Walter White, Vince Gilligan, Tony Soprano discussed on The Dan Patrick Show
I can cry right now. Okay. Are we having cry off? Yeah. We can for crying out loud. That's what we're doing. We're crying out loud. This is how you win in these right here. Can you can you can see my eyes are watering up a little bit. I'm tearing up a little bit. Yes, you're very needy. This. Complimentary sweater. Morning. I'm this way. All the time. We were talking about twenty year anniversary of the sopranos. And we were wondering would breaking bad have been made. If we didn't have the sopranos. I don't think so are they would they were able to David chase was able to do and creating a character. Like, Tony soprano was certainly paving the way to allow the space for someone like Walter white to exist. Yeah. It was it was groundbreaking because you I don't know if you root for the bad guy, but you don't root against it. Feels like there's empathy for the bad guy. Well, it it is it's not that clear. What you root for is humanity. When you see the humanity, and Tony soprano, for instance, the element of going to a therapist says he's searching he's looking for something else looking for some measure of wholeness as a human being, and that's embraceable. And I think that's why that character work is that he he would go and he would kill someone. And then he'd go home, and he'd have to deal with his sons, homework or tardiness or his wife is complaining. He was just the guy dealing with the stuff that we all deal with and you, and you go, I know, I know what that guy is dealing with. But Walter white didn't go to with therapist city and breaking bad. No. He didn't. He didn't have time. He had the clock was ticking. Yeah. On Walter white. Do you think about that was that ever broached in the in the script that he would actually be confessing to somebody? I think I think Vince Gilligan did consider something like that. But it seemed it seemed to slow down the pace and the tempo of what he was trying to do. And as you notice as the seasons went on it quickened, we lost some of the humor of the earlier seasons. When things got more tense and desperate and naturally the humor falls away because it's too horrific to to witness. So we also brought up sex in the city came out before the sopranos, and here's HBO with sex in the city, which was different. Yeah. I go back to hillstreet blues as maybe a TV show that kind of and you were on an episode of hillstreet blues, weren't you? I was a I played Dennis Francis. Lawyer I was. I don't know twenty eight years old that play his lawyer. I would they're hiring me for the lawyer. Really? I was surprised but they did. And that was a ground-breaking show. Steven bochco. And wonderful, wonderful work. And I went on to do four different productions of Stephen Bochco is because his you did LA law. I did an episode of LA law, and then I had to experience that weren't so good on on his shows. One was called Brooklyn south where I was hired to play an internal affairs cop. And I never got a script. It was just sides in those days, my fax machine at night was rolling off. And you had to cut the paper in between remember that? And I would have reams of dialogue, and I'm working at six thirty tomorrow morning, and just blocks and blocks of dialogue and the events, and I'm going I know what I'm saying. And so I would just had a pounding headache throughout the entire eight days. It was terrible. Could you have handled success that? You've had now when you're twenty eight years old. I don't know. I mean when I was twenty five I moved to New York to be on a soap opera, so in a small dose. I had like oh look at that. I'm working as an actor and dating models from the Ford agency and things like that. It would really fantastic really. Let's talk about that. Was it was a good time. This is the roaring eighties. Man. I eighty three eighty four do you ever go to studio fifty four? How'd you do? I. What did you do? You just go you dance, and you and you meet some people in your going back room, and you have some fun. And did you have any famous friends like then? No, I I was I didn't know anybody. And I was really young. And I still don't know to this day who anybody is. You know, it's like, I really don't I know you guys the dads. I know these guys who is your famous friends now. Yeah. Tom Hanks is a friend, and he's is but only because our wives have known each other for forty years for maybe longer. It's an so that's how I got to know him. And he's as Tom Hanks ever made you mad. No is he is he capable of making you mad. I think if he did something despicable. I would agree with you doesn't do that. No. He is. He is he is my role model, even though I'm about four five months older than he is he hit stardom quickly in his twenties, and then held onto it and then evolved wonderfully in aged into new roles, and but more than that, it's what he was able to set up for himself personally. And I tell this young actors all the time, you get your home life said that's your foundation. So make that as sane as possible. So that you can go insane at work. And and Tom was I saw that clearly what he was doing and how he structured that. And and I thought that's what I want. I want to be able to have that solid and be able to do my work as a side thing and always be able to come back home. What is the challenge for you? Because you've done. Comedy you've done drama. You've done theater is there. One other. I think challenge right now is looking at you. And that's. It's almost hurts. Your eyes a little bit doesn't it? I have to kind of look up at your forehead. I can't do you want me to take this off? And just be topless is that what you're asking. Well, yes. I mean, you're big on nudity not afraid nudity. I'm not afraid of nudity. I don't know if I'd say, I'm big on it. But other people looking at me naked might say, I'm big. Oh, yeah. Oh, imaginary ashtray my imaginary cigarettes? But does your I know your wife is been you know, you've been married a long time. Yeah. When you're there with the scene in your in your underwear or your daughter like did, they get embarrassed? Or do they goof on you? Not so much anymore. You know, they don't watch too much of that. My daughter's actor two now, so we're it's the family business, and they were so used to that. It's it's like you're able to have your imaginary life and your real life separated, and and both of them celebrated who's in their underwear. More often you or will Ferrell. Oh, I think will probably more often. And he does that full on. And he's got the line. Appendix scar. And he's so fearless, man. He's like bulging over his his and he removed his appendix for the comedy. That's that's that's what he does dedication. That's dedication. Have you have you ever? See who have you competed for jobs with? I have no idea. I don't I don't know who I really compete against you don't know who's audition for well. I heard I heard like for Walter white. I heard that John kuzak was name was mentioned, and Matthew Broderick's name was mentioned. And Steve Zahn was mentioned. But that's all I know is that they were mentioned, I don't know if it was ever if they ever really had meetings. I've no idea I don't pay any attention to that. Do you audition? You have to audition. Now, we'll everything's an audition. Even when you're not officially reading for something when you're meeting director for a possible role. It's an audition. Yeah. He or she is looking going. I think he's right for it. Or I don't think he's going to be right for and your intern. Look talking to them about how do you see this character played out? And do do I think I can work with you. But I would never know meeting you that you could have. Been Walter white. Like, what would you show me if I was a director? And I said, okay, Brian come on. And then I would have you read some things. Yeah. You'd read if there was a regular audition setup you'd go in and you'd have all sides, and you'd read part of the character, and then they determine whether or not they felt you could do it. Now, I was very fortunate because I was on one episode of the x files that Vince Gilligan wrote and produced and he was on the set and the character that he wrote for this particular episode was despicable anti Semite angry irascible in a car with dacoven. Yes. Okay. Yes. And and. But you still had the feel some level of human compassion for this man when he died as a waste of a human life. And so it does take a little finesse to be able to walk that line of being in one sense despicable in the other sense. He's still a human being. Thanks still care that he I don't want him to die, but I didn't like him. And so there's that kind of thing. And Vince thought this is the combination that I want for for Walter white without Vince Gilligan, I'm not sitting in this chair right now. And you're not wearing that sweater, right? John cusack. Is sitting in this chair? Yeah. You did curb your enthusiasm. Yeah. Is there any script? No. There's no script. Larry David's sends out a little breakdown of the scenes that you're in and he'll say in this scene. You're going to talk about your love of truffles. And that you, you know, something else, whatever responsibility. You have as far as information getting a revealed, and then heat says what he's going to reveal. And this was the inequality of my my chairs in my therapist office or something which was the first episode. I did and and then from then on it's just it's you'd make it up and somehow get to that point where you where you get now. I had the great good fortune of being in comedy bootcamp being on on Seinfeld for a few years and watching. Larry David craft a joke like a surgeon, and Jerry, and Jerry, and he working together like talking in a language. You can't really understand unless you're on the inside. And I was able to be watching that tennis match between them and going. Oh my God. There. The timing and care. It's like a souffle. It's that delicate you could crush a joke or you can lift it just by the way, it's delivered or the time. And I think that's the key is in comedians talk about this and Seinfeld we had him. When when did we have him we are Super Bowl by five years ago? And then so we did something we did a prerecorded bit. And we had him assess it, and he did it in brutal terms like you would say you need to be faster you need to be louder. Take the air out here, and you should have ended it this way. But he he broke it down in real time where he's watching it. Yes. And you know to have somebody a professional ear listening for things they don't necessarily. It's not what they see is what what they here in Howard, the cadence of it and everything, and that's what's amazing. And you're right. You know, you got a fast learning curve, if you're around those to you, it is in it's a lot to take in because Jerry probably had the ten thousand hours to become proficient an expert in that in that field, and he he knows from one night to another he go, you know, I rush that bit too fast. I'm gonna pull back on that just a touch and crafts that. And then every night is different. You have a different audience you done stand up. Yeah. I did. I did stand up back in the eighties. And the only reason I did it was because I was afraid of it. It scared me the idea of getting up on stage having a microphone and a spotlight. Right. And that's it go. And so I thought oh, I got to overcome this fear. So I started doing standup back in the heyday of when there's so many comedy clubs all around. And I did at the improv the comedy store the laugh factory the laugh, stop, the even the playboy club. And this is all in LA the had open mic nights. I never got paid for it, nor should I ever been paid for I rose to the level of mediocrity. And I remember one night I was at the laugh stop in the valley. And I had my best night. I mean, I crushed and laughter and laughter and laughter. And I was so juiced. I was so excited that I got in the car, and I drove right to the improv on Melrose. And I said you gotta get me on says, I got it. I got on the guy finally got. Says well, we're all hang on someone might drop out someone did drop out and about about ten to one o'clock in the morning. It was like twelve fifty in the morning. Okay. You can go on for five minutes, and I go on and that's the same routine. Same night get up there. Cricket. Just unbe. I'm and that's how hard it is. Because it threw me because I thought wait a minute. Wait a minute. This is exactly the same set. And I know the timing of what I'm doing nothing. And it was like oh my God. I gotta get out of this. It's brutal. Do you think that the better looking? You are the tougher. It is to be funny. Well, I should know. Extremely funny. You know, you your thank you. Thank you. The burden of of gorgeous nece. Yeah. Could Brad Pitt being a standup comedian like what would people I don't know? You know, not so much. I think when you are a good looking person and and. You know, you've had that gift your whole life. You things are are available to you that are not available to other people. But there are some things that you're not accessible to if you're a wallflower if you're introverted if you're not very attractive. You have the luxury.