Ch. 42: Brandon Scott Jones, John | Anya Adams, Director

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Cast Janet and I are thrilled to bring you this new episode sake it's bad Janet you fecal flims guys why do you keep hi there Hello Janet welcome everyone to season for the good place the pod PODCAST I'm Mark Jackson Michael They don't care they'll make you do the most humiliating things imaginable as long as they get their sweet sweet downloads are fine it just changed its name so it's technically no longer running but it was a show called gentrify through Upright Citizens Brigade and it was just a comedy show and you Michael and Eleanor see that Chidi has gotten complacently happy in the afterlife so they have Jason reveal his true dirtbag self in order to give Chidi stressful ethical decision didn't and director of the episode on Your Adam's onion brandon welcome everything is fine thanks so much for being here you both guys thank you so much for having us defy let's just keep moving this episode is brought to you by skidmarks no no it's not let's just start the show earth as well as harsh truths about gossip column she later realizes John Just needs a real friend and true human connection my guest today are Brandon Scott Jones who plays John we So you can imagine I guess like the joy that I had where I got to like be on the show with one of my best friends of all time of course eleanor discovers she's gone too far in his actually angry at sheedy for leaving her meanwhile to honey attempts to help John Improve by giving him the upper class lifestyle he envy you come from I've seen you where a Baltimore hat before are you from Baltimore I am I'm from Yeah just north of Baltimore town called Belair Nice and I play Sean Today we're talking about chapter forty two season four episode three shellacking written by Asia Mahar directed by on your atoms including guest cast Sheila Cross Eddie and I still perform a little bit out here with the La Companies I yeah that's where I met Darcy Darcy I did sketch together for very many that's and I feel like that has happened so many times on this show Darcy's friends with Jen statsky one of the Writers I feel like there've been so many connections of like old friends on the show that in in Maryland and yeah so I came there and then I came to L. A. Via New York City so I spent many years living in Brooklyn New York I I know that you have connections to Zukas and Darcy through UCB Yes yeah I spent many years as a performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City thanks for joining us via telephone from where I and Toronto Canada that's a completely different country it is years in New York we actually hosted a show together for a long time is that still running yeah really nice it's called it was called gentrify actually when I say it's still running but they still have phones here so call in you say I think you might be they are not they I am I am I'm from there are a Brennan Scott Jones you are a delight in this this series as you are in everything that you do I'm curious about your background our current as they as the native yeah let him but community what did you go to school for this were you sort of maybe enter it not knowing exactly what you're going to get out of it and what you get out of it is like maybe meeting I will say that the best thing about it regardless of the Improv Olympic world annoyance from Chicago and For anybody looking to get in the creative arts like improvisation I I know I talk about it a lot on this program getting smart intelligent crazy hilarious people you could ever their colors of that Voltron there's groundlings another version second city is my world comedy career or anything you would potentially start for the best thing about it is the people that you meet and I have net the most there's no substitute for the world's that and that that opens in the friends that that makes oh my God I could not agree more I could not agree more that is absolutely and doing each Improv in the public schools in middle and high schools and now branching even into sixth grade and it's called the Detroit creativity project and yes I asked all these famous busy people you know Kirby Hall of taste and Kristen Bell and she's a you know I think a UCB person as well it's it's a pretty great proving ground that all of you have come from Oh yeah no we love it it's it is like I think Darcy and I always say like an sure manziel feels the same way and Kirby that we will will die for that place uh-huh we love we love the it's the boot camp right it's the graduate school in life and comedy it it really is it's like it's kind of it is this magical space with tons and tons of credits there before moving onto becoming a director I'm so fascinated by the different skill set that all departments every aspect of it pivots through the first assistant director like that's a personal needs to know everything that's going on and I was on black ish as a first ad so I started on that show when it started on the air and when I started I had already had kind of designed to see boy when it when it doesn't when you don't have a great field Marshall of a first idea it really does slow things down in this past season the good place Mike sure and administrative job don't you think I mean it's about planning it's about scheduling it's about knowing how how movies are made how television shows are made there's so much to it right you gave the nod to a couple of of first time directors for the show One was the first one was Larry script supervisor when was Kristen Bell Yeah you have directed a ton in the past couple of years what when did that damn break win what was your first break how did you make that transition I would say yes like your job is to be organized but you also have to have a degree of creativity because you need to be able to translate what the director wants come help support that and they all said yes it was a fun ask night while we're not done I'm going to ask you about doing another one so it's that those that that first aid as and directors possess I eighty s I mean that's such an an organizational and and see I love working for directors that that edit because they're economical and they're shooting and also like you know they have an idea and I said Oh I haven't done anything because I had been come up with some fall so I I just decided I had to prove myself so I did a short film into like a practical world I mean a lot of times you're working with background and setting up that kind of imagery for the director so you crew and equipment and locations and you need to understand all that be able to be successful I think is a first yes it's incredible to to think about all accent me the script and they sent me the part and they said I was in New York at the time and they asked me to put myself on tape and whenever you do like a self got to do the motherfucking shirt shout yeah you're the the the Improv show that you put together with the place that was a great example of like I mean putting putting in those dues and showing showing up and doing more than than as the you know the very basic of what's necessary but also I feel like editing is a common theme that we you are actively a part of the creative part as well but you definitely are very you need to be very organized and understand all the functioning of the set then and the I was talking to a woman named remember this Cassandra Oh and so those are two things I had no idea what's going on and I sent it off tape as an actor I don't know how you feel mark but I sometimes it feels like you are just crapping into a river apart with a fake sides I did not know anything that was going on I I don't think my character's name was John even at that point and I was not talking to Tahani the how amazing it can be and just like how fun it is to play with other other adults Improv Improv teaches you to say a lot of yes and I have a charity in Detroit where we of where they're headed with the what is sometimes referred to as the final rewrite yeah yeah for sure and I think maybe you don't get a lot of time to do that you see I came up to the programs I was I initially didn't came to the train on training program before that I was in our time and whether it's just for fun or you know part of a more established group because I really feel like you guys are game up for anything that yesterday L. Ing plus nobody was an asshole really cool there's a longtime first ad and second unit director Coban it and see if he can come join the good place for a little bit typically when you audition you go to a different place casting office and they have a camera on a tripod and someone's reading with you and you don't have to education but you don't see the you know the cutting and that was really awesome one of my favorite things about directing sitting in the bay and crossing the show Brendan did you on Prophet Right I didn't start in industry so I started in the training program thinking I was going to be an ag for life but as I got towards Audie looks like oh a hundred percent so critical and so awful yourself and the person that you've had come over to your home or wherever to read with you you suddenly I'm not sure but I know that it didn't hurt being good friends with her and I got yeah and then I just got a call the next day there was like hey I think they want to move forward and I was like what we forever I've been to I eighty for a while I really was looking at like where do I go next and my car was saying directing not ucla or anything like that so I feel as though they're on top of things they're having a leisurely cup of coffee thinking about you know maybe checking into see how Brenston class and we even see Eleanor Megan and I went onto black ish that was one of the things I said to the creative then to the people hiring me was I wanted to direct and they said great what have you done worry about the background backdrop for the lighting or the microphones when you self tape building Ford out of pizza boxes and tipping your phone on it and the lighting your exclude can I just say one thing about Improv though I just WanNa say like as a director is such a joy to work with people that have been I'm in there but I made you know I made choices to show people that I was actually been directing though can you gave me my first episode so it's really cool overseen even back in his life on Earth we've never seen that version of him before yeah when we were shooting out it was really we break for lunch on this on this audition that I'm doing but I I was The second I saw that I was an audition for the good place I like my body clenched like Dan kind of mentality really fun things to bring the set so I just wanted to say it was like one of the great things about working on this show was just that yes and Oh my God I can't believe it I mean you gotTa do it now you got let's get into the episode it's a it's a really it starts off you know eleanor and Michael and I Tax Darcy Hey auditioned for your show as she was like very nice she was like Oh that's so great I was thinking she was she went she had I guess I'm just waiting to see him so happy because we're used to him so angsty you know it's funny I mean we it it sinks in in that moment that you realized like OCD believes he's in heaven into a set as well that's such a great moment in this that is such a great Michael Eleanor moment moments later we see Achidi we never seen before I think we hear an off camera laugh of his before even after which is so weird and then he so breezy and shirt on you realize what a taxing thing this is for them when you're like should we break for lunch you know is no no no no no I self tape don't you understand I to a river I crashed into a river it's never to see that hurt again of me for this role and I maybe put in a recommendation for me so I I definitely know that that where how it all shook out onto like do different levels of that with them you know his laughter it was it was really great and it is such a kind of it's almost there is no it is the worst and so I I self tape this part I self Tom Onion I meant to ask you as well when you get a job like this like do you have to binge the entire back catalogue of every show that you come to direct on probably not right he's one of those episodes where a lot of plot is spoken like a lot of a lot of that stuff and I feel like some of the location shifts happen to mix that up right like once looming lamps towards your it's the worst you shoot way too many takes way and then we look at them and you're like do I stand like that I like is that addition for this role how did you first hear about this job I got a email at my agents general email no my agent and but they did they somehow scooped the turn out of the river and they were like okay we'll slap somebody Michael invents a word because the title of the episode Chill Axing it's it's a where he just invented combining Chidi and relaxing it's also hawked and like smiling he's headed up for a picnic it's nice to see you know will do that version of Chidi but it's super strange right we've legit in town square but it's gotta be part of the device of keeping things visually interesting moving it around for sure which is why it was so funny fun of Chidi being such a giant Dork but Michael makes casual reference to how great it is that cheating has his memory erased and then realize like Oh that was a completely insensitive thing eleanor and Michael realized like Oh no cheese not working on Brent at all this is a problem you go back to Michael's office and I feel like that's to shake things up right they could have done the place that he did it and accomplished and I'm GonNa go I'm GonNa go play some Frisbee golf because why not with a weather this perfect and so they have to put that in the after effectively begin torturing and began these genius disgusting writers wrote Filthy Phrase for Eleanor on become a better person on its face good luck right because he is well feels like I'm here I it's good but she realizes that like a problem for me at all but yeah when you get like an episode of modern family and you've never watched it before you just need to he needs to be if you're not getting that line out the way you want to the first time then you start to over think it he just like effortlessly puts the funniest version out it was great oh this episode lemonade Mafia showed Kenya Barra and he knew that I wanted to direct and I was active in like spending time in the Edit Bay which you know as a eighty you don't get a lot of he was angry at all the rich and famous stuff because he had foam of fear of missing out he was he was separated from it so she's going to one because we see we see different versions as we said Chidi is is at at first light and breezy even Janet who probably that's an that's an unsustainable task yeah I mean I I was up to date on the show 'cause I love that so it was not there's also shoot them at td house you know At the door just to Kinda see them in action in different in different locations that is a funny moment that happens later on when you know just seeing him so in pain which is what they realized they have to do like he's not suffering he's not keeping anybody secret he has zero stomach aches at the moment there as an as an actor you see lines like that delivered and you're like that that's the best absolutely at because like the like sometimes delivering lines Brian Scott Jones man do I mean I know I can eat whatever I want and not gain weight in the Arizona Pretty Pretty Foul Yeah I mean spirited yeah I had made the internal choice that I didn't draw on people's faces but I would sort of like right was reading it while doing the show because back in the day Perez Hilton was very mean to people when draw bodily fluids on a lot of men's like about a completely different intellectual property these writers just take this claim Yup not owned by the show or network yeah and I would love to Brandin the actor only knowing those scenes and having no clue what else is happening by design by desire yes yes exactly know normally obviously perfect and no one has any jobs stressor problems but I feel like I need this is that is the highest delivery of that line Mike in one breath WanNa make Perot you gotta get some sand in your clan and then for the genius Ted Danson goes for the rest of you know what I mean like it's such a did you just just about that but I had seen all that so I was super excited yeah a hundred percent yeah are you prepared actor but by design but so and Mike sure was directing he was just telling me everything that I needed to know own oem too and I think like the but yeah I think even I remember when you and I were doing this episode that was a touchdown that we would kind of go back and forth on a bit too and then what was a good honest journalism that he did on earth has awarded to having this moment right now it was I I don't know if it was definitely in the rewatching of this here's and but like just that he wrote he has such a high regard for his website his journalism his websites open he says okay hand me the jar had the peanut butter jar and they're like like it's such a confusing like they never said anything that really could be missed been misheard as it's such a weird beat to a sad jason because of his relationship with with Janet they say we need you peanut butter jar but he's so committed to it very it's I mean that was on the page I presume right correct yeah it was one hundred eight we re creation of Victoria Beckham exclusive spa posh wash where it's based on your weight and net worth Later Michael and Eleanor go to Jason for some help Nice Oh my goodness thank you it's very good oh so nice I mean because it's it's also blind spotty and tone deaf right like I know I'm in heaven shouldn't be as effective is trying new things she's dyed her hair Because in response to her break-up from Jason like things are just you know just different Tahani wants to help that was always a touchstone for since the very beginning is like kind of going back to when I shot last season when you see John the first time what you're actually seeing it yeah yeah I know it was just like really leaning into John's just like this is at all that all that it almost like like what I imagine we're New Yorker level cartoon caption underneath photos that was sort of like an internal choice that I had made let's see them try to deny it to they can't can't prove yeah they're done they have no more chance to number we've talked about Ted Danson effortlessly the watching in preparation for this podcast was Perez Hilton a reference for whom how mean he was because Brass Hilton used to be pretty mean to people right there is definitely that point yeah that was she's going to invite him on a Sunday we also hilariously learn that Eight different characters from game of thrones are based on the honey which I love that you can establish cannon Johnny's looking to to override that Brennan here's another delicious line another list alignment you do hate him loath her over that cancel it tell me everything faster than those words can be said there was a lot of like I think we always like one thing being the that's the website that's my website baby which makes me makes me laugh so I went I again I'm allowed to say that it made me laugh because I'm reading it from these rights yeah that was played really well that was a well well-crafted moment in the show remember I remember talking about how he needs to hold his hand you know so people could see can I read it I was like very excited as well we're going to the SPA at work oh my God the art direction for it is kind of fun too because it is that's what I remember I don't know if it was I don't know if you remember after that's Great Oh maybe that was just the table draft I can't remember but I remember like being like the worth like that but it was very fun I think I can't remember the original verdict if I think it was something else before the posh wash I'm trying I think it was really whereas Helton was one of the things that we all sort of being able to GLOB onto I did not look this up his press Hilton still a website is that's the thing is okay and I definitely jacket was yeah this was the sound stage and I yeah I remember really like loving the like I remember being I wish this was real because it's meant to be the recreation of something that actually exists or existed on earth but it also like the F- I feel like your foot bans were applets and oh yeah it seemed a little waiting for the job I had to look up because I had forgotten about this eleanor makes reference to you know Janet not having about that yeah brand talk about the Spa Oh my gosh who's this building a sound stage did you go more practical what was it this was the sound it is one of the most fun things in the world because I'm intensely collaborative experience even if we're not improvising other lines because this show is scripted car you can hear a house you can left eye Lopez Lisa left eye Lopez burn down her boyfriend's house that was something I had gossip toilet which made me laugh but yeah press open was definitely all of those Johnny Visit Oh all the way back to the beginning but I do want to say like as improvisers from our perspective when we have a director that so welcoming and like you were on always interesting to see what actually comes out in the end I agree it's fun to watch these episodes you know when we get the links the encrypted links to watch these it's like oh I wonder what earlier versions it'd be an early version of the script yeah I could be wrong but I also remember it being like maybe like on the top floor of some skies of the Burj Khalifa in is like when you're a network TV show though sets are they can be pretty functional yeah you know and so we had like are nice like foot baths and so forth take the used because it's exactly what you were both are describing it's you know though when you're given the note of do you want to try it this way it's not like what you did doesn't work yeah it's so they have this you know physical transformation they they're scrub down and massaged and drinking all the all of Oprah's spa water all her mushroom water what does it look like and how they were in a light those foot bath naked so inviting looking as we discussed it John has been living with a fear of missing out worldly yes they definitely like I mean the production design but then but then the elections like had specific lights like everyone really talked about uh-huh funny so they go to the SPA and they you know they connect brandon delivers the great line hate him loathe her over them cancel it tell me everything giving me bad Janet for these intros I really feel like this is more in good Janet's wheelhouse guys guys mark their podcast producers right yeah yeah let's this way Yes yes speaking by the way really quickly like we were not to go so beautifully you don't need to but like just the vibe and that the the S. and attitude coming from a director it just it makes the world of a difference in and made this episode even I'm not I'm not GONNA do anything mission accomplished mission accomplished honestly this is that we're friends now what else do I really need you know she's pitching this town so far so I wanted to say thank you on behalf of the actors anyway great I I loved it really fun saying those like doing that and then also like her I feel like you're like Monica with the whole like do another deuce in a toilet the gossip toilet thank the Lord knows I can also be the king of a of a line reading that's like what yeah I really the lines hello you know we are like Kinda like you wanted to keep the pace with him and then yeah it was sometimes on those lines it would take the breath and then say the line and don't can't breathe again till it's done and then Tahani tries she tries to trick John Right into attending cheese class it's an inner treatment that was all the rage on earth ethics this is and he is not into it no no he does not want to do it the keys he's like in his Chidi place right now which is like yeah I'm in what you did wasn't working and they still couch it that way in the know they're like all right great we got let's try and the way that vibes suddenly like opens every that is great we got it something else you WanNa try how about this and it's collaborative and it's it's superfund yeah even I even say that sometimes if what you'd get housing with you guys take all to cause a lot of times you know on the set there's so many good versions of the script you get different than you guys stick those up and run with them is there a question mark and it was just yeah I was just trying what'd you guys that versions of that to anything she's absolutely bonkers for suggesting it right Oh absolutely bonkers like what are you talking about like hilarious they go like what I like to use my time in heaven to audit a philosophy class Now we did a lot of those we did a lot of takes a lot of it was written and produced by Lizzie pace and of credits leaving you stay crazy girl in an effort to up the torture too we're still seeing the weird shady even the aunts were helpful during their picnic folding the Napkins Arch and he promises to help John You I know torture is too small which is you know that season one of their show Michael Michael spurring these humans to be terrible over and over and every tiny that's stressful smile he has in this as he's looking at as he's looking at Elinor and Michael Oh God it's just breaking man it's wild and he's so ill equipped the character Chidi so ill equipped to do it because he's like I can't make it they're like why not he's like I can I can make it I can make he relents immediately content like yourself is just about the most ironclad agreement in the universe like she's like before it becomes clear what's about to happen she's like you promised seeing we'll try to cover and go like you know who shot gunning cheese whiz what monk would do that no money mind wise you know that's the apartment where books fly into your hand at will as if you just think about it what you're describing before Anya is so great likely to John much she'll go on the attack just like six of the eight game of thrones characters who are based on her would do she she does it and we're about to see it you can't do that we we made it we made him dance oh my gosh he I mean he really was breakdown Manson does a legit break-dancing yeah yeah maybe maybe bonus footage maybe maybe a gag deal at some point seeing we'll play pain is so fun Michael and eleanor come over just to make it worse they they come to the front door and peak over his shoulder and go oh you're you redecorate things different it like it's just in a meeting new neighborhood and and be a part of it and just upping the torture Kristen looks will dead in the eyes and says a promise from a strict a week goes by and the Chidi we've known and loved his back stomach aches and all because Jason has moved in recreated his bud hole in in Cheetahs other John You the silent amazing monk go yo shut up for a sec like when he becomes Jason Mendoza it's such a terrible transition it is how in the script yeah yeah another bonkers tiny line and she said she hasn't met with much resistance you give Chidi his stomach aches back Eleanor takes Jason or John You I guess to Chidi and Chidi still everything is fawn everything's so fond close to midnight and then woke up thought a sausage egg and cheese was a good idea and then truly sat in a chair so nothing for that happens Eleanor S Jason How can ramp up CDs torture and Jason is nervous he feels like he feels like Cheetahs getting it already and dancing so really what's happening behind him is John He's just breakdown break-dancing break dancing on the floor and that's why like not letting them in the door in that particular line because I truly I'm not kidding you yesterday eight like twelve times yes I'm not even kidding you I was like am I that's so funny you were also a another one of your lines Daniel day-lewis you were so mean can I overdosed on probably you could council from the inside what was happening what I'll tell you exactly what's happening you boy eight a pepperoni pizza the night before that you mentioned earlier to honey had gained five pounds at one point and you named her to honey all the meals I think it was actually to Hammy all the me I see so he accuses Tahe like this has been a fake friendship she says no no your blog hurt people and you have a chance to be better to him he quit acting I'm sorry was he living in character was living in a character who thought he could pull off boot cut jeans and then I also moved directly on my favorite things about shooting those scenes was pity goes to the door and beyond on your side he's breaking it down so anyway yes I this is my this is my effortless plug for Tom's for saving me yesterday you were superman with nervous diarrhea John's not on board he like name one thing right that he said that's been hurtful and this I think is a very maybe touching on the reference Hey I am I allowed to talk about things that were cut out sure I mean that's why we do a podcast so to see because uh-huh he just he doesn't have the stomach for was it I don't know that we've ever done a Luo before on the show was it always we heard about a little mermaid treatment that's where they remove your vocal chords somehow makes your legs look amazed into honey confronts John here and when I remember working with you on you on that one too of like finding like like again like because it is a lot of words like it's a lot of words and then trying to keep the pace really moved on so while yes my body is calcium buying also like there's some acid that needed to escape and I was like press mutation going I just WanNa really my brand as a man with an adjustment so John Wants to go back to the SPA editing room floor are a bunch of takes where brandon makes a noise that is not a toilet flush it is oh yeah underwater for as long as you can just spew yet just go for it it's just a few it's such a fun turn though like the like oh I'm sorry this you know what yeah he's already popping what twenty Tom's or something yeah not going to take the whole bottle we do you know the amount of comfort I found and and double finger flush a toilet that's it pretty I think somewhere on yeah I don't remember this but somewhere in the can or like blessing that's perfect oh my goodness not at the risk of like you know actors always tried to be outward phasing and stay keep a you're looking into the eyes of of your director and like even or in like the the the crew and people being like come on man it's a toilet noise find ourselves later that night at the Luau there's a an activity where you throw a magic lavis lava stone into the bonfire and you will receive what your soul most desires we see Jason knows exactly it's going to be his old motorcycle with Pamela Anderson airbrushed on the side not her face by the way so he does it and they get a sexual exactly they're very great on the advice of Janet who suggests that she that honey just go and talk to the explicit motorcycle as which is again like a a hilarious delivery of hilarious line motorcycles are heavy and was that outside Tilda she gets her childhood pet Shell Turtle Stan Jason can't wait he knows exactly what Cheetahs worried about it because who knows what it's going to be I like I love the notion of William Jackson Harper physically having to walk a motorcycle I would guess there wasn't a ton of acting involved in that that would be very that's such a fun stressor like I could watch one hundred more times than it's always fun to watch this but then also find like those things yeah it was fun there were definitely like sometimes like saying John Lines we're like taking a breath and trying to hold since she tried to get Timothy Shallow May to go into I mean they just named people by name people that are alive yes really walk with it and then then we got will on it so it's so it's so difficult motorcycles are having the the good place it is made of cobblestones big chunky missed laid bricks like unaligned rick's so and from that in one breath I see what's happening here yeah that's a genius town thank you that's a nice yeah yeah that was a fun it also in that scene when Jason throws the stone in slow motion I might the the breath in my body spelled B. Skews me is that was it in the script was I would spell it. B Apostrophe S. C.. I missed that no no no no

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