Recording - slightly edited
Bream Gives Me Hiccups Book Tour - Washington DC
Nov 12, 2015
Q & A Section (1-5)
Q 1. I really thought that The Social Network was a brilliant movie. But at the end the woman says:Mark Zuckberg, I don't think you are an asshole. So, it seems like that the cultural impact of this little soundbite to the movie is like…. Remember Nixon saying, 'I'm not a crook'; and Mark Zuckberg thinking, 'I'm not an asshole'. Actors are often more sympathetic to the characters they play than the general movie goes or …What is your take on him? Do you think he was fairly presented or not?
I imagine that any kind of dramatic representation of a real person will ultimately seem unfair to the person who is being portrait, just by a virtue of dramatising a real person, reduces them to a character, even if the character is brilliantly drawn. So, I imagine it's uncomfortable. But to your point, I think movies are like the best propaganda you can create. So if you make a movie about a real person, even a person who is a president of United States like Nixon, or the founder and CEO of the biggest company in the world. The movie, in some way, will have more of an influence on the public consciousness about that person and their trades than the real person. That makes me feel bad, because I feel like that I'm part of something that, in a way, puts somebody in an uncomfortable position. My gaol is to not get famous enough for anybody's gonna make a movie about me. So, I was gonna write a much better book, but I thought that would put me in a weird position. It's also why I didn't win the Academy Award. You know, that's the kind of thing they'll make a movie about, so I'll come in second.
Q 2. Over all that years' experiences in the industry, what are the best parts of it from your experiences and the worst parts of it?
About the entertainment industry generally? Even the most successful people are free-lance, that's the most difficult part. Except, if you work in a movie studio, in which case you're in a revolving door of a job, because there's a high turnover rate. As an actor, you don’t have these wonderful opportunity to have cathartic experiences in safe environments. I walk through the world everyday, somewhere in a state between rage and weeping. And it's inappropriate to live that way, because you go to like a Starbucks and they won't serve you. But when you’re in a movie, it's not only possible, but it’s encouraged to express your emotions. That's my favourite part about it. It's that I can have real cathartic experiences in a same context. The downside is you feel that rage and sadness, because you're gonna be unemployed every two months. So for me, it's been important to find other things to do. A lot of actors do really wonderful things, they work with charitable organisations to fill the time. Other actors turn to alcohol and drugs. That's why you're here, 'cause you have a lot of time in your hands, you're creative interesting person, but no one's asking you to work. That can be troubling.
Q 3. I have two questions. 1. I recently saw The Double and was amazed by the whole movie and your performance especially. So, I was wondering what your experience was like playing two different people in the same movie. 2. I haven't seen The End of the Tour yet, 'cause I’m currently reading Infinite Jest. I was wondering if you could talk about your relationship with the book and David Foster Wallace.
Oh yeah, sure. Insofar as playing two characters, it was fun because there was such a great momentum. The movie is about a double ganger, so I play one character and his double ganger. And it was great, because in addition to my previous answer to the gentleman before you. We don't know if he is gentle, but he seemed it. It's difficult to act when a lot of time you're waiting in a movie trailer. I mean this sounds like lamenting luxury problem. But one of the difficulties I find acting in a bigger movie, sometimes is that waiting around to do a scene that's ultimately very emotional, so you kind of lose momentum. But in a movie where I'm playing both characters, I never lost that. So, it was exhilarating.
In terms of The End of the Tour, I like him, David Foster Wallace. I've loved David Foster Wallace since I was at college, which was before he passed away. You thought 'Oh, this guy is gonna be producing staff like this for fifty years. It was so shocking when he died. And it was really exciting to be able to reengage with his work and him personally. 'Cause he's a really special guy, he's not just a great writer, he's a special mind. Especially because he thought a lot about the kind of paroles of a public life, as he embarked on not just being a writer who sits in a room and writes long books, but a person who has to go publicise them international variety. So, it's really interesting to not only engage with his work again, but him personally.
Q 4. On a day-to-day base while you're writing this book, what were the circumstances of the creativity? Did you have a particular thought process or routine that you went through to get in the mindset of your character? What did a typical day writing the book look like?
I sit on a kind of like a gold throne, and a kind of enigmatic mistress will peel grapes. She'll slowly reveals the grape and herself, as the day progresses revealing fruits. Actually, I started writing this character a few years ago when I was actually filming that movie The Double, 'cause my character in that movie was a kind of stunted man, he was like an emotional child. So, on the weekend, I write from the perspective of this nine-year-old boy, 'cause that mindset was imposed upon me by a movie character. That was like a great luxury to have somebody saying 'Hey, think in this character for a few months'. And then I was also playing his double ganger who is this brash, kind of cold-hearted guy, and that unconsciously worked being the mother character that you've read, who's always jabbing the kid. But the kid stays with the mom. In the same way, the double ganger secretly follows the brash guy. So, I was in that mindset of the nine-year-old boy, and for some reasons, probably most of them unhealthy, I can get into that mindset easily. I don't know why. I mean probably like a lot of writers, probably like most people. You feel alienated a lot, you feel like sometimes you're watching the world go by from a bubble, especially if you had my mother. So, I feel like I can relate to that experience.
Q 5. My question kind of follows on that about the book in your process. I was kind of disappointed when I learnt your sister was gonna read it and you didn't have her read one of Harper Jablonski's letters. So my question is, did you have a female advice in creating that character, or did it all come out of you?
I have a team of enigmatic mistresses, one of each age up until 100. And I'll ask them questions. I said, 'Bring in NO.17. I'm writing something about a 17-year-old'. No, I grew up with two sisters and a mother and a father who has a little light in the loafers occasionally. The problem was with the shoes actually, we had to buy him new loafers. What happened is he worn them while playing tennis, they worn through. So I can understand the female experience well, well this sounds like a bosh belt line, because I was waiting for the bathroom. That sounds like a joke, but if I heard it, I'll leave. So, I grew up with those voices. A lot of times, Woody Allen is notorious, not notorious, he is lauded for writing great female characters. And a lot times, I think that's because women and the social construct are more forthcoming with emotions, well that's just something we expect more easily from women. That's a good thing. If men were more forthcoming with their emotions, I would be normal. So, it's sometimes easier to write for women when you're writing characters that are histrionic, just because we are used to a character like that. I'm not promoting that! I think that's bad. I'm only perpetuating a horrible trend, not starting it! So, I think that's probably why. And also if you're writing satire, maybe it can be helpful if you're commenting on things that people already think. The character, that 18-year-old girl you were referring to, I kind of did a horrible exaggeration of my sister experiencing the anxiety transition into college life. That's where the character came from. … I think women are better than men. (Lol) That is why I can't win for president.