The Original Vamp
Getting Intimate with True Blood’s Jessica Clark
words by @FaleneNurse
pictures by ME
If Jessica Clark enters a crowded room—the crowded room tends to take notice.
When Jessica Clark (aka Lilith) enters that room, all 5ft11 of her drenched in blood (and nothing else), fully fanged with a smirk that sats “don’t run dear you’re already dead” the room comes to an immediate halt. There are two very good reasons for this—captivation and a foreboding sense of doom. Something in the way she walks, talks and even smiles (as Lilith) is unnerving, in the same way as “The Shining.” A movie she wouldn’t be that out of place in. The former supermodel is stunning as a creature superior to mere mortals in every way, with her intoxicating mix of beauty and dread. As the mother of all vampires she’s also convincingly nailed the delivery of that uneasy feeling, straight to your gut! A mix that has been working a treat for HBOs “True Blood” since her show stopping entrance in Season 5. I don’t think another actress could have quite pulled it off as well (that’s not a pun boys).
One thing is for sure Jessica is very comfortable in her own skin, and not just for embracing full frontal nudity on the bloodsucking soap opera. Her voice is husky and low, with an ever so slight transatlantic drawl privy only to fashion models and jet-setters. Her intelligence and calm, are charming yet strangely… relaxing. Like sipping warm whole milk or soaking in a piping hot bath. For a woman who is dangerously good looking, her presence is rather cozy. So she’s either an evil genius, or just a genuinely chill gal from London—I’m leaning towards the latter. We chatted about her recent Vogue cover, “True Blood,” her dog’s name that might be mistaken for an alcoholic beverage; and why in the next life she’d be quite happy to come back as a couch. Or if all else fails a horse riding archeologist, she’s not fussy.
I give you the Goddess Lilith (or Jessica, let’s be honest they both fit quite well), drum role please.
Cocktail of choice?
Nice. Can you make a good ‘un?
I actually can. Pretty good, yeah.
My lil man, Patron. It’s not just a good Tequila you know, he’s the boss. A Pomeranian I’ve had since he was 9 months and now he’s 10. Which means I must be an adult now. Oh no! (she laughs).
If you could be any vampire from “Nosferatu” to “The Lost Boys,” who would you be?
Ah, you just said it “The Lost Boys”! I loved that movie. I was obsessed, obsessed, obsessed! (The woman even screeches elegantly, sigh.) If I wasn’t Lilith, I’d be a Lost Boy, definitely.
Back in the day I waited for that at the video store!
Can I tell you we were just talking about this, we were doing a night shoot and me and three girls on the crew were chatting about “The Lost Boys.” The reaction, everyone LOVES that movie. Then we Googled it and started YouTubing clips.
(I just have to pause a minute to let the #Trubies out there soak that in. Lilith, talking about “Lost Boys” on the set of “True Blood,” as the crew Googles and YouTubes clips. Did your mind just melt?)
It’s like a cult!
But it STILL holds up today, the soundtrack, the cinematography. Everything!
I nerded out on Alex Winter… it was bad.
Shut up! (The Londoner comes out stronger in her accent. Love it!)
Did you turn into a total fan girl?
Seriously though, he just happened to be in two cult classics. As every other actor on the planet curses him(laughing wildly). I feel like a complete underachiever all of sudden. No he’s far too cool for my liking, it’s not fair is it? (chortling a little more).
(You gotta love this woman, on one of the most popular shows on HBO, having graced the pages of Vogue, Trace, Lucky, Allure and Maxim, yet she still has the same British humor as my mates back home. If they too were blessed by the Cheekbone Genie. )
LA or NYC?
I first came yo NY for modeling – it’s a much easier Visa to get then an actress. I saw your 917 number and I thought of NYC, I loved it. I was there for a long time, I did all the craziness; the nightlife, fashion, traveling. I love LA equally and it’s better for me to be here now for work.
How old were you when you first to NY?
I was 16 I think, I had lived in Paris before that. In some unlikely ways, modeling provides good training for leaving the nest. You have to be super self-sufficient, comfortable being by yourself —a lot. I had it easier than most, some start at 13. I remember landing, taking a cab, and picking up a key that let me into this model flat. Hit my bed and didn’t wake up until the next day, my 1st day in the Big Apple and I had to head to the agency. No idea where it even was (the memory of that makes her laugh fondly), I was working off the A to Z systems from London!
OK Usher’sBUUUURRRRRNNNN! That video (technically you) got a LOT of attention.
Which is quite funny because initially I didn’t really want to do it. I’m comfortable with nudity, but I thought it was going to be booty dancing and invasive camera angles. I’m not so good with that. Instead it was a stylized mini movie shot in Frank Sinatra’s old house, which was really very cool. The pool scene was shot in the middle of the night, in the rain and it was FREEZING!! Then of course there were the flame throwers! (that throaty laugh escapes again). A LOT of fun, but crazy. That skimpy swimsuit kept coming off, the tape didn’t work in the water. I loved the final results though, I think it won an award. I’m proud of that video.
You have to be super athletic, to continually dive into a pool?
Quite, I like a good challenge though, roles that are more active and less passive. Can you imagine if they picked someone who couldn’t? Or just wasn’t a strong swimmer? I wondered that as no one asked that diving be a prerequisite, to be honest that wasn’t mentioned at the casting at all.
Did a more athletic mindset help protect you from any modeling pitfalls?
Not really, when I stopped modeling I had to retrain my brain. Now I’m an avid runner now, which helped tremendously. (She was recently featured in Runner’s World and is currently training for her next marathon.) I’m more conscientious about healthy foods and lifestyle now. In that life if you are lucky and work a lot, you travel 150 days of the year. Good nutrition isn’t a priority, also there’s the reality of being a teenager. In some respects it’s a similar timeline to an athlete, your career starts very young and then tapers off as your friends are starting to get serious in their jobs. Not to play the violins by any means, but it’s definitely a thing to learn. To be constantly assessed as part of the job.
For this one too?
Truthfully, regardless of what people think, acting really isn’t as rigid. In fashion, you have to be “that size” or you can’t work. Period. With acting there are other things to bring to the table – there’s wiggle room. You canhave an athletic physique, toned arms, have hips, a good bum! (giggling again). They don’t want any definition in fashion, they prefer the skinny-fat thing if you know what I mean. You start at 15 and by 21 you develop into a woman, a bit of butt action going on. I know I have some butt action going on, which is a good thing in my book.
Especially in scenes where you are nekid!
Right. Well, yes.
I like Lilith because I believe she could do real damage. She could destroy an entire village!!
I love that about her, so that’s a huge compliment, that’s why I really wanted the role. Her nudity is primeval as opposed to titillating. Even when she’s sexual, she’s predatory. I’m really glad they allow me to bring that to the table, it’s frustrating when you have to be sexy or badass, but you can’t be both.
Yeah, for a while there were no more Ripleys in the movies.
Ripley is iconic, one word, one name, from 20 years ago and everyone knows– that says something. I’m getting on my feminist soapbox now. To me really “kicking ass” and making it believable, is sexy.
We are a feminist soapbox, so we encourage that!
I get the fantasy, the marketing and business aspect too, but I also think that there are some super powerful women on TV right now and audiences love it. “Game of Thrones” women have what I like to call bad-asseryand intellect. “Spartacus” women are sexual beings, but also political beasts! They are not there to please, which I think is important, clearly I’m not prudish. I mean I’m on “True Blood” and I’m naked – a lot (the unabashed laughter returns).
But it’s equal opportunity nekidness on that show. Which is great!
That’s the most reassuring part, everyone has done it before. So they are very supportive, they know the deal and everyone is super professional. Besides the ladies (and some of the fellas), need their eye-candy too.
Also I like the diversity of “True Blood” in general. Look at Lafayette, a gay man who wears eyeliner and will kick your arse! No room for stereotypes, fully developed and realized characters only thanks.
I’m very curious, due to your former profession, was the MIMP shoot any different for you?
Well I’m use to being photographed, but being photographed as a model isn’t… yourself. With MIMP it’s just you. That had a completely different feel, much more intimate, revealing… but personality wise. I have to get use to doing that.
I’m gonna ask some random questions.
Oh God, I’m going to seem very uncool right now.
What makes you swoon?
Ha hah ha swoon huh? When that bit at the back of your neck is kissed, or the breath just touches upon it. When the one I love does that, that’ll do it. Goosebumps every time.
Or a nice smile maybe?
Nah to swoon you gotta work a bit harder for that (laughs).
Go to comfy clothes?
Super soft jersey tank and underwear, nothing else. I live in that, I can wonder around house all day. That’s when I know my day is done. Also I’m really into blankets. I’m one of those nesty-types. I can never just sit on a couch, I always curl up into them.
Like a cat! Go to outfit when going out?
Great pair of high heels, jeans and a motorcycle jacket. It goes across the board, downtown or a posh event.
The worst chat up line of your life?
I’ve had a few, there’s that old cheesy classic, did it hurt? You know when you fell from heaven haha ha. That one’s an oldie but a goodie.
How about “Nice legs, when do they open?”
God that’s awful! (she guffaws)
What you listening to these days?
If I’m cooking Lana Del Ray. (She cooks too, this IS unfair!!) If I’m running, Jay-Z I like the energy of hip-hop when running. I’m training at the moment, so I’m listening to a lot of hip-hop.
You were recently on the cover of Vogue. Did it feel like a milestone?
There isn’t a woman that wouldn’t be thrilled to be on the cover of Vogue, right? So er yeah (she’s laughing).There are certain titles, that are just… glamorous. When I was little Vogue was escapism from working class life. Also it’s highly regarded, so if there’s an opportunity to embrace diversity on the cover – it’s a wonderful opportunity. All little girls should be able to grow up and see women that look like them being celebrated in the media, as fashion forward, smart and progressive. So it was a big deal to me and it was also very humbling. A very cool thing to look back on in your life history.
And of course… IT’S VOGUE!
Yeah there’s that too (her giggles are husky and warm like her voice).
You are between LA and NY?
I go back and forth but LA is my base, I need to go back to London for a bit, it’s my home town. I love to travel, but not insanely like I use to. That’s one of the pleasures of acting, you can appreciate the cities you visit a bit more. No packing one “cold clothing” suitcase and one “hot weather” case, ready to jump on the next flight.
In the next life what will you be?
A couch hah ha or the right blanket! If that doesn’t work out a female Indiana Jones, an archeologist who also rides horses. Yeah that’ll do it.
A horse riding archeologist, that is specific. Brilliant!
Yes if you could arrange that, that would be GREAT thanks!
True Blood Season 6 returns on Sunday June 16th on HBO at 9/10 p.m ET/PT.
MeInMyPlace.com got a makeover, brill!
This was a big deal to me cause I’m a huge fan of the show and she was really hysterically funny to talk to. A week after, piece already posted, this lovely lady sent me a bottle of wine. That’s a classy broad folks!
Claire Coffee, You Sexy Beast.
(Cozying up with @NBCGrimm’s Sauciest Resident #Hexenbiest)
As you may, (or may not) have figured out, Claire Coffee is well loved at MIMP. Spend a little time with her and you will be quickly charmed (and thoroughly entertained) by her campy “Kitten With a Whip,” sense of humor. Tongue n’ cheek sass, behind a jaw-dropping form. No doubt it’s that combo that turned her guest spot on Grimm, into a series regular. She falls into an exclusive club here on the site, we like to call “TwoTimers.” Which is not some tacky play on words, meant to reference cheating or any other salacious implications (trolls be warned!). “TwoTimers” are those delightful lasses, that quite frankly one shoot simply doesn’t suffice. We need, we want, and then we implore for more (dazzling photos).That’s right, a second glorious MIMP shoot is required for these coveted few. Where once again we can bathe them in the subtle haze of the natural light, as they get all cozy, lounging around the house in their undies—as the good Lord intended! Can I get an Amen?
Ms Coffee fits into another category as well, (one that I’m also rather fond of), those talented women who can go from soft-featured, natural beauties, to the incredibly creepy and unnerving. All with the slightest curve, of a particularly wicked grin. You know the “I’m smiling but I’m gonna devour your intestine” crowd; ladies like Chloe Moretz, Naomie Harris, Eva Green, Summer Glau and Helena Bonham Carter. If you’ve been watching Grimm (Fridays, 9 p.m), you know exactly what I’m referring to, and it’s not because of that Hexenbiest CGI either. Which granted, in it’s own right, is AB-SO-LUTE-LY horrific! It really does resemble a flesh eating virus, ravishing through the entire right side of her face! This show ain’t no kiddies’ fairytale hour, that’s for sure.
So I had a little Coffee ‘Tawk’ this morning with the captivating Claire, as she returned to NY for a few days R&R after shooting in Portland. In our MIMP chat she reveals the possibility Adalind Schade might birth the show’s first Hexenbaby; as well as her fantasy football picks, David Giuntoli’scontinued irritation with carbs, and what it truly means to have shirtless rage. Thanks to my newfound insider info, I’m heralding Spring’s return of Grimm as the Season of the Witch.
These chats can become a tad silly, it that OK?
I think all interviews with actors in general, should always be silly.
I like to keep it light.
Well there are pictures of me in my underwear, so how serious can you get (laughing).
Portlandia is starting to seem more like a documentary than a comedy. Except for the mice, I have yet to see a talking mouse or rat.
New York or LA?
Well I lived in LA for 10 years, but now I live with my boyfriend out here. I moved last May, then got promoted on the show, which was wonderful. We went on hiatus, and now I’m flying back and forth to Portland to shoot. Although I prefer NY to LA, shooting in Portland is pretty fantastic! They have all these Craftsman, storybook homes.
How could it not? I mean people have coined phrases and learned a whole new word set, because of this show (terms like “pheromaniacal” and “#shirtless rage” immediately come to mind).
Well all signs are leaning towards it, so I think it will. Of course I hope it will. It really does appeal to a broad spectrum of people, for different reasons. A lot of people watch it as a family, the teens and young adults are into the sci-fi and fantasy elements, and I think the older viewers really enjoy how dark it gets. And the darker humor, that can come with that.
It’s one of the few unique, scripted shows on TV right now.
It is different. We do also have a very loyal, strong fanbase, similar to the Buffy and X Files fans. Those are the best kind of fans to have, they are invested. We were worried when we went on hiatus, but the Friday we came back we didn’t lose any viewers—I think the numbers increased. We came back really early, so we could air all ten new episodes before the 2 part finale. And let me tell you I have read the script for the first part and it IS BONKERS! I wait for these scripts with baited breath, not just for the storyline, but because Adalind is so insane (laughing).
She’s wicked, but it’s good. I’m thrilled she didn’t die.
Now she might have a baby on the way, a little Hexenbaby. It also might be mentally unstable, I mean she’s crazier then any contestant on the Bachelor and those ladies are out of their skulls!
What is Renard, besides Royal?
He’s half (witch) Hexenbiest (she tells the story as if it’s a family secret, or the plot twist to a popular Soap Opera). You see in the world of Grimm, you are born a witch, but your powers can be taken away. So Adalind’s mom was a witch, but we don’t know anything about my father yet. So of course I created my own back story, I assumed he abandoned me—upon discovering I was in fact a full-blooded witch baby.
(I break into wild laughter at this point, as this conversation sounds like the overheard ramblings of two Bellevue patients).
My Hexendaddy couldn’t handle the prospect of dealing with a teen witch, in the prime of her adolescence.
Who’s Adalind’s Baby Daddy?
One of the brothers, the baby will be of Royal blood. Adalind is very cunning that way. We were laughing that it might be a bit of a Rosemary’s Baby too. I was imagining “now, what would a Hexenbaby crave?” Blood? Raw flesh?
Please explain Shirtless Rage?
Sasha Roiz (Renard) has his shirt off in a lot of episodes, usually when he gets angry. So every time he gets mad, his shirt just happens to come off (laughing). I don’t know if he coined the phrase, or if a fan tweeted it, but it definitely has become a thing. I wish I knew how it started.
He’s like 6ft5 and you are tiny.
He’s a full foot taller than me, I’m a petite 5ft4 and he is 6ft4. He’s a pretty strapping guy.
You are an avid American football fan?
Yeah I have a blog where I predict scores, amongst other things. My team is the 49ers, I grew up north of San Francisco. As an 80s kid, I would see Joe Montana on TV in his hey day. Then when I graduated high school, I started following college football. About the same time I got back into the 49ers again, they weren’t doing so well at all. I certainly can’t be accused of being a fair weather fan. When they got a new coach, things started to improve.
Is that the team that’s going to sign Manti Te’o? (I know, I know, I don’t know ANYTHING about American football).
Well he’s a college recruit, so he hasn’t been drafted yet. He’s considered a real good player, but after the whole Catfish debacle, a lot thought it was a strike against his character. Like, how much of an idiot must someone be, to fall for this. Different positions, require a different skill set I say. I mean if your purpose is to bash in your opponent, maybe it’s better if you don’t ask too many questions.
Do you think you could ever be Catfished?
No way, Jose! I’m a very skeptical person, with everyone. People create entire fake profiles, they look for your weak spot as a way in. That someone would go to such lengths, to be so devious online, the internet can create highways for certain people to wreak havoc. At a really rapid pace.
Gay men would be my kryptonite. If you could be any football player, living or dead, who would it be?
Patrick Willis, he’s a linebacker and he’s ferocious, that seems like fun. Getting all those frustrations out as part of your job. He also has an amazing story, so he seems like a genuinely good person. Ferocious on the field and a sweetheart in real life. I think that’s a recipe for happiness.
Do you feel a pressure to maintain your shape?
Well I work out A LOT(laughing). There’s pressure as there is with any job, and I look at exercise as part of my job description. I’m not going to train like an Olympian, but yes, it comes with the territory. Then the wardrobe of an evil seductress, tends to be tight. Or I’m involved in some shirtless rage with Sasha (cackles), so it’s best to keep in fighting form. Thankfully, I like to exercise, so it’s not too much of a chore. I’m also generously rewarded with ice cream. That’s the thing I’m not willing to compromise what I eat, I love going out for dinner, I live in NY and film in Portland! Some of the best food and restaurants ever.
Well at least the boys have to also, none of them look too shabby on Grimm.
We were having a cast Super Bowl party and David, had to have his shirt off the next day, so he was eating celery and veggie dips. For the guys, if you are going to be half naked, the carbs are the first things to go. Oh yeah, the boys have to maintain too. Equal opportunity exercising, for all of us.
As an actress, have you ever read a post with one of your shoots, and thought “what the what?”
I try not to read the comments, you never know what’s going to get posted. I think as an actress, when you shoot pictures (or film a scene) in lingerie, you forget how many people are going to eventually see. There’s this buffer of time delay, as it may come out months later.
Even the complimentary comments, there is that point when they get far too specific.
I had a couple of situations like that on Twitter, where it wasn’t negative, just too explicit and graphic. I decided to block a couple of people because of that.
Whether recipient or sender, there’s a fine line between”hot” and “gross.”
Yeah, I never understood why men thought it was a good idea to send/text snapshots of their junk. Thank the Lord I have never received one in my lifetime.
Wish I could say the same, ugh.
Oh God, No, NO! How are you suppose to reply to that?
Good grooming? (lol)
I don’t think that was the response he was looking for (laughing). Maybe a memo should be sent to all men in the universe, when you send a penis pic, it probably isn’t going to end well. Was there a guy convention where they came up with this idea, without asking any actual women?
A film role, you would relish?
My most beloved movie of all time is Amelie, I would love to be set loose in that world. Fantasy laden, heartbreaking, charming and gorgeous. To work with that director (Jean-Pierre Jeunet) who sees the world in that way. Also I would like to be Dr Who’s companion, fantasy is the best.
Ice cream, pints and pints of ice cream, loaded up ready to go—in my freezer right now.
Are you a vintage clothes connoisseur?
I love vintage clothes and Portland has the best thrift stores. NY and LA can be overpriced because of the popularity, but in Portland you can find real gems. Vintage shoes and season bags. Sometimes I have to restrain myself, but the prices are really reasonable. I have had shoe binges out there.
Are your neighbors horrid?
In NY? I don’t know any of them, so that makes them wonderful. Though I will say a couple of units were partying the other night, and someone had taken a bag of beer bottles and vomit soaked paper towels and left them in the hallway!! Take it to the garbage, disgusting human! I was enraged.
You should have gone all Hexenbiest o them, at their front door, full make-up!
Then I found pup poop. I can’t say it’s the same person, but I do wonder.
Musically what do you like right now?
My fantastically talented boyfriend is a musician, he plays the mandolin. So I’ve been listening to a lot of mandolin. Classical music too, he’s recording a Bach album.
When is Shohreh Aghdashloo coming?
My God I love that woman! We share a future storyline, which is coming up—soon. As an actress and a person, I can only say glowing things about her, she is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met—in life. She’s so perfect for the show, ah and that voice.
She’s the Queen of ALL The Gypsies! God these gothic, melodramatic characters, are delicious, yum.
Well she’s an ally… with an asterisk. Adalind doesn’t really have any friends, pretty much the whole cast wants to kill her. The Gypsy Queen should be arriving in about a month, I can only tell you that much though.
If they made a fairytale film, which one would you want to be in?
They did already, Hansel and Gretel.
As Gretel or The Witch?
Before, I would have said Gretel. As a kid I always liked that name, I was also Gretel in the Sound of Music (ha ha). Now, I would be the witch. I feel it’s in my wheelhouse, I’m good at it. I also like the idea of a house made of candy.
Forget those kids, there’s a whole house of sugar, BABES!
Also Jack and the Beanstalk. In that scenario I would have to be Jack, of course.
Catch Claire getting all crazy on Grimm every Friday night at 8/9pm on NBC.
And to see the bonus out-takes from Claire’s Me In My Place shoot, be sure to pick up a subscription to the MIMP MOBILE WEB APP here.
THE 90s ICON:
… and this one went viral :)
“IT” girls just don’t seem to have the same longevity as the ones I grew up watching.
There were two gals in particular that every “Gen X Guy” (including MIMP’s own ME!) went gaga over, the angst ridden Winona Ryder and the the deliciously saucy Tiffani Thiessen. No matter your gender, culture or creed, Tiffani was for most the epitome of universal hotness. They may have actually coined the phrase “girl crush” shortly after her long running stint on “Beverly Hills, 90210.” Not only did every hot blooded male desperately lust after her, every girl religiously kept tabs on her sassy style (midriff baring sweaters, anyone?) and perfectly cropped 90s bob. Before “The Rachel,” young women the world over wanted Tiffani’s do. Not to mention the fabulously plucked eyebrows and plump (au natural) pout. Ah blessed nostalgia, those were days before 20 year olds felt the necessity to parade around with collagen-induced lips (sigh). Of course these were just a couple of the assets that had editors clamoring to have Tifanni on the covers of Cosmo, YM, Teen, People, EW, TV Guide and FHM (twice!).
First appearing as goody-two-shoes Kelly Kapowski in “Saved By The Bell,” she went on to become 90s sex-symbol/icon (everyones favorite bad girl) Valerie Malone. Whether setting trends or gracing glossies, Tiffani in many ways came of age in front of an audience of millions. For over a decade she’s been a TV staple, starring in shows considered by most as ratings gold. Then somewhere along the way (without me even noticing), she grew up, got married, and become a mom. And there’s a very good reason I may have not realized all this happening right in front of me. She hasn’t changed drastically in the last 10 years, she really does look just as good now. Working constantly, always picking roles that compliment her life stage perfectly, playing the characters (even the campier teen ones) that we all connect to. The cute girl next door (SBTB), vixen (BH, 90210), the hottie (What About Brian), the hottie (Fastlane), the hottie (you get the picture), then the chops-flexing co-star (Hollywood Ending); and most recently the clever (smoking hot) wife of FBI agent Peter Burke (in White Collar). If you ever wondered what it takes to remain the quintessential “IT” girl, maintain a stellar career, have Bieber sport your portrait on his T-shirt and cause Woody Allen to close his eyes to simply listen to your soft mellow voice—it’s time you found out.
Being a TV staple, what’s that like?
Sometimes it’s crazy to think about how “Saved By The Bell” and “90210” ran for so long and internationally too. I feel very fortunate and blessed, to have worked on shows that lived for a while. Especially after experiencing that popularity at such a young age. Then to continue to say I’m a working actress now, I still really enjoy it.
How do you keep picking ‘em?
It’s not just me (giggling).
(Not to be a perv, but her voice is like butter! It’s like a husky, sexy, sex-kitten!)
Yes it is just you (laughing) and NOBODY else!
Well when I was younger I didn’t really pick them, I was just getting lucky really. Now I feel like I can make more of a decision regarding what I want to audition for, or which projects I’m attached to. When I first read the script for this show (White Collar), I just fell in love with it from day one. The premise, the story and the character, call it women’s intuition. Now here we are, ready to start Season 5.
Is she a bit closer to home for you?
Oh yes! Elizabeth Burke is the closest to me, than any other role I’ve played in my entire career. I like that she’s not just sassy, but strong and driven too. At the same time she has qualities that I like, so I enjoy playing her.
Favorite 90s Jam?
I absolutely loved Boys 2 Men, but I’d have to say George Michael’s “I Want Your Sex.” I played that over and over again, I’m not kidding you.
Remember “I Wanna Sex You Up?”
I do, Color Me Bad ha ha.
(A tick tock you don’t stop).
Wine and chocolate. Or if a “Designing Women” marathon is on, I won’t switch it off. God I love that show.
If you could play any character, who would you be?
I got very close to that once, one thing that I always wanted to do was be a Bond Girl. I tested but didn’t get it. It was also probably the hardest rejection, because I’m such a fan of the movies. It was between me and 2 other actresses at the time. Unfortunately the actress who got the job, went on to be voted as one of the worst Bond Girls as well.
I know who it is, the seasonal doctor!
You figured that one out, just from that?
(Hint, Pierce Bronson, scientist. Or you could just click here lol)
Do you like Daniel Craig as Bond?
Love him as Bond, he’s right up there with Sean Connery. He’s just amazing, one of the best Bonds ever.
If you could be a man for a day, get their specific set of skills too, who would you be?
Mmm I’m trying to think, probably a rock star.
He’s not super manly though. If I’m gonna be a man, I wanna be a MAN. Tall and strong, I’m thinking maybe a basketball player. Or a person who can effect change in politics, maybe Obama.
Maybe you just want to be a black man, I know I do on occasion.
Do you think you have a type?
I don’t think so, but maybe I do without realizing, there are traits I love. My husband is a complete goofball, but that’s what makes him so sexy. He kind of exudes manliness. But at the same time, he’s very creative and a total dork sometimes. I love that (giggles). I enjoy that mixture, because I’m a bit that way too. Sure I like dressing up, but I like hanging out at home being silly in my boxers and a tank top. He made me laugh the first time I met him too.
What did he do?
The invisible hula hoop dance. The single most hysterical thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Seduced by an invisible hula hooping.
I need to see that! Do you like comedians?
Oh yes, physical comedy is very alluring to me. My real secret celeb crush was Chris Farley. I LOVED him.
You were the consummate sex symbol, was that a lot of pressure?
I think any time you are on a hit show as a young actor or actress, you feel that way. Then as a woman, there’s some additional pressures you feel to look a certain way and be a certain size. I was not the girl that was a size 2 and didn’t work for it. I was never the waify model type.
Yeah but you were on FHM’s cover twice (America, France) right?
Was I? I remember the first one they ran, that cover got banned! At that time, the airports didn’t want it on the magazine stands. It was considered too racy. Even though I had no top on, I wasn’t showing anything. Now of course that would seem very tame.
Speaking of being topless, Howard Stern once described you as having the “most perfect breasts” in the world. Thoughts?
Yeah, he said that before I had kids (laughing loudly). He first said that around the time that first FHM cover came out, it came up again when I did his show again last year. I’m not gonna say I’m not flattered, he’s Howard Stern, Howard knows boobs. The fact that he talked about me positively, I’ll take it! He was really nice and complimentary, in his own special way he was very respectful.
He’s an interesting cat. Both endearing, clever and a lil creepy, simultaneously (laughing).
(Why do felines keep coming up in my mind during this interview).
Enjoy doing the MIMP shoot?
I really did. Seriously, I haven’t done a shoot like this in a while, but I was completely at ease. It was intimate and sexy, but he(ME) made me feel so relaxed.
We were both really excited about this shoot & interview.
Awe thank you. It was great, he’s an amazing photographer and I got to be completely myself. I just threw on what I wanted, so it felt very true and organic.
Is Brian Austen Green a Warlock?
My theory is that he and Nick Cannon are witches! I mean both very cute boys next door, but how do they always date (then marry) such ridiculously hot women? I must know his secret.
He’s not a witch, I promise. Just a gentleman.
Absolutely, to me anyway. If a guy is gentlemanly, that gets my attention. I don’t like men to be too pretty-pretty, like a model. I like men to be men. I mean look at some rock stars, but they always get all the girls.
They have the “bad boy” cache though. Brian Austen Green always looked so wholesome.
Really? Hhhmmm wholesome you say (a blast of laughter slips in). Yes he’s one of the good guys, I have nothing but lovely things to say about Brian and fond memories. Respectful, funny and a great dancer, with a stunning wife.
He could dance, I do remember that… mmmm.
Heck yeah! (laughing)
Your co-stars, such ugly boys, eh?
Right, it was so hard for me.
Not to be completely unfair, but if you had to pick the best kisser, which one?
Oh boy, that’s a tough one because with one co-star I was a kid, then the others I was a young woman. I would have to say… and it’s kinda weird because we are still great friends and I love his wife too…
…Zack Morris! (cackling)
(Gosh I love playing this game, I’m not even using real names anymore. I’m channeling my teens! From her raucous giggles, perhaps Tiffani is enjoying this game too).
No, Jason Priestly and he was probably the guy I did the least on-screen kisses with. Talk about pretty boys.
He was prettier then some girls I knew.
And he has an absolutely gorgeous wife, who is also a very talented make up artist. She does my make up quite often. We all actually get together for dinners, maybe that’s why he popped in my head, or did this just get weird (laughing).
Now for some inexplicable reason (and out of my complete respect for Tiffani) I had to “try” really hard to not imagine these 4 beautiful people, swimming underwater, re-enacting the closing pool scenes from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. It was a difficult task on my part, but I managed it quite well I think.
Strangest audition of your entire life?
Woody Allen, it was strange but very cool. He flew the auditioning actresses to NY, I had no idea what I was auditioning for, which I’ve been told is the norm. With him you don’t get a script, sometimes you might get an idea of the role you might be up for. So 30 mins before I walked into the room to audition with him (and we had never met), they gave me sides to read. I also didn’t know what “Hollywood Ending” was about at that time, so the whole time I auditioned, his eyes were closed!
Which makes sense now you’ve done the film.
Well yeah, his character goes blind, but that wasn’t explained before. So I’m thinking, how is he going to make a decision about me, he just closed his eyes (laughs). Very, very, very nice man, quiet. It worked out well though.
Who’s poster was on your wall as a teenager?
Michael Jackson and Ricky Schroeder.
OMG! Silver Spoons!
Ever had a celeb girl crush?
I dunno if it was a crush, more that I just idolized her. Olivia Newton John. I think there’s also a part of me that wishes I was a rock star.
KD Lang, she was my sexual confuser. She was also Keanu Reeves doppelgänger, so… SOLD!
That’s hilarious, but now you mention in it. They kind of did look alike.
Whose music do you listen to?
Ben Harper, Mumford & Sons, Dave Matthews, Amos Lee . I’m more of a band than a DJ kind of girl.
What makes you feel saucy of an evening?
A bottle of wine works. Every time.
Finish this sentence, “In the next life I will be a… “
… a ROCK STAR!!
In my book Tiffani, you already are luv!
Tiffani returns as Elizabeth Burke on Season 5 of USA’s “White Collar,” airing Tues, JAN 22, 10/9c.
“This was my very first interview for MIMP, the truly scrumptious Matthew Gray Gubler :)”
Hey there MIMPsters…
Kicking off a whole new section here on Me In My Place… That’s right, we are now officially doing celebrity interviews… A little more informal than your regular interview, because Falene can not be contained… And the best twist of all, is that our MIMP celebs take their own images… What the What?!? So kick back and enjoy our little conversation with the ever talented and charming Matthew Gray Gubler
Interview by Falene Nurse
Photographs and Illustrations by Matthew Gray Gubler
He’s most recognized as Dr. Spencer Reid on “Criminal Minds,” the voice of Simon (one of The Chipmunks) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s shaggy-haired pal in “500 Days Of Summer.” For a while there he was a top male model, before that he graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts—where he majored in film directing. So what goes on inside the nerdy-noggin of an artist-cum-model-cum-actor-cum-director? Have you seen his site? Well this, amongst other things. So as you can imagine I was thrilled it was a phone interview because a) I’m incredibly lazy and b) I’m pretty sure in person he would out “Beckham” me (that’s when the male tends to be prettier than the female). Which I could really do without first thing on a Monday morning. What transpired was a fascinating interview about mice penises, human ridicule and Mr Gray Gubler’s genuine enjoyment of both Bauhaus and the Mary Poppins’ soundtrack. There was lots to discuss, which I tended to do (as always) through a list of random questions, which seemed well suited to his train of thought. Matthew is an authentic eccentric, which is gradually revealed as he shares his observations of the world with you. His is an enthusiasm usually reserved to ecstatic puppies or childhood escapades, he wouldn’t seem misplaced in The Famous Five or any other Enid Blyton adventure. What most of us unfortunately lose along the way, this 32 year actor/director has managed to maintain—and if you speak to him you can’t help but go along for the ride. It started withsomeone wailing “HELLLLOOOOO!!!” down the phone. That someone was Matthew.
Matthew: How are you?
Falene: Ugh good, I just had blueberry pancakes.
Matthew: Good, good, where are you? Are you in NY?
Falene: No, I’m in West LA.
Suddenly I feel that I will have absolutely no control over this interview. Matthew is a frenetic ball of energy whizzing through the line, it’s difficult not to feel rather drab in comparison. I’m also not use to people asking me questions. I should probably start doing my job better—very quickly.
Falene: Is Gray your middle name, or are you Matthew of the Gray Gublers?
Matthew: It’s actually a very old family name, my grandfather was named Vivian Gray and he didn’t care to be called Vivian for fairly obvious reasons. So yes, yes, I guess I am a Gray Gubler.
Falene: What should I know about you?
Matthew: Mmm what should you know. Let me think.
Falene: Not me personally, but people in general.
Matthew: I’m actually a pretty good skateboarder, which seems to surprise a lot of people.
FN: Really!? (I too am shocked, then quickly realize how rude shocked can sound coming out of my mouth). Not in a bad way though.
MGG: I think because I’m a nerd everyone—including myself—fails to recognize that I’m coordinated. I’m actually getting into skateboard design soon too.
FN: You are!!! (now I jut sound damn right ignorant). I mean, I would never have guessed that.
Tell me 2 photographers you really admire?
MGG: I love Cindy Sherman for many reasons, she’s utterly unique, I admire her sometimes frightening portraits. That merger of herself and her vision, people that can do that I’m always impressed by.
Also Terry Richardson, I see a childlike genuineness in his imagery which I know is somewhat contradictory to how he’s perceived.
(Gasp! Every online “flower vagina” comment and joke I’ve ever made about Uncle Terry comes back to haunt me).
He takes photos because he’s curious, optimistic, and silly like if you gave a talented 12 year old skateboarder a camera and let him loose all over the world. He has a unique perspective.
FN: Mmmm I have to admit I’ve never heard him described like that before. You have your own GUBLERNATION, do your followers have a collective name?
MGG: Oh they do actually, I wish I had come up with it but I didn’t. I think a lot of them call themselves Gubloids. G-u-b-l-o-i-d-s.
These words seem fitting to an episode of Grimm. How marvelous!
FN: Gubloids, it’s sounds like globular.
MGG: Or a strange disease one might have.
FN: Something slimy perhaps?
MGG: Or a free floating bulbous object, I like it.
FN: What do you think of the MIMP site?
MGG: What’s not to like.
FN: In your mockumentaries you are very self deprecating, would you like to do more comedy?
MGG: Actually that’s what I love to do when I can, it’s my favorite genre. It was quite shocking to everyone that knows me when I got cast on such a serious TV show. Those documentary shorts were based on some of the people that I’ve come across in Hollywood, they are the funniest people in the world, mainly because they don’t realize it.
FN: Wow, they sounds truly awful. How fun!
MGG: Yeah, or stories I’ve heard about from others that were just hilarious to me.
FN: Is there any role you might be a little reluctant to play?
MGG: Reluctant, no not really, I’ll play anything. I promised my friend I would do a nude scene in a movie we made.
FN: Naked you say (clapping hands happily—but very, very, quietly).
MGG: And I’m kind of reluctant to do that, but I know I have to do it because I promised.
(How does one start digging for more info on this topic and in a manner that doesn’t seem like I’m objectifying him, when in fact that is exactly what I’m doing? Mmm dilemma).
FN: So, is it gonna be like Shame? Are we talking about that kind of nudity?
MGG: No, imagine like the smallest penis ever seen on film, have you seen Ratatouille the movie? About the cooking mouse?
FN: Erm yes, I have seen that movie, yes.
MGG: So imagine that “nude scene” was with a mouse, but then make that mouse human and then make that human me.
FN: That’s not such a great thing to say about yourself! (and yet I’m laughing hysterically to such an unexpected response, well played Mr. Gray Gubler, well played). Fave comedians?
MGG: Stand up comedy in general is really hard, because anyone who proposes themselves as funny, then automatically becomes sort of unfunny. Yet I love stand up comedy. My favorites(*this word is sung) are Steve Martin, Bill Murray and Bill Cosby. So in a way all stand up comedians. All of them and none of them.
Funniest movie you have ever seen?
“Young Frankenstein,” all the Gene Wilder movies. Recently “Bridesmaids” was pretty great. Actually that girl too, Melissa McCarthy I think she’s a hilarious comedian. “Something about Mary” I almost died from laughter when I saw that in the theatre.
Tell me 1 secret. But please don’t take me back to the mice penises.
I’m a skateboard wizard. I’m pretty open.
Yes apparently, something like I dunno, do you have a third nipple?
I think Michael J. Fox is one of the greatest actors that ever lived(giggling).
That’s your secret?
I guess. Also let’s put Tracy Morgan on the comedian list. (My tiny-tangents seem simple digressions compared to Matthew’s ability to take you over to a previous question, then bring you back to the topic at hand). But Michael J. Fox is one of the greatest actors of all time. One of them.
I have lot of pets, I consider them pets although I don’t technically own any of them.
So they are just strays then?
No, 2 dogs that my family have and deer and raccoons in my back garden in LA.
You got scouted as a model and then fell into acting, do you think any of your peers might secretly hate you—just a little?
True I fell into modeling, but I’ve always loved entertaining. I use to do kids magic shows in Vegas. I’m sure I’m quite annoying to many people for many reasons, that could be just one of them.
Would demure be an accurate assessment of you?
You could say that.
Your character Spencer Reid is constantly being described as “awkward”, does that come naturally to you?
Comes pretty damn naturally unfortunately, so that’s kind of a bummer. I also overanalyze things. Yeah, even when I order coffee I’m not cool, it’s like (Urkel voice). “Can I have a 3 shot?”
Being on a series about serial killers, was there ever an episode that just freaked you out?
All of them are like that, unless I’m directing them, that’s a lot easier when I’m in control of the scary stuff.
There have been a couple of episodes that disturbed me to my very core(laughing with glee). I shouldn’t laugh, but some really bloody terrifying stuff happens.
Yeah, I’m also a very fragile human being (laughing).
Most embarrassing moment in life to date?
I don’t really get embarrassed that often. Only because I don’t mind being the object of ridicule.
A lot of your paintings and portraits are like illustrations, are you going to transition into animation soon?
Yeah, I’m hoping to do that next. It’s in a gestation period, but a friend of mine, we’re working on something.
I saw the behind the scenes footage of your first on-screen camera kiss, you seemed a little flustered. I felt bad for you, but then I laughed!
Well the crew is like my family, so no group of people could have enjoyed watching that experience more. I think you are only embarrassed when you fail to see the humor in your own ridicule. So I must love being the object of ridicule. Also not to sound like a douche bag actor, but beyond me being awkward anyway, I was thinking how would Spencer Reid feel about kissing mega babe Amber Heard?
Flustered, very flustered.
Yes, yes, I know. You see the fact is if you kiss me on screen it will only help your career as an actress. (As he says this he can’t get through the sentence without cracking up hysterically).
That’s right, kiss Matthew Gray Gubler on TV and you too can watch your career soar! Let’s put that out there.
OK, but it’s not true.
Let’s just put that out there anyway.
(In many respects it’s probably a good thing that I am neither a male actor or a director).
Could you do a 9 to 5?
I think because the hours are so long when shooting, anything I do after this would feel like I retired. If you love what you do, retiring isn’t an option. Retiring just means dying.
The last time you “swooned”?
I’m a permanent swooner.
Do you live in Las Vegas or LA, or is it a bit of both?
LA, Vegas and NYC. I’m in LA when we are filming. I’m nomadic.
If you had a theme tune, what would it be?
I don’t know the lyrics, but I know the instruments that it would include; a theremin, a glockenspiel and an accordion. It would sound like this “bow, bow, bow doink doink, bow bow.” Like a creepy carnival.
(*I’m not really doing his rendition justice, so listen to the beginning of Chorlton and The Wheelies, delete the vocals and then add moments that sound like a human voice impersonating the guitar in a 70s porn soundtrack).
If you were a chocolate, what would you be?
I would be the forgotten piece, in your top pocket, washed and then melted. A Gubloid.
DJ or band?
What are you listening to these days?
This sounds fucking crazy, but there is a reason. I was listening to The Little Mermaid Soundtrack, Mary Poppins, The Doors and Bauhaus on Spotify. Little did I know everyone on FB could witness my 90% Little Mermaid and 10% Bauhaus. It was like a serial killer’s playlist!
Do you have a favorite quote?
Have low expectations and high hopes.
Who said that?
I’m like a 16 year old girl here, Connor Oberst from the band Bright Eyes. I love them but only teenage girls listen to them. And me.
Was it surreal or mind-blowingly cool being the voice of a chipmunk?
It was amazing, I still can’t believe that I got to do that.
You mean vacation? I dunno Gublerland, every day is a holiday in Gublerland.
What do you have to get done by tonight to rest easy when your head hits the pillow?
Oh man. A lot.
It’s official, I’m saving a spot for Matthew in my “People I most want to live in my closet and occasionally come out to entertain me” list. Ah yes he will fit very nicely between Jim Henson and Bjork.
pictures by @SaulWilliams
words by Falene
Saul Williams is smarter than you!
The problem is he’s smarter than me too and I’m interviewing him. Usually chatting with complete strangers never intimidates me, in fact there’s nothing I rather do. There’s a certain intimacy to a phone conversation with a person you have never met. This time however in the back of my mind with every “silly” question I ask (not that that’s ever stopped me before), there’s a little voice taunting me. “Saul Williams is smarter then you! Yeah – that’s right! Saul Williams is smarter than you” and for some strange reason it’s to the beat of “You Can’t Wu Tang Better Than Me.” WTF? Perhaps it’s because Saul is not only creatively quite the genius, but academically he’s pretty impressive too; with a B.A. in philosophy from Morehouse and that Masters from NYU. When it comes to debating a topic, he’s usually got you beat, or at least in a quandary. Which of course adds to his mischievous charm and striking good looks. Not too far back the blogosphere was ablaze, how could he let “List of Demands” (his damning tune on over-consumption), end up as a commercial soundtrack for Nike? Intentional irony? Was it part of his satirical plan all along? Or was he just letting the most well intentioned progressives know, not even they have the right to dictate to Saul what’s cool or acceptable.
Influenced as much by Allen Ginsberg as Public Enemy, he’s collaborated with everyone from Erykah Badu to Trent Reznor. Emphasizing his utter refusal to be artistically contained. His is a voice that can contribute as easily to popular men’s mag Esquire, as the more highbrow New York Times and African Voices. He’s published 5 critically acclaimed poetry books, won the coveted Grand Prize at Sundance and the Cannes Camera D’Or, while shaking up the literary academia in his spare time. My brain matter got greyer just thinking about it! Now after the irreverent “Niggy Tardust” (an eff you to musical genres) he brought out “Volcanic Sunlight,” a personal music collection of sorts. For Saul Williams it’s more important to get people thinking, then talking. Whether you agree with him or not, really isn’t the point.
He skypecalls me from Paris. I suddenly feel terribly cosmopolitan.
When did you first act?
Around 8 or 9, I went to a performing arts elementary school. I decided I wanted to take this class called “Shake hands with Shakespeare.”
(laughing with nostalgia) So the first play we did, I played Marc Anthony.
I can’t imagine doing that so young, mind you we were force fed Shakespeare in England.
We were really never force fed it here, I was lucky to encounter it through theater, before the classroom. It was NY in the 80s, and the emergence of hip-hop. So me learning Shakespeare and me trying to write my first rap, were both around the same time. Sometimes I even tried to mix the two together.
Rapping in Olde English!
Which was also my first foray into poetry, but at the time I didn’t think it of as writing poems. They were rhymes, that I wanted to rap. It’s those little things you give yourself as a kid, without realizing you were leading towards something.
We never had schools like that, especially in the 80’s.
It was a pretty amazing time, we were all excited to be there, there was an energy. We also felt like we were involved with the new music that was being made in NY.
Were you a bit of a nerd?
Not really I didn’t get astounding grades, but I found school work relatively easy. I knew how to get good enough grades, without having to give too much work. I was really there for the social structure, and to battle as a rapper and a break dancer. That was what I really loved in school.
From you cadence, is any of your family from the West Indies?
My mother’s family is originally from Haiti, but they came here in 1917. So I do have a Caribbean background. That’s definitely there.
If you were forced to choose, what’s your preference, film, TV or theater?
Probably theater, I really like acting for film, however it’s wonderful to connect with a live audience. To feel that energy in the room and let that lift you through it. Where the space gets transformed in a different way, every night. You are yourself 24hrs a day, but then with the amount of time you spend playing the character. Before I was old enough, theater was the first way I travelled.
Have you heard of the term “Blipster”?
Blipster, what is that? (laughs loudly)
It’s a name some clever clogs came up for “a black hipster.”
Oh yeah, yeah, I did hear that. Well you know terms, when they are funny enough, or sharp enough to pinpoint an idea, can be cool. Are you insinuating that I might be a Blipster? (laughs)
I wouldn’t call you that, well not to your face. No, no, you aren’t. I’m not a “hipster fan,” regardless.
I think it’s kinda absurd to throw the word black in the front, to distinguish it. Being that they didn’t need to use black to qualify it, weren’t the first ones into the US hipster scene black anyway?
I see the humor of creating your own word, but then what’s a Chinese blister? Tell me about your book “Chorus.”
It’s a lot of peoples book, I worked with a 100 poets. I put out the word on social media and I received 8000 poems. I chose 100, once I got them I put the title and authors’ names on the book, like film credits. Then I concentrated on the texts, trying to find a through line, to connect the poems so they read like chapters. Then using words that were on the page, I created one poem. One voice, using parts from the 100 voices, highlighted. So it’s a funny a book, because it demands more than one reading, to get it all.
That’s a very complicated way to go about things.
It’s a literary mix tape (I can hear him grinning, widely).
Do you believe poetry should live more aurally?
No not at all, I believe in the page, but I think we get misguided by a lot of professors. In Homer’s time, 90 percent of people were illiterate, they didn’t read his work, they listened to him. Reciting from person to person, so I just used that to argue the value of spoken word and that it’s not new to poetry. So academia shouldn’t discredit that type of poetry’s relevance, it’s ancient.
Do you think the academia does discredit spoken word poetry?
I have no idea, but I do have “imagined enemies” sometimes (cracking up). I guess I have that in common with all the rappers, eh.
Yet there’s no beef, or haters, just sneaky professors. Hanging by the library, waiting to attack with their monocles and corduroy blazers with elbow patches (snickering loudly).
Exactly, they are coming for me.
Best rapper of all time, or is it too hard to choose?
I could say Rakim, but that’s because I was there, and I know what it felt like to say what he said at that time, in that climate. Taken out of context, you might come up with someone else. I could just as easily say Pos De Nous, one of the most playful rappers ever. Or Del The Funky Homosapian, what he can do has blown my mind, repeatedly. Or Kool Keith, I was in love with what he was doing when I was 15.
I liked he had been to a mental asylum.
There is that.
Tell me 3 of your favorite poets?
I have 3 poets I love. Hafiz, a Persian Sufi poet. Rumi, another Sufi poet and Khalil Gibran. Now they are all spiritual poets, I found those 3 really exciting. Gibran has less of a sense of humor though, but Rumi and Hafiz are hilarious. With Hafiz being the most irreverent, he isn’t beholden to a traditional idea of God. He talks about “God on the table, lifting her skirt.” I enjoy that kind of irreverence.
Your father was a minister, did that make you spiritual?
Well I’m not a religious person, but I would say I’m spiritual. Yeah I think my father’s interest and what was important to him, spilled over, but it also put me at odds with him about the institute. He was a Baptist minister, me I don’t see myself belonging to any church or religion.
Reality TV, thoughts?
I have a lot of TVs but they aren’t attached.
They aren’t plugged in?
I use them to watch films mostly, so it’s not really on my radar, but I don’t watch a lot of TV anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had days when I’ve been sucked into The Kardashians. Where I’ve come across that channel, or been in a hotel room and meant to watch an hour and I’m still there 5 hours later, vegetating. That’s happened, but at home I feel like I got enough TV in as a kid. There’s no rebellion against TV, I just have already spent a lot of time doing that.
Not so much the talent competitions, I don’t really look at them as the “Reality TV” genre.
Talent competitions can be fun and in many ways I came through the more traditional ones, but a lot of the people that I have loved creatively, like Bob Marley weren’t perfect musicians. He wasn’t the perfect guitar player. I’m just not sure if he would be judged properly on Jamaican Idol, if you see what I mean. I would like to think Nina Simone could have won the first American Idol, but if they didn’t think she was “whatever” enough, she wouldn’t get through the first couple of rounds. So I’m always thinking “Fuck you” to the judges in a way, they are like the professors. I don’t really give a fuck about those people in those chairs, not for what’s important to me musically.
Some of them have no business being musical or vocal judges, in my opinion.
I would beat all their asses with Miles Davis’ trumpet and spend time in prison gladly (giggling). At the same time do I shed a tear when someone has a breakout performance, I love it, I’m human. I’m just not a fan of the candy wrapper, that everything has been nicely packaged and polished for a US audience. What would have ever happened with The Ramones or Bad Brains? I’m gonna stick with Bad Brains, y’know.
A lot of Brit bands never made it over here, because they weren’t attractive enough. I’m amazed America embraced Radiohead!
Yeah we need more of that. We need to remember what beauty can be. I’ll take Thom Yorke’s voice over Kim Kardashian’s face and body.
You say that, but you were also married to one of THE MOST beautiful women in the world.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, but in that area, in my romantic history I’ve been involved with people that to me have a great deal of content. Women of intelligence and talent too. I can stand behind everyone I’ve been involved with in that regard.
I’m thinking, of one in particular.
(I refer to the patron saint of gorgeousness, my desperate obsession, Persia White).
I know who you are talking about.
(Good, that pleases me).
Describe your music?
Uhm, uhm, uhm.. hah ha.
If you had a handful of weed, stuffed into the mouth of a saxophone, then lit it – and stayed up all night blowing through it. That’s about right.
Tell me about collaborating with Erykah Badu and Trent Reznor?
I use to do poetry with Erykah, she’s a wonderful poet. She sang in her poems. Collaborating with Trent Reznor was awesome, he feels like a big brother to me. I feel I learnt a lot from him.
He makes me think “Your a big man, who could do terrible things to people.” I find him slightly terrifying.
Really hah ha. I have some friends like that, you can tell they are warriors, but well mannered warriors.
Art is so subjective, do you think that there is “bad art”?
Well, there’s things that don’t move me. That are cheap, or are not my personal taste, it depends. What appeals to me, may not appeal to someone else.
(He’s very diplomatic with all his answers, which I have to say doesn’t feel forced to appease).
Some folks are just shocking for shocking sake. Without any creative merit behind it.
For me, if it’s not for me, I think where is this shit going? Why are they trying to sell this to us, not the artist, but the industry behind it.
At this point (unfortunately) I went on a slight mad-one about enfant terrible Dash Snow (RIP), the class war, and how a hamster ball in a hotel room is considered art by the elitist establishment. When in fact it’s also just some rich kids mess that was cleaned up by a working class, middle aged maid, after a 13 hour shift!! Perhaps I was a little “too involved” in this description.
I’m getting the sense you are very angry about(laughing).
Do you have any opinions on the Tyler Perry vs Spike Lee debacle?
I’ve been deeply inspired by some of Spike Lee’s films, to me he’s a trailblazer, how he values cinema, playing into stereotypes to break them. I don’t see Tyler Perry movies in the same way. I’ve only seen the one film, and it’s a genre that isn’t for me. I have friends and family members that LOVE those movies, I can’t claim I’m a fan. A lot of his takes on religion and sexuality, are kind of “old world.” The only new world aspect, is the money that’s being made and what’s being done with the money. Building a studio outside of the Hollywood system, I can applaud that business acumen. His style is not for me though, but I would never diss him for that. He could probably create something that would be more appealing to me, but why should he, that’s not his job.
I look at Madea like Mrs Doubtfire, silly and cornball. Sometimes I want silly.
Silly is good, I LOVE silly. If Tyler Perry was silly about christianity like Will Ferrell, in Talladega Nights, that would be hilarious. He’s not though. Did you see that?
When he prays he has to put all the brands he’s sponsored by, in his prayers!
Yeah he’s kinda religious, so that’s probably never gonna happen
That might be his problem.
I dunno why, but I never expected Saul Williams to be particularly funny. He’s sharp zingers crackle like fireworks.
Do you think education has become under rated in the US?
Did you enjoy episodic TV when you did “Girlfriends?”
I did, I wanted to do it to smash any misconceptions I may have had. It did that. When I was there, it was a very female driven production and crew. It should have won some awards across the board. It was a very progressive set, I really enjoyed my time on that show.
Did you fall in love with Paris?
I’m happy to be here, but I didn’t have a romantic notion of Paris. I just knew I had been there a lot and it felt cool.
Are you living there still?
You’ve probably never looked at the MIMP site have you?
And I never will.
“Oooh Muriel, you are terrible Muriel.”
And with that we cackled like banshees one last time and I bid him adieu.
Next summer Saul can be seen with TV On The Radio, Deerhunter and Spank Rock at “Pontin’s Camber Sands Holiday Park” ATP Festival in the UK. He also stars in Alain Gomis’ new film “Aujourd’hui” set for release in January 2013.
The Talented Mr Daley
By Falene Nurse
Images by John Francis Daley
In a city filled with charlatans and rehabilitated former child stars, it’s rare to find anyone extraordinary—or quite frankly normal—to speak to. That’s why when I first describe this young actor’s accomplishments, you might imagine that although undeniably talented, he would be destined to have the social skills and personality traits of Patrick Bateman. At 26, he’s already secured a spot on one of the highest-rated procedural dramas in America, has the cool-kid’s cred of being a beloved “Geek” from a cult TV show, and now is currently riding high as one half ofHollywood’s hottest comedic writing duos.
By rights he should have been a wild child turned shameless Lothario, whose exploits are documented by the paparazzi for daily tabloid fodder. Yet nothing could be farther from the truth. Instead John Francis Daley is cherubically handsome and refreshingly polite, confident yet friendly and far smarter than I ever was at his age. You do get the feeling that this just might be his second time around on earth. He could easily be harboring a very wise, old soul in there, one that can only be found through true reincarnation. That, or maybe his parents raised him well.
Either way chatting over the phone (*I know, I know, MIMPsters) is like talking to a friend from the old neighborhood. He’s charming and naturally giggly, but you don’t feel that the conversation is based on any type of performance designed to deliberately make you laugh. He automatically partakes in silly banter, whilst nonchalantly telling you about up coming projects. Though strangely, only when prompted. He might be the only humble, successful American male under 30, left in Los Angeles. I really wish I was exaggerating about that. When the topics of “Bones”, “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” “Horrible Bosses 2” and “The Vacation” revamp comes up, he could easily be mistaken for a very well informed Cinefile. Almost utterly detached from his own integral role in each production. At times I completely forget that the person on the end of the line is currently starring on a particular show, or wrote the screenplay that we are discussing. It’s as if “John from #22”, is just letting me know what’s coming soon to the local Cineplex.
Should I refer to you as John or John-Francis?
John. John Francis would sound really pretentious. Far too regal.
(Perhaps, but unbeknown to him it would make me feel like I was in a Jane Austin novel. Which would be GLORIOUS).
Tell me something embarrassing and incredibly uncool about yourself?
I like to dance in front of the mirror way more then I ought to.
You dance alone in the mirror?
Yes, yes I do. By myself. I’ve done this ever since I was a kid.
Generally 80s hip hop, I do the robot.
Are you clothed at the time?
Well it really depends.
(Ah yes I can see he’s a good sport, we can have a little fun with this one).
You were on Vh1’s 100 greatest teen stars of all time, so I have to ask where are your club trysts, sex tapes and arrests?
The sex tapes are hidden in my secret closet vault, that no one will ever see. No, I dunno, but somehow I’ve managed to avoid being a total dumb ass.
I know! I mean yes, yes, you have considering you were a teen star. You are very together now.
I owe that to my parents honestly. They never pushed me into the business, they just supported whatever it was that I wanted to do. I’ve worked with enough kid actors to know that generally they have nightmarish parents that tend to force them into things.
Really, that sounds horrid?
(Well, way to bring down the mood there John).
So let’s just say that you were one of the lucky ones because your parents weren’t insane, correct?
They were really cool.
You are from NY?
Yeah I grew up there, so I consider myself a New York native. Every time I go back I get a little upset that I don’t live there anymore. It’s the best.
Now don’t be weirded out by this, but what’s your ethnicity? You have very full lips for a white person.
(God I love being English, I can pretty much say anything I want!!!)
(Laughing) Um my mom’s Jewish and my dad’s Irish. I am in fact the same mix as Harrison Ford, which I like to point out as often as possible when I go on dates.
So the pouty mouth thing, that’s a Jewish trait? (note to self).
I suppose, I guess it can be. Unless my mom you know…
Ah slept with the milkman (whispered).
You are only 26 years old, you started out on a cult show, now you are on one of the highest rated TV programs in the US. You wrote Horrible Bosses, you play multiple instruments, Jim Carrey and Steve Carell are in your next flick, you’ve written for Spielberg, you sold numerous scripts. Would it be fair to call you an overachiever?
It’s a combination, maybe I’m a a bit of an over achiever, but also I’m not able to sit still for very long. Coming from a family of entertainers, I’ve always been interested in entertaining others. My mom sings and plays the piano, my dad was an actor on Broadway for 10 years, so I was fortunate enough to know exactly what I wanted to do and how to go about it. So I think that gave me a bit of a head start, at a very young age?
John is also incredibly modest, if Idol, ANTM and America’s Got Talent has taught us anything—which in itself is a stretch—it’s that just because you wanted to do something from in vitro. Doesn’t mean you necessarily should. John Francis ( *I really want to call him this throughout!!!) is one of those fortunate few creatures, that happens to be very talented in a myriad of ways.
Did you study acting.
No I never studied acting, I didn’t go to college either.
For some reason I thought you went to some ivy league school.
This is purely an assumption that I made about a person I have never met before. You know like comedians are funny 24/7, John Mayer isn’t really a whore and John Daley probably went to Harvard or some other Ivy League school. Or is that just me?
I wish I could drop the H-bomb. Jonathan (his writing partner) actually did go to Harvard Law and I’m amazed he doesn’t drop the H-bomb more.
I hate people like that, they have everything in life that I want. I want to be a writer with a law degree, that went to Harvard.
You could still tell people that, but you have to figure a way to segue into it. Even if it’s the clunkiest segue ever… “Mmmm this dinner is good, reminds me of the dinners I use to have at… Harvard Law.”
“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” very excited for this, how did that all come about?
It had been kicked around for a long time, finally we put it on the shelf a few years back. Then we started working on some other projects as you do, then New Line came back with an interest. So we started working on a few more drafts. Then it began to attract talent, that’s how we got our directorDon Scardino and it’s his first feature. He’s directed “30 Rock” a lot, so we knew he had that comic sensibility. Then we got Steve Carell and it really snowballed from there.
You have a dream cast of comedians for this, are you thrilled!
I was so excited when they were building this cast, because I thought maybe we just got really lucky the first time with the Horrible Bosses. So it was very nice to know that it wasn’t just a first time fluke.
You are very calm for a 26yr old.
Oh I’m a heroin addict that’s why.
I thought you might be.
(Good job his humor divvy’s up between both silly and macabre, otherwise this whole conversation could have gone down the shitter a while back).
On your Twitter account, do you Tweet or is someone else coming up with the 139 witty characters?
No it’s me.
Cause I know how these actors are.
Oh no, no, I do tweet.
Do you now have, or have you ever had, an assistant?
No, but this year might be the year that we get one.
What if they are older than you, would that be weird?
I refuse, I would feel too weird about the whole thing.So we are actually going to hire a 12 year old assistant…
As you do still look like your 15…
Hopefully that might, you know, even it out.
“Rapturepalooza” is described “as 2 teens battling their way through a religious apocalypse on a mission to defeat the Antichrist.” This is a comedy, yes?
Yes, it’s a very silly premise that got a lot of comedic actors on board, we shot it last summer in Vancouver. Post-production took a while because there was a studio merger happening, so hopefully it will be coming out soon. It was so much fun to work on, but I still haven’t seen it yet. Anna Kendrick and I play the couple.
So you are one of the teens!! (cackling like a banshee)
See I wasn’t kidding when I said he looks young. He might be pushing 30, but has the smooth skin of a prepubescent teen. How envious the dog-eared Hollywood set must be of Mr. Daley.
I am indeed. We are the straight men in all this insanity.
And will you save us from the antichrist?
The last 3 books you read, graphic novels included?
Freedom by Franzen, A Man In Full by Tom Wolfe and before that Playboy (giggling).
I’ve been very fortunate that all the men I interview for MIMP tend to be natural gigglers.
Nice!! For the articles, yes?
That counts as a graphic novel, right.
In it’s own way, it really does. Yes.
Favorite books of all time?
When I was young, I was a huge Sci-Fi fan so Brave New World is up there. I really like What Makes Sammy Run by Schulberg it’s a pretty “spot on” take of the industry, even though it was written so long ago. Literally if you add zeros to the dollar amounts, it could be have been written today.
Have u read the book “Writing Movies For Fun And Profit” by Thomas Lennon/Robert Ben Garant and is Hollywood really like that?
I tweeted about that! Thomas was in Rapturepalooza so I learned about it through him. I haven’t read the entire book although I’ve read excerpts, but I think it’s great he offered that information to people. Often “How To” books can be very daunting for beginners and not have any of the real facts involved. Some authors create these glorified versions of what happens, whereas he’s pretty straight forward about what to expect. It’s very truthful and some of the things that seem the most preposterous elements of this industry, are sometimes the truest. Also I appreciate the fact that all the proceeds went to charity.
So you have contributed to charity for the year.
Although that book did make we wonder how anybody can get anything worthwhile done out here.
They do not. Often.
Freaks & Geeks what was in the water?
It’s definitely a testament to the casting and the vision that Paul Feig and Judd Apatow had when they first started. They took risks, which I really appreciated. I had been auditioning for years not getting anything, cause I was this awkward, geeky, tiny, tiny little kid, with giant eyes. I was constantly losing roles to the Aryan, Norman Rockwell looking kids.
So it was great that Paul and Judd were willing to go beyond the obvious, to what people looked and acted like, in real life.
Unfortunately it was also probably why the show failed with the ratings. I think it was “so different” at that time nobody knew how to take it, it was in a way too true and obviously the Networks didn’t know what to do with it either.
It’s funny to me that by an American’s perspective, that cast was seen as “average looking and freaky.” Just to let you know, in England those kids were considered VERY attractive.
Even in “Bones” everyone looks like a model.
Now that’s a good looking cast. (With that weird detachment again, as if he’s not included as part of the cast).
If you had to choose a person on the set of “Bones” that you might quite fancy in real life, who would it be? Or are you a bit uncomfortable objectifying any of them like that?
Only in case they read it and then I have to work with them.
So which one?
ALL of them, they are ALL great (coyly).
You are in a band called Dayplayer, what do you do?
I write a lot of songs, sing and play keyboards.
I noticed that Dr. Nigel Murray (Ryan Cartwright) was in your music video “To Me”, was that a little cameo for “Bones” fans or are you guys just friends?
I asked him of he would be cool with chasing someone around for the day and he jumped at the opportunity. He was totally game. We’re buddies, he’s out in Canada shooting Season 2 of “Alpha’sright now. So I still see him around, all over the place on billboards.
Tell me 3 of your favorite music videos of all time?
You sound so serious, there’s no wrong answer here.
Well I know them, but remembering them on the spot is hard. There’s Star Guitar by The Chemical Brothers directed by Michel Gondry, it’s just really, really cool. The Justice’s DVNO is awesome, directed by So-Me, Yorgo Tloupus and Machine Molle. There’s one with Bjork, I think Michel Gondry did that too.
Was she dressed up like a costumed bear?
Uhm… (incredibly long pause) …no (giggling again).
Is Dr Sweets possibly the best character name you have ever had?
It’s the most emasculating one. No.No, no, it’s a great name. Purely formed out of Hart Hanson thinking it would be funny for Booth to refer to someone called Sweets—a lot. Just the joy of having David Boreanaz say it.
This is a bit weird, have you ever read a fan tweet or comment and thought good Lord that was explicit. That ever seem a little odd?
Yes, yes. There were a couple, yes.
Like REALLY graphic, detailed explanations.
I’ve read a couple recently like that, but what’s really, really weird, is reading the message board from way back when, in Freaks & Geeks. Reading what some fans wanted to do to me then, when I was a 13 year old KID!
Ew, ew, but you were a fresh faced teen with pink cheeks.
Kidding. That’s terrifying really.
It’s a little terrifying as they were all probably comingfrom a prison computers.
(Have I perhaps taken this too far? Well apparently not, as I don’t think John is actually joking anymore. Or is he?)
I got A LOT of fan mail from prisoners.No, yeah, yeah when I was younger I had a lot of fan mail from prisoners, then I reached adulthood and the prison letters stopped.
You are lying.
I guess I got too old.
That’s not true, Eeeewww.
(I’m still not sure if any of this really happened, but I do feel like taking a Silkwood-strength shower in Domestos).
3 Fave bands/musicians of all time?
Radiohead, Wilko and Stevie Wonder.
Some people say George or Ringo just to be interesting – but I’m gonna say John. ‘Cause it’s true.
The Beatles or The Stones?
The last film that made you laugh out loud?
“Ted” was really funny. The last one that made me die laughing was “MacGruber” I thought it was hilarious and under rated. The sketch was just the one joke, but the film had a lot more going on. Yet, it didn’t do well, maybe because people thought it would be too stupid (and it was), but hilariously so.
Stupid can be very funny.
Stupid can be smart too.
Had you ever seen MIMP before I asked you to do this interview?
I had not, no, until I was told about it. I do like the pictures, very sexy.Yes, I am very glad I know about it now.
I wouldn’t dream of asking you to choose a fave MIMP gal, instead does a particular MIMP shoot stand out to you?
Yes one did, it may have been one of the famous shoots… or was she, I can’t remember for sure. Either way, I should probably not say which girl.
Living in LA inundated by models, actresses and free loving hipsters, about three to every one man is ;-
a) bit of a nightmare
b) a fantasy beyond your wildest teenaged dreams
c) more trouble than you would think
d) all of the above
Definitely a mixture, because as crazy as people think (and say) actresses are, actors can be just as crazy. I think it’s just people in this industry, it takes a certain type of person to put your face out there on display. You can call it crazy, egotistical or vain even, it’s definitely “something.” That attracts people to want to entertain others, your desire to be watched supersedes any qualms you may have. I was constantly getting in trouble at school as a kid for disrupting the class. Or lacking self control, just because I wanted to make other people laugh. The greatest joy I get is from entertaining other people or making someone laugh. Which is kinda crazy to some.
That’s kind of a nice thought, when it comes down to it.
Photographers you thoroughly admire?
I don’t really follow anyone to that degree, aaagghhh I’m gonna sound like an idiot huh?
No, no, I haven’t asked anyone so much about books as I have you. And luckily for me you turned out to be incredibly well read, so it all works out.
I like looking at photographs (laughing).
In Playboy no less, from what you say.
Reality stars, “good fun” or “when will they go away?”
I don’t like reality TV, there’s nothing enjoyable in it for me. Not so much the game shows or contests, my parents love “So You Think You Can Dance” and they are very talented people on there. I’m not really into it although it’s a ritual when I visit home to watch it, but there’s nothingwrong with it, encouraging people to showcase their talents in a competition. It’s the shows that glorify debauchery and bad behavior I don’t get it. Or why they are so popular. What’s funny is that I grew up in a NY suburb, where there were a lot of people just like “The Jersey Shore”. So I don’t understand the draw, I grew up with them.
And they were AWFUL. Weren’t they?
3 favorite TV shows?
The British version of “The Office”, my manager represents a lot of English people so I got really lucky and got to see it before it came to BBC America. I saw the very first 2 seasons and I LOVED IT.
Have you seen the “Mighty Boosh”?
I have, I’m not as into them but my ex-girlfriend was a huge fan.
(DOH!, well done Tactless Falene).We went to a DVD signing for them at Amoeba.I stood in line for 2 hours for that. That was a couple of years back.
Wow, you were a good boyfriend.
Yes, yes I was (proudly, yet again the giggles). I also like “The Wire” and “Louie”.
Have you met your idol yet?
I actually have. We had a meeting with Dreamworks as a writing team. It was meant to be a general meeting with one of the studios CEOs there Stacey Snider and she mentioned an idea that “Steven”had. And I thought to myself, she doesn’t mean Steven Spielberg does she? Then all of a sudden, without any warning, he walked in and started talking about this idea he had and we wound up writing an outline for it. Then we ended up getting the job (“Cal of The Wild”) because of that, that was one of the most incredible moments in my life. Unexpectedly getting pitched by (and then working with) Steven Spielberg, who I wanted to BE when I was a kid. I wanted his life. (No wonder he’s so successful. I wanted to be ET).
What’s funny is that was the second time I had met him, but he probably had no idea. See Dreamworks produced “Freaks and Geeks”, so I met him at a taping when I was 14 and when he came up to speak to me then – my jaw literally dropped to the floor at that point.
What did he say!
My son wants to be you (meaning Sam Weir) and I said “I wanna be your SON!!!”
Adopt me now, do it, do it! That’s kind of metaphysical in a way.
It’s crazy cut to 10 years later, there’s no way he remembered this incident. And I didn’t want to try and bring it up to see.
I dunno, your face kinda hasn’t changed.
(there’s the banshee cackle again, God I’m common as muck).
But you know what, God bless him for being good humored enough to allow me that one last “baby-face” dig. Bless him for being good humored.
I’ve always wondered is there any form of etiquette when actors meet other actors for the first time, a secret hand shake, an understanding that you all abide by?
Yes I guess there should be some etiquette, when any 2 people meet for the first time, just general politeness.
(was that sarcasm I detected ah touche, touche my dear). But that isn’t always the case. It depends who you are talking to sometimes.
Was there ever a point in your career when you thought, forget it this is too hard, I’m going to do something more stable.
Yes, I thought that when I was 13 years old (laughing). No this is true. Right beforeI got “Freaks and Geeks”. I had been auditioning for all these different shows, losing all these roles to the more traditional type kids. And at a certain point I thought screw this, I got go to all these auditions I don’t ever get and then do homework too! I gotta focus on my school work(like school was my real job). I was only in 8th grade at the time. Then the Freaks audition came along and I thought, this is definitely different to all the other shit I’d been trying for. So I decided, if I don’t get this one – I’m taking a break.
I can’t really imagine coming to that conclusion at 13.
It’s funny but I think a lot of the people that say, “never give up” have probably at some point done just that. Then happened to come back to it again, and you realize that it takes a persistence beyond your own comfort zone for things to happen.
Any other upcoming projects on the horizon?
Burt Wonderstone should be coming out some time next year, the “Vacation “reboot/sequel to the Chevy Chase franchise. We wrote the script and so we are gonna direct it too.
You are going to direct too?
Yeah, I know (he sounds so calm, or as if he’s telling you about someone else’s accomplishments, there’s no hint of arrogance or boastfulness. If anything there’s almost a detached air of disbelief).
You sound REALLY excited there John, try and contain yourself.
No I AM, but it doesn’t feel real yet. It’s still so surreal I think when we get to the pre production stage, it will hit me a lot harder.
I grew up watching those films man.
Me too, me too! And Clark Griswold WAS basically my dad, they even look alike! It’s been crazy to be able to be a part of that.
Congratulations to you Sir.
Thank You, thank you.
Oh yeah “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2”, that’s what I’ve been working on all today actually.“Horrible Bosses 2” and “Secret Histories”.
God you must have NO life.
(charm and subtly evidently are not my forte).
It’s all work pretty much. I like that though, I should do it now at this age while I still have the energy to keep up.
Oh and my band has a new video coming out we directed. It’s a really funny video, I can’t wait for people to see it.
Will there ever be a “Freaks and Geeks” reunion movie?
I don’t think so, sorry. I think enough time has passed that it would just be a really weird story to tell at this point. I hate breaking the hearts of a lot of fans of that show, that are still so loyal but I think Judd had said a similar thing. I don’t see it in the cards.
I might be no Spielberg but draw up the adoption papers, I’m keeping John Francis Daley! However if I’m completely honest, I’m probably thinking about it in much more of a Woody Allen kind of way.
1 Boy, 1 Girl, both beautiful! Who didn’t adore Patrick in Almost Famous, he will always have a lil place in my heart as that young innocent going off on a journey (sigh).
Muse, Mimic, Martial Artist – Meet The Many Faces of Patrick Fugit
Word By Falene Nurse
Pictures by Patrick Fugit
Patrick Fugit is the type of guy that you feel you have known most of his life. Maybe that’s because in a strange way, we have. We watched him come of age (and get ceremoniously deflowered) right before our eyes. He was only 16 when he landed the coveted lead in the Bildungsroman masterpiece“Almost Famous.” Besides being considered by most as Cameron Crowe’s alter ego, he also represented all of our innocence and naivety essentially being lost—but in a good way. The pivotal moments when you start discovering where exactly you fit into the world, we witnessed then on his face. Or when you first learn your biggest hero, actually is a flawed human being capable of disappointing you, we could see in his nuanced expressions. We’ve seen “coming-of-age stories” a thousand times before, but rarely is it captured so perfectly on film. There are few modern roles that you can honestly say “no one else could have played that part,” Patrick Fugit as William Miller is definitely one of them.
It’s hard to believe the baby-faced actor is almost 30 now. Since his debut he’s gained numerous high praises and critical acclaim for roles in “Saved,” “White Oleander” and HBO’s “Cinema Verite.” Accolades for being both indie darling and crowd pleaser, Fugit’s been the romantic dead in “Wristcutters: A Love Story”, a ball-busted junkie in “Spun,” a Snake Boy in “Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant” and most recently, a monkey carrying hippy zookeeper in “We Bought A Zoo.” He takes unconventional roles and makes them endearing, constantly bringing a certain sensitivity and subtlety to characters that are really rather complicated. Whether he’s falling for a troubled girl, saving wildlife or pioneering reality TV, he has the innate ability to convince the audience (and usually his co-stars too) everything is going to be all right—eventually. God help us all the day he’s cast as the surprise serial killer, though come to think of it he would be a good match for another long lost relative of “Dexter.” So I had a little chat about cleft chins, what’s next, listen to his impression of Morgan Freeman, and whether he might be Cameron Crowe’s secret muse.
Falene: Pronounce your last name for me.
Patrick: Fue Git. With a hard g.
Falene: Do you know what it means?
It means fleeting in Latin, but it’s spelled differently. In junior high they pronounced it FUGGIT.
Falene: Tell me a secret you’ve never revealed?
Patrick: I’m thinking of one, but can I say it? (pausing to contemplate) I wanna tell you a good one, alright, alright, I have one. My secret, so my mom use to have a ballet school, and we all took ballet.
Falene: Well there’s the secret right there.
Patrick: No, that’s not the secret. All my friends already knew that, everyone knows that now I think. What people don’t know is I had a key to the ballet school and I lost my virginity in my mom’s ballet school. After hours. There you go.
Falene: OMG!! Was it to a ballerina?
Patrick: Erm no, it was my girlfriend. I think I was 17.
(OK I was imagining a 12 year old sneaking around for a minute there, meeting with an older, sexually experienced ballerina. Akin to some demented “Black Swan” meets “Billy Elliot” scenario).
Melissa Stetten: Lost in Translation.
These days beautiful women seem to have some unrealistic expectations forced upon them. Don’t get me wrong this isn’t “a pity party for the pretty,” but recently I’ve noticed it’s getting a little out of hand. Remember how Megan Fox was vilified as “ungrateful” because of her cheeky (but genuine) opinion of a certain (borderline misogynist, sorry), director? Then when being dragged through paparazzi, she wasn’t cordial enough to a young fan baring blooms? Honestly, wouldn’t you have wanted to get the f$%k out that camera riot too? Then the defiant ones (Giselle defending her Tom), are quickly labeled as behaving “inappropriately.” I’m not encouraging anyone to deliberately act like a douche, but did I miss the requirement that “the good looking who possess a vagina, should remain constantly gracious no matter what?” If the shoe were on the other (gender’s) foot, would it be the same? The answer is, most likely not. Or how about if the woman in question was average looking, would that be an issue or merely the butt of a joke?
One such incident came to my attention a few months ago, I didn’t mind too much though because it introduced me to an excellent writer. Melissa a professional model, who’s blog pokes irreverent fun at herself and the industry she works in, dared to mock a cheesy man-baby. A slightly (allegedly) beer-buzzed-buffoon, who was hitting on her. Like any other twentysomething today, she did so in real time, via Twitter. Then, it went viral. Not because she’s a bit of a saucy minx, with a killer wit. Mostly because as it turns out, this “married” actor was a born again, father of two. He also happened to be a recovering alcoholic, doh! Some (idiots) were outraged not by him, but by her andher audacity. How dare she! a)Not make small talk with a man she had absolutely no interest in or b)Tweet he removed his wedding ring and drank a beer! Sacrilege!!! Many could argue that it may have been a simple matter of perception, but one would imagine if this were a genuine case of slander, he would have taken action beyond FB. Surely there’s a flight full of passengers who would corroborate? I for one thought the Tweets funny and probably very true. It also got me wondering, can you imagine the responses if she’d been a tipsy older woman hitting on a male model that was uninterested? Ah the delightful double standard, hoorah! So that’s how my initial fascination with Melissa Stetten began. Yet it’s her ability to bare her soul, flaws and shortcomings so hilariously, that keeps me coming back for more. She’s also kind of adorable. Even when discovering her ex was cheating on her with a younger woman (she was in her early 20s at the time! sigh) she refused to hide the truth, no matter how embarrassing the event. You mean to say a professional model, can not only get cheated on, but can be equally as ungracious and irritable as the rest of us mid-flight? Yes, thank God! Read More
THE DEATH DEFYING WILD CARD:
2 words hubba hubba, 3 more “Are You OK!!”
The Secret Fluffiness of Josh Stewart
Words by Falene
Pictures by Josh Stewart
Josh’s ‘Heart’ illustration by Matthew Gray Gubler
Having seen (and enjoyed) many of the characters that Josh Stewart has played, I’m not going to lie—I was expecting a rather brooding fellow. He so convincingly embodies individuals, who more often than not are slightly “troubled.” Men who are constantly perturbed, or teetering on the edge of something truly awful happening. Leaving us all wondering what the character does after the day is done, the scene is over and the credits have rolled. Truth be told I know I do and it’s never good. Whether he’s agent, mute or thief, it usually involves a window, a sense of foreboding and a large glass of Bourbon. I mean do you see ‘Detective William LaMontagne, Jr.’ going home, relaxing with a hot mug of cocoa and soaking his tootsies in the Foot Spa? Nor me, although he really probably should.
So imagine my surprise when a few minutes after our “hellos,” I realized Josh Stewart is in fact one of the fluffy bunnies of the world. Those few genuinely ‘good’ people, who enjoy dappled sunshine and feeding ducks. The ones you would want to give big hugs to and protect from all the troubles of the world. Which is odd when you consider that nine times out of ten (on screen), it’s usually the world that seems to need the protection from him. The actor who portrays the ‘melancholy and macabre’ so well, has an alluring coziness about him. A comfort inducing tone, that makes you want him to read you a bedtime story before tucking you in for the night. It’s bizarre, but I think I want Josh Stewart to be my dad! WTW? Which makes no sense at all, as I’m at least one year his senior. So instead of trying to convince him to adopt me (*which I was very tempted to do), or that he and Robert Pattinson could pass for family; we talked about how utterly gruesome his new film “The Collection” is. As well as his impressive portfolio of fictional character names and why he wouldn’t mind being is his wife for a day.
I give you (the-not-at-all-creepy) Josh Stewart!
Your accent is none descriptive, where are you from?
Originally from Diana, West Virginia, I was in NYC for a while working, so it’s kind of all over the place now.I don’t why, but a lot of people think I’m English.
Perhaps it’s because you are very pale?
I am Scotch-Irish (laughs), with a bit of Cherokee thrown in.
You also tend to play the rather unhinged sorts, don’t you?
Yep, yeah. Exactly.
Saw you on “Grimm” I think you were a beast of some kind?
Well, there you have it. At least it was the kid who was really troubled this time, I was just a decoy.
I did think you were the culprit on sight.
That might have been deliberate, maybe they thought “who can we get, that everyone will believe is completely unstable and guilty? Josh Stewart!“
Even the cops you’ve played, seem to have issues?
If I’m the cop, it’s the one you probably don’t want to be partners with (laughs).
Why do you think that is?
To be honest I think…
… it’s because you’re so pale, isn’t it?
Yes, yes that’s right, ha! No, when you first get to Hollywood and work, it’s whatever you remind people of, is how they cast you.
(Now he sounds almost like a New Yorker, I’m so confused).
When I first got here, some people kept saying I reminded them of a young Sean Penn. Who was associated with the more intense or complicated roles.
Well, that’s a compliment.
Absolutely, but that’s how they saw me. So you are steered towards those types. I can play those types, they come to me easily and it’s been good to me.
They suit you.
So why fight it and it’s fun to get in the heads of those kinds of people.
Mmm, you are troubled aren’t you?
(Although his giggling, doesn’t really back that idea up).
Put it this way, I’ve been here over ten years now and I’ve auditioned one time for a sit-com. No joke, one time.
Wow they don’t even look at your picture and think “happy.”
No, more like “what’s wrong with this guy, let’s call him in.”
You ever auditioned for “Twilight”?
Nope, I’m not pretty enough for those kind of movies.
(Although he can sound like a seasoned cop, grizzled FBI agent, or cowboy storyteller, he doesn’t photograph that way).
Have you seen those dudes?
(Bless, I find it so much more satisfying to silently objectify the ones that are completely unaware of their looks).
Besides I have a few years on all of them.
Just how gruesome is “The Collection”?
It’s completely offensive in EVERY possible way.
Seriously, I’m in it so I know what’s gonna happen next, I can’t watch the really bad parts. I still cover my eyes or turn my head away.
I saw the trailer with the dance club scene. Oi ve, ouch.
Do you still snowboard or box?
I use to be a competitive snowboarder. Everyone still thought it was a fad then, the ski patrol didn’t really want you there, or the skiers. We were constantly getting our lift tickets taken away from us. When you look how it’s transformed free skiing and how far it’s come. With boxing you figure the older you get, it’s not really that much fun getting punched in the face.
Especially with what you do for a living, are you allowed?
I guess that’s more the question right (laughing). Fortunately for me, the characters I play if I get a real black eye, they say “ah it’s fine.”
How did you start acting, being into more athletic pursuits?
My father was a baseball, basketball and football coach. So I grew up in that world and theatre wasn’t even on my radar. By chance, my speech teacher from high school was directing a play and she told me to audition. First time on stage, I knew, this is it.
You have the best character names; ‘Arkin’, ‘Barsad’, ‘Holt’, and ‘Pleasant Curtis’ my personal favorite .
I tell you Pleasant Curtis is the best name, in history. I’m not gonna argue with that. Wouldn’t that be the best name for a bar?
What are you talking about, I’m gonna call my first born that!
Barsad comes from a “Tale of Two Cities” a lot of the Batman film’s storyline came from that.
(I’m ashamed to admit, I thought as he was a mercenary it was a take on Bastard. Just pronounced like a rough Londoner, without the T).
What TV shows are you watching now?
To be completely honest, I barely watch TV. If I do watch anything it’s usually The Outdoor Channel or movies.I did watch some of the “Dexter” season with John Lithgow, my wife is very into that show. There’s something to be said for a guy that can play a serial killer and make him a likable hero. You root for him, which is really creepy.
Very handy on the creators part, mind you. To have him kill serial killers.
And you don’t want him to get caught, this person that’s doing something that’s morally reprehensible.
Then there are some, like the angel of death nurse, she wasn’t that bad.
(laughing) So, you are deciding who Dexter should and shouldn’t kill? Who lives and who dies, Falene?
(Oh poop, I’m sorry Dad, you are right).
Any thoughts about MIMP?
I read an interview, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind these last couple of weeks so I haven’t had a chance yet. I was flying to Texas, then to NY, for the tour for “The Collection.”I just got back from directing my very first movie, which I’m in and I wrote too. I think my brain had a meltdown. I’m sure two thirds of it is no longer in use.
Any hobbies or skills, are you a secret knitter?
Carpentry, I have the potential to be a good carpenter.
Last film you saw in a movie theater?
“Beasts Of The Southern Wild.” So good, so freakin’ good. On the plane I watched “Stand by Me”and “On The Waterfront.” I thought, Tom Hardy is like our Brando.
Well technically, he’s our Brando. I speak for my fellow countrymen (and my lady parts).
(laughing) Well, he is your Brando, but I meant our generation’s. I’ve said this before about him, the guy has so much power in just his eyes. He had that mask covering half his face, all he had was the eyes. He’s like a throw back to a different time.
Josh genuinely has a strong passion about good films and good acting.
What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t a working actor?
I would probably be a carpenter. I enjoy building things, I built the dining room table, chairs, some furniture in our kids room. It’s nice creating something tangible, something tactile.
What is your true hearts desire?
Fly-fishing, standing in a river. I love it, there’s nothing better, sun just poking through the branches. With Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” in your back pocket.
(I’m so glad I recorded this raconteur’s tale, I shall sleep well tonight kids).
If you were a woman for a day, who would you like to be?
That’s both lovely and really, really, really dirty. (God, I’m an absolute guttersnipe, although he is cracking up).
Wait, OK, my wife when she isn’t around me. My wife, not going to bed. I see where your mind went there. I can see it now, “Josh Stewart really wants to be with himself.”
Awe, playing with his own bits.
That’s right and playing with my own bits.
Fly fishin’ and touchin’ me own BOOBS!! Ah, good times.
Who do you love, musically?
Johnny Cash, recently I’ve been on this kick of folksy, bluegrassy, instrumentals. Also been listening to Mumford & Sons and The Avett Bros.
Oh yeah, ‘Headful of Doubt’’ is a great, great song and ‘Kickdrum Heart’ as well. Where I’m from, the Appalachian Mountains has a big bluegrass music following. It’s also where all the Scotch-Irish settled, the fiddles, the banjos, it all comes from a similar place.
Your biggest vice.
Oreos. I can whack a bag of Oreos, in one sitting. I’m talking at least 25 cookies in one go.
There’s an illustration of you by Matthew Gray Gubler that says you had Salmonella?
I did, I actually went into cardiac arrest and my wife performed CPR on me for 7 mins until the paramedics arrived. Then they had to shock me back. Yep, that really does happen from Salmonella. So now when you go back a few questions, to why I say I wanna be my wife.
You want to save yourself?
Yes, I want to save myself because I have so much to do (goofily to himself). The weird thing is she doesn’t know CPR, they walked her through it over the phone and I died for almost 10mins. I got Salmonella from feeding ducks and now I have a defibrillator in my chest. So I took a picture and sent it to Matthew as a source for his drawing.
Josh exudes a reassuring sense that everything is going to be ok, he’s got it covered.
That’s really serious, man.
Erm slightly, yet he’s so incredibly calm as he recounts his own death.
This is meant to be a light and fluffy interview Josh?
OK… I want to be my wife (giggles) I wanna be with myself… and play with my own boobs.
If you were a chocolate what would you be?
A snickers bar.
Lovely, as you should be.
Quick word association round.
a) Red - blood
b) Kittens - not so much
c) Giggles - River (his son)
Mmm that makes the last one a bit awkward
d) Vagina - babies
Or maybe not, that works. Clever, well done!
“The Collection” (the sequel to 09’s “The Collector”) is out November 30, Josh Stewart is ‘Arkin’. According to some “it’s Jigsaw on Crack.” So, go see it!!
Interview by Falene Nurse
Images by Michael Edwards
It was the day of the Endeavour fly over if I remember correctly. I was thinking about songs with the title name of Beth. There was that Kiss song, “Beth, I Hear You Callin’… “
And then she did!
Beth Riesgraf had a dizzying schedule that day—including picking up her sisters from the airport in hellish space-shuttle-related traffic—yet she still got back in time for our interview. She found a quiet place outside her house to take a moment. Beth is a very interesting cat: she’s the kind of cool that reminds you of a teenage Jodie Foster (in possibly every film she did in the 70’s). All tomboy swagger, cheeky wit and a glint in her eye. You know, that girl you used to want to be, or at least imagine yourself as equally spunky if called upon. Perhaps that’s why she plays the part of ‘Parker’ so well on “Leverage” – she brings a little of herself to the role. I’m a bit late to the party on this one, but“Leverage” is fast becoming one of my new favorite shows (joining the ranks of “Dexter” and “Grimm”). A lot to do with that is the two lead actresses in its ensemble cast: beautiful, smart and deliciously criminal, they thankfully haven’t been beautified to the point of distraction and impracticality. As is the case with most women on American TV today, even if the character being played (i.e. agent, lawyer, assassin, firefighter, etc.) doesn’t call for the actress to be in heavy makeup, skimpy tank top and full pout. I’m talking about you (“Crime Scene Investigation”) and your ridiculous investigative work clothes. I have to say watching ‘Parker’ and ‘Sophie’ is a welcome relief. So much, in fact, that before our call I had gone through a “Leverage” marathon. I had questions – about the sexual chemistry between ‘Parker’ and ‘Hardison’(Aldis Hodge) for one; as well as the numerous songs that the real Ms. Riesgraf might be named after.
Here’s how the caper went down.
Were you named after the Kiss song?
No, unfortunately not, but wouldn’t that be a cool icebreaker: “My parents were rocking out to Kiss one day and it just came to them”
If you could choose your own “Beth Song” out of these 3, having never heard any of them, which would be your theme?
A) Beth/Rest – Bon Iver
B) Beth’s Song (Sing me to Sleep) – Shayna Follington & The Amabile Young Men and Men’s Choir
C) Beth – Kiss
Having not heard any of them, I’m gonna go with Bon Iver.
Yay, now we have a Beth Song just for you.
I LOVE it! YAY! (laughs)
I love the main female characters in “Leverage,” both very beautiful, but the show focuses more on their ability to charm and con vs head turning.
I’m really lucky to be on show where the producer doesn’t come up behind me and say: “That’s not the most attractive face.”
(THEY DO THAT????!!!!)
I don’t have to think about what I look like, as I’m acting. Don’t get me wrong – it’s good to know your angles, etc., but at a time when that is more relevant.
Did you deliberately bring a sort of sexual apathy to Parker?
Parker grew up having to survive on her own instincts; part of her quirkiness is that she was alone for most of her life. She’s very attracted to ‘Hardison’ (obviously). Firstly, because he’s so smart and good at what he does, also because he’s hot! I mean, she’s not blind! There’s a definite sexual chemistry there. She still operates from instinct, but she’s not oblivious to her sexuality – it’s just not a big part of her arsenal.
Is it safe to say that she’s a bit mental?
She’s a bit off. A little unhinged, maybe.
I like that though, I don’t 100% trust her. She’s quirky, but not in too cutesy a way.
I’ve really enjoyed her story arc, when you first meet her, the general consensus is this girl is CRAZY! She’s blowing up houses, hanging people over buildings and stabbing them with forks (laughs). As she grows, she learns what is socially acceptable, but she will never stop being dangerous. That’s her weapon.
Is Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman) a sort of “mother” figure to Parker?
She does take a maternal role at times: she tries to help her like she would a normal person. Sophie tries to mentor her.
Yet, they are basically criminals. So she has this nurturing relationship, but what exactly is she going to teach her that’s “normal behavior?”
When you step back, it’s a bit nutso (laughs again).
I read somewhere, that in real life there’s almost 8 years between you and Aldis Hodge, wtw?.
Almost, yep. I’m older than him.
But you both look the same age and he’s one of my brethren, so that’s a hard trick to pull off?
(laughs again) He does have a crazy gene where he just doesn’t age and maintains perfect skin, his mother looks amazing.
Well done lady!!!
Thanks! (more laughter) … My mom kept me out of the sun.
Why so many Dr. Who references? Coincidence or deliberate?
It is a fact – there are plenty. The writers once in a while like to throw a treat out for people who will get the reference, it’s a fun game. At one point there were a bunch of Star Trek guys that came on, Jonathan Frakes directs a bunch of episodes and then he brings his buddies. It’s been a great ride, we get all these awesome actors, and we have a great mix of people.
Do you have any pets?
Yes 2 dogs, both adopted. A Chaweenie called Los, it may have been Carlos and we abbreviated it. My sister also just surprised us with a baby Doberman.
What is your one true heart’s desire?
My son, he’s the most amazing being I’ve ever met in my life. I get butterflies when I pick him up from school, I’m so happy to see him.
I love his name, I LOVE a unique name (I’m not bias here at all, honest)
He loves his name too, thank you!
What was the last movie you saw in the cinema?
Oh, wait for it … (long pause) It was Hit and Run with Bradley Cooper and Dax Shepherd (*who Beth worked with on “My Name Is Earl”). I really love movies, I don’t get to the movies as much as I would like.
What was the last movie you saw, that was a huge let down?
I’m so picky about the ones I do go to see, because I can’t go as often. So I haven’t had that experience in a while, I’ve been pretty entertained actually.
3 fave albums of all time?
Ah yes, but it’s hard. Bob Dylan The Desire, U2 Joshua Tree and then maybe between Rolling Stones and Coldplay. No, no, back up, I got it. Beck Sea Change, yeah… (she pauses for a minute, I think she’s genuinely very pleased with her choices)
You are also a photographer, what do you think of the MIMP shoots?
I really like Nina Dobrev’s shoot, so natural. I liked that it was really easy to put my stuff together. Saying that, maybe I should have thought a bit more about an outfit (laughs).
Do you have a favorite famous photo that you just love?
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Picnic On The Back of The Mame (in France). It’s the back of a group of people, possibly a family, having a picnic at the river with their wine. It’s such an ideal summer afternoon, it makes me happy.
You were in that Death Cab For Cutie music video with Lukas Haas, how did that come about?
The director Autumn De Wilde called me; we knew each other through friends. I really like her and she’s a great photographer, so I said “absolutely.”
Most awful audition EVER?
When I first was getting into acting, for a music video or commercial and we had to line up in bikinis and dance. It was hell with a capital H. You are in there with these 6ft tall…
… 14 year olds?
Yes! (laughs) Just these Amazonian, tall, lean models – it was horrifying.
Worst date you ever had and why?
Oh boy, there was one.
Even if it wasn’t their fault, like the restaurant burned down.
He had just got a tattoo. So there was this big build up, ooh cool a tattoo, I’m into it, I like a guy with tattoos a ‘lil dangerous. Then he showed up, with his ex-girlfriends name.
Doh! Not fun at all.
It was kind of hilarious, but not in a good way.
Do you have to work out a lot, or does hanging from the wires keep you trim and slim?
I do, sort of boring but true answer here, but it’s a balance of exercise and good food. I eat reallyhealthy food, I give my body sweets now and then, but avoid over processed foods. Lots of veggies and water, bit of walking, yoga and Pilates.
Say like Jennifer Anniston, she admitted that she works out about 6 days a week. That’s like the regime of an athlete! I would love those results, but I couldn’t put in that kind of effort in (if I’m completely honest I don’t want to put in any effort at all).
Time management is key: working long hours, I also have an 8 year old, so finding the time to fit in the exercise can be tricky.
(now I feel really lazy)
Boxers or briefs, the girl version. What’s your face underwear to where.
GillyHicks, the cutest underwear ever. Not a thong, not a brief and in silk.
You wrote and directed a short A Standard Story, was that fun to take on a different creative role?
I absolutely loved it, from start to finish. You imagine something then create it, from the costumes, to the script – we built the feather dress from scratch (the costume designer and I), and then having that type of creative control in the entire process was wonderful. The WESC helped produce it too, they sponsor different art projects. Such crazy, fun, people!
In the next life you will be a… tree?
Dogs have a good life, but I want to come back as a princess (laughs). I want to come back happy, healthy and loved. So a puppy or a princess, I’ll take either.
Its official, Beth is my new girl crush!
BILL S. PRESTON:
“My life is complete, I interviewed Alex Winter and we talked of Bill & Ted!”
Words by Falene Nurse
Photography by Michael Edwards
Tall and tan and young and lovely, might be famous lyrics about a certain Ipanema girl, but it also perfectly describes a rather lovely lady from Manchester. With her unique looks Judi Shekoni is no stranger to unusual roles, it would be very hard to typecast this girl! BeforeZafrina in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, she had already portrayed a Bond Girl, a refugee, a gangster’s wife and an alien! At almost 6ft Judi certainly makes one damn fine looking Vampire in Twilight’s latest (and final) installment. With her legs that (literally) go on for miles, her face and figure force you to take notice. Yet, it’s her fun loving personality that really makes you stop and pay attention. She’s so down to earth and mischievous, I soon forgot that next month she’s going to be in one of the highest grossing movies of all time.
With her saucy humor, charm and modesty, she feels less like a Hollywood starlet and more like an old high school, gal pal. There’s really not an ounce of pretense about her. Yet amidst a whirlwind press blitz, this delicious Mancunian was kind enough to take time out to discuss her thoughts on British men, spirituality, kissing Goldie and of course my favorite topic—Michael Fassbender’s penis.
STEED LORD: Messages Received From New Crack City
Interview by Falene Nurse
Photographs by Steed Lord
The city was hot, damn hot and I’d been searching for Iceland’s Holy Trinity for quite a while now. Albeit foolhardy without any address, recent sightings or even a cell number. A couple of leads had led me to a flea market in Silver Lake, a late night champagne dance party and a Scandinavian knitting circle dedicated to Bjork. But still, no joy.
Through the great vine, I had heard that the best place to find them was in New Crack City; where they liked to go to create both their music and art. The problem was this particular city was a fictitious one of their own invention. KALI,MEGA and DEMO (*nope, those aren’t their real names either), the art-collective known as STEED LORD are renowned for creating block-rockin’ beats, emotional synth-pop and occasionally a rather stylish clothing line for H&M. The trio are notoriously hard to physically trace, 100% DIY (do it yourself) and possibly slightly mad. So this interview might be a bit tricky to pin down.
I mean how could a recluse-writer find these elusive Icelanders, in an imaginary place based on a 90’s crime drama? I decided probably by going home first, the chances of me stumbling across them in the streets of Los Feliz were pretty damn remote. Like I said, the city was bloody hot! Upon returning to my abode, I immediately took to the internet and this is what I found. Steed Lord was originally the nickname givento their delightful, autistic, Persian kitty—Mr. Elvis. Apparently, he conjured up fanciful ideas of British noblemen, whilst posing freeze-frame in their living room. I also discovered an email address and started a correspondence, here’s an excerpt of the messages I received from New Crack City.
pictures by Jordan Beckett
words by @FaleneNurse
I threw caution to the wind recently, by interviewing someone I had actually met in person. I attended a (straight to DVD) screening and afterwards they like to give you lots of wine and snacks. Namely an assortment of fancy cheeses. You sort of get tipsy and chit chat with people that you don’t really know and will probably never see again.
While chugging Pinot and nibbling on a slice of prime English cheddar (with caramelized onions), I came across a young man who looked uncomfortable, slightly awkward and a tad out of place. Not because he didn’t fit in with the dazzling smiles and athletic physiques (er, that would be me, looking like a beige puddle). Or that like most there he hadn’t already won the genetic lottery. Alas, he had, but for whatever reason he didn’t carry the putrid stench of vanity. He leant more towards the confused type, one who had been forced to attend West Point by his overbearing father. Who secretly just wanted to live the rest of his days in a cabin in the woods, with only the wolves as his friends. Or maybe I just made up that backstory because I was a bit bored and slightly drunk, I don’t recall. So after stalking him in the foyer, I cornered him by the Gruyère. As it turns out, one of his songs was in the movie. His name was (*and still is) Jordan Beckett, he’s frontman of Bootstraps, who were recently feature asAmazon‘sband to watch. He’s a professional writer of words and in his spare time, composes music for TV and film. He smokes far too many cigarettes, gets agitated by my nosiness, won a Naxos Award for Best Film Music and you probably listened to him singing in an episode of Elementary, Monday Mornings or Parenthood. He also likes to swim in pools, at night. Two months after finding Jordan by the cheeses, he returned my call. Here’s what he had to say.
- Claire Coffee: Grimm’s Adalind (sliceofscifi.com)
- Grimm Cast Members Talk Season 2 Finale and What’s Ahead in Season 3 (dreadcentral.com)