I, I was a joker at school, but it took a while before I could really feel confident in bringing that funny element, comedic element into improv.
And then so I did that.
You didn't you actually did like TV shows, like sketch shows and stuff, right?
Yeah, I did. Harry ampoule. I did. Mitchell and Webb is a role in England that you have to name a sketch show after two guys or was last.
But I think that's a mandate. I think that's going to happen after you is a person, Tony. Yeah.
So that's all your experience was in comedy? That's a trip, man, because Sicario I love that movie. I watch it a lot. And you were great. Thank you.
Because, like, I'm a guy as well who has spent his life in comedy and like, I'm doing serious roles and like, what is what was your first experience with that coming out of comedy? Because for me, my comedy is pretty serious. But I can be funny, but I'm I'm pretty serious and I'm pretty, you know, emotional.
And like when I started to do it, I feel comfortable with it. It was sort of a relief to not be funny.
You know, it is. It's funny. It's funny. It's like I remember I was 19. I did a show called Psychoville. Amazing show. Like, did you watch the League of Gentlemen?
If you watch that this British show like a gentleman, kind of surreal comedy, kind of like watching the guys that Steve and Richard Smith mock Israel as well. And then. Yeah, and then like they did, Steven Rees did a show called Psycho. The Psycho when I was like 19, is a comedy show. I kind of like a horror comedy show. It's really funny. Really interesting. And then and then it was I was 19 doing it.
And the director, Matt Lipsey, was doing a scene like this. How surreal it is. I was like trying to get some keys of these Siamese twins in the van and then, like, one of them woken up and I had to kiss them.
It was the whole and then like and then it's dinner. And then I think I did a lion and I did it in a certain way. And it didn't ring true to me, but I just did it. And he pulled me aside and pulled me aside and said, Daniel. And she said something that would change my life forever. Daniel never played a funny always play the truth and just walked away. Yeah, it was like a boom. I set a foundation, no matter what the script is, is or what the genre is, if I'm playing the truth and the right is true from the perspective.
Then I did the show called The Feds is incredible, credible Jack Foon, and the character is really funny, like this geeky guy is really funny on paper. You like laughing out loud, but he doesn't. A lot of funny people don't think they're funny. They're just being honest then. And that's like. And so you're just saying the lines in a really truthful way allows the audience to find it funny is how I felt like so. So then pivot now into more serious or doing more serious stuff.
It's kind of both disciplines help each other because when you're doing dramatic things, you are more in tune with rhythm and timing. You're saying that you understand the importance of Rezvan and timing for story purposes to hit a certain weight so a B can hit a certain way, because in comedy it's also about rhythm and timing. So is that kind of like. And so that would help that. And then your true thing would help your serious stuff and help your comedy stuff, which is serious is all about truth and it will help your comedy stuff.
And this is the other. So I always had that kind of different avenues because when I did improv, I would just go I would just challenge myself. So a lot of my improv sometimes was serious. I would just challenge myself. You could just play go. What am I scared of having done that go to? I just do that and just do that. And that way to do that in that way and take the scene in a certain way.
So I like diversifying, like I would call them float's skill sets.
And I'm sure and also like I think a lot of like what I have learned over from doing comedy, from doing improv, I would imagine, too, is that you really learn how to own your space on stage or on screen or in a scene. I think that timing, what you're talking about, that sort of being grounded in what you're doing in your own honesty and taking your time is something that you're very good at and something that's necessary.
But, you know, it's just like I see it with Olivia Colman because I don't know if you know you know how you know her background is comedy.
I'm sure I make sense. Yeah. Yeah.
So she is using this that she was in Mitchell and Webb as well.
She was in that show to Weitman with you and then like and then and then I actually met her at 18 and she gave me the most amazing advice and she had a car which is so lovely.
She was I was deciding whether I was going to drama school or work and doing this acting thing. And I didn't have a degree. No one in my life was doing acting. So I didn't have anyone to turn to to ask for advice about what should I do my life. I was 18 at night and everyone was telling me to go to school and she weighed up the options and was like, it sounds like you want to just do it. And I know that's like is scary because everyone thinks you're going to mess up, but you can always go back.
And I was like, yeah, and then I'll never forget it. She was so amazing. But anyway, Olivia, she's like, when you see like someone like Tyrannosaur, which tyrannosaur. That was the first time I saw her do serious work. So Paddy Considine film and Peter Mullin's in it like India and England and then like so anyway, she she did not. And then I realized that her comedy, what happens is, is that, you know, the pocket's.
Yeah. You just know the pocket. Right. And then when you transfer that that understanding because if you're in a funny scene, you just know the pocket like, you know, you look at a scene and go, what's the funniest thing about this scene? Cool. Right? And I make that hit. Yeah. Sometimes there's not your line that I need to hear, like, oh, boom. So it's that kind of so with when she's gone to the drama space, she just knows the pocket.
She just knows the pockets. And that's I think you look like you just have to take it because you have to make someone laugh objectively away from you. But you can't find that funny and you have to find a pocket.
But the pocket has to do with how the character fits. I mean, it's a definition of character, right? Yeah, because I just watched her and I just watched fleabag again. And she's like a genius in that. Yeah. And it's a completely horrific comedic character, the insecurity of it and, you know, the self involvement of it.
But it's she plays it completely straight and it's like just brutal comedy, that thing.
And it keeps it real, but knows the pocket. That will be the the funniest version of real. It's it's just something you can't you just go see that. Ah, she just gets it. She just gets I think she's delicious. It's like when she accepted it. I find it delicious. And you grow up looking at watching her.
Right. Because she was on a lot of television. Right. And she's on TV, she's on peep show the show called Peep Show. Yeah. Bye bye Mitchell. And then like I mean, it was really it was she was just so funny in it and really, really like she was a leading lady in it. And it was just like it was so amazing to see her pivot and and now become this big star. But it's, um.
But yeah. So there's a lot of people that you grew up just watching and go, oh yeah. Yeah. Or about. And they were like like Martin Freeman. Morgan Freeman is I think Mike Freeman is the King of Pocket's like I think he's like he's great like I would say like it's almost like a lot less. So he's got so many sons. Yeah. He's got so many signs of something to his performance in the office. Yeah.
Yeah. He has so many sons of so many doors. Yeah. Like because everyone like him and Sherlock, he just knows how to hit and he just hit. And just like I said about ISIS, and it's like it's like it's not happening and he's still telling the story, but still and when you actually engage with him, it's like it's like, you know what my previous life is like when you're watching a game and you see a play on it and then they're doing their thing and you go, oh, and I couldn't take it.
And then when you watch him, you're like, this guy is incredible. But when the games happen and you can't really see what's happening, what he's got, like, I think everyone is like so many comedies like How People Deliver, especially men, how white men deliver their lines is a result of Martin Freeman. I did say and it's like he just went out in the office and he does this way. And then everyone is everyone just took it and ran with it.
I think I said it to him. I said I said it to him. I think it was a bit drunk. So I don't know if you remember, but yeah.
So I find in pockets they took drive shaft of Martin, they took that the the engine and then they, they, they worked it into their own engine. Yeah.
It was an owner but the people just by osmosis, by like subconsciously inspired by what he's doing that Johnson is like because he was really and truly Ricky Gervais is the funny man, David Brant the funny funny man like and like. My character has the story in the office and sending has the story is kind of like Josh John Krasinski in The American, like that guy, that character, the same characters has a story. You have a he's yeah.
He's one of those slow burn guys. And he like he really kind of his he takes his time and, you know, he you know, he let things sit. It's, you know, it's owning that space.
Man is very confident, very confident. You have to be very confident in what you do in order to go. I know this is a comedy. I'm still going to play in this way as an old basis position. That's why I respect it. And Sicario again and Steve Carell. And it was all of them that were just like audacious. They were like nothing less than he should be. Just cut in lines. Less, less, less, less, less.
And then I was like, wow, I didn't understand it because I thought they were like, they cheat. And this is like this is like, what is that thing where, like, is this that you just distill it to what actually matters and then but to do that in a comedy is like very difficult with your instinct is to want to make you laugh, you know? I mean, it's like and it's just like, no, the audience will laugh when the situation is funny.
And how was that? What was the process like with Jordan? It is amazing because Jordan is like comes from improv background. Yeah. It was like it was so it was like we just kind of get it. We just get each other on set. You can kind of be loose with it and like and go, yeah, this isn't working. And we are both confident that we'll find something new. Right. Like we were doing a take and it wouldn't and we don't know what is going to work and we just try out and take it.
And it's like it's just that it's kind of like he's just very much from the same school of thinking in terms of how you guys improvised a lot.
Yeah, there was a lot of fun with Allison as well. With Allison. Contribute a lot. She's got improvization background as well. So it was like a lot of improv and a lot of like like even like the give me the key scene was like improvised. That was in the moment. Like we kind of it was a whole scene and we kind of took our two bare bones and was just like, give me the keys. And we did that.
And then like and it was a couple of the scenes that a couple other moments are just improv made up in a moment. And and Jordan is it's just like he gets it. He's like he he's he's an actor.
Yeah. But also he had like he I think he had such a specific vision of what that movie was going to look like, that you guys had space. So he knew exactly what the space he was providing and how it was all going to fit. Those people who can direct like that, who know that no matter what's going on, on set, they're editing it in their head as they go along. So they they have the freedom to take those chances.
Yeah, I think it just gave you space for me. It was like because the story was so strong, the writing was so strong that it kind of allowed me to really practice the lack of refinement. I like to give a really refined, minimalist performance so that when it does go tits up, goes fucking crazy at the end, you it's more pronounced because it was so suppressed. Right.
When you did that, you did because you did a Martin thing, you kind of let it you just throw is like my expose, like there's a couple of people. I'm like, oh I like the way I see him. I see his music though. I see a lot of people go. I just like his flow, his flow. Like Christopher Walken. I was going to overtake Christopher Walken.
I see him like Snoop Dogg. It's like him. Yeah.
Yeah. There's no one like because you can't you can't even copy it. Yeah, yeah. If you like you can't let what's going on. You can a pandemic. And I was just like it did the same thing in New York. Yeah. He did a seaways there and he's on a dinner table and he's about to like but he's about to say a joke, he's about to say a joke and then it kind of he has a space with joke, has a joke, thinks about the joke then laughs at the joke, then composes himself about a joke, prepares himself to say the joke.
Yeah. And then says the joke all I is. Yo yo Mark, do you know how much confidence you have to have to do that. Like to do that in your close up. Yeah. I'm just going to think this and you will know that's in my veins bro. That's like, it's like, it's like. Yeah just be present. Yeah. And let go with what you feel and like it's a good car if it's rubbish and it's like they just did it and it's like stuff like that, it's like I see it like I'm like that flow is somewhere else.
Someone he's on another planet right there. You can't really replicate it. So I can see that my in my mind was the biggest, but I can see that pocket like is the way to tell a story and also make the funnier bits funnier by being the real straight man.
That's interesting. So these are your real teachers, really.
Yeah, it's kind of it's like you just see something and you just inspired. Yeah. And going to go wow. Like, really like that. Really interesting to me. I really like the way this person did it. Just you know, even I just watch film because I want to watch shows but you just go wow. Like that's a really interesting way of doing it and I would never fall about that. So that's a very unique and I'm by you can't not be changed by it.
You can't have the old idea anymore. You kind of go when you're doing it. Oh yeah. There was a whole thing that you just inspired, you just moved. I feel that way when I watch Dennis Hopper, we're like, Oh my God, it's like a different time zone. These they operate in a different time zone. You know, it's their own, their own, their own planet. They're dictating like when you engage with those people where you watch him, you're like they're completely unique to themselves.
So they can they can invent the space, they can invent the time. They can. Like what you said, it comes from confidence. I think also with some people from, you know, experience, it seems people get better as they get older.
Yeah, but, you know, if I'm being totally transparent. Yeah. My favorite actors in the world are child actors. Yeah. They're the best version of the Times 13.
Shit happens and I don't know what's going on.
And you have to work your ass off to get to any hopkins' age. And I'm free. I'm a child again. Laughing Well, I enjoy at times is that kid I would I'm more inspired by kids performances than anyone else because they just they just they're.
Yeah. And they're really listening. Right. And I really take it it's like that for me is like that. I look at some things like, oh, there's too much life has happened for me to even get to that point. I mean, it's like I have to so much to undo to to get to what this child is as a beast of no nation. Yeah. Yeah. With Idris Elba film is I think it's Abraham at is the last scene that was is that role like this is so pure.
Yeah. This is just so honest. Yeah. And you can't, you can't teach it. Yeah. Just and I just think kids know it, they kids are the best actors. I when, when you get a great kid's performance I'm just like I'm always really blown away by how simple it is.
So do you find yourself trying to get past the clutter of your experience when you're getting to the emotional part of a role?
I yeah, I think I did this episode of Black Mirror and the director says I'm crazy. Interesting. Yeah, it's ostomy me and just profanely and did not see any of us kind of answer questions as characters. And we just learned about the characters. And then at the end it was after hours, two hours. It was really intense. Yeah, forget about that. You mean forget you made me work with Google like are you like nah I like forget about it because like yeah if it makes sense it stick.
Right and that's how I feel.
You do this. What you do is work right.
And you just go a band, let go, forget about you show up on set. You are just there and it will show up for you. Yeah. And it will show up for you and it will show up for you in a real way because you created a body, created a body, you created an outlook or perspective away and it would just show up and it was just show up all the decisions you made, the intention to just show up and you don't even realize you're doing it.
I look at Judas. I don't remember those text. I don't remember the text. Right. Like, well, usually in performance, but. Oh, yeah, they used that take. They used that take. I remember that. I don't like that, but I literally did go right. Cool. I'm going to stand here and I've learned all this stuff and I've taken all this stuff. And I want to just allow the spirit to speak for me.
And I'm just going to like all these all these things you can lean on, it's like triggers to kind of kind of assist you to stay on path. Yeah. I mean, on what you're doing. Right. Right. Choices. Yeah.
They often say, like, I don't even see it. It's like I don't believe I have the power to choose. I think if I have the power to choose then you'll see in the performance.
OK, so if you do those it's like, it's like yo it's like the stuff that happens if there's a certain scene and I've got to do in a certain way and I feel a certain way, then I'm going to do it. And that's like I'm in a way and that's what I think. I want to do it in that way. There is no choice being made. That's the way. Right. And it's like it's the unapologetic ness and the audaciousness of this.
Is it because I can always stand on that one?
I can always stand on someone says, oh, if I if I'm trying to go, I think this is a choice. This will make them feel that. Yeah. And I'm like, I'm unmanipulated, right?
Oh, yeah. And if I if I don't get what I want, then I'm going to be self loathing and be myself. You know, I create a process to minimize the self-loathing. Yeah. To minimize it. I really actually actively I want to be able to watch my stuff and objectively grow and learn from my own performance and go, OK, well I know that was honest, but would you do that now? Probably not. Why did you do that?
OK, cool. Next one. Try this, try that. And then you're like Potanin Honan's. Yeah. Yeah. Because that, that whole like game itself is is it just ruins what you're doing.
I spent more than half my life getting it myself and then eventually, you know, if you're lucky, it lifts, you know, it goes away a little bit.
And you I think I think, I think you can't rely on like it. Just leave and you go actively. Oh for sure. Something to help you.
You've done. Because it's just like because it's just can be paralyzing, you find yourself you found yourself putting something in place to stop yourself.
Yeah, it's like like because I'm going this is my heart. Right? Um, yeah. This is how I see this. What I think is how I feel without embarrassment. And then people have an opinion and then they say what they think. They're not saying what they feel. So they've got different levels of investment. Right. It's going this way, I think about how you feel. So it doesn't matter. So I'm saying, is this that guy?
And if you're thinking of yourself later. Yeah. If you're thinking of yourself like that and going I think about how I feel, then you're going to be that's going to be a lot for you. That's going to hurt. Yeah. As in if you're not taking it in that way. And that's just what someone else is thinking. You're not agreeing with the kind of way of thinking. So that's the kind of thing is just gone. That's how I feel.
I look at things. That's how I feel.
You're not looking outside yourself and you have boundaries. Yeah, I just I actively like, go, OK, I have to give my all to this. And that's why I'm really forensic about the stuff I do because I believe in it. Sure. To help with the like, to help with the process of like oh no, no, no. It's just that kind of go. Yeah. And just enjoy the moment. Enjoy. I like having fun.
I do this because I want to have fun if I want to make money. I work in finance and it's like I like I want to like be comfortable, I want to have a great life. And that's expensive nowadays what it's like. But it's that thing where like it's about having fun and enjoying yourself. So you got to put systems in place and think in a way to help you with that.
So you're excited about SNL? Yeah, I am. I'm buzzing for my number for that because it is I realize I really got off screen persona like that. No one really even knows who I am.
Exactly. It's I'm just kind of like like I just kind of really free in position. So I'm just going to be like, just buzzing because, you know, so you've got all this improv superpower that no one knows about.
No. Any idea. That's why I like I went to Donalds one. Donald Glover did one. Yeah. And I went to his one and then I was there, I was like, wow. This is like the biggest challenge in the industry is that is this this is the process that will make you grow the most you have to learn. Is that because it's just like you don't have a show on Monday, you have a show on Saturday? I mean, it's like that's what we used to do every day.
We used to, like, do improv and like go away. A group of us will go away for twenty minutes and then come back and perform that play. Yeah. To the, to the class. And you just have to have a play at the end of every week. So it reminds me of that. And you just have to show up and kind of in your fight or flight comes in and you just think of all these ideas and this is not so SNL, they're not like I'm buzzing, I'm fighting for I'm not I'm ready to go have fun as a challenge as a child.
I'm going enjoy. I'm gonna have a party, so I'm going to play it.
Yeah, why not, man? Well, I look, I'm a big fan. I'm glad we got to talk about this stuff. I really enjoy the work and like all the movies and, you know, is enlightening, hearing your perspective on this stuff is very helpful for me to hear anybody who is challenging themselves and realizes that, you know, freedom isn't comfortable.
No, that's what makes it so. Yeah. And I appreciate you, man. Appreciate all the stuff that you're putting out there. Mark, thanks for an incredible legacy, bro.
I appreciate it, man. Take care of him. See you soon. OK, that was Daniel Kaluuya, and he'll be hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend. You can watch him in Judas in the Black Messiah or Queen in the Slammer or Black Panther or get out any number of those things. Good actor, interesting presents. And now you know who his biggest influences are. Also a reminder, this podcast is sponsored by Better Help. If you're struggling to get through the day, Better Help offers online professional counselors who can listen and help.
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You made it another year. How old are you, buddy? What are you, fifty five? You're fifty five. Happy birthday. I love you, man. I play some guitar. Former lives monkey and fond cat angels everywhere.