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February 6, 2024 69 mins

Illeana Douglas is an American actress, filmmaker, and writer. Listen to Craig and Illeana chat about movies, her life in Connecticut and LA, and bunch more. Her new book called Connecticut In The Movies is out now and available here for purchase: http://tinyurl.com/3ep2ejw5, EnJOY! 

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
The Craig Ferguson Fancy Rascals Stand Up to Her continues
throughout twenty twenty four. For a full list of dates
and tickets, go to the Craig Ferguson Show dot com
slash tour. See you out there, the Greig Ferguson show
dot com slash Tour. My name is Craig Ferguson. The
name of this podcast is Joy. I talk to interest

(00:23):
in people about what brings them happiness. Ileana Douglas is
a movie star. She's Hollywood royalty, and she's hilarious, and
she has low self esteem, as you're about to find out.
She's also written an amazing book, a really interesting book
called Connecticut in the movies. I don't listened to this. Well,

(00:49):
I'm going to put the headphones on because I like
them on. I'm swallowing and you can swallow. It's okay,
don't don't you see?

Speaker 2 (00:57):
I needed to ask permission?

Speaker 1 (00:58):
Why is your self esteem so low? There's no reason
for your self esteem it be so low. But I
think that comes from when you were a kid, right, probably.

Speaker 2 (01:08):
But it's funny when in my first book, I Marlon
Brando pointed pointed that he said that to me, should
you be so insecure?

Speaker 1 (01:18):
Well, and if Marlon Brando says to you, why you insecure?
Then you should.

Speaker 2 (01:26):
Yeah, at a certain point, can you change it?

Speaker 1 (01:29):
I think you can.

Speaker 2 (01:31):
The only time I went to I'm I'm not big
on doctors. Yeah, and I remember going to this doctor
and he said, you should really try not to be
so self deprecating, right, you know, because it's it signals
to people that you know you have low self esteem.

Speaker 1 (01:48):
It gives it gives them permission, I think, to to
you know, to join in.

Speaker 3 (01:54):
I don't know that's true, but I don't know. I mean,
I get it. Look any what is the opposite to
be like a blowhard?

Speaker 1 (02:01):
I mean, we all like, I am so awesome, look
at me.

Speaker 2 (02:05):
Right, And I don't like the humble brag That is
sicker than the I hate the It's like I'm honored too.

Speaker 1 (02:13):
Yeah, I'm so humble, so humbled. I'm hur win this Oscar.
You're like, I know, you're fucking no. Like if you
were humbled to win an Oscar, you didn't even you
wouldn't even put your name forward to be in contention
for an Oscar. Shut up.

Speaker 2 (02:27):
By the way, I have to totally interrupt. I didn't bring
the picture, but you know, I have a picture of
you and I in my office of us when I
was on your show. Right, we were talking. I think
I was trying to learn how to play the guitar
or something. I don't know, but anyway, you're miming playing
the guitar. You were doing some bit then and I
my head is thrown back with laughter and it's one

(02:50):
of my favorite images and I always I see in
my office.

Speaker 1 (02:54):
I think you know that sense of joy. It is
a sense of joy. Seeuse you were asking me about
podcast before we turn to me. She yes, and you
were talking about podcasting and what did I like it?
And I do like it because there's no money in it,
so that so that's good. It keeps yeah, keeps you humble. Yes,
so should I win an oscart there's nothing I've done then, uh,

(03:18):
you know it will keep me centered. But also there
is no pressure for me to talk to anybody I
don't want to talk to. That's was great about it.
That's that's what you're paying for. And I wanted to
talk to you because of the because I started to
notice on your social media when I was still on
the social media. I don't do it at all now
because there's there's a I pay these guys and they

(03:40):
do it. I'm like, now social media is over because
now you don't have them.

Speaker 2 (03:44):
Although I like everything else, it's self cannibalizing and it's
ruining itself.

Speaker 1 (03:49):
Of course. I mean it's nuts.

Speaker 2 (03:51):
It's like cinerama.

Speaker 1 (03:53):
Talk to me about cinerama. What do you mean cinerama,
the cinema chain or cinerama.

Speaker 2 (03:59):
I guess it as a metaphor that, you know, like
everything that's it's created with good you know, to be
something good and snappy and fun and entertaining, and then
it gets ruined by you know, uh yeah exactly. And
they tried to turn every movie into you know, as
opposed to certain movies that some movies didn't need to

(04:20):
be in cineramic form. That's what I meant. You know
what every reference I make is from from movies.

Speaker 1 (04:28):
I speak of you as like movie royalty, though you're
like you're like you're like a movie star, movie star,
Like no matter what you do in your life from
now until the end of your life, yes, you'll always
be a movie star. Do you You get that right?
That's your thing.

Speaker 2 (04:42):
Could I get a title for that, like.

Speaker 1 (04:46):
Lady Lady Dame Late.

Speaker 2 (04:49):
No, well, in my case would be Lady Lighty l Douglass. Fine, okay,
except yeah, I accept.

Speaker 1 (05:00):
I think that because we were talking about movies before
we turned the machine on as well, and yes, talking
about like the movies. A lot of movies that you're
in that I love, and the movies that I love
that you love are movies where not a lot of
stuff happens. You know, some people they do a thing,
they have something to eat, they talk to each other,

(05:21):
and yes, maybe make some decisions, go to a place.

Speaker 2 (05:26):
Yeah, like the Alexander Payne film Fantastic.

Speaker 1 (05:30):
You know that that movie he did? Was was it?
Reys Witherspoon Election. That's a great movie. Isn't that a
great movie?

Speaker 2 (05:37):
Everything he does is great.

Speaker 1 (05:38):
Yeah, I know he's a pretty talented guy. Did you
do a movie with him?

Speaker 2 (05:41):
I was almost in that movie, actually, but I was
doing something else. I was supposed to play the I think,
the wife of Matthew Broderick. I mean, I don't want
to say I was supposed to, not true, but I was.

Speaker 1 (05:52):
I was off you were. Yeah, it was funny because
Matthew Broadrick Wasshing has ass and that movie is one
of the great screen performance He's great, Like he really
wins his ass properly in that shriff scene.

Speaker 2 (06:06):
Yeah.

Speaker 1 (06:06):
And I said to Sarah Jessica, I loved that. I
don't know Matthew Broderick, but I was working with her
and I said, you know when your husband watches his
ass in that movie, Alex and that's one of the
greatest performances I've ever seen. And she said, he's so
proud of that shot, Like that's so great because I

(06:27):
spotted it. I'm like, that's really good. Whatever he's doing there,
it's really good.

Speaker 2 (06:31):
That's funny. Well, actors love that when you pick up
on some.

Speaker 1 (06:34):
Little well some little things. That's a business. Well, let
me talk to you then about the ice skating movie,
Like when you ice skate in that movie? Yes, oh my,
did you did you know how to ice skate? Because
you like, did you grow up in Connecticut?

Speaker 2 (06:46):
I grew up there, and so I knew how to skate.
I didn't know how to trick skate. So I once
I got the part, which was to.

Speaker 1 (06:54):
Die for we should say the name of to die For?

Speaker 2 (06:56):
Yeah, once I I went in an audition. You know,
I'm pretty much walked around the room and second position
like I it's sort of like acts, yeah, skating all
my life, you know, doing all the Yeah. Once I
got the part, I quickly went to New York right
down the street down on I think it's twelfth Avenue
and there's a skating rink there.

Speaker 1 (07:17):
You went through an intense skating.

Speaker 2 (07:19):
Yes, I did, and which most of which unfortunately ended
up on the cutting room floor because Gus Finsen said
it was too jarring.

Speaker 1 (07:29):
And well, you know, so I think he's probably right.
I mean, he's pretty clever guy.

Speaker 2 (07:34):
And he's disappointing.

Speaker 1 (07:35):
Yeah. But here's the thing though, when you do that
little spin at the end of the movie, Yes, I'm like,
oh my god, that's it's as good as Matthew Broderick
washing his ass Italy right. Well, it's like, oh my god,
that's fantastic.

Speaker 2 (07:49):
And I also got to throw in some I think
that's the first time I really really got the add
lib and they I thought, you know, to me because
I wasn't sophisticated enough. That was just me kidding around.
And then when I saw the movie, I was like,
oh my god, Oh wow, really but yeah, the you
know four letters begins with say, yeah that was yeah,

(08:09):
I threw in you did that? Yeah, I threw in great,
I threw in things here and there.

Speaker 1 (08:15):
See, now you create something like that. I'm going to
talk to you about your book in a minute because
it's quite kind of quite interesting to me because I
know that you started as a stand up right, like
right the beginning. Yes, And I always think of your
your energy. There's a you know, the actress Uta Lember right,
uh huh. She said something that I think is the

(08:38):
trick of stand up is the way I understand it,
which is this is that? And she was talking about
acting and she said the trick of acting is to
create the illusion of spontaneity. And I'm like, that's that's
what stand up is to me because like you know,
you do fifty shows over a period of a tour,
like Show forty eight, you're telling the same joke, but

(09:01):
the audience has to see feel like I'm just here right, yeah,
I just I just thought of this. So when you
started doing stand up, did you write it down like
an actor? Did you write it and learn it?

Speaker 2 (09:12):
And yes, it was total desperation. It was simply because
I had no money and I couldn't get any acting jobs.
And I saw a sign at stand Up New York
that if you won this contest you got fifty bucks.
So fifty bucks seemed.

Speaker 1 (09:28):
That's still a big payday for a lot of time,
a lot. That's what you get for a podcast. By
the way, you should think about it. No pair episode,
but you know throughout the year you'll get fook.

Speaker 2 (09:40):
But I, uh so, yeah I did, and I and
so I threw together stuff. I used to do my
jokes for my roommate and he would always say, that's
not funny, that's not funny. He would critique everything I did.
And then he also said something to me which I
never understood, but I always took as a compliment. He goes,
it's not funny, but I find myself laughing.

Speaker 1 (10:00):
That's great.

Speaker 2 (10:01):
So I thought that was interesting. So I had no idea.
It was very crude. I didn't know what I was doing.
I just would throw together enough for twenty minutes. You know.
They told me that for the first time I went up.
They said, you only need ten minutes. Ten minutes.

Speaker 1 (10:17):
Yeah, that suddenly a lot of time when you're starting though.

Speaker 2 (10:21):
Yeah, So the good and bad was writing the jokes
was really easy. I did not like I know it
sounds stupid, but I didn't like the lifestyle I found
it to be. To walk over to stand up New
York at ten o'clock at night.

Speaker 1 (10:36):
Yeah, you know you like to be in bad.

Speaker 2 (10:39):
Slew but myself and I was very scared. So i'd
have you know, ten coca colas.

Speaker 1 (10:44):
Yeah, you know, and then you can't sleep all night.

Speaker 2 (10:46):
And you can't sleep, and then you have to drink
to bring yourself down. And then, as I said, like
there was there was people that were doing stand up
that were you know, professional people like Kevin Neal and
j Moore. I saw actually David people like that. And
then they'd all say, okay, now we're going down to
the comedy cellar and I want to go to bell

(11:08):
I have to do this again. So I had no
so is this ying and yang where people were saying,
you know, I immediately had people who wanted to work
with me and set me up and.

Speaker 1 (11:20):
Well you have that quality. See, there's that ineffable quality
that you have, which is interesting because I think probably
you're looses. See I'm analyzing you know, right, thank you,
But see this. Did you ever get therapy? Did you
ever have therapy? No?

Speaker 2 (11:32):
It never. I almost called my first book, I had
a therapist. I went to a therapist because I was
getting out of this, you know, bad situation, and so
I finally was like, well maybe I'll go to therapy.
And I was telling him some things about, you know,
my life, and he leaned in and he said, now

(11:52):
I have to ask you, Ileana, are you making these
things up? And I said no, why would I make
it up? I mean, well, I guess because it seemed.

Speaker 1 (12:07):
Well, your life is, well, let's talk a little bible.
And your grandfather was a movie star, right, Yes, Melvin Douglas.
Melvin Douglas is a big movie star. And yes, your
mom was Your mom wasn't in the movies? Your mom
and art?

Speaker 2 (12:24):
No, my parents grew up. My father was a teacher,
my mom was a librarian, and they had left New
York City. Actually that you know, we grew up in Connecticut.

Speaker 1 (12:36):
Right, which is we will go onto the year book
Connecticut and the movies because it's fascinating and huge and
much bigger a subject than I thought. It was, like's
like an independent movie. Where's happening exactly? And then you go, wow,
actually a lot. I know, all right, your mom and
died and they moved to Connecticut.

Speaker 2 (12:52):
Yes, and it was we had a very kind of
bohemian upbringing hippies, which did not really are with you know,
preppy Connecticut. So that was always a challenge. So I
couldn't wait to get out of Connecticut to go to
New York. But in the I spent just an unbelievable
amount of time with both my with my Italian grandparents

(13:15):
and queens who's you know who. I was with them
when I was when I was a child, and then
I would spend the summers there. So I'd split the
summers between queens queens in Connecticut. No, and that my grandfather,
Melvin Douglass on the Upper West Side.

Speaker 1 (13:30):
Oh my god.

Speaker 2 (13:31):
It was like uptown downtown. This is where I made
actually a fascinating I made a revelation about entertainment business.
Poor people go to the movies, rich people go to
the theater. I don't know what that means, but it
is true.

Speaker 1 (13:47):
That is probably true. Yeah, Like when I'm in New York.
I went to the opera last week. I'm going to
the Oprah. I'm not a guy that goes to the opera.
I went to the opera and there were people there
that I was like, yeah, no, much better than me. Yeah,
but you are a little bit so with me.

Speaker 2 (14:03):
But that was very heady, both in you know, being
around all the New Yorkers. Yeah, suited me well for
later on for films like Goodfellas, because I knew that
world completely.

Speaker 1 (14:16):
Right, that's the queen's thing, right.

Speaker 2 (14:17):
Completely right, and you know, go to the back of
the car and open the trunk and pick out whatever
you want and just fell off the truck. And you know,
that was very colorful and fun. And then at my
grandfather's it was you know, playwrights like Robert Anderson and
he was friends with Myrta Lly and so it was
it was very intellection.

Speaker 1 (14:38):
Very that's very kind of heady atmosphere.

Speaker 2 (14:41):
Very very heady.

Speaker 1 (14:42):
Is that what meant you? You think that's why you
fell in love with movies?

Speaker 2 (14:45):
Totally totally because it was. And then I would have
to go back to Connecticut and being a poor hippie
and then I was like, okay, I do. First of all,
the food.

Speaker 1 (14:54):
Was always yeah, happy food never was grown.

Speaker 2 (14:57):
Now, the food it was always in my grandfather well,
that was where I first discovered, you know, hoggin' dus
ice cream and ordering food. I Uh, when I grew up,
you know, wherever we would go out to a restaurant,
people would make a big fuss about him. We would
always he would We would go to these restaurants like Sardi's,
and I remember the portions were enormous. And then later

(15:19):
on when I was doing movies and i'd go to
these places, the portions were very small. Yeah, And I realized, oh,
it's because.

Speaker 1 (15:25):
He's he's Melvin Douglas. And also people got in the cocaine,
and when you get into cocaine, you don't need as
much food, so like like the big portions at Sardis.
And then if you're going to a restaurant, some guests
and like when you're older, we're talking about late eighties
and mid nineties, that kind of thing. Yeah, everybody's high.

(15:46):
You're not. You're getting you know.

Speaker 2 (15:47):
I never understood that. I was like, boy, that guy's
got a crazy temper.

Speaker 1 (15:51):
He is talking. Does he talk soa Did you ever?
Did you ever get drawn into that world at all?

Speaker 2 (15:56):
Because I think of you as a very kind of No,
it wasn't you know again it's not my thing is
really movies. I remember being excited though, the first time
when I went to La and this is you know,
when I was dating Martin Scorsese and I went to
a party and Richard Perry, the record producer, he came
up to me and he was, you know, chatting me up.

(16:19):
And for me, of course, it was immediately drawn in
my childhood. Oh my god, he's the name on the
back of the Nielsen. That's how I knew him, right,
Richard Perry Nilsen, you know. And he said, you know,
there's a party later on at Jack's house and this
person is going to be there, and you know, I
laughed because again when you say drawn into this world,

(16:40):
I'd read about this world in magazines and stuff, never dreaming,
of course i'd be a part of it. But I
wasn't ever like, yeah, that's what I want to do,
is go do blow with Jack. I always I put
them on and I had read about these people in magazines. Therefore,
how could they possibly How could I interact with that?

Speaker 1 (17:00):
But I had the exact same feeling when I went
to Hollywood and getting it and actually you were part
of my kind of like I can't believe. Like I remember,
like maybe the first time, maybe we were on the
Drew Carey Show or at Kathy Kenny's house in the
Hills or something like that, and we were and I
was talking to you, and I was like, I can't believe, swirt.

Speaker 2 (17:24):
But that I was a fan of yours. I'd seen
your a fan of.

Speaker 1 (17:28):
Yours as well. But that was the But that's the
weird thing that when you because that happened to me
quite a lot, particularly doing Late Night. Yeah, because if
you do a show like that, you meet everybody and
some some of them are great, and some of them
are douchebags, and you don't really know what you're going
to get. Some people became friends, and other people you're like,

(17:48):
oh God, I can't believe that guy's such an asshole. Yeah.
When you were dating Marty, though, you're kind of in
a world which is like that's right in the center
of it. And and particularly around directors, I've noticed that
people behave very strangely around film directors, Like film directors
behave strangely anyway, because they're all fucking maglomaniacs and they

(18:09):
think that it's unshanging, like all of them even the
nice guys. They're all assholes, even the nice ones of assholes,
and they would admit to it. I think they're self aware.
But and if they're not, I don't care. But but
people in Hollywood, and I think I've even been going it.
I know I've been going in this like around the director.
You're always kind of like he might put me in
the mood.

Speaker 2 (18:30):
Well, you see, it's funny you say that, because see
I again, I always I always hit this poll. My
grandfather always wanted me to be a writer. I'd write
him these letters. Again, I was out of my mind,
you're right, or reading about you know, the Algonquin Circle
and pretending in my mind, you know, I was like
Dorothy Parker and stuff. So when I went to New

(18:52):
York and I was working for this film publicist named
Peggy Siegel. I one of the prerequisites for the job
is you did tell anybody you were an actor, because
they would never hire you. Right, You just lie and say, oh,
I just got out of Wesleyan.

Speaker 1 (19:07):
And I really want to be a publicist. That's what
I've as to exactly. And in the office, this was
like the first trick I learned. Everybody always wanted to
be with the actors like they if we were doing junkets,
they wanted to be with Kevin Costner. They wanted to
be with you know, DINNERO or Harry Olwis or wherever.
I always wanted to be with a director.

Speaker 2 (19:28):
Now I don't know why I did, but I just
knew sort of that's where the action was going to be.
And yes, in the back of my mind, I was like,
one of these people's going, it's put me in a movie.
It's going to discover Yeah, of course I have it.
I think that's okay.

Speaker 1 (19:41):
I think that's fairly it's fairly kind of sweet, almost,
particularly in someone. I mean that's also why, you know,
bad people pray on the on the ambitions of young
people that want to get in movies because they're like, yeah, ah,
so you want to be in a movie. I mean,
I don't over that shit, but.

Speaker 2 (19:58):
I taste something interesting when after working, you know, I
Brian de Palmer, we didn't work with Marty he was
down the hall. I met him later, but I worked
with Brian de Palmer, Norman Jewison, Rob Reiner, Barry Levinson
was like, I know, it's like loyalty.

Speaker 1 (20:14):
Though I mean these people are.

Speaker 2 (20:17):
And I would get on the phone, you know, and
part of my job was to invite people to the premiere,
so I would always look for people that basically I
just wanted to be like jose Mancowitz, you know Betty.

Speaker 4 (20:29):
You know Betty Cobb did an at F Green and
that's great. The goal successful. That would have made it successful, yes,
because a part of me never dreamed I'd be in
show business. But I thought, well, I at least want
to meet these people that I idolized. But later on
when I finally cracked through, and this is sort of
in the book too, Frank Perry, the director who shared

(20:51):
we shared offices with, was the one who find he
put me in a movie and people were shocked and
almost disappointed that I was going to be an actor
because they thought I had so much, which I thought
was an interesting stigma, Like there was like, well, you
had so much, we'd hire ambitions for you to simply
be an actor.

Speaker 1 (21:14):
The Craig Ferguson Fancy Rascals stand up to her continues
throughout the United States in twenty twenty four. For a
full list of dates and tickets, go to The Craig
ferguson show dot Com slash tour say you have there
if you're in movies, like if you do movies. It's

(21:34):
also it's like when you're in Hollywood. There are people
have who have an idea who are on the outside,
and people who have an idea on the inside. That's
whenever I hear people say, you know, the Hollywood elite
or there's a kind of conspiracy in Hollywood, I'm thinking,
you know nothing about Hollywood. First of all, everybody in
Hollywood doesn't you know, there's no conspiracy. They don't trust

(21:55):
each other. That's crazy. It's theyn't get together and make
a plan, and they could hardly get together and make
a fucking movie. And then the idea of the Hollywood
delete you go, well, you know that changes very quickly.
You can be Holywood delete on Thursday and be a
fucking bum on Monday of the following week, depending on

(22:15):
how the books of His Returns go.

Speaker 2 (22:18):
I saw it firsthand.

Speaker 1 (22:19):
Oh yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2 (22:20):
I mean there were so many stories in my first
book I couldn't get to. So when I have another,
you know thing that I'm working on with stories, and
when we again, like when we were working with Brian
de Palmer. He was doing The Untouchables. This was sort
of again a you know, more of a low point
in his career, and they were very concerned that and

(22:41):
Untouchables was, you know, not going to be a success.

Speaker 1 (22:44):
It's crazy, it's crazy to think of that.

Speaker 2 (22:46):
So that again, that's why I love being with directors,
because you were in the thick of things and talking
to reviewers and trying to find out how everything was
going to be. And I remember then the how nervous
he was, and he almost wasn't even going to come
to the premiere, and there was all this drama associated
because he thought it was going to be a huge failure.
And then cut to the opening and it was. It

(23:09):
was just like a gigantic, excess huge fund and over
and in the you know, the doors opened and we
never got to see the movies, by the way, would
always be outside like comforting someone or but anyway, the
doors burst open. It was a huge hit and he
was back on top, you know.

Speaker 1 (23:29):
So it's very exciting.

Speaker 2 (23:31):
Or you'd see the opposite, which I saw with Frank Perry,
and that was I saw that the Little Movie Put
Me In which was Hello again. At the premiere, he
actually made an announcement that he was not going to
be staying for the movie, so if anybody had anything
negative to say, it was dire. Like literally right before
the movie, he said, I will not be staying, so

(23:54):
you won't have to worry about being polite or anything
like that. And he literally walked up the eye and
out the door. And so I said, but do you
think that sets you up a little bit? If you
do that, it's like low self esteem, you know. I mean,
it's like people is given the audience permission to well.
Because again I didn't see. We didn't have internet then,
and I didn't understand see even for me and I

(24:17):
write a little bit about this. You know, Frank Perry,
in my mind, I only knew him from he did
a movie with us, Compromising Positions, and then he had
done Mommy Dearest, and then now he's doing Hello again.
So I thought he was like middle of the road,
you know, Hollywood director. I had no idea of until

(24:39):
we became friends and he gave me these movies from
the sixties, you know, the Swimmer Diary of them, out House,
David Lisa. Yeah. That then it made sense to me
that he had made he had come on the scene,
you know, like a Paul Mazerski doing all these artists.

(25:00):
He was like the next you know, and then and
then now he was, you know, doing shit and Shelley
Long comedy vehicles.

Speaker 1 (25:09):
Yeah, I think though that, I mean it's I had
a conversation with Quentin Tarantino about this because I had
direct I directed one movie and I hated it. I
hated the experience. The movie was shit. I wrote the movie.
I'm in the movie that was That was my biggest
mistake was putting me in the movie. But and I

(25:29):
don't like the movie. And I said to him, how
can that happen? And he said to me, did you
have an idea in your head with the movie? Did
you know how it was going to look? And I
was like no, And he said, well, I don't know
how you could make a movie without knowing that.

Speaker 2 (25:45):
Yeah.

Speaker 1 (25:45):
But he also said that, and he's been very public
about this, He'll make ten movies and he won't make anymore. Right,
And I think that movies are not really like books
or like anything else. I think you can make a
finite amount of movies. And then like even Kubrick at
the end, eyes White.

Speaker 2 (26:03):
Shirt come on yeah, being repetitive.

Speaker 1 (26:06):
Yeah, and you're kind of like if you get anything
really to say, you know, or is there any do
you really love it or do you just love being around?
Because you know how addictive it has being on a
movie set and the feeling of it and the and
the like good movies, bad movies. You don't know, nobody
knows when you're making it. If you like you're doing
the reverse angle on you talking to Nicole Kidman, you

(26:27):
don't know if the movie is going to be good
or not right, like, it doesn't you don't know. I mean,
you hope, you hope.

Speaker 2 (26:32):
But there's only been a couple of times where yes,
where and when you say, I'm seeing it in my
mind and oftentimes I've come to the set and I
have a preconceived idea of grandeur in the head and
then they go really going to try to get this
before lunch?

Speaker 1 (26:49):
Yeah, Yeah, and you got like like all of your thoughts.
It's like, we don't have time for that.

Speaker 2 (26:54):
Yeah, we're just putting We're just gonna put this bench down,
and you know, and that's pretty much the worst thing
that you know, when you do your best and your
pro but that's when your heart sinks a little bit.

Speaker 1 (27:07):
Well, here's I want to lead you into the book
a little bit. Because after that movie that I'm talking about, yes,
that I went, I can't make it. I don't want
to ever make another movie. I don't even want to
be around movies. I hate movies now. And I thought
the only antidote for this is to write a book.
So I wrote a novel after that because it was
I didn't have to talk to anyone, and all the

(27:29):
grandeur ideas I could have, I would just put them
down in there they were. And I set out to
write a book that was unfilmable. That was the only
task I set myself was unfilmable. Now you we were
talking about because this book, Connecticut and the Movies is
all about movies and movies show in Connecticut and the
history movies of Connecticut, and about romantic sex comedies in

(27:51):
Connecticut and how house design is influenced by movies in Connecticut,
and like this massive subject. But was it with a
disillusion about movies that you went to it? Was it
the same kind of thing?

Speaker 2 (28:03):
No? I mean I always love movies, even bad movies.
That's why I wanted to do an entire chapter on
sex comedies because nobody's ever taken them seriously, you know,
they just say, oh, they're out of date and you
can't look at them, and they're sexist, and everybody's taking
bands of dreaming and drinking. Well, maybe they should be
seriously existing.

Speaker 1 (28:21):
I think we could use a little more bands and.

Speaker 2 (28:24):
Alcohol, all these pills that don't exist. Yeah, I know,
but it was It was a way to make a statement,
which I always like to do. I always like to
shine a light on movies where you know, Blue Velvet
is a movie about dark suburbia, right right, But you

(28:45):
wouldn't have Blue Velvet without the Swimmer without and in
my opinion, it all comes from a lot of these
ideas were set in Connecticut, and writers, the greatest writers
of the twentieth century. Eugene O'Neil wrote in Connecticut, Arthur Miller,
Lillian Hillman, Scott Fitzgerald, you know, on and on and on.

(29:06):
Many actors, Meryl Street, Paul Newman, you know, Katherine Hepburn.
They chose a lifestyle to live in Connecticut. And so
I felt my thesis was how much that Connecticut had
to influenced the culture of movies, and yet there was
absolutely no credit or no tie to that, and so

(29:29):
I thought, well, if I do this massive.

Speaker 1 (29:31):
Book, yeah, and it is. I mean, it's very comprehensive,
and it's a much bigger subject than I would first think,
because I remember coming across it and like on your
Instagram or Twitter or something and going, I don't know
how you can do a whole book on that. And
now I'm looking at the book, I'm like, oh my god,
I had no idea.

Speaker 2 (29:50):
Yes, it's you know, just to give you a tiny
little example, somebody like Katherine Hepburn who was from Connecticut
and she basically is the representative brand of Connecticut. And
whenever you see a Rich arras in a movie, they're
playing Catherine Hepburn pretty much.

Speaker 1 (30:08):
Yeah, did you know women like that growing up?

Speaker 2 (30:11):
Yes, place there's still a little look at me in
my LLB.

Speaker 1 (30:16):
You know, you got a whiff of it yourself.

Speaker 2 (30:19):
Ready to garden. No, but that you know, they're free spirited,
they wear pants, they can you know, they can garden,
they go swim in the ice water. But on the
other hand, they're very intelligent. And so I wanted to
identify Connecticut with all of these qualities and both light

(30:41):
and dark, you know, because Connecticut is a place in
the thirties and forties of transformation. Like Christmas in Connecticut.
You get out of the rat race, you go to
Connecticut and discover who you are.

Speaker 1 (30:54):
Is it Is it still that or is it more
suburban New York? Now?

Speaker 2 (30:58):
Well, now it still is that, but it's been bastardized
in a series of you know, Hallmark movies right where
it's gone completely over the top. But what happened, which
is what I chronicle, is that by the nineteen fifties
you start to get movies. So with mister Blandings built

(31:20):
a stream house, we created this myth of suburbia of
it's not only suburban living, it's the right kind of
suburban living. It's getting out of New York, but it's
living in the right neighborhood in New York. And how
important that is America. But what's interesting about these films
is that once they get there, you get a series

(31:40):
of movies like Gentlemen's Agreement, Man in the Gray Flannel Suit,
which are now all about the deconstruction of suburbia, and
they start to get darker and darker and darker.

Speaker 1 (31:52):
Kind of the Swimmer with existential angst, and it's like, yes.

Speaker 2 (31:57):
Right, the values, so everything we were right and we
got everybody there. Now it starts to get deconstructed. You
have these really weird sex comedies now where women are
left alone while their husbands are commuting and having affairs
and all this dark. And then it culminates with The

(32:18):
Stafford Wife.

Speaker 1 (32:19):
I was going to say, that's what I guess to write,
Miss Stafford wise, very dark film.

Speaker 2 (32:24):
It's unbelievably dark. And from that moment on, which was
my thesis of what I was thinking about, literally, from
The Stafford Wives on, Now you signal to an audience
if you want to show something really bad is going
to happen to a couple they go to Connecticut. It's
you know, now the house and the white picket fence.

(32:47):
There's something very bad. You know, there's something evil in
that house.

Speaker 1 (32:52):
That's kind of weird. I wonder why that happened.

Speaker 2 (32:55):
Well, I try to explain that it's in the.

Speaker 1 (32:59):
Did you come up with any conclusions? Do you think?

Speaker 2 (33:02):
I think that it becomes a convenient scapegoat again and
again and again, because you don't. You can't, just just
as we have the stereotype about the Midwest, right, it's
like go to American values. California is too, like fruits
and nuts, but it's it's somehow believable to make it Connecticut.

(33:24):
I'll give you a little short example in the movie
Rope in Alfred Hitchcock, which is based on Leopold and
Low murder case. And they were two college students from Yale.
So Alfred Hitchcock decides to place the movie not in
Chicago but in a fictional town called Medford, which was
actually Danbury, Connecticut. And so he changes the location and

(33:50):
somehow makes that more sinister. If the if they're if
they're from Connecticut, you know, so I.

Speaker 1 (33:56):
Think it's maybe the I mean Stanford wise, that is well,
that air of respectability, like everything's respectable, everything's fine. But
yet underneath it the you know, the ben's a dream
and alcohol. Right, it can't be this, it can't be
that good. There's something got to be something wrong. There's
got to be something horrible here.

Speaker 2 (34:14):
Yeah, And some of it has to do with a
lot of the New Yorkers that were doing plays on
Broadway and moving to Connecticut may have been satirizing the
very culture that they were living in.

Speaker 1 (34:30):
Maybe I had an impulse once that I think is
very similar. I've been sober for a very long time.
And when I first went to first started working in Hollywood,
and early in the mid nineties mid nineties, I was
doing a show at Disney and I had a meeting
at Disney and the Disney law in the valley. And

(34:52):
I got there and the meeting was at some office
the other side of the law and it was Disney
Family Day, right, So all the Disney employees, all the
people who worked in the offices and the crews and
all that stuff. There was a little kind of like
funfair setup and everyone has found this beautiful suburban the
sun was shining, all the little kids all in their
little outfits, and the little Bounty castle and it was

(35:14):
all sweet and stuff. And I had to walk through
all of that before I had my own kids, to
walk through all of that to get to the office
on the other side where I was having lunch with
some Disney executive about some saccerin project. Halfway through the funfair,
I so much wanted to have black Tar heroin that
I've never I was like, I gotta have something bad.

(35:38):
This is driving me crazy. Now I think that's probably
says a little bit about me. But also the sweetness
and the and the the lightness of it made me
almost like I wanted, I wanted something to balance it.
I wonder if that's the same thing with Connecticut that
it was, that it was idealized and then you know,

(35:58):
it's like, I know, well.

Speaker 2 (36:00):
There's you know, there's roots in real Puritanism. And remember
they were burning witches in Connecticut before Boston. Yeah, that's
another thing. We don't get enough.

Speaker 1 (36:11):
Question started it.

Speaker 2 (36:12):
We were the ones.

Speaker 1 (36:13):
Yeah, and so.

Speaker 2 (36:16):
What the Stepford Wives, you know, and I read the book.
He says it's about conformity, which is true. In Connecticut.
There's a great sense of you know, conformity. That's not
what the Stepford Wives ended up being. It's like, again
it was me. It's sort of being down on everybody.
It's down on housewives, down on suburbia. But there is

(36:40):
what I thought was interesting in Connecticut and which I
fought all my life, is this fierce need to be independent,
but also this fierce need to conform, right, you know,
and you if you speak up, people say, well, you know, stop,
you're meddling, you know, And it's still there. It's still there.

(37:01):
A little bit, you know that they don't like, you know,
people to speak up so much. They have a quiet
you know, old money doesn't talk about their money, right,
you know. So all of these roots have found their
way into some of these movies. But then there's example
after example of things that are are really important that

(37:25):
nobody knows about. Like Thirgod Marshall try to a case
with the NAACP in the nineteen forties and won the
case and it sort of put him on the map. Well,
that happened in Connecticut, So there's always that, As I said,
that light and dark that I think is interesting about
the state.

Speaker 1 (37:46):
And you were drawn back there after living for a
long time in La.

Speaker 2 (37:50):
Yes, I was living in LA and again just being
in show business, you know, you just you really couldn't
at that time pre COVID wanted to be in the movies,
you know, in TV you had to live in la
And there was a lot of things I was working on.
But then when COVID happened and it was like Domino's

(38:12):
and I saw myself not being employed for a year
maybe you know even more, that's when I started to think, well,
I started writing the book and it was an organic
process of the more I was reading about actor after
actor after like, well it was good enough for you,
Gene O'Neil, you wrote here, and oh look at this

(38:33):
Richard Woodmark. He left Hollywood and became a Mark. He
became a gentleman farmer.

Speaker 1 (38:38):
Did he really?

Speaker 2 (38:39):
Yeah? You couldn't get him off of his farm. So
I started to be Richard produced.

Speaker 1 (38:44):
Just to digress just a second, I've always I'm trying
to figure out what is the movie he dives off
the pirate boat with a knife in his teeth. Do
you remember that movie? I kind of remember Richard Woodmark.
He's got a knife in his hindeth and he dives
off the and I'm like, I'd see that's the way,
that's the way to live. So he lived Hollywood, Yes,

(39:05):
and moved back to Connecticut.

Speaker 2 (39:06):
Yes. I visited his grave. Yeah, and was gentleman farmer
and lived with his wife, who was a writer, owned
and got involved with it. You know at all tracks.

Speaker 1 (39:19):
Poone Newman did the same thing that Pony Yuman went back.

Speaker 2 (39:21):
And right after they did. I'm telling you time and again.
You know it was something I thought, But then as
I was right, I was like, yeah, Paul knew. They
did rally around the flag boys, and then they moved
to Connecticut and Ili Cauzann did a movie here and
then he moved to Connecticut. You know people who worked here.
There was something about there was a poll for them

(39:43):
to move there, and happened again and again and again.
But yeah, Richard Woodmark had a big, big farm and didn't.
It was very hard apparently for him to leave the farm.
And his neighbor was Arthur Miller, and they and William
Styron the right, uh, and they got involved later on
there's a chapter on true crime, and they got involved

(40:05):
helping exonerate boy who had been accused of killing his mother.
Is a very very famous case murder case in Connecticut. Wow,
Peter Riley case. Did you know that the wood the
wood chipper you know the in Fargo Christ Well, that
is based on a murder that happened in Connecticut.

Speaker 1 (40:23):
That is so. But you started burning witches, you started
woodchipper murders, right, All the innovation in grizzly Murder comes
from Connecticut. So then I guess maybe that might explain
the idea of when it became the suburban ideal. Yes,
underneath the suburban ideal is that this is where they

(40:46):
burned the witches, this is where the this is where
these Puritans came from. England landed here because the restrictive
practices of religion weren't restrictive enough for a place where
it was more restrictive, they could be more restrictive than
the easygoing England of the Middle Ages. Yes, I mean

(41:09):
that it's crazy though. I mean it's it's a real
and it's fast when you think about it, a couple
of hundred years.

Speaker 2 (41:15):
Yeah, and it also probably has something to do again
with the landscape. You know, it's not easy. You know,
it's cold and.

Speaker 1 (41:22):
Cold, and it was before you know, modern convenience, be
really hard living there.

Speaker 2 (41:28):
Yeah. Well they first they had to get and I
go into some detail on that too. One of the
most fun chapters for me is this movie called Parish
from nineteen sixty one. Right, it's a Warner Brothers movie
by director I Love Delmer Daves. He did Three Tender Yuma.

Speaker 1 (41:45):
Oh that's a great movie. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (41:47):
He was primarily known for westerns, but he developed heart
problems and then he believe he went into like romance movies,
which is really strange. So he did a summer place.
He used Troy Donahue again and again. So he did
this movie called Parish, which was based on a novel.

(42:08):
It's sort of like dynasty in the tobacco fields of Connecticut.
That's another thing. Connecticut was very famous, believe it or not,
Shade tobacco was considered the finest tobacco leaves for cigars,
which they I go into details. So this movie is

(42:29):
this is what's so broad about this subject. So he
comes to Connecticut to work on the script. He gets
fully involved, immersed in the tobacco, like, learning everything about
tobacco and the farm, making them work on the farm.
And I talked with this actress at Connie Stevens about
you know, they were of course they were immersed in

(42:51):
you know, Connecticut and living here and going to all least.
So the movie is a travelogue of Connecticut. But in
writing about the film, I had to go all the
way back to the Native Americans who were, you know,
harvesting tobacco and stupidly told the English people about it,
and of course they pushed them all out. But it
has so the movie is so that one film for me,

(43:16):
it's about the collapse of the studio system, because it
was the end of Warner Brothers, to the end of
the era, and people like Troy Donahue and their career
was ending. It's the last film of Claudete Colbert, who
was driven to the set every day in a limousine
from New York. These young rebels, you know, Cottie Steeve,
theyre running around Connecticut and going out drinking, and they

(43:38):
were friends with all the extra you know, because they
hired all these local high school studies at this place.
There was some boys school in a girls' school, Loomis Chafey, Windsor.
It's part of the mythology that I would meet people
I was an extra in Parish.

Speaker 1 (43:54):
Oh right, of course, because they still be there.

Speaker 2 (43:55):
I were working on the time tobacco fields. And then
it's also about the end of the glamour of Connecticut,
because it's about this the end of this dynasty, of
this tobacco dynasty. At the same time it was the
end of There was a place that they shot at
called TerraMar in Old Sabrook, And when I delivered the book,

(44:16):
they actually thought I had made an error because I
called it a Bowtel, and they corrected it to be
a hotel, and I said, no, it was a Bowtel.
Yachts would pull up.

Speaker 1 (44:28):
A boatl.

Speaker 2 (44:30):
I never even heard me neither. Yeah, that yachts would
pull up from the Long Island Sound. They would dine
and dance and listen to a musical act whatever, get
back on the boat. See, I feel like it's all
in that one movie.

Speaker 1 (44:43):
Isn't that bad? That like would not be more? Is
that how you live now? You'd take your boat to
the Bowtel hotel and you wear fancy outfits and listen
to a band.

Speaker 2 (44:52):
And well, that's what I love about the movie because
it captures That's what I say, this last gasp of glamour.

Speaker 1 (45:01):
It's it's not like that night because you lived there. No,
what's your life like?

Speaker 2 (45:04):
No?

Speaker 1 (45:04):
Then is it rural? Do you have chickens?

Speaker 2 (45:07):
Lot of gardening? No? It's well, as I wrote, I'm
in the book, I'm Missus Blandings. I'm supervising a restoration
of an eighteen ten farmhouse which was kind of let
go for a very long time. So I'm on phase three.

Speaker 1 (45:22):
So a lot of it is how many phases there?

Speaker 2 (45:25):
I'm hoping three, I'm hoping. I'm hoping four is the ending,
but that I'll probably collapse, you know after that. But no,
it was a ground up, like from the you know,
fixing them.

Speaker 1 (45:39):
So this was like a movement of a valley pre COVID,
after during COVID.

Speaker 2 (45:44):
During COVID.

Speaker 1 (45:44):
Right, I'm done.

Speaker 2 (45:45):
Yeah, just I found the house and my real estate
just said, you know, oh it just needs a little
love and you know, and then I moved in and
of course so it was so much worse, but I'm committed.
That's the one good thing about you know, being an actor.
When things were really bad, I used to just walk
outside and say, you can do this. You're directing a

(46:07):
movie and you've got all these people and you have
to tell them what to do. And but I mean
I learned firsthand again just dealing with all the different
contractors and personalities. I was like, wow, there's still a
lot of this old Connecticut. Every cliche that is in landings, yes,
is really still true about people you know? Yep, nope.

Speaker 1 (46:28):
Yeah, it's funny that I see a lot of parallels
with Scotland. For me, there is obviously where I'm from.
But yeah, the whole idea of like in the movies,
it's portrayed a certain way and you go, well, it's
not really like that, and then you go there and well,
like kind of is like that, you know, and like
and all the different colors of it, from trainsport in
to local hero you know, it's like, you know, the

(46:49):
the awfulness of the some of the urban life and
the drug problems in the cities, and then the beauty
and the quiet of the countryside and the people were
quirky and funny. It's kind of true.

Speaker 2 (47:02):
Yeah, and there's a lot of well there's a lot
of cheapness. People in Connecticut are very you know, thrifty
they call it. And there is a class system of very.

Speaker 1 (47:13):
Now that's going to be imported from from the UK.
Surely that's got to be brought and from that's a
that's an old money thing. Class system. And you to
matter how much money you make, Well, there's.

Speaker 2 (47:24):
Three classes, which is there's the working class, right, and
then there's the upper class. But the upper class what
everybody agrees on is everybody hates what the you know,
the bourgeoisie. That's what everybody hates, right, and that is
what the sixties comedies were all about. The bourgeoisie.

Speaker 1 (47:46):
Are the cheese and the Sandwich.

Speaker 2 (47:48):
Fact, people that moved in that were the you know,
the parking lot czars and not the old money and
academic you know, it's another area of Connecticut.

Speaker 4 (47:58):
That of course, yeah, Yale, Yale and Wesleyan, Yeah, Trinity College.

Speaker 1 (48:05):
I was always fascinated by. I remember doing a stand
up gig in Yale, and I was the first time
I thought this is going to be great. It's like, yeah,
Hogwarts and it's like going to Hogwarts, but it's like
if Hogwarts was in the middle of downtown Detroit. I mean,
it's like Jesus crazy, but it's like beautiful campus.

Speaker 4 (48:23):
And then.

Speaker 2 (48:26):
Woman like, oh my god, well that's that's that's always
kind of fast. That's what I'm It's fascinating me. And
yet what you only see in the movie is Yale, right,
you don't see the train station right outskirts and the
Italian And you know another thing about Connecticut that there's
a lot of, famously going back to the twenties and thirties, corruption,

(48:49):
political corruption specifically.

Speaker 1 (48:51):
Yeah, I think I think that's everywhere.

Speaker 2 (48:53):
Early I can't believe you're telling me that.

Speaker 1 (48:56):
I don't think. I like, look, I know you guys
started witch burning, and I know you started bitting people
in Wood the Hamburger and the Hamburgers from Connecticut.

Speaker 2 (49:06):
Yeah, stop it, Yes it is although people fight people. Yeah,
they're having fights about them. They said new Haven.

Speaker 1 (49:13):
I heard the Hagis was from Connecticut.

Speaker 2 (49:16):
Hagus. No, it couldn't be.

Speaker 1 (49:27):
So you're biting them now? Will you ever go back
to la do you think?

Speaker 2 (49:29):
No, I'll never go back. I never. It's interesting, I've
never I never returned to a place, you know, because
I was in New York and then I went to
l A. I never went back to New York, and
then now I'm in Connecticut. So I don't see myself.
First of all, I think a human being only has
a few moves in them. Remember when we used to

(49:52):
be by coastal. I was talking to a friend, you know,
like back when we started our careers, it was very
easy to.

Speaker 1 (49:57):
Be on the airplane all the time.

Speaker 2 (49:59):
Yeah, we could trap and we had a little place
in New York, a little crappy. Yeah that's all gone now.

Speaker 1 (50:06):
So I think it's harder for younger people to make
the kind of money that supports that. Yeah, and then
they don't have to because a lot of it can
be done online. But I have a theory about New York,
which is this because I came to New York first
time when I was We're in New York City right now. Yes,
you and I are both in New York City. I
lived in LA for twenty three years. I don't know
how long you were there, fourteen fourteen, all right. See.

(50:30):
I first came here when I was thirteen years old,
nineteen seventy five, with my dad. And I think for
certain people, once you come to New York, no matter
where you fucking go, you're going to be New Yorker,
New York.

Speaker 2 (50:42):
I think that's true.

Speaker 1 (50:43):
And you can be in Connecticut as much as you
like and write, yeah, big books about Connecticut, but you've
kind of got out with the New York about you
all the time. And I hope I have the same myself.
It's like, yeah, I know, I was in LA for
a long time. Like even when I was doing the
Late night show, people go, man, you so in New York.
I'm like, no, the backdrops I fucking West Hollywood. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (51:08):
People would say that to me, you know when I
was in LA.

Speaker 1 (51:10):
Yeah, like how long are you here for it?

Speaker 2 (51:12):
I live here right nobody believed that I live there.

Speaker 1 (51:15):
I think it's a certain thing that if you connect
to New York City, you'll never you'll never uncouple from it.
It's kind of venue.

Speaker 2 (51:23):
Well, do you think, especially when you come here when
you're younger and you're really you know, you're starving, and yeah,
I mean, none of that ever goes away.

Speaker 1 (51:31):
You saw how I devoured my muffin. Well, you know,
it's like, you know, you're allowed to have a muffin.
It's all right, don't beat yourself up for having a muffin.
It's breakfast time. But I think that, I mean, I've
skimmed through the book and I haven't read it, but
I'm very happy for you, and I am going to
read it because I still read books, even though they're

(51:51):
longer than tweets. I'm happy for you that you've done this, though.
Are you happier now you think?

Speaker 2 (51:55):
Yeah, very happy. I have obviously a few more books.
I love writing books for the same reason that you
said control. Yeah, it's my vision. Yeah, nobody's really interfering.
I got to choose the pictures. I had a vision
of a coffee table book. You know, I knew I
wanted it to be. There were certain things about my

(52:15):
first book that I was not you know, I didn't
have any creative control over it. And so this book
is I you know, I always feel like well, good
or bad, and it's been doing really well and people
love it, and.

Speaker 1 (52:28):
So it's fascinating. It's a fascinating thing because I thought
at first, when I thought this is for people who
know and love and think about Connecticut, this is Connecticut people,
but it's not. It's way. It's about movies, yes, but
it's also about change, a personal change. I think that
you've gone through as well.

Speaker 2 (52:45):
Right, because I mean I wouldn't have been able to
write about it, you know, without it started when I
wrote about the Swimmer. And again my own complicated relationship
with Connecticut because as you said, I spent people used
to always say call you know, you have a New
York accent, and I think again, just because I spent
so much time with my grandparents, so yeah, and I

(53:06):
couldn't wait to go to New York. So I felt
always like in New Yorker living in Connecticut. I certainly
was never accepted by any teachers, students, et cetera. You know,
growing up like you're not from here there definitely was
that vibe. That's kind of what's fun about being in
New York. Nobody really nobody here's where you're from, here where,

(53:29):
But in Connecticut, what road you live on? You live
on the right side of the tracks, the wrong side
of the tracks. And these play out in film after film,
even if it's a film like Mystic Pizza, you know
where they call them townies. And so I think it's
for people that love movies, obviously, because it's a hundred
movies and it's going back to the silent era and

(53:52):
seeing that d W. Griffiths was making movies in Connecticut.
You know, we know about New Jersey. So some of
it was again this blueprint to say, hey, we're here,
we need some cinematic recognition. But then it was also
to talk about the culture. Nobody's ever done a book
about these movies about dark suburbia. Yeah, and I you know,

(54:15):
I feel like it's a it's important because it reflects
the culture of all of America, yet it all played
out in Connecticut on these side. And also again you're
talking about the great artists of our century and why
did they all choose to live and work and write
in Connecticut. I find that fascinating.

Speaker 1 (54:36):
And getting out of Hollywood it's a it's a it's
a getting out of the rat race. Well it's it's
more than the rat race Hollywood, because I found it.
I don't know about you. I found it quite hard
to leave. It's impossible. It's I didn't tell anybody, Yeah
you can't. And then when you when you if you
go to Alie to do some work or something, and
people like you laughed like I had. Someone said I

(54:57):
wouldn't say it was but someone who's very famous who
said to me, don't you get you still go to
Scotland and went yeah, and she said, don't you get
kind of bored? What do you mean what board look? Yeah,
like well you know what what do you do?

Speaker 2 (55:13):
You see? I found l a boring, Yeah, because it's
it's a constant what are you up to? What do
you you know you're talking talk about for sure self esteem?
You know, it's just that meter is going all the
time of like, oh there's that producer who didn't hire me,
and yeah, that's.

Speaker 1 (55:30):
What the stop that goes up and there I remember
talking to a friend of mine and we made a
film together and he he broke up with his his wife.
I remember saying that when when did you know? Because
he'd made another film, and he said, when did you
know that it was going south? Things were bad? And
he went kind of when I saw the box office
return Saturday morning for e God, like that body went yeah,

(55:56):
it's bad.

Speaker 2 (55:57):
Yeah, there's a certain I mean, And I think that
COVID was definitely for so many people a reset button.
But I had a sense, maybe as an actor, you know,
I always think, you know, we're like the caribou looking
for the moss, like, okay, this this area. I just
had an epiphany that La was going to be done
as a city, you know, for now, and cities always

(56:21):
like I was in New York. I was in New
York in the eighties and it was the greatest.

Speaker 1 (56:25):
I know, I remember, and you know I was here,
but it was wild and fid wild.

Speaker 2 (56:32):
You know, you knew, you were like, oh, I'm in
the thick of things here. And then when I moved
to LA in the early nineties mid nineties, La was
like whoa, there were so many things going on in
LA and then and then New York sort of had
a dip. But I felt even before COVID that LA

(56:52):
was flatlining, that more and more of the production was
being out in Gardena. You know that I was driving
to hours to go.

Speaker 1 (57:02):
Yeah, or you're going to Canada to make a movie,
or going to Canada or Atlanta or you know wherever
you're going to make films. Yeah, I remember all that
as well. Production was getting moved out of town. And
one of the reasons I took the job in late Night.
I was working on an independent movie in Winnipeg, Canada
when I got the call to go and do late Night.
And I was like, I had a young son. I'd

(57:24):
just been divorced and I had a little boy, and
I couldn't I had to look after him. I couldn't
leave town all the time. I couldn't keep bringing me.
He was about getting ready to start, you know, elementary school,
and I had to be there. And that this was
one of the few jobs doing late night was a
job that allowed me to be in town all the time.
And that's that's really kind of why I went, Yeah, Okay,

(57:46):
I'll go to shop. Fucking interested being a late night
a fuck? You know, I didn't go to fucking was
that school that I was going in Boston and stuff.
I didn't do all that.

Speaker 2 (57:55):
Did you miss doing Drew Carey Show? Because I look back,
I never, I don't. I can't. Sometimes I'll see something, Yeah,
it's hard to look at anything because I you know,
it brings back. Some memories are fun. But I had
such fun memories of being on the Drew Carrey Show
because it just was wild and improvisational. And that's one

(58:17):
of my favorite memories was I remember it was like
maybe three o'clock in the morning and Drew like throughout
the script and somebody they came over with like lines
on a nasket.

Speaker 1 (58:27):
All the time. It happened all the time. And it
was Bruce Helford who ran that show. Bruce and Drew
carry they created that environment, which was I don't even
know if you would get away with that now, don't
you don't know?

Speaker 2 (58:41):
Yeah, cut to and I won't talk about comedy series
where oh they really want you on this, and then
you know, tried to say some yeah, Leanna, if you
could just stand here, and that's what LA was sort
of feeling, like, yeah, go very corporate and that's very
tough when you've had those sort of races, and I

(59:02):
don't think did you ever go to Largo? I used
to see Drew.

Speaker 1 (59:05):
Yeah, yeah, I did it a couple of times ago.
I went to Largo. I was kind of fun yere
kind of place in.

Speaker 2 (59:10):
My generation of the Yeah, comedians and music and fun
and and you began to feel like an elder statesman
even though you were.

Speaker 3 (59:20):
Young, Like you know, well in my time, yeah, they
would have fun. Well it's that kind of thing.

Speaker 1 (59:27):
Though. They have places now where you can go and
learn be a stand up comedian. I'm like, why the
fuck a would you want to be a stand up?

Speaker 4 (59:35):
Right?

Speaker 1 (59:36):
Stand up comedian is a job that you do desperation
because you can't do anything. And like, but kids are like, oh,
I want to work on my comedy. I'm like, I
don't understand you. And look, maybe it's good, maybe it's
better for them, but you know, they have like they
talk about their careers. Like I was in New York

(59:57):
in the eighties. Yeah, you're like, what I said, career
was probably in sports, right, So I worked on Wall Street.
You didn't talk about a career. It was like, yeah,
we're going to do this fucking wild thing and everyone's
going to paint themselves blue and we all run around
and shout you know, that's the play or that's the show,
and it's kind of he'll not make any money, but

(01:00:18):
we don't care.

Speaker 2 (01:00:19):
Uh.

Speaker 1 (01:00:20):
In fact, the idea of making money just never came out. No,
And maybe maybe that was dumb, but it was a
lot of fun.

Speaker 2 (01:00:29):
Oh No, we were all yeah, we were all but
and that. So that's really hard if people if you
have a whole background in a career for you know,
we started out talking about today for where you were
literally hired based on the fact that you were your
input was wanted, you know, and when it was too much,
they'd say no, no.

Speaker 1 (01:00:50):
No, bring it back a little bit.

Speaker 2 (01:00:52):
Yeah. But so then to go all the way from
that to somebody hires you and they go, oh, we're
such huge fans of yours. And then and you're on
the set and you feel like, no, don't don't be used,
please don't, yeah, just stand there and and I had
a couple experiences like that where I just had some
very long, lonely walks to my trailers. You know.

Speaker 1 (01:01:16):
I started to feel the same way towards the end
of Late Night because like when Dave was going yeah,
because Dave owned my time slot, so so if latterman
on your time. Nobody paid any attention to me. But
I knew that Dave was going to go, and I
started to get more and more help from executives and
advertising crossover stuff, and I'm like, yeah, you know what,

(01:01:37):
and yeah, I think it's time to go to the parties.
Getting a little fucking sloppy. And you know, there's a
lot of people turning up that aren't cool. Yeah, Like,
let Himan is fucking cool, you know. I mean he
can be an asshole sometimes, Dave, and he'd be the
first to admitute, but he's fucking cool. Well, and it
was cool to work like that.

Speaker 2 (01:01:56):
You know, it used to be okay, you could, you
could be an ass Yeah, it's okay.

Speaker 1 (01:02:01):
Yeah, we used to worry this whole.

Speaker 2 (01:02:07):
You know, you're you're trying to make it's impossible.

Speaker 3 (01:02:10):
You know.

Speaker 1 (01:02:11):
Sometimes people are a little fucking picky. I was. This
is when I go, oh, this is not for me.
But this is how long ago it was. It was
somebody posted in a chat room like they got in
an elevator with me in Vegas, and I was very rude,
and I'm like, I never where the fuck am I route? Yeah,
what I did was apparently as I kept the brim
of my hat pulled down and I didn't say a word. Now,

(01:02:34):
you fucking tell me what's rude about that in an elevator.

Speaker 2 (01:02:36):
But I don't know.

Speaker 1 (01:02:37):
I guess I was meant to do fucking ten minutes
and ask her where she was from. I mean, it's crazy.

Speaker 2 (01:02:42):
Listen, I you know my boss, would you know? They
we'd get things thrown at us and yell at us
and all sorts of and we didn't take any of it. Personally.
We were thrilled. I know that sounds ridiculous. We were
thrilled to be around all these people.

Speaker 1 (01:02:57):
And it's kind of it's different values now maybe yeah,
it's better.

Speaker 2 (01:03:01):
I don't sorry, it's not. It's impossible. You can't. I
mean this whole thing about he's very unlikable in a
toxic work environment.

Speaker 1 (01:03:10):
No, that's it's impossible. It's like the number one thing
people ask to last night we're talking about this is
the number one thing people ask good But like it's
he a nice person. When you meet someone, you go,
how does that fuck it?

Speaker 2 (01:03:20):
Like?

Speaker 1 (01:03:20):
If you like, somebody will say to you, I don't
know this, gentleman, but say, somebody says, Ozzy Osbourne, is
he a nice guy? Like, does it fucking matter if
he's a nice guy, he's Ozzy Osbourne. I mean, I
suppose it mars to the people who are interacting with him.

Speaker 2 (01:03:33):
But I would say, in thirty years of show business,
I have only worked with two people that are unlikable,
and then five hundred people that are eccentric. A lot
of people are or have a lot of fear, yeah,
or maybe going through something, you know I had when
I there was a very famous movie or who I

(01:03:54):
worked with and he had been a really big star
and now we were doing this like very low butch
movie the way it goes, you know, and he was
a little tense, you know, and he snapped at me
because I offered some help. I said, oh, maybe I
can help you out. Yeah, shut up, we aren't even
talking to you. And you know, I mean, like, you know,

(01:04:16):
can we have a little compassion for people? And two
hours later he said, I'm sorry I did that. I
was I was nervous and it's my first day and
I said, no problem. So, I mean we I find
it very challenging to always be keeping my personality.

Speaker 1 (01:04:34):
It's fake ches It's fucking fake, is what it is.
That's the whole thing about it. There's this whole fucking
do you know what it is, It's fucking Connecticut suburbia.
It's this whole fucking idea that everyone is cool, and
then underneath it's this fucking dark resentment of fucking because
humans have emotions, and so to walk around and and

(01:04:56):
pretend that you don't have an emotion and you don't
you know, prejudices and you don't have to challenge yourself
for what you think. So fucking bullshit.

Speaker 2 (01:05:05):
But I don't see any way out. I mean again,
that's one of the reasons I love doing And I'm
a student of show business. I always tell my friends
that feel like they aren't working or and I said,
you only need to look at show business. And I said,
you know, we may be in the part of our
careers where we're like Betty Davis and we're going around
the country reading from Carl Sandberg with like a cello

(01:05:28):
in the background.

Speaker 1 (01:05:29):
Yes, I use Sean Connery is the same example as go.
You know, everyone has to do those Zardose years. Everyone's
going to get on the MANKINI at some point nothing, Yeah.

Speaker 2 (01:05:39):
When I was moving to Connecticut, and like you said,
that fear of because there wasn't a single person that
was I stopped telling people that I was going to Connecticut.

Speaker 1 (01:05:48):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (01:05:48):
They were like, you'll never work again, and you know,
but I looked and I said, yeah, at the end
of my when my grandfather's contract in nineteen fifty was
with MGM and they let everybody go fifty, he moved
to New York. He started to do theater, and he
started a whole secondary career as a you know, supporting

(01:06:09):
as a character actor. You know, when his first oscar
is when he was seventy, what his second oscar when
he was eighty one. So I always tell people you
have to look at show business and realize nothing is
you know, really everything is really kind of the same.
Poor Kerry Grant, you know, he died on.

Speaker 1 (01:06:28):
The road, Yeah, davenpoor Iowa.

Speaker 2 (01:06:31):
Yeah, Yeah, I mean that's that's probably what's gonna happen
to here.

Speaker 1 (01:06:35):
Yeah, I would think, so.

Speaker 2 (01:06:38):
You think, are you gonna I remember when I moved
into Connecticut, somebody, my neighbor came over and said, what
are you gonna do about plowing?

Speaker 5 (01:06:47):
I was like, what he's like, I said, Oh my god,
that's right. You got you got to got to get
the plow guy. And there's when I went to Scotland.
I moved back to Scotland. A guy came over and
he said, what are you going to do with this?
Some fields in front of my house and he said,
you're going to put some sheep in there? And I went, no,
I don't like sheep.

Speaker 1 (01:07:06):
He said you don't like sheep? I went, nah, I
don't fucking like them. There, big square, yellow teeth and
they can't really see your eyes. I don't like them.
And he said you can't. You've got to have sheep.
What you're going to do with the field? I'm like nothing.
I said, you can put your sheep in there for
a little while and he said Kada went no, they'll
be stupid. And then we went away. And about Tues

(01:07:27):
three weeks later, I saw some fucking sheep in my field.
So I called him up and went, is your sheep?
He went, yeah, you said I could put them there.
I went, I fucking never said you could put them there.
He said, well, I'll just keep them in there for
a while. It'll help keep your grass down. And I
said to him, okay, I'm an American now, so I'm
going to tell you what I'm going to happen. Starting
on Wednesday this week, I'm going to shoot one a

(01:07:47):
day until you get them out. And he went, oh right,
and he got them out on Tuesday. But they have
this law in Scotland that if someone keeps a sheep
in your field for over a year, then they have
grazing rights in that field. So if you let someone
graze the sheep in the field, they have to take
them off for a day. They call it a stalk off.

(01:08:09):
They have to take the sheep out so that they
don't have grazing rights for your field.

Speaker 2 (01:08:13):
I love that.

Speaker 1 (01:08:14):
Fucking drives me crazy.

Speaker 2 (01:08:15):
I think that's hysterical. Do so did he win?

Speaker 1 (01:08:18):
No, he didn't win. I totally get your fucking sheep
off my field. And I don't have any sheep in
the field. And it drives them all crazy because like
what you're doing in that field, I'm like nothing. The
whole idea of the field is it's a field. Nothing happens.
I'll let the grass grow and then it gets old
and it falls down, and like, well, you don't make
any money from that field. I went, that's right, I don't.
That's because I'm in fucking Davenport, Iowa. Don't stand out

(01:08:39):
to pay for that fucking field.

Speaker 2 (01:08:42):
That's like anti sounds like anti Scottish somehow.

Speaker 1 (01:08:45):
A little bit. Well, there's nobody more anti Scottish than
Scottish people.

Speaker 2 (01:08:48):
Now, one thing I've noticed, which is sort of cornball,
one of my favorite things about living in Connecticut is
coming home. You know, I didn't have any joy landing
in the at Lax coming home.

Speaker 1 (01:09:00):
I used to quite like Lendon and Ali Xfoll and
you know, that's big mess.

Speaker 2 (01:09:10):
No more books, you know, every my whole culture. But
but there is a sense of fun of you know, like,
oh boy, the hokiness and my neighbors, and I know
all my neighbors.

Speaker 1 (01:09:21):
It is kind of nice.

Speaker 2 (01:09:22):
I have a book show on Wednesday at the Gate
in Old Saybrook, and you know, my Mason's going to
be there, and my carpenter and my electrician they're all coming.

Speaker 1 (01:09:33):
Well, they're all very proud, They're.

Speaker 2 (01:09:35):
All well, they all made it in the acknowledgement.

Speaker 1 (01:09:37):
You know, we burned witches first, we gotta go get
out of here.

Speaker 2 (01:09:42):
Great, I can finish my Muppet
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