Travis Kalmyk, Mr Carmen, Gordon Levitt discussed on Sway



Decades in hollywood and he's only forty years old. He got his first big break on the hit. Nbc comedy third rock from the sun. Since then he's played a heartbroken romantic in five hundred days of summer the controversial. Nsa contractor the film snowden and up next. he slotted to play uber. Cofounder travis kalmyk in the showtime series super polit. So i wanted to take on. How hollywood and silicon valley intersect but i. I wanted to dive into his new series. Called mr carmen and it looks at the life of musician. Term fifth grade teacher who's grappling with anxiety. In addition to starring in it gordon levitt wrote directed and executive produced the series. Joseph gordon levitt. Welcome to sway. Thanks for having me. I wanted to talk a little. Bit about mr corman. To start off is about a young man who Not too old man who is unhappy with his life already and is struggling with anxiety. It sort of feels like a negative view in a lot of ways of what could have happened to you. Can you talk a little bit about that sure. Yes so the protagonist is named josh cormon. And yet he's i never heard it. Put that way sort of a negative me. I wanted to make something that was personal. Those about myself that the first movie that i wrote and directed it's called don john played a character is very different from myself. And i i love an actor. That's one of the things. I love is putting myself in someone else's shoes but for this i was really trying to get into myself and i've been doing a lot of i guess self reflection on my own life and feeling so enormously grateful for the life i get to live and i also feel quite lucky allowed. People work really hard and haven't necessarily gotten the rewards that i've gotten such as miss because in the first few minutes of the first episode. There's a conversation that he has with his fifth grade. History class about luck and import can beat a success. I'm curious over. Feels about this. Who here thinks they're lucky on everyone to answer this question. All right. i'll give you second thing about it. Now raise your hand. If you think you're a lucky person just ramone okay. Raise your hand. If you're unlucky. Got it okay clear answer what about you requirement was that you didn't raise your hand Do i mean. I feel like a lucky person for sure. He's got a bummer. I gotta tell you well. He has a real lot to be grateful for and he does his best to feel that gratitude but he struggled. Sometimes you know look i. I am the same way. I have a lot to be grateful for. I'm not able to one hundred percent of the time. Feel good you know. I feel good a lot of the time. But i also have my negative moments and i think that's the human condition and a lot of ways. Well let's talk about that for a second because one of the things. That's important is your depicting anxiety. I was like this is a frigging bomber. This guy and i was like gosh. I feel bad for at the same time. He's sort of a white guy in america. With a lotta luck with a lot of people don't have and it's like oh god. Depress white guy like a- system Can you talk a little bit about that idea of anxiety because i think you depict it with a a meteorite heading towards the earth right. That's how he looks up and sees that too that when his anxiety strikes the characters anxiety is amalgamate of some feelings that i've had and feelings of other people that i'm close with and the meteoric an experience of someone i know who has that fear and obsession and who's mind kind of fix. It's on this idea. That meteoroid coming to destroy humanity and i thought that was an image that really captured what it can feel like and joshes a white guy living in a big city in the united states and he does have like. I said a lot to be grateful for. I mean the truth is a great deal of us. Have a lot to be grateful for to negate his depression. Because it's very well depicted. I mean i was sort of like i felt badly for the man you know. There are some funny moments when your roommate tries to make a weighted blanket. Because you can't afford it and lies on you with a blanket which are very funny but you know in this time given the high ratings. I depression among everybody. You don't have to like stack rank people's pain in some ways will exactly. That's exactly what i think too. And and so. I feel like it's it's all the more brits to depict a character who like we said has so much to be grateful for and yet still wrestles with maintaining a positive attitude. So talk about how you decided to depict that anxiety. Because there's a lot of sound cues. There's one single note that sounds when he's going through his day Obviously he's a musician. So there's music that's very It's not tragic will It's worth note in. The composer of of mr korman is named nathan johnson. Who's a dear friend of mine who have worked with many times and And music plays a really big part in this show. It's not standard television score. It's not it's relentless. In fact in fact you sorta especially when depicting the those moments in the show. Where josh's feeling anxious. I love that you picked up on that q. The rules set up where make it such that. Josh could have made this score in his bedroom. And so that sound you hear from that kind of sting. Anxiety is a combination of a few different things. It's him kind of messing with the wrong part of the strings on a guitar. And i think it's a chain falling on desk and a few other layers all put together and run through his digital alchemy and Yeah we worked a lot on that one sound. Yes sooner you also we also see josh create music on his own crinkly paper for ambient sound. Is that your style styler. Is that josh. Are you trying to create a josh. Sound yeah i mean. I think it's it's definitely a lot to do with what i like. And my aesthetic preferences. Yeah i have an eclectic taste but yet the music josh makes. I do connect with a lot. I made a lot of music with home recording setups and it was really fun. Playing a character does that so one of the things. That's important speaking of connecting. Is i think the main through lines throughout his ause people not being able to connect with other people every character feels solitary in some way but one of the connected relationships which is also i think trouble with your mother played by debra winger. Who by the way is fantastic. That to me is the most important relationship in the whole series. I saw so far and they literally do a dance to around their relationship..

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