#1375 - Edward Norton

Oct 31, 2019

Edward Norton is an actor, writer, producer, director, and filmmaker. His new film "Motherless Brooklyn" opens in theaters on November 1 .

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you no questions asked that's a good deal that's how confident are they are because it's good that's magic spoon.com / Jo my guest today is really a fascinating human being I really enjoy talking to him he's a an iconic actor you might know him from American History X or from Fight Club but he's got a new film coming out right now it'll be out November 1st it's called motherless Brooklyn he wrote it he

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directed it he acts in and he's one of the producers of it is a real love project and it was fascinating listen to him talk about his craft and I don't use that word lightly with him I really it is a craft and this movie sounds fucking amazing and I just again I can't say enough how much I really enjoy talking to me is a fascinating guy please welcome Edward Norton

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The Joe Rogan Experience trained by day Joe Rogan podcast by night all day good start when I meet a fellow Lenny Bruce fan yeah yeah that was a I and I you know there's that line in Fight Club the things you own end up owning you and I generally am not a stuff guy but when I came in here I did find myself going this is the right kind of place to keep stuff yeah and I was I've been

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around looking at things and that was my favorite thing that I saw you have that a couple of the great Lenny Bruce posters yeah one of which I've never seen which one although that one with his we're here it's really wild he looks like an Indian Guru or something yeah staring into the middle distance that's that's an amazing to photograph him yeah I kind of bought as much vintage Lenny Bruce stuff as I could find this place has sort of evolved into a semi Gallery you know it's I would like to have a house with nothing

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in it and then have this place just filled with shit no I kind of grew the also I think that it's fun when you have people come through a space so that you're actually like sharing the things like this sort of like you're letting and someone come in and wander mmm some of the best museums in the worlds are people's individual curations on the best art collections ever made are better than any Museum because they're put together by someone and you're finding like the threads and things yeah so I think when you can when you can assemble like things

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I meant something to you but you can put them in a space where other people can bump into them it's better than just like then letting them just collect dust in your own home where they you stop looking at them you know you have a very unusual perspective for someone who makes a living as an actor what do you mean why do you think so you're very thoughtful person very thoughtful I know a lot I know a lot of thoughtful act I do too I do too yeah but it's not common you gotta find them you got to curate those folks yeah I

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it's a funny it's a funny it's a funny gig by like by definition it's like if you think about all the like the yin yang and at the paradoxes and it's like on the one hand with guys as actors there will be a lot of you know there's a certain kind of not not Macho but there's like you know men will look to play intense roles and write these things but what you're doing is like it's it's you're playing dress up like you know

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you're like and I always like I was like the Dorothy Parker the famous New York you know writer said scratching actor you'll find an actress I think it's the greatest line it's not and it's not how it sounds just be a little you know like maybe see if that's not enough knock on actresses no no more of him but that's the real truth of the whole thing is like we put on makeup we put on clothes we play dress-up and we pretend to be other people and it's like

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like it really is like you know when people are like you know sometimes my brother and sister will laugh because I've done these certain things that have a certain kind of iconic intensity or whatever ready like and they look at me and they're like are you kidding like you've seen the size of his ankles he they're like my brothers like he's such a twerp like he's such a he's my brother's like two inches bigger than me and 30 pounds bigger and way stronger you know my little brother and he's and it's always like

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he is the he's a theater nerd he cannot like tough they're like don't let you play the Hulk yeah no but um or American history history x' I do but I do I do think there's

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there's sometimes there's a it's really funny the way there's a posture in it sometimes there's like a pot there's like a public-facing posture that some people who are in this trade this weird thing will adopt and it's like it's like hey man I hate to tell you but like like you don't have to live in to some you don't have to live into it I sometimes feel like people are compensating for the fact that what they do in fact he's played dress-up right do you think it's also that they have to kind of

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project this image to ensure that they get more of these tough guy rolls or maybe maybe I don't know I don't know I think or or maybe it's like that's who they wanted to be maybe in a weird way they're living in to some people I think they they relish the opportunity to change the story of who they are you know what I mean they're there

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they're they're getting to through through getting well-known they're getting this chance to sort of like wipe the Slate yeah of whatever it is they were getting away from and they're getting to you know the chance to sort of create a create a Persona that they're they're happier with them than what then before you know right look what they wish they always were yeah and their darkest times yeah or or

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you know yeah there's there's a

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I also think there's a funny thing which is there's this history of famous actors right so when it and it I do think it it sort of begins with Brando because Brando had such an enormous effect on the psychology of men in America he really really liked and if you look at what I would call like the great generation of American actors the Dustin Hoffman Robert De Niro Robert Duvall Gene Hackman Al Pacino Morgan Freeman Meryl Streep like this you know the whole poem

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it's all like the post Brando Generation all of those people literally all of them want to become actors because of Marlon Brando and and he he so rewrote the idea of what it was what it could be that you have got a whole it was like what Bob Dylan did in in the culture it was like it rewrote like it just rewrote the game almost like what Lenny did with calm yeah absolutely Lenny Bruce and got there and not and there are these people

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who come and they have they have like a kind of us a permanent there are permanent before and after yes in a certain kind of field you know what I mean Hendrix with the guitar heh yeah yeah yes I would say so I would say so in rock guitar area although it is interesting when you go back and look at Rock in that era there's that famous story of I think of I don't remember if it's like Pete Townshend making Eric Clapton come with him to your hand yeah clapping

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crying yes you know about it yeah I heard that story but you can't but you also can't discount a classic Clapton in in you know there's those famous photos of the wall Clapton is God like like deers it's hard to like you can't really under rate what Clapton did to guitar and guitar you know in that era to write know he was phenomenal but it was a different thing it was a different thing Jimi Hendrix was was a protein he seemed like he broke through to

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a new dimension yeah I can figure through the membrane of existence into this a new sound and there's guys that are like there's people that have a distinct set like Gru a Gary Clark jr. fan no I can't Gary Clark jr. is of phenomenal blues guitarist okay and he has a sound that's almost instantaneously recognizable as Gary Clark jr. you hear me you go oh my god there it is like everyone who works at them is just like they just walk away sweating

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Scott Jesus Christ well it's phenomenal I feel that way about Willie Nelson I think Willie Nelson is legitimately in country music like there's before and after Willie Nelson like and and you can say that he you know that Hank Williams jr. whatever that he but Willie Willie Nelson to me is the hinge around which it goes from being something that had you know then it had a Nashville kind of Grand old Opry kind of Polish to it and he basically took it he reclaimed

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aimed it in as this like American Roots hmm thing and put jazz in it that's what's so crazy is people anyone who plays music knows like Willie Nelson is essentially a jazz guitar player like and and he you know redheaded stranger is to me that's a before-and-after kind of a thing to like there's that out that whole Outlaw thing and I think there's a whole lot of

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it's almost like after that there's two camps there's still going to be like the you know the Steve role in his Copperhead Road thing is more positive thing but then there's like Steve roll Roots Steve Earle you know what I mean it's like he almost like straddled it but but my point about Brando was just that like he

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he changed the he changed the idea of the type of person that male actors wanted to be they want and suddenly it was like they wanted to have like a patina or a reputation as a visceral they wanted to be visceral not polished they wanted to be muscular they wanted to be masculine they wanted to be you know intense like those were not the kind of words

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that people when you think back on like Jimmy Stewart Cary Grant like that that is not what right that is not what movie stars were aspiring to they were aspiring to polish a kind of a Polish before Brando and I was an author recipes right yes there's a something there's something to his performances where you go oh well this is more like real life than a fit like on the waterfront like the the I could have been a contender thing yeah like when he's doing that you like well the oh this is how someone would actually

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behave if they felt like their life had been a disaster and it could have been avoided well you just hit on something know that and drives me nuts because when people sort of talk about Brando they're like you know they're sort of the like the Stanley Kowalski the the brutal masculinity Etc the thing about Brando isn't he is beautiful he's and he's kind of this enormous Roman looking guy but it's eat where he

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kills where he really kills his this kind of broken sensitivity that he had and I could have been a contender is not a tough guy speech it's the opposite it's a broken tough guy it's a guy practically crying saying like you were my you were my brother and you should have looked out for me I needed you looking out for me and my life is my life's gone down the toilet because of that in that moment you didn't look out for me it's you know it's like tearful it's not and and Even Steven the best moment of Stanley Kowalski

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all ski and streetcar is is really it's like when he falls on his knees in front of his wife and cries you know what I mean it's like that's what he he was way better in in a lot of ways to me it's the fact that he was actually kind of in touch with his emotional life it's not that he was ranked so Macho right all its that he he looked that way but he was but he actually had this like Poetic sensitivity yeah

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yes and it was it resonated real like it felt real yeah and if you watch actors before him there was a certain undeniable theatric element to what they were doing that was like oh this guy's acting yeah whereas he was he seemed like a guy who was really living the scene yeah yeah and some of it sometimes I think it sounds like say that instrument of a person but he has this crazy

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he's he looks the way he looks but he's got this marble-mouthed he does he not articulate he doesn't come off as like there's a machinist to the way he speaks and kind of a yeah it doesn't have style you know the guys before that it was you felt their her you felt that they were working on their style yeah and and he seemed to be sort of like scratching his ribs and and mumbling and

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and you know in a T-shirt and he just was he kind of present in the moment I think it was all accentuated by the way he ended his life like the end of his life he was enormous yeah gigantic fat guy and he just it just given into all of his vices and he was just this guy he did he was a beautiful man yeah he just didn't seem to give a fuck about that at all

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yeah I think he said something to me one time about how how much he was enjoying his life when he was like 23 and and he's like I had you know even when he was doing the play streetcar that made him famous he was telling me like he would get with his pal Diego and go up to Harlem go to clubs and hit on girls and all these things and he and I said you weren't aware of what was going on you know and he goes well there was I was aware of a certain amount of noise rising and then one day I woke up and I

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sitting on a pile of candy that's what he and and I thought what a really wild way to say it and I do think I'm not even joking to me it's like what you said it was like after that they were just it was like there was no boundaries he was like the gate he was getting every everything was

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he wasn't gonna be able to resist he wasn't disciplined he wasn't a super disciplined person he was very poetic person I've and I don't think he was disciplined and I think that a lot of what happened you know he had like something like 17 children and and he got you know he had appetites and he had these things and I think that

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I do think that he you know struggling struggled to

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to deal with all the things that came with being that famous you know and being that famous when there wasn't really a lot of examples of how to do it right or wrong before you yeah I'm sort of the Elvis thing right it yeah it's the Elvis thing that the flip is like Dylan who I still find myself like when you watch the new Scorsese have you seen that thing rolling rolling thunder it's really worth watching that

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or the original Scorsese doctor about him one no direction home like here's this guy he's like in his early 20s and they're coming at him with all this like voice you Generation all this stuff and he's like that's nothing I can relate to man you know and he's and he's going like I can't help wondering if Lenny Bruce loved Dylan he my don't know that but I would think that Lenny Bruce was tuned in the Dylan because Dylan's thing was like don't ask me what it means man I wrote it I you know I

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what it means what you think it means he was just constantly going buzz off man I'm not picking it apart for you I'm not I'm not going to pick it apart for you I'm not going to like buy into this stuff you're putting at me and how did he he was twenty twenty twenty one years old like who resists who resists people falling all over them to call them great when they're that age nobody right nobody has that kind of like building sensibility to go everything you're bringing it me is

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going to be bad for me and I it's like watch the if you watch those interviews with him when he's that age it's pretty astonishing because to your point like you're like a thoughtful act whatever I look at him and I'm like nobody has that discipline at that age yes amazing how uniquely qualified he was for that position at that point in time and that very strange tumultuous time in history as well and not only that right at the moment that that like Joni Baez brings him out on the stage at the Newport Folk

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festival and basically goes this is the prince this is I anoint you he's the one he's Neo he's the he is the one and the next year he doesn't even take one year to go to go let me just let me just lean into your love the next year he comes with an electric guitar and plugs it in at the Newport Folk Festival and people start screaming in agony like going what are you doing like you're Bob Dylan you're the king of folk you can't

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plug in a guitar and people are like running to try to cut his cords with an ax in this thing like that's how much of a betrayal and he's like there's people yelling traitor at him and he's going I don't believe you you know I think you're a liar like and he's turning around Robbie Robertson and going play it Loud I mean the guy is so punk rock wow he's so totally punk rock he he was his punk rock as anybody ever I think he probably had to be just to resist what they were trying to box him into yeah and by but there's never been anybody who was

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more like oh you like what I'm doing I'm gone I'm over here like enjoy you're gonna not like it because you like what I just did now where I'm going you're going to be discombobulated and upset and eventually you're going to catch up and then when you catch up I'm going to move on to something else like it's really it really is amazing is amazing because how many people do you know in any of the things we all do who get a taste of the thing and don't like lean into it for a while right like who don't kind of go

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this feels good you know maybe I'll just hang out right here and well it's always weird when you see somebody leaned into something and it's not really them and they become what people want of them you know and yeah you like a great example in comedy was kinnison kinnison when he made it everybody wanted to lay these gigantic lines of coke form apparently they like how it's him it's him he's here to put right there just laid some giant line

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can you joke around about it like I had to do it and you know you do you know a giant line yeah I can't fucking heart attack right I can't not live in writing thing because then then yes they'll stop trusting it all right right but you become a caricature yeah come this thing like dice Clays another example like Dice Clay used to be that used to be one part of his act his name is Andrew Andrew Silverstein so he would do his act and then the Dice Man was a character that he would do but people loved it so much when we would do that

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that character that the character became his whole act and then he became the character where you see him in real life he's wearing like weightlifting gloves and you know walking around a Gold's Gym t-shirt he became that guy he's hilarious still but he's that guy now but that's kind of out the backside of that when you say in what way well now he's like acting and thing does do that is one and not well yeah but he still does the same kind of stand up really if you go see him it's still hilarious irreverent

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just completely not of this era well let me ask you a question because I think it's interesting I think in that vein like if you look at Howard Stern who I've met only a couple times but I had I found him to be like the extremely extremely thoughtful guy like and I don't mean that he just was very very intelligent really smart and that's again but he's also like

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I don't know the conversation we have mutual friends and I and I and I really enjoyed talking to him like I thought I thought like others nothing tricky about him at all he's really like down in his shoes he's interested he actually asked question I mean it's some people you meet and you're just like oh my God that you're they're talking in a mirror that you're a mirror and they're just looking at themselves while they speak to you they're waiting for you to get done talking to them talk yeah but he but I think what I think is really interesting is like so Howard

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imagine imagine the pressure because I grew up in the Baltimore area he was on DC radio he was on DC 101 I remember I remember that the shock him literally and imagine you know the pull to deliver on what you've built which was obviously you know a huge audience that wanted this thing to me it's really interesting and impressive that

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Howard's kind of and I'm saying like I know and I don't know him but watching it to me this idea that he's kind of said hey look I you know I'm I'm going to be honest about where I'm at and in some measure I'm going to say there's things I've done I regret there's ways of treated certain people in the interest of the show that I'm kind of I'm kind of done with that I don't really want to be that guy and in some measure you know he kind of saying Joe

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seems like you got to deal with me where I am now yeah you know what I mean now like it's not like there's like a huge risk in that because his audience is gigantic right what's also he's so successful and so universally praised as being the most important figure in the history of radio like there's no one who does like what I do podcasts and there's no a gigantic debt of gratitude to Howard Stern the fact that you know he was getting fined by the FCC me I mean they were hundreds of thousands of dollars he kept getting fired from radio stations

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I kept doing that doing it the way he did it it changed the way people do talk radio honestly the fact that we can even the fact that we've talked as long as we've talked up to now is a function of him proving that there was a tolerance for long-form basically you know what I mean I mean it's like people knock on Netflix or whatever I'm like I'm like anything there's an amazing thing going on in the world right now which is people are people are re re

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proving or reconnecting with the fact that for all of what goes on on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and all this bullshit like the truth is people people like and have the appetite for and their brains enjoy longer form conversations yes and longer form stories more than than it was assumed they did you know what I mean and like popular culture feeds us a lot of like fast food and Xanax in like a speedball

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of of you can't handle anything you don't want anything more than than literally like a little bit of junk food with a little bit of Xanax cause you just want to lie on your couch and watch someone else save the world that's I know that's all you want but that isn't that is not true and I think like you know you look at things like like from peaky blinders to Chernobyl to like the Ken Burns Civil War series like we're going through this thing where people are realizing like no that's not actually true people actually

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you my pal Dax you know Shepherd who's got a great radio show people like to listen to people have actual conversations well they're also listening it's a new way of ingesting entertainment like you're getting it in your car you're getting it in your ears when you're at the gym yeah well you're on the subway or bus or plane and it's you're getting the stimulating long-form conversations that maybe maybe people didn't even know they wanted

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you know yeah I agree I agree buddy-buddy a great conversation with someone so it's like you get to have that conversation without participating right right and and and Stern definitely was like we talked about before and after like II there was talk radio but that but it kind of starts there I think I think you you started to be like I can listen this guy for a long time yeah he broke through the membrane like you're talking about Hendricks entering into a new dimension of sounds he broke through the membrane of talk radio and

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what he's doing now is will now he's a man in his 60s who's extremely wealthy and he has some I'm sure some regrets as you were talking about the things that he's done in the past and said in the past and he's also like this is who he is now he's not going to pretend right that he's just wants to bring strippers in and have them ride the city and every day and when people get upset that he's changed well I hope you change to man yeah I hope everybody changed that's why I mean I admire I mean true it's true it's not quite Dylan when he's 24 and being annoying

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pointed plugging in a guitar but I do think it's when people sort of go hey I'm gonna I'm gonna be where I am yes and and you got to deal with it right that's positive I think well it's definitely better than leaning into it and being what people want you to be and be struggling with that and tortured by that I actually think most of the most of people who I think that mostly ends up badly yes yes yeah I think whenever you don't go with

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have you actually are and whenever you don't acknowledge that whoever you actually are has changed you know if you're growing and learning and having these epiphanies and these realizations about yourself and where you fit into your own life and how you've interacted with people in your life you're not making adjustments and you're only doing it that way because you think that's what people expect of you your prisoner to your own first Incarnation yeah you know the first thing that people saw and that was kinnison's ow he's a kind of a

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runner to that forever yeah it acknowledged it yeah it's why it's why anybody who

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and it's not even act to anybody anybody who's who couldn't who keeps doing interesting things through phases is even more impressive yeah that's also is it hard as an actor two of you you get an iconic role and then you are sort of always remembered for being that guy in that thing like how much of a is is it a hard transition to go from an iconic role to go

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into your next role of people still want to talk about the the big movie that you were in just a year or two ago mmm it's never that hasn't been a big thing for me I

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I think

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I take I tend to take a bit of time between things and also

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I don't know when I you know like the first thing I did kind of popped off pretty hot and then and then everyone's like sending me like this you know it's like psychotic right psychotic interesting characters I was like well I think I'll do a musical with Woody Allen you know what I mean and I wear a plaid jacket and yeah do a dance number and Harry Winston's like like what's up yeah or and

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and then what's really weird is I didn't at first I did a played this lawyer I played a young lawyer in the Larry Flynt film right which an alpha that I got I get this distinct Vibe of like hey the next John Grisham movie is like the way you were talking and court and that movie you would kill and is John Grisham thing is the young lawyer or whatever and and I remember I met Francis Coppola was going to direct The Rainmaker this Grisham

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and I was up for it I didn't get it Matt Damon got it and I didn't do some ballsy thing and like say that's not for me I was like I was like Francis Coppola died like I want this you know ya think but I when I was talking to him about it and thinking to myself a little bit like this seems a little square but it's like Francis Coppola you know what I mean and it's like and and he when I was talking to him about it he was like well what you know what are you in true what are you working on what you

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interested in and I was telling him about my friend David who had written this American History X and that we were working on as kind of telling him what we were trying to do with it and how he wanted to make it is this kind of like gorillas you know thing and he was like you should do that you should do that immediately and I was like well I wanted I was like don't don't touch I was like don't cancel them don't don't you know I still want to do this with you he's like no no I think you should do you like the way you're talking about that and he said if you do that

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now they'll never don't never know what to do with you like they'll never be they'll never be able to put you in a box kind of because that's just you know if you pull that off and I kind of was like you know it I did have an agent at the time it was really old school really funny and he was kind of like he don't understand that he was like he was like find something big let's find something big big director big film big franchise whatever

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/ and I remember thinking like nah I think I'm going to do this and and we knock that off and the funny thing is you say well is that becoming trap it that wasn't a trap that was like a Liberation it's almost like doing that part it was like a permanent Hand Grenade on it was like net it was like well we never know what to expect now right so it's it becomes like Liberation on his at a certain point because like I weigh 150 you know like I'm not big so like once

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do something like that it's sort of like hmm when this guy's this guy's this guy's kinky what the hell are we gonna do with him you know what I mean right and then it's just sort of like you get to decide for yourself in a way that's brilliant yeah like Robert Downey jr. is amazing as he is it's always going to be Iron Man like that sometimes you get one of those roles you know like Thor Chris Hemsworth he's fucking Thor dude your Thor forever you know you flirted with

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that it depends on and I think it depends on how many of them you do when you did the Hulk were you worried about that

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a little bit was there any little patient because I was surprised when you did that I got this is an interesting choice as is evident I got more worried about it you know I was I was very interested because I loved it I I'm not like snobby about I loved those Like Comics and I just grabbed him yeah I subscribe to haul guy all the darkest like Dark Knight Frank Miller in the hole

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all of it was really you know it was it was

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it was it was something I really latched onto and and I love the Bill Bixby Hulk yeah like he's it for me he's always for anyone in our age like he's you know him walking away at the end of the show yeah that's it and I so yeah no I thought

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I tend to get

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just the way I felt about American History X I actually thought American History X was sort of like a fellow or Macbeth I thought it was that's what I said to David he had written his kind of edgy thing with the drug plot in it I was like I think you strip all that away and he literally just make this about rage destroying a person who's got a lot in him it's like it's like a Shakespearean tragedy but it's just it's skinheads you know and that and that really lit David up and that's where we went with that right but Hulk Hulk is like the

► 00:36:19

it's Prometheus right the guy steals fire from the gods for people but he gets burned doing it and he's cursed right he trying to take like the power of nature back out to people from the gods and he gets burned and that's how I know that's how I thought about it I was like if we could do something like that that leans into this guy who thinks he's going for something good that's going to help humanity and he cracks oh

► 00:36:49

been like the backside of God and and take something out that is not meant to be taken out and now he's cursed like cursed you know that that's what was amazing even as silly as the show was on some levels Bill Bixby was cursed like that's what and the end of every show you were like oh my God he's cursed like alone in the world and cursed right and there's something pretty pretty heavy in that like pretty cool in that and and so so it was

► 00:37:19

was it wasn't

► 00:37:22

you know I thought it was like really worth of crack I fucking loved it how did that seem come to play where you were with Hicks and Gracie oh cuz I cuz I was I studied Aikido when I was in college I was studying Aikido and then when I was studying Aikido

► 00:37:46

hoist Gracie won the you know that was one of those Fighting Championship that was like the late 80s right 1993 93 okay close yeah so he right so but he I became aware oh no that's it that you're right you're right because I was in New York I was studying Aikido in New York and and hoist Gracie won that first UFC and like I said I'm 6 feet tall but I literally if I'm in shape I weigh like 155

► 00:38:15

it and hoist when he won that was 170 like six feet and under 180 right yep and I remember it melted everybody's mind yeah I mean it melted everybody's mind and I so I became interested in them and and what they were doing honestly do you know that you know in the story in there and that families whole crazy story about being you know they were Scottish the grandfather was Scott

► 00:38:45

- right and he was like a consular or he was a Customs he was a customs official in Brazil and because he had a good relationship with the Japanese console and helped was with very generous in helping Japanese people get their papers to come through and in the Japanese console I think the story is who's who knew Aikido and Jiu-Jitsu offered to like teach his sons yeah it was count my

► 00:39:15

right yeah who came to he came to Brazil and taught Carlos and Horry and and and hilly oh well what most of the fire really others of the voice second generation when Helios the oldest son I think I think Horry and was the oldest son he's the one who created The Ultimate Fighting Championship but Hickson the reason why I was so significant that you had him is that was the champion of the family like right undeniably Undisputed everyone everyone throughout

► 00:39:45

Jutsu this it's very very rare that one figure is universally recognized as being the superior product of Jiu-Jitsu and that was Hickson yeah you knew all way I yeah if you followed that stuff at all you kind of yes heard that breakdown of it and yeah I thought I thought a part of the story I think Hickson told me

► 00:40:06

when we were in Rio I think what he said to me was that the reason Gracie Jiu-Jitsu became its particular derivation and its particular kind of things that allowed hoist to do so well was because their father was smaller than his brother Sileo right and he and be cut and they were all bigger and because he was smaller he adapted yeah you know he adapted the style to work for a smaller person against the bigger

► 00:40:36

person yeah obviously and and then that kind of like reached its its Pinnacle with voice winning that yes that tournament which at this this gets down in the weeds for people who aren't into this stuff but the but it was I mean that was you talk about these things the cracking through moment right that was a cracking through moment it was like wait a minute a guy his size just literally one and all for Mall size tournament like how is that possible you know what I mean

► 00:41:06

and it was like it was like Jaw hits floor and to me what was really interesting was I was really little all the way until literally the end of high school I was very small I grew a lot in my like when I was like 17 but I was really interested in Japan and I was interested in martial arts and you know James clavell Shogun like not you know and and I would take I took like a karate class and it scared me I it was people if they were bigger and faster it was just scary if you were

► 00:41:36

it'll it was like I can't it doesn't matter if I can do these combos or whatever in truth I'm terrified of anybody bigger than me and I don't feel that this is teaching me anything that I would have the confidence to to use to defend myself right that's how I felt as a kid hmm and when I when I bumped into Aikido I it completely changed my mind the guy there was an incredible teacher in New Haven when I was in college and he was small

► 00:42:06

all he was like you know maybe smaller than y is Grace here whatever and the guy was unbelievably like potent like just in case one of the most potent teachers in anything I ever had I was riveted by this guy and and and it kind of started to make me believe that with grappling and locking which there's a lot of there's a lot of jujitsu and Aikido and I was sort of like I was fascinated I started feeling like

► 00:42:36

this this this makes me feel like I it's not like kicking someone's ass at all it's just more like I feel more empowered I feel I feel able to handle an authentic situations which is a mentally empowering more than like I want to get into scraps right and it was just kind of amazing it's like having a secret in a way like whoa there's a secret to a much smaller person being able to leverage a much bigger person and then that thing happened with the Gracie's and it was sort of like

► 00:43:06

like the whole thing cracked open it was like this it was like proof yes in a way you know and and if you were interested in that stuff it was an incredible moment but because my interest in that four years when we went to Rio Rio and I had been working on the script of that movie and stuff and I was like I was really interested in this idea that Banner is is desperate for control right that he desperately desperately needs to control his heart rate his breathing that it's

► 00:43:36

massive liability and his mind if he can't control his emotions and his adrenaline and I was like well who in the world and I'd seen the videos of hicks I'd never met him or any of them but I'd seen the videos of him doing the amazing stuff with his stomach yeah the yoga yeah the breathing fire and I was like and I just was like we have to end and everyone was like who's that I was like I was like I was like Philistines you're all Philistines like I was like and I was like find me Hicks and Gracie and ask him

► 00:44:06

if he'll do a scene with me in the movie being the guy who's training Banner to like calm himself and he was there and he did it with us and it was like I was like yeah there it is right here yeah yeah when I saw this in the movie I was like oh fuck yeah like what a smart move yeah and I was like I was like yeah see I got I forgot this holy crap I haven't looked at this in a long time he's like how care

► 00:44:36

attic is he zooms I mean the guy could have been like Charles Bronson a hundred percent a movie star did you ever see choke the documentary yeah one of the greatest documentaries in history and like pumpkin silently yeah absolutely for martial arts and it details hickson's Journeys to Japan to fight in Japan value to which was around 94 which is right after his brother had won the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the story was that if his brother lost Hickson was going in like the idea was

► 00:45:06

level bringing hoist because it's more impressive he's a smaller man he's not physically imposing whereas Hickson in that video there he was older when he was young he was you know very fit and it was big into yoga and physical fitness and he had the strongest body of all the Graces like he looked very formidable right whereas hoist looked unassuming and it was a more of an advertisement of Jiu-Jitsu of hoist could beat everybody and hoist wound up doing but if at any reason right if they needed to bring in the big gun that's going to be hexen and hi

► 00:45:36

always talked about it like Hicks and could tap him left and right and everybody was like that doesn't even make sense right voices the Ultimate Fighting Champion he's the guy but his brother would just run right through him you run right he would run right through everybody he would they would have a line of black belts and they would all wait for their turn to get tapped and they would roll with Hickson and he would just dismantle everybody people that thought they understood Jiu-Jitsu it's so there's so many levels and layers to Jujitsu that even though it looks like what is the difference is guys doing an armbar you're doing an arm

► 00:46:06

bar there's specifics in the intricate aspects of the positions that Hickson understood that they just didn't understand and then on top of that he had much greater control of his body because of his yoga background I mean he became obsessed with yoga and breathing yeah some breathing and something called gymnastic natural which was like style of movement that was like sort of like Vinyasa yoga with all these like a flowing postures but also with a bunch of like almost like animal movements to it too and it was a

► 00:46:36

very physically demanding thing and he became outstanding at that as well all right but it's people don't be from the outside we start talking about things like Jiu-Jitsu and Ultimate Fighting you think of like is brutal violent but it's an intellectual Pursuit and it's a spiritual Pursuit because to be the person that can overcome all the obstacles you have to have incredible control of your emotions and your thought process is and your understanding of who you are and that I think is one of the things that separated Hickson from

► 00:47:06

D I do too I also think that I think that people don't realize that

► 00:47:11

a lot of a lot of stress a lot of aggression it's like aggression actually is like paired with stress usually you know what I mean you know it's hard to be aggressive super aggressive without a little bit of like adrenaline pumping and stressing all these things in the truth is like there's so much of the training if you're actually trying to stuff what you're training yourself to do is be calm that and that's like totally counterintuitive because people think know you got to go in there

► 00:47:41

like Rocky and you know want to win and it's like well enough fighting config in a competition sure on some level but really really really great people kind of in any sport but it's even more counterintuitive and fighting is is thieves you need to cultivate calm yeah and the ability to to to be clinical and think calmly control your breathing because like you get exhausted if you can't control your breathing and and the truth is is that

► 00:48:11

those are life skills that are actually very this they cultivate a very appear calm the it helps you cultivate calm and life and the thing I always really liked about Aikido is that there aren't attacks in it it was developed by a guy more how you Sheba who was a he was an all-around budgets who Master he was like in Jiu-Jitsu Kendo karate all these things and he he

► 00:48:41

Aikido because he had joined the global pacifist movement he he was like a one of the most respected like cross form Japanese martial artists and he became he joined the same movement for passivism that Gandhi was a part of in like the 20s and he believed that martial arts could contribute to passivism if they refined and he and Aikido was a

► 00:49:11

assignment of Kendo Jiu-Jitsu Judo and and he basically said I'm going to develop a non-aggressive martial art that has all it has no attacks and there's a new K in it like for the thing but it's only a defensive and it's like that that phrase we all here redirection of energy yeah the conversion of negative energy into into neutral that's like the that's his that is really his contribution he was like you can take you can

► 00:49:41

take the most aggressive energy and you can neutralize and you can neutralize it very peacefully or you can neutralize it with a little more teeth in it depending on how aggressive the person's being but I loved that I thought that was amazing because it was like

► 00:49:55

I wasn't like looking to be in fight but I love the idea that you had conveyed that you could have control and you could like neutralize and I think I think there's something kind of amazing that I think it's like actually aligns with like yoga with with meditation with all things surfing I mean II that's what surfing is like there's all this energy coming at you like and it's going to like put you into the rocks or rock you were flip you over her and you but you you don't you don't

► 00:50:24

happen you kind of you look at it you look at a million waves you figure out how to move yourself you get in there and you get the exact opposite of getting torch to get like the best thing ever right and I think things like that that are

► 00:50:40

where you have to those are like Zen you know what I mean and I think like Jiu-Jitsu what really what you're saying is really ultimately like why he was great as he had he had like the deepest Zen yeah of anybody in the whole thing because he was the calmest and he had like the micro micro micro micro understanding of forms but really like it's something deeper it's like he it's like Neo in The Matrix he's like seeing it with more granularity yeah yeah everything yeah

► 00:51:10

the full package of it did you ever see any of Steven Seagal when he was very young hmm what he was teaching in Japan I was totally fast I mean it's like it's really weird right like me right like act like like serious actor thoughtful actor I'm like what did you know but I like above the law yeah because I was into all that stuff when above the law came out and there was the scene in above the line he's in and Aikido you know Gigi with the black thing and he's doing these things and I was

► 00:51:39

ribbed I was like oh my God like like this is so cool like when have you ever seen this in a movie yeah and I'm and he was a you know big guy and he made it violent yeah it's very unusual sort of contribution to martial arts because men martial arts movies yeah he made it realistic yeah it was one of the most realistic martial arts movies ever yeah it was and you know when you look back on it it there's things about it don't date yeah for well course but it was undeniably like Lily what you just showed that Sting the

► 00:52:10

ding of the guy coming it's that simple thing that's rust and the brake and the thing it's yes he also in the film when the guys come at him and I see this is shows you how it burns your brain there's a scene where there's in a like a bodega and the guy I think he smashes a bottle and he comes at him and he does like a move and my Kido it's called like kotegaeshi it's like he it's like the wrist you know it's like the wrist break flip over and it was just like oh my God like he's doing he's doing like

► 00:52:39

like you know nuanced Aikido moves in a big action movie it was kind of cool well he was one of the first I think the first Westerner to run a dojo in Japan I mean he was a legitimate Aikido Master yeah and I think but what's interesting is when I studied over there he was his country it was slightly controversial because I don't think he was he had broken away from like like you Sheba Aikido he was doing

► 00:53:06

he was doing like the way that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is not pure Japanese Jiu-Jitsu he was doing something with the it was somehow it was Associated more with Osaka than Tokyo where the hombu dojo and Aikido is and there was some contact yeah there was there was just you know like the way things are with schools of thought hmm but um but yeah he had a certain legit kind of thing and it's really wild because people like Mike Ovitz who was like the power agent of all of Hollywood in the 80s you know

► 00:53:36

got a black belt training with Seagal like he was really serious Aikido is just I didn't know that yeah that makes sense yeah it does he's a cautionary tale to that I mean not even Elvis I mean Seagal you know yeah what I've become I guess I honestly my my I don't know anything about him past a certain point like I don't know what went on

► 00:54:06

in there yeah but leave it at that yeah II don't tell me about your new movie let's leave it that it's called motherless Brooklyn

► 00:54:18

it's it was a you know it was kind of a big swing because I wrote it and I produced it and this is the first time you've done that directed it I know I produced and directed The the first movie I directed his Keeping the Faith with its it's me and Ben Stiller play a rabbi and a priest who are best friends and they and they both fall for the same girl do you ever see that one no I didn't it's funny yeah you'd like it

► 00:54:47

is hilarious in it that was obviously lighter that was a lighter kind of movie but it was and I'm I've lived in New York they're almost 30 years and I like making movies in New York a lot that was a pretty light one this one is more

► 00:55:04

this takes place in the 50s in New York and it's kind of it's got a Chinatown at like confidential kind of a Noir bent to it it's a it's a mystery and murder mystery of kind of that leads into some of the stuff that happened in New York in the 50s that is hard to believe because New York was

► 00:55:26

New York was run by an it was run by basically a Darth vader-like figure who's never elected to public office and Pete excuse me people thought he was the parks Commissioner of New York but he was for from 1932 1968 he had uncontested authoritarian power over New York City and New York State and he made every significant decision about the way that the modern infrastructure of New York was built where the roads went where the bridges

► 00:55:56

build what was torn down where the projects were built he and he was very racist and he baked like really discriminatory things that almost sound like conspiracy theory there so wild and intense into the decisions he made he was responsible for the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn and going to La and nobody knows this like that you think of me New York is the great that's like the great egalitarians Melting Pot City where democracy works except that it was run by a

► 00:56:26

total autocrat for 38 years yeah for for he's largely it's broadly accepted that no mayor or governor of New York do a single thing without his say-so from basically about 1930 to about 1968 how is that even possible and how come no one knows about this how did you find Dad it well people do there's there's there's Hue like in 1 of the big Burns Brothers documentaries about New York there's a hole literally almost a whole episode on him there's a great book

► 00:56:56

about him that won the Pulitzer Prize and there's his name was Robert Moses and he you know there's Robert Moses State Beach in New York and but literally people think he was the parks commissioner but he was and he was like Anakin Skywalker I he was like a Jedi Knight he was a big liberal Progressive believer in Progressive change and government reform and in his early years he got crushed by Tammany Hall and and the power Brokers and he went he

► 00:57:26

went dark went complete yeah that's not the most imposing picture of him that you got up there's other ones that that's an invite is one of the ones of him find one of the ones of him standing in front of his models there's famous ones of him that looks like a man yeah actually the to the left of that and keep going to the left of that because there's a scene in our movie where Alec Baldwin is literally like that yeah that Alec Baldwin ascended plays a character who's based on and him inspired by him I should say it's not at all in my film it's not the true story

► 00:57:56

but yeah there you go and but I think this idea I was really interested in this idea

► 00:58:05

you know what's great about Chinatown as a film is

► 00:58:09

it's mostly sexy the you don't know what the hell is going on in that movie like until the until 20 minutes before the end you have absolutely no idea really what's going on in that movie but it's just sexy it's like the music is amazing the photographies incredible the actors are like adult and real and he's he's Nicholson right wheel the hook is like Nicholson is so cool you really will kind of follow him you'll watch the way he deals with anything and just

► 00:58:38

you're just laughing and enjoying it right but Underneath It All when you're done you go

► 00:58:46

did that is that true did LA is La basically built on Stolen water is that like the like LA's original sin is that people made fortunes the valley was just farms and they stole the water from up North and you know rig the game and made these gigantic fortunes by irrigating San Fernando Valley and you you come away with Like You Come Away with an awareness that like the California stories not exactly what it is

► 00:59:15

act up to be right it's there's some big crimes underneath it and and the people who and and that in that movie it's like yeah that people ripped everybody off they fake droughts they created fortunes does and the type of people who did that also rape their daughters literally that's like what that movie is about it's and it and it's pretty bleak it's like you can't make a difference you cannot change anything like any of you try the person you're trying to help is going to end up

► 00:59:45

with a bullet through her I dead on the steering wheel like it's a really dark movie and people forget that because you just go Nichols invade on away it's like nah that's a that's a really really Bleak movie but I love I love the idea that

► 01:00:01

that you can do things where like the the pleasure of it is like the pleasure of movies it's grown-up is kind of what we've been talking about it's like like if you said to most people if you showed Chinatown the most critics today they'd go long boring whatever it's like you want to say fuck off like fuck off like what what is it that you who are you why are you assuming people can't handle grown up you know what I mean and and

► 01:00:30

I think that that I really dig those things where you go through the movie starts you look at it and you go this looks really good this looks really grown up this is big the actors are like like adult and authoritative the dialogues great the music is great it's hypnotic and your brain just goes I don't know what's going on I don't care I'm bought in and then and if there's a character in it that you can hook into you float you float through those movies you just kind of go

► 01:01:00

where's this going what's going on I don't know man that guy who she's great he's great wow like this is just all juicy and great and by the end you get somewhere and you got to go I'll be damned that actually was about big things did those things really happen you know that's I really dig those movies I did Chinatown LA Confidential I think the Godfather works that way the Godfather's about immigrants you know it's about immigrants normalizing in America

► 01:01:28

you don't it's like that's a long movie yeah you just settle in for that moment your brain settles in and just goes this just couldn't be better I couldn't be happier to be watching this scene after scene after scene like and I wanted to make I'd wanted to try I wanted to try to make one of those you know myself like I wanted to try to to make one of those because I don't it's cliche to say like they don't make those anymore

► 01:01:58

but it but I think you know they were always hard it's not like they were easy once and now they're hard they're all they're always hard but I

► 01:02:07

I would look at people like Warren Beatty he made Reds you know which is one of the great movies from that era even like Spike Lee doing do the right thing I don't know if you remember when that movie hit sure it was massive it was a huge deal to me I was like 18 or 19 yeah I saw that movie and I was like he just rewrote the game like this kid who the hell is that he wrote it he directed it he acted in it he got Public Enemy to the music yeah it's about his neighborhood in New York but it's about like race

► 01:02:37

America it's like oh my God that guy just took like a huge swing in Connected on like every level and it didn't even give you some BS kind of like don't worry it's going to be okay in the end right it was like

► 01:02:52

Martin Luther King says violence is not the way Malcolm X says sometimes it's the only rational response what do you think you know what I mean it was so ballsy it was so ballsy that movie and I think like

► 01:03:07

after a while it's sort of like I just sort of feeling like well you know I don't really need to gig I might as well I've worked with a lot of great people I've worked with some pretty great directors including Spike and I was kind of like that in New York a long time and I just thought it was really weird no one knew that story and I was like I'm going to try to make one about this you know as someone who doesn't make movies I always wonder like what happened between like say Steve McQueen's LeMans you did you ever see that McCord

► 01:03:36

you remember how there's no dialogue at all for like the longest time and I remember I watched it recently within the last couple years and one of the thoughts was I don't even know if they could do this today if anybody would allow them to make a movie where no one talks for a long time they're just sort of setting the stage of what it means to be a race car driver what's the atmosphere of the races

► 01:04:00

it's just the the idea that you were saying earlier about having this short attention span theater this this these movies that are designed for what they believe is a populace of people that don't have the interest in something that's more unique or something that requires thought something that drags you in and that was much more common in the past like why was it more common in in that era of McQueen and all those other movies that

► 01:04:30

I did like that and what has happened and what like these rare examples like when I got does break through with something like do the right thing or a few other examples why doesn't that stimulate the appetite for more well is it that hard to do on one level on one level yeah it's it's it's easy to recognize when they're great but it's still not eat it's still not easy to make them great

► 01:05:00

it's still we're talking about people who

► 01:05:04

our some of our greatest artists are directors you know what I mean they and lots of people they try on some level they try on some level but they just not everybody is Spike Lee right you know what I mean not everybody is Francis Coppola or you know it's like it it people people sometimes people make things and they actually are slow you know what I mean like you know what I mean you're like it's

► 01:05:34

it's yeah it's like it's like in spinal tap when they're like it's a fine line between stupid and clout you know know it's a fine line between clever and stupid you know what I mean it's like it's I think people try but I think I think that there are some people who really do think Jaws

► 01:05:56

had a big effect on movies because it was it was like the first true Blockbuster right and

► 01:06:04

I don't know you know what actually though I'm I'm wrong I think that what happens more often than not is

► 01:06:13

adult people get the jobs at the big companies that make the decisions about what to make right and at a certain point they sort of age out they start to age out and they don't actually have any idea what what the vibe is they don't know what to make for the coming wave of younger people and so these little windows open up now and then we're in that era they needed there

► 01:06:43

they needed new people they needed like you know George Lucas making American Graffiti nobody thought that movies could be a hit nobody you know they they open up they say we don't know what to do do something different and a couple of new voices like come in and they make things that are really different you know but the idea that that was only then like there's a whole book right now about 1999 you know there's this

► 01:07:13

book that came out about how 1999 was one of those years where because the Studio's had kind of lost their sense of exactly what to do and Miramax was making a shit ton of money on on autor driven movies made for low cost and the Studio's all went and set up little mini miramax's right and the result was that

► 01:07:38

like in that year you had like Meg you know Paul Thomas Anderson Wes Anderson Alexander Payne Spike Jones David o'russell Fincher the wachowskis like and unbelievable array of directors made really really memorable films in that year and I think it was because

► 01:08:02

it was like another one of those moments like we don't know what to we don't know what to do we're just going to have to like close our eyes and go you kids you kids figure it out you know what I mean that's the thing about films it seems to me it's such a collaborative effort and when you have so many moving pieces and so many people involved that have a say in the decision making process it's got to be insanely difficult to get something out that's pure yes that's true that's true Francis Coppola

► 01:08:32

said that the best thing about making films is that their collaborative and the worst thing about making films is that their collaborative you also said it's the last it's the last moral totalitarian job in the world like being a director or something I can't remember but it's true you you it's a very because like I made this movie I had like

► 01:08:56

I had a fraction of like the budget of the Irishman right I'm just which I'm naming only because it was a period piece you know mines in the 50s that one's crazy things and and I had like like less days to do it than I had on my first movie that I directed his job do it like 46 which for perspective Fight Club was a hundred and thirty day shoot and and 46 days

► 01:09:26

is less than most movies I've made and this was a big 1950s like period film with a huge like French Connection style chart car chase in the opening running through Harlem across the bridge down into Queens you know we weren't like making a little kitchen sink drama and to figure that out that is like you can be like I got the vision we're going to do this but there's a kind of Madness in saying this is what I want to do I want to recreate

► 01:09:56

at the old Penn Station that doesn't exist anymore right which we have in the film like my character goes into the old Penn Station that was torn down in 1963 or whatever and and you only pull that off with the most Kick-Ass Justice League of collaborators imaginable like they make you look like you're a Visionary or know what you're doing because you get these people with crazy talents of their own and I don't mean just cast

► 01:10:26

although I had that too in this I mean like some of the very very very best people bring their their talent to like making that work and and so that's like when you say like your job is Liz more to say I have really talented people I've got to get their frequency wave in line with mine if I can get their frequency wave in line with mind then it can be my my idea my vision my weird ideas can be in there but it's with its

► 01:10:56

cuted with the help of people who believe in it and buy into it you know that's that's the key is like your your your marshaling people to get to it in sync with you and and you know I have a sick cat it's like Bruce Willis Alec Baldwin Willem Dafoe Bobby Cannavale a Michael K Williams who was like Omar on The Wire wow this great actress goo

► 01:11:26

and Arthur raw and and Leslie Mann and you know on and on and on and I got and all these people did this as a favor to me because I didn't have any money to do it wow so first starting with Bruce Bruce was like you know he said to me a long time ago I'll if you have something good I want to be in it I really want to do the kind of stuff you're doing and I really mean it I'll do anything you want to do and help you get it done I was like he's not going to remember that you know he's gonna be like sure sure but I'm doing die hard like for the rest of the year and he didn't he was

► 01:11:56

like where do you need me I told you I'm in Wow Let's get it done and basically Bruce Alec will and people like that I practically call them co-finance here's on my film because they I only got it done because they deferred everything you know and I think that's really cool that's amazing yeah when you write something like this car chase scene through Harlem mean I would imagine the logistics of pulling something like that off it's got to be insane yeah it's nuts how does when you wrote it and you brought it to the people that are

► 01:12:26

the stunt people the people that coordinate these Chase scenes with a like oh fuck people get people yes you know doing the things is not hard getting permission to do them in Manhattan is is tricky and there are people who look at you like you're dreaming man like you're not and and you what you do is you go out and Scout and you start

► 01:12:56

art you say look this is the we can do this here and this here and this isn't Hardison are we only need this one block cleared as things then you like find that place where you're like I want him to do a huge screeching turn on the Frederick Douglass Boulevard because it has a nine-block stretch where there's very few buildings that don't look like they're in the 50s right leading up to a bridge that you want to go over the bridge and then you get with like the guys at the NYPD and you beg like you just beg you go look

► 01:13:26

we're going to be like The Dirty Dozen we're going to have the we're going everything is going to be so well planned and ready to go will be able to will say just shut it down and then 20 minutes will be done you know what I mean like you you start any minute well no just for a shot you know it's like we just need to do this once or twice to get this this turn of the car around the corner and headed up the Avenue with 80 cars from the 50s and you know using legitimate 1950s cars as well yeah so those things handle like

► 01:13:56

they're horrible their boats with wheels on so any car that's actually got to be doing anything like going fast or making a big turn you have to have four of the same model that you've painted identically because they're going to break like they will break you'll push one hard it will break and then you have to like bring the other one in wow you know what I mean so you you

► 01:14:19

and you basically can't make them go fast you know they don't have pick up right so you're figuring out like what are the moves we can make that make it feel like this thing is really bombing and and and how do we cross cut around the fact that he takes three blocks for it to accelerate I mean like literally to go from you know 10 miles an hour to 40 you need like literally like three or four blocks so you have to like get it up to speed for the section that you want it going fast and it's

► 01:14:49

it's I'm not doing another period movie I'm doing about the next movie I'm doing is going to have Tesla p100 these that go like zero to 60 in two point four now when you coordinate when you write this out like how much time is involved in preparation of writing this and then doing all the scouting and then trying to implement this whole it took me a couple years to write it because I haven't even said in I think you have to know yourself I'm not Bogart

► 01:15:18

I'm not like Jack Nicholson the magic they bring is the magic they bring in the character I put it the middle of this is the detect the detective that I play has Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive Disorder so he he can't like when he hit you know when he meets a blond at the bar he's like the opposite of Bogart he he tries to light her match and can't stop blowing it out because it doesn't sound right to him so it's he's kind of a train wreck like

► 01:15:48

he's the opposite of of a cool detective and in fact Bruce Willis plays the cool detective who he works for so like Bruce Willis is Nicholson but when something bad happens to him and my guy has to like step out of the assistant role you know he's like his operative because he has a great memory he has like a photographic memory and some really weird ability to like because his brain is is chaotic and crazy

► 01:16:18

Z he has certain little gifts that Bruce Willis like relies on him for and believes in him but when but when he has to sort of figure out what happened to his boss and solve this mystery like he kind of has to come out on his own out of his comfort zone and kind of become a detective and and it and it's like you know he's ticking and twitching and shouting and doing things that make it very difficult for him to move in the world so that's kind of like

► 01:16:48

I had that part of it and I was grafting it into this story of of what happened in New York in the 50s and it took me a long time to write it and get it right but once I had it right you know we probably prep the movie for like nine months we we were we were actively like scouting New York

► 01:17:12

you know and and imagining like where can we do this and how can we do this but I live in New York so I loved it I like get on my motorcycle and go up to Harlem and Washington Heights and and literally like cruise around just cruise around I know the area really well anyway but sometimes you just have to like just and that's where a bike in New York is really great like because you can just sort of float around float around float around mentally mapping like where you can do

► 01:17:42

thing and and it was it was pretty fun actually such a bold move riding a bike in New York City no it's not it's not always La is way way way more dangerous because New York no one's going that fast right you can be I can't explain it in New York there's a rationality to the way people are moving but I'll tell you the number one main thing New York requires New York driving

► 01:18:12

it's so stop and start and it's a things nobody has time to be on their phone and in La if I'm on a bike I would say I regularly look to my right and I look to my left and both people on either side of me or texting do you have hurt I mean yes all the time all the time when I'm on my truck especially because I can look down yeah and you realize you realize that in this town 60% of people at any given moment are texting on their

► 01:18:42

fun and it's just appalling and it's so dangerous yeah and I'll be on if I'm on a motorcycle and Lala I'll look at people they're texting for so long and finally I'll have to like hit the horn or something and look at them I've gotten past like you know anger and literally just looked at people flip my thing up and gone like please like please get off your phone like you're going to kill somebody and kill yourself but but we can't

► 01:19:12

we can't break the addiction people cannot break the addiction and I it's not a more you realize it is in the character flaw it's not it's not like what an asshole it's everybody it's your mom it's your sister it's your friend everybody is doing it because we're addicted like a device addicted but but when you're on a bike and you realize like I am floating in a sea of people who are going to

► 01:19:42

to mess up someone is going to mess up and they've got airbags and you know new modern stuff and you're on this but like you know of anything yeah I don't I think I think I think this is way more dangerous riding than the New York that makes sense when you talk about things like the 405 or the one-on-one when people are flying by and passing and changing lanes in the the texting to yeah and also the big Avenues people get up you know Wilshire Boulevard whatever they're looking at thing and they blow that

► 01:20:12

red light right over time and half the times you hear about or see bad accidents here especially if they involve motorcycles I mean it's like it's not like the person screwed the person on the bike didn't screw up someone went through a red light right and just broadsided them or they T-Bone the thing you know it's just it's like do you really want to make the bet the huge bet on yourself where what you're riding on is other people's concentration

► 01:20:42

no it's were you riding when you were living out here I've never I've always lived in New York so when you've been here it's only from few months at a time I know where I've I have I've been Winters out here I like to Surf and

► 01:20:58

I'm and I'm by the way I'm like not I'm not like a pro experienced like veteran motorcycle rider at all I just did enjoy it and like out here it's fun you know like go up the Angeles Crest Road or something yeah like that you know it's love driving up there yeah it's really it's really it's cool there's California la la la is heart no one likes being on a motorcycle in La sucks it's like just hot and everybody's your face but but the you know

► 01:21:27

he's incredible there's there's there's so much there's so many amazing places to go and California and

► 01:21:36

and I kind of got hooked on it out here and so then when you were in New York you just said fuck it this is actually a good place to ride a bike no I thought it's not even that I ride bicycles to in New York I like it but it's more just that the thing that pulls you in I mean I have lots I you know I like to Surf I fly planes I like there's a lot of stuff that I think is much much much it's thrilling it's much safer than riding motorcycles it's not like my jam mmm but once you have that skill set once you

► 01:22:06

and do it if you have a bike there are those times in Allah and in New York to where you take a look at like the gridlock and you just like I'm going to be if I'm going to be in this for a forever and on a bike you can Lane split and just get you know you can get where you need to go and in New York to you can you can zip around in ways that is efficient so how long did this how long did you sit on this story

► 01:22:36

how long did you know about this and how what was the process of having this sort of build in your mind the point where you wanted a ride it direct and produce It cast it honestly I read the book exactly 20 years ago I read it in the fall of 1990 when I was

► 01:22:52

when Fight Club came out that's right around the time as I read this novel motherless Brooklyn but but the novels about the terrific detective who's trying to solve the murder of his his only friend basically but it takes place in the 90s it's not about any of that stuff about New York in the 50s or anything it's just and the character is just amazing though like amazing so

► 01:23:21

read it the hook was the character I was like I was like what a great character it's so it's such a wild he's like I just as hot mess of of he's smart but he's totally messed up he's he's funny but also really pretty painful and lonely and it was just everything and I was like that's I could get so into trying to figure that out

► 01:23:48

for reasons that are a little hard to explain the tone of the book feels like a 50s detective novel but it's set in the modern world and I was afraid in a movie that would feel a little bit like The Blues Brothers like guys in fedoras but a Prius is Bryant a sort of like hmm maybe this would just be cooler if we set it in the 50s and I talked to the author about that and he was super into those movies and so he said okay wow so then then but then the middle period

► 01:24:17

the period of mashing that up with the with these sort of Stories the New York Chinatown kind of of it the the deep dark history of what really went on in New York and that took a long time and then I had it ready in 2012 I was really ready to go and I just couldn't get it to guy couldn't get Bruce was that he was in and that was kind of angry but I couldn't get everyone I wanted together at the same time and I couldn't get them the amount of money I needed or that I thought I

► 01:24:47

I wanted and I couldn't get a studio to back it

► 01:24:53

because honestly you know number one like I'm not like you know I'm not like a green light anything he does kind of an actor that's it's just you know I think that's a that's a different sort of thing but also I was out there saying it's sort of like Rain Man meets LA Confidential and people's eyes just kind of cross they're like they're like

► 01:25:21

bring us the next one like they're like we don't get it we don't get it we don't get yet it's like and also I got like I had like this idea of getting I love Radiohead and I like jazz and I wanted to like I got Thom Yorke to write a song for the film but I got Wynton Marsalis to do all the Jazz and stuff and people were also they were like this is these things are not going to go well together you know and then they went to get like a lot of people have said to me which is

► 01:25:51

not if not meeting a lot of people said to me is the best music in a film that they've heard in many many years flee flee played trumpet and base on Thom yorke's track in the film and and Fleet you know fleas like a really good trumpet player and his dad was a jazz musician and I didn't know that Fleet came out of the movie like crying he was like that's honestly my favorite music that I've ever heard in a film and I think and and but you can't you can't tell people that

► 01:26:21

you I thought that would work I thought this matchup would work because I knew Tom and I knew he loves Charles Mingus and and I knew Winton was capable of doing he's really interested in dissonant weird edgier kind of modernist music as well and I was like this is going to work and it and it did it's really the music is amazing in the film it's like its own

► 01:26:49

like the wreck the records out now and people are flipping out about the just the music and the movie hasn't even come out yet it's such a crazy combination of factors and details that you smashed all together yeah and it's got a feel first of all it's got to be a tremendous relief and also feel amazing that it's you did it I do feel that I feel like it would have haunted me and I it was rattling around in my head such a long time I felt very discouraged about it

► 01:27:19

at times that's kind of like you know I've done a few okay things like I've done some stuff that was weird and that people didn't understand and it's it's come together pretty great you know what I mean and and you sort of go oh God I never I never expect anybody to give me money to make something like that's that's just risky like I would never put money into making movies never like it's too risky you know and I get it so I'm not like I

► 01:27:49

nervous like what but it was more like

► 01:27:53

I sometimes I was just like am I going to be able to figure this out or not am I going to get this done and and I think getting it done and having it not having quit on it and in some ways feeling not actually knowing that it's better that I made it now I know more I was more if I tried to do it 20 years ago I couldn't I didn't have the chops to do

► 01:28:18

some of the things like working with Spike Lee and Alejandro and you really when people like that really like it upped my sense of how to do I learned a lot about how to do a big thing with out all the money in the world now this is released Nationwide worldwide like when it's released on this Friday right yeah this Friday it's everywhere after tomorrow brought all over America yet yeah it's a wide release Here I hope yeah and I think honestly like

► 01:28:49

the day it comes out like you can either see Terminator like not 9.11 or or ours there's like not and I like certify on The Joe Rogan Experience like there's not a grown-up human being who will not

► 01:29:10

be stoked about this film like I can say that people who are seeing it are are very very very into it and very bought in because it is one of those like it's a big meal but it's a really like it's a really rich good meal and it has amazing amazing performances I don't think Alec Baldwin has ever been better in a movie honestly and I think Willem dafoe's amazing Michael K will

► 01:29:40

is amazing and the music is great and and it's a it's a cool story and I think

► 01:29:49

I think it's kind of one of those things that it's worth going to the theater to see but I guarantee you it's more worth your time then another Terminator well it sounds like it to me I'm really excited about it and I will see it for sure thank you and I was pleasure talking to you man I really appreciate it thank you very much for coming in here absolutely thank you bye everybody thank you everyone for tuning into the show and thank you to our sponsors thank you to Magic spoon delicious and nutritious Kito

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► 01:30:49

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